The Marriage of James H. Dodson and Sarah J. Rowlett

I have received Family Lore Treasure #, well, at least #6:  a book of Mecklenburg County, Virginia Marriages 1765-1853, compiled by John Vogt and T. William Kethley, Jr.  Thank you, cyber-buddy Kevin Lett , for parting with your resources via Ebay!

Within the cover of this data-packed book are names and dates.  Just names and dates. But as I am learning, even little morsels of information can be key ingredients to a family’s story.  I have my Grandmother Strickland’s hand-written genealogy, but resources like Virginia Marriages provide the confirmation and missing data that make the stories handed down authentic.

And so I find the story of James Henry Dodson and Sarah Jane Rowlett, my great-great-grandparents, residents of Mecklenburg County, Virigina.  They were married on 6 December 1844, when James was a 29 year old property owner (1840 Census) and Sarah was a young 19 year old (census derived age).  As was custom a bond of up to $150 was given by William G. Coleman, relationship to Sarah unknown, to the county court clerk to show good faith that there was no lawful cause to prevent the marriage.  The marriage license was then presented to Minister John B. Smith.  In 1844 fifty-five marriages were performed throughout the county, with 14 of them being conducted in the month of December.

New leads: William G. Coleman, John B. Smith

To be explored: Parents of James and Sarah, and the families arrival in Mecklenburg County

Family Lore Project 150 Sayles Surnames Transcriptions

A Civil Word

Transcribed today:  my great-great grandfather’s words:

Camp Suffolk, Va.

Feb. 20, 1863                                                                                         D. I. Van Buren,

Col. &  Ass’t Adjt. Gen of 9 Corps d’ Army (?)


I have the honor hereby to tender my Resignation of the Captaincy of Company H of the 130 Regiment, New York State Volunteers, which post I now hold.

It is with unfeigned regret, that I find myself compelled to take this step during the  of my country’s imminent peril; but the labors, the exposures,and the watchings of the past six months’ service here, have made such inroads on my health, that it is evident I can no longer perform the severe duties of a Captain of Infantry, either creditably to myself, or effectively for my country.  In such case, honor and patriotism alike demand, that the sword I am no longer able to wield with due energy, I resign to stronger hands. (Please find Surgeon’s Certificate enclosed.)

Praying for my Country’s Early and Honorable Peace through Victory over her Insolent Foes,

I have the Honor to be, Sir,

Very Respectfully

Your Most Obd’t Serv’t,

Ira Sayles,

Capt. Comdg Co H, 130 Reg’t, N.Y. S. Vols

Facing the rising sun of a new day begun

Facing the rising sun of a new day begun

Originally uploaded by barnmom42

No, it wasn’t dawn. More like 2:30 pm., as we hiked back home from the Inauguration. But the sun suddenly threw some rays through the clouds, and hit the Washington Monument. The final lines of the Black National Anthem hung in my mind…

Facing the rising sun,
Of a new day begun,
Let us march on
‘Til victory is won.

March on, we will.

Oh, Happy Day!

Happy Happy Happy
Happy Happy Happy



I have not wanted to declare American pride with such fervor since I was a child, when everyone was in the post-World War II habit of waving flags and singing patriotic songs whenever possible. 

On this Inauguration Day I was not alone in wanting to proclaim “We are America!”, as loudly, with as many flags as possible.  For those who cynically believe this emotion to be nothing but misplaced hope in a man, listen to us more carefully.  The excitement and energy and hope that we demonstrate are more about us as a people than Barack Obama as a person


This photo is of my daughter, C, who joined me on the east slope of the Washington Monument that wonderful day.