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Aquia Church, Overwharton Parish, Stafford County
There were incentives for land settlement in the Virginia colonies, especially if a gentleman brought over servants. Captain John Withers from Lancaster, England was granted 1,000 acres of land in Westmoreland County in 1654 and 320 acres in 1658; nominated as a vestryman and church warden of the Potomac Parish in 1666. He served as a member of the Houses of Burgesses of Stafford County in 1692, several years before his death.
John Mercer of Marlborough, Virginia
John Mercer, ca 1750. George Mason III, son of late sheriff and ordinary keeper in the port town of Marlborough petitioned the court, together with Rice Hooe, "that Leave may be given to bring in a Bill to enable them to sell the said Land belonging to the town, the same not being built upon or Inhabited." The petition was put aside to be considerated, however on May 21, 1723 it was "Ordered That Rice Hooe and George Mason be at liberty to withdraw their petition." This was about the time that John Mercer arrived in the vicinity and settled in Marlborough. Mercer was born 1704 in Ireland and was the son of a Church Street merchant of English descent (also named John Mercer) and his wife, Grace Fenton Mercer. John received his education at Trinity College before sailing for the New World in 1720. He kept journals of his experience in the New World. From his second journal, he was engaged in miscellaneous trading, sailing up and down the rivers in his sloop and exchanging goods along the way. By 1725 he had accumulated 322 pds. worth of tobacco which was located inside a warehouse at the falls of the Rappahannock River. On June 10th he was married to the sister of George Mason, Catherine which occasion was celebrated at the home of Mrs. Ann Fitzhugh in King George County with the Reverend Alexander Scott of Overwharton Parish in Stafford County officiating. Thus, age the young age of twenty one years, Mercer became allied to the old established aristocracy of the Fitzhughs. During 1725 Mercer pressed ahead with his trading enterprises. From his journal it is learned that he sold Richard Ambler of Yorktown 710 pds of raw Deerskins for 35 pds. 10 shillings and purchased 200 pds. of sundry goods from Ambler as well. Between October 1725 and February 1726 he sold a variety of furnishings and equipment to Richard Johnson, ranging from a horsewhip and a silk rug, shoemaker knives and an ivory Comb. In return he received two hogsheads of tobacco, a gallon of cider, and raw and dressed deerskins. At the time, the only house standing at Marlborough was that which had been built by Thomas Ballard in 1708. It was inherited by his godson David Waugh, who now apparently offered to allow his niece Catherine and her new husband occupy it. Mercer later referred to it as "the House I lived in built by Ballard." In 1725 he purchased from his wife Catherine 885 acres of land near Potomac Church for 221 pds. and another tract of 1610 acres on Potomac Run for 322 pds. His journal recorded that he moved to Marlborough in 1726.
From his own words written toward the end of his life when he was not overburdened with wealth:"Except my education I never got a shilling of my fathers or any other relations estate, every penny I ever got has been by my own industry and with as much fatigue as most people have undergone." Source: The Cultural History of Marlborough, Virginia by C. Malcolm Watkins.
Dalrymple's revision of the map by Joseph Fry and Peter Jefferson in 1755 (Library of Congress).
The land upon which the town of Marlborough in Stafford County was laid off belonged to Captain Malachi Peale, with reversion to Giles Brent. The first feoffees were John Withers and Mathew Thompson, who conveyed twenty-three lots to different purchasers. Source: Case and Petition of John Mercer, Ludwell, Papers, Virginia Historical Society Mss. Collection.
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The Substance of Genealogy = Old Wills and Estates
There is more personal family information and clues contained in old wills and estates than a census record. And it is more accurate because it was written by an ancestor who wished to be remembered, and found later in time; after he had gone. It usually provides all yhe names of the children and their spouses, grandchildren, siblings, parents and could even include the names of relatives residing in foreign countries. Reading an old last will and testament, along with its inventories, sales, annual returns and other estate data is an open book into the life experiences of another person. Also, it provide multiple clues to discovering other relatives, should we examine it more closely. Not only do we get the whereabouts of family members, but also origins. One mention of a relative in a foreign country, for example, is worth thousands of research hours. Actually, estate details provide a parcel of clues in the Annual Returns. These returns commence with the last illness, funeral details, and as additional returns are filed (annually until the final settlement), tidbits appear of personal data appears, such as letters received from relatives in other places and all sorts of clues where to search next. Names of relatives, neighbors and friends are plastered all over those records. And do not forget to search for receipts! If you do this much, more family members will emerge and as well as a pattern of clues.
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Stafford County Genealogy, Wills, Marriages, Probate Records
Stafford County is located across the Rappahannock River from the City of Fredericksburg. The county seat is Stafford.
Stafford Wills, Estates, Marriages available to members of Virginia Pioneers
Indexes to Probate Records
Miscellaneous Wills, Estates
- Index to Stafford Wills (1722-1729)
Clement, Edward (LWT) 1733
Elzey, Margaret, deceased (1730) (Image)
Fudd, Michael (Inventory) ca 1733
Grigsby, Charles, LWT (1740) (image)
Grigsby, John, LWT (1728) (image)
Johnson, Booford, estate, inventory (1740) (image)
Mauzy, Peter, orphan (image)
Marriages to 1699
Images of Wills 1699 to 1709
Testators: Alexander, Robert; Ashton, James, estate; Beath, Peter; Benson, Hugh; Bland, James; Brent, George; Brewton, John; Buckner, Philip; Cornwall, Ann; Enno, George; Farlow, Ann; Fitzhugh, William; Harman, Christopher; Harwood, William; Harvey, John; Jenkins, David; King, William ;Littlejohn, Oliver; Mann, James; Martin, Richard ;Matheny, William ;Pickett, Joyce ;Richardson, William ;Taylor, Edward ;Thomson, William ;Vandagesteel, Giles ;Waller, William ;Williams, Anthony ;Withers, John (Captain) ;Wood, William <
Images of Wills 1729 to 1748
Testators: Barrow, Abraham; Bayles, John; Boles, Thomas ; Brent, William ; Burras, Mary ;Butler, James ;Cave, William ;Chadwell, John ;Chalmers, John ;Claiborne, Thomas ;Collinsworth, Mary; Cooke, John ;Cosby, George ;Counts, Joseph ;Craford, John ;Croftrodge, Thomas ;Crowley, George ;Denny, James ;Derrick, Mattox ;Duncan, Thomas ;Ellit, Charles ;Fowke, Chandler ; French, Hugh ; Grant, Ann ; Gregg, Lucy ; Grigsby, John ; Grigsby, Thomas ; Higgerson, John ; Hore, Elias ;Howard, John ; Hurst, John ; Jeffrice, Thomas ; Joanes, John ; Jones, Susan ; Keen, Matthew ; Massey, Dodd ; Masters, Thomas ; Mealy, Daniel ; Mees, Mary ; Ponton, Edward ; Powel, Grace ;Scott, Alexander ;Scott, William ;Seaton, James ;Todd, Richard ;Warner, John ;Waugh, John ;Waugh, Joseph ;Wheeler, John ;Wigginton, William ;Withers, James
Images of Wills 1748 to 1763
Testators: Alexander, Philip ;Allan, George ;Anderson, John S. ;Barbee, Thomas ;Baxter, William ;Bosholl, Edward ;Brent, Charles ;Brout, Hannah ;Brown, John ;Buckner, John ;Burge, Edward ;Carter, William ;Chambers, Daniel ;Chapman, Taylor ;Chinn, Rawleigh ;Clifton, Burdit ;Colclough, Rachel ;Conway, Sarah ;Cook, Fravors ;Dade, Cadwallader ;Dade, Townshend ;Dade, Laughton ;Denaugh, Morrice ;Durrcom, Benjamin; Eaves, Thomas ;Edwards, Ignatius ;Findley, Mary ;Fitzhugh, Henry ;Fletcher, George; Foley, John ;French, Daniel ;Grady, Patrick; Grafford, Mary ;Grigg, Nathan ;Grigsby, James ;Grigsby, Jane ;Hampton, William ;Harper, Thomas; Herod, John ;Hinson, Charles ; Hood, Rino ; Johnson, John ; Mathews, William ; Mauzy, Peter ;McCarty, Cornelius ;McGill, Sarah ;Minor, John ;Murray, Anthony ;Nelson, Henry Sr. ;Parkridge, Eleanor ;Patton, William ;Pearson, Hannah ;Persons, Ann ;Peyton, John ;Rhodes, John ;Rigsby, Alexander; Robinson, Henry ;Rogers, John ;Simpson, John ;Stuart, David ;Smith, John R. ;Sturdy, Robert ;Sudderth, James ;Sudderth, Robert ;Thomas, Benjamin ;Thornberry, Samuel ;Thornton, Anthony; Todd, Hayward ;Travors, Rawleigh ;Walker, William ;Waller, Charles ;Waller, Susannah ;Washington, Henry ;Washington, John ;Waugh, James ;Waugh, Mary ;Whitecotton, Sarah ;Williams, George ;Williams, Jennett ;Williams, Thomas
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