James Heath of Princess Anne County

©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.)

One notation with promise in identifying the origins of James Heath is from folio 76, Provisional Court, Liber TL no. 2, in 1684, which states …Mr. James Heath, late of London and now of the Province of Maryland.  This James Heath, however, was a Jacobite who is documented in Maryland.  It is also thought that James Heath was included in a list of rebels transported in 1685.  It is not likely that this is the same James Heath, as he would have been bound out upon arrival in Virginia.  In October, 1687, James Heath patented 550 acres in Lower Norfolk County Virginia, described as 550 acres in Curretuck precinques on the eastward side of the North River, on the Back Bay, beginning at a cedar post, being a corner betwixt him and Joseph Chase.  This was granted for the import of 11 persons to Virginia. This land was noted in 1695 in a neighbor’s deed.

James Heath, Sr. James Heath, Jr., and William Heath were noted in a tax list for Lower Norfolk County which was taken before 1702.  This William Heath appears to be a brother to James Heath, Sr. or perhaps a cousin.  He is not listed as a son or a grandson.  They were all doing well, based on the tax list which indicates they were better off than most, but not among the elite in the county.   The 550 acres were located in Linhaven Parish where James, Sr. died.  It would seem he married Anne Morse.  The Morse plantation lay nearby and they witnessed wills for the family.

The will of James Heath October, 1703

 In the Name of God, Amen Ye Two & Twentyeth day of Decembr. in ye year of our Lord God one thousand [missing: “seven hundred”] and two. I, James Heath, Senr. of ye parrish of Linhaven in Princess Anne County being of sound perfect dispossing memory praise be rendered to Almighty God, doe make ordaine & publish this my last will & testamt. Revoking all former wills by me made wtsoever.
First I committ and command mt soul to the hands of Almighty god my creator hopeing for salvationby the alone merrits of Jesus Christ my blessed redeemer my body to committ unto ye earth to be descently buried hopeing &steadfastly excepting a joyfull ressurrection to life eternal in bliss & happiness & for my temporal estate I doe dispose of that as followeth:
Item. I give & bequeath unto my eldest son Thomas Heath one tract of land commonly known by the name of Natchouse neck bounding on ye south side upon Capt. Morse line & soe Northerly to a great poplar standing by ye old tarn pitt & from thence easterly on ____ves ridge into ye great marsh by estimation one hundred and fifty acres or thereabouts to him ye sd Tho. Heath during his natural life and to his heires lawfully begotten forever and after want of such heires to my son James Heath & his heires Lawfully begotten of his body forver for want of such heires to my son Robert Heath & his heires lawfully begotten forever.
I give and bequeath unto my son James Heath my plantation whereon I now live only be given to his brother Robert Heath two hundred acres of land whene ye sd Robert Heath shall come to ye age of twenty one____ the sd land being commonly known by ye Eagles Nest Ridge on ye eastward side of yelittle pond where I now live, to them and their heires lawfully begotten of their body forever
my will is that Elizabeth Eiland my daughter should have her cattle immediately after my decease & and all their increse forever.
It. I give to my son James Heath one young cow being of my own mark with her increase forever immediately after my decease.
It. I give to my son Robt. Heath one young cow being of my own marke with her increase forever imediately after my decease.
I give all ye rest of my estate wtsoever to my dear wife Anne Heath who I make & ordaine my sole Extr. of this my last will she receiving all my debts & paying all my debts:
IN WITNESS Whereof I have set my hand & seale this 20th day of December in ye year of our Lord 1702.

James Heath /SEALE/
Signed, Sealed, Deld., in pesence [sic] of Francis Morse, _r. Wm.[?} W. Lorry, James D. Desman
Proved in open Court by ye oath of Capt. Francis Morse & James Desman ye 5th of _ber 1703 & ordereed to be recorded. C. C. C. O. Exd.

 At the time of his will, it would seem that Thomas and James were both older than 21, but Robert was still underage.  These sons were likely born between 1685 and 1695.

Anne Heath’s will was filed in 1723 and notes:

my grandson James Heath …three cows & calves & two towyear old heifers & one pewter dish & one ple and grown steare, one Iron pot, one iron pestle, one feather bed, and bolster & covering.

Thomas Heath, son of James …one cow & calf.

Granddaughter Eliza Heath …one bed and bolster & covering

Jane Eiland one large pewter dish

Granddaughter Eliza Eiland one pewter dish

John Heath one bed and bolster & covering & one Iron pestle (likely another grandson)

All remaining part of my estate to be equally divided between my four children, they paying all my debts.  My friend Francis Morse to serve as trustee.  Executor Francis Morse; Witness Weswell Anderson, and Abigail Gilding.

The Children of James Heath and Anne

Thomas, James, John, Robert and Elizabeth Heath married Richard Eiland,

Elizabeth Heath, sister of Robert, married Richard Eiland before 1702 in Princess Anne County, Virginia.  They settled in Currituck and were the parents of Richard, Elizabeth, Robert, George, Jane, and Sara Eiland.

Robert is the only Heath noted in the Currituck Precinct of Albermarle until Nathaniel Heath is noted in the 1729 Quit Rents for 150 acres and the 1729-32 jurymen list which includes Nehemiah, John and Benone

John Heath was first noted in 1723 in the will of his mother, Anne Heath.  He was then noted by William Byrd when his party surveyed the dividing line between North Carolina and Virginia.  His home lay in the same area as the home of his brother James, which was also noted, and his brother Robert.

The field book of Alexander Irvine which documents surveying the boundary between Virginia and North Carolina in 1728, notes that the house of John Heath and James Heath set along the border in the area of Currituck, a short distance from the Back Bay area.  In William Byrd’s History of the Dividing line, he writes …. we rowed up an arm of the sound, called the Back bay, till we came to the head of it. There we were stopped by a miry pocoson full half a mile in breadth, through which we were obliged to daggle on foot, plunging now and then, though we picked our way, up to the knees in mud. At the end of this charming walk we gained the terra firma of Princess Anne county. In that dirty condition we were afterwards obliged to foot it two miles, as far as John Heath’s plantation, where we expected to meet the surveyors and the men who waited upon them. …  All the people in the neighbourhood flocked to John Heath’s, to behold such rarities as they fancied us to be. The men left their beloved chimney corners, the good women their spinning wheels, and some, of more curiosity than ordinary, rose out of their sick beds, to come and stare at us.  The next day they … ran the line through Mr. Eyland’s plantation, as far as the banks of North river.  Byrd describes the area as a mire, plagued by mesquitos, which in winter could support the grazing of cattle, but needed draining to produce meadow.

In 1740, John Heath, Nehemiah Heath and Benion Heath are listed as jurors for Currituck County.  In 1751 John Heath is included among the taxable and militia lists with Robert Heath.

James Heath Jr. was probably born around 1684.  He married Mary Foster.  James was a carpenter.   James and Mary were the parents of James Heath, III, Mary Heath who married Eustus Ship, and Thomas Heath who was born about 1700.

The will of James Heath, Jr.

In the Name of God Amen, I James Heath of Princess Anne County being sick and weak of body but of perfect and sound memory do make and appoint this my last will and testament in manner and form following that its to say Imprimius: I give and bequeath my Soul in the hands of Almighty God hoping to be Saved through the mercies of Jesus Christ my Ever Blessed Redeemer and my body to the Earth to be buryed at the discretion of my Executor after mentioned.  Item:  I give and bequeath unto my Son James Heath a plantation wheron I now live with one hundred and fifty acres of land ….to his and his heirs for ever and saving my wife Mary the use of the plantation during her widowhood.  Item: I give and bequeath unto my son Thomas Heath fifty acres of land and … commonly known by the name of Marsh Gl… . to him and his heirs for ever leaving my son-in-law Eustus Ship the use of the above fifty acres of land until my son Thomas shall come of age.  Lastly, I give and bequeath unto my loving wife, Mary Heath all rest of my worldly Estate Leaving her to  be Executrix of this my Last Will and Testament, revoking all other wills and Testaments by me formerly made and …. January, 1727/28. The witnesses were John Heath (made his mark), Francis Morse and Andrew Peacock.

That same year Mary Heath gave a gift deed to what is labeled her children in the deed book.  The children listed were Jacobus Heath, Robert Heath, Benoni Heath, also noted were John Lawley, and James Heath whom she called her Son in Law.   This term referred to relations through the law at that time.  It may be that Mary Heath, mother of Jacobus, Benoni, and Robert Heath was the wife of William Heath, and had previously been married to a Foster.  Or, she may be his step-mother, though it seems unlikely that James, Jr. would not provide for two young sons.

To all Christian people to whom these presents shall come I Mary Heath of the County of Princess Ann and trusting in the Lord God everlasting Know yee that I Mary Heath for divers causes … this behalf especially… for the natural Love I bear for (torn) Jacobus Heath & Robert Heath do give to each of them a three year old …. she has a mark with a crop & under … the right. …. Two gold rings to each … of my Son in Law James Heath…. Gray … cloaths and to Benoni Heath one three year old heafer and her ears marked as aforesaid, also to John Lawley one musket to have and to hold the said goods and chattels unto the foresaid Jacobus Heath, Robert Heath, James Heath, Benoni Heath, and John Lawley to the same their heirs for ever absolutely without any manner of condition as I aforesaid I Mary Heath have fully and truly and absolutely of my own accord … In witness were of I have unto set my hand on ye sixth day of one thousand and seven hundred twenty eight.  Signed Mary Heath. 

Jacobus Heath was counted in Tyrrell County, North Carolina in Little Alligator District as was Robert Heath in 1786.  Benoni went to Currituck.

Children of James Heath, Jr. and Mary

James, Thomas, daughter who married Eustis Ship

James Heath

A James Heath was counted in the 1790 census in the Upper Precinct of the Eastern Shore of Princess Anne County.  If this was James Heath, III, he would be very old.  He was noted with 2 others in his household. In 1790, William Heath was counted for himself and 7 others in his household in the same precinct, and Elizabeth Heath was also noted, with 3 otheres in here household.  In 1791 James Heath was absent from the tax list, but a James Heath, Jr. and William Heath were taxed.

Thomas Heath (James, Jr.)

Thomas Heath, married Mary.  In his father’s will of 1727, he was noted as not yet of age. His son James went to Duplin County, North Carolina probably around 1750.  He was the father of James Heath, born in 1755 and Thomas Heath born in 1762.  His story follows that of his uncle, Robert Heath, Sr.

Heaths of Currituck County, North Carolina

Robert Heath, Sr.

George Bullock issued a deed on October 12, 1708.  George Bullock of Knots Island in the County of Princes Anne in province of Virginia do here by appoint my trusty and well beloved friend Wm. William my true and lawfull attorney for me and in my place name and stead and for my heirs a certain tract of land containing five hundred and fifty acres by patent situate upon the north side of Tulls Creek in the prect. of Currituck to Robert Heath late of Virginia his heirs or in as large and manner as by assignment now allready on the said patent by me assigned is given granted or intended here by rattifieing what so ever my said attorney shall do in what the premises above directed given under my hand and seal.  /s/ George Bullock.  Wit: Wm. Bray, Wm Swann.  This power of attorney was proven in open court the 26 day of Apr. 1709.

George Bullock and Ann Bullock of Princes Anne County in Virginia for the sum of £10 sterling paid by Robert Heath of Albemarle County in the province of No. Carolina. Plantation and land containing five hundred and fifty acres situate and being on the north east side of Tulls creek in the county of Albemarle in the province of No. Carolina as by patent baring date 27 July 1696 granted unto George Bullock. Signed Goerge Bullock, Ann Bullock and witnessed by Marmaducke Evaridge, Richer Eiland, Sr. and acknowledged by Wm. Williams attorney to the above George Bullock.  Georg Bullock to Robert Heath Oct. 12, 1708.  I Georgre Bullock of Princes Anne Virginia do assign all my whole right title and intrest of this within mentioned patent and land within mentioned unto Robert Heath of Albemarle County.  /s/ George Bullock  Wit: Solomon White, Rich’d Eiland   Registered 7 Aug. 1709.

Tulls Creek runs southwest to north east into the bay only a few mils south of the state line  beginning very near the separation with Pasquotank County.

Robert Heath settled in the Currituck District of North Carolina by 1709, when a deed abstract notes Robert Heath, late of Virginia.   Robert Heath married Ann, who was likely a sister or daughter of John Hodgson.

The will of John Hodgson was dated August 15, 1712.

Mary Hodgson all my estate; Robert Heath’s eldest son Nehemiah to have my mill, Robert Heath’s daughter to have iron pott, pewter dish; Thomas Heath to have vest and coat; Thomas Heath’s eldest daughter to have a cow & calf; John Wood to have clothes; Ann Heath, Jr. to have dishes; James Haith’s (sic) 2 children to have 2 heifers; Ann Heath, Sr. to have a bed; William S____? to have my long gun; Robert Heath to have gun; Joseph Bennet, son of Jno., to have cow & calf; Robert Heath to have my Bible; Executrix: wife Mary Witness: Adam Benn…unreadable.

Robert was noted several times in the taxes and corn levies in 1715, including an assessment in 1715 for 550 acres and 1716 which notes he held 450 acres.  By 1718 he had sold another 50 acres.  In 1719 he was paid for catching a wolf in a pit. In 1723 Robert Heath was listed as a Juryman for Currictuck County. Then in 1723, Robert recorded the deed from his brother James, for the Eagles Nest Ridge property of 200 acres left to him by his father’s will.   The estate of Robert Heath was administered in 1728 by Anne Heath.  John Etheridge and Richard Bright stood as sureties.

The children of Robert Heath, Sr.

Nehemiah, Thomas, James, Robert, Ann and Mary Heath

Nehemiah Heath (Robert Sr.)

In 1734 Nehemiah Heath was surety with Joshua Croson for the administration of the estate of James Heath. Eustace Stripes (?Ship) was the adminiatrator. Then in 1735, Nehemiah Heath with Thomas Muncreef stood surety for the administration of the estate of John Brent.  Dinah Brent was the administrator. Earlier, in 1726, Holland Heath was a witness to the will of Thomas Brent.  In 1740, John Heath, Nehemiah Heath and Benion Heath are listed as jurors for Currituck County.  In 1748 Nehemiah patented 200 acres in Currituck County.  Nehemiah’s will was filed in 1750.   Legatees were his wife Elizabeth, Mary Creadle, and Robert Heath.  The witnesses were Willis Etheridge, William Blount and Lazarus Flurry.  Evidently he did not leave any children.

Thomas Heath (Robert Sr.)

Thomas Heath married Julian Bernard, the daughter of Samuel Bernard.  Thomas was noted in Currituck County in the 1779 tax list.  Thomas was one of the executors of the estate of Thomas Sanderson, Sr.  He was noted in 1782 through 1784 on the Currituck Guardian’s list. In the 1790 census Thomas was listed with 3 sons under 16, and four females, one of which was likely his wife, the other three being their daughters.  He held 5 slaves.

Thomas Heath’s will was filed in September, 1802.  It notes his wife, Julian Heath, who inherited the legacy from Samuel Bernard, deed in the possession of the executor of the estate.  It also notes sons Thomas, and John, and daughters Julian and Mary.  Julian Heath was a daughter of Samuel Bernard.  John was given the cow that runs at Joshua Simpson’s.

In December, 1809 the will of Julian Heath was filed noting sons John, Thomas and daughters Julian Heath and …all my daughter Mary Heath’s wearing apparel to daughter Dinah Taylor.  Granddaughter Julian Barnard.  It seems evident that their daughter Mary had died.

Children of Thomas Heath and Julian Bernard

John Heath was noted in the 1790 census for Edenton District.  He was counted with one son under 16, and his wife and 4 daughters.  He did not hold any slaves.

Thomas Heath, Jr. died in 1813 and his will notes his wife Sally and brother John and his daughter Julian.  It also notes his sister Julian Heath and Jesse Barnard.  Thomas was not counted in the census in 1790.  It is likely that he was counted in the household of his father.

Robert Heath (Robert Sr.)

Robert Heath married Margaret Aileen.  In 1755 he was the only Heath on the list of Taxables in Currituck.  The will of Robert Heath was filed in Currituck in 1762.  It notes Margaret Heath, who was a granddaughter, and sons Robert, and James.  It also notes his daughter Elizabeth.  The witnesses were William Williams, Moses Bunnell, and John Crismund.  Margaret Heath was noted in the tax list in 1779 for Currituck County along with Robert Heath, her son, and Thomas Heath, her brother-in-law.  Robert was taxed 10/0/4; Thomas 5/2/7 and Margaret 2/9/0.

Children of Robert Heath and Margaret Aileen

James, Robert, and Elizabeth.

James Heath

William Byrd mentions James Heath and the house of John Heath in his writing about the dividing line.

Robert Heath, III

Robert Heath was counted in the 1779 Tax Roll for Currituck County. He married Elizabeth Cooper.  He is likely the Robert Heath noted in the Currituck militia list of Captain William Bray in 1748.  He was noted in the 1779 tax list for Currituck County and in 1786 he was in that portion of Currituck which became Tyrrell County.  There is no record of Robert in North Carolina in the 1790 census.  Robert’s will was filed in Currituck in 1795.  It notes his wife, Elizabeth, and sons Rilane (Ryland), who received the land that he lived on, as well as the land Elizabeth Blount lived on, Enoch, his two youngest, Andrew and Arthur Cooper, a daughter Margret Brunt, and the four youngest Julia, Anney, Frankey, and Barbrey.  The executors were Enoch Dauge and his wife Elizabeth.  The witnesses were Jesse Simmons and William Scott.

 Green County, Georgia

Ryland went to Green County, Georgia.  He was married to Anna Simmons and they were the parents of Jesse Heath.  Ryland’s second wife was Anna Gilbert.  Their children were William D., Ira, Benjamin, Robert, Harrison, Jonathon, Randall, Emily, John R., Elizabeth, Nancy, and Enoch.  Ryland went to Kentucky where he died in June, 1870.

James Heath (Robert, Sr.)

James Heath was included in the poll tax for single men in Currituck County in 1779.  In the 1790 census James was listed in Currituck with 2 young sons under 16, himself, and 4 females, one probably being his wife.

Nathaniel Heath

Nathaniel is first noted in the Quit Rents in 1729 for 150 acres.

Heaths of Duplin County, North Carolina

James Heath, son of Thomas Heath of Princess Anne County, married Sarah Brashears.  He was born about 1729 and died after 1808 in Duplin County, North Carolina. James and Sarah were the parents of James, Thomas, and Mary Heath.  James and Thomas resided in Duplin County, North Carolina.

Thomas Heath was noted in Duplin County about 1765. The 1783 Tax List for Duplin County, North Carolina, which is adjacent to Cumberland County, and not far from Craven County, notes these Heaths:

Thomas Heath assessed for 43 pounds

James Heath assessed for 87 pounds

Adjacent to him was his brother Thomas Heath, who had 5 sons born after 1774, his wife, and two daughters.  He did not hold any slaves.

James Heath, son of James and Sarah

In 1779 James Heath patented 40 acres on the west side of the North East River and on the North east side of Maxwell Swamp. James Heath was recorded in the Duplin census in 1790 with 2 sons born after 1774, his wife and 4 daughters.  He held 1 slave.

James was the father of five daughters and sons Solomon, Levi, and Richard and probably James who died unmarried in 1832.

The 1806 Tax list for Duplin County notes Levi, Solomon, and Richard Heath.

Children of James Heath

James Heath died unmarried.  His will was filed in July, 1832 in Duplin County and states that James wished his sisters to come live on his property and have the lots he owned, as well as the Negroes, horses, cattle, sheep, hogs, furniture, etc.  The sisters are not named. His brothers are mentioned, but not listed.  The executor was his worthy friend Alexander Heath and the witnesses were Thomas Swinsin and Dorothy Heath.

Henry County, Alabama

Levi Heath was born in 1782 in Duplin County.  He had married Prudence Swinson in 1804.  Her father was Theophilus Swinson. By 1830 the family had removed to Henry County, Alabama where he was noted in the Southern District.  Living with him were one female, evidently his wife, Prudence, another female between 20 and 30 and another under 5. He also held one female slave.  In 1850 the census notes that Levi was 68 years of age.  He was living in what appears to be a boarding house.  Noted in the residence were: J. H. Anderson, J. Ellis, B. Hughes, W. E. Prior, Martha Hall, C. O. Paterson, J. W. Ledder, Arthur Shiver and the family of Sheriff P. B. Shiver, including his wife and 3 very young children.  Levi later married Martha Hall.

It would appear that Levi was the father these children who resided in Henry County, Alabama:  Theophilus Heath, born in 1805 in Duplin County, North Carolina, who married Nancy Johnson; Kitty Heath (Catherine Heath wife of Joseph Blackshear); Benjamin Heath; Edna C. Heath wife of John Guilford; Prudence Heath; and Elizabeth Heath, wife of William Williamson.  He was also the father of Mary Eliza, Susan Jane, and Margaret Ann.

Rutherford County, Tennessee

Richard Heath was noted in the 1806 Tax List for Duplin County. He married Rebecca.  They went to Rutherford County, Tennessee and were the parents of Henry, James S., Temperance, Richard and Rebecca.  He died there in 1852.

Solomon Heath

Thomas Heath, son of James and Sarah

Thomas Heath was born about 1762 in Duplin County.  He was recorded in the Duplin census in 1790 with 5 sons under the age of 16 and his wife and daughter. He is recorded for Military Service in the Wilmington District in 1783.  Thomas was the father of John, William, Sarah, and Elizabeth and Alexander Heath.

John Heath married Nancy Beveret and they were the parents of Thomas Beveret Heath, born in December, 1803 in Duplin County; Mosley, Dorthy, Barbara, Temperance (who married Jacob Heath), Elizabeth, and an unknown son.  John married Mary Wallace as his second wife in 1829.

William Heath married Barbary Williams in 1789 in Duplin County.  In the will of John Williams, filed in 1790 in Duplin County, William Heath, son-in-law, received …on Negore Slave Called Catoe to him and his heirs for Ever.  They were the parents of Thomas, Jacob (who married Temperance Heath), Elizabeth, Margaret and Benjamin Heath, all of Duplin County.  In 1805 William Heath patented 10 acres on the north side of Maxwell Swamp, in Duplin County.

Alexander Heath in 1808 was deeded 115 acres at Maxwell Swamp next to Alexander Beasley’s Mill Pond in Duplin County.  Alexander married Margaret Thigpen and they were the parents of 3 daughters, John Henry Heath, and William Tims Heath (b. 1819).  William T. Heath held 218 acres on Maxwell Swamp in 1839.

Thomas Heath Sr. of Princess Anne County and Chowan County, North Carolina

Thomas was probably born around 1684 or a little earlier, as he was of age in 1702 when his father wrote his will.  He was not included in the tax list in 1702 as was his younger brother, father, and William Heath.  It is unclear, but he may have worked at a trade, or what is more likely, he was managing the family plantation.  In 1711 Thomas Heath patented 104 acres in Princess Anne County.  It stated that the land was for the importation of Richard and Henry Simon was located at the head of the Blackwater joining the Holley Branch, in Princess Anne County….  Thomas was noted in that area of North Carolina which became Chowan County where he was taxed in 1715 and 1721.  He held 150 acres. In 1718 Thomas Heath witnessed the will of Edward Standing filed in Chowan County. At a Court held at Edenton on October 27, 1724 William Charlton, Jr, of Chowan Precinct, Planter, was charged for assaulting, beating, and grievously wounding Thomas Heath of said precinct.  (Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. 2, pg. 557)


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