Or, Subtitled: Silver Clasps, Sidor Presses, and Cows Named Clove
I’ve now posted eleven postings* tracking the ancestry of Strachan/Strahon Monk, who was born about 1787 in Bertie County, North Carolina, and who died between 1850-1858 in Hardin County, Tennessee. About 1805, Strachan Monk married Talitha, daughter of Jesse Cherry (1749-1808) and Elizabeth Gainer (abt. 1761-1836) of Martin County, North Carolina. Between 1810-1820, this couple moved to Tennessee, joining a number of Talitha’s brothers there, who were early land speculators in the daughter state of their native North Carolina.
Two of Talitha’s brothers — Jesse and Isham — settled in Hardin County, as Strachan and Talitha Cherry Monk did, while other of her brothers — Lawrence and Darling, who remained in Martin County, and Daniel, who settled in Haywood County, Tennessee — owned land there. As a previous series of postings about Strachan and Talitha Monk’s years in Hardin County demonstrated, they lived there on land on the Tennessee River loaned to them by Talitha’s brother Daniel (see here, here, and here).
My primary interest in these families is that I descend from Strachan and Talitha Cherry Monk’s daughter Minerva (abt. 1812-1860), who married Moses B. Batchelor (1808-1883), son of Wilson Richard Batchelor (1775-1858) and Alcie Odom (1790-1848), who moved from Nash County, North Carolina, to Hardin County, Tennessee. Moses and Minerva are my great-great-grandparents.
Moving from the Monk to the Nottingham Line in Tracing Strachan Monk’s Ancestry
As we’ve seen, Strachan Monk was the son of Nottingham Monk (abt. 1755-1818) and Rachel, daughter of George and Elizabeth Strachan of Bertie County, North Carolina. Up to this point, my postings about Strachan Monk’s ancestry have focused on his Monk line. This chart captures what I know of the male ancestors in that line:
I’d like now to shift attention from the Monks to Strachan Monk’s Nottingham line of ancestry. As my series of postings on his Monk ancestry have shown, the given name Nottingham (the name of both Strachan Monk’s father and grandfather) comes into this Monk family through the marriage of William Monk (abt. 1690-1750) to Elizabeth, daughter of William and Mary Nottingham of Northampton County, Virginia.
I summarized in a previous posting what I know of Elizabeth Nottingham Monk’s life. Here are salient points:
- An affidavit Elizabeth gave in the Kendall v. Mapp case in Northampton County, Virginia, in 1742 establishes her year of birth as 1700 or thereabouts.
- Elizabeth appears to have married William, son of William Monk (1660/1670-1716) and wife Catherine sometime around or before 1720, when it appears their elder son Nottingham Monk was born.
- Elizabeth was alive on 18 September 1749 when William Monk made his will in Northampton County — the will names her as William’s “loving wife” and makes her his executrix — but she had died by 11 December 1750 when the will was probated, with the probate record explicitly stating that Elizabeth had died.
- William and Elizabeth Nottingham Monk lived on a piece of land in Northampton County that had come to her from the 5 November 1718 will of her father William Nottingham; after the death of William and Elizabeth, this land passed to their son Nottingham Monk, who sold it in or before 1763 to Addison Nottingham.
- The 1718 will of William Nottingham (just cited) establishes Elizabeth Monk as his daughter.
William Nottingham (1669-1719), Son of Richard and Elizabeth Nottingham
Here’s what I know about the life of William Nottingham:
- The 24 September 1692 will of Richard Nottingham of Northampton County names William as his son.
- William was born about 1669: in February 1693, he deposed in Northampton County court, stating that he was 24 years old.
- William Nottingham appears on a 1704 quit rent roll in Northampton County, owning 150 acres of land.
- On 19 January 1711, William Kendall Sr. and John Savage reported to Northampton County court regarding a dispute involving Robert Howson’s proposal to build a water mill. Kendall and Savage found no damage in the marsh or land of Matthew Harmanson where Howson was erecting his mill. But they also noted that the mill would stop up William Nottingham’s canoe landing, and the court issued an order for the two to report back about the projected damage to Nottingham’s property. Nottingham was a juror at the same court session.
- 20 February 1711/12, regarding the same dispute over Howson’s mill, Hilary Stringer and John Savage reported to Northampton court once again that the mill proposed by Robert Howson would stop up William Nottingham’s landing.
- This is the same Robert Howson whom we’ve met in a previous posting, who witnessed the will of Rev. Samuel Palmer on 19 February 1708/9 in Northampton County, and who married Palmer’s widow Sarah, née Custis. Howson’s 5 April 1720 Northampton County will bequeaths to grandson John Custis Matthews a 200-acre plantation that Howson states he bought from Richard Nottingham.
- 20-21 May 1712, William Nottingham was again a juror in Northampton County court.
- On 26 September 1712, William Nottingham produced in Northampton County court a warrant from Hon. John Custis verifying that he had provided service to Col. William Custis in Accomack County on behalf of her Majesty; Nottingham testified that he had not been paid for his service, and the court ordered that he be paid 100 pounds of tobacco.
- On 17 February 1712/3, William Nottingham acted as attorney in Northampton Court on behalf of Jean Brooks in her dispute with John and Mary Dobson.
- On 19 May 1713, William Nottingham was named surveyor of highways in Northampton County in place of Richard Nottingham. William Nottingham’s father Richard had previously been surveyor of roads in the county, and it seems possible that in noting that William was being appointed in place of Richard (who died in 1692), the court was indicating that William was assuming a position his father had held.
- On 18 May 1714, Severn Eyre was appointed joint surveyor of the highways in Northampton county along with William Nottingham. William Nottingham was again appointed surveyor of highways on 16 April 1717, along with Severn Eyre.
- On 12 May 1715, William Nottingham acted as attorney in Northampton County court for Thomas Smith in his legal action against William Smith in a case of assault and battery.
- On 18 May 1715, William Nottingham petitioned Northampton court for a survey of the boundary of his land and that of Joseph Nottingham in a dispute about the stipulations of the will of Teigue Harmon. Harmon’s 19 February 1684 will left half of his land to wife Elizabeth in her lifetime, and half to William Nottingham. At Elizabeth’s decease, the half willed to her was to go to Mary, wife of Richard Nottingham Jr. (1652-1729), brother of William Nottingham. Joseph Nottingham (bef. 1684-1721) was the oldest son of Richard Nottingham Jr. Mary, wife of Richard Nottingham, is named in Harmon’s will as his daughter; she was the daughter of his wife Elizabeth by her prior marriage to Richard Clark. In addition to bequeathing land to Mary and Richard Nottingham and William Nottingham, Harmon also left William cows named Clove and Coule, a long gun, a pair of pistols and holsters, a crupper and breastplate, two brass candlesticks, a hand mill, silver buttons, and a pair of silver clasps. One of the witnesses to Harmon’s will was Richard Nottingham, husband of his step-daughter Mary.
- On 17 October 1716, Northampton court ordered William Nottingham and Severn Eyre as surveyors of highways to repair the highways from Custis (?) to Hungars Bridge and the public storehouse.
- On 20 November 1716, William Nottingham acted in Northampton court as attorney for Thomas Bullock in the case of Thomas Williams vs. Thomas Bullock.
- On 21 May 1717, William Nottingham was impaneled as a grand juror in Northampton court.
- On 18 June 1717, William Nottingham was attorney for John Walker in Northampton court in the case of Henry Clegg vs. Walker.
- On 17 December 1717, William Nottingham was appointed by Northampton Court with Richard and John Nottingham and Delvey Newton to appraise the estate of Thomas Church.
- 20 May 1718, William Nottingham acted as attorney in Northampton court for Charles Floyd in case of Charles Floyd vs. William Kendall.
- 28 November 1718, William Nottingham was attorney in Northampton Court for John Bennett in the case of Richard Rogers vs. John Bennett.
The Will of William Nottingham, Northampton County, Virginia, 1718
William Nottingham made his will in Northampton County on 5 November 1718. His widow and executrix Mary proved the will in Northampton court on 17 February 1718/9. The following is my verbatim transcript of the will:
In ye Name of God amen. I Wm. Nottingham of Northampton County Doe Ordaine this for my Last will and Testamt. Revoking all former wills or Testamts In manner as followeth —
Item my will and Desire is yt my wife may Injoy my plantation During her Life[time?]
Item I Give Unto my Daughter Elizabth. Munk Seventy five akors of Land by Istimation upon ye North Side of my Land by a Line of Marked trees from ye Little branch beginning at a Marked pine from thence to ye Sidor press from thence to ye Extent of my Line [Compleate?] ye Same to her & her heires Lawfully begotten of her Body —
Item I give unto my Daughter Susana Nottingham all ye Rest of my Land to her & her heirs Lawfully begotten of her body —
Item I Give my Daughter Susana one Long Table & one pare of Silver Clasps onely my wife to have them During her Life & one form wch. belongs to ye Table
Item I give unto my Daughter Elizabth. one Cow & Calf to be paid by Executrix heareafter Named
Item I give all ye rest Remaindor of my Estate after my Debts paid to my wife & Daughters Mary & Sarah to be Equally Divided between ym. only my wife to have itt During her Life but if She Should Marry ynmy Desire is yt She Should Come to A Equall Division Directly with my two Daughters Mary Nottingham & Sarah Nottingham —
My will is that my Estate Shall not be appraised I Appoint my Loving Wife ye Sole Executrix of this my Last will Testamt: my Desire that francis Batson & Severn Eyre may be assistants to see my will fulfiled witness my hand seals This fifth day of November Anno Dom 1718
William Nottingham ye Seal
Ritchard Nottingham (his Mark N)
Jacob Nottingham (his Mark J)
Att a Court hold for Northamptn County ye17th day of ffebur. 1718/9
The Last will & Testamt. of Wm. Nottingham decd Was presented in Court by his Executrix Mary Nottingham who made Oath thereto & being proved by ye Oaths of Richard Nottingham Jacob Nottingham & Severn Eyre Witnesses thereto is admitted to Record & on ye mottion of ye Sd Mary Nottingham She performing what is befallen [unto her?] Casses a Certificate is granted her for Obtaining a probate thereof in due form.
Recorded Test. Robert Howson Clk Northampton
An inventory of William Nottingham’s estate was filed and proved by oath of widow Mary at Northampton court on 17 March 1718/9 and 16 June 1719. The Richard and Jacob Nottingham witnessing William Nottingham’s will were father and son — William’s brother Richard (1652-1729) and his son Jacob (abt. 1684-1787).
According to Ralph Whitelaw in his Virginia’s Eastern Shore, the early house of Severn Eyre on Hungars Plantation (which is no longer standing) was located on Wilsonia Neck near the present community of Machipongo, in the same tract in which Richard Nottingham (1621-1692), father of William Nottingham and the immigrant Nottingham ancestor in Northampton County, settled. As noted above, Severn Eyre (abt. 1690-1728) witnessed William Nottingham’s will. He was the son of Thomas Eyre and Jane Severn, and married Gertrude, daughter of Henry Harmanson and Gertrude Littleton. Severn Eyre died testate before 18 April 1728 in Northampton County, with a will witnessed by (inter alia) Robert Nottingham, a son of William Nottingham’s brother Robert, who died in 1698.
Whitelaw notes that most of what is now called Wilsonia Neck in Northampton County was originally patented by William Stone, and was known as the Hungars plantation tract. This is the same William Stone who appears to have brought a William and an Edward Monk to Virginia by 1640/1. As noted previously, the land bequeathed by Teigue Harmon in his 19 February 1684 Northampton County will to his wife Elizabeth, and after her decease, to Mary, wife of Richard Nottingham Jr., and to Richard’s brother William Nottingham, was also in this Stone tract.
Whitelaw notes that the land William Nottingham’s will left to daughters Elizabeth Monk and Susanna Nottingham was the piece of land willed to William Nottingham in 1684 by Teigue Harmon. As we’ve seen previously, the Monk portion of this land passed to Elizabeth Monk’s son Nottingham Monk, who sold it in or before 1763 to his cousin Addison Nottingham. Addison Nottingham then sold the land to Littleton Eyre, son of Severn Eyre (discussed previously). Whitelaw notes that the acreage Eyre bought from Addison Nottingham was adjacent to land Eyre bought from Obedience Roberts, which was the portion of Teigue Harmon’s land William Nottingham’s will bequeathed to his daughter Susanna. This land descended in the Eyre family and was sold to W.L. Savage in 1834. During its Eyre ownership, it was bequeathed as the Monk and Roberts land. In 1839, Savage sold this land to Maria B. Nottingham Widgeon, calling it Baker’s Field.
Littleton Eyre (abt. 1709-1768) was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses who acquired large tracts of land in Northampton County. In 1760, he built a house called Eyre Hall, which remains in possession of the Eyre family and was added onto by generations after Littleton Eyre. The house has been named a National Historic Landmark.
Near Eyre Hall is also another house that has been designated as a National Historic Landmark — the Pear Valley house in Northampton County built in 1740 by Robert Nottingham (d. 1744), son of Joseph Nottingham (bef. 1684-1721) and Bridget Addison. Robert was a brother of Addison Nottingham, to whom Nottingham Monk sold the Monk piece of William Nottingham’s land. Joseph Nottingham inherited the portion of Teigue Harmon’s land bequeathed to Joseph’s mother Mary, wife of Richard Nottingham. The Pear Valley house is on that land.
Whitelaw’s Virginia’s Eastern Shore includes a photo of this historic house, as does Virginia B. Price’s exhaustively researched history of the house when it was nominated in 2011 as a National Historic Landmark. As Price’s history of the house notes, a number of sources have reported that, incorporated into the chimney in the past was a stone with the date 1672 inscribed in it. This has led some researchers to conclude that at least the brick and stone portions of the house’s foundations may date from an earlier house built or occupied by Teigue Harmon.
* For the sake of convenience for anyone wanting to follow my entire series of postings documenting the Monk ancestry of Strachan/Strahon Monk, I’ll provide links to each posting in the chronological order in which they appear on this blog:
Kendall v. Mapp, Northampton County, Virginia, Loose Court Records, packet 28: see Jean M. Mihalyka, Loose Papers and Sundry Court Cases, Northampton County, Virginia, vol. 2 (Eastville, VA: Hickory House, 2000), p. 157.
Northampton County, Virginia, Wills and Inventories Bk. 27, p. 531.
Northampton County, Virginia, Wills and Inventories Bk. 23, p. 1.
Ralph T. Whitelaw, Virginia’s Eastern Shore (Richmond: Virginia Hist. Soc., 1951; repr. Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 1968), vol. 1, pp. 318-328.
Northampton County, Virginia, Orders and Wills Bk. 13, pp. 210-11.
Ibid., p. 263.
see “Virginia Quit Rent Rolls, 1704 (Continued),” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 34,4 (Oct. 1926), p. 318.
Northampton County, Virginia, Order Bk. 15, p. 50.
Ibid., p. 52.
Ibid., p. 54.
Northampton County, Virginia, Wills and Deeds Bk. 19, p. 77.
See M.K. Miles’ MilesFiles 19.1, p. 546; and Virginia Custis Winslett’s “Custis Chronicles,” p. 65, noting that the will of Samuel Palmer bequeathed half of a mill to his wife Sarah and the other half to her daughter Sarah Custis Matthews.
Northampton County, Virginia, Order Bk. 15, p. 69.
Ibid., p. 80.
Ibid., p. 97.
Ibid., p. 104.
See Carolyn L. Harrell, Kith and Kin, a Portrait of a Southern Family, 1630-1934 (Macon: Mercer UP, 1964), p. 99.
Northampton Order Bk. 15, p. 161.
Northampton County, Virginia, Order Bk. 16, p. 10.
Northampton Order Bk. 15, p. 204.
Ibid., p. 206.
Whitelaw,Virginia’s Eastern Shore, p. 328.
Northampton Order Bk. 15, p. 206.
Ibid., p. 268a.
Northampton Order Bk. 16, p. 9.
Ibid., p. 17.
Ibid., p. 54.
Ibid., p. 99.
Ibid., p. 131.
See supra, n. 3.
Northampton Order Bk. 16, p. 141.
I have a photocopy made by the Northampton county clerk a number of years ago, with the right margin slightly cut off in the photocopy. Points at which I indicate that I cannot decipher a word are points at which words or portions of words are cut off in the photocopy.
Ibid., p. 146a and Northampton County, Virginia, Order Bk. 17, p. 17.
Whitelaw, Virginia’s Eastern Shore, p. 328.
Whitelaw, Virginia’s Eastern Shore, p. 318.
Ibid., p. 328.
See Stephen A. Maguire, “Littleton Eyre,” Dictionary of Virginia Biography, online at the Library of Virginia website. See also J. Thomas Savage, “Eyre Hall on Virginia’s Eastern Shore,” The Magazine Antiques (September 2009); and “Eyre Hall,” Wikipedia.