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Beverly Manor, from The Tinkling Spring, Headwater of Freedom

Notes about a book (The Tinkling Spring, Headwater of Freedom, by Howard McKnight Wilson, 1954) that presents information about Beverly Manor, a mid-18th-century housing development in Augusta County, that was heavily promoted in Pennsylvania and New England as a place to leave the increasing crowded towns and cities, and find a home on the frontier.

Excerpt from an uncredited review of the book The Tinkling Spring, Headwater of Freedom, by Howard McKnight Wilson, 1954

...for anyone who had ancestors living in the Beverly Manor, some more detail and reference to other work will provide wonderful detail.William Beverly of Essex County was granted a patent of 118,491 acres of land on August 12, 1736 that became the Beverly Manor. The Suburbs of Staunton are certainly included, but the area is considerably larger.A map and history of this early area is given in The Tinkling Spring, Headwater of Freedom…, Howard McKnight Wilson, 1954.I was able to borrow the book by Inter Library Loan and you probably can also.If you had an ancestor there in the 1700’s, do whatever you can to borrow the book to read about the history, hardships, culture, religion, and background on the residents, most of whom were Presbyterian. Figure 5, P66A gives a map of the overall Beverly Patent and its neighbor, the Borden Grant.The Back Cover attached Map shows the original Patentees (lots, # acres and year) drawn by J R Hildebrand in 1954. Robert, William & John Christian patented 1614 acres in 1739 on what came to be called Christian Creek. (Note:There were a few hardy souls that had settled as squattersin this then primarily Indian County prior to Beverly’s Grant in 1736.In general, Borden settled with the early residents for about 1 English pound per 40 Acres.)

The Tinkling Spring was the first Presbyterian Church built and is located (still) at Exit 91 off I-64 at Fishersville, VA. You can use the back cover Patent Map and the Tinkling Springs Church today and an appropriate map of the area to locate your Ancestor’s property to probably ± 200 yards on a map. My ancestor Samuel Braford lived 11.8 miles SW of the Church and just west of Greenville and I-64/I-81 on Springleigh Dr & McClures Mill Rd today.

Another very interesting history is published in pages 89 – 90 and 151 of Papers Read before the Lancaster County Historical Society, Friday June 3, 1921, Vol XXV. No. 6, Historical Notes from the Records of Augusta County, Virginia, by Charles E Kemper, Minutes of the June Meeting.This reference contains much info about the background of people migrating from the Lancaster PA area up the Shenandoah Valley to Augusta Co (ie, the way most people got there) and to points further south such as Rowan Co NC and even down to GA.This Route was shown on a map of Virginia and Maryland made in 1751 by Col Joshua Fry, of William and Mary College and Peter Jefferson, father of Thomas Jefferson, President.The Road has various names in different references like The great road from Yadkin River in NC to Philadelphia, the Virginia Road, the Indian Road of the six nations of Indians in NY, etc.

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