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Two James Binfords in early Virginia?
Posted by: David Boles Date: March 10, 2002 at 10:35:23
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Might there have been two James Binfords in early Virginia? I've noticed several chronological problems in accounts of this family that leads me to suspect that there was a second James in the descent of John Binford from Anthony Binford.

The main difficulty stems from a posting by Joyce Rape Harrison on 23 Feb 2001 on "James Binford of Charles City Vounty, VA", quoting a Charles City co court record firmly establishing that James Binford m. bef 1679 to Sarah Chappell. Yet the children generally attributed to James all appear to have been born considerably later -- John m. 1719 to Agnes Mosby, and thus can be estimated to have been b. ca 1694?; Thomas' children married in 1745 or later, and thus he most likely was also b. ca 1694?; and Peter m. 1734 and thus can be estimated to have been b. ca 1709?. Allowing a few years either way to smooth the spacing between these children still leaves a substantial gap between their births and the marriage of James Binford to Sarah Chappell.

In fact the gap may be even larger than indicated, for Sarah Chappell's father Thomas Chappell is known to have been b. 1611/2 (although I don't have the original source for this, it is said that he was living in 1665, age 53, at If so, then we might expect Sarah (who appears to have been from a small family) to have been married to James Binford well before 1679.

Another chronological problem is that Huldah Binford, generally stated to have been the sister of James, was m. 1700 to William Ladd. It seems unlikely that the sister of a man married so early would have been married as late as 1700 if they were also of a small family (as appears to be the case).

On the other hand, these problems disappear if a second James is inserted into the line between John Binford and Anthony Binford, and if Huldah was not the daughter of Anthony Binford but rather daughter of the first James. The line might then go like this:

1. Anthony Binford, b. ca 1614?, m. ca 1639?.

2. James Binford, b. ca 1640?, m. ca 1666? to Sarah Chappell, b. ca 1644?, daughter of Thomas Chappell, b. 1611/2.

3a. James Binford, b. ca 1667?, m. ca 1693?.
3b. Huldah Binford, b. ca 1675?, m. 1700 to William Ladd.

4. John Binford, b. ca 1694?, m. 1719 to Agnes Mosby.

Interestingly, Huldah Binford was said to be of Merchant's Hope Monthly Meeting when she married (Hinshaw, v. 6), and Davis' Tidewater Virginia Families indicated that "James Binford gave the land on which the Quaker Meeting House, known as Merchant's Hope meeting, stood (1700)" (as quoted by Joyce Rape Harrison). There is no indication that Anthony Binford was from that area, adding to the possibility that Huldah was the daughter of James and not Anthony.

I'd appreciate input either way on this possibility, keeping in mind that what carries weight are original records rather than the conclusions of secondary sources. Does this at least seem like an interesting possibility?

David Boles

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