Good morning. I am sitting here with my darling puppy, Bonnie, while we write our new blog for this wonderful day. Of course, I have the TV playing. For some people that may be a distraction, but I find it comforting. No, it’s not Matt and Meredith, but Law and Order:SUV. That’s right, crime, apprehension and punishment. That’s my cup of tea. The soothing voices of the Detective Benson and partners. Genealogy is a lot like a murder mystery. Well, it is like an investigation, anyway. Who came from where and what did they do and who did they do it with. Unfortunately for the genealogist the case is cold and I mean real cold. For instance, I was searching for information on Mr. Walter Chiles (Childes) and Henry Childes and I found a link which I have provided below. In that link, I discovered that a Mr. John Price Posey set a fire at New Kent County in 1787 and destroyed many records. The following counties information was in that office in 1787:
King and Queen 1654-1691 King William County 1654-1691 Hanover County 1654-1721 Louisa County 1654- 1728 And Part of Caroline County 1654-1691
New Kent Courthouse suffered another fire in 1864 destroying the records from 1787 to 1864.
I discovered a book about the Posey family which details the story about the villain that burnt down the courthouse. It is extremely interesting reading. Mr. Posey’s father and family were friends of President George Washington.
It seems that Mr. Posey had fallen on much hard luck and was thrown into jail after an altercation with the sheriff. Mr. Posey escaped from the jail with two black slaves, but for some odd reason returned and burned down the jail and the courthouse. For this, Mr. Posey was hanged. The two slaves were not hung.
The reason for Mr. Posey’s foolhardy gesture maybe the economic depression of the time. With the depression came the lowering of produce prices for the small farmer which brings more debt for the small farm and then foreclosures. It may well have been he had read of other instances where attempts had been made to burn courthouses and he decided to made a statement of his own. For whatever the reason, the poor sod died for it.
If you would like to read more about Mr. Posey and his family and their connections, read the book General Thomas Posey: son of the American Revolution by John T. Posey.
So as you can see that being a genealogist is a lot like an investigation. Sometimes, the genealogist finds pertinent information to their family’s background and then other times they just discover more interesting and exciting facts about the era and the people. In any case, it’s just great fun.By the way, that is my pretty Bonnie in the corner picture. Hope you like it.