On-going research:

•poorhouses and paupers

•enslaved communities and their descendants

•historic graveyards and cemeteries

•Virginia’s role in World War I

•the role of public history in higher education and our communities

Dr. Rainville is currently the Director of Institutional History and the Museums at Washington and Lee University and only working on a limited number of outside projects.

Please view the entries in her blog for suggestions on how to locate historic graveyards, identify descendants of enslaved families, find World War I memorials in Virginia, and other related topics.


One thought on “Projects

  1. Neva says:


    I just finished reading your book “Hidden Histories.” It’s very informative and thank you for your effort to uncover this part of American history.

    There is an African-American cemetery in Gladys, Campbell County behind the Organ Chapel CME Church. My 3rd great-aunt Sarilda Hoyle née Dean (Jan. 8, 1858 – Jul. 5, 1882) is buried under a tree. She has an impressive tall headstone. Her name is spelled “Larilda” because I guess “L” was used for “S” during the era.

    Her sister-in-law, Ella Hoyle Dean and her toddler Samuel Dean are also buried there also. Ella married Sarilda’s brother Yuille and Sarilda married Ella’s brother Jack (John).

    The church is still active and according to Find-a-Grave there havE been burials there recently.

    I cannot find information about the origin of the church or when the first burials took place. Sarilda was born free, but I’m not sure about the Hoyles. I know that Ella’s and Jack’s parents are John and Anne. Anne was born a “Payne” and there are Paynes buried in the cemetery also.

    There was a slave holding family of Organs and also a free people of color family of Organs. There are many marriages between the church African-American Deans and Organs.

    I’m not sure what happened between 1880 & 1900 due to the 1890 census burning. However, it appears that Campbell County began to segregate between those years. Many Blacks began to move to the Altavista area (even Yuille & Anne Hoyle) and family members began to be buried in different cemeteries closer to where they lived,

    Sorry about writing so much. I just wanted you to know about the cemetery and a little background about buried there.



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