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Blow Family Papers

Identifier: Mss. 65 B63

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

Papers, 1770-1875, of the Blow family of "Tower Hill," Sussex County, Va. and of the Waller family. Prominent correspondents in the collection include Philip Barraud, John Hartwell Cocke, Henry Lee and Edmund Ruffin. Most of these accessions were integrated as the collection was partially processed, but some are boxed separately.

Includes a Blow family scrapbook containing many manuscript items. Collection includes: correspondence of Richard Blow (1746-1833), merchant, who had stores in Virginia and North Carolina; letterbooks, 1770-1813, of Richard Blow; and account books, 1764-1812, of Richard Blow; correspondence of George Blow (1787-1870) and his account book, 1824-1829; correspondence of Doctor Richard Blow (1810-1855) and George Blow, Jr. (1813-1894); correspondence concerning the College of William and Mary, the University of Virginia, and Hampden-Sydney College; a typescript history of "Tower Hill," by William Nivison Blow with pen and ink drawings; medical account books, 1836-1851, of Dr. Richard Blow; and notes, 1810-1815, concerning experimental farming.

The Nottoway Indian deed (indenture) with transcript was separated and is located with oversized items.

The Blow family scrapbook contains miscellaneous items including: deeds, 1738-1745, from the Nottoway Indians; land records; accounts of Richard Blow's stores, obituary and will (copy) of Richard Blow (1746-1833); letters to Richard Blow; and material concerning the 4th Regiment, Virginia Militia; 15th Regiment, Virginia Militia; 3rd Brigade, Virginia Volunteers (Confederate States Army) and Sussex Light Dragoons (Company H, 13th Virginia Cavalry, Confederate States Army).

Some accessions are boxed and labeled separately, but most (particularly the early accessions) have been integrated into the collection.

Blow Family Account Books 1783-1844 are available on 1 reel of microfilm in Swem Library’s microforms area call number 1993.27. Manuscript notes on the Blow family of Virginia also available on 1 reel.


  • Creation: 1613-1960
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1770-1875


Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Family History:

Information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki: .


43.00 Linear Feet



Arrangement of Materials:

The collection is arranged into two Groups [Series]; Group 6 and Group 7. This online aid currently provides a box level inventory for the bulk of the collection (comprising Group [Series] 6).  Items were put into the Blow Family Scrapbook in no apparent order. Additional materials that were received have been placed at the end of the collection. Series 1: Mss 65 B63 is organized into Groups 1-6, with Group 6 making up almost the entire part of this initial accession. Later additions each got their own series.

Physical Characteristics or Technical Requirements:

When available, microfilm, photocopies, digital surrogates, or other reproductions must be used in place of original documents.

Acquisition Information:

Gift of 15,000 items of Mrs. E. T. Jurgeson on 2/18/1949; Gift of 2,399 pieces by Mrs. E.T. Jurgeson 10/2/1950; Gift of 270 items by Mrs. E. T. Jurgeson on 5/23/1960; gift of 159 items by Mrs. E. T. Jurgeson on 12/28/1962; purchase of 1 microfilm item on 10/16/1992; and gift of 20 items by George Blow on 12/2/1999. Accessions include: 1942.40:    Blow Family Papers 1772-1839 (Group I). Mainly letters written between branches of the family in Portsmouth and Sussex County, VA. There are several letters written from W&M.  Gift of Mrs Edward Jeffcott. 1942.55:  Blow Family Papers, Group 2, 1783-1932. Letters and papers of branches of the Blow family in Portsmouth and Sussex County, VA. 712 pieces, 5 mss.  Mrs FS Sargeant. 1948.14:  Fourth group of Blow Papers, 21 pieces 1781-1938 mostly 1820-1850, gift of George W. Blow. 1948.22:  Fifth group of Blow Family papers, mostly genealogical.  Gift of George W. Blow. 1973.47:  Two Blow family account books, 1770 and 1804.,  Deposit by William Cole 1977.18:  Blow Family Papers. A few original documents, xerox copies of genealogical and historical material from notebook of donor's grandfather, George Blow, a few Nelson House newsclippings.  Gift of John Blow. 1983.14:  ALS from Hugh Nelson to Richard Blow, 20 June 1794 & ALS from William Archer to Richard Blow, 17 March 1808.  Gift of John Blow. 1985.45A:  One box of papers of George P. Blow, grandfather of the donor, consisting of US Naval Orders, 1877-1906.  Gift of George Blow. 1986.37:  Papers of George Blow's grandfather, George Preston Blow, US Naval Officer; papers of his father George Waller Blow; early Blow and Waller family material including the seal of Benjamin Waller.  Ca. 100 items.  Gift of George Blow. 1986.38:  Copies of genealogical records relating to the Blows in England, correspondence regarding Blow family lineage in this country, five folders of material relating to George Blow, Jr. military career and judgeship, George Preston Blow, USN, and George Waller Blow, father of the donor.    Gift of George Blow. 1986.42:  One genealogical volume of the Blow Family, including Bible records, sketches, letters, etc., kept by George Blow's grandfather, George Preston Blow.  Gift of George Blow. 1987.14:  About 30 pages of genealogical note on the Blow family tracing their ancestry back to England.  Copies made courtesy of Arthur Freeman. 1987.35:  Copy of typescript history, first chapter of Blow family history by Adele Chatfield-Taylor (aunt of donor).  Gift of George Blow. 1988.01:  One package of Blow family materials including originals and typescripts of a Blow-Indian deed, Civil War letter mentioning balloon trip, Herbert Hoover letter about a visit to York Hall, etc.  Approximately 40 items plus notebook of typescript.  Gift of George Blow. 1989.11:  Log book of donor's grandfather, Lt. George P. Blow, of the steamer Potomac, 8 April - 20 August 1898, en route from Pensacola to Guantanamo Bay to survey two Spanish wrecks.  Gift of David J. Blow. 1989.28:  Twenty-three items, 1613-1939, chiefly English documents, some of which relate to Blows in England.  Gift of Michael Blow. 1990.19:  Deeds to Nelson House in Yorktown; genealogy of the Waller family; the St. Louis Blows; Blow Gym dedication; copy of Marilyn Harper's George Washington Master's re early restoration work in Virginia including York Hall; miscellaneous 20th century Blow papers.  Gift of George Blow. 1990.35:  Three Hays items collected by George Blow including ALS by Harriet E. Schofield to Mrs. Gen. Mays, 29 Dec. 1880; Maj. Gen. Humphreys to Gen. Hays, 12 July 1863; and Gov. Alexander Rich to Mrs. Cornelia G. Hays, 13 Mar. 1878.  Gift of David J. Blow. 1991.04:  Photographs of Allmand Blow, great uncle of donor at the Mattiessen estate near LaSalle, Ill., and yachting on Mobjack Bay near Gloucester, Va.  Gift of David Blow. 1991.08:  One folder of ephemera relating to George Blow's mother's participation in the United Nations Conference on International Organization, San Francisco, 1945, including autographs of delegates, ticket stubs, and visitor's cards(Katharine Cooke Blow was the staff member).  Gift of George Blow. 1991.13:  Two photographs of the donor's father, Richard Blow and nephew of Allmand Blow, brother of George Preston Blow.  Photographs are ca. World War I and early 1970s.  Gift of David J. Blow. 1991.35:  Sixteen copies of Richard Blow letters, slave list, Waller family materical, William N. Blow material. Late 18th and 19 century.  Copies of papers in possession of Eastern State Hospital care of Librarian Blanton McLean.  Not to be quoted from, reproduced, or published without permission of Eastern State.  Gift of Eastern State Hospital through Librarian Blanton McLean. 1991.40:  One annotated typescript of "The Blow Family of Virginia" by the donor's Aunt Adele Chatfield-Taylor with annotations by AC-T.  Gift of George Blow. 1991.41:  One Mac hi-density disk of Blow Family Photo archives.  Includes picture of Col. George Blow, Judge George Blow, etc.  Gift of John Blow. 1991.44:  One master copy and two other copies of William Nivison Blow's History of Tower Hill, input and slightly edited by John Blow.  Discs with pictures included.  Gift of John M. Blow. 1992.06:  Blow papers, 1740's to 1910's, including Richard Blow and Col. George Blow and William Nivison Blow Papers.  Includes three rare letters of Edmund Randolph and essays written at the College of William and Mary in the 1800's.  Gift of Roger Kitchen. 1992.28:  George Blow's certificate as a life member of the Association for Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, 1917; Richard Waller document in medieval Latin, 1425.  Gift of Michael Blow. 1992.29:  One disk of Blow family photos including print-outs of Col. George Blow, age 10; Sir William Waller; Benjamin Waller.  Gift of George Blow. 1992.43:  Bookplate of Benjamin Wall adhered to front cover of missing book; letter of Capt. McKenney to George Blow (1787-1870) re the sale of a ship. N.d. but approximately 1860.  Gift of Michael Blow. 1992.49:  One roll of film of Blow account books, 18th and 19th centuries.  owner of originals: Rod Graves, Luray Valley Farm Museum. 1993.28:  Forty-three typescript pages of early and recent Blow family genealogy.  Gift of John Blow. 1995.42:  ALS of George Blow, Tower Hill, to his daughter Atala re: friends and neighbors and GB's pending trip to Texas.  Purchased from Halvor Americana. 1997.40:  Bound copy of copies of genealogical notes from Blow Family bible (1715).  Gift of John Blow. 1999.55B:  Autograph letters including one letter each by newspaper publisher Robert McCormick, Clare Booth Luce, Hector Bolitho, Comte Phillipe Lafayette, Kitchener, and Virginius Dabney, Robert Kennedy , chiefly to father and donor.  Gift of George Blow. 2010.571:  Correspondence and other related material of the Wheatland Blow family. Gift of Katherine Atkinson Magnuson.

Related Materials:

Richard Blow Papers (Mss. 65 B625), Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.

CDs from this collection have been moved to the Manuscripts Audiovisual Collection.

Mss. 2008.18 Blow Family Genealogy

Separated Materials:

All audiovisual material from this collection has been moved to the Manuscripts Audiovisual Collection.


Guide to the Blow Family papers
Finding Aid Authors: Special Collections Staff.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • May 12th, 2017: Updated in 2010 by Benjamin Bromley.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository