Walter Chiles II, Burgess & Susanna Chiles

Walter Chiles II represented James City County in the House of Burgesses in 1658, and again in 1663-1664 1. He probably did not serve as a Burgess before 1658 2 , as some earlier histories had suggested.

A deed was recorded 20 May 1670 for Mr. Walter Chiles for 70 acres "in James Citty Island called Black Poynt". The deed states that this land was granted to his father, Walter Chiles, and was due Walter Chiles II "as sonne & heyr"3. This deed proves that Walter Chiles II owned Black Point on Jamestown Island.

Walter Chiles II satisfies the criteria as a qualifying ancestor for the Society of Colonial Wars based on his service as a Burgess. He satisfies the criteria as a qualifying ancestor for the Jamestown Society based on his service as a Burgess, and based on his ownership of land on Jamestown Island before 1700, specifically Black Poynt.

Susannah Chiles – Land Owner on Jamestown Island

Walter Chiles II first married Mary Page, daughter of Colonel John Page, before 5 Jul 1653, when Walter Chiles was identified as the son-in-law of Col. Page in testimony before the Virginia Assembly 4. The year of Mary Page's death is not known, but Walter Chiles had married Susannah and had a son by her before 4 Apr 16715.

The will of Col. John Page mentioned two grandchildren by his daughter, John and Elizabeth6. The fact that Walter was not mentioned as a grandchild of Col. Page is presumptive evidence that he was not a son of Mary Page, and therefore that he was the son of Walter and Susanna.

After Walter Chiles's death, the Council of Virginia granted Susannah Chiles 200 acres of land in James City, in an order dated 15 May 1672 7. Susannah is referred to in the order as the "relict and executrix" of Walter Chiles.

The above citations show that Henry Chiles was the son of Susanna Chiles, and that Susannah owned land in James City, which was granted her after the death of her husband, Walter Chiles. Susannah Chiles satisfies the criteria as a qualifying ancestor for the Jamestown Society based on her land ownership on Jamestown Island before 1700.

Lineage: Walter Chiles II and Susannah Chiles, parents of Henry Chiles

Henry Chiles (bef 1671 – bef 27 Feb 1719/20) was the son of Walter Chiles (1608-1671) and Susannah _____

Surviving records for colonial Virginia are sparse, but there is convincing evidence that Henry Chiles was the son of Walter Chiles and Susannah, as noted above, and as follows.

1) Birth record: Walter Chiles had a son named Henry

The names of 2 of Walter Chiles's sons, John and Henry, are recorded the Council Journal, Jamestown: on 4 Apr 1671, Walter Chiles II appeared on behalf of his sons John and Henry relative to a land patent in Westmoreland County 8,9.

2) Geographical proximity.

Henry Chiles first appears as an adult in land records in Kent County in 1696 10. Kent County was adjacent to, and due west of, James City, where Walter Chiles lived with his family at Kemp house. The proximity of the homestead of the adult Henry Chiles to the homestead of Walter Chiles in James City is supporting evidence that this Henry Chiles was Walter's son.

3) Proximity of brother John.

Walter Chiles's other documented son, John Chiles, also first appears as an adult in land records in New Kent County: specifically he patented 345 acres of land in New Kent on Crump's Creek on 23 Oct 1690 11. The land owned by Henry Chiles in 1696, referenced in the previous paragraph was also on Crump's Creek.

The fact that Henry and John Chiles first appear in adulthood owning land in such close proximity, on Crump's Creek in New Kent County, is supporting evidence that this Henry Chiles of New Kent County was John's brother, and was the son of Walter Chiles and Susannah ______.

4) Family traditions.

There are many sources that state that Henry Chiles of New Kent County, later Hanover County, was the son of Walter Chiles of James City: three sources are cited below. The lineage traditions cited in the 3 references below are from 3 separate, distant branches of the Chiles family. The fact that these 3 distant families maintain a tradition, of lineage through Henry Chiles to Walter Chiles the Immigrant, increases the probability both that the claims of lineage are independent (rather than from a single source), and that the claims date back in time from individuals who had personal, first-hand knowledge of the correct lineage.

Further, the second of the three sources cites a coat of arms as evidence.

Family A: Tradition in the Caroline County family of Richard Wyatt (1720-1803), and in Caroline County oral history, held that Richard Wyatt's wife Amy Chiles was descended from Walter Chiles the Immigrant, through Walter Chiles II, Henry Chiles, and Henry's son Walter 12.

Family B: A biography 13 of Nathaniel Burruss (1844-1905) traces his ancestry back through Agatha Chiles, daughter of Manoah Chiles, granddaughter of Henry Chiles, and great granddaughter of Walter Chiles, member of the House of Burgesses in 1658. Further, this family has preserved the coat of arms of Walter Chiles.

The fact that the Burruss family preserves the family crest of Walter Chiles increases the probability that these family members are in fact descended from Walter Chiles, through Henry Chiles, as the family tradition claims.

Family C: The family of President John Tyler preserves the tradition that President John Tyler was a great great grandson of Elizabeth Tyler 14, sister of Henry Chiles of New Kent County; and that Henry and Elizabeth were descended from Walter the Immigrant.

The three family traditions referenced above were carried along in branches of the Chiles family descended respectively from Henry Chiles's son Walter, his son Manoah, and his sister Elizabeth. These 3 branches of the Chiles family split more than 350 years ago. The fact that all 3 branches preserve the tradition of lineage back through Henry Chiles to Walter Chiles II and Walter Chiles I tends to suggest that the traditions originated contemporaneously with the common ancestors, and therefore supports the veracity of the traditions.

Documentation of birth, marriage and death dates and places

Walter Chiles II was baptized on 20 Mar 160815,16 establishing his birth year as c. 1608. Walter died in 1671 shortly after making his will17. The birth and death years of Susannah Chiles are unknown.

Henry Chiles served as a lieutenant in the New Kent County Militia; he was documented on the militia list on 7 Mar 1701/218. The original reference is from records relating to Virginia in the Public Records Office in London C.O.5/1312

Citations

1 Davis, Virginia Lee Hutcheson. Tidewater Virginia Families. Baltimore: Genealogical Printing Co. Inc., 1989, p. 216

2Davis, Virginia Lee Hutcheson. Tidewater Virginia Families, Generations Beyond. Baltimore: Genealogical Printing Co. Inc., 1998, p. 54

3Nugent, Nell Marion. Cavaliers and Pioneers, Vol. II (1666-1695). Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1977: p.112

4Davis, Tidewater Virginia Families, op. cit., p. 216

5Ibid., p. 218

6Ibid., p. 218

7Ibid., p. 218

8Ibid., p. 218

9McIlwaine, H.Rl, ed. Minutes of the Council and General Court of Virginia. p. 245

10Davis, op. cit., p. 224

11Ibid., p. 220

12Wingfield, Marshall. A History of Caroline County, Virginia. Baltimore: Regional Publishing Company, 1975, pp. 490-491

13Wilson, Leonard, ed. in chief. Makers of America, Vol. II. City of Washington: B.F. Johnson, Inc., 1916, p. 391

14Tyler, Lyon Gardiner (1896 – President of William & Mary College, Editor of William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine). The Letters and Times of the Tylers. Williamsburg: Whittet and Shepperson, pages 210

15Davis, op. cit., p. 215

16The English Genealogist, Vol. 5, No. 3, Issue 19, p. 17

17Davis, op. cit., p. 218

18Bokestruck, Lloyd DeWitt. Virginia's Colonial Soldiers. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1988, p. 217

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