CHERRY GROVE

(Format changed from original)


A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE LIFE AND FAMILY

OF

JAMES WATSON WOMACK (1787-1844)OF CHERRY GROVE

AND

HIS FAMILY'S ANCESTRAL BACKGROUND

(Ancestors Mentioned Include Womacks, Aliens, Andersons, Watsons, Chambers, Massies and Poindexters)

by Egbert Hudson Womack


Preface

This BOOKLET may be considered as a sequel to Buffaloe 1951 which is about the family and ancestors of my father's maternal grandparents, Jacob Woodson Morton and Mary Jane (Venable) Morton. Here an attempt is made to complete the presentation of obtainable genealogical information about my paternal lines by collecting data gathered from various sources over many years about the life of my great-grandfather, James Watson Womack, and the ancestral background of his family. A bare record of births, marriages and deaths is dull,

and lineal connections add little interest, so, in addition to presenting the information gathered about the life of my great-grandfather, brief mention has been made of the environment and, more particularly, the religious background, which undoubtedly influenced his life. The data about his and his wife's ancestors and others may be considered as developing their hereditary background. It is hoped that the bare records and other information have been interwoven into an interesting narrative.

The task of collecting Womack data has been tedious and difficult. When I began seeking information more than thirty years ago, I found very little useful published information about them, except the collection of some early records in the Valentine Papers and the Briery Church Manual. Unfortunately, some other published data, which contain inaccurate statements, have been (and still are) widely circulated and remain uncorrected. In addition to

data collected by research from civil and church records, information gained by others has appeared from time to time in books and periodicals, and old records, such as the Minute Book of the Buffalo Circulating Library and early Briery Session Books, have been found and made available. The late Dr. Joseph E. Eggleston sought out and put in readily usable form a great deal of information which is helpful to persons interested in Southside Virginia genealogy.

The work of a genealogist is endless and full of pitfalls. Always a point is reached which seems to end the search. Sometimes the veil can be penetrated and new data are discovered, and sometimes reasonable conjectures can be made. Connections which seem certain may be found incorrect and conflicting data are not unusual. It is realized that errors will be discovered in this booklet, but the time comes when checking and rechecking should cease and the data printed so that the information may be generally available to others and aid them in further research.

Of the twelve children of James Watson Womack, one died unmarried and eleven are known, or believed, to have married. The names of many of the descendants of five of the eleven were obtained, there are believed to be no living descendants of three of them, and little or no information has been found regarding descendants of the remaining three. The families of my great-uncles and aunts became widely scattered and all contacts with some of them and my immediate family ceased before I became interested in knowing about my distant relatives. Inability to obtain the names of all the descendants and the desire to limit the length of this booklet has led to the omission of the list of the names of many of them which was prepared.

 

In order to avoid numerous footnotes, references have been made chiefly to indicate sources, rather than to give the authorities or bases for all statements of fact. The citations should be helpful to those who wish to do research or to read source material. In cases where dates were doubtful or could not be definitely established, those usually accepted have generally been used, without critical discussion or citations of conflicting statements. Where the dates of marriages were not available, the dates of marriage bonds have been given as the marriage dates.

In addition to expressing appreciation for the direct cooperative assistance of Dr. Eggleston and information obtained from his published articles, indebtedness is acknowledged to Miss Ann Waller Reddy of Richmond, Virginia, Mrs. W. S. Morton of Farmville, Virginia, Dr. Jean Stephenson of Washington, D. C., Mrs. Eugene Ray of Louisville, Kentucky, and Mr. John E. Womack of Barnet, Hertfordshire, England. Great assistance has been obtained from the History of Prince Edward County by Mr. H. C. Bradshaw, which has been used as a check on source material and as a basis for some descriptive material. Members of the family have been cooperative in furnishing material which was not otherwise obtainable.

EGBERT H. WOMACK

Hampshire House

Bronxville, New York

August 29, 1959.

 

Contents

Chapter PAGE

I Cherry Grove 1

II Some Early English Womacks 7

III Some Early Virginia Womacks 11

IV William Womack(l) of Goochland and His Son William (2) of Cumberland 15

V William Womack(3) of Prince Edward 19

VI Allen, Anderson and Related Ancestors 23

Allens

Sheriff John Watson and Captain Josiah Chambers 26

Andersons, Massies and Poindexters 27


CHAPTER I

Cherry Grove

Only ruins now mark the site of "Cherry Grove", the old Womack home northwest of Briery Church ("Briery") in the southern part of Prince Edward County, Virginia"(*1). A few unusually large cherry trees, from which the name of the home was probably taken, remain. The family burial plot is badly overgrown. The land is now owned by a lumber company and very little of the former plantation is cultivated. Here James Watson Womack (1787-1844) a ruling elder of Briery and the father of twelve children, lived with his family for many years.

Frequent mention has been made of the hardships during this period, which extends approximately from the adoption of the Constitution of the United States to the Mexican War. While conditions were bad during the years of adjustment following the Revolution, the War of 1812 and certain periods of depression, comments by contemporary observers of the local scene show that, on the whole, the moral, intellectual and. economic conditions in Southside Virginia(*2) were good.

Dr. Archibald Alexander(*3), who visited Briery during the revival 1788, and lived in Charlotte and Prince Edward Counties, Virginia, between 1794 and 1804" said: "I derived much pleasure from living among a cultivated and Christian people who are noted for their intellectual interests, for the warmth of their attachment, and for the largeness of their hospitality". An instructor at Hampden-Sydney College in 1810-1812, J. D. Paxton, reported that "I found many excellent families in the vicinity, a good state of morals, much intelligence and considerable wealth****"(*4).

William H. Foote, the author of Sketches of Virginia and Sketches of Virginia, Second Series(5), after commenting on the different divisions of European stock which settled in this area in the eighteenth century, said: ***The courtly manners of Williamsburg, the cheerfulness and ease of the Huguenots, the honest frankness and stern independence of the English country gentleman, the activity and shrewdness of the merchant, the simplicity of republican life-all have been combined.

"Removed from cities, and not densely crowded in neighborhoods, relieved from the drudgeries of common life, and stimulated to activity, to preserve a cheerful independence, the increasing population have improved the opportunities for moral, intellectual, and

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1. The name "Cherry Grove" was also given to two Johnston homes in Prince Edward. "Longwood", home of Peter Johnston, Sr. was first named "Cherry Grove" and the home of his son Andrew near Hampden-Sydney was called "Cherry Grove".

2. The section of Virginia which lies south of the James River between the tidewater and upland counties is popularly known as the "Southside", and sometimes the northern counties of this region are excluded. Herein "Southside Virginia" refers to Prince Edward and adjacent counties.

3. Dr. Alexander was minister at Briery Church, president of Hampden-Sydney College and the first professor in the Theological Seminary at Princeton. See The Life of Archibald Alexander (hereinafter sometimes cited as "Alexander") by James W. Alexander (Scribner, 1854).

4. Today and Yesterday in the Heart of Virginia (1935), The Farmville Herald (hereinafter cited as 'Today and Yerserday"), pp. 55 and 56.

5. Hereinafter sometimes cited as "Foote I" and "Foote 11". These oks-written about 1850, are recognized as source material on the early history of the Presbyterian Church in Virginia and Hampden-Sydney College.

They also contain substantial data regarding early Presbyterian ministers. Foote preached at Briery in the 1840s.


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spiritual advancement, and pious examples, of excellence in manners, morals and religion, and domestic intercourse, worthy of remembrance and imitation."(*6)

About 1787, a religious awakening began among the Baptists or Methodists, but there were few of these in Prince Edward and the surrounding counties. The demoralizing effect of the War for Independence had left religion and

the church in a most deplorable condition, and the Sabbath had almost been forgotten. A cold and lukewarm indifference had become manifest in all ministrations of the gospel throughout Southside Viriginia(*7) At first the

revival had little effect upon the people there.

In September, 1787, Cary Allen, son of Daniel Allen of Cumberland County, and William Hill (son of Daniel's second wife and her first husband), both students at Hampden-Sydney College, went home on vacation and came

under the influence of the revival there. These two, together with other students including William Calhoun, seem to have created the spark which burst into the flaming revival which began at the Old Briery in 1788(*8).

Fortunately, we have some accounts of the religious fervor of the participants by eye witnesses. John Hatchett, in his Short Narative (P. 6), states:

"This Spring (i.e. 1788), sometime in the latter part of April at a sacrament at Old Briery Meeting-house, several appeared to be pierced to the heart and were crying for mercy."

Archibald Alexander, then a young man, was a member of a small group, who journeyed by horseback from Lexington, Virginia, to witness the awakening. He stated with respect to a party returning from services, which passed him:

"While we were here, a novel and solemn scene presented itself. A large company of young people on horseback, as they slowly passed along, were engaged in singing hymns. They had travelled fifty or sixty miles to attend the sacrament, and were full of zeal and affection. The music resounded through the woods in an agreeable and impressive manner.(*9)

James Watson Womack's father, William, and his uncle James A. Allen, Jr. were elders at Briery, and the Reverend Cary Allen was his mother's first cousin. His grandfather, James Allen, Sr. was a consecrated and religious man and is said to have been an. elder of the Buffalo Presbyterian Church. Rev. William Calhoun tells of a conversation between James A. Allen, Jr. and his father. After the son had described his religious experience to his father with a view to revealing to the latter how far he came short of real piety, the "old patriarch" said:

"My son, I hope God has in his great goodness and mercy converted your soul; but you are only a babe in Christ-you have much to experience and learn yet. * * * While the father was relating his own experience, the son was filled with the utmost shame and mortification, that he should have thought of teaching his old father, who, he now saw, knew a hundred times more about religious experience than he did.(*10)

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6. Foote 11, p - 5 7 5.

7. Foote 1, p. 412, based on a statement of Dr. William Hill.

8. See Presbyterian Chiurcher by Dr. Joseph D. Eggleston in Today and Yesterday, pp. 328-329.

9. Alexander, p. 53.

10. Foote I, pp. 420-421.


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Although there were many pious and Godly citizens in Southside Virginia, church records during this period disclose a number of cases of human frailties. 'The Sessions of the churches undertook to admonish and, if necessary to discipline members for improper conduct. The influence of family or of office did not prevent action. Once in a while a deacon or an elder, and in one case a minister, was called to account for over-indulgence in intoxicants. A woman was guilty of beating a male member with a tobacco stick. In another case, a member was charged with unchristian conduct toward his mother-in-law. The mother-in-law admitted that her conduct had probably provoked her son-in-law. Both expressed regret and the matter was closed.(*11)

Early in the nineteenth century, there were two local library societies, the Library Company of Prince Edward and the Buffalo Circulating Library. Several members of the Womack family held shares in the latter. Although many of the books were on religious subjects, works of poetry, history, biography and travel were included. The Buffalo Library had Milton's Paradise Lost, Goldsmith's Deserted Village, Marshall's Life of Washington, and Russell's Modern Europe.

James Watson Womack, son of William Womack (1736-1819) and Mary (Allen) Womack, was born in 1787. Nothing is known of his childhood, but his elementary and college preparatory education enabled him to enter the sophomore class at Hampden-Sydney College in 1803. He was graduated as a Bachelor of Arts in 1806, being the only one of nine students, known to have been in his class, who received a degree. On August 28, 1809, he married, in Cumberland County, Sarah C. Allen, daughter of Benjamin S. Allen and Keziah (Chambers) Allen. In 1812, his father conveyed to him 450 acres of land "on the waters of Briery river", with a life estate reserved to-the grantor. The following is an extract from the 1812 War Records kept in Washington, D. C.: "Major Woodford's Squadron-Virginia Militia-Cavalry.

"James W. Womack-pvt.-Capt. James Watson's Troop of cavalry militia under the command of Lilleous D. Womack Cornet. Appears on Company Payroll for Oct. 23, 1814 to February 22, 1815-3 mo. 21 days $8 per mo. $29.71--pay for horse $44.40. Distance from home 200 miles. Total pay $73.8l." This squadron was stationed near Norfolk. It is interesting to note that the pay for the horse was greater than that of the soldier.

James Watson Womack qualified as an attorney-at-law in 1808 and seems to have practised for a number of years. In 1830, he qualified for the office of justice of the County Court, which was the governing body of the County until the Civil War. The term of office was for life and the position carried with it considerable honor but no emolument(*12). There is a family tradition that he gave up active law practice because he decided he could not serve both God and his clients, but he seems to have continued to serve as a justice until his death. He was also active in local politics, serving frequently on County committees. The following resolution, supporting the nomination of General Jackson, was drafted by a committee of which he was a member: "We feel the blight and mildew which the pestilential influence of a northern monied aristocracy is spreading over our beloved State; the hopes of our agriculturist perishing and

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11. These illustrations have been taken from the records of different churches, without particular reference to Briery.

12. It is stated in Today and Yerterday (p. 140) "that the court consisted of justices, varying in number, at various times, Appointed by the governor from the most substantial, reputable and best-educated men of the county".


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our commercial energies Withering, whilst our hard and scanty earnings are transferred to the favored and protected manufacturers of the North."

He was elected a trustee of Briery in 1813(*13), and ordained as an elder in 1828. In the latter year, he represented Briery at the Welch Tract meeting-house, which seems to have been a branch or arm of Briery. It was not far from the present site of the Bethlehem Presbyterian Church. In 1840, Henry N. Watkins, after resigning as clerk of the session at Briery, read a paper to the effect that the differences between the Old and New School adherents in the congregation were irreconcilable and he proposed a meeting of the congregation to effect an amicable separation and to divide the Church funds equitably. Of the seven members of the session, two, Henry N. Watkins and Thomas C. Spencer, voted in favor of the proposal and five, William Scott, Adam Calhoun, Lillius D Womack, James Watson Womack, and the moderator, the Rev S L Graham, opposed it.

Elder Womack's Christian conduct was outstanding in an age noted for religious fervor. In addition to his long services as a leader in local church affairs, he was a kind and useful citizen, and the fact that he devoted the last two years of his, life to teaching negroes shows that his interest and charity extended to the lowly. It is regrettable that such acts of kindness to negroes by Southerners, of which there were many, have not been given as wide publicity as the cruelty of Simon Legree.

The high regard of his contemporaries is evidenced by the following tribute in the Briery session book: "Sept. 22 (1844)-This day a funeral sermon for our lamented Brother James Watson Womack was preached to a crowded assembly from Ps. 12:1. He died on the 5th inst., after a protracted illness of..six weeks. He was a burning and shining light in the Church, an humble, sincere, consistent, and useful Christian. He devoted the two last years of his life to the instruction of the colored people."

"His loss is deplored not only by his numerous family, but by the whole community in which he lived. The Session of which he was long a member feel that they have lost a beloved brother, a faithful counsellor, and an active, zealous co-worker in the cause of Christ and the Church mourns for him as one of her most ardent and devoted friends. But his crown is on high. He died in peace, in the full assurance of a glorious immortality."

At a session of the Prince Edward County Court, held September 16, 1844, the following preamble and resolution were ordered entered in the records of the Court: "It having been announced to the Court that since the last session Capt J Watson Womack and Maj Samuel Baldwin(*14) justices, had died, and this Court, its officers and the Bar desiring to testify the high respect in which the memories of these gentlemen are held: "Resolved, unanimously that the Court, its officers and the Bar have received with deep regret intelligence of the deaths of these valuable members of the Bench, and in common

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13. The Briery Manual shows that he was elected Trustee in 1813 and that he was received in 1823. One of these dates, probably the latter, is incorrect.

14. Samuel Baldwin married Mary, a sister of James Watson Womack. We have found no record of the - latter's commission as captain, but this rank was given him by Branch Worsham, the Counry Clerk, who was most meticulous in assigning rank. See History of Prince Edward County by Bradshaw, pp. 672 and 678.


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with the citizens of Prince Edward feel that the County has sustained a great loss by the death of two gentlemen, in each of whom were united those qualities of character which make up the 'Good Citizen'." Order Book 1841-1844, p. 319)

Sarah (Allen) Womack (b. 1789), survived her husband by less than two years, dying August 16, 1846. Brief mention is made below of their children:

1. Marietta Keziah Womack, born April 6, 1811, married Henry S. Guthrie (sometimes spelled "Guthrey") January 11, 1832, and died February 13, 1834. Guthrie married, as his second wife, Mary Agnes Womack, the daughter of his first wife's Uncle Lillius. It seems that Marietta had no children. Marietta Guthrie, who attended Branch's School at Prince Edward Court House, 1848-49, was a daughter of Henry Guthrie and his second wife.

2. Benjamin William Womack, born.February 23, 1813, married Elizabeth W. Daniel, October 12, 1836, and died November,2, 1854. His wife died March 7, 1855. He qualified as a justice of the County Court in 1843, served in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1847 1848, and was appointed a school commissioner in 1849. Numerous descendants, including McGehees, some of whom live in Prince Edward.

3. James Watson Womack, Jr., born December 15, 1815, married (1) May 10, 1843, Mary Ann Dabbs (b. 1826, d: 1847), and (2) January 10, 1849, Julia Ann Scott (b. 1831, d. 1860). He died March 22, 1867. Numerous descendants, some of whom live in or near St. Paul, Minnesota.

4. Egbert Womack, born October 22, 1817, married Martha Henry Morton, May 4, 1859, and died June 9, 1891. His wife was born October 7, 1834 and died January 8, 1896. Their descendants are widely scattered, some of whom live in Houston, Texas(*15).

5. Sarah Ann Womack,-born August 22, 1819, married March 19, 1845, the Reverend Hector McAlister, and died December 27, 1864. He died August 8, 1871. There are descendants of one daughter,- Mary R. McAlister (1852-1941) who married Alexander McNeil.

6. Frances Elizabeth Womack, born March 17, 1821 and married William Archer Hatchett, March 17, 1845. They moved to Kentucky and it is believed that they left no descendants.

7. Martha Allen Womack was born April 12, 1823 and died January 29, 1846, unmarried.

8.Paulina Jane Womack, born April 3, 1825, married the Reverend William Henry Hogshead, October 1, 1846, and died October 1, 1862. He died July 13, 1855. There are descendants of their daughter, Willie Anna Hogshead, who married Henry Thweatt Anderson, and of their son, Watson Womack Hogshead, who married Kate Hendon, but their daughter, Susan Eliza Hogshead, who married Charles J. Kerr, had no children.

9. Samuel Davies Womack was born in 1828 (baptized August 2, 1829) and married, May 5, 1848, Mary Flournoy Womack, the daughter of his first cousin John P. Womack. In a deed, dated June 14, 1898, it is stated that Mary F. Womack departed this life leaving her children C. 0. Womack, S. D. Womack, Walter E. Womack, now deceased, and Mnnie F.

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15 See Buffaloe by the author for a list of these descendants to 1951.


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Womack(*16). Minnie married Adolphus Davis who was a tobacco auctioneer in Wilson North Carolina.

10. Emily H. Womack was born June 20, 1830, married James W. Hatchett, October 15, 1849, and died in 1907. They had a son John, who married Nina Booker, and a daughter Sallie who married Thomas Jones, but neither of them had children.

11. John A. Womack was born in l832. In l846, Henry S.,Guthrie was appointed guardian for Samuel D., Emily, John A. and Susan E. Womack who were then under twenty-one years of age. No later information regarding John A. has been found, except that he is said to have married a Miss Glenn.

12. Susan Elizabeth Womack was probably born after 1832. She married the Reverend Hector McNeil of North Carolina, who died near Melrose, North Carolina, November 21, 1871. It has been stated that they had four children and that Susan moved to Oklahoma, but no further information about her family or Descendants has been obtained.


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CHAPTER II

Some Early English Womacks

Although the ancestors of the first Womack to come to Virginia are not known, there seems no reason to doubt that they were from England, where the name, with many variations of spelling, appears in sixteenth century and earlier records. The Counties in which early references to persons, believed to have been "Womacks", and the dates of the earliest reference are: Yorkshire (1378), Norfolk (circa 1440), Northamptonshire (1505), Lincolnshire (1534), Nottinghamshire (1538), and Cambridgeshire (1554) (*1)

Although the earliest reference to the name is in Yorkshire, there is more information regarding early Womacks in Norfolk where several of them were vicars or rectors of churches between 1530 and 1783. James Womack (d. 1533) was instituted rector of Yaxham in 1530. He may have been the same man, who as a chaplain was, ith the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and another, enfeoffed lands, manors, etc. in Sprotton, Northamptonshire, in 1505(*2) Among other Norfolk Womacks were: William, who lived at East Dereham early in the sixteenth century; his son Arthur, who was rector of Lopham in 1578 and was buried there in 1607; and Laurence, who was rector of Lopham in 1607 and of Fersfield in 1609.

Although the people of Norfolk generally supported the parliamentary cause during the English Civil War, the royalist sympathy of the Womacks there at the time of the Protectorate is a matter of record. In 1658, information was presented against Arthur Womack (d. 1685) and others, charging them with endeavoring to prepare, at their cost, a horse and man for the King of Scots (as King Charles II was then commonly called) and Arthur Womack was particularly charged with speaking these words:

"Here is Health unto his Majesty,  

Pray God confound his Foes,

And the Devil take all Round-heads,

For we are none of those."

He was also charged with abusing the Government thus:

 

"Hey-ho! for a two-penny halter,

When you are hanged, you shall have good quarter,

Oh! twould be, a brave sight, to-see

All the Round-heads hang on a tree.

Oh! Ye Rogues, ye must all come to it."

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1. Only those names whose spelling seemed near enough to "Womack" to appear to be the same name are included in references. Doubtful variations such as "Wymark" were discarded. For examples, see The Index Library, British Records Society, Vols. 12, 28 and 34.

2. This information was obtained from Mr. John E. Womack of Barnet, Hertfordshire, England, who states that he had difficulty in identifying this James, whose surname was spelled in various ways in the records: e.g. Wamuke, Wannocke ,Wannoke, Womcock,Womoke,Womok , but a manuscript in the British Museum described him as Jacobus Womock.


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The most prominent of the Norfolk clan, and probably of all Womacks, was Laurence Womack, D.D. (son of Laurence, mentioned above) who was born May 12, 1612(*3). After graduating from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (B.A. 1632), he seems to have acted as chaplain to Lord Paget and to have had an offer of a benefice in-the west of England. He was Archdeacon of Suffolk, a Prebendary of Preston in Hereford Cathedral, a Prebendary of Ely, and Rector of Horningsheath, Suffolk, and of Boxford. In 1683, he was consecrated Bishop of St. David's, in Wales. He was the author of a number of controversial tracts and pamphlets, some of which are extant.

The title page of one of these is as follows:

ARCANA DOGMATUM

Anti-Remonstrantium.

Or the CALVINISTS Cabinet unlock'd. IN An Apology for T I L E N U S against a pretended Vindication of the Synod of Dort.

At the provocation of Master R. Baxter, held forth in the Preface to his Grotian Religion. Together, With a few soft Drops let fall upon the Papers of Master HICKMAN

"LUK. 22, 32.

And when thou art converted, strengthen thy Brethren.

"LONDON, Printed for Richard Royston, at the Angel in Ivie lane. M.DC.LIX."

Bishop Womack died March 12, 1685 at the age of 73, and was buried in St. Margarees Church, Westminster, London (now the church of the House of Commons and of the Dominion), and his only daughter, Ann, was buried nearby. On one of the pillars in this Church is an enriched cartouche with cherub heads, above which is a shield of arms. On one-half of the

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3. The last name of his first wife, Ann, is unknown. On November 18, 1668, he married Anne, daughter of John Hill and widow of Edward Aylmer, and on April, 25, 1670, he married Katherine Corbett of Norwich.


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shield are the arms of the See of St. David's and on the other those of the Bishop: argent; a lion rampant gules. The following is inscribed on the cartouche:

"Hic juxta

Reconditur quod mortala fuit Rev:di in X:to Patris Laur: Womack Episc: Menevensis:

qui post multorum annorum operam Ecclesiae'

Anglic. egregie navatam, infulam com Corona immortalitatis Commutavit. Mart. 12' 1685 aetat. 73.

"Necnon filiae suae unicae, Annae, quae'3' Octobr:

praeced. ad animarum Virginium Consortium

(quovis Conjugio praestantius) 19 annorum Virgo hinc evocata est.(*4)

It seems that Womacks lived in Yorkshire prior to 1400. There is a record of poll tax assessmen ts in 1378 (2 Richard 11) of Johannes Wombok and Emma his wife (4d.) and of Elena, his daughter (4d.) in West Riding, Yorkshire(*5). The spelling "Wombok" supports the statement by H. Harrison in his Surnames of the United Kingdom (1912) that the name seems to mean "Hollow Oak", from residence thereby (middle English wombe-womb, hollow, cavity + ac, oak-tree). However, "Wombok" may be only a variation in spelling. At the time of the Domesday Book (1086), there was a man named "Wihomarc" described as a follower of Count Alain, who held land in Yorkshire(*6).

In Barber's British Family Names (London, 1903) P. 279, the name is stated to be derived from the Anglo-Saxon personal names "Wigmearc, Wihomarc and Wimarc (a Mercian Warrior)". Wig was one of the common Anglo-Saxon words for War, and mearc or marc may be related to the verb to make (Anglo-Saxon -macian, Middle English maken). Wymarc (with variations such as Wigmarc, Wymarca, Wigmearc and Wimarca) was a feminine personal name. Three women of this name are mentioned in records prior to 1200 A.D.(*7). (1) Wimarc, who lived in the eleventh century and was the mother of Robert the Staller (i.e. Equerry), both of whom are mentioned below; (2) Wigmarc or Wymarc was, in the twelfth century, the widow of John France, a knight; and (3) Wigmearc or Wimarc, who is listed in the twelfth century Register (Liber Vitae) of the New Minster and Hyde Abbey at Winchester, England.(*8)

William of Poitiers (c. 1020 - c. 1090), Norman chronicler and chaplain of William the Conqueror, states that Wimarc was a woman of noble birth (nobilis mulier). Her name was Breton and she was probably a member of the Anglo-Saxon nobility. Her son Robert is usually

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4. "Near this spot is buried what was mortal of the Reverend Father in Christ Laurence Womack, Bishop of Saint David's who after many years work outstandingly serving the Church of England, exchanged his miter for a Crown of Immortality, the twelfth day of March, 1685, aged 73 years. "And likewise (near this spot is buried what was mortal) of his only daughter Ann who on the third day of the preceding October was summoned hence, a maiden of nineteen years, joining the society of maidenly souls more admirable than any wedlock."

5. Wappentagium de Strafford, Membrane 4, Col. 1. Villata de Barmby super Done (Modern: Barnby-upon-Don or Barnby Dun). This reference was furnished the author by Mr. John E. Womack, mentioned in Note 2 above.

6. "Wihomarc homo Alani comitis-Yorksh" Onomasticon Anglo-Saxonicum ( Cambridge Eng. 1897) by W. G. Searle, P. 492, and General introduction to Domesday Book (1833) by Sir H. Ellis, Vol. 11, p. 411.

7. Onomaiskon Anglo-Saxonictim, supra, p. 490.

8. Hampshire Record Society Publications (London, 1892)-Liber Vitae Register and Martyrology of New Minster and Hydr Abbey Winchester, pp. 67, 135, 138 and 145.


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mentioned as "the son of Wimarc". He probably used his mother's name as a sort of surname because she was of higher rank than his father. Robert was a Breton knight, who in some unknown way could claim kindred with both William the Conqueror and Edward the Confessor. Robert was a favorite of the latter and had large land holdings widely scattered throughout England. In the Bayeux Tapestry he is shown at Edward's death bed with Harold and Stigand, Archbishop of Canterbury. In one of Edward the Confessor's charters to Westminster Abbey, Robert is referred to as a Thain of Kent. After the Normans landed, Robert tried to convince William that the invasion was certain to be a failure and to persuade him to leave (*9). Swegen, son of Robert, was Sheriff of Essex and built the castle of Rayleigh in Essex on land which had belonged to his father. Swegen was the father or grandfather of Henry of Essex, who was punished for cowardice in the Welsh War of Henry II in 1159. It seemsthat Swegen and his descendants adopted "Essex" as a sort of surname and no evidence has been found to show that any of Robert's descendants used "Wimarc" as a surname.

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9. Robert, son of Wimarc, is mentioned frequently in the Domesday Book (see the General Introduction so the Domesday Book, cited above) and in

The History of the Norman Conquest ot England, by E. A. Freeman. See also Searle's Onomasticon Anglo-Saxonicum, p. 490, The Victoria County History of Essex, Vol. 1, p. 334, and William The Conqueror, by F. M. Stenton, p. 189.


Page 11

CHAPTER III

Some Early Virginia Womacks Five Womack brothers, William, Abraham, Richard, john.,and Thomas are mentioned in the Virginia colonial records between 1674 and 1700. All of these except Thomas, were married and had children(*1). While it is possible that all of them were immigrants, it seems more probable that their father came to Virginia and raised a family there. On this assumption, it would seem that the progenitor of the Virginia Womacks arrived in the Old Dominion before 1645.

The few clues that we have, indicate that the immigrant may have come from the County of Norfolk, England. Katherine (Corbett) Womack, third wife of Bishop Laurence Womack, was the sister of Frances Corbett, who married Thomas Kemp in 1649(*2). Richard and Mathew Kemp, mentioned below, and probably their brother Edward, came to Virginia. They were second cousins of this Thomas Kemp. It has been suggested that the first Womack may have come over as an assistant to, or at the instigation of, one of the Kemps. While this is plausible, no definite proof has been found. In 1635, Sir John Harvey, one of the most unpopular and overbearing of the colonial governors of Virginia, removed from office the able and well-liked secretary of state, William Claiborne, and appointed Richard Kemp in his place. Rev. Anthony Panton, whose opinion was probably not unbiased, called Kemp a "jackanapes" and told him that he was "unfit for the place of secretary", and that "his hair-lock was tied up with ribbon as old as St. Paul's"(*3).

In the first revolutionary scene enacted in English America, Governor Harvey was "thrust out of his government" and sent to England with commissioners appointed to lay their complaints before the King. The indignant Harvey went on the same ship in custody of his former prisoner, Francis Pott, whom he had been anxious to hang without ceremony. King Charles I refused to receive the commissioners or to hear a word of their side of the case, and swore that Sir John Harvey should straightaway go back to Virginia as governor, even were it only for one day. However, Harvey did not return until nearly two years had elapsed. The day of reckoning then came for Anthony Panton, whose conduct was judged to be "mutinous, rebellious, and riotous", his estate was confiscated, and he was banished. There was insetted in the sentence a clause declaring Panton outlawed if he should venture to return to Virginia and authorizing anybody to kill him on sight. Harvey later tried to disown this clause, saying that it had been wickedly interpolated by the vindictive Kemp. In 1639, the King removed Harvey and sent Sir Francis Wyatt, a former governor, once more to govern Virginia. Numerous law suits were brought against Harvey by his victims, his estates were sold to indemnify Panton and others, and the fallen tyrant, bankrupt and friendless, soon died.

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1. The Valentine Papers by Edward Pleasants Valentine, Vol 3 pp 1761..et-seq.

2. J J Muskett: Suffolk Manorial Families, Vol. 2, p. 232. Bishop Womack named "Robert Kemp, my nephew" in a Codocil, dated Feb. 20, 1685, to his will. Frances Kemp, in her will dated Feb. 7, 1689, left 15 to "my dear sister Womack,and "Kath. Womack" was a witness to her will.

3. Old Virginia and Her Neighbors by John Fiske Vol. 1 p. 295.


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Mathew Kemp was described as one of the "wicked, pernicious Councellors, Aiders and Assisters against the Commonalty in these Cruel commotions" in a Declaration issued in 1676 by Nathaniel Bacon, "Gen'l by Consent of ye People"(*4). Abraham Womack, who was born about 1645, and lived at or near Bermuda Hundred, on the James River, in Chesterfield (then Henrico) County, Virginia. The year of his birth can be fixed approximately from court records. It is stated that he was about 35 years old on June 2, 1679, and he is referred to as being about 42 Years old in August 1687. The earliest reference to Abraham seems to be in the Minutes of the Council and General Court at page 369, where it is stated, under date of April 8, 1674, with reference to the difference between Abraham,Womack and William Clarke about the Estate of William Womack deceased, that:

"It is ordered that the said Abra: Womack (brother of the said William) have two thirds of his Estate, both reall and personall and that the Widow have the other Pt."(*5) It has been stated that Abraham Was born in Virginia and that his father was named William. This seems to be more than a mere conjecture, but it is believed that proof must be sought in early miscellaneous records in which names may be found that have not yet been listed in secondary authorities.(*6)

In the Burton Chronicles of Colonial Virginia (1933) by Francis Burton Harrison, at page 33, Abraham is described as follows:

"Abraham Womeck, as appears from the records, was what is known in parlance of today as a "sport", and seems to' - have lived life to the full. He was frequently 'had up' for drunkenness and profanity, and his race horses were famous in the annals of the tracks at Varina and Bermuda Hundred, where he lived." One of the horse races in which he participated is mentioned in the early Henrico County records. The wager was three hundred pounds of tobacco and Col. Epes was security for payment. Bartholomew Roberts in-an affidavit made in October 1678, testified:

"That July last your deponent being at Bermuda Hundred there being a horse race between Abraham Womack and Richard Ligon. Capt Thos Chamberlayne being at ye end of ye race, he asked whether both horses were ready to run. Young Thos. Cocke saying yes and Abraham Childers being ordered to start ye horses, he bid them goe. Thos. Cocke's horse went four or five horses length from ye starting place, run out of ye way and Thos. Cocke rained him in cryed it was not a faire start and Capt. Thos. Chamberlayne calling ye other young man backe, Joseph Tanner, made answer ye start is faire, only our horses runt out of the way."

(Henrico Book I,' 1677-1692, P. 90).

That Abraham was frequently guilty of swearing and drinking, which were then punishable offences, is shown by these and other entries in the court records; e.g.: "Jan. 25, 1678. Abraham

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4. Virginia Magazine of History and Biography ("Va Mag.")Vol. I p. 60.

5. 43 Va. Mag. p. 274.

6. The only reference to a person, who may have been a Womack, in Virginia prior to 1674, which we have been able to find in secondary authorities, is Margaret Weym'ke (also spelled "Weymark" and "Weyneck"), who is named as one of the head rights in a 1646 land grant to David Jones of Charles City County. See Cavaliers and Pioneerc (1934) by Nell Marion Nugent, p. 167, and Early Virginia Immigrants (1912) by Rev. George Cabell Greer.

Dr. Jean Stephenson has information to the effect that Thomas Womack is named in a 1645 Virginia land grant, but we have been unable to find any record of him.


Page 13

Womack was disguised in Drinke" (Henrico Book 1, p. 70);"Aug. 14, 1678.

Abraham Womack was drunk by his own confession." (ibid. P. 71) and "May 6, 1692. Abraham Womack for swearing above five times." (ibid. P. 371).

On August 20, 1692, 'Thomas Chamberlayne gave information against Abraham Womack, that the latter, contrary to the Act of the Assembly against Tipling houses, had without a license kept and maintained a common Tipling and Drinking house at his plantation where he had sold drink by retail.

Edward Chitton appeared as attorney for the accused and succeeded in getting the case dismissed on the ground that the information charged violations of two statutes, one applying to licensed houses and the, other to homes and that no one could be legally tried for violating two penal statutes at the same time (ibid. 1, P. 489).

In October 1692, Abraham complained to the Court that the orphans of his brother Richard, who died in 1684, suffered from want of education and apparel under the tuition of John Granger, who had married Richard's widow, Mary (Puckett) Womack, and Granger was summoned to answer the charge (ibid. pp. 424, 456). In 1697, Abraham contested the will of his brother Thomas on the grounds of insanity. After trial, the jury found that Thomas was sane.

In April 1699, it appeared that the Colony might have cause to fear "the Indian commonly called the Emperor of Piscatoway or Architekes and his Indians." It was ordered that Constable Edward Tanner give notice to all the principal inhabitants and others within his precinct, especially to Captain Joseph Royall, Abraham Womack, Francis Patram, Henry Lound, Henry Hatcher, Thomas Osborne, Thomas Edwards, Thomas Jefferson and Edward Haskins, to appear at Court on Friday next, the 21st

Henrico Book 3, P. 225).

Abraham was appointed constable in 1685, overseer of the highways in 1693, and surveyor of roads in 1696, and on several occasions he served on grand and petit juries (Valentine Papers, Vol. 3, pp. 1768-1802).

In June, 1690, there is evidence to, the effect that Abraham agreed to serve as attorney for Thomas Burton for which he was to receive "forty shillings & a barrell of mackarell" (Henrico Book 3, P. 227 and Burton Chronicles P. 42). He probably did trading with the Indians.

On March 1, 1699, he petitioned for liberty to entertain five Indians. His will, dated November 1732, was admitted to probate at Varina, then the County seat of Henrico County, on the first Monday in October, 1733.

He was approximately 88 years of age at his death. Unfortunately, through deterioration or tearing, portions of the will are missing. The name of the first legatee is missing but the property given includes "household goods which I left in his possession" and after a blank appears "also give my said sons wife and "I also give to my said Son my.. (This shows the missing parts included the name of a son}. The context following makes it reasonably certain that this son was named William, for we find a legacy to "W- Womeck son of Wm Womeck", which seems to have been used to distinguish one grandson named William from another "Grandson William Womeck" son of Abraham Womeck", named also in the will. Sons Abraham and Thomas are clearly named. There is a gift of one shilling and no more to a Hambleton", who may be identified as his daughter Martha Hambleton(*7) Careful research points to the conclusion that William(1) Womack of Goochland was the son of Abraham.(*8)

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7. Since she married John Mosby in 1708, Hambleton was probably her second husband. Her descendants are said to include Col. John S. Mosby of Civil War fame and Edward Pleasants Valentine, collector of the Valentine Papers (which reflect his interest in early Womack data).

8. It seems possible to show that none of the other Williams mentioned in, the Virginia records during this period was a son of Abraham, and Abraham's will, together with other facts all support this conclusion (see page 15). Since William ( 1) of Goochland was a substantial property owner in 1715 and a churchwarden in 1723, it seems that he was the son, rather than the grandson, of Abraham.


Page 15

CHAPTER IV

William Womack (1) of Goochland, and His Son William (2) of 'Cumberland

It seems reasonably certain that William Womack(l) of St. James's Northam Parish in Goochland County, Virginia, was the son of Abraham(l). William's will was probated in 1762 and doubt has been expressed that he could have been the son of a father born about 1645. Assumin that William was eighty years of age at his death, he would have been born in 1682, when Abraham was less than forty years old. We know that William(l) had a son named William and that they were both living at the time of Abraham's death. Under a land grant, dated August 15, 1715, from King George 1, executed by Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood, William(l) received 950 acres of land in Henrico County (later transferred to Goochland County) "on the north side of the James River over against Manakin Town". The consideration for the grant included the importation of nineteen named persons "to dwell within this our Colony or Dominion of Virginia". Land grants for such importations, called "head rights", were made at the rate of fifty acres per person.

By a deed dated and recorded in Henrico County April 6, 1719, William( 1) conveyed to Tarlton and John Woodson 450 acres of the 950 acre tract on which William ( 1 ) then lived, and it was probably a part of the land acquired under the above mentioned grant. This deed was witnessed by Abraham Womack, Jr. and Mary, the wife of William(l), released dower.

The last name of his wife is unknown. Jane Gower, in her will (Henrico Book 1710-14, page 35) names three grandchildren, Mary, Judith and William Womack. William (l) had children of these names, but there were other Womack families with children with the same names, so we can not be sure that a daughter of Jane Gower married William(1)(*1). William (l) obtained a grant, dated June 20, 1733, of 400 acres of land on the "branches of Great Guinea Creek", then in Goochland, but in that part which became Cumberland County in 1749. By a deed recorded in Goochland November 18, 1735, William(l) conveyed this tract to "my only son William Womack Jr.".

In 1723, William (l) was a warden of Dover Church, St.' James Parish, and in the next year he is again mentioned as a vestryman. See the Douglas Register, and the Burton Chronicles, pp. 210-211. In Woodsons and Their Connections, p. 31, it is stated that Robert Woodson (1697-1729) married Sarah Womack and that he named his friends Thomas Randolph and, William Womack as the executors under his will. This may have been William (l), who held land in Goochland adjoining Woodson and Randolph properties.

In his will dated February 6, 1758 (probated March 16, 1762), William (l) names: (i) his six daughters, Agnes Bullock, Priscilla Doss, Martha Nichols, Sarah Barrett, Mary Williams and

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1. It seems that Jane Gower's daughter Mary did not marry William (l), which would eliminate Jane as his mother-in-law unless William (l) married more than once. (see WEBMASTER NOTE AT: CHERRY GROVE NOTES


Page 16

Judith Graves, (ii) son William, "and (iii) grandchildren Mary Bullock, William Bullock and Susanna Bullock. James Barrett, John Bullock, John Williams and Ralph Graves were sons-inlaw of William (l).

It seems that William(2), son of William(l), made his home on the land given him by his father in the Guinea neighborhood. A recent inquiry revealed that some of his descendants still live in that part of Cumberland County. We have been unable to find the name of the wife of William (2).

The Revolutionary War record of this family is interesting. Wiliam (2) rendered what the Daughters of the American Revolution recognize as "patriotic service", that is, he furnished a cart and driver and other supplies for the use of the Virginia troops. He was too old for active service, but all five of his sons, William(3), Charles, Nathan, Jesse and Massanello served as soldiers in the Revolutionary War(*2) Charles was a Second Lieutenant but, so far as we know, none of the others held commissions. William(3), who married Mary Allen, and their family will be mentioned below (Chapter V)..

Charles Womack's will, dated 1810, was recorded October 28, 1811, in Halifax County (Will Book 9, P. 43). He named: wife Agnes (nee McGehee); granddaughter Elizabeth L. Womack; Sally Dismukes, formerly wife of deceased son John W. Womack; grandson John W. Womack; and seven children, Sally Womack, William W. Womack, Nancy Powell, Charles Womack, Bird Womack, Judith Barksdale and Polly Sydnor. His son-in-law Beverley Barksdale and son William W. Womack were named as executors.

Nathan Womack (b. March 28, 1746) married Anna McGehee. In his will, dated January 25, 1799, probated March 26, 1799, he named his wife, son Charles, daughters Betsy, and Sally Walton (wife of William Walton), and granddaughter Betsy Price. Included in the property bequeathed are Nathan's "Grist Mill and Still". He lived in the Guinea neighborhood of Cumberland County and was an elder of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He participated in the religious activities which preceded the revival of 1788. The following account of the conversion, at a prayer meeting held at Nathan's home, of Nash Legrand, a wild youth who was a student at Hampden-Sydney College preparing to become a physician, is quoted as an example of the sudden conversions frequently mentioned in connection with the religious revival:

* * * Religious worship commenced; and it was soon visible from his deep drawn sighs, and many tears, that no one present was more in earnest than young Legrand.* * *: he gave vent to his feelings in groans and cries of-'what shall I do?'-'what shall I do?'.At length he fell prostrate on the floor, silent and apparently insensible. Laid upon a bed he, remained without muscular 'motion till morning light; his respiration feeble barely perceptible;, his pulse very weak, and a little tremulous; his flesh approaching to cold. The young men continued conversing and singing in the room, and also occasionally praying. About the dawn of the day he began to move, - set up - arose, and began praising God for the great things he had done for him; and seemed full of joy, and overflowing with love to God his Saviour, to his friends and to all creatures.* He said he never lost his consciousness

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2. William (2) in his will, dated Jan. 1, 1786 and probated Sept. 26, 1791, (Cumberland Will Book 2, p. 218) named daughters Judith Hendrick, Agnes Sims and Mary in addition to his five sons.


Page 17

all the time he lay upon the floor and bed in that apparently insensible state; that his mind was deeply exercised, all the time with terror or with joy."(*3)

Jesse Womack (b. 1749) married Sarah Daniel, daughter of William (b. circa 1710) and Elizabeth (Watkins) Daniel, who was the widow of Jacob Woodson. (Hayden Genealogier pp. 301-302.) Jesse moved to Bedford County. An entry dated Jan. 22, 1781, in the Order Book of that County states that "Sarah Womack, wife of Jesse Womack, was allowed 100 lbs. pork for the use of her family, nine in number", which was probably an allotment to her as the wife of a soldier in service. In Jesse's will, which was probated August-26, 1782, mention is made of his wife Sarah, son William and "all my children". His widow remarried (her second husband was Edward Hancock), and moved to Kentucky. In the will of Daniel (son of Jesse), probated in Bedford County in 1830, thirteen children are named, 'including "Allen", which may support the belief that there was an early Womack-Allen connection on this line.

Robert Womack, a great-grandson of Jesse(*4), made the initial discovery which led to the development of gold mining near Cripple Creek, Colorado.

The following extract is from the article on this famous bonanza in the Encyclopaedia Britannita (14 ed. Vol. 6, p. 722):

"Gold was discovered in Poverty Gulch late in 1890 by Bob Womack, a cowpuncher, who died poor; and the Independence vein was struck July 4, 1891, by W.S. Stratton, a contracting carpenter, who left a fortune of $20,000,000. Before the spring of 1892, the hills swarmed with prospectors. Yellow-pine shelters, saloons, dance halls and gaming houses sprang up. Violence and primitive emotions ruled.* The gold output increased each year until 1900 when the peak was reached at $18,199,736. In recent years it has averaged about $5,000,000."

There have been several stories about Robert's sale of his claim: one, that he lost it in a poker game, and another, that he sold it to pay a hospital bill. A picturesque account appeared in an article on Colorado Springs in the Saturday Evening Post (issue of January 6, 1951). There it is stated that in January, 1891, having had plenty to drink, Bob rode into the sleepy and decorous town of Colorado Springs, yipping and emptying his gun; and everyone soon knew that he claimed to have found gold along the creek where a cow's leg had been broken, Cripple Creek, they called it. Many started digging and the gold fields proved to be immensely rich. The precious stuff lay almost at the grass roots and miners claimed they dug it with pitchforks. One day, it is said, Stratton-was sitting on a garbage can at a downtown street corner, when he saw Bob Womack. Stratton jumped up, clapped Bob on the back and urged him to step inside the bank. Two minutes later Bob had received $5000. If it is true, as has been stated that Bob was suffering from tuberculosis and nearing his end, this money probably came in very handy and may have been sufficient for his needs. If he had been in good health, he might have acted differently.

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3, Foote I, pp. 532-3. It is stated that this conversion took place during the Christmas holidays in 1787 (Foote 1, p 419) and during the spring vacation in 1788 (Foote 1, p. 532).

4. Robert's parents were- Samuel and Crissilia (? ) (Booker) Womack, and his grandparents John W. (son of Jesse and Sarah Daniel Womack) and Phebe Boone (Bryan) Womack. This information was furnished by Mrs. Eugene of Louisville, Kentucky, a granddaughter of Capt. George Womack, a brother of Samuel. In addition to John, Daniel and William, the children of Jesse are believed to include Mary (m. John folden), Rhoda (m. Jacob Mayberry), Ann (m. Abraham Mayberry), Sarah (m. Richard Brown) and Robert (m. Nancy HaUcy). William married Rachel Gilpin.


Page 18

Massanello Womack, bom May 24, 1751, married Elizabeth Venable (daughter of Charles Venable), and seems to have lived in Prince Edward County before he moved to Kentucky, probably after 1812. Massanello (there are many spelling variations of his name) was probably named for the Italian patriot Masaniello, who led a revolt against the Spanish rule in Naples in 1647. This insurrection has been the subject of several operas. Dr. Joseph E. Eggleston stated that Massanello was a man of great intellect.

The marriage bonds of three of his children were recorded in Prince Edward: Elizabeth to John Dabney (1808), Sarah G. to Stephen H. Maddox (1811), and John W. to Betsy W. Maddox.(*5) Massanello's will, dated August 25, 1837 and probated September 3, 1838, describes him as being of Spencer County, Kentucky. He names: son John Womack; daughter Sally G. Maddox; grandchildren Judith F Jewell(*), Robert I. Dabney, Eliza Jewell, Garland A. Dabney, and Martha Jane Dabney; and nephew William Womack, Jr. The following provision in the will shows his consideration for a slave: "It is my will and desire that my negro man named Tom Shaw be emancipated and set free and receive fifty dollars out of my estate as soon after my decease as circumstances will admit of."

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5. It has been stated that William L. Womack, who married Mary C. Venable in 1808, was a son of Massanello. This William's will was probated in 1813. His children were Samuel V., Joel W., William M. and Abraham N. (Prince Edward Deed Book 15 P. 216). None of these children is named in Massanello's will. For information regarding Mary C. (Venable) Womack and her family see Venables of Virginia (1925) P. 91. In a deed, dated April 20, 1807, Massanello and his wife .,of Prince Edward" conveyed land to their son, Robert W. Womack (Prince Edward Deed Book 14 P. 75).

6. The continuance of the name "Judith" in the earlier generations of the Womack family should be noted-(Judith Graves, daughter of William( 1); Judith Hendrick, daughter of William (2); Judith Barksdale, daughter of Charles; Judith Jewell, granddaughter of Massanello; and Judith Womack, granddaughter of Jane Gower). It suggests that either the mother or grandmother of William (l) was named Judith.


Page 19

CHAPTER V

William Womack(3) of Prince Edward William Womack(3) son of William(2) of Cumberland, was born January 26, 1736 and married, October 18, 1762, Mary Allen,in Halifax County, where they seem to have lived for some years before moving to Prince Edward County prior to 1781. Mary Allen was the daughter of James Allen Sr of Prince Edward and his wife Elizabeth (Sims) Allen. William(3) served in the American Revolution. He died February 17, 1819 and his wife died June 5, 1816.(*1a)

The house, in which they lived, is still standing, being located in the southwestern part of Prince Edward on the road between Darlington Heights and Abilene. From the house, which is surrounded by locust and catalpa trees, there is a pleasing view of a valley through which the Buffalo River flows. The ceilings are high and the windows (with the exception of one apparently made in recent years) are narrow. It was well constructed and has withstood the ravages of time and weather better than a new wing, apparently added much later. On one side of the central hall there is a long comparatively narrow living room in which there is an unusually large fireplace. The stairs are steep with low bannisters and the woodwork is simple but attractive. There is a full basement, which probably served as the kitchen and dining room. Meals were probably served in the living room on special occasions. Old strap hinges are still on the doors.

Williarm(3) was a ruling elder of Briery Church and is said to have been steward of John Randolph's affairs. According to the late George W. Womack, Jr. of St. Paul, Minnesota, he "was an outstanding character in his community. He was a man of keen intellect and very well educated. He had a school house on his plantation and maintained a first class school-master. He was greatly interested in the 'new college' (Hampden-Sydney) and sent all of his sons there".

Brief mention-is made below of the children of William and Mary (Allen) Womack, who are listed in the order in which they are mentioned in their father's will, dated September 9, 1817 and probated March 15, 1819 (Prince Edward W. B. 5, P. 381).

1. Allen Womack, born March 21, 1766, died January 17, 1847, married in 1789 his first cousin, Sallie Womack (1766-1829), daughter of his Uncle Charles. He became a resident of Pittsylvania County and a substantial property owner. At his death, he owned 1951 acres of land in Pittsylvania, which probably included the plantation he inherited from his father. In his will he names: sons William, Archibald B., John D., Allen Watson, Lilias D., and Charles; and daughters Polly Adams and Agnes W. Williams. When the will was presented for probate, William Womack and Polly Adams objected, stating that they believed several other papers putporting to be wills or codicils of the deceased were in the possession of Allen and John D., and requested the Court to order the production of such papers. Later Allen and John D. withdrew their objections to such request and the will, dated December 17, 1842, with a codicil dated

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la. Dr. Eggleston stated that she "was born June 15, 1746 (this probably the correct year)". The Briery Manual gives her age at death as 78, which would place her birth in 1738, seven years before her parents are said to have married (see page 24 infra).


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November 28, 1844, was probated. It would seem that the Court decided that the other papers referred to by the objectors were either invalid or had been revoked by the will probated. It is believed that there are many descendants on this line. Probably Charles H. Womack, who died August 3, 1863, from wounds received at Gettysburg, was one of them(*1). See the decision in the case of Womack v. Tankersley (1883), 78 Virginia Law Reports 242.

2. Ann Womack. She married Andrew Elliott, February 11, 1787, and after his death married Charles Anderson Raine, October 8, 1804. Mention is made in the Prince Edward records ( 1807 of William Womack, Jr., guardian of John Elliott, Allen Womack Elliott, William Elliott and Polly A. Elliott, infants and orphans of Andrew Elliott, deceased. Charles Anderson Raine, Jr. was a son of Ann and her second husband. The Briery Manual shows that Ann, daughter of William Womack and wife of Raine, removed to Rough Creek, which apparently indicates that she and her second husband moved to Charlotte County in which the Rough Creek Presbyterian Church is located. Prior to leaving Prince Edward, she was an active member of the Buffalo Circulating Library. In commenting on her membership, Dr. J. D. Eggleston wrote:

"It is a safe guess that Nancy Womack had a keen mind and good teachers. Her appearance in the list of shareholders is 'significant', as modern pedagogues would say. Who can doubt that she could discuss books with the best of them? One could wish that more was known of this attractive and cultured lady." Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (1941), Volume 49, P. 161.

3. Willam Womack, Jr. He was born in 1769, died March 26,1828, and married Mrs. Jane Kyle Poague in 1810. His father devised to him a tract of land in Botetourt County, previously purchased from Baker Davidson. William Jr. moved to that County before his father's death. Their children were:

(1) James Watson, died unmarried;

(2) Joseph Kyle, died un- married;

(3) Marietta, married Wm. Ethelbert Walkup, M.D. (issue)

(4) Sarah Ann, married George Harrison Payne, M.D. of Allegany County (issue).

4. Tignal Womack. He married Nancy Rudder, July 7, 1795. The following statement of William R. Hatchert (son of John d. 1840) is from A Short Narrative of the Life of John Hatchett(P. 14):

"I married Polly Womack, daughter of Tignal Womack, and granddaughter of Wm. Womack. My wife's mother was Nancy Rudder. * * * They had 11 children, to wit: Polly, Archer, Sam., William, Nancy, Richard, Clarinda, James, Eliza, Martha, and Allen. Tignal Womack moved to Kentucky, Greenup County, in the fall of 1816, and there died. His daughter Martha died when just grown up; and the rest of the children all married."(*2) Tignal sold his land in Prince Edward (413 acres "next Pemberton Smith") to his father who directed, in a codicil to, his will, that this land be sold and that of the amount realized four hundred pounds be paid to Tignal and the balance divided between his sons (including

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1. No attempt his been made to prove such relationship, this surmise being based on the residence of this Charles and Allen (who had a son named Charles) in Pittsylvania County. it is just as plausible to guess that he was descended from a son of Charles Womack (d. 181 1 ) of Halifax County (see p. 16 supra).

2. It is believed that Tignal went to Kentucky in 1816 to establish a home and moved his family there in 1818. He testified in Court in Prince Edward in June 1817, and the Briery Manual gives 1818 as the date of his removal. Mary (Polly) m. William R. Hatchett in Prince Edward, Archer m. Miriam Kouns, Samuel m. Susan Farris, William m.. Jacintha Kibey, Nancy m. William Kouns, Richard m. Harriet Ward, Cralinda m. Virgil Boone, James Watson m. Susan Ann Lampson, Elizabeth m. Mr. Kibey and Allen m. Lucy Osenton. Samuel lived in Morgan County, James Watson in Carter Counry and the other children (except Mary) seem to have lived in Greenup County, Kentucky.


Page 21

Tignal) and his daughters Polly Baldwin and Patsy Womack. Tignal died in Kentucky, April 26, 1827 at the age of 57. A number of Tignal's descendants live in or near Oldtown, Kentucky(*3). Considerable local Womack data may be found in the History of Greenup County, by Biggs and Mackoy.

5. Archer Womack. He married November 21, 1797, Anne Faris Flournoy, daughter of Thomas Flournoy. In 1799, his father conveyed to him a tract of land, on which Archer then lived, for 400 pounds. A debt of 500 pounds was cancelled in his father's will. Archer (sometimes called "Major Archibald") was commissioned Major of State Militia in 1809 and served in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1809-1810. He died intestate in 1816, being survived by the following children:

Louisa, Pernetta, John P., William A., Thomas F., Julia, Archer and David F. His real roperty consisted of 1447 acres on both sides of Spring Creek (in the Buffalo Church neighborhood). It is noted that in the division of the property 121 acres with the mill went to David F. Womack, whose home "Oak Grove" is not far from an old grist mill, sometimes called "Womack's Mill", but there is some doubt as to whether this mill was built by David or his father.(*4)

6. Mary ("Polly") Womack. She married, September 16, 1799, Samuel Baldwin. They had two sons, William and Albert, and two daughters, Almira and Ann Elizabeth. Samuel and his wife lived in the northwestern part of Prince Edward County, near Pamplin. He was appointed a Justice of the County Court in 1795, was commissioned a major of militia in 1806, and served as sheriff 1816-1817. He was a member of The Buffalo Circulating Library. Major Baldwin's death was noted with deep regret in the records of the County Court on September 16, 1844.(*5)

7. Elizabeth Womack. She married July 3, 1795, Baker Davidson, who predeceased her. Her father devised land in Botetourt County purchased by him from Baker Davidson to her brother William. Elizabeth's, will (dated November 2, 1816 and probated June 16, 1817) shows that she was then "of Prince Edward" and had five children, two daughters Mary (Polly) and Lavinia, and three sons William, Archer and Baker. The late Nicholas B. Davidson of Farmville, Virginia, was one of her descendants.

8. Martha Womack. She married April 1, 1799, Charles Womack, who was probably the son of her Uncle Nathan. In the will of Charles Womack, probated November 26, 1838 in Cumberland County, he names wife Martha (Patsy) and nine children: Mary (m. Spencer) Charles Eliza (m. Lee) Ann Sally (deceased, m. Eanes) Virginia (m. Crowder) Judith Nathan William

9. Lillius Dillon Womack(*6). He married December 13, 1823, Sarah C. Calhoun, daughter of Adam Calhoun, who was his second wife. It has been stated that his first wife was Elizabeth Logan of Halifax County, Virginia.

He served as Cornet (a cavalry officer who carried the colors) in the War of 1812, in Major Woodford's Squadron, which was stationed near Norfolk, Virginia. He was a Captain of the County militia in 1815. He served as a justice of the County Court for a number of years prior to

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3. Roy Rogers, prominent motion picture and TV actor, is a descendant of Tignal's son Richard.

4. For pictures of Womack's Mill and Oak Grove see History of Prince Edward County by Bradshaw, Plates XIV and xxiv.

5. See quotation of the memorial on page 4 supra.

6. This name has been spelled in a number of ways. He may have been named for Lilius, a learned astronomer and physician of Naples, who was the author of the system used as the basis for the Gregorian Calendar.

See Enc. Brit. 14 ed. vol. 4, P. 570.


Page 22

1853, and his name is mentioned as committee member or delegate to local democratic conventions. Lillius acquired the share of his brother William in the Buffalo Circulating Library in 1817. That Lillius was a useful, and respected citizen is evidenced by numerous appointments (shown by county records) to serve in fiduciary capacities. He was an active member of Briery Church and opposed the motion made at a meeting of the session in 1840 by Henry N. Watkins, resigned clerk, to divide the Church's funds between followers of the Old and New School. In Lillius'(*7) will mention is made of: sons, John D., Adam C., William L., James A. and Archer W.; and daughters: Mary A. Guthrey, Betsy L. Carey, Margaret J. Gilliam, and Sallie A. Womack. Lillius inherited his father's home and undoubtedly lived there. A rough granite stone near the house, on which "L.D.W. 1863" appears, probably marks his grave. His will contains a provision that "the desk and bookcase, big cupboard and clock to remain in the house as long as it is in the family". In 1819, Lillius' father bequeathed to him "my clock, desk and bookcase". The home place seems to have been conveyed in 1885 to Charles T. Anderson by John D. and Adam C. Womack(*8). Lillius bequeathed to his son John D. "my scholarship in, Hampden-Sydney College, any of the family to use it". The college records show that John D. Womack was graduated in 1857, which was after the date of the will.

10. James Watson Womack (1787-1844). He married August 28, 1809, Sarah C. Allen. See Chapter I above.

Each of the ten children married and had issue, the names of seventy-five grandchildren of William (3) being given herein. It would be interesting to know the number of his descendants--probably several thousand. He gave or devised a farm, or its equivalent, to each of his six sons and he bequeathed slaves to each child (or the heirs of deceased children). In addition, he seems to have made substantial gifts or bequests of personal property to his children. At the time of his death, he owned about 1,100 acres of land in Prince Edward County, consisting of the home place, with adjoining land, and the land which he had purchased from Tignal. The personal property listed in the appraisal of his estate included: thirty-nine named slaves, forty cattle, forty-one pigs, six horses, forty-five sheep, one hundred--thirty barrels of corn, much farm equipment, household furniture and equipment, and a "Red Morocca Prayer Book". William(3) was blessed with progeny and property.

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7. Dated May 8, 1856, probated June 15, 1863, Prince Edward W. B. 11, p. 394.

8 Prince Edward D. B. 36, p. 410. The acknowledgment of John D. Womack was taken in Tipton County, Tenn. and of Adam C. Womack in Tarrant County, Texas


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CHAPTER VI

Allen, Anderson and Related Ancestors

ALLENS

It seems that there were two distinct lines of Allens in Virginia before 1700, known as the "Scotch Allens" and the "English Allens". We are concerned with the former. One of the first known Scotch Allens was James (l) Allen, who married a Tucker and had one son, named Daniel (*1).  It has been suggested that this James may have been a brother of Arthur Allen (b. 1602, d. 1670), who built the house known as "Bacon's Castle". This cannot be determined, but there is reason to believe that their wives were related, because Arthur Allen married Alice Tucker, sister of Daniel Tucker of York County(*2), and "Daniel" is a common given name among the descendants of James( I) Allen, who married a Tucker, as stated above. Daniel Allen in 1704 owned land in New Kent County, which was taken in part from York County in 1654.(*3)

Bacon's Castle, built about 1655, derives its name from its seizure and occupation by followers of Nathaniel Bacon during Bacon's Rebellion 1676). Aside from its historic interest, this old house, with its cross-shaped plan and with curved and stepped gables, is architectually interesting as one of the few extant examples of the early ambitious attempts in Virginia to follow the Jacobean style, then common in rural England, in which medieval survivals predominated. (*4)

Daniel Allen married Rebecca Richardson(*5) We do not know the names of her parents, but the records show that Richard, John and Henry Richardson owned land in New Kent County in 1704. Daniel's son James(2) was born in 1699 and married, December 7, 1721, Anne Anderson, the daughter of Thomas Anderson of Albermarle County. James(2) died before November 12, 1771. This is shown by an order of that date directing Turner and John Richardson and John Austin to procession the lands of James Allen, deceased(*6) His wife, who is believed to have been born in 1706, died before November 4, 1776 (probably after her husband).

James (2) and Anne Allen had fourteen children, of these, four sons reached maturity, James (3), Daniel, Benjamin and Charles. James(2), was a church warden of St. Paul's Church in Hanover(*6) However, he seems to have been one of the group of church members in Hanover County who broke away from the Established Church and,formed the nucleus from which the Reverend Samuel Davies and others were able to increase the, membership of the Presbyterian

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1. See Allen Pamily History by James R. Allen.

2. Virginia County Records, Vol. 5, page 7.

3. Wentenbaker, Planters, ot Colonial Virginia, pp. 215 and 219. Hanover County was taken from New Kent in 1721.

4. Enc. Brit. (14 ed.) Vol. 15 p. 636.

5. Allen Family History, cited above.

6. St. Paul'd Vestry Book, Hanover County. In Alexander (p. 178) it is stated that he had four sons.


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Church in Virginia. The conversion of James(2) is referred to in the following pass@b6ut the Southside Virginia Allens in The Life of Archibald Alexander, D.D. (P. 178):

"They lived chiefly in Cumberland, but also in Prince Edward, and many of them were parishioners of Mr. Alexander. The root from which they all proceeded was (like various eminent persons in our memoir) a member of Mr. Davies's church in Hanover, and was converted, it is thought, under the missionary labours of Whitefield. Mr. Alexander heard from an eyewitness that while Whitefield was preaching, Mr. Allen fell at full length, as suddenly as if shot through the heart, and lay the remainder of the evening as one dead."

Rev. George Whitefield (1714-1770), the great English religious leader and evangelist, made seven trips to America between 1739 and 1770. He is known to have preached at Williamsburg in 1740(*7). Although Whitefield seems to have been under the influence of Wesley, he did not agree to the divergence from Calvinism and remained a Presbyterian.

James (3) Allen (son of James(2) was born July 7, 1724, and died in October, 1793. About 1745 he married Elizabeth Sims (born July 28, 1725), daughter of James Sims of York County. They, with other members of the Allen family, seem to have moved to Cumberland County a number of years before the Revolution. He contributed liberally to the support of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, but prior to the Revolution, he moved to Prince Edward County and is said to have been an elder of the Buffalo Church. He was a member of the Prince Edward Committee which, on June 19, 1775, adopted resolutions condemning Lord Dunmore's action in removing powder from Williamsburg, but avowed "unfeigned attachment and affectionate loyalty" to the King. He served as a member of the County Committee of Safety, formed in November 1775, which implemented local organization and cooperation in the war effort. Too old for active service, he is known to have furnished supplies to the continental army. He was active in the raising of funds, the purchase of supplies, and the erection of buildings at Hampden-Sydney which opened as an Academy January 1, 1776, and was chartered as a College in 1783. The following tribute to John Blair Smith, the first president of the College and his local helpers, is quoted from Foote's Sketches of Virginia, P. 399:

"With him (i.e. John Blair Smith), men of the greatest probity, and of the highest public estimation and private worth, were associated in the direction of a seminary where the purest sentiments of religion and patriotism were inculcated in a most efficient manner. The names of such men as Morton, Venable, Nash, Watkins, Allen, Henry, Carrington, men honoured for their patriotism, and religion, sound well in conjunction with the two patriots of England, Hampden and Sydney, whose names were early and significantly united to indicate the principles that should be taught there and to give it a name."

During the Revolution, difficulty was encountered in finding any one who would furnish food to the students at reasonable prices, due chiefly to the great depreciation of currency. A student, George Craghead, has left an account of this. He states that near the close of the year 1777 the steward, William Bibb- "very abruptly quit about the 25th of December, without giving the Trustees previous notice to appoint a successor.

The Academy was likely to have discontinued, but Mr. Nathaniel Venable, Mr. James Allen, sent., and I believe Captain John Morton united

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7. Foote 1, p. 12 1.


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and agreed to furnish provisions for twelve months, and employed a Mr. Young with his family, to attend to the cooking, &c., for the sum of L20 only per student: they acted faithfully until the end of the year 1778, but lost very considerably on account of the depreciation of money."(*8)

Dr. Alexander in commenting on the Allens said (Life of Dr. Alexander, pp. 178-9):

"James, the eldest, was one of the most venerable men,I ever saw. When I came to the country he was above seventy years of age, and lived alone. He was more than six feet in height, slender and pale, but of benignant countenance, and with hair white as snow. The most of his time he spent over a large family Bible, which lay open before him on a small, table, and which he often moistened with his tears." (*9)

Dr. Alexander also mentions an incident which shows that James Allen Sr. had a sense of humility and humor. His son, James Jr. was, before his conversion, irascible and often engaged in broils, being of great muscular power. On one occasion,, the son came home in a rage, threatening to flog a man who had said that his father was an old hypocrite. But the father said meekly, "Jemmy, my son, be not angry about it; for I assure you it is the very thing I have suspected of myself for twenty years". The son died by the slow torture of cancer, which began in the middle of the lower lip.(*10)

Mary Allen, daughter of James Allen, Sr., married William Womack(3) of Prince Edward on October 18, 1762. Benjamin S. Allen, son of James Allen, Sr., said to have been born July 10 1748, married Keziah Chambers April 24, 1777, and their daughter Sarah C. Allen married James Watson Womack on August 28, 1809. Benjamin S. Allen's wife Keziah died in 1819 and he predeceased her, dying probably in 1814. There are several references to "Benjamin Allen" in Prince Edward and Cumberland records and it is not always possible to tell whether the reference is to Benjamin S. Allen, his Uncle Benjamin or others of this name.(*11)

In 1777, Josiah Chambers, Charles and Benjamin Allen qualified in Prince Edward County, respectively, for the commissions of captain, first lieutenant and ensign (second lieutenant) in the local militia. Since Josiah Chambers was the father-in-law of both Benjamin S. Allen and his brother Charles Allen, it seems that the commission was received by Benjamin S. Allen rather than his uncle, who, having held important local offices in Cumberland County, would probably have received higher rank and qualified in Cumberland on entering military service.

In 1796, a permit was granted to Benjamin and Charles Allen to erect a grist mill near Allen's Ford on the Appomattox River. This mill was objectionable to John Randolph, who thought an "intolerable inconvenience" would "result from the plantation being made a perfect highway both across the river and to Allen's mill. * * * Not a day or night but four or five strangers go through and as often the gates are left open". He had no objection to friends and acquaintances using the plantation road." (*12)

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8. Foote 1, p. 401.

9. Either Dr. Alexander was mistaken as to James' age or the dates of birth and death given above are wrong, because these show that he died in his 69th year.

10 . Alexander P. 179.

11. The middle initial "S" (Sims?) was not always used. There are a few references to Benjamin Sr., which refers to his uncle who had a son of that name but it is often impossible to determine which "Benjamin Allen" is meant when that name appears in the records. See Prince Edward Order Book 5, P. 512.

12. See History ol Prince Edward County by Bradshaw, P. 302, citing letter, from John Randolph to Creed Taylor, Nov. 27, 1799, in the Creed Taylor Papers, University of Virginia Library.


Page 26

SHERIFF JOHN WATSON AND CAPTAIN JOSIAH CHAMBER

John Watson was the father of Mary Watson, who married Josiah Chambers, and their daughter Keziah married Benjamin S. Allen, as stated above. There is a Prince Edward deed dated 1761, by which John Watson, Sr. conveyed a tract on Little Buffalo, described as part of a larger tract on which the grantor then lived, patented by him March 10, 1745.

The witnesses were John Watson, Jr., Josiah Chambers and Richard Morton. It seems that either the grantor or his son John Jr. may have been the father of Mary (Watson) Chambers. (*13) These dates indicate that Watsons and Chambers were among the early settlers of Prince Edward County, which was formed in 1754.

There is a record of Ll:13 to be paid John Watson for escorting slaves from Williamsburg to the lead mines in 1776. He was a member of the Committee of Safety for Prince Edward County, elected pursuant to the ordinance of the State Convention held in Richmond in July, 1775. Shortly after the reorganization of the local,,govermnent under an act adopted by a convention held at Williamsburg in May 1776, he took the oath of office as deputy sheriff, and in December 1776 he qualified as a justice of the County Court.

In 1778, a permit was granted to John Watson to erect a mill on Falling Creek on the site of Randolph's old mill. This land may have been owned by, or deeded to, his son John Jr. who lived on Falling Creek in 1793 (see Prince Edward Deed Book 9, P. 317).

After the sheriff, William Bibb moved to Georgia, Watson found himself, as deputy, responsible for the collection of taxes for 1788, without legal authority to sell property for nonpayment. He and Richard Bibb, the other deputy sheriff, succeeded in getting a law passed by the Virginia Assembly granting the necessary authority. In 1794-95 he held the office of sheriff, which was then an important office. The following from Today and Yesterday, P. 228, is an interesting comment:

"Sheriffs and their deputies were more important personages in the old days than now. To them were delegated not only the duties now characteristic of their offices but also those now performed by the Treasurer and the Commissioner of Revenue. High hats and long coats distinguished them from the mass and none considered their duties more solemn and awe-inspiring than did themselves. One of the regrets of our present-day county life is that we have no longer the high sheriff."

In his will, dated February 3, I,,797, and probated June 17, 1805, John Watson named his daughter, Mary Chambers, and her son Josiah Chambers. The appraisal list of the estate includes one book "Confession of Faith" (*14), four and three-quarter gallons of rum, and eight old books. He seems to have had about twenty slaves. The will provides that his old negro woman, Aggie, should have liberty to live with such of his children as she wished, but if she should live to get so infirm as not to be able to maintain herself, she should be maintained at the equal expense of his children.

In July, 1777, there were ten Militia companies in Prince Edward, one of which was under the command of Captain Josiah Chambers(*15) When General Nathaniel Greene, after the battle

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13. Although Judge Walter A. Watson collected considerable data on the Watson family, which were published after his death under the title Notes on Southside Virginia, no one seems to have written a systematic genealogy of this family. The name "John Watson" appears frequently in Virginia records from 1623.

14. This book contains the basic tenets of the Presbyterian Church. In 1779 he was a vestryman of St. Patrick's Parish (Episcopalian).

15. We have been unable to find any detailed accounts of Captain Chambers' activities during the Revolution, but the Prince Edward militia is known to have been active in (the) southern campaigns of 1781.


Page 27

at Cowpens, retreated before Cornwallis into Virginia, the militias of Prince Edward and seven other Counties were ordered out by Brigadier General Robert Lawson in February, 1781 and reinforce ments were sent to General Greene. In May, 1781, there was no effective force remaining to protect the gunpowder and ammunition manufacturing facilities and magazine at Prince Edward Courthouse, because so many men had been called into service from the surrounding area.

In the summer of 1781, General Lawson realized that success was possible and issued an appeal for "an instantaneous and manly exertion". Half the militia from several Southside counties and as many more as could arm themselves were sent to strengthen Lafayette's army. There were persistent and continuing demands for men and supplies until most of the able-bodied men (from sixteen to fifty) were in service. Success crowned the efforts of these and other Revolutionists, when General Cornwallis surrendered on October 19, 1781.

It appears that Josiah Chambers lived near the Appomattox River, from the statement that in 1780 a third bridge was built over the Appomattox "near Josiah Chambers". This bridge did not stand long. A petition was presented in 1783 for discontinuance of the road crossing the river "where the Appomattox bridge near Chambers lately stood".

Josiah's will, dated 1781, was probated in 1785 (Prince Edward Will Book 2, page 9)..The will of his wife, Mary, was probated in 1800 (Prince Edward Will Book 3, page 182).

 

ANDERSONS, MASSIES AND POINDEXTERS

In 1636, Richard Anderson came to Virginia and he was followed a few months later by Richard Anderson, age 53, presumably his father(*16) on "The Merchant's Hope", a vessel owned by early planters. There was also a plantation patented before 1635 named "Merchant's Hope" for which Merchant's Hope Church (built about 1657 and probably the oldest Protestant Episcopal church in America) and the vessel were named (*17). Before sailing they took the oath of allegiance and supremacy (*18) There was also a Thomas Anderson who settled at Gloucester Point at an early date, who has been listed as, a son of the younger Richard, but we cannot prove the relationship.

The first Anderson who can be definitely established as an ancestor of James Allen, Sr. of Prince Edward, is Robert, who is said to have been about 72 years old at the date of his death in 1712. This would place his birth about 1640. It has been stated that he was the son of Thomas above mentioned. He received a grant, dated April .16, 1683(*19) of land in New Kent County and was a vestryman for St. Peter's Parish, New Kent County, in 1686, and for St. Paul's Parish from 1704 to his death in 1712.

Hanover County was cut off from New Kent County in 1721 and St. Paul's Parish was thereafter in Hanover County. Robert married Cecilia Massie who was of a family that came to Virginia about the same time as the Anderson family. Her parents were I D. Massie and Lucelia Poindexter.(*20)

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16. See The Anderson Family, by Edward Lowell Anderson.

17, See ColonisalChurches ot Tidewater Virginia by George Carrington Mason p. 76.

18. The old oath of allegiance, as administered (says Blackstone, Commentaries, Book 1, Chap. X) upwards of 600 years, was replaced in the reign of William III, by a shorter form; and it now runs: "I............ do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty................. his heirs and successors, according to law."

19. Land Office Register, Book 7, page 272.

20. See "Lewises, Meriwethers and Their Kin" by Sarah T. L. (Scott) Anderson, Dietz Press (1938), Richmond, Virginia p. 280.


Page 28

Thomas (2) Anderson, son -of, Robert, is said to have married a Miss Gannaway. They settled in Albemarle County (which then included a much larger area than now). In his will, dated October 23, 1757, probated in Albemarle County March 9, 1758, mention is made of Anne Allen, his daughter, who married James (2) Allen of Hanover County.

There is a reference to the Andersons of Hanover in the journal of Rev. Samuel Davies, who went to Scotland and England in 1753, with Rev. Gilbert Tennent in the interest of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton). Under date of February 14, 1754, he states: "Dined with Mr. Anderson, of the South Sea House, a friendly polite gentleman, and a secretary of the correspondents here with the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge In Scotland. I find his uncle was the grandfather of the Andersons in Hanover."(*21)

This Mr. Anderson with whom Davies dined was Adam Anderson (1692-1765) who was for forty years Clerk in the South Sea House. He was a native of Aberdeen and the author of the History of Commerce to 1763(*22). It has been stated that the Virginia family of Andersons originated in Scotland and appears later in Northumberland County, England, where Sir Edmund Anderson is found as Chief justice(*23). The statement that the Andersons of Hanover were said to be descended from two brothers, David and Robert Anderson, who came to Virginia about 1700(*22) cannot be reconciled with the records, cited above, showing Robert to have been in Virginia in the 1680s. On the other hand, it is possible that Robert, born about 1640, may have been the uncle of Adam Anderson who was born in 1692. However, this suggests that Robert Anderson was an immigrant and not a descendant of the first Andersons known to have come to Virginia or, if he was descended from them, that his brother went to Scotland to live and was the father of Adam Anderson. Cecilia Massie, who married Robert Anderson, was the daughter of D. Massie and Lucelia Poindexter. There is reason to believe that their descendants have a right to be proud of these connections. They lead far back-the Massies into England and the Poindexters to Jersey Island(*24). Unfortunately, the early generations of these families in Virginia have not been worked out and it is doubtful that they can be. Some early Massies and Poindexters are mentioned below in the hope that others will find the missing links which will connect the descendants of Cecilia (Massie) Anderson with these distinguished persons.

It is stated that Charles Massie came from the Mersey to the James about 1699 and located in New Kent County, Virginia, together with two brothers (*25). Sigesmund and Mary Massey (probably a variation of "Massie") are mentioned in 1690 in Stafford County records(*26). We have not found the relationship to these, if any, of D. Massie, who married Lucilia Poindexter. The ancestral home of the Masseys seems to have been in Cheshire, England. Sir Edward Massey (c. 1619-74/5) was a captain in the army of Charles 1, but, soon after the outbreak of the English Civil War, he went over to the parliamentarians. He became Governor of Gloucester which he defended against the Royalists. In 1644, he was made general of the forces in the

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21. Foote I P. 253.

22. Tyler's Quarterly Magazine, Vol. 1, p. 111.

23. Americani of Gentle Birth and their Ancestors 1903) Mrs. H. D. Pitman, editor, Vol. 1, p. 3.

24. Paper on the Scotch Allens, dated December 19, 1949, by Dr. J. D. Eggleston.

25. William & Mary Quarterly, Vol. 13, P. 203.

26. Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 45, pp. 170, 171 and 175.


Page 29

Western Association and played an important part in the war until 1645. He became a member of Parliament for Gloucester in 1646 and was one of the generals impeached by the army on the ground that they were attempting to revive the war in the Presbyterian interests. Massey fled from England in 1647 and, though he resumed his seat in Parliament in 1648, he was excluded by Pride's Purge, and after a short imprisonment escaped to Holland. Entering the service of Charles II, he commanded the advanced guard of the Royalists in the invasion of England in 165 1. He was captured by his former comrades near Worcester and lodged in the Tower, from which he again escaped to Holland. He was knighted on Charles' return and is said to have died in Ireland.

George Poindexter settled at Middle Plantation (Williamsburg) and it seems probable that he or his son built the house known as "Christ's Cross" which "for nearly three hundred years has served first as the residence of the Poindexter family; as a Being place for the Vestry of St. Peter's Church before the present brick church was built, and as a refuge for Mrs. Fitzhugh Lee when she fled the 'White House'during the War between the States(*27)." George Poindexter's name is preserved in the Jersey Island record entitled "An Armorial of Jersey Heraldic and Antiquarian" of its chief families and their Arms. It is further therein stated that he came to America.

The French spelling of the name "Poingdestre" is believed to have meant about the same as "Hotspur" in English. This family is an ancient and honorable one. Geoffrey and Raul Poingdestre owned land on Jersey Island in 1250 and the family for several generations owned the fief of Grainville in St. Savoir Parish and held a high social position. John Poingdestre (b. 1609), Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, a Greek scholar, held an official appointment under Lord Digby, Secretary of State under King Charles I and was sent by Sir Charles Carteret to France to discuss affairs with Charles II. He went into exile when the Royalists were expelled from Jersey. After the Restoration, he served as Lieutenant Bailli (Baillif, a high magisterial office) on the Island. A record has been preserved of the hereditary descent of the senior line of the family over a long period of time. It appears that there is enough material available to challenge descendants who are interested in tracing ancient lineage.

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27. See The Restoration ot Christ's Cross, New Kent County, Virginia, in The Virginia Magazine of History aid Biography, Vol. 65, pp. 328-331.


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