What was "Damnified!" in the Old Days?
The term "damnified" or "damnification" referenced vessels where merchandise had spoiled or wrecked and it became necessary to pay someone for their losses. As agents across the seas shipped perishable goods into Virginia, there was always a risk of bad weather. Typically, hurricanes were responsible for the loss of vessels and cargo, but pirates combing the West Indies and Atlantic Ocean also played a major role in spoilt cargoes. Treasure hunters have discovered that there are literally thousands of ship wrecks along the Atlantic coast. The following is from the Records of General Court, p. 146: "Judgment is granted Colonel Daniel Parke Esq. against Mr. Thomas Warren, commander of the ship Daniel in Virginia for payment of 29pds, 13sh, 2d, being for money due for goods of the said Parke damnified in the said ship in her late voyage from London, the money to be paid within 40 days upon her next arrival to England." Five other persons also suffered losses during the same voyage. Source: British State Papers, Colonial, vol. IX, No. 64. This site has attempted to publish the activities of immigrants and agents crossing into the Colony of Virginia. This information is available to members and is labeled under the designation Origins.
The Bazaar - American Cotton Ship
The part played by the Americans in the carrying trade of the world during the period between the close of the Revolutionary War and the early 1850s was so important that an illustration of the types of vessels they employed will be interesting. The ship depicted represents an American cotton-ship, which also carried passengers on the route between New York and Havre in the year 1832. In form she was full and bluff; in fact, little more than a box with rounded ends.
The Great Republic, American Clipper. 1853
It was not the wooden sailing-ships which carried
trade of Great Britain to America which was destined to eclipse that of all her rivals. About twelve years before the close of the eighteenth century the first really practical experiment was made on Dalswinton Loch, by Messrs. Miller and Symington, on the utilization of steam as a means of propulsion for vessels. The other great revolution was the introduction of iron instead of wood as the material for constructing ships. During the first half of the nineteenth century, good English oak had been becoming scarcer and more expensive. Shortly after the Restoration the price paid for native-grown oak was about #2 15s. a load, this being double its value during the reign of James I.
The great consumption at the end of the 18th century had so diminished the supply of oak, that in 1815, the year in which the great Napoleonic wars terminated, the price had risen substantially. During 1833 the price sank a little, then continued to rise until 1850 when it reached #6 18s. per load.
In consequence of the scarcity of English oak many foreign timbers, such as Dantzic and Italian oak, Italian larch, fir, pitch pine, teak, and African timbers were used for ship construction, with varying success. However, in America timber was abundant and cheap, and this was one of the causes which led to the extraordinary development of American shipping in the first half of the nineteenth century, and it is probable that iron was also produced abundantly and cheaply in this country. Thus, the use of iron and steel as the materials for construction have enabled sailing ships to be built in modern times of dimensions which could not have been thought of in the olden days. These large vessels are chiefly employed in carrying wheat and nitrate of soda from the west coast of South America.
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The Rush to Build Towns in Colonial Virginia
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.
About Indentured Servants
To understand the status of Indentured Servants who were so numerous in the Virginia Colony and were such an important factor in the population of the Northern Neck, it is well to consider the meaning of the term. During the 17th century the word "servant" was not confined to one who was engaged in a menial task, instead broadly referred to anyone who, for compensation, rendered service to another (as was customary in all occupations) calling for especial training or instruction, to take on apprentices "bound to serve for a certain time in consideration of instruction in an art or trade." The apprentice was lodged and clothed by the master during the term and to give his labour and services in compensation for his support and instruction. The custom obtained not only in the various crafts and trades but even in the professions as well, lawyers and doctors taking students on similar terms. Virginia Immigrants
Origins of Colonists
No Use of the Plow
Agriculture was based on the cultivation of tobacco and corn, both hand-hoed crops, with practically no use whatsoever of the plow. As land was plentiful and the plantations increased in size, the great and pressing need of labor was at hand, and then more labor. The system of Indentured Service in Virginia began very early and opened a great supply of labor not otherwise available. There were many persons in England of the poorer class and even of those once more affluent who had, for one reason or the other, become the victims of misfortune and sought a fresh start in the colonies, but were without money to pay for passage. Also, those who suffered bankruptcy. The severe English Laws against debtors forced servants into Virginia, where, in 1642, a Law had been passed to protect fugutives from their English creditors.
Northumberland County Genealogy, Wills, Estates, Marriages, Indexes to Deeds and Orders
Northumberland County was formed about 1645, although not authorized until 1648, rom the district of Chickacoan, the early-seventeenth-century name for the region between the Potomac and the Rappahannock rivers. Its area is 223 square miles, and the county seat is Heathsville. The population is 12,259 according to the 2000 census. Courthouse Suffered some loss in a fire in the clerk's office on 25 October 1710. Birth and Death Records from 1650-1810 are located in the St. Stephens Parish. There being no court house in Northumberland in 1658, the judges met in a house probably used as a public tavern. But it was not until five years later that the court-house construction was begun. Before that, the justices held their sessions at the residences of Colonels Richard Lee and Peter Ashton. The building was situated at Fairfield and was made of wood. Therefore, in 1680, it was necessary to build another one. Source: Northumberland County Records, vol. 1652-66, p. 188; Orders Nov. 22, 1658; March 11, 1680.
Northumberland Wills, Estates, Marriages available to members of Virginia Pioneers
- to 1699
- 1735 to 1795
- Bonds 1788 to 1817
School Commission Reports
- 1823 to 1833
- 1833 to 1837
Index to Deeds and Orders
- Page 10; 40 to 80
- John Mattson deed
Transcriptions of Wills
- Harris, John
- Haynie, Anthony
- Jones, Robert
Traced genealogies and family histories of Northumberland County available to Members !