Robert Burton Esq.

Robert Edward Burton Esq. (abt. 1647 - bef. 1725)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Robert Edward Burton Esq. aka Spencer
Born about in St Michael, Worcester, Worcestershire, Englandmap [uncertain]
Son of and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married in Accomack County, Virginiamap
Husband of — married about (to ) in Accomack County, Virginiamap
Descendants descendants
Died before in Angola by the Bay, Indian River Hundred, Sussex, Delawaremap
Profile last modified | Created 5 Jul 2011
This page has been accessed 1,451 times.

Categories: Accomack County, Virginia Colony | Delaware Colony.


England flag
Robert Burton Esq. was born in , England.

Robert Burton, Esq., was born around 1647 at St. Michael, Worcester, Worcestershire, England.[1] In England, his name was "Robert Edward Spencer". He only discovered that his father was "William Burton, Esq." after arriving in Virginia in his late 20s. He said he received a letter from an English cousin that made that announcement. Thereafter, he always called himself: "Robert Burton, Esquire." Robert died around October 1725 at his plantation in Angola Neck, Indian River Hundred, Sussex County, in the British Colony of Delaware.

Robert Spencer was named as a head-right on 17 November 1665 at Accomack Co, VA. He was listed as "Robert Spencer" on a certificate granted to John Davis for 400 acres.

He bought land in 1673 at Accomack Co, VA. It was in this year that Robert Spencer and Babtis[sic] Newcom bought 400 acres of tract A126 from Daniel and Anne Jenifer and then Spencer soon sold his interest to Newcom. Then in 1677 Baptist Newcom sold the 400 acres to Robert Burton. (NOTE: Robert Spencer and Robert Burton were the same person, as Robert Spencer starting going by Robert Burton in 1676.).

Robert Burton declared on January 19, 1678, that he had "formerly gone under the name of Robt: Spencer from my infancy and now (was) better informed out of England by letters from my relations, my true and right name is Robert Burton". [2] [3]

John Goodwin Herndon in his notes on the ancestry of Robert Burton of Sussex Co., Delaware, says early records indicate he was the son of William Burton of Shropshire England, second son of Thomas Burton of Langnor Hall and a lineal descendant of Sir Edward Burton, knighted by Edward IV after the battle of St. Albans AD 1460, and from whom is also descended the noble House of Conyngham.[4] [5]

Robert Spencer learned from letters from relatives in England that he was really Robert Burton. The letters no longer exist. However a certification by Robert Burton stating that he had been known as Robert Spencer from infancy but had been informed by letters from relations in England that his true name was Robert Burton remains in the Accomack County, Virginia, Records, vol vi:84 recorded Jan. 29, 1678. He must have been illterate as he signed with a mark. Witnesses were George West and Robert Watson.

Robert Burton, Esq., first appears in the records of Accomack County, Virginia in 1676. He was listed on the Accomack, Va. tax records as Robert Spencer for the years 1674 and 1675; appeared as Robert Burton for the years 1676 thru 1691.

On February 11, 1677, in Accomack, he married Catherine Cotton. They had several children before her death in around 1712. [6][7] [8] The children of Robert Burton and Catherine Cotton were:

  1. William Burton, b. 19 Nov 1677, Accomack Co., Va., d. Bet. 1744 - 1745, Worcester Co., MD.
  2. Catherine Burton, b. Abt. 1678, Accomac Co. Va., d. Bef. 1720.
  3. Robert Burton, b. Abt. 1679, Accomac Co. Va., d. May 1724, Sussex Co., Delaware
  4. Mary Burton, b. Abt. 1682, Accomac Co. Va., d. Bef. 16 Sep 1724, Indian River, Sussex Co. Delaware
  5. Sarah Burton, b. Abt. 1684, Accomac Co. Va., d. Abt. 1759, Sussex Co., Delaware
  6. Elizabeth Burton, b. Abt. 1688, Accomac Co. Va., d. Abt. 1731, Sussex Co., Delaware
  7. Ann Burton, b. 01 Nov 1693, Accomac Co. Va., d. 23 Dec 1762. Burial as Ann Plaskett, age 69 yrs. 1 mo. 23 days at Millsboro-White House Point of Long Neck, Sussex Co. Delaware
  8. Comfort Burton, b. Abt. 1690, Accomac Co. Va., d. Bet. 1762 - 1772, Sussex Co., Delaware
  9. Patience Burton, b. Abt. 1692, Accomac Co. Va., d. Aft. 1763, Sussex Co., Delaware

In 1693 Robert Burton ("of Sussex, Pennsylvania") purchased land in Sussex Co., Delaware on Rehoboth Bay (now in Indian River Hundred), called "Kannings Adventure." At the time Delaware was administered by William Penn's English proprietor-colony of Pennsylvania and called "the three lower counties of Pennsylvania," but with its own legislature. It was never formally recognized in England as a separate colony but was so recognized by the other British colonies in North America and joined the United States as the first state to ratify the 1787 US Constitution.

After Catherine (Cotton) Burton's death around 1712, Robert married, as his 2nd wife, Comfort Bagwell, the widow of Perry Leatherbury, who died in April 1709. In 1717, Robert Burton was appointed the administrator of Perry Leatherbury's estate, he being Perry's largest creditor when he passed away.

Robert Burton, Esquire, was a large land owner in Sussex County, Delaware. His will is stored in the Sussex County Court House at Georgetown, Delaware (Book #1, p187). Robert died in Sussex County, Delaware. His will was signed on September 16, 1724, and probated October 16, 1725, showing that he most-likely died in October 1725. Named in his will were his 2nd wife: Comfort (Bagwell, Leatherbury) Burton and:[9][10]

  1. Child: William T. Burton
  2. Child: Joseph Burton [11]
  3. Child: Catherine Burton, m Francis Bagwell
  4. Child: Mary Burton, m Wm Waples
  5. Child: Robert Burton [12]
  6. Child: Elizabeth Burton Prettyman, m1: Joseph Burton { also 4 children in father's will}, m2: William Prettyman
  7. Child: Sarah Burton
  8. Child: Anne Burton (step dau?), m: Woolsey Burton[13]
  9. Child: Patience Burton (step dau?); m Paul Waples
  10. Child: Comfort Walker (step-dau. per CFD, vol. 1); m1: Thomas Prettyman {also 2 children in father's will}, m2: Walker, m3: Woolf
  11. Child: Francis Burton
  12. Eleanor Leatherbury (step-daughter)

Robert Edward Spencer Lingen Burton 1647 - 1725 [14]
Birth: 1647 in Worcester, Worcestershire, England
Parents: Robert Burton, 1631 - ? & Catherine Spencer, 1635 - ?[15]
Marriage: Catherine Burton (born Cotton) 1640 - 1717) on Feb 11 1676 in Accomack, English Colony of Virginia
Son: William Burton 1677 - 1745
Death: Oct 16 1725 Angola Neck, Sussex, Delaware


  1. Other family genealogies state he was born in the village of "St. Michael's on Wyre," in neighboring Lancashire. There are "Burtons" still living there today but parish records only go back to 1659. Note: Chet Snow, Jan 23, 2018.
  2. Note: sources, to include deeds, tax records, etc., are cited extensively at the Joyce-A-Kintzel web page on the next link. Jones-43207
  3. Robert Burton on Joyce-A-Kintzel Website
  4. American Ancestry: Embracing lineages from the whole of the United States. 1888[-1898. Ed. by Frank Munsell; J. Munsell's sons, 1888: Albany, NY
  5. The Gentleman's and London Magazine: Or Monthly Chronologer, 1741-1794
  6. Robert Burton profile on
  8. Catherine Cotton profile on
  9. Colonial Families of Delaware, vol. 1, p56-8
  10. Land Records of Sussex County Delaware: Various Dates 1693... 1805 by Mary Marshall Brewer, Heritage Books, 2005, p6.
  11. He died before 1725; his 2 sons were named in his place in Robert's will.
  12. He died before 1725; his 7 children were named in his place in Robert's will.
  13. Anne Burton was not Robert's daughter, but perhaps a half-sister. Listed as a "step-daughter" in some genealogies.
  14. Robert Edward Spencer Lingen Burton Tree on My Heritage
  15. These dates are impossible as she would have only been 12 years old and he 16 when son Robert was born. Robert Burton may well have been born out of wedlock, however, as he was always called "Robert Edward Spencer" in England, learning his father's surname from a cousin only after he was in Virginia and about 30 years old.


  • WikiTree profile Burton-984 was created through the import of Clayton Burton_2009-10-26.ged on Jul 4, 2011 by Clayton Burton. source: This profile has been written and edited by several contributors including descendants, Chet Snow and Marj. Adams. See the Changes Page for details.

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored Search

Searching for someone else?
First: Last:

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Robert by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Robert:

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Images: 3
Flag of England, Cross of George.
Flag of England, Cross of George.

Church at St. Michael's on Wyre
Church at St. Michael's on Wyre

St Michael's on Wyre shown within Lancashire
St Michael's on Wyre shown within Lancashire

  • Login to edit this profile.
  • Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: Gerald Jones and Chet Snow. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)
  • Public Q&A: These will appear above and in the Genealogist-to-Genealogist (G2G) Forum. (Best for anything directed to the wider genealogy community.)

On 12 Aug 2018 at 16:11 GMT Gerald Jones wrote:

Burton-986 and Burton-6597 appear to represent the same person because: Hi Chet,

Looks like a duplicate.

On 2 Apr 2018 at 06:55 GMT C. Mackinnon wrote:

Burton-6597 and Burton-984 are not ready to be merged because: Though they have the same name and are married to the same woman they have different fathers.

On 3 Mar 2018 at 14:12 GMT C. Mackinnon wrote:

Burton-6597 and Burton-984 appear to represent the same person because: Both married to the same woman

Robert is 26 degrees from Rosa Parks, 22 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 17 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

B  >  Burton  >  Robert Edward Burton Esq.