Andersons of Colonial N. Carolina

meant what they said, said what they meant

James Pitt of Isle of Wight… Olde Phart

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James Pitt was the son of John Pitt (will 1702) the son of the immigrant Robert Pitt (will 1672).  James is noted in his father’s will of 1702. The next hard evidence I find is his mention in the Newport Vestry book in 1743. The last mention (which may or may not be him) is in 1779.  “ORDER BOOK 1768- 1797 Mar 1779 – Patience Pitt exr. Of James Pitt deceased VS. Robert Eley”.  The burning question is when was this guy born? Common sense has to be thrown out… this guy was a mere babe in arms in 1702 or else he was in his 90s in 1779… or older!  His brother Henry died in 1718/19… brother John died 1729. Did he have good genes or what?

So I’m following him in deeds and property… and he seems to be there in the shadows…

2 immigrants shown… Robert Pitt in blue… Henry/son Thomas Pitt in green:  These are primary source patents. I purposely try to avoid any land swaps between folks just to allow the original patents to speak for themselves… and to keep the map simple.  If you are in a hurry just scroll to the bottom of this post for the nitty gritty of 1743.


Note the Thomas Godwin property just northward of Robert Pitt’s 1200 acre patent… I have to place it there because of the other references to other patents but it actually may be below the PITT patent.

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.

Aside from the fact that the principles of the will “didn’t want to be bothered with the execution thereof” … James Pitt showed up and did his bit “for that purpose”… good for him.  But I have digressed into the future, back to 1730s…

Researching the Godwin families would be a daunting task I haven’t found time for… but for my Pitt purposes the father in law for James Pitt would have to be one of the early guys. Here is an interesting site:

Of particular interest is the Bible account of a later Rogers descendant on page 200… since the “known” birth of that Joseph Godwin is precisely Sept 8, 1713 then this cannot be the Joseph I refer to who died in 1757. My reasoning is that James Pitt would be older than his father in law. Not impossible, but irritating to me. Hence the Joseph d. 1757 should be from a generation before.  And note these guys are referred to as “Nansemond” folks. Alternatively, if the Joseph Godwin b. 1713 IS the one whose will is written 1757 with daughter Patience then it is almost certain proof that there is a missing James Pitt between 1703 and 1779.

Bible references are PDGE… pretty damn good evidence, but then some people have some lingering doubts that need to be substantiated with facts… sort of like me.

Another fact-filled site for the GODWIN line is here:


Since I am tracking the land to establish this James Pitt and several land owners are needed for reference which DO NOT show up in the Virginia “Patent” records I will have to paint a word picture.  Thomas Godwin had land adjoining the PITT plantation. Also Andrew Munro (the minister) and his son John Munro evidently had about 600 acres.  If you put the pieces together below… you can see that they all were in close proximity to one another… namely around modern Brewers Creek and crossing over the Nansemond line.

Notes for ANN PITT:

PITT, John: Leg. daughter Martha, the land on which Captain Joseph Bridger

now lives; grandson Joseph Bridger, the land on which John Turner

now lives; daughter Rachel, the land on which Ann Smith now lives,

also the land on which Elizabeth Shaw lives; daughter Esther; daugh-

ter Prudence, the land on which Edward Driver and Robert Smith live;

daughter Ann Godwin, the land on which William Godwin and Samuel

Croom live; grandson William Bridger. Ex., William Godwin. D. De-

cember 19, 1729. R. February 24, 1734.

Wit: Edward Driver, Richard Pilkington. Will Bk #4 Page 43

She married WILLIAM GODWIN, son of THOMAS GODWIN and MARTHA BRIDGER. He was born 1689? in Nansemond County Virginia, and died Abt. 1736 in Isle Of Wight County Virginia.

William Godwin.  Will dated and probated in 1736,

mentions his wife, Ann (Pitt) and children.

“(p. 709) 28 Jun 1725…. William Godwin and His wife , Ann Godwin, of Nansemond County to William Wilkinson of Isle of Wight…. one grist mill and 1 acre of land in the lower parish on Chucatuck Creek (being land bought by Col. Thomas Godwin from Samuel Ferment). 

Wit: Joseph Godwin, James Godwin and Richard Rndyard. William Godwin, Ann (X) Godwin.”

Isle of Wight Deeds, Wills – Vol. 2 1715-1726. p.709.    Hopkins abstract

Children of ANN PITT and WILLIAM GODWIN are:

i. BARNABY9 GODWIN, b. Bef. 1736, Isle Of Wight County Virginia; d. Abt. 1789, Edgecombe County North Carolina.  m. _____ Wilkinson


Marriage Notes for WILLIAM GODWIN and SARAH:

“(p. 295) 1 Feb 1749… William Godwin and wife, Sarah Godwin, of Suffolk Parish in Nansemond County to Thomas Bullock Of Newport Parish in Isle of Wight… 100 acres in Newport Parish (being the land said Godwin lately lived on) adjoining Robert Driver, William Dixon, Barnaby Godwin and William Bullock (being a patent granted Godfrey Hunt for 600 acres who sold it to Henry Rones (?) of Rappahannock County who sold 200 acres on 19 Dec 1688 to Thomas Godwin of Chuckatuck in Nansemond County and he willed it to his son, William Godwin the father of the said William Godwin whos willed it to his sons William Godwin and Barnaby Godwin in equal parts of 100 acres). 

Wit: Benjamin Beal, Lyndia Beal and Jonas Shevers. William Godwin

Rec. 1 Feb 1749″        Hopkins

iii. GEORGE.



Thomas Godwin Nans 3 May 1712/27 May 1714

Wife Martha Godwin land purchased of Thomas Jordan. Son Thomas Godwin. Son 

Joseph Godwin and his two sons Joseph Godwin and Thomas Godwin land purchased 

of Mr. Richard Prestwood. Son Edmund Godwin land purchased ot Mr. Scott and

Mr. Butler. Son William Godwin land purchased of Henry Johnson and Barnaby

Kearny and a parcell next to Bunchley. Two daughters Elizabeth Godwin and

Martha Godwin. Son James Godwin land purchased of William Carter and Mr.

Joseph Ashley. Three youngest children viz William Godwin, James Godwin and

Mary Godwin. Wit: Barnaaby Kearne, John Gray, James Snowden, John Kinder,

James Webb.

Item. I give to my son Joseph Godwin and his two sons Joseph & Thomas the Plantation houses & orchard wherein He lives and land purchased of Mr. Richard Prestweed excepting sixty acres thereof for the use of the ——plantation aforesaid for fireweed and fencing, I say unto my son Joseph Godwin and his aforesd. sons and the heirs male of their bodys or the survivor of them forever, and the sixty acres aforesd. to take its length along Col. Pitts’ line to the mal_____ __. 

(Note that I do have a Patent for Richard Prestwood on my map above…. so “one way or another” Joseph Godwin acquired at least a part of that land! This is the guy who I think is the father in law of James Pitt).

Note these three witnesses to Thomas Godwins will of 1712…

In testimony and witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and fix my seal this third day of May anno domi, one thousand seven hundred and twelve.

Signed sealed, published

and delivered by ye testater Thomas Godwin, (SEAL)

to be his last will & testament

in the presence of us

Bar: Keaene 

John (X his Mark) Gray

James (X his mark) Snowden 

James Webb 

John (X his mark) Kinder

To further prove my point here is an abstract  I did of a deed for Thomas Godwin Junr. for 100 acres in 1746. (This is a Royal patent and not a local deed).

“between Andrew Munrow, John Rutter, Barnaby Kerny & James Webb

This patent was “formerly granted to William Wilkinson in 1715” [no patent for that date that I can find]… he failed to cultivate the land and Thomas Godwin acquired it… and almost comically, the land was re-aquired by Willis Wilkinson in 1763 as Thomas Godwin “failed to pay Quitrents”.  You can’t make this stuff up. But the comedy doesn’t stop there, oh no!… this Wilkinson fiasco continues… see later. It is important for this madness of a proof for James Pitt.  Hell, I could write a book now just on the Wilkinsons.

The metes and bounds go thusly:   beginning by an Island Pond…   (sometimes these references to ponds can be amazing to find the land… providing they still exist after 300 years or so)

S 66 W 20 poles, S 56 W 236, S 35 W 12 (small branch), S 75 E 88 (John Rutter’s line), N 74 E 78 (Barnaby Kerny’s line…pond), N 18 E 76, N 71 E 62 (corner James Webb) N 18 W 63 to first station.

Noting the Willis Wilkinson above is this deed from 1764 or so… he is in the neighborhood and this deed in witnessed by James Pitt… now that I know where to look I am stumbling over him at every turn:

Pitt James 1764

There simply is no doubt that this land was near the 1200 acre PITT patent near Brewer’s Creek.  Ergo… the Joseph Godwin with daughter Patience was the son of Thomas Godwin d. 1714. A later Joseph Godwin in 1787 received a 60 1/2 acre patent “in Nansemond” described as “on the ancient bounds on the said Godwins”  (no metes and bounds given).

Note several of the adjacent property owners above also listed below…

You almost have to be a gymnist to twist and turn and do flips just to follow the various John Pitts that are mentioned… one died 1703, another 1729, 1748, 1760 and so forth… the key is to remember they all were involved with the original 1654 patent of the immigrant Robert Pitt… 


Isle of Wight deed Book 4 1729-1736, Hopkins abstract

(p. 107) 26 Apr 1731…. John Monro to John Pitt… 600 acres in Newport Parish adjoining said John Monro, Col. Bridger, Hall, Bromfield, Jordan, Rutter, Wilkinson, Col. Joseph Godwin, Williams, Snowden, Weatherly and the Great Creek.
Wit: William Cofield and Thomas Godwin
Rec: 26 Apr 1731 John Monro

No mention of a James Pitt in either of these deeds… was John Pitt merely dealing his own land or was James Pitt dead- they co-owned the 1200 acre patent..?  Actually, the Col. John Pitt died in 1702… so this John Pitt is the son of Henry Pitt who was James Pitt’s brother (the brother John Pitt died 1729)…  James Pitt seems not to be a wheeler-dealer type… he is nowhere mentioned in all the government office entanglements such as the couple of early John Pitts.  In other words either a quiet type or else he was dead and I am barking up the wrong tree.

(p. 112) 22 Apr 1731…. John Pitt and wife (not named) to John Monro…. 600 acres bounded by Great Creek, said Monro, Edward Weatherall, Williams, Snowden, Col. Joseph Godwin, Pitt, the Saw Pit Swamp and Back Creek.
Wit: James Everard, James Ingles and Robert Cannon.
Rec: 26 Apr 1731 John Pitt

Note the term Back Creek.

John Pitt, in his will probated Jan 1703, leaves property to son James Pitt. This property is unmistakeably identified with the 1200 acre patent of Robert Pitt of 1654.
“I give to my son JAMES PITT all that land whereon the WIDDOW SNOWDEN and WIDDOW GRAY and ARTHUR MURPHREY now liveth as far into the woods as the main road And as ye road runneth to be ye bounds between him & John Pitt and to bound on the Back Creek. I likewise give my son JAMES PITT one lott or ½ acres of land lying in the towne of Newport it being the 25th lott whereon is the house with Brick Chimneys to him and his heirs lawfully begotten, forever & for want of heirs then to JOHN PITT & his heirs forever.”

In the same will of 1703, John Pitt mentions one “Mr. Monro”…
“I give unto my son HENRY PITT all that tract of land whereon my father COL. ROBERT PITT lived and where MR. MONRO now liveth being twelve hundred acres lying on ye Neck between the Chuckatuck Creek & into the woods.”  (this cannot be the smaller tract of land on Beverly Creek)’

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]

This Henry Pitt son or grandson, John Pitt is in fact giving away the land John Monro HAD lived  on… You don’t just DO THAT to someone who was a big shot without ramifications (hence the law suit)… It may also be that his father Andrew Monro was also on this land… Andrew Monro sent a letter to the Queen of England for Pete’s sake… he was a Legend in his own mind at least… gimme some facts people!  I can’t find the source now but” I think” the grandson of Robert Pitt d 1672 married the daughter of Andrew Monro and bequeathed his land to the Minister Andrew Monro… which started all this confusion!

I’m interested in how this court squabble ironed out if anyone has a source?  This “John” in 1760 is a couple generations removed  from the original land deal which was prior to 1703!…

The will of John Monro, Gentleman, dated june 20 1760 named legatees: daughter Mary Bryant; granddaughter Sarah Bruant; grandson John Monro Bryant; daughter Lydia; daughter Urania. Executors: son-in-law John Bryant and John Woodley. Witnesses: Joshua Godwin, Thomas Cutchins, & Martha Lillow. Recorded July 3 1760. (Chapman)

Rev. Andrew Monro, of IOW, married Sarah, daughter of Col. Arthur Smith (will proved 1697), and had issue living in 1711, John Monro, Henrietta Monro, Sarah Monro, Mary Monro, (Quarterly, VII., 237, 256, 265)      (see will of Robert Pitt d.1711)

ORDER BOOK 1768- 1797
Mar 1779 – Patience Pitt exr. Of James Pitt deceased VS. Robert Eley

A  record of that court case in 1760 might SOLVE this riddle… I do not have a recourse to the document… a little help here from you PITT folks?

A tidbit of a reference in 1782 may be this widow… A list of Nansemond folks was compiled listing their various losses to the British in the war.  One Patience Pitt is listed as suffering a loss of Furniture for 2 pds, 10 shillings…   In 3 years she apparently had not remarried… does this indicate she was also very old?  Also this suggests my suspicion that James Pitt may have lived just across the Nansemond line and a will for him may have been in those lost records.  This article is also of interest as a sort of census for 1782.


The title of the article is “Losses To The British in Nansemond County, 1782”  page 104 or so…

Quite a puzzle…

James 1 …The Patience Pitt mentioned above as “executrix” of James Pitt was the daughter of Joseph Godwin who left his will 1757, probated 1761.

The next 2 are impossible to be the son of John Pitt d.1703 due to age.

James 2 … from a newspaper article…”Rand, William, dec’d, pursuant to his will, his HHF and several tracts of land in Isle of Wight and Southampton Counties will be sold by his extx., Sophia Rand, and ex., Lewis Allmand; also mentioned are John Rand in Smithfield and William Rand in Southampton County (VG 9 Jan 1772) Rand, William, of Smithfield, dec’d, his admrs., Walter Rand and James Pitt, will sell his houses and lots there (VIC 22 Apr 89).”   This James was still around in 1794:

In a court case (which is clearly James Pitt and Mary Rand), the records indicate the years 1791 through 1793…  with this little tidbit written on the back of one of the papers…”March 1793  Abates by death of the wife”… does this indicate Mary Rand Pitt died in 1793?

James 3 …  Wills and Administrations of Isle of Wight County Virginia 1647-1800, Chapman
To wife MARY; son THOMAS WALKE PITT; (James 4) son JAMES; son EDMUND PITT.
Execs: wife MARY and friend THOMAS WALKE.


Shamelessly tooting my own horn, by consulting my IOW map you can make connections that are impossible without it… for example:

Below are a couple snippits from Bob Bairds site where he discusses the Reynolds family of IOW… they were neighbors of the several Pitts. Of particular interest is the mention of “Jones Creek” which is still on modern maps.

Baird’s site:

1 Oct 1752 Richard Reynolds and Charles Driver witnesses to 15 year lease of Henry Pitt to Giles Driver…”all my land” on the south east side of Jones Creek (except 50 acres known as “Hains”). Giles West is mentioned. Recorded 2 November 1752. [Isle of Wight Deed Book 9, p38 abstracted by Hopkins]

4 Feb 1753 Richard Reynolds, Charles Driver and William Chapman witness deed from Henry Pitt to Giles Driver….50 acres (being part of a patent for 750 acres “formerly granted to my deceased father, Thomas Pitt”) on the south side of Jones Creek. [Isle of Wight Deed Book 9, p98 abstracted by Hopkins]

7 Jun 1754 Deed: Robert Reynolds and his wife Patience Reynolds, to Henry Pitt, 200 acres called “the Pocoson Plantation” adjoining Jordans Mill Swamp, Robert Driver and Turner (?). Signed: Robert Reynolds, Patience (x) Reynolds and Ann (x) Hunt. Witness: Giles Driver. Recorded 7 Nov 1754. [Isle of Wight Deed Book 9, p289 abstracted by Hopkins]

So… in 1752 Henry Pitt leased “all his land” (which would be the original patent of John Sparkes) to Giles Driver… and a year later an additional 50 acres… or ALL of the Jones Creek patent.

And in 1754 Henry Pitt (the grandson or great grandson of the immigrant) evidently was residing on the 200 acre parcel of land on Cypress Creek… which would be impossible to figure out without the map.

This “Cypress Creek” property may even date back to 1668:

1668- Wm Berkley grants unto Arthur Smith 350 acres land upon Cypress Swamp first granted to John ROE 10 Dec 1640 and by him assigned to Christopher Reynolds and from said Reynolds to Arthur Smith. 21 Mar 1643. George Smith assigns all right in this patent to Christopher Hollimas except 200 acres- 100 given ny father Athur Smith to Arthur Long by will and the other 100 acres sold to Wm Oldis 11 Jan 1661. John Jackson, Richard Jordan., Jr. ENDORSED by CHRISTOPHER HOLLYMAN and ANNE his wife to THOMAS PITT 9 Dec 1668.

ah here he finalizes the land deal on Cypress Creek:

1681- Whereas Christopher Hollyman and Mary his wife by deed of sale -1668 sell all that plantation where said Chris. and Mary then lived on Cypress River to be holden of Mr. Pitt, 150 acres and at any time give further assurance- now at the request of said Pitt make absolute conveyance. 9 Jun 1681. JOHN LEAR, Henry Baker

An aside while I’m thinking of it…the land of Thomas Gross and Michael Fulgham was on the original Spark’s patent near modern Jones Creek… per this snippet from Thomas Pitt’s will of 1688:


“I give to THOMAS GROSS and FRANCIS GROSS and their heirs/assignees – all that land where they now live being 130 acres part of SPARKE’s patent”

“I give and bequeath to MICHAEL FULGHAM 50 acres of land part of SPARKES patent.”   according to Joani, Patience Pitt married M. Fulgham which explains the bequest…

One of these Henrys or Thomas’s dies testate but does not list his children in his will… so it is possible a “James” may have been one of those children?????  Who knows at this point?

Here are some notes Joani collected…

Thomas Pitt of Cypress Swamp who died in about 1734, intestate. His accounting was made in that year, and deeds show that he probably had two sons, Thomas d. 1746 m. Martha (of Jones’ Creek) and Henry of Cypress Swamp (d. 1747/48, leaving a will.) Thomas Pitt (d. 1734) was the son of Thomas Pitt (d. 1688) and Mary (d. 1711) who had vast holdings on Cypress Swamp and Thomas, Jr. had a sister named Patience. the Lightfoots and Pitts lived side-by-side. A 1744 deed mentions land on Cypress Swamp, “adjacent Thomas Pitts’ land now in possession of his son Henry Pitts and Henry Lightfoot.” A deed dated 1752 concerning this same land, then being sold to Bartholomew Lightfoot, calls it, land “adjoining Thomas Pitt’s land now in possession of his GRANDSON Henry Pitt(bec. the SON Henry had died in 1748) and said LIghtfoot.” (Robert and Patience LIghtfoot Reynolds sold their property in 1754 to Henry Pitt), Bartholomew Lightfoot did serve as the guardian of Willis Pitt after Henry Pitt, Jr.’s death in 1757.

All of which explains this deed (I think 🙂  And if I am correct then we also can make a reasonable assumption about where everyone mentioned in the deed was living in 1752.

Pitt_Henry 1752IOW

Note that our old buddy William Rand was a signatory in the above deed…. I think he built a bridge north of this  property mid 1750s or so… his daughter eventually marries James Pitt…Good Lord this stuff drives me crazy…  see later below…

Joani is pondering some property of one Joseph Smith… which illustrates a problem with my IOW map; it is only a “snapshot in time” people die and everything changes. Below is the area of where Anthony Jones, Nathanial Bacon (not the “rebel”) and others were originally in the 1600s… By 1713 things had changed…  By the early 1900s and even today this area is referred to as “Smith’s Neck”  ( I have no idea how these folks are connected to Arthur Smith of the town of  Smithfield… make a comment if you have some facts).


This is interesting…

Hopkins iow deeds 1750-1782, pg 72

DB 11-34, 3/24,1762 James Bagnall to Nicholas Parker 125 A being the land said Bagnall now lives on and adj. 13 A of land that James Bagnall bought of Nicholas Smith

Wit John Scarsbrook Wills, Gent., Thomas x McKinney, Joseph Smith and Nicholas Fulgham

HOpkins pg 78 IOW Deeds 1750-1782,

DB11 -118 2/8/1763 Bond of Nicholas Smith to Nicholas ParkerWhereas Nicholas Smith lately sold James Bagnall 13 A on Back Creek in Newport Parish and Bagnall has since sold the 13 A to Nicholas Parker and Nicholas Smith has now sold on 3/3/1757 17 A on the s side of Back Creek and joining the 13 A wit : James x Pitt, William Whitfield, and Henry Applewaite

I’m beginning to think that “Back Creek” may be the smaller creek branching northward off modern Brewer’s Creek.

Chapman pg 214

Nicholas Smith appraised by Joseph Hawkins, Benjamin Hawkins and Thomas Murray ordered 2/7/1765 recorded 3/7/1765

pg 227 examined by Nicholas Parker, Joseph Copeland 10/3/1771 WB 8-94


i. JAMES5 SMITH, b. Bef. 1765.

Notes for JAMES SMITH:

1778 Tristam Norsworthy guardian, pd James Pitt for schooling (Guardian accounts vol 1, image 32010/1778.

All of which happened prior to 1779 which is the date of death for James Pitt, husband of Patience Godwin…. who appears to die intestate.  So did a very old man have his living room set aside for “schooling” the young-uns?

So now for my theory… its what I do 🙂

A point of interest to me now is the idea that James Pitt that married the RAND girl “may” be the son of James that married Patience Godwin…

The evidence would be the 1/2 acre “storefront” property in the town of Smithfield. The store was willed to the elder James in 1703…

 I give to my son JAMES PITT all that land whereon the WIDDOW SNOWDEN and WIDDOW GRAY and ARTHUR MURPHREY now liveth as far into the woods as the main road And as ye road runneth to be ye bounds between him & John Pitt and to bound on the  Back Creek. I likewise give my son JAMES PITT one lott or ½ acres of land lying in the towne of Newport it being the 25th lott whereon is the house with Brick Chimneys to him and his heirs lawfully begotten, forever & for want of heirs then to JOHN PITT & his heirs forever.

I may be off base with the deed below but it is interesting to speculate… the deed conveys six lots in “Newport” in 1759… which appears to be Smithfield. It is Joseph Godwin and Charles Fulgham selling the lots to Mary Applewhaite. My hunch is this Joseph Godwin is the brother in law of James Pitt (no proof, again this is a hunch). My curiosity is merely the lots being sold… James Pitt owned lot # 25.  Henry Pitt, the brother of James was bequeathed Lot #26. Sounds like a bunch of “merchants” to me.  Later, as you will see William Rand owned lot #24.  The elder Joseph Godwin wrote his will in 1757 so this also could be him but I think it is his son?

Godwin_lots Smithfield1759

James Pitt married Mary Rand Smith in 1779 the same year the elder James died.

The father of Mary Rand owned Lot #19 in Smithfield… this younger James helped to settle the estate of Rand.  The question is did the original store of the elder James stay in operation all these years and was it the catalyst for the “meeting and romance” of James and Mary Rand?  Actually Rand had a storefront “next door” to the Pitt store per this deed I just found:

Unrecorded deeds from IOW County. 1770-1779, by Lyndon H. Hart, Southside Virginian article

D. Nov. 10, 1773. Sophia Rand exx. and Lewis Almand ex. of William Rand, dec. of Va. and John Rand son and heir of sd. decedant to Willam Robertson of IW. Public sale in accordance with will of William Rand. L5.3s Lot 24 in Smithfield. witn: John Taylor, will. Henry McKay, Arthr. Smith. receipt witn. by same.

The man that Mary Rand first married was of the Smith’s Neck clan… which is  a short buggy ride from the Pitt plantation.  This also could place James Pitt conveniently to swoon her, if I may wax romantically.

Joseph Smith married and had a son Joseph who married MARY RAND, dau of William and Sophia Rand, 27 March 1773. Issue: WILLIAM RAND SMITH, Nancy and Catherine.

WILLIAM RAND SMITH (son of Mary) married MARTHA NORSWORTHY, dau of George and Christian (Exum) Norsworthy, 21 Nov. 1793. He died in 1810, the last of the male line of Smiths of Smith’s Neck. He had an only daughter, JANE who married WILLIAM HINES, son of Robert and Nancy Peete (Elliott) Hines, 6 Aug 1822. The Smith’s Neck house faced Jones’ Creek and was burned by the Federals in the Civil War. The village of Rescue was built on part of this plantation.

Backing up a bit to 1706 and the elder James Pitt…

(pg. 59) Jan 1706… John Norsworthy, Gent., of Chuckatuck Parish in Nansemond County to Thomas Boyd, Gent. and wife Martha Boyd of the same (being the late wife of Col. George Norsworthy, decd.) for the Love and Affection he has for his mother the said Martha Boyd… -?- acres in Newport Parish in Isle of Wight County and now in the possession of Benjamin Baldwyn and bounded by the upper side of a place called Horse Hall, Ragged Island Creek and the Nansemond County line.  Thomas Boyd is also written as Thomas Bird in this deed.

Wit: John Giles,  Phillarete Giles, Philarete Giles, Jr., Trus Norsworthy  and James Pitt                       Rec: 10 Feb 1706

John Norsworthy

Thomas Boyd

Martha (X) Norsworthy

(pg. 61)  10 Feb 1706… Mr. Trustrum Norsworthy acts as his attorney in the above deed.

Wit: James Pitt and Henry (X) Be….                                                                                                                                  Trus Norsworthy

The above wife of Col. George Norsworthy, Martha, is suspected to be a PITT… she afterwards married Thomas Boyd. (so her Pittness may be researchable?)

All of which would explain the involvement of James Pitt in the deed.   I still marvel at this guy’s AGE… this deed is 1706… since James is merely a witness, he did not have to be “of age”… if he was 16 say, then he would be born 1690 d. 1779… 89 years of age!

Also, the above Trus (Tristram) Norsworthy is purported to have a son Tristram who married Sarah Pitt, daughter of Col. John Pitt and wife Olive.  Col. Pitt would be the father of James Pitt.  One of the daughters of Tristrum Norsworthy… father or son, I’m getting dizzy, also married John Monro who had 600 acres of the original Pitt plantation during this time period… whew!

William Rand Smith died intestate in Isle of Wight about 1810 or so. He was the son of Joseph Smith of “Smith’s Neck” whose widow married James Pitt in 1779.  Smith’s wife was Martha Norsworthy.

He is reported to be the last of the line of the Smiths.

See the Chancery Court case here:

Another earlier Chancery Court case involved a suit against James Pitt and wife Mary on behalf of the step son above:

Commanded to appear in the above case were some interesting folks… Brewer Godwin, Edmund Godwin, William Bagnall and Nicholas Parker… all of which lived near the Pitt plantation on Brewer’s Creek.

Another possible son of the elder James Pitt may be a Joseph Pitt:

Brewer Godwin , Sheriff, IOW

b. abt 1751, d. abt 1800

Father: Edmund Godwin b: ABT 1710

Mother: Ann Applewhaite b: ABT 1712

Marriage 1 Hannah (Parker) Godwin,  leaves will, 1806


Josiah Godwin

Mary Godwin

Dolly Godwin  m. Joseph Pitt

Priscilla Godwin

Brewer Godwin

John Godwin

Wills and Administrations of Isle of Wight County Virginia 1647-1800

CHARLES FULGHAM of Newport Parish.



Leg. to brother Joseph FULGHAM, now living in PLYMOUTH, NEW ENGLAND, with reversion of the bequest to his son Charles; to cousin Martha REYNOLDS, in case she dies, bequest to go to the use of a free school, to be kept in the town of SMITHFIELD; godson BREWER GODWIN; goddaughter Margaret EASON; to Priscilla GODWIN; to Brewer GODWIN’s son Brewer; wife ANN.

Exec. wife ANN FULGHAM, in case of her death, my friend James EASON.

I request Mrs. EASON to have the care of my darling MARTHA REYNOLDS.

Wits: James RONALDSON, Thomas BROWNE, Robert SHEDDON.

Wills and Administrations of Isle of Wight County Virginia 1647-1800




Estate to be divided between BREWER GODWIN and MARTHA REYNOLDS.


Wits: none named.


Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia: A History of the County …

By John Bennett Boddie    pg 191

Ordered that John Jennings Wheadon be appointed a second lieutenant to the Company whereof Goodrich Wilson is Captain.  Brewer Godwin, Sheriff.

At a Court held April 6th, 1780.

Ordered that John Lawrence, Gent., be appointed a Col. of Militia in this county in the room of Tristram Norsworthy, who has resigned the office; that James Wills be appointed a Major in the room of John Lawrence, who is appointed a colonel; that Christopher Dickinson be appointed a Captain in the room of James Wills, who is appointed Major and that Joseph Pitt be appointed a first Lieutenant and George Benn a second to the said Company.

My guess would be the birth date of the above Joseph would be perhaps mid 1750s or so…  ???  Most of these Rev. War guys were early to mid twenties… But I cannot find a pension for this guy, which might mean one of a couple of things: he died before 1832 when the pension accounts started, … or he may have been well off and did not give a damn about a crappy pension?

But then it bugs me to no end that James Pitt would have to be in his 50s to be siring these sons…!!!

So… a 2nd theory, and a bit more plausible, is that there is a James Pitt “unaccounted for” between 1703 and 1779. Perhaps a missing record will show up or a court case will surface which mentions him?

All of which brings up a couple of Isle of Wight PITTs who were Rev. War veterans who were born about… you guessed it… about 1760 or so.. who were they sons of?

Joseph Pitt – Revolutionary War


Joseph Pitt, NC, S.31305

The above named soldier was living in Muhlenberg County, KY, when he applied for pension on 31 December 1832, age 70. He states that he was born in VA in 1762. He enlisted in Edgecomb County, NC in 1779. He removed in childhood to Edgecomb County, NC. In 1803 he moved to Sumner County, TN, and in 1816 moved to Muhlenberg County KY. Henry Pitt made affidavit in Sumner County, TN on January 6, 1834. He knew Joseph Pitt during the war in NC.

Source: Pension Records of Soldiers in Revolutionary War in Muhlenberg County by Annie Walker Burns Bell

Full Text



Joseph Pitt

Muhlenberg Co. in the state of Kentucky who was a Private in the company commanded by Captain Bowen of the regt. commaned by Col. Lowell in the N. Carolina Mila. line for 20 months from 1779.

Inscribed on the Roll of Kentucky at the rate of 66 dollars 66 cents per annum to commence on the 4th day of March, 1831.

Certificate of Pension issued the 19 day of February 1834 and sent to Hon. A.G. Hawes H.R.

Arrears to the 4th of Sept. ’33 -> $166.66

Semi-anl. allowance ending 4 Mch. ’34 -> $33.33

[Total] $200.00

{ Revolutionary Claim Act June 7, 1832 }

Recorded by Wm. Allison Clerk

Book C [or possibly E] Vol. 7 Page 23


Declaration in order to obtain the benefits of the Act of Congress passed June 7th, 1832

State of Kentucky

Muhlenberg County Sct.

On the 31st day of December personally appeared in open court before the _____________________________________ Justices of the county court of Muhlenberg County now _____[?] Joseph Pitt a resident of said state of Kentucky and county of Muhlenberg, aged Seventy [70] years who being first duly sworn according to Law, doth on his Oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefits of the Act of Congress passed June 7th, 1832. That this declarant was born in the state of Virginia, removed in childhood to Edgcombe [sic]county North Carolina where he resided unto he removed to the Western county which was in 1803. He first moved in 1803 to Sumner county, Tennessee from which place in 1816 he removed to Muhlenberg Kentucky where he has since resided.

He states that in 1779 he entered the service of the United States and served as herein stated. He first entered in 1779 into the Militia service and served a tour of five months under Colonel Benjamin Lowell, Lieutenant Colonel Prickles [?], Major Jules [?], Captain James Barrow commanded this declarant’s company of which &nbps;    Owens was Lieutenant and John Smith Ensign. He states that during his tour he was in no considerable engagement, but was constantly in the army during the whole period, marching from point to point, and frequently employed in scouting parties. During most of this tour the troops to which he was attached served in South Carolina. During the service General Gates’ defeat took place. This declarant was not in the battle, as the troops to which he belonged did not arrive in time though a forced march was made for the purpose of arriving in time.

This declarant understood that General Sumner commanded the Militia of which declarant was one. He states he volunteers in this service as a common soldier, served throughout it as such until the expiration of the Term of five months when he was lawfully discharged, but that he has lost said discharge believing it could avail him nothing to take care of it. That he [returned] home from this service in October or November 1779 and in the January following entered the service as a volunteer for a three month tour. Colonel      Reed commanded the Militia to which this declarant belonged as a private. Capt. G. Colfield commanded the company of which Frank Williamson was Lieutenant. That they joined the Army as soon as the junction would be formed under General Greene. During this three months this declarant was in no engagement except slight skirmishes while out on scouting parties. His company was actively and variously employed in scouting, reconnoitering & beating up parties of Tories. He did not share in the Battle of Guilford being then out scouting & the express sent for them not finding them in time to warn them it. That he served out this three months and was again lawfully discharged but has not preserved his discharge.

This declarant states that in October 1781 Troops were raised to suppress the Tories who were very troublesome in South Carolina and a part of North Carolina and to push[?] them down Troops were raised, which were[?] called twelve month troops & by some state troops. In this part of North Carolina where declarant lived, the men were classed for this service and one of every twenty which was the number of the class had to serve. This declarant’s class did not stand a draft, as declarant rendered it unnecessary by volunteering. Colonel      Lewis commanded the regiment to which the declarant was attached, Samuel Crofton was Major, Twan[?] Teverton[?] Captain, and Morris Roford Lieutenant. During this tour Troops were employed on the Borders of North Carolina & South Carolina in quelling & extirpating the Tories who were plundering & committing constant depredations. That he had many skirmishes in this service and assisted in quieting the country & killing and driving off the Tories. That he was out & employed during the whole Twelve months at the expiration of which time he was fully discharged but has not preserved his discharge. His 1st discharge was signed by Col. Lowell, the 2nd by Col. Reed & the last by Col. Lewis. He states that he has no documentary evidence and that he knows of no person whose testimony he can procure to testify to his service.

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity the present and declares that his name is not on the Pension Roll of the agency of any state.

Sworn to & subscribed the day & year aforesaid.

Joseph Pitt

We Ezias W. Earle a Clergyman residing in the County of Muhlenberg and Larry Stringer residing in the same hereby certify that we are well acquainted with Joseph Pitt who has subscribed…


Henry Pitt, born 1760, IOW

Southern Campaign American Revolution Pension Statements & Rosters

Pension application of Henry Pitt S3689 fn13NC Transcribed by Will Graves 9/9/09

[Methodology: Spelling, punctuation and/or grammar have been corrected in some instances for ease of reading and to facilitate searches of the database. Also, the handwriting of the original scribes often lends itself to varying interpretations. Users of this database are urged to view the original and to make their own decision as to how to decipher what the original scribe actually wrote. Blanks appearing in the transcripts reflect blanks in the original. Folks are free to make non-commercial use this transcript in any manner they may see fit, but please extend the courtesy of acknowledging the transcriber—besides, if it turns out the transcript contains mistakes, the resulting embarrassment will fall on the transcriber.]

State of Tennessee Sumner County: August Term of County Court 1832

On this the 20th day of August 1832 personally appeared in open Court, before the

Justices of the said Court Henry Pitt a resident of the County of Sumner and State of Tennessee aged seventy-two years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7th 1832 —

States that he was born in the County of Isle of Wight in the State of Virginia and moved to the County of Edgecombe in the State of North Carolina, — He was born in the year 1760 — He has a record of his age in his Bible & as given to him by his parents at his residence in this County — he was living in the County of Edgecombe in the State of North Carolina when called into service, and still continued to reside in that County after the revolutionary war ’till the year ’96 when he removed to the County of Sumner and the State of Tennessee where he now lives —

He entered the service of the United States under the following named officers, and served as herein stated —

He belonged to a drafted company commanded by Captain Edward Clinch and served under him for the term of five months. The first Lieutenant of the company was William Hall, the Major was Joseph Clinch the Colonel was by the name of Eaton [Thomas Eaton] and the whole commanded by General Ash [sic, John Ashe] — They marched through the State of South Carolina in pursuit of the Tories, they marched also into the State of Georgia and had an engagement with the enemy at Bryar Creek [sic, Briar Creek] — the re-marched into the State of South Carolina and remained in that State until they were discharged. He had a discharge but it is now lost, he thinks it was signed by Captain Clinch — After he was discharged he returned back to the State of North Carolina — he was called into service a second time for the term of three months, under Captain James Wilson, Lieutenant William Fort. The object of this service was to protect the inhabitants of the Counties in the lower part of the State of North Carolina against the depredations of the Tories. For this last service he had a discharge which has been lost also. He thinks the discharge was signed by Captain Wilson. He does not now recollect the names of any officers except those already stated.

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present, and declares that his name is not on the roll of the agency of any State.

Sworn to in open Court August 21st 1832. S/ Henry Pitt

Test: S/ A. H. Douglass Clerk

[James Brigance, a clergyman, and Humphrey Mires [Humphrey Myers?] gave the standard supporting affidavit.]


So now for the creme de la creme of the theory for James Pitt & sons…

Remember above the nutty deed swaps from Thomas Godwin to William Wilkinson then back to son Willis Wilkinson… well, it did not stop there… it continued.

The important point for me is the land involved. They were both near the Pitt property of 1200 acres.  3 or 4 generations of Thomas Godwins are on the same property (which can be visualized with the Richard Prestwood patent on my IOW map). The Wilkinson property adjoins the Godwin and Pitt properties.

Below is the Wilkinson and Thomas Godwin land deal of 1782… Joseph Pitt is noted as adjacent to each.  James Pitt died 1779 so he would not be referenced but a son would. Also noted in these records is Brewer Godwin. Remember that Joseph Pitt was a lieutenant in the militia group of Brewer Godwin. And perhaps most importantly the land is described as of Nansemond and Isle of Wight… it must have straddled the county line.


Below is a Chancery Court case which further describes the land involved… it also mentions the principle players I have elaborated on…


Several additions to the 1200 acre patent of Robert Pitt were made by his son Col. John Pitt before his will of 1702…he then bequeaths the land to his 3 sons, John , Henry and James… noted below:

Pitt_Godwin MAP

Note the 1743 “Processioning”  account from the Newport Vestry book:


And here is James Pitt in 1743:

Pitt_Godwin MAP1743

Remember the widow (Patience Pitt)  who was mentioned as losing some furniture in 1782?… this is her. It is pure luck that I even found a mention of her since the Nansemond records are GONE!… this mention was just a random Revolutionary War account that showed up in records outside of Nansemond.

Note that in the will of Joseph Godwin, will of 1757, he left a bequest to his grandson Joseph Pitt… this HAS to be a son of James Pitt the son in law.

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 think that was the son of James Pitt… aka, the lieutenant, of Brewer Godwin’s militia… and he was born prior to 1757…  not sure what he did with the cow?

This “may” be the James Pitt who married Mary Rand… I’m suspicious tho’ because all of his court dealings were in IOW and not Nansemond. There is another James Pitt who married Mary Waite who died about this time also.  An explanation of the IOW court dealings will be shown below… when James Pitt married Mary Rand Smith in 1779 he became guardian for her children of Joseph Smith Jr.  His property was on Smith’s Neck and his children in effect owned that property in IOW… hence James Pitt would deal in that court.

pitt will1799

There are numerous records for the Smith children in the IOW “guardian records”… here are a couple which show the date range that James Pitt dealt with the court:

pitt guardian1790s

If my theory is correct that this James Pitt died in 1799 (or even after that) in Nansemond then any of his later records (and possible children) would be lost in the destruction of those records.  This guy apparently was wealthy (he was in control of multiple plantations merely for the orphans)… what reason would he have to uproot and hit the highway?

All of which simply does not solve the question of my friend Joani as to who was the “daddy” of her James Pitt that wound up in North Carolina… such is genealogy… but I hope it helps the hunt. Her theory is that her James Pitt of North Carolina was from the Henry/Thomas/Henry line of IOW. Looks like she is on the right track.

Another theory I have about theories is that if you prove me wrong then I will have to fess up and then change all my notes to accommodate your new evidence… genealogy is a vicious hobby.

Written by anderson1951

January 3, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

27 Responses

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  1. This is great! I appreciate your work so much! I discovered my Godwins were married to Bridgers and the Pitts fit in there too, just so many I do not have all the details worked out. And I started here with Brownes!



    January 3, 2014 at 6:33 pm

  2. Well, you made my day again! I keep hoping that you might locate Charles Pitt b. 1677 in the Swamp who d. 1750, and he had a son Joseph. All of this information is so interesting especially to me, for both my husband and I are related to these guys. My husband is now 91 come Oct 13, blind – blindness runs in the family of Pitt/s. He has had DNA and is in Group 2A on the Pitts DNA Project. I am very interested in the Anderson lineage also who married into the Hargrove family. I now have the Hargrove Bible although it is in pitiful condition. As for ole James, it is stated in one of the Godwin wills that he is the son-in-law, also in a court case a James has an infant Joseph. I am up the creek insofar as land grants, etc. and I think you are doing a marvelous job. Keep up the wonderful work! Lib Pitts


    Elizabeth AnnShouse Pitts

    February 25, 2014 at 5:50 pm

  3. Sorry just now getting back to you- have been out of pocket, but around now

    Have you seen this further information of the John Pitt deeds? Probably so but sending anyway:

    22 Apr 1731 – Between John Pitt and John Monro- five shillings paid to John Pitt for 600 acres on Great Creek between John Monro and Edward Weatherall up a swamp between Wm Snowdens to a real oak on Joseph Godwins line to Pitt’s line. John Pitt (SEAL) in presence of James Everard, James Ingles, and Robert Cannons(sic)…my note then says on the release paid 500 pounds to John Pitt

    This was a quickly written abstract I did several years ago:

    1739 (sorry that’s all I put)
    John Pitt of Isle of Wight sold Anthony Holladay of Nansemond 11 pounds, 100 acres part of a patent granted Colonel Robert Pitt bearing date Mar 10 1662 for 1200 acres beginning Red Oak between land of John Pitt and land that was Edward Longs and now in possession of Anthony Holladay running south southeast to tree in the line between Colonel Joseph Godwin, Col. Wm Wilkinson and said John Pitt to the end of James Jordan deceased and a tree standing between plantation of John Watts.
    Signed in presence of: Henry Pitt, Matthew Griffin, Thomas Clarke

    email me if you prefer – I hate to take up all your space


    Mary Scott

    July 1, 2014 at 7:46 am

    • Forgot this one:

      25 May 1741 – ” Indenture between John Pitt (son and heir of Henry Pitt by Mary Pitt his wife) of Isle of Ight of one part and John Batten of the other part. The said John Pitt in consideration of sum 3600 pounds tobacco heretofore paid by John Batten to said Henry Pitt in his lifetime – father of said John Pitt- conveys land in parish of Newport isle of Wight at a place called Pocoson and joining the land formerly belonging to William West deceased and formerly belonging to Mr. John Hardy deceased and now in possession of John Pitt containing 300 acres of land – signed in the presence of Thomas Swann (Wm Wilkinson connection-note ms) , J. O”Sheal, David O’Sheal”

      I made a note that this property was promptly sold in July 1741 to Benn Willett (240 acres of it)

      Estate for Daniel Batten was appraised 1741 –

      Daniel Batten will abstract 1702- daughter Ann, son John, grandaughter Martha Welch, daughter Sarah Welch, grandson ROBERT SMITH


      Mary Scott

      July 1, 2014 at 8:01 am

      • Mary, I’m just getting back to this (10-28-2014) and after reviewing what you have written, above, can this be John Pitt son and heir of Henry who m. Mary Smith? This would mean that John ‘s grandson (s/o Henry) was living 25 May 1741. This is the first I have seen left of male heirs of my husband’s John Pitt who first m. Sarah Moon, and second married Olive Hardy. I am wondering about the property promptly sold in July 1741 since Pitt usually bought land and not sold unless they were dying. Now I am wondering if John and Joseph, brother of this John, were still living, being that they would be the only living male heirs, UNLESS these two guys had sons. Lib Pitts at


        Elizabeth S. Pitts

        October 28, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    • My questions are: Which John Pitt and which Henry Pitt. My John Pitt made his LWT 1702 and proved in Jan of next year. His son John died between 1729 and 1734. John the son of John’s son Henry was born bet 1700 & 1719 death date unknown. Lib Pitts


      Elizabeth S. Pitts

      October 29, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      • Sorry about the incorrect email up above. It should be but I do not know how to correct it. I am really having a terrible time with the pale typing. I don’t know if it is my pc or what, but all my emails seem to be coming in in pale blue and it really strains ones eyes trying to read them. Any suggestions as to how to darken the print?


        Elizabeth (Lib) Pitts

        February 21, 2015 at 8:56 pm

  4. I had to have laser left eye so can’t read much right now. Most likely you should get John Bennett Boddie’s Seventeenth Century Isle Of Wight, The Godwin Family. Also, just for the record, the Henry Pitt mentioned is the Henry Pitt who m. Mary West and you can find all that info in the above book, p. 501. As for James Pitt who m. into the Godwin family, do you know who his father is? Henry Pitt who m. Mary West is the son of Thomas Pitt and Mary Smyth.and that Thomas is the son of Capt. Henry Pitt who first married a woman in England and later married Ann (Bacon) Watson who married many times but never had children by any. Some have it posted that the Mary Smyth is the dau of Authur Smith but I believe that is incorrect for his Mary Smith was married to Joihn Hole.Lib Pitts


    Elizabeth S. Pitts

    July 2, 2014 at 7:38 pm

  5. Very interesting site, I am still reading and loving it! Thanks to Elizabeth S Pitts for sharing.
    I am searching for the parents of my Henry Pitts who died in Dec 1817 in Newberry, SC. I thought I had proven his father was David Pitts Jr of Essex Co, VA but the county clerk has disproved that theory.
    I also have Prices and am interested in your Price section.
    I live in Williamsburg, VA so have access to the Swem Library and county courthouses in IOW, Surry, Charles City, James City County and could get to the LVA if needed but I need help as what to look for.


    Ann Greer

    October 25, 2014 at 7:06 am

    • Hi Ann

      Read these items also… perhaps some clues for you:

      Records get sloppy once the descendants leave IOW and branch out to other areas…




      October 25, 2014 at 10:29 am

      • I do enjoy reading all the info there also. At least you are where you can visit the library and see those documents yourself. I don’t know if you have seen all available on this website, but if you go down to the very bottom you can leave a message and ask questions. Perhaps you have already arrived there. Lib


        Libs Pitts

        October 28, 2014 at 10:40 am

  6. Could you please provide “The next hard evidence I find is his mention in the Newport Vestry book in 1743” for me.? I sincerely believe that will possibly be the last information on John’s son, James. That is, unless you can trace the property John left James in his LWT, as well as the property William’s son Robert left to Uncle James. I do not know what happened to that property, nor am I capable of tracing it. That just isn’t my thing.

    Son John born ca 1668 appears to have outlived his half-brother Henry. So we have living male heirs, John’s son John and Henry’s two sons, John and Joseph.

    John had NO male heirs and died testate 1729-1734. If the daughters did not inherit, what happened to John’s property? A copy of his LWT would have helped, perhaps. I do not know who this son John was married to or if she was still living. Brayton stated, “His will was dated 19 Dec 1729, and recorded 24 Feb 1734, Isle of Wight Co., VA, Will Book 4, p.43., but no copy provided. ” He was styled Capt. John Pitt in the appraisal of his estate…” If he lived until 1734 it appears he outlived all the males, except for Henry’s sons, John and Joseph.

    Brayton states that Henry died testate by 1719 but was married by 1700, so John, Joseph and Mary had to be born between 1700-1719. It appears to me that the male heirs other than John’s son himself would be, John and Joseph, sons of Henry (born ca 1680 d. by 1719), Do you have any idea what happened to them? All this is mind-boggling!!

    John’s son John died between 1729-34 (testate) but it appears he was living when Henry died. Right? Henry was left father John’s Seal Ring, so who ended up with that? That leaves me still wondering what happened to Henry’s children John, Joseph, and Mary. Did they have guardians???? Perhaps Henry’s LWT would answer some of the questions, but I do not have that LWT, nor have I seen a copy.

    Given the history of my husband’s family, I do not believe that James, son of John who wrote his LWT 28 Nov 1702, lived to be old. He would certainly be quite an exception. Many of them died of TB. James was living 10 July 1711 when William’s son Robert wrote his LWT.; this Robert died childless but did mention Uncle James in his LWT. That is ALL the info I have on James, unless you can provide me with something in the Vestry mentioned above. As far as the male line, only the brother Henry who m. Mary Smith had male heirs, John, and Joseph. Henry’s wife, Mary Smith was a sister to Henry’s half-brother William who married Sarah Smith. As to what happened to John, Joseph, and Mary (grandchildren of one Arthur Smith, testator of 1696, Isle of Wight Co., VA, as well as grandchildren of John Pitt and Olive Hardy) I have not been able to determine. This has been a thorn in my side for many years. According to John A. Brayton, p.49 Vol. 7, Henry’s children were John, Joseph and Mary”. Brayton also states that any Pitt children by Smith would have had to have been born after 1689/90 so if they were born between 1700-1719, WHERE ARE THEY?
    “Witnesses to Henry’s will were his brother (which brother?)and sister-in-law, the testor of 1741 (Isle of Wight Co., VA, Will Book 4, p.424 and his wife”) I do not have a copy of Henry’s LWT. Do you?
    Brayton gives info as to witnesses, but does not provide a copy of the LWT of John’s son John or son Henry. Hopefully you are not as confused as I!
    Lib Pitts


    Elizabeth S. Pitts

    October 28, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    • Elizabeth

      I assume you are asking for my source for your question… good for you.

      James Pitt was the son of John Pitt (will 1702) the son of the immigrant Robert Pitt (will 1672). James is noted in his father’s will of 1702. The next hard evidence I find is his mention in the Newport Vestry book in 1743. The last mention (which may or may not be him) is in 1779.

      The “Vestry Book” I refer to can be found here:

      Browse All Published Collections > United States > Virginia > Isle of Wight > Church Records

      You will find digitized photos of the actual document. It is not easy to read but with a little effort you can figure it out… thankfully you are perhaps the same age as I am and we can thank our early teachers for teaching us cursive.

      I have read through this entire document (the Vestry Book) several times looking for various people… each time I find something new.

      Bottom line… I have provided my thoughts and questions… I am looking for some answers now just like you.
      I tiled this post “olde phart” attempting at humor and basically stating that I find it hard to believe the guy lived that long….. its not impossible of course but I am suspicious.

      Also I am very hard headed, stubborn and don’t believe a damn thing I hear without proof. The “Mr. Brayton” I quote was simply a convenient source to gather my thoughts. I never intend to insult the legacy of these older researchers… but I will not hesitate to correct anyone with any new factual info I find. (I give J.B. Boddie hell all the time).

      The questions you ask no one has figured out yet. Go get ’em girl!

      And by no means take my words as an “authority”… the fancy maps are just that “fancy” … I am a professional graphic artist and it is simply easy for me to create them. I am one guy collecting notes and asking questions… the maps are just a way that “I” think out loud. If my notes survive into the future then some young pup will find errors… and good for them! I prefer not to email folks because the questions and answers are important to other folks… each question may lead to an answer that we can all build on. This new internet stuff is amazing.

      Marc aka “anderson1951”



      October 28, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      • My BP is too high tonight to see so I will have to wait until tomorrow to check this out. Many thanks! Lib Pitts


        Libs Pitts

        October 28, 2014 at 5:17 pm

      • By golly, I went into Family Search and I believe I haven’t EVER see4n so many mistakes. It seems people just stick anything on the internet for facts. John Pitt, s/o Robert Pitt was NOT the son of Stevens. He was born in England by Robert’s first spouse (an English woman; I believe she was Martha Calloway, but cannot prove it. Nevertheless, William, Robert, John, Elizabeth, and Hester all were born in England and by English woman. Robert did not marry Elizabeth Stevens until long after these were born. It really ticks me off to see such postings. They are as bad as Ancestry – possibly where they got their info 🙂
        I must not know how to view the church records so will have to try again. I’m really not interested in the info people put out unless they have an adequate source. I’m a lot more stubborn than you.:)


        Elizabeth S. Pitts

        October 29, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      • Marc, have you seen any of the LWTs I mentioned not having? I guess I’ll; have to get to Virginia one of these days. Lib


        Elizabeth S. Pitts

        October 29, 2014 at 1:29 pm

  7. No… all I have is on my notes I’ve posted.



    October 29, 2014 at 2:03 pm

  8. Would like to correspond offline regarding Elizabeth Harrison (2nd marriage) , ref. IOW WB 8, p.332. Surnames mentioned are Godwin, Thomas, Pitt, Norsworthy, and Thomas. Have done some tracking, but need your insight, especially Pitt. Thanks


    Sage Joyner

    January 15, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    • Sage… my apologies, but I simply don’t have time do do offline (I’m 63 yrs old but still have a job, dammit) .. all of this genealogy stuff can get real complex very quickly.

      Formulate your facts and post a question or state your theory… thusly you will get an answer or get someone “lit up” to contribute some little fact that will help us all!

      Its like talk radio… most people listen but don’t call in… its all good fun in the end.




      January 15, 2015 at 6:46 pm

  9. Marc – theory about the Town Lots: Mind you, this is pretty speculative
    Father John Pitt (1701/1702) left Lot #26 to his son Henry Pitt (1719) and for want of heirs to Henry’s brother, James Pitt;
    Father John Pitt also left lot #25 to his son James Pitt and for want of heirs to brother John (d ca. 1734).
    Final directive of the will told sons to divide remainder of undivided property amongst themselves

    John Pitt (1734) had five daughters – I am guessing based on research that they had the following possible marriages

    – Esther one of wives of John Applewhaite (he d. ca. 1758)
    – Ann m. Wm Godwin, Wm Wilkinson and Charles Fulgham
    – Martha m. Joseph Bridger, possibly Wright and lastly Andrew Mackie
    – Rachel m Joseph Norsworthy (d 1757)- She 2nd wife -her daughter Eliz.Norsworthy married 1) George
    Reynolds married 2) Thos Pitt (d 1774)
    -Prudence m. Richard Reynolds (he d. ca 1774 – he brother of George Reynolds)

    Several land deeds involving the primary “heir” of each individual – concerns 250 acres belonging to John Applewhite that was to be divided into 5 equal parts. (Confusing at best)
    From 1758 – 1765 those named at various times as being collectively in possession of the 250 acres were:

    Richard Reynolds and wife Prudence
    Andrew Mackie and wife Martha Mackie
    John Bridger (descendant of Martha Pitt?)
    John Godwin (descendant of Ann Pitt)
    Pitt Reynolds (descendant of Prudence Pitt)
    George Reynolds (1st husband of Ellz Norsworthy, she daughter of Rachel Pitt)
    John Applewhite (son of Hester Pitt) who received the 250 acres and presented for division

    Of primary interest:
    Once Martha Pitt (?) married Andrew Mackie, they are jointly selling and buying many tracts of property:
    She falls off the sales after 1778. Andrew Mackie continues transactions. Of interest is the following:

    Recorded 2 Dec 1779 –
    (written 10 Nov 1772) – Andrew Mackie of Newport Parish sells to John Bridger (Martha Pitt heir) the following LOTS:

    #s 1, 2, 25, 26, 27, 28, 5, and 22 in NEWPORT TOWN.

    We see the “missing” LOTS #25 and 26

    It is important to us that these show up as Newport Lots….because there were also lots that existed as “lots in Smithfield” and “Patesfield”

    Can’t explain it, but both lots wound up in the possession of Col John Pitt’s son, JOHN PITT, Gentleman (1734). Don’t know if the three sons of John Pitt (1701/1702) i.e. John, Henry, James had an understanding amongst themselves or if James died or what. Somehow the lots wound up with Martha Pitt Bridger Wright Mackie whose husband Andrew Mackie transferred to her heir JOHN BRIDGER.



    Mary Scott

    September 29, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    • Great detective work Mary…

      So by 1772 or earlier, the James (this post is focused on) disposed of the town lot… the question is why? and what were the circumstances? More to the point… did he die or is this the same James last mentioned in 1779?

      Good stuff.



      September 30, 2015 at 4:11 am

      • Marc – I do not have any answers….Years ago I had to put this stuff up because my brain was imploding….once again I am drawn back in.

        I am throwing out information for your digestion- I apologize for any duplication on your blog….take and sift.

        Here is another abstract regarding 1711/1712 Will of Robert Pitt (nephew of John, Henry, James).
        I had an abstract from Chapman…but I also have a xerox of the microfilm. It is blurry at best but I tried to transpose. I think you will find it interesting with regards to other property to James and also perhaps why the law suit following the death of John Monro in 1760 that is mentioned in the Will of John Pitt (1761), who was the son of John Pitt (d 1749, the son of Henry 1719).


        1708/1712 -Will of Robert Pitt -written 1708-probated 25 jan 1713
        In the name of God Amen, I Robert Pitt of Newport Parish, Isle of Wight County being of perfect mind and memory pray unto almighty God doeth make my last will and testament in and unto form (sic) as followeth. [First I bequeath] my soul to Almighty God and hope through the [ ] [ ]favor of Jesus Christ to now have full pardon of all my sins and my ….theretofore [sic] marked [sic].

        Imprimus [sic] – I give [sic] and bequeath….to my brother John Monro my negro girle fierold [sic -flower?] and…..pistole holster and carbine my rapier[sic] and my six …..and my moveable estate to be equally divided among/between [sic] my brother John Monro three sisters..[ ].Sarah Monro and Mary Monro.

        Item – I give and bequeath to my uncle James Pitt the plantation whereon Elizabeth Williams liveth and plantation whereon now John George now liveth and going into…the tar pitt /Freshett?[sic] Swamp… to the corner of Col [sic] Godwins….and all heirs of his body forever and if he die without such heirs…… uncle Henry Pitt and the male heirs [of] his body forever.

        Item – I give and bequeath to my father in law and mother all the remaining part of [divided land -sic]…..which they now live on being twelve hundred and….acres and after their death to my brother Andrew Monro…and the [male-sic] heirs of his body forever…and also land lyeth [sic] between [sic] Bridgers Creek and Sewards line[ sic] and if he die without such heirs then his part……..equally divided between my three sisters [before mentioned] and his part of my lands to be equally divided between my ..uncles John Pitt, James Pitt and Henry Pitt and the male heirs of their bodies forever [sic]

        Item – I give and bequeath my whole right and title of the town land as having never received any satisfaction for it to the use of the Church for a Glebe or as the Court and vestry shall think fitt.

        Item – I give and bequeath to Uncle John Pitt the plantation whereon Susannah Moscross[pp] now liveth and the planation whereon Matthew Shaw now liveth [according to the bounds- sic] of the plantation…the Poplar Neck to him and the male heirs of his body forever and if he die without such heirs to my Uncle Henry Pitt and the male heirs of his body forever.

        Item – I give and bequeath to my Uncle Henry Pitt all the remaining part of my land situated on Pagan Creek to him and the male heirs of his body forever
        ( all the said heirs being lawfully begotten) upon condition that he do not [ ] for or [ ] twelve hundred acres of land which I have already given, which if it is, then the land which I have given him I give to my brother John Monro in like manner and if Henry Pitt die without such heirs [then-ms] to be divided equally between my two uncles before mentioned and their heirs and
        [ ] [ ].

        Item – I give and bequeath to Mary Pitt the daughter of Thomas Pitt and to Elizabeth Bridger the daughter of of Captain Joseph Bridger to each of them the sum of ten pounds of sterling to be paid to them upon demand after marriage or the age of eighteen years out of the [ ] of the lands I have given my Uncle Henry Pitt to be paid by him or [ a man he has chosen / or in his possession – sic].

        Item – I give and bequeath to Mary Moscropp the daughter of Thomas Moscropp and to Sarah Watt the daughter of John Watt to each of them the like sum
        and to be paid to them in the like manner by my Uncle John Pitt.

        Item – I give and bequeath to Martha Norsworthy the daughter of [Mr] John Norsworthy and to Jane Smith the daughter of Col. Arthur Smith to each of them the like sum to be paid to them in like manner by my Uncle James Pitt.

        Item – I give and bequeath to my three sisters before mentioned to each of them five [sic] thousand pounds of tobacco or the full balance to be paid to them in like manner by father in law Andrew Monro.

        Item [sic]I hereby revoke all former wills and do make my father in law Andrew Monro and my Uncle Henry Pitt my executors of this my last will and Testament as witness my hand and seal the Tenth Day of July 1711

        Signed Sealed and Declared
        in the presence of
        [A.] Smith
        Mary Smith
        John [E. (sic)] Driver

        The will was proved at a Court held for Isle of Wight County the 26 day of January 1712 by MARY SMITH and Jno DRIVER

        Throwing this out: I’m sure repetitive
        When looking back at some old stuff – I found the following: I think they may be the James Pitt, son-in-law of Joseph Godwin – if so is it possible that James Pitt, the son-in-law, might be the son of Joseph Pitt who died 1757 – OR a son of James Pitt of 1702 Will. If the very first James Pitt died in Chuckatuck, Nansemond there wouldn’t be any records.

        I think it is interesting that James Pitt the son in law had a son named Joseph. While he may have been named for his Godwin grandfather, he could also have been named after the possible father of James Pitt, i.e Joseph Pitt.

        March 1765 – JOHN PITT, an infant, by Joseph Cutchin his guardian against JAMES PITT.
        [remembering that Joseph Pitt (d. 1757) was executor for his brother John (d. 1748)


        Mary Scott

        October 2, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    • i’m still working on my husband’s John, the one who married 2nd Olive Hardy. It seems to me that James had to give up his given property, not because he died, but because he had no heirs. By this time I figure he was too darn old. Actually, I’m not sure he had a spouse by this time, so even if he had a male child and was not married it would not be a legal heir. So far as I can tell, the only hope of an heir would be via the grandson of Col. Robert who was not around when Col. Robert died, but married Mary Bridger [(so some say had two sons and one daughter, Mary. The sons were John and Joseph.] There is entirely too much guess work on the internet and to who Robert married and I have not found any evidence that he had these sons, Col. Robert’s daughter Hester was born ca 1638 and she married Joseph Bridger,[s/o Rev. Samuel Bridger and Mary], and she died 15 April 1686 in I of W, Virginia.According to John Anderson Brayton’s research John and Olive had firstborn Henry ca 1680. This guy was married to Mary Smith “”The identity of this testator is confirmed by his mention of the “gold seal ring which his father gave him,” Isle of Wight Co., VA, Will Book 3,p.10. His wife Mary unmentioned in his will, did sign the appraisement of his estate 28Xber 1719, Isle of Wight Co., CA, Will Book 3, p.17. Witnesses were Arthur Smith, Mary Smith, and John Turner, His children were John, Joseph, and Mary. Witnesses to Henry’s will were his brother, ( MUST have been James for none other living) and sister-in-law, the testator of 1741 (Isle of Wight Co., VA, Will Book 4, p.424 and his wife.”” [John Anderson Brayton, pg.49, Colonial Families of Surry and Isle of Wight Counties, Virginia. Vol 7. Do ya’ll know if anyone has anything positive about the sons’s of Henry, John and Joseph? I once was told these were sons of Robert’s grandson Robert and Mary Bridger, but I believe John Anderson Brayton’s research which says to ME that they are sons of Henry who was born ca 1680 and died testate by 1719 and married by 1700. I wish Brayton had done further research but I haven’t found anything so far. If any of you have anything further, this gal surely would love to know about it.



      October 2, 2015 at 6:47 am

  10. I’m researching the line of Barnaby Kearney/Kerney in Nansemond County. I see he is mentioned several times in your documentation here as living near the Pitts/Godwins (which matches some of my research as the younger Barnaby (a Captain) married Elizabeth Godwin around 1709. However, I don’t see his land grants on any of your maps. Do you happen to know where the Kearney parcels fit in to this jigsaw puzzle? Thank you!


    Claire Williams

    January 9, 2017 at 2:29 am

    • I did a quick search for patents and nothing at Lib of Virginia…. but it could be a spelling issue…

      According to this site there do not appear to be any land records…

      If no patents are available then the Nansemond records are a Black Hole.
      Have you checked the Vestry Book for Newport Parish 1723-1772?

      Virginia>IOW> church records> Vestry book



      January 9, 2017 at 5:27 am

      • Hmmm…

        I did find a patent for 50 acres… I’ll try to map it when I get a chance. His patent has no description but the Wilkason neighbor does…

        10/28/1702, Barnaby “Kerney”, 50 acres, Nansemond Co. Escheated from Robert Ardis, deceased, by inquisition. (S) VA Land Office, PB9, P482.

        5/3/1712, Elizabeth given 200 acres in the will of her father. Barnaby is a witness of the will.

        3/23/1715, William Wilkason, 100 acres, Isle of Wight Co., in Newport Parish; adjoining … Barnaby Kerny; & James Webb; by the Island Pond. (S) VA Land Office, PB10, P259.

        3/22/1730, Barnabas and John Pitt ( 1242) witnessed a deed in consideration of a lawsuit of Hardy Council. (S) Isle of Wight, DB4, 1729-1736, P98.

        7/1733–5/23/1737, Barnaby died. Elizabeth quit claimed her dower interest in the land of her husband, Barnaby Kearney of Nansemond Co., deceased. (S) Isle of Wight, DB5, P108.



        January 9, 2017 at 1:05 pm

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