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Aquia Church, Overwharton Parish, Stafford County
There were incentives for land settlement in the Virginia colonies, especially if a gentleman brought over servants.
Captain John Withers from Lancaster, England was granted 1,000 acres of land in Westmoreland County in 1654 and 320 acres in 1658; nominated as a vestryman and church warden of the Potomac Parish in 1666. He served as a member of the Houses of Burgesses of Stafford County in 1692, several years before his death.
John Mercer of Marlborough, Virginia
John Mercer, ca 1750. George Mason III, son of late sheriff and ordinary keeper in the port town of Marlborough petitioned the court, together with Rice Hooe, "that Leave may be given to bring in a Bill to enable them to sell the said Land belonging to the town, the same not being built upon or Inhabited." The petition was put aside to be considerated, however on May 21, 1723 it was "Ordered That Rice Hooe and George Mason be at liberty to withdraw their petition." This was about the time that John Mercer arrived in the vicinity and settled in Marlborough. Mercer was born 1704 in Ireland and was the son of a Church Street merchant of English descent (also named John Mercer) and his wife, Grace Fenton Mercer. John received his education at Trinity College before sailing for the New World in 1720. He kept journals of his experience in the New World. From his second journal, he was engaged in miscellaneous trading, sailing up and down the rivers in his sloop and exchanging goods along the way. By 1725 he had accumulated 322 pds. worth of tobacco which was located inside a warehouse at the falls of the Rappahannock River. On June 10th he was married to the sister of George Mason, Catherine which occasion was celebrated at the home of Mrs. Ann Fitzhugh in King George County with the Reverend Alexander Scott of Overwharton Parish in Stafford County officiating. Thus, age the young age of twenty one years, Mercer became allied to the old established aristocracy of the Fitzhughs. During 1725 Mercer pressed ahead with his trading enterprises. From his journal it is learned that he sold Richard Ambler of Yorktown 710 pds of raw Deerskins for 35 pds. 10 shillings and purchased 200 pds. of sundry goods from Ambler as well. Between October 1725 and February 1726 he sold a variety of furnishings and equipment to Richard Johnson, ranging from a horsewhip and a silk rug, shoemaker knives and an ivory Comb. In return he received two hogsheads of tobacco, a gallon of cider, and raw and dressed deerskins. At the time, the only house standing at Marlborough was that which had been built by Thomas Ballard in 1708. It was inherited by his godson David Waugh, who now apparently offered to allow his niece Catherine and her new husband occupy it. Mercer later referred to it as "the House I lived in built by Ballard." In 1725 he purchased from his wife Catherine 885 acres of land near Potomac Church for 221 pds. and another tract of 1610 acres on Potomac Run for 322 pds. His journal recorded that he moved to Marlborough in 1726. From his own words written toward the end of his life when he was not overburdened with wealth: "Except my education I never got a shilling of my fathers or any other relations estate, every penny I ever got has been by my own industry and with as much fatigue as most people have undergone." Source: The Cultural History of Marlborough, Virginia by C. Malcolm Watkins.> Source: Dalrymple's revision of the map by Joseph Fry and Peter Jefferson in 1755 (Library of Congress).
The land upon which the town of Marlborough in Stafford County was laid off belonged to Captain Malachi Peale, with reversion to Giles Brent. The first feoffees were John Withers and Mathew Thompson, who conveyed twenty-three lots to different purchasers.
Source: Case and Petition of John Mercer, Ludwell, Papers, Virginia Historical Society Mss. Collection. List of Traced Virginia Families on this website
Discovering when Ancestors First Came to America
Genealogy Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin
There are a number of published books concerning the names of immigrants. The resources begin ca 1606. However, a knowledge of the history of immigrants helps. Essentially, America starting receiving a large influx of people from Scotland, Ireland, Switzerland and the German Palatines. As early as 1710, about 3,000 German Palatines were transported in ten ships to New York and assigned to work camps along the Hudson River to work off their passage. Experts have surmised that more Germans came to America than other groups. Probably the earliest Scottish settlement was about the same time in North Carolina along the Great Dismal Swamp. These people were the poor from Europe. The idea is to zero in on the port where they landed. There were trends to be considered. For example, many Germans and Scots came to Philadelphia and from there traveled the Wilderness Road across North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky, then further West. Other groups of Scots and Scotch-Irish landed in other Eastern ports, and traveled westward to Virginia and North Carolina as well as southward through the Carolina's and Georgia. It is not a bad idea to acquire a list of possible- immigrant-ancestors from the passenger lists and other early records. Then, trace where they went. For example, the Adventures of Purse and Person lists people who were transported to America by someone else, a patron who paid their passage. These people were usually persons who indentured themselves into service for some number of years for the cost of passage. The indentured servant served, say 7 years, and was located on the estate of the patron. Later, when service ended, he got 50 acres of land and began his own fortune. For this reason, it is important to search the county records where the patron settled. If you use this same method of every person (your surname) who is found in the early records, you will eventually frame an early history of each family and understand which person is your immigrant ancestor, or how you are related.
Accessing Immigration Records
Genealogy Tips from Jeannette Holland Austin
Except for some regional libraries who have a set of books containing names of immigrants, the best opportunity to find immigration records is at the National Archives. For various reasons, the Ship Manifest was not always given over at the time of arrival. And, sometimes several months passed after the voyage. The genealogist can expect to learn the name of the vessel and date of entry into the United States. A list of passengers with information concerning their nationality, where born, age, height color of hair, occupation, and place of last residence. The National Archives has records of arrivals to the United States from foreign ports between approximately 1820 and 1982 and are arranged by Port of Arrival. As in all research, diligence is the key. However, one also needs to educate himself concerning common ports of entry for different time periods.
The Substance of Genealogy = Old Wills and Estates
Genealogy Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin
There is more personal family information and clues contained in old wills and estates than a census record. And it is more accurate because it was written by an ancestor who wished to be remembered, and found later in time; after he had gone. It usually provides all the names of the children and their spouses, grandchildren, siblings, parents and could even include the names of relatives residing in foreign countries. Reading an old last will and testament, along with its inventories, sales, annual returns and other estate data is an open book into the life experiences of another person. Also, it provide multiple clues to discovering other relatives, should we examine it more closely. Not only do we get the whereabouts of family members, but also origins. One mention of a relative in a foreign country, for example, is worth thousands of research hours. Actually, estate details provide a parcel of clues in the Annual Returns. These returns commence with the last illness, funeral details, and as additional returns are filed (annually until the final settlement), tidbits appear of personal data appears, such as letters received from relatives in other places and all sorts of clues where to search next. Names of relatives, neighbors and friends are plastered all over those records. And do not forget to search for receipts! If you do this much, more family members will emerge and as well as a pattern of clues.
What to do when the Records Burned
Genealogy Tips from Jeannette Holland Austin
Most of the first immigrants to Virginia came from England. Other Europeans began migrating during the middle of the 17th century. The London Company and Virginia Company were invested in the colony and shipped people and supplies into Jamestown on a continuous basis dating from 1607. Can one locate all the ship manifests? No. Although there is a list of the first voyagers to Jamestown on this website, we have been unable to discover the ship manifests. The records of Jamestown were destroyed during an armed rebellion in 1676 when the settlers, led by Nathaniel Bacon against the rule of Governor William Berkeley, burned the town. An alternate place to research would be Williamsburg (York County).
Stafford County Genealogy, Wills, Marriages, Probate Records
Stafford County is located across the Rappahannock River from the City of Fredericksburg. The county seat is Stafford.
Stafford Wills, Estates, Marriages available to members of Virginia Pioneers
Indexes to Probate Records
- Index to Stafford Wills (1722-1729)
Miscellaneous Wills, Estates
Clement, Edward (LWT) 1733
Elzey, Margaret, deceased (1730) (Image)
Fudd, Michael (Inventory) ca 1733
Grigsby, Charles, LWT (1740) (image)
Grigsby, John, LWT (1728) (image)
Johnson, Booford, estate, inventory (1740) (image)
Mauzy, Peter, orphan (image)
Images of Wills 1699 to 1709
Testators: Alexander, Robert; Ashton, James, estate; Beath, Peter; Benson, Hugh; Bland, James; Brent, George; Brewton, John; Buckner, Philip; Cornwall, Ann; Enno, George; Farlow, Ann; Fitzhugh, William; Harman, Christopher; Harwood, William; Harvey, John; Jenkins, David; King, William ;Littlejohn, Oliver; Mann, James; Martin, Richard ;Matheny, William ;Pickett, Joyce ;Richardson, William ;Taylor, Edward ;Thomson, William ;Vandagesteel, Giles ;Waller, William ;Williams, Anthony ;Withers, John (Captain) ;Wood, William
Images of Wills 1729 to 1748
Testators: Barrow, Abraham; Bayles, John; Boles, Thomas ; Brent, William ; Burras, Mary ;Butler, James ;Cave, William ;Chadwell, John ;Chalmers, John ;Claiborne, Thomas ;Collinsworth, Mary; Cooke, John ;Cosby, George ;Counts, Joseph ;Craford, John ;Croftrodge, Thomas ;Crowley, George ;Denny, James ;Derrick, Mattox ;Duncan, Thomas ;Ellit, Charles ;Fowke, Chandler ; French, Hugh ; Grant, Ann ; Gregg, Lucy ; Grigsby, John ; Grigsby, Thomas ; Higgerson, John ; Hore, Elias ;Howard, John ; Hurst, John ; Jeffrice, Thomas ; Joanes, John ; Jones, Susan ; Keen, Matthew ; Massey, Dodd ; Masters, Thomas ; Mealy, Daniel ; Mees, Mary ; Ponton, Edward ;
Powel, Grace ;Scott, Alexander ;Scott, William ;Seaton, James ;Todd, Richard ;Warner, John ;Waugh, John ;Waugh, Joseph ;Wheeler, John ;Wigginton, William ;Withers, James
Images of Wills 1748 to 1763 Testators: Alexander, Philip ;Allan, George ;Anderson, John S. ;Barbee, Thomas ;Baxter, William ;Bosholl, Edward ;Brent, Charles ;Brout, Hannah ;Brown, John ;Buckner, John ;Burge, Edward ;Carter, William ;Chambers, Daniel ;Chapman, Taylor ;Chinn, Rawleigh ;Clifton, Burdit ;Colclough, Rachel ;Conway, Sarah ;Cook, Fravors ;Dade, Cadwallader ;Dade, Townshend ;Dade, Laughton ;Denaugh, Morrice ;Durrcom, Benjamin; Eaves, Thomas ;Edwards, Ignatius ;Findley, Mary ;Fitzhugh, Henry ;Fletcher, George; Foley, John ;French, Daniel ;Grady, Patrick; Grafford, Mary ;Grigg, Nathan ;Grigsby, James ;Grigsby, Jane ;Hampton, William ;Harper, Thomas; Herod, John ;Hinson, Charles ; Hood, Rino ; Johnson, John ; Mathews, William ; Mauzy, Peter ;McCarty, Cornelius ;McGill, Sarah ;Minor, John ;Murray, Anthony ;Nelson, Henry Sr. ;Parkridge, Eleanor ;Patton, William ;Pearson, Hannah ;Persons, Ann ;Peyton, John ;Rhodes, John ;Rigsby, Alexander; Robinson, Henry ;Rogers, John ;Simpson, John ;Stuart, David ;Smith, John R. ;Sturdy, Robert ;Sudderth, James ;Sudderth, Robert ;Thomas, Benjamin ;Thornberry, Samuel ;Thornton, Anthony; Todd, Hayward ;Travors, Rawleigh ;Walker, William ;Waller, Charles ;Waller, Susannah ;Washington, Henry ;Washington, John ;Waugh, James ;Waugh, Mary ;Whitecotton, Sarah ;Williams, George ;Williams, Jennett ;Williams, Thomas
Traced genealogies and family histories of Stafford County available to Members !