Portsmouth, Virginia: The Story of Thomas Riddick

Gravestone of Thomas Riddick, Mt. Olive Cemetery (Mt. Calvary Cemetery Complex), est. 1879. Photo: Nadia K. Orton, March 16, 2014. All rights reserved.

One of the most interesting gravestones in the Mt. Calvary Cemetery Complex (est. 1879), is for Thomas Riddick. Located in the northwest corner of Mt. Olive Cemetery, the oldest in the complex, it features an interesting inscription regarding Thomas’ occupation.

Memorials to United States Colored Troops, Pt. 8: Major William H. Palmer, Norfolk, Virginia

A photo-essay series dedicated to the United States Colored Troops, and how they were remembered in contemporary news media .

Pt. 8

Norfolk, Virginia

West Point Cemetery (est. 1827)

Gravestone of QMS William Henry Palmer, Company I, 36th U. S. Colored Infantry, West Point Cemetery, Norfolk, Virginia. Photo: Nadia K. Orton, December 27, 2012. All rights reserved.

Portsmouth, Virginia: Finding Olivia of Lincolnsville

Map of Lincolnsville, Portsmouth, Virginia, ca. 1889. Norfolk Public Library, March 15, 2012.

The first time I came across the name Olivia Jordan Butt Smith, my paternal great-great-grandaunt, was twelve years ago. I was researching a branch on the paternal side of my family tree, the Youngs of Portsmouth, Virginia. Olivia was born in 1862, in Portsmouth, the daughter of Jordan and Lovey Butt (ca. 1829-1895). She was the sister of Mary Alice Butt Young (1865-1929), my paternal great-great-grandmother, Matilda A. Butt Colden (1856-1910), Anna Butt Schofield (b, ca. 1855), and Nancy Ellen Butt Lynch (ca. 1848-1879), my paternal great-great-grandaunts.

In Their Own Words: Pvt. Samuel Dyes, 36th U. S. Colored Infantry, Portsmouth, Virginia

Copyright 2010 Nadia K. Orton
Photo: Nadia K. Orton, October 25, 2010. Mount Calvary Cemetery (Mt. Calvary Cemetery Complex)

Pvt. Samuel Dyes, of Company G, 36th Regiment, U. S. Colored Infantry, was born enslaved about 1835 on St. Julian’s Creek, Norfolk County, Virginia, the son of James and Rosetta Dyes.1 He enlisted at the age of twenty-eight, on December 9, 1863, at Portsmouth, Virginia, and mustered in a few weeks later at Norfolk, on December 28, 1863. At the time of his enlistment, he was described as five feet, seven and a half inches tall, with a “dark” complexion, eyes and hair. As Samuel enlisted on December 9th, 1863, he was not a part of General Edward Wild’s famed expedition to North Carolina, but did engage in the Battle of New Market Heights (Deep Bottom), September 29, 1864.