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Descendants of Richard Parker

Generation No. 1

1. RICHARD1 PARKER was born Abt. 1624, and died Abt. 1680 in Nansemond Co., Virginia (Source: Waunita Powell, The Three Richard Parkers of VA, 17.). He married UNKNOWN 1654 in Suffolk Co., Virginia (Nansemond Co.) (Source: Waunita Powell, The Three Richard Parkers of VA, 17.). She was born Unknown, and died Unknown.

Notes for R
I have worked on my family's genealogy several years. Just when I thought all is well, the bottom falls out. It has been brought to my attention that there were three Richard Parkers living in Virginia about the same time and many genealogist not realizing this have combined the families together.

I have started with myself and worked backward. With the information given to me by my grandfather, Stephen Judson Parker, I am sure of the information back through Allen Parker (Jan 16, 1785 Chatham Co. NC- Aug, 26, 1860 Randolph Co., AL). With wills and other research, I feel confident back though Simon and Jane Knight Parker. However, there are so many John, Richard, Thomas and Francis Parkers, that I have found it impossible to be positive as to which is our relative. It does appear that Richard Parker, Chirurgeon is not our ancestor, as I had previously thought. With so many of our relatives living in the Nansemond Co. VA area, then Edgecombe Co. and Chatham Co., North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama ,it is possible that Richard Parker of Nansemond Co. is our ancestor. However, I still have problems with this since Grandpa Parker said the Parkers came to Virginia about 1661and it appears from records that this Richard Parker was in VA by about 1640.

Below is an excerpt from "The Three Richard Parkers of VA, collected by Waunita Powell. You may view her complete work at

THE THREE RICHARD PARKERS OF VA, collected by Waunita Powell

"I have put this material together hoping to be of aid to others working on their genealogies. I hope to show enough evidence to prove the separation of these three Richard Parkers. I feel is is necessary because many Genealogies in print have mixed up these three men. Especially genealogies concerning Richard Parker of Nansemond Co. VA. I have not used tradition to prove my point.

Dr. Richard Parker was Christened Nov. 29, 1630 in Warleggon, England. He was the ninth child of James Parker, Knt., and his wife Katherine Buller. (Dr. Richard Parker lived in Charles City Co, and Henrico Co., VA. Married Mary Perkins, widow of Nicholas Perkins, and had 6 children.)

Richard Parker of Surry Co., VA is well documented. It was he that patented land on Blackwater Swamp, and it must have been his Grandson, Richard Parker the 3rd, that Mr. Byrd stayed with when surveying the Virginia-North Carolina line in 1728. Mr. Byrd spoke of Richard Parker's daughter, Sarah. It was this Richard Parker that had a stepdaughter named Sarah. This was near the town of Nottaway, now Courtland, in Southampton Co., VA. Richard Parker of Surry died 1677. This is the line of Miss Isabel Lockard. (She steered me in the right direction when she advised me there were three Richard Parkers in VA at same time.)

Richard Parker of Nansemond Co., VA must have been born ca. 1620-24. He is first found in Headrights of John Carter 1643, and the same listing with Lawrence Peeters in 1647, with variations of spellings of headright's names.
When you study abstracts of land patents of John Carter and Lawrence Peeters you will find the same neighbors mentioned as are mentioned as neighbors of Richard Parker of Nansemond in his land transactions and those of his sons. Richard Parker of Nansemond Co. is probably in the family of Wm. and/or Thomas Parker of Dumplin Creek and Chuckatuck."
SOURCE: The Three Richard Parkers of VA, collected by Waunita Powell


England was embroiled in a civil war about 1640-1650. What were the conditions in the Colony of Virginia at that time? The little settlement of Jamestown had survived "the starving time," the Indian massacre of 1622, many other Indian raids, disease, cold, heart, hunger and hardships of every kind. Due to the troubled times in England many new settlers arrived in the Colony. Since most in the land along the main rivers flowing to the coast had already been claimed, the newcomers settled along the tributaries in the main rivers. About the time in the arrival of Richard Parker into Virginia the Indians were on a warpath. In 1644 numbers of settlers were killed, especially in the outlying districts. Even if there was not a general uprising there was the ever present danger of a few marauding Indians. This condition continued for many years. The settlers on the borders complained to the Governor, but nothing was done to relieve the situation. By 1676 the situation had grown so bad that Nathaniel Bacon felt moved to support the cause in the border settlers. he asked the Governor for commission as he wished to lead a group to subdue the Indians. Beacon was not given a commission so he took matters in his own hands. He fought the Indians near what is now Richmond. history tells the rest in the events that followed.

After the execution of Charles I on January 31, 1649, Cornwall took charge in the government. The king's strongest support had been in the Western part of England while the Eastern portion supported Cornwall. The long arm in the Puritans reached across the Atlantic to Virginia. Lord William Berkeley had been governor in the Colony many years but in 1652 he was removed and Richard Bennett, a Puritan, took his place. Perhaps they thought the colonists had troubles enough without quarreling among themselves. By 1648 the population in the Colony was about 15,000. Considering that this figure included men,women, children and slaves, the Colony was growing slowly.

It was in this period that many Cavaliers came to Southeast Virginia and Northeast North Carolina as they fled from England to save their lives. Some left so hurriedly they brought few possessions with them. These young noblemen were ill prepared to fight Indians and to wrest a living from the wilderness.

Many of England's finest families can be traced to their origins in England. Other families are not so fortunate for missing records leave scant information to bridge the Atlantic. But whether their origins in England can be found or not the Cavaliers left their imprint on the struggling young colony. Their children intermarried, producing people of great intellect and ability. As the years went by they increased in numbers; some spread southward through the Carolinas, Georgia, and on to the West. They carried their heritage and ability with them. Literally thousands and thousands of Southerners are descended from one or more in these Cavaliers. Some Southerners who lost trace in their ancestors are just now becoming interested in proving the lineage that is theirs....

Descendants in the Cavaliers would like to think that their ancestors came to Virginia, immediately settled down in a mansion, maintained a staff of servants and slaves, lived in the fashion of landed gentry. All that was to come later. The truth is when these men arrived they put up huts to shelter them from the wind and the cold. If they were fortunate enough to pay transportation for other settlers in order to obtain land, the land was heavily forested so it would have to be cleared before being cultivated. That represented years of back breaking work. Always there was the ever present danger of a poisoned arrow or a scalping knife.
SOURCE: Some Ancestors and Descendants of Richard Parker, Chirurgeon, born in Cornwall, 1629, died in Virginia, ca 1680 and many other Parker Records, Page 14-15, by Eleanor Davis McSwain, 1980, National Printing Co., Macon, Georgia. Book located Washington Memorial library, Macon, GA

After 1616 everybody coming into the Colony from any other place was entitled to 50 acs. of land in his own name or in the name of the person who paid his passage. Such rights would be bought or sold or transferred without compensation. Often accumulated over a period of years and presented by the holder for patents to larger acreage. The persons named as headrights in a patent did not necessarily arrive in Colony the year the patent was issued, but ofttimes such dates are the only clues to persons first appearance in Virginia. (This is a very important fact to remember when reading of headrights.) Headrights were issued in the name of persons of all social classes--often the younger sons of English Upper Classes. This system gave rise and support to the story of young women being sent to the colony to become wives of the colonists. Their transportation being paid with tobacco warehouse receipts; they eventually being listed for 50 acs. of land each. There is ample evidence that the headrights system was vastly abused. Enormous acreage came into possession of speculators--official and unofficial, who took advantage of lax and careless accounting methods. Although they made a profit they did not profiteer. Emigrants sometimes found it to their advantage to buy from speculators rather than go to the expense and trouble of locating and surveying the land and securing patents.

At first only settlers who actually occupied the land were given the 50 acs. headright. Eventually others received these rights. For example, it sometimes happened that a servant, the master of a ship who brought him into the country, the merchant who sold his indenture, and the master who purchases his services, each secured a headright. Thus, for one settler, two hundred acres were granted instead of fifty. There were many false patents, an example being a slight alteration of the name of the immigrant for a second entry--possibly several years after the first. (remember this when you see the patents of John Carter 1643 and Lawrence Peeters in 1647 naming Richard Parker in Nansemond Co.) For a time it was possible for a patentee to take up 10,000 acs. upon clearing o9ne, building a hut 12 ft. sq. and turning a few hogs into the woods. Many family fortune was founded on the headright system. (Also refer to "Colonial Virginia" by Morton. Pg. 46, 362, 539)

VIRGINIA MAGAZINE OF HISTORY & BIOGRAPHY Vol. 2 Pg. 157--every share-holder who transported an immigrant to the Colony acquired thereby a claim of 50 acres if the person remained three years.

When a patent had been secured by different steps in procedures described there are two important conditions to be observed before title was perfected and a failure to carry out worked a legal forfeiture:#1 Seat the new plantation (erect a cabin of the meanest pretensions on the land) #2. a small stock of cattle to range 12 months in woods. #3. Put down an acre of tobacco or corn.

"COLONIAL VIRGINIA" Vol. 1 Pg. 362 By Morton.
Continued ownership of the land was secured by three conditions: That it be seated or planted within 3 years; That if on frontier the owner keep 4 able bodied, well armed men upon it; And that an annual rent of 2 shillings for every 50 acres, the Quitrent, be paid the King. Sometimes these requirements had not been met. Although the owner in seating land was supposed to build a house on it, to furnish it with a good stock of hogs and cattle, and to plant and improve the soil, many instead cut down a few trees and built a bark-covered hut, planted some corn among the fallen timber, turned a few hogs loose to root for themselves and proceeded to rest from further obligations. Few owners made any attempt to keep armed men on frontier land or pay the quitrent.

From time to time L.P. were forfeited to the crown, but the law was difficult to enforce. Sometimes large tracts were unoccupied while in some cases, indentured servants, who had completed their time, and small farmers with worn out land were forced to hire themselves out, or rent a farm, or take up land either on the extreme frontier or in a neighboring colony. Since the Sheriffs were owned by the Councilors, to whom they owed their positions, and other rich planters, the quitrent on some large tracts were concealed and never collected. (1702 some laws were revised) (It is important to keep all of this information in mind when determining how early some of those people arrived in the colony and how old they were when the patents were secured.) (The above information also explains why many names absent on Quitrent roles.)
Vol. 2 Pg. 420--Act of 1666--Meaning of Seating Planting required of those securing grants: It was then enacted "that building a house and keeping a stock one whole year upon the land shall be accounted Seating: and the clearing, tending and planting an acre of ground shall be accounted planting, and either of those shall be accounted a sufficient performance of the condition required by the patent".

Prior to 1776 in Va, law limited the inheritance of property to a specified line of heirs, so that it could not be left to anyone else (called entail). And prior to 1786 if there was a will the law held that the widow received one-third (Called her dower), for her lifetime, with the remaining two-thirds going to eldest son, unless specified differently in the will. Upon the widow's death the eldest son received her one-third. If there was no will the oldest son received everything. If the oldest son was dead the oldest grandson became heir. If a man was unmarried his heir was his oldest brother. If a man was married, but childless his widow kept the land her lifetime, but if she wanted control she had to petition for a new patent to the land.
SOURCE: The Three Richard Parkers of VA, collected by Waunita Powell, Pg. 3-4

To all ye whereas ye now know that I the said Richard Bennett, Esq. do give and grant unto Mr. Richard Parker four hundred acs. of land situate on or being on the Southern Branch of Nansemund River beg. at a marked White Oak and to running for breadth East North East two hundred poles to a marked Gum butting on the land of Wm. Wright and again for the length and again the length South South East three hundred and twenty poles to a marked tree and again for breadth West South West four hundred poles to a marked Gum and for a length N.N.W. 320 P. joyning to his own land to the first mentioned marked tree. The said land being due unto sd Richard Parker by and for trans.: 8 pers. into this Colony to have and hold yielding and paying which payment is to be made. Dated 5th of Oct. 1654. (Note that this Richard Parker already had land)RE VIRGINIA PATENTS, No. 3 in the VA State Archives, 1652-1655, Pg. 371

The above land was regranted Mar. 18th 1662 by Sir William Berkley Knt. Governor to Richard Parker. This time the land is mentioned as butting lands of ?Wm/Lewis Wright. (Regrants were usually a resurvey of land boundaries that are in dispute.)
Also record of, Richard Parker 400 acs. on S. Br. Nansemond River formerly granted to Mr Richard Parker in 1654. Regranted April 26,1698
SOURCE: The Three Richard Parkers of VA, collected by Waunita Powell, Pg. 17 ;19; 24

John Carter Dec. 22, 1643 received 300 acs. in Nansemond Co. adj. to Wm. Tucker and Thomas Dew for 6 H.R. Morgan Williams, Richard Parker, Robert Pierce, Thomas Norice, Hen. Bartholomew.

Note: same listing--different spelling.
Lawrence Peeters: Pt. Bk. 1 Pg 85; 300 acs. in Nansemond Co. June 17 1647 upon head Br. of NW Br. of Nansemun River called Indian Cr. Adj. to Wm. Story, John Garwood. Trans. 6: Morgan Williams, Richard Parker, Robert Price, Thomas Norris, Israel Harris, Hen. Bertholemewe.
That would seem to make Richard Parker of Nansemond Co. VA in the County by 1640, at least.
SOURCE: The Three Richard Parkers of VA, collected by Waunita Powell, Pg. 18.

Children of R
2. i.   THOMAS2 PARKER, b. Unknown; d. Aft. 1704, Nansemond Co., Virginia.
  ii.   RICHARD PARKER, b. 1655, Parker's Creek, Nansemond Co, Virginia; d. Bef. Apr 1681, Nansemond Co., Virginia.
  iii.   FRANCIS PARKER, b. Unknown, Nansemond Co., Virginia; d. Unknown.

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