Tuesday, December 18, 2012


A while back I began some informal research on my family's property, which led me to spend an entire afternoon nosing around the county clerk's office.  I was definitely probably supposed to be cleaning the house or doing laundry, but I felt certain my time would be better spent researching deeds and wills.


The long story short is I learned, not surprisingly to me, that our property once belonged to the estate known as Clifton, which is right across the cove from us by water and right around the corner by road, within reasonable walking distance of where we live.

While poring through all the records, I swear I saw where someone in the line of people I was researching was buried at Trinity Episcopal Church, shown here.  I wrote down about ten pages of notes in a binder, and when I got home tossed the binder in the corner never to pick it up again until last night.

I am highly proficient at starting a project but rarely able to finish one.  I'm also exceptionally gifted at coming up with ideas for projects.  Implementation, however, presents quite the problem.  As a result my life is one great big To Do list that is never completed.


The primary name associated with Clifton is Hudgins, which not coincidentally is also the name of the area in which we live. This group at Clifton is responsible for every single last a long line of Hudginses all around Mathews.

The other name that stood out was someone by the name of Christian, who married one of the Hudgins girls and subsequently inherited a piece of the Clifton family estate--i.e. the property on which we now live.

All this is a very exhausting long way of saying this:  The other day I stopped at Trinity because I was dillydallying happened to remember I wanted to look at the graves.  Since it had been so long since I'd done the research, I figured I'd just look for anyone by the name of Hudgins or Christian (the only two names I remember) on the tombstones.

I didn't see a single Hudgins and not one Christian.

Last night, knowing I was going to put up these pictures, I decided to pull out my binder of notes. As it turns out, most of the people I am looking for are buried either on the Clifton property or in the Haynes cemetery, which is across from Mathews Chapel down near Hesse plantation.  I couldn't find a reference to Trinity.

I swear I remember reading that someone connected with that Clifton family was buried here though.

Oh well.

A church on this same site is referenced in very early vestry books of Kingston Parish.  According to History and Progress, Mathews County, Virginia, the books contain "records of fourteen meetings, dating from ...1679 to 1725...When these records began, there were already two church buildings in the parish, referred to as the upper and the lower churches, or sometimes as the new and the old churches...the book reports only the meetings of the upper, or new, church, which stood on the site of the present Trinity."

(The lower church referenced was on the site of the present day Christ Church.)

So, this property has been affiliated with a church from the very beginning of  the history of Mathews.

In conclusion, Trinity has deep roots in this county, and Chesapeake Bay Woman needs to remember to reference her notes prior to coming up with excuses to wander around graveyards and avoid work striking out in search of the graves of people once affiliated with her property. She also needs to write more legibly, because most of those 10 pages of notes are chicken scratch difficult to decipher.

Tomorrow I'll post a few more pictures of this quaint church.

Sorry for all the side trips, but straying off course seems to be another forte. Thanks for coming along on this longer-than-really-necessary excursion today.


Annie said...

Interesting CBW. It looks a dear little church. And very similar to one we have at our church property.

You sound just like me! Just the sort of thing I would do. Have taken copious notes on family history off the internet, all of which would probably be incoherent if I looked at them now!

Keep up with the research anyway!

AverettLadyNana said...

Love Trinity Church!
My Grandmother Hudgins was a Foster and her parents are buried there as well as her sister a Byrd or was it Bird from the Easter Shore who was taken sick and died while visiting her parents. Aunt Betty's is the obelisk stone in the left rear of the cemetery.

deborah said...

You will never be bored!
Beautiful little Church, so well-taken care of-
Have a lovely Tuesday!

Daryl E said...

you made me laugh .. hard .. out loud ... i took some wonderful photos around the church grounds

Mental P Mama said...

Thee is no place more peaceful to me than a church cemetery. xoxo

Kay L. Davies said...

I enjoyed this. I have started countless times to research my family (both sides) and never completed anything.
If I were to have a tombstone, I think it should read either "unfinished" or "incomplete" or "maybe next week" but if I remember our visit to the lawyer correctly, there's something about cremation, as being tidier and taking up less space.
Did I say I enjoyed this? Yes, I did. And yes, I did.

Dghawk said...

What a beautiful little church, and a great history lesson.

Once you realized that you couldn't find the head stones you were looking for,and maybe with the chaos of last Friday, that your subconscious was leading you there?

Anonymous said...

Back when you and I were in high
school my family belonged to Kingston Parrish. Trinity was the summer church because it had air and all services in the summer were held there. In the winter we attended services at Christ Church because it had heat but no air.

David D

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Thanks, David D., I had read something somewhere about Kingston Parish alternating services between the two sites, but there was no reason given as to why. Thanks for clearing that up!


Thanks to everyone for commenting.

Anonymous said...

You NEED to go inside Grace Providence. The inside is completely paneled with wood. Feels like you are inside a ship.

Then you NEED to go inside Trinity ( and take me with you, since I've never been)