Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Henry & Lucy Jackson Hailey Vass of Spotsylvania, Caroline & Hanover

Henry was probably born in Spotsylvania County at the turn of the nineteenth century. He was not well educated and never learned to read or write. He and Lucy were married by pastor John Billingsley of Massaponax Baptist Church, located to the south of Fredericksburg and east of the county courthouse. The church was founded in 1788 and is still active, although in a newer building and location.

During their marriage, Henry and Lucy had at least nine children. They had three daughters; Elizabeth J. Vass, Rachel A. Vass and Mary Frances Vass Taylor. They also had six sons; Benjamin W., John W., Henry Jackson Clay, Thomas Josiah, James Philip and Joseph A. Vass. Several of the boys served during the Civil War and their names appear on the Confederate monument at Hanover Courthouse.

Henry and Lucy purchased a one hundred and fifty acre farm from Thomas and Elizabeth Duerson in November of 1837 for $450. It was located in Spotsylvania, beside the farm of Lucy's father, John Hailey. The Vasses sold the property to Boswell S. Fleming for five hundred dollars in December of 1849, shortly after their move to Caroline County.

Henry and Lucy lived in Caroline, a county adjoining Spotsylvania to its south, for nearly twenty years. Henry and a few slaves farmed their land while he also managed farms for other families in the area. They eventually moved to Ashland of Hanover County where Henry continued to work in farming.

The Vass home in Ashland was located on present-day Maple Street between Route 1 and Ashcake Road, near the modern Ashland Christian Center. The home no longer exists and locals do not know of any family cemetery in the area.

Considering the time of their deaths, it is likely that Henry and Lucy were buried in Woodland Cemetery near Ashland. Early burials of the cemetery were not well documented and there are many unmarked graves. A large number of their descendants are buried in this graveyard, including at least three of their children.


Henry Vass was born between 1798–1799 in Virginia and died after June 1860.

Lucy Jackson Hailey Vass was born between 1804–1805 in Virginia
died on June 15, 1878 in Hanover County. She was a member of the Baptist church for more than fifty years.

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