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
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
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
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)
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.