Estes-Eastes Genealogy Eastes Heritage (Roy Eastes) Estes DNA Project Estes TrailsEstes Family: Stew Estes

This page is an extract from "The Estes Family" by Stewart Estes, (c) 2009




(1647 Eng. – 1720 VIRG.)



(1662 ? Virg. – aft. 1720 Virg.)

Abraham Estes was born 1647 in the village of Nonington in County Kent, England, the son of Sylvester Estes and Ellin Martin. Abraham's baptism record does not survive, however he was mentioned in his mother's 1649 will, where he is listed with his siblings. This will does not state his age but in the documents for his first marriage in 1672, he is listed as age 25, thus establishing his birth year as 1647.

Abraham married twice. He was a linen weaver at Sandwich, county Kent, England, age 25, when he married Anne, widow of John Burton on 29 December 1672 at Worth, Kent. Abraham’s second marriage was to Barbara. Over the years there has been considerable discussion about her maiden name, but so far, it is still unconfirmed. However it is clear that the marriage took place on 29 December 1682 in St Stephen's Parish, King & Queen County, Virginia. She is generally given as Barbara Brock, although whether this is her maiden name or from a previous marriage is uncertain. Brock genealogies do list a Barbara, the daughter of Robert Brock, born about 1670. Whether this is the one who married Abraham is uncertain.

The transcription of the marriage license allegation bond is as follows:

"Abraham Eastes of Sandwich, linen weaver, bachelor, 25 and Ann Burton of the same Parish, widow of John Burton, at Worth. Richard Scrimshaw of Canterbury, linen weaver, bondsman 27th December 1672."

Donald Bowler has opined: "The figure for age 25 could simply indicate that he was over 25 and thus did not require parental consent, but other licenses about the same time show that quite likely precise ages are being given. The actual marriage is recorded in the Parish Register of Worth, (one mile from Sandwich and three miles from Deal) and having taken place on the 29th of December 1672."1 John Burton died in March 1672, so Ann was a widow for about eight months.

Mr. Bowler further states in this letter: "I am enclosing a photocopy of a transcript made for the Bishop in 1673 showing the marriage of Abraham's parents Sylvester and Ellen at Ringwould in 1625."

No record of a baptism [for Abraham] has been found but a previous child, John, had been baptized at Nonington on the 29th December 1644, so Abraham’s year of birth has been taken as 1647.”

Recall from his mother’s will dated 3rd April 1649, that he was not then of age.

I give to my son Abraham Estes the sum of twelve pounds to be paid to him when he shall attain the age of one and twenty years.

The Bishop’s Transcript, last line at the bottom of the page under “Marriages 1672” - “September 29 - Abraham Estes and Ann Burton Widow.”

A copy of Mr. Bowler's letter was sent to a Kent Family History Society researcher and drew this comment:

Regarding Abraham Eastes and Ann Burton: I have searched all three parishes at Sandwich - St. Clement, St. Peter and St. Mary - and have turned up absolutely no entry pertaining to Abraham and Ann, nor any entry of an Eastes except for one burial of a woman far too early to have any direct bearing on this family. However, at Sandwich there is a couple by the name of John and Ann Burton (did not marry at Sandwich) that had several children. The children died and were buried at Sandwich as was husband John Burton (John Burton buried at St. Peter 20 March 1671/1672, a poor man - his wife's name was Ann or Anna). But then, Ann Burton seems to disappear from the records. What this tells me, is that if Abraham had an association with Sandwich, he did not necessarily have any children baptized there and, in fact, I would suggest you look at the Worth parish registers for further clues. See below for dates covered in the various registers - note particularly that there are years missing.

Abraham died 21 November 1720, in King and Queen County, Virginia, leaving his estate to his wife, Barbara. Barbara made her will 25 November 1720, leaving part of the estate to several of her children and the remainder to Elisha Estes and Thomas Poor and wife Susanna, for the raising of her children Moses and Barbara. This places Abraham at age 65, his wife’s age 45-50.

The children of Abraham5 Estes and Barbara Brock are2:

1. Sylvester6 Estes, 1684 Virginia, died in 1754 in North Carolina;

2. Samuel3 Estes, born 1686,

3. Thomas Estes, born 1688, died 1744;

4. Mary Estes, born 1690;

5. Susanna Estes, born 1692;

6. Robert Estes, born 1695, died 1775;

7. Abraham Estes, born 1697, died 1759;

8. Richard Estes, born 1699, died 1744/5;

9. John Estes, born 1701, died 1771;

10. Elisha Estes, born 1703, died 1782, served in the Virginia Militia.4

11. Sarah Estes, born 1710, died 1788;

12. Moses Estes, born 1710, died 1788;

13. Barbara Estes, born 1712, died 1729.


The Birthplace of Abraham Estes

Sylvester and Ellin Estes’ first eight children were baptized at Ringwould between 1626 and 1637, but beginning in 1638 the last five children were baptized at Nonington. Abraham Estes was baptized in Nonington in 1647. To date, nothing has been discovered about Abraham’s early life. The first known record found shows him in 1672 as 25 years old and marrying the widow Anne Burton in Sandwich, Kent County. Nonington is only six miles south west of Sandwich and about four miles west of Deal. Thus, we examine Nonington for some hint of his life experiences.

Nonington (variously, Nonnington, Nunyngton, Nonnyngton, Nunnington), is a small village in the southeast corner of Kent, situated halfway between Canterbury and the channel port town of Dover. The parish of Nonington was once made up of the now separate parishes of Nonington and Aylesham. The village lies in the Eastry district of Kent, near the London, Chatham, and Dover railway, six miles southwest of Sandwich. The parish also contains the hamlets of Ratling, Holt-Street, Frogham, and Acol.

Leroy Eastes writes: “The Doomes Day Book of 1086 does not mention Nonington but in the 1280’s Archbishop Pecham’s survey of the Manor of Wingham refers to the Manors of North and South Nonington. Other records show that in 1460 it was still called Nonington, but by 1548 it was Nonnyngton and by 1615 it was Nunnington. The name was more likely derived from nuns, or their tenants, occupying a farm or manor in the proximity of Eswalt with ‘nunningas tun’ meaning “the place, farmstead or manor of the people, followers, or tenants of the nuns”. A 1938 Nonington church guide says: "at the time of the Norman Conquest a nunnery appears to have stood in what is now St. Albans Park, a few ruins still being visible. Nonington was possibly the ‘tun’ or ‘homestead’ of the nuns of Bedesham, a name which survives in ‘Beachams’ or ‘Beauchamps’ lane close by.’ The manors of north and south Nonington are mentioned in Archbishop Pecham’s 1280’s….” 5

When Archbishop Peckham’s College at Wingham was founded in 1282, it was made a separate parish (from Wingham), served by a chaplain appointed and paid by the College. On the suppression of the College in 1547 its property fell to the Crown. (The earliest memorial in the dates from 1526.) In 1558 Queen Mary granted patronage of the benefice, with that of the Chapel of Wymynswold, to Cardinal Pole, Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1596 Edward Boys, Esquire, of Fredville, bequeathed the small tithes to the Parson of Nonington and Wymynswold on condition that he should preach in Nonington at least once a fortnight.

St Mary’s parish church has been the center of worship in Nonington for more than 700 years. Sylvester Estes, wife Ellin and their children likely attended this church, and Abraham may have been baptized here. James Hathway appears to have been the rector during 1611-1652. However, these records probably do not remain, and many others that have not been translated and made available to the public.6

St Mary’s Church, c.1900

The tower is probably the oldest part of the Church (the hatching to be seen in the arch of the built-in doorway in the south wall of the knave may also be twelfth century). In the vestry may be seen two deep grooves cut by the bell ropes in the former south tower door, the ringer standing in the porch outside to ring the curfew or sanctus bell. The Porch was built as part of the restoration of the Church in 1887. One of the Bells of St Mary’s Church dates to c.1400, inscribed “Ora pro Nobis Sancta Katerina.” [Pray for us St Catherine.]

The Town of Sandwich:

The Place of Abraham’s Marriage

The towns and villages in County Kent are not very far apart. Nonington to Sandwich is six miles, Nonington to Deal is seven miles, Deal to Sandwich is 4½ miles and Sandwich to Canterbury is 11½ miles. The village of Worth where Abraham and Ann were married is located on the south side of Sandwich.

In the Domesday Book, Sandwich is described as a borough held by the Archbishop of Canterbury for the clothing of the monks. Henry III granted to the inhabitants a weekly market, and other privileges. Edward I, for a short period, fixed the staple for wool here. “These exceptions being afterwards found prejudicial to the public service, Edward III, in his thirty-eighth year, granted to the monks other lands in Essex, in exchange for "all their rights, privileges, and possessions, in this town and port."

In the year 1290, Eastes writes, "The monks of Christ Church gave up to King Edward, their port of Sandwich, and all their rights and customs there, excepting their houses and quays, and a free passage in the ferry-boat, and free liberty for themselves and their people to buy and sell, toll free, in exchange for land in another part of Kent. During the French wars in the reign of this king, Sandwich was the general place of rendezvous for his fleets and armies; and here Edward himself most commonly embarked and re-landed. In 1357, Edward the Black Prince landed here with his prisoners, John, King of France, and his son Philip; and in 1372, Edward III assembled at this town and port, an army of 10,000 archers, and 3000 lances, with a fleet of 400 sail. In 1384, or seventh of Richard II a royal order was issued for enclosing and fortifying this town, which was now considered as an object of French vengeance.

In the sixteenth of Henry VI the French landed here and plundered the greatest part of the town; this they again did in the thirty-fifth of the same reign. Not content with these depredations, they sought to destroy the town entirely, and for that purpose landed in the night, in August, 1457, with 4,000 men under the command of Marchal de Breze. After a long and bloody conflict, they succeeded in getting possession of the place, and having wasted it with fire and sword, slew many of the inhabitants, and left.

Since this period the town has undergone various changes; about the year 1540, great complaints were made of the decay of the harbor, which continued to until the arrival of the Flemings, who made a settlement here, which contributed much to the improvement of the place. It was honored by the presence of Queen Elizabeth in 1573, and continued in a state of improvement, until the establishment of the company of merchant adventurers, when the descendants of the Flemings who had settled here, discontinued their weaving and mixed with the other inhabitants of the town.

Sandwich served as a safe natural harbor for ships traveling between the Europe and London. During the eleventh to thirteenth centuries the town had already become an important major port. Its wealth lead to repeated raids by the Danes and the French and the town protected itself with fortified walls and a great boom which prevented passage of ships up the River Stour.

Fishergate, Sandwich

One of only two remaining gates in the old town wall.

opens onto The Quay on the river Stour.

The Weavers of Sandwich, County Kent

The Ewstas’ of county Kent, were possibly linen weavers in Sandwich. Estes researcher Leroy F. Eastes has written: “The occupations of Nicholas Ewstas' and those of his descendants are still unclear. But we do know that some of his descendants were weavers of linen. It has been noted that Abraham [Estes] was mentioned in his mother's will, written in 1649, that he was a linen weaver in the old Walloon Town of Sandwich. [Actually, it is his 1672 marriage record which states this. He was not born until 1647.] We have not found any other specific information about the family being weavers but there were many in that occupation in Kent County.”7

Sandwich is now about two miles from the sea, but the River Stour used to be large enough for big trading and war ships to sail to and from the quay. This large harbor was called Sandwich Haven. It was also large enough for invading ships, leading to the construction of the town wall. The Delf stream, still runs through the town, and used to be the source of the town's water supply.

Because Sandwich was a major seaport and the European market for finished textile products was strong, considerable trade passed through the City. Since the days of the Roman occupation, there has been a major roadway from Canterbury to Sandwich. We can assume that much of the raw materials and finished textiles produced by the weavers of Sandwich passed through that port. Wool was dominant with linen the next important manufactured textile.

Eastes continues: “As early as the Saxon times, there was a Fraternity of Weavers or "tellaij" and they had a charter as early as 1155 in the reign of Henry II. In 1415, the Flemish and Brabantine weavers were in separate guilds which amalgamated during the reign of Henry VIII. Thomas Cook and Henry Baker belonged to the Weavers Company whose motto was, "Weave Truth with Trust," and left bequests to it in 1731. The woolmen belonged to an older Livery Company, the Mercers' Company existed since 1393, the Linen Drapers in 1439 and the silkmen in 1631.

Weavers in early England were foreign immigrants, mostly Flemings, who worked on wool and flax and introduced weaving into England. They first came in the reign of William I (whose mother was the daughter of a Walloon) and introduced weaving into England, The word "worsted" originated from a small town of that name near Norwich which was settled by Flemish weavers about 1174. In 1337, Edward III's Parliament passed an act to encourage Flemish weavers, from Flanders in Belgium, to settle in Kent. A law was also passed forbidding Englishmen from wearing foreign cloth in an attempt to encourage the domestic textile industries and limit the export of raw materials.

Another wave of Flemish immigrants came with Philippa of Hainault, Edward Ill's Queen. They established a manufactory of fine wool in 1369, but were opposed by the native English cloth weavers and were taken under the special protection of Edward III.

In the late 1490’s, a third wave of immigrants of Dutch, Flemings and Walloons came into England, settling mainly in Norfolk having been invited there as the worsted trade was depressed. Amongst the emigrants were silk weavers. In 1337, Edward Ill's Parliament passed an act to encourage Flemish weavers, from Flanders in Belgium, to settle in Kent. A law was also passed forbidding Englishmen from wearing foreign cloth, in an attempt to encourage the domestic textile industries and limit the export of raw materials.

Weaving had previously been a cottage industry and the quality of cloth was poor. Cloth making supplemented an income from agriculture in the newly settled areas of the Weald. John Kemp, a Flemish cloth worker, set up business at Cranbrook, which became the center of weaving in Kent at that time. During the fifteenth century the export of cheaper, coarse cloth was the most important English export. It is difficult to know how much was exported from Kent but it has been estimated that about 40,000 broadcloths were exported each year from England. A broadcloth was 24 yards long and between 1.5 and 2 yards wide. The cloth was exported throughout northern Europe, France and Spain.

In 1685, the Huguenots flocked to Canterbury and other inland areas of Kent. Therefore, it wasn’t long before the clanking sound of over 2,000 looms in the City. The cloths that were produced in Canterbury were of silk, cotton and wool.

During the 16th and 17th Centuries there were numerous religious wars fought in Europe and persecution against many non-Catholic sects was rife. When Queen Elizabeth I came to the throne and the Country returned to the Protestant religion. The Walloons who had fled the Low Countries of Netherland and Belgium and the Huguenots from France, started to settle along the shores of Kent County. In Canterbury, it is understood that 100 families settled in the City during the time of Elizabeth I and with them they brought their looms and the weaving trade. This started to assist Canterbury to become a center for trade and wealth that it had lost when Henry dissolved the monasteries and removed the tomb of St. Thomas.

Wool was the easiest to weave, followed by cotton, linen and silk requiring the highest skills. Linen is derived from flax, a plant that has been cultivated for this purpose since 3000 BC. “The cloths that were produced in Canterbury were of silk, cotton and wool. However, there were other large groups of Walloons and Huguenots that had settled in other parts of England, principally from records I have seen, in London and Gloucestershire. By the end of the eighteenth century the majority of silk weaving had moved to the Spital fields area of London and the weaving of other cloths declined as printed fabrics became available.

Since Abraham was a weaver of linen in 1672 when he and Ann Burton were married, he probably started his apprenticeship about 1662 when he was age 15, as was the custom. “As in other skilled crafts, the Weavers closely protected and controlled their profession by membership in guilds. The Weaver's Guild had strict rules and punishments if they were violated. Here is an example of such rules set down by one guild: (actual spelling)”

The Consuls of wish it to be known that we have taken the advice of our leading citizens and officials, and have passed the following decree:

1. If any of our burgesses should wish to practice the craft of weaving he ought to have one spindle or as many as two, and he should place them in his house, and for every spindle he should pay three solidi on entry into the fraternity. But if he should not pay the denarii within the said time and he afterwards cease to be of the craft he cannot regain it except with twenty-three solidi.

2. Whoever is not of the fraternity is altogether forbidden to make cloth.

3. But if any brother should make cloth against the institutions of the brethren, and of their decrees, which he ought on the advice of the consuls to observe, he will present to the consuls by way of emendation one talent for each offense or he will lose his craft for a year.

4. But if anyone be caught with false cloth, his cloth will be burned publicly, and verily, the author of the crime will amend according to justice.

5. Should any foreigner wish to practice this craft he will first acquire citizenship and will afterwards enter into fraternity with the brethren with twenty-three solidi.

6. But if the heir of any craftsman cease to exercise his father's craft, he will pay three solidi on entrance. of another.

9. If anyone should marry a widow whose husband was of the craft, he will enter the fraternity with three solidi.

10. And every one who would be of this craft will receive it in the presence of the consuls.

11. Whatever is collected in fines and received in entrance fees will be put to the use of the city, and be presented to the consuls ....

12. Also we decree that every brother will dry his cloth where he can.

13. We concede also that if anyone have this craft and carmot set up his implements by any chance, let him prepare and make his cloth on the spindle.

The Churches of Sandwich

No records show which church Abraham and Anne Estes attended. But, there are three historic churches in Sandwich: St. Clement's, St. Mary's, and St. Peter's which also gave their names to the old parishes of the town. (A fourth, the United Reformed Church dates from 1706.) Abraham and Ann may have been married in and attended one of these three.

St Clements Church

St Clements Church stands at the eastern part of the town, is a large and handsome structure, and built on the highest ground in the neighborhood. It consists of a nave and two aisles. The tower rises from the centre of the Church, and is by far the oldest part of the fabric. It is square, and ornamented on each side with three tiers of pillars and circular arches. The lowest range has only six, the next nine, and uppermost seven arches. It had formerly a spire and battlements, which were taken down between the years 1670 and 1673. It is supported by semicircular arches on substantial piers, each faced, in the direction of the arch, with a double column, flanked on either side by a single column; the capitals of all which are ornamented differently from each other, with scrolls, frets, foliage, and grotesque figures. The tower is built with Normandy stone; the other parts of the church are formed principally of boulders (or flints with the angles worn away by friction on the shore), mixed with sandstone from Pegwel Bay, and Caen stone from the ruins probably of the original building.

St Clement’s

St. Mary's Church

St. Mary's Church was built by the Normans, was built on what was originally a small sandy island west of the old Saxon town, said to be on the site of a Saxon nunnery. The Danes raided the town a number of times, and the Normans built banks, or wails, to prevent flooding here, and erected the first church of St. Mary, of which some building work still remains inside the west end. The church was severely damaged by French attacks in 1217, and again in 1457. In 1578 an earthquake caused damage to the building which may have been the reason for the collapse of the central tower in 1667. Early documents belonging to the church date from 1311, and the registers from 1474.

St Marys

St Peters Church

St Peters is another church in Sandwich that dates make to medieval days. It is easily identified from afar by its unusual cupola built in the seventeenth century to complete the reconstruction of the tower following its total collapse. The base of the tower still displays some medieval stonework, whereas the top is seventeenth-century brick. The interior is tall and light with a heavily timbered crown post roof.

St Peter’s Church

Majesty Oak, Fredville Park, Nonington

(at least 500 years old, one of the largest trees in England)

The Emigration of Abraham Estes

When Did Abraham Estes leave England?

Two significant questions puzzling Estes descendants for years have been when and why Abraham left England. The evidence clearly demonstrates that it was during the ten year period between 1672 and 1682. But when exactly? And what led him to depart his homeland? We will first address the question of when.

Researchers “have speculated for years about our immigrant ancestor Abraham Estes leaving his home in England and migrating into the Colony of Virginia. There has been an allegation for several years that Abraham migrated from England to Virginia on the ship Vana. But, extensive search through resources in this country, England, Scandinavia and Europe by several researchers have failed to show the existence of a ship by this name. His voyage to the New World has always been a mystery.”8 The following is taken from David Powell’s examination of the known record.9

On 29 December 1672, Abraham was in Worth, Kent County, England, when he married Anne Burton.10 According to "family tradition" Abraham's first wife died young, possibly due to complications with their first child, either en route to Virginia or just prior to Abraham's departure. But, an exhaustive search failed to find any trace of children for her in England.11 The next record of Abraham life is from 1682. A Virginia land record dated 20 April 1682, abstracted in Cavaliers & Pioneers states:

Lucy Keeling, dau of Thorowgood Keeling, dec'd 300 acs, Lower Norfolk County, Lynhaven Par, 20 April 1682, p 146. Beginning on a poynt on the Dildoe Br, to br dividing this & Jno. Johnson, & C. Bequeathed by sd Keeling to sd Lucy to be possessed with the same after the death of his wife Lucy--(now Lucy Haies) etc. Transportation of 6 persons: Abraham Easter, Jno Rose, Richard Cook, Margaret Woollingham, Elizab. Sixworth, Robt. Calderwood. 12

Based on this entry, it has been suggested that Abraham arrived in Virginia in December 1682. But this statement does not prove that Abraham arrived on that date. Despite the assumption by many Estes researchers to the contrary, it in fact only proves that Abraham was in Virginia on that date. The date that appears in Cavaliers & Pioneers is likely the date of the assizes (court) session, when headright was assigned for Abraham. There was no time limit for applying for a headright claim.

Genealogist Cheryl Singhal has opined to Mr. Powell that on 20 April 1682, approximately 600 head rights were recorded (per Nugent's Cavaliers & Pioneers). They obviously did not all travel on the same ship. Ships of the era simply did not carry that many passengers. A passenger complement of 70 would be usual and 200 would be very overcrowded and under-provisioned. Nor would it be likely that multiple ships carrying smaller numbers of passengers would have all arrived the same day.

Also on 20 April 1682, there were over 100 persons who patented or recorded land. And, a roughly similar number of records appeared on or about the 20th of every month that year. That suggests some an "Assizes" (court day), rather than a ship arrival.

We also know from the Cavaliers and Pioneers quote that Thorowgood Keeling had died by 1682, as it refers to his widow. Thorowgood's wife Lucy (now Lucy Hales) inherited the land and, upon her death, it went to their daughter Lucy. The headrights are listed and include Abraham’s. However, there is an earlier entry (1675) that mentions Thorowgood's land in the same vicinity. Thus, it is possible that the headright importations occurred prior to 1675 and were simply never patented until it became part of the estate settlement.

Since Thorogood was Abraham's sponsor, one can reasonably assume that Thorowgood died after Abraham arrived in Virginia -- or at least after Abraham's passage had been booked and paid for by Thorowgood. Thorowgood Keeling’s will was made 31 March 1679 and was probated 15 August, 1679. Since the voyage from England to Virginia took less than 4 months, David Powell concludes that Abraham had arrived in Virginia by at least 1679. And, new research has proven him right.

Newly Discovered Evidence

Leroy Eastes believes he has discovered the records which show the actual voyage of Abraham. What follows is a summary of his work.

Abraham Estes departed England in late October 1673 on the flyboat Martha, captained by Abraham Wheelock.13 The ship carried but three passengers -- William Bobbitt, John Skinner, and Abraham Estes. The voyage began in London and made stops in Felixstowe and the western coast of Wales, probably with other stops to take on additional cargo, and terminated two months later at Ciity Point on the James River in the Colony of Virginia in January 1674.

Set out below is a copy of a page from the Bobbitt family Bible, although faded, still shows the name, places and dates of Abraham voyage. In a letter to Leroy Eastes dated August 2007, Marsha Berry confirms the Bible page:

This page is a Xerox copy of a page from the bible of my ancestor Isham Drury Bobbitt, Jr. This page is a stiff paper glued into the bible. My cousin contacted me recently and reminded me that a few years ago they had it tested through professional dating and the paper dates back at least to the grandson of William Bobbett the immigrant, the William Bobbitt born 1704 Prince George County, Virginia and died 1768 Granville, North Carolina. That makes the Bible record proof stronger than ever as my William Bobbett on the ship Martha was alive until after 18 June 1712.”14

Isham Drury Bobbitt, Jr. Bible

The Voyage: 1673-74

The port city of Felixstowe is located in southeast Suffolk County, north of Kent. While the Martha was docked in Felixstowe, two passengers (William Bobbit, age 27, born Woodbridge, Suffolk county, and John Skinner, age 21, born Sudbury, Suffolk county)15 boarded, destined for Virginia. “It is unknown where Abraham Estes boarded but he was in Sandwich shortly before this time. The Martha may have stopped at any of the several other ports along the channel, so he could have boarded at one of them.”

A flyboat was a large ship of Dutch origin, having a high stern, broad beam, shallow draft with one or two masts, generally square-rigged and weighing around 600 tons. “It has been confirmed that the Martha was Dutch built but English registered in London. This type of craft was slim with tall sails, it was very fast and commonly used along coastal waters, but they also carried passengers and cargo to the Colonies.” After leaving London and Felixstowe in late October 1673, The Martha likely made other port calls before its final stop in Wales to take on more cargo. In late 1673, while tied up to a dock in one of these ports, the artist Jacob Knyff16 painted “A Dock Scene in a British Port.”

Dock Scene at a British Port, Jacob Knyff, 1673

The Martha at dock

(National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London)

The National Maritime Museum’s description of this painting says:

England and Dutch ships taking on stores or cargo at a port. The activities relating to the loading has been closely observed. It has been set in the harbor, with the tower of a gate and a quay visible on the right, and the coast in the distance on the left. An England flagship is on the right, firing a salute and flying the ensign from the stern carved with the royal coat of arms. Beside the quay is an English flyboat that, from her shape, was probably Dutch-built [likely the Martha].

A royal yacht is arriving on the left and this has prompted the firing of the salute. On the extreme left is the stern of a Dutch ship. On the quay two bales of stores or goods with clear markings have been positioned in the foreground. Men are involved in loading up small craft. a horse dragging a barrel on skids to the water’s edge and there are several groups of gentlemen and women observing the activities. A guard stands outside a sentry box in the gate-way.

From 1673 Knyff's output appears to have been mostly British
coastal or river scenes, with increasing emphasis on accurate and
colourful depiction of the great ships of the Stuart navy. Although
Dutch-born Knyff came to England when Charles II issued a general invitation to Dutch artists and craftsmen to work in England in 1672. Although the two countries were at war, patronage for artists in Holland had diminished and a number took advantage of this offer, including the van de Veldes and Knyff.

Bobbit Family researchers have evidence that this was painted in Felixstowe showing the Martha. an English flyboat, loaded with guns, and a only few male passengers. So, as we look at the painting, we wonder if Jacob Knyff was watching Abraham Estes and his fellow passengers as they stretched their legs along the dock.

The winter of 1673-74 was a dangerous time to travel the seas. England was at war with the Dutch until November 1674. During this time, the Dutch were blockading the ports of the New World to prevent supplies from coming in and commandeering the rich shipments of tobacco leaving for markets in England. Also, most passenger travel was normally limited to spring until fall of the year to avoid the rough seas. This may account for the ship only carrying the three passengers.

At this time ships were not required to post passenger lists and many were in operation that were not documented. A passenger list for the 1673 voyage may exist somewhere within other documents but so far, it has remained elusive. However, there is a record that shows the Martha arriving in New Jersey at the end of summer of 1677 bringing 114 passengers.

The long and hazardous voyage for Abraham Estes ended when the Martha docked in Ciity Point (later merged with the town of Hopewell), in Prince George County, Colony of Virginia in January 1674. City Point, the oldest part of Hopewell, was founded in 1613 by Sir Thomas Dale, on a bluff overlooking the James and Appomattox Rivers. (Dale was the proprietor of Dale’s Gift, of which another Estes ancestor, Henry Watkins, Sr., was overseer in 1620-27.)17

City Point overlooks the James and Appomattox Rivers. Established by Thomas Dale in 1613, it was first known as "Charles City Point." It was originally located in Charles City Shire when it was formed in 1634. Charles City Shire, later known as Charles City County in 1637, was included in the portion subdivided in 1703 to form Prince George County. Although the Martha with her cargo and passengers was destined for Ciity Point, it would have been legally required to make a brief stop as it traveled up the James River, perhaps with her passengers.

The law placed force in March 1662 read:

ACT CXXXIII. Ships to come up to James Citty.

WHEREAS the kings majesties frequent instructions hath commanded that all masters of ships arriveing in this country should before they breake bulke bring up their ships to James Citty, which by reason of the seating of the inhabitants in divers rivers cannot without much prejudice to the said masters extend to all parts of the country yet that his majesties comands may as much as in us lyeth be effectually obeyed;

Wee the governor councell and burgesses of this grand assembly have thought fitt to enact, and be it enacted by the authority aforesaid that all ships whatsoever arriving in James river doe accordingly with the ffirst faire wind and weather after their arrivall bring up their ships to James Citty and there make entry of their ships, take out lycense to trade and performe such other things as they shalbe there certifyed the lawes of this country doe enjoyne them.

Ciity Point, Virginia

(left, central)

Why Did Abraham Leave England?

Why did Abraham leave at this time and possibly under a commitment of servitude and at such dangerous time of the year? One scenario is that he had recently lost his wife and the lure of free land in the New World was a chance for him to start over. We will never know the actual reason, but the following are some that factors that may have had a bearing on his decision.18

One major factor that encouraged migration to the frontier in America was that land ownership was not possible in England for most people. And, there were vast amounts of inexpensive land in America. The sheer size of the country was enormous. Even after the boundaries of the original Virginia colony were reduced by the establishment of Carolina, Maryland, and Pennsylvania (and before the creation of Kentucky and West Virginia), Virginia alone had as much land as all of England.

The opportunity to acquire land in Colonial Virginia led to a Virginian legal and social system that was substantially different from Europe. Indentured servants were lured to the colony through promises of land, and the system of headrights encouraged wealthy investors to acquire large tracts of land and "plant" them with settlers in order to gain title.

The laws of the land at the time Abraham came to the Colony of Virginia are of significance. As a means to encourage immigration into the colony, in 18 November 1618, the Virginia Company passed a body of laws called Orders and Constitutions which came to be known as "The Great Charter of Privileges, Orders and Laws" of the Colony. Among these laws was a provision that any person who settled in Virginia or paid for the transportation expenses of another person who settled in Virginia should be entitled to receive fifty acres of land for each immigrant. The right to receive fifty acres per person, or per head, was called a headright. (This practice was continued under the royal government of Virginia even after the dissolution of the Virginia Company; the Privy Council ordered on 22 July 1634 that patents for headrights be issued.)

A person who was entitled to a headright usually obtained a certificate of entitlement from a county court and then took the certificate to the office of the secretary of the colony, who issued the headright, or right to patent fifty acre of land. The holder of the headright then had the county surveyor make a survey of the land and then took the survey and the headright back to the capital to obtain a patent for the tract of land. When the patent was issued, the names of the immigrants, or headrights, were often included in the text of the document.

As valuable properties, headrights could be bought and sold. The person who obtained a patent to a tract of land under a headright might not have been the person who immigrated or who paid for the immigration of another person.

Headrights were not always claimed immediately after immigration, either; there are instances in which several years elapsed between a person's entry into Virginia and the acquisition of a headright and sometimes even longer between then and the patenting of a tract of land.

The presence of a name as a headright in a land patent, then, establishes that a person of a certain name had entered Virginia prior to the date of the patent; but it does not prove when the person immigrated or who was initially entitled to the headright. Before the 18th Century, Virginia shifted from the headrights system and allowed individuals to purchase 50 acres for 5 shillings, substantially reducing the price of Virginia land.

The availability of land on the frontier did not guarantee that Virginia society would be less aristocratic. The supply of indentured servants from Europe was inadequate by the 1660's, so Virginia law evolved in the 17th Century to create the status of "permanently enslaved" for blacks imported from the Caribbean and Africa. To maximize the profit potential, England chartered the Royal African Company in 1672 to transport the slaves to Virginia and other colonies.


Many researchers assert that Abraham Estes came to the Virginia Colony in as an indentured servant. While there is now doubt about this proposition, we will examine the institution first, before turning to the question of whether it applied to our Abraham.

Over half of all white immigrants to the English colonies of North America during the 17th and 18th centuries consisted of indentured servants. The following will describe this legal arrangement.

An indentured servant was a laborer under contract with an employer for some period of time -- usually three to seven years -- in exchange for transportation, food, drink, clothing, lodging and other necessities. Most indentured servants were recruited from the growing number of unemployed poor people in urban areas of England. Displaced from their land and unable to find work in the cities, many of these people signed contracts of indenture and took passage to the Americas. The crossing in steerage was grim. One indentured servant, Thomas Morally, was given three biscuits a day to eat and each mess of five men was given three pints of water per day.

A labor-intensive cash crop such as tobacco required a large work force. The earliest indentured servants were brought to Virginia as farm laborers. The importance of indenture can be seen in Virginia, where in 1618 the colony offered a “headright,” a grant of 50 acres per servant, as an incentive to planters to import more servants from England. The headright became the property of the owner. The basic elements of the system were in use by the Virginia Company by 1620, and may have been worked out earlier.

In Virginia, the majority of the population did not live in individual towns, and indentured servants were more likely to work on isolated farms. The majority of Virginians were Anglican, not Puritan, and while religion did play a large role in everyday lives, the culture was more commercially based. In the Upper South, where tobacco was the main cash crop, the majority of labor that indentured servants performed was related to field work. (By contrast, in the north where people tended to live in towns, indentured servants were more likely to be integrated with the community to some extent, with more household chores and town-oriented trade skills associated with their work.)

Indentured servants rebelled in Virginia in response to poor work conditions and the hardships they faced after they were freed, which could include a lack of land, poverty, taxes, militia duty, and forced labor on county projects. Nathaniel Bacon's Rebellion found its support among white, disillusioned laborers in Virginia and slaves.

Criminals convicted of a capital crime in England could be transported in lieu of a death sentence (for the theft of an item with a cost of as little as one shilling). Servitude also could result from indebtedness, where a person, their spouse or parents owed money, and the person was sold into servitude to recover the debt. In other cases, a parish indentured orphans in order to keep them off the poor roles. Plus, the poor sometimes sold themselves into indenture just to survive.

In theory, the person only sold his or her labor. In practice, however, indentured servants were basically slaves and the courts enforced the laws that made it so. The treatment of the servant was harsh and often brutal. In fact, the Virginia Colony prescribed "bodily punishment for not heeding the commands of the master." (Ballagh, 45) Half the servants died in the first two years. As a result of this type of treatment, runaways were frequent. The courts realized this was a problem and started to demand that everyone have identification and travel papers. (A.E. Smith 264-270).

If a servant worked their full indenture, they received freedom dues, which were based on Hebrew law from the Old Testament. (Deut. 15:12-15) Many colonies also granted land to the newly freed servant.

Unlike a slave, an indentured servant was required to work only for a limited term specified in a signed contract. But, in many cases, an indentured servant would become indebted to their employer, who would forgive the debt in exchange for an extension to the period of their indenture, which could thereby continue indefinitely. In other cases, indentured servants were subject to violence at the hands of their employers in the homes or fields in which they worked. 19

Indentured servitude was not the same as the apprenticeship system by which skilled trades were taught, but similarities do exist between the two mechanisms, in that both require a set period of work.

In practice, the servant would sell himself to an agent or ship captain before leaving the British Isles. In turn, the contract would be sold to a buyer in the colonies to recover the cost of the passage.

An indenture was a legally enforceable contract. An actual example follows:

This INDENTURE Witnesseth that James Best a Laborer doth Voluntarily put himself Servant to Captain Stephen Jones Master of the Snow Sally to serve the said Stephen Jones and his Assigns, for and during the full Space, Time and Term of three Years from the first Day of the said James’s arrival in Philadelphia in AMERICA, during which Time or Term the said Master or his Assigns shall and will find and supply the said James with sufficient Meat, Drink, Apparel, Lodging and all other necessaries befitting such a Servant, and at the end and expiration of said Term, the said James to be made Free, and receive according to the Custom of the Country.

Provided nevertheless, and these Presents are on this Condition, that if the said James shall pay the said Stephen Jones or his Assigns 15 Pounds British in twenty one Days after his arrival he shall be Free, and the above Indenture and every Clause therein, absolutely Void and of no Effect.

In Witness whereof the said Parties have hereunto interchangeably put their Hands and Seals the 6th Day of July in the Year of our Lord, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy Three in the Presence of the Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of London. (signatures)

When the ship arrived, the captain would often advertise in a newspaper that indentured servants (redemptioners) were for sale. When a buyer was found, the sale would be recorded at the city court:

Just imported, on board the Snow Sally, Captain Stephen Jones, Master, from England, A number of healthy, stout English and Welsh Servants and Redemptioners, and a few Palatines [Germans], amongst whom are the following tradesmen, viz. Blacksmiths, watch-makers, coppersmiths, taylors, shoemakers, ship-carpenters and caulkers, weavers, cabinet-makers, ship-joiners, nailers, engravers, copperplate printers, plasterers, bricklayers, sawyers and painters. Also schoolmasters, clerks and book-keepers, farmers and labourers, and some lively smart boys, fit for various other employments, whose times are to be disposed of.

Enquire of the Captain on board the vessel, off Walnut-street wharff, or of MEASE and CALDWELL.

An Indenture Contract from 1738

Was Abraham Estes An Indentured Servant ?

The most cited source for the opinion that Abraham was indentured is the following from Cavaliers and Pioneers, Abstracts of Virginia Land Patients and Grants, Vol. 2: 1666-1695, Indexed by Claudia B. Grundman, Richmond, VA, page 234:

LUCY KEELING, daughter of Thorowgood Keeling, deceased, 300 acres, Lower Norfolk Co.; Lynhaven Parish, 20 April 1682, page 146. Beginning on a point on the Dildoe branch to branch dividing this & Jno. Johnson; &c. Bequeathed by said Keeling to said Lucy, to be possessed with the same after the death of my wife Lucy (now Lucy Haise) etc.- Trans. of 6 persons Abraham Easter, Jno Rose, Richard Cock, Margaret Wollingham, Elizab. Sixworth, Robt Calderwood.

This record lists Abraham’s surname as Easter. Researchers have always assumed that it was misspelled and meant to be Estes. But was it?

Research has shown there was an Abraham Easter who lived in Hyde County, North Carolina -- just south of Lower Norfolk County, Virginia. This is where the Keeling recorded 300 acres was located that claimed Abraham Easter as an indentured servant. A Will for Abraham Easter has been located in Grimes Abstracts of Wills, 1690-1760 p. 107 that states: Easter, Abraham - Hyde County, NC - November 18, 1751. December Court, 1751; and names a son James, a daughter Mary and wife Elizabeth.

Thus, this entry in Cavaliers and Pioneers cannot be accepted as conclusive evidence that Abraham Estes was an indentured servant, as it may not refer to our Abraham. In addition, Leroy Eastes believes there to be other factors that throw credible doubt on his status when he arrived in the Virginia. Here are a few of his points:

1. Although Abraham was the youngest of eleven children and the seventh son, it is possible that he had inherited something of value from his parents not mentioned in their wills. This could have come about due to the Gavelkind Law, a peculiar system of land tenure that predates the Conquest and is associated chiefly with the County of Kent. Under this system, the family estate descends not solely to the eldest son, but to all the sons (or, in the case of deceased sons, their representatives) in equal shares.20

2. Abraham first wife had recently died and he married secondly a widow. According to John H. Baker, Introduction to English Legal History (4th ed., 2002), his new wife could have inherited a part of her deceased husband’s property as well as her dowery interest of in his property and her personal belongings. Once the widow remarried, the property passed to her new husband.

3. It was a customary for a person wishing to book passage to the New World to liquidate all their possessions to use as a nest egg or to pay for all or part of their fare. Those who did not have the full amount were given passage under the Redemption System. This was used to grant passage with the understanding that relatives or friends would pay the balance on arrival or submit to a full or modified indentured servitude contract. Many indentured servant’s contracts were worded and designed within the law to meet various situations.

4. Fellow passengers William Bobbit and John Skinner were both wealthy men in England. On 27 October 1673, Bobbitt bought land in Virginia before he left England. Virginia State Archives in Richmond, Virginia Land Grants, Book 6, page 481 shows this transaction on October 27, 1673 in London, England, These papers had the date of that purchase and was written as a temporary Land Grant. On arrival in Virginia and given to the Governor of the State, then another permanent document was drawn up with the original payment day on it. In Suffolk Co., England, John Skinner was in the Haberdashery business. He was making the voyage with the intentions of investigating the market in the New World. What would they have in common with a skilled weaver or indentured servant whose future was to be a field hand? And a related factor, why would the Captain of the Martha have granted passage for two wealthy business men with their personal cargos and one poor indentured servant?

5. The origin of the term headright is found in the London Company’s “Greate Charter” of 1618:

That for all persons … which during the next seven years after Midsummer Day 1618 shall go into Virginia with the intent there to inhabite, if they continue there three years or dye after they are shipped there shall be a grant made of fifty acres for every person … which grants shall be made respectively to such persons and their heirs at whose charges the said persons going to inhabite in Virginia shall be transported….”

Subsequent modifications of this law always contained the stipulations: “- - - for all persons - - a grant of 50 acres --.” This continued until 1699 when headrights were restricted to British citizens to eliminate these privileges for slaves.

6. Persons who had their passage to Virginia paid by someone else may be listed among headrights or a “transported” person and still not be an indentured servant. Records show that some ship captains claimed headrights for their crew then bought their land from them for a bottle of rum. They were not indentured servants.

7. There was also a great demand for skilled craftsmen. If an indentured servant had a skill that was in demand, like weaving, smithing or carpentry, the chance of negotiating a shorter contract was quite good.” Abraham was a skilled worked, a weaver of linen, a profession not easily to train into and was tightly controlled by the Guilds in England. Deanna Barker, Indentured Servitude in America.

8. The presence of a name as a headright in a land patent, then, establishes that a person of a certain name had entered Virginia prior to the date of the patent; but it does not prove when or how the person immigrated or who was initially entitled to the headright.

9. Abraham arrived in 1674. Indentured servants were only paid with room, board and clothing. Nine years later, in 1683, Abraham signed a petition in St. Stephen's Parish in King & Queen County, Virginia, indicating that he was a “Free Man,” a property owner who was able to read and write. In 1704, Abraham paid quit rent on 200 acres in King and Queen County. While he may have obtained his freedom from indenture within seven years, it is less likely that he also acquired 200 acres in the two following years.

10. The main occupation in that area was tobacco farming and Indentured Servants could not marry without permission. There was no chance for upward mobility among the servants or their families. Yet in later years, Abraham’s five of his sons acquired over 2,000 acres in Hanover County as well as other places.



Abraham and Barbara settled in King and Queen County, where they would live out their lives.21 Larry Duke explains: Virginia Colony had been founded in 1607 at Jamestown and had grown slowly under the management of the London Company that held the colonial charter. By 1620 the whole colony only held about 1,000 men and only 100 women. In 1624 it had been made a royal colony and now more than a 1,000 settlers poured in each year. Few of the colonists had any money or many household items. With the tools they brought and with the help of neighbors, they were expected to build their homes and make their own furnishings. Abraham and Barbara must have experienced these same things. It is likely that in addition to the subsistence crops for the family and feed for the livestock, that he grew tobacco, the main cash crop exported to England.

The first record of Abraham is the 1682 entry regarding the application for a headright owed from paying for Abraham’s passage.

St. Stephens Parish Petition

The next documented appearance by Abraham is in 1683 when he was a signatory on a petition while living in St. Stephens Parish, New Kent County,22 reproduced in Appendix. (Abraham’s signature is the first or left-hand column, ninth from the top. The signature of friend and neighbor John Madison, great grandfather to future President James Madison, is in the same column, third from the bottom.) Thus, we can state with some certainty that by 1683 Abraham had moved to King and Queen County, where he remained until he died.

This petition was signed by 66 inhabitants of St. Stephen’s Parish in King and Queen County, Virginia in 1683 (half of whom ascribed their mark). Directed to Deputy Governor Sir Henry Chicheley, the petitioners complained of the government’s imposition on them of unfit church leaders:

That yo’r Petition’rs have beene for severall years past burthened w’th an Illegal Vestry Elected and made up for the major part without the knowledge or consent of the parish as the Law Injoynes: and of such Illiterate and Ignorant men as are and have been, Ever Ruled and Awed by one or two particular persons, who are soe Insulting, and of such Ill disposed and turbulent spirits and dispositions, That noe Minister Cann or will. Stay w'th us or teach amongst us: by w'ch meenes, the Service of God is wholly neglected, our Church gon to Ruine, and Church Desipline and Government: almost all Clearely laid aside: And forasmuch as our said parish is not destitute of such Able, discreet, and honest men as may fittly supply the places of severall week and Ignorant persons of the present vestry according to the good Lawes of this Country: Yo'r Pet'rs in all humility supplicateth y'or honn'rs that wee may have Liberty to Elect and make Cleare by the Gen’ll voat of the Inhabitants of our said Parish of Persons (for a new vestry) as in our Judgm’t may seeme meet and convenient which will Indubiately much to the Glory of God, And the peace and welfare of the whole Parish. And yo’r Pet’rs as in all Humility and Duty bound for yo’r Honn’rs shall Ever pray etc.”

The St. Stephen’s Petition offers further support for Leroy Eastes’ conclusion that Abraham voyaged in 1672. Since Abraham was a "freeman" in Virginia by 1683, it is likely that he voyaged to the America's some years earlier, possibly as an indentured servant. Wealthy American land owners had money, but not labor and would sponsor emigrants, who would then serve an indenture to pay off the cost of the voyage. The men would work for wages until they had repaid the cost; at which time they were freed from their indenture. The typical indenture lasted seven years. See discussion, below. So if we assume Abraham was indentured (which is subject to question), and that he followed the standard path of an indentured servant on his arrival, he most likely arrived in Virginia before 1676.

In 1704, Abraham paid land tax on 200 acres in King and Queen County (which was formed from New Kent County). Abraham died 21 November 1720, in King and Queen County, Virginia. Abraham was a free man in 1683 when he signed the St Stephens Petition (according to the law at the time only land-owners had voting rights and thus the right to sign a petition). Therefore, if he had served the usual indenture time, he would have arrived in Virginia by at least 1675.

He likely arrived even a few years before this, since he would have needed time after working off his indenture in order to gain the capital to purchase his own land. Abraham likely waited until around 1684 to marry because he was not in a financial position to support a family until after he had paid off his indenture (men rarely married until they had paid off their indenture).

But the question remains as to Abraham’s activities and whereabouts between 1672 and 1682. It has been said that Barbara Estes’ will was found in Library of Virginia but in recent years it had disappeared. The only evidence of a will is found in Amelia County regarding a lawsuit filed over the Estes estate. The lawsuit produced a number of depositions and within these pleadings was a mention of the wills of Abraham and Barbara.

Duke, in his Estes Family History writes: Abraham died on the 21 November 1720, still a resident of King & Queen County. He had filed a will there and divided his property, most of it going to wife Barbara. Four days later, Barbara made out her will and divided the estate between the younger children. It appears that Barbara lived until November of 1769, but she may have died within weeks of Abraham's death. It is difficult to tell from the remaining records. If she did live, her two youngest children no longer resided with her. They were later listed as orphans.

In 1770, son Moses brought a suit against the property and that has explained a great deal about how the estate was settled.23 Charged with mismanagement or asked to account for the estate, son Elisha acting as executor, answered in court:

"... (my) father, Abraham Estes, departed this life after making and constituting in writing his last Will and Testament, and thereby after specifically devising part of his Estate did give, or either leave, his whole personal Estate to his wife, Barbara Estes, during her natural life and to be disposed of amongst his children then living as she might think proper.

He further showeth the said Barbara Estes agreeable to the Trust and Confidence aforesaid reposed in her by her late husband, your Orator's said father, on the 25th day of November in the year of our Lord Christ 1720, made in writing her last Will and Testament and thereby giving an inconsiderable part of her aforesaid Husband's Estate to several of her children and the remainder to be placed in the hands of Elisha Estes and Thomas Poor and wife Susanna, for the benefit of Moses and his sister, Barbara Estes, with the provision that if either of the above named should die, the same to be divided equally amongst Sylvester, Thomas, Elisha, Robert, Richard, John, Moses Estes, Mary Watkins, Susanna Poor and Sarah Estes ... Elisha Estes being named Executor."

In depositions taken of the living children, shortly after the death of Abraham, Moses and young Barbara went to live with their sister Susanna Estes and husband Thomas Poore. Thomas Poore's deposition stated:

"... that 49 years ago Moses and Barbara Estis, orphans of sd. Abraham Estis came to live with sd. Poor; Moses aged 10 years and Barbara, 8. Barbara lived until she was 16 (very bad health); Elizabeth Yeates attended her for 3 yrs."

Elisha's deposition stated:

"... that money left for Moses, sd. Moses being sickly, was used to take care of him."



Abraham Estes was acquainted with the great grandfather of President James Madison. Abraham’s signature is contained in the 1683 Petition of St. Stephens Parish. Also signing was John Madison, the great-grandfather of James Madison. Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. 28.

It appears that their sons were also acquainted. “Abraham Estridge” was a neighbor of Ambrose Madison (1696-1732), the son of John Madison. This is confirmed by the will of Ambrose Madison. The will24 of Ambrose Madison 31 July 1732, of the parish of St. Mark in the County of Spotsylvania, Virginia establishes that his property was adjoining that of Abraham Estes:

Item – I give and bequeath unto Danell Stoghill, one hundred and fifty acres of land beginning at a red oak standing in David William’s and Abraham Estridge’s line, runing along the said Abraham’s line, so far as to lay of the said land square to him and his heirs for ever.

As the will was written in 1732, and the death of Abraham Estes is often listed as 1720 or after 1720, this is likely his son.


Some of Abraham and Barbara's children have been easier to trace than others. Robert Estes remained in Virginia until his death in 1775. He and Mary had the following children; Robert, Zachariah (Zachary), Bartlett, Elisha, George, Benjamin and Millie.25

Sylvester was married and living away from the family when his parents died. He is known to have fathered as least one child, a son, Ephram. Samuel married Elizabeth --- and he had probably died before 1720, as he is not mentioned in the settlement of Abraham and Barbara's estate.

John and wife continued to live near his brothers, eventually settling in Hanover County. His children were; John, Jr., Abraham, Barbara, Sarah and William.

Mary and her husband Thomas Watkins have no recorded children.

Susanna and husband Thomas Poore had at least one child, Elizabeth, in addition to raising their nephew and niece Moses and Barbara Estes.

Like brother Samuel, Abraham, Jr. had married before the death of his parents and was dead before the law suit brought by Moses. He was married twice and acquired considerable land holdings in North Carolina. He also left a large family, his children being; Abraham, Catherine, Barbara, Mary, Samuel, Philip, Lucy, Elisha, Mary Ann, Benjamin and Edmund.

Moses grew to adulthood under the roof of his sister, Susanna. This experience may have left a bad taste in his mouth and this could be why be brought suit against Elisha years later. He married Elizabeth Webb and they had at least three children, Moses, Jr., William and John. As he was 59 when he instituted his suit, perhaps he was just trying to provide for his children.

Sara is mentioned in the Will dispute of 1770 as "Sarah Estes", meaning she never married and left no children, which was uncommon for a woman. It is likely that she lived with one of her brothers or sisters and worked in the home.

If his date of birth is correct, Elisha would only have been 17 when his father died, too young to be named executor. An alternate date of birth for him could be around 1685. Whatever his exact date of birth, he and wife Mary Ann left a very large family. Many of their children and grandchildren would later become prominent in Tennessee. Their children were; William, Abraham, Elisha, Jr., Ambrose, Richard, Joel, Sarah, Barbara, Elizabeth, Mary and Rachel.

Richard and his wife Mary Yancy moved to Hanover (later Louisa) County, Virginia and were active in the Trinity Church, near Fredericksville. They had five children; Richard, Mary, Charles, Letitia and Reuben. After Richard's death in 1744, Mary fell on hard times. In 1747, she was employed by the Church as Sexton for the church at North East Creek. For this position, she was paid 500 lbs. of tobacco. That same summer, she was forced to indenture her son Charles. At the age of 12, Charles went to work for a carpenter to pay off the debt.

Of Abraham's son and grandson, Thomas Estes I and Thomas II, we know very little. It appears that Thomas Estes II's son, Thomas III married in Virginia and then relocated his family to North Carolina. They lived near several other Estes' in adjoining counties. Thomas, John and William lived in Granville County. Other family members lived in Orange, Burke and Ashe Counties. Another Abraham lived in Surry County. The Estes' of Burke County seemed to be set apart from the rest of the family. Even their given names were not the standard Estes names. It could be that they were truly a separate branch, but it is more likely that they were related to the Richard Estes line and therefore had little contact with our line of the family after living in New England for a hundred years.26

Other Early Estes Immigrants

Mr. Duke has written: “The first Estes' to come America, were probably Abraham's two cousins, Matthew and Richard, children of Robert Estes and Dorothy Wilson. The New Hampshire Colony had been founded in 1629 and it was soon after that, around 1641 that colonists began to move into the area from Massachusetts. Matthew was master of the sloop, Unity of Boston, in 1697. He had been living in New Hampshire at least since his marriage of June 14, 1676, to Philadelphia Jenkins Hayes, widow of an Edward Hayes and daughter of Ronald and Ann Jenkins. It is known that Matthew had moved to Lynn, Massachusetts by 1695 and that he died in Salem, July 9, 1723. Brother Richard, came to New Hampshire in 1684. He was married on April 23, 1687 to Elizabeth Beck, at Dover. Both Matthew and Richard were members of the Society of Friends, known as Quakers.” Matthew is said to have been born about 1645, and died between 4 June and 18 July 1723. 27

“It is likely that many in their settlement party were from the Dover area of England and upon landing in New Hampshire, one of the first towns was named Dover. It might also be kept in mind that our ancestors came from the Dover area and Dover, New Hampshire is named after the English town. They lived near Salem, Massachusetts and later at Salem, Arkansas. With the strong attachment that our ancestors placed in a few names, it is not hard to believe that they were responsible for the naming of many towns and counties across America. It is also interesting to note that it was around this same time that the famous Salem witch trials were going on in Massachusetts, circa 1692.”

“In addition, Abraham's great uncle Richard's, great granddaughter, Elizabeth married a Boston sailor, Nathaniel Hatch, at Deal on October 1684 and moved to Massachusetts, thereby establishing another tie. A will exists, showing were Elizabeth's sister Susanna Estes, "died a spinster in 1697", and left all her "wearing apparel" to her in Boston. Elizabeth's brother, Moses, had a son named Moses and he later settled in Virginia in 1783. This Moses would have been Abraham's second cousin, twice removed.”28

Savage’s Genealogical Dictionary of the First Planters lists the following early Estes immigrants, who are not direct relations, including Matthew and Richard:

JOHN, Lynn, s. of Matthew the first, sign. the address to Gov. Joseph Dudley 1703, with RICHARD, as Quakers, when, of course, they did not state their ages upon that paper, wh. is print. in Geneal. Reg. Il. 149.

JOSEPH, Dover 1719, br. of the preced. m. Mary, d. of Timothy Robinson, and has num. descend. in Maine.

MATTHEW, Dover, s. of Robert of Dover, Eng. where he was b. 28 May 1645, m. 14 June 1676, Philadelphia, d. of Reginald Jenkins, had Joseph, whose day of b. is not told; John, 14 July 1684; Richard, 2 Sept. 1686; and Matthew, 1689, possib. more. He prob. rem. to Scituate, and his w. d. 25 Dec. 1721; and he d. 9 Aug. 1723. (See also, The Essex Genealogist, Vol. 18:90-98; and, Hollick, New Englanders in the 1600’s (NEHGS 2006), at 71.)

MATTHEW, Scituate, s. of the preced. by w. Alice had Edward, b. a. 1708; William, a. 1710; two ch. wh. d. 5 young; Matthew, 19 Dec. 1726; Sarah, 8 June 1733; and Robert, 12 Jan. 1736; and d. 11 May 1774; and his wid. d. 14 Dec. 1778, aged 84.

An article by Kitty Estes Savage that appeared in 1988 in Estes Trails29 contains some speculations about the origin of Abraham Estes which more recent discoveries have shown to be wrong. However, it does contain some interesting facts.

21 February 1654 [or 26 July 1654] "Grant of Richard Bennett [Virginia Governor of the time] to Nicholas Lambdson of 200 acres in Westmoreland Co. upon Upper Matchatich River [*] ... due for the transportation of four persons into this colony ... patent assigned to Jacob Porter and Thomas Estast ..."

Ms. Savage speculates that this Thomas was either Thomas, born 1605, County Kent, England, son of Robert and Anne Eastes, or that he was Thomas, born 1636, County Kent, England, son of Robert and Dorothy Eastes. However, Mr. Powell’s research of the English records (as well as others) has shown these two Thomas Eastes' remained and died in England. Also, "Estes" were not unique to the area of Deal in county Kent; the name was known all along the English coastline from Devon in the south-west to Norfolk in the east, as well as in several counties in the "interior" of England. So it cannot be assumed that all "Estes" arriving in the American colonies were of the Kent family, or actually were not Eustace, or East. Other records show:

17 July 1658, a deed is witnessed by Thomas Eastass.
13 August 1658, a deed is witnessed by Thomas Estass.

1658, a deed is witnessed by James Estaste. [Other names mentioned strongly suggest that James and Thomas were closely related, perhaps brothers.]

The will of Nathaniel Jones mentions Judith Estass, d/o Thomas Estass. Nathaniel leaves a cow calf for Judith, to be given to her when she reaches the age of 7. Will dated 1662. [Judith was thus born after 1655.]

29 June 1663 June, widow of the late Thomas Estast, renounces administration of his estate. Administration granted to Jacob Porter, who was associated with Thomas since at least 1654.

29 December 1692, a deed mentions the plantation of John Easters, which lies along the main branch of the Chincoteague River in Richmond Co, VA. Richmond Co is adjacent to Westmoreland Co, both lying on the peninsula formed by the Potomac and the Rappahannock Rivers (although at along that stretch the "rivers" are more properly part of the Chesapeake Bay). It is tempting to suggest that this John, who would have been born before 1671, was a son of Thomas of Westmoreland, who died in 1663.

In 1623, Thomasin Easter, servant age 26, was living with William Gany, who emigrated in the Falcon in 1627. [The inference from the article is that Thomasin was the Thomas who appears in Westmoreland. However, Thomasin was a fairly common female name in England at that time and s/he is also listed with another servant, Elizabeth Pope.]

John Easter transported 1659 ..."Liber 7, folio 86". Could this be the John Easter of Richmond Co, VA in 1692? This is another possible origin for the Richmond County, John. A search of the Kent records, eliminating those who died in England or were there after 1659 reveals only one candidate. John Eastes, born 1644, brother of Abraham Estes. The article then mentions John Estes of Hyde County, NC and suggests he was a son of Abraham Estes. The placement of John, 1701-1771, as the son of Abraham seems to have a pretty solid support. Also, this John was on pretty close terms with Richard, a known son of Abraham. The 1701-1771 John also had a son, Abraham. The fact that the John of Hyde County, NC had a son, Abraham, is the main evidence that he is the son of Abraham Estes.

Looking at the dates of the Hyde County, NC John, one can surmise when he was born. He died in 1732 with eight children. Assuming about two years per child, he married around 1715 at the latest, so would be born around 1690, at the latest. Three of his sons, Abraham (d.1751), John (d.1752) and William (d.1770) have known dates of death. Abraham mentions two children in his will, admin to his brothers, so his children were minors, suggesting Abraham died young. He'd have been born no latter than 1720, which again puts his father's birth in the early to mid 1690's. Looking at the dates another way, William died in 1770, his two brothers in the 1750's. If we assume William lived to about 70, then they were born "about 1700". John's wife, Mary, died in 1750. If we assume she died at 70, then she was born c.1680 which would fit with the estimates of her children being born around 1700. John would then have been born about 1675. Who then is the father of the Hyde County, NC, John? The most obvious candidate would be the John who was in Richmond Co, VA in 1792. Who could've been the son of Thomas of Westmoreland Co. or the John who arrived in 1657. The dates would fit for either one. And John of Hyde Co, NC did name a son Thomas.

Gov. Spotswood of Virginia sent troops to North Carolina 1700-1720 during the Tuscarora Indian War. Presumably many of those sent south to fight remained behind and set up home in NC. Including among them Sylvester, son of Abraham, and John, son of ??. Several other Estes emigrants were mentioned. John Estes (Etes), 1637, to James City Co, VA; and, William Estes, 1653, to Lancaster Co, VA.

Several other branches of Estes ancestors came to the Colony of Virginia from England as early as 1610, with others landing further north in Massachusetts in the 1620’s, and the 1630’s. Through the mother of John Franklin13 Estes -- Mary Adeline McCord (1852 Ark. – 1942 Ark.), and her paternal grandmother Deborah Bills (1792 NC – 1894 Ark.) -- comes a bloodline that can be traced back to the Pilgrims.30

The New England immigrants were Deborah Bills’ grandfathers Daniel Bills (1740 NJ -1829 Tenn.), and John Hutchins (1738 Virg. – 1824 NC). Both were Quakers. Daniel Bill’s great grandparents, Thomas Bills (1650 Mass.-1721 NJ), and Joanna Twining (1657 Mass. – 1723 NJ), were born in the new world in the 1650’s. They married in the Cape Cod settlement of Eastham, Barnstable County, Massachusetts in 1676. Thomas’ father William Bills may have been the immigrant ancestor. In 1679, Thomas Bills31 was granted 10 acres at Poche, near Eastham, "where he now lives" for a water privilege. He removed from nearby Yarmouth to Eastham, and then traveled south to Shrewsbury, New Jersey by at least 1704. Thomas was a weaver, who had purchased land in Shrewsbury Township in northeastern New Jersey seven years earlier. This line removed to North Carolina in 1774, and the last of the line, widow Deborah Bills McCord went to Arkansas after 1844.


The Child of

Abraham5 Estes


Barbara Brock(?)


(1684 Virg. – aft.1754 NC?)

Sylvester/Sylvistas Estes/Estice was born about 1684 in Virginia and died after 1754. He lived in King & Queen County, Virginia in 1722, and in Bertie County, North Carolina 1734-1741, then in Northampton County, North Carolina (formed from Bertie County, NC) in 1754. He was the executor of his father's will, so presumably was the eldest child. He may have been the Samuel Estes who appeared in Spotsylvania County, Virginia in 1728 with wife Rachel.

One of the more elusive sons of Abraham Estes (1647-1720) is his presumed eldest son, Sylvester. The following discussion attempts to trace his movements.32 Sylvester was in King and Queen County, Virginia until at least 1722. At that date the oldest of his children were still minors, likely no older than the early teens, and would have traveled there with him (unless they died before then). He then removed to Bertie (now Northampton) County, North Carolina by 1734, and was in Northampton (Bertie) County, North Carolina in 1754.

On 22 June 1722, Robert Parish possessed 775 acres of land in King and Queen and Essex counties, “beginning at Silvester Estice, in Thomas Crane’s line; to the south side of the Mattapony River; crossing branches of the Rappahannock River to the corner of Alexander Younger in Major Ayletts line….”33 This appears to have been the same land that Abraham and Barbara Estes had earlier lived on, suggesting that their eldest son inherited the family plantation.

Since most of Silvester's children were born before 1722, including the two of greatest interest, Ephraim (c.1712) and Thomas (c.1715), we can conclude with a fair degree of assurance that they were born in King & Queen County, VA.

On 7 November 1734, Robert Ivey of Edgecombe District (now Nash County, North Carolina) sold to Jasper Stuart of Upper Parish, Bertie District 240 acres in Upper Parrish of Bertie Precinct for 50 pounds, the deed was witnessed by Silvester Estes, William Glover, jurat34, and John Glover.35 Sylvester was likely a friend of William Glover, as 20 years later he witnessed the will of William “Gloveyer” on 30 July 1754 in Northampton County, North Carolina.36 (Northampton County was formed from Bertie County, North Carolina in 1741.) Another note of interest is that the names Hall and Thomas Aplin which appear with William Glover, also appear in transactions with Elisha Estes in Amelia County.

In 1741, "John Spann and wife Mary, to Silvester Estes, 8 August 1741, 160 acres in Upper Parish of Bertie County on NS Morattock River adjacent to John Glover, Thomas Bradford," John Spanns former corner." Granted 8 April 1730. Witness: Jasper Stuart, jurat; David Rozar, Richard Cross, August Court, 1741."37 This land was either part of that in the 1734 deed above or another part of the original 1730 grant to John Spanns. The description of the land is the same, with the same neighbors. The parcel’s current location is uncertain, as several counties were formed from Bertie.

In 1754, Sylvester was still in old Bertie County. The Glovers appear in the earlier deed (1734), so we could assume that the land Sylvester bought in 1734 was in that part of Bertie County that became Northampton County, rather than that he moved. Northampton County, North Carolina is on the North Carolina/Virginia border. Across the border in Virginia lie the counties of Greensville and Southampton.38

The children of Sylvester6 Estes and --- are:

1. Ephraim Estes, born about 1712, King & Queen County, Virginia; removed to Bertie County, North Carolina with father in 1720's; then to Granville County, North Carolina by 1740 when he married a native of that county;

2. Thomas7 Estes I, born about 1715, died about 1755-77 in King & Queen County, Virginia;

3. Sarah Estes, married Thomas Cate (Cato), and eleven children. See discussion below.

4. Abraham Estes, born 1732, was in Pasquotank (close to Bertie) County, North Carolina in 1769.

5. John Estes, died in 1799, in Orange County, North Carolina;

6. Elisha Estes;

7. Joel Estes;

8. Caleb Estes;

9. John Estes. [A John Estes is found in Hyde County, North Carolina. Bertie County, North Carolina -- formed in 1722 it is near to Hyde County, North Carolina -- where there was a John Estes who died there in 1732 with eight children. This John Estes could not be the son of Sylvester as the earliest Sylvester's son John could have been born 1704-05 (Abraham married in 1684). It is unlikely that he had eight children by 1732, unless he had all twins and triplets.]


Husband of Sarah7 Estes &

First Preacher of the

Cane Creek Baptist Church

Thomas Cate was born about 1747, the son of Quakers Thomas Cate and Rebecca Sykes. They removed to Orange County from Prince George County, Virginia, with sons Barnard, John, and Richard.

The Cane Creek church historian writes: “Thomas married Sarah Estridge about 1767,” although her last name is disputed and may have been Shepard. However, there is no trace of Shepards in the local records, but there is “a faint record of an Estridge family locally (sometimes recorded as Estes). [See, discussion at 256.] This is mentioned in grants located to the northeast of Cane Creek. I suspect that the Estridges were Tories who may have left the community during the Revolutionary War.” 39

Cane Creek Baptist Church is “one of the older churches in North Carolina dating back over 215 years. Recently, a compilation of remembrances, pictures, articles, and other documentation was made into a history of Cane Creek Baptist Church.

Thomas Cate's will mentions eleven children: Moses born about 1768 who married Hannah Bradford; John B. born about 1770 who married Priscilla Lloyd and who died in Tennessee in 1840; Fanny, born about 1772 who married John Sykes; Martha, birth date unknown, who married William Moore; Winny [Minny?] birth date unknown, who married William Roach, Huldah, birth date unknown, who married Elisha Cates, possibly a cousin; Tabitha, date of birth unknown, who married William Smith; Elizabeth, possibly born in 1784, whose marital status is confused; Thomas, born in 1784, who married Elizabeth Roach, and later Martha Carroll and who died in 1863; Ephraim, born about 1778, who married Rebecca Lindsey and who died in Missouri in the 1850's. The name of the eleventh child is unknown.” 40


(17?? - 1771 Virg.)


David Powell, Which John Estes died in 1771?

In 1771, John Estes of Louisa Co, VA wrote a will that was probated latter that same year. This John has traditionally been identified as John Estes, born circa 1700, the son of Abraham Estes (1647-1720). But is this identification correct? Recent research indicates that this will is not that of Abraham's son. Rather, it appears to be the will of John's son, John Estes, Jr. (i.e.: Abraham's grandson). However, questions still remain, including when and where John Estes, Sr. died. He was a wealthy man who owned large amounts of land in several Virginian counties. One would thus expect to find either a will or estate settlement.

For the sake of clarity, I will use several shorthand notations to refer to the three generations of Johns who are mentioned in this article: "John (c.1700)" refers to the son of Abraham; "John (d.1771)" is the John who died in 1771 in Louisa Co.; and "John (ex)" is the John Estes mentioned as executor in the 1771 will.

I will first address why it is that the 1771 will cannot be that of John (c.1700), son of Abraham. Citations to this will are normally to an abstract, of which the following example is typical:

"Louisa WB 2 p.127 Will of John Estis Dated 25 Oct 1771 Recorded 9 Dec 1771

Children: Abraham, John, Molley, Barbary, Sarah. To son Abraham remainder of my plantation on North East Creek with house where I now live. Part of land to be sold to pay debts. 100 acres conveyed to my friend, Clifton Allen, as bargained and sold to him.

Exors. son John, wife Ursula.
Signed John Estes.
Wit: Thos. Johnson, Samuel Meek, Elizabeth Rose".[1]

The identity of the John to whom Ursula is married is not exactly obvious here. Is she the wife of John, the decedent, or is she the wife of John, her co-executor? Most genealogies have assumed she was the wife of John, Jr., her co-executor.

An examination of the original will establishes that this assumption is incorrect.

The original will reads, in relevant part, as follows: "to my beloved wife Ursula, the remainder of my estate .... to raise my four youngest children." [9] The will goes to provide for John's children, Abraham, Molley, Sarah and Barbara, all of whom are minors when John wrote the will.[9] Their minority is an important point, to which I will return. Presumably, son John (ex) received his inheritance prior to the writing of the will and was 'of age'. According to Garmon Estes, John and Ursula married prior to 1764 and had children John, Abraham, Barbara (born 7/5/1764, Botetourt Co, VA), Mary (born 20/2/1767) and Sarah.[2] There may have been others who did not survive infancy.[10] Further, the marriage records for Barbara and Mary clearly indicate that they were the daughters of John and Ursula (as distinct from being from a previous marriage of John's).[3] Thus, the marriage of John and Ursula must have occurred no later than 1764. If we assume that the John named as an executor was also Ursula's son, then John the executor must have been at least 21 years old when John, Sr. wrote the 1771 will (in Virginia 21yo was the legal age unless the father was deceased or the son a land owner, in which case it was 16). Thus, John the executor (son of John, Sr. and Ursula) must have been born no later than 1750. If John was in fact Ursula's son, the marriage of John and Ursula can be pushed back to the late 1740's.

Given the birth of Mary in 1767, we can reasonably assume that Ursula was in her mid 40's, or younger, that is, Ursula and John were almost certainly married after 1740. Since Ursula died in 1803, it's doubtful she was born much before 1720, if not later. Thus John and Ursula were married by 1764, if not considerably earlier.

John Sr., born circa 1700, the son of Abraham and Barbara Estes, has been variously cited as being married to Elizabeth and Nutty. 'Nutty' appears to be a pet name. That John was married to Nutty/Elizabeth has previously been well established by others.[4]
In 1765 John and Nutty Estes appear in a deed when they sell 105 acres of land to Anthony Thomson on 12 August 1765 [8]. This is from a microfilm of the original, not an abstract. Unless Nutty/Elizabeth was the same person as Ursula, then this indicates that the John who died 1771 was not the husband of Nutty/Elizabeth.

Could the two be the same woman? I very much doubt this. Nutty/Elizabeth has been cited as being the first wife of John (c.1700) and the mother of his children. Since John had son's born in the 1720's, if not earlier,[13] it can be presumed that his wife was born before 1705. Ursula was the daughter of Thomas Johnson, who's will was written and executed in 1798.[5] Unless Thomas lived to an amazingly ripe age of 120 or so, it is extremely unlikely that Ursula was born before 1730. Consequently, she could not have been the mother of the children of John Estes (c.1700) - all of whom are thought to have been born before 1740.[10]

There is more evidence that bears on this issue. In the 1771 will John makes provision for the raising of his minor children and named amongst them is his son, Abraham.[9] However John (c.1700) & 'Nutty' appear to have been the parents of another Abraham Estes, born 1731 or earlier and who appears in Orange Co, VA (formed from Louisa) in the 1750's.[6] This Abraham was still alive in 1773 (when he appears in Augusta Co, VA).[7] It's not proven that this Abraham was the son of John and Nutty, however he was not the son of any of John's siblings.

In additional to the 'concrete' evidence, there is also several pieces of circumstantial evidence. As has been stated before, John Sr. (c.1700) was a wealthy man, owning considerable property in Louisa and Halifax Counties and possibly beyond.[13] In earlier years he was sufficiently wealthy to have bred racehorses and construct his own racetrack,[11] thought this was surely not a source of income at the time. The reverse in fact. The 1771 will, in contrast, gives little indication of being for a wealthy man. It mentions just a single plantation, part of which having to be sold to pay debts.[9] John Sr. did, of course, deed considerable property to his sons, but would he have almost impoverished himself by the time of his death?

Another piece of circumstantial evidence is that the John named as an executor of the 1771 will signed his name with an 'X' (and did likewise in subsequent deeds associated with the execution of the will). That is, he was illiterate. John Estes Sr. (c.1700) and his known sons were, as far as is known, all literate - including John Jr.[12] I should qualify that to say that I have not found an example of any of his sons signing their names with anything other than their signature. This includes John Jr., Elisha, Robert and Micajah. This is not surprising for the sons of a wealthy man. This indicates that the John mentioned as executor in the 1771 will was not the son of John Sr. (c.1700) since the former was illiterate.[9]

What is the solution to all of this? I suspect many have already jumped to the obvious conclusion. John Jr., that is, the son of John (c.1700), also had a son named John, who for the sake of clarity I will call John Estes III. According to the research of Garmon Estes, John Jr. was born before 1726 (he appears on a deed with his father in the mid 1740's)[12] and had a son named John.[2] Given John II's date of birth it is quite feasible for him to have had his first son by 1750 - which means by 1771 that son would have been legally an adult (i.e.: over 18) and so able to act an executor of his father's will.

It seems clear to me then that the John Estes who died 1771, Louisa Co, Virginia, leaving a wife Ursula, adult son John and minor children Abraham, Molley, Barbary and Sarah was actually John Estes II. This leaves the question as to when and where John Estes Sr. died and what happened to his property. The probate and will records for Louisa Co, where John Sr. spent most of his life, are mostly intact from 1742 (when the county formed) on. If John Sr. died after 1742 (when Louisa was created), then there would most likely be a will or estate administration for him in Louisa County given his substantial land ownership (under old English law if one owned land in a county, there *had* to be either a will or a probate). Since the 1771 will has been shown to not be that of John Sr., this leaves something of a mystery.

In 1730 John Sr. bought 100A of land in Hanover Co, in 1735/1736 he acquired a further 1,160A of land, again in Hanover (present day Louisa), adjacent to North East Creek,[17] the site of the plantation mentioned in the 1771 will.[1,9] Between 1736 and 1771 there is only one recorded sale by John and that was the sale of 105A in 1765.[8] At the time of the 1771 will, the family estate consisted of 665A, apparently in the same location as the 1735/1736 patent (the description of the location is the same in both cases).

There are several possible solutions to this. John Sr. may have completely disposed of his estate before he died leaving nothing for probate - however the only deed for disposal of his property is for just 105A.[8] Alternatively John Sr. may have died while Louisa was still Hanover (most early Hanover records have been lost) - however Louisa was formed in 1742 and it is known for certain that John Sr. was alive in 1748.[11] Finally, there is the possibility that the John who died in 1771 was John Sr., however the evidence against this seems insurmountable.

Where did the missing 1,155A go? The most likely solution, in my view, is that John Sr. disposed of all but the remaining 665A prior to the formation of Louisa in 1742. That is, the disposal of the missing 500A was made between 1736 and 1742. Since most of the records for Hanover from this time have been lost this scenario cannot be proven or disproven. None of John Sr's children were adult when Louisa County was formed, thus the problem reduces to the question of how the John who died in 1771 came into possession of the remaining 665A of land that was originally owned by John Sr. No Louisa deed, will or estate admin has been found to document this transfer. One can only assume that this record has also been lost.

The other question that remains is just when and where John Sr. died. And to date that remains unknown. John Sr. was alive and living in Louisa Co as recently as 1765.[8] In 1763 John Sr acquired 1150 acres of land in Halifax Co, VA.[15] In 1770 that same tract was granted to George Boyd after having been resumed because "John Estes, and Micajah Estes, Moses Estes and Elisha Estes in whom the right of said land is since become vested have failed to pay quit rents.[15] Micajah, Moses and Elisha were sons of John Sr (c.1700).[13] The wording seems to suggests that John Sr had died prior to 1770 and ownership transferred to the abovenamed sons who, unable to pay the quit rent, lost the land.

Evidence for tax lists etc indicate that John remained in Louisa Co from its formation until at least 1765.[10] John Jr, in contrast, seems to have travelled considerably. Up to 1750 John was in Louisa Co. By 1758 he was in Halifax Co with several of his brothers living on land owned by his father, John Sr. Whilst some of John's brothers remained in Halifax for decades, John soon moved on and next appears in Botecourt Co in 1764.[2] John then moves back to Louisa Co in the late 1760's.

It seems likely to me that John Sr. died sometime between 1765 (when he appears in a deed with his wife) and the late 1760's when John Jr returned to Louisa Co. Was John Jr.'s return to Louisa the due to his father's death? It was not uncommon for property to be deeded to a son, but the father continued to live on the property, with the son taking physical possession only after the death of his father. Certainly the tax lists for the late 1760's and early 1770's indicate that there was only one John Estes living in Louisa Co.[14] John Sr's original grant was on North East Creek,[16] in the south of present day Louisa Co, the same location of the "remainder of my plantation" mentioned in the 1771 will.[1,9] So it seems likely that John Sr died in the mid to late 1760's. That leaves the question of where he died.

As a postscript, it appears that the John Estes who died in 1771 was in some trouble in the last years of his life. Shortly after his last child, Mary, was born in 1767, she was living in the household of Thomas Johnson.[3] This was probably the Thomas Johnson who was Ursula's father.[5] The co-executor of John's will, his son John Estes III, appears in the 1771 tithe list as also living with Thomas Johnson.[14] John III would have been at least 21 in 1771 so would have appeared in the tithe lists of previous years, though not by name since he would have been a minor of titheable age (16-21yo). John (d.1771) appears in the 1769, 1770 and 1771 tithe lists with only one titheable - thus his son, John III, was not living with him.[14] Was John III living with Thomas Johnson prior to 1771? It seems likely. One is then left to ponder why John and Ursula placed at least two of their children into the care of Ursula's parents. With John dying in 1771 in his 40's, one is tempted to suspect that John suffered poor health for some years prior to his death.

I would like to acknowledge the invaluable assistance of Robin Rankin in ferreting out some of the important sources for this article, most especially for the original of the 1771 will, the wording of which inspired the article, and also for expert legal advice on the legalese of the 1700's. The blame for the conclusions above rests with me, however.”41


In 1691, King and Queen County was created from that part of New Kent County lying north of the Pamunkey River. Its western boundary extended to the heads of the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers. William Leigh and Joshua Storey are elected as King and Queen's first representatives in the House of Burgesses. Edmund Tunstall deeds land to the county for a Court House. In 1700, The population of King and Queen County is approximately 4,306 making it the second most populous county in Virginia. It is also one of the wealthiest due to its tobacco production.

Formed in 1691 from New Kent County, King and Queen County was named for King William III and Queen Mary. It is located in the Middle Peninsula of Tidewater Virginia with its county seat at King and Queen Court House close to the Mattaponi River. This location has played a significant role in the history of the county - especially during the three wars fought on Virginia's soil. 42

As an early Virginia county, King and Queen has been the county of origin for many families that later migrated westward and southward. Descendants of many of the old King and Queen families still reside in the area. Unfortunately for researchers, the King and Queen County Court House, along with its records has burned twice. In 1828, the Clerk's Office burned and most records were lost. The Court House and Clerk's Office, along with homes and buildings in the vicinity, was burned by Union troops on March 10, 1864 in retaliation for the killing of Colonel Ulric Dalhgren during the ambush of his troops which took place on King and Queen soil near Stephensville and Mantapike. King and Queen is one of Virginia's "burned" counties.

Present-day King and Queen County covers an area of 327 square miles with a population of lees than 6,000. It is a long and narrow in shape, being about sixty miles long and no more than ten miles wide at any point. The county is primarily rural with several small communities such as Indian Neck, Walkerton, Bruington, Stephensville, Helmet, Newtown, and Carlton Corner located within its borders.

Church Parishes of King and Queen County. The established Church in Colonial Virginia was the Church of England. As in England, parishes were "local units of ecclesiastical and community organization". The Virginia General Assembly, through legislation, created parishes and defined their boundaries. As the population of Colonial Virginia grew, new parishes were formed and boundary lines changed.

Although the Church of England was dis-established as the official Church following the American Revolution and most of the duties of the vestry turned over to county officials, the parishes continued in existence. The parish boundaries were also used as geographic designations with the residence of parties to deeds being given by parish and county. These designations may be useful in determining in which part of the county the persons resided and the land being conveyed was located. The parish of residence is also given on the 1850 Census schedules for King and Queen County.

The changes in the parishes of King and Queen County from 1691 until the present are set out below:

1691. King and Queen County is created from that part of New Kent County lying north of the Pamunkey River. Its western boundary extended to the heads of the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers. William Leigh and Joshua Storey are elected as King and Queen's first representatives in the House of Burgesses. Edmund Tunstall deeds land to the county for a Court House.

1700. The population of King and Queen County is approximately 4,306 making it the second most populous county in Virginia. It is also one of the wealthiest due to its tobacco production.

1702. After losing its town with the creation of King William County from the area on the southwest shore of the Mattaponi River, the Virginia General Assembly authorizes the King and Queen County Court to purchase land for another town. John Walker deeds 40 acres for a town, which is named Walkerton. The act is repealed in 1795 because Walkerton fails to develop.

1705. Robert Beverley, of "Beverley Park" in King and Queen County, writes "The History and Present State of Virginia" for the purpose of encouraging additional immigration to the colony. This is the earliest English work to provide a detailed overview of the climate, environment, natural resources and indigenous people of the area.

1716. French Huguenot Rev. James Fontaine travels through King and Queen County with the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe. The purpose of the expedition, mounted by Gov. Spotswood and comprised primarily of members of the gentry, is to explore the area west of the Allegheny Mountains and encourage settlement of the colony's western frontier. On their journey westward, the Knights stay overnight 21 August at the home of Robert Beverley. Upon their return, they again stay overnight 14 September at the home of Robert Beverley and 15 September at the home of John Baylor.

1721. Spotsylvania County is created from the western frontiers of King and Queen, Essex and King William counties.

1728. Caroline County is created from the northwestern part of King and Queen County. An additional parcel of land is ceded to Caroline County in 1742.

1758. Donald Robertson opens a private school in Newtown, which he operates until his death in 1773. This school is considered one of the finest private schools in Virginia during this period, numbering a future president, James Madison, among its students. Female students are also enrolled during the first years of the school's operation.

1762. The boundary between King and Queen County and Caroline County is again redrawn, establishing the present boundaries of the county. (True Relation of History of King and Queen County 1607-1790 by General Edwin Cox.)

1774. King and Queen County residents George Brooke and George Lyne are selected to attend the first Virginia Convention. Richard Tunstall is elected chairman of the 23-member King and Queen County Committee of Safety.

1775. Patrick Henry leads a volunteer troop to "Laneville" in King and Queen County, home of Richard Corbin, Receiver General of Virginia, to demand payment for gunpowder removed from Williamsburg to a place of safekeeping on the order of Governor Dunmore. Mrs. Corbin meets the troops with the information that her husband is not at home. They decline her offer to allow them to search her home for her husband.

1775, October. Captain George Lyne leads the King and Queen County Minutemen to reinforce the local militia defending Hampton from looting by the British. With additional reinforcement of the Virginia Second Regiment under Colonel William Woodford, the British are forced to withdraw. This is the first military action of Virginians in support of the patriot cause.

1776. Governor Dunmore leaves Virginia after commissioning Richard Corbin Lieutenant Governor and depositing with him many valuables of the colony. Corbin buries the valuables in the cellar of his King and Queen County home, "Lanefield."

1781. The King and Queen County militia join other Virginia militia units under Brigadier General George Weedon at Yorktown and are present through the siege of the town and surrender of General Cornwallis.

1783. November. King and Queen County citizens petition the state legislature protesting the level of property taxes in the county.

1787. William Fleet and John Roane, King and Queen County residents, attend the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.


At least a dozen Estes men fought in the Revolutionary War. Thomas Estes, born around 1723, had most of his children from 1746 to 1761. This made his sons the correct age to serve in the Continental Army. From the records, it appears that three of them did serve, those being; John, III, Thomas III and Moses, and probably Elisha. There were at least two John Estes', Thomas', Moses' and Abraham's that served in the army.43

John Estes enlisted in the Virginia Militia on 9 February 1776, before the Declaration of Independence was signed. He is known to have seen action at Brandywine. In 1834, he was living in Grainger County, Tennessee, where he drew a government pension for his service. Both Moses and Thomas III died while in the service. Moses did not leave a family. Thomas, on the other hand, was over 30 when the War began and over 40 at its close. He was married and left four children.

Thomas's son John Estes served in the War and his records survive. He was married to Elisa Carver on 16 January 1780 at Hillsboro, Orange County, North Carolina. They had no surviving children, each dying at less than a year old. In 1777 he enlisted in the North Carolina Line and served for the duration of the war. He quickly rose to the rank of lieutenant and before the war was over, had been given a field promotion to Major. He also served as Assistant Commissary of Purchases. In 1781, he was sent with a detachment of 100 militia to guard the state capitol. Confronted by 300 Tories and British Regulars, he, his forces and the Governor were captured. He was held for four months in Wilmington, CT and paroled in January of 1782. John died on September 11, 1799. His widow applied for a war pension on 15 March 1838 and it was granted. Eliza died 16 April 1845.44

One Thomas Estes is recorded to have joined up at Williamsburg, Virginia in January of 1777. He served as a private in the Seventh Virginia Regiment. He was engaged in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown. He went into winter camp with General George Washington's forces at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, but received a discharge in February of 1778. He then moved his family to South Carolina, 14 miles south of Charleston, probably to remove them from the main theater of the war. In March of 1780, he reenlisted, this time in Colonel David Mason's Regiment. He served for seven months and 10 days. Unfortunately for Thomas, the British invaded Charleston in May of 1780 and his family was once again in the thick of battle. In August, Thomas was at Camden when General Horatio Gates was defeated. Gates surrendered over 5,000 men, which was the whole Continental Army south of the Potomac River. In 1781, Thomas enlisted in another regiment, this time with Colonel Holt Richardson's Regiment. In this unit, he served "six months, lacking 10 days". In October this southern militia joined up with General Washington's forces and defeated the British at the Battle of Yorktown.

This Thomas then moved on to Tennessee. On 1 June 1812, he was married to Cynthia ---, in Franklin County, Tennessee, where he lived the remainder of his life. He died in Lawrence County on 10-11 September 1832. A month earlier he had reported his age as "around 71", meaning he was born around 1761. By the 1830's there were many of his relatives that lived in the same county or in surrounding counties.45


The Colonial Period

The first permanent European settlers of North Carolina were British colonists who migrated south from Virginia, following a rapid growth of the colony and the subsequent shortage of available farmland. Nathaniel Batts was documented as one of the first of these Virginian migrants. He settled south of the Chowan River and east of the Great Dismal Swamp in 1655.

By 1663, this northeastern area of the Province of Carolina, known as the Albemarle Settlements, was undergoing full-scale British settlement. During the same period, the English monarch Charles II gave the province to the Lords Proprietors, a group of noblemen who had helped restore Charles to the throne in 1660. The new province of "Carolina" was named in honor and memory of King Charles I (Latin: Carolus). In 1712, North Carolina became a separate colony. With the exception of the Earl Granville holdings, it became a royal colony seventeen years later.

Differences in the settlement patterns of eastern and western North Carolina, or the low country and uplands, affected the political, economic, and social life of the state from the eighteenth until the twentieth century. The Tidewater in eastern North Carolina was settled chiefly by immigrants from England and the Scottish Highlands. The upcountry of western North Carolina was settled chiefly by Scots-Irish and German Protestants, the so-called "cohee". Arriving during the mid-to-late 18th century, the Scots-Irish from Ireland were the largest immigrant group before the Revolution. During the Revolutionary War, the English and Highland Scots of eastern North Carolina tended to remain loyal to the British Crown, because of longstanding business and personal connections with Great Britain. The Scots-Irish and German settlers of western North Carolina tended to favor American independence from Britain.

Most of the English colonists arrived as indentured servants, hiring themselves out as laborers for a fixed period to pay for their passage. In the early years the line between indentured servants and African slaves or laborers was fluid. Some Africans were allowed to earn their freedom before slavery became a lifelong status. Most of the free colored families formed in North Carolina before the Revolution were descended from relationships or marriages between free white women and enslaved or free African or African-American men. Many had migrated or were descendants of migrants from colonial Virginia. As the flow of indentured laborers to the colony decreased with improving economic conditions in Great Britain, more slaves were imported and the state's restrictions on slavery hardened. The economy's growth and prosperity was based on slave labor, devoted first to the production of tobacco.

Revolutionary War

On April 12, 1776, the colony became the first to instruct its delegates to the Continental Congress to vote for independence from the British crown, through the Halifax Resolves passed by the North Carolina Provincial Congress. The dates of both of these independence-related events are memorialized on the state flag and state seal. Throughout the Revolutionary War, fierce guerilla warfare erupted between bands of pro-independence and pro-British colonists. In some cases the war was also an excuse to settle private grudges and rivalries.

A major American victory in the war took place at King's Pinnacle along the North Carolina-South Carolina border. On 7 October 1780 a force of 1000 mountain men from western North Carolina (including what is today the State of Tennessee) overwhelmed a force of some 1000 British troops led by Major Patrick Ferguson. Most of the British soldiers in this battle were Carolinians who had remained loyal to the British Crown ("Tories"). The American victory at Kings Mountain gave the advantage to colonists who favored American independence, and it prevented the British Army from recruiting new soldiers from the Tories.

The road to Yorktown and America's independence from Great Britain led through North Carolina. As the British Army moved north from victories in Charleston and Camden, South Carolina, the Southern Division of the Continental Army and local militia prepared to meet them. Following General Daniel Morgan's victory over the British Cavalry Commander Banister Tarleton at the Battle of Cowpens on January 17, 1781, southern commander Nathaniel Greene led British Lord Charles Cornwallis across the heartland of North Carolina, and away from Cornwallis's base of supply in Charleston, South Carolina. This campaign is known as "The Race to the Dan" or "The Race for the River."

Generals Greene and Cornwallis finally met at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in present-day Greensboro on March 15, 1781. Although the British troops held the field at the end of the battle, their casualties at the hands of the numerically superior American Army were crippling. Following this "Pyhrric victory", Cornwallis chose to move to the Virginia coastline to get reinforcements and to allow the Royal Navy to protect his battered army. This decision would result in Cornwallis's eventual defeat at Yorktown, Virginia later in 1781. The Patriots' victory there guaranteed American independence. On November 21, 1789, North Carolina became the twelfth state to ratify the Constitution.


Bertie County was formed in 1722 from the part of Chowan Precinct of Albemarle County lying west of the Chowan River. It was named in honor of James and Henry Bertie who had purchased land from the original eight Lord Proprietors. It is in the northeastern section of the State and is bounded by Albemarle Sound, Chowan River, and Washington, Martin, Halifax, Northampton and Hertford counties.

In 1729 parts of Bertie Precinct, Chowan Precinct, Currituck Precinct, and Pasquotank Precinct of Albemarle County were combined to form Tyrrell Precinct. With the abolition of Albemarle County in 1739, all of its constituent precincts became counties. In 1741 parts of Bertie County became Edgecombe County and Northampton County. Finally, in 1759 parts of Bertie County, Chowan County, and Northampton County were combined to form Hertford County, and Bertie was reduced to its present size.


Orange County was formed in 1752 and was named after William of Orange (King William III of England). The boundaries have changed considerably since the 1750s, with Chatham, Caswell, and Alamance Counties being entirely formed from Orange County and Johnston, Guilford, Wake, Lee, Person, Randolph, Rockingham, and Durham Counties, also including parts of the original Orange County. The current county boundaries date from 1881.

The three major towns in the county are Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough -- the county seat. In the latter half of the eighteenth century, Hillsborough was an important town in the political life of North Carolina and, for a short time, was the meeting place of the General Assembly. Since the founding of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill at the end of that century, the county has also played an important role in the intellectual life of the state.

North Carolina

Orange County -- North Central

Olde Orange County, 1752

Orange County - 1752-1952,

Hugh Lefler and Paul Wager, Ed. (1953).


The Children of

Sylvester6 Estes




(1715 NC? – 1755-77 NC?)



(c.1715- 17??)

Thomas Estes I was born about 1715, and died 1755-77 perhaps in Orange County, North Carolina. He lived in King & Queen County, Virginia and removed to Bertie County, North Carolina by 1734, perhaps with his father in the 1720’s. He was in Halifax County, Virginia in 1753 and 1754, and possibly died in Orange County, North Carolina.46 The location of his marriage and the birth of his children could be either Bertie or Orange County.

He was probably the Thomas who obtained a land grant in Halifax in 1754 and deeded it latter that year to John Estes Sr., and who was involved in a number of court cases in 1753 and 1754, mostly for debt but one of assault and trespass. His wife was also possibly named Susannah, since Thomas had two grand-daughters by that name.47

The children of Thomas7 Estes I and Ann Rogers are:

1. Thomas8 Estes II, born 1739 in North Carolina, died after 1782 in North Carolina. Thomas was living in North Carolina at least in 1766-1781 according to land and court records in Bute and Orange counties. In 1781 he owned 140 acres;

2. Moses Estes, died 1776-1781 (during Revolutionary War), left no issue. See discussion infra, at 144.

3. James Estes, on 5 November 1785, he signed a marriage bond in Orange County for marriage to Mary Weeks. The bondsman was Joseph Weeks, who signed the 1777 Petition of St. Thomas District and was in the 1790 tax list for St. Thomas District. (Orange Co., NC Marriages at 99.)


The children of

Thomas7 Estes I


Ann Rogers


(1739 NC – bef. 1786 NC?)

Thomas Estes II (the Tory) was born circa 1738-39, in Colonial North Carolina. He was also known as Thomas Estridge, Eastridge and by a variety of other spellings.48 Thomas married Elizabeth "Betty" Burroughs about 1761, in Orange County, North Carolina. He named his only son Burroughs, which was shortened to Burris and became a family named that is still used today. He died before 1786 when Elizabeth is listed as a widow on the tax rolls. She remarried Michael Carroll in 1787.

Census records for Orange County show a family by the name of Burroughs and this seems a possibility that it was his wife's maiden name. Their daughter Martha also named a son Burroughs. North Carolina land and court records show that Thomas was in that state during 1766-1781. In 1781, he owned 140 acres in Butte and Orange counties.

Thomas was a captain in the British army and fought for the King during the Revolution. However, he was captured in 1782 and sentenced to death for treason. He was apparently well thought of by his neighbors and a petition was circulated that called for his pardon. This was granted on the condition that he enlist in the Continental Army. He did so, and it is assumed he died in battle during the next year or so.

Interestingly, his brother Moses Estes had different political leanings and fought for independence, as apparently did Thomas’ son Burroughs Estes, Sr. and eleven of his cousins -- the sons of Moses and James.

The children of Thomas8 Estes II and Elizabeth Burroughs are:

1. Martha (Patsy) Estes was born in 1762. She married James Cheek in Orange County, North Carolina. The marriage bond was signed by James on 6 September 1783. The bondsman was William McCauley. (William McCauley signed the petition to spare the life of Martha's father in 1782.) James Cheek was born 16 August 1762, in Brunswick County, Virginia. They had a son named Burroughs and several other children. Martha died in 1831. James died 4 September 1833, in Orange County, North Carolina.

2. Elizabeth Estes was born in 1777, and died 10 August 1865 in Elkton, Todd County, Kentucky. She married Josiah Pitman. He signed the marriage bond 23 October 1798, in Orange County. The bondsman was Burroughs Estes, her brother.

3. Burroughs9 (Burris) Estes, Sr. was born about 1769 (or 1765), in Orange County, North Carolina, and died in 1829 in Tennessee. He married on 26 May 1792, in Orange County, North Carolina, Martha “Patsy” (or Patty) Lloyd;

4. Susannah Estes was born in 1770, and died on 18 January 1872. She married John Cheek, the brother of her sister Elizabeth’s husband James Cheek, on 1 April 1794, in Orange County, North Carolina. John Cheek was born about 1768, in Orange County, and died on 26 July 1827 Orange County, North Carolina.



Battle of Guilford Courthouse, NC, March 1781

Thomas' brother, Moses, however was a patriot soldier, as were many others in the family.  The Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northeast Arkansas, Izard Co. [Page 942] says, "Burris Estes was an officer in the War for Independence, and had in the same army with himself eleven cousins of the same name and some of one father.  He drew from the government 600 acres of land, and located his claim in Henry County, Tennessee, where he passed his last days." [Burris being born in 1765 might have been too young to have actually participated in the fighting].

Moses received a land bounty from the government for his military service, and since he died during the War, leaving no children, his oldest brother, Thomas Jr. became his heir.  Burris, being Thomas Jr.'s only son, applied for Moses' bounty land in Henry County, Tennessee and received it [later causing Thomas' and Moses' other brothers and Burris' own sisters to sue him for a share of it.]


From Judge John William to Governor [Josiah] Martin 53

Hillsborough, 27th June, 1782

Dear Sir:

We, last night, brought to a conclusion, after a very troublesome term, the Court of Sessions, of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and the General Gaol Delivery held here the 17th inst., for the District of Hillsborough, and have pretty well delivered the jail by trying some and binding over to the Supreme Court the most exceptional characters and by enlisting into the Continental service, pursuant to your proclamation of the 25th ult., most of those less obnoxious.

During this term, seven have been capitally convicted, to wit: Samuel Poe for burglary; Thomas Ricketts, Meredith Edwards, Thomas Eastridge and Thomas Dark, for high treason; William Duke and Thomas Hunt, for horse stealing.

And as I suppose some supplications may be made for mercy, I have though proper to represent to your Excellency, the true point of view, in which the several persons condemned, stood before the Court, the heinousness of their crimes and their moral characters in life, so that if any should be spared, you may be enabled to judge who are the less necessary victims of the policy of law. * * * *

Meredith Edwards and Thomas Eastridge were also indicted for treason. They are both men who appeared to be popular among the Tories and very active, and men of Fanning's gang, though generally kind and humane to the prisoners while in their custody, and seemed much to lament the fate of their particular neighbors whom they had taken with Governor Burke and express some uneasiness at seeing them in captivity. As to the general moral character of those two men, it seems to be pretty good, only great Tories Eastridge from the commencement of the times. * * * *

The court considering the first three proper victims of policy and the great difficulty there is of keeping them safe in jail, has ordered their execution of Friday, the first of February, only giving so much time as not to shut the door of mercy against them.

The day of execution for the four latter [including Eastridge] is fixed to Friday, the first day of March next, and as they have some hopes of obtaining a pardon on condition of their enlisting into the service, I believe there will not be much danger of their escaping.

At this court, the Attorney General did not attend, and the court got the favor of Colonel Alfred Moore to officiate as Atto. for the State, and without whose assistance, which the Court experienced, in a very essential manner, they could not have carried on the business of the Court, and as he gave up all advantages of a Court, which he might have made very beneficial, I make no doubt that the General Assembly will give it proper consideration.

For my own part, I have no great encouragement to ask favors of the people, yet, Sir, I shall be obliged to you to give a hint to the General Assembly that it is necessary to point out some way of ascertaining the depreciation of the small pittance granted to Judges and some way for the payment of it. The present collection, I believe, is chiefly certificates and that is a currency which will not pass for expences.

I have the honor to be, Dear Sir,

your most obedient, humble servant.

John Williams

The Petition of Sundry Inhabitants of

Hillsborough District

on behalf of Thomas Estridge. 54

To the Honorable, the Assembly of North Carolina:


As Clemency and Mercy have ever been attributes of our Legislature, and your honorable body out of tender compassion to the feelings of humanity, have ever been ready to spare such as are truly penitent of those unhappy Citizens who have been deluded by the artifices of the enemy, we pray your attention to the following favorable circumstances in the character of him who is the object of this petition and is now under sentence of death for high treason.

He is not charged with felonies or exceptions from the proclamation. The uniform uprightness of his private character, his surrendering himself within the privilege of the proclamation, his humane treatment and great good services to our citizens who had fallen into the hands of our enemies. Which some of us have experienced, his sincere penitence for his past offences, joined to the consideration of a wife and a number of small children, we hope will induce your honorable body to mark him as an object of mercy.

[Signators included Thomas Cate, who married Sarah Estridge (Estes) sister of Thomas Estes I (the children of Sylvester), another Thomas Cate, and Joseph and John Allison, relatives of Estes kin. A Cate descendant, Emilia “Millie” Cate, married Thomas Estes II's grandson, Thomas Estes in 1820.]

Reprieve to Prisoners in Hillsborough 55

By virtue of the powers and authorities in me vested, I do by these presents reprieve until the first day of April, which shall be in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty three, the following persons who were convicted and sentenced to die at the last Sessions of Over and Terminer and general Gaol delivery held for the District of Hillsborough, at Hillsborough, that is to say: Meredith Edwards and Thomas Estridge for high treason; William Duke and Thomas Hunt for felony, to commence from the said first day of March on condition that they shall severally and respectively on or before the first day of March next, enlist as soldiers into the line of the said state in the Federal Army for one year; and I do further by these presents declare that the said Meredith Edwards, Thomas Estridge, William Duke and Thomas Hunt shall respectively be deemed fully and absolutely pardoned for the offenses aforesaid after the aforesaid first day of April, provided that they respectively produce to the Governor or Commander in Chief for the time being, or one of the Judges of the Superior Courts, certificates from the Commander in Chief or the Adjutant General of the Southern Army or of the Land Forces of the United States, of the due and faithful performs of the terms of enlistment.

Provided always, and it is hereby declared that if any of the said men shall desert from the service of the United States, or be found from the Army except by permission or command of an officer duly authorized to give such permission or command, this reprieve shall be null and void to all intents and purposes, as respecting such as shall desert or be found as aforesaid, and the sentence shall in each case be in full force.

Given under my hand,
T. Burke


(c. 1745-50 - bef. 1816)

Elizabeth “Betty” Burroughs was born 1745-50, and died before 1816. She married Thomas8 “Estridge” (Estes) II before their first child was born in 1762. James Carroll, a descendant from her union with her second husband, has transcribed the following from the North Carolina Archives:

"Widow Estridge", who had been assessed for 140 acres on the tax roll in 1786, suddenly disappeared on the 1787 tax roll, when Michael Carroll appears and was assessed for 140 acres. Below is a portion of a deed:

Ralph McNair to Thomas Estis - executed August 2, 1777 - " consideration of one hundred and twenty five pounds Current money of Virginia...parcel of land situated lying and being ... on the Waters of Newhope Containing by estimation two hundred and eighty acres of Land..." The land adjoined that of George Reeves. Witnesses were Jas. Anderson, John Telfair, and Will. Burges.

Entered at the bottom of the deed in new handwriting is the following:

                                                                Orange County November Term 1797

The Execution of the within Deed was duly proved in open Court by the oath James Anderson a Subscribing Witness there to and ordered to be registered.

Deliv'd. Betty Carroll                                           Morgan Ha--- CC

Deeds were often not recorded in court until years afterwards, but the recording clerk was thoughtful enough to record who delivered the deed, Betty Estridge/Estes Carroll. There are a number of the deeds involving Michael Carroll which list Burroughs as an adjoining land owner, including the one above. A portion of which is reproduced below.

Burres/Burrus Estes to Joseph Shaw  - executed January 13, 1823 - $450. dollars - "... a certain tract of land ... on the Waters of Newhope Containing One hundred & Seventy Six acres more or less. Beginning at a Post Oak Moses Carrols corner running with his line North eighty five degrees West Seventy chains & twenty five links to a Stake said Carrols corner on Frederick Reave's line, thence with said line South Twenty eight chains & Ninety links to s stake & point on said line east Seventy chains to a small Hickory corner of said Baldwin on the line of Captain John M Kirall thence with said line North Twenty one chains & fifty links to the first station…." This deed was filed in court in February, 1824.

The 1786, Orange County Tax list for the St. Thomas District listed Elizabeth Estrage (Estes) with 140 acres, no white polls, no black polls. James Cheek had no acreage, one white poll, no black polls. Robert Cheek had 300 acres, 1 white poll, no black polls.

20 February 1787, Michael Carrel signed a bond in Orange County for marriage to Betty Estridge (Estes). The bondsman was Betty's son-in-law, James Cheek.

The 1787, Orange County Tax list for the St. Thomas District listed Michael Carrel with 140 acres, one poll. There was no listing for Elizabeth Estrage (Estes).

The 1788, Orange County Tax list for the St. Thomas District listed Michael Carrel with 140 acres, one white poll, no black polls.

The deed description of the land Burroughs sold when he moved to Tennessee is as follows:

Burres/Burrus Estes to Joseph Shaw - executed January 13, 1823 - $450. dollars - "... a certain tract of land ... on the Waters of Newhope Containing One hundred & Seventy Six acres more or less. Beginning at a Post Oak Moses Carrols corner running with his line North eighty five degrees West Seventy chains & twenty five links to a Stake said Carrols corner on Frederick Reave's line, thence with said line South Twenty eight chains & Ninety links to s stake & point on said line east Seventy chains to a small Hickory corner of said Baldwin on the line of Captain John M Kirall thence with said line North Twenty one chains & fifty links to the first station..."

This deed was filed in court in February, 1824.

Michael Carroll, the second husband of Elizabeth Burroughs, was born about 1766, and died 4 January 1824 in Orange County, North Carolina. He married (1) Elizabeth Burroughs 20 February 1787 in Orange County, North Carolina, and married (2) Nancy Pritchett 6 December 1816 in Orange County, North Carolina. She died after 1840.56 Michael Carroll lived on Hope Creek, owning 179 acres in southern Orange County near Cane Creek on the Orange County and Chatham County line.

The Hillsborough, North Carolina Recorder, Friday, 10 January 1824:

On Sunday afternoon the 4th instant, Michael Carroll was found dead in the woods near the road about five miles from this place. For several days he had been indulging his habit of intemperance, and on Saturday evening, somewhat intoxicated, he left a still house about a mile from his dwelling, on his return home, with a bottle of whiskey. From his appearance, it is supposed he died in a fit. He was about fifty years of age.

State of North Carolina, Orange County

"An inquisition conducted, taken at Dwelling House of the late Michael Carroll, in the County aforesaid, on the 5th day of January in the year of Our Lord 1824, before John Faddis, one of the Coroners of and in the said County; upon the View of the body of Michael Carroll, then & there lying dead; upon the Oaths of Thomas Clancy, George Pratt, Charles Cox, Thomas Hastings, Robert Cheek Sr, Geo. Smith, John Van Hooker, John Williams, John Kerr (signature shows Carr), Richard Faucett, Frederick Lloyd, & Wm. Huntington, good and lawful men of the County aforesaid, who being sworn & charged to inquire on the part of the State aforesaid, when, where, how, and after what manner the said Michael Carrol Came to his Death, do say upon their oath, that the said Michael Carrol, on the 3rd day of January inst. in the year aforesaid, was found dead by Alfred G. Williams, & Stanford Cheek, about one half mile north from his, said Carrol's Own House in the Woods on the land of John Williams, that he had no marks of Violence appearing on his body, and that he died by the Visitation of God in a natural way & not otherwise.”

The child of Michael Carroll and Elizabeth Burroughs is:

1. Moses Carroll, born 13 November 1789 in Orange County, North Carolina, and died January 28, 1874 in Carroll County, Georgia. He married Elizabeth Workman 10 February 1810 in Orange County, North Carolina, daughter of John Workman and Sylvia Cate, born 2 July 1791 in Orange County, North Carolina, and died 19 April 1874 in Carroll County, Georgia. According to his estate papers Moses was the only child of Michael Carroll. He disposed of the property from his father's estate about 1834 and left North Carolina and moved to Georgia. He settled in Floyd County, Georgia, near Rome. There are no land or marriage records found on him in Floyd County. Shortly after 1840 he moved to Carroll County.


(17?? – 1776-81 NC?)

Moses Estes, brother of Thomas II, died 1776-1781 (during Revolutionary War), left no issue. His military service was rewarded with a grant of land, which after his death was claimed by his brother’s son Burroughs Estes and resulted in a lawsuit by other family members. See discussion infra, at 157.


(bef. 1765 - aft. 1790)

James Estes was likely born before 1765, as on 5 November 1785, he signed a marriage bond in Orange County for marriage to Mary Weeks. The bondsman was Joseph Weeks, who signed the 1777 Petition of St. Thomas District and was in the 1790 tax list for St. Thomas District. (Orange Co., NC Marriages, at 99.) His son James sued cousin Burris Estes in 1829 for a share of the bounty land Burris inherited from their uncle Moses Estes. See, infra at 157.

1 Letter dated 6 January 1994 from Kent Estes researcher Donald Bowler to Mary Beckham, the founding editor of the Estes Trails periodical. Estes Trails, Volume 13, No. 3, Spring 1994.

2 E. & A. McAllister, Estes Genealogy: Estes Families of Old Clay Co, MO (1968); Gunson, English Ancestry; and, Gunson, Reminiscences.

3 Samuel is not listed in Abraham or Barbara's wills, nor as a child in the 1755 chancery suit between Elisha and Moses. However, a Samuel Estes was in Spotsylvania County in 1728, with wife Rebecca. This may be a misspelling of Estes, or Sylvester - who vanishes from King & Queen County in 1727 and next appears in Bertie County, NC in 1734. In 1728, Samuel Estes, then of King & Queen County, Virginia, acquired a land patent in Spotsylvania County, suggesting he was born no later than 1708. Amelia County, Virginia Chancery Causes, 1755-007; Virginia Land Patent Book 16; and, Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, Volume III (1695-1732), pp.9, 205, 214, 229, 356, 379, 380, 384, 400.

4 Index of the Rolls of Honor, DAR, Volume 13:6, 79; Index to Revolutionary War Service Records, Volume II, E-K (Nat Hxl Pub. Co. Tenn. 1995); John Gwathmey, Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution (Dietz Press, VA 1938); and L.D. Bockstruck, Revolutionary War Bounty Land Grants (Gen. Pub. Co. 1996), at 169.

5 Eastes, Note 1. Much of the information is taken from a booklet published in 1938 by the then vicar, the Reverend Roger Bulstrode, who in turn used sources such as the Reverend Sidney Sargent’s ‘Brief Notes’ of 1912 and research undertaken by the Reverend Wilfred Powell, both previously vicars of St. Mary’s. See also, Charles Coulson, A Walk-Round Guide to the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Nonington, Kent (booklet by Friends of Nonington Church).

6 The earliest Parish register is a vellum bound book of fifty parchment pages held in Canterbury Cathedral Archives, along with a 1930’s transcription. The earliest entry is from 1538, the year Thomas Cromwell ordered every parson to enter the births, deaths and marriages. These entries were made on paper and very few survived for long, so in 1598 Queen Elizabeth I ordered such records to be made on parchment and, parchment copies were later made of the existing registers. The book bears the following inscription: “The Register of marriages, christenings and burialls in the parish of Nonington newly copied out Anno Dmi 1598 and in the 40th year of the Reigne of our Souvereigne Elizabeth by the grace of God Queene of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the faith. Recorde Gulielmo Brownsmith Pastore et curato ibidem. Nascimur, Vivimus, Morimur. Nascimur et morimur quid enim fuit utile nasci.” The last entry in this first register is in 1728/9. There is a gap from 1650 until July 16th 1657. A note was made in the Register “A new register to be kept in the parish of Nonington the Justices beinge to marry and the Regisser to aske the 29th of Septr. This to be put in execution in the yeare 1653. A simple and silly practice.” History of St Mary’s Church,

7 Leroy F. Eastes, Birth Place of Abraham Estes, excerpted from The Estes/Eastes Families of America - Our English Roots, Estes Trails, Vol. XXVI, No. 3 (September 2008), at 16-18.

8 Eastes, Note 1, at 92.

9 David Powell, The Arrival of Abraham Estes in Virginia,

10 Niel Gunson The English Ancestry of the American Estes, Estes Trails, Volume 12, No. 3 (1992); and, Niel Gunson, Reminiscences of the Eastes Family in Kent and Australia (Self-published, Australia 1998).

11 Suggestions for further research. The 1673-1682 estate settlements for Lower Norfolk Co, Virginia (where Thorogood Keeling lived), may shed some light on Abraham's movements; the Library of Virginia (state's Archives); and the Maritime Museum in Newport News, Virginia, across from Norfolk may have information.

12 Cavaliers and Pioneers, abstracted by Nell Marion Nugent (1934), Volume II, 1666-1695, p. 234 of Patent Book 7.

13 Abraham Wheelock filed a will in August 1673, stating, "Being now outwards bound on a voyage to the seas and with all considering the dangers hazards..." Will probated 11/372, Public Records Office, London, Documents E190/59/01 and E190/72/1, Public Records Office, London. Documents found in the Public Records Office in London state that Abraham Wheelock was the shipmaster of the Martha and Good Hope. The Bobbet-Bobbitt Family In England And America,

14 Marsha Berry, a Bobbitt descendant and consultant for the Suncrest/Park Family History Center, in Orem, Utah is one of the of the primary Bobbitt family historians. Her web site can be seen at

15 William Bobbet was born in 1647 in Suffolk and died in Prince George County, Virginia. He was granted 96 acres on 27 October 1673 near the present day town of Hopewell, all but one acre he sold in 1703. Bobbitt Family History web site, citing Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500’s to 1900’s, Year: 1674 (; Nell Marion Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, Abstracts of Virginia Patients and Grants, Vol. II, 1666-1695, p. 134; Parish registers, 1545-1910, Parish Church of Woodbridge; The Vestry Book and Register of Bristol Parish, Petersburg, Virginia; and, the Bobbit Family Bible.

16 Jacob Wouterazoon Knyff (1638-1681), was a Dutch painter living in London. King Charles II had previously commissioned Knyff to paint port scenes, with the order that his paintings must be what he personally witnessed. Frank B. Cockett's chapter on Knyff in his Early Sea Painters, 1660-1730 (Antique Collectors Club 2006) contains a list of his 37 paintings, some color illustrations and a short sketch of his life and background.

17 See, Stewart A. Estes, The Bills-Hutchins-McCord Families (Mss., 2d Ed. Seattle, WA 2009), at 168.

18 This section is taken from Leroy Eastes, Estes Families, Note 1, at 100.

19 Deanna Barker, Indentured Servitude in Colonial America (Frontier Resources); James Curtis Ballagh. White Servitude in the Colony of Virginia. (Baltimore MD: John Hopkins University Press, 1895); Fredrick M. Binder & David M. Reimers. The way we lived: Essays and Documents in American Social History, Vol. 1; 1607-1877. (Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath & Co., 1992); Joseph Doddridge; Notes on the Settlement and Indian Wars. Parsons, (WV: McClain Printing Co., 1996); David W. Galson; White Servatude in Colonial America: An Economic Analysis. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1981); W. Preston Haynie (Ed.) Northumberland County Virginia Records of Indentured Servants 1650-1795. (Heritage Books, Inc., 1996); Peter Kolchin. American Slavery 1619-1877 (New York, NY: Hill & Wang, 1993); Abbot Emerson Smith; Colonists in Bondage: White Servitude and Convict Labor in America, 1607-1776. (Chapel Hill, NC.: University of NC, 1947); Warren B. Smith: White Servitude in Colonial South Carolina (Columbia, SC: Univ. of SC Press, 1961); and, Charles Woodmason; Journal of C.W. Clerk.

20 See generally, Charles Isaac Elton, The Tenures of Kent (Parker and Co., 1867), 1-12; and, Thomas Robinson John Wilson, The Common Law of Kent: or, The Customs of Gavelkind (A. Strahan for H. Butterworth, 1822).

21 Westmoreland County Records, Virginia, 1682, Beverly Fleet transcription.

22 Gunson, English Ancestry; and, Beverley Fleet, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. 28 (citing Colonial Papers 1657-1687, Call No. 36138, Box 149, Folder 1, and Misc. Microfilm Reel 609, Archives Division, Virginia State Library, Richmond, Virginia, reprinted in Talking to Myself, Kitty Estes-Savage, Estes Trails, 1988, Volume 8, No. 1, pp.5-6).

23 Amelia County Historical Records, Amelia File Box, 1785, May Court, Amelia County, Virginia.

24 This is a compilation of three versions of the Will, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 6 (1899), pages 434-435, Spotsylvania Co., VA Will Book A, page 72 (a portion of the will is missing from the Will book), A copy of the Will found in the records of the Willis family of Orange County, VA (formerly lodged at the James Madison Museum in Orange Co., VA, now at the Orange County Historical Society). This version of the Will is printed in The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 26 (1982), pages 286-287. Estes Yahoo Group, Files Abraham Estes (Estridge). 

25 Information regarding the children is taken from Duke, Estes Family History, Note 15, at 15-17.

26 1790 US Census, 1782-1785 (1790).

27 James Savage, A Genealogical Dictionary of The First Settlers of New England, (Boston, 1860-1862, Reprinted New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. XXVII, No. 2, April, 1873, pp. 135-139)(Genealogical Publ’g Co., Inc. Baltimore, 1965, 1990) Vol. II, at 126-27, ; and, Martin E. Hollick, The New Englanders in the 1600s (New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston: 2006)(citing the Essex Genealogist), at 71 (for Matthew information). See also, Charles Estes, Estes Genealogy, Note 4.

28 Duke, Estes Family, Note 15, (citing Niel Gunson, Note 3; and, Deal Parish, Church records, supplied by L. W. Cozens, Deal, Kent).

29 Estes Trails, Volume 8, No. 1 (1988), pp.2-19.

30 Alvin A. Anderson, Stanley and Allied Families, Descendants of the Quaker Stanley Families of Colonial Virginia, (Gateway Press, Inc. 1996), Volume I, at 308; Gussie Waymire Crider and Edward C. Crider, Four Generations of the Family of Strangeman Hutchins and His Wife Elizabeth Cox (Buck Creek, IN 1935), at 6; and, Thomas Jefferson Twining, The Twining Family -- Descendants of William Twining Sr., (Rev. Ed. 1905), at 18. See also, Estes, The Bills-Hutchins-McCord Lines, Note 43.

31 The Bills line is chronicled in Rita Hineman Townsend, Hutchins-Hutchens, Descendants of Strangeman Hutchins (Gateway Press, Inc. Baltimore MD, 1979); and William S. Hornor, This Old Monmouth of Ours (Genealogical Publ'g Co., Baltimore 1990, originally published 1932), at 116. The Bills are apparently distinct from the Bill family, also of New England. Ledyard Bill, History of the Bill Family (New York 1867).

32 Garmon Estes, Silvester Estes, Estes Trails, Volume 9, no.4, (1989), at 15-16. See also, David Powell, Tracking Sylvester Estes.

33 Nell Nugent, Cavaliers & Pioneers, at 237.

34 Jurat (French from mediaeval Latin jurat, "he swears," Lat. jurare, to swear) is the name given to that part of an affidavit containing the actual oath or affirmation. In addition, the word can refer to the sworn holders of certain offices.

35 Colonial Bertie County, North Carolina, Deed Books A-H, 1720-57, p.152.

36 J. Bryan Grimes, Abstracts of North Carolina Wills, (Genealogical Publ’g Co., Baltimore, Md. 1967), p.136.

37  Colonial Bertie County, NC, Deed Books A-H, p.167

38  Sources listed in Mr. Powell’s footnote 219 include: A Guide to Deal Parish Church, Rev. A.E.O. Anderson, Deal, Kent; Cary-Estes Genealogy; Niel Gunson; The English Ancestry of the American Estes; Jim Estes, The Estes Family Chronicles; Lena Bell Tarter; Sketch of Thomas Estes Family; Grady L. Randolph; The Randolphs of Virginia; Harry Alexander Davis, Billingsley Family in America (1936); Rosalie Edith Dacus, Where Have All the Children Gone?, Louise Co, VA, 1743-1814, p.28; The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol 61, 1953: The Will of Abraham Estes; Salem Headlight, Fulton Co AR, 13/1/1966, article by Vester Williams; Ernest Estes; Estes Trails, October 1981; Estes Trails, July 1984, p.11; Estes Trails, Oct 1983; will of Ephraim Estridge, 1781, Granville Co Will Book 1, p.399; Will of Burris Estes, Henry Co Tenn., 1829, Bk B, pp.61-62; US Census records: Henry Co, Tenn. (1830), Lawrence Co, AR (1840,1850), Orange Co, NC (1790,1800, 1810,1820), Fulton Co, AR (1860,1870,1880,1900), Pulaski Co, KY (1850), Adair Co, KY (1860), Independence Co, AR (1900); Amelia Co, VA, File Box 1784-5, VA State Library; Amelia Co, VA, Deed Book 2, p.227; Bertie Co, NC, Deed Bks A-H; Henry Co, Tenn. Court Minutes for 1829; Henry Co, Tenn. Tax List, 1836, Ansearching News; Henry Co, Tenn. Deed Book D, pp.224-5; Marriage Record Bk 3, Lawrence Co, AR, 1852-1859; Marriage Record Bk A AB, Lawrence Co, AR; Tax Deed, Fulton Co, AR, Vol 8, p.297; Fulton Co, AR Marriage Records, AR History Commission, Little Rock, AR, Vol 1, p.180; Marriages of Orange Co, NC, Brent Holcomb; Early NC Marriages; Orange Co, NC, Marriages; Record of Deaths, Lawrence Co, AR, Roll 18, Book B, p.150,216; NC bounty land for Rev War service, Warrant Number 360, 19/7/1820, Burris Estes; Deal (England) Parish Church Records, L.W. Cozens; Henry Hasting's letter, 1825, from Henry Co Tenn. to Thomas Hastings, Orange Co, NC; Family Bible of Merle Barger Estes, OK; Obituary from the Walla Walla Daily Journal, 18/8/1886; and, letter from Violet Hill, 19/12/1859, Izard Co, AR, to James & Jerlean Patterson (in possession of Jake Mix).

39 Ed Johnson, Thomas Cate: Our First Preacher, The History of Cane Creek Baptist Church, Hillsborough, North Carolina,

40 Minutes of the Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, 1767-1779, Bute County, North Carolina; Safety Minutes, Bute County, North Carolina; Orange County, North Carolina Deed Book 4, p.223; and, Orange County, North Carolina, Marriages, 1785-1868.

41 Mr. Powell’s sources are as follows:
[1] "Abstracts of Louisa County Virginia Will Books: 1743-1801", Nancy Chappelear & Kate Hatch.

[2] "Micajah Estes of Halifax County Virginia Went west to Hawkins County Tennessee: A New Dimension", Garmon Estes. Estes Trails, 1993, 13.1 (fall), pp.9-15. Original source for details on John's children not cited in article.

[3] Extracts from original Louisa Co, VA marriage records from J. Quintus Massie of the Louisa Co, VA, Historical Society. Forwarded by Joe Giles, See also "Estes marriages of Louisa Co, VA", Helen Deveny, Estes Trails, 1995, 14.1 (Aug), p.4.

[4] For example see "The English Ancestry of the American Estes", Niel Gunson. Estes Trails, 1992, 12.3 (spring), pp.2-16.

[5] Will of Thomas Johnson, Louisa Co, VA Will Book 4, p.40. From J. Quintus Massie of the Louisa Co, VA, Historical Society.

[6] Extracts from "Magazine of Virginia Genealogy", Vol,32.2, p.162, Vol,32.4, p.330. Estes Trails, 2000, 18.1, pp.5-6; submitted by Lorraine Cates.

[7] "Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, 1745-1800: Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County", Lyman Chalkley. .

[8] Louisa Co Deed Book C 1/2, p.105.

[9] Louisa Co, VA Will Book 2, p.127.

[10] See David Powell, "Descendents of Abraham Estes", for details and sources. [now found at ]

[11] "Louisa County Road Orders: 1742-1748", Nathaniel Mason Pawlett. Reprinted in Louisa County Historical Magazine, Vol.6, No's, 1 & 2. Information from J. Quintus Massie of the Louisa Co, VA, Historical Society.

[12] For example: Louisa Co, VA Deed Book A:281. John Sr, John Jr & Micajah Estes sign as witnesses. This indicates John Jr. was literate, yet the John Estes who was executor of the 1771 will was illiterate.

[13] "John, Micajah, Elisha, Robert & James Estes", Garmon Estes; Estes Trails, 2000, 18.4, pp.7-11. "A relook at John, Micajah and Elisha Estes of Halifax Co, VA", Garmon Estes; Estes Trails, 1990, 10.1, pp.9-10. "Children & Grandchildren of Abraham Estes", Garmon Estes; Estes Trails, 1998, 16.4, pp.5-7.

[14] Louisa Co, VA Order Book 1776-1772, p.38 (Trinity Parish tithe lists, 1767-1771). Abstracted in: "Louisa County Records you Probably Never Saw", John C. Bell, 1982; and "Louisa County, VA Tithables & Census 1743-1785", Rosalie Edith Davis, 1981.

[15] Halifax Co, VA Patent Book 33:698 (1763), ibid, 39:120 (1770). Cited in "Cavaliers & Pioneers", Nell Marion Nugent.

[16] Hanover Court Records 5:8; Louisa Patent Book 20:565.

[16] Hanover Court Records pp.5-8; Louisa Patent Book 20:565.

[17] Hanover Court Records pp.5-8; Virginia Patent Book 17:44; "Cavaliers & Pioneers", Vol.4, p.105, Nell Marion Nugent.

42 Barbara Beigun Kaplan, Land and Heritage in the Virginia Tidewater: A History of King and Queen County (1993); and, King and Queen County General Highway Map, Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation, 1985.)

43 This section is based on research found in Duke, Estes Family History, Note 15, at 18-21. See also, The State Records of North Carolina, Walter Clark, Ed., Vol. XXII (Nash Bros., Goldsboro, NC 1907), at 607 (listing entries: Thos. Esteridge, 16:1054; Ephm. Esterledge, 16:1053; Mr. Estes, 16:585, 13:285, 294, 284; Charles Estes, 22:418; John Estes, 21:274, 388, 625, 683-84, 17:190, 197, 251, 260, 24:622; Moses Estes, 17:209; Samuel Estes, 17:208). Ephraim, John and Thomas Estes were all taxpayers in Bute County, North Carolina in 1766, and in Orange County in 1779. North Carolina Taxpayers, 1679-1790, Clarence E. Ratliffe, Comp., Vol. 2 (Genealogical Publ’g Co., Baltimore, MD 1990), at 63. Richard and William Estes were taxpayers in these counties as well, as were their Cates in-laws. Ibid, at 63 and 36; and infra at 251.

44 John Estes, Revolutionary War Records, National Archives, Washington, DC, application No. W-17764.

45 Revolutionary War, Pension Records, National Archives, Washington: for Thomas Estes. Zella Armstrong, Some Tennessee Heroes of The Revolution (1933, reprinted, Genealogical Pub. Co. Baltimore: 1975); and, Virgil D. White, Genealogical Abstracts Of Revolutionary War Pension Files, Vol. 1, (Waynesboro, TN, National Historical Publishing Co., 1990).

46 Ash Flat History, Ash Flat Historical Society (Windmill Publications, Inc.; Mt. Vernon, IN, 1998), at 413; David Powell, The Estes/Eastes Genealogy SiteRing, A Sketch of the Thomas Estes and Elizabeth Burroughs Family. Estes Yahoo Group.

47 David Powell, Descendants of Abraham Estes (1647-1720),, nn. 206, 212, 219, 318, 401, 418, 783, 1009, 1017, & 1092.

48 A Sketch of the Thomas Estes and Elizabeth Burroughs Family: Thomas Estes and Elizabeth (Betty) Burroughs, Estes Group, Yahoo, Files,

49 A Sketch of the Thomas Estes Elizabeth Burroughs Family, Estes Yahoo Group, ; and, Estes Family, Descendants of Burris (Burroughs) Estes, Sr.

50 In Colonial times when a couple was planning to marry, the prospective groom took out a bond from the clerk of the court in the bride’s county of residence as surety that there was no legal obstacle to the proposed marriage, such as another living spouse, or that one was not of legal age. This proof was "bonded," usually with a sum of money, and the bondsman was often a relative, not necessarily a parent, of the bride. A marriage bond, license, return, and register are four different processes. The clerk issued a license, which was taken by the couple to their minister. After the marriage was performed, the minister sent a "return" to the clerk, signifying that the marriage had taken place, and the marriage was recorded or registered.

51 W. A. "Bill" Estes, Descendants of Archibald Burris Estes and Sarah Isabelle Pine, (Historical Publications Utah 1983), at xiii (available online at the BYU Library The North Carolinian (1964), at 1340); and, North Carolina Revolutionary Papers, Folder 310 (1820)).

52 Thomas Estridge Petition and Clemency Records, Estes Yahoo Group,

53  State and Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. 16, Vol. 19 pp. 931-33, Executive Letter Book, State Records, pg. 345-347.

54 North Carolina State Records, Vol. 19, pg. 931-932.

55 North Carolina State Records, at 914-15.

56  Al Turner, Descendants of Michael Carroll of Orange County, North Carolina (Rex, Georgia: Privately printed, 1996).