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Mary Jane Russell

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Copyright © 2018 by Mary Jane Russell

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“Georgetown, Ohio—August 1932—though over 80, she recalls girlhood with Judy Candler 70 years ago, Mrs. Jonathan Chandler nee Maddox “ RAR

The photograph on the inside cover was taken when Robert A. Russell visited Ohio in 1932 and was shown “District School #10 in Georgetown, built about 1878 in same place Mother went to a frame school also called #10”


For Judith Douglas Candler Russell, my great-grandmother and one of the last members of South River Meeting in then Campbell County, Virginia.

For ‘Jane’ Douglas Summers Brown who offered encouragement when my Quaker quest first began.

For James Pinkney Pleasant Bell who gathered Quaker records and founded the store J. P. Bell in downtown Lynchburg, Virginia that inspired with its books and smells of all things printing.

For William Wade Hinshaw, author and publisher of the massive Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy.

For my sister, Karen Elizabeth Russell English, the modern-day genealogist of the family.


The purpose of this book is simple—preservation. By default, I’m the last member of my immediate family. My great-grandmother’s belongings passed to me. Her Autograph Book is as precious as the ladies pocket watch, round-top trunk, and spinning wheel that now reside with the Campbell County Historical Society in Rustburg, Virginia.

Even though the ink has faded and pages loosened, the Autograph Book intrigues with verses and names from Ohio or Pennsylvania and from family members who abandoned Virginia. This is an effort of discovery and homage.



Signatories of 1866


Suggested Reading

About the Author

William Harris Russell and Judith Douglas Candler (Russell) circa 1910


Census—U. S. Federal Census

JDC—Judith Douglas Candler (Russell)




MM—Monthly Meeting

MH—Meeting House




Judith Douglas Candler circa 1866

b. 14 Sep 1847, Harrison Co, OH (parents, William Buford Candler and Susanna Johnson; siblings, Achilles Johnson, Mildred, Jonathan, Mary E)

m. 03 Jan 1882 (husband, William Harris Russell)

Children: William Buford, Robert Achilles

d. 01 May 1917, Campbell County, VA (Russell Family Cemetery)

According to the 1860 Census, my great-grandmother, Judith Douglas Candler, lived in Short Creek, Harrison County, Ohio with her uncle and aunt, Micajah and Edna Johnson, attending school. School was District School #10 followed by the Mount Pleasant Friends Boarding School also known as Quaker Seminary.

Digging deeper for the reason JDC was in Ohio rather than our family’s native Virginia, I found a notation in The Descendants of William and John Johnson, Colonial Friends of Virginia by Lorand V. Johnson, MD. It explained that Micajah Johnson moved from Virginia to Harrison County, Ohio in 1831 and was a teacher and surveyor and that his home was a station of the Underground Railway. In the margin, my great uncle, Robert A. Russell, noted “My mother (JDC) was there during the Civil War.”

Among my great-grandmother’s possessions was a slim volume of verses and signatures prepared for her as she readied to return to Virginia in 1866.

At nineteen, JDC was duty-bound to return home. When JDC was nine, her mother, Susanna Johnson (Candler), died of heart disease and was interred alongside two of her children at South River Meeting House near Lynchburg, VA. Susanna was born in Virginia and migrated with her family to Ohio in 1840 as part of the exodus of Quakers from Virginia over the slavery issue. She chose a husband from Virginia and was condemned by Ohio’s Short Creek MM in 1845 for marrying contrary to discipline, meaning the Candlers held a stronger tie to their Virginia land than their Quaker religion. She returned to Ohio to give birth to her first child, Judith. The 1860 Census shows JDC’s father, William Buford Candler, as a farmer in Campbell County, Virginia with his son, Achilles.

The 1870 Census lists W. B., Judith, Achilles, and Mary living in Campbell County. By the time of the 1880 Census, only W. B. and Judith remained on the farm.

JDC married William Harris Russell in 1882 and lived out the rest of her life on the Russell family farm in Campbell County.

Tucked away in her trunk were the letters, diaries, photograph album, and Autograph Book from her time in Ohio used in this volume. The spelling and punctuation are true to the original.


1—teacher Watson

2—teacher Mary

3—teacher Lin

4—teacher Rachel

5—James Addison McGrew

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