Category: Keepers-Bios

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.

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-jesse-s-fitchett/

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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Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-james-mchenry-farley/

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.

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-orlando-evans/

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.

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-junius-t-delk/

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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Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-william-roscoe-davis/

Keeper Bio: Darnell, Robert

Date of Service: 1870-1875 1870-1875: Served as Principal Keeper at Lower Cedar Point Lighthouse, MD. His beginning salary was $600/year and his ending salary was $550/year. 1870: In the Lighthouse Inspection Report, Robert Darnell is described as young, no family, and has a good capacity for his duties as keeper.  Sources: Familysearch.org, Chesapeake Chapter Database, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-robert-darnell/

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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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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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: Arnold, James A.

Date of Service: 1896-1919 Born in Virginia. 1896-1919: Served as Principal Keeper at Lower Cedar Point Lighthouse, MD. His beginning annual salary was $575/year and his ending salary was $960/year.  Sources: Familysearch.org, Chesapeake Chapter Database.

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-james-a-arnold/

Keeper Bio: Gray, Araminta

Date of Service: 1822-1823 1822: Bodkin Point Lighthouse, MD is constructed, and John Gray is appointed Principal Keeper in January. 1822: John Gray dies in August. William B. Barney of the fifth U.S. Naval District, recommends that his widow, Araminta, be appointed Principal Keeper. Stephen Pleasonton endorses his letter and then forwards it to President …

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Keeper Bio: Tatham, Rosannah

Date of Service: 1844-1849 1843: Daniel Tatham is appointed Principal Keeper in April at Bodkin Point Lighthouse, MD. His annual salary is $400/year. 1844:  Daniel Tatham passes away in July and his wife, Rosannah, is appointed Principal Keeper at Bodkin Point Lighthouse, MD. Her annual salary is $400/year. 1849: Rosannah Tatham resigns as Principal Keeper …

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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  

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-mary-creekmore/

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    

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

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    

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

Keeper Bio: Thomas, Sarah

Date of Service: 1857-1859 1855: George Thomas is named Principal Keeper at Cove Point Lighthouse, MD. His salary was $350/year. 1857: Keeper Thomas dies on duty at Cove Point Lighthouse, MD. 1857-1859: Sarah Thomas, wife of George, is named Principal Keeper at Cove Point Lighthouse, MD. Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org    

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Keeper Bio: Hagelin, Mary

Date of Service: 1866-1868 1808: Mary Jennings Hagelin is born in England. 1838: John H. Hagelin is born on September 12th. 1864-1867: John H. Hagelin, son of Keeper Charles Hagelin and Mary Hagelin, is appointed the First Assistant at Cove Point Lighthouse, MD. His salary is $150/year. 1866-1868: Mary Hagelin is appointed the First Assistant …

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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

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/keeper-bio-ann-murphy/