Waller #1520

English St George flag animationJohn Waller (1673-1754)

Born in England.  Arrived in Virginia in about 1696 and

USA flag animationDorothy King (1677-1758)

Born in Virginia.

 

John Waller (1673 – 1754), 8th great grandfather – John Waller (1701 – 1776) – Thomas Carr Waller (1732 – 1787) – Dabney Waller (1772 – 1849) – Elizabeth Dabney Waller[1] (1808 – 1881) – Jacintha Ann Pollard (1833 – ) – Elizabeth Minor Hancock (1850 – 1928) – Seddie Gunnell (1875 – 1946) – Elizabeth Gunnell Hamlin (1901 – 1982) – Tor Martin Hylbom (1939 – 2009) – Tor Martin (Majerus) Hylbom

 

Much of the information presented below is taken from two articles by Andrew Lewis Riffe, “The Wallers of Endfield, King William County, Virginia” (Part 1 and Part 2), which were published in The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography in July and October 1951.  Additional information was extracted from The Spirit in the South: Stories of Our Grandmothers’ Spirit by Rev. Dr. Cynthia Vold Forde (Bloomington, Indiana: authorHOUSE) 2009.

Waller Coat of Arms

Waller Coat of Arms

English Origins:

My 9th great grandfather, Dr. John Waller (father of the immigrant, John Waller, sometimes referred to as Col. John Waller), was born about 1645 – the fifth child of Thomas Waller (about 1610-1682) of Gregorys (sometimes spelled Gregories), Buckinghamshire, England and his wife, Anne Keate (Keats) – probably at Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England.  Regretfully, researches thus far made in England have failed to disclose any record of the definite date and place of his birth, although Riffe opines that “it seems certain he was descended from the Wallers of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.”   He was apprenticed 23 Jun 1658 to the Barber Surgeons Company and admitted to St. Catherine’s College in Cambridge, England, where he studied for three years.  On 6 Feb 1665, John Waller “received his freedom” (somewhat similar to saying that he passed his boards and was admitted to practice), having been trained as a master surgeon.  In about 1667, he received his medical degree from Cambridge University.

from Andrew Lewis Riffe, "The Wallers of Endfield", The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, July 1951

from Andrew Lewis Riffe, “The Wallers of Endfield”, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, July 1951

On 13 Jan 1669, Dr. John Waller married Mary Pomfrett of Newport Pagnell at the parish church of Walton, Buckinghamshire, England, dedicated to St. Michael[2].  Nearly all of the writers on Waller genealogy have agreed that Col. John Waller, who was of “Endfield” in King William County, Virginia, and later of “Newport” in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, was the son of this Dr. John Waller, of Newport Pagnell, who in his will refers to his son John Waller who liveth in Virginia.  They have also cited as evidence that the arms on his tombstone are identical with those borne by Dr. John Waller of Newport Pagnell, and his Spotsylvania plantation was doubtless named “Newport” in memory of the place of his birth in England.

Dr. John Waller was buried on 6 Aug 1723 in a tomb he designed at the Church of Newport Pagnell.  On 6 Nov 1723, Dr. John Waller’s will was proved and recorded in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, and from the will it is evident that he was a man of substantial means, giving numerous bequests of land, homes, jewelry and money to his heirs.

Of Dr. John Waller’s wife, Mary Pomfrett, little is known, including the identity of her parents.  Some sources indicate that John Waller may have married a “Mary Key”, but documentation is lacking.  She may have been married previously.  Riffe reports that,

“William Pomfrett A.B. was vicar of Astwood, May 27, 1689 through December 21, 1704; and that Mr. Benjamin Pomfrett, of Newport Pagnell, purchased of Sir William Tyreyham, Knt., the right of advowson; while later, Robert Pomfrett was rector of Emberton from April 30, 1753 until 1804[3].  Apparently John Waller and his wife resided in Newport Pagnell for in the register of that parish we find the births of their numerous children recorded.[4]

Forde notes that Mary Pomfret Waller’s journey to the colony of Virginia after her husband’s death has long been a family legend.  A deed exists in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, dated November 1724, that describes the property of Edward Herndon next door to Mrs. Mary Waller.  For that reason, early Waller historians concluded that Mary Pomfrett Waller lived out her days with her son, Col. John Waller, and her daughter, Mary, wife of Edward Herndon.  Andrew Riffe’s detailed study of the Waller family gives documented information on the family.  Dr. John Waller’s will was written 21 Aug 1716, and it is transcribed below.  He named his sons Benjamin, William, Thomas, John and Edmund, and his daughter, Jemima.  No “Mary” was included in the will either as his wife or as his daughter.  This strongly suggests that his wife predeceased him.  It also strikes a blow at the theory that Edward Herndon’s wife was Mary Waller, daughter of John Waller.  John would have been about seventy years old in 1716.  He died in August 1723.

The children of Dr. John Waller and Mary Pomfrett are recorded as follows (from Riffe, including notes):

  1. William[5], born 24 Sep 1671.
  2. John Waller, born 23 Feb 1673; immigrant to Virginia (see below).
  3. Mary, born 23 May 1674 (immigrant to Virginia?)[6].
  4. Thomas, born 17 October 1675
  5. Steven, born 4 Nov 1676 (refer to notes for Mary for additional information)
  6. Benjamin, born 18 Mar 1678 and died 1735; his will is recorded Archdeaconry of Bucks, Register 1734, No. 67.
  7. Edmund[7], born 3 Feb 1680.
  8. James[8], born 25 May 1683 and died January 1683/4.
  9. Jemima, born 3 Aug 1684.  She was unmarried at the time of probate of her father’s will in November 1723.

From the will of Dr. John Waller (dated 1716 and proved 6 Nov 1723) we learn with certainty that John Waller, of Newport Pagnell, county Bucks, was a man of substantial means.  It is evident that he followed the profession of medicine from his designation as Doctor John Waller in the records of the births of his children in the register of Newport Pagnell.  We also learn from this document that he had a brother, Thomas Waller, living in Virginia and a sister, Alice Waller, who predeceased him, as in his will in a bequest to his daughter Jemima Waller, he refers to all the goods and furniture that were her Aunt Alice Waller’s, which she gave her [the said Jemima] at the time of her decease…  This lady referred to as his daughter Jemima’s Aunt Alice Waller was no doubt a sister of Dr. John Waller and was the Alice Waller whose death is recorded in the Newport Pagnell parish register under date of 27 Sep 1699.  In his will Dr. John Waller made a bequest of £20 to my cozen Mary Pomfrett who lived with my wife…  In this Mary Pomfrett we certainly have a relation in some degree of Mrs. Mary (Pomfrett) Waller, although the testator’s wife apparently had died prior to the making of his will in 1716.

Follow link to —> the Will of Dr. John Waller of Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England (1716)

Forde states:

“Riffe’s excellent treatise is careful not to jump to conclusions or to accept any undocumented information as fact.  He points out that John Waller, the son of John Waller and Mary Pomfrett, had arrived in America by 1696.  In May of that year, he had surveyed the 1,029 acres in King & Queen County that would become Endfield, his home place.  Sixty-five years later, John Waller (Jr.)’s son, John, brought suit concerning the division of Endfield among John (Jr.)’s heirs.  A plat map was produced, showing lines dividing the land among John Waller, Thomas Waller, Mary Waller and Benjamin Waller.  Riffe states, ‘It was Thomas Waller’s and Mary Waller’s portions of this land that John Waller (their father, the original owner) sold to Benjamin Waller’.

“This implies that Mary Waller, found mentioned frequently in land records, was the daughter or married daughter-in-law of Col. John Waller.  Riffe makes no attempt to identify her further.  He does make reference to two articles in Virginia historical magazines, which supposedly give a strong case for Mary Waller being the wife of Edward Herndon.  The first comes from the William and Mary College Quarterly.  The author of the article, whose name is not shown, asserts that the will of Dr. John Waller of Newport Pagnell contains a phrase that refers to his eldest daughter, Mary, living in Virginia.  This is incorrect, as Riffe’s transcription of the will contained no mention of Mary.  In fact, the only married daughter in his will was Jemima.  The author of the article goes on to show that Mrs. Mary Waller lived near Edward Herndon, providing strong circumstantial evidence that Edward had married her daughter, Mary Waller[9].  The arguments are weak, based on the reasons already given.

“Riffe’s treatise also makes reference to The Herndon Family of Virginia by John Goodwin Herndon.  This book, part of a multivolume set, was located in the Family History Library’s collection.  The author cites the source of the Herndon-Waller marriage to Mr. Moncure D. Conway.  The same assumption underlies this theory, that Mrs. Mary Waller, still alive in 1729, was the mother of Mary Waller, born in 1674, and therefore, the wife of Edward Herndon, because he lived nearby.  The supporting evidence for Mr. Herndon’s assertion is a letter written in 1787 to Joseph Herndon, a grandson of Edward.  In the letter, he referred to his cousin, Jack Waller[10].  It seems that by 1787, after two more generations since Edward had come along, there would have been plenty of opportunities for the Herndon and Waller families to intermarry.  This bit of evidence seems insufficient to conclude that Edward Herndon had married Mary Waller.  Although such may indeed be the case, it seems that hasty judgment may have come into play early on.  Once such conclusions get into print, they are circulated and eventually carved into stone.  Edward may have married a Waller relative, but nothing has been found to indicate that his wife was named Mary.”

Forde concludes as follows: “In summary, these are the points against the supposition that Edward Herndon’s wife was Mary Waller, daughter of John Waller and Mary Pomfret:

  • Dr. John Waller of England died in 1723.  His will did not mention a daughter, Mary, suggesting that she could have predeceased him.  His will also made no mention of his wife, which would be very peculiar had she been alive.
  • Dr. John’s wife, Mary Pomfret Waller, would not leave him before his death, at the age of nearly eighty, to go to America.
  • It is highly unlikely she would still be alive in 1739 at nearly one hundred years of age.
  • No document exists that even gives Edward Herndon’s wife’s first name as Mary.
  • There were several Wallers in the area, and by 1720, a new generation had come to maturity in America.  One of these younger Wallers could have left a widow named Mary. 

“It is very unlikely that any new evidence will be located concerning these families, especially considering that most of the records have been destroyed in the counties where the Wallers lived.  Research at this point focuses on the careful interpretation of the existing records, with a skeptical eye toward published genealogies.”

 

John Waller, the younger – Immigrant to Virginia:

Most of this information is taken directly from Riffe’s article (Part 1):

John Waller (often referred to as Col. John Waller to distinguish him from Dr. John Waller, his father) was born in 1673 at Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England.

In about 1697-98, John married He married Dorothy King (1675-1759) of Nansemond County.  He died in Spotsylvania County in 1754.

The date at which John Waller left England for Virginia and the name of the ship on which he took passage are both unknown.  We do know, however, that he had arrived in the colony before May 1696.  On 28 May 1696, John Waller bought land that became the site of his home “Endfield”.  The site consisted of 1,039 acres of land on the west bank of the Mattapony River in the part of King & Queen County that became King William County in 1701.  That plat bears the inscription Mr. John Waller his plot for 1039 Acres of Land bought of Elias Downes in Pamunkey Neck, 1000 acres thereof belonging to Thomas Baker and the description of the survey – giving metes and bounds of the land is dated and signed… May ye 28th. 1696. Measured James Taylor.  This plat and description are reproduced below:

from Andrew Lewis Riffe, "The Wallers of Endfield", The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, July 1951

from Andrew Lewis Riffe, “The Wallers of Endfield”, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, July 1951

 

from Andrew Lewis Riffe, "The Wallers of Endfield", The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, July 1951

from Andrew Lewis Riffe, “The Wallers of Endfield”, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, July 1951

 

This land on which John Waller made his home, called “Endfield”, was patented some thirty years before Waller purchased it by John Talbott and Elias Downes, as is attested by a document among the collection of Waller family papers that contains the numerous original items used in Riffe’s article.  The land patent books of the colony (now in the Department of Archives, Virginia State Library, Richmond) do not give the patent for this land – a fact that makes the attested copy among the Waller family papers all the more valuable[11].

Riffe explains the history of the Endfield property in a note to his article as follows:

“We use the name Endfield for the ancient Waller Estate on the Mattapony River, King William County because that is the designation given to the plantation in a deed June 6, 1814, from William Waller, executor of John Waller, deceased, conveying the land to Carter B. Berkeley.  This designation of the estate by name, in the deed of June 6, 1814, is the earliest reference so far found in remaining official records.  In the Waller family papers there is also a paper marked “Plot of Endfield, King William Co.”  There is no date on this “Plot” but it is evidently of about the same date with the deed of Waller to Berkeley; maybe a trifle earlier.  There are no names of persons on this “plot.”  In all heretofore published notes on the Waller family the name of this estate appears as Enfield which is an erroneous designation.”[12]

from Andrew Lewis Riffe, "The Wallers of Endfield", The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, July 1951

from Andrew Lewis Riffe, “The Wallers of Endfield”, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, July 1951

The plat itself, bearing date 28 May 1696, is most interesting in the light of a suit that came some sixty-five years later in the record of which John Waller (the son of John Waller, the purchaser of this land) stated that his father had promised him 500 acres of this King William County estate at the time of his marriage.  The original plat shows a line of division, evidently drawn in much later than the original draft, and in the handwriting of John Waller, the original owner, appear the names of the heirs to whom the estate would descend.  The main body of the tract is marked Jno Wallers; the remainder of the river end is marked Tho:Wallers, while the Huckleberry ponds and up ground is marked Mary Wallers.  It was Thomas Waller’s and Mary Waller’s portions of this land that John Waller (their father, the original owner) sold to Benjamin Waller.  A reference in the surveyor’s notes (accompanying the plat) to C. A small Spanish oak on a ridge on ye south side of ye road now Mrs. Mars and a reference in the surveyor’s description of metes and bounds of the land to a small Spanish oake on a ridge in sight of Mrs. Mars, are interesting in view of the fact that John Waller (the original owner of the tract platted) for love and affection deeded to one Richard Marr 200 acres of land on 20 May 1704.  The portion of the tract marked on the plat Jno. Wallers was the part of the plantation on which the dwelling house and its dependent buildings were situated, while dispute over that portion marked as the sunken grounds (indicated by dots on the plat) resulted in the suit by means of which the collection of Waller papers used in Riffe’s article have been preserved.

On this land that he purchased from Elias Downes in May or early June 1696, John Waller (1673-1654) established his home in Virginia. The low rambling house — typical of late seventeenth century dwelling houses in the colony — was probably built by John Waller between 1696 and 1706, its charming appearance luckily preserved for all to see. Of solid frame construction white in color — its wide facade and numerous ells seem to grow from the ground as do the ancient English oak and mulberry trees under which it seems to have fallen asleep while its six chimneys stand as sentinels. The mulberry is reminiscent of the dream of a great colonial silk industry in whose prospective bonanza of wealth John Waller no doubt hoped to share. The woods grow deep in Tidewater Virginia and the summer sun beats down on the fields; and in Pamunkey Neck the green, alluring swamplands come nearly to the doors. “Endfield,” which was the name given to this Waller plantation, was no exception; and here in this home the children of John Waller and Dorothy, his wife, were born.

The names of the parents of Dorothy King were unknown to Riffe.

John Waller (1673-1754), whose first Virginia home was “Endfield” plantation, successively in King & Queen and in King William counties, was a notable man of his time as an official in both the civil and military establishments of the colony.  John Waller appears as a justice of the peace in King & Queen County, February 1698/9 and as Sheriff of that county, 1699-1701/2.[13]  In September 1701, King & Queen County was divided, that part south of the Mattapony River — known as Pamunkey Neck — becoming the county of King William.  John Waller is referred to as Captain John Waller in April 1701 (in a patent to Richard Littlepage), was a justice of the peace in King William County 1701/2; later major in the militia of that county serving in the regiment commanded by Colonel John West; and was appointed Sheriff of King William for 1702 and 1703.[14]  At a meeting of the Governor’s Council March 12, 1701/2, the record states that Mr. Waller hath upon several occasions given proof of his dilligence and fidelity in discharging the trusts reposed in him.  On 3 May 1704, Major John Waller (later colonel) was directed by the Governor and Council to take with him what force of militia he judged convenient and bring to Williamsburg two Indians who had threatened Her Majesty’s government and burned a Chickahominy Indian.  The expense of this expedition was £1: 3:6, for accommodating the guard to Williamsburg, and ten shillings per man for each of the six men who went to search for the Indians.  Major Waller, perhaps playing for higher stakes, received a grant of land (formerly the property of William Bates) by patent bearing date May 4, 1704.[15]  John Waller was a representative from King William County in the House of Burgesses, 1710-1714 and 1720-1722.[16]

John Waller was the first Sheriff of the new county and was in the commission of Justices, a Burgess in 1710 and 1714, vestryman and an officer in the militia.  When Spotsylvania County was formed from Essex, King & Queen and King William Counties, John Waller was the first clerk of Spotsylvania Court (1722-1742) (the first of five successive Wallers in this office.)  His home in Spotsylvania was called “Newport” after his place of birth in England.

Late in the year 1723, sadness came to the Waller home in Virginia when word was received of the death of Doctor John Waller who died in Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire, where we are told his body was entombed August 6, 1723 (Venn and Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses… Part I to 1750, Volume IV, page 321, gives this date); and, according to the directions of his will laid in that Vault or Monumnt… on the South side of the Church of Newport Pagnel… built first for my dear son James and remains for a burying place for myself and those of my family of Wallers forever when it shall please God to call them.  Dr. John Waller quite evidently gave careful consideration to the matter of the settlement of his worldly estate, as well as the disposition of his remains, for his will bears date August 1716, six years before his death in the late summer of 1723.  Dr. John Waller bequeathed to my son John Waller who liveth in Virginia, over and above what I have already given and lent him the legacy or sum of twenty pounds and to his eldest daughter Mary Ten pounds and to the rest of his children five pounds apiece… Does not the wording of this bequest seem to indicate that the good Doctor may have financed his son John’s venture to Virginia?

Virginia Historical Highway Marker Z-200, county line, U.S. Route 17 (N 38° 14.312 W 077° 22.169)

Virginia Historical Highway Marker Z-200, county line, U.S. Route 17 (N 38° 14.312 W 077° 22.169)

After a quarter of a century’s residence at “Endfield,” his estate in King William County, rendering service in offices both civil and military in that county (and formerly in King & Queen County) Col. John Waller removed to Spotsylvania County, sometime about 1723-26, where he settled a large plantation.  By act of the Virginia General Assembly, December 1720, parts of the upper areas of the counties of Essex, King William and King & Queen were set apart to form a new county under the name of Spotsylvania; the first court for Spotsylvania having been held August, 1722 (Hening, Statutes at Large… of Virginia, Volume 4, pages 77 and 540; and Spotsylvania County records, Book A, 1722-1749, record of first court of Spotsylvania).  Col. John Waller gave to his home plantation in Spotsylvania County the name of “Newport,” reminiscent of his birth place, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England.

Newport was the plantation, near the present-day rural community of Partlow, Virginia, where Kunta Kinte of Alex Haley’s Roots: The Saga of an American Family[17] was a slave to a grandson of Col John Waller, i.e., John Waller (1741-1775), the son of Col John Waller’s son William Waller (1714-1760).  The historical accuracy of this and many other details of Haley’s work is questionable, but this is the plantation described in Haley’s book.

Wallers Road & Partlow Road, near the present-day rural community of Partlow, Virginia

Wallers Road & Partlow Road, near the present-day rural community of Partlow, Virginia

Newport Plantation, was situated on a tract of land that Col. Waller purchased of Major William Todd, patenting the land in his own name, April 25, 1726.  The record of the purchase of this land has not been found of record; but the patent therefor appears as follows: April 25, 1726 Colonel John Waller of Spotsylvania County, Gentleman, 1,000 acres of new land on south side of middle river of Mattapony, in St. George’s Parish, Spotsylvania County (Patent Book No. 12, page 347, in Division of Archives, Virginia State Library, Richmond).  This home plantation Col. John Waller devised by his will, after the death of his wife, Mrs. Dorothy [King] Waller, to his son Col. William Waller.  Col. John Waller also appears as patenting and purchasing other lands both in King William and Spotsylvania Counties (Patent Books No. 10, pages 67 and 91; No. II , pages 53 and 94; No. 13, page 484; No. 14, page 57; Spotsylvania Records [edited by W. A. Crozier], page 100).

Col. John Waller, removing from his “Endfield” estate in King William County, and establishing his “Newport” estate in Spotsylvania, became in 1722 the first clerk of Spotsylvania County, a position which he filled with great honor, both to himself and to the county, for twenty years.  In 1742 he was succeeded by his son Edmund Waller.  Col. John Waller was also a member of the vestry of St. George’s Parish, Spotsylvania County, during many years having been first elected thereto in 1725/6  (Slaughter, History of St. George’s Parish… page 63) and was named as one of the first board of trustees for the town of Fredericksburg at its establishment by act of the Virginia General Assembly, passed 22 Mar 1727 [1727/8] and approved by the Governor on 20 Mar 1728 (McIlwaine, editor, Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 1727-1740, page 52; McIlwaine, editor, Legislative Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia, Volume II, page 745; Hening, Statutes at Large… of Virginia, Volume IV, pages 234 et seq).

Col. John Waller (1673-1754), first of his line of Wallers in Virginia, master of “Endfield” in King William County and of “Newport” in Spotsylvania County, died at his home in Spotsylvania in the early Fall (probably very late in September) 1754.  His will dated 2 Aug 1753, with codicil dated 15 Aug 1754, was admitted to probate in Spotsylvania County Court, October 1, 1754.

In about 1696-97, Colonel John Waller (1673-1754) married Dorothy King (born 1675 and died 1759; her will dated 26 Oct 1758, probated Spotsylvania County, 1 Oct 1759).  According to Riffe, her ancestry has never been determined[18].

Col. John Waller (1673-1754) of “Endfield,” King William County and “Newport” Spotsylvania County, and his wife, Dorothy King (circa 1675-1759) had the following children:

  1. Mary, born 30 Jan 1699 and died 23 March 1781.  On 9 Jan  1725, she married Zachary Lewis of Spotsylvania County, who was born 1 Jan 1702 and died 20 Jan 1765.  They had the following children[19]:
    1. Ann Lewis, born 30 Nov, 1726 and died 2 Aug 1748.  On 26 Dec 1747 she married George Wythe (as his first wife).  George Wythe (1726- 1806) of Williamsburg later became one of Virginia’s most distinguished citizens.  He was one of the Virginia Signers of the Declaration of Independence and an eminent lawyer and jurist.
    2. Mary Lewis, born 30 Jan 1727 and died July 1803.  On 16 Feb 1750 she married Francis Meriwether.
    3. John Lewis, born 18 October 1729 and died 12 Sep 1780.  He married (1st) Sarah Iverson and (2nd) Mildred Lewis.
    4. Zachary Lewis, born 6 May 1731 and died 21 Jul 1803.  On 8 May 1771 he married Ann Overton Terrell, who was born 3 Sep 1748 and died 30 Nov 1820.
    5. Elizabeth Lewis, born 9 Oct 1732 and died 1809.  She married (1t) Col. James Littlepage (1714-1766) and (2d) Maj. Lewis Holladay (1751-1820).
    6. Mourning Lewis, born 1 Apr 1734 and died 12 Apr 1734.
    7. Lucy Lewis, born 5 Dec 1735 and died 1788.  She married Christopher Ford.
    8. Dorothea Lewis, born 3 Sep 1737.  She married Christopher Smith.
    9. Waller Lewis, born 12 Sep 1739.  He married Sarah Lewis.
    10. Benjamin Lewis, born 16 Jun 1744.  He married Martha A. Bickerton.
  2. John Waller (born circa 1701 and died 1776 (see below).
  3. Thomas, born 1705 and died about 1765.  In about 1725 he married Elizabeth Dabney, who was born about 1705 and died in 1794.  Their children are listed as follows:
    1. Thomas, born about 1730 and died in 1798).  In about 1750 he married Susanna [Edwards?].
    2. Dorothy, born about 1732 and died in 1792.  In 1750 she married Solomon Quarles.  He was born in 1725 and died 30 Dec  1774 .
    3. John, born in 1735; styled John Waller, King Wm); married Mary Ann.
  4. William Waller[20], born in June 1714 and died 10 Jan 1760.  On 21 Jun 1738 he married Mrs. Ann (Stanard) Beverley (about 1716-1756), and they had the following children:
    1. (Dr.) William, born 1739.
    2. John[21], born about 1741 and died about 1775.  He married Ann Bowker (she married second, Thomas Pritchett).
    3. Ann, married John Beverely  Roy.
    4. Dorothy, married Richard Johnston.
    5. Martha, married Capt. Gabriel Jones.
    6. Sarah, died unmarried.

      Benjamin Waller (1716-1786)

      Benjamin Waller (1716-1786)

  5. Benjamin[22], born 1 Oct 1716 and died 31 May 1786).  On 2 Jan 1746 he married Martha Hall, who was born 2 Jul 1728 and died 4 Aug 1780.  Their children are listed as follows:
    1. Martha, born 28 Nov 1747.  On 15 March 1767, she married William Taylor of Lunenburg County, who was born in 1739 and died 11 Sep 1820.
    2. Robert, born 16 Jul 1749and died October, 1749.
    3. Ben, born 3 Dec 1750 and died 31 Aug 1751.
    4. Mary, born 14 Jul 1752.  She married John Tayloe Corbin.
    5. John[23], born 25 Jul 1753.  On 11 Sep 1774 he married Judith Page.
    6. Dorothy Elizabeth, born 2 Jan 1754 and died 13 May 1777.  On 13 Jan 1774 she married Henry Tazewell.  They are the parents of Littleton Waller Tazewell[24], Governor of Virginia.
    7. Ann, born 29 Feb 1756 and died 10 Nov 1785.  On 18 Apr 1773 she married John Boush.
    8. Benjamin Carter, born 24 Dec 1757.  He married Catharine Page.
    9. Clara, born 16 Sep 1759.  She married (1st) Edward Travis and (2nd) Mordecai Booth.
    10. William, born 18 Feb 1762 and died in 1820.  On 30 Nov 1786 he married Elizabeth Macon.
    11. Robert Hall, born 7 Jan 1764.  He married (1st) Nancy Camm and (2nd) Martha (nee Langhorne) Crafford.
    12. Sarah, born 16 Jan 1766.  She married John Smith.
    13. Frances, born 6 Apr 1767 and died 15 Jun 1767.
  6. Edmund[25], born about 1718 and died in 1771.  On 18 Oct 1740 he married Mary Pendleton (1720-1808).  Their children are listed as follows:
    1. (Rev.) John, born 23 Dec 1741 and died 4 Jul 1802.  He married (1st) Elizabeth Curtis and (2nd) Rachel [family surname unknown]
    2. (Rev.) William (1747-1830).  He married Mildred Smith (1746-1830).
    3. Benjamin (1749-1835).  He married (1st) Jean Curtis and (2nd) Rachel [family surname unknown].
    4. Leonard James Mourning, married (1st) Agnes Chiles and (2nd) Frances Robinson.
    5. Mary, married William Wigglesworth.
    6. Dorothy Jemima, born 1758 and died 12 Jan 1838.  She married Benjamin Stephens, who was born 15 Apr 1754 and died 14 Sep 1839.
    7. Nancy, married George Mason.

This list of the children and grandchildren of Col. John Waller (1673-1754) and Dorothy (King) Waller (about 1675-1759) was compiled by Miss Anne Waller Reddy of Richmond, Virginia.

John Waller (the son of Col. John Waller and grandson of Dr. John Waller of Newport Pagnell) was born about 1701 and died in 1776.  In 1730 he married Agnes Carr (born 1712 and died in 1779), the daughter of Thomas and Mary (Dabney) Carr.  He appears in list of vestrymen of St. George’s Parish, Spotsylvania County in 1733 as John Waller, Jr. and as John Waller, Jr. he qualified- to his commission, dated 14 Jul 1746 as Sheriff of Spotsylvania County.  He was the eldest son of Col. John Waller and Dorothy King, a fact which is attested and fully proved by the record of probate of his father’s will:

At a Court held for Spotsylvania County on Tuesday October the 1st. 1754. The last will and testament of John Waller, Gent. Deced. was exhibited and sworn to by William Waller, Gent. one of the Exors therein named and was proved… and ordered to be recorded…  and… certificate is granted for obtaining a probate thereof… . And John Waller Gent eldest son & heir at law to the testator appeared and desired time to contest the validity of the said will, which is granted, And it is ordered that he be summoned to the next court to contest the said will, relating to the land devised away from him, if he Shall think fit… At a Court Continued and held for Spotsylvania County, December the 4th. 1754.  John Waller son and heir at law of John Waller, Gent. Deceased being summoned to appear and make his objections, if any he had, to the proof of the will of the sd. deceased, or contest the validity thereof in regard to the lands devised away from him, being Solemnly called, came not, and his failure is ordered to be recorded…[26]

The will of John Waller of Berkeley Parish, Spotsylvania County dated 6 Feb 1776 and probated 18 Aug 1776 (Spotsylvania County records, Will Book E, 1772-1798, page 153), and the will of his widow, Mrs. Agnes [Carr] Waller, dated 20 May 1777 and probated March 1779 (Ibid., page 288) names their children and several of their grandchildren.

The children of John Waller (1701-1776) and Agnes Carr (1712-1779) are listed as follows:

  1. Thomas Carr Waller (see below).
  2. Pomfrett, born 20 Jan 1747 and died 20 Jun 1799).  He married Martha Martin.
  3. Agnes,  married [unknown] Johnson.
  4. Ann, married James Bullock.
  5. Mary, married James Overton.
  6. Sarah, married Clifton Rhodes (1740-1819) of Albemarle County.
  7. Dorothy, married Thomas Goodloe.
  8. Elizabeth, married Edmund Eggleston.

Thomas Carr Waller was born 29 Jul 1732 and died 10 Feb 1787, both in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.  In about 1770 he married Sarah Dabney, who was born 2 Oct 1740 and died 10 Jan 1822.  She is the daughter of John Dabney and Sarah Harris.  During the War of American Independence, Thomas was a private in the 6th Continental Line and received a pension for his services[27].

The children of Thomas Carr Waller and Sarah Ann Dabney are listed as follows:

  1. Mary Dabney, born 26 Feb 1761 and died 31 Oct 1818.
  2. Anna, born 11 Nov 1762 and died 5 Aug 1834.
  3. Sarah, born 24 Jan  1764 and died 22 Mar 1843.
  4. Agnes, born 1 Nov 1764 (date of death unknown).
  5. Carr, born 12 Mar 1769 and died 7 May 1843.
  6. Dabney Waller, see below.
  7. Dorothy Dolly, born 31 Mar 1777 and died 2 Dec 1838.
  8. John, born 10 Feb 1780 and died 10 Sep 1824.
  9. Elizabeth, born 2 Mar 1783 and died 7 Jun 1872.

Dabney Waller was born 20 Feb 1772 and died 6 Jun 1849, both at Cedar Point, Spotsylvania County, Virginia.  On 31 Oct 1797 he married to Elizabeth Minor, the daughter of Thomas Carr Minor and Mary DabneyElizabeth was born 26 Sep 1768 and died 7 Jan 1832, both in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.   Due to the extensive intermarriage among the Waller, Dabney and Harris families, Dabney Waller and Elizabeth Minor were quite closely related, sharing 6 of 16 great grandparents in common.  The relationships of this couple are summarized as follows:

  • 1st cousins through John Cornelius Dabney (1724-1773) and Anna Harris (1724-1775) through two daughters: Sarah Ann Dabney (1740-1822) and Mary Dabney (1742-1818)
  • 2nd cousins through Thomas Carr (1678-1737) and Mary Dabney (1688-1748) through two daughters: Agnes Carr (1712-1779) and Sarah Dabney Carr (1714-1772)
  • 3rd cousins through Cornelius Dabney (about 1631-before 1694) and his second wife Susanna Swann [?] (about 1643-1724) though two children: Mary Dabney (1688-1748) and Cornelius Dabney (1675-1765)

The daughter of Dabney Waller and Elizabeth Minor is Elizabeth Dabney Waller, born 11
Apr 1818 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia and died 12 Apr 1881 in Brownsville, Saline County, Missouri.

On 28 Sep 1830, Elizabeth Dabney Carr married Henry S.E. Pollard, who was born 2 Feb 1809 and died 3 Nov 1884.  Their lineage is continued under the heading of Robert Pollard (1610-1668).


[1] Due to the significant intermarriage in this branch of the family tree, Elizabeth Dabney Waller (my paternal 4th great grandmother) has only 44 ancestors going back five generations, instead of the theoretically “correct” number of 62 ancestors.

[2] The Register of the Parish of Walton (near Bletchley) Buckinghamshire, 1598-1812. Privately printed for the Bucks Parish Register Society by permission of the Reverend Algernon E. Tollemache, B.A.; Rector of Walton. Page 18: 1669. Mr. John Waller and Mrs. Mary Pomfrett of Newport Pagnell were married January 13th. 1669 (cited by Riffe).

[3] Lipscombe, The History and Antiquities of… Buckingham… Volume IV, pages 5, 139-140 (cited by Riffe).

[4] William and Mary Quarterly, First Series, Volume 9, pages 63 et seq., gives the dates of births of the children of Doctor John Waller and Mary, his wife as recorded in the Register of Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, communicated by the Reverend C. M. Ottley, vicar of Newport Pagnell. The dates of births as given above are as given in the Quarterly. Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 26, pages 32-33 (quoting the Quarterly, Volume 9, page 63) also gives the dates of the births of the children of Doctor John Waller and Mary, his wife (cited by Riffe).

[5] William Waller, M.A., Corpus Christi [Cambridge], 1697… Matriculated (Wadham College, Oxford) April 5, 1688, age 16; B.A. (Oxford) 1691; ordained priest (Norwich) September, 1697; rector of Gressenhall, Norfolk, 1700-1704; rector of Brisley, 1704; rector of Walton, Bucks, 1711-1751; buried there February 25, 1750/I. Venn and Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses… Part I to 1750; Volume IV, page 321, column 7 (research made since the publication of Alumni Cantabrigienses has proved that this Reverend William Waller, was William, son of Doctor John and Mary [Pomfrett] Waller, of Newport Pagnell, Bucks; and that the said William was brother of Edmund Waller [1680-1745/6], a graduate of Cambridge; see note below regarding Edmund Waller). In The Register of the Parish of Walton (near Bletchley) Buckinghamshire, 1598-1812… page 2, we find: Gulielmus Waller, Rector de Walton Junii: 23o Anno Dom: 1711. Mr. Waller was buried Febry. 25, 1750/1.” (The will of William Waller, rector of Walton, Bucks; dated October 26, 1747; probated March 28, 1751; recorded Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 100 Busby.) Lips­cornbe, The History and Antiquities of the County of Buckingham, Volume IV, page 387 states that “William Waller, A.M. who was presented 23 June I711 [to rectorship of Walton, Bucks] by John Waller, Gent. an Attorney of Newport Pagnell. He died 18 Feb. 1750, aged 8o years, and was buried 25 Feb. in the church-yard, under the east window of the chancel.” The item in Lipscombe does not state that “John Waller, an Attorney” was the father of William Walton, whom he presented to the rectorship of Walton. He may, however, have been the father of the rector as surmised by Dr. John G. Herndon in his Waller note in William and Mary Quarterly, Second Series, Volume 22 (July 1942), page 313.

[6] The will of Doctor John Waller, of Newport Pagnell, Bucks, dated August 21, 1716, probated November 6, 1723 does not mention this daughter Mary Waller (born May 23, 1674) nor the son Steven Waller (born Nov. 24, 1676) and the natural presumption is that both Mary and Steven were dead at the time that their father made his will. Thus far research has failed to dis­cover any further recorded reference to the names of this Mary and Steven Waller. We would note, however, that the late Moncure D. Conway made the statement (without giving any specific reference therefor) many years ago, that “Edward Herndon [of King and Queen and Caroline Counties, Virginia] married Mary Waller in 1698″ (see Virginia Magazine of History and Biog­raphy, Volume 9 [January 1902 number] page 319) and an argument based on circumstantial evidence has been advanced to identify this Mrs. Mary (Waller) Herndon as Mary Waller (born May 23, 1674) daughter of Doctor John and Mary (Pomfrett) Waller of Newport Pagnell, Bucks. This argument from circumstantial evidence is made by Doctor John G. Herndon in The Herndon Family of Virginia, Volume One, The First Three Generations (Privately printed, 1947), pages 7-8, and in his article entitled “Waller” in William and Mary Quarterly, Second Series, Volume 22 (July 1942 number), pages 312-316. We are not prepared, however, to ac­cept the argument from circumstantial evidence as proving that Mary Waller who married Edward Herndon (according to the statement of the late Moncure D. Conway) was identical with Mary Waller (born May 23, 1674) daughter of Doctor John and Mary (Pomfrett) Waller, of Newport Pagnell, Bucks. (See Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 55, pages 295-6 for our review of The Herndon Family of Virginia, Volume One, The First Three Generations.

[7] Edmund Waller, admitted Pens. (age 16) at St. John’s [Cambridge] March 30, 1698; son of John Waller (1664 [Cambridge]) M.D.; Born at Newport Pagnell, Bucks; School, Newport Pag­nell (Dr. Banks); matriculated 1698; B.A. 1701/2; M.A. 1705; M.D. 1712; Fellow 1705-45. Died 1745; buried in the College Chapel. Venn and Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses… Part I to 1750, Volume IV, page 321, Column 1. The will of Edmund Waller, Doctor of Physic, Senior Fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge; dated November 21, 1745; codicil December 11,1745; probated January 8, 1745 [1745/6]; among other bequests: “to my brother John Waller in Virginia or if he be dead to be divided amongst all his children £100 excepting his eldest son John to whom in particular I give £50…” He also directs: “If I die any great distance from Cambridge or Newport Pagnell, Bucks, to be buried where I die; if at Newport Pagnell, aforesaid, in family vault in the Church yard.” Edmund Waller’s will was recorded Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 31 Edmunds; an abstract thereof is given in Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 26, pages 275-6.

[8] William and Mary Quarterly, First Series, Volume 9, page 63. The register of Newport Pagnell also gives the following items: “Buried… Ann Waller, July 7, 1678… James Waller, son of John, January 1683… Alice Waller, September 27, 1699…” We have not been able to identify Ann Waller. James Waller was the son for the interment of whose body Doctor John Waller erected the family vault in the churchyard of Newport Pagnell, as be tells in his will. Alice Waller was in all probability a sister of Doctor John Waller and the person to whom Doctor Waller refers in his will as his daughter Jemima Waller’s “Aunt Alice Waller.”

[9] “Waller”, William and Mary College Quarterly, Vol. 22, No. 3, July 1942, pp. 312-316 (cited in Forde).

[10] John Goodwin Herndon. The Herndon Family of Virginia (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: privately published) 1947, pp. 7-10 (cited in Forde).

[11] The attested copy of this patent reads: To all &c Whereas &c Now know ye that I the said Sr William Berkeley Knt Governor &c do with the Consent of the Council of State give and grant unto John Talbott and Elias Downes sixteen hundred Acres of Land lying and being in the County of New Kent on the South side of Mattapony River Beginning at a White Oak a little below sunken Ground thence into the Woods S.W. 1/2 Westerly to a red Oak 480 poles, Thence N.W. and by W. 160 Poles to a Hiccory thence N.W. and by N. 320 Poles to a red Oak Corner Tree in the Forkes of Fawneses Branch which Corner Tree divides the Land of Edward Holmes and this Divident, thence down Fawnes Branch N.N.E. 200 Poles to a Poplar Thence East and by North i8o Poles to a red Oak thence N.E. &c by E. 40 Poles thence N.E. 20 poles to a Red Oak thence N1/2 Easterly 46 Poles to a White Oak thence N.E. by N. 40 Poles to a Pine by the River’s Side on the lower Side of Fawne’s Branch the run of the said Branch dividing this Divident from the said Holmes thence S.E. 1/2 Easterly down the River, 168 Poles thence E 1/2 Northerly 178 Poles to the Mouth of a small Swamp that comes out the Sunken Ground thence South E & by E 205 Poles to the white Oak the first Station where it began being bounded with marked Trees all round The said Land being due unto them by and for the Transportation of two and thirty Persons into this Colony &c To have and to hold &c To be held &c yielding & paying &c Provided &c Dated the Eighteenth Day of December in the year Lord 1667. Copy Test Ben:Waller Matt:Kemp C.S.0. This document is inscribed on the back Copy of Talbott & Downes their Patent for 1600 acres.  The copy of this patent (the only evidence of the patent’s ever having been issued) is owned by L. Harvey Poe, Jr., Richmond. Its attestation Copy Test Ben:Waller Matt:Kemp C.S.0. shows that this copy was attested by Benjamin Waller who was, at the time the copy was made, clerk of the General Court and Matthew Kemp who was clerk of the Secretary of State’s office in which patents for land were recorded. The date at which this copy of the patent was made does not appear. We cannot say why there is no record of this patent in the remaining Patent Books, though researchers have discovered in deeds and other original sources evidence of patents issued that seem never to have been recorded. Benjamin Waller was a son of Colonel John Waller who purchased the land from Elias Downes, as recited above.

[12] Riffe, Part 1, p. 337.

[13] McIlwaine (editor), Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia, June 11, 1680 — June 22, 1699, pages 411 and 446; Ibid., August 3, 1699 — April 27, 1705, page 135.

[14] McIlwaine (editor), Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia, August 3, 1699 — April 27, 1705, pages 225 and 235.

[15] McIlwaine (editor), Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia, August 3, 1699 — April 27, 1705, pages 364, 370 and 368.

[16] McIlwaine (editor), Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, Volume 1702/3-1712, page IX; Ibid., Volume 1712-26, pages VII and X.

Roots, by Alex Haley (first published in 1976)

Roots, by Alex Haley (first published in 1976)

[17] Roots: The Saga of an American Family is a novel written by Alex Haley and first published in 1976. It tells the story of Kunta Kinte, an 18th-century African, captured as an adolescent and sold into slavery in the United States, and follows his life and the lives of his alleged descendants in the U.S. down to Haley. The release of the novel, combined with its hugely popular television adaptation, Roots (1977), led to a cultural sensation in the United States. The novel spent weeks on The New York Times Best Seller List, including 22 weeks in that list’s top spot. The last seven chapters of the novel were later adapted in the form of a second miniseries, Roots: The Next Generations, in 1979. Following the success of the original novel and the miniseries, Haley was sued by author Harold Courlander, who successfully asserted that Roots was plagiarized from his own novel The African, published nine years prior to Roots in 1967. The resulting trial ended with an out-of-court settlement and Haley’s admission that some passages within Roots had been copied from Courlander’s work. As for the novel’s historical accuracy, researchers have cast doubts on whether Haley truly tracked down his ancestry to a specific village and individual, or was merely being told what he wanted to hear by the people who lived there.

[18] I am exploring the possibility that Dorothy was a descendant of Capt. William King, who may be the first of my ancestors to have set foot on the shores of North America.  In 1609, he commanded the ship Diamond (along with a Capt. Ratcliffe), as a member of the so-called “Third Supply” mission to Jamestown, Virginia.  The Diamond arrived at Jamestown on 18 Aug 1609, and on the return voyage later that year, the Diamond was wrecked in a storm near the English coast, and Capt. William King was lost at sea. The son of Capt. William King, Capt. John King, of the ship Falcon (who went first to Barbadoes and then to Virginia), ultimately settled in Virginia and established the family line in that colony.  However, it was his father, who never settled permanently in the colony, who may be the first of my ancestors to visit American shores.

[19] For children (and their descendants) of Zachary Lewis (1702-1765) and Mary Waller (1699-­1781), his wife, see Hayden, Virginia Genealogies…. pages 381 et seq., and Anderson, Lewises, Meriwethers and their Kin… Richmond, Virginia (1938), pages 355 et seq.  Zachary Lewis was a distinguished lawyer and wealthy planter of his time. He became a member of the Vestry of St. George’s Parish, Spotsylvania County, in 1728and  was King’s Attorney for Spotsylvania and a representative in the House of Burgesses from that county from 1757-1761.

[20] After the death of his father, William Waller (1714-1760) inherited (after the death of his mother, Mrs. Dorothy Waller) the “Newport” estate in Spotsylvania County that his father Col. John Waller had established.  William Waller (1714-1760) was a man of considerable distinction in the life of his county. He was captain of a troop of horse in November 1737 and on 4 Jul 1749 qualified to his com­mission as colonel of horse in Spotsylvania County. In 1745 he became a member of the Vestry of St. George’s Parish and was a representative from Spotsylvania County in the House of Burgesses 1742-1753, 1756, and 1758-59. He was a surveyor of the county and succeeded his brother, Edmund Waller, as third clerk of Spotsylvania County in 1751, holding this office until his death. The will of William Waller, of Spotsylvania County, Gent., dated 22 Oct 1756 and probated 6 May 1760, names his childrend as do also A state of the division of the proper slaves of Colonel William Waller, according to his will and state of the division of slaves which Mrs. Ann Waller held as her dower of the estate of Robert Beverley, Esqr. deceased, and are claimed by the children of William Waller, Gent., decd. (Spotsylvania County Orphans Account Book, pages 59 and 61. Riffe acknowledged his indebted to George H. S. King, of Fredericksburg for these last named references). Col. William Waller (1714-1760) married Mrs. Ann (Stanard) Beverley, widow of Robert Beverley (died 1733) Esq., and daughter of William Stanard (1682-1732) and Ann (Hazle­wood) Stanard. It is through the possession by Col. William Waller (1714-1760) of a copper plate of my family arms and my silver seal with the said arms engraved thereon that the Waller family coat of arms has descended in the Virginia family.

[21] John Waller succeeded his father, Col. William Waller (1714-1760) as county clerk of Spotsylvania County and was the fourth of his family to hold that office. John Waller’s estate was administered in Spotsylvania County by John Lewis who gave bond therefor on 28 May 1775.

[22] Refer to the article under “Notable Kin” for a sketch of Benjamin Waller (1716-1786).  In the Virginia Historical Society library there is a copy of The Works of Edmund Waller, Esq.; in Verse and Prose… London… 1730, once the property of Mrs. L. C. Waller who left it by will to Mrs. Mary C. (Waller) Rowland, wife of Thomas B. Rowland, of Norfolk. This book was deposited with the Society in 1915. Inside the back cover is pasted a copy of records from Benjamin Waller’s family Bible.

[23] John Waller, son of Benjamin Waller (1716-1786) was fifth clerk of Spotsylvania County, from  about 1774-1786 and fifth of the Waller name to hold that office.

[24] Refer to the article under “Notable Kin” for a sketch of Littleton Waller Tazewell (1774-1860).

[25] Evidence for names of Edmund Waller’s children is found in wills of their paternal grandparents Col. John and Dorothy (King) Waller, and in deeds in Spotsylvania County records.

[26] Spotsylvania County records, Will Book B, 1749-1758, page 220.  Riffe noted that he was indebted to George H. S. King, Fredericksburg, Virginia, for calling particular attention to this item when he was engaged, sometime since, in proving the eldest among the sons of Colonel John Waller (1673-1754).

[27] Refer SAR application #60915 (Application of Lewis Garland Chewning accepted 18 Feb 1942, Virginia Society).

 

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