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Home: Surnames: Horsley Family Genealogy Forum

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Patience, wife of James Horsley Jr., MD>VA 1700's
Posted by: Joan Horsley (ID *****3521) Date: January 08, 2009 at 15:31:17
  of 847

Just as I got into the New Year, I realized I never posted this information about James Horsley Jr.'s wife that I discovered about this time last year. Her name was not Margaret Valentine, but Patience (last name still unknown). I know some of you have heard about this through the grapevine, and my sincere apologies for taking so long to get the details out to you.

The commonly held information is that James Horsley Jr. (b. 1731, MD) was married to a Margaret Valentine. Her name came from "Horsley Families of America 1650 to 1986" Vol 1 by Brenda Horsley Scott and Roy Deris Horsley Jr., (1986, Gregath Co, Cullman, AL). That book says, "It is believed that [James Jr.] married Margaret Valentine." (p. 5) However, no source or explanation is given. For the last five or six years I have been researching to find evidence to support the name of James' wife as a "Margaret Valentine," but I could find no evidence for, and much against.

Finally at the Halifax County Court House I found a deed that tells us JAMES HORSLEY's wife was named PATIENCE. In the deed it's spelled phonetically "Peashents," just as their surnames were spelled phonetically "Hosley." (Neither James nor Patience could write.) The Halifax County Grantor Index lists her as Patience. This deed is the only extant primary record I have found in Maryland, Virginia or South Carolina which gives a wife's name for James Horsley Jr. (My transcription of the deed is below.)

In the process of searching, I've also gotten some ideas about how the name "Margaret Valentine" may have come about. First of all, it was James Jr.'s son RICHARD HORSLEY whose wife was named MARGARET. I discovered this, too, in a Halifax County, VA deed of sale, dated 20 Nov 1789. [Halifax Deed Book 16, p. 396] (Again there is a phonetic spelling, "Marget.") If the name came down through oral family history, it is common, through the generations of telling, for names to be attached to the wrong people or wrong family.

The "Valentine" surname may have been presumed from the fact that James Jr. and wife had a son named Valentine. And oddly, there is a Valentine family connected with another James Horsley family in Virginia. This other James Horsley lived in Culpeper County, VA, and served in the Revolution from there. For this service he received Revolutionary War Bounty Land in the part of Virginia that is now Kentucky or Ohio. He assigned the land to one Edward Valentine, a Captain in the Revolution who lost the use of a hand and suffered other injuries in the war. This James Horsley of Culpeper later moved to Greenup County, KY. [Pension File S30490, Series M805, NARA; Revolutionary War Bounty Warrants Records Images, Library of Virginia]

I think there's a good chance James and Patience Horsley's son Valentine Horsley may have been named for Valentine Carter, a friend of James Horsley Sr., whose families might have been related, but at the least they were associated, perhaps even for one or two prior generations in Maryland. On the other hand, researcher Bill Horsley tells me that the name Valentine was popular around the time Valentine Horsley was born, so it may be only a case of "a cigar is just a cigar," and James and Patience just liked the name.

I always find it especially exciting to discover proof of a female ancestor not previously known, since so many of our foremothers are "missing." So far I have not been able to learn any more about Patience, but hope in time we might. Patience was a good Quaker name, and both James Horsley Sr. and Jr. had connections with a number of Quakers (although at this point it does not seem they were Quakers themselves). Since Quakers kept good birth records, perhaps we might yet find among Maryland Quakers a daughter Patience born about 1730 who could be the right one for James Horsley Jr's wife.

Best to all,
Joan Horsley (
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Halifax County VA - Dated 26 November 1789 - 138 acres

This indenture made and ended this twenty sixth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred eighty nine [26 November 1789] between JAMES HORSLEY of Halifax County and state of Virginia of the one part and ELIZHA DODSON [Elisha Dodson] of the aforesaid county and state of other part. Witnesseth that the said James Horsley for and in consideration of the sum of sixty nine [69] pounds Virginia currency to him in hand paid by the said Elizha Dodson the receipt whereof the said Horsley doth hereby acknowledge have bargained and sold and by these presents doth hereby bargain and sell &c unto the said Elizha Dodson his heirs and assigns for Ever one certain messuage, tract or parcell of land lying and being in the aforesaid said county and state begining at a corner of a pine belonging to Thomas LAWSONs olphens [orphans] from thence north 41 degrees west 88 poles to a little dead read [red] oak thence north 25 degrees west 94 pole to an old dead tree then north 51 degrees east 140 poles to a pine at the edge of Sealsold [SEAL's old] Field at the head of CARSONs Spring Branch then down the branch as manders [meanders] to a popular [poplar] in the said branch in Carsons line then along his line south 23 [or 28] degrees west 149 pole to the Begining containing by estimation one hundred thirty eight [138] acres be the same more or less. To have and to hold the said bargained land and premises unto the said Elizha Dodson and to his heirs and assigns forever [etc...] Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal the day and year above within.

Signed: JAMES (I) HOSLEY, PEASHENTS (x) HOSLEY [James & Patience Horsley both signed by mark]

Signed Sealed and Delivered in presents of us:
Teste: Thos, WHITE, William BRANDON, Fleming BATES, Francis LAWSON

Deed recorded 26 June 1790. No release of dower recorded.

[Source: Halifax Deed Book Vol. 14, p. 616, Halifax County Courthouse, Halifax, VA. Transcription by Joan Horsley, with caps added and comments in brackets.]

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