Family Stories

Northern Neck Land Grants – William Berkeley

The two William Berkeley Northern Neck land grants below are of special interest to me since they involve my 6th great-grandfather, William Berkeley.  William married Elizabeth Hancock about 1723 and had the following children:  John, Reuben, Alethea, Benjamin, William, Samuel, Ann, Jane, Eleanor and Elizabeth Berkeley.  Daughter Elizabeth Berkeley married Benjamin Mason, son of George Mason and Anne Anaple Wigginton.  Their daughter Ann married Captain John Hancock Linton in Loudoun County, Virginia (formed from Fairfax County) about 1770.  The fact that William Berkeley’s property on Accotink Creek was adjacent to a Mr. Mason gives rise to the question – was it Benjamin Mason’s father who owned this land?   Another interesting fact is that Colonel John Tayloe bought part of the second Berkeley grant.  Copies of wills of Martin Scarlett and Edward Barton, ancestors of Captain John Hancock Linton, were found in the Tayloe papers.  Interesting coincidences?  I like to think they are clues leading the way to understanding this portion of the Northern Neck of Virginia on which my ancestors once lived!

Fairfax County, Virginia – Northern Neck Land Grants

#165 William Berkeley, 531 acres, February 17, 1728, C:141, North side of Accotink Creek, adjacent to McCarty and Mason.

There is a cancelled deed to John Edy (NN B:192) dated February 27, 1728/9.  The deed for this property was cancelled because he was unable to pay the composition and office charges.  This was a rambling grant that interfered with many adjacent grants.  (Belvoir Neck survey, part of a map of plats belonging and adjoining to those of George Washington, Fairfax County.)

William Berkeley, Senior, sold May 20, 1760, for 36.12 pounds to George William Fairfax 183 acres of the north side of Accotink Creek. (Fairfax Deeds D:678)

A William Berkeley agreed with the Truro Parish Vestry April 12, 1737, to build a mansion house upon the Glebe. The work was to be finished October 31, 1738. In July 1743 William Berkeley, Senior, and Vincent Lewis were ordered to procession all the patented lands between Cub Run and Popeshead (Minutes of the Vestry, Truro Parish Virginia, 1732-1785, pp. 15, 40).

In 1741 the inhabitants of the Belvoir neighborhood who made a survey of Charles Green’s 320 acre grant included:  Hugh West, Thomas Owsley, Zephaniah Wade, John Manley, William Berkeley and Charles Griffin (NN E:299).

A William Berkeley is listed on Rev. Charles Green’s list of tithables of Truro Parish for 1749 with two tithables and three black tithables.  Also listed is William Berkeley, Jr., with one tithable and Burgess Berkeley also with one tithable.  William Berkeley’s will (Fairfax Wills B:309) dated November 25, 1761, and admitted to record February 16, 1762, lists sons:  Benjamin, William, John, Samuel and Rueben.  A William Berkeley was not on any surviving voting list of Fairfax County 1744-1768, but John, Samuel and Benjamin voted between 1755 and 1765.

William Berkeley was the Plaintiff in at least three law suits during a ten year period (1746-1755 – RS 1:16, 32, 48).  William Berkeley had leased 200 acres of land from John Waugh February 10, 1730 and the Defendant, Paul Turley, had a lease from John Waugh for 200 acres dated October 17, 1733.  They could not agree on their dividing line.  After ten years of contention the case was taken before the General Court and the outcome is not recorded.  (A jury decided for Paul Turley after the second case.  Fairfax Court Order Books 1749-1754, p. 215) and Turley eventually purchased the property (Fairfax Deeds M:290).  On the three surveys the Plaintiff’s house is not shown.  It is possible that this was a “Quarters” plantation.

154.  William Berkeley, 936 acres, March 28, 1727, NN B:57, Horsepen Run corner Francis Awbrey.

In a survey made May 5, 1740, John Warner shows this Berkeley tract divided into two parts.  One part is labeled Robert Carters part and the other Pophams part, now Colonel Tayloe’s (John Tayloe, 3242 acres, NN E:180).

In a Carter land book 436 cares “bought of William Berkeley, not to be found” is included with tracts of land thought to belong to a Company styled the Frying-Pan Company, of which said tracts Robert Carter of Westmoreland claimed one fourth part.  The 436 acres were part of Frying Pan tract (Carter division.  Fairfax Deeds B3:419).

The part labeled Pophams, now Colonel John Tayloe, was sold by William Berkeley April 3, 1729, to John Popham.  In 1740 the Administrators of John Popham, James and Rachel Maxwell, sold 500 acres to John Tayloe of Richmond County.  Popham in his will dated October 31, 1738, directed his Executors to dispose of the 500 acre tract.  William Durr and Evan Price refused to be administrators, so James Maxwell and his wife Rachel obtained letters of administration and sold the tract for 65 pounds (Prince William Deeds E:10).

John Tayloe sold his large grant to John Turberville and it is probable that he also sold the 500 acres of the Berkeley grant to Turberville.  Martha Corbin Turberville inherited land called Pophams (Will of John Turberville dated March 21, 1799, proved August 26, 1799, Westmoreland County Wills No. 20).

1 reply »

  1. I believe that WIlliam Berkeley d.1742 had a son name Burgess Berkeley that died before 5/22/1755 in Fairfax Co. who married Stacey Ellzey, daughter of Lewis Ellzey. In the will of William Berkeley he mentions his grandson Burgess Berkeley(also know as Jr). There was another son William born in 1755(no month/day ever mentioned). Burgess isn’t mentioned in the will because he was deceased. He had a bad reputation with money. Burgess Jr stayed in Virginia and settled in Culpeper Co. William II died in early 1842 in Winchester Co,KY but lived for some time in Clark Co, KY. He gave a deposition for his Rev War Pension with a birth date of 1/17/1755. I wonder why William b.1855 was never mentioned in his grandfather’s will.

Any thoughts?

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