I have had a few people ask me about the Dove family that lived in Pittsylvania County. They are connected with my family through Cornelia Victoria Ward. She married George W. Dove on September 19, 1872. He was 30 and she was 34. They were married at the house in the picture above. It was a part of her father's land.
The marriage license states that his parents are James and Almira Dove.
In the 1850 Federal Census, George Dove was eight years old. He was living in the household of James Dove and Almira Dove was the wife. So I am absolutely certain that this is his census. The census was taken in the Northern District of Pittsylvania County.
James Dove age 35
Almira Dove age 26
George Dove age 8
Lucy Dove age 7
Sally Dove age 4
Catherine Dove age 3
John Dove age 1.
Now it is important to notice that George's father was an overseer. If you have been reading my Ward blogs, you will know that Cornelia's family were wealthy before the War Between the States and after the War many of the families were penniless, but not landless. So Cornelia had land in Pittsylvania County and was probably still considered a member of the gentry. George was the son of an overseer. With that occupation whether deserved or not comes a connotation of poverty and brutality. Most overseers were poor white people with the reputation of treating their slaves with brutality to achieve maximum production in the crops. Whether James Dove was a cruel taskmaster or not is not the question here. The question is why did Cornelia marry a younger man that was the overseer's son.
So Cornelia marries George Dove in 1872 seven years after the war. They didn't live in the city so the bachelors were few and far between. Life was hard for a single woman. And why would George Dove marry an older woman when there were probably women everywhere looking for a husband. It is my opinion that he was interested in her land.
Between 1872 and 1878 Cornelia had four children, Charles, Sally, Lucy and Rose. On December 31, 1878, Cornelia dies leaving George Dove with three small children, but in less than a year and a half, he is married to 15 year old girl. So Cornelia survives the death of her first husband, the death of her brother Robert at Gettysburg and her younger brother William before the War. She survives the death of one of her children in 1861, survives the war and the aftermath of reconstruction. She marries George Dove in 1872 and is dead in six years. When Cornelia dies her inheritance does not go to her husband, but is divided between everyone. From a story I have been told, they divided the land by putting names or pieces of property in a hat and each one drew what would go to them. George was not around at the time and that is another story in itself. So you can imagine how angry he must have been to have lost out on the homeplace. His life finally ended in an altercation over the land.