Col. John Lear, of Nansemond County

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John Lear

Also Known As: "John Lere"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Devon, England
Death: between November 21, 1695 and December 12, 1695 (58-67)
Nansemond County, Virginia
Immediate Family:

Son of unknown Lear and unknown Lear
Husband of Mary Lear; Ann Lear; Rebecca Lear and Anna Lear
Father of Thomas Lear; Thomas Lear, of Nansemond and Martha Burwell
Brother of Martha Pitt

Occupation: Planter, Councillor, Burgess
Managed by: Marsha Gail Veazey
Last Updated:

About Col. John Lear, of Nansemond County

From "William & Mary Quarterly" Vol. 10, second series, we quote: "THE ARMORIAL ENSIGNS OF THE COLLEGE OF WILLIAM AND MARY IN VIRGINIA. Whereas FRANCIS NICHOLSON, WILLIAM COLE, RALPH WORMELEY, WILLIAM BIRD, and JOHN LEARE, Esquires.  JAMES BLAIR and other Clerks: THOMAS MILNER and others, Gentlemen being nominated Trustees for Founding and Establishing a certain place of Universal Study or perpetual College of Divinity, Philosophy and other good Arts and Sciences, to the end that the Church of Virginia may be furnished with a Seminary of Ministers of the Godspell, and that the Youth may be piously Educated in good Letters and manners, to the Glory of God, as by Letters Patents under the great Seal of England bearing date the Eight day of February in the Fourth year of the Reigne of Our Soveraigne Lord and Lady King William and Queen Mary may more at large appear, have made application to me by the Rt Reverend Father in God Henry Lord Bishop of London Chancellor of the said Intended College, and prayed that a Coat of Arms may be Devysed for the Granted to the said Trustees, and their Successors, to be used as their Common Seal.  Now in consideration of the Premisses and for the Encouragement for so good an Undertaking I, HENRY, Duke of Norfolk Earl Marshall of England etc.  Do hereby Order and appoint Gaeter and Clarence Kings of Arms as the Trustees of the said Intended College and their Successors may from time to time lawfully beat and use as a Common Seal [as in like cases of Bodies Politique] And I require the Register of the College of Arms to Enter the said Grant together with these Presents as is usually:  And for you and his so doing, this shall be a sufficient Warrant.  Given under my hand and the Seal of my Office of Earl Marshall the 2d day of May 1694 in the Sixth year of their Maties Reigne.  Signed: NORFOLKE and MARSHALL”.
 JOHN LEAR was appointed a member of the Council in 1683, serving until he died on 27 June 1696.  His birth date is unknown, but it is probable he was born ca 1625-35 in England.  He was married four times.  
 The first marriage was to MARY OLDIS.  All of his children are from his first marriage.
 JOHN LEAR mentions his sister in his Will, the widow Pitt. "Wm & Mary, Volume 7, page 240, mentions that this sister was probably MARTHA PITT, wife of Robert Pitt.  He was no doubt the son of Col. Robert Pitt of Isle of Wight.
  The first marriage for JOHN LEAR was to MARY OLDIS, daughter of Thomas Oldis, a member of the House of Burgesses [William & Mary Quarterly Volume 9, page 84].  Also from “Virginia Historical Magazine” Volume 8, page 393 is a record of a Court Order in the case of LEAR and STREETER, 1 April 1658.  A Mistresses STREETER, referred to as LEARE’S wife’s mother, was ordered to make delivery of Goods & Chattels that a were due to MARY LEAR from the estate of her father, THOMAS OLDIS, de’d former husband of Mistress STREETER.  The legacy consisted of “Eight neat Cattle, one thousand acres of Land, one Negro man called ABRAHAM.”  CAPTAIN STREETER, husband of Mistresses STREETER, was ordered to pay Mr LEARE damages of six hundred pounds of tobacco and costs.

https://books.google.com/books?id=CWiel4PVkEkC&pg=PA275&lpg=PA275#v=onepage&q&f=false

1. Col. John Lear, born 1636 in England. He died about 1696 in Nansemond County, Virginia, since his will was dated 21 Nov 1695; was married possibly as many as four times; was a member of the Governor's Council and the House of Burgesses; and was one of the founders of William & Mary College.

Moved to Virginia in 1656. Married prior to 1663. House of Burgess Oct. 28 1666. Governor's Council 1683. Colonial Council 1688.

brief biography

From Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, Volume I - III--Colonial Councillors of State

Probably came to Virginia about 1656, as in that year he had a grant of 100 acres of land on the "Oquiah River, in Westmoreland County." He soon removed to Nansemond county, which he represented in the house of burgesses from 1666 to 1676. During Bacon's rebellion, he was a staunch supporter of Gov. Berkeley, and remained with him until the rebellion was suppressed. He was the first to meet the commissioners, sent to suppress the rebellion, and give them an account of the condition of affairs, and by them was reported to have suffered heavily during the trouble. In 1676 a petition was sent the commissioners from some of the people of Nansemond county, complaining of the number of offices held by Col. John Lear and Mr. David Lear, probably his brother, the first of whom was county clerk, escheat master, notary public and surveyor, and the other "Sheriff superior." As relating to Col. Lear, remonstrance seems to have had no effect, for in 1680 he was presiding justice and colonel of militia. On May 23, 1683, Gov. Culpeper appointed him a member of the council, and the nomination was confirmed by the King. He continued in this office until his death. He was also one of the first trustees of William and Mary College in 1693, and, at the time of his death, was collector of the lower districts of James river. His death occurred in Nov. or Dec., 1695.

will

[Abstracted from a copy of the will in Henrico county clerk's office. Martha Lear, dau. of Col. John Lear, was widow of Col. Wm. Cole, secretary of State, and second wife of Major Lewis Burwell, of Gloucester Co. Madam Elizabeth Bridger appears to have been a Quaker, as she makes affirmation to the will.Charles Goring was son of John Goring, of Surry, who made his will in 1679, and leaves his son Charles to the care of kinsman Col. Charles Moryson.]

!12 Dec 1695: Will of Col. John Lear dated 1 Nov 1695 and proved 12 Dec 1695, "the first day of November in ye yeare of our Lord one thousand Six hundred ninety-five I John Lear in ye County of Nansemond in Virga being weake in body and in good and perfect memory thanks be to God &c.": All debts to be truly paid; to widow Pitt, my sister, besides what she owes me 5£; to ye pol' widow Perdue of ye Isle of Wight County 500 pds of tobacco a yeare so long as she lives; ye clothes of all sort silk, silver and gold fringe as all dresses fitted and made up now in ye house weh were belonging to my wives and daughtrs, as also their weareing linen to be equally divided betwixt my daughtr Martha Burwell and my daughtr Elizaoeth Lear, widow of my deceased son Thomas Lear; to gr.dau. Elizabeth Lear all that tract which I leased to COll James Powell, and now in possession of Capt. Robt. Randall, for her life, and for default of issue ye said tract, lying in Warcksquick bay to John George, and in default of his heirs I give ye same to my grandson John Charles Goreinge negro Charles at Kekotan and ye negro girl. about selling to William Browne, as I pattent 330 a'Cres; to said Charles Coreinge negro Charles at Kekotan and ye negro girl. Names there also, six cowes and a bull; to John George ye negroes Jack and dide, and permission to plant in ye point of land where ye said negroes are, till his own land given by ColI. George shall come into his hands, and I give him the cattle on ye said pointe 'of land; to James Montgomerie my stuff suit with fringed Jackett and silk hose in full compensation of his trouble; all other my wearing clothes linen and wooling to be divided between John George and Charles Goreinge; to grandson John Lear all my other lands and leases; all other my accounpts, estate, merchantable goods, household goods, plate, money, bills., bonds, &c., either here or in England, Carolina or elsewhere, to -be equally shared, 1-3 to my grandson Thomas Lear, I-p to two gr.daus. Elizabeth and -Martha, children of my only son Thomas Lear; dec'd, and 1-3 to dau. Martha Burwell and her children she had by Col. Oole, and ye land I bought of George Gwilliams and 350 acres where John Mack Williams did live, with all houses, orchards, &c., ye same belonging to her and her heirs forever; appoints my son-in-law Major Lewis Burwell and good friend Capt. Tho. Godwin exors. Witnesses, William W. C. Cofeild, Jno. Lowe, Elizabeth Bridger, Anne (A.) Cofeild. At a courte held for Nansamond County December 12th, 1695: proved by ye oaths of Mr. William Cofeild, Mr. John Lowe, Mrs. Anne Cofeild and by ye affirmation of madm Elizabeth Bridger with order to be recorded. Copia Vera. Test, Andrew Ross, dept. Clk. Cur. The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 7, No. 4 (Apr., 1899), pp. 310


notes

Apparently Martha, widow of Robert Pitt, Sr. was his sister. From his 1695 will: "All debts to be truly paid; to widow Pitt (Martha, second wife of Col. Robert Pitt Sr.) , my sister, besides what she owes me 5L ..."


From Seldens of Virginia and Allied Families, Volume 1 By Mary Selden Kennedy page 24-25

"Col. John Lear was for many years an active resident of Nansemond County, member of the Council, etc. He died June 27, 1696. He married, at least, four times, the first marriage being prior to 1678. The name of his first wife is not known. His children by her were Martha, who married, first, Col. William Cole, and, second, Major Lewis Burwell (see Burwell Family, Number 2), and a son, Thomas. After his first wife's death, he married, second, after 1678, Anne, Widow of Col. John George. His third marriage was after 1688. His third wife was Rebecca, widow of Col. Leonard Yeo and Charles Moryson. He married, fourth, Anne Willis, of Ipswich, Mass., widow of Seth Sothel, Governor of North Carolina. She died before 1695. Thomas Lear, son of Col. Lear, by his first wife, married Elizabeth, daughter of Col. Joseph Bridges of Isle of Wight County, another member of the Council. He died before his father, leaving issue, named in Col. John Lear's will (see William and Mary Quarterly, VII, page 309), Thomas, John, Elizabeth, and Martha. Of these, John was living in 17 12. He married Elizabeth, the executrix of Isabella Haveild of Nansemond, who was the executrix of Luke Haveild of Nansemond. He was Sheriff of Nansemond in 1723."


Madam Anna LEAR died before 1695, and Col. LEAR died 27 June 1696. Virginia Historical Magazine, vol. 17, p. 228; William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 8, p. 171, vol. 9, pp. 83-131.

From page 18 The Lincolnshire origin of some Exeter settlers by Sanborn, V. C. (Victor Channing), 1867-1921; Hall, Virginia S Published 1914.  Hall, Virginia, "The Daughters of Balthazar Willix of Exeter."  

The following records and notes relate to the daughters of Balthazar Willix* of Exeter and may be regarded as a continuation of the article by Mr. Frank W. Hackett in Register, vol. 50, pp. 46-48.

" Whereas Hon. Seth Southell, Esqr. and James Blunt, both of North Carolinah, did by their Last Wills give and bequeath unto Anna: first wife of said Blunt and afterwards the wife of said Southwell and her heirs, afterwards wife of Col. John Lere of Vergenea and so Died. Whose Sisters and Brother-in-law, Hazelpony Wood of Ipswich in the Province of Massachusetts in New England, and Francis Jones and Suzana his wife of Portsm in the Province of New Hampshire, said Hazelpony and Suzannah own sisters both by father and mother's side to the above said Anna and so right heirs, in consideration of £250 sell unto our kinsman Thomas Pickeringe of Portsm° formerly our attorney, all the estate given to our sister Anna Lere by said Blunt and Southell in North Carolina." Dated 4 June 1697. Witnesses: James Allen, John Pickeringe. Recorded 6 Sept. 1709. (N. H. Province Deeds, vol. 1, p. 343.)

The estate conveyed by the deed given above is described in a deed, dated 15 July 1709, from Thomas and Mary (Gee) Pickering to William Partridge and Pelatiah AVhittemore, all of Portsmouth, as " a certain estate in North and South Carolina, more particularly the estate of Seth Southel, Esq. in the Province of North Carolina adjoining Salmon Creek, Kendrick Creek, Little River, Peatty Creek and the River Pasquatank, consisting of 12000 acres excepting 4000 acres formerly sold by said Pickering to William Duckenfield." (N. IL Province Deeds, vol. 7, p. 344.)


  Virginia Biography by L B Tyler we quote the following:  John Lear probably came to Virginia about 1656, as in that year he had a grant in Westmoreland county”.  He n moved to Nansemond County, Virginia, which he represented in the House of Burgesses from 1666-1676.  During Bacon’s rebellion, he was a staunch supporter of Governor Berkeley and remained with him until the rebellion was suppressed.  He was the first to meet the commissioners sent to suppress the rebellion and give them an account of the condition of affairs.
 John Lear held many county offices, he was Justice and Council and held this office until his death.  He was let trustee of William & Mary College.  Check the quote from the “The Virginia Historical Register Volume 3, pages 194-95.
 John mentions in his will the widow Pitt.  William & Mary Quarterly” Volume 7 page 240, mentions that this sister was probably “Martha Pitt, wife of Robert Pitt.  He was no doubt the son of Col. Robert Pitt of the Isle of Wight.  Robert Pitt died in 1672, leaving a son, Robert Pitt.  His father Colonel Robert Pitt died in 1674.  The children of John Lear were all from his first marriage. Anne, Rebecca and Ann Willis.
  Virginia Biographical Encyclopedia, Volumes I and II. by L G Tyler, we quote the following:  JOHN LEAR, probably came to Virginia about 1656, as in that year he had a grant of 100 acres of land on the "Oquiah River, in Westmoreland County."  He soon removed to Nansemond County, which he represented in the house of burgesses from 1666 to 1676.  During BACON's rebellion, he was a staunch supporter of Gov. Berkeley, and remained with him until the rebellion was suppressed.     He was the first to meet the commissioners, sent to suppress the rebellion, and give them an account of the condition of affairs and by them was reported to have suffered heavily during the trouble.  In 1676 a petition was sent the commissioners from some of the people of Nansemond County, complaining of the number of offices held by Col. JOHN LEAR and Mr. DAVID LEAR, probably his brother, the first of whom was county clerk, escheat master, notary public and surveyor, and the other "Sheriff superior."  As relating to Colonel LEAR, remonstrance seems to have had no effect, for in 1680 he was presiding Justice and Colonel of Militia.  On 23 May 1683, Gov. CULPEPER appointed him a member of the Council, and the nomination was confirmed by the King.  He continued in this office until his death.  
  JOHN LEAR was one of the first trustee's of William and Mary College.  Attempts were made to establish a College by King James, by the London Company and by the General Assembly, but without effect.  At length, however, in 1691, at the instance of the Rev. James Blair, Commissary of the Bishop of London, subscriptions were taken and an act was passed to establish and endow a College at Middle Plantation [Williamsburg], which was destined to attain the object.
 Quoting from "The Virginia Historical Register", Volume 3, pages 194-5; "By this act, the following gentlemen, viz:  Francis Nicholson, Lieutenant Governor of the Colony, William Cole, Ralph Wormley, William Byrd and JOHN LEARE, Esquires:  James Blair, John Farnifold, Stephen Fauce and Samuel Gray, Clerks:  Thomas Milner, Christopher Robinson, Charles Scarborough, John Smith, Benjamin Harrison, Miles Cary, Henry Hartwell, William Randolph and Matthew Page, Gentlemen, were nominated to compose the corporation; and the Rev. James Blair was sent over to England to solicit their Majesties, KING WILLIAM and QUEEN MARY, to grant a charter for it.  The Commissary was graciously received at court, and on the 8th of February 1692, had the royal charter put into his hand in due form.  By this instrument the gentlemen already named were constituted Trustees to establish the College, which was to bear the name of WILLIAM & MARY, after their Majesties, with power to hold lands to the value of Two Thousand pounds per annum.  At the same time, the King gave them £1985 in money, to be applied toward building the College, and one penny per pound on all the tobacco exported from Maryland and Virginia, for the support of the institution, with one half the surveyors fees, and Twenty Thousand acres of land" to be held by them and their successors for ever, paying to their Majesties and their successors, two copies of Latin verses yearly:" and nothing more".
  JOHNSTON STAPP page 87-106.  From “A Dictionary of the Family Names of The United Kingdom” by Mark Antony Lower, the LEAR name sometimes spelled LARE, LEET, LEHR and LEHRE, does not derive from the personal name rendered illustrious by the great dramatist, but from LIRE, in the arrondissement of Evreux in Normandy.  One option is that the name may have come originally from HLER [HLEER], one of the names of the Neptune of Northern mythology.
  LEAR and YEO [a name with whom the Lear’s seem to be closely affiliated], are both Devonshire names.  PETER LEAR, of Devonshire, was created a baronet for his loyalty to CHARLES I and LEONARD YEO was one of the gentlemen who subscribed for the defense of the country [England] against the Armada in 1588.  [Wm& Mary Quarterly, Volume 9, 1st series, page 125].
  The Honorable JOHN LEAR [probably of the Devonshire family] emigrated to the Colony of Virginia in the year 1656 and settled in Nansemond County.  He appears as captain, later Colonel, in the military establishment of the colony. [Winston of Virginia, by Clayton Torrence.]
  "William & Mary Quarterly" Vol. 10, second series, we quote: "THE ARMORIAL ENSIGNS OF THE COLLEGE OF WILLIAM AND MARY IN VIRGINIA. Whereas FRANCIS NICHOLSON, WILLIAM COLE, RALPH WORMELEY, WILLIAM BIRD, and JOHN LEARE, Esquires.  JAMES BLAIR and other Clerks: THOMAS MILNER and others, Gentlemen being nominated Trustees for Founding and Establishing a certain place of Universal Study or perpetual College of Divinity, Philosophy and other good Arts and Sciences, to the end that the Church of Virginia may be furnished with a Seminary of Ministers of the Godspell, and that the Youth may be piously Educated in good Letters and manners, to the Glory of God, as by Letters Patents under the great Seal of England bearing date the Eight day of February in the Fourth year of the Reigne of Our Soveraigne Lord and Lady King William and Queen Mary may more at large appear, have made application to me by the Rt Reverend Father in God Henry Lord Bishop of London Chancellor of the said Intended College, and prayed that a Coat of Arms may be Devysed for the Granted to the said Trustees, and their Successors, to be used as their Common Seal.  Now in consideration of the Premisses and for the Encouragement for so good an Undertaking I, HENRY, Duke of Norfolk Earl Marshall of England etc.  Do hereby Order and appoint Gaeter and Clarence Kings of Arms as the Trustees of the said Intended College and their Successors may from time to time lawfully beat and use as a Common Seal [as in like cases of Bodies Politique] And I require the Register of the College of Arms to Enter the said Grant together with these Presents as is usually:  And for you and his so doing, this shall be a sufficient Warrant.  Given under my hand and the Seal of my Office of Earl Marshall the 2d day of May 1694 in the Sixth year of their Maties Reigne.  Signed: NORFOLKE and MARSHALL”.
 JOHN LEAR was appointed a member of the Council in 1683, serving until he died on 27 June 1696.  His birth date is unknown, but it is probable he was born ca 1625-35 in England.  He was married four times.  
 The first marriage was to MARY OLDIS.  All of his children are from his first marriage.
 JOHN LEAR mentions his sister in his Will, the widow Pitt. "Wm & Mary, Volume 7, page 240, mentions that this sister was probably MARTHA PITT, wife of Robert Pitt.  He was no doubt the son of Col. Robert Pitt of Isle of Wight.
  The first marriage for JOHN LEAR was to MARY OLDIS, daughter of Thomas Oldis, a member of the House of Burgesses [William & Mary Quarterly Volume 9, page 84].  Also from “Virginia Historical Magazine” Volume 8, page 393 is a record of a Court Order in the case of LEAR and STREETER, 1 April 1658.  A Mistresses STREETER, referred to as LEARE’S wife’s mother, was ordered to make delivery of Goods & Chattels that a were due to MARY LEAR from the estate of her father, THOMAS OLDIS, de’d former husband of Mistress STREETER.  The legacy consisted of “Eight neat Cattle, one thousand acres of Land, one Negro man called ABRAHAM.”  CAPTAIN STREETER, husband of Mistresses STREETER, was ordered to pay Mr LEARE damages of six hundred pounds of tobacco and costs.
  After 1678, JOHN LEAR married ANNE, widow of Colonel John George, of Isle of Wight County.  His third wife was REBECCA, widow of Colonel Leonard Yeo of Elizabeth City.  Fourth, JOHN LEAR married ANN WILLIS, widow first of Robert Roscoe, second widow of James Blount of Chowan. North Carolina, third, widow of Honorable Seth Sothell, Gov. of North Carolina.  ANN WILLIS was of Ipswich, Massachusetts, died ca 1695.
  JOHN LEAR mentions his sister in his Will, the widow PITT.  “Wm & Mary Quarterly” Volume 7 page 240, mentions that this sister was probably Martha Pitt, wife of Robert Pitt.  He was no doubt son of Colonel Robert Pitt of Isle of Wight.  Robert Pitt died in 1672, leaving a son, Robert.  His father, Colonel Robert Pitt died in 1674.  The children of JOHN LEAR were all of his first marriage.
  MARRIAGES of some VIRGINIA RESIDENTS 2607-1800. page 134  John, Col. of Nansemond Co., m [1] before 1663, Mary [___]Bastard; m [2] after 1678 and before 9 June 1681, Anne [___] George, widow of Col John of Isle of Wight County. [See Law Suit, 1780, Surry Co.]; m. [3] after 1688, Rebecca [___] Moryson Yeo, widow 1st of Col Charles Moryson [d 1688] and widow 2nd of Col Leonard Yeo of Elizabeth City Co.; m [4] Ann [Willis] Roscoe Blount Sothell, widow 1st of Robert Roscoe of Virginia, 2nd of Hon. James Blount of Chowan in North Carolina, 3rd of Hon Seth Sothell, Governor of N C.  Ann Willis was of Ipswich, Massachusetts d ca 1695, and is given as Willes in "Winston of Virginia" 7W[1]233, 240; 9W[1]123, 124; Boddie-Isle, page 588; Winston page 325. [As explained in the Fore-ward, this is Virginia composite of the data from all references, some of which mentioned only one marriage.  Only "Winston of Va" gave 4 marriages for Honorable John Lear].
  Page 98-100.  [Copied as written] JOHN LEAR'S WILL Nansemond County, Virginia.  Will Probate 12 February 1695.   IN YE NAME OF GOD AMEN the twenty first of November in ye Years of our Lord one thousand six hundred ninety five.  I JOHN LEAR in ye County of Nansemond in Virg'a being weak in body, and in good and perfect memory, thanks be to God doe make this my last will and Testament in manner and forme following, that is to say first I bequeath my Soule & Spirit unto ye hands of God my heavenly father, by whome of his mercy and only grace I trust to be saved and received into eternal rest, through ye death of my Saviour and redeemer Jesus Christ in whose precious blood I sett ye hope of my salvation, and my body in hope of a joyful resurrection, I commit to ye earth to be buried decently as my deare relations shall think fitt.  And touching ye distribution of my worldly goods I dispose of ye same as followeth.
  First I will that all such debts as I owe shall be truely paid, Imp's I give to ye widow PITT my Sister besides what she owes me five pounds Ster'g.  I give to ye poor widow PERDUE of ye Isle of Wight, five hundred pounds of tobacco a yeare as long as she lives.
  ITEM ye clothes of all sorts, silk, silver and gold fringes as all dresses fitting and made up now in ye house which were belonging to my wives and daught'rs, as also their wearing linen I give to be equally divided betwixt y daughter MARTHA BURWELL and my daughter ELIZABETH LEAR widow of my deceased son THOMAS LEAR.
  ITEM I give and bequeath to my granddaught'r ELIZABETH LEAR all that tract and dividend of land w'ch I leased to COLL. JAMES POWELL and is now in possession of CAP'T ROB'T RANDALL, for her life, and after her deceased to ye heirs of her body lawfully begotten, and for default of such issue, I give ye same tract of land, being about two hundred and fifty acres lying in Wariksquwick bay to JOHN GEORGE and ye heirs of his body and in default of such heirs, I give ye same to my grandson JOHN LEAR to him and his heirs lawfully begotten forever.
  ITEM I give unto CHARLES GOREINGE all my land in Surry County which I was aboute selling to WILLIAM BROWNE as p'r pattent three hundred and thirty acres to him and his heirs forever, and I also give ye said CHARLES COREINGE ye negro boy Charles at Kecotan [Hampton, Elizabeth City CO.] and ye negro girls Nanny then also and six cowes and a bull.
  ITEM  I give unto JOHN GEORGE ye negroes Jack and Dido, and to use and plant as he see good on ye pointe land where ye said negroes are, till his owne land given him by Col. GEORGE shall come into his hands, and I also give him what Cattell is in ye said pointe belonging to me.
  ITEM  I give on Stuff suite with fringed Jacket and silk hose unto JAMES MONTGOMERIE in full compensation of his trouble from first to last.  All other my wearing clothes, linen and wooling I desire may be divided between JOHN GEORGE and CHARLES GOREINGE.
  ITEM,  I give and bequeath unto my grandson JOHN LEAR all other my lands tenements and hereditiments in what nature quality together with what leases is for terme of years, to him and to his heirs of his body lawfully begotten.  As to all m other accompts, estate, whether merchatable goods, household goods, plate, money, bills, bonds and accompts, or any other goods, wares, or merchandizes of what nature soever either here or in England or elsewhere, my will and desire is split it be equally shared after a true accompt taken in three partes, the first third part I give unto my two granddaughters Elizabeth and Martha children of my only son THOMAS LEAR and in case of mortality ye survivor to enjoy ye deceased or deceasors parte, the third and last parte I give betwixt my daughter MARTHA BURWELL and her children she had by COLL COLE and ye survivors of them and ye land I bought of GEORGE and GUILLIAMS adding ye plantation where JOHN MACKWILLIAMS did live Containing about three hundred and fifty acres with all houses, orchards and tenements, hereditiments to ye same belonging to her and her heirs forever.  Anything to the Contrary notwithstanding, and lastly I doe appoint my son-in-law MAJOR LEWIS BURWELL and my good friend Capt. Tho. Godwin my absolulte, whole and sole exect'rs of this my last will and testament and every point and p'r clause therein contained making null and void all other wills and testam'ts, whatsoever, and this only to be my last will and testam't and no other.  In witness whereof I have hereunto sett my hand, and fixed my seale ye day and year above written.  JOHN LEAR  [locum sigillis.]  Signed sealed and delivered in ye pr'sence of signum WILLIAM [X] COFIELD, JOHN LOWE, ELIZABETH BRIDGES.  signum Ann [X] COFIELD.
 Att a Court held for Nansemond County, December ye 12th, 1695.  Proved by ye oaths of MR. WILLIAM CONFIELD, MR. JOHN LOWE, MRS ANN COFIED and ye affirmation of Mad'm ELIZABETH BRIDGES with order to be recorded.   [Will proved 12 December 1695]  ANDREW ROSS, dep'ty Clk.  Copia vera test.
  ADVENTURES PURSUE AND PERSONS OF VIRGINIA Pages 145-Lewis Burwell md Martha [Lear] Cole.  V XVII,pages 229-31, will of Col John Lear of Nansemond County, 21 Nov. 1695 - 12 Dec 1695. 208-William Cole married Martha [Lear]
  5.  VIRGINIA HISTORY MAGAZINE   [a]  page 393.  [Order in Case of Lear vs Streeter]  1 April 1658.  Whereas it appeareth by the report of the comittee grounded upon an order of the Govern' and Council of ye 11th of December 1656, that there was accepted by John Leare a portion given by Mistress Streeter, the said Leare's wife's mother, in lieu of the estate due to her the said Leare's wife's from the estate of Mr. Thomas Oldis, dec'd, And that in relation thereto Capt. Edward Streeter, who made ye Executrex of ye said Oldis had made a delivery of severall the Goods and Chattrells, by his wife to ye said Leare's wife in consideration of her Father's legacy formerly demissed.  And finding yet due from the said Streeter to compleat and make up ye said procon given in Lieu of the Legacy aforesaid, eight neat Cattle, one thousand acres of  Land, one Negro man called Abraham.  It is therefore ordered:  That ye said Capt. Streeter forthwith make delivery of the premisie and make good assurance of the Land as by law he may or can, unto said Leare or assigns, with six hundred pounds of tobacco damages and costs of suite als Execution.
 [b]. page 246 - Thomas Lear / John Lear [Nanesmond Co., VA] member House of Burgess 1685.
 [c]  page 247 - John Lear member House of Burgess sessions 1720-22 - Nansemond County . [See 
        W & M Quarterly VII page 309 and IX page 124]
 [d]  page 385 - John Lear, Jr. was sheriff of Nansemond in 1773.
 [e]  page 107 - Captain Nat. Oldis of Elizabeth City County, Virginia  27 May 1646 - Justice.
       Isle of Wight Co. 10 Aug 1646 - Justice present Mr. Robert Pitt.
  6.  17th CENTURY COLONIAL ANCESTORS page 154.  JOHN LEAR [c 1630-95/6] Virginia: married Mary [OLDIS] Bastard. Councillor: Burgess.   Page 30.  Lear, John and Mrs, Ann George, relict of John George.  1681.  W & D Book 1 p 460.
 The Honorable JOHN LEAR, [probably of Devonshire family] emigrated to the Colony of Virginia in the year 1656 and settled in Nansemond County.  He appears as Captain, later Colonel.  In the military establishment of the colony.  Represented Nansemond County in the house of Burgesses from 1666 to 1676.  During Bacon’s rebellion, he was a staunch supporter of Gov. Berkeley, and remained with him until the rebellion was suppressed.  He was one of the first trustee’s of William and Mary College.
 John Lear was appointed a member of the Council in 1683, serving until he died on 27 June 1696.  His birth date is unknown to us, but it is probable he was born ca. 1625-35 in England.  He married four times.
 CAVALIERS AND PIONEERS. Patent Book No. 4 page 332-333.  JOHN LEAR, 100 acres Westmoreland Co., 4 December 1656, page 38 [59] In Oquiah River on S side of Cape Giles [Brent]; beginning at lower most part of land said Lear bought of Capt. George Mason, said land being deserted by the said Brent & due said Lear for transportation of 2 persons: himself and a servant, Xphian Winkle.
  
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Col. John Lear, of Nansemond County's Timeline

1632
1632
Devon, England
1666
1666
Nansemond , Virginia
1666
Suffolk, VA, United States
1668
1668
Nansemond County (Present City of Suffolk), Virginia Colony