Will of Mary Billington, Widow of Thomas St. John and Mr. Billington, Essex County, VA 1727

My husband’s Southern lines often get cut short because his ancestors seem to pick only places with no records kept, like on the frontier, or places with lost records, due to fire and what have you.

His Perkins family is an anomaly because the early family hailed from Essex County and Old Rappahannock County before that in Virginia in the 1600s.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Normally, I would be really excited because the Perkins family left scattered crumbs on the paper trail. However, Mary (MNU) St. John Billington is unfortunately not a direct ancestor of Dave’s, but a stepmother to his Henry Perkins who married Cary Ferguson.

Here is the tie to the Perkins family and his line:

Henry Perkins married (1) Mary (MNU), mother of his children and (2) Mary (MNU) St. John Billington. Henry and the first Mary are the 8X great grandparents to my husband.
Henry Perkins married Cary Ferguson
Henry Perkins married Elizabeth Gatewood
Henry Perkins married Mary Ransone
John Perkins married Rhoda Walters Woosley
Samuel Henry Perkins married Martha Hamby
Mary Woosley Perkins married Emsley Harrison Brasher
Joseph Henry Brasher married Minnie Mae Williams
Pearl Lillian Brasher married Earl Marcus Stufflebean
Edward Earl Stufflebean married Ruby Jewel Sturgell
David Stufflebean – my husband

Although widow Mary Billington was not the mother of Henry Perkins’ children, she must have thought highly at least of her stepson, Henry Perkins Jr., as she named him one of the executors of her will.

Since Mary left several children and there are likely descendants today, here is her will.

Essex County, Virginia Will Book 4:248-50

Will of Mary Billington

Will of MARY BILLINGTON in the parish of South Farnham and County of Essex, now being sick and weak in body, dated 23 July 1727.

To my son in law Nathanll. Newbill one parcell of land lying on the south side of the Dragon Swamp it being the land that I bought of one William Cheandy and after his decease to his son Thomas Newbill.

To John and Thomas St. John the sons of Thomas St. John deced, 120 acres at the lower part of my track where I now live to be equally divided when they come in the age of twenty and one years and the remainer of the track to William St. John the sone of William St. John decst, and if either of them should dye without issue their part to Thomas Newbill.

To William St. John one Negro and one feather bed and furniture excepting curtains and valing.

To Tabitha the wife of Henry Purkins Senr., one feather bed and furniture except curtains and valings; 10 pounds cash.

To my granddaughter Mary Deshazoo a young Negro which she how hath in possession.

To Hannah Harper the wife of Edward Harper, one Negro.

To Hannah Covington the daughter of Thomas Covington, one young Negro on the day of marriage or when she comes to the age of eighteen years.

To Barbary, Catherine and Thomas Newbill each one Negro.

To John and Thomas St. John the sons of Thomas St. John decest, one Negro between them equally divided.

If after my desese Elizabeth St. John the widow of William St. John desest doth acquit my heirs from all claims due to her and hir children in my estate by inheritance from William St. John decest and also enter into bonds that neither she nor her children shall bring action nor no way claim part of my estate, and when her five sons comes to age of twenty one years every one of them, to wit Richard, James, Thomas, Abraham and Isaac St. John, acquit my heirs from all claim in my estate, then my executors pay each of the above mentioned Richard, James, Thomas, Abraham and Isaac St. John one Negro, but if any one of her sons or herself should refuse then my executors pay each of the above five sons one shilling.

To Nathan Newbill four of my best Negros during his life and after his decese divided between Thomas Newbill and Catherine Newbill.

All my personal estate not before given equally devided amongst Nathan Newbill and all his children share and share alike. William Newbill and Henry Purkins Junr. executors.

Signed: Mary (X) Billington

Wit: Jer. Shepard, James (N) Newbill, James (J) Dicks. 16 Jan. 1727 (1728).

presented by Nathl. Newbill and Wm. Brooke, Gent., justices.

For 200 pounds sterling. 20 Feb. 1727 (1728).


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