Needs some document, Virginia colonial legalese interpretation, please

+3 votes

The following is a snip from Cavaliers and Pioneers- Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants. The William Moseley is a direct ancestor, a former merchant, born in England, lived in Rotterdam, then emigrated to Virginia Colony about 1649. The passage in question regards a land grant received for the transportation of 11indivuduals. But the names are of himself, his wife Susannah, sons and a few others. I don't understand. If he was already resident for a few years, how would he receive a land grant for transportation of individuals, including himself, that were already resident (as far as I know)?

I keep trying to add an image of the passage, but it's not working, so I will transcribe instead:

"WILLIAM MOSELEY, 540 acs. Low. Norf. Co., in Linhaven Parish, 17 Feb, 1652, p. 186. Trans. of 11 pers:William Moseley, Susanna Moseley, Wm. & Arthur his sonns, Susanna Robinson alias Corker, Eliza beth West, Anne Lambert. 200 acs. purchased from William Julian."

WikiTree profile: William Moseley
in Genealogy Help by Debi Matlack G2G6 Mach 7 (74.1k points)
edited by Debi Matlack

1 Answer

+6 votes
Best answer
Headright claims were often filed many years after the event. I've seen as much as 10. Assuming it wasn't a fraud, which happened all the time, he probably transported himself and his family a few years earlier and then filed the headright claim after he bought this other property. I wouldn't be surprised if he had the headright claim surveyed adjacent to the purchase so he could consolidate it.
by Anonymous Buckner G2G6 Mach 5 (51.1k points)
selected by Debi Matlack
Thank you so much Ben! It never occurred to me that it might be after the fact. I really appreciate the explanation.

Happy hunting!


Ben's response is almost certainly correct. We know that William and his family left Rotterdam some time after August 14, 1649 (when his adopted step-daughter Susanna BLACKMORE MOSELEY Robinson, later Corker, wrote a will in Rotterdam) and had arrived in Lower Norfolk by at least November 30, 1649 (when he can first be identified in the Lower Norfolk records). He had been appointed as a Justice of the Lower Norfolk County court early in 1650. By July of that year, William had already acquired significant land and was negotiating the purchase of oxen and cattle from Col. Yeardley in return for some jewelry.

When William MOSELEY wrote his will, on June 29, 1655, he left the 540 acre Greenwich plantation to his wife Susannah ("her lifetime on the plantation where she now lives"); another 800 acres to his son William; and "all that tract of land which I bought of Goerge Kempe" (of unspecified extent) to his son Arthur. The Greenwich plantation of 540 acres was only a part of the land he had acquired.

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