Category Archives: Sturgell

James Sturgill & Ann Callaway of Orange County, VA in the 1700s

James Sturgill was the son of James Stodghill/Sturgill and Ann Blackstone, born c1730. He married Ann Callaway, said to be the daughter of Joseph Callaway, who died when Ann was a child. Thomas Callaway, who appears in records with the Sturgills, was Ann’s brother.

James Sturgill was likely born in Orange County, Virginia, but by the 1770s, he removed to Ashe County, North Carolina, where he died in the early 1800s. Ann survived him, but her date of death is unknown.

Given the time period and lack of vital records, the make up of this Sturgill family has not been proven. Francis Sturgill, my husband’s ancestor, is probably the child for whom the most records exist, as he served in the American Revolution and he was a prolific buyer of land. However, it is likely that they were parents of eight children:

  1. Ambrose, born c1750
  2. Mary, born c1753; perhaps married John Jones
  3. Francis, born 1755; died 1807; married Rebecca Hash, c1776.
  4. Ruth, born c1758; died after 1820; married Thomas Hash
  5. James, born c1761; died after 1830; married Rebecca (MNU)
  6. John, born c1763; possibly married Rebecca Baldwin
  7. Docia, born c1765; married John Hash II, c1782
  8. Lewis, born c1767; married Sarah (said to be Hanks or Cole), c1785

Much work needs to be done on this family to prove exactly who the children of James and Ann Callaway were and who those children married.

James Sturgill & Ann Blackstone, VA 1700s

James Sturgill was the third generation of the family to live in Virginia, following his grandfather, John Stodgell, who hailed from North Petherton, Somerset, England and arrived in Virginia in 1650 and his father, also John Stodgell.

James Sturgill was born c1700, likely in Essex County, Virginia, where his father appears on the 1704 Quit Rent Rolls. His mother may be Ann Madison, based on the Madison wills that may have bequeathed lands to both Daniel and James Stodgell.

James was likely born in Essex County and probably married Ann Blackstone, c1723, there, too.  However, the family removed to Orange County, Virginia in the early 1730s and James appears as a tithable there in 1739:

FHL Film 7856139, Image 457, unpaged
Source: FamilySearch

He died there intestate in 1753 with Ann surviving him.

Inventory of James Stodgill
Orange County, VA Will Book 2:185-186
Source: FamilySearch

James’s and Ann’s children have been pieced together via land deeds and their residences in Orange County, Virginia.


1. James, born c1725; died c1803, Ashe County, North Carolina; married Ann Callaway, c1748. Ambrose recorded a gift of land to his brother James in 1753.
2. Ambrose, born c1730; married Sarah Crostwait, c1733; removed to Montgomery County, Virginia
3. Elizabeth, born c1735; married John Hash Sr., c1763, probably Montgomery County, Virginia
4. John, born c1740; married Elizabeth Harvey, c1765. He removed to Greenbrier County, Virginia and then Kentucky. Ambrose recorded a gift of land to his brother John in 1753.
5. Mary, born c1745; married William Herring; removed to Wilkes County, North Carolina. In 1763, William and Mary Herring sold land to her brother, James Stodgill.
6. Joel, born c1750; died before 14 September 1795, Elbert County, Georgia; married Martitia Oliver. Joel was first bound to Elizabeth Stodgill in 1763, but in 1767, at his request, he was bound to Joseph Mann to learn the trade of leather britches maker.


Family Sketch of John Stodgill, His Possible Wives and Children

Today, we’ll take a closer look at the family of John Stodgill of Essex County, Virginia. John was the probable son of immigrant John Stodgell who arrived in Virginia in 1650 from North Petherton, Somerset, England as the headright of James Hurd.

Early Virginia Emigrants
Source: Ancestry

The name of John’s mother is unknown, but John’s birth year has been estimated as c1665, give or take a few years.

John Stodgill lived in Essex County, Virginia, appearing on the Quit Rent Rolls there in 1704. He also probably married in Essex County, although it’s possible that the area in which he lived was still Old Rappahannock County (abolished in 1692) when he married.

There are two theories about the name of John Stodgill’s wife/wives, as it is certainly possible that he married more than once.

First, as I shared yesterday, John Stodgill registered an animal mark with the Essex County, Virginia court in 1703 and stated that he gave the gift of a calf with the same branding to Daniel Franks.

Essex County, VA Deed Book 11:120
Source: FamilySearch

Add to this gift the fact that one of John’s three sons was named Daniel and we have two clues that John Stodgill might have married a Franks young lady.

There were two men named “Frank” on the 1704 quit rent rolls of Virginia. One was John Frank of Essex County and the other was Thomas Frank of Essex County.

Thomas Frank left a will in 1715 in Essex County, Virginia. I have no image of the will, but the index mentions only wife Martha, son, Thomas, and daughters Ann and Catherine.

Daniel might possibly have been a child of John Frank, but I found no deed entries for John Frank or even any further mentions of Daniel Frank.

Next, we have the theory that John Stodgill married Ann Madison, sister of Ambrose and Henry Madison. This idea is based on the wills of those two men that left directions for legacies to be given to Daniel and James Stodgill.

Ambrose Madison left a 1733 will proved in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. It is quite difficult to read, make that impossible to read as the image is blurry and a good portion of the page is torn and lost:

Will of Ambrose Madison, left page
Spotsylvania County, Va Will Book A:173
Source: FamilySearch

Supposedly, somewhere on that page can be found:

. . . . and fifty acres adjoining Abraham Estridge to Daniel S______ . . . . .to  —mes St [as stated by distant Sturgill cousin Dave back when the original will could be viewed]—– acres of land adjoining Coleman’s plantation.

Henry Madison’s 1734 Spotsylvania County, Virginia will directs his niece, Frances Madison, daughter of Ambrose Madison, to deed 150 acres of land to Daniel Stodghill after she becomes of age.

If anyone would like the digital images of this will, I’d be happy to share. I am not going to try to transcribe it as there is a lot of ink bleed through.

Will of Henry Madison, 1734
Spotsylvania County, VA Deed Bk C: 72 (front and back of page)
Source: FamilySearch

Frances went on to marry Tavener Beale and on 27 June 1754 in Orange County, they deeded 150 acres of land to Daniel.

On the same day – 27 June 1754 – Daniel and wife Jane sold the tract of land to William Riddle of Orange County, Virginia.

Note: My main concern with this theory is that Ambrose’s will is apparently almost unreadable and Daniel Stodghill reportedly married Jane/Jean Madison.

As to who the wife/wives of John Stodgill was/were, I leave you to your own opinion. It is certainly possible that both were married to John, with Miss Franks being the first wife and, she dying, he married again to Ann Madison.

In support of the Madison theory is the fact that two of John’s children, John and James, both named sons Ambrose.

John Stodgill died sometime after 1718 when William Pickett sold 50 acres adjoining Thackers land and Portabago Swamp to John Stodgell for 1600 pounds of tobacco (Essex County, VA Deed Book 16:22-23).

Children (Birth years are total estimates):

1. Susannah, born c1695; lived in Essex County, Virginia and reportedly died in King William County, Virginia, c1767, when Daniel Stodgill witnessed her will; married Thomas Smith. Susannah’s will only named four grandchildren, Alice and Thomas Smith and and Oris and Thomas Baughan so she apparently had one son and one daughter who lived to adulthood, married and had families, but who predeceased her.
2. Daniel, born c1700; reportedly died in Essex County, Virginia after 1769; married Jane/Jean Madison
3. James, born c1705; moved from Essex County to Orange County, Virginia and died there, intestate, in 1753; married Ann Blackstone, c1723, probably Essex County, Virginia
4. John, born c1710; died Goochland County, Virginia,  where his will was proved in 1773; married Elizabeth (?Miller), c1735

This might be a flimsy reason, but because John and James both had sons named Ambrose, fitting if they were children of Ann Madison, AND if their father John married twice with Miss Franks being the first wife, then Daniel would be older than the other two sons.

I am not sure why, but most online information places Susannah as the eldest of the four children. The truth is that no one has any documentation for the birth years or birth order for these four children and I have no idea how Susannah was connected to her parents and Thomas Smith since no marriage record exists.

At this point, I will leave the descendants of Thomas and Susannah Smith, Daniel and John for other researchers.

My focus now is on James Stodgill who married Ann Blackstone because they are my husband’s direct line ancestors.