“Amo Probos” (I love good people.)
Published by
The William Byrd Press, Inc. Richmond, Virginia Copyright, 1933 By
Rolfe E. Glover, Jr.


Photo of the book cover.
DEDICATION TO THE LOVED MEMORY OF SARAH EYRE BLAIR GLOVER THIS RECORD OF HER KINSPEOPLE BEGUN BY HER HUSBAND Rolfe Eldridge Glover IS DEDICATED BY HER SON Rolfe Eldridge Glover, Jr. SARAH EYRE BLAIR GLOVER Sarah Eyre Blair Glover (1861-1929), born in Richmond, Virginia, was the eldest daughter of James Heron Blair and his wife, Jane Blair. While she was yet a small child, her father built his residence at the corner of Third and Cary Streets. In this house and its neighborhood Sarah Blair passed her earlier years. She attended local private schools. She early took part in the society life of Richmond, and was noted for her grace, beauty, and tactful manners. Of a very bright disposition, she pleased wherever she went. Gloom was foreign to her character. Pain she bore always with a silent fortitude. She never afflicted those about her with care and sorrow, but looked ever on the happier side. In 1885, at her father’s residence, Sarah Blair married Rolfe Eldridge Glover, son of Samuel Anthony and Frances Eldridge Glover, neighbors of the Blairs. The young couple had been lovers for many years. Their mutual devotion lasted and deepened until death separated — for a very little while — their joy of companionship. To this couple one son was born, Rolfe Eldridge Glover, Jr. Rolfe Eldridge Glover at the time of his marriage was a rising man of business, and soon recognized as one of Richmond’s sterling citizens. He was M. A. of Richmond College and a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Virginia Historical Society. Mrs. Glover, with her delightful social gifts, became a welcome member of the Virginia Society of the Colonial Dames of America, and of the Woman’s Club of Richmond. Her skilful fingers, also, were ever busy with “fancy work” for church, charities, or the pleasure of her friends. One found her first at the house of mourning and as a prompt to assist in places of rejoicing. Mrs. Glover’s entire life was spent in Richmond. Strikingly pretty in her later years, bright in mind and manner, and still deeply interested in others, one can well understand the words placed above her grave by her devoted husband : — “She gave me forty-four years of happiness.”


Thanks are due to many persons who have furnished data for “,” in particular:
  • Mrs. James Sutton Blair
  • Mrs. Thomas Nelson Williamson
  • Miss Martha Old Harvie
  • Mr. Lewis Edwin Harvie
  • Miss Sarah Blair Harvie
  • Mrs. Basil Dennis Spalding
  • Miss Judith Nicoll Anderson
  • Miss Ellen Graham Anderson
  • Mrs. Lewis H. Blair
  • Miss Ellen Donnell Codrington Blair
  • Mrs. Robert Minor Wiley
  • Mrs. Robert Hill Carter
  • Mrs. Alfred Wolcott Gibbs
  • Mrs. Fannie Miller Fox
  • Mrs. Lucian Jordan
  • Mrs. Frank Archer Hobson
  • Mrs. John Belton Lyles
  • Mr. Julien Binford, Jr.
  • Mr. Frank Mayo Binford
  • Mrs. Carter Glass, Jr.
  • Mr. Charles B. Durborow
  • Mrs. Mary Blair Pierrot
  • Rev. Arthur P. Gray
  • Mr. George C. Gregory
  • Mr. and Mrs. Rolfe Eldridge Glover, Jr.
  • Miss Anne Blair Matthews
  • Dr. John Crawford Blair and Rev. John Begg of Larne, Ireland
  • Tenison Groves, Esq., of Dublin
  • J. Cinnamon Moore, Esq., of Belfast, Genealogists
  • The Rev. Dr. King, Dean of the Cathedral, Londonderry, Ireland
Courtesies have been extended by the following libraries:
  • Virginia State Library
  • Union Theological Seminary Library, Richmond
  • Virginia Historical Society Library
  • Richmond Public Library
  • Library of Congress
  • Presbyterian Historical Society Library and Pennsylvania Historical Society Library, Philadelphia
  • Presbyterian Historical Society Library, Belfast
  • Library of Magee College, Londonderry, Ireland
  • Mitchell Library, Glasgow
  • The British Museum Library, London
Memorial Note of Mrs. Glovervii
Account of the Race of Blair3
Explanation of the Genealogy, and Key7
The Six Lines of Descent from Rev. John Durburrow Blair with Footnotes8
Longer Notes:
1. Rev. Samuel Blair, emigrant to America63
2. The Log College69
3. Rev. Samuel Blair, Jr.70
4. Rev. John Blair, emigrant to America71
5. The Silver Spring Blairs81
6. Letter to Colonel Walter Blair82
7. Rev. John Durburrow Blair87
8. License to Preach and Ordination of Rev. John D. Blair98
9. “Laurel Grove”99
10. Letter to Mrs. John Durburrow Blair99
11. Pole Green Church101
12. Winston-Jordan Family102
13. Washington Henry Academy106
14. Two Little Blairs107
15. The Blair House, Richmond107
16. The Presbyterian Church on Shockoe Hill, Richmond, Virginia108
17. Will of Rev. John. D. Blair109
18. Lexington, Virginia, Blairs110
19. Rolfe Eldridge Glover. Glover Line114
20. Rolfe Eldridge Glover, Jr., and Frances Gerttrude Cheney Glover115
21. Eldridge TableInsert at page 115
22. Heron Family115
23. Gibbs Family116
24. James Blair, M. D.120
25. Dr. Walter Blair of Hampden-Sydney121
26. Maria Blair122
27. Mayo Family123
28. Harvie Family124
29. Lesslie Family125
Other Blair Families:
Williamsburg, Virginia, Blairs131
Line of Rev. Robert Blair of St. Andrews132
Belvidere, New Jersey, Blairs133
Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Blairs134
A few individuals134
Research, Blair Ancestry139
Durburrow Ancestors148
Blair Coat of Arms151
Editor’s Note152
Sarah Eyre Blair Glover (1861-1929)Frontispiece
Alfred Wolcott Gibbs (1856-1922)22
John Geddes Blair (1787-1851)31
Samuel Jordan Blair (1789-1845)37
Thomas Rutherfoord Blair (1804-1846)49
Rev. John Durburrow Blair (1759-1823)87
Mary Jordan Winston ( ~i8n)94
Mary Winston Blair (1763-1831)99
The residence of Rev. John Durburrow Blair, on Leigh Street, Richmond, Virginia114
Dr. Walter Blair (1835-1909)121
“Funeral ticket” of invitation to the funeral services of Rev. John Durburrow Blair124
BLAIR The first mention of the name of Blair in history is in 83 A.D., when Agricola, the Roman warrior, defeated the tribes of Caledonia at the Hill of Blar, in Perthshire, Scotland. The name Blair, purely Gaelic, was originally spelled “Blar” and pronounced “Plar,” rhyming with “star” and “far.” “Blair” is the genitive of “Blar,” the letter “i” within the name corresponding to the word “of” or “de”; de Blair being therefore redundant. “BLAIR,” a surname of great antiquity in Scotland, is territorial (as Blair Athole, Blair Gowrie, etc.) The word “Blair,” or “Blare,” properly signifies “a plain clear of woods,” but the Celtae in general choosing such plains for their hostile encounters, the word came at length to signify “a plain of battle.” The Blairs of BLAIR in Ayrshire and the Blairs of “Balthayock” in Perthshire long disputed the honor of the chieftainship. James the Sixth, to whom the point was referred, decided that the oldest man for the time being of either family should have the presidency. Both families have had several considerable landed families descended from them. Those from Balthyock are settled in Perthshire, Forfarshire, and the North; those from BLAIR of that ilk in the counties of Ayr, Wigton, Renfrew, etc., in the South and West. Their arms bear no affinity, but it does not follow that they may not have been descended from the same stock. Of the family of Blair of BLAIR in Ayrshire, the first on record was William de Blair, who in 1205, during the reign of William the Lion, is mentioned in a contract of agreement, in the charter chest of the burgh of Irvine (Ayrshire) betwixt Ralph de Eglinton and the village of Irvine. It is known that many Normans and English came into Scotland during this and the previous reigns, who received grants of lands from the crown. The circumstance of the first de Blair’s son being a witness to a royal charter (which only tenants-in-chief of the crown, nobles, and ecclesiastics were privileged to do) proves that the lands he (Blair) held were a royal fief, and his Norman surname, William, which was also that of his son, never having been borne by natives of Scotland until after Prince Henry, eldest son of David I, bestowed it on his second son, William the Lion, along with the prefix “de,” leads to the conjecture that William de Blair was an Anglo-Norman warrior on whom the name and lands of BLAIR were bestowed at the instigation of Prince Henry as the outcome of their mutual experience (at the Battle of the Standard, fought about 1185. In this battle one companion (de Blair) accompanied the prince when others of his father’s army fled.) (From Anderson’s “Scottish Nation,” Virginia State Library.) The ancestor of the Blairs of Balthyock in Perthshire was Alexander de Blair, of the reigns of William the Lion and his son. “It seems worthy of note that all the names in both families were of Anglo-Norman origin. Thus, in Ayrshire were: William, Bryce, David, Hugh, James, and John; while those in Perthshire were: Alexander, William, David, John, Patrick, and Thomas. That is, these names are preponderate. No Celtic name appears in either of the genealogical trees. The early marriage of both families appears to have been with wives of Norman descent.” (From a paper prepared by William Allison Blair, Victoria, Australia, in “The Blair Magazine,” May 1930.) “The Blair family have never been a clan. The name has held an honorable place for many centuries in the annals of Scotland and northern Ireland, always standing in the van of every movement made for civil and religious liberty. Their proud motto is Amo Probos, “Love the right.” John Blair (1300), chaplain of Sir William Wallace, traveled everywhere with that great patriot and compiled his life in Latin. There is Sir Bryce Blair of BLAIR, who, the old poem asserts, lost his head with others of William Wallace’s tried followers in the Barns of Ayr: — “Schyr Bryss the Blayr Next with the Eyme, On to the Deid that Harstyt him full fast.” The Blairs have never refused war when they believed in the justice of their fighting. They have stood eminently as Christian ministers, educators, writers, men of science, and inventors. EXPLANATION AND KEY All of the names following are numbered by generation and by individual. The generation number of each name follows the baptismal name at the upper right-hand of the baptismal name. Each name has also its individual number at the left of the name. Example: 32 Robert Carter — he being in the 8th generation from Rev. John Blair, emigrant, and 32nd individual in line of descent from the same. Indentation, capitals, and small letters are also used to help in grouping special families. Rev. John Durburrow Blair is numbered: 2 Rev. John Durburrow2 Blair (as son of the emigrant, Rev. John Blair). For information concerning Rev. John Durburrow Blair, see longer note — “Rev. John Durburrow Blair”; for his wife, Mary Winston Blair, see also longer note — “Jordan-Winston”; for his father, Rev. John Blair, emigrant, see longer note — “Rev. John Blair.” Personal mention is given in footnotes at the bottom of the pages and in longer notes in the rear of the book. This is so arranged in order not to break the thread of descent from the emigrant ancestor, Rev. John Blair. Where no issue is listed, none has been ascertained. The six lines of descent from 2 Reverend John Durburrow2 Blair and his wife, Mary Winston Blair, are as follows: A. ELIZABETH DURBURROW BLAIR MAYO B. JOHN GEDDES BLAIR C. SAMUEL JORDAN BLAIR D. JAMES BLAIR E. WALTER DABNEY BLAIR F. THOMAS RUTHERFOORD BLAIR William, fifth child of 2 Rev. John Durburrow2 and Mary Winston Blair, died at the age of eight years. Mary Jordan Blair, seventh child, died probably in infancy. (See longer note 13, Two Little Blairs.)


A. 3 ELIZABETH DURBURROW3 BLAIR MAYO LINE (Given subsequently to the lines of her five brothers. See page 53) B. 4 JOHN GEDDES3 BLAIR LINE 4 John Geddes3 Blair,** second child and eldest son of 2 Rev. John Durburrow2 and Mary Winston Blair, born October 21, 1787; married on April 27, 1812, Sarah Ann Eyre Heron, daughter of James and Sarah Taylor Heron; died March 7, 1851; buried in Shockoe Hill Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia. Issue 5 Sarah4 Blair 6 John Durburrow4 Blair, II,** John Geddes Blair is thus described by his youngest son: “My father was of medium height, of pleasing appearance and manners, was accomplished for his day and generation, was of refined taste and good intelligence, in fine, was a refined, courteous gentleman. He played sweetly on the flute, sang fairly well, and wrote quite pleasing lines. He was sociable, belonged to an instrumental musical society which met at his house, and to a quoit club, composed of prominent gentlemen, and to the Richmond Blues with whom he took the field in the War of 1812.” (Autobiography of Lewis H. Blair.) John Geddes Blair was cashier of the Farmer’s Bank of Virginia, Richmond. 2 The sterling qualities and practical accomplishments of this lady have given her always a place of high regard in her husband’s family. Her charities were remembered by a daughter, who stated that every Sunday afternoon her mother carried a basket of food to the poor. A son writes of her: “Mother was of medium height and size, and was pretty as a maiden, matron, and old lady. She was of firmer texture than father.” (Autobiography of Lewis H. Blair.) “John G. Blair married Sarah Heron on 27th April, 1812, she being the ward of Chas. J. MacMurdo.” From the marriage bonds on file in the Hustings Court, City of Richmond, Virginia. 3 Buried with his immediate family in Shockoe Hill Cemetery, Richmond, near the west wall. 10 7 James4 Blair, died in infancy 8 William Barrett4 Blair,**4 9 Mary Elizabeth4 Blair 10 James Heron4 Blair,**5 11 Charles Macmurdo4 Blair,**6 12 Courtenay Heron4 Blair, died unmarried 13 Josephine Mayo4 Blair,**7 died unmarried 14 Peggy Foushee4 Blair,**8 15 Lewis Harvie4 Blair,**9 16 Douglass4 Blair, died in infancy 17 Alfred Chamberlaine4 Blair, died in infancy 4 See Longer note 18: Lexington, Virginia, Blairs. 5 Successful commission merchant of Richmond, Virginia. His brother, Lewis H. Blair, says of him: “He was a man of sterling qualities, with an intelligence above the average, and had much influence in his circle of friends.” He resided at the northwest corner of Cary and Third Streets, in a brick house which he had built for his family. 6 Charles MacMurdo Blair, born 1824; removed to California in 1849; settled in Merced County; died in San Francisco, August, 1896. 7 She won a long lifetime of love and regard for herself by her fortitude in affliction, having become a cripple when a young child from the effects of scarlet fever. By her beautiful needlework she contributed substantial sums to her church, gifts to her friends, and heirlooms to her family. 8 Peggy Foushee Blair (wife of Gen. Alfred Gibbs, U. S. Army), a woman of considerable beauty and charming, yet resolute, qualities, spent many of her younger years in the West with her husband. Surrounded there by hostile Indians, numerous were her thrilling adventures, afterwards quietly related by Mrs. Gibbs. Her little sons, Alfred and Blair Gibbs, were invited by General Custer to go with him on his famous raid, an adventure Mrs. Gibbs prudently declined for them, and so the boys escaped the tragedy of that massacre. (See Longer note 23: Gibbs Family.) 9 Lewis Harvie Blair (known as Lewis H. Blair), capitalist, of Richmond, Virginia, and writer. In active service of the Confederate States Army 1862-1865. Otey Battery of Richmond, March 1862-October 23, 1863; Cavalry aide to Gen. Jans of Texas; Adjutant in Breckinridge’s division of Artillery, June 12, 1864-1865. 5 Sarah4 Blair, eldest child and daughter of 4 John Geddes3 and Sarah Ann Eyre Heron Blair, married Lewis Edwin Harvie**10 of “Dykeland,” Amelia County, Virginia. (For issue see Blair-Harvie Family of “Dykeland,” page 24.) 6 John Durburrow4 Blair, II, second child and eldest son of 4 John Geddes3 and Sarah Ann Eyre Heron Blair, born October 4, 1814; married his first cousin, 383 Lucy Fitzhugh4 Mayo (b. September 4, 1814; d. March 9, 1873), daughter of Joseph Hearne and 3 Elizabeth Durburrow3 Blair Mayo. (See Elizabeth Durburrow Blair Mayo Line, page 53.) 6 John Durburrow4 Blair, II, died March 15, 1879. Issue 18 Alice5 Blair, died unmarried, 19 Adolphus5 Blair,*11 20 Elizabeth Mayo0 Blair, died unmarried, 21 Joseph Mayo5 Blair, 22 John Harvie5 Blair. 19 Adolphus5 Blair, married, 1st, Ellen Gray Beirne; 2nd, Sally Palmer.
  1. President of the Richmond and Danville R. R., and for a number of years represented Amelia, Powhatan, and Nottoway Counties in the Legislature of Virginia.
  2. An honored member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Richmond; for many years superintendent of its Sunday School. A memorial window in St. Paul’s to Adolphus Blair and his wife has been erected by their children. Born January 31, 1842. Died November 1, 1893. Auditor for the Richmond and Danville R. R. Co. At the age of sixteen, Adolphus Blair entered the Confederate Army and served throughout the war, rising to the rank of captain. He was wounded five times. He participated in the battles of Seven Pines and Bull Run, and in the charge of Pickett’s Division at Gettysburg. (See Virginia Historical Magazine, Vol. I, 1894, page 339.)
  3. Issue
By Ellen Gray Beirne Blair:
  1. Andrew Beirne Blair,
  2. John Durburrow Blair, III,
  3. Lucy Mayo Blair,
  4. Ellen Beirne Blair,
  5. Adolphus Blair, Jr.
By Sally Palmer Blair:
  1. Irving Blair, died in early youth,
  2. George Blair, died in young manhood, unmarried.
  3. Andrew Beirne Blair, married Bertha Maria Small, daughter of Albert and Alice Ann Small.
  1. Andrew Beirne Blair, Jr., *12 died unmarried,
  2. Alice Small Blair, married Major Robert Hill Carter, *13 son of Rev. Robert and Elizabeth Noland Carter.
  1. Robert Carter,
  2. Beirne Blair Carter,
  3. Burr Noland Carter,
  4. Maria Newcomer Carter.
*12 Born October 2, 1897. Killed in an aeroplane formation flight at Pensacola, Florida, January 19, 1918. His parents have placed a tablet to his memory in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Richmond, Virginia. *13 At the close of the World War held the rank of Major in U.S. Army.
  1. John Durburrow Blair, III, married Martha Elizabeth Archer, daughter of William Segar and Mary Finlay McIlwaine Archer.
  1. John Durburrow Blair, IV, married Genevieve Lathrop, daughter of Charles Pickett and Louisa Barksdale Lathrop.
  1. John Durburrow Blair, V,
  2. Charles Lathrop Blair,
  3. William Archer Blair.
  4. Lucy Mayo Blair, married Judge Richard Carter Scott, *14 son of Richard Taylor and Fanny Carter Scott of Warrenton, Virginia.
  1. Fanny Carter Scott, married Harry Hamill Augustine.
  1. Harry Hamill Augustine, Jr.,
  2. Lucy Carter Augustine,
  3. Robert Taylor Scott, died unmarried,
  4. Ellen Beirne Scott,
  5. Richard Carter Scott, Jr.,
  6. Adolphus Blair Scott, married Grace Sloan.
*14 The Richmond Bar has presented the Circuit Court of Richmond with a portrait of Judge Scott, and his friends, also a portrait of him to the Henrico County Circuit Court. Judge Scott was an alumnus of the University of Virginia.
  1. Ellen Beirne Blair, married Richard Thweatt Wilson.
  1. Richard Thweatt Wilson, Jr.
  2. Adolphus Blair, Jr., married Virginia Martin Drewry, daughter of Major Clay (C. S. A.) and Jane Taylor Brichett Drewry.
  1. Clay Drewry Blair, *15 married Marie Louise Baretto.
  1. Clay Drewry Blair,
  2. Marie Louise Blair,
  3. Adolphus Beirne Blair.
  4. Joseph Mayo Blair, married, 1st, Norma Williamson Hanes; 2nd, Mary Kilgo Dearman, by whom no issue.
Issue by Norma Williamson Hanes Blair:
  1. Alice Blair,
  2. Lizzie Mayo Blair,
  3. Joseph Mayo Blair, Jr.,
  4. Norman Williamson Blair, died in infancy.
  5. Alice Blair, married Douglas E. Clarke.
  1. Blair Christian Clarke, married William Harold Burgess.
*15 In charge of radio station at Norfolk Navy Yard; in U.S. Navy 1916-1919. Electrical engineer. Issue:
  1. William Harold Burgess, Jr.
  2. Douglas E. Clarke,
  3. Alice Blair Clarke.
  4. Lizzie Mayo Blair, married John Belton Lyles.
  1. Elizabeth Blair Lyles.
  2. Joseph Mayo Blair, Jr., married Nancy Milner; died without issue.
  3. John Harvie Blair, married Lucy Ragland.
  1. Harvie Mayo Blair, married Maud Purcell Miller, daughter of Polk Miller of Bon Air, Virginia; died without issue.
  2. Ethel Blair, married Lucian Jordan.
  1. Blair Jordan, (daughter).
  2. William Barrett Blair, third son of John Geddes and Sarah Ann Eyre Heron Blair, born September 25, 1817; married in 1847, Judith Cornelia Nicoll,*16 daughter of Henry and Louise Anne Ireland Nicoll of New York City.
  1. Mary Louisa Blair,
  2. William Barrett Blair, died in infancy.
*16 A lady much loved by all of her husband’s relations.
  1. Henry Wayne Blair, *17 died unmarried,
  2. Judith Blair, \c
  3. Blair, twins, died in infancy.
  4. Mary Louisa Blair, *18 married William Alexander Anderson, *19 son of Judge Francis Thomas and Mary Ann Alexander Anderson.
  1. Ruth Floyd Anderson, married Dr. Charles McCulloch; no issue.
  2. Anne Aylett Anderson, married Charles S. McNulty.
  1. Frances Wilson McNulty, *20
  2. Anne Aylett McNulty, *21 married Frederick Stone.
  3. William Anderson McNulty, *22
  4. Mary Louisa McNulty,
  5. Charles See McNulty.
  6. William Dandridge Alexander Anderson *23 (Col. U.S. Army Engineers), married Maude Browne, daughter of Judge W. F. Browne of Carrollton, Georgia.
*17 See Longer note 18: Lexington, Virginia, Blairs. *18 Member of the Virginia Society of the Colonial Dames of America. *19 See Longer note 18: Lexington, Virginia, Blairs. *20 A. M. of Columbia University. *21 Graduated with honor from the College of William and Mary. *22 See Longer note 18: Lexington, Virginia, Blairs. *23 See Longer note 18: Lexington, Virginia, Blairs. Issue:
  1. William Dandridge Alexander Anderson, Jr., died in infancy,
  2. Maude B. Anderson.
  3. Judith Nicoll Anderson,
  4. Ellen Graham Anderson. **24
  5. Mary Elizabeth Blair, second daughter of John Geddes and Sarah Ann Eyre Heron Blair; married Dr. John Brockenbrough Harvie **25 of “Fighting Creek,” Powhatan County, Virginia, and brother of Lewis Edwin Harvie of “Dykeland.” (For issue see Blair-Harvie Family of “Fighting Creek,” page 31.)
  6. James Heron Blair, sixth child and fourth son of John Geddes and Sarah Ann Eyre Heron Blair, born August 27, 1821; married, June 19, 1856, his first cousin, Jane Blair, daughter of Dr. James and Jane Isabella Lesslie Blair; died June 11, 1887. (See D., James Blair Line, page 44.)
  1. Andrew Lesslie Blair, *26
  2. Sarah Eyre Blair, *27
    • Blair, died in infancy,
  3. Rosa Allen Blair, died in infancy,
  4. Jane Isabella Blair.
*24 See Longer note 18: Lexington, Virginia, Blairs. *25 Graduated in Medicine at University of Virginia, but did not practice his profession. *26 Graduate of Virginia Military Institute. Residence, “Summer Hill,” Albemarle County, Virginia, named after the estate of his great-grandfather, John Lesslie, on James River, Chesterfield County. *27 Mrs. Rolfe Eldridge Glover, to whom is dedicated this volume. See Memorial note, page VII.
  1. Andrew Lesslie Blair, married Elizabeth Powell, **28 daughter of John William and Elizabeth Cocke Royall Powell.

Views: 0