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Col David Jeremiah Godwin
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Birth: 1829
Virginia, USA
Death: Jan. 19, 1890
District Of Columbia, USA

Veteran: Civil War (CSA)

h/o 1st Lucrece P Wilson, 2nd Mary Elizabeth Parker.

Birth: 3rd of mother's three known children, 6th of father's six in Nansemond county, Virginia.

View GODWIN history.

View his father's ancestry.

Came from a long line of Virginia Godwins, Father born 2 February 1793, a veteran of the War of 1812, with mother drawing his pension, grandfather Jeremiah,jr born 2 February 1766, two days later his mother, Mary Holladay, died, she, first of at least four wives of Jeremiah Sr, who was son of Thomas, III that married 1st cousin Mary Godwin (d/o Captain Edmund Godwin & Sarah Bembridge), --- he son of Colonel Thomas Godwin II, married to Martha, daughter of Colonel Joseph Bridger of Isle of Wight, and is said to have been Speaker of the House of Burgess during Nathaniel Bacon's Rebellion of 1676, who in turn was son of Captain Thomas Godwin, the original emigrant mid-seventeenth century to Upper Norfolk, later Nansemond, the ancestor of the Godwins of Nansemond county, reportedly was (or son Thomas II) justice, coroner and Colonel Commandant of Nansemond county and had represented Nansemond county in the House of Burgess in 1652, 1654 & possibly other years.

The 1674 (2 Hening,318) act, ascertaining the bounds of counties of Isle of Wight and Nansemond, he is designated as "an ancient inhabitant of Nanzemond Countie Court" -- the act directed that the boundary line should be so run as to leave the house and cleared land of Capt. Thomas Godwin ("Old Castle", within Nansemond county. His will is dated March 24th, 1676-7. Most all of above is from S. Bassett French's (1820-1898) Biographical Sketches published in Virginia Historical Magazine, Notes and Queries, Volume 17, pages 96-98, [with incorrect spelling of names] much confirmed with Thomas Hume Papers, summary, #3239 of the University of North Carolina, pages 1-7, dated 2/18/05 and by descendant Barbara of Houston, Texas. Another source said; Captain Thomas Godwin emigrated to Nansemond county when it was known as "Upper Norfolk", then "Nandsamund" in mid-seventeenth century!

Census: 1830, age under 5, Nansemond county, Virginia with parents, five siblings and ten slaves.

Census: 1850, age 21, Nansemond county, in a hotel operated by brother-in-law, with widowed mother, blind cousin, one sibling, he a law student.

Law partner for over twenty-five years, starting 1856, with Judge James Francis Crocker, a close friend to David's second cousin Thomas Roscius Borland once the United States Attorney for Eastern Virginia, whose sister, Harriott Godwin Borland lived in his household in 1870, then married Thomas Washington Smith of Suffolk ~ he partnered with his son then became judge of the corporation court of Norfolk City, state legislator; lost a race for United States Congress in 1869 and the Virginia Supreme Court, removed to Washington D C in 1889 to a position in the General Land Office, died Jan 1890, and was once associated with Rev Thomas Hume.

Census: 1860, age 27 Portsmouth, Virginia with wife, one child and blind cousin, a lawyer worth $9,300 real estate & $8,000 personal, listed following wife's sister and hubby, Dr James Gregory Hodges' family.

Militarily, beginning as a Lt Col, first in the 3rd Virginia Volunteers with neighbor, his wife's brother-in-law, Col James Gregory Hodges in command with a Maj Wm C Wingfield who ended under Gen William Mahone when David went with the 14th Virginia Infantry under Col Hodges, 17 May 1861.

On morning of April 21st, 1861, Col. Hodges, with Lt Col Godwin, under order of Gen. William B. Taliaferro, entered the navy yard to take charge, to restore order and to protect what was left and to turn the yard over to the state of Virginia.

August 7th, 1861, Gen. John B Magruder ordered to his command two other infantry companies and two companies of cavalry, then directed Hodges to proceed to Hampton and destroy the town. In Hodges' account of his expedition to his wife, to wit:

"It grieved me sorely to have to destroy the town, but I believe it is all for the best, as it embarrasses the enemy very much and takes from them elegant winter quarters whilst our troops will have to suffer in log huts and tents. I went into many houses which formerly had been well taken care of; the furniture was broken to pieces and scattered all through the houses. They were filled with filth of every description, and most obscene expressions written all over the walls. If I had lived and owned a house there I would willingly have applied the torch to it rather than have had it desecrated in the way the whole town had been."

David became a full Colonel in command of the 9th Virginia Infantry being wounded in battle at Seven Pines 30 OCT 1862, resigned due to injuries and joined the Invalid Corps.

The first commander of the 9th Virginia was Colonel Francis Henry Smith of Norfolk, Virginia. He was appointed July 7, 1861. Not only was he a graduate of West Point, he was also the first superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). Subsequent commanders of the 9th Virginia were Col. David Jeremiah Godwin [20 MAY 1861] who was wounded [30 OCT 1862] and later reassigned; Lt. Col. James Skelton Gilliam (1862-1863); Col. James Jasper Phillips (1863-1865), captured on April 6; and Capt. John Parke Wilson, Jr., commanding at Appomattox.

David was a nephew to Harriott (Godwin) Borland whose grandson, Thomas Roscius Borland served under him in the 9th Virginia Infantry as an enlisted man. He was also a first cousin to her sons, attorney Cicero, Dr Euclid and U S Senator Solon of Arkansas.

Census: 1870, age 39(sic) Portsmouth, Virginia with wife, second cousin Harriott who married Thomas Washington Smith that October, & four children, a lawyer with $25,000 real estate & $8,000 personal.

~ SOURCE of following: City Directories, dating 1869 through 1889, of his livelihood and residence

1869 & '70 - Law firm Godwin & Crocker, at 21 west Main street.

1874-'77 - Law firm Godwin & Crocker, at Court near High.

1880 - Law firm Godwin & Crocker, at 6 & 8 Bank.

1883 - Judge corporation court, City Hall and Superintendent, Christian Brotherhood, resides 117 York street.

1885 - Law firm D J & G W Godwin (son George W Godwin), 125 Main street, resides 117 York street.

1886 - Law firm D J & G W Godwin, 125 Main street, boards at Purcell.

1888 - Law firm, D J & G W Godwin, Virginian building, resides 138 Boush street.

1889 - Law firm D J & G W Godwin, room 8, Virginian building, resides 138 Boush street.

1889 - Removed to 929 New Hampshire avenue, northwest, Washington D C (clerk with General Land Office), where he died January 1890.

His first born son became his law partner in Norfolk following his long partnership with judge Parker.

First born son in second marriage, became a Lt Colonel in the army spending many years in the Panama Canal Zone having one known child. He and family are buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, Los Angeles county, California,

Other son in second marriage, David Parker Godwin, was, the chief of fire control for the United States Forest Service who fathered the smoke-jumping operations in late 1930's, was killed in the: June 13, 1947 - Pennsylvania-Central Airlines' Flight 410, NC 88842, crash near a point known as Lookout Rock, West Virginia, approximately 8 miles Southeast of Charles Town, West Virginia, while en route from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Washington, D C. All 50 occupants of the aircraft were killed at impact and the Douglas DC-4 was demolished as a result of the crash and subsequent fire. His wife was an extremely talented writer with many of her stories used on the big screen as movies, some by the best known directors and most popular actors, such as, Reap The Wild Wind, and The Forest Rangers to name but two.

Death: at his home in Washington D C.


Washington Post
January 20, 1890

"GODWIN Died at his residence, 929 New Hampshire avenue, in this city, January 19, 1890, Judge DAVID J. GODWIN, of Norfolk, Va."

Father: Maj David Godwin b: 2 FEB 1793 Nansemond county, Virginia.
Mother: Charity "Cherry" G Kelly b: JUL 1803 Virginia.

Marriage 1: Lucrece P Wilson b: 1835 Portsmouth, Norfolk county, Virginia.
Married: around 1856 likely (?) in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Known Children

George W (Wilson?) Godwin b: about 1859 Portsmouth. Virginia.

Ellen Keeling Godwin b: 26 OCT 1860 Portsmouth, Virginia.

Lucrece Wilson Godwin b: about 1864 Portsmouth, Virginia.

Harriott Godwin b: about 1867 Portsmouth, Virginia.

Mary F Godwin b: about 1869 Portsmouth, Virginia.

Sussie Godwin b: about 1871 Portsmouth, Virginia.

NOTE: From Bruce S Allardice, 11-15-2012, to wit: I've done further research using newly available sources. David's 2nd wife's name was Mary Elizabeth Parker, of Charleston, SC. They had at least two sons: Colonel Harold O. Godwin of the US Army; and David Parker Godwin (7-24-1887 6-13-1947), a government official whose wife Thelma Strable (1900-59) wrote the screenplay for the movie Reap the Wild Wind.

Marriage 2: Mary Leize Parker b: 17 NOV 1860 South Carolina.
Married: around 1883, location currently unknown, (?) in Portsmouth or Norfolk, Virginia or maybe in South Carolina.

Known Children

Harold Ogier Godwin b: 18 APR 1884 South Carolina.

David Parker Godwin b: 24 JUL 1887 Portsmouth Virginia.

Leize Rutledge Godwin b: 10 FEB 1889 Portsmouth, Virginia.

Augustus D B Godwin is buried in the plot. He may have been born either 1832 or 1838 in Nansemnd county, Vrginia, and might (?) be a brother or cousin.

SOURCES, in part:
John Bennett Boddie's "Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County Virginia", Chapter XXV on the Godwin Family by Mildred M Holladay, pages 485 & 486.
Family History: Virginia Genealogies #1, pre-1600 to 1900s
Genealogies of Virginia Families III, Fl-Ha
Bruce S Allardice's, "Confederate Colonels: A Biographical Register" - Page 166 .

~ Transferred and revised November 2012 ~
Family links: 
  David Godwin (1793 - 1841)
  Charity C. Kelly Godwin (1803 - 1883)
  Lucrece P Wilson Godwin (1835 - ____)
  Mary Elizabeth Parker Godwin (1860 - 1943)
  George W Godwin (1859 - 1894)*
  Ellen Keeling Godwin (1860 - 1867)*
  Susie W Godwin (1871 - 1892)*
  Harold Ogier Godwin (1884 - 1966)*
  David Parker Godwin (1887 - 1947)*
  Georgeanna Catherine Godwin McGuire (1822 - 1892)*
  Almira Wilkinson Godwin (1827 - 1885)*
  David Jeremiah Godwin (1829 - 1890)
*Calculated relationship
Cedar Grove Cemetery
Portsmouth City
Virginia, USA
Plot: 2-082
Maintained by: Bill
Originally Created by: Mike Cooper
Record added: May 28, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 37650625
Col David Jeremiah Godwin
Added by: Steve Poole
Col David Jeremiah Godwin
Added by: Bill
Col David Jeremiah Godwin
Cemetery Photo
Added by: James L. Gorham, HMC USN(Ret.)
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- bill
 Added: Nov. 11, 2012

- David Godwin
 Added: Apr. 6, 2010

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