This biography concludes what I have on the children of Thomas Edmundson of Essex County and his two wives, Ann and Mary. Any discussion would be welcome.
JOHN EDMUNDSON, d. 1733, AND HIS DESCENDANTS
The will of Thomas Edmundson of Essex, probated in 1715 but undated, refers to a son John who was underage at the time the will was written. Thomas leaves to John “a slave when 21. Also 4000 eight penny nails to build a dwelling house when he demands them”. He was to receive also 2000 pounds of tobacco from Thomas’s son Samuel when he reached 21 and a portion of the estate left to Mary Edmundson if she should marry again.
John was named as a godson of Francis Brown, Sr., in Brown’s will dated November 10, 1690, proved Feb. 3, 1691. John was to receive a pocket Bible costing 5 or 6 shillings. This would indicate John was born before 1690 and supports the dating of his father’s will well before 1715.
July 11, 1698. John Edmundson and Richard Covington took oaths as sub-sheriffs in Essex County. (If this John Edmundson was a son of Thomas Edmundson, the sheriff, d. 1715, he would seem to be some years older than the underage son mentioned in Thomas’s undated will. However, he might have been made a deputy sheriff by his father, the sheriff, at a young age. )
November 21, 1698. John Edmundson and wife Elizabeth sold land to a Smith in Essex County. (This man would seem to be older than the son mentioned in the will of Thomas who died in 1715, but it is suspected the will was drawn in the 1690’s. This John might fit if this suggested date is accurate. If John, son of Thomas, was not married first to Elizabeth, who is this John who with his wife Elizabeth sold land? No other John Edmondson is known to be living in Essex County at this time.
John Edmundson and Benjamin Edmundson signed bond for Samuel Edmundson as executor of the estate of John Anthony March 17, 1725/6.
The account of the Edmundsons printed in Tyler’s Quarterly states John married Mary Johnson, daughter of William Johnson. There seems no possibility he married two daughters of Johnson, one named Elizabeth and the other Mary. Elizabeth is named in Johnson’s will and no mention is made of a daughter Mary nor a wife named Mary. Further, the document below executed by Gabriel Jones, identifies his wife as the widow of John Edmondson who was formerly Mary Boughan. It seems the Tyler’s account confused the two women, attaching the first name of John’s second wife to the family name of his first wife.
Will of William Johnson of South Farnham parish in the County of Essex, January 28, 1728:
The land I bought of Willm. Neal lately known by the name of my Ordinary with houses, buildings and improvements thereon to be sold for 70 pounds sterling at the least or as much as shall be sufficient to discharge the mortgage and debt I owe to John Pickett. If the land falls short of 100 acres the same to be made up and laid off unto the buyer thereof out of my own property adjoining.
If my son in law John Edmundson shall pay the debt I owe unto Jno. Pickett and discharge the mortgage at his own charge then the 100 acres of land with the houses and appurtenances unto John Edmundson.
Unto my son Benn all that part of my land and plantation so farr as it joyns to the land now belonging to my brother William Smith running from the deep branch which the division between us into Piscatoway Creek and down to a branch called the Apple Tree Creek branch except soe much thereof as shall be wanting to make up the land I purchased of William Neal 100 acres.
Unto my son Ben and for want of issue to my next heir in law all the rest of my land adjoining the same.
Unto Mary the daughter of Peter and Elizabeth Godfrey 20 shillings sterling to buy her a ring.
Unto my brother William Smith all my wearing apparell.
My Negro man Exeter be immediately after my decease at liberty to worke to maintain himselfe during his naturall life except one month each year vizt. From the first day of December yearly unto the last day of the same month which he is to serve my son Benn if the same be de-manded. My executors deliver unto Exetor for his own proper use a bedd and bed cloathes of the value of 30 shillings current money.
Unto my son Benn my Negro girle Bess and for want of issue to my grandson William Edmundson.
The rest of my estate equally divided between my sonne Benn and my daughter Elizabeth.
If my son in law John Edmundson shall charge my estate with any demand, such debt to be taken out of that part to be given to my daughter Elizabeth.
The Negroes belonging to my sonne Benn to be kept and workt on the plantation I now live on untill he arrives to the age of one and twenty years.
My sonne Benn at the discretion of my executor be educated and brought up after the best manner he may. My son Benn at the age of eighteen years receive his full portion and not to buy or sell until he arrives at the age of one and twenty years but in all things to be gov-erned by my executors or his guardian.
My beloved friends Mr. Richard Tunstall and Mr. Thomas Bryan my executors.
Wit: Pr. Godfrey, John Hardy, Eliz. (x) Vissin
17 Feb., 1729. Presented by Thomas Bryant and proved by Peter Godfrey and John Hardy. Bond for 500 pounds sterling posted by Thomas Bryant with securities Feb. 17, 1729.
(Johnson called John Edmondson his son-in-law, meaning here not a stepson but an actual son-in-law as used today. The tone of Johnson’s will suggests Johnson's wife is not living. No mention is made of his wife.
John’s will, no copy available to this compiler, refers to wife Mary and daughter Sukey. Mary was evidently pregnant at the time the will was made as reference is made to a child unborn. William Johnson speaks of his grandson William Edmundson in his will, who would not be this unborn child as William would have been born before 1728. John’s will directed that if both children died without issue one third of his estate would go to Augustine Boughan and two thirds to the children of “my brother Samuel Edmundson”. He left legacies to William Smith and Thomas Moore, to his sister Sarah Boughan and to his brother Thomas Edmundson. William Edmondson must surely have died as no mention of him is made in John/s will. The will was dated January 22, 1733, and was probated March 6, 1733. Mary Edmondson gave bond as executrix with James Webb, John Webb, and Thomas Sparke as securities. (Essex County Will Book 5). Mary Boughan Edmondson was a sister of Augustine Boughan.
Mary Boughan was a daughter of John Boughan whose will dated Feb. 13, 1719, shows him to be a resident of St. Ann’s Parish, Essex County. He names his wife Susanna Boughan, son Augustine Boughan, son John Boughan, daughters Dorothy and Mary. He mentions slaves and land “upon the head of Piscataway”. The will was probated July 19, 1720. See Wills Book 3, pp. 178-180.
Mary’s mother, Susannah Lee Boughan, married Thomas Bryant after her first husband's death. When she died her will, dated Jan. 30, 1725, provided that Mary receive a gold ring. (Will Book 4, pp. 193-94).
The Essex County Order Book 8, p. 276, August 15, 1732: “On the petition of John Edmondson & Mary his wife late Mary Boughan one of the daughters of John Boughan dec’d against William Worthaine & Dorothy his wife late Dorothy Boughan the order of last court is continued & ordered that the same be performed agast the next court”. (From Beverly Brunelle).
John Edmondson’s will directed that if both his daughter Susannah and a child in utero when his will was made died without issue, one third of his estate would go to Augustine Boughan and two thirds to the children of “my brother Samuel Edmondson”. He left legacies to William Smith and Thomas Moore, to his sister Sarah Boughan and to his brother Thomas Edmundson. The will was dated Jan. 2, 1733, and was probated March 6, 1733. Mary Edmundson gave bond as executrix with James Webb, John Webb and Thomas Sparke as securities. Essex County Will Book 5.
The widow Mary Edmundson married Gabriel Jones of Orange County before 18 November, 1735. (Essex County Marriages, Book D-24). Sukey (Susannah?) Edmundson, daughter of John and Mary, married Thomas Wiatt of Spotsylvania County in 1753 (Essex Marriages D-26). John Wyatt, living in California in 2002, is a descendant. Suckey Wiatt witnessed a deed June 22, 1748, when Thomas Edmondson bought 393 acres near Hoskins Creek (Hodgkins Creek) and Richard Gregory’s landing. William Jones, Betty Blackton and Sarah x Hinmost (alias Platt) were other witnesses.
William Edmundson named in William Johnson’s will could not be a son of Thomas and Constance Edmundson as there is no proof of any relationship Johnson had to either Thomas or Constance. Any idea that William Edmondson who married Leah Allen, son of Thomas and Constance, is the William Edmondson mentioned in Johnson’s will has no basis that I can now see.
In the Gabriel Jones collection in the Library of Virginia, Beverly Brunelle obtained the following (Call number 38888). Gabriel Jones, b. ca. 1715. Livery of seisin, 1766 June 27. (4 pages). For slaves from Gabriel Jones and his wife Mary Jones of Culpeper County, Virginia, to their children, Lucy Poindexter, Jeane Gray, Elizabeth Green, Dorothy Johnston and Gabriel Jones, Jr. The slaves were originally part of the estate of John Edmondson of Essex County, Virginia, who was the first husband of Mary Jones. The document makes reference to an earlier deed for these slaves from Thomas Wiatt, husband of Sukey Edmondson Wiatt, only daughter of John Edmondson and Mary Edmondson (Jones) to Gabriel and Mary Jones’ children. This document is incomplete.
Two half sheets appear to be torn at the bottom and laminated. It reads as a will:
“To all Christian people and others ? I Gabriel Jones of Culpeper County and Mary Jones who was Mary Edmundson, formerly Mary Boughan, wife of John Edmundson of Essex Co ? having in our possession several slaves ? by will of John Edmundson (leaves 1/3 to wife Mary, 1/3 to Sukey his present daughter) (m. Thomas Wiatt) 1747-48 Essex County ? Did give and grant unto Lucy Jones, Jeane Jones, Elizabeth Jones, (torn). The top of the second page: “The said Gabriel Jones and Mary Jones having given and grant the following negros (9) ? unto said Lucy Poindexter, Jeane Gray, Elizabeth Green, Dorothy Johnston and Gabriel Jones ? to be equally divided between them at or immediately after the death of Mary Jones. The said Gabriel and Mary Jones do by these presents etc. 17th day of June 17_6 (torn).”
If John Edmondson, son of Thomas the Immigrant, was married first to Elizabeth, by 1698, he must have been very young or possibly the son of Thomas’s first marriage. If he was married only to Mary, the John
Edmondson married to Elizabeth in 1698 would be a different John Edmondson. John’s marriage to Mary Boughan appears to be a late marriage for him. They had one child, Susannah, and possibly a second child in utero at the time of the drafting of the will. Mary was many years younger than he. Bishop Meade’s account was written a hundred years after John died and could certainly be wrong. A prior marriage is likely. Johnson’s will supports a marriage of Elizabeth Johnson, to John Edmondson, in my opinion.
Essex County Wills and Administrations (1692-1800) makes reference on pp. 180-81 to a Guardian’s Bond for Samuel Edmondson, recorded May 15, 1739, Will Book No. 6. Beverly Brunelle provided this item and
questions whether this Samuel Edmondson might be the child in utero who died young after 1739. I do not think so as he seems to belong Samuel, a brother of John, among the children of Samuel named as a residual legatee if no child of John survived him. SWE
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