History of the Skinner and Inge families

And their contributions to the founding of

Perseverance and Oakland Christian Churches

Lunenburg County, Virginia

By David Arthur


In the latter part of the 18th century, Samuel Skinner b. 1745 and his wife Ann Pendney b.1740 came to Lunenburg County and purchased land NW of the present day community of Dundas, Va. This land was mostly North of Hwy 137 in the area of Gigg Road and Sugar Hill Road, with Jonesboro Road to the West.

After the arrival of the Skinner Family, Vincent Inge b.1742 and his wife Mary Chandler b.1743 purchased adjoining land to the South of the Skinner Farm, South of Hwy 137 in the area of Gigg Road, Olo Road, and Half Mile Ln.

Both of these couples were my 4th Great-Grandparents.

Both of these families were blessed with many children, and quite a few of the children of the neighboring families married each other.

About a half century later a grandchild of these original immigrants to Lunenburg, Jack Inge b.1810, gave land for the establishment of Perseverance Christian church. The land he gave was a part of the original Skinner land which he obtained through his Mother Nancy Skinner b.1782 who married John Inge b.1774. This land was adjacent to the Skinner Family Cemetery which today is at the SW corner of the intersection of Gigg Road and Sugar Hill Road. The new Church was built at the NW corner of the intersection of Gigg Road and Sugar Hill Road.

My Great-Great-Grandfather Samuel Skinner b.1809, and Jack Inge b.1810, were double-first cousins due to sibling Skinners marrying sibling Inges.

All of my Skinner and Inge ancestors were members of Perseverance Christian Church from its original formation until the establishment of Oakland Christian which was started as a satellite church by Perseverance while the Rev. John P. Givens was pastoring at Perseverance in 1899.

A detailed history of Perseverance Christian Church was recorded in 1930s as a project of the New Deal Program of FDR by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), available at:



Excerpt from the WPA history regarding the establishment of Oakland Christian Church

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Bio of the Rev. John P. Givens


BIRTH 14 SEP 1871 • Simmonsville, Craig, Virginia, USA

DEATH 15 NOV 1944 • Peoria, Woodford, Illinois, USA







Wife - Rosa Hawthorne b.1869 Lunenburg County, VA – Daughter of Caleb Hawthorne
Her father was the Stepson of a Granddaughter of the original Skinner Family, Samuel and Ann.




Aug 26, 1902 • Marion, Indiana

John Paris Givens (1871–1944)




Taken from a handwritten letter from the family of John Paris Givens: "Attended the school near his home until he went to Fair View Academy in September 1887. Entered Milligan College in 1890 and graduated in June 1894 with a A. B. degree."


April 1902 • Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA

Taken from a 1959 handwritten letter from the family of John Paris Givens: "Preached in numerous churches until August 1899 when he entered the University of Chicago. In April 1902, he received a Bachelor of Divinity degree from University of Chicago."

John Paris Givens photo, seated lower right

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As per the oral history relayed to me by my Grandfather, James Overby b. 1894:

His father, David Overby b. 1852, was a native of Dinwiddie County, VA until he first married Mary Elizabeth Moore a native of Lunenburg County. David Overby’s original immigrant ancestor, Nicholas Overby (AKA Overbury) came from England to the area of today’s Petersburg with Colonel Abraham Wood who established Fort Henry in 1654. Many Moore family members attended Perseverance as did David and his wife. After the death of Mary at a young age during childbirth, David remarried to Sarah Skinner the daughter of Samuel Skinner b. 1809. David and Sarah “Sallie” were members of Perseverance and brought their growing family with them up until the establishment of Oakland Church a satellite church of Perseverance. These churches are in the Disciples of Christ denomination. When Oakland was being established David Overby was asked to be a charter member and agreed to do so. He helped build the church and built the wooden pew benches for the church. The family then continued to attend as members there.

My grandfather went to school at Fairview, which was near the present day intersection of Fairview Road and Longview Road. He and his siblings of course had to walk to school which was about 3-4 miles. He said at that time there was a road from near Brickland, directly to Fairview, this road no longer exists and he also said that was before they started Kenbridge and there was no road where 138 now exists from Brickland to present day Kenbridge. He said the original town was near where Perseverance Church is now. When the Norfolk and Western Rail Road laid track through this area they put a depot on the rail line at what is now Kenbridge, so the “town”, (Community known as “Chinquapin Grove”) consisting of a few store building was moved to the present day site of Kenbridge. He related that the few buildings, a store and blacksmith shop, repair shop, etc, were de-constructed and the building materials were taken to the present site of Kenbridge and re-constructed.

My Grandfather’s account of the Skinner Family Cemetery - This cemetery pre-dates the establishment of Perseverance Church which stands across Sugar Hill Road. This cemetery originally encompassed an additional area to the Southwest of the current established boundary. This additional area had no inscribed headstones, only field stone markers, and was overgrown with trees/vegetation. In the early 1900s this area was returned to agricultural production by the adjacent landowner at that time. The Northwestern most grave with an inscribed headstone at that time was the grave of Sidney Skinner died 1908. The current Southwestern boundary was established to include the row of graves with Sidney Skinner and those rows to the Northeast of that row. Sidney Skinner is the son of Samuel Skinner born 1809 and his first wife - Elizabeth ?.


Read more of my Grandfather’s oral history at: