In rural Mathews County, Virginia there are a plethora of United States Post Offices that have simply disappeared. Down near the current location known as Onemo stood multiple Post Offices, each about a mile apart. There was Penny, which stood near the intersection of Route 608 (Hamburg Rd) and 609 (Bethel Beach Rd). Further down Bethel Beach Road was the Sarah Post Office. This was named for Sarah Thomas, who married Edwin C. Hudgins and together they ran a store and post office next door to their home. The post card pictured is from Edwin to Sarah during their courtship in 1909. Notice the address at the Penny Post Office. Other post offices that have disappeared in the area, condensed now into just one- Onemo- including the Laban post office which stood near the current day Peniel Church on Garden Creek Road. The Laban post office building now resides on Williams Wharf Road as a tool shed. One must ponder how much longer the small Onemo post office will remain. As these pieces of Mathews History continue to disappear we take solace in the relics such as these old post cards to remind us of a much simpler time when each small enclave in Mathews County was a community unto itself.
Logging on to my blog site here, I realize I haven't posted in almost exactly a year. Well, I am here now, working on getting back into a routine and focusing more on the history I love. I am currently working on transcribing Martin Diggs Diaries. Please see the tab on the top of the page to go to that separate page where we are in the year 1942. I am also working on cataloging his collections. I have turned over a large grouping of Mathews County, Virginia Native American projectile points to The Fairfield Foundation for use by the archaeology students. The students will study them, classify them and photograph them, eventually returning them to the family. I am excited that Martin's collections are being used for education purposes and I am sure he would be delighted by this as well. In my work as a genealogist I continue to research interesting families. Currently I am researching an old Virginia family who came over from England just after the settlement of Jamestowne. I have continued with my work at the non-profit group I co-founded in 2016, Preservation Mathews, Inc. We meet weekly and are working on some great ideas for local grassroots preservation. I am also the newly elected Treasurer of The Fairfield Foundation. It is an exciting time for me and I am looking forward to sharing it all with you!
Lately all I have wanted to do is listen to and play music. Working on my Master's Degree in Public History over the last few years has left me a bit drained so I turned to my first love, music. In times of stress, trauma and discomfort, music has always soothed my soul. I am working my way back to history and writing about it in particular. I get disheartened when some of my hard work is stolen, photos lifted from my Facebook, Ancestry and Website without credit that I had to take a step back from my own public history work. Much of my historic focus since graduating in August has been on Preservation Mathews, Inc. a Non-Profit that I helped get off the ground in 2016. I am presenting to our local government next week, asking them to consider becoming part of the National Park Service's Certified Local Government Program. This has been a time consuming endeavor that is finally seeing the light of day. I am excited to be done with this. I have been working on some fun genealogy projects for clients, including doing research using records from Mexico that are in Spanish from the Nineteenth Century. I continue to serve on the board of The Fairfield Foundation and am still involved in our Rotary Club. I am working my way though a lot of Martin Diggs Diaries as well and know that is what your readers want more of. I am also blogging about music now as well on my other site: www.rocknrollroadtrip.com
Thank you for hanging in there with me!
Much Love, Lori
Like many women of today I am a wife, a mother and until this past June a graduate student. In late June I turned in my final paper. That final paper was a write up of a project that I developed and implemented with The Fairfield Foundation. It was a labor of love, but labor none the less and by the time the final draft was submitted (at our friends beach house in the Outer Banks none the less) I was ready for some serious down time. Only I would wait until we are on vacation to turn in my thesis. So...I took the entire summer off of running my genealogy and historical research business. It was amazing. The time off cleared my head and gave me an idea of how I want to proceed with my company. It is now mid September and I have repainted my office, de-cluttered and am ready to jump back in to my love of history and genealogy. I am taking new clients now and also working on a lot of transcription work. The latest is Martin Diggs 1942 Diary. Martin was a pillar of our community, a member of the local Board of Supervisors during 1942. He also was chair of many events in the community. He was a historian and a prolific writer who left behind boxes and boxes of writings that I devour like a child on Christmas morning. I am dividing his diary up by the week and posting them as I finish them. As of right now I have about 20 years worth of diaries! I could be at this for a while. The diaries are found within this website on the upper tab under J. Martin Diggs Diaries. Check back often! I have much to share! Blessings to all! Lori
Thank you for all the kind comments and support this last week when I have been getting a lot of great press for simply doing two things that I absolutely LOVE to do: Genealogy and Volunteering! Today's issue of the Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal has another great article of the dig at Gloucester Point with the story of finding the descendants of Lt. Dickson which I was part of. To read the article click below on the Gazette-Journal link below.
The Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal
To read the Daily Press Story by Mark St. John Erickson wrote that the Associated Press picked up (it was in a LOT of Newspapers across the country) please click on the Daily Press link below.
The Daily Press
To read the blog by The Fairfiled Foundation about the discovery of all the cool artifacts at the archaeology site at Gloucester Point and the brass nameplate that led us to Lt. Dickson please click on the link below.
The Fairfield Foundation
To read about my small part in all this please click on the link below to go straight to that blog on my site.
Lori Jackson Black Genealogy and History Blog
I wonder who he is. Does he have any descendants? What is his story? All of those questions began in mid January at an archaeology site in Gloucester Point, Virginia when the Data Investigations archaeology team of Anna Rhodes and Michele Brumfield excavated a brass plate that most likely was a nameplate on Lt. Dickson’s trunk. Intrigued with tracing Lt. Dickson I sat down and logged on to my laptop to begin the search. The answers came quickly. It did not take long to find another person researching Lt. Dickson when I logged into my Ancestry.com account. I did some preliminary research and concluded that her James Dickson was the same James Dickson whose nameplate had been found. I sent her a brief email explaining the discovery and within twelve hours of my contacting her she had responded enthusiastically. Her name is Janine Chadwick and she is married to the 4 times Great-Grandson of James Dickson and was excited to share her research with me. She also told me and the others from Data Investigations that there was another descendant in Michigan who she had been in contact with. This was exciting and I connected with “cousin Shirley” in Michigan through emails. Janine and her husband Craig were able to visit the site and see the plate later that same week. Shirley shared her research with me and in an email she asked me if I was going to publish a blog about James’ genealogy, so here it is, Shirley, a timeline of events in the life of “our” Lt. James Ranaldson Dickson.
I give many thanks to Shirley Reeve and Janine Chadwick for sharing their research and for sharing a love of family history and genealogy. I also thank everyone at both Data Investigations and The Fairfield Foundation for sharing this find with the public. The Fairfiled Foundation has published a blog about the discovery of Lt. Dickson's name plate along with the other magnificient finds at the archaeology site at Gloucester Point on their webiste: www.Fairfieldfoundation.org
Lt. James Ronaldson Dickson, Esquire of Blairhall
3 April 1756-4 June 1829
James was fifth and final child born to the Reverend Doctor David Dickson of Kilbucho, Scotland and his wife the former Anne Gillon of Wallhouse on the 3rd day of April 1756 in Uphall, West Lothian, Scotland. James’ father Rev. Dr. Dickson first studied law and later was a writer in Edinburgh before settling on a life in the Ministry. He was married first to a Miss Hogg of Newliston who died without children followed by his marriage to Anne in Peebles, Peeblesshire, Scotland. The family was prominent yet not wealthy as reported in the history of Peeblesshire.
The first son of David and Anne, William Dickson is born.
The only daughter, Elizabeth Dickson is born.
Second son, John Dickson is born.
Third son David Dickson is born.
James is born, the fourth son and fifth child of David and Anne is born at Uphall, West Lothian, Scotland.
Oldest Brother William Dickson inherits all the Dickson family estates from his uncle William, who is the older brother of his father David. This includes the Dickson family estates known as “Mitchelhill”, “Parkgatestone”, “Kilbucho” and “Calzeat” William now is an officer who has been in the American Colony. He returns to Peeblesshire to recruit for the militia. He falls into debt and has to sell most of his inherited property to satisfy his debts.
1 February 1778
James Dickson, age 21, is commissioned a Lieutenant in the 80th Regiment of Foot. One thousand men from the city of Edinburgh, Scotland make up the regiment.
The 80th Regiment of Foot goes on detachment to the Firth of Fourth, Scotland and was reported fit for service.
17 March 1779
The 80th Regiment of Foot joins the 76th Regiment and leaves for Portsmouth, England to await transport to North America.
27 August 1779
The 80th Regiment of Foot landed in New York and encamped at Bedford, Long Island.
9 April 1780
James' father David dies. He leaves his estate "Coulter" to his son John.
5 January 1781
The 80th Regiment sailed from Richmond, Virginia, where they had destroyed the magazines, to Portsmouth, Virginia where they took their post on the Elizabeth River.
In the following weeks detachments from the 80th and 76th along with some Hessian troops moved up the James River. Their mission was to destroy enemy stores and stockpiles. The made it to Williamsburg and then moved on to Petersburg where they encountered large quantities of tobacco in which they were ordered to destroy.
2 May 1781
The deployed unit of the 80th Regiment was picked up at Bermuda Hundred and taken back down the river. On May 9th they returned to Petersburg and took possession of the city on May 10th.
6 July 1781
At the Battle of Green Spring in James City County, Virginia on July 6, 1781 it was reported that “Lafayette galloped back to the advance guard under Wayne, but it was too late. Wayne was advancing with several regiments of Pennsylvania Continentals, Light Infantry, and Virginia Riflemen. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pennsylvania ran headlong into a brigade under Lieutenant Colonel Dundas consisting of veterans troops of the 43rd Regiment of Foot, as well as the Scots of the 76th and 80th Regiments of Foot. This brigade pushed back Wayne’s men as Lt. Colonel Yorke’s Light Infantry battalions pushed forward on the British right. A second line consisting of the battle hardened Guards, 23rd, and 33rd regiment of Foot was held back as a second line.”
1 August 1781
The 80th Regiment of Foot landed at Gloucester Point also known at Tyndall’s Point. In the heights above Gloucester Point was a small village known as Gloucester Town which was made up of about a dozen residences that the British fortified. The 80th Regiment was joined at Gloucester by the Hessian regiment of Prince Hereditaire and the Queens Rangers. Cornwallis wants to maintain Gloucester Point as a possible means of escape. Illness and exhaustion are rampant throughout the camp.
22 August 1781
Fortifications at Gloucester Point are nearly complete ahead of those across the river at Yorktown.
1 October 1781
Reinforcements arrive at Gloucester Point.
2 October 1781
Lieutenant Colonel Dundas sends out members of the 80th to forage for food. American troops are heading towards Gloucester Point from Gloucester Courthouse.
3 October 1781
The Battle of the Hook takes place in Gloucester Point.
12 October 1781
Lt. Col. Dundas takes part of the 80th Regiment of Foot to Yorktown for duty.
15 October 1781
Hope of escaping the Americans through Gloucester had diminished. Most of the 80th Regiment made it back to Gloucester Point. Weather prevented the escape of most to Gloucester. The river came under the control of the American and French.
17 October 1781
The British wave a white flag and want to negotiate a surrender at Yorktown.
19 October 1781
The Articles of Capitulation are signed at Moore House in Yorktown
Troops at Gloucester Point surrender and are marched out in formation. They laid down their arms and returned to their camp as prisoners. Officers were allowed to keep their private property and their side arms. Approximately 1900 British troops were too sick to fight at the time of surrender.
Troops were removed to Winchester, Virginia and Maryland. The 80th Regiment of Foot was removed to Fredericktown, Maryland.
New Years 1782
The 80th Regiment of Foot was removed to Lancaster, Pennsylvania where they were kept in a stockade under strict guard.
Prisoners were marched from Lancaster, Pennsylvania to New York through Philadelphia. The 80th Regiment of Foot were sent to Kingsbridge, New York to await transport back to England.
In May James, age 27, goes on half pay from the military and marries Ms. Anne Ranaldson, of Blairhall on 22 August 1783 in New Gray Friars Parish, Edinburgh. James then takes on the name of James Ranaldson Dickson, Esquire.
James and Anne have their first child, a son, David Somerville Ranaldson Dickson.
Daughter Anne Ranaldson Dickson is born.
Son Andrew Ranaldson Dickson is born.
Son William Ranaldson Dickson is born.
Daughter Margaret Elizabeth Ranaldson Dickson is born.
Daughter Jane Ranaldson Dickson is born.
James and Anne welcome their seventh and final child, daughter Isabella Edwards Ranaldson Dickson.
1 February 1799
Anne and James inherit Blairhall from Anne’s brother who left no legitimate heirs. His illegitimate heirs sue Anne and James for promissory payments. The abstract of the court case states,
“Andrew Ranaldson executed a strict entail providing that when he died, his estate at Blairhall would pass to his eldest son John Ranaldson and John’s lawful male heirs; the entail also named substitutes who would inherit if John’s line failed. John succeeded to the estate but died without lawful issue. As a result, the estate passed to his sister, Defender Ann Ranaldson Dickson. Following this transfer, controversy arose concerning certain debts that John contracted prior to his death, including sums due to Barbara Nicholson for board of John’s natural daughter; an annuity in favor of Elizabeth Hutcheson; a bond in favor of Elizabeth’s son John Ranaldson, upon his achieving the age of twenty-one; and a bond to James Tait. Pursuer John Syme became the trustee for these creditors and sought to collect a portion of the debts from Ann and her husband James Dickson. Syme argued that although the deed contained a “resolutive clause”—which extinguished the title of any heir who attempted to contract debts against the estate—that clause was ineffective against the “institute,” or person to whom the estate was first given (i.e., John). Offering a different reading of the deed, Ann answered that the clause was effective against John, and therefore she was not liable for any of his debts.”
10 June 1808
James' daughter Margaret Elizabeth dies at age 16 at Blairhall.
12 March 1812
Anne Ranaldson deeds another family estate "Shiresmill" and some other family land to son David to satisfy the Chancellor of Ireland that he was suitable to marry Anna Crymble, a ward of the Irish Court.
29 June 1812
James' oldest son Lt. David Somerville Ranaldson Dickson of the Royal North British 2nd Dragoons married Anna Crymble of Ballyclare, Ireland in Edinburgh. David would eventually settle in Canada.
James' oldest brother William, now a Brigadier General, dies with no heirs. Brother John Dickson inherits what remains of the old family estate which is now only Kilbucho Place (the manor house) and a small amount of property called Calzeat.
The next time we see Anne and James is in 1818 when an ad is in the newspaper announcing to any creditors that a meeting will be held on the 19th of November where “matters of importance will be laid before them”. James had been named in some court records during some of his brother William’s troubles with his creditors.
Anne Ranaldson Dickson dies at age 69.
4 June 1829
Lt. James Ranaldson Dickson, Esq. dies at Torrie, Scotland at age 73.
13 February 1838
Son, David Somerville Ranaldson Dickson dies in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is this ancestor that Craig and Shirley are descended from.
Son, William Ranaldson Dickson, Lt 13th Regiment of Foot, upgraded to Major in 1841 and at his death he was Lt Col and Assistant Adjutant General of Forces in Canada died in Quebec.
 University of Virginia Law School “Scottish Court of Sessions Records, John Syme v. Anne Ranaldson Dickson” http://archives.law.virginia.edu/scos/node/15336
Chadwick, Janine. Personal Genealogy of the Dickson Family
Dickson, Charles Ranaldson Memo (Grandson of Lt. James Ranaldson Dickson) in the possession of Shirley Reeve.
The Fairfield Foundation www.fairfieldfoundation.org
Graham, James J. Colonel. Memoir of General Graham with Notices of the Campaigns in Which He Was Engaged From 1779-1801.Edinburgh: Printed Privately by R. & R. Clark, 1862.
Hatch, Charles E. Jr. "Gloucester Point in the Siege of Yorktown 1781" The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Apr., 1940), pp. 265-284
Reeve, Shirley. Personal Papers and Genealogy of the Dickson Family
Scottish Court. Revised Reports Court of Sessions, 1815-1825. Edinburgh: William Green and Sons, 1906
The University of Virginia Law School “Scottish Court of Sessions Records, John Syme v. Anne Ranaldson Dickson” http://archives.law.virginia.edu/scos/node/15336
Hello everyone! I just wanted to give everyone an update about what I am doing! I miss my blog but have been working very hard at promoting public history and preservation while still seeing clients and going to grad school full time! Here is what this last month has looked like:
The L.M. Callis House has completed its move and is nestled in its new foundation right on Main Street in the Mathews Courthouse. That task being completed I moved on to volunteer work with the Gloucester, Virginia based Fairfield Foundation whose mission focuses on Archaeology, Preservation and Education in the area. It has been a joy to work with such a dedicated group of volunteers and staff. This past summer I got to participate in my first dig in Mathews where the old Mathews Hotel was. My mentor, Tom Karow, has been patient with me as I learn the ins and out of Archaeology.
Each Tuesday we gather at the Fairfield Foundation's Center for Archaeology, Preservation and Education in Gloucester to wash artifacts, and work on the restoration of the building which is an old Texaco gas station. It is a lot of fun to get to scrape paint and slowly see the old building come back to a glorious form. This brings me to last Tuesday night a week ago. I walked in a little late, having to stop and secure some Starbucks after a long day. There on one of the artifact sorting tables was a beautiful brass plate that had been dug up at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. The brass plate was engraved "Lt. Dickson, 80th Rgt". One of the guys, I think if was Fairfield co-director Thane Harpole, off-handedly asked what I could find about Lt. Dickson. Well, nobody loves a challenge more than I do. I got home that night around 9pm and was not sleepy as I downed the aforementioned venti Starbucks, so I got on my computer and started looking for Lt. Dickson. By this time a few people had added their two cents worth on the Fairfield Foundation Facebook page about the 80th Lt. Dickson. This made my job much easier. The first step was to Google Lt. Dickson to see if there was anyone else writing about him. I stumbled across an old court case which listed Lt. James Dickson of the 80th Foot! This court case, published in 1799, was exactly what I needed so that I could go onto Ancestry.com and Findmyfamily.com and put together a profile of Lt. Dickson. I spent the next few hours doing just that. Once I built his tree on Ancestry, which is the online repository that I use to store data, I decided to look up anyone else researching the same family. I came across a woman named Janine Chadwick and sent her a email through the ancestry messenger then I went to bed. Well, by the time I got going I had heard back from Janine. Her husband was a direct descendant of James Dickson! Emails went back and forth as we connected Janine with the rest of the team including DATA Investigations Archaeologist Michele Brumfield, the one who found the artifact.
Later that same Wednesday, I was contacted by Mark St. John Erickson, a reporter for the Daily Press, a newspaper located in Newport News, Virginia. This was exciting for me as I love to talk about history with anyone! Everything had moved very quickly and Mr. Erickson had talked to the Chadwicks about their connection to the artifact and Lt. Dickson already! This was followed a few days later by Janine and Craig Chadwick driving to Virginia from their home in North Carolina to see the plate in person. My favorite thing to do is to connect people! This brings us to yesterday when the Daily Press article came out. It was fabulous! AND as if that wasn't exciting enough, it was then picked up by the associated press (AP) and was featured in newspapers across the country including the Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle. I love what I get to do every single day!
To read Mark St. John Erickson's story about the dig site, the artifacts and Lt. James Dickson. Click Here
To see photos of the plate please go to the Fairfield Foundation Facebook
To all my loyal readers: I miss you! I am so sorry that I have not been updating lately! I went back to graduate school to pursue a Masters Degree in History with a concentration on Public History. I am in my last semester and working on my practicum and final capstone project and paper. I have also dedicated a lot of time to Preservation Mathews, getting their 501 c3 status, working with Morgan Alley at Dunton, Simmons and Dunton to get this done. It was very exciting. I also wrote their by-laws and organizational papers. I am currently acting as their secretary and helping manage their website and social media. The most exciting part about all of this is that we saved the L.M. Callis house from being destroyed! We are now fundraising to pay for this! For more information visit the Preservation Mathews website at www.preservationmathews.org
I hope to be back blogging soon. I am going to be working with The Fairfield Foundation on a my practicum in the next few months and will keep you all posted. I still have boxes of Martin Diggs papers that I will get to eventually! Untill we meet again please enjoy these photos of the L.M. Callis House being moved! Best, Lori
This story was found within the same Diggs Family History compilation that was found among the possessions of J. Martin Diggs. This is another Civil War story that appears to also have been written by S.P. Jordan in 1948.
This is about the death of Andrew Jackson Diggs of Mathews County, Virginia. He was the brother to Joyce Diggs and the son of Augustine Diggs and Lucy Ann Eddens. His wife was the former Martha Wesley Hudgins. They had three children, Viola, Nannie and Andrew Jr. They had one child, Bernard who died as an infant in 1858.
“…In 1861 Drew Diggs declared himself a secessionist and believer in States Rights. The time had come when brother was to be arrayed against brother. He enlisted in the Confederate Army July 23, 1861, at the age of 35. Troop F 5th Virginia Calvary. He was shot twice through the body and passed at the Battle of Haymarket or Thoroughfare Gap 22nd June 1863. In commemoration for his loyalty to the Southland and his supreme sacrifice, the Confederate Veterans of Mathews County, Va. named their organization The Diggs, Lane Camp of the Confederate Veterans. His Army record is recorded in the archives of Virginia. His loyalty and valor is commemorated by and exhibit of his accouterments, now in the Confederate Museum (now the American Civil War Museum) in Richmond, Va. It is of great interest to record a letter written by his Commanding Officer, notifying his family of his death on the field of battle.”
The following is the letter that his commanding officer sent to his wife informing her of his death.
Mrs. Diggs Louden (sic) Co. Va
June 23 1863.
It is with great pain I have to announce to you the death of your beloved husband and one of our best men. He was shot by the Yankees in a charge on yesterday and lived but a short while. I was with him when he died. He was perfectly resigned to death, asked me to give his love to his wife and children and to tell them all to meet him in Heaven and that he died a glorious death in defense of his country.
He was in his right mind up to the time of his death and often called on the Lord that he might die.
His last words were in speaking of his wife and children. I have had him buried at the place called Shakersville (sic-actually Snickersville) in this county and in a nice coffin and shall have his clothes and all taken care of and sent home as son as we can. Tip Fitchett, Geo. Hudgins, and Seth Marchon were also with him and took good care of him. All was done for him that could have been done.
He was struck on the left side by two balls both passing through. May the Lord ever bless you and his three children. I pray, for you have lost a good husband abd they a good father, and the country a good soldier.
My love to your Mother and all the family and Geo. Hudgins wishes also to be remembered to them.
As ever your Friend and Obedient Servant,
T. Fitzhugh, Capt.
Click here to see photos of the jacket that Andrew J. Diggs was wearing at the time of his death. It is in the permanent collection at the American Civil War Museum (formerly the Museum of the Confederacy) in Richmond, Virginia. They also have his pants and his cartridge box. All were sent back to his wife after his death as promised and they were donated by his son Andrew Jr. to the museum.
Last week I visited my Mother in Law who inherited her house from her father, Martin Diggs. While cleaning out a closet she came across two folders marked Diggs. This was not surprising as Martin did a lot of research on the family, taking trips to the National Archives in Washington DC with his good friend Milton Murray. These folders contain various research, correspondence and compilations from many people. It appears to have been put together about 1951 or so as this is when the dates in the genealogies stop. Many of the pages have written notations on them and corrections in Martin's handwriting. The most exciting finds were some of the stories that had been included, particularly about life during the Civil War in Mathews County, Virginia. The following is the first in a series that I will continue as time allows for transcription. I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did.
Pompie Adkinson Miller
by S.P. Jordan
"It is well to relate an incident of the Civil War in connection with Joyce Diggs Miller (note: born 1823 and died 1900, daughter of Auguston Diggs and Lucy Ann Eddens and wife of Booker M. Miller). A strange and unusual occurrence of humane and Christian duty on the part of an Anglo Saxon Southern Mother, and love and devotion on the part of a slave born Negro boy. It is believed to be the only incident of its kind to be recorded in the entire South, and is on which our Northern friends cannot comprehend or accept as fact.
When the Federal Army, under the command of General McClellan occupied the Virginia Peninsula between the James and York Rivers in 1862, foraging parties of soldiers visited the plantation of Booker (M.) and Joyce Diggs Miller. Every Negro slave left their home and went off with the Yankee soldiers. Later, when inspecting the Negro cabins Mrs. Miller found a little Negro baby boy, dirty and half naked, behind a cabin door. It had been abandon (sic) by its mother. Mrs. Miller could not let the Negro baby die; nursing bottles or nipples were not convenient, so the baby was carried into the house, washed and dressed in clothes of her own babies. Mrs. Miller nursed the Negro boy until he could walk. Segregation was necessary. The boy was given a room and received the same attention which was given the other children of her family. The boys name was Pompie Adkinson, but when he grew to manhood he took the name of Pompie Adkinson Miller. Four of Mrs. Miller’s men were seafaring men. When Pompie came of age, he to (sic) went to sea, and at the end of each month sent a portion of his wages home to his “Missie”. This money was not disbursed, but was placed in trust for the Negro boy. Portions of the old plantation was given to the sons when they married and established homes of their own. Pompie was deeded and acreage and Mr. Miller built him a home upon this allotment, appropriating the money Mrs. Miller had placed in trust for this purpose. After the death of Booker and Joyce Diggs Miller, the surviving members of the family sold the residue of the old farm and settled in Norfolk, Va. Pompie married and raised a family. Of that family of fourteen souls, Pompie the Negro slave boy, remained on his allotment of the old plantation until his death.
Pompie had the good will and respect of every white family on the North River, Mathews County, Va. He was a good man and a Christian. There was a strange attachment, a regard and affection of the part of the Negro boy for the entire Miller family, and that there were no expectation of reward, other than the kindness of his white benefactors."
Note in pencil on page: father of “Miss Effie” Jordan who visited “Aunt Ola” Hudgins a month or so every summer …of Port Haywood.
Pompie's real name appears to be Alex or Alexander. I was able to find him living with the family in two census records. The first, in 1870 has him listed as just Alex and in 1880 he is listed as Alex Atkinson. In June 1887 a marriage record in Mathews County listed a A. Adkinson marrying a J. Ferguson. I am intrigued by this story and will be doing some further investigations! If you know anything about Alex Pompie Adkinson Miller please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org