Virginia Pioneers


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The Pocomoke River

Pocomoke RiverWilliam Starling emigrated to Virginia in 1635 from London. His transport departure was dated July 27 for the colony of Virginia onboard the Primrose. He was eighteen years old. He apparently settled in Northampton County on Pocomoke Creek where he made his last will and testament in 1698. His plantation consisted of 300 acres where he raised cattle and horses; also owned a boat or sloop which he bequeathed to his wife and son, Richard. The early settlers to Virginia had to import just about everything and interestingly enough, a brass furnace was included in his estate, as well as a number of guns. Source: The Complete Book of Emigrants 1607-1660 by Peter Wilson Coldham.

Nathaniel Bacon: The Patriot Martyr

During the reign of Charles I of England, Robert Beverley of Beverley sold his possessions in that town and immigrated to Virginia his considerable fortune. He purchased extensive tracts of land in Middlesex County where he established his home. The family seat was in Yorkshire, and before leaving England, the Beverley name was conferred to the order of the Royal Oak. In Virginia, Robert would be a loyalist, true to the royal government. Therefore, he was elected clerk of the very respected House of Burgesses, which office he held until 1676, the time of Bacon's Rebellion, which he helped suppress and found favor of the Governor Sir William Berkeley.

Pirates

However, in 1682 the malcontents arose once again, almost to the pitch of rebellion, and this time included Beverley. There had been two sessions in the Assembly engaged in angry and fruitless disputes between Lord Culpepper, Governor Berkeley and the House of Burgesses which resulted in the malcontents of the counties of Gloucester, New Kent and Middlesex riotlessly cut up tobacco plants in the beds, especially the sweet-scented which was produced no where else. Lord Culpepper and Governor Berkeley suppressed this destruction by sending out patrols of horse. The ringleaders were arrested and some of the hanged on charges of treason. The Riot Act was passed, making plant-cutting high treason. The vengeance of the government fell heavily upon Major Robert Beverley, clerk of the House of Burgesses, as a principal instigator. Also, he refused to deliver up copies of the legislative journal to the governor without permission of the Assembly. In May of 1682, he was committed a prisoner to the ship, the Duke of York lying in the Rappahannock river. Ralph Wormeley, Matthew Kemp and Christopher Wormeley were directed to seize the records in the possession of Beverley and to break open doors if necessary. Afterwards, Beverley was transferred to the ship Concord and set under guard. He apparently escaped because he was later found at his home in Middlesex County from which he was transported over to the county of Northampton on the Eastern Shore. Some months later his attorney, William Fitzhugh, applied for a writ of habeas corpus, which was refused. A short time later he was arressted again and remanded to Northampton. During 1683, new charges were brought against him. First, That he had broken open letters addressed to the Office of the Secretary. Second. That he had made up the journal and inserted his Majesty's letter therein, notwithstanding it had been first presented at the time of the prorogation. 3rd. That in 1682 he had refused to deliver copies of the journal to the governor and council, saying "he might not do it without leave of his masters. In May of 1684, he was found guilty of high misdemeanors, however, judgment was respited and the prisoner asked for pardon on his bended knees. Thus, he was released upon giving security for his good behavior in the penalty of 2,000 pounds. He thereupon sued for pardon to the governor to whom he had served loyally. He had not, however, lost the esteem of his countrymen because they re-elected him as clerk of the Assembly in 1685. Hence, this body strongly resisted the power of the governor. When King James II came to power, indignant of its democratical proceedings, ordered the dissolution of the Assembly, attributing the blame to Robert Beverley, the clerk, declaring that he should be prosecuted and future appointments of the office of clerk should be done by the governor. During the spring of 1687, Robert Beverley died, the persecuted victim of an oppressive government. A distinguished loyalist who invested his fortune in the new Colony, he was the persecuted victim of an oppressive government. Indeed, a patriot Martyr. Source: The History of Virginia by Robert Beverley. List of Traced Virginia Families on this website

What Happened to the Ships of Nathaniel Bacon and Others

The wills of deceased persons sometimes revealed ownership of vessels. Of particular interest is the will of Nathaniel Bacon, Senior, in which he bequeathed to his wife and his nephew, Lewis Burwell, "all ships or parts of ships to me belonging in any part of the world." These were to be disposed of by Abigail, his wife, and the nephew as they saw fit. An inventory of the estate of one Thomas Lloyd of Richmond County dated October 27, 1699 lists one decked sloop on the stocks, unfinished, of about thirty tons; one small open sloop newly launched, not finished, of twenty-five tons; one new flat, one old ditto; one old barge; one parcel of handsaws, etc. Sir Edmund Andros, Governor of Virginia in 1698, in answering the inquiries of the Council of Trade and Plantations, the clearing house for colonial affairs, stated that there were 70,000 inhabitants in Virginia, and the number of vessels reported by the owners were four ships, two barks, four brigantines, and seventeen sloops. His report for the previous year had named eight ships, eleven brigantines, and fifteen sloops that had been built for which carpenters, iron work, rigging, and sails had been brought from England. Source: Some Notes On Shipbuilding and Source: Shipping In Colonial Virginia by Cerinda W. Evans.

A Flush of Towns in Colonial America

17th Colonials 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.

The Capture of Pocahontas by Samuel Argyll

Replica of John Smith's shallop Point Comfort is located in Hampton, Virginia, and is an early site for settlement near Jamestown. During 1613, Samuel Argall (later Sir Samuel Argall) wrote a letter to Nicholas Hawes concerning his voyage to Virginia in 1612, and some of his activities there. He arrived at Point Comfort on September 17th with sixty-two men onboard the ship "Treasurer." From the day of his arrival until the first of November, he spent the time in helping to repair such ships and boats which were found there "decayed for lack of pitch and tarre." Then, he proceeded to transport Sir Thomas Dale in the "Deliverance" to the island of Sir Thomas Smith. He wanted his opinion about inhabiting it. They found an abundance of fish there, "very great cod" which they caught in water five fathom deep. They planned to get a great quantity in the summer of 1613, and hoped to find safe passage there for boats and barges by "a cut out of the bottom of our bay into De La Warr Bay." The island of Sir Thomas Smith was not the island known by that name lying near Cape Charles. Argall sailed from Point Comfort on the first of December and entered Pembroke, now the Rappahannock river where he met the king of Pastancie, who told him the Indians were his very great friends and had a good store of corn for him, the same as they had provided the year before. Argall then sailed his ship to the town of the king (chief) where he built a stout shallop to take the corn aboard. After concluding a peace with other various Indian lords, and giving and taking hostages, Argall hastened to Jamestown with 1100 bushels of corn, which he delivered to the storehouses, retaining some 300 bushels for the use of his own company. As soon as he had unloaded the corn, Argall set his men to work felling timber and hewing boards with which to build a "frigat." He left this vessel half finished in the hands of his carpenters at Point Comfort in order to make another voyage to the Pembroke River, and so discovered the head of it. Upon learning that Pocahontas was with the King of Patowomack, he devised a stratagem by which she was captured. Pocahontas was taken to Jamestown and delivered to the protection of Sir Thomas Gates, who hastened to conclude with Powhatan, her father, a peace based upon the terms demanded by Argall. Argall returned to Point Comfort and "went forward with his "Frigat" and finished her. He sent a "ginge" of men with her to Cape Charles, to get fish and transport them to "Henries Town" (Henrico). Another gang was employed to fell timber and cleave planks to build a fishing boat. Argall himself, with a third gang, left in the shallop on the first day of May to explore the east side of the Bay. Some Notes On Shipbuilding and Shipping In Colonial Virginia by Cerinda W. Evans.

More Voyages of Samuel Argall

Samuel Argall is said to have achieved lasting fame as one of the maritime pioneers of England because he estalished a shorter route to Virginia from England in 1609 irrespective of the fact that Bartholomew Gosnold took that route in 1602 and Martin Pring did so in 1603. The usual course led by way of the Canaries to the Island of Puerto Rico in the West Indies, the route of Columbus, a long, circuitous pathway exposed to pirates and interference from Spain. Argall made the round trip by the shorter route in five months. However, the shorter route did not supplant entirely the longer southern route for several decades. Argall accompanied Lord De La Warr to Virginia in 1610, to point out the northern route. While in Virginia, he was sent with Sir George Somers to Bermuda with two pinnaces to get a supply of hogs and other provisions for the colony. In a storm, Argall lost sight of Sir George's pinnace and failed to locate Bermuda; so he changed his course toward the north and went to Sagadahoc and Cape Cod where he procured a large cargo of fish, which he brought to Jamestown. Sir George Somers reached Bermuda, but died there on November 9, 1610. Argall was then sent by Lord De La Warr to the river Patawomeke to trade with the Indians for corn, where he rescued the English boy, Henry Spelman, who had been living with the Indians. Through Spelman's influence, the Indians "fraughted his ship with corn." Soon after June 28, 1613, Argall sailed from Virginia on his "fishing voyage" in a well-armoured English man-of-war. His object was the French colony of Jesuits at Mt. Desert, now in Maine, but at that time within the bounds of Virginia. He attacked the buildings and returned with the priests late in July. He was sent back by Gates to destroy the buildings and fortifications there and at St. Croix and Port Royal. This was done and he arrived back at Jamestown, about the first of December. On this voyage, he stopped at New Netherlands, on the Hudson, and forced the colonists there to submit to the crown of England. Some Notes On Shipbuilding and Source: Shipping In Colonial Virginia by Cerinda W. Evans

The Greatness of our Ancestors

Jamestown Settlement These were great people seldom written about, and mostly unknown. The discovery of the ancestors is exciting. Some of my personal explorations have revealed incredibly brave persons who crossed the seas in search of a better life. They were at Jamestown residing behind a stockade fence because the Powhatan tribes were so violent. In 1622, some were killed by a massacre which engaged all white men on the Virginia peninsula. They were with Nathaniel Bacon in 1686 when he defended his community against attacking Indians because the royal governor refused, a governor who later punished Bacon by hanging. Others, took up land grants and crossed the Allegheny Mountains during the early 18th century, only to have family members taken into slavery by the Shawnee. One ancestor fought in the 1774 war against the Shawnee which resulted in a Treaty later disregarded by the Shawnee, and six years later, nearing sixty years of age, left his western homestead to join the forces of General Lee against the British in all its critical battles up to and including the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. I wish I had known these people. They sacrificed everything to come to this country and bravely gave their lives for freedom. And yet, as I learn more about them, I can feel some of that vibrance in my own body, and know that we are trumly of the same blood.

A Death-Bed Nun-cupative Left Orphans to be Apprenticed

Meherrin River In 1707 Lewis Williams was involved in a boundary dispute, being the owner of land on the Meherrin River since 1679. It is obvious from the disputes that Williams was unable to inhabit his plantation because of Indian problems. He stated that his son, William, was definitely residing on the plantation in 1710 when the dispute mentioned his house. On June 16, 1679 in Surry County Robert Ruffin declared that when he was in the home of Lewis Williams on Lawnes Creek Parish (lately deceased) that Mrs. Williams directed on his death bed that he gave his son to the care of William Newsum and his girls to Sion Hill. His wife and daughter-in-law (Mary) were to go with Mr. Thompson and his other daughters-in-law were to be directed by his wife. However, the wife died and the child went to Mrs. Edwards of Surry County. This situation occurred because Lewis Williams had not issued a last will and testament and his death-bed wishes served as anun-cupative will.

Bacon's Rebellion



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Northampton County Genealogy, Wills, Estates, Marriages

Northampton County Court HouseNorthampton County Wills, Estates, Marriages available to members of Virginia Pioneers

Marriages

  • to 1699
  • Bonds and Consents 1706 to 1858
  • Bonds and Consents 1853 to 1860

Images of Wills 1640-1645 (aged, imperfect images)

  • Burdett, Francis
  • Burdett, William
  • Chapman, Phillip
  • Drieu, Julia Ann
  • Holloway, John
  • Neale, John
  • Newton, Robert
  • Travellor, George
  • Walburn, John

Images of Wills 1645 to 1651 (aged, imperfect images)

  • Cotton, William
  • Logan, John

Images of Deeds

  • 1645-1651 (index)
  • 1651-1654 (no index)

Indexes to Probate Records (colonial-style handwriting)

  • Index to Orders, Wills, Inventories, 1645 to 1651
  • Index to Orders, Deeds, Wills, 1632 to 1640, Books 1 and 2
  • Orders, Deeds, Wills, 1640 to 1645 (includes index)
  • Index to Orders, Wills, Inventories, 1645 to 1651

Miscellaneous Wills and Estates

  • Dixon, Benjamin, Inventory dated 1772
  • Dixon, John, LWT dated 1764
  • Dixon, John, 1799 Inventory
  • Dixon, John, LWT dated 1764. Includes Accounts of Mary, Sarah and Thomas Dixon, children of John, deceased.
  • Dixon, John, LWT dated 1774
  • Dixon, Tilney, LWT dated 1764, Book 23, p. 172
  • Dixon, Tilney, Inventory dated 1764
  • Dixon, Tilney, Estate and Inventory dated 1764
  • Dixon, Tilney, LWT dated 1770; appraisement
  • Dixon, Tilney, Estate dated 1776
  • Dixon, William, Estate Returns, Inventory, etc. dated 1772
  • Dunton, Sophia, 1778 Estate
  • Evans, Esther, appraisement 1778, Book 23, p. 194
  • Johnson, Powell, Estate (1774)
  • Starling, William (1698)
  • Wilkins, Sarah, Estate 1777

Miscellaneous

  • 1671 tithables
  • 1704 Quit Rent Rolls
  • School Board Minutes 1922 to 1936

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

Bell Clemmons Gay Littleton
Savage Starling


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