Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Happy Birthday Sophia

Our oldest is nine. Time sure flies. A comparison between 2009 and 2014 is below. Happy Birthday!
Photo by Patrick Jones. Sophia in Aug 2009, Moor Park, California.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Sophia in 2014, Alexandria, VA.

Monday, October 27, 2014

First in the East

On 18 October I took our son to his first Major League Soccer game, to see DC United lock up first place in the Eastern Conference with a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire. Our seats were directly behind the District Ultras, one of the supporters' clubs which leads chants and makes the old stands at RFK Stadium bounce. DC United had a fan appreciation zone located behind the goal, so we left our seats for the standing area and field-level viewing. It was a nice evening for soccer in DC.
Photo by Patrick Jones. District Ultras celebrating a DC goal.
Photo by Patrick Jones. 18 Oct 2014, RFK Stadium.
Even with a recorded sell-out for the game, having the upper bowl empty doesn't help the atmosphere. The team tries to make the old stadium as presentable as possible, but DC United could really use a modern soccer-specific stadium.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Behind the goal. 18 Oct 2014.
The team has made a remarkable turn-around this season and we'll be cheering them on in the playoffs.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Will of Bryant Thornhill

On Thursday I posted a transcription of the inventory for the estate of my 7th great-grandfather Bryant Thornhill. Here is a transcription of the will, from Culpeper County Will Book B, pages 379-380.

"In the name of God Amen, I Bryant Thornhill of Saint Marks Parish in the County of Culpeper being very sick and weak but of perfect mind and memory thanks be to Almighty God and calling to mind the unity of this life do make this my last will and testament in manner and form following.


I bequeath my soul to Almighty God that gave it in hopes of a blessed life, resurrection though the merits of Jesus Christ my saviour and my body to be decently buried in a Christian like manner at the direction of my Executors hereafter mentioned.

Item I lend to my Beloved wife Thamson Thornhill all my land whereon I now live not molesting my son Joseph Thornhill of that part he lives on and not molesting my son John of that part he seated with all the rest of my estate during her life or widowhood excepting one feather bed and furniture I give to my son Reuben Thornhill at the day of his marriage.

Item I give to my son Joseph Thornhill and John Thornhill one hundred and fifty acres of my land to be laid of joining the land of Richard Chilton to them and their heirs forever.

Item I give to my son Reuben Thornhill my manor plantation containing one hundred and fifty acres more or less to him and his heirs forever that after decease of or widowhood of my loving wife it is my desire that it should be sold and the money arising from the same to be equally divided between my son William Thornhill and Bryant Thornhill and my daughters Elizabeth Boley to make up their legacies equivalent with the land left my above three sons and if their should be more or less it is my desire that their legacies should be made equal.

Lastly I constitute and appoint my loving wife Thamson Thornhill and my son Joseph Thornhill and John Thornhill my whole and sole Executors of this my last will and testament revoking and dis[unclear] all other will or wills here to fore made. In presence I have set my hand and seal this twenty eight day of December 1779.

Bryant Thornhill {seal} his mark X

Witnesses present}
William Allan
Jeremiah Asher
William Clatterbuck

At a Court held for Culpeper County the 17th day of April 1780

This last will and testament of Bryant Thornhill decd was exhibited to the Court and was proved by the oaths of William Allan, Jeremiah Asher & William Clatterbuck witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded and on the motion of the Executors Certificate is granted them of or obtaining a part at thereof in due form they having oath thereto and given bond and security according to law.

teste John Jameson, CP Court
Based on the will transcription above, Bryant and Thamson (also spelled Tamson) Thornhill had the following children, in no particular order:
1. Joseph Thornhill (my 6th-great-grandfather)
2. John Thornhill
3. Reuben Thornhill
4. William Thornhill
5. Bryant Thornhill Jr.
6. Elizabeth Thornhill

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pension File of Thomas Jones

In December 1852, Tennessee Congressman Albert Watkins wrote to the Pension Office on behalf of my 5th-great-grandfather, Thomas Jones, concerning his War of 1812 pension. According to the file published on Fold3, Thomas had been a Corporal in Captain George Gregory's Company of the Second Regiment, East Tennessee Militia commanded by Colonel Samuel Bunch. James Tillet, 2nd Lieutenant in Captain Gregory's Company, also provided a statement on behalf of Thomas attesting to his service. It appears that the Pension Office rejected the claim, but perhaps not all of the file has been loaded onto Fold3.
Source:, Pension file of Thomas Jones
Based on the information in the file, Thomas Jones joined Captain Gregory's company on 8 January 1814. He was mustered into service in Knoxville on 10 January 1814, and was honorably discharged in May 1814. Between January and May, the company was in Northern Alabama, where the Creek Indians were reportedly conducting hostile operations. Thomas' company was part of the larger force commanded by General Andrew Jackson in his campaign against the Creek Indians.

When the company arrived at Lookout Mountain, they learned that they were low on arms and men. Thomas was ordered back to Jefferson County to secure a supply. Thomas, Lieutenant Tillet and four others marched back to Jefferson County.

They began their journey in March 1814. The men reached Chickamauga Creek and were not able to find a crossing, so they crossed the river in waist-deep water. It was cold and stormy. They marched for another five miles after crossing the river before stopping for the night. Because Indians were in the area, Tillet ordered that they not make a fire and remain hidden. When they awoke the next day (5 March 1814), Thomas had partial paralysis on his right side where he had been sleeping. Thomas continued in the campaign, marching to Fort Strother and Fort Williams (a supply depot used in preparation for the Battle of Horseshoe Bend). Thomas claimed this pain continued throughout his service, and caused his current disability. He asked to receive the benefit of the Act of 24 April 1816, allowing pensioners disabled in service to receive benefits.

In Tillet's testimony, he stated that on the night of 4 March, it snowed on them while they slept on the ground in blankets. The next morning the men complained of stiffness and pain. Tillet later left Thomas at Fort Williams, Alabama after they returned from their gun supply run. When the company returned to Tennessee from service (after May 1814), Tillet met up with Thomas and he mentioned that he now suffered from numbness in his right arm and pain on his right side.

Thomas died in July 1857 in Jefferson County, Tennessee. I am hoping there is more information to be posted in the pension files, as Thomas' file is currently missing some of the other good historical details I have seen in others.

Statement of Thomas Jones