Nathaniel Albert Nicholson (p. 438): born 1881; public schools, Randolph-Macon Academy, Univ. Coll. of Medicine; M.D., "chiefly rural practice," county food administrator during war; three lodges.

Family: father: clerk of county court, county treasurer, editor of a newspaper, minister of Methodist church, pastorates in five counties.

Evaluation: the father was a public servant and pastor, the son a doctor.

Rufus G. Claudle (p. 442): born 1873; two years at U. of N.C., one year at U. of Texas, fraternity; oil operator, sec'y-treas. of oil company; editor of "Industrial News." Real estate owner.

Family: father: merchant and farmer and pioneer in Texas.
father's father: colonel, Baptist clergyman, "wide circuit."
brothers: one rancher and cattleman in Oklahoma; one ranch owner in Oklahoma.

Evaluation: Father, who pioneered, perhaps suffered a setback. Sons "stage a comeback."

Junius Earle Dunford p. 178): born 1892; public schools, college preparatory, college, law school, enthusiastic fraternity man; active socially; lawyer in Richmond; captain in World War.

Family: father: clergyman, college graduate, MA., president of Clinton College; professor in seminary.
father's father: killed in Civil War.
mother's father: planter.
brother and sister: sports editor of Greenville Daily News, wife of clergyman who is professor of seminary in Brazil.

Evaluation: This father gave his sons and daughters a good start.


The biographies condensed here are those of every tenth person listed in a large part of volume IV of the History of Virginia. The other biographical sketches of this and the succeeding volume, which we have condensed, have not been reproduced here because they are "more of the same thing."

It seems that the important people in all communities, both large and small, strongly tend to come from those ancestors who were, in their day, important. Those in the larger cities who have received special recognition, and therefore stand higher in the whole state, are more likely to have descended from the FFV. Leading citizens in small towns are more likely to have small town (merchant-farmer-county-job) backgrounds.

Much of the "flavor" of each biography is lost in condensation, but from studying the biographical sketches, one can ascertain whether the family rated highly or not. Of course, the inadequacy of information about some of the forefathers leaves one to conjecture as to their respective positions. The status of the immediate parents was usually evident.

When one remembers that anyone who had the means to purchase a set of these volumes could have his biography included in this series, one wonders that so few of the persons written up show signs of being "self-made," and also that so few persons on what is a relatively low level can boast of illustrious fathers and grandfathers. Often one notices that when the war dislocated a parent from his normal groove the son took up again where the grandparents had left off.

There is much truth in the theory that even in Virginia, which suffered the Civil War, and which has had to make such severe readjustments, there is overwhelming evidence of social class rigidity and continuity; there is little indication of disintegrating family status or of significant upstartism.

Next Page