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Theory of tfhe ancestry of Christopher Woodward  

Theory of the ancestry of Christopher Woodward
and some other nearby Woodward lines

2018 updates in green. In the 20 or so years since I first uploaded this, I have since found additional records that indicate that Richard Woodward first lived in Chowan Co and later moved into Nansemond Co. He witnessed the 1752 will of Samuel Woodward of Chowan Co, and both Samuel Woodward d 1752 and Richard Woodward were undoubtedly sons of Samuel Woodward Jr, mariner of VA and Boston, grandson of Christopher Woodward, immigrant from England to Jamestown. I have also discovered an early working relationship between the ancestors of the Jones of Wake Co who were Indian traders and Samuel Woodward Jr who appears to have been shipping their trade goods. All of this can be found at Jones and Woodwards.


The following hypothesis for the ancestry of Christopher Woodward is based on circumstantial evidence only. There is no solid proof. I have tried to make it clear which connections can be proven by existing records and which are supported only by circumstantial evidence. Please do not record the suspected relationships I have suggested here as proven connections in your group sheets or webpages. I am making this available for one purpose only - to invite and challenge others to produce additional records that will support or disprove this theory.

In order to understand this theory, it will be necessary to understand several other families and their records and relationships as well. (Sometimes it takes the whole village to raise the dead.) These families include the following:

Descendants of John Sanders Sr and wife Phoebe of Nansemond Co.
Descendants of John Hambleton/Hamilton of Nansemond Co.
Samuel Woodward Jr of Charles City Co, Boston, (possibly Nansemond), and Chowan Co.
The Howard family of Nansemond Co, Bertie Co, and Onslow Co.
The Corbell family of Nansemond Co.
McClenny connection?
Bryan, Bush, Curlee, McClendon Tangle

Other interwoven families include:

Additional links will be provided to these families and their records for easy access as they are referenced in the theory. In addition, I have tried to color-code the names of places and people that appear repeatedly in the various records.

Christopher Woodward's great-grandson, Andrew Jackson Woodward, dictated some family information to his daughter, Emma White Woodward, to be sent to his son, William Joseph Woodward. In this letter, A J Woodward named his grandfather as Pleasant Woodward. Pleasant's father was not named, but A J Woodward did state that Pleasant Woodward came from Jamestown and his father before him from England. See letter of Emma White Woodward.

The reference to an ancestor who came from England to Jamestown can also be found in an article about Newton W. Utley in Memorial Record of Western Kentucky, Lewis Publishing Company, 1904,
pp 515-520 [Lyon]

"His paternal grandparents were Merrill and Elizabeth (Woodward) Utley, both natives of North Carolina, and the progenitor of the family in America was an Englishman who came to the colony of Virginia with the Jamestown settlers."

The way this is worded, it's unclear if the reference to the progenitor means an Utley ancestor or a Woodward ancestor, but no Utley records have been found in association with Jamestown. Since there are records for a Christopher Woodward who came to Jamestown from England and since Andrew Jackson Woodward also believed he had an ancestor who came to Jamestown from England, I feel sure the reference must have been to the ancestors of Elizabeth Woodward. Merrill Utley was born in 1777 in Wake Co and moved to Calloway Co, KY. He was the son of Jacob Utley Sr and Phoebe (Sanders?). His sisters Winifred Utley and Elizabeth Utley married Pleasants Woodward and James Woodward respectively, both sons of Christopher Woodward. At this time, I am not sure whose daughter Elizabeth Woodward, wife of Merrill Utley, was. I would guess Richard Woodward's, but that's only a guess.

It is extremely unlikely that Pleasants Woodward spent his early childhood in Jamestown as Andrew Jackson Woodward stated. Pleasants was born in the mid-1760's, and his father Christopher was in Johnston Co by 1766. Jamestown had suffered a great deal of destruction during Bacon's Rebellion almost a hundred years before. The statehouse burned in 1698, and Williamsburg became the thriving colonial capital. Essentially, there was no Jamestown in the 1750's and 1760's. See

Plus we have evidence that Christopher Woodward was in Nansemond Co in 1759 which was before Pleasants was even born. Even though A J Woodward must have been mistaken about Pleasants and his father Christopher coming from Jamestown to Wake Co, it is significant that he remembered something about an ancestor who came from England and settled at Jamestown. There was an earlier Christopher Woodward who did arrive in Jamestown in 1620 and was later found in Henrico, and I believe he is our earlier ancestor and the ancestor both descendants had in mind. His son Samuel Woodward Sr married Sarah Hallom, and they were the parents of Samuel Woodward Jr of Charles City Co, Boston, Chowan Co, and probably Nansemond Co. However, it has been very difficult to establish a link from Samuel Woodward Jr to Christopher Woodward due to the destruction of the Nansemond records.

We have the following knowledge of Christopher Woodward and his family which may reflect on his earlier contacts and ancestry.

Suffolk Parish vestry records (Nansemond Co):
Oct. 31, 1759: Capt. Randal for keping Christopher Woodward's child 4 months.

Christopher's known surviving children were named in his 1785 will as Jordan, Corbell, Pleasants, Richard, James, Elizabeth, and Mary. So although Jordan was apparently the oldest surviving child, there was a child born before him as proven by the above record. Jordan stated in his Revolutionary pension application that he was born in NC on Feb 13, 1760. The names of Christopher Woodward's known children may offer some clues as to his or his wife's previous ancestry.

We also know that after Christopher Woodward moved into the Johnston/Wake area, he and his family were closely associated with the Utley, Jones, Speight, Sanders, and Hambleton families that lived nearby. There was also an unexplained closeness between Jordan Woodward's family and several families who lived near the Little River area on the border between Wake and Johnston Cos. - the Hatchers, Traywicks, Hyatts, Ducks, and McClenny/Clenny's.

I had suspected a possible Sanders connection behind the Utleys and/or Woodwards and began looking into their records. In researching the Sanders family, I found that many of these families associated with the Christopher Woodward family of Wake Co came from the Upper Parish of Nansemond Co, especially the area around Sumerton Creek and Sarem Creek. By putting the records for these families together with the available Woodward records, I have come to the conclusion that the most likely candidate for the father of Christopher Woodward was Richard Woodward of Nansemond Co - and the most likely candidate for the father of Richard Woodward was Samuel Woodward Jr. I repeat - we have only circumstantial evidence that points in this direction, not proof.

Starting with Samuel Woodward Jr, the line can be proven back through his father Samuel Woodward Sr to another Christopher Woodward - the same Christopher Woodward who arrived in Jamestown in 1620, probably from England. Perhaps this is the immigrant that Andrew Jackson Woodward and Elizabeth Woodward Utley had heard of - and A J Woodward was simply confused as to exactly where in his ancestry this immigrant belonged. It's also interesting that the name Christopher was repeated. Just a coincidence? Or is it possible that Christopher's father had heard the story of his great-grandfather(?) named Christopher who settled at Jamestown, and then named his own son for this immigrant - thereby keeping the family's history alive to be retold to later generations? The family of Merrill Utley and Elizabeth Woodward were also aware of this ancestor. There is no doubt that a story about an ancestor coming from England and settling in Jamestown was passed down to both families. The similarities between the story that was passed down through the early Wake Co Woodward families and what we know concerning the earlier Jamestown settler Christopher Woodward are too strong to be ignored.

Richard Woodward of Nansemond Co.

Richard Woodward lived near Sarem Creek in the part of Nansemond Co that was taken in by Chowan Co in 1728 and later became part of Hertford Co and still later Gates Co. Because of the destruction of the Nansemond records, few records are available. Although the Chowan records survived, the Hertford records didn't.
He (William Hamilton) had been there (Chowan Co) only a short time for in 1728, William Hamilton and brother, Stewart Hamilton, made a deed jointly to James Hamilton, their brother, for two hundred acres patented November 20, 1728, adjoining the lands of Richard Woodward on Long Island. This information found in the North Carolina Historical Register by Hathaway, Vol. 2, page 454, and deed also recorded in Chowan County, North Carolina, records in Deed Book C-1.

WOODWARD, RICHARD owned lands next to THOMAS PILAND and JAMES HAMBLETON (1729) 2-446, 2-454.  (N. C. Genealogical Register by Worth S. Ray)

Patent to Richard Woodward   30 June 1733 Nansemond Co. 34 acres swamp land. On the south side of the main road and on the south side of Nansemond River adjoining the land of Major David Osheal.  Patents 15, p 77

On Sept. 12, 1758 William Hurst deeded to Richard Woodward 535 acres in Granville Co. at Solomon Alston's corner on Hunter's line and Gideon Macon's corner. The deed was witnessed by Solomon Alston and Benjamin Ward.

On Dec. 18, 1758, Richard Woodward and Isaac Hunter witnessed a deed from Solomon Alston to his son Solomon Alston, Jr. for 200 acres between Fishing Creek and Shocco Creek in Col. Edward Moseley's line near the main road.

On Apr. 1, 1760, Richard Woodward deeded to Solomon Alston, Jr. 200 acres in Granville Co. between Shocco Creek and Fishing Creek at Gideon Macon's corner. The deed was witnessed by Solomon Alston and William Landum.

On Nov. 4, 1760, Richard Woodward deeded to Harrood (Harwood) Jones of Northampton Co. 300 acres in Granville Co. at Jesse Hunter's line on Miller's and Hurst's lines, Solomon Alston's corner, being part of a tract possessed by William Hurst and patented by William Little, Esqr. Dec. 5, 1728 and willed to his son, William Little, and sold by him to Hurst. No witnesses were recorded.

On Jan. 21, 1762, Richard Woodward of Nansemond Co. deeded to William Alston of Granville Co. 18 acres being part of a tract sold by Maj. William Hurst, dec'd. to Woodward in 1750 on a branch that divides William Hurst, dec'd. and James Mills. This deed was witnessed by John Alston and Solomon Alston.

On Feb. 7, 1763, William Alston deeded to William Tabb 18 acres in Granville Co., being part of a tract sold by Maj. William Hurst to Richard Woodward in 1750 and on Buffalo Swamp which divides the land of William Tabb and Jones on lines of Thomas Mills and William Hurst, dec'd.

(Note: When you add together the land sold by Woodward, the total comes to 518 acres, almost as much as the deed from William Hurst is 1758. However, both the 1762 and 1763 deeds refer to the purchase date as 1750 rather than 1758. Was there additional land that Woodward purchased from Hurst in 1750 or was the date of purchase miscopied/misentered in the deed of sale? No 1750 deed has been found.)

Although there is at least a 17 year gap (possibly 25 years) between the 1733 patent in Nansemond and the 1750 (1758?) purchase of land from Maj. William Hurst in Granville, this would seem to be the same Richard Woodward. One of the deeds clearly states he was from Nansemond. This could mean he had either left Granville and returned to Nansemond by 1762 - or he never left Nansemond at all but simply purchased land in Granville. We can't be sure he ever lived in Granville since none of the deeds state he was from Granville, but none of the earlier deeds state he was from Nansemond either. We only know he was living in Nansemond in 1762. But the question is, was he the same Richard Woodward who appeared on the earlier Nansemond records?

Several of the deeds reflect a close association with the Alston family. Solomon Alston Sr had lived previously in Chowan Co near Sarum Swamp which has previously been associated with Richard Woodward through the Hambleton records above.

John Singleton and wife, Mary, to Thomas Piland; Jany 2d, 1739-1740 260 acres, one half of patent to James Cole for 519 acres, dated April 20, 1694, sold to Jno. Cole May 20, 1702, deed recorded in Nansemond County, Va., and by Cole to Jos. Bird Oct. 26, 1716, who sold same to John Singleton Mch 10, 1726. Test, Wm. Daniel, James Alston, Phillip Alston.

The above land can clearly be associated with the Sarem Swamp/Sumerton area by the original patent to James Cole and the later will of James Cole/Coles:

Patent to James Cole  20 Apl 1694  Nansemond Co  519a  Lying on the South Eastward side of Saram swamp in the upper parish of Nansemond County.... for importation of eleven persons...  Patents 8, p 333

Will of James Coles.  Perquimans Precinct. February 20, 1711. Daughter: Elizabeth Coles (tract of land in Nansemond County, Va., "whereon my father James Coles lived"; tracts of land at Somertowne and Buckland). Wife and Executrix: Mary. Wit: Rich French, Eliz. French, Sarah Evens. Clerk of the Court: Henry Clayton. Coat of arms on seal.

James Alston and Phillip Alston who witnessed the 1726 deed were brothers to Solomon Alston Sr - all sons of John Alston d 1758 Chowan. Thomas Piland owned land adjoining Richard Woodward in 1729. (See record above.)

Their father John Alston's land can be placed in what is now Gates Co, but prior to 1728 would have been right on the border of Nansemond/Chowan if not actually in Nansemond. Other records have shown that it was not always clear where the line between Nansemond and Chowan was; thus land near the border was sometimes referred to as being in either county. In 1711, most if not all of the land in present Gates Co would have been considered part of Nansemond. Although the patent below states the land was in Chowan, there is reason to believe John Alston was actually a resident of Nansemond.
While residing in Virginia it was recorded on April 20, 1715, He [John Alston] was a juror at court held at the house of Mr. Henry King.
The first mention on record of John Alston in North Carolina is a grant of 270 acres of land on the northwest side of Bennetts Creek in 1711. This creek is, in what is now Gates County, formerly Chowan, and his land was near or immediately where Gatesville now stands.

Gates Co Deeds Bk A-1-10 9 Feb 1778 John Alston of Orange Co NC to Robert Parker of Hertford Co NC., 750 A., 200, . . Situate in Hertford Co . . .beg a pine N side of Bennetts Creek, Jesse Browns corner, his line to haw tree Branch, up sd Branch to James Hayses his line to Lawrence Bakers, his line to George Pilands, his line to Seasbrook Wilson to Bennetts Creek to beg. . .Whereon Colo John Alston formerly lived . . John Alston Wit: William Alston, Charles Horton, James Brown

Obviously, as the county lines were redrawn, the John Alston land at the time of this record fell into Hertford Co. Later when Gates Co was created, it fell into that county. The fact that it adjoined Jesse Brown's land in Hertford is also of interest. The Southampton Co., VA will of Jesse Browne of St. Luke Parish was dated Nov. 29, 1770 and recorded Dec. 13, 1770. Among other legacies, he left to his grandson, Jesse Browne, his land in Hertford Co., NC and land (no location given) bought of Joseph Strickling which was patented by Oliver Woodward (suspected brother to Richard Woodward of Nansemond and Samuel Woodward d 1752 Chowan). The original grant to Oliver Woodward, Sr. was for 240 acres in Isle of Wight on the South side of the Nottoway River adjoining Dr. Samuel Brown. The grant was dated Aug. 25, 1731. This part of Isle of Wight later became part of Southampton Co. with the creation of new county. Through some unknown transfers, this property that had been granted to Oliver Woodward in 1731 passed into the possession of Joseph Strickling who sold it to Dr. Jesse Browne, son of Dr. Samuel Brown. Dr. Samuel Brown's Isle of Wight will written in 1739 named among others son Jesse Browne (of the 1770 will) to whom he left land on Indian Branch in NC. This was probably the land in Hertford Co. that Jesse Browne left to his grandson. (The spelling varied between "Browne" and "Brown".)

It's curious that the land left to Jesse Brown was in the part of Hertford that later became Gates Co. The land in present Gates Co prior to 1728 belonged to Nansemond Co. Even more curious is this statement:
Dr. Samuel Browne called his home plantation "Woodards." It was near Totoquotunnta Swamp.

Solomon Alston Sr left his will in Warren Co dated 1780, codicil 1781, recorded 1785. No Woodward connection is apparent from the will. His wife was Nancy Ann Hinton, daughter of Col John Hinton and Mary Hardy who seem to have come from the same part of Nansemond. (See John Hinton patents below.)

Isaac Hunter who witnessed the deed with Richard Woodward in 1758 later moved to Wake Co where his tavern became a well-known landmark. His wife was Martha Alston. Sources for Isaac Hunter's ancestry disagree. Some sources say he was the son of Isaac Hunter (Sr) of Chowan - now Gates - who lived on the land granted to his father William Hunter in Nansemond Co. After the NC/VA line was redrawn, the land was determined to lie in Chowan Co. Other sources say he descended from the same William Hunter of Nansemond, but through Nicholas Hunter and Reuben Hunter (married Sarah Speight, daughter of William Speight and Abigail, and died in Wake Co). In either case, this Isaac Hunter's family traces back to Nansemond - and forward to Wake Co.

2018 update: The Isaac Hunter who moved to Johnston/Wake Co and was known for the tavern was not this Isaac Hunter. He was the son of Isaac Hunter of "Rich Square" who was son of Nicholas Hunter who in turn was son of William Hunter of Nansemond. This Isaac's better known brothers included Reuben and Theophilus Hunter who also moved to Johnston/Wake.

Patent to William Hunter, of Nansemond County, weaver. 21 Apr 1695. Nansemond Co. 200 acres on the eastward side of the Main Cypruss Swamp that runs out of Bennetts Creek in the Upper Parish of Nansemond County ... branch of Oysterlong Neck ....  Patents 8, p 431

Patent to William Hunter. 25 Apr 1701. Nansemond Co. 240 acres in ye Upper Parish of Nansemond County on ye southeastward side of the Meherring Swamp ... a corner tree of a patent formerly granted to ye sd Hunter ...   Patents 9, p 309

A later deed for the sale of some of this land clearly indicates that the Meherrin Swamp was a branch of Bennett's Creek. Bennett's Creek is now in Gates Co - before 1728 this land was considered part of the Upper Parish of Nansemond Co. The Hunter land could not have been far from Sarum Swamp.
ISSAC HUNTER, JR. sold to ISAAC HUNTER, SR. 384 acres, part of a patent to WM. HUNTER, late of VA. and given by him to his son NICHOLAS and sold by him to his son ISAAC on Meherrin swamp issuing out of Bennett's creek. Dated 2 MAY 1739. Tests: Wm Hunter, Elisha Hunter. Chowan Co. Bk. 3, page 133.

The deed from Nicholas Hunter to Isaac Hunter is especially interesting as it refers to a later patent to Nicholas Hunter and Thomas Davis (the same Thomas Davis who was brother of Sarah Davis who married John Sanders Jr discussed later?).
One hundred acres more or Les which s'd Land being part of a Pattent formerly granted to W'm Hunter late of the Upper Parish of Nansemond Decease'd father of the s'd Nico's Hunter part to there presents as by a Pattent granted by the authority of Virg'a to the afs'd W'm Hunter for the quantity of two hundred & Forty acres being dated the 24 April 1701 doth & may appear & by the last will & Testam't of the s'd W'm Hunter decended to Nico's Hunter party to these presents relation there unto being had fully & at laye doth & may appear & the other parall being a Patt't granted to Nic's Hunter afo'd & Tho's Davis of Pequimans Precinct for the quantity of 164 acres bearing date the 9th March 1718(?) doth & May appear & by the s'd Tho's Davis sold & covey's to Nic's Hunter afo'd as by a Deed of Sale unto the s'd Davis's hand & Seal now upon record relation being thereunto had fully & at laye doth & may appear beginning at a red Oak Jam's Spivey's Comer tree y'r the Severall.

This Nicholas Hunter moved to Onslow Co during the same period when John Sanders and Stephen Howard lived there. He left his will there in 1749. He was born about 1704 and his wife's name was Rebecca.

Another earlier Nicholas Hunter (brother/father of William Hunter?) left another patent when refers to land nearby:

Patent to Nicholas Hunter & Elizabeth his wife in behalf of themselves and Francis Benton an infant,
an infant 28 Apr 1711 Nansemond Co. 148 acres... Inquisition court of Nansemond Co taken ninth day of May 1702... by virtue of warrant directed to William Randolph Esq escheator ... it appears that Thomas Hampton was at the time of his death seized ..?.. about 800 acres of land situated in the aforesaid county... known by the name of Tuckers Neck appearing by two patents (viz) one 700 acres bearing the date 19th of May 1637 the other of 100 acres bearing the date of the 21st of Sept 1637 ... it was in possession of Joseph Ellis and several other persons then living thereon that it did not appear to the jury that Thomas Hampton made any will or other conveyance of the said land nor that there was any heir of his in this country ... neither did it appear to them that the said Thomas Hampton was or was not an alien at the time of his death. Whereas Nicholas Hunter and Elizabeth his wife in behalf of themselves and Francis Benton an infant ... upper parish of the county of Nansemond on the west side of the Southern branch of Nansemond River ... a corner John Hare's land ... Patents 10, p 37

Similar patents which involved the same Thomas Hampton land were made the same day to John Haslett and Sarah his wife in behalf of themselves and David Rice an infant for 148 acres, Francis Benton (but not referred to as an infant) for 106 acres, William Ward for 106 acres, John Hare for 48 acres, and Christopher Norfleet for 60 acres.

Richard Woodward was of age by 1728, perhaps several years earlier, as he owned land by then  that adjoined land near Sarem Swamp that John Hambleton had left to his sons including William Hambleton who moved to Wake Co. Richard Woodward also patented land adjoining David Osheal which appears to have been the same land that Richard Sanders had recently left to son James Sanders.

The name Osheal was very uncommon in the early records. I have been able to find nothing on the family of David Osheal who purchased the Richard Sanders land in Nansemond and whose land adjoined Richard Woodward in Nansemond. I have found no Osheal records other than for David Osheal and a later Daniel Osheal in Bute/Warren Co. Because the name was so rare, I can't help but believe that Daniel Osheal who owned land near Shocco Creek near Richard Woodward's land must have been a son or maybe a nephew of David Osheal of Nansemond whose land adjoined Richard Woodward's.
Nov ye 28th day 1754
          A Just Role of all the troopers names belonging to Granville County
                    under the command of Capt. William Hurst
[names include]
Danl. Osheal, Loeft.

Warren Co, NC Records - Mary Hinton Kerr
p 1 - Bute Co. Bk 1 (WB 1-1) Danl Osheal to Jno Brown, both of Granvill. 22 Sept 1763. 21 year lse for 1650 ac tr of land in Granville called Kingswood, 20 sh yearly rent. Wit: Blake Baker, Peter Morgan.
DB-l, page 149. 7 September 1765. JULIUS NICHOLS, Esq., High Sheriff of Bute Co, to JOSEPH MONTFORT, of Halifax Co. 70 Pds.Procl. money, the highest bid at public sale last August lst., for 1650 A. belonging to DANIEL OSHEAL, adj. Shocco Creek on the north side & adj. land of JOSEPH MONTFORT (formerly MOSLEY), where DANIEL OSHEAL now lives and known by the name of Penswood, on Long Branch, otherwise called the Cabbin Branch. This property was sold by Order of the Superior Court for the District of Edenton, for debt of DANIEL OSHEAL to THOMAS PERSON, of Granville Co. Wit: BENJAMIN PERSON, WILLIAM MOORE. Ack: by JULIUS NICHOLS, Esq., Sheriff, Bute July Court 1766, BEN McCULLOCH, C.C. Reg: 28 November 1766, by WILLIAM JOHNSON, P.R.
DB-1, page 250. 12 August 1765. DANIEL OSHEAL, of Bute Co., to JOSEPH MONTFORT, of Halifax Co. 350 Pds. "lawfull money of sd. Province" for 1650 A. in Bute Co. on NS Shocco Creek, on Long Branch otherwise called Cabbin Branch where DANIEL OSHEAL now lives, known by the name of Penswood, adj. MOSELEY. Wit: JAMES GUPTON, JOHN BROWN. Proved by JOHN BROWN, Bute January Court 1767, BEN McCULLOCH, C.C. Reg: 8 April 1767, by WILL. JOHNSON, P.R.

Of interest is another Woodward who was present in Granville Co at the same time:
Muster Roll of the Regiment in Granville County under the command
of Col. William Eaton as taken at a General Muster of the said
Regiment 8 October 1754
[names include]
Capt. John Glover’s Company
William Woodward

No kinship has been proven between Richard Woodward and William Woodward at this time.

No further records have been found for Richard Woodward of Nansemond after 1762. It's assumed that he died in Nansemond. In 1759, Christopher Woodward's child was mentioned in the Suffolk Parish records of Nansemond.

No Woodwards were listed on the Virginia Quit Rent Rolls in either Isle of Wight or Nansemond in 1704, so either Richard Woodward's father did not hold any land in either of those counties at that time or Richard and/or his father must have come to Nansemond from somewhere else at some time after 1704. Although Thomas Woodward the immigrant had previously patented land in Chowan and Isle of Wight and Nansemond, only one of his sons, the younger John Woodward, might have survived to carry on the line - and that John Woodward and all of his suviving siblings except Philarite Woodward (wife of John Giles) disappeared from the records. The next Woodward we find in the area is Samuel Woodward Jr, grandson of Christopher Woodward the immigrant. Samuel Woodward Jr purchased land in Chowan after 1704/5 but before 1713.

Samuel Woodward Jr of Charles City Co, Boston, (possibly Nansemond), and Chowan Co.

Samuel Woodward Jr was a mariner who sailed up and down the east coast between Boston and Roanoke. He was the grandson of Christopher Woodward who settled at Jamestown. Samuel's wife was Elizabeth Hudson, daughter of Francis Hudson of Boston.

Samuel Woodward; 17 Oct 1687, 21 Dec 1688; master of Ketch Sparrow of Boston, licensed to sail for Maryland and Roanoke.

Certainly he had been sailing from Boston to Roanoke for quite a few years and continued these trips for many more years after this record. His earliest known record in the Nansemond area occurred in 1682, five years prior to the above record.

Patent to John Perry 24 Apr 1682. 320 acres lying and being in ye Upper Parish of Nanzemond near Humphrey Griffins for ye transportation of seven persons including Rowland Williams, Richard Bennett, and Samuel Woodward.

Patent to Humphrey Griffin 11 Mar 1664 200 acres on the Southern branch of Nansemond River on a creek called Matthew's Creek beg.g at a marked Spanish oak standing by a beaver dam.

From The Colonial Records of NC - NC Higher Court Records 1670-1696, Mattie Erma Edwards Parker, Editor, 1968, State Department of Archives & History, p. 101:
Nov. 30, 1694. Ordered that a bond brought into Court by Colonel Thomas Pollock made from John Goddard to Mr. John Boarland in New England being proved by the Oaths of Sam Woodard and Arthure Workman sworne before Capt. John Hunt be recorded. Signed Thomas Harvey, Daniel Akehurst, Francis Tomes, Benjamin Lakar, Thomas Pollock, Samuel Swann, William Duckenfeild, Robert Wallis.

From the same source, p. 103:
Know all men by these presents that I John Goddard of Curituck In Virginia now resident in Boston in New England Merchant doe by these presents grant and acknowledge my selfe to be justly Indebted and owing unto John Boreland of Boston in New England Money for the which summ of thirty Pounds Money as aforesaid I binde and oblige my selfe my heires Executors Administrators and assignes to pay or cause to be paid or delivered unto Mr Thomas Steel in North Carolina or in his absence to Mr Thomas Pollock of North Carolina Merchant twenty Barrells of good and well salted and pickled porke of thirty one Gallons gage per Barrell for the account of the said John Boarland aforesaid his heires or assignes to the true performance wherof I bind and oblige my selfe my heires Executors Administrators and assignes to the said John Boarland his heires or assignes in the penall Summ of sixty pounds New England Money Well and truely to be paid In Witnes wherof I have subscribed to two Obligations being performed the other to remaine void dated in Boston the 16th day of October 1693.
Memorandum Its agreed before the signing and sealing herof that the abovesaid twenty Barells of Porke is to be paid as aforesaid at or before the first day of January Next 1693/4.
John Goddard
Signed sealed and delivered in presence of Arthure Workeman, David Dewer, John Tyler, Saml. Woodward

I have found no records that indicate Samuel Woodward Jr owned land in Nansemond, but the deeds of Nansemond were destroyed and only the patents and occasional references to land in Nansemond in the records of other counties remain in addition to some parish records. However, he was named several times as a headright by people who were patenting land in Nansemond.

Some of the same names appeared along with Samuel Woodward's name in these patents again and again. Surely these were friends or business associates or fellow mariners - or possibly even relatives.

Patent to Jonathan Robinson 24 Aug 1703 200 acres in the Upper Parish of Nansemond Co on the "head of a branch of Chowan River, commonly called & knowne by the name of ye Cabbin Branch." No neighbors or other recognizable landmarks were mentioned. Four headrights were named - John Lugg, Sarah Clafton/Clapton(?), Henry Worgan(?), and Sam. Woodward.

Patent to Robert Sanders 1 Apr 1717 Nansemond Co, Upper Parish of Nansemond Co 118 acres on the north side of a branch of the Cabbin Swamp of Sumerton Creek

Jonathan Robinson of the 1703 record had patented land with John Sanders Sr and Richard Thomas in 1681 near Kingsale Swamp on the border of Nansemond and Isle of Wight. Robert Sanders of the 1717 record was the grandson of John Sanders Sr through his son John Sanders Jr. James Sanders Sr of Johnston Co was also a grandson of John Sanders Sr through his son Richard Sanders.

Sumerton Creek flows into the Chowan River from the east. It fairly well follows the present NC/VA border, wandering back and forth between the two states. But because the NC/VA border was farther south until 1728, the land at Somerton Creek was once part of Nansemond.

Lewis Williams of Chowan Prct. with consent of my wife Mary Williams to Denis Macklenden. A deed of gift, -- acres at a place called Mt. Pleasant upon Wickacon Cr. joining Poplar Branch, Long Branch, the hed of Damsel branch and ye mouth of ye Cabin branch. Wit. Richard Bellame. Dated Dec. 7, 1703, Recorded Jan., 1703/04 Chowan Co.

Since one record refers to the creek as lying in Nansemond and the other refers to it as lying in Chowan, it must have been very near the border, perhaps extending into both counties. Years earlier, the land at Mt Pleasant mentioned in the Lewis Williams deed had been patented by Thomas Woodward, an English emigrant who settled in Isle of Wight. It is suspected that Thomas Woodward and Christopher Woodward might have been brothers, but no proof has been found. It's interesting that many of the Samuel Woodward Jr/III records involved land that was previously patented by Thomas Woodward. I have found no records that indicate that any of the Thomas Woodward lands were inherited by Samuel Woodward.

Patent to Robert Sanders 1 Apr 1717 Nansemond Co. 150a  near a place called King sale adjoining land of Richard Sanders & land formerly patented to John Sanders.

This was Robert Sanders d 1731, grandson of John Sanders who had previously patented land near Kingsale Swamp in 1681 with Jonathan Robinson and Richard Thomas. Richard Sanders was a son of the same John Sanders, therefore Richard Sanders was Robert Sanders' uncle. Since the other Robert Sanders patent on Cabbin Swamp has the same date, this was probably the same Robert Sanders. Jonathan Robinson of the 1681 Robinson/Thomas/Sanders patent is the same Jonathan Robinson who claimed Samuel Woodward as a headright in 1703.

Patent to Elias Ballard. 28 Apl 1711 Nansemond County 702a.  585a part thereof. Beg.g &c on the North West side of a swamp of Sumerton Creek, known by the name of the Bever dam swamp. 117a the residue Beg.g &c on the so. side of the aforesd. Sumerton creek it being a line tree of John Lees land ....  William Speight's line ..... Hookes .... 14 persons to dwell within this our Colony of Virginia whose names are Jane Burk, Thomas Ross, Mary Taylor, Eliza. Reed, Anne Reed, James Fleming, Francis Cambridge, Eliza. Rod(?), Richard Rod(?), John Knowles, Saml. Woodward, William Williams, Eliza. Goodwin, & Margaret Thompson. Patents 10, p 17

Again we see the mention of Sumerton Creek. It would appear that Cabbin Branch and Beaver Dam Swamp were both branches that fed into Sumerton Creek which in turn flowed into the Chowan River.

Elias Ballard appeared on an earlier patent that might indicate other members of his family.

Joseph Ballard, Elisha Ballard, and Elias Ballard of Nansemond County   Nansemond County  20 Apr 1694 550 acres being on the Southward swamp of Sumerton Creek in the Upper Parish of Nansemond County ... transportation of eleven persons ...  Patents 8, p 334

28 April 1711. Elias Ballard. Patent for 702 A. in Upper Parish of Nansemond Co.; beginning on northwest side of Beaver Dam Swamp of Sumerton Creek; adjacent Hooke's land; and William Speight's line. (NugIII, p. 115)

Elias Ballard   Nansemond County  24 Jan 1717 400 acres being near Sumerton in the Upper Parish of Nansemond County ... a corner tree of Elias Ballard in John Holland's line ... to a pine in John Bryant's line ... Patents 10, p 359

16 Nov 1744. John Ballard of Craven County to Thomas Price of Edgecombe, for 16 pounds VA money, 150 acres all the land the sd. John bought of William Gause near the Rainbow Banks. Wit:  William Taylor, Elias Ballard, John Hooks, Sr. Reg. Edge. Co. Feb. Ct. 1744 Robert Forster C.Ct.

Elias Ballard's land was mentioned again in a 1747 patent to Luke Ralls (Rawls) for 200 acres in Nansemond on the SE side of Back Swamp adjoining John Bryan's patent, William Ralls, John Yeats, and Elias Ballard. Patents 26, p 6

The 1729 Chowan Co will of Joseph Ballard named, among others, sons Elisha Ballard, Elias Ballard, and Joseph Ballard.

Patent to William Sumner 13 Nov 1713 266a in the Upper Parish of Nansemond on both sides of the mouth of the Dark Poquoson which comes out of Oropeak swamp .... near Stallings corner tree .... maple in Holloy's(?) land .... mouth of the Myrie(?) branch ... Skibo's(?) branch .... Headrights included Samuel Woodward and John Sutton. (very difficult to read)

William Sumner's land does not include the same landmarks as the other patents although it was in the Upper Parish of Nansemond and couldn't have been very far away.
Lemuel Bass, to John Skeeter. 10 July 1737. 175 acres granted by Alex. Spotswood, Governor of Virginia, to Joseph Thompson, 16 June 1714, on west side of Orapeeke Swamp. Test. John Sumner, Henry Hunter, William Speight. (HathI-116)

Orapeake Swamp is now in northeast Gates Co on the south side of Sumerton Creek very near the NC/VA border. It's a little farther east of the land that has been referenced in the other records, but still very nearby.

William Sumner is important for another reason too. His son, John Sumner, along with James Howard and Andrew Ross, witnessed the 1710 Nansemond will of Francis Cambridge. James Howard's sister was the wife of Richard Sanders, son of John Sanders of the 1681 patent. James Howard's wife was Elizabeth ???, granddaughter of James Foster. Therefore, she was either the daughter or niece of Jonathan Robinson and wife Ann Foster who was a daughter of James Foster. Francis Cambridge and Samuel Woodward were both named as headrights in the 1711 Elias Ballard patent above. At some indefinite date between and 1704/5 and 1713, Francis Cambridge sold land in Chowan to Samuel Woodward Jr. James Fleming, another headright in the Elias Ballard patent, and John Howard, brother of James Howard and brother-in-law of Richard Sanders, witnessed the deed in which John White Sr sold the land to Francis Cambridge that Cambridge later sold to Samuel Woodward Jr.

John White Sr of Chowan in NC with ye free and voluntary consent of Sarah my wife to Francis Cambridge of VA 8 Jan 1704/5 5 L 16 shillings and 8 pence 150a, a sertain parsell of land on ye south west side of Hoping (?) Creek, joining Widow Absilison (?) Wit John Harrad, James Flemans. Reg. 3 Apr ----

Samuel Woodward and wife Elizabeth to Isaac Lelender. Land on SW side of Stoping Creek, lower part of tract surveyed by John White, Sr. and sold to Francis Cambridge. Aug. 4, 1713.

Stoping or Stopping Creek lay on the east side of the Chowan River not far from Catharine's Creek (also called Indian Town Creek and Old Town Creek) and just north of Rockahock.

Patent to John White 21 Apr 1690 100a in ye Upper Parish of Nansemond Co formerly granted to James Welch and lately found to escheat ... land of ye honble Jno Lear Esq

Patent to John White "of Nansemond Co" 29 Oct 1696 300a on both sides of the head of Beaver Dam Swamp in ye Upper Parish of Nansemond Co adj land of John Copelands... for importation of four persons.

And so we see that even John White Sr had held land in the same part of Nansemond.

Patent to Lawrence Baker. 15 July 1717 Upper Parish of Nansemond adjoining Mrs Mary Baker, Mr Lear, and Colo. Milner. Headrights included Samuel Woodward, John Knowls, Jacob Thompson, John Welsh(?), James Fleming, and Samuel Merrit.

Compare the description of the land in the Elias Ballard patent to the earlier patents below:

Patent to John Lee. Nansemond Co. 2/24/1675/6. 100a joining to the swamp or branch which divides this land from the land formerly belonging to Micah [Michael] Hill and which now Francis Sanders is seated on .... marked trees belonging to Mr James Foster ... Capt John Mason's ... Patents 6, p 595

Patent to James Howard. County not given. Oct 21, 1684. 300a in the Upper Parish of Nansemond at the head of Capt. John Mason's in the Western Branch ... John Mason and other land of Richard Sanders ... standing in Michaell Hill now Francis Sanders land ... pine by John Wattis(?) ... red oak by Thomas Jernigan ... formerly granted to Richard Sanders by patent bearing date of ?? July 1680. Patents 7, p 412

Also holding land in the same vicinity was John Holland.

John Holland  20 Apr 1682  Nansemond County 760 acres in Upper Parish beginning at a white oake of Walter Bazeley, being the beginning tree mentioned in Michael Gill alias Hill's patent ... nigh John Carr ... by Foster's old line ... to a Poquoson near head of the Dirty Branch ... below Francis Sanders' house ... granted to Michael Gill alias Hill 18 Feb 1664 which after severall surrenders and sales &c became due  and is in possession of ye sd John Holland ... Patents 7, p 167

In 1717, Elias Ballard patented land in Nansemond near Sumerton which adjoined a John Holland.

And then compare these Nansemond patents to these Chowan records:

John Hedgepeth, Jr., and wife, Mary, of Nansemond County, Va., to Thomas Speight, of same place. 25 November 1717. 100 acres at the Horsepen Branch, adjoining land of William Speight, it being where John Melton formerly lived. Test. James Holland, Culbert Hedspeth, Thomas Bissell.

Thomas Spites. 1 March 1719/20. 640 acres in Chowan Precinct, joining his own corner tree, ye Horse Pen Pocoson, Francis Spites, ye Beaver Dam Branch, Paul Pender, Richard Sanders, John Lee, and Colo. Milner.

Spite or Spites or even Spike were common variant spellings for Speight. Certainly Beaver Dam Branch and the land of Richard Sanders and James Howard must have been very near the NC/VA border if this patent land was believed to have been in Chowan rather than Nansemond as given in the 1719/20 record. That agrees with the other patents which refer to Sumerton Creek which lies very near the present NC/VA border. However, prior to 1728, the NC/VA border was several miles farther south. Sarem Creek where John Hambleton's land was located lay between the old border and the new border in present Gates Co. Richard Woodward held land that adjoined the Hambleton land. (See Hambleton records.)

That is again verified by the following:
William Speight. 1 April 1727. "... cut line through William Speight's plantation on east side of Somerton Creek..." (ColRecNC, v. 2, p. 756).
Survey left part of his land in Virginia and part in North Carolina. (ColRecNC, v. 2, p. 756)

William Spites and William Spites, Sr. 5 March 1727/8. NC/VA line survey found them in the area around Beach Swamp, Sumerton Creek and Sumerton Chapel, Sarum, Duke's Mill, and Beaver Dam. -- all between Dismal Swamp and Black Water River. (ColRecNC, v. 3, pp. 805 & 806 respectively)

And so we can place the land of Samuel Woodward Jr's close associates very near the NC/VA border near Sumerton Creek and near some of the Sanders land. We can place some of Richard Woodward's land in the same area. We can place Richard Sanders' land and William Speight's land so close to the border that it seemed to be on both sides. We can also place one piece of Richard Woodward's land as adjoining David Osheal's land - land which had previously belonged to James Sanders who had inherited it from his father Richard Sanders - land that the Sanders heirs were still allowed to live on. (See Sanders records.) We can place another piece of Richard Woodward's land near the Hambleton land on Sarem Swamp. (See Hambleton records.) Even Jonathan Robinson who held 1/3 of the Sanders/Thomas/Robinson patent of 1681 patented additional land on Sumerton Creek in 1703 claiming Samuel Woodward as a headright.

Although there are no records that prove any kinship between Samuel Woodward Jr or Richard Woodward and the Sanders or Howards or Speights, all of these families owned land in the same area and had contact with the same people. At the very least, they had to be well acquainted. There are no records to prove that Samuel Woodward Jr owned land in Nansemond. However, it's quite possible he did purchase land there (as opposed to patenting land), and the deeds that reflect any land he might have held have been destroyed. Certainly he had contact with the Nansemond area as early as 1682. Although he was a mariner from Boston, it would seem that the Chowan/Nansemond area was his second home for over thirty years. It would not be surprising at all if he left children in the area.

James Fleming who appeared on several of the records can be connected to the Samuel Woodward Jr family if the Stephens research is correct. According to this research, Samuel Woodward III d 1752 Chowan (probable son of Samuel Woodward Jr) m Sarah Stephens. (I have not yet found the records that prove this marriage, but other records for Samuel Woodward III seem to support this.) Sarah's older half-sister Mary Stephens/Stephenson married James Fleming. See
Since James Fleming witnessed the deed from John White Sr to Francis Cambridge in 1704/5 (when Samuel Woodward III was still a child), and the same land was sold to Samuel Woodward Jr before 1713 (when Samuel III was still underage), and Samuel Woodward III later married James Fleming's wife's half-sister, and Samuel Woodward III was closely associated with Luke White, son of John White Sr, I think we have very good evidence that Samuel Woodward III d 1752 Chowan was a son of Samuel Woodward Jr and Elizabeth Hudson. The same family associations were found in both generations.

Caleb Stevens (who according to the same Stephens research was the brother of Sarah Stephens) owned land in Chowan adjoining the Rockahock land patented by William Woodward in 1719. On the same date that William Woodward received his grant, Samuel Woodward (Jr? III?) was also granted a patent at Rockahock adjoining William Woodward. Both patents adjoined John Wyate, and William Woodward's patent adjoined Edward Woodward. Obviously all three Woodwards held land at Rockahock near each other and near Caleb Stevens. These three were probably brothers and sons of Samuel Woodward Jr, the mariner. In 1720, Caleb Stevens was granted land at Horse Landing on the Chowan River.

Only one son of Samuel Woodward Jr can be proven by the existing records - Nathaniel Woodward who remained in Boston. On Feb. 15, 1722 Nathaniel Woodward of Boston sold 600 acres on the Appomattox River in Prince George Co. He stated that he was the heir of Samuel Woodward "formerly of Virginia but since deceased in New England". But it appears that Samuel Woodward Jr probably left other children who cannot be directly proven - Samuel Woodward III of Chowan, Richard Woodward of Nansemond, William Woodard and Edward Woodward who patented land in Chowan but disappeared from the records after that, and probably Oliver Woodward of Isle of Wight.

Information concerning Samuel Woodward Jr's descent from Christopher Woodward 1620 immigrant can be found at

Descendants of John Sanders Sr and wife Phoebe of Nansemond Co.

Patent to Jonathan Robinson, Richard Thomas, and Jno. Sanders 23 Apr 1681 1650a on ye south side of Kingsaile Swamp part in ye Isle of Wight and part in Nansemond County ... at a poplar near ye sd swamp side being ye lowest corner tree of a parcel of land formerly taken up by Thomas Titus & Nico Dickson .... transportation of thirty three persons ... Patents 7, p 72

When divided, each man received 550 acres. The deeds of Isle of Wight prove that John Sanders left his land to four of his sons. Two sons, Richard and William, were named in one of the deeds. Another, John Jr, can be proven because some of the patent land was passed on to his son Robert Sanders. The fourth son is unproven but may have been named Francis Sanders. Two other Isle of Wight deeds prove that John Sanders Sr's wife's name was Phoebe. After his death (date unknown), she married William Curle of Nansemond. Phoebe must have received part of the land from this 1681 patent as she made two separate deeds for land from this patent to John Sanders (d 1733 Onslow Co) and Phoebe, wife of John Winborne - both described as her grandchildren in the later deeds which traced the land when it was resold. Phoebe ???/Sanders/Curle was still living in 1706.

1 John Sanders Jr. m Sarah Davis, granddaughter of Capt. James Davis, daughter of Thomas Davis Sr, and sister of Thomas Davis Jr. The Davises, Howards, and Sanders owned adjoining land in Nansemond as proven by the patents. The sons of John Sanders Jr as proven by the 1731 Isle of Wight will of Robert Sanders were: Robert, Thomas, and Francis. In this will, Robert Sanders referred to his nephews as "cousins" which simply meant kinsmen (other than immediate family) at this time. He referred to each nephew as "son of ----", thereby proving their parents and Robert's brothers at the same time. He also named "cousin Phebe Winborn", but with no reference to her parents. One Phoebe Winborne was the wife of John Winborne, and she can be proven as a granddaughter of Phoebe ???/Sanders/Curle who deeded her part of the patent land in 1706. Since Robert Sanders was also a grandson of John Sanders and Phoebe ???/Sanders/Curle, the Phoebe Winborne he named as a "cousin" could have been his niece only if she were the unmarried daughter of John Winborne and Phoebe Winborne. Therefore, Mrs. Phoebe Winborne, wife of John Winborne, must have been Robert's sister, Phoebe Sanders by birth. Surely Robert would not have referred to his sister Phoebe Sanders Winborne as his "cousin", so the "cousin" must have been the daughter of Mrs. Phoebe Sanders Winborne. Since Robert Sanders had referred to his nephews as cousins, it follows that his niece would have been referred to as a cousin too. John Winborne was named as one of the extrs to Robert Sanders' estate. As Robert's sister's husband, John Winborne would have been Robert Sanders' brother-in-law.

2 Richard Sanders m Miss Howard, sister of James Howard, Stephen Howard, and others. See Howard records. His known children were James Sanders, John Sanders, Richard Sanders Jr, Robert Sanders, and Ann Sanders Williams (probably wife of John Williams).

3 William Sanders assigned his part of the patent to Richard Sanders. Richard's son, John Sanders d 1733, left land which included William's part to his brother Robert Sanders who sold it to Thomas Sanders, apparently the grandson of John Sanders Jr. Boddie believed this William Sanders might be the same William Sanders who married Mary Hall. Perhaps he is, but I haven't yet seen the records to prove it.

4? Francis Sanders is only suspected as the fourth son. Richard Sanders patented land which adjoined Francis Sanders' land in 1680. Francis Sanders had held this land as early as 1675/76 when it was mentioned in a patent to John Lee. No record has been found to explain how or when Francis Sanders obtained this land. This record seems early to be a grandson of John Sanders Sr although John Sanders Jr did have a son named Francis. I have no estimated date of birth for that grandson. Although we know that a fourth son was left part of the 1681 patent land, the later deeds do not mention this son by name or refer to his part of the land.

5? additional sons and daughters? The deed only stated that the patent land had been left to "four of his sons", which could indicate there were more sons who were not left part of this patent land or perhaps were left other land. Francis could also fall into this group. It's probable there were daughters, but no records have been found to prove them.

Richard Sanders' wife was a Miss Howard, the sister of Stephen Howard, as proven by the 1733 Onslow Co will of Richard's son, John Sanders, who referred to Stephen Howard as his uncle. Richard Sanders probably married Miss Howard around 1680 or very shortly thereafter. Additional evidence of this marriage can be found in the repatenting of Richard Sanders' 1680 patent by James Howard in 1684 and the close association between Richard Sanders' son, James Sanders, and the Howard brothers of Bertie Co. The John Sanders will also referred to brothers James Sanders and Robert Sanders and sister Ann Williams, thereby proving them as Richard's children. Brother Robert Sanders was left land in Isle of Wight which he sold later to his cousins Thomas Sanders Jr the same year. The deed for the sale of this land in Isle of Wight proves that John Sanders d 1733 was the son of Richard Sanders who was the son of John Sanders and Phoebe. It also mentions Richard son of Richard, proving him as another son not mentioned in the John Sanders' 1733 will. The land involved traced back to the 1681 patent.  Richard died in Nansemond by 1726 leaving a will (destroyed) in which son James Sanders received land in Nansemond Co on the Western Branch of the Nansemond River.

James Sanders first appeared in Bertie Co in 1723. His records indicate a very close association with the Howards who had moved into the area previously. He bought land from the Howards and his land was described as adjoining theirs. James Sanders and the Howards frequently witnessed each other's deeds. The 1729 Bertie will of James Howard proves his brothers as Stephen Howard, Edward Howard, John Howard, and Joseph Howard. Since John Sanders' 1733 will named Stephen Howard as his uncle, it's obvious that Stephen and his brothers were also James Sanders' uncles, brothers of Miss Howard, the mother of James Sanders and John Sanders and probably the other children of Richard Sanders as well.

James Sanders' wife was Ann Holmes, daughter of John Holmes who had moved from Nansemond to Edgecombe where he left his will in 1735/36. This Holmes line also traces back to Nansemond.  James Sanders and Ann Holmes were probably married in the late 1720's or early 1730's. They had at least one child by 1733 when John Sanders wrote his will and mentioned John Sanders as a son of his brother James Sanders. Another son James Sanders Jr was born Dec. 29, 1733, a few months after the will was written.

On Oct 10, 1726, in a Bertie Co deed, James Sanders assigned to David Osheal of Nansemond County certain land on the West branch of Nansemond River devised to him by the will of Richard Sanders, his deceased father. This was followed 3 years later by a Bertie deed from James Sanders to David Osheal for the same piece of land. In Aug 1729, James Sanders made a deed to David Osheal of Nansemond County, 300 acres plus Negro man Coffee and 20 head of meat cattle on condition that Osheal will allow Sanders heirs to occupy land within 6 months after such heir shall come of age. Sanders makes good title to land on West branch Nansemond River in Virginia persuant to condition of bond.

Four years later, on June 30, 1733, Richard Woodward patented 34 acres of swamp land in Nansemond Co on the south side of the main road and on the south side of the Nansemond River adjoining the land of Major David Osheal. We can prove that Richard Woodward also held land in the Upper Parish of Nansemond adjoining James Hambleton and Thomas Piland as early as 1728/29 and possibly several years before that.

James Sanders left numerous records in Bertie Co and Edgecombe Co (formed from Bertie) before finally moving to Johnston Co where he died. Some of these earlier records indicate James Sanders owned land near William Utley (whose daughter Lucy Utley married Hardy Sanders and whose son Jacob Utley married Phoebe [Sanders?]) and near the Granville Co land of Richard Woodward. Warren Co was later formed from Granville Co. Halifax Co was later formed from Edgecombe Co. Warren Co and Halifax Co are now adjoining counties with Fishing Creek running through the southern part of both counties. Compare the following deeds reflecting the Sanders and Utleys:

William Spier to James Sanders, 640 acres on the north side of Fishing Creek joining Lodge Branch at the mouth (as by patent to sd. Spier on 15 Oct 1736) dated 17 Aug 1739, Wit: Jacob Carter, James Jones, and James Spier. Edgecombe Co

Thomas Moy of Edgecombe Co. to Henry Pope of Edgecombe Co. 45 pounds of current money of VA. 104 acres in the fork of Long Branch on the S side of Beech Sw. joining Wm. Murphey's former land, the branch & the swamp, all houses, orchards etc. as by patent to Wm. Murphy Nov. 6, 1730. Wit. Joseph Lane, Wm. Utley. Aug. 5, 1751. Reg. Edgecombe Co. Aug. Ct. 1751.

Wm. Utley of Edgecombe Co., planter, to John Turbufield of Edgecombe Co. 18 pounds current money of VA. 188 acres joining Murphey, Long Branch, and Impassable swamp, all houses, orchards etc., a grant to sd. Utley. Wit. Henry Pope, Thomas Lane. Apr. 28, 1753. Reg. Edgecombe Co. May Ct. 1753.

Bryant Oquin of Halifax Co. to James Turbevil of same. 80 acres part of land patented by William Utley joining N side Murpheys Branch, Long Branch. Feb. 27, 1764. Halifax Co

Jonathan Turbeville of Duplin Co. to Elisha Pittman of Halifax Co. 100 acres part of a Granville grant to William Utley 27 Apr. 1753 on N side Fishing Creek joining Murphy. Jan. 23, 1768. (Halifax Co)

On Apr. 1, 1760, Richard Woodward deeded to Solomon Alston, Jr. 200 acres in Granville Co. between Shocco Creek and Fishing Creek at Gideon Macon's corner. The deed was witnessed by Solomon Alston and William Landum.

We know Richard Woodward held land in this area between 1750/58 and 1762. During this period William Utley was living in the same area. However, James Sanders had left the area by 1745 and moved to the part of Craven Co that became Johnston Co. At first it would appear that all three did not live in the area at the same time. But there are some unknowns here. We have no deed to reflect when Richard Woodward purchased the land he sold to Solomon Alston Jr. We can't even be sure if the deed we do have correctly reflects 1750 as the earliest date we know he was present. We have no date for the grant to William Utley.

The Woodward land and the Utley land can be traced back to grants to William Little for whom the town of Littleton was named. Littleton sits right on the present Warren/Halifax border, which agrees with the deeds reflecting both Granville/Bute/Warren and Edgecombe/Halifax.

By 1745, James Sanders owned land in Craven Co adjoining land that Samuel Smith patented that year. The following year, Johnston Co was formed from Craven Co. The Sanders and Smith land was obviously located  in the part of Craven that became Johnston. Several years later, James Sanders' first cousin, Nehemiah Howard (son of James's uncle Stephen Howard and wife Sarah), married Edith Smith, daughter of Samuel Smith. Jane Smith, daughter of Samuel Smith and widow of Joel Williams, married Theophilus Hunter. James Sanders' son, Brittain Sanders, married Edith Hunter, daughter of Theophilus Hunter. The Smith and Sanders land was located near the present town of Smithfield where Middle Creek and Swift Creek flow into the Neuse River. Obviously the Smiths, Hunters, and Sanders were in frequent contact with each other.

James Sanders left four proven sons:  John Sanders, James Sanders Jr, Hardy Sanders, and Brittain Sanders. James Sanders Jr can be proven from the court records concerning the estate of James Sanders, while the other three can be proven as James Jr's brothers by other records. Son John Sanders is also proven by the 1733 will of John Sanders of Onslow Co. No will or administration has been found to prove other sons or daughters.

Jan 1764, Johnston County.
"Order’d that James Saunders have leave to adminr. on the Estate of James Saunders Dec’d & offers for his Securities Lodowick Tanner Esqr & Hardy Saunders who are accepted & accordingly took the oath of an administrator."

"An Inventory of the Estate of James Saunders Dec’d was exhibited into Court by James Saunders & order’d to be fil’d.

"Order’d that James Saunders have leave to sell the perishable part of His Father’s Estate..."

"An Acct. of Sale of the Estate of James Saunders Dec’d was exhibited into Court on Oath by Lodk. Tanner Esqr & order’d to be filed."

Hardy Sanders married Lucy Utley, daughter of William Utley Sr of Johnston Co and sister of Jacob Utley who owned land adjoining Christopher Woodward on Middle Creek in the part of Johnston Co that became Wake Co. Jacob Utley and wife Phoebe ??? were the parents of Winifred Utley who m Pleasants Woodward, son of Christopher Woodward. Jacob Utley and Phoebe were also the parents of Elizabeth Utley who married James Woodward, Jacob Utley Jr who moved to KY, and Merrill Utley who m1 Winifred Matthews/Jones and m2 Elizabeth Woodward. Merrill Utley also moved to KY.

All the above can be proven by various records. The following can NOT be proven, but there is strong circumstantial evidence behind it.

I believe that Phoebe, wife of Jacob Utley, was a daughter of James Sanders and a sister to Hardy, Brittain, John, and James Sanders Jr for the following reasons:

1 The name Sanders and the name Phoebe both appeared frequently in the descendants of Jacob Utley and Phoebe, including one grandchild who was named Phoebe Sanders Utley.

2 Phoebe was the name of James Sanders' grandmother.

3 The will of Jacob Utley named Brittain Sanders as one of the extrs and included John Sanders as a witness. The will of a husband frequently included members of his wife's family to protect her interests.

4 Jacob Utley's sister Lucy had married Hardy Sanders by 1764, so there was already a close association between the Sanders and Utleys. Although Hardy Sanders was still living when Jacob Utley wrote his will, and Hardy can be proven as Jacob's brother-in-law since he had married Jacob's sister Lucy, Hardy was not named as an extr and did not appear as a witness. Instead, his brothers Brittain Sanders and John Sanders appeared who would have only been Jacob Utley's brother-in-law's brothers if the only Utley/Sanders connection was through Hardy Sanders. But if Jacob's wife Phoebe were a Sanders, then Brittain Sanders and John Sanders would have been Phoebe's brothers and Jacob Utley's brothers-in-law.

Christopher Woodward may also have had previous ties to the Sanders family in some unknown way for the following reasons:

Irene Woodard, who moved from Wake Co to Anson Co where she married Asa Hyatt, named a son Sanders Jones Hyatt. Irene's parentage cannot be proven, but she was certainly a granddaughter of Christopher Woodward. She was definitely NOT a daughter of Pleasants Woodward and Winifred Utley in spite of naming a son Pleasant Woodard Hyatt (Pleasant was also a name from the Hyatt family), so the name Sanders cannot be traced back to Phoebe, wife of Jacob Utley in this case. Irene may have been an unidentified daughter of Christopher's son Jordan Woodward who moved to Anson Co, or she could have been the illegitimate daughter born to Christopher's youngest daughter Mary/Polly Woodward and Nathaniel Jones. Mary's guardian was Jordan Woodward. Jordan's wife has never been proven, but some of the family lore claims she was a Jones. (No Jones records have been found to support this and I personally distrust it.) If the name Sanders did not come down in Irene Woodard's family from Jacob Utley and wife Phoebe (Sanders?), where did it come from?

Jacob Utley was the guardian of Christopher Woodward's orphan Elizabeth Woodward. Family lore  in the Utley family (obviously confused) has claimed that Jacob Utley was previously married to an Elizabeth Woodward who was the mother of some of his earlier children including Winifred Utley. But Phoebe Sanders' will makes it clear that she was the mother of all of Jacob's children including Winifred. Other incorrect group sheets have been passed around naming a Jacob Utley (son of John Utley) who supposedly married Elizabeth Woodward; however, the date given for this marriage is the exact same date as the guardian record for Elizabeth Woodward and Jacob Utley. No such marriage bond exists. No later records for Elizabeth Woodward have been found. There was no Jacob Utley son of John Utley who appeared in any of the wills, deeds, censuses, or similar records. An Elizabeth Woodward has been discovered as the second wife of Merrill Utley, son of Jacob Utley and Phoebe, but whether she was the daughter of Christopher Woodward or one of his sons has not been determined. But many Utley researchers remain convinced that there was some connection between the Jacob Utley's wife and the Woodward family. If Jacob Utley's wife Phoebe was a Sanders, could the connection have been through the Sanders family? No records for the wife of Christopher Woodward exist. It is possible he had several wives, one of whom might have been a Sanders. No records exist to prove the mother of Christopher Woodward, but the most likely candidate for Christopher Woodward's father is Richard Woodward who could easily have married into the Sanders family in Nansemond Co.

However, John Sanders' 1733 will mentioned only one sister - Ann Williams who appears to have been the wife of John Williams since John Sanders provided for the children of John Williams (without specifically naming Ann as John's wife or the children's mother). Since John Sanders (who was unmarried and providing for brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews) did not name a Woodward sister or another unmarried sister, it does not appear likely that Richard Woodward married a daughter of Richard Sanders. But John also did not mention his brother Richard Jr who was proven by a later deed. So perhaps there were other siblings who were not mentioned in the will besides Richard Jr.

Note: Boddie speculated that John Sanders Sr of the 1681 patent "was probably" the same John Sanders who married Susanna Ravenett, daughter of William Ravenett. Many people have recorded this as proven although Boddie mentioned it only as a possibility. Susanna Ravinett who was the wife of a John Sanders in 1656 could not have been the wife of John Sanders Sr of the 1681 patent. His son, John Sanders Jr, was born well before 1656, and John Jr's daughter Mrs Phoebe Sanders Winborne can be proven as the granddaughter of Phoebe ???/Sanders/Curle. Since John Sanders Sr was married to Phoebe well before 1656 and Phoebe survived him, Susanna Ravinett must have been the wife of another John Sanders.

Descendants of John Hambleton/Hamilton of Nansemond Co.

John Hambleton owned land in Nansemond Co on Sarem Swamp at the time of his death in 1711. In 1728 when the NC/VA line was redrawn, this land was taken in by NC and is now part of Gates Co. Several Nansemond wills were recopied into the NC records because the land involved had become part of NC. John Hambleton's will was one of these. North Carolina Wills, Vol. XII, page 73. His will was written Feb 25, 1706 and probated April 25, 1711. He named wife Catherine, sons James, William B, Steward, and Andrew, daughter Mary Hambleton, and daughter-in-law May Hobgood. His land at Sarem Swamp is especially important for our purposes:

I give and bequeath to my three sons James, William B., and Steward Hambleton all my tract or parcels of land situate lying and being at a place called Salem....

The original will no longer exists since it was burned with the other Nansemond records, but there is no question that Salem was in fact referring to Sarem, and at some point the name was misread and/or miscopied.

From the research of Olivia Williamson Saffold at

William Hamilton, son of John Hamilton, lived in Orange and Wake Counties, North Carolina. In 1732 he was living in Edgecombe County, North Carolina, when he was a witness to a deed from Phillip Maulkey and his wife to David Hopper. He had been there only a short time for in 1728, William Hamilton and brother, Stewart Hamilton, made a deed jointly to James Hamilton, their brother, for two hundred acres patented November 20, 1728, adjoining the lands of Richard Woodward on Long Island. This information found in the North Carolina Historical Register by Hathaway, Vol. 2, page 454, and deed also recorded in Chowan County, North Carolina, records in Deed Book C-1.

This webpage also gives the 1786 will of William Hambleton of Wake Co. I was sent a copy of the original will and it differs from this transcription. The will was written at the home of Lewis Jones of Middle Creek - the same Lewis Jones who witnessed the will - the same Lewis Jones whose land adjoined Christopher Woodward's land in Wake Co - the same Lewis Jones who witnessed Christopher Woodward's will in 1785. The William Hambleton will states that Rachel Dorman was the mother of William Hambleton's children although they were never married. His children by Rachel were named as Keziah, Andrew, Stuart, Karen Happuck, and Elizabeth - referred to as "the children of said Rachel Dorman who go by the name Hamilton". Also named were the "representatives of Jemima Phillips another daughter to the said Rachel Dorman" and the "representatives of Rachel Stogden".

Will of Kesiah Hambleton of Wake Co - August 1, 1801 - three sons Lewis, Willis, and Asa Hambleton each 36 1/3 acres. Extrs Lewis & Willis Hambleton.

Buyers at Kesiah Hamilton's estate sale Sept 16, 1801 included C Woodward, Corbell Woodward, Merrill Utley, Little John Utley, John Utley, Pleasant Woodward, Etheldred Jones.

When Christopher Woodward's son Jordan Woodward left Wake Co to move to Anson Co, he sold his land to Lewis Hamilton, Keziah's son. Certainly the Woodwards of Wake were well acquainted with William Hambleton's family. If Richard Woodward was the father of Christopher Woodward as I suspect, then the Woodward and Hambleton friendship traces back to Nansemond Co quite a few years earlier and spans three generations of Hambletons and Woodwards.

Patent to James Cole    20 Apl 1694 Nansemond Co 519a    Lying on the South Eastward side of Saram swamp in the upper parish of Nansemond County.... for importation of eleven persons.....
Cole creek (called Sarum Creek in old records) is formed by the juncture of old Knotty Pine Swamp (presently Buckland Mill Branch) and Hacklan (presently Hackley Branch). Sarem, NC, lies on Hacklan Branch, and is about 3/4 miles west of Buckland, NC.

John Singleton and wife, Mary, to Thomas Piland; Jany 2d, 1739-1740 260 acres, one half of patent to James Cole for 519 acres, dated April 20, 1694, sold to Jno. Cole May 20, 1702, deed recorded in Nansemond County, Va., and by Cole to Jos. Bird Oct. 26, 1716, who sold same to John Singleton Mch 10, 1726. Test, Wm. Daniel, James Alston, Phillip Alston.

From N. C. Genealogical Register by Worth S. Ray
Richard Woodward owned lands next to Thomas Piland and James Hambleton (1729) 2-446, 2-454.

There is no doubt that this land was in Nansemond Co prior to 1728 but in Chowan Co after the NC/VA line was redrawn. There is also no doubt that Richard Woodward would have been well acquainted with the Hamilton family. His neighbor in 1729, James Hambleton who owned the land on Sarum Swamp, was the brother of William Hamilton who moved to Wake Co. We have no way of knowing how long Richard Woodward had held this land prior to 1728. Although Thomas Piland did not purchase the Cole land at Sarem Swamp until 1739, it is obvious he must have owned other land in the same area in 1729.

The Howard family of Nansemond Co., Bertie Co, and Onslow Co.

The 1729 Bertie Co will of James Howard proves not only his wife at the time of his death and his children, but also his brothers Stephen, Edward, Joseph, and John. A transcript of the will may be found by going to
and entering Howard for the list to search, and then entering the phrase

james and howard and bertie and 1729
as the search terms. Select the year 1999.

The following exerpts from the will reflect land and families of Nansemond Co. This is NOT the entire will.

To my son James Howard - a plantation & improvements lying in Nansemond County Virginia, near the plantation of John Speight, which plantation I had with my beloved wife Sarah.....
To my daughter Sarah Howard - a tract of land lying on Ahorsky Swamp between Thomas Davis' land a& the land I bought of my brother Edward Howard containing some 350 acres.....
To my son Edward Howard - one half of my Mannor Plantation & the (torn) of the land I bought of Ricd Williams to be laid out & divided as before directed.....
To my son Samuell Howard - a tract of land which I bought of my brother Stephen lying on Cooneriskratt Swamp containing 320 acres.....
To my son John Howard - a certain tract of land & plantation lying on Cooneriskratt Swamp where John Spears formerly lived.....
I give and bequeath a tract of land lying at Alligator Creek near New River containing 540 acres which I bought of my brother Joseph in manner following.....
To Francis Speight of Chuckatuck Parrish in Nansemond Co. Virginia for 100 lbs. of good feathers, five pounds silver money & two small Bibles - 400 acres of land on Cooneriskratt Swamp, which land is of my own taking up.....
Codicil dated 9th Cct 1729 appoints his Brothers Edward & John Howard to oversee Executors in performance of will.  No probate date shown. Wit: Mary W. Burkett, Geo. Otway

Note: New River is located in Onslow Co where John Sanders and Stephen Howard were living. John Speight was the father of William Speight who moved to Wake Co where he left his will. William Speight's grandson, Needham Green, married Christopher Woodward's granddaughter, China Woodward. Since China Woodward was the daughter of Pleasants Woodward and Winifred Utley, she was also the granddaughter of Jacob Utley and Phoebe (Sanders?). The Spier family was also from Nansemond. James Sanders' wife Ann Holmes had two sisters who married into the Spier family.  Dorothy Holmes m. William Spier and Beatrix Holmes m. ???? Spier as proven by John Holmes' will. James Howard's will did not name his sisters, but one was the wife of Richard Sanders and the mother of James Sanders.

One of the brothers, Stephen Howard, moved to Onslow Co from Bertie Co. In 1733, John Sanders left his will in Onslow Co referring to James Sanders as his brother and Stephen Howard as his uncle. Since John Sanders was the son of Richard Sanders, this indicates that Richard Sanders' wife and John Sanders' mother was a sister to Stephen Howard, James Howard, and the other Howard brothers. She must have also been the mother of James Sanders since he was a son of Richard Sanders and left many records in Bertie Co which involved the Howard family. We have no way of knowing when Miss Howard died or how many of the Sanders children were hers, but certainly John Sanders and James Sanders were her children.

Stephen Howard's son Nehemiah Howard married Edith Smith, daughter of Samuel Smith and Edith Whitmell of Johnston Co. Another daughter, Jane Smith, widow of Joel Williams, married Theophilus Hunter d 1799 Wake Co. Samuel Smith and James Sanders owned adjoining land in Johnston Co. James Sanders' son, Brittain Sanders, married Edith Hunter, daugher of Theophilus Hunter.

(Note: Howard researchers have interpreted the John Sanders will to mean that Stephen Howard's wife Sarah was a Sanders by birth. That would mean that Stephen's brothers who were so closely associated with James Sanders in Bertie would have been only James's aunt's husband's brothers - not a very close kinship. Certainly not close enough to explain such a close connection between James Sanders and the brothers of Stephen Howard who remained in Bertie. To me, it looks more likely that Sarah, the wife of Stephen Howard, might have come from the Melton/Molton family who also moved from Bertie to Onslow. In addition, Stephen Howard's wife Sarah was a full generation younger than John Sanders Jr and Richard Sanders that the Howard researchers claim were Sarah's brothers.)

The 1733 John Sanders will named sister Ann Williams and the children of John Williams, one of whom was named Richard Williams. (The will did not state that Ann Williams' husband was John Williams - or that she was the mother of the Williams children named, but since John Sanders was unmarried and providing for his siblings and their children, this would be the logical assumption.) The will of James Howard referred to land bought of Richard Williams. Although it is possible that John Sanders' sister Ann might have had a grown son by 1729, I have not been able to determine whether or not Richard Williams mentioned in the James Howard will is the same Richard Williams mentioned in the John Sanders will.

Richard Sanders was closely associated with James Howard in Nansemond as early as 1684.

Patent to Richard Sanders. July 10, 1680. County not given. 300a in the upper parish of Nansemond at the head of Captn John Masone in the western branch... pine standing in Michael Hill now Francis Sanders line.   Patents 7, p 39

Patent to James Hayward  24 Apr 1682.  In right of Elizabeth his wife grandchild of James Foster decd 242a at ye head of ye Southern Branch of Nanzemond ... corner tree belonging to Mr --helly .... divides this parcel from Jonathan Robinson his wife's part ... joining with Henry Plumpton's corner ... granted to ye aforesaid James Foster and ??? (Andrew) Bonny dated ye 27th of September 1661(?)  Patents 7, p 170 (The name Howard was sometimes spelled Hayward in early records.)

Jonathan Robinson's wife at this time can be proven as Ann, daughter of James Foster dec'd by another patent to Jonathan Robinson bearing the same date. This means one of two things - either Elizabeth ??? (Howard) was the niece of Jonathan Robinson and Ann Foster - or she was their daughter.

Patent to Jonathan Robinson 24 Apr 1682 242a on the head of the Southern Branch of the Nansemond in right of Ann his wife ye daughter of James Foster dec'd. Patents 7, p 169

Two years prior to this patent, Jonathan Robinson, Richard Thomas, and John Sanders patented land together in both Isle of Wight and Nansemond Co near Kingsale Swamp. During this same period, John Sanders' son Richard Sanders married a sister of James Howard.

In 1703, Jonathan Robinson patented land in Nansemond on the Cabbin Branch - claiming Samuel Woodward as a headright.

John Robinson/Roberson/Robertson, apparently a son of Jonathan Robinson, later owned land at Rockahock in Chowan Co adjoining Samuel Woodward's 1719 patent. (probably Samuel Woodward III) John Robinson left records in several NC and VA counties before settling in Johnston Co where he left his will. Michael Rogers, probably the son of Joseph Rogers of Northampton, was the guardian for John Robertson's minor son. One source states that Michael Rogers' sister was the wife of Theophilus Hunter d 1778 Wake Co. An earlier Michael Rogers left his will in Isle of Wight which proved that his daughter had married John Thomas, son of Richard Thomas of the 1681 patent. A son of Theophilus Hunter d 1778, Theophilus Hunter d 1799 Wake Co, married Jane Smith, daughter of Samuel Smith and Edith Whitmell and sister to Edith Smith who married Nehemiah Howard, son of Stephen Howard. Samuel Smith and James Sanders owned adjoining lands in Johnston Co.

Patent to James Howard. Oct 21, 1684. 300a in the Upper Parish of Nansemond at the head of Capt. John Mason's in the Western Branch... John Mason and other land of Richard Sanders ... standing in Michaell(?) Hill now Francis Sanders land ... pine by John Wattis(?) ... red oak by Thomas Jernigan ... formerly granted to Richard Sanders by patent bearing date of ?? July 1680.  Patents 7, p 412

Patent to James Howard. Oct 20, 1691. 500 acres in a place called King Sayle in the Upper Parish of Nansemond. Beg.g etc on King Sayle Swamp... by the dividing line of this land and the land of Thomas Davis ... land being the one half of a patent for one thousand acres granted to Thomas Titus and Nicho Dixon dated the first day of October 1672 which five hundred acres after severall surrenders(?) and decents is now of Right and in possession of the said James Howard & after marrying one of the daughters of the said Titus ...  Patents 8, p 178.

Boddie in Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight p 449 refers to this patent and says that the patent stated that this land was "formerly in the possession of Thomas Davis". This is in error. The patent itself is worded as above and only refers to the land of Thomas Davis as adjoining this land. It further states that the land had been previously granted to Thomas Titus and Nicholas Dixon in 1672. The 1672 Titus/Dixon patent makes no reference to the land having been patented at an earlier date by Thomas Davis either. The Thomas Titus and Nicholas Dixon/Dickson land was mentioned as adjoining the 1681 patent to John Sanders, Jonathan Robinson, and Richard Thomas.

However, the patent two patents before the James Howard patent of 1691 (Patents 8, p 177) was a patent dated the same day to Thomas Davis for the other 500 acres. It again refers to the previous Titus/Dixon patent and states "which five hundred acres is now in the possession of the said Thomas Davis". It does not state that the land was previously in the possession of Davis, nor does it refer to any inheritance or headrights. Certainly this part would have been Nicholas Dixon's half of the land. The last lines are very difficult to read, but they state "to Have and to Hold -?- to be Hold etc -?- and paying etc".  Perhaps someone more adept at deciphering the old script can figure this out. Does this mean Davis had purchased the land? The patent describes the land as opposite the land of William Collings and refers to "a pine the place of division between this land and the land of James Haward & James Moore." The reference to James Moore is of importance too. Some of the patents referred to James Foster as "alias James More", so James Moore here was certainly the same as James Foster.

The patent between James Howard's patent and Thomas Davis's patent - also dated 20 Oct 1691 (Patents 8, p 177-178) - was for 500 acres to William Collins, obviously the same William Collins mentioned in the Thomas Davis patent as the Collins patent refers to a corner tree of Thomas Davis. The land was granted to Collins for the transportation of two persons - John Robinson and Robert Redman. All three patents referred to Kingsale Swamp.

This patent proves that James Howard's first wife Elizabeth ??? (we cannot be sure her maiden name was Foster or Robinson) probably died some time between 1682 and 1691. "Lag time" makes these dates uncertain as some patents weren't granted until years after the events they refer to. Later records prove James Howard's wife as Sarah (daugher of Thomas Titus) who survived him and later remarried Thomas Crews. I have not attempted to determine which of James Howard's children were born to Elizabeth or Sarah.

Thomas Davis mentioned in this 1691 patent and again in James Howard's 1729 will was either the brother or father of Sarah Davis who married John Sanders Jr. Thomas Davis had somehow acquired the Dixon part of the 1672 Titus/Dixon patent, so his half of the patent adjoined James Howard's half. Both Sarah and her brother Thomas Jr were the children of Thomas Davis Sr whose father Capt. James Davis left records in Jamestown and Henrico. It's interesting to note that Nicholas Dixon's earlier land can be placed in Henrico near the land of Christopher Robinson (apparently the grandfather of Jonathan Robinson) and Christopher Woodward (grandfather of Samuel Woodward Jr. of Charles City Co, Boston, Chowan, and possibly Nansemond). A Thomas Davis (related?) of Perquimans patented land with Nicholas Hunter on 9th March 1718(?).

John White Sr of Chowan in NC with ye free and voluntary consent of Sarah my wife to Francis Cambridge of VA 8 Jan 1704/5 5 L 16 shillings and 8 pence 150a, a sertain parsell of land on ye south west side of Hoping (?) Creek, joining Widow Absilison (?) Wit John Harrad, James Flemans. Reg. 3 Apr ----  (I believe the witnesses names were probably misspellings for John Howard and James Fleming.)

Will of Francis Cambridge in Upper Parish of Nansemond County, Virginia, 2 February 1710. Wife and Executrix Elizabeth. Witnessed by Andrew Ross, James Howard and John Sumner (Grimes, p. 60  This is another case of a Nansemond will that was copied into the NC records after the NC/VA line was redrawn in 1728.)

Nov 13, 1713 James Howard patented 200 acres on Deadman's Branch in the upper Parish of Nansemond next to Thomas Howard. (Patents 10, p 120)

According to unverified information found at Genforum/Howard, James Howard was the son of Thomas Howard of York Co. If this is correct, Thomas Howard in the above patent could be another brother.

James Howard was living in Chowan Co by 1722:

DB 1 p 287 Mary Howard wife of Edward Howard to John Rasberry. 16 Apr 1722. Letter of attorney to acknowledge my Right of Dower of land sold by my husband Edward Howard to James Howard the sd land being upon Ahottskey Marsh. Wit John Rasberry, Step. Howard. Reg. 24 Aug 1722

DB 1 p 286 Edward Howard of Chowan Prect, Planter to James Howard of Chowan Prect, Planter. 19 Apr 1722. 30L sterling money of Great Brittain. 300 acres, joining Northerly on Ahottskey Marsh and Black Wallnut Branch. All Houses, Out houses, etc. and is the land surveyed by George Gladstain now pattented by the sd Edward and is the Plantation whereon the sd James Howard now dwells. Wit Thomas Spires (Spiers), John Rasberry, John Welch. Ack Att a Ct Continued and held for Chowan Prect 19 Apr 1722 and John Rasberry ack Right of Dower by Vertue of a Power of Attorney from Mary Howard wife of the sd Edward. Test: W Badham, D.C.C. Reg 24 Aug 1722

The Corbell family of Nansemond Co.

One of the sons of Christopher Woodward was named Corbell Woodward which could point to an earlier connection with a Corbell family. I have found very few early records for Corbells, but it is significant that the only early records I found were in Nansemond. It is even more significant that the records indicate that the family held land near Sumerton Creek.

John Corbell. 285 acs. Up. Par. of Nancemond on S side of the S br. of Nansemond Riv. called Evans' Cr; along Mills Cr. &c 25 Oct. 1695. Granted to John Wright in July 1653, & now in possession of Thos. Corbell, in behalfe of his son, the sd. John, to whom it of right belongs, as being the eldest son of the eldest dau. of John Harris & Abigall, his wife, who have had the land in peaceable & quiet possession since 1654; & now by order of the Gen. Ct. the land is surv. according to pat. & ancient bounds & pat. in the name of sd. John Corbell.

Since the deeds of Nansemond were destroyed, we can't tell what transfers might have occurred after 1695, but apparently the land passed out of John Corbell's possession. The only Corbell listed on the 1704 Virginia Quit Rent Rolls was Joseph Corbell who held 200 acres in Nansemond. I have not been able to determine if the 200 acres that Joseph Corbell held in 1704 was part of the original Harris land.

I had no luck finding the original grant to John Wright. But I did find other grants to John Harris:

John Harris 24 Feb 1675/76 300a Nansemond adjoining the land of Colo Blake, Wm Brin, and George Spivey. (The card labels this as Patents 6, p 595 but it is actually linked to Patents 6, p 594. The page number is not visible on the scan of the document.)

John Harris  24 Apr 1682 200a Upper Parish of Nansemond joining to ye land he now lives  ... in sight of Wm Breames(?) house .... running through a place called Hell .... Daniel Hinds line .... Jeremiah Oglios(?) line (Cavaliers & Pioneers transcribed the name as Jeremiah Orlie) ... Colo Blakes line. Patents 7, p 171

Very possibly, the land on which Harris lived in 1682 was the same land that passed on to this Corbell family by 1695.

On 6 Apr 1722, Ralph Ballard patented 528 acres on the east side of Chowan River 'twixt the river and Hell's pocoson joining Jonathon Robenson (Robinson). The collection of Ballard records at
seems to indicate that the Ballards in this area were probably relatives of Elias Ballard of Nansemond. The reference to Jonathan Robinson's land further associates this land with the families that lived near Sumerton Creek.

We know that the John Harris land in 1682 was within sight of William Breames' house. The 1675/76 patent to Harris also mentions Wm Brin as holding adjoining land. In 1682, Robert Hookes patented 200 acres on the main swamp of the western branch of the Nansemond. The grant states that this was one half of a patent granted to his father (not named) and William Bream. Certainly the Bream land and Hookes land must have adjoined once the patent was divided into two 200 acre tracts. I could not find the earlier patent to William Bream and the father of Robert Hookes (probably occurred before 1676 since we know Bream held land at that time), but I did find later patents in Nansemond to John Hookes for land in Nansemond on the E side Sumerton Creek adjoining William Speight in 1701, and to William Hooks for land in Nansemond near Somerton Creek in 1719, and to Robert Hookes for land in Nansemond on Cyprus Swamp of Sumerton Creek in 1711.

This again points to the importance of the Elias Ballard patent claiming Samuel Woodward as a headright.

Elias Ballard. 28 Apl 1711   Nansemond County
702a.  585a part thereof. Beg.g &c on the North West side of a swamp of Sumerton Creek, known by the name of the Bever dam swamp. 117a the residue Beg.g &c on the so. side of the aforesd. Sumerton creek it being a line tree of John Lees land. ... William Speight's line ..... Hookes  ..... Headrights listed for this patent included Jane Burk, Thomas Ross, Mary Taylor, Eliza. Reed, Anne Reed, James Fleming, Francis Cambridge, Eliza. Rod(?), Richard Rod(?), John Knowles, Saml. Woodward, William Williams, Eliza. Goodwin, & Margaret Thompson  Patents 10, p 17

John Hooks was one of the witnesses to the 1729 will of Joseph Ballard of Chowan Co which named among others, sons Elisher Ballard and Elias Ballard. In 1694, Joseph Ballard, Elisha Ballard, and Elias Ballard had patented land together in Nansemond on Sumerton Creek.

Daniel Hind 24 Apr 1682 850 acres Upper Parrish of Nansemond ... nigh Tucker's Quarter at ye head of Capt Booths ... transportation of 17 persons: Thomas Baker, Mary George, Abraham Evans, Wm Browne, Mary Wooderd, Eliz. Sutton, Thos Snow(?), Phillip Bardoo(?), John Bennett, Saml Daines(?), Saml Absolon, Fran. -?-, Tho. English, Eliza Holman, Margaret Matthews, Robert Bach, Wm Gwin  Patents 7, p 171

John Hinton 15 Oct 1698 39 acres Upper Parrish of Nansemond ... corner tree of John Harris ... to Cannadies line ... corner tree of Daniel Hines. Patents 9, p 164

John Hinton of Nansemond County 25 Oct 1695 145 acres on part of Sumerton road to the Southward of the Little Bridge in the Upper Parish of Nansemond County adjoining his own land. Patents 9, p 19.

John Hinton 10 Apr 1665 1000 acres ... Upper Parish of the County of Nansemond on the head of a creek called Mathes Creek ... transportation of twenty persons (not named). Patents 5, p 205

Humphrey Griffin had patented land on Matthews Creek in 1664 near John Perry's patent of 1662 (see above). I believe John Hinton of the 1695 and 1698 patents was probably Col. John Hinton Sr who was later found in Chowan with land on Bennett's Creek. He left his will in Chowan Co dated 1732. His daughter Nancy Ann Hinton married Solomon Alston Sr and they appeared in later records with Richard Woodward in Granville/Bute (see above). His son John Hinton moved to Wake Co. I'm not sure who the John Hinton of the 1665 patent was, although the two patents were near each other and the later patent did indicate that John Hinton already held adjoining land in 1695. Did he inherit land from the 1664 patent?

I have found only one other mention of Evan's Creek:
1696  James Doughtie, father of Edward Doughtie, purchased of Thomas Jornigan, son of Thomas Jornigan, the plantation whereon the said Edward now lives, lying on Evan’s creek, in Nansemond county, being part of a patent for seven hundred acres of land, formerly granted to one Mulford.

Patent to James Howard. County not given. Oct 21, 1684. 300a in the Upper Parish of Nansemond at the head of Capt. John Mason's in the Western Branch... John Mason and other land of Richard Sanders ... standing in Michaell Hill now Francis Sanders land ... pine by John Wattis(?) ... red oak by Thomas Jernigan ... formerly granted to Richard Sanders by patent bearing date of ?? July 1680. Patents 7, p 412

I don't know that Edward Doughtie purchased the same piece of land from Thomas Jernigan that adjoined the James Howard patent that had previously been patented by Richard Sanders - but it is certainly a very good possibility.

The will of Edmund Godwin 2/21/1712, pr 6/4/1713 Chuckatuck, Nansemond Co is also of interest.

Part of that will:
I give unto my son Joseph Godwin the plantation, bought of Joseph Corbell, to him and his heirs...
I give unto my son Edmund Godwin half of that tract of land whereon John Knowls lives on....
The witnesses to this will included a William Corbell.

According to this webpage, the will was recorded in Nansemond. There is no explanation for how it survived. It may well be one of the wills that reflected land that fell into NC after the NC/VA line was redrawn in 1728 and was copied into the NC records.

Joseph Godwin purchased land several years later:
May 7, 1735. Matthew Griffin of Isle of Wight to Joseph Godwin, merchant of Barrets Neck in Nansemond Co. 300 acres on the N side of the main Blackwater adjoining Jacksons Branch, Jacksons Line, Gum Branch, Thomas Turner, said Griffin, Ratcliff, Boon, the Horse Swamp, and Woodward. Wit. Edward Sparger, Jeremiah Lawrence, James Everard.

Although this was an Isle of Wight deed, Godwin was from Nansemond and the land he was purchasing might have been in Nansemond. The deed does not specifically state the county where the land was located. We know that Humphrey Griffin had held land in Nansemond and that Joseph Godwin had inherited land in Nansemond bought of Joseph Corbell. Which county was this? Which Woodward held land in 1735 adjoining Matthew Griffin?

Perhaps some clues can be found in the Boone and Ratcliff families.

Old Churches, Ministers, and Families of Virginia. Vol. 1
                                  Article XXV.
  I have also referred to a small parish, called Chuckatuck, in Nansemond county, of which I could say nothing for want of any documents. A friend has sent me the copy of a portion of an old vestry-book of this parish, which contains the proceedings of the vestry from December of the year 1702 to 1709. I will first give the names of the gentlemen composing the vestry during that period:--
"Captain Edmund Godwin, Major Thomas Swann, Captain L. Havield, Mr. James Davis, Mr. Oliver Slaughter, Mr. James Cewling, Mr. Thomas Drury, Colonel Thomas Godwin, Captain John Pitt, Mr. Thomas Corbell, Colonel George Norsworthy, Captain Charles Drury, Mr. John Brasseur, Major Thomas Jordan, Captain B. Kearne, Mr. John Lear, Peter Best, Thomas Cutchins, John Isles."

Bryan, Bush, Curlee, McClendon Tangle

It appears that Samuel Woodward III's widow, Sarah ???/Purcell/Woodward, was the Mrs Samuel Woodward who became the third and last wife of Needham Bryan. There is some argument concerning Needham's parentage, but his siblings are said to have been John, William, Mary, and Alice Bryan.

Needham Bryan too can be associated with land in the same part of Nansemond:
17 February 1713 -  Needham Bryan and wife Ann of upper parish of Nansemond to James Nollboy of the lower parish of IOW and his well beloved brother John Bryan for love and affection - 170 acs near the county line and bounded by Edward Bryan and Mason (being part of a patent granted to John Bryan dec on 20 April 1682 with 170 acs now in the occupation of said John Bryan.   .. situate liying near the line [dividing] nansemond and the IOW and bounded beg at a marked pine at the head of Edward Bryan’s Land and so along the first line of the Pattent to a white oake corner tree for its length thence along the second line of the pattent for its length thence along the second lline of the pattent to a marked pine for its l??? is on marked line of ???is Masons Line to the first Station, the same being part of a pattent of 344 ac of land formerly granted unto John Bryan Dec’d, bearing date 20 Apr 1682.    Wit William Havell, Charles Wetteman, and Nicholas (x) Askew

This is clearly the Needham Bryan who m1 Ann Rambeau, m2 Susan/Susannah Harrell, m3 Mrs Sarah Woodward (probably widow of Samuel Woodward of Chowan)

Many webpages state that Needham Bryan's parents were William Bryan and Alice Needham. The patent above would suggest that Needham Bryan's father was John Bryan. I have seen absolutely nothing to support the name Alice Needham. I have seen a record to support his mother as Alice MacLand:

Wills of Isle of Wight Co Va. Book 1, page 473 - 1647-1800:
MacLand, John: Leg. To daughter Alice Bryant; grandchildren Nicholas, John and Elizabeth Perry; grandchildren, Needham, William, John, Mary and Alice Bryant; wife Elizabeth Ext. D. 1 June 1705, P. 9 Nov 1705
Wit: Arthur Smith, Mary Smith, Elizabeth West.

Needham Bryan, Alice Bryan, Isack Ricks, Sr., and Richard Hutchins witnessed the Feb. 3, 1708/9 Isle of Wight will of Francis Denson.

It is not known if the Perry grandchildren were also by daughter Alice or if they were by another deceased daughter.

From exploring what's available on the Bryan family, it seems that Needham Bryan's father is also in question. There is some good information concerning this at and

Another patent to John Bryan 20 Apr 1694 - Nansemond Co., VA - 750 Ac. - PB8, pg 329 contains an even more familiar description:
...northwest side of Sumerton Swamp in Nansemond County begining at a markt white oake standing on the westward side of the aforesaid Swamp being a line tree of Michael Kings...

If the MacLand will does in fact reflect Needham Bryan and his siblings, then he had a sister named Mary who also is the subject of some disagreement. Some sources say she married John Bush. Others say she married John Lee.
1 John Lee, Esq, born after 1690 in Probably in VA, died after 4 December 1766 in Johnston Co, NC married Mary Bryan born c1705 in VA? Johnston Co, NC married c1720, died c1794 in Johnston Co, NC. Father: William Bryan I, Mother: Alice Macland (proven by the will of Alice's father, John Macland).

2 Robert Lee b: c1721 in Lived in Johnston Co, NC, moved to SC c1784 (see notes for land records) d: before November 1788 in Winton Co, (Barnwell Dist) SC, will was probated in Johnston Co, NC. Married Elizabeth.

Kay Gunn: "Robert Lee didn't die in Johnston Co., NC. His last land record in Johnston Co., NC was 29 March 1766 when he sold 150 a. S/Neuse, marshed above Mill Creek - - W/Burnt Marsh - part of grant to Theophilus Williams, 16 Feb. 1739. T. Williams sold it to J. Williams 12 Mar. 1745, who sold it to Robert Lee 31 March 1752. Wits: Richard Ingram, Jethro Butler, John Ingram (Jo. Co. Deeds E-1, 128). Robert Lee's name does not appear on the 1784 or 1787 Tax Lists for Johnston Co., NC.

A Mary Bryan, said by some to be Needham's sister, married John Bush, son of William Bush d Chowan Co and Martha Hill. Although William Bush can be associated with Isle of Wight, he can also be associated with the same part of Nansemond that the other families came from:

Thomas Parker 20 Apr 1681 700 acres Upper pish of Nazemund, neare head of the Southern or near the county line and adj. William Bush & c. Part of 600 acres granted to Francis Wells Oct 20, 1665 and surrendered to said Parker. 200 acres for transportation of 4 person, Samuel Golderott, James Marshall or Mashell, John Sherly, Mathew White. Patents 7, p 92

To my knowledge, Martha Hill's parents haven't been proven, but since William Bush's land was located near Michael Hill's land in Nansemond, I suspect she was a daughter of Michael Hill.

John Bush inherited his father's land in Chowan, and the land passed down to John's son, William Bush, who had moved to Johnston Co by 1747. In Chowan Co, John Bryan left records that clearly associate him with the Howard and Curlee families:

Edward Taylor of Chowan Prect. sold on 20 Jan 1717 to John Bryan of the Prect. afrsd. for 25 pounds sterling Money of England, 160 acres more or less, joining Lawrence Mague’s Land which formerly belonged to old James Curlee, the mouth of a small branch and the River and is the land whereon the sd. Edward Taylor now lives. Wit: Edward Howard, John Manear. Reg. 17 Apr 1718.

Chowan, At a Court held for the sd. Precinct the 15 Apr 1718, ... Edward Taylor acknowledges a Sale to John Bryan. John Bryan acknowledges a Sale to Henry Rodes and Edward Taylor, by Vertue of a Power of attorney from Alice Bryan (proved by Laurence Mague) ack. her title of Dower of the Land to the sd. Rodes.

Alice Bryan here would seem to be the mother of Needham Bryan. Is John Bryan here her husband or her son? Now we have the Curlee and Howard family involved.

Deed Book G, page129  William Bush of Johnston Co., yeoman to Benjamin Wynns July 18, 1747 50 for 700 acres ". . William Bush, heir at law to John Bush late of Bertie deceased. . . " In Chinkapin Neck on Wiccacon Creek adj. John Reed, William Perry, William Lewis, John VanPelt. ."whereon my Father & Grand father lived and died. . .: Wit: John Wynns, Isaac Bush, Francis McClendon.

Other children of William Bush and Martha Hill were also closely linked to both the Curlee family and the McClendon family and the Bryan family. John Bush married Mary Bryan, said to be sister to Needham Bryan. Elizabeth Bush married Thomas McClendon, son of Dennis McClendon Sr d by 1706. Eleanor Bush m1 Michael Hill, son of Isaac Hill (who was probably son of Michael Hill of Nansemond and brother to Martha Hill who m William Bush). After Michael Hill's death, Eleanor m2 Francis McClendon, son of Dennis McClendon Sr d by 1706. Martha Bush m1 Anthony Williams and after his death m2 William Curlee, son of James Curlee whose land John Bryan purchased from Edward Taylor in 1717. James Curlee's wife was Eleanor Early, daughter of William Early and Eleanor (Stephens?).

Anthony Williams was the son of Lewis Williams whose will named wife Mary. Curiously, Anthony William's will referred to John Early as his "father-in-law". Although the term could also mean step-father, I have not been able to find records to determine exactly how this relationship occurred. John Early was son of William Early and Eleanor (Stephens?) and brother to Eleanor Early who m James Curlee. James Curlee (perhaps the son of William Curlee and Martha Bush) was also named as an heir in Anthony William's will.

It appears there was probably some connection between the Lewis Williams family and the Dennis McLendon family. Deeds of gift were almost always to a member of the family, but no relationship was stated in this deed.

Lewis Williams of Chowan Prct. with consent of my wife Mary Williams to Denis Macklenden. A deed of gift, -- acres at a place called Mt. Pleasant upon Wickacon Cr. joining Poplar Branch, Long Branch, the hed of Damsel branch and ye mouth of ye Cabin branch. Wit. Richard Bellame. Dated Dec. 7, 1703, Recorded Jan., 1703/4

Francis McLendon of Chowan Prct eldest son of Dennis McLendon late of Albemarle Co dec'd and Dennis McLendon of Chowan Prct planter second son of afrsd Dennis dec'd to William Sharp of Weccanuse in Chowan Prct for sd Sharp's indemnifying the sd Francis & Dennis for bonds, contracts, etc made by them unto William Downing, brother-in-law of sd Sharp, the sd Francis & Dennis give & grant unto sd Sharp 380 acres S side Wecanuse Creek joining Mt Pleasant & Thomas Pollock sd land now occupied by Francis & subject to dispute becuase of ambiguous expressions in will of Dennis dec'd. Wit William Downing, Eleanor Early, John Fooler. Recorded Jan. 24, 1717.

William Sharp of Chowan Prect, shipwright to Captain William Downing of the same Prect, Marriner 10 Aug 1722. 200L Current Money of NC 2000 acres joining Chowan river, Weecanisse Creek and Woodward's Creek the sd 2000 acres Commonly called by the name of Woodward's, Lewis Williams's, John Smith's and McLendon's Mount Pleasant and also 1100 acres on Weecanuse Creek joining Tredell Keef and Thomas Mann which land formerly belonged to one Bush and William Stevens. I relinquish also all my right and title in the Cattle, horses etc. Wit Patrick Maule, George Durant, Samuyel Swann Jr, E Moseley. Ack. 1 Aug 1722 George Durant before me C Gale Ch Just. Reg 24 Aug 1722

The land was referred to as Woodward's because it had been first patented by Thomas Woodward of Isle of Wight. According to Stephens research, William Sharp and William Downing had both married into the Stephens family; therefore they were also related to William Stephens, Samuel Woodward's wife Sarah Stephens, James Fleming's wife Mary Stephens, and William Early's wife Eleanor Stephens.

Samuel Woodward Jr and III left numerous records that reflected the McClendons and Williams in Chowan.

A daughter of John Bush and Mary Bryan, Elizabeth Bush, married Mark Phillips Sr who was in GA by 1782.

From Wake Co NC Land Entries 1778-1846:
5/15/1778 Christopher Woodard enters two hundred acres of Vacant Land in Wake County lying on both sides of Crab Tree Creek joining the land where Marck Phillips lives including the improvement made by Abraham Blechendon.

This was not the land on which Woodward's Mill (now known as Sunset Lake) was located, but land farther north in the county.

Needham Bryan's granddaughter, Edith Whitfield (daughter of William Whitfield and Rachel Bryan), was the wife of Samuel Smith of Johnston Co who owned land adjoining James Sanders. Their daughter Edith Smith m Nehemiah Howard, nephew of James Sanders, and another daughter Jane Smith m1 Joel Williams, m2 Theophilus Hunter.
In Jul 1759, the names Capt. Needham Bryan, Needham Bryan, Jr., and a
William Taylor appear in the Johnston County court minutes. They were
among the "Inhabitants of Swifts Creek Middle Creek & Black Creek" (also
known as the ‘Three Creeks’ area) who were "appointed Jurors to lay out
the said Road ... from the Courthouse to Colo. Samuel Smiths ...",phillips::bryan::1010.html
John DEES on Nov 25, 1765 of Johnston Co, NC deeded to Needham BRYAN land on the north side of the Neuse River beginning at the Rock Spring cut, containing 120 acres, part of a patent to Mark PHILLIPS dated Jun 30, 1738; Test, F W BRYAN & Simon DEES. This was in the Johnston Co, NC Deed Book 1 pg 245.
Patent Book 22
Josiah Martin, Royal Governor
4473 pg 236...DANIEL DEES 4 February 1773 40 acres in Johnston on the N. side of the Neuse River between MARK PHILLIPS and the .................. River opposite the Mouth of Black Creek. Joining WILLIAM BRYAN and the meander of the sd. river

Crown Land Grants
Patent Book 26
Josiah Martin, Royal Governor
Crown To:
8326 pg 2......NEEDHAM BRYAN 22 July 1774 150 acres in Johnston on the
N. side Neuse River, joining DANIEL DEES, .................. WILLIAM BRYAN, A deep gully.MARK PHILLIPS, THEOPHILUS WILLIAMS. the sd. BRYANS own land, and .................. Neuse River opposite the mouth of Swifts Creek.

From the Robert Lee deed of 1766 above, we know that Theophilus Williams held land in what would become Johnston Co as early as 1739.
The name Theophilus Williams is also of interest. The Bertie Co will of John Williams written 13 Mar 1745, proved Jan Ct. 1758, Bertie County named among others wife Ann and a sons Richard and Theophilus Williams. It is quite possible that wife Ann was Ann (Sanders) Williams, sister named in the will of John Sanders 1733 Onslow Co as the will seems to indicate John Williams was her husband. However, the names of the children given in the John Sanders will are somewhat different from the names given in the John Williams will. Of course, some of the young children might have died and others were born later, but the names John Williams and Ann are also common, so I am not positive this was the right family. Ann Sanders Williams was also the sister of James Sanders. Another child named in the John Williams will was Sara Castellaw who was the wife of James Castellaw who witnessed a deed in Bertie for James Sanders. William Byrd who witnessed the will was some kin to the John Holmes/Tamar Byrd family, parents of Ann Holmes, James Sanders' wife.

However, according to John Williams of Bertie Co with wife Ann also had brothers named Theophilus and Richard. So I'm not sure which Theophilus Williams this was. If he was Ann Sanders William's son, he would have been James Sanders' nephew. If he was John William's brother, he would have been James Sanders' brother-in-law's brother.

According to these records, Mark Phillips, Theophilus Williams, Needham Bryan Sr, and Needham Bryan Jr held land in Johnston Co in the area now called Smithfield very near the James Sanders Sr and Samuel Smith land. I have seen some webpages that claim that Mary Bryan, sister to Needham Bryan Sr, was the mother of Mark Phillips' wife, Elizabeth Bush. Needham Bryan Sr's wife from 1753 until his death appears to have been Sarah ???/Purcell/Woodward, widow of ??? Purcell and  Samuel Woodward d 1752 Chowan who was very likely the brother of Richard Woodward of Nansemond and the uncle of Christopher Woodward who moved from Nansemond to Johnston/Wake.

Mark Phillips was named as a son in the Northampton will of Thomas Phillips 1751. Another son named in the will was William Phillips.

One of the earliest records for Christopher Woodward in Johnston Co appeared in the Johnston Co. court minutes 1767 which listed Christopher Woodward as security for the defendant in the case Stephen Phillips vs Thomas Horn. I have not been able to find anything further on Stephen Phillips. However, Mark Phillips' brother, William Phillips m Harriett Horn. I have found no information on her family but the Horn family and Phillips family were certainly connected.

The family of Thomas Horn/Horne also came from the Sarem Creek area and would have been near neighbors to Richard Woodward and John Hambleton and Thomas Piland.

William Horne  22 Jan 1718  Nansemond Co   239a Begg at a pine at the
mouth of a branch on the North side of the Cyprus swamp & runs up the
sd. branch, bounding on the sd. Horne to Saram creek. Patents 10, p 414.

A second patent to William Horne on the same date was for 384a at Horne's corner on the north side of Cyprus Swamp. Patents 10, p 414.

Another patent to William Horne on the same date was for 392a in Nansemond at Scratch Hall branch. Patents 10, p 413.

Scratch Hall can also be associated with the same area:
Sarah (+) Odom (Odam) and Charles King sold on 3 Apr 1780 to More Carter for 40 pounds, 100 acres of woodland ground, part of a grant of 800 acres to Henry Hackby [Hackley] 14 Apr 1702, beginning at a white oak on [the] road near Scratchhall Branch, along Samuel Taylor’s line, thence on Aaron Harrell’s line, thence on Charles Eure’s, to Thomas Piland’s, thence to William Fryer’s line. Wit: George Williams, William (+) Fryer.

Henry Hackley   25 April 1702  Nansemond Co.  100a on the North side of Saram Creek commonly called the Banks of Italy. Patents 9, p 441.

Henry Hackley   2 May 1705  Nansemond Co.  700a at a place called Scrath hall near Seram. Corner tree his own line. Patents 9, p 651.

William Horne/Horn of Nansemond moved to Edgecombe Co where he left his will dated 1753 naming sons Michaell, William, Henry, Charles, Thomas, and Moses and daughter Margaret. See

According to this page:
Thomas Horn was born in Nansemond Co, VA abt 1720. Thomas died 03 Nov 1782 in Nash Co, NC, at 62 years of age. He married Catherine ?? in Orange Co, NC, 17 Nov 1743.

I suspect it was Thomas Horn son of William Horn of Nansemond who was the defendant in the Stephen Phillips vs Thomas Horn case in Johnston Co 1767 with Christopher Woodward security for the defendant. Thomas Horn would have been close in age to Christopher Woodward and might very well have been an old friend from Nansemond as the Richard Woodward family and William Horn family were near neighbors.
contains the research of Bill Linder concerning the records of John Taylor whose wife Margaret is believed to have been the daughter named Margaret in the 1753 will of William Horne of Nansemond/Edgecombe. One of the records on this page reflect not only John Taylor's widow Margaret (Horn) Taylor but also Thomas Horn, Mark Phillips, and John Gent who was also mentioned in the inventory of Christopher Woodward.

The June 1759 Edgecombe County Court minutes show:
"Order’d that a Road be layd out from the Mouth of Richd. Horns Path on the Tarr River Road, thence aCross Tosneot near Thoms. Horns junr. & a strait Course to Turkey Creek near Margaret Taylor’s & so to Mockasin near Jno. Clark’s & that Richd. Baily, Senr., Wm. Pugh, Pilgrim Williams, Willa. Baily, Wm. Wilder, Thoms. Horn Jr., Jno. Parker, Jno. Baily, Wm. Smelly Senr, Henry Flowers, Gabriel Parker, Wm. Strickland, Thomas Moneyham, Thos. Horn Senr., George Blackwell Senr., Jacob Strickland or any 12 of them be a Jury to lay off the same & that the hands of Thoms. Eatman, Richd. Baily jr., Benjn. Culpeper, Jacob Hardy, Henry Moneyham, Mark Phillips, Thoms. Moneyham, Nathan Horn, Jno. Kent, Job Wilder, James Dean, Wm. Wilder, Jno. Clark, Jams. Smellie, Thoms. Horn Jr., Wm. Smelly Jr., Robert Culpeper, John Gent, and Saml.? Taylor work on the same, & that Richd. Baily Senr. be Overseer thereof.

McClenny Connection?

From Descendants of William E. McClenny at

According to Virginia Rent Rolls, in 1704, a William MacKlenny paid rent on 200 acres in Nansemond County, Virginia.

On 16 June, 1714 a William MacClanee (same person ?) was granted a land patent for 450 acres on the westward side of Faustus (Foster's) Cabin Branch coming out of the Back Swamp of Sommerton Creek in the Upper Parish of Nansemond County, VA for the transportation of 9 persons.   This was "Lapsed Land", which had been granted to John Hedgpath, Sr. on 29 October, 1696.  The next record occured on 16 December, 1714, when Thomas Howard was granted 240 acres in Upper Parish of Nansemond County near Foster's Cabin Branch (John Hedgepath's corner), for the transportation of 5 persons, one of which was Wm. Maclanee.


This is the first time I have seen it referred to as Foster's Cabin Branch. Did the name come from James Foster whose daughter Ann married Jonathan Robinson and whose granddaughter married James Howard?

Many of these names and places have appeared in the records for the other families: Cabin Branch, Sumerton Creek, Thomas Howard, John Hedgepeth. That could just be coincidence, but in light of the following, I don't think it is.

From two letters written by Allean Turner (Mrs. Gordon Turner) to Lela Vee Hunt Peterson:

"As told to Zelma O'neal by her grandmother, Viola Clenny O'neal, a great granddaughter of Jordan Woodward. Cynthia Woodward was the daughter of Jourdon Woodward. Married Benjamin Clenny, and died when their youngest child was two weeks old A H Clenny. A H Clenny was born April 3, 1825 - therefore Cynthia his mother died about April 17, 1825. Also that Cynthia Woodward Clenny had a brother named Jesse. Tradition: Jourdan Woodward was 21 years old the day after the Revolutionary War ended. (Jourdan Woodward's wife was Eadie or Ada Jones (not sure of

(Note: Allean Turner stated they were not sure if Eadie or Ada Jones was reliable as the wife of Jordan Woodward, but when her husband Gordon Turner published his book, her name was included as Jordan's wife. No records have been found that I am aware of to verify this.)

"From Zelma, as told to her by her grandmother, descendent of Jordan Woodward. A young woman, Patience Clenny or McCleney, was run off from home by her brothers because she was pregnant - not married of course. The Jordan Woodwards took her in - the baby was a boy, Benjamin Clenney, grew up in the Woodward home and married one of their daughters, Cynthia. Cynthia died in Anson County in 1825 - when Zelma's I believe 3rd great grandfather was 2 weeks old - A H Clenney. Would that have been reason for their moving (Jordan to Anson Co) - However Zelma said the baby (Benjamin Clenney) was a George - no relation to the Woodwards."


There is one problem with this. The 1820 census for Benjamin Clenny gives his age as 45 or older. That would place his date of birth at 1775 or earlier. Jordan Woodward was born in 1760 and would have been only 15 years old at the most when Benjamin Clenny was born. Surely Jordan had not established his own household at that age. Since Jordan was the oldest surviving child of Christopher Woodward, the only older Woodward in the family who could have taken Cynthia Clenny in shortly before Benjamin was born would have been Jordan's father, Christopher Woodward. Perhaps after Christopher's death in 1785, Benjamin who may have still been underage at that time, was taken in by Jordan's family. I have not been able to determine Cynthia's parents or siblings, but I feel sure she in some way traces back to the McClenny family of Nansemond.

There were Clenny/McClenny records in Johnston Co, but not near the Middle Creek area where Christopher Woodward lived. These records were farther north on the border of Johnston and Wake in the Little River area. The name appeared with and without the "Mc" and apparently eventually dropped this prefix all together. Several of Jordan Woodward's children and grandchildren married into families who came from this same Little River area - Duck, Hatcher, and Traywick. Asa Hyatt who married Irene Woodard also came from this area.


Two different lines descending from Christopher Woodward of Wake Co knew of an ancestor who had come from England and settled in Jamestown. Although I cannot be sure that I have found the correct path from Christopher Woodward who arrived in Jamestown in 1620 to Christopher Woodward of Wake Co, I am convinced that the Jamestown settler was our ancestor.

If you have found records that in any way further prove or disprove what I have offered here, please email me!   Frances Cullom Harper