Monday, February 20, 2017

Edgehill and “Boxbriar Cottage”

Edgehill, with “Boxbriar Cottage” in the background, in the summer of 1995.
Photo by Susan Brubaker Knapp.

When Rob and I moved from Lexington, Kentucky, to Charlottesville, Virginia, in 1992, we lived for four years in a small house on a large estate known as Edgehill. Our landlords lived in Edgehill, and rented us what they referred to as “the cottage” and we called “Boxbriar Cottage” because it was surrounded with boxwood, some almost 20 feet tall. It is ridiculous how much we loved this place. It wasn’t just that we were young and in love, soon to be engaged and married. It was a charmed place. You could feel how special it was the minute you stepped on the grounds. 

According to most sources, the cottage was built in 1799, so it was close to reaching its 200th birthday when we moved in. The big brick house was built in 1828 by Thomas Jefferson’s daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph (1772-1836), and her husband, Thomas Mann Randolph Jr., and then by their son, Thomas Jefferson Randolph (1792-1875). Martha died in this house in 1836. It was rebuilt in 1916, after a fire gutted the interior. But the outer walls are original.  

Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr.
Artist unknown
Martha Jefferson Randolph
Portrait by Thomas Sully
Thomas Jefferson Randolph
Portrait by Charles Wilson Peale

In the early 1990s when we lived there, Edgehill had a large lawn, with a non-working swimming pool, and many massive mature tulip poplars. Some of them were fitted with cables to protect them against lightning strikes while we were there.



A peahen named Emily wandered the grounds. Her mate, Percy, had been killed by an owl before we arrived on the scene, and our landlords were very protective of her. She often was in my garden or around Boxbriar cottage, and when they were away, we were charged with feeding her (cracked Carr’s water crackers, quartered grapes, and walnuts). Behind Edgehill, the land drops off, and there was a pond. There were heavy woods around the structures, and we often saw deer, skunks and foxes.

In front of the house was a clearing surrounded by boxwood, with brick-lined beds in a rectangular shape, with a path and a circular bed in the middle, where Percy was buried. When we moved in, the garden was filled with grass and weeds, and I spent many weekend mornings out there weeding and planting. I often wondered how old the beds were, and what the gardens had looked like then.

Spring 1993

Summer 1995 or 1996
Summer 1995 or 1996
 
Edgehill, seen through the garden in front of the cottage.

The main structure was two rooms downstairs, with a fireplace in the wall between the two rooms, and two upstairs, with dormer windows. It had a porch that ran the length of the house, with three glass doors leading inside from the porch. There was an outdoor staircase from the room we used as a bedroom, probably added later as a fire escape, and at some point, a small wing was added to the back. Downstairs, it housed a kitchen, and upstairs, two full bathrooms and a laundry room. (The washer once leaked so badly that water poured through the kitchen light fixture downstairs.) The photo below shows the main entrance into the kitchen, in the new wing.  The roof, which was asphalt shingle when we first moved there, was replaced with a solid copper roof and downspouts in the summer of 1995. Behind the kitchen was a stone-walled patio.

We moved out in 1996, when Rob was offered a job at The Charlotte Observer. I remember sobbing as I drove away. How we loved this place!

Our cat, Beans, in the kitchen window.
Probably on the lookout for Sneaky Snake,” a very large blacksnake that patrolled around the house. 

These photos show the path from the gravel parking area, through the boxwoods, to our door. We had a major blizzard one year, with about a foot of snow, and lost power for something like four days. I pulled out my grandmother’s Dutch oven and cooked over a wood fire in the fireplace.







Here’s the road from our gravel parking area down the hill on a frosty morning:


Edgehill, winter 1995
Rob walking down the drive, winter 1995

Rob and I on the porch – summer 1993

Stone outside Edgehill reads: This Property was owned by Thomas Jefferson, to whom it was left in his father's will, dated July 13, 1757.

Marker outside Edgehill

Beyond our small gravel parking area was a pasture with horses, and it was close enough to Interstate 64 that you could sometimes hear the traffic. This was where we cut down a cedar for our Christmas tree each year.



Photo of Edgehill from the National Park Service website, showing the “Chinese lattice railing” that was gone by the time we lived in the cottage.


From the National Park Service website (https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/journey/edg.htm):

“In view of Monticello, Edgehill was the home of Thomas Jefferson Randolph, favorite grandson of Thomas Jefferson. The stately brick house was built for Randolph in 1828, his family having outgrown the 1799 frame house built for his father, Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr., husband of Jefferson's daughter Martha. The house was designed and constructed by the University of Virginia builders William B. Phillips and Malcolm F. Crawford, who continued the Jeffersonian style into the antebellum period. Specific Jeffersonian features are the Tuscan porch with Chinese lattice railing and the Tuscan entablatures. In 1829 Mrs. Thomas Jefferson Randolph opened a small school in the 1799 dwelling, which had been moved a short distance to make way for the present house. The school was continued by her daughters until 1896. The main house was gutted by fire in 1916, but was sympathetically rebuilt within the original walls. Edgehill is located north of Shadwell on State Route 22 and just north of its intersection with I-64, over one mile east of Charlottesville. It is a private residence, and is not open to the public.”

•••

The Edgehill Plantation Historic Marker reads:

The land was patented in 1735. The old house was built in 1790; the new in 1828. Here lived Thomas Mann Randolph, Governor of Virginia, 1819-1822, who married Martha, daughter of Thomas Jefferson.

•••

From the Monticello website (https://www.monticello.org):

“Edgehill was the plantation of Martha Jefferson Randolph and Thomas Mann Randolph, and later the chief residence of their eldest son, Thomas Jefferson Randolph. The land was part of a Randolph family inheritance of 2,400 acres near Shadwell belonging to Thomas Mann Randolph's father, Thomas, Sr. When Thomas Jefferson's daughter married Thomas Mann Randolph in 1790, they moved to Edgehill, although the family often stayed at Monticello. The original house was built around 1799. The family lived there until a second, larger home was built by Thomas Jefferson Randolph in 1828. In 1836, the family opened up a small girls' school known as the Edgehill School, which ran in some form until 1896.[1] In 1916, the original house was gutted by fire, but later rebuilt.

Footnotes

  1. Mary Randolph Brown McAdie, addendum to The Domestic Life of Thomas Jefferson (Charlottesville, Va.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, 1939), 374-9.

Further Sources



This is Jefferson’s plan for the house, which I found on the Massachusetts Historical Society’s website (http://www.masshist.org/thomasjeffersonpapers/doc?id=arch_N6&mode=lgImg):
Edgehill: house (plan and elevation), before 1798
by Thomas Jefferson
Identification numbers: N6; K170
28.2 cm x 20 cm (11-1/8" x 7-7/8")
(Massachusetts Historical Society photo)
My husband proposed to me in the garden in front of Boxbriar Cottage. When we married, I made him this watercolor as a wedding gift:




From the Encyclopedia Virginia
http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Randolph_Martha_Jefferson_1772-1836#start_entry

Martha Jefferson Randolph (1772–1836)

Martha Jefferson Randolph was the daughter of Thomas Jefferson and the wife of Thomas Mann Randolph, who served as governor of Virginia from 1819 to 1822. She grew up at Monticello and spent time in Williamsburg, Richmond, and Philadelphia before accompanying her widowed father to Paris, France, where she attended the Abbaye Royale de Panthemont, a prestigious convent school. After she returned to Virginia, she married and bore twelve children, eleven of whom survived to adulthood. Although she was the daughter of a president, the wife of a governor, and arguably the most highly educated woman in Virginia, Randolph's life was in many ways representative. Widely admired for her intelligence, sociability, and conversational skills, she was an exemplar of genteel white womanhood who was said to possess a "perfect temper" and who immersed herself in the trials and joys of marriage, motherhood, and plantation life. Randolph and her children lived mainly at Monticello, although her husband owned the nearby plantation Edgehill. Occasionally during her father's presidency, and throughout his retirement, she acted as hostess. Her presence reinforced Jefferson's image as a devoted family man with a stable domestic life, though fulfilling this role in her father's life may have exacerbated her already strained marriage. Both father and husband struggled and ultimately failed to remain solvent. After their deaths in 1826 and 1828, respectively, Randolph lived with her married children. She died at Edgehill on October 10, 1836.

The “Edgehill portrait” of Thomas Jefferson by Gilbert Stuart is thus named because it once hung at Edgehill.

The “Edgehill” Portrait of Thomas Jefferson

May 18, 1989 – May 1, 1992
Portrait Gallery
8th and F Streets, NW
Washington, DC
Location: 2nd Floor, Rotunda
The painting of American president and gentleman scholar Thomas Jefferson was painted by renowned American artist Gilbert Stuart. The Edgehill portrait--which once hung at Edgehill, the Virginia residence of one of Jefferson's great-granddaughters--is jointly owned by the Portrait Gallery and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation in Charlottesville, Va. The portrait goes on view alternately at the gallery and the foundation for 3-year periods. In 1902, the portrait was sold to a distant relative of Jefferson who lived in Scotland. Finally, in 1927, the portrait was returned to America.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Lydia Ann Marquis McDanel

Lydia Ann Marquis McDanel
born: 19 Feb. 1842 in New Brighton, Beaver County, Pennsylvania
died: 18 Nov. 1928 in Detroit, Michigan
buried: Grove Cemetery, New Brighton, PA
father: James M. Marquis (1814-1880)
mother: Elizabeth Sawyer (1813-1846) 
husband: Richard Baxter McDanel (1844-1912), married 19 March, 1868
children: Frederick (1868-1926), Lewis (1870-died young), Bertha (1871-1957), Frank (1873-1932), Orrin Palmer (1879-1932), Richard Baxter Jr. (1880-1956), Elizabeth Lydia (1882-1925), Anna (1887-1948)

Lydia is my great-great grandmother. Here is information about her father and grandfather:

“James Marquis, a farmer and coal dealer, was a son of Joseph Marquis, a native of England, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, and a printer, the latter occupation being necessary to eke out the small and uncertain salary of the member of the clergy in that day. James Marquis married (first) Elizabeth Sawyer, (second) Mary Knowles.  [SOURCE: John W. (John Woolf) Jordan. Genealogical and personal history of Beaver County, Pennsylvania (Volume 2). page 47 of 7] 

After Baxter’s death, she lived in Detroit with her daughter Anna until her death in 1928. 



Lydia (oldest woman, seated at right) is shown here with her husband and her children.

Detail from family shot above.


I believe Lydia could be the oldest woman in the back, in the hat, in this photo. Her son, Frederick, my great-grandfather, is the man in the back. 


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Military service

The following men who are my ancestors served in the American armed forces. There may be more; this is a working list.

American Revolutionary War:
Robert Philson (1759-1831), my 4th great grandfather (paternal)
Somerset County, PA
Arrested 1794 for involvement in the Whiskey Rebellion, later acquitted in Philadelphia.
Rose to Brigadier General in the War of 1812.
Later served as the US Representative from Pennsylvania (1819-1821).
SOURCES: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Philson
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=29205289
http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=P000316
http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM94FD_General_Robert_Philson

Joseph Brady (1735-1787), my 5th great grandfather (maternal)
Captain, Cumberland County, PA
Captain of the 7th Company, 1st Battalion of Cumberland County Associators.
Commissioned in July 1777, and saw service throughout the war


John B. McClelland (1734-1782), my 5th great grandfather (maternal)
Captain, Westmoreland County, PA. At the Siege of Yorktown.
From Wikipedia: “At the outset of the Revolutionary War, McClelland was appointed to a citizen’s committee to procure arms and ammunition for the defense of the struggling new nation. He enlisted in the Fourth Pennsylvania Battalion, on January 28, 1776, which worked in conjunction with the Continental Army during the war. McClelland later became a Captain in the First Battalion of Westmoreland Militia, a unit which was prominent in the Siege of Yorktown.” He was a member of the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776, and later represented Westmoreland County in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Tortured to death by native Americans during the Crawford Expedition.
SOURCES: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_B._McClelland
https://sites.google.com/site/johnbmcclellandmemfdn/
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=79587863

William Alexander (1757-1835), my 4th great grandfather (maternal)
Private, Chester County, PA. Crawford Expedition (served with John B. McClelland)
Married Elizabeth McClelland, John B. McClelland’s daughter.

William Linn (1748-1813), my 5th great grandfather (maternal)
Private, Cumberland County, PA. Served in the Pennsylvania Militia under Capt. Charles Maclay’s Company and Col. James Dunlap’s regiment.
SOURCE: Sons of the American Revolution membership application by Dr. Bernard Ross Pinckney (1949)

William Scott (1738-1833), my 6th great grandfather (maternal)
Served April - October 1778 in Col. Courtlandt's Regiment, N.Y. line, according to PA Veteran's Burial Cards
Buried Union Cemetery, Smithfield Township, Bradford PA

War of 1812:
Robert Philson (1759-1831), my 4th great grandfather (paternal)
Brigadier General, Somerset County, PA
later served as the US Representative from PA
(See info above)

John Brubaker (1779-1853), my 3rd great grandfather (paternal)
Major (rose from 1st Lieutenant), Berlin County, PA

MILITARY: Twelfth Division, 1812-1814, Bedford, Somerset & Cambria Counties, PA

Contributed for use in the USGenWeb Archives by Judy Banja <jbanja@msn.com>

Copyright.  All rights reserved.
http://www.usgwarchives.net/copyright.htm
http://www.usgwarchives.net/pa/bedford/
________________________________________________

                            Pennsylvania Archives
                                Sixth Series
                                 Volume VII
                      Edited by Thomas Lynch Montgomery
                          under the direction of the
                              Hon. Robert McAfee,
                        Secretary of the Commonwealth.
      Harrisburg, Pa.: Harrisburg Publishing Company, State Printer, 1907. 
INSPECTION ROLL OF THE BERLIN RIFLE COMPANY ATTACHED TO THE FIRST BATTALION 109TH REG'T 
PENN'A MILITIA WHO HAVE VOLUNTEERED THEIR SERVICES, IN SUBSTITUTION OF THE DRAFT 
REQUIRED FROM SAID REGIMENT.

One drum.
A. Rifle.             E. Tomehawk's.
B. Smooth rifle.      F. Pouch & horn.
C. Worms.             G. Belts. 
D. Butcher knife.     H. Uniform 

                                         A.      B.      C.      D.      E.      F.      G.      H
1       Capt. Casper Keller,                                                                     1
2       1st Lieut. John Brubaker                                                                1


Civil War:

Thomas A. Braden (1844-1911), my 2nd great grandfather (paternal)
17th Cavalry, 162nd Regiment, Pennsylvania volunteers Company A, Beaver County, PA


Richard Baxter McDanel (1844-1912), my 2nd great grandfather (paternal)
Company C, 63rd Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Beaver County, PA


Jacob Osmon Funkhouser (1839-1907), my 2nd great grandfather
Company C, 134th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Beaver County, PA

Joseph Martin DeVenny (1840-1920), my 2nd great grandfather (paternal)
Company H, Pennsylvania 38th Infantry

I also suspect, but do not have confirmation yet, on these two:


Thomas Carter (1842-1913), my 2nd great grandfather (maternal)
Bucks County, PA (Union); or Amelia Courthouse, VA (Confederate)


Dr. Henry Brubaker (1827-1889), my 2nd great grandfather (paternal)
Somerset County, PA – a physician – may have served in this capacity

World War I:

Joseph DeVenny Brubaker (1897-1978, my paternal grandfather)
served as a Marine in Haiti

Monday, March 30, 2015

DNA results

Here are the results of my Ancestry.com DNA test:

64% Western Europe
31% Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales)
3% Ireland
1% Finland/Northwest Russia
<1% Iberian Peninsula

My husband, Robert Dale Knapp, also took the test. Here are his results:

44% Western Europe
25% Ireland
13% Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales)
11% Iberian Peninsula
5% Eastern Europe
1% Scandinavia
<1% Finland/Northwest Russia
<1% Italy/Greece

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Joseph DeVenny Brubaker, Sr.




Joseph DeVenny Brubaker, Sr.
born: 12 July 1897 in Beaver County, Pennsylvania
died: 6 Sept. 1978 in Beaver County, Pennsylvania
buried:  Beaver Cemetery and Mausoleum, Beaver, PA
father: Edwin Schall Brubaker (1864-1939)
mother: Carrie Josephine DeVenny (1871-1925) 
wife: Helen Marquis McDanel (1897-1958), married 24 August 1921; Gertrude Wagoner (1916-2003), married about 1960.
children: Joanne (born 1931, died at birth), Joseph DeVenny Brubaker, Jr. (b. 1933), and John Robert “ Bob” Brubaker (b. 1935)
siblings: Sarah Elizabeth Brubaker (1896-1971) and a half-brother by Edwin's first wife, Henry Sampson Brubaker (1890-1969)

Joseph DeVenny Brubaker, Sr. is my paternal grandfather. He was the second child of Edwin Schall Brubaker and his second wife, Carrie Josephine DeVenny, and was reared in New Brighton, Pennsylvania. 
Joe and his sister Sarah Elizabeth
As a teenager, Joe worked in his father’s pharmacy as a soda jerk.  In this photo, he is shown with his father (on the left), in front of the store:






He graduated from New Brighton High School in 1916. This photo from my grandmother Helen’s photo album shows her with Joe (second from left), her sister Marion, Shad (Marion’s husband), and John (the driver). This photo was probably taken about 1916.


He served in the Marine Corps in Haiti during World War I, where he contracted malaria. My father says he never could drink gin after that, as it reminded him of the quinine treatment he received. Some of the history of the U.S. involvement in Haiti during this time is covered on Wikipedia.



Upon returning to Beaver County, Joe worked as a bank teller and married his high school sweetheart, Helen Marquis McDanel, on 24 August 1921. He worked his way up into bank management, and they had three children (the first, JoAnne, died at birth in 1931).  

Joe was an avid golfer, and was very artistic.  


Helen owned these two houses, and Helen and Joe raised their two boys in one of them.
Joe Brubaker in the 1940s.
Helen and Joe with Joe Jr. (top) and Bob, about 1947
Joe with Helen, possibly at a favorite vacation place, Lake Chataqua






Joe (left) at Lake Chataqua in the 1940s.
With Helen, possibly at Bob and Ellie’s wedding in 1957
4 N. Old Oak Drive, Patterson Heights
Joe with me, probably Christmas 1964
After Helen’s death in 1958, Joe met Gaby Wagoner while on a cruise to Hawaii, and married her.  I believe it was her second marriage, but have had no success in finding details of it. 

Gertrude “Gaby” Brubaker, Joe’s second wife
Joe died in 1978.




Transcription:
Joseph Brubaker, Ex-Banker, Dies
Beaver Falls –  Joseph D. Brubaker Sr., former director and vice chairman of the board of Century National Bank and Trust Co., of Rochester, Pa., died yesterday at his home. 

Mr. Brubaker, 81, of North Old Oak Drive, Patterson Heights, also was former director and treasurer of Tower Federal Savings and Loan Association abdn past president of the Beaver County Bankers Association. Mr. Brubaker was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, New Brighton, Beaver Valley Country Club, Pittsburgh Athletic Association, and several community organizations. 

Surviving are his wife, Gertrude; two sons, Joseph D. Jr. of Glenrock, NJ, and Robert of Mt. Lebanon, and seven grandchildren. 

Friends will be received from 7 to 9 tonight and from 2 to 4 and 7-9 p.m. tomorrow at Donald D. Druschel Funeral Home, 1612 Third Ave., New Brighton. Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church, Third Avenue, New Brighton.

Burial will be in Beaver Cemetery, Beaver.