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EDWARD BURGE(SS) (1699?-1759) of King George County, Virginia
2d. Edward (I). Born between 1691-1712, but probably about 1699; his place of birth is unknown. He is believed to have married Margaret Fewell about 1721 (see below). Edward Burgess is mentioned in William Burges's will (Richmond Co. Will Book #3, page 89, dated 23 Apr. 1712 O.S., proved 4 June 1712 O.S.), which put him under the guardianship of a prominent planter, Jeremiah Bronaugh Sr. He purchased a 100-acre farm in King George Co. from John Seamans of Farnham Parish, Richmond Co. on 1 Apr. 1731 O.S. (King George Co. Deed Book #1-A, p. 126-129). This deed directly follows one cosigned by Jeremiah Bronaugh Sr. (p. 121-125), his former guardian, the deeds and bonds having been executed on the same days, in the same legal style, and recorded by the same hand (a different hand than preceding entries) consecutively in the Deed Book (although the recording dates are a month apart). Edward's land is described as having straddled the King George/Stafford Co. boundary line, which then followed the watershed "ridge" line between the two rivers, an unsurveyed region which in places widened to a quarter mile or more. At the right edge of his farm is the "Rowling" or Rolling Road (used to roll tobacco to the river), which may be what later became Virginia State Route 3, or one of the connecting county roads which run off it to the south; later descriptions place the location of the farm two miles northwest of the present courthouse. Neighbors mentioned in the deed include: Benjamin Stribling, Henry Berry, Maj. John Fitzhugh, and "the late" William Bunbury. Payment is noted as five shillings, bonded by six thousand pounds of tobacco.
Edward's land was originally part of a 375-acre parcel granted by Lord Fairfax, Proprietor of the Northern Neck, to Sim (or Simon or Lem) Cox on 7 Mar. 1694/95 O.S. in Stafford and Richmond Cos., adjoining George King, Henry Berrie (Berry), Hale's Cart Path (i.e., the Rowling Road), Owmen Creek (now Kays Run), James Key Jr., [no first name given] Owen, Lewis Griffin, Bunburry's Corner, on the so-called Machotak Dams (or Upper Machodoc Creek); the grant was witnessed by Thos. Catlett, William Strother, and Joseph Berry (Northern Neck Grant Book #2, p. 128). Sim or Lem Cox (his name appears both ways) later sold the land off piecemeal, the 100-acre section which became Edward's farm going originally to John Seamans's father. The Burgess land was peculiarly shaped, its top part looking like the cut-off half of a hexagon, with the bottom section coming to two very sharp points, as if perched on a single stilt, with one projection to the left. His land falls in an area on Route 3 near Arnolds Corner (the junction of Route 3 with County Route 208), about two miles southwest of the present-day courthouse at King George village, and just a few miles northeast of the Bronaugh plantation on Lambs Creek.
Edward witnessed the will of Robert Strother in King George Co. on 14 May 1735 (Will Book #A-1, p. 114-115), but is not mentioned in King George County records again. Commissioners were appointed by King George and Stafford Co. in the early 1750s to adjudicate the often confusing, meandering boundary line between the two elongated county jurisdictions; one result of this realignment appears to have been the placement of Edward's land, for tax and voting purposes, in Stafford Co., perhaps because Edward's house was located on the north side of the property. Voting qualifications were also changed at about this time to limit voting to those who owned at least 100 acres of land. Edward is listed as voting in the Burgess Poll (legislators' election) of 1758 in Stafford Co., the only such record surviving from this period. At this time, the Stafford Co. courthouse was located on Aquia Creek, while the King George courthouse was near present-day Port Conway; the church used by the Burgess family, St. Paul's Parish (of the Anglican Church, the official, state-supported religious body both in England and the colonies), was located eight miles northeast of the Burgess plot (down what is presently County Route 208 toward the Potomac River). Most of the early record books of Stafford Co. were lost during the Civil War, leaving only a half dozen deed and will books surviving prior to 1800, plus an incomplete index to the remaining volumes. The two counties were reoriented along present-day boundaries on 1 Jan. 1777, once again placing the Burgess property into King George Co.
Edward's will, recorded in Stafford Co. Liber #O (p. 359, dated 9 Jan. 1759, probated 8 May 1759), mentions his wife and four youngest children as legatees, naming as executors his wife and sons Garner and William; his wife is to live on his land until her death, which is then to be sold and distributed equally among his heirs. The will is recorded under the name "Burge," but the later inventory record (p. 366-367, dated 12 June 1759) gives his name as "Burgess." This curious spelling variation also occurs in 1725, when a Margaret "Burge" is mentioned in the accounting of Henry Fewell's estate, again in Prince William Co. in 1785 with Edward Burgess Jr., in 1787 with the personal property tax record of Lunsford Burges in King George Co., with Lunsford’s two possible orphans in Spotsylvania Co. in 1792, and with two records (11 Sept. 1744 and 31 July 1747) in the Edward Dixon merchant accounts.
Edward's wife Margaret is believed to have been a daughter of Henry Fewell and Sarah Whiteman (who was the sister of John Whiteman), and the granddaughter of Stephen and Katherine Fewell. A Margaret "Burge" is mentioned in King George Co. Inventory Book #1 (p. 47) on 7 May 1725 O.S. as a co-legatee with her sister, Frances Smith, in the accounting of Henry Fewell's estate; at this time, there is no other known Burge(s) family living within fifteen miles of the immediate area. Stephen Fewell, Henry's father, was probably born in London in 1653 (christened on 7 Nov. 1653 O.S. at St. Olave's Parish, Southwark), the son of William Fewell, was transported to the colonies in 1674, and witnessed the will of John Waight in Old Rappahannock Co., VA on 3 Mar. 1679 (Will Book #2, p. 151, mentioned as then being 26 years of age). Fewell bought fifty-eight acres of land in Richmond (later King George) Co., VA on 20 Feb. 1692/93 O.S., bounded by Hugh Williams, John Owens, and James Lamb, believed to be within a mile of Bronaugh's land, near the intersection of Lambs Creek and the Rowling Road (see King George Co. Deed Book #5, p. 5); the only known Fewells in this part of Virginia all appear to be his descendants. Although the connection of Margaret "Burge" with Edward Burges is not certain, it is the most probable interpretation of the known facts. Margaret Burges is listed in surviving land tax lists of Stafford Co. in 1768, 1773, and 1776 as the owner of 100 acres. She probably died between 1776-80, and certainly by 1783, when a second inventory of Edward's estate is recorded in the index book for Stafford Co. Liber #N (p. 535; the volume itself failed to survive the burning of the county courthouse during the Civil War).
One or more of Edward’s sons probably lived on the Burgess land after Margaret’s death; Moses Burgess’s eldest son, Lunsford Burges, is listed on the King George Co. personal property tax rolls from 1785-88, when he presumably died or moved away. Thereafter, the King George Co. land tax lists designate the land as belonging to the "Burgess heirs." By the time the Burgess land was sold on 10 Oct. 1797 (King George Co. Deed Book #8, p. 145-147), Edward's executors were all dead; therefore, the deed had to be executed by the legal representatives of the deceased executors. Garner Burges's two executors, his oldest son, Edward Burgess of Culpeper Co., VA, and his oldest son-in-law, Matthew Neale of Fauquier Co., VA, represented his portion of the estate. William Burges had died intestate, so his representative could be any heir male; his youngest son, Edward Burgess (called "Jr." on the deed to distinguish him from his older cousin) of Bourbon Co., KY, signed on William's behalf. The importance of this deed cannot be understated: it proves beyond any reasonable doubt that Garner Burges of Fauquier Co. is Edward's son, that Edward Burgess of Culpeper (later Rappahannock Co.), VA is Garner's son, that Matthew Neale is Garner's son-in-law; and that the Edward Burgess of Bourbon Co., KY, who later settled in Scott Co., KY, is a direct descendant in the male line of William Burges of Stafford Co., VA, thereby cementing all later relationships in these branches.
The Burgess farm was acquired on 10 Oct. 1797 by Humphrey Steward or Stewart (Deed Book #8, p. 145-147), merged with his adjoining 240-acre lot, and then sold on 26 May 1810 to Dr. William Wishart (Deed Book #9, p. 394, which mentions an earlier, unrecorded deed of 1 Apr. 1806 witnessed by Charles E. Bennett). In the later sale of Wishart's estate by his son-in-law, Lawrence Taliaferro (see Deed Book #15, p. 189), two separate parcels are named, of which "Pudding Hill" seems likeliest to have been the Burgess property (this name is not mentioned again), the other being called "Stewarts." The Wishart lands were acquired by John Arnold on 10 Jan. 1838, but to this day the hills behind Comorn, Virginia, are still called "Wisharts." Until recent years, this area consisted of undeveloped and heavily wooded rolling hills, with occasional farm houses or single-family dwellings, probably very similar in appearance to what it was when the Burgesses owned it 260 ears ago; but now many of the trees are being cut to build housing tracts, as the population pushes south from Washington, DC, and former Burgess land is covered by modern dwellings. Very shortly, this picturesque piece of Virginia countryside will undoubtedly have almost completely vanished.
The Children of Edward Burgess:
3a. Lettice. Her name may have originally been Letitia. Born about 1722 in King George Co., VA. Married John Engles (later English) on 15 Feb. 1736/37 O.S. (St. Paul's Parish Register) in Stafford Co., VA, and had at least the following children: Sarah (born 1 Feb. 1737/38 O.S., died young); Lettice (born 8 Aug. 1739 O.S., died young); John (born 1 Feb. 1740/41 O.S., died young); Margaret (born 24 Jun. 1743 O.S.); Anne (born 12 Oct. 1745 O.S.); Sarah (born 24 Jul. 1748 O.S.); Letty (born 23 Feb. 1750/51 O.S., died young); John (born 3 Jun. 1752 O.S.); Lettice (born 20 Oct. 1753); Robert (born 25 Jul. 1756); William (born 7 May 1759). By inference she is living in 1783.
3b. Sarah. Born about 1724 in King George Co., VA. Married Joseph Reddish (variously Raddish or Readish) about 1747 in Stafford Co., VA, and had at least the following children: Joel (born 22 Feb. 1747/48 O.S.); Winifred (born 26 Aug. 1749 O.S.); Behethland (born 20 Aug. 1751 O.S.); Sadyris (born 21 Mar. 1754); Eleanor (born 30 Mar. 1759). By inference she is living in 1783.
3c. Garner (I). Born about 1726 in King George Co., VA. See below for full entry.
3d. Anne. Born about 1728 in King George Co., VA. Married Joseph Rogers on 24 Oct. 1749 O.S. (St. Paul's Parish Register) in Stafford Co., VA. A Joseph Rodgers is listed on the 1782 land tax roll of King George Co., VA, and an Ann Rogers is listed in 1787 in Stafford Co., but both names are too common in the general population to be positively identified with either person. He is not, however, the Joseph Rogers of Culpeper Co., VA who died there in 1762, leaving a son, Burgess Rogers. There is also a Joseph Ro(d)gers recorded in the 1787 tax lists of Orange Co., VA, and a Joseph and an Ann Rogers are recorded in the Stafford Co. tax lists during the 1780s. By inference she is living in 1783.
3e. Margaret (I). Born about 1730 in King George Co., VA. Married John French on 15 Jan. 1749/50 O.S. (St. Paul's Parish Register) in Stafford Co., VA (he was born about 1725, son of Mason French and Catherine [Ellis] Bennett [who was the daughter of Capt. Charles Ellis and the widow of Cossum Bennett Sr.], and died on 24 Oct. 1806 in Fauquier Co.; his will [Fauquier Co. Will Book #4, p. 286, dated 1 Nov. 1805, probated 26 Oct. 1806], mentions as survivors the children listed below). Margaret and John French had children (listed in the same order as the final payment record of John's estate):
Mason (born about 1751, served as an officer in the Revolutionary War from 1777-78, married Anna Lewis on 20 Jan. 1783 in Loudoun Co., VA [she was born 1761, daughter of Thomas Lewis and Ann Hickman, and died 1831], purchased "Creek View" on Goose Creek in Loudoun Co., VA in 1808, and died there on 6 June 1819; George (he bought the old home place in Fauquier Co. after his father's death, dying there unmarried in 1834); Elizabeth "Eliza" (she lived with her brother, George, and died unmarried in Dec. 1809 in Fauquier Co.; Margaret Burgess (married Reuben Triplett on 8 July 1790 in Loudoun Co., VA [he was born 8 June 1750, the son of Francis Triplett and Mildred Edrington, and died about 1823], and died 1 Feb. 1823; Daniel (mentioned in his father's will (1805), married, and had children); John Jr. (married Catherine Carter on 13 Mar. 1794 in Loudoun Co., VA [she was born about 1766 in Loudoun Co., the daughter of Richard and Agnes Carter, and died after 1836], moved to Mason Co., KY by 1800, and died there in Nov. 1843); Sarah (born about 1770, married Charles Chinn Jr. on 14 Feb. 1794 in Loudoun Co. [he was the son of Charles Chinn and Sythia Davis], and had children; Reuben (he died childless in Jan. 1826); Burgess (married Sarah "Sallie" Taylor on 30 Apr. 1807 in Fauquier Co. [she was born 9 June 1787, daughter of William Tarlton Taylor and Elizabeth Hampton]).
John French is mentioned as a voter in the Stafford Co. election of 1758, and Margaret may be mentioned in the will of Henry Bussy in Stafford Co. on 16 Apr. 1764 (a will which is witnessed by Edward Burgess Jr.). By 1760 the Frenches had moved to Loudoun Co., VA, when John French is listed on the tax rolls; John bought 180 acres in Fauquier Co., VA in 1768 from William and Martha Pearle (Deed Book #3, p. 338-39), and is listed there on the tax rolls from 1782. By inference she is living in 1783, but died before her husband (1806).
3f. William (II). Born about 1732 in King George Co., VA. See below for full entry.
3g. Mary (II). Born 3 Nov. 1736 O.S. in King George Co., VA (St. Paul's Parish Register), listed as the daughter of Richard Burges (no mother given). The handwritten version of the Register shows curious gaps in the listings. Many mothers' names are missing from the birth records, but few fathers' names; and many marriage records lack the maiden names (but not the given names) of the brides. This can only be explained if the records were transcribed sometime after the events took place, with the minister filling in details from his memory and from jotted notes. Perhaps this is why Mary's father is recorded as Richard (this is the first Burgess name in the book, probably not long after the family joined the church; an abbreviated Rich.d and Edw.d would look very much alike if scrawled); or it may be that there were simply two unrelated persons of the name. There is no other record of a Richard Burges in this part of Virginia during this time. Mary is mentioned as unmarried in her father's will on 9 Jan. 1759. She married Nathan(iel) Skipweth White on 15 Apr. 1759 in Stafford Co., VA (St. Paul's Parish Register), and had one child: Roderick (born 3 Oct. 1760 in Stafford Co. [St. Paul's Parish Register], married Mary ___, had two children: Elizabeth Grant "Betsy" and Mary Pannel "Polly," and died in late 1790 in Spotsylvania Co., VA [Will Book #E, p. 1012-1014, dated 23 Sept. 1790, probated 7 Dec. 1790]).
Nathan S. White was a clock and watch maker. He is mentioned as receiving a £100 bond from George Long on 7 July 1761 (Spotsylvania Co. Will Book #B, p. 535, dated 3 Aug. 1761) pending resolution of a lawsuit, as witnessing a bond between William Elliott of Prince William Co. and Thomas Chilton of Westmoreland Co. (Fauquier Co. Deed Book #2, p. 164-165, dated 25 June 1764), as being owed money by the estate of Nimrod Ashby (Fauquier Co. Will Book #1, p. 243; Ashby died in 1764, the estate was probated 20 Apr. 1774). Mary White died by 21 July 1763, when her husband is mentioned with a new wife, Sharlotte (Prince William Co. Deed Book #Q, p. 5-6).
3h. Edward (II). Born 27 Nov. 1739 O.S. in King George Co., VA. See below for full entry.
3i. Moses (I). Born 2 Dec. 1742 O.S. in King George Co., VA. See below for full entry.
3j. Reuben (I). Born 12 Feb. 1744/45 O.S. in King George Co., VA. See below for full entry.
THE INVENTORY OF EDWARD BURGESS (Stafford County Liber #O, p. 366-367) An Inventory of the estate Mr Edw.d Burgess Deced. [many abbreviations, some unclear; do=ditto] [values in Virginia pounds (£), shillings (/), and pence (d), in that order]
We the subscribers being by order of court dated May Court 1759 appointed appraisers of the estate of Edward Burgess decead & being foresworn have in obediance to the sd order appraised ye sd estate according to the above inventory witness our hands this 12th of June 1759—Tho.s Bunbury Jn.r, Howson Hooe, Harris Hooe.
At a court held for Stafford County 10th July 1759
This inventory & appraisment of the estate of Edwd Burgess being returned & sworn to by the administrators is admitted to record—
Test Henry Tyler CSC
THE SECOND INVENTORY OF EDWARD BURGESS (Stafford County Liber #N, p. 535+) (Copied from an attachment to the lawsuit of Roderick White)
Inventory & sale of the estate of Edward Burgess Decd. [many abbreviations, some unclear; do=ditto; Dr.=debtor] [values in Virginia pounds (£), shillings (/), and pence (d), in that order]
Garner Burges Ex.r to Edw.d Burge’s Estate
[in different hand:] Should be £405.8.10
Stafford Sct. May Court 1783
The above inventory & account of sales of Edw.d Burges Est. Estate [sic] being then return’d to Court by Garner Burges, was order’d to be recorded.
Attest: H. Tyler CSC
Copy test: H. Tyler CSC
The Purchase of the Original Burgess Land (King George Co. Deed Book #1-A, p. 126-129)
This indenture made the first Day of April in the year of our Lord Christ one Thousand seven Hundred & Thirty one between John Seamans of the parish of Farnham in the county Richmond Planter of the one part and Edward Burges of the Parish of Hanover in the county of King George Planter of the other part Witnesseth that the sd John Seamans for & in consideration of the sum of five shillings to him in hand paid by the sd the Receipt whereof he doth hereby acknowledge hath bargained & sold & by these Presents doth bargain & Sell unto the sd Edward Burges one Hundred acres of Land Lying on the main Ridge between the Rivers of Rappahanock & Pertomack part in King George & part in Stafford County & Bounded as followeth (viz.) Begining in Hanover Parish in King George County at a Locust Post standing in the Line of the Land of Benjamin Sribling [sic] & Runing N81 E69 poles to a Red Oak Corner tree of Henry Berryes land Then S68 E73 poles along the sd Berryes Line to an old Red Oak Corner tree of the Land of Majr John Fitzhughs then along the sd Fitzhughs line N20 E118 poles to a Red Oak standing by the Rowling Road, then N26½ W47 poles to a small Black Oak sapling standing in the Line of the Land formerly belong to Mr. William Bunbury, then along then sd Bunbury's Line West 90½ poles S26 W144 poles to the Beginning, which sd Land above bounded is part of a Tract of Land formerly granted to Mr. Sim Cox by Patent from the Proprietors of the Northern Neck of Virginia Bareing Date the first Day of March in the year of our Lord one Thousand six Hundred & ninty four or five and sold by the sd Sim Cox to Joseph Seamans of Lancaster County as by Deed Bearing Date the Twentieth Sixth of October in the year of our Lord one Thousand seven Hundred & Nine, Doth appear & after demised to the above sd John Seamans by the Last will & Testament of the aforesd Joseph Seamans Father to the sd John Seamans Bearing Date the Twentieth Day of November one Thousand seven Hundred & Twenty nine Recourse being had to the Records above Mentioned may more fully appear and the Reversion & Reversions Remander & Remanders & other Rents & Prophits of the Premises of every Part & Paid thereof to have and to hold the said one Hundred Acres of Land above Bounded & all & singular other the premises intended to be hereby granted with the appertenences unto the said Edward Burges his Exers & assigns from the Day before the Date hereof for Dureing the term of one whole year from thence Next ensuing & fully to be Compleated & ended yeilding and paying therefore the yearly Rent of one year of Indian Corn at the feast of St Michael the arch Angel only if the same be Demanded to the Intent that by Virtue of these Presents & of the statute for Transfering Uses into Possessions the sd Edward Burges May be in actual Possession of the Premises & be Enabled to accept of a grant of the Reversion and Inheritance thereof to him & his Heirs for ever. In testimony of which the Parties of these presents their hand & seals Interchangably have sett & affixed the Date above Written.
Signed, Sealed & Delivered in the Presence of us,
Following the above lease is an almost identical "release" dated 2 Apr. 1731 in which Edward Burges pays John Seamans "six thousand pounds of good sound merchantable tobacco in cask" to obtain final title to the land. Elizabeth Seamans is examined and relinquishes her rite of dower and shares.
The Sale of the Original Burgess Land (King George Co. Deed Book #8, p. 145-147)
This indenture made this tenth day of october in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & ninety seven Betwen Matthew Neale of Fauqr County, Edward Burgess of Culpeper County, Exors. of Garner Burgess late of Fauqr. County & Edward Burgess of the County of Bourboun in the state of Kentucky of the one part & Humphrey Steward of the County of King George of the other part, witnesseth that the sd Matthew Neale, Edward Burgess, Edward Burgess Jr. for & in consideration of the sum of fifty five pounds to them in hand paid by the said Humphrey Steward, the receipt whereof they do hereby Acknowledge, hath granted bargained & sold aliend & Confirmed and doth by these presents grant bargain & sell alien & confirm unto the said Humphrey Steward & his heirs all that tract or dividend of land formerly belonging to Edward Burgess containing one hundred Acres lying & being in the County of King George & bound as followeth Begining at a locust post standing in the line of the [land] of Benja Stripling & runs N81 E69 poles to a red oak Corner tree of Henry Berrys land then S68 E73 pole along the said Berrys line to an old red oak corner tree to the land of Majr. John Fitzhugh then along the Fitzhughs line N20 E118 poles to red corner oak tree standing by the Rowling road, then N26½ W47 poles to a small black oak saplin standing in the line of the land formerly belong to Mr William Bunbury, then along the said Bunburys line W90½ poles S26 W144 poles to the begining with said land above bounded is part of a tract of Land formerly granted to Sim Cox by Patent from the proprietors of the Northern neck of Virginia dated the first day of March 1694/5 & sold by the sd Sim Cox to Jos Seamans of Lancaster County by Deeds bearing date the twenty sixth of october 1709 doth appear and after demised to the above said John Seamans by the last will and testament of Jos Seamans Father of the aforesaid John Seamans bearing date of 20th day of November 1729—& since devised to be sold to Edward Burgess who purchased of John Seamans for the benefit of his children To have and to hold all & singular the premises with the appurtenances unto the said Humphrey Steward & his heirs & assigns forever together with all houses buildings ways, woods, weaters [sic], hereditaments & appurtenances to the same belonging & the reversion, Remainders, Rents, issues, profits thereof & all the estate right title Interest claim & demand of them the sd Matthew Neale & Edward Burgess Exrs of Garner Burgess who was the Exors of Edward Burgess aforesd & Edward Burgess Junr aforesaid & the said Matthew Neale, Edward Burgess Senr & Edward Burgess Jr for themselves and their heirs doth covenant & grant to and with the said Humphrey Steward & assigns that he and they shall & may at all times hereafter pesably & quietly have hold & possess the premises without the hindrance or molestation of the said Matthew Neale, Edward Burgess, and Edward Burgess Jr. or either of their heirs or any other person claiming under them & that freed & discharged from all incumbrances & further that the said Matthew Neale, Edward Burgess, and Edward Burges Jr shall & will at any time hereafter upon the request & at the cost and charges of the said Humphrey Steward his heirs & assigns—make and execute all such further and other reasonable acts and conveyances for the better & more perfect conveying & assureing the sd land & premises with the appurtenances thereunto belonging unto the said Humphrey Steward his heirs & assigns as by him or them or by his or their councel learned in the law shall be advised or required..And, lastly, that the said Matthew Neale Edward Burgess & Edward Burgess Jr & their heirs the foregoing bargained and sold land and premises unto the said Humphrey Steward his heirs & assigns from the claim & demand of the said Matthew Neale, Edward Burgess, Edward Burgess Jr & their heirs and from the claim & demand of every other person shall & will warrant & forever defend by these presents In Witness whereof the said Matthew Neale, Edward Burgess & Edward Burgess Jr hath hereuntil set their hnds and seals the day and year first mentioned.
Thos Catlett Wm Strother Jos Berry CC
THE DISPUTE OVER EDWARD BURGESS’S ESTATE
Two different suits were filed over the division of Edward Burgess’s estate by his descendants. Neither was discovered until the mid-1990s during a survey of the records of the Fauquier County Courthouse in Virginia. Garner Burgess is named as the defendant in both. The first case, Joseph Readish [sic] and wife vs. Garner Burges (case #1783-004), was apparently filed originally in 1767, and lingered on until about 1770. The suit was revived in 1783, and then dismissed later that year, after the plaintiff settled with the defendant. The second suit (case #1789-018) was filed by Roderick White, son of Mary White, Edward Burgess’s youngest daughter. This action actually went to court, where White won his case and received costs, payment of the disputed legacy, and interest. Both documents include official copies of Edward Burgess’s will; the second case also provides a copy of the original inventory of Edward’s estate, plus the a copy of the missing second inventory and sales record of the estate, as taken from Stafford Co. Liber #N, which was carried off during the Civil War. The suits are important for delineating the entire list of Edward’s ten children, and for showing that his widow died sooner than originally thought. The second inventory is undated, although it was filed in Stafford Co. in 1783, evidentally in response to White lawsuit. It indicates that the Burgess land was bought by the Edward’s second executor, William Burgess, and apparently reverted to Edward’s estate after William’s early death. The essential documents are transcribed below.
JOSEPH READISH VS. GARNER BURGESS (Undated; the omissions reflect the original document)
To the worshipfull the justices of Fauquier County in Chancery now sitting Humbly complaining sheweth unto your worships your orator & oratrix Joseph Readish & ___ his wife that Edward Burges your oratrixes father being seised & possessed of a considerable real & personal estate made his last will & testament in writing whereby he devised the use of same to his wife Margeret Burges your oratrixes Mother during her life & after her decease to be sole & equally divided among your oratrix and all his other children & appointed Gardner Burges & William Burges the Deft.s herein named Executors thereto as by the same duely proved & recorded in the County Court of Stafford relation thereunto being had & to which your Orator & Oratrix refer it will more fully appear that the appraisement of the slaves & chattels amounted to ___ as by the inventory thereof returned & recorded among the records of the sd. County of Stafford & to which your Orator and Oratrix refer it will appear that about the ___ day of ___ in the year of our Lord ___ the said Margeret departed this life upon which the said Def.ts ought to have sold the said lands slaves & other estate and made distribution of the money arising therefrom among your orator & oratrix & the other children to wit ___ but now so it is may it please your worships that the said Defts having possessed themselves of the whole estate and made sale thereof combining together & to & with certain persons to your orator & oratrix unknown whose names when discovered they may be inserted with apt words to charge them do refuse to make distribution of the money arising therefrom among your orator & oratrix & their other brothers & sisters according to the said Edwards will pretending sometimes that they may not have sold the said estate at other times that if they have they have not received in the money whereas your orator & oratrix do expressly charge that the said Defts have sold the land and great part of the other estate & might or ought to have received in the money or great part of it long ago in tender consideration whereof & in as much as your orator & oratrix are remideless [sic] in the premisses by the strict rules of common law & only & properly relievable before your worships in a Court of Equity & to the end that the said Def.ts may upon their corporal oaths true full & perfect answer make to sall & singular the sd remisses as fully as if again repeated & interrogated but more especially that the s.d Def.ts may set forth & declare what estate the s.d Edward Burges died possessed of did he not make his will in manner set forth have they not sold the same or what thereof have they sold to whom & for recept— how many children did the said Edward have that were living at the death of the said Margeret is not your oratrix one of them & is she not intermarried to your orator & that your orator & oratrix may have a decree for their proportional part of what has already been sold and that the residue may be disposed of imediately [sic] & your orator & oratrix relieved in all & singular the premisses according to equity & good conscience may it please your worships to grant your orator & oratrix his Majesties most gracious Writ of sub pana &c & they in duty bound shall pray &c—
Bull Att. For the Complain.ts
THE ANSWER OF GARNER BURGESS TO JOSEPH READISH (the omissions reflect the original document)
The answer of Garner Burgess to the Bill of Complaint exhibited against him by Joseph Readish and ___ his wife complainants
This Defendant saving to himself all benefit and advantage from the many uncertainties and insufficiencies in the said Bill for answer thereto or to so much thereof as he is advised is material for him to answer, answers & says that true it is that Edward Burgess did make such last Will & Testament as in mentioned in the Complainants Bill, and thereby did bequeath & devise the use of all his Estate to his wife Margaret Burgess for her life and after her decease directed that the same (except one bed and furniture and one cow and calf which he gave to his daughter Mary and also except eight pounds apiece to each of his sons Edward Moses and Reuben) should be sold and equally divided among all his children, that the said Margaret Burgess lived some years after and died about the time for that purpose mentioned in the said Bill. This Defendant further says that his fathers personal estate at the time of his death amounted to three hundred and fifteen pounds three shillings and six pence as by an Inventory & Appraisement made and recorded in the Court of Stafford County to which the Defendant refers and prays that it may be taken as part of his answer may appear, and that he left ___ children, eight of whom were living at the death of their mother afs.d and of whom the compainant is one. This Defendant further answers and says that as soon as could be conveniently done after the death of his mother afs.d he disposed of all the personal estate of the said Edward his father which came to his hands for as much as could be got for the same that the sales thereof amounted to three hundred and two pounds nineteen shillings and five pence and halfpenny inclusive of about ___ pounds of tobacco which sold for ___ by the accompts [sic] of sales to which he refers may appear. He further says that the said Edward Burgess died seized of one hundred acres of land which after his mothers death this Defendant set up for sale agreeable to the will afs.d, but as no person would bid for it to near its value he thought it most advisable and for the benefit of all persons concerned that the same should not be sold but rented out which the Defendant has done for the yearly rent of six pounds. This Defendant further says that some years ago the complainants brought their suit against him in this worshipful Court for their proportional part of the said Edward Burgess’s Estate and upon this Defendants paying them thirty pounds they dismissed the same. He further says that over and above the said thirty pounds he has at sundry times paid to the complainants to the amount of twenty three pounds sixteen shillings and eleven pence as by accompts between the Defendants and the complainants to which the Defendant refers and prays they may be made a part of his answer may appear so that this Defendant conceives he has fully if not over paid the said complainants for their proportional share of the said Edward Burgess’s estate. Wherefore he prays to be hence dismissed with his reasonable costs in this behalf most unrighteously sustained and he denies all combination without that that &c &c
Fauq.r to wit Sworn to before me by Garner Burgess the 23.d October 1770
An undated security bond was provided to Garner Burges by Benj. Neale. The earliest dated document in the file is a writ of summons dated 2 October 1767, as issued by the Court of Chancery of Fauquier Co. against Garner Burgess, on behalf of Edward Burgess (Jr.?) and Joseph Readish & ___ his wife; this is the first of several such documents. There is also a note from Joseph Reddish [sic] dated 15 May 1783 asking the court to dismiss his suit against Garner Burgess, who has agreed to pay the cost of same. Also copied from the Stafford County records was the will of Edward Burgess. The documents suggest that Margaret Burgess died between 1767-1770, or perhaps by 1767 (her death may have prompted the suit); however, this directly contradicts the Quit Rent Rolls for Stafford Co., which show her as owner of the Burgess land in 1768, 1773, and 1776 (there is a gap in the records after this until 1782).
RODERICK WHITE VS. GARNER BURGESS (Undated; the omissions reflect the original document)
To the worshipful Court of Fauquier County in Chancery. Humbly sheweth unto your worships your orator Roderick White, only child of Nathaniel White & Mary his wife both dec.d, that Edward Burge late of Stafford County dec.d on the ninth day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & fifty nine made his last will & testament in writing duly proved & recorded in the s.d Court of Stafford to which your orator begs leave to refer & that it may be taken as part of this bill, and by the same did give & bequeath until his wife Margaret Burge the whole of his estate during her life & after her death did give & bequeath to his daughter Mary Burge your orators mother one feather bed & furniture & one cow & calf, and to his sons Edward Moses & Reuben eight pounds each, and directed that after his wifes death his land, negroes, goods & chattels should be sold & equally divided among all his children and died soon after leaving his wife afs.d & ten children, viz.: Gardener, William, Edward, Moses, Reuben, Sarah wife of Joseph Reddish, Nanny wife of Joseph Rodgers, Peggy wife of John French, Lettice wife of John English, & the s.d Mary, who intermarried with Nathaniel White & mother of your orator; and afs.d will appointed his sons the s.d Gardener & William Executors, and died soon after seized & possessed of a pretty considerable estate real & personal. Your orator further shews that the s.d Margaret after the death of her s.d husband possessed herself of the estate & lived till about the year 17__ & that your orators mother Mary died in her lifetime, about the year 17__ leaving your orator an infant of very tender years & no other child that he is but lately arrived to age, that after the death of the s.d Margaret, the s.d Gardener Burge (who your orator prays may be made a Defendant to this bill) qualified as an Exor [sic] and sold the estate agreeable to the will afs.d the sales of which amounted to four hundred & five pounds eight shillings & ten pence as by an Inventory & Account of sales hereto annexed may appear, and that the s.d William the other Exor is since dead. Your orator further shews that the specifick [sic] Legacies afs.d of the feather bed & furniture & the cow & calf never were delivered to his mother or to any person for her use or any kind of satisfaction made for the same either to her or her representatives, nor has the Dividend or one tenth part of the amount of sales of the [es]tate or any part thereof been paid to her or to any person re[p]resenting her, which ought to have [been] done agreeable to the will afs.d, and [__] your orators father is also dead having never received any part of the Legacies or Dividend afs.d, and your orator well hoped that the s.d Defendant Gardener Burge would have delivered him the specifick Legacies afs.d or the value thereof with interest since the time they were due, & also accounted with him for this mother’s Share or Dividend of the amount [of] Sales afs.d Estate & has applied to him for that purpose but now so it is may it please your worships that the s.d Defendant utterly refuses so to do, pretending that as your orators mother died before the s.d Margaret her mother, the s.d Legacies & Dividend wer [sic] lost & your orator not entitled thereto, all which actings of the s.d Defend.t are contrary to Equity & tend to the injury & oppression of your orator. In consideration whereof & as he is remediless unless in this Court to the end therefore that the s.d Gardener Burge may true & perfect answer make to all & singular the premisses as fully as if the same were here again repeated & interrogated, and that by a Decree of this Court the s.d Defendant may be compelled to satisfy your orator the value of the s.d specified Legacies & also account with him for his mothers Share or Dividend or one tenth part of the said estate with interest since the same ought to have been paid, and that your orator may have such other relief in the premisses as is agreeable to Equity & good conscience. May it please to grant subpana to the Def.t directed & commanding &c.
Buchanan att. Compl.t
THE ANSWER OF GARNER BURGESS TO RODERICK WHITE (Undated; the omissions reflect the original document)
The answer in Chancery of Garner Burges Defend.t to the bill of complaint of Roderick White Comp.t This Defendant now and at all times saving and reserving to himself all and every exception to the manyfold [sic] errors untruths and imperfections in the complainants bill contained for answer thereunto as so much thereof as he is advised is material for him to answer unto he answereth and saith that he admits the death of Edward Burgess as set forth in the compts bill he also admits that he made his last Will and Testament which has been duly proved and resided [?] in the Court of Stafford County and to which this Defdt refers and prays that the same may be taken as part of this his answer. He admits that Mary White one of the daughters of and devisees of the said Edward Burges intermarried with Nathan Skipwith White father of the complainant who are both dead, & that the complainant is their only child. He saitah that upon the 2.d day of June 1759 the feather bed and furniture cow and calf specifically devised to the said Mary in the said Will were by Margaret the devisee in possession delivered to the said Nathan Skipwith White, during the life of his wife Mary, as by his receit and acquitance for the same, of the same date, hereton annexed, it will appear that as to the residue devised to be sold after the death of the said Margaret & divided among all the children of the said Edward this Defendant is advised that the complainant is intitled [sic] to no part thereof as his mother the said Mary died before the said Margaret. This Defedt admits that after the death of his said mother he with the said William qualified as Executors to the said will and sold the slaves and personal estate as also the land of which the said testator died seized that the said William purchased the land himself but being an Executor retained the money in his own hands and whether he has accounted for any part thereof with the Comp.t this Defd.t cannot say but apprehends this Defd.t is not laible for his transactions. That the land sold for ___. That this Defdt returned an account of the sales of the slaves and personal estate of the said Edward, that came to his and the said Williams hands after the death of the said Margaret, amounting with the sale of the land to the sum of ___, to which account settled with the Court of Stafford he refers and pray that the same may be taken as part of his answer. He admits that he never paid any part of the money arising from the said sales to the complainant or his father or mother. This Defendant denies all combination without that & prays to be hence dismissed with his costs in this behalf wrongfully sustained &c
Fauq.r County to wit
Garner Burges came personally before me and made oath that the several matters and things herein set forth of his own knowledge are true & those set forth from information he believes are true given under my hand this 26.th day of September 1786.
Hug.h Turner The earliest document in the packet is a writ of summons upon Gardener Burge dated 9 Sept. 1784, in which he is termed the “surviving executor” of Edward Burge. Also attached is a receipt from Nathan White, as follows:
June ye 2d /59 Stafford County
Be it known to all men that I Nathan Skipwith White of ye County of Spotsilvaney [sic] husband of mary Birgis daughter of Edward Birges Dciest [sic] have reivd [sic] at ye hand of Marg.t Bures [sic] widdow of ye sade [sic] Edward Birges one fether [sic] bed and furnature one kow [sic] and cafe [sic] left to her in ye will of ye sade Birges and for ye safty [sic] of ye seuretys and for Janes (?) I have give [sic] from under my hand that ye above thinges are by me resvd [sic] and that they shall not by me nor mine ever be demanded agane. Givin [sic] under my hand ye 2d of June 1759.
Nathan Skipwith White
Moses Burges [witness]
Also reproduced are copies of documents from Stafford County: Edward’s will, his inventory, and the second inventory and sales, which had not previously been known (the book in which it was listed, Liber N, was lost during the Civil War). Of interest is the attorney’s note scribbled on the bottom of the copy of Edward’s will:
Children besides those within [the will], are Jos. Reddish, his wife Sarah, Nanny Burge wife of Jos. Rogers, Peggy Burge wife of John French, Lettice wife of John English, & Mary White who died before her mother leaving one child, Roderic White by Nath.l White.
Land sold for £113. Three slaves but no inventory nor acct. of sales returned to Court, but the lowest price of the Negroes sold was £60. Get certificate of Garner Burge being Exor.
& also cert. that no inventory nor acc.t sales were returned if that is the case, if any, get a copy. I am apt to think that the son of M.rs White has a good right to his mothers share & dividend, & that she had an interest in such dividend on the death of her father by way of remainder to take effect on her mothers death. The bed & cow & calf or the value there can be no doubt of.
Further down the page: Exors qual[ify] Death of M[ar]garet Sale of es[tate] Death of Wm. [name partly lost] & of Nath. W[hi]te & wife Compls o[n]ly child Applied
A judgment was rendered in Roderick White’s favor by the Fauquier Court in May of 1789, and Garner Burges was required to pay White the full amount of one-tenth of a share in Edward Burgess’s estate, plus interest and costs. Both men died in 1790.
THE ELLIS CONNECTION
Although the earliest members of the Burgess family never rose above the lowest levels of the bourgeoisie, barely qualifying for the vote with the ownership of 100 acres of land, the third generation of the family married into a much wealthier and more influential class of planters and local politicians. The link that connects these disparate relationships is Captain Charles Ellis, who died in 1708. Ellis had four daughters, two of whom, Catherine and Sarah, had offspring who are known to have been directly connected to the Burgess family. Catherine Ellis married (as her first husband) Cossomb Bennett Sr. (who died 1718), by whom she had (among others) a son, Cossomb Jr. (who died about 1766), who married Katherine Bunbury in 1743. The latter couple had, among seven known children, a daughter, Margaret Bennett, who married about 1784 (as his second wife) Moses Burgess, fourth son of Edward Burgess Sr.
After her first husband's early death, Catherine Ellis Bennett remarried Mason French (who died 1746), and by him had a son, John French, who married Margaret Burgess, Edward’s daughter, in 1750. Catherine's sister, Sarah, married Anthony Buckner (who died about 1734), and by him had a son, John Buckner, and a daughter, Sarah Jr., who married Thomas Price in 1734. Among the latter couple's children were Elizabeth Price (born 1741), who was Moses Burgess's first wife; Sarah Price (born 1743), who married Edward Burgess Jr.; and Anthony Price (born 1736), who married Elizabeth Stribling, sister of Margaret Stribling, who married Reuben Burgess. It should also be noted that Moses Burgess had a son by his first wife named John Buckner Burgess, after his great-uncle, and a daughter by his second wife named Catherine Ellis Burgess, after her great-grandmother. Thus, four later children of Edward Burgess Sr. married very close relatives, who were at least cousins by marriage. Only the two older sons, Garner and William, who appear to have left the area entirely, settling on or near Accokeek Creek in what is now Stafford Co., broke the pattern by marrying into other families in Overwharton Parish; Mary's husband may or may not have been related. The connection of the other Burgess daughters to these families is as yet unknown.
More work remains to be done in cementing these and other family connections to the earliest known Burgess family, but that such multiple relationships exist should not be surprising, given the rural nature of the area, the difficulty of travel in those days, and the rather sparse population. The marital choices available in the ten-mile radius that one could expect to frequent were necessarily limited; and similar cousin marriages can be observed in later Burgess branches that remained for long periods in one small farming region. The naming patterns of the time and locale strongly suggest that most (if not all) family members were named for relatives and/or close friends (who often served as godparents), and that if one only knew more about the close Burgess neighbors and cousins, much would become clear that is now obscured.
Edward Burgess Jr
Citing this Record "Virginia Births and Christenings, 1853-1917," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VRRH-Z14 : 5 December 2014), Edward Burgress in entry for Rubin Burgress, 12 Feb 1744; citing ST PAUL'S PARISH,STAFFORD,VIRGINIA, reference ; FHL microfilm 975.525 V2K.
Edward was born about 1710. He passed away about 1780. 
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On 16 Nov 2017 at 21:00 GMT Pamela (Archer) Wilson wrote:
On 28 Oct 2017 at 16:19 GMT Pamela (Archer) Wilson wrote:
On 25 Jun 2017 at 21:34 GMT Robin (Beall) Haynes wrote:
Edward is 18 degrees from Abby Glann, 20 degrees from AJ Jacobs, 22 degrees from Martin Luther King and 15 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.