Ishams of Early Virginia

Henry Isham is a royal gateway ancestor (descends from royalty and moved to America); he and his descendants left behind excellent records to sort out family relations. These records go from 1678 to 1747.

These records are uninterpreted, and only those that reveal family relationships are included. You can have the fun of sorting out family connections. This post stays in Henrico County.


12 Nov 1678

Will of Henry Isham

To half-brother Joseph Royal £40 in goods;

To Richard Kennon’s wife, John Wilkinson’s wife, William Byrd’s wife, to each a gold ring at 12 shillings;

To honorable mother, Mrs. Katherine Isham, 1/3 of my personal effects, both in Virginia and in England;

To loving sister Anne Isham, 1/3 part of my estate;

I bequeath my plantation, commonly known by name of Doggams, to be equally divided by my two sisters Mrs. Mary Randolph and Mrs. Anne Isham;

To Mr. William Randolph, all the rest of my estate in Virginia and England and to be executor;

Wit: Ja. Tubb, John Wynn, Wilbert Daniel, Hugh Davis’

Proved 1 Feb 1678 by oaths of Tubb, Wynn, and Daniel (Wills and Administrations, Part I, 1677-1692, Will and Deed Book p. 71)

10 Oct 1686

Will of Katherine Isham

To grandson William Randolph, £20

To grandson Henry Randolph £5

To granddaughter Mary Randolph and Elizabeth Randolph, each £ (sic)

All such money is now in hands of son-in-law William Randolph;

Residue of money in hands of my son-in-law;

William Randolph to go to my daughters Mary Randolph and Ann Epes, equally;

The above two daughters to divide what is on my trunk and each to have two silver salt cellars;

To Mary Randolph, my wedding ring, best feather bed, my best silver tankard, and 15 shillings to buy mourning ring;

To grandson Joseph Royal, one servant named John Townes, for the time he has to serve and my small silver tankard;

To every child of my son Royal, two silver spoons;

To my loving son Joseph Royal, my best tankard;

To my grandson Richard Denis, one of best cows and 2 silver spoons;

To grandson Isham Epes, my negro man Dick;

To grandson Francis Epes, my best silver tankard but one;

To child daughter Anne Epes now goes with, my largest silver porringer and great cup, my sealed ring, great hoop ring, pair of silver clasps, and silver bodkin to daughter Anne Epes;

To grandson Richard Perrin, 1 feather bed and furniture

To granddaughter Sarah Royal, 1 yearling heifer;

To granddaughters Katherine Farrar, Mary, Sarah, and Anne Perrin, each 2 silver spoons;

To Katherine Farrar 1 Guinea

To Anne Perrin, one silver porringer

To granddaughter Sarah Dennis, 2 silver spoons and 1 pair of dowlass sheets;

To 2 daughters Sarah Wilkinson and Katherine Perrin, all my wearing clothes;

To my loving friend Mary Parker, 6 ells of best dowlas and as much of the finest serge to make a gown and petticoat;

To grandson Maiden Marshall, 1 heifer, two years old;

To my son Joseph Royal all my land;

All my crop of corn to executors, except enough to buy 2 gravestones, one to cover me and other my dear decd. husband;

All the rest to be divided between my four children: Sarah Wilkinson, Joseph Royal, Katherine Perrin, and Anne Epes, and to each 15 shillings for mourning rings;

Executors: son Joseph Royal and son-in-law Francis Epes;

My body to be buried near my dead husband on my own plantation;

Wit: John Worsham, Nathaniel Hill, Littlebury Epes;

Probated 1 Dec 1686

(Wills and Administrations, Part I, 1677-1692, Will and Deed Book p. 392-301)

4 Mar 1717

Will of Isham Epes of Henrico Parish

All debts paid, negroes to be divided between brothers and sisters, viz. Francis Epes, Jr., William Epes, Jr., Anne Kennon, Elizabeth Randolph, Jr. Mary Epes, and Sarah Epes;

To Francis Epes, son of Francis Epes, Jr. all my tract of land called Wintopock;

To Richard Kennon, son of William Kennon, all my land at Nooning Cr. and plantation where Grant lives;

To my father, the large seal ring which was grandfather Isham’s;

To my mother 1 mounting ring;

To my father, land in Bermuda Hundred, lately purchased of Tucker Woodson and two houses in the Town of Hundred Point;

Executors: Col. Francis Epes, Francis Epes, Jr., William Epes, Jr.

Wit: Joseph Royal, William Perkins, Pew Price; rec. 5 Aug 1717

(Wills and Deeds 1714-1718, p. 191-207)


These names are found in those two Isham wills, above.

23 Sep 1678

Will of Elizabeth Epes of Bermuda Hundred, widow

To daughter Elizabeth Kennon, ring, clothes and ¼ of money due me in hands of Samuel Claphamson;

A stone ring, given to my sister King to go to Mary Kennon my daughter Elizabeth’s child, with other items;

Rest of my wearing clothes to my daughter Mary Epes;

To my son John Worsham, my silver tobacco box, his equal part of money due me and household items;

Rest of my estate to my husband Epe’s children;

Executor: son Kenon

Wit: Tho. Fitzherbert, Frances Burrell

Rec. 1 Oct 1678


Confirms above gifts to children of first husband William Worsham, including John and Charles; rest of estate to be divided among children I had by my late husband Francis Epes, namely Littlebury and Mary;

Executors: sons-in-law Richard Kennon and Francis Epes

Dated 23 Sept 1678

(OB 1678-1693 p. 59)

1 Oct 1678

Inventory of estate of Col. Francis Epes, decd. taken by order of the court, valued at £302/1/2 by Essex Beville, Abel Gower, Martin Elam dated 31 Oct 1678; further inventory by Martin Elam and Joseph Royall 20 Dec 1678; long inventory of goods in his house at his decease is also present, dated 19 Sep 1678; rec. 2 June 1679 (Wills and Administrations, Part I, 1677-1692 Will and Deed Book pp. 93-97)

20 Aug 1698

It is ordered that the sheriff summon Capt. Littlebury Epes, the remaining orphan of Col. Francis Epes to appear at the next court to discharge the security from what estate was left by his deceased father … the security is discharged (Orphans Court p. 40)

20 Jan 1691/2

Will of Margery Bullington, widow

All land in the Appomattox to son, but if he die to my brother John Archer;

All movables to son, but if he dies to my brothers John Archer and Henry Royall;

I leave my son to my father-in-law Joseph Royall, to be executor; wit: John Worsham, Martin Elam; rec. 1 Feb 1691/2 (Book £3 Wills and Deeds 1688-1697, pp. 288-92)

20 July 1712

Isham Randolph to William Randolph for £25, 2 tracts, 580 acres; one of 500 acres on Westham Cr. on north side of James R., next to lands of said William; the other of 80 acres, known as Lower Tuckaho Island; said land was devised to said Isham by will of his father William Randolph, decd.; wit William Finney, Jos. Royall, Jr. Thomas Randolph, Richard Randolph, Henry Randolph, Jr. John Randolph; signed Isham Randolph; rec. 3 Aug 1713 (Wills and Deeds 1710-1714, p. 221)

4 Mar 1717

Will of Isham Epes

Brothers and sister: Rances Epes, Jr., William Epes, Jr., Anne Kennon, Elizabeth Randolph, Mary Epes, Sarah Epes; son of Frances Epes, Frances Epes, Jr., all my land called Wintopock; Richard Kennon, son of William Kennon, all my land at Nooening Cr.; to my father, a large seal ring wich was my grandfather’s; to mother 1 mourning ring; to father-in-law, land in Bermuda Hundred, lately purchased of Tucker Woodson and two houses in town of Hundred Point; executors: Col. Francis Epes, Francis Epes, Jr., William Epes, Jr.; wit: Joseph Royall, William Perkins, Pew Price; rec. 5 Aug 1717 (Wills and Deed 1714-1718, p. 191)

14 Mar 1717

Will of John Archer

Sons: John, William, Field;

Daughters: Frances, Judith, Mary, Martha, Elizabeth;

Brother George

My brother Joseph Royall to be guardian of my children and he to get new black suit;

Wit: William Randolph, George Archer, Abraham Womack, Thomas Bucker, Thomas Morris; rec. 4 Nov 1718 (Miscellaneous 1650-1807, Part II, pp. 393-97)

6 Sep 1725

Administrator’s Bond of Lucy Epes, administratrix of William Epes, signed also by Francis Epes and William Hamlin; wit: Henry Wood and Richard Dean (Miscellaneous Court Records 1650-1807 Vol. 1, p. 613)

24 Sep 1725

Inventory of William Epes’s estate, valued at £319/19/5 by Will Kennon, Bowler Cocke, Joseph Royall; presented in court by Lucy Epes and rec. 2 Jan 1726 (Wills and DeedS 1725-1737, p. 79)

6 Nov 1725

Will of Henry Dennis

To brother Richard, ½ of piece of land on lower side of Branches Brook, called Mt. Misery;

To brother Gower, 100 acres 100 acres of land in Sheffoils (sic) called Great Stone and the other half of Mt. Misery;

To Tabitha Dennis, what negroes fall to me from my father’s estate;

The rest divided between my five sisters: Sarah Waddill, Elizabeth Hayes, Mary Waddill, Martha Hall and Ann Dennis;

Loving friend William Hayes to be executor;

Will presented by William Hayes, who with his wife Elizabeth gave deposition that this was his will; rec. Nov 1726 (Wills and Deeds 1725-1737, pp. 65-70)

5 Sep 1726 (Recorded date)

Will of John Bullington of Henrico Parish

To wife Temperance, ½ of my estate and to be executrix;

If my son John died before age 21 or marriage, my wife is to enjoy all of the estate and at her deceased it shall descend to John Royal, son of Joseph Royal;

Wit: William Finney, William Parker, William Peirce (Wills and Deeds 1725-1737, p. 42)

7 Nov 1733

Will of Francis Eppes of Henrico Parish

To son Francis, lands in Bermuda Hundred, referring to wife Sarah, the house I live in, to sue in common with my son with 200 acres and at her death to said Francis; Also to Francis, 908 acres in Henrico called Longfield; all the land called Skin Quarter 5000 acres; also 3500 acres in Goochland Co. being part of a greater quantity, next to Charles Hudson.

To son Richard, all that land in Prince George Co., 750 acres and if he die before of age then to my son William;

To said Richard the land in Henrico called Wintopock Upper Quarter, 700 acres that also another tract 1100 acres, being part of Wintopock old survey; ½ land I purchased of Henry Cox, also ½ land I purchased of Richard Kennon. Also to son Richard, land I took up in Henrico Co. called Nut Tree, 250 acres; also 280 acres on Swift Cr.

To son William 4950 acres in Henrico, part of Wintopock tract, including land called Lower Quarter, where my negro man Cesar lives; the land I purchased of Henry Cox, moiety of land bought of Richard Kennon, and the moiety of land I lately took up with him;

The rest of my lands in Goochland near the mountains to my sons Richard and William;

To daughter Anne Eppes, 1200 acres, being a moiety of a tract in Goochland called Swam’s Cr. and if she die to my daughter Martha Eppes;

To daughter Martha Eppes 1200 acres, being the other half of the above moiety, including the house lately built;

Numerous items to wife Sarah and to children listed (daughters under 21 as were sons Richard and William)

Wife Sarah and son Francis to be executors

Wit: Lucretia Childers; John Wilkinson, John Castle, Stephen Dewey; rec. Dec. 1734

(Wills and Deeds 1725-1737, pp. 459-61)

2 July 1735

Joseph Royall of Bermuda Hundred, Henrico Co. Gent., for love and affection to my sons William and John Royal, 500 acres on north side of Appomattox R. part of 900 acres granted by patent. Son William to have lower 300 and John the other 200 acres; no wit.; signed Jos. Royall; rec. 7 July 1735 (Wills and Deeds 1725-1737, p. 496)

21 Sep 1735

Will of Martha Wilkinson

To son Richard Wilkinson, items;

To daughter Sary Wilkinson, items;

To daughter Mary Barnes, items;

To godson George Cardwell, 1 heifer;

To daughter Marta Wilkinson, items;

Sons to be for himself (sic) at age 18;

Rest of estate to daughter Martha and she to be executrix;

Wit: Thomas Cardwell and Martha Cardwell, Matthew Bridgeman; rec. Apr 1736

Wills and Deeds 1725-1737, pp. 533-36)

25 Jan 1736

Will of Francis Eppes of Dale Parish

All lands in Bermuda Hundred to dear and loving mother for life and after her death to my brother Richard Eppes, if he let my brother William enjoy all that land in Henrico known as Longfield;

To brother William, the land that belonged to Thomas Jones at Bermuda Hundred and all my land at Longfield, purchased of Robert Burton and ½ my land at Skin Quarter;

To sister Anne Eppes, a negro; £150 and items;

To kinsman John Royall, 1 negro man;

To my mother, negroes and items;

To Capt. Charles Adlom, if he comes to VA, my young horse colt and 2 guineas to buy a mourning ring;

To brothers William and Richard, my lands near the mountains in Goochland Co, to be divided equally;

All the rest to my dear mother Sarah Eppes, and she to be executor;

Wit: Joseph Royal, William Gay, John Royals, Littlebury Royal; rec. May 1737 (Wills and Deeds 1725-1737, pp. 612-19)

Feb 1738 Court

Edward Osborne, who married a daughter of William Eppes, Gent., who died intestate, petitions for share of the estate. William Kennon, Joseph Royal, John Archer, Gent. to divide (Court Orders 1737-1748, p. 67)

28 Feb 1747

Will of Sarah Epes of Dale Parish

To son Richard Eppes, 6 negroes

To son William Eppes, 7 negroes and items;

To daughter Ann Harris, a negro

To grandson Joseph Harris, £30

To daughter Martha Wayles, a mourning ring;

To first son born to sons Richard and William that shall be named Francis, a negro;

All the rest to son Richard Eppes;

Sons Richard and William to be executors;

Wit: Edmund Eppes, Littlebury Royal; rec. July 1748

(Wills and Deeds 1748-1750, p. 10)


Thomas Jefferson last will and testament includes the Epes (Eppes) family


Pauline Pearce Warner, Orphans Court Book, 1677-1738, of Henrico County, Virginia: An Accurate Transliteration with Index and Explanatory Information, Tappahannock, Virginia, self-published, 1963.

Benjamin B, Weisiger, Henrico County, Virginia, Colonial Deeds: 1706-1737, Athens, GA: Iberian, 1995 (orig. Richmond, VA, 1985).

—, Henrico County, Virginia, Colonial Deeds: 1677-1705, Athens, GA: Iberian, 1996 (orig. Richmond, VA, 1986).

—. Colonial Wills of Henrico County, Virginia: Part One 1677-1737, Athens, GA: Iberian, 1998.

—, Henrico County, Virginia, Colonial Deeds, 1737-1750, Athens, GA: Iberian, 1995 (orig. 1988).

—, Colonial Wills of Henrico County, Virginia, Part Two, 1737-1781, with Addenda (revised), Athens, GA Iberian, 1995 (reprinted from 1977 and several reprintings).

—, Henrico County, Virginia, Colonial Wills and Deeds, 1677-1737, Athens, GA: Iberian, 1998 (orig. 1976).

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