Virginia Pioneers

First Settlers of Princess Anne County

Albemarle Sound Many of the first settlers to Princess Anne County acquired land patents or grants in Currituck County, North Carolina. John Legat, born ca 1650, of Currituck in the province of North Carolina deeded to David Legat of Lynnhaven Parish, Princess Anne County, in 1699, 100 acres of land for life. In 1692 Governor Francis Nicholson granted to Adam Furgison 120 acres of land lying on the westward side of the North River Swamp in Princess Anne County adjoining lands of Beatcher and Thomas Tooley. While researching persons in Princess Anne County, one should also search Albemarle Sound in Outerbanks, North Carolina where many of the first settlers also owned land. List of Traced Virginia Families on this website

17th Century Colonists to Virginia

Adam Thoroughgood House Some of the largest landowners of the 17th century were Richard Lee, William Byrd, Adam Thoroughgood and the elder Nathaniel Bacon. The English spirit prevailed and class distinctions were upheld. As in England, the class of a gentleman was distinctly different from the yeoman, and the yeoman separate from the agricultural servant or mechanic. The population of the colony was mostly of pure English blood and a good many of the first adventurers had title and rank, and transported servants which entitled them to be granted large tracts of land. The idea was to amass large tracts of land based upon the number of servants transported into the colony and to establish colonial plantations. The true adventurer uprooted his family for the opportunity of what later became "the American dream." The emigrants were not drawn because of religious differences (as in New England), but rather based on customs and traditions of their native land. Virginia Immigrants Origins of Colonists

Adam Thoroughgood House

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Forts and The Granting of Land

After the Indian massacre of 1644, land was granted on a large scale for the establishment of forts. By an Order of the Assembly in 1645 blockhouses or forts were established at strategic points: Fort Charles at the falls of the James River, Fort Royal at Pamunkey, Fort James on the ridge of Chickahominy on the north side of the James, and in the next year Fort Henry at the falls of the Appomattox River. Since the maintenance of these forts was so expensive, the officials decided to prevent the draining of the public treasury by granting forts with adjoining lands to individuals who would accept the responsibility of their upkeep as well as the maintenance of an adequate force for defense. Fort Henry, located at present-day Petersburg, was granted to Captain (later General) Abraham Wood with 600 acres of land plus all houses, edifices, boats, and ammunition belonging to the fort. Wood was required to maintain and keep ten persons continuously at the fort for three years. During this time he was exempted from all public taxes for himself and the ten persons. The same terms were provided to Lieutenant Thomas Rolfe, son of Pocahontas and John Rolfe, who received Fort James and 400 acres of land; Captain Roger Marshall, Fort Royal and 600 acres. Since there was no arable land adjoining Fort Charles at present-day Richmond, other inducements were made for its maintenance. All of these forts served as the first line of defense against possible attacks by the natives. Being the center of the varied activities of the frontier, they also were the starting point for expeditions against the Indians and became the center of trade for the outlying regions.

Abraham Wood, Old Fort Henry

The Head Right Grant

Headright Grant The headright was the most important land grant and became the principal basis for title to land in the seventeenth century. Its origin goes back to The Greate Charter of 1618; as follows: "

That for all persons, which during the next seven years after Midsummer Day 1618 shall go into Virginia with intent there to inhabite If they continue there three years or dye after they are shiped there shall be a grant made of fifty acres for every person upon a first division and as many more upon a second division (the first being peopled) which grants to be made respectively to such persons and their heirs at whose charges the said persons going to inhabite in Virginia shall be transported with reservation of twelve pence yearly rent for every fifty acres to be answered to the said treasurer and company and their successors for ever after the first seven years of every such grant." Thus, it is evident that not only was the headright grant of fifty acres per person open to shareholders who brought settlers into the colony, but also to anyone who had migrated to the colony at his own expense or who had financed the expedition of other persons. Individuals paying their own transportation were entitled to fifty acres for themselves and for every member of the family, providing they fulfilled the residence requirement of three years. This is how so many early settlers became large landowners of thousands of acres. The headright was set aside by the crown in 1624, however, the royal governors continued to honor headright claims based upon immigration. It became the custom.

Princess Anne County Genealogy, Wills, Estates, Deeds, Poll Lists, Indexes to Probate Records


Note: When researching Princess Anne County for ancestors, Norfolk County should also be examined as the names between the two counties were frequently inter-changed with relatives. When Admiral Christopher Newport and the colonists of the Virginia Company arrived in 1607, George Percy and his fellow Englishmen's first landing was at Cape Henry. They named the spot in honor of Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, the eldest son of King James I of England. It was this spot which later became Princess Anne County. A well-known planter was Adam Thoroughgood who settling along the Lynnhaven River. In 1634, the King of England directed the formation of eight shires (or counties) in the colony of Virginia. One of these was Elizabeth City Shire, which included land area on both sides of Hampton Roads. New Norfolk County was formed in 1636 from Elizabeth City Shire. New Norfolk County included all the area in South Hampton Roads now incorporated in the five independent cities located there in modern times. In 1637 this tract was divided into Upper Norfolk County and Lower Norfolk County. In 1691, Lower Norfolk County was in turn subdivided to form Norfolk County and Princess Anne County, which contained the area of Lynnhaven Parish. Princess Anne County was named for the heir to the English throne, who later became Queen Anne.

The following allowances were made in the levy of Princess Anne County for 1696 for the construction of a court-house. A new jail was erected at the same time, and to some extend the outlay for the two is given together in the entry quoted: "To Timbner for the frame of court house and prison, 1000 lbs. Tobo.; Digging Post holes for the court house, 30 lbs. Tobo.; 2850 Boards for outside work, 1425 lbs. Tobo; Bringing above down, boating them; To Joseph Godacres loading and carting them, 500 lbs. Tobo.; Taking down the table, benches and bar at old Court house, bringing here and setting up, 100 lbs. Tobo.; Taking up plank at old Court house, boat and hands bringing it to Court house and carting, 400 lbs. Tobo; 650 plank of Adam Keeling, 650 lbs. Tobo.; To a boat and hands 2 days fetching 400 feet of it to Godacres' landing; One day carting it thence to Court house, 50 lbs. Tobo; One day carting sleepers to court house, 60 bs. Tobo; 6000 8d. Nails, 480 lbs. Tbo; 1000 10. nails, 100 lbs. Tobo; 1000 4d. nails, 45 lbs. Tobo; 500 20d. nails, 150 lbs. Tobo; 1500 Boards for inside @600 lbs. p. 1000, 900 lbs. Tobo; 2 bbl. of tar and bringing same, 300 lbs. Tobo; carting course house frame, 410 lbs. Tobo; To superintendence, 800 lbs. Tobo." Sources: Princess Anne Order Book 1691-1709, p. 119.

Princess Anne County Wills, Estates, Marriages available to members of Virginia Pioneers

Images of Wills 1714 to 1724

Testators: Atwood, John; Attwood, John; Atwood, Thomas; Attwood, William; Bray, Robert; Brock, Thomas; Brooks, Job; Burrough, Benjamin; Bush, George;Capps, Richard; Carroway, Edward; Carroway, John; Cason, James; Clause, Sarah; Cock, Christopher; Corbet, Richard; Corprew, Thomas; Crashley, Peter; Dange, James; Danley, John; Davis, Edward; Dennis, Timothy; Droutt, Richard; Edmunds, John; Emperer, Tully; Etherington, Thomas;Ewell, Thomas; Fentriss, Michael; Fitzgerald, Henry; Flaborn, John; Fowler, Frances; Franklin, Thomas; Gornes, Peter; Hancock, Athen; Hancock, George; Hancock, George (2); Harvey, Thomas; Hoath, Ann; Holmes, Samuel; Holmes, William; Hoskins, Richard; Hunter, William; Hutchings, Daniel; Johnson, John; Jones, Evan; Jones, Richard; Jones, Solomon; Kempe, John; Land, Edward; Lilburn, Jane; Louott, Adam; Lovet, Thomas; Marsh, George; Martin, William; McGravy, Owin; Moore, Cason; Moore, Mathias; Morse, Francis; Moseley, Benjamin; Moseley, Edward; Moseley, Margaret; Moy, John; Nickles, Richard; Oliver, Peter; Olliver, Peter; Pallett, John; Plomton, Richard; Poad, William; Pow, Stephen; Purvine, John; Richardson, John; Richmond, John; Road, James; Scott, David Sr.; Shepherd, Samuel; Sicklemore, Samuel; Simmons, John; Smith, Tully; Snaile, Henry Sr.; Soalsy, Ann; Stireling, John; Thorowgood, John; Thorowgood, William; Walke, Thomas; Weblin, John; White, James; Whitehurst, James; Wicker, William; Williamson, Richard; Wills, Elenor; Wishard, James; Woodhouse, Henry; Woodhouse, Horatio; Woodhouse, Horatio (2); Woodhouse, John; Worrington, Clifton

Images of Princess Anne County Wills 1724 to 1735

Testators: Achis, Katherine; Achis, William; Ashley, William;Achis, Adam;Ackis, John;Albritton, Thomas; Barns, Anthony;Berry, Robert;Blake, Arthur;Bonnoy, John; Bonnoy, Richard;Bonnoy, William;Boush, Sarah;Bradshaw, Edward;Bray, Edward;Bray, Olive;Brock, Thomas;Burfoot, Ambros; Cannon, Edward;Cannon, John;Capps, William;Carroway, John; Cartwright, Ann;Clark, James Tanons;Cockroft, John;Collins, Giles;Cooper, Thomas;Cornick, John;Crood, Thomas;Croots, Catran; Cumberfoot, James;Dauloy, Dennis;Dollar, Margaret;Easter, William;Ellegood, William;Fentriss, John;Floyd, Peter;Gisborne, William;Griffin, John;Haynes, James;Hutchings, Sarah;Ivy, Lemuel; Jackson, John;James, John;James, Mary;Jones, Owen;Jones, Susannah;Kingman, Robert;Lamount, Edward;Land, Robert;Loster, William;Mackool, Naomy;Miloud, John;Montgomery, George;Moore, Cason;Moseley, Hillary;Moy, Richard;Murray, John Sr.;Nicholas, William;O'Herson, Joseph;O'Loufer, John;Poole, Esther;Purvine, Lewis;Roberts, Mary;Saunders, John;Scott, David;Scott, Thomas; Simmons, Henry;Smith, Elizabeth;Smith, George;Smith, James; Smyth, George;Spratt, Thomas;Talbot, Isaac;Thelaball, Francis;Thelaball, Lemuel;Thorowgood, Thomas;Thrillwind, Thomas; Tooly, James;Trousthan, Sampson;Walsh, Hester;Whitehurst, Elizabeth;Whitehurst, Henry;Whitehurst, Hugh;Whitehurst, John; Whitehurst, William;Wicker, William;Wishard, Thomas

Images of Guardians of Orphans 1774 to 1777
Names of Orphans: Baxter; Berry; Biddle; Bousch; Broughton; Buskey; Cannon; Carraway; Cornick; Dison; Ethridge; Gashing; Gray; Griggs; Haynes; Hopkins; Hudgins; Hunter; Jacobs; Jones; Keeling; Lamb; Lamount; Land; Leget; Mackey; Morris;Morse;Moseley;Munden;Nimms;Parsons;Salmons;Scott; Shepherd;Shepherd, Smith;Shippe;Simmons; Sparrow; Stone;Taylor;Thorowgood;Turner;Walke;Weblin; Whitehead; Wiles;Williamson;Wishart;Woodhouse

Images of Wills 1747-1755

Absalom, Edmund; Achiss, Francis Achiss, William; Alderson, Worsell;Baniser, James;Batton, John; Bellegood, Jacob;Benson, William;Berry, George;Blair, Ann;Blair, James;Booth, John;Brinson, Henry;Brooks, Patrick;Brown, Edward; Brown, Francis;Buchanan, Elinor;Burfort, Ambrose;Burley, Robert; Busky, John;Capps, George;Capps, John;Cartwright, William; Cheshire, Susanna;Clark, Alexander;Constant, William;Cornick, Joel;Cornick, William;Craton, Solomon;Cummings, Martin;Dale, William;Dauge, William;Dorey, John;Dudley, Mary;Dusley, John; Dyer, John;Elk, Thomas;Ellegood, Margaret;Ellis, Peter;Etheridge, Eve;Fentriss, Michael;Fentriss, William Jr.;Franklin, Thomas;Franklin, William;Gasking, Job;Gisborn, Elizabeth; Gisborn, James;Goodson, Richard;Gornton, John;Grant, Thomas;Griffin, John; Gwin, John;Haines, Crapman;Harmon, Joseph;Haynes, Erasmus;Haynes, James;Henley, Cornelius;Hill, Thomas;Holmes, Henry;Holmes, Robert;Holmes, Samuel;Huggins, Robert;Hunter, John;Hutchins, John, Capt.;Hunter, John;Jacobs, William;Johnson, Margaret;Jones, James;Keeling, Capt.;Keeling, William;Lamount, Thomas;Langley, James;Latter, Dayley;Lawson, Thomas;Lester, Darcus;Lester, Thomas;Lovett, John;Lovett, Lancaster;Lovett, William;Malbone, Peter;Malbone, William;Martindale, Robert;Mason, Robert;Montgomery, Elizabeth;Moore, James;Moore, Mary;Morris, Josiah;Morris, William;Mosley, Benjamin;Munden, John;Nicholas, Andrew;Nicholas, John;Nicholason, Malachi;Nimmo, James, Captain; Oakham, William;Petree, James;Philpot, Christopher;Power, Samuel; Prescott, John;Purdy, William;Rainey, John;Robards, ark;Robinson, Tully;Roe, Kilsey;Russel, John;Salmon, William;Sayer, Margaret; Sharwood, John;Shepard, Smith;Smith, Richard;Smyth, Charles; Smythe, Tully;Spratt, Henry;Thorowgood, Argyle;Thorowgood, Robert;Turner, John;White, Isaac;Whitehurst, Antho;Whitehurst, Arthur;Whitehurst, Babson;Whitehurst, Charles;Whitehurst, Nathaniel;Whitehurst, Robert;Wiggins, William;Wilburn, Elizabeth; Wilburn, John;Williamson, Bartholomew;Williamson, Dinah;Williamson, John;Williamson, Roger;Woodhaup, Philip

Images of Wills 1779-1780

Names of Testators: Achiss, James (estate); Bonney, Jonathan; Bonney, Nathan; Burke, Samuel; Bushey, Sarah; Coates, Willis; Collins, John; Dawley, William; Henley, John; Hoggard, Harmer; Holmes, William; Hughs, Thomas; Jackson, Jonathan; Johnson, James; Kelly, John; Loftland, Barnabas; Montgomery, James; Moore, James; Moore, Willoughby; Nicholas, Susannah; Pallett, John; Peeding, Nathan; Simmons, Uriah; Stripes, Lewis; Tenant, James; Thorowgood, Robert; Thorowgood, William; Tooley, James; Turner, Thomas; Whitehurst, James

Images of Deeds, Wills, Estates 1780 to 1782

Names: Airs to Dyer;Airs, Francis to John Rany;Benney, Jonathan (estate);Blaw, Capt. Robert (estate);Boult to Boult;Boush, Maximilian;Braithwaite, James;Brown, Willis;Calloway, Alese (estate);Cannon, Edward;Clay, Peter;Collins to Kilgour;Conner, Charles (deed);Cox, George (deed);Cumberfoot, John (deed); Dickson, Amy (estate);Dudley, George;Dudley, George (estate); Dudley, James;Elks, Thomas to Jeremiah Plumer;Harrison, Henry to William West;Hill to Hill;Hill, Morris Sr.;Holmes, Amy; Holmes, Henry;Holmes, Henry (estate);Hopkins, Jonathan;Hunter, Dinah;Hunter, Jacob;Hunter, Jacob (estate);Hunter, Thomas (estate);Jones, Robert;Kempe, James to Thomas Kempe;Kempe to Kempe;Kempe to Harrison;Kenline to Harr;Lawrence to Walke; Laws, Robert;Lovett, Adam to Elizabeth (Lovett);Lovett to Shepherd;Luke, Betty;Malbone, Philip;Matthews to Berry;Matthias, James Sr.;Moore, James;Morris, John (deed);Morris to Whitehead; Newton, Lemuel;Nicholson to Burrows;Oakem, William;Old to Duran; Old, Thomas;Owens, Thomas;Phipp, Matthew (deed);Ramsay, John; Ramsay, John (estate);Seneca, William;Simpson to Wiles; Smith, John Sr.;Tipling, John;Tooley, James;Trotter, John Giles; Trowton, George;Walke, Anthony;Walke to Lawrence;Ward, George; Whitehurst to Whitehurst;Will, Susanna (deed);Williams to Capps; Williamson to Airs;Williamson, Reuben;Williamson, Sally;Wishart, William (bond);Woodhouse, Horatio;Woodhouse to Cavendar; Woodhouse to Lovett

Images of Wills 1782 to 1793

Names of Testators: Aleph?; Agness, Thomas; Atwood, Edward; Atwood, Solomon; Berry, George; Berry, Mary; Berry, Richard; Brock, Thomas; Broughton, William; Bush, Edward; Campbell, Duncan; Capps, Edward; Clay, Ann; Clay, Peter; Collins, Nathaniel; Collins, Nathaniel (2); Cottel, Sarah; Creed, John Jr.; Dickson, Robert; Dorn, Isaac; Dudley, Henry; Duham, Amy; Elks, Thomas;Ellegood, Peter Norley;Fentriss, Aaron; Gasking, Charles;Gaskins, Henry;Gasking, Job; Gasking, Thomas;Gishborn, Edward;Hamilton, Gavin;Hancock, William; Haynes, Erasmus;Haynes, Thomas; Hill, Morris; Hutchins, Moses; Hunter, Dinah; Jones, Robert;Jones, Sarah;Kelley, William; Kelly, Francis;Kentine, John; Lewis, Thomas;Lovett, Amy; Lovey, Andrew; Luke, Polly;Makepeace, Ebenezer; Malbone, Philip;Matthias, John; Moore, Francis; Mason, James; Moore, James; Moore, John; Moseley, Edward; Moseley, Hillary; Moseley, Tully; Moseley, William; Murden, John; Owens, Thomas;Payne, Thomas;Phillips, Mitchell;Philpot, John;Pritchett, Matthew;Rampe, James; Rumpter, Dinah;Smith, John;Sonica, William;Spann, William; Stripe, Lewis;Tenant, Elizabeth;Thorowgood, Sally; Tipling, John;Trotter, Sarah;Trowton, George;Turner, John; Turner, William;Ward, Arthur;Ward, George; Waterman, Charles;Webb, George;Whitehead, William;Willeroy, John; Williams, John;Woodhouse, Horatio;Woodhouse, Jonathan; Woodhouse, Joseph;Woodhouse, Philip;Woodhouse, William; Wright, Joshua

Images of Deeds
  • 1724-1735, Part. I & II
  • 1747-1755, Book 7
  • 1779 to 1780
  • 1780 to 1782
  • 1782 to 1780
  • 1783 to 1785
  • 1785 to 1788
  • 1788 to 1790
  • 1790 to 1792
  • 1792 to 1795
  • 1795 to 1798
  • 1798 to 1800
  • 1801 to 1803
Deeds, Orders, Wills, Estates
  • 1691-1709, Books 1 and 2
  • 1702
  • 1709 to 1717
  • 1756 to 1776
Miscellaneous Land Patents, Deeds, Releases
  • 1736 Beverley Patent (map of names)
  • Ackiss, William Lease and Release to John Murden, 1729
  • Ackis to Murden, indenture, 1729
  • Bassnett Power of Attorney to Jeremiah Murden, 1729
  • Berry, deed to Epa. Munden, 1764
  • Cason, Charles Land Grant, 1767
  • Cason,James Land Grant, 1724
  • Cason,James and Ann to John Fentriss, deeds, 1696
  • Cason,James, Land Grant, 1755
  • Cason,James, Power of Attorney, 1726
  • Cason,James, Power of Attorney, 1727
  • Cason,John, Indenture to Epa. Munden, 1750
  • Fentress Land Grant adj. J. Murden, 1766
  • Fentris Deed Release to Murden, 1712
  • Fentris, Moses and Aaron lease and release to George Fentris, 174
  • Fentris, Michael deed to Hopkins, 1709
  • Hatton deed to Acquila Munden, 1744
  • Henley, Thomas deed to Thomas Cannon, 1765
  • Hopkins Land Patent adj. J. Murdin, 1703
  • Hopkins, John Land Grant adj. J. Murden, 1705
  • Ivy Lease and release to William Whitehurst; Sarah and Robert Murden, 1727
  • Iliff, Dinah deed to Robert Murden, 1714
  • Iliffe, Thomas to Richard Cook, transactions, 1696
  • Iliffe, Thomas transactions with Griffin, 1698
  • Jones, Robert Lease and Release to Epa. Munden, 1747
  • Moore, Cason, Land Grant, 1715
  • Moore, Cason, Land Grant, 1764
  • Moseley, Luke deed to John Mundon, 1721
  • Munden, Epa. deed to Chappels, 1765
  • Munden, Epa. and Mary, Release of Dower to Lovitt, 1753
  • Munden, Epaphroditus deed to John Ackis
  • Munden deed, 1785
  • Munden, John, deed to William Holmes, 1754
  • Munden, John, Lease to Moses Munden, 1765
  • Munden, John , deed to Lamont, 1742
  • Mundey, John, Power of attorney, 1730
  • Munden, John and James Harrison, Agreement, 1729
  • Munden, John and Frances deed to Moses Roberts
  • Munden, Stephen and Anne Lease to Thom Henley, 1741
  • Munden, Stephen to Brock indenture, 1739
  • Murden,John, Land Grant from William Worthington, 1755
  • Murden, John and Martha Lease to Bush, 1717
  • Murdon, Robert, 1757
  • Murdon, Robert, deed, 1763
  • Murden, Robert and Lovett, Indentures, 1724
  • Murden, Sarah, Land grant of 97 acres, 1727
  • Rutland, William deed to John Munden, 1720
  • Tucker Land Grant adj. John Mund, 1738
  • Walke Lease, Release to John Munden, 1728 Whitehurst, 1758
  • Woodhouse, Ruth, gift deeds to children, 1696
Miscellaneous Wills, Estates
  • Cason, James Sr., 1761
  • Dixson, Robert
  • Fentris, Aron, last will and testament (1738) and Moses
  • Fentris Deed of Gift Haynes, James, LWT, 1726,
  • Haynes, Enoch, LWT (1753) (transcription)
  • Henly, Charles, 1747
  • Holmes, William (transcription)
  • Keeling, Alexander, 1703
  • Iliff, Thomas, 1707/1708
  • Iliffe, Thomas, inventory of estate, 1712
  • Lovett, Lancaster, LWT, 1700
  • Mackie, William, LWT (1795) (transcription)
  • Mackey, Jonathan, LWT (1795) (transcription)
  • Murden, Jeremiah, LWT1750
  • Munden, John, LWT and inventory of estate
  • Murden, Robert, inventory of estate, 1726
Minute Books
  • Minute Book 7, pages 25 to 26
Registered Marks
  • 1718 Registered Marks
  • 1723 Registered Marks
  • 1886 Map
Miscellaneous Marriage Contracts
  • Cason, William to Mary Smith
  • Munden, John to Any Gornto
Indexes to Probate Records and Deeds
  • 1724 to 1735
  • 1779 to 1780
  • 1782 to 1783
  • 1783 to 1785
  • 1785 to 1788
  • 1788 to 1790
  • 1792 to 1795
  • 1795 to 1798
  • 1798 to 1800
  • 1801 to 1803
  • 1785 Taxpayers
  • 1788 Delegates to Congress
  • June 1788 Election of Delegates to Congress
  • 1788 Poll of Dennis Dawley
  • 1788 Poll for Thomas Kempe
  • 1788 Delegates to Congress
  • 1789 Delegates to Congress
  • 1789 Freeholders
  • 1789 Poll of Voters for Anthony Walke
  • 1789 Poll of Voters for Edward Moseley
  • 1789 Poll of Voters for Thomas Lawson for General Assembly
  • 1796 Freeholders
  • 1799 Voters
  • 1800 Voters
  • 1803 Voters
  • 1736 Beverley Patent (map of names)
  • 1886 Map

  • 1704 Quit Rent Rolls