Virginia Pioneers

The Good Servant of Governor Yeardley

Weyandoke Plantation Thomas Dunn came to Virginia when he was sixteen years old at the servant of Sir George Yeardley, Knight, Governor and Captain-General of Virginia. He was listed on the Muster of persons residing at Flower Dieu Hundred in 1623, being situated on the southside of the James River and being part of the Weyanoke Plantation, the home of Governor Yeardley. The home was on the border of Charles City County, later Surry County. Dunn must have earned good standing with his betters, because when Robert Burgess died in 1683, he left his land to Thomas Dunn, the son of John Dunn Sr. of Surry County. Later, in 1700, Thomas Dunn of Martins Brandon Parish in Charles City County, planter, sold this same land given to him by Burgess.

Burdenshome Taxes Fixed on Colonists

tobacco being shippedIf you resided in the Virginia colony in the 17th century, you were not exempted from the taxation of the English lords. Here is but one burdensome tax. The remuneration of each person conveying the tobacco of others in his sloop or shallow to Jamestown was fixed at ten pounds (per thousand), and the owner of the storehouse in which it was deposited was to receive six pounds of the same proportion. After the statute became law, however, colonists found a way around it. The planter rolled his tobacco on board the merchantman at his wharf, or transported it in a sloop of his own to a point where the vessel was lying. Since all of the work was provided by his own men, no expense was incurred. If such a tax were imposed during low prices for tobacco, it would have been intolerable.

A Good Marriage Brings Prosperity

Shirley Plantation Shirley Plantation When John Carter married Elizabeth Hill, the daughter of William Hill I who established Shirley plantation in 1613, he inherited thousands of acres of land in Charles City County and build the manor house ca 1723, a tradition of many generations followed. Today, the manor is on exhibit to the public and features many of its original furnishings, which is unusual for an estate that old. John Carter accumulated other plantations in Richmond, Westmoreland, Lancaster, King William, Hanover, Fauquier and Caroline Counties which were passed down to Charles Carter. When Charles Carter died, he mentioned "Nanty Parson" plantation in Lancaster County and "Pampatike" plantation in King William County. His last will and testament gave precise bequests, assuring that Shirley Plantation would remain in the family.

Westover Plantation
Westover Plantation

Westover Plantation
Westover Plantation

Westover Plantation
Westover Plantation

Genealogy History

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Henry Batte

St. Peter's Church There were gentlemen of means who emigrated to Virginia. One such man was Henry Batte who came from Birstall, Yorkshire, England and served on the Virginia Assembly from 1685 to 1686. Henry and Thomas Batte were granted 5,878 acres in Charles City County. Such a land grant was the responsibility of noble families to distribute and settle the land to motivated individuals.

Indian Fields

Virginia Map This place in Charles City County known as"Indian Fields" was, as it name suggests, an open space formerly cultivated by red men. In 1763, it was owned by Francis Hardiman who, several years later, bequeathed to his son, John Hardiman. The field consisted of 600 acres. Francis Hardiman was the son of Lieutenant-Colonel John Hardiman who died in the colony ca 1741.

During Virginia's Long Parliament

Colonel Robert Wynne of Canterbury, England served as a representative for Charles City County from 1657 to 1660. He was part of the "Long Parliament" of Virginia from 1661 to 1674, serving as Speaker of the House. At the time, he served longer than any Virginian. He was buried in the churchyard of Jordan's Parish.

Charlottesville, Virginia

Charles City County, Virginia Genealogy, Wills, Estates, Marriages

Shirley Plantation
Shirley Plantation, home of Charles Carter.

Charles City County was named after the son of King James who later became King Charles I of England. It was one of four boroughs created by the Virginia Company in 1619. Westover Plantation was built about 1730 by William Byrd II, founder of Richmond and Petersburg, and features English boxwoods and colonial gardens; open to the public. Other plantations located in this county go along the James River, viz: Shirley Plantation, Berkeley Plantation, Westover Plantation, Sherwood Forest Plantation, and Greenway Plantation. Charles City is the county seat. The Carter wills of Shirley Plantation and Ladd wills are available on this website as well as many other famous Virginians who resided in this county. Anyone searching for their ancestors in Charles City County will no doubt run across the famous families who built the wealthy plantations and generated the local economy.

Charles City County Wills, Estates, Marriages available to members of Virginia Pioneers

  • Marriages to 1699
Miscellaneous Wills
  • Byrd, William, LWT (1700)
  • Byrd, William, LWT (1774)
  • Clay, John, LWT (transcript)
  • England, Francis, LWT (transcript)
  • Gregory, John, Jr., LWT (transcript)
  • Harrison, Benjamin, LWT (transcript)
  • Izard, Rebecca, LWT (transcript)
  • Munford, Robert, LWT (transcript)
  • Munford, William, LWT (transcript)
  • Rogers, John, LWT, transcript Tyler, John, LWT (transcript
Digital Images of Wills and Estates 1655 to 1656

Digital Images of Wills and Estates 1689 to 1690

Digital Images of Wills and Estates 1724 to 1731

Digital Images of Wills and Estates 1766 tp 1774

(names of testators of above records not provided due to lack of space)

Digital Images of Wills 1789 to 1808

Names: Testators: Anderson, David Austin, William Ballard, Thomas Ballard, William Bartow, James Bates, James Beeck, Benjamin Benford, John Benge, James Berkley, Benjamin Binns, Mary Blanks, Elizabeth Blanks, James Blanks, John Bradley, Dancy Bradley, James Bradley, Joseph Brown, Abraham Brown, Sarah Bullifont, James Burton, Elizabeth Burton, William Carter, Charles of Shirley Plantation Carter, Mildred Carter, Robert Cary, Robert Charles, Lydia Charles, Phillip Charles, Willis Sr. Christian, Gideon Christian, William Clarke, Sarah Cocke, Jane Crew, Benjamin Crew, Benjamin (2) Crew, John Drake, Robert Drinkard, William Durfey, Francis Durfey, Samuel Duke, Henry Edmondson, Elizabeth Edmondson, Margaret Edward, William Finch, Ann Finch, Edward Finch, Elizabeth Folkes, William Fry, Robert Gill, Ingraham Gilliam, Ann Graves, William Griffith, Thomas Hardyman, Littlebury Harris, Frances or Francis Harris, James Harrison, Benjamin Jr. Harrison, James Harwood, William Hogg, Jessey Hurt, James Irby, Hardyman Irby, John Johnson, Jacob Knibb, John Lacy, Henry Ladd, Amos Ladd, Anna Ladd,James Ladd, William Lyon, Daniel Major, Martha Manable, Edward McBrown, Allen Merry, David Minge, Ann Shields Mountcastle, Joseph Munford, Robert Murrell, Thomas New, Richard Oley, William Parrish, Elizabeth Pavely, John Perry, Littleberry Phillips, Elizabeth Quick, Henry Randolph, William Sr. Roach, James Russell, Edward Southall, Henry Southall, James Spraggins, Elizabeth Spraggins, Thomas Stagg, Thomas Sr. Vaughan, William Shields Walker, Rebecca Walker, Richardson Wilkinson, David Willcox, Hannah Williams, Brazure Williamson, Frances Willis, Eady

Digital Images of Wills 1808 to 1824

Names: Testators: Adams, John ;Apperson, Martha ;Ballard, John; Barrow, Philip; Bates, James Sr. ;Blanks, Thomas; Bradley, Benjamin; Bradley, John ;Bradley, Marston; Bradley, Thomas; Bradley, William ; Brewer, Eleanor ;Brown, Dixon;Byrd, Ann Willing ;Byrd, Mary ; Carter, Anne ;Cary, David ;Christian, John; Christian, Susanna; Christian, William ;Cole, Major ;Cole, Tally ;Coupland, Ann; Cowles, Nathaniel; Crew, Jacob ;Crew, John Sr. ;Demville, Elizabeth ; Dixon, Ann ;Dixon, Anthony Tucker; Edloe, Ann ;Egmon, Cornelius; Egmon, Frances ;Emery, Mary ;Evans, Robert; Ferrel, Caleb ;Filbales, John ; Finch, Richmond; Folkes, Catherine; Fry, Elizabeth ;Gannaway, Thomas; Gill, Thomas ;Gill, William ;Gilliam, Jeffery; Glidewell, Drury; Gregory, Elley ; Griffith, Amy ;Griffith, William; Hadin, Lucretia ;Hamblett, George; Hamblett, Thomas; Harrison, Braxton; Harrison, Collier ;Harwood, Elizabeth; Howell, William ;Hughes, Jeremiah; Irby, Francis Irby, Littleberry; Ireland, John ; Kirby, Sarah ;Ladd, James D.; Ladd, Jesse ;Ladd, John ;Ladd, Joseph; Lightfoot, Philip I.; Lightfoot, William ;Maddox, Michael ;Major, Edward ; Major, John ;Mannin, John; Miles, Richard; Minge, George William Hunt; Moody, Matthew ;Mountcastle, Elizabeth; Murrell, William M. ; Nance, William ;Nelson, William ;New, Jesse ;New, Sally ;Philbales, Mary; Raglin, Richard ;Roper, David ;Ross, Ann ;Royall, John; Royall, William ; Snipes, John ;Southall, Ann ;Southall, Philip; Southall, William; Towler, Luke ;Trappell, Martha; Tyler, John ;Vaughan, Henry; Vaughan, James ; Vaughan, Sarah ;Warden, Joseph ;Whitt, Isham ;Wilkinson, Thomas; Wills, John ;Winston, Susanna

Indexes to Probate Records
  • Wills and Deeds 1655 to 1656
  • Inventories and Guardian Accounts 1789 to 1808
  • Wills and Inventories 1808 to 1824
  • Orders 1650; 1672-3; 1677-9; 1680; 1685; 1687-95
  • 1667 Land Grants
  • 1704 Quit Rent Rolls