Thomas Whitlock (abt. 1745 – 1830) of Louisa and Wythe Counties, Virginia, and Cumberland County, Kentucky: His Early Life and Marriage (to 1776) (2)

The posting I’ve just linked tells you that I do not have a clear record of where Thomas was living from November 1757, when he was named in the Louisa County estate settlement of his father, to March 1776, when he witnessed a deed in Montgomery County, Virginia. The Louisa County document implies, in my view, that Thomas was living in that county in November 1757. By March 1776, he was apparently already living on Little Reed Island Creek in Montgomery County before that county became Wythe in 1790.

I also noted that a 26 July 1769 Bedford County court record places Thomas and wife Hannah in that county by that date, and the bible of Thomas and Hannah’s daughter Sarah and her husband Thomas Brooks states that Sarah was born 9 June 1774 in Bedford County, Virginia, so these records place Thomas and Hannah in that county before they settled in Montgomery (later Wythe) County by 1776. My posting tells you that it appears to me that Thomas’s mother Agnes Christmas Whitlock had died in Louisa County prior to the November 1757 division of James Whitlock’s estate. Both James Whitlock and wife Agnes Christmas had died young, it seems to me, and most of their children were still minors when Agnes died.

James and Agnes’s oldest son Charles, who seems to have married around the time of the estate division, moved before July 1760 to Albemarle County, which joins Louisa on the west and was formed in part from Louisa, and my “educated guess,” to repeat a phrase from my previous posting, is that when Charles Whitlock and wife Easter/Esther settled in Albemarle, they brought with them Charles’s younger siblings and raised those siblings up to the time of the younger Whitlock children’s marriages.

Nathaniel Whitlock, Son of James Whitlock and Agnes Christmas, Shows Up in Albemarle County Records

In this posting, before I begin discussing records I have for Thomas Whitlock in Montgomery-Wythe County, Virginia, in my next posting, I want to say something more about the strong probability — to me, this seems increasingly certain — that Thomas moved with his brother Charles to Albemarle County from Louisa County when Charles settled in Albemarle. I’d like to mention now one more piece of evidence that corroborates my educated guess that Charles’s siblings accompanied him from Louisa to Albemarle. On 25 October 1766 in Albemarle County, Charles Whitlock’s youngest brother Nathaniel Whitlock witnessed the deed of 50 acres of land by Jacob Sneed of Fredericksville parish to Alexander Mackey of the same location.[1] Jacob Sneed signed by mark with witnesses William Terrell Lewis, Joel Terrell, Nathaniel Whitlock, and Sarah Lewis. Nathaniel Whitlock signed by mark. A digital copy of this deed is at the head of this posting.

This Nathaniel Whitlock is definitely Nathaniel, youngest son of James Whitlock and Agnes Christmas, who is named in the November 1757 Louisa County settlement of his father’s estate along with Charles and Thomas Whitlock and other siblings. He has made his way from Louisa to Albemarle. As a previous posting notes, Nathaniel is thought to have been born in 1749, though I suspect Nathaniel may have been born a bit earlier than that. He was apparently of age in October 1766 when he witnessed Jacob Sneed’s deed to Alexander Mackey Jr. 

Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia: Giving Some Account of What It Was by Nature, of What It Was Made by Man, and of Some of the Men who Made It (Charlottesville: Michie, 1901), pp. 324-5

More on the Terrell, Lewis, and Mackey Families of Albemarle

This 1766 deed is noteworthy not only because it shows definitively that another son of James Whitlock and Agnes Christmas in addition to their oldest son Charles was living in Albemarle by 1766 — their son Nathaniel — but also because, with this deed, we meet Joel Terrell again. As the last posting showed, when Charles Whitlock bought land from John Grills in Albemarle on 8 July 1760, Joel Terrell was a witness to John Grills’s deed.[2] As the posting I’ve just linked also states, Joel Terrell was a first cousin of Anne Terrell, who married Charles Lynch of Albemarle and Bedford County, Virginia, and who bought land from Jonathan Jennings in Montgomery County on 1 March 1776 with Thomas Whitlock as one of the witnesses to this deed.[3]

William Terrell Lewis (1718-1802), who witnessed Jacob Sneed’s October 1766 deed to Alexander Mackey Jr. along with Nathaniel Whitlock, Joel Terrell, and Sarah Lewis, was a son of David Lewis (1695-1779) and Anne Terrell. Anne was a daughter of William Terrell. William Terrell was also father of Joel Terrell (1692-1758), whose son Joel Terrell (1726-1774) is the Joel Terrell witnessing Jacob Sneed’s 1766 deed and also the 1760 deed of John Grills to Charles Whitlock.

William Terrell also had a son Henry Terrell (1705-1760) whose daughter Anne Terrell married Charles Lynch. Finally, Alexander Mackey (bef. 1737 – abt. 1796), to whom Jacob Sneed was selling land in 1766, married Susannah Lewis, a daughter of David Lewis and Anne Terrell. Alexander Mackey was, that’s to say, a brother-in-law of William Terrell Lewis. The Sarah Lewis witnessing Jacob Sneed’s deed to Alexander Mackey Jr. was William Terrell Lewis’s wife, by the way.

As Edgar Woods indicates in his history of Albemarle County, David Lewis and his brother-in-law Joel Terrell (Sr.) entered 3,000 acres together in Albemarle County in 1734.[4] Woods notes that David Lewis’s first wife was Joel Terrell’s sister, and that by his third wife Mary McGrath, widow of Dr. Hart, David Lewis had a daughter Susan/Susannah who married Alexander Mackey. 

A 16 December 1758 Albemarle deed further underscores the interconnections between these folks: on that date, David Lewis deeded to Joel Terrell Jr., both of Albemarle, 3,000 acres on Moore’s Creek and Meadow Creek in Albemarle that were out of the tract Lewis and Joel Terrell Sr. entered in 1734 and another tract the two had entered together.[5] Witnessing this deed were Henry Carter, Alexander Mackey Jr., and Prudence Lewis. As the previous posting showed, when John Grills sold land in Albemarle to Charles Whitlock in July 1760, Henry Carter witnessed that deed along with Joel Terrell.[6] As Joseph L. Miller notes, Henry Carter ended up in Amherst County when that county was formed from Albemarle in 1761, and by 1782, had moved to Montgomery County — as Thomas Whitlock did — where he died in 1809.[7] Confusion about the spelling of his surname as either Carter or Carty developed after the family’s move to Montgomery.

To return to the Whitlock family: as the previous posting states, in March 1778, Charles Whitlock and his wife Easter/Esther sold their 319-acre tract in Albemarle County, Virginia, and moved to Surry County, North Carolina, very close to where Charles’s younger brother Thomas Whitlock was living by this date in what would become Wythe County, Virginia.[8] Surry County records indicate that Charles and Thomas’s brother Nathaniel had left Albemarle County for Surry County by 1772. 

Other Louisa Families Moving to Albemarle and then to Surry County, North Carolina

The migration pattern these members of the Whitlock family followed — Louisa County to Albemarle County, Virginia, then on to Surry County, North Carolina — wasn’t unique to them. I find the very same pattern in roughly the same time frame in members of my Louisa County Thomson family which, like the Whitlocks, had roots in Hanover County prior to Louisa. 

Three daughters of my ancestor Thomas Thomson (abt. 1718 – 1774) of Louisa County married men who ended up in Albemarle. These were Thomas’s daughters Patience, Ursula, and Mourning. Patience, the oldest, married James Glenn, who was in Albemarle by 1761 and seems to have been living in the western portion of Louisa that was cut into Albemarle in 1761.[9] James Glenn and his brother-in-law Richard Pryor, who married Patience’s sister Mourning (my ancestors), show up together in a 14 September 1758 list of members of the Albemarle militia.[10]

On 1 April 1765, James Glenn and wife Patience of the parish of St. Ann in Albemarle sold William Barksdale of Fredericksville parish in Albemarle 150 acres in St. Ann’s parish bordered by Henry Terrell and James Warren.[11] After selling more of their land in Albemarle in October 1766,[12] James and Patience moved from Albemarle to Surry County, North Carolina, where they show up in county records by 1771.[13]

On 8 August 1771, Thomas Rea of Albemarle, husband of Patience’s sister Ursula Thomson Rea, sold his brother Samuel Rea of Albemarle a tract of land bordered by James Warren and Henry Terrell — so the Reas and Glenns had lived or owned land next to each other in Albemarle bordering Henry Terrell and James Warren.[14] In October 1773, Thomas and Ursula Rea (the name also appears as Ray) sold the balance of their land in Albemarle and moved to Surry County, North Carolina.[15] Ursula and Patience’s sister Mourning with husband Richard Pryor also disappear from Albemarle records in this same time frame, but I don’t find indicators that they moved to Surry County, North Carolina. Instead, by 1779, they show up in Washington County, North Carolina, and after that in Greene County, Tennessee, which was formed from Washington.

Historical Notes on Migration to and from Albemarle in the 1700s

Historian S. Edward Ayres casts important light on what was prompting movement into Albemarle in the mid-1700s.[16] As he notes, For the first decade of the county’s history (1744-1754), it was in a frontier state. During this period, the population of the county increased by 120% as settlers poured in from the Tidewater, where land had become thickly settled and intensive tobacco cultivation was already exhausting the land.

From 1755-1763, Albemarle made a transition to a more stable form of agriculture, particularly in the fertile bottom lands of the Rockfish, James, and Rivanna Rivers.[17] During this time frame, cultivation of tobacco with slave labor became well-established among the planter class of the county.[18] Then as the land began to be depleted by intensive, exploitative agriculture with tobacco as the money crop, Albemarle residents began moving out of the county as they sought fertile new lands.

As John Hammond Moore notes in his history of Albemarle County, the English agricultural pattern was to claim land quickly by girdling trees and leaving them to fall down, while plowing around them. Moore indicates that English colonists in Virginia tended not to practice more than rudimentary crop rotation or use of animal fertilizers, in contrast to the German settlers of the western margins of Albemarle.[19]

According to Moore, the German settlers of the western border of Albemarle and the Shenandoah Valley had a history of intensive agriculture, which maintained the fertility of the soil, whereas many of the English planters of Albemarle, who tended to be merchant-planters interested in amassing capital, quickly exhausted their land and moved west. As a result, Albemarle contributed much to the growth other areas including Kentucky and, later, Alabama.[20] Moore notes that from the 1770s forward as soil fertility waned, there was great migration out of Albemarle into other parts of the country, notably Kentucky but also, as we’re seeing with members of the Whitlock and Thomson families, to Surry County, North Carolina, and the southwest Virginia counties of Montgomery and Wythe.[21]

To summarize: in my view, Nathaniel Whitlock’s appearance in Albemarle County, Virginia, as a witness to an October 1766 deed of Jacob Sneed to Alexander Mackey Jr., which was also witnessed by William Terrell Lewis, his wife Sarah, and Joel Terrell, is another indicator that, when Charles Whitlock and wife Easter/Esther moved from Louisa to Albemarle by 1760, Charles’s younger siblings accompanied him to Albemarle and grew up there. I haven’t even commented yet on the significance of the multiple references to Alexander Mackey, who married Joel Terrell’s cousin Susannah Lewis, in the documents I’ve cited in this and the previous posting. 

As anyone following my postings about the Whitlock and Brooks families will know, Sarah Whitlock, daughter of Thomas Whitlock, and her husband Thomas Brooks named one of their sons Alexander Mackey BrooksAs a previous posting notes, a nephew and niece of Sarah Whitlock Brooks married Mackey spouses in Cumberland County, Kentucky: Sarah’s sister Nancy/Ann Whitlock married Abner Bryson, and that couple’s son Thomas Whitlock Bryson married Mary Mackey, and Thomas’s sister Elizabeth Bryson married Reid Mackey.

Mary and Reid Mackey were children of James and Mary Mackey, neighbors of Thomas and Hannah Phillips Whitlock in Cumberland County, Kentucky. I do not yet have clear information about how James Mackey connects to the Alexander Mackey found in Albemarle County records involving members of the Whitlock family, but I am fairly confident these two Mackey families are closely connected. James Mackey is known to have come from Virginia to Kentucky, and is said to have had a brother Alexander. James also named a son Alexander. 


[1] Albemarle County, Virginia, Deed Bk. 4, pp. 366-8.

[2] Ibid., Bk. 2, pp. 265-6.

[3] Montgomery County, Virginia, Deed Bk. A, pp. 160-2.

[4] Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia: Giving Some Account of What It Was by Nature, of What It Was Made by Man, and of Some of the Men who Made It (Charlottesville: Michie, 1901), pp. 254, 324-7.

[5] Albemarle County, Virginia, Deed Bk. 2, p. 94.

[6] See supra, n. 2.

[7] Joseph L. Miller, “Carter Genealogy,” William and Mary Quarterly 19, 2 (October 1910), pp. 119-120.

[8] Albemarle County, Virginia, Deed Bk. 7, pp. 151-3.

[9] See Woods, Albemarle, p. 26.

[10] See ibid., p. 363, citing William Waller Hening, Hening’s Statutes at Large: Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619, vol. 7 (Richmond: Franklin, 1820), p. 203. See also Lloyd Dewitt Bockstruck, Virginia’s Colonial Soldiers (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988), pp. 202, 206.

[11] Albemarle County, Deed Bk. 4, pp. 164-6.

[12] Ibid., pp. 312-3.

[13] Woods, Albemarle, p. 386, notes the Glenn family’s move to Surry from Albemarle.

[14] Albemarle County, Deed Bk. 5, pp. 250-1.

[15] Ibid., Bk. 6, pp. 272-274.

[16] S. Edward Ayres, “Albemarle County, Virginia, 1744–1770: An Economic, Political, and Social Analysis,” Magazine of Albemarle County History 25 (1966–67), pp. 37–72.

[17] Ibid., p. 40.

[18] Ibid., pp. 40-1.

[19] John Hammond Moore, Albemarle: Jefferson’s County, 1727-1976 (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1976), p. 17.

[20] Ibid., p. 18.

[21] Ibid., p. 44.

2 thoughts on “Thomas Whitlock (abt. 1745 – 1830) of Louisa and Wythe Counties, Virginia, and Cumberland County, Kentucky: His Early Life and Marriage (to 1776) (2)

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