Qualifying Service of Henry Chiles for the Society of Colonial Wars

Henry Chiles served as a lieutenant in the New Kent County Militia; he was documented on the militia list on 7 Mar 1701/21. The original reference is from records relating to Virginia in the Public Records Office in London C.O.5/1312.

Henry Chiles's residence in New Kent County in 1701/2 is proven by the documentation of his children's births in the St. Peter's Parish Register in New Kent County between 1698 and 17022. He was documented to own land on Crumps Creek in New Kent County in 17023.

Henry Chiles satisfies the criteria as a qualifying ancestor for the Society of Colonial Wars based on his service as a lieutenant in the New Kent County Militia.

Citations

1Bokestruck, Lloyd DeWitt. Virginia's Colonial Soldiers. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1988, p. 217

2Davis, Virginia Lee Hutcheson. Tidewater Virginia Families. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, 1989, p. 224

3Ibid.

Henry Chiles (bef 1671 – bef 27 Feb 1719/20) and his first wife (name unknown) were the parents of Walter Chiles (abt 1700- 1766)

The St. Peter's Parish (Virginia) Register recorded the birth of Henry Chiles's children, including Walter1:

"The first concrete knowledge of the marriage of Henry Chiles, and his residence in New Kent County, is found in the St. Peter's Parish Register 2. With the characteristic brevity of the entries, the births of the sons of Henry Childes were recorded. Everyone in the parish knew who the mother was, so her name was not mentioned…

"Eight entries after the last 169- entry (all of these were surnames beginning with the letter C) was the entry noting the birth of 'Walter son of Hen Childes bapt. the 5 of January…' This could be interpreted as 1700. 'James son of Hen Childes, Gent bapt. the 4… ….' This entry appeared just five lines after Walter and three lines before one dated 1703. It could probably be taken to be 1702 3."

Henry Chiles became part of the new St. Paul's Parish starting in 17054. Hanover County was formed in 1720 from part of St. Paul's Parish, New Kent County. Therefore Henry Chiles's children would have grown up in St. Paul's Parish, New Kent County until 1720, and then in Hanover County after 1720.

There is an extensive record of Walter Chiles as an adult in Caroline County VA. The question is whether the adult Walter Chiles of Caroline County was the same person as Walter Chiles, son of Henry Chiles of Hanover. Davis states:

"There is every reason to believe that the Walter Chiles, who lived in the Reedy Creek-Reedy Church area of Caroline County, was the son of Henry Chiles of Hanover County"5.

This presumption is based on facts that Davis presents in her chapter on Walter Chiles 6, in her chapter on Henry Chiles 7, and on facts presented Campbell 8, T.E. (1954). Colonial Caroline. Richmond: The Dietz Press, Inc. (title page G8, see pages G9-12). The following is a summary of the evidence:

1) Birth record. Henry Chiles of Hanover County is known to have had a son named Walter (St. Peter's Parish Registry, cited above).

2) Geographical proximity. Walter Chiles of Caroline County lived near the border of Caroline and Hanover Counties, showing geographical proximity between the homestead of the family of Henry Chiles, and the adult Walter Chiles of Caroline County. Specifically:

In 1728, Governor Gooch appointed 18 prominent citizens as justices of the newly-formed Caroline County, including Walter Chiles 9. Caroline County was formed (and is situated) along the northeast border of Hanover County. Walter Chiles's precinct was in the southwest corner of Caroline, bordering Hanover County10.

Walter Chiles of Caroline County appears many times in historical records, spanning his entire adult life. A few examples: He received extensive land grants of 3,800 acres in 1730; was appointed sheriff in 1734 11; executed a deed in 1737 in which his wife "Mary" was noted 12; and died in 1766 when his estate administration was recorded 13.

3) Association with 2 other sons of Henry Chiles. Walter Chiles's brother, Micajah Chiles, was also a prominent citizen of Caroline County. Davis documents that Micajah's father was Henry Chiles 14; that he received a share of his father's land in Hanover County 15; and that he had moved to Caroline County by 1730 16. Micajah is recorded extensively in Caroline County records for the remainder of his life 17.

Another brother of Walter's, William Chiles, also moved to Caroline County and is found several times in that county's records 18.

The fact that 2 of Henry Chiles's sons, Micajah and William, lived their adult lives in Caroline County, provides supporting evidence that the Walter Chiles of Caroline was a third son of Henry Chiles of Hanover County.

No other candidate Walter Chiles. There is only one other Walter Chiles in the records who could have been Henry Chiles's son Walter as an adult, in the geographical vicinity of Hanover County: a Walter Wyatt of Amelia County. A chancery suit proves that the Walter Wyatt of Amelia County was in fact the son of John and Mary Chiles, not the son of Henry Chiles19. The suit is cited in:, see yellow highlight, page G16. The details of the chancery suit are discussed in Davis20.

Therefore, there is only one Walter Chiles in the records, namely the Walter Chiles of Caroline, who could be the son of Henry Chiles of Hanover County.

It is possible that Henry's son Walter died in childhood, or that he did not happen to appear in any surviving historical records. However, when a man owned large tracts of land in colonial Virginia, his sons tended also to own land, and therefore tended to appear in historical records. Similarly, a man who owned large tracts of land tended to be from a family (father) who also owned large tracts of land, and therefore who also tended to appear in historical records.

In other words, it is unlikely, but not impossible, that Walter Wyatt of Caroline would have had a father who appears in none of the surviving records; and it is unlikely, but not impossible, that Henry Wyatt's son, Walter, would appear in none of the surviving records, unless he died in childhood.

To summarize the four lines of evidence:

  • Henry Chiles had a documented son named Walter,
  • Walter Chiles of Caroline County spent his adult life in close proximity to the Hanover County homestead of Henry Chiles's children,
  • Two other sons of Henry Chiles also spent their adult lives in Caroline County, and
  • There are no records of any other men in the vicinity named Walter Chiles who might have been Henry Chiles's son Walter.

Documentation of birth, marriage and death dates and places

Henry Chiles was born before 167121. Davis also cites proof that he died between 30 Mar 1719 and 27 Feb 1719/20 22.

Citations

1 Davis, Virginia Lee Hutcheson. Tidewater Virginia Families. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1989, p. 224

2National Society of Colonial Dames, The Register of St. Peter's Parish, 1904, introduction, p. 4

3Ibid.

4Davis, op. cit., p 225

5Ibid., p. 228

6Ibid., pp. 228-229

7Ibid., pp. 224-227

8Campbell, T.E. Colonial Caroline. Richmond: The Dietz Press, Inc., 1954, pp. 58, 130, 356-357

9Ibid., p. 58

10Ibid., p. 82

11Ibid., p. 357

12Davis, op. cit. p. 228

13Ibid., p. 229

14 Ibid., p. 234

15 Ibid.

16 Ibid.

17 Ibid., pp. 234-235

18 Ibid., p. 230

19 Davis, Virginia L.H. Tidewater Virginia Families: Generations Beyond. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1998, p. 64

20 Ibid., pp. 59-60

21 Davis, op. cit., p. 218

22 Ibid., p. 227