The Good Servant of Governor YeardleyThomas Dunn came to Virginia when he was sixteen years old at the servant of Sir George Yeardley, Knight, Governor and Captain-General of Virginia. He was listed on the Muster of persons residing at Flower Dieu Hundred in 1623, being situated on the south side of the James River and being part of the Weyanoke Plantation, the home of Governor Yeardley. The home was on the border of Charles City County, later Surry County. Dunn must have earned good standing with his betters, because when Robert Burgess died in 1683, he left his land to Thomas Dunn, the son of John Dunn Sr. of Surry County. Later, in 1700, Thomas Dunn of Martins Brandon Parish in Charles City County, planter, sold this same land given to him by Burgess. List of Traced Virginia Families on this website
Burdensome Taxes Fixed on ColonistsIf you resided in the Virginia colony in the 17th century, you were not exempted from the taxation of the English lords. Here is but one burdensome tax. The remuneration of each person conveying the tobacco of others in his sloop or shallow to Jamestown was fixed at ten pounds (per thousand), and the owner of the storehouse in which it was deposited was to receive six pounds of the same proportion. After the statute became law, however, colonists found a way around it. The planter rolled his tobacco on board the merchantman at his wharf, or transported it in a sloop of his own to a point where the vessel was lying. Since all of the work was provided by his own men, no expense was incurred. If such a tax were imposed during low prices for tobacco, it would have been intolerable.
A Good Marriage Brings ProsperityWhen John Carter married Elizabeth Hill, the daughter of William Hill I who established Shirley plantation in 1613, he inherited thousands of acres of land in Charles City County and build the manor house ca 1723, a tradition of many generations followed. Today, the manor is on exhibit to the public and features many of its original furnishings, which is unusual for an estate that old. John Carter accumulated other plantations in Richmond, Westmoreland, Lancaster, King William, Hanover, Fauquier and Caroline Counties which were passed down to Charles Carter. When Charles Carter died, he mentioned "Nanty Parson" plantation in Lancaster County and "Pampatike" plantation in King William County. His last will and testament gave precise bequests, assuring that Shirley Plantation would remain in the family. Marriage Contracts and Deeds of Gift Settlers to Jamestown Purchased Wives Child in Esse Marriage Records available to Members of Virginia Pioneers
The Library of William Byrd at WestoverWilliam Byrd was known as one of the most eminent men of affairs in Old Virginia. His father came to Virginia a few years before the Rebellion of Nathaniel Bacon, and bought the famous estate of Westover on the James River and in Charles City County. For anyone who has visited this old plantation, it yet stands in its magnificence amongst a flora of English holly bushes. Colonel Byrd inherited a vast estate from his uncle which included the present site of Richmond. He sympathized strongly with his neighbor, Nathaniel Bacon, and held a command under him; but after the collapse of the rebellion he succeeded in making his peace with the angry Royal Governor Berkeley. Byrd soon became one of the most important men in the colony, and was commissioned receiver-general of the royal revenues. Upon his death in 1704, his son succeeded him in this office. The son studied law in the Middle Temple and was made a fellow of the Royal Society. Also, he served on the Colonial Council for many years. He lived in the gracious splendor of his estate of Westover where it was known that he accumulated a library. The library contained 3,625 volumes, classified nearly as follows: History, 700; Classics, etc., 650; French, 550; Law, 350; Divinity, 300; Medicine, 200; 245 Scientific, 225; Entertaining, etc., 650.229. This must have been one of the largest collections of books made in the colonial period. In 1727 he was one of the commissioners for determining the boundary between Virginia and North Carolina. In the journeys connected with that work he selected the sites where the towns of Richmond and Petersburg were afterwards built; and he wrote a narrative of his proceedings so full of keen observations on the people and times as to make it an extremely valuable contribution to history.
The Diary of William Byrd IIWilliam Byrd II, born 1674, died 1744, was an English planter and author from Charles City County in colonial Virginia. After the death of his father in 1704, William became the owner of Westover plantation. Some of the shipbuilding at Westover on the James River is recorded in his diary. In July 1709, Byrd wrote: "I sent the boatmaker to Falling Creek to build me a little boat for my sea sloop." Two days later he wrote: "I sent Tom to Williamsburg for John B-r-d to work on my sloop." Later in the month, he noted that John B-r-d had come in the night to work on his sloop. In November, he wrote: "In the afternoon we paid a visit to Mr. Hamilton who lives across the creek. We walked about his plantation and saw a pretty shallop he was building." In August, 1710,he wrote that he had taken a walk to see the boatbuilder at work. On August 9, he wrote that he had paid the builder of his sloop sixty pounds, which was twenty pounds more than he had agreed for. Later in the year, he noted that his sloop had gone down to the shipyard at Swinyards. Byrd acquired a new shipwright who came from England on the ship "Betty" in 1711. In March, he wrote that the new shipwright was offended because he had been given corn pone instead of English bread for breakfast. He had taken his horse and ridden away without a word. However, he reported later that the shipwright had returned. On May 15, 1712, Byrd reported that he had engaged Mr. T-r-t-n to build him a sloop next year. Several years later, he recorded the loss of his great flat boat, but it was found by a man at Swinyards. Swinyards was a place for public warehouses and a shipyard, located on the north bank of the James River, a short distance below Westover, opposite Windmill Point. Source: Shipping In Colonial Virginia by Cerinda W. Evans.
French Privateers on the High SeasA bermuda-sloop which was used by the Royal Navy during the 1800s. As early as the 15th century privateering was commonplace and troublesome. Trade was always controversial subject on the high seas, and countries such as Spain and France employed privateers to capture treasure. They were given letters of marque which empowered them to use hostile actions towards foreign vessels, as though they were at war. They owed their allegiance to the country which hired them and would be prosecuted, even hanged, should they not return with treasure within two years or so. Actually vessels which were captured were subject to condemnation and sale under prize law, with the proceeds divided between the private sponsors. On 22 August 1804 French privateers captured His Majesty's sloop "Lilly. " For this time period, the Royal Navy employed the Bermuda sloop as a cruiser against French privateers, slavers, and smugglers, and also as its standard advice vessels. A gaff rig, it was constructed with three masts and required large, experienced crews. It carried aboard communications and important persons, and performed reconnaissance duties for the fleets. A rare list of the officers of this captured vessel is included in the collections of "Genealogy Vault." The "Lilly" must have been sold accordingly, and its log containing the list of officers taken. A find such as this is very rare, and is available to members in the "genealogy vault" of Georgia Pioneers
Berkley, the Plantation of Benjamin HarrisonAt Berkeley, a neighboring plantation on the James River, owned by Benjamin Harrison, there were extensive merchant mills and a large shipyard where vessels were built for the plantation. On October 20, 1768, there appeared a for-sale advertisement in the "Virginia Gazette": "A double decked vessel of 110 tons on the stocks at Berkeley Shipyard, built to carry a great burden, and esteemed a very fine vessel." Two years later, John Hatley Norton and a Mr. Coutts were negotiating with Colonel Harrison for the purchase of the ship "Botetourt" built there for which they offered 1100 pounds sterling. "She is as stout a ship as was ever built in America, and we expect will carry 380 hogsheads of tobacco," wrote Mr. Norton. Source: Shipping In Colonial Virginia by Cerinda W. Evans.
Some Virginia Shipwrights and Orphan BoysDuring the early years, vessels of three hundred tons and over were being built in Virginia. It is evident that many of the shipwrights who transported to Virginia from England found that the life of a planter was more desirable than that of a shipbuilder. However, there were some immigrants who built ships on their plantations. Adam Dixon, who resided at Pashbehays near Jamestown in 1624, came over in the "Margaret and John", was sent by the Company as a master calker of ships and boats. On March 31, 1626 when Thomas Munn appeared before the Council and the General Court of Virginia and swore that he was directed by Captain Barwick to make a small shallop and that afterwards this boat was sold to Captain William Eppes for two hundred pounds of tobacco. Further that upon the death of Captain Barwick, Munn had delivered to George Sandys, Treasurer, a list of debts owing, and this debt had never been paid. As the years went by, a number of shipwrights came to the colony and were engaged in private shipyards on plantations, or they set up shipyards of their own. Orphan boys were sometimes apprenticed to these shipbuilders until they reached the age of twenty-one wherein they were expected to be taught to read, write and cipher in addition to learning the trade of ship-carpenter. Many of the shipwrights who came to Virginia during the seventeenth century, became land owners, some of them owning large tracts of land, as shown by county records, especially in the Tidewater area. In Lancaster on the Rappahannock River, John Meredith, a shipwright, obtained, by patent, a tract of fifty acres. His sale of 600 acres is recorded, also a contract to build a sloop and a small boat, in payment of a debt of 47,300 pounds of tobacco. In Rappahannock County records, we find shipwright Simon Miller, a noted shipbuilder, who owned a tract of 125 acres; and John Griffin, a shipwright, who, in 1684, recorded a deed to Colonel Cadwalader Jones for a bark of fifty odd tons, for the consideration of fifty pounds sterling. Source: Shipping In Colonial Virginia by Cerinda W. Evans.
Wynne of VirginiaOne of the oldest families in Virginia during colonial days is traced to Robert Wynne, born ca 1563, Mayor in Salop, England. The genealogy is available to members in the "genealogy vault" of Georgia Pioneers
Henry BatteThere were gentlemen of means who emigrated to Virginia. One such man was Henry Batte who came from Birstall, Yorkshire, England and served on the Virginia Assembly from 1685 to 1686. Henry and Thomas Batte were granted 5,878 acres in Charles City County. Such a land grant was the responsibility of noble families to distribute and settle the land to motivated individuals.
Indian FieldsThis place in Charles City County known as"Indian Fields" was, as it name suggests, an open space formerly cultivated by red men. In 1763, it was owned by Francis Hardiman who, several years later, bequeathed to his son, John Hardiman. The field consisted of 600 acres. Francis Hardiman was the son of Lieutenant-Colonel John Hardiman who died in the colony ca 1741.
During Virginia's Long ParliamentColonel Robert Wynne of Canterbury, England served as a representative for Charles City County from 1657 to 1660. He was part of the "Long Parliament" of Virginia from 1661 to 1674, serving as Speaker of the House. At the time, he served longer than any Virginian. He was buried in the churchyard of Jordan's Parish.
Charles City County, Virginia Genealogy, Wills, Estates, Marriages
Shirley Plantation, home of Charles Carter.
Charles City County was named after the son of King James who later became King Charles I of England. It was one of four boroughs created by the Virginia Company in 1619. Westover Plantation was built about 1730 by William Byrd II, founder of Richmond and Petersburg, and features English box woods and colonial gardens; open to the public. Other plantations located in this county go along the James River, viz: Shirley Plantation, Berkeley Plantation, Westover Plantation, Sherwood Forest Plantation, and Greenway Plantation. Charles City is the county seat. The Carter wills of Shirley Plantation and Ladd wills are available on this website as well as many other famous Virginians who resided in this county. Anyone searching for their ancestors in Charles City County will no doubt run across the famous families who built the wealthy plantations and generated the local economy.
Charles City County Wills, Estates, Marriages available to members of Virginia Pioneers
- Marriages to 1699
- Byrd, William, LWT (1700)
- Byrd, William, LWT (1774)
- Clay, John, LWT (transcript)
- England, Francis, LWT (transcript)
- Gregory, John, Jr., LWT (transcript)
- Harrison, Benjamin, LWT (transcript)
- Izard, Rebecca, LWT (transcript)
- Munford, Robert, LWT (transcript)
- Munford, William, LWT (transcript)
- Rogers, John, LWT, transcript
Tyler, John, LWT (transcript
Digital Images of Wills and Estates 1655 to 1656
Digital Images of Wills and Estates 1689 to 1690
Digital Images of Wills and Estates 1724 to 1731
Digital Images of Wills and Estates 1766 tp 1774(names of testators of above records not provided due to lack of space)
Digital Images of Wills 1789 to 1808Names: Testators: Anderson, David Austin, William Ballard, Thomas Ballard, William Bartow, James Bates, James Beeck, Benjamin Benford, John Benge, James Berkley, Benjamin Binns, Mary Blanks, Elizabeth Blanks, James Blanks, John Bradley, Dancy Bradley, James Bradley, Joseph Brown, Abraham Brown, Sarah Bullifont, James Burton, Elizabeth Burton, William Carter, Charles of Shirley Plantation Carter, Mildred Carter, Robert Cary, Robert Charles, Lydia Charles, Phillip Charles, Willis Sr. Christian, Gideon Christian, William Clarke, Sarah Cocke, Jane Crew, Benjamin Crew, Benjamin (2) Crew, John Drake, Robert Drinkard, William Durfey, Francis Durfey, Samuel Duke, Henry Edmondson, Elizabeth Edmondson, Margaret Edward, William Finch, Ann Finch, Edward Finch, Elizabeth Folkes, William Fry, Robert Gill, Ingraham Gilliam, Ann Graves, William Griffith, Thomas Hardyman, Littlebury Harris, Frances or Francis Harris, James Harrison, Benjamin Jr. Harrison, James Harwood, William Hogg, Jessey Hurt, James Irby, Hardyman Irby, John Johnson, Jacob Knibb, John Lacy, Henry Ladd, Amos Ladd, Anna Ladd,James Ladd, William Lyon, Daniel Major, Martha Manable, Edward McBrown, Allen Merry, David Minge, Ann Shields Mountcastle, Joseph Munford, Robert Murrell, Thomas New, Richard Oley, William Parrish, Elizabeth Pavely, John Perry, Littleberry Phillips, Elizabeth Quick, Henry Randolph, William Sr. Roach, James Russell, Edward Southall, Henry Southall, James Spraggins, Elizabeth Spraggins, Thomas Stagg, Thomas Sr. Vaughan, William Shields Walker, Rebecca Walker, Richardson Wilkinson, David Willcox, Hannah Williams, Brazure Williamson, Frances Willis, Eady
Digital Images of Wills 1808 to 1824Names: Testators: Adams, John ;Apperson, Martha ;Ballard, John; Barrow, Philip; Bates, James Sr. ;Blanks, Thomas; Bradley, Benjamin; Bradley, John ;Bradley, Marston; Bradley, Thomas; Bradley, William ; Brewer, Eleanor ;Brown, Dixon;Byrd, Ann Willing ;Byrd, Mary ; Carter, Anne ;Cary, David ;Christian, John; Christian, Susanna; Christian, William ;Cole, Major ;Cole, Tally ;Coupland, Ann; Cowles, Nathaniel; Crew, Jacob ;Crew, John Sr. ;Demville, Elizabeth ; Dixon, Ann ;Dixon, Anthony Tucker; Edloe, Ann ;Egmon, Cornelius; Egmon, Frances ;Emery, Mary ;Evans, Robert; Ferrel, Caleb ;Filbales, John ; Finch, Richmond; Folkes, Catherine; Fry, Elizabeth ;Gannaway, Thomas; Gill, Thomas ;Gill, William ;Gilliam, Jeffery; Glidewell, Drury; Gregory, Elley ; Griffith, Amy ;Griffith, William; Hadin, Lucretia ;Hamblett, George; Hamblett, Thomas; Harrison, Braxton; Harrison, Collier ;Harwood, Elizabeth; Howell, William ;Hughes, Jeremiah; Irby, Francis Irby, Littleberry; Ireland, John ; Kirby, Sarah ;Ladd, James D.; Ladd, Jesse ;Ladd, John ;Ladd, Joseph; Lightfoot, Philip I.; Lightfoot, William ;Maddox, Michael ;Major, Edward ; Major, John ;Mannin, John; Miles, Richard; Minge, George William Hunt; Moody, Matthew ;Mountcastle, Elizabeth; Murrell, William M. ; Nance, William ;Nelson, William ;New, Jesse ;New, Sally ;Philbales, Mary; Raglin, Richard ;Roper, David ;Ross, Ann ;Royall, John; Royall, William ; Snipes, John ;Southall, Ann ;Southall, Philip; Southall, William; Towler, Luke ;Trappell, Martha; Tyler, John ;Vaughan, Henry; Vaughan, James ; Vaughan, Sarah ;Warden, Joseph ;Whitt, Isham ;Wilkinson, Thomas; Wills, John ;Winston, Susanna
Indexes to Probate Records
- Wills and Deeds 1655 to 1656
- Inventories and Guardian Accounts 1789 to 1808
- Wills and Inventories 1808 to 1824
- Orders 1650; 1672-3; 1677-9; 1680; 1685; 1687-95
- 1667 Land Grants
- 1704 Quit Rent Rolls
Traced genealogies and family histories of Charles City County available to Members !
Batte Dunn Jones