How Tobacco was Grown in 1620
"In spring red seed, in preference to the white, is put into a clean pot; milk or stale beer is poured over it, and it is
left for two or three days in this state; it is then mixed with a quantity of fine fat earth, and set aside in a hot chamber,
till the seeds begin to put out shoots. They are then sown in a hot-bed. When the young spring plants have grown to a (the length of) a
finger, they are taken up between the fifteenth and twenty-second of May, and planted in ground that has been previously well
manured with the dung of doves or swine. They are placed at square distances of one and a half-foot from one another. In dry weather,
they are now to be watered with lukewarm water softly showered upon them, between sunset and twilight. When these plants are full
two feet high, the top of the stems are broken off, to make the leaves grow thicker and broader. Here and there are left a few plants
having their tops broken off, in order that they may afford seeds for another year. Throughout the summer the other plants are from time
to time, pruned at the top, and the whole field is carefully weeded to make the growth of the leaf so much the more vigorous. In the
month of September, from the sixteenth day, and between the hours of ten in the morning and four in the afternoon, the best leaves
are to be taken off. It is more advantaeous to pluck the leaves when they are dry than when they are moist. When plucked they are to
be immediately brought home, and hung upon cords within the house to dry, in as full exposure as is possible to the influence of the
sun and air; but as to receive no rain. In this exposure they remain till the months of March and April following; when they are to be
put up in bundles, and conveyed to the store-house, in which they may be kept, that they may be there till more perfectly dried by a
moderate heat. Within eight days they must be removed to a different place where they are to be sparingly sprinkled with salt water,
and left till the leaves shall be no longer warm to the feeling of the hand. A barrel of water with six handfuls of salt are the
proportions. After this the tobacco leaves may be laid aside for commercial exploration. They will remain fresh for three years."
Source: Tobacco, Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce by E. R. Billings (1873).
The Colonists Grew Tobacco in the Streets
Carrying Tobacco to Market
A Flush of Towns
In 1662, the following new towns were approved to be built: Varina in Henrico, Fleur de Hundred in Charles City, Smith's Fort in Surry,
Jamestown in James City, Patesville in Isle of Wight, Huff's Point in Nansemond, mouth of Deep Creek in Warwick, the Jervise Plantation
in Elizabeth City, the Wise Plantation in Lower Norfolk, the Read Plantation in York, the Brick House in New Kent, Tyndall Point in Gloucester, the Wormsley Plantation in Middlesex, Hubb's Hole in Rappahannock, Pearce Point in Stafford, Calverts Neck in Accomac, the plantation of the Secretary located on Kings Creek in Northampton, Corotoman in Lancaster and Chickacony in Northumberland.
Home of 8 Genealogy Websites! Find your Ancestors in
Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia!
Archaeology of the Edward Porteus Plantation of New Bottle Plantation
Many of the colonial records for Gloucester County were destroyed in 1820 in a fire in the office of the clerk, and later
during the Civil War. During 1962 a number of excavations in the county revealed the Jenkins home which was originally named
New Bottle which was built by Robert Porteus at the beginning of the 18th century. However, the only conceivable shred of evidence found was a handsome 17th-century latten spoon bearing a thistle as its
touchmark, suggesting, perhaps, that it was made by a Scots craftsman. As the family of Edward Porteus, the emigrant and father of
Robert Porteus, came from New Bottle in Scotland, it might be argued that the spoon was among the possession of Edward
when he arrived in Virginia. The distinguished Gloucester County historian, Dr. William Carter Stubbs undertook considerable research into the history of the
Porteus family, the results of which may be summarized as follows: "Edward Porteus was living in Gloucester County by 1681 in which
year he married the widow of Robert Lee. He died in 1694 leaving a widow and one son, Capt. Robert Porteus who became heir to
"New Bottle" plantation. Robert married the daughter of John Smith of Purton and after her death he married a daughter of
Governor Edmund Jennings of Rippon Hall in York County. His two wives bore him 19 children, the best known of whom was Beilby
Porteus who was born in 1731 after Robert had returned to England (in about 1727) to live at York. Beilby Porteus became Bishop
of Chester and then of London, and died in 1808. Robert lived on in York until his death in 1758."
The location of New Bottle has been the subject of dispute for many years. Perhaps the fact that the
the Vestry Book of Petsworth Parish places Robert Porteus in the Second Precinct which extended from Bennits Creek
up the York River to Jones Creek. The excavation at Clay Bank Creek clarified that the First Precinct reached Bennits Creek.
One has to note name changes. Clay Bank Creek was known as Bennits Creek, and Clay Bank Creek is now Aberdeen Creek, while
Jones Creek remains the same. The Augustine Herman Map (above) published in 1673 shows Bennits Creek as long as the present-day Jones Creek without Jones Creek
being shown. However, as the parish records delineating the bounds of the precincts in 1709 refer to
both Bennits Creek and Jones Creek there cannot have been any confusion between them. The Porteus property lay between those creeks,
which would place it north of the modern community of Clay Bank and south of Jones Creek.
Although it has not been proved that the Porteus land included the York River frontage,
it is reasonable to suppose that it did. The Porteus family owned this land as well as other land in the Second Precinct until about 1763.
The bounds of that precinct were ordered to be processioned in 1751, 1755, 1759 and 1763 beginning "on the Land of Robt Porteus Esqr."
This is why church vestry books are so valuable to the genealogist, as one can follow the waterways and other landmarks during the
processioning and compare them to the tax records of the county.
"Peyton son of Joseph and
Dorothy Wyatt born Nov 15, 1763, The Wyatt arms are: Party perfesse, azure and gules, a barnacle
argent. The Hawte arms are: Or a cross engrailed gules.
The name of the Wiatt family variously spelled in our records,
but the spelling of the Gloucester branch seems now to be "Wiatt."
"Violet Banks" is the modern name of the house of Edward
Porteus, the emigrant. It is an old square brick building, two stories
and a half, with four rooms to a floor. Though abandoned, it still
retains the fine panelling and interior carving of the long past. It
fronts York River and on the west is Poropotank Creek. Robert
Porteus, his, son lived at "New Bottle," subsequently called "Concord."
In 1693 Edward Porteus was recommended by the Governor
of Virginia for appointment to the Council (Sainsbury MSS.), ves-
try man of Petsworth Parish in 1681 (vestry book). He married "the
Relict of Robert Lee," who left in his will seven pounds to the poor
of Petsworth (ibid).
His only son, Robert Porteus, Esq. was vestryman in 1704, member of the Council and removed to York, England; and in the Cathe
dral at Rippon is an inscription on the walls to his memory. He had nineteen children, the youngest of
whom but one, Beilby Porteus, was born at York, May 8, 1731, and
died May 14, 1808. He became bishop of Chester and of London,
Robert Porteus married the daughter of Edmund Jennings, Esq.,
son of Sir Edmund of Rippon, England. One of his places in
Gloucester county was called "New Bottle," after a place of
similar name in Scotland owned by him. The Bishop, his son,
had "a singular picture which though not in the best style of
coloring was yet thought valuable by Sir Joshua Reynolds as a speci-
men of the extent to which the art of painting had at that time
reached in America, and he himsself very highly prized it as exhibiting
a faithful and interesting representation of (the residence of) his father.
The neighborhood of the Porteuses in Virginia was about a mile alongside the York River and
consisted of well built brick houses. Going down the river from the Porteus Mansion,
one passed successively the lands of the Smiths of Purton, the family
of Capt. John Stubbs, the Burwells of Carters Creek, the Warners, of Warner Hall,
the Pages of Rosewell, the Manns of Timberneck, the Perrins of Sarahs Creek, etc.
On the opposite shore were the respectable homes of Edmund Jenings, Nathaniel Bacon,
Dudley Digges, the Ballards, the Reades, the Smiths, etc.
Sources: St. Peters Parish Register; Chalmers Biographical Dictionary; Spotswood's Letter, II, 54;
Contributions From the Museum of History and Technology Papers 52-54 on Archeology by Ivor Noel Hume and
C. Malcolm Watkins.
Sponsored Emigrants to America
William Thornton of Yorkshire, England came to Virginia in 1650 when his sponsor, William Pryor, patented land. He first settled in York County before receiving his own land grant and removing to Gloucester. He named his plantation "The Hills" after the ancestral estate of his great-grandfather Francis Thornton who died in Yorkshire in 1566. William traded in shipping on Mobjack Bay across the bay from Norfolk, operating the vessel "Mary Jane." He was a shipper of goods to Barbadoes in the West Indies. Thornton served as a vestryman from 1677 to 1704 of Lunenburg Parish in Richmond.
Walter Reed House
Gloucester County Genealogy, Wills, Estates, Marriages
Gloucester County was created in 1651 but Indian activity dominated the scene. The fortress of Chief Powhatan was located on the north side of the river in Gloucester and Powhatan had built his home Werowocomoco on land that is now in Gloucester County. This location is where Princess Pocahontas, daughter of Chief Powatan, saved the life of Captain John Smith, earning both of them prominent places in our nation's history books. Apparently an order was given in the colony to erect brick courthouses because there is a menton the Middlesex County Orders (1680-94) that the Gloucester court-house building was of brick and that the Middlesex Court House should be at least of equal goodness and dimensions " as ye brick court-house lately built in Gloucester County."
Gloucester County Wills, Estates, Marriages available to members of Virginia Pioneers
Gloucester County Marriages to 1699
Miscellaneous Wills and Estates
Singleton, Robert, LWT
Digital Images of Wills 1862 to 1896
Testators: Allen, David ; Andrews, William ; Backhouse, John W. ; Baytop, Sarah A. ; Blake, James ; Bland, Archer ; Bland, Delilah Ann Elizabeth ; Bland, Scuyler ; Bohannon, John ; Bray, Thomas; Bristow, William; Bristow, William L.; Broaddus, Edwin; Brown, George Washington ; Brown, Randall; Bryan, Catharine A.; Bryan, Lucretia ; Bryan, Julia ; Burwell, Beverly; Cary, John R.; Catlett, John W. ; Cattell, Powell ; Catlett, Temple ; Chapman, Mary; Chapman, William ; Clarke, Colin ; Clayton, Lucy M.; Cooke, Peyton; Cooke, Thomas S. ; Cooke, Washington ; Curtis, Charles C. ; Cutler, Emily; Dabney, James K.; Daniel, Susan ; Davenport, James ; Dean, Gains; Deans, Josiah Herbert; Dews, Zachariah ; Dobson, John; Driver, Samuel; Duer, Isaac J. ;Duncan, Mary Frances ;Dunford, John W.; Dunn, Washington; Dutton, Elijah ;Eaves, Mary Harwood; Enos, Susan; Fambrose, Elizabeth ;Field, Humphrey ;Field, Lucy ;Field, William ;Fletcher, William R. ;Flowers, Lucy; Folkes, L. E., Mrs.; Fox, Eleanor ;Fox, Thomas Booth ;Foxwell, Nancy ;Freeman, Mark ;Freeman, William ;Gayle, Robin ;Graves, James C. ;Green, Randol ;Grissill, Lucy Ann; Guest, James; Gussett, Martha W.; Gussitt, William W.; Guthrie, Essex ;Hall, H. P. ; Hall, William F. ;Harwood, Thomas S. ;Hau, Robert ;Haynes, George ;Haywood, James C. ;Haywood, William B. ;Hiatt, Thomas ;Hibble, John L. ;Hibble, Letty R.; Hibble, William ;Hinkle, Catherine ;Hinman, Martha ;Hobday, William ;Hogg, John;Hogg, John (2) ;Howard, Lucy ;Hughes, George ; Hughes, John ; Hughes, Johnnie F. ;Jackman, Francis A. ; Jenkins, John ;Jones, Catesby; Jones, Fanny E.; Jones, John H.; Jones, William Catesby ; Kemp, Gregory ;Kemp, Sarah; Kilee, Thomas; Lambeth, Elizabeth ;Lambeth, William M. ;Landis, John ; Lewis, John T.; Mann, Charles ;Marchant, Thomas ;Marshall, Samuel Washington ;Massey, Edward Y.;Massey, William C. ;Massey, William Y.; Mason, Philip F. ;Mathias, Britton ;Medlicott, Joseph ;Medlicott, Samuel ; Mitchell, Rachel W. ; Monroe, Betsy ;Monroe, Elijah ;Moore, Henry M. ;Munford, George W. ;Nelson, Mary Augusta ;Page, Lucy Ann ;Page, P. R. ;Patterson, Charles; Pearce, George C. ;Pearce, John H. ;Penos, Samuel ;Perrin, William K. ;Perrin, Willis;Pointer, Seth ; Pointer, Thomas W.; Pointer, William D. ;Pratt, Benjamin ;Preben, Henry ;Proctor, Elizabeth ;Proctor, James H. ;Rayfield, William ;Richardson, Carlton ;Richeson, Leonard ;Roane, E. P. ;Roane, George A. ;Roane, Henry ;Roane, Samuel F. ;Robins, Elizabeth P. ;Robins, Thomas C. ;Rowe, Benjamin ;Rowe, Catherine ;Rowe, Robert R. ;Rowe, Robert S. ;Rowe, Thomas W. ;Roy, Martha ;Royston, Maria ;Sears, Edward ;Sears, Lucy A. ;Seawell, John H. ;Seawell, John T. ;Seawell, Thomas M.; Sedgwick, William; Selden, Robert ;Shackelford, George W. ;Sheldon, Harriett ;Shepard, Chancy B. ;Sinclair, John ;Singleton, Dorothy ;Smith, Frances ;Smith, Johnson ;Smith, Judith ;Smith, Peyton; Smith, Rachell ;Smith, Sally Kerr ;Smith, Sarah ;Smith, Thomas F. ;Smith, William ;Smither, John W. ;Smither, William T. ;Stewart, Robert H. ;Stubblefield, Julia A. ;Tabb, Evelina M. C. ;Tabb, John ;Tabb, John Prosser ;Taliaferro, Edwin ;Taliaferro, Fanny ;
Taliaferro, Leah ;Taliaferro, William ;Tazewell, Frank; Thomas, William Sr.; Thornton, Thomas ;Thruston, Emanuel ;Thruston, John M. ;
Thruston, Robert ;Thruston, William ;Tompkins, Evalina; Tyler, James ;Van Antwerk, Zoe ;Vandegriff, Henry ; Vaughan, Hetty ;
Vaughan, William; Walker, John H. ;Walker, William S.; Walter, Margaret ;Ware, Ella S. ;Ware, James B. ;Watlington, Frances ;
Wells, Moses E.; Wiggins, Maria ;Williams, Thomas ;Willis, John ; Withers, Alfred Dunham ;Wood, Randall