William Overton
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William Overton (1638 - aft. 1697)

Col. William Overton
Born in Englandmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 4 Nov 1670 in Yorktown,York County, Colony of Virginiamap
Descendants descendants
Died after at about age 58 in Jamestown, James City County, Colony of Virginiamap
Profile last modified | Created 15 Jan 2011
This page has been accessed 11,031 times.

Contents

Biography

Col. William Overton was born 3 December 1638 according to a family record which dates to the early 1800s.[1][2][3] This record was copied several times by descendants from a book which has come to be known as the Josephus Book originally owned by Barbara (Overton) Winston. No matching English records have been found to help prove his origins.
It was claimed in a 1915 newspaper article that he was the son of Maj. Gen Robert Overton.[4][5] There is no evidence this is true, and in fact is certainly incorrect. Robert Overton did not have a son William as is shown by his own will, the will of Robert's father John which names all of his grandchildren, and a lengthy 372 page manuscript written by Robert Overton which mentions his other children but no William.
The details of his family are also primarily known from the Josephus Book family record, though this does contain a couple of known errors. He married Elizabeth Waters on 24 November 1670. The copies of the Josephus Book, however, recorded her name as Mary which has led confusion as to whether it is Mary or Elizabeth. That her name was Elizabeth and not Mary is proven by the will of her mother and land records in Virginia.[1] They had five children whose birthdates are all recorded in the Josephus Book.
The date of William Overton's immigration to Virginia is not known with certainty. A variety of dates ranging from 1656 to 1680 can be found online which are not backed up by primary records. On 23 April 1681, William Overton and Eben Jones were granted forty-six hundred acres lying in New Kent (now Hanover) for 92 persons to the colony, including himself and Elizabeth.[1] On 29 October 1690, William Overton and were granted 837 acres in St. Peter's Parish, New Kent County for the purpose of bringing over 17 persons.[1]
The date of William Overton's death is not known with certainty. He was certainly living in 1690 when he had a land grant and when his last child was born. The will of his mother-in-law on 29 September 1697 left him a bequest of 10s. so, at the very least, she believed him to still be alive as of this date.

Birth

Born: 3 December 1638 in England.[1][2]
The birthdate of 3 December 1638 comes from "The Josephus Book" - essentially a copy of a family register taken from a family bible in the 1800s. It is not backed by any contemporary birth or baptism record in England. This profile previously said he was born in Easington, Yorkshire, England - there is no evidence of this and is an assumption based the false belief that he was a son of Gen. Robert Overton. Note that the Payne copy of the Josephus Book states he was born in 1638, whereas the Prior copy says 1628. The 1638 date is much more plausible given the birth dates of his children.


Marriage and Children

Married: Elizabeth Waters on 24 November 1670, probably in England. She was the daughter of Samuel Waters and Anne Peake, as is proven by her mother's will.
Children: of William Overton and Elizabeth Waters:
All dates come from the Josephus Book.[1][2]
  1. Elizabeth Overton. Born on 28 June 1673.
  2. William Overton. Born on 14 August 1675.
  3. Temperance Overton. Born on 2 March 1679.
  4. Samuel Overton. Born on 14 August 1685.
  5. Barbara Overton. Born on 5 February 1690

Death

Died: After 1697.
The date of William Overton's death is not known with certainty. He was certainly living in 1690 when he had a land grant and when his last child was born. The will of his mother-in-law on 29 September 1697 left him a bequest of 10s. so, at the very least, she believed him to still be alive as of this date.

Alternate information

  • William Overton emigrated to Virginia before 1659.
  • William Overton married Elizabeth Waters on board the ship from England to Virginia. Source: http://www.geneajourney.com/overton.html
  • Alternatively, they married at Yorktown, York River, York, Virginia, on board the vessel in which Elizabeth Waters had come to Virginia.
  • His title was Col

Some records call his wife Mary, others Elizabeth, which appears to be the case also with one of their daughters. But the will of Ann Waters, dated 7 Sep 1697, of St. Sepulchre, London, England, specifically calls her daughter Elizabeth Overton `now in Virginia`. Also named as being in Virginia is her brother, John Waters.

William OVERTON Compact Disc #11 Pin #435036 (AFN: 9LQ0-PF)
Place of birth: Of Easington,Yorkshire,England
Death: 1697
Place: Jamestown, James City, Virginia
Burial:
Place: ,New Kent,Virginia
Parents:
Father: Robert OVERTON Col. Disc #11 Pin #435184
Mother: Anne GARDINER Disc #11 Pin #435185
Sources: Available on CD-ROM Disc# 11
Submitter: Charles MCGRATH
1619 Pinoak Pl Jonesboro Arkansas 72404-8038
Source: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=1988-quest_1&id=I03958

Anderson, William Pope, The early descendants of Wm. Overton & Elizabeth Waters of Virginia, and allied families, W. P. Anderson, 1938.

Research Notes

Parentage
The parentage of William Overton is not known. He is often said and generally accepted to be the son of Major Gen Robert Overton and Anne Gardiner. This theory was first put forward in a newspaper article in 1915, without any evidence other than a family tradition.[4][5] Just about every aspect of the family tradition can be shown to be wrong (Robert Overton never went to Bermuda, etc.).
The most recent study of the Overtons challenges and refutes this identification.[6]
  • There is no actual evidence to connect William Overton and Robert Overton. This is the most important as in order to prove the English origins of an immigrant we need to have something in the way of wills, land records, correspondence, baptism records, court cases, etc. to show or even suggest that the immigrant could be the son of the proposed father. In this case, no such document exists.
  • The will of his grandfather John Overton in 1648 names many relatives including his grandchildren; however, he does not name a grandson William Overton.[7] The will includes his son Robert Overton and grandchildren Robert, Ebenezer, Anne, Alicia and Joane Overton - no William.
  • The will of the proposed father Col. Robert Overton in 1678 does not name a son William. In fact, the will reads as if Col. Overton had exactly two living sons, Ebenezer and Fairfax, who shared equally in his estate.
  • Col. Robert Overton, while in captivity on the Isle of Jersey, wrote a 372 manuscript from 1665-1669 touching on a wide range of matters including his family, love for his wife, politics, poetry. This document was discovered 1992 and is written in his own hand. It is currently held in the Special Collections and Rare Books Department at Princeton University. Despite discussing his family in detail, he never names a son William.
  • There is no evidence that Col. Robert Overton even had a son William. As noted, no William is named in any of the documents where he should occur. Robert Overton is frequently said to have had a son William born on 3 December 1638; no English record has been found to confirm this birth date.[8] Also, there is no room for this supposed William if Col Overton's son Jeremie was born on 29 September 1637 and son Robert on 2 May 1639.
The Josephus Book
"The Josephus Book:" The dates for this family come from what is commonly called "The Josephus Book." It was a copy of Flavius Josephus. "A History of the Jews." Edition unknown. which was owned by descendants of William Overton. The will of Barbara (Overton) Winston dated 6 October 1764 included a bequest to her son John of "my bible and a book called Josephus." It is believed that a family record from the bible was copied into the Josephus book at some point. This family record was then copied in 1821 by both Mrs. L. Payne and Dr. Wm. S. Prior. The original Josephus Book was destroyed by fire in 1988, leaving us with the two Payne and Prior copies. A copy of this record was published in 1904.[1][2][3] The Wm. Prior copy reads:
William Overton, born December 3rd, 1628, in England. Married Mary Waters, November 24th, 1670. Emigrated to America.
Elizabeth, their daughter, born June 28th, 1673.
William Overton, their son born Augst. 14th, 1675.
Temperance Overton, their daughter, born March 2, 1679.
Samuel Overton, their son, born Augst. 14, 1685.
Barbara Overton, their daughter, born Feb'y 5, 1690
Barbara Overton Married John Winston.
Barbara Overton Winston died Octo. 30, 1766.
The Payne copy has a number of differences:[9]
The birthdate for William is given as 3 Dec 1638 (not 1628).
The husband of Barbara Overton is called James instead of John.
The Payne copy contains additional information not copied by Prior.
Note that both copies call the wife of William Overton as Mary Waters, which is clearly and error then in the original Josephus Book.
Overton Land Grants
Liber No. 7, p78 Dated 23rd April, 1681.
Henry Chicheley, Gov'r, to William Overton and Eben Jones.
Forty-six hundred acres lying in New Kent (now Hanover), on South side of Pamunkey River, on Falling creek, &c., for transportation to the Colony of 92 persons. Among the 92 names attached you find William Overton and Elizabeth Overton.
Liber No. 8, p. 121, dated 29th Octo., 1690.
Francis Nicholson, Lt.-Gov., to William Overton and John Lydall.
837 acres lying in St. Peter's Parish, New Kent Co. (now Hanover), above main fork of Pamunkey, next above a dividend of land granted Jonathan Norwood and Ambrose Calare, late in the tenure of Sam'l Ousteen...
(This is land on which Barbara (Overton) Winston resided at her death in 1766.)
For importation of 17 persons, names attached.]"[1]

Common Errors to Avoid

Name of wife: The name of his wife was Elizabeth Waters; it was not Mary Waters. The error or confusion comes from the Payne and Prior copies of the Josephus Book, both which name the wife of William Overton as Mary. This is clearly incorrect as the will of Ann (Peake) Waters names her daughter as Elizabeth Overton. Land records also name the wife of William Overton as Elizabeth. A careful analysis of the Payne and Prior copies show that it is highly likely that the name of William Overton's wife did not appear in the Josephus Book at all but was added sometime later in the 19th century. Regardless of the cause of the error, the name Mary is a 19th century error and the name of the wife of William Overton was Elizabeth Waters.
Birthdate: Two copies of the family record, both copied from the Josephus Book in 1821 give two different birth dates. One states that William was born in 1628 while the other states that it was 1638. Given the date of his marriage and birthdates of his children, the 1638 date is much more plausible.
Names of parents: He is not a son of Maj. Gen. Robert Overton as is often said. There is no evidence to connect the two men. There is no evidence that Robert Overton even had a son named William.
Col. William Overton?: What primary record calls him Col. Overton?


Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Withington, Lothrop. Virginia Gleanings in England: Abstracts of 17th and 18th-century English Wills and Administrations Relating to Virginia and Virginians.(Baltimore, Md.: reprint Genealogical Pub. Co., 1998, 1980): pages 38-40. Available at Ancestry.com.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, volume 11 no. 3. (January 1904): pages 305-306. "Virginia Gleanings in England: Overton," by Withington, Lothrop.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Torrence, Clayton. Winston of Virginia and Allied Families. (Richmond, VA, 1927): pages 27-31. Online PDF copy.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Library of Congress: Chronicling America, Historic American Newspapers website. Richmond Times-Dispatch Newspaper, September 05, 1915, page five, column two. Genealogical Notes Queries and Answers: The Overton Family, by Wison Miles Cary. Image 31 of 52.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Library of Congress: Chronicling America, Historic American Newspapers website. Richmond Times-Dispatch Newspaper, September 12, 1915, page five, column three. Genealogical Notes Queries and Answers: Overton (continued), by Wison Miles Cary. Image 31 of 52.
  6. West, Nan Overton. The Overtons: 700 Years with Allied Families from England to Virginia, Kentucky, and Texas. (1997). Google snippet view.
  7. England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384-1858. (Ancestry.com online database, original images). PROB 11: Will Registers, 1644-1654, Piece 242: Alchin, Quire Numbers 463-516 (1654). Probate of Johannis Overton, 1654. Image 432 of 863.
  8. The date comes from family bible records of descendants in America. It is not backed by any English record.
  9. Torrence, Clayton. Winston of Virginia and Allied Families. (Richmond, VA, 1927): pages 27-31. Online PDF copy.
  • Anderson, W.P. The Early Descendants of Wm. Overton & Elizabeth Waters of Virginia and Allied Families. (1938). Available at Ancestry.com.
  • Davis, Virginia Lee Hutcheson, Tidewater Virginia Families, self published, Urbanna, VA, 1989
  • Withington, Lothrop. Virginia Gleanings in England: Abstracts of 17th and 18th-century English Wills and Administrations Relating to Virginia and Virginians.(Baltimore, Md.: reprint Genealogical Pub. Co., 1998, 1980): page 39. Available at Ancestry.com.
  • The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, volume 11 no. 3. (January 1904): pages 305-306. "Virginia Gleanings in England: Overton," by Withington, Lothrop.
  • Torrence, Clayton. Winston of Virginia and Allied Families. (Richmond, VA, 1927): pages 27-31. Online PDF copy.
  • Poulson, George: History and Antiquities of the Seigniory of Holderness (1841), vol. 2, page 377.
  • Find A Grave memorial #60859736. COL William Overton.
  • Source: S19 Author: Kinard, June. comp. Title: Early Immigrants to Virginia from the 1500s and 1600s Publication: Name: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.Original data - Published by The Researchers, PO box 39063, Indianapolis IN. 46239-0063.Original data: Published by The Researchers, PO box 39063, Indianapolis IN. 46239-0063.; Repository: #R1


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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with William 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 some percentage of DNA with William:

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Comments: 5

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I will be removing the parents of William Overton. He certainly was not the son of Robert Overton who had no son William.
posted by Joe Cochoit
Dear Joe: North America, Family Histories, 1500-2000.

Record URL: https://www. ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/61157/images/46155_b289718-00584 Source Citation: Book Title: The Kinnears and Their Kin: a memorial volume of history, biography and genealogy, with Revolutionary and Civil and Spanish War Records by Emma Siggins White. Un-numbered pages vii, viii contain the titles of reference materials used in compiling the book which was published in 1916, pages 453-454 contain the following: QUOTE: William HARRIS, who became a large land owner in Virginia 1713 to 1725 as shown by the land office records; he married Temperance OVERTON, daughter of William OVERTON, of "Glen Cairn" Hanover County, Va., grand-daughter of "Col. Robert OVERTON, of England, born in 1609, who distinguished himself in the battle of "Marston Moor:" governor of Hull in 1647, accompanied Cromwell to Scotland in 1650, and commanded a brigade at the battle of "Dunbar;" governor of Edinburgh; scholar and soldier; intimate friend of Milton, who celebrated his exploits in the "Defensio Secunda." See Dictionary of National Biography. CLOSE QUOTE Realizing the objective for many Ancestry patrons is quickly assembling a large tree and not thorough research; I respectfully request your review of this information. Best regards, Margaret Mason Engelhardt

Hi Margaret,

If you would like to discuss William's parentage, perhaps we can do it on G2G so others will see and contribute: https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/1329916/disconnecting-parents-of-william-overton-29-of-virginia

I don't think a single, unsourced line from a 1916 family history changes in anyway the evaluation of the wills of William and Robert Overton, Robert Overton manuscript, and the baptism records of Robert's known children. We are still left absolutely no contemporary record to link William Overton of Virginia to Maj Gen Robert Overton, and multiple documents saying the identification is wrong.

posted by Joe Cochoit
377 same as 56? Born and died same years, and both married Anderson.
Overton-2130 and Overton-29 appear to represent the same person because: same lineage
posted by [Living Patterson]

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