Andersons of Colonial N. Carolina

meant what they said, said what they meant

She burned the damn will….

with one comment

My head hurts…. I think I have reached my limit….  I am running out of hair to pull out.

Joani Taylor and I are trying to unravel the spaghetti pile of Pitt folks in IOW… she is focused on her guy James Pitt who wanders down to Edgecombe County, NC about 1797 or so and dies…

a little background…

Joseph Godwin d. c1760

1) Matthew Godwin

a) Joseph Godwin

b) James Godwin

2) James Godwin

a) James Godwin

b) Joseph Godwin

3) Jonathan Godwin

a) Jonathan Godwin

b) Samuel Godwin

4) Patience Godwin m. James Pitt

a) Joseph Pitt

5) Martha Milner

6) Thomas Godwin

7) Samuel Godwin

8) Elizabeth Smith


In the name of God Amen I Joseph Godwin of the County of Isle of Wight being

very sick and weak but in my perfect sensce and memory do ordain this my last

Will and Testament as followeth ~

I give unto my two Grandsons Joseph & James Godwin Sons of my Son Matthew two

hundred acres of land that I bought of Thomas Underwood joining the Old

Plantation and bounded by a line of marked trees and known by the name of the

Cyprus Pocosin and Ten Pounds Cash apeace to be paid unto them when they come

of age by my hereafter mentioned Exors and if either of them should die

before they come of age then their part to go to the other ~

I give unto my Grandson James Godwin son of my son James half of the crop of

corn now upon the ground & two younf heffers I give unto my Grandson Joseph

Godwin son of my son James Two Young Heffers and five pounds cash which money

I desire may be paid out of my stock ~

I give unto my Grandson Joseph Pitt forty Shillings cash to be paid unto him

immediately after this my will is proved and one young heffer ~

I give unto my two grandsons Jonathan and Samuel Godwin sons of my son

Jonathan my negro girl called Pegg to be equally divided between them ~

I give unto my daughter Patience Pitt fifty pound the money that (last ??)

was valued to ?? ~

I give unto my daughter Martha Milner two cows and one younf heffer ~

I give unto my son Thomas Godwin one bed and furnioture and my wearing

clothes ~

I give unto my son Samuel Godwin my negro man Saul ~

I leave my negro Pink to be sold and Ten Pounds of the money to be given to

my son Jonathan Godwin ~

I give unto my daughter Elizabeth Smith five pound cash to be raised out of

my stock ~

I give unto my daughter Martha Milner ten pound if so much left after my

other legacies is paid~

And all the rest of my estate to be disposed of at the descretion of my

hereafter mentioned executor among my grandchildren after my just debts is

paid ~

And I do appoint and ordain my Son in Law James Pitt my Whole & Sole Executor

of this my Last Will & Testament in Witness hereof I have hereunto set my

Hand and fix my Seal this 17th day of November 1757 ~

Joseph Godwin (S S)

Sealed & Signed in presence of us]

Thomas Godwin

Samuel Bridger

James Godwin


At a Court held for Isle of Wight County January 1st 1761 ~

The Last Will and Testament of Joseph Godwin Deced was presented in Court by

James Pitt the Executor therein named who made oath thereto and being proved

by the Oath of Thomas Godwin and Samuel Bridger two of the witnesses thereto

is ordered to be recorded ~

Test Richard Baker Cl


Got it?   Simple enough…. James married Patience…              Nope… lots of controversy….



Chapman’s Isle of Wight County Marriages records the marriage of John Pitt and ……(Prob. Patience) Godwin, sister of Thomas Godwin, in 1748. This date is not considered accurate based on John Pitt’s death date of 1748 and the fact that he and Patience had six children. The will of Joseph Godwin, father of Patience and Thomas, and grandfather of Joseph Pitt, appears to add credibility to the assumed marriage of John Pitt and Patience Godwin

Chapman’s Isle of Wight County Marriages records the marriage of James Pitt and Patience Godwon, daiughter of Joseph Godwin, in 1757. Patience’s first husband, John Pitt, had died in 1748. Her father, Joseph Godwin. lists James Pitt as son-in-law in his will of 1757. Although Patience and John Pitt had six children, it is unclear if Patience and James Pitt had any children.

I think I can figure out the problem above…  a John Pitt marries a daughter/sister, (whatever) “Patience” of Thomas Godwin…  and a James Pitt marries a daughter “Patience” of Joseph Godwin………..    simple.

from Sallys Place  (she seems to agree with me)

Children of Col. Thomas Godwin II died 1714 and Martha Bridger:

1. Col. Thomas Godwin III ca 1680 – 1734/40

married Mary Godwin his first cousin

2. Joseph Godwin ca 1680/5 – 1761 Isle of Wight Co will

Burgess for Isle of Wight 1714, 1723; high sheriff and of the court in1719,  1720

names grandsons , Joseph, Jonathan.

a. Samuel Godwin bef 1717 –

b. Elizabeth Godwin bef 1717 –

c. Matthew Godwin

i. Joseph Godwin

ii. James Godwin

d. Thomas Godwin

e. Jonathan Godwin ca 1710 – 1769

i. Samuel Godwin

ii. Jonathan Godwin

f. Patience Godwin

            married James Pitt

               James Pitt married 2nd Mrs. Mary Rand Smith

g. James Godwin 1715/20 – 1750

married Elizabeth

i. James Godwin

ii. Joseph Godwin

married 2nd Mary Moscrop

dau of Thomas Moscrop and wife Susanna will 1745 Isle of Wight

h. William Godwin

 I have “smoking gun” proof that one James Pitt did in fact marry Mary Rand Smith…

But there is a John Pitt that dies in 1748 and another in 1760… my head is starting to throb….

The will of John Pitt dated Nov 17 1748 named legatees: son John; son Edmond; daughter Elizabeth; daughter Mary; daughter Lidia; son Joseph. Executors: brother Joseph Pitt and brother-in-law Thomas Godwin. Witnesses: Charles Fulgham, Joseph Bridger, Jr., & John House. Recorded March 9 1748.

I’m guessing the sister of Thomas Godwin was named Patience?  But then again, she evidently has died by the time of the 1748 will… she is not mentioned. (So Chapman was correct in her abstract where she said   “______ Godwin married John Pitt, sister of Thomas Godwin.”   I have no idea what her name was.)

Pitt, John – will dated 6 Dec 1760 recorded 5 Mar 1761. A suit now depending for 500 acres that Captain John Monro died in possession of to be continued for my son; wife Priscilla; son John; daughters Elizabeth and Priscilla; son William Pitt. Witness William Casey, Elizabeth Cutchins and Samuel Cutchins Jr. [7:61]

And now the lawsuits start….

Isle of Wight Co., VA, Order Book 1772-1780, p. 216

abstracted by Matt HARRIS [brackets, line breaks & surname capitalization mine]

[p] 216

[At a court held for Isle of Wight Co. 5 Nov 1773]

Put in the County of Isle of Wight of the demise of John PITTS ~

This day came as well the Plaintif by his Attorney as Jonathan GODWIN who

was admitted defendant in this Suit in the Room of the said Nicholas WAIL, by

their Attorney, and thereupon also came a Jury, to wit, Joseph FULLGHAM,

Richard WILLIAMS, Nathan WHITLEY, William HODSDEN, Henry PITT [would this Henry Pitt be on this “Jury” if he was “related” John Pitt?], Joseph


SPIVEY and William BELL, who being elected tryed and Sworn the truth to speake

upon the Issue Joined upon their Oath do say that the defendant is Guilty in

manner and form as in the declaration against him is alledged, and they do

assess the Plaintifs damages by occasion thereof to one penny besides his

Costs, Therefore it is considered that the Plaintif Recover against the

defendant his term yet to come of and in the premmises together with his

damages aforesaid in form aforesaid assessed and his Costs by him about his

Suit in this behalf expended and the said defendant may be taken &.c ~

[margin note] Costs 256 Cs Gross Tob.o & 30/ or 300 D Tob.o ~


William DAVIS………………..Plt.}

against                         }  In Debt upon a bond by consent of the

}  parties without a Suit

Nathaniel BURWELL……………Deft.}

This [‘day’] came as well the plaintif by his Attorney as the defendant

in his proper person and the said defendant acknowledgeth to owe to the

Plaintif the sum of fifty four pounds the debt in the said bond mentioned,

Therefore It is considered by the Court that the plaintif Recover against the

defendant the said fifty four pounds and his Costs by him about his Suit in

this behalf expended and the said defendant in Mercy &.c  But this Judgement

is to be discharged by the payment of twenty seven pounds with Interest for

the same to be computed after the Rate of five Per Centum Per Annum from

day of October 1773 ’till payment and the Costs ~

[margin note] Costs 61 Cs Gross Tob.o & 15/ or 150 D Tob.o ~


Present  Arthur SMITH & Daniel HERRING Junior Gent.


Absent  Brewer GODWIN Gent. ~


A writing purporting the last Will and Testament of Ann FULLGHAM deceased

being produced and Read and heard on the depositions taken and Returned and

the validity thereof strongly contested, It is the opinion of the Court that

the said Writing is the true last will and Testament of the said of the said

Ann FULLGHAM as to such personal Estate as she died seised of, and it is

Ordered to be Recorded ~


John PITT by Joseph CUTCHIN his Guardian}

and next friend…………………….}….Plt.}

against                                     }  In Detinue

Thomas CAMPBELL………………………..Deft.}

This day came as well the Plaintif by his Attorney as the defendant by

his attorney and thereupon the case agreed in this Cause in lieu of a special

Verdict being Solemnly argued, it seems to the Court upon the whole matter

that the law is for the Plaintif ~

[page break]

And here is the lawsuit that makes my head hurt…  because “I think” this John Pitt mentions a brother “James”… which could be Joani’s guy… but then again, She burned the damn will!

There are 17 pages in the link…                  click on these images below a couple times to enlarge…


“…That a few days after the death of Jno Pitt she heard Elizabeth / now Mitchell sister of the said Pitt ask Priscilla Cutchings her mother for the said Will who went to the desk & took the said Will & read it to the said Elizabeth, & that she the said Elizabeth read it herself at the same time _ that the said Elizabeth then informed this deponent that her brother John Pitt had given all the land & everything else away from her which she did not believe until she had seen it herself _ a few days after this _ the said Elizabeth confessed (crossed out) told this deponent in a conversation that she would endeavor to destroy the said Will…”


My question is…

James Pitt married Patience Godwin… did they have any children?

And… is there any proof he remarried to Mary Rand Smith? Any children?

After reading the account… it seems this John Pitt, writing his will in 1780, did NOT refer to a “brother” James. His accounting is “my brother(s) James and Joseph Cuchings”. Apparently his only heir being his sister Elizabeth.




The scam evidently fooled her husband until his death at about the same time…

Will and Administrations of Isle of Wight County Virginia 1647-1800
To brother RALPH, horse which was taken into public service by Capt. WILLIAM SPILLER; dau PRISCILLA PITT WEST; wife ELIZABETH, estate she inherited from her brother, JOHN PITT; son JOHN PITT WEST.
Exec: brother RALPH WEST, also the guardian to dau PRISCILLA PITT WEST.

She then remarried James Mitchell… she apparently was left nothing in both wills… after the sparks settled down.
If you start putting all these jigsaw pieces together a picture begins to emerge…

From the 1773 lawsuit, Joseph Cutchin is acting on behalf of an underage John Pit.  Joseph Cutchin married his mother Priscilla Pitt …

Cutchin, Joseph and Mrs. Priscilla Pitt, relict of John Pitt.
1762.  O.B. 1759-63, pg 298. W.B. 7, p. 61   Marriages, Chapman

Pitt, John – will dated 6 Dec 1760 recorded 5 Mar 1761. A suit now depending for 500 acres that Captain John Monro died in possession of to be continued for my son; wife Priscilla; son John; daughters Elizabeth and Priscilla; son William Pitt. Witness William Casey, Elizabeth Cutchins and Samuel Cutchins Jr. [7:61]

John Pitt d.1760 was the father of John Pitt d.1780.


I slammed Joani with a challenge… What proof is there that John Pitt d 1748 is the father of John d1760? 

She comes back with a record of 2 slave’s names…. not bad…. remember that my proof for the death of Jame’s brother Henry was a “ring”… c’mon folks we are grasping at straws.

At a court held for Isle of Wight County March 9th 1748. The last Will and Testament of John Pitt deceased was presented in Court by Joseph Pitt one of the Executors therein named who made oath thereto and being proved by the Oath of Charles Fulgham and Joseph Bridger Junior two of the witnesses thereto is ordered to be recorded.

from his will:
Item. I give and bequeath unto my son John Pitt my Negro Man called Luke and my Negro Man called Peter.
and from the estate papers of John Pitt d 1760:

John Pitt 1761 his wife md Joseph Cutchin
John Pitt
Date: Dec 6, 1760
Location: Isle Of Wight
Record ID: 23446
Description: Testator
Prove Date: Mar 5, 1761
Book-Page: 7-61

Remarks: John Pitt. Leg.-a suit now depending for 500 acres, that Captain John Monro died in possession of, to be continued for my son; wife Priscilla; son John; daughter Elizabeth; daughter Priscilla; son William Pitt.

This probate record was extracted from microfilmed copies of the original Will Book.

6) John 1761 slaves

That’s it folks …. that is the proof… if you don’t like it make a comment and show where we are wrong.

Further back, the father of John 1748 was Henry Pitt d 1719 (his Executor was brother Joseph and bro in law Thomas Godwin)… so this entire line of “Johns” traces to the first Robert Pitt.



From this newly found will of 1780 several questions may be answered….  it seems that John Pitt d.1780 has only ONE heir… his sister Elizabeth.  Which means the other siblings in the will must be dead (Priscilla and William).   Apparently he felt his sister was taken care of by her marriage to Richard West so he left his property to his mother and half brothers James and Joseph Cutchin.

His mother Priscilla Pitt Cutchin dies 1787…

Cutchin, Priscilla
Leg: Son Joseph, James Cutchin
Grandson: John West
Ex: Son Joseph Cutchin
D. October 8, 1787
R. June 5, 1788
Wit: Willis Wilkinson, David Dick
Security: John S. Wills
Elizabeth Pitt West has a rocky time with her husband Richard West…  they go to court … he dies in the middle of it all apparently and she marries James Mitchell….. whew.
…her lawsuit…
It all did seem to work out for Elizabeth Pitt West Mitchell however…. several deeds were crafted in 1784 which refer to at least some of the land of her brother John Pitt:
In the left margine of this deed it is written
” September 3 , 1810 debtr to Maj. Jos. Cutchin”
This indenture made 1st day of December 1783 between JAMES MITCHELL of Newport In Co. of IOW and ELIZABETH his wife of the one part and JOHN PITT WEST of the same parish and county of the other part – whereas on JOHN PITT late of said County and IOW was in his lifetime at the time of his daeath seized and possessed of a very considerable estate in lands lying and being in the parish and county aforesaid and being so seized departed this life making any proper legal dispostion of the same by virtue – -whereby the said lands of the said JOHN PITT hath by law descend and come to the aforesaid Elizabeth, party herto, as the only sister of the whole blood and heir at law of the said JOHN PITT deceased now this indenture – – therefore witnesseth that the said JAMES MITCHELLand ELIZABETH his wife for the natural love and affection and for and in consideration of the sum of 5 shillings current money of Virginia by JOHN PITT WEST to the said JAMES MITCHELL and ELIZABETH his wife in hand paid – – hath granted – – unto JOHN PITT WEST and his heirs – – a parcel of land – -200 acres being part of the lands which have descended and come to the said ELIZABETH as the only sister and heir of law of the said JOHN PITTdeceased bounded as followeth –
to wit beginning at an oak a corner tree of JAMES MITCHELL’S running so 45 poles along a line of marked trees to a corner pine – thence souht 20 degrees west along a line of marked trees – 225 poles to the SANDY RIDGE ROAD then up the said road to a marked tree standing near the road thence north 57 degrees east along a line of marked trees across the swamp called the GREAT SWAMP to CUTCHIN’S line then
along a line of marked trees southwardly to a gum and corner tree of PRISCILLA CUTCHIN’S thence eastwardly along a line of marked trees to the first station – – and all houses, edifices, buildings, gardens orchards, waters, water courses – – -unto the said John Pitt West his heirs – –  Signed      JAMES MITCHELL ( his seal)
Proved 4th March 1784
And nowhere in that spaghetti is a “James Pitt”…..   so I figure I’ll back up to the Joseph Godwin will of 1757… remember James Pitt is the Executor…
My motto is “Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see”…
So it may NOT have been James Pitt in that will… it may have been a William Pitt??????
Here is the 1792 court case…
Got a headache yet?
………. a little tidbit about the author of the GODWIN family in Boddie’s book…
boddie tidbit
And true to her word Miss Holladay delivered this will to the Nansemond folks in 1918… 6 years prior to the Civil War her father obtained a copy of it.
Copy of the Will of THOMAS GODWIN
Old Nansemond Will Book 7, Page 261
[Suffolk Court House, Virginia]In the name of God Amen I, THOMAS GODWIN of Nansemond County being very sick
do make this my last will & testament in manner and form following:First I give and bequeath unto my son THOMAS GODWIN the land and plantation
whereon John Samson now lives to him and his heirs.It: I give and bequeath unto my son JOHN GODWIN all the land and plantation I
purchased of William Campbell to him & his heirs forever.Thirdly, I give and bequeath unto my two sons READE and JEREMIAH GODWIN all
the lands I purchased of my brother EDMOND GODWIN to be equally divided
between them, beginning at the main Creek and taking its length outwards to
them and their heirs forever.Fourthly, I give and bequeath unto my son JAMES GODWIN my watter mill with
her stones and tackling to him and his heirs.  As for the rest of my estate
of what nature or kind soever I desire it may be equally divided between my
loving wife, MARGARET GODWIN and seven children, THOMAS GODWIN, JOHN GODWIN,
last will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and
seal this 11th day of December 1749.THOMS.
Signed, sealed & delivered
in the presence of us
Thos. Davis

At a Court held for Nansemond County, February 12th 1749.

The last will and Testament of THOMAS GODWIN Gent:  deceased, was proved by
the oaths of JOSHUA GODWIN, BURGH GODWIN and MATTHEW GODWIN, three of the
witnesses thereto, and ordered to be recorded.

J. Wright Cl. Court

At a Court held for Nansemond County April 9th, 1750.
THOMAS GODWIN and JOHN GODWIN, the Executors named in the LAST WILL AND
Testament of THOMAS GODWIN, Gent: deced, refusing to take upon them the
bother of the execution thereof; on the motion of MARGARET GODWIN, relict of
the said THOMAS GODWIN dec’d who made oath according to law: certificate is
granted for her obtaining letters of Administration on the estate of the sd.
THOMAS GODWIN with his said will annexed in due form:  Whereupon she with
EDMOND GODWIN, John Reade, James Pitt, and JOSHUA GODWIN, her securities
entered into bond for that purpose.

J. Wright Cl. Cur.
A copy Teste; Peter B. Prentis, Clerk


In the Clerk’s Office of Nansemond County Circuit Court, the 13th, day of 
April, 1918. The foregoing Copy of Will with certificates thereon was 
produced by Miss Mildred M. Holladay to the Clerk of said Court and on her 
application is recorded anew, the Will Book from which the same was copied 
having being destroyed by the burning of the Clerk’s Office and the records 
on the 7th day of February, 1866.

Teste: G. E. Bunting, Clerk
By: Ruby V. Benton, D.C.

This is the earliest “smoking gun” reference I’ve found for this James… other than the 1702 will of Col. John Pitt.  
And if you connect the dots from the burning of the “Nansemond” Will Book on 7th day of February, 1866… any “hard” record for this James Pitt went up in flames.  I think any record to be found now will be his “shadow” where he may be a witness here and there to an “Isle of Wight” record… of which, most of those records survived the Civil War.   
This is roughly the area I am talking about…
Nans map_Pitt prop

Written by anderson1951

December 15, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. In a court record, Patience is execut. of James Pitt deceased, so I do not believe the same James she was married to married the Rand woman. There is a record in a court case where James mentions an infant son Joseph, but I do not find any record of a son other than that, YET. states that Patience Godwin b. abt 1695 m. a John Pitt b. abt 1690 and died bef 9 Mar 1748, John being the son, he says, of Henry b. abt 1666 and d. bef 28 Oct 1719. I’d love to know who Henry whose Will was proved Aug 12, 1748 married. (I have his wife as Juliana d/o Richard Bagnall) If the source can be adequate it was given Va marriage consents, returns, licenses and Records: 1628-1800. I have a probate record extracted from microfilmed copies of the original Will Book (I of W, Va) and no wife is mentioned, but Remarks: Henry Pitt. Leg.-son William; son Joseph Major Pitt; son Thomas; daughter Elizabeth Bagnall; daughter Ann Driver; granddaughter Lydia Benn; son HENRY PITT ; daughter PATIENCE FULGHAM. execs Henry & Patience. At the top is the name Major Joseph Pitt dated Dec 9, 1747.. What I’d also like to know is WHEN did any of this lineage come to S.C.? I have a note on this page “Wm. Weston was guardian of Joseph’s son Henry & Henry is said to have died 1817. No known record has been found to prove who the father was of ole Henry who died Dec 14, 1817 down here in Newberry Co., SC. near where I reside. We also have a couple of JAMES we have been chasing for YEARS. 🙂


    Elizabeth Ann Shouse Pitts

    February 26, 2014 at 3:49 pm

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