Benjamin Johnson (1728-1769), Bedford County, VA

[WHB: I now believe Benjamin Johnson was the brother of my 5th great grandfather, JOHN JOHNSON.]


Son of JOHN JOHNSON and LUCRETIA MASSIE, born about 1728 at St Peters Parish, New Kent County?


Mary Bolling Moorman born in Hanover, Virginia (She died 9 September 1814 in Virginia.


BENJAMIN JOHNSON married MARY BOLLING “MOLLY” MOORMAN, daughter of THOMAS MOORMAN and RACHEL CLARK on 19 July 1847 in Public Meeting of Friends, Camp Creek Meeting House, Louisa County, VA.


Thomas Johnson born in Louisa County, VA


John Johnson, Sr born 1 Mar 1751 in Louisa County, VA


Andrew Johnson born 7 April 1754 in Louisa County, VA


William Johnson born (a year after a first William Johnson died a day after birth) 2 August 1757 in Louisa County, VA


James Johnson born 20 December, 1759 in Louisa County, VA


Rachel Johnson born 26 March 1762 in Louisa County, VA

From Goose Creek Meeting House (Bedford County, VA) Minutes

South River Meeting House (restoration); Lynchburg, VA

1762, 8, 21. BENJAMIN (JOHNSON) & John Chandler employed [p. 320] to put up an addition to South River meetinghouse; first time BENJ. JOHNSON’s name appeared in these minutes; the next mo. they were continued on same project.


Elizabeth Johnson born 15 May 1764 Ivy Creek, Bedford County, Va


Mildred Johnson born 4 July 1766, Ivy Creek, Bedford County, VA


Christopher Johnson born 4 March 1769, Bedford County, VA

Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Vol. 6

Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy: Virginia
[p.295] RECORDS

(Note by W.W.H.) In his Will, probated 9-26-1769 in Bedford Co., Va., the above BENJAMIN JOHNSON named each of his child in the order of their born (excepting the first William who died next day); also his wife, Mary.

As a widow, Mary marry (married contrary to discipline) 1771 John Miller for which she was disowned 1771) & had three more child by that name (Miller). Bell in his book “Our Quaker Friends of ye Olden Time” (published 1905) lists six child of Benjamin Johnson & Mary (Hargrave) Johnson (marry 1781) as belonging to Benjamin & Mary (Moorman) Johnson, as follows: Lemuel, Anselm, Matilda, Polly, Gerard & Lucinda, all born after 1782.

This note is to correct that error & avoid confusion. The Last Will & Testament of Benjamin Johnson Sept. 26, 1769, in Will Book 1, page 86, Bedford Co., Va. “In the name of God Amen, I Benjamin Johnson of Bedford County & Russell Parrish being weak in Body But of Perfect Memory Do mak Constitute & Ordain this to be my last Will & Testament in manner following that is to say

Imprimis I give & Bequeath Unto my Son Thomas Johnson one Horse & a Cow & Calf when married or comes of Lawful age to him his airs or assigns forever Item, I give & Bequeath unto my son John Johnson a Horse & Cow & Calf when Married or comes of Lawfull age to him his airs & assigns forever.

Item, I give & Bequeath unto my Son Andrew Johnson a Horse & Cow & Calf when married or comes of Lawfull age to him his airs & assigns forever Item I give & bequeath unto my son William Johnson a horse & Cow & Calf when married or comes of Lawfull age to him his airs & assigns forever Item

I give & bequeath unto my Son James Johnson a Horse & Cow & Calf when married or Comes of Lawfull age to him his airs & assigns forever. Item I give & Bequeath unto my Daughter Rachel Johnson a Horse & Cow & Calf when married or Comes of Lawfull age to her airs & assigns forever. Item I give & Bequeath unto my Daughter Elizabeth Johnson a Horse & Cow & Calf when Married or comes of Lawful age to her aires & assigns forever

Item I give & bequeath unto my Daughter Mildred Johnson a Horse & Cow & Calf when married or Comes of Lawful age to her her airs forever Item I give & Bequeath unto my son Christopher Johnson a Horse & Cow & Calf when married or Comes of Lawfull age to him his airs forever.

Item I lend to my beloved wife during the Terms of Life a Negro Girl Named Sarah & her Increase & the plantashon whereon we now Live & the Land Containing Two Hundred & fifty Acers be the same mow or less with imprvements & appurtance there belonging & also all the Rest & Remainder of my personal Estate of What Nature or Quallity soever not herein purticular before given or mentshoned During the Terme of Life & after her deceas I Desire that my Estate may be Equally Divided amongst all my Children above mentioned they their airs & asines forever

Lastly I Appoint my wife Mary Johnson to be my Excutor & I appoint Charles Lynch with him & Micajah Terrel Benjamin Johnson L S Teste Henry Tate Bowlen Clark Sarah Tate Jesse Tate

At a Court held for Bedford County Sepr. 26th 1769. The within Last Will & Testament of Benjamin Johnson Decd. was Exhibitied in Court by Mary Johnson Charles Lynch & Micajah Terril Executrix & Executors therein Named & Proved by the Oaths of Henry Tate Sarah Tate & Jesse Tate & Ordered to be Recorded & on the motion of the said Executrix & Executors who made Oath According to Law they have first Entered into Bond with Security & acknowledged the same for their due & Faithfull Execution of the said Last Will & Testament Certificate is granted them for obtaining a probate thereof in Due former of Law Teste Ben Howard, C.B.C. A Copy-Teste: (Sgd) U. W. Nichols, clerk of the Circuit Court of the County of Bedford, Virginia

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The Quaker Johnsons of Bedford County VA and Their Antecedents

My fourth great-grandfather John Johnson, Jr, who appears to have perished in the War of 1812, is from a Quaker lineage. [See John Johnson, Jr (?-1812/3) Bedford County, VA.]

Each of the following quotations appear to be relevant to the immediate families of my ancestor(s), although at present none of these sources exactly “fit”:

The following marriages were recorded in the Monthly Meeting of the South River Meeting-House (Lynchburg, VA):

Joseph Johnson and Agatha Moorman, daughter of Zachariah Moorman, were married at South River Meeting-house 4-17-1785. The following sitnesses signed the marriage certificate: Christopher Johnson, John Lynch, William Stanton, Christopher Anthony, Ann Candler, Milley Johnson, Molly Johnson, James Johnson, William Davis, Elizabeth Douglas, Judith Ballard, Susanna Miller, John Candler, Samuel Davis, Mary Timberlake, Rachel Johnson, Mary Johnson, Salley Johnson, Samuel Johnson, Zachariah Moorman, Rachel Ballard, JOHN JOHNSON, Rachel Moorman, Achilis Douglas, Betty Johnson, Ann Lay, Susanna Johnson.

JOHN JOHNSON of Bedford County, and RHODA MOORMAN, of Campbell, were married at South River Meeting-house 10-21-1789. The following witnesses signed the marriage certificate: Micajah Moorman, William Johnson, Joseph Johnson, Thomas Moorman, William Bloxom, Charles Moorman, Thomas Johnson, Moorman Johnson, Thomas Johnson Joseph Stratton, Samuel Davis, Richard Bloxom, Mary Davis, Annis Davis, Agatha Johnson, Susanna Johnson, Betty Moorman, Desha Moorman, Sarah Stratton, Milley Johnson, Susanna Johnson, Nancy Moorman, Rachel Johnson, Prudence Moorman.

The following excerpts are from the book: Rhoda Moorman Coffin (1826-1909), her reminiscences, addresses, papers and ancestry (1910)

“I was born 2nd month 1, 1826, near a small village called Paintersville in Green County, Ohio.

“My parents were JOHN and Judith JOHNSON. My father, the son of JOHN and RHODA MOORMAN JOHNSON, was born near Lynchburg, Virginia, 1st month, 3d, 1795. His father, JOHN JOHNSON, JUN., died early in the year 1803, [FN1] when my father was eight years old, leaving his mother with five sons and one daughter. Her sixth son, James, was born six weeks after his death.

“In 1807 she disposed of her property in Virginia, and with her family and necessary effects in a two-horse wagon, she left her native state and removed to Waynesville, Warren County, Ohio. I have heard my grandmother say that she was six weeks on the road.

[FN 1] JOHN JOHNSON, Jun., died on, or about, January 14th, 1803.”

The following are excerpts from a compilation of research on the Quaker Johnsons, created by Douglas Tucker in 1998, the review of which I believe will prove illuminating:

So far this group has barely touched on William and John Johnson and our discussions of Edward (father of Penelope) predate many of your joining the group. This also introduces the MASSIE/MASSEY family. In other words, there is much here to absorb. The task Suzanne is laying out for her group is locating as yet untapped sources which may shed more light on certain aspects of this tradition. Hopefully in the process we can move away from a history based on much “circumstantial evidence” to one filled with “real facts” from primary sources. Of course this means an open mind to changes in the traditional history; it’s an exciting time for this group. LSS]

I have been digging through my old Johnston/Johnson notes and was amazed at how much I had from sources other than Lorand Johnson (The Scottish Nation by Anderson, Thomas Histoy of Aberdeen, Scotland’s Men of Letters by the St. Andrew’s Society of Marischal College, Registry of St. Nicholas Church, Aberdeen, and several others) However, I had taken notes from four books by Lorand Johnson the earliest of which was dated 1935. I assume that was the study he completed while still in medical school. None of it seems terribly helpful towad resolution of the several issues that are on the table, namely

  • (1) the kinship of William and James Johnson of New Kent Co.,
  • (2) the origins of Edward Johnson, father of Penelope Johnson Clark and
  • (3) a definitive linkage between the Johnsons of New Kent Co. and the Johnstons of Caskieben.

My own multiple ties to the Johnsons are through Rachel Clark/Thomas Moorman, Thomas Clark Moorman/ Apharacia Hope, Susannah Johnson/Micajah Clark Moorman and Martha Bangham/Thomas Chalkley Moorman. Rachel Clark’s mother was Penelope Johnson, daughter of Edward Johnson/Elizabeth Walker. Apharacia Hope’s grandmother was Henrietta Johnson, daughter of William Johnson and Sarah Massie. Susannah Johnson and Martha Bangham both tie back to the John Johnson/Lucretia Massie line.

As I mentioned earlier, I researched the “Old Town” property in King William Co. which was passed down by immigrant James Johnson to three subsequent generations of Johnsons (John, James, James) before being sold to the Ammons. Some Johnsons from this line migrated to Greene Co., Ohio where they again named their property “Old Town” . (Other Johnson in the same line settled in Highland and Clinton Cos. Ohio.) To avoid confusion, the “Old Town” property owned by James Johnson was originally considered New Kent Co., but became part of King & Queen Co. in 1701 and King William Co. in 1704. The Old Town property was acquired by patent by James Johnson (see Nugent) and not through purchase from George Walker as reported by Lorand Johnson — although other adjacent property may have come through purchase. More on the Old Town issue, later.

(1) Possible kinship of William and John Johnson of New Kent Co.

As far as I can tell (aside from Lorand Johnson’s research), the rationale for these two being siblings is based on their shared last name, their closeness in age, the fact that they married sisters, their shared Quaker religion, and the fact that the properties they owned at a very early age were contiguous. Their properties also were close to the property of Edward Johnson who some think was related to William and John. Seems to me a fairly convincing circumstantial case for close kinship if not brotherhood..

We know, for instance, that both John and William owned their land in 1704 through the Quit Rent lists. How did they acquire their properties? They were both relatively young (still in their 20′s), yet William owned 265 acres and John owned 100 acres. Given that neither Johnson is recorded in Nugent as having received a patent, my supposition is that they probably inherited the property from their father (or possibly fathers).

Why did William have considerably more land than John? He was the older son, that’s why. Can we prove that he was the older son? Only factual evidence is that William baptised his first child three years before John baptised his first child. The fact that William died many years before John has minimal relevance given the times and general living and health conditions.

Patent records show that James Johnson, father of John and possible father of William, acquired two patents (one for 110 acres and another for 40 acres) for property in the newly opened Indian grounds in Pamunkey Neck in 1701 and 1703, respectively. (In the 40 acre patent, his listed himself as the transported person. In the 110 acre patent, he listed three strangers as the transported persons.) The acquisition of these patents fits nicely with the fact that John and William had their own properties by 1704.

By the way, my notes indicate that James Johnston had two wives and that he had four sons by first wife Margaret Alexander and one daughter by second wife Faith Leith. Records from the Aberdeen Quaker Monthly Meeting show that James married Faith Leith in 1686 and that a daughter, Elisabeth, was born 26 Dec 1688 in Aberdeen. That establishes that James and Faith could not have been in Virginia before 1689 at the very earliest. My notes also show that James Johnston married Margaret Alexander 23 NOV 1672 at St. Nicholas Church, Aberdeen and that their four surviving sons were James, William, John and Alexander (not well-documented). There is hard evidence that James was their oldest son, that he married Jean Olgivie (Burgh records of Aberdeen show that Jean Olgivie Johnston died in 1716), and that he remained in Aberdeen at least through 1716. Thus, the James Johnston who married Jean Olgilvie and remained in Aberdeen was the son of the James Johnston who settled at “Old Town” in Pamunkey Neck. (This is one of the relationships that Lorand Johnson mixed up in his first book, but corrected in his later books.)

There is circumstantial evidence that Alexander Johnson was the youngest son of James and Margaret Alexander. William and Sarah Massie Johnson’s first child is noted in St. Peter’s Parish records in 1698. John and Lucretia Massie’s first child is noted in 1702. Alexander and Mary Walker’s first child is recorded in 1708. William and John both would have been about 20 plus or minus a couple of years when their oldest child was born and Alexander could have been as old as 23. So I see no problem with the suggested birth order or the dates that have been generally associated with these Johnsons.


Virginia Historical Marker Commemorating Goose Creek Friends Meeting House; Bedford County, VA 1765

I have some notes on the Bedford County Goose Creek Meeting House but
the historic marker there pretty well sums it up. From A GUIDEBOOK TO

“Quaker Baptist Church”

A Quaker meeting was established on Goose Creek in 1757, and a meeting
house built. Fear of Indians caused most of the Quakers to move
elsewhere though some of them returned. Unsuccessful attempts were made
to reestablish the Goose Creek meeting. Before 1824, a church was
established near here, known as Difficult Creek Baptist Church. The
present Church (Quaker Baptist), built in 1898, stands near the site of
the old building.

Bedford county: Route 24, 3.0 miles east of interesection of Routes 122
and 24.

In JOHN JOHNSON Sr’s 1816 will, he identifies Judith Ballard as a daughter.

Note the following:

Josiah Bailey of Campbell County, and Susanna Ballard, daughter of Barclay and Judith Ballard, of Bedfore County, were married at Ivy Creek Meeting-house, in Bedford County, 7-15-1804.

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Hughes and Saunders: New Kent, Hanover, Albemarle, Fluvanna and Bedford Counties, VA

[WHB - This page is devoted to tracing the relationships of the Hughes and Saunders families in five Virginia counties.]


The following excerpts are from the work of Forrest Hughes, a researcher on the Hughes family:

“I am fairly well convinced (but will remain open to alternative views) that our Hughes ancestor, first in Virginia was Rees Hughes, Sr., b. c1625 England (I don’t think it was Wales) who must have served with Col. Manwaring Hammond during the English Civil War on the side of the King’s forces against Cromwell’s Army.

Their close relationship, which seems to have been a personal relationship (Rees served as Hammond’s legal agent) as well as being neighbors–both had land on or very near Black Creek in the northwest corner of present-day New Kent Co. is an indication that they had known each other back in England, no doubt as soldiers serving their King. Col Manwaring Hammond came to Virginia soon after the beheading of King Charles I, which was Jan 30, 1649.

You can’t find the list of the 63 persons that Col. Hammond imported, but I think Rees Hughes, Sr. was among them (he doesn’t show up as being imported by anyone else) and he probably had his wife and any children with him. Col Hammond was a favorite of Governor Berkeley (Berkeley later made him Major General of all Virginia) and I suspect this has something to do with there being no names involved in Hammond’s headrights. It could also be that Hammond was bringing to Virginia individuals that Cromwell’s administration would have wanted to get their hands on, and perhaps this was the reason for keeping the names out of the official record.

“Patent Book 2. Manwarring Hamon, Esqr., 3,760 acs., Yorke Co., (New Kent was formed from York Co., 1654), 15 Mar, 1649, p. 195. Lyeing up Yorke Riv. on the S. side thereof commonly called Fort Royall, bounded N.E., N.W., S.W., N.E. & N upon the Riv., S.S.W. by S. upon the Mts. & N.W. by N. upon Black Cr., & S.E. upon the bay, includeing on the other side of the sd. Bay on neck contayneing 350 acs. 600 acs. purchased of Capt Roger Marshall to whom it was granted 14th of this Instant March & 3160 acs. for trans. of 63 pers.* (FAM NOTE: The asterisk means that no names were mentioned as to who these 63 persons were).” . . .

“As for Rees Hughes, Sr. he definitely lived (and probably died) in New Kent County, Virginia, because Hanover wasn’t formed by the time he died (probably around 1700). Since Rees Sr. gave glebe land to the St. Peter’s Parish Church, New Kent Co. (which his son, Robert the Quaker tried to reclaim in 1705) it is safe to assume that he must have lived in that area–which never became Hanover County. The St. Peter’s Church was/is 7-8 miles from the Hanover border.”


Rice Hughes, 200 acres on the north side of York River.  Due for the [transportation] of four persons, John Williams, Robert Sumons, Thomas Price and Hugh Griffin.   March 8, 1652

[WHB-I suspect that Rice and Rees Hughes are the same person, and that he was actively engaged in the enterprise of importing Englishmen to Virginia, in exchange for land grants in the region of Northern Virginia that is now York, New Kent and Hanover Counties. At least some of the persons imported (family members) are not indentured servants, and, since Governor Berkeley is favorable to the activity, it rather probably afforded the opportunity for members of the gentry and their families to escape from the English Civil War.]


Rees Hughes, 410 acres in the county of New Kent on the southwest side of York River, adjoining the grant of 1643 and the lands of George Smith and Mr. Langston. Dec. 1656.  (Source: From Virginia Council Journals, by Fairfax Harrison.)


Rees Hughes, 860 acres in New Kent County including his grant of 410 acres (No. 3) with 450 acres adjoining.  March 1, 1657. (Source: From Virginia Council Journals, by Fairfax Harrison.)


Passenger and Immigration lists Name: Rees Hughes Year: 1658 Place: Virginia

Source Publication Code: 6220 Primary Immigrant: Hughes, Rees Annotation: Record of 20,000 very early immigrants, with much relevant information. Taken from Patent Books 1 through 5. Title page states, “In 5 volumes,” but up to 1979 only three had appeared. See nos. 6221 and 6223 for second and third volumes, published in 1977 Source Bibliography: Nugent, Nell Marion. Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1623-1666. Vol. 1. Richmond [VA]: Dietz Printing Co., 1934. 767p. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1983. Page: 369

[WHB - If the 1658 is accurate, then an explanation of the earlier land grants is in order. Was there a Rees Hughes already in Virginia and a Rees Hughes arriving by ship in 1648?]


From page 359 Charles City County Court Orders 1661-1664: Bee it knowne to all whom this may concerne that I Manwairing Hamond of Riccohocke Esqr out of the confidence and trust I repose in my trusty and welbeloved friends the Hono?ble ffrancis Morison Esqr, Mr Theoderick Bland, Capt Tho. Stegge, Major Joseph Croshaw and Mr. Stephen Hamelyn doe appoint and constitute the same persons my true and lawfull attornies to oversee all the estate reall and personall I leave behind me in Virginia and they or any thereof them to have hereby power to lett or make sayle of it?this 2 day of June 1662. Signed M. Hammond. Witnesses: George Morris, Sam Huckstepp, ___ Woodward, Rees Hughes. From page 361 Charles City County Court Orders 1661-1664: The Court hath passed judgment (according to an obligation produced in Court) agst Rice Hoe for 14-1 sterling money to be pd by bills of exchange and secured by the sd Hoe to the use of Major General Manwaring Hammond Esqr or his ass?s or attorneys according to the sd obligation with all costs to be pd by the sd Hoe als exec. From page 361 Charles City County Court Orders 1661-1664: Theoderick Bland Esqr for Major General Manwaring Hammond Esqr admitteth and confesseth judgement against the estate of the sd Major General Hamond to secure and justify the service of an Indian Girl by him sold to the said Hoe according to a contract under the hands of Rees Hughes agent for the sd Major General Manwaring Hammond als exec.


Robert Hughes 855 acres in New Kent County bounded on the north by the northwest branch of Chickhominy river, and adjoining the land of Col. Thomas Claiborne.  Due for the transportation of 18 persons, including Robert Hughes Jr. and Elizabeth Hughes). April 20, 1684.


Rice Hughes 309 acres in St. Peter’s Parish, New Kent; adjoining Page’s land, Due for the transportation of 8 persons Oct. 9, 1698.


QUAKER- Henrico MM minutes. Marriage of Thomas Langford and Martha West, daughter of Giles West, on 21 FEB 1700, “at the home of the aforesaid people” in New Kent Co. Groom and bride were both from New Kent County. Attending were Christipher Clark and Elizabeth Clark, Michael Johnson, and Sarah Johnson, Thomas Stanley, Charles Fleming, Rice Hughes, Robert Hughes, Sarah Hughes, and Susannah Fleming.

Forrest Mullins’ statement of the Quaker relationships: “[I]t was Robert Hughes that was the husband of Sarah Tarleton. Sarah’s will is posted in Deed Book 1, p. 188: Will of Sarah Hughes of St. James Parish, Henrico County, dated 8 January 1723, proved 19 May 1730:
1)       son Stephen
2)       son Robert
3)       Ashford Hughes
4)       daughter Sarah Atkinson
5)       daughter Elizabeth Liles
6)       daughter Mary Hughes
7)       son Isaac Hughes
8)       granddaughter Elizabeth Cannon

“Her husband was Robert Hughes, b. c1650, d. abt 1720, Henrico Co., VA. At that time, Henrico extended below the James River. Later, Goochland (formed from Henrico 1728) took over that territory and was on both sides of the James River. In 1749 Cumberland Co. was formed from Goochland (the part south of the James River) and took in the land that is now Powhatan Co. (which was formed in 1777 from Cumberland). The area where Robert Hughes lived is now Powhatan Co., VA and his home place was on Hughes Creek, a short creek just east of US 522.

“The Robert Hughes family were Quakers. There are numerous references to Robert, Sarah, and some of their children in the Henrico County Friends Meeting Records shortly before 1700 up until about 1711 when Robert (who owned land, and probably lived in what is now Hanover Co., VA near Mechanicsville)moved his family south of the James River.

“Robert was the son of Rees (Reese, Reece, Rice, Ricc) Hughes, Sr., who most likely immigrated to Virginia about 1649 and settled near Black Creek in what is now northwest New Kent Co. near what was (by 1700) the Old Swayback’d or Broken Back’d Anglican Church of St. Peter’s Parish which was close to present-day Tunstall. Rees Hughes, Sr. donated 100 acres to the St. Peter’s Parish Church as Glebe land about 1698, not long before he died. I am of the opinion that Rees Sr. was probably a Quaker for a while also, but just before he died he returned to the Anglican Church (which may be why he donated the 100 acres–trying to make up for his having departed from the faith of his youth). At any rate, it was the controversy over the 100 acres that Rees Hughes, Sr. donated to the Church that we know Robert Hughes (who m. Sarah Tarleton)was the son of Rees Hughes. After Rees’ death, Robert set about reclaiming that land which Rees Hughes, Sr. had donated to the Church. The St. Peter’s Parish Church Records specifically mention that Robert was the son of Rees Hughes who had donated the land. (Robert didn’t get the land, but received over a ton of tobacco for it).


Rees Hughes 571 acres in St. Pauls Parish, New Kent, on Camp’s Creek. Due for the transportation of 12 persons. Nov 2 1705. (Source: From Virginia Council Journals, by Fairfax Harrison.)


Rice Hughes, 430 acres in St. Paul’s Parish, New Kent Co., adjoining the land of George Alves. Dec. 3, 1714. (Source: From Virginia Council Journals, by Fairfax Harrison.)


A notice in the Virginia Gazette, 1768


Pension Application of Jesse Hughes S9594 Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris: State of Virginia Fluvanna County: That Jesse Hughes enlisted in the County of Fluvanna in the year 1776 in the minute service on State Establishment, to serve one year in the Company Commanded by Roger Thompson Lieutenants George Thompson & James Marks in the Regiment Commanded by Colonels [Samuel] Meredith & [Charles] Dabney.


Pension Application of Jesse Hughes S9594 Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris: State of Virginia Fluvanna County: In 1780 I volunteered and served in the South as a Lieutenant in a company commanded by Capt [Thomas] Leftwich of Bedford Va under Col’ns. [George] Stubblefield & [Joseph] Spencer Gen [Edward] Stevens Brigade. was at Gates defeat [defeat of Gen. Horatio Gates at the Battle of Camden SC, 16 Aug 1780] marched to Hillsboro [sic: Hillsborough NC] discharged in the fall same year. Volunteered one Time as a Leutenant at the Siege of York [28 Sep - 19 Oct] 1781.


Pension Application of Jesse Hughes S9594 Transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris: State of Virginia Fluvanna County to wit On this [blank] day of [blank] 1832 personally appeared before the Court of the County aforesaid Jesse Hughes a resident in the County & State aforesaid aged 76 years who being first sworn according to Law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the act of Congress passed June 7th 1832.


A Treasury-Department document states that the children of Jesse Hughes received the final pension payment up to the date of his death on 1 Mar 1838.


Posted in NEW KENT COUNTY VA, SAUNDERS | Leave a comment

Winchcombe and the Benefactors of Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries, Part 2 (Anthony Saunders)

The following excerpts are from Knowles, David; Bare Ruined Choirs: the dissolution of the English monasteries, pp. __-223.


“These considerations [of the historic, charitable role of monasteries], and others more detailed and subtle, were set out in unforgettable phrases by Robert Aske at his examination six months later [         ] When he wrote, Aske was a prisoner with no hope of life. He had nothing to gain and it may have seemed to him that he had much to lose from a frank exposition of his feelings in the previous autumn . . .

With the departure of the visitors in the autumn and winter of 1535-6 there began, for such of the monasteries as were not liable to suppression under the Act of 1536, a short periof of three to four years that my truly be called the last phase of their existence. Though their ultimate fate was still uncertain, they could have had few illusions as to the change in their condition. Any hopes that the inmates may have cherised of permanent survival became more and more forlorn with every new political event; domestic authority was impaired; sincere and sensitive spirits must have been assailed of every kind of doubt and despondency . . . The visitation coming as the climax of a series of harassing demands, had shown conclusively, even brutally that the royal supremacy was not a matter of words alone. Their independence, their freedom of manoevure, was gone for ever. . . .

Here, however, the abbotts had to do with an essential part of Cromwell’s technique, and met with no satisafaction. Taking no interest whatever in the spiritual well-being of the monasteries, he wished his grip to be felt throughout the community and . . . consistently used unsatisfactory or disgruntled subjects both as informers and as agitators, to bring about the downfall of an abbot or the surrender of a house. A number of letters of complaint rom such men survive, particularly from the months immediately following the visitation. They . . . have been preserved in particular abundance in connection with a group of houses in the region between the Cotswolds and the Malvern hills. The monasteries concerned are Winchcombe, Evesham, Pershore and Worcester; three of the four were seen as homes of energy in the late Old English monastic world. . .

Winchcombe had lost only three years previously the most distinguished abbot of its history, but there is no evidence that Richard Kidderminster had set any stamp upon the community . . . Cromwell, it would seem, had some personal connection with Winchcombe, for he is found staying there in the first days of August when the king lay nearby in Gloucestershire and he was on the point of launching the great visitation of the monasteries. . .  Three weeks later one of the monks, John Placid, writes [to Cromwell that he] “is troubled . . about certain ceremonies which exalt the bishop of Rome, and wishes for powers to confiscate books dealing with the pope . . .

At about the same time Crowell was hearing from another Winchcombe gospeller, one Anthony Saunders, whom he had appointed ‘pastor’ in the little town to ‘set forth the King’s title and pluck down the great whore of Rome’. “I have small favour and assistance amongst the pharisaical papists’, writes Saunders. He is preaching justification by faith alone, and in consequence the neighbouring abbot of Hailes has set up to preach against him ‘a greate Golyas, a sotle Dunys man’.

Nor do the monks appreciate his efforts; they come later to his sermons because ‘they set so much by their Popish services’. With such an entourage the abbot was sure to be in trouble whether he enforced or relaxed discipline.

From Litzenberger, Caroline, The English Reformation and the Laity: Gloucestershire, 1540-1580 (Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History). From the introductory chapter subtitled “Gloucestershire in the 1530s”:

“Whereas, the Protestantism espoused by William Tyndale, William Tracy and James Baynham in the 15o2 and early in the 1530s had been at variance with the official religious policies of the Crown, those policies had changed by the mid-1530s as a result of the break with Rome and the ascendancy of supporters of reform to positions of power at court. The shift in policy was first clearly felt in Gloucestershire with the elevation of the reformer, Hugh Latimer, to be bishop of Worcester in 1535. Latimer had gained notoriety for his preaching in nearby Bristol and Exeter, as well as in London at Paul’s Cross and at court. . .

“[S]in 1497 the Crown had used the see of Worcester to support its representative to the Papcy, and, as a result, had awarded the bishopric to a series of Italians, none of whom ever came to England. . . However, once the Crown began to promulgate new policies, it needed someone in residence to implement and enforce them.

“Following his elevantion to the episcopate, Latimer immediately began to promote his beliefs within the diocese through his own sermons and his patronage of other preachers, three of whom, James Ashe, Anthony Saunders and Hugh Williams alias Rawlyns, held livings in GLoucestership . .  Saunders had been appointed rector of Winchcombe by Cromwell sometimes before November 1534.

“Meanwhile Anthony Saunders was having trouble at Winchcombe. Not only was he one of Latimer’s licensed preachers, he had also been sent to his new cure with explicit instructions from Cromwell ‘to preach the word of God and read it to the monks’. However, both the size of the parish and the opposition of the abbot were impeding his efforts . . . The abbot seems to have seen Saunders’s preaching as having crossed the line into heresy, rather than just supporting the new official religion . . .

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Richard Tracy (1501-1569) Stanway, Gloucestershire, U. K.




RICHARD TRACY educated at Oxford, adm. 27 June 1515.

The following excerpt is from the History of Parliament:

“Richard Tracy’s background and early life doubtless resembled in most respects those of many young men of similar lineage. His family was an old established one in Gloucestershire, which its members had served both locally and at Westminster, his father a justice of the peace and sheriff. A younger son, Richard Tracy spent some time at Oxford before entering the Inner Temple, where if he made no mark on the professional side he was to work his way up as an administrator to the rank of governor


RICHARD TRACY at First Temple


RICHARD TRACY is Master of the revels, First Temple

RICHARD TRACY adm. First Temple, 6 July 1519


A Military Survey of Gloucestershire (1522), excerpts by WHB:

Slaughter Hundred; Broadwell: John Carter 20 lbs., p.88; Upper Slaughter: Richard Tracy 10 sh., p.96

Kiftsgate Hundred with Holford and Greston: p. 223; Westington: Richard Tracy, gent. 40 sh., p. 229; Toddington: William Tracy esq with lands there and other manors, 105 lb, goods 500 lbs., harness for three men.; The abbot of Hailes is rector there and the rectory is worth 8 lbs.; Henry Wyllys is vicar there and the vicarage is worth 8 lbs.; Richard Tracy (371v) a. William Carter


RICHARD TRACY elected to parliament, representing the constituency of Wootton Bassett.

The following excerpt is from the History of Parliament:

“The borough of Wootton Bassett, for which Tracy was returned to the Parliament of 1529, was to be represented by many men from across the nearby border, but his home near Winchcomb was rather distant for him to be accounted a local man: the same was true of his fellow-Member, Walter Winston, who lived at Randwick near Stroud. Like two other Wiltshire boroughs, Devizes and Marlborough, Wootton Bassett formed part of the jointure of successive queens consort and this court connexion probably explains the appearance among its Members of men who had little, if any, personal connexion with it. In the case of Tracy, the names of possible patrons include those of Sir Edward Baynton, a local magnate who besides securing his own election for the shire may have been influential in other boroughs, and Sir John Brydges, who was returned for Gloucestershire and whose marriage connexions with Tracy probably assisted his election. If religious sympathy entered into the matter, Baynton’s incipient Protestantism would have made him a natural patron for the son of so doughty a reformist as William Tracy.


RICHARD TRACY holds the office of Butler 1530-1534

WILLIAM TRACY OF TODDINGTON, RICHARD TRACY’s father dies and leaves a controversial provision which in the following year is deemed heretical.

An excerpt from the History of Parliament:

“The elder Tracy’s death on 10 Oct. 1530 started a chain of events which were to have a profound effect on his son. The dead man had made a will in which he explicitly refused to bequeath anything ‘for that intent that any man shall say or do to help my soul’”


When WILLIAM TRACY’s will is proved, it was referred to the Convocation of Canterbury.

23 March 1531. The Convocation of Canterbury condemns WILLIAM TRACY’s will as heretical.

The following excerpt is from the History of Parliament:

“Dr. Thomas Parker, chancellor of Worcester, not only exhumed TRACY’s body, as he had been instructed to do, but burnt it at the stake, for which he needed, but did not obtain, the writ de heretico comburendo. The fine of £300 imposed on Parker was some retribution for this gruesome affair but the Church itself was to be the greatest loser. Tracy became a Protestant hero and near-martyr, and his will—or what purported to be it—was circulated among the faithful and was published with a commentary by William Tyndale: even the orthodox Robert Joseph admitted that ‘Tracy has done more harm to the Christian religion in his death than by his pestiferous contentions before’.5

“Filial piety and reforming zeal combined to make RICHARD TRACY the protagonist in his father’s cause—his elder brother is never mentioned—and from his vantage-points of the Temple and Parliament he organized his campaign. He had been present in Convocation when the verdict was given and it would be interesting to know if he tried to interest the Commons either in this or in its sequel.


According to the History of Parliament:

[O]n 15 Jan. 1533, shortly before setting out for London to attend the fifth session [of Parliament] (which began on 4 Feb.) [RICHARD TRACY] wrote, presumably from Gloucestershire, to an unamed friend, recounting the sotry and promising to explain the situation to [Thomas] Cromwell who, he had heard, was commissioned to investigate. Whether Cromwell was brought into the affair, or whether, as some versions suggest, even the King took it up, does not appear.

“Cromwell was of assistance to Tracy in other spheres and helped him to obtain several properties and leases: on 16 Feb., during the fifth session, the abbot of Tewkesbury agreed to the minister’s suggestion to grant him the manor of Stanway, which immediately became his home. Tracy’s name appears in several of Cromwell’s memoranda, and it is evident that the two men were close.


RICHARD TRACY holds the office of Steward 1535-1537

From the History of Parliament:

[RICHARD TRACY] sent [Thomas] Cromwell a discourse, which may have been of his own composing, on the evils of making lawyers bishops and the need to choose suitable preachers.


From The History of Parliament:

[P]resumably [RICHARD TRACY] served for Wootton Bassett in the following [Parliament], that of June 1536, when the King asked for the re-selection of the previous Members, and perhaps again in 1539 and 1542, for which Parliaments the names of the borough’s Members are lost.”

“When in the autumn of 1536 the north rebelled, TRACY was one of those gentlement in the west on whose loyalty the King felt he could rely, but in the even Tracy’s allegiance was never put to the test.


From the History of Parliament.

“[RICHARD TRACY] was named to the bench for Worcestershire, where he owned more land than in his own county, and from then on he cut a figure in local affairs, especially in religious matters for which he earned the praise of Bishop Latimer.


From the History of Parliament.

[RICHARD TRACY] served on the commission to examine a relic belonging to Hailes abbey which was adjudged spurious and entrusted to his care.

[RICHARD TRACY] was nominated, but not picked, as sheriff of Worcestershire, being passed over in favor of Robert Acton.


Thomas Cromwell loses favor with Henry VIII and is beheaded.

From the History of Parliament

[RICHARD TRACY']s friendship with Cromwell led to his occasional presence at court and it was perhaps on such a visit that he witnessed the reception of Anne of Cleves. The fall of the minister did not harm Tracy’s career, although in the 1540s no trace of his presence at court has been found.

[RICHARD TRACY']s first known work, The profe and declaration of thys proposition: Faith along justifieth was dedicated to Henry VIII, to whom he described himself as the ‘most simple of this your realm and yet one of the lively members of this your civil and politic body’.

Two more tracts, Of the Preparation to the Crosse and to Death dedicated to Cromwell in 1540.


The publication Supplycation to our most Soueraigne Lorde Kyng Henry the Eyght published are usually considered TRACY’s work and gained him some popularity.


The reformist bias in [RICHARD TRACY]‘s writings of was not welcomed by the government [of Henry VIII] and in July 1546 his publications were banned, together with those of other Protestant authors.


RICHARD TRACY marries BARBARA LUCY, daughter of THOMAS LUCY of Charlecote, Warwickshire and ELIZABETH EMPSON, daughter of SIR RICHARD EMPSON of Easton Neston, Northants.


On the accession of Edward VI this ban [on RICHARD TRACY's religious writings] lapsed, and in 1548 Tracy published A most godly enstruction and lesson and A bryef and short declaration made wherebye every Chrysten Man may knowe what is a Sacrament, in which he opposed transubstantiation. His purpose was didactic, and according to his sympathisers he observed in his own life the principles that he advocated. His reputation as ‘an earnest favourer of all good and godly learning’ was generally praised, particularly by his protégéBartholomew Traheron.8


RICHARD TRACY holds the office of Governor 1549-1550,


The year 1551 was an unhappy one for Tracy. On 10 May his friend Robert Keilway II was imprisoned in the Fleet for having concealed “a seditious and lewd message” fm, and a week later Tracy was himself committed to the Tower.


In February 1552 the attorney-general and John Throckmorton I were ordered to examine [RICHARD TRACY in the tower], but he wasw not released until the following 17 November and even then ordered to appear weekly before the Council.

This episode has been thought to have resulted from Tracy’s unfavourable estimate of the Earl of Warwick, but it may be more than a coincidence that several years later TRACY had to defend his title to a manor against one John Throckmorton.


[TRACY's] religious views were to bring him to the notice of the Council during Mary’s reign, when he was removed from the bench for both Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. His avowed intention to conform met with some incredulity, and the Queen’s doubts were confirmed in September 1555 when the Council rebuked him for his behavior towards Bishop Brooks of Gloucester.

On this occasion TRACY reiterated his vowal and he probably did conform as no more is heard of his opposition and he is not known to have gone into exile.


RICHARD TRACY was in trouble with the Council once more before the reign was out, but this was for refusing to contribute towards the forced loan of 1557.


RICHARD TRACY must have welcomed the advent of Queen Elizabeth I (in November 1558). He was restored to his place on the bench.


RICHARD TRACY picked as Sheriff of Gloucestershire.


The new religious settlement was to disappoint RICHARD TRACY. He protested against the retention of a crucifix in the Queen’s chapel and warned Cecil of the dangers of idolatry.


RICHARD TRACY in a will made 6 March 59 provided from a debt owing him the marriage portions of his three daughters, Hester, Susan, and Judith, whose batismal names, like his sons’ reflect his devotion to the Bible. His pat of the lands of Clifford priory and certain unspecified lands recently purchased from the first Earl of Pembroke he dised upon his younger sons, Samuel and Nathaniel. He appointed his eldest son Paul exer and his cousin George Stratford overseer. TRACY died two days later, and the will was proved in the following month.

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Winchcombe and the Benefactors of Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries

Clues exist that suggest Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries came to be of importance to the Gloucestershire families of whom I believe I am descended. I am interested in several family surnames, such as Carter, Tracy, Stratford, Laurence, Saunders, Crump and Ayres (Ayers).

What are some of the historical facts that should be examined to determine if they have relevance to the families from which my Virginia ancestors are descended?

Question One: Is it relevant that Anthony Saunders was one of the last Curates of the Abbey of Winchcombe, having served from 1535 to carry out the policies of Henry VIII?

The following excerpt is from the Victoria County History; Page, William (editor), A History of the County of Gloucester Volume 2, 1907.

“In 1535 Cromwell appointed Anthony Saunders, the curate of Winchcombe, to read to the monks of Winchcombe and preach in the parish. L. and P. Hen. VIII, ix, No. 747. On 2 November he complained to Cromwell of the abbot of Hayles—

“I have small favour and assistance amongst Pharasaical papists. The Abbot of Hayles has hired a great Golyas, a subtle Dun’s man, yea a great clerk, as he sayeth, a bachelor of divinity of Oxford to catch me in my sermons.

He added that this preacher rather maintained than spoke against the usurped power of the bishop of Rome. However, Abbot Stephen was not openly hostile to Cromwell. On 28 January, 1536, he wrote asking him to dispense with some of the new injunctions which were most galling to the religious. L. and P. Hen. VIII, ix, No. 747 (p.192). Since Cromwell had visited the house, he wrote—

“The number of my brethren is sore decayed. I have buried three, two are sore sick, one had licence to depart, and I have three in Oxford at divinity. I beg that I may take in more to help the choir.

“On 18 June he told Cromwell that in accordance with his wish he had granted the farm of Longborough to Robert Hopper. (L. and P. Hen. VIII, x, p. 1163)

“In 1538 commissioners were appointed in every county to destroy the shrines. Latimer, bishop of Worcester, reported to Cromwell that the relic of the Holy Blood of Hayles seemed, after examination, to be ‘an unctuous gum and a compound of many things.’ (fn. 56) It was dispatched to London, and on 24 November Hilsey, bishop of Rochester, preached at Paul’s Cross, and there showed the Blood of Hayles, affirming it to be ‘honey clarified and coloured with saffron, as had been evidently proved before the king and his council.’ (fn. 57) Abbot Stephen wrote to Cromwell praying that he might destroy the empty shrine, ‘lest it should minister occasion for stumbling to the weak.’ (fn. 58)

“On 24 December, 1539, the abbot and twenty-one monks surrendered the monastery. (fn. 59) Dr. London and his fellow-commissioners reported to Cromwell that they found— the father and all his brethren very honest and conformable persons, and the house clearly out of debt. . . . The father had his house and grounds so well furnished with jewels, plate, stuff, corn, cattle, and the woods also so well saved, as though he had looked for no alteration of his house. (fn. 60)

“A pension of £100 a year, with the manorhouse of Coscomb, was assigned to the abbot; the prior and one monk got £8; the rest received pensions varying from £7 to £1 6s. 8d. a year, and two monks were given vicarages. (fn. 61) Wages were paid to seventy servants of the household. (fn. 62)

“In 1535 the clear yearly value of the property of Hayles amounted to £357 7s. 8½d. (fn. 63) The possessions of the monastery included the manors of Hayles, Pinnockshire, Nether Swell, Wormington, Coscomb, Longborough; rents in the towns of Gloucester and Winchcombe; lands and rents in Didbrook, Challingworth, and Farmcote, in Gloucestershire; the manor of Rodbourne in Wiltshire; pastures at Heathend in Worcestershire; and the rectories of Hagley in Suffolk, Northley in Oxfordshire, St. Breage and St. Paul in Cornwall, Rodbourne in Wiltshire, Hayles, Didbrook, Longborough, and Toddington in Gloucestershire.”

The clear yearly value of the property of the monastery in 1535 amounted to £759 11s. 9¼d.; (fn. 137) in the hands of the crown bailiff in 1540 it brought in £945 3s. 11¼d. The possessions of the convent in Gloucestershire included the manors of Winchcombe, Twyning, Sherborne, Staunton, Snowshill, Honeybourne, Dry Marston, Adelmington, Bledington, Yanworth, Hazleton, Rowell, Halling, Charlton Abbots, Naunton, Frampton, Coates, Sudeley, the hundreds of Kiftesgate, Holford, and Greston, rents in Winchcombe and Gloucester, the rectories of Winchcombe, Twyning, Staunton, and Bledington, in Oxfordshire the manor and rectory of Enstone, in Warwickshire the manor of Alne.”

Question Two: Is it relevant that Richard Tracy and John Stratford were given royal commissions relating to the dissolution of the Abbey of Hailes in Gloucestershire?

“On 11 November 1541, the gentlmen John Bridges, Richard Tracy and John Stratford received royal letters of commission directing them to investigate serious crimes committed on the site of a recently dissolved abbey in Gloucestershire. In the letters the king announced: ‘We are informed that great spoil hath been made by diverse persons, to us yet unknown, of the church and houses of the late monastery of Hailes, reserved to be defaced and sold or otherwise disposed to our use.’ He gave his commissioners ‘full power and authority’ to ‘search by all ways and means . . . what things of the said church and houses have been taken away, spoled, or stolen, and by whom the same spoil hath been done; and report their findings to the Court of Augmentations.

Shagan, Ethan H., Popular Politics and the English Reformation: Cambridge studies in Early Modern British History, 2003, p. 162.

Question Three: To what extent did the religious controversies with which Richard Tracy (1501-1569) of Stanway and his father William Tracy of Toddington were identified affect their descendents and my ancestral Gloucestershire families?

The relationship of the Gloucestershire Tracy family to King Henry VIII, King Edward VI and Queen Mary are chronicled in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, excerpts of which might be found at Richard Tracy (1501-1569) Stanway, Gloucestershire, U. K.


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Winchcombe, Bristol, and 17th Century Virginia and Gloucestershire Tobacco Policy

In 1619, a London merchant with Gloucestershire ties, John Stratford, bought land around Winchcombe in Gloucestershire to plant tobacco. In the same year, Parliament passed a law prohibiting the cultivation of tobacco in England.

An illicit tobacco growing trade evolved in Gloucestershire, which sometimes was apparently sold as “Virginia tobacco”. In 1631, Charles I’s administration moved against the Gloucestershire tobacco crop, the King’s privy council demanding that the sheriffs of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire take action, creating a backlash of support for Parliament in its battle against the monarchy.

From the periodical Gloucestershire Notes and Queries:

1321. TOBACCO GROWING IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE. The announcement recently made by the Government of their intention to permit domestic experiments to be made in tobacco culture may render the following facts interesting to Gloucestershire agriculturists. Tobacco growing in the southern and western countiesof England became so common about 1652 that the Commonwealth Parliament of that year passed an Act prohibiting the culture of the plant, and giving liberty to anyone finding it to cut it down.

This Act appears to have caused great dismay and irritation in Gloucestershire. In August, 1653, soon after the reassembling of the House of Commons, “the humble petition of some of the inhabitants of Gloucestershire concerning the planting of English tobacco ” was presented by General Desborow. who, from having been governor of Bristol, was probably well known in the district.

Another petition, from the Society of Merchant Adventurers and other inhabitants of Bristol, was presented at the same time, and this was accompanied ” by a Certificate from the Mayor of Bristol.” The minutes are provokingly brief, but the House resolved “that there be an inquiry into this Eiot mentioned in this Certificate,” from which it is fair to suppose that the attempt to enforce the law had led to a serious disturbance.

On the same day the House resolved that “threepence upon every pound of tobacco planted in the county of Gloucester shall be paid by the planters to the use of the Commonwealth,” which was followed by a further resolution,” that the planters of English tobacco in Gloucestershire shall enjoy the tobacco by them planted this year only, without interruption or molestation” (Commons’ Journals, vii. 301). An Act to carry this decision into effect was ordered to be brought in, but no further reference to the subject is made in the minutes of the session.

The Council of State, in a circular addressed to the sheriffs of counties in June, 1658, assert that, according to information received, ” divers persons are preparing to plant vast quantities of tobacco,” and the local authorities are ordered to enforce the law vigorously. This was not likely to be done during the feeble administration of Eichard Cromwell.

The growth of ” the weed,” in fact, extended, and the Parliament of 1660 passed another Act, prohibiting the culture of the plant “the existence of the plantations [West Indies] depending on its growth there.” The penalties for infringing the law were the forfeiture of the crop and a fine of 40s. per rood. A proclamation was issued in 1661, enjoining the local officers to prevent infractions of the statute.

Nevertheless, a lengthy communication was received by the Government from Bristol, on the 7th August, 1667, doubtless emanating from persons interested in the West India islands. It states that the Act was imperfect, giving power to destroy home-grown tobacco ” only to such magistrates as receive information of it ; that the plant was grown throughout Gloucestershire, even on the land of justices of the peace ; and that as half the profits of the land are paid to the owners for rent, their interest forbids them to destroy it ; that by the King’s order given to the- High-Sheriff of Gloucestershire, with a list of places where tobacco is growing, it was ordered to be cut down, and the names of the owners returned to the Council ; suggesting, as a remedy, a letter from the King to the Judges of Assize for Gloucestershire, ordering returns to be made, and setting fines for neglect ; and that as much tobacco is grown in the neighbouring counties, a strong prohibition be issued against its sale, and a commission given to search for and destroy it” (State Papers, Domestic, 1667, p. 366).

The Government appears to have followed the advice contained in the concluding sentence of this document. In a letter dated Bristol, 19th August in the same year, from an official underling, J. Fitzherbert, writing to Secretary Williamson, is the following : ” Met 120 horse of the King’s and Duke’s guards at Leicester, making to Winscomb in Gloucestershire, to cut down the tobacco planted there in con- tempt of the law.” (76., p. 399.)

The State Papers for the remainder of the reign of Charles II. have not been published; but it may be inferred that the efforts of the Government to suppress an industry which injured the public revenue .were temporarily successful. In the course of time, however, the culture of the plant seems to have been renewed on an extensive scale, for in Bristol : Past and Present, vol. iii., p. 151, there is a summary of a petition of Dorothy Gray, widow, to the House of Commons, to the effect that, in 1692, her late husband, John Gray, discovered nine plantations of tobacco, extending over 1300 roods, growing near Bristol, and belonging to rich merchants, some of them members of the corporation.

The forfeitures on these plantations, which were destroyed, are alleged to have amounted to 15,000, but the petitioner complained that though her husband was entitled to one-third of the money as informer, he never had any share of it, and was ruined in this service. Mrs. Gray appears to have got no redress, but the laws were afterwards vigorously executed, and we hear no more of a branch of industry in Gloucestershire which seems to have been profitable. j L

The following questions should be answered:

1) Is there a relationship between the activities of John Stratford in 1619 and the activities of RICHARD TRACY and GYLES CARTER at the same period, who sailed from England to the Coast of Virginia.


The following paragraphs are from the website

Tobacco Leaf Growing

It was during the 16th and early 17th centuries that the area around Winchcombe was extremely poor , it was during this period that a family named Tracy established themselves at Toddington, the eldest son Sir John Tracy became involved with a John Stratford who was related to him by marriage, they set up a business together to grow tobacco in the area, with plantations at Toddington and Bishops Cleeve.

Tobacco was widely grown on the Cotswolds, the Vale of Tewkesbury and in an area which extended as far south as Wiltshire.

Winchcombe was crossed and re-crossed by Salters routes, John Stratford was a member of the Salter’s Company, he was a dealer in woollen stockings and a member of the Eastland Company who dealt in broadcloth, his vas business interests also included the manufacture of tallow, oil, potash and soap.

At the very time of the first crop in the area coming to maturity in 1619 tobacco growing in the British Isles was banned, this was done in order that it could be grown on a commercial scale in the Colonies where it was considered that the need for employment was greater.

After which much of the land on the Cotswolds was turned to growing flax but despite the ban illegal tobacco growing continued on a substantial scale this resulted in a proclamation being read out by a parliamentary agents declaring it illegal, many fights broke out between them and the local populace who could see their livelihoods being lost.

As a result of such disturbances a fresh act of parliament was passed in 1652 banning the growing. Despite this continued and further disturbances took place when in 1667 the authorities sent in a platoon of Life Guards to destroy the crops and to quell the dissenters.

However, records show that the locals were still defiant as planting had taken place as late as 1675 at Winchcombe. The connection with tobacco and the past at Winchcombe still exists – there is a road named Tobacco Close and despite the lapse in time the occasional tobacco plant is still found growing in the Cotswolds.

[WHB Notes: I have compiled some of my Gloucestershire results that directly relate upon the above information in the following posts:

Gyles Carter of Badgeworth (? – c.1627) which discusses a trip that Gyles Carter and Sir Richard Tracy took to Virginia on board the ship Supply from the port of Bristol in 1620.

2) Was the Crump family referred to as being centered in Charlton Abbots and Winchcombe engaged in the Gloucester tobacco trade, prior to members of the family emigrating to Virginia?

3) Which of the ancestral Gloucestershire families of  whom I am descended, were involved in the growing or investment in tobacco in England, prior to their emigration to Virginia?

[WHB: Note that two surnames are associated with the tobacco growing ventures in the Cotswolds - Tracy and Stratford, both families of whom intermarried with the CARTERS of Gloucester County. The names appear in both Miscellaneous Documents from Early 16th Century Gloucestershire and Miscellaneous Documents from Early 17th Century Gloucestershire.]


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“Albion’s Seed”, Y-Chromosome “MRCAs”, and Clues Found in Gloucestershire

In David Hackett Fischer’s seminal work, Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America, Oxford University Press, 1989, p.236. he makes the following observations:

“Virginia’s Great Migration: Regional Origins:

“[A] majority of Virginia’s indentured servants hailed from sixteen counties in the south and west of England – the same area that produced Virginia’s elite. A case in point was the population that settled in Virginia’s Isle of Wight County. A local historian found that ’early Isle of Wight families seem to have come mostly from the southwest of England, that is the counties of Gloucester, Somerset, Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire . . . their names appear to be more numerous in the west country than in any other part of England . . .

“Another example was the population of Berkeley Hundred in Virginia. Its historian found that ‘the majority . . . whether sponsors, tenants at labor or indentured servants, were . . .  born and bred in Gloucester, where many of them were natives of the Berkeley vale, the Cotswold Edge, or the Winchcombe area”.

WHB – The following excerpt is from BBC History’s THE CIVIL WAR IN THE WEST, Dr John Wroughton, at

“The [English Civil] war was over [in 1645], but the cost to ordinary people in human suffering was immeasurable. Bled dry with taxes, they had also endured the compulsory billeting of uncouth troops in their houses, the plundering of their animals, the theft of their food, the disruption of their markets, the vandalisation of their churches and the destruction of their property. The lingering effects of the war were visible wherever you turned.

“One-third of the people in Gloucester were homeless; one-quarter in Bridgwater and two-thirds in Taunton. Hundreds of maimed soldiers and destitute widows submitted petitions to the county quarter sessions in the hope of gaining some relief. Fields lay abandoned; bridges broken down; and road surfaces destroyed.

“In 1646, on the anniversary of the relief of Taunton from siege, George Newton, the minister, looked around him and described in a sermon what he called “her heaps of rubbish, her consumed houses, a multitude of which are raked in their own ashes. Here a poor forsaken chimney and there a little fragment of a wall that have escaped to tell what barbarous and monstrous wretches there have been.”


Note from WHB (3-25-12):

After taking the y-chromosome test and confirming my (long contested) descendency from Julius Saunders, I thought it advisable to find out more about the Most Recent Common Ancestors (MRCAs) of persons  to whom the y-chromosome test suggested that I was related, within the last 21 generations. The surnames were as follows:

9 generations – Cullins, Wilson; 12 generations – Durfey; 15 generations – Kerley; 19 generations – Crump, Marsh, and Burnette; 21 generations – Arnold (2) and Ayers (2). Because I frequently come across tne Crump and Ayers surnames in my ancestral Virginia counties, I began to research them.

Right away, I came across the following query:

“We are researching Crumps from the Gloucestershire area in England, some of the places are Charlton Abotts Winchcombe, Blockley, Brockhampton, Norton, Leckhamption, Charlton Kings, Shurdington[. W]e would like to share the research we have from the Crumps in these areas.” [The query was first posted in 2003, and was edited in 2004.]

A prominent member of one of my ancestral families was rector of a parish church connected with Winchcombe Abbey in Gloucestershire, England. [See John Carter (1470?-1538) Alderton, Gloucestershire, England.]

Information I had gathered from Gloucestershire records provided information on the individuals in Charlton Abbot and elsewhere that lived in lands in which the Carters were lord. [See Miscellaneous Documents from Early 17th Century Gloucestershire.]

Additionally, my GGG Grandmother MARY ANN (POLLY) CARTER JOHNSON was married in Bedford County, Virginia by John Ayers.

A further note. The MRCA is the outside possibility. For example, the Burnette listed as having an MRCA sometime in the past 19 generations is known to me (through comparison of our family trees and through his separate y-chromosome test) to share an MRCA [in fact, JULIUS SAUNDERS] with me five generations back.

Note also that in the town of Westbury-on-Trym, to the North of the seaport town of Bristol in Gloucestershire (mentioned in the Armourer’s documents in 16th Century Gloucestershire, elsewhere on this website) resides the Saunders family.

There appears to be the possibility of a convergence of historical, genealogical and genetic data that might identify Gloucestershire as the ancestral home of the SAUNDERS of Virginia in my direct line.

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The Carters, Goodloes and Ammons in Middlesex and Spotsylvania Counties, VA 1710-1750

In my post dedicated to JOSEPH CARTER, born 1704 in Christ Church Parish in Middlesex County, VA, son of WILLIAM CARTER and MARY GOODLOE, I noted a dispute as to whether he was the same JOSEPH CARTER who appears in Spotsylvania County, VA from 1732 on, I asked the following four questions:

1) Are there connections between the Middlesex GOODLOE relatives of JOSEPH CARTER and Spotsylvania County? 2) Are there connections between CATHERINE AMMON, her brother Christopher Ammon, and Spotsylvania County? 3) Does it matter if the persons being so considered are Anglican, Quaker or Baptist? 4) What motivates a person to move from Tidewater Virginia to Virginia’s Spotsylvania or Brunswick Counties?

It is my plan to devote this page to discussing the answers to these four questions, and perhaps to raise additional ones.

1) Are there connections between the Middlesex GOODLOE relatives of JOSEPH CARTER and Spotsylvania County?

The following entry, in Spotsylvania County Deed Book A, 1722-1725; Antient Press; Page 52:

THIS INDENTURE made the Third day of August in the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and twenty three; Between Henry Goodloe, late
of the County of Middlesex and now of the County of Spotsylvania and Parish of Saint George. Gent. of one part and Mark Wheeler of the County of Spotsylvania of the other part; Witnesseth that Henry Goodloe in consideration of the sum of five shillings to him in hand paid by Mark Wheeler the receipt whereof he doth hereby acknowledge, hath and by these presents doth bargain and sell unto Mark Wheeler all that parcell of land being part of a Survey made for Henry Goodloe for eighteen hundred acres of land and lying in the County of Spotsylvania and bounded; Begining at two white Oaks on the side of a Hill corner to the said Goodloe, thence North fourty five degrees East sixty poles to two red Oak saplins on the side of a Hill in Goodoe’s line, thence South twenty seven degrees East one hundred and eighty eight poles to a red Oak on the East side of a Ridge in GOODLOE’s cross line, thence South fourty degrees West one hundred and twenty five poles to a small white Oak on the North side of a small Branch, thence North one hundred and fourty poles to the place it first began containing one hundred acres of land according to the express bound thereof; To have and to hold the one hundred acres of land dureing the term of one year paying therefore the rent of one pepper corn at the Feast of Saint Michael the Arch Angel if the same be lawfully demanded to the intent that by vertue of these presents and the Statute for transerring uses into possession Mark Wheeler may be in actual possession and thereby enabled to accept a grant of the reversion and inheritance thereof to him and his heirs; In Witness whereof Henry Goodloe hath hereunto set his hand and seal the day and year first within written
Signed sealed and delivered in presents of us – Thomas Chew, Henry Goodloe, John Chew, Robert his mark Evenes

The following quotations are from Mansfield, James Roger, A History of Early Spotsylvania, Green Publishers, Inc., Orange, VA, 1977:

“On 4 May 1725, Henry Goodloe and Harry Beverley petitioned the court to have a road cleared from their homes to the new church on the River Ta. [Larkin] Chew, Beverley, and Goodloe were large owners along the Ta and Po Rivers and influential enought to get almost anything they wanted. The new church was named “Mattaponi”, possibly because it stood among the four princiapl branches of the Mattaponi River; the Mat, the Ta, the Po, and the Ni.” Mansfield, ibid., p. 59.

[WHB: JOSEPH CARTER's uncle, and the brother of MARY GOODLOE CARTER, was named Henry Goodloe. The reference to Henry Goodloe being "late of Middlesex County" makes it virtually certain that it is JOSEPH CARTER's uncle who became one of the first major landowners in Spotsylvania County at a time when JOSEPH CARTER, living in Middlesex County, was 18 years old. It doesn't seem implausible that the family group of Henry Goodloe, his sister MARY, the widow of WILLIAM CARTER, and her son JOSEPH might have supported the idea of the newly married JOSEPH establishing his residence in Spotsylvania County by 1733, after having had the marriage ceremony in Middlesex County where the groom's mother and bride's brother resided.]

“The presiding justices of the first court [of Spotsylvania County], August 7, 1722, were: Augustine Smith, Richard Booker, John Taliferro, William Hansford, Richard Johnson and William Bledsoe.

“These were the founding fathers and appointees of [Virginia Governor] Alexander Spotswood. Edwin Hickman was added to the court on June 2, 1724. Jeremiah Clowder had also been appointed but declined to take the oath. Henry Goodloe was swon in on July 7.” Mansfield, ibid. p. 108.

“At this time, Edward Franklyn was discharged as overseer of the road from Henry Goodloe’s to the church on the River Ta, and Samuel Ham was appointed in his place.” Mansfield, ibid. p. 133-134.

2) Are there connections between CATHERINE AMMON, her brother Christopher Ammon, and Spotsylvania County?

On 29 January, 1735, Banns were held for Christopher Ammon’s marriage to Mary Bristow. [Original data: National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Parish Register of Christ Church, Middlesex County, Virginia from 1653 to 1812. Richmond, VA, USA: Christ Church, 1897.]

Mary Bristow’s mother was MARY GOODLOE [CARTER] BRiSTOW, one of two known children born in the second marriage to John Bristow, after WILLIAM CARTER’s death.

JOSEPH CARTER and Mary Bristow were half-brother and half-sister. They respectively married a full-brother and -sister, CATHERINE AMMON and Christopher Ammon.

Henry Goodloe of Spotsylvania County (born in Middlesex County) was the maternal uncle of both JOSEPH CARTER and Mary Bristow. He was the brother of the mother-in-law for both CATHERINE AMMON and Christopher Ammon.

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Joseph Carter (1704-1751), Middlesex and Spotsylvania Counties, VA



WILLIAM CARTER [William Carter (1660-1711) Middlesex County, Virginia] and MARY GOODLOE had six children:

3-1 George Carter (born 1692) – listed as a grandson in the will of Mary’s father [George Goodloe (1637-1710), Middlesex County, Virginia]

3-2 Philip Carter (born 1694)

3-3 Ann Carter (born 1701), presumably named for her aunt.


“Parish Register of Christ Church, Middlesex Co, VA from 1653-1812, Births” – the children of WILLIAM CARTER and second wife MARY GOODLOE:JOSEPH baptised Apr 30, 1704″


“Parish Register of Christ Church, Middlesex Co, VA from 1653-1812, Births” – the children of WILLIAM CARTER and second wife MARY GOODLOE: Robert baptised Jun 30, 1706″


“Parish Register of Christ Church, Middlesex Co, VA from 1653-1812, Births” – the children of WILLIAM CARTER and second wife MARY GOODLOEMary baptised June 20, 1708″


1711, Feb. 5 – MIDDLESEX COUNTY DEED BOOK 3, 1709-1720…p. 286, KNOW ALL MEN by these presents that wee MARY CARTER, Henry Goodloe & Jacob Presson of Middx County are bound unto John Smith Genty first in Commission of the peace for the County in sum of three hundred pounds Sterl. this 5th day of February 1711. The Condition of this obligation is such that MARY CARTER Executrix of a WILLIAM CARTER deced who obtained a Probate of the last Will and Testament of the said Wm. Carter deced shall at all times fullfill thesaid Will and performe all the Law enjoyns in such cases that then the above obligation to be void otherwise to remain. (her) In the presence of us Jno. Curtis, MARY CARTER, Wil. Stanard (mark), Henry Goodloe, Jacob Presson.

[WHB: At WILLIAM CARTER's death, my ancestor JOSEPH CARTER was seven, with a five-year old brother Robert and three year old sister Mary. Also from the 20 years of WILLIAM CARTER's marriage to MARY GOODLOE, there is also a 19 year old brother George and 18 year old brother Philip.

There has been dispute among family historians as to whether the JOSEPH CARTER born 1704 and married to CATHERINE AMMON in 1731 in Christ Church Parish is the same as JOSEPH CARTER whose sons and daughters were born in Spotsylvania County, VA and who died in Spotsylvania.

Miller's 1922 book about the Carters of Lancaster County, VA that suggests that JOSEPH CARTER belongs with a different line appears to be the informational sources for the main dissenting voices. (See the letter from Margaret Baldock to WHB below). It is my intention to examine and augment the evidence that concludes that indeed the JOSEPH CARTERs of Middlesex and Spotsylvania Counties are the same.

I would ask four questions at this point. 1) Are there connections between the Middlesex GOODLOE relatives of JOSEPH CARTER and Spotsylvania County? 2) Are there connections between CATHERINE AMMON, her brother Christopher Ammon, and Spotsylvania County? 3) Does it matter if the persons being so considered are Anglican, Quaker or Baptist? 4) What motivates a person to move from Tidewater Virginia to Virginia's Spotsylvania or Brunswick Counties?

It is my plan to discuss these four questions, and, perhaps, add new ones, on the following page: The Carters, Goodloes and Ammons in Middlesex and Spotsylvania Counties, VA 1710-1750.]


JOSEPH CARTER married CATHERINE AMMON  1 Dec. 1731 in Middlesex Co., VA.

Note: Data provided by Mrs Nancy S. Goodloe (Las Cruces, NM), Mrs Thelma L. Harper; Albuquerque; Mrs Lily Carter Thurman, Houston; Mrs Pattie M. Norris, Indianola, MS, helped identify descendents of Mary Goodloe Carter as of 1978.


Note: Elby F. Bowman, Shell Knob, MO, authored (1978)  The Ancestors of Joseph Carter of Buckingham County VA and Bath and Morgan Counties KY wrote “Joseph Carter and Catherine Ammon left Middlesex County VA shortly after their marriage as no further entries pertaining to them or their issue appear in the Christ Church Parish records. We next find them in Spotsylvania County VA per the following entries – -

3 June 1735 Robert Goodloe of St George’s Parish Spotsylvania County sells 190 acres to JOSEPH CARTER; also JOSEPH CARTER of St George’s Parish makes his will 19 Feb 1750 — probated 7 May 1751.


Crozier, William Armstrong, Spotsylvania County Records,  Southern Book Company Baltimore, 1955.
Will Book B 1749-1759 page 10

CARTER, JOSEPH, St. George’s Parish, d. Feb. 19, 1750, p. May 7, 1751. Wit. Robert Huddlestone, Wm. Pruitt, James Younger, Robert Durrett. Ex. wife, CATHERINE CARTER; Mr. John Minor and my son, John Carter. Leg. wife, Catharine; son, John, tract of land bought of Benj. Matthews; daughter Mary Carter; daughter, Elizabeth Carter; son, George Carter, son, Robert Carter, the land where I now live after his mother’s decease; daughter, Caty Carter.


Excerpt of a Letter (dated June 6, 1989) from Margaret Baldock (Clovis NM) to WHB:

Dear William,

I have I think figured out the lineage back to 1660-ish as you can see by the enclosed family group sheets. I have not proven all as yet so I definitey don’t say that this is all for sure.

I feel pretty good about the WILLIAM AND MARY (GOODLOE) CARTER line and the reason for that is that we have a very good history of the Goodloe famly that was done in 1982 by Dr Paul Goodloe. He has established the Carter line for us as beginning with WILLIAM AND MARY CARTER. My mother’s maiden name is Goodloe.

JOSEPH CARTER md. CATHERINE AMMON  1 Dec. 1731 in Middlesex Co., VA.

WILLIAM CARTER’s will names sons Thomas, William, George and Phillip. He does not name any girls and not all his boys. In the Christ Church Parish Middlesex Co. birth records we find not only the boys named [in his will] but also JOSEPH baptised 30 April 1704, Ann, Robert, Mary and Elizabeth. However not all the children are named in the parish records either.

In 1741 John Carter made his will naming nephew (?) Sarah Rice, Brother (in-law) Robert Daniel, brother JOSEPH CARTER, brother (in-law) Mark Wheeler, sister Elizabeth Daniel and wife Mary Carter. Now, this Mark Wheeler is very important later on.

There is no further record of JOSEPH CARTER and CATHERINE AMMON in Middlesex Co., but there shows up in Spotsylvania Co. a JOSEPH AND CATHERINE CARTER. JOSEPH CARTER makes his will naming his wife CATHERINE, son JOSEPH, John, George, Robert and daughter Elizabeth. He also mentions that his son JOSEPH and his heirs to have the Tract of land he bought of Mark Wheeler. Christ church records –  ”, son of Mark and Sarah Wheeler baptized 3 Apr. 1720. There was no record of a marriage though.

3 Jan. 1749 – Mark Wheeler and Sarah his wife of Spotsylvania Co. to JOSEPH CARTER of same county 38 lbs 100 acres conveyed to said Wheeler by Henry Goodloe Gent., deceased as by deed, 3 June 1735. Wit. Robt. Durrett, James Younger, Maes Ham and Patric Kennedy.

Some other people that help make the connection of the Goodloes and the Carters are Robert Durrett. He married Elizabeth who was the daughter of Henry Goodloe, who was the brother of MARY GOODLOE who married WILLIAM CARTER.

JOSEPH CARTER appointed Mr John Minor as a witness and he was a brother to Diana Minor who married George Goodloe. Goerge was the son of Henry who was the brother of MARY GOODLOE CARTER.

The reason I’m giving you this information is that there was another Joseph Carter family living in Spotsylvania at this time and apparently had similar family names. It’s possible that they were cousins even. Dr Joseph L. Miller in his Descendents of Capt. Thomas Carter of ‘Barford’, Lancaster Co., Virginia published in 1922 attributes all the information in Spotsylvania Co. to Joseph from Lancaster Co. Some people will really argue that his reasoning is correct and I can show a great number of flaws.

Now I know that my Ammon Carter, b. ca. 1765 father’s name was Joseph because he shows up on the tax list right beside his father. I have no idea what his mother’s name was. In the back of my mind I keep thinking maybe it was Priscilla because I can’t find where that name came from, or as a matter of fact, where the name Nancy came from. Then there was the female child that we have no name for. Polly (Mary) could have come from her Great-Grandmother MARY GOODLOE CARTER.

I think that where we need to put our heads together is to try to prove or disprove what I have. You may have more or even a different idea that I do. You may have them going in a different direction, but as I told you before I like to have as much definite proof as I can get before I take it as ‘truth”. I’m too much of a skeptic for that. I also won’t take somthing just because someone says it’s so. . .




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