Andersons of Colonial N. Carolina

meant what they said, said what they meant

When you see it… Ambrose Bennett’s 750 acre patent… 1641

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Young folks today have a pastime called MEMES… goofy little tidbits of nonsense they get a kick out of sharing on their smart phones… another along the same lines is called “When you see it“.  It usually involves a photo with a funny or embarrassing happenstance and unintended side occurrence.

In 1637, in Isle of Wight county, one John Taylor received a patent for 50 acres…

To all… grant John Taylor 50 acres… Isle of Wight… being an Island running up the Pagan shore between two Creeks the one running South East and the other running round the Island bearing to the South west being opposite against the Land of Arthur Smith… due for personal Adventure… 1637

When you see it… it is so obvious as to be humorous… note that the patent verbiage is a perfect description (once you know where to look).

To coin a phrase… Let’s call this Bennett’s Island.

Directly to the West, across what is now known as Champion Swamp, was the patent of the immigrant Christopher Reynolds. Northwesterly was the patent of Arthur Smith. Northeasterly was the land of John Upton.  Ambrose Bennett would obtain this land in 1641.

I had a hell of a time finding the patent… turns out it was not in the early first patents as it should have been.  It wound up in Book 7 with the 1687 batch of patents… for whatever reason that is when it was officially recorded.

Here are some details…  click several times to enlarge.

A co-conspirator in this mapping enterprise (Jerry Jolly) had access to my notes above and makes an attempt to map the Bennett 750 acres…  Here is his rendition (he uses a different software package).

Note  Jerry’s rendition of the John Taylor patent… his software calculates the acreage.  What I call Bennett’s Island appears to be almost exactly 50 acres.

My only critique of Jerry’s calculation is that I think it is too “literal”. By that I mean the old boys in 1641 were perhaps in a hurry and “roughly” threw out the metes with very few bounds. (These early patents did not show the old boys at the peak of their game in the surveying gig.)  Directly below it was another John Upton patent.  Considering the Bennett patent and this Upton patent I find it impossible to accurately plot. (There is too much detail left out of the original patents).   However the abundant clues makes for the ability to make a reasonably accurate guess.  The tedious association of deeds makes for more accuracy.  I find the more that we map the clearer the “big picture”.

IOW…”beginning at the outside of Ambrose Bennetts Land lying Northerly upon the said branch and 500ac of Land more on the other side of the sd. branch opposite against the foresaid Land running Easterly into the woods beginning at an Indian path which goeth over the head of that branch and runneth Southerly upwards from the head of the said branch…” (no name of the said branch) Lt. John Upton 1500ac 1638

Read the Charles Barcroft patent carefully… a theory of mine is that Cypress Creek branched twice coming out of the “lower bay creek”.  In other words, modern Champion Swamp was also known as Cypress Creek in the early days.  It should be somewhat obvious that  Christopher Reynolds patent was to the WEST of the modern Cypress Creek/Swamp.  See Bennett’s Island.

So what we know for sure is that the Northerly bounds of the 750 acres is the “island”  at the head of the “Lower Bay Creek” as the section of creek was named at the time.  Also the Westerly bounds adjoin the property of Christopher Reynolds (the immigrant). Reynolds was actually across the creek.  The Southerly bounds of the patent are still a mystery.  Some clues are available concerning the Easterly bounds of the patent…

Above is from Boddie’s book… Ambrose Bennett Sr has died by 1657, I think, so this is his son in 1678.  This is the sale of a mill obviously… note where it is- “at the head of Pagan Creek“.  I assert that this is the same creek named “Lower Bay Creek” in Bennett’s 750 acre patent.  The key term, in my opinion, is “head” as opposed to the “mouth” of any creek.  The head is the ending point of a creek.  In this case the Pagan Creek “ends” and Cypress Creek “begins”.  Also of keen interest to me are the people mentioned…  James Tullaugh, James Bagnall, Richard Reynolds and Walter Rutter.    Note that by 1678 James Bagnall had property “adjoining” Ambrose Bennet’s 750 acres.  Bagnall married a daughter of the pastor Robert Bracewell.

If you study my research… I think I have successfully proven “where” the immigrant Christopher Reynold’s property was… as noted above.  Note Richard Jordan’s patent below Reynolds (also note the reference to Cypress Swamp in the patent)- I purport this is proof that the modern Champion Creek was known as Cypress Creek in the 1600s.  Essentially there was a “western” Cypress Creek and an “eastern” Cypress Creek.  This also explains how the large (over 3,000 acre) patent of William Boddie could “begin” on Cypress Creek.

More later…  I am attempting to show where the immigrant Robert Bracewell had his property obtained from John Upton….

A little Googling paid off… this is from Carey Bracewell’s book (he is my Go To source for Braswell research… I’ve followed his work for years)

The same thing without the pitch about his book…


Record of Wills, Deeds, Etc., Vol. 1 1662-1715, Page 426.
“Articles of Agreemt concluded & agreed Between Ambross BENNETT of ye one partie & Thomas WEBB of ye other partie in manner & forme as followeth. Impris it is agreed between ye parties aforesd that ye sd Ambross BENNETT doth give unto ye aforesd Thomas WEBB & his heires forever, one acre of Land, yt he shall erect a Mill upon, & ye priviledge of ye Runn yt ye sd Mill doth stand upon, and it is further agreed between ye parties aforesd, that if in Case the afforesd Thomas WEBB be att any tyme disposed to make sale of ye aforesd Mill, or Acre of Land, the aforesd Ambrose BENNETT or his heirs for ever, shall have the refusall, of ye aforesd. Mill & ye Acre of Land, And it is further agreed between ye parties aforesd, that the sd Thomas WEBB is to grind the aforesd Ambross BENNETTs Corne toll free, & his heires & all ym that doo belong to his owne family for ever, And it is further agreed between ye parties aforesd that ye sd Ambross BENNETT doth gett & lett unto ye aforesd Thomas WEBB Sixty Acres of Land for ye terme of Thirty years complett & ended, bounded of the one side upon the path, that goeth to ye Church bounded on ye other side, as farr as ye aforesd Ambross BENNETTs land doth runne & soe over ye Runn & soe bounded upon ye Land of Mr. Robert BRACEWELL, and from his Land A Cross over ye path that goeth to the Church It is agreed between the parties aforesd, that ye sd Thomas WEBB is to give the aforesd Ambross BENNETT in Consideration of ye aforesd Amross BENNETT in Consideracon of ye aforesd Land three thousand pounds of tob & Cask & one hogshead of ground meal, to be pd ready downe, the Tobaccoe to be pd fifteen hundred in the year, of or Lord God One thousand Six hundred fifty & two, & for the true performance hereof we have Enforchangeably sett or hands & seales ye 29th of Aprill 1650. The word heires incerted in ye first article was done by ye consent of Ambross BENNETT being onely forgotten att ye first soe along. Ambross A. BENNETT (seal), Thomas W. WEBB (seal) (his mark). Teste: Robert BRACEWELL. Ann A. BENNETT (her mark)

This was entered in ye indyent water way… Signed sealed & d d in ye prsence of Henry PRESTON, George RAWLEY 9th Febry Ambrose BENNETT acknowledged ye wthin written Articles In open Cort held for ye Isle of Wight County & by him proved to be Recorded which is accordingly Ordered & done & Examin’d pr me Johann COMBE, Cl Dep…”

The church referenced above would be the famous “Old Brick Church”.

Note also this deed of John Upton…

Virginia Land Grants, Volume 1, page 605
“To all to whome these presents shall come I Sr. John HARVEY Lt Governr &c and &c whereas &c NOW KNOW yee that I the said Sr. John HARVEY Kt doo wth the consent of the Councell of State accordingly give and grant unto Leuft John UPTON one thousand acres of Land, Scituate and being in the Countie of the Isle of Wight adjoining to the outside of Ambrose BENNETT’s land lying Northerly Upon the said branch and five hundred acres of Land more on the other Side of the Said branch apposite against the aforesaid Land running Easterly into the woods beginning at an Indian oath which goeth and the head of that branch and runneth Southerly upwards from the head of the said branch the said fifteene hundred acres of land being due unto him the said Leift John UPTON by and for the transportation of thirty prsons into this Colony whose names are in the Records mentioned this pattent To have and to hold &c dated the 10th of November 1638.

And note this information from John Upton’s will…

Deeds, Wills, Guardians Accounts Book A, 1636-1767 Pages 38-40
“IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN, I Capt John UPTON of the Isle of Wight County in Virginia Gent. being Sick of Body but in perfect Memorey do ordain this as my Last Will and Testament in Manner and form as followeth… IMPRIMIS, ITEM. I give… unto my Elest Son John UPTON all that Tract of Land being part of it in the Tenure of John KING, James BAGNALL & Nicholas MORRIS, Containing in the Whole Eight Hundred and fifty acres of Land, and if the said John UPTON dies before he comes to the age of One and Twenty years then I give and bequeath the Said Land unto (39) William, Elizabeth, Sarah & Sarah & Margaret UNDERWOOD to be Divided as followeth (Vizt) Elizabeth, Sarah & Margaret UNDERWOOD each of them a Hundred Acres, and the remainder unto William UNDERWOOD. ITEM, I give and bequeath unto my Said Son one Mare fole and one Cow with Calfe, being upon the probate of my Will Sett apart, for him with their increase, And if it should happen that my Said Son dies before the Age of One and Twenty, that the sd Mare fole and Cow with their Increase to be Equally Shared amongst my Daughters in Law Elizabeth, Sarah & Margaret UNDERWOOD, ITEM. I give and bequeath unto William UNDERWOOD, Elizabeth, Sarah & Margarett UNDERWOOD that tract or parcell of Land runing apon this Side the fresshett near Ambrose BENNETT, Containing fifteen Hundred Acres of Land, Except and allways… out of this Land Three Hundred Acres which Mr. Robert BRACEWELL hath. ITEM, I give and bequeath unto William, Elizabeth, Sarah and Margarett UNDERWOOD all my Land at Rappahannock or what shall be hereafter made good upon my rights they to be possesst with it after my Wifes’ decease, And for the rest of my Estate, Goods, Chattels, Servants, Household Stuff, Lands Tenemts Hereditamts what soever here in Virginia or Elsewhere… I give Devise and bequeath the same unto my very Loveing and Welbeloved wife Margaret UPTON whome I constitute, ordain, & make Sole Executrix of this my Last Will and Testament; and I hereby desire and made my Loveing friends Mr. George HOWDON, William UNDERWOOD and James TAYLOR Clark, my overseers desiring them to Se this my will performed, Likewise I give and ordain my Executx to give each of my Overseers a Ring of Twenty Shillings Sterling price. Likewise ordain Ann WILLIAMSON the wife of James WILLIAMSON to be Equall Sharer in my Land at Rappahannock with thesse above named. ITEM. I give unto Elizabeth UNDERWOOD one pillow & pillow cloth to be delivered at ther day of Marriage. Furthermore I do by thesse prssents Revoke all former Wills by me made Except this my last (40) Will. IN WITNESS, I the Said Capt. John UPTON have hereunto Set my hand and Seal this Sixteenth day of January Anno Domoni. It is to be understood that what Land I have formerly disposed of in that Trackt of fifteen hundred Acres upon the freshett by Ambrose BENNETTs is to rest upon condition, and the remainder Divided as is before provided. Sealed & Signed in the presence of us John J GOTLINS (mark) James TAYLOR. John UPTON Signr.
(recorded December 16, 1652 – Ed.)

So how to break all that info down to somehow draw it on a map???   Later Braswell will also obtain the rights to a MILL which he bequeaths to his heirs… is it the same mill???  Consider this:

Hopkins book, I think (pg.250)  23 Nov 1713….  William Hunter and wife, Mary Hunter, of Newport Parish to Richard West of the same….  300 acres in Newport Parish (being formerly owned by Robert Coleman of the same and now in the tenure of the said William Hunter) on Backbay Creek whereon Webbs Mill doth stand by and known as Tullagh Mill and Longs Mill now Wests Mill along Herring Branch to the Great Road.  Land is bounded by James Benn, the Widow Long, Robert Clarke, Thomas Wright and the Reedy Branch.  The land was lately Escheat.

Wit:  Thomas Pitt and Bare Mackine                             William Hunter

Just for sh*ts and giggles, I consulted the 1865 Civil War map for IOW:


I had hoped to find a mill… no such luck.  But note the REYNOLDS descendant at this time.  Also note that Cypress Creek is labeled on the “western” side where modern Champion Creek is now.  The yellow area is what I take to be the Main Road.

I Googled a modern map but it shows too much modern changes to be any help.

So where was Webb’s Mill in the mid 1600s???

Written by anderson1951

May 28, 2017 at 5:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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