Edward Dale’s gift to Elizabeth Rogers / William Rogers obtains a new patent for the Chetwood tract
Transcription of Edward Dale’s gift to his daughter Elizabeth, wife of William Rogers:
“To all people to whome this p[re]sent writeing shall come greeting in our Lord God Everlasting Know yee that I Edward Dale of the County of Lancast[er] in Rappah[annock] River in Virg[ini]a gentl[eman] as well for the n[atu]rall love and affeccone which I beare unto Elizabeth my daughter now the wife of William Rogers Sone of Capt John Rogers of the County of Northumb[er]land in Virg[ini]a aforesaide gent[leman] as also for divers other good causes and Consideracons mee thereunto moveing Have given granted and by these Pr[re]sents doe give grant and Confirme unto the saide Elizabeth All that my Plantacone together with all houses edifices, Orchards, Gardens fences & enclosures thereunto belonging and appertaineing or with the same now used occupied or enioyed conteyning together by estimacone five hundred Acres of Lande more or lesse Set scituate lyeing and being neere the heade of Moratticoe in the aforesaide County of Lancast[er] and was heretofore purchased of M[r.] Thomas Chetwoode, To have and to holde the saide Plantacone and p[re]misses with their appurten[a]nces unto the saide Elizabeth to the uses hereafter menconed that is to say to the use and behoofe of mee the said Edward and Diana my now wife and our assignes Dureing our n[atu]rall lives and the life of the longer Liver of us without impeachm[en]t of waste and after our decease to the use and behoofe of the saide Elizabeth her heires and assignes forever and to none other use or uses intents or purposes whatsoever And I the saide Edward doe for mee & my heires and assignes forever hereby P[ro]mise to warr[an]t and Defend the saide Plantacone and P[re]mises with the Appurten[a]nces unto the saide Elizabeth her heires and assignes forever against all p[er]sons whatsover claymeing by from or under mee or them In wittnes whereof I the saide Edward Dale have hereunto put my hande and seale Dated this 12th Day of March A[nno] D[omi]ni 1677 A[nn]o r[egni?] Car[oli] s[e]c[in]di Tricesimo
Sealed and Delivered in the p[re]sence of David Fox John Stretchley EDWARD DALE the Seale
Recognit: in Cur: Com: Lancast: octavo Die Maij A[nn]o D[omi]ni 1678 et Record: Decimo tertio Die sequen:
P[er] Joh[ann]em Stretchley Cl: Cur”
[Lancaster Co., VA Deeds & Wills No. 4, pp. 290-291. Deed dated March 12, 1677/8. Transcription made by Louis Carr Henry on July 14, 1968.]
In April 1695 William Rogers received a new land grant from the Fairfax Proprietary for the property Edward Dale had gifted to the Rogers on March 12 1677/8. The plantation had not been “seated,” necessitating a new grant confiming ownership of the tract.
I first learned of this grant on April 24, 2006 in an e-mail from Joan Burdyck. She said:
“Notice also that there is an error in Edward Dale’s name. It is written as Edward Duke. Again we see errors in court and legal records…. I think that William and Elizabeth wanted to take possession of the land and Edward didn’t want them to, so Elizabeth was out of favor as shown in Edward’s will.”
Errors can occur in records from any period, but often the “error” is a failure on my part to make out the handwriting or understand what I’m reading. So I decided to re-examine this land grant.
First, let’s address the evidentiary issues:
The Rogers grant is dated “ca. Apl. 1695″ by The Library Of Virginia, the custodian of old Virginia land grants. Images of the grants are now available online. There is no date in the Rogers grant. Why does The Library Of Virginia date this document as “ca. Apl. 1695″?
The Rogers grant appears in Northern Neck Grants No. 2, 1694-1700, pp. 156-157 (Reel 288). A note in the catalog indicates the grant is among those issued by the agents of the Fairfax Proprietary between 1690 to 1781. The book in which this grant appears lists grants in continuous order; that is, when a grant ends on a page, the beginning of the next grant starts immediately on the same page. The Rogers grant occupies portions of 2 pages. The grant preceeding the Rogers grant is dated April 4, 1695, and the one immediately following the Rogers grant is dated April 5, 1695. We can, for chronological purposes, date this grant as ca. April 4/5, 1695–as long as people know why. The exact day isn’t crucial.
This grant is not, of course, the document William Rogers tucked into his coat–that’s long since disappeared. It’s a copy of the original document that has been written into the record book. The person who wrote the original may not be the person who copied it. Papers, including the plat, were kept by the Fairfax Proprietary.
These old records were written in pen and ink, and penmanship varies and ink bleeds and fades. The writing in this grant is remarkably clear for such an old document. It seemed odd that Rogers would accept a document in which the name of his father-in-law was misspelled, so I checked the name Joan interprets as “Edward Duke.” She’s right. The important thing here is that the facts in the grant leave no doubt that William Rogers applied for a new grant of the Chetwood tract, so if it’s ”Edward Duke” there’s still no mystery about the legal event being described or the identity of “Edward Duke.”
The intriguing aspect of this document is that William Rogers obtained it after Edward Dale wrote his will, and before the deaths of Edward and Diana (Skipwith) Dale.
Joan sent me her transcription of the grant. Since it’s a short document, I decided to make my own transcription rather than follow hers. She had altered some letters from the original, and while that didn’t change any facts, I used the original. I did consult her version to help decipher a few words. There is a character that appears three times in the original that Joan interpreted as “ye,” but it doesn’t resemble an actual ”ye” as it appears in the text. In the grant following, this character appears some 9 times, and I think it’s probably punctuation. Again, it doesn’t alter the meaning.
It’s interesting that neither the Rogers grant, or the grant following to Randell Kerk, mention the county where the land was located. A check of the patent catalog shows Kerk’s land was located in Westmoreland County; the Proprietary retained the mineral rights.
(The Library of Virginia also has two land grants totalling 403 acres in Lancaster County issued on December 17, 1691 to David Fox and William Rogers as dual grantees. On May 17, 1682, William Rogers was appointed justice of the peace and High Sheriff for Northumberland County. On February 11, 1684/5 in Lancaster County court indentured servant John Wells sued his master, William Rogers, for his freedom, but lost. On December 14, 1687, Rogers was appointed a member of the troop of horse of the Lancaster County militia.)
My transcription of the land grant:
Margarett Lady Culpeper Thomas Lord Fairfax To all Whereas Know ye that we for and in consideration of the composition do grant to William Rogers, bounded as followeth /Viz/ beginning at an old corner red oak stump standing on a point near the head of a Swamp formerly called Chettwood Swamp a corner Spanish Oak being marked just by, thence running by marked trees south west half degree West thirty eight poles crosing the said swamp to a corner Peck hickory standing in Col. Matthew Kemp’s line thence along the said Kemps line of marked trees two hundred and eighty two poles to a corner white oak saplin standing on the East ward side of a branch, thence down the said branch on Cross the first mentioned Swamp, north thirty five poles to a corner red oak saplin standing by the side of the said swamp on the north side thereof thence down the said swamp the several courses thereof which being upon a direct line is North West by West seventy seven poles to a marked corner red oak standing by the side of the said swamp, thence by marked trees North East half degree East one hundred and eighty six poles to a corner white Oak stake in a Valley near the head of a branch called White Marsh, thence by marked trees South East three hundred and twenty poles to the place where it first began, the said land being being formerly granted to Mr. Thomas Chettwood for five hundred acres by patent dated the ninth of July one thousand six hundred and sixty seven and by the said Chettwood sold to Major Edward Duke [sic] given to his daughter now the wife of William Rogers and for want of due seating deserted.