Posted by William Driscoll, Ghotes Member
for Memorial Day, 1996
Readers: Here is a copy of a letter from Alice Frances DUNTON (born 19
January 1848 in Northampton County; died 22 October 1931; buried in
Pine Bluff Cemetery in Northampton County). Alice was the daughter of
David DUNTON and Bell Sarah NOTTINGHAM. She married F. B. MAPP 23
September 1869 in Northampton Co.
The letter was written March 2, 1911, to Louise Armistead and is
now in the possession of the Armistead family.
May 26, 1996
Bridgetown, Virginia, March 2nd,
My dear Cousin:
My brother (A. B. Dunton) handed me your letter. As he was
only eleven days old when our mother died, he thinks I can better
answer your questions.
Richard Nottingham married the Lady Elizabeth Hatton and
came here in the seventeenth century from England. They were the first;
and now a mighty host.
Jacob Nottingham married Sallie Jarvis Bell. They were my
grandparents. Their children were:
Dr. Custis Nottingham
Leonard Bell Nottingham
Robert Jacob Nottingham (Bachelor)
William Thomas Nottingham (He was called Bill T.)
Mary Belle Nottingham
Lucy Ann Nottingham
Bell Sarah Nottingham
Grandmother must have been proud of her maiden name. You
already know of Uncle Custis. Uncle Leonard was a prosperous merchant
at Eastville. He had five children, one daughter who married Jimmie
Saunders. All married and lived in or near Eastville. The two surviving
ones are Cousins Rob and Severn.
Uncle John married a Miss Applewhite of Portsmouth. He
died and left three children. I dont (sic) know what became of his son, but
the two daughters are married and still living in Portsmouth with their
Uncle Bill T. was married three times. He had four
children. One an idiot, lived to be grown. Alonzo married a Catholic
girl from Baltimore. He died at the early age of thirty eight. His
widow and children still live in Baltimore. Willie married a Mr.
Kellam. She too died at thirty eight and left three girls. Indie, his
first child, is a widow of Judge Heath and lives in Norfolk. Aunt Mary
married a Mr. Hunt, who died and left her with a large family. Uncle
Custis took two of her boys to Georgia. He put Cousin Thomas in a shoe
store and cousin Leonard in a drug store. Cousin Thommie married and
had several children. Cousin Leonard married but was childless.
Mattie married south a Mr. Calloway and left two children. Later Aunt
Mary took her single daughter, Cousin Lucy and went south too. Now all
are dead except one daughter, Cousin Jennie Taylor, who lives in Cape
Charles with her daughter.
Aunt Lucy married George Fitchett and left two sons and a
daughter, all dead but one son. He lives at the extreme end of this
County. Bell Sarah was my mother. She married David Dunton; died at the
early age of thirty six and left six children. My only daughter married
a Mr. Maynard and lives in Newport News. My boys all married except the
youngest. He is traveling in the interest of some firm. Richard
Nottingham (a brother of Jacob) was R. W. Nottingham's grandfather. His
father was Luther, a Methodist minister.
I love the memory of my mother's people and the good old
times we had together visiting and loving each other. I have seen the
time I didn't have to get myself a drink of water, but I've sailed o'er
rough seas since then.
I will appreciate it if you will write and tell me all
you know of Uncle Custis' family. As long as grandmother lived he came
to visit her, and we always spent a day with him there; and one at
Uncle Bill's and one at our house. I remember him well. He brought his
wife soon after he was married, and I recollect how she looked. He
brought his daughter Sallie once. My impression of her is that she was
a very amiable sweet disposition. She is the only one of his children I
ever saw, but the names Theodore, Willie and Marion are most familier.
If I remember right, Willie was the blue eyed boy and I believe, one of
the twins. My mother mamed one of her girls Marion Custis for uncle and
his daughter. I should like you to tell me what circumstances caused
Uncle Custis to settle in Macon, Ga; how far you live from that place,
etc. If you have a picture of yourself or family that uou can spare, I
should like you to send it that I may form an idea of how you look.
I regret the tragic death of your father. How broken
hearted your poor mother must have been.
As soon as I can get someone to take me to Eastville, I
will examin the county record and give you further information.
I dont (sic) know about our kinship to the Custis family, but
will do all I can to find out. Grandmother, Grandfather, Uncle Bill,
and two of his wives, and several of Aunt Mary's children, are buried
in grandmother's home-place. Others are buried there too. My father
opened a graveyard at his homestead, and my mother is buried there. She
died Nov. 19th, 1858.
I was sixty three years old the 19th of last January and
you are forty.
Tho I shall never see you in this world I welcome you as
Now cousin, I must bid you good bye howing to hear from
you in the near future.
Your sincere cousin
Signed Alice F. Mapp
Bridgetown, Virginia, Northampton County.