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September 17, 2013 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County Houses: Rolfeton

Rolfeton_Longwood Archaeology

Rolfeton (2013), Courtesy Longwood University, Archeology

Recently, seven archeology students from Longwood University surveyed Rolfeton, once one of Buckingham County’s finest homes. With their professor, the students tested a new type of software capable of creating measured drawings using “a total station and autocad.”

In 1937, Garnett Agee Williams relied on her own, less sophisticated, observations when she surveyed Rolfeton for the Virginia Historical Inventory.  Helpful informants, Robert K. Brock (of Farmville and part- owner of the house), Mrs. Rebecca Eldridge (of Buckingham and a relative of the Irving Family) and Mrs. Henry Worley (then occupant of Rolfeton) aided Mrs. Williams with her description.

According to the survey, the house was built c. 1812 by Rolfe Eldridge for his son, Thomas Kidder Eldridge, who was Clerk of Court in Buckingham County for many years, following in the Rolfe family tradition. The house is located about one mile north of Buckingham Court House.

Visit Longwood Archeology’s Facebook page and learn more:  Longwood Archeology 

27 Comments

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  1. Kendra Greenwaters / Apr 3 2017 10:42 pm

    I am searching for more information about the cemetery at Rolfeton. Is there a list somewhere of who is buried there? Or are their pictures posted somewhere of the cemetery? I am specifically looking for Thomas Kidder Eldridge (1791-1864) and his wife Mary Ayres Eldridge (1803-1869). Since the courthouse burned down after his death I am finding it difficult to find a primary source record of his death. Thank you for any assistance.

    • Joanne Yeck / Apr 4 2017 7:32 am

      Hello Kendra, The cemetery at Rolfeton is surveyed in Buckingham Burials, volume one. The series is in print and is available from Historic Buckingham: http://www.historicbuckingham.org/ForSale.html. Some of the graves are also listed online at FindAGrave. Joanne

      • Janice Lynne Baxter Henshaw / Apr 4 2017 12:17 pm

        I own the farm called Rolfton in Buckingham co., and am also the Chairman of the Genealogy Committee of Historic Buckingham Inc. I cannot find Mary Ayres Eldridge or Thomas Kidder Wood Cemetery in Buckingham Co.. There is a Mildred Kidder Eldridge Cabell in the Jones/Cabell/Wood Cemetery at “Wilderness” on Rt. 661.

      • Joanne Yeck / Apr 4 2017 2:41 pm

        Lynne, Many thanks for checking on Mary Ayres Eldridge and Thomas Kidder Wood. I wonder if Mary Ayres Eldridge might be buried near the old Eldridge Mill and Hanes Chapel? Joanne

  2. Lynne Henshaw / Jun 27 2014 10:18 pm

    Scroll down to see my comments about Rolfton, and some very good news

  3. James A. Figg III / Apr 11 2014 2:28 pm

    I can’t remember exactly the connection, but one of my Guerrant relatives married a Moseley..I am descended from Peter Guerrant III and his wife Tabitha (Moss) Guerrant…would like to learn more about the Moseley connection and Buckingham Co.

    James A. Figg III
    New York City

    • Joanne Yeck / Apr 11 2014 2:33 pm

      James, I descend from Robert Peter Moseley married Magdalena/Magdalin Guerrant in 1760. Theirs is a very large and influential family in Buckingham County. In the coming months, there will more about Moseleys and Guerrants posted at Slate River Press. If you haven’t already, be sure to put the surnames in the search box and enjoy the results. Joanne

    • Beyond My Garden / Jan 2 2015 11:32 pm

      I, too am descended from Peter Guerrant and Tabitha. My grandfather was Samuel Saunders Guerrant of Algoma in Franklin County VA

      • Jamie Figg / Jan 3 2015 9:17 am

        Well by all means Cousin, please contact me as I’m longing to take a road trip to see what’s left of Algoma when the weather warms up… My great great grandfather was John Reveley Guerrant who married Octavia Gibson whose father apparently had vast landholdings in Southwestern Va, thus their son, Major William Gibson Guerrant, CSA, settled at Pilot, Va in Montgomery County after the War… There is still a Guerrant Homestead there… His daughter, Constance Lacy Guerrant married James Rigby Jr. of Christiansburg, my paternal grandmother, Constance Guerrant Rigby (Figg) was their eldest daughter.

      • Joanne Yeck / Jan 3 2015 9:21 am

        I’d like to learn more about the Saunders-Guerrant connection. Does this reflect a Buckingham County intermarriage? Joanne

      • Jamie Figg / Jan 3 2015 9:30 am

        I’m Ionging to take a road trip to Buckingham and also to see what’s left of Algoma too, when the weather warms up… And to meet anyone in the area connected to my Guerrant relatives. Please feel free to contact me at: jamiefigg@aol.com.

  4. Lynne Henshaw / Nov 4 2013 10:32 am

    I am the present owner of Rolfton and what is left of the Benjamin Moseley Plantation (245 acres of the original 2,666 acres). Mr. Holman’s comments are correct according to the research I have done. Rolfton (the house) was built circa 1790 by the Moseleys, and has not been occupied for about 60 years. Rolfe Eldridge Jr. or the citizens of Buckingham Co. must have “named” the house after he moved in. His father, Rolfe Eldridge Sr. was clerk of the court for many years, before his son took that office. Rolfe Sr. lived at “old Rolfeton which was on an adjoining farm. It was destroyed by fire about 10 or so years ago. If there is some confusion about the dating of (new) Rolfton, it is probably because of incorrect assumptions about there only being one Rolfton.
    It is deteriorating to the point that we have determined it must be taken down. It was not called “Rolfton” until Rolfe Eldridge Jr. married into the Moseley family and moved in much later.

    • Joanne Yeck / Nov 4 2013 10:55 am

      Lynn, Many thanks for your additional comments. It’s good to know there were two houses. I fondly recall visiting the house and the cemetery with you. Joanne

    • Tom Almquist / Jun 27 2014 9:49 am

      Lynn, read your email with sadness. Has Rolfton been torn down yet? If not is there ANY hope that someone could preserve/restore it? I just hate to see these old structures disappear but I know that sometimes “you have to do what you have to do”. Do you have any other pictures of it?

      Tom Almquist
      talqt@aol.com

      PS I descend from the Thomas Jones family of Slate Rivers died ca 1766.

      • Joanne Yeck / Jun 27 2014 10:03 am

        Tom, Thanks for your comment. Fortunately, some houses can be restored, for example Humanity Hall, and are getting the tender, loving care they need. Joanne

    • Lynne Henshaw / Jun 27 2014 10:15 pm

      Actually, it looks like we will not have to take Rolfton down. I am working with Dr. Brian Bates, of Longwood University, and a good friend here in Buckingham. It is very probable that we will be moving Rolfton to the Buckingham Court House village, behind the Housewright House Museum which is owned by Historic Buckingham Inc. Rofton’s architecture will fit right in. It needs a coat of paint and some cleaning up inside. HBI will then move it’s research materials to Rolfton, which will make them much more accessible (Presently they are on the second floor of the Museum and one has to climb a very steep staircase to get to them).

      • Tom Almquist / Jun 28 2014 12:06 am

        Lynne this is wonderful news. As you may know, the Eldridge, Jones and Bolling familes intermarried to a great extent. One distance cousin (Mary Elizabeth Jones) died at Rolfton in 1837, she was his niece through the Moseley line. As is known all these families were very intertwined. I feel a ‘connection’ to Rolfton as I do to many of the old places in Buckingham. Thanks for the news.

        Tom

      • Joanne Yeck / Jun 28 2014 7:13 am

        Tom, Watch for a follow-up post(s) concerning Rolfton’s past and future. Joanne

      • Joanne Yeck / Jun 28 2014 6:53 am

        Lynn, Terrific news! Joanne

  5. Joanne Yeck / Sep 19 2013 11:58 am

    Harry, Many thanks for this interesting and informative post.

  6. Harry Stuart Holman / Sep 19 2013 11:50 am

    Dear Readers,

    I find this an extremely interesting property. In the 1860 Census, it was valued at $30,000–one of the finest estates in the county. The cemetery there has evidently a number of marked graves. One is of Rolfe Eldridge. His dates match Rolfe Eldridge, Jr.–brother to Thomas Kidder Eldridge, who married Mary Hales Ayres, niece of Mrs. William Holman of “Humanity Hall.” Rolfe Eldridge, Jr. was Clerk of the County for about 50 years. He married Mary Moseley–also buried at “Rolfeton.” Her father, Lt. Benjamin Moseley, died in 1799 and was buried at “Rolfeton.” Mary Moseley–called Polly–didn’t marry Eldridge until 1808–nine years after her father was buried at “Rolfeton.” This makes me believe that it was originally a Moseley place. Research also reveals this house had twelve closets–which was very unique for this time. Lt. Moseley was a veteran of the artillery of a Virginia Regiment of the Continental Line. His father Maj. William Moseley also served in the Revolution in the Continental Line. Maj. Moseley married a Watkins and was the son of Arthur Moseley III and his wife Martha Cocke. Arthur’s brother was Robert Ligon Moseley–ancestor of most of the Buckingham County Moseleys (descendants including myself and Dr. Yeck). Amongst the newer graves at “Rolfeton” were the graves of Rolfe and Polly Moseley Eldridge’s daughter and son-in-law–the Fitzgeralds. Amongst their descendants is Mr. Sam Bryant of Petersburg–an investment banker of that place.

    Harry Stuart Holman

    • Liz / Oct 4 2013 9:09 pm

      Mr. Holman – I find your knowledge of the place and people of Buckingham Co. to be very interesting and thorough! A cousin of mine has traced our Moseley ancestry (now primarily located in Lynchburg, VA) to Robert Ligon Moseley. She is a member of the DAR and has access to much of their information but I was just wondering how you came across so much of yours. My Master’s thesis is now focused on these early Virginia colonial families, particularly the French Huguenots, that settled along the James River and I am greatly looking forward to my research! Thank you – Liz Graham

      • Joanne Yeck / Oct 5 2013 8:07 am

        Liz, I’d love to hear more about Robert Ligon Moseley. He is my ancestor, too, and I’m a Huguenot through several lines, as are many families in Buckingham County. When you have a moment, please write to my at jlyeck@gmail.com. Thanks for commenting ~ Joanne

      • Lionel Jim Shamp / Oct 7 2013 11:42 am

        My great Grandfather, Elias James White 11, lived in a house within sight of the old Gold Hill Store. He’s buried in the Buckingham Baptist cemitery. My Great Grandmother was Sarah Ann Ross White. My Grandfather, Daniel White, was born in Buckingham County in about 1867 and moved west to Wa State in 1903..My Great Aunt was Fannie White. My 2nd cozens, Kate and Palmur White retired to this house.
        I don’t know the address of the old family house but it might have been on Fannie White Road. I’m wondering how this road got this name, anything I can find out about the old house, and information about Elias Whites service in the Civil war.

        Thanks

        Jim Shamp

      • Joanne Yeck / Oct 7 2013 12:19 pm

        Jim, Thanks for your comment. I hope we hear an answer about Fannie White Road. I’d like to know too!

      • Jamie Figg / Jun 27 2014 11:12 am

        Liz,
        I too am a Huguenot descendant of Daniel and Peter Guerrant of Manakin. Arrived 1700 on the ship Nassau. The Guerrants married Moseleys. My great grandmother was Constance Guerrant,( Mrs. James Rigby Jr.), daughter of Major William Gibson Guerrant CSA. of Pilot , Va near Christiansburg. His father was John Reveley Guerrant ( married Octavia Gibson) who was born at Algoma at Calloway, Va. I would like to learn more about my Huguenot ancestry. My e-mail is jamiefigg@aol.com. James A.Figg III. New York City

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