Whodied in 1753 in Louisa County, VA
My great, great, great, great, great, great, greatgrandfather, Nathaniel Dickenson, was fromone of the New Kent/Hanover/Louisa County branches of the Dickenson familywhich appears to have descended from Griffith Dickenson who married ElizabethSpringall on June 12, 1649 in St. Martin Orgar Church in London and settled 300acres in James City County on January 5, 1656. It appears that Nathaniel may have been the son of a Nathaniel Dickensonwho had several children including Nathaniel, Griffith, Elizabeth who marriedBenjamin Terry and an unnamed daughter who married Thomas Spencer.
Nathaniel was one of the early settlers and planters ofLouisa County, Virginia having settled in St. Martin's Parish on Little Riverprior to the time Louisa County was formed from a portion of HanoverCounty. He received a land patent for400 acres of new land on the Little River in Hanover County (now a portion ofLouisa County) on September 28, 1728 which was described as being adjacent toland already owned by Nathaniel Dickenson (Patents 13 page 314). It was in this area that he and his wife,Mary raised their nine children.
Nathaniel and Mary Dickenson's colonial era farm was thesubject of a historical archaeology excavation by students from theAnthropology Department at the University of Virginia. The excavation took place during 1996 and1997 and several thousand artifacts dating from the 1720s to 1790s wererecovered. The artifacts includedpieces of German and English ceramics, wine bottle fragments, smoking pipes,buttons, and hand wrought nails and implements. The excavation is the topic of the doctoral thesis recentlycompleted by Alison K. Bell.
Nathaniel's will was written on August 23, 1753 and provedon September 25, 1753 in Louisa County (Will Book 1, page 30). In it he names his children: "NathanielDickenson, Griffith Dickenson, William Dickenson, John Dickenson, SarahSnelson, Elizabeth Dickenson, Rachell Dickenson, Mourning Barksdale and AgnessDickenson. He left one third of his400 acre plantation to each of his sons, Nathaniel Jr., Griffith and William;with William to receive the western portion with the mill, Nathaniel to receivethe center portion and Griffith to receive his share, the eastern portion withthe house and orchard, upon the death of Nathaniel's wife, Mary.
On March 11, 1755 Nathaniel Dickenson Jr. and his wife,Lucy, and William Dickenson and his wife, Sarah, deeded their two thirdsinterest in their father's farm, 260 acres, to Richmond Terrell who was one ofthe witnesses to their father's will and was possibly the father or brother oftheir brother Griffith's second wife, Sarah. On June 30, 1778 Griffith Dickinson and his wife, Sarah, granted to JohnSnelson of Hanover County 116 acres described as being "bounded by theLittle River and lands of sd. Snelson and those of the Estate of RichmondTerrill Dec’d, being the land whereon sd. Griffith Dickinson now lives whichwas devised to him by the Last Will & Testament of Nathaniel Dickinson,Father to said Griffith." At this point, the last of the original 400 acrecolonial era farm passed out of ownership of the Dickenson family.
OTHER SPECIFIC REFERENCES TO THE FAMILY OF THIS NATHANIELDICKENSON INCUDE:
September 28, 1728 - Hanover Co., VA (formed from New KentCounty in 1721): Nathaniel Dickensonof Hanover County for 40 shillings received a patent for 400 acres of new landin Hanover County joining to the lines of Nathaniel Dickenson and John Clement ... in Wade's line. (Patents 13,page 314)
[This indicates that the 400 acres Nathaniel Dickensonreceived a patent for was adjacent to land he already owned as well as a 350acre patent James Wade received on both sides of Holling Camp Creek in HanoverCounty on March 24, 1725 (Patents 12, page 356) and a 400 acre patent JohnClement received adjoining the lines of Alexander Snead, George Sims, BenjaminBrown and Charles Snelson in Hanover County on August 17, 1725 (Patents 12,page 246)]
Benjamin Brown of Hanover County received a patent for 400acres ... joining to the lines of Pulliam, Dickenson and Brown ... at BenjaminBrown's corner ... in William Pulliam's line on the north side of the LittleRiver ... Nathaniel Dickenson's corner. (Patents 13, page 309)
[On February 18 1722, William Pulliam, referred to indescription, received patents for 400 acres on the south side of Little River inHanover Co. (Patents 11, page 162) and 400 acres on the north side of LittleRiver (Patents 11, page 163)
September 28, 1732 - Hanover Co., VA: Joseph Moutray received patent for 400acres of lapsed land adjoining the lines of Nathaniel Dickenson and JohnClement ... by Patent dated 28 September 1728 then was granted unto NathanielDickenson of Hanover County 400 acres joining to the lines of NathanielDickenson, John Clement; and Wade'sline now granted tp Joseph Moutray. (Patents 14, pages 480 & 481)
[This indicates that the second 400 acres NathanielDickenson received a patent for was not farmed and four years later the 400acres was patented to Joseph Moutray]
January 15, 1734 - Hanover Co., VA: Nat. Dickinson was witness to inventory ofestate of Alexander Snead, dec'd.
[Alexander Snead received a patent for 400 acres on thesouth side of Little River on February 20, 1723]
May 3, 1734 - Hanover Co., VA: Inventory of Robt. Searsey dec'd. was witnessed by NathanielDickinson and Robt. Thomson.
[This was probably the Nathaniel who died in LouisaCounty in 1753. Robert Thomson may havebeen a relative]
December 5, 1734 -Hanover Co., VA: Orphan bonds listJohn Dabney, William Snelson and Nathaniel Dickenson, of Hanover County, asbondsman of Nathaniel Dickenson, guardian of Woodward Spencer, orphan of ThomasSpenser. Signed by Nathl. Dickinson,John Dabney and William Dickinson. (CountyRecords Vol. 1, page 153)
January 10, 1735/36 - Hanover Co., VA: Robert Hester of Hanover County receivedpatent for 400 acres ... joining to hisown and Nathaniel Dickenson's line. (Patents 16, page 528)
October 13, 1736 - Hanover Co., VA: Henry Bibb of Hanover County receivedpatent for 400 acres in sd. County on both sides of Tomahawk Swamp ... atRobert Hester's corner ...in Nathaniel Dickinson's line ... in Mr. Temple'sline ... Colonel Meriwether's corner. (Patents 17, page 199)
1737 - Hanover Co., VA: Mention of suit against Nath'l Dickinson regarding title to a grant of400 acres of land in Hanover County.
February 13, 1744 - Louisa Co., VA (formed from HanoverCounty in 1742): On petition ofNathaniel Dickenson, Adam Jones, John Harris & others for a Road that leadsfrom the Mine road over the Little River.
April 22, 1746 - Louisa Co., VA: Bristol a negro boy belonging to Nathaniel Dickenson of thisCounty was adjudged by the Court to be eleven years of age. (Louisa County Order Book 1742-1748, page181)
August 31, 1753 - Louisa Co., VA: Will of Nathaniel Dickenson, Sr. mentions his wife, Mary, andnine children including sons: Nathaniel Dickenson, Griffith Dickenson, WilliamDickenson, and John Dickenson and daughters: Sarah Snelson, Elizabeth Dickenson,Rachel Dickenson, Mourning Barksdale, and Agnes Dickenson. Will leaves one third of his 400 acreplantation to sons Nathaniel Jr., Griffith and William with Griffith to receivehis share with the plantation, including the orchard and dwelling house, upondeath of his mother. He gave threeslaves to his daughter, Elizabeth. Thewill was proved on September 25, 1753. Witnesses included Richmond Terrell and James Sims. Nathaniel Dickensonand William Dickenson were named as executors.
[This is the land which was adjacent to the September 28,1728 land patent. His son Nathaniel Jr.had wives (1) Lucy and (2) Elizabeth and died in Louisa County 1783; sonGriffith had wife Sarah Terrell?); son William had wife Sarah (Daniel?) anddied in Louisa County in 1764 and son, John Sr., had wife Rebecca Dudgeon anddied in Halifax County, Virginia in 1788. His daughter Sarah married William Snelson and died in Louisa County in1789; daughter Mourning married Nathaniel Barksdale in 1748 and moved toHalifax County, Virginia where Nathaniel died in 1789; daughter Rachel marriedSamuel Parris Jr. and daughter Agnes married Nathan Austin in 1754 and moved toGreenville County, South Carolina.]
March 25, 1754 - Louisa Co., VA: William Dickinson of St. Martin Parish, Louisa County, planterand Sarah, his wife, deeded to Richmond Terrell of same, planter, one watergrist mill with 2 acres adjoining on the Little River, devised to saidDickinson by the last will and testament of his father, Nathaniel Dickinson,dec'd., recorded in Louisa County ... including two houses besides the millhouse. The deed was signed by WilliamDickerson and Sarah Dickerson.
[This William was the son of Nathaniel who died in LouisaCounty in 1753. The mill house was onnorth side of Little River upstream from current route 701 crossing.]
March 11, 1755 -Louisa Co., VA: Nathaniel Dickenson,and Lucy, his wife, and William Dickenson, and Sarah, his wife, of St. Martin'sParish deeded 260 acres in St. Martin's Parish on the north side of the LittleRiver to Richmond Terrell. The deedrefers to James Simes line and Griffith Dickenson's line. Witnesses included Charles Dickenson andGriffeth Dickenson. (Louisa County DeedBook B, page 58)
[This 260 acres was the 2/3 of the 400 acres Nathanieland William inherited from their father, Nathaniel Dickenson's will in1753. Richmond Terrell was witness totheir father's will, Griffith's wife Sarah may have been the daughter ofRichmond Terrell and Griffith Dickenson was also the son of Nathaniel who diedin 1753. Charles Dickenson was possiblythe uncle of Nathaniel and William or the eldest son of William Dickenson whodied in 1764. Charles died in 1775]
May 26, 1761 - Louisa Co., VA: Charles Dickenson's bond for Administration lists CharlesDickenson & Philip Burford with condition Charles Dickenson as Executor ofwill of Mary Dickenson, deceased. (Louisa County Bond Book 1754-1766)
[Mary Dickenson, who was probably the widow of NathanielDickenson who died in 1753, died about 1761. Because Charles Dickenson was not listed as a child of Nathaniel, he mayhave been his brother or his grandson, the son of William.]
July 13, 1762 - Louisa Co., VA: A document dated May 1, 1755 in which Mary Dickenson said:"me hereunto moving" gave her daughter Agness Dickenson one negro mannamed Prymus after Mary's death. Wit.Richmond Terrell & William Dickenson. This instrument of writing was this day in open court acknowledged byMary Dickenson too be her act & deed & by the Court admitted to record& is recorded. (Louisa County DeedBook C, page 184)
June 30, 1778 - Louisa Co., VA: Griffith Dickinson and Sarah, his wife, of St. Martin’s Parish,Louisa County, granted to John Snelson, Gent., of Hanover Co., St. Paul's Parish, 116 acres bounded by the LittleRiver and lands of sd. Snelson and those of the Estate of Richmond TerrillDec’d, being the land whereon sd. Griffith Dickinson now lives which wasdevised to him by the Last Will & Testament of Nathaniel Dickinson, Fatherto said Griffith houses, buildings, ways, waters. Signed by Griffith Dickenson and Sarah Dickenson. ( Deed Book E, pages 346-347)
[This Louisa County Griffith Dickenson was the son of theNathaniel who died in 1753 and not the Griffith Sr./Griffith Jr. family whichlived in Halifax County as early as October 16, 1753. This is when the last piece of Nathaniel Dickenson Sr.'s 400 acrefarm was sold out of the family. JohnSnelson was brother to Griffith's sister Sarah's husband, William Snelson]
WILL OF NATHANIEL DICKENSON, SR.
IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN I Nathaniel Dickenson Senr. of the county of Louisa & Parish of St.Martins being thro the abundant mercy & goodness of God, tho weak of bodyyet of a Sound & perfect understanding & memory for which thanks be toAlmighty God for it, First calling tomind that it is Apointed for all Men once to Die I do Recommend my Soul intohands of the Almighty who first gave it me & my body to the earth fromwhence it was taken, where the Worms Destroy it, but in my Sight I shall SeeGod, whom I shall for my Self behold & not for another. I do make & Constitute this my Last Will& Testament & it is my Desire that what estate it hath pleased theAlmighty to bless me with in this world I do give & dispose of in themanner & form as followeth Viz: Imprimis I give to my Loving Wife Mary thePlantation whereon I now Live During Natural Life with her Due part of the Restof my Estate. Item I give &bequeath unto my son Nathaniel Dickenson one third part of the Tract of Landwhereon I now Live Beginning on the River at the First Little branch above hisPlantation Running thence to the back line so as to leave one third of the sdTract of Land above him & he taking of the sd Tract of Land above him &he taking of ye Back Line &the River the sd Land I Give to him his heirs & assigns for ever, he nottaking the Orchard & Dwelling House. Item I give unto my son Griffith Dickenson the manner Plantation withthe 1/3 of my Land adjoining thereto, after the Decease of my Wife Mary to hisheirs and assigns for ever. Item I giveunto my son William the upper 1/3 of my land with the Mill to him his heirs andassigns forever. Item I give mydaughter Elizabeth three negros to Wit, James, Gregory & & her heirs for ever. It is my Will & desire after all mydebts and funeral charges are complyd with, that the Remainder of my estatewhat so ever to be found, be Equally Divided Between my nine children to witNathaniel Dickenson, Griffith Dickenson, William Dickenson, Dickenson, Sarah Snelson, ElizabethDickenson, Rachell Dickenson, [Mourning] Barksdale, and Agness Dickenson tothem I give the sd. estate to their heirs & assigns lor ever If it shouldplease God, that any of my above named children should die without heirs, thattheir or theirs part Divided amoungst the Surviving ones. I do herebyacknowledge this my last Will & Testament, disallowing all former Wills& Do if ever toappear. I Do appoint & it is my Will& Desire that Nathaniel Dickenson & William Dickenson be my Executorsof this my Last Will & Testament In Witness where of I have hereunto set myhand & seal this 23rd Day of August 1753.
Signed Sealed & Delivered in the presence of:
John Moss his
RichmondTerrell Nathaniel N Dickenson
James Sims mark
AT A COURT held for Louisa County on Tuesday the DCDCVth dayof September MDCCLIII. This Will wasthis day proved in open Court the oaths of all the parties thereto; and by theCourt admitted to Record and is Recorded.
Teste Thos Perkins Depty. ce
(Louisa County, Virginia Will Book 1 - Pages 30 & 31)
INVENTORY OF THE ESTATE OF NATHANIEL DICKENSON
35 Geese at 1/3 a parcel of old Iron 6/10
12 Steel at 1/... a parcel of old Working hoes 13/6
2 Pr Iron Screws 5/1 Broadaxe 6/
2 Iron wedges 3/ a parcel of Carpenters & Coopers Tools10/1 [another 10/1 in margin]
2 old pots 1/ one pr Stillards 7/6
A parcel of Shoemakers Tools 5/
A parcel of files and Rest 4/ 2 pr. Shears 1/9
A Brass Cock 1/6 1 Box Iron & 1 Heater 3/
A Spice Mortar & Pestle 2/ 1 pr. fire Tongs &Shouvel 6/
3 pr. Cards 3/4 one Plain Iron 2/ Marking Irons one
Branding Iron I Gouge & 1 piercer & a small line 3/6
I Slay & Harness 3/ one Chisel 9
A parcel of Stone judgs Muggs Glass Bottles & PunchBowles
2 yd Bed Ticken 5/ 1 pr Plad Hoes 1/6
A remnant of Cotton 1/6 rope 4/ pr of Money Seales 8/
I Glass Crewet & Salt Seller 2/
A ten Can 2 old Candlesticks 1 pr Snuffers & inkstand
A parcel of Knives & Forks 3/
7 Pewter Dishes 13 Plates Basons & 1 tin Pepper Box
1 Stock Lock 1/3 a parcell of Books 12/
2 old Looking Glasses a Hat Brush & Nutmeg Grates
3 Guns L 3.. 1 one Chest 10/1 folding Table L l.8
A Whip Saw 1.15/ & 1 old Bedstead & Cord 2/6
I Pewter Chamberpott 1/6 a parcel of old Chairs 6/
1 Desk 4. .5 one Bedstead and Cord 5/
I Feather Bed & Furniture L 5 one Do. 4.3.6 One Do. 5
2 old Beds L 3.. 16.6 Hempen Roles 4/
a Small Iron pott & Hooks 3/ 2 larger Do 19/ one fryingpan 3/
I Belmettle Skillett 4/ one Grindstone 4/
1 Spinning Wheel & Iron Spindles 4/ 3 Meal Sifiers 2/3
2 Wheat Sivs 3/ 1 pr. of Broken Tongs 1/3 2 Baskets
A parcel of Tubs & Barrels 11/3 1 Hide 5/ 2 old Hide
I young House L 31 Gray Mare L 2.10 1 baydll 11
1 Cart & Wheels L 3..15 1 Saddle & Bridle 1.5
27 Head of CattleL 21..19 & 25 Hoggs at the Plantation11.16
1 Handsaw 3/ one fro 2/ 1 pr of Sheep Shears 8
1 tin funell 10 2 Narrow axes 4/
I Bell 3/1 Do. 1/ 2 piggons 1 Pail & 2 Tubs 5/
I Cask 2/6 2 Sides of Sole Leather 5/6
2 P of shoes 8/1 pr of Horse fleam s/ & 1 Trunk 2/
3 old Bags 2/6
23 Head of Hoggs at the Mill
1 Negro Man Named Will L 30 one do. Named primus 38
1 Negro Woman Named Pegg L 38 1 do. philliss L 36
I Negro girl Hester L 14 1 do. Named Dillar L 18
1 Negro Girl Named Dafiiey L 16 1 do. Mille L 8
I Negro Boy Named Isaac L 18 1 do. Namd Peter L 10 ______________
In obedience to an order of Louisa County Court we theSubscribers being first sworn have apraised the Estate of Nathl. DickensonDecd. according to within Inventory
To Co Barrells of Corn Nathl.Dickenson
Co Bushels of wheat WillmDickenson Exrs.
At a Court Held for Louisa County the 22nd Day of July 1755This Inventory and appraisment was this day Returned by Nathaniel Dickenson andWilliam Dickenson Executors of Nathaniel Dickenson Deceased and ordered to berecorded and is recorded
[Note: "Do." means "the same thing","ditto," or the thing just mentioned]
(Louisa County Inventory Book 1743 - 1766, pages 35-36)
Links to relatedphotos:
Mapof farm of Nathaniel Dickenson, Sr. - Louisa Co., VA
Excavation ofNathaniel Dickenson's homesite by University of Virginia students. (Click onphotos)
Excavationof Nathaniel Dickenson's homesite in 1997 (1) (Alison Bell center of photo).
Excavationof Nathaniel Dickenson's homesite in 1997 (2).
Excavationof Nathaniel Dickenson's homesite (3) (Cellar steps)
MEexcavating the homesite of Nathaniel Dickenson in 1997 (4).
MEexcavating the homesite of Nathaniel Dickenson in 1997 (5).
Don Dickenson 327 Jewell St. San Rafael, CA 94901-2216 (415) 456-2675 7/3/2000