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.


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