Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Spotsylvania County, Virginia in early 1700's

It rained tonight.  So I am sitting at kitchen counter cleaning out my inbox.   I just deleted an e-mail from last February in which E.W. Wallace said:

"By the way, I discovered today that Ancestry.com has digitized at least one of the books of Spotsylvania early records compiled by William Armstrong Crozier. ...."

Ancestry.com. Spotsylvania, Virginia County Records, 1721-1800 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1997.
Original data: Crozier, William Armstrong, ed.. Virginia County Records: Spotsylvania County 1721-1800. New York, NY, USA: Fox, Duffield, and Co., 1905.

and

When Spotsylvania County, Virginia was formed in 1721, it covered an area which now includes Orange, Madison, Culpeper, and Rappahannock counties. This collection of records contains information on wills, deeds, administrators' and guardians' bonds, marriage licenses, and lists of revolutionary war pensioners. Each entry reveals valuable information on persons, dates of vital events, places of occurrence, and relationships, all extracted from the original courthouse records.

Of course, the first thing that I do is go to:  http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~george/countyformations/virginiaformationmaps.html

to see what Spotsylvania County looked like in 1721 and what the areas were before that date.

So you can see in the 1721 map that Sp is the abbreviation for Spotsylvania County.  It is certainly pretty much on the frontier of that time period and it has taken the place of western Essex County (ES), and western King and Queen County (KQ).  In the same time period Hannover County was taken from the Western part of New Kent.  So it seems that these areas were being settled in this time period.  My gut feeling is that these families had lived in the Northern Neck and sons who did not inherit or families that had reason to move had moved west.  Certainly it is also possible that these people had lived here as we find that Thomas Hawkins of Old Rappahanock County had owned land at what is now Fredericksburg as shown in the map below:



So the family that seems to have wills in this county in this era is Nicholas Hawkins who was married to Elizabeth Long.  Here are some of the wills that are in Crozier and available on Ancestry:

Virginia County Records SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY 1721-1800
WILLS
WILL BOOK A 1722-1749
page 5
ALLEN, THOMAS, St. George's Parish, d. Nov. 10, 1743, p. Feb. 7, 1743. Wit. JohnHawkins, James Jones, Nick Jones. Ex. wife Elizabeth and son Nathaniel. Leg. son Thomas; son Nathaniel; daughter Elizabeth; grandson Robert Hall; wife Elizabeth; son John. (Page —)
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It is possible that this John could have been the John married to Mary who had the daughter Mary who married Tolliver Craig.  He is said to have died in Spotsylvania County c. 1740.

Virginia County Records SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY 1721-1800
WILLS
WILL BOOK A 1722-1749
page 8
[p.8]BYRNE, EDMUND, Spotsylvania Co., d. Aug. 17, 1744, p. Sept. 4, 1744. Wit. James Mills, JosephHawkins, Edward Wars. Admr. JosephHawkins. Leg. my brother (page torn) and Thomas Byrne of the Co. of Kil-kenney, in the Kingdom of Ireland, whom I do appoint and constitute my joint heirs. (Page 397)
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There is a Joseph Hawkins married to Jane Nicholas who lived in Spotsylvania County from about 1706 to mid 1700's.  It is possible that this Joseph Hawkins was a son of the John and Mary Hawkins that I name above

The next wills belong in the family group that is connected to Nicholas Hawkins who married Elizabeth Long.  It is possible that he could have been a brother to John Hawkins who was married to Mary.  They are born in the same time period.  The first will is that of Elizabeth Long Hawkins' father:
Virginia County Records SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY 1721-1800
WILLS
WILL BOOK B 1749-1759
page 10
LONG, JOHN, St. George's Parish, d. Jan. 31, 1750, p. July 7, 1752. Wit. Philip Vincent Vass, Thomas Merry. Ex. wife, Elizabeth Long. Leg. wife, Elizabeth; grandson JohnHawkins; daughter, ElizabethHawkins; granddaughter, ElizabethHawkins. (Page 116)
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The next belongs to Nicholas Hawkins:
Virginia County Records SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY 1721-1800
WILLS
WILL BOOK B 1749-1759
page 10
HAWKINS, NICHOLAS, Spotsylvania Co., d. Feb. 15, 1754, p. May 7, 1754. Wit. Owen Thomas, Benjamin Martin, John Button. Ex. wife, Elizabeth and son, JohnHawkins. Leg. son, John; daughter, Cate Mac-donel; son, ThomasHawkins; son, NicholasHawkins; son, AlexanderHawkins; daughter, Ann Pritchett; grandson,HawkinsCasel. (Page 198)
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Virginia County Records SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY 1721-1800
WILLS
WILL BOOK D 1761-1772
page 21
LONG, ELIZABETH, St. George's Parish, d. Mar. —, 1760, p. Dec. 4, 1764. Wit. William Poultney, John Gordon. Ex. Nicholas.Hawkins, Senr. Leg. grandson, JohnHawkins; granddaughter, Elizabeth; grandson, NicholasHawkins, Junr; granddaughters, Mary, Nanny and Sarah; NicholasHawkins, Senr., father of the above named children. (Page 166)
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The next Will is that of William Ellis who was the father of Elizabeth Ellis who first married John Hawkins who was the son of Nicholas and Elizabeth Long Hawkins.  This John Hawkins died relatively young leaving orphans: Catherine, Elizabeth, Ann, Agnes/Agatha, 
Virginia County Records SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY 1721-1800
WILLS
WILL BOOK D 1761-1772
page 23
ELLIS, WILLIAM, Spotsylvania Co., d. May 19, 1766, p. Aug. 4, 1766. Wit. W. Wood, John Gordon, Isaac Wilson, James Dudley. Ex. wife, Elizabeth; sons Hezekiah and William Ellis, Col. Joseph Brock. Leg. daughter Mary Proctor; son Hezekiah Ellis; daughter ElizabethHawkins; daughter Ann O'Neal; son William Ellis; son John Ellis; daughter Agnes Ellis. If my wife should die before my son arrives at the age of twenty years, I desire that Robert O'Neal take his estate into his possession. (Page 241)
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Elizabeth Ellis Hawkins married Robert Collins before 1772.
Virginia County Records SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY 1721-1800
WILLS
WILL BOOK D 1761-1772
page 27
HAWKINS, JOSEPH, Spotsylvania Co., d. Mar. 30, 1769. Wit. Philm.Hawkins; Charles Cosby; W. Robinson. Ex. wife Jane and sons John and JosephHawkins. Leg. wife Jane, the tract of land left me by my father with that part of the back land that I purchased from Bernard Moore, Gentl; son Joseph land adjoining James Jones, Edward Coleman and others; my two daughters Lucy and SarahHawkins. (Page 525)
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There are 140 or more entries.  It is very interesting to read who is living in Spotsylvania County in this time period.  However, that is all the time I have tonight to spend on this.  I just did not want to loose the thought when I deleted the e-mail.

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