Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Will of John Hawkins of Richmond County

I was working on my Northern Neck slide show last night when I found a slide about the will of John Hawkins.  Because my NN mail list has been particularly active, some of the names jumped out at me that had been less meaningful in the past.  I wanted to capture my thoughts about this will.  I don't think that I have ever seen the original of the will.  I am working from a transcription that was not made by me.

In 1692, Rappahannock County disapeared and the part of the county that was north of the Rappahannock River became Richmond County.  The part that was south of the river became Essex County.  So it is possible that some of these people would be found in Old Rappahannock County 20 years before.  

John Hawkins will in Richmond County Wills and Inventories  1709-1717 p 235 names now wife,  Elizabeth Hawkins, sons, William, John, and Benjamin.  Asks Richard Butler and James Butler to take 6 children.  If Henry Wood Will take William and teach him trade of plasterer.  Asks Richard Butler to take son John, daughter Sarah, and daughter Elizabeth.  Asks James Butler to take son Benjamin and son James and that they live with him until they reach 20 years.  Asks John Suttle, his freedman, to complete crop.  Will proved 7 March 1715.  He names friend Isaac Arnold executor and the will was witnessed by Isaac Arnold, Rebecca Butler, and John Suttle.  Richmond County Court Minutes 1711-1715 p. 485 at a court of May 1715 John Davis has suit against Isaac Arnold ex of John Hawkins for 700 pounds of tobacco to be paid out of the estate of the deceased.

So one big question here is if Elizabeth's maiden name was Butler.  Certainly it would seem that that would be most likely.  No one in the Hawkins family is asked to take children.  Many Butler family members are asked to take children.  Richard and James Butler are likely to have been either brothers to Elizabeth or a brother and a father.

A google search found the following information on Mike Marshall's website:

Richard Butler:

  • Birth: 1666 in Westmoreland County, Virginia
  • Death: 7 MAR 1734/35 in Hanover Parish, King George County, Virginia - Probate

  • Continuing to read Mike's website, one is struck by how interelated this Richard Butler is with the Hawkins family.  I HAVE the right man!

    In the Name of God Amen. I Richard Butler of Brunswick Parish in the County of King George being sick and weak of body but of perfect mind and memory do make and ordain this my last Will & Test ament in manner and form following. 
    Item: I give and bequeath unto my loving son William Butler all the estate which I was possessed of at the time of my marriage with my now wife Mary, all my debts being first paid out of the sd part by my Executor hereafter named.
    Item: I give and bequeath unto Elizabeth Newport, wife of Peter Newport, thirty five acres of land lying in King George County joyning upon William Settles to her and her heirs forever.
    Item: I give and bequeath unto my loving wife Mary Butler all he rest and residue of my estate unto whome I give the tuition and keeping of my son William Butler until he arive to age of twenty one years. I do hereby ordain and appoint Benjamin Hawkins whole and sole Executor of this my last Will & Testament utterly revoking all wills before at any time made, do acknowledge this my last Will & Testament. As Witness my hand and seale this twenty sixth day of January One thousand Seven hundred Twenty four five [1724/5] (sic).
    Ejus *******
    Richard [R] Butler *Seale* Signum *******
    Signed Sealed & Acknowledged in the presence of
    John Gilbert James Hackley James Hawkins
    At a Court held for King George County the 7th day of March Anno Dom: 1734 [1734/5].
    The last Will & Testament of Richard Butler, Dece., was presented into Court by Benjamin Hawkins his Executor who made oath thereto and the same was proved by the oath of John Gilbert, James Hackley and James Hawkins and admitted to Record.
    Copia Vera Test T: Turner Cl:Cur: 

    Then scrolling down on Mike's page I find another person's interpretation of this will:

    On the website it says:  Contributed by: James Hughes  Janet Shamiri has indicated that the below is taken from her information.  To see more information by Janet, go to: 

    URL: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~mysouthernfamily/myff/d0055/g0000 022.html
    URL title: My Southern Family

    There is strong circumstantial evidence. John b. ca 1675 and Elizabeth Hawkins lived in Richmond County, Va and they both died in 1715 in an epidemic. John left a will and named 4 sons and 2 daughters. His oldest son Wm is apprenticed to Henry Wood; his younger children Benjamin, John, James, sarah and Elizabeth are given to James and Richard Butler -- from this we assume that Elizabeth, John's wife is a Butler. Rebecca Butler witnesses the will, widow Peter Butler d. ca1698. James Butler dies shortly thereafter and the children are raised by Richard Butler. We first find Wm, oldest son, in court records in 1718 in Richmond County, indicating he must be 21 and extrapolating back we give him birth ca 1697 and in 1715/6 when his father died he would have been 18. We also think John had a first wife as he refers to Elizabeth as "now wife" in the will. When Benjamin first shows up in court records it is 1729, extrapolate back and you have b. ca 1708. then John shows about 1727, thus b. ca 1706 and James shows up around 1731, thus b. ca 1710. In several court procedures John Willis stands up for the orphans - securing them in court and so forth. John's son Wm is married to Sarah Hawksford(?). Wm died shortly thereafter and his widow marries Henry Wood - the gentleman Wm is apprenticed to. Hawksfords are also neighbors as are both Willises - father and son. When Benjamin and brothers show up later in Orange Co. -- Benj is married to Sarah Willis, living near by his mother-in-law, brother-in-law and his brothers. Interesting thing also is that Wm that everybody likes to attach Benjamin to as his father is I suspect his big brother Wm b. 1697 -- who has sons Benjamin, John, and James. I also think they may have attached Wm's other brother James onto him as a son possibly- less sure on this one. Wm lives also lives near Benjamin in Chestnut Mt area in Orange Co.

    Chestnut Mt is called Clark Mountain in the below:

    There is excellent information about this family on Janet Shahmiri's blog:


    Janet has narrowed land on which John Hawkins lived to a place near to the Carter land....at least that is what I am understanding with quick looking this morning.  I will try to read this more closely and see just exactly what that corresponds with in my own research.

    I will add information from Paticia J. Hurst's book tomorrow to this space.  I changed my mind this morning.  I will start a new blog dated Nov 28 with information on this Hawkins line in Orange and Culpeper Counties.  That way a reader can continue with Northern Neck information on this blog entry and switch to a separate entry for the different location.

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