Historical Figure of the Week

Thomas Barrett Conway (1779-1825)

Thomas Barrett Conway (1779-1825) was the illegitimate son of Ketura Barret (1746-1794) and Thomas Conaway of Stafford.  His name at birth was Thomas Conway Barret, but he later changed this to Thomas Barrett Conway.  Thomas inherited one of the freestone quarries at Rock Rimmon on Aquia Creek.  He ran this for many years, though he lived for some while at Ryefield in Goochland County.  In the 1820s Thomas supplied freestone for use at the University of Virginia.  In 1813 he married Eliza Newton (1797-1814), the daughter of Isaac Newton (c.1745-1838) of Little Falls in lower Stafford County.  She died at age 18 just ten weeks after giving birth to her only child and is buried in Richmond,  Virginia.  Thomas was buried with his mother and several other relatives at Rock Rimmon.

George Washington Conway (1818-1880)

George Washington Conway (1818-1880) was the son of John Moncure Conway (1779-1864) who was clerk of the circuit court in Stafford for nearly  half a century.  The 1871 land tax records list George as owning 286 1/2 acres on Chappawamsic Run, but he also inherited from his father land near the courthouse.  In 1842 he was first lieutenant of a cavalry unit in the 45th regiment of Virginia militia and in 1845 was captain of an artillery company.  George had a family with Charlotte M. Clark (c.1829-after 1906), an African American woman he purchased out of slavery.  During the early 20th century, Charlotte worked as a midwife around the Stafford Courthouse area.  She and her family lived on property now occupied by Paradise Mobile Home Park just south of the courthouse, possibly the property George had inherited from his father's estate.

Charles Adams Bryan (1849-1918)

Charles Adams Bryan (1849-1918) was the son of Richard Hughlett Bryan (1821-1906) and Eliza Jennings Cropper (1823-1891) who were originally from Cecil County, Maryand.  The Bryan family came to Stafford around 1858 and settled first at Richards' Hill (Ingleside) near Falmouth.  They were Unionists and left Stafford during the War Between the States and lost much of what they owned as a result.  After the war, they returned and settled near Stafford Courthouse.  Charles married Margaret Nelson Morton (1848-1927) who was the daughter of James Morton (1793-1859) of Spring Hill just east of Stafford Courthouse.  Margaret was a rather large woman fondly known as "Teeny Mother."  The Bryans lived in a large frame house that stood diagonally across U. S. Route 1 from the courthouse.  They had extra rooms and during the late 1800s and early 1900s, Margaret ran a boarding… Continue reading

William Tell Coates (born 1873)

William Tell Coates (born 1873) was from Washington, DC, but in 1903 purchased a tract of land located between Hope Road (Route 687) and Aquia Creek.  There was a landing here than became known as Tell Coates' Landing and during the early twentieth century, a considerable amount of timber, cordwood, and railroad ties were shipped from here.  The Pearson family later owned this property and the landing became known as Pearson's Point.

Taylor Chapman (c.1712-1750)

Taylor Chapman (c.1712-1750) was the son of Jonathan Chapman (died before 1749) and Jane Taylor and the grandson of Nathaniel Chapman (1709-1760) who had been manager of Accokeek Iron Works in Stafford.  Nathaniel owned land in Charles County, Maryland as well as in Stafford, Fauquier, and Fairfax Counties.  Nathaniel's home plantation in Maryland was directly across the Potomac River from Mount Vernon and the Chapman and Washington families were dear friends.  George Washington's father, Augustine Washington (1694-1743), was a shareholder in Accokeek's parent company and he and Nathaniel Chapman were both actively involved in the day-to-day iron making operations there.  In 1739 Taylor Chapman married Margaret Markham in Stafford.  From at least 1748-1750 he served as a tobacco inspector at the Aquia Warehouse.  This facility was located in the little village of Aquia, later known as Woodstock and the site is now part of… Continue reading

Lemuel Chadwell (c.1800-after 1850)

Lemuel Chadwell (c.1800-after 1850) was involved in a number of ventures in Stafford.  In 1830 he paid taxes on 30 slaves and 1 horse and seems to have had either business dealings or family connections with the  Waller family of Clifton in Wide Water.  He may have been involved in freestone quarrying or fishing.  Exactly what brought about his turn of fortune is unknown, but by 1850 he was a resident of one of Stafford's poor farms.  Most of this family lived in the vicinity of Aquia Creek and the Potomac River.  There were also Chadwells in Fauquier County.

Jeremiah Carter (c.1810-186_)

Jeremiah Carter's (c.1810-186_) parentage isn't known with certainty.  He may have been the son of Jeremiah Carter (c.1784-after 1828) of Stafford and was likely descended from Capt. Thomas Carter (c.1630-1700) of Lancaster County.  Jeremiah was a merchant and kept stores in the village of Aquia, at Stafford Courthouse, and in Fredericksburg.  In 1835 he was living at Eastern View, part of which was later utilized for Bowling's Lumber Mill on Courthouse Road (Route 630) east of the courthouse.  In the 1840s and 1850s he ran an ordinary (tavern) and store near the courthouse.  Jeremiah married Elizabeth Wamsley (c.1818-1886), the daughter of Benjamin Wamsley.  Carter suffered from serious financial problems, largely a result of national economic woes, and finally bankrupted.  Late in 1850 he was charged with killing William Hewitt while trying to break up a fight in which Carter wasn't… Continue reading

James Carter (1697-1743)

James Carter (1697-1743) lived at Palace Green just to the north of Aquia Harbour subdivision.  James was the son of Thomas Carter (1632-1700) and Katherine Dale (1652-1703) of Lancaster County, Virginia.  Researchers believe there may have been a kinship between Thomas Carter and Robert "King" Carter (1663-1732) of Lancaster, though this has yet to be proved.  James married first in 1715 Hannah Neale (c.1695-1722), the daughter of Daniel Neale of Lancaster.  He married secondly in Stafford in 1724 Mary Brent (c.1686-after 1743), the daughter of Hugh Brent (II) (c.1659-1716), also of Lancaster.  During the 1720s, James was employed as the compiler of quit rents for this region of the Northern Neck, thus the reason he moved to Stafford from Lancaster.  He served as a magistrate in Stafford in the 1730s.  His house stood on the top of a high… Continue reading

Charles Carter (1738-1796)

Charles Carter (1738-1796) was known as "Charles Carter of Ludlow," which was the name of his plantation in Stafford County.  He was the son of Charles Carter (1707-1764) of Stanstead and Cleve and Mary Walker (died 1742).  He was also the grandson of Robert "King" Carter (1663-1732) of Lancaster County.  Around 1755 the younger Charles married Elizabeth Chiswell (1737-1804), the daughter of Col. John Chiswell (c.1715-1766) and Elizabeth Randolph (1715-1776).  From his father Charles, Jr. inherited several thousand acres in Stafford and lived on or very near that part of it that is now Seven Lakes subdivision.  Charles was a notoriously poor money manager and by the mid-1770s he'd turned over his real estate to a group of administrators who divided and sold it to pay his creditors.  By coincidence, the sale of this property coincided with the arrival of a number of Quakers… Continue reading

Capt. George Burroughs (c.1750-c.1827)

Capt. George Burroughs (c.1750-c.1827) served as a vestryman for Aquia Church in 1785, 1816, and possibly other years, as well.  He was commissioner of the revenue for Stafford from at least 1797-1805 and operated a store in the village of Aquia from at least 1804-1806.  He and other members of his immediate family seem to have been involved in the local freestone industry.  George was a veteran of the War of 1812.