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August 13, 2020 / Joanne Yeck

The Foland Family of Scottsville: Part V

Foland Printing Co. Bluefield, West Virginia.


Need to catch up?  Click here: The Foland Family of Scottsville: Part I


According to James Morton Callahan’s biography of Clarke Valentine Foland, this Jefferson descendant was a printer, working for newspapers across Virginia until he finally settled in Bluefield, West Virginia. His life story continues:

Clarke V. Foland spent his early life at Scottsville, where he attended school, and was also a student in the Virginia Polytechnic Institute at Blacksburg. In May, 1898, he volunteered for service in the Spanish-American war, being assigned to duty in the Blacksburg Band, and was with Gen. Fitzhugh Lee’s command at Jacksonville, Florida. He was mustered out at Salem, Virginia, in December, 1898.

He learned the printer’s trade in the office of the Scottsville Courier, and later was employed in various capacities on the Buchanan, Virginia, Banner, the Fincastle Herald, the Norton Free Press, the Tazewell Republican, and finally on the Bluefield Evening Leader. He was a part owner of the Leader when it suspended publication, and he lost all his savings at that time. In February, 1909, he organized the Foland Printing Company, which took over the very limited equipment of the old Leader. He became president of the new organization, which had a cash capital of only $65.00. For a dozen years, Mr. Foland kept the business growing to the limit of its facilities, and now has a complete commercial printing establishment, handling a large part of the printing business in this section of the state.

Coming Next: The Foland Family of Scottsville: Part VI

August 6, 2020 / Joanne Yeck

The Foland Family of Scottsville: Part IV

Mount Walla, Scottsville, Virginia. Courtesy Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

Need to catch up? Click here: The Foland Family of Scottsville: Part I

James Morton Callahan’s biography of Clarke Valentine Foland continues:

Peter V. Foland married Elizabeth Clarke Stratton, who was born in Scottsville and died in March 1921, at the age of 75. She was the daughter of James and Harriet (Wood) Stratton, of Fluvanna County, Virginia Harriet Wood was the daughter of Thomas Wood of that county. Through his father Clarke V. Foland is a descendent of Randolph Jefferson, the only brother of Thomas Jefferson, sons of Peter Jefferson. James Stratton, his maternal grandfather, was a veteran of the Mexican War. Clarke V. Foland was next to the youngest in a family of seven children. His brother James G. is a machinist at Hendricks, West Virginia.

Harriet (Wood) Stratton was born about 1810-1815. Was her father, Thomas Wood of Fluvanna County, the same Thomas Wood who was the father of Elizabeth A. Wood, who married Peter Field Jefferson, Jr.?

Elizabeth A. (Wood) Jefferson was born about 1816-1818 and her sister Cynthia (Wood) Singer was born about 1825. They are the right ages to be sisters to Harriet. If this is the case, Bettie Stratton and Peter Foland were related by marriage.

In 1875, Harriet (Wood) Stratton gave a deposition concerning Peter’s grandfather, Peter Field Jefferson. At the time Harriet was sixty-six years old and lived with the Folands at Mount Walla. She testified that she had known Peter Field Jefferson all of her life. This would doubtless be true if she were his son’s sister-in-law.

This direct connection to the Wood family also helps explain Maria (Singer) Ellis’ close connection to the Foland home at Mount Walla.  If Harriet (Wood) Stratton was the sister of Cynthia (Wood) Singer, Maria was her niece and first cousin to Bettie (Stratton) Foland.  Maria died at Mount Walla in 1942, age ninety-eight.

Can a Slate River Ramblings reader shed any more light on the Wood family of Fluvanna County?

Coming Next: The Foland Family of Scottsville: Part V

July 30, 2020 / Joanne Yeck

The Foland Family of Scottsville: Part III

Peter V. Foland, Prisoner of War.


Need to catch up? Click here: The Foland Family of Scottsville: Part I


Thanks to James Morton Callahan’s biography of Clarke Valentine Foland in The History of West Virginia, Old and New, Volume 2, I have re-examined Peter V. Foland’s military service during the Civil War.

On October 19, 1861, Peter claimed he was seventeen years old when he enlisted for twelve months of service in Company G of the 43rd Tennessee Volunteers. These were Confederate troops. Click here to see the battles they fought in:

CONFEDERATE TENNESSEE TROOPS: 43rd Regiment, Tennessee Infantry (Gillespie’s) (5th East Tennessee Volunteers)

He was discharged on November 17, 1862.

On September 15, 1863, at Panther Springs, Tennessee, Peter reenlisted for a term of three years. This time he joined the 9th Regiment, Tennessee Cavalry, which apparently fought for the Union.  Click here to see the battles they fought in:

UNION TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS: 9th Regiment, Tennessee Cavalry

In October, he was charged with desertion. In 1885, this charge was removed from his record.

Then, on February 5, 1864, he was captured by the Union Army and was a prisoner of war held in several places, including Camp Chase in Columbus Ohio.

The obvious question is . . . As a member of the 9th Regiment, fighting for the Union, why was Foland held as a prisoner?

Was he imprisoned for desertion? Was he a Confederate spy? Can a Slate River Ramblings reader offer another explanation for his imprisonment?

Also, if Peter V. Foland did fight for the Union, was this fact known when he settled in Scottsville, Virginia, married a local girl, and became a town leader?

Coming next: The Foland Family of Scottsville: Part IV

July 23, 2020 / Joanne Yeck

The Foland Family of Scottsville: Part II

Peter Valentine Foland, gravestone. Photo by Joanne Yeck.


Need to catch up?  Click here: The Foland Family of Scottsville: Part I


In The History of West Virginia, Old and New, Volume 2, author James Morton Callahan included a biography of Clarke Valentine Foland. The entry continues with information about his father, Peter Valentine Foland:

Peter Valentine Foland, father of the Bluefield businessman, was born in Richmond, Virginia. And during the last two years of the Civil War served as a Union soldier. He was once captured, and spent part of part of his time as a prisoner of war. He was a carpenter by trade, and his home for half a century was at Scottsville, where he died in July, 1915, at the age of 70. He was a Democrat, served as a member of the [Town] Council, and also was mayor of Scottsville, was a steward in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and for 30 years was superintendent of the Sunday school.

Sources vary as to whether Peter Valentine Foland was born in Richmond or Scott County, Virginia. Born on January 22, 1845, the Foland family may have already been on their way west to Tennessee.

Likewise, Foland’s military service during the Civil War is up for discussion. Confederate records show that he enlisted in the fall of 1861, joining Company G of the 43rd Tennessee Volunteers. There are records substantiating that he was a prisoner of war and that he was discharged on November 17, 1862. On September 15, 1863, he joined 9th Regiment, Tennessee Cavalry, which fought for the Union.

Click here to read my initial interpretation of his service:

Peter V. Foland, Part II

Peter V. Foland, Part III

The National Archives’ database for soldiers contains the following entries for Peter V. Foland:

Peter V. Foland, 9th Regiment Tennessee Cavalry, Union

Peter V. Foland, 43rd Regiment Tennessee Infantry, Confederacy

Peter V. “Folding,” 43rd Regiment Tennessee Infantry, Confederacy (Gillespie’s) (5th East Tennessee Volunteers)

Peter V. Folen, 43rd Regiment Tennessee Infantry, Confederacy (Gillespie’s) (5th East Tennessee Volunteers)

Years later, Peter Foland would apply for a pension based on his service in the 9th Regiment, Tennessee Cavalry and his widow would apply for a pension in 1915.

Coming next: The Foland Family of Scottsville: Part III

July 16, 2020 / Joanne Yeck

 The Foland Family of Scottsville: Part I

Bluefield, West Virginia. “Nature’s Air-Conditioned City.”

In the spring of 2018, Slate River Ramblings featured blog posts about the life of Peter Valentine Foland, great-grandson of Randolph Jefferson. Click here to revisit the five-part series: Peter V. Foland, Part I

Recently, I was contacted by a Foland descendant who shared a brief biography of Peter V. Foland’s son, Clarke Valentine Foland, published in The History of West Virginia, Old and New, Volume 2. Written by James Morton Callahan, this entry offers new insights into the Folands of Scottsville and the descendants of Randolph and Peter Field Jefferson. The biography begins:

CLARKE V. FOLAND as a boy learned the printer’s trade, and has been more or less continuously identified with the printing and newspaper business ever since. As a journeyman he became identified with Bluefield [Mercer County, West Virginia] some years ago, and is now president of the Foland Printing Company of that city. His citizenship is enthusiastic, and he is one of the forceful men who believe that Bluefield has not only achieved big things in the past but has a still greater future ahead of it.

Mr. Foland was born in Scottsville, Albemarle County Virginia, May 13, 1879. His grandfather, Valentine Foland, was one of a party of twelve members of the family who came to the United States from Germany. Valentine Foland was a cabinet maker, a very skilled worker in that line, and finally he and his family moved to East Tennessee and later he went to Indiana.

Previous research indicates that Valentine Foland, who married Frances Ann “Fanny” Jefferson in 1840, was born in Shenandoah, Virginia. His father, Jacob Foland, was also born in Virginia and lived with his large family in Rockingham County. Jacob’s ancestor emigrated from Germany.

Coming next: The Foland Family of Scottsville: Part II

July 11, 2020 / Joanne Yeck

Book News: The Dwelling House at Snowden

I’m delighted to announce that the Summer 2020 issue of Central Virginia Heritage features my article, “The Dwelling House At Snowden: A Virginia Historical Inventory Case Study.”

Using the Virginia Historical Inventory of the dwelling house at Snowden as a springboard, the article traces the history of this beautiful Greek Revival house built by John L. Harris in about 1850 on land once owned by Randolph Jefferson.

The current issue also contains articles concerning African-American Men in the 1867 Fluvanna County (VA) Personal Property Tax Books (A-G), Marriage Announcements in the Daily Progress (Charlottesville, VA), March 1895, and The Estate of Henry Pendleton of Louisa County, Virginia.

Many thanks, as always, go to Editor Jean L. Cooper for another terrific issue!

Click here for details about how to purchase a print copy at Amazon: Central Virginia Heritage, Summer 2020


Members of the Central Virginia Genealogical Association focus on the history and families of the old counties of Albemarle, Augusta, Hanover, and Orange. Today this includes the present Piedmont counties of Albemarle, Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Buckingham, Campbell, Culpeper, Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene, Hanover, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, and Orange, and the Shenandoah Valley counties of Augusta, Page, Rockingham, and Shenandoah.

Click here to learn more about the Central Virginia Genealogical Association and their resources.

July 9, 2020 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Houses: Cedar Croft, Part IV

Eustice Henry Lawford, Jr., Delayed Birth Record.

Need to catch up? Click here: Buckingham Houses: Cedar Croft, Part I

In 1940, Eustice Henry Lawford, Jr. registered a delayed birth certificate which revealed details about his parents, as well as his birth at Bombrook, Cumberland County, Virginia, on March 12, 1890.

His father was Eustice Henry Lawford, thirty-nine years old at the time of his son’s birth, and was residing in Cumberland County, Virginia at the time. A mechanic, E. H. Lawford, Sr. was born in Thornbury, England. His wife, born Mary S. Putney, in Cumberland County, Virginia, was twenty-eight years old when her son was born.

Do these details E. H. Lawford, Jr.’s birth indicate that Cedar Croft was established after the spring of 1890? Or, perhaps, the Lawfords purchased it after that time.

By September 1899, when their son Thomas Cuprain Lawford was born, the Lawfords had relocated to Buckingham County, near Nuckols. Thomas’ delayed birth record indicates that his mother was born at Trenton Mills, Cumberland County, Virginia and that her full name was Mary Sydenham Putney.

July 4, 2020 / Joanne Yeck

Book News: Celebrate Independence Day With The Jefferson Family

Thomas Jefferson.

As many of us know, Thomas Jefferson preferred to celebrate the nation’s birthday than his own.

Consider celebrating this Independence Day by learning more about Thomas Jefferson and his lesser known brother, Randolph, Squire of Snowden and Citizen of Buckingham County.

My book, The Jefferson Brothers, introduces Randolph Jefferson, bringing him out from the shadow of his famous sibling, focusing on the years during which their paths crossed. Over twelve years Randolph’s senior, Thomas Jefferson stood in for the father his brother never knew, guiding his education and helping the younger man establish himself as a successful planter in central Virginia. Randolph’s life at Snowden, during and after the American Revolution, illuminates everyday world of planters in central Virginia. Additionally, The Jefferson Brothers introduces a new Thomas Jefferson, not the great statesman of monumental intellect, but the thoughtful brother and dedicated farmer.

For Sale Online

Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society
Order via email:

Braughler Books

Historic Buckingham

Monticello’s Gift Shop

Curious about what life at the Horseshoe Bend was like when their father established?  Check out my newest Jefferson title: Peter Jefferson’s Snowdon: A History of Settlement at the Horseshoe Bend

Still want more?  Read about the extended Jefferson family in: Peter Field Jefferson: Dark Prince of Scottsville & Lost Jeffersons



A very happy 4th of July to you all!

July 2, 2020 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Houses: Cedar Croft, Part III

Courtesy Times-Dispatch.

Need to catch up?  Click here: Buckingham Houses: Cedar Croft, Part I


On June 7, 1941, an obituary for a Mrs. E. H. Lawford appeared in Richmond’s Times-Dispatch.
Mrs. Lawford died at her home, Cedar Croft farm, in Buckingham County and she was interred in the “home cemetery.”

The obituary goes on to say that, “Mrs. Lawford was a daughter of Ellis Putney and Rosalie Wilkinson Putney of Cumberland County.” She was seventy-nine years old at the time of her death and she was a member of Grace Episcopal Church in Lynchburg.

On the 1940 census, she was enumerated as Mary P. Lawford, widow, living in Marshal District, Buckingham County, with her son, John G. Lawford (48), Mary L. (?) Lawford (16), Jacob C. Lawford (14), John C. Lawford (10), and her son, Eustace H. Lawford (50). Her deceased husband was Eustace Henry Lawford, Sr.

Coming next: Buckingham Houses: Cedar Croft, Part IV


June 27, 2020 / Joanne Yeck

Book News: Buckingham County’s Allen Family

I am happy to announce that Don Allen has published his genealogy and family history of the Allen family who settled the York and James rivers. Don and I both descend from William Allen, born about 1692, possibly in Charles City County, Virginia and his second wife, Mary Hunt, born 1720.

In the mid-18th century, William Allen migrated west along the James River to settle in what was then Albemarle County and later became Buckingham County. He patented land in the Slate River-Hunts Creek area and was chosen to oversee the building of the new courthouse complex at Scott’s Landing when Albemarle County was established in 1744. Fortunately for Allen family researchers, William Allen’s 1752 last will, recorded in Albemarle County, survives, offering many clues to what became his Buckingham County family and property.

Some of his many descendants, intermarried with my Chambers and Harris families, spreading out across northern Buckingham.

Don’s book is available at Amazon. Click here for more information:

Colonial Allen Families Along the James and York Rivers Of Virginia: The Most Inhabited Part of Virginia

Priced at an affordable $10.00, all proceeds from this publication will be used to purchase new DNA kits to further research of this Allen family.