I ran across these early religious petitions signed residents in Lunenburg County, Virginia. These are original signatures and I had difficulty reading a lot of them. I put a question mark besides those names and/ or initials of which I was not sure. If anyone believes they know what a surname should be, I will be glad to check the original to determine if that indeed is the correct name and change the petition below. The petition used a lot of capital letters, so I capitalized where they did.
I found several of these petitions so I am transcribing them one by one. Here is the first:
Early Religious Petitions (obtained from the Library of Congress, American Memory)
Abstracted by LaVelda Faull
9 Nov 1785, Lunenburg County, Virginia
“To the honorable the General Assembly of Virginia, the Petition of sundry free Inhabitants of the County of Lunenburg humbly sheweth,
That whereas the General Assembly at their Session in October last, out of a pious Regard for the Advancement of Christianity in this State did adopt A Bill for establishing a Provision for the Teachers of the Christian Religion on a Plan founded in equal Justice to the Citizens in general who owe this respective Aids to the Peace & Prosperity of civil Government; and on Principles so Liberal & impartial, as to proclude the remotest Jealousy of Preference to any Denomination of Christians; and whereas they directed the same to be printed and Copies thereof to be dispersed through the several Counties in Order to collect the Sentiment of the People on this very important Subject. Your Petitioners impressed with the sincerest Sentiments of Veneration & Gratitude towards the Legislature, who have thus, under the Divine Influence, manifested so laudable a Disposition to patronize and protect the Concerns of our holy Religion; the Knowledge & Practice of which have such a manifest Tendency to promote the Peace & Prosperity of Civil Government; beg leave to assure you of our high Approbation of the said Bill, humbly praying that the same may be passed into a Law.
And your Petitioners shall ever pray & c.”
Wm P----(?) (Perhaps Pafford? Blotted out with ink)
Ellison (?) Ellison(?) (both names appear to be the same)
Wm. Taylor (or Saylor?)
James Groen (or Green?)
John William (or Wilham?)
John Cook (or Coop?)
Thos. Jones (or Jarvis?)
Saml Rudder Junr.
William Smith(?) (or Swift?)
Jno Ballard jr
P? A? Stevonson
John Arnall Senr (Arnold? Conall?)
Wm Henry Patison
William White Senr
John Cureton Jun.
Benja Estis Jr.
Wm. L.(S?) Garland
John ---- (name marked out)
Will Elam??? (signature looks like all one word)(heavy underline beneath it)
Drury Middsell(?) (or Murdock)?
K (or R?) Johnson
Benja. Estes Sr.(?)
Stephen C. Miser(?)(last word written over top of word that is blotted)
Geo. (?) Phillips
Pitman (Not sure if the “Pitman” was a continuation of “John Baskins” ie, “John Baskins Pitman”
or whether “Pitman” was another signature - it was more indented than the name above
Edward Collis Junr.
Bryan Lester Sen.
Tacharner DeGraffenreidt Junr.
Wm Johnson Jur.
Saml Rudder Snr.
NATHANIEL LAFFOON JUNR.
Jas(?) Barham(?) Jnr.
John Cook Jr.
Tho. Hardy Junr.
Edward Colley Sr.
William Hicks? (or Dicks?)
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