By Jeannette Holland Austin
Anyone who is familiar with Virginia wills, estates and deed records has seen the name of George Menefie in many documents. He appears to have been the wealthiest colonist in the early days, owning a 1200-acre plantation near Jamestown. He received the land grant when he transported 24 immigrants into the colony and later patented another 3000 acres for paying the passage of 60 individuals. In March 1633, Dutch trader David DeVies observed that the two-acre garden of Menefie was "full of Provence roses, apple, pear and cherry trees, with different kinds of sweet-smelling herbs, such as rosemary, sage, marjoram, thyme." Richard Kemp later acquired the tract and called it Rich Neck. Rich Neck was located in the Middle Plantation between the York and James Rivers. According to the Digital Arcaelogical Archive of Comparative Slavery, the plantation was located in Williamsburg. Kemp owned the land until 1650 when he died and left the estate to his wife. However, the wife remarried Sir Thomas Lunsford who gained the property three years later upon her death.
James City County Genealogy, Wills, Estates, Settlers to Jamestown
James City County was created in 1634 as James City Shire by order of King Charles I. The county seat is Williamsburg, Virginia which was first settled in 1607 by English colonists. amestown, which evolved into James City County, was named for King James I. When King James revoked the charter of the London Company in 1624, Virginia became England?s first royal colony. By 1634, the colony divided into eight counties, among them were James City and the Charles River, now known as York. The division into counties laid the foundations for strong local government that later served as a model to states as they were admitted into the union. Every year until 1632, the Assembly met at the Jamestown church. The Assembly is believed to have met in the home of the governor until about 1699 when the capital was moved inland to Middle Plantation, which was renamed Williamsburg. Moving the county seat was unpopular with local residents, however in 1715 it was was moved from Jamestown to Williamsburg. Some very historical events occurred in Jamestown. For one thing, the rebellion of Nathaniel Bacon and his followers in an effort to get the governor to prevent Indian raids and massacres, burned Jamestown.
James City County Records available to members of Virginia Pioneers
Digital Images of Will Book No. 1, 1865 to 1887
- 1607 Settlers of Jamestown(list of names)
Testators: Allen, William ;| Ashlock, Richard |Barnes, William H. | Bennett, Abel | Bragg, Hugh | Bratcliff, George | Browning, A. J. | Browning, Absalom, estate | Bush, William, estate | Canaday, Jonathan | Chapman, Aaron | Clowe, John, estate | Davis, Benjamin Allen | Debriss, William | Dibble, A. S. | Fielding, Jeremiah, estate | Fox, George W. | Hankins, George | Harrell, Burrell | Harris, Abby | Hazlewood, George | Henley, Thomas | Hinson, John | Hockaday, Susan | Hockaday, William, estate | Hubbard, Charles M. | Hubbard, William B., estate | Hundley, Judith | Hundley, Thomas | Jackson, John | Jones, Henley (trust) | Jones, John W. | Jones, William M. | Knight, Garrett | Marston, Dandridge | Merridith, John | Minor, William J. | Moore, Horace, estate | Moore, Moses | Morris, James S. | Mulford, Furman | Peggott, Nathaniel | Pierce, Elizabeth B. | Pitts, Simeon | Post, Christopher | Power, H. S. B. | Ratcliffe, John | Richardson, B. M., estate | Richardson, Elizabeth | Russell, Simon, estate | Scarborough, James | Slater, Beverly | Spencer, Martha | Stewart, George W., estate | Spraggins, S. B., estate | Taylor, Frances P. | Taylor, Mathew, estate | Taylor, P. A. | Taylor, Robert P. | Taylor, Thomas | Turner, Archer | Vaiden, Ann | Van Horne, Cornelius | Waller, Littleton | Wallis, Archer | Walls, William B. | Whitaker, R. H., estate | Wilbern, William | Wilkins, John W., ward | Wise, David, estate | Wynne, Thomas | Yerby, William, estate
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