John Neville (1612 - 1664)

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Birthplace: Kings Stanley, Gloucestershire, England
Death: Died in Port Tobacco Village, MD, USA
Managed by: Ivan Kowski
Last Updated:

About John Neville

Source: Jesse Macon Lawrence, Jr.'s Rootsweb page: &id=I26283

William Fletcher Boogher showed James in his 1902 very first genealogy of the Neville family, other respected genealogist like H.W. Newman did not. The only work I know about by Newman was his "The Flowering of the Maryland Palatinate" in 1984, in which he devoted 7 pages to John and his children. In it Newman observes that John's last will, probated 1665, identified only one son, William, one daughter, Ellen Lambert, and one grandson, John Lambert. He mentioned that William may have married late in life, and that there was also a court record of a Thomas Nevill who may or may not have been William's son. Newman positively identified no male descendant of John in this work. He did find another daughter, Rachael, who was not shown in his will. By his will, John left his son William the plantation on which he (John) lived. The will also mentions a separate deed of gift to his wife Joanna. We know John had several plantations and more children (at least Rachael) than were shown in the will -- probably because they had been provided for earlier. I do not see anything in Newman's writing that precludes the existance of another son, James. In fact, Newman leaves with no Nevill ancestor at all that explains where any of us came from -- unless he had other writings of which I am not aware.

On the other hand, Boogher states: "James Neville, first of John and Bridget, born in 1640, at the Clefts in Calvert County , Maryland; settled in Northampton County Virginia in 1660-1, where on March 22, 1662, he obtrained a warrant for 1300 acres of land (See Liber 4, Folio 339, Land Office of Richmond, VA) and where he doubtless married; settling later in Isle of Wight County. On March 6, 1674, James Neville, Sr., purchased 100 acres of land in Gloucester County, VA, in the name of his son Joh, then a minor, from Duncan Bohannan, formerly of Charles County, Maryland. It would appear from the records that the said 100 acres of land were deeded by Bohannan in settlement of the suit brought by his father, John Neville, Sr., against the said Duncan Bohannan, in Charles County, Maryland,in 1662. (See Liber 6, folio 549, Land Office, Richmond, VA)." This statement was quoted in footnote 1 to page 6 of J.B. Neville's "370-year History." (James G. Walker)8/27/97

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SOJND suggest that John Nevill with his "brother" Richard Nevill land on St. Clements Isle on 3-25-1634. In 1639, Pordinado Pulton demanded land for transporting Richard Nevill and "others" in 1633 (Maryland Land Office, Liber a.b-h, folio 150. Richard Neville acquied land in 1640 and was on the rent rolls of St. Marys and Charles Counties. On 10-14-1651, John Lewger demanded land for transporting persons amoung whom was Ann_______, now wife of Richard Neville. By citation we know that Johanna (Joan) Porter was the wife of John Nevill before 1-29-1652 when he demanded 400 acres already assigned to him and 100 additional for transporting Joan Porter, his wife. It would seem that he could not have married the same Ann sometimes attached to him in 1651 because she was the wife of Richard. I have seen it published that this Ann was Ann Burroughs. Can I assume that John Neville only had then two wives, Bridget Throsley whom he married in 1639 and Johanna Porter whom he married in 1651? Yet, it is said that by his "third" wife, he had a son William. In Johns will, he mentions only his wife Johanna, son William and daughter Ellen Nevill Lambert. John had a girl friend by the name of Susanna Attechson which he received 20 lashes for adultery and fornication......was there any Nevill issue by this little affair. I believe SOJND attached James Neville as a child of John, perhaps on the strength of Boogher, which I have never seen any proof be it birth, death, wills or land transactions (yet). There is evidently a record that James purchased land in the name of his son John b: 1661 who married Elizabeth Bohannen, whos five children are evidently documented by will. Now I'm old and my reason and logic is failing, however, I can not make the assumptions of the SOJND regarding the John descendants, nor can I "assume" that John b: 1612 "made provisions" for elder (non-documented) children outside of the provisions of his will. I believe the Ark and Dove Society did "not" list John as a passenger but (here we go again) determined he was by a "preponderance of evidence". They state he was a "mariner" and they set his birth date at 1618, chiefly because it was not until 3-14-1637-8 that he claimed voice as a freeman and was admitted to "the Assembly". It had something to do with the fact that if they accepted the birth date of 1612 then they had to assume he had fulfilled his freedom rights until that date which was in some sort of conflict with some other junk not reported (as usual), so who cares at this point anyway. The Ark and Dove Society I believe also could not find proof that Rachael (dau. of Johanna) who married Michael Ashford was his child. They just state that they definitely established Rachel as a child of John Nevill, but don't say how. I do not have any copies of the Ark and Dove Society papers, all I have seen is copies of letter "reporting" this to be fact.

Now as to John being a "Founder" I'd have to question this thinking and just call him another emigrant based upon what little I think I know, which is: John married Bridget and had a proven daughter Ellen Nevill Lambert. John married Johanna Porter and had a son William Neville. William reportedly married a Joan and one Sarah Noble and I do not know of any issue, thus I consider the John Neville b: 1612-1618 "line" dead in the water at this point. I am as anxious to attach myself to this John as most. My question, does anyone know anything about this "Richard" Nevill "reported" brother of John, or have we determined this was Richard Nevitt or Knevitt contrary to the "reported" facts. Does anyone have access to the Richard Nevill "evidence" as listed in part above? This James Nevill issue still has me bothered. Do we know for sure that James had a issue other than his documented son John. Excuse me, but where did the proof come from that he leaves one area is is found down the road a piece in Nort Carolina. Was there any "records" that show transactions between the individuals in the various areas or did we just happen to find another James down in Bath County , North Carolina and "assume". Unfortunately, these individuals, John Neville b: 1612 and his reported son James b: 1640 and the perhaps same or other James who appears in North Carolina ARE THE KEYS to a bunch of people on this list Jim Walker 8/28/97 _________________________________________________________

Shirley L Wilcox wrote:

I am of the definite opinion that much of what has been written on the > early Neville descendants of John is based on Boogher's 1902 report to > his client. Apparently many people never went to the trouble to check out > what he wrote to see if the sources were accurate or to see if they > agreed with his conclusions. In addition, I think there is an element of > many wanting to be connected to a noteworthy person & somehow being a > descendant of an Ark & Dove passenger is desirable. > > I have pulled out Boogher's report, and will make a few comments. His > first page talks about the derivation of the name & famous Neville's of > the past. That is fine as long as one does not assume that we > automatically connect to a certain Neville family just because we have > the same surname. On the second page Boogher says "Whether John Neville, > the founder of the family in America, descends from this ancient house of > France and England need not be discussed in these pages." If Boogher were > alive, I would ask, "Why even bring it up then? By including it, it > implies that there must be a connection." > > I would also question the statement that John is the founder of the > family in America. This is what has caused so many problems. Everyone is > trying to trace back to John, when in fact there appear to have been a > number of early immigrants of the Neville surname, and all the rest seem > to be ignored. > > Perhaps we need to keep in mind that Boogher was commissioned to do the > research & may have felt pressured by his client, to at least make > references to "possible" ties to the noteworthy families of Britain & > France. If you read it carefully, he only hints at a possibility, but > does not say it is so. > > I lived in Maryland from 1963-1978 and in the 1970s I made a number of > trips to the Maryland State Archives to check records. Several years before we > moved, I was going once a week. Our son was in a co-op 1/2 day morning > program, nursery school. One day a week there was an option of the child > staying for the afternoon. This was my day of "freedom" & I usually went > to Annapolis to pursue my love of genealogy. This was the only Branch of > my family that had possible ties to Maryland. > > By that time I had become friends with Ada Belle Allan. I would look for > records & send them to her. Boogher, to his credit, gave some citations, > for the early generations. Some I was able to verify, others I could not. > I looked at both published & unpublished sources (mostly originals; very > little was on microfilm). > > I will make a few comments about Boogher's work. He uses commas in some > citations where there should be a period. For instance he cites "Liber > A, B and H" which should be A.B.& H. As an aside, my recollection is that > the volumes were labeled with the initials of the clerk or officer in > charge. That is why they do not follow an alphabetical order. > > Very early records have been published in the Maryland Archives series. > In a number of instances I looked at the published version and the > original record.

Page 3 of Boogher's report mentions the stock mark of John Neville, but gives no reference. This can be found in the published Maryland Archives, Vol. 10, p9. It is also repeated in 1662 when he gave a cow named "Ring" to his son William (MD Archives, Vol. LIII, p214).

Page 3 also says that John Neville married three times. I believe that the Ann he found in records is Johanna, and that there were only two wives. I don't know if anyone has ever followed her. If she indeed was the sister of Margaret Porter who married Francis Pope (?Newman, Flowering of Maryland Plantinate, p?), records of Francis might be helpful. He was a sheriff & commissioner of the court; an important person in his time.

On page 4 Boogher mentions that "5 May, 1662 John Neville instituted a suit by attachment against Duncan Bohannan for debt. (Chancery record for Charles county 1662), and in 1664 this suit was continued by counsel on account of the death of the Plaintiff." I could never find this in either the published Maryland Archives or in the original records. It is hard to believe that Boogher would make this up. Note that the citation is very "loose"; there is no book/liber and page/folio number. It may be that the date or something else is wrong and has therefor sent us looking in the wrong place. Unfortunately, this is a crucial document if it indeed does connect with the Gloucester County family.

On 10 April 1979 I wrote to Joseph B. Neville to let him know that after several tries at the Maryland State Archives, I could not find the suit of John Neville vs Duncan Bohannan. On several occasions I asked staff at the Archives for help in finding the chancery suit. After telling them what I had already searched, all agreed that I had searched all possible places.

I was told there were no special chancery records kept at this time, they were part of the regular court proceedings. The record of court proceedings does not show that the court met on 5 May 1662. I found no court listed in session between 22 April 1662 and 8 July 1662, although it is always possible that the clerk failed to write in a court date.

Now, on 5 May 1662, the date Boogher gives, there is a bill in which John Benham agrees to pay James Lee by the 10th of November, 622 pounds tobacco, wit: Edward Leake, John Merehill. On the back of the bill James Lee assigned all his interest in the bill to John Nevill, 11 Feb 1662/3. Then on 11 Feb. 1662/3 James Lee gives John Nevill his power of attorney to recover the said bill. Wit: Humphery Haggate, George Thompson. Mr. Francis Pope [he was one of the court commissioners] who had more of Benhams tobacco in his hands than the bill amounted to, was then ordered to pay 622 pounds of tobacco to Mr. Nevill. (Charles County Court Proceedings, 1662-1666, published in Maryland Archives LIII:433-I have a photocopy).

My notes show that the above record was in a volume at the Archives labeled Charles County Land and Court Records, Vol. 1, B #1 and that originally only the right hand pages were numbered and then later all the pages were numbered in pencil. The original shows that the court date was 5 Jan. 1663, and that John Nevill having laid an attachment upon the estate of John Benham in the amount of 722 lbs tobacco, shows the following bill... then it goes on to the bill of John Benham to pay James Lee on 10 Nov next, 622 lbs tobacco, dated 5 May 1662. This is on page 113/225, according to my notes. I did not find a continuance. Maybe someone needs to look at the estate of John Benham.

I did find a 1664 continuance in the court record of 12 July 1664 (& also other dates) when it was ordered that John Nevills attachment against Mr. Henry Hudsons goods bee continued till the next court. (Chas County, Deeds B#1, p170-5/341-352). In what follows, & also in an earlier record, it appears that John Neville had an ordinary & that Henry Hudson who was a merchant and non-resident of Maryland, owed Nevill for food and lodging. When Henry Hudson posted security, 13 Oct 1663, using goods & cash, it was witnessed by John Lambert and William Nevill. (Chas County, Deeds B#1, p175/351-2). If this was John's son William, he was legally old enough to witness a deed. On 13 Sept. 1664 John Nevill was represented by his attorney William Price. The sheriff was ordered to appraise Hudsons goods & deliver to Nevill 2,259 lbs. tobacco as satisfaction of bill & costs. (Chas County, Deeds B#1, p181/364).

20 Sept 1664 John Nevill demanded a warrant against James Lee in action of a debt of 918 lbs tobacco (Chas County, Deeds B#1, p190/382) & the defendant was ordered to pay (p192/383-4). Perhaps this was the continuance Boogher referred to. If so, maybe I needed to follow it further to find the name of Duncan Bohannan.

Benham could possibly by a stretch be Bohannan, but the first name was John, not Duncan. Perhaps the record Boogher talks about was recorded in some other county. If it was in Maryland, one would expect it to have been abstracted in the published Maryland Archives. I have not searched all sources, Maryland & Virginia At this point I don't remember if I searched the Maryland Archives to see if Duncan Bohannan was in any of those records.

There is an index to Charles County Court Proceedings and Land Records. I was told Liber T & W have been lost. T was for 1694 and W was 1697; according to my notes, both had William Nevill references.

In 1996 Esther E. Gregory (I corresponded with her in 1986 & 1987) published "Finley L. Underwood and Mahala Dowden, Their Ancestors and Descendants". She cites a number of early Maryland records & ought to be studied if others have not done so. I quote from page 308: "There are some descendants of a James Nevill of Virginia who believe that he was the eldest son of John Nevill of Maryland, and was born at The Clefts about 1640. I tried very hard to find some proof of this. I read film of Charles County original records and the Maryland Archive books of the same records in print, and I did not find a single mention of a James Nevill or any indication that John Nevill had a son James."

She goes on to say, "I haven't found anything to prove that James Nevill was John Nevill's son. John Nevill's wife had a child in December 1640, which some researchers think was James. I think it was probably Eleanor, because I found nothing to give a different birth date for her. I found no mention of John Nevill transferring land or other property to James. I didn't find any time James served as a witness to a deed or ther document in the Records of Charles County, where John lived after it became a county. If John gave any property to James or to a John, Jr., the record should be in Charles County deeds, because they were mere boys when he moved to Charles County."

Has anyone ever researched John Courts as a possible relative? Maryland Archives, Vol. L III, Proceedings of County Ct. of Charles County 1658-1666 & Manor Ct. of St. Clemently Manor 1659-1672, p170-1: John Nevill of Charles County , planter, gives to John Court Jr (son of John Courts Sr of Charles Co) one black heiffer aged about 2 years. If John Court Jr dies before he comes of age then the heifer & her increase shall fall to his sister Elisabeth Courts. If she dies before she comes of age then the property to go to John Courts Sr., father of John Jr. & Elisabeth. Wit: William Price & Merely Quite.

On page 5 of Boogher's work, he says that Mrs. Johanna Neville, "doubtless married a second husband..." The records do show that by 13 August 1666 she had married Thomas Hussey (Chas County, Deeds, Book C #1,, p61-64). It seems strange that Boogher did not find this deed.

Given the dates of records in which William Neville was a witness, he may have been a child of Bridget, not Johanna. Shirley L Wilcox wrote: __________________________________________________________9/14/97 Notes for JOHN NEVILLE , SR.: This family is one of the oldest and greatest in English history. Various members of it have left an impress upon the story of the nation to which they belonged that will endure until the last legends of English history shall have been forgotten.

The Nevilles are of Normn-French descent. Lodger's history of the existing British peerage states that Henry De Newburgh, 2nd, son of Roger De B/Dellemonte and Earl of M/Nellant was the founder of the family in England and that the castle of Warwick, was conferred upon him by William the Conqueror, and mentions that in Normandy two (2) places were called Neville and at least eighteen (18) places Neuville.

While the authoriies do not entirely agree as to the origin of the family in England, yet it is beyond argument that Neville is a French name. Neville, Neuville and DeNewburgh, mean the same thing, and the beginnings of this family were undoubtedly in Normany, the North of France.

The greatest of them all was Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, the "King- maker" of England, who was beyond compare, the ablest and greatest subject of the English crown at any period of history.

John Neville, the founder of the family in Americe, decends from this ancient house of France and England need not be discussed in hese pages. Possibly he belonged to one of the junior Branch es and came to America in order to better the broken fortunes of his family. Much might be said in proof of this opinion; but it is not possible at ahis late date to support this contention by positive evidence from the America records.

It is better to regard John Neville as a man of good family in his mative land, but being of an active and enterprising disposition, determined to seek larger fortune in the New World. The valor of his descendants in the male lines in every war waged in this country and the domestic virtues of the women in the female lines, are the best tributes that can be paid to the ccourage and good qualities of John Neville who migrated to the colony of Marland, not later than 1635.

It is clear from the land records of Maryland that John Neville was a planter residing at the Clefts on the west side of he Patuxent river, in St. Mary's county, now Colvert, posessed of some means for at least four years as a single man, and about fourteen years before he made any demand upon the Lord Manor for lands due him under the law for transporting himself in 1635, and his wife Bridget in 1639, into the province of Maryland.

In 1639 he transported his first wife, Bridget Throsley, an English woman as appears from his affidavit dated November 8, 1639, in which he states te transported his said wife, Bridget of some twenty years previous. (See liber 4, folio 186 warrent land office, Annapolis, Maryland. In 1649, according to the law of the colony, John Neville recorded his stock mark (Right ear slit, left, Under-Kovled) from this we understand his herd was pasturing on the public lands as well as his own.

In 1649 John Neville demanded 200 acres of land for transporting himself and wife Bridget into the colony. (See liber A, D, and H, folio 27.)

In 1651 he demanded 400 acres of land which had been assigned to him by George Ackrick, and one hundred acres for transporting Johanna Porter, his now wife, and on August 1, 1651, "A warrant was issued to lay out for John Neville Five Hundred acres upon Wiccokomico river (now Wicomico) in Charles county, joining the lands of Thomas Mitchell then to the southward of the Paturent river not formerly taken up & etc." (See Liber A, B and H, folio 241, land office, of Maryland).

By his third wife there was born a son, William. In 1651 John Neville purchased five hundred acres of land in Charles county called Mooredith from Henry Moore and Elizabeth his wife. (See liber B, folio 89 which lands he deeded to his wife Johanna. Liber F, folio 23, Charles County record, land office of Maryland). In 1663, July 15/16, John Neville by deed from Robert Taylor for 300 acres of land in Charles county. (See liber B, No. 1, folio 84) and on Feb. 24, 1664, 400 acres by deed from Francis Armstrong, in Charles county (See liber B, No. 1, folio 92).

May 5, 1662, John Neville instituted a suit by attachment against Duncan Bohannan for debt. (Chancery record for Charles county 1662), and in 1664 this suit was continued by counsel on accout of the deat of the Plaintiff. John Neville died June 1664, as July of this year his will bearing date Jan. 7, 1664 was proven, in which are mentioned his wife Johanna and their son William, and his daughter Ellen Lambert, now wife of John of Charles county, and appoints his son William and his son-in-law John Lambert executors. He doubtless had provided for his elder children by deeds of gift or otherwise; hance no mention of their names in the will, this being a practicee quite common in colonial times where there were more than one set of child (See will recorded in liber 1, No. E, folio 87) Letters testamentary, Provincial wills office, Annapolis, Maryland., (but not one of the regular Provincial will books.) By order of the court John Neville, Jr., was appointed as one of the appraisers of the estate of his father. (Liber 3, folio 242, Testamentary proceedings.) No report of final settlement of said estate by his executors has been found of record.

In 1665, Johanna Neville, widow of John, purchased additonal lands in Charles county on Wicomico river (See Liber C, No. 1, folios 1 and 150.) In 1666 her son William also purchased a small tract of land in Charles county, (See Liber C, folios 61 and 150.) The date of the death of Mrs. Johanna Neville, relic of John, is not know. She doubtless married a second husband; hance her name as Neville is lost in the records, there being neither will, deed or intetate account to be found of her after 1665. As we have seen, the children of John Neville, the immigrant, by his three wifes were four.

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John Neville's Timeline

Kings Stanley, Gloucestershire, England
Age 29
Calvert, Maryland, United States
Age 38
Calvert, Maryland, USA
Age 38
Charles, Maryland, USA
Age 46
Charles Co, Maryland
January 15, 1664
Age 52
Port Tobacco Village, MD, USA