Cornelius Cargill, Sr. (c.1681 - c.1763) MP

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Perthshire, Scotland
Death: Died in Cornwall, Halifax, Virginia
Managed by: Doug Robinson
Last Updated:

About Cornelius Cargill, Sr.

He was the progenitor of the Cargills of the South and Southwest. His place of birth and date of arrival in Virginia are points of conjecture. He was probably born in either Scotland or England, and may have come to America in about 1711 to work as a common laborer. He was probably related to the Rev. John Cargill who arrived in Virginia from the Leeward Islands in 1708. This John Cargill was Minister of the Southwark Parish in Surry County from 1708 to 1732. Cornelius was residing in Westover Parish, Prince George County, Virginia by 1712. He sold out in 1713 and removed to Wayanoke Parish. By April, 1719, he was living in Martins Brandon Parish. At that time he bought 150 acres of land from James and Charles Anderson, the sons of his wife and her first husband, Thomas. He sold the same land on 1 Feb 1727. It was described "as lying on the South side of the Cattail Swamp, on the North Side of the Blackwater Swamp, and on both sides of the Reedy Branch of the said Cattail Swamp".

He was a colorful character in Colonial Virginia; yeoman, copper miner, ferryman, tobacco planter, and owner of over 3,000 acres of fertile farm-land acquired by patents from King George II. He bought and sold many hundreds of acres of other lands in Prince George, Brunswick and Lunenburg Counties. He was a Justice as well as a participant, both as defendant and plaintiff, in many court actions; husband of many women, usually landed widows; father, step-father, and father-in-law of many of Virginia's andSouth Carolina's earliest settlers. He rose from obscurity, "including a past of probable rascality", to a place of prominence in the frontier of Brunswick and Lunenburg Counties. In 1717, he was appointed Constable of Prince George Co., but refused office.

By 1726, he had removed to Brunswick County, the portion where his land was located became Lunenburg County in 1746. It was described as being on the north side of the Roanoke River, near a place called Copper Hill, in what is today Halifax County. Here he attempted copper mining, but the venture was moderately successful at best. He later sold the land. He wasselected to be one of the first Justices of the Lunenburg Co. Court on 5 May 1746, and in that office until 1763. He was also the "Processioner" of a precinct in the Cumberland Parish of Lunenburg Co., described as "In the fork and from Butcher's Creek to Little Roanoke, and beyond Dan River". It actually encompassed the area which today includes the counties of Halifax, Pittsylvania, Franklin, Henry, and Patrick. A vast area, but sparsely populated.

In many deeds and records his signature was followed by "Gent.", which indicated he was a respected and esteemed member of the community. There was a place on the Staunton River in Lunenburg County called Cargill's Ferry where he owned and operated a ferry service.

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Cornelius Cargill, Sr.'s Timeline

1681
1681
Perthshire, Scotland
1713
1713
Age 32
Prince George, Virginia, United States
1714
1714
Age 33
Surry, Virginia
1733
1733
Age 52
1753
1753
Age 72
1753
Age 72
Cumberland, Lunenburg, Virginia, United States
1763
June, 1763
Age 82
Cornwall, Halifax, Virginia
????
????
United States