Robert Mitchell 1680-

Mitchell Family History

Robert Mitchell & Mary Innes

To: Index Contact: Joe Crouch

Most family files on Ancestry.com and Rootsweb.com have John Mitchell born Abt. 1682 Londonderry, Ulster, Ireland died 1771 Augusta County, VA., and Mary Boyd as the parents of James Mitchell, Sr., Daniel Mitchell and Robert Mitchell who migrated to Bedford County, VA circa 1748-50, but offer no documentation as proof. 

The 1771 death year for John Mitchell seems to be tied to a John Mitchell whose will  was written 14 Feb 1771 and probated 20 August 1771 Augusta County, VA. [8] In the will he leaves his wife Elizabeth (not Mary) the plantation acquired from his mothers oral will.  The Augusta County, VA. will also names their children as 1) Thomas Mitchell 2) Eleanor Mitchell 3) Mary Mitchell 4) Robert Mitchell 5) John Mitchell 6) James Mitchell and 7) Elizabeth Mitchell.   This list of children almost matches the list most trees document as children of John and Mary (Boyd) Mitchell, EXCEPT the will DOES NOT reference Daniel Mitchell, brother of the Robert Mitchell of Bedford Co., VA.

The James Mitchell referenced in the 1771 Augusta County, VA will of John Mitchell's was born Abt. 1742 Augusta County, VA and married 11 Feb 1762 Elizabeth Beard in Augusta County, VA., daughter of Thomas Beard who wrote his will [10] and who died in 1769 in Augusta County, VA. The Augusta County, VA. James Mitchell was Executor to his father-in-law Thomas Beards May 1769 will.  Augusta County, VA. is also roughly 100 miles away from Bedford Co., VA. reinforcing that the Augusta County, VA James Mitchell is a different and younger James Mitchell than the James Mitchell who married Margaret (Caldwell) Rogers circa 1751 in Bedford County, VA.

Daniel Mitchell married Mary Caldwell or Mary Campbell.  Daniel Mitchell died before 25 Sep 1775 Bedford County, VA and his will made his brother Robert Mitchell one of the executors of his estate. If Daniel Mitchell is not a son of the John Mitchell who died in 1771 Augusta County, VA., then neither is the Robert Mitchell who died Bef 25 Feb 1799 Bedford County, VA. (probate date), nor the James Mitchell who married Margaret (Caldwell) Rogers about 1751.

Shipley, Mitchell, and Thompson Families compiled by Stith Thompson and published in 1964 (Ancestry) stated:

“Up to the present time (1964) we have few reliable records of this line of Mitchells before 1747. It is clear that at that time there were two brothers in Bedford County, Virginia, Daniel Mitchell and Robert Mitchell.

Rev. William Henry Foote wrote of Rev. James Mitchell, son of Robert “the Elder” Mitchell

What we know of the father of these brothers comes from letters [11][12] embodying the traditions of the family of Rev. James R. Mitchell (son of Robert) who was born in 1747. These traditions assert that the father of Daniel and Robert was Robert Mitchell of Londonderry, Ireland. He is spoken of as “the Immigrant.”

Mrs. W. H. Walthall of Roanoke, Virginia, wrote on 4 February 1895:

Robert Mitchell was born in Londonderry, Ireland, in the latter part of the 17th century. His father’s family suffered greatly in that noted siege of Londonderry (1689), of which he loved to talk. When a young man in the first part of the 18th century, he married Miss Mary Innis of Edinburgh, Scotland, and moved to America and settled at Pequa, Pennsylvania. They had thirteen children. While the children were young he moved to Virginia and settled in Bedford County. He raised them all and as soon as they became grown they scattered all over the Union, all married and raised large families. Rev. James Mitchell, my grandfather was his youngest child. He was born 29 January 1747.”

From a letter from Mrs. George P. Parker of Bedford, Virginia to Stith Thompson dated 24 September 1934 we have:

 “Robert and Daniel Mitchell were sons of Robert, Sr., the Immigrant. Daniel and Robert Mitchell, Scotch Irish immigrants landed at Philadelphia about 1735, went to Pequa and to Bedford County, Virginia, about 1754-1756.” [This information from family notes belonging to late Dr. John Mitchell of Bedford County.]

Based upon the above Shipley, Mitchell, and Thompson Families information, Robert Mitchell was in Londonderry at least as early as the siege of 1689, so if he had memories of the family suffering greatly he was most likely born about 1680.

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Robert Mitchell 1680-bef 1750 married Mary Innis in Londonderry, Ireland, while his son Robert Mitchell 1714-1799 married  about 1736 Pequea, Lancaster, PA. Mary Enos born 17 Aug 1718 New Castle, Delaware as shown by the will of Richard Enos who in 1748 named my son-in-law, Robert Mitchell to be coexecutor of his will and listed Mary among his heirs.  The similarity of the names Innis and Enos is remarkable and has led to much genealogical confusion.

The following map shows the probable migration path of the Mitchells from Delaware, along the Great Wagon Road to Philidelphia, to the Great Valley Road down to Bedford Co., VA.

Great Valley Road

 

The earliest land indenture found on the Library of Virginia LVA catalog website for Robert Mitchell places him in that portion of Lunenburg County, VA in 1748 for the portion that became Bedford County, VA. The earliest land indenture referencing Daniel Mitchell in Lunenburg County, VA is 1753. Daniel Mitchell who died before 25 Sep 1775 Bedford County, VA made his brother Robert Mitchell one of the executors of his estate. And I believe my ancestor James Mitchell who is referenced along with Daniel and Robert Mitchell in the 1754-58 Bedford County, VA. Road Orders is also a brother. My James Mitchell married Margaret (Caldwell) Rogers abt. 1751-52, the widow of William Rogers deceased. James Mitchells earliest land indenture is 1750 in Lunenburg County, VA. that became Bedford County, Va. The earliest Lunenburg County, VA. land indenture for John Caldwell (father of Margaret Caldwell) is 1 Jun 1750. The Caldwells also migrated from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. If Robert Mitchell, Daniel Mitchell, James Mitchell and John Caldwell all migrated together, then any child born 1746 [13] and later were probably born in that portion of Lunenberg County that became Bedford County, VA on the 13 Dec 1753.

The 1754-58 Bedford County, VA Road Order [1] requiring Daniel Mitchell, James Mitchell, and Robert Mitchell to work on the road suggests that they're related.  The only confirmed relationship is the one stated in Daniel Mitchell's Will [2] that Robert Mitchell was his brother.  Another possible link is that James Mitchell, Sr. married Margaret (Caldwell) Rogers the only daughter of John F. Caldwell [3] and Daniel Mitchell reportedly married Mary Caldwell who may have been a 1st cousin of Margaret Caldwell Rogers wife of James Mitchell.

My ancestor James Mitchell Sr. (born by or before 1730) married abt 1751 Margaret (Caldwell) Rogers, widow of William Rogers deceased Oct 1750 in Bedford County, VA. My James Michell lived near enough to Robert Mitchell and Daniel Mitchell (brothers per Daniel Mitchells 13 June 1775 Bedford County, VA. will) to be included in 1754-58 Bedford County, VA road orders so they may be brothers.  And may be the James Mitchell listed as Security on Daniel Mitchells 13 June 1775 Bedford Co., VA will.

In 1774 the following Mitchell's appear on a list of petitioners for the Peaks of Otter Presbyterian Church:

Robert Mitchell, James Mitchell, Daniel Mitchell, Robert Mitchell, Sr., and Robert Mitchell, Jr.

Children of Robert Mitchell 1680-bef 1750 and Mary Innes:

  01 02 03
Sons: Robert Mitchell [1][2]
DAR/SAR: #A201246
Daniel Mitchell [1][2] James Mitchell [1]
Birth Year: Abt.1714 Abt. 1718 Abt. 1720
Born: Londonderry, Ulster, Ireland Londonderry, Ulster, Ireland Londonderry, Ulster, Ireland
Married: Maria "Mary" Enos
married 1736 Delaware (?)
born 17 Aug 1718 Wilmington, New Castle Co., DE. (FamilySearch)
Mary Caldwell ?? Margaret Caldwell
1) William Rogers [3]
2) James Mitchell [3]
Abt. 1751
Died: Bef. 25 Feb. 1799 [6][7] Bef. 25 Sep 1775 Bedford, VA. [2][7] Bef: 1776 Bedford, VA
Children:      
01: Robert Mitchell
born abt. 1742
died 1818 Mercer Co., KY.
married Lucy Hanks
Robert Mitchell [4][5]
born 22 Aug 1747
died abt. 1791-92 Clinch River, VA /TN. (no Clinch River in KY.) or Mercer Co., KY.
wife Naomi Shipley
______ Mitchell [3]
02: Susannah Mitchell
born abt. 1744
died 20 Aug 1744 Mercer Co., KY
married Josias Bedford Campbell abt. 1762
Daniel Mitchell [4]
born abt. 1750
Will dated 18 Dec 1818
Will probated 1822 Eminence, Shelby Co., KY.
wife Judy Prewitt
James Mitchell [3]
born 17/11/1754
died Robertson Co., TN. 18 Jun 1835
wife Elizabeth Brumfield
DAR/SAR #: A080544
03: Samuel Mitchell
born abt 1746 Lunenburg, VA.
died 15 Mar 1835 [7]
James Mitchell [4]
born abt. 1751
wife Sarah [4]
______ Mitchell [3]
04:
Rev. James Mitchell
born 29 Jan 1747 Pequa, PA.
died 27 Feb 1841[7] Bedford Co., VA.
married Francis Rice on 19 Dec 1782
John Mitchell
born abt 1753
possibly Bef 1790
______ Mitchell [3]
05: Daniel Mitchell
born abt. 1750 Lunenburg, VA.
died Aft 1810 probably Bedford Co., VA.
Mary Mitchell [4]
born 23 Jan 1755 Bedford Co., VA.
died 29 Feb 1844 Green Co., KY.
married William Sturman (Stearman) on 17 Dec 1779 Campbell Co. VA.
______ Mitchell[3]
06: Stephen Mitchell
born abt 1754 Bedford, VA.
died Grayson Co., VA.
Sarah Mitchell
born abt 1761
died possibly Bef 1790
 
07: Enos Mitchell born abt 1755 Bedford Co., VA.
died ANTE 1 Oct 1816 Bedford Co., VA.
DAR/SAR #:  A080490
Adam Mitchell [4]
born Aft 1761
died 5 Feb 1846 Green Co., KY.
 
08:      
09:      
10:      
11:      
12:      
13:      
     
Augusta County, VA Rockbridge County, VA Bedford County, VA
Augusta County, VA.                 Rockbridge County, VA    Bedford County, VA

 James Mitchell 1754-1835 dauughter Elizabeth Ewing Mitchell married Caleb Irvine in Harrodsburg, Kentucky.  Caleb Irving's father Andrew B. Irvine married Elizabeth Mitchell. Andrew B. Irvine was of Bedford Co., VA.  Elizabeth Mitchell Irvine died July 28, 1843 in Clinton County, Ohio and is buried in the New Antioch Cemetery (Findagrave).  Per the headstone she was 92 years and 11 months.  That puts her birthdate abt 19 Sept 1750, which means James Mitchell, Sr. could not be the father as Margaret Caldwell Rodgers husband died in October 1750, and James Mitchell Sr. did not marry her until 1751 or 1752.  That leaves either Robert Mitchell or Daniel Mitchell as her possible father.

[1] 1754-1758, Bedford Co., VA. Order Book 1A,146, "Mitchell, Daniel, James, Robert work on road."

[2] Abstracts of Bedford County, Virginia: Wills, Inventories and accounts, 1754-1787; Abstracted, Edited and published by Miss Joida Whitten, printed in Dallas Texas.  On page 60 of the abstracts: Page 237 in the records:

Will for Daniel Mitchell. Dated: 13 June 1775.
Lend to my beloved wife Mary Mitchess my lands and stock of every kind and all my estate both real and personal during her life and after her decease my Executors sell the whole of the said estate and let it be equally divided amongst all my children.
Executors: my brother Robart[sic] Mitchell and Michael Pruitt
Witnesses: Charles Cobbs, Daniel Mitchell, Thomas McCown
Proven: 25 Sep 1775 by oaths of Charles Cobbs and Daniel Mitchell.
Executors: Robert Mitchell and Michael Pruitt
Security: James Mitchell and Charles Cobbs.

On pages 334-335 Inventory and appraisement.
Daniel Mitchell 18 October 1775
Listed: household furnishings, livestock, farm equipment
Appraisers: Geo. Caldwell, Abraham Irvin, John Irvin.
Returned 22 Feb 1779

[3] Virginia Historical Magazine, Jan 1911, v 19, pages 92 - 94 - In 1825 at the age of 79 John Rodgers the son of Margaret (Caldwell) Rodgers wrote a letter to his cousin  Elias Boudinot Caldwell, of Washington City. (a Supreme Court clerk) and outlined his and Elias's Caldwell family history.  Within that letter as presented on the Caldwell Genealogy site he stated:

"Within 25 miles of that place in that neighborhood I was born and in it was married and had 6 children before I moved to Kentucky in the year 1781. Our grandfather's (John F. Caldwell who married Margaret Phillips) children were William, Thomas, David, Margaret, John, Robert and James. My father (William Rodgers) and grandfather (John F. Caldwell) both died in October 1750, just 14 days apart. My mother (Margaret Caldwell Rogers) then married a man by the name of James Mitchell. She had 5 children by each husband. Two of her daughters died in Virginia. The rest all came to Kentucky and have been numerous families. Her son Robert (Rogers) died in Kentucky. William, Thomas, and David Caldwell (his three Caldwell uncles) are all buried in the same graveyard with their father. David's widow and all that family moved to Kentucky. Uncle John went to South Carolina and died there. Uncle William's widow and all that family went to South Carolina, also. Our friend, John C. Calhoun is a son of the 2nd daughter of that family.�

Some past genealogical researcher in transcribing the above excerpt of "John Rogers letter on the Caldwell genealogy inserted 'Michell' in lieu of 'Caldwell' after 'William, Thomas and David" when the letter cleary states 'William, Thomas and David Caldwell are all burried in the same graveyard with the father." (John F. Caldwell). The poor transcription led other researchers to the conclusion that James Mitchell Jr. had three brothers named William, Thomas and David, when in actuallity John Rodgers was writing about his Caldwell uncles.

[4] Bedford Co Va land on Falling Creek became Campbell Co, VA in 1781-2.

Campbell Co, VA Deed dated 12/1790 probably settling the last of Daniel's land "coheirs and legatees of Daniel Mitchell late of Bedford Co. deceased" are named:

Daniel and wife Judy (Prewitt) Mitchell
Robert and wife Oma (Shipley) Mitchell - news of her death must not have reached them
William Sturman (Stearman) and wife Mary (Mitchell)
James and wife Sarah Mitchell
Adam Mitchell

[5] Sold land in Bedford Co, VA in 1771 and bought land from brother-in-law David McCord (Ann Shipley's husband) in Mecklenburg Co, NC in 1772. He appears on a petition for Peaks of Otter Presbyterian Church in Bedford Co, VA in 1774. By 6/10/1778 he is "Robert Mitchell of North Carolina" when he appears on a deed to James "Pruit" of Beford Co. 100 acres on south side of Falling River "it being the plantation whereon Daniel Mitchell Sr deceased formerly did live and part of the tract where the widow Mitchel now lives and bounded around to the river by Michael Pruit's lands.

[6] Bedford County, VA Will Book "B"page 2239- Robert Mitchell will

In the name of God Amen.I, Robert Mitchell of Bedford County and Province of Virginia, being of Perfect mind and memory do make this my Last Will and Testamentfirst my Lawful Debt to be discharged, to my beloved wife Mary I give the Planation I now live on during her life or widowhood, at the end of either I give it to my son Samuel. Also to my wife Mary I give all my movable Estate to be disposed of at her discretion,to my son Daniel I give one hundred acres of Land where he now lives. To Robert and Stephen I Give the remainder of the Upper Tract I bought of Hilton.To Josias Campbell the lower half of the same tract. My wife, Daniel & Samuel I Lease my Executory to see the Execution of this my will which I do declare to be my last revoking all others by me heretofore made as Witness my hand Twenty Third day of April one thousand seven hundred and eighty one. (1781)

Robert Mitchell (L.S.)

His Witness: John Dowdy, James Freemen, Mark, James Davis.

As a Court held for Bedford County the 25th February 1799. This last will & Testament of Robert Mitchell deceased was proved by the oath of John Dowdy & James Freeman witnesses who names are thereto subscribed & Ordered to be recorded. And on the motion of Daniel Mitchell & Samuel Mitchell Executors therein names, who made oath thereto certificate is granted them for obtaining probate thereof in due form on giving security whereupon they together with Jesse Leftwich & Stephen Preston their security's entered into & Acknowledged their Bond in the Penalty of Five hundred dollars conditioned for the said executors due & faithful administration of said decedent's Estate & Performance of his will.

Teste, J.A. Steptow, CBC

In the Clerks office of the Circuit Court ofBedford County, VA March 4, 1926 The above is a copy of a will of record in said Co., In Will Book "B"page 2239

Teste, V. W. Nichols,Clerk

[7] Reynolds Historical Genealogy Collection: The Mitchell Family Magazine edited by William Montgomery Clemens January 1916 to April 1917  has a list of Bedford County, VA. Mitchell Wills Probated from 1754 to 1912:

1. Mitchell, Daniel - 25 September 1775

2. Mitchell, Robert - 25 Feburary 1799

3. Mitchell, Samuel -  22 June 1835

4. Mitchell, James - 22 March 1841

[8] Vol. III, page 444 John Mitchell's Will - Source: Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia - Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County 1745-1800" by Lyman Chalkely

14th February 1771 John Mitchell's will, farmer, To wife, Elizabeth, plantation acquired from his mother by verbal will;. to third son John; to fourth son, James, executor, to youngest daughter, Elizabeth; to eldest son, Thomas, to eldest daughter, Elenor Wilson; to second son, Robert; to second daughter, Mary Right. Teste: John Tate, Andrew Moore, Thomas Wilson. Proved 20th August, 1771, by Moore and Wilson.

The James Mitchell referenced in John Mitchell's will was born Abt. 1742 Augusta County, VA and married Elizabeth Beard, daughter of Thomas Beard who wrote his will and died in 1769 in Augusta County, VA.  This is a different and younger James Mitchell than the James Mitchell who married Margaret Caldwell circa 1751 in Bedford County, VA.

[9] In the probate court records of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, records of administration on the estate of one Patrick Calhoun which show that he was the husband of Mrs. Catherine and the father of her four sons who figured in Augusta County, Virginia, from 1746 to 1756. The inventory was made in 1741 by James Small and John Williams and presented in 1743 to the probate Court of Lancaster County. His plantation and crops in the ground were valued at £100; four horses, a goat, six cows, five young cattle, nineteen sheep, swine, wagon, gears, plows, irons, tools, and household goods were valued at £52. 5s, making a total of £152. 5s. The widow, Catherine, renounced the right of administration in favor of Ezekiel and William Calhoun. A bond of £200. for the administrators, signed by Ezekiel Calhoun, William Calhoun, John Noble and James Mitchell, all of Lancaster County, was accepted by the Court May 4, 1743, and settlement was made by May 4, 1744 (South Carolina Genealogies: Articles from The South Carolina Historical (and Genealogical) Magazine, Spartanburg, SC: The Reprint Co., 1983, vol. 1, p. 284).

[10] Vol. III, page 257 Thomas Beards will - Source: Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia - Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County 1745-1800" by Lyman Chalkely

May, 1769. Thomas Beard's will--To wife, all cleared land where house stands to clear land for turnips where they last grew; to daughter Fane; to daughter Jane; to wife, his elbow chair, negroe boy; to son Hugh, cleared land; to grandson Thomas, son of Hugh, 170 acres lying next John Montgomery's Thomas Hill; to grandchildren, viz: Thomas Alexander, Thomas (page 259) Beard (William's son), Thomas Mitchell, Thomas Dunlap, £10 each; to Robert Ramsey's children (testator's grandchildren), £12.10.0.; to son William; to daughters Ester Alexander, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mary Dunlap; to grandchildren Ann Alexander, Martha Mitchell. (Frequent provision for such issue in case daughter Jane have issue.) Executors, James Mitchell, Thos. Hill. Teste: John, James, Andrew Eakin. Proved, 18th October, 1769, by John and James Eakin. Executors qualify, with William Alexander, Wm. Kennedy, Hugh Beard

[11] Rev. William Henry Foote wrote of Rev. James Mitchell, son of Robert “the Elder” Mitchell on page 134 in his book, Historical and Biographical Sketches of Virginia, based on information he received from a Mitchell descendant, Rev. Jacob D. Mitchell in 1854:

…His father Robert Mitchel, was born in the north of Ireland but emigrated to America while still a youth…His wife, whose maiden name was Mary Enos, was, it seems of Welsh extraction…This excellent pair resided in Bedford County for many years…They had 13 children, of whom not one died less than 70 years.

[12] The Mitchell Family Magazine, Volumes One and Two - Jan. 1916, to April 1917.

Rev. James Mitchel (Clerk of Presbytery) and Frances Rice, daughter of Rev. David and Mary Blair Rice, 19 December, 1782. date of marriage license. John Mitchell, security.

Page 35 - "FATHER MITCHEL" OF VIRGINIA - Reverend James Mitchel (the orthography preferred by him) was a son of the late Robert Mitchel (born in the north of Ireland) and Mary Enos his wife (the latter of Edinburg, Scotland, and of Welsh descent). Robert Mitchell and family emigrated to America at an early period. James Mitchel. his son, was born at Pequa, Pennsylvania, 29 January, 1747. The family removed to and settled in Bedford Co., Virginia, at an early date. James Mitchell was licensed a Presbyterian minister in October, 1781. He married Frances, daughter of Reverend David and Mary Blair Rice. He was known in South-west Virginia, as an humble, able, successful preacher from the day he was licensed to the day of his death which occurred 27 February, 1841. He was aged ninety-four years and one month. He left many worthy descendants, was tenderly loved and venerated and often addressed and spoken of as "Father Mitchel." R. D. B.

[13] Lunenburg County, VA. - First Court - assembled 5 May 1746, the Justices present were....John Caldwell....William Caldwelll....VMHB, Vol. 10, No. 3, p. 321.(Source)

Lunenburg County, VA. - On June 2nd, 1746, additional Justicies present were ....James Mitchell  VMHB, Vol., 10. No. 3, p. 322.

If you are a descendant of the people listed on this page, have information different, or in addition to what's shown above (birth information, baptistery info, marriage bonds/certificates, wills, obituaries, deeds, court records, etc..) please forward to Joe Crouch and I will edit and or add it to this site.