Sunday, December 16, 2007

Jane Bracewell Stokes Eley Roberts Will 1711

Contributed by Carey H. Bracewell

Introduction by Carey Bracewell: JANE (c.1646-c.1711) was the eldest child of Rev. ROBERT BRACEWELL and like her sister REBECCA, was probably born in England. She was married to ROBERT STOKES by June 9, 1664, on which date STOKES witnessed his Father-in-Law’s power of attorney to WILLIAM THOMPSON. Two years later, Rev. BRACEWELL bequeathed ôunto my daughter JANE STOKES her children three cowesö in his will of February 15, 1668 (Will & Deed Book I, Vol. a, p.52). That she received more dairy cattle than her sisters, and received them first, implies her status as the eldest, and the one with the most children. The inventory of May 11 following showed that JANE and ROBERT STOKES were in possession of the largest number of cattle (21) of any of the heirs (Ibid., Vol. 2, p.55).

Mention has already been made of STOKES role in the abortive rebellion of Nathaniel Bacon and his execution by hanging in 1677. His estate, together with that of his more fortunate Brother-in-Law WILLIAM WEST, was inventoried for sale in October, 1677. (Boddie, John B. Southside Virginia Families) On July 10, 1680, "JANE STOAKES. Widdowe," was granted by escheat the 800 acres in the Upper Parish of Nansemond County adjacent ROBERT BRASWELL and JAMES LONG which was granted said BRASWELL April 22, 1670, but was deserted and now granted, &cö to JANE. (Nugent’s Cavaliers & Pioneers, Vol. II, p. 210). According to Boddie (Ibid.), JANE had already remarried by 1678 to ROBERT ELEY, Jr., son of ROBERT ELEY, Sr. who is thought to have sailed from Gravesend, England, on the "Primrose" bound for Virginia on July 27. 1635. JANE’s marriage to ELEY lasted only about three years and produced only one known son, ROBERT ELEY III. A number of eminent descendants came through the latter, including President Lyndon Johnson and James MacLamroch, prominent North Carolina attorney and benefactor of St. Luke’s Church who placed the brass plaque on the rood screen honoring JANE’s father, Rev. ROBERT BRACEWELL. An Isle of Wight deed of July 20, 1680 (Will & Deed Book II, p. 567) proves that JANE was married by this date to JOHN ROBERTS.

JANE bore children to all three of her husbands. Which husband fathered which daughter is difficult to determine from the surviving evidence, owing to the fact that all Nansemond County records before 1866 were destroyed by fire. Of sons, we know that, besides ROBERT ELEY III, she bore JOHN ROBERTS two more, JOHN ROBERTS, Jr. and THOMAS ROBERTS. Her known daughters by the three marriages were MARY, wife of WILIAM PARKER of Nansemond, who died in Edgecombe County, North Carolina, in 1754; JANE ROBERTS ("Jr."), wife of ROBERT SCOTT; REBECCA, who married a Mr. BRINKLEY, a resident of Nansemond County; and a daughter whose name is unknown, and evidently predeceased her mother, who married a Mr. SANDERS.

Fortunately JANE BRACEWELL ROBERTS, like her brother RICHARD BRACEWELL, had returned to Isle of Wight County toward the end of her life and thus her will was saved from the documentary oblivion that was Nansemond County:

Blessed and praissed be the Lord for his Mercies Endureth for Ever by wch I have continued to this Day tho Weak of Body Yett of a Sound mind and prfect memory, doo if it shall please God to take me out of this life make this my last Will and testament first I comitt my Soul to God that gave itt and my Body to be Buried in a Christian Manner att the Discfetion of my Exrs hereafter Nominated---

firstly-- I doe give unto my son ROBt. ELY one hundred Acres of Land more or less it being part of a pattent of fourteen hundred and fifty acres granted to JOHN ROBERTS and JANE his Wife the 20th of July 1680 Bounded as followeth that is to say all the Land on the Lower side of the Branch Called the Long Branch on the south side of the Beaver Dam swamp belonging to that patten to him and his heires for Ever---

Secondly-- I doe give unto my Grandson ROB:t SCOTT one hundred Acres of Land more or less beginning on the White Oake Branch on the West side of the Beaver Dam Swamp and so to the head of the said Branch and from thence a N:o W:t Course to the head line to him and his heires for Ever the said land lyeing between the White Oake Branch and the Cabbing Neck Branch---

thirdly-- I do give unto my Daughter MARY PARKER one hundred Acres of Land More or less lying on West side of the Beaver Dam Swamp Bound as the former Deed Directs that was to her Husband WILLIAM PARKER deced to her and heires for Ever---

fourthly-- I give to my grandaugher MARTHEW {sic} SANDERS one hundred acres of land more or less lyeing on West side of the Beaver Dam swamp Bounded as the former Deed Directs that was to her father and mother to her and her heires for Ever---

fifthly-- I do give unto THOMAS JONES that land he now lives on according to the Bounds he bought of my Brother RICH:d BRASSWELL to him and his heires for Ever---

Sixthly-- I: do give unto my {sic} REBECKAH BRINCKLY the sum of five shillings Currant money of Virginia

Severnthly-- I: do give unto my Daughter JANE SCOTT one shilling Currant money of Virginia---

Eighthly-- I do give ounto my Son JOHN ROBERTS all my land on the uper side of the great Reedy Branch to him and his heires for Ever

Ninthly-- I do give to my Son THOMAS ROBERTS all my land on the Lower side

of the Reedy Branch to the Long Branch to him and his heires for Ever

tenthly-- I do give all the Remaining part of my Removeable Estate to my two Sons Namely JOHN ROBERTS and THOMAS ROBERTS to be Equally Divided between them and do appoint them two my full and Whole Exrs to See this my last will and testament prformed as Witness my {sic} and Seal this 26th of June 1711

Signed and sealed in the JANE J ROBERTS (seal)

prsence of us--- her mark




his mark

At a Court held for Isle of Wight County

the 24th Day of August 1713

The Last Will and testament of JANE ROBERTS was presented in Court By JOHN and THOs ROBERTS her Exrs who made Oath thereto and being proved in Court by the Solemn affirmation of Wm SCOTT Junr and the Oath of JOHN SELLAWAY two of the Wittnesses is admitted to Record

Test J C Lightfoot Cl Cur

Record of Wills, Deeds, Etc. Vol. 2, 1661-1719, page 567