Thomas Owsley, Jr. (1698 - 1750) MP

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Birthplace: Stafford County, Virginia Colony
Death: Died in Fairfax County, Province of Virginia
Managed by: Chris Neal
Last Updated:

About Thomas Owsley, Jr.

Thomas Owsley was a prominent citizen and major land owner in northern Virginia. Thomas Owsley was a member of the Overwharton Parish in Stafford County, Virginia and later a member of the Hamilton Parish in Prince William County, Virginia. As a respected man of the area, Thomas Owsley served a Pilot and chain carrier in numerous surveys in northern Virginia. Thomas Owsley is first mentioned in the will of his maternal grandfather, William Harris, written on March 24, 1697/8, The will itself has not survived, but its contents, at least in part, are disclosed in a deed resulting from the partition of land among two great-grandchildren of William Harris. This deed, dated March 29, 1741, devised all remaining land in possession of William Harris at the time of his death and in accordance with his will, equally to his grand-daughters Jane and Ann Owsley and their heirs, and in the absence of heirs to his other granddaughter Mary Owsley and her heirs, and again in the absence of heirs, to his grandson Thomas Owsley and his heirs, Thomas never came into Possession of any of this land as his sisters married and passed their inheritance on to their own heirs. Deed of Thomas Owsley II to Daniel McCarty, August 14, 1718: (NOTE: In this deed, Thomas Owsley identifies himself as the "eldest son and heir at law of Cap'n Thomas Owsley." Pointz Owsley, previously thought to be the eldest son, was in fact the younger son.) The land was originally granted to the elder Thomas Owsley on November 15, 1694, through Northern Neck Grant 2:58: "This Indenture made the fourteenth day of August in the fifty year (1718) of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George by the grace of God of great brittain france and Ireland King Defender of the faith & Between Thomas Owsley of the parish of overwharton in the county of Stafford the eldest son and heir at law of Captn. Thomas Owsley late of the parish & county afforesaid deceas'd On the one part and Daniel McCarty of the parish of cople in the county of westmorland Esq on the other part Wittneseth tha tthe said Thomas Owsley as well for and in consideration that the Said Daniel McCarty hath covenanted and for himself and his heirs agreet with the Said Thos. Owsley and his heirs that the said Daniel (blot) heirs and assignes Shall from this time to time & all times for ever hereafter remain Satisfied with and on there parts hold fully Settled and themselves therewith contented the Bounds of a certain tract of land containing one thousand Acres and granted to John Thomas the 4th day of aprill 1671 lying Scituate and being in the county of Stafford and bounding Southerly on the head of the northern branch of Accotinck as the same was surveyed by Thomas Hooper Surveyor of the Said county October 1716 as also for & in consideration of the sum of five Shillings currant money to him in hand paid and Satisfied by the Said Daniel McCarty the receipt whereof & himself to be therewith fully contentted Satisfied and paid he doth hereby acknowledge & therof and of every part and parcel thereof he doth hereby acquit exonerate and discharge the Said Daniel McCarty his heirs &c hat given granted bargained Sold assigned alliened released transferd confirmed & made over and by these p'sents do give grant bargain sell remise release confirm & make over unto the Said Daniel McCarty his heirs and assignes all that piece parcel tract of tenement of land contining one thousand Acres lying Scittuate and being in teh county of Stafford afforesd and boudned Southerly by Pohick and northerly by Accotinck creeks as by a Survey thereof made also by the Said Thomas Hooper in October 1716 more plainly appeares, and which Said land was formerly granted to the afforesd John Thomas by another pattent dated the 4th day of aprill 1671 and also granted to The afforesaid Capt Tho. Owsley by the agents of the Proprietors of the northern neck of Virginia by there deed dated the 15th day of november 1694 as being deserted, as by the Said deed. More at large appeares, the title of (which) said Thomas being well conveyed by his heirs and there assignes unto the Said Daniel McCarty and is thereby and by the consent and agreement of the Said Thomas Owsley now in the possession of the Said Daniel McCarty together with all the houses Oarchards buildings and every the privillidges advantages and apurtenances whatsoever to the Same belonging or in any wayes of right appertaining to have and to hold the afforesaid one thousand Acres of land with all and Singular thep'misses and appurtenancies thereunto belonging, unto the Said Daniel McCarty his heirs & assignes forever free and clear and freely and Clearly acquited and discharge of & from all & all manner or right title claim and demand of him the Said Thomas Owsley party to these p'sents or of other the heirs or assignes of the afforesaid Cap Tho Owsley or eighther of them there heirs or assignes And the Said Thomas Owsley party to these p'sents doth for himself his heirs &c covenant prosiss grant & agree to and with the Said DanielMcCarty his heirs and assignes that he the Said Thomas Owsley his heirs executors &c hereby bargained and sold land and p'misses with the apprutenances against the Claim and Claims of him the Said Thomas Owsley or his heirs or assignees or any other person or persons Claiming by from or under him these or any of them to the Said Daniel MCCarty his heirs and assignes forever shall & will warrant and by these p'sents forever defend in testimonie whereof the afforesaid parties to these p'sents have interchangeably herunto Sett there hands and affixed there Seall the day and year first above written. Sealed Signed & Delivered in p'sence of Tho Wsley (seal) Joseph Waugh John Foley Dan. McCarty (seal) Received of Mr. John Fitzhugh the accott. of the within mention Danl McCarty the Sum of five Shillings being the consideration money within mentiioned by me THowsley Att a Court helf for Stafford County the Tenth day of September in the Year of Our Lord viz Thomas Owsley Came into Court & Acknowledged the foregoing Indenture of Bargain & Sale to Capt Danl McCarty and at the same time Ann Wheeler came into Court & Relinquished her Right of Dower to the Land in the Said Indenture mentioned which was Ordered to be Recorded & is Recorded. Geo. Mason (This deed was one of the documents presented in the case of Mason vs. Chichester filed by the plaintiff June 18, 1825. It is on record in the county courthouse in Fredericksburg, Virginia.) On June 10, 1723, Thomas Owsley signed his name to a deed, witnessing the transfer of 322 ½ acres of land in Overwharton Parish, Stafford County from John and Frances Mayfield of St. Ann Parish, Essex County to Samuel Smith also of St. Ann Parish (Records of Long Standing). That same year, 1723, the Quit Rent Roll for Stafford County recorded Thomas Owsley being in possession of 600 acres (The Register of Overwharton Parish). On April 3, 1724, the Proprietor's Office issued a warrant to John Wheeler [step-father of Thomas Owsley] and Thomas Howsley for a tract of land encompassing 586 acres in Stafford County. The land was surveyed on April 16, 1724, and was granted on August 5, 1724 (Northern Neck Grants, A, p. 60). Despite the concentrated efforts of Beth Mitchell and her associates in plotting the locations of all Northern Neck grants in Fairfax County for her book, Beginning at a White Oak (McGregor & Werner, 1977), the location of the grant to John Wheeler and Thomas Owsley could not be precisely determined. However, based upon natural landmarks noted therein, this tract appears to be situated near the town of Mantua, east of Fairfax, and encompasses all or part of that town. When taken in conjunction with the absence of any records showing subsequent disposition of this land, it is possible that John Wheeler and Thomas Owsley did not fulfill their obligations in assuming the grant and consequently it reverted back to the proprietors for regrant to other individuals. The land records for this period are the only court documents known to have survived for Stafford County. Thomas appeared many times during the next few years buying and selling land. On February 14, 1727, Thomas Owsley of Overwharton Parish, planter, for the price of 2500 pounds of tobacco and caske, purchased 200 acres of land from Robert Hedges, The land was located along the Accotink Run, the breadth of 100 acres along both sides, between the 150 acre patent of his father and a 300 acre tract once owned by Major John West and devised to his grandson, Hugh West, In 1743 this land comprised a part of the extensive Belvoir estate of William Fairfax. On April 28, 1728, Thomas Owsley posted bond to James Whaley of Westmoreland County in the sum of 100 pounds sterling to ensure that he would execute a deed transferring ownership of a 250 acre tract of land on the south side of Accotinck Run in Stafford County. This land was a part of the larger 600 acre Patent issued to his father in 1696. On June 12 and 13, 1728, by deeds of lease and release, Thomas Owsley then sold this land to James Whaley for 8000 pounds of tobacco. On May 10, 1729, a warrant was issued to Thomas Owsley for 266 acres on the south run of the Pohick. He never occupied the land and assigned this tract to William Godfrey.

On May 30, 1729, a warrant was issued to Thomas Owsley for a tract of 960 acres in Stafford County on the branches of Goose Creek adjoining the land of Robert Carter above the falls of the Potomac. The land was surveyed on November 18, 1729 and granted to Thomas on March 3, 1730.

It is believed Thomas Owsley married sometime around 1730. Thomas and his wife, Ann, were parents of at least ten children. All ten children were named in Thomas Owsley?s will in 1750. Based on DNA results completed from 2003 through 2005 by descendants of Thomas Owsley, it is clear John Owsley (the second child named in the will) could not have been a biological son of Thomas Owsley. It is unknown as to how John Owsley became a son of Thomas Owsley and his wife, Ann. It seems most probable that John was informally adopted into the family. John may have been a biological son of a person closely related to Thomas Owsley and his wife, Ann, such as one of their siblings. John?s true biological parentage will probably always remain a mystery. He was definitely known during his lifetime as a son of Thomas Owsley and his wife, Ann. For more information on the DNA project go to the following website: THE OWSLEY SURNAME DNA PROJECT On May 5, 1730, Thomas Owsley bought 108 acres from Joseph Jones. This land was located an both sides of the Southern Run of Pohick and adjacent to the tract that he had assigned to William Godfrey the previous year. On July 17, 1732, he sold this land to Edward Barry, Yeoman, for 30 pounds sterling. On January 20, 1731, Thomas Owsley of Hamilton Parish, Prince William County, sold the 150 acre grant, on the north side of Accotinck Run, that had been granted to his father in 1694, to Alexander McCarthy. He also sold McCarthy the 200 acres he had purchased from Robert Hedges in 1727. On May 17, 1732, Thomas acknowledged this deed and Ann, his wife, relinquished her right of dower. On November 22, 1733, Thomas Owsley sold his 960 acre tract on Goose Creek (acquired in 1729) to John Mercer of Stafford County, gentleman, for L 30. 2. Beginning on February 28, 1739, Thomas Owsley first served as a Pilot for a survey of property for Jeremiah Brenaugh. Because of a Pilot's usual familiarity with local landmarks, Thomas guided the surveyor to the area where the survey was to be conducted. He did so again on seven more occasions, until October 30, 1741. In addition, he served as a chain carrier on three occasions. This latter duty was one generally assigned only to persons of honesty and trust to ensure the tract to be surveyed were measured accurately. On July 17, 1739, Thomas Owsley and his wife, Ann, and Ann Wheeler, all of Prince William County, sold the remaining 400 acres of the grant that Thomas had received in 1696. This land, situated in Hamilton Parish, Prince William County was sold to William Aylett for L 130. On May 14, 1740, Thomas Owsley obtained a grant for 1449 acres in Prince William County on both sides of Little River, a branch of Goose Creek. On August 25, 1740, Thomas Owsley leased 711 acres to Valentine Peyton for 5 shillings and the following day sold this tract by deed of release for L 70. On October 21, 1741, Thomas Owsley leased a 100 acre tract in Prince William County to James Jeffery for the price of 400 pounds of "sound merchantable leaf tobacco" to be paid annually. Providing the rent was paid, the Jeffery family was to hold the land through the lifetimes of James Jeffery, his wife Jane and their son, James Jeffery Jr. On April 3/4, 1745, by deeds of lease and release, Reverend Charles Green of Truro Parish sold Thomas Owsley a tract of 287 acres on the North side of Goose Creek for 500 shillings (lease) and L 27 (release). On April 15, 1745, Thomas Owsley of Fairfax County, and his wife Ann, sold the 738 acre balance of land remaining from his last grant (of 14 May 1740) to John Mercer for the sum of five shillings Sterling. On February 9, 1746, by deeds of lease and release, Thomas Hall sold a tract of land on the south side of Little River to Thomas Owsley for five shillings and 3000 pounds of tobacco. On March 30, 1750, Thomas Owsley wrote his last will and testament. Unlike most of the wills written during this time, his was very brief. He died between March 30, 1750 (incorrectly transcribed as 1751 in Fairfax Co. Wills, A-1, Part 2, p. 468), the date of his will, and July 4, 1750, when his death was noted in relation to a lawsuit (Fairfax Co. Minutes, B, p. 102).

The Will of Thomas Owsley:

In the name of God Amen. I, Thomas Owsley of Fairfax County, being sick and weak of body, but of perfect memory, do ordain and appoint this to be my Last Will and Testament in manor and form following. Imprimis. I give and bequeath unto my Son, Thomas Owsley, one hundred and eighty Acres of land where he now lives, to him and his heirs forever. Item. I give and bequeath to my Son, John Owsley, the remainder of the Tract, adjoining to my Son, Thomas, being one Hundred acres, to him and his Heirs forever, the land to be laid out across the Tract. Item. I give and bequeath the Land where I now live to be equally divided between my Son, William Owsley and my Son, Nudigate Owsley, to them and their Heirs forever. Lastly, I give and bequeath all the rest of my estate to be equally Divided between my heirs names, viz:- John, William, Nudigate, Sarah, Points, Ann, Elizabeth, Jane and Welding. So trust in the mercy of God, through Jesus Christ, to receive my soul. I leave my body to be buried at the Discretion of my loving wife and my Brother Hugh West Whom I leave Executors of this my last Will and Testament. In witness thereof, I hereunto set my hand and seal this 30th Day of March, 1751 Thomas Owsley Testes: Elisha Hall, George Roberts, David Davis

At a court held for Fairfax County, June the 25th, 1751, This Last will and Testament of Thomas Owsley, deceased, was presented in Court and proved by the oaths of George Roberts and David Davis, who declared they see Elisha Hall, the other Evidence, subscribe the same, and the Executors refusing to take the buthen upon themselves, Thomas Owsley, having complied with the law in such cases, administration of the Deceadent's Estate is granted him, with the will annexed, and is thereupon admitted to record.

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Thomas Owsley, Jr.'s Timeline

1698
March 27, 1698
Stafford County, Virginia Colony
1730
1730
Age 31
1730
Age 31
Stafford Co, Virginia
1731
1731
Age 32
Prince William County, Province of Virginia
1734
1734
Age 35
1736
1736
Age 37
Fairfax Co, Virginia
1738
1738
Age 39
Fairfax Co, Virginia
1740
1740
Age 41
Fairfax Co, Virginia
1742
1742
Age 43
Fairfax Co, Virginia
1744
September 26, 1744
Age 46
Fairfax, Virginia