Capt. Robert Coleman

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Robert Coleman, Jr.

Birthdate: (57)
Birthplace: Abingdon Parish, Gloucester, Virginia
Death: August 13, 1713 (57)
South Farnham Parish, Essex, Virginia
Immediate Family:

Son of Col. Robert Coleman, of Mobjack Bay, Virginia and Elizabeth Ann Coleman
Husband of Ann Coleman
Father of John Coleman; William Coleman, Sr; Robert Spilsby Coleman, III; Elizabeth Brown; Edward Coleman, Sr. and 10 others
Brother of Grizzele Clement; Elizabeth Frances Tucker (Coleman); Joseph Coleman; John Coleman, Sr.; Daniel Coleman, Sr. and 6 others

Occupation: Captain, Sheriff, Operator of an Ordinary in Tappanhannock, Bet 1700 and 1713 he was Justice of Essex Co, Virginia
Managed by: James Fred Patin, Jr.
Last Updated:

About Capt. Robert Coleman

Robert was employed as Ordinary operator and Sheriff.

Scots Arms Tavern:

Birth location also reported as Rappahannock, Essex, Virginia. Referred to as Captain.

b.  1656, known from a deposition given on 11 Jul 1712, will of Major James Boughan, D&WB 13, p. 76, Essex Co. Records
d.  Will probated 13 Aug 1713 Essex Co. VA
m.  1678 Ann Spilsbe (1659-1717)

Ann married 2nd, between Apr and Nov 1715, John Hunter who died 1721. Her will was dated 30 Nov 1715 and proved 20 Aug 1717.

As an adult, Robert lived first in New Kent Co., then the part of Old Rappahannock that became Essex Co. He, along with John Madison, was a signer of the 1688 New Kent Petition, the purpose of which was to remove the vestrymen of St. Stephen’s Parish.

(VA Magazine of History & Biography, Vol. 41, p. 196)

A deed dated 22 Jan 1688 states that Robert and Leonard Chamberlain, as joint tenants, acquired 900 acres in Old Rappahannock Co. This tract is now in Essex Co. (Old Rappahannock Co. VA DB 9, p. 70)

Robert was licensed to keep an Ordinary at Hobbs Hole (now Tappahannock) on 10 Apr 1693, and operated the Ordinary until his death in 1717. (Essex Co. VA OB 1, p. 176) From The History of Essex Co. VA 1608-1984 by James B. Slaughter 1985, p. 36: "Robert Coleman, a Tappahannock merchant planter around 1700, owned a plantation extending from present day Coleman’s Island through the St. Margaret’s School campus. Coleman, an Essex Co. justice and sheriff, owned a tavern at the northwest corner of Prince & Water Lane, and built a wharf at the end of Marsh St."

Essex Co. OB 1695-1699, p. 301: At a court held for Essex County ye 10th of September 1696, Katherine Payne appear’d and freely and voluntarily relinquished her right of Dower of in & to a parcell of land sold by her Husband, Robert Payne, to Leonard Chamberline, Ann & Robert Coleman, which is admitted to record".

On 11 Apr 1700, Robert was appointed a member of the County Court (Essex Co. VA D&WB 10, p. 46) and kept that position until he was appointed Sheriff of Essex Co. on 27 Apr 1710 (Essex Co. D&WB 13, p. 314).

Robert was listed on the 1704 Essex Co. Quit Rent Rolls with 450 acres. This is interesting because at a court held for Essex Co. the 10th day of Mar 1701, Robert Coleman was granted 1150 acres of land for the importation of 23 persons into the colony: Anne Spilsby, Elizabeth Yeates, Katherine Philips, Elizabeth Love, Anne Coleman, Robert Coleman, Mary Dealon, Michael Kelley, Patrick Carol, Samuel Platt, Hannah Huett, John Hudson, Brian Kagon, Mary Pursell, Robert Coleman, Reuben Shafton, Anne Coleman, William Dawson, Thomas Dawson, Marjery Sanders, Rebecca Moore & John Pasons. Gent. Justices of the Peace were John Catlett, Thomas Edmundson, Robert Brooke, Richard Covington & Robert Coleman. (This is the same list of headrights used by Thomas Meriwether in 1703, with variant spellings. Both lists contained only 22 names.)

After 1704, Robert Coleman was referred to in the records as Captain. While a member of the County Court, an order was entered on 10 Feb 1704 that states "on motion of Capt. Robert Coleman it is considered that the old prison at Hobbs Hole be appropriated to use as a schoolhouse and to no other use whatsoever." (OB 3, 147, Essex Co. Records\)

11 Jul 1708: A note by Robert Coleman of Essex Co. to Messrs. Micajah Perry & Co., London merchants, directed payment of L10 to George Ward. (Essex Co. VA Deeds & Wills No. 13 1707-1711, John F. Dorman)

On 11 Feb 1709, Robert bought land in the Burgh of Tappahannock for 170 lbs. of tobacco, paid to John Catlett and Richard Covington (Essex Co. VA Deeds & Wills No. 13, p. 223, Dorman)

Records of Essex Co. VA Originals at Tappahannock, VA Deeds & Wills No. 14, pp. 43-44. Lease and Release. 8th & 11th Apr 1712. Thomas Pettit of St. Stephen’s Parish of King & Queen Co. sells Robert Coleman of S. Farnham Parish, Essex Co. 486 acres of land in Essex Co. Adjoins land of John Pleas and that of Capt. Richard Wyatt and being part of a patent granted Mr. George Morris and John Long 29 Sep 1667. Also borders land of Katherine Long, now the wife of Capt. Richard Wyatt, and was given by deed of gift made by Mr. George Morris, to Thomas Pettit and Katherine Long (now Katherine Wyatt). Signed Tho. Pettit. Wit: Richard Buckner, Will Young.

Robert’s will was undated, but admitted to probate on 13 Aug 1713 by Elizabeth Faulconer. The will was witnessed by Elizabeth Faulconer, Edward Faulconer and Samuel Dry. "Unto my son Thomas, my son Robert and my daughter Elizabeth each of them 20 shillings Unto my son Edward Coleman half that tract of land that I purchased of Capt. Thomas Pettet, the whole tract being 488 (486) acres, that part next and adjoyning to Botem’s line. Unto my daughter Grisell Chamberline the other half of that land I purchased of Capt. Thomas Pettet and for want of issue, to my daughter Anne. To my loving wife Ann Coleman, all that my tract or seat of land that I have in possession at the place where I now live during her natural life and at her death my son SPILSBEE COLEMAN have the land. All the rest of my lands unto my daughter Ann Coleman. All the rest of my estate to my loving wife Ann Coleman who I do appoint Executrix." (WB 13, p. 439, Essex Co. Records)

On 5 Apr 1715, widow Ann Coleman and her intended husband, John Hunter, made an agreement with her son Thomas Coleman to divide his father’s estate in two parts. One would go to Ann, the other to her children by Robert. In the agreement, Ann was allowed to dispose of "any negroes and any of the plate weighing 74 oz. and a half" without John Hunter’s approval. It was also agreed that "no disposal or disfruction" take place upon the plantation. After Ann’s death, everything was to be divided among Robert’s children. (Records of Essex Co. VA No. 14, p. 358)

From Essex Co. Deeds p. 437, 21 Sep 1708. Edward Ellis, mariner, now in Virginia, but forthwith intended on my voyage for England, appoint Francis Meriwether of Essex Co. my attorney to demand of Capt. Robert Coleman of Essex Co. the steel whip saw, box, tiller, set & file to the value of L5 sterling which I lent Coleman the beginning of this month & never received them again from him, and also the 8 water casks marked PA which I left on shore at Mr. Andrew Hardings landing. Signed, Edward Ellis, Wit: William Oliver, John Davis, Joseph Lodge. Proved 14 Sep 1711 by Joseph Lodge.

From Records of Colonial Gloucester Co. VA, by Polly Cary Mason, 1946:

Power of Attorney: Mary Moore to Robert Coleman, 1690. Mary, wife of Joseph Moore of Abingdon Parish in Gloucester Co. appoints Mr. Robert Coleman of Rappahannock Co. her lawful attorney to acknowledge sale of dowerey of land sold to Henry Baker. 2 Nov 1690. (Rappahannock Co. Deeds 1688-1691)

Power of Attorney: Katherine Langford (wife of Nicholas Langford of Gloucester Co.) appoints Mr. Robert Coleman to acknowledge sale of her dowerey. Part of land sold to Watkins. 10 Nov 1690. Mr. Coleman, when acknowledged, demanded 20 shillings for yr friends & servant: Katherine Langford. (Old Rappahannock Deeds 1688-1691 p. 272)

Power of Attorney: Robert Yard to Robert Coleman 1692: Robert Yard of Gloucester Co. appoints Robert Coleman of Essex Co. his true & lawful attorney. (Orders 1692-1695 p. 154, Essex Co. Records)

From VA Colonial Abstracts, Essex Co. Records 1703-1706, p. 249, attachment against estate of Henry Hawkins for debt due to Francis Shackelford of L18.19.4 sterling. Order signed James Boughan & executed 5 Mar 1705/6 upon 13 hhd. tobacco at Capt. Robert Coleman’s by Abr. Ayrton S.S.E.C. Order that the tobacco be appraised by Edward Faulkner, John Daingerfield, Henry Reeves & Leonard Chamberlain or any three of them. The valuation of L18.19.4 sworn by above appraisers before Robert Coleman.

VA Colonial Abstracts, p. 239. A Commission of the Peace for Essex Co. dated Williamsburg 16 May 1706. Signed Edw. Nott, Lt. and Gov. Genl., etc. addressed to John Catlett, Robert Brooks, John Taliaferro, James Boughan, Francis Gouldman, Francis Meriweather, Richard Covington, Thomas Meriwether, William Tomlin, Benjamin Moseley, Samuel Thacker, Robert Coleman, Edward Gouldman, Thomas Harwar, John Lomax, Gentlemen.

VA Colonial Abstracts, p. 257. Deed 15 Jun 1706. John Catlett & Richard Covington two of the Feoffees for Port sell Robert Coleman for 130 lbs. tobacco, ½ acre at Hobbs Hole, the 2nd lot upon the River, no. 8. Sign. John Catlett, Richard Covington. Wit: John Catlett Jr., John Aken. Ack. & rec. 10 Jul 1706. Also deed for lot No. 32. Dated 10 Jul 1706 and wit. by William Johnson and William Ogilvie.

On 20 Mar 1716/7, John Hunter brought suit against Edward Coleman and Ann his wife, SPILSBY COLEMAN AND MARY HIS WIFE, John Chamberlain and Grizell his wife, Daniel Brown and Elizabeth his wife, William Covington and Ann his wife, and Miles Short and Katherine his wife. (Essex Co. VA OB 1716-23, p. 31) It is unknown why Miles and Catherine Short were included in the lawsuit against the children of Robert and Ann Coleman. Catherine Short was a witness to the will of Ann Hunter, and both Miles and Catherine witnessed the marriage contract between Ann Coleman and John Hunter.



•Name: Robert COLEMAN Jr.

•Surname: Coleman

•Given Name: Robert

•Suffix: Jr.

•Sex: M

•Birth: ABT 1656 in of, Gloucester, Virginia, USA

•Death: 1713 in , Essex, Virginia, USA

Father: Robert COLEMAN Sr. b: ABT 1616 in prob, Essex, , England

Mother: Elizabeth GRIZZELL b: in prob, Essex, , England

Marriage 1 Ann SPILSBY b: ABT 1659 in of Old, Rappahannock, Virginia, USA

•Married: ABT 1676 in of, Essex, Virginia, USA


  1. Thomas COLEMAN b: ABT 1678 in St Stephens Par, King & Queen, Virginia, USA
  2. Robert COLEMAN b: ABT 1680 in , King & Queen, Virginia, USA
  3. Edward COLEMAN b: ABT 1685/1690 in of, Essex, Virginia, USA
  4. Elizabeth COLEMAN b: in of, Essex, Virginia, USA
  5. Ann COLEMAN b: in of, Essex, Virginia, USA
  6. Grisell COLEMAN b: ABT 1677 in of Abingdon Par, Gloucester, Virginia, USA
  7. Spilsbe COLEMAN b: 1692 in , Spotsylvania, Virginia, USA


Essex Co Deeds & wills Vol 13- will of Robert Coleman

Will of Robert Coleman of the County of Essex ,undated, but proved 13 Aug 1713 by Eliza Faulconer; 8 Oct 1713 Proved by Edward Faulconer and Samuel Dry; 8 Apr 1714, proved by Ann Coleman, executrix.

Witnesses to will were Edwrad Faulkner & Elizabeth Faulkner and Samuel Dry

Will names wife Ann, son Thomas; Robert; Dau Elizabeth; son

Edward; Dau Grisell Chamberline ; dau Anne; son Spilsbe. Vol 13 pg 439/40

21 Sep 1708 (Vol 13 pg 437) Edward Ellis Mariner, now in Virginia, but

forthwith intended on my voyage to England, appoint Francis Merriwether of

Essex Co as my attorny, to demand of Captain Robert Coleman of Essex Co. the

steel whip saw, box, tiller, set and file to the value of 5 pounds sterling

which I lent Coleman the beginning of this month and never received them again

from him, and also 8 water casks marked PA which I left on shore at Mr Andrew

Hardings landing. -Edwrad Ellis

The above would indicate Robert Coleman was a mariner, a Captain of a ship. We

also know he did business with a George Ward of London via "Messrs Micajah

Perry & Co., merchants in London." (Vol 13 pg 97)

Robert Coleman Jr, receives a deed from his Father Robert Coleman Sr. 20 May

1663 for land on the So, side of the Appomattox River..."

Was appointed Justice of Essex Co on 29 Apr 1710 (Vol 3 pg 314)

Was appointed Sheriff of Essex Co on 29 Apr 1710 by Queen Anne (Vol 13 pg



The next surviving child of Robert and Elizabeth was son Robert, born in 1656. Perhaps the law of inheritance was the impetus which prompted Robert to leave Gloucester County and settle first in New Kent County which, at that time, bordered Gloucester. ROBERT COLMAN and his wife, ANN SPILSBE, were living in New Kent County until King & Queen County was formed from that area in 1691. The land on which Robert had settled then became part of King & Queen. Robert and Ann had many children who in turn had many children of their own. Their blood flows through thousands of Coleman descendants all across America and around the world. The names of Edward and Richard Coleman were given to sons in the early generations of this line.



He is known to have arrived at Hobbes Hole (later Tappahannock) an important port along the Rappahanock River, in Rappahannock County by 10 Nov 1690. He was a merchant by trade and also kept an ordinary or tavern, located on the northwest corner of Prince and Water Lane. He is also said to have built a wharf at the end of Marsh Street. His plantation extended from present-day Coleman's Island through the St. Margaret's School campus, being located along the Rappahannock River in the modern town of Tappahannock. The portion of Rappahannock in which he resided was organized into Essex County in 1692. From Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol II, Essex County, Wills and Deeds, 1711-1714, p 13 is found "Robert Coleman of the Parish of So Farnham in the County of Essex aged about fifty six years Deposeth and Saith that on the fourteenth day of January in the year of our Lord 1711 this Deponent was sent for by Major James Boughan late Dec'd in his life time to come to him the said Boughan the said Boughan did then desire this Deponent to make his will...." and a Lease and Release, both Indentures dated 13 May 1714: "Daniel Brown of So. Farn. Par., sells William Covington and Ann his wife, of the same Par., 100 acres in So. Farn. Par., on south side of Piscataway Creek, adj. land of Thomas Jenkins. This sale is made in consideration of L 13. paid by Mr Robert Coleman late deceased. Signed Dan'll Brown. Wit: George Trible, Edward Price. Rec. 13 May 1714." Robert Coleman's will was proved in Essex County court 14 Aug 1713:
   The Will of Robert Coleman
   In Ye Name of God Amen I Robert Coleman of ye County of Essex in ye dominion of Virginia considering how frail men is & being in a low Estate of body but of Sound mind & memory have thought fit to make this my last wil & Testament in maner and form following Revoking all other wills whatsoever
   first I bequeath my soule into the hands of Almighty God whoe gave it me my body I desire to be Christian Like buried at ye descretion of my Executrix hereafter named
   Secondly I desire yt all my debts be payd by my Executrix
   Thirdly I give unto my son Thomas my son Robert & my Daughter Elizabeth Each of them twenty Shillings to be paid to them within one year after my death.
   4th I give unto my son Edward Coleman half ye tract of land yt I purchased of Capt. Thomas Pettet ye whole tract being four hundred eighty eight acres & my wil & desire is that my son Edward above named have that part next & adjoining to Bolens Line to him and his heares for ever.
   5ly I give unto my daughter Grissel Chamberlin & to ye issue of her body Lawfully begoten or to be begoten the other half o ye land yt I purchased of Capt. thomas Pettet & for want of such issue to my daughter Anne & ye issue of her body Lawfully begoten or to be begoten & for want of such issue to the next in blod.
   6ly I give & bequeath to my Loving wife Anne Coleman all that my tract or seat of land yt I have in possession at the place whereon I now live during her natureall Life and at her death my wil is that my son Spilsbe Coleman have the land whereon I now live with all ye Rites & prevelidgs to it belonging to him & the issue of his body Lawfully begoten or to be begotten & for want of such Issue to the next heair in blood. All ye rest of my lands yt I is not already given away be they of what nature or quality soever I give unto my daughter Anne Coleman & to her heairs for Ever.
   all ye rest of my Estate both reall & personal or be it of what nature soever I dooe give & bequeath unto my Loving wife Anne Coleman whoo I dooe appoynt to be my whole and sole Executrix of this my Last Wil & Testament. And it is my wil & desire yt my Estate be not brought to an appraisement but that my sd Executrix doo Enter into bond to pay all my debts & Legacies
Robert Coleman (Seal)
   Sealed and published
   in the presents of us
Edward "EF" Faulkner
Elizabeth Faulkner
Samuel Dry


view all 18

Capt. Robert Coleman's Timeline

Abingdon Parish, Gloucester, Virginia
Age 21
Caroline, Virginia, United States
April 10, 1680
Age 24
Prince George County, Virginia
Age 28
Essex, Virginia
June 1685
Age 29
Essex County, Virginia Colony
Age 30
Essex, Virginia, United States
Age 31
Essex, Virginia, United States
Age 32
Essex, Virginia
Age 34
Essex, Virginia