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Census and Military Records of Dunmore County

The Bird - Samuels Papers

Revolutionary War Records, Virginia, (Gaius Marcus Brumbaugh, 1936) contains records from the National Archives and records gathered from descendants of the soldiers, including letters written before 1800. The Bird - Samuels Papers contain the original census and military records of Dunmore Co. and are included in Brumbaugh's book. The papers were donated to the VA Historical Society sometime around 1936.

Col. Abraham Bird (1731 - 1820) was the original owner of the documents. He was one of the Dunmore County Committee of Safety. When he moved to Kentucky in 1803, the papers were left with his son, Capt. George Bird (1763 - 1826). His son, Judge Mark Bird, came into possession of the papers and when he died, the papers were found by Sally Madison (Byrd) Williams. Eventually, and I'm unsure how, the collection was owned by Bernard Samuels, M.D., New York City, who was a descendant of Mounce Bird who was a soldier in Capt. Jacob Holeman's company and a brother of Col. Abraham Bird (Mounce and Abraham being the brothers.) Dr. Samuels presented the collection to the VA Historical Society and gave Brumbaugh permission to publish the papers in his book on the Revolutionary War.

The short history on the life of the Bird - Samuels Papers was given in a letter written to Brumbaugh in 1936 by a W. Twyman Williams, D.D. of Hampden-Sydney, VA. W. Twyman Williams was the son of Sally Madison (Bird) and William Twyman Williams, Sr.

Twyman Williams stated in his letter that in addition to the muster rolls and census lists that the records of the Dunmore County Committee of Safety included the minutes of its first meeting following its election on Jan 10, 1775; a patriotic declaration bearing the names of eighty-eight "inhabitants of the county of Dunmore" lists in German script of 218 purchases of salt apportioned to Dunmore County by the State Committee of Safety and other papers and letters. Where no dates were found, the use of the name Dunmore in the documents fixed the date as no later than 1777.

Dunmore County was was changed to "Shanando" by Act of the State Legislature in October, 1777.

Actual copies of the lists are included in Brumbaugh's book.

On page 601, Brumbaugh states in reference to Jacob Rinker, "later Lieut. In 8th Virginia Regiment, A.G.O., U.S. reports that they have none of these military rolls."

Some of the lists were rolled with a name written on the back which was the name of the captain or officer in charge of the militia unit.

At the end of the book, Brumbaugh states that "Revolutionary War Records, Volume II" is in manuscript, including British records of numerous American prisoners, extensive pension application abstracts, State Navies, State Troops, Continental Army, all states, etc., etc., forming a mass of authentic, important records not before published or available. Publication, similar to Volume I, was planned for 1937.

It is not known if Brumbaugh's Volume II was ever published. If it was and it contained as much information as is found in Volume I, then it surely provides family researchers with valuable and much needed information.

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Created November 5, 1999
Updated November 11, 2015
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