ABT 1630 - Graft, Holland
BEF 28 JAN 1679 - Northampton, VA
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John Michael was a merchant who immigrated from Holland to the Eastern Shore.
John was on the Eastern Shore by April 12th, 1649 when he was recorded in a power of attorney agreement as the master of the Farewell and Rowd, from Amsterdam, on one part - and John Johnson and John Makule of Graft as the other part, that the vessel now in Accomack shall go to Holland and load. Soon after his arrival John married Elizabeth Thorowgood, daughter of Captain Adam Thorowgood and Sarah Offley. John and Elizabeth had at least five children born between 1654 and 1664.
In 1657 John purchased 150 acres of land at King's Creek in Northampton County. He made his home there and acquired more adjoining land over the years. In 1660 he was granted 200 acres on the seaside of Northampton at Mockhorn Bay, he sold the property there in 1670. In 1663 John was assigned 1,000 acres at the head of Chesconessex Creek in Accomack County.
John was appointed a Justice in Northampton but his commission was suspended on March 23rd, 1664 until he could provide proof of his naturalization. He was permitted to serve and took the oath of office on April 29th, 1664. On March 30th, 1651, John along with many others signed an Oath of Allegiance to England.
In 1666 John was granted 500 acres in Accomack on Bogues Bay. In 1667 he purchased parcels of land of 150 acres at Longs Pond in Northampton and 1,000 acres on Metompkin Bay in Accomack. In 1669 John bought 700 acres of land from John Wallop at "Gingoteague".
Elizabeth died sometime prior to 1669. John remarried to Ann, the widow of Captain William Jones. No children are known to have come from his second wife and she appears to have died before 1675. He married third, Mary, the widow of John Culpepper and had one son.
In 1674 John purchased 500 acres of land from his daughter Sarah and her husband, Argoll Yeardley on Hungars Creek. He left this property to his son Symon. In 1678 John purchased 450 acres of property near Painter in Accomack. He left that tract to his son by Mary Culpepper, Yardley Michael.
Before his death John made several gifts of land to his children. In 1672 he assigned lands to his three sons from his first marriage - Adam, John and Simon to be divided after his death. In two other deeds of gift written in 1673 John gave slaves and livestock to his daughters as well as specific gifts like horses to other family members. In 1678 he made additional gifts to his daughter Sarah and her husband Argoll Yeardley. Other records from 1678 show that John purchased 400 acres of land near Muswattux in Accomack from Thomas Bucks for 24,000 pounds of tobacco. Also in 1678 John witnessed a deed for William Kendall.
John was a warden for Hungars Church and signed a contract with a carpenter in 1679 for the construction of the second church building there.
John wrote his will on November 18th, 1678. He asked to be buried beside his first wife and Kings Creek and requested the Thomas Teackle preach his funeral from 2nd Corinthians, 5th chapter, last verse. John stated his desire that no drinking or shooting should take place at his funeral. His will was proven in Northampton County Court on January 28th, 1679.
Summary of the Last Will and Testament of John Michael:
To my eldest son and male heir, all my land at Kings Creek. To my said son Adam Michael my 1000 A. seate of land at Mattomkin.
To my son John Michael, Jr., my 600 A. at Masongo, and my 500 A. at Occocomsan, and whereas hither unto by the perfidious ruining away of one Even Davis no tenant is seated there to take care of cattle and thereby disappointed of seating Occocomson and the like frustration though in a different respect of Masongo by Bowman his greedy, covetous and unjust molestinge in and about that said seat of land my will therefore is that means be used and an honest painfull and industrious tenant be procured and settled Upon Occocomson and receive of and from my Kings Creek plantation in ye suitable and convenient time of year to drive cattle as near as may be equally of these three ages, viz., 6 or 7 each of one, two, or three year old for to make up the number of 20 breeders. Except will take one of them a bull to be in full my son John his share and number of cattle.
To my son Symon Michael my Hungars seat of 500 A. and my 700 A. seat at Gingoteague, all my cattle remaining at his sister Custis' plantation at Chessanesson, the horses in his godfather Yardley's hands.
To my son Yardley Michael my 400 A. seat bought of Edward Hamond lying at Matchepungo. His dear mother to purchase for him a young Negro or cattle, whichever is best.
To my son Yardley my present youngest, n. child Symon (under 15).
To my dear and pious brother John Michael all my Dutch books, one deaths head gold ring, and to his eldest son my godson Joachim one heifer.
Having devised to my daus. Sarah and Margaret as per the schedules extant, I give to their husbands my sons-in-law Argall Yardley and John Custis, Jr. one deaths head gold ring apiece.
To my loving wife and to her and my son Yardley Michael to be eq. div., the remainder of my cattle.
To my two eldest sons Adam and John all my clothes.
To my loving wife Mary Michael the servant boy James Carpenter for the time he has to serve, my boat, canoe, and old sloop.
The remainder of my personal estate to be div. eq. by my wife and sons Adam, John, Symon, and Yardley. Sons to be at age at 21. Wife and my sons Adam, John, and Symon extrs. The care of my eldest son Adam to his brother-in-law John Custis, Jr. The care of my 2nd son John to my brother his godfather and uncle John Michael, Jr. The care of my 3rd son Simon to his godfather and brother-in-law Argall Yardley. The care of my tender bud Yardley Michael to his mother. My friends Thomas Teackle and Thomas Harmanson to oversee.
I wish to be buried in my 1st wife's grave at Kings Creek, that Thomas Teackle (if possible) preach my funeral sermon (if not the parish minister) taking for his subject the 2nd Corinthians, 5th chapter, last verse, and desire no drinking immediately nor shooting may be suffered, in my judgment very unreasonable and inconsistent with the occasion but civil and free entertainment.
- Dorman, John F. Adventurers of Purse and Person : Virginia 1607-1624/5: Volume Three Families R-Z. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co, 2007. Print. Pg. 331.
- Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983
- Miles Files, Eastern Shore Public Library, http://espl-genealogy.org
- American Historical Magazine, Volume 1, p. 344. University Press, 1896
- Harrison, William Welsh, 1850-. Harrison, Waples And Allied Families: Being the Ancestry of George Leib Harrison of Philadelphia And of His Wife Sarah Ann Waples. Philadelphia: Printed for private circulation only, 1910.
- Turman, Nora M. The Eastern Shore of Virginia, 1603-1964. Onancock, Va: Eastern Shore News, 1964. Print. Pg. 80.
- Watring, Anna M. Accomack County, Virginia Marriage References and Family Relationships, 1620-1800. Lewes, Del: Colonial Roots, 2013. Print. Pg. 166.
- Whitelaw Ralph T. Virginia's Eastern Shore; a History of Northampton and Accomack Counties. P. Smith 19681951. (Land Maps)