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Going home…

The Legal Genealogist has been, at best, sporadic for some weeks now.

There’s a reason for that, and it begins — historically — sometime before 1680.

That’s the year when I can document the first of my Virginia ancestors: Nicholas Gentry, found in the records of York County, in what looks pretty much like a wage garnishment.1

There are whole bunches of other lines in my maternal ancestry that trace back to early Virginia. On my grandfather’s side, the Cottrell, Baker, Johnson, Wiseman, Davenport, Buchanan, Jones, Sanford and Pettypool lines can all be found in Virginia at some point, and the Fore line is a maybe. On my grandmother’s side, in addition to the Gentrys, we can add Brooks, Shew, Battles and Hopper, with others being candidates.

early Virginia map

Two of my known ancestors who served in the Revolutionary War did so with Virginia units: David Baker of Culpeper County2; and William Noel Battles of Albemarle County.3

From Virginia, my mother’s ancestors spread throughout the south. I can document direct line ancestors who lived in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas — and there were collaterals in Louisiana.4

Some of the family came home in the 20th century. My mother’s oldest brother, Billy Rex Cottrell, bought a farm in Fluvanna County, Virginia, while stationed at Norfolk just after World War II. By Easter 1950, he’d moved his parents — my grandparents — and a bunch of younger siblings from Texas to Virginia to live on that farm.5

And their presence on that farm brought so many others in my family back to Virginia, like moths to the flame. It was there that so many of my closest relatives gathered over the years. It’s where, today, so many of them are buried: my great grandmother, my maternal grandparents, my mother and six of her siblings. It’s where, today, the two living members of my mother’s generation reside. Four of my own siblings live in Virginia. Dozens of my cousins are in Virginia.

And, four weeks from today, I will finally join them there.


With literally nothing but inertia holding me to New Jersey any more, I will be closing on a home in the Old Dominion by the end of September.

And then promptly traveling for speaking engagements and more until well into November.

Which means things are going to stay sporadic around here for some weeks to come.

While The Legal Genealogist works out this whole business of moving right along…

And going home…

To Virginia.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Moving right along…,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 29 Aug 2022).


  1. York County (Va.) County Court, Deeds, Order and Wills 1677-1685, 6: 268 (24 Nov 1680); digital images, DGS film 007645906, image 142, ( : accessed 29 Aug 2022).
  2. See Compiled Military Service Record, David Baker, Corp., 3rd Virginia Regiment, Revolutionary War; Compiled Service Records of Soldiers who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, microfilm publication M881, Roll 951 (Washington, D.C. : National Archives Trust Board, 1976).
  3. See Declaration of soldier, 8 November 1832, Noel Battles, no. S.12960 (Pvt., Capt. Shelton’s Company, 10th Va. Reg.); Revolutionary War Pensions and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, microfilm publication M804, 2670 rolls (Washington, D.C. : National Archives and Records Service, 1974); digital images, Fold3 ( : accessed 29 Aug 2022).
  4. Nobody historically in Florida that I’ve found yet.
  5. Yep, found ’em there on the 1950 census. 1950 U.S. census, Fluvanna County, Virginia, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 33-3, sheet 13, dwelling 134, Clay R. Cottrell household; digital image, ( : accessed 1 Apr 2022).
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