In an effort to learn more about my Marks ancestors, I have been researching their associates and neighbors who are found as witnesses and listed as neighbors on deed transactions. This type of research is called F.A.N – Family/Friends, Associates, and Neighbors. F.A.N. research allows you to learn all you can about the area where your ancestor lived, as well as those who lived around them, and it can bring a better understanding of the life your ancestor lived because whatever you find out was common knowledge to your ancestor – in other words, your ancestor lived in the history that you can only learn about.
On 7 May 1713, my ancestor, William Marks Jr., purchased from Henry Fleete of the Parish of Christ Church in the County of Lancaster, colony of Virginia, for forty pounds sterling a tract of land containing 145 acres that was part of an original tract patented by John Walker deceased on 16 Apr 1668 for one thousand and thirty acres. The 145 acres that William Marks Jr. bought was bounded on the North by a swamp, on the South by Edward Barrow’s land, and on the West by Henry Fleete’s land. The deed was witnessed by William Fauntleroy, Henry Fleete, and Gilbert Metcalfe and registered the same day it was written.
My Marks ancestors lived on the strip of land nestled between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers in Virginia, known as the Northern Neck, "the northernmost of three peninsulas on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Potomac River forms the northern boundary of the peninsula; the Rappahannock River demarcates it on the south" (Wikipedia).
The area was called Naylor's Hole at the time my ancestor lived there, named possibly after John Naylor, a gentleman of Richmond and King George counties and was the name for the deep water in the Rappahannock River where ocean-going vessels could anchor. Naylor’s Wharf was on the north bank of the river near present day Naylor’s Beach and Cat Point. This area along the Rappahannock Creek was sometimes called Naylor’s Point and Menokin.
In the area of Naylor's Hole lived wealthy families named
Tayloe, Carter, Fleete, Fauntleroy, and Metcalfe who were the movers and
shakers of their day. These wealthy men served in the House of Burgesses, the
legislative body of the Colony of Virginia and are found on land patents and
deeds for thousands of acres of land. Plantation and slave owners, their money
and influence were used in part to build tobacco roads that were used to roll
hogsheads, or casks, of tobacco from plantations to the boat landings at
Menokin Bay. There, the hogsheads, or casks, were put on barges and hauled down
the Rappahannock Creek (now Cat Point Creek) to the port at Naylor’s Hole on
the Rappahannock River and from there to the Chesapeake Bay, and on wards to the
Atlantic Ocean, bound for England to be sold.
Early documentation of European settlement around Menokin
occurred about 1650 when Moore Fauntleroy patented 1800 acres on the north side
of the Rappahannock, on the west side of Bushwood Creek. This tract was called
Mangorite. Moore Fauntleroy patented thousands more acres of land in Virginia
and transported 179 people into the colony. His home, Mangorite, was also known
as the "stone house field," now part of the Sabine Hall plantation
that was built in 1730 by Landon Carter, son of Robert "King" Carter,
probably the wealthiest man in Virginia at the time.
Moore Fauntleroy had an elder brother who also bears the
same name. Both boys were named after their grandfather, Nicholas Moore. The
first son was called Moore Fauntleroy "The Elder" and was born in
1610. He remained in England. The second son was called Moore Fauntleroy
"The Younger" born in 1616 and it was “The Younger” who came to
Virginia in 1643 with Toby Smith, some accounts list him as Moore's
brother-in-law. The December 1951 Northern Neck Historical Magazine tells us
that the first court "was held in the home of Colonel Moore Fauntleroy."
Moore "The Younger" married Mary, and several
children were born of this union, but it is Moore's son, William Fauntleroy I,
born about 1656, whom I am interested in because it is most likely his son, William
Fauntleroy II, who, in 1713, had an encounter with my ancestor William Marks Jr.
when he signed as witness to the deed between Henry Fleete and William Marks.
Moore "The Younger" died in Old Rappahannock, Colony of Virginia in
On the west shore of Menokin Bay, Captain Henry Fleete
patented his 750 acres of land in 1652. Fleete’s property was situated
“southwest of the Great Rappahannock town where the Indians are at present seated
2 miles up Fleets Creek.” Captain Henry Fleete was born about 1602 in England
and came to Jamestown, Virginia about 1621. Shortly after his arrival, he was
captured by the Anacostia Indians, an Algonquian-speaking people that lived
along the southeast side of the Anacostia River in what is now Washington, D.
C., and held captive for five years. During that time, he learned their
language and after his release in 1627 became a negotiator for both the
colonies of Virginia and Maryland. He served in both Maryland's General
Assembly and Virginia's House of Burgesses. Henry was a relation (some say
nephew and others say second cousin) of Sir Francis Wyatt, the first English
royal governor of Virginia. Upon his death, his widow, Sarah, married
Lieutenant Colonel John Walker of Virginia and brought into that marriage a
number of enslaved Africans, including a man named Edward Mozingo who was a neighbor
of my Marks ancestors and has a fascinating life story that will make it into
this blog someday.
Colonel Henry Fleete, born about 1647 in Virginia, is the
son of Captain Henry and Sarah Fleete. He was a Justice of Lancaster County in
1695 and Sheriff in 1718 and 1719. He most likely is the Henry Fleete who sold his
stepfather’s, John Walker, land to my ancestor, William Marks Jr, in 1713.
Gilbert Metcalfe is the son of Richard Metcalfe and
Elizabeth Fauntleroy, daughter of Moore Fauntleroy "The Younger." Gilbert’s
sister, Mary, married John Spicer, son of Arthur and Elizabeth Jones Spicer.
Mary married second to Austin Brockenbrough, son of William Brockenbrough and
Mary Newman, daughter of Thomas Newman II and Bridgett Wilson.
Avery Naylor, born about 1646 and possibly associated
with John Naylor, whom Naylor's Hole was named, was also an early landowner in
the vicinity of Naylor’s Creek on the south side of the Rappahannock River,
opposite the mouth of Rappahannock Creek. Avery Naylor's last will and
testament offers us three pieces of information that might help shed some light
on how William Marks Jr was connected to the Metcalfe family through the Newman
In Avery's will:
1. His wife is named as Patience Naylor.
Patience is the daughter of Thomas Newman I and Elizabeth Burditt and the sister of Thomas Newman II (married Bridgett Wilson) whose son, Alexander Newman was the third husband of Penelope Eidson, my 7th great grandmother. Penelope married first Edward Eidson and from this union Hannah Eidson was born. Hannah married John Marks, the son of William Marks Jr. who purchased the Walker land from Henry Fleete in 1713. Penelope married second to Elias Fennell who was named as executor of the will of William Marks Jr. Elias also became the guardian of the Marks estate until John Marks, son of William Marks Jr. attained legal age. Penelope married third to Alexander Newman, the son of Thomas Newman II and Bridgett Wilson and grandson of Thomas Newman I and Elizabeth Burditt.
2. He names his godson, Avery Dye, the son of Arthur Dye.
Avery Dye is the father of Catherine Dye who married Thomas Newman IV, the nephew of Alexander Newman who married Penelope Eidson. Thomas IV and Catherine Dye Newman are the parents of Amey Newman who married Fennell Marks, the brother of my 5th great grandfather William Marks. Fennell and William are the grandsons of William Marks Jr. who purchased the Walker land from Henry Fleete in 1713.
3. He forgives the debt that Thomas Newman owes him.
This is probably Thomas Newman II, the brother-in-law of Avery Naylor.
Back to Richard Metcalfe, he married second, Ann Stone, daughter of John Stone and Sarah Burden. Edward Barrow was the husband of Ann Stone who was first married to Richard Metcalfe after his wife Elizabeth Fauntleroy died. When his will was probated, the court ordered Edward Barrow’s estate be appraised by John Morton, James Wilson, Edward Eidson, and Henry Bruce or any three of them.
Edward Eidson is the son of Edward Eidson Sr and Penelope, who married Elias Fennel after the death of her husband Edward and Alexander Newman after Elias died. Hannah Eidson, daughter of Edward Eidson and Penelope, married John Marks, the son of William Marks Jr.