Notes from Williamsburg, Virginia

This file was sent to us via e-mail from James Pegram, a descendant of John Pegram and his wife, Parthenia Bell, through their son George Pegram who went to West Virginia.  James is doing some great research and we are happy to have him as a Pegram researcher. This file corrects an error I have made previously on the burial place of George Pegram of Warren Co. which the printed records shows to be Hollywood cemetery.  James explains how the error occurred.  If you have links to the West Virginia branch of our family, you can e-mail James.  I am sure he would love to hear from you.

I have returned from my trip to Williamsburg, Virginia where I was looking for my Pegram ancestors.  I found out a good deal about my great grandfather, George Nash Pegram.  I found that he enlisted in the 8th Virginia Cavalry, Company F on Sept 16,1863, (History of the 8th Virginia Cavalry, by Jack L. Dickinson).  He was captured by the Union General, Averell on May 7, 1864, along with a portion of Company F, in the Area of Tazewell County, Tenn..  He was admitted to Lee’s Camp Soldier’s Home in Richmond, on November 5, 1914 and died there on May 9, 1915.  I found his grave in the confederate section of Hollywood Cemetery.

You ask me to check on your grandfather George W. Pegram at Hollywood Cemetery.  I went of the office and they checked their records and could not find his name among the dead buried there.  What was very interesting was the fact that when I went to the Virginia Historical Society to pull the records from the Soldiers Home for George Nash, the original card from the home looked like George W. Pegram.  I ask the librarian to double check this and we used a magnifying glass on the original card and found that the “N” had been smudged and it looked like a “W”.  The information on the card regarding, date and place of birth, address of Mossy, W. Va., and date of death all corresponded to George Nash Pegram.  When the information on the card was transcribed, the name became George W. Pegram. (Note:  This was an obvious error on my part which we are happy to correct for our records.  Now I just have to find out where he is buried ND)

While I was in Williamsburg, I went to the Swem Library at the College of William and Mary.  This library holds, “The Records Of the Bruton Parish Church”, by William A. R. Goodwin.  The only Pegram buried there, according to the records show a “John Peagram, an infant Sept. 8, 1725.  On page 168 of the record it lists Sarah Pegram, record of death 1748, but does not state that she is buried there at the church.  Some of the records for the church were destroyed by fire sometime around 1930, so it is inconclusive as to whether Sarah is buried there.  There is another book, Bruton Parish Churchyard, a guide with map, 1976, by the Bruton Parish Church that I have not checked as yet.  I am going back in September and I will check this book at the John D. Rockefeller, Jr., research Library. (Note:  We have a picture of the tombstone of Sarah dated 1727 so we know she is buried there even if she is not listed on current records. ND)

    As to the house on the corner of Prince George  and Nassau St. the following was found at the    Rockefeller Library.  There is some question in the records about where lot 323 was in the city of  Williamsburg.  It could be the lot on the corner of Prince George and Nassau 
St. where stands the "Timson House”.  Timson was the first recorded owner of the property.  However there are parallel records of people who owned Lot 323 simultaneously, which caused the historians to consider the possibility of two lots labeled 323.

Heather Wainwright of Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Research Dept. found the following information:  Matthew & Lucretia Shields of Bruton Parish, York County sold Lot 323 “with messuages of tenements” to Burton Parish bricklayer, William Pegram, for 60 pounds Virginia currency.  William in turn sold the lot a week later to a carpenter, James Wray.  Interested buyers answered an ad in the paper which, William Pegram paid for, and described the property as ”The House and Lot, where Mrs. Shields (widow of James) formerly lived, near Mr. Wray’s, in Williamsburg, with a Kitchen, Meathouse, 2 Stables and other Conveniences.  William and Sarah of Bruton Parish, York County sold Lot 323 with all houses, outhouses to Mr. James Wray for 60 pounds, Virginia currency.

An interesting aside is: James Wray’s son James ran a store, presumably on Lot 35, with the same James Cocke who inherited the former Richard King property on Block 30 from Henry Hacker, which connects the two lots 323 and probably confirms that they were two separate lots.

This is the only occurrence of William Pegram’s name in the property records of York County.  The James City County (the other half of Williamsburg) records did not survive.

When I was in Richmond I visited Saint Paul's Episcopal Church where General John Pegram was married to Hetty Cary and a few weeks later his funeral. The Church has installed a Pegram Tablet on the wall of the church to honor the three Pegram brothers.  This is the church where Jefferson Davis was worshiping on Sunday morning when a courier brought the news that General Lee had surrendered at Appomattox Court House.


Memorial Tablet to the Pegram brothers.

 Saint Paul's Episcopal Church

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