Unidentified Wiki

Virginia Stafford is the pseudonym used by a woman who died at a dance party in Harrodsburg, Kentucky in 1840. She is locally known as The Dancing Lady of Harrodsburg.

Her remains are being considered for exhumation to identify her cause of death and identity through genetic genealogy.

Othram Inc. is involved in the case.


A young woman believed to be in her early twenties checked into the Graham Springs Hotel in Harrodsburg, Kentucky in 1840 under the name Virginia Stafford. She danced for much of the night in the ballroom until dying in the arms of a dance partner. Hotel staff later found out her name had been a pseudonym. She claimed to be a daughter of a judge from Louisville. There was a judge with such a surname but he did not have a daughter named Virginia. Many years later a man from Tazewell, Tennessee named Joe Sewell claimed this was his wife, Molly Black Sewell. Subsequent discoveries, including a letter from the 1860s addressed to a Mollie Sewell from the same town, have put this theory in doubt.