I have a William Russell in the 1757 Amelia Tithes below Deep Creek.
I spent a couple of hours at the library. I was surprised to find
the Russell line with several hundred citations listed by each
generation of William Russells in Swem's Virginia Historical Index. The
three William Russells are; I(1678-1757), II(1735-1793),
The Virginia Historical Magazine, Vol 6 pp202-203 says,
"Until recently it was supposed that Lt Col William Russell (sic) was
the founder of the Russell family; but it is now known is known(Peter
Russell) and it is believed that his father came from Maryland".
Peter Russell died in Orange Cty Va in 1746, the father of the
ranger, William Russell. I did not see a will for Peter Russell. Peter
had to have been born before about 1656. The magazine also stated that
Peter waa of Tidewater English stock, not Scotch-Irish, meaning I guess
that Peter was an English follower of the Stuart Kings, who are a
distinctly different group. James (Stuart) was the first Scotch King to
also rule England. That's why you have all those Elizabeth Stewarts.
Personally, I'm not ruling Norfolk and Gloucester out. Many
dissenters like Russell and also Irish Catholics were persecuted by
Governor Berkeley's administration and moved up to Maryland from
Virginia. The Dorseys of Norfolk went to Maryland. Both the Dorseys in
Maryland and George Light in King&Queen had plantations called
'Hockley'. The VHMagazine says about Willial Russell (1679-1757)that he
was one of the first adventurers in the Valley of Virginia. He was a
native of England and came over with Governor Spotswood in 1710. By
1722 William Russell was a resident in KING&QUEEN county. The article
goes on about Spotsylvania in 1722 and Culpepper.
It is more likely that Peter followed William Russell to Virginia.
I think both stories are correct. Wm Russell was the first (founder)
but not the oldest. It's a matter of semantics. Usually a bunch of
relatives were already in Virginia, ie Norfolk & Gloucester.
You need a few more wills: Philemon Russell 1778 will in Lunenburg.
Another Wm (either 1793 or 1825) in Russell County. And maybe 1793 or
1798 in Henrico co of Col Russell, Jacob Light's father in law.
Phillip will probably turn out to be Philmon's grandson, or in one
of the cadet lines, ie Buchner Russell, etc.
I should write this up with background on the Stuart loyalists and sell
a few books to the Russells, with the story and tragic death of Sir
William Russell in England. (hanged at the Tower of London for his
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