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Updated April 20, 2008

Joseph F. Ellis of Mitchell's Creek, Lunenburg Co., VA

Joseph F. Ellis & Charlotte Jane Ellis were married by John Wesley 
Childs in Lunenburg 1 Dec 1830.

My understanding is the Joseph F. Ellis home was the dwelling referred to 
by my father as the "Old Ellis place."  The house, now gone, was still 
standing at least in the 1930's, on the northwest side of and near the 
bridge on #631 that crosses Mitchell Creek—JoLee Spears.
         1860's Gilmer map "J. Ellis" (103kb)

Joseph F. Ellis in 1839 purchased 183 1/4 acres from John Davidson.  
[DB 31:269])(For a history of the tract, see John Gregory's Lunenburg Land.) Land tax records indicate Joseph F. Ellis conveyed the home portion of the
tract before 1872 to his son Joseph. Joseph W. Ellis was taxed with 95
acres on Mitchells Creek, 14 miles southwest of the courthouse. House and
buildings were valued at $600. The father, Joseph F. Ellis, was taxed with
88 acres, no building included. The family appeared on the 1850 census, Rehobeth District, all born Virginia: Ellis, Joseph F., 44, farmer, $1212 Ellis, Charlotte J. 37 Ellis, Edwin F., 18 Harriss, Louisa, 19 Ellis, Joseph W., 14 Ellis, Sarah, 10 Ellis, Carolina E., 3 Ellis, Indiania V. 2/12 Harriss, Virginia, 12 In 1860, the Harris children were no longer in the home, and son Edwin F. Ellis was living apart from his father. In 1880, the household included Jos. F. Ellis; son
Joseph W. Ellis sheriff, daughters Sarah J. and Carrie; grandchildren
Mable Lipscomb 10, Ethel Lipscomb 5 and Wilfred Lipscomb 3?. In the
next household listed was an Archer Ellis black family. J. F. Ellis, farmer, died January 1887, aged 82. The death register of Lunenburg does not name his parents or give cause of death. His death was reported by his son J. W. Ellis. [No. 1 District in the year ending 31st December 1887, excerpts by Linda Lewis, VAGenWeb Archives] The Ellis place passed into the hands of Sarah and Carrie Ellis. In 1930, Carrie Ellis sold the 183 acres to Mrs. A. A. Saunders, bound by the old Clem Thompson tract on the north, E.J. and D.J. Gregory on East, DR. W. H. Marable on South and W.T. Spencer (dec'd) known as Talcott on West. In 1942, the same 183 acres was sold by members of the Saunders family to A. B. Spaulding. [Files of James Lewter] Note re construction of the Ellis house: A letter written by Sarah Ellis to Mary "Stokes" Gregory is headed 28 Sep 1858, Oak Leaf, Lunenburg, Va. and reads in part, "Our new house is not quite finished yet but they expect to finish it in a few weeks. They have run all the staircases but one & the bricklayers are running the chimney so you see they have not a great deal to do." (Transcription of letter below)
— JoLee Gregory Spears, March 2000

Letter in possession of JoLee Spears, included here because of the number 
of neighborhood names mentioned. Sarah Ellis to Mary "Stokes" Gregory __________ Oak Leaf, Lunenburg, Va. Sept 28th 1858 Our new house is not quite finished yet but they expect to finish it in a few weeks. They have run all the staircases but one & the bricklayers are running the chimney so you see they have not a great deal to do. They will finish it soon I reckon. My Dear sweet Stokes, I received your letter only a few hours ago & will now reply to it. O, my friend I cannot express the pleasure it afforded me to receive a letter from you, my long absent and tried friend. I should have written you long before this but was expecting a letter from you every mail & so thought I would wait till I received your letter. This evening as I was coming from the garden someone brought me a letter & I said directly I knew it was from you so tonight by the dim light of a candle I will try and write you some news about our old county & how we are getting on generally. I never heard the like of weddings in my life in prospection. I hope though that they will be put off till Christmas so you can be at them. Martha Ann Thompson, Ann L., Susan B., & Elvira called on me this evening. Sis & Elvira spent the day at Mrs. Lipscomb's & Ann & Martha Ann walked with them as far as here. They did not stay very long but we had a very pleasant time, the little while they did stay. I went over to see your ma this morning. She has a new sewing machine & was making some things to send you. Laura was dressing a little stark naked baby that she had broken one arm off. Your Uncle Henderson was there & Georgy. Two Irishmen were there walling in a well. Your mama said they would finish it in a day or two. I went to preaching at Cool Spring a few Sundays ago & heard a very interesting sermon preached by Mr. Sam Shelburne. Mr. & Mrs. Gibson were there. I reckon you will laugh to think what an interesting couple they made, with their red and white hair. They left for the Mountains the week after Mrs. Eubank's little baby's funeral was preached the week before by old Mr. Shelburne. I was very sorry I could not go to it. Cousin Lou Harris has commenced her school at Mr. Eubank's but she has only four scholars as yet. I saw cousin Lou yesterday at cousin Martha Knight's. Cousin Mary Harris & myself were there & she came by for cousin Mary. O Stokes I do not think that poor cousin Mary is long for this world. She looks pale & wan & has a most distressing cough. All her friends think she has the consumption, but she does not, but is cheerful and lively all the time. Yelverton Fowlkes is dead. He died very suddenly, having dined with the family as usual, and directly after was taken with fits & was soon a corpse. Poor Bina Hawkins is also dead. She had been married but a few months when she died. She married a Mr. Tanner. The family are very much distressed at her death. We heard from cousin Jearmie [Jeannie?] not very long ago. She is also married. Do'nt you think Texas is a great place for getting married. I think so judging from the great number of Virginia ladies that get married out there. We have not heard from Bro. Edwin in a few weeks but he has been up to see us & staid a week. Cousin Lucy was just getting so she could walk about. She had been very sick but she is now mending slowly. Bro. says he can send his love now, as he is an old married man. I saw Mary Sue a few weeks ago. She was fixing to go to school up at Mr. Phil Eubanks. I heard that Mary Eubank had gone there to school. I met your cousin Joe Gregory the morning I came from cousin Martha's & he made me think of you, so often I have heard you speak of your cousin Joe. O Stokes many have been the pleasant hours we have spent together. I often think of them and their remembrance seems hallowed and sacred, too pure to mise with other and grosser thoughts. Do you remember the evening we came from Mr. Eubank's together & you spoke of that nice green place [illegible] road & said you would like to have a nice quiet little home out there. I never pass that place but I think of it and you until it has come to be associated in my memory with you. I have attended the singing at Cool Spring only once. I was there several weeks ago. They have very lively times down there. Elvira Haskins was there the day I was there. Fannie & Le[?] both came to the singing. Bettie was at home but she did not come to the singing. Stokes I do'nt reckon you ever heard the like of them they say will be married this fall, about here, you must hasten back if you would be present at their weddings. I will tell you some of the couples that they say will be married. First there is Nannie Booth and Elbert Roberts, Robt Watson and the Widow Pettus, David Thompson & Agnes Hawkins, John Thompson & someone else Jimmy & C[?] Massey. They say will all be married this fall. I reckon you think there will be marriages enough for once and that they need some thinning out about here, anyhow. It is now getting so late that I will close my letter for tonight & resume it in the morning so wishing you sweet & pleasant dreams. Dear Stokes, Good-night. My Dear Stokes, "Good morning." I have just finished breakfast and have come to finish my letter. I hardly know how to begin this morning as I believe I wrote most everything I could think of last night but I will try and write something to interest you. Our new house is not quite finished yet but they expect to finish it in a few weeks. They have run all the staircases but one & the bricklayers are running the chimney so you see they have not a great deal to do. They will finish it soon I reckon. Mr. Paul Wilson is going to have a fine house put up when they are done here. Anna is coming home from the Mountains soon. I saw Pennie & Carrie at Cool Spring. They both asked me a great many questions about you. Carrie is going to school at Capt. Bragg's. Her cousin Mrs. Craddock was with her. Victoria Arvin was there. They say she is to be married soon to Dick Wilson, I believe. Cec. Wooton was there also, the most beautiful creature you ever saw. She is now gone to school in Farmville. I have not received a letter from your cousin Bettie Lee since she went of Mr. Watkins & have not heard from her. Your cousin Sallie Lee was at the meeting at Cool Spring. Mr. Hawthorne came up with her-a widower-a beau of hers, I expect. Nannie Booth has closed her school & Bertha Roberts also Sallie Massey[?] had been teaching this year. They say she is coming down to spend the winter in this neighborhood. It is reported that she & Jno. Thompson are to be married but I do'nt know how true it is. Mrs. Saunders is going away in November, I believe. I have not seen Susan very lately but I want to go and see her soon. I have not seen Miss Ann & Miss Lucy in sometime. I reckon they are well though. There was a protracted meeting at Antioch the last I heard from there. Mr. Sam Mason was to have been there but I do'nt know whether he was or not. I received a letter from cousin Ann Fowlkes a few seeks ago. She sent a heap of love to you and said she would be very much pleased to receive a letter from you & would answer it as soon as received. I have not heard from Puss Priddy but once since we were at school. She came to Mr. Couch's and spent a few days. I do'nt know where she has gone to school. I would like so much to see her and all of my school mates. Mrs. William Eubank was at your papa's Friday. She was over here one evening last week. Miss Sue did not have a very large wedding. Cousin Lou was the only one of her scholars that was there. Cousin Wm. Harris was here yesterday (Susan Bruce's beau). I do'nt know where he went from here. He is coming back here Thursday or Friday. I believe I have written all the news I can think of, but I suppose I can write something about cats and dogs. [Illegible] Josie has the prettiest dog you ever saw. I wish you could see him. He is the greatest pet and the most mischievous thing you ever saw. She has two now that she thinks a great deal of, pretty little things. Aunt Bettie & Uncle George were here Sunday. They did not bring any of the children. Aunt Bettie sends her love to you. Fannie has been quite sick with a cold. Aunt Bettie was afraid she had the whooping cough. It is very much about now. I saw your Aunt Sallie at Cool Spring. She asked me about you. O Stokes I wish you could have been with Marie, Sue and myself the last time we were together. Marie Lee is just as lively as I ever saw her and you know how lively she can be sometimes. Mrs. Smithson was just getting well & had not been anywhere at all. I have not seen Mrs. Clem Thompson in a long time. You know she never goes anywhere and I have been so busy that I have not been to see her. . . . Give my love to Del when you see her. Tell her I will write to her very soon. Farewell, I remain Your True & Affectionate Friend Sarah Ellis P.S. Carrie & India send their love to you. * * * * *
Abstract of Will of William Ellis naming son Joseph F. Ellis:
Wife: Mary Ellis
Daughter: Elizabeth B. Faulks (or Fowlkes)
Daughter: Mary Ann McCargo
Son: Joseph F. Ellis
Daughter Martha F. Ellis
Daughter: Caroline W. Harris
Son: George C. Ellis
"No charge be brought against Doc Giles Harris for
the support of his infant children, after the death
of my daughter Caroline W. Harris"
Execs: Wife and son George G?. Ellis
Signed: 15 Oct 1838
Deceased before court action 11 Aug 1839 See full transcription by Tom McCargo
Copyright 2000 JoLee Gregory Spears