I have posted below an extensive history of Thomas Edmundson of Essex, the immigrant.This is accurate to my best knowledge and judgement after fifty years of research on this family. I invite discussion and hope for additional sources and facts to emerge.
The children of Thomas Edmundson are not in chronological order, I think, as listed at one time in Tyler's Quarterly. I would like opionions on their proper birth order. I suspect James, Samuel and William were the eldest and think Benjamin was the youngest. The rest are debatable.
The identity of Thomas's second wife, Mary, is not clear. Was she Mary Haile?One of Thomas's sons, Bryant, married another Mary Haile.
Edmondsons living today who descend from Thomas appear to come from the lines of James, Thomas, Joseph, Bryant and Benjamin. Samuel, William and John have no known Edmondson descendants now.
Stephen W. Edmondson
THE EDMUNDSONSOF ESSEX
The first Edmondson known to this compiler to live in Virginia was Thomas Edmundson/Edmondson who came as early as 1656 according to one researcher.Proof ofhis date ofarrival is needed.This family were concentrated in the early generations in that part of old Rappahannock which became Essex Countyin 1692.His descendants spread to other parts of Virginia and other southern states and probably constitute a majority of Edmondsons in the South today.
THOMAS EDMUNDSON, THE IMMIGRANT
Thomas Edmundsonsettled in old Rappahannock County, Virginia.A reference provided by Dr. Paul Medlock, stamped “Will E. Parham Coll.”, p. 8, discusses the Edmundsons of Maryland who settled in Talbot County and comments then on Edmundsons who settled in the Rappahannock area of Virginia:
“Another English family an Episcopalian one named Thomas was also in the war between Parliament and the King and fought for the King, and after the King’s defeat found himself out of place in a country ruled by Presbyterians, he being a Cavalier left the country and came to America and settled in an Episcopal colony, Virginia, in Rappahannock County, just across the river from where the Washingtons settled who were Cavaliers and had left England for the same reason”.
We have no documentation of the above statement and no record showing the origin of Thomas Edmundson.It appears he was transported from England at the expense of John Gregory and Hugh Mead, as these men received a grant of 200 acres October 4, 1675, for transporting four persons into the colony, including Thomas Edmundson (Patent Book 6, p. 166; see Virginia Gen., Vol. 2).There is a good chance he was an indentured servant.One source says he came to Virginia in 1656 butdocumentation is needed.
Thomas married Anne Gregory, daughter of John Gregory, Feb. 2,1666, in Rappahannock County.John Gregory made a deed April 16, 1666, for eight head of cattle.Gregory was a member of the Farnham Parish Vestry.The deed reads:
“Bee it knowne unto all men by these presents that IJno. Gregory of Hoskins Creek in the County of Rappa. Planter out of and for the Love and affection I have for Thomas Edmundson of same county Planter my Sone in Law and for the Better prefermt. And benefitt doe by these presents give and grant unto the said Thomas Edmundson Eight head of cattle to him and to his heirs for ever five of the sd Eight being the mark of the said Jno. Grigory and comonly called or knowne by the names of Gentle, Tydy, Maryigold, Prymrose and Violett the other three being Calfes unmarked To have and To Hold the said Eight head of Cattle with all their increase male and Female unto the said Thomas Edmund-son and his heirs forever.Given under my hand and sealed with my Seale this 16th day of April Anno Domini 1666.John Grigory.Present of Joane Owen, Susannah Meader.Recordat in Com Rappa 12th die Febry 1667.Deed Book 3, p. 70.
John Gregory’s will is recorded in Deeds and Wills, Old Rappahannock County, 1665-1676, pp. 210-211: the will of Capt. John Grigorys was datedMay 24, 1676, who was still living.REGISTER OF ANCESTORS,National Society of Colonial Dames of Commonwealth of Virginia, p. 41, refers to John Gregory, d. 1676.Capt., ranger, old Rappahannock County.Bacon Rebellion.Marriage 1 to Elizabeth Bishop, b. 1625 in Virginia and died before 1676 in Rappahannock County.Married about 1653 in Lancaster County, Virginia.Children: AnnGregory, b. Lancaster County, married Thomas Edmundson; Mary Gregory, b. 1665 in New Kent County; John Gregory, Jr., b. 1667; Richard Gregory, b. abt1668 in Lancaster County; Elizabeth Gregory b. in Farnham Parish, Virginia.(It would appear that this Register is not correct in date of marriage of John and Elizabeth Gregory.Their daughter Ann who married Thomas Edmundson likely would havebeen bornbefore 1653 to be old enough to be married by 1666.)See COLONIAL SURRY, p.102, for reference to John Gregory.
VIRGINIA TAX RECORDS, pub. by Gen. Publishing Co., 1983, p. 239: John Gregory was doubtless theperson of the name who afterwards lived in Rappahannock County.John Gregory of Rappahannock, made a deed dated April 16, 1666, to his son-in-law Thos. Edmondson.Robt. Bishop, of Rappahannock, by will dated April 21st, 1776, left all his estate to John Gregory, Jr.John Gregory, the elder, who was a vestryman of Sittenhouse parish, 1665, had two sons, John and Richard, and a daughter Mary, who married in 1682, James Taylor, the immigrant ancestor of President Taylor.There was a grant in April, 1687, to James Taylor, for land left by Mr. Robt. Bishop, to John Gregory, and by him to his sister Mary, “now the wife” of the said Taylor.There is on record a deed from John Gregory and Elizabeth his wife, of Rappahannock, date Feb. 26, 1673-4.The will of John Gregory was dated Dec. 18,1671, and proved in Rappahannock, Sept. 4, 1678.; legatees, his sisters, Mary and Elizabeth, brother Richard, Executor.The will of Richard Gregory of Essex, was dated Feb. 17, and proved May 10, 1700.Richard and John, sons-in-law (probably step-sons) Thomas and Wm. Bowin, daughter Elizabeth,and wife Katherine.
Speaks of his land in King and Queen County.Either this Richard or his son of the same name was J.P. for King and Queen, 1693, 1699, 1702.Of course after 1700, the justice must have been the son. (This account gives other Gregory family history in later generations.Question: Could Richard Gregory’s wife Katherine have been Katherine Edmondson who was associated with Thomas Edmondson a few years earlier and might have been Thomas’ sister?)
Under a law enacted in the late years of Queen Elizabeth,convicted felons were transported to Virginia in large numbers to work onthe plantations being established there.Sir Thomas Dale brought three hundred with him in 1611 and from 1618 onward a steady stream were transported.Some were Scots and English prisoners of war taken by Cromwell at the battles of Dunbar in 1650 and Worcester in 1651.
(See THE FATAL SHORE, by Robert Hughes, p. 40).If Thomas Edmundson was indeed a Royal soldier and on the losing side in the English Civil War, he might well have beenindentured to Virginia.He might also have slipped out of England under an arrangement with John Gregory. If an indentured servant, his period of service would have been seven years and could be calculated back from 1666, giving a date of arrival about 1657.
Research done for Lee Edmundson in 2005 by Helen Osborn, English genealogist,revealed a will of William Edmundson of Kendal,Westmoreland, proved in 1657.He and Joseph Edmundson were sons of Bryan Edmundson, a name used in the line of descent of Thomas Edmundson of Essex for generations and in none of the other lines in the American colonies.William Edmundson was a mercer, a merchant.Hewas born about 1613 and his brother Joseph about 1615.His will mentions only a daughter Frances but does mention his brother Joseph and Joseph’s children: Thomas, Joseph, Margaret and Katherine.Thomas could be the immigrant to Virginia.This will is found in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury,Wills and Administrations.Sixteen Edmundson wills were recorded between 1640-1715.Elizabeth Edmondson, also of Kendal, Westmoreland, left a will which was proved in 1656.A power of attorney granted to Thomas Edmundson in 1685(below) was witnessed by Katherine Edmundson.There is no evidence available yet to identify this Katherine.She might be the sister mentioned in the English will in 1657.
Original Lancaster County, Virginia, in 1653-54, included all the territory on both sides of the Rappanhannock River from its mouth as far west as settlement extended.Taxes were collected as a poll tax, or tithable.Tithables included all freemen above 16, all white male servants imported of any age, all imported negroes male and female of any age, all Indian servants of both sexes above 16.The first tax levy in Lancaster was in 1653.The second levy was dated Feb. 6, 1654.It included John Gregory, 3 tithables; John Catlett, 5 tithables.The tax list did not include Thomas Edmundson, though it is possible he is among the three listed by John Gregory.See VIRGINIA TAX RECORDS, pp. 236-264, Gen. Pub. Co.Notes on the tax list include:
(13) John Gregory was doubtless the person of the name who after-wards lived in Rappahannock County.John Gregoryof Rappa-hannock made a deed dated April 16, 1666, to his son-in-law, Thos. Edmondson.Robt. Bishop, of Rappahannock, by will dated April 21st, 1676, left all his estate to John Gregory, Jr.John Gregory, the elder, who was a vestryman of Sittenbourne parish, 1665, had two sons, John and Richard, and a daughter Mary, who married in 1682, James Taylor, the immigrant ancestor of President Taylor.There was a grant in 1687 to James Taylor, for land left by Mr. Robt. Bishop to John Gregory and by him to his sister Mary, “now the wife” of the said Taylor.There is on record a deed from John Gregory and Elizabeth his wife, of Rappahannock, dated Feb. 26, 1673-74.
A deed in old Rappahannock County from John Gregory to his son-in-law, Thomas Edmundson:
BEE IT KNOWNE unto all men by these presents that I Jno. Grigory of Hoskins Creeke in the County of Rappa Planter out of and for the Love and affection I have for Thomas Edmundson of the same County Planter my Sone in Law and for the Better prefermt. And benefit doe by these presents give and grant unto the said Thomas Edmundson Eight head of cattle to him and to his heirs for Ever five of the sd Eight head being the marke of the said Jno. Grigory and commonly called or knowne by the names of Gentle, Tydy, Maryigold, Prymrose and Violett the other three being Calfes unmarked To have and To Hold the said Eight head of Cattle wth their all their increase male and Female unto the said Thomas Edmundson and his heirs for Ever Anno Domini 1666 Com Rappa 12th die Febry 1666 . ( Old Rappahannock County Deed Book 3, pp. 174-175. Provided by Sally Giddens Davis).
The will of John Gregory was dated Dec. 18, 1671, and proved in Rappahannock, Sept. 4, 1678.
John Gregory, tanner, as son and heir apparent of John Gregory, tanner, made a deed to John Gatewood, Dec. 9, 1676.(Old Rappahannock Deeds and Wills, Part I, pp. 127-128).
The will ofJohn Gregory, probably son of the elder John, was dated July 4, 1678, and probated Oct. 5, 1678.He named aslegatees, his sister Mary Gregory (Katherine Armstrong to get the first calf of a cow he left to Mary);sister,Elizabeth Gregory (who had married Thomas Wheeler by 8-1-1677, when John gave her 250 acres). Brother,Richard Gregory,who was executor.(Old Rappahannock Deeds and Wills, Part I, 1677-82. Pp. 106-107).
Joane Mills, widow, gave a heifer to John Gregory, son of John Gregory. If he died before majority, the heifer was to go to his brother, Robert Hamblton. July 7, 1683.(Old Rappahannock County, Deed Book 2, 1782-86). This appears to be a young son of John Gregory and grandson of John Gregory, whosedaughter Ann married Thomas Edmondson. SWE)
The will of Richard Gregory of Essex was dated Feb. 17, and proved May 17, 1700; legatees: sons, Richard and John, sons-in-law, probably stepsons, Thos. andWm. Bowin, daughter Elizabeth, and wife Katherine.Speaks of his land in King and Queen County.The bond, posted May 10, 1701, for 300 lbs. sterling, was signed by Katherine Gregory (her mark), Thomas Edmondson and James Boughan.See Wills and Deeds, No. 10, p. 79.This Richard was a son of John Gregory, brother to Thomas Edmondson’s first wife Ann Gregory, it would appear.Was Katherine Gregorythe Katherine Edmundson who appears briefly a few years earlier, possibly sister of Thomas Edmundson?
Either this Richard or his son of the same name was J.P. for King and Queen, 1693, 1699, 1702.Of course, after 1700, the justice must have been the son.It is stated (Richmond Standard) that Richard Gregory had a son Roger who was father of Roger Gregory, whose son Richard married a sister of Col. Francis West, and had, with other issue, a daughter Martha Ward Gregory, who married General John Pegram and died Dec. 31, 1836.There is a deed from Roger Gregory, Gent.,of Stratton Major parish, King and Queen, and Mildred, his wife, May 17, 1726, to Augustine Washington.The seal attached is described as “a blood-hound scent, standing on what may be a wreath”.Mrs. Mildred Greg-ory was a daughter of Lawrence Washington, and by her marriage with Roger Gregory had three daughters: Frances who married in 1736 Francis Thornton; Mildred, who married in 1740 John Thornton; and Elizabeth who married in 1742 Henry Willis, all of Spotsylvania county.
Roger Gregory was justice of Mecklenburg in 1784, and sheriff in 1799-1801.Richard Gregory was sheriff of King William county, 1742. Roger Gregory was a member of the House of Delegates, 1786.Richard Gregory was J.P. for King William in 1732.“Died Jan. 21, 1840, aged 73, Wm. Gregory, Sr., of Elsing Green, King William county, a justice for fifty years and member of the House of delegates for 13, beginning in 1798-99; descended of ancestors of more than ordinary celebrity in England and maternally from John West, Governor of Virginia; left many children.” Obituary.T.W.S. Gregory, member of the House of Delegates from King William, 1827 and 1828.Judge Roger Gregory, of “Elsing Green”, present professor of law at Richmond College, has been county judge and member of the House of Delegates.John and Richard Gregory are thought to be sons of Richard Gregory who at the age of 37 arrived in Virginia in 1620 in the Temperance.
Thomas Edmundson obtained a grant of 220 acres on the south side of Rappahannock River, April 16,1667, by patent.(Land Book No. VI, p. 231).He had imported five people: John Richards, William Prouse,Henry Rowe, Peter Ayres and Robert Wilson.This was adjoining Killman, Burcham’s Branch and Green Swamp and was “lying at or towards the head of a branch , that runs into Ralphs Creek that issueth from Puscaticon”.
Aug. 17, 1667.Thomas Edmundson and wife Anne sold land to Thomas Gaines and Neill Peterson,witnessed by John Gregory (Land Records, 1663-1668, Deed Book 3, p. 292-93). Tyler’s Quarterly, Vol. 7, p. 185.
Sept. 27, 1667, Thomas Edmundson patented513 acres for importing ten people:Peter Holcott, Mary Angel, Robert Spirman, Wm. Peareman, Barth. Daw, Henry Sparrow, Robert Jones, Henry Archer and Anne Wingate.This was in Rappahannock County on the south side of the river, upon a branch of Puscatwa Creek, called Mr. Perry’s Swamp, adjacent to Mr. Robert Payne, over the King’s road to Mattapony Indian Path…(Patent Book 6, p. 149, published in CAVALIERS ANDPIONEERS,p. 40)
Thomas Edmundson returned taxable land of 513 acres for 1667 (English Duplicates of Lost Virginia Records, p. 195). This land was on the south side of the Rappahannock upon a branch ofPuscatwa Creek, called Mr. Perrye’s Swamp.(Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 2, p. 40).He patented 220 acres at Relph’s Creek, April 16, 1667, granted to Neile Peterson, Dec. 2, 1663, and deserted. (Virginia Gen., Vol. 2, p. 59, Patent Book 6).
December 23, 1668. Thomas Edmondson and John Heyward witnessed a deed when James Boughan of Piscatacon in the County of Rappahannock planter sold Thomas Traoth 100 acres adjoining Boughan’s land.Signed by James Boughan and Thomasui Boughan with their marks. Deed Book 4, pp. 97-99.
Thomas Edmondson received 600 acres in Rappahannock, April 20, 1687 (Patent Book 7, p. 309).Thomas received 50 acres of “wast or King’s Land”, in Essex, April 24, 1700, between the land of John Smith of Gloucester County, formerly the land of Cox and land bought by said Edmundson ofMr. Robert Yard, beginning near his own tobacco ground fence, to his cornfield, and c., for transport of Sarah Johnson.Va. Gen., Vol. 3, p. 34).
Thomas Edmundson and wife Ann witnessed a deed Nov. 5, 1669, by Robert Clements to Thomas Harper.Is there any evidence of Ann Gregory Edmundson beyond this date?
October 4, 1675. Mr. John Gregory and Hugh Mead received 200 acres in Rappahannock County, “betwixt both their dividents”, and adjoining Richd. Hoult by the horse path, to the Church path, to Mr. Henry Aubery, for transporting of 4 persons: Tho. Edmunson, Alice Asely, Jno Gufford, Jo. Eglestone.CAVALIERS AND PIONEERS, p. 166.Patent Book 6. (Was this a late claim for transporting his son-in-law, Thomas Edmundson, or is this a second ThomasEdmundson?)
Thomas Edmundson witnessed the will of James Fullerton, March 21, 1677/78, witnessed also by Thomas Wheeler and James Boughan.(Thomas Wheeler married Ann Gregory’s sister.James Boughan who married Thomas Edmundson’s daughterSarah was the son of John Boughan).The will was probated May 2, 1678, in Rappahannock.(Wills, Rappahannock, 1656-92, p. 83; English Duplicates, p. 140).
March 15, 1678/79.Thomas Edmundson, Chris. Hargill and Dennis Conners witnessed the will of Thomas Goodrich. Proved April 10, 1679.
April 24, 1680.Thomas Wheeler married Elizabeth Gregory.John Gregory referred to Thomas Wheeler as son-in-law.
Dec. 22, 1782. Thomas Edmondson was a bounding landowner when William Ball and John Price patented 350 acres in Rappahannock County. Abstracts of Land Patents by Nugent, Vol. II, p. 252.
Thomas was a juror Dec. 5, 1683/84.He and James Baughan witnessed a deed Oct. 2, 1683.
Thomas Edmundson and his wife Mary, June 12, 1684, witnessed a deed from Thomas Saddler to Richard Hayle. (Deeds 1682-86).He and Mary witnessed many other deeds and he was once fined for not appearing in court.Anne’s death date is not known but themarriage to Mary occurredby this date in1684.
January 22, 1685,Thomas Edmundson and his wife Mary witnessed thepower of attorney ofJoseph Goodrich, one reference says.Another says Katherine Edmundson witnessed a power of attorney from Joseph Goodrich to Thomas Edmundson on this same date.(See Microfilm 031158, Mormon Library, Salt Lake City).
A deed from Joseph Goodrich to Thomas Wood, Sr. , Jan. 22, 1685, was witnessed by Thomas and Mary Edmondson (Deeds 1682-86) .
March 28, 1685 (or April 10, 1685?).Thomas Edmundsonand Katherine Edmundsonwitnessed a deed from Richard Haile and his wife Maryto Richard Worsdall.Katherine’srelationship to Thomas is not certain butrecords in England obtained by Lee Edmundson in 2005show Katherine Edmundson, daughter ofJoseph and sister of Thomas.One possibility is that Katherine came to the Virginia colony and married soon, accounting for no more references to her.Or she might have returned to England.It is unfounded to suppose she was another wife of Thomas as Mary survived until after his death and was named in his will.
August 4, 1686. Thomas Edmundson was appointed Justice of the Peace.He served many terms until 1709.
October 3, 1687.Thomas Edmundson imported Peter Duty and Bridget Cumbo and received 100 acres of land.
Essex was created from part of Rappahannock in 1692.The northern half of Rappahannock became Richmond County.The Edmundsons appear to have lived in South Farnham Parish, which covered the lower half of Essex, south of Mt. Landing Creek.North Farnham Parish lay in Richmond County across the Rappahannock River.The parish had two early churches, Upper and Lower Piscataway,served from 1701-1732 by the Rev. Lewis Latane, a Huguenot. Three churches werein South Farnham Parish in the 1840’s: St. Paul’s at Miller Tavern, started in 1838; St. John’s, Tappahannock; Grace, near Miller Tavern.Miller Tavern is almoston the King and Queen County line with Essex. In the early years, the rector of South Farnham Parish visited the Miller Tavernneighborhood and had open air and brush arbor services for those who lived too far from Upper Piscataway Church.A second parish was formed in 1692, St. Anne’s.The Rev. Robert Rose served the churches of this parish from 1725-1749, leaving a diaryfor1746-51 which gives details of his active life.See later information from this diary.He was executor of the estates ofmany prominent people, including Gen. Alexander Spotswood, a former governor.He traveled back and forth to Nelson County through Stafford, Spotsylvania, Louisa, Orange, Albemarle and Culpepper.He died at 47, helping to lay out the new capital at Richmond.The Rev. Mr. Smelt served after him at St. Anne’s until 1758 or later, followed by the Rev. John Matthews.Several churches in St. Anne’s Parish included Vauter’s on Blackburn Creek.
Feb. 3, 1691. The will of Francis Brown names godsons, John Edmundson and Joseph Edmundson.Brown lived in South Farnham Parish. The will was proved Feb. 26, 1691.
May, 1692. At a Court held for Rappahannock County. Present: Mr. Henry Ambroy, Mr. Henry Williamson, Capt John Catlett, Capt. William Moseley, Mr. Thomas Edmondson, Capt. Edward Thomas, Mr. Bernard Gaines, Mr. Robert Brooke, Capt. John Battaile, Capt Anthony Smith.
August 10, 1692. Court for Rappahannock County. Present: Capt. William Moseley, Mr. Thomas Edmondson, Mr. Robert Brooke, Capt. Battaile, Mr. John Taliaferro.Mr. John Smith appeared in Cort and acknowledged a deed of sale of a parcel of land to Mr. John Taliaferro…..
1692.Thomas Edmundson and other justices presided over a witch trial (Personal communication from Tom Moore, a Boughan researcher, to Beverly Brunelle.He had seen a record of this.2007)
Thomas Edmundsonwas engaged to build a Court House in Essex, Dec. 12, 1693, by order of the court.
“Mr. Tho. Edmundson doth here in Court oblige himselfe his heirs and Esrs and Admrs to build & finish a good & substantial Frame Court House for this County by the last day of July next ensuing according to the following dimensions (Viz) twenty five foot Long twenty foot wide an inside Chimney a pair of stairs plank’t Chamber & plankt below seven foot & halfe to be raised from the ground three foot, and a seat for the President in the middle a foot higher then the benches of each side of the seat with two good Barrs, three window frames, two doors, to stand upon White oak Blocks, double Rafftered & studded & sealed above & below the said house to be ten foot pitch in Consideration whereof the Court doth oblige themselves that the sd Mr. Edmundson his heires Exrs & Admrs shall be allowed for the same in the next Levy twelve twelve thousand pounds of good sound merchantable tobo & Cask”.(Orders, 1692, p. 159, Essex Co., Va.; see VIRGINIA LAND RECORDS, GEN. PUB. CO., 1982)
He served as Burgess from Essex in the Assembly of October 10, 1693, with John Catlett, and in 1796-97 with John Battaile.He was Burgess for Essex in the Assembly of Dec. 5, 1700, serving with John Catlett, and again May 13 and June 18, 1702, with John Catlett. (Colonial Virginia Register, by Stanard).
He was a county officer for Essex County in 1699 and Justice for Essex in 1702. He was on the Rent Roll for Essex in 1704, with 700 acres (English Duplicates, by des Cognets, 1958, p. 7, 136).He was Commissioner of the Peace in Essex in 1704.
A number of Essex County documents refer to Thomas Edmundson.
See VIRGINIA COLONIAL ABSTRACTS, Vol. II, by Beverly Fleet.
(Information provided by Lee Edmundson, 2001)
A land grant by Nathaniel Bacon, Esq., President of their Maj’ties Council of State of Virginia, to Mr. Robert Yard and Mr. John Waters, 179 acres in Rappahannock County, on the s. side of Rappahannock River, adjacent to land of Mrs. Eliza Cox and Leonard Chamberlain, Hoskins Creek, land of Thomas Petties, land of Thomas Green, Piscata-way Creek, land given by Mr. John Cox to Henry White. This land was due for importation of four persons.Dated April 21, 1690. Signed by Nathaniel Bacon, Pr.; William Cole, Sec’r.Record Book Vol. 14, Wills and Deeds, 1711-1718, Essex County, p. 247.There follows on p. 248:
Assignment of above by Robert Yard of the County of Gloster, Gent’l, for 10 pounds Sterling, to Thomas Edmondson of Essex County.Dated 12 August, 1696.Signed by Robert Yard.Witnesses: John Griffing, Robert Halsey, James Broghan.Another assignment is found on the same page: Assignment of above land to Colo. John Smith, Esqr, 3rd Sept. 1713.Signed by Tho. Edmondson.Witnesses: Jos. Baker, Chr. Beverly, Benj. Fisher.Acknowledged and recorded May 13, 1714.Attested: Richard Buckner, Cl. Cur.
Record Book 11, Wills and Deeds, 1702-1704, Essex County:
p. 2.“Recorded in Essex at request of Mr. Thomas Edmondson, 10 June, 1703.
p. 15.Bond. Thomas Edmondson as Sheriff.10 June, 1703.100000 lb. Tobacco.Signed: Tho. Edmondsonet alia.Recorded 10 June, 1703.
p. 19.Deed by Mary Lake to John Harper.Witness: Tho. Edmondson.
Recorded: 10 June 1703.
p. 22.Deed by John Harper to Thomas Harper.Wit. Tho. Edmondson.
Recorded: July 1703.
p. 137.Bond.11 Dec. 1703.184252 lbs. tobacco.Thomas Edmondson, gent.to collect the County levy amounting to 92126 lb tobo according to act of Assembly at James City 10 April 1691.Signed: Tho. Edmondson et alia.
p. 253. Acc’t of tobacco due the estate of Phill Parr…Mr. Thomas Edmondson, 300 lbs.Signed: James Edmondson.
Record Book 12, Wills and Deeds, 1704-1707, Essex County.
p. 63.27 Sept 1704.Estate of Darby Finingham of this Co.Signed: Tho. Edmondson.
p. 70.10 Oct 1704.Attachmt agt the estate of David Holt.Order signed by Tho. Edmondson.
p. 70.23 Oct. 1704.Estate ofWilliam Purdy attd for debt.Order signed by Tho. Edmondson.
p. 83.10 April 1705.Order from Fr. Nicholson, Governor, to Justices of Essex County to admr oath to Jno Catlett as Sheriff.The Justices are shown as Thomas Edmondson et alia, Gents.
p. 101.A Commission of the Peace for Essex Co.dated 30 June 1705 from Francis Nicholson, Esqr Lieut and Governor Genl of Va.The Justices being Tho. Edmondson et alia, Gentlemen.
p. 117.A Commission of the Peace for Essex County, dated 13 Nov 1705.Signed by Edw. Nott, Lieut and Gov’r Gen’ll.Addressed to Tho. Edmondson, et alia.
p. 128. Inventory of estate of Peter Levine taken by court order dated 20 March 1704/05.Sworn before Thomas Edmondson.
p. 143.7 Dec 1705.Attachment agt est of Robt Hughs for debt.Order signed by Tho Edmondson.
An inventory of Thomas Edmundson’s estate was made in 1698 or 1699 for unclear reason.The inventory mentions 87 books of which 7 were Bibles.He appears to have made a will without a date; the wording suggests it was made years before it wasprobated December 20, 1715 (Virginia Colonial Abstracts, p. 421, Essex).The will was presented and proved by Mary Edmundson and James Edmundson, executors,but no witnesses’ names are shown.The will provided: to son William Edmundson the plantation “whereon I now live with all the Land on the west side of the maine swamp known by the name of the Samuel Perry Swamp; to son Bryan Edmundson land on east side of said swamp; wife Mary to have one third interest during her life; to sons James and Joseph Edmundson all money now in the hands of Mr. Micajah Perry and Company and Mr. Richard Lee, Merchant in London; to son James Edmundson feather bed, “my new riding Coate, my best hat, my wigs, and my silver headed cane”.To son Thomas Edmundson a negro slave to be delivered to him when 21. Also, a horse, saddle and bridle, 2000 pounds of tobacco being one half of 4000 pounds now due by bill from my son Samuel Edmundson; to son John Edmundson a slave when 21; also, 4000 eight penny nails to build a dwelling house when he demands them; also, the other 2000 pounds of tobacco from son Samuel to be paid to John when he is 21; to daughter Sarah Boughan 10 shillings for a ring; to daughter Ann Hayman the same.Executors to give 5 pounds for relief of the three most ancient and poorest people in this parish to be paid as soon as possible; balance of estate to wife Mary “during the time she remains a widdow and no longer”.If she marry again, the estate to be divided between “my six sons, James, Joseph, William, Bryan, Thomas and John Edmundson”.
Neither Benjamin nor Samuel are listed among “my six sons”, though Samuel is clearly identified elsewhere in the will as a son.It is notable that Benjamin Edmondson, not listed as Thomas’s son in the will,is named in Bishop Meade’s account of the Edmundsons as published in Tyler’s Quarterly, Volume 7, p. 185.It is possible Benjamin was the son of another Thomas Edmundson who appears to have settled in the area in the late 1600’s but not likely.Book 10, p. 306, New Kent County, records a grant for 2087 acres of land to John Higginson, dated October 26, 1699, and recorded October 31, 1716, mentioning the importation of 42 person, including Thomas Edmundson (Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 3, p. 187).This seems clearly to refer to a second Thomas as John Gregory imported the earlier man.Benjamin in his will, dated 1726 and proved in 1727, names brothers John and Thomas as executors.
William Edmundson, for years the editor of the EFAB,believed Mary Edmundson,Thomas’s second wife, was Mary Haile, possibly a daughter of John Haile who was granted land in 1668.Hailes were in Virginia as early as 1640.Captain Richard Haile owned land part of which was inherited by his son John Haile, located in later Essex and King and Queen counties.This property was at Beverly Run and the Mattapony River.However, Mary has been saidto be Mary Boughan who later married William Johnson and then John Edmondson. This makes a case of incest ifJohn married the widow of his own father Thomas.
Other Edmundsons are found in the records before 1700.Joyner Bridgeman was granted 600 acres in Isle of Wight County April 29, 1692, for importation of 11 persons, including John Edmundson.Richard Smith transported four persons, including Ann Edmondson, for whom he patented 200 acres in Lower Norfolk County, April 20, 1689.The Vestry Book and Register of St. Peter’s Parish, New Kent County, November 3, 1688, documents: “YeVestry agreed to pay Gideon Macon as assigne of John Edmondon for work done at ye low church”.John Edmundson and his wife Elizabeth sold land to Smith in 1698 in New Kent County.This is not likely John, the son of Thomas of Essex, who married Mary Bougham several years later.Other early Virginia Edmondsons may be identified as research continues.
Children of Thomas Edmundson (164_-1715) and his two known wives, Ann Gregory and Mary Haile:
1. James Edmundson, b. probably about 1670, son of Ann. Died in 1741.Descendants stayed in Virginia.Some moved to Halifax County, VA.
2. William Edmundson, b.?Died in 1717.
3. Joseph Edmundson, b.before 1690.Died in NC in 1743.Descendants lived in Craven County, NC, and son John moved to Wilkes County, Georgia.
4. Samuel Edmundson, b. ?Died in 1733.
5. Bryant Edmundson, b.?and died before 1755 in NC.Lived in Caroline County, VA, and moved to Edgecombe County, NC, with some of his family.Other family members moved to Bedford/Henry/Franklin counties and on to Wilkes/Oglethorpe counties in Georgia.
6. John Edmondson b. probably in the 1680’s.Probably married (1) Elizabeth Johnson, daughter of William Johnson,and (2) Mary Boughan.Died in 1733.No known surviving male offspring.
7. Thomas Edmundson, b. probably in the 1690’s.Died in 1750.Descendants stayed in Virginia until the late 1700’s, then settled in Pendleton District, SC.
8. Benjamin Edmundson, not named in Thomas’s will.Born probably in the 1690’s.Died young in 1727, leaving several young children.Wife: Margaret.Mentions “loving brothers John and Thomas, likely his full brothers and sons of Thomas and Mary.His people moved to Amelia/Mecklenburg/Lunenburg counties.
9. Sarah Edmundson who marriedJames Boughan, Sen., son of Major James Boughan.He died in 1718.He owned 150 acres in the Quit Rent Roll of 1704.
10. Ann Edmundson who married probably JobHayman.
What happened to the widow MaryEdmundson, mother of the younger children?Some say she married again, to William Johnson, father of Elizabeth Johnson.From the wording of the will, it seemsJohn Edmondson married Elizabeth Johnson, daughter of William.If Mary Edmondson married William Johnson, she is not provided for at all in the man’s will.I doubt Mary Edmondson, the widow of Thomas, married William Johnson.
Johnson’s will wasdated Jan. 28, 1728. Southfarnham Parish, County of Essex.It provides:The land I bought of Willm. Neal lately known by the name of my Ordinary with the houses, buildings and improvements thereon be sold for 70 pounds sterling at the least or as much as shall be sufficient to discharge the mortgage and debt I owe unto John Pickett.If the land falls short of 100 acres the same be made up and laid off unto the buyer thereof out of my own proper land adjoining. If my son in law Jno. Edmundson shall pay the debt I owe unto John Pickett and discharge the mortgage at his own charge then the 100 acres of land with the houses and appurtenances unto John Edmondson.
Unto my son Benn all that part of my land and plantation soe farr as it joyns to the land now belonging to my brother William Smith running from the deep branch which is the division between us into Piscatoway Creek and down to a branch called the Apple tree creek branch except soe mush thereof as shall be wanting to make up the land I purchased of William Neal 100 acres. Unto my son Ben and for want of issue to my next heir in law, all the rest of my land adjoining the same.
Unto Mary the daughter of Peter and Elizabeth Godfrey 20 shillings sterling to buy her a ring.
Unto my brother William Smith all my wearing apparell.
My Negro man Exeter be immediately after my decease at liberty to work to maintaine himselfe during his naturall life except one month in a year vizt. from the first day of December yearly unto the last day of the same month which he is to serve my son Benn if the same be demanded.My executors deliver unto Exeter for his own proper use a bedd and bed cloathes of the value of 30 shillings current money.
Unto my son Ben my Negro girle Bess and for want of issue to my grandson William Edmundson.
The residue of my estate equally divided between my sonn Benn and my daughter Elizabeth.
If my son in law John Edmundson shall charge my estate with any demand, such debt be taken out of that part given unto my daughter Elizabeth.
The Negroes belonging to my son Ben be kept and workt on the plantation I now live on until he arrives to the age of one and twenty years.
My son Benn at the discretion of my executor be educated and brought up after the best manner he may. My son Benn at the age of eighteen years receive his full portionand not to buy or sell until he arrives ato the age of one and twenty years but in all things to be governed by my executors or his guardian.
My beloved friends Mr. Richard Tunstall and Mr. Thomas Bryan my executors.
Witnesses: Pr. Godfrey, John Hardy, Eliz. (X) Vissin.
Feb. 17, 1729/30.Presented by Thomas Bryant. Proved by Peter Godfrey and John Hardy.Thomas Bryant as executor made bond unto Wm Daingerfield, Thos. Waring, Robert Brooke and Nicho. Smith, justices, for 500 pounds sterling, Feb. 17, 1729.Securities: Nicholas Smith and Richard Beal.
It is interesting that MaryEdmondson Johnson is not mentioned at all in this will.Is she living? Her son John Edmondson,called William’s “son in law”,is named more than once.Whose son is William Edmondson, called Johnson’s grandson?Was he a son of John and Elizabeth?
Ben Johnson appears to be young.Is he a son ofWilliam Johnson and
MaryEdmondson Johnson?In fact, we have no proof at all that William Johnson married the widow ofThomas Edmundson who died in 1715.