Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Question of Dates

Here is an entry from Nugent’s Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia land patents and grants, 1623-1800. Vol. 1, 1623-1666 (Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., Inc), p. 471 that I pulled from on January 19, 2012.

Most of these entries are for patents given to people who paid for their own transport to Virginia – called a “personal adventure” - or who paid for the transport of other people into Virginia – called a “headright” (Nugent, Introduction, p. xxiv). In the entry below, Martin Baker must have received a patent for 1750 acres and then sold it: 100 acres was sold to Jno. Gynes (?), 100 acres was sold to Tho. Tilsey, and the remaining 1350 acres was sold to John Stanup on March 18, 1662.

Here is the transcription of the above entry:

JOHN STANUP, 1350 acs. New
Kent Co., 18 Mar. 1662, p. 238, (158).
S. side of Yorke Riv., beg. At corner by
Henry Ashwells path, running S.W. by
S. &c. to corner by John Basbies path,
thence S.Ely. to Thomas Collings cor-
ner &c., including 1750 acs. Granted to
Martin Baker 28 Nov. 1658, 300 acs. of
Which sd. Baker sold to Tho. Tilsey &
100 acs. to Jno. Gynes (?), which is
excepted out of the bounds according to
the bills of sale from Baker; 1350 acs.
assigned sd. Stanup by sd. Baker.

My question is this: From the entry above, do you think that Martin Baker sold the 300 acres of land to Tho. Tilsey and 100 acres to Jno. Gynes (?) on March 18, 1662 as well? Or does this date only apply to when he sold the 1350 acres to John Stanup?


  1. My reading is that the date 18 Mar 1662 date applies to the 1350 acres. It seems the other two sales (I think you mean 300 acres to Tilsey?)preceded the sale.

  2. This is how I understand the brief abstract - and you can download the image from the Library of Virginia website and read the whole grant. As good as "Cavaliers and Pioneers" is, I have found additional information in the original. The date of 18 Mar 1662 is when the grant in New Kent Co was issued to John Stanup as a 1350 acre tract. There were 1750 acres that had been granted to Martin Baker on 28 Nov 1658. Sometime between 1658 and 1662, Baker sold 300 acres to Tilsey and 100 acres to Gynes ...but we don't know when. That means that out of the 1750 acres grant to Martin Baker, 1350 acres were left. This is not a sale from Baker to Stanup - it's a grant from the crown - apparently Baker was granted the land, sold some of it, but perhaps could not complete his obligations in clearing and planting, etc. and lost it, so it was then assigned the tract to Stanup. All of the grants found in "Cavaliers" are from the Crown to citizens - deeds between citizens would be in the county deed books.

    1. Kay, you're right that the document itself isn't the sale from Baker to Stanup, but it expressly *reflects* such a sale. It mentions that the land (the 1350 acres) was "sold and assigned" to Stanup by Baker.

  3. Martin Baker's original land grant was actually dated 28 November 1656, not 1658, and it was for 1750 acres. You can see the images of this earlier grant online at the Library of Virginia website and the Virginia Memory website. Baker had sold 300 acres to Tilsey and 100 acres to Gynes, leaving 1350 acres which he "sold and assigned" to Stanup. Baker didn't lose his grant; this document -- very common in early Virginia -- is simply a repatent for the remainder in Stanup's name. Repatents were often used to ensure that title was clear and clean. (I have a later Baker in my line, who may well be a relative of this Martin, who repatented land two or three times to clarify title.)

  4. Thank you all for your comments and responses. And thanks for pointing me towards the original grants on the Library of Virginia website! I did not find (yet) the original grant to Baker in the abstract book, so I wasn't sure about the dates that Baker received it. But now we know that. I did read that it was not uncommon to repatent one's land for the sake of clarity and posterity.

    My actual interest is in the 300 acres that was sold to Tilsey. On his website, "Our Family Tree," Ray Gurganus said that "by 1662 Thomas Tinsley purchased 300 more acres of land from Martin Baker." When I looked at the source and the above abstracted grant, I started questioning the date of this purchase.

    So I guess I need to look at the actual deeds of sales to see exactly when Baker sold this 300 A to Thomas Tilsey/Tinsley?