The Connection: Lundy, Potts and Dry Bread Plantation

“Dry Bread Plantation” Old Avent Family Home in Greensville County, Virginia Photo Courtesy: aventfamily.org

Excerpt from the Avent Family website:

The webmaster came across some information about this house in the book “Sketches of Greensville Co., VA”, by Douglas S. Brown (1968):

It was built circa 1840 and was called “Oaklands” or “Dry Bread Plantation”. In 1868 it was purchased by Tamlin Avent (Tamlin Avent -> Samuel Avent -> William Avent -> John Avent -> Col. Thomas Avent) who lived there until his death in 1875. It was willed to his grandson William Turner Lundy, and it has remained in the Lundy family ever since. On a recent visit to the site, the webmaster found that the house (located on a dirt road called ‘Lundy Lane’ in Greensville County, on Dry Bread Rd. about five miles west of the town of Emporia) has, since the below picture was taken, collapsed completely and is now, sadly, in ruins. In 1968 it was described by Douglas S. Brown as follows:

‘This is a very pretty house located in a spacious grove of large oaks. The house is a large square two story frame with a one story porch and has a five foot foundation of bricks. There are two large brick chimneys, one on the side and one at the back. The two rooms in the basement are used for a dining room and kitchen. The entrance of double five-paneled pine doors, opens into the hall, where the plain one flight staircase is one string with square banisters and newel with a round hand rail. the mantels are plain, five feet high and painted mahogany. Shop made nails, wooden pins and pegs are used throughout the house.’”

It’s fascinating and poignant to see such a structure that connects to family history. With respect to this house, it very closely ties to my maternal fourth great-grandmother, Emeline Potts Eppes (b. circa 1842-aft. 1880).

Emeline was held enslaved by the clerk of Greensville County, J.W. Potts. In 1861, Emeline along with her four children and six other enslaved souls were named as security for Potts’ debt to his one-time business partner (and Mason family cousin) John T.J. Mason in a deed of trust.

Two of Emeline’s children named in the deed, Sidney and Pattie, would appear in later records as Sidney Lundy (1855-1915) and Pattie Lundy (1860-1916). It is possible that Emeline’s two other children, Peter and William, also had the Lundy surname.

Concerning Sidney and Pattie, they were consistently referred to as “mulatto” in census records. What is the meaning of mulatto?

Merriam-Webster’s Definition

In a modern setting, there is no place for this word. In historical context; however, it answers the question of parentage. This is especially relevant to Emeline’s story.

According to Pattie’s 1916 Virginia death certificate, her father was William Lundy:

1916 Death Certificate of Pattie M. Phipps (neé Lundy) Courtesy: Ancestry.com

Pattie’s son, William Mason, was the informant on her death certificate. He reported that Pattie’s father was William Lundy. Thank you, William, for documenting this information for posterity.

Just who was this William Lundy?

William Turner Lundy (1826-1869)

Remember, according to the above information excerpted from aventfamily.org, William Turner Lundy was willed the Dry Bread Plantation property by his grandfather, Col. Thomas Avent.

The 1860 U.S. Slave Schedule Census shows William Turner (W.T.) Lundy holding nineteen enslaved souls and living next to John W. (J.W.) Potts who held eleven souls enslaved. This means that Emeline was in very close proximity to Lundy.

1860 U.S. Slave Schedule Census, Greensville County, Virginia W.T. Lundy and J.W. Potts neighbors Courtesy: Ancestry.com

William T. Lundy was an attorney, per the 1860 U.S. Census. In that record, once again is confirmation of Lundy’s neighbor, J.W. Potts. Potts, per the census, is documented as the clerk of county court.

Lundy and Potts in 1860 U.S. Census Courtesy: Ancestry.com

Viewing that photo of Dry Bread Plantation brings so much to mind. If walls could talk…I am very appreciative of that photo being taken and shared. Being dilapidated beyond repair, the actual structure no longer exists.

Are you able to locate photos and or historical references to the places that were connected to your ancestors? These plantations, gimmicky as they are marketed to be in this day and age, are hallways of atrocities and cognitive dissonance. Still, to see the places with one’s own eyes, in person or photograph, is very important.

We remember. We honor. We remain.

The Genealogy Situation Room

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