John Wyatt Sr. – Qualifying Service for the Society of Colonial Wars

Qualifying Military Service for Lt. John Wyatt, Sr.

John Wyatt is listed on the King & Queen County militia list for 1701/2 with the rank of Lieutenant1. John Wyatt's brother Richard is also shown on the same line, also a Lieutenant. The one question is whether or not the John Wyatt on the militia list might have been John Wyatt Jr., the son of John Wyatt Sr.

It is established in the essay on this site for John Wyatt Sr.'s father, Major William Wyatt that there were only two individuals named John Wyatt in King & Queen County in 1701/2: John Wyatt, Sr. (ca 1657-aft 1704) and his son, John Wyatt, Jr. (1684-1750), who later established the plantation called Plain Dealing in Caroline County. John Wyatt, Jr. was born in 16842. Thus in 1701/2, John Wyatt Jr. was 17-18 years old, and John Wyatt Sr. was ca. 44 years old.

To assess the typical age of an officer in the King and Queen County militia in 1701/2, the author searched family trees on www.ancestry.com for the names of the King & Queen County officers listed on the 1701/2 rolls, and searched deed records to serve as rough confirmation of ages shown on the ancestry.com family trees.

Bockstruck3 lists 41 officers in King and Queen County on the 1701/2 rolls, ranging in rank from Cornet and Ensign (Subalterns, or Second Lieutenants) to Colonel. Of these 41 officers, 20 are shown in family trees on ancestry.com, with an average age of 41 (average birth year 1660). The youngest officer shown on ancestry.com was Lt. Samuel Craddock, age 36, born 16654.

Some of the officers' ages can be approximately confirmed by their appearance on New Kent County deeds from the 1680s to 1691, confirming they were at least in their 30s in 1701/2, assuming that an individual appearing on a deed was approximately age 21 or older. [King and Queen County was formed from New Kent County in 1691.] Six such examples from the 1701/2 militia rolls are documented as follows, with their ages shown in 1701/2:

Richard Gregory, Captain, age 415, recorded on a New Kent County deed 20 Apr 16876.

William Jones, Captain, age 417, recorded on a New Kent County deed 23 Apr 16818.

Robert Bird, Lieutenant, age 449, recorded on a New Kent County deed 20 Apr 168210.

Richard Roy, Lieutenant, age 4211, recorded on a New Kent County deed 20 Apr 168412.

William Collins, Cornet, age 4113, recorded on a King & Queen County deed 20 Oct 169114.

John Collier, Ensign, age 3715, recorded on a King & Queen County deed 20 Oct 169116.

It is clear from the above examples, and the family trees on ancestry.com, that militia officers in King and Queen County in 1701/2 were at least in their mid to late 30s. John Wyatt Jr., aged 17-18, was far too young to be a lieutenant in the militia.

Therefore the King & Queen County militia listing for John Wyatt in 1701/2 was John Wyatt, Sr., Lieutenant, son of Major William Wyatt.

Citations

1Bockstruck, Lloyd DeWitt. Virginia's Colonial Soldiers. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1988, p. 217

2Collins, Herbert. Bible Records of Caroline County, Virginia Families. Westminster MD: Heritage Books, 2008, p. 354

3Bockstruck, op. cit., pp. 216-217

4www.ancestry.com, search for "Samuel Craddock", viewed 16 Apr 2014

5www.ancestry.com, search for "Richard Gregory", viewed 16 Apr 2014

6Nugent, Nell Marion. Cavaliers and Pioneers. Vol 2: 1666-1695. Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1977, p. 314

7www.ancestry.com, search for "William Jones", viewed 16 Apr 2014

8Nugent, op. cit., p. 219

9www.ancestry.com, search for "Robert Bird", viewed 16 Apr 2014

10Nugent, op. cit., p. 227

11www.ancestry.com, search for "Robert Roy", viewed 16 Apr 2014

12Nugent, op. cit., p. 278

13www.ancestry.com, search for "William Collins", viewed 16 Apr 2014

14Nugent, op. cit., p. 372

15www.ancestry.com, search for "John Collier", viewed 16 Apr 2014

16Nugent, op. cit., p. 369

Captain John Wyatt (1684-1750) was the son of John Wyatt Sr. (ca. 1657-bef 1710) and Anne Jones (ca 1660 – bef 1710).

Summary of the Lineage

Several references detail the lineage of Major William Wyatt, his son John Wyatt, Sr., and his grandson John Wyatt, Jr. (Captain John Wyatt of Plain Dealing, Caroline County). The lineage is summarized in the next two paragraphs. Evidence will then be presented in the form of land deeds and other records to support the lineage in this chapter and in the essay on this site about Major William Wyatt.

Major William Wyatt first appears in Virginia records in Gloucester County, later New Kent County, in 16531,2. Major Wyatt had three children3,4,5:

  • William Wyatt Jr. (ca 1649-1652 - bef 1704) married Rachel Smith,
  • Richard Wyatt (ca 1655-aft 1715) married the widow Catherine Longe Tunstall. Catherine had three daughters by her previous marriage: Mary, Catherine and Barbara,
  • John Wyatt Sr. (ca 1657-bef 1710) married Anne Jones6, daughter of Rice Jones.

John Wyatt Sr. and Anne Jones had one known child, John Wyatt Jr.7.

Evidence for the Lineage

On 6 Feb 1710, "John Wyatt Jr." of King & Queen County sold land that had been willed to his mother, Anne Jones Wyatt, by her father Rice Jones . This deed establishes that John Wyatt Sr., married to Anne Jones, had a son named John Wyatt Jr. who lived in King & Queen County in 1710.

Two sources state that this John Wyatt Jr. of King & Queen County in 1710 is the same John Wyatt who moved from King & Queen County south across the Mattapony River into King William County, eventually settling on the estate known as Plain Dealing (which became part of Caroline County in 1728), and the same John Wyatt who fathered Richard Wyatt (1720-1803)9,10.

Land deeds provide evidence that the John Wyatt Jr. of the 1710 King and Queen County deed moved south across the Mattapony into King William County in 1722, as follows.

By 1707, Catherine Tunstall, wife of John Wyatt Sr.'s brother Richard, had died, and her land was divided among her widower Richard, and Catherine's 3 surviving daughters Mary, Catherine and Barbara11.

In 1713, John Wyatt bought 134 acres from Mary Tunstall and her husband Thomas Fox12.

In 1722, John Wyatt sold the 134 acres, plus an additional 66 acres of the widow's dower that he had since acquired, to Thomas Courtney13. That same year, 1722, Thomas Courtney and his wife Ann sold to John Wyatt 576 acres in King William County14. We can safely assume that the John Wyatt of these 2 deeds is the same John Wyatt (and that the Thomas Courtney of the 2 deeds is the same Thomas Courtney).

The exact location of the 576 acres that John Wyatt purchased in 1722 in King William County is uncertain because parts of creeks may have been renamed since 1722, but it does not appear that the 1722 purchase was the land on which the Plain Dealing estate was founded.

Specifically, the 1722 deed states that the land was "in a fork of Herring Creek, bordering a branch of Mancuin"15. The present day Herring Creek watershed16 lies partly in Caroline County, mostly in King William, and lies considerably north of present day Moncuin Creek. The northern-most extent of present day Moncuin Creek lies near Rte. 360 and King William Rd.

The southern border of the Herring Creek watershed lies mostly along route 30. Present day Moncuin Creek does not reach the Herring Watershed. It is possible that the upper headwater of Moncuin Creek was renamed later.

The conclusion is that in 1722 John Wyatt purchased 576 acres of land that lay in King William County, near but not in the future Caroline County. His land lay between 10 and 16 miles from his future estate on the North Anna (present day Meadow Event Park).

The 1722 King and Queen deed (sale of 200 acres by Wyatt to Courtney) is the last record of any John Wyatt in King and Queen County. The 1722 King William deed (sale of 576 acres by Courtney to Wyatt) is the first and only record of any John Wyatt in King William records. Beginning in 1732, just after the formation of Caroline County, there are many records that cite of John Wyatt of Plain Dealing up until his death in 1750. Some of these are detailed 4 paragraphs below.

The most reasonable explanation of this sequence of land deeds and Caroline County records is that John Wyatt Jr. of the 1710 King & Queen County deed is the same John Wyatt who purchased 134 acres from his niece Mary Tunstall in 1713; sold this land to Thomas Courtney in 1722 while buying 576 acres from Courtney in King William County the same year; and moved to Plain Dealing in Caroline County by 1732. It was common for planters to move gradually westward as crops (especially tobacco) depleted the fertility of the land.

If John Wyatt of Plain Dealing was not the John Wyatt Jr. of the 1710 King and Queen County deed, then John Wyatt of Plain Dealing was absent from any land deed or other records until 1732. We know that John Wyatt of Plain Dealing married Jenny Pamplin in 1711, and had his first child, William, in 1713, and that he was a prominent, extensive landowner in Caroline. It seems unlikely that a prominent, wealthy man would not appear in historical records until age 42 (assuming age 21 in 1711 when he married).

Further, John Wyatt Jr. of King and Queen County, also an extensive landowner, would have to be assumed to have vanished from historical records after 1722 with no record of wife or children, unless he was in fact Capt. John Wyatt of Plain Dealing.

Caroline County records of John Wyatt, 1732-1750

The following are details of Caroline County records that cite John Wyatt beginning in 1732, extending to Wyatt's death in 1750.

14 Dec 1732 – The Caroline Order Book from this date shows John Wyatt living in Caroline County17. He was one of 4 men chosen to appraise an estate18. He was asked to appraise estates several times in the following few years.

13 Dec 1734 – John Wyatt was nominated to the Governor for a commission of the peace19. He was appointed magistrate in 1734 and served for the next 16 years until his death in 175020.

1735 – John Wyatt served as junior warden, St. Margaret's Parish 1735-174121.

1735 – John Wyatt and Jane his wife, and Walter Chiles and Mary his wife, each respectively acknowledge deeds between them22.

1736 & 1739 – John Wyatt was ordered by the court to view land to assess for placement of a water grist and a dam, respectively23.

1739 – John Wyatt acknowledges a deed of gift to his son, William Wyatt24. This confirms that William Wyatt was born on or before 1718 (the Wyatt family Bible states his date of birth as 171325).

12 Jun 1741 – John Wyatt acknowledges his deed of gift to his daughter, Anne Stark26. Anne Wyatt was born in 171527.

13 May 1743 – John Wyatt was nominated for a commission of the peace28.

1746 – John Wyatt again cited as a warden of St. Margaret's Parish29.

1751 – John Wyatt's will was recorded, executor John Pamplin30.

Again, it seems unlikely that an individual with such extensive records in Caroline County would not have appeared in earlier records before 1732 in King William or King & Queen Counties. This observation supports the thesis that "John Wyatt Jr." of the 1710 King & Queen deed cited at the beginning of this chapter was the John Wyatt of Plain Dealing, Caroline County, cited in the records immediately preceding, and was the father of Richard Wyatt of Plain Dealing.

Other possible "John Wyatt's

This chapter has noted all citations of "John Wyatt" in records from King and Queen County, King William County, and Caroline County, between 1710 and 1750. The next chapter will note all citations of "John Wyatt" before 1710 in King and Queen County, King William County, and New Kent County (these pre-1710 citations apply to John Wyatt Sr.) The collected citations are consistent with the thesis that there were only two individuals named "John Wyatt" in these counties between the mid-1600s and 1750, namely John Wyatt Sr., son of Major William Wyatt, and John Wyatt Jr., son of John Wyatt Sr., and father of Richard Wyatt (1720-1803).

The author reviewed the following sources to look for all records that cite "John Wyatt":

  • References cited in this application,
  • Review of all additional sources cited in these references,
  • Complete review of all relevant books and other publications in the Virginia Rooms of the Arlington County Library and the City of Fairfax Library,
  • Search of Google Books for "John Wyatt",
  • Search of Google for "John Wyatt", and
  • Search on ancestry.com for all digitized records and family trees for "John Wyatt".

One last loose end

In his excellent and thoroughly researched book31, Michal Farmer inferred that there was a second John Wyatt in King and Queen County in 1722, a son of Richard Wyatt and Catherine Tunstall32. His inference appears to have been based on the 1722 deed 33cited above in which John Wyatt sells land that came from Catherine Tunstall's estate. Farmer reasonably assumed that John Wyatt must have inherited this land, and therefore may have been a son of Catherine Tunstall and Richard Wyatt. However the deed from 1713 cited above34 shows that John Wyatt did not inherit this land: he purchased it from Catherine Tunstall's daughter, Mary Tunstall, and her husband Thomas Fox.

Given that John Wyatt did not inherit land from Catherine Tunstall, there is no reason to suppose that Richard Wyatt had a son named John, and no other source claims that Richard Wyatt had a son named John.

The conclusion of this chapter remains that there is evidence of only 2 individuals named "John Wyatt" in the years and counties addressed in this chapter: John Wyatt Sr. and John Wyatt Jr., father of Richard Wyatt.

Citations

1"Wyatt Families". The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 10, No. 4 (Apr. 1902), p. 260

2Farmer, Michal Martin. The Genealogy of the Webster, Martin, Dozier, Staples, & Starke Families of Wilkes Co., Ga. Wolfe City, Texas: Henington Publishing Company, 1994, p. 619

3W&M Quarterly, op. cit., p. 260

4Farmer, op. cit., p. 628

5Wulfeck, Dorothy. Marriages of Some Virginia Residents, 1607-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1986, p. 317

6Farmer, op. cit., pp. 632-633

7Ibid., p. 637

8Ibid., p. 638

9Ibid., p. 638

10Harris, Malcolm. Old New Kent County [Virginia]: Some Account of the Planters, Plantations, and Places in King and Queen County, St. Stephen's Parish. Baltimore: Clearfield Publishing Co., Inc., 2006, p. 394

11Parks, Gary, indexer. Virginia Land Records. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., p. 283

12Ibid., p. 283

13Ibid., p. 283

14Virginia Colonial Abstracts. Vol. 2, King & Queen County. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1988, pp. 295-296

15Ibid., p. 296

16"Natural Conditions Assessment for Low pH: Herring Creek and Tributaries, Caroline County and King William County, Virginia." Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, 10 Oct 2006, p. 2. Viewed on 22 Apr 2014 at: http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Portals/0/DEQ/Water/WaterQualityStandards/ClassVII NaturalConditionsReports/SWAMP_Nat_COND_HerringCreek.pdf

17McGhan, Judith. Virginia Will Records. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1982, pp. 67-68

18Dorman, John Frederick. Caroline County, Virginia Order Books 1732-1741. Washington, D.C., 1965, p. 20

19Ibid., p. 86

20Campbell, T.E. Colonial Caroline. Richmond: The Dietz Press, Incorporated, 1954, p. 346

21Ibid., p. 433

22Dorman, op. cit., p. 2

23Ibid., pp. 35, 43

24Ibid., p. 61

25Collins, Herbert. Bible Records of Caroline County, Virginia Families. Westminster MD: Heritage Books, 2008, p. 354

26Dorman, op. cit., p. 26

27Farmer, op. cit., p. 639

28Dorman, op. cit., p. 12

29Campbell, op. cit., p. 96

30Ibid., p. 473

31Farmer, op. cit., p. 632

32Farmer, p. 632

33Parks, op. cit., p. 283

34Ibid., p. 283

Richard Wyatt (1720-1803) was the son of Captain John Wyatt (1684-1750) and Jenny Pamplin (dates unknown)

The Wyatt family Bible states that Richard Wyatt's parents were Captain John Wyatt and Jenny Pamplin1;states that Capt. John Wyatt was born in 1684; that Richard Wyatt was born on 20 May 1720; and that Capt. Wyatt's first son William was born in 1713.

The Wyatt family Bible also confirms the later lineage of this Wyatt: Richard Wyatt married Amy Chiles on 7 Nov 1752, and their daughter Amy Wyatt married James Hawkins.

Most Caroline County records were later burned, and Capt. John Wyatt's will does not survive. However the recording of his will does survive in Caroline County Order Books2, and provides a connection between Captain John Wyatt and Walter Chiles, father of Richard Wyatt's wife, Amy Chiles.

John Wyatt's will was proved 9 Nov 1750 in Caroline Co., by Walter Chiles and John Pamplin. This Walter Chiles, resident of Caroline County, was Walter Chiles III, founding Justice of Caroline County 1728-1732, Sheriff in 1734, and father of Richard Wyatt's wife, Amy Chiles Wyatt.

The Wyatt and Chiles families appear together on two other entries in the Caroline County Order books: in 1735, John Wyatt and Jane his wife, and Walter Chiles and Mary his wife, each respectively acknowledge deeds between them3.These deeds are further evidence of the connection between the respective parents of Amy Chiles and Richard Wyatt, and provide circumstantial evidence in Caroline County records to support the Wyatt family Bible statement that Capt. John Wyatt was the father of Richard Wyatt.

Note that John Wyatt's wife is variously referred to as Jane or Jenny Pamplin. It seems quite possible that with an English/Southern accent of the time, Jenny was pronounced "Janny", representing a diminutive form of "Jane".

The second executor of John Wyatt's will, John Pamplin is presumably a relative of Jenny Pamplin, but the relationship is unknown. A second order book entry directs payment of 320 pounds to John Pamplin for costs in proving the will 4.

Additional Evidence of Lineage

In addition to the proof of lineage presented above, there is a separate line of evidence that Richard Wyatt of Plain Dealing was a direct descendant of Major William Wyatt, his great-grandfather.

Specifically, there is independent evidence that Richard Wyatt and Major William Wyatt were each close relatives of the first Governor of Virginia Sir Francis Wyatt (1588-1644), and therefore were members of the Wyatt family of Boxley, Kent who were descendants of Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542), the English Renaissance poet5. Sir Thomas Wyatt was the great-grandfather of Sir Francis Wyatt.

There are two proven American branches of this Wyatt family, descended respectively from the brothers Sir Francis Wyatt and Rev. Hawte Wyatt of Jamestown. The descendants of these two men are well researched, and do not include either Richard Wyatt or Major William Wyatt.

Therefore the evidence suggests that both Richard Wyatt and Major William Wyatt were members of a third American branch of the Wyatt family of Boxley, Kent, and that Major William Wyatt was therefore a direct ancestor of Richard Wyatt. Major Wyatt might have been the son of John Wyatt of Boxley, Kent, who names a son William, age 24, in his will proved 11 Jun 16566; confirmation of this theory is the subject of current research.

The evidence of the respective relationships of Richard Wyatt and Major William Wyatt to Sir Francis Wyatt is discussed on this site in a section of the article "Major William Wyatt" on the Society of Colonial Wars page titled: "The Ancestry of the Wyatt's in America".

Location of the Wyatt estate Plain Dealing in Virginia

Captain John Wyatt established the family estate called Plain Dealing, and his son Richard Wyatt continued to farm this estate. Its location is important to the proof of this lineage.

Plain Dealing was a 700 acre estate located in Caroline County on the North Anna River about 5 to 6 miles north of the junction of the North Anna River and South Anna River, where they come together to form the Pawmunkey River7 ("miles" refers to river miles traveled on the North Anna). Local tradition holds that the Wyatt estate called Plain Dealing was near the present day location of Meadow Event Park, a large park and nature preserve in Dowell, Virginia8. It happens that Meadow Event Park is located a little over 5 miles from the junction of the North Anna River, the South Anna River and the Pawmunkey, so the local tradition agrees well with the historical record.

The land occupied by Plain Dealing was thus on the east bank of the North Anna River, north of the Pawmunkey and south of the Mattapony Rivers. Therefore the counties in which this land rested were as follows:

New Kent County until 1691,

King and Queen County 1691-1702,

King William County 1702-1728, and

Caroline County 1728-present.

As discussed in the article about him, Major William Wyatt owned land and lived in New Kent County; his son John Wyatt, Sr. owned land and lived in King and Queen County (north of the Mattapony); and his son, Captain John Wyatt, initially owned land in King and Queen County, then owned land in adjacent King William County by 1722 (south of the Mattapony), and lived in Caroline County as of 1732, remaining there until his death in 1750.

Citations

1Collins, Herbert. Bible Records of Caroline County, Virginia Families. Westminster MD: Heritage Books, 2008, pp. 354-359

2Farmer, Michal Martin. The Genealogy of the Webster, Martin, Dozier, Staples, & Starke Families of Wilkes Co., Ga. Wolfe City, Texas: Henington Publishing Company, 1994, pp. 637-638

3Dorman, John Frederick. Caroline County, Virginia Order Books 1732-1741. Washington, D.C., 1965, p. 2

4Farmer, op. cit., p. 638

5Wingfield, Marshall. A History of Caroline County Virginia. Baltimore: Regional Publishing Company, 1975, p. 490

6"Virginia Gleanings in England: Sir Henery Wyatte of Alington, co. Kent, knight", The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 31, No. 3 (Jul., 1923), p. 240

7Wingfield, op. cit., p. 490

8Personal communication from Joseph B. Wyatt, author of the website "Wyatt Family History" at: http://jbwyatt.com/Wyatt/history.html