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April 23, 2015 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Houses: What’s in a name?


There are no doubt several Buckingham County plantations, farms, and houses for which the spelling of the name has drifted over the years.

The Library of Congress, for example, holds material about the Bolling family property “Rosney” but locals in Buckingham prefer the spelling Rosny.

Peter Jefferson’s plantation on the James River at the Horseshoe Bend was originally called “Snowdon.” According to Thomas Jefferson, his father named it after their ancestor’s homeland in Wales near Mt. Snowdon. In 1776, when Randolph Jefferson took over the plantation, he and others spelled it “Snowden” and it was known as such throughout the 19th century when it was owned by various members of the Harris and Moon families. In the 20th century, new owners reverted to Peter Jefferson’s spelling, Snowdon. For more about Snowden’s history, see The Jefferson Brothers.

Bellmont, featured in “At a Place Called Buckingham” – Volume Two, was established by David and Judith (Cary) Bell in the mid-18th century. It makes sense that the original spelling reflected the Bell surname. Over the decades, however, one “l” was dropped and it became known as Belmont.

Can Slate River Ramblings readers offer other examples? If so, please comment.


Leave a Comment
  1. Louise Garrett / Apr 24 2015 9:45 pm

    The Bolling home in Buckingham was named Chellow. One writer said that was an Ameican Indian name. Chellow/Chellow was the Bolling home after leaving Bolling Hall. It was near the villiage of Ilkley in West Riding, Yorkshire, England, and was dismantled in the mid-1800s.

    • Joanne Yeck / Apr 25 2015 8:11 am

      Thank you, Louise!

  2. Jeremy Winfrey / Apr 23 2015 11:06 am

    I noticed on my last visit that the Snowden house is really starting to fall into disrepair. I hope it ultimately gets saved from condemnation.

  3. Joanne Yeck / Apr 23 2015 8:14 am

    Ted, Good to know you had a chance to visit Buckingham County! Please send me an email when you have time to process your new findings! Joanne

  4. Edward Elliman / Apr 23 2015 8:08 am

    Hi Joanne, I drove down through Scottsville, etc. last week, and looked again at the old manse on Hancock Hill Road. Found some intriguing (“new”) material at the Fluvanna County Courthouse re: the Moons and the Hardware Farm in the 1920’s. Also much more about Eddie Moon in World War 1 letters of a friend, writing to his wife from France during World War 1. He and Eddie were in the same Air Corps unit in France; he mentioned Eddie in 21 letters. The friend’s correspondence is collected at UNC’s Wilson Library. Stopped at the Carter Woodson Memorial in New Canton. I felt he merited much more, but the modesty of the memorial had its own appeal. Best,Ted

    Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 11:45:32 +0000 To:

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