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April 19, 2014 / Joanne Yeck

New Canton, Buckingham County


James River at New Canton, photo by Joanne Yeck

My ancestor, Charles S. Saunders worked as a tailor in New Canton, Buckingham County.  He married a planter’s daughter, Elizabeth Holman Chambers, and, eventually, took over a large portion of her father’s farm at Chambers’ Mills.

Here is a brief description of New Canton, as Charles Saunders knew it when he set up shop:

From The Gazetteer of Virginia (c. 1834)

New Canton, Post Village, in the northern part of the county, 63 miles west of Richmond and 138 from Washington, D.C., situated at the mouth of Slate Creek, on an elevated bank about a fourth of a mile from James River, commanding a beautiful perspective view down the river.  It was once a place of considerable trade, but has been for sometime rapidly declining.  It contains thirty-six dwelling houses, three mercantile stores, one tavern, one flour manufacturing mill, one tan yard, and one saddler.  A Free House of worship is situated a mile from New Canton. . . .

New Canton has one attorney and one physician.  Population 50.

By 1843, the town will also boast a tailor, Charles S. Saunders.

To be continued….


Leave a Comment
  1. Bill Davidson / Apr 19 2014 11:31 am

    Was your Charles S. Saunders an ancestor of/related to the later Dr. Thomas Archer Saunders, Senior who married Lucille Beckwith Davidson (born 1926)? Lucille was a daughter of Benjamin Ovid Davidson (a member of my Davidson family in Buckingham that ran the Davidson Orchard).

    Also, was Charles S. Saunders related to William Knight Saunders, Senior who married second to Caroline P. Davidson of my family? William Knight Saunders, Senior is buried in the Saunders Family Cemetery, Hwy. 736, Buckingham Co, Va. He was previously married to Lucie Catherine Bondurant. William Knight Saunders, Senior was a son of Goodrick Saunders and Lucy D. Molloy. William Knight Saunders, Senior was born 25 Sep 1830. He died 17 Dec 1911. Also, Mazie Davidson of my Davidson family married a son of William Knight Saunders, Sr. and Lucie Catherine Bondurant who was named Ernest Sheldon Saunders. Thanks!

    Note: Some of the above data came from Ruby Talley Smith

    • Jamie Figg / Apr 19 2014 11:51 am

      Wow. “Who BETTAH TA marry then ya own Kin?” As my Virginia grandmother used to say….Buckingham was a small world … As was Prince George Co., where the Figgs come from, still do……JF

      • Joanne Yeck / Apr 19 2014 1:13 pm

        Jamie, Many thanks for Grandma’s quote. I’ll use it! Joanne

    • Joanne Yeck / Apr 19 2014 1:21 pm

      Bill, I don’t know my Charles S. Saunders’ parents and would love to solve this. In 1840, there were quite a few Saunders in Buckingham County. He must fit in somewhere. One clue is his daughter, Emma Thompson Saunders. The Thompson name comes from the Chambers line but, as far as I know, there are no Emmas. Could Charles’s mother have been named Emma? Any help is very welcome! Joanne

  2. Jamie Figg / Apr 19 2014 11:20 am

    I wonder if your Saunders are the same family with whom my Guerrant family married and owned 5,000 acre Algoma Plantation near Calloway, Va …google: Samuel Saunders Guerrant ……

    Jamie Figg

    • Joanne Yeck / Apr 19 2014 1:22 pm

      Jamie, I have not been able to attach Charles S. Saunders to a family. See my comment to Bill.

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