Once a Knight is Enough

Knight Genealogy

by Laura Knight


On this page I am presenting a crucially important article by Dr. Richard Slatten, a founding member and past president of the Virginia Genealogical Society. He was an expert and prolific author on genealogical topics and transcribed many records for the great benefit of others.

In addition to the critique of Headrights that Dr. Slatten develops in this article, I would like to add my own observation that I have made many times throughout these pages: young men in the colonies, and even young women, sons and daughters of established planters, would often lend or rent themselves out to be used as headrights possibly in exchange for reciprocal favors or other assistance in obtaining their own land grants. Once I had caught on to that idea, I began to make predictions about when the sons of a given planter might be expected to show up as a headright somewhere, and sure enough, over half the time, my predictions were confirmed; that's way more than chance considering the rather low number of names one works with in these texts. In many, if not most, other cases, it is exactly as Dr. Slatten describes it below: a lot of fraud going on and if you aren't careful, you will be conned like the poor author of the Clopton family history recounted below; you should hope you are never similarly embarrassed!


Interpreting Headrights in Colonial-Virginia Patents:
Uses and Abuses

VOLUME 75 SEPTEMBER 1987 NUMBER 3, pp. xiii-xxiii
By Richard Slatten*

The Virginia land-patent books constitute a basic source for researching a colonial-Virginia family. Carefully assessed, they provide essential clues to the arrival and migration of ancestors. While these widely used records are cited as the basis of many a distinguished pedigree, they are frequently misinterpreted by those who assume they understand them. Probably the most-serious misunderstanding with respect to the patents involves certain easy assumptions regarding the individuals named in these instruments: that the person in whose name a headright was claimed was a recent arrival; that this individual was known to the patentee; and that either ever resided on the land described in the patent. Since abuses of the headright system were so flagrant from the inception, caution should be exercised by anyone attempting to establish facts concerning an immigrant by citing his inclusion in a headright list. A brief review of the system of the granting of land in Virginia is given here to preface the abuses that arose and the resulting misinterpretations which are rife today.

Development of the System

In Virginia, the allotment of vacant land as individual freeholds began about 1619, when the Virginia Company adopted the practice in order to encourage industry and initiative among settlers already in the colony.1 Later, as a means of encouraging immigration, incoming settlers who defrayed their own passage to Virginia were made eligible for a personal right to fifty acres of land Shortly afterward, this right of each head to fifty acres for himself was liberalized to include the transportation right, or the right to fifty acres for anyone who paid the passage of another. Thus, by 1635, the head of an incoming family of three who also paid the passage for five other individuals qualified for a land allotment of four hundred acres.2 Besides the headrights whether personal or importation, there were provisions as early as 1620 for a military right redeemable in land. Of those to qualify under this provision possibly the most noteworthy was Captain Thomas Rolfe, son of John and Pocahontas, whose patent to the fort lands on the north side of the Chickahominy was recorded in 1646.3

The Virginia Company’s charter was not renewed in 1624, and after that date the Crown reserved to itself the prerogative of allotting vacant lands Entitlement continued to be established, as previously, on the basis of headrights and military rights. Of these, the headright quickly became and continued to be the principal basis on which land was awarded throughout the seventeenth century. Sometime during the last decade of that century, a new means of qualifying for patents was authorized, the treasury right, whereby a warrant redeemable in land could be purchased directly from the land office. In time the treasury right became the principal means of acquiring vacant land and, after about 1730, almost the exclusive one.4

In 1649, Charles II, in hopes of regaining the throne, vested in a group of supporters the authority to distribute land in the area of Virginia called the Northern Neck (the land represented by the present Virginia counties of Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, King George, Lancaster, Loudoun, Madison, Northumberland, Page, Prince William, Rappahannock, Richmond, Shenandoah, Stafford, Warren, and Westmoreland, and the West Virginia counties of Berkeley, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, and Morgan). No lands were actually granted by the Northern Neck Proprietary until 1690, and in the intervening forty-one years, the Fairfax family succeeded in having this authority vested in itself alone. This it exercised until the Revolution of 1776 brought an end to the arrangement. In the Northern Neck, the headright was never utilized as a basis for grants, the rights to which were conveyed by warrants purchased from the Proprietary Land Office.5

In other respects, there was little that distinguished the proprietary grant of the Northern Neck from the crown grant elsewhere, so far as the procedure for obtaining these lands was concerned. In both cases, the prospective applicant first selected the vacant tract that he or she wished to receive. The petition was to contain some general description of the tract—perhaps a map—in order that a surveyor could later locate it. This description, along with evidence of the applicant’s “rights,” was then taken to the office of the granting authority. This authority (either the crown or proprietary office, depending on where the land was located) then issued the applicant a warrant which authorized the county surveyor to make a survey and draw a plat of the tract. If, on the basis of the plat, the office determined that the tract was free of previous claims, a certificate of ownership was issued. The originals of these patents or grants were given to the applicants, while clerks in the land office made copies in registers kept for that purpose. The only known copies of the headright lists are those the clerks inscribed in these land books.

Problems of Interpretations

The use of patents as source material for genealogical research is not new, nor has the use resulted in a particularly distinguished record for accuracy. Much, although by no means all, of the failure with which this practice has met can be traced to the fact that prior to 1934, when Nell M. Nugent issued her first volume of patent abstracts covering the years 1623 to 1666, there was no complete index to patentees — and for the many additional names buried in the texts of these instruments, there was no index at all. Nugent’s third and Iast volume did not appear until 1979, forty-five years after the first; and it was not until 1985 that the Magazine of Virginia Genealogy undertook to pick up the project where Nugent left off. Anyone familiar with the text of the patents now available in print can see at once that, until the remaining instruments are published, there are Virginia pedigrees—especially, but not exclusively, the very early ones—which should be considered tentative in certain of their particulars. Too many references to re-patented land, marriages and remarriages of landowners, dates of death, couples who died without issue, and similar situations and events are found exclusively in these documents to warrant confidence in conclusions reached without knowledge of their contents.7

The use of patents for research purposes has been further jeopardized by a limited understanding of the records themselves. Concerning crown patents there is now conclusive evidence that by the middle of the eighteenth century the land office in Williamsburg had begun the practice of annually destroying the principal documents created in the course of issuing patents — that is, the warrants, surveys, and headright lists.8 The Proprietary Office, on the other hand, retained its warrants and surveys, and the extant ones are currently being published.9 A study of the latter makes clear that the acquisition of title to vacant land was often a very long process; and since warrants were negotiable and frequently were reassigned several times before a final allotment was made, the original warrantee was by no means always the ultimate patentee. These reassignments can be especially informative transactions, documenting such pertinent events as deaths, estate divisions, and migrations.10

The destruction of the original headright lists by the Crown land office has proved to be a particularly critical loss, since attention often has focused on these names as representing immigrant ancestors of particular families. The sometime antiquarian Richard Randolph may be one of the first to have claimed knowledge of such connections. In a letter to Hugh Blair Grigsby in 1856, Mr. Randolph made the remarkable claim that headrights on a patent for land along the Appomattox River, dated 1683, included progenitors of nineteenth-century families then known by him to be living around Petersburg.11 Whether or not Randolph’s declaration was factual in this instance need not be explored here. The important issue is rather the peremptory nature of his statement and the generally unhealthy effect of that kind of discourse on the progress of genealogy in general and on an intelligent use of the headright lists in particular.

Nor have researchers, since Mr. Randolph, made entirely satisfactory headway against the sort of doctrine that he espoused. Witness the following tenets on the significance currently attached to headright lists: that the date of the patent on which a grantee’s name appears is the approximate date of a headright’s arrival in the colony; that headright lists represent passenger lists; and that there is a correlation between the county where patented land was located and the county of disembarkation (or even of residence) of the headright. Possibly the most fundamental and widespread misunderstanding involving these names, and the one from which numerous others have evolved, is that such names necessarily represent people who ever came to the colony as residents or, if they did, that they remained and left issue there.

There is, in fact, no justification for any of the above assumptions without confirmation by facts ordinarily not given in patents themselves. It is known from surviving documents that the integrity of the headright system was under fire during the time it was in use and that authorities were acquainted firsthand with specific abuses. Subsequent work of historians interested in the question has not enhanced the reputation of the system. Philip Bruce, in his Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century, has this to say; “From the very inauguration of the system of headrights, it was abused and evaded by every contrivance which ingenuity could suggest.”12 From a manuscript recently uncovered, we gain insight into the exact nature of these abuses and, as a result, a fuller understanding of the limits imposed upon those who set out to draw conclusions from these records.

That part of the Revenue also which arises by the Sale of Rights for Land will be very much advanced by some late Regulations I have made in relation to the Rights allow’d for the Importation of persons into the Countrey, the abusses therein were grown to that height, that instead of Fifty acres allowed by ye Charter for every person coming to dwell here, many times no less than five hundred acres have been claimed & taken up, by allowing not only the Masters of Ships importing Servents,  the Merchants to whom they belonged, the persons that brought them and the Imported persons themselves to prove one and the same Right, but also by the Fraud of the County Clerks in making out divers Certificates for one Importation. . . . And because persons imported into ye Northern Neck are allowed by ye Proprietors no Land for their Importation and therefore it hath been a custom to prove their Rights and assign them over for taking up land in that part of the Colony held of her Majesty [,] I have put a stop to that Trafick by disallowing all Rights for persons imported into that part of the Government.13

Genealogical Value of Patent Records

In spite of inherent pitfalls, there is a fund of genealogical information to be gleaned from patents, as well as from the headright lists associated with them. The judicious use of this material is best illustrated by going directly to the documents themselves. Consulting the index to Nugent’s work, one can quickly pick out a string of similar names, then proceed to list and compare them sequentially. From numerous choices, the name Cornix was selected as an example, an unusual name that does not oblige one to cope with excessive numbers. Fifteen Cornix entries appear as follows:

24 November 1657. William Cornix was awarded a patent in Linhaven Parish, Lower Norfolk County, for 500 acres, called Salisbury Plaines, for the transfer of ten persons.14

28 May 1658. William Basnett patented 800 acres in Lower Norfolk County, for the transfer of sixteen persons, including “Jone Cornix, Martha Cornix, Wm. Cornix & Tho. Cornix.”15

27 April 1661. Samll. Cornix was claimed as a headright for land in James City County.16

26 November 1661. Wm. Cornix patented land in Lower Norfolk County adjacent to the tract called Salisbury Plaines.17

20 February 1662. Samll. Cornix was claimed as a headright for land in Rappahannock County on a list that also included Abra. Travers, Wm. Crow, Mary Stephens, and Wm. Hughes.18

26 May 1663. Samll. Cornix was claimed again as a headright for land in James City County.19

25 September 1663. Samll. Cornix was claimed as a headright for land on “Wwd. side of Paspetank River” [Pasquotank River, North Carolina], which list of headrights also included Abra. Travers, Wm. Crow, Mary Stevens, and Wm. Hughes.20

25 September 1663. Wm. Cornix was included among the rights for land on the southwest side of Pasbetanke River.21

27 October 1663. Jno. Cornix was claimed as a headright for land patented in Westmoreland County.22

18 November 1663. Sam. Cornix was claimed as a headright for land in Westmoreland County.23

3 October 1671. William Cornix patented 1,736 acres in Lyn Haven Parish, Lower Norfolk County, which total included the previously patented tract called Salisburg Playne.24

27 May 1673. Jacob Johnson patented 600 acres in Linhaven Parish, Lower Norfolk County, 400 acres being part of 500 allotted to Robert Hayes in 1648, which was subsequently sold by Nathaniell and Addam, his sons, to Mr. Symon Cornix, now deceased, then sold by Wm. Cornix, his “sonn and heire,” to Mr. Bray, who sold to Johnson.25

9 October 1675. Mr. Wm. Cornicks (Cornix) patented land in Lynhaven Parish, Lower Norfolk County, beginning on Chincopin Ridge in his old line.26

20 April 1686. John Elks patented land in Lower Norfolk County, claiming among his rights “Jone Cornix, Martha Cornix, and Wm. and Tho. Cornix.”27

28 April 1711 John Cornex patented 267 acres in Lynhaven Parish, Princess Anne County [formed from Lower Norfolk in 1691], 238 acres of which was the part previously allotted on 9 October 1675 to Mr. Wm. Cornex, whose will (dated 20 September 1700) bequeathed it to his son John.28

From the foregoing, a number of clues emerge. Based on the first patent, that of 1657, one may conclude that there was a person named William Cornix in the colony in that year, since he was awarded land in Lower Norfolk County. This William would have been born about 1635 at the latest, although he certainly may have been born earlier. This patent is strong evidence that he did not transport himself to the colony, since his rights did not include a personal one for himself; if the latter was to be considered, then he would have been eligible for 550 acres instead of 500. In spite of the patents of 1658 and 1663, which imply the importation of a William Cornix, the sum total of the evidence here suggests that the William of 1657 may not have been an immigrant at all but, rather, that he was born in the colony. This William is possibly the William, son of the deceased Symon, as identified in the 1673 instrument, and this Simon is likely to be the immigrant and patriarch. Probably significant is the note in the 1673 document to the effect that Simon Cornix bought the only land we know him to have owned, which would account for his being otherwise unnamed in this group of records.

That the William of the 1675 patent is also the William who was son of Symon is at least questionable. The 1675 patentee did not write his will until 1700, and the “William, son of Symon” would have been a man upwards of sixty-five years by that date. Considering the characteristics of the period under study, such an age should not be assumed unless the will of 1700 itself suggests this. If this William followed what appears to be the pattern for that era, he should have been a generation younger.29

The identities of the other Cornixes are even less certain. With regard to the five Samuel Cornix entries claiming headrights in 1661, 1662, and three times in 1663, the information given is simply too meager to justify an assumption. Although one or more of these entries could represent an actual importation, the instance of 25 September 1663 is especially suspect, suggesting simply a claim based on a border-crossing technicality (note that Wm. Cornix was claimed under similar circumstances in an instrument recorded the very same day). With regard to the John Cornix entry of October 1663, as well as to the Samuel Cornix entries, there is simply too much evidence documenting the presence of Cornixes already in the colony—from 1635 or earlier—to permit the blind assumption that these patents all represent legitimate importations.

Lastly, there is no clear niche in which to fit “Jone Cornix, Martha Cornix, Wm. Cornix, and Tho. Cornix” of the 1658 instrument. Who are they? Possibly the destroyed warrants and surveys provided an explanation that the patents pass over in silence. But the same quartet of names claimed twenty- eight years later, in 1686, is another matter. It is simply asking too much of coincidence to assume that the second reference is to four different people of the same names, in both cases listed in the same order – an order which is also somewhat atypical if one considers this a family.

With regard to the duplicated four individuals, it is probable that an investigation of relevant county and parish records would point to this as simply another instance of the reuse of the same names already claimed on a previous occasion. Over and above fraudulent reuse, already well-documented, the language of the patens demonstrates that tracts claimed on a basis of headrights, when subsequently repatented by others, could be regranted using the original rights in some instances and new rights in others.  When Colonel Henry Bisshop in 1646 repatented land in James City County which had previously been taken by Captain Silliam Powell, it was assigned to Bisshop by Sir William Berkeley “with the rights thereunto belonging.”30    Similarly, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Abrall’s repatent, in June 1657, of land formerly owned by John Hansford describes the property as “retaken by new rights.”31

That an immigrant’s arrival ordinarily will predate his mention as a headright by many months or even years cannot be stressed too strongly. Colonel Augustin Warner, in an example of candor rare in these records, provides a look behind the scenes of a system inherently prone to error.  In his patent for land in Rappahannock and New Kent counties dated 8 October 1672, he claims 202 headrights.  But finding the tally insufficient for the claim, Warner complete the list of transports with an apologetic note: “Twelve Irishmen but I have not their names in memory but some of them are alive.”32 Among the regrettably few instances in which importations are thought to have been proved under oath, Fielding Lewis on 21 October 1779 recorded the names of sixty Irish brought into the colony, providing solid evidence that the date of record of an importation may follow by as much as a decade the date of entry into the colony:

Fielding Lewis Esqr. came into Court and made Oath that in October 1769 he imported into this State Eighty two Indented Servants from Ireland in the Brigg Fanny [under] Capt. Richard Taylor and that he also imported Thirty eight Servants in the same Brigg from the same place the May following. 33

If the lapse between an immigrant’s arrival and the use of his or her name as a headright involves a considerable period of time, researchers should bear in mind that the immigrant’s name will probably appear in another record prior to being listed as a right.  When Barneby MacQuinny patented 490 acres in Isle of Wight County, 16 June 1714, he claimed among his importation rights “Ralph Mare, John Welsh, Philip Castelly, and Martin Hennice.”34 However, some thirteen years prior to the date of the MacQuinny patent, Major [Arthur] Allen of Surry County, Virginia, claimed among his tithables for the year 1701 “Ralph Mare, John Welch, Phillip Casselly, [and] Martin Henesey.”35  If these are not the same four individuals, the coincidence is truly a remarkable on; and no less remarkable is the fat that, in the two documents, the four names appear in exactly the same sequence.  The mathematical probability of this occurring by accident must be very small—so small, in fact, that one is tempted to believe the names were derived from the tithable list itself.

Finally, in dealing with patents, it is incumbent upon the careful researcher to treat this record group in as critical a way as any other, being alert to the provenance of each particular record examined and willing to search out and consider any version antecedent to the one in hand. The venerable reputation of the patents must not lead to treating them as if they were brought down from the Mount with the Ten Commandments. The information embodied in these records is preserved to us in several forms, and these forms have come down to us as the work of many individuals. The abstracts published by Mrs. Nugent and, more recently, by the Magazine of Virginia Genealogy are exactly what their name implies, partial copies — copies prepared from a recorded version preserved in the land-patent books by clerks working in that office in Jamestown and Williamsburg. This recorded version is in all likelihood itself a copy transcribed by clerks and given to the patentee. In preparing the original the clerks referred to yet-earlier instruments, the warrants and surveys. To suppose that all these versions are in any sense duplicates of one another — that the value of any one of them is equal to the sum of information contained in them all — will not be borne out by actual comparison. For example: an early patent for land in James City County, awarded to Richard Kemp on 1 August 1636, mentions three adjacent landowners, Thomas Hill, Richard Tree, and Alexander Stomer. But Stomer, who is probably the same of that name claimed as a right by Jackson and Kingsmill on 26 September 1638, is not in Nugent’s abstract.36

Given the loss of the crown warrants and surveys, researchers should bear in mind the possibility, even if remote, that an original patent of their instrument may have survived and attempt to locate it. While some originals are probably still in private hands, surviving examples that are now part of various archival collections are certainly the most readily accessible. These extant originals will all have their individual value, not only as the earliest text in most instances but also by virtue of the reassignments and powers of attorney they sometimes bear on their reverse sides. The patent to Henry Benson for 1,071 acres in Rappahannock County, 5 November 1673, and that to Christopher Hursk for 105 acres in Botetourt County, 23 November 1789 — both now in the collection of the Virginia Historical Society—are good examples of originals bearing important endorsements which did not become part of their recorded versions. This society alone has twenty-four seventeenth-century originals dating from March 1620 to October 1696, most in photocopy from various collections, plus sixty-seven other colonial patents dating from May 1700 through the end of the colonial period.37

The headright system as generally conducted in Virginia, particularly in the seventeenth century, requires researchers to view its records with a great deal of skepticism. Abuses are well documented by officials who observed the system in operation, and a careful reading of the records themselves will turn up countless entries that arouse profound suspicion. Otherwise carefully compiled family histories sometimes prove inadequate only to the challenge of dealing realistically with references to names in headright lists. The following text raises several points which may be legitimately argued more than one way.

William Clopton, Gent., son of the Rev. William Clopton of Eastwood, County Essex, England, and his wife Elizabeth Sutcliffe, was “aged about thirty” according to his own deposition in 1685, which would place his birth at about 1655. Royal Patent land records reveal when he arrived in the Colony of Virginia. A review of the patent records also show[s] why some of his descendants have believed more than one William Clopton came to Virginia. In fact, all of the records are referring to the same William Clopton. He made at least three trips back and forth between England and Virginia. Each time his trip was sponsored by a “transporter” who received Royal Land Patents for transporting colonists over from England.

The earliest record we have of William Clopton in Virginia is 18 Feb. 1673. Royal Patent Book No. 6, Page 502. Mr. Thomas Hall and John Pigg were granted 3833 acres on the north side of Mataponi River, New Kent County, for the transport of 77 persons. William Clopton was on the passenger list.

He returned to England shortly afterward, because on 5 Nov. 1763, we again see his name on a passenger list: By Royal Patent Alexander Robbins received 650 acres in Rappahanock County for the transport of William Clopton and twelve others. Patent Book 6, page 493.

Finally, on 15 Oct. 1698 Andrew Spratling received 624 acres in New Kent County for transporting thirteen persons from England to Virginia. On the list is William Clopton.38

Whether the William Clopton references in the patents cited above actually represent the same person is not a question that can be answered without appeal to additional records; as matters stand in the passage quoted, nothing has been proved. There may have been, and probably there was, an individual in the colony as early as 1673 named William Clopton — if indeed there was not more than one. But there is no clue given here as to where he, or they, came from. Certainly there is no assurance that England was that place. The three voyages have to be taken as pure supposition, with rather unlikely consequences in this instance. The date of the patent to Hall and Pigg of 3,833 acres (the recorded version says 3,831) on the north (northeast to be exact) side of the Mattaponi River is transcribed as 18 February 1673. But in the patent book itself, the date.18 February 1673/74 is given. It is therefore the second in sequence of the three dates, not the first. The chronology, as adjusted, now obliges the researcher to accept a round-trip from Virginia to England in the dead of winter—between 5 November 1673 and 18 February 1674—in approximately three months. Voyages of this duration were not conventional for the period in question, and the theory that such a voyage actually took place requires additional confirmation. Further, any study of Cloptons using patents as a point of departure, and continuing the scheme of analysis that led to the theory of the three voyages, must ultimately explain the appearance of a William Clopton as a headright twice on 15 October 1698, both times in the company of “Eliz. Cole, Wm. Squire, and John Parsons” (see the patents to Andrew Spratling and Benjamin Buckley), and his appearance a third time on 6 June 1699, again in the company of “Eliza. Cole, Wm. Squire, and John Parsons” (see patent to Leigh and Harrison).39

None of the objections set forth in this paper are meant to imply that there were no legitimate headrights, that importations were never properly substantiated and accurately recorded, and that the names which are appended to the recorded patents are in every case such objects of suspicion that no reputable genealogist dare introduce them as evidence. On the contrary, they can and ought to be cited in every case where the genealogist can show that they form part of a surviving network of facts which, taken together, support a particular view as to when specific individuals moved to Virginia. Used with respect for their limitations, the Virginia land patents — one of the great historical treasures of our American heritage — can contribute immeasurably to our understanding of an era that is not always rich in primary sources.

Notes and References

* Dr. Slatten is a founding member and past president of the Virginia Genealogical Society and currently serves as editor of the Virginia Genealogical Society Newsletter. He is a frequent contributor to the society’s Magazine of Virginia Genealogy,
1. See the patent to William Fairefax recorded in Patent Book No. 1, Part II, p. 648, dated 20 February 1619. The originals of these land patents are housed at the Virginia State Library, Richmond.
2. John Armie, on 26 June 1635, received 50 acres for his own personal adventure, 50 acres for the adventure of his wife Marie, 50 acres for the personal adventure of his son William, and 250 acres for the transportation of five persons; see Nell M. Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 3 vols. (Richmond, Va.: Press of the Dietz Printing Co., 1934; and Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1977, 1979), 1:23. While the original intent may have been that every incoming settler be eligible for 50 acres, the patents themselves suggest that, in practice, the land due for transported individuals regularly went to the person paying the passage.
3. Ibid., 234.
4. According to William Waller Hening, The Statutes at Large . . .of Virginia, III (Richmond: Samuel Pleasants, 1809), 30S, the Act of October 170S officially ushered in the use of treasury rights, although there are earlier references to the practice in the patents themselves. On 6 June 1699, patentee Joseph Perry was credited with “3 rights paid for to Mr. Auditor Byrd as by certificate.” See Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, 111:26. The headright system was officially abolished by the Act of May 1799; see Hening, Statutes, X:37.
5. The term patent was regularly used by the Crown land office as the name of the instrument it issued to convey titles to vacant land. After the creation of the state land office in 1779, this agency adopted the term grant for the same instrument. The proprietary office had always employed the latter term.
6. This series began with vol. 23 (October-December I98S): 3. Continuing installments are in progress.
7. For a case study in the use of patents as a means of elaborating family histories, see Elizabeth Vann Moore and Richard Slatten, “The Descendants of Pocahontas: An Unclosed Case,” Magazine of Virginia Genealogy 23 (January-March 1985): 3-16.
8. Daphne S. Gentry, comp., Virginia Land Office Inventory, revised and enlarged by John S. Salmon (Richmond: Archives and Records Division, Virginia State Library, 1981), 4.
9. Peggy S. Joyner, Abstracts of Virginia's Northern Neck Warrants and Surveys. 3 vols. to date (Portsmouth, Va.: Privately printed, 1985—).
10. Crown patents sometimes mention assignments but seldom elaborate. As an example, see the patent to Thomas Haynes, Book 6:219.
11. W. S. Morton, contr., “Letter from Richard Randolph to Hugh Blair Grigsby, Feb. 12, 1856,” William and Mary Quarterly, III, 2nd ser. (April 1923): 155-56.
13. Philip A. Bruce, Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century, 2 vols. (New York and London: MacMillan & Co., 1896, 1919) 1:518.
14. Richard Slatten, “Tax Evasion in the Early 18th Century: A Contemporary Account,” Magazine of Virginia Genealogy 23 (October-December 1985): 27.
15. Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers 1:355.
16. Ibid., 1:362-63.
17. Ibid., 1:458.
18. Ibid., 1:415.
19. Ibid., 1:468.
20. Ibid., 1:510
21. Ibid., 1:426.
22. Ibid.
23. Ibid., 1:486.
24. Ibid., 1:506.
25. Ibid., 11:98.
26. Ibid., 11:126.
27. Ibid., 11:168.
28. Ibid., 11:295.
29. Ibid., 111:116.
30. According to one synthesis of current scholarship on the subject of mortality in the early Southern colonies: “Death rates ... in Maryland and Virginia ... remained grim through the end of the seventeenth century. [Edmund S.] Morgan indicates that while survival rates among immigrants between 1625 and 1640 were higher than during 1607 to 1624, they were probably still below 50 percent. According to Walsh and Menard, life expectation at birth for white males born in Maryland during the second half of the seventeenth century was between 21.6 and 29.8 years.” See Robert W. Fogel et al., “The Economics of Mortality in North America, 1650-1910: A Description of a Research Project,” Historical Methods 11 (Spring 1978): 76. The following studies form the basis of Fogel's conclusions: Edmund S. Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom (New York: W. W. Norton, 1975), 159; Lorena S. Walsh and Russell R. Menard, “Death in the Chesapeake: Two Life Tables for Men in Early Colonial Maryland," Maryland Historical Magazine 69 (Summer 1974): 211-27; and Darrett B. Rutman and Anita H. Rutman, “Of Agues and Fevers: Malaria in the Early Chesapeake,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., 33 (January 1976): 31-60.
31. Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, 1:165.
32. Ibid., 1:346-47.
33. Ibid., 11:110-11.
34. Spotsylvania County, Virginia, Minute Book, 1774-1782: 125. This maneuver on Mr. Lewis's part would appear to have been prompted by the Act of 1779, abolishing the use of headrights. The records show that he became eligible for numerous warrants for land during this period.
35. Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, 111:146.
36. Edgar MacDonald and Richard Slatten, “Surry County Tithables: 1701, 1702, 1703," Magazine oj Virginia Genealogy 24 (July-September 1986), 71.
37. Patent Bk. I, Pt. 11:587-88; Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers 1:95.
38. Rare and secondhand book dealers occasionally have such artifacts in their collections. There are thirty-one original eighteenth-century grants listed for sale in Catalogue Nine; Virginiana (Richmond, Va.: The Richmond Book Shop, Inc., 1986?.
39. Gene Carlton Clopton, Ancestors and Descendants of William Clopton of York County, Virginia (n.p.: Privately printed, 1984): 86.
40. Spratling, Patent Bk. 9:171; Buckley, Patent Bk. 9:172; Leigh and Harrison, Patent Bk. 9:214