Friday, September 7, 2012

Revised Timeline and ALL Deeds & Records Found So Far Pertaining to the 1686 JOHN AXTON vs MARY MANSELL BLAGRAVE Land Dispute (WHITECOTTON)

I am posting these records in order to quell the tide of WHITECOTTON researchers who continue to incorrectly list MARY MANSELL ( daughter of CAPT DAVID MANSELL of Old Rappahanock Co VA, and 2nd wife of HENRY BLAGRAVE I of York Co VA)  as the wife of JOHN AXTON, indentured servant, then tobacco planter, who died 1687 in Stafford Co VA.

After reading these records, I'm sure you will agree that JOHN AXTON never married MARY MANSELL BLAGRAVE.

I'm hoping, anyway....

--June 12, 1648  JOHN AXTON arrives in VA, as headright / indentured servant to LEWIS BURWELL of Westmoreland Co VA SOURCE: several;  see Cavaliers & Pioneers by Nell Marion Nugent p 184;  see also this website "Complete Listing of Early Virginia Immigrants" by George Cabell Greer (several ANN WHITEs, no JOHN COTTONs, by the way, and no WHITECOTTONs)

--Oct 6, 1654  Westmoreland Co VA (which part later became Stafford Co VA)  "CAPT DAVID MANSELL Land Grant of 600 ac in Westmoreland Co, on S side Petomak (Potomac) Creek, beginning at a branch of said creek dividing this land from Col THOMAS PETTUS; for transport of 12 persons:  FRANCIS HUTCHINS, THOMAS NEWMAN, BENJAMIN VENISON, ELIZABETH LUCAS, ELIZABETH MOALES, EDWARD PHILIPS, HANNAH HUNTLY, THOMAS ARMY, CLEREPIAN (?), ANN JONES, JANE MANSFIELD (MANSELL?), ELIZABETH MANSFIELD (MANSELL?)."
SOURCE:  Cavaliers & Pioneers by Nell Marion Nugent, p297

--1654 James City Co (later York Co)  or Warwick Co VA;  marriage of HENRY BLAGRAVE I and ANN widow of Capt THOMAS HARWOOD;  one son HENRY BLAGRAVE II who married SARAH, and was later involved in the bogus sale of JOHN AXTON & EDWARD CAREY's 600 acres in Stafford Co VA in 1686.  Several court records exist for HENRY BLAGRAVE I in Warwick Co VA, where he &  1st wife ANN were living 1654-1656. SOURCE: Warwick Co VA Records in Transcription by Jones House Assn, p 28-29; p 590; and Adventurers of Purse & Person by John Frederick Dorman p 301.

--bef Oct 1662; Marriage of HENRY BLAGRAVE I & MARY MANSELL, dau of CAPT DAVID MANSELL,  Old Rappahanock Co VA; one son MANSELL BLAGRAVE. SOURCE: Married Well & Often by Robert K Headley, p 42.

--Oct 31, 1662  Westmoreland Co VA (which part later became Stafford Co VA)  "Mr. HENRY BLAGRAVE and wife MARY appeared before the Governor and Council on 25 September last and acknowledged the sale of 600 acres on S side Potomack Creek to EDWARD CARY and JOHN AXTON; witness Francis Kirkham; recorded 30 Oct 1662 SOURCE: Westmoreland County VA Deeds & Patents, 1655-1677, Part 1, by John Frederick Dorman, publ 1973 p 1.  
(NOTE: at this time, HENRY & MARY MANSELL BLAGRAVE were living in York Co VA, where HENRY was a medical doctor as per several sources)

--Dec 9, 1663 Westmoreland Co VA; will of EDWARD CAREY names brother CHRISTOPHER CAREY, and leaves to JOHN AXTON 600 ac in Stafford Co VASOURCE: Westmoreland County Virginia Wills 1654-1800 by Augusta B Fothergill; 1925; p 7

--1664 Stafford Co VA formed from Westmoreland Co VA

--1666 Stafford Co VA; JOHN AXTON married wife? (name unknown); it's possible that JOHN AXTON was married earlier than this date, in Westmoreland Co VA.

--1667 Stafford Co VA; birth of JOHN AXTON's daughter ANNE AXTON (extrapolated from later court records in Stafford Co VA, where court indicated she was under 21)

--1668 Stafford Co VA;  birth of JOHN AXTON's son JOHN AXTON Jr (extrapolated from later court records in Stafford Co VA which show his sister ANN AXTON SMITH as guardian)

--1672 Old Rappahanock Co VA; Will of CAPT DAVID MANSELL; dau MARY, grandchild MANSELL BLAGRAVE (son of HENRY BLAGRAVE I & MARY), godchild DAVID FRISTO, friend & neighbor WILLIAM WHEELERSOURCE: Deed & Will Abstracts of Old Rappahanock Co VA by Ruth & Sam Sparacio; Antient Press, 1989, page 45 (I have full text of will)

--1685 Stafford Co VA; approximate birth date of MEALEY WHITECOTTON, son of ANNE AXTON & ISHAM WHITECOTTON (unverified 1st name); ANN would have been age 17 or 18 when MEALEY was born.  Unfortunately, I can find absolutely NO records for ISHAM WHITECOTTON, or any other spelling variation, in any VA county.

--1686 (or just prior) York Co VA; death of Dr HENRY BLAGRAVE I. Still looking for his will.  I can find no record indicating that HENRY BLAGRAVE I or 2nd wife MARY MANSELL ever actually lived in Westmoreland or Stafford Co VA. York Co VA is near to Westmoreland/ Stafford Co VA, and parts of York became New Kent Co VA, where MARY MANSELL BLAGRAVE HORD/HEARD was living when she & her stepson HENRY BLAGRAVE II & his wife SARAH tried to sell the 600 ac of land in Stafford Co VA which had been previously sold in 1662 to EDWARD CARY & JOHN AXTON.

--1686 York Co or  New Kent Co VA;  Marriage of MARY MANSELL BLAGRAVE to a Mr HORD/HEARD/HARD; some have postulated 1st name as WILLIAM or JOHN.

--Oct 1686  Stafford Co VA Court Records:  
"Bee It Knowne by these presents that I, HENRY BLAGRAVE (Jr) of New Kent County in Virga. for a valuble consideration paid by JOHN GOWRY of Stafford Parish within ye county of Stafford doe fully discharge ye said JOHN GOWRY & have granted unto ye sd JNO GOWRY all my right and deman in land to Six hundred acres of land within the sd County of Stafford and by Pattent granted unto CAPT DAVID MANSFIELD my late Grandfather deced beareing date ye 6 day Octo Anno 1654. To Hold the sd Six Hundred acres of land to him ye sd JOHN GOWRY his heires and assignes for ever. In Witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand and Seale this 11 day of Oct 1686. HENRY (his mark) BLAGRAVE"
"I, SARAH BLAGRAVE, wife of ye abovesd HENRY do acknowledge my right in as ample manner to JOHN GOWRY his heires as doth my husband, dated ye 11 October 1686 SARAH (her mark) BLAGRAVE"
"I, MRS MARY MANSFIELD now here do assigne and make over all my title of ye above sd land unto JOHN GOWRY his heires forever In Witness whereof I have here unto sett my hand and Seale this 13 October 1686 MARY HARD Seale"
"This Sale of Land was acknowledged in ye County Court of Stafford by JOHN WAUGH Attorney of HENRY BLAGRAVE and SARAH his wife unto JOHN GOWRY this 9 day of December 1686 And was then recorded."
"Know all men by these Presents that I , HENRY BLAGRAVE in New Kent county in Virga. and SARAH my wife do appoint MR JOHN WAUGH in Stafford County Minister to be our Lawful Attorney and in our name to acknowledge our right to Six hundred acres of land in the aforesd County unto JOHN GOWRY which sd right is granted unto aforesd GOWRY bearing date ye 11 Octr 1686 Signed HENRY BLAGRAVE SARAH BLAGRAVE"
SOURCE: Deed & Will Abstracts of Stafford County Virgnia 1686-1689 by Ruth & Sam Sparacio; Antient Press 1989 p 16

--March 1687 Stafford County Virginia Court Records:

"Wm HORTON age sixty one yeares or thereabouts Subp:Sworne & Examined saith that ye Dept. (deponent) Very Well Remembers that sometime in July or Augt 1660 to ye best of yon Depts memory hee this Dept. and EDWARD CARY mett with Mr HENRY BLAGRAVE (Sr) at ye house of WM NEWELL at the Midle Planton (Plantation) and there the sd CARY pchased of ye sd Blagrave Six hundred acres of land lying on ye South side of POTTOMACK CREEK for Fourteen Hundred pounds of Tobo (Tobacco) & Caske (?) and he this Deponent did then and there draw a Convey of the same in the Name of the said BLAGRAVE unto the said CARY & JNO AXTON and he this Dept was Surity with the sd CARY unto the sd BLAGRAVE for ye sd One thousand Five hundred and nine pounds of Tobo and the next Winter there came a Certificate unto this Depts hand and the hand of MR FRANCIS KIRKMAN clerke of ye Genll Court that upon a Certaine day HENRY BLAGRAVE and MARY his wife came into open Court and Acknlowd ye sale of ye sd Six Hundred Acres of land unto ye sd CARY and AXTON and yon Dept. Very Well knows that ye sd CARY and AXTON pd ye said Tobo and further saith not. signed WM HORTON
And Further yon Dept sayth that he this Dept hath heard that CAPT DAVID MANSFIELD Father of said MARY did give the sd Land unto ye sd MARY but in what manner yon Dept. knows not. Sworne and Recorded in the County Court of Stafford this 10 day of March 1686/7"
SOURCE: Deed & Will Abstracts of Stafford County Virgnia 1686-1689 by Ruth & Sam Sparacio; Antient Press 1989 p 32-33

--before June 9, 1687, location unknown; death of ISHAM WHITECOTTON (unverified 1st name)

--before June 9, 1687 marriage of ANN AXTON WHITECOTTON to JOHN SMITH as per court record below

--before June 9, 1687 Stafford Co VA; Death of JOHN AXTON, as per court record below

--June 1687 Stafford County Virginia Court Record:

"In Answer to an Ordr of Court held for Stafford County March 9: 10: 11: 1686/7 (illegible) Surveyed and Divided into three Equall parts for JOHN GOWRY a Divident tract of land containing two hundred acres ye line being ye northmost part of a Divdent of Six hundred acres of land taken up and pattented by CAPT DAVID MANSFIELD, since purchased by JNO AXTON bounded as followeth Beginning at an oake upon POTTOMACK CREEKE being ye northernmost corner and extending to ye woods South to a marked popelar upon AXTON'S SWAMP a little above ye Bridge & so along ye same course thence East to Pottomack creeke to ye Beginninge these being ye same Course as it is in ye Pattent the same being divided into three equal portions. JOHN GOWRY hath elected for his third of ye uncleared ground ye Westernmost Divident thereof also ye two plantons (plantations) thereupon (Vizt) the Planton (plantation) whre JOHN GOWRY now lives & ye Planton where JACOB HUBBARD now lives being likewise divided into three equall parts as followeth (Vizt) Ye sd GOWRYS planton divided into two equal parts for two thirds of a line of stakes being a small marked Read Oake by the Northernmost outsyde extending cross ye planton South E to a small markt Sasafrax Southwardmost outside fence & ye planton where ye sd HUBEARD lives alloted for ye other third part of which Dividsion JNO GOWRY hath chosen ye Easternmost of ye Planton. Sign ROBERT BRENT Surveyr Recorded in ye County Court of Stafford this 8 day of June 1687"
"THOS GREGG Dept....That he this Dept in October last upon his journey to JAMESTOWN in Company with GERRARD LOWTHER & Mr NELSON put up at ye house of one MR HOARD with sd Compa. (company) & the sd LOWTHER falling into discourse with MARY ye wife of sd HOARD who was ye Relict of HENRY BLAGRAVE and Daughter to CAPT DAVID MANSFIELD touching & concerning ye said land by the sd MARY and her Husband BLAGRAVE sold ye six hundred acres of land to JNO AXTON and that the sd MARY ....did not acknowledge ye same at ye Genll Court at JAMESTOWN and further Declared yt for sake of her husband BLAGRAVE she would have freely parted with all she had... Deposeth yt this Difference was after ye sd GOWRY that is now some purchase of sd Land from her Sonne in Law, she then Declared yt the sd GOWRY has cheated her of some ... of ye sd land. Signed THOMAS GREGG Recorded in ye County Court of Stafford 9 day of June 1687"

"CHRISTN. WADDINGTON age fifty yeares or thereabouts Depons that JOHN SMITH for and on behalfe of ANN his Wife an Infant undr ye age of twenty & one yeares Daughter to JOHN AXTON late of Stafford Co deced agt (against) JOHN GOWRY & RACHELL his wife Defts....That Mr WM HORTON being imployed as Agent for JOHN AXTON....share of six hundfred acres of land within the County of Stafford...Potomack Creeke... & EDWARD CARY...for one HENRY BLAGRAVE & MARY his wife one of ye Daughters of Capt DAVID ye Plantation of my husband where ye sd CARY & AXTON made their cropps for yt (that) yeare ye tobo ye sd BLAGRAVE there Recd upon ye West of ye sd Parcel & being Fifteene hundred pounds nett at least....signed CHRISTIAN (her marke)WADDINGTON Sworne & recorded in ye County Court of Stafford the 9 day of June 1687"
"In Chancery, I, JOHN SMITH for & on ye behalfe of ANN my Wife an Infant under ye age of twenty & one yeares, Daughter of JNO AXTON late of Stafford County deced agt (against) JOHN GOWRY & RACHELL his Wife Defts.(defendants). The Depon (Deposition) of GERRARD LOWTHER of ye sd County aged thirty yeares or thereabouts sayeth that upon his Journey to Jamestown in Compa (company) with Mr THOS GREGG of ye sd County & .... MR NELSON, this Depts with ye sd Compa went to ye house of one Mr DAVID MANSFIELD where this Dept & ye sd Mr GREGG the sd NELSON entered into discourse with ye sd MARY concerninge ye Sale of Six hundred acres of land Situate & being on ye South side of Pottamack Creek in this ye sd County and sd MARY her sd husband BLAGRAVE to JNO AXTON & EDW CARY late of ye sd County (part whereof is still in question) MARY declared yt she and her sd Husband BLAGRAVE sold ye sd Six hundred acres of land to ye sd JOHN AXTON & EDW CARY & yt her sd husband did acknowledge the Deede of Sale thereof to AXTON & CARY at ye Genll Court at JAMESTOWNE, and further delcared yt for the sake of her said husband BLAGRAVE she would truely have parted with all shee hade or words purporting ye same & further Deposeth that this Descourse was some few days after sd GOWRY had purchased ye sd Land & that she then further Declared yt sd GOWRY had cheated her Sonne in Law & that he should not have the land nor any other hereof ye sd AXTON & further deposeth not. Signed GERRARD LOWTHER Recorded in ye County Court of Stafford this 9 day of June 1687"
SOURCE: Deed & Will Abstracts of Stafford County Virgnia 1686-1689 by Ruth & Sam Sparacio; Antient Press 1989 p 38, p 43

--July 1687  Stafford Co VA Court Record:

"Articles of Agreement Indedted agreed upon betweene JOHN GOWRY of the County of Stafford & RACHELL his wife and JOHN SMITH of sd County & ANNE his wife. Whereas there has been a suit and Controversies depending between the said JOHN GOWRY & JOHN SMITH touching their respective Rights to two hundred acres of land within the county of Stafford which sd two hundred acres of land is the Remainder of a Pattent of Six hundred acres of land taken up by Capt DAVID MANSFIELD and purchased by JOHN AXTON & EDWARD CARY in fee from Mr BLAGRAVE & his wife the Daughter of sd MANSFIELD. Whereas the said Deed of Purchase from sd BLAGRAVE & wife is not to bee found, whereon the sd GOWRY did repurchase of the heires of the sd MANSFIELD the said Land which sd GOWRY did sell on foot against the sd SMITH who did marry the heire of the whole blood to the sd AXTON sonne who was heire to the sd JOHN AXTON who was ye Surviving Joynt Tenant with the Said CARY. Now to the end all further differences and Controversies may bee avoyed it is concluded & agreed upon between the said JOHN SMITH & JOHN GOWRY mutually from them & their heiress that for the equall dividing of the sd two hundred acres the sd SMITH & GOWRY have made their choyce as follows (Vizt) yt said JOHN SMITH shall for his share & proportion of sd two hundred acres of land hold from the Swamp running Northerly to the Springe from the sd Springe along ye Corne field fence due North to ye Creeke & yt said JOHN GOWRY & his heires shall hold & injoy the Residue of the sd two hundred acres of land beinge the upper part of the sd two hundred acres & yet each of thei their heires shall hold their sd respective parts as aforesd with all ye housing & fencing against ye claime of each other, and JOHN GOWRY doth agree with the sd JOHN SMITH that sd JOHN GOWRY shall by the last of Decembr next at his own costs emplouy a suffitient & able Carpenter to build a Fifteene foote Dwelling house upon some convenient place of sd JOHN SMITHs land where hee or his heires shall thinke fitt which sd House shall be built with an Outsyde Chymney & good & suffitient & substantiall ye sd JOHN SMITH only to help to gett ye timber. And it is agreed betweeene sd ptyes yt they shall mutually have ye benefitte of the Orchard & Pasture upon the said Land. In Witness whereof the pties have hereunto set hands & Seales this 11 day of July 1687 Signed JOHN GOWRY, RACHEL (her mark)GOWRY, JOHN (his mark) SMITH, ANN (her mark) SMITH. Recorded in ye County of Stafford this 13 day of July 1687"
"Know all ye men by these presents that I, JOHN SMITH, of Stafford County doe fully (for consideration recd) discharge JOHN GOWRY of the aforesd County from all debts due. Childrenes portions due to me as marryinge the Eldest Daughter of JOHN AXTON Deced or due to me or her as Admx (administrators) to JOHN AXTON JUNR, Estate or from all demand of any part of Estate due to her or me from sd JOHN GOWRY or from any other claime wtsoever from the beginninge of the World to this day. AS Witness or hands & Seales this 27th day of July 1687. Signed JOHN SMITH, ANNE SMITH . Recorded in the County Court of Stafford this 13 day of July 1687"
SOURCE: Deed & Will Abstracts of Stafford County Virgnia 1686-1689 by Ruth & Sam Sparacio; Antient Press 1989, p 51-52

--Jan 8, 1706  Stafford County Virginia Court Record:

Know Ye that I MILLY (MEALEY) WHITECOTTON of the County of Stafford , son & heir of ANN AXTON of aforesaid County for consideration of 2500 pounds of good sound merchantable Tobo (tobacco) in cask, paid to me by JOHN GOWRY of aforesaid county...assign all my right title & interest of 200 acres of land more or less, lying in County of Stafford upon the South side Potomack Creek, formerly in possession of my decd grandfather JOHN AXTON, now in possession of the said JOHN GOWRY, the land being part of a tract of 600 acres formerly granted to Capt DAVID MANSEL& by him to MARY his daughter; given this 8th day Jan 1706. MILLY (X) WHITECOTTON in presence of ALEXR. WAUGH.  

At a Court held 12th March 1706. The above deed  of dale was then acknowledged by MILLY WHITECOTTON in person unto JOHN GOWRY and is ordered to be recorded & is recorded.

SOURCE: Deed & Will Abstracts of Stafford County Virgnia 1699-1709 by Ruth & Sam Sparacio; Antient Press 1989, p 129

--Dec 8, 1724 Stafford Co VA Court Record:

--This indenture made 8th Dec 1724 between JOHN SMITH and ANN his wife of Overwharton Parish in Stafford County and JOSEPH WAUGH of same; doth grant all that tract in Overwharton Parish on the south side of Potomack Creek, containing 200 acres, being the Westerly end of a tract of 600 acres granted to Captain DAVID MANFIELD (sic MANSELL) by patent bearing date 5th day of October, 1654; and sold by heirs of said MANFIELD to JOHN AXTON, father of the aforesaid ANN SMITH, to hold said 200 acres unto JOSEPH WAUGH for sum of forty pounds strling good & lawful money of Great Britain; doth discharge for and in consideration of 100 acres, being the plantation whereon the said JOHN SMITH now dwells, granted to him and ANNE his wife, and MEELY WHITECOTTON during their natural lives by the said JOSEPH WAUGH, as by lease date the day before hath confirmed. JOHN SMITH (his mark) ANNE SMITH (her mark)

--At a court held for Stafford County Ninth December 1724; JOHN SMITH & ANNE his wife acknowledged the deeds of Lease & Release...said ANNE being privately & secretly examined according to law & the right of the be the right of JOSEPH WAUGH...hich at instance of said WAUGH is admitted to record.

--This indenture made 8th December 1724 between JOSEPH WAUGH of Overwharton Parish, in the County of Stafford of one part, and JOHN SMITH, ANNE his wife, and MEELEY WHITECOTTON of said Parish and county...for divers good causes , him thereunto moving, but more in consideration of deed of Lease & Release made by said JOHN SMITH & ANNE, unto said JOSEPH WAUGH for 200 acres in Parish & County aforesaid, being part of the Plantation whereof JOHN GOWRY late of County of Stafford dwelled, as by the said deeds of Lease & Release more full appear.  Hath granted to farm letten unto JOHN SMITH & ANNE his wife, and MEELY WHITECOTTON 100 acres where the said SMITH now dwells, thence along ALIZANDER JEFFRY's line to JOHN CHANDLORE spring branch, thence down branch towards Whipseworson(?) as far as the said WAUGH's land goes, thence down Whipeseworson to the next branch, up the said branch, and crossing the Main Road to his old pasture fence, to the tann flatte which lyes at the lower end of the old field at the beginning... to hold (for) the term of the natural lives of said JOHN SMITH and ANNE his wife and MEELEY (spelled MOOLEY) WHITECOTTON, paying yearly at the feast of St Michael one ear of Indian Corn.  JOSEPH WAUGH  in presence of THOMAS EAVES, T. CABE, LA PEPPER. 

--At court held 9th December 1724. Then came JOSEPH WAUGH and acknowledged this Deed of Lease & Release.

(NOTE: JOSEPH WAUGH was the brother of RACHEL who married JOHN GOWRY of the 1686 land dispute.  Although I have not yet found RACHEL's will, I suspect that she left these 200 acres, part of the land dispute acerage, to her brother JOSEPH, and he, in kindness, gave it back to ANNE AXTON SMITH, JOHN SMITH & MEALEY WHITECOTTON)

SOURCE: Stafford County Virginia Deed Abstracts 1722-1728 & 1755-1765, by Ruth & Sam Sparacio; Antient Press 1987 p 15-16 (original Deed Book J p 139-143) 

--after 1743 Stafford Co VA; death of ANNE AXTON SMITH; unknown if she had any children with JOHN SMITH, but it certainly seems possible.

--after 1743 Stafford Co VA;  death of JOHN SMITH; his name in many deed, will & court records, with his particular mark. Also, JOHN apparently operated a ferry across Potomac Creek, which means that his wife ANNE was still alive as late as 1743, as per the 1724 lifetime lease from JOSEPH WAUGH. SOURCE: Stafford Co Will Book Abstracts 1729-1748 by Ruth & Sam Sparacio Antient Press, 1987; pp 19, 40, 61, 75, 88, 102, 104, 122, 135

--bef June 13, 1733 Stafford Co VA; death of MEALEY WHITECOTTON (Sr); one of the recipients of his estate was JOHN SMITH (p 61).  SOURCE: Stafford Co Will Book Abstracts 1729-1748 by Ruth & Sam Sparacio Antient Press, 1987; P 33, 61, 101

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2012

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