Old rumors may contain as much fact as fiction.. One of those rumors involves the idea that several Coleman brothers came to America together, or at about the same time. New clues, along with an exhaustive study of old evidence, has revealed an interesting situation.. There appears to be a relationship between an Edward, John, Robert and Richard Coleman, although it is unlikely they were brothers..
The theory that these men were related resulted from studying the information found in the will of Edward Colman of Suffolk, England, and records of Brent-Eleigh Parish in Suffolk. It appears likely that Edward, John, Robert and Richard Coleman who casme to Virginia were descended from the following Edward Colman.
"Edward Colman of Great Waldingfield./a>, Suffolk, clothier, 27 October 1596, proved 23 November 1598. The tenement with yards and gardens belonging, and now or late in the tenure of William Kendall, called Cobbeís I give to the poor people and the children of the parish. Mr. Lovell our minister and Mr. Knewstubbe and Mr. Sandes. To Francis Thornedike my grandchild twenty pounds at his full age of one and twenty upon condition that my son in law Francis Thorndike and his wife Alice my daughter shall, upon sufficient request, release unto my son William Colman all their right &c. in a tenement called Sheppardes wherein my cousin Charles Ray now dwells and other land. My grandchild Robert Colman son unto William Colman. Edward Colman my grandchild son to my son Samuel. My eldest son William. My manor called Abbottís Hall in Brent Leigh. His eldest son John Colman. My manor called the Badleys in Great Waldingfield. Freehold lands bought of John Kendall. Robert Colman the second son of my son William. My tenement in Pentlowe called Ropers. Copyhold land holden of the manor of Foxheard, in the tenure of George Clerke of Pentlowe. Other lands. Son Samuel. Son William executor. Signed and sealed 1 November 1596."
Known from the will of Edward Colman, and Brent-Eleigh records:
EDWARD COLMAN of Suffolk, England
1. William Colman b. before 1570 \(From Edward Colmanís will, we know William was the elder son, and from the Brent-Eleigh Register,
we know Samuel was born in 1570.)
a. JOHN COLMAN, born by 1596
b. ROBERT COLMAN, born by 1596.
2. Alice Colman m. Francis Thornedike
a. Francis Thornedike, Jr.
3. Samuel Colman (later of Brent-Eleigh, Suffolk\) born 1570 buried 2 Dec 1655 \(Brent-Eleigh\) married Mary Bettison, dau. of Richard Bettison of Surry
The Brent-Eleigh records also reveal five children born to a Thomas Colman and his wife Margaret:
Mary Colman, b. 26 Jan, bap. 8 Feb 1634
Margaret Colman, b. 12 Mar, bap. 18 Mar 1635
Edward Colman, b. 17 May, bap. 22 May 1636
Elizabeth Colman, b. 21 Sep, bap. 1 Oct 1637
Jane Colman, bap. 6 Feb 1640
The following information was culled from records in Suffolk, England and has not been verified. However, this information is a good starting point from which to trace the possible ancestry of Robert Coleman of Mobjack Bay. Among the following names might be found a clue to his origins None of the information should be included in any family tree without further research. This information is purely speculative at this time. For reasons of simplicity and tracking purposes,, the information has been divided into generations.
Richard Colman born ca. 1420 in Little Waldingfield, Suffolk, England, died
before 3 Feb 1457 in Little Waldingfield,, married Joan Unknown who died
before 18 May 1477.
Joan Coleman born ca. 1450, Little Waldingfield
Richard Colman born ca. 1452, Little Waldingfield, buried 30 Jan 1473
Stephen Colman born ca. 1454, Little Waldingfield
John Colman born ca. 1456, Little Waldingfield, married Katherine Unknown ca.
1480. Katherine was born ca. 1460.
GENERATION 3 (from John and Katherine\)
Edward Colman born ca. 1486, Little Waldingfield
William Colmsn born ca. 1488, Little Waldingfield. This was probably the
William who was buried in 1524, according to the Subsidy Returns.
Agnes Colman born ca. 1490, Little Waldingfield
Alice Colman born ca. 1492, Little Waldingfield
Anne Colman born ca. 1494, Little Waldingfield, and married JohnGurdon.
GENERATION 4 : (from Edward Colman b. ca. 1486)
Edward Colman born ca. 1511, Little Waldingfield, buried 1568 according to
Suffolk Subsidy Returns
GENERATION 4:: (from William Colman 1488-1524)
William Colman born ca. 1522, Little Waldingfield
GENERATION 5: (from Edward Colman 1511)
Edward Colman \(Squire\) born ca. 1536-40, Little Waldingfield, will dated 27 Oct
1596, proved 23 Nov 1598 in Great Waldingfield, Suffolk, England. He
married Miss Wincoll
GENERATION 5: (from William Colman 1522)
William Colman born ca. 1547, Little Waldingfield
Thomas Colmsn born ca. 1550, Little Waldingfield
Ann Colman bap. 23 Dec 1554, Little Waldingfield
Frances Colman bap. 27 Sep 1558, Little Waldingfield
Robert Colman born ca. 1560, Little Waldingfield
GENERATION 6: (from Squire Edward Colman\)
William Colman born before 1570, Little Waldingfield, was executor
of his fatherís will
Samuel Colman bap. 31 Aug 1572, Littlw Waldingfield, buried 2 Dec
1655 in Brent-Eleigh, Suffolk, England, married ca. 1592/3 Mary
Beettison, daughter of Richard Bettison of Surry
Alice Colman born ca. 1576, Little Waldingfield, died before 1622,
married Frances Thorndike
GENERATION 6: (from William Colman 1547)
Jane Colman bap. 1570/1, Great Waldingfield
Ann Colman bap. 14 Dec 1572, Great Waldingfield
Edward Colman bap. 15 May 1575, Great Waldingfield
GENERATION 6: (from Thomas Colman 1550)
Thomas Colman bap. 15 Dec 1577, Great Waldingfield
GENERATION 6: (from Robert Colman 1560)
Thomas Colman bap. 20 Aug 1587, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk
Richard Colman born ca. 1595
William Colman born ca. 1597, married Helen Unknown
GENERATION 7: (from William Colman b. bef. 1570)
John Colman born beffore 1596, Great Waldingfield, inherited
"Badleys" in Great Waldingfield
Robert Colman born before 1596, Great Waldingfield, inherited
"Ropers" in Pentlowe
GENERATION 7: (from Samuel Colman and Mary Bettison\)
a. Edward Colman b. 1594/95, buried 29 Jan 1652 Brent-Eleigh married
Jane Unknown, buried 4 Nov 1684 Brent-Eleigh
1. Mary Colman, bap. 18 Mar 1624
2. Elizabeth Colman, bap. 23 Mar 1625
b. Samuel Colman, bap. 24 May 1602
c. Elizabeth Colman, bap. 22 Dec 1605
married Isaac Motham 15 Dec 1637
married William Gilbert 17 Dec 1629
e. Tabitha Colman, bap. 28 Feb 1609
married Humphrey Torie \(Tovie\) 16 May 1633
f. Jane Colman, bap. 1 Mar 1610
married Simeon Orme 1 Jan 1637
g. Sarah Colman, bap. 7 Sep 1613
married William Bassett 4 Jul 1644
h. Elizabeth Colman, bap. 27 Nov 1615
i. Richard Colman, bap. 14 Aug 1617
j. Robert Colman, bap. 16 Aug 1620
married 20 Aug 1655 Elizabeth Mott, daughter of
Robert Mott, Colchester
1. Robert Colman, b. 1656 d. 7 May 1730 Brent-Eleigh
married Dionesse Cullam, daughter of Will Cullam
\(Dionesse b. 1661 d. 30 Jun 1697)
2. Richard Colman, b. by 1664 buried 27 Nov 1680
3. Elizabeth Colman b. by 1664
4. Mary Colman, bap. 15 Feb 1666
5. Edward Colman, bap. 21 Dec 1668
GENERATION 8: (from John Colman b. bef. 1596)
John Colman bap. 2 Aug 1615, Great Waldingfield
Samuel Colman bap. 26 Mar 1617, Great Waldingfield
GENERATION 8: (from Robert Colman 1582)
Anne Colman bap. 4 Aug 1622, Great Waldingfield
John Colman bap. 28 Dec 1625, Great Waldingfield
GENERATION 8: (from Richard Colman b. ca. 1595)
Robert Colman bap. 16 Dec 1629, Great Waldingfield
There are undoubtedly many missing records regarding the above families. Additional research may uncover more records that would lead to the origins of Robert Coleman of Mobjack Bay. Colmans who seemed to disappear from the records, without a definitive death date or leaving a will, would be good candidates for having migrated to America. The laws of inheritance were strict, and younger sons often went into the military or ministry, while others left England entirely. From the records in Suffolk, it is known that an Edward Colman was the last of the line. He died in 1739 without issue. Edward Colman may have been the last in the line of inheritance, but not the last of the blood line.
Edward, John, Robert and Richard Coleman were in early Virginia at the same time. They appear to have had close ties and may have all been descended from the Suffolk, England families above. The traditional year of birth for Robert Coleman of Mobjack Bay has been estimated as ca. 1622, but it is just as likely that he was born between that year and 1630. Robert could have been brought to Virginia as a young boy. Robert did not marry until the mid-1640ís Ė 1650. The following information may be helpful to Coleman researchers who are interested in tryiung to unravel the relationships puzzle regarding Edward, John, Robert and Richard Coleman.
The name of Edward Coleman appeared on a 1637 list of Virginia headrights claimed by Capt. Adam Thoroughgood of Elizabeth City. The next year, in 1638, Edward Colemanís name appeared on a list "Ages of Lower Norfolk County People" by Charles F. McIntosh as being 26 years old "thereabouts", which establishes his birth year as ca. 1612. \(Note: Robert Colemanís name appeared on a headright list from Upper Norfolk County that same year.) Edwardís name disappeared from existing records after 1638, certainly not an unusual circumstance. Efforts to settle the young colony were beset by hardships. Drownings, snakebites, disease, accidents involving horses or other animals, Indian attacks, weather conditions and a lack of medical care were not conducive to easy survival. Edward was in all likelihood deceased by the time the names of John, Richard and Robert Coleman began appearing in York County court records.
John Colemanís year of birth has been estimated as ca. 1615, based on court records and his activities in the Virginia colony. He was deceased by 20 Jan 1663, known from a grant assignment of that date. His name first appeared in the surviving records of York County between 1645 and 1648, the same time period that the name of Robert Coleman also appeared in York County records.
From York Co. VA Records, Vol. 2, p. 552, John Coleman was arrested for "not appearing" in a 1645 lawsuit involving John Leake, assignee of Gload Garraud. From the same York Co. Records, p. 67, Nicholas Brooke was ordered to pay John Coleman, within 10 days, a debt of 700 lbs. of tobacco. Then, on p. 81 of those records, John Coleman was ordered to pay, in 1646/47, Augustine Warner 1500 lbs. of tobacco or give Nicholas Clark security "for his protection". Clark was bound to Warner \(York Co. Records, Vol. 2, p. 208).
John appears to have married a Miss Ellis and eventually settled permanently in Northumberland County. John and his wife would have been the parents of the Ellis Coleman whose name appeared in Northumberland County records as a witness in 1659, 1660 and 1663. On 22 Nov 1659, Ellis Coleman was levied 140 lbs. of tobacco \(Northumberland Levies, Northumberland County Order Book Abstracts, 1657-1661, The Antient Press, Sam and Ruth Sparacio\). Ellis did not have to be 21 years of age in order to witness a document, but he would have been at least 16 years old if required to pay a levy, enabling his birth year to be estimated as by or before 1643. Almost a century later, the names of Ellis, Joseph and Robert Coleman appeared on a 1748 Gloucester County survey, a clue that there was a family relationship between the Northumberland and Gloucester Colemans.
The last mention of Ellis Colemanís name in existing court records of Northumberland County occurred on 8 Mar 1663 when Ellis Colman, William Jennings and Joseph Horsley witnessed a sale of 1,000 acres on the north side of Kingís Creeke Swamp from Francis Carpenter to Robert Sech. On the same date, Ellis Colman and Joseph Horsley witnessed the appointment of Richard Flynt as Francis Carpenterís attorney.
Ellis Coleman of Northumberland Co.nty was probably the father of the John Coleman who was born ca. 1665, married a woman named Dorothy, and died in 1702. From Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Northumberland Co., p. 207, "Court held June 1702. John Coleman, orphan child of John Coleman, with the consent of his mother Mrs. Dorothy Coleman, the orphan being 4 years old, to serve Thomas Smith and Margery his wife until 21".
John Coleman, son of John Coleman, was baptized 19 Jul 1698 \(Northumberland Co. Record of Births 1661-1810). The orphaned John Coleman served out his apprenticeship, married, fathered at least one child (probably more), and left a will proved on 12 Nov 1744. "Wife, my horse and her saddle and bridle. Rest of my estate to my wife and daughter Margaret, to be equally divided between them. Wife Mary, Executrix" \(Northumberland Co. VA Wills and Administrations, 1713-1749, compiled and published by James F. Lewis and J. Motley Booker M.D., p. 53a\). John (1698-1744) and Mary Coleman may have also had a son who was given land or money at the time of his marriage or upon reaching the age of twenty-one. If so, the son would not have been included in his fatherís will.
The Northumberland County Coleman line of descent indicates John Coleman (1615-1663) married an Ellis woman and fathered the Ellis Coleman whose name appears in county records. Ellis (by 1643-aft. 1663) fathered John Coleman (ca. 1665-1702) who married Dorothy (surname unknown). Their son, John Coleman (1698-1744) married Mary (surname unknown).
Whether John Coleman of Northumberland County./a> had children in addition to Ellis is unknown. The Charles and Joseph Coleman who appeared as witnesses in the Northumberland County will of Richard Ball dated 7 Dec 1804 \(Northumberland Co. Wills & Administrations by Lewis and Booker, p. 244) were probably among John Colemanís descendants. They were brothers, Charles born by 1750 and Joseph born by 1756. Joseph Colemanís name was on the 1788 Personal Property Tax List (18 Apr 1788) in Northumberland County. He was over 21 years of age and paid a tithe on himself and one horse. The name of his brother Charles Coleman was not found on the tax list.
Charles and his wife, Nancy \(Ann\), had two sons, William Coleman born 1770 and Charles Coleman born 1773. Son Charles married twice, first to Nancy Dameron in 1802 and secondly to Marian Palmer in 1809.
Joseph married a woman named Chloe whose surname was undoubtedly "Presley". Their first son, Presley Coleman, was born in 1776 in St. Stephenís Parish, Northumberland County, and their second son, Charles Coleman, was born in 1779 in the same parish and county.
Once the migration to the newly-opened lands across the York River began in 1649, John and Richard Coleman would have been among the colonists eager to acquire new land. With Robert Coleman, they would have settled in Gloucester County and stayed long enough to help Robert clear part of his land. They may have helped him plant his first tobacco crop and vegetable garden. The men would have built a cabin or small house for Robert and Elizabeth, and a barn for any farm animals they owned. Once Robertís immediate needs were met, John and Richard moved on in search of land that suited their own dreams.
The tendency of the early pioneers to leave established settlements and set off to discover new lands in the wilderness is astonishing. Either a great deal of courage was required for such an undertaking, or a certain amount of foolhardiness. In those days, Lancaster County was divided approximately in half by the Rappahannock River, which emptied into Chesapeake Bay. The northern half of Lancaster was adjacent to Northumberland County, while the southern half of the county bordered Gloucester. (In 1669, Middlesex County was formed from the southern half of Lancaster, creating a barrier between Gloucester and Lancaster counties.)
Records show that Robert remained in Gloucester, Richard chose Lancaster/Rappahannock as his county of residence, and John moved northward to Northumberland County. Using the waterways as their main mode of transportation, the men and their families would have been able to visit each other more frequently than imagined.
A study of geography is an essential element of genealogical research. Cherry Point Neck, one of the earliest areas settled in Northumberland County, was bounded by three rivers: on the north by the Potomac, on the west by the Yeocomico and on the east by the Coan. The Yeocomico was the dividing line between Northumberland and Westmoreland counties.
On 21 9ber 1659 \(November\) "John Colman of Yeocomoco in the County of Northumberland doth give for his marke of Cattle ( \)lowe fork on the right eare ( \)keeld in the left eare". \(Northumberland Co. VA Deeds and Will Abstracts 1658-1662, Sparacio, p. 33) The description in the cattle mark record is evidence that John Coleman lived in the area known as Cherry Point Neck.
\(NOTE: When researchers try to decipher old dates in records, it is important to remember that under the Old Style \(Julien\\) Calendar, New Yearís day was March 25th. The date was set by Church council early in the first millennium A.D. as exactly nine months before Christmas. The date was determined from what were erroneously believed to be the dates of the Winter Solstice \(December 25th) and the Spring Equinox \(March 25th). March was considered the first month of the year, with February the twelfth month. Not until 1751, when Great Britainís Parliament passed legislation adopting the New Style \(Gregorian\) Calendar, was January considered the first month, becoming effective January 1, 1752. A date of "21 9ber 1659" meant the ninth month of the year. With March the first month, November became the ninth month.)
According to evidence in a later grant, John Coleman was living in Northumberland County by 1655. At that time, Northumberland was overrun with wolves and Indians, in every sense a true wilderness.
The county courthouse was also the scene of a witchcraft trial. Although most instances of witchcraft accusations occurred in New England, there were a few documented cases found in existing Virginia records. On 20 Nov 1656, Northumberland County: "Whereas Articles were Exhibited against William Harding by Mr. David Lindsaye, minister, upon suspicion of witchcraft sorcery etc. And an able jury of twenty-four men were empanelled to try the matter by verdict of which jury they found part of the Articles proved by several depositions. The Court doth therefore order that ye said William Harding shall forthwith receive ten stripes upon his bare back and forever to be Banished this County and that he depart within the space of two months. And also to pay all the charges of Court."
Whether John Coleman was personally acquainted with William Harding is unknown, but in all likelihood, John would have attended the court proceedings. Colonists anticipated court days with enthusiasm. In lieu of newspapers, the legal proceedings were a means of discovering what was happening in the county. A witchcraft trial was certainly unusual enough to draw a large crowd of spectators. John Coleman may even have served on the jury.
Richardís birth year has traditionally been estimated as ca. 1619/20. The Richard Coleman who was a son of Samuel Coleman and Mary Bettison, was baptized in 1617. There is no death date or marriage listed for him, which may or may not indicate he went to America. The year he arrived in Virginia is unknown, but his name began appearing in Lancaster County records as early as 1650. Richard Coleman was a prominent and active member of the colony, acquiring land in Lancaster and Rappahannock counties. Evidence shows that John, Richard and Robert Coleman lived in York County until the areas later known as Gloucester and Lancaster were opened for white settlement which occurred on 1 Sep 1649.
The presence of a Richard Coleman in York County is linked to the old rumor that he married Rebecca Claiborne in that county in 1654. No evidence for such a marriage has ever been found. Rebecca Claiborne more than likely married Thomas Coleman., the oldest surviving son of Robert and Elizabeth \(Grizzell\) Coleman. Richard Colemanís wife was Margaret Mascall, evidenced by the will of her brother Robert Mascall.
An influx of colonists had moved into York County in the 1640ís. Colonists also migrated prematurely into the Indian district called Chickacoan, which in 1648 became Northumberland County. At the time the Coleman men crossed the York River to settle on the new lands to the north, Gloucester and Lancaster counties had not yet been formed. But the colonistsí clamor for better county services such as roads, ferries and courthouses, prompted the Virginia government to officially create Gloucester and Lancaster counties in 1651. Richard chose to settle in the area designated as Lancaster County which four years later became Rappahannock County.
The following deeds were recorded in Lancaster County prior to 1656.
On 14 Sep 1650, Richard Coleman was granted 600 acres in "the fresh" on the South side of the Rappahannock adjacent the land of George Mosleye. On 4 Jun 1655, Richard Coleman sold this land for 4,000 lbs. of tobacco to William Neale and Jno. Vauss. (VA Colonial Abstracts, Lancaster Co. VA Court Orders 1652-1655, p. 206) This land, on the south side of the Rappahannock, became Essex County in 1692.
On 6 May 1651, Richard was granted 320 acres on the north side of the Rappahannock River for the transportation of seven persons. This 320 acre parcel was later relinquished to his brother-in-law, Robert Mascall. \(Lancaster Co. Deeds & Wills 1652-1657, p. 54) According to the headright system, this grant should have been 350 acres, 50 acres for each headright.
N030449">Rice Jones./a> received 88 acres next to Richard Colemanís land on 2 Sep 1652. From Lancaster Co. Court Orders 1652-1655: Coleman, Richard, Patent. 320 acres on N. side Rappahannock River near land of William Newsome and land now in possession of Rice Jones. The patent was issued by Sir William Berkeley. Coleman assigns his right in the land to Robert Mascall, etcÖ.Recorded 6 Apr 1653, pgs. 54, 55. This land soon became part of Mascallís estate, for he was deceased by 24 Oct 1653. \(Lancaster Co. Deeds & Wills 1654-1661, pgs. 10,11)
Richard Coleman, known as "Settlement" Richard, was the subject of the VA State Marker on State Road 17 above Tappahannock, VA that reads: "Early Settlement. Two miles east near the river, Richard Coleman planted a frontier settlement and trading post in 1652. By 1660, a church was built, to which every man was required to come armed for protection against the Indians". \(VA State Marker No. N-9, Conservation & Development Commission 1929)
Perhaps the most compelling clue linking John, Richard and Robert Coleman involves the 1300 acres of Richardís Settlement patent on the south side of the Rappahannock River. The history of this patented land began on 11 Jan 1652 \(Pat. Bk. 3, p. 142) when Richard Coleman of Lancaster County was granted 1400 acres on Occapason Creek above Tappahannock, VA. This creek opened into the Rappahannock River. One hundred of those acres were granted to Richard by a headright claim for transporting two persons to the colony. Richard retained those 100 acres, but in 1655 relinquished the remaining 1300 acres in favor of other land on the opposite side of the Rappahannock River.
The location of the Settlement patent at the time Richard established his frontier settlement and trading post is somewhat complicated. Until 1648, the entire northern neck of Virginia was the Indian district of Chickacoan. But in that year, the Virginia government notified the Indians the land was no longer theirs. The area was then renamed Northumberland County and became available for white settlement the following year. By the time settlers were permitted to occupy the former Indian reservation, some eager colonists were already ensconced on the land. In 1651, when Gloucester and Lancaster counties were officially formed, Northumberland lost the majority of its acreage to Lancaster. At that time, Lancaster County became a wide swath of land between Gloucester and Northumberland counties. In 1656, a large portion of Lancaster became Rappahannock County. The Rappahannock River ran through both counties before merging with Chesapeake Bay.
In 1652, at the time Richard Coleman established his settlement on the south side of the Rappahannock River, the land was officially in Lancaster County. Four years later, after Richard had relinquished his settlement acreage, the land both north and south of the river became part of Rappahannock County. Then, in 1692, Rappahannock County was "extinguished", with the area south of the river becoming Essex County and the area north of the river becoming Richmond County.
Meanwhile, after Richard relinquished the 1300 acres of Settlement patent in 1655, he moved his family across the river. The following year, this land became Rappahannock County. Richard Coleman never lived in the area known as present day Lancaster County, although he did own land within its boundaries.
On 13 Jun 1655, after Richard had moved across the river, the 1300 Settlement acres were then granted to John Phillips \(Pat. Bk. 3, p. 351). Mr. Phillips did not hold the patented land very long, for he was deceased by 4 Feb 1656, having appointed Moore Fauntleroy his Administrator. No official record has been found of what happened to those 1300 acres after John Phillipsí death, but evidence indicates the land was granted to Robert and John Coleman, who held the land between 1656 and 1663.
On 20 Jan 1663 \(Pat. Bk. 5, p. 327) the 1300 acres were granted to William Mosely and part of the grant read "this land was, by Col. Moore Fauntleroy, Administrator of the abovesaid Phillips, assigned to said Robert Coleman and by Coleman to Mosely". Recorded in Old Rappahannock Deeds & Records (1656-64) Pt. 1, p. 7, is the grant by then-Governor Diggs of Virginia to John Phillips./a>. Written below the 1655 grant (a note made at the time of the 1663 transfer of land) is "Assigned by Col. Fauntleroy, Administrator of John Phillips AND John Coleman, unto William Mosely", Fauntleroy was the Administrator of estates belonging to Phillips and Coleman. From the wording, and notes made regarding the grant, Robert and John Coleman were jointly assigned the 1300-acre parcel known as the "Settlement" patent after the death of John Phillips. John Coleman was deceased on 20 Jan 1663 at the time the acreage was assigned to William Mosely by Robert Coleman.
The appointment of Moore Fauntleroy as John Colemanís administrator indicates that John died intestate. Administrators are court appointed; executors are named in wills. John Colemanís son, Ellis, was not yet 21 years of age, which prevented him from legally qualifying as a representative of his fatherís interests.
When a grant was "relinquished", the law allowed a person to take up an equal amount of land in the same or different county as long as it was not already occupied. When a relinquishment occurred, the grantee did not have to fulfill the headright requirement a second time, if a headright claim had originally been made. When Richard Coleman decided to relinquish the 1300 acres of his Settlement land, the law allowed him to claim 1300 acres elsewhere. In 1655, when Richard chose to settle across the Rappahannock River, the land was still officially Lancaster County. Richard and his wife Margaret retained 300 acres of the Lancaster/Rappahannock land for their own use, and in all probability gave the remaining 1,000 acres to their son Robert, either upon his marriage or when he attained the age of twenty-one years.
Richard continued to purchase and sell Lancaster County land through 1662, although he and Margaret were residents of Rappahannock County. They lived on the headwaters of present day Cat Point Creek, which became part of Richmond County in 1692.
Although Richard and Margaret were believed to be childless, evidence suggests otherwise. They appear to have had at least three children, a son Robert mentioned previously, and two daughters, one of whom was named Margaret. On 24 Oct 1653, Richard paid a levy on two tithes \(Lancaster Co. Record Bk. 2, p. 80). Females were not tithable unless they were heads of households. The levy Richard paid on two males would have been on himself and a son, unless the second tithe was a servant.
However, a Robert Coleman was involved in a lawsuit with Mathew Haynes on 13 Apr 1664 \(Lancaster Co. Orders 1656-1666, Ruth and Sam Sparacio\). Then, on 9 Aug 1695, Robert Coleman was a Plaintiff against John Baker, Administrator of Dennis McCarty, Defendant \(Richmond Co. Orders 1694-1697, Sparacio\). On the same date, "Robert Coleman, assignee of John Foard, Plaintiff, and John Baker as Administrator of Dennis McCarty, Defendant".
A year later, Robert Coleman was deceased: On 2 Apr 1696 "action brought by Avery Naylor against Mary Coleman, Executrix, in her own wrong to Robert Coleman, deceased". The phrase "in her own wrong" could mean "not in accordance with a previous arrangement" or "not on the side supported by truth or justice". Robert Coleman may have entered into some type of agreement with Avery Naylor, but died before the terms of the agreement were met. Naylor may have sued Mary Coleman to force her to comply with the agreement. The outcome of the court case is unknown.
In order to be involved in a lawsuit in 1664, Robert Coleman would have been at least 21 years old, with an estimated birth year of ca. 1640/42. His age would easily place him as a son of Richard (b. 1617-20) and Margaret Coleman, and establish that Robert was the second tithe on whom Richard Coleman paid a levy in 1653. Robert would not have been old enough in 1655/6 to be the Robert Coleman involved in the Settlement acres.
Robert Coleman (1640/42 Ė 1696) and his wife Mary had at least two children, sons Richard and John. John Coleman was a witness to the 5 Jan 1703 will of George Harwood in which he named legatees as wife Mary, Epaph. Lawson, my wifeís eldest son, wifeís son John Lawson and her children Elizabeth Harwood, Catherine Lawson, Frances and Mary Harwood, Sister, Horn. Executors were wife Mary and William Lister. Witnesses were George Horn, Lettisa Horn and Jno. Coleman. \(Abstracts Lancaster Co. VA Wills 1653-1800, Ida L. Lee, WB 8, p. 121) An interesting item in George Harwoodís will is the mention of Epaph. Lawson. An Epaphroditus Lawson was mentioned in the 1653 will of Robert Mascall, brother-in-law of Richard Coleman.
The only other mention of John Coleman was an entry in that same year. On 9 Dec 1703, "Coleman vs. Bourn. The action brought to this Court by John Coleman against John Bourn is dismist, neither appearing." \(Lancaster Co. VA Order Book 1703-1706, Sparacio\) John Coleman was alive in 1703, but nothing further is known of him, including his marital status or possible fatherhood.
From Richmond Co. Wills, by Headley, p. 8: "Richard Coleman, NFP, will 16 Mar 1709/10, rec. 5 Apr 1710. Elizabeth Tune wife of Mark Tune./a>, Barbary Tomson wife of James Tomson, Timothy McDaniel, John Taverner, James Welch, Samuel Angel, Judith Hall, Alexander Fleming Jr., John Steward, Charles Steward, the little girl Winifred, which was bound to me to go again to her mother, Edward Partley, Mary Powell, James Steward. Exs. John Taverner and Mark Tune. No witnesses.
Richardís will is difficult to interpret because no relationships were mentioned. The fact that a female child was bound to Richard indicates he was married at one time, since a bound female was required by law to be taught how to sew, knit and spin, skills Richard was unlikely to possess. No wife was mentioned in his will, indicating she had predeceased him. Nor was a son mentioned, although Richard was probably the father of the Richard Coleman reported deceased by 5 Apr 1700. \(Richmond Co. Court Orders 1699-1701, p. 34). The son would have predeceased his father Richard by nine years.
The line of descent would be Richard Coleman (1617-20 Ė 1679), Robert Coleman (1640/42 Ė 1696), Richard Coleman (1659/60 Ė 1709) and Richard Coleman (1678/79 Ė 1700).
Richard (d. 1709) and his wife may have been the parents of Elizabeth and Barbary mentioned in Richardís will as wives of Mark Tune and James Tomson, respectively. Interestingly, two of the legatees in Robert Mascallís 1653 will were Robert Tomson and Mary Tomson "the younger".
A study of what is known about the two sons of Robert (1640/42 Ė 1696) and Mary Coleman reveals that Richard lived in Richmond County, while his brother John lived in Lancaster. It appears that Richard was the elder, and would have inherited the Richmond County land acquired by his grandfather "Settlement" Richard Coleman. John would have inherited the acreage in Lancaster County acquired through the years by that same grandfather.
The issue of two daughters belonging to Richard and Margaret \(Mascall\) Coleman is less complicated . On 27 Dec 1666 \(DB3, p. 193, Old Rappahannock Co. Records\), Richard and Margaret Coleman executed a deed for one-half interest in a tract of land on which they then lived, to Daniel Diskin. This land was given "for the great love and affection I beare unto Daniel Diskin and his children, have freely given unto him, his heirs and forever them one moyety (sic) or half part of 300 acres of land bought by me of Robert Lovell lying at the head of Rappahannock Creek (now Cat Point Creek\)Ö.always provided that the said Richard Coleman shall make use of one half of the said land cleared and houses within the said 150 acres of land given unto the said Daniel Diskin during the said Richard Colemanís life and not otherwise".
Daniel Diskin was deceased by 3 May 1670, and on 1 Jul 1670 \(DB4, p. 314 Old Rappahannock Co. Records\) by deed of gift, Richard and Margaret Coleman conveyed the remaining one-half interest of their property to Cornelius Silavant. \(The name "Silavant" probably evolved into "Sullivan". "Sullivant" appears in later Virginia records.)
Judge Solon B. Coleman speculated that after Richard and Margaret gave away the second half of their 300-acre parcel in 1670 to Silavant, they returned to England. With sincere respect to the judge, his theory does not make sense. Richard was very unlikely to give away land to non-family members, no matter how wealthy he may have been. The cost of living in England would have been much higher than it cost to live in Virginia. The deed gave Diskin a half interest in 300 acres, but Richard retained the right to live on the land for the remainder of his life. Richard and Margaret did not intend to leave Virginia. On the contrary, from the wording in the deed of gift, it is apparent that Richard and Margaret had a family relationship with Daniel Diskin and his children.
The wife of Daniel Diskin was a Margaret, evidenced by this deed abstract: 17 Feb 1659, John Paine sold to Daniel Diskin "all Paineís interest 300 acres". Co-grantees were Daniell Ryly, Darby Bryant, Daniell Swillivant, Margaret Diskinís consent \(Old Rappahannock Co. Records, 1656-64, p. 119).
Daniel Diskinís wife was, without doubt, Margaret Coleman, daughter of Richard and Margaret \(Mascall\) Coleman. Daughter Margaret was deceased by 1666, when Daniel Diskin and his three children John, Daniel and Elizabeth were given half of the Coleman property. No evidence has been found to indicate the name of Cornelius Silavantís wife, but she was also most likely a daughter of Richard and Margaret Coleman. Otherwise, the entire 300-acre parcel would have gone to the Diskinsí.
In Daniel Diskin./a>ís will, written 23 Mar 1668 (never recorded), he devised the 150 Coleman acres to his two sons, John and Daniel Diskin. The two brothers sold the land on 2 Jul 1679, indicating that both Richard and Margaret Coleman were deceased by that date. "John and Daniel Diskin, brothers and single men of Rappahannock County sell to Mathew Kelley all tract on which Kelley resideth mentioned in gift from Richard Coleman to Daniel Diskin, deceased father, which land given us to be equally divided by his will of 23 Mar 1668 \(Old Rappahannock Co. Records 1677-82, pgs. 72,73).
Other interesting deed abstracts involving the Diskin family go back to 1659. John Payne sold to Daniel Diskin "all my interestÖ.for a valuable consideration, 300 acres" \\(Old Rappahannock Co. Records 1656-64, p. 257). Then, on 14 Oct 1662, Daniel Diskin to John Paine, "Diskin, Ryly, Bryant and Silyvant return above land to Paine, no consideration given" (Old Rappahannock Co. Records 1656-64, p. 257).
John Diskin appointed Dennis "Carty" Power of Attorney on 7 Nov 1684 \(Old Rappahannock Co. Records 1683-86, p. 55). This may be the same Dennis "McCarty" sued by Robert Coleman on 9 Aug 1695 in Richmond County (formerly Rappahannock Co.\).
Richard Coleman was a well-known and enterprising member of the Virginia colony. Whether he and his wife Margaret have any living descendants is unknown.