April 29, 2017

Datestones, Marriage Stones and Lintels – Poindexter

Several years ago when I was researching my Poindexter family the lineage took me back to their origins on the Isle of Jersey to some very early years. With those early years came very early customs, some of which were stones for their houses.

Identification Stones



On the page where I obtained this image the caption reads:

IPD ETZ 1817 Les Côtils, Rue des Côtils (St H);
Jean Poingdestre & Elizabeth Touzel. (see more here).

I’m not referring to stones that you would use to build houses, but ones to identify who resides there. There are different types of these stones. Some are called datestones because they might be indicating the date that the family moved into a home, or when the couple residing within were married. In the case of the stone pictured above, it was when the new house was done after there had been a fire. (I especially like the entwined hearts between the initials of the residents!).

I’ve found a very delightful website called The Jersey Datestones Project that gives examples of stones from the Isle of Jersey, the birthplace of my ancestor immigrant George Poindexter (Poingdestre) and one of his family, Jean Poingdestre and his wife Elizabeth Touzel. At this writing I’m making a guess that the page referred to was authored by Alex Glendinning.

Lintel Stones

You’ve probably seen a lintel stone over doorways many times, but may not have known their technical name. In modern times they can be plain, with no writing on them at all. They may serve a structural purpose, or also denote the establishment of the family residency in the home.


Lintel of the entry of a building in Paris, wi...


Do you have a lintel stone or datestone on your home?



The Poindexter Connection

In 1994, as I was just getting started with my own family genealogy, one of my cousins in Missouri told me that she was in the DAR through an ancestor named James Harrison, and that I would be able to join that prestigious society through my relation to the same man.

As it turned out, that wasn’t true, and I ended up having the unpleasant task of telling my cousin Allene that her James Harrison’s patriot service in the Revolutionary War was now in question unless someone could provide more substantial proof of his service.

Young novice that I was, I was not going to give up on finding a patriot within my family lines, and so my research eventually brought me to look at another branch of my grandmother Minnie’s family, the Smiths. Now, isn’t that a dandy family surname to research? I already had some of that family information, and as more and more records for documentation were available online, I found that my Great-great-great Grandmother’s maiden name might have been Poindexter.

Up till then, the only Poindexter I had ever heard of was John Poindexter who is now mostly connected with the Iran-Contra affair. My connection to the family goes back in another direction, but I have to admit, any Poindexter in the USA is probably a cousin to me. Even ol’ John. In the 1970’s, when my elderly cousins were gathering their documentation in order to join the newly chartered Ozark Springs Chapter of the DAR, they had typed up and had printed some copies of a small family history of each branch they were related to, they were speaking in first person accounts of the people they had known and grown up with. Even though I had to go back and document each person, I found that for the most part they were right about names, dates and locations. There was only one surname that turned out to be incorrect, but that will be told in a later story about the “Osgatharps”.

In 1995 I purchased a book entitled The Poindexter Family History Book, 4th Edition, that was written by Dorothy Brown and Nealon Agee. Page 319 reads: VI. Miriam (or Mirian) Poindexter was born 4 March 1813 and died 24 July 1862. she married Rev. Charles Wesley Smith who was born 15 Feb. 1810. They were married on the 23rd of August 1829. From that point on, the research had already been done for me by Dorothy and I was to find that my ancestor was George Poingdestre, who arrived in the Colony of Virginia in 1657 from the Isle of Jersey (Channel Islands), off the coast of Normandy. George is my 8th Great Grandfather.

George Poindexter/Poingdestre home built circa 1685

The above picture is from the Poindexter Descendant’s Association website and is the best photo I have yet to see of the home built by George Poindexter circa 1685 in Virginia. For more in-depth information on the Poindexter Family Association (including the family reunion slated for June 12-15, 2008 near Williamsburg, VA) please visit the link to the site included here.