A biography of Leroy Hicks

Leroy Hicks was born to Blansford and Mary Polly Peters Hicks in 1806 in Amherst County, Virginia.  He is my 3rd great-grandfather.  Leroy was the oldest of 11 children born to Blansford and Mary.  Through research it looks like he stayed his entire life in Amherst.  Thomas Jefferson was the President of the United States in 1806.

Amherst County Virginia, was formed in 1761 from parts of Albemarle County.  The major crop raised in Amherst was tobacco.  The James River forms the eastern boundary.  The Appalachian mountains help form the western boundary.

On 4 February 1834, Leroy married Permelia Ware in Amherst County.  The couple went on to have 10 children.  Andrew Jackson was the President from 1829-1837.

Child Year of Birth
William 1834
Robert D 1836
James 1838
John Nicholas 1843
Margaret V 1844
Sarah Ann 1846
Robert L 1847
Charles W 1848
Lemuel Dabney 1849
Mary Ann Elizabeth 1854


The first thing that seems odd is that two children were named Robert.  This may not actually be the case, the Census takers didn’t always hear or write things correctly.  And, if you have that many children you might forget one or two.

According to the 1840 US Census, Leroy was living with his wife in Amherst County.  There were 6 total people.  The 1840 Census only broke individuals out by race, age and sex.  So we know that there were two boys under the age of 5 (Robert D and James), 1 boy between 5-10 (William), 1 male between 30-40 (Leroy), 1 female between 20-30 (Permelia), 1 free male person of color between 10-24.  I did look at the US Slave Schedules for 1850 and 1860, I did not find anything to indicate that he owned slaves.

In the 1850 census, we learn that Leroy’s family lives in the Eastern District of Amherst County.  The names are confirmed.  We also see that the value of Leroy’s real estate is $150 dollars.  His family also lives near his brothers Preston and Bluford.  During this time period the slavery debate was raging across the United States.

In the 1860 Census, Leroy’s family is still living in Amherst and Abraham Lincoln was elected President.    The value of his person estate is listed at $390 dollars, his eldest son is still living at the residence has a personal estate of $275 dollars.  We have the children’s name and ages.  I will have to look to see which of his sons if any went to fight in the Civil War.

Child Age
William 26
Robert D 24
James 20
John Nicholas 18
Margaret V 16
Sarah Ann 12
George S 10
Charles W 16
Lemuel Dabney 8
Mary Ann 6


In 1866, his wife of 32 years dies.  Leroy was 60 years old.

In the 1870 Census, Leroy and his family are living still living in Amherst County.  The value of his personal estate is listed as $100.  I wonder if the value is diminished because of the state of the Union or if he saw father time coming and gave his land and assets to his children.  Another interesting item on this census is that the census asks about the ability to read and write.  The census indicates that the three boys and the oldest girl living in the home cannot read or write.  The youngest daughter, Mary, age 14 is listed as attending school.

Leroy dies on 20 March 1871 in Amherst Virginia.  It is unknown where he is buried.  In June 2012, I went on a genealogical visit with my mom, aunt and sister to Amherst, Virginia.  We visited three Hicks cemeteries, but some stones were in rough shape.  I did not find his.

I usually like to add pictures to my stories but I didn’t have anything that fit.  So, instead I am going to put some pictures from the genealogical visit in 2012.  I was so blessed to have this time to learn from my Mom and Aunt.  Their stories give shape to the facts and figures of genealogy.

In from of Hicks Country Store

In from of Hicks Country Store

Formerly Hicks Property

Formerly Hicks Property

Mom and Carol

Mom and Carol

Until later, I will be exploring backwards.

“Whoa, take’er easy there, Pilgrim”

I always wondered why John Wayne said Pilgrim so many times. Anyhow, Recently, I have been thinking about Pilgrims.  I even wonder to myself if I can call myself a descendent of a pilgrim. I have found information that leads me to believe that I am a 9th generation Pilgrim. Let me tell you why.

I was researching the old family tree and shaking some of the ancestral leaves when I noticed that I had an ancestor that died in Plymouth, Massachusetts. This got me thinking, when he got here and how.


Here is a little timeline about the pilgrims just for a refresher.

  • 16 Sept 1620-Mayflower leaves England
  • 16 Dec 1620-Mayflower lands arrive in the New World
  • 16 Mar 1621-Contract between Indians and Pilgrims
  • 15 Oct 1621-First “Thanksgiving”
  • 15 Nov 1621-Second Ship “The Fortune” arrives
  • 15 Jul 1623-Two More Ships arrive

(Reference: http://www.timetoast.com/timelines/the-pilgrims–4)


Robert Hicks was on the second ship, so he did not make it in time for the first Thanksgiving, but he got there as quick as he could. His wife came over on The Anne, which arrived in the summer of 1623.


Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner

(Photo source: http://ww2.valdosta.edu/~aaperez/ebooklesson1.html)

Robert was a Fellmonger in England. What the heck is a fellmonger? Essentially, he was a leather worker. He was a dealer in hides and skins. When he came to the New World, it looks like he became a farmer.

Robert was married to Margaret.  Some believe her maiden name was Winslow. Some of this information is still speculative, as I have not confirmed it all. Nevertheless, it appears that Margaret could have been his second wife. Regardless Margaret comes to America with her son Samuel and Lydia on the Anne in 1623.

So this is the way my line goes like this.

My mother’s grandmother, Carrie Lou Hicks was the daughter of Lemuel Dabney Hicks, who was the son of Blansford Hicks, who was the son of William Hix, who was the son of Samuel Hixs III, who was the son of Samuel Hicks, Jr. who was the son of Samuel Hicks, who was the son of Robert Hicks who came over on the Fortune and landed near Plymouth in 1621.

Consequently, my mother who always considered herself a daughter of the south, now realizes she has a Pilgrim heritage. I think she will be okay with it. The character of a person that decides to leave EVERYTHING they know to set off for the New World is a valiant person, and it is good to know that character and genes are in us too.

This Thanksgiving is going to be different, I can already tell. I am already thankful for so much in my life. I will pause this year to reflect with a little more familiarity about the brave people that risked everything to come to the new world almost 4oo years ago.


Until later, you will find me exploring backwards. By the way, my pilgrim name is Patience Jameson.








Carrie Lou Hicks

Carrie Lou Hicks was my great-grandmother.  According to her birth certificate, her name was listed as Caroline Hicks, but nobody seems to recall that name.  She was born to Lemuel Dabney Hicks and Emma Frances Heath either 21 March 1888 or 4 April 1888.  Her birth certificate states the later.   Carrie was the 5th of twelve children born to Lemuel and Emma.  The 1900 Census has the family living in the Pedler District in Amherst County, Virginia.  Lemuel is renting the land that they farm.

According to the 1910 Census, the family has moved off the farm and is now residing in Lynchburg, Virginia.  Her father, Lemuel is now working as a Watchman at a Factory.  Carrie, now 22 years old, works with her sisters Allie and Elizabeth as Stitchers at a shoe Factory.

According to the certificate of marriage, Carrie marries Thomas Irving Moss on 30 August, 1913.

The 1920 Census has Carrie and Thomas living in Lynchburg, at 2017 Main Street.  Thomas is listed as working in construction at a Foundry.  “Odelle” (my grandmother) is listed here as 3 years old.  Lillian is also listed as slightly over 1 years old.

Normally one would conclude that the family stayed put, but since my grandmother, Virginia Odelle, was born in Petersburg, Virginia as well as her sister Lillian Scott (1918).  We do know that the family did in fact leave Lynchburg sometime after 1913, but returned prior to the 1920’s census.

Virginia Odelle Moss was born 3 October 1916.  According to the birth certificate, Carrie had 2 children that passed away prior to Odelle being born (Thomas Moss and Frances Odessa Moss).
Carrie Lou had Thomas Warren Moss and Margaret Elizabeth Moss in Lynchburg.

Carrie and Thomas are living at 1715 Main Street at the time of the 1930 census.  Thomas is unemployed.  Also living in the home is Odelle, Lillian, Thomas, Margaret and Carrie’s mother Emma Hicks.

Carrie Lou

Carrie Lou


Hicks Family in Amherst Virginia

Last June I had an opportunity to plan a genealogical trip with my mom, Betty, sister, Kathy, and Aunt, Carol.  Kathy and I both flew into Charlotte.  The next day we got up and traveled to Virginia.  The few weeks leading up to the trip, I was busy planning on the route, what cemeteries I wanted to visit, etc.  I had made a friend, Rita,  via findagrave.com

Rita was instrumental in narrowing the cemeteries down to a few key areas.  Her and her husband were priceless.  They met us in Amherst.  The first cemetery we traveled to was in Amherst.  It was Hicks Cemetery off of Hicks Farm Road.  Rita was able to gain access as this cemetery is on private property.  The property was gorgeous.  It was not hard to imagine my distant family working this land.

William Hixs was the first one that I found in the Amherst area.  He appears in Amherst County, Virginia in an Early Virginia Census in 1783.  He was my 5th great-grandfather.  He fought in the Revolutionary War.  I will have to do more research on him.  Blansford Hixs, my 4th great-grandfather and his wife, Mary Polly Peters had 12 children.  These are some of the tombstones we were able to see in this cemetery.

Nicholas Hicks DOB: 21 Aug 1813 DOD: 23 Jun 1891

Nicholas Hicks
DOB: 21 Aug 1813
DOD: 23 Jun 1891