Map of Burwell - Gayle Cemetery
Chapter 10 - The Brothers of Kingston Parish, Gloucester County, Virginia, Part I

Robert Gayle of Kingston Parish, Gloucester County, VA (1745 - 1783)

IN THE 1750s AN UNKNOWN GAYLE COUPLE CAME TO KINGSTON PARISH with two known sons, ROBERT GAYLE (1745 - 1783), the ancestor of this writer, and his brother, THOMAS GAYLE (1750 - 1824). At least two other sons were born to them, MATTHIAS GAYLE (Abt. 1754 - 1794) and GEORGE GAYLE (Abt. 1755 - Aft. 1776). The family Bible of Thomas' son, Peter Smith Gayle, stated that all four were at the battle of Yorktown during the Revolutionary War.

It is this writer's theory that there were other sibilings, namely a brother, JOHN GAYLE (Est. 1750s - 1811-12), who had eight sisters, MARY (1759 - ??), ANN (1762 - ??), SUSANNAH (1764 - ??), ELIZABETH (1766 - ??), SARAH (1767 - ??), MARGARET (1770 - ??), JOANNA (1772 - ??) and LUCY (1775 - ??) If this theory is correct, with so many siblings their father probably married more than once. What is compelling is that the birth dates of all these children follow in sequence, beginning with Robert in 1745 and ending with Lucy in 1775. While this is a span of 30 years it was not uncommon for children to be born to a father late in life, considering he may have married several times. Based on land records, other brothers may have included PHILIP HUNLEY GAYLE (1757 - 1833) and JOSHUA GAYLE, SR (Before 1765 - ??).

It is my belief that this family were relatives of Matthew Gayle, the original imigrant to Gloucester in 1672 and whose descendants also settled in Spotsylvania County.
[SEE CHAPTER 9] It also appears that they were related, probably as cousins, to Matthew and Josiah Gayle of Gloucester County who later migrated to South Carolina. [SEE CHAPTERS 12 & 13] Josiah's daughter, DOROTHY GAYLE (ca. 1750, VA - Bef. 1822), married secondly to GEORGE BROWN in July of 1772 in Gloucester County. Their son, JOSHUA GAYLE BROWN, married Elizabeth Foster (10/4/1782 - ??), daughter of Peter Garnett and Ann Hall Foster, and the neice of Mathias Gayle's wife, Joice Hall Gale. Joshua Brown was named in numerous records with the families of the four brothers and was at one time sued by Matthias Gayle's son, Bartlett.

Descendants of Robert Gayle (1745 - 1783)
I. Robert Francis Gayle (1743-45 - 1782) m. Sarah Gayle
II. Robert Jr. (1769 - 1839) m. Paulina James White
III. John E. (1827 - Living 1857) m. 1/8/1857 Susan T. Diggs
III. Edward Gayle (1828 - Living 1850)
III. Robert Johnson (1828 - 1917) m. Sarah Hunley Brownley (1832 - 1907)
IV. Virginius Wilton (1852 - ??) m. Ella Henderson
IV. Charles Randolph (1854 - 1933) m. Addie B. Foreman
V. Sarah Ellen (?? - 1913)
V. Nellie (born & died same day)
V. Addie G. Gayle (?? - ??) m. William West
IV. Mary Louise (1856 - ??) m. William Y. Lowe
IV. Robert Finley Sr. (1858, Portsmouth, VA - 1940, Richmond, VA) m. May Jeannette Young (1862 - 1934, Urbanna, VA)
V. Young Kenneth, Sr. (1893, Crewe, VA - 1968, Newport News, VA) m. Dorothy E. Wise (10/31/1892 - 7/1/1979, NN)
VI. Dorothy Wise (1916 - 2005, Henrico Co., Va. M. (1) Cdr. Thomas T. Hassell and (2) Luther B. Richardson (1914 - ??)
VII. Thomas T. Hassell Jr. (1940, Newport News - ) m. Susan Palmer Gabb (1941 - )
VII. Luther Butler Richardson Jr. (1953 - Living 2016) m/1 Jo Ann Barry and m/2 Teresa Lynn Fallin
VI. Emily Young Gayle (1920 - ??) m. Robert O. Swain
VI. Young Kenneth Jr. (1927, Newport News - 2007, Birmingham, Ala.) m. Betty Joyce Dobbs (1929 - ??)
V. William Wagner (1896 - 1962) Crewe, Va. m. Ella Louise Bernard
V. Joseph Young (1898-1976) m. (1) Harriett Burrows, (2) Elizabeth Adams Stallworth, (3) Unknown; step-children
V. Travis Taylor (1900 - died young)
V. Carrie Young (1883, Portsmouth, VA - 1922, Urbanna, VA) m. Dr. William Percy Jones
VI. William Percy Jones, Jr. (?? - ??)
VI. May Jeanette Jones (?? - ??)
VI. Finley Gayle Jones (?? - died at Luzon, the Philippines)
V. May Louise (1885 - 1951) m. Carroll Clifford Chowning
VI. Gayle Chowning (?? - ??)
VI. Carroll C. Chowning Jr. (?? - ??)
V. Sally Reed (1888 - 1973) m. Ernest Linwood Whitehurst
VI. Jeannette Gayle Whitehurst (1913 - 2002)
VI. Rosalee Whitehurst (1917 - 1985) m.
Loring Norvell
VII. Gayle Curdts Norvell (1946 - Living 2016) m. (1) Lionel Page Brown (1944 - Living 2016 & (2) Barry Reid Mandell (1940 - 2015)

VIII. Christopher Lionel Brown (1970 - Living 2016)
VII. Loring Linwood Norvell (1948 - Living 2016)
V. Dr. Robert Finley Jr. (1891 - 1957) m. (1) Elizabeth Marshall Cole, (?? - 1944) and (2) Sarah Rice Geer Dale
VI. Elizabeth Marshall (1920 - ??) m. Parke Shepherd Rouse
VI. Robert Finley, III (1922 - 1979) m. Jane Lowry Dale
VII. Sarah Geer (1953 - )
VII. Elizabeth Marshall (1954 - )
VII. Robert Finley IV (1956 - )
VI. John Cole Sr. (1924 - ) m. Josephine Dillon
VII. John Cole Jr. (1952 - )
VII. Mary Ashton (1954 - )
IV. Kenneth Hall Sr. (1860 - 1926) m. Irene Rodbird Young
V. Irene Young (1889 - ??) m. William E. Pettitt
V. Kenneth Hall Jr. (1901 - ??) m. Mary Jackson
VI. Jeanne Jackson (1930 - ) m. Willis Kelly
IV. Lester Templeton Sr. (1863 - 1930) m. Ruth V. Stores
V. Lester T., Jr. (1890 - 1995) m. (1) Anne Groner (2) Katharine Gholson Crabbs, (3) Clarice Cook Gardner
VI. Richard Garrison (9/2/1919 - ??) of San Diego, Calif. m. (Unknown) Children unknown
VI. Anne Austin (1920 - ??) m. Vincent DeWitt
VI. John Stuart (?? - 1950)
V. Richard Brownley Sr. (1893 - ??) m. Elizabeth Sweeney
VI. Richard Brownley Jr. (1928 - ??) m. Mary Jean Stump
VI. Andrew McConnell (?? - ??)
V. Charles Campbell (1897 - ??) m. Marjorie Blakeslee
VI. Marjorie Ruth (1931 - ??) m. Floyd Johnson
IV. William Edward Brownley (1865 - 1929) m. India Sherwood.
V. Laurence (1899 - ??)
IV. Rosa Garrison (1867 - 1935) m. Captain Herbert Russell Brownley
V. Russell (1905 - ??)
V. Dorothy (1914 - ??) m. Phillip E. Manheimer
III. Elizabeth Frances (1830 - ??) m. John Leonard Blades of Baltimore, MD.
III. Rosanna Jackson (1832 - 1852) Unmarried
III. Levin (?? - ??) unmarried
II. Elizabeth/Betsy (1773 - 1825) m. Philip Osborne
II. Josiah (1776 - Living 1805)
II. PROBABLE SON: John (Bef. 1782 - 1829) m. Martha Frances Peyton Hudgins (1792 - 1833)
III. Mary Louisa (?? - ??)
In 1774 - 75 Robert was listed with four white males in his household. In 1775 he was a Lieutenant in Sir John Peyton's company of Gloucester Militia, was made a Captain in 1776-77, and held that rank when he fought in the Revolution at the siege of Yorktown with his brothers. Part of his military service was reported in a deposition by Richard Hurst and William Diggs regarding the service record of Robert's brother Mathias. In 1777 Robert commanded troops at New Point Comfort. Mathias served with him, first for two months and again for two and a half months. Mathias again served under Robert at New Point for one month in 1778 and in 1779 was sent first to Richmond, later to Williamsburg, and finally to York where he served under Captain Philip Tabb. After returning home he again served under Robert at New Point, first for one month and later for two months in 1780. In 1781 Robert and Matthias marched with the Gloucester Militia to Gloucester court House, Hubbard's Old Field, Ware Church, Sewell's Old Field, and finally to Gloucester Town where a battle was fought.

During the Revolution Robert was engaged in ship building and a notation in the Proceedings of the Virginia Committee of Safety note that £10 was paid to Robert Gayle for himself and carpenters for work to James Cocke's "cruizer". The following excerpt, dated 9/26/1776, is from the Navy Board Journal.

Williamsburg - Thursday 26th September, 1776:
Robert Gayle, Peter Whitehurst, Joshua Foster, Christopher Culley, Albion Robins, Edward Anderson, Malachi Oldner, Peter Smith, Houlder Hudgins and Henry Knight appeared before the Board and undertook to Build for the use of this Commonwealth large flat Bottom Boats for the purpose of Transporting Troops, that is to say, the same Robert Gayle, Peter Whitehurst & Houlder Hudgins two Boats each and the said, Joshua Foster, Christopher Cully, Albion Robins, Edward Anderson, Malachi Oldner, Peter Smith and Henry Knight one Boat each of the following Dimensions, Vizt, Forty foot Keel, fourteen Feet Beam, three feet four Inches Deep to the Top of the Gunnall, eight Inches Wash Board, and to be Ceiled in the same manner as the Boat lately Built by Mr. Herbert, to be Built with good white Oak Plank one Inch and a half thick, the Ceiling to be of Pine Plank clear of Sap three Quarters of an Inch thick, to Row with Twenty Oars fixed upon Iron Swivels, to be fitted with Proper Stern Sheets, every other Thwart Bound and to be Built after the manner of the Boat lately Built by Mr. Herbert except the Gun Carriages, to be properly Tar'd and finished in a Workman like manner and delivered to the Board, with proper Oars for each Boat on or before the fifteenth day of December next, for which they are to be allowed, for each Boat, the sum of One hundred and seventy Pounds. The said Robt Gayle, Peter Whitehurst, Houlder Hudgins, Joshua Foster, Christopher Cully, Albion Robins, Edward Anderson, Malachi Oldner, Peter Smith and Henry Knight having respectively entered into and acknowledged Bond for their duly Performing the above Contract. - Ordered that a Warrant Issue to Robert Gayle & Peter Whitehurst for the Sum of Thirty pounds each, upon Account, for the purpose of Purchasing Necessaries for Building Boats for the Transportation of Troops…

Ordered that Warrant Issue to Joshua Foster, Christopher Cully, Albion Robins, Edward Anderson, Malachi Oldner, Peter Smith, Houlder Hudgins & Henry Knight for fifteen Pounds each, upon Account, for the Purpose of Purchasing Materials for Building of Boats for the Transportation of Troops…

THE KINGSTON PARISH REGISTER RECORDED BIRTHS, BAPTISMS AND SOMETIMES DEATHS OF SLAVES belonging to residents there. MARY, a slave belonging to SARAH GAYLE, was born on 8/9/1774 and baptized on 9/25/1774. LUCY, a slave belonging to Robert Gayle, was born late in 1776 or early in 1777 and bapt1zed on 1/23/1777.

By 1782 Robert owned a total of 135 acres of land in Kingston Parish. He died in 1783 and an article in the
Virginia Gazette stated that Robert Gayle was deceased and that his executor was his brother, Thomas Gayle, of Gloucester, Kingston Parish. Thomas was appointed as guardian of Betsy, who was then about 10 years of age. Robert Jr. was about 13 and remained in Kingston Parish, perhaps to help his mother on their farm. Josiah was 7 years of age. Following Robert's death his household was listed with ten residents, five whites and FIVE UN-NAMED SLAVES , presumably Sarah and four of the children. Later the same year Sarah Gayle was listed with a total of six residents, four whites and TWO SLAVES.

In 1787 Tax List B of the Gloucester County Census shows Sarah Gayle with two blacks over 16, three blacks under 16, and four head of cattle. She was visited by the census taker on April 17th along with neighbors William Anderton, Jr., George Armistead, Dr. Job Colton, Armistead Culley, Christoper Culley, Judith Culley, Ralph Culley, Robert Culley, Henry Hunley, James Hunley, John Hunley, Matthew Hunley, William Hunley, Edward Simmons Jones, Thomas Jones, William Morris, Gaylen Pickett, John Pritchett, John Robins, and John Soaper. From 1788 to 1790 "Sally" Gayle is listed with two Negroes and one horse.

In 1791, Robert Gayle's estate of 135 acres was shown but appeared in 1792 as 133 acres, which could have been an error since in 1793 it was again listed as 135 acres. It was reduced in 1794 to 125 acres. There was no entry for the property in 1795, but it was shown again as 135 acres from 1796 through 1800. In 1802 all but 92 1/4 acres had been sold off, and beginning in 1803 the tract was reduced to 44 acres, and that acreage appeared until 1809. Robert's widow, Sally, was shown on the personal property tax list with two Negros over 16 and one horse.

II. ROBERT, JR (7/10/1769 - 1839); Christened 8/20/1769, Kingston Parish, Gloucester Co. VA.; married 1827 to Paulina James White, widow of Bartlett White.
II. ELIZABETH/BETSY (1773, Kingston Parish, Gloucester Co., VA. - 1825, Tennessee), Baptized 4/3/1773, married 9/12/1797 to Philip Osborne of Charlotte Co., VA. Surety was provided by her uncle, Thomas Gayle, who had assumed guardianship for Betsy following the death of Robert. The marriage was performed by the Rev. Edward Almond, bond dated 9/4/1797 in Charlotte County. They moved to Rutherford County, Tennessee, where Betsy died in 1825.
II. JOSIAH (2/1776 - Living 1805); christened 4/8/1776, in Kingston Parish, Gloucester Co. VA.
II.JOHN (Est. 1770s - 1829) appears on tax records beginning in 1805 as "John, son of Robert." He is shown with 12 1/2 acres of land on East River until 1819. He married Martha Frances Peyton Hudgins (1792 - 1833) & had a daughter.
[Both Josiah and John were named on a deed dated 6/11/1805 when JOHN GAYLE & FRANCES, HIS WIFE, & JOSIAH GAYLE, THE ONLY SONS OF ROBERT GAYLE, DECEASED, sold 54 acres to JOHN PATTERSON. [This reference is confusing since Robert Gayle Jr. was still alive in 1805.]

II. ROBERT GAYLE (1769 - 1839) the son of Robert and Sarah Gayle, was born on 7/10/1769 in Kingston Parish where his baptism was recorded on 8/20/1769 in the parish register. His father died in 1782 when Robert, Jr. was about 13 years of age and he later appeared in the household of his mother. Around 1827 Robert, Jr. married PAULINA JAMES WHITE (10/27/1790 - 11/20/1871, York County), daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Bayse Davis James and widow of Bartlett White, by whom she had six children, two of whom predeceased their father. On 7/17/1823 the American Commercial Beacon wrote, "Died in Mathews Co., on July 10, 1823, Mr. Bartlet White, age about 35, leaving wife and four children." The children of Bartlett and Paulina James White were WILLIAM HENRY (5/24/1816 - ??), THOMAS BARTLETT (7/4/1818 - ??), CYRENE WESLEY (9/24/1820 - ??), CARY WASHINGTON (8/11/18__ - ??), CYRUS JAMES (8/11/18__ - ??), and ABSOLOM (?? - ??). Robert and Paulina White Gayle had five children.

Information on Paulina's family was compiled from a manuscript by Arthur W. James titled "ANCESTORS OF PAULINA JAMES" and Elizabeth Hogg Ironmonger's book, THOMAS JAMES (Clerk of Kingston Parish, 1783-96) ANCESTRY AND DESCENDANTS, 1653 - 1961.

The James family begins with Walter James, Sr., whose son, Walter II, moved from Gloucester and purchased land in Lancaster County. His direct descendants were Thomas James I, Thomas James II, Thomas James III, Thomas James IV and Thomas James (1759 - 1828), son of Thomas and Elizabeth Basye [Basey] James. This latter Thomas James became Clerk of Kingston Parish from 1783 to 1796.

Thomas James married Betsy "Betty" Davis (9/15/1763 - ??), daughter of Thomas and Hillegan (Degge) Davis, and had 11 children whose births were recorded in the Kingston Parish register between 1784 and 1808. He built a home in the late 1700s on Mobjack Bay between Pepper Creek and East River known as the
Thomas James House. The original dwelling was almost entirely destroyed by fire in the 19th century. It was re-built, except for a 20' x 60', one-story wing east of the present structure, by John Franklin James, grandson of Thomas and Betsy James. Although little remains, part of the early structure is contained in the later house, built in the 19th century and still standing on the site.

Thomas James died in 1828 and his home, which remained in the James family for many years, again burned in 1936 and was re-built by a member of the Diggs family who was living there at the time. The property was divided among the daughters of John Franklin James and one of them, Ruth Elizabeth James Miles, inherited the home-place that later passed to her husband Randolph Miles. Miles was living in the house in 1961 with relatives and at the time the property contained 600 acres. Today [2011] the home sits on about two acres. The old James family cemetery, located on a separate parcel, is protected under the terms of a 1987 deed.

The Gayles and Whites were neighbors as evidenced in a land transaction on 5/21/1821 when "Mrs. White" sold 4 and 2/3rd acres of land to Bartlett White. Boundaries were ROBERT WESTON'S LAND, ROBERT GAYLE'S land, a marked pine, a marked chestnut, a marked red oak, a corner gum, HAWKINS LAND, a sassafras stump, Hawkins corner to a stake, MRS. WHITE'S LAND, and a ditch bank.

Further evidence of relationships appears in 1827 when the Mathews County Fee Book shows that Robert Gayle Jr. paid a fee to record a deed from Thomas Hudgins, Sheriff, conveying Thomas Gayle's interest in the land of Elizabeth Gayle, Robert's sister who had gone to live with her uncle Thomas following the death of her father. In 1829 "Polly" Gayle and John Gayle appeared in the Mathews County Fee Book recording a "deed from Robert Gayle to you." And between 1829 and 1839, Robert Gayle Jr. owned property on East River, six miles south of the Courthouse. In 1832 he owned TWO UN-NAMED SLAVES about 16 years of age, and in 1837-38 he owned THREE ADULT SLAVES, also un-named. He died in 1839 and Paulina continued to live in Mathews and appeared on the Personal Property Tax List with the same number of slaves. Robert's estate was then listed as 29 ½ acres. From 1839 to 1850 Robert Gayle's estate was listed as 29 ½ acres and 25 ¼ acres respectively on East River, 6 miles south of Mathews Courthouse. In 1850 Paulina Gayle owned 25 ¼ acres on East River 6 miles south of the Mathews Courthouse, and from 1861 to 1868 the property decreased through sale to 5 ¼ acres.

On 6/26/1844 Paulina Gayle appears in a suit vs. Edmond Jones, Sherriff of Mathews and the Committee of Robert Gayle's estate and Robert, Elizabeth, Edward and Rosanna Gayle. In 1850 her age is listed as 57, which conflicts with her birth date and is probably a mistake in the census. Living in her household were her son by her first marriage, Bartlett White, age 30, and listed as "Idiotic" and sons and daughters by her second marriage to Robert Gayle, namely Edward, age 23, ship carpenter; Robert, age 22, blacksmith; Frances, age 20; and Rosanna, age 18. According to tax records Paulina paid taxes on income from her farm and owned 25 ¼ acres, improved and unimproved, on the East River 6 miles south of the Mathews Courthouse. She owned an orchard, a garden, livestock, 2 cows, 2 oxen, 3 cows, 1 sheep, and 14 swine) and raised corn, peas, potatoes and sweet potatoes. She derived income from butter, wool, and products gained through slaughter and home manufacture.

Members of Paulina's family also appear on the 1850 census in Baltimore City, lst Ward, and include William H. White, age 32, ship joiner, VA; Frances, age 30, VA; Ellen, age 9, VA; Robert, age 7, VA; Lauretta, age 2, VA; Cyrus, age 26, ship carpenter, VA; Edward Gayle, age 22, ship carpenter, VA; Fanny Gayle, age 19, VA; John Gayle, age 32, ship carpenter, VA; Sarah F., age 13, Baltimore; and Robert E., age 20, House carpenter, VA.

On 8/4/1871 Paulina Gayle wrote a letter from York County, Virginia, where she was living. One of her grandson's copied it, noting that it was a "Copy of the letter written by Paulina James Gayle to her daughter and family, Mrs. John Leonard Blades, whom she had just visited at Baltimore."

My dear children: I take my pen to write you a few lines. I hope it will come safe to hand. I want to hear from you all so bad. O, how I want to see all the little ones. How I long to see sweet little Mary Virginia. O, how I want the time to come when I hope we shall be an undivided family in our Father's house in Heaven.------'There is my house and portion fair, My treasure and my heart is there, And my abiding home.' ------Oh my dear friends and children, meet me there. Am very feeble, but generally get around. Frances, give my love to all my old friends. Tell them I hope I shall see them all in my Father's house in heaven. Frances, write soon and give me all the news. Remember me to my brother who came to see me from Washington Street Church. All join me in love to all. I enclose a letter for you to envelope and send to Cary. Farewell until we meet on Canaan's happy shore. P.G.
III. JOHN EDWARD GAYLE (1827, Mathews - 1861) married on 1/8/1857 to Susan T. Diggs (1836, age 21 - ??), daughter of Joseph and Mary Diggs. According to a notice in the Baltimore Sun, Maryland, he died on 1/8/1861 after a short illness.
III. EDWARD GAYLE (1828 - Living 1850) appears on the 1850 census of Baltimore, MD in the household of his half-brother, William White, 32; Frances White, 30; Ellen White, 9; Robert White, 7; Lauretta White, 2; Cyrus White, 26; Fanny Gayle, 19; and John Gayle, 32.
III. ROBERT JOHNSON (1828 - 8/14/1917) married 1/8/1852 to Sarah Hunley Brownley.
III. LEVIN (?? - ??) died unmarried.
III. ELIZABETH FRANCES (1830 - ??) married John Leonard Blades on 11/21/1850, Baltimore, MD. Children were Rosanna, A. Oliver, John, Elizabeth James, Reese, Robert E., Fannie Laurence, and Mary Virginia Blades.
III. ROSANNA JACKSON (1/20/1832 - 1/20/1852) Rosanna Jackson Gayle died and was buried in the James family cemetery at the end of Route 646 at Bar Neck. Her tombstone, read by this writer on a visit to the house, was inscribed, "ROSANNA JACKSON GAYLE/Died Jan, 20, 1852/Aged 19 years/It was autumn, all was fading/thou wer't too fair to bloom on earth/God sent an angel down from heav'n/To pluck the flower he did love." Other burials in the graveyard include members of the James, Thomas, White, Gayle, Enos, Carmines, Conklin, Smith and Borum families.
Tombstones, Zion Methodist Church Cemetery: Paulina James White Gayle - William Henry White, son of Paulina - Harriett Frances White, wife of William
(Photo, Gayle N. Mandell, 7/4/2010)
Paulina Gayle died on 11/20/1871 in York County and was buried at Zion United Methodist Church in Seaford, founded in 1822 at Crab Neck and part of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Prior to the Civil War there were only 30 families living in the area and during the war the church was used to house Confederate prisoners and also as a horse stable. It was dismantled by the Federal Army and the lumber used to construct a hospital in Yorktown. It was rebuilt in 1866 and in 1939 became part of the newly created Methodist Church. In 1919 Crab Neck became the town of Seaford and the church was remodeled and enlarged. Also buried there are members of the White family, including Paulina's son, William Henry, and his wife Harriett Frances White, daughter of Absalom and Frances James White.

III. ROBERT JOHNSON GAYLE (1828 - 1917) was born to Robert and Paulina James White Gayle on 5/22/1828 in Kingston Parish. On 1/8/1852 he married SARAH HUNLEY BROWNLEY (1/19/1832 - 6/19/1907), daughter of William R. Brownley (Ca. 1803 - 12/15/1864) and Elizabeth Paramore Johnson Brownley (Ca: 1805 - 1/1/1865), and had children. Sarah's family information was recorded in the Gayle Bible which was donated by this writer to the Library of Virginia. Her maternal grandparents were Moses and Tabitha Garrison Johnson and her parents were William R. and Elizabeth Paramour Johnson Brownley. Her siblings were Edward Johnson (1827 - 1828), Tabitha Johnson (1828 - 1914); Dorothy Paramour (1830 - 4/4/1887); Nancy Johnson (1835 - ??) who married Franklin Hudgins; William K. (1837 - 11/1863-8); Josie H. (1839 - 1917); and Elizabeth Thurston (1841 - 1916). The family appears on the 1850 Census in Mathews as William R. Brownley, age 47, ship carpenter; Elizabeth Paramour Johnson Brownley, age 45; Elizabeth Brownley, age 76; Polly Brownley, age 64; Elizabeth Johnson, age 8l; Hamilton Tomlinson, age 36; and Brownley children Tabitha, age 22; Dorothy P., age 20; Sarah H., age l8; Nancy J., age l6; William K., age l2; Jasie, age l0; and Bettie F., age 8. Neighbors were William Bassett, age 52, Dep. Clerk; Susan, age 63; Henrietta, age 23; Sara, age 22; Virginia Hughes, age 25; Susan F., age 8; Indiana, age 6; John A., age 4; Sarah Browne, age 42; and Nancy, age 40. The family of William A. Browne is on one side and the family of Andrew G. Hudgins is on the other.
Family of Robert Johnson & Sarah Brownley Gayle
Front L-R: Mary Louise, Robert, Sarah, Rosa Garrison
Back L-R: Lester Templeton, Robert Finley, Virginius Wilton, Charles Randolph, Kenneth Hall, & William Edward Brownley
(Gayle photos from the collection of Gayle N. Mandell)
Betty & Josie Brownley
Mary Louise Gayle Lowe & her sons
Lester Templeton Gayle
William E. Brownley Gayle
Rosa Garrison Gayle
IV. CHARLES RANDOLPH GAYLE (1854 - 1933) was born on 4/2/1854 to Robert Johnson and Sarah Hunley Brownley Gayle. On 10/23/1884 Charles married ADDIE B. FOREMAN and had children. On 6/12/1867, according to the Portsmouth Journal, Charles Gayle played first base for the "Young Virginians Baseball Club." He died of pneumonia on 6/25/1933.

V. SARA ELLEN (?? - 1/28/1913) died of a brain tumor according to her death certificate.
V. NELLIE (?? - ??) died the same day she was born.
V. ADDIE G. GAYLE (?? - ??) married William West.
Robert Finley Gayle died on 3/4/1940 in Richmond, VA and both he and May Jeannette are buried in Hollywood Cemetery there. The following profile was written following his death.

Among my first recollections of the Virginia Annual Conference is a tall man in the prime of life, handsome, dignified, courteous, and very kind to young preachers. He greeted me at the Conference of 1893, and with a straightforward statement said, "I am glad you are going into the ministry. You can count on me to help you whenever you need me with any of your problems."
His early education began in the schools of Portsmouth, Va., and continued all through his life. In spite of the lack of a college education, he became well-rounded and equipped for the work of the ministry. His English was strong, clear and forceful; his manner of delivery positive and convincing. It was his delight to "sit in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions." His was a strong, logical mind that analyzed both premises before it reached a conclusion. His judgment of men and measures made him a valuable counselor of Bishops and in the Cabinet, and a real leader of his people in the pastorate. He was without guile. He gave commendation where due, but never complimented a preacher on his message unless he deserved it. His frankness sometimes went to the point of bluntness, but the master motive was always to help his brother to a more efficient life. He had a great heart and would stank up and fight to the end for a brother in trouble.
While not demonstrative, he was a man of deep feeling and his emotions came to high tide when sinners were being brought to Christ. He had no patience with superficial preaching of the truth, but he was never happier than when engaged in revival services or in attendance on the ministry of the man who by the power of the spirit brought men to realize their sins and be saved. His own ministry as an evangelist was very fruitful and in all the points he served, people were added to the church. Many claim him as their spiritual father.
Our work prospered in his hands. He was received on trial in the Virginia Conference in 1879 and began his ministry at East Halifax. From that point on he served the following churches: West Bedford; North Mecklenburg; East Dinwiddie; Crewe; Norfolk Circuit; Onancock; Laurel Street, Richmond; Mt. Vernon Church, Danville; as Presiding Elder of the Eastern Shore District and the Rappahannock District; Cumberland Street (now First Church) Norfolk; Onancock (second time); East Mathews; Salisbury; Lawrenceville; Decatur Street, Richmond, and Victoria. Thus for fifty-two years he had an active, fruitful ministry.
At the Conference held in Lynchburg, Va. in 1931 he made his report and left a record of "well done, thou good and faithful servant." It might have been possible for him to have gone on several years longer, but he was too conscientious to continue as an active minister when he felt that perhaps his force had been spent, so he asked for the superannuate relation. The remaining years of his life were spent in quietness and peace.
Brother Gayle was the son of Robert Johnson Gayle and Sarah Brownley Gayle of Mathews County. He was born in January 1858, in Portsmouth, VA. He married Miss May Jeannette Young, an accomplished woman who made a large contribution to the effectiveness of his ministry. They were the parents of two daughters, Mrs. Carroll C. Chowning of Urbanna, and Mrs. Ernest L. Whitehurst of Norfolk; four sons, Dr. R. Finley Gayle and Joseph Young Gayle of Richmond; Young Kenneth Gayle of Hilton Village and William W. Gayle of Long Island, N.Y. [This record omitted a daughter, Carrie Young Gayle Jones of Urbanna, VA.]. He loved children and his later years were made happy by thirteen grandchildren.
On March 4, 1940 the Lord called him to his final reward. The funeral services were conducted on March 6 in Monument Church by Rev. J. N. Latham and Rev. Frank L. Wells. Burial was in Hollywood Cemetery.
A good soldier of Christ had entered into the joy of his Lord and we his brethren in the Conference are thankful for his record.

By S. C. Hatcher
Joseph Young, Travis Taylor & William Wagner Gayle
(Collection of Gayle N. Mandell, Norfolk, VA)
CHILDREN OF ROBERT FINLEY & MAY JEANNETTE YOUNG GAYLE [Reverend Gayle performed the wedding ceremonies for all his children except for William Wagner Gayle.]
V. CARRIE YOUNG (12/9/1883, Portsmouth, VA - 3/13/1922, Urbanna, VA) married William Persifal (Percy) Jones on 11/25/1909 in Urbanna. A monument to Dr. Jones, a well-loved physician in Urbanna, is located outside the courthouse in Saluda. Their children were (1) William Persifal Jr. who married Mrs. Jean Feger Cothron and had children Judy Cothron, Jean Meredith, Roberta Finley and William Christopher; (2) May Jeanette who married Boxley Baker and had three children; and (3) Finley Gayle who married Frances McGee. Finley Gayle was killed at Luzon, the Phillipines, in WWII. After Carrie Young Jones died Dr. Jones remarried.
V. MAY LOUISE (11/5/1885 - 12/22/1951, Urbanna, Va.) married Carroll Clifford Chowning of Urbanna on 7/3/1920. Carroll Chowning was a local historian and some of his family papers are in the collection of the library in Urbanna. Carroll and May Chowning had two children. (1) May Gayle Chowning (1924 - ??) married Francis Pryor Davies of Richmond and had two children and (2) Carroll C. Chowning, Jr. (1922 - 1995) married Mrs. Betty May Allen Wyatt.
V. SALLY REED (11/4/1888, Portsmouth, VA - 7/19/1973, Norfolk, VA) married ERNEST LINWOOD WHITEHURST on 10/3/1912 in Onancock, VA and had two daughters, Jeannette and Rosalee, who married Loring Norvell and had children.
V. ROBERT FINLEY, JR. (12/18/1891, Norfolk VA - 11/4/1957) married (1) Elizabeth Marshall Cole (?? - 1944) on 8/16/1919 in Raleigh, North Carolina, and had children.
V. YOUNG KENNETH (11/24/1893, Crewe, Nottoway Co. VA - 5/26/1968, Newport News, VA) married Dorothy Edmonds Wise of Onancock, VA on 2/16/1915 in Baltimore, Maryland, and had three children.
V. SALLY REED GAYLE (1888 - 1973) was the first daughter in a direct line of four male descendants beginning with Captain Robert Gayle of Kingston Parish. She was born on 11/4/1888 in Portsmouth, Virginia, to Robert Finley and May Jeannette Young Gayle. After completing high school in Norfolk, she attended Stratford College in Danville, VA and was a member of the college's alumnae. On 10/3/1912 Sally married ERNEST LINWOOD WHITEHURST (1885 - 1968) in Onancock, Virginia, at a ceremony performed by her father, Robert Finley Gayle. They had two daughters, Jeannette Gayle Whitehurst and Rosalee "Dixie" Whitehurst Norvell.

The following is a newspaper announcement of Sally and Ernest's wedding.

The Onancock Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was the scene of a beautiful wedding, Thursday evening at eight thirty o'clock when Miss Sally Reed Gayle, daughter of Rev. and Mrs. R. Finley Gayle, was given in marriage to Mr. Ernest Linwood Whitehurst, of Norfolk, Va. The ceremony was performed by Rev. R. Finley Gayle.

The altar was banked with ferns and smilax, and was lighted by burning tapers.To the strains of the march from "Lohengrine," played by Mrs. Maud Mills White, the bride, gowned in white duchess satin and brocade trimmed with point lace, worn by her grandmother, and who carried a shower bouquet of lillies-of-the-valley, entered the church on the arm of her uncle, Mr. Joseph Laville Young, Jr. of Norfolk, by whom she was given away. She was met at the altar by the groom, with his best man, Mr. Hugh Whitehurst.

The maid of honor, Miss May Louise Gayle, sister of the bride, wore yellow crepe de chine over yellow satin and trimmed with crystal embroidery. She carried a shower bouquet of Maidenhair fern. Miss Sara McBride Phillips, of Salisbury, Md.; Miss Irene Young Gayle, of Norfolk, and Miss Emily Minter Hope, of Norfolk, was bridesmaids. They were dressed in lavender crepe metive and carried arm bouquets of golden-rod tied with lavender tulle.

"The ushers were: Mr. Harry E. McCoy, of Norfolk; Mr. D. R. Reed, Jr., of Norfolk, and Mr. R. Finley Gayle, Jr., of Onancock."
V. YOUNG KENNETH GAYLE (1893 - 1968) was born to Robert Finley and May Jeannette Young Gayle on 11/24/1893 at Crewe, Nottoway Co. VA. He married DOROTHY EDMONDS WISE (10/31/1892 - 7/1/1979) of Onancock, VA on 2/16/1915 in Baltimore, Maryland, at a ceremony performed by his father. Dorothy was the daughter of William Thomas Wise (1/19/1853 - ??) and Sadie Parker Bagwell and a descendant of Col. John Wise I (1617 - 1695 and Hannah Scarborough Wise of Accomack and York Counties. Kenneth and Dorothy Wise Gayle had three children. Kenneth died on 5/26/1968 and Dorothy on 7/1/1979, both in Newport News, VA.

VI. DOROTHY WISE (3/11/1916 - 3/23/2005, Henrico Co., VA) married on 8/8/1939 to (1) Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Tillman Hassell (1/25/1895, Creswell, NC - 10/10/1943, Portsmouth, VA) and (2) Luther Butler Richardson of Suffolk, VA (8/8/1914 - 9/26/1993) on 10/12/1951. Dorothy's children are (1) Thomas T. Hassell, Jr. (5/7/1940 - Living 2015) who married Susan Palmer Gabb (4/30/1941 - ) on 8/15/1964) and (2) Luther Butler Richardson, Jr. (5/11/1953 - Living 2016) who married (1) Jo Ann Barry on 6/1/1973. They had a son, David Barry Richardson (1/8/1982 - living 2015). Luther and Jo Ann divorced, and he married (2) Teresa Lynn Fallin and resides in Fort Worth, Texas.
VI. EMILY YOUNG (9/10/1920 - ??) married Robert O. Swain (7/30/1918 - ??) on 7/27/1943 in North Carolina and had three children, Gayle, Dorothy Ann and Robert Leon Swain.
VI. YOUNG KENNETH, JR. (4/25/1927, Newport News, VA - 5/28/2007, Alabama) married Betty Joyce Dobbs (11/8/1929, Birmingham, Ala. - ??) on 4/11/1953 in Birmingham, Alabama. No children.
V. JOSEPH YOUNG GAYLE (9/15/1898, Richmond, VA. - 2/12/1976) was the son of Robert Finley and May Jeannette Young Gayle of Portsmouth. Joseph married (1) HARRIETT BURROWS in Washington, DC, at a ceremony performed by his father, Dr. R. F. Gayle. Harriett Burrows Gayle died soon after their marriage and Joseph married (2) MRS. ELIZABETH ADAMS STALLWORTH, a widow, on 11/13/1946 in New Orleans, LA. Elizabeth had children Clayton Stallworth, deceased, Jane Stallworth Godfrey (1928, New York - ??), and Elizabeth "Betsy" Stallworth, who married John W. Craine in 1944. Their son was John W. Craine, Jr. (6/4/1945 - ), who married Wendy Burchinal in Fort Myer, VA on 6/19/68 and had sons David and Clarke.

Joseph worked for a time for the British American Tobacco Company and spent time abroad. One of his letters, written from Manchuria on 2/2/1923, told of how a young Chinese boy who was learning English told him that he was the first white man he had ever seen. Joe later joined a large insurance firm in Richmond, from which he retired.

Joe and Elizabeth purchased a Pre-Civil War home in Richmond known as the "Pink House" at 301 West Franklin Street. The 3-story home with an English basement, servants' quarters and a walled garden was later torn down and became the site of a Holiday Inn. The Gayle's also owned the James River property known as
Upper Shirley where they hosted at least one family reunion in the 1950s. Upper Shirley was built about 1870 from salvaged materal from the original Shirley Plantation,

Both Joe and Elizabeth lived life with a flair. They traveled frequently, preferring to make voyages on merchant ships rather than on passenger liners. They owned a Rolls Royce with a bar in the back that Joe often drove to Norfolk on his visits. They were frequent visitors at the home of Sally Reed Gayle Whitehurst, Joe's favorite sister, and Joe was a devoted uncle to her daughters, Rosalee and Jeannette, and to Rosalee's children. After Elizabeth Gayle's death, Joseph married a third time. He died in 1976 and was buried at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.
Upper Shirley, Charles City County, VA
Virginia Department of Historic Resources
Tombstone of Joseph Y. Gayle, Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond
Lester Templeton & Ruth V. Stores Gayle
IV. LESTER TEMPLETON GAYLE (1863 - 1930) was born on 1/22/1863 to Robert Johnson and Sarah Hunley Brownley Gayle, originally of Mathews County and later of Portsmouth. He was married in 1888 to RUTH V. STORES (1866, Portsmouth - 1942). Lester T. Gayle graduated from William and Mary after a spectacular career in football and basketball. He continued playing football for various Army teams until he was married at age 34. He taught and coached high school in Portsmouth until WWI and remained in the army after the war. Lester T. Gayle died on 7/3/1930 at age 67. His wife, Ruth V. Gayle, died 10/3/1942 at age 76. At the time of her death, Ruth's residence was listed as 248 Court St., B. Portsmouth, VA. Both Lester and Ruth are buried in a Gayle family plot in East Oak Grove Cemetery in Portsmouth.

V. LESTER TEMPLETON JR. (4/5/1890 - 9/14/1995) married (1) Anne Groner on 11/27/1919 (2) Katharine Gholson Crabbs, a widow, on 4/18/1946 and (3) Clarice Cook Gardner. He had three children by Ann Groner Gayle.
V. RICHARD BROWNLEY SR. (8/26/1893 - ??) married (1) Elizabeth Sweeney, daughter of Walter Campbell Sweeney and had children: Richard Brownley Gayle, Jr. and Andrew McConnell Gayle.
V. CHARLES CAMPBELL (9/16/1897 - ??) married Marjorie Blakeslee on 4/19/1930 and had children.

V. LESTER TEMPLETON GAYLE, JR. (1890 - 1995) was born in Portsmouth on 4/5/1890 to Lester and Ruth V. Stores Gayle. He married (1) ANNE GRONER on 11/27/1819 and had three children. An undated marriage announcement kept by Lester's niece, Sally Reed Gayle, stated, "Mr. and Mrs. J. A. C. Groner announce the marriage of their daughter, Anne Hetburn, to Major Lester Templeton Gayle, Jr., U. S. A. (retired), son of Mr. and Mrs. L. T. Gayle of Portsmouth, on Thursday evening, November 20, in Rockville, MD. The ceremony was performed by Rev. T. Roland Wagner. Immediately after the marriage, Major and Mrs. Gayle left for New York where they will spend a few days before leaving for Kansas City, Mo., to make their home." Lester and Ann Groner Gayle later divorced and Lester married (2) KATHARINE GHOLSON CRABBS, a widow, on 4/18/1946 and (3) CLARICE COOK GARDNER.

This writer met Lt. Col. Gayle in the early 1990s in his home in the 3000 block of Atlantic Avenue in Virginia Beach. At the time he was nearly 100 with keen intelligence and a sharp wit. According to his nephew, Richard Brownley Gayle, Lester graduated from VMI and was an Army Air Corps pilot in WWI. "He was badly injured in a plane crash in France…and was hospitalized in Walter Reed Army General Hospital in Washington, DC for several years enduring numerous surgeries." Lester also suffered from a hearing problem in his 50s and 60s that worsened in later years. Lester Gayle died at age 104 on 9/14/1995. An obituary published in the Virginian-Pilot noted that he was a native of Portsmouth and a veteran of World Wars I and II. He was a graduate of the Norfolk Academy and the oldest graduate of Virginia Military Institute (VMI). He was professor of Mathematics and English at VMI before being commissioned as a first Lieutenant in the 111th Field Artillery, Grimes Battery, National Guard, and saw service on the Mexican Border. Colonel Gayle went overseas with the First Expedition Force in the First World War and served with the First division at the front. After serving a year at the front he transferred to the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps. After completing his training as a combat pilot, he was placed in Command of Field seven, Aviation Instruction Centre, Issoudun, France. When World War II broke out, Lt. Col. Gayle was called to active duty and served as Inspector General of the Asiatic Pacific Division of the Air Transport Command. He retired from service after being seriously wounded while returning from a flight and entered the insurance business, representing Travelers Insurance until his retirement. He resided at a home on the oceanfront in Virginia Beach, where he lived for forty years.

Lester was a member of Galilee Episcopal Church in Virginia Beach, Va., The Princess Anne Country Club, The Sons of the Revolution, The Virginia Beach Sports Club, Sigma Nu Social Fraternity, and the Scabbard and Blade Military Fraternity. He was a former President of the Hampton Roads Chapter of the Retired Officers Association. He was survived by his widow, Clarice Cook Gardner Gayle, his daughter Mrs. Vincent Dewitt of Annapolis, Md., his son Richard G. Gayle of San Diego, California, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Lt. Col. Gayle was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

VI. RICHARD GARRISON GAYLE (9/22/1919 - ??) of San Diego, California.
VI. ANN AUSTIN (9/7/1920 - ??) married Vincent Dewitt of Annapolis, MD.
VI. JOHN "JACK" STUART (1924 - 7/1950), Captain West Point, Class of '46. Jack was killed in an air accident in Alaska on the way to Korea during the Korean War.

V. RICHARD BROWNLEY GAYLE SR. (1893 - ??) was born on 8/26/1893 to Lester Templeton and Ruth V. Stores Gayle. He married (1) ELIZABETH SWEENEY, daughter of Walter Campbell Sweeney and had two sons, Andrew and Richard Jr.

Richard Brownley Gayle II attended West Point for a time but earned his degree in Petroleum Geology at UC-Berkeley. He mapped in California, Texas, and Kurdistan for Getty Oil Company and in 1955 married Mary Jean Stump, an "Army Brat" who lived in Germany and Thailand, and had two sons, Richard Brownley Gayle III (1956 - ) and Robert McConnell Gayle (1957 - ). Richard II retired in 1984 and he and Jennie live in Houston.

VI. RICHARD BROWNLEY, JR. (1928 - ??) moved with his family in 1940 to the Presidio in San Francisco and also lived for three years in Tinsein, China where Richard Sr. was stationed. Richard Jr. remembered that his father "...and most of the men on his troopship on the way to France, succumbed to the Spanish Flu which was attacking the American army in a pandemic stage by this time. They turned the troopship around and brought it back to the States. My father survived, was hospitalized and eventually arrived in France about the time the war ended."

V. CHARLES CAMPBELL GAYLE (1897 - ??) was born on 9/16/1897 to Lester Templeton and Ruth V. Stores Gayle. He married MARJORIE BLAKESLEE on 4/19/1930 and had children. According to Charles' nephew Richard Brownley Gayle, "Uncle Charlie" was the "black sheep" of the family. "He didn't go to college (unlike both his brothers, he was no scholar) and was not successful in business. However, Uncle Charlie was a funny story teller and had a mordant sense of humor. Uncle Charlie's middle name was the only apparent connection to my mother's ancestors, the Campbells…"

VI. MARJORIE RUTH (5/25/1931 - ??) married Floyd Johnson on 7/5/1958. One daughter, Susan Gayle Johnson.

IV. WILLIAM EDWARD BROWNLEY GAYLE (1865 - 1929) was born on 9/13/1865 to Robert Johnson and Sarah Hunley Brownley Gayle. On 6/28/1898 he married India Sherwood (1875 - 2/8/1940), age 24, daughter of Smith and India Sherwood. They had a son, Laurence. William was a jeweler and his residence was listed as 316 Court Street in Portsmouth. He was listed on the 1910 Census in Portsmouth, Norfolk County, Va. as a white male, age 44, Jewelry Salesman, born in Virginia. In his household were his wife India S., age 35; and son Lawrence, age 10. (1910 Census, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va., Series T624, Roll 1642) William died on 4/7/1929.

V. LAURENCE (12/2/1899 - ??) appeared with his parents on the 1910 Portsmouth census as age 10.
After Martha's death Thomas purchased 200 acres of land on Gwynn's Island in 1836 and built a home called Buckschase on what is now Hill's Creek. According to David Ryan in his book Gwynn's Island, Virginia, the name first shows up in an undated land map and on an 1860 deed when an Edwards descendant sold the property, then containing 320 acres, to James Hill and his sons, Charles and John. About a year after purchasing Buckschase Thomas married (3) Louisa A. Lane Garnett (1808 - 1850) on 7/11/1837 and had children, Thomas Roland, Lucie, Robert Emmett, Annie Elizabeth, Martha Louisa and Mary Catherine. Louisa Lane Garnett Edwards died on 1/24/1850 and Thomas married (4) Mary Tompkins Hunley Hudgins (1806 - 1877) on 2/19/1851 and had one daughter, Ella Virginia, born in 1854.

On 12/8/1865 court records in Portsmouth, Virginia, show a relationship between Thomas Edwards and John H. Gayle of Portsmouth, a descendant of John and Susannah Davis Gayle.
Whereas John G. Sibley, appointed trustee under deed of trust executed by Thomas Edwards in his lifetime, and under the last will & testament of Thomas Edwards Dec'd, admitted to record 9 Nov 1857 & whereas the powers of said Sibley revoked by order of the court of Mathews Co. & whereas John H. Gayle has been requested & desires to qualify as trustee under said deed of trust & will afsd…this indenture made 1 Dec 1865, WIT: I have appointed John B. Donavan my agent & attorney to affix my seal to such bonds as may be requested by the court confirming such appointment as trustee upon John H. Gayle. (Mathews Co. Deeds, Bk. I)

III. MARY LOUISA GAYLE (1805, King William County, Va. - ??) married in 1825 to Robert Carter Braxton, son of Carter Braxton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. On 1/8/1853 Mary Louisa, wife of Robert C. Braxton and infant child of Robert C. Braxton, are named in a suit against Henry W. Daingerfield and Richard W. Marchant. Others named in the suit were Augustine M. Braxton, Martha S., Mary S., Judy S., and Thomas Corbin. Another suit dated 5/1/1853 mentions Thomas M. Hunley, administrator of Walter G. Hudgins, deceased, versus William H. Hudgins, Robert E. Hudgins, Walter G. Hudgins, Martha P. Hudgins, and Robert C. Braxton, Jr. and Louisa, his wife.
[A genealogy of the family of Houlder Hudgins stated that John and Martha Frances Gayle were also the parents of Levin Gayle. No proof of this has been found and Levin has been identified as the son of John and Susanna Davis Gayle.
Thomas Gayle of Kingston Parish, Gloucester County, VA (1750 - 1824)
I. Thomas and (1) Mary Culley Gayle & (2) Susanna Smith Brown
II. (M/1) Robert (1783-1857) m. (1) Virginia Neal, (2) Susannah C. Boyd
III. (M/1) Mary Elizabeth (1806 - ??) m.1826, John Taylor
III. Sally Stokes (Ca. 1810 - ??) m. 1833, William Smith
III. Caroline (Ca. 1812 - ??) unmarried
III. John Thomas (1815 - 1899) m. 1842 Mary Ann Pugh
IV. Robert Alexander (1846 - 1889) m. Betty A. Smith
IV. Jane Elizabeth (Ca. 1848 - ??) m. Jackson Van Hall, of Halifax County, Va.
IV. William J. (ca. 1849 -??)
IV. Susan Pugh (ca. 1851 - ??) m. Robert C. Bowman
IV. Mary Ann (ca. 1853 - ??) m. William A. Walden, SC
IV. Elvira C. (ca. 1854 - ??) m. James Monroe Pollard
IV. John T. (ca. 1859 - ??)
IV. Martha (ca. 1863 - ??) m. N. J. Harris
III. (M/2) Robert (Ca. 1826 - Ca. 1862) m. Sarah K. Rice
III. Martha J. (Ca. 1829 - ??)
II. Mary Polly (1785 - 1840) m. Edmund Duffer
II. Nancy (1787-1875) m. (1) David Blackstock (2) Francis Ryan
II. John (1790 - 1854) m. (1) Elizabeth Terrell, (2) Lucy Murphy
III. Margaret (Ca. 1832, Va. - ??)
III. Peter B. (Ca. 1834, NC - ??)
II. (M/2) Thomas Jr. (1796 - 1856) m. Elizabeth Coleman
III. Elizabeth Fanny (1827 - 1872) m. George Washington Burwell
III. Sarah A. S. (Ca. 1832 - ??)
III. Jordan C. (1824 - 1845, age 21)
II. Christopher (1798-1861) m. Mary Jo Dortch
III. Peter Alexander (1826 - 1865, Gettysburg)
III. Elizabeth Harriett (1828 - ??) m. William Hite
III. Mariah S. (1830 - ??)
III. Mary A. R. (1832 - ??)
III. Nancy J. (1834 - ??)
III. David Dortch (1836 - ??)
III. Sarah Lenorah (1838 - ??) m. Mr. Holmes
III. Christopher Thomas (1840 - 1865, Gettysburg)
III. Virginia Marion (1842 - ??)
III. Samuel Jordon (1844 - ??)
II. Peter Smith (1802-1853) m. Mary Ann McConnico Pettus
III. Thomas Christopher (1824-1885) m. (1) Mary Ann Eckford & (2) Mary H. Collier
III. Almira Elizabeth Susanna (1826-1887) m. William F. Still
III. William Henry (1828-1867) m. Ann L. Atkins
III. Sarah Lester (1830 - ??) m. Henry G. Dent
III. Mary Ann McConnico (1832-1847)
III. Fanny Jane (1834 - 1899) m. Samuel M. Jobe
III. Virginia Margaret (1836-1886) m. Alonzo R. McWilliams
III. Peterella Smith (1840 - 1904) m. (1) William Still, (2) Lemuel B. Haughton
II. Sally/ "Sarah" (1805 - ??) m. Robert Crowder

I. THOMAS GAYLE (1750 - 1824) was born in England on 4/17/1750 according to the Bible of his son, Peter Smith Gayle. Sometime during the 1750s he and his older brother Robert came with their parents to Kingston Parish, Gloucester County, Virginia, where brothers Matthias and George were born between 1753 and 1756 respectively. There were probably other siblings. The family Bible of Thomas' son, Peter Smith Gayle, contains the following notation inscribed at the bottom of he last Family Record page. Thomas Gayle, Leutenant under his brother, Captain Robert Gayle, served in the Revolution War Between the Colinies and Britin. I year as minute man, l year as a volunteer, l year in the regular army and was at the seige of Little York. Matthew Gayle and George Gayle, Brothers the same time. Also Isaac Smith and John Smith, mother's two Brothers all of the same company.

Thomas was married either two or three times. Some records indicate that he married in 1770 to MARY GOODE and had seven children. However, no proof has been found to indicate that this is the same Thomas Gayle. Other records indicate that he married (1) MARY CULLEY (9/1/1756 - ca. 1793) in Gloucester on 10/20/1777 and had four children. The Culley surname appears on 12/22/1682 when Robert and Ralph Armstead Cully (sic) received a grant of 63 ½ acres on the east side of the East River "att…head of…old Dividend of land bought by SD Cully of Mr. Mann." (Mason) Robert Cully's grant adjoined that of William Hampton whose land was next to the 1672 grant to Matthew Gayle.

Mary Culley Gayle died in 1793 and on 11/28/1794 Thomas married (2) SUSANNAH SMITH BROWN (12/28/1758 - 1/1854), daughter of Peter and Bathsheba Foster Smith of Gloucester and widow of Robert Brown. [Susanna was the Ann (sic) Gayle who married Robert Brown in July of 1772 in Kingston Parish. In 1795 Thomas Gayle of Charlotte County appears in the Mathews County Fee Book on a list of charges in connection with the executorship of Robert Brown, deceased, and an action involving one of the Fosters.] Susannah's brothers were John and Isaac Smith who served with Thomas during the Revolutionary War. Susanna's children from her first marriage to Robert Brown were Warner, who married (1) Mary Ann Neal, sister of Virginia Neal, (2) Matilda Smith, daughter of Perrin Smith, and (3) Martha Ann Spain; Robert, who married a woman named Mariah; and Nancy Brown, who married James Coleman.

Thomas appears on the Gloucester County Tax Lists from 1782 - 1790. A slave owner, he was listed with three UN-NAMED SLAVES slaves in 1782, two in 1783; four in 1784, three in 1785 and 1786, five in 1787, 1788 and 1789 and three in 1790. He is listed in the Vestry Book of Kingston Parish in 1783 as "Dr. Thomas Gayle." In the same year, his brother Robert died and Thomas assumed guardianship of Robert's daughter Elizabeth, born in 1775. Elizabeth married Phillip Osborne on 9/12/1797 in Charlotte County and Thomas provided surety. Elizabeth Gayle Osborne moved with other family members to Rutherford County, Tennessee, where she died in 1835. Also in 1783 Thomas appeared on Francis Hughes' list of tithable persons in Kingston Parish with two bonds, one dated 1/1/1783 and another on 12/16/1783. From 1782 to 1787 he appears on the Gloucester County tax list with 212 acres of land and from 1788 to 1789 he is shown with 189 acres. In 1787 he is shown on the Census for Gloucester County with three black males over 16, five under 16, one horse, and eight head of cattle. He was visited by the census taker on April 20th with neighbors Zachariah Adams, Isaac Anderton, Richard Armistead, Robert Armistead, William Armistead, Edmund Borum, John Borum, John Christian, Martha Christian, Esaw Crawford, John Curtis, Humphry Davis, James Davis, Richard H. Davis, John Howlet, Jr., Kemp Hudgin, Caleb Hunley, Thomas Lewis, Robert Machin, John Baptist Saubet, James Thomas (Wm.), John Thomas, Jousua Thomas, Morgain (sic) Thomas, and William Thomas.

Around 1790 Thomas left Mathews and moved to Charlotte County, VA, formed from Lunenburg in 1764. On 3/2/1791 he purchased 200 acres of land on the waters of "Horse Pen Creek," near the land of Osborne's and Hatchett's, from JOHN GAYLE OF YORK (Est. 1750s - 1811-12), originally owned by RICHARD GAYLE BROWN, son of ROBERT & ANN GAYLE BROWN of Mathews. The deed was witnessed by ELIAS PUGH, THOMAS HALL, and MILES GAYLE. Thomas Gayle's 200 acre property was located at the fork of Moody's branch and Bluestone Creek near the land of a Mr. Osborne. Thomas owned several tracts of land in Charlotte County and on 5/11/1799 he purchased 400 acres on Horse Pen Creek. He acquired another 200 acres from Christopher Degges, son of William and Mary Gayle Degges, on the waters of Horse Pen Creek near the lands of Clay and Roberts, Diggs and Chaffin. Witnesses were Thomas Read, Jr., Thomas Pettus, and Griffin Dodd. On 1/27/1800 Thomas and Susannah sold 2 acres to James Callicote in Charlotte County. In 1816 he purchased 307 acres in Halifax County, Virginia, from his stepson Robert Brown and wife Mariah of Mathews and later willed this land to his sons Robert and John. On 11/4/1819 he bought 80 acres from William and Nancy Callis, formerly Nancy Gayle Osborne. A visit to the old plantation by this writer revealed a beautiful home-site, set among rolling hills and winding streams, and surrounded by woodlands with a small lake on the property. Several older dependencies remained on the farm, but the original house had disappeared.

Thomas Gayle died on 5/24/1824 in Charlotte County at age 74 leaving a will. According to family lore he wore a silver watch during the Revolution that he passed down to one of his sons. It was stolen in 1877.

(Charlotte County Will Book 5/218)

In the name of God, Amen, I Thomas Gayle of the County of Charlotte, being in common state of health and in perfect mind and memory make this my last will and testament in manner and form following, to wit:
Item 1st, this my whole estate be kept together during my wife's life.
Item…I lend unto my loving wife Susanna the land whereon I now live and the place where son Peter lives during her natural life, and for my son Peter to take care of her & for her to have one third part of every thing that can be made on the land for her personly support, and for Nancy Blackstock and her daughter Susan to live in my house during her widowhood without paying any board -
Item…I give at my wife's death all the above mentioned land to my son Peter, to him and his heirs forever. Also my? and??? cyder casks? my son Peter??? Part of negroes that came by his Mother as I have already exposed??? Also for my son Peter to have one fourth part of the Tobacco made on his land and?? Of grain - ? My debts being paid all money that can be?? To be kept in the hands of my executor during my wife's life, and at her death to?? My estate to be equally divided amongst all my children, my son Peter excepted. Item…??negroes I give to my daughter, viz. Betsy Osborne and Polly Duffer. ? They are to allow 3.00 dollars??? for the negroes they received each of? to wit Betsy Osborne?? negro woman by the name of????? and my daughters to be???with the rest of my children at the division to wit B. Osborne and Polly Duffer.

Item…I give to my daughter Nancy Blackstock an equal part of my estate???
Item…I lend to my daughter Sally one negro boy by name of Jim during her life, but if she should have any lawful heir by her body, I give the said negro boy Jim to him, her, or them and their heirs forever, her having a part of negroes that came by her Mother will make her equal with the rest of my daughters.
Item…I give to my son Thomas and my son Christopher, each of them, any cow and calf to make them equal with stock with the rest of my children. Also the negroes they received from their Mother to be brought in and valued, and after that????? make them equal with the rest of my children. My negroes, stock, household goods????? equally divided amongst all my children. My son Robert to be answerable for four hundred and fifty dollars and son John the same and this my last will and testament I leave my five sons my sole Executors, Robert, John, Thomas and Christopher and Peter S. Gayle and this my????

Thomas Gayle (Seal)
Susanna's will was proved in Charlotte County on 2/6/1854 by the oaths of Francis G. Barnes and Erasmus K. Johnson. Family members named were Christopher Gayle, James Coleman, Thomas Gayle, Warner Brown, Peter S. Gayle, Robert Brown and daughters Nancy Coleman and Sally Crowder. The latter two were to divide her clothes between them. Her daughter Sally inherited 86 acres in Haywood County, Tennessee, with the stipulation that the land was reserved as a home for Sally and that upon her death the property be equally divided between her children. Sons Thomas and Christopher Gayle were named as executors and witnesses were Francis Barnes, John H. Bruce and Erasmus Johnson. Her daughters Matilda Smith and Martha Spain were not named. The inventory of Susanna's estate included mention of monies advanced to her children, Warner Brown, James Coleman, Thomas Gayle, Christopher Gayle, Robert Gayle, Sally Crowder, Peter S. Gayle and Robert Brown. The inventory also named Susanna's slaves and family members who purchased items, listed below.

(From Inventory & Appraisal)

Lot hens, "Bed stead of furniture"
Tea Kettle, "Bed stead of Furniture, check cotton counterpane, sheets, table cloths, towels, pillow cases, figured table cloth, figured yarn counterpane, Large Bible.
JOHN T. GAYLE: Assorted items
ROBERT GAYLE, SR.: Stack oats
2 bakers pots, lot ovens, 3 bowls, dishes, gourd, Bbl & coffee, coffee pot & beeswax, "Bed Stead of furniture," walnut folding table, 6 chairs, blue cupboard, 3 bushels wheat, white counterpane, sheets, table cloths, figured counterpanes.
Lot axes, lot ray hydes, lot tubs, counterpane, bed quilt, checked counterpane, white counterpane, pillow cases, old chest, grind stone, 2 trays, water pails, bucket, large trunk, bottles & glasses, a jug, a pitcher, lot bacon & lard.
(Inventory & Appraisal of the Estate of Susannah P. Gayle, Charlotte County Clerk's Office, 3/6/1854; Executor Thomas Gayle; Appraisers, 2/14/1854: Fran. G. Barnes, H. M. L. Goode, Chas. H. Robertson, Henry Barnes, William T. Chaffin)

ESTATE INVENTORY OF THOMAS GAYLE'S SLAVES, VALUED AT $11,875.00 (Charlotte County Clerk's Office, 3/6/1854)
Negro man, HARRISON, value $800.
Negro man, ARMISTEAD, value $950.
Negro boy, HILLARY, value $1000.
Negro boy, GORDAN, value $950.
Negro boy, CALVIN, value $925.
JINCY, value $700.
Negro woman, ANNA, and 4 children, EMILY, CHARLES, HARRISON, JOHN, value $1750.
Negro woman, AMY, and 4 children, JOHN HARRISON, CAREY, PATSEY, SUSANNA, value $1550.
Negro woman, SICELEY, and child NANCY, value $900.
Negro girl, MARY, value $750.
Negro girl, BECKEY, value $650.
Old Negro man, DANIEL, value $200.
Old Negro woman, CERA, value $50.

NOTE: Some of Thomas' slaves were inherited by his wife, Susannah, from her former husband's family as follows:
ARMISTEAD, Negro man $975.00 DANIEL, Negro man $175.00 EMILY, Negro girl $625.00.

HARRISON, Negro man $850.00 UN-NAMED NEGRO WOMAN & children HARRISON & JOHN $1000.00.

II. ROBERT (Ca. 1783 - 1857, Halifax Co., VA) married (1) 11/24/1806 to Virginia "Jenny" Neal in Halifax County, VA and (2) 1/7/1819 to Susannah Boyd.
II. MARY "POLLY" (1785 - 1840, Tennessee) married Edmund Duffer, 12/25/1803, by Rev. Edward Almond, Charlotte Co., VA. Surety was provided by Robert Gayle Mary moved to Rutherford Co., Tenn. about 1825 and also lived near Bradley Creek in Wilson Co., Tenn.
II. NANCY/ANN (1787 - 1875) married (1) David Blackstock of Halifax Co., VA on 12/8/1817. Surety was provided by John Gayle and the witness was Christopher Gayle. Nancy married (2) Francis P. Rion/Ryan of Charlotte Co. on 1/17/1825 and moved to Rutherford Co., Tenn. by 1830, settling on Bradley Creek near Lascassas. Around 1846 the family moved to nearby Halls Hill area. Nancy's great-granddaughter stated that her second husband was an impressive looking man, 20 years younger than Nancy, who was unkind to his "beautiful black haired wife". He ruthlessly disposed of her property and refused to let his stepdaughter move with them to Tennessee, where he bought and sold cattle, driving them via the Natchez Trace to market in Natchez or New Orleans, using their sons as cattle herders. At her death Nancy was buried in Floyd Cemetery on Herschell-Hudson Rd. across from the Enoch Jones graveyard, but no stones mark her grave.
II. JOHN (1790 - aft. 1854) married (1) 11/17/1819 to Elizabeth Terrell and (2) Lucy Murphy and moved to Persons Co., North Carolina, and then to Haywood Co., Tennessee.

II. THOMAS, JR. (7/27/1796 - aft. 1856) married on 12/8/1819 to Elizabeth Coleman, Mecklenburg Co, Va., and lived near Finneywood Creek.
II. CHRISTOPHER (1798 - 1861) married (1) Mary Jo Dortch on 12/22/1825 in Mecklenburg County, NC and (2) Nancy Jones on 10/7/1846 in Mecklenburg Co., Va. Christopher lived in Charlotte County until 1835 when he moved to Mecklenburg.
II. PETER SMITH (5/30/1802 - 6/8/1853, Hinds, Clinton, Mississippi), a Baptist minister, married Mary Ann McConnico Pettus on 3/23/1823 and lived in Haywood County and later Shelby County, Tennessee.
II. SALLY "SARAH" (1805 - ??) married Robert (Roland) T. Crowder on 11/15/1822 in Mecklenburg County. Witnesses included Peter Gayle and Gabriel Osborne. Sally was living near her brother Peter in Haywood County, Tenn. by the 1840s.

II. ROBERT D. GAYLE (Ca. 1783 - 1857) was born about 1783 to Thomas and Mary Culley Gayle. His birth year is based on the 1850 Census that gave his age as 67. On 11/24/1806 he married VIRGINIA "JENNY" NEAL of Halifax, Virginia, the daughter of John Neal (1785 - ??) and the sister of Mary Ann Neal, who married Warner Brown. Virginia Neal Gayle died and Robert married SUSANNAH C. BOYD, daughter of Joshua and Frances Boyd of Halifax County, on 1/7/1819. Robert was a farmer and lived in both Charlotte and Halifax County in Virginia and was a Lieutenant in the Charlotte Militia. He moved to Halifax in 1811 and rose to the rank of Captain during the War of 1812. He served as the Postmaster in Bentleysville and his family was listed in 8/28/1850 in the Northern District of Halifax County. Listed were Robert Gayle Sr., age 67, Farmer; Susan C. Gayle, age 63; Robert Gayle Jr., age 24, "saddle tree maker;" Martha J. Gayle, age 21, and Henry N. Newcomb, age 20, and labourer. All were born in Virginia.

III. MARY ELIZABETH (1806 - ??) married 3/27/1826 to John J. Taylor.
III. SALLY STOKES (ca. 1810 - ??) married 12/23/1833 to William M. Smith, wheelwright in Halifax County, and had seven children born between 1835 and 1848.
III. CAROLINE (ca. 1812 - ??) never married and was living with brother John T. in 1880.
III. JOHN THOMAS (6/24/1815) married 10/3/1842 to Mary Ann Pugh (2/3/1822 - 2/23/1904) and had eight children born between 1846 and 1863.

III. ROBERT (ca. 1826 - by 1863) married 10/2/1850 Sarah K. Rice.
III. MARTHA J. (ca: 1829 - ??)

III. JOHN THOMAS GAYLE (1815 - 1899) was born on 6/24/1815 in Halifax County, Virginia to Robert and Virginia "Jincy" Neal Gayle. John Thomas married MARY ANN PUGH on 10/3/1842 at the Western Branch Monthly Meeting. Samuel R. Cheatham provided security. They had eight children. John Thomas Gayle was a planter, inventor, machinist, magistrate and merchant. He appeared on the 1850 census for Halifax as a thrashing machine maker and in 1880 as a blacksmith. His property, called Clover, was valued at $150.00 on the 1850 tax list which also listed him as the owner of THREE UN-NAMED MALE SLAVES, ages 30, 12, and 1, and THREE FEMALES ages 13, 6, and 3. According to a descendant, "he could never get rid of his slaves; they loved him so much…called him "Marse Johnny." Methodist minister Robert Finley Gayle, a descendant of Thomas' brother Robert, stayed in the home of John and Mary Ann Gayle when he was preaching in Halifax County. John Thomas died on 2/3/1899 in Halifax County.

IV. ROBERT ALEXANDER (2/14/1846 - 8/29/1889) married Betty A. Smith of Chesterfield County, VA on 2/19/1868.
IV. JANE ELIZABETH (ca: 1848 - ??) married Jackson Van Hall of Halifax Co., VA on 12/20/1867 and moved to Kentucky in 1866.
IV. WILLIAM J. (ca: 1849 - ??)
IV. SUSAN PUGH (ca: 1851 - ??) married 11/11/1868 to Robert C. Bowman.
IV. MARY ANN (ca: 1853 - ??) married 10/13/1873 to William A. Walden of Greenville, SC
IV. ELVIRA C. (ca: 1854 - ??) married 9/27/1876 to James Monroe Pollard.
IV. JOHN T. (ca: 1859 - ??)
IV. MARTHA (ca: 1863 - ??) married 8/12/1884 to N. J. Harris.

II. JOHN GAYLE (CA. 1790 - 1853) was born ca. 1790 to Thomas and Mary Culley Gayle. He moved to Halifax County in 1817 and married ELIZABETH TERRELL (1795 - 1848) on 11/17/1819. Following her death he married LUCY MURPHY (1803 - ??) in 1846. Around 1835 John was in Persons County, North Carolina, but in 1838 he was living in Haywood County, Tennessee, where he settled on Briar (Byer) Creek. He died in 1853.

III. MARGARET (Ca. 1832 in Virginia - ??)
III. PETER B. (1834, North Carolina - 1900 ) married in 1867 to Sarah Elizabeth "Bettie" Brown (1848, Fayetteville, Tenn. - 1923, Wood, Texas)
Thomas Gayle, First Lieutenant, Gloucester Militia. Commission, dated 4/3/1781, Signed and sealed by Governor Thomas Jefferson
(Facsimile, collection of Sally Reed Gayle Whitehurst, deceased; Original document, National Archives)
Sarah Hunley Brownley
Jasie/Josie Brownley
Sarah Brownley's family was related to that of Archibald and Sarah Hudgins Brownley, who married on 11/19/1764 and had children, John (11/15/1767 - by 1772); George (11/10/1771 - ??); John #2 (12/26/1772 - ??); Frankey (12/18/1774 - ??); Archibald (7/22/1777 - ??); and Jesse (7/14/1776 - ??) who married (Unknown) and had at least one son, James Brownley (10/13/1802 - 4/2/1891), a ship carpenter who married Nancy Cooke on 11/2/1826. Children of James and Nancy Cooke Brownley were Millie Margaret (9/14/1827 - 11/8/1898); Rosanna (9/30/1829 - 4/13/1880); William Jesse (10/25/1836 - 10/30/1836); Sarah Jane (12/11/1840 - 12/11/1911); and Larkin James (10/7/1833 - 7/7/1854, at sea), whose photograph was among the possessions of Sarah Hunley Brownley when she died. (Brownley Photos from the collection of Gayle N. Mandell)

ANOTHER BROWNLEY FAMILY in Mathews County was that of John and Joanna Armistead Brownley. Their sons were Robert W. (Est. 1826 - 8/1891, age 65), Leroy McK. (Est. 1828 - 10/23/1848, age 20), and Larkin C. Brownley (?? - 1917, Baltimore, MD), who owned the Brownley Mill, ca. 1838. [Plat Book 1, Plat #259, Mathews County Clerk's Office] The survey dated 1/21/1838 by Wm. M. Brownley shows a plat of land containing 19.38 acres. A two-story main house with two side additions of two stories each and three large chimneys was drawn on the plat and situated on a point of land near Sands Smith, William Minter and John (or James) Brownley. The main portion of the house was taller than the two side additions. A windmill was drawn to the southwest of the house.

According to Brownley researcher John Mascari, plat notes indicate that the land was divided " virtue of a decree of the County Court...Nov 1834 [after the death of John Brownley in 1833 ] Lot no. 1 was allotted to Johanna Brownley widow of said decedent... Lot no 2 allotted to Ro. W, Leroy McK & Larkin C Brownley. Lot no. 3 alloted in common to Wm M. Brownley, Rosey Hays and the orphans of Milton Brownley. " Mascari notes that Robert W., Leroy McK, and Larkin C. would have been very young at the time, born between 1827 - 1830. He also believes that John Brownley, their father, may have had children by another wife since his death notice indicates he was much older than Johanna. "Died in Mathews Co., on Saturday, February 2, 1833, Rev. John Brownley, an elder in the Methodist Church,age about 72, leaves wife and six (6) children. American Beacon. Pub: Thursday,March 7, 1833."

It is unclear who Wm. M. Brownley, Rosey Hays, and the orphans of Milton Brownley are related to. However, the obituary of Leroy Brownley, who died at age 20, stated that his brother was Rev. Wm. M. Brownley and that he had one sister and four brothers. Consequently, if John Brownley was married prior to his marriage to Johanna, it is possible that the Wm. M. Brownley on the deed was in fact a half-brother to Leroy, Robert, and Larkin C. Brownley. William M. Brownley died in 1867 at age 62. His wife was listed as Lucy. He was the son of John and Sally Brownley.


In 1843 R. GAYLE sold property to Wm. Diggs, surveyed in 1843. Associated names were Zelotes Gayle, John Peed, John Sibley, J. White, and Armistead Davis. (Mathews County Land Book 1, plat #400) Based on the date of this transaction, this may have been Robert Johnson Gayle, since his father Robert had died in 1839. In 1860 Robert Gayle appeared on the census in Mathews, Jefferson Ward, as a blacksmith, age 32. In his household were Sarah, age 28; William V., age 7; Charles R., age 6; Mary L., age 4; Robert F., age 2; and an un-named child age "1/12." The family moved to Portsmouth, Virginia, sometime before the Civil War. Robert Finley Gayle was born there in 1858, possibly on a visit to family members. In Portsmouth the Gayle's were members of Central M. E. Church in Portsmouth and Robert was listed in the Portsmouth business directory as a Blacksmith located at "London near Green Street." When Sarah Brownley Gayle died at age 75 on 5/19/1907 she was living at 427 South Street in Portsmouth, VA. Robert outlived her by ten years and at his death on 8/14/1917 he was living at 952 Naval Avenue. The Gayle Family Bible has the following transcriptions. Our precious Mother, Sarah H. Gayle, went home to live with God 6/19/1907. Our dear father, Robert J. Gayle, joined our Mother in heaven 8/14/1917.

Both were buried in the old section of East Oak Grove Cemetery in Portsmouth, Va. (Avenue #l8, lot #76l). Inscriptions on their tombstones read:
Robert J. 5/22/1828 - 8/15/1917---------"Well done thou good and faithful servant"
Sarah H. l/19/1832 - 6/19/1907---------"Children rise up and call her blessed"

Other Gayle burials in East Oak Grove include the following:
Sarah Ellen Gayle; 427 Columbia Ave., B.1886; D. 1/28/1913; Ave. 18, Lot 761.
Mary Bartlett Gayle; 600 4th Street; B. in Baltimore in l856; D. 9/21/1901; age 45. Ave. 11, Lot 518.
Mary J. Myers of Mt. Airey, N.C.; B. l856; D. 9/21/1901, also age 45. Ave. 11, Lot 516.
John H. Gayle; High & Water Streets; B. in VA. 1871; D. 12/21/1915, age 44. Ave. 5, Lot 208.
John H. Gayle, Jr.; 806 Dinwiddie; B. l901; D. 6/24/1902, age 9 months. Ave. 5, Lot 208.
Archibald Douglas Gayle; Rodman Heights, Norfolk; B. 1909; D. 5/22/1910, age 8 mos., Ave. 5, Lot 208
Lester T. Gayle; B. West Va. 1863; D. 7/5/1930, age 67. Ave. 5, Lot 175.
Ruth V. Gayle (wife of Lester T. Gayle); 248 Court St., B. Portsmouth l866; D. 10/3/1942, age 76. Ave. 5, Lot 165.
William E. Gayle; 316 Court Street; B. l866; D. 4/7/1929, age 63. Ave. Ave. 5, Lot 12.
India Sherwood Gayle (wife of William E. Gayle); 3l6 Court St.; B. 1875; D. 2/8/1940 at Kings Daughters Hospital, age 65. Ave. 8, Lot 12.
Joseph L. Young; 310 South St. [Joseph Laville Young was a brother to Robert Finley Gayle's wife, May Jeannette Young.]

IV. VIRGINIUS WILTON (11/27/1852 - ??) married Ella Henderson on 10/3/1875. No children.
IV. CHARLES RANDOLPH (4/2/1854 - 6/25/1933, Portsmouth, VA) married Addie B. Foreman on 10/23/1884 and had children.
IV. MARY LOUISE (3/2/1856 - ??) married William Y. Lowe on 4 /25/1877 and had children William Randolph Lowe (12/20/1877 - ??) who married Mary Evelyn Herbert on 6/17/1902; Robert Gayle Lowe (4/4/1879 - 3/8/1953) who married Edith Scattergood on 6/4/1913; and Thomas Lester (9/8/1880 - 7/1/1881). Mary Louise Gayle Lowe loved sweets and would always ask what was for dessert - when later generations asked the same question, adults would answer, "Wait and see, Auntie Lowe!"
IV. ROBERT FINLEY (1/22/1858, Portsmouth, VA - 3/4/1940, Richmond, VA) married on 4/6/1882 to May Jeannette Young, daughter of Joseph Laville and Caroline Elethia Richardson Young.
IV. KENNETH HALL (6/7/1860 - 10/22/1926) married on 4/6/1885 to Irene Rodbird Young (?? - 6/24/1934), sister of May Jeannette Young, who married Robert Finley Gayle. They had two children.
IV. LESTER TEMPLETON (1/22/1863 - 7/3/1930) married in 1888 to Ruth V. Stores and had children.
IV. WILLIAM EDWARD BROWNLEY (9/13/1865 - 4/7/1929) married 6/28/1898 to India Sherwood (1875 - 2/8/1940), daughter of Smith and India Sherwood, and had a son, Laurence.
IV. ROSA GARRISON (12/21/1867 - 11/17/1935) married on 6/19/1901 to Captain Herbert Russell Brownley and had two children, Russell (9/8/1905 - ??) and Dorothy (3/14/1914 - ??) who married Phillip E. Manheimer on 11/16/1944 and had two sons, Phillip Russell and Rubert Brownley Manheimer. Herbert and Rosa Gayle Brownley lived at 1045 Holladay St., Portsmouth, Va.,
II. CHRISTOPHER GAYLE (Ca. 1798 - Ca. 1861) was born to Thomas and Susannah Smith Gayle around 1798. Christopher married (1) MARY JO DORTCH on 12/22/1825 in Mecklenberg County and had ten children before Mary's death. He then married (2) NANCY ANN H. JONES on 10/7/1846, also in Mecklenberg County. Christopher lived in the "old Gayle home" until 1835, then moved to Mecklenburg County and lived near Union Level. On 9/1/1826 he purchased 200 acres in Charlotte County from Peter S. Gayle in the fork of Moody's Branch and Bluestone Creek near his mother Susannah. The Osborne family lived nearby. On 9/9/1826 Christopher purchased, again from Peter S. Gayle, land in Charlotte County bounded by Ress Osborne, Henry Robertson and land formerly owned by Thomas Gayle, deceased. He also purchased land in Lunenberg County in 1791 and earlier. Christopher died around 1861.

III. PETER ALEXANDER (12/27/1826 - 1865, Gettysburg, Pa.)
III. HARRIETT ELIZABETH (10/9/1828 - ??) married William Land Hite, 11/14/1847, Mecklenberg Co.
III. MARIAH S. (9/9/1830 - ??)
III. MARY A. R. (7/16/1832 - ??)
III. NANCY J. (6/13/1834 - ??)
III. DAVID DORTCH (2/29/1836 - ??)
III. SARAH LENORAH (6/9/1838 - ??): married a Mr. Holmes
III. CHRISTOPHER THOMAS (6/1/1840 - 1865, Gettysburg)
III. VIRGINIA MARION (9/8/1842 - ??)
III. SAMUEL JORDAN (6/12/1844 - ??)

II. PETER SMITH GAYLE (1802 - 1853) was born on 5/30/l802 in Charlotte County, VA to Thomas and Susannah Smith Gayle of Kingston Parish. On 3/27/l823 Peter, who was baptized before his marriage, wed MARY ANN McCONNICO PETTUS (9/1/1804, Charlotte Co. - 11/26/1855, Jackson, Tenn.), daughter of William Pettus (6/1777 - 10/1841) and Sarah Lester Pettus (1779 - 1853). They had eight children whose names were recorded in the family Bible.

On 11/29/1822 Peter provided surety for the marriage of his cousin, Nancy J. Osborne, daughter of Philip and Elizabeth Gayle Osborne, to Gabriel G. Osborne. Thomas Goode, guardian of Gabriel Osborne, consented to the marriage. A plantation known as Ten Oaks, owned by Edward Goode of Charlotte County, adjoined the lands of Thomas Gayle, Washington Pettus and Captain Drury Allen Bacon. [In 1792 one John Gayle married Eleanora Goode, daughter of William Goode of Essex County. It was noted that the family were Baptists but no relationship has been found.]

On 9/1/1826 Peter S. Gayle sold the 200 acres owned by his father, at the fork of Moody's Branch and Bluestone Creek, to his brother Christopher. On 9/9/1826 he made another sale to Christopher of land in Charlotte bounded by Ress Osborne, Henry Robertson, and land formerly owned by his father. Sometime during this year Peter and Mary Ann moved to Tennessee and settled in Giles County where Peter was ordained as a minister. On 4/13/1827 Peter Smith Gayle acquired 45 ½ acres on Horsepen Creek in Charlotte County, land that was probably part of, or adjacent to, some of his father's land.

The following account of Peter Gayle's ministry was recorded in the book by J. J. Burnett, titled
Sketches of Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers.

In the early thirties (about '31 to '33) he was a pioneer minister and pastor in Nashville, predecessor of Dr. R. B. C. Howell, in the pastorate of the First Baptist Church. The church had suffered from the in­roads of Campbellism, having lost the larger part of its membership and its house of worship. Elder Gayle rallied and banded together the faithful and elect few (some seven or eight) and built up the church to a membership of something like forty, and turned the work over to other hands.

In 1836 he moved to Haywood County, in West Tennessee, taking charge of Russell Spring (now the Brownsville) Church. He was pastor of this and the Woodlawn Church, in the same county, for six or eight years, both of the churches prospering under his administration. In 1845 he moved to Denmark, Madison County, taking charge of the Jackson and Big Black (now Denmark) churches. In 1846 he became pastor of the First Church, Memphis, serving the church as pastor two years. The next three years he was pastor of Beale Street Church, a new interest just organized. He now moved to Madison County, Miss. and took charge of Mound Bluff and Clinton churches, serving them efficiently till his death, which occurred June 8, 1853, at the age of 51.

At the time of his death he was holding a meeting with the Clinton Church with great success, the church having already received for baptism some seventy-five persons and he himself having baptized fourteen of the candidates the day before his death. He had been heard to say many times: 'If it is the Lord's will for it to be so, I should like to die in the midst of a protracted meeting of great interest.' So it was that his wish and prayer were answered. The Clinton and Madison Masonic Lodges published very complimentary resolutions in regard to Elder Gayle, making mention of him as a "useful member of society, as a distinguished and devoted minister, and as having spent a handsome fortune in the service of his divine Master, in building churches, paying ministers, etc.

Elder Gayle was one of the originators of the first State Convention, organized at Mill Creek Church, Davidson County, 1833, and was the first president of the West Tennessee Convention. He was in the organization of the first Baptist education society in West Tennessee, formed at Brownsville, July 26, 1835, and became the agent of the same. In the agitations and divisions of the churches and associations in the thirties and forties, over mission and anti-mission, effort and anti-effort, questions Elder Gayle was known as an 'effort man,' being a zealous advocate of missions and education, 'performing more arduous labor and doing more for the Baptist cause, in the convention and throughout the state' than almost any other man. 'He was above medium size, somewhat stooped in his shoulders, of pleasing address, usually wearing a smile, especially while preaching. His whole soul seemed to be absorbed in his Master's business, but his smile and manner seemed to say, 'It is always pleasant to obey Jesus Christ.'

In 1838 Elder Gayle was requested by the Big Hutchie Association to prepare a circular letter to be read before the body at the next annual meeting. The letter called forth a good deal of discussion and opposition, and was finally rejected. At that time there was considerable confusion, uncertainty and suspicion in the public mind. Campbellism was rife in many places, and Hyper-Calvanism (Hardshellism) everywhere. These were like Scylla and Charybdis, in avoiding one you were liable to make wreck on the other. So Elder Gayle, I take it, in seeking to refute the errors of his anti­mission brethren, was suspected by some of falling into the opposite error of Campbellism. The four propositions of his letter are interesting, whether we consider them entirely defensible or not: "First, that Jehovah intends to save sinners; second, that he works by means; third, that all the knowledge of man is received through the senses; fourth, that all the means used by God are exerted on man through the senses." He defended his position from the charge of being Campbellistic by saying that "Campbellism denies the doctrine all Divine agency, other than that contained in the means alone, while his position declares God's truth and God's agency to be two things, the divine agency using and operating through the means (the Word of truth) to the accomplishment of the end, and without the Divine influence the means employed would never produce a single conversion." Living in an atmosphere of controversy, at a time when there was considerable excitement among Baptists over Boards, Conventions and Associations, Elder Gayle developed a penchant for polemical warfare, but his contention was always for Scriptural and New Testament practices. In an article in The Baptist (August, 1838), on the subject of a proposed "General Association" for the State, he stoutly opposed such an organization as a substitute for the State Convention till they had thoroughly tried out the convention idea. He urged his "brethren to be firm and zealous in their efforts to build up the Tennessee Baptist Convention, just as it was, without addition or diminution, as to its construction; also to foster three other societies, as nearly on the same plan as the Convention as possible: A Tennessee Baptist Bible Society, a Tennessee Baptist Foreign Missionary Society Auxiliary to the Baptist Triennial Convention for Foreign Missions, and a Tennessee Baptist Education Society." But he advises to "move cautiously and to walk in the truth, and nothing but the truth"; and as to certain heretics who had given trouble to the Baptists he says, "it would be anything else to me, to say as little as possible on the subject, than a cheering hope and pleasing anticipation to be identified with them.
(Burnett, J .J.)

Almira Elizabeth Susannah Gayle M. William F. Still - 5/28/l844
Sarah Lester Gayle M. Henry G. Dent - l0/30/l85l, Memphis, TN.
William H. Gayle M. Ann L. Atkins - l2/l8/l85l; Monroe, LA.
Fannie Jane Gayle M. Samuel M. Jobe - 5/3/l855; Memphis, TN.
Virginia Margaret Gayle M. Alonzo R. McWilliams - 2/26/l856, Memphis, TN.
Thomas Christopher Gayle M. Mary Ann Eckford - 3/5/l857; Memphis, TN. Mary Ann D. 5/l2/l858
Peterella Smith Gayle M. L. Burkett Haughton - 5/99/l860; Jackson, TN.
Thomas Christopher Gayle M. Mary H. Collier - l/30/l861; Paris, TN.

Peter Smith Gayle died on 6/8/1853 at Clinton, Hinds County, Mississippi. And appraisal of his estate made on 4/26/1854 listed his slaves as KITTY [SICELEY?] & Child NANCY $800.00; TONEY, Negro boy $750.00; CHARLES, Negro boy $350.00; and CENY [CERA] Old woman $150.00. Peter and Mary Ann Gayle are buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Memphis, Tennessee, along with six of their children, Almira Still, Thomas Gayle, Sarah Gayle Dent, Mary Ann Gayle, Fanny Gayle Jobe, and Peterella Gayle Haughton.

III. THOMAS CHRISTOPHER (l/3l/l824 - 1885, buried in Memphis 11/5/1885) married (1) Mary Ann Eckford (?? - 5/12/1858) on 3/5/1857 at Memphis, TN. After her death he married (2) Mary H. Collier on l/30/l861 at Paris, TN.
III. ALMIRA ELIZABETH SUSANNAH (l/l4/l826 - 2/ll/l887, Jackson, TN.) married William F. Still on 5/28/1844.
III. WILLIAM HENRY (3/l4/l828 - l0/4/l867, Louisiana) married Ann L. Atkins on l2/l8/l85l at Monroe, LA and was a member of the mercantile firm of Atkins and Gayle.
III. SARAH LESTER (5/5/l830 - ??) married Henry G. Dent on l0/30/l85l, Memphis, TN.
III. MARY ANN MCCONNICO (8/6/l832 - 7/20/l847)
III. FANNY JANE (7/23/l834 - 6/l9/l899, New Market, KY.) married Samuel M. Jobe on 5/3/l855 at Memphis, TN.
III. VIRGINIA MARGARET (l0/4/l836 - l/5/l886, Blue Mountain, Miss.) married Alonzo R. McWilliams on 2/26/l856 at Memphis, TN.
III. PETERELLA SMITH (l/29/l840, Haywood Co., TN - 7/6/1904, Prescott, Arkansas) married Lemuel Burkett Haughton on 5/9/1860 at Jackson, TN. An infant son was born and died the same day.


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Sally Reed, May Louise, Carrie Young, Robert Finley Jr.,Young Kenneth Gayle
Collection of Gayle N. Mandell
IV. KENNETH HALL GAYLE (1860 - 1926) was born on 6/7/1860 to Robert Finley and May Jeannette Young Gayle. On 4/6/1885 he married IRENE RODBIRD YOUNG (?? - 6/24/1934), sister of May Jeannette Young, wife of Robert Finley Gayle. They had two children. Kenneth Hall Gayle died on 10/22/1926.

V. IRENE YOUNG (6/2/1889 - ??) married William Edward Pettit on 9/18/1937. Irene was the Director of a Norfolk chapter of the Red Cross. She and William had no children and lived at an apartment on Princess Anne Road in Norfolk.
V. KENNETH HALL, JR. (10/26/1901 - ??) married Mary Jackson on 4/18/1924. Their daughter was Jeanne Jackson Gayle (3/6/1930 - ??) who married on 10/27/1951 to Willis Kelly.
Joseph Young Gayle
Thomas Elliott Edwards, Sr. (1/13/1792 - 10/23/1857) was born in England to Charles and Sarah Edwards. He came to Mathews County as a young man with his brother, Robert, and was a mariner, a farmer, and served as sheriff during the early 1800s. He was married four times and had 14 children. He married (1) Lucy Ann Jones Baytop Respess (1797 - 1821) on 2/5/1814 and had five children; Henry, John S., Charles A., Thomas Roland and Sarah F. Edwards (7/25/1819 - 10/16/1897) who married Francis Armistead (9/5/1809 - 9/12/1896), a local merchant and the first known owner of the property known as
Palace Green. According to records he was the last surviving partner of Tompkins, Armistead, and Diggs. He appears on the 1872 land Tax records as the owner of a store lot and building at Mathews Courthouse with a Mr. Jarvis.

In 1829 Thomas married (2) Martha Frances Peyton Hudgins Gayle (1792 - 1833), widow of John Gayle, and had two sons, Thomas and Roland. Both sons died in infancy, along with Martha, in a smallpox epidemic in 1833. Their home,
Edwards Hall, also called the Bohannon House, still stands on Route 14 just outside of Mathews Courthouse. The current house was built ca. 1840 and is listed with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources as property #57-10.

Edwards Hall, photo 2003, Gayle N. Mandell
Descendants of Thomas Gayle (1750 - 1824)
II. JOHN GALE/GAYLE (Est. 1770s - 1829) was born in Kingston Parish sometime during the 1770s. It is the opinion of this writer that he was the son of Robert and Sarah Gayle and brother to Robert, Josiah, and Elizabeth Gayle. He appears on tax records beginning in 1805 as "John, son of Robert," and is shown with 12 1/2 acres of land on East River until 1819. Sometime before 1815 John married MARTHA FRANCES PEYTON HUDGINS (4/10/1792 - 12/21/1833), daughter of William Houlder Hudgins (6/12/1771 - 8/15/1815) and granddaughter of Houlder Hudgins (1738 - 1815) and Mary Hunley. Martha's great-grandparents were James and Mary Morgan Hunley who married in York County and her great-great-grandparents were Captain Philip Hunley and his wife Ann Pettus who owned land adjacent to Matthew Gayle's 1672 grant. Although John's birthdate is estimated he was obviously much older than Martha Frances.

THE HUDGINS FAMILY appeared in Gloucester in the person of HOULDER HUDGINS I (1/18/1738, Liverpool, England - 12/12/1815), son of William Thomas and Mary Anne Houlder Hudgins, who established a plantation in Kingston Parish known as
Clifton, built sometime during the 1770s. It was inherited by descendants but burned to the ground in 1877. Houlder Hudgins married five times, first to (1) Mary Hunley (3/8/1751 - abt. 1773) on 1/27/1769. Their two children were William Houlder Hudgins (6/12/1771 - 8/15/1815), father of Martha Frances, and Ann Willis "Nancy" Hudgins (ca. 1773 - ca. 1841), Martha's aunt. Houlder married (2) Mary Gwynn (ca. 1747 - ca. 1793) on 5/8/1774 and had children, John Lewis Hudgins (ca. 1775 - ??), Thomas Hudgins (3/14/1778 - 12/10/1862) and Mary Gwynn Hudgins (ca. 1790 - ca. 1845). On 11/5/1794 Houlder married (3) Elizabeth "Betsey" Anderson (ca. 1774 - ca. 1807) and had four children, Ariadne Elizabeth (9/26/1796 - 2/12/1854), Robert Scott Hudgins (7/1/1797 - ca. 1859), Houlder Hudgins II (10/2/1799 - 7/10/1868) and Moses Hudgins (?? - before 1815). Hudgins married (4) Sarah Hollier, the widow of John Moore, and (5) Harriet Cluverius. One daughter, Charlotte, was born to Houlder and Harriet Cluverius Hudgins.

Martha Frances Gayle's father, William, witnessed a Bill of Sale on 7/16/1804 from Levin Gordon of York County to John Gayle for "all my stock and household and kitchen furniture." The other witness was George Armistead. (Mathews County, DB7/452) On 6/11/1805 JOHN GAYLE and FRANCES, HIS WIFE, and JOSIAH GAYLE, THE ONLY SONS OF ROBERT GAYLE, DECEASED, sold 54 acres of Robert's land to John Patterson. On 8/18/1808 William Holder Hudgen (sic) appeared as a witness from Gloucester for James Marnex, adm. for Levin Gordon, deceased, in a suit in York County brought by Robert Triford. On 11/21/1808 and 3/20/1809 the court in the above mentioned case ordered that John Gayle be paid $1.59 for three days and .53 for one day of attending court.

Martha was the favorite granddaughter of Houlder Hudgins of
Clifton, who did not approve of Martha's marriage to Gayle because he felt that John mistreated his slaves. In his will, dated 2/20/1815 and recorded 2/12/1816, Houlder Hudgins noted that a portion of his estate was to be equally divided among his children and their descendants, …except however my grand daughter Martha P. Gayle, should she inherit anything from my provision in this will, my desire is that my executors retain it in their possession, and apply the profits arising from it yearly to her use so long as she shall renounce all connection and intercourse with John Gayle, but should John Gayle die or my grand daughter Martha P. Gayle marry again my wish is that my executors should not with-hold the principal from her. (Will of Houlder Hudgins I, Mathews County WB1/24-28)

John Gayle was a mariner, a plantation owner, and served as a member of a Light Horse Company during the War of 1812. He owned UN-NAMED SLAVES and at least one schooner, the
Martha, probably named for his wife and listed on 6/26/1825 in the account ledger of Christopher Tompkins. He died by 1829 when Martha Frances married CAPTAIN THOMAS ELLIOTT EDWARDS (1792 - 1857) in Mathews County on 10/29/1829. They had two sons, Thomas and Roland, who both died in infancy, along with Martha, in a smallpox epidemic in 1833. She was buried in the Billups Cemetery off Route 643.
Following Thomas Gayle's death Susannah sent his commission papers to Washington in order to receive a pension. The deposition below, dated 5/13/1857, of Nancy Coleman, one of Thomas' step-daughters, was transcribed from microfilm at the National Archives.

I, Nancy Coleman, do hereby certify that I was personally acquainted with Thomas Gayle who served in the Revolution. I became acquainted with the said Thomas Gayle some time during the year Seventeen Hundred and ninety-six and was present at his marriage with Mrs. Susanna P. Brown in Mathews County, VA., sometime in November of the same year. I then lived in his family eighteen years and have seen his discharge and heard him read it to his friends.

Frequently, and further certify that Sarah S. Crowder is a daughter of the said Thomas Gayle who died in May of the year Eighteen hundred and twenty-four, and his wife, Susana P. Gayle died in January of the year Eighteen Hundred and fifty-four. Given under my hand this 13th May, 1857. Signed…Nancy Coleman, Haywood County, Tennessee.

The names of two of Thomas' children appeared in the merchant book of Baldwin & Foster in Mathews. Listed between the years 1849 and 1868 were John Gayle of Thomas and Nancy Gayle of Thomas. In 1850 Susannah Gayle, age 92, appears on the Charlotte County census with Caroline Gayle, 35, born in Halifax; and Moses Eudaily, 25, Overseer, born in Charlotte.

Susannah Gayle died in Charlotte County on 1/18/1854 at age 97. Her will of November, 1842 stipulated that her children and grandchildren share equally in her estate.


In the name of God amen, I Susannah P. Gayle of the County of Charlotte and the State of Virginia, being of sound mind and memory, do make, constitute and ordain this my last will and testament and at the same time thereby voiding all other wills ever made by me do dispose of my property in the following manner to wit:

Item 1. It is my will and desire that first of all my just debts be paid.

Item 2. Christopher Gayle has received $530, James Coleman has received $457, Thomas Gayle has received $312, Warner Brown has received 308.30, Peter S. Gayle has received $300, Robert Brown has received nothing.

Item 3. To lawful of Sally Crowder's body I give my tract of land containing 86 acres more or less lying in Haywood County, West Tennessee to be received by them at cost as part of legacy from my estate, notice this considering the said land shall be reserved exclusively for a home for Sally Crowder during her life and my desire is that the said children shall receive on legatees part of my estate in like manner to be equally divided between them at the death of their mother, but that the whole legacy shall be reserved for the support of Sally Crowder during her life.

Item 4. My will and desire is that all my children or lawful heirs of their bodies shall share equally in my estate in what they may have received or may hereafter receive and if my estate should nat be sufficient to make them equal that those who have received shall refund so much of the amount previously received as shall make the others equal with them.

Item 5. It is my desire that my two daughters namely Nancy Coleman and Sally Crowder shall divide my wearing clothes between themselves.

Item 6. I do hereby nominate and appoint my sons Thomas Gayle and Christopher Gayle my executors to this my last will and testament signed this day of November one thousand eight hundred and forty-two.

Susannah P. Gayle (seal)

In the presences of Francis Barnes,
John H. Bruce, Erasmus Johnson
Larkin James Brownley
Tombstone of George M. & Elizabeth F. Gayle Burwell, Burwell - Gayle Cemetery
Map of Burwell - Gayle Cemetery (
II. THOMAS GAYLE, JR. (1796 -1856) was born to Thomas and Susanna Smith Brown Gayle on 7/27/1796 in Charlotte County, VA. Thomas married ELIZABETH COLEMAN (8/20/1796 - 1/4/1868) of Mecklenburg, VA, daughter of Obediah Coleman. The marriage bond was dated 12/8/1819 and James Coleman provided surety. The couple had three children.

In 10/5/1829 Thomas and Elizabeth purchased 283 acres of land on the South Meherrin River from John and Elizabeth Gregory described as adjoining John Gregory, the estate of Edward Jones, deceased, Lewis Burwell and others. It belonged to John's son, Jackson Gregory, who moved to North Carolina. The deed was acknowledged by John Knight and Robert Saunders, Justices of the Peace, Lunenburg County. (Mecklenburg County, DB 24/29). On 1/20/1832 Thomas purchased the balance of the tract belonging to John Gregory described as 267 acres adjoining Thomas Gayle, John Bigger, and land belonging to the estate of Edward Jones, deceased. (Mecklenburg County, DB 25/44) He operated a farm on the property, near Finneywood Creek in Mecklenburg. In 1841 Col. Lyddal Bacon (1794-1875) purchased a 497 acre tract known as
Ten Oaks from the estate of Edward Goode of Charlotte County. The tract adjoined the land of Thomas Gayle, Washington Pettus and Captain Drury Allen Bacon. Ten Oaks burned in 1900 and another house was built on the same foundation. That structure also burned and a third house was built, but today only the foundation remains. [See Map below.]

In 1850 Thomas Gayle, wife Elizabeth and daughter Sarah Gayle, aged 18, were listed on the census for Christiansville District, Mecklenburg County. Daughter Elizabeth was not in the household as she had married the previous year. Five years later, on 1/11/1855, Thomas wrote his will, proved in February of 1856 by John S. R. Burwell, William T. Roberts, and William A. Gregory. He named his daughters Elizabeth F Burwell, to whom he left land, slaves, and other property in possession of husband George W. Burwell, and Sarah A. S. Gayle. He left his lands and personal property to his wife Elizabeth. After her death their daughter, Elizabeth F. Boswell [?Burwell], was to receive half the estate with the other half to Thomas' brothers and sisters, ie: Nancy Coleman, Christopher Gayle, Sally Crowder and Peter S. Gayle. Their daughter Sarah was to take the "mansion house plantation" of about 1,050 acres. Named executors were George W. Burwell and John Y. Richards. (Charlotte County, WB 18/425-427)

Thomas Gayle died on 2/4/1856 and Elizabeth on 1/4/1868. Both were buried, with other family members, in the Burwell Family Cemetery. Other burials include George W. Burwell, MD (6/12/1823 - 6/16/1873) and Elizabeth Fanny Gayle Burwell (10/17/1827 - 8/2/1872), both on same gravestone, and their three children, Mary E. (1/3/1852 - 8/15/1862) and two infants, (1/5/1851 - 1/12/1851) and (4/5/1856 - 8/22/1856). Other internments included Jordan C. Gayle (4/19/1824 - 9/1/1847, age 23); Thomas Gayle (7/27/1796 - 2/4/1856); Elizabeth Gayle (8/20/1796 - 1/4/1868); Sarah A. S. Bruce (Sarah A. S. Gayle who married George A. Bruce) - (10/8/1833 - 4/23/1870).

III. ELIZABETH FANNY (10/27/1827 - 8/2/1872) married George Washington Burwell, a physician, planter and businessman of Mecklenburg County, on 8/30/1849. The marriage bond was dated 8/30/1849 and surety was provided by William A. Burwell. George W. and Elizabeth Burwell appear on the 1870 Census of Mecklenburg with children Thomas G. 16; Sarah E. 11; Frances S. 10; George L.; Henry I, 6; all ll born in Virginia, except George W. Burwell, who was born in North Carolina. [See The George W. Burwell Papers, #4291, Manuscripts Department, Library of UNC at Chapel Hill, Southern Historical Collection]
III. SARAH A. S. GAYLE (ca: 1832 - ??)
III. JORDAN C. (4/18/1824 - 1845, at age 21)

I. CAPTAIN ROBERT FRANCIS GAYLE (ABT. 1745 - 1782) was born in England around 1745 and immigrated to Virginia with his parents and brother Thomas (1750 - 1824) sometime in the 1750s. The family settled in Kingston Parish, then part of Gloucester County, where brothers Mathias (1754/55 - 1794) and George (1755/56 - ??) were born, and there were probably other siblings. In 1768 Robert married SARAH GAYLE (a cousin, according to family tradition). The Kingston Parish register recorded the births of children, Robert Jr., Elizabeth and Josiah. Another child, John, is indicated by a land transaction in 1805. [See below]

On 11/27/1773 Robert purchased two parcels totaling 88 acres from WILLIAM & ANN HALL TOMPKINS. JOHN GAYLE paid 70 cents to record the deed. The first tract of 40 acres was bounded by THOMAS GAYLE, WILLIAM HUDGINS and JAMES HUNLEY
(Living 1735) who was a son of PHILIP HUNLEY and the father of CALEB HUNLEY (Abt. 1735 - 1797) who married Elizabeth Smith and appeared next to WILLIAM & ANN HALL TOMPKINS on the 1790 census. Caleb's brother, James Hunley, married Mary Morgan. His sister, Mary Hunley (1742 - 1772), was the first wife of Houlder Hudgins. Both the families of Caleb Hunley and Houlder Hudgins were neighors of Captain Robert Gayle (1745 - 1783). NOTE: On 5/17/1733 the property of Matthew Gale of Gloucester was surveyed by Robert Perry and his family went to live in Spotsylvania County. Forty years later, on 11/27/1773, CAPTAIN ROBERT GAYLE (1745 - 1782) purchased 88 acres in Kingston Parish in two parcels from WILLIAM & ANN HALL TOMPKINS next to CALEB HUNLEY. BOUNDARIES: (1) 40 acres: WILLIAM & ANN TOMKINS to ROBERT GAYLE beginning at a corner holly standing in THOMAS GAYLE'S line to a corner point in WILLIAM HUGINS (sic) line to a corner maple in JAMES HUNLEY'S line to a corner point in Thomas Gayle's line and from there to the beginning place. (2) 48 acres: Beginning at a corner point in WILLIAM HUDGINS line to a white oak, E to a white oak in JOHN PARSON'S corner to the Bever (sic) dam and then to Thomas Gayle's corner to the corner holly to the beginning place. JOHN GALE, obviously a relative, paid 70 cents to record the deed. The names of the owners of neighboring properties and the reference to the beaver dam indicates this tract may have been a portion of the original grant to Matthew Gayle

The second tract of 48 acres was bounded by WILLIAM HUDGINS, JOHN PARSONS, THE BEVER (sic) DAM and THOMAS GAYLE. This evidence, particularly the mention of the beaver dams, suggests that Robert's land was a portion of the original 1672 grant to Matthew Gayle.

This Indenture made this twenty-seventh day of November one thousand Hundred & seventy-three between William Tomkins and Ann his wife of the parish of Kingston of the county of Gloucester of Colony of Virginia on the one part & Robert Gayle of the aforementioned parish, county & colony of the other part witnesseth that the said William Tomkins and Ann his wife for and in consideration of the sum ninety eight pounds fifteen shillings current money of Virginia to them in hand paid by the said Robert Gayle the receipt whereof they the said William Tomkins and Ann his wife doth hereby acknowledge have given granted bargained and sold and by those presents do give grant bargain sell release & confirm unto the said Robert Gayle his Heirs Exors and assigns forever certain tract or parcel of Land the first containing forty acres lying and being in the parish of Kingston and county of Gloucester beginning at a corner holly standing in Thomas Gayles line from thence South forty five poles to a corner point in William Hudgins line thence South eighty seven degrees West, one hundred and thirty poles to a corner maple in James Hunleys line thence North fifty six poles to a corner point in Thomas Gayle and from there to the beginning place together with all its rights and privilege & the second beginning at a corner point in William Hudgins line thence North eighty six degrees East forty poles South, five and half degrees West, one hundred and eighteen poles to a white oak, thence North seventy one degrees East forty five poles to a white oak in John Parsons corner thence South eighty five degrees West twenty poles North, twelve degrees West ninety eight and half poles to the Bever dam (see references below) thence to Thomas Gayles corner, thence South twelve degrees West Seventy five poles to the corner Holly thence South forty five poles to the Beginning place inclosing forty eight acres more or less together with all water and water ways, woods, houses, fences, orchards, or all other improvements thereon being to have and to hold the said Land and all the appurtenances there unto or belonging or in any ways apper… unto the said Robert Gayle his Heirs and assigns forever and the said William Tomkins and Ann his wife doth for themselves and their Heirs covenant and agree with the said Robert Gayle that they the said William Tomkins and Ann his wife & their Heirs the above granted Land & premises with all its right and privilege unto the said Robert Gayle his Heirs and assigns against all and every person and persons warrant and forever s……

In Witness whereof the said William Tomkins and Ann his wife hath hereunto sett there hands and seals
William Tomkins
Signed Sealed
In the presence of
Duncan Miller
James Hunley
Richard Callis

At a Court held for Gloucester County on the 7th day of April, 1774
This indenture was this day in open court proved to be the act and deed of William Tomkins by the oaths of Duncan Miller, James Hunley and Richard Callis witnesses thereto and by the court committed to record and is recorded…Signed Thomas Nelson

(Deed of Robert Gayle courtesy of Jean Gayle. Manuscripts Department, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va. 22901 - Accession No. of Collection: CF 3523; Box #CF; Folder Date(s): 1773 --1877; Heading: Richard Foster Family, 1773 - 1877, CF 3523; items relating to the estate of Richard Foster, merchant & planter of Mathews County & his family, 1773 - 1877 including Robert Gayle's deed).

8/19/1672: PHILIP HUNLEY'S GRANT #2: 460 acres beginning at Philip Hunley's landing place (Grant #1) on Pudding Creek adjoining RICHARD LONG & MARK FOSTER.
10/8/1672: MATTHEW GAYLE'S GRANT: 284 acres in Kingston Parish along the back line of Philip Hunley.
9/26/1678: JOHN CALLIS' GRANT: 620 acres at the "head of the BEAVER DAMMS damms adjoining MATTHEW GAYLE."
9/26/1678: JOHN DEGGES GRANT: 1800 acres: A "Track of land & BEAVER DAMS lying twixt and bounded round" with the lands of SMITHERS, ISAAC FOSTER, WM. SMITH, PETER STERLING, MR. HAMPTON, MATTHEW GAYLE to the head of Sandy Branch and including 150 acres known as Lucas's Neck and granted to ROBERT BEVERLY in 1673. The Degge patent mentions "Mathews (sic) Gayles Corner Chesnutt tree at ye head of beaver dams."
[The dams were the headwaters of Garden Creek. And the area in Mathews known as Beaverlett, located between Garden Creek and East River, is northwest of the property known as Poplar Grove.]
1683: DEGGES, RE-SURVEY of 1425 acres noted tract was adjacent to MATTHEW GAYLE, JOHN GARNETT, and MR. HAMPTON.
ABT. 1735: CALEB HUNLEY (Abt. 1735 - 1797) was born, grandson of PHILIP & ANNE PETTUS HUNLEY. Caleb married ELIZABETH SMITH. His brother JAMES HUNLEY married MARY MORGAN. [SEE ENTRY BELOW FOR 9/11/1770)
1738: HOULDER HUDGINS I (1738 - 1815) was born. He married MARY HUNLEY (1742 - 1772), sister of CALEB HUNLEY (above), as his first wife.
1745: ROBERT GAYLE BORN (1745 - 1783), Captain in the Revolutionary War, married Sarah (Unknown).

1759: JOSEPH DIGGS JR. (1759 - ABT. 1822) born to DR. JOSEPH & ANNE ATWOOD DIGGS of
Fair Oaks on the Mathews side of East River, married (1) SARAH BEVERLEY and (2) JANE TOMPKINS (Abt. 1775 - 1845), daughter of WILLIAM & ANN TOMPKINS. Jane's brother was WILLIAM TOMPKINS JR. who received a portion of his father's land near the line of WILLIAM HUDGINS. .
9/11/1770: JOHN GAYLE (EST. 1720-30 - 1790), SON OF JOSEPH GAYLE, acquired 341 acres on East River with JOHN DAVIS, formerly property of CALEB HUNLEY (Abt. 1735 - 1797). BOUNDARIES: Mouth of Pudding Creek -- marked pine in JNO. GAYLE'S CORNFIELD -- marked beech -- a corner white oak of this land & JOSHUA GAYLE'S ESTATE -- another white oak corner of this land -- Joshua Gayle's estate & JARVIS PEED -- a large marked pine near the EAST RIVER. [The acreage was listed in 1782, 1784 and 1787: listed as 122 acres, 124 acres, and 205 acres, respectively. Between 1788 and 1790, LEAVEN GAYLE (1763 - 1827), John's son, inherited 205 acres shown in 1794 as 124 acres. On 12/18/1794, LEAVEN GAYLE sold 123 acres to Richard Billups.]
11/27/1773: CAPTAIN ROBERT GAYLE (1745 - 1783) purchased 88 acres in two parcels from WILLIAM & ANN HALL TOMPKINS next to CALEB HUNLEY. BOUNDARIES: (1) 40 acres: Beginning at a corner holly standing in THOMAS GAYLE'S line, from thence South 45 poles to a corner point in WILLIAM HUDGINS' line, thence South 87 degrees West, 130 poles to a corner maple in JAMES HUNLEY'S line, thence North 56 poles to a corner point in THOMAS GAYLE and from there to the beginning place. (2) 48 acres: Beginning at a corner point in WILLIAM HUDGINS line, thence North 86 degrees East, 40 poles South, 5 1/2 degrees West, 118 poles to a white oak, thence North 71 degrees, East 45 poles to a white oak in JOHN PARSONS' corner, thence South 85 degrees, West 20 poles North, 12 degrees West, 98 1/2 poles to the BEVER DAM , thence to THOMAS GAYLE'S corner, thence South to the corner Holly, then South to the Beginning place inclosing 48acres more or less together with all water and water ways, woods, houses, fences, orchards, or all other improvements thereon…[JOHN GALE paid 70 cents to record the deed.]
1783: ROBERT GAYLE'S ESTATE: 135 acres. Adjacent properties were CALEB HUNLEY & HOULDER HUDGINS.
1790: The census for this year shows Robert's property adjoining WILLIAM & ANN HALL TOMPKINS; JAMES & MARY MORGAN HUNLEY and HOULDER HUDGINS I (1738 - 1815) & WIFE MARY HUNLEY HUDGINS. It also shows CALEB HUNLEY (Abt. 1735 - 1797), grandson of Philip Hunley and Anne Pettus Hunley, next to WILLIAM & ANN HALL TOMPKINS. Caleb married Elizabeth Smith and his brother, James Hunley, married Mary Morgan. Their sister, Mary Hunley (1742 - 1772), was the first wife of Houlder Hudgins. .
*11/13/1797: JOSEPH DIGGS JR. (1759 - Abt. 1822) & JANE TOMPKINS DIGGS (Abt. 1765 - 1845): Acquired 25 acres on East River in a "friendly" chancery suit against WILLIAM B. TOMPKINS & ANN DYER, an infant under the age of 21, defendants, for 22 acres formerly owned by William Tompkins Sr. and his sons JOHN & WILLIAM TOMPKINS. BOUNDARIES: JOHN B. HUNLEY on the East and WILLIAM B. TOMPKINS on the West.
**11/13/1797: WILLIAM B. TOMPKINS & ANN DYER inherited 53 acres as legatees of WILLIAM & JOHN TOMPKINS, deceased, under a "friendly" chancery suit between JOSEPH DIGGS and his wife JANE TOMKINS DIGGS, & WILLIAM B. TOMPKINS & ANN DIER, who was then an infant. BOUNDARIES: SOUTH: A creek leading to JOHN B. HUNLEY'S LANDING; NORTH: MAIN ROAD & THOMAS HALL'S LAND; EAST: Land Patterson purchased from Joseph & Jane Degges (sic), WEST: Land Patterson purchased from JOHN GAYLE. Witnesses: MATTHIAS GAYLE, AELIN (sic) SHIELDS, ROBT. B. ______, FRANCIS ARMISTEAD, WILLIAM B. TOMPKINS, MARY TOMPKINS, ANN DYER.
1800: ANN DIER, JOSEPH DIGGS & WILLIAM TOMPKINS: 53 acres apportioned as follows: 14 acres owned by ANN DIER, 23 acres owned by WILLIAM TOMPKINS, and 16 acres owned by JOSEPH DIGGS: BOUNDARIES: Beginning at a corner in JOS. & H. GAYLE, to a corner in JNO. GAYLE, to a corner in said line near GAYLE'S DWELLING HOUSE, by the SHIP YARD to the CREEK, to JNO. & JAS. HUNDLEY, to a corner white gum on the MAIN ROAD and along the road to the beginning.
1800: ANN DIER, JOSEPH DIGGS & WILLIAM TOMPKINS: 37 acres apportioned as follows: 21 acres owned by WILLIAM TOMPKINS, 8 acres owned by ANN DIER, and 8 acres owned by JOSEPH DEGGS: BOUNDARIES: Beginning at a red oak stump & holly tree, to a corner in DEGGS & GAYLES line, to a corner in GAYLE & HUNDLEY, to a corner on an old ditch in HUNDLEY'S LINE, to a corner on a ditch bank in THOMAS HALL'S line, to the beginning.
(Tompkins Family Papers, C. Billups survey, Plat of Anne Dier, Wm. Tompkins & Joseph Diggs, ca. 1800, Mss1T5996 c57-58, Virginia Historical Society)
4/1/1805: MATTHEW GAYLE'S COMMISSIONERS & DISTRIBUTEES [PETER FOSTER, JR., RICHARD BROWN, GEORGE BROWN, JOSHUA GAYLE BROWN, JOSHUA GAYLE, SR., HUNLEY GAYLE, JOSHUA GAYLE, JR. (1782 - 1818) and NANCY GAYLE, the last two being children and distributes of Matthew/Matthias Gayle, deceased] sold three parcels of land "of which Matthew Gayle died seized" to JOHN PATTERSON. BOUNDARIES: (1) One moiety: Point of land called the SLAVE LAND at the head of WAREHOUSE CREEK where the DWELLLING HOUSE STANDS, lying to the southward of the MAIN COUNTY ROAD leading to Point Comfort. (2) 4 ¾ acres east of the main road & bounded by a corner mulberry on the MAIN ROAD IN JOSEPH GAYLES LINE near his gate to GAYLES CORNER on the land of JOSHUA & MATTHEW GAYLE of which this piece is part; a corner in the land purchased by PATTERSON of JOSHUA & HUNLEY GAYLE, a corner on the MAIN ROAD and along the said road to the beginning. (3) 1 ¾ acres at a corner in JOSEPH GAYLE'S LINE along the line to an agreed corner between PATTERSON & WILLIAM RESPESS. [Respess purchased the balance of the tract extending 20' to the North side of Patterson's Ditch, running parallel with the ditch to the corner intersecting a line dividing the land in the swamp between the land purchased from JOSHUA & HUNLEY GAYLE by PATTERSON and that part of the land belonging to MATTHEW GAYLE, deceased. In 1811 JOHN RESPESS, son of RICHARD RESPESS SR. (?? - 1806) and his wife LUCY GAYLE (married in 1756), sold 1 ½ acres of land extending from the creek to the main road to JOHN PATTERSON. This tract is the site of Tompkins Cottage.]
5/2/1805: WILLIAM B. TOMPKINS JR. sold 4 acres, part of a tract formerly owned by William Tompkins, Sr., deceased, to JOHN PATTERSON, BOUNDARIES: NORTH by MAIN ROAD, EAST by WILLIAM B. TOMPKINS, SOUTH by ANN,NANCY DYER/DIER'S land, WEST by GAYLE'S land beginning at a corner red oak stump in JOSHUA & MATT GAYLE'S line, south to east on the MAIN ROAD and corner at the road southeast to a corner on the side of the MAIN ROAD in GAYLE & TOMPKINS line near THOMAS HALL and running in a direction with the dividing line between THOMAS HALL & HUNLEY GAYLE to a marked corner on TOMPKIN'S ditch to intersect the one between JOHN GAYLE'S & TOMPKINS land. Witnesses: FRANCIS ARMISTEAD, JAMES BOOKER, & WILL WHITE.
6/11/1805: JOHN GAYLE & FRANCES, HIS WIFE, & JOSIAH GAYLE, the "ONLY SONS OF ROBERT GAYLE, DECEASED," sold 54 acres to JOHN PATTERSON, "whereon the said Robert Gayle deceased resided, of which was given by the said Robert to his said SON JOHN by his last will & Testament duly published & recorded in the worshipful Court of Gloster County and by a survey made in March 1804 by Christopher Billups." BOUNDARIES: [Same as in the survey conducted when Robert received his land in 1773]: (A) Corner on the creek in JOSEPH DEGGE'S line at the SHIPYARD to (B) a corner sycamore stump (now not seen) on JOSEPH DEGGES & NANCY DYER'S LINES to (C) a corner in the said NANCY DYER'S LINE to (D) a corner on the lines of JOSHUA & MATT GAYLE & WILLIAM TOMPKINS, "called in an old survey the Red Oak Stump, but not to be seen at this day," then running on the said JOSHUA & MATT GAYLE'S LINE down the branch to a pine stump near the stave (sic) landing upon the head of the creek commonly called WAREHOUSE CREEK then down the Warehouse Creek & up the creek commonly called HUNLEY'S CREEK, "to their several meanders," and with the shore of EAST RIVER between the mouths of said creeks to the beginning place. WITNESSES: WM. WHITE, FRANCIS ARMISTEAD, JOHN _____.
(Tompkins Family Papers, Deeds, MssIT5996c28-37, Virginia Historical Society.
*1/16/1808: JOSEPH & JANE TOMPKINS DIGGS sold 22 acres (above) to JOHN PATTERSON. BOUNDARIES: EAST/ JOHN B. HUNLEY, WEST/WILLIAM TOMPKINS and allotted to Degges in right of his wife, JANE TOMPKINS DEGGS. (Indenture of Joseph Degges & Jane to John Patterson, 25 acres, Christopher Tompkins' Papers, Mss1T5996c32, Virginia Historical Society)
APPORTIONED AS FOLLOWS: 14 acres to ANN DIER, 23 acres to WILLIAM TOMPKINS, 16 acres to JOSEPH DIGGS. BOUNDARIES: A corner in JOS. & H. GAYLE to a corner in JNO. GAYLE to a corner in said line near GAYLE'S DWELLING HOUSE, running east by the SHIP YARD to the CREEK and meandering east to JNO. & JAS. HUNDLEY to a corner white gum on the MAIN ROAD and along the road to the beginning.
**1/16/1808: WILLIAM B. & MARY TOMPKINS & NANCY DYER sold 53 acres (above) to JOHN PATTERSON. BOUNDARIES: SOUTH/a creek leading to JOHN B. HUNLEY'S LANDING, NORTH/ MAIN ROAD & THOMAS HALL'S LAND, EAST/PATTERSON'S land purchased from JOSEPH & JANE DIGGS, W/PATTERSON'S land purchased from JOHN GAYLE. Witnesses included MATTHIAS GAYLE, AELIN (sic) SHIELDS, ROBT. B. ______, FRANCIS ARMISTEAD, WILLIAM B. TOMPKINS, MARY TOMPKINS, ANN DYER. (Indenture of William B. Tompkins & wife Mary to John Patterson, 53 acres, 1/16/1808, Christopher Tompkins' Papers, Mss1T5996C33, Virginia Historical Society).
1811 - 1814: JOHN & JOSIAH GAYLE [ROBERT'S SONS] appear in the Mathews County land tax records with 69 1/2 acres of land on the East River. They were also listed in 1817 but no acreage was given.
5/21/1821: MRS. WHITE sold to BARTLETT WHITE 4 2/3 acres. BOUNDARIES: Beginning at a corner to ROBERT WESTON'S land to ROBERT GAYLE'S land to a marked pine, to a marked chestnut, to a marked red oak, to a corner gum to Hawkins' line to a sassafras stump, to Hawkins corner to a stake, to MRS. WHITE'S LAND and a ditch bank. [Assumed to be Paulina White Gayle]
1827: ROBERT GAYLE, JR. recorded a deed from Thomas Hudgins, Sheriff, conveying THOMAS GAYLE'S interest in the land of ELIZABETH GAYLE [Elizabeth was Robert's daughter and his brother Thomas was her guardian following Robert's death in 1783.]
1829 - 1839: ROBERT GAYLE JR (1769 - 1839, son of CAPT. ROBERT GAYLE): Property on East River, six miles south of the Courthouse. In 1829 "POLLY" GAYLE and JOHN GAYLE appeared in the Mathews County Fee Book recording a "deed from ROBERT GAYLE to you." [This would have been Robert Jr.'s wife Paulina Gayle.]
1832: ROBERT GAYLE'S ESTATE was listed as 29 ½ acres.
1839 to 1850: ROBERT GAYLE'S ESTATE was listed as 29 ½ acres and 25 ¼ acres respectively on East River, 6 miles south of Mathews Courthouse.
1840s: JOSEPH GAYLE purchased 49.61 acres on Garden Creek from "RO. GAYLE." [Probably Robert Gayle, Jr.]
1843: R. GAYLE [probably Robert Johnson (1828 - 1917), son of Robert and Paulina James White Gayle] sold property to WILLIAM DIGGS, surveyed in 1843. Associated names were Zelotes Gayle, John Peed, John Sibley, J. White, and Armistead Davis. (Mathews County Land Book 1, plat #400)
1850: PAULINA GAYLE, WIDOW OF ROBERT GAYLE, owned 25 ¼ acres on East River 6 miles south of the Mathews Courthouse. Between 1861 to 1868 Paulina's property decreased through sale to 5 ¼ acre.
III. PETER B. GAYLE (1834, North Carolina - 1900 ) was the son of John and Elizabeth Terrell Gayle. Born in North Carolina, he married in 1867 to Sarah Elizabeth "Bettie" Brown (1848, Fayetteville, Tenn. - 1923, Wood, Texas)

Peter B. and "Bettie" Brown Gayle (
Sally Reed Gayle Whitehurst, Collection of Gayle N. Mandell
Stationery, 301 W. Franklin Street, ca. 1850, Richmond
Tombstone of Robert Finley & May Jeanette Young Gayle, Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, VA.
(photo, Christopher L. Brown, 1994)
VI. JEANNETTE GAYLE WHITEHURST (7/22/1913 - 6/14/2002) unmarried.
VI. ROSALEE "DIXIE" WHITEHURST (2/1/1917, Norfolk, Va. - 3/19/1985, Norfolk, VA) married LORING "PETE" NORVELL, Norfolk, VA.
Tombstone, Rosanna Jackson Gayle, James Family Cemetery, Mathews, VA
Zion United Methodist Church, founded 1822, Crab Neck, VA (
IV. ROBERT FINLEY GAYLE (1858 - 1940), the fourth direct male descendant of Captain Robert Gayle to carry the given name Robert, was born on 1/22/1858 in Portsmouth, Virginia, to Robert Johnson and Sarah Hunley Brownley Gayle. Robert Finley married MAY JEANNETTE YOUNG (8/29/1862 - 4/3/1934, Urbanna, VA), daughter of Joseph Laville and Caroline Elethia Richardson Young, on 4/6/1882 in Portsmouth, VA, by Rev. H. M. Hope. They had eight children.

A Methodist minister, Robert and his family moved several times while he held pastorates at Norfolk, Richmond, Danville and Onancock, VA. He also served in Salisbury, Maryland. Robert was a member of the Knights Templar and Past Commander, Malta Commandry #24, Onancock, Virginia. His medallion dated 1918 is in possession of this writer.

A letter written on 3/5/1926 to "Rev. R.F. Gayle" by Mrs. George Coleman was given to me by Gayle Bradley Weiss, a descendant of Captain Robert Gayle's brother Matthias. Gayle Weiss corresponded with Mrs. Coleman's grandson, R. H. Frederickson, who stated that Reverend Gayle used to stay with his grandmother and her parents, John T. and Mary Ann Pugh Gayle, when he was in Halifax County and used to rock the children to sleep. [John T. Gayle was the grandson of Captain Robert Gayle's brother, Thomas (1750 - 1824).

Mrs. Coleman wrote,
"For sometime I have thought of writing you in regard to the Gayle family ancestors. This week a letter printed in the Richmond Christian Advocate, from Mr. C. R. James of Pamphlin (?), VA. to the editor about printing some old time hymns which he used to enjoy hearing his great aunt, Mrs. Paulina Gayle, sing, - also mentioned that she was your grandmother…..Signed - Mrs. George Coleman.

My mother, Mary Florence (Pollard) Fredericksen, belonged to the DAR, as well as two cousins, and my sister. They had no trouble, as they used my Mother's record which I prepared a few years before, and added all children and marriages to each record. This made joining quite simple. This original (original application) was based on the application of Mrs. Fannie Houghton Young; of Prescott, Ark…She was gr. -dau. of Peter S. Gayle, who was the son of my Thomas Gayle, of Gloucester and Charlotte Co., by his second marriage; and half-bro. To my Gr. Gr. Grandfather, Robert Gayle. Rev. Peter S. Gayle was minister of lst Baptist Church, Nashville, Tenn. He had recorded the family and military records of the Gayle family. The only birth recorded, or rather, sent in was that of Thomas Gayle, brother to your Capt. Robert Gayle, of Gloucester…"

Robert Finley & May Jeannette Young Gayle (Collection of Gayle N. Mandell)
Robert Finley Gayle, Jr.
V. ROBERT FINLEY GAYLE, JR. (1891 - 1957) was born to Robert Finley and May Jeannette Young Gayle on 12/18/1891 in Norfolk, Virginia. He married (1) ELIZABETH MARSHALL COLE (?? - 1944) on 8/16/1919 in Raleigh, North Carolina, at a ceremony performed by his father. They had 3 children before Elizabeth's death in 1944. Robert Finley married (2) MRS. SARAH RICE GEER DALE in 1945. No children were born to this marriage. Robert Finley Gayle, Jr. was a prominent psychiatrist in Richmond, VA. he died on 11/4/1957 and was buried in Richmond.

VI. ELIZABETH MARSHALL (5/15/1920, Richmond, VA - ??) married prominent Virginia writer and historian PARKE SHEPHERD ROUSE, JR. (?? - 3/1997) of Smithfield, VA on 10/3/1946 in Richmond. They had twin daughters, Elizabeth Marshall Rouse (11/5/1949 - 12/12/2002) and Sarah Dashiell Rouse (11/5/1949 - ). A son, Parke Shepherd Rouse III (11/27/1954 - ) married and has children Parke Randolph Rouse, Katherine Dashiell Rouse and Mary Elizabeth Rouse.
VI. ROBERT FINLEY III (3/11/1922 - 2/12/1979) married his step-sister, Betsy (Jane) Lowry Dale (1930 - ?) on 6/16/1951 and had children: (1) Robert Finley Gayle IV (3/2/1956 - ) of Richmond, VA, (2) Elizabeth Marshall Gayle (4/17/1954 - ) who married David Mackay Clough in 1980 in Richmond and had sons William Mackay Clough, born 1986, and Matthew Marshall Clough, born 1987. (3) Sarah Geer Gayle (1/8/1953, Richmond, VA - ??), married (1) David Marshall Branch 4/1973 and divorced 10/1988. She married (2) Burr Noland 'Nick' Carter III in April of 1989 and divorced in 1998. Sarah Gayle Carter of Richmond has children, David Marshall Branch II (9/26/1977 - ); Finley Gayle Branch (1/18/1980 - 6/6/2000); Thomas Cole Branch (10/3/1983 - ) and Blair Mattison Carter (2/5/1990 - ).
VI. JOHN COLE (12/10/1924 - ) married Josephine Dillon on 9/14/1951 and had children, (1) John Cole Jr. (9/11/1952 - ?) and (2) Mary Ashton Gayle (2/4/1954 - )
V. WILLIAM WAGNER (7/18/1896, Crew, VA - 1/12/1962) married Ella Louise Bernard on 11/4/1922 in Portsmouth, VA at a ceremony performed by Rev. Mr. Dowding. No children.
V. JOSEPH YOUNG (9/15/1898, Richmond, VA - 2/12/1976) married (1) Harriett Burrows in Washington, DC, who died soon after their marriage. He married (2) Mrs. Elizabeth Adams Stallworth, a widow, on 11/13/1946 in New Orleans, LA. After her death he married (UNKNOWN).
V. TRAVIS TAYLOR (8/14/1900, Richmond, VA - 11/1901) died at age 1. His engraved silver baby spoon is in possession of this writer.
Opposite is a copy of a letter written in 1935 by President Franklin Roosevelt to Reveremd Robert Gayle in Urbanna requesting his counsel in light of the new Social Security Legislation and of the Works Program.

I. JOSEPH LAVILLE YOUNG (Living 1805) was born to unknown parents. The Young family is said to have been of French Huguenot descent and originally settled in Maryland. At some point, Joseph Laville Young left Maryland, settling in Hanover County, Virginia, where he was engaged in the lumber business. His home was at "The Slashes," now Ashland in Hanover County, VA and named after the surrounding swampy area. Here is the site of St. Paul's Parish and Slash Church, built in 1729 and the oldest frame church in Virginia. It was still standing in 2012. Joseph Laville Young married LUCY ANN BARKER and was the father of John Laville Young, born in 1805.


II. CAPTAIN JOHN LAVILLE YOUNG (1805 - 1843) was born on 9/1/1805 at "The Slashes," now Ashland in Hanover County, Va. to Joseph Laville Young and his wife, Lucy Ann Barker Young. On 3/15/1827 John married (2) MARY ANN SHOEMAKER (12/31/1809 - ??), daughter of Mahlon and Sidney Prichard Shoemaker, and had six known children.

John L. Young was descended on his mother's side from RICHARD PRICHARD (1765 - After 1817) who came to America from Caernarvon, Wales, prior to the Revolutionary War, with two brothers, Abraham and William, and an unknown sister. Richard Prichard settled at Warwicktowne, also known as Warwick, in Chesterfield County on the James River, south of Richmond. He was living in 1817 and was a grantor on a Chesterfield County deed to Thomas Turpin. He married (1) MISS HUGHES and had children.

SIDNEY: (1789/90 - ??) married 1/26/1806 to Mahlon (Malone) Shoemaker (Shumaker), Chesterfield County. Sidney Prichard owned a large estate in Chesterfield County which became the site of the Clover Hill coal fields. After husband Malone Shoemaker died, Sidney married a Mr. Peach. When he died, one of his kinsmen forged a will which left the estate unsettled for many years. Sidney left Virginia and went to Georgia and, in her absence; the estate was settled in favor of the forger. Mahlon and Sidney Prichard Shoemaker's daughter was MARY ANN SHOEMAKER (12/31/1809 - ??) who married JOHN LAVILLE YOUNG. (See above).
MARY "POLLY": (? - ?) married Peter Elliott in 1808 and moved to Kentucky
NANCY: (? - ?) In 1821, Nancy married Christopher Roberts, collector of Customs for the port of Richmond. Nancy traveled back to Wales to re-establish a relationship with her mother's family.
SALLY: (? - ?) Married Richard Biggott in 1822.
JANE: (? - ?) Married Captain ? Rodbird and moved to his home in Bath, Maine.
WILLIAM J.: (per family record)

(Stewart, William H., History of Norfolk County, Va. and Representative Citizens, 1637 - 1900, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1902 (Courtesy of Martha Young Phibbs, granddaughter of William Allegree Young)

Joseph LaVille Young, Sr., a prominent journalist of Portsmouth, Virginia, was born November 11, 1834 near Richmond on the James River on an estate of his maternal great-grandparents. They bore the name of Pritchard and came to America from Caernarvonshire, Wales, as a young married couple about 1730, naming their new home 'Warwick'.

There is quite a romance connected with the lives of these early ancestors. Owing to some college escapade, Richard Pritchard was for a time suspended from his school privileges and decided to temporarily ostracize himself from his own immediate family, which was one of the best in Wales: so he accepted of the tendered hospitality of a Nobleman bay the name of Hewes. During his stay with him, he was brought into daily contact with a beautiful daughter of the household, to whom he became deeply attached. His feelings being reciprocated, the inevitable -- their betrothal -- followed, much to the disapproval of the father. They were married, however, and, after a few years of life in Wales, removed to Virginia, where they established their famous home, "Warwick on the James". Their domicile was a hospitable one, and its halls frequently rang with the laughter of the distinguished and fashionable throngs that graced it. It was burned during the Confederate War.

Mr. and Mrs. Pritchard became the parents of five children: Jane; Sidney (grandmother of the subject of this biography); Polly (or Mary), who married a Mr. Elliott and removed to Kentucky; Nancy; and Sallie (Biggott).

The holocaust of the Richmond Theater in 1814 came near resulting seriously to two members of the family, Jane and Nancy Prichard, who were attending that night the play of "Raymond: or Agnes, the Bleeding Nun".
Jane Pritchard married Captain Rodbird and went with him to live at his New England home at Bath, Maine.

Nancy Pritchard went to England to look up the estate of the family and to become acquainted with some of her Welsh kinfolk. She returned bearing testimonials of their affection and afterward became the wife of Christopher Roberts, then collector of customs for the port of Richmond.

Sidney Pritchard, grandmother of our subject, owned a large estate in Chesterfield County, Virginia, running through which was the Clover Hill coal-fields, famous in after years for the enormous yields of bituminous coal.

Paternally, Joseph LaVille Young is of French Huguenot stock, his great-grandfather coming from France to this country. The grandfather, who was born in Maryland, after growing to manhood, went to Hanover County, Virginia, and engaged in the lumber business. He there married a Miss Barker. The father of the subject of this biography was John LaVille Young, who was born at the "Slashes", now known as Ashland in Hanover County, Virginia on September 1, 1805, and at an early age removed to Chesterfield County, Va. On March 13, 1837, he married Mary Anne Shoemaker, daughter of Mahlon Shoemaker and Sidney Pritchard, his wife (the latter of "Warwick on the James"). He engaged in school teaching until 1828 when he was called to the command of one of the first steamers that ran on the James River. In 1831 he was captain and part owner of the steamer "Comet" plying on the Appomattox and James Rivers. He followed steam boating until his death in 1843 at the age of 38.

Of the children born to John LaVille Young and Mary Anne Shoemaker, his wife, were: William Sidney, John Mahlon, Joseph LaVille George Shoemaker, Mary Anna and Charles Pritchard. The third child (Joseph LaVille, the subject of this sketch, entered the office of the Richmond Enquirer, then owned and edited by William F. and Thomas Ritchie, sons of the distinguished Thomas Ritchie, who launched this influential journal in 1804. Here Mr. Young remained until 1852 when his career as an all-around newspaperman began. IN the 26 years of his journalistic life, he has served in every capacity pertaining to the profession from "printer's devil" through the composing and pressrooms, the news department, reportorial chair up to the editor-in-chief. Then for many years he engaged in clerical work and now holds the position of writer in the Norfolk Navy Yard. He came to Portsmouth, April 29, 1865, just after the close of the Confederate War.
During the War Between the States, he was a member of Major Richard F. Walker's battalion, which formed a part of Colonel Evan's regiment of State troops. Although on detached duty as a manager of the composing room of the Richmond Enquirer, which was the proclaimed organ of the Confederate States Government, whenever the city was thought to be endangered or the services of his command needed, he was ever with it.
His graphic accounts of life at the Confederate Capital during the darkest days of the short-lived nation have attracted much attention. Among these are a thrilling account of "the evacuation of Richmond", "Blockade running and its perils during the war, etc.", which may yet be revised and given in book form to the public.

Mr. Young married Carrie Elethia Richardson, the only daughter of James Sivells and Jennette B. Richardson. Mr. Richardson. Mr. Richardson was a prominent citizen of Norfolk County and well known as one of the most successful men of his day. He was the Seaboard & Roanoke Railroad's first superintendent of construction and afterward a thrifty merchant, wharf builder and farmer. By this marriage eight children were born: Carrie E. (deceased), James LaVille (deceased), May Jennette, Irene Rodbird, Joseph LaVille, Linda Olive, Charles Pritchard and William Allegree.

by Joseph Laville Young (2/11/1834 - 2/23/1914), the editor of the Richmond-Times Dispatch, Richmond, Virginia

Far into the eighteenth century, a decade or more before the dawn of its noon, a young man (doubtless the typical young… man, erect and handsome) was seen sauntering carelessly, slowly along over the estate of one of the largest land-owners in Wales. Thousands of sheep roamed its verdant hills, grazed upon its pastures green, drank at the clear babbling brooks that rippled musically, meanderingly through its lordly domains. (You, doubtless, smile at my description. It is not related exactly in the language in which my good mother told it, as we gathered about her knees; but what she did say implied all this, and so much more, that were I engaged upon a work of fiction it would pale before the glow of words that would vividly picture the scene.)

Going up to a gentleman, whom, from his appearance, he supposed to be the lord of the manor, he asked for employment of some kind until a term of suspension from college or university of which he was a student - owing to some youthful escapade - had expired. The fact that a young man of his apparent accomplishments should be in quest of work so astounded the manager that he referred him to the owner of a palatial mansion to be seen in the distance, to which he at once repaired.

The owner proved to be an old Welsh nobleman, and the young man at once informed him that he had been suspended from school because of some boyish prank of no dishonorable character, but which nevertheless, he did not care to have his parents to know of, and for this reason he was seeking employment.

The family of the young man being known to the old nobleman to be one of the first in the country, he at once gave him permission to remain with him as long as it suited his interests, cordially extending to him the hospitality of his house. "If you insist on being employed, there's a flock of sheep out there on the hills you can look after if you will have something to do besides bending over the books which fill my library."

And so out over the hills he voluntarily daily went.

Of the family of the old Welsh nobleman was a daughter more than passing fair. She may have been ravishingly beautiful. The dark-blue eyes and flaxen hair and rosy cheeks of our generation that have been the admiration of all who have looked into their wondrous depths, dwelt upon the profusion of their golden ringlets, beheld with rapture the entrancing bloom which mantled their faces fair, were, doubtless, hers, inherited by your and my mother and all of her family.

Thrown in daily contact with this charming demoiselle, who is said to have been graceful and modest and lovely, of proud old race, who, history asserts, claims that the language spoken today by their countrymen is the same that was syllable by Adam and Eve in the Paradisean Garden, it is not surprising that that passion which "lifts the low to heights untold and brings the noble down," should have possessed these two souls which were rapidly drifting to that point where but a single thought encompassed the beings of both, whose hearts beat in unison as one. It was not many weeks, perhaps days, after the father's protégé was installed in his princely mansion before there was a perceptible change in the manner of his daughter. At the bare mention of his name her eyes brightened. She was happiest in his presence; sad when the day of his departure was mentioned. But a magnet stronger than his will, which would call him back to his educational duties, held him as with bands of steel; and so he lingered on and on, unable to withdraw himself from the presence of her whose magnetism kept him constantly at her side.

It was then that her lordly parent awoke to a realization of existing relations between them, and demanded to know at once if he and his daughter were not in love with each other.

My pencil is too feeble to describe the scene which followed his candid acknowledgment of the fact, and when the young man, who was our great-grandfather, informed him that he and his daughter had "plighted their troth" and would marry as soon as his permission could be obtained, he flew into a passion which, my mother said, knew no bounds, ordered him from his estate, and told him to never let him see his face more.

It was then that his daughter (our great-grandmother) exhibited that determination and self-will that has characterized her descendants even down to our generation. She knew that the man on whom she had placed her affections was a true and loyal gentleman; that no tarnish of any kind sullied his good name; no blemish rested upon his character; no cloud hung over him that would induce her to believe aught else but that a happy future would be hers did she entrust her keeping into his hands. The substance of this she learned from her parents in the discussion of him on whom now the ire of her father fell. His university escapade was known to be of a nature that reflected no discredit upon him, and the opposition to her union with him, who had become the soul of her soul, the darling of her dreams, the sole possessor of her heart, she deemed unkind, cruelly unjust.

She pleaded for him as only the heavenly betrothed can plead; but all in vain. The old lord, with one of those tempers doubtless that could, or would, not be assuaged, neither from policy nor by reason of the tender pleadings of affection, was blindly obdurate, and seeing that neither her distress, nor tears, nor humid, beseeching eyes could move him, summoned all her courage - that courage which some of her descendants, although Unionists at heart, but obeying a mandate of their native State which placed the Commonwealth before the Federal Government in an imperative command, displayed in the fiercest conflicts of the War between the States - and then and there resolved that she would cast her lot with his, saying, doubtless, as did Ruth to Naomi in the early days of the world's history: "Whither thou goest I will go, and where thou lodgest I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God; where thou diest I will die, and there will I be buried."

Our old great-great-grandfather raved, but his ravings availed naught. She left her parental home to follow the fortunes of him who had become the "life of her life," and married; whether that day or week or month I never learned. The result of the marriage was disinheritance of the daughter, whose father vehemently avowed he would never look into her face again.

The newly-married pair (our great-grandmother and father) remained in Wales a few years, and then sailed for America, landed in Virginia, and purchased a tract of land at Warwick, on the James River, where they reared their family, and where their daughters were all married. Richard Prichard, our paternal ancestor, was born in Caernarvonshire, Wales, and history tells us that the Pritchards were a distinguished family. In the field of letters, they shone conspicuously. In the early days of this century, Charles Pritchard was famous in literature and theology, and considered one of the most distinguished divines and writers of his time. In our family there is three of the name of Charles Pritchard. My uncle (your mother's first cousin), Charles Pritchard Shoemaker, who died in Georgia some years ago at the beginning of the civil war, was a wealthy cotton-planter; my brother, Charles Pritchard, connected with the Richmond Dispatch, where he has been for many years, and whose occasional war articles - both during and since - have been read with interest; and my son, Charles Pritchard, now a resident of Philadelphia.

Our great-grandparents (the Pritchards) after the births of five daughters - Jane (your grandmother), Sidney (my grandmother), Nancy, Polly or Mary, and Sallie (the latter marrying a gentleman named Biggott) - came to America while they were children, long before the dawn of the present century.

They (our Welsh ancestors) must have been people of large means. Nancy, at her death, owned one of the finest estates (Warwick) on James River, just below Richmond. It was here your grandfather, Rodbird, courted and married your grandmother, Jane Pritchard, and here, too, was my birthplace, my father then being captain of a steamboat on James River.
[Transcriber's note: "The Comet" - Steamboat name found during research].

Polly (Mary) married a gentleman named Elliot, and removed to Kentucky. Her son visited my mother (his cousin) after the war. He seemed to be well educated, and his bearing was that of a thorough gentleman. They were said to be well-to-do people.

Sidney (my grandmother) owned a large estate in Chesterfield County, running through what were the Clover Hill coalfields, famous in after years for their enormous yield of bituminous coal. At the death of her second husband, a Mr. Peach, a will forged by one of his kinsmen, and her rich possessions went into court, where the case remained for many years; and after she had left Virginia and gone to Georgia, leaving behind no one to look after her interests, and the forger having everything his own way, it was decided in his favor.

Our great grandparents had no sons that lived. Mr. Pritchard (our great-grandfather) lost his wife, the mother of these five daughters, who was a Miss Hughes, the wife he married in his youth in Wales.

This is where the nobility of our family comes in. She was the daughter of a Welsh nobleman, whether Duke or Prince, Earl, Lord, or Baronet, I never learned; but her lordly inheritance consisted not in a name only. Cousin Anna (she and my mother were possessed of traits of character strikingly similar) had the stamp of nobility, which shone radiantly in every act of her life. She was the best, if not all, the words "true nobility" implies. Quiet and refined in manner, bland, amiable, tender, gracious, mild, benign; six months daily association with her during her single and early married life gave me a knowledge of a character so beautiful that it left an impression on me which only death can efface. There was a certain magnetism about her that drew people toward her, a charm of manner that was irresistibly attractive, an amiability (which, I am told, Jennie inherits) that was kind and sweet and gracious to a degree that rendered her lovable to men and women alike. A natural facetiousness made her the pleasantest as well as the most desirable of companions. Anything of a dishonorable nature she was utterly incapable of. The soiled garments of the impure could not touch without defiling her. Whatever she did, her world approved unquestionably, religiously believing it was right. Hers was a character of commanding excellence; she was possessed of a nobility of soul that commanded a feeling which, at times, bordered on adoration.

There are incidents in the lives of our ancestors that are interesting, which might be woven into a story delightful to read. They lived in troublous, perilous times, while the republic was in embryo and a desperate struggle was being made for its establishment; and later, when Jackson, behind his cotton bales at New Orleans, achieved victory, hammered peace out of the then arrogant English. Whether the Sergeant Pritchard who fought so gallantly in the reeds and swamps of the Carolinas sprang from the loins of the same Pritchard's as did our grandmothers and grandaunts, I do not know; but in all the long line, from our noble Welsh great-grandfather Hughes down to your and my mother and my uncles and aunts, not a blot or blur of any description has ever sullied the character of the one or reflected upon the innate purity of the other.

One event, which was nearly tragic, in the lives of your grandmother (then Jane Pritchard) and our grandaunt, Nancy, her sister, is worthy of more than a passing mention. It was a calamity that thrilled the hearts of the then young nation - horrified the Old World. The sickening scene has been described by numerous pens prolific, and a new interest attaches to it, even after the lapse of more than three quarters of a century. It was the burning of the Richmond Theatre. Never, says a writer of the time, had a more brilliant assemblage been gathered within its walls. It was the carnival of the volatile, the beautiful and the opulent; the elite of the capital's fashion and intelligence were there to offer an ovation to a favorite actor. In whatever direction the eye moved it was greeted by gay colors, flashing jewels, and brighter smiles, and the joyous hum that arose from the throng was like the distant sound of laughing, leaping waters. The Governor of the Commonwealth, a man of distinguished learning, evidently one of Nature's noblemen, was there. Among the many lovely girls who adorned the dress circle were Jane and Nancy Pritchard.

"Raymond and Agnes" or "The Bleeding Nun" was being played. A crash of music from the orchestra notified the audience that the second act had commenced. The first scene was that over which jesting and criticism had begun. A chamber in the castle of Lindenburg; the nun's portrait hanging against the wall; a man habited like an old retainer of the castle entered from the side. He had not crossed to the front of the platform when a fiery flake from above fell upon his head, another and another, and a second actor, the Raymond of the dumb show, rushes forward and tossed his arms in frenzied gesticulation toward the spectators. Simultaneously with his appearance was heard from behind the curtain the startling cry of "Fire" and as a bright stream of light flashed through the painted screen, the cry of "Fire" rang out again, echoed now by groans and shrieks that told the mad fear that seized upon every soul at the certainty of the calamity. The piercing shrieks of the hapless creatures who were in the hindmost ranks testified that they were already in its scorching embrace, when the dazzling furious glow grew suddenly dull and a column of pitchy smoke rolled along the roof, filled the dome, and, extinguishing every light in its downward swoop, fell a black-winged death upon the struggling mass of human beings. Screams and moans were stifled, stilled. All that was left of vital fire within the inner walls went out in one agonized respiration as the victims entered the poisonous cloud, hot, reeking with oily vapors, as it were a breath from Gehenna itself.

In the lobbies and upon the staircase, the frantic struggle for life went on in utter darkness - behind the roaring, surging flame, before them an impenetrable wall and a staircase piled higher and higher with the bodies of living and dead. Over these rushed on the trampling, wrestling crowd. Strong men climbed upon the shoulders and walked upon the heads of the compacted throng that still kept their feet; women were crushed to death in the press; children trodden to pieces (and somewhere in this awful ghastly press were Jane and Nancy Pritchard, afterwards your grandmother and grandaunt).

"Yet the ties of Nature were mighty." Husbands up bore wives with superhuman strength; mothers held their offspring so tightly enclasped (sic) that the tremendous force of the outward tide could not tear them away, and fathers, with arms of stone and sinews of steel, lifted their sons above the pressure of shoulders and heads.

A cloud of smoke had fallen over the scene, rendering for a time recognition next to impossible. A faint glimmer of the sky through a window was seen by one of the doomed. Summoning all the muscular energy that remained to him, he threw himself against the lower sash. It fell outward, and the pure air of Heaven pouring in through the opening brought back departing life and hope to many beside himself. A cry of mingled joy and anguish went up from the suffering, and there was an instant rush in the direction of the casement.

One of the fortunates who reached it was Jane Pritchard. Someone came up to her as she, among others, crowded around the window in the new hope of life, lifted her in his arms and out of the window, and dropped her down to hands extended to save her from a death which might have been her's had she fallen on the brick walkway below. In those faraway days, over which more than three-fourths of a century has sped, taking with it nearly all of the actors of its time, blue coats with brass buttons were the rage. Later, in my youth, but prior to the time "I went a-gipseying," the fashion was revived, and some old Whigs, whose locks the frosts of more than sixty winters had whitened, stalked proudly into the last convention their party held before secession so habited.

As the gentleman below caught the fair young girl (who afterwards became your grandmother) in his arms, her head struck a brass button of his coat, cutting in her forehead a gash, the scar of which she doubtless carried to her grave.

Nancy, her sister, could be seen or found nowhere, and her escort, who had, by some means unaccountable to himself, lost her in the crush and crash and press and horror of a fire as tragic as those which are supposed to perpetually illumine the realms of Pluto, escaped, and was almost frantic regarding her safety. After vainly peering into the faces of the living for her, when the theatre was a mass of ruins, he despondently sought her among the dead, who lay in front of the smoldering fire and blackened walls of the Thespian temple.

At that long-past date, Broad street ended, or was cut into, but a few yards east of the destroyed building by a long, deep ravine, at least four blocks in width, stretching from College street to Seventeenth. So little beyond, where death fled with lamentations for loved ones lost, over its edge, down into the dark abyss below, leaped madly the swollen, perturbed, turbid waters of a drain. Into this drain many dead lay. By a diamond ring of peculiar shape in one of her ears she was recognized, lying prone in the drain, a tiny stream of water passing under and touching her head, apparently lifeless. Clasping her in his arms, he bore her away and soon joyfully discovered that the spark of life in his precious burden was not entirely extinguished, and she was soon restored to consciousness, ultimately recovered, and lived many years.

Not long after her return from Wales, she made my father's house her home, where she died in 1843, surviving my father only a few weeks. She was buried at Warwick (her estate) by the side of her husband. While in Wales she learned from her kindred there that before the death of her grandfather, Hughes, he exhausted every effort to find out the whereabouts of his daughter, advertised what may have been called in those days extensively, but could hear nothing. The greatest regret of his life, he said, was that he could not see his daughter and plead forgiveness for the harsh and un-fatherly manner in which he had acted towards her.

George R. Shoemaker, your mother's first cousin and my uncle, was, from boyhood, a sailor. At 13 years of age, writhing under the ill treatment of a stepfather, who was said to have been so brutal in his conduct towards his wife and her children, that the former, who had given him, along with herself, a splendid fortune, left him, and the latter ran away from his home, in Chesterfield county, in this State, and walked to Philadelphia. Soon after his arrival there, he shipped as cabin boy on board of a foreign-bound vessel, and continued on the ocean, rising from grade to grade as time gave him experience, fitness, and age, until he was placed in command of a ship.

During the Mexican war, he was captain of the United States schooner Butler, and the last voyage of his life was made from New Orleans, his destination being the Rio Grande, in the last January of the existence of hostilities, since which time neither vessel nor crew has been heard from. In 1860, while I was engaged in the publication of a weekly newspaper in Charlottesville, in this State, in a conversation one day with its owner upon accidents, strange and otherwise, I happened to casually mention the loss of my uncle and his vessel, remarking that I thought it strange no trace of him, it, or its crew, should ever have been discovered. "George R. Shoemaker," said he, on hearing his name from me; "why, I saw a paragraph in a newspaper some weeks ago, which stated that a man by that name (George R. Shoemaker) during the Mexican war had been captured by a tribe of Indians (Comanches) in Northern Mexico, and was held as a prisoner. During his captivity (so the paragraph read) he was converted and became a preacher to the tribe. Under a solemn promise that he would return, he was permitted to visit his family in the States. For a long time we expected him to "turn up," but he never did. If it was him, he never reached the inner bounds of civilization alive, and his bones are either bleaching on the plains of Mexico, or he is resting at the bottom of the Gulf, its perturbed waters beating restlessly over him. His only daughter (Emma Sidney La Prade) died in Mobile a few months since, leaving four or five daughters, all of whom are married. His widow still lives, and is either in Atlanta or Mobile.

"The Graves of a Household!" Our mothers and their people are scattered. The ever restless waters of the Gulf of Mexico sweep over one who, in his wandering, eventful, adventurous career, sailed over every sea, trod the soil of every clime.

Beside the murmuring waters of the historic James, in a modest mansion, surrounded by spacious outhouses (all destroyed during the fratricidal strife of contending armies), not a hundred yards from where this meandering stream flows smoothly on to the ocean - more than a hundred miles away - and within a few steps of where your grandfather Rodbird led "bathed in blushes to the altar" in the long ago the fair Jane Pritchard, reposes the hallowed dust of her once regal looking, comely sister, Nancy.

The "Dark and Bloody Ground" (Kentucky), which gave to the Union a Clay and a Crittenden, who figured as conspicuously in the annals of the nation as any of their famous compeers, and whose fair women are renowned for there wondrous beauty and dauntless courage, enwraps in its tender embrace the cherished remains of another.

The Empire State of the South, where the distinguished Stephens was ushered into existence, and shaped for more than a half century the opinions of his Commonwealth, and gave to the ill-starred Confederacy the gallant, chivalric Gordon, contains the ashes of another whose life the sun of happiness radiated in its exuberant youth and the somber shadows of melancholy crept over in its age.

As far to the bleak North, where hospitality unsurpassed, geniality sincere, hearts glowing with a warmth of feeling as pure as true friendship and ardent love can render it, as the other to the balmy breezes of the ever beautiful palm growing South, whose memory is nearer and dearer to you, sleeps another. In her early days she roamed unrestrainedly over the green hills and down through the verdant vales of "Warwick"; boated and angled in the river laving its almost precipitous banks, rode gaily over its broad acres, and hunted through its grand old forests; danced lightly, gracefully through its halls, and smiled upon its chivalrous guests, who came often to her sister's estate from the Capitol in sight. Hundred of miles away, in hearing of the murmuring surge of old ocean, as it beats upon your rock-bound coast, and, as it were, within reach of the placid waters of the Kennebec as they stream on seaward, she peacefully rests.

"The Graves of a Household!"

Once when Jennie was in swaddling clothes, and your mother in the freshness and bloom of lovely young wifehood, she sang this song for me, plaintive, soft, low, and sweet; and as the last notes of her clear, silvery voice, in cadence sweet, died away, tears, like unto sun-impearled dewdrops, gathered and glistened in her wondrously beautiful deep-blue eyes, and hung for a moment on their sweeping lashes.

"The graves of HER household!" - scattered, indeed, are they of its lineage. Their paths through life were truly divergent; but now they, "whose glorified spirits before us have fled," are waiting in "that land that no mortal shall know," to clasp in their arms in loving, lasting embrace the few others of their progeny who are rapidly drifting toward them.
John Laville Young worked as a school teacher until 1828. He then assumed command of one of the first James River steamers. In 1831, he became Captain and part owner of the steamer "Comet", which operated on both the James and Appomattox Rivers. He is briefly referred to in the book titled Steam Navigation in Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina Waters, 1826 - 1836, compiled by John C. Emmerson, Jr. of Portsmouth, Va. He died in 1843 and Mary Ann married (2) Davis Marshall of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Their marriage announcement appeared in the Richmond Enquirer on 8/23/1850.

III. JOSEPH LAVILLE (11/11/1834 - 1914) married CAROLINE ELETHIA RICHARDSON (7/1/1838 - 2/3/1910), daughter of James Sivels Richardson (1804 - 1874) and his wife Jeannette Bacon James (1807 - 1882).
III. MARY ANNA (? - 2/3/1910) unmarried, died in Portsmouth and was buried at Shockoe Cemetery, Richmond.
III. CHARLES PRICHARD (? - 2/17/1913), unmarried, writer for the Richmond Times Dispatch; died at Grace Hospital, Richmond and buried at Shockoe Cemetery.
III. JOHN MAHLON (?? - ??)

III. JOSEPH LAVILLE YOUNG (1834 - 1914) was born to John Laville Young and his wife, Mary Ann Shoemaker, in 1834 at the home He married CAROLINE ELETHIA RICHARDSON (7/1/1838 - 2/3/1910, Portsmouth, VA) on 3/6/1856 and the couple had eight children.

I. MOSES RICHARDSON (Born in England - Died 10/8/1771 near Deep Creek, Norfolk County, VA.) and his wife MARY (UNKNOWN). Their children were II. THOMAS: (11/11/1755 - ??), II. DORCAS (10/15/1757 - ??), II. JOHN: (8/11/1762 - ??), II JAMES (1/5/1765 - ??), and II. WILLIAM (1/5/1760 - CA: 1822) who married ANNA SIVELS. Their son, III. JAMES SIVELS RICHARDSON (10/11/1804 - 5/8/1874) married 3/6/1827 to JENNETTE BACON JAMES (8/15/1809 - 5/5/1882), daughter of DAVID B. (12/18/1772 - ??) & MARGARET BACON JAMES (2/25/1775 - ??) and granddaughter of JOHN & MARTHA A. JAMES. Jennette Bacon James siblings were NANCY (12/29/1800 - ??), JOHN (10/9/1802 -??), DAVID (5/8/1805 - ??), EDWARD (10/10/1807 - ??), HARRIETTE (4/8/1810 - ??), TELITHA (1/4/1813 - ??), JESSIE (9/15/1814 - ??). MARTHA (7/4/1816 - ??), WILLIAM (6/7/1818 - ??) and MARGARET (12/7/1819 - ??). Both James Sivels and Jennette Bacon James Richardson are buried at Homestead Farm on the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River, about 2 miles from Bowers Hill.

Children of JAMES SIVELS & JENNETTE BACON JAMES RICHARDSON included THOMAS (8/12/1834 - 9/8/1834), MARGARET (1/3/1828 - 6/10/1830), JAMES WILLIAM (7/10/1831 - 7/10/1832), LAFAYETTE M. D. (2/4/1833 - 2/12/1833). JAMES TAYLOR (10/28/1835 - 10/26/1837), JOHN WESLEY (3/14/1840 - ??), GEORGE CLAY (9/6/1842 - 1/15/1880), THEODORE F. (10/8/1844 - 6/10/1865), ROBERT (1/30/1847 - 2/16/1880), JAMES S. (3/7/1849 - 10/5/1863), and CAROLINE ELETHIA: (7/1/1838 - 2/3/1910)

Joseph Laville Young entered the office of the Richmond Enquirer at age 13 and remained until 1852. He began as a "printer's devil" and worked his way up through the composing and press rooms, the news department, reportorial chair, and finally editor-in-chief. He joined the Printer's Guard during the Civil War and later saw action around Richmond under Captain Richard Walker. During his time at the paper, he wrote several accounts of the war, including one of the evacuations of Richmond. There is a family story that relates how silver and other valuables were carried across Union lines from Richmond in the arms of a sofa (later owned by Joseph Laville's grand-daughter, Sally Reed Gayle Whitehurst). After the Civil War, the family moved to Portsmouth and Joseph served on several newspapers and as a writer for the Norfolk Navy Yard. He was a member of several organizations, including "Stonewall Camp #4, Confederate War Veterans." The family residence was at 310 South Street in Portsmouth.

In 1906 the Youngs celebrated their 50th wedding Anniversary at their home in Portsmouth. A transcription of the article follows:

On Tuesday evening, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph LaVille Young celebrated the anniversary of their golden wedding with a reception at their home in South Street, Portsmouth.

They were married in Richmond on March 6, 1856, and lived there until 1865 when they moved to Portsmouth.

The rooms were handsomely decorated in palms, plants and yellow flowers, and in the dining room the table was ornamented with three beautiful lace scarfs, the hand-work of Mrs. Young, which she made for her three daughters. A center-piece was formed of jonquils and golden fruit and smilax festooned the chandelier to the corners of the table. Candles of yellow shed a soft glow over the scene.

Mr. and Mrs. Young received their friends, and her gown was of grey silk. Assisting them were their six children -- Mrs. Charles Morrissette and Mrs. Kenneth Gayle of Portsmouth; Mrs. Finley Gayle of Salisbury, Maryland; Miss Annie Young of Richmond; Mr. Charles T. Young of Philadelphia, and Messrs. William and Joseph Young of Portsmouth.

Many handsome presents in gold were given them and the occasion was a joyous and happy one for all who showered them with their best wishes and congratulations.

In the afternoon preceding the reception was the christening of the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Young by Rev. Finley Gayle, he being named for his grandfather.
(Un-cited News Clipping, courtesy of Martha Young Phibbs)

Joseph L. Young died in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1914 and Caroline died in 1910.

IV. JAMES LAVILLE (11/28/1858 - 12/30/1892) unmarried, buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery, Portsmouth. The Young Family plot in Cedar Grove is on Avenue 7, Lots #436 - 438.
IV. CARRIE ANNIE: (11/20/1860 - 8/29/1862), died at age 2, buried at Shockoe Cemetery, Richmond, VA.
IV. MAY JENNETTE (8/29/1862 - 4/3/1934, Urbanna, Va.) married on 4/6/1882 to ROBERT FINLEY GAYLE (1/22/1858 - 3/4/1940). May Jennette and Robert Finley Gayle are both buried at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond. SEE GAYLE FAMILY
IV. IRENE RODBIRD (11/5/1864 - 1933, Norfolk, Va.) married Kenneth Hall Gayle, 4/6/1885 and had children. Both are buried at Oak Grove Cemetery in Portsmouth.
IV. JOSEPH LAVILLE, JR (2/6/1869 - 8/10/1946) unmarried. A veteran of both the Spanish American War and World War I. He worked for Old Dominion Steamship Company for 20 years. He lived for a time in Richmond and later made his home at 703 W. Princess Anne Road in Norfolk. He died at age 77. No descendants.
IV. LINDA OLIVE (7/13/1871 - 11/2/1946, Norfolk, VA) married on 6/5/1902 to Charles Angelus Francis Morrisette (11/2/1871, Norfolk, VA - After 1902), a Norfolk artist and portraitist. Mr. Morrisette was a certified in heraldry from the College of Arms in Canada. He researched and painted coats-of-arms for the Gayle, Young, Whitehurst and Norvell families, among many others. Three of the original works are in the possession of Gayle N. Mandell, Mr. Morrisette's great-niece. Both Charles and Linda Morrisette are buried at Oak Grove Cemetery, Portsmouth. No descendants.
IV. CHARLES PRICHARD (2/23/1873 - ??) moved to Philadelphia, Pa. No further information.
IV. WILLIAM ALLEGRE (3/31/1876 - 9/3/1934) married Carrie McCoy and had seven children. William A. Young was superintendent of the Norfolk & Western Coal Piers and lived with his wife and family at 627 Graydon Avenue in Norfolk. William was most likely named for Sergeant William Allegre, who served with his uncle, Charles Prichard Young in the Crenshaw Battery of Pegram's Battalion, Third Corps, A. N. V. of Richmond. A history of this battalion, written by Charles P. Young, appeared in the Southern Historical Society Papers and a reprint is in possession of Mrs. Mandell. William and Carrie McCoy Young are buried in the family plot at Oak Grove Cemetery in Portsmouth, Va.