Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence
I have been cleaning out old emails, VERY old emails. VERY VERY VERY old emails.
Part of that process involves follow up research at the favorite genie sites. I was clicking along, then, hit a census enumeration full of initials. I really despise initials. My southern roots research is thwarted, and bounced around a lot by initials.
Here is an example, or set of examples, about one lady in my research, Virginia Catherine Eley Niblett Watkins. She led me on a grand chase, let me tell you:
Found on the 1860 U.S. Census, Eastern District, Isle of Wight County, Virginia, Smithfield Post Office: Graves Niblet, age 36, farmer, value of real estate $3000., value of personal property $2000.; V. C., age 29; Wm A., age 8; W. G., age 6; Jno R., age 4, A., age 1 (all male children).
From the December 25, 1868 issue of the Petersburg Index, Petersburg, Virginia:
WATKINS-NIBLETT--In Isle of Wight county, on the morning of the 20th instant, by Rev. W. B.Wellons, Col. MERIDETH H. WATKINS and MRS. VIRGINIA C. NIBLETT."
Virginia is found on the 1870 U.S. Census of Zuni Station, Windsor Township, Isle of Wight County, Virginia: M. H. Watkins, age 65, farmer, value of real estate $5000., value of personal property $950., born Virginia; Virginia C. Watkins, age 38, keeping house, born Virginia. Three of her sons Walter, Robert and Solomon are shown with the surname Watkins: Walter, age 15, at school, born Virginia; Robert, age 13, laborer, born Virginia; Solomon, age 11, at home . Also in the household, and possibly the child of M. H. Watkins, is: Ellen Watkins, age 17, cook.
Virginia is found on the 1880 U.S. Census of Windsor District, Isle of Wight County, Virginia, in the household of her son John, as follows: J. R. Niblet, age 23, farmer, born Virginia; M. L. Darden, age 17, wife, married within the census year, keeping house, born Virginia; M. H. Watkins, age 75, step-father, boarder; V. C. Watkins (looks like O.C. and has been found indexed as A.C.), mother, boarder, age 47,; M. I. (?) Watkins, age 6, brother; R.W. Niblet, age 20, sister, boarder.
Virginia is enumerated on the 1900 U.S. Census of Emporia Town, Emporia Township, Greensville County, Virginia, she is found in the home of her son, W. G. Niblett: V. C. Watkins, mother, born November 1833, age 66, widowed, 5 children, all of whom survive, born Virginia, both parents born Virginia.
Virginia was enumerated on the 1910 U. S. Census of Suffolk, Nansemond County, Virginia, in the home of her son, M. M. Watkins, as follows: Virginia Watkins, age 76, widowed, 5 children, all of whom survive, born Virginia, both parents born Virginia.
Virginia was found on the 1920 U.S. Census of Suffolk, Nansemond County, Virginia in the home of her son, Milson M. Watkins, as follows: Virginia C., mother, age 87, widow, born Virginia, both parents born Virginia.
Virginia's obituary appeared in the April 10, 1921 issue of the Virginia-Pilot and the Norfolk Landmark, Norfolk, Norfolk County, Virginia, under a column titled, in part, "Suffolk News and ..."
"MRS. VIRGINIA C. WATKINS
Suffolk, April 9. - - Mrs. Virginia C. Watkins, widow of the late Meredith M. Watkins, and one of the prominent women of this city, died this morning at 3:30 o'clock at the home of her son, M. M. Watkins, in St. James avenue, in the 89th year of her age.
Mrs. Watkins, who was a native of Isle of Wight County, is survived by five sons, M. M. Watkins, of Suffolk; S. T. Neblett, of Wakefield; W. G. Neblett, of Boykins; J. R. Neblett, of Edenton; W. E. Neblett, of Laurinburg, N.C.
The funeral services will be held Sunday afternoon, April 10, at 4 o'clock, at the residence of Mr. Watkins, in St. James avenue, conducted by Rev. H. H. Butler, assisted by Rev. Dr. W. W. Staley. Interment will be made in Cedar Hill Cemetery. The pall-bearers will be J. L. Eley, J. G. Marshall, J. M. Eley, J. A. Eley, Harvey Ashburn, J. M. White, N. T. Gray and J. F. Joyner."
(How many J. ?. Eley's do you think we could have???? I count three in the list above. No wonder I have a dislike for initials.)
Virginia Catherine Eley was born November 14, 1832 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Her parents were Exum Eley and Martha "Patsey" Darden Marshall Eley.
Virginia married first Graves Niblett, no marriage record for the couple has been found. Graves served in the 16th Virginia Infantry during the war between the states, as did two of Virginia's full brothers, Solomon B. Eley and Stephen A. Eley. Virginia married second Meredith Holland Watkins on December 20, 1868 at Isle of Wight County Virginia. Meredith also served in the 16th Virginia Infantry.
She died April 9, 1921 at Suffolk (Nansemond County) Virginia was was laid to rest in the large cemetery there, Cedar Hill Cemetery.
*Virginia was also spotlighted here on Reflections in November of 2009.
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