Tag Archives: Robert Coleman of VA

Robert Coleman of Gloucester County, Virginia, c1630-1682+)

I have written about my Massachusetts and Maine Coleman family a number of times. Dave also has a Coleman line, but it is in no way connected to mine.

Robert Coleman of Gloucester County, Virginia is his (reputed) 8X great grandfather and is also one of the earliest lines of his that I have been able to trace, at least to grandson Samuel. Southern records just don’t hold a candle to those found in Massachusetts!

If you can add some documentation to the first three generations of this Coleman family, I would be most appreciative.

Robert Coleman of Gloucester County, Virginia, often referred to as Robert Coleman of Mobjack Bay,  is well documented, at least as to his existence, but I find the evidence trail from him through his children to his grandchildren to be somewhat lacking. I haven’t found anything that suggests the line is inaccurate, but I haven’t found documents that prove it, either, so this first part is going to be a bit sketchy.

Robert’s English origins are completely unproven, regardless of what is found online. He is said to have married Elizabeth Grizell about 1650, placing his birth year most likely somewhere between 1620-1630.

Robert’s date of death is not know either, except for the fact that he last appeared in Virginia records on 6 May 1682. Again, I have seen exact dates of death for him in 1686 and 1689, but no proof. He is said to first appear on a list of head rights of Mr. Thomas Symons of Upper Norfolk County on 2 March 1638.

Who were Robert’s and Elizabeth’s children? Well, that seems to depend on which secondary source you read. All seem to agree that there were at least six children, although the birth order is uncertain. This family lived in Abingdon Parish, Gloucester County.

Children (probably born c1652-1662):

  1. Grizzell
  2. Thomas; died after 1705; married Ann
  3. Robert, born c1656, based on a 1712 court deposition he gave; married Ann Spilsbe
  4. Joseph, died after 1704; married Agnes
  5. Daniel, reportedly died 1722, King and Queen County, Virginia; married Patience (Darby?)
  6. John, died after 6 October 1708; married Ann

John and Ann Coleman are thought to be the parents of Samuel Coleman, born c1706, who married Ann Mourning Christian. Researchers feel that John is one of the younger children born to Robert and Ann and is thought to have been born c1662.

John was a vestryman in Petsworth Parish, Gloucester County on 6 October 1708, mentioned in surviving parish records, so he died after that date. Samuel is said to be their son.


1. Samuel, born c1695-1705

That is the least I think I’ve ever said about a family group!

In the same Vestry Book of Petsworth Parish 1677-1793, by C.G. Chamberlayne, there is one mention of Samuel Coleman. On 22 August 1728, Samuel agreed that George Nettles, orphan of Mary Nettles, would be bound to him for seven years. George was about 14 years old at the time.

If this Samuel is the Samuel who married Ann Mourning Christian, and it is thought that they are the same person, he was likely born c1695-1705. Samuel and Ann lived in Goochland County, Virginia and apparently raised their family there.

Thomas Christian, also of Goochland County, left a will dated 1736 and proved on 17 May 1737, in which he named his children. The last child was Ann Mourning Coleman, proving her maiden name.

Samuel and Ann were the parents of four known children, all sons:

  1. James, born c1730, died before September 1796, probably Albemarle County, Virginia
  2. Samuel, born c1732, died before 11 July 1803, Buckingham County, Virginia
  3. John, born c1734, died before 7 September 1778, probably Amherst County, Virginia
  4. Daniel, born c1736

Samuel died before 20 September 1748 in Goochland County, Virginia, when his will was proved in court.

In the name of God Amen I Samuel Colman being very sick &
weak in Body but of Perfect sound mind and memory do make and
ordain this my Last Will (and?) ___tment (Testament?) in Manner and Form Following:- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -bequeath my Soul to God and my Body to the earth to be decent. . . . . . . . . . . . buried according to the discretion of my Executors here after named- – – – – – – – -to my dear and loving Wife, one young Cow I like. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Beloved Wife Ann Colman my Whole Estate during her life or Widowhood, and after her Death or Marriage- – – -divided as Followeth: Item I give to my Two Sons Jas Colman & Saml. Colman the Land & Plantation whereon I now Dwell to be equally divided in Quantity between them. Item. I give to my other two Sons Jno. Colman & Danl. Colman, my set of Black Smiths Tools & after my debts and Funial (sic) charges are paid and defrayed then the Residue of my estate both Riel (sic) & Personal to be Equally divided amongst all my Children. I constitute & appoint my Beloved Wife Ann Colman, & Jacob Oglesby my Executors of this my last Will & Testament revoking all other Wills hereto fore made as Witness my Hand and Seal this First day of April, and in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & Forty eight.

Test: Robt. Woodson, Jno. Wright          Samuel Coleman Seal
John (I) Pryor
(his mark)

At a court held for Goochland County Septem. 20. 1748
This Will was proved by the Oaths of Robt. Woodson, Jno. Wright and Jno. Pryor the Witnesses hereto to be the Last Will & Testamand of the said Samuel Coleman deced. which was hereupon admitted to Record.

Ann M. Coleman, executrix of Samuel Coleman, decd. was sued by James Coleman at June court 1778 in Goochland County. The reason for the lawsuit is not known and the the suit was abated due to the death of Ann. She likely died in the spring of 1778.

Dave’s line of descent is much cleaner from Samuel and Ann Mourning Coleman to the present time:

Samuel Coleman & Ann Mourning Christian
Samuel Coleman & Ann Wright
Ann (Nancy) Coleman & James Wooldridge
Rebecca Wooldridge & Andrew Bandy
Mary Bandy & Isaac Sturgell
Abijah Houston Sturgell & Martha Susannah Alberty
Oscar Eldon Sturgell & Ethel Anne Nation
Ruby Jewel Sturgell & Edward Earl Stufflebean
David Lee Stufflebean!

Again, if you can add any documentation to the first three Coleman generations from Robert and Elizabeth (Grizzell) Coleman of Mobjack Bay to John and Ann (MNU) Coleman to Samuel Coleman who married Ann Mourning Christian, I would be most appreciative.

PLEASE leave a comment!