Virginia Pioneers

Did you Like what you Discovered about your Ancestors?

plowing with oxen Discovering the past is interesting. It concerns earlier times and how people handled good and bad situations. Sometimes we think that we are in the worst of times, however, a glimpse into the past will awaken a new truth. The ancestors left foreign shores to come to America and hone out an existence in wilderness county full of hardships. For many centuries the average person lived to be about thirty or forty years of age. They died of disease and misfortune. Thousands of vessels did not reach America due to hurricanes, storms and unforeseen navigational errors. Such vessels are being discovered in ocean graves. Emigrants were not necessarily greeted by friendly Indians. Despite the wonderful story of John Smith and Pocahontas, Powhatan's tribes raved the Virginia peninsula in 1622/3 and killed all but a handful of the first settlers. Some historians will have you believe that the Europeans brought African slaves to tell this lands. Not so. Instead, they brought family members and white indentured servants. For this trouble and expense, they receive land grants. This was the situation during most of the 17th century. So what did these settlers build in so short a life span? In Virginia, they invested in their plantations more so than the home place while contributing to the community in building roads, attending church and supporting the local glebe by paying tithing (tobacco). Also, every man over 21 years of age was expected to serve in the local militia and help to protect the home place. Remember the rebel Nathaniel Bacon? He organized a small army of men to rid the area of marauding and scalping Indians when the Royal Governor refused to do so. Afterwards, was hanged. From all indications of private study into Virginia lineages, it would appear that the very reason that people left their English roots where nobility ruled, was to have a better life. The royal governors were no fine example of fairness. Although Berkeley ended up being recalled, his successor was not an improvement. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, Virginians were constrained to pay taxes and tariffs to the English for incoming supplies. The English Laws were continuously redrafted to hold the colonists in check. American history is fascinating, especially when one realizes how his ancestors played a part in the drama. The genealogist probably knows more of the intricate details of history than anyone else and such knowledge is invaluable in discovering one's roots.

Genealogy History

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Goochland County Virginia Map


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How Important are European Parish Registers

parish register In Europe, families resided in the same neighborhood for generations and attended those parishes. These records are golden, because they list baptisms, marriages and mortuaries. The key is to identify everyone with a certain surname in the parish register. Try and match a name with an old last will and testament. The quest here is to use family group sheets listing families to insure that the names are of the proper generation. Determine an average life-span of the family you are studying and use that as a guide. For example, a possible ancestor listed in the mortuary as having succumbed in 1540, could have been born as early as 1480, if other members of the family were averaging 80 years! Remember, the era of the black plague and certain illnesses which substantially shortened the life-span to about 30 years! The UK Archives online provides a lot of data. Despite these suppositions, the genealogist should continue to search for more records.

Why it is so Important to Search Deed Records for your Ancestors

working carts The deed records should not be ignored when researching ancestors. This includes land grants, plats and lotteries. Anyone who has drawn a modern-day deed heads the document with "John Smith of Goochland County, Virginia" The first land and bounty grants contain vague descriptions of the land. Thatis because the bounderies contained no neighbors or traditional measurements as we know them today. Instead, 18 chains to an oak tree adjoined by a pine forest is about the best that you can expect. Therefore, one goes in search of a deed record which mentions the names of neighbors, who received the original land grant and the date thereof, and designates gifts to children and other relatives. As time goes on and the community grows, the names of adjoining neighboring lands and witnesses appear in the documents. Also filed with the deeds are "Gift Deeds" and " Marriage Contracts". This is where the details provide further clues. One should follow the deed records from the first day of acquisition to the last deed, when the land is either sold or inherited. Then, a similar search should be done in the Tax Digests. The research should be able to recite the activities of the ancestor year-by-year.

Traced genealogies and family histories of Goochland County available to Members !

Chastain Daniel Freeman Stovall

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The Revolutionary War Soldier in your Family

Goochland County Genealogy, Marriages, Wills, Estates

Grace Episcopal Church

Goochland County was named after Sir William Gooch, the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia from 1727 to 1749. It was created from Henrico County in 1728.

Goochland County, Virginia Court House Records available to members of Virginia Pioneers

  • Bonds, 1730 to 1751
  • 1750 to 1854
Digital Images of Goochland County Wills 1741 to 1745

Testators: Atkinson, Robert;Ballenger, Joseph; Bell, David ;Christian, Thomas;Cunningham, James; Dillon, William; Dupuy, Bartholomew; Ford, Peter; Harrar, William ;Holland, Michael; Holland, Michael the elder to Michael, Jr. (deed); Horros, William; Marton, Peter ;Mayo, William ;Meriwether, Nicholas ;Parrish, Humphrey Sr. ;Payne, George ;Purkins, Abram ; Randolph, William ;Sampson, Francis ;Spear, John ;Taylor, Charles; Trabue, Anthony

Digital Images of Goochland County Wills 1745 to 1749

Testators: Butler, Edmond; Carter, Edward; Clements, Stephen; Coleman, Samuel ;Cox, Sarah; Easly, John ;Hix, John ; Holland, Michael (deed); James, Francis ;Levillain, Jean ;Levillain, John ;Lockett, Thomas ;Mogginson, William ;Morgain, Robert ;Mosby, Richard ;Netherland, Sarah ;Phelps, John ; Randolph, William ;Turpin, Obedience ;Warron, Daniel

Will Abstracts
  • Wills (abstracts) 1736 to 1742
Indexes to Probate Records

Index to Wills, Deeds, Inventories, 1741 to 1745

Miscellaneous Wills

Bostick, John, LWT dated 1749
Chastain, Peter (1728)
Clement, Stephen (LWT) 1745
Hutcherson, Matthew, LWT (1749) (Digital Image)
Lewis, Charles, LWT (transcript)
Perkins, Constantine, Inventory dated 1860

  • Prince William Parish for 1735
Jamestown Map
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