RECORDS PERTAINING TO RICHARD SORRELLS (1708 – 1773)
Research and Compiled by
Russell Beasley Sorrells III 1982
The earliest record we have for the older Richard is 1742 but unfortunately it does not prove his county of residence. This record, like others for the man, utilizes phonetic spelling of the surname and renders it Syrils which is quite consistent with the original pronunciation of the name which placed the accent on the second syllable.
1742 October 25
John2 Syrils, son of Richard1 Syrils baptized by Rev. John Craig at Tinkling Springs Presbyterian Church, Augusta County VA, Robert Cunningham sponsor. As revealing as this record is, it still raises more questions that it answers. Since Augusta Co. was almost exclusively occupied at that time by Scotch Irish from Northern Ireland one could draw the conclusion that Richard was from Ireland. However, the evidence is not conclusive as I will attempt to show in the other records we have of him.
The Blue Ridge Mountains served as a natural barrier between the two amicable but very distant cultures of the Scotch-Irish west of the Blue Ridge and the settlers of English descent east of the Blue Ridge into Augusta Co. before 1745, and even as late as the American Revolution. Augusta County was considered a strong hold of the Scotch-Irish. General Daniel Morgan expressed his admiration for their war like nature by saying that “if all else failed he would retire to the valley of Virginia and there with the Scotch-Irish could raise his banner in defiance of the English indefinitely.” So the importance of establishing Richards’ County of residence is clear, but unfortunately cannot be proved. My Great Grandfather, James T. Sorrells wrote that his Sorrells ancestors came to America from an unknown county in Ireland. It is possible however, that he was thinking of his maternal grandmother’s family, the Blairs, which did in fact come from Ireland. The tradition among the Madison County Georgia Sorrells on the hand was that the Sorrells were of “English descent.” Being of “English descent” however does not preclude an origin from North Ireland during the reign of James I (1603 – 1625). There was in fact a Richard Searles who left a will in Newcestown (County Cork) in 1680. The “tradition” among the Walton County GA Sorrells (specifically the father of Rep. Marion Sorrells) was that the Sorrells came originally from Westmoreland Co. Virginia, which might be more consistent with the “English descent theory” since the English Sorrells who came to America in the 1600’s did emigrate to Westmoreland Co. from James City Co. Marvin states however that he doesn’t know how his father gained that opinion and that he may have just seen the Sorrells listed in one of the numerous published Westmoreland works. There is some circumstantial evidence which connects Richard with Westmoreland Co., although it is purely speculative. Richard consistently made his mark with a cross inside of a circle. This mark is consistent with the legal brand the Westmoreland Co. VA Sorrells used on their cattle.
1717 December –
County Virginia Deeds and Wills 1717-1720 page 204
Cattle mark of Anna and James Sorrell, (sic) daughter and son of Thomas Sorrell, a cross and hole in each ear and on under keel in the right and for sou a cross and hole in each ear and an over keel in the right ear. (Note: the under and over keel suggests a notch in the under or lower part of the ear to distinguish between the cattle of Anna and James.) The associations Richard had with the Presbyterian Scotch-Irish in Augusta Co. however be taken lightly. The fact that he is known to have indentured two of his children to Scotch-Irish residents of Augusta Co. strongly suggests distaste for the Church of England and its overbearing nature at that time. I suspect his son John2 was also indentured to Robert Cunningham since he acted as John2’s sponsor for his baptism in 1742. Robert Cunningham was said by Augusta Co. historians to have been a native of North Ireland who settled near Rock Spring in 1735. Presumably this Rock Spring was in Augusta Co. as John1 lived at Rock Spring in Amherst Co.
The records for Richard1’s other known children: Walter, Mary, Margaret and Richard Jr. are included in the records to follow.
1747 August 20 -
Co. Order Book No. 1 page 252
Church wardens to bind Walter Sorrell, son of Richard Sorrell to Joseph Tees. Note: The historians state that the Augusta Co. Vestry was not loyal to the Church of England which could explain why Richard indentured his children in Augusta Co.
1753 May - Order Book
4 1753-1755 page 168
Walter Sorrell having made oath that he had attended six days as an evidence for Joseph Tees at the suit of Samuel McClune. It is ordered that the said Tees pay him 150 lbs of tobacco. Note: that by 1753 Walter1 of age 21 and was therefore born no later than 1732. His brother John was born probably no later than 1730 assuming he had reached usual ‘age of accountability’ of 12, in 1742 when he was baptized. This suggests a birth date of Richard1 of no later than about 1710.
1753 December 4 – Augusta
Will Book No. 2 page 143
Will of Joseph Tees: sons William and Charles, daus. Mary, Eleanor. Testers: John Campbell, Andrew Campbell, Walter1 Sorrells. (+ mark) Proved 17 March 1756 by John and Andrew Campbell. Note: Joseph Tees lived one mile northwest of the South River as it turns north between Back Cr. And Rockfish Run. The Virginia militia who later fought at the Battle of Cowpens mustered at the Widow Tees tavern and marched by way of Lynchburg to Hillsboro North Carolina to join General Daniel Morgan. Morgan states in his book Travels in North America that “he forded the south river where Waynesborough now is and stayed at the little inn of Mrs. Tee’s from County Dawn, Ireland, that “Mrs. Tees had the worst Inn in America, one tin vessel to wash their hands in.” Mrs. Tees was the daughter of Co. John Reid, a son of Thomas Reid who came from County Down Ireland.
Although it may be pure coincidence, if Richard1 was living in that part of Albemarle Co. where John1 eventually settled (now Nelson Co.) he would have been closer to Joseph Tees than to Charlottesville which may explain why he indentured his children in Augusta Co.
May 1759 – Augusta Co.
Book 6, 1757-1761 page 267
On the complaint of Elizabeth Sorrell against Walter Davis is continued at the defendants custody it is ordered that Walter Davis and Robert Cunningham be summoned to appear at the next court to answer the complaint of Elizabeth Sorrell against the said Cunningham for not bringing up and taking care of her daughter, Mary Sorrell, in a Christian like manner, who is bound to the said Robert Cunningham.
Page 289 – On complaint of Mary (sic) Sorrell against Robert Cunningham setting forth that he detained her daughter Mary Sorrell contrary to law and further that he did not provide and take care of her in a Christian like manner upon seeing the indenture by which the said Cunningham detained her, they are of the opinion that it is not according to law and the said girl be delivered to her said parent Richard and Mary (sic) Sorrell. Note: The recorder was obviously confused about the name of Richard1’s wife, giving it as Elizabeth in the first record and Mary in the second. The explanation may be that Richard1 and Elizabeth were residents of Albemarle Co., and therefore unknown to the clerk.)
1761 January 2 – Augusta
Will Book 3, page 120
Wm. Johnson’s will, yeoman, aged about 40 years. Exec. Walter Davis, Teste Wm Scott, Michael O’Donnell, John Cunningham, Robert Cunningham, John Sorel
1762 May 18 Augusta Co.
Book 6, 1757-1761 page 210
Proved (above will) by Scott, John Cunningham and John Sorrell.
August Co. Order Book 8
– 1764, page 236
Walter Davis has Robert Cunningham locked up in debtors goal.
It is not know exactly when John2 and Walter1 left Virginia for North Carolina but John2 first appears in the 1776 tax list of Tryon Co. (now Rutherford Co.) North Carolina and Walter1 appears in the land records of neighboring Burke Co. North Carolina in1778. Both of these counties lay on the typical immigration path from Augusta Co. Virginia to the Carolina’s and this fact gives addition support to the contention that they were brothers. John2 left a will in Rutherford Co. in1813 and mentions a son, Walter2, who had a son, Charles.
The above records are the only know Augusta Co. records pertaining to Richard1, 1708 – 1733 and do not prove his residence although one could easily assume he was a resident of Augusta Co. Virginia. Let us therefore turn our attention to the records of neighboring Albemarle Co., Virginia which at least proves he was living in Albemarle Co. in the 1750’s.
The second oldest record we
of Richard1 suggests, but does not prove an Albemarle Co. residence in
St. Ann’s Parish were John1 Sorrells lived, although Richard1 is known
to have lived in Fredricksville Parrish in earlier years.
1745 September 27 – Albemarle Co. Order Book 1744- 1748, page 74
Upon the petition of Francis Wright against Richard1 Sorrell for 30 shilling supposed to be due upon account. The parties being called and failing to appear it is ordered the said petition be dismissed.
1748 February 14 –
Wills and Deeds 1748- 1752, page 20
John Chiswell of St. Martins parish in Hanover Co. to Francis Wright of St. Ann’s parish, Albemarle Co. farmer, 300a in St. Ann’s parish on “river bank” Davis Creek on south side of Rockfish River.
Although we can’t tell for sure from this 1743 deed record that Francis Wright was a resident of St. Ann’s in 1745, he in all probability was, but there are no earlier deed records for him to prove it. Wm. Wright had 2000a surveyed in the Ragged Mountains on Davis Cr. 28 December 1747.Other records listed in chronological order follow.
1753 July 12 Albemarle Will
2, page 9
To Margaret Sorrel 2 cows and 2 calfs and 150 acres of land where James Francis did live in Louisa Co. when she is of age by the executors as I have ordered then she shall have the price of it paid to her then but her schooling shall be deducted out of it. To Jean Flin 2 cows when she comes of age, my wife’s clothes, Margaret Sorrell must have all excepting one gown. To Stephan Heard, my plantation of 200a. Stephen Heard and Beasel Maxwell executors. Witnesses: Thomas Martin, Zacharias Taylor, Ann Gillmore. Signed James Mahuney, his mark.
Note: Margaret Sorrell apparently was a daughter of Richard1 as evidenced by the 1767 deed records where Richard1, Nathanial Gilbert and Margaret Gilbert sell the 150a by Thomas Walker.
1753 July 4 – Louisa Co.
Book 2, page 517
Indenture between John Dickenson planter of the one part and Margaret Sorrells (sic) child of the other part. John Dickenson sells to Margaret Sorrills for 20 lbs current money of VA land in Louisa Co. between two ridges of mountains containing 150a which is part of a survey patent by Major John Henry containing 1750a the said 150a transferred to John Dickenson by deed acknowledged in Hanover Co. court. Beginning at Wm. Carr’s corner------à together with all houses, orchard’s, gardens ------. Note: It is not clear who James Mahuney was and what his relationship to Margaret might have been. If he was her grandfather it is highly unusual that he did not mention Margaret as being his granddaughter. It is also unclear whether the 150a purchased from John Dickenson was the same 150a willed to Margaret by James Mahuney but it was clearly in that portion of Louisa Co. which became the northeastern section of Albemarle Co. in 1761. My guess at this pint is that Margaret was another indentured child of Richard1’s that James Mahuney apparently developed considerable affection for. If Richard1 ever did reside in Augusta. Co., it may have been at this point that he removed to Albemarle Co.
1758 April 20 – Albemarle
Surveyors Book 1, part 2, page 3.
220a on both sides of Tillery’s Cr. or Br. in Albemarle (now Nelson Co.) surveyed for Richard1 Searles. Land adj. Col. John Chiswells’s line, John Tillery’s line. It was transferred to Cornelius McGuire and from McGuire to Sam’l Woods.
This land was apparently in the neighborhood of John1 Sorrell since John is known to have been a neighbor of Francis Wright who was a neighbor of John Chiswell (see Amherst records)
1761 December 2 page 73 – lying on head of a branch of Moore’s Cr. Surveyed for Hezekiah Jones and transferred to Rd. Sorrels and from Rd Sorrels to Wm. Tomason.
Surveyed by John Staples Jr. (as were many plats in this book)
1759 August 10 – Virginia
Patents, Book 34, page 446
---à For in consideration of 40 shillings granted to Richard1 Surls 400 acres in Louisa Co. on waters of great creek beginning at Nickason Olivers corner -----à James Powers line ---à Francis Fanquier, Lt. Governor at Williamsburg .
The granting of land in colonial Virginia was by no means equitable in that it was entirely dependant upon the discretion who of course had to answer to the King of England. The Virginia Horn Book went as far to say that land patents were given only to the “Kings favorites.” The timing of this grant suggests that Richard1 may have served in the French and Indian War and thereby gained the favor of the colonial establishment. Unfortunately military records of the French and Indian war are practically non-existent. There are records however of a William and a John Sorrell serving. William’s heir, James Sorrell, received a land grant for William’s service, and John served with Col. George Washington.
1763 April 3 – Albemarle
Book 3, page 332
Richard Surls of Albemarle Co. to Thomas Walker, 400a for five shillings, land in Albemarle on waters of great creek bounded by Nickason Oliver’s corner ---à James Powers line --à- the same being granted unto Richard1Surls by patent bearing date at Williamsburg on 12 August 1759 and all houses, buildings or orchards way waters under coureses.
1763 April 4 - Albemarle
Book 3, page 334
Between Richard Surls and Thomas Walker for in consideration of the sum of --?—currant money of Virginia to said Richard Surls in hand paid by said Thomas Walker ------ be the said Richard Surls hath granted, bargained, sold, assigned, released and confirmed unto Thomas Walker in his actual possession now being by virtue of a bargain and sale to him there of made by the said Richard Surls for one whole year by indenture bearing date the bay before the date of these present for 400a in County of Albemarle formerly Louisa on the waters of Great Creek.
Received the fourth day of
from Mr. Issac Spencer the sum of twelve pounds Virginia currency be
consideration mentioned in the within indenture.
1763 September 8 - Albemarle Deed Book 3, page 335
At court held for Albemarle Co. these deeds of lease and release and receipt were acknowledged by Richard Surls party thereto and ordered to be recorded. Elizabeth the wife of the said Richard personally appeared in court and being first privately examined as the law directs voluntarily relinquished her right of Dower conveyed by the said indenture.
1767 March 12 – Albemarle
Deed Book 4, page 344
Indenture made 12 March 1767 between Richard Sorls, Nathaniel Gilbert and Margaret Gilbert, wife of the said Nathaniel Gilbert of Albemarle Co. of one part and Thomas Walker of the same of the other part ---- the for the sum of 12 lbs 10 shillings currant money of Virginia in hand paid by Thomas Walker to said Richard Sorls, Nathaniel Gilbert and Margaret Gilbert wife of Nathaniel Gilbert. Note: that although the purchase of this land in 1753 only mentions the child Margaret as owner, that Richard1 signed the deed of sale indicating that the three of them possibly lived on this land together.
The above series of will and deed records document the fact that the Sorrells name was phonetically spelled. Fortunately the unique signature mark which Richard1 used prove the records all pertain to the same family with the surname spelled variously as Sorrel, Sorral, Sorrell, Sorrills, Surls, Sorels in just these few records. The original of the above deed has miraculously survived the ravages of time and is part of the Dr. Thomas Walker manuscript collection in the Albemarle Co. library.
The Gilberts eventually moved to Fluvanna Co., Virginia, which was created from Albemarle in 1777, and purchased land from Thomas Walker.
1781 March 10 – Fluvanna
Book 1, page 339.
Dr. Thomas Walker of Albemarle Co. to Nathaneil Gilbert of Fluvanna Co. 400a for 40 lbs, land on north branches of Mechunck Cr. patented 20 June 1772
Albemarle Deed Book 3, page
Nathianal Gilbert to Wilson Adams of Louisa Co. for 5000 lbs land on branched of Mechaunk Cr. where Nathanial Gilbert now lives
1781 - Albemarle Deed Book
Wm Hardow to Nathaniel Gilbert of Fluvanna Co. 20a for 500 lbs on great Mechunk Cr.
1800 – Nathaniel Gilbert
Margaret his wife of Fluvanna Co. and Nathaniel Gilbert, their son of
Co. for 20 lbs, land on Mechunk Cr. in Fluvanna Co.
The names of the other Gilbert children might prove interesting but I found no Gilberts in the probate records of Fluvanna Co. so it is possible the left the area after 1800.
Since it is probable that Richard1 did live on the 150a let us examine the records to see if it can be determined where this land was. Referring back to the purchase deed record presented earlier the land was in Louisa Co. in 1753, was purchased from John Dickenson, it was part of a 1750 a patent to Major John Henry, was between two ridges of mountains and it was adjacent to Wm. Carr’s land. When this land was sold in 1767 it was in Albemarle Co. and was adjoining Mordicai Hord and Josiah Wood. We immediately know that the land is in what is now the northeastern corner of Albemarle Co. since the eastern part of Louisa Co. was annexed to Albemarle Co. in 1761 and the county lines in that area of the state have not changed since that date.
1739 - Land Patent Book 18,
1750a to John Henry in Hanover Co. ------ a branch of the south fork of the north fork of the James River.
Note: This patent was granted before Louisa C. was created form Hanover Co., in 1742. At that time the Rivanna River was know as the North Fork of the James River.
Land Patent Book 16, page 5
John Henry of Hanover Co., 1250a on both sides of main fork of James River and Burk (sic) Mountain Cr. Hanover Co. -----north fork of James River. Note: “Burk” Mountain probably refers to Buck Mountain) There are a number of land patents issued to John Henry but the above two patents are in the area of immediate interest. John Henry was no doubt related to the famous orator, Patrick Henry, who was born in Hanover Co. in 1736.
Land patent Book 36, page
1764 – 1769
To Mordicai Hord in Albemarle Co. -------------à south side of north fork of James River known as the cabin land beginning at a beech on the river, up river according to meanders -------à N70* E 32 poles N 59* E 32 poles N 61 * E 16 poles ect. to mouth of a branch to Back (sic) Mountain Rd. along road that leads over the river above the mouth of Sorrels creek -----à to old line formerly Wm. Carr’s (deceased).
Note: I suspect “Back Mountain” refers to Buck mountain which is referred to several times in the records to follow.
The following deed record
the other adjoining land owners.
1773- Deed Book 6, page 303
Thomas Walker and Mildred his wife to George Turyman for 20 Lear, 5 shillings 8pence, 150a adjoining Richard Durrett, Josiah Wood and George Turyman being tracks purchased of Richard Sorls, Nathaniel Gilbert and Margaret Gilbert.
The deed records to follow
establish the land to be in the vicinity of Jacobs Run, Pritties Creek,
Tallolis Branch, Buck Mountain Road and the Orange Co. line.
Mordica Hord, late to Richard Durrett Jr. both of Albemarle CO, 440a on the South fork of Jacobs Run ----- a corner of the patent ----- in Henry’s or Hills live.
1765 August 7 – Deed Book
Richard Durrent of Albemarle Co. to Stephen Jones of same 200a in Albemarle Co. on Pritties Cr. ----- to Roger Dicksons line keeping Roger Quarles 1741 patent line.
1774 May 8 - Deed Book 6,
Thomas Jones and Patty his wife, Richard Durrett aned Wm. Brockman of Albemarle to Jason Bucock, 370a, on branch of Pritties Cr. Thos. Gaths line.
1775August 10 - Deed Book
Richard and Mary Wilson of Albemarle to John Jones of Orange CO, 140a in Albemarle on road first below Richard Durretts beginning at pines on small point in county line.
1783 September 17
Martin Burns of Albemarle Co. to John Jones of same 133a on Rivanna River in Albemarle, mouth of Pristis (sic) Cr. Roger Dixons line ----------à John Dickason Jr’s line on Tallolis Branch, down Birth Fork of Rivanna.
1785 November 8
Richard Durrett to John Jones 365a in Albemarle Co., Jasson Bacocks line, John Gaths line, John Jones old tract, to corner in Orange Co., Charles Danglass line, Wm. Flints line.
1785 November 10
John and Ann Jones of Albemarle to Richard Durrett 133a adjacent Wm Cain, Ambros Edward, Priteys Cr., Roger Dixon’s corner, John Dickenson Jr’s line to mouth of branch down the river to mouth of Priteys Creek.
1791 April 14
George Turyman of Albemarle Co. to Geo. Turyman Jr. 240a for 5 shillings all my lands on the ‘off’ side of Buck Mountain Road, being part of three purchases viz. Mills, Hinds and Walker, adjoining Josiah Woods, Richard Durrant, Hezekial Bussey and Mills.
1792 - Deed Book 10,page 180
Thomas and Eliz. Walker to son Frances, 2500a on main road leading thru Wickey Pass on northwest side of Southwest mountain where road intercedes mountain line of Mereiwethers old grant line along road across mountain to oak on side of road at crossing of first branches of Turkey Run to Reubin Lindseys on Orange Co. line.
Note: It is not clear whether this is Dr. Thomas Walker or his son but the land is the same vicinity.
Deed Book 10 page 493
Josiah Wood to son John Wood 590a on Henry’s Cr. a branch of the north branch of James River, Geo. Turyman, Johnson’s line.
1792 – Deed Book 10, page
Josiah Wood to David Wood, two tracts in Albemarle CO. John Johnsons line to Richard Durrants line --à Geo. Turyman;s line ----à oaks on Buck Mountain road ------à to Charlottsville Rd. The other tract given to John Wood.
1799 June 3 - Deed Book
Geo. Tunyman Sr. and Geroge Turyman Jr. to Richard Durrett of Albemarle Co. 267a beginning
at the pointers on the road S 21* w 51 poles, S 55* 9 poles along John Woods line S 70* E 109 poles ---à to Jason Bococks’s line ---à N 21* E 201 poles along ----à Richard Durretts line -----à-down road.
The Thomas Walker who Richard and the Gilberts continued to have dealings with from 1763 until 1781 was the famous Dr. Thomas Walker who, with a group of men he later dubbed the “Knights of the Golden Horseshoe” was given credit for being the first Englishman to explore west of the Appalachian Mountains and in doing so discovered the Cumberland Gap. Dr. Walker lived at his mansion Castle Hill (completed in 1765) in Albemarle Co. and served on Burgess from Albemarle Co. with Thomas Jefferson from 1770 – 1774. He was in fact the guardian of Thomas Jefferson after Peter Jefferson died and no doubt had something to do with Richard’s employment by Thomas Jefferson beginning in 1769. It is also Dr. Walker who provides a connection between John1 Sorrells and Richard1 although the connection is purely circumstantial and may have simply been due to the fact that Dr. Walker was a powerful and influential man and had dealings with a great many men. The connection came through the Meriwether Family, Thomas walker having married Mildred Meriwether.
October 23, 1749 Albemarle
Wills and Deeds 1748 – 1752 page 39
Thomas Meriwether of Hanover Co. to John Sorels (sic) of Albemarle Co. for 40a land in Albemarle Co. but formerly Goochland Co. on both sides of a branch of Mychuncks Cr. called the beaver dam fork, beginning at a corner of Benjamin Wheeler being granted to Meriwether by patent 10 June 1740, 220a signed: Thomas Walker, William Hill
This is one of the few records for John Sorrell which had his name spelled with the terminal S. The family and descendants of Richard1 Sorrells is the only know Sorrell Family which consistently used the S. The land purchased here was in Fredricksville Parrish where Richard1 lived from 1753 until his death in 1773 and not in St. Ann’s parish where John1 lived. Note that it was also on Mychuncks Cr, where Richard1’s daughter Margaret lived with her husband Nathaniel Gilbert.
It is not clear from the
why Richard1 sold his lands in Albemarle Co., since he stayed there
his death in 1773. There is documentary evidence to support the
however and there may be an element of truth in all three: 1) he was
and needed the money, 2) lived on his father’s land, 3) he had married
a landed widow and intended to live on her land. The last possibility
us to a well deserved and previously neglected discussion of who
wife was. The 1759 Augusta Co. court records involving their daughter,
Mary, gives the wife’s name variously as Mary and Elizabeth. This
is unexplainable but may have been because Richard1 and his wife did
live in Augusta Co. and the court clerk, not knowing them personally,
confused concerning the given names of the mother and the daughter.
the name Elizabeth is used consistently in the Albemarle records where
she is known to have lived it appears that her name was definitely
As to her origin or maiden name we are uncertain but the parish records
indicate she was a landed widow by the name of Elizabeth Simmons.
1760 March 25 Fredericksville Parish (Albemarle Co.) Records 1742 – 1787 page 117
Order of Albemarle Court, Peggy Evens, bastard child, the daughter of Elizabeth Simmons, now Elizabeth Sorrel, an apprentice servant unto John McCullok until Peggy Evans becomes 18.
Note: Since the Church of England only recognized marriages preformed by the Church of England, the children born of parents belonging to other denominations were considered to be a bastard. Whether or not that is the case in this instance will be left to the charity of the reader.)
1773 September 11 – From
Jefferson’s Monticello Record Books
Gave Mrs. Sorrels in charity 20/
1743 March – Hanover Co. St
Parish Vestry Book, Part II, page 220
Land of the widow Simmons to be processioned. Note: The Church of England oversaw the administration of land patents granted by the Crown and would issue a directive that the lands be surveyed and deeded to the grantee. Since Louisa Co. was formed from Hanover Co. in1742 there is a bit of a problem in proving the ‘widow Simmons’ was Richard1 wife to be, but it is possible that the land of the widow Simmons lay in that part of Louisa Co. which would eventually become Albemarle Co., in 1768. The question is whether or not St. Paul’s Parish continued to administer the patents in Louisa Co. after it was formed in 1742. The remaining St. Paul’s Vestry Book records indicate that the Sorrells family did live in that part of Hanover Co. which eventually became Albemarle Co
1740 October 14 - St.
Parish Vestry Book Part I, page 116 (Hanover Co.).
To Martin Sorrell to be lodged with Major Henry, 660 L
1740 October 14 - St. Paul’s Parish Vestry Book Part I, page 119 (Hanover Co.).
To Martin Sorrell to be lodged with the church wardens 1000L
Note: If Martin was performing a service for the church it was not specified
1740 October 14 - St.
Parish Vestry Book Part I, page 119 (Hanover Co.).
To Richard Richardson on account, Martin Sorrell 1L, Patrick Henry, minister
Note: This Patrick Henry was undoubtedly a relative of the orator and statesman. Patrick Henry was born in Hanover in 1736. The Martin Sorrell record is a mystery especially considering the large sum of money appropriated for him. The fact that he was in the neighborhood of Major Henry whose land would eventually be owned by Richard1 and his daughter Margaret may be significant. A Martin Sorrell received a land patent in 1715 in James City Co. VA. He is believed to be a son of one of the original Sorrell immigrants, Capt. Robert Sorrell, who came to James town in 1635 and was eventually killed fighting for the Crown in Bacon’s Rebellion in 1675. If the Martin Sorrell referred to in the Hanover Co. Vestry records was elderly, then he could have been Richard1’s father and may be the same Martin Sorrel referred to in the James City Co., records. The records of James City Co. reveal that Martin Sorrell was an heir of one Richard Hamlett which could possibly explain the source of the given name Richard.
In summary concerning Elizabeth Simmons Sorrells, it appears that since the Sorrell family lived in the same parish as the ‘widow Simmons’ whose land was procession in March 1743 the said widow was probably the Elizabeth Simmons who married Richard1 Sorrells. More will be said about her later but it should be pointed out at this point that she was probably not the mother of Richard2 Sorrells (1744 – 1802) since she was still unmarried in 1743, furthermore she had the child Peggy Evans sometime after 1742 since Peggy was not yet 18 in 1760. On the other hand if Richard2 was truly about 45 at his death ca. 1804 then he would have been young enough to be Elizabeth’s child.
The following record is a petition made to the Virginia House of Burgess asking for a large grant of land in what is now Northern West Virginia. The anticipation of being granted this petition could possibly explain why Richard1 sold the 150a in 1767.
1768 December 23 – To the
of Honorable Norborne Baron de Battetoun his Majesty’s Lieutenant and
General of Virginia and Vice Admiral of the same and the Honorable
thereof. The petition of George Rogers, John Winston, Phillip
John Havkins, William Plumer Thirston, John Todd, John Rice, Nathanniel
Pendleton, Bernard Moore, William Overton Winston, Joseph Rogers, John
Rogers, William Smith, Augustine Moore, John Pendleton, James Winston,
Lewis Webb, Benjamin Lewis, Henry Pendleton, John Page Sr., Warner
Jr., Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Strachan, John Walker, Alexander
John Johnson, Patrick Morton, Richard Surls, Joseph Coleman, Ambrose
James Boyd, Edward Green, Edward Brown, Thomas Dowel, John McColley,
Ferguson, John Sutton, Joseoh Hail, Edward Barbaer, William Shinalt,
White, William Dandridgejr, Isaac Davis, Mondidicai Hord and William
humbly showeth that his Majesty’s Title to the Lands situate on the
side of the river Ohio having been lately recognized by six Nations of
Your Petitioners humbly pray that they may have leave to take up and survey forty five thousand acres of land to begin on the lower side of the little Kanhawa River at its confluence with the river Ohio and to run up the said Little Kanhawa and down the River Ohio to complete the said quantity in one or more surveys. And they will pray (end of record)
Note: There are a number of significant and interesting names in this petition, most of them can be identified as being residents of Albemarle Co. VA from the other records for that county. Probably the most significant name is that of John Rogers, for it was also a John Rogers who received the original land grant in Elbert Co. Georgia from which Richard Sorrells2 (1744 – 1802) purchased 100a around 1800. (See Elbert Co. tax records to be presented later). Although it is possible the Elbert Co. John Rogers is a different John Rogers the other circumstantial evidence connecting Richard2 Sorrells to Albemarle Co. and the older Richard is in combination with this record gives overwhelming evidence to my mind that Richard2 (1744 – 1802). It may also be significant that Richard1 was beside Joseph Coleman who may have been a relative of John Sorrell’s last wife, Mary Coleman Ellis Sorrell.
This petition is the earliest record we have documenting the association of the Sorrells family with Thomas Jefferson and was the record which prompted me to search the Jefferson records. I could find no record at the Virginia State Archives of the grant having been approved which is not surprising in view of the Crown’s policy at that time, instituted by the Proclamation of 1763 which forbade settler’s moving west of the Appalachian Mountains, although that policy had been somewhat alleviated by 1768.
Historians of the American Revolution however believe that policy was one of the courses of that war. The best land east of the Appalachians was already under cultivation and the fact that people were raising large families at that time also added to the pressure for westward expansion. Slave labor significantly increased the acreage a given family could manage and although a father might own several hundred acres it was not enough land to support him and his several sons and their families. Many families of course did cross the Appalachians before the American Revolution but at considerable risk financially as well as physically. Daniel Boone himself is said to have lost his land three different times to a ‘more legal’ title after having settled and cleared it.
In view of this apparently rejected petition it is not surprising that all of the known and suspected sons of Richard1’s fought against the British during the Revolution. Gov. Dunsmore stated regarding the Proclamation of 1763 that “they (pioneers) acquire attachment to place, but wandering about seems engrafted in their nature. They forever imagine the lands further off are still better than hose upon which they are already settled.”
In spite of the Crown’s opposition to settlements beyond the Appalachians the Greenbrier Valley was settled by 1755. (The Greenbrier Land Company was formed in 1749) and by 1772 it is estimated there were 20,000 whites in what is now West Virginia.
THE THOMAS JEFFERSON FARM ACCOUNT RECORDS
Although these records were
to me by Mr. Baer, the curator of Monticello over 20 years ago, they
now copyrighted. Consequently only the most significant information has
been extracted and presented below.
Richard Sorrells1 began to work for Mr. Jefferson on 28 August 1769 and continued until his death sometime between 29 March 1773 and 10 February 1774. Working with Richard for Mr. Jefferson were several other men described variously by Mr. Jefferson as “William Sorrels”, “Billy Sorrels”, “and another” and a “boy of him”. The boy may have been Samuel, another possible son of Richard born 1756 who incidentally named a son Samuel Jefferson Sorrels. Mr. Jefferson consistently spelled the name as Sorrels, with one “l” and the suffix “s”. In 13 October 1774, Mr. Jefferson refers to “old Sorrels judgment” which strongly infers that Richard was the oldest member of the clan and that William (or Billy) was a son and not a brother. Richard’s widow sold all his goods at public auction on 10 February 1774 and the monies were used to indemnity Mr. Jefferson for his debt incurred in a lawsuit between Richard1 and Richard Davenport before 29 March 1773. Mr. Jefferson refers to Richard1 as his assumpsit and the lawyer for Mr. Jefferson and Richard1 was a Mr. Henry who may have been Patrick Henry.
Mr. Jefferson always politely referred to Richard1’s wife as “Mrs. Sorrels” and never mentions her given name. On 11 September 1777, approximately three years after Richard1 death, Mr. Jefferson gave “Mrs. Sorrels” 20/ in charity. Six days later Elizabeth Sorrels was given F6 at the Fredericksville Parish poor house.
It is not obvious whether the earliest records of employment pertain to work done at Monticello or at Mr. Jefferson’s original residence at Shadwell which was several miles east of Monticello on the Rivanna River. Planting began at Monticello in 1767 and construction began in 1769. In 1770 Shadwell burned and the Jefferson family moved to Monticello.
The curator’s only comment about these account records was that compared to the records of other workers was that Richard1 enjoyed an unusual measure of trust, that Mr. Jefferson was normally very businesslike with his employees. This grand old patriarch was either an unusually honest man for that time or that he was smart enough to fool Mr. Jefferson.
I suspect that Richard1 was living on the 450a owned by supposed father, John Sorrell, at the time he worked at Monticello. John had previously lived here until he removed to what is now Nelson Co. The land was just east of Monticello and near the residence of Wm. Henderson mentioned in the Richard Sorrels Jr. order book records and the earlier records pertaining to John Sorrell. It should be noted that after the death of Richard1, Richard Jr. apparently dropped the Jr. and signed the will of Josiah Huckstep in July simply as Richard Surles.
1777 September 17 – Fredericksville Parish Records – At Vestry held at poor house to Elizabeth Sorrels, provided she is a resident of this parish one year to commence from 1 January 1778 L6. Note – This record suggests that Elizabeth had known relatives outside of Albemarle Co. who could assist her in her need.
We come now to what was the only Virginia record found which was believed to be for Richard Sorrells, 1744 – 1802. It is a very important record as far as proving his parentage because it shows that he was associated with the same people Richard1 Sorrells 1708 – 1773, and Thomas Jefferson were associated with. Of paramount importance is the fact that the record occurs after the death of older Richard1 and therefore could not be a record for him.
1773 July 1 – Albemarle
Book 2, page 316
Will of Josiah Huckstep of Albemarle Co. Teste: Richard Surles, James (x) Hill, Sarah Maigley.
At court July 1774, executors Henry Mullins, Walter Mouzley, Thomas Garth.
Both Henry Mullins and Walter Mauzley had purchased items for Thomas Jefferson at the estate sale of the older Richard1. The association is further demonstrated by the following deed record.
1777 July 21 – Albemarle
Book 7, page 03
Deed from Thomas Jefferson to Miles Garthright, land in Albemarle Co., witnessed August 8, 1777 by Walter and Sarah Mouzely of Bedford Co., VA.
The fact that Richard2 was an adjoining neighbor of a Miles Garthright in Jackson Co. Georgia ca 1800 provides further evidence that he was associated with the Albemarle Co. Mouzley’s and Garthright’s and strongly suggest that he was a son or grandson of Richard1’s (1708 – 1773 ).
Miles Garthright apparently moved from Albemarle Co. to Bedford Co. VA before moving on to GA as
Evidenced by the following petition he signed. Bedford Co. Legislative Petition, (no date given but was ca. 1781) against dividing the county, Russell Parish, Miles Garthright, Jacob Moon Jr., William Moon, Sameul Saule or Sorrle. The hand writing was not clear but it is not believed that Richard2 and his brother Samuel lived for a time in Bedford with the Garthrights before moving on to NC and GA. The NC and GA records need to be searched more thoroughly for Miles Garthright. I searched the available deed, will, court and tax records of Bedford Co., VA, however and found no Sorrells records what so ever. There was, however, a Charles Sneed living in Bedford Co. as early as 1774.
I think it would be worthwhile at this point to review the records of William1 Sorrells since it is likely that he was a brother of Richard2. Since Mr. Jefferson referred to the older Richard1 as ‘old Sorrels”, it would be helpful to determine just how old William was at that time even though the record suggest Richard1 was the patriarch of the clan. The earliest record found to date for a William in the Albemarle Co. area is in neighboring Orange Co. in 1753. The Orange Co. line was only a few miles from the land Richard1 and his daughter Margaret owned in Fredericksville Parish.
1753 - Orange Co.
Book 5, page 439
Grand jury against W. Sorrel and Ann Justries for living in adultery.
1753 - Orange Co. Order
5, page 466
Ann Justries had bastard child in St. Thomas Parish and is to pay 500 lbs tobacco or 50 shillings fine. Wm. Sorrell not summoned.
1753 - Orange Co. Order
5, page 477
Grand jury against Wm. Sorrell, Mary Morris and Marry Cobb
1753 - Orange Co. Order
5, page 489
Wm. Sorrell pleads not guilty, Lack Lewis atty. for Sorrell. Trail set for next court.
1753 - Orange Co. Order
5, page 505
Mary Morris and Nary Collins dismissed.
No further mention is made
William1 so his fate will remain unknown. The court case may possibly
an example of the known Church of England harassment of dissident
Since Richard2 and Mildred Sneed Sorrells were know to be primitive
it is likely that their Virginia relations were as well If this is the
same William2 mentioned in the Jefferson accounts then it appears he
born no later than about 1733. For William1 to have been father to
would require a later birthday for Richard2 than the traditional 1744.
The next record we have for William in Albemarle Co. is the following deed record. It is assumed this William and the 1784 Surry CO. North Carolina tax list William2 are the same.
1773 April 8 Albemarle Co.
Book 6, page 107-108
Indenture between Soloman Nelson for 30L current money of VA. To him in hand paid before the ensealing and delivery of those present, the receipt whereof is acknowledged confirm to Wm. Sorrell and his heirs, land in Albemarle Co. in the cove of one of the Raged Mountains “beginning at poplar in Henry Terrels line and running new lines thence in south 40*E 44 poles to a chestnut tress then due South 62 poles to red oak south 35* West 78 poles to chestnut oak N 48*W 60 poles to pointers, north 37* west 44 poles to pointers on said Terrells, thence with his line South 47* East 120 poles to first statron together with all houses, orchards, gardens, trees, waters and water courses, mines, minerals, wood, underwoods, profits and commodities.” Margarette wife of Soloman Nelson relinquishes her right of dower. Wit. Tuck Woodson, Clerk of Court.
1773 April 8 Albemarle Co.
Book 6, page 110
Indenture bet. Henry Emmerson and Wm. Sorril both of Albemarle Co., for 2L 10 shillings current money of VA to him paid before the encasing and delivery of these presents receipt is hereby acknowledged land in Albemarle Co. on waters of Mechanns River, containing 7a more or less beginning at Soloman Israels corner in Henry Terrells old line thence running westward to a gum tree equal on thence south to a corner chestnut being on a branch running from Edward Carters old plantation thence up the said branch to a corner permission tree I Henry Terrells old line thence keeping the said line to the first station together with all houses, orchard, gardens, trees, waters and water courses.
It is interesting that
purchases this land at about the time Richard died in 1773 which
to me that William2 was a younger son of Richard1 who worked with him
his death and then went off on his own and purchased land.
there is no record for the sale of this land.
Soloman Nelson appears later in Surry Co., NC associated with a very interesting name, Benjamin Snead, the name of one who was believed to be John1 Sorrell’s son-in-law.
1785 August 6 – Surry Co.
Deed Book C, page 152-153
Benjamin Sneed witness for Soloman Nelson concerning 43a on the Arrarat River. Mat Cox. Wm. Weaver, Bichard2 Sorrells and his presumed ‘step-father-in-law’, Robert Harris were also on the Arrarat River in 1784.
There is a badly faded 1780 Rutherford Co., NC tax list with a name which could possibly be William2 Sorrell. The 1800 Burke Co. census lists a Margaret Sorrells (between 26-45) who is apparently a widow. Since William2 disappears from the records after the 1784 Surry Co. tax list, Margaret may be his widow. A more through search of the Burke Co land records may turn up more Sorrells. The Burke Co. deeds were burned but the state land entry records are intact.
Records Pertaining to John Sorrell (died 1783)
Goochland Co. Deeds – Deed Book 1, 1728-1734 page 40 (Microfilm Reel No.1)
Robert Adams to John Sorrell for L10 100a beginning at “ye point of ye upper fork of ye Broad Branch on Tuckahoe Creek running up both branches to a line of markt trees crossing said fork from ye head of one branch to ye other together with all houses, orchards, gardens, fences and other appurtenances” wits. Geo. Payne, Joseph Atkins
Goochland Co. Deeds –
Book 1, 1728-1734 page 74 (Microfilm Reel No.1)
1728 May 20
John & Sarah Tuly of Goohland, St. James Parish to Ed. Scatt.
These Tuly may be related to the grandmother of Dorcus Sanders Sorrells who was a Tuly.
1729 December 16 -
Co. Deeds – Deed Book 1, 1728-1734 page 156 (Microfilm Reel
John Sorrell to Sylvanus Pumfree, Margaret Pumfree and Sylvanus PumfreeJr. For L10 100a beginning at point of upper fork of both branches on Tuckahoo Cr. running up both branches. Wit. Robert Adams, John Bovois. (Signed by John Sorrell with a seal)
1731 May 18 - 1729 December
- Goochland Co. Deeds – Deed Book 1, 1728-1734 page 248
Charles Johnson of St. James parish, Goochland Co. to John Sorrell of same for 5900 lbs tobacco, 150a in Goochland Co. on North Side of James river beginning at old Spanish white oak then to westward to corner scrub and white oak then to westward to corner red oak then to South to corner white oak on the broad branch, up branch according to meanders to beginning with all houses, orchards, gardens and other appurtenances. Wit. Rob Payne, James Barret, Benj. Woodson. Memo 18 May 1731 quiet and peaceable possession and seizing of lands was made by John Sorrell
1731 December 12 -
Co. Deeds – Deed Book 1, 1728-1734 page 248 (Microfilm Reel No.1)
Goochland Co. Deeds – Deed Book 1, 1728-1734 page 337
Silvanus and Margaret Pumphrey of St. James Parish Goochland co. to John Sorril of same for 19 lbs land in St. James parish 100a bounded by Thomas Wadloo’s and Matt. Collings lines on the broad branch of John Sorrell. Wit. Geor. Payne, Matt Collings, Robt. Payne
1734 September 17 -
Co. Deeds – Deed Book 2, 1734 – 1736 page 12 (Microfilm Reel No.1)
John Sorrell of Goochland Co. to Thomas Owen of Henrico for 150 bu. Wheat land on N. side of James river beginning at Spanish white oak on the broad branch up a draw to corner re oak then to westward to corner scrub and white oak then to westward to corner red oak then to South to corner white oak on the broad branch up branch according to meanders to beginning with all house ect. 150a. wit. William, Thoms. Anderson, Chas. Allen
1734 September 17 - At court Mary the wife of John Sorrell relinquished her right of dower.
July 1735 14 - Goochland
Deeds – Deed Book 2, 1728-1734 page 135 (Microfilm Reel
John Sorrell of Goochland to Chars. Johnson for L10, 100a in Goochland Co. on Tuckahoo Cr. granted to John Sorrell by patent 6 April 1734 beginning at corner black oak of his own land on Webbers’ line thence on Webber’s line E 2*N 240 poles to corner pine on Charles Johnson’s line thence on Johnson’s line 45*W 128 poles to corner pine, N44*W 74 poles to corner pine, W3*S 28 poles to corner black oak on said Sorrils own land on his line S6*W 102 poles to beginning. Wit. Ed Scott, J. Williams, Arthur Hoggatt.
Memo – 10 June 1735, possession taken of land 21 March 1737 (sic) Mary wife of John Sorrell relinquishes her right of dower in land.
1738 March 10 – Goochland
Deeds - Deed Book 3, 1737 – 1742 page 242 (Microfilm Reel
Wm. Perry to John Sorrell for 10L land in St. James Parish, Goochland Co. 130a, beginning at gum tree on south side of Rivanna being the upper corner tree of Charles Lewis land running S 34*W 170 poles to pointers thence N39* W 142 poles to pine thence N 40* E 172 poles to poplar on the river thence down the river to beginning. Wit. Thos. Moorman, Wm. Mathis, John W. Howard.
Note: This John Howard may have been a son-in-law as John Sorrell mentions a daughter Katy Howard in his will.
March 20 1737 - Goochland
Deeds – Deed Book 3, 1737 – 1742 page 105 (Microfilm Reel No.1)
John Sorrell of St. James parish, Goochland Co. to Thomas Wadlow of same for 800 lbs tobacco, 100a lying in Goochland Co. on side James river in upper fork of Broad branch of Tuckahoo Cr. beginning at white oak on broad branch being a corner tree of land the said Thomas Wedlow purchased of John Woodson thence along Wadlows line down branch to fork thereof thence up east fork of branch on Mathew Collins line to corner white oak near head of said branch thence on another of Matt. Collins lines to place began at. Wit. Geo. Payne, Henry Holman, James Holman.
Memo – 20 March 1737 – possession of land taken
20 March 1737 – Mary wife of said John Sorrell relinquishes Dower.
1741 January 20 – Goochland
Deeds - Deed Book 4, page 8 Microfilm Reel 2
Wm. Perry to John Sorrell for 30L in St. James Parish, Goochland Co. beginning at a gum on south side of Rivanna running thence on Charles Lewis line. Wits. Prissilla Dosson, (sic) Martin Dosson, Wm. Hill.
Note: This record proves that John Sorrell had a married daughter, Priscilla Dawson, which at least supports the theory that he was born before 1700.
Goochland Co. Deeds - Deed
4, page 363 Microfilm Reel 2
Wm. Harris to John Bibey, 1744, Northside of James River ------ Beaverdam Cr.
1763 December 20 -
Co. Deed Book 8 page 376 Microfilm Reel 2
John and Sarah Sneed to Peter Walker corner. David Woodrams. Wit. John McBride, Rich. Oglesby, John Lewis. (John Sneed signs with seal. Sarah signs with mark and seal)
Goochland Co. Deed Book
page 150 Microfilm Reel 2
William Wellborn from Henry and Milly Crant 200a in Goochland and Albemarle Co.
Deed Book 7, page 341 – 1759 - Estate sale of Richard Wilborn
Deed Book 16 page 244 – 1793 - Lewis and May Wilburn to Bryce
Deed Book 5 page 40 – 1745 – Wm. Russell of Amelia Co. sells 200a in C Goochland Co.
Deed Book 7 page 271 – 1757 – Lee Harris to Same Coleman of Goochland
Goochland Co Orders -
Reels 21 and 22
Order Book 1 – 1728 – 1730
2 – 1730 – 1730
3 – 1731 – 1735
4 – 1735 – 1741
5 – 1741 – 1744
6 – 1744 – 1749
Order Books 1 and 2
1728 June - page 6 - George Alvis plaintiff, John Sorrell defendant not found therefore alias corpus issued against defendant returnable to next court.
1728 July - page 11 – Defendant fails to appear, judgment granted to Geo. Alvis, damages shall be recovered.
1728 August – page 17 – Defendant failing to plead judgment granted Alvis for damages.
1728 September – page 25 – Defendant John Sorrell pleads non assumpsit and for trial puts himself upon the country and plaintiff likewise.
1728 November – page 37 – Jury finds for plaintiff 6L 8 pence.
July 1729 – page 135 - On motion of John Sorrell a witness for Edward Williams vs Peter Ware, ordered that Williams pay him for days attendance 30 lbs tobacco with costs.
1729 September – page 152 – In action of dept between Geo. Alvis plaintiff and John Sorrell the plaintiff files a new declaration and a special imparlante is granted the defendant.
1729 October – page 165 – Defendant John Sorrell appears but failing to plead judgment by nihilist suit is granted against him for what damages shall be recovered in this suit to be discharged never the less if the defendant shall plead a next court.
1730 February – page 206 – Defendant failing to appear, conditional judgment formerly granted against defendant is reconfirmed. Sheriff is ordered to give defendant notice by serving him a copy of this order.
1730 March – page 223 – Jury finds for plaintiff 4L 7 Sh. 4 p.
Order Book 3 – (Index torn and several pages missing)
Page 105 – Action of debt between Thomas Wadlow plaintiff and John Sorrell defendant is dismissed, the plaintiff not prosecuting the same.
Page 140 – Action of trespass between W. Hennoll plaintiff and John Sorrell is dismissed, the plaintiff not prosecuting.
1734 January – page 321 – Petition of John Sorrell against Nathan Pumphrey for 300 lbs tobacco due for rent of plantation owned by Sorrell unto one Wm Hennall upon whose private removal out of this country the said Pumphrey attacked his estate remaining on said plantation and carried the same away without leaving sufficients to pay rent. Defendant fails to appear, plaintiff recovers said tobacco with costs.
Page 321 – Wadlow to be paid for 8 days attendance 240 lbs tobacco as witness for John Sorrell
Page 321 – Richardson to be paid 180 lbs tobacco for 6 days attendance. Rogers to get 210 lbs as witness, Webber to get 90 lbs.
Page 363 – John Sorrell recovers 23 shillings from Charles Johnson.
Order Book 4 (Index torn and several pages missing)
1737 May - page 167 – On attachment obtained by John Sorrell against estate of Nathan Pumphrey for 1214 lbs tobacco and 15 shillings.
Page 333 – Charles Turnbull proves accounts due from John Sorrell, 58 shillings and farthing.
Page 393 – On petition of John Sorrell against John Neherland late Sheriff of this county the parties being heard and witness examined it is considered by the court that plaintiff recover 501 lbs tobacco plus costs.
Order Book 3 (Index and several pages missing)
Page 105 – Action of debt between Thomas Wadlow plaintiff and John Sorrell defendant is dismissed, the plaintiff not prosecuting the same.
Page 140 – Action of trespass between Wm. Hennoll, plaintiff and John Sorrell is dismist, the plaintiff not prosecuting.
Page 321 – January 1734 – Petition of John Sorrell against Nathan Pumphrey for 300 lbs tobacco due for rent of plantation loaned by Sorrell unto one Wm. Hennall upon whose private removal out of t his county the said Pumphrey his estate remaining on said plantation and carried the same away without leaving sufficient to pay rent. Defendant fails to appear, plaintiffs recovers said tobacco with cost.
Page 321 – Wadlow to be paid for 8 days attendance 240 lbs tobacco as witness for John Sorrell.
Page 321 – Richardson to be paid 180 lbs tobacco for 6 days attendance. Rogers to get 210 lbs as witness. Webber to get 90 lbs.
Page 363 – John Sorrell recovers 23 shillings from Charles Johnson.
Order Book 4 ( Index torn and several pages missing)
May 1737, page 167 – On attachment obtained by John Sorrell against estate of Nathan Pumphrey for 1214 lbs tobacco and 15 shillings.
Page 393 – On petition of John Sorrell against John Neherland late sheriff of this County the parties being heard and witness examined it is considered by the court that plaintiff recover 501 lbs tobacco plus costs.
Order Book 5 – 1741 -1749
Page 339 - 1743 January – On motion of John Sorrill lycense is granted to keep ordinary at his house according to law. John Morris enters himself security for the same.
Page 458 – Attatchment by John Sorrell against estate of James Gardner.
Page 499 – September 1744 – Sorrell vs. Gardner.
Page 516 – November 1744 – Proceeds of sale of Gardners possessions to be sold and paid to Sorrell.
Page 535 - January 1744 (sic) – John Sorrell says he has received proceeds.
1744 March – Sorrell vs. Gardner. Sorrells recovers 25 L on Sheriffs recommendation.
1747 June – John Sorrell vs. John Gibson, 5 shillings plus lawyers fees recovered.
Grant Volume page 25 - There is a earlier record for a John Sorrell which some have assumed to be John1 Sorrell. 13 September 1714 Prince George County, John Sorrell paid 36 lbs tobacco out of estate of Thomas Jackson.
1732 – 1735 - Patent Book 15, page 199 - To John Sorrell on Goochland Co. on branches of Turkalious (sic, Tuckahoe?) Cr. beginning at corner oak of his own land and Quobber’s line E 2*N 240 poles to pine on Charles Johnson’s line N45*W 128 poles to several pointers on Adams line, on his line 541*W 80 poles to corner pine N 44* W 74 poles to pine W *S 28 poles to oak one Sorrells own land, on this line S6*W 102 poles to first section.
From 1744 Goochland Co. Virginia tithables – “north of the James Riv at the mountains”
John Sorrell, John McKennah, 1 negro
Note – This was a published record and the original record needs to be examined to determine if the Thomas Sorrell record is a Sowell or Sorrell record. I recently searched the originals at the Virginia State Library but this critical record was not included. This record is important because it places John1 Sorrell the supposed father of Richard1 Sorrell close to Augusta Co. where Richard first appears in 1742. On the other hand the meaning of the term “at the mountains” is not clear and could possibly include the Charlottesville area as well since Goochland was a very large county at this time.
JOHN1 SORRELL AND THE SNEAD FAMILY
Albemarle Co. Order Book
Page 175 – John Sorrells (sic) vs. James Gardiner. Judgement against Gardiner for L10/7/8.
Page 314 - 1747 November 12- John Sorrell ordered to be surveyor of the Three Notched Road from No. 12 in the room of James Defer. (Note: The Three Notched Road ran along the northern shore of the Rivanna River from Shadwell to near Monticello. This record suggests that John1 was living in the Charlottesville area of the county which is the area that Richard1 lived at the time of his death in 1773. Richard1 may have been living on John1’s land if he was a son of John1.
Page 360 – 1748 May 12 – Alex Patten appointed constable in room of John Sorrell.
Page 74 – 1745 – Petition of Francis Wright against Richard Sorrell for 30 shillings. Both failed to appear, case dismissed.
Albemarle Co. Wills and
Book 1748 - 1752
1749 October 23 – Thomas Meriweather of Hanover Co. to John Sorrels of Albemarle Co. for 40L 200a in Albemarle, formerly Goochland on both sides of Mychund Cr. called the Beaverdam fork.
Page 277 – 1750 February 13 – John Sorrell of Albemarle CO. to Benjamin Snead of Albemarle Co. for 5 L, land on Machunk Cr. call beaverdam fork, 200a, formerly owned by Thomas Meriweather. Signed John Sorrell. Wits. John Morris, Wm. McGhee, James Defoor. Note: 5L is too cheap for this land especially since John1 paid L40 for it the year before so I assume Benj. Snead is John’s son-in-law.
Page 279 – 1750 December 20 – John Sorrill to John Henderson for 33L, land in Albemarle Co. on the south side of North Rivanna river, 90a beginning at Spanish oak on river—from Perry’s Cr. down Rivanna to first. Wit. Benjamin Sneed, John Morris, Wm McGhee, Robert Hardwick.
Albemarle Co. Order Book 1745 – 1748 Deed Book 7
1755 January 20 – Page 537 – John Sorrel to Charles Lewis Jr. both of Albemarle Co for L86 of lawful money of VA. All land said John Sorrell now hath on south side of Rivanna Riv. in Albemarle Co. being tract formerly belonging to Wm. Perry of 350a and containing 260a---à Charles Lewis line ---- to corner pine on North side of a branch commonly known by name of Sorrals Branch -----à John Henderson’s line. Wit. John Dawson, John Henson, John Henderson. At court 13 March 1755. The wife (no name given) of said John Sorrell relinquishes dower.
Albemarle Co. Order Book
– 1761 Deed Book 2, Page 208
1759 August 8 – Benjamin Snead of Fredericksville Parish, Albemarle Co. to John Sorsic, gentleman, of Fredericksville Parish, Louisa Co. for L55 land in Albemarle Co. on Beaverdam fork, a branch of Michumps creek as per patent. 200a Signed: Benjamin Snead, Wits: Rich. Timberlake, John Cobb, Wm Timberlake.
Albemarle Co. Order Book 1758 – 1761 Deed Book 3 Page 126 – 1761 November 12 – James Tuley to Martin Dawson 125a on both sides of Ballingers Cr., St. Ann’s Parish, Albemarle Co. Wits: Sam Hancock, Terisha T. Turner.
Albemarle Co. Patent
31, page 583
1755 September – 300a to Jacob Snead in Albemarle CO., both sides of Ivy Cr. on South side of Rivanna ---à Robert Lewis’s line, Michael Holland’s line.
Albemarle Co. Deed
3, Page 206 – 1762 – Jacob Snead of Fredericksville Parish, Albemarle
to Alexander Snead of same, for 5 shillings on both sides of Ivy Cr.
to Jacob Snead 10 September 1755. (The price suggest Alexander was a
FREDERICKSON PARISH RECORDS 1742 - 1787
Page 32 - 1748 April - Edward Harris refuseth to procession dividing line between him and Ishael Snead April 1748
1763 - Wooden church to be
on main road near foot of mountains on east side from Mr. Beals to thru
notched road night Benj. Sneads convenient to Orange so line where it
Page 158 – 1769 March 9 – Between church wardens John Walker and Mordicas Howard on one part and Russel Jones of Albemarle Co. and Fredericksville parish on the other. To bind and put Thomas Eastin to Russel Jones as an apprentice until he becomes 21. Russel Jones to teach him mastery and are of bricklayer also to read the Bible and write and cipher.
1769 – Two acres provided for the poor, a house to be built.
Thomas Jefferson removes from this Parish. (Moving to Monticello)
1774 November 28 – To Dr. Thomas Walker for Russel Jones per accounted
1771 March 6 – Deed Book 5, page 266 – Jacob Snead of Albemarle to Wm. Tunyman of Culpepper 300a in Albemarle CO. on Ivy Cr. ---à Alexander Snead line.
1775 October 12 – Deed Book 6, page 466 – Charles Gentry and Elizabeth Joyner of Albemarle to Russell Jones of said co. fo 100L 200a on the head of Meadow Cr. on the Souht side of the Rivanna --à Alex. McKinneys line thence on Joel Terrells (deceased) line --à East side of Piney mountain with all houses ect.
1777 June 5 – Deed book 7
122 –Russel Jones to Fray Haggard both of Albemarle for 20L land in
on the two mile branch above Charlottesville Town, 21a.
1777 – Ann Jones his wife relinquished her right of dower.
1779 August 12 – Deed Book 7, page 350 – Russel Jones and Ann, his wife, of Albemarle to Joseph Woodson of Goochland for 800L, 208a on branches of Meadow Cr. bounded by Alex. McKenzie, Peter Marks, Nathaniel Haggand.
1781 August 31 – John Sorrels of Amherst Co. to Humphrey Gaines of Albemarle Co. for L20, 200a in Albemarle part of tract surveyed by Maj. Maycie for John Sorrells beginning at Buck Island ---à crossing Indian Branch.
The Albemarle Co. land and
property tax lists which began 1782 do not list any Sorrells except for
the 1783 land tax which lists John1 Sorrells estate, 494a, indicating
still owned land in Albemarle at the time of his death, although he
in Amherst co. If Richard1 was a son of John1 then he could have been
on this land or possibly the 200a on Buck Island Cr. that John1 sold in
1781. The 495a may be the remainder of the Buck Island Cr. tract.
I have subsequently found another survey for John Sorrell: Albemarle Surveyor’s Book 1, Part 1 1744 -1755 page 318 – (There was no index to Part 1, it was read in its entirety) 400a for John Sorrell on branches of Carrils Cr. and Scales Cr. 6 March 1755, surveyed by John Smith, adj. Nelson Anderson on both sides of Three Notched Road. There was also an adjoining 100a surveyed by John Smith for John Sorrell which was sold by the sheriff to Robert Sharpe Jr. for taxes and transferred by said Sharpe to William Sea? Jr. or possibly Searl? This record suggests that John1 had not yet moved to the Amherst Co. area and that Richard1 had possibly proceeded him to the western part of Albemarle Co. and then returned to the Charlottesville area. This land is only a short distance from the land John1 describes as being on the south side of the Rivanna River. All of John1 land in this area was within 5 miles of Monticello and consequently was an easy ride for Richard1 to work there. At this point I believe Richard1 was living either on the Buck Island land or the Carrol cr. land owned by his supposed father John1. at the time of Richard1’s death in 1773.
AMHERST COUNTY VIRGINIA RECORDS
Amherst Co. was created form the southwestern half of Albemarle Co. in 1761. The western boundary of Amherst runs along the hop of the Blue Ridge Mountains which provide remarkable scenic beauty to the county. Nelson Co. was created from the northern half of Amherst Co. in 1807 / 08. John1 Sorrell (1697? – 1783) lived in that section of Amherst Co. which is now Nelson co. The records presented of this county will focus primarily on John1 Sorrell and his relationship with people who may have been related or associated with Richard2 and Mildred Snead Sorrells. This John1 remains an enigma after a great deal of effort was expended searching the microfilmed records of Albemarle and Amherst Counties. Never trusting indexes, several hundred pages of order book records, were read thru then without finding a single record indicating an association of John1 Sorrell with another Sorrell. His will mentions several great grandchildren, grandchildren and daughters but no Sorrell descendants. If he had sons, they had either been disowned (not entirely unlikely considering the personality of this old gentleman) or had long since moved out of the area. Although other Sorrells genealogist have assumed he was a son of John and Dorcus Sorrell of Westmorland Co. I have found no firm evidence connecting him to an earlier residence other than Goochland Co. The circumstantial evidence suggests he may have been the father, or possibly brother, of Richard1 Sorrells. The first such evidence was the 1745 court case of Frances Wright against Richard1 Sorrell. Francis Wright was a neighbor of John1 Sorrell. The other evidence is his strong connection to the Snead and Harris families. The Higginbotham, Ware and Sandridge families were very prominent in the Amherst records and wee closely associated with our Georgia Sorrells family. Richard1 Sorrells names his oldest known son John. (See Augusta Co. records)
The Albemarle Co. Surveyors Book, 1756 - 1790 1, part 2, page 35 shows 220a on both sides of Tillery’s Cr. or Br. In Albemarle surveyed for Richard Searls, 20 April 1758. Land was adjacent to Col. John Chiswell’s line and John Tillery’s line. It was transferred to Cornelius McGuire and from McGuire to Sam’l Woods. John Chiswell was a ‘neighbor’ of Francis Wright. (See below Deed Book C, page 208) who was a neighbor of John1 Sorrell.
Albemarle Deed & Wills, Book 1, page 20 – 1748 February 14 – John Chiswell of St. Martins Parish in Hanover Co. to Francis Wright of St. Ann’s Parrish, Albemarle CO. former, 300a in St. Ann’s on ‘river bank’, Davis Cr., on south side of Rockfish.
The William and Mary
Series 1, Vol. 26, page 272 states Charles Sorrells, J.P. certified to
the character of Benj. Higginbotham, Sr.the son of John and Francis
who died in Elbert Co. Georgia in 1800. His son, Wm. Higginbotham
Elizabeth, daughter of John Sandridge of Amherst Co. VA. Charles
that Wm. Higginbotham enlisted in Col. Cabell’s company of riflemen for
3 years. The estate inventory of John1 Sorrell lists the names of all
his slaves, two were named Dick and Mildred. You will also see in the
records a strong association between the family of John1’s wife, Mary
Ellis, and the Wilburn family. Charles named his first born son,
Wilburn Sorrells. Frankly, the circumstantial evidence is somewhat
to ignore the possibility that the Georgia Sorrells are descended from
this early pioneer of Western Virginia. The reader can decide for
To add to his confusion, the reader will want to bear in mind the following statement from a genealogy entitled The Dawson’s of Virginia, “Tradition in the family is that a John Dawson eloped with a daughter of Sir John Sorrell of Dartery, Ireland to America, approximately 1635.”
IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN, I, John Sorrell, of Amherst County being ancient and not knowing how soon I may die, yet of perfect sence and memory do make and appoint this my last Will and Testament. My body being entered according to what worldly goods may then remain in my estate as followeth, viz; item, I lend to my wife, Molly Coleman Sorrell during her widowhood the Dwelling House I now live in with as much ground convenient thereto as she may want to tend, with all convenient barn and outhouses expected, with one negro woman, Sall, and if the said negro should die she may at her discretion choose another about eight years old, and if the orchard on said plantation shall bear fruit as she may want for her own use each year the said orchard may hit. I also lend her duringher widowhood one horse and side saddle, with as much of the house hold and kitchen furniture as she shall think proper (two stills expected), with the use of the milch cows to said family. I also will that the taxes on said negroe be paid by my Executors and further if the said negroe should have children the expense of them shall be paid as above. I also give my wife six hundred pounds of gross pork, with one hundred weight of beef, one bushel of salt, five barrels of corn, one barrel of wheat, six pounds of sugar , ten pounds of tallow, and two pair of shoes which she is to have each year she lives my widow. I also will that the house be kept in repair with sufficient quantity of firewood for said family, the whole to be done by my Executors at the expense of my estate. Item, I give and bequeath to my daughter, Katy Howard, and her heirs forever, thirty pounds currency to be paid at two payments, one half to be paid one year after my death, the other half the following year. Item, I give and bequeath to my grand-daughter, Mary Ann Sneed and her two oldest children Frances and John Sneed ten pounds currency each to them and their heirs forever to be paid three years after my death. Item. I give and bequeath to my grandson Martin Dawson the sum of one hundred pounds currency, to be paid in four years after my death to him and his heirs forever, and likewise twenty shillings each year he continues a preacher of the Gospel, which is to be paid yearly. Item. I give and bequeath to my grandsons, Thomas and William Dawson each ten pounds currency to them and their heirs forever to be paid five years after my death. Item. I give and bequeath to my great grand son, John Sorrell Dawson, son of my grandson, John Dawson and Sally, his wife, that part of my land I now live on lying on the north side of Hickory Creek provided be the said John Sorrell Dawson pay his brother Pleasant Dawson One Hundred Pounds currency within one year after the said Pleasant Dawson come of age, and to his brother Benjamin Dawson the like sum to be paid within two years after the said Benjamin Dawson comes of age. I say that it the said John Sorrell Dawson should refuse to pay his brothers the above sums of money, then the said land to be publicly sold and the money arising from the sale to be equally divided amongst the three brothers above mentioned, their heirs, ect. Note that on one has or shall have any the least right to claim or dispose of the Houses and as much ground convenient thereto as I have lent to my wife, that is to say, during her widowhood. I likewise give to my great grandson John Sorrell Dawson, son of John Dawson and Sally his wife, my negro woman Dinah with her increase to him and his heirs forever to be by him possessed when he comes of lawful age. Item. I give and bequeath to my great grandson, Benjamin Dawson, son of my grandson, John Dawson and Sally, his wife, my negro boy Goliath, to him and his heirs forever, to be by him possessed when he come of age. Item. I give and bequeath to my great grandson, Martin Dawson, son of my grandson, John Dawson and Sally his wife, my negro boy Squire, to him and his heirs forever to be by him possessed when he comes of lawful age. Item. I give to my great grand daughter Susanna Dawson, daughter of my grand son John Dawson and wife, Sally, my negro girl named Fanny and her increase to her and her heirs forever, to be by her possessed when of lawful age or day of marriage. Item. I give and bequeath to my great grand daughter Mary Dawson daughter of my grand son John Dawson and his wife Sally, a negro girl Rachel, to her and her heirs forever to be possessed by her when of lawful age or day of marriage. Item. I give to my great grand daughter Prysilla Dawson, dau. of my grandson John Dawson and Sally, my negro girl Dicy to her and her heirs forever to be by her possessed when of lawful age or day of marriage. Item. I give and bequeath to my great grand daughter Nancy Dawson dau. of my grand son John Dawson and Sally his wife, my negro girl Winney to her and her heirs forever to be by her possessed when of age or day of marriage. Item. I give to my great grand dau. Betsy Dawson, dau. of my grandson John Dawson, son of Martin Dawson and Prysilla his wife the remainder of my lands, negroes, stocks of all kinds with all and every of their increase to him and his heirs, forever, and lastly I appoint my two grand sons, John Dawson and Martin Dawson and Peter Lyons executors of this my last will and testament, revoking all disannul all former will or wills made by me heretofore. As witness my hand and seal of this twenty fifth day of March one Thousand seven hundred and eight. John Sorrell (seal) Witness: Charles Martin, Terish Turner, Benjamin Moore, Ephraim Blane, Samuel Anderson. Probated September 1, 1783 Amherst Co. VA (Amherst Co .Will Book 2, page 140)
Dawson Family tradition says John Sorrell lived to be over a hundred and his son-in-law, Martin Dawson lived to be one hundred and fifteen. He refers to himself as being ancient which is certainly consistent with his being over 100. His wife ‘Molly’ Coleman Sorrell was apparently not the mother of his children, but rather was a young widow he married in 1770.
1770 November 3 – Amherst Co. Deed Book C, page 146 – Marriage contract between John Sorrels (sic) Amherst Co., to Mary (sic) Coalman Ellice. He convenants to maintain her until death and then his executors to pay her L60 or L10 annually as long as she is unmarried. She may elect which payment but otherwise 12 months after his death she has no other dower claim except what he chooses t leave her by will. She promises to be kind, loving and obedient and to be chaste and faithful to his marriage bed until death and to demean myself as a wife ought to according to my station in the world until death and agrees to abide by financial covenant. If he outlives her she loses right to will money but if she outlives him she may will it at her pleasure. Witness: Caleb Coleman, John Dawson, Samuel Gay
In a letter from a Mr.
R. Gentry of Miami Fla., he states: “John Sorrell was found to be
over in an old Dawson family cemetery on the original estate of Martin
Dawson, his son-in-law in what is now Nelson Co. Most of the stones are
gone now, but back in the early 1950’s the stones were still there
to the late Sam Dawson of Crozet (also a descendant of Martin Dawson )
who saw them back then. The only problem now is whether he copied the
or did not copy them off the stone because he could not make them out.
Well, they are not among his collection of material on the Dawson
A more detailed genealogy of the Dawson family is given I the ‘Rucker Family Genealogy” by Sudie Rucker Wood. The given name of Richard does not appear in any of the known descendant families of John Sorrell. Martin and Priscilla sorrel Dawson however had a daughter Mildred.
1760 - Albemarle Co. Will Book 2, page 83 – Estate of Col. Peter Jefferson settled with Martin Dawson and sons having rented land from Col. Jefferson.
1761 - Albemarle Co. Will Book 2, page 83 – Martin Dawson sells 120alboth sides Ballingers Cr. From Sadie Rucker Wood - Martin Dawson, grandson of Martin Dawson and Priscilla Sorrell Dawson died unmarried in 1835 having bequeathed 500a and $40,000 to the University of Virginia. He had provided for the freedom of 60 of his slaves and removal to Liberia
Albemarle Co. Will Book 2, page 157 – Inventory of estate of John Sorrell. 26 slaves, 15 sheep, 36 hogs, 2 horses, 11 cattle, 2 beds and furniture, 1 loom, 2 old steths (sic) 5 spinning wheels and one reel, earthen ware, copper tea kettle, spice mortar, pewter, 2 saws, 1 box iron and heaters, 1 whipsaw, 2 casks, one bedstead, 1 tub, 5 pairs cards, 2 pans, 7 chairs, 3 tables, 3 chests, 1 trunk, parcel books, 1 grind stone, 1 looking glass, plantation tools. Taken by Terasha Turner, Benjamin Moore and Samuel Anderson.
Molly Coleman Sorrell outlived her husband many years as attested to by several records pertaining to the administration of John Sorrell’s estate.
1804 January 10 – Nelson Co. VA Will Book A, page 153- Jno. Dawson -à AA by Jno. Dawson from 10 January 1804 – To Re. Martin Dawson for sermon to Amherst Clerk for copy of Jno. Sorrel’s will. To schooling. To Nancy Dawson, legatee, to Mary Coleman Sorrell and husband John Sorrell, with will attached. Committee: Nathan Crawford, Wm Harris, Zachariah Roberts. By order of Amherst Court, October 1804. Returned November 16, 1805. Further reports as to legatees: Sally Dawson, John Dawson, Pleasant Dawson, Richard Adams, Charles Afams, Martin Dawson heirs of P. White: Nancy Dawson. Abner Ford, Walton Leak, Atty. If Mary Coleman Sorrells (sic) departs this life – widow of John Sorrells (sic) legatees to get her portion. November 18, 1805.
Nelson Co. VA Will Book A,
242 John Dawson – AA by John S. Dawson – obedient to order of Amherst
of October 1814. Reports by Wm. Harris, Nathan Crawford and Zach
November 18, 1815 L160-0-4. Mary Coleman Sorrel had life estate and at her death to descend to John Dawson and heirs. Support of Mary Sorrell from November 18, 1805 to May 3, 1810. Land no yet divided among legatees. Sept 23, 1812 Jas. Woods, Zach Roberts, Wm. Harris. Note: Discrepancy in dates so recorded.
1763 March 4 – Deed Book A, page 96 – Henry Roberts, AC to Benj. Moore. AC, 384a ---à lines. John Sorrell, John Crawford.
1763 October 14 – Amherst Co. Deed Book A, page 155 – John Harris wit. for Nicholas Meriwhether
1764 May 7 – Amherst Co. Deed Book A, page 200 – John Dawson for L20 buys 100a from Benjamin Moore. A parcel lying and being in Amherst Co. in fork of cove and Hickory Cr. of Rockfish river, beginning at John Lyons corner on John Sorrell line.
1765 May 6 – Chas. Lynch of
Co. to Martin Dawson of Amherst 206a.
1766 December – Amherst Co. Will book 1, page 110. Francis Wright of Amherst Co. and Parish. Test. John Waters.
AMHERST COUNTY ORDER BOOK 1766 – 1769
1766 - Amherst Order Book 1766 – 1769, page 474 – John Berkley marries widow of Charles Ellis
1768 - Amherst Order Book 1766 – 1769, page 379 – Wm. Fralkner
1767 April 14 – Amherst Co.
Book C. Surveys. (see also Plot Book 18, land warrants, page 69)
Surveyed for John Sorrell by James Higgenbotham on south branch of the
Amherst Co. Patent Book 37, page 378 - This land patent states --à on South branch of Cove Cr. and North Branch of Hickory Cr. Beginning at pointers of his own and James Montgomery line running on his own line --à 20 July 1768
1769 Amherst Co. Deed Book 1, page 114 – 620a to Lee Harris, branches of Davis Cr.
1769 March 6 – Amherst Co. Deed Book B, page 405 - David Harris, heir of John Harris dec’d. Jno. Harris sold to Thos. White and made no deed.
1769 March 6 – Amherst Co. Deed Book B, page 504 – David Harris, AC, to Jno. Parson 100a part of 400a patient to John Harris 10 September 1755
1771 August 5 - Amherst Co. Deed Book C, page 208 – James Montgomery sells 500a on south side of Rockfish river to Lee Harris, part of a grant to John Chiswell, to pointers at a corner of Frances Wright.
1772 May 29 - Amherst Co.
Book C, page 208 – William Harris of Albemarle Co. to Wm. Harris Jr. of
Amherst co., north side of Rockfish river, purchased Jacob Wright.
1773 – Plot book 1, page 177 – Ed Ware on H. branches of Horsley Cr., 54a
1773 – Plot Book 1, page
To John Dawson, N. branches of Rockfish river, both sides of Hickory Cr.
1776 October – Deed Book D, page 373 – Nathan Crawford to Benj. Moore 200a in Rich Cove and both sides of Cove Cr. ----à lines: Benj. Moore, Terisha Turner, John Dawson, John Sorrels (sic)
1776 May 16 – John Snead petitions for ferry across the rockfish river
1778 – Ed Ware, Wm Harris, Richard Harris, Mathew Harris petitions for religious assessment.
1779 October 15 – Martin Dawson, Wm. Dawson, Terisha Turner, John Harris petition in favor of paper money
AMERST ORDER BOOK 1773 –
(the “lost order book”)
1779 April 17 – page 373 - James Ware to go to Georgia, court testifies to his character.
1780 April – page 408 – 409 – Examination of Geo. Barton for feloniously breaking and entering the Dairy of John Sorrell on Saturday night the eight of this instant and stealing 2 women’s shifts, 2 handkerchiefs, one man’s cap, one woman’s case, one man’s course shirt which was hanging out of the house. Molley Coleman Sorrell, Pet Lyon and John Morrison Jr. witness. Barton found guilty. He be sent to next session of general court held in Richmond. Molley Coleman Sorrell of Lawful age (suggesting she is young) to go to Richmond to give evidence on behalf of commonwealth agt. Geo. Barton. Peter Lyon and John Morrison Fr. of lawful age, being informed of theft, followed tracks to come on one white man and two negroes in the woods. They ran and caught a white man. Goods were in the camp.
1781 – page 499 - To James Ware for 115 gallons whiskey.
1781 – page 489 – Impressed property claims = John Sorrell 275 lbs beef, 15 Oct 1781 - 1502-5-10, 8 dietts, 1 bu. Corn, 12 bundles fodder and pasturage and forage for 59 beeves – 9 December 1781 - 1-5, 2 dietts, and 1 peck of corn. 12 Dec 1781, 1-6
AMHERST ORDER BOOK 1782 –
Page 178 – John Dawson and Martin Dawson Jr. Executors of will of John Sorrell
Page 173 - John Sorrell will proved by Charles Martin, Benj. Moore, Ephraim Blaine.
AMHERST COUNTY DEED BOOK D
Page 421 – Martin Dawson to Isaaac Dawson land on Harris Cr.
Page 515 – Lee Harris and Winnifred his wife (Note – Thomas Sorrell died 1726 of Westmoreland Co had a daughter Winnifred, if this is the same woman a possible connection could be made between John Sorrells, the Harris’s and Westmoreland Co.)
AMHERST COUNTY DEED BOOK E
1783 October 6 – page 440 – Charles Ellis and Sally his wife to Richard Wilburn of Amherst Co., 118a on Hersely’s Cr. lines Ed Goodwich, Chas. Davis, Wm Clopton, Ambrose Eubank.
1783 December 5 - page 576 – Richard Wilbourn of Amherst to John Eubanks 118a on Horselys Cr. Lines: Ed Goodrich, Chas. Davis, Chas. Ellis
AMHERST LAND WARRANTS 1783
1790 – John Sandridge, Horsley Cr., Benj. Higgenbottom’s line, Joseph Higgenbothams line, Horsley Cr.
Page 40 – Richard S. Ellis. Ruckers run and Hall Cr. (Note – there are several land records for this man, further research might reveal that his middle name was Sorrell)
Page 9 - Les Harris, Rockfish river
Page 67 – Lee Harris, Irish Cr., adj. Chas. Tuleys est.
Page 16 – Caleb Higginbotham – north branches Pedlan River near BAnkes mountains, transferred from Larkin Sandridge
Page 29 - Benj. Coleman – both sides Irish Cr. So. branch Pedlon Riv. Adj. John Ware
Page 42 – Geo. Wash, Higginbottom, adj. John Coleman on branches of Huff cr.
Page 160 – Josiah Ellis and Rich. S. Ellis on Dancing Cr.
Page 95 – Martin Dawson, Morrowbone Mtn.
John Higgenbottom Little Dancing cr.
Page 66 – John Higgenbottom withdraws 150a on Wm. Lee Harris entry
Page 88 – Benj. Coleman – Shady Mtn. Cr. a branch of Peddlar Cr. to top of Blue Ridge
Page 117 – Martin Dawson – Cove Cr., John Bailey’s and Peter Lyons line.
1798 - Page 55 – Edward Harris adj. Lee harried (dec’d) on Buck Cr.
Page 418 – Rich. S. Ellis, 115a on branches of Harris Cr. 1801 virtue of warrant 500a for Chas. Ellis
AMHERST COUNTY WILL BOOK 2
1784 – Page207 – John Daniel Coleman, dau. And wife Millon, page 240 Inventory signed by Wm. Ware
AMHERST COUNTY INDEX TO DEEDS
1784 – Book E page 576 - John Eubank from Rich. Wilbourn
1786 – Book F page 68 – to John Burton
AMHERST COUNTY PLOT BOOK
1788 – Page 264 – 90a both sides of Pedlar above mouth of Irish Cr. to John Ware
1791 – Page 292 – Wm. Ware, branches of Horsley Cr. 130a by virtue of an old entry.
1781 – Page 308 – 163a for John Sandridge on branches of Horsley Cr. adj. Ben. Higgenbottom
AMHERST COUNTY DEED BOOK H
1795 – Page 353 – Terasha Turner, branches of Rocky Run.
1798 January 18, Page 354 – John Dawson and wife Sally, Amherst Co. to John S. Dawson for L40, 40a on Cove Cr. bought by John of Benj. Moore, dec’d, lines Jno. & Jno. S Dawson spring branch of Jno. Sorrell’s widow.
ABSTRACT OF WILLS,
AND AMHERST CO. BY KING
1788 – Will Book 3 - Wm. Harris, daus. Abbd abd Hudith Coleman wit. By Lee Harris
1792 January 14 Lee Harris. Sons Matthew and Wm Lee. Youngest sons Joh, Jesse, Ed, Nathan, daus. Polly, Sally, wife Winny.
1799 – Will Book 3, page 552 - Milley Coleman. Four daus. Eliz., Nancy, Sally, Lucy, Deceased day. Milly. Signed Milion Coleman.
1800 – N. Powell, Burwell Sneed to appraise estate of Richard Harris.
1802 April – Will Book 4, page 34 - Will of Terisha Turner, land in Granville Co. NC. Wit. John Dawson, Martin Dawson
Page 111 – Inventory by Jon. S. Dawson
NELSON COUNTY WILL BOOK A
1808 – Page 337 – Wm. Harris will. Wife Elizabeth. 400a, dau. Mary Shelton, dau. Eliz. Coleman, wife of Jos. Coleman, fau. Judith Wharton ---à lands in KY --à dau. Caroline