In the will of James Coghill, dated Oct. 1684, proved Sept. 1685, Old Rappahannock Co., VA, he names his wife Mary and the following children: (1) William (2) James (3) David (4) Frederick (5) Margrett and (6) Mary. He also speaks of a “child unborn.” It has been widely circulated that Margaret and Mary both married John Powell and a source often given for this information is the Powell book by Rev. Silas Emmett Lucas. The information below will show that Rev. Lucas was mistaken and that Mary Coghill married (1) John Willis, Jr., moved to King George Co., VA (where he died 1727/28), and married (2) John Jennings (died 1735). She had no children by either marriage.
James Coghill’s will states the following: “Now I bequeath to my Daughters, MARGRETT & MARY, Six hundred acres of land lying in another Divident, Two hundred acres of this land to a Child unborne if a girle if not to remaine to the above MARGRETT & MARY. . .”
Later in Essex Co. we find a deed dated 14 Nov. 1691 where John & Margaret Powell are selling 300 acres to JOHN BATTAILE, which says in part:
“. . . being THE ONE HALF MOIETY of a certain tract of land taken up by JAMES COGHILL and Pattented by him, the said Coghill, in the year 1667, which sd Land was by the sd COGHILL in his last Will and Testament bequeathed unto his two Daughters, MARGARET and MARY; Now Know yee that we the said JNO: & MARGARET, YE DAUGHTER OF THE SD JAMES COGHILL have hereby sold and assigned all our right from us our heires or any persons claiming under us, in as large and ample manner as in the Patent is expressed, unto the sd. Jno: Battaile his heires and assignes for ever. . .”
The other 300 acres was inherited from James Coghill by his daughter Mary, who was still a minor in 1692:
(Essex Co., VA Orders 1692-1693, p. 13) At Court held for Essex Co. July 11, 1692 --MARY COGWELL, minor, came into Court and freely and voluntarily made choice of CAPT. JOHN BATTAILE TO BE HER GUARDIAN, her mother being present and consenting thereto, the same is allowed off by this Court”
There are several records pertaining to Mary Coghill as a minor and then a deed dated 10 Dec. 1698 showing Mary, as wife of John Willis, selling off her land inherited from James Coghill, which says, in part:
“(Essex Co., VA Deeds & Wills 1699-1701, p. 3) Know All Men by these pr:sents that I JOHN WILLIS & MARY WILLIS my Wife of ye Parish of (torn) in ye County of Essex for ye sum of Four thousand pounds of lawfull tobacco in hand delivering by Thomas Ramsey of ye same Parish & County we ye sd JOHN WILLIS & MARY WILLS do hereby sell unto said Tho: Ramsey his heirs assignes forever Two hundred eighty nine acres & fifty perches of land being in ye Parish of Sittingburn & County of Essex and on ye branches of Occupation Creek, it being part & parcell of a tract of land granted to JAMES COGHILL, deced by Patent bearing date in Aprill ye 19th in year of our Lord 1667 and left to MARY COGHILL, HIS DAUGHTER, & NOW YE WIFE OF JOHN WILLS . . . .”
In addition to the above showing that Mary Coghill married John Willis, there is the will of her mother, Mary ( ) Coghill Duxbury:
(Essex Co., VA W&D 1711-1714, p. 428) Will of MARY DUCKBARY [sic] of St. Anns Par., Essex Co. Dated 21 April 1715. Probated 20 Dec. 1715. To Susannah Cogghill and Thomas Cogghill and Mary Cogghill a cow calf each. TO “MY BELOVED DAFTER MARY WILLIS all my waring Close and a ring of Twenty Shilling Price”. Bal. of Est. to be equally divided betw: “My Sone FFREADURICK COGGHILL MY DAFTER MARY WILLIS AND MY SONE GEORGE DUCBARY hole and sole Exsectators of this my last will and Testament”.
/s/ Mary (x) Duckba [sic]
Wit: Thomas (x) Smyth
Jesper (x) Pite (note by Beverly Fleet “or Pile or Jasper Pellow?”)
Mary (x) Smith
(Essex Co., VA W&D 1711-1714, p. 429) Bond. 20 Dec. 1715. £50 Sterl. Ffred: Cogghill and John Willis exors of Mary Ducksbury deceased.
/s/ ffredr: Cogghill
Witnesses names if any not shown on record. Rec: 20 Dec. 1715.
At some point, John and Mary (Coghill) Willis moved to King George Co., VA where he died in 1727/28 after which Mary remarried to John Jennings. The wills of John Willis and Mary (Coghill) Willis Jennings are found in King George Co. Will Book A-I:
(King George County Virginia Will Book A-I 1721-1752, p. 66)
WILL OF JOHN WILLIS
In the Name of God Amen. I John Willis of the Parish of Hanover in the County of King George being sick in body but of perfect sense and memory thanks be to God for the same, do make my last Testament in manner and form following - (That is to say)
I give unto William Wood that parcel of land my brother William Willis exchanged with John Hauxford to him and his heirs forever.
I give and bequeath unto MY LOVING WIFE MARY WILLIS all that parcel of land whereon my now dwelling plantation is to her and her and her heirs forever.
I also give unto my wife Mary all and singular my other land & tenements for and during the term of her natural life, and as touching my personal estate my two slaves and all other movables I give unto my wife Mary Willis for and during her natural life. It is my will that after my wife Mary’s death my two slaves and other movables then left to be EQUALLY DIVIDED AMONGST BOTH MY RELATIONS & HER RELATIONS as she shall think fitt at that time between them.
I hereby make constitute and appoint my loving wife Mary Willis full and sole Executrix of this my last Will & Testament, revoking all other Wills by me formerly made. I desire that my estate may not be brought to an appraisement.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty sixth day of February 1727.
/s/ John Willis [seal]
Signed Sealed Published &
Declared in the presence of
Catherine (x) Pullen
Elisa. (H) Harly
At a Court held for King George County the 3d. day of May Anno Dom 1728.
The last Will & Testament of John Willis deced., was presented into Court by Mary his Widow & Executrix who made oath thereto and the same was proved by the oaths of William Pullein and Catherine Pullein [sic] witnesses thereto subscribed and admitted to Record.
Copa. Test T: Turner Cl: Cur:
(King George County Virginia Will Book A-I 1721-1752, Pp. 207-209)
WILL OF MARY GINNINGS [JENNINGS]
In the Name of God Amen the 16th day of July Anno Dom: 1745.
I MARY GINNINGS [sic] of the Parish of Hanover in the County of King George being in health of body and of perfect mind and memory thanks be given unto God therefore, calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all people once to die do make and ordain this my last Will & Testament.
Item: I leave the plantation whereon I live to John Willis son of Charles Willis, during his natural life and after his decease, I give my land and plantation TO MY COUSIN [NEPHEW] FREDERICK COGHILL, JUNR. and his heirs forever.
Item: I give to Ann Ginnings one bed and furniture and one pot and two dishes if she is single at my death.
Item: I give to Elisha Harley one bed and furniture and one pot.
Item: I give to John Ginnings a young mare to him and his heirs forever.
Item: I give to John Dickerson one cow and calf, the son of Sarah Dickerson.
Item: I give all my wearing cloths to Elizabeth Peynon [sic].
Item: I GIVE TO MY COUSINS [NIECES] SUSANNAH MILLER AND MARY HAWES & SARAH SAMUES [SIC} each a ring ten shillings price.
Item: I GIVE TO MY BROTHER FREDERICK COGHILL four Negroes & their increase during his natural life and then I give them TO MY TWO COUSINS [NEPHEWS] THOMAS COGHILL AND FREDERICK COGHILL, JUNR. to be equally divided to them and their heirs forever.
Item: I GIVE ALL OF MY PERSONAL ESTATE TO MY BROTHER FREDERICK COGHILL to him and his heirs forever.
I have divided my estate as I thought proper and it is my desire that my estate may not be prais’d to fulfill my former husband’s will. I MAKE AND APPOINT MY BROTHER FREDERICK AND MY COUSIN FREDERICK COGHILL, JUNR. my full and sole Executors, ratifying and confirming this and none other to be my last Will and Testament. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand seal the day and year first above written.
Signed Sealed & Delivered by the said Mary Ginnings to be her last Will & Testament.
/s/ Mary (M) Ginnings [seal]
John Mc. Cormic
Wm. (X) Turner
Sarah (X) Dickerson
At a Court held for King George County October the 7th 1748.
The last Will & Testament of Mary Ginnings, Deceased, was presented into Court BY FREDERICK COGHILL THE ELDER ONE OF THE EXECUTORS mentioned who made oath thereto and the same was proved by oaths of John McCormic and Sarah McDonald (late Sarah Dickerson) and is admitted to record.
Copa. Test. Harry Turner Cl: Cur:
The following is a note by George H.S. King:
[Mary Coghill of Essex County married first John Willis, Jr., who d.s.p. in 1728 in King George County where his will remains of record. She married secondly John Jennings, widower, who died testate in Orange County where his will remains of record in WB #1, page 5-6. Inventories of his estates in King George and Orange were recorded in both counties in 1735. Bond was given in King George Court 7 October 1748 by Frederick Coghill for his administration on the estate of Mary Jennings, deceased.]
(Miscellaneous Notes Regarding Persons Who Died Testate or Intestate 1721-1742
Jennings [Gennings], Mary (Coghill) (d.t., 1748). COB#2, p. 1600, 7 October 1748 – The last will and Testament of Mary Jennings, deceased, was returned to court and her estate ordered appraised. On the same day Frederick Coghill, her executor, gave bond in the sum of £400 Current Money, with Benjamin Strother, Senr., his security (BB#3, p. 76) and her inventory was promptly recorded in I#2, p. 37-38. Her first husband was John Willis (q.v.).
Book: King George County, Virginia Deed Abstracts 1753-1773, Ruth & Sam Sparacio:
(King Geo. Co., VA DB 4, p. 460) Indenture made 4th March 1761 between FREDERICK COGHILL, PLANTER OF COUNTY ESSEX and Francis Thornton of county King George .. Whereas by a certain Indenture made 6th September MDCCIX and in the same year recorded in county court of Richmond one John Hansford conveyed to one John Willis a certain tenement of land together with 12 acres of land or thereabouts and Whereas THE SAID JOHN WILLIS BY HIS LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT recorded the 3rd day May MCDDXXVIII in county of King George devised said tenement and 12 acres of land TO HIS WIFE MARY WILLIS in Fee Simple and THE SAID MARY WILLIS AFTERWARDS MARY JENNINGS BY HER LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT recorded in King George County 7th October MDCCXLVIII DEVISED (SAME) TO THE SAID FREDERICK COGHILL. Now this Indenture Witnesseth that for sum twelve pounds sold to Francis Thornton..
/s/ Frederick Coghill
Presence John Triplett,
Francis Thornton Junr.
At a court held 5th March 1761 .. Indenture of Feoffment .. admitted to record.
Old Rappahannock County, Virginia Will Abstracts 1682-1687, Ruth & Sam Sparacio
Essex County, Virginia Record Book Abstracts 1692-1693, Ruth & Sam Sparacio
Essex County, Virginia Record Abstracts 1693-1694, Ruth & Sam Sparacio
Essex County, Virginia Deed & Will Abstracts, 1697-1699, Ruth & Sam Sparacio
Virgnia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. II, Beverly Fleet
King George County Virginia Will Book A-1 1721-1752, by George Harrison Sanford King
King George County Virginia Will Abstracts 1752-1780, Ruth & Sam Sparacio
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