Saturday, August 12, 2017

John Williams son of John Williams the Emigrant (1672-1757)

John Williams the Younger

The correct descent of Britton Williams, Revolutionary War Patriot of South Carolina from his Virginia Colony seventeenth century antecedents, may never be known. However DNA clues confirm that he is a descendant of John Williams Senior our Welsh emigrant who died in 1692 in the County of Isle of Wight. However John Williams Senior also had a brother named Thomas Williams who had sons who would have carried the same DNA markers. The Y male Chromosome does not care from which brother it was passed down to Britton Williams but we the offspring of the Revolutionary patriot do care. What we know for a certainty is that prior to the Revolutionary War many descendants of the brothers John and Thomas Williams had left Southside Virginia for North Carolina and eventually settled near the tributaries of the Savannah River in Georgia and South Carolina.

Everything about Britton Williams direct antecedents, so far, are speculative but one must follow the clues as closely as possible and base a theory on the best circumstantial evident. There is no way to know for certainty who is the patriarchal linage of Britton Williams without some paper trail of legal document but unfortunately none seem to exist. Compounding the problem is that there are many other Williams families in Surry and Isle of Wight who were nears neighbors and yet not kinfolk. The Williamses in the area of the Black Water River Swamp left a legion of descendants from various unrelated Williams including George Williams the Quaker tailor, John Williams the Quaker son-in-law of Captain John Whitley, Roger Williams of Surry, and our Welsh Williams brothers. Without DNA evidence it would have been nearly impossible to distinguish these families because they all had predominately nine common Christian names. These names were Arthur, George, John, Joseph, Lewis, Nathan, Rowland, Thomas, and William. Separating them is a challenge.

Besides DNA there are very few clues left from colonial legal records that can connect Britton Williams to the Williamses of seventeenth Century Southside Virginia and early 18th Century Bertie County, North Carolina. The Y chromosome does not care which brother it descended through to Britton Williams. There is no way to know for certainty who is in Britton Williams’ patriarchal linage only that he is of the Williams Clan that came from the brothers John and Thomas. He matched John Williams the Emigrant who died in 1692 but he would then have certainly matched Thomas Williams.

The first appearance of our Britton Williams, in any known record, is from a 1768 Georgia land petition in which stated he was married and had two slaves. There are no records that connect him to anyone one in North Carolina or Virginia and yet we know as a young married man he came to St. George Parish with two slaves that he was connected to the landed class of Williams who used human chattel to work their farms.

Perhaps the strongest clue, beyond DNA, that Britton Williams is connected to the clan of John Williams Senior is also the most mysterious. After his death in 1781, in South Carolina, two of his daughters married into the Vasser and Bowen Families, two old Southside Virginia families. John Williams Senior grandson, Thomas Williams, had strong family connections with these two families. These three factors, DNA, social position, and marriage, suggests that Britton Williams was linked with the Williams folks who drifted, at the beginning of the 18th Century, out of Virginia into Albemarle County, North Carolina.

John Williams the Younger, the eldest son of John Williams Senior and Anne Vasser* seems the most likely person to be the great grandfather of Britton Williams through his son Theophilus Williams. Theophilus Williams migrated to Onslow County in the mid 18th Century and his eldest son John Williams was in St. George Parish Georgia by 1762. Near this John Williams is the land grant of Britton Williams. Of all of Theophilus Williams children his eldest son John Williams is the least documented and there for the most likely candidate due to circumstantial evidence. While all this is speculation, it fits the most likely scenario for the paternity of Britton Williams.

For the first fifty years in America (1666-1715) the Williams Clan lived in the counties of Surry and the Isle of Wight [IOW]. These counties, along with Nansemond County, are known as Southside Virginia as that they were located south of the James River. The Williams settled in a corner of Surry County, south of the Blackwater River as it flowed in to Isle of Wight County and later on the many of its tributaries. At the turn of the seventeenth Century many of the children and grandchildren of John Williams Senior had moved west of the Blackwater to lands east of the Nottoway River that belonged to the Nottoway Indians.

By the early 1700’s, several branches of the family of John Williams Senior began to follow the Blackwater River south where it merged into the Chowan River then flowed on out of Virginia into the North Carolina Colony. Friends and family ties, as well as property, connected the Virginia Williamses with the Carolina Williamses for several generations. Those Williams who remained in Virginia on lands west of the Blackwater River, found themselves in Southampton County in 1749 when it was created from the western portion of Isle of Wight. Also a portion of Nansemond County where Lewis Williams once had lands was added to Southampton County. But by the time Southampton County was created many of the Williams had already drifted into North Carolina following the natural river ways that flowed out of Virginia into the Albemarle Sound of the Colony of North Carolina.

John Williams the Younger is our first American ancestor. He is referred in many documents as the “Younger” or even “Junior”. I will use this appendage to distinguish him from his father which I will refer to as John Williams the emigrant. And to distinguish John the Younger from his son John Williams, I will call him “the Third” although there is no evidence that he ever was so called.

John Williams the Younger was born circa 1672 most likely in Lawnes Parish, Surry County, Virginia Colony. His father John Williams the emigrant, who had just been released from his indentures was recently married to a woman named “Anne”. Strong circumstantial evidence points to her being the daughter of John Vasser, a Quaker.  

The first Virginia colonists in Surry and Isle of Wight counties acquired ownership of large tracts of land from 200 acres to 2000 acres or more from head right patents. While John the Emigrant acquired large tracts of land on the Virginia frontier he was considered a “Yeoman farmer” and was not part of the “Gentry Class.”  A yeoman farmer owned what historians termed “middling plantation” or farms of 200 to about 2000 acres to distinguish these farmers from the Virginia “Gentry Class” or “Aristocracy”, and the small farmers who were always in danger of becoming landless.  The Gentry were termed “Gentlemen” as they did not work but earned their income from property that others worked for them. A Yeoman was a farmer who worked the land he owned.  

These so called “middling plantations” allowed their owners to enjoy an affluent comfortable life despite their relatively small size compared to the wealthy land owning Virginian aristocracy. These middling plantations, however, generally required an additional workforce of about nine laborers of either family members or servants beyond their owner’s effort. The middling plantation owners were more numerous than the Virginia Aristocrats but less in number than small farmers or landless workers.

While the Virginia land aristocracy governed the colony and made the laws, the middling plantation owners were the “workhorses of the community”. Like the country squires of old England, within their own county jurisdiction, they often served as justices, constables, jurors, surveyors of roads, estate appraisers, and tobacco inspectors.

Interestingly enough, John the Emigrant and his son John the Younger served very little in any of these positions during the time they lived in Isle of Wight and Surry counties beyond the obligatory grand jurist. Certainly these John Williamses voted in local elections as voting was the right of every property right but if they failed to do so they could have been fined 100 pounds of tobacco or nearly 17 shillings. Thus it is fairly certain they participated in elections. Otherwise there are no records of them serving in any civic capacity. Nevertheless as middling planters  John the Emigrant and John the younger achieved a respected place in Blackwater society and provide modest homes with a few luxuries for his their families.

Yet the life of a middling plantation farmer wasn’t the easiest occupation. Unless they could afford to bring over indentured servants or own the rare African slave, most had to rely on themselves and their children to do the backbreaking work of clearing and planting a field. John Williams the Emigrant was known to have had several indentured servants but never used enslaved Africans. John the Younger certainty continued to use indentured servants until his move to North Carolina in 1714.  John the probably did not acquire African slaves until a decade after that time when the pool of indentured servants from Great Britain was diminished.  

The Cash Crop of Tobacco and the Introduction of Slavery into the Family of John Williams the Younger
Tobacco was the “king of Virginia's economy” ever since the early 1600s and the growing and processing of tobacco dominated Virginia's agriculture economy for over three centuries. In the 17th Century tobacco even served as currency in Virginia. It paid for work done and supplies bought. Court records showed that fines were meted in pounds of tobacco. Tithes and taxes were also assessed in this manner.

However the growing and harvesting of tobacco is very labor intensive and in the 17th and 18th Century everything was done by hand. Thus Virginia farmers found it necessary to import a labor force called “indentured servants” to assist them in growing the tobacco crop. The Importation of these indentured servants was supported by head right grants of 50 acres for each individual brought to Virginia.

John Williams the emigrant was an indentured servant himself but after he had fulfilled his contract he eventually acquired large tracts of lands by bringing other immigrants to Virginia. Unfortunately the supply of interested British indentured servants steadily declined after 1690 and by 1700 it was clear that the Virginian planters were committed to getting their labor from Africa not England. In the latter half of the 17th Century, Virginia began to institutionalize and expand slavery for the primary reason of working tobacco farms. John Williams the Younger while living in Surrey County was surrounded by neighbors who began to acquire Africans as chattel to work their large estates.

African slavery came to Old Dominion Colony of Virginia in August 1619 when "20 and odd Negroes" from the English ship White Lion who had stolen them from a Spanish ship headed for Mexico. Spanish records suggest they had been captured in the Portuguese colony of Angola, in West Central Africa. However in early colonial Virginia human bondage was not reserved specifically for only Africans. Slaves of all nationalities existed in the colony, including Indians, Africans, and even the Irish during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland.

The English transported hundreds of thousands of Catholic Irish to the British Colonies of the West Indies and North America. These Irish were called by the English government “rogues, vagabonds, rebels, neutrals, and felons.” While most were sent to work as indentured servants many of the Irish as well as Englishmen who were convicted of certain serious felonies were sentenced to perpetual bondage.

While Virginia’s “head right system” was still in place in the early 1700’s, the indentured labor pool from England was slowly being replaced with enslaved black laborers from the West Indies or Africa. By the first decades of the 18th Century the majority of forced agricultural laborers switched from being mostly whites to mostly blacks. While at first the price of slaves was prohibitive for middling farmers and it was less expensive to pay for the sea passage and upkeep of indentured servants. But as the supply of indentured servant diminished, in the long run it soon became cheaper to keep slaves over their lifetimes. This influx of Africa slave labor allowed the wealthier Gentry planters to dominate the yeomen farmers like John the Younger in Virginia. 

With the practice of receiving head right grants for British laborers in decline, by the 1720’s the “peculiar institution” of the slavery was wide spread in the southern colonies of Maryland, Virginia and North and South Carolina. However slavery was a much crueler form of servitude than indentured servitude, as that there was never any hope of freedom from continuous toil. There would never be any benefit from the fruits of one’s own labor. Slaves were marshaled to drain marshes, clear lands, and plant and harvest tobacco crops

The intense labor needed in the growing of tobacco forced those middling farmers without slaves or indentured servants to either hire white laborers or the labor of their neighbors’ slaves which was expensive. The purchasing or hiring slave labor for farm work by these middling plantation owners eventually became too expensive and many went into debt to the large land owners. Losing their farms to sheriff sales for debt incurred, these farmers were forced off their lands and forced to relocate to more remote frontier lands.

A growing class of poor whites was a product of slavery as the small plot farmers could not compete economically with wealthy land owners and as slaves were trained to do crafts and occupations formerly done by whites, eventually poor whites came to resent Africans for taking their labor.

As slavery became less costly than keeping indentured or hired laborers this “peculiar institution” began to define Southern agrarian life. This unfortunate institution was immensely profitable to the rich and provided leisure time for the top echelon of Southern society who no longer had to work with their hands at manual labor. So rooted and entrenched in the agricultural economy was slavery that it would take a civil war to abolish the institution although the by-product of racism it fostered continues to haunt America.

This reliance on enslaved people eventually warped the psyche of southern white people as they tried to morally justify slavery. They constructed an entire narrative that the West Coast Africans who were enslaved to work their lands were an inferiority people and who were ordained by divinity to be servants to white people.

The Institution of slavery was sustained by this racist notion that people from African were inferior human beings ordained by God to be servants. This view was supported by Biblical passages which were interpreted to believe that African peoples were the descendants of Ham the cursed son of Noah.  Additionally whites interpreted black skin coloring as the ‘Mark of Cain”. Cain was the son of Adam who slew his brother Abel.  These accounts were used to support the belief that people of color were designed to be servants to whites.

Slavery was never condemned as such in scriptural text in the New Testament. In fact slaves in the Roman Empire were required to be obedient to their masters if they were Christians. The moral dilemma of the slavery was never settled among Southern Christians and thus was subjected to the economic value of the institution. However the Quakers were among the first to condemn slavery as a social evil. Over time as slavery became more entrenched in North Carolina, the dislike of the institution led to a mass exodus of Quakers to Kentucky and later to Indiana. Among these folks were the ancestors of Abraham Lincoln who would be known as the Great Emancipator after freeing slaves in Southern states in rebellion against the United States.

The institution of slavery nevertheless was inherently degrading and corrupting, not only to those enslaved, but also to all stratum of Southern white society. Slavery began to concentrate the wealth into the hands of those who could afford to purchase slave labor.

This changing economical situation based on slavery was one of the reasons many sons of the earliest families of South Side Virginia began to start the migration southward as they could not compete with the large plantations owners now using slave labor.  Even successful planters such as John the Younger Williams could not compete economically with the planters who had dozens of slaves working large tracts of land and may have been a mitigating factor in his decision to move.

As the pernicious practice of slavery began to concentrate wealth into the hands of the Gentry class, “middling farmers”, such as John Williams the younger, found it necessary to acquire slaves themselves in order to maintain their economic security.  Slavery, as noxious as it was, allowed the middling farmers the means from sinking into the growing class of landless poor white.

It is doubtful that many of the farmers who purchased Africans in the slave markets or from other owners were aware of the horrors of the Atlantic slave trade, or if they were, they simply dismissed it. The enslaved Africans were viewed as chattel no different other property or livestock. Over time, slavery became so ingrained into the economy, culture, and the very fabric of Southern society that the ownership of human beings seemed normal and part of an elite social status.

Besides the misery of perpetual bondage that African Americans had to endure, slavery created a state of perpetual paranoia among whites, especially among their owners. The loss of a runaway slave could be ruinous to a small farmer and an economy grew up to recapture runaways.  The Great Dismal Swamp in the Albemarle Sound was a refuge for many run away Africans.

The fear of slave revolts lead to intolerable cruelty towards people of color and came to damage the psyche of those whites who kept others in bondage. The fear of a slave mutiny and uprising made retribution against African Americans fierce and swift against any of those slaves who dared defy their masters.  Africans were whipped, maimed, and terrorized. The whipping of insolent slaves was a fairly common practice and was seen as an appropriate punishment for blacks as well as some whites for any malfeasance.

The fears of white owners in regard to their slaves’ resentment of being held in perpetual bondage were not all paranoia. There are hundreds of accounts of slaves murdering their masters and sometimes their entire family. These rebellious slaves were executed in gruesome manners, with their heads posted on pikes as a warning to others on country roads. Some slaves were even burned alive. The poisoning of members of the prominent Bryan family, of which John Williams the Younger children and grandchildren had intermarried, led to the public burning alive of the accused female slave in the town square. All the slaves in the immediate area were forced to watch. In the 1830’s some of John Williams the Emigrant’s descendants were killed in a slave insurrection led by Nate Turner in Southampton County, Virginia.

John Williams the Younger’s father the Welsh emigrant, never owned slaves in Virginia due to the abundance of indentured servants in the 17th Century as a labor force. It appears that his son John Williams the Younger was the first of six generations to use coerced labor of African Americans to increase their wealth and social status in the old agricultural based economy of the antebellum South. From John Williams the Younger of Bertie County North down to Rev. William Green Williams of Barnwell District South Carolina, six generations of Williamses had owned slaves and had been comfortably supported by this cruel exploitation of African labor. Rev. William Green Williams however in the 1830’s sold his inheritance of human chattel upon moving west to Alabama and was the last in my direct line to own slaves. However, other of his kinfolk owned African Americans up to the time of their liberation during the Civil War in the 1860’s.

It is unknown when John Williams the Younger first began to acquire African Americans as there are no records or bills of sales recorded in the county court houses of Chowan and Bertie. He could have brought some with him to North Carolina but there is no record of that. The practice probably began in North Carolina in Bertie Precinct, North Carolina, where as a prosperous land owner, he began to acquire people of African extraction as human chattel to toil on his plantations.

Many of the African captives who served as slaves on Albemarle County’s plantations  were brought into North Carolina from Virginia or the Island of Barbados in the beginning. However as the practice increased by the 1720’s Africans were directly sold from slave ships directly from the West Coast of Africa. By the mid 18th century Bertie County had become one of the most densely populated counties in North Carolina largely due to the numbers of African slaves brought into the county. In the 1740's people of African descent made up 25 percent of the population.  These enslaved people were mostly owned by large plantations with thousands of acres. 

It is doubtful that John the Younger would have owned slaves before 1720 because he could rely on his own sons' labor. As he acquired more and more property, and grew older and no longer could depend on his sons for their labor as that they had their own farms, he probably then bought slaves to help with labor and to add to his status. As that his son John the Third did not bequeath any slaves in his 1722 will, this suggests that the family may not at this time resorted to slave labor but by the 1730’s the institution was so entrenched in Bertie County that certainly John the Younger had acquired slaves by then. Sometime between 1722 and 1737 slavery as a form of labor is adopted within the Williams family in order to maintain their economic affluence and status. John the Younger’s son James Williams bequeathed a number of slaves to his legatees.

When John the Younger made out his last Will and Testament in 1747, he had at least five slaves living on his estate as well as perhaps other free white and Indian laborers. When and from whom did he acquired these slaves is unknown but certainly it was when he was middle aged between the ages of fifty and sixty.

From his Last Will and Testament we know the names of four of the five people who were forced to toil for the Williams' family. The name of the male he willed to his son Isaac Williams, so far, cannot be deciphered as the writing is illegible. However the other two males were named Jack and Primus, and the two females were named Jene (Joan, Jenny or Jane) and Grace. Grace may have been the daughter of Jene who was old enough to have had children. In his will John Williams referred to any issue of Jene would also be considered property of the estate which indicates she was a woman of child bearing age or even pregnant. The woman named Jene [Joan, Jane, or Jenny] may even have been purchased to help Ann Moor Williams keep house as that Ann would have been in her 50’s in the 1720’s. It is assumed that all of the people purchased to labor on John Williams the Younger’s farm in Bertie County were of African descent,  but as at this time Native Americans were also enslaved we cannot be completely certain.

As that John Williams the Younger did not have gangs of field slaves who he hardly knew, it is likely he would have interacted with them personally by supervising them on a daily level. John Williams the Younger may have had this paternal attitude or he may have simply seen them as laborers. His chattel would have cooked for the family, washed and mended their clothes, took care of feeding their livestock, milked cows, butchered animals, tended vegetable gardens, chopped wood, built fences, worked as black smiths as well as plowed fields, drained swamps, planted and harvested tobacco. As they were in bondage they did all this and more for nothing but essentially subsistence room and board. As that there were merely five of them they probably all lived in the same cabin. These souls in bondage had no human rights and could be traded off like any commodity.

John Williams may have had even more than five African slaves over the course of his life time, some perhaps dying before his will was written or some even being sold off. However there are no records of any transaction of purchasing or selling these people. However John Williams was typical of most middling farmers of the period in that he owned less than 10 slaves. Only the upper classes of large land owners could afford gangs of slaves. It may be that John Williams the Younger had only a few slaves, not because he could not afford more, but perhaps because of the fear of an ever present threat of revolt by a people forced into bondage.

Even if John and Ann Williams were benign masters to the people who served them in bondage, the gulf between the mindset of Master and Slave would have been immense. This was in order to justify keeping an entire race in bondage. Within the “Master” culture, there was a definite paternal superiority by whites towards black people who were viewed as subservient and “child-like”. This deference to whites was developed to by blacks to present a fa├žade of benevolence to avoid punishment.

To simply excuse our ancestors as being products of their times does not relieve them of being responsible for the exploitation of a race of people for their economic advantages. Other people of the time found owning slaves immoral, and others simply freed their slaves in their wills. There is no evident that the Williamses ever freed their slaves. Instead our family choose to victimize these people who were kidnapped from their lands in Africa and sold into bondage in the American colonies and while that may not reflect on who we are today it also should be brushed aside either. Slavery however how we feel today is the horrific legacy of our Southern Heritage.

Religion: Anglican versus Quakerism
In the 17th and 18th Century colonial families were dominated by the politics of religion and it often determined the makeup of family units as people tended to marry others of their own religious persuasion. In the seventeenth Century the adherents to the Church of England [Anglicans] and the Puritans Reformers of the Anglican Church were the primary religions of Southside Virginians. However after John Williams Sr. arrived in the colony, Quakers had replaced the Puritans as the rival church to the official Anglican Church. The Church of England of Virginia was the state recognized church prior to the American Revolutionary War and all land owners were required to pay tithing annually for the support and upkeep of the Parish churches whether they attended them or not.

The early settlers of Southside Virginia were predominately affiliated with three major Christian sects of the 17th Century. The only authorized and recognized one was the state sponsored Church of England also known as the “Anglican Church”. The Puritan Church, which had founded the New England Colonies, had a strong presence in Virginia and Maryland also especially after the English Civil War up until the restoration of the British monarch in 1660. At this time the Puritan influence waned and many removed to New England from Virginia.

The Quaker Movement, official known as the Society of Friends, began in the 1640’s and quickly spread across the British Isle despite fierce opposition to the sect. In fact the Virginia House of Burgess decreed the importation of Quakers to Virginia outlawed in 1664. Nevertheless Quaker communities sprang up in Southside Virginia, especially in Surrey and Isle of Wight. It is known that several of John the younger’s siblings embraced the Quaker faith. 

His father, John Williams the Emigrant is often confused by genealogists with the Quaker John Williams who married Anne Whitley and who also lived in Isle of Wight County. This John Williams had a son John who was also a Quaker in Isle of Wight and was fined on 10 December 1694 by the county court for being a Quaker.

John Williams the Younger grew to adolescence among the many Quaker families in Surrey and Isle of Wight Counties, but it is doubtful whether he was ever a Quaker himself.  That John Williams the Younger was an Anglican is supported by the fact that he bequeathed “Prayer Books”, the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, to two of his daughters. Almost every family that was literate had a King James Bible in their home which was often their only book. Children were primarily taught to read so they could read the Bible for its moral guidance. However only Anglican families had the Book of Common Prayer Book in their homes. Books were expensive and not common in colonial times so the fact that John Williams willed two of them showed that his family was educated and they were very affluent.

During the decade John Williams the Younger lived in Surry County it appears that he was too busy with his farms to be bothered by politics. Perhaps with the predominance of Quakers in his community, election to public office might have been difficult. From court minutes from Surry, Isle of Wight, Chowan, and Bertie Counties, John Williams did not seem much interested in serving in any type of public office beyond civic duties.

John Williams the Younger lived among the Quakers in Surrey County although it is unlikely that he was ever a member of that faith. Although children are usually influenced by the religious views of their mothers if John Williams the Younger was ever a Quaker, like some of his brothers and sisters, he had abandoned the faith and returned to Anglicanism. Thus if John Williams was ever a Quaker, by the end of his life he was a firm Anglican.

His younger brothers, William Williams, Thomas Williams, Richard Williams and Nicholas Williams all seem to have strong Quaker affiliations perhaps due to the influence of  their mother Anne Vasser Williams who probably was a Quaker herself. Anne Vasser Williams was raised in her sister’s Elizabeth Boucher’s household after her father and mother deaths when she was in her infancy. It is likely that the Vasser Family on John the Younger’s mother side were Quakers from their intermarriage with other Quakers. John the Younger’s mother Anne Vasser Williams certainly had Quaker sympathies if not actually a Quaker. She was the daughter of John Vasser and Elizabeth Dowe.

Elizabeth Vasser had married George Boucher a prominent Quaker and had a daughter named Elizabeth who married a Quaker named George Williams whose occupation was given as a tailor. This George Williams was the son of Walter Williams of Bristol, England.

DNA samples show that Lewis Williams of Catherine Creek, Chowan County, North Carolina was related to the family of this George Williams the Tailor.  Lewis Williams, however was an Anglican when he moved to Chowan Precinct from Nansemond County in the 1690’s.  Lewis Williams descendants are so intertwined with those of John the Emigrant, that many genealogists believed that Lewis and John the Younger were related.

This Lewis Williams of Chowan Precinct was originally from Nansemond County, Virginia and is not connected to the immigrant Lewis Williams who came to Surry County from Bristol England in 1666. That Lewis Williams died in 1679 and only had two children William and Mary Williams. Here was certainly a brother of John the Emigrant or a close kinsman. The DNA of Lewis Williams who died in 1717 in Chowan Precinct however show clearly that his descendants did not carry the same genetic markers as John Williams the Emigrant. 

The difference in genetic markers is highlighted in bold.

John Williams           13-25-14-11-11-13-12-12-12-13-14-29-17-9-10-11-11-25-15-18-30

Lewis Williams         13-24-15-11-12-14-12-12-11-13-13-29-16-9-10-11-11-25-15-19-30

However, Lewis Williams's DNA sample is identical to a Blaney Williams of Dublin County, North Carolina who was a direct descendant of George Williams the Quaker who married Elizabeth Boucher, the granddaughter of John Vasser Sr. John Williams the Emigrant married Anne Vasser the aunt of Elizabeth Boucher. This means that Lewis Williams of Chowan Precinct  bloodline was closely related to George Williams the Quaker and could have easily known the family of John Williams the Emigrant whose sons some of which were Quakers.

Prior to John Williams the Younger arrival in North Carolina, Albemarle County was controlled by Quakers. The Colony of Carolina which had not yet been divided North and South had a more tolerant position on religion than Virginia and the region quickly became mainly controlled by Quakers. There had even been a Quaker Governor in the 1690's. Certainly Carolina was more inviting to Southside Virginia's Quakers than Virginia where Quakers had to pay taxes to support the Anglican Church and could not hold office unless they swore an oath which Quakers would not do as part of their religious beliefs. In Carolina they could "affirm" instead of swear and thus politically for about 25 years they controlled Albemarle Precinct which included Chowan and Bertie Counties

However after John the Younger arrived in North Carolina the Anglicans were in full control of the General Assembly and they divided Albemarle between two Anglican parishes.  In 1715 the folks west of the Chowan River, where John Williams the Younger lived, were placed in the jurisdiction of the “South West Parish of Chowan Precinct”. The leading church men or vestrymen for the parish were the men from the large ruling Planter Class. They included Col. Thomas Pollock, Col. William Maul, William Duckenfield Esq., Maj. Robert West, Capt. John Bird, Mr. John Hardy, John Worley Esq., Mr. Lewis Bryant [Bryan], Mr. John Holbrook, Mr. Robert Lanier, Mr. Laurence Sarson and Mr. Lewis Williams. This is the same Lewis Williams related to George Williams the Quaker of Surrey County, Virginia and who had fought with the Meherrin Indians earlier in 1711.  

Childhood and Youth: 1672-1691 In Isle of Wight County Virginia
John the Younger was born circa 1672 and grew up into a rural agrarian community on the Virginia frontier along the tributaries of the Blackwater River. He is the first of our American ancestors never having known the shores of Wales. As the oldest son of John the Emigrant, John the Younger probably was given more responsibilities then his younger siblings and he grew up learning to grow tobacco for a livelihood. As a child, when he was not helping with the family farm, John the Younger most certainly learned the trade of weaver or cloth maker. Deed records in North Carolina later referred to John the Younger as a "weaver" by trade. As that there are no records of his ever being apprenticed out to learn this trade, he must have learned it from his father, John the Emigrant.  His mother was Anne most likely the daughter of John and Elizabeth Vasser although this has not been proven.

John the Younger’s father had immigrated to Virginia in 1666 from the port of Bristol, England as an indentured servant with his friend John Moor the Shoemaker. They both bought tracts of land near Jenkins Pond east of the Blackwater River.  John the Younger’s mother Anne Vasser was born probably circa 1650 the orphaned child of John Vasser who immigrated to Virginia with his wife Elizabeth in the 1630’s.

John Williams the Younger grew up on a working plantation where there could have been many indentured servants working the farm at any given time. He would have seen the master and servant relationship between his father and the laborers. As a boy his chores would have been to feed and tend to the farm’s livestock which would have included horses, cattle, sheep, milk cows, goats, hogs, and geese for feathers as well as eggs. Even small children as young as 5 years were expected herd and tend the farm animals. His father probably kept working dogs for herding, hunting and guarding and perhaps even had cats to keep varmints out of corn bins. They would not have been considered pets as in modern sense but certainly natural affection would have developed with most of these critters especially those not seen as foodstuff.

In addition to the cash crop of tobacco, the family farm in Isle of Wight County grew flax for linen and kept sheep for their wool. These were the principal  used to make cloth. These flax and wool would have been spun and woven into cloth which was the family’s occupation besides farming. Little cotton, if any would have been grown, as it was too labor intensive to have pull the seeds from the fiber by hand.

In colonial days the task of clearing a field for planting was called grubbing. This was dangerous and arduous work. Trees had to be cut down and cutting down a single large tree such as an oak could take two men most of the day. The task of removing tree stumps by digging or chopping them out then began. Stubborn tree were pulled out with a team of oxen but often larger stumps were simply burned, or just left to rot before they could be removed. Other debris like rocks and stones were manually dug out and removed in barrows and often made foundations for basements of homes built.

Some trees were kept of course for the lumber to build homes, barns, sheds or fences to serve as a physical property boundary to keep people and livestock out of fields. Livestock was often allowed to roam and forage freely while fields were fenced in with Zigzag fences. Known as Virginia fences, they were one of the most common colonial log fence because they require only logs, without need for special tools or hardware. What wood was not useable for construction became fire wood.

Once the land was cleared, the work of preparing the soil for planting began. This too was no easy task as land was frequently packed hard and tight. Using oxen and a simple wooden plow that was drugged through the fields,  the soil was broke up. Then a tool called a “harrow”, consisting of many spikes, tines or discs, was dragged across the soil to level it out. After all that farmers were ready to begin planting tobacco and corn.

Besides the plow, spades, and harrow, by far the dominant tool in farming during the seventeenth and 18th centuries was the simple hand hoe. It came in three basic forms. The narrow, or hilling hoe, possessed a long blade of about six inches width, connected to a homemade wooden shaft by a round “eye” attachment. It was predominantly used for creating the mounds upon which the plants grew and maintaining weed-free hills. Broad, or weeding hoes, were of similar construction, but up to 12 inches wide and classically used for shallow cultivation. Grubbing hoes were narrow and heavier in construction for the strenuous work of cutting and removing roots and stiff soils in land preparation.

The harvesting of tobacco was extremely labor intensive as it required bending over constantly to pick the bottom leaves as they ripened. Multiple trips to the fields were necessary to pick the tobacco and after they were picked, the laborers tied them into bundles and hung from bower rafters to dry out in the summer heat.

Although tobacco was the main cash crop grown mainly for export, some was kept for local use. Almost every Virginian used tobacco in one form or another. It was smoked in clay pipes, rolled into cigars, sweetened by sorghum as chewing tobacco or ground into powder as snuff also known as “dip”. Beyond the nicotine stimulant it provided both men and women often it was used simply to alleviate sore teeth and gum pain in lieu of dentistry.

However tobacco agriculture transformed the land by wearing it out by exhausting the minerals and nutrients from the soil. Unlike small farmers, these middling plantation owners who owned hundreds of acres could just simply abandon old fields and move to another section of the farm once the soil in the old section had been depleted. However once the entire farm was nearly depleted of nutrients it was time to move away.

John Moor the Shoemaker of Isle of Wight County, Virginia
The Moore families of Surry and Isle of Wight Counties were almost as numerous as the Williams families and just as confusing and hard to track. There were indeed so many Southside Virginia affluent planters by the name of Moore and Moor that it is extremely difficult to separate all of them into their proper families. Our ancestor “John Moor, the Shoemaker” however should not be confused with another “John Moore”, the son of often married and widowed Ann Rogers Moore Baron Matthews.

John Williams the Younger grew up at Jenkin’s Pond in the Kingsale area with the children of John Moor [Moore] the “shoemaker”. Among these Moor children was a girl named Anne Moore born circa 1676 who he would marry in about 1691.

John Moor the Shoemaker was a long time friend of his father’s and they had even traveled together from Bristol, England in 1666 as young men. They were both indentured to Captain William Butler, a Burgess from Surry County. After completion of their grueling servitude, the emigrant friends became successful in their own right and even owned adjoining plantations at Jenkin's Pond in Isle of Wight County. The men remained close for the remainder of their lives and no doubt also their children.

Nothing is known about John Moor’s early life in England any more than we know anything about John Williams the Emigrant. He was probably about the same age as John Williams, about 20 years old, when they crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Both John Williams and John Moor may have had kinfolk in Virginia for them to choose Surry County over the riches to be had in the British West Indies island colonies of Barbados or Neva.

The only deed for certain that relates for our John Moor the Shoemaker is dated from 23 April 1681 when John Moor called  “the Shoemaker” acquired 300 acres as part of a head right patent for transporting six people to the colony. This property was located below the enormous grant of land speculator George Pierce and next to his 400 acres head right grant that Pierce acquired at the same time that John Moor did his. Another neighbor of John Moor was Phillip Rayford [Raiford]. These two men, Raiford and Pearce took the inventory of John Moor’s estate after he had died in 1688.

About six months after John Moor received his grant, in October 1681, John Williams the Emigrant  father and his brother Thomas Williams bought George Pierce’s 400 acre tract that was next to Moor.  Certainly the fact that John Moor owned the land next to this tract, influence the Williamses to purchase the property. This of course made the Williamses and Moors neighbors.

The arduous trip to America, working off his passage as an indentured servant, carving out a living for his family from the Virginia wilderness all contributed to John Moor’s death when he was about 43 years old. He was ill in 1687 when he wrote his will and succumbed to the malady that claimed his life in 1688. John Moor’s death was hastened by the fact that there were few medical resources in the 1600s.  Medicines often were nothing more than folk remedies handed down from one generation to the next and did little to thwart the fevers and diseases born by mosquitoes in Virginia’s swamps, and by viruses brought by emigrants themselves.

Often fathers while toiling in the fields fell dead from heat strokes, snake bites, were preyed upon by wild animals, or attacked by displaced Native Americans. Mothers died in difficult childbirths and children developed diseases or fevers prevalent in the area and died young. Most colonial couples had numerous children as there were no form of birth control and these big families insured that some of their children would grow to adulthood.

Mothers and fathers, suddenly widowed and with small children to raise, fields to work, and livestock to tend, quickly remarried to solve their dilemma. It was common for most colonial men and women to have several wives or husbands over their lifetimes and as women often married as adolescents, it was not unusual for some women to have three or four husbands.  
John Moor the Shoemaker made out his last Will and Testament on 18 March 1686 [1687] and stated that he was living in Lower Parish, Isle of Wight County. John Sellers and Jenkins Dorman were the witnesses for his will but what relationship, if any, to the Moor family is unknown. John Sellers father William Seller had land next to Anthony Fulgham and Jenkins Dorman was alive in 1708 when he witnessed the will of Thomas Joyner. John Moor’s will was recorded 9 June 1688 which indicates that he died more than likely in May. That he died nearly a year after he made his will also indicates that he had been ill or had bouts of illness for some time.

According to John Moor’s Last Will and Testament, he was married, had three sons and two daughters. It appears that in his will he named his sons first and then his daughters but they were probably not named in birth order.

John and Elizabeth Moore could not have married before 1671 as that John hadn’t fulfilled his indenture as yet. His daughter Ann Moore was married to John Williams the Younger by 1691 and if she had married at the age of 15 or 16, she would have been born about 1676 during the Bacon Rebellion. It is doubtful that John and Elizabeth Moor would have had four children born between 1671 and 1676 but not impossible. A more likely scenario, with the average of two years between births, John and Elizabeth Moor’s children were more than born in this order; Ann Moore, born circa 1676, John Moore Junior born circa 1679, Thomas Moor born circa 1681, William Moore born circa 1683 and Elizabeth Moor born circa1685.

John Moor the Shoemaker left about 700 acres of land in Isle of Wight at the time of his death. Some of it was by the estates of Thomas Parnell who died about the same time. Moor bequeathed two hundred acres “of woodland adjoining Thomas Parnell” to his eldest son, John Moor Jr. He gave an additional 200 acres to his son Thomas Parnell. He gave 100 acres each adjoining “Thomas Parnell’s line” to his youngest son William Moor and to his daughters Elizabeth and Ann.  This legacy provided Ann Moore a dowry of 100 acres when she married John Williams the Younger about 1691.

John Moor died then when Ann Moore was a child about 11 years old and her future husband, John Williams the Younger, was a 15 year old adolescent. John Moor never knew that John the Emigrant and he would one day share grandchildren through John Williams the Younger and Ann Moor. As that John Moor the Shoemaker had no known kinfolk in Virginia, certainly John Williams the Emigrant as his good friend would have taken an interest in the family until his own death in 1692 after Ann Moore had become his daughter in law.  

John Moor’s estate was appraised by his neighbors George Pierce and Phillip Raiford but there must have been some difficulty with the estate as the Appraisal was not filed and recorded until 6 March 1692 [1693] nearly five years after Moor had died.  This trouble may have been a factor in daughter Ann leaving her mother’s home and marrying at such a young age especially if she was the eldest.

The inventory of John Moor’s estate was recorded 6 March 1692 [1693] by appraisers Phillip Raford [Raiford] and George Pierce nearly a year after John Williams the emigrant had died. They listed three steers worth 900 pounds of Tobacco, three heifers worth 600 pounds of tobacco, three cows worth 900 pounds, two yearlings and a bull worth 200 pounds, two brass kettles worth 150 pounds, 1 “pott” and hangers, 1 “poudring tubb” [a tub in which meat was powdered or salted or pickled.] 2 dishes, 4 spoons worth 150 pounds. The inventory stated “Ann Moore made away since John Moore deceased.”

Even after the estate appraisal was filed there must have been more trouble as that in August 1694 the Widow Elizabeth appointed George Moore her attorney. It may have been that John Williams the emigrant had helped with legal matters of the estate until his own death in 1692 and then Elizabeth Moor needed additional representation to which she felt close. George Moore was a Justice in Surrey County. Elizabeth Moor had some type of kinship to this wealthy planter whom she called “my brother”.

It is easy to speculate that Elizabeth was perhaps a younger sister of George Moore but in the 17th Century the use of the term “brother” could also simply mean “brother in law.”  There are several relationship possibilities using the term “brother”. The simplest is that Elizabeth was George Moore’s sister. The second is that George Moore was the brother of her late husband and was therefore her brother-in-law. Another possibility is that Elizabeth and George Moore’s wife Jane Barcroft were sisters. That would have also made George Moore “her brother.”

This George Moore was born circa 1634, some ten years or more before John Moor. He may have even have prompted John Moor to come to America but not wealthy enough to pay for his importation. George Moore’s daughter Ann married John the Younger’s brother William, and in his will, George Moore left property to his Williams grandchildren.

Sometime after Ann Moor married John Williams the Younger, her younger sister Elizabeth Moore married Joseph Parnell the son of Thomas Parnell.  This made John Williams the brother in law of Joseph Parnell as well as Ann’s brothers John, Thomas, and William Moore.

The eldest son of John Moor the shoemaker, John Moore Junior, was born after 1673. An Isle of Wight Court from 9 June 1694 decreed that “John Moor ordered to return to his apprenticeship with his master John Davis, shoemaker.” An apprenticeship was usually until the age of 21 therefore John would have been born after that date. He died sometime after 1734 when he sold to his brother William Moore 110 acres on the “Fork of Southern Branch of Nansemond River in the Upper Parish of Isle of Wight which his father “John Moor willed to said John”.

This John Moore Junior is thought by many genealogists to be the father of John Moore the Third, Edward Moore and William Moore. If so, these grandsons of John Moor Senior had moved to Bertie County, North Carolina, and lived there surrounded by their Williams’ cousins. Edward Moore actually settled in the same general area of his aunt and uncle, Ann Moor Williams and John Williams the Younger at Horse Spring Branch. Edward Moore was married to Elizabeth Bonner the daughter of Thomas Bonner and died before 1757 in Bertie County at about the age of 65 years.

It appears that all of John Moor’s sons had moved from the Isle of Wight to Nansemond County by the turn of the 18th Century where in the 1704 Quit Rent records both John Moore Junior and Thomas Moore are listed. They paid rents on 200 acres that they each owned. Also listed in Nansemond was Edward Moore who paid on 250 acres, Richard Moore who paid on 250 acres; James Moore who paid on 400 acres and a John Moore who paid on 100 acres. How these men are related is unknown; probably the grandsons of John Moor Senior. This Richard Moore of Nansemond moved to Chowan Precinct, North Carolina  and had a family there before he died in 1718.  As for when John Moor the Shoemaker’s sons John, Thomas Moore and William Moore died, that is an enigma, but more than likely they all died in Virginia.  However it is evident that strong family ties continued to exist long after the death of both John Williams the Emigrant and John Moor the Shoemaker as that both their descendants moved to the Cashie River area and settled in what became Bertie County.

The Family of John and Ann Moor Williams Grows 1692-1706
As a young married couple John and Ann Moor Williams began to have children immediately. Ann Moor Williams gave birth to seven known children starting at the age of 16 and ending at the age of 30 but considering the high mortality rates of infants and children in colonial times she may have had many more. Having large families increased the chances that some children would survive to adulthood and of course there were no effective means of birth control in that period. If the birth of these children were ever recorded in a Bible or church record they have long since disappeared over the past three hundred years.

Given an approximate 20 months to two year period between births of children, which is generous, the children of John and Ann Moore Williams were most likely born as follows: John Williams the Third born circa 1692, Theophilus Williams born circa 1694, Ann Williams Herring born circa 1696, James Williams born circa 1698, Isaac Williams born circa 1700, Sarah Williams Castellaw born circa 1702, Mary Williams Herring born circa 1704, and Arthur Williams born circa 1706. As that John Williams the Younger did not move to North Carolina until 1714, it is safe to suggest that all of his progeny were born at his manor plantation at Parson Branch in Surrey County except the youngest two who were born in the Isle of Wight County, Virginia.

The birth order of the children of John and Ann Moore Williams are speculative but are reconstructed from their being mention in the 1722 and 1747 wills of John Williams the Third and John Williams the Younger. Two of John and Ann Moor Williams’ grown sons, John and James, had died before their father and mother and left wills.  John Williams the Third was unmarried at the time of his death in 1722 but he named his brothers as heirs. They were listed in this order which strongly suggests their birth sequence- Theophilus, James, Isaac, and Arthur. None of his sisters were mentioned except the mention of his nephew Anthony Herring the son of Anne Williams Herring. She married Samuel Herring in 1715 the first of John the Younger’s children to have married there older than her sisters Sarah Williams and Mary Williams.  Sarah Williams married James Castellow circa 1722, and Mary Williams married Abraham Herring the younger brother of Samuel.

When John Williams the Younger made out his will in 1747, he named his surviving children in this order; Theophilus, Ann Herring, Isaac Williams, Sarah Castellow, Mary Herring and Arthur Williams. His wife Ann and heirs of his late son James Williams were also mentioned in the will.

Interestingly the names of John the Younger’s sons, James, Isaac and Arthur and daughters Sarah and Mary, are not among the traditional Colonial pattern of naming family members. These names are not found among the parents or siblings of either John the Younger or Ann Moor Williams. Mary was the name of John Williams the Younger’s uncle Thomas’ wife and that may account for naming a daughter that name however many common family names such as “Elizabeth, Thomas, Nicholas, Richard, and William” are missing. This may indicate that there were more children born to this family than can ever be documented.

It is interesting to note that John and Ann Moor Williams named their youngest children James, Isaac, and Sarah, which are of course Biblical names with James being the English variant form for Jacob. They are commonly found in colonial times.

“Arthur” the name of their youngest son is a Welsh name popularized by the stories of King Arthur of the Britons and is found among many of the 2nd generation Welsh American families of the County of Isle of Wight. The name of their youngest son Arthur began showing up in the 2nd and 3rd generations of the progeny of both John Williams the Emigrant  and his brother Thomas Williams Senior.  In fact the proliferation of “Arthur Williamses” appears in both North and South Carolina records so frequently that it becomes a challenge to separate them.

As that none of the children of John and Ann Moor Williams knew their Williams or Moor grandfathers, they probably had little knowledge of their antecedents in England. There is no record on how long their grandmothers Anne Vasser Williams and Elizabeth Moor lived who could have to pass down family information. Anne Vasser Williams Schumake although living well past 70 years old would have had little knowledge of her husband’s family nor would she have known much of her own as that her father died in 1651 in her infancy. Records indicate that Grandmother Anne Vasser Williams died sometime after the fall equinox of 1719. Even then much of the oral histories of the families would have vanished with the early deaths of the emigrant grandfathers who could have told them of families left behind in England.

The Location of Williams’ Plantation In Surry County, Virginia
John Williams the Younger lived in Surry County, Virginia for a decade as a Yeoman farmer.  He was what was known by historians as a “middling planter”. It is obvious that middling planters such as John the Younger were hard workers, shrewd businessmen and most of them were educated enough to read and write and do arithmetic. They and their sons often worked in the fields along with their indentured laborers and slaves as well as supervising the general farming operations.

The wives and daughters of these planters worked as hard as the men if not harder. They cooked and preserved food and tended sizeable kitchen gardens. While the farmers grew tobacco, the farmers’ wives and their children grew corn peas, beans, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, pumpkins, cabbages, carrots, and melons. The Zigzag Virginia fences often supported a variety of berry bushes or enclosed an orchard containing cherry, apple and peach trees.

It was generally the chore of children to tend to the livestock such as milk cows, goats, sheep, and poultry like geese and chicken. However hogs and cattle were allowed to roam free and forage for themselves only identified by registered notches in their ears. Other animals found on plantations were saddle horses, hunting and guard dogs as well as cats kept to catch vermin attracted to the corn cribs.

The men and adolescent sons worked growing food staples such as wheat, barley, oats, and Indian corn [Maize], which tended to require short but intensive work. Flax was also grown to provide linen which along with wool produced most of the clothes made for everyday wear.

A basic black smith shop was usually found on these plantations to make and repair farming tools and household tools needed. All these foodstuffs were consumed on the farm, although some surplus was sold locally or exported like the famous Virginia hams which became prized throughout the colonies.

Besides the general agriculture work most farmers also had a specified trade such as John Moor who was a shoemaker. Occupations such as cooper, chairmaker, smithy, or tailor would occupy the lives of these farmers between harvesting and planting. Both John Williams the Emigrant and his brother Thomas were probably cloth weavers as that the inventory of Thomas Williams estate suggested. A document in North Carolina referred to John Williams the Younger as a weaver a trade probably learned at home.

The Virginia Gentry were the only class that could afford leisure time and send their sons off to college often back in England.

As to the exact location of John Williams the Younger’ Surry County farm, it has not been identified exactly. From information found in tax and tithing records it was within the jurisdiction of Lawnes Creek and Southwark Parishes and from deed descriptions it appears that the plantation was at a place located near Parson's Branch. This waterway was in Surry County on the eastside of Blackwater River and Cypress Swamp. Here was the 150 acres farm bequeathed to him in his father’s will, that was originally part of a 1200 acre patent given to his father and brother-in-law, John Browne in the spring of 1685.

John Williams the Emigrant divided his 600 acre share of the 1200 acre parcel evenly among split to his sons John Williams the younger, Thomas Williams, Nicholas Williams, and Richard Williams, with each son receiving 150 acres. The other half of the 1200 acre tract belonged to John Browne, a former son-in-law of John Williams the Emigrant. This land was eventually given to John Browne’s sons by his 2nd marriage and appears to be located near a planter named Timothy Walker. It is doubtful that if any of John Williams the Emigrant’s sons other than John the Younger or perhaps Thomas lived on this property but lived with their mother in Isle of Wight until they came of age.

This original 1200 acre head right grant was in what was often called the “Lower Lownes Parish”, however the boundary description of the grant gives no geographical information, such as rivers or creeks, other than its metes and bounds. The plat for the land did list the names the people whose lands shared a border with the grant.

Roughly John Williams the Younger’s farm was located in an area east of Cypress Swamp and west of Green Swamp. To the south was the Blackwater River as it bends and to the north was Gray Creek. This area is loosely known as the Third Swamp area of the Blackwater with Pigeon Creek and Mill Swamp being the main tributaries flowing through the area back to the Blackwater River.

The waterway called Parsons Branch or Creek is no longer found on modern maps of Surry County but may have been a tributary of Blackwater. Nicholas Session’s lands were on the south side of it of Parson Creek and John Williams the Emigrant and John Browne’s plat of the 1200 acre grant started at the boundary of the property of Nicholas Sessums.

A near neighbor of John Williams the Younger was Nicholas Sessums who immigrated to Virginia in 1666 at the same time as John’s father, father in law John Moor, his uncle Lewis Williams, and Rowland Pitts. They all had been indentured servants as well but when Nicholas was done with his contract he acquired property in Surry County and married well.  Nicholas Sessums had married Hannah Culmer, the widow of Robert Lane in the 1670’s. Hannah Sessums died prior to 1693 but she and Nicholas had at least a son and two daughters. After her death, Nicholas married a woman named Katherine, maiden name unknown, but probably a widow. Katherine is first mentioned in a court lawsuit along with her husband Nicholas in July 1693 in Surry County. Ten years later Katherine is shown in May 1704 as relinquishing her dower rights to a tract of land Nicholas Sessums gave to his daughter “Ann Williams,” who married John the Younger’s cousin William.  Katherine is named as his wife in Nicholas Sessum's will dated October 8, 1715 and probated October 21, 1716.

Nicholas Sessums’s lands were located primarily on Pigeon Creek and Black Water River in Surry County where he had two patents equaling 1600 acres, but all in all he held nearly 1800 acres worked by numerous servants and tenants. The tithing record for Southwark Parish in 1702 showed that Nicholas Sessums had 4 servants living within his household and an additional 98 other people living on his plantation property as tenants.

Patent grants and deed records from the 1670’s show Nicholas Session acquiring large tracts of land in what was then the Lower Lawnes Parish in Surray County. One patent dated from 30 May 1679 showed Sessums was granted 550 acres on the Bridge Swamp in the Lower Parish of Surry County between William Edwards and George Blow. A deed record from 2 March 1679 [1680] showed that Sessums bought 100 acres on Green Swamp and the Bridge Swamp from Richard Blow. This was part of an original 1663 patent that was given to George Blow. One of the witnesses to this transaction was Sion Hill who would become the guardian of Lewis Williams’ orphaned daughter Mary. Lewis Williams is believed to be a brother or kinsman of John Williams the Emigrant. Robert Littleboy who witnessed the will of Thomas Parnell the Cooper also lived in this general vicinity. Another patent was from a grant dated 20 April 1684 for 1050 acres located on the south east side Pigeon Swamp. He received it for the transportation of people to the colony.

From Nicholas Sessums’ line, probably on south side of Pigeon Creek, the property of John Williams Emigrant’s 1200 acre patent went north to Robert Savage’s [Savidge] plantation. Savage had received his 265 acre patent dated 20 Apr 1682 near a parcel of land surveyed for Charles Savage, possibly his son or brother. From Robert Savage’s place the property line went to Charles Savage’s lands on a branch of the Blackwater River. Both Robert and Charles received grants on 20 Apr 1682 next to each other. Charles Savage was granted 570 acres also in the Lower Parish of Surry County.

The children of Nicholas and Hannah Culmer Sessums were Thomas Sessums, Hannah Sessums who married William Black, and Ann Sessums who married William Williams, the orphaned son of Lewis and Mary Williams. Lewis and Mary both died in 1679 and their orphaned children were placed in homes of William Newsum and Sion Hill.

Thomas Sessums was a contemporary with John Williams the Younger and was born before 1677. He  married to Elizabeth Smith the daughter of Richard Smith sometime in the late 1690s. Thomas Sessums is shown in the 1693 Tithables List for Lawnes Creek Parish as living within the household of his father there he was under the age of 16. The will of Richard Smith and the deed of his brother in law Nicholas Smith both mentioned Thomas Sessums. Nicholas Session’s  son, Thomas moved to Chowan Precinct North Carolina prior to 1711 where he died in 1717 after to the death of his father.  The children of Thomas Sessums had business interactions with John Williams the Younger in Bertie County so connections between the two families continued for decades.

Other near neighbors who owned estates surrounding John Williams the Emigrant and John Browne’s 1200 acres were among the most prominent families of Surry County. They were George Blow, John Browne, Captain Robert Caufield, William Edward, Sion Hill, Robert Lane, Robert Littleboy, William Newsum, Charles Savage, Robert Savage, Richard Smith, Joseph Wall, and Thomas Waller.

Charles Savage and Robert Savage held their lands on the northern border of the 1200 acre grant and John Williams the Younger’s 150 acres were located near these men. The next neighbor over from Charles Savage place was Richard Lane who was probably related to the late Robert Lane former husband of Hannah Culmer the wife of Nicholas Sessums. In October 1682 Richard Lane had bought 420 acre from Thomas Waller who had received his patent on 20 April 1682. This Waller/ Lane property line adjoined John Bynum on the east side.

Richard Lane’s will was proved 3 May 1687 by Timothy Walker and Charles “Savadge” [Savage] indicating that they were close neighbors. Walker was a near neighbor of John Browne, John the Younger’s former brother in law who owned half of the 1200 acre grabt. Richard Lane left his estate to his wife Elizabeth, perhaps a Bynum, during her widowhood then, at her remarriage, the property was to go two unnamed sons. Interestingly the widow may have been the same Eliza Lane fined in 1690 for having two mulatto bastard children.

From the Lane’s place the property line of the 1200 acre grant went over to Captain Robert Caufield’s huge plantation at Blackwater River and Sunken Marsh where the plat showed they shared over 2 miles of a property line. Caufield has served in the House of Burgess with Captain William Butler who transported John Williams the Emigrant and John Moor the Shoemaker to America in 1666.

In 1679 Robert Caufield and Arthur Allen were the administrators of the estate of the deceased Lewis Williams for his orphan children William and Mary. Almost all the June Tithing records, for Surry County in the 1690's, show that John Williams the Younger lived near William Williams, the orphaned son of Lewis and Mary Williams. Already a large land owner Caufield was granted 2250 acres on 29 April 1682 in the Lower parish Surry County.

From Caufield’s plantation, the boundary line went to Joseph Wall’s corner tree. The Wall’s lands were next to William Thompson who lived on northeast side of Cypress Swamp. From Joseph Wall, the property line adjoined Richard Smith’s lands on southside of Pigeon Creek. Richard Smith was the father in law of Thomas Sessums son of Nicholas. Once back on the south side of Pigeon Creek the property line extended to Richard Blow’s place and from Richard Blow back to Nicholas Sessums.

Tithing Records of Surry County, Virginia 1692-1702
The whereabouts and neighbors of John Williams the Younger can be reconstructed through the Tithing Records of Surry County “planters” which had mostly been preserved. The term "planter" was nearly synonymous with "landowner". Whether viewed as a church "head tax" or a state "poll tax", tithes were imposed on every "planter" above the age of sixteen years. The tithable planters in a parish jurisdiction consisted of all white males above the age of sixteen, imported free persons above the age of sixteen, all male white servants, all female white servants who “worked in the ground [fields]”, and all male and female Negro and Indian servants whether above or under sixteen. The only ones not counted as tithable were white females and their children under sixteen. These tithing settlements seem to be always done around June 10th of each year.

Surry County near the Blackwater River was divided into the Parishes of Lawnes Creek Parish and Southwark. The tithing records of these parishes are useful for tracking John Williams the Younger and his near neighbors of over a period of time.

Lawne's Creek Parish’s jurisdiction was authorized by the General Assembly January 1640 and it included lands on the southside of the James River in what became Surry County. It went westward to the mouth of Chippokes Creek. Southwark Parish was created in 1647 and described as encompassing all the territory extending from College Creek to the Upper Chippokes Creek. When Surry County was cut off from James City County in 1652, both Lawne's Creek and Southwark Parishes then lay within it.

The area known as the 3rd Branch of the Main Blackwater River evidently was in both Lawnes Creek and Southwark Parish according to land deeds and parish tithing records and the property and tithables of John Williams the Younger were taxed at different time in both precincts. It appears that the lands on the northside of Pigeon Creek was in Lawnes Creek Parish while those on the southside were in Southwark Parish.

The first record of John Williams the Younger being a land owner in Surrey County is in the 8 June 1692 tithing records of Lawnes Creek Parish. John Williams the Younger is listed between Nicholas Sessums and Robert Savage. Certainly John and Ann Williams were married by this time and beginning their family. Sessums and Savage were both mentioned as neighbors in the 1685 patent of his father. Savages property was north of Pigeon Creek. This record is a good indicator that John Williams the younger chose to stay on his plantation in Surry County rather than take the manor plantation in Isle of Wight.

John Williams brother in law, John Browne husband of his late sister Anne, is also listed in Lawnes Creek Parish and listed living next to Joseph Wall. Browne had a James Bragg listed in his household probably as an indentured servant. The 1692 census also showed him as having James Bragg in his household and living in Surry County at the time of John Willias the Emigrant’s, his father-in-law, death.

William Williams, son of Lewis Williams and cousin of John Williams the Younger was listed in the household of William Newsum, who was his guardian. He must have been at least 16 years old [born 1676 or earlier] to have been listed in the record. The other Williamses in the same vicinity were Roger Williams Senior and his son Roger Junior of the 3rd Main Branch of Blackwater. DNA samples show that they were not related to John Williams the Younger. They were listed in Southwark Parish so lived south of John Williams the Younger. The father and son were listed as the sixth tithe payers from Christopher Bly.  This Christopher Bly is mentioned several times as a neighbor of John Williams the Younger in land transactions, therefore Roger and John were near his neighbors at one tome and would have known each other fairly well.

John Browne was also taxed in Southwark Parish. He may have been the same person whose 600 acre estate was taxed in each parish or perhaps not. Also in Southwark Parish were George Williams the Quaker and a “Thomas Williams” who was listed in the household of John Edwards probably as a laborer or apprentice. He may have been the brother of John Williams the Younger as that he would have been too young to have received his father’s inheritance.

The following year, on 10 June 1693, tithing records of Lawnes Creek Parish still showed that John Williams the Younger was living near Nicholas Sessums but he was now listed three households away and not immediately after Sessums. This is simply due to the order in which the tithe recorder visited these households. Nicholas Sessums’ son must have turned 16 years old [1677] for him to now be listed within his father’s household. Near neighbors of John Williams were the households of Robert Lancaster and Henry Savage whose relationship to Robert and Charles Savage is not determined.

John Browne is still listed having James Bragg in his household living about eight households from Robert Savage and about five households from Charles Savage. It is doubtful that these men were moving around but just were listed in whatever direction the tithing recorder went.

In Southwark Parish, in June 1693, Roger Williams Sr. and Roger Jr. are living near the households of Thomas Waller, John Bynum, and George Blow who were listed as neighbors in the Williams and Browne 1200 acre plat from 1685 which indicated that John Williams the Emigrants original grant was located in both Lawnes Creek and Southwark Parishes.

The Tithing records from 1693 show that Francis Regan and Christopher Bly were neighbors in lower Southwark Parish. Evidently John Williams the Younger’s plantation was on the division between Southwark and Lawnes Parishes as that a deed dated 4 July 1693, showed that Francis Regan and his wife Jane [Gross], Planter of Southwark Parish, sold to William Ward, 200 acres for 2000 pounds of tobacco "up Parsons Branch", adjoining "Christopher Bly and a corner of John Williams."

At the end of year, on 9 Dec 1693 , back in Isle of Wight, Phillip Reyford [Raiford], who had property adjoining the deceased John Williams the Emigrant, his brother Thomas Williams, and John Moor at Jenkins Pond in Isle of Wight County, gave power of attorney to John Giles to pursue a lawsuit against “John Williams and John Browne”

“Know all men by these p'sents, y.t [that] I Phillip Reyford of ye Isle of Wight County, do ordaine, & appoint for me and in my Stead John Giles of ye afores.d my true and Lawfull attorney to appear for me in ye Isle of Wight County Court, their [there] to prosecute on my behalfe John Brown [Browne] and John Williams & his wife untill both ye businesses are brought to Judgem't as wittnessed my hand this day of December 1693."

What the suit was about is unknown but it would have involved John Williams the son of Thomas Williams and not John Williams the Younger. John Williams the Emigrant had willed his 200 acre share of the property at Jenkins Pond that joined Thomas Williams’ estate to his second son William Williams. When Thomas Williams died the property descended to his children.

The legal guardian of William Williams, the orphan of Lewis Williams, was William Newsum Senior who had by 1693. His wife remarried to a George Foster and William Williams, the ward of Newsum, was now listed within the household of George Foster. He must have wanted to stay with the woman who raised him.  George Foster’s place was in the Lawnes Creek Parish Jurisdiction as that is where he paid his taxes. John Browne was listed five households away from George Foster’s place.

In the Southwark Parish George Williams the Quaker and Thomas Williams were located. Whether this Thomas Williams was the brother of John the younger is unknown but entirely likely.

The tithing records of Lawnes Creek Parish from 9 June 1694 listed John Williams the Younger as the household that was visited preceding Robert Savage and five households after Nicholas Sessums and his son Thomas Sessums. Between Robert Savage and Charles Savage was William Ward who had previously in 1693 bought 200 acres from Francis Regan.

As a landed planter John Williams the Younger was called upon to serve on Grand Juries and to assess the properties of deceased neighbors but that was about it. A record from of the Isle of Wight Court showed that he was appointed 10 October 1694 as a public surveyor replacing Peter Vasser who was most likely his uncle and who would have taught him that skill.

The tithing records for 15 June 1695 show that John Williams the Younger was still living next Robert Savage in Lawnes Creek Parish. Five household away was Charles Savage’s place. Next to Charles Savage was Robert Littleboy who had witnessed the will of Thomas Parnell in 1688. Thomas Parnell was the father in law of Ann Moore Williams’s sister Elizabeth Parnell. Also next to Charles Savage’s property was that of George Foster, however William Williams is no longer listed in this household. He must have turned 21 years old [born circa1674] and he was now residing in Southwark Parish with two indentured servants Robert Hart and Robert Barham.

John Browne was listed in Lawnes Creek Parish next to Joseph Wall but his household no longer included James Bragg. Browne was listed as 12 households from Nicholas Sessum and his son Thomas. In Southwark Parish Francis Regan is listed as next to Christopher Bly. Bly had two indentured servants Ben Archer and William Huggins. Francis Regan had two indentured servants John Thompson and Ed Barro. He also had two African slaves named Roger and Mingo.

On 5 May 1696 William Ward, nearly three years after buying 200 acres from Francis Regan, sold that property to Henry Savage. This deed gave a better description of the location of that farm.  It stated that this property was located near Cypress Swamp on the Parson Branch of a tributary of the Blackwater River. The parcel adjoined the lands of Christopher Bly, Francis Regan, and John Williams.

Interestingly, the Court records from Surry County reveal that both the Regan and Bly families had colorful if unsavory reputation. Francis Regan’s parents were strong supporters of the Bacon Rebellion in 1676. His mother was even taken during the Bacon Rebellion and given ten lashes at the “public whipping post” for fomenting “many malignant and rebellious words tending to sedition.” His father was accused of burning a house down on the parish’s lands for its nails.

Christopher Bly was convicted in a Surry Court in 1695 for “fornication” with Sarah Brown. Christopher Bly may have been a Quaker and as their marriage would not have been recognized this may have been the cause of the fornication accusations. A court record from 24 November 1685 show that Christopher Bly was fined for not going to church and a Daniel Regan was fined 50 pounds of tobacco for “profaning the Sabbath.” A pound of tobacco was worth about 2 pence. Another record dated 3 May 1687 shows that Bly was arrested for not attending church and had to provide a bond with “good security” for “contempt”.

Christopher Bly moved from Surry County, Virginia to Albemarle County, North Carolina where Quakers were accepted at least by 1700. A deed there dated 2 April 1700 shows that Bly bought 168 acres from Thomas Everit “in Rockahock Neck being on Chowan River above ye sandy beach.” Bly certainly was going back and forth between Surry and North Carolina for the next several years because a deed filed in Chowan Precinct dated 1 April 1706 refers to Bly as a planter “of ye Colony of Virginia.” He was selling land to Thomas Snowden of Perquimans Precinct in Albemarle County, North Carolina.

Bly was dead however by 1710 when his widow “Sarah” Bly gave Power of Attorney to John Ward, formerly of Lawnes Creek Parish Surry County, Virginia, to acknowledge the sale of “land by my husband Christopher Bly” to Thomas Snowden. The POA deed was not dated but deeds dated prior and after were from 1710. John Ward was probably a relative of William Ward.

The June 1696 tithing record for Lawnes Creek Parish now listed John Williams the Younger as next to Thomas Sessums, who was now of age and out of his father’s household. Nicholas Sessums, who was five households away from Thomas, had a slave within his household. By this time William Williams was now Nicholas’ son in law and was listed within Nicholas’ household. Robert Savage and Charles Savage were listed preceding John Williams. Near them was the household of George Foster.  William Ward whose farm bordered John Williams the Younger was about 5 households from John Browne and Robert Littleboy in Lawnes Creek Parish.

There was little change in the 1697 tithing records of Lawnes Creek Parish. George Foster was listed followed by planters Robert Ruffins, Thomas Jarrell Senior and Junior. After the Jarrells came Thomas Partridge, followed by Nicholas Sessums. Within Sessums household was Thomas Barrow and a slave named Tom. This certainly was the unnamed slave in the 1696 records. Next to his father was Thomas Sessums, and after him was William Williams the son of Lewis Williams. Immediately following William Williams was John Williams the Younger who lived next to Charles Savage and Robert Savage.

Some distance away from John Williams the Younger was his brother Thomas Williams who is listed next to John Clarke, a few households away from Robert Lancaster’s place. John Clark was a Quaker. In 1693 John Williams the younger had been listed a near neighbor of Robert Lancaster so by this time it appears that John’s younger brother Thomas had moved to the 150 acres that his father had left him. In lower Southwark Parish Henry Savage was listed.

At the age of 26 years, John Williams the Younger was shown to have served on the Grand Jury of Surry County from January 1698 through March 1698 as he was a prominent land owner of the area. He would have been about 27 years old at the time.

Before the 10 June 1698 tithing settlement could be taken, Robert Savage died prior to May 1698. John Williams the younger and his brother Thomas Williams must have been witnesses to the will as that the Surry County Court called upon them to prove "by oath" the Last Will and Testament of Robert Savage. John Browne, Timothy Walker, and Robert Lancaster were all ordered by the court to appraise the estate of Savage.

The 1698 list of Surry County tithables in “Lower Lawnes Creek Parish” included Thomas Williams who lived next to Thomas Lane. Two households down from Thomas Williams was his brother-in-law John Browne. Among those following them were Joseph Wall Sr. and Robert Littleboy. Some distance away was the household of Nicholas Sessums with two men working for him and a slave named John. After Nicholas came William Williams and then Thomas Sessums followed by Charles Savage and then John Williams the Younger.

On 27 April 1699 John Williams the younger at the age of 28 acquired an additional patent of 650 acres through the head right system of Virginia. His patent stated that he transported 13 people to Virginia. He had become quite prosperous to pay for the passage of so many people. How many he kept as indentured servants for himself, if any, is unknown. However with all his sons still under the age of 10 years, certainly he needed laborers to maintain his farms. On this property that he acquired at “Gravelly Run”, John Williams erected a mill which is the only clue where this property was located.

By the 3 June 1699 when the Tithing Records were recorded, John Williams the Younger is no longer listed in Lawnes Creek Parish near Nicholas Sessums and Charles Savages. Whether he moved to his new patent or the parish boundaries had shifted is unknown but now he was listed in “lower Southwark Parish and as living next to Francis Regan. Francis Regan was listed two households after Quaker George Williams.  At this time John Williams the Younger was living among many Quakers. Near him was the Quaker Thomas Warren who after he died in the 1730s, Thomas Williams married his widow. She was the former Susannah Blunt. Whether this Thomas Williams was the brother of John Williams the Younger or his nephew is undetermined.

However Thomas Williams, John Williams’ brother, was listed just three households down from Warren in 1699.

There is no record of John Williams the Younger selling his lands in Lawnes Creek Parish but after 1699 there’s no record of him there either. However Nicholas Sessums, Thomas Sessums, and William Williams all remained in that parish. Tithing records there showed that Nicholas Sessums still had two servants and a slave named Tom. The slave, named John in 1698, is an enigma.

All of John Williams’ children who were born prior to 1699 were probably born in lower Lawnes Creek Parish.  All of John and Ann Williams children after 1699 were probably born in lower Southwark Parish. On the 10 June 1700 tithing records of “lower Southwark Parish,” have John the Younger listed next to Francis Regan and not too far from Henry Savage. He also has two men working for him now. They were named Richard Smith Sr. and Thomas Smith perhaps men he transported in 1699.

Thomas Williams, John Browne, George Williams the Quaker, Roger Williams Sr, and Jr., and Sion Hill all are listed within the same taxing jurisdiction of lower Southwark Parish. Thomas Williams is only about two properties away from George Williams the Quaker and some distance away from John the Younger. Thomas was listed between the Middleton and Sweet families and near Samuel Thompson who had also been a legal guardian for Mary Williams the orphaned daughter of Lewis Williams and a cousin of both John and Thomas.

In 1700 Thomas Williams found himself indebted to Samuel Thompson. On 14 October 1700 Thompson filed a complaint in Surry Court against Thomas Williams and on the following 9 November a judgment against Williams was granted to Thompson. However, at least by that time, Thomas Williams had “departed the country” and Thompson took 714 pounds of tobacco from his former estate. Thomas Williams evidently fled across the Blackwater River to the Seacock Branch area of the Isle of Wight to start over.

On 10 June 1701 tithing records recorded show that John Williams the Younger had his younger brother Nicholas Williams living within his household. Nicholas would have been close to 18 years old now and perhaps ready to accept his father’s 150 acres legacy. The brothers were listed between neighbors Francis Regan and Henry Savage in Southwark Parish. Their brother-in-law John Browne and their Browne cousins live about 10 household away but in same vicinity.

By 1702 it appears that John Williams the younger and his brothers had moved out from Surry County altogether. The 1702 tithing record for Southwark showed that John Williams, Thomas Williams, and Nicholas Williams are absent from where they had been living among their neighbors who had remained. John Browne is the only member of John Williams Senior’s family who seemed to have remained on the original 1685 land grant. The family probably moved back to Isle of Wight County where Thomas Williams is found on the Seacock Swamp on the west side of the Blackwater and John Williams may have returned to his mother’s estate of which he was the sole heir.

Thus it appears that John the Younger lived about 10 years from 1691 to 1701 between the ages of 20 and 30 years on a farm located in Lawnes Creek and Southwark Parishes along a tributary waterway called Parson Branch. During the decade John Williams the Younger lived in Surry County it appears that he was too busy with his farms to be bothered by politics. Or perhaps with the predominance of Quakers in his community election to public office might have been difficult. From court minutes from Surry, Isle of Wight, Chowan, and Bertie Counties, John Williams did not seem much interested in serving in any type of public office beyond civic duties. As a landed planter he was called upon to serve on Grand Juries and assess property of deceased neighbors but that was about it.

Return to Isle of Wight County 1702 - 1712
For over a decade John Williams the Younger lived and prospered in Lawnes Creek Parish and Southwark Parishes, Surry County, Virginia. Here he built his first home, had most of his children, raised his crops, and his livestock and built a mill. But by 1702, he had returned to Isle of Wight County. The Tithing Records of Isle of Wight from this period are lost so where he moved to his unknown. During this period many colonists were leaving lands on the east side of the Blackwater River and moving to lands between the river and the Nottoway River to the west. Or they were heading south into Nansemond County or even into the Albemarle Sound region of the Carolinas.

At the turn of the 18th century most of the good land in Southside Virginia had already been claimed and was now expensive. There were no more free cultivatable land left to be patented east of the Blackwater River and many sons of earlier landowners had moved west of the Blackwater into lands bounded by the Nottoway River.

Even when new lands opened near the Nottoway Indians lands on the Nottoway River, they were quickly occupied by wealthier slave owning families. Economic opportunities were simply drying up along the tributaries of the Blackwater River as land suitable for farming nearly all had been taken and the head right system for acquiring cheap labor as well as land was ending. Until the early eighteenth century indentured servitude of white Britons was the preferred method of bondage in Virginia, however middling farmers like John Williams the Younger could no longer depend on the use of indentured servants for cheap reliable labor as did his father.

William Williams, the younger brother of John Williams the Younger was married to Mary Moore the daughter of Judge George Moore Esq., and  Mary Barcroft.  She may have been a cousin of Ann Moore Williams. William was about 15 years old when his father died in 1692 and bequeathed to him the 200 acres Plantation on Jenkins Pond in the Isle of Wight County.  William Williams seemed to have inherited more land from his father then his siblings and in 1694 his mother Anne Vasser Williams left him two cows in her deed of gift to her children.

William Williams and Mary Moore married most likely about 1698 and had at least three sons, John, Samuel, and Stephen and at least two unnamed daughters. The couple was only married about 11 years before William died and thus it is extremely unlikely they had more than six children at the most.

William Williams as a young married man soon added to his lands in Isle of Wight by becoming one of the early patentees in the Nottoway Basin between the west side of the Main Blackwater River and the east side of the Nottoway River in an area that eventually became Nottoway Parish. These lands today are located in Southampton County when it was created from Isle of Wight lands west of Black water.

On 28 October 1702, William Williams received a patent of 600 acres from Governor Francis Nichols on the “westside of Blackwater” on lands that are just north of where the town of Franklin is today. Other patentees on the same day were James Bryan, Thomas Joyner whose daughter married Thomas Williams, the brother of William and John the Younger. The following year on 24 April 1703, William Williams added an additional 400 acres of land located in the Nottoway Basin.

The 1704 Quit Rent records of Virginia show that John the Younger and his brother Thomas Williams had returned to Isle of Wight County. In 1704 he was about 33 years old. A quit rent was a tax of 1 shilling for every 50 acres of property paid to the English crown. There are two John Williamses in Isle of Wight who had to pay a Quit Rent on their lands. One was a John Williams who had 600 acres and was recorded as next to Peter Vasser who had 230 acres. John Williams the Younger’s mother was Anne Vasser therefore Peter would have been his uncle. The other John Williams had the 971 acre plantation by Henry Pope who was a Quaker.

John the Younger’s brother William Williams is also listed on the Quit Rent list of 1704 as owning 1000 acres of land in Isle of Wight County however with his inherited 200 acres, the 600 acre patent and 1703 patent he should have been listed as owning 1200 acres unless he had already sold off some of his estates.

In April 1704, William and Mary Williams began to sell much of his land in Isle of Wight County, in smaller tracts, to Thomas Kirby, John Barnes, Thomas Boone, and to his brothers John Williams, Nicholas Williams, and Richard Williams.  Evidently by April 1704 William Williams began divesting his lands in Isle of Wight perhaps in preparation of a move south  into Albermarle County in the Carolinas. 

A series of land deeds made 3 April 1704 and recorded April 10th were filed in Isle of Wight’s deed records from William and Mary Williams.  William and his wife sold to Thomas Boone 150 acres on the Southside of the Blackwater Swamp it being part of a pattent of Six hundred acres of land  “in consideration of the sum of Six thousand pounds of tabacco sold to Thomas Kirby 250 acres part of the 600 acre grant. The Witnesses to the sell were his brothers John Williams the Younger and Nicholas Williams as well as John Barnes.  He then sold to John Barnes 100 acres for “five thousand pounds of good sound merchantable lot & cash.” John Williams the Younger again acted as a witness along with Mary Williams, Richard Williams, and John Underwood.

William Williams then sold to his brothers John the Younger, Nicholas Williams and Richard Williams. Nicholas Williams bought 110 acres for in “consideration of  ye just quantity of five Thousand pounds of good sound merchantable Lot & cash to me in hand paid on ye Southside of ye Blackwater Swamp.”  John Williams bought 125 acres “in consideration of ye just quantity of nine thousand pounds of good sound merchantable lot & cash to me in hand parcell of land containing one hundred & twenty five acres of being on ye South side of Blackwater Swamp beginning upon the upper side of Nottaway Swamp.”  Richard Williams bought 100 acres also “in consideration of ye such quantity of five thousand dollars of good sound merchantable Tobacco & cash to me in hand paid or otherwise will & sufficiently secured to be paid.”
John the Younger’s Thomas Williams was by 1704 married to Miss Joyner and was living on Seacock Swamp, a branch of the Blackwater on the west side. Thomas Williams, on the most part is not involved in any of the many land transactions that his older brother William Williams was involved in with every one of his other brothers, John, Nicholas, and Richard. This may be due to his insolvency. Thomas Williams had married the daughter of Thomas Joyner.  In the Isle of Wight Deed Book Thomas Joyner called Thomas Williams his “son-in-law”. On 9 August 1704, Thomas Joyner, Sr. of Lower Parish, gave to his son-in-law Thomas Williams  a deed of gift containing 150 acres on the south side of Blackwater Swamp, bounded by Seacock Swamp and Terrapin Swamp.

On 6 February 1708 [1709] William Williams and his wife Mary sold off more land when they sold 70 acres of land lying on the southside of Blackwater Swamp, part of a patent of 400 acres granted on April 24, 1703. When the family of William Williams actually relocated to Chowan Precinct in the Albemarle County is unknown, and may have been there as early as 1709. They were definitely there before December 1711 when William Williams made out his will in Chowan Precinct.

The migration in to the Albemarle Sound by Southside Virginians began in earnest in the late 1690s as folks from Nansemond County Virginia continued to move southward following the Blackwater River as it merged into the Chowan River which flowed into the Albemarle Sound.  There they encountered the Chowan and Meherrin Indians.  Lewis Williams of Nansemond County, a relative of George the Quaker, was one of the first of these pioneers.

As that the boundary between the two colonies was not legally fixed and so ill defined, many  settlers in the Albemarle Sound area thought they were still in Virginia simply following the rivers that flowed out of Virginia into the Albemarle Sound. Even at the time John Williams the Younger acquired lands in the Carolina Colony, its border with Virginia was in dispute and had been for over fifty years.

Many Virginians who filed for land along the tributaries of the Chowan River believed their lands were part of Nansemond County Virginia and not in Albemarle County, North Carolina. Thus for decades much of the land within the old boundary of Chowan Precinct was considered to be within Nansemond County, Virginia. The entire boundary for the Carolina Colony, the huge tract of land between Virginia and Spanish Florida owned by the Proprietary Lords in Great Britain, was in fact not legally defined until well into the 18th Century. Northern Carolina was basically ignored by the Proprietary Lords in Great Britain so that the colony was a haven for pirates, outlaws, and Quakers.  As that these early settlers often did not know who had jurisdiction over their lands, this lack of clear title kept many nervous Virginians from moving to the Carolinas. 

The Albemarle Sound
In 1713 John Williams the Younger was preparing to move his family south out of Isle of Wight to the Colony of Carolina specifically northern Carolina along the waterways that flowed into the Albemarle Sound.  The Sound is the second largest coastal estuary in America with only the Chesapeake Bay being is larger. It is located on the northern coast of North Carolina at the confluence of a group of rivers that includes the Chowan, Meherrin, Cashie, and Roanoke. It is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a group of islands known as the Outer Banks. It is here that the earliest attempts at establishing an English Colony were made in 1586. The attempt is now known as the Lost Colony of Roanoke.

To this entire region the name of Virginia was given, named after Queen Elizabeth I as that she was often referred to as the Virgin Queen for having never married.  After a permanent colony was founded some twenty years later at Jamestown, the entire British North American colony was known as Virginia.

In these early days there were no wagon roads into Carolina from Virginia. The only trails were the footpaths created by centuries of use by Native Americans. Pathways into the Sound were by the rivers Roanoke, Meherrin, and Chowan which flowed out of Virginia or by ship down the Atlantic Coast into the Sound. Elizabeth Town was established on the eastern side of the Chowan River on a peninsula which was later renamed Edenton.

The main waterway flowing into the Sound was the Chowan River which is formed from the convergence of the Black Water and the Nottoway Rivers now just north of the boundary between North Carolina and Virginia. The Chowan River received its English name long before the others water ways of the Sound. It was named in 1584 by Captains Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe, who were sent to explore the region by Sir Walter Raleigh. It was named for the the "Chowanook", or Chowanoke People which name was then shortened to Chowan.

The Meherrin River, west of the Nottoway River in Virginia, flows southeasterly into North Carolina where it eventually joins the Chowan River. Today it forms the Hertford-Northampton County boundary line for approximately nine miles.

The Roanoke River drains a largely rural area of the coastal plain from the eastern edge of the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia southeast across the Piedmont where it empties into Batchelor Bay about eight miles due east of the mouth of the Cashie River in the Albemarle Sound. The river's lower course began to be settled by Virginians about the middle of the 17th century, in what was known as the Albemarle Settlements. An important river throughout the history of the United States, it was the site of early settlement in the Virginia Colony and the Carolina Colony. The name Roanoke is derived an Algonquian word for wampum however in North Carolina the Roanoke was first named the “Morratock” an Indian word meaning “muddy water’. The Roanoke River makes up the entire southeastern shoreline of Bertie County.

Cashie River where the Williams family first settled when first coming into North Carolina is a slow moving but beautiful river. It is pronounced ca-shy, and has sometimes been spelled Kesiah or Cashy.  The Total river length is about 55 miles, all contained within Bertie County.  Approximately 25 miles are navigable from where it empties into the Albemarle Sound next to the Roanoke River Delta. Settlers moved into the area by following the Chowan River and the Salmon River.

Much of the land in the Albemarle Sound is swampy or marshy in nature. It was not suitable to support the gentry class of wealthy planters like in Virginia and South Carolina where 10,000 of acres of land were owned by a few families. However it was well suited for middling planters and small farmers.

The area’s lowland swamps were filled with tall canebrakes that stretched as far as the eye could see and bred swarms of mosquitoes and gnats. Moss hung from tree boughs in the wetlands, home to numerous game animals, birds, fish and poisonous snakes such as copperheads, water moccasins, and canebrake rattlesnakes. Predators like bears, panthers, and wolves roamed freely feeding on the plentiful deer and other game animals.  

The sound was also covered by forests of white pine, bald cypress, tupelo, juniper and Atlantic white cedar trees. A forestry industry eventually created an economy based on tar and pitch as well as farming tobacco. Tar or pitch was treated as currency as well as tobacco. Documents showed that John Williams the Younger traded tar for property in one of his many land acquisitions.

On the tops of elevated areas of lands in the Albemarle County were found another type of swamp that the native people called “Pocosins” which simply meant "swamp-on-a-hill". This term is unique to land descriptions of early land deeds. At certain times these pocosins were filled with water that would gradually drain. The English sought out lands containing these pocosins because they retained their moisture and didn't erode as did lands by streams and creeks. Conflict over who owned title to these lands brought the Meherrin Nation of the area into conflict with English settlers. Lewis Williams, a pioneer of Chowan Precinct, was even wounded by the Meherrins in a quarrel over property .

The Proprietary Colony of Carolina
The story of Carolina’s first fifty years is one of turmoil brought about by “political conflict, corrupt officials, unpaid taxes, incompetent proprietors, open rebellion, angry Indians, and rapacious pirates.” But at the same time, the colonists were building a new society along the coast, with farms, towns, and a quietly functioning local government.

The Carolina Colony was not established until after the restoration of the English monarchy in 1660. King Charles II granted an enormous tract of land in 1663 to English Lords who had supported him in his exile and who had helped him reclaim his father’s throne. In the king’s honor the “Lords Proprietors” named their new possession “Carolina”. This new colony was an immense tract of land of 400 miles vaguely defined as lands between the Cooper and Ashley Rivers in the south and the Albemarle Sound to the north.

South Carolina and North Carolina technically constituted a single province, but, as the settlements were far apart generally at Charleston on the Ashley River, New Bern on the Neuse River, and Edenton on the Chowan River, there were always separate local governments. Until 1691 the two parts of the Carolinas each had its own governors, but from 1691 to 1712 there was usually a governor at Charles Town and a deputy governor for the northern settlements in Albemarle County. “As the two locales evolved separately and as their differing geographies and inhabitants steered contrasting courses, calls for a formal split emerged. In 1712, the Carolinas again had separate governors and it is generally accepted at that time the proprietary colony was divided into North and South Carolina.

The many of earliest inhabitants of the Albemarle Sound region were displaced former indentured servants of Virginia who established small tobacco farms. Slavery existed here, but in far smaller numbers than in the neighboring regions of Virginia and Charleston. Northern Carolina, like Rhode Island in New England also drew the region's discontented religious masses especially the Quakers.

The Lords Proprietors, desiring a quick settlement of their colony, offered inducements consisting of religious toleration and political representation in an assembly to attract emigrants. The fact that the Lords Proprietors allowed settlers of any religion to settle in Carolina, allowed Virginian Quakers to establish a foothold in the region. George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends [Quakers], even came to Albemarle County in 1672 to establish his church there. The Virginia Quakers soon followed and eventually dominated all branches of government for nearly 20 years.

Quakers from Virginia became entrenched in North Carolina helped in 1694 by John Archdale, the only Quaker Lord Proprietor. When an avowed Anglican supporter, Henderson Walker, became governor in 1699 more Anglican Virginians began to move to North Carolina.

The Anglicans felt that they were being discriminated against in political matters by the Quakers and the two groups began to clash. Governor Walker attempted to establish the Church of England as the official state religion of Northern Carolina when he passed the Vestry Act of 1701 which divided the colony into parishes. The act also levied a tithing tax upon all settlers to maintain Anglican churches and to pay its ministers.

The Anglicans’ position over the Quakers was strengthened in 1702 after Queen Anne took the British throne.  Loyalty oaths to the queen were now required for all public officials.  Oath taking was against the tenets of the Quaker religion. Quaker officials maintained that simply “affirming” their loyalty to the queen should be acceptable as they objected to a mandatory oath swearing as it would preclude them from public office.

Anglican officials now empowered by Governor Walker, however refused to accept “affirming” as sufficient and began to enforce loyalty oaths as a way to wrestle political power away from the Quakers. As this loyalty oath act had the potential to bar all Quakers from public office in North Carolina, the colony quickly split into separate factions called the Church Party and the Quaker Party.

As that Quakers made up a large portion of the colony's early population, they were glad to be rid of Governor Walker when he died in 1703. For two years North Carolina was without a governor and the Quakers reassumed their positions in the North Carolina governing council.

In 1705 Thomas Cary, a South Carolinian and step son of John Archdale the only Quaker Lord Proprietor, was named governor. Governor Cary enforced an oath of allegiance to the Anglican Church which forced the Quakers out of the state legislature. The Quaker Party sent an emissary to England to meet with the Lords Proprietors. John Archdale commanded that Cary be removed from office.

During this time, William Glover was acting Governor of Carolina and he too resolved to keep Quakers out of office. The Quaker Party then formed an alliance with Cary who then switched his allegiance to the Quaker party. Thomas Cary reclaimed the governorship and then appointed a number of Quakers to office.

In 1708 Cary managed to oust Glover from office and force the more ardent supporters of the Church party to flee to Virginia. From 1708 to 1710, Cary and the Quaker party dominated the political life of the colony once again and about this time many of John Williams the younger’s Quaker relatives and friends moved to North Carolina.

Cary's government remained in control until 7 December 1710, when the Lords Proprietors, disappointed with the reports of chaotic conditions in the colony, appointed Edward Hyde, a relative of Queen Anne, as Governor of North Carolina, separate from the Governor of South Carolina. In January 1711, Edward Hyde arrived in North Carolina and claimed the governorship of the colony. Upon taking office, nullified all of Cary's laws and reinstated laws establishing the Church of England as the official church of the colony. Cary, backed by the Quaker Party refused to recognize Hyde and planned a coup. Cary claimed he was still governor until such time as Hyde could produce his commission from the Lords Proprietors. This action prompted the conflict that became known as Cary’s Rebellion.

Years of bitter political and religious strife had now split the colony into two armed camps. Edward Hyde held his position from his home on Salmon Creek in what is now Bertie County and Cary maintained his stronghold at his plantation near the town of Bath on the Pamlico River.

Hyde declaring Cary in rebellion assembled an armed force of 80 men from the Salmon Creek area in May 1711 and rendezvoused with 70 more men on the south shore of the Roanoke River and marched south from the Albemarle Sound to the Pamlico Sound. The fact that so few people lived in Albemarle County at this time, the probability of some relatives and friends of John Williams the Younger were involved in the conflict is great. When the forces of Hyde reached Bath, they found Cary well fortified with cannons and forty men and was unsuccessful in his attempt to capture Cary. This failure had a large number of men rallying to Cary’s side and he went on the offensive.

In June 1711 Thomas Cary outfitted a two-mast brigantine vessel of six small cannons and several smaller vessels and began an attack on Hyde and his council at the home of Colonel Thomas Pollock on the Chowan River. Unfortunately for Cary, a lucky shot from one of the two cannon Hyde had severed one of the brigantine’s mast. The damage so discouraged Cary’s forces that they stopped the attack and returned to Bath. Hyde then led another attempt to capture Cary and his followers which failed. The two governors were at a stand off until Royal Governor Alexander Spottswood of Virginia became involved in the conflict.

Spottswood sent a company of royal marines stationed in the Chesapeake Bay to aid Hyde in mid-July, 1711. The royal marines’ arrival ended the conflict when Cary’s men were unwilling to fire upon the royal forces and become subject to treason against the British Crown. Cary’s attempt to reclaim the governorship collapsed in a comedy of errors and he with his chief lieutenants were seized and sent in chains to England. There he was tried and acquitted for lack of evidence. He returned peacefully to Carolina.

The disrupting effects of the conflict between the Church Party and the Quaker that led to the rebellion kept the North Carolina courts and colonial government in general from functioning from 1708 to 1711. The conflict of the first half of 1711 exacerbated “the complaints of the poor men & families, who have been so long in arms that they have lost their crops & will want bread.” Conditions became especially desperate in the summer of 1711 when a severe drought reduced crop harvests and an outbreak of Yellow Fever added to the hardship and suffering of the settlers. By the end of July Edward Hyde had triumphed. However Governor Hyde’s victory was short as he died the following year of Yellow Fever.

Whether or not John Williams the Younger’s brother William Williams was involved in any of the conflict involving Cary's Rebellion, from 1708 until July 1711, the courts and government in North Carolina ceased to function. On every side "the complaints of the poor men & families, who have been so long in arms that they have lost their crops & will want bread," could be heard. Even where crops had been planted and tended, a drought during the summer of 1711 had severely damaged their yield. Additionally yellow fever raged through the colony, during the summers of 1711 and 1712 bringing death to many of the early settlers.

During this transition into two colonies the Native Americans seized the opportunity to try and drive the colonists off their lands. The Tuscarora Indians in North Carolina went to war in the Neuse River area in 1711 and were not defeated until 1713.

As the Cary Rebellion was concluding, an outbreak of hostilities between the Tuscarora Nation and the English settlers was to ravage even more the fever-racked colony. Without a strong central government to keep the peace after the Cary Rebellion, an Indian War broke out between the Tuscarora Nation and the English Colonists. The Indians had strategically taken advantage of the civil war between rival governors to retaliate against the settlers.

Before the coming the English, the Nansemond, Chowanoke, Meherrin, Nottoway, and Tuscarora nations made the Albemarle Sound region their home. These native people lived in villages where they farmed small plots on which they grew tobacco, corn, beans, and squash. After the Virginia settlers came many were dependent on the local Indians and their gardens for food stuff.

 The first nations of Albemarle Sound learned to produce good crops on these pocosin wetlands by burning the fields despite its lack of nitrogen by burning the fields. The ashes became a fertilizer to compensate for the soil’s natural deficiencies.

The Native Americans controlled most of the North Carolina in the early 18th Centuries and the encroachment of English and German settlers on the fertile lands of the Indian Nations, unrestrained by any government controls, led to an ever increasing animosity between the tribes and the settlers. The Nations of the Albemarle Sound were on the most part a peaceful people but once the Virginia settlers made their way into the area, seeking new lands to farm, conflict arose due to the lack of a strong government in northern Carolina.

Some of the earliest land grants along Chowan River in the Carolinas were given as early as the 1690’s. Planters from Virginia began to patent large tracts in lands that had belonged to the Meherrin and Tuscarora Nations. This encroachment by Virginians led some Meherrin Indians to attack settlers, even Lewis Williams who was attacked  in his own home in 1707.

Lewis Williams, probably a descendant of George Williams the Quaker of Surry County, had moved to Chowan Precinct from Nansemond County in the 1690’s. In a quarrel with the Meherrin Indians over land, Lewis Williams was severely wounded in the attack but managed to drive them off.  A colonial record, dated 26 October 1726, referred to this trouble Lewis Williams had with the Meherrins Indians. Evidently some Mount Pleasant Meherrin Indians were angry with Williams at being removed from their lands.

The record stated, “Settled at Mount Pleasant where Capt. Downing now lives but being very Troublesome there [referring to the Meherrins], one Lewis Williams drove them higher up [side of a hill] and got an order from the government that they should never come on the So. Side [southside] of Wickkacones Creek [Wiccoson Creek] and they Settled at Catherines Creek, a place since called Little Towne but they being still Mischievous by order of the Government Collonel Pollock [Thomas Pollack] brought in the Chief of them before the Governor and Council And they were then Ordered by the Government never to appear on the South side of Maherrin [Meherrin River]. They Then pitcht [pitched] at the mouth of Maherrin River on the North side since called old Maherrin Towne where they afterwards Remained tho they were never Recieved or became Tributaries to this Government nor ever assisted the English in their Warrs against the Indians but were on the contrary very much Suspected to have assisted the Tuskarooroes [Tuscarora] at the Massacree.”

The massacre referred to in this report was the Tuscarora attack on North Carolina’s capital at New Bern in 1711 in the Neuse River region. The Tuscaroras of the Pamlico River area were angry that settlers were increasingly encroaching on Tuscarora land and raiding their villages to take their children as slaves. They had petition the governor of Pennsylvania a few years before to move their entire nation to that colony because of ill treatment on the part of English settlers. Their petition was denied because North Carolina failed to provide to Pennsylvania with a letter of good conduct for the nation.

The Tuscarora Warriors mounted their first attacks on 22 September 1711, a few days after the execution of John Lawson. Lawson was well known for having had written the first book about colonial Carolina in 1707. The Tuscaroras headed out to massacre the settlers of New Bern which was almost wiped out. On the first day the Tuscarora killed one hundred thirty Swiss, German, and English settlers at New Bern alone.

North Carolina was a terrifying place to live from September 1711 until March 1713 as settlements were burned and “the Tuscarora ax indiscriminately fell upon men, women, and children.” Over the next few months, reports coming back to Virginia from fleeing Carolina settlers who told of women being impaled on stakes and more than 80 children being killed in the Neuse River area. Governor Edward Hyde having just dealt with the conflict with Thomas Cary called out the militia of North Carolina and secured the assistance of South Carolina.

The war with the Tuscarora lasted two year. In 1712 the English attacked the Tuscarora and their allied tribes Fort Narhantes on the banks of the Neuse River and slaughtered more than three hundred Native Americans and made “one hundred prisoners." The prisoners were largely women and children, who were sold into slavery and shipped to English plantations in the Caribbean so they could not escape.

The war came to an end with capture of Fort Neoheroka, the main Tuscarora fort located near Contentnea Creek and the Neuse River. The English put the fort under siege which lasted for more than three weeks, from around March 1 to March 22, 1713.

When the fort was finally burned and destroyed hundreds of men, women and children were burned to death and approximately 170 more were killed outside the fort. In total over 900 Tuscarora warriors, women, and children were killed and nearly 400 more were taken to South Carolina where they were sold into slavery. After a year and a half of war nothing remained of the Tuscarora settlements but burned villages and abandoned forts disintegrating in the forest along Contentnea Creek.

The Tuscaroras who managed to escape fled north into the Colony of New York where they joined the Iroquois Confederation. The Confederation was made up originally of five Iroquois nations, who called themselves “the people of the longhouse.” These nations were the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca but after the Tuscarora joined the confederacy, it became known to the English as the Six Nations and was recognized as such by Colonial officials in New York. The Tuscaroras were related linguistically to the Iroquois and were thought to be the southern branch of the same nation.

Not all of the Tuscaroras participated in the Neuse River war against the English. A northern branch ruled by chieftain known as “King Tom Blunt” [Blount] remained loyal to the English. The northern Tuscaroras under the leadership of King Tom Blount had made peace with the English. King Tom Blount had captured the main Tuscarora chieftain, King Hancock who had started the war, and handed him over to the English to be executed. The North Carolina assembly rewarded King Tom Blunt by allowing the 1000 remaining Tuscaroras loyal to the English to live on a 56,000 acre tract of land set aside for them between the Roanoke River and Cashie River that was called "Kesh-hsh-ungh" or “the River” in their language.

King Tom Blount was recognized by the North Carolina Assembly as king over all the remaining Tuscaroras but after 1713 few Native Americans were to be found in the Albemarle region except for the Meherrin in Chowan Precinct and the Tuscarora in Bertie Precinct.  The west side of the Cashie River between the Roquist Creek and the Roanoke River was the home of the northern Tuscarora Indians reservation whose villages were largest communities in the region at the first quarter of the 18th Century. More than a 1000 Tuscaroras, led by King Tom Blount, greatly outnumbered the English settlers until the mid 1730’s. The early English settlers and these Tuscarora people coexisted peacefully with the English for the most part and lived on trade, especially in deerskin, and farming.

As settlers began to enter lands on the west of the Cashie River, North Carolina’s colonial assembly in 1717 established a nearly 60,000 acre “reservation” for the northern Tuscaroras. This was a reward for helping the English in the previous war with the southern branch of the Nation and to try and keep the peace between the Tuscarora and the English. This reservation was not to keep the Nation contained but rather to keep the settlers out. It was located west of Roquist Creek about five miles from the Cashie River and east of Roanoke River. The early settlers called the reservation “Indian Town” because of the large Tuscarora Town of “Resootikeh” [Rehorsesky] that was located there.

When John Williams the Younger settled along the tributaries of Cashie River in 1714, he was living among this Tuscarora Nation and next to their villages. Some of his descendants even married Tuscarora women and have Tuscarora bloodlines. 

In 1715 the settlers in South Carolina were attacked by the Yamasee Indians, who had become resentful of exploitation by the Carolina traders. The uprising was finally quelled in 1716 after much loss of life and property. These attacks further revealed the lack of protection afforded by the Lords Proprietors to the colonists of the Carolinas and they rebelled and asked for royal protection.

Pirate Troubles
The lack of a strong British naval presence made North Carolina very attractive to pirates and buccaneers in the 17th and 18th Century. It is doubtful that John Williams the younger would not have known of the exploits of these pirates as they were the subject of newspapers and gossip. Edward Teach, known as Captain Blackbeard, was probably the most infamous pirate of his day and a contemporary of John Williams the Younger.

North Carolina’s Outer Bank was a good place to lay low when not in the act of piracy. In deed the Island of Ocracoke was a safe haven for some of the most notorious pirates of the period. Captain Kidd, Captain Calico Jack, Captain Bonnet “The Gentleman Pirate” and Captain Blackbeard all used the Outer Banks of North Carolina as hideouts.

In 1718, Captain Blackbeard met with Governor Charles Eden at the town of Bath who agreed to pardon Blackbeard in exchange for a share of his sizable booty. At the request of outraged North Carolina planters, Governor Alexander Spotswood of Virginia however dispatched a British naval force to deal with Blackbeard who was then killed in battle at Ocracoke. The pirate era generally concluded with the death of Captain Blackbeard.

In 1719 South Carolina, as a more important colony, was taken back by King George I and became a royal colony. Ten years later in 1729, North Carolina was taken over by the King George II when seven of the eight Lords Proprietors agreed to sell their shares of North Carolina to the crown and North Carolina, too, became a royal colony. One proprietor, though, held out: John Carteret, the descendant of Sir George Carteret, one of the original Lords Proprietors. Carteret continued to own one-eighth of the colony’s land, though he had no say in its government. Carteret would later inherit the title Earl Granville, and the management of his land, known as the Granville District, would cause problems for colonists later on.

The Virginia Migration to North Carolina
The migration into North Carolina by Virginians was partly spurred in 1710 by the Governor’s Council’s resolution prohibiting settlement between the Nottaway and Meherrin Rivers in the Isle of Wight County.  However some settlers had moved into the area anyway. Those who wanted clear title to their property moved southward along the Blackwater and Nottaway Rivers where they joined to form the Chowan River that flowed into the Albemarle Sound. 

In the 17th and early 18th Century, the boundary between the Virginia and the Carolina colonies was so fluid that Carolina was granting land as far north as the west side of the Nottaway River, which today is entirely in Virginia and Virginia was claiming it had legal jurisdiction over lands to the sound. It would take nearly fifty years for the disputed border between Virginia and North Carolina to be resolved.

The earliest English settlers to the Chowan Precinct of Albemarle County made their claims to Meherrin Indian lands along the Chowan River. On the west side of the Chowan are other rivers that flowed northeasterly into the Albemarle Sound whose mouths were just south of the mouth of the Chowan. These Rivers were Salmon Creek, Cashie River, and the Mattatock which was known as the Roanoke in Virginia. The area where these rivers converge into the Albemarle Sound was the approximate location of the 16th Century Lost Colony of Roanoke.

The Cashie River is a major waterway in Bertie County that the Tuscarora Indians named in their language “the River”. The English anglicized the word the best they could and the earliest spelling of the watercourse was “Kesiah”. Over the years a variety of spellings found their way into deed records including Cashoate, Cashy, Casia, Casshi. Today the name of the river is officially printed on state maps as the Cashie River.

The Cashie River and its tributaries divide what is now Bertie County in half from north to south. The total length of the Cashie River is about 55 miles, all within Bertie County. However only approximately 25 miles are navigable. The river empties into the Albemarle Sound next to the Roanoke River Delta. The upper reaches of the Cashie were not deep enough to be navigated so colonial boats could make it as far as a place called "Will’s Quarters Landing" near the lands of William Byrd.

There are five streams that join the Cashie Waterway before it flows into the Albemarle Sound Bay. However the most important for our study is Roquist Creek which joins the Cashie on the westside just below a place called "Sans Sauci Ferry Landing". This narrow body of water starts near the modern town of Woodard and flows through the Indian Woods community before ending near the Roquist Pocosin. Much of the Williams land holdings were along this Creek.  This area is where people began to settle at the end of the Tuscarora and English War.

When the early Virginia settlers moved into the region west of the Chowan River, they establish Salmon Creek as their principle residence including Governor Thomas Pollock. The entrance of Salmon Creek was a couple of miles east of the old Eden House Landing where it empties into the Albemarle Sound.

The area attracted families of some importance, wealth, and education, who came primarily from Southside Virginia counties. Most were land speculators, such as Governor Thomas Pollock and his son in law Colonel Robert West, William Duckingfield Esq. and his nephew Charles Barber, Thomas Jones, an attorney of Queen Anne Town [Edenton], the county seat of Chowan Precinct, and his brother William Jones. Many others were equally well known men, many related to the wealthier families of Isle of Wight who filed for large proprietary grants west of the Chowan River.

One of the most influential men in the colony was Colonel Thomas Pollack who fought on the side of the Anglicans against Thomas Cary in 1711 and briefly served as an interim governor when Governor Edward Hyde died from Yellow Fever in 1712. Pollack’s plantation was called “Bal Gra” and was located on Salmon creek on the west side of the Chowan River. Pollack’s lands were extensive and reached into the Cashie River region. He received a proprietary grant of 640 acres “on Casiah” river 26 February 1711 [1712]. Many of the early deeds of John Williams the Younger showed that his bordered Thomas Pollack’s lands.

One of the wealthiest men in the colony of Northern Carolina was William Duckinfield, “of Cheshire, England” a justice in the General Assembly of North Carolina and he was also one of the first vestrymen of the Anglican Church in Albemarle County in 1701. His brother was Sir Robert “Dukinfield”, (1642–1729), 1st Baronet Dukinfield of Dukinfield, Cheshire and thus was well connected to powerful men. In Duckingfield will of 17 May 1720, he mentions Charles Barbour [Barber] as his “cousin”, an old fashion term for nephew. Charles Barber’s mother was also a sibling of Sir Robert Dukinfield.  Charles Barber owned extensive properties in the Horse Spring Branch of the Cashie River.

Virginia settlers began to filter into the area west of the Chowan River and east of the Cashie River even before the Tuscarora War had ended in 1713.  Land speculator and middling planters filed for proprietary grants for rich bottom lands next to its creeks and waterways.

Several land speculators were already in the area of known as Horse Spring Branch, a tributary on the eastside of the Cashie River prior to the arrival of the family of John Williams the Younger. These early pioneers were Charles Barber and his wife Elizabeth, Samuel Edmunds, and wife Mary, John Edwards and his wife Dorcus,  Martin Gardner and his wife Ann Bryan, Thomas Jones and his wife Elizabeth Lewerton, William Jones and wife Mary Lewerton, Ephraim Lewerton, and Robert West.

 “Horse Spring Branch”, over time was known also as Horse Meadow and Horse Swamp and was located on the eastside of Cashie River. On maps today Horse Spring Branch does not exist but would have been located about two miles north of the present Windsor county seat of Bertie County and northwest of the Greens Cross Baptist Church that is located on US Hwy 17. Today “Horse Swamp” is located just on the left of “Hoggard Mill - Greens Crossroad” about a half mile up Wakelon Road. This area is now named Greens Crossroad for a 19th Century farmer named “Uncle Billie Green”, who once lived there.

William Jones and his brother Thomas had extensive land holdings on both sides of the Cashie River where John Williams the Younger would settle in 1714. They were the sons of John Jones Sr and his wife Elizabeth according to a deed dated 3 October 1704. These brothers were early land speculators on the Cashie River and Thomas was a successful lawyer who practiced out of Queen Anne Town [Edenton]. The will of William Jones “of Chowan” was dated January 9, 1722 [1723] and recorded 4 April 1723.

William Jones was one of the earliest land speculators in the Cashie River region. He was there as early as 1703 and was elected Constable in 1709 “from Salmon Creek to Cashoke”. Cashoke Creek was an early form of the spelling of Cashie. William Jones was married to Mary Lewerton the sister of John and Ephraim Lewerton according to Ephraim’s will dated 10 October 1713.

William Duckinfield Esq. sold to William Jones, 640 acres of land “called Cashoke” on 1 Feb 1702 [1703]. Later in the fall, on 4 October 1703, William Jones and his wife Mary [Lewerton] sold to Thomas Arnold 100 acres on the north side “Cashoke Crick” adjoining lands of John Lewerton. Thomas Arnold would move away but not until he sold to John Holbrook a 300 acre farm on the south side of “Cashoke” on 2 October 1704.

The following year on 27 March 1704, William Jones sold to Robert West a “Plantation on Cashoke Crick” of 640 acres “less 200 acres sold to John Lewerton and Thos. Arnold” The witnesses were Thomas Pollack, Margaret Early, and John West. Robert West was the son-n-law of Col. Thomas Pollack according to a deed dated 1 January 1704 [1705] in which Pollack deeded to West a “tract of land on west side of Morratuck River [Roanoke] and Cashoke Creek [Cashie River]. West’s plantation was located at a community called New Market.

Thomas Jones had married Elizabeth Lewerton, the sister of Mary Lewerton. He was the executive of the estate of Owen Daniel whose will was dated March 7, 1700 [1701]. If there was a family relationship to Daniel other than perhaps being his lawyer is unknown. As executor he was to take care of two of the testator's children until they arrive at age. A son named Thomas Daniels was placed in the care of Thomas Pollock and a daughter named Mary Daniels was placed in the care of James Hires.

William Duckingfield Esq. sold to Thomas Jones his interest in a plantation called “Casshoke” in February, 1712 [1713]. Thomas Jones acquired the land that would border John Williams the Younger’s property line on 5 March 1711 [1712]. On that date he received two proprietary grants of 422 acres and 423 acres. The 422 acre parcel was on the “Casay” River at a corner of Charles Barber’s place. The 423 acre parcel was located near Bear Swamp by the “widow Lewerton’s line.” The Lewertons lived in the vicinity of Bear Swamp as shown in a 21 April 1713 deed between Ephraim Lewerton, and John Lewerton, son of John, deceased where he transferred 100 acres at Bear Swamp.

Thomas Jones, and wife Elizabeth sold to John Edwards 200 acres of land that adjoined Charles Barber's line, at Horse Spring Branch. This deed was recorded November, 1712 in Chowan Precinct and was witnessed by Martin Gardner and William Jones.

The grants for Thomas Jones and Charles Barber gave geographical names of waterways called Turkey Swamp, Bear Swamp, and Horse Spring Branch, all of which were clues for the area in which John Williams the younger would live after coming to North Carolina in 1714.

Charles Barber, the nephew of William Duckingfield Esquire, received four proprietary grants in April 1712; three of which recorded on the 18th. They were for 640 acres, another for 250 acres on a “branch of Turkey Swamp” and one of 120 acres on the “Casia” [Cashie] River. The following day, 19 April 1712, Barber received the 160 acres on Horse Spring Branch, joining Thomas Jones' line. This property was sold to  John Williams the Younger in April 1714.

Other early deeds pertaining to Charles Barber were the following. On 20 July 1713 Charles Barber and wife Elizabeth sold to John Plowman 680 acres on the “Casay River”.  On the same date Barber bought from his brother in Law Ephraim Lewerton, 132 acres on the “Casiah River.” 

William Jones and Charles Barber witnessed a deed dated 16 April 1716 between Samuel Edmunds, and wife Mary and John Edwards. Edmunds sold 300 acres on the west side of Turkey Swamp, which was part of patent for 640 acres on “Kesiah River”. The following day on 17 April 1716 Charles Barber and wife Elizabeth sold to John Edwards. 80 acres also on the west side Turkey Creek, and part of patent for 640 acres. The witnesses were Samuel Edmunds and William Jones. Charles Barber received still another grant of 204 acres along the “Casia” River on 1 March 1719 [1720].

A probably kinsman of John Williams the Younger, Thomas Williams was also in Chowan Precinct in 1712. The exact determination of who this man was is unknown. He was located at Rockyhock Creek about 2 miles north of Queen Anne Creek Town where William Duckinfield, Daniel Halsey, William Fallow were prominent land owners.

Thomas Williams showed up in Chowan Precinct land deeds as early as 7 April 1712. On this date William Tanner and his wife Ann of Chowan Precinct sold to Thomas Williams of Chowan Precinct 100 acres north side of Morgan Swamp to Machacomack Creek “land I bought of John Jones” who was the father of William and Thomas Jones. The witnesses to the transaction were Daniel Halsey and John Ward. Morgan Swamp is a tributary of the Chowan River south of Salmon Creek.

Machacomack Creek has not been located but the Will of Nicholas Tyner, a Quaker originally from Isle of Wight,  left plantations to a daughter at the head of Machacomack Creek. John Jones, Sr., and his wife Elizabeth had assigned land from a patent of theirs to William Tanner on June 24, 1707 and Daniel Halsey was also a witness to that deed. In addition to witnessing this deed Halsey also witnessed deeds pertaining to Edward Williams and Lewis Williams the Anglican Vestryman. Thomas Williams did not retain this property long for on 9 December 1712 a record shows “Thomas Williams of Albemarle County” assigned to Thomas Jones the deed from William Tanner. The witnesses were John Jones Sr and Henry Lysle [Lisle] and Elizabeth Lysle. This Williams may have returned to Virginia.

At the beginning of 1713, Ann Moor Williams’ nephew, Edward Moore bought some property from Tredle Keefe.  Moore who was living in Nansemond County, Virginia at the time purchased 150 acres on the Meherrin River from Tredle Keefe and his wife Elinor on 20 January 1712 [1713.] Edward Moore, by this time, had married Margaret Bonner of Isle of Wight, Virginia.

The gap in the records for John Williams the Younger from 1705 until 1713 makes it difficult to determine his location when he was in his mid thirties and early forties. Apparently he had moved back to Isle of Wight County and from there he moved his family to North Carolina about 1714. The last known record of John Williams the Younger as having lands in Virginia is recorded in Surry County dated from 19 September 1712. He or at least his property is mentioned in a deed of Francis Regan who sold 100 acres to Robert Booth of Southwark Parish. This tract was said to be bounded by Regan and John Williams. It is doubtful that John was living on this land but was just the owner of it.

It was during the second decade of the eighteenth century that John the Younger at the age of 40 decided to uproot his family from his former plantations in Virginia. As that he was approaching middle age this would have been a major life move and more than likely done for his children’s future rather than for himself. When and why John Williams the younger decided to move his family from Virginia to the Albemarle Sound is unknown. John and Ann Moor Williams may have simply seen their financial security slipping away and wanted better opportunity for their children further south where free land was still abundant. 

John Williams the Younger’s eldest sons John Williams the Third and Theophilus were young men both, over 18 years old in 1712. His sons James and Isaac were adolescents soon to become young men. No doubt John the Younger was worried about the future for his children if he stayed in Virginia where the soil was depleted from decades of growing tobacco. After two generations and forty years or more, the lands in Surry and Isle of Wight Counties were worn out and began to yield less and less profit.

Another motivation for the move may have been that many of John Williams the Younger’s relatives and neighbors had already settled in the Albemarle County of North Carolina. In the first two decades of the 1700s many of the children and grandchildren of his father John Williams the Emigrant and his uncle Thomas had land settled in the Chowan Precinct of Albemarle County. John Williams the Younger’s brother William Williams had already moved his family into Chowen Precinct North Carolina as well as his niece Bridgett Browne and her husband John Rasberry. Some of his former Surry County neighbors Thomas Sessums and Cristopher Bly also were early residents of Chowan Precinct. 

No doubt John Williams interacted with relatives and neighbors who traveled back and forth between the Blackwater and Chowan Rivers. He may have even visited a few times, especially with the family of his deceased brother William, which visits made him confident that his family’s future laid to the south in the Carolinas. 

William Williams had already located in Chowan Precinct North Carolina in the first decade of the eighteenth century. However he died there in 1712 leaving a widow and young children behind. This may have delayed John Williams the Younger’s decision to move south as news of yellow fever in the area and an outbreak of an Indian War with the Tuscaroras filtered north. 

William Williams "of the County of Arbarmale in Chowan Gentleman” made out his will on 9 December 1711. He was only about 35 years old and his death could have been brought about by a number of diseases, yellow fever. Many reliable sources listed William Williams as making out his will in 1704 instead of 1711 but this is extremely doubtful.  He was definitely alive in 1709 when he had a land transaction recorded in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Additionally one the witnesses to his will, Robert Lanier, only came to North Carolina after 1710 which indicates that it was written in 1711 and not 1704.  

William Williams wrote in his will, “being very sick and week in body but of perfect mind and memory" bequeathed to “wife, Mary Williams, 1/2 of  land where she now lives....son, Samuel Williams 1/2 land "whereon I now live"...son, John Williams 175 acres and plantation on southside of Black water commonly known as Litell town...son, Steven Williams 400 acres..  each of my daughters, [not named]. William’s wife Mary Moore Williams was the sole Executrix. The witnesses to his will were Tredell Keefe, “Luis” Williams, Robert Lanier. 

This “Luis Williams” was the relative of George Williams the Quaker. The fact that Lewis Williams was a witness to his will shows that they were close neighbors and well enough acquainted for William to ask Lewis to act as a witness. They other witnesses were Tredell [Treddell] Keefe and Robert Lanier both prominent land owners with ties to Lewis Williams and Edward Moore, his wife’s cousin. The the location of these witnesses of William Williams' will indicated that William Williams’s plantation was near Salmon Creek.

William Williams died in 1712 when his will was recorded 15 April 1712 in Chowan Precinct, Albemarle County, North Carolina. As that all of William Williams sons and daughters were minors, Mary Moore Williams was the administrator of the will and being a wealthy young widow with children she undoubtedly remarried.  It would not be out of the question that John Williams the Younger may have even ventured into Northern Carolina to see about the welfare of his sister in law and his nephew and nieces.

Edward Moore of Nansemond County, Virginia, a nephew of John the Younger’s wife, moved to Chowan Precinct before 1711. On 20 January 1712 [1713] “Tredle” Keefe and his wife Elinor sold to Edward Moore, 150 acres land on the Meherrin River in Chowan County. This area would later be part of Bertie County.  On 20 April 1713 Moore, now residing in Nansemond County, gave Lewis Williams his Power of Attorney "to receive acknowledgment of the sale of 150 acres from Treddell Keefe to him. .  

John Williams the Younger’s 1713 Proprietary Grant
King Hancock’s southern Tuscarora Indians upraising was defeated in March 1713, and that summer John Williams the Younger went to North Carolina to claim a proprietary grant along the Cashie River in Albemarle County. He would have been in his early 40’s and certainly would not have traveled alone. His older sons John the Third and Theophilus were young men at this time and surely they would have traveled with him. They more than likely traveled down the Chowan river by skiff to the Albemarle Sound then from there traveled by boat up the Cashie River. The Cashie is not navigable pass a certain point and it is here that he looked for property to claim. They certainly would have stayed in the homes of relatives and former neighbors as they traveled Albemarle County as that there were no taverns or inns at the early time.

Obtaining a proprietary grant in North Carolina involved a process that could take several months if not years. First John Williams the Younger had to have gone to Horse Spring Branch to select a tract of vacant land. This would have involved meeting with the land owners of the area. Then he would have gone to the county seat at Queen Anne Town [Edenton] to enter his claim with the Lords Proprietary’s official entry recorders. The government official then recorded John Williams’ name, a description of the land, the number of acres, the name of adjacent land owners, and the date the entry was made. After officials received all the necessary papers and fees, then John the Younger was given a copy of the grant document that was his patent to the land.

John Williams the Younger’s proprietary grant was for 360 acres “lying in Kesiah [Cashie] River from John Plowman’s corner to Charles Barber’s line” and was dated 9 July 1713. John Plowman who was mentioned in the grant had bought land from Charles Barber in 1713. This tract of land was located at a spot called “Horse Spring Branch” on the east side of the Cashie River. This property is about five miles north of the current Bertie county seat of Windsor and near Hoggard's Mill which was first called Will's Quarter Swamp.

It is doubtful that John Williams the Younger accomplished anything more in the summer of 1713 than file for his patent. It would have been too late in the year to plant and before he could ever do that, his land would have had to have been cleared. More than likely John came to scout out what lands were available west of the Chowan River.

As that he did not live on the property of the 1713 patent, it was acquired to secure his land rights in North Carolina. Therefore John and Ann Moore Williams and their children probably did not permanently leave Virginia for the Cashie River area until early 1714. One of the last record of John Williams in Isle of Wight County, is a deed dated 26 April 1714, that he witnessed to a deed between Mathew Stricklin and Joseph Jackson. It is fairly certain that the family’s moved to North Carolina after this date.

The family’s move in 1714 from Virginia would have been arduous as that everything thing the family would need had to be transported down the Chowan River. In the infancy of the settlement of Cashie River there were few or no roads. The many streams, creeks, and rivers were the means by which people traveled. In fact boats were more numerous than horses at the beginning of the 18th Century and mostly riverboats and small schooners served as a means of transportation and communication between settlements.

All of John Williams the Younger’s household goods, furniture, farming equipment, seeds, food stuff, and livestock all had to be transported as there were little or none of these things in the area he was taking his family. Along the Cashie River, where the Williams would settle, it would take years before goods and cargo were shipped up and down the river to supply the needs of farmers and planters. Horses, cattle, milk cows, hogs, geese, hunting dogs all had to be packed in skiffs.

After transporting his family and property to the Town on Queen Anne Creek [renamed Edenton in 1722], the only commercial village in the Albemarle Sound, the family from there went up the Cashie River as far as was navigational to a place known as “Horse Spring Branch”, a tributary on the eastern side of the Cashie River near Bear Swamp. It was here he had acquired his proprietary grant.  John and Ann Moor Williams’ farm was at the end of navigable waters of the Cashie River at a place that a turning basin allowed cargo ships to turn around for the trip back down river. Later at wide area on the river below Horse Spring Branch, a floating bridge was built across the Cashie to connect properties of land owners on both sides of the river.

John Williams the younger, on 13 April 1714, purchased from his neighbors Charles and Elizabeth Barber a tract of “improved land” at the Horse Spring Branch next to his own 360 acre proprietary grant and lands of Thomas Jones. The witnesses were local men, William Jones and John Holbrook. The deed does specify the acreage of the property but it included a “dwelling and livestock pens”. Most likely the land bought from Charles Barber was the proprietary grant of 160 acres that he received 19 April 1712 at “Horse Spring Branch” that joined Thomas Jones’ property. Within the two years from when it was granted, Charles Barber on this 160 acres certainly could have cleared it and constructed a house. John Williams would not have moved his family into a simple frontier shanty or cabin. Without doubt this farm at Horse Spring Branch was the first home of John Williams and his family in North Carolina.

Additionally John Williams received another proprietary grant of 600 acres at Horse Spring Branch on 15 April 1714. The property description stated it was from Thomas Jones’ corner to the east side of Horse Spring Branch. Altogether John Williams the Younger owned 1,120 acres of land in Chowen Precinct, Albemarle County by 1714. It is here at Horse Spring that many of John and Ann Moor Williams’ children were married, some died, and where John and Ann Moor Williams would live out the remainder of their lives long lives. The location today is just a couple miles north of the town of Windsor, northeast of the Cashie River at a community called “Greens Cross Roads”.

The Cashie River weaves it way upstream westward from the Albemarle Sound. Several miles upstream past the Horse Spring Branch the Cashie River divides to the left and branches off where it continues as the Cashie Swamp that originates near the Northampton County Line. About ten miles north of John Williams the Younger’s grant, the Cashie River weaves it way upstream westward from the Albemarle Sound. Several miles upstream past the Horse Spring Branch the Cashie River divides to the left and branches off where it begins to lose its identity as a river when it divides and becomes Cucklemaker Creek and Flat Swamp near the Northampton County Line. Flat Swamp branches off to the right from the Cashie and heads to an area first known as the "Pell Mell" Pocosin Woods, also called Piney and Big Woods.

Much of the region where John Williams the Younger moved his family had what was called “unhealthy air”. The many waterways and marshes were “hung heavy with the smell of moisture and decay.” Additionally water snakes, mosquitoes, and gnats would have plagued them living near the pocosins with their periodic standing water. Illness due to these bodies of standing water was prevalent in much of those early times. Many of the first generation of settlers in Chowan Precinct died at a relatively young age including John Williams the Younger’s brother William Williams and his own sons John and James Williams. This area was the first home of John and Ann Williams outside of Virginia.

Compared with the standard of living John Williams the Younger's family had been accustomed to in Virginia, moving to North Carolina must have seemed almost primitive. Besides the humid climate of summer, clearing the land of forest was backbreaking work as well as building new homes and livestock sheds. The planting of tobacco was labor intensive and John Williams was not a young man at this time. Making a living for early settlers was brutal, although without a doubt those in bondage fared far worst. The African slaves did most of the arduous manual labor such as draining marshes and clearing land for the planting of tobacco.

Most early settlers of Chowan Precinct fed generally upon game fowl, venison, and salt pork, however more affluent families, such as John Williams who raised cattle, had beef in their diet as well. Beans, squash, turnips and corn bread generally made up the rest of their diet. Before the mills were built, women like Ann Moor Williams and her daughters would have ground their own Indian corn kernels so that, as one 18th century observer commented, there was "little difference between the corn in the horse's manger and the bread on their tables."

A few miles to the west of Cashie River was the last home of the Tuscarora Nation. The only large settlements in the region were two Tuscarora Indian towns just within miles of John Willams’ Horse Spring Branch plantation. In fact Native Americans outnumbered whites in the area in the vicinity west of Cashie.

John Williams the Younger had four sons, John, Theophilus, James, and Isaac between the ages of 22 and 14 years who helped on the new place. If he still had any laborers under contract to him, or any men in bondage they would have come with the family also probably from Virginia. Ann Moor Williams’ daughters Ann, Sarah, and Mary were between 18 and 14 and the youngest child Arthur was about 6 years old.

From this first beginning, members of John Williams the Younger’s family and other kinfolk would come to be well situated along the Cashie, Roquist, and Roanoke Rivers. Over a period of three decades the family of John Williams the Younger would come to own nearly six miles of property in what today is the Windsor Township of Bertie County, North Carolina. 

King George I

Queen Anne of Great Britain died 1 August 1714 and was succeeded by her nephew George I of Hanover, Germany who was a great grandson of King James I. During the reign of King George I, [1714-1727] the Williams family prospered in North Carolina, where John and Ann Moor Williams’ children would marry and their first grandchildren would be born.

The home of John and Ann Moore Williams in North Carolina was near a community that would develop in the 1730’s on the Cashie River called “Cashy”. Through the influence of their future son in law James Castellaw [Castellow], this community would become the first official county seat of Bertie County for about three decades then disappear.

John Williams and Theophilus Williams, on 18 July 1715, witnessed a record where William Jones gave his Power of Attorney to Phillip Walston to acknowledge a transaction between Jones and Martin Gardner. The significance of this record is that it shows that Theophilus Williams was of legal age at least 21 years old [born prior July 1694] to have been a witness to this document. The John Williams mentioned as the other witness may have been the father or the son. It is impossible to tell.  Martin Gardner had married Ann Bryan the daughter of Needham Bryan and Ann Rombeau.

The following day, 19 July 1715 John Williams the Younger bought from the Anglican Vestryman Lawrence Sarson a 220 acre farm at a place called Bear Swamp [Creek]. Bear Swamp was located between Horse Springs and Salmon Creek and Thomas Jones owned property there as well. One of the witnesses to this deed was John Rasberry the husband of Bridgett Browne Rasberry, the daughter of John the Younger's sister. The other was Henry King the father of a son by the same name. The father died in 1716 and the son Henry King would later married John Williams’ daughter-in-law Elizabeth Bryan Williams after the death of his son James Williams.

 "Laurence Sarson to Jno Williams, Know all men by these presents yt [that] I Laurence Sarson of the Precinct of chowan of the Province afsd [aforesaid] for & in Consideration of the Same of twenty Barrels of Pitch to me in hand pd [paid] by Jno Williams of the sd Precinct of Chowan the receipt whereof I the sd Laurence Sarson do hereby acknowledge and thereof Acquitt & Discharge the sd Jno Williams his Heirs exn admrs forever by these presents Have Given granted bargained Sold Released& confirmed and by these presents do give grant Release & Confirm unto ye[the] sd Jno Williams his Heirs & Assignes forever One Tract of Land Lying & being in Chowan Precinct afsd & adjoyning upon Thomas Jones' Land in Bear Swamp then Runing up the Main Swamp to the Upper Beaver Dam there along a line of Mark’d trees to the sd Williams's own Line which appears mine at Large in the Patent & Conteyning [containing] Two hundred & twenty Acres more or Less wth [with] all woods ways waters Priviledges Profitts Comidities & appurtences to the Same belong or in any ways appertaining And ye Reversion & Reversions Remainder & Remainders therof. To have and hold all ye afsd tract of Land with all ye Singular appurtenances unto ye sd Jno Williams his Heirs & Assignes for ever to & for ye only use & hehoof of ye sd Jno Williams his Heirs & Assignes forever. And I ye sd Lau Sarson for my self my Heirs exrs & Admrs Do warrant promise & Grant to& with ye sd Jno Williams his Heirs & Assinges for ever yt I ye sd Laurence Sarson my Heirs Exrs Admrs ye before bargained premises with the appurtenances unto ye sd Jno Williams heirs & Assignes for ever against all manner of Persons whatsoever shall & will warrant & for ever by these presents defend.In Witness wherof I ye sd Laurence Sarson have hereunto sett my hand & Seal this 19th of July 1715. Seal’d & Del’d in presence of Lau. Sarson Henry King, Jno Rasberry.

This transaction between John Williams and Lawrence Sarson is an example of a cashless society. It also shows that John’s farms were not quite yet producing enough tobacco to use that commodity in trade. Instead he traded for the property 20 barrels of “pitch” produced from the abundant pine trees on his lands. Native Tuscaroras may have shown John Williams’ laborers where the best sap trees were and how to turn the resin into pitch.

Making pitch was a labor intensive process and John Williams had to have had a lot of help gathering the pine resin deposits that occur naturally in the forest. Resin or sap oozes out of the broken knots of trees naturally from fractures to a limb or trunk caused by a storm, lightning, or even animals scratching on the bark. The harvesting of resin was a fall and winter time activity and would have been gathered in tar buckets hauled back to the home place to be boiled and strained in great kettles. The women folk generally tended to the cooking of the resin while the men gathered it.

As it cooked “filler materials” such as dried livestock dung, hardwood ash, ground bones, sawdust, animal hair, and even dried up stems from corn stalks were “pitched” in the kettles to bind up the resin and help further strengthen the pitch. The last Ingredient added to turn the resin into tar was animal fat renderings, usually lard from hogs. This additive kept the final product workable without getting too brittle when in its dry state. The smell must have been horrendous. All the while fires under the kettles were kept going and the mixture constantly stirred. After the resin turned into black tar it was stored in barrels to be traded or sold. Pitch was valuable to colonial ship builders for water proofing as well as keeping ship’s masts timbers from rotting.

As the deed between Sarson and John the Younger was being recorded in the Chowan Precinct Court records, minutes for the court meeting on the same day, 19 July 1715, acknowledged a Thomas Browne’s deed of gift to Daniel McDaniel, an oath of John Williams to the letter of Power of Attorney from William Jones to Phil “Wallston”, and Marshal John Naires was ordered to take William Jones into custody for “diver misdemeanors”. A deed of gift generally was property given to relatives so it is quite possible that Thomas Browne and Daniel McDaniel were related in some way. Thomas Browne was a near neighbor of John the Younger in the Cashie River region and possible an in-law as he appears on many of John Williams’ transactions. The offences of William Jones were not enumerated. 

Additionally a John Williams proved his head right for the importation of 11 persons “into the government” [colony]. Whether this is our John Williams the Younger is undetermined however he was in court that day. 

The only other document that may relate to John Williams the Younger in 1715 was that he was ordered on 25 November 1715 by the Chowan Precinct Court to appraise the estate of a deceased neighbor William Goodman. Goodman was a Quaker from Surry County. Others also ordered to appraise the estate were Thomas Williams, Thomas Holliman and John Wombell. This Thomas Williams could have his brother or even his cousin the son of his uncle Thomas Williams. It is not clear.

By 1715 the Anglican faction had wrestled political power away from the Quaker Party that governed northern Carolina and in that year the North Carolina Assembly passed the “Biennial Act”. The act incorporated the North Carolina colonial legislature as being fundamental to the operation of the colony. The assembly then ignored the governor chosen by the Lords Proprietors and set themselves up as the main governing body of the colony.

The Biennial Act of 1715 laid out who could vote and not vote in the colony. “And It Is Hereby Further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that no person whatsoever Inhabitant of this Government born out of the allegiance of His Majesty and not made free; no Negroes, Mulattoes, Mustees or Indians shall be capable of voting for Members of Assembly; and that no other person shall be allowed or admitted to vote for Members of Assembly in this Government unless he be of the Age of one and twenty years and has been one full year in the Government [colony] and has paid one year's levy [poll tax] preceding the Election.” 

By 1716 the Cashie River region began to grow as more and more settlers began to relocate there. The earlier settlers began to sell off their extensive land holdings and acquired even more. Neighbors of John Williams the younger who had transactions in the spring of that year were Samuel Edmunds and his wife Mary and Charles Barber and his wife Elizabeth. The Edmunds sold to John Edwards 300 acres, part of a 640 acre proprietary grant on the “west side Turkey Swamp” on the “Kesiah” River. This deed dated 16 April 1716 was witnessed by William Jones and Charles Barber. The following day on 17 April, the Barbers sold to John Edwards 80 acres, part of their 640 acre grant located also on the west side of “Turkey Creek”. Samuel Edmunds and William Jones were the witnesses.

A county marshal was ordered to keep a list of those who were eligible to vote and had paid a poll tax. This ordinance will help place the ages of several of John Williams sons as they turned 21. On 29 August 1716 “Proprietary Rent Fees” were assessed for the tracts of land that “lyes between Mr. John Duckenfield and John Williams’ line” in Chowan Precinct. This was an area between Salmon Creek and the Cashie River. This assessment must have been just up to John Williams the younger’s estates as he is not included in this record. However it included the names of Theophilus Williams, Samuel Herring, Edward Moore and John Plowman.

Although Theophilus Williams was included in this record it  showed him owning no property. He may have paid what was essentially a poll tax so he could vote in the colony. Accordingly Samuel Herring  was listed as owning 150 acres, Edward Moore owning 250 acres and John Plowman held 600 acres.

In the fall, 15 October 1716, John Edwards and his wife Dorcas “of Chowan Precinct” sold to Edward Moore for £ 10 “good and lawful money” 150 acres on the west side of Kesiah River [Cashie] joining John Hardy and the river. This is certainly the 150 acre proprietary grant Edwards received 30 August 1714 that was located on the west side of the Kesiah River next to the properties of John Hardy and William Jones. The witnesses to the deed were William Jones and John Nairn, both local property owners. John Edwards Sr was unable to travel to the court to record the deed for some reason and he gave his power of attorney to Samuel Edmunds to acknowledge the sale of the parcel of land to Edward Moore. John Williams the younger and Thomas Browne were asked to witness the power of attorney letter between John Edwards Sr. and Samuel Edmunds. dated 15 October 1716.

Edward Moore, formerly of Nansemond County Virginia, was most likely the nephew of John Williams’ wife Ann Moor Williams. This Thomas Browne who along with John Williams witnessed the power of attorney, I speculate he may have been a brother in law and husband of his sister Jane Williams. The deed between Edwards and Moore was not registered until 27 November 1716.

Also in the fall of 1716, probably October, John and Ann Moor Williams’ eldest daughter, Ann Williams married Samuel Herring the son of Anthony Herring and Rebecca West. The Herring family were neighbors of William West, a prominent family in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. And while the West family were Quakers, there is little evidence that Samuel Herring was of that faith. The Herrings more than likely were attracted to North Carolina for all the same reasons as John Williams the Younger, free land.

Samuel Herring was thought to have been born about 1685 which would have made him nearly 10 years older than Ann. This was not unusual, for it was customary for established older men to take young brides. Ann’s younger sister Sarah married a much older man also, James Castellow, who was also born in 1685. What was unusual was that Ann was probably about 19 or 20 years old when she married when most young girls were marrying at 15 or 16.

In Colonial times once a girl had her menses she was considered eligible for marriage. The move to North Carolina and setting up a new household may have delayed Ann finding a suitable husband. Additionally as the oldest girl she certainly helped with the housekeeping and tending of her mother’s large family. Her older brothers had not married yet either and probably were still included in the family. As well as being a helper to her mother it may be that simply the economic stability of the family unit of John Williams the younger afforded her the luxury of waiting for a suitable husband.

Samuel Herring had three brothers, John, Abraham, and Joseph who also relocated to the Cashie River area. Samuel’s younger brother Abraham Herring would later marry into the family of John and Ann Moore Williams by marrying their youngest daughter Mary Williams in about 1720.

John Williams the Younger recorded a Deed of Gift on 15 October 1716 to his daughter Ann Williams Herring of 150 acres “on which she now livith”, most likely as a wedding gift. This farm may have been the original land John Williams bought from Charles Barber in 1714. It was bounded by lands of Thomas Jones. Again Thomas Browne is there to act as a witness along with John Edwards.

“To all persons to whom these presents shall come I Jno. Williams do send greeting know ye yt [that] the said Jno Williams in the county of Albemarle in Chowan in ye Province of North Carolina, Weaver, for & in Consideration of Love good will & affection which I have & do bear towards my loving Daughter Ann Hearin of the Same County & Province have given & granted by these presents do fully Clearly & absolutely give and Grant unto the said Ann Hearin she & her Lawfull Heirs of her own body Lawfully begotten forever one Hundred & fifty acres of Lands whereon the new Giveth beginning in the fork of the Horse Spring branch Joining upon Thomas Jones's Line so up ye Western part of sd branch unto a Maple by the run Side so up a Crooked line to a Pine in the Side of the other branch so runing down the branch to ye first Station. Now if she hath not her due She Shall take it on the Eastern Side of the branch beginning at Thos. Jones's Corner tree in the branch betwixt the branch & my Pattent Line which runeth partly betwixt me & Thos. Jones afsd which Land I give freely to her & her Heirs for ever as afsd. But her husband if he shall pretend to Sell & to Lease it or Mortgage it or Sell any ways make away any timber of Lightwood shall forfeit ye Land afsd as wittness my hand & Seal ye 15th Ober 1716. Jno Williams Test. Thos Brown, Jno Edwards”

On the same day Ann “Hearin” [Herring] gave a Letter of Attorney to John Edwards to acknowledge the deed in court. Witnesses to this power of attorney from Ann Herring to Edwards were Thomas Brown and Edward Moore.

Curiously John Williams the Younger put some unusual stipulations on the Deed of Gift to his daughter Ann which may reflect on how he viewed his new son-in-law. The deed, while listing Ann as a married woman, did not mention Samuel Herring at all. John Williams stated that if his daughter's husband “shall attempt in any way to sell or mortgage it”, the land would be forfeited back to him. Perhaps John Williams simply wanted to make certain that his oldest daughter had financial security if this much older man ever coerced her into selling the property. There may have been a riff between Samuel Herring and his father in Law. None of Ann Herring’s children were named John or Ann after her parents. While Samuel Herring was a prosperous farmer and seemed to be living near his brothers-in-law, he never achieved the wealth or status of his father-in-law.

Five years after the Colony of Carolina was officially split in two, South Carolina was considered the wealthier and more important colony, and North Carolina was mostly neglected by the proprietors. However taxes still were paid to the Lord Proprietors and in 1717 a tax was levied on land owners. Not all of the men who were issued patents near the Cashie River lived there. Some were simply land speculators whose lands were worked by tenants until their sons moved into the region taking over ownership. But there were enough early families between the Salmon Creek and the Cashie River who were responsible for most of the initial land clearing of the forest and draining swamps, that by the year 1717 the area had been well cleared from the Cashie River to the Roanoke and broken up into plantations and farms.

The 1717 tax list of land owners was compiled on March 25, the legal New Years under the old Calendar. This list can be viewed as an informal census of the people who owned property in Chowan at this early date or who paid a poll tax to be able to vote for officials. The wealthiest man in Chowan Precinct at the time was Colonel Thomas Pollack who was taxed on 30,964 acres and 31 people. That is nearly 48 square miles. The next wealthiest man was Frederick Jones with 21,095 acres and who had 6 taxable persons. He owned nearly 33 square miles. After these two men, the number of acres owned by individuals dropped dramatically. William Duckingfield owned 6800 acres and was taxed for 17 people, Edward Moseley held 6,673 acres and taxed on 10 people, Thomas Lee owned 6000 acres and was taxed for 18 people, William Maul also owned 6000 acres and was taxed for 6 people, Robert West owned 4310 acres and paid taxes for four people, Thomas Bray owned 4040 acres and taxed on six people, and John Hardy owned 4000 acres and paid taxes for 4 people. These land owners were the most influential in the precinct and also in much of all North Carolina.

An “Isaac Williams” was mentioned in deed records dated 9 March 1718 as having lands of 640 acres that shared a border with Thomas Bray’s land patent in Chowan Precinct. “March 9, 1717 [1718] Thomas Bray patented 640 acres in Chowan Precinct joining John Watson, Ralph Bosman, Robert Hicks, James Farlaw, Charles Jordan and Isaac Williams.” This Isaac is actually Isaac Wilson. These men mentioned in this patent lived east of the Chowan River along a tributary named Indian Town Creek which was later renamed Catherine Creek. "Capt." Thomas Bray as he was called in some of the early NC records was also known as "Esquire" in at least one record. Thomas Bray was appointed a Judge in 1716 in Chowan Precinct, NC, and was then called "the Worshipful". He had married a daughter of Thomas Pollack.

This Tax record showed that 335 individuals paid taxes in Chowan Precinct. The vast majority of the property owners listed in this tax record, 158 people, owned less than 500 acres. That is 47 percent or nearly half the residents taxed. 77 individuals or 23 percent owned no land at all but paid a poll tax. Eighteen percent of landowners or 59 individuals owned farms of 500 acres to 999 acres. Twenty-nine men owned between 1000 and 1,999 acres or 9 percent of people enumerated. John Williams the younger was in this range. Twelve men or 3 percent of those listed owned over 2000 acres.

From the tax numbers assigned to people it appears that there were three distinct family units of Williamses lived within Chowan Precinct at this date. The majority of these men all appear to be the descendants of either Thomas Williams Senior and John Williams Senior of Isle of Wight County or Lewis Williams, of Nansemond County, Virginia.

John Williams the Younger who lived by the Cashie River at a branch called Horse Spring and was enumerated with his son Theophilus as Tax number 272. He is shown as owning 1050 acres. Theophilus was also listed but not as owning any property. He paid a poll Tax however so he would be eligible to vote. He was at least 21 years old or older (before 1696). Theophilus is the only son of John Williams listed in this 1717 Tax census. John Williams III* was not enumerated and evidently did not own property and chose not to pay a poll tax. Another explanation may be that perhaps he remained in Virginia to care for property there. The other sons Isaac, James, and Arthur were under 21 years and ineligible to pay a poll tax in order to vote. 

In another part of Chowan Precinct by Wiccacon River were the sons and grandsons of Lewis Williams who had only recently died. The Lewis Williams’ family settled on lands on the southwest side of the Chowan River at the water ways of Deep Creek, Goose Creek, and Catawatskee [Catahiskey] Meadow. Lewis Williams had settled at Catherine's Creek, in an area that was the Chowanoke Indian Reservation the first one established in the United States following the English colonists' defeat of the remaining Chowanoke in 1676. It was established at the Chowanoke settlement between Bennett's Creek and Catherine Creek in present day Gates County. Catherine Creek is the present boundary between Gates County and Chowan Precinct. Catherine Creek settlements on the Chowan River was about 20 miles or a day’s journey north of Edenton the County seat in the seventeenth Century. The Tax record number for the Lewis Williams clan was 277. Lewis Williams had died in 1716 prior to this tax census but his sons were John Williams who had 370 acres and Anthony Williams who had 2200 acres one of the more wealthy planters in the precinct..

Edward Williams the son of Ludowick Williams has his own his own tax list number of 275 but he lived near members of the Lewis Williams clan. While he owned no land he paid a poll tax so that he could vote in elections.

The Williams families who were the descendants of Thomas Williams Senior, John the Younger's uncle were associated with lands situated along the water ways of Kerby Creek, Turkey Creek, Meherrin River, and Morattuck River [Roanoke]. In 1717 these families  lived in close proximity of the Lewis Williams’ Clan as they are listed in the next sequential Tax Number 278.

Arthur Williams had 140 acres and lands on Turkey Creek and the Meherrin River. He is most likely the Arthur Williams who left a will 8 August 1735. Samuel Williams owned 200 acres.

This Samuel is probably the Samuel Williams who made a will 16 Apr 1736 naming as his heirs the children of his brother George Williams who is not listed. George Williams in 1727 had lands in the "Northerly Woods of Morattock [Roanoke]" where the sons of John Williams the younger would also calim land.

A Thomas Williams is located here in this same area in 1723, owning “200 acres in Bertie precinct in Maherrin woods on the South side of Kerby Creek joining the mouth of Seacock branch, Gum Meadow and the said creek”. This Thomas Williams is sometimes called “Williamson”. Williamson is a variation of the name Williams and all the Williamsons in Bertie County are connected with Williams family groups. There appears to be no distinct Williamson family in 18th Century Bertie County.

Two other Williams not identified with the others are Pilgrim Williams who had 100 acres and “Mch” [maybe Michael] Williams who had 300 acres. Pilgrim Williams died in 1719 when on 22 Sept 1719 his wife Elizabeth was granted administrix of his estate.

Other neighbors or family members of John Williams the younger listed in the 1717 tax list are Edward Moore with 250 acres, Richard Moore with 840 acres. Thomas Jones with 460 acres, John Plowman with 600 acres, Charles Barber with 400 acres, John Edward Sr with 450 acres, Constable Phillip Walston with 800 acres, William Jones with 900 acres, John Holbrook with 900 acres and Henry Lysle [Liles] with 1000 acres.

One of John Williams closest neighbor was Martin Gardner [Garner] married to Ann Bryan. He was not included in this list although he is known to be a neighbor of John Williams in 1717. He may have owned land at the time of the tax or he chose not to pay a head poll tax in order to vote, to have been left off the rolls. Another reason he may have not been included is that he was not in the area when the tax roll was ordered in March as he may have been back in the Isle of Wight County . However by October Martin Gardner was appointed “overseer” of a project to clear and lay out a passable road over the “Cashy”.

In the fall of 1717, the Chowan Precinct General Court met at William Branch’s House on 15 October and passed an "Act Creating Road Over Cashy".

The Court officials ordered that a road be built "from New Market", as Colonel Robert West's holdings were known, to a place at the head waters of Cashie River then back down to Sandy Point at the mouth of Salmon Creek. The community of Cashy was approximately 20 miles as the crow flies from the entrance to Salmon Creek so the distance of this road may have been around 25 Miles.

“Ordered that inhabitants on northside of Bare [Bear] Swamp Creek and those on the Westside of Rocquis [Roquist] Creek may choose a main road from New Market over the head of Kesiah [Cashie] River to Sandy Point at the mouth of Salmon Creek and that Robert West, Martin Gardner, William Jones, John Hardy, John Edwards, Thomas West, John Williams, Edward Moore, Richard Fryer, Thomas Williams, Charles Barber and Samuel Herring be a jury to lay out said road.”

The project and the rest of these men were responsible for hiring the laborers. Deed records show that Richard Fryer, John Edwards, Martin Garner, William Jones, and Charles Barber were John Williams the Younger’s neighbors close to Horse Spring Branch. The Kinfolk of John Williams who mentioned in the order were Edward Moore, Thomas Williams, and Samuel Herring

West's place was known as New Market as stated in a deed dated 8 April 1727 Ambrose White and Thomas Powell adjoining land formerly Col. Robert West's called "New Market" on Cashay swamp. This deed was witnessed by "Sam and Ann Herring". 

The Roquist Creek flows into the Cashie on the left side just below the Sans Sauci Ferry Landing. This narrow body of water starts near Woodard through Indian Woods community before ending near the Lewiston-Woodville area. Here it is known as Roquist Pocosin. Many of my earlier ancestors developed home sites along the Roquist Creek and Pocosin area. The headwaters of this branch of water passed near Benny and Perry Wardsworth property. This is the area where The Needham Bryan Family developed Snowfield Plantation.

The creation of the Cashy road greatly improved access to the farms and plantations along the Cashie River. Trade and distribution of crops, furs and hides, tar pitch, and smoked meats allowed the area farmers to begin to prosper. 

John Williams the Younger’s son John the Third added to his lands on 17 May 1718 when he bought 440 acres on the west side of the “Kesiah” River from his neighbors Martin and Ann Gardner. Oddly the Gardners were not listed in the 1717 Tax Record. Martin Gardner of Chowan Precinct to John Williams for 8 £ sold 440 acres on west side of Kasiah River joining William Wallston a branch of Roquest and John Edwards. Witnesses were William Jones Matthew Edwards and Theophilus Williams. Later that summer John Jones and his wife Mary sold a tract of land on the “main swamp of Kesiah on 2 July 1718. Edward Moore and his wife were the witnesses

A few days later on 8 July 1718 John Williams’ neighbors John Edwards, and wife Dorca sold to Richard Fryer a tract of land consisting of 240 acres adjoining Thomas Jones and John Holbrook's lands. Witnesses were Martin Gardner and William Jones. Richard Fryer the next year bought 150 acres from William Jones on 23 October 1719 for 15£. The property joined Martin Gardner and Col. Thomas Pollack and therefore near John Williams. Fryer or a son of the same name was one of the early families to move away from Bertie to Onslow County, North Carolina. The will of Owen O’Daniel written March 12 1735 [1736] list Richard Fryer as his father-in-law.

A week later on 15 July 1718 a complaint against Edward Moore, Ann Moor Williams nephew, was made by Major Robert West. In the Chowan Precinct Court Minutes West charged that Moore “has fallen a Great tree across the Kasia [Cashie] River and stopped the same so that boats and canoes cannot pass.” The court ordered Moore “to cut 10 feet so water crafts could pass.”

By the end of 1718, a Scotsman named James Castellow [aka Castellaw] is found in the records of Chowan Precinct for the first time . Castellow was the son of a Presbyterian minister and a lawyer in Scotland. James was also trained in Scotland as a lawyer and was the most preeminent of all John Williams the Youngers’ sons and sons-in-law.

29 December 1718 he witnessed the will of Henry Woodnot of Chowan Precinct.  In the name of God amen I Henry Woodnot of Chowan precinct in the Government aforesaid, plantor, being sick and weak in body but of perfect sense and sound judgment, and calling to mind my mortality do make and ordain this my last will and testament. Imprimis. I give and bequeath my soul unto God who gave it me to be cleansed from all the pollutions contracted in the flesh and my body to be by my executors decently interr’d in its mother Earth not at all doubting to receive it again at the General Resurrection and as for what worldly estate it has pleased God to bless me with I do give and bequeath in manner and form as follows with my debts and funeral charges being first discharged. First I give and bequeath unto Robert Ball and his heirs my negro man named Henry Groon (?) to serve him the said Robert Ball of Chowan precinct in the government aforesaid, plantor, and his heirs for ever Item. I give and bequeath unto Isabell Ferguson the daughter of Anne Ferguson now the wife of Robert Ball all the remainder of my estate, personal and real, all the lands which I now possess and enjoy in this country and Virginia, my negro woman Betty and her children and all my other moveables whatsoever to her the said Isabel and her heirs lawfully begotten on her body for ever, but if the said Isabell dies without heirs or before she arrives to the age of sixteen then all my estate both moveables and immovables shall fall to Robert Ball and his children Item. I constitute and appoint my trusty and well beloved friends Robert Ball and Isabell Ferguson my whole and sole executors of this my last will and testament hereby revoking and making void all former wills and bequests whatsoever. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty ninth day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighteen. Signed sealed and delivered Henry Woodnot [his mark] in the presence of Arthur Dugall, Thomas Rogers, and James Castellaw. The next year James Castellaw was called upon to prove Woodnot’s will. June 29th 1719 This day came before me James Castellaw proved upon oath the aforesaid will. Charles Eden

James Castellaw and his future father-in-law John Williams the Younger both received patents dated 11 November 1719 in Chowan County. John Williams the Younger acquired a land patent of 640 acres (a square mile) bounded by lands of his own lands, Charles Barber, Jonathan Standley, and Phillip Walston.  Jonathan Standley was the son in law of Martin Gardner and Ann Bryan. He married Ann Gardner. 

This property was on the east side of the Cashie River near Horse Spring Branch and Bear Swamp. His neighbors John Plowman and Philip Walston were in the area as early as July 1713. This property was later deeded to John Williams the Younger’s grandson, Ezekiel Williams, on 26 February 1757. Ezekiel Williams had left Bertie County and moved to South Carolina by 1767 where he was an assembly man. However he kept his ties with his folks in Bertie and his will written 28 April 1796 was recorded the May Term in Bertie County, North Carolina.

James Castelaw was also granted 640 acres in Chowan Precinct adjoining Philip Walston, Charles Barber, Jonathan Standley, and John Williams. He probably filed after John Williams as that Johns’ patent does not mention James Castellaw as adjoining his property. Nevertheless they were now near neighbors and were soon to become related when Castellaw later married Sarah Williams.


In the 1720’s John Williams the Younger turned 50 years old and all his children except perhaps Mary and Arthur were grown. He had out lived the age of his father at the time of his death and would continue to live at least perhaps another 35 years. As one of the original land owners in the Cashy area, between him and his sons and sons-in-law, the Williams Clan owned over six miles of land on both sides of the Cashie River in the present day Windsor Township of Bertie County.

A tax census dated 9 January 1719, in the old style calendar but was actually taken in 1720, enumerated fifty-eight freeholders [landowners] or family heads living west of the Chowan River between Salmon Creek and the Cashie River in the Chowan Precinct. These men were generally well educated men with strong economical, political, and social ties with the county seat of government at Queen Anne [Edenton] on the northeast portion of Albemarle Sound peninsula. Many of these families were related to one another by marriage or other forms of kinship.

Among these 58 freeholders were John Williams the Younger, Theophilus Williams, Samuel Herring, his brother John Herring and Thomas Williamson [Williams]. Not enumerated were John Williams the Third nor James Castellaw. The census may not have included the west side of the Cashie River where John Williams the Third lands were located.  Whether the John Williams mentioned here in the list is John the Younger or his son John Williams the Third is uncertain but as that John the Third owned land west of the Cashie, the man mentioned in this list is most likely the father. James Castellaw was most likely living still east of the Chowan River. 

This list of freeholders was taken by constable Phillip Walston who was a near neighbor of John Williams the younger. While Walston’s list contained the names of 58 men, there were many more men and their families living in the area than that who were renters or indentured. The census only enumerated property owners and those who paid a poll tax so as to be eligible to vote as did Theophilus Williams.

John Williams the Younger’s properties were located around Horse Spring Branch and Bear Swamp and according to this census his nearest neighbors were Charles Barber, Samuel Hearin [Herring], John Hearin [Herring], John Plowman, Jonathan Standley, Thomas Williamson [Williams?], and Theophilus Williams, and John Williams. The Thomas Williamson is probably a Williams as that the names were often interchangeable among those of Welsh decent.

Three land deeds were recorded in Chowan Precinct on 5 April 1720 that mention kinfolk of John Williams the Younger. One was his son John Williams the Third who obtained a land patent of 640 acres [a square mile] on the north side of Roquist Swamp “joining ye said swamp” and therefore on the southwest side of the Cashie River. This property was mentioned in the will of John Williams the Third. Recorded at the same time was also the land patent of James Castellow who patented 340 acres joining John Watson, Ralph Bosman, Robert Hicks, James Farlaw, Charles Jordan and Isaac Williams [Wilson].”

Careful examination of other land deeds show that this Isaac “Williams” is actually Isaac Wilson who is mentioned in deed records of the above neighbors of Castellow at Indian Town Creek. The patent was on the east side of the Chowan River and north of Queen Anne Creek. Indian Town Creek was later known as Catherine Creek where Lewis Williams had settled some 15 years before.

The 3rd patent recorded that day was for a 640 acre patent granted to John Williams the Younger’s cousin Arthur who was the son of his uncle Thomas Williams. Arthur Williams’ lands were located south of the Morratuck [Roanoke] River and on north west side of Kerby’s Creek. This land is in present Northampton County near the town of Conway about 40 miles north of Cashy.

At the community of Cashy several land transactions in 1720 show which prominent land owners were neighbors or close associates in the area. James Castellaw, Martin Garnder and Edward Moore all witnessed a deed of gift from a farmer John Griffin and his wife Joyce to William Griffin, "for love...I do bare my son” of 200 acres on “southwest side of Kesai [Cashie] Swamp adjoining William Wilson”.

Later in the summer of 1720, John Williams the Younger’s neighbor Charles Barber signed Power of Attorney to Samuel Herring on July 11 to acknowledge a sale of 72 acres land between Barber and John Lewerton. The POA was witnessed by John’s son Theophilus Williams and Owen Daniel [O’Daniel who was the father in law of Richard Fryer. On the same day Charles Barber’s wife Elizabeth gave her Power of Attorney to Owen O’Daniel. This POA was then witnessed by Theophilus Williams and Samuel Herring. The land sold to Lewerton was on the west side of Beaver Swamp but east of the Cashie River. The three witnesses to the transaction were also Theophilus Williams, Samuel Herring, and Owen O’Daniel. 

Over the next couple of days, on 13 July and 15 July 1720 Theophilus Williams and John Williams both witnessed property deeds between John Bryan and Henry Bradley Jr. and Ralph Mason and John Tuberville. Witnessing the deed of Ralph Mason along with John Williams was Benjamin Foreman Senior who had various connections with the Williams Families of Surry County, Virginia before relocating to North Carolina..

This Benjamin Foreman Sr. was born circa 1681, the son of William Foreman and probably Hester Brown of Southwark Parish Surry County Virginia. He married Verity [or Verrily] thought to be a Williams and perhaps a daughter of Roger Williams. He was a witness to the will of Roger Williams of Surry County in 1706. He had at least three children William Foreman, Mary Foreman and Benjamin Foreman Jr all born in Virginia and he in the Chowan Precinct of Albemarle County by 1716 where he was shown in a Tax record as owning 370 acres. By 1722 a George Williams became Benjamin Foreman Senior’s son-in-law.  This George Williams was likely a descendant of Thomas Williams, John Williams the Younger's uncle.

Two deeds dated 10 August 1720 show that the sons and son in law of John Williams the Younger began to acquire land on the south west side of the Cashie River on both sides of Roquist Creek. Samuel Heron [Herring], in his ’s own name as far as known, acquired at this time a patent of 270 acres in “Chowan Precinct back of Theophilus Williams on south side Cassia River [Cashie] joining west side of a swamp that makes into Rocquiss, a branch and the said Williams.” The description of Roquist Swamp shows that this property was on the Westside of the Cashie River and that it joined property of his brother in law Theophilus Williams. “Samuel Heron 270 acres Chowan Precinct back of Theophilus Williams on south side Cassia R., joining west side of a swamp that makes into Rocquiss, a branch, and the said Williams.”

Another deed dated 10 August 1720 of George Cockburne shows that he also had lands on the southside of “Cassia” River joining the northside of Rocquis Swamp, a pocosin, a branch and John Williams”. This John Williams was certainly the eldest son of John and Ann Moor Williams who was granted 640 acres on April 5.. 

By 19 October 1720 James Castellaw had property on the south side of Roquist Creek 1720 although a patent or deed for this land has not been located. A deed of gift between Philip Wallston of Chowan Precinct, cooper, to Phillip Wallston “my son” 450 acre plantation on southside of Rockquist swampt on Kesiah River joining Coll. Thomas Pollack and James Castellaw as patent.”

Samuel Edmonds of Chowan Precinct made out his will 3 November 1720; April Court, 1721. Witnesses to the will were John Williams, Theophilus Williams, Edward Moore and George Eubanck [Eubank]. What relationship Edmonds had to these men other than being neighbors is undetermined. Edmonds named his legatees as Mary his wife, his son Henry to whom he gave his plantation and three daughters Sarah Edmonds, Ann Smith, and Elizabeth Moulton wife of Henry Moulton. John Edwards Sr was executor of the estate. The will was proved in April Court 1721. 

A deed, between John Plowman “Gentleman of Chowan Precinct, and James Felham, was witnessed by James Castellaw and Mary White on 4 November 1720 the day after Samuel Edmonds wrote his will. John Plowman was a near neighbor of John Williams the Younger in the area of Horse Spring Branch and the Cashie River and Mary White was his daughter.


As the year was coming to a close John Williams “of Albemarle County, planter, filed a deed giving to James Blount 10 acres “for love and affection I bear my neighbor”. This John Williams was the son of John Williams the younger. There is no known blood relationship between the two men and the term “love and affection” is general reserved for kinship or very close friends. Evidently John Williams had a special fondness for James Blount as that he would deed 10 acres to him for “love and affection”.  It is possible that John Williams the Third was cohabitating with James Blount's sister as that his youngest brother Arthur had a Tuscarora woman as his common law wife. 

The deed was recorded 10 December 1720 and property description stated it was on Reedy Branch [more commonly called Beaver Dam Branch] located on the North side of the Morattuck [Roanoke] River. The ten acres were part of a larger survey made by Col. William Maul. Witnesses to this deed were John Naire, John Odom, Henry Emanson. Other land deeds of John Williams the Third show that some of his lands joined those of James Blount.

A deed dated 3 July 1721 shows that James Blount was the son of John Blount. “John Blount of Chowan Precinct transferred to James Blount “my son” 640 acres on the north side of Moratuck River [Roanoke] joining “James Blount and Thomas Busby”. Witnesses to this deed were William Jones and Edward Wingate. The same day James Blount and his “now wife Catherine” sold this land for 25£ to Francis Parker of “Nansemond County”. This land was adjoining joining James Blount and Thomas Blount [King Tom Blount]. Francis Parker was born circa 1695, in Nansemond County, Virginia and married Elizabeth Thomas in Chowan. James Blount was a Tuscarora Indian and evidently a very close friend to John Williams. He was the son of John Blount and a grandson of King Tom Blount. After the death of old King Tom Blount in the 1730’s, James Blount was elected King of the Tuscarora in June 1739 at the village of “Rehorsesky,” on the Roquist reservation in Bertie County. James Blount was the last king of the remaining Tuscarora people.

Many of the Tuscarora people who lived in Bertie County had adopted English names such as Blount, Butler, Bunch, and Taylor, which made them often indistinguishable from Europeans in land deeds. The close proximity of Indians, blacks and whites living together in the South led to mixed race children. Some of the John Williams the Younger’s descendants, including his son Arthur, took as wives Tuscarora women. His grandchildren and great grandchildren were referred to in records as mulattos which have confused some researchers. The term Mulatto in this period meant someone having “white blood” mixed with that of either American Indian or African. John Williams’ descendants by Tuscarora mothers were "half-breeds", a derogatory term to describe Indian and European mixed race children. John Williams’ brother William Williams however did have a grandson who had a common law marriage with a slave of African ancestry. Another old racial term was “mustee” a corruption of the Spanish word “Mestizo”. The term was used specifically to categorize a mixed race people of Native American and African ancestry.

Over time however the Tuscarora began to dwindle in number during the 18th Century so that in the 1820’s, nearly 100 years after it was granted the Tuscarora reservation was returned to the state of North Carolina and the lands were sold to wealthy planters. Tuscarora bloodlines are mostly mingled today among the descendants of the English who originally settled next to the reservation. Today, while no longer a reservation, the area is still called Indian Woods.


The 1721 Tax List of Chowan Precinct shows that the family of John Williams the Younger was one of the most prominent landowners in the Cashy community. Records show that from John Williams earliest patent of 320 acres in 1713 until 1721, his family had accumulated 4,010 acres or nearly 6 ¼ square miles.

The family is located on Tax List number 337. There are two John Williams listed, one as John Williams Jr. As that most of the records pertaining to John Williams the Younger also refer to him as John Wiliams Jr., it appears that the John Williams paying a tax of 1£: 7s: 4p on 1620 acres is John Williams the Third. John Williams "Jr." is listed as paying a tax of 1£: 17shillings and 9pence on 1065 acres.

My guess is that the "John Williams" is the oldest son of John and Ann Moor Williams and because his holdings were not as developed as his father, his taxes were less even though he owned more property. John Williams the Third would have been about 28 years old and probably unmarried. If he did marry, his wife had to had died before 1722 without issue or another possibility is that he had an Indian common law wife which was not recognized by law.

John the Younger's Son Theophilus Williams paid a taxed of 1£: 15shillings and 3 pence on 915 acres. His son James Williams paid a tax of 1£: 6s: 10p on 410 acres. As that James Williams had patented this land on March 30th this tax record which had no date had to be taken after that time. John the Younger's son Isaac Williams isn't shown as having any land as was his youngest son Arthur Williams. Possibly Isaac, who would have been about 20, years old and Arthur was still a youth of about 15 years, were still living with their parents.

Others relations mentioned in the 1721 census were sons-in-law Samuel Herring and James Castellow who owned 1700 acres. A near neighbor Jonathan Standley had 300 acres. He had acquired land or was renting prior to 28 January 1720 [1721] when a deed description of property being sold from Joseph Trowell of “Kesiah” [Cashie] in Chowan Precinct to John Harrison showed that the property was located at a “branch of reeds” and James Castellow.

According to this land tax record Martin Gardner owned 1,400 acres about 2 and a half square miles on which he paid a tax of and 3 shillings. 

In March 1721 the sons of John Williams the Younger, John Williams, Theophilus Williams, and James Williams traveled to Queen Anne Town [Edenton] where on March 30th 1721 they registered several deeds for lands on the west side of the Cashie River. John Williams the Third patented 640 acres “between Cassia [Cashie] and Morattuck {Roanoke], joining James Blount, a reedy pocoson, and a great swamp.” He also claimed 250 acres in “ye woods betwixt Cassia and Morattock river, joining ye Village pond, James Blount, John Williams and a Great swamp.”  A deed dated 7 November 1721 shows that James Blount the Tuscarora lived near Theophilus Williams’ father-in-law Thomas Busby. “James Blount to John Yelverton 20 shillings for 211 acres at Thomas Busby headline.” Another deed dated 10 February 1723 [1724] between Francis Parker and John Parker stated the property in the transaction was by lands of James Blount and Thomas Busby.

Theop[hilus] Williams patented 200 acres also by his brother in the woods between “Cassia and Morattock” [Cashie and Roanoke Rivers]. This land would also have been on the west side of the Cashie River also and possibly near the lands of Thomas Busby. ·

James Williams patented 410 acres “on ye South side of Cassia River, joining Samuel Heron, ye Flag Branch, and ye west side of little Rocquis Swamp [Roquist Creek]” Samuel Herring was of course his brother-in-law and a near neighbor to this property was Owen O’Daniels who appears as a witness in many Williams’ property deeds. The Cashie River flows from a a easternly towards a bend north of the town of Windsor where then flows southeasternly to the Atlantic. and flows there in an wester easternly direction. His near neighbor was Owen O’Daniels. James Williams received a patent in 1721 of 410 acres on the southside of the “Cassiah River adjoining Sam Heron at Flag Branch west side of Little Rocquist Swamp .

 On 7 April 1721 "John Williams Jr. of Chowan Precinct, planter” sold to James Castellow of “Chowan Precinct, planter” for consideration of 16 £ 640 acres "on the northside of Rocquies [Roquist] Swamp". The witnesses were John Crombie and George Cockburne.

On 17 April 1721 James Castellow purchased from William Jones and his wife Mary of Chowan Precinct 150 acres for 23 £  on south side of "Kesai River Pocoson", adjoining Col. Pollock, Richard Fryer, the marsh, and Martin Gardner. The witnesses were John Plowman and Mary White. 

At the same time also on
  17 April 1721 John the Younger  father gave his son Theophilus two tracts of land most likely as a wedding gift. “John Williams of Albemarle County, planter, to Theophilus Williams of same for “love and affection I bear my son, 90 acres where on he now lives being part of land I live on and 120 acres all on Horse Spring Branch adjoining Samuel Hearing, Turkey Swamp and Thomas Jones of another which joins the tract I live on.” The witnesses were Benjamin Foreman and John Williams most likely Theophilus' brother. 

At the same time John Williams the Younger gave power of attorney to his neighbor John Edwards to acknowledge the Deed of Gift to “my son” Theophilus Williams in court. The distance from Cashy to Edenton to record the deed may have been too much for John Williams as he was now nearly 50 years old. Many of his deeds after this time are recorded by Powers of Attorney assigned to others. The 1721 Tax record shows that Theophilus Williams held 915 acres of land. The two deeds shown above account for 410 of them. There are no others records that show he acquired anymore land in 1721 so Theophilus must have acquired the remaining 505 prior to that time.

Theophilus Williams was born circa 1694 and would have been about 27 years old when he married Christian Busby [Busbee] the daughter of Thomas Busby and Catherine Bryan. Thomas Busby had relocated from Isle of Wight County were he was a farmer and Indian trader. His property in Bertie County was located next to the Tuscarora Nation Reservation and no doubt traded with them. Theophilus and Christian Williams’ first born son was named John Williams after his grandfather John Williams the Younger. 

James Castellow at the same time gave power of attorney to "John Edwards Jr" to acknowledge  two tracts of land. One for 150 acres was purchased from William and Mary Jones and another from "John Williams Jr." for 640 acres. 

On this same day James Castellaw “of Chowan Precinct, planter” gave to John Edwards Jr. the Power of Attorney to acknowledge transactions to be recorded in Edenton between him and John Williams and William and Mary Jones . John Edward Jr might be the same as the John Edwards in John Williams’ above deed of gift to his son Theophilus. The witnesses were John Price and Benjamin Foreman.

It appears that James Castellaw is not a son-in-law of John Williams the Younger as of yet. There is no mention of him being called “son-in-law” but that does not mean he could not have been. Perhaps John the Younger sold Castellaw the land because he was a future son-in-law and that he was well to do enough that there was no need to do a deed of gift to his daughter Sarah. At the most James Castellow was only 14 years younger than John Williams but better educated and eventually much wealthier.

On 3 July 1721 John Blount of Chowan Precinct assigned a deed of gift to James Blount of Chowan Precinct to “my son” 640 acres on northside of Morratuck [Roanoke] River joining James Blount and Thomas Busby. The witnesses were William Jones and Edward Wingate. The same day James Blount and “now wife” Katherine sold to Francis Parker of Nansemond County for 25£ this 640 gift from his father. The witnesses to this transaction were John Blount and Thomas Busby.

On July 14, 1721 Mathew Edwards, most likely the son of John Edwards sold to John the Younger 150 acres for 20 £. This property joined “Jonathan Standley" at his corner.” This Standley was a neighbor of John Williams at Horse Springs Branch. The witnesses to the transaction were James Castellow, John Rasberry and William Badham.  Rasberry was the husband of John Williams’ niece Bridgett and is found witnessing also documents pertaining to the family of Lewis Williams.

The following day on the 15th of July, John Williams and William Gray witnessed a deed of James Blount and his wife Catherine. Which John Williams, father or son, is unknown. However it is more likely to be John Williams the Third.  

On 17 July 1721 Jacob Hardy assigned to James Castellow his interest to 100 acres “joining swamp at Cashoke Creek." Cashoke Creek starts near the entrance to Cashie River and travels northwest and ends near the community of Merry Hill. This land had been assigned to Jacob Hardy from John Crombie one of the witnesses to John Williams the Younger land transaction with James Castellow earlier in the year. 

On 7 November 1721 James Blount sold to his brother in law John Yelverton for 20 shillings 211 acres at Thomas Busby’s line. The witnesses were Francis Parker and Benjamin Foreman. 


In 1722, John Williams the Younger was about 50 years old and had outlived his the age at which his own father had died. His lands in Bertie County had a distinct advantage over other counties in the region in early colonial days because of its rich soil which was sustained by several rivers and streams that flowed along and within its borders. The most important of these was the Cashie River.

John the Younger's son Theophilus Williams was married and his other children married in the 1720’s but dates of marriage are unknown. His daughters Mary Williams married Abraham Herring and Sarah Williams married James Castellow. Abraham Herring was Samuel Herrings’ younger brother.  His son Isaac Williams married Martha Hodges a daughter of Robert Hodges and son James Williams  married Elizabeth Bryan the daughter of Needham Bryan. Elizabeth Bryan was the daughter of Needham Bryan and Charlotte Moore and a cousin to Christian Busby, wife of Theophilus Williams, on her mother Catherine Bryan Busby’s side of the family.

James Castellow probably married Sarah Williams, the second daughter of John and Ann Moore Williams in 1722 but certainly no later than 1724 when she is mentioned in a deed as his wife. In the records at Bertie County North Carolina, there is one dated from 1 February 1723/24 which mentioned "Sarah, wife of said James".  

The North Carolina Colonial Assembly created Bertie Precinct from the western half of Chowan Precinct in November 1722. All records for John Williams the Younger and his kinfolk are found in Chowan Precinct prior to the division. All lands west of the Chowan River including those of John Williams were now in Bertie Precinct. 

John and Ann Moore Williams’s son John, probably his eldest, made his will out on 26 Jan 1721 [1722] and died some time after that. It was recorded in Chowan County on 18 May 1722 and he died unmarried probably in his late 20’s. His will left his considerable estates to his brothers, Theophilus Williams, James Williams, Isaac Williams, and Arthur Williams but nothing to his parents. However John and Ann Moore Williams were listed as witnesses of their son’s will along with Mary Edmonds so there probably was no acrimony among them.

John Williams the Third also specified the lands to be given to Arthur his youngest brother who may have been as young as 12 years old. These lands were at “Runaroy” [also known as Runaroy Marsh]. Here there are a number of choices, none of which fit Runaroy exactly, but you can take your choice. The name Runaroy Path was used in a land patent of 1721 and other deeds referred to Flag Run as being on Runaroy Meadow or Swamp. Runiroi was  probably  a Tuscarora village on the west side of the Cashie. Wayne Modlin from Indian Woods suggests that Runaroy Path referred to what is now Indian Woods Road, including the road that goes through Woodville to Flag Run. Runaroy Path would have been an Indian Trail when early white settlers started taking out land grants.

John Williams also left a legacy to his “cousins” (nephews) John Williams, the son of Theophilus Williams, and Anthony Herring, the son of Ann Williams Herring, property. This shows that John and Ann Moore Williams were grandparents by January 1722.

Deed records from 1722 which showed transactions of friends and relatives of John Williams the Younger were as follows. 

12 March 1721 [1722] John Cook to John Rasberry for 20£ assignment of patent granted 10 August 1720 of 312 acres at place called Gilly Crankey. Witnesses were John Crombie and Thomas Ball. On 27 May 1722 Rasberry assigned to John Williams the Younger the above patent. Witnesses were William Badham and Thomas Sprires

 In the summer of 1722 on July 13, Theophilus Williams’s father-in-law Thomas Busby of “Albemarle County and Catherine my wife” sold to John Page of Albemarle County 320 acres on the northside of Morratuck on Jumping Run joining James Blount and John Williams part of a 640 acre patent granted “to me” for 16 £. The witnesses were George Williams and Thomas Browne. George Williams likely a second cousin from Theophilus great uncle Thomas Williams who died in 1693. Thomas Browne may be been John Williams the Younger's uncle who married Ann Williams his aunt or the son of John Browne.

Jumping Run is in the Woodville area and sometimes referred to as Flag Run Gut. On the north end of Jumping Run Creek is Dempsey Bridge (not actually a bridge, but a flat path that the water from Jumping Run ran across that had a hard bottom and would hold a horse and cart from sinking) It empties into Griffin's Mill Pond and into Flag Run Gut/Wharf. The origin of the name is said to be due to impassable swampland for which poles were cut to lay across to provide a road bed. Only a "good" mule could make it across and then only if the driver would "jump and run along" beside him. "Jump and Run" became, over time, Jumping Run.

On 14 August 1722 James Castellow assigned his interest to 100 acres “joining swamp at Cashoke Creek to Joseph Hudson Jr.  which he received from Jacob Hardy.
In September 1722, John Williams the Younger, his son-in-law James Castellow and his cousin Arthur Williams traveled to the courthouse at Edenton, in Chowan Precinct to register two deeds. Arthur Williams on 8 Sep 1722 patented 300 acres in Potacosey woods joining the hunting quarter swamp and Potacasey (Potecasi) Creek. This creek flows in the Meherrin River. This land was nearly 40 miles north of Cashy in what became Northhampton County in 1741.

The following day John Williams the Younger and his son-in-law James Castellow patented a shared 640 acres in Raquis pocoson,[Roquist Swamp] joining John Williams the Younger, at “swamp that falls into Morattack [Roanoke]river and the sd. Pocoson [swamp]." This land that was a square mile was near the Tuscarora Indian Reservation. It was bounded by the Roanoke River and Roquist Creek. The Tuscarora reservation contained some of the more fertile land of the county, and it was not long before whites began to encroach upon this territory. As early as 1721 “interlopers” had threatened to "create Feuds and disturbances" among the Indians.

On 13 October 1722 Edward Moore and wife Mary of "Chowan Precinct" sold to James Corre 50 acres joining Martin Gardner and Richard Fryer for 4£. The witnesses were Patrick Cannady and William Jones.

In November 1722, the North Carolina Colonial Assembly created Bertie Precinct out of all the lands west of the Chowan River. From this time forward the folks in the Cashy community were residents of Bertie County.

Valintine Braswell and wife Jean to John Blackman 3 Dec 1722 50 £  440 acres adjoining John Pope, William Bryant, from a patent 9 March 1717/8. Witnesses were Samuel Williams, Nathaniel Piggott, and John Cotton Atty.

 When Bertie Precinct was established in 1722, the Southwest Parish name was changed to “Society Parish” in honor of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel which tried to promote Anglicanism among the mostly Quaker settlers and Tuscarora Indians. William Dukenfield of "Salmon Creek" to the east of Cashie River was one of the early supporters of the Church of England and gave 52 acres for the construction of a chapel in 1721. The church was "lying on the northwest side of Ducking Run" in what is now Merry Hill Township of Bertie County.

The Anglican chapel at Merry Hill was located on William Dukenfield's land and was nearly a day's journey to the community of Cashy, where the new Bertie County Courthouse was established in the 1740’s. A Cashy chapel was  later built in the community by the Lockharts, Outlaws, Hills, Grays, Whitmels and Cliftons who all wanted a church of their own. But it is unknown whether the Williamses worshipped there. By this time, the migration out of Bertie County had begun.

Although the Williams family may have been Anglican, it was very difficult to find Anglican ministers willing to serve in early Colonial Bertie due to the low salaries and the early pioneer life style. When Gabriel Johnston became governor of North Carolina in 1734 he sent a plea to the bishop of London for a minister for Bertie County: "We are a most heathenish part of American and have no sect amongst us but Quakers who daily increase.”

Probably in response, the Rev. John Boyd was the first Anglican missionary to come to the Society Parish. The Rev. Boyd had a reputation for drunkenness however and died by the early 1740's. Rev. John Holmes replaced him and served for a brief time. But he was as unsuccessful a pastor as Boyd and Bertie County became dependent on neighboring counties for their clergy until 1767. The American Revolution brought about a disregard for the Church of England by the Patriots, and no doubt affected the Cashy Chapel. The demise of the community of Cashy led to the chapel to fall into disrepair and ruins.

By the Mid 1720’s a community called Cashy, at the end of navigable waters of the Cashie River began to develop to support local planters. Here a bridge was  built in 1712 that later become known as Hoggard Mill Bridge and Greens Cross Bridge in the 19th Century.  The wide area below the bridge was a turning basin that was used to turn cargo ships coming from the Sound around for the trip back down river. At one time the Cashie River was a very important waterway for transporting cargo such as tobacco, animal pelts, cotton, and passengers to and from the Albemarle Sound in the Atlantic Ocean.

The landowners at Cashy who were John Williams the Younger's neighbors and kinsmen, as shown in property deeds, were some of the more prominent men of Bertie County. His kinmen such as James Castellaw, Samuel Herring, Edward Moore, and Joseph Moore. Neighbors were James Byrd, William Byrd, James Corrie, George Eubank, Martin Gardner, John Hart, Henry Overstreet, and Thomas Whitmell

Land deeds from 1720’s also show that John Williams the Younger and his sons also had lands were located on the south side of the Roquist River and north side of Morattock River [Roanoke] at a place called Flaggy Run.  His neighbors there were Needham Bryan, Robert Hodges, John Nairne, Owen O’Daniel John Butler, James Cannady, Henry and Robert West. 

On 26 March 1723 John Williams' son in law Samuel Herring acquired 120 acres at Broad Branch that flowed into the north side of “Roquiss Pocoson” on the west side of Cashie River. This land bordered his brother-in-law James Williams.

A later deed, dated 13 April 1723, showed that Nicholas Sessums and his wife Elizabeth,  sold 80 acres to James Page that was located on the main branch of Wickacome [Wiccacom] Creek to small branch dividing the land where John Williams now lives. This Nicholas Sessums was the grandson of the Nicholas Sessums the Emigrant of Surrey County, Virginia. The deed was witnessed by John Naire and Needham Bryan. As that John Naire and Needham Bryan are associated with John Williams the Younger the John Williams mentioned in the was of Cashy. Needham Bryan became the father-in-law to John’s son James Williams by 1730.

On 1 May 1723 James Castellaw was a witness to a land transaction between John Byrd and James Currie [Corrie]. He was evidently a near neighbor to John Williams the Younger as that Castellaw witnessed a transaction dated 27 April 1723 of 100 acres which was part of a tract “adjoining John Williams corner”. 

In November 1723 John Williams the Younger and his cousin Arthur Williams  son of his uncle Thomas Williams  filed two land deeds. Arthur Williams on 7 November 1723 patented 200 acres in Potacasey Woods joining “Potacasey Creek”.  Three days later John Williams recorded on 10 Nov 1723 534 acres on the north side of Morattock, joining the lands of the Tuscarora Indian chieftain James Blount and Jumping Run [near Roquist Swamp].

Jumping Run is a small stream that empties into Griffin's Mill Pond, and into Flag [Flaggy] Run by the Indian Woods and near present day Woodville. This 534 acres eventually was owned by a Robert Hicks who in 1755 sold it to David Mead. That deed stated the land on Jumping Run, formerly of James Blounts",  was chained to John Williams then Jethro Butler and Thomas Page. The 1755 deed was mistaken and saying that the land was patented to John Williams on 16 November 1723 “who dying intestate it descended to his son James Williams who conveyed it to said Robert Hicks 16 Oct 1739.”  John Williams the Younger did not die without a will. John Williams was still alive in 1757 when he deeded some lands to his grandson Ezekiel Williams the son of James Williams. Also James Williams was dead by 1737 when his will was recorded. Either the deed was fraudulent or just really wrong on the dates and the chain of title. A Mr. Barker, John Gilchrist, and Darwin Elwick witnessed the deed which was recorded 5 May 1756.

In  a dead from January 1723 [1724] James and Sarah Castellaw assigned their interest in 150 acres on the south side of the Cashie River to George Pollock. The following month on 28 February 1723 [1724] James Castellaw sold to Thomas Williamson [Williams] 550 acres located at Arthur Dugall’s corner on Kesiah [Cashie] River to Florence Bourn's lines. The witnesses were Peter Stancell and Jonathan Ridings. This deed was signed by both James Castellaw and his wife Sarah. These documents show that the pair were married by 1724 but more than likely many years before this date. On 8 November  1724 Sarah Castellaw gave to Edward More [Moore] her Power of Attorney to acknowledge the sale to Thomas Williams "as my right of dower and power of thirds to land in Kesiah Neck.” Edward Moore was Sarah Castellaw’s cousin on her mother Ann Moor’s side of her family. He was Ann Moor Williams’s nephew.

On 11 May 1724 James Williams, son of John Williams the Younger sold to Joseph Moore, perhaps a cousin, 35 acres on Little “Roquess Swamp” lands adjoining Samuel Herring’s corner for 20 shillings. The deed was witnessed by John Hart and Needham Bryan who would become James’ father-in-law.

Joseph Moore became a brother in law to James' brother Isaac Williams when he married a daughter of Robert Hodges. Joseph Moore's will was written 15 Feb 1753 and recorded in Edgecombe County. His wife Anne Hodges Moore's will was dated 22 Feb 1774 and probated in Jan 1776 in Martin County. Martin County was formed from Halifax County which was form in in 1758 from Edgecombe so evidently the family lived in all  three counties without ever moving. Joseph Moore "Jr" was the sheriff of Edgecombe County.

John Williams the Younger and his wife Ann sold on 2 August 1724  a tract of land located at the  "back of a Survey of Martin Gardners the South side of Casiah Swamp" containing 235 acres to Henry Overstreet for 12 £. " The witnesses to this deed were his children Isaac Williams and Ann  Herring and neighbor William Jones. As that Isaac was a witness would have been of legal age.

"To all Christian People to whom these presents shall come I, John Williams and Ann my wife, Send Greeting in our Lord God Everlasting, Know ye that I Jn Williams of Bertie Precinct in the County of Albermarle and province of No. Carolina with the free consent of Ann my wife for divers good cause and considerations is thereunto moving, but more especially for the Valuable consideration of twelve pounds to us in hand paid by Hen. Overstreet of the province and precinct aforesaid is secured to be paid the Receipt whereof we do by these presents Acknowledge ourselves fully contented satisfied and paid do therefore bargain and sell alienate and forever make over and confirm unto the aforesaid Hen. Overstreet to him his heirs Exe and Assigns forever a certain Tract or piece of Land containing two hundred and thirty five acres in Bertie precinct lying back of a Survey of Martin Gardners the So. side of Casiah Swamp Beginning at a Red Oak in a marsh on the No. Et. side of a swamp that makes out of Rockquist Running then No. 38 Et. 240 pole to a hickory then No. 60 Wt. 220 pole to three hiccorys then So. 30 Wt. 118 pole to three pines on a branch side that makes into the swamp then the windings of the branch and the swamp that makes into Rockquist to the first station together with all Houses gardens orchards timber and timber trees thereon standing lying or growing with all Easements profits and appurtenances unto the same belonging or any ways appertaining To Have and to Hold all and Singular the aforesaid devised and every part and parcel thereof to all intents and purposes unto him the said Hen Overstreet his heirs Exe Adm and assigns from hereinafter and forever in as full and ample manner as any land is holden in this Goverment warranting the same to be free and clear of and from all manner of Rent or Rents dew to our Sovereign Ld. the King or the absolute Lds proprietors of the Goverment, and the above said Saile do warrant and maintain in every article and clause as is above Expressed and to defend the same from all manner of person or persons claiming by from or under us or either of us our heirs Exe or Adm or any ways whatsoever as also to acknowledge the same in Bertie precinct __ when thereunto reasonably bequested we bind ourselves our heirs Exe and Adm in the penal sum of Twenty four pounds Fr money of Great Britain, In witness whereof we have set our hands and seals 2nd day of August 1724 Jn Williams Ann A Williams Isaac Williams, Wm Jones Ann A Herring

There must have been some question regarding this deed as that four years later John Williams the Younger gave to his son Isaac Williams his power of attorney to "acknowledged the above deed of Sale in due form of Law in Open Court, which on motion is ordered to be Registered in Bertie Precinct May Court 1728.

On 12 September 1724 James Castellaw  along with Martin Gardner, John an Alice Bryan witnessed a deed between Richard Able and Edward Moore. Moore bought from Able for 20 £ 320 acres southside of Roques [Roquist] Swamp between Francis Hobson, George Cockburne,  and William Smith. 

Martin Gardner and James Castellaw must have been near neighbors as several transaction in 1725 involve the pair. On 13 Jan. 1724 [1725], Martin Gardner and his wife Anna  sold to Thomas Whitmell 310 acres on west side of Casia River adjoining Edward More's plantation for £27. The witnesses were George Eubank and James Castellaw.  Another deed dated 8 February 1724 [1725] showed that Martin Gardner again sold to Thomas Whitmell 50 acres "along old dividing line."  Again the deed was witnessed by James Castellaw along with Garret Kelly. The deed was acknowledged by James Castellaw to whom Gardner had given his Power of Attorney on 10 May 1725. 

Isaac Williams' father in law Robert Hodges in a deed dated 7 July 1725 showed that he was  "of Lower Parish Isle of Wight" when sold to a Quaker named John Dunkley "of Upper Parish Isle of Wight", 250 acres "on southside of Blackwater ajoining Sarah Branch Davis. A witness to this deed was John the Younger's brother Nicholas Williams who was also a Quaker.  Robert Hodges may have been selling off his property in Virginia to relocate to Bertie Precinct in North Carolina. Robert Hodges was in Bertie County by October when he acted as a witness to a deed from John Williams the Younger to his brother Nicholas.

On 10 October 1725 John Williams the Younger of Bertie County sold to his brother Nicholas Williams of Isle of Wight County, Virginia  all interest in a 125 acre property there for 1 shilling.

"This Indenture made this twenty first day of October ye tenth year of ye Reign of our Sovereign Lord George & in ye year of our Lord Christ one thousand seven hundred & twenty five between John Williams of North Carolina of ye one part and Nicholas Williams of the Isle of Wight County in Virginia of ye other part Witnesseth that ye said John Williams for & in consideration of ye sum of one schilling to him in hand paid by ye said Nicholas Williams ye receipt whereof he Doth hereby acknowledged & himself to be there with fully satisfied contented & paid & by these presents Doth acquit & Discharge the said Nicholas Williams his heirs & hath devised Bargained Lett leased and to farm letter and by these presents doth devise bargain Lett lease & to farm Lett unto ye said Nicholas Williams his heirs & assigns all that messuage plantation or parcel of situated lying & being in ye Isle of Wight County in Virginia bounded as followeth, Viz, Beginning at a marked corner tree of John Barnes being a Gum standing by ye Bun side of Nottaway Swamp thence up the Dividing Line to a pine standing by ye side of a branch thence up the Branch to a pine tree standing in Ye said Branch being a Corner tree so up a line of marked trees to ye patent Line & according to Pattent to a marked Red Oak being made a corner tree of the Dividing Line between John Williams & Nicholas Williams from thence down a line of marked trees to Gum standing standing in the Run of a branch so down the branch to a Gum & down a line of marked trees to Gum standing in Nottaway Swamp by the run side being a corner tree from thence down this Run run to a Gum being a Corner Tree standing in the side of ye Run being a Corner tree between John Barnes and John Williams by Estimation one hundred & twenty five acres being ye same more or less which said Land being a part of a tract in a pattent Granted to Wm Williams bearing date ye twenty forth day of April one thousand seven hundred & three & said land together with all houses Orchards Gardens roadways waters water courses & all other profits & advantages to ye same belonging or in any wise appertaining To Have & To Hold the said Devised premises & every part thereof unto ye said Nicholas Williams his heirs & for and during the full term & time of three years fully to be completed & ended yielding & paying for ye same yearly on ye tenth Day of December ye fee rent one ear of Indian Corn if ye same shall be Lawfully Demanded unto Ye said John Williams his heirs & to ye intent & purpose that by virtue of these presents & of ye Statue for Transferring Uses into possessions that ye said Nicholas Williams may be in actual & peaceable possession of ye heretofore granted premises & hereby may be the better enabled to accept of a grant or Conveyance of ye Reversion & Inheritance there of to him & his heirs for ever in Witness where of the said John Williams hath hereunto set his hand & Seal ye Day & year above written."

On 25 October 1725, John Williams the Younger and Robert Hodges appeared before the Bertie  court and presented & acknowledged this his [Hodges] mark deed unto Nicholas Williams & admitted to record."

Another deed by John Williams the Younger to his younger brother Nicholas was dated 23 October 1725. John Williams sold to his brother  for £18 125 acres located in the Isle of Wight County that had been purchased from their brother William Williams.

"This Indenture made ye twenty third day of October ye tenth year of ye Reign of our Sovereign Lord King George & in ye yeare of our Lord one thousand seven hundred twenty five Between John Williams of North Carolina of ye one part & Nicholas Williams of the Isle of Wight County in Virginia of the other part Witnesseth that ye said John Williams for & in consideration of ye sum of Eighteen pounds currant money to him in hand paid by ye said Nicholas Williams whereof he doth acquit & discharge the said Nicholas Williams his heirs Exe & assigns & hath Remised Released & forever Quit Claim unto ye said Nicholas Williams & by these presents for himself & his heirs doth fully & clearly & absolutely Remise Release & forever Quit Claim unto ye said Nicholas Williams & his heirs forever all such Right in the Interest & Demands whatsoever as ye said Jon Williams had or ought to have of in or to one hundred & twenty five acres of Land be ye same more or less now in ye quiet & peaceable possession of ye said Nicholas Williams may more Largely appear by interest of one Lease bearing Date to Days before ye Date of these presents to him ye said Nicholas Williams granted by ye John Williams situate lying & being in ye Isle of Wight County in Virginia & bounded as Followeth (viz) Beginning at a marked corner tree of John Barnes being a Gum standing by ye run side of Nottaway Swamp thence up ye dividing Line to a pine standing by ye side of a branch thence up ye said branch to a pine tree standing in ye said Branch being a Corner tree so up a line of marked trees to ye pattent Line so according to ye pattent to a marked Red Oak being made a Corner tree of ye Dividing Line between John Williams & Nicholas Williams from thence down a line of marked trees to a Gum standing in ye Run of a branch so down ye branch to a gum so down a Line of marked trees to a Gum standing in Nottaway Swamp by ye run Line being a Corner tree from thence down ye Run to a Gum being a Corner tree standing in ye side of ye Run being a Corner tree betwixt John Barnes & John Williams by Estimation one hundred and twenty five Acres be ye more or Less which said Land being part of a tract in a pattent granted to Wm Williams bearing date ye twenty fourth Day of April one thousand seven hundred & three which said Land together with all appurtenances thereunto belonging unto the Said Nicholas Williams & his heirs forever To Have and to Hold all & singular ye aforesaid Land & premises so that neither ye said John Williams nor his heirs nor any person or persons whatsoever by from or under him or them shall or will by any means hereafter have Claim Challenge or Demand Estate Right Title or Interest of in or to the aforesaid premises or to any part or parcel thereof by he & they & every of them shall be utterly excluded & Debared for ever by these presents & also ye said John Williams & his heirs doe warrant ye aforesaid Land to the said Nicholas Williams & his heirs for ever with a general warranty against all persons whatsoever In Witness ye said John Williams hath here unto set his hand & Seal ye Day & year first above written Signed Sealed & Delivered John Williams Seal

On 5 February 1725 [1726], an African “wench named Rose…and her increase…” was sold by Richard Webb of Nansemond County, Virginia to James Wood for 32 pounds 15 shillings. The witnesses were John Moore, James Moore, and John Sutton. 

Anne Bird and husband Barnabee Bird to Benjamin Foreman 10 Mch 1725/6 20 pds for 625 ac on south side Kahukee Swamp adj Richard Melton,Ann Milton. Benjamin to clear and plant an acre of land and build a house by ye last March next coming. Wit. John Williams, Jacob Lewis.  

These two transactions about a month apart show that that the value of this African woman was worth more than a square mile of land.

In 1726 James Williams sold to Robert Hog (Hodges) 380 acres on Rocquis Creek and the Flagg [Flaggy] branch lands adjoin Henry Overstreet. The witness to this deed was his brother Theophilus Williams and Richard Washington.

7 May 1726 John Williams and wife Anne sold to John Moore 150 acres adjoining Jonathan Standley for 24£. This deed was witnessed by Theophilus Williams and Samuel Williams. John and Ann Moor Williams gave power of Attorney to Stephen Wlliams to acknowledge the sale of the 150 acres to John Moore. Both Theophilus and his brother James Williams were witnesses and called “jurats” which just meant they swore to the validity of the deed. John Moore could have been John Williams’ brother in law or his wife’s nephew. Stephen Williams was John Williams the Younger’s nephew son of his brother Williams.

On May 7, 1726 a Deed between Sarah Rose and Robert Bell was witnessed by Theophilus Williams and his brother James Williams who testified at the May Court of 1726. In a Deed dated the same time Sarah Rose gave Power of Attorney to Stephen Williams to handle the sale of the 640 acres to “Robert Bell, Planter”. This deed was also witnessed by Theophilus Williams and James Williams.

Anne Bird & husband Barnabee Bird to Benj Foreman 10 Mar 1725/6 20 pds for 625 A on SS Kohukee/Kehikee Swamp land adj Rich Milton, Ann Milton, Benj to & plant an acre of land, build a house by "ye last of Mar next coming". Witnesses: John Williams, Jacob Lewis

7 May 1726 - John Williams and wife Ann to Stephen Williams most likely his nephew and son of William Williams.

10 May 1726 James and Sarah Castellaw assigned rights to property to his business partners Henry Guston and James Millikin

On 1 August 1726 William Williams, James Williams, and James Castellow recorded land transaction in the Bertie Court House deeds. James Castellow and William Williams patented a shared border for 640 acres “on the Easterly side of “Cushie Swamp” in “Guy Hall Woods” adjoining Ambrose Ares(?), and William Williams. Guye's Hall Swamp in the 1700's was a tributary of Cashie River now called White Oak Swamp. It joined Red-Bud Swamp at Hoggard Mill Creek (Will's Quarter Swamp) a few miles north of the present town of Windsor and just south of the community of Buena Vista crosSenioroads The name goes back as far as 1726 when James Castellow received a royal grant of 640 acres on the "East side of Cashy Swamp in Guys Hall Woods". Guys Hall the swamp, a tributary of Cashie River, was so named by many generations until recent times when it somehow became White Oak Swamp. (I am one of the few left who still call it Guys Hall) It is crossed by U.S. 13 just south of Beuna Vista crossroads, a name that goes back as far as the 1850s but is of unknown origin.

James Williams filed two land patents at the same time. He registered a patent of 640 acres “On the Easterly side of Cashy river in Guyshall in Bertie precinct joining his own former corner.” He registered an additional 416 acres on the “Easterly side of Cushy river in Guyshall wood in Bertie precinct, joining David Stewart, a branch and Guyshall Swamp.”

It is unclear who this William Williams is however he must of have been a near kinsman for James Castellow to file a shared deed with him.

At the age of about 40 years Samuel Herring filed a deed on 3 August 1726 for 640 acres on the east side Cashy River “on Bucklesbury Pocoson joining Laurence Searson [Sarson].” His lands now extended on bothsides of the Cashie River. Buckleberry Pocosin SW Merry Hill E of Windsor, on the south side of Highway 17 just N of intersection Hwy 45 toward Edenton. Bucklesberry is the name of an area, and a swamp, near where the Capehart's lived.

James Castellaw was business partner with Henry Guston and James Millikin in a warehouse at Cashy. He sold his interest in the property on 16 August 1726. "We the subscribers do assign all our Right Title and Interest of the within mentioned Deed of Sale unto Henry Guston and James Millikin..." signed by James Castellaw and his wife Sarah Castellaw. The witnesses were Thomas Smith, and  James Black. The deed was recorded on 28 Oct. 1726. 

On 7 March 1726 [1727] Robert Hodges "planter" bought from William Gray  for 80£ 480 acres located at northeast side of Little Rocquis Swamp at James Williams’ corner to Richard Milton. The witnesses were Joseph Moore, John Gray and Elias Hodges. 

John the Younger and Ann Williams on 2 August 1727 sold an additional 135 acres on Casiah Swamp [Cashie River] and Roquist  to their neighbor Henry Overstreet.  The deed was witnessed by their son Isaac Williams, their daughter Anne Herring and neighbor William Jones.  They gave power of attorney to their son Isaac to acknowledge the sale.

Theophilus Williams on 8 August 1727 bought from John Gray a tract of land containing 640 acres at Falling Run from William Gray’s corner to south west to John Williams Corner, for 80 £ 7 shillings. The witnesses were James Castellaw and Samuel Williams.  

On 3 November 1727 John the Younger and his wife gave power of attorney to the son Isaac which in the court record was called "our Trusty and well beloved Friend Isaac Williams" which seems unusual.  However the Power of Attorney from John Williams to Isaac Williams was proved in Open Court in "due form of Law by the Oath of Isaac Williams one of the Evidences thereto which on motion is ordered to be Registered."

Know all men by these presents that we ye subscribers doth firmly by these presents Constitute and ordain and appoint in our names and stead to be our true and Lawful Attorney to acknowledge a certain Tract or parcel of land unto Henry Overstreet or his order in Bertie precinct Court, what our Attorney shall Lawfully do shall stand in as full force and Power as if we were personally in place, as witness our hands and seals this thirteenth day of November 1727. Isaac Williams Jurist Witnesses were John Williams Seal, William Jones and Ann Williams Seal Bertie precinct May Court 1728

It was not until 1728, nearly 15 years after acquiring land in Chowan Precinct that the boundary between Virginia and North Carolina was firmly set by surveyor William Byrd. The area was in controversy until then with both colonies having granted land to applicants. 

On 4 March 1727 [1728] Theophilus Williams sold to Joseph Ballard of Nansemond County Virginia 200 acres for 12£. The witnesess were Needham Bryan and Elias Hodges.

James Castellaw witnessed a Power of Attorney for a Tuscarora Indian landowner named Jonathan Taylor in 1728 whose son William Taylor married into collateral family lines of the Williams-Castellow-Barfield families. William Taylor was named as a Tuscarora Indian in a lease of 8,000 acres to a William Williams and Thomas Pugh and Willie Jones of Duplin County North Carolina in 1766. He was a wealthy planter and son of the Tuscarora Jonathan Taylor. John Williams the Younger's granddaughter Sarah Castellaw became related to these Tuscarora Taylors.  

In 1729 the Lord proprietors surrendered their claims  to the Carolinas all except John Carteret 2nd Earl of Granville. Although most of the proprietors sold their interest back to the Crown, Granville held out and kept title to a sixty mile wide strip of land along the Virginia and North Carolina border. He agreed to give up any participation in government in order to keep ownership of his share known as the Granville District. By doing so he claimed the quit rent property tax from settlers of Chowan Precinct in Albemarle County.

John Williams the Younger sold to his son in law James Castellaw for his grandson Thomas Castellaw, 250 acres of land near the Runaroy March on  a plantation John Glisson now lives" on 14 August 1729 for £ 10. Thomas Castellaw was a minor so the property was sold to his father James. The deed was signed by John and his wife Ann. The witnesses were Edmund Davis and John Mathews. Others mentioned in the deed description were James Blount and Anthony Herring. , 

"Bertie Precinct, North Carolina Know all men by these presents that I John Williams of Bertie Precinct planter for an in consideration of the sum of Ten pounds to me in hand paid before the signing & sealing of these presents well and truly paid by James Castellaw of ye said precinct planter the receipt I do acknowledge and of every part and parcel thereof do exonerate acquit and discharge the said James Castellaw his heirs or Executors have given granted bargained & sold aliened conveyed and confirmed and doth by these freely fully and absolutely give grant bargain sell alien Convey and confirm unto Thomas the son of the said James Castellaw one Tract of Land lying on the north side of ____ river near to Runaroy Marsh being the plantation whereon John Glisson now lives containing by estimation two hundred and fifty acres be it more or less butted and bounded thus viz Beginning at a white oak by the Indian Village pond James Blounts corner tree turning along his line South eighty two degrees East one hundred and forty pole to the center of three white oaks in James Blounts line Anthony Herrings corner thence along his line South four degrees west three hundred pole to a gum in a great Swamp thence the winding of the said Swamp and by the Indian Village Meadow and Village pond to the first station To Have and to Hold the said granted and bargained premises with all the appurtenances privileges and commodities to the same belong or in any way appertaining to him the said Thos. Castellaw his heirs and assigns forever to his and their own proper use benefit and behoof forever and I the said John Williams for me my heirs Exe Adm do covenant promise and grant to and with the said Thomas Castellaw his heirs and assigns that before the Ensealing hereof I am the true sole and lawful owner of the above bargained premises and am lawfully seized and possessed of the same in my own proper right as a perfect Estate of Inheritance in Fee Simple and have in my self good right full power and lawful authority to grant bargain sell convey and confirm the said bargained premises in manner as abovesaid and that the said Thomas Castellaw his heirs and assigns shall and may from time to time and at all times forever hereafter by Virtue of these presents lawfully peaceably and quietly have hold use occupy possess and enjoy the said devised and bargained premises with the appurtenances free and clear and freely and clearly acquitted exonerated and discharged of and from all manner of former and other gifts grants bargains Sales leases mortgages wills intails joynters dowries judgments executions encumbrances and extents Furthermore I the said John Williams for myself my heirs Exe Adm do covenant and engage the above devised premises to him the said Thomas Castellaw his heirs and assigns against the lawful claims or demands of any person whatsoever forever hereafter to warrant secure and defend, and Ann the wife of me the said John Williams doth by these presents freely and willingly surrender all her Right of Dower and power of thirds unto the above devised premises unto him the said Thomas Castellaw his heirs and assigns, In Witness whereof we have herein unto sett our hands this 14th day of Aug 1729 John Williams Seal Ann Williams Seal Signed Sealed and delivered in presence of Edm (E) Davis his mark John (R) Mathews mark Bertie Precinct August Court 1729 John Williams came into Court and acknowledged the above Deed of Land to James Castellaw ordered to be Registered

By the beginning of 1730, John Williams the Yonger would have been circa 58 years old. His wealth in real estate, livestock, and probably human chattel by this time had grown to make him a comfortable country squire. His children were married and raising families of their own and they were spreading out on both sides of the Cashie River. John Williams would have been a well known figure in the community of Cashy. He probably enjoyed the recreational activities of people of his station such as gambling on horse races and cockfighting, fishing and hunting, breeding varieties of livestock and certainly breeding hound dogs which was considered in the purvey of a country gentleman.

While John the Younger never became involved in politics, his youngest son Arthur Williams was elected three times to the colonial assembly more times than any other representative from the county which indictates how well admired the family was in their community. His son-in-law James Castellaw served twice as a representative but was also elected county treasurer and appointed a county judge.

As the population of African Americans in Bertie began to increase that of the Tuscarora Nation was dramatically declining. In 1730 there were only 300 Tuscaroras left in the county compared to the 1000 souls twenty years before. Tuscarora bloodlines were quickly merging with the white colonists so much so that by 1803 the last of Tuscaroras left for New York and by the 1820’s the reservation was relinquished by to the state of North Carolina.

On 10 August 1730 Theophilus Williams sold to his youngest brother Arthur 200 acres on the east side of Horse Swamp and Turkey Swamp lands adjoining Samuel Herring. Horse Swamp was just on the left of the communities of Hoggard Mill and Greens Crossroad the original home of John and Ann Moore Williams. He sold this property for 100 £. The deed was itnessed by their brother Isaac Williams, William Daniel and William Eason.

On 21 January 1730 [1731]  John Williams the Younger sold a parcel of land of 440 acres for 40 £ to Thomas Whitmell adjoining Thomas Turner's corner on a branch of the Roquist River to John Edward's former corner.

"To all people to whom these presents shall come Greeting be known ye that I John Williams of the County of Bertie in the Province aforesaid for and in Consideration of the Sum of forty Pounds Current money of Virginia to me in hand before the Ensealing hereof Well and truly paid by Thomas Whitmell of the Province and County aforesaid the Receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge and myself therewith fully satisfied and Contented and thereof and of every Part and parcel thereof do Exonerate acquit and Discharge the said Thomas Whitmell his heirs Executors & Adm forever by these Presents to have given granted bargained sold aligned conveyed and confirmed and by these presents to freely fully and absolutely give grant bargain sell alien Convey and confirm unto him the said Thomas Whitmell His heirs and assigns forever one Messuage or tract of Land Situate lying and being in the Province and County aforesaid containing by estimation four Hundred and forty Acres be it more or less Butted and Bounded beginning at a Spanish Oak Thomas Turners Corner tree on a Branch of Recquiss then South eighty five East one hundred and sixty poles to the Center of a Sweet Gum a Black Gum and Red Oak then North sixty five Degrees East Sixty poles to a pine then North fifty five West one hundred and twenty four pole to a Red Oak formerly John Edward’s corner tree then along his Line North Twenty Degrees East five Hundred and twenty pole to a pine then West three hundred and five poles to a poplar in a Branch of Recquiss Thence the Meanders of the Branch to the first station To Have and to Hold the said granted and bargained premises with all the appurtenances privileges Commodities to the same belonging as in any wise appertaining to him the said Thomas Whitmell his heirs and assigns forever to his and their only proper use benefit and Ecru of forever and I the said John Williams for me my heirs Executors and Administrator do Covenant promise and grant to and with the said Thomas Whitmell his heirs and assigns forever that before the Ensealing hereof I am the true sole and Lawful owner of the above Bargained promises and am Lawfully Seized and Reposed of the same in mine own proper right as a good perfect and absolute Estate of Inheritance in Fee Simple and Have in my self a good Right full proven and Lawful Authority to grant bargain Sell Convey and Confirm said bargained premisses in manner as above said and that the said Thomas Whitmell his heirs and assigns shall and May from time to time forever hereafter by force and Virtue of these Presents Lawfully Peaceably & quietly have Hold use Occupy possess & enjoy the said Demised & Bargained Premises with the appurtenances free and Clear and freely and clearly acquitted Exonerated& discharged from all and all manner of former or other gift gifts grants bargains Sales Leases mortgages Wills Intacts Joynters Dowers Judgements Executions Encumbrances and Extents further more I the said John Williams for my self my heirs Executors and administrators do Covenant and Engage the above Demised premises to Him the said Thomas Whitmell his heirs and assigns against the Lawful Claims or Demands of any Person or Persons Whatsoever forever hereafter to Warrant Secure and Defend And Ann Williams the wife of me the said John Williams doth by these Presents freely willingly give yield up and Surrender all her Right of Dowry and power of Thirds of in and unto the above Demised Premisses unto Him the said Thomas Whitmell his heirs and assigns In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand & affixed my Seal this Twenty first day of January 1730 Signed Sealed & Delivered John Williams seal Ann (A)Williams seal in the Presence of us Samuel (SH) Herring his mark Arthur Williams Isaac Williams Bertie County Court 1730 The within Deed of Sale was duly Proved in open Court by the Oath of Arthur Williams one of the Subscribing Witnesses thereto which motion is ordered to be Registered

On 14 May 1734 Samuel Herring sold 640 acres to John Clement for 42 £ pounds. He may have wanted to consolidate his properties because the following day a former neighbor Richard Fryer, who had recently moved to Craven County, sold to Samuel Herring 160 acres for 160  £ pounds. This was a huge amount of money so the land must have been very productive with a series of improvements on it. The property was located on the northside of “Roquiss Pocoson, at the neck where the great branch falls into the pocoson, part of track containing 260 acres” This land would have been next to the lands purchased in 1723.

In this same year James Castellaw was  elected the Treasurer of Bertie County in 1734.

Isaac Williams, married to Martha Hodges, the daughter of Robert Hodges and Ann Branch, on 8 December 1735  sold lands to Thomas Bond . The deed was witnessed by his brother Theophilus Williams and father John Williams. 

In 1736  James Williams became ill and wrote out his Last Will and Testament on 21 August 1736. He died probably in 1737 when the will was recorded in the February Court of Bertie County.  James Williams had married Elizabeth Bryan the daughter of Needham Bryan, probably about 1729. She was made executrix of his will in which he named  his three children. They were his son Ezekiel Williams and daughters, Feribe [Ferebee] Williams and Jerusha Williams who were all minors. At the time of his death his wife, Elizabeth Bryan Williams, was pregnant and would have another daughter she named Barbara.  who was not mentioned in her father’s will. Ezekiel Williams was born circa 1730, Feribe born circa 1732, Jerusha born circa 1734, and Barbara born circa 1737. In his will James also appointed his brother Theophilus Williams to be an executor along with his wife Elizabeth.James also mentions his brother Theophilus Williams. The witnesses of the will were Robert Hines, William Standley and George Price. In his will James Williams left two African American slaves to his daughter Jerusha.

Anthony Herring the grandson of John Williams the Younger and now a grown man sold to James Glisson on 14 December 1737 the legacy that his uncle John Williams the Third had left in in 1722. The tract of land was 230 acres part of a patent originally granted to his uncle. THe property was described as adjoining William Hinton at "Village Swamp." He sold the land for 20 £. Anthony Herring was moving from Bertie County to the Nuese River area along with a general migration of the third generation out of Bertie County.

On 7 November 1739, John Williams the Younger's son in law Abraham Herring sold to John Aires 380 acres on the southside of Bear Swamp for  "6000 weight of fresh pork and 20 days work". The witnesses were John Way and John Bowen. 
In 1740 John Williams the Younger would have been about 68 years old and Bertie County had become the most populous county in the colony. Historians estimated from tax records that the average family in Bertie had about 9 persons per family unit. The over population of Bertie was one of the contributing factors that many of his children and grandchildren began selling lands in Bertie and moving to the New Bern region of central of North Carolina.  By the end of the 1730’s many large land owners began to divide their lands into several plantations creating an influx of new people, less educated and smaller landowners. By the end of the 1730’s many large land owners began to divide their lands into several plantations creating an influx of new people who were less educated and were smaller landowners.

Another reason may have been the increase of the amount of slaves owned by the wealthy that threatened the status of middling farmers. This was one of originally reason that John Williams the Younger himself had left Virginia.  The rapid increase of slaves began in the 1720's when North Carolina opened the colony to the slave trade directly from Africa. By the 1740’s one fourth of the population of Bertie County was made up of people of color who were in bondage. by the beginning of the 1750's seventeen percent of the population of Bertie County owned slaves and yet the population that owned less than four slaves was declining. The same economic forces of slavery, that forced John Williams the Younger’s relocation from Virginia, was now having the same affect on his children and grandchildren. They just could not compete with the growing slave owning aristocracy.

John Williams and his wife Ann on 21 January 1739 [1740] sold to Thomas Whitmell for 40

£ 440 acres joining Thomas Turner and John Edwards on a branch of the Roquist River. The witnesses were his sons Isaac Williams, Arthur Williams, and his son in law Samuel Herring.  Thomas Whitmell was also the Indian Interpreter for the Tuscarora Indians. 
Robert Hodges  who was the father in law of John Williams the Younger's son Isaac made out his Last Will and Testament on 30 March 1740. In it he named his sons John Hodges, Richard Hodges, and Elias Hodges. He named his daughters as Ann Moore, Olive Wicon and Mathew [Martha] WILLIAMS. He mentioned his wife but did not name her. He appointed his sons Elias and Richard "Hogges"  and his son in law Isaac Williams as his executors. Witnesses to the will was Needham Bryan, Adam Rabey and William Bryan. His will was not probated until the.August Court, 1742. Isaac Williams’ brother in law was Joseph Moore who married Ann a daughter of Robert Hodges also.

As 1741 approached, Bertie County's was  populated enough for the Colonial Government to decide that "Cashy" should become the county seat. About this time the children and  grandchildren of John Williams the Younger started another migration from the northern counties  to the central regions of Craven and New Hanover Counties. The town of New Bern was the capital of the North Carolina colony and the first state capital until 1794. From 1740 forward branches of the Williams family began to sell off old holdings in Bertie and were found on lands patented between the Neuse and Trent Rivers. Left behind were legion of cousins in Southampton County Virginia and Bertie and Northampton Counties, North Carolina. 

On 10 September 1742 Theophilus Williams began to sell off his lands to Jethro Butler, a Tuscarora Indian land owner. His deed was witness by John Campbell, Stephen Blackman, and Needham Bryan all who would eventually move away from Bertie also. Theophilus sold 500 acres for 25 £  land "to be laid out according to the will of Thomas Busby..." on the northeast side of Morattuck River  [Roanoke] at Beaverdam Branch adjoining Richard Melton. 

Theophilus Williams and his brother in law Samuel Herring in 1742 had relocated to Craven County, North Carolina.  Their multitude of descendants are to be found in the Duplin, Sampson, Johnston, and Onslow Counties over the rest of the 18th Century.


However the Cashy planters and farmers who remain in Bertie were at the height of their influence when they, as a group of landowners led by Court Justices Thomas Whitmell, James McDowall, and James Castellaw,  filed a petition in February 1742 [1743] to have the seat of county government moved to Cashy.

The community of Cashy developed around the Cashy Bridge  which represented the first bridge vessels approached as they came up Cashie River. Thus, it is only natural that a trading and business area developed there. The "Cashy Bridge" was a floating bridge of Cypress sills and plank, with posts and rails. It was chained to trees on each bank to prevent its drifting down river.

The General Assembly of the Colony in Edenton on April 2, 1743 accepted the proposal and Governor Gabriel Johnson signed into law an act "That the Court House, Prison, and Stocks shall be built between Cashy Bridge and Will's Quarter Bridge, in the said County, and that all Court shall be there held for the said County." Cashie officially became the county seat on 15 February 1745.

Much of the effort behind this act must be credited to James Castellaw, one of the first Treasurers of Bertie, and at this time, respected member of the General Assembly, and owner of the land on which the Court was to be placed.

James Castellaw issued a deed to the Justices of Bertie County for one acre on the North side of Cashy and South side of Will's Quarter "Whereon the Prison, Court House and Stocks are to be built."  Across from Cashy Bridge was located on the peninsula formed by Cashie and Will's Quarter Swamp the
Bertie Court House the county jail and stocks were built. The court house grounds were laid out with rail fences and included a whipping post. 

The town of Cashy was a crossroad community with the bulk of the land on which the town loosely sprawled belonging to James Castellaw. The road into the town area has been referred to as the "Eden House-Murfresboro Post Road," and mail traveled by horse back from the Edenton Ferrys to the Court House and on into Hertford and Northampton counties. It was the main county road crossing over the Chowan River then north to Will’s Quarter Swamp then South across the Cashie River through Thomas Whitmel's Plantation and on to the Roanoke River.

James Castellaw owned in partnership  with others a "Publick Warehouse" on the south side of the Cashle Bridge that was used by public officials for tobacco inspection and storage. It was also a place for collection of taxes, import-export duties on goods being loaded and unloaded on vessels docking there. The warehouse was also used by County Court to conduct business when large numbers of the populace were involved. The Court House itself was not sufficient in size to accommodate the general public.

How many other buildings existed in the town of Cashy is not known but a lease in 1748 from James Castellaw to John Sallis mentions, "Those houses that lyes near the Court House at Cashy commonly known by the name of Synnott's and Tomlinson's Houses." John Sallis had witnessed a deed in which John Williams the Younger and Abraham Herring had been mentioned.

The lease to Sallis also stated "Reserving only two of the houses that belonged to Synnott for our own use." This would indicate there were a minimum of four homes in the village. These houses were located on a round knell of sandy land comprising about ten acres, the end of which drops down to a landing on Cashie River. Since the town disappeared before 1800, the exact spot attributed to each house or store cannot be ascertained. There is a graveyard on the adjoining knell which is rather old, but it is in such a poor state of repair that names and dates are apparently lost.

By 1743, both the Cashie River and Will's Quarter Swamp were bridged for transportation into the community of Cashy which was now the county seat for Bertie. Will's Quarter Swamp is known today as Hoggard Mill Creek and is located just north of Windsor. It was named for William Byrd who had some land interest in the area. William Byrd was one of the witnesses to John the Younger's Last Will and Testament.

At the Will's Quarter Bridge on the Swamp side of Cashie Rver lay Castellaw's Mill Pond which was built prior to 1748. In its original state the mill processed meal and flour; but by the turn of the 19th century it became a sawmill. The watermill that James Castellow built operated for nearly 200 years until about 1934. The present pond is larger today than the original

One remaining vestige of the village of Cashy is the turn basin for boats at the Cashy bridge. Supposedly dug by hand with slave labor, the river is wider at this point than at any place for a mile below. Trading vessels were turned here for the return trip down stream.

 James Castellaw was assigned as Justice of the Peace for Bertie County on 13 May 1746 by Gov. Gabriel Johnston. On 10 August 1746 James Castellow sold to his son William Castellaw for 10 schillings, 640 acres on the North Side of Cashy [Cashie] Creek. A court was held at the Court House at Cashy Bridge on 11 August 1747 and present was Justices, James Castellaw, Benjamin Hill and John Harrell, Esquires. 

, Abraham Herring remained near John the Younger. His grandson Abraham Herring Jr on 27 December 1742 bought from John Aires 380 acres on the southside of Bear Swamp . He must not have had any currency as that he traded it for 3000 pounds of fresh pork and 20 days of labor. The witnesses were John Sallis and Abraham Gordon.  Abraham Herring the son in law of John the Younger on 10 August 1743 bought from John Hill 500 acres on the northside of Kesia River [Cashie River] at Bucklesberry Swamp for 50£. The witnesses were Abraham's brothers in law Arthur Williams and James Castellaw.

John Williams made out his will in Bertie County, North Carolina and signed it on 13 March 1746 [1747]. He would have been near 75 years old at the time. The will was witnessed by William Byrd, Thomas Castellaw, and John Moore. His wife Ann Williams and his eldest and youngest sons Theophilus and Arthur Williams were named as sole executors even though Theophilus had removed to Onslow County. 

In the name of God Amen: the Thirteenth Day of March 1746, I, John Williams of the County of Bertie Planter being Very Sick and weak in Body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given unto God: Therefore Calling unto mind the mortality of my Body and knowing it is appointed all men once to Dye [die] do Make and ordain this my last will and testament that is to say principally and first of all I give and Recommend my Soul into the hands of God that gave it and my Body I recommend to the Earth to be Buried in desent Christian Burial at the discretion of my Executors nothing doubting but at the General Resurrection I shall Receive the same again by the mighty power of God and as touching Such worldly Estate where with it has pleased God to bless me to this Life I give dismiss and dispose of the same in the following manner and form Improvise-

I give and bequeath to Anne my dearly beloved wife her Choice of my Bed and one Rug and a pair of blankits [blankets] and a pair of Sheets, and six Cows & Calves and four Sheep one ewe, one two year old, one three year old  one four year old, twenty-four Sows & pigs, twelve burrows [barrows-castrated male intended for slaughter],Six two year old and six one year old, four Cows, and Lambs, one iron pot & a frying pan.  two Puter [pewter]dishes and one puter bason [pewter basin] three puter [pewter] plates and Six puter [pewter]spoons

Item I give to my well beloved son Theophilus Williams my Negro fellow Jack only reserving his labour to my well beloved wife During her Widerhood [widowhood] then to him and his heirs for ever.

Item I give to my well beloved Daughter Anne Herring my Negro fellow Primus only reserving his labour to my well beloved wife During her widerwhood,  Jack, Primus, slave, Jane [Jene] Grace

Item I give To my well beloved son Isaac Williams [hard to read but gave a negro slave perhaps Grace]

Item I give to my well beloved Daughter Sara Castelaw one Common prayer Book

Item I give to my well Beloved Daughter Mary Herring one Common prayer Book

Item I give to my well beloved Son Arthur Williams his heirs or or asigns my maner [manor] plantation with all my other Lands joining there to him his heirs and or asigns only reserving the half of it with timbers and all conveniences fencing & firewood to my well Beloved wife during her during her life and after her deseas to him and his heirs

Item I give and bequeath to my well beloved wife two horses

Item I give to my well beloved Son Arthur Williams one Negro Wench Jene [Jane] and all her increase only reserving the use of one Negro wench Named Grace for my well beloved wife During her widerhood

Item I give to my son Arthur one Still [for making whiskey] and one large iron pot Reserving the use of them for her [his wife Ann] own Nessary [necessary] use during her widerhood then to my son Arthur, I give all my Books, one Cass [case] and bottels [bottles] and my My Grist [sharpening stone].

Item I give to my well beloved grand Son John Williams one iron pot & one grist that was my fathers. [Son of Theophilus Williams father of Britton Williams of South Carolina] 

Item I give to my well beloved Granchildren Farabe Williams Ezekell Williams Jerusha Williams Barbera Williams twenty five pounds Virgene [Virginia] Currance [currency] to be equally divided among the four when they reach the age of eighteen. [Children of James Williams and Elizabeth Bryan]

Item I leave one tract of land Lying one the Round pecosen [pocossin]  to be Sold to the best advantage at the Discration [discretion] of my Executors and the money to be Refund in to the Estate and after all my debts being paid and all charges being and ___ ___

I leave all the rest of my household good monies and Chatels [chattel]  to be Equilly [equally] Divided amongst my Children

I likewise constitute make and order Arthur Williams and Theophilus Williams & Anne Williams my wife my Sole Executors of this my last will and testament, all and Singular and doo [do] here by utterly disallow Revoke and Disannual [disallow] all and every other former testaments Wills Legacess [legacies] and Bequests and Executors by me in any wise before Named willed and bequeathed ____ confirming this and none other to be my last Will and Testament in witness where of I have hereunto Set my hand and Seal this Day and Year Above Written.

John Williams Signed Sealed published Pronounced & Declared by the said John Williams as his last Will and Testament in the presence of us the Subscribers William Byrd, John Moore, Thomas Castellaw Jurant Bertie County 

As the decade came to a close John Williams  the Younger's son in law James Castellaw died. He probably died intestate without a will which would have been highly unusually considering his status and the amount of property and wealth he had accumulated in Bertie County. A man of his prominence would have normally had a will in those days.It is possible that he had a will but that was it was lost and not probated through the court.

James Castellaw was listed as present as a Justice of the Bertie County Court on 14 Feb 1748 [1749]. However he was not listed as present in the May 1749 Court records. He may have been too sick to assume his duties or more likely he died suddenly and unexpectedly between February and May.  He would have been 64 at the time.

In his son, William Castellaw's will, dated 18 Jun 1749, his son  left his plantation to his mother, Sarah, "during her widowhood". This indicates that he was deceased by this date. His son, Thomas Castellaw, applied for administration of his father's estate on 8 Aug 1749 in the Bertie Court at Cashy. Why he waited so long after his father's death to ask permission to administer the estate may be simply his family may have been grieving with the death of two of its members.

John the Younger's grandson, William Castellow's  last Will and Testament was written 18 June 1749.   He made his mother Sarah Williams Castellow his executrix and named his brothers John, James and Thomas Castellow and his sisters Bathiah, Sarah, and Katherine Castellaw. Thomas Whitmell was also named executor in the will. The Witnesses were Sarah Sanderson and Hardy Moore.  On 8 August1749 the “Will of Mr. Castellow" was proven by the oath of Sarah "Sanderlin" and Thomas. Whitmell recorded in the August Court Session of Bertie County.. 

James Castellaw's estate sale was administered by his son Thomas Castellaw in 1749 and 1750. At the Court held at the Court House at Cashy Bridge, on Tuesday, 14 November 1749 and inventory of the estate of James Castellaw was "exhibited by his son Thomas. Castellaw, Administrator and a sale was ordered. · At the same time an Inventory of the estate of William Castellaw was "exhibited by Thomas. Whitmell, and a sale was ordered. James Castellaw's son sold off what appeared to be all of his worldly goods. It seems that if a will had been in place, it would have passed many of the articles and possessions directly to his heirs.

James Castellaw's final resting place is a mystery as well. It seems such a man would have been buried in a prominent location and certainly would have had a tombstone. However, there is no such grave in any of the county's surviving church cemeteries. It is not in the large cemetery in Edenton. There is a small cemetery near the mill site in Cashy, which is where he is thought to have been living at the time. However, the cemetery there has no visible tombstones and may have been put to use much later than the time of James Castellaw's death. More than likely he was buried in a family plot on his estate.

Samuel Herring, John Williams the Younger's first son in law, signed his will in Johnston County, North Carolina on 22 October 1750.  Johnston County County had just recently been formed from Onslow County where Theophilus Williams had relocated. Ann Herring is a legatee in the will which indicates that  she died sometime after her husband. 

In the name of God Amen I, Sam'l Herring of the County of Johnston and Province of North Carolina being sick but of perfect mind. . . do constitute and ordainth is my last will and testament as follows. First of all I desire all my debts to be paid Charges and Discharges.
Item. I give to my well beloved son Anthony Herring my grey horse.
Item. I give to my well beloved son Stephen Herring two young negroes a boy and a girl Cesar and Cate.
Item. I give to my well beloved son Michael Herring two young negroes a boy and a girl named Cain and Fillis.
Item. I give to my well beloved daughter Barthena Herring one young negro girl named Ginney.
Item. I give unto my well beloved son Michael Herring the plantation where on I now live, my wife to have her life's time in it.
Item. I give the rest of my negroes, household goods, and chattels to be equally divided among all my children after my wife's decease or widowhood, one grey mare only excepted. She I give and bequeath to my son-in-law Jn'o Connerly. I do also constitute and appoint my well beloved son Anthony Herring to be the whole and sole executor of this my last will and testament . . . in witness whereof I have afore unto set my hand and fixed my seal this 22d day of October . . .Signed and sealed in presence of us Anthony Herring Sam'll Herring "his mark" Joseph Herring . October 22, 1750. 
Samuel's will was recorded in the December Court, 1750. 

John Williams the Younger and a Samuel Herring are mentioned in a land transaction between Michael King and Nathan Miers on 18 January 1753. As that Samuel Herring his son in law had died in 1750 this Samuel Herring may have been a son of Abraham Herring orjust referred to the land that Samuel Herring's estate may have still held. The land description stated the property was on Broad Branch adjoining "John Williams Jr." and Samuel Herring. The witnesses were William King, Charles King, and Henry Rhodes.  As that 

1757 The End
The last known deed by John Williams the Younger was dated 26 February 1757. In it he gave a deed of gift to his grandson Ezekiel Williams a 640 acre patent that he had acquired in 1719 and some sundry household goods he specifically wanted Ezekiel to have. "To all People to whom these presents shall come I John Williams of the Province of North Carolina and County of Bertie Planter do and greeting, Know ye that I the said John Williams of the said Province and County aforesaid for and in consideration of the love goodwill and affection which I have and do bear to my loving grandson Ezekiel Williams of the County aforesaid, have given and granted and by these presents do freely clearly and absolutely give and grant unto the said Ezekiel Williams his heirs Exe Adm or assigns all and singular that parcel of land containing by estimation 640 acres, Beginning at the center of two white oaks and a red oak Phillip Walston’s corner in Charles Barber’s Line then along Walston’s bounds to a black oak Jonathan Standly’s corner then along Standley’s bounds to a gum Phillip Walston’s corner then along his bounds to a white oak John Williams corner then along his line to a white oak then So. 18 Wt. to the first station which said land was formerly granted by Patent bearing date the eleventh day of November 1719.

Also after my decease the bed and furniture whereon I now lie, my chest and my trunk and a case of bottles to him to be by him the said Ezekiel Williams to be possessed after my decease but it is to be observed that the land and stock of what kind so ever to be now found, I give and dispose to the said Ezekiel Williams to be by him possessed immediately and to his discretion without any condition only he, the said Ezekiel Williams, paying its quit rents now due or to become due.

In Witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 26th day of February 1757 John Williams Seal Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of Thomas Whitmell, Priscilla Vanpelt,  and Nathaniel Cooper.  Bertie County July Court 1757.

The within Deed of Gift was in open Court duly proved by the oath of Thomas Whitmell an evidence thereto, and in motion was ordered to be registered. The within Deed of Gift was in open Court duly proved by the oath of Thomas Whitmell an evidence thereto, and in motion was ordered to be registered.

Abraham Herring sold to Arnold Hopkins for 20 £ 380 acres on the southside of Bear Swamp on 9 January 1748 [1749] filed in February Court records. Later a deed dated 28 May 1749 also showed that Abraham Herring and John Williams the Younger had adjoining property lines with Michael Hill on Buckleberry Swamp. Hill sold 100 acres that adjoined John Williams' line to James McDowell. Witnesses were Arnold Hopkins and John Sallis, near neighbors. 

In a sheriff sale dated 26 January 1757 the one of the last mention of John Williams the Younger is recorded.  John Brickell, Sheriff of Bertie County sold the 100 acres that James McDowell, now deceased, had bought from Michael Hill to Thomas Whitmell for 2 £ 5 shillings. The Sheriff Sale was to pay for debts occurred by McDowell before his death. The property was in the hands of John Smith who was the  executor of last will and testament of McDowell. The property was within Bucklesberry Swamp adjoining John Williams and Abraham Herring.

This document shows that John Williams the Younger was living at Buckleberry Swamp the year of his death, near his son in law Abraham Herring. As that John Williams was nearly 85 years old and probably very infirmed, his youngest daughter Mary Herring was probably his caretaker. Ezekiel Williams, his grandson, may have very well been living on the estate also to manage John Williams' affairs as that he appears to have been living in Bertie County in 1757. 

John Williams the Younger lived ten years after he wrote his 1747 Last Will and Testament. It is unknown how many of the provisions of the will were still in affect as that many of the African Americans mentioned in his will might not have still been living. John Williams was quite elderly when he died sometime in or before October 1757 at his farm in Bertie County, North Carolina. He was circa 85 years old.  He out lived his sons John Williams the Third and James Williams. He also outlived two of his sons in law Samuel Herring and James Castellaw. It seems that he probably outlived his wife Ann Moore Williams as that she was not mentioned in the probate of John's estate. How many of his daughters and daughters in law he out lived can not be determined. 

Of his sons who were alive in 1757, Theophilus Williams and Isaac Williams had left Bertie County and were in the Neuse River area. Only his youngest son Arthur Williams and his son in law Abraham Herring still resided in Bertie County . Most of his Castellaw and Herring grandchildren had already migrated to the Onslow, Duplin, and Johnston County area.

In the October Court 1757 Will was of John Williams the Younger was exhibited by Arthur Williams "one of the Executor therefore and Proved by the oath of William Byrd one of the Suscribing Witness's hereto and at the same time the same Excutor  Quallifyed according to Law which was ordered to be Certifye" The document was entered into court records by Benjamin Wynn the  Clerk of Court Bertie County January Court, 1758.

Arthur Williams was the Executor along with his brother Theophilus. However Theophilus Williams, was nearly 12 years or more older than Arthur Williams and was in Duplin County, North Carolina at the time of his father's death. He would have been circa 63 years old  and may not have been well enough to journey back to Bertie County to act as executor. William Byrd and Thomas Castellow, John the Younger's grandson, testified that they were witnesses to the will.  

Ann Moore Williams who was named in the 1747 document probably had died sometime between 1746 and 1757.  

John Williams
John Williams born circa 1692 died unmarried in 1722 and had no issue. Although the first born son, John Williams was not officially named the Third, in this study as not to confuse him with his father, that appellation is useful. No record indicates that he was ever known as the third. Even then it is hard to distinguish documents in Chowan Precinct Records to differentiate him from his father. The first born son of John the Younger was born after March of 1692 in Surry County Virginia. As that he is not mentioned in his grandfather’s will it is fairly certain that this boy was if he had been born before the making of the will he would have been left a legacy by his grandfather. It was a common practice in colonial times to name a first born son after the father or mother’s father in hopes of a legacy from a grandfather. As that both John and Ann Moor Williams' fathers were named John this child could have been named for one of three persons, either the father or the two grandfathers. John Williams would come to accumulate more property than his father after the family moved to Chowan Precinct in North Carolina. However he never married and was in 1722 cut down in the prime of his life nearly 30 years old. Thirty was not an unreasonable age to still not be married for a male in colonial times as that marriage was often for status, family connections, and gaining property. There’s a possibility his death was preceded by the death of a young wife leaving no heirs other than his brothers. Nothing is completely certain in Genealogy except DNA.

Theophilus Williams
Theophilus Williams was born circa 1694 Isle of Wight County, Virginia died unknown but possibly between 1765-1775 at Mill Creek, Duplin County, North Carolina. He was married Christian Bryan Busby daughter of Thomas Busbee (Busby) and Catheron Bryan. Theophilus Williams was John and Ann’s second son and was born circa 1694 in Surry County. Without a doubt he was named after John Williams’ baby brother who died between Spring 1692 and Spring 1694 as an infant under the age of five years old. Perhaps to console his mother or even to show the affection he had for his dead brother, or perhaps even other unknown reasons, John Williams the Younger chose to name this son Theophilus. Theophilus means “Friend of God” and was a frequent named used among the Quakers of Southside Virginia which may hint at his mother’s religious affiliation. This son became quite affluent after the move to North Carolina, married Christian Bryan Busby, and died about 1760 in Onslow County. Any will or probate record has since been lost. He was about 66 years old at the time of his death. He was the father of several children several who settled in the colonies of Georgia and South Carolina and is believed to be the grandfather of Britton Williams of South Carolina..
A. John Williams, was born circa 1722 near the Roquist River, Bertie, North Carolina Colony and died 1789 on property along Coosahatchie River, Orangeburgh Distrist [Allendale County], South Carolina. He married Abigail who died in 1802 when her estate was probated 2 Nov 1802 in Barnwell District [Allendale County] South Carolina. Her maiden name is thought to be Creech and a relative of Richard Creech of Barnwell District. His children were thought to be Britton Williams and Joshua Williams
B. Sheriff Joseph Williams, was born circa 1724 near the Roquist River, Bertie County, North Carolina Colony and died circa 1790 in Duplin County. He married Mary Hicks on 8 August 1746 in Onslow County and later moved to Duplin County where he was elected sheriff. 14 March 1745/6 Craven County, Joseph Williams bought land on southside of Neuse River on Mill Creek from father Theophilus Williams.  He executed a deed of gift in Duplin County on 10 May 1763 to his children: Daniel Williams,  Theophilus Williams,  Frances Williams and Easther [sic: Hester]. On 1 October 1764 he bought land from Richard Bass west side of Great Coheary in Johnston County and in 1769 he is listed in a Poll Tax List of Dobbs County. His children were Hester [Esther] Williams wife of William Whitfield III,  Mary Williams wife of William Dixon (Dickson), Daniel Williams husband ofSarah Nixon, Benjamin Williams, Theophilus Williams husband of Charity Barfield, Susannah Williams wife of Frederick Barfield. He was born 14 December 1757 in Duplin County died after 1820 in Lauderdale, Tennesee, Frances Williams,   Joseph Williams, and . James Williams husband of Sarah Brice.
C. James Williams was born circa 1726 near the Roquist River, Bertie County, North Carolina Colony and lived in the Goshen Settlement, of Duplin County. He married circa 1744 Alice McRae the daughter of William McRae and Margaret Creighton.  She was born in 1725. On 9 November 1766 he acquired 501 acres on Grove Swamp, on the Marsh Branch of Miller Swamp in Duplin County. James Williams and Alice McRae had three children William Williams, Dorthea Williams, and Martha Williams.  
D. Lewis WIlliams was born 1728 in Bertie County and died 1783 in Onslow County. He married Mary “Ann” Wilkins probably daughter of John and Prudence Wilkins. Some accounst say her maiden name was Norman. In his will he mentions daughter Serene Williams and son Bryan. Her will from 1792 mentions Boneta Williams and Benjamin Williams. They had the following children, Serene Williams wife of Daniel Hicks, Bryan Williams, Benjamin Williams husband of Sally Battle, Bonita Williams and Nathan Brice Williams.
E. Ferriby Williams was born 1730 Bertie County
F. Esther Williams was born 1730 in Bertie County and died circa 1773 in St. George Parish, Halifax County, Georgia. She was wife of Samuel Royal of St. George Parish, Georgia. Samuel Royal was the son of Charles and Sarah Powell Royal. On March 8, 1759 he married Esther Williams in Old Ebenezer Church, at Springfield, Georgia. His brother John Royal was one of the early arrivals in St. George's Parish, Georgia. Samuel Royal and Esther Williams were the parents of Mary Royal, Isaac Royal, Esther Royal, Nice Royal and John Royal. husband of Rebecca Godbee.  
Ann Williams
Anne Williams  born circa 1696 Southwar Parish, Surry, Virginia. She married by 1716 Samuel Herring the son of Anthony Herring and Rebecca West of Isle of Wight County. Ann Herring died after 1742. On 15 Nov 1716 tJohn Williams the Younger deeded to daughter "Ann Hearin and her heirs 150 acres on which she now lives adjoiningTHomas Jones to be forfeited if she attempts in anyways to sell or mortgage."  Ann Williams was the first daughter born to this family and could have been named either after her own mother or Anne Vasser Williams. The eldest daughter of colonial families was often named for a grandmother or after the mother. Ann Moor’s mother was named Elizabeth, however none of Ann Moore Williams’ surviving children were named Elizabeth, a very common girl’s name. The lack of any daughter named Elizabeth is curious and leads one to speculate that they lost a daughter of that age, or perhaps Ann Moor and her mother Elizabeth were estranged. Be that as it may, Ann Williams would have been born circa 1696 and she married Samuel Herring son of Anthony Herring shortly after the family relocated to the Cashie River area in Chowan Precinct. Herring was about 11 years older than Ann. She was the mother of a large family and is mentioned in her husband’s 1750 will filed in Dobbs County, North Carolina. When she died is unknown but in 1750 she would have been about 54 years old. She was the mother of several children and has progeny all over central North Carolina.
Samuel Herring’s family left Bertie County and settled in the Neuse River area near his brother-in-law Theophilius Williams. He signed his will in Dobbs County North Carolina on 22 October 1750. Ann Herring is a legatee in the will and died sometime after her husband. The Will of Samuel Herring was proved in the December Court 1750 and recorded at the Walnut Creek Courthouse. Ann Williams Herring is not named but simply addressed as my wife. Son-Anthony Herring-1 gray horse Son Stephen Herring-Negroes Caesar and Cate Son-Michael Herring-Negroes Cain and Fillis Daughter- Barthenia Herring Negro Ginney -wife to have a lifetime right. The remainder of the Negroes, household goods to be divided among children after wife's decease or widowhood. Exec: Son Anthony Herring. Wit: Anthony Herring, Joseph Herring. An inventory of Samuel Herring’s estate was done on 14 June 1751.
A. Anthony Herring born circa 1716 and died circa March 1784. He married Bridget last name unknown. He was a blacksmith by trade.
B. Stephen Herring born circa 1718 and died circa October 1797 in Goshen Swamp, Duplin County. He married Sarah Bright and had at least eight children. They were Stephen Bright Herring husband of Eleanor Middleton, Alethia Herring wife Abner Harrell, Persis Herring wife of Abraham Glisson and James Ward, Ann "nancy" Herring wife of William New, Alexander Herring husband of Sally Hodges and Rebecca Thomas, Samue Herring husband of Mary "Polly", Catey [Katy] Herring wife of Elijah Croom and Sarah Herring wife of Daniel Glisson. They all lived at Goshen Swamp in Duplin County, North Carolina
C. Kesiah Herring born circa 1720 married 1738 John Connerly. Connerly received a patent in Duplin County 2 April 1751 on the southside of the Northeast Swamp in "the fork of Rattlesnake Branch. His son Cullen Connerly inherited the property and deed 121 acres of the original patent to his cousin Jesse Barfield who in turned sold it on 11 March 1775 to Constantine Whitfield husband of Kesiah's cousin Barbara Williams.   Rattlesnake Branch is just a few miles southwest of Clinton which is where the Coharie Tribe is located. This land passed back and forth between several family members including Constantine Whitfield who owned part of the land. 
D. Michael Herring born circa 1722 died 1805 in Wayne County. He married Charity Grady and was given his father's plantation "where I live" in Johnston County, North Carolina 
E. Barthenia [Bethia] Herring born circa 1725 died after 1751 .

James Williams
James Williams was born circa 1698 in Southwark Parish, Surry, Virginia.  James Williams was the first to not have been born with a traditional family name. He was also the first in the family with that name. He was an adolescent when his parents left Surry to move to North Carolina. There he became a successful farmer and land speculator in Bertie Precinct which was formed from Chowan Precinct lands, west of the Chowan River. He married in circa 1728, Elizabeth Bryan the daughter of Needham Bryan and Elizabeth Hunter. Elizabeth was a cousin of Theophilus Williams’ wife Christian Bryan Busby. 
       On 30 March 1721 James was granted 410 acres on southside of Cassiah (kesiah) River adjoining Samuel Herring (brother-in-law), Owen O’Daniel , Flag Branch, and Westside of Rocquis Swamp in Bertie County. The next day he was granted 480 acres on southside of Cassiah Rver on northside of Rocquis Swamp, Col. Pollock, and John Smithwick in Bertie County On 26 March 1723 he had lands adjoining Samuel Herring on northside of Rocquis Swamp and the Broad Branch that falls into Rocquis in Bertie County. On 4 August 1723  he had lands adjoing Robert West in Bertie County on northside of Moratuck River adjoining Owen O’Daniel, and a branch of Flag Run. On 11 May 1724 James sold to Joseph Moore 35 acres on Little Rocquis Swamp adjoining Samuel Herring. On 1 August 1726 he was granted 640 acres on east side of Cassiah River in Guyshall Woods in Bertie County adjoining his former corner. On the same day he was granted 416 acres on east side of Casshia River in Guyshall Woods.
         James Williams signed his will on 21 August 1736 in Bertie County which was probated February 1737. The Executors of  his estate were his brothers Theophilus Williams and Isaac Williams.He was not very old when he died in Bertie County at about the age of 38 years.and his young wife Elizabeth was pregnant with their fourth child Barbara at the time of his death. She remarried Henry King but died in 1738. Henry King filed to be the administrator of James Williams’ estate but his brother Theophilus Williams objected in Court. His three other children, Ezekiel, Jerusha, and Farribee were listed as minors in 1740.  It is likely that James’ children were raised in the household of his father John Williams the Younger as that he seemed to have a special attachment to these grandchildren. In John Williams will he provided for them and also made a special deed of gift of a large plantation to his grandson Ezekiel.  His son Ezekiel Williams moved south into Georgia and South Carolina where he was an assemblyman in the legislature. Ezekiel lived in Winston County [Barnwell District] South Carolina during the Revolutionary War about 20 miles north of where Britton Williams who was probably his cousin was located and was also an assemblyman.
A. Ezekiel Williams was born 1730 in Bertie County and died 1 June 1800 in Barnwell District South Carolina. He married Zilpha Bush the daughter of William Bush and Mary Hand. On 26 Feb 1757 he received a Deed of Gift from grandfather John Williams the Younger of 640 acres in Bertie County. By 1763 he was granted 100 acres above Steel Creek on Savannah River and on 30 August 1763 he bought land from John Neelson near Point Comfort in Granville County SC which was surrounding lands vacant.  The witnesses were his cousin Barthenia Castellaw's husband Samuel Alexander, James Neelson and Alexander Neelson. On 16 May 1764 he granted another 100 acres in Granville County. on 27 April 1768  Ezekiel Williams bought 100 acres of land from John Lee, a breeches maker, near the Savannah River in Granville County, SC. The witnesses were Samuel Alexander, -James Turner, and James Cayson. In 1769 He was the executor of his brother-in-law Edward Bush’ estate who died in Granville Co. SC. He was back in Johnston County in 1770 where he witnesses a deed  between his brother in law John Bush in Johnston County and his cousin Nathan Williams. By 1771 he had moved to St. George Parish in Halifax County, Georgia where in 1773 he had lands on the Ogeechee River, "where Moses Powell first entered". At the time he listed  2 children age 3 and under. On 21 November 1774 Ezekiel had lands on Mr. Goode’s, Mr. Allen’s and Mr. Williams’ branches of Turkey Creek and Log Creek in Granville County adjoining John Logan, Robert Melville, John Allen, William Coursey, Lionel Chambers and John Purvis. In 1775 he was the executor of the estate of John Turner Sr. of Granville County.   In 1778-1779 Ezekiel Williams was a Grand Juror for area between The South Fork of the Edisto River and the Savannah River along with his cousin Thomas Castellaw. In 1781 he served 294 days in the SC Militia and in 1783 he was a Grand Juror of the Orangeburgh District.  On  17 Oct 1783 U.S. Government paid him 25 British pounds for provisions he supplied for the public use during Revolutionary War. On 2 March 1784, the government paid Ezekiel 2 British pounds for 18 bushels of corn. In the year 1785 was granted 1640 acres on Pen Waters of Savannah River in Winton County [Barnwell District].  He served as a Petite Juror in 1786 and the 1787 Tax List listed his lands near Stephen Smith and Daniel Philipot. On 10 April 1790 Ezekiel bought items the from estate of his cousin Thomas Castellow. Ezekiel is listed in the 1790 Census as owning  22 slaves.    The children of Ezekiel Williams were Ann Williams  wife of Richard Hankinson, Ezekiel Williams Jr husband of  Miss Turner, Benjamin Williams husband of  Sarah Boyett, John Williams, Isaac Williams husband of Lucretia Heath,  Lewis Williams,  Sarah Willaims wife of William Coker, William Williams, and Wilson Williams
B. Feribee Williams  was born 1733 at Bertie, North Carolina.
C. Jerusha Williams born 1735 She was left to African slaves in her father's will.  She married Jesse Jernigan who died in 1785 in Bertie County. She was mentioned in his will. "In he name of God Amen the day of October 1785 I Jesse Jernigan of the County of Bartie being Very sick and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given unto God therefore calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to dye do make and ordain this my last will and Testament that is to say principallily and first of all I give and recommend my soul into the hands of God that gave it and my body I recommend to the earth to be buried in decent burial at the discretion of my Executors nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God as touching such worldly Estate wherewith ithath pleased God to bless me in this life I give demise and dispose ofthe same in the following manner and form. Item I give and bequeath my well beloved wife Jerusha Jernigan one balld horse and saddle Item I give and bequeath to my beloved son James Jernigan  two hundred acres of Land lying on the south side of the Loochy swamp to him and his heirs forever and if he should dye without he ir to be devided amongst the rest of my Children.

Item I give and bequeath to my beloved Son Jesse Jernigan ninety acres of land whereon I now live to him and his heirs forever after my wife deth after my Debts is payd all the remainder part of my Estate hoses cattle hogs sheep and household furniture to be devided equally betwean my Wife Jerusha Jernigan  and James Jernigan  and Jesse Jernigan, and Farribee Jernigan and Sara H Jernigan and Alice Jernigan and Elizabeth Carter and equal shear with what she has had. I  likewise constitute and ordain my trusty friends Thomas Bond and Benjamin Jernigan and Nathiel Vezey my Executors of this my last will and Testament and I do hereby utterly disallow revoke and disannul all and every other former Testaments Wills Legacies and bequests and Executors by me in any ways before named willed and bequeathed ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and Testament in Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand an d seal the day and year above written signed sealed published pronounced and declared by the said Jesse Jernigan. Their children were James Jernigan, Jesse Jernigan who was on the South Carolina roster of Revolutionary War soldiers, Jerusha Jernigan, Sarah Jernigan, Alexander Jernigan  not mentioned in the will but a Revolutionary war soldier in South Carolina, Alice or Alie Jernigan and Elizabeth Jernigan wife of Mr. Carter. 

D. Barbara Williams married Constantine (Connie) Whitfield son of  William Whitfield Sr and Elizabeth Goodman of North Carolina.  Constantine Whitfield was deceased by 16 Apr 1798 in Duplin County. By December 1769 Costantine was living on the southside of the Neuse River. In November 1771 the Jurors in Duplin County were  Richard Caswell, Francis McIlweane, Thos. Torrance, Simon Bright, Stephen Blackman, Wm. Whitfield Jr., James Glasgow, Jesse Cobb, Joseph Greene, Jesse Jernigan, Constantine Whitfield, and Benjamin Griffin.  23 Jan 1773 Dobbs Co, Crown Patents Constantine Whitfield 200 acres adjoining Aaron Wood, Christian Sargett, John Roberts, and Henry Roberts.  23 February 1779 Constantine Whitfield had 100 acres SS Neuse on a branch called the Horse Branch adjoining Samuel Thomas and Abraham Taylor. Barbara Williams Whitfield children were Winifred Whitfield wife of Stephen Miller, Elizabeth Whitfield wife of Edward Matchett Herring, John Whitfield husband of Jemima Heywood, Luke Whitfield husband of Teresa Fonivielle, James Whitfield husband of Rachel Heritage, Rachel Whitfield wife of Henry Goodman and Farquhard Campbell, Fereby Whitfield wife of James Pearsall and Barbara Whitfield wife of Mr. Tooley.  

Isaac Williams
Isaac Williams was born circa 1700 Isle of Wight County, Virginia and died 1761 in Johnston County, North Carolina.  Isaac Williams was the third son of John Williams the Younger and was also not named after any other family member. He was a youth when he came to the North Carolina wilderness with his family in 1714. There are few land transactions involving Isaac Williams and he didn’t seem to marry until his mid 20’s when he married Martha Hodges the daughter of a farmer named Robert Hodges. He married circa 1725. In 1736 he was an executor along with his brother Theophilus of their brother James Williams will. In the early 1740’s he followed several of his siblings south to the Neuse River region where he had land holdings in Johnston County. In 1750 he was shown as paying Quit Rents in Dobbs County to the crown. ,
      16 December 1758 Isaac Williams was a witness of a deed between Edward Ingram and Jethro Butler in Duplin County, North Carolina. He and Martha died about the same time in 1761 in Johnston County where his will was recorded. Isaac Williams was about 60 years old when he died. He was the father of several children some of who settled in Barnwell District, South Carolina.
      Both Isaac Williams and his wife Martha made out their Last Will and Testaments  on 30 August 1760 in Johnston County.  They must have been ill as both Isaac and Martha Williams' wills were recorded  in April Court 1761 in Johnston County. Martha left to her son Joel Williams a “negro Farrow [Pharoah] and $7.00”, to her son Nathan “negro Venus and $7.00” and to son Isaac Jr. “negroes Jane, Rachel, Jonas, Felix, Joshua” and the remaining estate. She appointed her son Isaac Williams Jr as her executor. An old neighbor from Bertie County now living in Johnston County, Jethro Butler witnessed her will as well as a neighbor Joseph Langston. 
A. Isaac Williams Jr. He wrote out his will on 25 Jan 1768 in Johnston County and it was record February Court 1769. He was married to Rachel Smith the daughter of Alexander Smith and Elizabeth Whitfield. who was the niece of Elizabeth Bryan Williams the widow of his uncle James. Isaac Jr inherited the bulk of his mother's slaves and estate. In 1762 along with old Bertie County neighbors John Butler and Francis Harrell, he witness a deed between Robert Lee and William Campbell. This property was on the south side of the Neuse River adjoining  Mr. Rountree's line and Theophilus Williams' line.Theophilus   was his uncle.  On 13 October 1764 Isaac witnessed a deed between  John Williams and Thomas Gibbs land on Gum Marsh Coheary Swamp  along with Timothy Williams. On 21 October 1765  Isaac Jr gave to daughter Elizabeth Pearce land on northside of Neuse River being half of a tract of land purchased from George Poole. On 29 March 1766 Isaac Jr bought 150 acres from Robert Lee of Johnston County located on the southside of Nuese River on Marshes of Mill Creek from lands first patented to Theophilus WIlliams. Elizabeth Williams was the wife of Jesse Pearce and Arthur Peace. His son Alexander  Williams was husband of Charity Whitfield, a cousin. 

 B. Joel Williams married Jane Smith the daughter of Colonel Samuel Smith and Edith Whitfield. His will was written on 30 Dec 1760 and probated at the same time as his parents in April Court. The executors were his wife and his father in law. He left to his wife Jane Williams his land and  "plantation I now live on." He left her two African America slaves Buck and Sal, all the household furniture and livestock. He named his children as  Feraba  Williams, Isaac Williams, Samuel Williams, and  Elizabeth Williams.  Jane Smith Williams remarried Colonel Theophilus Hunter. Children Feeraba Williams, Isaac Williams, Samuel Williams, Elizabeth Williams wife of Jesse Pearce and Arthur Pearce,  and Benjamin Williams
C. Nathan Williams died in 1788 in Winton County (Barnwell) South Carolina. He married Mary Davis who remarried Capt. Richard Creech. On 7 August 1788 an inventory of his estate was taken and he mentioned nephew William Williams as his heir.          

            D. Thomas Williams, son William Williams

Sarah Williams
Sarah Williams was born circa 1702  in Isle of Wight County and died after August 1749 when she was the executrix for the will of her son, William. Sarah Williams was a young girl of about 12 years when her family left Surry County Virginia. She married James Castellaw, [aka Castellow], one of the wealthiest and prominent man in Bertie County, in about 1722. He was an educated Scotsman man nearly 17 years her senior. Like her older sister  Ann Williams Herring she was probably nearly 20 years old when she married. She had a very comfortable life style and died sometime after 1749 when her husband died unexpectedly. There are no probate records concerning her nor any information that she may have remarried as that she was only about 47 when she became a widow. She was the mother of several children of which a few settle in Barnwell District South Carolina and grandmother to several grandchildren of Tuscarora Indian heritage.
     James Castellaw  was born 6 November 1685 in Scotland, Renfrewshire, Paisley. He was baptized on 8 November 1685 and came to America when he was about 30 years old. James Castellaw died in 1749 at the age of 64 in Bertie County North Carolina Colony however there is no record of his will.
      The Castellaws were considered one of the most distinguished early families in the Cashy area. James Castellaw was a prosperous merchant having taken in partners at "Cashy" Henry Gustin, James Milliken doing business at "Casia & Roanoke" in 1727. James became active in politics. He was elected as a member of the Colonial Assembiy in the Lower House in 1726, and in the Upper House in 1731, and served for 14 years until 1745. In addition, he found time to serve as one of “His Majesty's Justices" from 1739- 1746, and be elected again as Public Treasurer of Bertie in 1739. A very active man in Colonial politics, there are records of many Bills, Committees, and Acts attributed to him in the Colonial Records. He was instrumental in the placing of the public buildings at Cashy, and the actual construction of same. He started construction on the water mill that operated for nearly 200 years.
     After James Castellaw' death, his two sons, Thomas and John, sold part of the family holdings, with Thomas moving to Duplin County to look after part of the family lands there. John remained in Bertie County and was the ancestor of most of Bertie's "Castelloe" families. 
A. Bathiah Castellaw circa 1723 in Bertie Precinct and died 1805 in Hancock County, Georgia. She married Samuel Alexander 14 May 1752 in Duplin County, North Carolina. In June 1759 Samuel Alexander stated he'd lately come into province (Georgia) to settle and asked for a grant of 100 acres on Savannah River in St. George Parish, Halifax District. The petition was denied. In December 1762, Samuel Alexander said he'd been two years in province (Georgia) and had purchased and settled land. He then received a grant of 60 acres opposite "his place in Carolina (South Carolina) called Point Comfort". On 30 Aug 1763 Alexander witnessed a deed of Ezekiel Williams, his wife's cousin in Granville County South Carolina. Again on 27 April 1768 along with James Turner and James Cayson Samuel Alexander witnessed a deed between John Lee and Ezekiel Williams in Granville County South Carolina. On 1 October 1784, Richmond County, Georgia; deed: Samuel Alexander (Sr.) of Richmond Co., Georgia, Planter, for love, goodwill and affection, to my loving daughter, Sarah Smith of Wilkes Co., Georgia, and absolute free and independent title in fee simple to all that tract of land where she now lives, 200 acres by survey, being granted to Samuel Alexander in 1784. Gift made 24 May 1787. Witnessed: Aaron Grier and Ezekiel Alexander. Gift proved in Wilkes Co., Georgia by Aaron Grier 22 Feb. 1797. Their children were Capt Samuel Alexander III husband of Olivia Wooten and Mrs. Sarah Bush, Capt James Alexander husband of Tabitha Wooten, Asa Castellaw Alexander husband of Faitha Wooten, Susan Goodge, and Nancy Davidson, John Listor Alexander, Ezekiel Alexander husband of MissNeal, Sarah Alexander wife of Capt. John Smith, Mary Alexander, Elizabeth Alexander, and Moses Alexander.
B. Thomas Castellaw was born circa about 1723 died He died on 10 April 1790 in Barnwell District South Carolina. He married Mrs. Sarah Hand Bush by May 1753. On 4 May 1747 he sold to Thomas Ryan 500 acres on northside of Rocquis Swamp commonly known as “Castellow Islands” in Bertie County. On 7 Oct 1751 Thomas witnessed a deed of 4 slaves from Isaac Bush of Johnston Co. to Isaac’s nephews and nieces children of William Bush. Thomas Castellaw was in Duplin County on May 22, 1753. On 17 Feb 1755 Thomas of "Duplin County" sold to Thomas Rhodes 2 tracts of lands on Rocquis Island and Rocquis Swamp in Bertie County that was first granted to his father James Castellow and grandfather John Williams. Thomas Rhodes was the husband of Elizabeth Standley and daughter of Ann Gardner, granddaughter of Ann Bryan and great granddaughter of Needham Bryan and Anne Rombeau. The witnesses were Thomas Whetmell, Moses Hunter, and his uncle Arthur Williams. From  Johnston County, North Carolina he moved to the Savannah River region of South Carolina, but by March 1767 he had moved to Briar Creek in St. George Parish. He is still listed there in November 1770 now with six slaves with lands near Arthur Wall.  However on 10 April 1772 he witnessed a deed in New Hanover County, North Carolina between Harold Blackman and Samuel Rogers. On 17 Sept 1774 Thomas was granted 400 acres on a back Swamp on Savannah River bounded by Patrick Butler, John Turner, Joseph Perry, and Ralph Wilson in Granville County, South Carolina lands later sold to sold to Mr. Telfair. He is listed in a 1778-1779 Tax List were he was a Grand Juror for an area between The South Fork of The Edisto River and the Savannah River. In what became Barnwell District. He was a Revolutionary War soldier on the American side. Thomas Castellaw died in 1790 when his estate went up for sale. His administrator was Joseph Miller and buyers of items from his estate included, Robert Ashley, Theophilus Baxter, Isaac Bush Sr., Isaac Bush Jr., Ann Castellow, Henry Castellow, Merrimon Cook, William Dunbar, John Green, William Green, Jonas Griffin, Sampson Griffin,  James Jackson, Joseph Miller, Isaac Odam, Ezekiel Williams, Benjah Williamson, and Stephen Wroten . Ezekiel Williams was his cousin.  Thomas Castellaw's known children were James Castellaw, Henry Castellaw of Upper Three Runs, Thomas Castellaw Jr, Sarah Castellaw, Penelope Castellow wife of Joseph Johnson, Edmond Bentley, and William Dicks.
C. William Castellaw was born 1725 died by July 1749 in Bertie County. He never married. 
D. John Castellaw was born was born about 1727 in Bertie County. He appeared in the census in 1790 in USA, North Carolina, Bertie Co., Edenten District.1388 no slaves. He signed a will on 11 December 1813 Bertie Co. Recorded May Term 1816. Common in law wife Martha Butler a Tuscarora Indian. Married married Margaret DawsonJohn  the Younger's grandson John Castellow Bastardy came before the Bertie County in 1754. He had as a common law wife Martha Butler, a Tuscarora woman by whom he had two sons, William and James Castellaw. McGaughon appeared as a bondsman for Castellaw. 
E. Katherine Castellaw born circa 1731 died after 1761 Simpson County NC
F. James Castellaw born circa 1733 married Priscilla Barton.1762  He had lands near Three Run on Savannah River by George Foreman, Seigler Wilson, Thomas Newman in Granville County South Carolina.  In 1771 he was in St. George Parish Georgia. On 5 August 1777 he had lands Jacob Read in St. George Parish adjoining Davis, Jourdan, and Joel Walker. He was a private in the Revolutionary War. He joined the military on 14 February 1777 South Carolina and served with General Francis Marion known as the Swamp Fox. He was mustered out 10 August 1785 and died 26 September 1785 Winston County [Barnwell District] South Carolina. His son William Henry Castellaw was born circa 1769 and married Rhody Brewer. On 7 Sept 1797 owned 148 acres adjoining Priscilla Castellow. In 1837 his lands were on Wells Branch and Bay Branch adjoining John McMillan.  James' daughter Sarah Castellaw  married Daniel Philpot.  His son James Castellaw in 1788 sold a slave to William Minor and on 8 October 1789 bought a slave in Barnwell District. He was the administer of the estate of William Castellaw 25 February 1830 who died in Washington County, Georgia. John Castellaw was born circa 1777 and in 1803 he witnessed the will of George Robinson and in 1822 he had lands on the Upper Three Runs in Barnwell District, South Carolina.
G. Sarah Castellaw was born 21 Jan. 1738 and  she died 11 June 1818 at her son Thomas Barefield's home in Mulenburg Co., Kentucky age 89 yrs., 11 mo. & 20 days old. She married Jesse Francis Barefield circa 1756. Jesse Barfield was the son of Richard Barfield and died circa 22 August 1780. Their children were Frederick Barfield, Stephen Barfield, Charity Barfield, Louis Barfield, John Barfield, Solomon Barfield and Thomas Barfield. Her daughter Charity Barfield was born 19 January 1755 in Duplin County and married her 2nd cousin Theophilus Williams son of Sheriff Joseph Williams and Mary Hicks. They were the great grandchildren of John the Younger and Ann Moore. Son Frederick Barfield was born 14 December 1757 in Duplin County and  died after 1820 in Lauderdale, Tennessee. He also married his 2nd cousin Susannah Williams daughter of  Sheriff Joseph Williams and Mary Hicks  on 16 May 1779 Duplin County NC 

Mary Williams
Mary Williams born circa 1704. She married Abraham Herring the younger brother of Samuel Herring about 1722. He was born about 1684 in Isle of Wight County the son of Anthony Herring. Mary Herring was mentioned in her father’s will in 1747. As of the 1740s, most of Abraham's documented activities are in the Bucklesberry Swamp area, adjoining John Williams. One Herring family researcher says that Abraham served as sheriff of Bertie County at one time. Abraham had his stock mark, a Swallow fork in the left ear and a nick in the right ear, registered at the Bertie County court in Nov 1740. In an account supposedly dated 1744, "John Holbrook was paid cash for going to Neuse after debt that was due there to acquaint the heirs of his death...Note mentions, among others, Abraham Herring." 
In 1759 an Abraham Herring was listed in a deed selling land to Arnold Hopkins, and continued to be listed in Bertie County deeds until 1757--sometimes as a witness. However this may have been his son Abraham Herring the Younger.  No doubt Mary Herring probably was a care taker of her aged parents as younger daughters are wont to do. She is mentioned in her father’s will but there’s no further information when or where she died. She was the mother of several children.
A. Samuel Herring was born circa 1722 in Chowan Precinct, Albemarle County, North Carolina and died in New Hanover County, North Carolina. His children were Samuel Herring married Elizabeth Guin 
B. Abraham Herring the Younger  was born circa 1724 in Bertie Precinct, Albemarle County and died in Sampson County, North Carolina. He married Rebecca Snell.
C. Joseph Herring was born circa 1726 in Bertie Precinct, North Carolina. He died in July 1794 in  Sampson County, North Carolina. He married Eunice Uzzell the daughter of Thomas Uzzell. She was born circa 1738 in Bertie County, North Carolina and died after her husband. They were married circa 1755 in Dobbs County, North Carolina. Joseph named wife "Unicy" in his will probated in Sampson County in July 1794. He bought land in 1771 in Duplin County.  Joseph Herring gave to his son Joshua Herring by Deed of Gift 206 acres in Sampson County. A "Negro girl called Edah was given by Joseph Herring to his daughter, Briget Herring in a Deed of Gift. By a Deed of Gift he gave to daughter Eunice Herring, a "Negro girl called Amey" and to his married daughter Nancy Williams he gave a "Negro girl called Olive." On November 1, 1793 Joseph and Unicy give to their son Jacob an African girl named Cate [Kate], she being the child of slave woman who had been given by them to daughter their daughter "Unicy". This Joseph is listed on Sampson County census in 1790 with 1 male over 16, 1 male under 16 and 5 females and 3 slaves.  Joseph Herring served in the Revolutionary War as a private in the North Carolina Militia and had six pay vouchers. His children were Uzzell Herring [1756-1806] Phenicy Herring [1758-1794], Jacob Herring [1759-1797], Rhoda Herring wife of Parrott Williams,  Bridget Herring, Eunice Herring [1773-1860] wife of Hezekiah Williams, Nancy Herring Williams [1774-183], and Joshua Herring [1780-1811] 
D. Daniel Herring was born circa 1728 in Bertie County and died circa 1787 in Duplin County, North Carolina. He was married twice. His first wife was Sarah Whitfield whom he married 1 Mar 1749 [1750] in Johnston County. They had five sons. He married second Sarah's sister Charity Whitfield on 2 May 1782 in Duplin County.  All of Daniel and Sarah Herrings were born in Duplin County. His children were Stephen Herring husband of Nancy Rogers, Benjamin Herring husband of Mary Shotwell, Joel Herring husband of Sophia King Gilmore, Isaac Herring husband of Nancy Ann Shotwell, and Whitfield Herring husband of Fereby Roberts and Mary Croom. 
E. Jacob Herring
F. Arthur Herring
G. Isaac Herring
H. Daniel Stephen Herring

Arthur Williams
Arthur Williams was born circa 1706 and died in 1775 . There is another Arthur Williams who lived north of Cashie River near Kirby Creek and the Meherrin River that one has to be careful not to confuse him with John Williams’ son. Arthur Williams of Kirby Creek is a much older man and grandson of John’s uncle Thomas Williams.

Arthur the son of John Williams the Younger was just a boy of about eight years when he came to North Carolina with his father's family. He was the youngest son of John and Ann and probably was indulged by his aging parents as that he inherited his father’s manor plantation. Arthur Williams must have been a popular individual in Cashy as that as a young man he was elected three times as an assemblyman to the North Carolina legislature from Bertie County more than any other representative from Bertie County.  He was a  member of the General Assembly for Bertie County in 1735 along with his brother in law James Castellaw and nephew John Castellaw.

Arthur Williams was a colorful character by all measures and went against conventions when he began cohabitating with a Tuscarora woman named Elizabeth Butler about 1750 when his father was still alive. She was the daughter of Margaret Butler and a white man and therefore was considered a "mulatto" or mixed race.

Arthur's common law wife was Elizabeth Butler whose sister Martha Butler had married Arthur’s nephew John Castellow. Elizabeth and Martha Butler were the daughters of Margaret Butler, a Tuscarora woman who was born perhaps 1710. Margaret Butler was listed as the head of a household of herself and a "free Mulatto male” named Isaac Butler in John Hill’s 1761 Tax List for Bertie County.

In colonial tax records of North Carolina there were no category for “Native Americans” who were often simply listed as “mulatto.” This is confusing for some researchers who assume that mulatto always meant mixed race of African Americans and whites. However mulatto simply meant mixed race which would apply also to Native Americans and whites. Margaret Butler’s husband may have been white.

Nevertheless the census suggests that she was probably unable to support herself in September when she brought John Castellaw and Edward McGluhan to court as securities for keeping her “Harmless and indemnifying the Parish of this County from Charge” for her upkeep.

Her son Robert Butler in 1770 was listed among the freeholders who were ordered by the September Bertie Court to work on the road to Cashie Bridge under Arthur Williams, who was the overseer of the work. Robert had been arrested in April 1758 for “cohabitating together” with Jane Mitchell and “begetting bastard child.”

Another son of Margaret Butler, named Williams Butler, was listed as a taxable household of two “free molattoes" in the Bertie County, in a 1763 summary list.

His two sisters were cohabitating with Arthur Williams and John Castellow’s how ever the social standing of their husbands probably prevented them from being arrested.

 Arthur Williams and his common law wife "Elizabeth C. Butler" were witnesses in a Bertie County deed dated 13 June 1752 between Patrick Kanaday and David Kanaday, Planter. This indicates that they were living together at least by 1752.

Two tax lists for Bertie County for the years 1767 and 1768 show that the legal status of Arthur's  children by Elizabeth was complicated. In 1767, his sons Isaac Williams and Elisha Williams are taxed as “white servants” but in 1768 they are listed as “mulattoes”. In this 1767 list Arthur is head of a taxable household and referred to as “Master” Arthur Williams. In this household were  “White Servants”, Constant Reddit, Isaac Williams, John Sawkill, and Elisha Williams- The “Mulattoes” were William James, Elizabeth Butler, Elizabeth James, and Mary James. His "Male slaves” wereGye [Guy] Sezer [Cesar] Robin and Treser [Treasure]. His “Female Slaves” wereGrace Williams, Bess, and Joan. The slave Grace was probably the Grace mentioned in his father’s will.

On 11 February 1767 Arthur's nephew Ezekiel Williams was in South Carolina, but he sold land in Bertie County to John Norwood. Arthur Williams, his uncle and John Castellow his cousin were witnesses to the deed being filed.

The Tax list of 1768 showed Arthur Williams as "master", but now listed only Constant Redditt and John Sawkill as “white servants”. The category of Mulattoes living on his place now listed his sons Isaac Williams and Elisha Williams, his wife Elizabeth Butler, and William James, Elizabeth James, and Mary James. The names of the slaves remained the same as in 1768. Perhaps Isaac and Elisha were listed in the Mulatto column because they were not actual “servants”. Isaac must have been nearly of age because the following year on 7 December 1769 he had bonds posted for his marriage to Nancy Bunch who was the daughter of a wealthy Tuscarora land owner.

Tax Records from 1771 in Bertie County listed Isaac and Elisha Williams and their mother Elizabeth C. Butler as white. On 28 April 1771 Arthur Williams was on of the witnesses to a deed where John Castellow gave property to “William Castellow son of Martha Butler.” Martha Butler was his sister-in-law and John Castellow was his nephew.

Prior to his death Arthur Williams gave land to his son Elisha Williams in a deed dated 8 Aug 1774. The witnesses to the deed was Josiah Redditt and Joseph Simons both who were sons in law of Arthur. Elisha Williams married Sarah Josey 24 March 1775 perhaps so that his ailing father could see him get married before he died. Jeremiah and Henry Bunch the Younger were the bondsmen for the marriage banns.

Arthur Williams made out his Last Will and Testament 28 January 1775 when he was probably 69 years old. It was recorded and proved in the May Court 1775 of Bertie County, North Carolina. He left his four remaining slaves Guy, Cesar, Grace, and Joan to his common law wife “Elizabeth Butler now living with me.” He names also as heirs the following children, Sarah wife of Josiah Redditt, Isaac Williams, Elisha Williams, Ann Williams, Cathoran Williams, Joab Williams, and Arthur Williams.

Arthur Williams left a 28 January 1775 Bertie County will, proved May 1775, leaving slaves Guy, Cesar, Grace and Joan to Elizabeth Butler "now living with me" son Isaac, daughter Sarah [wife of Josiah Redditt], son Elisha, daughter Ann [wife of Joseph Simons], daughter Cathron, sons Joab, and Arthur, William Hardy [son of Lamb], Josiah Redditt, Elisha Williams and Joseph Simons Exrs.

Bertie County January ye 28 th Day 1775 In the name of God Amen I Arthur Williams of Society [Parish] being weak in body but of perfect mind & memory thanks be given unto God for it therefore calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is Appointed for all men once to Die do make and Ordain this my last Will and Testament that is to say Princapaly and first of all I recommend my soul into the hands of God that gave it & my body I recommend to the Earth to be Buried in a Decent & Christian like manner at the Descresion of my Executors Nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same by the mighty power of God & as for touching such world Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life I give demise & dispose of the same in the following manner & form

Imprimis I give & bequeath to Elizabeth Butler now living with me a Comfortable living out of my Estate. I Likewise lend her for the support of the Children my two Negro men Gye & Cesar & two Women Grace & Joan to remain on the Plantation likewise a Horse & Mare & Yoke of Oxen one bed & furniture & other Negros Soficient to keep house she behaving as a woman in her Surcimstance ought

Item. I give and bequeath to my son Isaac son to Elizabeth Butler a Negro woman Named Beck she and all hir increase & one Negro Boy Named Buck to his & his heirs

Item. I give & bequeath to my Daughter Sarah wife to Josiah Redditt a Negro woman Named Sara & all hir increase to hir & hir heirs they were will'd to her before her marriage with him.

Item I give & bequeath to my son Elisah son to Elizabeth Butler all the Negroes now in his possession to him & his heirs

Item. I give & bequeath to my Daughter Ann Daughter to Elizabeth Butler wife to Joseph Simons one Negro woman Named Clo she & all her increase to her and her heirs

Item. I give & bequeath to my Daughter Catheran Daughter to Elizabeth Butler one Negro girl Named Rowhae [?] she and all her increase to her & her Lawfull heirs Likewise I give her one fether bed and furniture one lamb & thegeer belonging to it & four Ews which is now in her perssesion & two hundred Acres of Land lying at the head of gum pocoson & along Elisha Land & wolf fist Branch to her & her heirs

Item. I give & bequeath to my Son Joab Son son to Elizabeth Butler my Plantation with two hundred Acres of Land whereon I now live Excepting fourty foot Square where my Parents weare Buried to him and his heirs for ever Likewise I give him three Negroes to wit Pennie a garl boys Court & young Gy Likewise. I give my Son Joab one feather Bed & furniture & ye first Colt ye my Mare Pidgin brings.

Item. I give to my Son Arthur son to Elizabeth Butler my Plantation where my Negro woman Grace now lives Joyning Turkey Swamp on ye west one Side & on the North Salmon Creek Road on ye East Joab Williams his line on the South Joseph Simons line Containing one hundred & Seventy Acres be ye Same more or less to him & his heirs Likewise I give my Son Arthur my Negro woman Joan after his mothers Decase but if ye sd Joan Should have two or more Children my will is _ his brother Joab Shall have one of them. I Likewise give my Son Arthur my Negro boy Tom & Garl Nancy & after his mothers Decase my Negro man Cesar. I Likewise give him one fether Bed & furniture.

Item. I give & bequeath to my Neighbor George Davis on hundred Acers of land bounded as follows bgining at west ___ at Sams Branch running sd Branch to Demeys line along his line to the mill Branch So down Sd Branch to ye Road & down ye Sd roat to the first Station to him & his heirs

Item. I give and bequeath all the remander part of my Estate after Debts are paid both real & personal Except my Negro man Gyes oh I hear give to Joab after his mothers Decease to be Equally Divided between my Children Namely Ann Simons Catheran Williams Joab Williams & Arthur Williams when they are all Come of age & to remain on the Plantation till then………

Item. & Lastly I do Constitute Namemake & Appoint my trusty & well beloved frient William Hardy son of Lamb Josiah Redditt Elisha Williams & Joseph Simons Executors of this my last Will and Testament and I Doe hereby utterly revoke and Disanul all and every other Testaments Wills Legasies & bequeaths & Exrs by me in any ways before Named wills & Bequeath ratifying & Confirming this & no Other to be my lst Will & Testament & in Witness here of I have heareunto Set my hand & Seall the Day & and year above written.

Signd Seald prounounced and Declared
by the Sd Arthur Williams as his
last Will and Testament
In presence of us the Subscribers

Bertie County May Court 1775

Personally Appeared in open Court Humphry Hardy Esqr. Joseph Reditt and Samuel Moore who all being sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God Declared that they delivered the above last Will and Testament to be the Hand Writing of Arthur Williams Deceased and further they say not .

.Children of Arthur Williams and Elizabeth Butler.
A. Isaac Williams was born circa 1748 and died 1789. He married Nancy Bunch 7 December 1769 the daughter of Jeremiah Bunch. Isaac's estate inventory was dated Feb 1789. Nancy remarried Josiah Collins. Jeremiah Bunch's will made in 1797 lists “Nanny” Collins. Josiah Collins estate was probated in Lauren County, Georgia in 1809. His wife Wife Nancy was the administrix. Isaac Williams children were Delilah Williams and Joel Williams. Deliah was born in 1780 in Bertie County and married Henderson Frier in 1797 in Bertie County. They later moved to Georgia. In Gates County North Carolina court records dated November 1791, list Joel Williams, "orphan of Isaac Williams of Bertie County" as 15 years old [1776]. He was bound as apprentice to Richard Baker, house carpenter. 
B. Sarah Williams was born circa 1750 and married Josiah Redditt 14 May 1767. She was the mother of a large family; Cythina M Reddit, Aquilla Reddit. Theophilus Reddit, William Reddit, Sarah Reddit, Asa Reddit, David Reddit, Ann Reddit, and Josiah Reddit.
C. Elisha Williams was born circa 1752 and married Sarah Josey 24 March 1775. "Elisha Williams died August 17, 1811 age 72  years,. He had six children, William Williams, Betsy Williams, Joshua Williams, Elisha Williams, Josiah Willaims, and Martha Williams".Around 1804-1808 Elisha Williams moved his family to Nashville, Tennessee where both Elisha and his son, William were big race horse owners. The family owned slaves and plantations in both North Carolina and Tennessee. Elisha was one of the best read men in North Carolina and of quite a literary turn. He was wealthy and gave all his children finished educations. He could read Latin fluently and wrote a beautiful fluent hand. ”He employed a private tutor for his boys, and when they were sufficiently advanced in their studies, he sent the oldest, William to Harvard University, Massachusetts, and Elisha & Josiah to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. All three got their diplomas." In mathematics he (Elisha) was superior to any of his boys. Joseph Philips was a close personal friend of his and finally induced him to move out to Tennessee. He selling his real estate and giving part to his daughter Elizabeth who married a wealthy man in North Carolina named Thomas Alston in 1797. She married  Second in 1818 to Lemuel James Alston.  Josiah Williams  and William Williams married sisters, Sally and Margaretta Phillips.  
D. Ann Williams born circa 1754 wife of Joseph Simons
E. Cathoran Williams circa 1756
F. Joab Williams circa 1758 died before 24 February 1812 ”Arthur Williams Power of Attorney from Samuel Williams of Burke County, Georgia to Aquilla Redditt, from property of Joab Williams deceased.
F. Arthur Williams circa 1760 after 1812



  1. Maiden name Williamson. Benjamin Williamson 1822 b. NC md. Lucinda Aldridge,my great great parents. They lived in Surry Co.NC i want to find relatives .possibly Williams and not Williamson. They also spent time in LeeCounty Va. Help if you can . I am on facebook Vickie Williamson Parham.

  2. Ben -- Thanks for such detailed and thorough research. Most of my family lines come out of Bertie County and you can read about them on my own blog here: James Castellaw was my sixth great-grandfather. When many of the Bertie clan who attended Capeharts Baptist church together left and settled in Haywood County, Tennessee in the early 1830s, the first thing they did was build a new church and send back to Bertie for a preacher, my fourth great-grandfather George Williams. I have not been able to figure out who his parents were. Are you aware of any Bertie County Williams DNA testing being done? I have a hunch that may tell me what I need to know. Thanks!

  3. I have been looking for my ancestor, John Williams b. 1770. He married Elon/Ellen Gray Dec. 25, 1793 in Tyrrell co., NC. Elon was the daughter of Henry Gray & Deborah Blount of Tyrrell co. They are my 3rd great-grandparents. I can't find them anywhere. I was told by family that they were Native American. I feel like my John Williams is related to this John Williams after reading this.. All the names associated are well known to me.

  4. I have been looking for my ancestor, John Williams b. 1770. He married Elon/Ellen Gray Dec. 25, 1793 in Tyrrell co., NC. Elon was the daughter of Henry Gray & Deborah Blount of Tyrrell co. They are my 3rd great-grandparents. I can't find them anywhere. I was told by family that they were Native American. I feel like my John Williams is related to this John Williams after reading this.. All the names associated are well known to me.

  5. I can only get my Williams line back to George M. Williams (b.~1818) who married Sarah Jones 6 Jul 1837 in Edenton, Chowan County, NC, but I am convinced these are his people. I just can't find out the names of his parents.

  6. Suggest you look at the wills of William Lewerton, Ephraim Lewerton, John Jones Sr, William Jones (2 wills), Thomas Jones, Jabez Alford, Owen O'Daniel. There are many errors in the abstracts, so look at originals or will books. All are online.
    Thomas Jones' wife was the widow of Luke Hammond who was still living in 1699, possibly 1705. Ephraim Lewerton's will does not name a sister Elizabeth Jones or a cousin Elizabeth Jones. The Elizabeth Lewerton he named was dau of John Lewerton Sr and Elizabeth O'Daniel. She was dau of Owen O'Daniel Sr and sister to Owen O'Daniel Jr. Eliz O'Daniel m2 John Jones Sr (father of Will & Thomas). After his death, she m3 John Edwards Jr, son of John/Dorcas. Before her third marriage, she deeded land to daus Elizabeth Lewerton and Mary Jones. John Lewerton Jr was probably by an earlier wife, possibly a Herring since his name was given as John Hearing Lewerton in a deed. William Jones' son Charles was especially close to John Rasberry and wife Bridgett Brown. Charles lived in Nansemond for a while, so no early records. His wife later in Bertie was Sarah. She could have been a later wife. I have not been able to prove a Brown or Williams marriage.

  7. I'm looking for any information about my 5th Great Grandfather John Williams born 1777 and died 1841 in Stewart County, Tennessee. He married Tabitha Hardy in 1803 in Pittsylvania, VA. Looking for his parents or any siblings he may have had. Not sure if he was born in Pittsylvania or not.