I have been looking for 2 years for the parents of:

James Henry Posey Birth: 12 Sept 1831 St. Mary's Maryland, United States Death: 24 April 1914 Alexandria, Fairfax, Virginia, United States

I have found several sources for him, but no birth records. My grandmother told me that he was raised in an orphanage. I also see that the St. Mary's courthouse was burned about the time of his birth.

  • To attract potential answerers to your question perhaps you can include more details (preferably with sources) to the events you have uncovered for James after his birth. Do any of those refer to any siblings for him?
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 5:43

2 Answers 2


The courthouse was burned down by John Price Posey after he escaped from jail on July 12, 1787, On July 15, 1787, he and an accomplice, Thomas Green, returned to the jail with two slaves called Sawney and Hercules. The four men set fire to the jail, went two miles up the road and then set the county clerk's office on fire. It burned to the ground and all county records stored within were destroyed. A trove of invaluable colonial-era records for three counties were destroyed. On January 25, 1788, John Price Posey was hanged on Richmond's gallows for the crime of arson. The slave Hercules was returned to Posey's brother-in-law, then sold to Mount Vernon and became Washington's personal chef.

  • This is a lot of interesting details, but how does it relate to the question raised? Is John Price the father of said James Henry?
    – jadepx
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 20:56
  • Do you have sources for these statements?
    – shoover
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 22:13

The death record from Ancestry (1) gives his father's name as Richard Posey of Maryland.

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(1) https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9278/images/43004_162028006073_0037-00116?treeid=&personid=&hintid=&queryId=5ae3fc0d27e63dda4584f1b903db932a&usePUB=true&_phsrc=CsX13895&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&pId=541349

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