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Towns/Townes Sources

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Virginiamap
Surnames/tags: Townes, Towns Virginia
This page has been accessed 335 times.

The purpose of this Free Space Profile is to compile primary source information regarding the Towns/Townes family of Colonial Virginia. Due to repetitive naming patterns in the Towns/Townes families it can be difficult to determine which family member a source belongs to. The intention is this page is to allow researches to collaborate on the sources. Records that have been confirmed to a profile can be deleted if no one else requires information from them.


Immigration Records

  1. Early Virginia Immigrants, 1623-1666, Page 331
    1. Town, James, 1652, by John King, Gloucester Co.
    2. Townd, Edmund, 1650 by John Cooke, Northumberland Co.
    3. Towmes, John, 1652, by Mrs. Jane Harmer, Northumberland Co.
    4. Towne, John, 1649, by Mr. Tho. Spake, Northumberland Co
  2. Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants. Vol. 1:[1]
    1. Thomas Spake, 10 Jan 1649, Northumberland Co, 600 ac; … for issuing transport of 12 people: John TOWNE, Richard West, Henry West, Thos West, Geo Day … pp. 189/90 Note: This record appears to be the same 1.4 above.
    2. John Cooke, 30 Jan 1650, Northumberland Co, 450 ac; adj Mr. James & Capt Thos Baldridge; Issuing transport of 9 people: Edmond TOWND … p. 207 Note: This record appears to be the same 1.2 above.
    3. Mrs Jane Harmer, 1652, Northumbelrand Co, 2000 ac; …for transport…Jno TOWMES… p. 275 Note: This record is the same as 1.3 above.
    4. John Davis, Jun 1664, Isle of Wight, 200 ac low; Land beginning at Goatpen Neck… Hudnalls Cr… Taberers Cr… to Thomas Elmes… along same of Wm Dawson..for transport of 4 people: Mary Williams, Wm Jones, Jno Farmer, Wm TOWNE. p. 466,
    5. Col Edmond Scarburgh, 12 Nov 1664, 1000 ac; … for issuing transport of 20 people: Phillip TOWNE, p. 536
    6. Thomas Button (Butten), 19 Jul 1666, Rappa. Co, 3,650 ac; … for issuing transport of 73 people: Jonathan TOWNE, pp. 561/2
    7. Lt Col Wm Hockaday, 31 Mar 1664/5 1000 ac New Kent for transpsort of 20 people: …Jno TOWNES… p.563
  3. All Virginia Colonial Records, 1607-1853
    1. Towne, John, 1684, Ship: William Thomas indentured servant, “599/P.I.341 John Towne (S. of John T.), about 18, from Worrable (?), Berkshire, to John Bright. 7 years. Booth. 27 June 1684”
  4. Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. III, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658 Note: This record is believed to be for 1657 as the records above and below are for the same year.
    1. p. 132. Howell Pryse hath proved right by testimony and assignment granted unto him for 3950 acres of land for the importacon of John Clay, Ann Towne, Richd Thorne, Jo. Norman, Margaret Jeanes, James Hall, Jo Parker, Mary Batts, Theoph: Parker, Wm Luck, Mary Dawson, Wm Horner, Robt Gaskin, Isabell Rayner, Judeth Mayle, Ann Colchester, Geo fforby, Robt Wallis, Willm ffloriday, Robt Marsh, Walter Brown, David Robts, Robt ffavel [ffanell?], Tho: Brooke, Gregory Nash, Hugh Evers, John Hewett, James Rownds, James Thornton, John Mercert, ffreder Hanley, Peter Wrench, Cha: Burdett, Tho. Gunning, Patrick Garrett, James Harrison, Ralph Watts, Denis MacDonnel, Wm Mosse, Tho: Hancock, Wm Cartwright, Sam Baynard, Jo. Harwell, Wm Hause, Alexander Hayes, Richd Gilbert, Jo. Berry, James Swanley, David Crosse, Geo Rand, Jo Thompson, Rchd Wright, Antho Watlington, Ben: Claxton, James Cocker, Robt ffarr, Edd Wenne, John ffoy, Andrew Guyer, Tho Baycock, John Perrott, John Savill, Geo Hertford, Wm fflawne, Tho. Atkins, ffrance: Greene, Wm richardson, James Cale, Alice Greene, Nich: Quaile, Robt Meares, Rebecca Green, Robt Moore, Alton Ramsey Wm Platt, Jane Hawley, Peter Jackson, Edd Aylesworth, Sam Andrews.[2]

Birth Records

Marriage Records


  1. Surry County Records 1652-1682, by Eliza Timberlake Davis:
    1. p. 123; 26 Feb 1684, p. 345; Matthew TOWNES wit to deed btw Alice Park & Geo Carter her son. (lower Surry Co)
  2. Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. III, Henrico County-Southside, 1736:
    1. p. 526. Deed. 13 March 1735/6. Wm Kennon and Henry Wood sell Wm Pride, for L 10., 70 acres in Henrico on S side of Swift Creek, they being impowered by will of Thomas Jefferson dated 15 March 1725/6 to sell certain lands for debts, etc. This 70 acres being part of 450 acres patented by Jno Towns 20 Feb 1719/20, and by him sold to Rchd Grills who mortgaged it to Jefferson. Signed Will: Kennon, H. Wood. Wit: Will Kennon Jr, John x Gibbs, Edmund Eppes, Sam Richardson, a Cowley [Abraham Cowley]. Rec 6 Apl 1636.
    2. p.597. 2 Aug 1736. Jno Towns of Amelia Co sells Wm Pride of Henrico Co, for L 50., 151 acres in Henrico Co on both sides of Swift Creek, adj Henry Bowman, etc. Signed John Towns. Wit: Jam's Akin Ju'r, Richd Wells, Wm Towns, John Man. Rec 1st Monday in Feb 1736/7. Written later in the record: 1st Monday in Sep 1738, Ann, wife of John Towns Relinq dower rights.
    3. Mr. Henry Cary. Dr. 1737, To yr Tobo Acc't bro't from Letter C 4045 lb Tobo, To your order to John Towns to be paid in my store 288, To my order on the Warwick Inspectors 2793, 7126
    4. Wm Towns of Amelia. Dr. 1736. Store debt. No record of payment.
    5. This a/c is paid in full both in Tobo. and in Cash. Credits include: by Thom Knibb 40 lb tobor, by Walter Nunally 8 lb tob, By Josiah Hatcher 7/3 58 lb tobo, by John Towns 794 lb tobo. "By so much Tobo bought at the sale to Cr of Dale Parish, Colo Richard Randolph let you have it ith him at 12/6 per ct. 4000 lb tobo", by Capt Edwd Friend 900 lb tobo. In cash: Sept 25 Cash recd of Benj Fardenando, by your Ex'n vs Trent. By your note on Col Richd Randolph, Paid by Mr Booker, Paid by Wm Miller. "By 5500 lb Tobo sold Mr Beverly Randolph Levied on Dale Parish for a Glebe Ordered to be pd you as Church Warden L 35. 1. 3". Other credits, no names shown in entries. [3]

Residence and Census Substitutes

  1. Vestry Book of Blisland Parish New Kent and James City Counties VA, by Chamberlayne[4] Note: these New Kent Vestry records are believed to reference the family of William Townes and his son John Townes
    1. p.31 1727 To Mr TOWNES for his trouble keeping a strange woman traveler sick at his quarter
    2. p.185 23 Oct 1770 Mr John TOWNES is chosen a Vestryman in the stead of Capt Dangerfield who is removed out of the parish. Mr John TOWNES chosen as a church Warden
    3. p.187 29 Oct 1771 Mr John TOWNES, church Warden, for 4 communions.
    4. p.188 Mr John TOWNES continued church Warden for coming year. Also chosen collector of levies for parish.
    5. p.189 19 Oct 1772 John TOWNES warden, present at vestry
    6. p.197 29 Nov 1773 John TOWNES removed from parish – replaced as vestryman.
  2. Parish register of Saint Peter's New Kent County, Va. from 1684 to 1786, by Chamberlayne[5]
    1. p.682 3 Oct 1773 John TOWNES listed in payments of Parish accts.
  3. Amelia County, Virginia tax lists: an every-name index @ Family Search NOTE: if List or Tithes follows a name it suggests the person was not taxable: nonresident, old, minister, ferry operator, executor, administrator… Quarter means slave housing at a different residence.
    1. Above Flatt Crk
      1. 1736 John, William
      2. 1737 John, William
      3. 1738 John, William
      4. 1739 William
      5. 1740 William, William Quarter, John
      6. 1747 John, William
      7. 1749 John, John Sr, William, William’s tithes
      8. 1748 Wm of New Kent, John
      9. 1752 Wm (2), John
    2. Below Deep Crk, Raleigh Parish
      1. 1757 William
      2. 1761 James
    3. Below Deep Crk, Nottaway Parish
      1. 1748 Wm
    4. Btw Flatt and Nibbs crk
      1. 1752 Quarter
      2. 1755 John, Wm
      3. 1762 James. John
    5. Below Flatt and Nibbs crk
      1. 1741 Wm
      2. 1742 Wm
      3. 1743 Jos (?) Jr
      4. 1744 Richard, Wm
      5. 1751 Wm executor List
      6. 1753 Mess (?) List
      7. 1755 ? List
      8. 1756 Richard
    6. Btw Flatt and Appomatox
      1. 1741 John, Wm
      2. 1746 John, Wm
      3. 1751 Joel, Richard, John, Wm et. Tithes
      4. 1752 Wm
      5. 1753 John, Wm
      6. 1754 Daniel, Wm Tithes
      7. 1755 John tithes, Daniel, W Tithes
      8. 1756 Daniel, Wm
      9. 1762 Wm
    7. Above Saylors Crk
      1. 1749 Wm Tithes
      2. 1750 Wm List
      3. 1751 Wm Tithes
      4. 1752 Richard Tithes
      5. 1753 Richard Tithes
    8. Nottaway Parish, upper end
      1. 1749 John, Wm
    9. Upper side Flatt Crk
      1. 1763 Daniel, John, Wm
    10. Insovents
      1. 1746 William (constable)
    11. btw Flatt and Deep Crks
      1. 1736 Mr Towns Quarter
      2. 1737 Willliam, Mr Towns Quarter
      3. 1738 Will’s List
      4. 1739 Will’s List
      5. 1740 Will’s List
      6. 1746 Richard
      7. 1764 James, John

Probate Records

Only those probate records filed before 1870 have been reviewed. As the person who the record relates to has been identified it has been moved to the specific profile. The exception is those Wills that a full transcript should be included for individuals whose lineage has been confused or disputed. Transcripts of those records will be included here for discussion.

North Carolina

  • Edmund Townes, probate documents file in Granville County, Will dated 01 Sep 1863. Documents filed include Inventory, Account, Will, Petition and Order. Spouse listed in Will is Elizabeth. Son, William H. Townes, received $5. Balance of estate split between six children: Isabella Hopkins Townes, Joseph Townes, James E. Townes, Elizabeth T. Townes, Frances H. Townes and Mary Ann Townes. Profile for Isabella Hopkins Townes should be reviewed to confirm that sources support the parents on that profile. A profile for Edmund Townes has not been located and he may be an additional family member not previously accounted for as he is the only Towns/Townes so far not in Warren County. [6]

Chancery Records/Suits

There are numerous Towns/Townes who appear in the Chancery Records Index. Review of suits is ongoing. If a suit can be easily confirmed as belonging to a specific person it has been added to their profile. Transcripts of some suits have been included below for ease in confirming individuals and their families who have been often confused. For ease these suits will be separated by the county where they were filed. All records can be viewed at this link: https://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/default.asp#res

Amelia County

Index Number 1752-004

1752-004, Amelia County, John Townes vs William Ferguson. John Townes of Amelia County file suit against William Ferguson of Amelia County. Townes had contracted with Ferguson to build an English framed dwelling house 28 feet by 16. Townes agreed to pay Ferguson 9 pounds cur money before the last day of Jun 1744. The note and agreement, by mutual agreement, were given to ~ Archer to be kept until the house was completed. Ferguson took the documents from Archer and stuck them in a crevice of a wall in the house afterwards the note was assigned over to Edward Booker Gent. Booker sued Townes and took judgement against him the last June court of Amelia County.

Index Number 1767-007

1767-007, Amelia County, Jean Townes by etc vs William Marshall etc, summons was issued 25 Sep in the 6th year of King George III's reign [1766 based on his reign beginning in 1760] for William Marshall and William Towns to appear. Summons was brought by Charles Jones, Guardian of Jean Towns, an infant. Neither William Marshall or William Towns appeared or answered. Possible that this is Charles Jones who was married to Nancy Townes. NOTE: No profile has been located for Jean Townes, nor has any other record been located for her.

Index Number 1809-001


  1. This suit contains the full text of the Will of Joseph Royall and Mary Elizabeth Townes.
  2. This suit was brought by the Cooper children, who were Mary Elizabeth's children from her second marriage to John L. Cooper, and descendants of Joseph against James T. Royall for division of the estate of Mary Elizabeth.
  3. James T. Royal filed answer in the case stating he had no objections.
  4. John Townes, James Townes, Jr., John Jeter, Armistead T. Townes, John Chappell, Samuel Ford and James Robertson, Jr. were appointed commissioners to make a division of the slaves owned by Mary Elizabeth Cooper.

In the name of God Amen I Joseph Royall of the County of Amelia and Parish of Raleigh being of sound mind and memory do make & ordain this my last will and testament in manner & form as follows

Imprimus I give and bequeath unto my loving wife Mary Elizabeth Royall the Plantation I now live on and much of my land adjoining as will make four hundred acres during her natural life inlew of her dower I likewise give to her my negroe whench known by the name of Old Sarah and all of her children in the same manner and my will is that after my wifes death the sd negroes may be equally devided among my six children Elizabeth John Richard Joseph Archer William & James Royall to them and their heir forever it is Further my will & desire that after the death of my wife Mary Elizb Royall that the land I have given her should go to my son James Royall and I do give it to him and his heirs forever the residue of my lands I give to be equally devided among my four sons viz John Richard Joseph Archer & William Royalls but as I expect my wife Mary E Royall has a right to a certain tract or parcel of land in New Kent County known by the name of Cowsick formerly the property of William Townes Decd and if my said wife will and does make my son John Royall a good and lawfull right unto the said land in fee then my will and desire is that the lands I have given to bevided among fore of my sons be equally divided among three namely Richard Joseph Archer & William Royalls to them and their heirs for ever

Item I give unto my beloved wife Mary E Royall all my house hold and kitchen furniture also half of my stock of horses cattle sheep and hogs

Item I give unto William Archer son of John Archer and half brother to my wife one negro boy named Hardwines to him and is heirs forever

Item the residue of my estate real and personal I give to be equally divided among my six children namely John Elizabeth Richard Jospeh Archer William & James Royalls each to take their respective parts as they come toage or Mary but if either of my children above namd should not arrive to the age of twenty one years or mary then my will is that my estate be divided equally among the survivig ones excpt my land which my will is shall be divided among my male children equally it is my will that my estate may not be appraised lastly I appoint William Royall & my brother John Royall Executors to and my wife Mary E Royall executorsrix to this my last will and Testament witness my hand and seal this 10th day of September Anno Dom one thousand seven hundred eighty three JoRoyall {seal}

Sealed & delivered in presence of John Robertson Joseph Soll Senr Ru2e Archer

To the worshipful court of Amelia in chancery sitting humbly complaining sheweth unto your worships your orators & oratrixes Francis Cooper Edward B. Cooper, Rebecca Cooper by for A Royall their gudn and Albert Royall infants by William Royal his guardian, Joseph A. Royall & Wm Royall, that Joseph Royall the father of your complt Joseph A. & William died some years past after duely making & publishing his last will and testament by which he gave his wife Mary Elizabeth sundry slaves during her life in lieu of her dower, which said slaves were at the death or the said Mary Elizabeth [not legible] the said will, to be divided equally amongst the children of the said Joseph who attained the age of twenty one years [not legible]. The said Joseph had five children only who arrived to the age of 21 years or married & your orators Joseph A. & Wm Royall are two of them. And James T. Royall hereinafter called dft. Is also another of the said children. Richard Royall & John Royall who have departed this life were the remaining two of the said five children. Your orator Albert Royall is the only child of the said John & entitled to such rights as his father would have demanded were he in existence.

The said Richard died some years past after duely making & publishing his last will & testament by which he bequeathed his interest in the said slaves to your complts Rebecca, Francis and Edmund B. Cooper. Your complts beg leave further to state to your worships that the said Mary Elizabeth hath lately departed this life by which they have become entitled to their respective proportions of the said slaves agreeably to the above statement of facts, which are corroborated by copies of the said wills thereto annexed. The dft is now in possession of the said slaves & their increase and refuses to deliver them [not legible] or any of the them to your complts. Which is contrary to equity & tends materially to require your complts. Inasmuch as your orators & oratrixes are without remedy except in a court of equity where matter of this sort are admisable, they pray that the dft may be compelled to answer the allegations hereof & to make proper division of the sd slaves & their increase or that your worships would make such other decree in the premises as equity may require. [7]

Index Number 1810-058


  1. Suit brought by Betty Townes for distribution of the estate of her husband, John Royall. This suit includes the Will of Richard Royall who was the son of Mary Elizabeth Townes and Joseph Royall. The connection between Richard and John is not known unless the son-in-law of John was a brother to Richard. John was not the brother of Richard. This is confirmed in a different chancery record.
  2. An answer filed by William Royal and his wife is also included in the file.
  3. At hearing commissioners were appointed to make distribution of the estate. Commissioners appointed were John Archer, James Robertson, Jr., Ludwill Brackett, Geo Walker and Capt. William Murray. The commissioners were ordered to assign one-third of the slaves of John’s estate, in possession of William, as dower of Elizabeth Royall and one-third of real estate (except the Mill and stone house and other houses part of said and 22 ¾ acres of land contiguous thereto called Royallton.
  4. Chart of distributions for personal estate of Colo. John Royall is included with the record. Distributions were made to James T. Royall, Wm. Royall, Edwin Royall, Mary A. Royall and Mrs. Royall’s allotment. Included in the chart of distributions is a list of slaves and the heir receiving the slave.

In the name of God I Richard Royall being of sound mind & memory do make & ordain this my last will & Testamant in manner & form as follows Imprimis It is my will & desire that all my just debt be paid out of my whole estate Item my will & desire is that in case my Loving wife Mary should [word blurred] at the time of my death that thou the whole of my Estate after my debts being paid shall go to such posthamas child when it arrives to the age of Twenty one or marries and until it arrives to that age that my wife enjoy the benefit of my Estate & one third part afterwards during her natural life and ease of no such Posthamous Child my will is that my wife Enjoy the whole of Estate both real and personal during natural Life & in case she should have any issue during her life that arrives to the age of twenty one years then my will is that such child or children should have my whole Estate to be divided among them as She may think proper by will or otherwise except that part of my Fathers Estate that I may be entitled unto after the of my mother which I give to be equally divided among the children my mother has or may by John L. Cooper. Item in case my wife should not after my devise have any child or children lawfully begotten that should arrive to the age of twenty one then my will is that after her decease the whole of my Estate be equally divided among all my Brothers & Sisters as well those of the half as those of the whole Blood. But in case either such Brother or Sister should die before they come of age or marry that then what I have given them be equally divided among the survivors of them

Item. Whereas I have due [uncertain] about the sum of Eighty pounds of my Uncle William Archer intrast of payment for a tract of Land Sold him which it is not in my favor to convey in conseq2uence of now age. My will is that my Executors hereafter named pay him that sum and with Legal Interest – until such payment. Lastly I appoint my Bro. John Royall Parham Booker & my Bro Joseph Royall Executors of this my last will & Testament In witness where of I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this second day of February one thousand seven hundred and & Ninety Seven Rich.d Royall Signed sealed & acknowledged in presents of James Henderson John Royall Martha X her mark Roberts

At a court held for Amelia County the twenty second day of June seventeen hundred and ninety seven this last will and testament of Richard Royall Dec.d was exhibited into Court and proceed by the oaths of James Henderson and John Royall two of the witnesses thereto subscribed and was ordered to be recorded and on the motion of John Royall one of the Exor’s therein named who took the oath by law prescribed who together with John Archer Peter field Archer William Bentley Efford Bently and Jacob Williamson Jn.r his securities entered into an acknowledged bond in the penalty of 30.00 Dollars Certificate is granted him for obtaining probate in due form Reserving Liberty ot the other Exor’s therein named to join in probate when they shall think proper Teste James Townes CAC

Jacket return for the Will reads, “Royalls & c m. Royall} will & [unclear]”

To the worshipful court of Amelia in chancery sitting humbly complaining shewet hereto your worships your oratrix Elizabeth Royall; & Polly Royall, James Royall, & Edwin Royall who are infants by the said Elizabeth Royall their next friend that John Royall the late husband of your oratrix Elizabeth & the father of your infant compl’ts Polly, James and Edwin & entitled to a considerable real & personal estate died some time past intestate [& entitled to a considerable real & personal estate[This phrase was interlined above this line]] & Wm Royall herein after called dt. Has duely qualified [blurred word] on the said intestate’s estate & possesses himself of the whole thereof. Your infance compl’ts aforesaid & Judith Royall (also made dft hereto) wife of the [blurred word] Wm Royall, are the only children of the said intestate & are entitled to his estate except the slaves of the s’d Elizabeth your oratrix Elizabeth Royall is the widow of the said John Royall & entitled to her dower in his estate. From this statement of sorts it will readily appear to the court that your comp’ts are entitled to certain portions of the said decedents estate, & that they & the dfts. are entitled to the whole thereof both real & personal. With respect to the real estate your comp’lts beg leave to suggest to the court aht there is a part thereof, to wit, a mill which of itself is of more value than the share of any one person interested would be in the said real estate & therefore the said mill and the land contiguous thereto comes with property & justice be, at present, divided so as to effectuate & protect the rights of all the devisees of the said real estate. In tender consideration of the premises & for as much as your comp’lts are without remedy except in a court of equity where matters of this sort are only cognizant your compl’ts pray that the said Wm Royall (who refuses to divide the said estate agreeably to the respective rights of your compl’ts) may with the said Judith be compled to answer the allegations herein contained & that your worships would pronounce or decree directing a division of the said real & personal estate agreeably to the respective rights of the parties therein interested as set forth in this bill except the said mill & land contiguous thereto which it is prayed may be rented out for [blurred] some years & the proceeds of the rent divided agreeably to the respective rights of the compl’ts & dfts. & that your worships would grant [8]

Index Number 1838-040


  1. Suit brought by William Royal over distribution of the estate of James Townes.
  2. Answer was made by John Townes, son of James, in this suit but it has not been transcribed.
  3. This suit contains the full text of the Will of James Townes.

To the worshipful court of Amelia in Chancery sitting humbly complaining shew unto your worships your complainants William Royall and Judith Archer Royall his wife, Thomas A Holcombe and Mary Allen Holcombe his wife, Joseph Edwing Royall and James T. Royall an infant under the age of twenty one years [not legible] sues by Mr. Royall his guardian, which said Judith Archer Royall, Mary A. Holcombe, Joseph E. Royall and James T. Royall are children of an distributes of the late Colo. John Royall and Betty Royall which said Betty [uncertain] one of the children of James Townes Jnr. Dec’d – That the said James Townes Jnr. During his life time had two children namely John Townes, (who is being made Defendt hereto) and Betty Townes who inter married with the said Colo. Jno Royall and was mother to your complainants, Mary A. Judith A. Joseph E. and James T.; that the Betty Royall departed this life sometime about the year 1805 whilst her father James Townes was still lving. That the said James Townes Jnr. Died about the year [blank space] having first made his last will & Testament whereof he appointed his son John his only Executor who duly qualified as such a copy of which will is herewith filed and refer’d to as a fact of this bill, that at the time of her death, the said John Townes (his son) was the only child he had living. That by the will of his father (James Townes Jnr.) a negro boy named Armistead was given to James Madison Towns son of the defente and gr[paper torn]on of the testator and a yellow girl Eliza to Maria Allen T[paper torn]es grand daughter of said James & daughter of said Deft that the said J[paper torn]mes Madison Townes and Maria Allen Townes departed this life before the testator and the will remained unaltered, in which state of things your complainants are advised that the said negroes named Armistead and Elisa and the increase of Elisa again became the property of the Testator by operation of law, and he [unsure] failed to make any further disposition of them your complainants are further advised that as to therein (said boy [interlined above [Armistead and Elisa and her increase]]) the s’d James Townes Jnr. died intestate, and the property or the value thereof ought of right to be equally divided between the defend’t and your complainants who claim under their mother Betty Royall, formerly betty Townes. But now so it is may it please your worships that the said John Townes the defend’t holds possession of the said slaves Armistead and Eliza and her increase claims them as his own property, denying that your complainants have any title thereto

In tender consideration thereof your complts pray that the said John Townes may true therefore answer make to allegations herein contained that he say [unsure of word] his two children James Madison and maria Allen did not depart this life before his Testator James [blurred and/or not legible] & your complts one half the value of the said slaves names Armistead and Eliza and the increase of Elizae and [word not legible] he may be compelled on oath to say what is the [not legible] of Eliza that he may [not legible] for one half the heir & of the said negroes from the death of his father and [unclear] such other and further relief may be granted as your oraters [unsure] may require

Will of James Townes as included in this record:

In the name of God Amen. I James Townes Sr of the County of Amelia being of perfect mind and disposing memory do make and ordain this my Last Will and Testament in manner and form following. Imprimis, I give and bequeath unto my son John Townes the three following tracts of land viz the tract whereon I now reside known by the name of Mount Flatt, one other tract known by the name of Callicoat [transcription could be incorrect], and another tract which I have lately purchased of Jam. A. Royall, to him and his heirs forever. I also give unto my said son John Townes the whole of my negroes with their future increase to him and his heirs forever; these two legacies together with all my stock of horses and cattle, I give unto my said son John to him and his heirs forever, on proviso that he pays unto my daughter Betty Royall the sum of Five hundred and fifty four pounds 15/ in addition to the several sums which he has already paid, making together an aggregate sum of £1200 which is the sum intended to be devised in this clause to my said daughter; Item it is my will an desire that the negroes that I have given heretofore to my son John and daughter Betty Royall by way of advancement be considered as permanent legacies to them and their heirs forever, except Nancisna [transcription could be incorrect] and her increase, I give unto my grand daughter Mary Allen Royall to her and her heirs forever and a yellow girl by the name of Eliza; I give unto my grand daughter Maria Allen Townes to her and her heirs forever, and a yellow boy Armistead which I give to my grandson James Madison Townes to him and his heirs forever: Item I give and bequeath to my grandson James T. Royall the sum of Two hundred pounds which said sum has been paid to John Royall by son John and from the further payment of which my said son John and his heirs are forever acquitted. Item I give and bequeath to my grandson Edwin Royall the sum of Two hundred pounds to be paid by my Executor two years after my death; It is my will and desire that after paying all of just debts, that the whole of my crop made in the year that I may die shall got to my son John, together with all my Estate not before disposed of to him and his forever. I appoint my son John Townes whole and sole Executor of this my Last Will and Testament; hereby revoking all wills by me heretofore made. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this twenty second day of October one thousand eight hundred and four. James Towns {seal} Signed sealed and acknowledged in the presence of J. Robertson Jr., Jos. A Royall, James T. Royall, William Archer At a Court held for Amelia County the 20th day of October 1811 This Last Will and Testament of James Townes Sr was presented in Court and William Royall and John Lane being sworn deposed that they believed the signatures of Jos. A. Royall and James T. Royall two of the subscribing witnesses thereto to be the handwriting of the said Jos. A. and James T. Royall. Sworn to by John Townes the Executor therein named and ordered to be received. Wherein the said John Townes with Daniel Wilson and Philemon Holcombe his security entered into and acknowledged bond in the penalty of fifty thousand dollars conditioned according to law and [indecipherable] was granted said Executor for attaining probate thereof in due form. Teste J. T. Leigh[9]

Charlotte County

All suits reviewed have currently been added to profiles.

Unconnected Profiles

  • Judith Townes Carter m. to Theodrick Carter III. Chancery record needs review that involves Theodrick Carter and Stephen Townes for possible connection.
  • Martha Townes m. John Read, 1802 in Amelia, VA, daughter of John Townes but not John that married Martha Allen. John Read's will was probated in Rockingham Co, NC.

Merge Attention Required


Townes History (Family Records) provided by John Townes

The following is an outline of an unsourced genealogy for the descendants of William Townes and Rebecca Clarke that has been attached to the profile of John Townes. Notes in bold have been added to this outline for clarification.

William Townes (Townes-179) m. Rebecca Clarke (Clarke-8307)

  1. Mrs. Walker
    1. Edmund
      1. George Walker
      2. Mrs. Branch
    2. William
    3. Mrs. Cunningham
    4. Mrs. Foster
    5. Sally Walker
    6. Mrs. Macon
      1. Daughter married a Giles
        1. Eliza Giles
        2. Rebecca Giles
        3. Edmund
        4. Second son
      2. Mrs. Macon
  2. Mrs. Clough (Townes-199) Children will need comparison. Children in unsourced genealogy do not appear to match her profile. Additional sources may be required.
    1. Son
    2. Mrs. Ford
    3. Mrs. Vaughn (Clough-1377)
    4. Mrs. Davis
    5. Mrs. Davis
    6. Mrs. Craddock (Clough-1061)
      1. Mrs. Overton
    7. Mrs. Taylor
  3. Rebecca unmarried
  4. William (Townes-344)
  5. Richard (Townes-161) m. Mrs. Burke (Burk-1057)
  6. James (Townes-332) m. Mrs. Allen (Allen-53201)
    1. John Townes m. Miss Lewis No profile. See profile for father. Children on this list are incorrect based on information from Chancery Record referenced on father's profile. The children of John named in the Chancery Record were James Madison Townes and Maria Allen Townes and both had passed away before their father or grandfather. The children identified below are named in a Will of John Townes, but probably not the same John. The will was signed 2 Dec 1841 and the children named below are included in it. Based on the estimated date of birth of John's father and the year his sister married, he would have been born by 1750. This will was made about 90 years after this date.[10]
      1. Jefferson Townes
      2. Charles Townes
      3. Mrs. Stephens
    2. Mrs. Royal (Townes-158)
      1. Mrs. Tom Holcombe (Royall-231)
  7. John (Townes-21) m. Martha Allen (Allen-47003) See profile of Townes-21 for link to Will
    1. Richard Townes Not mentioned in Will of John Townes.
    2. John Townes (Townes-311) m. Betsy Leigh (Leigh-2211) Confirmed in Will of father
      1. Paschal Leigh Townes (Townes-214)
      2. John Leigh Townes (Townes-304)
        1. Polly Segar Townes
      3. Eggleston Townes
      4. Mrs. Bestor
        1. Daniel Bestor
    3. Allen Townes (Townes-284) m. Miss Jones (Jones-97269) He is confirmed in Will of father.The children of Allen are confirmed in his will which is sourced on his profile.
      1. Judge Townes of Texas (Townes-320)
      2. Dick
      3. Rebecca (Townes-286)
      4. Hester (Townes-287)
      5. Marie m. William Jones
        1. Judith Maria m. Billy Wynn
          1. Townes Wynn
    4. Prescilla Allen Townes (Townes-316) m. Zacharia Greenhill Leigh (Leigh-454) Confirmed in Will of father.
      1. Billy Leigh
      2. Richard Leigh (Leigh-2163) m. Lucy Worsham Townes (Townes-293) (cousin)
      3. Martha Leigh Powell (Leigh-2138)
        1. John (Powell-18500)
        2. William (Powell-18820)
        3. Tom Powell (Powell-18499)
        4. Mrs. Torrance (Powell-18534)
      4. John Townes Leigh (Leigh-2258) m. Rebecca Giles (Giles-5962)
        1. Katherine Leigh Powell
        2. Betsy Leigh Townes (Leigh-2350)
          1. Lera
          2. Fannie
        3. Armistead Leigh
          1. Macon
          2. Lane
        4. Randolph Leigh (Leigh-2259)
        5. Egbert Leigh
    5. Rebecca Clarke Townes (Unknown-498420) m. Mr. Mosely (Moseley-3282) She is confirmed in Will of father. These profiles have actions that need to be completed.
      1. William (Moseley-3285)
      2. Mrs. Patsy (Moseley-3284)
      3. Taylor
      4. Jack Mosely (Moseley-3283) m. Marty Wortley Montague
    6. Martha Booker Townes (Townes-351) m. Reed Martha was not named in the Will of John Townes. While her father is confirmed as John Townes, he was likely a different John Townes.
    7. William Townes William was not mentioned in Will of John Townes.
    8. Richard Townes Richard was not mentioned in Will of John Townes.
    9. James Townes (Townes-294) m. Miss Worsham (Worsham-709) Confirmed in Will of father.
      1. Dr. J.M. Townes (Townes-330) m. Betsy Leigh (Leigh-2350)
      2. Lucy Worsham Townes (Townes-293) m. John Leigh
    10. Armistead Terrell Townes (Townes-261) m. Rebecca Booker and Eliza Giles (Giles-3753) Confirmed in Will of father.
      1. Amelia Townes Bottom (Townes-176)
      2. William
      3. Virginia Townes Tyler
      4. Columbia Leigh
      5. Edridge
      6. Marcon
      7. Richard (Townes-297) m. Eliza Meek (Meek-2345)
      8. Edward (Townes-296) m. Mary Walker Thomas
      9. Lafayette m. Virginia Thomas
      10. Adolphus (Townes-260) m. Fannie Giles (Giles-5743) and another Fannie (Giles-5741)
        1. William (Townes-259)
        2. Lizzie
      11. Martha Allen Townes (Townes-291) m. Ephrain Fisher (Fisher-18490) Did not match all children on this profile because I was not able to interpret some of the nicknames used.
        1. Eliza (Fisher-18491)
        2. Pattie
        3. A.S.
        4. Mimmie
        5. Sallie (Fisher-18495)
        6. Judge H.C. (Fisher-18496)
          1. Ella
          2. Ida
        7. Virginia (Fisher-18497)
        8. Tommie

Notes on Formation of Charlotte County

Charlotte County was incorporated in 1764 from part of Lunenburg County. Lunenburg County was established in 1746 from Brunswick County. Brunswick County was created in 1720 and its lands were taken from Prince George, Surry and Isle of Wight Counties. Prince Goerge was formed in 1703 from a portion of Charles City County on the south side of the James River. Surry County was formed in 1652 from the portion of James City County south of the James River.


  1. Cavaliers and pioneers; abstracts of Virginia land patents and grants, 1623-1800 Vol 1, by Nugent, Nell Marion; Richmond VA, 1934 https://archive.org/details/cavalierspioneer00nuge/mode/2up
  2. [Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. III, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. III [database on-line].]
  3. Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. III [database on-line], Section: Henrico County-Southside, 1736, [accessed 14 Aug 2021].
  4. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015019774515&view=1up&seq=25&skin=2021
  5. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uiug.30112050266870&view=1up&seq=11&skin=2021
  6. Granville County, North Carolina, Estate Records; Author: North Carolina. Probate Court (Granville County); Probate Place: Granville, North Carolina, Ancestry.com. North Carolina, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com [accessed 17 Aug 2021], https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9061/images/007673194_00975?usePUB=true&_phsrc=ghL546&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&pId=2715686
  7. Amelia Co, VA, Chancery Causes, 1738-1939. Index Number 1809-001, Gdn(s) of Frances Cooper &C by etc vs James T. Royall. Local Government Records Collection, Amelia Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia. https://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/full_case_detail.asp?CFN=007-1809-001#imgx
  8. Amelia Co, VA, Chancery Causes, 1738-1939. Index Number 1810-058, Elizabeth Royall &C By Etc vs Judith Royall William Royall Etc. Local Government Records Collection, Amelia Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia. https://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/full_case_detail.asp?CFN=007-1810-058#img
  9. Amelia Co, VA, Chancery Causes, 1738-1939. Index Number 1838-040, Judith Archer Royall &C by etc William Royall vs John Townes. Local Government Records Collection, Amelia Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia. https://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/full_case_detail.asp?CFN=007-1838-040#img
  10. Will books, 1734-1865; general indexes to wills, 1734-1974, Will books, v. 14-15 1837-1847, Film #007643932, Image 499, https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9P4-FC72?i=498&cat=275408

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