1) Virginia House of Burgesses
Nicholas Curle succeeded Anthony Armistead upon the latter's death in 1705 as a Burgess representing Elizabeth City County1, and served again as a Burgess from Elizabeth City County from 1710-17132.
2) Sheriff, Elizabeth City County
Nicholas Curle served as Sheriff of Elizabeth City County in 17023.
3) Naval Officer, Lower James River
Nicholas Curle succeeded his father-in-law, Col. William Wilson, in the post of Naval Officer of the Lower District of James River in 17104.
1 Leonard, Cynthia Miller, compiler. The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619-January 11, 1978. Richmond: The Virginia State Library, 1978, p. 62
2 Chapman, Blanche Adams. Wills and Administrations of Elizabeth City County, Virginia, 1688-1800. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1980, p. 152
3 Ibid., p. 155
4Brock, R.A., editor. The Official Letters of Alexander Spotswood, Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony of Virginia, 1710-1722. Richmond: Virginia Historical Society, 1882, pp. 29-31
Nicholas Curle (?- 1714) and Jane Wilson (? – bef 2 May 1758), parents of Jane Curle (ca 1710 – aft. 1773)
[Convention: in this article, Jane Wilson, wife of Nicholas Curle1, will be referred to as Jane Curle (Sr.) The daughter of Jane Curle Sr. and Nicholas Curle will be referred to as Jane Curle (Jr.)]
The will of Nicholas Curle names his daughter Jane (Jr.)
A published summary of the will of Nicholas Curle omits the several mentions of Nicholas's daughter, Jane Curle.
A copy of the original will of Nicholas Curle was obtained from the Library of Virginia in Richmond on 13 Dec 2010. In his will, dated 12 Aug 1714, Nicholas Curle names his wife Jane, and his four children, Pasco, Wilson, Jane (Jr.), and a child unborn, who was Mary Curle (evidence given below). The will names as executor "my Truly and Loving friend Geo. Walker". This is George Walker I, husband of Ann Keith, father of George Walker II who married Jane Curle (Jr.) One of the witnesses of the will, James Ricketts, was to be Jane Curle (Sr.)'s second husband.
In his will, Nicholas Curle mentions his daughter and legatee, Jane Curle Jr., several times, including:
- "[?] Then I Give and Bequeath the sd. Plantation & Appurtenances to my Daughter Jane Curle and to the Heirs of her body, Lawfully, and for Ever."
- "Equally divided between my Loving Wife Jane Curle, my son Pasco Curle, my Daughter Jane Curle and the Child my wife Now goes with…"
- "[?] wife Jane Curle my son Pasco Curle my Daughtr. Jane Curle and to the Child my wife Now Goes with all…"
One note: Nicholas's elder son, Pasco Curle, was sent to England to be educated. He died either as a teenager or in early adulthood, unmarried and with no children. His education in England, and his estate, are mentioned in Elizabeth City records 21 Aug 17452.
There are three other wills that each independently corroborate that Jane Curle (Jr.), daughter of Nicholas Curle, was the wife of George Walker II of Amelia/Prince Edward and later of Elizabeth City, and the mother of Col. George Walker III of Prince Edward and later Jessamine KY.
1) The will of Jane Curle (Sr.) names "my son-in-law George Walker"
To understand the will of Jane Curle (Sr.), which is in the name Jane Sweeney, it is necessary to review the marital history of Nicholas Curle and his wife. Nicholas Curle first married Elizabeth Gutherick in 1700, which marriage is recorded in Elizabeth City records3. Elizabeth died, and there were no known children from that marriage. Nicholas married second Jane Wilson, daughter of Col. William Wilson, and legatee and executrix of his will. That his wife was the daughter of Col. William Wilson is clearly stated in Nicholas Curle's will:
"…my Sd. son Wilson Curle's Land Given to him by his Grandfather Col. Willm. Wilson".
After Nicholas Curle died in 1714, his widow Jane married second James Ricketts, who was a Burgess 1720-22 and 1723. Ricketts died in 1724. Jane married third Merritt Sweeney, by 1733, when she was named as a legatee by the name "Mrs. Jane Sweeney" in the will of Susanna Alkins4, with her daughter, Jane Curle (Jr).
The second and third marriages of the widow Jane Curle Sr. are confirmed in a court case brought against Jane by descendants of her first husband's brother, Joshua Curle, and descendants of her son, Wilson Curle5. Jane's second husband, James Ricketts, squandered the wealth that Jane had inherited from Nicholas. The court found Jane to be financially liable for the irresponsibility of her second husband, because of her "folly in Marrying such a Husband", and further found her third husband, Merritt Sweeney, liable as well, because, said the court, "it is of the unhappy Conditions of Matrimony that the Husband must take his Wife with all her Incumbrances.".
This lawsuit was probably the reason that Jane Sweeney, widow of Nicholas Curle, did not mention any of her Curle descendants in her will as indicated in the published summary of the will6.
In the will of Jane Curle (Sr.), dated 31 Jul 1757, she names "my Son-in-law George Walker whole & Sole executor of this my last will and Testament". This will confirms that George Walker was the husband of Jane Curle (Jr.) As noted in the Chapman summary7, George Walker declined to act as executor, possibly fed up with his mother-in-law's Sweeny relations.
Jane Sweeney, wife of Merritt Sweeney, is referred to as "deceased" on 2 May 1758 in the Elizabeth City Order Book 1755-17608.
2) The will of Martha Sweeney, daughter of Merritt Sweeney and Jane Curle (Sr.), names her "brother-in-law George Walker"
The will of Martha Sweeney, dated 30 May 1757, is accurately summarized in Chapman9. Martha was a daughter of Merritt Sweeney and Jane (Wilson Curle Ricketts) Sweeney, a fact confirmed by the next will on the page, the will of her father, Merritt Sweeney, second line10. George Walker's wife, Jane Curle (Jr.), was a half-sister of Martha Sweeney, because the two shared their mother, Jane Curle (Sr.).
In her will, Martha names her "brother-in-law George Walker" as executor, confirming that the Jane to whom George Walker is married is Jane Curle (Jr.), daughter of Nicholas Curle and Jane Curle (Sr.)
3) The will of Mary Nash, sister of Jane Curle (Jr.), names "my nephew George Walker" – George Walker III
As noted above, Nicholas Curle named four children in his will of 1714: Pasco, Jane, Wilson, and "the child my wife now goes with". This fourth child was Mary Curle, born 1714 after Nicholas's death. She married first Alexander Hamilton11; this marriage is confirmed by Alexander Hamilton's will of 17 Sep 174612. She married second John Nash of Prince Edward County13. As the reference notes, the marriage was proved by the oaths of Mary's niece, Priscilla Curle, and her half-sister, Martha Sweny.
The will of Mary Nash14 is dated 22 Oct 1765. After several specific bequests, Mary states:
"Lastly I give and bequest to my Nephew George Walker the residue of my Estate…"
This legatee is Col. George Walker III of Prince Edward and Jessamine KY, son of Mary's sister Jane Curle (Jr.) and George Walker II. Two lines later Mary names him again, as executor of her will:
"I do constitute and appoint Mr. Cary Selden and my Nephew George Walker Executors of this my Last Will and Testament."
Mary also identifies her sister (Jane) as having last name Walker:
"Item I give to my sister Walker all my wearing apparel and all my Rings".
Mary also mentions as legatee Jane Booker, her niece. Jane Booker is the sister and only sibling of Col. George Walker III, as mentioned in their father's 1773 will15.
Finally Mary Curle's will mentions several Curles as legatees (descendants of her deceased brother, Wilson Curle), including her nephew Nicholas Curle, and the child Mary Curle of another nephew, David Curle, who was deceased.
In summary, the will of Nicholas Curle identifies his daughter Jane Curle (Jr.). The wills of Jane Sweny, Martha Sweny, and Mary Nash, identify Jane Curle (Jr.)'s husband as George Walker II, of Elizabeth City, and Jane Curle (Jr.)'s son as George Walker III of Prince Edward.
1Chapman, Blanche Adams. Wills and Administrations of Elizabeth City County, Virginia, 1688-1800. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1980, p. 28
2Ibid., p. 28
3Ibid., p. 141
4Ibid., p. 1
5Armistead vs Swiney & his Wife Ex'rs of N. Curle. In Chanc. "Virginia Colonial Decisions", pp. 204-208 digitized edition at: http://www.archive.org/stream/virginiacolonia01barrgoog/virginiacolonia01barrgoog_djvu.txt
6Chapman, p. 89
7Ibid., p. 89
8Ibid., p. 89
9Ibid., p. 89
11Wulfeck, Dorothy Ford. "Marriages of Some Virginia Residents, 1607-1800", p. 198
12Chapman, p. 37
13Elizabeth City County O.B. 1747-1755, p. 171, 3 Jul 1750, marriage of Mary Hamilton & John Nash. Cited in: William & Mary Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 1, 1934: p. 95
14Will of Mary Nash. Prince Edward County, Virginia Wills, 1754-1776. Miami Beach: T.L.C. Genealogy, 1991, pp. 52-53
15T.L.C. Genealogy. Prince Edward County, Virginia Wills, 1754-1776. Miami Beach: T.L.C. Genealogy, 1991, pp.41-42. [Fairfax City Library, Virginia Room]