1.01 William DARWIN

Male 1707 - 1786  (78 years)


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  • Name William DARWIN 
    Title 1.01 
    Born 26 Jun 1707  [1
    • place unknown
    Gender Male 
    Court & Legal 11 Jul 1743  Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    William Darwin (age 36) imprisoned for debt in lawsuit brought by Thomas Hardy 
    Court & Legal 12 Sep 1743  Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    William Darwin (age 36) defendant in debt lawsuit 
    Court & Legal 10 Oct 1743  Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    William Darwin (age 36) defendant in debt lawsuit 
    Court & Legal Dec 1743  Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    William Darwin (age 36) defendant in lawsuits for debt and assault and battery 
    Court & Legal 13 Feb 1744  Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    William Darwin (age 36) witness to land purchase by John Walton  
    Land Purchase 31 Oct 1746  Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    William Darwin (age 39) purchases 100 acres from Thomas Hardy (probably by Life Estate Deed via son, "William Darwin, Jr.") 
    Court & Legal 17 Dec 1756  Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    William Darwin (age 49) named as owner of adjacent property to purchase by William Thomson from Thomas Hardy 
    Court & Legal 08 May 1765  Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    William Darwin (age 57) named as owner of adjacent property to purchase by Zenus Tate from father John Tate 
    Taxation 1776  Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [10
    William Darwin (age 69) assessed for one tithable (County Tithe List) 
    Court & Legal 19 Dec 1776  Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [11
    William Darwin (age 69) witness to land purchase by John Tate  
    Taxation 1778  Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [12
    William Darwin (age 71) assessed for 8 tithables (County Tithe List) 
    Court & Legal 1781  Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [13
    William Darwin (age 74) named as owner of adjacent property in land purchase by John Powell from Robert Walton 
    State 1782  Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [14
    "William Durwin" (age 75) enumerated on VA State Census 
    Taxation 1782  Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [15
    William Darwin (age 75) assessed for tax on 100 acres 
    Will 24 Oct 1785  Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [16
    William Darwin (age 78) writes Will  
    Died Mar 1786  Darwin Home (Hollowing Creek), Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [17
    • Aged 78. Will presented for probate on 13 Mar 1786 at Louisa County.
    Will 13 Mar 1786  Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [17
    William Darwin's Will presented for probate by son, Jesse Darwin 
    Will 13 Jun 1791  Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [18
    Probate inventory of estate of William Darwin 
    Notes 
    • William Darwin (1707-86) - Commentary: DWD 1.01

      Louisa Co. was created in 1742 from the western half of Hanover Co. There are no processioning records in Hanover Co. for any Darwin families, the absence of which may be due to the early records being destroyed during the Civil War. The Louisa Co. records are intact and the earliest record for our William is dated 11 July 1743 when Louisa County Court ordered him to pay a debt of 7 pounds in the case of Thomas Hardy vs. Wm. Darwin. The order book stated that Wm. Darwin was committed to prison for the debt (OB 1-54). We do not know the details of the case or whether William actually went to prison because it is ironic that William should make his land purchase from the same Thomas Hardy at the end of October 1746.

      The Louisa Co. Deed Book records for William Darwin's property show that it was passed from William Darwin and Joan Darwin directly to Jesse Darwin. This compels one to consider that the above 'William Darwin Senr. and Jean his wife' (which has also been misread elsewhere as Joan from the 1746 deed above where every vowel letter 'e' looks like a vowel letter 'o' with a horizontal line through the center while all the vowel letter 'o's are clean with the connecting line on top) are in fact William Darwin and Jane Wilkinson noting that the name Jean is simply the Scots spelling of Jane and would be pronounced in a similar fashion. The implication is that the 1746 deed does not show an earlier generation but gives ownership of the property to the four-year-old son, William Darwin Junr., who in any event did not inherit the property after his parents deaths as it was finally left to his younger brother Jesse, as shown on William Darwin's will dated 24 Oct. 1785 and received for probate 13 March 1786.

      For some reason a second Inventory of the Estate of William Darwin was made just over two weeks later, possibly because items referenced as gifts to individual persons in William's will should not have been included in the appraisal of the residue of the Estate to be divided among all his children. I only have an extract of this second Inventory taken from Gayle Blankenship's book (VFL) and it is interesting to note that this may be the first instance of the family name being spelt Durvin by the court officials who drew up the Inventory.

      The first six children appear in the Darwin/Bland bible record where it is believed that the remainder of William & Jane Darwin's children were listed on a second page, reportedly lost in a fire. I have an unconfirmed report that there were 12 children in the family, the first six having been born in England which would suggest that some of the children died from infant mortality in Virginia. [But see Cheaper by the Dozen? for discussion on this point].
    • References:

      VFL
      Dero A. Darwin, Jr.: family sheet
      OD
    • Working Notes (1)

      The vast majority of American Darwins appear to be descended from William Darwin of Virginia. He was a farmer born in 1707 and lived, at least for the latter 43 of his 79 years, in St. Martin's parish, Louisa County, Virginia.

      Louisa County was formed in 1742 out of a portion of Hanover County, which in turn had been created out of a portion of New Kent County in 1721. Early public records for New Kent County perished in a fire in 1787 (an act of arson by one John Price Posey, for which crime he was hanged), and those for Hanover County also went up in flames, in 1865 (somewhat ironically, while being stored in Richmond for supposed safe-keeping during the Civil War).

      The changing county boundaries explain why the earliest public records we have for William date from Louisa County in 1743, as it is only from the time the region became part of that county that public records have survived. Despite a number of conjectures as to his parents and place of birth, the earliest primary source for the life of William Darwin is from his 36th year, in Louisa County, Virginia, when he is named in a legal action, the 1743 Hardy/Darwin Lawsuit. All currently known life records for William Darwin are itemised below, under 'Sources.'

      Dates of birth for William Darwin and Jane, their marriage, and dates of birth for first 6 children are uniquely provided by the Darwin/Bland "Bible" Record; for a guide to this founding generation of American Darwins, see Meet the Virginians. In the case of Bartlett, the "Bible" record provides the day and month, but the year is no longer legible (range is circa 1745-1750). Sons Jesse and John do not appear in this document, but their relationship to father William is attested by the 1785 Will of William Darwin. Year of birth for Jesse is inferred from later Virginia census records, date of birth for John is provided by his own Pension Application for his military service.

    Person ID I2946  DARUSA | Descendants of William Darwin
    Last Modified 19 Sep 2011 

    Family Jane,   b. 23 Jun 1715,   d. Abt 1791, Darwin Home (Hollowing Creek), Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years) 
    Married 26 Sep 1734  [19
    • place unknown
    Children 
    +1. Agnes DARWIN,   b. 29 Jun 1735,   d. Dec 1818, Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years)
     2. Jane DARWIN,   b. 26 Sep 1737
     3. Keziah DARWIN,   b. 13 Jan 1739/40
     4. William DARWIN, Jr.,   b. 05 Aug 1742
    +5. James DARWIN,   b. 19 Jun 1744, Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1825, York County, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years)
     6. Bartlett DARWIN,   b. 3 Jan 1746/47, Darwin Home (Hollowing Creek), Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
    +7. Jesse DARWIN,   b. Abt 1750, Darwin Home (Hollowing Creek), Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1805, Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 55 years)
    +8. John DARWIN,   b. 19 Mar 1755, Darwin Home (Hollowing Creek), Louisa County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Jul 1837, John Darwin Home (Stooping Pines), York County, South Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years)
    Last Modified 29 Nov 2009 
    Family ID F0181  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsCourt & Legal - William Darwin (age 36) imprisoned for debt in lawsuit brought by Thomas Hardy - 11 Jul 1743 - Louisa County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCourt & Legal - William Darwin (age 36) defendant in debt lawsuit - 12 Sep 1743 - Louisa County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCourt & Legal - William Darwin (age 36) defendant in debt lawsuit - 10 Oct 1743 - Louisa County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCourt & Legal - William Darwin (age 36) defendant in lawsuits for debt and assault and battery - Dec 1743 - Louisa County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCourt & Legal - William Darwin (age 36) witness to land purchase by John Walton - 13 Feb 1744 - Louisa County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsLand Purchase - William Darwin (age 39) purchases 100 acres from Thomas Hardy (probably by Life Estate Deed via son, "William Darwin, Jr.") - 31 Oct 1746 - Louisa County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCourt & Legal - William Darwin (age 49) named as owner of adjacent property to purchase by William Thomson from Thomas Hardy - 17 Dec 1756 - Louisa County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCourt & Legal - William Darwin (age 57) named as owner of adjacent property to purchase by Zenus Tate from father John Tate - 08 May 1765 - Louisa County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsTaxation - William Darwin (age 69) assessed for one tithable (County Tithe List) - 1776 - Louisa County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCourt & Legal - William Darwin (age 69) witness to land purchase by John Tate - 19 Dec 1776 - Louisa County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsTaxation - William Darwin (age 71) assessed for 8 tithables (County Tithe List) - 1778 - Louisa County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCourt & Legal - William Darwin (age 74) named as owner of adjacent property in land purchase by John Powell from Robert Walton - 1781 - Louisa County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsState - "William Durwin" (age 75) enumerated on VA State Census - 1782 - Louisa County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsTaxation - William Darwin (age 75) assessed for tax on 100 acres - 1782 - Louisa County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsWill - William Darwin (age 78) writes Will - 24 Oct 1785 - Louisa County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Mar 1786 - Darwin Home (Hollowing Creek), Louisa County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsWill - William Darwin's Will presented for probate by son, Jesse Darwin - 13 Mar 1786 - Louisa County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsWill - Probate inventory of estate of William Darwin - 13 Jun 1791 - Louisa County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Documents
    PLA: VA-LO: Darwin Home on Hollowing Creek (Louisa Co., VA)
    PLA: VA-LO: Darwin Home on Hollowing Creek (Louisa Co., VA)
    The property is identified in Chisholm, Claudia Anderson and Lillie, Ellen Gray: Old Home Places of Louisa County (1979: Louisa County Historical Society)
    WIL: VA-LO - 1785 Will of William Darwin
    WIL: VA-LO - 1785 Will of William Darwin
    Beneficiaries named: Wife Jane; sons Jesse and John; granddaughter Fanny Ward; balance divided amongst unnamed "all my children."
    LOC: VA-LO: 1746 Hardy/Darwin Land Indenture
    LOC: VA-LO: 1746 Hardy/Darwin Land Indenture
    Photocopy of 1746 document from the Louisa County VA courthouse.

    Histories
    Meet the Virginians
    Meet the Virginians
    The children of William Darwin (1707-86), progenitors of the Darwins of the Southern United States
    Will the Real William Darwin, Jr., Please Stand Up?
    Will the Real William Darwin, Jr., Please Stand Up?
    Two William Darwins, Senior and Junior, are named in one of our earliest documents, the 1746 Darwin/Hardy Land Indenture. But which one is the William Darwin we know to have been born in 1707?
    Cheaper by the Dozen
    Cheaper by the Dozen
    Did William Darwin (1707-86) and Jane have more than their 8 children currently known?

  • Sources 
    1. [S1] BIB: 1837: Darwin/Bland "Bible", Quarto Page B.
      "William Darwin born June 26th...1707"

    2. [S2] LOC: VA-LO: 1743 Darwin/Hardy Lawsuit , Kathleen Perkins (transcriber), (Louisa County Historical Association Magazine), Volume 9, Number 2 (Winter 1977-78).
      11 July 1743: THOMAS HARDY versus WILLIAM DARWIN: This day came as well the plaintiff, by his attorney, as the defendant, in his proper person, and for the want of bail, the said defendant is comitted in custody of the Sheriff and in the custody thereof confesseth the plaintiff's action for 7 current money. Therefore by consent of the parties it is considered by the Court that the plaintiff recover the same against the defendant, together with his costs, by him in this behalf expended. And the defendant, in mercy, etc., and at the prayer of the said plaintiff, the said defendant is comitted to the prison of the county, there to remain until, etc."

      This is the earliest record we currently possess concerning William Darwin

    3. [S3] LOC: VA-LO: 1743 Shelton/Darwin Lawsuit , Janice Abercrombie (transcriber of Order Book), (Louisa County Historical Association Magazine), 11/1/39, 11/1/41, 11/1/44.

      "12 September 1743: Suit by petition between Major Kimbrow ptf. and William Darwin deft. Action of debt between James Shelton appointee of A. Graham ptf. and William Darwin, deft."

    4. [S3] LOC: VA-LO: 1743 Shelton/Darwin Lawsuit , Janice Abercrombie (transcriber of Order Book), (Louisa County Historical Association Magazine), 11/1/39, 11/1/41, 11/1/44.
      10 October 1743: Action of court between James Shelton, assignee of Augustine Graham ptf. and William Darwin, deft."

    5. [S3] LOC: VA-LO: 1743 Shelton/Darwin Lawsuit , Janice Abercrombie (transcriber of Order Book), (Louisa County Historical Association Magazine), 11/1/39, 11/1/41, 11/1/44.
      "December 1743: James Shelton vs. William Darwin in debt. John Redd vs. William Darwin in Trespass for assault and battery."

    6. [S4] LOC: VA-LO: 1744 Harralson/Walton Land Deed, Louisa County VA Deed Book A, p. 12.

      Transfer by purchase of land from "Burgis Harralson of St. Pauls Par., Hanover County" to "John Walton of St. Martin's Par., Hanover Co," witnessed by "William Darwin."

      This is very likely Walton's land described as adjoining the 100 acres William Darwin later acquired in the 1746 Hardy - Darwin Land Indenture

    7. [S5] LOC: VA-LO: 1746 Hardy/Darwin Land Indenture , Louisa County Deed Book A, p. 262.

      "THIS INDENTURE made...BETWEEN Thomas Hardy of the County of Louisa...and William Darwin Junr. ... only William Darwin and Jean his wife shall have their Lives in the said one hundred acr's of Land or the Longest Liver of them ...the said William Darwin Junr. (after the decease of the aforesaid William Darwin Senr. and Jean his wife) ..."

      It may be significant that only Hardy signs; this is an indenture with William Darwin, Jr., whom we believe to have been a minor at this date.


    8. [S6] LOC: VA-LO: 1756 Hardy/Thomson Land Deed , Louisa County Deed Book B, p. 158.

      Thomas Hardy of Amelia Co. to William Thomson of Hanover Co. 50 for 319 acres adj. John Walton, William Darwin, John Tate, Edward Sims. Sig. Thomas Hardy. wit. Joseph Goodman, John Hopkins, Robert Sharp, Edward Haly.

    9. [S7] LOC: VA-LO: 1765 Tate/Tate Land Deed , Louisa County Deed Book C1/2, p. 142.

      John Tate conveys "for love and affection towards his son Zenus Tate" the property adjoining William Darwin and John Walton.

    10. [S8] LOC: VA-LO: 1773 - 1778 Lousia County Tithe Lists , (Transcriptions found in Davis, Rosalie Edith, Louisa County, Virginia, Tithables and Census 1743 - 1785 (n.d.: Manchester, Missouri). ).
      1776: Samuel Ragland's List - St. Martin's Parish: Assessment of William Darwin is for one only-?himself (women were not tithed), suggesting Jesse was living elsewhere (perhaps, as the 1775 tithe list might suggest, as a hand on Samuel Dickerson's farm).

    11. [S9] LOC: VA-LO: 1776 Tate Land Deed , Louisa County Deed Book E&F, p. 31.

      William Darwin signs as a witness to a land deed on behalf of John Tate, dated 19 December 1776.

    12. [S8] LOC: VA-LO: 1773 - 1778 Lousia County Tithe Lists , (Transcriptions found in Davis, Rosalie Edith, Louisa County, Virginia, Tithables and Census 1743 - 1785 (n.d.: Manchester, Missouri). ).
      1778: St. Martin's Parish: William Darwin assessed for 8 tithables which we cannot at present fully explain. His son John had been discharged at Valley Forge in February and did not migrate to South Carolina until October; he may well have been part of his father's household at this time. And perhaps one of William's daughters with family was also residing there.

    13. [S10] LOC: VA-LO: 1781 Walton/Powell Land Deed , Louisa Co. VA Deed Book E, p. 345.

      William Darwin named as the owner of land adjoining a tract purchased by "John Powell of Louisa County" from 'Robert Walton' and wife 'Kezia'.
      We previously thought this record to be an indication that William's daughter Keziah had married neighbour Robert Walton; however, this now seems unlikely as other sources name a different Keziah as Walton's wife.

    14. [S12] STA: VA: 1782: Virginia State Census.
      "Durwin, William (Hundred #8): White Souls: 3 : Black Souls: 1"
      We are unable to identify composition of the household.

    15. [S11] LOC: VA-LO: 1782 Lousia County Land Tax Book .
      William Darwin assessed for 100 acres (presumabley the same 100 acres purchased in the 1746: Hardy - Darwin Land Indenture).

    16. [S13] WIL: VA-LO: 1785 Will of William Darwin, Louisa County Will Book 3, p. 163.
      Beneficiaries named: Wife Jane; sons Jesse and John; granddaughter Fanny Ward; balance divided amongst unnamed "all my children."

    17. [S14] WIL: VA-LO: 1786 Probate of Will of William Darwin, Louisa County Will Book 3, p. 163.

    18. [S15] WIL: VA-LO: 1791 Inventory of Estate of William Darwin, Louisa County VA Will Book 3, p. 416.

    19. [S1] BIB: 1837: Darwin/Bland "Bible".
      "William Darwin born June 26th 1707 And Maried Sept 26th 1734"