William Hunter and Mary ? (Unknown Last Name)

In Laws of John Nesbit


     William Hunter was born at an unknown date and place, but presumably outside of the Shenandoah Valley. Since his mother is known to have passed away in Lunenburg County, Virginia, it is quite possible that this is where the Hunter family came from prior to their arrival in the Scotch-Irish enclave in the headwaters of the Shenandoah River. He married a woman identified as Mary ? (Unknown Last Name) at an unknown date and place, and by 1740 he appears to be living in or near the Borden Grant. Based on their appearance in Augusta County court records, the William Hunter as well as his brothers, seem to have spent the rest of their lives in this area. He passed away in early 1801, and was probably buried on the family farm. The date and place of the death of his wife Mary is not known, but it is quite likely that she spent the rest of her days on the family property in Augusta County, Virginia.


Timeline of William and Mary Hunter



Augusta County Virginia Militia Muster List
Capt. John Willson's Lists: John Wilson, Captain; Sam Calehison, Nathan Lusk, John Shields, John Greer, John Patterson, George Davison, John Hunter, Wm. Hunter, James Hunter, John Rusk, James Clark, Wm. Vance, Rob Croket, John Trumble, Wm. King, Sa. Walace, John Spear, Thomas Peery, Alex. McConnel, Rob. Young, James Young, Jacob Lockard, Patt. Cook, James Lockard, William McCutcheon, James McCutcheon, Rob. McCutcheon, Alex. Crocket, Wm. Camble, Nathl. Davis, James Philip, John Barclay, James Lusk, James Trumble, Benj. Walker, Wm. Leadgerwood, Morris Offral, Rob Davies, John Brown, Wm. McClantok, Wm. Johnson, John Young, Hugh Young, Thos. Kirkpatrick, David Camble, John McCutcheon.

20 Feb. 1746/4721

Augusta County Virginia Order Book 1, page 167
John Hunter relinquished his right to qualify on estate of his mother, Elizabeth Hunter, in Lunenburg Co., who died lately intestate in said Co., to Wm. Hunter, his younger brother.

May/Aug. 174821

Augusta County Virginia County Court Judgements
John Patterson vs. William Hunter and Benjamin Borden.--In 1740 plaintiff bought and settled on land from William Hunter in Borden's Survey, but got no deed. He expected to settle on the land a son-in-law whom he was expecting from Pennsylvania. Sues for a deed. May, 1748, abates by death of plaintiff.


Augusta County Virginia, Fee Books of Augusta Court, page 13
Robert Young, white, (August), vs. Borden; page 16, William Sayers, Little, (February, May, August); page 20, John Stevenson, Black Smith, (February to June); page 21, Jno. Trimble, Jockey, (February), order to be fined; page 33, James Armstrong, Black, (February), vs. Young, (August); page 35, Wm. Armstrong, son to white James, (February), vs. Flood, (August); page 40, John Phillips, son of James, (February); page 43, John Thompson, Albermarle, (February, August) vs. Trimble; page 48, Monsieur Piero, alias Peter Tostee, (February), vs. Evans, (November), vs. Richardson; page 52, John Walker, pedler, (February), vs. Watson Wilson; page 53, John Graham, in Fairfax, (February, May, August), vs. Hardin; page 57, George Bowman, Scholl's son-in-law, (February, August), vs. Rogers; page 59, Jacob Harmon, near Peaked Mountain, (February, May, August); page 60, John Jones, Frederick, vs. Craig, (February, May, August), vs. Netherton; page 61, George Anderson, Culpeper, (February, August, November), vs. Homes, &c.; page 63, James Armstrong, White, (February), vs. Cleghorm, vs. Cumbeeford, vs. Marrow; page 66, John Stevenson, Borden's land; page 68, William Armstrong, Roanoke; page 72, John Graham, Pasture; page 73, John Miller, pasture; page 80, William Sayers, Big.; page 90, John Rich, Frederick; page 91, Wm. Johnston, C. Pasture; page 95, Lydia Wilcox, Administratrix, in Frederick; page 97, Moses Dickie, Pennsylvania; page 107, James Carr, Pennsylvania, Patton's deed to you; page 116, Jacob Harmon, New River; page 119, William Engles, (May), your brother's motion to have you allowed what of the Parish money was consumed in your house; page 120, Doctor Robert Foile; page 123, Wm. Hunter, Merchant; page 126, Eleanor Berry, now wife of John Jones, (May), Recording Berry's Inventory; page 130, John Walker, brother to Samuel; page 137, Jeremiah Earley, in Culpeper; page 145, John Smith, South Branch; page 147, John Brown, South Branch; page 164, Moses Dickie, cousin to Pickens's Dickie; page 176, James Carr, One Eye; page 184, John McGinnis, Best man to Col. Quin; page 192, John Collins, Frederick; page 195, _____ Reynolds, Widow of James Reynolds, (November,1750).

23 May 175121

Augusta County Virginia, Will Book 1, page 515
James McNutt's orphans. Settlement by Thos. Beard, administrator. Paid Mr. Burden for 185 acres bought by my wife (Thos. Beard's?) now, but before marriage. 17__ to Mr. Burden quit rents on 85 acres for 10 years. 1747 to Mr. Downs for quit rents. 1744 to Mr. Burden for quit rents, 300 acres. December 20th, 1748, paid David Hays rents debt due before marriage. Paid Wm. Nutt debt. 8th May, 1749, paid Wm. Hunter for work. 4th February, 1747, paid John Huston, debt. 9th December, 1748, paid John Roseman. debt. 10th May, 1748, paid Saml. Wilson, for bringing some linen from Penna. Paid to Widow Sheals, a debt. Paid to Robt. Alexander, for schooling James and Robert McNutt. Paid to James Dobbins, for schooling Alex. McNutt. Paid one new Bible, for Alex. McNutt. Paid one new Testament, for James McNutt. Paid one new spelling book, for the children

20 Sept. 175136

Land Office Patents No. 31, 1751 – 1756, Vol. 1 and 2, pages 1– 751, Reel 29, Part of the index to the recorded copies of patents for land issued by the Secretary of the Colony serving as the colonial Land Office. The collection is housed in the Archives at the Library of Virginia, Land Office Patents and Grants, Virginia Digital Library
George the second by the grace of god of great Britain France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith To all whom these presents shall come Greeting Know ye that for divers good causes and considerations but more especially for and in consideration of the sum of twenty five shillings of good and lawful money for our use paid to our Receiver General of our revenues in this our colony and dominion of Virginia We have given granted and confirmed and by these presents for us our heirs and successors do give grant and confirm unto William Hunter one certain tract or parcel of land containing two hundred and forty acres lying and being in the county of Augusta on the head branches of Cathey’s River and bounded as followeth, to wit, Beginning at three hiccorys on a spur of the North Mountain and running thence South thirty eight degrees West one hundred and forty poles to a white oak and bearing (?) South sixty degrees East one hundred and forty poles to two red oaks North eighty six degrees East one hundred and fifty four poles to a white oak in a valley North thirty five degrees East one hundred fourteen poles to a red oak North thirty four degrees West forty poles to two red oaks and a white oak North sixty nine degrees West one hundred poles to two chestnut oaks North fifty four degrees East one hundred poles to a forked (?) white hickory North fifty one degrees West eighty poles to a black oak and chestnut corner to James Hunter’s land and South thirty three degrees West eighty poles to the Beginning
With all woods underwoods swamps marshes low grounds meadows feedings (?) and his due share of all veins mines and quarries as well discovered as not discovered within the bounds afore mentioned and being part of the said quantity of two hundred and forty acres of lands and the rivers waters and water courses therein contained log (?) with the privileges of hunting hawking fishing fowling and all other profits commodities and hereditaments whatsoever to the same or any part thereof belonging or in anywise appertaining
To have and to hold possess and enjoy the said tract or parcel of land and all other the before granted premises and every part thereof with their and every of their appurtenances unto the said William Hunter and his heirs and assigns forever to the only use and behoos of him the said William Hunter his heirs and assigns forever to be held of us our heirs and successors as of our mannor of East Greenwich in the County of Kent in free and common soccage (?) and not in capiteor (?) by thoughts & service
Yielding and paying unto us our heirs and successors for every fifty acres of land and so proportionally for a lesser or greater quantity than fifty acres the cultivating and improving three acres part of every fifty of the tract above mentioned within three years after the date of these presents provided always that if three years of the said fee for rent shall at any time be in arrears and unpaid or if the said William Hunter his heirs or assigns do not within the space of three years next coming after the date of these presents cultivate and improve three acres part of every fifty of the tract above mentioned then the estate hereby granted shall cease and be utterly determined and thereafter it shall and may be lawful to and for us our heirs and successors to grant the same lands and premises with all the appurts unto such other person or persons as we our heirs and successors shall think fit
In witness whereof we have caused these our letters patent to be made
Witness our trusty and well beloved Lewis Burwell Esq President

Nov. 175221

Augusta County Virginia, Augusta Parish Vestry Book, page 11
Col. James Patton debtor to Wm. Hunter for use of Augusta Parish, 18th October, 1752. To 2 8 Vo. Prayer Books.

May 175321

Augusta County Virginia, Original Petitions and Papers Filed in the County Court
Road established from Brown's bridge to the Glebe land, and Robert Campbell and John Trimble be surveyors, and with James Lusk, they clear and keep the same in order. We do appoint Robert Campbell and John Trimble overseers from John Brown's bridge to the Gleve House and the undernamed persons to clear the same: James Lusk, Robert Roberson, Samuel McCuchen, William Hunter, James Hunter, Robert Campbell's man, Mathew Wilson, William Wilson, John Wilson, Jr., John McCleery, James McCleery, Thomas Kirkpatrick and son, John Peevy, James Clarck, John Clarck, James Clark, Jr., Jacob Lockhart, James Lockhart, John Birtly, Josias Richards, William Marten, George Berry, William McFeeters, John McFeeters, William McFeeters, Jr., John Jameson, Patrick Marten, Joseph Marten, William Ward, Moses O'Freel and his man, Robert Philips, Robert Davis, Thomas Reed, Robert Scott, John Vance, Andrew Foster, William Bell, Alexander McKiney, John Speer, Abraham Mathan (Mashaw), Robert Young, John Young, Samuel Young, Hugh Young and his man, John Campbell, George Peevy, Robert McClenan, William Eackry, James Bell, Andrew Steel and his man, John McKiney, Patrick McCloskey, John McSlenan, John McCuchan, Samuel McCuchan, William McClintock, Thomas Peevy, James McCuchen, Duncken McFarlen.


Augusta County Virginia, Augusta Parish Vestry Book, page 154
John Risk and John Shields processioned as follows, viz: For Robert Campbell, for James Hunter, for James Trotter, for John Shields, for James McCutchion, for Widow Campbell, for Widow Campbell, for Wm. Hunter, for Saml. McCutchen, for Thos. Berry, for John McCutchion, for David Campbell, for Wm. Campbell, for Wm. Ledgerwood, for James Moffet, for Nathl. Davies, for Nichs. Leeper, for Danl. Downey, for George Peny, for Saml. Sprowl, for Thos. Kirkpatrick, for Jno. Kirkpatrick, for Jno. Risk, for Jno. Risk, for Jno. Risk, for James Clark, for John Shields, Jr., for David Cunningham, for Chas. Berry, for James Callison, for James Marten, for Josiah Richarts, for David Hays, for Alex. McFeeters, for James Gilmore, for James Lockhart, for Alex. Richey, for Jacob Lockhart, for John Peny, for Mathew Willson, for John Willson, for Widow Patterson, for John McCillery, for James McCillery, for Arter Hamilton, for Wm. Buntin, for Robert Gamel, for Jno. Buchanan, for Patrick Cooks (deceased), for David Richey; Wm. Brown (said he was going to leave his land and didn't care about it).


Augusta County Virginia, Augusta Parish Vestry Book, page 260
Processioned by James Gilmore and Samuel McCutcheon, viz: For David Cunningham, for Mathew Wilson, for John Buchanan, for Charles Berry, for Robert Gaml, for Thos. Berry, for David Hays, for James Bower, for Alex. Campbell, for Wm. Campbell, for James Moffett, for Arthur Hamilton, for Samuel Downey, for James Callison, for Alex. McFeeters, for David Campbell, for James McCutcheon, for John McCutcheon, for Wm. McCutcheon, for Wm. Sprowl, for Wm. Martin, for James Trotter, for Samuel McCutcheon, for Wm. McCutcheon, Jr., for James Hunter, for Robert Campbell, for John Risk, for James Gilmore, for Francis Donalay, for Wm. Ledgerwood, for Capt. James Lockhart, for Wm. Hunter

19 May 176821

Augusta County Virginia Order Book 12, page 158
Constable: John Clark, vice William Hunter


Augusta County Virginia Tithables
William McPheeters's List: Capt. James Bell, Samuel
Bell, Sampson Sawyers, Jeremiah Freel, Jno. Young, Geo. Rhimor, Thomas Brown, Nicholas Leek, Francis Garner, Sr., James Hamilton, Jacob Bailor, Wm. Bell, Wm. Hanley, James Peerey, David Jackson, Wm. McCutchan, Wm. Sprowl, John Ott, Jno. McCutchan, Robert McChesney, Samuel Logan, Richard McConnal, Simon Carson, Thos. Rickets, Wm. Thompson, Jno. Kirkpatrick, James McNabb, Thomas Nelson, David Steel, Richard Graves, James Ewing, David Cail, Sr., Jno. Sharp, Sr., James McCleery, John Crawford, James Bell, Jno. Moffett, Wm. Brown, Jacob Kerpenter, Wm. Sterrot, Hugh Brown, Robert Rennick, Robert Brown, Michael McClure, Joseph Gerrison, John Scott, Joseph Trotter, Jno. McPheeters, Charles Berry, Thomas Mines, Jno. Cunningham, James Sprowl, Jno. McKemey, John Logan, Henry Minger, Samuel Clark, Edward Barker, Samuel Kowan, Thomas Eger, Joseph Blair, Jno. Williams, James Gilmore, Sr., Samuel Steel, Jno. Phillips, Benj. Brown, Wm. Burges, Walter Trimble, Geo. Keller, Robt. Trimble, Samuel Gray, John Joanes, Francis Garner, Jr., Alex. McKee, Geo. Curry, Samuel Lowrey, Geo. Peerey, John Peerey, Capt. Samuel McCutchan, Robert Cooper, Joseph Alexander, Robert McKnit, Wm. Usher, George Burton, Thos. Baird, James Clark, Thomas Hinds, Samuel Rusk, Samuel McCutchan, David Cunningham, James Ford, Wm. Ledgerwood, Thomas McNutt, Wm. Springate, Geo. Palmore, Jno. Jackson, Wm. Berry, Nicholas Vininger, James Gregory, Benj. Brown, Daniel Freel, James Brown, Jacob Deford, Samuel Brown, James Riddan, Benj. Joanes, Joseph Riddenhouse, James Trimble, John Clark, Wm. Cail, Geo. Berry, Wm. McPheeters, Francis Hull, Wm. Fultain, Robert Rush, Jacob Patton, Thomas Rankin, Robert Harris, Samuel McCutchan, Wm. Woods, James Rowan, Robert Bell, Capt. Jno. Cunningham, Mathew Wilson, Jno. Workman, James Gilmore, Jr., Arthur Hamilton, John Hamilton, James Trotter, Sr., Jno. Sharp, Wm. Shields, Sr., Wm. Scott, Coonrod
Slusher, Jacob Nightover, Robert Wallace, Wm. Bell, Jno. Brown, James Cunningham, Samuel Haws, Frederick Fisher, Benj. Finley, Robert Commings, Elizabeth Stuart, Wm. Hamilton, Frances Haywood, Wm. McClintock, Jno. Hanley, Michael Coulter, Jno. Trimble, Jno. Summers, Ulrick Fulwader, Isaac Mines, Jacob Fulwader, James Conningham, Geo. Jameson, Wm. Hunter, Wm. Baird, Wm. Seewright, David Buckwhannon, Jacob Cail, Philip Olinger, Sr., Joseph Nelson, Robert Patterson, James Hathorn, David Trotter, Deeter Cail, Abraham Goodpaster, Samuel McCleerey, Moses Hays, Robert Hanah, Jno. Burners, Martha Downey, Wm. Shields, Jr., Robert Clark, James Phillips, Jno. Brown, James Cunningham, Samuel Haws, Robert Wallace, Wm. Bell, Martin Dickson, James Elliott, Jno. Brown, Samuel Rennick, Valentine Joanes, Wm. Crawford, Deeter Lowrey, Wm. Allen, Jno. Tilley, Jno. Trimble, Alex. McElroy, James McKnit, James McChesney, Robert Lester, Wm. Rush, Wm. Logan, Alex. Sprowl, Patrick Haul, James Ewing, Wm. Buckwhannon, David Cail, Wm. Blair, Philip Olinger, Jr., James Callison, Walter Cunningham, Thos. McGragor, Jno. Vininger, Samuel Moffett, James Trotter, Jr., James Crow

15 Nov. 178621

Augusta County, Virginia Marriage Bonds page 282
James McCutchen and Elizabeth Hunter, daughter of Wm. Hunter; Surety David Cale; witnesses, Margrit Hunter, Sarah Hunter. James is son of Ellenor McCutchen; witnesses, John McCutchen, Jane McCutchen.

24 Aug. 178721,761 Augusta County Virginia, Marriage Bonds, Consent, No 87-50
Honr. Sir
Agreeable to us both partys Concerned that Jno Neisbit & Sarah Hunter be Joined in the bonds of holy matrimony we Desire the favour of you to Give him the Licents
Samuel Neisbit (Seal)
William Hunter (Seal)
Jno. Yeager
Jas. McCutchan
Know all men by these presents that we John Neisbet and James McCutchen of the county of Augusta are held and firmly bound to Edmd. Randolph Esq. Governor of Virginia and his Successors in the sum of fifty pounds current money. To the payment whereof well and truly to be made we do bind ourselves our Heirs, Executors and administrators, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents. Sealed with our seals this 24th day of August 1787 and in the 12th year of the commonwealth.
The Condition of this obligation is such that whereas there is a marriage shortly intended to be solemnized between the above bound John Neisbet and Sarah Hunter of the county of Augusta for which he hath this day obtained a license; if therefore there shall be no lawful cause to obstruct the said marriage, then this obligation to be void, otherwise to remain in full force.
Sealed and delivered in the presence of
John Nisbett (Seal)
James McCutchan (Seal)
May 178921 Augusta County Virginia, January Causes
James Sproul vs. William and Mary Hunter.--22d November, 1787. Dr. John Jackson lives in Pennsylvania.
6 Aug179521 Augusta County, Virginia Marriage Bonds
Wm. Benson and James Rollins, surety. Wm. Benson and Margaret Hunter (of age), daughter of Wm. Hunter.

22 Aug 179921

Augusta County, Virginia Marriage Bonds
Andrew Crawford and Wm. Benson, surety. Andrew Crawford and Rachel Hunter, daughter of Wm. Hunter (consent), Mary Hunter (consent).

Teste. Wm. Crawford. Andrew is of age.

26 Jan. 180121

Augusta County Virginia, Administrator’s Bonds
Mary Hunter, administrator of Wm. Hunter

6 Feb. 180121

Augusta County Virginia, Will Book 9, page 97
William Hunter's estate appraisement by Samuel Bell, Thomas Martin, Jacob Miller

1810/1811774,775 Nesbitology: Newsletters 6-9 Otis B. Nesbit, Nesbit Society,United Kingdom, Publication No. 10, Cambridge 1995
Augusta County, Virginia Deed Book 36 Page 12

John Nesbit and Sarah, his wife, from the County of Harrison, State of Kentucky, along with other heirs of William Hunter, deceased, as signers to a deed for land situated in Augusta County which William Hunter acquired through Government Patent deeded September 20, 1751

Analysis of the Timeline


     William Hunter, the father of Sarah Hunter, was living in the vicinity of the Beverly and Borden tracts by 1742 since he and two of his brothers (whose relationships are identified through various Augusta County court records) were part of Captain John Wilson’s 1742 militia company. In fact, William Hunter appears to have been living in the Borden Grant area as early as 1740, as evidenced by a 1748 Augusta court record. Many of the other members of the same militia company can be identified as being landowners in the southwestern portion of the Beverley Grant and the northwestern portion of the Borden Grant, so the Hunter brothers were certainly living in the area at the time and were land owners. Their mother, Elizabeth Hunter, purchased 124 acres of Borden land on 10 May 1743, on land adjacent to the parcel that the Berrys and Nesbits would eventually own, so William Hunter, the father of Sarah Hunter, probably lived on the farm next door to the Nesbit farm. William Berry, a son of the elder John Berry, purchased land adjacent to the Hunter property in 1746. A 1747 court document notes that William’s mother, Elizabeth, had recently passed away in Lunenburg County, Virginia, which is in the Tidewater area near Richmond, Virginia. Based on this tidbit of information, it is possible that this is the area that the Hunters came from rather than having migrated down the great valley as did the bulk of the Borden and Beverley grant residents. Following this line of reasoning, it is also possible, that the Hunters were not even Scotch Irish, but possibly German in ancestry. The latter is certainly pure speculation, but the Lunenburg County area is well outside the primary Scotch-Irish migratory pathway.21,399

     A 1749/1750 court record identifies William Hunter as a merchant, although the nature of the business he is involved with was not noted. In the spring of 1751, William Hunter was noted as being paid for performing some work, and in the fall of that year William Acquired a patent for 240 acres of land located along the headwaters of Cathey’s River. The only stipulation on this land agreement was that by 1754 William was required to cultivate or in some other way improve at least 15 acres of the 240 acres he purchased form the English government. In November of 1752 William Hunter was identified as having loaned money to Col. Patton. William Hunter and his brother James were among the local landowners, who, in May of 1753 were held responsible for building and maintaining a road through the area. Most of the men on this list can be identified as owning land in the local area, further strengthening the interpretation that William Hunter resided in this area. In 1755 and 1759 his property was among those processioned for the collection of taxes for the Church of England, and the identifiable property owners from these lists all owned land in the same general vicinity – near the Beverly/Borden boundary. He may have been a constable in 1768, and, in 1781 his property was identified in a list of taxable male landowners. In 1789 he and his wife were involved in a lawsuit, and the last two entries for him, in early 1801 show that he had recently passed away – probably in early 1801 and most likely in Augusta County, Virginia. Presumably he was buried either in a local cemetery or on family property.


John Nesbit and Sarah Hunter


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