Category: Keepers-African American

Keeper Bio: Moody, William H.

Dates of Service: 1881-1884 1881-1882:     William H. Moody serves as Principal Keeper at Jordan Point Lighthouse, VA. His salary is $540/year. 1883-1884:     William H. Moody serves as Principal Keeper at Jordan Point Lighthouse, VA. His salary is $540/year.   Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; uslhs.org  

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Keeper Bio: Bland, Edward David

Dates of Service: 1880-1885 1848:  Edward David Bland is born a slave in Dinwiddie County, VA., to parents Frederick & Nancy Yates Bland. 1860s: After the Civil War, the Bland family moves to Petersburg, VA, where Edward attended night school. 1872: Marries Nancy Jones on December 18th in Petersburg, VA. They raised 9 children. 1874:  …

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Keeper Bio: Worrell, George W.

Date of Service: 1884-1885; 1891 1821: Born in Southampton County, Virginia to parents George and Catharine Worrell. 1858: His wife, Emeline Bond, is born in North Carolina to parents Mills and Morning Bond. 1879: George W. Worrell marries Emeline Bond on November 19th in Nansemond County, VA. 1880: In the US Census, George Worrell, age …

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Keeper Bio: White, Exum

Date of Service: 1881-1883 1829:  Exum White is born a free man in Nansemond County, VA. to Meredith & Parma Small White. 1840:  Adaline Reed (Reid) is born in Virginia. 1850:  In the US Census, Exum White (age 20) lives on the property of James & Lucy Norfleet in Nansemond County, VA. and works as …

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Keeper Bio: Washington, William

Date of Service: 1873-1881 1855-1860: Born in Virginia. 1873-1881: Served as Principal Keeper at Point of Shoals Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was $540/year. 1880: In the US Census, William Washington lives in Isle of Wight County, VA., with his wife Maggie (age 22) and Lucy Sparrow (age 20)  Sources: Familysearch.org, Chesapeake Chapter Database.

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Keeper Bio: Tucker, Shedrach

Date of Service: 1879-1882 1836: Born in Virginia. 1879-1882: Served as Second Assistant at York Spit Shoal Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was $400/year.  Sources: Familysearch.org, Chesapeake Chapter Database.

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Keeper Bio: Thornton, Samuel

Date of Service: 1883-1888 Born in Virginia. 1883-1888: Served as Assistant Keeper at Thimble Shoal Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was $540/year.  Sources: Familysearch.org, Chesapeake Chapter Database.

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Keeper Bio: Thomas, George W.

Date of Service: 1872-1883 1840: George W. Thomas is born in Virginia. 1868-1869: George W. Thomas lives in Isle of Wight County and owns a building that is rented to the Freedmen’s Bureau to be used as a school. He receives $5.00 per month in rent. 1872-1883: Served as Principal Keeper at White Shoal Lighthouse, …

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Keeper Bio: Spady, Alfred J.

Date of Service: 1877-1881 1847-1850: Alfred James Spady is born in Northampton County, VA., to parents James & Adah Spady. 1847+/-: Mary A. West is born in Virginia. 1867:  Marries Mary A. West on December 26th in Northampton County, VA. 1877-1879: Served as Assistant Keeper at Cherrystone Bar Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was $420/year. …

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Keeper Bio: Pettigrew, Amy W.

Date of Service: 1882 1853: Amy Wood is born in Edenton, NC., to parents William & Malvine Wood. 1860s: Amy Wood marries Haywood Pettigrew in Edenton, NC. They go on to raise 3 girls. 1870: In the U.S. Census, Amy and Haywood Pettigrew live in Tyrell County, NC. 1882: Amy W. Pettigrew served as Acting …

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Keeper Bio: Pettigrew, Haywood B.

Date of Service: 1880-1882 1845: Haywood B. Pettigrew is born in September, in Tyrell County, NC. 1864: Haywood Pettigrew enlists in the 2nd US Colored Cavalry as a Private. 1866: Pettigrew is discharged on February 12th as a Sergeant in the US Colored Cavalry. 1860s:  Haywood Pettigrew marries Amy Wood in Edenton, NC. They go …

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Keeper Bio: Payne, James

Date of Service: 1878-1888 1878-1880: Served as Second Assistant at Thimble Shoal Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was $400/year. 1880-1883: Served as First Assistant at Thimble Shoal Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was $440/year. 1883-1888: Served as Principal Keeper at Thimble Shoal Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was $660/year.  Sources: Familysearch.org, Chesapeake Chapter Database.

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Keeper Bio: Parker, Venus

Date of Service: 1912 1862: Born in Virginia approximately 1862. 1870s: Marries William Major Parker. 1886-1912: Lived with her husband, William Major Parker, Principal Keeper at Killock Shoal Lighthouse, VA. 1912: Venus Parker’s husband, William Major Parker died on duty January 22nd at the age of 57. Venus took over his duties of Principal Keeper …

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Keeper Bio: Parker, William Major

Date of Service: 1876-1912 1855: Born in in April, on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. 1870s: Marries his wife, Venus. 1876-1886: Served as Second Assistant at Assateague Lighthouse, VA. His beginning salary was $390/year and his ending salary was $400/year. 1886-1912: Served as Principal Keeper at Killock Shoal Lighthouse, VA. His beginning salary was $500/year …

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Keeper Bio: Parker, Southey

Date of Service: 1872-1886  1842: Born in Northampton County, VA. to parents Gilbert & Rachael Parker. 1872-1878: Served as Assistant Keeper at Thimble Shoal Lighthouse, VA. His salary was $440/year. 1874: Married Sarah Jane Lyons on April 20th in Hampton VA. 1878-1886: Served as Principal Keeper at Back River Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was …

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Keeper Bio: Parker, John F.

Date of Service: 1870-1871 1870-1871: Served as Assistant Keeper at Lower Cedar Point Lighthouse, MD. His salary was $400/year.  Sources: Familysearch.org, Chesapeake Chapter Database.

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Keeper Bio: Morse, Santa A.

Date of Service: 1873-1885 1852: Born in Virginia. 1873-1874: Served as Assistant Keeper at Deep Water Shoals Lighthouse, VA. His salary was $420/year. 1874-1885: Served as Principal Keeper at Deep Water Shoals Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was $540/year. 1880:  In the US Census, Santa A. Morse (28) lives in York County, VA., with his …

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Keeper Bio: Lewis, John B.

Date of Service: 1875-1886 Born in Maryland. 1875-1877: Served as Assistant Keeper at Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse, MD. His salary was $420/year. 1877-1886: Served as Principal Keeper at Craighill Lower Range Front Lighthouse, MD. His salary was $540/year.  Sources: Familysearch.org, Chesapeake Chapter Database.

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Keeper Bio: Lee, Alexander G.

Date of Service: 1880-1884 1835: Born in Virginia. 1880: In the US Census, Alexander G. Lee (age 45) lives in Hampton, VA., with his wife Nellie (age 50), and two sons. His occupation is lighthouse keeper. 1880-1881: Served as Assistant Keeper at Old Point Comfort Lighthouse, VA. His salary was $400/year. 1881-1882: Served as Second …

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Keeper Bio: Jones, John Bradford

Date of Service: 1878-1908 1841: Born a slave in York County, VA. 1860s: Married Sarah “Sal”, a free slave. 1870: In the US Census, John B. Jones lives in the Old Point Area of Virginia with his wife Sarah and their two children. His occupation is listed as a bartender. 1878-1908: Served as Principal Keeper …

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Keeper Bio: Hunt, Thomas

Date of Service: 1873-1885 1844: Born in Virginia. 1873: Served as Second Assistant at York Spit Shoal Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was $400/year. 1874-1876: Served as Assistant Keeper at Deep Water Shoals Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was $420/year. 1876-1882: Served as Assistant Keeper at Point of Shoals Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was …

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Keeper Bio: Holloway, George W.

Date of Service: 1890-1917 1858: George W. Holloway is born in Isle of Wight County, VA., to parents George & Rosetta Holloway. 1864+/-: Josephine Tynes is born in Isle of Wight County, VA., to parents Charles & Susan Tynes. 1880: In the US Census, George Holloway, age 21, lives in Isle of Wight County, VA., …

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Keeper Bio: Hodges, Willis Augustus

Date of Service: 1870 1815: Born in Blackwater (Virginia Beach) Virginia on February 12th to a free African American family. 1836: Moves to Williamsburg, NY with his family. 1840s: Started an anti-slavery newspaper, The Ram’s Horn. 1867: Hodges was the first African American elected to represent Princess Anne County in the 1867-1868 Virginia Constitutional Convention. …

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Keeper Bio: Gunter, William M.

Date of Service: 1883-1884; 1891-1894 Born in Virginia. 1883-18849: Served as Assistant Keeper at Cherrystone Bqr Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was $400/year. 1891-1893: Served as Assistant Keeper at Cherrystone Bar Lighthouse, VA. His annual salary was $235/year. 1893-1894: Served as Principal Keeper at Old Plantation Flats Lighthouse, VA. Keeper William Gunter Anecdotes: In January …

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Keeper Bio: Fitchett, Thomas J.

Date of Service: 1862-1863; 1882-1883 1862-1863: Served as Principal Keeper at Cape Charles Lighthouse, VA. His salary was $500/year. 1882-1883: Served as Second Assistant at Cape Charles Lighthouse, VA. His salary was $400/year.  Sources: Familysearch.org, Chesapeake Chapter Database.

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Keeper Bio: Fitchett, Jesse S.

Date of Service: 1892-1894 1862: Jesse Fitchett is born in Virginia. 1892-1894: Served as Assistant Keeper at Cape Charles Lighthouse, VA. His salary was $500/year.  Sources: Familysearch.org, Chesapeake Chapter Database.

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Keeper Bio: Farley, James McHenry

Date of Service: 1871-1873 1831: Born in Virginia. 1871-1873: Served as Principal Keeper at New Point Comfort Lighthouse, VA. His salary was $560/year. 1880: In the U.S. Census, James Farley lives in Petersburg, VA. with his wife and daughter. His occupation is listed as a minister. 1882: James Farley was chosen to be publisher and …

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Keeper Bio: Evans, Orlando

Date of Service: 1871-1874 1871-1874: Served as Assistant Keeper at Lower Cedar Point Lighthouse, MD. His salary was $400/year.  Sources: Familysearch.org, Chesapeake Chapter Database.

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Keeper Bio: Delk, Junius T.

Date of Service: 1881-1882 1848: Born in Virginia 1880: In the US Census, Junius Delk, age 32, lives with his wife Julia, age 27, and four children in Norfolk, VA. His occupation is shoemaker. 1881-1882: Served as Assistant Keeper at Craney Island Lighthouse, VA. His salary was $420/year.  Sources: Familysearch.org, Chesapeake Chapter Database.

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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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