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A HISTORY OF THE VINES-GILLIAM FAMILY

Frank Vines, age 32, was emancipated by Quakers Thomas and Lucy Lane on October 8, 1789.  That makes Frank born in approximately 1757, prior to the Revolutionary War.  That means that the Vines family were FREE BLACKS living in Southampton County, Virginia from the late 1700’s! 

 

From the Southampton County Deed Book 7 1787-1793 LVA Reel # 3:

 

"Thomas Lane and Lucy his wife–freedom is natural right and doing unto others frees Negroes Sam abt 36; Will abt the same age; Jacob abt 36 or 37; and Frank about 27 –?Oct 89–rec 8 Oct 89."

 

“Quaker belief allowed no ownership of slaves, but the rule was carelessly kept for a long period. In a new zeal against slavery, beginning about 1760, the Society reminded members that slave ownership would result in disownment.  In 1788, the "reminders" became a requirement; a great exodus of Virginia Quakers followed as they freed slaves and headed for Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, where rich soil provided a livelihood for families on small farms.” – Rollings, Virginia H., (1992, June 20), Quakers Had Few Friends in Virginia, Daily Press.  Retrieved from: https://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-xpm-19920620-1992-06-20-9206190186-story.html.

 

In the 1823 Nottoway Parish (Southampton County, VA) tax lists, I found: Ealey Vines, Paul Vines, Frank Vines, Drewry Vines (born 1791), and Herbert Vines.  All were listed as ‘free negroes’.  I believe Frank is Drewry’s father.  Thomas and Lucy Lane also had a son called Drewry and it seems possible that Frank would have named his son after theirs.

 

Historical Note: Our family was living in Southampton County, Virginia during Nat Turner’s Rebellion in August 1831.  After Nat and fellow slaves rose against their owners and murdered nearly sixty in Southampton County, life became extremely difficult for free blacks in the area.  Our family would have most certainly felt the impact.  Hundreds of blacks both slaves and free, innocent or guilty, were imprisoned, deported, or lynched in retaliation for the rebellion.  If you’re interested in reading more about the Nat Turner Rebellion, check out The Fires of Jubilee: Nat Turner’s Fierce Rebellion by Stephen B. Oates, https://www.amazon.com/Fires-Jubilee-Turners-Fierce-Rebellion/dp/0062656554/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1544882111&sr=8-1&keywords=fires+of+jubilee

 

The 1850 Census shows Drewry Vines (age 59) living with his wife Elizabeth Vines (age 30) in Nottoway Parish, Southampton County, VA with a number of children, including Thomas Vines (age 1 - born 1849).  Thomas went on to marry Margaret Gilliam

This is where the previously known history of our family begins....

 

Thomas (Tom) Vines and Margaret Gilliam were natives of Isle of Wight and Southampton Counties, Virginia. They were married in approximately 1869. They were farmers and the parents of seven children, five boys and two girls.

 

The oldest son, Joseph Henry (b. 1870), was called Joe Henry by some and Jody by
others. He married Etta Johnson, and their children were James Clyde, Kenneth Lee,
Joseph Rayfield, Mathew Sinclair, and Alfred Thomas, all deceased. They settled in
Suffolk where Joe Henry was a farmer and a painter. Joe Henry died in 1951.

 

Their second son, William Thomas known as Tommy (b. 1873) worked in the log
woods. He married Sarah Christine Lewis. Upon becoming a farmer, he settled in
Pughsville which is now a division of Suffolk. Their children were Lucille, Bertha,
Tommy, California, and Mary who are all deceased.

 

Another son, David or James depending on sources (b. 1872), was noted on the 1880
census but is not known in the family history. He was listed as a 7-year-old male on the
census but may not have survived to adulthood.

 

Robert Linwood (b. 1875), the third son, was known as Woody. He married
Annette Eva Rawls, and they settled in Holland, now a division of Suffolk known as
Holland Station. Their children were Flossie Mae and Audrey Lee, both deceased.

 

Woody worked in the log woods and as a farmer. He died in 1956.

 

Another son, Richard Ernest (b. 1879), married Nettie White of Bertie County, North
Carolina, while working in Franklin, Virginia. Their children were Ernest Linwood,
Golenia Ernestine, and Nettie Erline (all deceased). They settled in Portsmouth,
Virginia, where Richard worked on jobs in the Seaboard Shop, Norfolk Naval Shipyard
and as Head Custodian of a white Baptist church.

 

May Lula (b. 1868) married Thomas Parker Senior and to this union were born Annie May,
Carrie Alease, and Tommy. After the death of her husband, she met and married John
Buck. To this union came Joshua, Lucy, Dwight, and Raymond. Lula died in 1919.

 

Annette Susan known as Nettie (b. 1880) married Willie Catten. Their children were
Willie Jr., Ethel Elverta (sometimes called Alberta), Raymond, Obie, and Luise. After her
husband's death she married Elijah Lewis Brown, and they had a daughter Eleanor
Louise (deceased). Annette died in 1950.

 

This information is correct to the best of our knowledge but limited to genealogical
research and oral information gathered from relatives. Please put any corrections or
additions in writing and send them to us for future editions of the reunion booklet. Thank
you.

 

L. Elgin, Jackie, and Nikki Vines (Verlin)