Cherry Trees in VirginiaWhen Capt. John Smith visited the Colony of Virginia, he noted that cherry trees and other fruits were in abundance. Also, that there were some very great trees in some parts of the country. Near the dwellings of the savages were Mulberry trees and some parts of the country were found growing naturally in pretty groves. "Virginia doth afford many excellent vegetables, and living Creatures, yet grasse there is little or none, but what groweth in low Marishes: for all the Countrey is overgrowne with trees, whose droppings continually turneth their grasse to weeds, by reason of the rancknes of the ground, which would soone be amended by good husbandry. The wood that is most common is Oke and Walnut, many of their Okes are so tall and straight, that they will beare two foote and a halfe square of good timber for 20 yards long; Of this wood there is two or three severall kinds. The Acornes of one kinde, whose barke is more white then the other, and somewhat sweetish, which being boyled, at last affords a sweet oyle, that they keepe in gourds to annoint their heads and joynts. The fruit they eate made in bread or otherwise." Source: The General Historie of Virginia, New England and The Summer Isles, Vol. I, by John Smith.
Names of Earliest Settlers on this MapThis map depicts the locations of the first settlers to Essex County, viz: Dangerfield, Layton, Payne, Garnet, Smith, Lowry, Young, Hill and Bowler. Tappahannock was a large community of these settlers. Henry Aubrey established his plantation on Hodgkins Creek (later Hoskins Creek) where he raised hogs, cattle and sheep. Upon his death in 1694, he left much of the cattle to servants, and 700 acres to his son, Richard Aubrey on Hodgkins Creek. He lived the typical life of a planter in Essex County, of feather beds, fine linen and a silver tankard which he bequeathed to his wife. Also, there were orchard buildings to accommodate fruit crops.
The images of the earliest wills are available to members of Virginia Pioneers Also, the Wills and Estates probated from 1692 to 1695 were the following first settlers: Henry Awbrey, Elizabeth Browne, Thomas Cooper, Richard Holt, Martin Johnson, John Jones, Thomas Pettit, Griffin Roberts, John Smith, John Waters and Thomas Williamson. More Wills and Estates were recently added dating from 1717 to 1721; 1722 to 1730. Immigrant Records on this site
Hoskins Creek in TappahannockTappahannock, the county seat, is the oldest town in Essex County, Virginia and is situated on the Rappahannock River. An interestint aspect of tracing ancestors is to locate and visit the actual site of old homes and beginnings. As we study the deed records, we can just about pinpoint the old home sites. This is important because it provides a grasp of the history of the area and the people who settled there. Reading the old wills and inventories of the county discloses facits of a shared farm economy which helped to feed the earliest settlers, as well as details of everyday living and possessions.
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The Oldest Collection of Virginia Wills and Estates are Online !Virginia Pioneers.net features a vast collection of old wills and estates available to its members. The earliest surviving county records were scanned page-by-page, then indexed by names for easy access on the website. Some of the worst records, torn and part missing, were restored by historical societies and are mostly discernible by those genealogist who familiarize themselves with 17th century script. View the script alphabet Old documents are in the PDF format and may be printed and/or downloaded. This work obviates the researcher from having to travel long distances and search county records. Also included in the Genealogy Vault are some 2600+ traced families and special collections. To learn if the wills of your ancestors is on the site, click here To view the documents, one must become a member.
17th Century Ceremonies: The Reason for Sudden RemarriagesThe loss of a spouse prompted a re-marriage. Instances of persons having been married three times was not unusual. Because there were few women in the colony, as soon as the funeral celebration commenced, prospective suitors needing wives plotted their courtship. Gifts were made to the daughters in the form of land. It was customary for him to insert in the deed conveying the gift, a clause providing for what should be done with the gift in the event she should become a wife before she reached her sixteenth year. Women who had not yet passed their twelfth year were considered immature. Most women were married at such an immature age that they became broken in health, and after bearing from ten to twelve children, died, leaving their husbands to marry again and surround himself with a second brood. Often, a very young wife was left widowed for several years, and if endowed with beauty, charm or a fine plantation, she soon consoled herself by marrying a second or third time. So great was the haste in some instances that the second husband was granted the probate of the will of the first. In 1696, Rev. James Boulware of Essex County obtained a judgment against Edward Danneline for fees which were due him, not only for having performed the marriage service of Mr. and Mrs. Danneline, but also for having preached the funeral sermon of John Smith, the first husband of Mrs. Danneline. Source: Essex County Records, Orders, 11 June 1696.
Essex County, Virginia Genealogy, Wills, Estates, MarriagesEssex County was created in 1692 from Rappahannock County and was probably named after the Earl of Essex. Henry Awbry and William Moseley were appointed by the justices of Essex in 1693 to select a site for the new court-house rendered necessary by the recent creation of the county. They were empowered to purchase the spot which should be chosen by them. The construction was commenced in December of 1693 and the first meeting was held during the October term of court. In the levy for November, nine thousand pounds of tobacco were allowed the contractor, Daniel Deskin but until the court-house was finished, the amount was to remain in the hands of the sheriff. Essex had previously formed a part of Rappahannock County, and what was known as the southside court-house had stood within its confines. Deskin was permitted to take all the material from the old building which he thought would be serviceable in the construction of the new; and after it was completed and paid for, he was placed in permanent charge. Source: Rappahannock County Orders, Nov. 6, 1684; May 7, 1685; April 1, 1691; vol. 1686-1692, orig. p. 58.
Essex County Wills, Estates, Marriages available to members of Virginia Pioneers
Passenger Ship Lists
- 1764 Passenger List of Charming Molly to Essex County
- Marriages to 1699
Indexes to Probate Records
- Wills and Deeds 1695 to 1699
- Deeds and Wills 1717 to 1721
- Wills, Deeds, Bonds 1722 to 1730
- Wills 1775 to 1785
- Wills 1786 to 1792
New Acquisitions: Images of Wills and Estates
- Images of Orders, Deeds, Wills 1692 to 1695 (with index)
- Wills and Estates 1695 to 1699
- Wills and Estates 1717 to 1720
- Wills and Estates 1722 to 1730
Wills & Estates (transcriptions)Clements, John (1766) | Fisher, Benjamin | Gatewood, Patience | Hudson, Henry | Hutchins, Richard (1710) | Northam, William | Pagett, Henry | Pagett, John | Ramsey, Thomas | Reeves, Henry | Reeves, Joseph | Smith, Rebecca | Smith, Susannah (1766) | Taliaferro, Zachariah | Thomas, William | Willard, Martin
Miscellaneous Digital Images of Wills
- Dobyn, William (1730)
- Shippy, James (1730)
Digital Images of Wills 1775 to 1785Testators: Allen, Henry ;Allen, Samuel ;Andrews, Thomas ;Atkinson, James ;Bailey, David ;Ball, Austin ;Ball, John Sr. ;Banks, James ;Barnett, Margaret ;Beasley, John ;Birwell, Elizabeth ;Bond, William ;Booker, Ann ;Boughan, John ;Boulware, Elizabeth ;Boulware, Margaret ;Boyes, William ;Breedlove, Alaman ;Brizendine, Elizabeth; Brizendine, John ;Brooke, Robin ;Brooke, Richard ;Brooke, Robert ;Broocke, Thomas ;Broocke, William ;Burnett, Leonard ;Bynum, John ;Canaday, James ;Cawthorn, Henry ; Cheaney, Philip ;Clark, Susanna ;Clements, Pitman ;Clowdar, John ;Coates, Mary ;Coates, Samuel ;Cole, William ;Covington, Luke; Croxton, John ;Crutcher, Henry ;Daniel, Oliver; Davis, William ; Dennett, Thomas; Dickinson, John ;Dobbins, John ;Dunn, Benjamin ; Dunn, James ;Dunn, Philip ;Dunn, William ;Edmondson, Benjamin; Edmondson, James ;Edmondston, Leah ;Emerson, James ;Farguson, Titus ;Faver, Theophilus ;Fogg, Thomas ;Ford, Daniel ;Foreacres, John; Garnett, James ;Gatewood, William ;Greensteed, Thomas; Hawkins, Birkenhead; Hawkins, Levin ;Hawkins, William ;Hill, John; Hill, Leonard ;Hill, Richard ;Howerton, John ;Howerton, William; Hunley, Richard ;Jones, James ;Kertchwall, John ;Lane, John ;Lee, John ;Livingston, John ;Longert, Timothy ;Lumpkin, Mary ;Mann, Joseph ;Martin, Hannah ;Meador, Reuben ;Medley, John ;Minter, Joseph ;Monday, Stephen ;Montague, Abraham ;Montague, William; Moody, George ;Moore, Augustine ;Munday, James ;Newbill, Thomas ;Noell, Martha ;Noell, Milley ;Noell, Sarah ;Parron, Thomas ;Peachey, Samuel ;Perkins, Henry ;Piles, Samuel ;Pitts, David ;Reeves, Joseph ;Ritchie, Archibald ;Roane, William ;Roane, William, Colonel, his mill ;Rowzee, John; Roy, James ;Sale, Cornelius ;Sale, James; Sale, Leonard ;Saterwhite, John ;Saunders, Alexander ;Shepherd, Ephraim ;Short, Elizabeth ;Smith, John ;Smith, Thomas; Smith, William; Smithers, William ;Southern, William ;Spearman, Susanna ;St. John, Thomas ;Stodghill, James ; Street, Henry ;Townley, James ;Trennold, Robert; Tribe, Mary ; Vawter, Angus ;Vawter, Edward ;Waring, Henry ;Watson, Henry; ebb, Thomas; Williamson, James ;Wilson, Hugh; Wright, Elizabeth ; Young, William
Digital Images of Wills 1786 to 1792Testators:Ayres, William ;Baker, John ;Bomer, Alexander ; Boughton, James ;Boughton, Mary ;Boulware, Thomas ; Boulware, Younger ;Breedlove, Nathan ; Brooke, Robert ; Brown, Richard ; Browne, Bennett ; Burke, John ; Byrom, Frank ; Campbell, Hugh ; Carnal, John ; Cauthorn, Vincent; Chamberlain, John ; Clark, Robert ; Cloudas, John ; Coghill, Thomas ; Cooper, James ; Corrie, John ; Denholm, Alexander; Dix, Thomas ; Dunn, John ; Dyke, Mary; Edmondson, James; Faver, Thomas ; Fogg, Joseph ; Faulconer, Nicholas; Fureman, Mary ; Garnett, Ann ; Garnett, Austin; Gatewood, Joseph; Goulding, Simon ; Gray, William ; Greenstead, Samuel; Greenwood, William; Hawes, Isaac ; Hawes, Samuel; Hawkins, Thomas; Herchwall, Dolly ; Hinshaw, John ; Hudson, Thomas; Jones, William ; Jordan, Isaac ; Lindsay, Cald ; Loyde, John ; Miller, Simon; Minter, Josiah; Mitchell, Isaac; Montague, Richard; Noell, James ; Noell, Richard; Ramsay, Betty ; Richardson, John; Rodden, John ; Rouzee, Edward; Rouzee, Richard ; Rust, Benjamin ; Sale, Thomas ; Sparkes, John ; Street, Katherin; Thomas, William; Townley, John ; Watkins, William; Webb, Lillian ; Webb, Mary ; Williamson, John; Yarrington, John ; Young, Mary
- 1704 Quit Rent Rolls
- Passenger List of Ship Charming Molly of 1765
Traced genealogies and family histories of Essex County available to Members !