Location: Rappahannock Co., VA; Laurel Mills on the Thornton River, between Amissville and Washington
Date Constructed/ Founded: ca. 1800 (construction of mansion)
Associated Surnames: Roberts, Hughes
Historical Notes: The construction of the historic mansion of “Laurel Hill” was overseen by Major John Roberts, who served in the Revolutionary War. He was given over 5,000 acres of land via his pensions and served in the Virginia Legislature for several years. His family owned much land to the east of Laurel Mills on Battle Mountain and Battle Run. Laurel Hill was home to this branch of the Roberts family until ca. 1850, when it was sold to the family of Puller Alexander Hughes. Puller’s nephew John Spindle Hughes inherited Laurel Hill from him. The mansion was destroyed by an accidental fire 1915.
Associated Pages: none
ASSOCIATED ENSLAVED PERSONS
Family groups – none identified yet
Information from Antebellum Census & Estate Records
1840: 29 slaves – 4 boys under age 10 (b.1840-1830); 7 males, age 10 – 23 (b.1817-1830); 5 men, age 24 – 35 (b.1805-1816); 1 man, age 36 – 54 (b.1786-1804); 4 girls under age 10 (b.1841-1840); 4 females, age 10 – 23 (b.1817-1830); 1 woman, age 24 – 35 (b.1805-1816); 1 woman, age 36 – 54 (b.1786-1804); 2 women, age 55 – 100 (b.1740-1785); [1840 US Federal Census, Rappahannock Co., VA, Thomas Hughes]
1850: Too faded to transcribe [1850 US Federal Census (Slave Schedule), Rappahannock Co., VA, John S. Hughes, 12 total]
1860: Male age 50 (b.1810), Male age 50 (b.1810), Male age 40 (b.1820), Male age 35 (b.1825), Female age 30 (b.1830), Female age 30 (b.1830), Male age 20 (b.1840), Male age 19 (b.1841), Female age 18 (b.1842), Female age 18 (b.1842), Female age 9 (b.1851), Male age 8 (b.1852), Female age 3 (b.1857), Male age 2 (b.1858), Female age 2 (b.1858), Male age 1 (b.1859), Female age 6/12 (b.1860) [1860 US Federal Census (Slave Schedule), Rappahannock Co., VA, Puller A. Hughes, 17 total, 3 houses]
1860: Female age 25 (b.1835), Female age 35 (b.1825), Male age 35 (b.1825), Male age 33 (b.1827), Female age 20 (b.1840), Male age 20 (b.1840), Male age 19 (b.1841), Male age 17 (b.1843), Female age 16 (b.1844), Male age 3 (b.1857), Female age 1 (b.1859) [1860 US Federal Census (Slave Schedule), Rappahannock Co., VA, Catharine Hughes, 11 total, 2 houses]
1860: Male age 50 (b.1810) [1850 US Federal Census (Slave Schedule), Rappahannock Co., VA, John Carter – employer, C. Hughes Rppk Co. – owner, 1 total]
ASSOCIATED FREE PERSONS
Roberts family (Rappahannock Co., VA): John Roberts (b.1758-d.1843) – founder of Laurel Hill, Major in the Revolutionary War (1779); Lucy Ann Pollard Roberts (b.1791-d.?) – wife (m.1809); Elizabeth Richardson Roberts (b.1815-d.1899) – dau.; Isabella Vass Roberts (b.1826-d.1913) – dau.
Hughes family (Rappahannock Co., VA): Thomas Hughes (b.1772-d.?); Unknown (b.?-d.?) – wife; Puller A. Hughes (b.1794-d.1866) – son; John Smith Hughes (b.1808-d.1871) – son; Catharine W. Hughes (b.1815-d.?) – dau.; Unknown (b.?-d.?) – son
Hughes family (Rappahannock Co., VA): Puller Alexander Hughes (b.1794-d.1866) – purchased Laurel Hill from Maj. J. Roberts, son of T. and C.W. Hughes; Martha P. Browning (b.1795-d.1866) – wife (m.1822)
Hughes family (Rappahannock Co., VA): Dr. John Smith Hughes (b.1808-d.1871) – son of T. and C.W. Hughes, physician; Adeline America Spindle Hughes (b.1816-d.1889) – wife (m.1847); Virginia “Jennie” Emily Hughes (b.1851-d.1865) – dau.; John Spindle Hughes (b.1853-d.1919) – son, inherited Laurel Hill from P.A. Hughes; Thomas M. Hughes (b.1855-d.?) – son
RESEARCH LEADS AND RECORDS
- Laurel Hill Mansion (ca.1800) – The mansion was built by Major John Roberts on a hill across the Thornton River from Laurel Mills. The Laurel Mills Historic District includes many historic buildings dated from the 1840s to the 1900s. Laurel Mills is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places (ID: 04001273).
- Wikipedia: Laurel Mills, VA, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurel_Mills,_Virginia
- Ancestry.com. 1860 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedules [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010.
- Ancestry.com. 1850 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedules [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.
- Trieschmann LV and Hallock JB (2003). Historic Architectural Survey of Rappahannock County, Virginia. E.H.T. Traceries, Inc. https://www.dhr.virginia.gov/pdf_files/SpecialCollections/RA-016_Historic_AE_Rappahannock_County_2003_Traceries_Report.pdf
- Napier DL (2018). Searching for a family’s final resting place. Rappahannock News. https://www.rappnews.com/features/history/searching-for-a-family-s-final-resting-place/article_d13638c2-b84c-52e4-93c3-cf39c18a424a.html
- Geni: John Roberts, https://www.geni.com/people/Major-John-Roberts/6000000007633634868
- Find-a-Grave: Maj John Roberts (ID: 115183172), https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/115183172/john-roberts