African American families had a significant influence in the development of Greene County.
The GCHS has a small collection of artifacts, documents and photos pertaining to the African-American community in Greene County, VA. The GCH Society continue to liase, communicate and be involved with the discovery, collection and illustrating the history of Greene inclusiveness.
This occurs mostly through the generosity of indviduals, families, shared archives, and diligent researchers. Not everyone is ready to tell their story... but when the time is ready, the GCHS can assist with recording your family's story, whether it be orally or digitally.
By 1868-87, 31 public schools in Greene served 899 white children and 265 colored children. Education was segregated in Greene County until 1964.
Greene desegregated schools in 1965. In 1966, Cynthia Carpenter became the first African-American female student to be admitted to William Monroe High School.
(Ref: Images of America: Greene County GCHS 2013; p 66)
Transitive verb. 1 : to free from restraint, control, or the power of another especially : to free from bondage.... 3 : to free from any controlling influence, such as traditional mores or beliefs. (Ref: Merriam-Webster Dicitonary)
Records of enslaved and slavery in Greene County.
Extract from “Finding my kin in Ruckersville’, by Betty Sims Brown.
"On November 23, 1878, thirteen years after slavery ended, James Chapman, and his step-sons Thomas and Joseph acquired fifty acres jointly, in Quinque, Greene County…. In 1894 James and his wife Hardena defaulted on a loan on the property, and were required by court to partition it in 1899. Sims family ancestors question why they borrowed the substantial amount of $201.60., when there was little opportunity to repay it in the time required…. James and Hardena could neither read nor write, and may not have understood the consequences, if they were unable to repay within a specified time…"
Betty Sims Brown has deep ancestral roots to Ruckersville in Greene County, VA. As a fifth generation descendent, and great-great granddaughter of slaves David Sims and Hardena Lindsay. Many slave births and deaths were not recorded, nor is it listed who David and Hardena were enslaved to.
To continue with Betty Sims Brown on her personal journey to “Finding my kin in Ruckersville”, read the complete article in the Greene County Historical Magazine Volume 22, 2018-2019.
Members receive a complimentary copy, and the magazine is available for purchase from the Museum Gift Shop.
The Shiloh Baptist church, is located at 71 Shiloh Road, just a short 3 minute walk from the GCHS in Stanardsville.
Shiloh Baptist Church was established in 1862, with the land gifted by the Deane family.
The original church is located at the end of Shiloh rd. and was built in 1862, and the present structure dates from 1907. Behind the church are two other buildings, the smaller of which was formerly a segregated African-American high school (6th-8th grades).
Ref: Tourism Guide 7-21-09
It is believed during the American Civil war (C 1862), at least 30 soldiers were buried near the Shiloh Church. The soldiers most likely died from typhoid fever. No one has been able to find their burial site to date.
The Shiloh Baptist cemetery is located at 993 Celt Road, Stanardsville, VA. 22973
The photo above depicts some members of the congregation outside the church. Although undated, the people's attire, suggest the photo was taken in the 1950's.
Please note, all photos on these pages are from the GCHS collection, and reproduced with the permission of the individuals and families who submitted them to the GCHS.
Please contact GCHS for more information.
National Museum of African-Americans
Black History Museum & Cultural Center (Richmond, VA.) https://www.blackhistorymuseum.org
"Finding Your Roots" TV Documentary https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B07MZ9Y834/ref=atv_me_doc_c_Bk5mm3_brws_4_20 (Maybe available on other channels).
Stanardsville... Then and Now - 1794 - 1994. Nancy H. Morris Ed.
A history of Greene County . T.E. Johnson (1967)
Images of America: Greene County, Virginia. GCHS 2013
Greene County Magazine; Volume 22., 2018-2019 GCHS. Timothy Roach (Ed.)
Starting to feel like getting back out into the community ?
Have you considered volunteering at the GCHS?
There are many opportunities to match your skills with us!