Details on the homes and life on the plantations are available in personal journals and letters, court records, newspapers, and folklore. Alexander Brown first published the history of the early Cabells in 1895 in “The Cabells and Their Kin”. The body of information related to the historic Cabell homes has been maintained since the 1990’s by Archer Minardi and provided in the publication “Cabell Family Homes”.

Contributions of Enslaved Persons

From the time Dr. Cabell settled in Nelson County through the first half of the 19th century, the Cabell descendants built homes that reflected their prosperity and positions in the community. The prosperity enjoyed by the Cabell’s on their plantations was in large part due to enslaved persons performing the manual labor associated with running the farm, mills, blacksmiths, boats, and plantation house. By 1780, William Cabell Sr. of Union Hill counted 100 enslaved persons working on his plantation. As the land was divided with each generation and marriage, so was the population of enslaved persons. In 1864, Mayo Cabell of Union Hill counted 31 enslaved persons working on his plantation.

As ongoing research uncovers the names and details of some of these enslaved persons working the Cabell plantations, this information is provided along with architectural, and Cabell family history details for each home.

Map of Cabell Homes

Works Consulted

The following works were used for material on all of the pages of the Cabell Homes

  • Brown, Alexander. The Cabells and their Kin: A Memorial Volume of History, Biography, and Genealogy. Richmond, Va.: Garrett and Massie, Inc., 1939. First published 1895.
  • Cabell, Randolph W. 20th Century Cabells and their Kin. Franklin, N.C.: Genealogy Pub. Service, 1993
  • Minardi, Archer Guy. 18th and 19th Cabell Family Homes. Updated 2022.

Additional Works Consulted

  • Cabell Family Papers, 1727-1875, Accession # 5084, Albert H. and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.
  • Cabell, Randolph W. The Cabells of Union Hill, 1775-1969. Boyce, Va.: R. Cabell, Bookseller, c. 1996.
  • Coincon, J.B. Colonial History of Nelson County, 1734-1807, Amherst Publishing Company. 1959
  • Fall, Ralph Emmet. The Diary of Robert Rose, A View of Virginia by a Scottish Colonial Parson, 1746-1751. McClure Printing Col, Inc. August Heritage Press, Inc., Verona, Va. 1985.
  • Farrar, Emmie F. Old Virginia Houses Along the James. Random House. 1957.
  • Lancaster, Robert A. Historic Virginia Homes and Churches. Philadelphia and London, J. B. Lippincott Company, 1915
  • MacIntosh, Elizabeth Cabell Dugdale. Cabell Footprints in History: Walking in the Footsteps of 18th Century Cabells, 1723-1800, Williamsburg, Yorktown and along the James River. Haverford, Pa.: The Author, c. 2000.
  • Marmon, Lee. The Measure & Mirror of Men, Generations of the Oak Ridge Estate. Warwick House, 1992.
  • Merkel, Kimberly I. “Cabell Family Houses in Nelson County Virginia“. Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Virginia. 1977.
  • Seaman, Catherine Hawes Coleman. Tuckahoes and Cohees: the settlers and cultures of Amherst and Nelson Counties, 1607-1907“, Digitized by the Internet Archives, 2010.