William Heath/Haythe of Bedford 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.)

The Heaths and Lanes first resided in the tithe area of Falling River in Lunenburg County which according to Belle, historian of Lunenburg County, became Bedford County. Bedford County was taken from Lunenburg County in 1754, and Campbell County was taken from Bedford in 1782.

It was here that William Heath was tithed in 1748 through 1750.  A survey in 1779 for John Lane notes his land lay on the South Fork of Falling River, to Little Roanoke, adjoining Peter Daniel, John Roberts, Watkins, Andrew Harrison, Robertson, Pursely, and Heath.  This William Heath with John Lane, were later counted in Bedford County.  It is unclear where William began, but it seems that John Lane may have been related to the Lanes of Surry County, although this claim is not without controversy, and my examination of the evidence shows there are difficulties with this claim.  The Surry family also had members in Halifax County as did the Dixon Family.  In 1764 the Bedford County will of Thomas Dixon, gives a son a bond of James Heath for 80 pounds.  Lanes were also present in Craven County and Stokes County North Carolina and had interactions and marriages with the Heaths. Based on this I don’t believe there is any basis for determining William’s place of origin from the place where the Lanes began before arriving in Lunenburg.


William Heath was counted in Bedford County as early as 1757.  In 1757, Thompson Harris of Orange County, North Carolina sold to William Heath of Bedford County, Virginia for 20 pounds a tract of land in Bedford on both sides of the Great Branch of Turnip Creek, containing 400 acres.  This sale was witnessed by William Lewis, John Layne, and Joseph Williams. William made his home on Long Island, Staunton River, in Bedford County.  The record books are filled with land purchases and sales by William.

Land purchases for William Heath (Hayth)

1757 William Heath from Thompson Harris; V1 p 107; 400 acres on both sides of a great branch of Turnip Creek

1760 William Heath from Charles Talbot; V1 p 263; 282 acres on Bear Creek

1764 William Heath from John Simmons; V2 p 196; 600 acres on both sides of Molley’s Creek

1768 William Heath from Nicholas Haile; V3 p 176; 400 acres on both sides of Lenwell’s Creek

1768 William Heath from Nicholas Haile; V3 p 180 (Title Bond) as to the dower right of Ruth Haile is 400 acres

1768 William Heath from Joseph Hill V3 p 1963, 400 acres on Linville Creek

1769 William Heath from James French; V3 p 304 400 acres on Molley’s Creek

1769 William Haythe from Michael Murphy, Bill of Sale, V3 p 331 Personal Property

1773 William Heath from Michael Murphy, List of Surveys, V5 p 100 220 acres on the West Branches of Molley’s Creek

1773 William Heath from Michael Murphy, Bill of Sale, V5 p 136 Personal Property

1773 William Heath from William Manley, Mortgage, V5 p 137 Personal Property

1773 List of Surveys, V5 p 100; 220 acres on West branch Molley’s Creek

Land Sales for William Heath (Hayth)

1761 William Hayth to William Todd, V1p 472; 400 a Great Branch Turnip Creek

1761 William Hayth to James Dillard V1 p 481; 39acres on the north side Staunton River

1763 William Hayth to William Gibson V2 p 261; 282 acres on both sides Bear Branch

1773 William Hayth to Richard Bandy V5 p 63; 92 acres on Sexton’s Branch and Staunton River

1774 William Hayth to William Grimes V5 p 261; 333 acres on South Branch of Molley’s Creek

1775 Martha Hayth to Thomas Williams et ux (and wife) to Joel Burgess V5 p 311 200 acres on the South Branch of Molley’s Creek, which William Heath patented 39 acres in 1757 on the north side of Stanton River.

1777 Martha, Thomas Heath, et ux (and wife) to Shildrake Brown & Co V5 p 498 400 acres on Molley’s Creek adjacent to John Simon & etc.

1781 Martha, Thomas Heath & ux (and wife) to Henry Wode V7 p 63 250 acres on headwaters of Bear Creek

Notice the inconsistency of the spellings.  It is likely that there is a story here, but it is unclear what it is.  Regardless, the concensus seems to be that this is one person, not two different individuals and for what ever reason, he changed the spelling of his name.

In the 1760 Cherokee Expedition the 2nd Virginia Regiment was formed for immediate defense of the state, with Colonel William Byrd as commander.  Many of the soldiers in the regiment lived in what became the Campbell section of Bedford.  Listed in the 2nd Virginia Regiment was William Heath, private.

In 1771 William Hayth placed an advertisement for two runaway Irish servants, Michael Kelly and Molly, his wife.  The advertisement noted that they both spoke Irish, but were not known to speak English.  The reward was five pounds if delivered, or fifty shillings if secured in a jail.

In the Bedford County Will Book 1 is filed the will of William Haythe of Bedford County, dated October, 1774 and probated in May, 1775.  The will notes his son Thomas and daughters Jane Lane, Elizabeth Manly, Elanor Burgess, Mary Chirstian and Sarah Cunningham.  The executors were Thomas Haythe and Benjamin Gilbert.  The witnesses were Isaac Reynolds, Benjamin Gilbert and Ann Gilbert.  Surety for the administration was 500 pounds given by John Tallot and Samuel Hairston.  The Inventory and Appraisement of William Haythe: Thomas Heath Executor was dated May, 1775 and lists Negroes Peter, Judy; household furnishings, tools, livestock, including a wine Glass.  The appraisers: John Bryant, Aqa. Gilbert, Harry Terrill.

Children of William Hayth

William and Thomas Heath

William Heath is not in his father’s will; however it is clear that he must be the son of William who died in 1775.  William Heath patented 220 acres on the west branches of Molley’s Creek in 1780.  In 1780 William Heath patented 333 acres on the south branch of Molley’s Creek.  This would have been land near his father’s earlier patents.

Heaths of Campbell County

Thomas Heath patented 250 acres on both sides of the south fork of Bear Creek in February, 1771.  Thomas married Martha Gilbert in February, 1772.  In 1781 Thomas Haythe entered the Bedford County Militia as a first Lieutenant and was later promoted to captain.  In 1794 Thomas sold his father’s plantation on Long Island and removed to Pigeon Run in Campbell County.  Thomas Heath will was filed 1821 and reflects the following children: Charles Heath who moved to Chillicothe, Ohio; Pleasant Heath; Gilbert Heath married Elizabeth Rucker; John Heath married Susan Nichols and was the father of Eliza and John, Jr.; William Heath married Polly Moorman, sold 164.5 acres to Alex S. Henry in 1827; Benjamin Heath married in 1811 Ann E. Ramsay; Thomas Heath, Jr. married a Ramsey; and Jennie (Jane) Heath married a Hall.

The census indicates in Bedford County, Virginia in 1830 was Gilbert Hayth and in Campbell County was John, Thomas and William Hayth.

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