I was doing some time traveling last night. I recently ordered a book written by Faye Royster Tuck with a collection of articles on Halifax County, Virginia. Most of the information was taken from “the Chancery Court cases (loose papers) which are mixed in with the Halifax County Judgments.”
Imagine my delight to learn that one of my ancestors, Sarah Everett Dodson, was reported to be the prettiest woman in the land. She was the mother of my third great-grandfather, Bird Hardy, born in 1793. This was not gleaned from official court records, but a family manuscript written in 1859 that I was previously unaware of. After 20+ years of researching, I seldom find whole previous unknown lines. Instead, little tidbits like this are a joy for me to uncover.
A good deal of my family lines trace back to Halifax County, Virginia and roots have a way of becoming entangled with other families after a while. Members of the Watts family, for example, were in the county from the beginning of its formation in 1752 and descendants continue residence there today, over 200 years later. My great-grandfather, John Willis Watts, was born there in 1860. So while Mrs. Tuck did not always discuss my particular family lines, there was enough to keep me up pretty late last night. The book contains a myriad of information including early churches in the area, records on free black families in the area and maps and surveys of places long gone. I spent hours studying the latter to go back in time and find the neighborhood where some of my family lived.
The author wrote in a preface, “I hope you will enjoy it and love it the way I love books.” I want to tell her that I loved it!