John Wilbourn and Judith

This post begins in about 1700 and ends in 1762.

Here are the Wilbourn generations, like links in the family chain, at a glance:

Samuel?  → John? → John? → Edward?JOHN → ThomasWilliam C. → ChampionAmonet WashingtonWilliam HarveyElla Washington (Rae) (our grandmother) → Go to summary of this line

The first four generations are not legally proven, but offered according to the best circumstantial evidence. John on the other hand is proven to be our ancestor by court-sworn documents, as this post shows. From him on, there is no guesswork about the connection from one Wilbourn to the next, down to our grandmother.

John was a Virginian, born and bred. So are we, by Wilbourn history and heritage. His and Judith’s living documents tell their life story.

A Sketch

It is not known so far when or where John was born, though the previous post may hint – merely hint – his birthplace was in Essex County, Virginia. He married Judith (a deed gives her first name only), at a date and place that are unknown so far. He died between November 1, 1757, when the court ordered him and others to survey a road, and March 7, 1758, when his probate was initiated, Cumberland Parish, in Lunenburg County, Virginia. The best evidence suggests he died rather young, around 38-43, so he was born around 1715-1720. Why does the evidence suggest a young passing? He did not have a large family, and his youngest was about 2-5 years old when he passed. Also, his brother Edward was born in 1724/5, so John was born in that timeframe, only older.

One researcher speculates that John married Judith while he was an older man, and his first child, William, is the issue of his first marriage, to whom we don’t know.

A summary of his life appears at the end of this post.

Unfortunately, we don’t know a thing about his wife Judith, except she bore him (our) Thomas, his sister Susan, and John – all three legally proven – and possibly William, their older child who was not a minor when John died and is not legally proven.  But circumstantial evidence suggests he is John’s other son.

A Brief Review

These records are repeated from the previous post (see the section on Spotsylvania County, Virginia):

February 4, 1746/7: Joseph Hawkins, Gent., v. John Wilburn, the same is to be continued (Court Order p. 406).

March 4, 1746/7: Joseph Hawkins, Gent., plaintiff v. Edward Wilburn, defendant. The plaintiff proved his account against the said defendant, for one pound, nine shillings, and three pence, current money and the same is continued for the garnishee (Court Order Book, p. 410).

June 2, 1747: Joseph Hawkins, Gent., plaintiff v. Edward Willburn, defendant, by attachment } this day came the plaintiff by his attorney, and the defendant being solemnly called came not and Philemon Hawkins, the garnishee, appeared and on oath declared he had sufficient of the estate of the said defendant in his hands to discharge the said debt and costs; therefore it is considered by the court that the said Philemon Hawkins pay unto the plaintiff the sum of one pound, nine shillings, and three pence, plus costs by him about his suit in his behalf expended (Court Order Book, p. 422)

June 7, 1748: John Dunkin v. Edward Willburn, the same is dismissed (Court Order Book, p. 468)[1]

Edward is the direct ancestor of a Welborn living today (for his story, see the previous post and Excursus Two: Edward). Through DNA tests, we know the living Welborn is related to the Wilbourns of Mecklenburg County, where John and his descendants settled (Mecklenburg was created out of Lunenburg in 1764/5).

This John in Spotsylvania is very probably ours, the subject of this post. He is no longer recorded there after 1746/7, even though Edward is recorded, for several years more. We will see in this post that John’s tax records show him living in Lunenburg by 1748. So the dates of his departure from Spotsylvania and arriving in Lunenburg line up.

Thus John probably has a multi-county history in Virginia: Spotsylvania in the north and Lunenburg in the south, with connections in Goochland and Louisa Counties, the central ones. And he may have been born in Essex, next to Westmoreland, where Samuel arrived (see the previous post).

John and Judith’s Children

The next three children are legally proven by court documents.

1. Susan

She appears in the court order books as John’s minor daughter. She was born probably in the early 1740s and died between a deed (land transaction) she witnessed April 10, 1812 and the 1820 Census. So her lifespan was about 70-75 years.

In Lunenburg County, Virginia, a court order reads (March Court 1758):

Church wardens of Cumberland Parish to bind out Susan Wilborne, orphan of John Wilborne, decd, to William Harris (Order Book 5, p. 35)

William Harris was John’s close friend, who was appointed executor of John’s estate. They lived near each other, according to the tax records.

There is the high probability that she married James Harrison. Here is the circumstantial evidence.

First, this marriage bond of February 28, 1782, reads:

William Wilburn and Patty Avery; bond: James Harrison.

It could be that Susan’s husband put up security for her older brother William.

Second, in Mecklenburg County, Thomas Wilbourn, Jeremiah Lamkin (Thomas’s known brother-in-law), and James Harrison witness a deed, dated November 27, 1779 (Deed Book 6, p. 4). It could be that James Harrison is also Thomas’s brother-in-law. At least they knew each other.

Third, in the Edgefield, South Carolina, deed books, Susannah witnesses a deed with her son James who was buying property on April 10, 1812. She signs with her mark, but the clerk uses her real name Susannah (Deed Book 31, p. 159). So there’s no first-name mismatch. Indeed, there’s a first name match.

Fourth, James and Sukey (a nickname for Susan and pronounced Sookee) left a will in Edgefield District.[2] The will was written May 12, 1797 and probated December 27, 1805. So he died between those dates.

Here is a summary of the will:

Son Edward gets the tract of land that James now lives on, on the south side of Big Branch, joining John Adam’s land, with £50 sterling to build a house. (Since Edward is named first, he is probably James’s eldest. Did his parents name him after Susan’s probable Uncle Edward?)

His wife gets the remaining tract lying on the south side of Big Branch, with all the other property except the land.

Son James gets all the land left to her when she dies, or he gets married or comes of age. Deed records say he was a justice of the peace, and he married Mary.

Both sons get James’s still and smith tools.

His wife is appointed executrix and his sons executors.

No slaves are recorded in the will.

The fifth and final piece of evidence that James Harrison married Susannah Wilbourn says that in about 1799-1800 Susan’s brother Thomas moved to Edgefield. What are the odds that he would choose that place if he knew no one down there?

All this evidence adds up to say that Susan Wilbourn married James Harrison.

In the 1810 Census, only the heads of households are named. The others are marked down in broad age categories. In Edgefield District, South Carolina, a female, presumably Susan, is living with her son James and is marked in the 45+ age category. One male is 26-45 (James); one female is under 10; one female is 16-25 (presumably James’s wife); James owns 12 slaves.

2. Thomas

He is our direct line, so see post, here:

Thomas Wilbourn and Hannah Lamkin

3. John

He was born in about 1750-1755. He married Prudence (family surname unknown). He died before October 28, 1819. If his approximate date of birth is correct, then he died when he was about 64-69 years old.

Legal proof states that John is the son of John:

May 13, 1765, Mecklenburg County, Virginia:

Ordered that the Church Wardens of St. James Parish do bind out John Wilborn son of John Wilborn according to Law (Mecklenburg County Court Order Book 1 page 19)

Recall that his father John died in Cumberland Parish in 1758. St. James was formed out of Cumberland in 1761. Mecklenburg County was formed out of Lunenburg County in 1764/5, and the Wilbourns did not have to move in order to reside in the new county; the new county formed right under their feet, so to speak.

Why didn’t the clerk indicate that John Sr. had deceased? Clerks back then were inconsistent, and John Sr. had died seven years earlier, so the clerk may have lost track of the basic facts. One researcher speculates that maybe at this time in 1765 Judith died. Or she may have remarried, and John’s new stepfather wanted him to learn a trade.

John Jr. was bound out May 13, 1765 at about twelve to fourteen year old, in order for him to be old enough to witness a will in 1770. The age of majority back then was more fluid than it is today.

In any case, here are some records in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, about John:

December 29, 1770:

Thomas Wilburn and John Wilburn witness the will of Benjamin Ragsdale. Ragsdale’s wife is unnamed; children: Daniel, Rachel Moore, John, Mary Rowland, Richard, Peter, Thomas, Winifred Ragsdale, Godfrey, Jesse, William, Benjamin; refers to land on lower and upper side of Bluestone Cr. executor: son William; other witness: Stephen Clark; rec: May 9, 1772 (Will Book 1, p. 123).

September 27, 1791:

John Wilburn witnesses the will of John Jones Sr. Jones’ wife is unnamed and deceased; his children: James Jones, Benjamin Jones, John Jones, Ann Blanks, Philadelphia Yancey, Amelia Vaughn, Frances Wilkins; granddaughters: Sarah Griffin and Frances Griffin, 433 acres equally divided; grandsons: Joseph Blanks, John Blanks; 478 acre land called Mountain Tract to his four daughters; witnesses: Peter Overby and Machadiah (sic) Overby; executors sons Benjamin, James, and Joseph Blanks; rec: Jan 9, 1792 (Will Book 3, p. 85)

October 11, 1791:

Thomas Hamblin, John Wilburn, and Johnson Faulkner appraised and inventoried John Jones’ estate; rec: 9 April 1792 (Will Book 3, p. 98).

John’s wife was named Prudence (maiden name unknown so far). From the court order books we learn that John and Prudence Wilbourn sell land to Stephen Vaughn, and she relinquished her dower rights on September 11, 1797 (Order Book 9, p. 331).

John died before October 28, 1819, when his estate sale was held.

Here is a summary of the sale:

October 28, 1819, Mecklenburg County. John Wilbourn Sr.’s estate is sold.

Thomas Wilbourn (not our direct line) buys items from John Wilbourn Sr.’s estate sale.

John Wilbourn Jr. buys items at the same sale.

Achilles Wilbourn buys items at the same sale.

Sally Wilbourn buys items at the same sale.

Prudence Wilbourn buys many items at the same sale.

Rebecca Wilbourn buys items at the same sale.

Source: Will Book 10, pp. 448-449

March 24, 1820, Mecklenburg County. John Wilbourn, Jr., son of the John who died before October 28, 1819, writes his will.

Father: John, decd.

Wife: Patsy Wilbourn

Brother: Achilles

Daughter: Sally Pool

Daughter: Hillery Wilbourn

Signed: John X Wilbourn

Wit: St[ephen] Worsham, William Vaughn, James Blanks.

Proven by oath: November 21, 1820

Source: Will Book 9, pp. 154-155

From the above records we know this John Jr. died between March 24 and November 21, 1820.

John Jr.’s final account was confirmed May 21 (27?), 1827.

Source: Will Book 11, pp. 202-204.

To wrap up this section, there are three Johns:

  1. John: d. about 1758,  the subject of this post and our direct line
  2. John: the subject of this section and who died before October 28, 1819
  3. John: wrote a will on March 24, 1820 and died before November 21, 1820

John no. 1 never met his grandson, John no. 3, and he probably died when his son, John no. 2, was only 2-5 years old.

William: John’s Other Son?

John, the subject of this post, unfortunately named no one in his will, not even his wife. He just said “my beloved wife” and “all my children.” This inadequate paperwork leaves us only with circumstantial evidence, not legal proof.

Also, one researcher speculates that John was married before he married Judith. If so, William may be the issue of this first union.

William, if he was John’s son, was not a minor, when John died before March 7, 1758. Therefore, no legal proof in the probate records has turned up (so far) that says William is John’s son, but historical probability is strong that he is.

Recall this marriage record that says (February 28, 1782):

William Wilburn and Patty Avery; bond: James Harrison

If this is the same William who is John’s son (and there appears to be only one William who is of marriageable age at this time and place), then Patty must be his second wife. Surely a man of William’s age marrying so late was married before. Recall that he does not appear in John’s probate, initiated March 7, 1758, probably because he was not a minor by that time.

Here are some records in Mecklenburg County, Virginia:

October 11, 1779:

In the next list of names William appears right after Thomas. Thomas is highlighted because he’s our direct ancestor.

Richard Winn is appointed surveyor of the road from Burwell’s mill to Woodpecker Creek, and it is ordered and that the male laboring tithables of Thacker Burwell, Sir Peyton Skipwith, Charles Clay, Henry Clay, John Clay, John Cox Sen’r, John Cox Jun’r, Thomas Cox, Samuel Cox, Dancy (Darcy?) McGraw, Mathias Mealer, Peter Mealer, Robert Mealer, Cox Whitle, Richard Roland, Leonard Cheatham, Henry Whitle Jun’r, William Comes, Richard Epperson, John Cox (Rattle), Herman Thompson, John Leachry, Benjamin Ragsdale, William Ragsdale, Peter Ragsdale, Thomas Wilborn, William Wilborn, Thomas Barry, John Barry, John Marshall, Richard Ford, Richard Hudson, and Hugh Franklin, do attend and assist the said Surveyor in clearing and repairing the said road when thereto required. (Order Book 4, p. 522)

September 9, 1782:

Jane Gathard (plaintiff) v. William Wilburn (defendant), in case} the defendant being arrested and not appearing, altho’ solemnly called, on the motion of the plaintiff by his [sic] attorney, it is ordered that judgment be entered against the said defendant, and Thomas Wilborn the security for his appearances for such damages as the plaintiff hath sustained by the occasion in the declaration mentioned, which damages are to be enquired of by a Jury unless the defendant shall appear and plead at issue in the next court (Order Book 5, p. 212)

August 11, 1783:

Jean (sic) Gathard (plaintiff) v. William Wilbern (defendant), in case} the parties by their attorneys mutually submit all matters in dispute between them to the final determination of Robert Smith and Richard Ragsdale and their award (illegible markings); thereupon it is to be made the Judgment of the Court and the same is to ordered accordingly, whereupon the said arbiters returned their award in these words: “Determined by Robert Smith and Richard Ragsdale, the within mentioned arbiters, that William Wilbern pay the sum of twenty-eight pounds current money,  in the following manner {viz} six pounds the 25th December 1783, six pounds Dec’r 25 the next insuing [sic], then 4 pounds annually for four years then insuing [sic] Robert Smith Richard Ragsdale”; in confirmation whereof it is considered by the court that the plaintiff recover against the defendant the said twenty-eight pounds in manner aforesaid and her costs by her about her suit in this behalf expended; and the said defendant in mercy etc. (Order Book 5, p. 402)

On July 9, 1798:

On the motion of William Boyd, it is ordered that Patty Wilburn, widow and relict of William Wilburn, decd, be summoned to appear hereon the second Monday of September next, to take upon herself the administration of said decedent, if she shall think fit (Order Book 9, p. 487).

This record means William died before July 9, 1798. We have looked everywhere for Patty’s return to the court to show her administrative duties, but we have been unsuccessful so far.

Let’s add up the circumstantial evidence that shows William is John’s son.

  1. William and Thomas live near each other in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.
  2. William and Thomas are involved in each other’s lives, in legal documents.
  3. There is no large army of Wilbourns in the county at this time.
  4. William and Thomas seem to be contemporaries, not of two generations.

Therefore, William is the probable son of John and Thomas’s brother, but so far no legal proof has turned up to confirm it.

It should be noted a certain Richard Wilbourn lives in Lunenburg County. And it seems John (the subject of this post) and Richard are contemporaries. Maybe they’re brothers. And maybe William here is Richard’s son, which would make William John’s nephew.

Possible Reconstruction

Thomas and Susan are proven by the court to be John’s children. William is probably his son, by circumstantial evidence.

Here is my view of their birth order.

  1. William (1730-35 to1798)
  2. Susan (1740-45 to 1812-19)
  3. Thomas (1746-49 to 1830)
  4. John (1750-55 to1819)

The gap between William and Susan may be due to (1) kids missing from the records; (2) early deaths of children now unknown to us; (3) Richard may come in between, though the Richard living in Lunenburg when the elder John, the subject of this post, died seems more likely to be John’s brother.

John and Judith’s Living Documents

Let’s return to the elder John Wilbourn and his wife Judith, the subject of this post.

Map of Virginia highlighting Lunenburg CountyMap of Virginia highlighting Mecklenburg County

When John and Judith lived, Mecklenburg County (right), which borders North Carolina, was not yet formed. The entire area was called Lunenburg, which had been formed from Brunswick in 1746.

In any case, we now enter the realm of legal certainty and proof. His records tell the story about him.

Tax / Tithe[3]

The tithe was a euphemism for a tax. John appears in a few tax records that survive. The number of people taxed is big for each county and for each district within the county. Only a sample, partial list of names is offered here.

John in the tithe (tax) lists:

1748

Cornelius Cargill’s District

 

Isaac Arshworth 1
John Wilborn 1
Luke Wilds 1
Andrew Wade  John Wade  Benjamin Wade  Henry Wade 6

Scroll down until you find 1748, Cornelius Cargill’s District, p. 65:

http://ftp.rootsweb.ancestry.com/pub/usgenweb/va/lunenburg/census/sun002.txt

At that link, recall that a certain John Wilbourn drops out of the records in Spotsylvania County in 1747. Here is our John in Lunenburg in 1748. So the dates line up, indicating John moved from Spotsylvania to Lunenburg in 1747-1748.

John’s (probable) granddaughter Elizabeth Wilbourn, (probable) daughter of Thomas, will marry into the Wade family.

1749

Cornelius Cargill’s District (partial list only):

The first column means the amount of the tax; the second is for “Scalps and Heads” or tobacco containers.

 

William Goode 1 Scalps & Heads
Thomas Carson 1
David Colwell 1
William Harris 1
John Wilbon [sic] 1 6
Wm. Wilkins 1 6

 

William Harris is John’s good friend who later will become John’s executor of his estate.

Scroll down quite a ways until you find Cornelius Cargill’s District (pp. 117-18):

http://ftp.rootsweb.ancestry.com/pub/usgenweb/va/lunenburg/census/sun003.txt

William Harris is John’s good friend who later will become John’s executor of his estate.

1750

 

Peter Hudson, Jr. 1
James Hudson 1
Wm. McGenniss 2
Peter Hudson, Sr. 3
John Lucas 3
John Bolling 1
John Wilborn 1
Hugh Henry 1

In the above table Peter Hudson Sr. is our direct line on the Hudson side (not included in this book). His son William’s daughter Cairy will marry William Wilbourn, John’s grandson and Thomas’s son. To judge from the tax amount, Peter was wealthier than John.

Cornelius Cargill’s District (partial list only), p. 131:

http://ftp.rootsweb.ancestry.com/pub/usgenweb/va/lunenburg/census/sun004.txt

1752

Taken by Field Jefferson (partial list only), pp. 191-92

 

John Wilborn 1
Edward Davis 1
John Thompson 1
Richd. Thompson 1
Wm. Hagood and son John 2
Wm. Harris 2

http://ftp.rootsweb.ancestry.com/pub/usgenweb/va/lunenburg/census/sun006.txt

To judge from the tax amount, John was less prosperous than his close friend William Harris.

If those links go dead, find this home or main page, and happy hunting!

http://ftp.rootsweb.ancestry.com/pub/usgenweb/va/lunenburg/census/

To conclude this section on taxes, John lived until March 7, 1758, but he’s found only for 1748 to1752 (and not in 1751). The records are spotty at best, for many of them have not been found or no longer exist.

Deeds

Deeds are about land transactions. Much or all of John Wilbourn’s land was located in the Woodpecker Creek and Bluestone Creek region, Lunenburg County.

In many of the later deeds, John is named after he died, indicating his family still owned the land until it was sold.

The most important deed for our purposes is dated August 2, 1757, below, for John’s wife Judith is named in the dower relinquishment section.

This waterway map gives the name and location of the creeks that appear in John’s records – and his son Thomas’s (see the next post).[4]

This map shows the outline of Mecklenburg County, which was formed from Lunenburg County in 1764/5.

Little Bluestone is 23; Middle Bluestone is 24; and Bluestone is 25; Finneywood is 1; Woodpecker is an unlocated branch of the Bluestone creeks.

Map of Mecklenburg:

 

The Wilbourns lived not too far south of Chase City. Names like Finneywood, Skipwith, and Swepson fall within Thomas’s acquaintance.

Source

Let’s start the deed records themselves.

December 1, 1753:

August Rowland of Lunenburg Co. bargains household goods, such as pewter, pots, bedding, 2 sows and pigs, which he had from Henry Tally; 1 gray horse he had from Henry Tally to John Wilborne of Lunenburg; and Rowland warrants sale of same goods to the said Wilborne; signed: August Rowland; Witnesses: John Ragsdale, Richard Hudson; rec: Jan 1, 1754 (Deed Book 3, p. 413-14).

April 26, 1756:

Robert Wooding of Antrim Parish, Halifax Co. sells to Field Jefferson of Cumberland Parish, Lunenburg Co. for 200 pounds the following estate, 200 acres in Lunenburg Co., both sides of Smith’s creek adjoining the county line, purchased from William King, with all the stock; also 245 acres in Lunenburg Co. on Taylor’s Creek, Meherrin River, purchased from Jos Hix; also 400 acres in Halifax Co. lying on Wynn’s Creek, purchased from William Harris of Lunenburg Co.; also 400 acres in said Halifax Co. purchased from Thomas Finney; also 400 acres on Cherry Stone Cr. in said county, if Wooding should recover of Nowell Burton, as it is now in dispute by a caveat entered by Wooding against Burton; also 1 negro boy named Baccus, together with 1 good feather bed and furniture; 1 roan horse purchased of Hutch’s (sic) Burton, branded on the rear buttock ID; 1 gray mare of Jno. Wilborne; 1 white mare bought of Isaac Hudson; also all the cattle & hogs that Wooding now has. Field Jefferson now stands bound and imprisoned for a certain sum of money due from said Wooding unto John Hood, merchant in Prince Geo. Co. Therefore, if Wooding pays the debt for which Jefferson is bound and imprisoned for by Sep 8, 1757, plus costs arising from Field’s imprisonment and the cost of recording this mortgage, then the above conveyance to be of no effect; signed: Robert Wooding; wit: John Camp, William (X) Coventon (sic), Hugh (HM) McCay; rec: Nov. 2, 1756 (Deed Book 4, pp. 337-39)

August 2, 1757:

John Wilborne of Lunenburg Co. sells to Abraham Tally of same county, for 20 pounds, a 200 acre tract on both sides of Woodpaco (sic; read: Woodpecker) Cr. and bounded by the mouth of Stephen Willis’ (Branch) and Wilborne’s old line. Signed: John (J) [his mark] Wilborne; wit: none; rec: Aug 2, 1757, after Judith, wife of said John, relinquished her dower rights. (Deed Book 4, pp. 514-15)

November 1, 1757:

Abraham Tally of Cumberland Parish, Lunenburg Co. sells to John Glasscock of Cornwall Parish in Lunenburg Co. for 30 pounds, a 200 acre tract in Cumberland Parish on both sides of Woodpecker Cr. and bounded by the mouth of Willis’ Branch and Wilborne’s old line; signed Abraham Tally; wit: none; recorded Nov 1, 1757 after Sarah, wife of Abraham Tally, relinquished her dower rights (Deed Book 5, p. 66-68)

July 7, 1761:

William Harriss (sic) of Lunenburg Co. sells to Stephen Willis of Lunenburg Co. Harris is the executor of John Wilborne, decd. Harris agrees, as per the order of John Wilborne, decd, to sell a certain 50 acre tract in Lunenburg Co. on both sides of Woodpaco (sic; read: Woodpecker) Cr. and bounded by Glasscock and the patent line (selling price not mentioned); signed: William Harris; wit: none; rec: July 7, 1761 (Deed Book 6, p. 387)

December 2, 1761:

William Harriss (sic) of Lunenburg Co. planter, sells to Roger Atkinson of Dinwiddie Co., merchant, for 100 pounds, a 400 acre tract in Lunenburg on both sides of Mitchell’s fork of Blewstone (sic; read: Bluestone) Cr. patented on May 19, 1757 to John Wilbon (sic) and deeded to William Harriss (sic) and bounded by Wood Pecker’s (sic) Cr.; signed Wm Harris; wit: none; rec: Dec 1, 1761 (Deed Book 6, pp. 541-43)

February 1, 1763:

John Glasscock of Lunenburg Co. sells to Henry Hastins of Lunenburg, for 30 pounds, a 200 acre tract on Wood Paw (sic) Creek, a fork of Middle Bluestone Cr. and bounded by Stephen Willis; Tinsley’s line that was formerly Robert Evins’ (sic); the dividing line that divided the same land from John Wilborn, agreed by both parties to be the same quantity and same lines as was formerly recorded in said Glasscock in Lunenburg Court; signed: John (X) Glasscock; wit: John Rowland; Charles (C) Humphreys, John (X) Hammons; rec: Apr 14, 1763 (Deed Book 9, pp. 92-93)

August 11, 1763:

Manoah Tinsley of Cornwall Parish in Lunenburg Co. sells to Brient (sic) Coker of Antrim Parish, Halifax Co., 200 acres in Lunenburg Co., it being part of a 420 acre tract and bounded by Wilborn, Mitchell, which said land was patented to Robert Evans Aug 16, 1756; signed: Manoah Tinsley; wit: none; rec: Aug 11, 1763 (Deed Book 9, pp. 213-14, no selling price given)

September 9, 1763:

Stephen Evans of Lunenburg sells to James Hall of Amelia Co., for 150 pounds, a 905 acre tract, being part of a Order of Council, granted to the said Stephen Evans by patent dated July 4, 1759; the tract is on south side of the Middle Fork of Bluestone Cr. and bounded by Robart (sic) Evans, Stephen Evans, Wilborn; signed: Stephen (S) Evans; wit: Evan Stokes, John Wade, Ambrose Ellis; rec: Sep 9, 1763 (Deed Book 9, pp. 261-63)

January 4, 1764:

Brant Coker of Cornwall Parish in Lunenburg Co. sells to Charles Burton of same, 220 acres, but (sic) more or less on both sides of Woodpecker Cr. and bounded by Wilborn; the land was patented to Robert Evans on Aug 16, 1756; signed: Briant (X) Coker; wit: Corn’s Cargill Jr., John Cargill, Daniel Cargill; rec: Feb 9, 1764 (Deed Book 9, pp. 361-63, no selling price given)

Court Order Books

Apparently, early Virginians liked to sue each other. However, John does not appear in lawsuits as often as some of his fellow citizens do. For example, many times in the following court summaries he was merely a juror. But the first record indicates he owed someone money – or he lost by default.

1747 September Court:

Hugh Miller v. John Wilbourne, defendant, served with a subpoena and copy of petition, John did not appear in court; petitioner to recover debts, 2 pounds, 7 shillings, 2 pence (Order Book 1, p. 269)

1749/50 January Court:

Wm Petty Pool. Plaintiff v. John Stone; jury: John Twitty, Jon Cargill, Joseph Davis, David Christopher, Nehemiah Frank, Edward Parker, John Wright, James Mathews, John Humphris (sic), John Wilborne, Robt. Allen, and Wm Brandon; plaintiff to recover 5 pounds, 2 shillings, 8 pence for damages of nonperformance and defendant in mercy, etc. (Order Book 2, p. 264)

1751 April Court:

John Wilborne appointed surveyor of road from mouth of Bluestone Cr to Twitty’s Ordinary, together with John Clarke, Wm Lidderdale, John Cox, John Thompson, and all Wm Byrd’s hands, below mouth of Bluestone Cr. (Order Book 2, p. 385)

1752 October Court:

John Wilborne v. Thos. Anderson, defendant in trespass, assault, battery; dismissed (Order Book 2 ½ A. p. 296)

December (?) 6, 1752:

County Levy on John Welborne’s 100 acres, age and number of wolves heads: 1 old wolf head (Order Book 2 ½ A, p. 436)

1753 September Court:

Stephen Evans v. John Wilborne and Wm West, defendants; plaintiff to recover damages v. Wilborne for nonperformance; Cause v. West dismissed (Order Book 2 ½ B, p. 388)

Alexander Mackie v. Joel Chandler, Jr., defendant; jury: Jas. Mitchell, John Waller (sic), Thos. Covington, Adam Winders, Wm White, Geo Walton, John Wilborne, Geo. Flin (sic), Thomas Willingham, Robt Allen, Rich’d Jones, David Arvin; plaintiff defaults by nonappearance; jury discharged; defendant to recover costs for plaintiff’s false “clamor” (Order Book 2 ½ B, p. 400)

Thos Yuille v. Henry Ferguson, defendant; jury: Jas. Mitchell, John Waller (sic), Thos. Covington, Adam Winders, Wm. White, John Anthony, Geo. Walton, John Wilborne, Geo. Flin (sic), Thos. Willingham, Robt. Allen, Richd. Jones; plaintiff to recover damages for nonperformance (Order Book 2 ½ B, p. 401)

Edmund Pendleton v. Thos. Satterwhite, defendant; jury: Jas. Mitchell, John Waller (sic), Thos. Covington, Adam Winders, Wm. White, Geo. Walton, John Wilborne, Geo. Flin (sic), Thos. Willingham, Robt. Allen, Rchd. Jones, Frederick Long; plaintiff to recover debt (Order Book 2 ½ B, p. 422)

Wm. Newsum v. John Williams, defendant; jury: Jas. Mitchell, John Waller (sic), Thos. Covington, Adam Winders, Wm. White, Geo. Walton, John Wilborne, Geo. Flin (sic), Thos. Willingham, Robt. Allen, Rchd. Jones, Frederick Long; plaintiff to recover damages for nonperformance (Oder Book 2 ½ B, p. 424)

Nielson and Boyd v. Chas Waddell, defendant: jury: Jas. Mitchell, John Waller (sic), Thos. Covington, Adam Winders, Wm. White, Geo. Walton, John Wilborne, Geo. Flin (sic), Thos. Willingham, Robt. Allen, Rchd. Jones, Frederick Long; plaintiff to recover debt (Order Book 2 ½ B, p. 425)

Silvanus Walker admons of Tandy Walker, decd, v. Wm Roberts, defendant (Saml Harris his bail) in detinue; jury: Jas. Mitchell, John Waller (sic), Thos. Covington, Adam Winders, Wm. White, Geo. Walton, John Wilborne, Geo. Flin (sic), Thos. Willingham, Robt. Allen, Rchd. Jones, Jos. Ray; plaintiff to recover a certain mare damaged by defendant (her value) and costs (Order Book 2 ½ B, p. 439)

October Court 1753:

John Cox v. John Wilborne, defendant in trespass, assault, battery, dismissed (Order Book 2 ½ B, p. 474)

1753 November Court:

John Wilborne appointed surveyor to lay open / clear road from mouth of Wood Pecker (sic) Cr. into the road at this courthouse; on petition John Wilborne, Wm Harris, John Roling, Augustine Roling, John Ragsdale, Benj. Ragsdale, Steven Willis (Order Book 2 ½ B p. 512)

John Wilborne on attachment (grey horse in hands of Stephen Evans) v. Dick West, defendant (said to be absconded); plaintiff to recover debt by public sale attachment (Order Book 2 ½ B, p. 512)

1754 March Court:

John Wilborne on attachment v. Dick West defendant; sale attachments not sufficient, plaintiff to recover residue of debt (Order Book 2 ½ B, p. 607)

1754 November Court:

Silvanus Walker admons (sic) Tandy Walker, decd, v. John Wilborne & Wm Harris, defendants, (John Thomson, Francis Bressie, their common bail); plaintiff to recover debt (Order Book 2 ½ B, p. 504)

1755 February Court:

Thos. Willingham v. Valentine Brown, defendants in trover and conversion; jury: Henry Isbell, John Ragsdale, Henry Blagrave, John Moutry, Wilson Mattox, John Wilborne, Jeremiah Hatcher, Jas. Tucker, Martin Phifer, Hampton Wade, Jonathan Davis, Wm Wylie; defendant guilty; plaintiff to recover damages and costs (Order Book 3, p. 272)

1755 July Court:

Robert Wade v. John Wilborne, defendant; petitioner to recover debt, plus costs (Order Book 3, p. 286)

1755 September Court:

Matthew Marable v. John Wilborne, defendant; plaintiff to recover debt, plus costs (Order Book 3, p. 420)

Wm Embry v. John Wilborne, defendant; plaintiff to recover debt, plus costs (Order Book 3, p. 421)

1755 November Court:

Jas Mitchell v. Robert Bowing and Wm Bowing, defendants; jury: John William, Wm. Robertson, Dennet Abney, Geo. Elliot, Mattax Mayse, John Norrice, John Wilborne, Jeremiah Hatcher, John Ashworth, Jeffrey Russell, Saml. Ashworth, Philemon Russell; plaintiff to recover damages; Wm and Wm Mize and Wm Boing (sic) Jr. his bail (sic) (Order Book 4, p. 49)

John McLain and for the King v. Jas. Mitchell late sheriff, defendant; jury: John William Wm. Robertson, Dennet Abney, Geo. Elliot, Mattax Mayse, John Norrice, John Wilborne, Jeremiah Hatcher, John Ashworth, Jeffrey Russell, Sam’l. Ashworth, Philemon Russell; Mitchell guilty of making false return (Order Book 4, p. 49)

Augustine Rowland v. John Wilborne, defendant; dismissed (Order Book 4, p. 50)

1756 February Court:

John Jenings (sic) v. John Wilborne and Wm Harris, defendants; plaintiff to recover debt (Order Book 4, p. 81)

1756 June Court:

John Wilborne v. Augustine Rowland, defendant in debt, dismissed (Order Book 4, p. 152)

1756 August Court:

Any three of Stephens Evens (sic), Wm Harris, John Wilborne, Wm Harris (Fine [Finney] wood [Cr]) to value improvements made by Dan’l Williams on 350 acres (Order Book 4, p. 171)

Wm Mountgomery (sic) assignee of Jeremiah Rust v. Wm Mead admons of John Mead, decd, defendant; jury: Michael Satterwhite, John Glass, Sam’l Whealer (sic) Stephen Evens, Wm Harris, John Satterwhite, John Clark, Jeremiah Hatcher, John Cargill, Henry Williams, Sam’l Flowers, John Wilborne; plaintiff to recover damages for nonperformance (Order Book 4, p. 184)

1756 October Court:

Matthew Tanner v. Wm Ussery, defendants (Elisha Robertson his bail); jury: Wm Jones, Andrew Graham, Wm Read, John Pamplin, Rich’d Womack, John Williams, Steven Evens, Michael Satterwhite, John Wilborne, Wm Legan, Wm Irvine, Jos. Gill; plaintiff to recover damages for nonperformance (Order Book 4, p. 222)

Mathew Marable v. Stephen Evens, defendant; jury: Wm Jones, John Pamplin, Richd Womack, John Williams, Michael Satterwhite, John Wilborne, Wm Legan, Wm Irvine, Jos. Gill, Thos. Moore, Henry Blagrave, foreman, Wm Jones; plaintiff to take nothing (Order Book 4, p. 223)

1757 May Court:

On petition Wm Hunt et al. for road from Col. Bird’s Mill to Woodpecker Cr., Wm Harris and John Wilborne, to examine best way (Order Book 4, p. 289)

1757 August Court:

John Wilborne sells to Abraham Tally; indenture bargain / sale; Judy, wife of Wilborne, relinquished dower rights (Order Book 4, p. 335)

1757 October Court:

John Wilborne, witness for John Jenings (sic) in his suit v. [blank] Willis, to be paid by Jennings (sic) for 6 days attendance (Order Book 4, p. 389)

1757 November Court:

Wm Harris and John Wilborne reported on roads from Woodpecker Cr. to Col. Bird’s Mill (Order Book 5, p. 4)

1758 March Court:

Wm Hunt appointed surveyor of road whereof John Wilborne had been, late surveyor (Order Book 5, p. 35)

Road Orders[5]

The key area is Woodpecker Creek and Bluestone Creek. The most important order for us is dated November 1, 1757, which is the last entry that says John is still living. He died after that date and before March 7, 1758.

2 April 1751 O. S., Page 385:

John Wilborne is appointed Surveyor of the Road leading from the Mouth of Blue Stone Creek to Twitty’s Ordinary, and it is Ordered that he Together with the followg. Assisstance [sic] (to wit) John Clarke, William Lidderdale, John Cox, John Thompson, and all William Byrds Hands below the Mouth of Blue Stoke (sic) Creek, do forthwith Clear & Keep the same in Repair according to Law.

6 November 1753 N. S., Page 512:

On the Petition of John Wilborne, William Harris, John Roling, Augustine Roling, John Ragsdale, Benjamin Ragsdale & Steven Willis leave is Granted them to lay open and Clear a road the best & most Convenient Way from the Mouth of the Wood Pecker Creek into the road at this Court house, and the said John Wilborne is appointed Surveyor thereof.

3 May 1757, Page 289:

On the Petition of William Hunt & others for a Road from Colo Birds Mill to the Wood Pecker Creek, It is Ordered that William Harriss (Woodpecker) John Ragsdale and John Wilborne (being first Sworn &c) do View & Examine the Way Petition’d for a road, and Report to the next Court the Conveniency or inconveniency thereof.

1 November 1757, Page 4:

William Harris and John Wilborne, being two of the Persons Appointed by this Court to View the Way for a Road from the Woodpecker Creek to Colo [Col.] Bird’s Mill, this day Returned a Report thereon, which is Ordered to be Recorded and John Cox is Appointed Surveyor thereof and it Ordered that he together with Edward Willis and his hands, John Flin, Thomas Flynn, John Tomson, Jacob Royster and his hands, Loflin Flins hands and John Roberts do forthwith lay Open Clear and keep the same in Repair According to Law.
7 March 1758, Page 35:

William Hunt is appointed Surveyor of the Road whereof John Wilborne was late Surveyor. And it is Ordered that he together with the Assistance that Assisted the said Wilborne on the said Road do forthwith Clear & keep the same in Repair According to Law.

To wrap up this section, the record dated November 1, 1757, says John is appointed surveyor. Then the order dated March 7, 1758, the date John’s will was probated, says John was the “late Surveyor.” Now we know he died in that timeframe. This narrows down the time even more than his will does, which was written August 18, 1757. It’s rare for researchers to pinpoint – even by a brief span – an early American’s dates of birth, marriage, or death.

John Wilbourn’s Probate

August 18, 1757 and March 7, 1758:

Lunenburg County, Virginia. John Wilbourn leaves a will, in which he names no one (Will Book 1, pp. 222-223, also noted in Order Book 5, p. 36). John died between his last road order (see previous section, November 1, 1757) and the initiation of his probate, March 7, 1758. He died in Cumberland Parish.

The will reads:

Wilburn’s will

In the Name of God, Amen. I John Wilburn of Lunenburg County & of Cumberland Parish in Virg. being sick & weak but of Perfect Sence [sic] and Memory, I do make this my Last Will and Testament in Manner as Followeth, (viz)

First I give and Bequeath my soul to God, Creator who gave it me in hopes of a Joyful Resurrection at the Last day through Jesus Christ my Blessed Saviour & Redeemer; and my Body I give to the eart [sic] to be Desently [sic] buried at the Discretion of my Executors hereafter to be Mentioned.

Item: I leave all my Lands & Personal Estate to be Sold to pay my Just Debts, and if there is Personal Estate enough to pay my debts I leave my Land not to be sold.

Item: I give to my Loving wife all the Remainder part of my personal Estate, to bring up my Children upon that after my debts are paid.

Item: I do hereby Constitute & appoint my friends John Camp & William Harris my Executors of this my Last Will and Testament; In witness whereof I have set my hand & seal this Eighteenth day of August, one thousand seven Hundred and fifty seven.

John J [his mark] Wilborn

Teste:

William Harris

Richard X Hudson [he makes his mark | ]

Hugh HM [his mark] Mackeny

At a Court held for Lunenburg County, the 7th day of March 1758

The Within Written Last will & Testament of John Wilborne decd was Exhibited in Court by William Harris, one of the Executors therein Named & the same is proved by the oaths of all the Witnesses thereto, which is Ordered to be Recorded and on the Motion of the said William Harris (who made oath according to Law) Certificate is granted him for Obtaining a Probate of the said Will in due form, he giving security; whereupon he together with Pinkethman Hawkins Entered into & acknowledged their Bond for that Purpose. Reserving Liberty to John Camp the other Executor therein Names to Join in the Probate with the said William when he shall think fit;

Teste: Clement Read CLC

Inventory And Appraisement

The court orders three men to go out to John’s property and place a value on it, both personal and any slaves. It turns out John did not own slaves when he died.

This record says (March Court 1758):

Any three of John Jeffries, Wm Harris, Rich’d Swepston, Wm Hunt to appraise slave and personal estate of John Wilborne, decd (Order Book 5, p. 37)

As we will see, below, John Camp replaced William Harris.

In the following Inventory and Appraisement, all amounts are in English pounds, shillings, and pence.

April Court 1758: Inventory record for estate of John Wilborne, decd (Order Book 5, p. 66).

D’o = Ditto

 

An appraisement of John Wilburn’s Estate Taken by the subscribers March [ye?] 17th £
7 year-old hogs 1 8 0
8 sows and pigs 2 16 0
9 shotes [sic] 0 11 3
1 horse 11 6 0
2 cows and 2 yearlings 3 10 0
1 heifer 1 0 0
2 small heifers 1 5 0
Corn at 5/? p Barrel Blank
1 Cow hide 0 6 0
1 Spinning wheel 0 6 0
1 Chest 0 3 0
1 Stone water jug 0 1 3
1 Barrel 0 2 6
1 Funnel, 1 Barrel, 1 Bottle 0 1 3
1 Weg [Wedge] & saw & same [some?] old Irons 10 0 0
2 Bedsteds [sic] & cord & Hide 10 0 0
1 Pair of handmill stones 0 ? 6
Augur 5 awls & 15 tacks 0 1 0
½ doz. of Plates 0 12 6
2 Dishes 1 Bason 1 Porringer [sic] 1 Straner [sic] 11 spoons 0 12 6
2 Tin Pans 0 3 6
1 Bible and 1 Testament and 1 Psalter 0 1 3
1 of ? of Cards 1 Looking Glass 0 1 0
1 Saddle & 1 Bridle ? ? 6
1 Tub 1 Pail 1 ? 2 Noggans [sic] 1 Churn ? ? ?
1 Bell 1 ax & Augor [sic] 0 7 0
2 Iron Potts [?] & Hooks 0 16 0
1 Featherbed & Furniture & 1 Rug 2 Blankets 3 0 0
1 ditto, ……..d’o, …………………. 1 d’o 2 0 0
1 Hide [Hade?] 0 1 0
1 Hammer 0 1 6
1 Box Iron & Heaters 0 5 0
1 Barrel & 1 Baskins [sic] 0 4 0
1 Faying [sic] Pan 0 1 3
1 Bull 0 12 6
1 Grindstone, 1 Pistol [Pestol? Pestle?] & Candlestick 0 3 0
1 Table, Two Benches, 1 Cart Saddle 0 1 0

Jno Camp

John Jeffries

Rich’d Swepston

At a court held at Lunenburg County the fourth of April 1758, the within Inventory and appraisement of the estate of John Wilborne, decd. was Returned & ordered to be Recorded. Teste Clement Read

Rec: Apr 4, 1758

April Court, 1758:

The judge or judges accept the Inventory and Appraisement:

Inventory record for estate of John Wilborne, decd. (Order Book 5, p. 66)

Final Account

So far the sale of any or all of John’s property, if it took place, has not been found. If we could find it, we might be able to confirm who his non-minor sons were.

All amounts are in English pounds, shillings, and pence.

D’o = ditto.

 

March 2, 1762: Account current of estate of John Wilborn, decd. to William Harris, ex’r £
To my acc’t before his death 10 4 6
To the expence [sic] of his Burial 2 10 0
To Paid Jn’o Cox Jun’r by Rec’t 1 8
To D’o Hampton Wade by D’o 4 15 4
To d’o Roger Atkinson by D’o 15 4 0
To D’o Jacob Royster by D’o 4 13 0
To D’o Pink. Hawkins by D’o 2 0 6
To D’o Jacob Royster by D’o 0 8 3
To D’o Clem’t Read by D’o 3 0 0
To D’o Gray Briggs by D’o 1 11 3
To Paid for W [Water?] Rights & 3 Pat’n}

Fees for 1050 ac’s Land Lots Wm Newsum}

7 14 0
To paid Wm Harris by Rec’t 5 2 0
To D’o Jn’o Ragsdale by D’o 3 3 9
To D’o McNess Goode Jun’r for Resurg [sic, Richard?] Wilborne Land 0 15 0
To Paid Chaim Carnion 0 5 0
To d’o David Garland to be Recon’d for hereafter 10 13 0
To my Commission for Selling and Receiving on £74.7.5 at 5 pc’t 3 14 4
Contra C’r 77 2
By an Inventory of the Sale of his personal estate 34 7 5
By amount of the Sale [of] his Land to Wm Newsum 40 0 0
74 7 5
Ball’a Due to Wm Harris 2 14 10½
77 2

Mar 2nd 1762 In Obedience to an order of Lunenburgh [sic] Court we have settled the above acc’t & find the Ball’a of two pounds fourteen shillings & 10 ½ d. due to Wm Harris

Rich’d Witton Woods [Wm Goode?]

At a Court Held for Lunenburgh [sic] County the third day of March 1762 The within written Account Current of the estate of John Wilborn Decd was this day Returned which is ordered to be Recorded. Test Clem’t Read CSC [?]

Sources: Will Book 2, p. 88-89; Order Book 7, p. 239

John Wilbourn’s Executors’ Legal Battles

1758 May Court:

Wm Harris, Wm Liddergate, John Ragsdale v. Wm Harris executor of John Wilborne, decd; plaintiffs to recover debt (Order Book 5, p. 86)

1759 August Court:

Hugh McVaay v. Wm Harris, executor of John Wilburn, decd, defendant in debt, dismissed (Order Book 6, p. 21)

1760 December Court:

Richard Witton and Wm Goode appointed to settle account of estate of [blank] Wilborne, decd, whereof Wm Harris admons (sic) (Order Book 6, p. 204)

1761 May Court:

Wm Harris, Wm Liddergate, John Ragsdale v. Wm Harris, executor of John Wilborne’s, decd, estate; defendants on writ scire facias; plaintiffs to recover money and tobacco (Order Book 7, p. 38)

John Wilbourn’s Children in his Probate

We do not need to depend on John’s will for three of his children; they were minors when he died, so the court bound them out.

Our ancestor Thomas is bound out three times. He also gets in a legal dispute before he reaches his majority (about 18-21 years old). His sister Susan was bound out only once. She may have reached her majority a year or two after her father’s decease or got married while still a minor. But the fact she was bound out only once indicates she was older than her brother, in our view. Their youngest brother John was bound out in 1765.

The court orders are in Lunenburg County, except the final one, which is in Mecklenburg County. Recall that Mecklenburg was formed from Lunenburg in 1764/5. And St. James’ Parish was formed out of Cumberland Parish in 1761.

1758 March Court:

Church wardens of Cumberland Parish to bind out Susan Wilborne, orphan of John Wilborne, decd, to William Harris (Order Book 5, p. 35)

1758 March Court:

Church wardens of Cumberland Parish to bind out Thomas Wilborne, orphan of John Wilborne, decd, to William Cox (Order Book 5, p. 35)

1758 September Court:

Church wardens of Cumberland Parish to bind Thos. Wilborn, orphan of John Wilborn, decd, to John Childress (Order Book 5, p. 111)

1759 August Court:

Stephen Willie v. Thos Wilborne, son and heir of John Wilborne, decd, defendant; defendant stands in contempt for not answering complaint; sheriff to recover said tract of land; defendant may contest decree within six months after reaching full age 21 (Order Book 6, p. 22)

Note: this court case calls into question whether William, Thomas’s supposed older brother, really was in charge of John’s (decd.) household.

1762 November Court:

Church wardens of St. James’s Parish to bind out Thos. Wilborne, orphan John Wilborne, decd, to John Hight (Order Book 8, p. 137)

Binding Out

To be bound out means that Susannah and Thomas were court-appointed to families so they could learn the trade of farming and domestic life. They were apprentices who worked for food, clothing and shelter. Then when they reached about 17 or 18 years old or got married while they were serving, they were free from their apprenticeship. I believe Susannah may have married before her apprenticeship was up. As noted, the evidence shows she married James Harrison. Since he died about a decade before she did, he may have been an older man.

The fact that Thomas was bound out three times to different families may indicate that his mother Judith complained about the first two arrangements or something else went wrong. Even while a minor he was sued about land. He could contest the judgment when he was no longer a minor. All this instability could not have been easy on him.

That he was again bound out in 1762 indicates that he was still not a full adult in that year. Was he about 15 or 16 at that time? If so, he was born in 1746-1747, just before his father moved from Spotsylvania County to Lunenburg County. Was he 13 or 14 in 1762? If so, he was born 1748-1749, just after this parents moved.

As to John Wilbourn Jr., Mecklenburg County, 1765 May Court  reads:

Ordered that the Church Wardens of St. James Parish do bind out John Wilborn son of John Wilborn according to Law (May 13, 1765, Order Book 1, p. 19)

Why was he bound out so late? We discussed this above, but maybe his mother Judith didn’t want to give him up. Or maybe she died in 1765, and William the oldest thought it best for him to make it on his own. Alternatively, maybe his mother Judith remarried (to William Harris, the executor?), and his stepfather thought it best to send him out to be trained.

Summary

We don’t know for sure who John’s original immigrant ancestor is. He could be Robert, Mathew, or Samuel. But we have no legal proof. We don’t even know if his father was Edward of Spotsylvania County (if Edward Sr. even existed, though I’ve come around to believing he did).

John (probably) first appears in the records in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, February 4, 1746/7. Joseph Hawkins, Gentleman, was after some money. Edward paid off the debt a few months later. It is probable that this Edward is his brother.

In about 1747-1748, John and Judith settled in Cumberland Parish, Lunenburg County. Often pioneers moved shortly after they had a child. Was (our) Thomas born around 1747-1748? Did they have Susannah just before then, and Thomas afterwards? Or Susan and Thomas before those years? We have been able to establish by legal proof that John and Judith had Susan, Thomas, and John. We have only circumstantial evidence that William was their son.

One researcher speculates that Judith was a Hudson, John was older than she, and after he died, she married William Harris.

I can’t confirm or deny this theory.

In any case, in Lunenburg, they gradually accumulated a lot of land. With their accumulation of land come responsibilities. John appears in many road orders. The county officials required citizens to make or extend roads and to keep them clear. We can find out who his neighbors are, and one of them was William Harris. He was appointed executor of John’s estate. These orders narrow down John’s date of death. He last appears in a road order November 1, 1757, and his probate was initiated March 7, 1758. For those early years, establishing this brief timeframe is a rare gift to researchers today.

Also, John appears in a number of lawsuits, as witness, plaintiff, and defendant. He won a few and lost a few. But the records show he does not appear in the court records as often as others do. Evidently, early Americans did not hesitate to sue each other.

We cannot find any record that John and Judith owned slaves. In fact his Inventory and Appraisement says they did not.

John and Judith owned one Bible, one Testament, and one Psalter (Book of Psalms for singing in liturgical and devotional use). So they were devout.

They also owned the things that were common to all citizens in an agrarian society: livestock, household furnishings, farming tools, and a spinning wheel. The inventory list of their belongings is meager. So it seems John and Judith lived the simple life.

What happened to Judith? She probably lived on John’s and her land at his passing, and she had no need to get involved in courts and land deals, so for that reason her name never appears in the records after John’s passing. Her (probable) oldest son William may have helped her manage the land. However, at John’s passing he owed money. One Harris family researcher speculates that she married William Harris, John’s close friend and executor of his estate. (Another Harris researcher says no.) But if she remarried, she may have done so in 1765, when her youngest son John was bound out, and his new stepfather said it was time for him to become an apprentice (that’s what binding out meant). Alternatively, she may have died in 1765, when John Jr. was bound out. The truth is, we don’t know what happened to her.

In any case, John and Judith’s son Thomas (our direct line) owned a fiddle. Did John or Judith teach him how to play? Did he learn music from the Psalter they owned?

Their son Thomas is covered in the next post, here:

Thomas Wilbourn and Hannah Lamkin

Bibliography

Banks, June Bank. Lunenburg County, Virginia, Order Book 7, 1761-1762. New Orleans: Bryn Ffylliaid, 1999.

—. Lunenburg County, Virginia, Order Book 8, 1762-1763. New Orleans: Bryn Ffylliaid, 1999.

—. Lunenburg County, Virginia, Order Book 1, 1746-1748. New Orleans: Bryn Ffylliaid, 1999.

—. Lunenburg County, Virginia, Order Book 4, 1755-1757. New Orleans: Bryn Ffylliaid, 1998.

—. Lunenburg County, Virginia, Order Book 5, 1757-1759. New Orleans: Bryn Ffylliaid, 1998.

—. Lunenburg County, Virginia, Order Book 6, 1759-1761. New Orleans: Bryn Ffylliaid, 1998.

—. Lunenburg County, Virginia, Order Book 2 ½ B, 1753-1754. New Orleans: Bryn Ffylliaid, 1998.

—. Lunenburg County, Virginia, Order Book 2 ½ A, 1752-1753. New Orleans: Bryn Ffylliaid, 1997.

—. Lunenburg County, Virginia, Order Book 3, 1754-1755. New Orleans: Bryn Ffylliaid, 1997.

—. Lunenburg County, Virginia, Order Book 2, 1748-1752. New Orleans: Bryn Ffylliaid, 1995.

—. Lunenburg County, Virginia Deed Book 3 (1752-1754). New Orleans: Bryn Ffyliaid, 1990.

—. Lunenburg County, Virginia Deed Book 4 (1754-1757). New Orleans: Bryn Ffyliaid, 1990.

—. Lunenburg County, Virginia Deed Book 5 (1757-1760). New Orleans: Bryn Ffyliaid, 1990.

—. Lunenburg County, Virginia Deed Book 6 (1760-1761). New Orleans: Bryn Ffyliaid, 1990.

LDS Microfilms for Lunenburg County, Virginia

Lunenburg County, Virginia Court Order Book. No. 9, 1763-1764. T. L. C. Genealogy, 1999.

Lunenburg County, Virginia Court Order Book. No. 10, 1764-1765, T. L. C. Genealogy, 1999.

Lunenburg County, Virginia Will Book 1 (1746-1762). T. L. C. Genealogy, 1999.

Lunenburg County, Virginia Will Book 2 (1760-1778). T. L. C. Genealogy, 1991.

Lunenburg County, Virginia Court Order Book. No. 1, 1746-1748. T. L. C.Genealogy, 1990.

Lunenburg County, Virginia Deeds, 1752-1757. T. L. C. Genealogy, 1990.

Lunenburg County, Virginia Deeds, 1757-1761. T. L. C. Genealogy, 1990.

Lunenburg County, Virginia, Deed Book 9 (1763-1764). T. L. C. Genealogy,

1990.

Vogt, John and T. William Kethley, Jr. Mecklenburg County Marriages. Athens, GA: Iberian, 1989.

—. Lunenburg County Marriages, 1750-1853. Athens, GA: Iberian, 1988.

Endnotes

[1] Ruth and Sam Sparacio, Virginia County Court Records, Spotsylvania County, Virginia, 1746-1748, McLean, Virginia: the Antient Press, 2000. This book contains Spotsylvania County Orders taken from Spotsylvania County Order Book 1738-1749, pp. 392-504, for Courts held 8th September 1746 through 9th of March 1748/9. See http://genforum.genealogy.com/wilbourn/messages/114.html

[2] James E. and Vivian Wooley, Edgefield County, SC, Wills: 1787-1836, Greenville: Southern Historical P, 1991, p. 56.

[3] These tax records can be found at these links, which are posts from Sunlight on the Southside: Lists of Tithes, Lunenburg County, Virginia, 1748-1783, compiled By Landon C. Bell, Clearfield Co., originally Published in Philadelphia, 1931, reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, 1974, reprinted for Clearfield Company, Inc. by Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc., Baltimore, 1991; edited and compiled by Thomas Walter Duda: http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/lunenburg/census/sun001.txt; http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/lunenburg/census/sun002.txt; http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/lunenburg/census/sun003.txt; http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/lunenburg/census/sun004.txt;

http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/lunenburg/census/sun005.txt; http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/lunenburg/census/sun006.txt;

[4] Source for the creeks of Mecklenburg County: Katherine B. Elliott, Early Settlers, Mecklenburg County, Virginia, vol. 1 (Easley, SC: Southern Historical P, 1983 [1964]), pp.  73-74.

[5] Some of these records repeat the entries in the Court Order Books, but they are listed here because of this helpful link: http://www.virginiadot.org/vtrc/main/online_reports/pdf/93-r17.pdf

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