Pope #2924

Humphrey Pope (1649-1684)

Born in England.  Arrived in Virginia by 1669 (probably not much before) and

Elizabeth Hawkins (1651-1718)

Born in England or Virginia.

Pope #2924

imageAbout the middle of the 17th century (1650), three immigrants to America of the name of Pope settled in adjoining counties in the Northern Neck of Virginia[1]:

  • Humphrey Pope located in Westmoreland County (see below).
  • Nathaniel Pope, previously a resident of the colony of Maryland, also located on the Potomac in Westmoreland County, between Appomattox (now Mattox) and Popes Creeks[2].  His wife was named Luce and they had: (1) Anne[3], who married John Washington; (2) Margaret, who married William Hardwich; (3) Thomas and (4) Nathaniel[4].  The elder Nathaniel was among the county’s wealthiest residents at his death in 1660, when he left The “Clifts” tract to his son Thomas.  The Pope and Washington families were bound by more than blood.  Westmoreland County documents are filled with their business and legal ties. The will of John Washington bequeaths £1000 sterling to his brother-in-law Thomas Pope.  The Nathaniel Pope family was also closely connected to the powerful Lee[5] family of Virginia.
  • James Pope settled in Northumberland.

According to G.W. Beale (citation below), “What relationship existed between these three men we are unable to say.”  Humphrey was not named as an heir of Nathaniel Pope in his will dated 1659 and proved 20 April 1660, and Humphrey was almost certainly not a son of Nathaniel, although that relationship has mistakenly been circulated.  The proximity in location and time of the various Popes has led some researchers to speculate that they may be father/son, uncle/nephew, brothers, etc.  No proofs for these speculations exist, and if some degree of kinship existed, it may never be discovered due to gaps in the documentary record[6].

We know that Humphrey Pope was born in England[7] in about 1649[8].  We do not know the date of his arrival in Virginia, but he obtained a deed from Thomas Pope for 150 acres near the “Clifts” in Westmoreland County on 2 Feb 1669, suggesting that he was in Virginia by that date, and probably not much earlier, given his age.

Also, it appears in the records of Westmoreland County that Humphrey Pope was a transported immigrant from England engaged by Maj. John Washington and Thomas Pope, who received 1,200 acres on 5 Sep 1661, for transplanting 24 such persons, 50 acres per Headright[9].

Much of the information below is reported in “Humphrey Pope and His Descendants”, The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 13, No. 4 (Apr 1905), published by: Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, pp. 280-284.

Probably in about 1673, Humphrey Pope married Elizabeth Hawkins, daughter of Richard Hawkins[10] and Katherine, who later married Edward Thompson.  Elizabeth Hawkins was born before 1651 and died before 14 Aug 1718 in Westmoreland County.  Humphrey died in about 1684, leaving a will, which however, is not to be found, the book containing it having been lost.  Humphrey‘s widow Elizabeth and Lawrence Washington, (George Washington’s grandfather) were executors of Humphrey‘s will.  William Bridges and John Washington (George Washington’s g-grandfather) provided security, which suggests confirms the close association between the Humphrey Pope and Washington families, although the exact nature of that connection is unclear.

After the death of Humphrey Pope, Elizabeth Hawkins married (2nd) Richard Youell and (3rd) Patrick Muckleroy.  Her will, dated 1717, named sons John and Lawrence Pope but not son Humphrey (Jr.) nor children of her daughters Elizabeth or Mary. This Will was proved 14 Aug 1718 in Westmoreland County.

On 25 Mar 1696, Daniel Field and Tobias Butler received most of the estate of Humphrey Pope as payment for debt from Patrick Muckleroy, which they then sold.  Muckleroy came into possession by marrying the relict (widow) of Humphrey Pope.  William Paine, husband of the daughter of Humphrey Pope, petitioned the court on behalf of his wife and her siblings for compensation from the estate of their father.  Field and Butler presented evidence to the court of their claim against the estate of Humphrey.  The court turned over the documents to William Paine who then decided on behalf of the children of Humphrey Pope to accept 70 pounds of tobacco from Field and Butler.

The children of Humphrey Pope and Elizabeth Hawkins are listed as follows[11]:

  1. Humphrey (Jr.), born about 1674 (age 33 or thereabouts in 1707)[12].  He married (1st) Amey, eldest daughter of Morris Veale and Dorothy [surname unknown] and (2nd) Mary (Morrison?), who is mentioned in his will.  His will was dated 10 Jan 1733 and proved 29 Oct 1734.  His children were: Anne (Conditt), Sophia (married James Muse), Humphrey, John, Sarah and Mary (married William Muse).
  2. Lawrence Pope, after 1702 married Jemima Waddey, the widow of John Spence and daughter of Thomas Waddey of Northumberland[13].  Jemima was born after 1680 in Westmoreland, Virginia.  Lawrence lived in Washington Parish, Westmoreland and died there.  His will was recorded 23 Mar 1723.  His wife was made his executrix, and his estate was large.
  3. John, died in 1722 without a will.  His widow Elizabeth married (2nd) Christopher Mothershead.
  4. Elizabeth, born Jun 1677 and died 21 Mar 1716 (as her tombstone attests[14]) in Westmoreland County, Virginia.  She married (1st) William Payne in 1691 in Westmoreland, son of John Payne and Margaret [surname unknown].  William was born before 1652 and died before Feb 1697/98 in Cople Parish, Westmoreland.  Elizabeth married (2nd) Daniel McCarty before 1703, son of Dennis McCarty and Elizabeth Billington.  Daniel was born 16 Mar 1678/79 in N. Farnham Parish, Richmond, Virginia and died before 9 Jun 1724 in Westmoreland.
  5. Mary, who married Nicholas Minor[15] and had four sons and a daughter: William Stewart, John, Stewart, Nicholas and Elizabeth Wherret.

The children of Lawrence Pope and Jemima Waddey are listed as follows:

  1. Humphrey, born after 1702 and married Anne [surname unknown].  His estate was divided in 1744.  His children were Sarah (chose William Muse as guardian), Humphrey (chose Thomas Clayter as guardian), Mary (chose Nicholas Minor as guardian) and John (chose William Muse as guardian).
  2. Thomas, died in Westmoreland in 1741 (Will dated 23 Feb 1741 and proved 8 Mar 1741).  He married Mary Heath, daughter of Samuel Heath, and had a daughter Elizabeth.
  3. John, married his cousin Sarah Mothershead, daughter of Christopher Mothershead.  Children: John, Lawrence and Nancy.
  4. Jemima Pope (after 1702-1755), see below.
  5. Anne
  6. Mary
  7. Penelope
  8. Catherine, married Edward Sanford, son of Richard Sanford and Susannah Dishman.  Edward was born before 1715 and died 25 Jul 1786 in Westmoreland County, Virginia.  On 3 Jun 1750 Edward purchased for £30 pounds 75 acres in Cople Parish from Augustine Washington and his wife Ann, and William Booth and his wife Elizabeth.  The land is described as being adjacent to Thomas and Richard Sanford (his uncles), Edward Ransdell, William Minor, and Richard Lee.  Children: Susannah, Patrick, Edward Sanford (II), Jemima, Robert, Richard, Elizabeth and Caty Sanford.

After the death of Lawrence Pope in 1723, his property was divided thus, according to his Will[16]:

23 March 1723; 10 May 1723, Washington Parish. Land I live on to sons Humphrey, Thomas, and John; Thomas land in Cople Parish; John land at Popes Creek; dau. Elizabeth 1 negro and furniture; dau. Ann 1 negro and furniture; dau. Mary 1 negro and furniture; dau Jemima Spence 1 negro woman; dau. Penelope 1 negro etc. dau. Catherine 1 negro; James son of Benj. Waddey; godson John son of Nicholas Minor 1 mare; wife Jemima; bro. Humphrey Pope and bro. Nicholas Minor 33 shillings gold for rings; wife and son Humphrey exrs; to children horses, cattle, household goods.

Jemima Pope was born between about 1702-08 and died 30 Sep 1755 in Westmoreland County, Virginia.  She married (1st) Nicholas Minor, son of William Minor and Elizabeth Stewart.  Nicholas was born after 1707.  Jemima married (2nd) Capt. Patrick Spence III before 1722.  Patrick is the son of Patrick Spence and Penelope Youell, and he was born about 1693 and died 25 Mar 1740 in Westmoreland County, Virginia.  In her Will dated 6 May 1755, Jemima lists dau Elizabeth Sandford, son Patrick Spence, dau Jemima Suggett, dau Mary Spence, son Youell Spence, grandchildren Jemima Suggett and Jemima Sandford.  In his Will dated 10 Dec 1739, Patrick lists son Patrick Spence, Youell Spence, Elizabeth, Jemima, Mary and son-in-law Nicholas Minor Jr.

I am descended from Jemima Spence, the daughter of Patrick Spence and Jemima Pope.  She born in about 1730 in Westmoreland County, Virginia and died at Bryan Station, Kentucky (at that time still a part of Virginia) in 1786.  In about 1750, Jemima Spence married James Suggett, the son of James Suggett and Mary Frances Bayless, who was born 18 Apr 1722 in Virginia and died at Bryan Station, Kentucky (at the time still a part of Virginia) in 1786.  The lineage of Jemima Spence and James Suggett is continued under the heading of John Suggett (1645-1690).


[1] Beale, G. W. “Col. Nathaniel Pope and His Descendants”, The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Jan., 1904), pp. 192-196; Published by: Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

[2] Popes Creek is a small tidal tributary stream of the Potomac River in Westmoreland County, Virginia. The George Washington Birthplace National Monument lies adjacent to Popes Creek estuary. The site was originally settled by John Washington, George Washington’s great-grandfather, and George Washington was born here on 22 Feb 1732. He lived here until age three, returning later as a teenager. At the entrance to the grounds, now maintained and operated by the National Park Service, is a Memorial Shaft obelisk of Vermont marble, which is a one-tenth scale replica of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. The George Washington Birthplace National Monument, where Popes Creek joins the Potomac River, is representative of 18th-century Virginia tobacco farms. A Memorial House with 18th-century furnishings is open to visitors. The park’s farm buildings, groves of trees, livestock, gardens, and crops of tobacco and wheat, represent the boyhood environment Washington knew.

[3] Nathaniel Pope (1603-1660) is the 2nd g-grandfather of George Washington, first President of the United States through his daughter Anne: Nathaniel Pope – Anne Pope (1638 – 1667) – Lawrence Washington (1659 – 1699) – Augustine Washington (1693 – 1743) – George Washington (1732-1799).

[4] Humphries, John. Georgia Descendants of Nathaniel Pope of Virginia, John Humphries of South Carolina and Allen Gay of North Carolina (Atlanta, Georgia: 1934) pp. 5–8.

Richard Lee (1617-1664), “the Immigrant”, is the progenitor of the Lee family of Virginia, which is a historically significant family in both Virginia and Maryland, whose many prominent members are known for their accomplishments in politics and the military.

Richard Lee (1617-1664), “the Immigrant”, is the progenitor of the Lee family of Virginia, which is a historically significant family in both Virginia and Maryland, whose many prominent members are known for their accomplishments in politics and the military.

[5] The progenitor of this family, Richard Lee (1617-1664) is my 10th g-grandfather, discussed under his own heading.   The “Clifts” estate passed from Nathaniel Pope to his son, Thomas, at his death, and in 1717 it was sold by Thomas’ heirs to Thomas Lee (1690-1750), my 1st cousin 10x removed.  On this property, the Lee estate of Stratford Hall Plantation was later constructed, which became the home to four generations of the Lee family of Virginia, including two signers of the Declaration of Independence. It was also the birthplace of Robert E. Lee (1807–70), who became the Confederate General-in-chief during the American Civil War.

[6] Nathaniel’s will, 1659, named only 2 sons — Nathaniel Jr. and Thomas, both of whom were still minors, which eliminates them as either fathers or brothers of Humphrey Pope.

[7] Several sources identify his place of birth as Bristol, England.

[8] A.C. Quisenberry, “Memoranda of the Quisenberry Family” (1897)  stated that Humphrey Pope was security for John Quisenberry on “12 May 1663” in old Rappahannock County, Virginia. The acutal date was 12 May 1683 — NOT “1663” as printed in Quisenberry, & NOT “1656” as printed in “Descendants of Humphrey Pope” (Ref: Deeds & Wills of Old Rapp. Co VA, from Reel 5, page 2, Va. State Library – film of original record) This error, perhaps a misprint, led researchers to believe that there was an “older” Humphrey Pope, who was an adult by 1663. There was no “older” Humphrey Pope. There was only one Humphrey Pope, and he is the man who married Elizabeth Hawkins. This Humphrey Pope was born about 1648-50. By his own Westmoreland County deposition , dated 19 Nov 1673, he was age 24 or thereabouts.

[9] Nugent, Nell. Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1623-1666, Vol. I (Richmond, Virginia: Press of the Dietz Printing Company) 1934,

[10] Richard Hawkins may be closely related to Thomas Hawkins of Kent, England who emigrated to (what became) Rappahannock County, Virginia, but no documents have linked them as close kin. Richard Hawkins, father of Elizabeth who married Humphrey Pope, was born about 1628. By his own deposition dated 20 Jun 1656 in Westmoreland County, Virginia he gave his age as 28 years. Despite the claims of some fantasy genealogies, he WAS NOT the son of “Sir Richard Hawkins” of England, as some have claimed. Sir Richard Hawkins (or Hawkyns) (1562-1622) was a 17th-century English seaman, explorer and Elizabethan “Sea Dog” and the son of Admiral Sir John Hawkins. Admiral Sir John Hawkins (also spelled as Hawkyns), born in Plymouth, England (1532-1595) was an English shipbuilder, naval administrator and commander, merchant, navigator, and slave trader. As treasurer (1577) and controller (1589) of the Royal Navy, he rebuilt older ships and helped design the faster ships that withstood the Spanish Armada in 1588. He later devised the naval blockade to intercept Spanish treasure ships. One of the foremost seamen of 16th-century England, he was the chief architect of the Elizabethan navy. In the battle in which the Spanish Armada was defeated in 1588, Hawkins served as a vice admiral. He was knighted for gallantry. William, John’s father, was a confidant of Henry VIII of England and one of England’s principal sea captains, having sailed to the New World ca. 1527. Sir Francis Drake, John’s second cousin, helped him in his second voyage. The first Englishman recorded to have taken slaves from Africa was John Lok, a London trader who, in 1555, brought five slaves from Guinea. A second London trader taking slaves at that time was William Towerson whose fleet sailed into Plymouth following his 1556 voyage to Africa and from Plymouth on his 1557 voyage. Despite the exploits of Lok and Towerson, John Hawkins of Plymouth is often considered to be the pioneer of the British slave trade, because he was the first to run the Triangular trade, making a profit at every stop.

[11] All of Humphrey’s children were minors when he died in 1684.  His three sons chose their brother-in-law as their guardian on 27 Feb 1696. Humphrey (Jr.) came of age later that year). Lawrence was under guardianship until 1700. Mary was still under guardianship in 1701/2. Therefore, all the children were born after 1670, despite published accounts to the contrary.

[12] Some published accounts have identified Lawrence as the eldest son of Humphrey andElizabeth. However, a deed dated 1704 from Lawrence Pope to his brother Humphrey identifies Humphrey as eldest son of Humphrey Pope dec’d.

[13] Jemima Waddey married (1st) John Spence, (2nd) Lawerence Pope and (3rd) Nicholas Minor. A document dated 27 May 1702 identifies her as Lawerence Pope’s wife  and relict of John Spence (Westmoreland Deeds and Wills #3, 1701-1707).  A deed dated 28 Jun 1712 identifies Lawrence Pope’s wife Jemima as dau. & heir of Thomas Waddy (Westmoreland Deeds & Wills, 1712-1720).  A deed dated 30 Nov 1737 identifies Nicholas Minor’s wife Jemima as the late relict of Lawrence Pope (Westmoreland Deeds & Wills, 1723-1738)

Elizabeth (Pope) Payne (1677-1716) - photo credit: Lisa Tierney Hawkins

Elizabeth (Pope) Payne (1677-1716) – photo credit: Lisa Tierney Hawkins

[14]  The epitaph on her tombstone reads as follows: Here lyeth the body of Elizabeth Daughter of Humphrey Pope, gent by Elizabeth Hawkins, first the wife of William Payne gent to whom she bore two sons & two daughters & lastly Daniel McCarty, Esq. to whom she was married 19th October 1699. She bore four sons & four daughters. Barbara 30th November 1700, Katherine 7th November 1703, Dennis March 1705, Daniel 1707, Billington 1709, Winifred 1709, Sarah 1710, Thaddeus 1712. She was born 25th June 1677 departed this life 21st March & was entombed 23rd March 1716 in the 39th year of her life. Burial: Yeocomico Episcopal Churchyard, Kinsale, Westmoreland County, Virginia.

[15] When Lawrence Pope wrote his will in 1723, he named brother Nicholas Minor. Many have concluded from this that Nicholas Minor was Lawrence’s brother-in-law, since he’d married “Jemima Pope”. More recent research has concluded that this Jemima Pope was the widow of John Spence & Lawrence Pope, and that her maiden name was Waddey. Why would Lawrence Pope call Nicholas Minor his brother? It is believed (but not conclusively proven) that Nicholas’ first wife was Mary Pope. Here’s why: On 27 Apr 1715, Nicholas Minor acknowledged a deed, and Mary, wife of Nicholas, relinquished her right of dower. This proves that Nicholas had a wife Mary at that date (of course this does not prove that his wife was Mary Pope — but it is circumstantial evidence). If Nicholas married Mary Pope, this would explain why he’s called brother in Lawrence Pope’s 1723 will. When this Mary died is unknown. Now consider that on 30 Nov 1737, Nicholas Minor ad Jemima, his wife, late relict of Lawrence Pope, sold land in Westmoreland that had been owned by Lawrence (Dorman, Westmoreland Deeds & Wills, 1723-1738). On 27 May 1702, Dorcas Spence-Jordan, former widow of Patrick Spence, testified that Lawrence Pope & Jemima his wife, who was the relict of her said son John Spence owed her money for Spence’s funeral (Dorman, Westmoreland Deeds & Wills #3, 1701-1707), and a deed dated 28 Jun 1712, Lawrence Pope & wife Jemima made deed to Jemima’s brother Thomas Waddey, of the land that Thomas Waddey dec’d did give Jemima his daughter (Dorman, Westmoreland Deeds & Wills #2, 1691-99). These documents prove conclusively that Jemima Waddey married (1st) John Spence, (2nd) Lawrence Pope and (3rd) Nicholas Minor as his 2nd wife.

[16] Fothergill, Augusta Bridgland. Wills of Westmoreland County 1654-1800 (Richmond, Virginia: Clearfield Company, Appeals Press) 1925.


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