Pittsylvania Co, VA Aldersons

The following article is a transcription of a handwritten document in the possession of Tim Alderson of Pittsylvania Co, VA. The document was given to him by his uncle, Edward Alderson. Tim believes that that the document was given to his Uncle Edward by his Aunt Ruth. The transcription closely follows the original, and question marks indicate where the writing was unclear. Only minor spelling corrections and punctuation have been added.

The information provided in the document has not been independently documented and verified, and some contradictions with known records have been found. Researchers are advised to establish documented proof of any assertions.

Alderson Ancestors

Generation I: 

Our earliest ancestor of the Alderson line that I have been able to find was John Alderson, born in England, circa 177? or earlier, as his son William, from who we are descended, was born circa 1801  (he, Wm, was already 75 when he died September 8, 1877). Proof: In a sworn statement, dated April 16, 1931, Charles Henry Alderson, son of William Alderson, and grandson of John & Mary Gould Alderson, gave the following information: "To Whom It May Concern: This is to certify that I am now the only surviving member of my father's family and make the statement herein described that my children and grandchildren might keep an authentic record of my ancestors' names. My father was William Alderson of English birth, my mother being Frances Daniel of Halifax Co., Va. My grandfather was John Alderson and my grandmother was Mary Gould also of English birth. all my ancestors were born in England except my mother's. They were Quakers (or either knew of them) as I often heard them talking about them together. Given under my hand and seal this 16th day of April 1931. 
C. C. Chaney (seal) 
Signed: Charles Henry Alderson 
(Witness) F. C. Alderson 
Notary Public (Witness) Berkley Alderson, Halifax Co., Va. 
(Witness) John Ed Alderson 
Sworn & subscribed before me on this 16th day April 1931 C. C. Chaney, N. P.

Generation II: 

William A???? Alderson, son of John and Mary Gould Alderson, born circa 1801, in England, according to the foregoing sworn statement; married Frances M. Daniel, daughter of John Daniel on Dec. 22, 1825, in Halifax County, Va. (marriage bond dated Nov. 2, 1825, on file in Halifax County records, Bk I, p. 118). I do not know the name of her (Frances') mother. There were several John Daniel's in Halifax Co. in late 1700's and early 1800's. One John Daniel married Matitia Sims the dau. of Matthew & Amy (Mays) Sims Feb. 21, 1803. I have been told that William's wife Frances was called "Frankie". William Alderson died in Pittsylvania Co., Va., Sept. 8, 1877, at age 75, according to death certificate, which shows that his wife Frances M. Alderson was still living.

Burton W. Alderson, son of William gave the information on the death certificate, that his father was born in Pittsylvania Co., Va., which we know by the sworn statement is an error, & that he was born in England. Burton W. Alderson did not know the names of his father's parents as their names were not given. & if he did not know their names then it is certainly possible that he did not know that his father was born in England & assumed he was born in Pittsylvania Co. in Va.

William Alderson's will dated Aug. 5, 1877, probated Oct. 15, 1877, Pittsylvania Co. records, bequeaths to: My wife Frances; daughter Mary J. Richardson; sons Charles H., John R., Burton W., James M., William H., Richard T., Peter E. ..........

Children of William & Frances M. Daniel Alderson:

1. James M. Alderson. b. Jan. 6, 1828 (See Generation III)

2. Richard Thompson Alderson. (died 1867) married Harriet Kathryn Ma???

3. Peter E. Alderson. Bible of his niece Mary Elizabeth Alderson gi?? born Jan. 16, 1852, son of Wm Alderson & Frances his w??? He married Sallie Jane Terry. She died Jan. 1931. Peter died before that date (from newspaper)

4. Burton W. Alderson. Bible of his niece Mary E. Alderson gives: born Sept. 20,18? son of Wm Alderson & Frances his wife He married Virginia Ann Strickland, dau. of James Strickland. She died 1924. Burton died in Danville, (1927-? at age 80 (newspaper)

5. Charles Henry Alderson. Bible of Mary E. Alderson gives: "Born Aug 20, 185?  son of Wm Alderson & his wife Frances."  He married Sarah (Sally) J. Hodnett b. 1853, April sister of Chas. Henry Hodnett. Charles H. Alderson died June 18, 1931. The newspaper clipping of 1931 his death states he was in his 82nd year, & was  a member of Old Mill Church.     

(side note) He is the son who gave the information about England ancestors on 16th before he died June 18th.

(side note) William Alderson and his wife Frances M. Daniel Alderson are buried in the family cemetery in Pittsylvania Co., Va., but there are no tombstones at their graves.

6. Hutchings F. Alderson. Bible of Mary E. Alderson gives: Hutchings F. Alderson born Aug. 185-, son of Wm Alderson & Frances his wife. The "Death & Birth Register in Courthouse Chatham, Va., gives: Hutchings Alderson born Aug 1853 (p. 12), & on page 111, Hutchins ? Alderson died Sept. 9, 1875 (before date of his father's ??

7. Mary J. Alderson - married - - - Richardson

8. William H. Alderson. Pittsylvania Co., Birth & Death Reg. gives: William Alderson died Sept. 8, 1885

9. John R. Alderson. Mary E. Alderson's Bible gives: "born Jan. 18, 18?? son of Wm Alderson & Frances his wife." Pittsylvania Co. Birth & Death Register gives: John Alderson died Sept. 13, 1885. (page 128) (Note: Aunt Frances once told me that grandma had two uncles who died the same week of small pox. I believe they were Wm H. & John R. Alderson who d. Sept 8 & Sept 13, 1885)

?10. Louisa G. Alderson born in Pittsylvania Co., 1854 (This I al?? found in the Pittsylvania Co., Birth & Death Reg. She may have been a daughter of Wm & Frances Daniel Alderson & the middle initial "G" may have stood for Gould. If she was their dau. she would have been a twin of John R. who was born Jan. 1854, and since she was not named in her father's will dated 1877, s? had probably died before that date.

Generation III: 

James M (or W?) Alderson born Jan. 6, 1828, died Aug. 10 1??? married Elizabeth Nathaniel Lewis, born Jan. 26, 1824, died June 4, 1??? They are buried in the family cemetery in Pittsylvania Co., Va., & their birth and death dates are from the tombstones at their graves. The only marriage record I have found is the old marriage bond, the original is in the courthouse in Halifax Co., Va., on the letter written by Elizabeth N. Lewis (in her own handwriting) from which the following was copied: (the original in courthouse at Halifax)

To the Clerk of Halifax County, Virginia

Sir please to grant James Westley Alderson Liscence for him and myself to join in Holy Matrimony to be lawfully married and this shall be your authority for so doing this the 4th day of November 1??? signed: Elizabeth N. Lewis Teste: James R. Moorefield

The old marriage bond bears the signatures of James Wesley Alderson & James R. Moorefield (Note: James R Moorefield married Amanda Lewis, sister of Elizabeth Nathaniel Lewis who married James (M?) Alderson. Both couples lived in Pittsylvania County, on adjoining plantations & are buried in the family cemetery there.

In April 1954, Charles Edgar Alderson, the youngest son of James M. & Elizabeth N. Alderson, showed me a framed & glassed in record with dates written in ??? ink, of the Marriage, birth and death dates of his parents. The birth and death dates were the same as those on their tombstones, but the marriage date was Jan. 1849. I'm sure the Nov. 1850 date is correct, as my grandmother was their first child and she was born Aug. 1851. Elizabeth's middle initial was written "T" on the framed record. On the tombstone it is "E". I have proof that it was "N" and that the "N" stood for Nathaniel. In the old framed record was a lock of Elizabeth's hair, which was dark brown in color. Aunt Frances told me that she had always known that her grandmother Alderson's name was Elizabeth Nathaniel Lewis Alderson. When I told her that it, the middle initial, was "E" on her tombstone, she said she had never noticed it. There also seemed to be some confusion about the middle initial of James. On all the records except the letter to the county clerk and the old marriage bond, it is "M"____ but on there his name is written James Wesley Alderson. He probably went by the name James and wrote his middle initial "W" so much like an "M" that it was mistaken for "M" ___ Until I saw the old marriage bond & letter to the clerk, I was under the impression that his middle name was "Monroe".

In a Birth & Death Register in Pittsylvania Co. Courthouse at Chatham the birth records of three of their children are given, & in each case the names of the parents are given: James M & Elizabeth N. Alderson.

The will of James Alderson was probated in Pittsylvania Co., Apr. 21, 1913.

Children of James W. (or M?) & Elizabeth Nathaniel Lewis Alderson:

1. Amanda Virginia Alderson born Aug. 7, 1851, died March 16, 1940 married Chas. Henry Hodnett March 15, 1871

2. Thomas (Tom) Alderson

3. James Newton Alderson died after March 16, 1940

4. Frances (Fannie) Alderson

5. Pocahontas (Poc) her birth was in the old Register in Chatham but I failed to copy the date. It gave dau. of James M & Elizabeth N. Alderson

6. Mary Elizabeth Alderson died Dec. 12, 1938 (from newspaper) Her Bible has some family records.

7. William Abner Alderson Pittsylvania Co. Birth & death Reg. gives "son of James M & Elizabeth N. Alderson b. 1869 - Sept. 18". He died July 1954. Married Jan. 10, 1893 Mary Virginia Reeves, widow of William H. Sparrow, & dau. of Abram & Eliza Anne Chaney Re??

8. Charles Edgar Alderson Pittsylvania Co. Birth & Death Reg. gives: "Son of James M. & Elizabeth N. Alderson, born 1875". (He died Aug. 15, 1959) Note: Joel Alderson who died Aug. 11, 1856 & Rebecca Alderson who died May 28, 187? whose deaths are recorded in Pittsylvania Co. Birth & Death Reg. may have been children of James & Elizabeth N. Alderson.

I have been looking for the early Lewis ancestors of my great grandmother, Elizabeth Nathaniel Lewis Alderson. She was the daughter of John Lewis who married Mary (Polly) Hardy in Pittsylvania Co, April 26, 1803. Geo. Hardy gave his consent for Mary's marriage but the record did not give relationship. Reubin Lewis was surety. Reubin may have been brother of John Lewis. The records show he married Nancy, dau. of Geo. Hardy Sept. 26, 1797, surety John Hardy & John Hardy had married Anne Lewis in 1794.

Children of John & Mary (Polly) Hardy Lewis:

1. Levi Lewis b. 1809, died Dec. 13, 1885 age 76, married Martha Ann Satterfield dau. of Isaac & Mary Carter Satterfield, Jan. 13, 1845, Halifax Co., Va.

2. Sallie (Sarah) Lewis unmarried

3. Patsy (Martha?) Lewis unmarried

4. Abner Lewis married Elizabeth G. Burch Feb. 13, 1837, Pittsylvania Co.

5. William B. Lewis (middle initial "B" in his Bible but the marriage record in Halifax Co. gives "H") was born 1816; died 1897 or 1898. Married Sarah Owen Nov. 3, 1845 in Halifax Co. Their grandson, James Thomas Lewis, in 1957, told me that the Lewis' lived in the "Red Oak Hollow" area of Pittsylvania Co., & that Jack McLaughlin's widow owned the land (1957) where the old Lewis home stood.

6. Elijah Lewis born circa 1822. The copy of death certificate from Va. Bureau of Vital Statistics gives the following: "son of John & Mary Lewis, born in Pittsylvania Co., Va., died in Halifax, Co., June 15, 1853. age 30; wife Mary Anne Lewis." He married in Halifax Co., Oct. 27, 1845, according to family records Mary Hardy. The county court records give Mary Ann Puckett. She had probably been married before & was Mary Ann Hardy who had married a Puckett or Mary Ann Puckett who had married a Hardy.

7. Amanda Lewis married James R. Moorefield in Halifax Co., Jan. 31, 1850

8. Elizabeth Nathaniel Lewis born Jan. 26, 1824, married James W. (or M?) Alderson in Halifax Co., Nov. 4, 1850 (see record of their children p. 4) Mrs. Maude Carter Clements, Chatham, Va. had in her possession, when I visited her in Apr. 1963 two old school books that belonged to the Lewises who lived near the Renan, Pittsylvania Co., community. On the fly leaf of one, an old English Reader, was written: Littleberry Lewis Aug. 15, 1832 by John B. Lewis, Preceptor at Mt. Pleasant." "Littleberry bought book 1830 (Oct.)"

On the fly leaf of the other book was written: "James P. Lewis bought this book (pub. 1811) in Lynchburg July 1822" "Littleberry Lewis was born 1808" Ephriam Golver Lewis John B. Lewis James P. Lewis and on another page was written: "Washington was my great uncle - James P. Lewis" (Note: Betty Washington, sister of Geo. Washington, married Fielding Lewis & lived in Fredericksburg) Mrs. Clements said these were brothers & that the initial "P" in James' name stood for "Pleasants"

The will of John B. Lewis, on ???????? dated 1846, bequeaths to wife Rebecca; to s???? ??? ???? land taking in part of Betterton's Mt. To sons Ephriam G. Lewis, James P. Lewis, John Lewis.

There were two John Lewis in the early (late 1700's) Pittsylvania Co. "John Lewis of the "Byrd" & John Lewis of the "Mountain" Some of the Lewises intermarried with the descendants of John Rolfe & Pocahontas. Some of the girls of the descendents were named Pocahontas. maybe that was how Pocahontas Alderson came by her name.

I do not know whether our ancestors John & Mary Gould Alderson came to Virginia or remained in England, but I assume they died in England. I remember, when I was a girl, around the year 1913 or 1914, hearing my grandparents speak about a letter the family received telling about some money left to the family by someone who had died in England. I don't believe anything was ever done about it & I do not remember hearing the name of the person who had left the money. I now believe it was the Gould or Alderson estate. An uncle, who is nearly 80 now, told my sisters last year that he remembers the letter & that his family did talk to a lawyer. I do not know in what section of England our ancestors lived.

A. L. Rowes in his book, " The Early Churchhills" published 1956 says: Alice Gould, daughter of James Gould of Dorchester England, married Matthew Churchill & their great grandson, the first Winston Churchill born 1620, had a son Gen. Chas. Churchill, who married 1702 Mary Gould, daughter and sole heiress of James Gould of Dorchester England Esq. They had no children & on the husbands death in 1714 he left his property to his widow, who left it to her relations, the Goulds.

John N. Alderson of Alderson, West Va., says the West Virginia branch of the Alderson family is descended from immigrant John Alderson, born in Yorkshire England 1699 & died in Botetourt Co., Va. in 1780.

Do you know when Frances M. Daniel Alderson died? She was still living when her husband William Alderson made his will Oct. 15, 187?. They were grandparents of Pocahontas Alderson who married Geo. W. Cass??. If I can find the year she died I may be able to get copy of her death certificate from Va. Bureau of Vital Statistics. which would most likely show her mother's name, date and place of birth, etc.

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