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My previous post establishes that Francis Poythress was assigned to the Brunswick Circuit.
"The Brunswick Circuit is called The Cradle of Methodism” because it is the oldest Methodist circuit under continuous appointment in America. Originally, it included 14 Virginia and 2 North Carolina Counties."
Francis Poythress was the first preacher to establish congregations in this circuit. I also note mention of a the Brunswick Foundation.
"The Brunswick Foundation was formed to identify, preserve, and interpret historic sites in the old Brunswick Circuit, including Randolph Macon, Mason’s Chapel, one of the earliest Methodist churches in Southside Virginia, and the first Methodist school established in America, Ebenezer Academy."
Below is a brief passage concerning the significant role Francis Poythress may have had in helping establish the American Methodist Church in parts of Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky. And it briefly documents a bit of his affiliation with Deveraux Jarratt -- who had served as a rector in Bath County and who's wife had Poythress linkages. We further have reason to believe a Poythress woman may have been raised in the Jarratt household.
Mike Tutor was on to this thread more than a dozen years ago on the Poythress list, but I don't think it received the attention it merited.
Lyn's new work establishes that Poythress families were represented in Methodist congregations throughout much of the 19th century. And now we have an intriguing mention of John C. Poythress (of Georgia) as a trustee at the founding of Randolph Macon College in Mecklenberg County.
I'm not sure how best to tackle this but it there seem to be sufficient reasons for a deeper systematic examination. I do not know if the college has archival records from the earliest years but it should not be much of a chore to learn what they may have.
BTW -- this account varies a bit from others in the literature relate to Francis Poythress, but the overall arc of his story is fairly consistent.
For reference -- this is what Mike Tutor speculated back in 2004 on this list:
I have been looking back over my notes about Francis (1712). I noticed that he bought land in 1728. If he had to be 21 years old, that would mean that he was born by 1707. I'm beginning to think that he could not be the father of the 24 year old Francis that died at age 24 after serving in the revolution. If anything, he must have been the grandfather and quite possibly the preacher is a missing generation between these two. It seems that Mary Peterson was born about 1734 which would make her the right age to have been the preacher's wife. The preacher, Jarrett Devereaux, would have been about the same age as the preacher, Francis. The preacher could have been Francis' (1712/1707) son because he would have inherited at least 4000 acres of land from Francis (1712/1707). At least we now know that Francis (1712/1707) was the son of Francis Poythress and Hannah Ravenscroft, and was the grandson of John Poythress and Christian Peebles...................Mike
A HISTORY OF THE RISE OF METHODISM IN AMERICA
By John Lednum,
of the Philadelphia, Conference
Sketches of Methodist Itinerant Preachers,
From 1736 to 1785,
Numbering One Hundred and Sixty or Seventy.
A Short Account of Many Hundreds
of the First Race of Lay Members,
Male and Female, from New York to South Carolina.
Together with an Account
of Many of the First Societies and Chapels
"What hath God wrought!" -- Numbers 23:23
Published by The Author
Sold at Methodist Book Stores
Mr. Francis Poythress was a native of North Carolina, or of Virginia, bordering on that
province. He was born near the time of George, afterwards General, Washington's nativity, in
1732. He inherited, at the death of his father, a considerable personal and real estate. Under the
influence of impetuous feelings, such as actuated his course of life, he rushed into all the follies
and vices of the irreligious community in which he lived; and, probably, greatly pared down his
paternal inheritance. By a merciful Providence, he was brought to right reflection by pungent
reproof, administered to him by a lady of high rank. In confusion of mind he left her house
hurriedly, and on his way home resolved to mend his manners. He took the right means -- he began
to read the Bible, and pray in secret. His convictions increasing his miserable feelings led him to
inquire for some one who was capable to instruct him in the good way. After a long time of
darkness and sorrow, he heard of the Rev. Devereaux Jarratt, -- he found him, and remained for
some time at his house receiving instruction from him; this was, most likely, about 1772. As soon
as he received a knowledge of his acceptance with God, he began to travel about and preach the
way to heaven to all who would hear him; this was before the Methodist preachers had reached his
natal region. Soon after, he fell in with a Methodist preacher, -- Williams, Pilmoor, Wright, or
some one of those who first visited Virginia, -- who gave him the doctrine and discipline of the
Methodists, which he approved of and joined them.
From the first Conference of 1773, Richard Wright was stationed in Virginia. In the spring
of 1774, he returned, giving a good account: stating that one Methodist chapel was built, and "two
or three more preachers had gone out on the Methodist plan." It is within the range of conjecture
that Mr. Poythress was one of these:-- in the fall of 1775, he was received as a traveling preacher,
at a quarterly meeting on Brunswick Circuit, together with James Foster, and Joseph Hartley. See
Asbury's Journal, vol. i., p. 124. He became a very considerable preacher among the Methodists.
For twelve years in succession, from 1786 to 1797, he filled what has since been called the office
of Presiding Elder. In 1797, when Mr. Asbury was much afflicted, and worn down by labor, he
was making, in his judgment, a selection of suitable men to strengthen the Episcopacy, he named
three, Messrs. Whatcoat, Lee, and Poythress. The General Conference of 1800 elected but one, and
the lot fell on Mr. Whatcoat. At this time Mr. Poythress must have stood very high in Mr. Asbury's
estimation, as he regarded him as a suitable person to help bear the burden of the Episcopacy. He
followed the tide of emigration, too; and assisted in planting Methodism in Kentucky. His name is
found in the Minutes for the last time in 1802. It is not said how he retired from the work. In 1810,
Mr. Asbury saw him for the last time in Jessamine county; he says, "This has been an awful day to
me; I visited Francis Poythress; if thou beest he, but, O how fallen!"
Here is a more complete passage related to the founding of the college documenting John C. Poythress as an early trustee.
Title: History of Randolph-Macon College, Virginia The Oldest Incorporated Methodist College in America
Author: Richard Irby
Release Date: July 14, 2012 [EBook #40229]
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK HISTORY OF RANDOLPH-MACON ***
We have a will for John C. Poythress (of Georgia) posted here:
Perhaps more is archived -- I have not yet started to see what we may already know. It is intriguing to see this possible connection back to the county of Mecklenberg.
(I do not have the page number since I looked at an online version of the book, but I believe it is page 30.
The first meeting of the Board of Trustees after the opening was held
February 5, 1833.
At this meeting the following communication from the Georgia Conference
"We feel a deep interest in the success of Randolph-Macon College. We have full confidence in its moral and literary character and prospects, and we will recommend it to the patronage of all who may be disposed to send their sons or wards beyond the limits of the State to be educated.
"We will appoint four Trustees agreeable to the proposal made by Brother
Early, the Agent of the College, who visited us. Whereupon the
Conference nominated the Rev. Ignatius Few and Rev. Lovick Pierce,
members of the Conference, and Seaborn Jones and John C. Poythress,
Esquires, for that purpose.
"Resolved, That the Trustees of Randolph-Macon College be invited through their representative, the Rev. John Early, to send an agent, whenever they may judge it most suitable, to obtain donations within the Conference in aid of the institution; and that Brother Early be, and he is hereby, invited to take up contributions.
"(Signed) JNO. HOWARD,
"Sec'y Georgia Conference."
The nominees named above were elected Trustees of the College.
Rev. I. A. Few and Rev. L. Pierce were, by resolution of the Board, requested to act as agents for the College in the Boards of the Georgia Conference for securing funds for the College.
Rev. Robert G. Loving, A. B., was elected assistant teacher in the
Rev. John Early was appointed Agent for the College in the place of Rev.
H. G. Leigh, resigned, and Rev. W. A. Smith was appointed Assistant
Agent in place of Rev. William Hammett who had signified his intention
This is the fourth post about a transcription of membership and baptism
records of Methodist “classes” on the “Mecklenburg Circuit” of the
Virginia Methodist Conference, touching from the 1830’s into the
1870’s. This post treats the Rehoboth congregation.
The Rehoboth Methodist church meets at 1919 Blackridge Road, La Crosse,
Virginia [36º 35' 56.0"" N (36.598884); 78º 4' 12.9"" W (-78.070248)].
This is about 5.4 miles by road southeast of Sardis, in what is
historically the Blackridge community of southeastern Mecklenburg
County. I could not find much on Rehoboth’s history, but understand
that it was gathered in 1833, and, like Sardis, has always met at or
near its present location. After a fire in 2004 destroyed the 1888
building, the church rebuilt at the same location.
In the transcription I find the following years associated to Rehoboth:
1834, 1835, 1851, 1854, 1855, 1856, 1858, 1859, 1863, 1864, 1866, 1869,
1870, 1871, 1874.
With Rehoboth I find 11 entries which I propose associate to three
Poythress relations, as follows:
I propose the following seven entries are the same person:
Page 174, section 3924, Lucy J. Poythress????? [sic], married, Rehoboth
Page 199, section 4544, Lucy Portress [sic], married, Rehoboth Class 1855
Page 235, section 5452, Lucy J Portress [sic], married, Rehoboth Class
No 1 1856
Page 273, section 6391, Lucy J. Poythress, [marital status blank],
Rehoboth Class 1858
Page 300, section 7059, Lucy J. Poytheness [sic], [marital status
blank], Rehoboth Class 1859
Page 323, section 7617, Lucy J. Poythress, married, Rehoboth Class 1863
Page 362, section 8580, Lucy J. Poythress, married, Rehoboth Class 1866,
“Dropped by church conference Oct 1874”
[I propose this is Lucy J. Thomas, born ca 1826, Mecklenburg Co., Va.,
daughter of Bennett Thomas and his second wife, Nancy ???. Lucy married
Thomas M. Poythress, son of Lewis Poythress, before 1846. These are my
twice-great-grandparents through son James David Poythress. Lucy died
sometime between 1891 and 1896.]
I propose the following two entries are the same person:
Page 324, section 7649, William L. Poythress, single, Rehoboth Class
1863, “Received Aug. 1863”
Page 363, section 8602, William L. Poythress, single, Rehoboth Class
1866, “Dropped by Church Conference Oct. 1874”
[I propose this is William Lewis Poythress, 1845-1915, eldest son of the
above-mentioned Thomas M. and Lucy J. Poythress. (I find it interesting
that both William and his mother were dropped from membership during the
same 1874 conference.)]
I propose the following two entries are the same person:
Page 324, section 7630, Anna J. Jones, single, Rehoboth Class 1863,
Page 362, section 8591, Anna J, Poythress, married, Rehoboth Class 1866
[I propose this is Anna Jane (“Ella”) Jones, 1844-1915, who I understand
from Julie Cabitto to be daughter of James B. Jones and Martha Newman.
Anna married the above-mentioned William L. Poythress in 1865.]
In the transcription I also find the following, that I propose to be
entries of sisters of the above-mentioned Lucy J. Thomas Poythress:
Page 148, section 3386, Rebecca A. Thomas, single, Rehoboth Class 1851
Page 199, section 4552, Amanda F. Thomas, single, Rehoboth Class 1855
Page 235, section 5461, Amanda F. Thomas, single, Rehoboth Class No 1 1856
There are many other entries of Thomas at Rehoboth, and it is likely
some are relations of Lucy, but for the purposes of this post I will
stop with these.
It should be noted that there is another Rehoboth (or Rehobeth)
Methodist Church in the county, which meets at 3577 Phyllis Road,
Boydton, Virginia. This Boydton-area Rehoboth does not appear by that
name in the transcription. However, Taylors Meeting House, which may be
a predecessor of this Boydton-area Rehoboth, does appears in the
transcription. To my knowledge, all references to Rehoboth in the
transcription are to the Blackridge-area Rehoboth.
I expect in a next message to cover Poythress relations in the Zion
congregation. Meanwhile, comments are welcomed on what I have shared so
Poythress-List folk, with info copy to Julie, who I don't think is
currently on the Poythress-List
Last night, I found in my genie program a Mecklenburg County, VA land
petition, which had been filed at Library of Virginia in Mecklenburg VA
Chancery case 1852-013. I thought the land petition could be helpful to
Julie in some work she is doing on Mecklenburg land -- so I sent the land
petition last night in just a personal email to her with a copy to Lyn.
Now tonight, having taken a bit more time to look at what I had (thanks to
a follow-up question from Lyn), I've now found the FULL transcription I did
back in June 2007 of this short Chancery Case. I can see also the family
notes I made in the email at that time.
Since all of this was in an email I sent to the Poythress-List on 27 June
2007, and since that was one of the emails rootsweb has yet to successfully
restore to the List Archives, I am sending (below) the full June 2007
transcription (with my then-comments) again to the Poythress-List not only
for the current benefit of Lyn and me, with a copy to Julie, but also in
hopes that this version WILL now be archived by rootsweb.
This CROWDER family mentioned in the Chancery Case is apparently the family
of Elizabeth J Crowder who married my line's Joshua Lewis Poythress, who
was the eldest son of James Edward Poythress & Catherine nee Preston. This
is not a family on which I had previously done my own research. Tomorrow
afternoon, between 2 meetings, or on Friday, I'll post what info I have,
after examining a census record (thanks, Lyn). In the meantime, must
sleep;) Below is the re-post of the full Chancery case transcription with
my 2007 comments. Barbara
Subject: Transcription Mecklenburg 1852-013 Petition
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2007 23:09:10 -0600
From: Barbara Neal <bp_neal @ ... >
To: Poythress List <POYTHRESS(a)rootsweb.com>
This Petition is listed in LVA's Chancery Case Index as:
P1: PETITION OF SARAH W CROWDER &C BY ETC
Surnames CROWDER, POYTHRESS
Only 2 documents and a case wrapper are in the file. The first document,
filed at the Nov 1852 Court, includes among the petitioners the eldest son
of James Edward Poythress: Joshua Poythress & his wife Elizabeth formerly
Elizabeth Crowder. This young couple had just married in Mecklenburg Co on
17 Oct 1852 (per Family Bible type record on file at LVA as Accession
#34866), after having gotten their Marriage License on 30 Sep 1852 in
Warren Co, NC.
From the way the other Crowder names are listed in this Petition, they
would likely be Elizabeth's mother and siblings.
Sterling Crowder, the deceased mentioned in the Petition, would
logically have been (though the Petition does not specifically say) the
husband of Petitioner Sarah W. Crowder and the father of Elizabeth and the
other Crowders listed. Unfortunately his year of death was not filled in,
but was just left as "18__."
I find the deceased's first name of Sterling intriguing because I've
seen a listing sent by a List member (who photocopied Marriage Bond Index
info from the NC Archives microfiche for NC Marriage Bonds on file in
Oxford, Granville Co, NC), which shows a marriage indexed for Sarah Crowder
& James R. Portis [Poythress], showing a marriage bond dated 13 Jan 1827 in
Northampton Co, NC, with Bondsman Thomas R. Hutson; and witness was Sam L.
Calvert, married by John Jones, MG (Minister of the Gospel) and listing "M.
25 Dec 1865" (sic).
Our List members have told us that this couple, James R. Portis
[Poythress] and Sarah Crowder, had children whose names included a Sterling
Poythress, as well as William Poythress, James Poythress, Lovel Poythress,
Joseph Poythress, and Richard Plunk Poythress; several of these sons
married Turner women.
This 1852-013 Petition of Sarah Crowder & others in Mecklenburg Co, VA
was later dismissed in the November Term 1872 under a 7 Years Ruling for
unresolved cases, as is noted on the case wrapper.
Transcribed 27 Jun 2007 by Barbara Poythress Neal:
Mecklenburg Chancery Case 1852-013
[Front of first document. Note: the 2nd middle initial of John W._.
Crowder could be something other than an "L"]
To the worshipful the County Court of Mecklenburg in Chancery sitting.
Your petitioners Sarah W. Crowder, Julius L. Crowder, Wiley H. Crowder,
Joshua Poythress & Elizabeth his wife, formerly Elizabeth Crowder, Sarah
Crowder, Nelson Crowder, and John W.L. Crowder the last three of whom are
infants under the age of twenty one years by Wiley H. Crowder their next
friend, respectfully shew to the Court, that Sterling Crowder departed this
life some time in the year 18__ that before his death he sold to one Betsy
Macklin, Mary Macklin, & Nancy Macklin a small parcel of Land lying in the
County of Mecklenburg containing about fifty acres for the sum of one
hundred & twenty dollars_ that the said Sterling Crowder made no
conveyance of the said Land to the said purchasers in his life time_ that
the said purchasers have paid thirty dollars of the purchase money, and
that your petitioners are informed that they are ready and willing to pay
the residue of the purchase money, and believing that the said Land sold
for its value, they are willing and desirous that the sale shall be
conformed, and that a conveyance be made to the said purchasers or to any
other person that the said purchasers may direct when the residue of the
purchase money shall be paid_ But your petitioners are advised that this
cannot be done without the intervention of this Court where such matters
are only cognizable_ therefore they pray that this Court will appoint some
suitable person to receive the residue of the purchase money and to convey
the right & title of the said Land to the said purchasers or to any other
person or persons that the said purchasers may direct and grant unto your
petitioners such other & general relief as your worships may deem fit &C
[Back of document. Note: again, the 2nd middle initial of John W._.
Crowder could be something other than an "L"]
Upon the petition of Sarah W. Crowder, Julius Crowder, Wiley H.
Crowder, Joshua Poythress & Elizabeth his wife formerly Elizabeth Crowder,
Sarah Crowder, Nelson Crowder, John W.L. Crowder the last three of whom are
infants under the age of twenty one years by their next friend Wiley H.
Crowder, the Court doth appoint Wiley H. Crowder a special Commissioner for
that purpose, to receive the residue of the purchase money for a tract of
Land sold by Sterling Crowder in his life time to Betsy Macklin, Mary
Macklin & Nancy Macklin; and the Court doth further order and decree that
the said Commissioner do convey with special warranty the said Land to the
said Betsy Macklin, Mary Macklin & Nancy Macklin or to any other person or
persons that they may direct_ but the said Commissioner shall not receive
any money under this decree untill he enters into bond with good security
in the penalty of $180 before this Court or before the Clerk in his office
for the faithful discharge of his duty and the Court doth further order &
decree that the Commissioner shall pay the costs of this decree, and report
his proceeding to this Court_ and the Court doth further order & decree
that the said Comr after paying the costs of this decree pay over the
residue of the money to the representative of Sterling Crowder decd._
[2nd document has handwriting filling in the blanks of a bond form for
Mecklenburg Co Court]
Know all men by these presents, that we
Wiley H. Crowder, Alexander(?) Boyd & John W. King are held and firmly
bound unto the Commonwealth of Virginia in the sum of $180 dollars to pay
which, we bind ourselves, our heirs, &c. jointly and severally firmly by
these presents. Sealed with our seals, and dated this 20 day of December
The condition of the above obligation is such, that if the above bound
Wiley H. Crowder who has [marked out are the words: been appointed a Comr]
by a decree of the County Court of Mecklenburg by a petition of Sarah W.
Crowder & others, Commissioner to collect the money for a tract of Land,
sold by Sterling Crowder in his life time. [Note: other words had earlier
been written in this lower portion, but were lined out, and are too
difficult to read on this photocopy] shall faithfully discharge the duties
of said Comr according to the said Decree, then the above obligation i[s]
to be void[,] otherwise to remain
in full force and virtue.
Wiley H. Crowder
A G Boyd
Jno W King
[printed at bottom of form, and not filled in, is:]
Mecklenburg County Court ___________ term, 185_
This bond was acknowledged by the obligators thereto and ordered to be
[Wrapper of the case:]
["126" and 2 short words or numbers are scratched out before the name:]
King [and another number is scratched out after King]
Sarah W. Crowder
and others 108
1852 Novr Court
1872 Nov T[erm] Dismissed
under 7 Years ruling
= = =
obit for Louise Poythress Lee
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Ginger Malphrus <ginmal(a)georgiasouthern.edu>
Date: Mon, Feb 18, 2019 at 12:49 PM
Subject: I want to forward this to the Poythress mailing group
To: Jackie Malphrus <malphrusjackie(a)gmail.com>
*Staff Assistant President's Office/Faculty Senate Office*
*PO Box 8033 Georgia Southern University 912-478-5144 FAX: 912-478-0598*
*Faculty Senate web page: **http://academics.georgiasouthern.edu/facultysenate/
This is the third post about a transcription of membership and baptism
records of Methodist “classes” on the “Mecklenburg Circuit” of the
Virginia Methodist Conference, touching from the 1830’s into the
1870’s. This post treats the Sardis congregation.
It is my understanding that Sardis has always met at or near its present
meeting location, 3152 Marengo Road, La Crosse, Virginia [36º 38' 35.2"
N (36.643125), 78º 6' 59.0" W (-78.116396)]. This is in the
historically Marengo community of southeastern Mecklenburg County. From
/Life by the Roaring Roanoke/ [Susan Bracey, 1977], p 109: “Meetings
were held [at the house of Lewis Williams] until 1812 when a
meeting-house was erected nearby and named "Sardis" by [Methodist
preacher, John] Early. The land on which Sardis was built had been
deeded by Smith and Ann Rainey to Lewis Williams, Williamson Rainey,
Ebenezar MacGowan, George Rogers, James Nolley, Samuel Holmes, and Lewis
Grigg, as trustees. The present Sardis Church, at Marengo, is the third
building, erected about 1911 on land given earlier by W. B. Cleaton. It
had been preceded by one built about 1844.” See also
http://www.sardis-umc.org/history/. I find in the transcription the
following years associated to Sardis: 1835, 1844, 1851, 1855, 1856,
1858, 1859, 1863, 1866, 1867, 1868, 1869, 1870, 1871, 1872, 1873, 1874,
and 1875. I find five Poythress-related entries, listed below in the
order of the transcription:
Page 146, section 3343, Nathan Poythross(?) [sic], single, Sardis Class 1851
[I propose this is Nathan Poythress, 1830-1862, son of James E. and
Catherine Preston Poythress.]
Page 146, section 3344, Sarah Poythross(?) [sic], single, Sardis Class 1851
[I propose this is Sarah A. V. Poythress, born 1832-1835, Mecklenburg
Co., Va., daughter of Edward and Mahala (Mahaley) Nance Poythress.
Sarah was the second wife of widowed German D. Redman, married
Mecklenburg Co., Va., 01/24/1856. (I do not find in the records a
candidate for German or any member of his first family.) From census
records it appears Sarah died before 1870, in Granville Co. or Person
Co., NC – leaving six children ages 2 to 12: Nancy S., James Robert,
Martha E., Thomas E. and Georgianna.]
Page 146, section 3346, Joshua E. Poythress(?) [sic], single, Sardis
[I propose this is Joshua Lewis Poythress, 1828-1854, son of James E.
and Catherine Preston Poythress. From Barbara Poythress Neal we have
that Joshua married Elizabeth J. Crowder in 1852, bond Warren County,
NC. (I do not find a candidate for Elizabeth Crowder in the records.)]
Page 146, section 3349, Harriet E. Poythross(?) [sic], single, Sardis
[I propose this is Harriet Poythress, born about 1834, daughter of
Edward and Mahala (Mahaley) Nance Poythress.]
Page 415, section 9890, Bettie Jane Poythress, [marital state not give],
Baptism 1869 B. H. Johnson Sardis
[I propose this is Elizabeth, born May 1854, daughter of Thomas M. and
Lucy Thomas Poythress. Elizabeth married Thomas Mills in Mecklenburg
Co., Va., 03/24/1884.]
I find interesting the presence of members of the James E. and Edward
Poythress households in the same congregation the same year. No doubt
they would have been acquainted – being of near ages, and single, in a
congregation of less than eighty persons. The 1850 Mecklenburg Census
lists James E. Poythress as household 217 and Edward Poythress as
household 241. From Barbara Poythress Neal’s study of James and
Catherine at poythress.org, "James Edward Poythress moved from
Mecklenburg Co, VA, to Sumter Co, AL in approximately January of 1853,
with above-mentioned wife and all 8 children, and reportedly with his
nephew, James Speed Poythress." In the 1860 Census Edward Poythress is
in household 645, Granville County, North Carolina. (This census entry
is problematic – named spelled Paithress, Edward’s age 85, Edward’s sex
female, Edward’s race mulatto, and in household of a Rebecca Johnson –
but Mahaly is also in the household, and there seems no reason to doubt
this is our Edward Poythress.)
I have some uncertainty about the identity of “Bettie Jane Poythress.”
During 1855 through at least 1866 her would-be mother, Lucy, is shown on
the roll of another congregation, Rehoboth. During 1863 through at
least 1866 her would-be brother, William L., is also on the Rehoboth
roll. In spite of this, I place this “Bettie Jane Poythress” in the
Thomas M. and Lucy Poythress family for three reasons: 1) I find no
other candidate Elizabeth/Bettie in Mecklenburg in that timeframe; 2) as
of the 1850 census the Thomas M. Poythress household was next door to
the James E. Poythress household, therefore “in the Sardis
neighborhood,” so it would not be unreasonable that 19 years later the
family still had ties back to Sardis; 3) from my knowledge of other
persons in this transcription, it appears that people sometimes got
baptized at a meeting house other than their own, so Bettie Jane might
have attended Rehoboth even though she was baptized at Sardis. Also,
for perspective, in good weather Rehoboth and Sardis are about 90
minutes apart by horse, two hours apart by foot, so it would not be
unreasonable for members of one to attend an event at the other.
I expect in a next message to cover Rehoboth Poythress relations.
Meanwhile, comments welcomed on what I have shared so far. --Lyn
This is the second post about a transcription of membership and baptism
records of Methodist “classes” on the “Mecklenburg Circuit” of the
Virginia Methodist Conference, touching from the 1830’s into the 1870’s.
Southside Virginia was a pioneering area for American
Methodism.Randolph-Macon College, a historically Methodist school, was
established at Boydton, Mecklenburg County, in 1830.Mid-nineteenth
century Methodist circuits in southside Virginia consisted of many
congregations, variously termed “churches” and “classes.”Each was
typically served by one itinerant clergyman, assisted by lay preachers.
Composition of the Mecklenburg Circuit varied over the years.In this
transcription of I find mention of as many as 35 distinct
congregations.My research indicates that most, 21, were in *Mecklenburg*
County, of which 13 are /historical/, that is, are no longer active
Methodist congregations.These 21 of Mecklenburg County, with historical
ones shown in /italics/, are as follows:Boydton, /Canaan/, /College
Station/ (likely Randolph-Macon College), /Concord/ (shared with
Baptists and Presbyterians), Easters, /El Bethel/, Ephesus, /Gilgal/,
Kingswood (also Kings Wood, formerly Calvary), /Lombardy Grove/, /Old
Bethel/, “/Old Church/” (shared with Episcopalians), Providence,
Rehoboth, /Ridge Grove/, /Salem/, Sardis, /South Hill/ (also Southhill),
/St. James/ (acquired from Episcopalians), /Taylors/, and Zion.Five of
the 35 were in southwestern *Brunswick* County, as follows:Bethany,
Pleasant Grove, Prospect, Rock, and /Tabernacle/.One of the 35, Antioch,
was and is in southern *Lunenburg* County, and one, Hebron, was and is
in southeastern *Charlotte* County.My research finds no information on
seven of the 35, as follows:/Centenary Chapel/, /Davis/ (also Davises),
/High Grove/, /Lion/, /Oak Grove/, /Sharon/, and /Spring Hill/.Of the 28
having a known location, 26 were located between Meherrin River to the
north and Roanoke River to the south.The other two, Antioch and Pleasant
Grove, were located north of the Meherrin.
I have been personally familiar with many of these congregations, having
grown up along the Mecklenburg-Brunswick border, and being raised
Methodist.At different times in my father’s childhood, he and his family
attended Sardis, Kingswood and Canaan.My dad, though not a pastor, was a
designated lay speaker, and I sometimes went along when he “filled a
pulpit.”For this and other reasons – weddings, funerals, revivals,
homecomings, fifth Sunday sings – I have visited at least Bethany,
/Canaan/, Kingswood, Pleasant Grove, Prospect, Providence, Rehoboth,
Rock, Sardis and /Tabernacle/, that I recall.
The Poythress relations I have so far identified in these records are
found in three congregations – Sardis, Rehoboth and Zion – all in
eastern Mecklenburg County, and all still actively gathered:
* Sardis meets at 3152 Marengo Road, La Crosse, VA 23950.
* Rehoboth meets at 1919 Blackridge Road, La Crosse, about 5 miles
southeast of Sardis.
* Zion meets at 3055 Busy Bee Road, South Hill, VA23970, about 12
miles west-northwest of Sardis.
I hope this provides useful background.I expect in a next message to
start sharing the Poythress relations I have found, starting with those
in Sardis congregation.Meanwhile, comments on what I have shared so far
will be very welcomed. --Lyn
Recently I rediscovered a file of historical records that I had received
many years ago. It is a transcription of membership and baptism records
of Methodist “classes” on the “Mecklenburg Circuit” of the Virginia
Methodist Conference, touching from the 1830’s into the 1870’s. In
these records I find some Poythress relations, and it appears these
records have not been brought up on our list before, so I will share
what I have found.
Since I have not contributed to the list for many years, I will
reintroduce myself. I am Lynwood Poythress Baird, and I go by Lyn. My
Poythress progenitor is Lewis Poythress (ca 1765 Dinwiddie Co, Va – ca
1846 Mecklenburg Co, Va). My line from Lewis is as follows: Lewis
Poythress > Thomas M. Poythress > James David Poythress > Leonard
Talmadge Poythress > Beatrice Poythress Baird > me. I grew up in the
Mecklenburg-Brunswick area of Virginia, close to where all my Poythress
line lived. I was a member of the list from around 1997 until several
years back, and just recently joined again.
This transcription has thousands of membership and baptismal entries –
with numerous glosses on marriages, deaths and so forth – contained in a
Microsoft Excel workbook. I do not have access to the original records,
and do not know where they are. Julie Cabitto, another member of this
list, received this workbook in February 2007, and shared it with me and
other researchers in October 2008. As Julie explained in 2008, “/This
is from Frances Clark, with the Southside Historical Society
[Virginia]…There was a lady that brought this to Frances. The lady was a
descendant of a Methodist Minister who kept all these records. She
turned over the original book to a museum in I think Lexington. But
before the lady did, she transcribed the whole book. I asked Frances
recently and she couldn't remember for sure the lady's name or the
museum's name where the original book is held./” Just a few weeks back
Julie provided me this update: “/Way back then, I had several talks
with Frances Clark. She told me a lady had just talked to her about
Methodist records, an ancestor was the record keeper. At the time
Frances was Pres of Gen[ealogical] society when they had one. The book
was being donated to a library in Lynchburg. But before she donated it,
she made this Excel file & gave it to Frances since she was the
leader./” Having now worked with this transcription, I am very
interested to get access to the original records, or at least to know
there whereabouts. Thinking perhaps the “library in Lynchburg” might be
Jones Memorial Library (https://www.jmlibrary.org/), I reached out to
them last week, but after much patient searching, the reference
librarian was unable to locate any possibilities in their collection. I
have not made further attempts to locate the original. I can only hope
it is in good hands for posterity. Perhaps others on the list will have
some demystifying information to share.
Since I do not have access to the original records, I cannot vouch for
the accuracy of the transcription. However, the materials appear
authentic to me. Also, there is of course a question of the accuracy of
the original records. I find what appear to be minor discrepancies that
one might expect in records such as these, kept in the manner I expect
they were kept. Of note, I find cases of repeated entries for who
appears to me to be a single person, in which there are variations in
the name, in particular with the middle initial. Again, I do not find
this surprising, but because of this, I am tending to overlook
differences in middle initials in my proposed identification of people.
Enough for now. I will try in another message to share some general
information about Methodism in Southside Virginia, and the Mecklenburg
Circuit in the nineteenth century. From there I hope to get into the
Poythress relations. Meanwhile, comments on what I have shared so far
will be very welcomed. --Lyn
Due to Rootsweb's decision to close all mailing lists the Poythress group has moved to Groups.io/g/Poythress for continuation of the discussion list. The message archive (1997 - March, 2020) will remain accessible via Rootsweb.