I am the one who discovered this John ABNEY/ABNER whom I call the "Lost Son".
Absolute proof is wanting for this relationship. However, I am firmly convinced that Paul ABNEY (bapt.1699) sired John ABNEY/ABNER...and that John was the father of Pvt. Paul ABNEY/ABNER. I have taken the following from an article I wrote in the AFR, which I've edited & corrected as follows:
Paul Abney’s "Lost Son"
abbreviations for the following Virginia Counties: Goo.=Goochland; Alb.=Albemarle, Amh.=Amherst; Aug.=Augusta.
This article will be primarily about Paul ABNEY’s family. When Abner ABNEY’s family is the subject, the author will use a series of asterisks (*****) to show this separation.
There were two Albemarle County branches of the ABNEY Family (in addition to a female line through Mary ABNEY who m. John BERNARD), to wit:
Paul ABNEY (bapt. 1699) & his brother, Abner ABNEY. These are two proved sons as, in addition to Paul's baptism which proves his father, both were named as "sons" in Dannett Sr.'s will: ...it is my Desire that if ye plantation whear i now live is not Sold before my Wyfes Deathe that Shee wold give ye plantati:son and land belonging to to it to my tow Sons paul Abney and Abner Abney... [sic].
These are the only two male ABNEY branches in Albemarle County, which fact facilitates the delineation of the said branches. Therefore, we can safely conclude that all ABNEY’s of this area belong to one of these two branches.
On 02 Mar 1742, Paul ABNEY purchased 100 acres of land in Goo. from Anthony POUNAY.
In 1744, Alb. was created, in part, from Goo. - Paul's Goochland land was now in Albemarle County, Va.
On 02 Mar 1750, Paul ABNEY, living in Albemarle County, Virginia sold land to John GRAVES.
Paul ABNEY of Alb., Planter to John GRAVES, Planter £300 100 a. bounded beg. at a white oak in Chas. LYNCHes line running thence on same W to pointers, thence on Wm RANDOLPHs line SW to pointers, thence SW to pointers on the Cr. side, thence down sd Cr. to a white Oak, thence E to a white Oak in the bank line, thence on the same N to the beg. /s/ Paul ABNEY /w/ Davis STOCKTON, Adam GOUDYLOCK, Robt BRENTON, Wm WHITESIDE.
Paul was still living in Alb. on 14 Aug 1751 when he ack. his deed of 02 Mar 1750 to John GRAVES.
***** Abner's family *****
On 25 Sep 1751, Abner ABNEY wrote his will in Alb. naming a son, John ABNEY amongst others.
On 10 Oct 1751, John GRAVES sold land in Alb. adj. Paul ABNEY’s land:
John GRAVES & wife Lucy to William GOUGE of Hanover Co. for £40, 350 a. of land in 2 parcels...in Alb...at a Steep Rock by side of the N Br. of James R., thence E on the Rock Ridge to Jn Morris Corner White Oak, thence NE to a white Oak Corner to Paul ABNEYs, thence West on ABNEYs line to a White Oak in Wm RANDOLPHs line on Mt. Falls Cr...lease of 100 a. of the tract adj. . Chas LYNCH, Wm RANDOLPH./w/ Jno MORRIS, Francis GRAVES, Mary MORRISS, Wm GOOCH, Jr.
***** Abner's family *****
On 10 Jul 1759, John ABNEY "the Hatter" (son of Abner) applied for his marriage license in Aug. - this is important. It shows John (Abner's son) had left Alb. by 10 Jul 1759 and settled in Augusta Co.
On 13 Nov 1760, Wm GOUGE sold the land he purchased of John GRAVES to Benjamin SNEED. The land was still adj. Paul ABNEY’s land in Alb.
Alb. - Wm GOUGE to Benj SNEED for £ 25, 350 a. - 2 tracts near Rooks Ford; 250 a. adj. Jno MORRIS, Paul ABNEY, Wm RANDOLPH, Mt. Falls Creek. 100 a. adj. Chas LYNN, Wm RANDOLPH. /s/ Wm (his X mark) GOUGE; /w/ Jno LOBBAN, Wm CARRALL, Saml HENDERSON.
In 1761, Amherst was created from Albemarle. Paul’s land, which had originally been in Gooch-land, then Albemarle, was now in Amherst County.
On 23 Jul 1762, we find the following court record - I David LEWIS of the Par. of St. Anns in Albemarle Co. have appointed Alexander BAINE of Henrico Co. my true & lawfull Attorney.. to ask, demand, sue for, recover, & receive from the several persons whose names are mentioned in the Schedule hereunto annexed the several sums of money or Tobo...John ABNER, Albemarle 13s.9p...
Point I: As much as this author has seen, John ABNEY (Abner’s son), presently of Aug. never used (nor was he referred to by) the surname ABNER.
Point II: John ABNEY (Abner’s son) went to Aug. at least 3 years before this record.
Point III:Pvt. Paul ABNEY/ABNER (according to this author), a son of Paul ABNEY [bapt. 1699], hence a brother of this John "ABNER", also used (and was referred to by) the surname ABNER! The author will show that the John ABNER of this record is “the lost son” of Paul ABNEY (bapt. 1699).
Continuing the Chronology...
In 1761, the lands owned by Paul ABNEY (bapt. 1699) now fell in Amherst County. Here we find:
On 21 Jan 1764, in Amh., a deed of Adam GOUDYLOCK to Thos. STOCKTON for £35.19s.3p, 400 a. on both sides of Rockfish Cr. bound: Henry TERRELL, Moses AGER, Martha STOCKTON, David STOCKTON. /s/ Adam GOUDYLOCK,/w/ Samuel STOCKTON,Thomas STOCKTON, John (his + mark) ABNER, Richard (his R mark) STOCKTON.
POINT I: The one referred to as John ABNER (in Alb. because the debt was created prior to the county change) is now witnessing a deed as John ABNER!
POINT II: John was illiterate. He signed with "his + mark"! John ABNEY (son of Abner) was a non- illiterate, business-owner (he owned a habadashery!) Therefore, these are distinctly two different John's. Also, the author reiterates: Abner's son, John ABNEY has been in Aug. since no later than 1759!
POINT III: Re-read the deed of 20 Mar 1750. When Paul sold the land to GRAVES, witnesses were Davis STOCKTON & Adam GOUDYLOCK! In the deed of 21 Jan 1764, when Adam GOUDYLOCKsold this land to Thomas STOCKTON, it was witnessed by Samuel STOCKTON, Thomas STOCKTON, Richard STOCKTON, and John ABNER! Coincidence? No way! These GRAVES’, STOCKTON’s, and GOUDYLOCK’s were neighbors for many years. John ABNEY/ABNER “grew up” around these friends of his father, Paul.
Continuing the Chronology...
On 08 Oct 1765, in an indenture of Alb. (just across the Amh./Alb. county line), we find: Wm FIELDER & Elisabeth, his wife to Allexander McKINSY of Alb. & Fredervill Par. for £33.6s.8p...50 a. in Alb. & St. Anns Par. bound: by Henry TERRELL, James WARRIN /s/ Wm FIELDER; /w/ Wm GARLAND, John ABNEY, Henry HAYS, Joel TERRELL. proved by the oath of Wm GARLAND, John ABNEY &Henry HAYS - rec: 10 Oct 1765
On 24 Apr 1767, Paul ABNEY had a land survey for 76 acres of land in Amherst County.
On 15 Jan 1773, we find: Robert ADAMS to John HARVIE - land in Alb. adj. the Jn CARR, Wm JOHNSON, Eliz. THOMPSON, John ABNER, Nicholas LEWIS, & the Rivanna River. /w/ Tucker WOODSON Jr., Peter MARKS, Jno MARKS, Saml WOODS.
There he is! John ABNER...and again in Alb.!Again surnamed ABNER! Apparently, he did secure land in Alb. & returned there. Still, he was very close to his father (again, just across the county line).
A record of 01 Apr 1779 in Amh. shows Paul ABNER! No doubt, this is John's brother...and the Pvt. Paul ABNEY of the Am. Rev., and the Paul ABNER who m. Rhoda NORMAN! This author is certain that John ABNEY/ABNER & Paul ABNEY/ ABNER were brothers & sons of Paul ABNEY (Sr.).
19 Dec 1785 - [Pvt.] Wm ABNEY m. M. GRAVES.
The final record in the author’s possession for Paul ABNEY is of the marriage for Tandy HOLMAN to Elizabeth ABNEY dated 30 Sep 1786:
HOLEMAN, Tandy, bachelor, & Elizabeth ABNEY, spinster...Wm ABNEY, surety. Consent of her grandfather, Paul ABNEY. Consent of Elizabeth.
The author has found no other record of John ABNEY/ABNER after the 1773 record...and the 1786 record explains John's disappearance...Paul Sr.’s son and daughter-in-law died while his granddaughter, Elizabeth ABNEY was still a minor.Paul Sr. (bapt. 1699) gave his consent for her to marry. The surety in this marriage record was none other than Pvt. William ABNEY who married into the GRAVES family which had befriended the ABNEY’s decades before.
By the time this marriage occurred, Paul ABNEY (bapt. 1699) was about 87 years old. It is not known how much longer Paul Abney lived.
Nonetheless, This John ABNEY/ABNER is “the lost son” of Paul ABNEY. This John ABNEY/ABNER is the gentleman previously believed to be the alleged William ABNEY (Sr.). Therefore, there was no William ABNEY Sr. here. John ABNEY/ABNER was the son who predeceased his father, Paul Sr.
13 Mar 1787 - Judith ABNEY m. Luke BULLEN
18 Jul 1789 - Mary ABNEY m. John BROWN. Jn & Alex. McALEXANDER testified that Mary’s parents were dead, and that she was 21 years old. (note: John ABNEY (Jr.) purchased land adj. McALEXANDER)
24 Apr 1790 - John ABNEY m. Patsy PUCKETT.
22 Dec 1800 - Lucey ABNER m. Jesse KING... Major KING, surety... Consent of John Abney [Jr.] & Patman Abner [his wife].
Since in Colonial Virginia Law, a female must have obtained the age of 18 to marry without parental or guardian consent, Lucy was born after 1782. Therefore, her mother died circa 1783-1786; and her father, John ABNER died circa 1782-1786.
The author has therefore drawn the following conclusions regarding Paul ABNEY’s family:
Paul ABNEY (bapt. 1699) m. n.n. & had:
1. Lucy (?) m. Jonathan “John” Witt (Sr.)
2. John ABNEY/ABNER Sr. (est.1724-bef.1786)
John ABNEY/ABNER m. n.n. & had:
1. Paul ABNEY/ABNER Jr. (b.ca.1755)
2. Pvt. William ABNEY Sr. (b.1757)
3. John ABNEY/ABNER Jr. (b.ca.1759)
4. Judith ABNEY (b.ca.1766)
5. Mary ABNEY (b.ca.1768)
6. Elizabeth ABNEY (b.ca.1769)
7. Lucy ABNEY/ABNER (b.aft.1782)
Due to the gaps, there certainly seems to have been other issue. After the death of John and his wife, the younger children were apparently reared by their grandfather, Paul (bapt.1699).
Hope this helps. If you find anything else, please let me know! Feel free to email me.