Search out Every Little Detail in the Life of the AncestorA search of the census records, graveyards, etc. is not enough. One must also research the county records were the ancestors resided. By that I mean - deeds, tax digests, wills, estates, marriages, minute books ... anything and everything that is available in that county. Genealogy is an intricate process of eliminating and establishing truths. Every detail on a document is important, including the names of witnesses! Follow the deeds to follow the ancestor - where he came from when he first purchased land in the county - and the last date that he was on record in that county. The tax digests list "defaulters". These are not necessarily people who failed to pay taxes, rather the ones who "moved on." Old newspapers also list tax defaults and letters which were left at the post office. We cannot skim over the possibilities and opportunities to learn more.
Our Ancestors Prepared the Way for Better TimesSomewhere out there is a parcel of land upon which your ancestors once built a house and his surrounding community. The ground may be parched and worn out from years of tilling the soil. And there may be an old sunken well on the place. Perhaps a crumbling barn and a tractor displaying its age in a reddish-orange coat of rust. If you are observing relics such as this, it is a splendid view of the hardships and labor required to bring America into better circumstances. Because it was those old wrinkled hands which prepared the way. After 1900, the next fifty years delivered new and better tractors, telephones, automobiles and the television. Then, during the 1960s, when we sent a man to the moon, new technology seemed to chase us into the 21st century. Let us take note. The quilt of accomplishment is woven by every generation. One day, the work which is being accomplished today will pass into the hands of future generations. Think about it.
The Importance of Finding all Land TractsIt is so easy to jump onto the wrong lineage! After all, names and dates can be rather confusing. That is why it is so important to locate the old family residence and the adjoining neighborhood. This is usually accomplished by researching deed records and tax digests. One follows the legal description, carefully noting the district and land lot number. Of course the first deeds did not contain a full description (as they do today), but usually listed the names of adjoining owners. The tax digests do the same thing, but also provide the number of acreage and counties involved. When people drew in the land lotteries, those tracts were also listed and should be regarded as clues of where to search next.
Where is that Land?Old wills frequently designate certain acreage to each son. So, how does one locate the various bequeathed tracts? But don't stop there; find the various tracts in order to trace families! The golden goose lies in Tax Digests which were kept in county records during the lifetime of your ancestors. One simply follows the years, noting the amount of acreage and how that changes over time. If John Smith bequeathed 240 acres to a son named John Smith, after his death, that land would show up under another John Smith name (the son). And so on. Next, the deed records provide a number of surprises. This is where people made deed gifts to children whether or not they left a last will and testament. So, a person near death may have already distributed much of his estate to his children. This would explain why the children were not named and only an executor or executrix was directed to administer the last portion of the estate.
Do the Magic Centipede
Southampton County Genealogy, Wills, Estates, Marriages
Southampton County was created in 1749 from Isle of Wight County, and part of Nansemond County was added later. During the 17th century, shortly after establishment of Jamestown in 1607, English settlers explored and began settling the areas along Hampton Roads. Most of Southampton County was originally part of Warroquyoake Shire, later called a county. In 1637 the Warrosquyoake Shire was renamed Isle of Wight County. It was in 1749 that the portion of Isle of Wight County west of Blackwater River became Southampton County. The first courthouse was built on the eastern bank of the east bank of the Nottoway River in 1752. The current courthouse building was built in 1834 and is the latest of several which have served the county. Southampton County is the origin of many families of southern Virginia and northern North Carolina.
Southampton County Wills, Estates, Marriages available to Members of Virginia Pioneers
Marriages (taken from Gates County, North Carolina Bonds)Miscellaneous
Images of Wills, Book No. 1, 1749 to 1762
- William Clegg estate dated 1780
- Joseph Mackey, LWT 1779 (transcription)
- Apprenticeship Indentures 1827 to 1894
- Western Branch Meeting of Quakers
Testators:Arrington, John; Arrington, John; Barham, Robert; Barns, Edward ;Barrett, Edward; Bittle, John; Blunt, Benjamin; Blunt, Henry; Booth, Robert; Bowen, John; Bowen, John; Braddy, Margaret; Bradshaw, Joseph; Branch, Elizabeth; Briant, Lewis; Bryant, Mary; Bryan, Robert;Charles, Rebecca; Clark, Thomas; Cob, William; Cobb, Nicholas; Cooper, William;Crocker, Elisha; Crocker, Moses; Crocker, Robert; Crumpler, William; Davis, John; Davis, Martha; Davis, Nathaniel; Dawson, John; Delk, Joseph ;Denson, John; Doyle, Edward; Drake, John; Drake, Richard; Drake, Thomas; Drew, Edward; Dunkley, Catherine ; Dunkley, John; Edmunds, Jeremiah; Edwards, Benjamin; Edwards, Elizabeth; Edwards, John; Edwards, William; Emelly, Giles; Evans, Elizabeth ;Evret, Simon; Exum, Francis;Exum, William; Fort, John;Gilliam, Walter ;Griffin, Mary ;Griffin, Matthew; Gurley, Nicholas; Harris, Martin; Hatfield, William; Hickman, William;Hollaman, Thomas;Ingraham, William ;Jarrel, John; Jarrell, Thomas ;Johnson, Benjamin; Johnson, John ; Johnson, Richard ;Jones, John; Jones, William; Joyner, Brigman; Joyner, Hennaretta; Joyner, John;Joyner, Jonathan; Joyner, Joseph; Joyner, William;Kindred, Mary; Kirby, Moody ;Kirby, Richard ;Lewis, Joshua; Love, Elias; Mackey, Daniel; Manning, Samuel; Matthews, Hugh; Matthews, John; Morgan, William; Mounger, Robert; Newsum, Elizabeth; Newsum, Robert; Norton, Joseph; Pate, Edward; Person, John; Pleasant, John ;Pope, Benjamin; Pope, Elizabeth ;Pope, Henry; Pope, John ;Pope, Stephen; Ricks, Elizabeth ;Ridley, Nathaniel; Ritching, James; Rotchell, John; Sandefur, William; Saul, Elizabeth; Scott, Elizabeth; Scott, William; Simmons, John; Simmons, J.; Simon, Augustus; Smith, James; Smith, Jane; Smith, John; Smith, Virgus; Spence, William; Stephenson, Katherine ;Taylor, Etheldred; Taylor, Thomas; Thorp, Timothy; Turner, Simon; Vasser, Benjamin; Vick, Joseph; Vicks, Pritchard ;Washington, Arthur; Washington, John; Web, Charles; Westbrooke, John;Westbrooke, Samuel ; Whitehead, Arthur ;Whitehead, Lewis ;Williams, Arthur ;Williams, Sarah;Williams, Thomas;Williamson, Joseph;Williford, John;Wills, Francis;Wright, James
Images of Wills, No. 2, 1762 to 1772
Testators:Adams, Henry; Atkinson, Thomas; Barnes, Thomas; Barron, Thomas; Beel, John; Beel, Thomas; Bennet, John; Berry, Thomas O. ;Bittle, William ;Blow, Samuel ;Booth, Arthur; Booth, Faitha ;Branch, George ;Branch, Martha ;Branch, William; Browne, Jesse ;Browne, John; Browne, Thomas; Bull, William; Calthorpe, Charles ;Carr, Robert ;Cary, Miles ;Cobb, Michael ;Colliar, George ;Crafford, Henry ;Crumpler, William; Davis, Lewis ;Day, Thomas; Denson, Francis ;Drake, John; Edmunds, Ann ;Edmunds, Howell ;Edwards, Micajah;Fort, Arthur; Fort, Rebecca ;Foster, Newel;Francis, Thomas; Gavin, Amos ;Gilliam, John; Gray, Benjamin ;Gray, Joseph ;Gresswell, Thomas; Gurly, George;Halliman, Josiah John; Harris, John;Harris, Mary ;Harris, Simon ;Hart, Elizabeth ;Hart, Robert ;Hart, Henry ;Hasty, James ;Hines, John; Howell, William; Jarrel, Benjamin;Jelks, William; Jenkins, Valentine; Johnson, Benjamin ;Johnson, Jacob ;Johnson, Lazarus ;Johnson, Stephen ;Jones, James ;Jones, William; Joyner, Joshua; ;Kitchen, Thomas; Little, John; Long, Arthur; Marks, Thomas; Moore, Thomas; Myrick, John; Napier, Nathan ;Newsom, David ;Newsom, Joseph ;Nicholson, Joshua ;Person, John; Person, William; Pope, Henry ;Pope, John; Pope, Joshua; Pope, Nathan ;Pope, William; Porter, Christopher ;Pursell, Arthur; Ramsey, James ;Ricks, Robert ;Rose, Richard;Simmons, Benjamin ;Stephenson, Thomas; Thomas, Henry; Thomas, John; Thorpe, John; Thorpe, Timothy;Thweatt, William; Turner, James;Turner, Simon ;Turner, Thomas; Turner, William; Vaughn, William; Vick, Joshua ;Warren, John;Washington, George; Washington, John; Washington, William; Westbrooke, Thomas; Westbrooke, William; Whitney, Joshua;Wiggins, John; Williams, Jonah ;Williams, Thomas; Williamson, Arthur; Williamson, Benjamin ;Wood, George ;Worrell, William;
Images of Wills, No. 3, 1772 to 1782
Testators: Adams, Thomas; Andrews, William; Atkinson, Neal; Atkinson, Timothy; Austin, William; Avery, Fortune; Avery, Richard; Bailey, Robert ;Bailey, Sarah; Bailey, William; Barham, Benjamin; Barker, William; Barnes, Benjamin; Barrett, William Sr.; Barron, John; Bass, Charles; Bass, Joshua; Beale, Hardy; Beale, William; Beall, John; Blunt, Priscilla; Blunt, Thomas; Booth, Robert; Bowers, William; Bradshaw, Joseph; Branch, Howell; Brewer, John; Britt, John; Britt, John Sr.; Brown, Jesse; Brown, John; Buggs, Henry Burn, Patience Burnett, Charity Butts, Peter Bynum, Elizabeth Bynum, Michael Bynum, William; Byrd, John; Carroll, Thomas; Catthorpe, Elenor Claud, Joseph; Claud, Joseph; Claud, Philip Clements, Benjamin; Clements, Benjamin; Cleveland, William; Clifton, Benjamin; Clifton, Thomas; Crenshaw, Thomas; Crocker, Sarah Curl, Thomas; Dawson, Henry Demmery, Frederick; Davis, Thomas; Davis, Thomas; Deloach, William; Drake, Ann; Drake, Jesse; Drake, John; Drew, Jesse; Drew, Newett Drewry, Thomas; Drewry, William; Edmunds, David Edmunds, Mary Edwards, Micajah Edwards, Thomas; Edwards, William; Elzey, John; Everitt, Joseph; Everitt, Thomas; Fort, Ann; Fort, Joshua; Foster, Alis Fowler, James; Fowler, William; Francis, Thomas; Gardiner, John; Gay, Edmund George, William; Gilliam, Jesse; Glover, George Griffin, Benjamin; Grisswit, William; Grizard, William; Grizard, Ambrose Hall, George Harris, Benjamin; Harris, John; Harris, Mary Harris, Simon Harrison, Samuel Harrison, William; Hatfield, Josiah Ivy, Henry Ivy, John; Jackson, Sarah Jenkins, Edmund Johnson, Job Johnson, John; Johnson, Joseph; Johnson, Robert Johnson, Samuel Joiner, Israel Jones, Honer Jones, Martha Jones, Nathan Jones, Richard Jones, Robert Jordan, James; Joyner, Brigman Joyner, William; Kennebrew, Ann; Kinnebrew, Edwin Kinnebrew, William; Kirby, Mary Kirby, Richard Kirby, William; Kitchen, Benjamin; Lankford, Thomas; Lundy, Byrd Lundy, Edward Lundy, Edward (2) Lundy, James; Mackey, Joseph; Menefee, James; Mercer, John; Mercer, Robert Morgan, John; Morgan, John; (2) Myrick, Mary Newsom, Jacob Newsom, Sampson Nicolson, Joshua; Oney, Leonard Person, Collin Person, John; Person, Philip Phillips, John; Pitman, John; Pond, Richard Pope, John; Pope, Patience Pope, William; Rawlings, John; Ray, William; Reese, Joseph; Revel, Sampson Ricks, Richard Ridley, James; Ridley, Nathan Right, Mary Scarbrough, John; Simmons, William; Smith, John; Speed, Mary Stephenson, Ann;Sturgeon, John; Tatum, Joshua; Taylor, Charles Taylor, Etheldred Taylor, James; Taylor, Lucy Taylor, William; Thorpe, John; Tucker, Benjamiin Turner, Benjamin; Turner, John; Turner, Joseph; Turner, William; Vasser, Lydia Vick, Arthur Vick, William; Wade, Christopher Warren, Faith Warren, Joseph; Wellons, John; Westbrooke, James; Westbrooke, Thomas; William;s, Nathan Robert Williams, Sarah Williamson, Francis Wilson, William Wombwell, James; Woodard, Charles Wright, James
Indexes to Probate Records
- Index to Will Book 1, 1749 to 1762
- Index to Will Book 2, 1762 to 1772
- Index to Will Book 3, 1772 to 1782