~ Abraham Heath ~ Eastern Shore

©2009; 2015 Kathryn Gearhart (No portion of this web site may be reproduced, in any form, including Internet, electronic or print, in whole or in part.)Revised 10/2015

Accomack and Northampton Counties, Virginia

 The Eastern Shore of Virginia was originally known as Accawmacke, from its Native American name.   It was settled soon after the founding of Jamestown.  In 1614 about 20 Jamestown colonists were sent to the eastern shore to gather salt and catch fish for the settlement.  They established their camp on the coast near Cape Charles and set up salt works to the east on Smith Island. This was a temporary encampment, and the first established settlement was at Old Plantation Creek.  The first church and community was established in 1624 on the north side of King’s Creek.  Accawmacke became Northampton County in 1642. Then in 1663 Northampton was split in two and the northern portion resumed being Accomac County.  It was 1940 when the spelling became Accomack.

Between Hungars Creek and Nasawadox Creek, was Nuswattocks Parish.  The church was built by 1647.  By 1641 there were 700 living in Accomack.  Between 1636 and 1650 approximately 90% of the acreage of the Eastern Shore peninsula from Occohannock Creek south to Cape Charles had been patented. The peninsula offered good soil, many waterways for better transportation and communication between land owners, and peaceful natives. Between 1635 and 1650 there was exceptional growth.  A third parish named Occohannock was formed in 1652.  Adjacent to Accomack County is Somerset County in Maryland.  Families settled across the county lines and some planters owned land in both colonies.

William Heath, the First in Accawmacke

It would seem that William Heth (sic) transported in 1637 settled in Accomack County.   In 1638 William Heath had a very eventful year.  It began when Daniel Cugley was ordered to pay 1/3 of staves in question, and a Mr. Holmes was to pay 52 hogshead, being jointly due to …said Heath. That same year William Heath was arrested by William Holmes, however, no evidence was produced against him so the charges were dismissed. William Heath was soon paid 600 lb tobacco from the estate of William Holmes and later that year Mr. William Holmes was ordered to repay 232 lb tobacco which William had paid, but which was not yet due.  Then William was ordered to put up security for 400 lb. tobacco due Jno. Tarvy, or remain in the sheriff’s hands.

This is a difficult beginning for someone newly arrived in the country and he died within 3 years of migrating.  In 1640 is recorded the administration of the estate of William Heath and the inventory filed by his widow Heath.  Her name is unknown.

William Heath and Ann Heath of 1642

Soon after the death in 1640 of William Heth, William Heath and Ann Heath arrived in Northampton County.  It was 1642 and John Browne of London, then residing in Northampton County, received the headrights.  It is likely that this William Heath soon removed to Norfolk County, just across the bay from the Eastern Shore.  As with his predecessor of 1637, he had a short life once he arrived in Virginia.

Records in Norfolk, Virginia

In Norfolk, Virginia a deed from Deborah Glascock, widow selling unto …Richard Conquest for a valuable consideracon one yearling Cowe, Calfe and one …  Bull Calfe now being amongst the neat cattle of Ensigne Lambard, September 1646, Signed Deborah Glascock (her mark) and witnessed by John Fferinhaugh and William (his marke) Heath.  It was not recorded until May, 1648 in Norfolk.

In 1647 the estate of William Heath, was noted when Mr. John Fferinhaugh was ordered to pay 380 lb. tobacco, to John Harvye, administrator of William Heath, deceased. It was recorded that Henry Meritt was Master (ship’s master) and copartner with William Heath deceased. It was ordered that Merritt be given possession and allowed to enjoy the full halfs part of the last year’s profit of their trade and 530 lb tobacco which Merritt had paid for Heath, deceased, from Richard Smith, Attorney of John Savage, and the administrator of the decedent. An attachment was granted to Mr. Thomas Lambart against the estate of William Heath for 300 lb tobacco due Thomas Mitchell from the decedent upon account.  The said 300 lb. tobacco was assigned to Lambart by Mitchell.

Earliest Tax Lists for Accomac County and Northampton Counties

The Tithables in Northampton County in 1666 included Abraham Heath for 1 tithe then in 1668 he was taxed in Accomac County for 1 tithe.  This was Abraham, son of William Heath and Amy, of Surry County, Virginia.  He later removed to Somerset County in Maryland, just up the Eastern Shore.  Also living in Somerset County was John Heath, who was active in Somerset until 1695.  Their story is on Geesnmore, my sister site.

Isabel Heath of Northampton County

Daughter of William Heath of Surry County

Isabel Heath was was born between 1634 – 1642 in England or Virginia, and died in 1665 in Hungars Parish, Northampton County, Virginia.  She married James Pettijohn soon after her arrival in Virginia.

James Pettijohn leased land in Northampton County that belonged to Thomas Savage.  At his death he owned cattle, hogs, and horses, and raised corn and tobacco.  He was a cooper and a planter, and also knew carpentry.  There were initially three parishes in Northampton, which was formed from Accomack County.  Nuswattocks Parish lay between Hungars Creek and Nassawadox Creek.  Later Occahannock Parish was formed.  In 1663 the county was split and Accomack County was formed in the upper portion.

In 1653 it is recorded that Att a Courth held att Northampth 18th march 1653: The order by the Courth that James Pettyjohn shall forthwith enter into a bond of sufficient severity for his good behavior towards: Harryson (Harrison). The order by ye Court (that Joane ye wife of James Pettyjohn for her abusive scandalous speeche against Ann ye wife of Thomas Harrison pronounced by ye deposition of George Merridage and Jane his wife shall upon a Sabbath daye stand at ye churche doore duringe ye tyme tho ye psalme is singeinge with a gagge in her mouth.

Isabel and James were in Hungars Parish by 1660.  Their home was on Church Neck, between Church Creek and Hungars Creek.  In January, 1664 James entered into a contract with John Michaels which bound John Waterson to James for service.  The contract was recorded in courth in April, 1665.  Both died by June 1665 leaving 4 minor children when it was ordered his estate be sold at public outcry. His estate notes a horse, hogs, thirty head of cattle, two bulls, a wild gang of cattle, marked and unmarked. Captain John Custis was appointed administrator of the estate, which, under the order of the court, was sold, bringing 27,308 pounds of tobacco and casks.  After paying the debts, there remained for distribution to the children 12,324 pounds of tobacco and casks.

Children of Isabel Heath and James Pettijohn

James Pettijohn, was was born about 1655, Northampton County, Virginia.  After the death of his parents in 1665, James Bruce was appointed his guardian and was charged with the responsibility for his schooling and upbringing until James, the “eldest son”, reached 18 years of age.

William Pettijohn, was was born about 1657, Northampton County, Virginia and died in 1712, Princess Anne County, Virginia.  William was placed under the care of William Satchell.  In 1678 he released William Satchell from this responsibility, evidently having reached age 18.  William went to Accomack County from 1684 to 1691.  In 1702 he purchased land in Princess Anne County from John Oakman who was the second husband of his sister, Isabel.  William died in Princess Anne County, Virginia in 1712.

Isabel Pettijohn, was was born in May 1660, Northampton County, Virginia.  Isabel was placed under the guardianship of Abraham Heath for her tuition and bringing up until she reached the age of eighteen.  She was later placed under the guardianship of Nicholas Powell, the purchaser of her father’s plantation.  She married first, Richard Lester, about 1678, before she was eighteen, and after his death she married, John Oakman.  They went to Princess Ann County, Virginia.  Abraham had kept James Pettyjohn’s Bible for her.

John Pettijohn, was born about 1664, Northampton County, Virginia and died in 14 November, 1733, Sussex County, Virginia.  It was ordered that …Captain William Jones was to have the disposition of John Pettyjohn, the son of James Pettyjohn, deceased, either to take it into his custody or leave itin th custody of John Cole for the bringing of it up.  In July, 1680 John requested to leave John Cole and be placed under the guardianship of John Stachell.  John Cole was required to pay Mr. Stachel 3,034 pounds of tobacco and caske for John Petttyjohn’s use.  John Stachell was the son of William Stachell who had raised William Pettyjohn.  John again petitioned the court in 1680 to be discharged from John Satchell, which was not allowed.  John was not schooled and did not learn to read or write.  In 1682 John again returned to court, this time in Accomack County, to ask for release from his bound, and it was granted.  He resided in Accomack with his brother William until about 1690 when John and his wife Sara removed their young family to Sussex County, Delaware.

Somerset County, Maryland

Old Somerset County was comprised of several hundreds, including Wicomico Hundred which became Wicomico County.  Old Somerset covered the entire lower Eastern Shore area of Maryland, adjacent the Virginia Counties of Accomack and Northampton.  It was settled by the 1660’s.  The boundaries were split in 1742 with the formation of Worcester County.  The 1790 census includes Worcester but the Somerset census was destroyed.   Regardless, by 1810, there were only Josiah, John, and Samuel Heath resided in Somerset.  Clearly the Maryland Heaths migrated away to Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina.

John Heath, Somerset County: Maryland,

Son of William Heath of Surry County

This is clearly the John Heath transported by John Browne in 1652.  John Heath was noted in Somerset County by 1678, when he was included in the tobacco tax list for 400 pound of Tobacco.   In November, 1680 he registered a cattle mark.  ..the left ear and Cropt of the right ear with one siitt in the Crop…. Additional marke to his marke entered … the left ear likewise Cropt and a halfe Moone in the Crop…. May, 1681.

From 1680 to 1695 John Heath was the witness to several wills.  In 1680 he witnessed two wills.  First, the will of George Johnson who was a Quaker, and left property to cousins in New England and in Canterbury, England, and mentions an unnamed child of George Wilson. Witnessing this will with John Heath was Thomas Beauchamp.  The second was the will of Daniel Curtis.  With Thomas William, John witnessed the will of Edward Stevens in 1684.  In 1687 he appraised the estate of John Shipway who was most likely the father of Abraham Heath’s wife, Ursula. In 1695 John witnessed the will of Samuel Long.  In 1686 John Heath was called into court to answer to Captain Henry Smith regarding an action of trespass.  Unfortunately, there are only 9 of the 10 pages preserved for the 1685 Quit Rents in Somerset, and John Heath is not noted on these 9.  Nor is he noted in the earlier tax list.

In 1688 John Heath had witnessed the will of Ambrose Dixon, who noted his son-in-law Edmund Beauchamp.  John Heath married Sarah Dixon, daughter of Ambrose Dixon and Mary Wilson, and the widow of Edmund Beauchamp, Mercer of London, and later writing clerk of the county court of Somerset County.  Beauchamp died in 1691.  In 1694 John Heath and Isaac Horsey witnessed a bond for ₤300 sterling on Thomas Dixon and John West to Mary, widow of Ambrose Dixon, dated July 28, 1694, to ensure the terms of Dixon’s will that required the construction of a house for Mary Ambrose and a servant and food during her life.

In 1692, John Heath sat on a jury to hear a case by Peter Whaples against Henry Lynch, Merchant, for debt.  He also heard a case against James Berry, tanner of Manokin, for stealing and killing a boar.   In 1693 in a case against Mary Swaime for breach of the Sabbath and swearing and profanity, Thomas Dixon and John Heath sat on the jury, as did Thomas Wilson.  The jury acquitted her, but she was ordered to pay the court costs.  Another case that this jury heard was the case against Thomas Porter, a laborer, for killing 10 wild hogs, valued at 1,000 lbs. pork.  He too was acquitted, but was ordered to pay court costs.  Then, the same jury heard a case against Henry Bishopp for killing two wild hogs that were running in the forest on the seaside with the hogs of John Goddin.  As before, he was acquitted.

In 1707, with Thomas and Edmund Beauchamp, John witnessed the will of Joseph Benton.  Then, in 1716, John witnessed the will of Dodgett Beauchamp, planter of Coventry Parish, Somerset.  John Heath evidently was the father of Abraham Heath of Somerset.  It is also likely that he was the father of Thomas and John Heath who went to Middlesex County, Virginia.

Abraham Heath

Abraham Heath witnessed the will of William Polk in Somerset dated 1739 with Mathew Heath and Charles King.  In 1743 Abraham Heath, with James and Isaac Hayman witnessed the will of George Wilson, planter in Somerset County.  In 1749, Thomas Toadvine, Abraham Heath, Elias Baley & Elgit Hitch confessed … judgment to George Gale,  £9.5.3 plus 292 pounds of tobacco. In Somerset County, in August, 1758, Priscilla Heath, widow of Abraham Heath, late of Somerset County, who died intestate, gave up her right of administration to any creditor with just claim.

Adam Heatch or Adam Heath

Is this Adam Heatch or Adam Heath? In 1686, David Browne, Captan Robert King and Adam Heath were summoned to court in a case of trespass brought by John Strawbridge against Andrew Whittington. In 1688 Adam Heatch asked to be excused from failing to appear as a Jury man because some cattle broke into his corn field and he was forced to stay at home and mend his fence.  In 1692 John Heath and Thomas Beauchamp stood as security for a 40 ₤ bond by Edmund Beauchamp. In 1692 there was filed an agreement between Robert King and Adam Heath that Heath would pledge security for John Heath, and King would withdraw his suit.  John Heath was then in custody over the debt.  Then in 1694 John Heath and John Davis were subpoenaed on behalf of Adam Heatch in his suit against John Barranskill.  In 1695 Adam Heatch swore he attended court for 12 days as a witness for John Strawbridge against Andrew Whittington.  Adam Heatch served a constable for Annimessex hundred with George Wilson in 1692. A transcription of a 1692 record states Adam Heath Jr. registered a cattle mark.  Another transcription records the birth of William son of Adam Heath and wife Anne, in 1687.  However, I believe these are transcription errors, and Adam Heath is in fact Adam Heatch, father of John and William, and husband of Anne.


Abraham Heath of Somerset County, Maryland

Son of William Heath of Surry County

Abraham Heath was the first noted in Accomac County in 1666.  There is nearly 20 years before another Heath is listed for Accomac County when William Heath was charged for 1 tithe, in 1685, 1686, 1689, 1690 and 1691.  In 1704, the Virginia Quit Rents do not list any Heaths in Accomac or Northampton County.

Abraham Heath was born about 1640 in England, and died in 1688 on August 22, in Somerset County, Maryland. Abraham was first noted in the transport records on 1652, when he was claimed by Alexander Addison along with Amey Heath and John Heath.

Abraham first appears in the records when he went back to Northampton County to look after his neice, Isabel Pettijon.  His sister Isabel and her husband James Pettijohn had both died. Abraham was appointed Isabel’s guardian.  He was noted among the titheables in Northampton in 1666.  He evidently remained in Northampton, managing his niece’s interests.  Then in April, 1673 he registered a cattle mark in Somerset County, Maryland. …the right ear on the underside the Carpenters square Doble And the Carpenters Square single on the underside of the left ear recorded the third day of Aprill…1673.  In 1674 in the records of Maryland is the notation that Abraham Heath brought himself, his wife Ursula and children William and Susannah to Somerset from Virginia. (Supplement to Early Settlers by Dr. Carson Gibb)

Abraham married Ursula Shipway, daughter of John Shipway.  Abraham was executor of Shipway’s will, and Abraham’s children, Abraham and Mary, were mentioned in the will.  Abraham with John Heath appraised the estate in August, 1687.  John Shipway settled on 250 acres in Somerset County in June, 1680.  It was known as Shipway’s Choice.

In 1678 Abraham was noted in Surry County as a witness to the will of Richard Rodgers with his brother Adam.  It is this same year that Isabel Pettijohn releases Abraham from his guardianship.  It is likely that Rodgers was a brother in law to Adam and Abraham.   His wife was Grace.

In Somerset County, Maryland, Abraham patented 50 acres, called Dudley’s, September 28, 1681, 100 acres known as Rowley Hill on May 30, 1683 and another 100 acres known as Heath’s Quarters July 15, 1684. He was taxed for these in the 1685 Quit Rents. Abraham’s father, William Heath of Surry and Charles City County (Prince George), bequeathed to him 350 acres in Charles City County, Virginia, along Chippoakes Creek, in his will written in 1680.  A deed filed in Surry County, May, 1685 between Hugh Bagley and Peter Bagley, notes the land of Abraham Heath as well as George Loveday, Richard Williamson, and Edward Green.  The following year, 1686, there was an attachment of Thomas Busby and Adam Heath against the estate of Richard Williamson, in Surry County.  Adam was Abraham’s younger brother.

Will of Abraham Heath

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN.  August the 18: 1688.  I, Abraham Heath living in Monokin in ye County of Somersett being sick of body but of good and perfect memory praised be God, doe make & ordain this my last will and Testament in manner and forme following:  ffrist I give and bequeath my Soul to the hands of Allmighty God my maker and redeemer and my body to be buried at ye discretion of my Exter.

ITEM I give and bequeath to William my oldest Son a hundred Acres of Land called Rouly hill, (Rowley Hill) and fifty Acres in another Patten adjoining to it. 

ITEM I leave and bequeath to William one horse and Mare called Bonny and all my tools.

ITEM I leave and bequeath to my sonns Thomas and Jacob two hundred Acres of Land called kiniser castle (sic) equally to be divided between them.

ITEM I leave and bequeath Ursula my loving wife one hundred Acres of Land called Heaths Quarter, during the time of her life, and then to be equally divided between William my Sonn and Mary my Daughter at her decease.

ITEM I leave and bequeath to my Sonn Abraham a hundred Acres of Land which I (bought) of John Shipley with the rest which John Shipley left me by will.

ITEM I leave and bequeath One Heifer two years old with their female increase to my Sonn Abraham.

ITEM I bequeath to Ursula my loving wife One Mare and a Cow with the rest of my household good, likewise I oblige my Sonn William to give to my daughter Mary the first Colt of the Mare called Bonny Bremer.  Signed his marke AH,  Abraham Heath.  This will was proved in June, 1691. The witnesses were John Franklyn, John Miller, John Bowen and Thomas Bromley.

There is no mention of the 350 acres in Prince George County in Abraham’s will.  As late as 1705, a deed of Adam Heath, Abraham’s brother, notes the land of Abraham Heath, deceased, as lying adjacent to land belonging to Adam. It is clear this land came into the possession of Abraham Heath, Jr. who died about 1733, as his mother, Ursula, (a widow once again), administered the estate of Abraham Heath, Jr.’s in Surry.  In Somerset County, Maryland, in January, 1726/27, Adam Heath with Thomas Humphris (ies) was an executor of the will of George Huchings.

The children of Abraham Heath and Ursula

William is mentioned in Abraham’s will, and received Rowley Hill and ½ of Heaths Quarter.  His story follows.

Sara was mentioned in the 1680-81 will of her grandfather, William Heath of Surry.

Parthenia was born August 8, 1673, at Pokomoke is not in her father’s will.

John was born January 19, 1676/77 at Manoakin.  John is omitted from his father’s will and there are no records for him in Somerset.

Mary was born May 31, 1679, at Manoakin, received on half of Heath’s Quarter and land in the will of John Shipway.  She married Henry Dorman of Worcester County, Maryland who died in 1757.  Their daughter Elizabeth married Peter Owensll (sic)

Abraham was born October 30, 1682 at 8 in the morning, at Manoakin, received the land willed and purchased from John Shipway. He removed to Prince George County in Virginia.

Jacob was born August 5, 1685 at 11 in the night, at Manoakin, received ½ of 200 acre Kiniser Castle.

Thomas was (born circa 1686-87) who is mentioned in Abraham’s will, received ½ of 200 acre Kiniser Castle.  There is no further information about Thomas Heath in Somerset after his inclusion in Abraham’s will in 1688.

In 1692 at the Court at Somerset County, Ursula Heath, widow, petitioned the court concerning a tract called Deep in Manokin, which had been bequeathed by John Shipway to her daughter, Mary Heath.   This land apparently was claimed by Thomas Manlove who was in the process of selling it.  Ursula made a plea for the court to protect the interests of her poor orphan.  She asked the Court to inquire and have lines run to determine boundaries.  The Court ruled that they did not have jurisdiction that …the matter not lye before them.

Ursula married John Lokey of Somerset County before 1692.  His will was filed in February, 1728 in which he left  *Dormand Heath dwelling on the plantation Heath Quarter and the residue of the estate, real and personal, witnessed by William Browne, William Abnelt, and John Griffin.

(* I believe this was incorrectly transcribed and was Dower Heath, being the land belonging to Ursula and after her death to Mary and William, her children.)

William Heath, son of Abraham and Ursula

After the death of his father, William is noted in possession of 100 acres at Heath’s Quarters, patented by Abraham Heath in May, 1683.  These 100 acres of land came into the possession of Robert Harris, who left Heath’s Quarters to his son, Zarariah Harris in his will filed in Somerset County in 1755.

William Heath was noted in a suit filed in 1692 in Somerset by Roger Burkum, Elizabeth Morgan, John Odeer (?), Henry Dorman, Jane Sowell; for William Hayman.  Also in 1692, a suit by William against William Hayman was settled out of court.

In 1695, William requested 9 days compensation for his attendance at court in Somerset County on behalf of his step-father, John Lokey, in a case against Henry Smith.  That same year William was sued by John Shiles.

In 1695 William Heath gave testimony in the case against Jeofrey, a negro of William Fausett, for taking nails and breaking of a house….

In the Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1694-97: Jeremi Waters of Somerset County… mariner and Arthur Denwood…planter, unto Major Thomas Ennalls of Dorchester County Merchant….bind us on this Seventeenth day of July Anno Domini 1696… if the above bounden Jeremi Waters doth procure a Portugueez boy from Carolina and the same bring into this province and deliver him with all expedition to the said Major Ennals in Order to his passage home to the Maera’s as in a Special Warrant Signed by his Excellency Ffrancis Nichols, Governor of his Majasties province.  … the above said Bond taken by me, William Heath, David Browne.

In 1715 William Heath, Thomas Pollet, and William Owens witnessed the will of William Hill.

William married Ann Wilson, widow of George Browne.  The will of William Heath was written in February, 1733 and filed in August, 1735 in Somerset County, Maryland.  It notes his wife Ann, who was the executress, and minor sons William, Jonathan, and an unborn child (most likely Wilson Heath).  It also notes Heath’s Venture on the north side of Dividing Creek and daughters Mary and Rebeckah.  Also noted were Margaret Browne, George Browne, and Andrew Browne.  The witnesses were John Griffin, Robert Willson, and William Wilcoeks.  In September, Ann Heath, widow, claimed her third of the estate as widow.  The Browne children were the children of Ann Wilson and George Browne, her first husband.

The children of William Heath and Ann Wilson of Somerset County

William, Wilson, and Jonathan

William Heath

William Heath, of Somerset Maryland was born November 7, 1725. (Another source states: June 10, 1723).  William married Mary Bannister, August, 1749.  Mary was born December 25, 1731 and died February 25, 1806.

William obtained 100 acres Dec, 1749 known as Heath’s Chance, in Somerset County. He served in the Maryland militia, in the Company of Captain John Waters in 1748. It should be noted that the name was recorded as Hath, a typical misspelling of Heath.

In November, 1760 William Heath was sworn as a Grand Juror.

In August, 1760 the records of Somerset is this record: Wm Heath Late of Somerset Parish in ye County aforesaid, Planter on ye XXV day of May in ye Year of our Lord one thousand Seven hundred & Sixty with force and Arms at ye Parish in ye Conty aforesaid in and upon a Certain William Pollit in ye Peace of God…then and there being an Assault did make and him the said Wm. Pollit then & there did beat wound and evilly Treat so that of his Life it Was much Dispaired and other harms to the said William Pollit then and there did the great Damage of ye said Wm. Pollit….  The Sheriff was ordered to take William Heath into custody and hold him.  William presented himself to the court, agreed he was at fault and did not want to incur the expense and labor of a trial.  He was fined ten Shillings, which he paid.

In 1761 he obtained 50 acres called Mirtley Swamp and in 1762 he purchased another acreage known as Strife. William was recorded as a petitioner in Somerset in 1763.  He was an elder in the Manokin Presbyterian Church.  In 1763 William Heath recovered 96 pounds of tobacco due him for giving evidence on behalf of William Figgs against Shiles Moore, and 96 pounds of tobacco from Martha Mungar for giving evidence on behalf of the prosecutor against Mungar.

In 1777 records of the Committee of safety it is noted that William Heath, Johnson Hayman, John Lamberron, William Layfield, Joshua Holloway, and Ebenezer Whaley of Worcester County were discharged from Confinement upon giving Bond with security.  In November, 1777 William Heath received 27 pound and thirteen shillings, two pence, for delivery to Captain John Gray for pay roll of the Militia.   Interestingly, in 1780 the Committee of Safety appointed William an inspector for Princess Ann Town.  He resigned this position in December.  In 1782 William Heath paid his taxes in pork and wheat.

The records for Somerset note these Patriots:

Stephen Heath served as a Private in the Somerset Militia, Princess Anne Bn. And took the Oath of Allegiance in Worcester County in 1778.

William Heath supplied bacon for the use of the military in Somerset on August 1, 1780.

William Heath Jr. took the Oath of Allegiance in Somerset County in 1778 and served as a private in the Somerset Militia.

Wilson Heath served as a private in the Somerset Militia Princess Anne Bn., and was drafted into the Continental Army.

In 1790 William Heath, Sr. was charged with using profanity and suspended from the church.   William was at the end of his life and may have suffered from age, causing his outburst of profanity, for which he paid dearly in community standing.  His will was dated 1783 and filed in 1791, and identifies his land located on the road leading from Princess Anne Town to George Pollet’s, which was divided between his sons Abraham and John.  Children of William Heath and Mary Bannister given in their family bible were:

Leah Heath born August 27, 1750 married in 1768 Jesse Beauchamp, grandson of Edmund Beauchamp.  She died in 1791 in Somerset County.

William Heath, born February 24, 1752, is not in his father’s will.  It is noted that in 1778, the inventory of the estate of William Heath was taken in 1778.  It notes he was raising corn.

Rebecca Heath, born May 9, 1755, married Josiah Hobbs

Ketey (sic), born July 24, 1757, was not included in her father’s will as she died before him.

Mary Heath, born July 17, 1759, married James Anderson

Elizabeth “Betsy” Heath, born November 24, 1761, married Samuel Pollett

Priscilla Heath, born October 6, 1763, married Esau Boston

Eleanor Heath, born May 1, 1766, married Jacob Morris

Abraham Heath, born July 20, 1769, married Martha Beard Porter.  Their children were William Henry, Sarah, and John Porter Heath.

Easther Heath, born November 5, 1771, married Elijah Fooks (sic)

John M. B. Heath, born July 2, 1774, married Nancy.  Their children were William (1797); John M. (1799); James W. (1801); Hetty (1803); Elizabeth (1805). John M. B. Heath died in 1828. Nancy died in 1821.  John M. Heath married Mary Pollet in 1829.

In the proceedings of the Somerset County in 1807 it is noted that a public road needed to be built beginning at the mouth of a lane of John Heath’s, along the plantation of Sarah Polk and Whittington Polk to intersect with the road leading from Princess-Anne to Snow Hill.

Wilson Heath

Wilson Heath obtained 100 acres called Wilson’s First in 1754.  He purchased another 92 acres in February 1765 with his wife which was known as Deep Stile.  He married Rachel Gibbons and died in April, 1785.

Wilson Heath remained in Somerset County.  His oldest son was Josiah Wilson Heath.  Josiah married Leah Hall in Februrary, 1818.  William Heath, who may have been another son, married Mary White in August, 1822.

Hampshire and Hardy County

Jonathan Heath

Jonathan Heath removed to Hampshire County, Virginia, which is now in West Virginia.  This area became Hardy County.  Jonathan was coroner for Hampshire County in 1763 when he determined that Jacob Delea had died of accidental causes.  Jonathan was a frequent witness to deeds and also is recorded as selling … acres. He was noted as a Sheriff by 1774.

In 1773 he sold 400 acres in Green Spring Valley and in 1774 he sold 400 acres on the North Branch of the Potomac.  In 1775 he sold 400 acres in Green Spring Valley, then 416 acres on Captain John’s Run.   In 1776 the land of Jonathan Heath was noted on the head of Turnmill run and Pattersons Creek Mountain. In 1780 he received 209 acres on the Turning Mill Run, a drain of the South Branch.  Then in 1789 he acquired 1, 395 acres on the waters of the Meadow River between the Meadow River and Gauley River adjoining John Jones.  In 1792 he obtained 206 acres on the South Branch Manor in Hampshire County. 1799 he obtained 50 acres on the North Fork of Patterson Creek in Hardy County.

In 1781 Jonathan Heath and General Joseph Nevill wrote to the Governor regarding the difficulty they were having in accounting for the corn collected in Hampshire County. Evidently some had been fed to cattle and a troup of horse that had passed through the area.  They decided they couldn’t turn it into whiskey because there was too large a quantity, so they opted to have it turned into flour and had hired coppers to make barrels.  In 1786 Jonathan served as one of the first county court held in 1786 as one of the Justices of the Peace.  Jonathan married Rachel and they had 15 children, not all of whom are identified.   In hardy Co. Deed Book is an indenture made in April, 1803 between William Renick and Ann (nee Heath), his wife; John Renick and Mary (ne Heath), his wife, of the couty of Hardy and State of Virginia, to William Heath of the same, for $2.00 their undivided part of two tracts of land which fell to them by the death of Jonatan Heath, who died intestate, being in said county.  Other tract situate on Timber Ridge including a place known by the name of Cranberry Pond, containing 206 acres, being the same that was granted by the Commonwealth of Virginia to the said Jonathan Heath, dec’d.

The children of Jonathan Heath

Asahel Heath was in the 1782 Hampshire County census.  Asahel married Unice in 1799.  He was a member of the Randolph County militia.

Mary Heath was born March 27, 1753 and married John Renick.  They went to Pickaway County, Ohio.

Ann Rachel Heath married William Renick, brother to John Renick. They lived in Hardy County, Virginia (West Virginia).

Jonathan Heath

Alexander Heath

William Heath was born in 1758 at Ft. Pleasant, Hampshire County. He was assigned 100 acres in Hardy County on Allegany Mountain on the run emptying into the north fork.  In 1783 William was assigned 100 acres by Jonathan Heath in Hardy County on New Creek.  In 1803 William Heath, aged 45, gave testimony stating he knew one George Snyder, who lived in Hardy County and removed about 31 or 32 years earlier, and Edward Williams whom he had known for 35 years, when he resided on Patterson’s Creek.  In 1820 a survey of 2000 acres was conducted for Wiliam Heath of Hardy County.  This land was located on Patterson’s Creek Mountain and had been obtained in 1819.

William’s will proved in 1834 in Hardy County, notes his wife Jane, who was Jane Smith, and children Charles, William and Jonathan Heath.  It also notes 206 acres known as Cranberry Tract, and directs that any surplus from its sale was to provide “a good English education” of his children.  William Heath was a Private in Captain John Harness’ company commanded by Colonel Gibson, during the Revolution and applied for his pension in 1832 at the age of 75.    Cranberry Pond, containing 206 acres was first granted to Jonathan Heath, William’s father by the state of Virginia.

*Note: Also residing in Hampshire County was Henry Heath, whose wife was Agnes.  They were from Pennsylvania.  They also had a son William.

Abraham Heath, Jr., Surry County, Virginia, son of Abraham and Ursula

Abraham Heath was born in Maryland in Somerset County, in 1682.  In October, 1708 Abraham patented Spittle in Somerset, Maryland. He is the only Heath, other than the family of James Heath of St. Mary’s County, who is listed as obtaining new land in Maryland during the period 1700 to 1730.    After 1691 he would also have held land originally patented by his grandfather, John Shipway known as Shipway’s Choice.

In 1714 the records of Prince George note an action of debt between Abraham Heath and Martin Sheffield for 630 lbs tobacco due by bill dated 7 March 1714, at last court, judgement was granted plaintiff against sheriff for non-appearance of defendant.  Defendant still not appearing, the judgement was granted.  Sheriff then moves for arrest of judgement, as plaintiff has entered debt accounts against both Martin Sheffield and Robert Harrison for same sum. This was overruled.

In Februray 1716/17 Abraham witnessed the will in Somerset of James Hayman whose wife was Sarah.  The records of Somerset do not contain any further notations regarding Abraham until March, 1736, when Jane, widow of Abraham Heath, and new wife to Thomas Marshall, filed for the administration of Abraham’s estate in Somerset County.  It may be that this was done to clarify title, as Abraham’s mother had already settled his estate in Surry County, Virginia.  The estate of Abraham Heath, Jr. was settled in Surry in 1733.

In 1733, the appraisers of the Surry estate of Abraham Heath, Jr. were William Shands, Christopher Tatum and John Tomlinson.  The auditors were Thomas Edmunds and William Simmons.

Estate of Abraham Heath Jr., deceased. (In Volume 1, page 398, part 2 amounts omitted)

Debts                                                                                             Assets

To Col. Joseph Allen, Clerks Fee on Admr                                 Cash In House

Mr. Secretary Carter                                                                    Crop of Tobacco

Thomas Eldridge for goods                                                          Tobacco Cask             …..

John Tomlinson

John Ivey

George Reives

Moll Jasper, midwife fee

Edward Prince, digging grave

Thomas Eldridge, Attorney Fee

Inventory and appraisal Estate

Account examined and found true:  Signed Thomas Edmunds, William Simmons, Ursula Heath, Administrator.  Surry Court, Feb. 20, 1733.

It is clear from the settlement that Abraham and Jane had a house on their plantation, and that Jane had at least one child.  It is likely that the child, born in 1732-33 was raised in Maryland.  Jane returned to Somerset, where she married three years later.

Jane Heath, widow, and Thomas Marshall were the parents of a daughter Mary Marshall of Somerset County, Maryland, who married John Harris in May, 1757.  He served as a private in Captain James Elzey’s Company of Somerset County. (*Notation of a veteran who stated that he served in under Capt. Philip Lee of the 3rd Virginia commanded first by Col. Thomas Marshall and then Col. William Heath. Not clear if this is connected to the Maryland Heath and Marshall group.)

Later in the Surry record on Page 386, June 17, 1754 inventory & appraisal estate of Abraham Heath, Junior deceased, errors excepted in Ursula Heath Administration.  This is of interest, and likely indicates an heir had reached the age of 21 and there was a need to clarify the chain of title.


Jacob Heath, son of Abraham Heath and Ursula

Jacob Heath was born in 1685 and was counted in Somerset County in 1723.  He was the father of Jacob, James, Ephraim, William, Smith and Joseph.  The will of Jacob Heath was filed September 29, 1775.

In that part of Somerset County which became Worcester County was a family of Heaths who were clearly descendents of Jacob Heath, Sr.  Jacob Heath obtained 50 acres in Hickory Neck on May 16, 1758.  Living near Jacob was Smith Heath, who obtained 50 acres on October 8, 1761 known as Heath’s Venture, and Ephraim Heath, who obtained 79 acres on November 16, 1752 known as Fellowship.  James Heath was taxed in 1783 for 50 acres in Worcester County.  Jacob and Smith went to Guilford County, North Carolina, evidently at the end of the Revolutionary War.  Based on the size of their land acquisitions, they do not appear to be involved in farming on a plantation level.  They may have been tradesmen in Maryland.  They prospered in North Carolina.

William, Joseph, Smith, and Jacob Heath, Jr.

Greensboro, Guilford County, North Carolina

This family is a bit of a mystery.  A hand examination of the 1790 and 1800 census for Guilford County reveals an interesting puzzle.  In the same are is a famiy named Hiatt.  The spelling is probably a corruption of Hyatt and it only occurs in this county during this period with a few exceptions.  In examining the material in the census, it seems that some of those indexed as Hiatt were in fact members of this Heath family.  However, there is not S. Hiatt or J. Hiatt in either census.  There is a James, John, and Joseph Hiatt, as well as a Thomas and William in 1790, and in 1800 there is William, Joseph, Thomas, William Sr. and Jr. The other names in this family are a bit different.  They are Even, Enos, George Isaac, Amariah, Ezeial, Cuthbert, and Cristopher.  Curiously, the index to the 1810 census lists this family as Heath.  I will leave it for others from this branch to sort out the mystery of which are actually Hiatt and which are Heath.

Another explanation that should be considered for absence from the census is the reluctance of some to be counted.  This area was home to Morovians, Quakers and Episcopal-Methodists.  Jacob held slaves, and Smith’s daughter was indiscreet, and had an illegitimate son.  It is doubtful they were either Quakers or Morovians in the early years.  We know that census taking was not looked upon with favor by some religious groups who believed it was prohibited in scripture. I suspect this may explain their absence as this branch appears to have been staunch Methodists.  They may have refused to cooperate. Or, they may simply have been missed!

In 1816 the family had a tragedy of deaths, losing Jacob, his son William, Smith and his sons John and Samuel. In fact, the community had a tragedy of deaths and those associated with this Heath famiy were included.  Consider this: John Heath 2/11; David Hodson 3/8; John Hall 3/5; Samuel Heath 3/?; Jacob Heath 3/22; Habikkuk Morgan 2/13; William Heath, Sr. 2/16; Samuel Gilchrist 3/5; Smith Heath filed 5/1816.

It is likely that this was a contagious epidemic, perhaps similar to one that struck the year before in Virginia.  It seems, based on the way Smith wrote his will, that he was not anticipating the death of his son John.  We know that 1816 was one of the coldest years in Guiford County.  Further research might reveal a cause.

William Heath married Delilah.  He was noted in 1790 in Guilford for himself and one slave.  William Hayth was noted in the 1810 census with one son under 10.  His age was over 45.  He also had a daughter under 10, 2 daughters age 16 to 25, and a wife age 26 to 44, which suggests he had remarried and started a second family of younger children. William Heath’s will was filed in Guilford County in 1816.  He died in February, and his will was filed in February Court.

William Heath, Sr. Wife Delilah my whole estate of which I am now possessed of at present.  Seal William his mark Heath. Executors wife Delilah and friend James Priden.  Witnesses Samuel Gilchrist and Robert Gilchris (Jurat)

Joseph Heath was counted in the 1790 census with a young son and 2 daughters as well as his wife.  He patented 190 poles in January, 1800 on the waters of Deep River in Guilford County.

Smith Heath, was born about 1740 and he was counted Guilford County in 1790 with 4 females, likely his wife and 3 daughters.  He also held 5 slaves.   It is clear he had grown sons, Henry, John, Samuel, and William.  His daughter Tabbetha married William Byford, whose will in 1796 notes his father-in-law Smith Heath.  In 1798 Jacob Smith issued two deeds (Bk. 6 pg. 534) to Smith Heath. In 1802 he received a deed (Bk. 8 pg.221) from William Heath.  Smith’s will was dated July, 1805 and was filed in 1816.  In 1810 Smith Heath deeded land (Bk. 11 pg. 236) to John Heath.

To my beloved wife Tabitha Haith, my plantation House and all my moveable Estate … also my stock  …in case of marage (sic), my moveable Estate to be Equally Divided between my Children.  I also allow Thomas Dick, my Grandson to have Equal of Said Moveables.

Secondly, … my land to be divided …to my three sons, Henry Heath, John Haith, and Samuel Haith.  … my son Henry fifty acres including my old improvement and bounded by a line running between my son John …my son John sixty acres including the Improvement he now lives ….

Thirdly, to my son Samuel Haith sixty acres more or less at my wife’s decease or marage (sic) including the improvement I now live on.

Fourthly, … to my son William Haith one horse creature to the value of sixty dollars as also my bed and furniture at my wifes decease or marage

…my son Samuel Haith one horse to be given to him at my wifes decease.

… my beloved wife Tabitha Haith and my son John Haith my Executors of this My Last will and testament.  Witnessed by John Widows and James Criswell, signed with his mark.  N.B. there is one bed … given to my Daughter Elisabeth by her grandmother which I lay no claim to nor desire it to be canceled in my will. Filed February, 1816. 

John Heath did not administer his father’s will.  John Heath purchased from Minos Cannon 150 acres and another 100 acres from John Larkin in Guilford County, North Carolina in 1786.  John’s will was written on February 11, 1816 and was filed in May of that year.  His wife, Charlotte and Moses Gilchrist were named executors.  The inventory includes money to Samuel Heath, deceased which the estate owed.  The inventory was dated August, 1817.

John Heath’s will was written February 11, 1816 and filed in the May Court:  Sister Elizabeth 1 cow and heifer only.  Wife Charlotte all my land and moveable property during her life or widowhood, my land to be divided from the W fence of the plantation a due NS course and likewise the Westend of the same to Daughter Nancy and the East end where I now live to my Daughter Levina.  My daughters Nancy and Levina all of my moveables to be equally divided between them. Seal: John Heath; Executors wife Charlotte heath,Moses Gilchrist: Witnesses Joseph Braley, William Burney (Jurat)

Charlotte was the sister of Habikkuk Morgan, whose will written in February, 1816 and filed in February Court notes his sister Charlotte Heath.

In Guilford in 1789 Thomas Dick was ordered to give to Mary Heath security of ten pounds, to be paid in two payments over terms of a year.  The records note that Mary gave birth to the child of Thomas Dick. Mary’s parentage is not known. Mary Heath and Thomas Dick were the parents of  Thomas Heath Dick.  Thomas Dick was married to Jane Erwin and they had seven children in Guilford County.

William married Betsy Rumley. Henry married Eleanor and they went to Illinois, John Heath married Charlotte Morgan.  John Heath and Charlotte were the parents of Levina and Nancy.

Jacob Heath  according to the family’s history came from Maryland to Guilford County upon the death of his first wife and young son, Samuel.  He then married Mary Smith in Guilford County.  However this does not correlate to the records.  I suspect this may refer to the senior Jacob Heath not his son.  Jacob married Mary.  Her last name may have been Smith. However, their son Samuel did not die. Their first son, Ralph was born in 1789.  Jacob Heath purchased a large tract of land in Guilford County ten miles north of Greensboro on Reedy’s Fork.  The 1790 census for Guilford includes William Heath, Jacob and Smith Heath. Jacob was counted for himself, one son under 16, and his wife, with one slave. In 1798 Jacob evidently sold his farm.  He issued two deeds to Smith Heath, one to James Predew, Sr. in 1800, and in 1808 another to John Donaldson.

Jacob Heath was not counted in 1800 in his own household.  He was counted in 1810, and his name was spelled Hayth.  He had two sons age 16 to 26.  His age was over 45.  He also had 3 daughters, age 16 to 25 and his wife was also over 45.  He held 1 slave.

Jacob Heath died in March, 1816 and his will was filed in Guilford County in May.  Ralph Heath was appointed executor of his will.  Ralph and Robert sold 2 slaves they inherited and went to Indiana soon after their father’s death.

Wife Mary all moveable property with my plantation during her natural life or widowhood and the care of her father and mother I commit to her also.  Eldest son Samuel the land he now lives on.  Two Sons Robert Heath and Ralph Heath the tract of land whereon they now live to be equally divided between them and to pay their brother Samuel Heath $50 each one of them.  Eldest Daughter Ada Pilkington $300.  Daughters Keziah Heath and Rebekah Heath $300 apiece they must put up with less but each to receive an equal share.  All children if estate should amount to more it is to be equally divided between them.  Seal Jacob his mark Heath Executors wife Mary Heath son Ralph Heath. Witnesses: Delilah her mark Heath (Jurat) Levin Woollen, John Gilchrist. 

Children of Jacob Heath and Mary Smith

Ralph, Robert, Samuel, Ada, Rebecca, and Kezziah

Ada Heath married Ambrose Pilkinton on December 4, 1812.  He was the son of Nicanor Pilkinton from Essex County, Virginia who resided in Culpeper County, Virginia in 1790. Nicanor had removed to Guilford County by 1800, where he was counted in the census.  Ambrose and Ada were the parents of: Drury, Asa, Denney, Andrew Jackson, Peter, and Nancy Pinkerton.

Rebecca Heath married John Woolen.  She was born in 1796.

Kezziah Heath was born in 1798 and married William Gordon.

Ralph Heath was born in 1792.  With his brother in law, John Lain (Lane), and brother Robert he removed to Indiana after 1816.  He moved to Wayne County, Indiana where his son, the Reverend Jacob Heath, was born in February, 1829. The following year they went to Delaware County, locating in Salem Township near Muncie.  Robert was born in 1792 and married Mary Tomlinson.  Ralph was the father of Luzeria, John W., James W., and George A.

Robert Heath was counted in the 1790 census.  He was born in 1789.  Robert married Amelia Perdieu in 1811.  They were the parents of a large family which included 5 sons and 5 daughters.  Robert went to Indiana and settled near his brother, Ralph.  He died there in 1856 at the age of 66 years.  He was the father of Robert, Thomas, Lavina, Harvey was born in 1814 in Guilford County as noted in his family bible, Abner, Angeline Emily, John T., Mary J., and Saloma.  These children were born in North Carolina and Indiana.

Samuel Heath died in March, 1816 and his will was filed in the May Court: Wife Jestin Heath my plantation and my moveable estate during her natural life or widowhood.  Son John Heath my land and plantation when he arrives at the age of 21, but ashis mother is now pregnant and if it should be a son, I allow him to have half of my land.  Three daughters, Mary, Sarah, and Kesiah an equal divide of all my moveable property at their mother’s death or marriage.  If the child be a girl it is to have an equal share with its sisters.  Seal Samuel his mark Heath Executors Jestin Heth, brother Ralph Heath. Witnesses Robert his mark Heath (Jurat) Delilah her mark Heath, John Gilchrist.

Fairfax County Heaths

William Heath, of Fairfax County, married Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Mercer who died in November, 1763.  In 1748 the will of Elizabeth’s brother noted his brother-in-law William Heath. In 1762 William Heath purchased 116 acres for 24 pounds from Robert Lemon.

William Heath, of Frederick County, Virginia, and others were paid by William Fairfax, Esquire and George Washington for providing pasturage and oats in 1767 during their journey to Warm Springs.

Frederick County was formed from Orange County in 1738, then in 1753 the Fairfax Line set the southern border of Frederick County about 30 miles south which took land from Augusta County.  Hampshire County was taken from Frederick County, and later, in 1777, Shenandoah (Dunmore) was formed and then Berkely was taken from Frederick.