Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Lintons of Bristow-17th, 18th and 19th century history in my neighborhood

When I moved to Bristow in 2009, I was hoping to connect the history of my neighborhood to the 18th century, but the information was elusive...even when I asked employees at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation if they knew anything. Although CWF employees are highly steeped in 18th century Virginia history, the tale of Bristow was simply too elusive.

Meanwhile I've kept looking for historical details, which in themselves are contradictory. Even after 11 years of research, firm facts on the history continue to be mind boggling. I've linked all of them below, under resources. All of them generally support one another, but all of them generally contradict each other at the same time. For example, all dates for birth and death are approximate, because most resources vary by a few years.

Even so, some details remain consistent. I've long been wanting to tell this story, so finally I shall. I've taken all the various components from the Resource list (below) to weave this tale. Please feel free to fact check. It might mind boggle you, too! ;)

Since no one agrees on dates, I "settled" on dates from this genealogy site, Early Colonial Settlers of Southern Maryland and Virginia's Northern Neck Counties. They look quite thorough and a work in progress. I appreciate that they admit to approximate dates. I love the inventories at the bottom of many of the genealogical pages.

Thus I shall attempt to weave the tale of Lintonsford from various narratives and genealogy. This page, too, shall be a work in progress. Although my original intent was to tell the interesting story, the conflicting details turned this into an analysis.

And even though my photography is sadly dark, perhaps that continues the theme of the obscurity of details of this fascinating story.

Simply a list of links with conflicting details was too confusing to me, so I finally decided to organize them the best I could here. With continued research I will update this page and hopefully come to clarity.

So I shall tell this journey of discovery in two separate parts: the historical details of my neighborhood, and the discovery of the hidden Linton family cemetery in my neighborhood, on the banks of Broad Run.

And if so interested, you are welcome to join  me on this journey along Broad Run in Bristow, Virginia.


17th Century

This is the tale of the Lintons of Bristow. No, not of Heathcliff and Catherine, but that of  Lintonsford, the property of which I, myself, lived for 10 years.

Apparently my neighborhood of Braemar, itself Scottish in name, began during the English Civil War had a huge impact on all of 17th century Virginia, as I reported here, on the history of Bristow.

When King Charles I of England was beheaded in 1649, the nobles who supported him (called Cavaliers) fled first for Scotland. However wanting to replicate their English court life, they journeyed to America. Because Virginia was the most British of the colonies, this is where many of the nobles headed. After loading their ships with brick for mansions and furniture for their homes, they sailed across the Atlantic, to the Chesepeake, up the Potomac, to settle on land that would in another 100 years would become Dumfries, Virginia, an important tobacco port for Britain.

It is said that one of these Cavaliers was Sir Walter de Lynton. (I find this in the narratives, but not the genealogy charts.) 

His great-great-great-grandsons were Moses Linton (c.1675-c. 1729)  and William Linton (c. 1650- c. 1734) both born in Westmoreland County.

This includes lots of fascinating details to dig through about Moses Linton, and mentions Col. George Mason 3 times.

Lots of details here of William Linton (1650-1734), including his will.

In 1726 Moses Linton patented (or obtained a land grant) 740 acres of land north of Broad Run (which is today located along Linton Hall Road in Bristow, Virginia in western Prince William County.) The Broad Run Land Grant is mentioned here, 3 times.

Meanwhile Moses built his own home 24 miles to the east on Marumsco Creek, located in today's town of Woodbridge between I-95 and the Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

18th Century

Some narratives say that Moses' brother William married Susanna Monroe (1695-1752)...but the genealogy chart says that brother William had a son named William (c. 1690-c. 1736, born in Westmoreland County) who married Susanna Monroe (c. 1695-c. 1752, born in Westmoreland County) in Stafford County in 1730.

This includes the will and other details of William Linton (1690-1736).

Their son John Linton (c. 1732-c. 1791, born in Dettingen Parish in Dumfries, Virginia) married Elizabeth Elliott (c. 1736-c. 1791, Washington Parish in Westmoreland County, Virginia) in Prince William County in 1752. Lots of details on his history, including with the regiments in which he served in the American Revolution.

19th Century

Their son, John Augustine Elliott Linton (c. 1769-1822, born in Prince William County) married Sarah Tyler (1763-1835, born in Prince William County) in Prince William County in 1752...and inherited the parcel of land north of Broad Run from his Uncle Moses. J.A.E. Linton built a mansion on Broad Run.

(At least that is what all the narratives say. But Great-Great-Uncle Moses passed c. 1729, before JAE Linton's birth. Perhaps JAE Linton inherited the land from his father. JAE Linton is certainly famous for having developed the property, building the family home there. He is the first generation to be buried there.)


JAE Linton called his home Lintonsford. (var. Linton's Ford), which is today found on Linton Hall Road which runs through Braemar subdivision, Bristow, Virginia, less than 3 miles from the site of the Battle of Bristoe Station, which I wrote about here.

To that 740 acres JAE Linton added another 1000 acres that he purchased from Lord Arlington (the man after whom Arlington County is named).

Meanwhile J.A.E. Linton served in Prince William County as sheriff and Justice of the Peace in Dumfries.

He was also appointed Inspector of the Tobacco by the governor. This was most likely before the American Revolution, back when Mercantilism involved Virginia sending tobacco to Britain in return for goods. Learn all about mercantilism in Virginia in this blog post.

Apparently JAE Linton also bought a home in Dumfries in 1798.

In 1796 J.A.E. Linton's wife, Sarah, gave birth to John Tyler Linton (1796-1821).

John Tyler Linton married Cecilia Ann Graham (1804-1878, born in Prince William County) in Prince William County in 1820. She came from an important family in Dumfries, Virginia. In 1821 John Tyler Linton died of consumption, months after his marriage and two months before the birth of his daughter, Sarah Elliott Graham Linton (1822-1901).

In 1822 Cecilia married the son of the groundskeeper and had another daughter, Anne Cecilia Phillips in 1823, but was very soon widowed again. Overcome she asked her brother, Campbell Graham, to become guardian to the girls. For a proper education, he sent Sarah to a Catholic boarding school in Georgetown.

In 1835, Sarah Tyler Linton, widow of John Augustine Elliott Linton, passed away at Lintonsford Plantation.

In 1838, Sarah graduated at the age of 16, and announced she was becoming a Catholic.

Ignoring her family's wishes for her to remain Protestant (most likely Episcopalean), she became a nun in 1842, at the age of 20.

Sometime before the Civil War the family mansion at Lintonsford burned down. Cecilia and Anne built a new home called Strawberry Hill, which also burned down.

In 1878, Cecilia Anne Graham Linton passed away.

To provide for her sister, Anne, Sarah gave Lintonsford to the Benedictines in 1893 in return for a $1500 per year annuity for Anne's sustenance.


Meanwhile we were looking high and low for the cemetery. Initially about all the information we had was that it was located somewhere in the Braemar sub-divsion across from the monastery. And we certainly could have asked the nuns, but we were busy with homeschooling, and I found a bit of charm and thrill in self-discovery.

On June 17, 2012, my son discovered it while on a bike ride through the neighborhood, before we knew any of the details of the history.

Near the banks of Broad Run, past the Mimosa Tree...

1-Lintons of Bristow106_0443

...nestled between a Grace Life Community Church and Braemar sub-division...

2-Lintons of Bristow

is quietly hidden a wrought iron gate from the early 20th century...

3-Lintons of Bristow a 19th century cemetery of the Linton Family.

4-Lintons of Bristow

5-Lintons of Bristow

Sacred to the memory of
John Augustine Elliott Linton
original proprietor of
Linton's Ford.
Born Jan. 5 1769,
Died Dec. 2, 1822

6-Lintons of Bristow

It is thought the wrought iron fencing was placed around the cemetery when Anne Cecilia Philips was buried there in 1917. Sarah, who became Sister Mary Baptista, was buried where she was educated, lived, and died: Georgetown Visitation Convent.


The one definitive error I have found is that John Augustine Elliott Linton (1769-1822) married Sarah Tyler (1763-1835), the daughter of President John Tyler. President John Tyler was born in 1790.  (Haymarket Lifestyle Magazine, June 2012, p10) says that Sarah is the daughter of William Tyler of Woodlawn plantation, located in nearby Haymarket. This article says she is the daughter of John Tyler. Haymarket Lifestyle Magazine, April 2012, p17 says that John and Margaret Gray Tyler are the parents of William Tyler, the first to live at Woodlawn. This cemetery site has John and Margaret Gray Tyler listed as Sarah's parents. p10

Monday, April 20, 2020

Autumnal Harlequin Quilt Completed

I'm finally finished with my quilt!


This quilt's journey started in October 2015 on my birthday, when I decided to quietly enjoy the day with some seasonal fabrics. I dug out all the autumnal colors to inspire me as I thumbed through my quilt books. My heart grabbed on to a Harlequin pattern...


This lovely batik became my focus fabric...


After arranging and then repeatedly rearranging, I finally settled upon where I wanted each color to be.


With the quilt top sewn, it was time to make the quilt sandwich...


Then the hand stitching to bind all the layers together began. First I stitched in the ditch of all the seams.


Then I handstitched channels down the length of the diamonds.


Then I stitched diamonds into the border.


Finally  I handstitched the binding.








I had chosen a solid color for the backing to more easily show off all that hand stitching.


Many of the techniques used in this quilt will benefit me when I hand stitch my first 18th century quilted petticoat. Stay tuned for that!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Pink Moon-April Full Moon History

This is my favorite of the full moons. Tonight it rises on a lovely balmy evening. I'm able to keep the glass door open to allow the spring breeze to waft inside. I hear the peepers (tree frogs). There is a woods outside my balcony! (We are having a much warmer spring than usual, here in Northern Virginia. I'm usually shivering in my winter coat throughout April.'s the Pink Full Moon. Pink is my favorite color, though its not the actual color of this moon.

2020-4-8 Pink Moon
Pink Full Moon, April 8, 2020 Northern Virginia

The April Full Moon has been called: Pink Moon, Peony Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, Fish Moon, Hare Moon, Egg Moon, and Paschal Moon.

Pink Moon
Named after creeping phlox (also called moss phlox and moss pink), a pink flower that blooms in the spring. Observers like to claim they see a pink hue in this moon, but scientists say this moon is just as golden as another other full moon.

Peony Moon
The Chinese have named this moon the Peony Moon, because this is the month their peonies bloom.

Full Sprouting Grass Moon
Named thusly because this is the season when the grass begins to turn green again.

Fish Moon
Native Indians gave this moon the name Fish Moon, because this is the time the salmon begin their tortuous journey upstream.

Egg Moon
The Anglo-Saxons called this moon the Egg Moon. It is thought that the Easter Egg tradition came from the Anglo-Saxons.

Paschal Moon
This moon sets the date for Easter because it is the first full moon after the March equinox (when we mark the beginning of spring). Paschal means Passover in Greek. So, Easter is observed on the Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon.

Read more about the Lunar Calendar and the other monthly full moons here.


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The Origin of April Fools: The Gregorian Calendar of the Renaissance

Since becoming interested in history, I've started digging into the origins of this, that, and the other thing. Every April 1st I wonder where in the world did April Fools come from? Finally I did some digging. And no worries, no pranks in this. =)

April Fools Calendar
Origin of April Fools

Of the many stories I chose my favorite, but I'm citing all my sources at the bottom of this post so you can do your own digging! =)

Consider the Gregorian Calendar.

Named after Pope Gregory XIII, the Gregorian Calendar was created in 1582 to correct the problem with leap years in the Julian Calendar. (You can read all about why the Julian Calendar had been developed in the days of Rome, here.)

The Julian Calendar ended the year with the end of winter, the spring equinox, which is in March.

The Gregorian Calendar returned to ancient Mesopotamian tradition of celebrating the new year based on the shortest day of the year, the December solstice, when the earth is closest to the sun.

However it took 300 years for the world to switch over to the Gregorian Calendar. Much of Continental Europe converted between 1582 and 1700. The United Kingdom and her colonies (including the American colonies) converted in 1752. (That is why George Washington has two birthdays in his lifetime, but three in ours. Okay, so the third has actually become multiple celebrations throughout the month of February.) Other countries in Asia and Europe converted in the 19th and 20th centuries. (See a detailed chart here.)

So, how does the pranking fit in?

Those who more quickly adapted to the new Gregorian Calendar poked fun at those who continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1.