Introduction: In this article, Melissa Davenport Berry continues her series on descendants of the Jamestown settlers, focusing more on Civil War diarist Elizabeth Virginia Lindsay Lomax. Melissa is a genealogist who has a blog, AnceStory Archives, and a Facebook group, New England Family Genealogy and History.
Today I continue with my “Jamestown Descendants: Who’s Who” series, with more focus on Lindsay-Lomax and allied family lines of Old Virginia who descend from Jamestown settlers.
To recap: My last story covered some of the narrative from the personal diary of Elizabeth Lindsay Lomax (1796-1875), entitled Leaves from an Old Washington Diary 1854-1863. The diarist Mrs. Lomax was born to Capt. William Lindsay and Mattie Fox in Virginia on the family estate “Lindsay’s Mills,” near Port Royal. She was the widow of Mann Page Lomax (1787-1842), born in Port Tobago, Virginia, to Thomas Lunsford Lomax and Anne Corbin Tayloe. The couple had five daughters and one son, Confederate Brig. Gen. Lunsford Lindsay Lomax. Read more: Jamestown Descendants: Who’s Who, Part 19 (part 1)
Mrs. Lomax’s diary was edited and published in 1943 by her granddaughter Elizabeth Lindsay Lomax Wood.
Here are more snippets from her diary as published in the Evening Star newspaper, plus entries from the complete published diary. I added genealogy with historical information.
The introduction to this article read:
This diary was written by Elizabeth Lindsay Lomax, daughter of an officer in the Revolutionary War and widow of Mann Page Lomax, an Army major, who died of wounds received in fighting the Creeks and Seminoles. She spent the years just prior to the Civil War in Washington and the diary was written at that time.
The article included a number of entries from Lomax’s diary, including the following:
Thursday, March 10, 1859.
A charming day.
My darling son left this morning at 5 o’clock – God bless him and grant that he may be preserved in health and safety.
I am teaching Emma Tayloe to play on the guitar – my music is always a resource and pleasure to me. [Emma was the daughter of Willian Henry Tayloe and Henrietta Ogle and the 2nd wife of Confederate Brig. Gen. Thomas Taylor Munford.]
Note: Confederate Brigadier General Thomas Taylor Munford (1831-1918), son of Col. George Wythe Munford and Lucy Singleton Taylor, husband of 2nd wife Emma Lomax Tayloe (1834-1910). He married 1st Elizabeth Henrietta Tayloe, cousin to Emma. Munford descended from Jamestown’s Beverley, Bland, Kennon, Bolling, Wyatt, Bennett, Randolph, Wright, Thoroughgood, Woodhouse, Yeardley, Offley, Flowerdew, and Dudley lines. He had children with both wives, leaving many descendants. Photo image courtesy of “The Photographic History of the Civil War: Thousands of Scenes Photographed 1861-65, with Text by Many Special Authorities,” 1911.
Friday, March 11, 1859.
Misty and mild this morning.
The Postmaster General, Gov. [Aaron Venerable] Brown, was buried yesterday – we have lost a kind friend, who will be universally regretted.
Lt. [Ralph] Semmes (later Admiral Semmes, who commanded the Alabama) called for Anne [Corbin Lomax, daughter of diarist] to go with him to the new Catholic church – I believe Anne has an unconfessed preference for the Catholic religion – it rather suits her temperament.
After all life is in the living, not the outward profession of religion.
Note: Confederate Admiral Ralph Semmes (1809-1877), son of Richard Thomson Semmes and Catherine Laiferro Middleton, a descendant of Jamestown’s Hooe and Taliferro lines. He married Anne Elizabeth Spencer and left descendants. He was a cousin of Confederate General Paul Jones Semmes and Union Navy Captain Alexander Alderman Semmes. Throughout his life, Semmes remained a loyal attendant to the Roman Catholic faith of his ancestors. He commented favorably upon the disappearance of the slave trade, which he called “a nefarious practice.” Warren F. Spencer, Raphael Semmes: The Philosophical Mariner, p. 17, published in 2015.
On March 27, 1859, Mrs. Lomax had written: “They have found an indictment of murder against Mr. Sickles.” Just a few weeks before, on Sunday, February 27, she recorded the following:
A most shocking occurrence took place near the Club House today about two o’clock which resulted in the death of [Philip] Barton Key, a man distinguished for his talents and the son of Francis Scott Key, author of the Star-Spangled Banner.
The deceased had some difficulties with Mr. [Daniel Edgar] Sickles, a member of Congress from New York. Meeting Mr. Key on the pavement, they had a few words – when Mr. Sickles fired and killed poor young Key, thus ushering him to eternity with his sins unconfessed or absolved.
Mr. Sickles immediately rushed to Judge Black, the Attorney General, for counsel, who advised him to give himself up to the law, which he did and is now in jail.
Mr. Sickles is said to be a man of great wealth with a very pretty, but frail, young wife – the cause of the dreadful deed. There seems to be little sympathy for Mr. Sickles.
Note: Philip Barton Key II was carrying on an affair with Sickle’s wife, Teresa (nee Bagioli) Sickles. It caused a major scandal. When Sickles was charged for murder, he claimed a defense by temporary insanity – a first in United States jurisprudence – and was acquitted.
Sickles became one of the war’s most prominent political generals, recruiting the New York regiments that became known as the Excelsior Brigade in the Army of the Potomac.
Philip Barton Key II was kin to the Lomax family by his mother, Mary Tayloe Lloyd Key, whose mother was Elizabeth Gwyn Tayloe, sister to Ann Corbin Tayloe – mother of Mann Page Lomax.
To be continued…
Explore over 330 years of newspapers and historical records in GenealogyBank. Discover your family story! Start a 7-Day Free Trial
Note on the header image: Civil War-era cannons, Fort Stevens, NW, Washington, D.C. Fort Stevens was part of the extensive fortifications built around the city during the American Civil War. Credit: The George F. Landegger Collection of District of Columbia Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America; Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.