Prince William

Prince William County Genealogy, Wills, Estates, Marriages, Probate Records

When Captain John Smith and other English explorers came to the upper Potomac River beginning in 1608, they reported that the area within present Prince William County was occupied by the Doeg tribe. The Doeg Indians maintained several villages in this area into the 1650s, when colonists began to patent the land. The County was named for Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, the third son of King George II. Prince William County was created on 1 February 1727 from King George and Stafford Counties. The Act of 1731 of the General Assembly included parts of Stafford county and King george County and part of Prince William County originally included all of what later became Arlington County,the City of Alexandria, Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, the City of Falls Church, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, the City of Manassas, and the City of Manassas Park. The county seat is Manassas.
Indexes to Probate Records
  • Wills, Inventories, Accounts 1734-1744
  • Wills, Inventories Accounts 1782-1792
  • Abstracts of Wills 1734-1781
Digital Images of Wills 1734-1744

Testators: Ashford, Ann | Ashford, Michael | Awbroy, Francis | Bridges, William | Bullock, Richard | Chapman, Joseph | Coffer, Mary | Deakers, Thomas | Debee, William | Doyle, Edward | Drakefoot, Richard | Edge, John | Farrow, Abram | French, James | Gibson, Jacob | Gosling, John | Gosling, Simon | Gregg, John | Greshon, James | Hager, Henry | Hardin, Mark | Haurork, Scarlot | Henderson, James | Hishback, John | Jordan, Thomas | Lacon, Francis | Lawson, Marmaduke | Marr, John | Morris, Ann | Neal, Rodham | Oriar, Daniel | Overall, John | Paddorfou, Catherine | Page, John | Simos, Richard | Simson, Thomas | Sparkes, William | Suto, Edward | Tobbs, Daniel | Walker, John | Williams, Jonas Jr. | Wright, Francis and Young, Edward

Digital Images of Wills 1778 to 1791

Testators: Ashmore, John | Atwell, Thomas | Bennett, William | Botts, Joshua | Brown, Elizabeth | Brown, James | Bullitt, Cuthbert | Burroughs, John | Burrows, John | Carr, William | Carter, Giles | Chapman, John | Chapman, Thomas | Cheek, John | Cooper, Henry | Crook, Zephaniah | Dagg, Thomas | Delgarn, John | Dowell, John | Ewell, Thomas Winder | Fennell, Francis | Foley, Mary | Forbes, David | Foster, William | Goodman, John | Graham, John | Graham, John (2) | Gray, Francis | Green, George | Harrison, Ann | Harrison, Burr | Harrison, Cuthbert | Haskins, John | Helm, Linaugh | Higgs, Truman | Hogan, Thomas | Hutchinson, John | Ismongrove, Lydia Musgrove | Jackson, Francis | Jackson, Samuel Sr. | Kitchen, George | Landrum, William | Lee, Henry | Love, Samuel | Lowe, John | Moseley, Robert | Murray, John | Peachey, Samuel Jr. | Petty, Joseph | Peyton, Henry | Peyton, Valentine | Powell, William | Purcell, William | Quisenberry, James | Randolph, John | Reeves, John | Reeves, Mary | Ross, John | Ross, William | Rove, George | Scott, James | Scott, Sarah | Shute, Fanny | Simms, Jane | Smith, Caleb | Smoot, Thomas | Sparks, William | Stone, Thomas | Suel, Margaret | Tackett, William | Tennison, William | Tibbs, Foushee | Whitledge, William | Wilson, Henry | Wilson, Sarah

  • Images of Administrator Bonds 1753-1782 (not indexed)
Images of Will Bk H, 1792 to 1803 (names not provided here due to lack of space
Images of Will Bk I, 1803 to 1809 (names not provided here due to lack of space
Headright Grants in Virginia
Planters of Colonial Virginia summarized his analysis of patents and concluded that both before 1635 and in the following two or three decades, thirty to forty per cent of the landholders of Virginia came to the colony as indentured servants. Professor Wertenbaker also indicated general agreement with conclusions drawn by William G. Stanard about the proportion of immigrants that were indentured servants. From an analysis of the patent rolls from 1623 to July 14, 1637 (printed in the April, 1901 issue of the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography), Stanard estimated that seventy-five per cent of immigrants from 1623 to 1637 were imported under term of the indenture. Out of 2,675 names on the rolls, 336 entered as freemen at their own cost and an additional 245 persons were believed for the most part to be of the same status although there was some uncertainty about this group. Transportation expenses were paid by others for 2,094. From these numbers, the conclusion was reached that 675 persons on the patent rolls were freemen, including women and children; the remaining 2,000 were servants and a much smaller number of slaves. To prove himself worthy of a headright grant, the claimant appeared before a county court or the Governor and Council and stating under oath that he had imported a certain number of persons whose names were listed.
The clerk of the court issued a certificate which was validated in the office of the secretary and the authorization for the headright was then passed on to a commissioned surveyor who ran off fifty acres for each person imported and located the grant in the area selected by land already patented by the claimant and not barred for white settlement in order to maintain peace with the Indians. Upon completion of the survey and of marking the boundaries, a copy of the record along with the headright certificate was presented to the office of the secretary where a patent was prepared and a notation made of those imported. The final step was the signing of the patent by the Governor in the presence of, and with the approval of, the Council. Source: Mother Earth: Land Grants in Virginia 1607-1699 by W. Stitt Robinson, Jr.

Huguenots from France

The Huguenots were French Protestants who were members of the Reformed Church established in 1550 by John Calvin. The name was used as early as 1550 in court cases against dissenters from the Roman Catholic Church, called “heretics”. That name was banned in the regulations of the Edict of Nantes, which Henry IV issued in 1598. Later on, the French Protestants referred to themselves as “reformees”. During the early 1700s, Francis Tennille was among those French Huguenots from Picardy, France. His son, Colonel Francis Tennille, served in the Revolutionary War as a First Lieutenant in the Second Continental Georgia, Tennille Battalion.

17th Century Stockings and Shoes

The inventory of the store of Edward Phelps was taken in 1679, showing enormous disproportions of cloths and clothing as compared with other kinds of goods. There was 675 yards of linen of many varieties and 300 yards of woollen, 81 pairs of stockings, 50 pairs of shoes, tape, gimp, thread buttons, felt hats, blankets, curtains and valance. Source: Inventory of personal property of Phelps at his death, Records of York County, vol. 1675-1685, p. 172. One finds such personal information in the old Wills and Estates where colonials imparted inventories of their plantations and gave legacies to their heirs. Virginia Pioneers has a large collection of old Wills and Estates on the website. More information concerning early settlers to Virginia, their adventures and origins, is found under “Origins” and available to members of Virginia Pioneers