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- 38 - . CHAPTER 3 THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY IN VIRGINIA (1652-1756) by J. P. COLEMAN I. THE FIRST GENERATION IN AMERICA (VIRGINIA ORIGINS, 1652-1756, and ROBERT COLEMAN OF 1652) On November 5, 1652, Lt. Col. Walter Chiles, of James City County, VA, in which Jamestown and Williamsburg were located, conveyed to Robert Coalman a tract of 813 acres on the south side of the Appomattox River, in Charles City County, now Prince George.l Cromwell ruled England, and 1652 was the year in which the Parliamentary Fleet put an end to the first Virginia gubernatorial tenure of Sir William Berkeley. On September 29, 1668, Robert Coleman, Sr. received a patent to a part of this same land. The grant recited that the land was on the South side of the Appomattox and on the West end of Coleman's house swamp and further stated that 207 acres of the tract had formerly been granted to Mr. Walter Chiles and by him sold to said Robert Coleman, Sr. Further recited that 2 acres had been granted to Henry Leadbeater and by him sold to Coleman.2 Previously, on April 29, 1668, Henry Leadbeater had been granted 224 acres on the South side of the Appomattox, adjoining land of Robert Coleman, "where he now lives. " From the evidence which will appear, the writer is entirely convinced that this Robert Coalman of 1652, who spelled it Coleman by 1668, is the first ancestor in America of all that line of Colemans hereafter to be described in this book. On May 20, 1663, Robert Colman, Sr., by deed of gift, conveyed to his son, Robert Colman, Jr. "part of my land on the South side of the Appomattox River, I know not the quantity of it." 3 This deed recited that "Robert Colman, Senr" was a resident of "Apamatick" in Charles City County. It was further recited that the "bredth" of the land lay upon the river (Appomattox) between the lands 1. Chas. City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 18. 2. 6 VLP (Virginin Land Patents at the State Library, Richmond), 189. 3. Charles City Co., 1661-1664, p. 500. - 39 - . THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY of Robert Burgesse and two marked oaks "which stand at the West end of my now dwelling house." Robert Coleman, Senior, signed this deed by the mark "RE." This was the same mark used by so many other Robert Colemans in later years, including that Robert Coleman who died, one hundred and sixty three years afterwards, in Fairfield County, SC (1795-1796). These lands were in the same neighborhood as that of Robert Bolling who came to Virginia in 1660 at the age of fourteen and later (1675) married Jane, the granddaughter of Pocahontas.4 Lt. Col. John Epe (Epps) was also an adjoining landowner.5 On February 15, 1677, Lt. Col. Daniel Clarke swore in open court that he did hear Robert Coleman declare John Barker to be his attorney whereupon Barker confessed judgment against Robert Coleman, Sr. in favor of Capt. John Rudds for 470 pounds of tobacco.6 The same day a suit brought by Lewis Watkins against Robert Coleman, Sr. was dismissed.7 On June 24, 1678, the same Lewis Watkins was awarded 193 pound of tobacco against Robert Coleman, Sr. The same day, a suit by Robert Coleman, Sr. against William Vaughan was dismissed. April 20, 1680, a patent to William Vaughan recited that the land on the South side of the Appomattox River adjoined the land of Robert Coleman and others. Another patent, dated July 10, 1680, makes the same reference.8 Robert Coleman, Sr. died in 1688. In December of that year, it was ordered that if the witnesses to Robert Coleman's will do not appear a the next court and prove the said will they shall be fined as the law directs." The witnesses complied and the will was proven in August 1689. Because of loss or destruction of records, the will cannot now be found. In September, 1689, it was "ordered that the estate of Robert Coleman in the hands of Robert Tucker be inventoried and appraised." this establishes a close connection between the Colemans and the Tucker which will appear to be of more significance at a later point in this narrative. 4 Slaughter, History of Bristol Parish. 5 6 VLP, 62. 6 Charles City Co., VA 1677-79, p. 279. 7 Ibid., 305, 8 7 VLP, 45. 9 Charles City Co., VA 1688, pp. 181, 225. - 40 - . THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY II. SECOND GENERATION IN AMERICA The Sons of Robert Coleman, Sr. 1. Robert Coleman, Ir. 2. John Coleman 3. Warner Coleman We have already seen that on May 20, 1663, Robert Coleman, Sr. had given part of his lands South of the Appomattox to his son, Robert Coleman, Jr. On October 20, 1665, Robert Coleman, Junior, was granted 450 acres in Charles City County, South of the Appomattox River, beginning at the headline of Robert Coleman, Sr.l0 On April 20, 1670, James Thweatte obtained a patent to 600 acres of land in Charles City, VA, on the Appomattox River adjacent to land of Robert Coleman, Jr., and on Baylis Creek.11 On March 15, 1672, Thweatte was granted 550 acres adjacent to his other land and extending to the Black Water.12 Bailey's Creek flows into the south side of the James River, about a mile below the point where the Appomattox flows into the James. The City of Hopewell, formerly City Point, is at the junction of the Appomattox with the James. The location of these original Coleman lands in America is thus absolutely certain. It was just outside the city limits of Hopewell, VA and about eight miles Northeast of Petersburg, VA. This was originally in Charles City County, VA but since 1702 it has been in Prince George County, VA. Petersburg VA was not founded until 1733. In December, 1688, John Coleman, "the orphan of Robert Coleman, chose his brother, Robert Coleman to be his guardian."13 This further confirms the death date of Robert Coleman, Sr. as occurring in 1688. Robert Coleman, Jr. is not listed in the Prince George County, VA Quit Rent Rolls of 1704, although John Coleman, Francis Coleman, George Coleman, and William Coleman, Jr. are so listed. Yet, an entry in Prince George County VA Deeds for October 4, 1721 (Page 493) described 10 5 VLP, 435. 11 6 VLP, 286. 12 Ibid., 447. 13 Chas. City CO, 1687-95, p. 180. - 41 - . THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY the lands of John Mayes as bounded on one side by the lands of Robert Coleman. On November 10, 1717, Robert Coleman, Jr., on his own motion was acquitted from paying the county levy for the future.14 Presumably this would be because of age or infirmity. By entries at Pages 5, 6, and 11 in the Bristol Parish Vestry, VA and Register Book, we see that on September 17, 1721, William Tucker stated that Robert Coleman "Iys at his house in a very weak, helpless condition & has been so these six months past which proves very changeable & troublesome to the s'd Tucker, tis ordrd that Wm. Tucker take care of the fores'd Robert Coleman & find him such necessities as is convenient and at the laying of the next levie, the s'd Tucker to bring his account to the Vestry & what is thought just to be allowed from the p'rsh." Significantly, it was further ordered that the church wardens inquire how the aforesaid Robert Coleman "gave his estate to Robert Tucker Sr., and upon what terms." Surely, this was the same Robert Tucker mentioned thirty-two years previously, back in September, 1689, when Robert Tucker was administrator for the Estate of Robert Coleman, Sr. Unfortunately, the Bristol Parish Register, VA contains no further report from the church wardens, so the reason for giving the estate to Robert Tucker is left clouded in mystery. We do find, however, at Pages 7 and 11 of the Register, that William Tucker was paid 400 pounds of tobacco for keeping Robert Coleman three months, and on another occasion (for which no date is shown) Joseph Tucker was allowed 1400 pound tobacco "on account of Robert Coleman." Thereafter, the Register mentions no further allowance for the benefit of Robert Coleman. No doubt he died, relieving the parish of further necessity of supporting him. At least, we make out that prior to 1704, Robert Coleman (the Junior of 1663) had given his estate to Robert Tucker, Sr. in such of the Prince George records as escaped destruction in the Civil War, we can find no deeds of conveyance or will from Robert Coleman, Jr. Most of Prince George County Records were destroyed in the Civil War. If these records were yet available we very likely would be able to find a documentary answer. Sufficient records have survived, however, to give us dependable knowledge of what really happened. We have already noted that 14 Prince George County Order Book, 1714-20, p. 143. - 42 - . THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY Robert Tucker, Sr. was the Administrator of the estate of Robert Coleman, Sr., in 1688. In 1680, Robert Tucker patented land on the North side of Blackwater River in what is now Prince George County, VA.15 The headwaters of Blackwater are situated only a few miles southeast of Petersburg, and about eight or ten miles South of the James. In 1694 (Page 555 of the Deed Books), Robert Coleman (Jr.), Robert Tucker, and Elizabeth Tucker, his wife, deeded fifty acres of land to Francis Hobson and the deed recited that David Sanborn sold said fifty acres to Robert Tucker in 1676. If the land had been sold to Tucker, as recited, it is difficult to see why it should have been necessary for Robert Coleman (Jr.) to join in the conveyance. In the 1704 Quit Rent Rolls, Elizabeth Tucker was listed for 212 acres. Quite evidently, the elder Robert Tucker was then dead. Otherwise, under the laws then prevailing, Elizabeth could not have owned the land in her own right. However, there was a Robert Tucker listed in Prince George County, VA for 400 acres. This Robert Tucker died in Surry County in 1722. His son, Robert Tucker, died in 1750, leaving his property to his wife, Martha Tucker, and sons Daniel Tucker, Joseph Tucker, Robert Tucker, and daughter, Sara Tucker Clay.16 These given names, Daniel Coleman, Joseph Coleman, and Robert Coleman have frequently been used throughout the whole history of the entire Coleman family. Moreover, on May 6, 1727, Robert Tucker and William Coleman appraised the estate of John Tucker, deceased. This was the William Coleman who later died in Amelia County. On October 9, 1716 (Deeds, Page 125) Francis Coleman, Sr. and Francis Coleman, Jr. of Bristol Parish and the County of Prince George, sold to Robert Bolling all that tract and parcel of land whereon John Tucker now liveth, on the South side of the Appomattox River, containing 100 acres, more or less. Francis Coleman, Sr. signed by the familiar mark "FC." On May 14, 1717 (Deeds, 160) Robert Tucker of Bristol Parish sold 200 acres to David Crawley, described as bounded westerly on the Appomattox, southerly on the lands of Major Robert Bolling, northerly on the lands of John Coleman, and easterly on the lands of Major Robert Munford. On July 8, 1717 (Deeds, 178) Francis Coleman, Sr. and Francis Coleman, Jr. conveyed identically the same land to the same David Crawley. Obviously, the Colemans and the Tuckers were claiming and making deeds to the same land, all in the immediate area of the lands formerly 15 11 VLP 258. 16 Boddy, Historical Southern Families. - 43 - . THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY belonging to Robert Coleman, Jr. Therefore, it is likewise obvious that Francis Coleman, Sr. was a son of Robert Coleman, Jr., was claiming the land, and his conveyances were considered necessary to make the title good. I suppose that Francis, Jr. signed as some kind of insurance against further claims on his part. John Coleman is positively identified by documentary evidence as the son of Robert Coleman, Sr., and as the brother of Robert Coleman, Jr. On May 8, 1725, John Coleman and his wife, Mary Coleman, of Prince George County, VA conveyed 208 acres of land to Robert Munford (Deeds, 834). The land was on the South side of the Appomattox River, in the Parish of Bristol, "now or late in the tenure and occupation of the said John Coleman," bounded on the lower side by Robert Munford, thence up the river to a place called the Ridge Bottom, etc. The deed further recited that twelve acres of this land was conveyed to John Coleman by Robert Tucker on March 3, 1701, and "the residue thereof is a part of a tract of land granted to Robert Coleman now deceased, father to the said John Coleman, by patent dated the 29 day of September, 1668." This deed again clearly shows, of course, the Tucker connection. Moreover, it proves beyond all reasonable doubt that this John Coleman was the Son of Robert Coleman, the settler of 1652, and was the same man who selected his brother, Robert Coleman, Jr., as his guardian in 1688. Of great significance, as we shall see later on, the deed was witnessed by Charles Roberts, John Mayes, and Isham Eppes. On August 10, 1725, Mary Coleman came into Court at Merchants Hope and relinquished dower. On October 9, 1716, Francis Coleman, Sr. and Francis Coleman, Jr., of Bristol Parish, Prince George County, VA conveyed to John Coleman a tract of land "whereon he now liveth," bounded on one side by the land of Robert Munford and extending to the Appomattox River. Drury Bolling was a witness. Francis Coleman, Sr. used the mark "FC." (Deeds, 126). Now, we must note (Deeds, 753) that on December 8, 1715, Robert Bolling surveyed 313 acres on the South side of the Appomattox River at the Horse Pen Branch for Captain John Coleman. This land was not patented to John Coleman until July 9, 1724.17 The surveyor's entry thus shows that John Coleman was known by the 17 12 VLP 64. - 44 - . THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY name of Captain as early as the year 1715, when he would have been anywhere between 41 and 48 years of age. On June 7, 1714 (Deeds, Page 16), John Coleman sold to Robert Munford ten acres of land in the Parish of Bristol, Prince George County, VA on the dividing line between Coleman and Munford, and on the river, up the river to a point in the John Coleman old field, by the new road leading to the "Chappell," thus down the road to the point of beginning. John Coleman signed his own name. Charles Roberts and Joseph Tucker were witnesses. The deed was acknowledged at Merchants Hope, where court was then held for Prince George County, VA. On May 13, 1725 (Deeds, Page 798), William Coleman sold to John Coleman 185 acres on the East side of the great branch of Whipponock Creek. After 1753, this land was in Dinwiddie County. Robert Bolling, John Poythress, and Drury Bolling were witnesses. William Coleman signed by the mark "W," and acknowledged the deed in open court at Merchants Hope. In September, 1689, Francis Tucker was appointed the administrator of the Estate of Warner Coleman, deceased.18 Francis Coleman and Jarvis Dix made his bond in the amount of 50,000 pounds of tobacco and the goods and chattels were directed forthwith to be delivered to Francis Tucker. It must be noted that at the same time Robert Tucker had charge of the estate of Robert Coleman, Sr. There must have been some confusion about the selection of an Administrator, for Robert Coleman, the previous December, had been ordered to receive letters of administration on Warner Coleman's estate. The conflict certainly raised the very clear presumption that Robert Coleman, Jr. had a close interest in the affairs of Warner Coleman, Francis Coleman was also interested, else he would not have become surety to the extent of 50,000 pounds of tobacco. The Bristol Parish Registry shows that William Coalman and his wife, Elizabeth, had a son, born March 20, 1732, who was baptized on August 26, 1733, and given the name of Warner. Thus the christian name was carried on, and the family connection was further identified. We might advert here to the fact that in June, 1690, as shown at Page 290 of the Order Book, the Honorable William Byrd exhibited an account of the estate of John Coleman, deceased. This could have been the John Coleman who, on March 18, 1662, bought the 813 acres on the South side of the Appomattox adjacent to M. Tounstell. It is further 18 Charles City Co., VA 1688. p. 242. 19 Ibid., 1687-95, p. 180. - 45 - . THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY noted that Robert Alston, in August, 1690, filed a claim against the estate of John Coleman for 4 shillings, or 400 pounds of tobacco, owed him for playing on the bagpipes at Coleman's wedding. Evidently, Coleman had married again in his very old age, but died before he could pay the costs of his new status. We now pause to make some calculations as to time. If Robert Coleman, Jr. was twenty-one years of age in 1663 (when his father made him the deed of gift) he would have been born in 1642. Thus, he would have been 79 years of age in 1721. Moreover, Robert Coleman, Sr. would have been born at least as early as 1622, if not earlier. If Robert Coleman, Sr. was eighty years of age at death, he would have been born in 1608. In 1652, and occasionally as late as 1731, the surname was spelled "Coalman." The tradition written into the family records of the Robert Coleman family of Halifax County, North Carolina (later in Fairfield County, S. C.) was that the family came from Wales. Without any research to substantiate it, maybe they were originally coal miners or coal handlers in Wales, thus the spelling of the name. Well established Virginia colonial history recites that much of the early immigration to Virginia came out of England and the nearby counties in Wales through the Port of Bristol. in early days, the Appomattox River was also called the Bristol River. This was the origin of the name of Bristol Parish. III. THIRD AND FOURTH GENERATIONS (FRANCIS COLEMAN, SR. and FRANCIS COLEMAN, JR.) We have already seen that Francis Coleman was a surety in 1688, which established his birth as occurring before 1667. He appeared as the owner of 150 acres of land in Prince George County on the 1704 Quit Rent Rolls. In Prince George County Deeds, 1713-1728, and in Prince George Court Orders and Returns of Executions, 1714-1720, we find the following records: On October 9, 1716, Francis Coleman, Sr. and Francis Coleman, Jr., of Bristol Parish, Prince George County, conveyed to Robert Bolling a tract of 100 acres on the South side of Appomattox River, (Deeds, 125). On the same date, these men conveyed to John Coleman a tract of land "whereon he now lives," bounded on one side by the land of Robert Munford and extending to the Appomattox River, (Deeds, 126). - 46 - . THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY Both Francis, Sr. and Francis, Jr., acknowledged these deeds (Order Book 84). This fixes the birth of Francis Coleman, Jr., at not later than 1695. On March 28, 1712, Robert Bolling, surveyor, surveyed 338 acres of land for Francis Coleman on the South side of Butterwood swamp. This land is now in Dinwiddie County, which was organized in 1753. Butterwood Creek runs from West to East at about the center of Dinwiddie. Butterwood and White Oak flow together to form Stony Creek. The general area would be about seven or eight miles West of Dinwiddie Courthouse. Francis Coleman, Sr. did not receive the patent to this land until July 15, 1717.20 On July 13, 1719, Francis Coleman, Sr., conveyed to William Parsons 150 acres "whereon the said Francis Coleman late did live at a place called Baylys, adjoining Francis Hobson and on Baylys Swamp." Edward Goodrich, Attorney for Honor Coleman, wife of Francis Coleman, appeared and relinquished dower. The power of attorney was dated April 14, 1719. Obviously, having received his patent to lands surveyed seven years previously, Francis Coleman, Sr., moved from Baylys, on the Appomattox, South to Butterwood Creek, in what is now Dinwiddie County, VA. On August 7, 1719, Francis Coleman, Jr., and Mary, his wife, conveyed 150 acres to Adam Sims. (Deeds, 359). The land adjoined John Ledbetter, on Warrick Swamp. Robert Munford was a witness. On November 10, 1721 (Deeds, 500), Francis Coleman, Sr. conveyed by deed of gift to his son, Francis Coleman, Jr., 100 acres of land on the South side of Butterwood Run, on Horse Pen Branch, land where Francis Coleman, Jr. now liveth. Note the name "Horse Pen Branch." When Robert Coleman of Halifax County, North Carolina, purchased land on New Horse Pen from William Roberts, Francis Coleman witnessed the deed. On the same date (Deeds, 499), Francis Coleman, Sr. conveyed by deed of gift to his son John Coleman 133 acres on the South side of Butterwood Run, adjoining Francis Coleman, Jr. On March 27, 1721 (Deeds, 759), 350 acres on the upper side of Butterwood Swamp were surveyed for Francis Coleman, Sr. He did not 20 10 VLP 338. - 47 - . THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY receive the patent until July 9, 1724 (Vol. 12, P. 70). This was the same day William Coleman received patent to 154 acres on West side of Namozine. Francis Coleman, Sr. must have been quite a wolf hunter. On November 13, 1716, he was paid for one wolf. On December 10, 1717, he was paid for "wolves killed." On December 4, 1718, he was paid for killing five wolves. On November 11, 1719, he was paid for one wolf. (Order Book 93, 155, 220, 297). On November 11, 1718, and again on April 14, 1719, Francis Coleman was appointed Overseer of the Butterwood Road. (Order Book 214, 249) We learn from Bristol Parish Register that Francis (Jr.) and Mary Coleman had a daughter, Amy, born in 1718, and a son, William Coleman, born 1733. This would be "just right" for the William Coleman of Fairfield County, SC, who was upwards of ninety in 1824. Families being of the size they were in those days, it would appear that the couple did not go childless for fifteen years and that there were children who did not happen to have their names entered on the Parish Register. Further documentary progress on a complete history of Francis Coleman, Sr. and Francis Coleman, Jr. is halted at this point by destruction of Prince George and Dinwiddie County VA Records. We do find, however, from Page 383 of the Prince George Minute Book, that on February 12, 1739, a deed for land from Francis Coleman, Sr. to Matthew Ligon was proved in court by the oaths of Joseph Lewis, John Coleman, and Henry Thweatte, witnesses thereto, "and on motion of the said Matthew Ligon it is ordered that said deed be recorded." Court held at Fitzgerald. On August 27, 1739, an action in debt brought by Francis Coleman against Thomas Twitty (Thweatte) and Mary, his wife, administratrix of Henry Wyatt, deceased, was dismissed for failure to prosecute, Minutes 355. Now, let us note that Robert Coleman, of Halifax County, NC later to be included in this work, bought land on "New Horse Pen Run" in Halifax County. He bought it of William Roberts. You will have noted the presence of the Roberts neighbors of the Colemans in Virginia. Moreover, the deed from William Roberts to Robert Coleman of Halifax, was witnessed by Francis Coleman. Susanna, daughter of Robert Coleman of Halifax County, NC married Christopher Pritchett. On March 31, 1712 (Deeds, 750), Robert Bolling surveyed 147 acres of land on the South side of - 48 - . THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY Butterwood Creek for Joseph Pritchett. On March 20, 1720, 199 acres on the South side of Butterwood were surveyed for the same Joseph Pritchett. Previously, December 17, 1719, 136 acres had been surveyed on the North side of Butterwood (Deeds, 756). An examination of the old survey book of Dinwiddie County at the Virginia State Library showed numerous Pritchetts residing in Dinwiddie County, 1750-1760. It will further be noted, when we reach that point, that when Robert Coleman of Halifax County, North Carolina, obtained his patent from Earl Granville on November 9, 1756, the land was described as adjoining Drewry M. Coleman's land. We have noted the many times that Drury Bolling was a witness to deeds for the Colemans, and Drury Stith was also a prominent resident of Bristol Parish. WILLIAM COLEMAN OF PRINCE GEORGE AND AMELIA On May 19, 1712, Prince George Deeds, 751, Robert Bolling surveyed 100 acres on the West side of Namozine Creek, below the path, for William Coleman. This creek was then in Prince George, but since 1753 has been the boundary between Dinwiddie and Amelia. On December 6, 1715 (Deeds, 753), 154 acres were surveyed for William Coleman, Sr. on the West side of Namozine. On May 21, 1712, 185 acres were surveyed for William Coleman on the East side of the great branch of Whiponock Creek, now in Northwestern Dinwiddie County, VA but near the Amelia County, VA line. On February 9, 1720 (Deeds, 757), 297 acres were surveyed for William Coleman, Sr. on the upper side of Winticomack Creek. This is in present Amelia County, in the extreme eastern portion thereof, in the neck which extends between Chesterfield County on the North and Dinwiddic County on the South. On November 21, 1723 (Deeds, 764), 235 acres were surveyed on the lower side of the Sweatt house branch of Deep Creek for William Coleman, minor. This is possibly five miles West of Winticomack. On November 9, 1719, William Coleman, Sr., of Prince George County, conveyed to Robert Munford 118 acres bounded on one side "by land which formerly belonged to Francis Coleman." (Deeds, 367). He signed by mark "W," and Drury Bolling was a witness. On May 13, 1725, William Coleman, of Prince George County, VA, conveyed a tract of land to John Coleman (Deeds, 798). This was on Whipponock Creek, in present Dinwiddie, already referred to in connection with John Coleman. - 49 - . THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY Thus, this William Coleman is seen to have been a neighbor and adjoining land owner to Francis Coleman and John Coleman. He was not their brother, evidently, because he was listed on the 1704 Quit Rent Rolls as William Coleman, Junior. His father must have been the William Coleman who came to Charles City County in 1656 (Order Book, p. 50), which was the same date Nicholas Coleman came to the County (p. 51) and the year following the arrival of Thomas Coleman (p. 39). The author has found many printed references, from many sources, of family traditions that Thomas Coleman, William Coleman, and Nicholas Coleman came to Virginia "together" and were brothers. It is understood that Nicholas Coleman later migrated to Pennsylvania. It is altogether reasonable to suppose that they came to join Robert Coleman, Sr., who was there by 1652, and equally reasonable to suppose that all four were brothers. Thus, William Coleman would have been a first cousin of Robert, Jr. and John Coleman. As will be seen in the Appendix, he was granted land in Prince George County, amounting to 635 acres in patents dated September 28, 1730. On January 2, 1737, he was granted 202 acres in Amelia County, VA on the upper side of the great branch of Winticomack Creek. Amelia County, VA had been formed of Prince George County, VA in 1734. William Coleman made his will there on June 2, 1743, Amelia Will Book 1, Page 37. As will be seen from the material appearing in the Appendix, he had sons named Daniel Coleman, whose wife was named Elizabeth; Robert Coleman, whose wife was named Ann; Joseph Coleman, whose wife was named Elizabeth; William Coleman, whose wife was named Frances; Godphrey Coleman; and Peter Coleman. He also had a daughter named Frances Coleman, who married a Tucker. All of these children lived and died in Amelia County, except Robert. This Robert moved to Lunenburg County, Virginia, in 1754. From there he moved to Union County, South Carolina (across the Broad River from Fairfield County) in 1768. In 1775, Robert Coleman of Halifax County, North Carolina, moved to Fairfield. The tradition is still alive in the Fairfield Coleman family that there was a "well recognized connection" between the Colemans of Fairfield and the Colemans of Union. This connection is borne out by preceding facts, as Robert Coleman, the first settler in Union, definitely was the son of William of Amelia, and he, in turn, was a cousin to Coleman, Jr. - 50 - . THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY The foregoing evidence indicates the following: First Generation: Robert Coleman, Sr., 1652-1688. Second Generation: Robert Coleman, Jr., died 1721. Captain John Coleman. Warner Coleman, died 1689. William Coleman (cousin) Died in Amelia County, VA, 1745. Third Generation: Frances Coleman, still alive 1739. Fourth Generation: Francis Coleman, Jr., still alive 1761. John Coleman, who received deed, 1721. Fifth Generation: Robert Coleman, who settled in Halifax County, NC, 1756. ROBERT COLEMANS OF OTHER LINES We can be certain that the Robert Coleman, Sr. (who acquired the land from Lt. Col. Walter Chiles, in 1652) was not the same man as the well known Robert Coleman of Gloucester County, who is generally known as Robert Coleman of "Mobjack Bay" (sometimes called "Mockjack Bay"). Robert Coleman of Mobjack Bay was the ancestor of the Essex County, VA Colemans and of the numerous descendants so carefully studied and described by Judge S. Bernard Coleman, of Fredericksburg, Virginia, in his most excellent manuscript at the Virginia State Library, of which he gave J. P. Coleman a copy in 1957. Robert of Mobjack Bay first appears in the Virginia Patent Records on March 18, 1662, When he was granted 110 acres in "Gloster" County, on a branch of Burt's Creek adjoining "his own land." He had a son named Robert, later known as Captain Robert Coleman, who became Sheriff of Essex, at Tappahannock. This Robert, the son of Robert of Mobjack Bay, was born in 1656.21 Therefore, the future sheriff was only seven years old when the Appomattox River Robert Coleman, Jr., received the deed of gift from Robert Coleman, Sr. It might further be pointed out that neither of the patents dated March 18, 1662, and March 1, 1672, to Robert Coleman in Gloucester County (Who most certainly was Robert Coleman of Mobjack Bay) referred to the grantee by the descriptive Senior or Junior. Robert of Mobjack Bay did have a son by the name of John. This is well established by the writings of Judge S. Bernard Coleman, supported by the records cited by 21 Essex County, Va., Deed and Will Book 13. p. 76. - 51 - . THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY him, including entries in the Abbingdon Parish Register. However, this John had wives named Margaret and Ann, while the wife of John Coleman of Prince George County, as we have seen, was named Mary. An examination of the Appendix to this book will show that in addition to Robert Coleman of Charles City County and Robert Coleman of Mobjack Bay, there was another Robert Coleman, who, on April 20, 1664, was granted 500 acres of land in Nansemond County, VA. There was yet another Robert Coleman who, on September 29, 1667, was granted 634 acres of land in Isle of Wight County, VA. These men were listed in their respective counties in the Quit Rent Rolls of 1704. The Appendix carries a copy of the Will of Robert of Isle of Wight, VA, who left no descendants by the name of Coleman. Robert Coleman of Nansemond is documentarily well established as the father of William Coleman, who died in Edgecombe County, North Carolina, in 1752, and he was also the father of Robert Coleman, who died in the same County, 1761. The Robert Coleman, later to be described herein, patented land in Edgecombe County in 1756. He was in that part of Edgecombe which later became Halifax County, whereas the descendants of Robert Coleman of Nansemond County, VA lived in an entirely different section of the original Edgecombe, which then covered not only its present area but parts of other present-day counties, Wilson, for example. Over a period of approximately thirteen years, the writer has thoroughly studied every record he could find in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina on all Coleman family lines. He is convinced that all four of the Robert Colemans heretofore mentioned were most likely connected. The documentary proof necessary to prove this beyond a reasonable doubt can no longer be unearthed, if indeed it ever existed. Yet, an exhaustive study of the surrounding circumstances and family lines shows that, except as to Robert of Isle of Wight who left no descendants by the name of Coleman, all three of the others had descendants through many generations of the same given name, repeated over and over from generation to generation, such as Robert, John, Francis, William, Thomas, Stephen, Charles, and many others which could be cited. It is for this reason that in the Appendix the writer has included much material on other Coleman family lines not directly connected with his own. It is hoped that this will be of assistance to other Colemans who are interested in the history of their own direct - 52 - . THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY lineage. As stated, this material has been "rediscovered," with the aid and assistance of many people, from "hiding places" going back for over three hundred years. Courthouse fires, the ravages of the Civil War, and the natural attrition of time have destroyed many original documentary sources; yet, that which can yet be found is of the most interesting value. THE OLDEST KNOWN COLEMAN HOUSE IN AMERICA This house, known as Burnt Quarter, is about five miles Southwest of the village of Dinwiddie, Dinwiddie County, Virginia. I, J. P. Coleman, visited it the first time on April 2, 1963, and again on February 22, 1964. The house was built about 1737 by Robert Coleman. It is presently owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Peterson Goodwin Gilliam, who showed me every hospitality on each of my visits. Due to the destruction of courthouse records in Dinwiddie County prior to 1833, we are unable to give a full and complete history of its owners. We are unable to say whether the Robert Coleman who built this House was the son of Captain John Coleman or Francis Coleman, Sr., although it seems quite certain from all available records that he was the son of one or the other of them. While Tarleton was on his way to Charlottesville, in his effort to capture Governor Thomas Jefferson and the Virginia Legislature, he visited this Coleman home. The family was storing grain for the Continental Army, and Tarleton burned the grain quarter. Thus the name "Burnt Quarter." Later, at the close of the Civil War, the home was in the line of fire at the battle of Five Forks. Letitia Coleman, widow of Robert Coleman, willed the property to her daughter, Mary, who married Colonel Joseph Goodwyn. Mary Elizabeth Coleman Goodwyn, the 20th child of this couple, inherited the property from her mother. She was born at Burnt Quarter on the 25 day of December, 1812, and died there on June 16, 1884. She married John William Gilliam, the only son of Samuel and Susan Gilliam, on April 24, 1832. The property has been in the Gilliam family ever since. - 53 - . THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY
BURNT QUARTER, home of Mr. and Mrs. J. P. G. Gilliam, Dinwiddie Virginia, the oldest known Coleman house in America.
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