Andersons of Colonial N. Carolina

meant what they said, said what they meant

James Pitman 1740s

with 13 comments

It seems to me the name “James” is rather rare for the Pitman lines in the 1700s… unlike the name “Joseph” which was irritatingly popular.  There was an Edward connected to a James in IOW but the James seems to stay there til the 1770s…  Traci in the comments  mentions another in IOW.

So…. this guy is so far an enigma…  


In 1742 James obtains 200 acres in modern Nash County.  Only the “entries” are extant in the Archives at Raleigh.

Minutes of the North Carolina Governor’s Council

May 04, 1742 – May 07, 1742

CSR Volume 04, Pages 615 – 620

At a Council held at Newberne the 5th day of May 1742

Read Sundry Petitions for Grants of Land Vizt

… James Pitman 200 Do (Edgecombe)


click link for transcripts      JamesPitman 3deeds_Saponey1742    *all 3 deed descriptions have the same metes & bounds 

A year or so later he obtains 200 acres near Swift Creek/Falling Run in Edgecombe Co…  Notice the timing of the “Minutes” of the Governor’s Council below and when he sold the property…..  this seems to be a “Fast Track” for those times… and I would REALLY like to see the survey and WHEN it was surveyed.

Minutes of the North Carolina Governor’s Council

November 10, 1743 – November 18, 1743

CSR Volume 04, Pages 639 – 651

Read the following Petitions for Patents Vizt

…James Pitman 200 Edgcombe


If James obtained this patent in Nov 1743 then it appears he almost immediately sold it within a couple months to Stallings the next February (old calendar)… seems this was apparently a buy & sell proposition?

21 February [1743?] – Edgecombe County deed, James and Elizabeth Pitman to John Stallings, 200 acres on the north side of Tar River, joining Falling Run. Witnessed by Robert Coleman, Jr. and recorded February Court 1743. Source: Margaret M. Hofmann, abstractor, Abstracts of Deeds: Edgecombe Precinct, Edgecombe County, North Carolina, 1732 through 1758 (Weldon, NC: Hofmann, 1976), p. 188, entry # “pg. 216.”

Traci worked up this Grantee/Grantor format of his lands….  pretty nifty


5 May 1742 – Patent to James Pittman for 200 acres in Edgecombe County on the north side of Tar River and the north side of falling run, joining the side of a Great Pond, the run, and the river. Margaret M. Hofmann, abstractor, Colony of North Carolina, 1735-1764 Abstracts of Land Patents, Vol. 1 (Weldon, NC: Hofmann, 1982,) p. 166, entry # 2345.

15 May 1742 – Patent to James Pitman for 200 acres in Edgecombe County on the south side of Sappony Creek [present-day Nash County], joining a point near the mouth of Flaggy Branch and the side of the swamp. Hofmann, Colony of North Carolina, 1735-1764 Abstracts of Land Patents, Vol. 1 , p. 241, entry # 3480.

20 November 1744 – Thomas Brown and Mary his wife “of Edgecombe County” to James Pittman “of Edgecombe County” 100 acres “joining the river part of a patent dated 2 Mar. 1744 to Thomas Brown. Witnessed by John and William Sikes. Hofmann, Abstracts of Deeds: Edgecombe Precinct, Edgecombe County, North Carolina, 1732 through 1758, p. 197, entry # “pg. 309.”


21 February [1743?] – Edgecombe County deed, James and Elizabeth Pitman to John Stallings, 200 acres on the north side of Tar River, joining Falling Run. Witnessed by Robert Coleman, Jr. and recorded February Court 1743. Margaret M. Hofmann, abstractor, Abstracts of Deeds: Edgecombe Precinct, Edgecombe County, North Carolina, 1732 through 1758 (Weldon, NC: Hofmann, 1976), p. 188, entry # “pg. 216.”

5 November 1745 – Edgecombe deed from James Pitman “of Edgecombe County” to William Ruffin “of Northampton County,” 200 acres on the south side of Sappony Creek near the mouth of Flaggy Branch. Hofmann, Abstracts of Deeds: Edgecombe Precinct, Edgecombe County, North Carolina, 1732 through 1758, p. 206, entry # “pg. 427.”

11 February 1746 – Edgecombe County deed from James Pittman to Nathaniel Bradford, 100 acres “more or less” on the north side of Tar River at Green’s ford, joining a running branch and the river, “part of a grant to Thomas Brown for 200 acres 2 March 1744.”
Hofmann, Abstracts of Deeds: Edgecombe Precinct, Edgecombe County, North Carolina, 1732 through 1758, p. 81, entry # “pg. 80.”

Thinking out loud…. this guy causes this much mental anguish to genealogists is a mere 4 years?….

He was not listed in the militia rolls of the 1750s that I can find…..   he just vanishes without a forwarding address, the cad.   Did he die without a trace?  

Of course my underlying question is did he scoot out of any marital obligations to the widow Pitman of Swift Creek?   hmmm???      Or did he even know her?



* James is born at least by 1721
* James has no known connections to the Thomas Pitman d1730 of Virginia

* there is no known info to connect him to the below “Quakers”…
Edgecombe Co NC Will Abstracts 1732 – 1792, Gammon, David B., page 65:
(315) MOSES PITMAN 24 March 1759 Dec Ct 1760 O A/16
Wife Elizabeth PITMAN – one third of my estate. Remaining estate to be divided between my
children James PITMAN, Moses PITMAN and Mary PITMAN.
Ex. wife, Andrew ROSS Wit. Joseph PITMAN (Quaker), John GAY, Jesse GREEN

Andrew ROSS, executor of Moses PITMAN’s will, wrote his own will 14 April 1761 (probate June Ct
1761) in which he named his *sons-in-law* Willaby TUCKER, William PITMAN and James STALLINGS as
his executors.
Daniel ROSS, son of Andrew, left a will, also in 1761, naming the same three men to be his
* one suspicious avenue of interest with this Ross is this son in law, William Pitman who seems to also show up in the “Sappony Creek” area…  another suspicion is the Arthur of the 1761 land sale of Elizabeth Pitman (widow) who also apparently winds up on Sappony Creek in Nash County.  Anyone have a clue?


Here is Forrest King’s take on an Isle of Wight James…

WILLIAM4 PITMAN (Thomas3-1) was born in Surry County about 1678.  He was the recipient of a heifer from his grandfather Thomas Pitman in 1680.  He died in Isle of Wight County sometime after 4 Apr 1753.  He married MARY RAY, sister of William Ray, probably in Surry County.

+++EDWARD PITMAN, b. in Surry County about 1712, m. MARTHA (—) in Isle of Wight County, and d. in Isle of Wight County between 6 May1745 and 12 Jun 1746.  Edward Pitman’s first appearance in the records comes on 26 Nov 1739 when he purchases from Joshua Hayes for “natural love that I have for my friend” 200 acres on the second Swamp on the Blackwater at the head of Cooks Branch.  Even with this natural love, Joshua Hayes seemed to charge him the going rate for land at that time, judging from the several other land transactions that took place around the same time.  There is no known relationship between him and Joshua Hayes.  Edward Pitman sold 100 acres of this land to brother James Pitman on 23 May 1741.  He sold another 60 acres to Mathew Jordan on 21 Dec 1741.  Two of his neighboring properties are owned by Thomas Pitman and James Pitman.  He sold the last 50 (sic) acres on 6 May 1745 to “friend” Sampson Flake.  His estate is recorded on 12 Jun 1746, with wife Martha (—) being the administratrix.  Edward Pitman had at least one child.

+++ JAMES PITMAN, b. about 1715, m. ANN (—), d. probably in Isle of Wight County after 3 Jun 1773.  James Pitman purchased 100 acres of land from the Edward Pitman just mentioned on 23 May 1741.  He makes several appearance in Isle of Wight Court over the years as an estate appraiser and will witness.  He is last seen selling land with wife Ann (—) to Thomas Wombwell on 3 Jun 1773.

The above James with wife “Ann” rules him out as the Edgecombe James had wife “Elizabeth” in 1743…  unless he remarried.


1764…. Isle of Wight…



I found this lone James Pitman in Southampton at about 1770….  still perplexing…

“Ordrd that James Pitman be added to Charles Briggs list”  … Briggs was a Justice of the Peace and this may be referring to a tax list?  Does this indicate that he was living in the Briggs district?  (This is the only reference to James Pitman that I found in the Southampton books)

I’ve recently come to realize WHERE the below document is referring… it is at the area where Surry Co, Isle of Wight and Southampton Co meet at the Blackwater River. Southampton only became a county in 1749 and was previously included with IOW.   “Brigg’s List” as it was styled in 1724 (per the Newport Parish Vestry Book)… quote: “James Briggs to take tithables list from Nottoway River to Blackwater [River]”.  Perhaps the below “Charles” Briggs took up the job where the old man left off…

Another mystery James in 1800… whether or not these two James are the same person, I don’t know.

I would find it hard to believe that the 1740s James would still be alive by 1800… 1770 is plausible however.

This reference below is dated 1799… I now know this is a son of James Pitman.  Note the name “Patrick Braddy”… it is provable that Braddy lived near the Blackwater River in Newport Parish, Isle of Wight.


Will of Arthur Hayes of Isle of Wight, 1776:

Quoting from the will…

“Item I give and bequeath to Sampson Pittman son of James Pittman to him one feather Bed, and Gold Ring, four pewter dishes, two pewter Basons, one pewter flagon, one pewter porager, one Tankard, and all my Cloths,
Item I give the remainder of my Estate to be equally divided between William Flake, and Faithy Flake, and Mary Pittman, the wife of James Pittman, James Pittman Senr. I likewise Constitute make and Ordain my only and Sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament”

This will was presented in Court by James Pittman the executor therein named who made Oath thereto according to law and the same being proved by the Oaths of James Stringfield, William Flake and James Pittman the Witnesses thereto and is Ordered to be Recorded, And on the motion of the said Executor who together with James Pittman junr. and William Flake his Securities entered into and acknowledged their Bond…”

Isle of Wight Deeds, Wills, Great Book Vol. 2 1715-1726, Hopkins, pg. 140
(p.511) 25 Aug 1697…. Robert Flake, Sr. assigns 600 acres to his daughter Elizabeth Hayes for life and then to her three sons viz Richard Hayes, Samuel Hayes and Peter Hayes.
Wit: Peter Vasser, Robert Flake and Charles (X) Bass.
Rec. 28 Jan 1722 Robert (X) Flake

Elizabeth Flake married Thomas Hayes. As of 1697 she had 3 sons… not mentioned is son Arthur Hayes who must be born after 1697.

IOW Deeds
p 21, Deed Book 5

“Page 140. Lease and release. Aug. 20-21, 1737 from Arthur HAIZE of Newport
Parish in IW
, to Anthony Crocker of same, for 18 £, a certain tract of land
formerly bought of Thomas HAYES, being part of 600 acres given to my mother,
Elizabeth HAYES, by her father, Robert FLAKE
. The land is bounded by the west side
of the Second Swamp of the main Blackwater
, the lower end of the said
tract of land binding upon PARNAL’S land & DOOLE’S & CROCKER’S & HAYES’,
containing 200 acres. Signed – Arthur (AH his mark) HAYES. Wit – Arthur CROCKER,
Peter CROCKER. Recorded Aug 22, 1737.”

p 21-22, Deed Book 5

“Page 142. I, Peter HAZE of Bartee Precinct, North Carolina, for the natural
love I have for my brother Arthur HAZE
, and for divers other good causes, and
for 20 £, grant Arthur 200 acres in the middle of that 600 acres given by
Robin FLAKE to his daughter, Elizabeth HAZE
, lying between the Second and third
Swamp of Blackwater , which was laid out and divided between the 3
brothers by Robert HAZE, John GRIFFIN, and Peter CROCKER, which said land being
equally divided, I have assigned all my right of the aforesaid 200 acres to my
brother Arthur. Signed Aug 15, 1737 – Peter (PH his mark) CROCKER [sic]. Wit –
Matt’w JORDAN Jr, Anthony CROCKER, Peter CROCKER [sic], Arth’r CROCKER. Recorded
Aug 22, 1737.”

p 60-61, Deed Book 5

“Page 412. I, Arthur HAYES of Newport parish, for the natural love I have for
my brother, Robert HAYES, and for divers other good causes and for 5 £, have
given Robert a certain tract of 100 acres, being part of the middle of that
600 acres given by Peter HAYES to his brother, Arthur HAYES, lying between the
second and Third swamp of Blackwater
, which was laid out and divided
between the 3 brothers by Robert HAYES, John GRIFFEN, and Peter CROCKER, which
land being equally divided, I have assigned all my right of the said 100 acres,
to my brother Robert. Signed Oct 19, 1739 – Arthur (AH his mark) HAYES. Wit –
John (IS his mark) STEPHENSON, Peter CROCKER, Anthony CROCKER. Recorded Nov
26, 1739.”

1748 Deed of gift from Arthur Haise (Hays) to Sampson Flake, 50 acres on the west side of the second swamp of Blackwater, adjoining Patience Jordan, Anthony Crocker, Robert Haise (Hays), Christopher Atkinson, and said Haise, plus 1 cow and calf, 1 barren cow, 3 sheep, and 3 hoggs. Dated 13 April 1748. Witnesses: Samuel Cornwell, Joseph (his “X” mark) Thomas, and James (his “X” mark) Pitman. [Isle of Wight Co., VA Deed Book 1747-52, p. 234]

Extrapolating from the above records leads to some obvious conclusions…  the will of Arthur Hayes presents two fathers-in-law who are obviously of contemporary age.  Both Arthur Hayes and James Pittman Sr. are likely born about 1700. And seem to live their lives just west of the Blackwater River in Newport Parish, Isle of Wight.

At this point of my research, I simply can’t imagine a more likely candidate for the James Pitman who disappeared from Edgecombe County, NC in 1746… he simply returned to the old stomping grounds of his father (whoever that turns out to be… one of the William Pitmans who stayed in the area of the Blackwater River, I suspect but can’t prove… yet).


Isle of Wight Fee Book Vol 1, 1773 pages 12, 13,14
This is apparently the estate fees of William Flake. Parties mentioned seem to be sons of James Pitman Sr.

So… that rather remarkable will of Arthur Hayes pretty much establishes the sons of James Pitman Sr…

James Pitman b. abt. 1700 d. after 1776 (I can’t find a will)
…..James Pittman Jr m. Mary Hayes
…..Sampson Pittman (noted in will of Arthur Hayes)
…..Benjamin Pittman (shows up along with Sampson in IOW fee books in 1790s)

Some unaccounted for Pittmans (perhaps next generation to above?) show up here:

1795-1796 Testator: Will of Anthony Crocker. Leg: Rebecca Parnell; Dolly Addison; Anthony Addison; Molly Pitman; Aron Pitman; John Pitman; Nancy Edwards; Bethiah Lawler; Drue Crocker; Joseph Crocker; Hugh Montgomery; Thomas Addison. Ex., Thomas Addison. Dated 29 Nov 1795, proved 5 Sep 1796. Wit: Jacob (his “X” mark) Stringfield, James Pitman, Sampson (his “X” mark) Harrison. Security: William Addison. [Isle of Wight Co., VA Will Book 11, p. 8]

1797 Testator: Estate of Anthony Crocker. Appraised by William Gay, Jacob Stringfield, James Pitman, Joseph Stringfield. Returned 5 Jun 1797. [Isle of Wight Co., VA Will Book 11, p. 42]

Allmand, Tarlton: Leg. son Edward; grandson Solomon Allmand, son of John Allmand; son William; daughter Elizabeth Eaton; son Isaac. Ex., son Isaac Allmand
D. March 7, 1769
R. May 4, 1769
Wit. Jacob Person, James Pitman, James Stringfield
Page 537

Allmand, Tarlton. Appraised by James Pitman, James Stringfield, Benjamin Stringfield.
R. June 2, 1769
Page 543

I’m not sure who this “Sarah” was attached to?

Wombwell, Thomas Isle of Wight County
November 11, 1784 will proven March 3, 1785 Sons: William,
plantation whereon he now lives, 200A,, it being part of 300A,
I purchased from Matthew Jordan. I also give him 371/2 A.,
being one half of 75A, give me by my father Thomas Wombwell, dec’d
and which also descended to me from my brother John dec’d,
Thomas, the rest of my land and plantation, 2371/2A. Daughters:
Ann Stringfield, the wife of James, 50A, to use in her natural
life then it goes to my grandson Joseph Stringfield, Sarah,
wife of James Pittman, 25A
. Christian Wombwell, forty shillings,
Celia, wife of Simon Atkinson, forty shillings, Mary, wife of
James Maddery; Margaret, wife of Joseph Maddery; Elizabeth wife
of William Gwaltney; Mourning, wife of Benjamin Stringfield;
and grandson Jacob Stringfield, to all of them I give the rest
and residue of my estate, Executors: William Wombwell, Thomas
Wombwell, Witnesses: Francis Young, Samson Flake, William

There are several clues in the above will I haven’t sorted out…

The wife of William Gwaltney was Elizabeth Wombwell (which Wm Gwaltney?)
Sarah Wombwell, wife of James Pitman (which one, Sr or Jr?)


Several records are available online at the Library of Virginia website if you wish to continue on with this line of research…

such as this…



Written by anderson1951

February 29, 2012 at 10:23 am

13 Responses

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  1. Only a few problems… 🙂

    1.) James is probably dead way before 1759.

    2.) We don’t have any evidence that James was associated with Quakers.

    3.) Wasn’t only one of his properties – the Sappony Creek property – in modern Nash?

    But I do agree that James doesn’t seem like a terribly popular name among the Pitmans. On the other hand, if you look at Isle of Wight records, there is another fairly contemporary James Pitman in the 1740s and 1750s there. I toyed with the idea of it being the same person, but do not now think so, as IoW James is clearly still alive in the 1750s and clearly present there. There is also another one that shows up later in VA in the 1760s and beyond.


    Traci Thompson

    February 29, 2012 at 10:37 am

    • Ok… you shamed me into removing the Moses will… that was all I had… now I’m hopelessly stumped.

      Is that why writers have editors?



      February 29, 2012 at 1:35 pm

  2. Marc, do you have copies of the original plat, warrant, entry, etc. (whatever survives) for James’ Falling Run property? If not, just out of curiosity, what did you base your plat of his 200 acres on? (The map on the Elizabeth Pitman Land page.) If so, can I see it?


    Traci Thompson

    February 29, 2012 at 10:40 am

  3. You are hooked!… I haven’t even finished the Page yet:) That parcel for James is a guess… which is why the right side doesn’t square up…. when I did that I’m sure I found a reference to to a later buyer with at least some metes and bounds… The other 3 patents are from surveys and are accurate. Andrew Ross is evident from the references. (when I guess, I usually note it in the plat… you CAUGHT ME on that one)

    Most of the plat info for the Edgecombe maps are from the folks that sign off with “CTC”… many of them have the metes and bounds. close enough for my little maps. (when they list the bounds)

    You’ve gathered that I have set my sights on that particular survey to look for clues… the Saponey Creek deeds were a wash but this Edgecombe survey and patent may still exist? I would be interested WHEN he did the survey.

    I think all of the Saponey Creek property was in Nash… click the link and read your transcripts… am I missing something?



    February 29, 2012 at 11:59 am

  4. Yep, I’m hooked, ha!

    I know who CTC is, he comes to see me once in awhile. 🙂

    Ah yes, I came up with the idea to hunt for clues in that little survey all by myself…great minds think alike, eh? I don’t know what exists for the Falling Run patent, which is why I asked if you had it.

    Yes, anything to do with Sapponey is in modern Nash. But the other two, Falling Run and Green’s Ford, seem to be firmly in modern Edgecombe.


    Traci Thompson

    February 29, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    • Without CTC’s handiwork I could not do the Edgecombe Map plats…. it is due to that map I found the Anderson property on the south side Tar River….. and to attest to the accuracy thereof that 1785 gravesite for Elizabeth showed up…… all due to CTC… tell him he has a fan. I didn’t realize it was only one guy… good stuff:)

      Correction… my bud Floyd Anderson actually trekked out and discovered the old grave… Also one of the members of the Edgecombe Yahoo group contributed an old map from yet another friend of hers. Floyd is headed back to Edgecombe perhaps in April to scout out a possible other forgotten old cemetery. This is the stuff that keeps us all excited about genealogy. One little clue leads to another.



      February 29, 2012 at 1:45 pm

  5. CTC is Clyde “Tommy” Colbert, and I will tell him that you appreciate his work! Although he is out of the area now, he is originally from here, and comes back to visit and research every now and then.

    I also heard from Floyd recently. He’s got some interesting genealogy going on there, too. I hope he gets to the cemeteries before snake weather – it’s been warm here!


    Traci Thompson

    March 1, 2012 at 1:50 pm

  6. A few new thoughts, this time regarding a commenter from some time ago who posted as “Guy.” Although some of his conclusions I don’t agree with – and it would seem from past posts, neither do you – some of his information and conclusions are sound. I spent some of the weekend perusing his posts in various places online – he has an interesting theory of how James might fit into the Pitmans here:

    This seems plausible to me, unless we can dig up something to disprove it.

    I have an opinion on his take on the Josephs, which I’ll post in a Joseph section.


    Traci Thompson

    March 5, 2012 at 10:15 am

  7. His theory is plausible… I will read his take and shout Rah! Rah! from the mountaintop…. for about 5 minutes…… then I will read about a Joseph or John or William Pitman in 1762 and think… wait a minute, that doesn’t make sense. The “making sense” part is driving me insane.



    March 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm

  8. Yes, the “making sense” is what it’s all about, isn’t it? 😉

    I’m seriously looking at this, for one thing, because of the William Pitman that seems closely associated with Joseph m. Hannah – i.e., the whole repetition of names bit.


    Traci Thompson

    March 5, 2012 at 3:28 pm

  9. Well I think it is appearing painfully obvious that there is an early father/son generation(s) of the William Pitman of Surry County… if the James of Edgecombe did indeed die by 1748 then he quite likely was born late 1600s… perhaps the first one to show up from that crowd around 1742. If that is the case, and I stress “if”, then what is the likelihood of him meeting the daughter of Elizabeth Anderson of the 1733 will? The “sons of William” bunch seem to move directly from Surry. … just thinking out loud.

    James arrives around 1742
    Benjamin say 1750
    Joseph Sr ditto

    the John connected with the Maclemores may have arrived 1755 or so



    March 5, 2012 at 8:41 pm

  10. Believe me, I’ve thought about that…James would have had to have had contact with Elizabeth (Jr.) in VA or Chowan or Bertie or somewhere up and down the Meherrin. And, if Elizabeth was previously married to an Anderson before marrying a Pitman, then she would have married Pitman after William’s birth. And, of course, we’re not entirely sure when he was born.


    Traci Thompson

    March 7, 2012 at 9:10 am

  11. I am descended from one of these James Pittmans, the father of Jordan Pittman (c. 1775-1827), husband of Katherine Wombwell (or Womble) … Perhaps this is the same James Pittman who was married to Thomas Wombwell’s daughter Sarah, in that will. James and Jordan were born in IoW, but Jordan removed to Southampton Co. in about 1812.



    June 26, 2013 at 7:56 am

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