Darrell Collard family

Groveton’s Darrell and Mason family

 Sampson Darrell (son of William and Ann Fowke (Mason) Darrell) was a legal ward of his Uncle George Mason II until he was 21 years old. He was a Fairfax County Justice and owned most of the land that is now referred to as Groveton.

 Sampson and Mary Darrell’s son, William Darrell, married Rachel Brooke (daughter of Thomas Brooke V and granddaughter of Thomas Brooke IV and Judith Briscoe). William inherited the land at the top of the hill on Route 1 where the 3212 Arundel Ave. farmhouse is located along with the Darrell Spring to the west side of Route 1 (Spring Drive in the Valley View Subdivision was named after this spring that is now part of the Chesapeake Watershed).

 Sampson and Mary’s daughter, Ann Darrell married Commodore Walter Brooke (son of Thomas Brooke IV and Sarah Taliaferro Mason, his 2nd wife) and was living at “Retirement” (Stoneybrooke).

 Groveton’s Collard and Darrell family

 Samuel Collard (born Prince George’s, Maryland) was married and had a tavern in King George Parish in 1774 at the Eastern Branch ferry on the Anacostia River. By June 1784, Samuel and his wife moved across the Potomac, where Samuel served on a jury in Fairfax County. He was operating a tavern, in Alexandria by October 1784. Samuel Collard’s son, who was named Samuel Collard Jr. was born in Fairfax County, Virginia.

 Samuel Collard Jr. purchased a lot in Alexandria on Queen Street just east of Washington Street, before Dec 25, 1796. He became acquainted with the widow, Rachel (Brooke) Darrell and her brother, Clement Brooke. By July 1799, Samuel Collard Jr., was married to Rachel and inherited several hundred acres of the Darrell and Brooke land.

Samuel Collard Jr. enlisted in the 60th Virginia Militia Regiment (Minor's Hill) under Capt. Fleming Terrell.  He was a Sergeant and a  veteran of the War of 1812.  In August 1814, (Samuel would have been 42 years old) British forces, marching overland through Maryland, threatened the capital city.  The federal government fled. Colonel George Minor of Minor's Hill (overlooking Falls Church) and his 700-man Virginia Militia 60th Regiment were summoned from Falls Church on August 23, 1814 to Washington, which they were assigned to defend. However, due to bureaucratic bungling among War Department officials they were not sent to help defend the approaches to Washington at Bladensburg, Maryland nor did many of them come armed. At that time the Washington Navy Yard was an important fleet center, and its gunpowder was hurriedly moved across the bridges into Virginia, and brought to Falls Church for safekeeping, protected by a six-man guard dispatched by Colonel Minor.  Government officials also fled the city, including President James Madison, who came to Minor’s Hill looking for his wife, Dolley (she had been separated in the chaos that night and fled to the safety of Colonel Minor's home where she spent 2 nights) before leaving to Falls Church. He, the nation’s attorney general, and his entourage struggled through the chaotic and crowded roads toward Falls Church, eventually arriving at Wren’s Tavern. British troops torched Washington, burning it to the ground.

After the war,Samuel and Rachel lived on her land, which was handed down by her grandfather, Sampson Darrell to his heirs that included the mansion home and Darrell’s Spring. Samuel was the guardian of Rachel’s 4 young sons: Walter S., Sampson, William S. and Clement B. Darrell. Samuel and Rachel had 3 known children: Elizabeth S. “Eliza” Collard, John Ricketts Collard, and James J Collard.

 The acreage of the farm increased by purchases made by Samuel, who in turn gave some of the land to his sons in 1831, specifically John Ricketts. who received 107 acres. John lived at “Sparrow Hill” near Popkins Lane, which was referred to as his “Groveton farm”.

Upon Samuel’s wife, Rachel’s death, Samuel advertised in the Alexandria Gazette his home “Mount Pleasant” for rent. This home was a 270-acre farm located on the Mount Vernon Road three miles from Alexandria, with a large apple orchard, springs and a six-room dwelling house with a good cellar. “On an elevated situation and there is a fine view of the Potomac.”

 In 1847, Samuel’s will stated “ the graveyard at the farm on which I reside and which is an old family burying place, about one-fourth acre, is to be kept forever, never to be conveyed under any circumstances.” This is the family graveyard located at 3212 Arundel Avenue. Upon Samuel’s death, per his instructions, he was buried in the family cemetery. As of 1852, Samuel’s daughter, Eliza and his son, John Ricketts owned most of the land in the Groveton area.

 John Ricketts married Stacia Ann (Millan), granddaughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Shedd) Millan, had 5 children and lived at “Sparrow Hill”. John’s sister, Eliza, widow of Phineas Sullivan Whitney, was living at the homestead alone. Phineas Sullivan Whitney is buried in the family cemetery on 3212 Arundel Ave. Eliza remarried and moved to Washington D.C. Within a couple of years, Eliza died and was buried at the family cemetery on 3212 Arundel Ave.  

 Upon Eliza’s death, her brother John Ricketts inherited her 270 acres. John now owned all of the Collard land, which included some of the land previous owned by the Darrell and Brooke families, i.e. property that was originally Commodore Walter Brooke’s (first cousin of George Mason and commander of the Virginia naval forces in 1777) plantation called “Retirement”.

Groveton’s Kerby and Collard family

 George Kerby moved from Harmony Hall in Prince George’s Maryland to the Groveton area. Two of George Kerby’s sons, Francis Alfred and James Owen, moved from Prince George’s Maryland to Alexandria Virginia. Another son, Bernard, met Eliza Collard through his brother, James Owen. Eliza Collard, daughter of John Ricketts and Stacia (Millan) Collard married Bernard Kerby and was moved to Piscataway, Prince George’s, Maryland. Another daughter of John Ricketts and Stacia (Millan) Collard, Rachel B. married James Owen Kerby and moved into the “Mount Pleasant” homestead at 3212 Arundel Avenue.

 John Ricketts died in 1875 and was buried at the family cemetery on 3212 Arundel Ave. His land was left to his widow, Stacia (Millan) Collard. By 1879, John Ricketts’ son, J. Samuel Collard had sold the properties to James Owen Kerby, his brother-in-law. Stacia (Millan) Collard died in 1889 and was buried at family cemetery on 3212 Arundel Avenue.

John Ricketts died in 1875 and was buried at the family cemetery on 3212 Arundel Ave. His land was left to his widow, Stacia (Millan) Collard. By 1879, John Ricketts’ son, J. Samuel Collard had sold the properties to James Owen Kerby, his brother-in-law. Stacia (Millan) Collard died in 1889 and was buried at family cemetery on 3212 Arundel Avenue.

 James Owen “Squire” and Rachel E. (Collard) Kerby had 8 known children at their home called “Mount Pleasant”. James was a Justice of the Peace in Alexandria, Virginia. Rachel (Collard) Kerby died 1885 and James Owen died in 1905. Both were buried in the Woodlawn Baptist Church Cemetery on 9001 Richmond Highway, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

 Four daughters of James Owen and Rachel (Collard) Kerby married into families from the Groveton or neighboring communities: Virginia M. married Joseph Griffin, an Irish stonemason, and they also resided at the “Mount Pleasant” home, Nellie May Kerby married John Scott West, Elsie M. married Thomas A. McKeown, and Margaret married John C. Winterwept.

 In 1906, the Collard heirs had their land partitioned. The “Retirement” tract had been rented out for several years; this, along with the Groveton farm, was allotted to the remaining Collard children, J. Samuel, Virginia, and Hellen. The Collard children remained at “Retirement” until their death. All three children are buried at Ivy Hill Cemetery, Alexandria, Virginia. “Mount Pleasant” was divided into three parts: Lot #1 (89.25 acres) was allotted to Bernard Kerby and his daughter Helen Townsend. Lot #2 (109.25 acres was allotted to Bernard Kerby and the children from his marriage to Eliza Collard. Lot #3 which included the homestead and the graveyard in the center part of the tract was allotted to the eight heirs of James Owen and Rachel (Collard) Kerby.

 Between 1910 and 1915, son Arthur Day Kerby married George Kerfoot Pickett’s daughter, Mattie L. (her second marriage). Mattie, a schoolteacher, had 2 children from her 1st marriage to John H. Moore: Rebecca and Mildred. Arthur Kerby was one of Fairfax County’s magistrates. On New Year’s Day 1916, the “Mount Pleasant” farmhouse burned down. Arthur Day Kerby rebuilt the house on the same foundation as the original house. The current 2008 house located on 3212 Arundel Ave. is the house rebuilt after the 1916 fire. Both Arthur Day and Mattie (Pickett Moore) Kerby are buried in Ivy Hill Cemetery on King Street, Alexandria, Virginia.

 In 1934, 84.5 acres of “Mount Pleasant” were sold at auction. In 1936, the family of John Parrish, former county supervisor, owned the home. In 1967, the house was sold to Kenneth Swartz. Kerby Spring (aka Darrell Spring) is located as an unnumbered lot on the plat of the present Valley View subdivision, down the hill south of the house to Spring Drive. As of 2008, a pipe stem is being built along side the spring for new homes.

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