Andersons of Colonial N. Carolina

meant what they said, said what they meant

William Pitman and William Wray (of Surry County) – brothers-in-law

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The key to figuring out this guy may be William Wray.  Since William Pitman married Wray’s sister it seems patently obvious they may be about the same age.  Or so it would seem…

I’m mostly using this record source:  Surry County Records, Surry County Virginia, 1652-1684, Eliza Timberlake Davis

1660… Matthew Battell, cooper, of Surry County, sells to Thos. Busby, planter, in Surry County, one young horse.  Wit. Thos. Pittman, Barth. Owen.

This is undoubtedly Capt Thomas Pitman, the father of William Pitman.  (lived near Gray’s Creek early on)

1662… Bartholomew Owen, of Gray’s Creek, Southwark Parish, Gent., to Christopher Lewis, wine cooper, certain livestock … Christopher Lewis and wife, Jane, sold 200 acres to Owen. The land was located on the upper west side of Grayes Creeke,  nearby was the land of Jno. Watkins and John Whitson.  Owen died intestate before 31 Jan 1677/8, when his wife, Johanna was granted administration on the estate. An inventory was filed on 14 Feb 1677/8.

1670… Barth. Owen to Richard Welbeck. 3 Jan. 1670.  Geo. Proctor, Henry Brigs, Johannah Owen.

1672…  Rich Welbeck assigns title to certain conveyance to John Whitson.  Wit.: Nic. Meriweather, Geo. Proctor, John Salway.

By 1673… Barth. Owen patents 648 acres on the SW side of John Chehawkins Swamp about 10 miles or so SW of Gray’s Creek.  In 1689, Robert Owen re-patents and adds a bit of land to his father’s land on JonChehocon Swamp.

1689…  William Ray patents 314 acres just south (if not adjoining) to the Owen property.

1690…  Patent Book 8

Whereas JOHN WHITSON, of Surry Co., purchased of RICHARD WELBECK 200

acs. in sd. county, near head of GREYE’s Cr., 14 Sept. 1672, to be held by

him & his heirs forever; & whereas sd. WHITSON was seized in his demesne

as of fee of & in sd. 200 acs., & being so seized committed rebellion & high

treason & was for the same legally convicted & executed & also legally at-

tained, as appears by Act of Assembly of 1680. whereby all his estate both

real & personal became forfeited to his Majesty; & whereas WM. WRAY, &

MARY, his wife, the only dau. of sd. WHITSON, hath made composition for

sd. land & payed what by the Charter, Law & Custome of Virga. is required in

such cases; know ye, therefore, &c. give & grant unto sd. WM. WRAY &

MARTHA, his wife, all the aforesd. 200 acs, &c. 23 Oct. 1690, p. 88.

1698… Robert OWEN of Southwarke Parish to Wm Ray 50 ac of land.

Witness: Richard HAM and John X Karsie   Recorded 3 Jan 1698 (Surry Co, VA

Bk 5 p 159, 6 Sep)

So we seem to have 2 different William Wrays’ living on 2 different properties about 10 miles apart.  I previously thought that the one living near Gray’s Creek remained and died there in 1731.  Now I’m not so sure after tracking the property and in particular the witnesses to his will.

Wills and Administrations of Surry County, Virginia, 1671-1750, Eliza Timberlake Davis

RAYE, William: Leg.- (Too illegible and torn to read) Eldest son…William Ray…

wife…Makes brother-in-law Wm. Pitman, Exer. William Ray, one of the Exrs.,

presents will in Court. Wit: Howell Briggs, Wm. Clary, Rich. Parker, Made:

1 June, 1731. Prob.: 20 Oct., 1731.

ALL of the above witnesses were close neighbors to the property near the Blackwater River and Johnchecohunk Swamp… which is not proof that they did not travel the 10 miles to Gray’s Creek but makes one pause to consider.  I do think this is sufficient circumstantial evidence to conclude the 2 William Wrays were father and son.  Perhaps the old man spent his final days at the son’s plantation… or had moved.

1735… the will of the other William Wray…

RAY, William: Leg.-To wife, Marthy, ye Plantation at Coporhonk, for her life,

and at her death to my son, Lenard Ray. Rest of est. to wife, and makes her Exerx. Made: 9 Dec, 1735. Prob.: 21 July, 1736. Wit: Henry Sowerby, Benjamin Sowerby.

Book 8, p. 613 (Wills and Administrations of Surry County, Virginia, 1671-1750, Eliza Timberlake Davis)

I try not to overanalyze this stuff and keep it common sense… the “1731 will” mentions one of the executors as “Eldest son”… and since it can be proven the wife was 60 years old it seems to me this is the father and the “1735 will” was the son.  Apparently both men were married to a Martha.

All of which brings me back to focus on William Pitman… he probably met and wed the sister of William Wray near Gray’s Creek… and it also seems reasonable to conclude he also was perhaps in his 60’s at the death of Wray in 1731.  To re-hash the obvious, since the wife of William Wray was an only child she could not have a sister… therefore William Pitman could only marry a sister of Wray in order to be a brother-in-law.

I have a few more details on my Page… William Pitman of Surry… also see my Surry County map Page…

Oh, and if you view my map you will find a William Pitman just a few miles SW of the William Wray who died 1735… this William Pitman received his patent in 1724.  I don’t think this is the brother in law of Wray primarily because I think this guy on Coppahaunk Creek is the one who is recorded in the Newport Vestry book of Isle of Wight among other reasons… I think this is the smoking gun proof to substantiate my theory:

Isle of Wight Deed Book 9, page 116

5 April 1753

William (x) Pittman to his son James PIttman, for love and affection – all my estate, that my son will maintain me for the rest of my natural life.

Wit.  Jordan Thomas, William Braddy

 Simply stated, I don’t think the brother in law of William Wray lived until 1753.


A bit of speculation…

Surry, Book 7, page 341 27 Apr 1720 William Wray (Ray) of Southwarke Parish to Thomas Goodwynne of the same for 25 pounds current money….175 acres on south side of Three Creeks and bounded by Francis Mallory, decd., the Kings land and Richard Acock. (Elizabeth Wray, wife of William Wray, relinquished her Right of Dower.)   Wit. Edward Goodrich, Arthur Kavanaugh and Marmaduke Johnson.

Is this a grandson of the William Wray who died in 1731?  Purely a hunch on my part, but I think a couple grandsons may have become Indian Traders… (if it can be proven?).  This Wm Wray seems to obtain some property near modern Emporia, VA near Arthur Kavanaugh and Robert Hicks (both Indian Traders).   And to further extend the speculation, perhaps a son of one of the William Pitmans’ may have been a Trader also…

See here…

Partial List of Tithables

Deep and Flatt Creeks Amelia County Virginia, 1746

Transcibed by Gayl Wells, 2007

… from long list…

William Pittman

William Pitman Jun.

John Pilman (sic)

Leonard Ray  * note that a Leonard Ray was listed in the will of William Ray of Surry County in 1735


update…. scratch this William Pittman in Amelia County… they were in the tithable 1746, 47, 48…. also William Pittman was referenced in a deed in 1749…. So… these folks can’t be the same as the one in Edgecombe County, NC in 1746….

Written by anderson1951

December 30, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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