By in Relationships

A Letter to Rootsweb Concerning Nelson County, Virginia History

There are few pursuits that generate more enthusiasm or involve greater detective work than the quest for the family history. Every manner of hint or clue, ever report or document, every search technique conceivable, must be employed. One modern online tool is the Rootsweb email list system for contacting other researchers.

I just submitted a message that I thought I'd share with you to illustrate what I'm talking about. It follows...

Well, as you must know, the woods behind the Apple Packing Shed on Rt. 29 was clear-cut.

In doing that, a small clutch of graves were revealed to the passerby. It proved to be the Old Shelton Cemetery. Roughly a dozen gravestones are there.

Surnames include: Harris, Davidson, Shelton, Clyne

Entering the data into my program and doing online research, I uncovered some most interesting history, let me tell you! As a teaser, one of the stones is for Eva Parmelia Harris DAVIDSON. Well, as it turns out, she is reputed to be the daughter-in-law of the wealthy, rags-to-riches guy, Samuel MILLER of Miller School (Crozet) fame.

At the moment, it is the Harrises, however, that consume my time. Some of the information that ties these in comes from the Nelson County Heritage book. The rest from my digging.

Eva P. Harris, the one who married Bennett Marion DAVIDSON, alluded to in the earlier paragraph, was the daughter of Albert W. HARRIS.

I'm a bit stuck at him. I list Evelyn Margaret UNKNOWN as his wife.I list 7 children for Albert. But here's the thing... Although there is no other wife listed for Albert, my inner gut just tells me there was another, first, wife, and that Albert had the first 5 children by her, not by Evelyn.

Here is why I suggest that:

1. Albert is listed in the 1850 Nelson census with 5 kids and no wife. The last listed was born 1849.
2. His other two children were not born until 7 years later.
3. Those two are buried in the Old Shelton Cemetery. None of the earlier 5 are.
4. The oldest daughter was named Martha Mitchum Harris. A surname middle name.
My guess is the first wife, assuming there was one, was either Martha MITCHUM, or perhaps ? MITCHUM.

Can you help?


Vince Summers

Image Credit » Pixabay

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MegL wrote on May 2, 2018, 12:23 PM

Walking round cemeteries, listing or looking at gravestones can be a peaceful time of quiet.

lookatdesktop wrote on May 2, 2018, 1:34 PM

I would guess it may likely be Martha Mitchum. I am pretty well stumped.

Last Edited: May 2, 2018, 1:35 PM

VinceSummers wrote on May 2, 2018, 1:38 PM

In Philadelphia, the Laurel Hill cemetery was turned into a National Historic place. In olden times, families used to enjoy their picnic lunches at the cemeteries of a weekend.