Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Benjamin Thomas and Louisa Spain Lawson of Mecklenburg County

Benjamin Thomas Lawson was the son of William Lawson and Martha A. Graves[1, 2]. He was born on 23 Dec 1824 in Charlotte County, Virginia[3, 4]. He died on 06 Jul 1903 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia[3, 5]. Burial in Chase City, Mecklenburg County, Virginia (Lawson family cemetery)[3].

Benjamin was probably born in Charlotte County but little is known about his childhood. He was married to Louisa Spain by Elder John B. Smith of Sandy Creek Baptist Church. Their marriage bond was issued in Mecklenburg County but Sandy Creek was in Charlotte.

Benjamin and Louisa made their home in Mecklenburg. He purchased a 130-acre farm on the Barnesville and Boydton road, known as the "Cicero Coleman" tract. As an interesting twist, Cicero was my ancestor from another line and died during the Civil War. Benjamin later bought a three-acre lot on the north side of the same road.

This Lawson union produced ten children, all but two of whom died before their mother. There were seven boys and three girls including: William R., Richard (who died young), John Robert, James Edward "Jimmy", Charles R., Cephas O., Walter T., Mary Elizabeth who married John Haley Stegall of North Carolina, Anna "Annie" L. married Fleming Gardner/Garner and Emma "Emmie" Virginia who married Robert Bailey Fitz.

Benjamin, Louisa and many of their children are buried in the Lawson family cemetery, near their old home place. The cemetery is well maintained and there are an abundance of tombstones. It is located on Lawson Road, not too far from the town of Chase City. The cemetery is easy to find as there is a "Lawson Cemetery" sign pointing in its direction.

After Benjamin's death, his son Cephas took on the task of administering the estate. Cephas gathered up all of the cash on hand and placed it in a bank for safe keeping. Cephas died and Louisa began to draw interest off of the money...until the bank failed. There was a small squabble amongst the Lawson descendants because Cephas should not have deposited the money to begin with. In the end, Cephas and Louisa were forgiven by the family of any wrong doing and the remaining cash was distributed. It was acknowledged that he was acting in the best interest of the estate and under the advice of council.

Louisa J. Spain was the daughter of Royall Spain and Tabitha Harris[6, 7]. She was born on 24 Sep 1831 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia[3, 8]. She died on 14 May 1920 in Chase City, Mecklenburg County, Virginia[9]. Burial on 15 May 1920 in Chase City, Mecklenburg County, Virginia (Lawson family cemetery)[9, 3]. Cause of Death was embolism - sudden death; arteriosclerosis of arteries and veins[9].

Louisa, whose middle name was probably Jane, spent her entire life in Mecklenburg County. Her mother died while she was very young and was thereafter raised by her stepmother. Louisa's education is in question. It appears that she may have been able to read but possibly not write.

After the death of her husband, Louisa lived in a log cabin before moving in with her daughter, Emmie Fitz of Chase City. The cabin was located to the right of the Lawson cemetery but has since been moved and subsequently burned.

Louisa had the sad distinction of outliving eight of her ten children.

Benjamin Thomas Lawson and Louisa J. Spain. They were married Abt. 02 Sep 1846 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia[6].

  1. and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1880 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005), Database online. Blue Stone, Mecklenburg, Virginia, ED 142, roll T9_1377, page 76.4000, image .Record for Thomas B. Lawson.
  2. Mecklenburg County, Virginia Deed Book 42, 1878-1879, Pettus to Lawson, 511-512.
  3. Lawson family cemetery, Lawson Road, near Chase City, Mecklenburg County, Virginia, B. T. and L. J. Lawson tombstone.
  4. Commonwealth of Virginia certificate of death (Bureau of Vital Statistics), Walter Thomas Lawson, 1938, 1698-28523.
  5. Local Government Records Collection, Mecklenburg County, Virginia Chancery Causes, 1783-1941 (Richmond, Virginia: The Library of Virginia), Admr. of B. T. Lawson v. Admr. of C. O. Lawson, etc., 1911-075 CC.
  6. Katherine B. Elliott, Marriage Records 1811-1853, Mecklenburg County, Virginia (South Hill: Prestwould Chapter DAR, 1962), 104.
  7., 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004), Database online. Gregorys Store, Mecklenburg, Virginia, ED 42, roll T623 1717, page 6A.Record for Thomas B Lawson.
  8. Commonwealth of Virginia certificate of death (Bureau of Vital Statistics), James Edward Lawson, 1918, 364-6094.
  9. Commonwealth of Virginia certificate of death (Bureau of Vital Statistics), Mrs. Loisa Lawson, 1920, 526-13486.
Thanks to June Chambliss, James and Vicky Lawson for the photo of Louisa!

No comments: