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Images of Westmoreland Wills, Estates, Marriages available to members of Virginia Pioneers


  • Marriages to 1699
  • Marriages 1772 to 1865

Images of Westmoreland County Wills and Estates, Book No. 1, 1653 to 1671

Alday, Henry; Alexander, Wilkes; Armsbey, John; Astin, Robert; Augier, John; Baldridge, James; Baldridge, James estate; Bell, John; Blagg, Thomas; Bradhurst, Walter; Brown, Philip; Bunt, Edmund; Cole, Richard; Coleman, William; Dodson, Thomas; Doyle, Christopher; Fowke, Thomas; Frissell, John; Grey, Francis; Hathman, Teage; Henry, Brooke; Hiller, John; Howson, Robert; Inman, Abraham; Johnson, Thomas; Jones, Nathaniel; Lansdowne, Nicholas; Maddison, John; Maphe, Robert; Martin, Thomas; Morgan, John; Munns, Thomas; Payne, John; Peyton, Frances; Peyton, Henry; Peyton, Valentine; Prescott, Edward; Phelps, Thomas; Quoanes, Elizabeth; Rynes, John; Smith, Herbert; Spike, Thomas; Sturman, Richard; Thomas, Salley; Tucker, John; Vaughan, John; Waldridge, Dorothy; Waldridge, William; Walker, John; Walker, Richard; Webb, William; Whiston, John;

Images of Westmoreland County Wills and Estates, Book No. 2, 1691 to 1699

Bailey, Stephen; Baley, Basil; Bancom, Margaret; Barton, John; Beard, Thomas; Bennett, William; Browne, Original; Browne, Original, estate; Blagg, Archibald; Blagg, Archibald, inventory; Butler, Tobias; Carrier, John; Butler, Samuel; Clarke, William; Clarke, William, estate; Collingsworth, Thomas; Cox, Vincent; Delria, Lewis; Earle, Samuel; Ethell, John; Evans, Peter; Foxhall, John; Franklin, Edward; Fulbert, James; Gordon, Alexander; Haines, Zachariah;Harding, John; Hardwicke, James; Hardwicke, James, estate; Hardwicke, Joseph; Harris, Arthur, estate; Harris, Arthur; Hartley, W. John; Hearn, Philip; Heeves, Thomas; Hinton, Thomas; Hog, William; Jadwin, Jeremiah; Johnston, James; Jones, John; Jones, John, estate Jones, Thomas;Jordan, John Kimball, Lydia; Knight, Terrill; Lenham, John; Little, Archibald; Longworth, John; Luke, Edward; Marmaduke, Miles; Marmaduke, Miles, inventory; Lucas, Jacob; Manley, John; Marshall, Thomas; Marshall, Thomas, estate; Middleton, John; Middleton, John, inventory; Newman, Richard; Nobles, Roger; Noble, Robert; Orchard, James; Paine, Edward; Paine, James; Paine, William; Paine, William, estate; Peirce, William; Peirce, William, estate; Pickerell, William; Price, William; Purkins, John; Pyle, John; Road, Robert; Read, Robert, inventory; Redman, Francis; Redman, Robert; Reed, Samuel; Roberts, Monice; Roberts, Monice, estate; Robins, Simon; Robins, Simon, estate; Roberts, Simon, inventory; Rozier, Bridges; Rozier, Bridges, estate; Rozier, John; Rozier, John, estate; Rozier, John, inventory; Ryan, Robert; Scott, Jane; Scott, John; Scott, John, inventory; Sheppard, George; Smith, Robert; Spence, Alexander; Spence, Alexander, estate; Stewart, John; Taylor, James; Thomas, David; Thorne, George; Thorne, George, estate; Tilson, Roger; Tilsoon, Roger, inventory; Ware, John; Ware, John, inventory; Webster, Alexander; Weedon, George; Weedon, George, estate; Wellington, Michael; Wharton, Henry; White, Thomas; Wickers, Thomas; Williams, John; Williams, John, inventory; Wilsford, Thomas

Digital Images of Wills and Deeds 1706-1804

Testators: Ball, Richard ;Berryman, William ;Bridges, William ;Bran, John ;Canady, Benjamin ;Carter, Robert ;Carter, Robert (2) ;Chancellor, Thomas ;Dolman, William ;Edward, William, appointed captain of the militia ;Eskridge, Jane ;Fryer, Frances;Garland, Griffin ;Garner, George ;Hague, John; Hore, James ;Johnson, Ann ;Johnston, George ;Lamkin, Ashton ;Lamkin, Matthew ;Lee, Richard Henry ;McCullock, Elizabeth ;Monroe, John ;Morgan, Daniel ;Rust, Elizabeth ;Rust, Hannah ;Sanford, Patrick ;Self, Walter ;Smith, Samuel ;Smith, Samuel and wife ;Templeton, Samuel ;Thomson, John;Tool, William; Tupman, William; Weaver, Zachariah.

Images of Westmoreland County Wills and Estates, Book No. 4, 1707 to 1709

Asbury, Henry; Ashton, Charles; Beard, Anthony; Booth, Elizabeth; Brown, Thomas; Brown, Thomas, estate; Butler, Caleb; Chilton, John; Cochran, Christian; Cohoron, inventory; Cole, Robert; Elliott, John; Elliott, John, inventory; Garland, George; Hancock, Richard; Hudson, John; Hudson, John, estate; Lanslett; Manner, John; Moss, Roger; Powell, William; Price, Merriday; Rice, John; Sexton, William; Spencer, John; Spencer, John, estate; Spencer, Mary, Relict of John; Tanner, Thomas; Underwood, Mary;

Images of Wills, Estates, Deeds, Book 5, 1712 to 1716

Allerton, Isaac; Alverson, George; Alverson, George, inventory; Arrington, John; Arrington, John, estate; Arrington, Thomas; Arrington, Thomas, estate; Asbury-Wright deed; Ashton-Crabber deed; Ashton, Henry deed; Atwell-Collins deed; Atwood inventory; Attwell, John; Attwell, John, estate; Bagg, Mary; Bagge, Mary; Baker, William, property grant; Barnard, John; Baxter-Atkinson deed; Blanchflower, Temperance; Blanchflower, Temperance, inventory; Bonam, Katherine; Brown, Davis; Brown, John; Brown, Joseph; Brown, William; Butler, Frances; Butler, James; Butler, James, inventory; Butler, John; Butler, Thomas; Butler, Thomas, inventory; Cahoe, Alexander; Cardwell, Richard; Carroll, Daniel; Chambers, Joseph; Champ, John; Champ, John to Robert Whitrow deed; Clemens, David; Clemens, David, inventory; Clements, John; Cornhill, Dennis; Cox, Vincent; Crouchman, John; Crutchers deed; Curtis, John; Dunkan, Charles; Edwards, Meresa; Edwards, Merriday; Erwin, John; Eskridge vs McCarty; Fairfax, Catherine; Finn, Thomas; Garland, William; Garner, John; Garner, John estate; Hardwicke, George; Harrison, George; Harrison, George inventory; Hasterigg, James; Head, Lewis; Headley, Ann; Headley, Ann estate; Henmons, John; Higgins, John; Hindsmore, John; Hobson, John; Hore of Horn, John; Horn, John; Howard, Susannah; Jackson, Arthur; Johnson, James; Jones, John; Jones, John, estate; Jones, John, inventory; Lancelett, John; Lancelett, John, inventory; Lancelett, Mary; Lee, Garner; Lee, Richard; Lewis, Thomas inventory; Lynch, Francis; Mann, William; Markham, Lewis; Marrean, Daniel; Marson-Ashton deed; Marson, Thomas; Moore, Thomas; Morris, John; Morris, John inventory; Moxley, William, gift to grandson; Munroe, Andrew; Munroe, Andrew inventory; Murphy, Bryant; Neale, Daniel; Neale Daniel, estate; Newton, Rose; O Keefe, William; Osborn, Thomas to Edmund Owens deed; Osborn, Thomas to Thomas Byard deed; Parker, Alexander; Powell, Thomas; Pratt, John; Redman, Francis; Rose, Robert; Rush, William; Selfe, Jane; Shadrick-Chilton deed; Smith, Anne; Smith-Bushrod deed; Smith, Charles; Smith, Charles to Garrett O Neale, deed; Smith, James; Smith, James, inventory; Spencer-Vaughan deed; Tancell, John; Taylor-Watts deed; Thomas, Charles; Thompson, Thomas; Thompson, Thomas inventory; Thornton, Francis; Thornton-Berryman deed; Thurman-Ashton deed; Vautx, James; Veale-Pope deed; Walker, Elizabth; Walker, Thomas; Washington estate; Washington, John; Welch-Smith deed; Weldon, Benjamin; Westcomb, James; Wheeler, Thomas; Williams, William; Willis, William; Wilson, Henry; Wood, Edward inventory; Wright-Earle; Wright, John; Wright, John, estate; Wright, Francis, Major

Digital Images of Wills 1755-1804

Testators: Annandale, Thomas ;Bankhead, James ;Briscoe, James ;Callis, Sarah ;Carr, William ;Chancellor, Thomas ;Dozier, Joseph ;Drake, Richard ;Eckles, Solomon ;Edsor, Joseph ;Garlick, Mary; Garner, Catherine; Garner, Jeremiah ;Green, Jemima ;Harrison, William ;Hutt, Gerald ;Kirk, Randol ;Kitchen, Sarah ;Knott, Elender ;Lamkin, Matthew ;Martin, Mary Ann;Middleton, Benjamin; Mitchell, David ;Monroe, Andrew ;Monroe, George ;Monroe, Jamina ;Monroe, Rachel; Monroe, William; Moore, Judith ;Parker, Sarah Rich ;Payton, Anthony ;Price, John;Rigg, Sarah ;Short, Landman ;Smith, Peter Sr.; Thompson, Margaret ;Tidwell, Anna ;Tyler, William ;Washington, John

Indexes to Probate Records

  • Wills, Estates, Deeds, Book 1, 1653 to 1671
  • Wills, Estates, Deeds, Book 2, 1691 to 1699
  • Wills, Estates, Deeds, Book 3, 1701 to 1707
  • Wills, Estates, Deeds, Book 5, 1712 to 1716
  • Wills, Estates, Deeds, Book 5, 1716 to 1720
  • Wills (by dates) 1653 to 1950
  • Wills 1755 to 1804
  • General Index to Wills 1653 to 1950, Surnames A to Z

Indexes to Deeds

  • Index to Deeds, 1706-1804 (Grantees)
  • Index to Deeds, 1706-1804 (Grantors

Miscellaneous Documents

  • John Washington LWT
  • Thomas Marshall
  • Polls for Election of Burgesses 1742 to 1761

Traced genealogies and family histories of Westmoreland County available to Members !

Brent Marshall

War in South

The Birth Place of George Washington

Birthplace of George Washington George Washington was born February 22, 1732 in an old-fashioned Virginia farm house, near the Potomac River, on what was known as Bridge's Creek Plantation. The house had four rooms on the ground floor, with an attic of long sloping roofs and an enormous brick chimney at each end. His father was a wealthy planter, owning more than 5000 acres of land land in four counties, some of which were on the banks of the Rappahannock River, this latter location because he had money invested in iron-mines. To this plantation the family removed when George was seven years old, the new home being nearly opposite the small village of Fredericksburg. George was sent to a field school and taught by a man named Hobby, a sexton of the church and tenant of the father of George. The taught subjects were reading, writing, and ciphering. It was not until later in life that George perfected his penmanship. When George was eleven years old his father died, leaving to him the home where they lived on the Rappahannock, and to his brother Lawrence the great plantation on the Potomac afterward called "Mount Vernon". George received his home training from his mother. Fortunate, indeed, was he to have such a mother to teach him; for she was kind, firm, and had a strong practical sense. She loved her son, and he deeply appreciated her fond care of him. Some of George's youthful letters to his mother are full of interest. After the manner of the time he addressed her formally as "Honored Madam,&quoy; and signed himself "Your dutiful son." Lawrence also played an important part in shaping his character. As was the custom, the eldest son inherited the bulk of the estate of his father and was sent to a school in England to receive the training which would fit him to be a gentleman and a leader in social life. Thus, Lawrence returned from England as a cultured young man with fine manners and well fitted to be a man of affairs to help influence his younger brother, now seven or eight years of age. Soon after the death of his father, the boy went to live with his brother Augustine on the "'Bridge Creek Plantation" which provided him the advantages of a good school. Many of his copy-books and books of exercises, containing such legal forms as receipts, bills and deeds, as well as pictures of birds and faces, have been preserved. In these books there are, also, his rules of conduct, maxims which he kept before him as aids to good behavior. George heard many stories about wars with the Indians and about troubles between the English and the French colonies. Meanwhile, his brother Lawrence served as a soldier in the West Indies in a war between England and Spain. This service inspired George to organize his boy friends into little military companies, and, acting as their commander, drilled, paraded, and led them in their sham battles in the school-yard. When he was sixteen years of age, George went to live with his brother Lawrence at "Mount Vernon" where he spent much of his time in surveying. This is where he became acquainted with Lord Fairfax of "Belvoir" plantation. This warm friendship soon had a practical turn. Lord Fairfax owned an immense tract of country in the Shenandoah Valley Some said that this land comprized one-fifth the size of the present State of Virginia. Lord Fairfax decided to send George into this wild region of the Blue Ridge Mountains to report to him something about the lands there. Thus, during March of 1748, George Washington set out with the eldest son of the cousin of Lord Fairfax to travel on horseback through a forest of some of 100 miles before they reached the Shenandoah Valley. They carried guns in their hands, for until their return about a month later they would have to depend mainly upon hunting for their supply of food. After reaching the wild country they had to live in the most primitive fashion. For instance, Washington tells of a night inside the cabin of a woodsman who had nothing but a mat of straw for his bed and a single blanket for cover which was alive with vermin. He wrote in his diary: "I made a promise to sleep so no more, choosing rather to sleep in the open air before the fire." Again, in a letter to a friend, he says: "I have not slept above three or four nights in a bed, but, after walking a good deal all day, I have lain down before the fire upon a little hay, straw, fodder, or a bear-skin, with man, wife and children, like dogs and cats; and happy is he who gets the berth nearest the fire." Once they fell in with a war-party of painted warriors who gathered about a huge fire built under the trees. As the great logs blazed in the midst of the dark forest, the Indians joined in one of their wild, weird dances. They leaped to and fro, whooped and shrieked like mad beings, while one of their companions thumped upon a drum made by drawing a deer-skin across a pot filled with water, and another rattled a gourd containing shot and decorated with a horse's tail. It was a strange experience which these two youths had that month. But Washington was well paid, earning from $7 to $21 a day. On the return of the young surveyor to Mount Vernon his employer, Lord Fairfax, was so much pleased with the report that he secured his appointment as public surveyor. For the next three years George lived the life of a surveyor, spending much of his time with Lord Fairfax at his wilderness home, "Greenway Court", near Winchester. Soon thereafter, Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia, appointed him to the rank of major in the State militia. Some two years afterward his brother Lawrence died and left the "Mount Vernon" estate to his daughter, with George Washington as guardian. And upon her death, a little later, Washington became owner of the immense plantation at Mount Vernon, and hence a wealthy man.

A Descendant of George Washington

Published by The Jones Headlight, Gray's Station, January 28, 1888. Joseph E. Washington "Speaking of Washington, writes F. G. Carpenter, from the National capital, we have, I understand, one of his descendants in this Congress in the person of Joseph E. Washington who succeedes representative Caldwell of Nashville. Washington is a young man not over thirty, small stourt and light-haired. He does not show much evidence of the Washington features, but he is, I understand worth a million dollars, and the most of his property comes by inheritance. It is a curious thing that a descendant of Washington should represent the district of Andrew Jackson."

Note: Washington was born on November 10, 1851 on the family homestead, Wessyngton near Cedar Hill, Tennessee. He was a graduate of Georgetown College in Washington, D.C. on June 26, 1873 and two years later studied law at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. List of Traced Virginia Families on this website

Another Relative of George Washington

Brasenose Sir Richard Anderson of Herefordshire, England, in his last will and testament dated 1630 directed that 40 shillings be given to "my cousin Lawrence Washington of Brasenose" College (at Oxford), while Sir Richard's two sons attended Pembroke College. Lawrence Washington was the progenitor of George Washington of Westmoreland County, Virginia. Sir Richard Anderson was lord of the manor of Pendley which is partially within the Parish of Tring, Hereshire; and his wife was a daughter of Robert, Lord Spencer, Baron of Wormleighton and owner of the manor Althorp.

The Irish Fore Bearers of George Washington, viz: Ball, Washington, De Wessyngtons

A large number of Irish were in the Continental Congress or prominent as leaders in every station of life. George Washington was possibly descended on the side of his father from a Washington who had lived in Ireland, and the side of his mother, the Balls, who came from the neighborhood of Dublin. Country Families of the United Kingdom by Walford shows that in the modern age the only families with any property bearing the name of Ball, are to be found in Ireland. The family came to Ireland in the 14th century as Flemish emigrants. It is also claimed that the De Wessyngtons were Flemish who settled about the same time in both England and Ireland. But the head of the English family died some years before the planting of Jamestown, Virginia. The members of the Irish branch have all been traced and some of them to this country. One, a son of Henry Washington, a person of some prominence, disappeared from Ireland during the troubles and probably escaped to Bermuda, where many vessels first stopped on their way to the American colonies.

17th Century Ceremonies: The Funeral

Colonel Richard Cole of Westmoreland County directed in his last will and testament that the minister chosen to conduct the services at his grave should wear a pair of gloves as well as a love scarf. The pall-bearers who were to embrace the leading citizens of the county, were to be similarly dressed; whilst the remainder of the company present were to wear gloves and ribbons. Source: Westmoreland County Records, Vol. 1655-77, p. 186.

Stratford Hall

Stratford HallStratford Hall is located on the lower Potomac ninety miles from Washington. It is the ancestral home of the Lees of Virginia and has been restored to much of its early grandeur by the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation.

The Great Hall

The Great Hall was restored to receive guests.

Names of Families in Westmoreland County Genealogy, Wills, Estates, Marriages, Deeds

Westmoreland Court House

Westmoreland County Virginia was formed in 1653 from Northumberland County. The county seat is Montross, Virginia. Some well-remembered residents of the county were President George Washington, President James Monroe and Robert E. Lee as well as Robert Carter, Henry Lee, Richard Lee, Daniel McCarty, George Turbeville and John Turbeville. A bloody naval battle occurred on July 14 1813 at the mouth of the Yeocomico River when a British force with a five-to-one advantage attacked an American vessel, leaving no survivors.

The School of Rev. Archibald Campbell in the Wildwood

In colonial days a small school was conducted in the forest of Westmoreland County by a Scotch minister. His own sons were his pupils, and a few children who lived close enough to walk to school through the woodland lane which was cut for several straight miles through the woods and was known as the Parsons Road. In 1755 the "Parson" petitioned the Court of Westmoreland County to have a road from the "new Glebe opened to Round Hill Church." The petition was granted, for the Reverend Archibald Campbell was an influential man in the region. Mr. Campbell came to Virginia from Scotland in October, 1741. The "new Glebe" was purchased, tradition says, from Thomas Marshall, "the surveyor," about 1753. The "Parson" moved to the "new Glebe" and lived there until his death in 1775. It was there that he conducted his school. The "new Glebe" was situated on Mattox Creek, originally called Appamatox Creek after the Indians who had once lived there. This Glebe was located not far from the present village of Oak Grove. The Reverend Archibald Campbell came from a distinguished and learned Scottish family. His nephew, Thomas Campbell, was known as a great poet in Britain. The "Parson" himself was well equipped with "all the learning which the Scottish universities could give." At the school in the forest it was all work and little play, for the "Parson" was a hard taskmaster. His pupils were said to have been "especially well grounded in mathematics and Latin.

Are you Kin to the Bacon Families, the Philosophers?

Sir Francis Bacon Anyone who is a Bacon is probably a descendant of the family dating back to Sir James Bacon of Friston Hall in Kent, England. James Bacon, born 1595 in London, Middlesex County, died 6 November 1649 in Burgate Parish, Suffolk County. It was his son, Thomas Bacon of Suffolk, England, who came to Virginia and settled in Westmoreland County. The lineage includes some interesting influential characters, such as Nathaniel Bacon of Virginia who organized Bacon's Rebellion against local marauding Indians, and was later killed for it by the Royal Governor, unwilling to act himself. Du ring a fight with the royal army, Jamestown as burned to the ground! Hmmm. No records were left for us genealogists. Then there is Sir Francis Bacon, Lord Chancellor of England, philosopher, statesman, scientist jurist, orator and author. He was the intellectual figure of his times. Historians surmised that he was, in fact, Shakespeare because no one else of the age could not have written such brilliant plays. This genealogy was tediously traced back to 1300, and is available to members in the "genealogy vault" of Georgia Pioneers

All the Ladies Wear a Red Cloak during Voyage to Maryland

Boat Pleasure Ride December 13, 1773. "Mr Carter is preparing for a Voyage in his Schooner, the Hariot, to the Eastern Shore in Maryland, for Oysters: there are of the party, Mr Carter, Captain Walker, Colonel Richard Lee, and Mr. Lancelot Lee. With Sailors to work the vessel, I observe it is a general custom on Sundays here, with Gentlemen to invite one another home to dine, after Church; and to consult about, determine their common business, either before or after Service. It is not the Custom for Gentlemen to go into Church til Service is beginning, when they enter in a Body, in the same manner as they come out; I have known the Clerk to come out and call them in to prayers. They stay also after the Service is over, usually as long, sometimes longer, than the Parson was preaching. Almost every Lady wears a red Cloak; and when they ride out they tye a white handkerchief over their Head and face, so that when I first came into Virginia, I was distressed whenever I saw a Lady, for I thought She had the Tooth-Ach! The People are extremely hospitable, and very polite both of which are most certainly universal Characteristics of the Gentlemen in Virginia; some swear bitterly, but the practise seems to be generally disapproved. I have heard that this Country is notorious for Gaming, however this be, I have not seen a Pack of Cards, nor a Die, since I left home, nor gaming nor Betting of any kind except at the Richmond-Race. Almost every Gentleman of Condition, keeps a Chariot and Four; many drive with six Horses. I observe that all the Merchants and shopkeepers in the Sphere of my acquaintance and I am told it is the case through the Province, are young Scotch-Men; Several of whom I know, as Cunningham, Jennings, Hamilton, Blain; And it has been the custom heretofore to have all their Tutors, and Schoolmasters from Scotland, tho' they begin to be willing to employ their own Countrymen. Evening Ben Carter and myself had a long dispute on the practice of fighting. He thinks it best for two persons who have any dispute to go out in good-humour and fight manfully, and says they will be sooner and longer friends than to brood and harbour malice. Mr Carter is practising this Evening on the Guittar He begins with the Trumpet Minuet. He has a good Ear for Music; a vastly delicate Taste; and keeps good Instruments, he has here at Home a Harpsichord, Forte-Piano, Harmonica, Guittar, Violin, and German Flutes, and at Williamsburg, has a good Organ, he himself also is indefatigable in the Practice." Source: A Plantation Tutor of the Old Dominion by Philip Vickers Fithian 1773-1774: The Journal of Schoolteacher at Nomini Hall.

The Suffering of Prisoners Imposed by the British

British prison Ship Jersey During the Revolutionary War, when an American was taken into the hands of the British as a prisoner, his fate was sealed. Unlike the patriots who showed compassion for British prisoners, the British administered cruel treatment, not only in battle, but particularly to their captives. The patriots were treated more like felons than as honorable enemies, or cousins. Despite the fact that they spoke the same language and shared the same blood, the British excused their cruelty by saying that their prisoners were deserters of the King, and were to be dealt with accordingly. The patriotic seamen of the Virginia Navy were no exceptions to the rule when they fell into the hands of the more powerful lords of the ocean. They were carried in numbers to Bermuda, and to the West Indies, and cast into loathsome and pestilential prisons, from which a few sometimes managed to escape, at the peril of their lives. Respect of position and rank found no favor in the eyes of their ungenerous captors, and no appeal could reach their hearts except through the promises of bribes. Many patriots languished and died in those places, away from country and friends,whose fate was not known until many years after they had passed away. But it was not altogether abroad that they were so cruelly maltreated. The record of their sufferings in the prisons of the enemy, in our own country, is left to testify against these relentless persecutors. Researchers might examine the records in Barbadoes and other islands in the West Indies. Night Watchman Announced the Capture of Cornwallis How to Revolutionary War Affected those at Home This is the time for War! Patrick Henry, the Eloquent Patriot 1776. The Battle of Fort Washington Our Precious Freedom Won by our Ancestors American Rebels Show British Prisoners Great Humility Revolutionary War Pensions Provide Interesting Family Stories The Battle of Long Island Flats 1781 Map of Seige of Yorktown Revolutionary War Pensions on this website

Henry Esmond of Castlewood

Henry Esmond During the reign and wars of Queen Anne, Henry Esmond, Esq. served as a colonel. As there were opponents against the restoration of the family of the Queen to the throne, Colonel Esmond was counselled by his friends to go abroad. It was said that Esmond belonged to the noble English family which takes its title from "Castlewood" in the county of Hants (England) and it was generally known that King James II and his son had offered the title of Marquis to Colonel Esmond and his father. Weary of the political struggles in which he had been engaged and annoyed by family circumstances in Europe, the Colonel preferred to establish himself in Virginia, where he took possession of a large estate (in Westmoreland County) conferred upon his ancestor by King Charles I. Mr. Esmond called his American house "Castlewood" after the patrimonial home in the old country. The gentry of Virginia dwelt on their great lands after a fashion almost patriarchal, having many servants to cultivate the fields and forests. While the land yielded foodstuffs, livestock amd game, the rivers were plentiful with fish. Their tobacco crops were stacked upon private wharves from for convenient shipping down the Potomac and James Rivers to London or Bristol. English goods and articles were exchanged for Virginia produce. Virginia was a friendly colony. No stranger was ever turned away from "Castlewood." When he lost his wife, his daughter assumed the management of the Colonel and his affairs, while the Colonel preferred his books and his quiet. When company came to Castlewood, he entertained them handsomely. "My love, I shall not be sorry to go myself," he said to his daughter, "and you, though the most affectionate of daughters, will console yourself after a while. Why should I, who am so old, be romantic? You may, who are still a young creature." After fifteen years of residence upon his great Virginian estate, affairs prospered so well with the worthy proprietor, that he acquiesced in the proposal of his daughter to build a mansion much grander and more durable than the plain wooden edifice in which he had been content to live, so that his heirs might have a habitation worthy of their noble name. His daughter had a very high opinion of the merit and antiquity of her lineage and had eagerly studied the family history and pedigrees, and brought to the Virginia home a store of documents relative to her family upon which she relied with implicit gravity and credence, and with the most edifying volumes then published in France and England, respecting the noble science. These works proved that the Esmonds were descended from noble Norman warriors who came into England along with their victorious chief (Charlemagne) and Queen Boadicea. The daughter was marrie into the Warrington family, and thought little of its heritage, so wrote herself as "Esmond Warrington" and after the death of her father, referred to herself as "Madam Esmond of Castlewood." Although her father had had a marquis patent from King James, which he had burned and disowned, she would frequently act as if that document existed and was in full force. She considered the English Esmonds of an inferior dignity to her own branch; and as for the colonial aristocracy, she made no scruple of asserting her superiority over the whole body of them. Her notes reflect that quarrels and angry words had occurred at some of the assemblies of the Governor held in Jamestown. Madam Esmond had twin boys, who, upon the death of their grandfather, the eldest son (George) was proclaimed successor to the estate. Source: The Virginians by William Makepeace Thackeray