Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lithia, Virginia

The Naces lived in Lithia. This picture, taken during the 1960s, is the lot is where S. Frances and William Robert Nace had their home and raised their daughters Lucy, Blanche, Annie Pearl, Cora, Ossie, and Zora.

The Nace lot

I can remember visiting the house, which had been empty a long time, when I was little. That would have been more than 60 years ago. The picture below, also taken during the 1960s, is labeled on the back "Aunt Fannie's house at Lithia. I'm not sure who Aunt Fannie was or how she was kin.

Aunt Fannie's House

Lithia is a small town—and former train stop—in Botetourt County, halfway between Nace and Buchanan.

The red spot on the map below marks Lithia, which is just across the Blue Ridge Mountains from Bedford County, on this Google Earth map:

Lithia  received its name from the lithium in the local water. Apparently this mineral water was quite desirable. (Several Naces lived well into their 90s. Did the water they drank had something to do with it?) Here are some posters advertising lithia water—and extolling its virtues— from Buffalo Lithia Springs, which was in Mecklinburg County:

I don't know whether or not the water from Lithia, Virginia, was ever marketed. However, there was a nearby springs where folks came to take the waters and it did ship its water "to all parts of the Union." From the 1877 edition of  Appleton's Illustrated Hand-Book of America Summer Resorts, which you can download free from Google Books, There's this entry

This resort was located along the railroad. The ad continues:

Chataigne's 1888-89 Virginia Directory and Business Directory for Botetourt County, Virginia, contains information about Lithia. Lithia had a distillery (owned by W.S. Hershaw, a general merchant (R.C. Noftsinger & Co.), two corn and flour mills (C.F. Fringer, David Bower), a saw mill (David Bower), and a fruit and vegetable packer (E.J. McCullough). I remember my grandmother (Blanche) telling me that when she was young, she and her sisters worked at the "canning factory." I don't know if it was McCullough's factory or another in the county.

Among Lithia's principal farmers, the directory lists James Falls, P. Kessler, L.C. Lackland, George Kelly, John Fringer, Fulton Fringer, David Bow, E. J. McCulloch,  W.J. Noftsinger, Geo. De Long, W.A. Noftsinger. C.F. Fringer, John Nace, Robt. Goode, J.W. Parr, B. Kessler, J. T. Obenshain, W.H. Kessler, Charles Kessler, and S.S. Young.

I wish I knew more about Lithia.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Goff Connection

Our Spence-Nace ancestors are connected to the Goffs. Mary Lucy Goff (daughter of Archibald) married Andrew Frederick Spence on December 19, 1849. Their daughter Sulmana (also spelled Sulminia/Sulmena) Frances Spence married William Robert Nace in 1882. 

Here's the Goff line, starting as far back as I can find documentation:

Willyam Goffe
William Goffe (died 1660 in Virginia) & Martha Baxter
Thomas Goffe (b. 1656; d. after 1720 in Essex Co, VA) & Margaret
(1st wife Martha; 2nd wife Margaret)
John Goff (died 1763 in Amherst Co, Va) & Ann (?) Dunn
John Goff, Jr. & Mary (?)
(2nd wife Priscilla Standley—married Oct. 31, 1782)
Archibald Goff & Mary (Polly) Harrison (married March 29, 1810) 
Mary Lucy Goff & Andrew F. Spence (married Dec. 19, 1849)
Sulmena* Frances Spence & William Robert Nace
(married Dec. 28, 1882)  

The first Goff in the Amherst/Bedford County, Virginia, area was John, who made a will in 1762. Here's some information about him that I found Bedford County, VA Goffs on the Goff-Gough site:

His son—also named John—was born about 1740 and died in 1831. He was married twice. His first wife, Mary, whom he married about 1760 in Amherst County, was apparently the mother of his two oldest sons: Christopher (who died between 1830 and 1840) and Archibald. Mary was born in 1740 and died before 1782. 

John's second wife, Priscilla Standley (or Stanley), whom he called Prossella in his will, was a Quaker, who was dismissed by the church for marrying outside her faith. The daughter of Pleasant Stanley and Sarah McGhee, Priscilla was born in 1760 in Bedford County and died in 1855.  

Here is a list of  this John's children:

Here is John's will, in which he mentions his son Archibald:

More info about John's will: 

 Archibald, born about 1780 in Bedford, Virginia, was apparently married to a Sallie (?) before he married Polly Harrison, daughter of Battaile Harrison and Frances Tinsley, on March 29, 1810. Polly's line runs deep into old Virginia:

Although I can't find his death date, Archibald was 70 years old at the time of the 1850 Bedford census. His occupation listed as farmer. It is likely that Polly was the mother of Mary Lucy Goff, since Mary was married to Andrew F. Spence in 1849 and thus would likely have been born several years after 1810. Mary's daughter named her eldest daughter Mary Lucy.

Many of the early Bedford County Goffs lived on Goff Mountain:

After her marriage, Mary would most likely have lived with her husband in nearby Big Island, Virginia, also in Bedford County. In the map below, "A" marks Goff Mountain; Big Island, on the James River, is at the right. (You can see Big Island if you click the picture to enlarge it.) 

Mary Lucy Goff Spence's daughter, having married a Nace, would eventually live in Lithia in Botetourt County. As the crow flies, Big Island is only 14 miles from Buchanan (near Lithia). By twisting mountain roads, the distance would be much longer.

Update: Andrew F. Spence and his wife Mary Lucy Goff Spence moved from Bedford County to Buchanan in Botetourt County, VA, when their daughter was fifteen. There Sulmana Frances Spence no doubt met William Robert Nace.