~ William Heath ~ Surry and Prince George

©2009; 2015 Kathryn Gearhart (No portion of this website may be reproduced, in any form, including Internet, electronic or print, in whole or in part.) Revised 10/2015 (Additional Heath Lines are traced on Allied Families)

In June, 1650, John Browne transported himself, his wife, Robert Salisbury,  William Heath, and his wife Amey, as well as John Heath and Elizabeth Heath, who were most likely brother and sister to William.   It is believed that William transported in 1650 was the son of Thomas Heath, who was born in 1581 in Surry, England and married Jane Denton, daughter of John Denton and Magelane Browne.  Thomas and Jane were the parents of John and William Heath as well as daughters.  William was born in 1611, Tunbridge, Surry, England. He married Amy Gale in 1633, the daughter of Abraham and Amy Gale, at Stepney Church, Middlesex.  Members of the Gale family would settle in Maryland.

In 1652, Alexander Addison claimed Abraham Heath, John Heath and Amy Heath. Abraham was the eldest son of William Heath, John and Amy were also likely his children.  William’s daughter, Isabel, was not transported until 1654, and she immediately married James Pettyjohn in Northampton County.   Alexander Addison and William Gray testified to the nuncupative will of William Jordan in 1662 in Northampton County, Virginia.

What is not clear is this William Heath’s relationship to the earlier William and Anne Heath also transported by John Browne.

William Heath, of Charles City and Surry Counties (1611 – 1681)

William Heath, who was born in 1611 in Surry, England, and was sponsored by John Browne of the Eastern Shore in 1650, was the founder of the Heath families of Surry, Sussex and Prince George Counties.  His descendents migrated throughout Southside Virginia, into the Carolinas, and beyond. He also was a member of the Heath families on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Maryland. It would seem that William arrived with the money needed to purchase land, as Johne Browne received the headrights for William.  This means he did not pay his passage; Johne Browne either purchased the headrights from the ship’s captain or sponsored William’s transport.

The first record of William Heath is in Surry in 1660, but it is clear that he was there before this time.  In the records of Surry in July, 1660 William Lea and wife, Alice Lea, acknowledge a debt to William Heath for a sale of land, 250 acres, which was Thomas Felton’s deceased.  Alice Lea was Alice Felton before she married William Lea.  This deed was witnessed by John Morecook, and Benjamin Dolls (*).   Later in November, an indenture is recorded between William Lea, his wife Alice, and William Heath, planter, of Southwarke Parish, Surry County, for a parcel of 150 acres, formerly Thomas Felton’s, deceased. The description… called Upper Chippoakes in the woods adjacent the land which was John Narrye’s unto the Plantation formerly Robert Moseley’s adjacent a great Swamp which divides Surry County and Charles Cittye County, which land was given by said Thomas Felton in last Will and Testament to his wife Alice which is now the wife of said William Lea.  Memo:  150 acres lies in Charles Cittye County, adjoining the rest of the dividend, which lies in Surry County.  Witness: Robert Spenser, John Gittings.

There is no record of the initial purchase of the 250 acres.  It certainly had happened several years earlier, as Thomas Felton had purchased the land from William.  He then died, and his wife Alice remarried. It is not clear, but Felton may have paid for 100 of the acres and still owed for 150 at the time of his death, which William Lea, the new husband of Alice, agreed to purchase.

* Benjamin Dolls, born about 1620, a Negro, was granted a patent for 300 acres in Surry County on the south side of the Reeded Marsh adjoining Captain Jordan’s line in December, 1656 for the importation of six persons.  In 1659 Judah Hide authorized him to act as her attorney.  His son, John, was a servant of Arthur Jordan.

In 1662, William Heath was leasing 250 acres in Charles City to John Ludwell, who assigned the lease to Roger Rawlins.  The house and land were probably in the area near Chipoakes Creek in what became Prince George County.  In 1662 the records of Charles City County, notes… This presents shall ingage me John Ludwell to assigne over unto Roger Rawlins a condicon’ that is betwixt William Heath and myselfe for two hundred and fifty acres of Land after the date hereof within ten dayes and to give him perfect possession of the house and Land. As Witness my hand this sixteenth of August one thousand six hundred sixty two, signed with the marke of John Ludwell, and testified Thomas M. Morgan by his marke, and William P. Pickerm, his marke.  This notation is followed immediately by an entry of a deed dated August, 1662 by John Ludwell of Charles City County, planter, selling to Roger Rawlins of Surry County, 6 cows, 1 heifer, 1 steer, 4 calves and 10 breeding sows.  Signed by John Ludwell, his marke and recorded April, 1664.  Evidently John Ludwell was moving on or going back to England.

In March 1663 William Heath was granted …250 acres lying in Charles City beginning at a white oak standing in the swamp which parts Surry and Charles City Counties thence northwest, etc. The said Land being formerly granted to William Lee by patent granted in 1654, assigned to Rutherford and Micum Curry per patent 1659, and by said Rutherford assigned to said Heath. 

On 19 January, 1668 William Lea and wife Alice acknowledged a debt of 250 acres of land to William Heath.  (Log Cabins to White House by Brewer pg. 275)  Then on Sept. 5, 1668, William Lea and wife Alice sold a plantation to Thomas Adams (Surry Co. records).

Leas

The son of William Lea and Alice Felton was William Lea who married Dorothy Taylor.  Dorothy was the daughter of Thomas Taylor and Elizabeth Harwood.

The will of Elizabeth Harwood Taylor was filed in 1747 in Richmond County and states       …I, Elizabeth Taylor, of North Farnham Parish, …all my waring apparel be equally divided between my two daughters, Dorothy Croucher and Sary Ellate.  …my great graddaughter Betty Lee, daughter to my grandson, Tom Lee, …my great granddaughter Ann Lee, daughter of my son William Lee, …my great granddaughter Lucy Lee, daughter of Dorothy, …greath grandson Richard Lee, son of Dorothy, …grandson William Lee, ….

Dorothy and her brother Thomas Taylor were the administrators of William Lee’s estate when he died in 1717.  (Amelia County Order Book 7) Dorothy then married Richard Croucher of Essex County.

~

The records of Surry County indicate in August, 1665 …John Looke gives power of attorney to his wife, Rebecca Looke, to confess judgement to William Heath for a debt. Witness Thomas Roberts, William Lee.

February, 1668 William Shorte sold to William Heath 50 acres of land … at the head of Western Branch of Upper Chippoakes Creek, where Heath now lives.  Witness William Marriott.  In 1668 William Heath was listed in the Surry tithes of Southwarke Parish for two indicating he had one son over sixteen years of age living in his household.  The following year, 1669, in October, William was issued a new patent for 378 acres lying partly in Surry and partly in Charles City County.  The land was located on the south side of the head of Upper Chipoakes Creek, adjacent to land held by Thomas Stephens and on the north side of a great swamp.  250 of these 378 acres was the land purchased from William Lee in 1663/64.  Fifty acres were purchased from William Short and fifty-eight acres were granted for the transport of two persons, himself and Sarah Killetts.  Sarah would become the wife of Adam Heath, William’s youngest son.

In November, 1672, William Heath of Surry County, planter sold to John Litford of Isle of Wight County, planter, 200 acres in Charles City County … beginning at an oak in the swampe that parts Charles Cittye County and Surry County pattened by me, March 1663.  This was witnessed by William Thomson and William Sherwood.  Also, in 1672, Thomas Parker of Martins Brandon recorded a deed which noted that Elizabeth Shorte & Elizabeth Shorte by deed dated May 3, 1669, sold George Midleton part of their dividend land at Harick, beginning 30 pages south of the Labour in Vain House & down the swampe that parted Charles City County and Surry County.  Whereas George Midleton assigned the same to Thomas Parker, who was then selling this parcel to John LIdford of Charles City County, planter.  The deed was witnessed by Thomas Busby, William Shorte, and William Sherwood, and possession of the delivery of the deed was witnessed by Maurice Rose, William Heath, Thomas Busby, William Shorte, and William Sherwood.

In May, 1673 Elinor Gilbert’s will left …household stuff to the two girls by Mrs. Plow and Margery Heath…  In May, 1674 William Heath, (Adam Heath, Security) posted bond as guardian of Roger Gilbert, orphan of Elinor Gilbert, for his estate of 4 cattle, 1 sow, 14 shoots, …pigs in hands of William Heath, but when he finds them to give bond, etc.  Roger’s parents were Roger Gilbert and Elinor Hoskins.  William Heath was held responsible for Roger Gilbert’s financial future, as when he came of age, he would deliver to Roger the value of these animals, in kind or in pounds of tobacco.  It is highly likely that Elinor Gilbert was a daughter of William and Margery Heath, but this is unprovern.

In January 1675 Edmund Howell assigned to William Heath all right and title to land purchased of William Hux in Southwarke Parish in Ware Neck, being 50 acres.  This was signed by Edmund Howell and Rebecca Howell.

In Surry County, in 1676, a petition for mercy following Bacon’s Rebellion included William Heath, who signed by making his mark, “H.”

Will of William Heath, 1611-1681

William Heath’s will was written September 20, 1680 and filed in May, 1681 in Surry.  He left to his oldest son, Abraham, 350 acres in Charles City County.  This area became Prince George County.  Abraham also received a bill of Thomas Busby of Flower Hundred, and ninety pounds of tobacco and cask. To his youngest son, Adam, he left 300 acres which lay equally in Surry and Charles City Counties.  Adam also received all bills due from James Walkins of 350 pounds tobacco and John Minard of 400 pounds tobacco.  To Elizabeth, the daughter of Adam, and Sarah, the daughter of Abraham, he left fifty acres purchased from Edmund Howell, after the death of his wife.  The witnesses to his will were James Malden, Thomas Pittman.  His wife Margery was made administrator.

Abraham was left a legacy as the eldest of Amy’s children, and Adam, his youngest son, was the only son of his current wife, Margery.  William, Sr. with his youngest son, Adam, was listed in the tithes of 1678 for Surry County.  William’s eldest son, Abraham, and a middle son John, were residing in Somerset County, Maryland. William, Jr. was evidently residing in Prince George County.  Isabel had married and was living in Northampton.

By 1682 a stream called Heath’s Branch or Heath’s Swamp was noted in the records of Surry.  In 1738 William Heath of Surry and his wife Elizabeth (Gee), the grandson of William through his son Adam, transferred title to the 550 acres patented in 1663 and 1669 by William Heath the elder.

Children of William Heath and Amy

Abraham Heath transported in 1652 and died in 1688 at Manoakin, in Somerset County, Maryland.

John Heath, transported in 1652 and lived in Somerset County, Maryland

Amy Heath transported in 1652 with no other mention.

William Heath, transported in 1653 and died before 1729 in Prince George County, Virginia

Isabel Heath, transported in 1654, and died in 1666 in Northampton County, Virginia

Child of William Heath and Margery

Adam Heath, was born about 1652, Charles City County, Virginia and died in 1719, Surry County, Virginia.

11 thoughts on “~ William Heath ~ Surry and Prince George

  1. geesnmore says:

    I agree completely.. and that is what my research is showing. In 1637 is the assignment of the William Heath’s apprentice signed by Amy Heath which indicates he was at that time abroad. I believe he is the same William Heath whose estate was settled in Norfolk a few years later.
    I would love to see the information regarding her remarriage to Garrett Anderson, etc.
    Thank you for confirming my beliefs… I continue to work on revising the early Heath story with research in England
    I hope to post more his summer.
    Thanks again,
    Kathryn

  2. vewhite says:

    John Browne used William and Amy Heath as headrights twice – in 1646 and 1650, both in Northampton Co. VA. But William Heath died ca 1640 and his wife Amy re-married to Garrett Anderson and then Nicholas Waddelow and then Thomas Fowkes. With Nicholas Waddelow she lived in MD for a bit, but returned to VA. She died in Northampton Co. VA in 1678. Amy and William Heath had no children, but she had several Anderson and Waddelow children.

    Therefore, the William Heath who lived in Charles City Co. VA and Surry Co. VA must have been a different man from a different family.

  3. Sharon Heath says:

    I am a decendant of William Heath. I am a decendant of his son William Heath. I would like a copy of this article. We are about to do our DNA testing, but I have an ancestry tree on ancestry.com Very happy to have found this article. And relatives of Adam Heath through the Heath DNA project.

  4. geesnmore says:

    Yes, I had seen that…. John Dee was also involved with the clerics in the Gee line in Manchester. I guess he went there and stirred up some trouble.
    Have a great holiday.
    Kathryn

  5. Paul Van Gent says:

    Kathryn,

    I have a copy of the Book ATHENAE OXONIENSES thanks to Google, which is a history of writers and bishops who were educated at Oxford University. On page 498 it talks about Thomas Heth or Heath a noted Astronomer and Dr. Jon Dee. Thomas was involved with writing about the pending “Astrological Discourse” between the two planets Saturn and Jupiter which was to happen on 29 April 1583. Needless to say, it did not happen, and Thomas was not seen or heard from again. It was a funny article, but I don’t think Thomas is someone we would want to mention in our family history or we may get tarred and feathered like he may have been!!

    Paul Van Gent

  6. geesnmore says:

    http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/oxon/vol6/pp285-289
    Here is an article on Shelswell.
    According to this Thomas and Jane Denton had no children. The entire family history of Richard father of Robert and Percival, and Thomas his grandson is given in great detail in the article.

    Also, a Thomas Heath of Oxford is noted as a leading mathematician and astronomer,
    a friend of John Dee, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Not certain who he was.

    I am pursuing Abraham and Isabell as the key to finding William. There are two areas where Abraham is used: Staffordshire and adjacent Warwickshire; and Wiltshire. Only one occurrence is in Surrey… but I will try to trace him as well.
    I am also trying to ascertain the relationship of the Heath alias Swan/Swane family of Warwickshire and Tamsworth, Staffordshire.
    I am becoming more doubtful that the Kent/Surrey Branch is ours..
    Kathry

  7. Paul Van Gent says:

    Kathryn,

    I have had the information on the Haith Trust for some time. It is an article titled “The Heath Family from Wicomico County, MD” by Mary Catherine Downing. While it contains good information, it is confusing since Ms. Downing has succeeded in mixing up the children from Sir Robert and his brothers and sisters. She has also omitted several children. She does however bring Thomas and his son William into the discussion.

    I also have the visitation of Oxfordshire in my “library” in my computer and have had both pedigrees for some time. I will agree that the pedigree for the “Heath of Shelswell” does cast some doubt about Thomas Heath. However, I have some reservations about the accuracy of this pedigree as I have not been able to find any reference to the Heath family and the village of Shelswell any where other than this pedigree. I did find a piece of information about Thomas that I found rather interesting. Do you know the time and place of Thomas’s death? Does Calais, France in 1649 sound familiar?

    I am a novice at best when it comes to genealogy research, and will gladly accept your findings over mine. Hopefully, with both of us digging through history, we can find the answer to the puzzle of Thomas Heath, and clear up this mystery.

    Sincerely,

    Paul Van Gent

  8. geesnmore says:

    A bit of back research indicates the accepted pedigree for William and Abraham has some holes in it. First: the 1566, 1574 and 1634 Visitation to Oxfordshire https://books.google.com/books?

    notes this lineage:
    Jane Denton, daughter of John Denton of Ambersden, Oxfordshire and Magdalen Brome daughter of Sir John Brome of Halton. The Brome and Denton families intermarried in several generations. This Jane is noted as marrying Thomas Heath.
    The pedigree of Thomas Heath is given as:
    Richard Heath, of the City of Oxford, Oxfordshire married Dorothy the daughter of Sir John Cornwall in Shelwell. Their son was Robert Heath of Shelwell who married Katherine daughter of Thomas Carter of Swyncome, Oxfordshire, as well as Percivall Heath and Mary Heath who married a Panery of Oxfordshire. Thomas was the son of Robert and Katherine, and his siblings were Anthony, Michael, Mary and Elizabeth. No children were noted for Thomas in the 1634 visitation.
    This throws into doubt the lineage claimed by many that this Thomas, supposed brother of Sir Robert, was the father of William Heath born in 1611.
    More digging is in the works.

  9. geesnmore says:

    I am revising Heaths as I have found a very believable genealogy:
    and am making an effort to back research it now:
    The link is here, on Haiti Trust.
    http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89062876941;view=1up;seq=17

    I may have some generational issues for the first two Williams.

  10. geesnmore says:

    Paul,
    I believe you have it right. I have not worked on the Heath family for several years.
    In June, 1650, John Browne transported himself, his wife, Robert Salisbury, another William Heath, and his wife Amey, as well as John Heath and Elizabeth Heath, who were most likely brother and sister to William. It is believed that William transported in 1650 was the son of Thomas Heath, who was born in 1581 in Surry, England and married Jane Denton, daughter of John Denton and Magelane Browne. Thomas and Jane were the parents of John and William Heath as well as daughters. William was born in 1611, Tunbridge, Surry, England. He married Amy Gale in 1633, the daughter of Abraham and Amy Gale, at Stepney Church, Middlesex. Members of the Gale family would settle in Maryland.

    In 1652, Alexander Addison claimed Abraham Heath, John Heath and Amy Heath. Abraham was the eldest son of William Heath, John and Amy were also likely his children. William’s daughter, Isabel, was not transported until 1654, and she immediately married James Pettyjohn in Northampton County. Alexander Addison and William Gray testified to the nuncupative will of William Jordan in 1662 in Northampton County, Virginia.

    What is not clear is this William Heath’s relationship to the earlier William and Anne Heath also transported by John Browne.
    Thank you for your compliments… glad you are enjoying the writing. I will try to get what I have finished writing onto the site today… I have been negligent about publishing. Very busy teaching and writing the Venables while researching the Gee family in England.

    Sincerely,
    Kathryn

  11. Paul Van Gent says:

    Kathryn, Please excuse me if I have misspelled your first name. I have written you before and have been a huge follower of your writings ever since. I was hoping you could clear up some questions on William Heath. My wife is the former Ramona Heath from Snow Hill in Greene County, NC. In working her ancestry backwards, we have arrived at William H. Heath as the person who started her branch of the tree in the colonies. Our questions are: 1) Is this the same William who along with his wife Amy came over to the colonies in 1650? 2) If so, who was his father? 3) Was this the same William H. Heath mentioned as a member of Bacon’s followers?

    We have a copy of the will from a William H. Heath dated 18 September 1680 that came from Surry County, VA. We have a ship’s manifest showing a William and an Amy (wife of William Heath) coming to the colonies aboard the ship Northampton captained by a John Brown in 1650. We feel confident that he was not the son of Sir Robert as his name is not mentioned in Sir Robert’s headstone at his burial site.

    We have found mention of a sixth child of Robert and Ann named Thomas who married a Jane Denton. Thomas was born in 1581 and appears to have died in 1649 in of all places Calais, France.

    Do you have any information that could shed some light on any of the above?

    Thank you in advance for any help you may be able to give us.

    Sincerely,

    Paul Van Gent

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