Category: Heritage-Virginia

Keeper Bio: Davis, William Roscoe

Date of Service: 1870-1878 1812: Born near Norfolk, Virginia on Todd’s Farm to the son of a white sea captain & enslaved woman of mixed race. 1837: Marries Nancy Moore 1861-1865: William and his family flee to Fort Monroe to seek self emancipation. 1870-1878: Served as Principal Keeper at Old Point Comfort Lighthouse, VA. His …

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Keeper Bio: Chisman, John M.

Date of Service: 1872-1875; 1878-1880 1872-1875: Served as Second Assistant at Thimble Shoal Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was $400/year. 1878-1880: Served as First Assistant at Thimble Shoal Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was $440/year.  Sources: Familysearch.org, Chesapeake Chapter Database.

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-john-m-chisman/

Keeper Bio: Charity, Park

Date of Service: 1881-1882 1826: Park Charity is born in Surry, VA., to parents Squire & Anne Charity. 1849: Marries Elizabeth. 1870: In the US Census, Park Charity (44) lives with his wife Elizabeth (36) and 4 children in Surry, VA., where he works as a farmer. 1871:  The 9th Senatorial Convention for the City …

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Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-park-charity/

Keeper Bio: Carter, Peter J.

Date of Service: 1871, 1879-1880 1844:  Peter J. Carter is born a slave in Northampton County, Virginia. 1870: Works as a teacher at Williams Friendship School in Chincoteague, VA. for the Freedmen’s Bureau. 1871: Served as Second Assistant at Assateague Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was $440/year. 1879-1880: Served as Principal Keeper at Cherrystone Bar …

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Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-peter-j-carter/

Keeper Bio: Braxton, Thomas H.

Date of Service: 1876-1883 1845+/-: Thomas H. Braxton is born in Northampton County, VA., to parents Hamson & Elder Braxton. 1853+/-: Priscilla Downes is born in VA. to parents Abe & Gennie Prower (Trower?) 1875:  Marries Priscilla Downes on January 9th in Northampton County, VA. 1876-1879:Served as Principal Keeper at Cherrystone Bqr Lighthouse, VA. His …

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Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-thomas-h-braxton/

Keeper Bio: Bond, Elbert

Date of Service: 1892 1892: Served as Assistant Keeper at Nansemond River Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was $435/year.  Sources: Familysearch.org, Chesapeake Chapter Database.

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-elbert-bond/

Keeper Bio: Bourbon, Dennis

Date of Service: 1881-1883 1846+/-: In September, Dennis Hackett Bourbon is born a free man in Alexandria, VA., to parents Dennis & Rachel Lyles Bourbon. 1870: Dennis Bourbon, age 24, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in July at Boston, MA. He is described as 5’-8” tall and works as a ship carpenter. 1880:  In the …

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Keeper Bio: Bond, William A.

Date of Service: 1879-1882 1879-1881: Served as Assistant Keeper at Nansemond River Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was $420/year. 1881-1882:  Served as Principal Keeper at Nansemond River Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was $540/year.  Sources: Familysearch.org, Chesapeake Chapter Database.

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-william-a-bond/

Keeper Bio: Blount, Peter F.

Date of Service: 1881-1885 1850: Born in Virginia to parents Henry and Caroline Blount in Surry County, VA. 1874: Peter F. Blount (age 24) marries Sarah E. Tynes (age 20) on February 18th in Isle of Wight County, VA. 1880: In the U.S. Census, Peter Blount, age 31,  lives with his wife Sarah and 3 …

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Keeper Bio: Elmore, Augusta P.

Date of Service: 1871-1877 1845:  Augusta P. Ashburn is born on June 9 in Virginia 1863: William M. Elmore marries Augusta P. Ashburn in Virginia. 1870: In the 1870 Lighthouse Inspection Report, the inspector requests a new boat for the station, stating that the Keeper and his family capsized and almost drowned. 1871-1877: Augusta P. …

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Keeper Bio: Potts, Nancy B.

Date of Service: 1865-1872 1865: Nancy B. Potts, the wife of Jean G. Potts, is appointed First Assistant Keeper at Cape Charles Lighthouse, VA. Her beginning salary is $300/year. (Her husband Jean G. Potts served as Principal Keeper) 1868:  Keeper Jean G. Potts is killed in a disagreement by a man he meets walking on …

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Keeper Bio: Harding, Julia A.

Date of Service: 1865-1869 1834: Julia A. is born in approximately 1834 in Maryland. 1865-1869:  Julia A. Harding is named the First Assistant Keeper at Cape Henry Lighthouse, VA. Her beginning salary is $350/year. Her ending salary is $400/year. (Her husband William Harding served as Principal Keeper) 1870: In the 1870 U.S. Census, William Harding’s …

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Keeper Bio: Creekmore, Mary

Date of Service: 1869-1870 1869-1870: Mary Creekmore, born in Virginia, is named the Second Assistant Keeper at Cape Henry Lighthouse, VA. Her salary is $400/year. (Her husband H. Creekmore served as Principal Keeper) Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org  

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Keeper Bio: Richardson, Carrie

Date of Service: 1870-1872 1870-1872: Carrie Richardson, born in New Hampshire, is named the Second Assistant Keeper at Cape Henry Lighthouse, VA. Her salary is $400/year. (Her husband Henry Richardson served as Principal Keeper) Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org    

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Keeper Bio: Mathews, Mrs. F.

Date of Service: 1866 1866: Mrs. F. Mathews, is named the First Assistant Keeper at Cherrystone Bar Lighthouse, VA., in June. She resigns 5 months later in November. Her salary was $300/year. (Her husband Samuel Mathews served as Principal Keeper) Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org    

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Keeper Bio: Cross, Elizabeth

Date of Service: 1860-1863 1860-1863: Elizabeth Cross is named the First Assistant at Craney Island Lighthouse. Her salary is $300/year. (Her husband George Cross served as Principal Keeper) 1861: During the Civil War, the Confederates remove the lens from the lighthouse and cause major damage to the structure. Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org; …

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Keeper Bio: Mister, Mrs. V.A.

Date of Service: 1865-1870 1865-1870: Mrs. V.A. Mister is named the First Assistant at Craney Island Lighthouse, VA. Her beginning salary is $300/year, and her ending salary is $400/year. (Her husband Solomon Mister served as Principal Keeper) Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org;    

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Keeper Bio: DePass, Celestine

Date of Service: 1870 1841:  Celestine Butt is born in Virginia. 1870:  Celestine DePass, born in Virginia, is named the First Assistant at Craney Island Lighthouse, VA., in June 1870, where she remains until August 1870. (Her husband John DePass served as Principal Keeper) 1882:   Celestine DePass dies in April, at the age of 38 …

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Keeper Bio: Sturtevant, Mary J.

Date of Service: 1870-1873 1824: Mary Jane Bell is born in Portsmouth, VA. 1842: William P. Sturtevant marries Mary Jane Bell in Portsmouth, VA. On November 15th. 1870-1873: Mary J. Sturtevant is named the First Assistant at Craney Island Lighthouse. Her beginning salary is $400/year, and her ending salary is $420/year. (Her husband William P. …

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Keeper Bio: Murphy, Ann

Date of Service: 1873 1839:  Ann Murphy is born in approximately 1839, in Ireland. 1873:  Ann Murphy serves as First Assistant at Craney Island Lighthouse, Va. Her annual salary is $420. (Her husband Patrick Murphy served as Principal Keeper) 1873:  Ann Murphy resigns after her husband’s death. Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org

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Keeper Bio: Richards, Phoebe D.

Date of Service: 1873-1879 1827:  Phoebe Dwight is born in Pennsylvania. 1873-1879: Phoebe D. Richards serves as First Assistant at Craney Island Lighthouse, VA. Her annual salary is $420. (Her husband Elisha Richards, served as Principal Keeper) 1910:  Phoebe D. Richards dies. Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org, The Norfolk Virginian, July 22, 1879

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Keeper Bio: Richards, Elisha

Keepers

Date of Service: 1873-1879 1822:  Elisha Richards is born in New Jersey. 1870: Elisha’s occupation is listed as a retired sawyer. 1873-1879: Elisha Richards serves as Principal Keeper at Craney Island Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary is $540. (His wife, Phoebe D. Richards, served as his assistant) 1879: Elisha Richards dies on duty as Principal …

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Keeper Bio: Murphy, Patrick

Keepers

Date of Service: 1865-1873 1830:  Patrick Murphy is born in approximately1830, in Ireland. 1865-1870:  Patrick Murphy was a crew member on LV-22, stationed at Wolftrap Station, in the Chesapeake Bay. His annual salary is $750/year. 1872:  Patrick Murphy is appointed Principal Keeper at Point of Shoals Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary is $600. 1873:   Patrick …

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Keeper Bio: Wingate, Henry Clay

Date of Service: 1902 – 1927   1862:  Born May 19 to parents Thomas and Mary Wingate in Dorchester County, MD. 1880: Occupation is listed as Sailor in the U.S. Census 1889:  Henry is discharged from the Army on November 16 (Spanish American War) 1890: Marries Nettie J. Dodge. 1900: Occupation is listed as day …

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Keeper Bio: Sturtevant, William P.

Keepers

Date of Service: 1870-1873 1820: William P. Sturtevant is born in Edenton, NC. 1842: William P. Sturtevant marries Mary Jane Bell in Portsmouth, VA. On November 15th. 1860: In the U.S. Census, William P. Sturtevant’s occupation is a painter. 1870-1873:  William P. Sturtevant, Sr., is named Principal Keeper at Craney Island Lighthouse, VA. His beginning …

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Keeper Bio: DePass, John Jacob

Date of Service: 1870 1826:  John Jacob DePass (half Spanish/Portuguese and half Negro) is born in London, England, to parents Abraham & Sarah DePass. 1860:  The U.S. Census shows John and his family living in New Orleans, LA. 1861:  John DePass enlists in Company E of the 1st Infantry Regiment Louisiana National Guard. DePass was …

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Keeper Bio: Mister, Solomon T.

Keepers

Date of Service: 1865-1870 1865-1870:  Solomon T. Mister is named Principal Keeper at Craney Island Lighthouse, VA. His beginning salary is $450/year, and his ending salary is $600/year. (His wife V.A. Mister served as First Assistant) Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org;    

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-solomon-mister/

Keeper Bio: Cross, George

Keepers

Date of Service: 1853-1863 1853-1856: George Cross is named Principal Keeper at Back River Lighthouse, VA. His salary is $400/year. 1859-1863: George Cross is named the first Principal Keeper at Craney Island Lighthouse, VA. His salary is $450/year. (His wife Elizabeth Cross served as First Assistant) 1861: During the Civil War, the Confederates remove the …

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Keeper Bio: Mathews, Samuel

Keepers

Date of Service: 1866 1866: Samuel Mathews is named Principal Keeper at Cherrystone Bar Lighthouse, VA., in March. He resigns 8 months later in November. His salary was $400/year. (His wife Mrs. F. Mathews served as First Assistant) Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org    

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-samuel-mathews/

Keeper Bio: Richardson, Henry

Keepers

Date of Service: 1870-1873 1870-1873: Henry Richardson, born in England, is named Principal Keeper at Cape Henry Lighthouse, VA. His salary is $760/year. (His wife Carrie Richardson served as Second Assistant) Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org    

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-henry-richardson/