Old Documents

1763 Indenture Between John Ballendine and Wife Mary to John Tayloe and Presley Thornton – Prince William County, Virginia

Early Virginia deeds were quite long and elaborate.  There is mention of who owned the land, how he purchased it.  Wills are quoted during these long passages, giving information that may be found nowhere else.  Especially in a county such as Prince William, where many of the early wills were ‘lost, destroyed or stolen at various times.’  Only scattered years of deeds, wills and orders, as well as various bond books and a plat book survive.  Any additional information in those sources that have survived, is especially important to genealogy research.

The following Indenture (a legal agreement, contract or document) is full information about various individuals.  The parties involved are John Ballendine and his wife, Mary, who are selling to John Tayloe and Presly Thornton, a parcel of land in Prince William County, on the south side of Occoquan River, near the falls.

First, the history of the property.

Henry Peyton sold 79 acres of land in March of 1755, for 150 pounds, to John Tayloe, Presly Thornton and John Ballendine.  Henry inherited this property from his parents, Valentine Peyton and Frances Linton.  This included the Occoquan Warehouse and Forge Landing House.  Originally this property was granted by patent to George Mason, gentleman, from the proprietor’s office in March of 1704, which he then sold to Moses Linton three years later.  Moses Linton was my seventh great-uncle, a son of William Linton and brother to my John Linton, 1678-1728.  He married Margaret Barton, sister to Ann Barton who married John Linton.  In Moses Linton’s will this land was given to his daughter Frances Linton.  Frances married Valentine Peyton and they were the parents of Henry Peyton.

Richard Blackburn and his wife, Mary, in 1755, sold two parcels of land for $300.  One parcel contained 1070 acres on Hooe’s Creek, the other 645 acres on the branches of Marumscoe Creek.  Following the perimeters of the property it runs along the property of ‘Who’s Who’ of Prince William County in the very early 18th Century – Captain John Elliott, John Peake, Mr. Fickle, John Wallace, John Gregg, Richard Blackburn, Moses Linton, Colonel Mason, Colonel Fairfax, Colonel Robinson, Valentine Peyton, Colonel Grayson.

Another part of the land was deeded from the proprietor’s office ‘bearing date in the fourth year of the reign of the late Queen Anne’ (1706), to Robert Singleton, and by his last will and testament was divided and given to his son and two daughters.  One daughter, Susannah, married John Smither and the land descended to her son John Smither, who sold to John Tayloe, Presly Thornton and John Ballendine, in 1751, 600 acres, containing a furnace, servants, slaves and stocks for an ironworks.

And in 1763 John Ballendine deeded his portion of the land to his two partners, John Tayloe and Presly Thornton.  Ballendine’s wife, Mary, was ‘examined apart from her husband’ to ask if she was freely signing the indenture, without ‘force or threats’ from her husband, and which she answered yes.

I hope you find the following indenture as interesting as I did.  Taken from Prince William County, Virginia Deed Abstracts 1749-1752, 1761-1764, by Ruth and Sam Sparacio.

Prince William County, Virginia Deed Book 1761-1764

Pages 299-309

This Indenture made the twenty-first day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty-three between John Ballendine, gentleman, and Mary his wife of the one part, and John Tayloe of the County of Richmond, Esquire, and Presly Thornton, of the County of Northumberland, Esquire, of the other part.  Whereas Henry Peyton of Dittingen Parish in the County of Prince William, gentleman, by deeds of lease and release bearing date respectively the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifty day of March in the year one thousand seven hundred and fifty-five, for the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds current money of Virginia, did sell unto the said John Tayloe, Presly Thornton and John Ballendine, and to their heirs and assigns, all that parcel of land in the County of Prince William on the south side of Occoquan River, near the falls thereof, being the land and plantation whereon Valentine Peyton, late of the said county, gentleman, deceased, and Frances, his wife, lived and died, including Occoquan Warehouse on the southside of the said river and the Forge Landing House, the same being granted to George Mason, gentleman, deceased, by patent from the proprietors office bearing date the third day of March in the year one thousand seven hundred and four; and by the said George Mason, sold to one Moses Linton by an assignment endorsed on the said deed bearing date the ninth day of May in the year one thousand seven hundred and seven, and by the said Moses Linton, by his last will and testament, given and devised unto Frances Peyton, mother of the said Henry Peyton to whom the same descended after her death; the said land being granted by the said Original Deed as for seventy-nine acres and being sold by Henry Peyton for the same quantity; together with all houses, profits, rights whatsoever belonging as by deeds duly recorded, relation being had, and whereas Richard Blackburn, of the said County of Prince William, gentleman, and Mary his wife by deed of lease and release bearing date the twenty-third and twenty-fourth days of May in the year one thousand seven hundred and fifty-five, for the sum of three hundred pounds current money of Virginia, did grant unto the said John Tayloe, Presly Thornton and John Ballendine, and to their heirs forever, two certain parcels of land.  Viz.  One parcel of land containing one thousand and seventy acres situated in said County of Prince William on the drains of Hoe’s Creek and bounded beginning at a pine and two white oaks on the south side of John Peak’s Rollin Road corner to the land of Captain John Elliott and running thence with his line north-west then south-east to a chestnut oak on Mr. Peake’s Rolling Road, thence south-east to two red oaks by a branch of Hoes Creek, then up the branch south to a red oak and white oak, thence crossing the branch south-east to two red oaks near hoes Creek and the land of one Fickle, then binding on Fickle’s land north-east to the line of John Wallace, now William Baylis, then with his land north-east then with the line of land surveyed for Mr. John Gregg, north-west to the beginning, the same being granted unto the said Richard Blackburn by deed from the proprietor’s office bearing date the fourteenth day of January in the year one thousand seven hundred and thirty-nine; the other parcel of land containing six hundred and forty-five acres in County of Prince William on the branches of Marumscoe and bounded beginning at three Hickories corner to the land of Moses Linton, deceased, and also corner trees to the land of Colonel Fairfax, and running with said Moses Linton’s line or the course of his deed south-east to the line of Colonel Mason, then with his land and the line of Colonel Robinson north-west to the corner of Colonel Robinson’s near a road thence the same with his line south-west to a red oak his corner near a branch side thence with another of his line running north-west to the Rolling Road, thence up the said road the several courses north-west to the line of John Wallace, now William Baylis’s then leaving the road and running with Wallace’s course and binding with his lines south-east to a branch side and near Wallace’s white oak corner, then crossing the said branch south-east to a white oak corner to Wallace at the foot of a hill, then south-east to a black oak corner to Colonel Grayson, then with his line south-east to the line of Colonel Fairfax then with his line north to his corner then with another of his lines east to the beginning, the same being granted to the said Richard Blackburn and Mary, his wife, by their other deeds of lease and release bearing date the same twenty-third and twenty-fourth day of may in the year one thousand seven hundred and twenty-five for the sum of twenty pounds current money of Virginia, did sell unto said John Tayloe, Presly Thornton and John Ballendine and to their heirs all his undivided share to six hundred acres of land in the Counties of Fairfax and Prince William, on both sides of Occoquan, being granted unto one Robert Singleton, late of the County of Gloucester, deceased, by deed from the proprietors office bearing date in the fourth year of the reign of the late Queen Anne, which said Robert Singleton, by his last will and testament in writing devised one-half there of to his son (blank) Singleton, and the other half thereof to be equally divided between his two daughters, (blank) and Susannah, of which said Susannah, by the name of Susannah Smither, and also of her son, John Smither, the said Richard Blackburn purchased the said undivided share and title to the said six hundred acres of land by deeds of lease and release bearing date the twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth days of October in the year one thousand seven hundred and fifty-one, and all the houses, gardens, corn whatsoever to the said six hundred acres belonging and whereas the said John Tayloe, Presly Thornton and John Ballendine, made the several purchases aforesaid in order to erect and carry on an iron work and accordingly there have a furnace and several other convenient buildings erected on divers parts of the said lands and many servants, slaves and stocks of various kinds, proper for carrying on such an undertaking have been purchased upon the joint account and risk of the said John Tayloe, Presly Thornton and John Ballendine, but the partnership between them as determined about two years since, and the said John Ballendine, sold unto the said John Tayloe and Presly Thornton his part and share of the said lands ironworks, slaves and stocks, and the said works since that time have been carried on upon the account and risk of the said John Tayloe and Presly Thornton.  Now this indenture witnesseth that for consideration that said John Tayloe and Presly Thornton have paid unto said John Ballendine his share and part of the purchase of all the said lands, slaves and stocks, as all other charges and expenses in carrying on the said works, as also for the sum of five shillings current money of Virginia to the said John Ballendine, paid by John Tayloe and Presly Thornton, whereof said John Ballendine and Mary, his wife, have sold unto said John Tayloe and Presly Thornton all his, the said John Ballendine’s, undivided part and share to all the parcels of land together will all plantation houses, buildings, water, easement, advantage and appurtenances whatsoever, to the same belonging as also all the estate right, claim and demand, singular the lands, servants, slaves, stocks and premises hereinbefore mentioned unto the said John Tayloe and Presly Thornton, their heirs and assigns forever.  In witness whereof the parties have set their hands and seals.

John Ballendine, Mary Ballendine

In presence of Thomas Lawson, Matthew Gregg, W. Ellzey, Allan MacRae and William Carr

At a Court held for Prince William County the 7th day of March 1763

These deeds of lease and release from John Ballendine to John Tayloe and Presly Thornton, Esquire, were proved by the oaths of Allan MaCrae, Thomas Lawson and William Ellzey, gentleman, to be the act and deed of the said John Ballendine and the same was ordered to be recorded together with a commission for the examination of Feme Covert.

George the Third to Allan MaCrae and William Carr, gentlemen.  Know ye that we trusting to your fidelity in privately examining Mary, the wife of John Ballendine, apart from her husband, touching her free consent to execute deeds and her examination and acknowledgement thereupon to the Justices of our County Court of Prince William on the first Monday in February next, you will return and certify to this writ annexed.  Witness John Graham, Clerk of our said Court, this fourth day of December in the third year of our reign.

John Graham

Pursuant to the within dedimus we have examined Mary Ballendine apart from her said husband who says that she does the same freely without the force or threats of her husband.  Certified under our hands and seals this 29th day of January 1763.

Allan MacRae, William Carr

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