Subject: [TWWFA]: Re: Willis Geography
Date: December 10, 2006 5:26:00 PM EST
Text: I've been working on this, too, and have identified the general area where these families lived -- it appears to be the northeast corner of Goochland near the Henrico and Hanover lines just as Dan suggests. The Goochland Historical Society folks never called me back, and I was unable to visit them last week. Have it on my calendar to head over there this Thursday. I have the info from the "Samuel Shepherd William Brooks Indenture" that Nina posted. If you've got any more tips for me, lemme know before this Thursday.


P.S. There were WALKERs and SHEPPARDs on Mountain Road in Henrico -- near the Hanover line. Good to know about them just in case.

Mountain Road EA 5

Mountain Road was originally an Indian trail. It became the main thoroughfare from Richmond to Charlottesville in the 1700s. During the American Revolution, the Marquis de Lafayette traveled this road on his march to Yorktown. Thomas Jefferson used it on his trips to Richmond and Williamsburg. During the Civil War, on 11 May 1864, Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan encountered Confederate skirmishers as his men destroyed the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad tracks here at Glen Allen. Sheridan and Brig. Gen. George A. Custer then rode south into the Battle of Yellow Tavern.

Meadow Farm EA 1

The land comprising Meadow Farm was first patented by William Sheppard in 1713. In 1800, Sheppard family slaves thwarted plans for a well-organized slave uprising known as Gabriel's Insurrection. The farmhouse was built in 1810. Dr. John Mosby Sheppard practiced medicine at Meadow Farm between 1840 and 1877. The last private owner of Meadow Farm, Maj. Gen. Sheppard Crump, was a founding member of the American Legion and Adjutant General of VA from 1956-60. Until 1960, the Sheppard family farmed the land, growing a variety of grain and tobacco.

Walkerton EA 2

Constructed in 1825 for John Walker, Walkerton served travelers along the Mountain Road, once a major route between Richmond and the Western Piedmont of VA. The tavern, the largest and only brick structure among the 19th century taverns still standing in Henrico County, is notable for a hinged, swinging, two-segment partition that was used to enlarge an upstairs room to accommodate tavern guests.

Walkerton Tavern

Massachusetts native John Walker acquired a large tract of land on both sides of Mountain Road and had Walkerton built in 1825. Walkerton served as a tavern and was the twin of Walker's residence across the road. The tavern was equipped with a wine cellar, three ice houses, and a 20 horse stable to accommodate its guests. Some of the bricks were fired at Meadow Farm. Walkerton served as a tavern from 1828 to 1829 and again in 1853. The Hopkins family purchased the property in 1857 and lived there until 1941 when the building and grounds were sold to George and Ruth Bowles. The County of Henrico purchased the property in 1995 from S. Douglas Fleet who acquired it in 1986. Except for the few years it served as a place of lodging, Walkerton was primarily a private residence. However in addition to serving as a field hospital for wounded Union cavalrymen in 1864, the dwelling also functioned as a store, post office, and voting precinct. (County of Henrico)

This is owned by the County of Henrico, and open only for special events. Location: Mountain Road

At 04:53 PM 12/10/2006, you wrote:

Hi Jerry;

I have attempted to locate the homestead of Susannah Willis on Tuckahoe Creek, Goochland County, VA with limited success. It is pretty clear a family named Wade and a family named Utley lived neighbor to the Wilis family. I've looked at dozens of records looking for a good "hook" to identify the homestead location but have not discovered one. It seems that the Willis family was settled on Tuckahoe Creek "above" the forks which is a vauge description. Robert Willis Jr. was called to work on so called "Holland" road in the 1740s. The Holland family seems to have lived south of the Willis family near the Three Chopt (Mountain) Road. Other clues suggest the Willis family homestead was on the upper reaches of Tuckahoe Creek near the junction of Hanover, Henrico, and Goochland Counties.

The location of this homestead is of some importance because a William Walker can be discovered living in Hanover County very near this three County junction as well. This William Walker had a son James Walker that applied for a Revolutionary War Pension and mentions that he removed from Hanover County to Goochland County. I beleive this James settled very near the Willis homestead.

Thus we have a Walker family living very close to the Willis family that seems to have escaped our research.


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