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January 31, 2014 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County: Gentleman Justices

Slate River Ramblings_Rolfe Eldridge

Rolfe Eldridge, Sr., Buckingham County Clerk

 In “A State of the Commission of the Peace for Buckingham County” recorded on July 8, 1793 in the Virginia State Papers, Buckingham County Clerk Rolfe Eldridge summarized the current list of acting Justices and the men recommended for new commissions.

Behind these lists are Buckingham’s leaders posed to serve the county as its citizens prepare for the 19th century.  These men will care for the poor, design education, and keep the peace.

A List of the acting Justices for the county of Buckingham, to-wit:

John Bernard, Flamstead Ransom (sic), John Cabell, John Moseley, James Dillard, Wm. Cannon, Thomas Anderson, Anthony Winston, Jr., Henry Bell, William Perkins, Jr., Benjamin Morris, David Coupland, David Bell, Joseph Cabell, Jr., Josias Jones, Samuel Allen, Peter Guerrant, Joel Watkins, William Allen, Boaz Ford, Charles Moseley.

ROLFE ELDRIDGE, c. B. court.

At a court held for Buckingham county the 8th day of July, 1793:

Present — Henry Bell, Samuel Allen, Boaz Ford, Peter Guerrant, John Moseley, Charles Moseley, David Coupland, & Josias Jones, Gentlemen Justices.

Thomas Moseley, John Pittman, Robert Kincaid, Clough Shelton, Charles Yancey, William Evans, Robert Nicholas, Henry Flood, Philip Duval, and Mathew Branch, are recommended to his Excellency the Governor and Council as proper persons to be added to the commission of the peace for this county.

A Copy — Teste:



According to Edyth Whitley’s Genealogical Records of Buckingham County, Virginia, Rolfe Eldridge, Sr. was Clerk of Buckingham County from 1770 to 1806. Rolfe Eldridge, Jr.  (1780-1861) succeeded his father in the job.  At age fifteen, he entered his father’s office and, in 1797, qualified as Deputy Clerk.  Rolfe Eldridge, Jr. then served as County Clerk from 1806 to 1859, dying in the spring of 1861. In 1858, Edridge, Jr. had declined reelection and was succeeded by his son-in-law, Robert K. Irving.


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  1. Joanne Yeck / Feb 2 2014 11:50 am

    Bill, Many thanks for adding this information about Rolfe Eldridge and your Davidson family to the post. Joanne

  2. Bill Davidson / Feb 2 2014 11:10 am

    I have the following data in my file that mentions Rolfe Eldridge. This data was supplied by fellow researcher Ruby Talley Smith. This concerns the Edward Davidson (who served at Valley Forge and died about 1827 in Buckingham Co., VA) who married Judith Pendleton and who was a son of David Davidson (born circa-1715 and died about 1798 in Buckingham Co., VA) and Mary Giles:

    MARRIAGE: Certification, dated 17 Mar 1840, by Rolfe Eldridge (ca. 1780-1861), clerk of the Buckingham County, Virginia, Court, concerning the marriage record of Edward Davidson and Judith Pendleton by Greenberry Green on 2 March 1786. The original is located in the National Archives, Washington D.C. Cite As Rolfe Eldridge. Certification, 17 Mar 1840. Accession 23624. Personal papers collection. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. 23219.
    Format Photostat (positive).
    Biog./Hist. Note: Rolfe Eldridge was born about 1780 in Buckingham County, Virginia. His father, Rolfe Eldridge, brought him to work in the Buckingham County court when he was 15. In 1797, he qualified as deputy clerk for the county. In 1806, he replaced his father as clerk of the county court. Under the state constitution of 1851, clerks were required to stand for election to their positions, and Eldridge won his race easily. He declined to run in 1858 and was replaced by his son-in-law. Eldridge married Mary Moseley (d. 1867), and they had 8 children. He died 13 May 1861.

    Bill Davidson’s note: There were many “connections” between this “David Davidson branch” of my overall Davidson family and a lot of the surnames that I see listed as “gentleman justices” in this (and the previous) post on “Slate River Ramblings.” In 1759, the above David Davidson (then of Cumberland Co., VA) bought 400 acres of land in Albemarle Co., VA from William Perkins and William’s wife Lucy….and that land apparently became part of Buckingham Co., VA in 1761. Charles May, John Benning and William Webb were witnesses on the above deed. My own ggggg-grandfather Hezekiah Davidson (possibly a brother of the referenced David Davidson, per my research….and per DNA testing) was in Albemarle Co., VA in the 1740s….but he moved to Cumberland Co., VA in 1760 (so before Buckingham Co., VA was created about a year later). My gg-grandfather Joseph Cornelius Davidson, however, left Cumberland Co., VA and moved to Buckingham Co., VA around 1859 to be an overseer for one of the Moseley plantations (and that “move to Buckingham” in 1859 is why the “Davidson Orchard” was eventually located on Rt. 15 in Buckingham Co., VA).

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