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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Virginia: Isle of Wight County

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Re: John Stevenson/Stephenson 1680
Posted by: clark stephens (ID *****1098) Date: March 14, 2004 at 23:03:04
In Reply to: Re: John Stevenson/Stephenson 1680 by gary stephenson of 1389


I have belatedly read your August 6, 2002 Query. Records I have seen of a John Stevenson of Isle of Wight tell me he is probably not the immigrant of his line. In VIRGINIA COLONIAL ABSTRACTS, Series II Volume 2, page 65, there is a record listed under pages headed "Lancaster County." It reads as follows:

"p.307. John Stephenson of the Isle of Wight in Va. , sone of John Stephenson decd, sold to Robert Griggs land his father bought of William Clapham decd. , 12 July 1654, & the Pat. Formerly granted to Epaphraditus Lawson decd. 3 Sept. 1649, and the sale dated 10 ffeb 1678; p.308: Christian Stephenson Widdow & Relict of John Stephenson decd. Consents to her son’s sale, 27 Oct. 1677; She certifies that her son John Stephenson was 21 years old 12 May last, & 27 Oct. 1677."

Note that the heir, John Stephenson, the younger, was declared to be 21 years old, and that the son had come back from Isle of Wight to Lancaster County to claim the land left to him by his father. His mother declared he was 21 years old as of the 1677 date, so he was born in 1656.

There are two wills in Isle of Wight County for men named John Stevenson. Both wills can be found in Wills and Administrations of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, 1647 – 1800, Book II, abstracted by Blanche Adams Chapman and published in 1938. Here is the first abstract:

"Stevenson, John: Leg. –son John; son Abraham; son Thomas; son Charles; son George; daughter Mary; son William. Wife Elizabeth, Extx.
D. November 23, 1727               R. February 27, 1727
Wit. Thomas Flowers, Abraham Baggett. Page 16."

If the 21-year-old son in the Lancaster County record had been the same person as John who died in 1727 he would have been about 71 years of age at his death. That is possible, but other facts don't match up. You will
see that he was too early a person to be John of the 1727 will.

My research in Isle of Wight and in North Carolina has made me very familiar with most of the sons named in the 1727 will, and none of them owned property until 1723.

Any sons born to the 21-year-old of the Lancaster record would have started life in a birth window extending from about 1677 to about 1697, and would have become old enough to own property from about 1698 to about 1718. All of the sons would have waited till late in their lives to buy land. Hence, the 21-year-old in the Lancaster record is more likely to be the grandfather of the sons listed in the 1727 will.

The second Isle of Wight will I mentioned above was dated February 24, 1728/9:

"Stevenson, John: Leg. –son John: son Peter: son William, the land I bought of Edward Boykin: son Solomon: son George: daughter Mary: daughter Elizabeth.
D. February 24, 1728/29              R. May 23, 1737
Wit. Francis Exum, Joseph Ward Page 162."

This will was written after that of 1727, so my first thought was that it was the will of the son John in the 1727 will. However, it is clearly not the will of a young man dying right after his father died, because it lists
seven children and not one is said to be a minor. My belief is that the 1728/9 will is that of John's father, not his son, and this could make him the same person as the 21-year-old in the Lancaster record. However, in that case, he would have lived to the age of 73. You would also have to believe that the son John was listed in the 1728/9 will even though the will was probated after he was already dead. His name should be there only if his father's will was written before November 23, 1727 when the son died.

I hope this information fits with the John Stevenson you were asking about. There are additional early Virginia records that take this line back even further in Lancaster County, but I haven't yet figured out the details.

Best regards, Clark Stephens

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