Virginia Pioneers

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.

Patriots: 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.


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.

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.

Genealogy History

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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

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

  • 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

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