Behind the Scene – “A Teacher Made A Difference – Joseph (Joe) Lovelace”

Joseph Lovelace and his siblings who settled in Alexandria, all came from Halifax, Virginia. There roots go back to Halifax, Virginia into the late 1700s.

Joseph’s father Andrew Lovelace’s parents were Jacob (Jake) Lovelace and Alice Terry. Both Jacob and Alice were born enslaved. They lived in the Meadville and Staunton areas in Halifax, VA. Meadville and Staunton are on the border of Pittsylvania, Virginia. Alice was born in Pittsylvania.

Andrew Lovelace and Ludora Hawkins married in Halifax, VA. They had twelve children and all of their children migrated out of the area but two, which was Kate and Alice. Andrew and Ludora’s children were:

Obie Lovelace who was born in Halifax, VA migrated to Baltimore, MD then to Washington, D.C., and finally settled in Alexandria, VA. He had two children Obie, Jr., and Edith who are now deceased. Obie, Sr., grandchildren and great-grandchildren are living in Albany, NY, Richmond, VA and Charlotte, NC.

Sevela Lovelace died as an infant in Halifax, VA.

Kate Virginia Lovelace spent her entire life in Halifax, VA. She had two children that died as infants. Her children who made it into adulthood are Felix, Mary, Martha, Bernice, Charlie and Gladys. Kate has numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren that are living today. Her daughter Bernice migrated to Alexandria. Bernice had five children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

John Henry Lovelace migrated to Alexandria, VA then to Philadelphia and then to New Jersey. He spent his last days in Philadelphia. His children were born in Halifax, Virginia but they grew up in Alexandria. His three children are Juanita, John and Howard. Only one of his children are living today. Howard lives in San Diego, CA.

Left, Anthony Lovelace and right, Pee Wee Lovelace – 2010 Lovelace Reunion Host by: Dorella Lovelace Blount

John’s daughter, Juanita had 11 children. Her children are listed with the number of children they had: Van (2 children) born in Washington, DC, Eddie (no children) born in Washington, DC, Anthony (3 children) born in Washington, DC, Freda (4 children) born in Saginaw, Michigan, Lee (1 child), Valerie “PeeWee” (3 children), Tommy (4 children), Winnie (3 children) Wayne (3 children) Jerome (1 child), and Jeff (3 children). The last seven children were born in Alexandria.

John’s son, John Jr., had one daughter, Dorella. Dorella has four children, Waynette, John, Jomaine, Joseph and twelve grandchildren. Dorella was born and raised in Alexandria.

John’s son, Howard grew up in Alexandria and graduated from Parker-Gray. He has one daughter, Tameka. Tameka has two children. She was born in California.

Albert James Lovelace died as an infant.

Alice Lovelace Bass had three children. They were born in Halifax and Pittsylvania, Virginia. Her children are Ernest, Madeline and Lola. Two of her children are deceased. Lola lives in New Jersey. Some of Madeline’s children live in Maryland. Alice has numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

Clarence Edward Lovelace was born in Halifax, Virginia. He was a World War II veteran. He lived in Alexandria a short time before migrating to Philadelphia. He had no children.

Charlie Wilson Lovelace was born in Halifax, Virginia. He migrated to Philadelphia. He had no children.

Gladys Christine Lovelace was born in Halifax, Virginia. She migrated to Philadelphia. She had three children Maxcile, Mary Jane, and her son. Christine has a number of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

Left: Judy Lovelace (deceased) and her daughter – 2010 Lovelace Reunion

William Henry Lovelace was born in Halifax, Virginia. He migrated to Alexandria. All of his children were born in Alexandria. He had nine children Ann, Betty Lou, William, Joseph, Obie Lee, Vastoria, Judy, Marilyn, and Ricky. William had numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. His daughter Ann had seven children: Carlton, Marie, Michael, Brenda, Tawana, Zachary and Antonio. All of them have Alexandria roots.

Joseph B. Lovelace was born in Halifax, Virginia. He migrated to Alexandria when he was a teen. He settled in Utah and then in Colorado. He has four children, which includes Wanda and Pattie and one stepchild, five grandchildren, one step-grandchild, four great-grandchildren, and one step-great-grandchild. His daughter Wanda has two children Joseph, Brionna and a grandson, Joseph III. Wanda lives in Maryland.

You can read more about Joseph B. Lovelace in the Alexandria Gazette Newspaper, “A Teacher Made A Difference – Joseph (Joe) Lovelace,” on page 6, dated November 11, 2020 at

Behind the Scene – “The Cigar Man Made a Better Life – James Thomas Ford”

James Thomas Ford
1913 – 1999

Mr. James Thomas Ford was a hardworking man. He was determined to make a better life for himself. At the age of 17, he knew the value of supporting a family. He along with his other siblings help earn money to support their mother and his younger siblings.

James was the second child of eleven siblings. His parents were Thomas Osborne Ford and Rosa Ellis. Thomas, his siblings and parents, Osborne and Elizabeth migrated from Fairfield, South Carolina to Richmond, Virginia.

Prior to 1930, Rosa and her children returned to her birthplace, Victoria, Lunenburg, Virginia. James spent a short time in his mother’s birthplace. Eager to have a better life, James Thomas Ford migrated at the age of 17 to Alexandria, Virginia.

James will make Alexandria his home and become a federal employee, cab driver and after retiring from the federal government, he became an entrepreneur. You can read more about Mr. Ford in the Alexandria Gazette Newspaper, “The Cigar Man Made a Better Life – James Thomas Ford,” on page 5, dated October 28, 2020 at

Behind the Scene – Annie Withers’ Losses: Influenza Pandemic Article

Annie Johnson Withers
(b. 1850 – d. Aft. 1920)

Sammie Shanklin, a fourth generation Alexandrian on his paternal family side migrated to Alexandria from King George, Virginia prior to the Civil War. On Sammie’s grandmother side of the family, the Withers and Johnson came to Alexandria during the Civil War.

Sammie and his cousin, Helen Shanklin Coles remembered family members telling them about the death of their grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Withers Shanklin and her sister, Annie Maria Withers Gray who both died in 1918 from the Influenza Pandemic.

These two sisters’ parents, Archibald and Annie Johnson Withers migrated from Culpeper, Virginia during the Civil War. Archibald and Annie got married in Alexandria in 1869. After their marriage, they continued to live in Alexandria, Virginia with their four children, Preston (b. 1874), Andrew (b. 1883), Mary Elizabeth (Lizzie) (b. 1886) and Annie (b. 1893).

By 1890s, Archibald was a landowner. On the 1900 census, Archibald stated that his house at 706 South Columbus Street was mortgaged. In 1906, Archibald Withers died leaving Annie Withers a widow.

You can read more about Annie Johnson Withers in the Alexandria Gazette newspaper dated September 16, 2020 at

Alexandria Own Three-time Baseball Hall of Famer

Behind the Alexandria Gazette story on Leon Day dated July 5, 2018.

Combing through the cemeteries in Baltimore, Maryland, I came across a grave with a large flat headstone at the Arbutus Memorial Park Cemetery in Baltimore. This grave belonged to Leon Day who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Prior to finding Leon’s grave, I did not know who he was. I decided to research Leon and behold, I found that he was a native Alexandrian.

I asked several old timers in Alexandria about Leon Day; they were aware of Leon’s baseball abilities, but they did not know that he was one of their own native Alexandrians.

Leon’s parents were Ellis Day and Hattie Lee. Ellis was adopted by James Washington and Susie (Susan) Washington in Alexandria. On 14 April 1864, James Washington married Susan Johnson in Alexandria, Virginia. In 1900, Ellis Day lived in the Washington’s household at 512 North Royal Street. By 1906, Leon was married to Hattie Lee. They were living in Baltimore, Maryland in 1920. In their household were their children Ellis Day age 13, William H. Day age 10, Ida M. Day age 5, Leon Day age 3, Robert Day an infant. Also Ellis’ step-daughter Marian Lee age 20 and his sister-in-law, Eva Lee age 20 lived in the household.

A copy of Leon Day’s birth certificate was obtained to verify whether he was born in Alexandria. He was born in Alexandria on 30 October 1916. His birth certificate is showed.

Leon Day’s 1916 Birth Certificate

Leon’s first wife was Helen Johnson. She travel with Leon when he played in Puerto Rico, South American and in Canada. He was on the Passenger and Crew List of 1936 on the Vessel Coamo which arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico. On the 1940 Puerto Rico’s census, Leon and his first wife, Helen lived in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Leon was listed as a Professional Baseball player.

After the death of Helen, Leon married Geraldine Ingram. Leon was born in 1916 and his second wife, Geraldine was born in 1953. Geraldine loved baseball as much as Leon. After his death, she continued to represent him at all the local baseball games and she attended two of his Hall of Fame ceremonies; these ceremonies were The National Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York and the Negro League Hall of Fame. On 6 April 2005, Geraldine died ten years after Leon.

You can read the Alexandria Gazette’s July 5, 2018, article on page 13 at

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