From Genealogies of Virginia Families, Vol. II, p. 280-285.

 

A CONTRIBUTION TO THE COLEMAN-LEAK GENEALOGY

 

By IRENE MOSS SUMPTER

 

The Douglas Register (Richmond, 1928, p. 74)under marriages, gives the following: “Leek…& Ja. Coleman…1751.”

 

     It is the purpose of this article to identify James Coleman who married Elizabeth Leak (or Leake or Leek) daughter of Walter and Judith Mask Leak of Goochland County, Virginia.

 

     The Douglas Register, familiarly known to all interested in family history, was kept by Reverend William Douglas who came to St. James Northam Parish, Goochland County, Virginia, on October 12, 1750.  In September 1753 according to the “Foreword” of the book he began keeping a record of the marriages performed by him, and it was kept from then until “near the time of his death” in 1798.  Hence, the marriage of a Leek lady to one James Coleman was among the first performed by Douglas after he assumed the duties of minister of St. James Northam Parish.

 

     A branch of the Coleman family evidently settled early in Goochland County as we find there the will of one Samuel Coleman dated April 1, 1748 (Deed and Will Book 5, p. 481).  His wife was Ann (maiden name unknown) as will be seen from a copy of Samuel Coleman’s last will and testament, which follows.

 

     In the name of God Amen.  I, Samuel Coleman, being very sick and weak in Body but of perfect sound mind and memory, do make and ordain this my last will and Testament in Manner and Form following.  First, I bequeath my Soul to God and my Body to the earth to be decently buried according to the discretion of my Executors hereinafter named.

 

      Item: I give to my dear and loving wife, one young cow, I likewise lend unto my beloved wife Ann Coleman my whole estate during her life or widowhood, and after her death or marriage to be divided as followeth:

 

      Item: I give to my two sons Jas. Coleman and Saml. Coleman the land and plantation whereon I now dwell to be equally divided in quantity between them.

 

      Item: I give to my other two sons Jno. Coleman and Danl. Coleman my set of Black Smiths Tools & after my debts and funeral charges are paid and defrayed then the residue of my estate both real and personal to be equally divided amongst all my children.

 

      I constitute and appoint my beloved wife Ann Coleman and Jacob Oglesby my Executors of this my last will and testament revoking all other wills heretofore made as witness my hand and seal this first day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty eight.

 

 

Test: Rob. L. Woodson

      Jno. Wright                                    Samuel Coleman {Seal}

      John {X} Pryor

 

At a Court held for Goochland County Septem. 20, 1748.  This will was proved by the oaths of Robt. L. Woodson, Jno. Wright and Jno. Pryor and witnesses hereto to be the last will and testament of the said Samuel Coleman deceased which was thereupon admitted to record.

 

            We see from the above will than in 1748 Samuel and Ann Coleman had the following children: James, Samuel, John, and Daniel.  It is the son James Coleman in whom we are interested.  In his will Samuel gives “to my two sons Jas. Coleman and Saml. Coleman the land and plantation whereon I now dwell to be equally divided in quantity between them.”  James Coleman evidently lived a while in Goochland County, married Elizabeth and later lived in Albermarle County, as on November 16, 1784, James Coleman and his wife, Elizabeth Coleman, of Albermarle County, Virginia, made a deed to one Archer Payne of the County of Goochland to “33r acres of land on Beaverdam Creek and is the land whereon Samuel Coleman    dec’d. father of the said James Coleman did dwell.” (Goochland County Deed Book 14, p. 144.)

 

     On January 31, 1788, James Coleman of Albermarle County made his will (Will Book 3, p. 323), but it was not recorded until eight years later, September 1796.  His wife Elizabeth must have died in the interim between the deed and the will as no mention is made of her in his will.  The will follows.

 

     In the name of God Amen I, James Coleman, of the County of Albermarle being weak in body but of sound judgment and memory do constitute and appoint this my last will and testament, in the first place I commit my soul into the hands of Almighty God that gave it my body to the earth to be buried in a decent Christian like manner at the discretion of my Executors hereafter mentioned and touching my worldly affairs, in the first place my desire is that all my just debts be first paid and as touching my worldly estate I give and dispose of it in manner following.  To wit: I give and bequeath unto my two daughters Judith Coleman and Jane Coleman two hundred and ten acres of land so extending the plantation whereon I now live joining Richard Woods Maureys John Baileys and John Gillums lines also all my plantation tools to them and their heirs forever.

 

      Item – I give and bequeath unto my son Samuel Coleman two hundred acres of land lying joining Benjamin Taylor Edwin Gibson, James Cumbling and John Gillum also fifty six acres joining Col. Woods and Taylor also one hundred acres of land lying joining Robert Layne and John Baileys line to him and his heirs forever.

 

      Item – I give and bequeath unto my son Samuel Coleman and Judith Coleman my bed and furniture to be equally divided between them to them and their heirs forever.

 

      Item – I give and bequeath unto Mary Hatter one hundred thirty acres of land more or less lying in Amherst on Tye river so extending the plantation on which she now lives to her and her heirs forever.

 

      Item – I give and bequeath to my daughter Lucy Watson one hundred and forty six acres of land being part of the tract of land whereon Bartlot Jerrol now lives on to her and her heirs forever.

 

      Item – I give and bequeath to my daughter Susannah Johnson one hundred and forty six acres of land being part of the aforesaid tract of land on which the aforesaid Jerroll lives to her and her heirs forever.

 

      Item – I lend unto my daughter Maskey Jerrol one hundred and forty six acres of land enclosing the plantation whereon she now lives during her life and then to be equally divided among all her children to them and their heirs forever.

 

      Item – I lend to my daughter Ann Bunnfield one hundred and forty six acres of land being part of aforesaid tract whereon the said Jerroll now lives on to her during her life and then to the issue of her body and to their heirs forever, and if she is without issues then my will and desire is that their legacy should be equally divided among all the children included in this will.

 

      Item – I give and bequeath unto my granddaughter Nancy Isbell one hundred acres of land lying joining of James Reid and being part of the aforesaid tract that Jerroll now lives on to her and her heirs forever.

 

      Also my desire and will is that the two entries that I have in Amherst County be sold and the money equally divided among all the children included in this will and farther my will and desire is that my still and blacksmith tools be sold and the money applied to pay my debts and the money arising from the sale of my Negroes that I sold to my son Samuel Coleman be applied to discharge my debts then my will and desire is that it be equally divided among all the children included in this will.

 

      I do hereby constitute and appoint Samuel Coleman, John Hatter and John Bunnfield my sole executors of this my last will and testament and I do disavow and revoke all other wills and testaments whatsoever in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this thirty first day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty eight.

 

Signed and delivered

in presence of:                                 James {X} Coleman{Seal}

 

Talton Woodson

Joseph Hobb

Edwin Gibson

 

Proved at Albermarle Court Sept. 1796 by oath of Talton Woodson and further at Albermarle June 1797 by oath of Edwin Gibson a second witness thereto and ordered to be recorded.

 

     Please note the given names of the children of James and Elizabeth Coleman, as recorded in the above will:

 

1.     Judith Coleman

2.     Jane Coleman

3.     Samuel Coleman

4.     Lucy Watson

5.     Susannah Johnson

6.     Maskey Jerroll

7.     Ann Bunnfield (or Brunfield)

8.     Mary Hatter

 

Later in this article, after a review of the Leak family we will again refer to the names of these children as additional evidence that the Elizabeth, wife of James Coleman of Goochland and Albermarle counties, was Elizabeth, daughter of Walter Leak of Goochland.

 

It is known that the Leak family lived early in Goochland County, Virginia.  In fact, Leakes were there in its beginning in 1727 when it was a part of Henrico.  This is well documented in Kinfolks, by William Curry Harllee (New Orleans, 1934-1937, I, passum).  Four miles west of Goochland, in Goochland County, is the small community of “Leake” and a cemetery containing stones bearing the name.

 

According to Harlee the immigrant ancestor of the Goochland Leakes was one William Leake, who with wife Mary Bostick, came to this country from England about 1685.  They lived at “Rocky Spring,” the Leake ancestral home in Goochland County.  When Mary Bostick and William Leake came to this new country they brough with them the family Bible, still owned by descendants, which until 1932 remained in the “Rocky Spring” home.  At that time “Rocky Spring” was sold out of the family, and the Bible found a new abode after reposing in the same place for approximately 247 years.  Pictures of the title page and fly leaf are given in General Harllee’s book (I, 240, 241).

 

Mary Bostick and William Leake had among others one Walter Leake who married Judith Mask.  This fact has been brought to light not only by General Harllee in his Kinfolks but earlier in an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (February 14, 1904) and in Historical Genealogy of the Woodsons and their Connections, by Henry Morton Woodson (Memphis, 1915,p. 120). The will of Walter Leake is recorded in Goochland County, Virginia (Will and Deed Book 7, p. 279), and reads as follows:

 

In the name of God Amen, I Walter Leak, of Goochland County make this my last will and testament (being very weak) Revoking all other wills by me formerly made, and appoint this my last, acknowledging in myself in my proper senses, I praise God for the same.

 

First: Desire my Body to be buried according to the Discretion of my Executors hereafter named, without pomp.

 

Secondly: that my debts be all paid when due, and as for my Temporal Estate it hath pleased God to bestow upon me, I give as follows: Viz.

 

Imprimis I give and bequeath to my son Josiah Leak part of the land whereon I now live viz, the south side of the road beginning at Groom’s line and thence up the road to the Creek and up the Creek to Cole’s Spring Branch, thence up the sd. branch to the line, to him and his Heirs, forever.  And the said Josiah is to pay to Samuel Leak Five and Twenty Pounds Currt. Money.

 

Item – I give and bequeath to my two sons John Leak and William Leak the remainder of the aforesaid land on the North side of the foresd. Road that is to say one of them is to have the whole Paying the other for his part in it, and he that will give the other the most for his part of it shall take the whole to him and His Heirs forever.

 

Item – I give and bequeath unto my two sons, Mask Leak and Elisha Leak my Piece of land in Albermarle which I bought of Paul Michaux to be equally divided between them in quantity and quality to them and their heirs forever.

 

Item – I give and bequeath to my three daughters, Mary Christian, Christine Johnston and Judith Leake twenty pounds apiece after their Mother’s decease.

 

Item – I lend to my daughter Elizabeth Coleman my Negro Child Agge to wait on her and to work for her, her lifetime and after her decease the said Agge and her increase if she has any be Equally divided amongst the children.

 

Item – I lend to my loving wife and desire that she may have the use of all of my Estate during her lifetime or widowhood, both land, Negroes, cattle etc. and after her decease or marriage then these legacies to be paid, and the remainder of my Estate to be equally divided amongst all my children.  I also desire that those of my children which have not been helped towards housekeeping with Bed, Pot and Stock etc. as the others, may be helped with such necessaries equally to what the others have been.  I also appoint my loving wife, Judith Leak and my son Josiah Leak Executors of this my last will and Testament, desiring my estate may not be appraised nor give security.

 

Whereunto I set my hand and seal this 31st day of October Anno. Dom. 1757.

 

                                          Walter Leak {Seal}

Published in the presence of us

 

John Humber

Charles Christian Junr

Elizabeth Humber

 

      At a Court held for Goochland May the 16th 1758 this writing was Proved by the Oaths of John Humber and Charles Christian Junr to be the last Will and Testament of Walter Leak decd which was admitted to record. Test: Val Wood Cl. Cur.

 

      Thus the issue of Walter Leak and Judith Mask, his wife, as given in his will are as follows:

1.     Josiah Leak

2.     John Leak

3.     William Leak

4.     Mask Leak

5.     Elisha Leak

6.     Mary Christian

7.     Christine Johnston

8.     Judith Leak

9.     Elizabeth Coleman

10.Samuel Leak is given as son by other authorities.  While he is mentioned in Walter Leake’s will he is not mentioned as “son.”

 

Now please refer back to the children of James Coleman (of

Albermarle County) and his wife Elizabeth as mentioned in James’ will.  There was a Judith, and Elizabeth Coleman’s mother was Judith Mask.  There was a daughter Maskey.  Elizabeth Coleman’s mother’s maiden name was Mask.  There was a daughter Mary, and Elizabeth Coleman’s grandmother was Mary Bostick.  On the Coleman side there was Samuel, named for James Coleman’s father Samuel. A daughter, Ann Bunnfield (or Brunfield) named for her grandmother Ann Coleman.

 

     There were many, many James and Samuel Colemans of this period and it is often a puzzle to unravel their relationships.  But in this case where all known dates fit and there seem to be no conflicting statements the picture seems complete.