How often do you come across a family Bible with information in it back to the 1700’s? In my family – never. Dave’s ancestors had a couple of Bibles that have survived, but not many.
The Library of Virginia has a terrific Bible collection and they’ve digitized the images. I found a real gem of a piece of Williams family information. The Williams clan’s earliest home is Cumberland County, Virginia and I’ve pieced together a lot of information about them.
However, I know there are missing marriage records, or at least marriage records that can’t be found, in the pre-Revolutionary War era. I had previously found a court record dated 27 Mar 1788 in the Cumberland County records. In it, Roger and Samuel Williams, administrators for Thomas Fitch, won a judgement against the Randolphs and Thomas Williams was paid 75 lbs. of tobacco for three days as a witness.
Normally, someone who serves as an estate administrator is a relative or a very close friend of the deceased. In this case, Roger Williams AND Samuel Williams (who I think were cousins- they definitely weren’t brothers) were co-administrators.
As digitized Bible records came on line at the Library of Virginia, I discovered the Bible record of Thomas Fitch and his wife, “Darces” (Dorcas?) Williams, who married in 1757! What a find!
The image is a typed transcription, not the original Bible pages, but I will take anything I can get since this information isn’t available anywhere else.
Accession number 34530:
Bible Record of the Thomas Fitch Family
No date of birth is given for Thomas Fitch, but his wife, Darces (Dorcas?) Williams was born 15 Jan 1739. They married on 26 May 1757. Children included Susannah, Francis, Sarah, Samuel, Charles, Polly, Elizabeth, Samuel and Jane. All of those names are found in the Williams family of Cumberland Co., VA, with the exception of Francis. It appears that Darces may have been a daughter of Thomas and Susannah Anderson Williams.
Dorcas died after Thomas, whose estate was administered on 28 Aug 1787 in Cumberland Co., Virginia.
I have been able to fill out a bit more family information through additional research.
i. Susannah, born 10 May 1758. No further record.
ii. Frances, born 31 May 1761; died 4 June 1829, Buckingham Co., VA; married James Spears. James was born 1760; died May 1833, Buckingham Co., VA.
iii. Sarah, born 17 Feb 1764. One Sarah Fitch married Benjamin Johnson, 23 Nov 1793, Albemarle Co., VA.
iv. Samuel, born 23 Feb 1769; died 17 Apr 1844; married Jane McIver, 1 Mar 1804. Jane died 25 Apr 1844, Campbell Co., VA.
v. Charles, born 17 Apr 1772; died 15 Aug 1829, Campbell Co., VA; married Judith Walker, 17 May 1803, Prince Edward Co., VA. Judith died 10 Feb 1836, Campbell Co., VA. Charles left his estate to his wife and the following: children of Samuel Fitch, Elizabeth Burks, Frances Spears, niece Elizabeth Sorrells (daughter of Frances Spears) and nephews Charles Burks and Charles Fitch. He apparently had no children of his own.
vi. Polly, born 19 Nov 1775. No further record.
vii. Elizabeth, born 17 Dec 1779; married Joseph Burks. One Joseph (aged 72) and Elizabeth Burks (aged 70) lived in Appomattox Co., VA in 1850 and neighbored two Fitch households, that of James, aged 40 and Thomas, aged 44.
If you are related to the Fitch, Williams, Spears, McIver or Burks family in the Cumberland and Campbell Counties, Virginia area, this family might be part of your family tree and it’s information you won’t find elsewhere.
Even if you aren’t related to this family, if you have Virginia roots, be sure to check the digital collection at the Library of Virginia.