York-Poquoson History

Location: York County, Virginia

I am retired from the York/Poquoson Sheriff's Office after 24 1/2 years. I am currently employed at Weymouth Funeral Home in Newport News VA and Riverside Hospital also in Newport News. I am president and co-founder of the York County Historical Society. I am also on the York County Historical Museum Board, associate member of the York County Historical Committee, Poquoson Historical Society, Nicolas Maritau Decsendants Association, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Sons of the American Revolution,West Virginia Genealogical Society and the U.S.S. Yosemite AD-19 Veterans Association. I am also a thirty year Parrothead. I am a 12th generation York County native even though I was born in Cocoa Beach FL.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Mary Rooksland Shield
This is a photo of a painting of Mary Rooksland Shield. I got it several years ago from my cousin Evelyn Shields. Mary was my 5th great-grandmother. She was born about 1800 and died in the 1870s. She was married at least four times. She either was born in Baltimore or moved there as a young child. She married Jesse Huffington there and later moved to York County. She is the link to her descendant's linages to George Reade and Nicolas Martiau. She also descends from English royalty.
Mary Rooksland Shield was said have been a medicine woman. She would make up herbal cures for various ailments that struck the local people.
In 1965, Dolly Vick wrote a book on the ancestors and decsendants of Mary Rooksland Shield. It was through looking in this book that I was able find out about my great-mother Green's ( Diana Hopkins (Todd)ancestry and my many cousins in the Poquoson area.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Story of Carroll Rollins
Frank Green

While going through microfilmed copies of old newspapers, I found a very interesting story about a Poquoson native named Carroll Rollins.
It seemed that he was the only one who did not answer when his draft number came up. His parents Floyd and Margaret Rollins explained that he was a merchant seaman and his ship had sunk by German U-boat and was not in even in the country at the time.
For some reason the name Carroll Rollins seemed familiar to me. I found the name in the book on the Smith family by the late Robert E. White. I also found that his grandnephew, Lane Forrest, worked with me at the sheriff’s office. Lane told me that Carroll’s sister (Lane’s grandmother) Margaret Carmines was still living and gave me her phone number. I contacted her and she gave me the story of her brother.
Carroll Jennings Rollins was born in Poquoson on June 14,1915. He married while still a teenager but it did not work out. Shortly afterwards joined the Merchant Marine. This was in the mid-1930s. It was a job that he loved and planned on making it a career.
After World War II began, the life of a merchant seaman was to become a perilous one. German U-boats and surface raiders were sinking freighters and tankers with alarming regularity.
Carroll “Buddy” Rollins was to right in the middle of it. By early 1942, he had already had two ship torpedoed from under him. It was during this time that the ships he was on were involved in transporting goods from England to Russia. They would land in the Russian port on Murmansk and the journey was called the Murmansk run. These runs were often considered nearly suicidal due to submarines and land based aircraft. They were constantly in danger of being torpedoed or bombed.
Carroll Rollins was in Russia after one of his ships was sunk when his draft number came up. Because he was there, he could not answer when his draft number was called. This was carried in the local newspapers, much to the anger and embarrassment of his parents. The draft board’s thinking was that being his ship was sunk and he was no longer attached to a vessel, then he was eligible for the draft. Mr. and Mrs. Rollins wrote a letter to the Daily Press. They state that when his draft number came up, he was on a raft with five other shipmates after his ship “had been blown to bits and 48 other crew members were killed or drowned.” It was also pointed out that he had been on ships that had been torpedoed before the United States even entered the war and was serving his country.
Mrs. Carmines told me that the draft board dropped the charges against her brother and apologized to the family.
All total Carroll Rollins was on seven ships that were sank in World War II. He stayed in the Merchant Marines for the rest of his life and died in New Orleans on January 22,1968.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

John Kemp Green and Diana Hopkins Todd Green
This photo is of my great great parents John Kemp Green and Diana Hopkins Green.
My grandfather Coleman Green is also in the photo. John K. Green was the son of Peter Green and Vandelia Davis. Diana Hopkins was the daughter of Charles Hopkins and Zelica Constance Wilson. Peter Green was the son of Lewis and Mary Green. Vandelia Davis was the daughter of Thomas Davis Jr. and Sandelia Miller of Mathews County.
Zelica Wilson was the daughter of Wilton Wilson and Amanda Huffington. Charles Hopkins was the son of James Hopkins and Diana Hunt.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Story of Jesse Huffington
By Frank Green
Most people interested in Poquoson history and genealogy are familiar with story of Mary Rooksland Shield. She was married many times and many hundred descendants in York County and Poquoson. She is a lineal descendant of Nicolas Maritiau and his son-in-law, George Reade. It is through her Reade ancestry that she probably had royal blood and though Martiau, she was related to such people as George Washington, Thomas Nelson and Meriweather Lewis.
Mary's story is told in the late Dolly Hughes Vick book" The Ancestry and Descendants of Mary Rooksland Shield" This books tells of Mary going to Baltimore as a young child and marrying Jesse Huffington. They came back to York County to recover some land.
Mary's story has been told, but here is the story of her first husband, Jesse Huffington.
It was through the miracle of the Internet that I was able come up with the information on Jesse Huffington. One day I was reading the posts on Lower Delmarva Roots message board. I noted that one was from a woman who listed her maiden name as Huffington. I took a chance and e-mailed her and asked if she was familiar with Jesse Huffington and Mary Rookland Shield. She replied that Jesse was a several times great uncle of hers and she knew about her marriage to Mary and their moving to Poquoson. She even had done some research on them. She sent me some well documented information on the life and times of Jesse Huffington.
Jesse Joseph Huffington was born in the Barren Springs area of Somerset County Maryland about 1792. He was the son of John Huffington and Sarah Weatherly. It should be noted that the Weatherly family ties into the Hopkins family before they moved to Poquoson in the early 1800s.
The Huffington family moved from England to Accomack County Virginia in the late 1600s. They then moved to Somerset County Maryland in the early 1700s.
Jesse first married Mary Guiteer. She probably died not after they married.
As Jesse got older, he began to answer the call of the sea. The Huffington family history states that "Jesse Huffington was a courageous seagoing man whose life story would have made a good novel." This also gives credence to Dolly Vick's description of him as being a seaman and often sailing overseas to Europe and England.
Jesse had many adventures in the War of 1812. He was a close confidant of Admiral Joshua Barney.
In 1814 the British marched on Washington D.C. Jesse stayed behind with Barney after the latter sent his men to retreat from the area. Both Jesse and Barney were captured.
The British showed every courtesy to Huffington and Barney.
The Federal Gazette of October 13, 1814 listed " Jesse Huffington, sailing master" as a prisoner of war. He was later exchanged. This was a common practice at the time.
He returned to the Naval Service as a privateer. In the 1820's He participated in the wars between Spain and it's rebellious
South American colonies.
It is thought that he married Mary Rooksland Shield sometime around 1815. She was around 15 years old around that time.
She probably married in order to save her family's property in York County. They moved to the what was then the Poquoson area of York County. Jesse and Mary had two daughters. One of these daughters, Amanda Huffington, is the great-great-great grandmother of the author of this article.
Jesse died November 5,1835 in York County. Mary married four more times. Her story is told in the Dolly Hughes Vick's book "Mary Rooksland Shield-A Virginia Genealogy"

Our Eastern Virginia Dialect

Frank Green

While the study of dates, people and events are important, if one really wants to know about a certain area is to learn its cultural history. In other words find out what made us what we are.
For us natives and residents of York County and Poquoson, one of these historical cultural icons would be our Tidewater dialect. This is sometimes referred to as Elizabethan English or even Shakespearean English.
In a recent interview with Robert McNeil was asked if the dialect of Senator John Warner was Elizabethan English, he said that is probably was not. McNeil had just written a book on "speaking American" The Virginia dialect may not be Elizabethan or Shakespean but it certainly is a direct derivative of it.
What is the Tidewater dialect? It is the way of speaking that goes from Eastern Maryland down the east coast to the islands of Georgia. It is very easy to pick out. The word "out" is pronounced "oat" The word "about" is pronounced "aboat"
A "house" is a "hoose" The "r" at the end of most words in not even pronounced. In fact some one syllable words are stretched to two syllables. The word "there" is pronounce "they-ya"
This dialect is rapidly dying out. This is very unfortunate. Our dialect had a particular character that made us stand apart from other regional dialects.
In our area, there are even dialects of our dialect. One example is the almost Cockney sounding speech that is found in the Guinea area of Gloucester County and the unusual speech patterns on Tangier and Smith Islands in the Chesapeake Bay. The dropped "r" is still found in the speech of Poquoson natives and older York County natives.
Where did the Tidewater dialect originate? It came to our country with our earliest ancestors when they came over from England. The Eastern Virginia area was mainly settled my people from the Southwest area of England. According to Dr. David Hackett Fischer's book "Albion's Seed", the Eastern part of our country was settled by people who came from four distinct areas of Great Britain to four areas of this country. These areas included Virginia, the Delaware Valley, New England and the Back Country. These different settlers brought their culture and language with them. This ended p up being one country made on many cultures.
In fact Virginia can be found under the "Virginia" chapter for her settlement form Southwest England and under the "Back Country" chapter, which covers Scotch-Irish settlement in Virginia's western counties. I found both of these chapters very interesting and informative as I have a parent from both Eastern Virginia and the Back Country Scots-Irish.
Dr. Bennett W. Green (no relation) did meticulous study of Eastern Virginia speech patterns and colloquialisms. He put these together is his book "Word Book of Virginia Folk Speech" (Richmond 1899). Dr. Green was able to trace many well known local words and terms back to their British origin. One example is many local people use the term "chimley" for chimney. This pronunciation can be traced back to Hampshire County England. Wiltshire County gave us "preserve" for "preserve". Cornwall County gave us "half" pronounced as "haalf", "care" is pronounced "keer". Words ending is "g" have that letter being silent. An example of this is: "goin'" for the word going. Some of our word pronunciations come from Middle English. An example of this is the letter "L" is charged to "R" The word walnut is pronounced "warnut"
There are almost no foreign words in Tidewater English. The only exception to this is the inclusion of many local Indian words into our language. Some examples of Indian words in every day Virginia language are: persimmon, skunk, Accomack and Poquoson.
One interesting quality of the Tidewater dialect is that some proper names are pronounced differently than they were spelled. The name "Chisman" is pronounced "Cheeseman". "Botetourt" is "Bote-tot". "DeNeuville" was "Donevill" "Hayward" is pronounced "How'ard" "James" is "Jeames". "Fourteen" is Fo' teen". "Salett" are any greens such as collards, it should not be confused with salad.
Some local pronunciations that I have personally noted is that some people change the "N" at the end of a word to "M". An example would be "seem" for "seven". Another example when someone says "are-ra" for the letter "R".
It is truly a shame that our local dialect seems to be disappearing with each on going generation. It still shows up in the media every so often. The movie "Gods and Generals" give Robert E. Lee and other Virginians a Tidewater accent as opposed to a Deep South dialect that most movies and television shows give them.
Sadly, our local dialect is being replaced with replaced with the colorless language that is seen in the movies and television. It seems that people whose parents speak with the "Virginia accent" grow up to have no accent at all.

Friday, November 04, 2005

This is the text of a presentation that I gave at the Green family reunion in August of 2003.
Thomas Davis of Mathews and York Counties
Today I am going to talk to you about our Mathews County and Davis ancestry. Everybody here who descends from the Green family also comes from the Davises.
I also want to tell you that the information that I am giving you is based on research by Thelma Hansford and she has graciously let me use it for my own research.
We are going to start with Thomas Davis Sr. He was born in Abington Parish in Gloucester County in 1740’s He was the son of Thomas Davis and Elizabeth Brown. He married Lucretia Lewis at Kingston Parish on August 17, 1769. I have not been able to find much on the ancestry of Lucretia.
It seems to have been two Lucretia Lewises in Mathews County during this time period with our Lucretia being the older of the two. Doing research in Gloucester and Mathews in made difficult by the fact that most of their court records were destroyed in the Civil War. It is possible that Luctretia may be tied into the Lewis family of Warner Hall in Gloucester. The explorer Meriweather Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame descended from this family.
Kingston Parish is the present day Mathews County.
Gloucester County Revolution records indicate that Thomas Davis served with the county militia during the Revolutionary War.
Thomas and Lucretia had four children. They were:
Elizabeth Davis, Christopher Davis, Lucretia Davis and Thomas Davis. Lucretia Lewis Davis died sometime in the mid-1790’s and Thomas Davis remarried Catherine Armistead. She was the descendant of Robert Armistead, who came from England to the Mathews area in the 1650s. Presidents William Henry Harrison, John Tyler and Benjamin Harrison also descended from Robert Armistead.
Thomas and Catherine had five children. One of these was Catherine Davis. Catherine Davis married Peter B. Smith and they moved to Fish Neck and are now the ancestors of the Smith family of Dare.
Thomas Davis Jr. married Sandelia Miller September 20, 1815. Sandelia was the daughter of Gabriel Miller of Mathews County and again I have not been able to find too much about her ancestry.
Thomas and Sandelia moved to York County and bought land at what is now the end of Winsome Haven Road in Seaford. There were several Mathews County families that moved to York County during this time period. These include the Forrests, the Whites, the Hudginses and the Edward Davis family that founded this church. Thomas and Sandelia had the following children:
Polly (Mary) Cary Davis in 1816. She later married William Stroud and after he died she married Thomas Dawson.
Their next child was John Burgess Davis. They had several children.
There next child was Elizabeth Jane Davis. She married James Burcher.
There next child was Seth Shepard Davis.
The next child was Hester Davis. She married Kemp Charles and they lived at what is now Charles Road. Kemp and Hester Charles were my g-g-g-grandparents. They had a daughter Buena Vista who married Hardy Wornom and they have several descendants in the area. One was John Wornom who ran the store and post office at the corner of Dare and Railway for many years.
Thomas and Sandelia’s next child was Thomas Francis Davis. There is not much information on him. There was information in the York County death records of the 1850’s that indicate a Thomas Davis dying as the result of being thrown off of a horse.
There next child was Sarah Frances Davis. She married Benedict Hudgins and they had two children. Benedict Hudgins was killed at the Battle of Sharpsburg in the Civil War and his name in of York County’s war memorial.
There eighth child was Sedelia Davis. She was born on August 25, 1931 and died six days later. Hardy and Hester Wornom had a daughter named Sedilia Wornom. She later marred Harry Spencer and they were Julia Myer’s parents.
Thomas and Sandelia’s ninth child was Larkin Wesley Davis.
He married Elizabeth Powell and they had several children. They had a grand daughter Rosa Davis who married Robert Olson. I knew them.
Their 10th child was Virginia Davis. She married John Green. They had one child Hester Green. John died as the result of wounds suffered at Sharpsburg. Peter Green lost both his brother John Green and brother-in-law as the result of this b battle. Hester married William Provoo and they move from the area. She is buried in Isle of Wight county.
There 11th child was Susan Francis Davis. She was born on Jan. 21st 1838 and died Feb. 3rd 1838.
Thomas and Sandelia Davis’s 12th and last child was Vandelia Davis. Vandelia was born Jan.1 1840 and died Oct.6, 1915. She married Peter Green and they are our common ancestors.
It is safe to say that Thomas Davis Sr. may well be the father of Seaford and Dare as so many of us descend from him.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

This is a 1909 photo of Providence Methodist Church in the Dare area of York County.
The church was first built in the 1840s on land donated by the family of Edward Davis. During the majority of the Civil War,York County was under the occupation of the Union Army. These troops would dececrate local churches, often using them for stables and later tearing them down. Many York County churches had to be rebuilt from the ground up. The people of Fish Neck (as Dare was called in those days) approached the Union general Erasmus Keyes and asked their church be spared the fate of other York County churches and not be destroyed or vandalized. General Keyes issued in order that Providence Church not be molested in any manner. The church is this photo is the second church building.

The Early Days of the Board of Supervisors
Frank Green
For as long as most people can remember, York County has been governed by an elected board of supervisors. No one really knew when this governing body actually began. I sometimes wondered about this myself. I often looked over old court records and found out that before the Civil War, York County was ruled by a court and a selected group of jurors. So, when was the board of supervisors born?
Here is how I found out. My grandfather served on the York County Board of Supervisors from 1952 when he took over John Smith’s unfinished term to his death in December 1963. He had just been defeated in the November 1963 election. I was curious about what issues he might have considered and voted on in his term on the board.
I was interested in what records of the Board of Supervisors were available and just how far back they went. I asked former supervisor Jim Funk who referred me to Ellen Simmons of the county administrator’s office.
Mrs. Simmons was very helpful and allowed me to view several volumes of the minutes of the Board of Supervisors. As of this writing, I have spent several hours reading these records and still have not gotten to what my Grandfather did.
Here is the story of the early days of the York County Board of Supervisors taken from their minutes.
First, I want to give a little background on why York County went to this particular form of government.
In 1870, Virginia adopted a new state constitution. This was the time of the end of reconstruction and Virginia was ready to re-enter the Union. The state basically had to start over from nothing.
After the end of the Civil War, Virginia’s governor was Francis Peirpont. He was the governor of the Western counties of Virginia that had remained loyal to the Union during the war. In reality, a Union general governed Virginia named John M. Schofield. Virginia was part of the First Military District. .
In 1868, it Virginia was allowed to vote on whether or not to adopt a new constitution. The voters overwhelmingly voted in the affirmative. The new constitution took affect in 1870. One of the things that the 1870 Constitution called for was a revamping of county governments. Instead of being ruled by a court of selected jurors, Virginia’s counties were to be governed by an elected board of supervisors.
The York County Board of Supervisors first met on October 3, 1870. The members were:
Samuel Wornom of Poquoson
William Ware of Grafton
Washington Fields of Nelson
H.M. Waller of Bruton
This was to be the organizational meeting of the new board. Mr. Wornom made a motion nominating Mr. Waller as the chairman and he was duly elected. One interesting note about this first board was that Washington Fields; the Nelson district supervisor was an African-American. He owned a great deal of property around the Yorktown area, including a large tract near the Moore House.
One of the first things that the board had to consider was the lack of boundaries in Yorktown. Many of the land boundary lines were wiped out by the erection of earthworks during the early days of the war. At that time, the Board of Trustees governed most of Yorktown. In 1870, only two Trustees remained. The others either moved away or died. The Board of Supervisors had to give a list of names for the state General Assembly to consider. One of these names was that of Washington Fields.
Another early consideration of this first board was the building of government buildings in Yorktown. The York County Courthouse was destroyed in an explosion on December 16, 1863. The county was fortunate that the records were stored in an icehouse in West Point during the war and did not suffer the fate of records of other counties that stored their records in Richmond. When Richmond burned during the Confederate evacuation, most county records burned with it.
It was decided to build three buildings. First was going to be County Court clerks office, next a courthouse and finally a jail.
The new clerks’ office was to be sturdy and “fireproof”. Money was raised for this construction by selling timber from county owned property near the Poorhouse. The Poorhouse tract was located between what are now Ella Taylor Road and Showalter Road. The remaining buildings had to be financed by tax levy. The board was deadlocked two to two over whether or not to have this early tax hike. . It was agreed that the York County Circuit Court judge be given a “ special” deciding vote. He voted in the affirmative and the tax issue passed. A courthouse was built on the same property that had the York County Courthouse since colonial times. This courthouse remained in use until New Years Eve, 1940 when it burned. A jail was built behind the courthouse that remained in use until the late 1930s, when it was razed and a USO building was built in its place.
The early Board of Supervisors also had many other accounts to consider. Some of these were:
Major Moore for work on roads 9.00
Thomas Amory –Constable… 1.60 for arresting a man for lunacy and summonsing a doctor and witness.
Edward Blair received 64.50 for “cutting down Fort McClelland”
J.W. Smith received 5.00 for acting as Justice of the Peace and acting coroner and holding an inquest on the body of William Scott.
These early Board of Supervisors records also give a window on the history of York County. One example of this was that on March 1, 1872 the board granted William Halstead the sum of 29.36 for the construction of a small pox hospital. William Carter received 26.93 for the construction of coffins for small pox victims who were paupers. This shows that during this time period there was a small pox epidemic among the poor people of York County. The area of part of what is now the Naval Weapons Station was known as Halstead’s Point. The disease also showed up further down the county as Dr. R.H. Power received a sum of money for treating victims in the Grafton area.
Another interesting point is that on June 8, 1871, they highly recommended that the special police were no longer needed as the court had already appointed a group of constables and they “ were duly qualified for the discharge of their office”. I have yet to find any information on these “ special police. Until the late 1890s, constables handled law enforcement. During the early 1900s, the county sheriff began to take over law enforcement duties. Before that, the sheriff only handled court duties.
I have found that that these records are very interesting, especially during emergencies. Just after the 1933 hurricane, the Board of Supervisors held several special meetings to deal with the damage. I look forward to reading these records and looking through this particular window into York County history.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

This is a photo of Delma Presson and Billy Green. Billy is my Uncle and Delma is a member of the York County Historical Society. I think she said it was Billy. If it is not, I am sure I will hear about it.

The 1924 Bus Crash-Poquoson’s Most Tragic Day.
By Frank Green
On the afternoon of November 3, 1924 several citizens of the Messick area of Poquoson met a bus at Amory’s store for a ride to the city of Hampton.
It was supposed to be an exciting experience for some of the women as they were going to pick out a wedding gown. It was going to be a sad event for David Hopkins because he was going to Dixie Hospital to be with his father dying father, William Hopkins, during his final hours.
The bus was owned and driven by Mortimer Rand. Rand was a former Army sergeant from Hartford Connecticut who had been stationed at Langley Field. He married a local Poquoson girl named Missouri Bunting and left the Army to settle in this area.
The bus service was a convenience for the long winding trip from Poquoson, most of which took place on the Back River Road.
At approximately 2:40pm the bus was struck by a C&O train at the Back River Crossing. The train was coming from Newport News and was estimated to have been traveling about 45 miles per hour.
Eleven Messick citizens were killed. This may have been the single largest loss of life at one time on the Peninsula since the Civil War. The victims were William Forrest and his son Essie, Gilbert Insley and his son Floyd, Albert and Waverly Firman. David J. Hopkins, Miss Mary Elizabeth Dixon and her two little nieces Nannie Mae Dixon age 5 and Virginia Wade age 4. Joseph Huggett was seriously injured and died at Dixie Hospital a few days later. Mrs. William Dixon and Mr. Rand were also seriously injured. Two year old Alice Frances Dixon escaped with only minor bruise and cuts. Alice is alive to this day. This was to be a fateful day for her. She was originally in back with Nannie and Virginia, but was ordered to the front of the bus by her mother just before the bus arrived at Back River Crossing.
Eight of the victims died instantly. The little Dixon girl died while on the way to the hospital and David Hopkins and J. F. Firman passed away shortly after arriving at the hospital.
The force of the crash totally destroyed the bus. Newspaper accounts of the time told of bodies strewn about area and crash debris for many yards past the crash scene. Mrs. Dixon was found on the cow catcher tightly holding onto Alice. She told rescuers to be careful with her and they pried Alice from her hands. Mrs. Dixon became unconscious after her daughter was removed. She survived the incident, but was hospitalized at Dixie Hospital for the next six months.
Because of the fact that the only survivors were in the front of bus, the train must have hit is just to the rear of center.
The Elizabeth City County Coroner, Dr.George Vanderslice, convened two coroner’s courts. The first one met at the scene and interviewed several witnesses. They all stated that Rand did not stop at the intersection with the railroad tracks. Dr. Vanderslice interviewed Mr. Huggett in his hospital room and he stated that that Mr. Rand did stop at the crossing. He stated Rand looked towards Hampton, but did not look towards Newport News, the direction in which the train was coming. Huggett remembered telling Rand that he had better “step on it”. It was undetermined whether or not the bus stalled on the tracks or Rand just “froze”.
Dr. Vanderslice had the bodies removed to Harry Cunningham's funeral parlor. Mr. Cunningham had to call in extra embalmers to help prepare the bodies.
Soon family members starting arriving for the sad chore of identifying their loved ones. The Rev. Charles McAllister of St. Johns Church and Rev. Charles Friend of Hampton Presbyterian Church soon arrived at the funeral home to give comfort to grieving family members.
A second coroner's court ruled that the incident was a tragic accident and actions should be taken to make the railroad intersections safer. Six people had already died at railroad crossings that year in Elizabeth City County.
William Hopkins died a couple of days later without ever knowing that his son David had died at the railroad crossing. Joseph Huggett died after doctors tried desperately to save him.
Gilbert Insley left a wife and four children. Essie Forrest left a wife and four children and was taking care of two other children. William Forrest left his wife and three children. J. F. Firman left a wife of less than one year.
Within the next few days, the victims of the bus crash were removed to Poquoson for burial. The services were attended by several thousand people from both York County and Elizabeth City County.
Hundreds of businesses in Hampton closed their doors for business from 12:00 to 1:00pm on the day of the funeral in honor of the crash victims. Elizabeth City County Sheriff Curtis brought several deputies to assist York County Sheriff Lawson with traffic and crowd control. Many Hampton civic organizations passed special resolutions in sympathy for the crash victims and their families.
Services for four of the dead were held at Forrest home, after this was over the crowd went to the Insley home, then to the Firman home. At each home the caskets were placed in the front yards and were covered with flowers. The services were conducted by Rev. Burke of Trinity Church. He was assisted by Rev. Cunningham of the Hampton Church of Christ and Rev. W.W. Beasley of Central Methodist Church in Hampton. A quartet consisting of H. S. Cunningham, William Martin, A. Tyler Hull Sr. and Joe Gardner sang "Someday you will Understand, Nearer My God to Thee" and other hymns.
The graves of the Forrests and one of the Firman brothers are at the Weston Cemetery. The other Firman brother is buried at the Eastern Cemetery. The little girls, Nannie Mae Dixon and Virginia Wade, are buried at the Phillips Cemetery off of Wrenn's Road. The author of this article has been able to find the graves of all the victims except William and David Hopkins.
The Merchants Bank of Hampton later gave $45.00 to each of the victim's orphans for Christmas. The Peninsula communities later combined to raise $5000.00 for the families of those who perished in the crash.

I am finally entering the world of blogs. This seems to be a very effective way of getting information out to the public.
This blog will contain information on the history, geneaology and culture on York County Virginia and the City of Poquoson Virginia. There will be stories about historical subjects that relate to York County and Poquoson. I will also include information about the York County Historical Society.
This blog will contain my opinions of issues that deal with York/Poquoson history. I have opinions on other subjects as well, but that will have to wait for another blog.
For those people that are not local, I will tell a little about myself. My name is Frank Green. I am president of the York County Historical Society. I am also member of the Poquoson Historical Society, the York County Historical Museum Board, associate member of the York County Historical Committee and the West Virginia Genealogical Society. Even though I was not born in York County or Virginia, I am a twelfth generation York County native through my father's family. Our lines go back to 1633. I have been working for the York/Poquoson Sheriff's office for almost 24 years and Weymouth Funeral Home in Newport News Virginia for the past five years. Aside from local history I am World War II buff. I am an amateur radio operator and a Strat-o-Matic player. I am interested in all history but I am especially interested in post-antebelllum history to about 1970. I have written one book on the Green family and am working on a second book that will contain short stories of York County and Poquoson history.
I am in my third and last term as President of the York County Historical Society.
Our society meets at the first of the month at Providence Methodist Church at 113 Old Dare Road in Dare Virginia. We usually have a short business meeting then a program on a historical, genealogical or cultural related subject.
The York County Historical Society now has possesion of Thelma Hansford's collect of genealogical related material. This collection contains about 90 books, several unpublished books, about two hundred folders on various York County families and a file of abstracts of York County court records that are put together by family name. These records have been indexed.
This is available to veiwed by appointment. These records are housed in the York County Historical Museum. The museum is located on the lower level of York Hall. York Hall is a the intersection of Ballard Street and Main Street in Yorktown. We hope to get some more collections of genealogical related material in the future.
I hope to include stories about York/Poquoson History in this blog. I would like to include some photos also. I am also hoping to set up a Web-site in the new future.
Our next meeting of the York County Historical Society will meet on the first Monday in November. The speaker will be Leo Forrest and the program will be on the Naval Weapons Station.
If you have any suggestions for this blog or any information that you would like to pass on, please let me know in the comments section of this blog or e-mail me at jfgreen@hroads.net
Frank Green