Ens. Thomas Keeling

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Thomas Keeling

Birthplace: Worcestershire, England
Death: October 17, 1664 (57)
Lower Norfolk County, Virginia Colony
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir John Mrg Keeling, Jr. and Alice Keeling, (of Edward)
Husband of Anne Bray
Father of Ann Lawson; Capt. Adam Keeling; Edward Keeling; Sarah Keeling; Frances Land and 5 others
Brother of Francis Keeling and Sir john keeling

Managed by: Anne Momsen Bartee
Last Updated:

About Ens. Thomas Keeling


THOMAS2 KEELING (JOHN1) was born Bet. 1608 - 1613 in England, and died May 24, 1664 in VA, Lower Norfolk Co. He married ANNE THOROWGOOD Bef. 1637, daughter of ADAM THOROWGOOD and SARAH OFFLEY.

Notes for THOMAS KEELING: came over in the "John & Dorothy", 1634


  • 3. i. ANN3 KEELING, b. Abt. 1618; d. Bef. 1672, VA, Lower Norfolk Co.
  • iii. ALEXANDER KEELING, b. Bet. 1649 - 1664; d. 1704; m. GRACE MARTIN, Bef. May 1677.
  • iv. ELIZABETH KEELING, b. 1652.
  • v. FRANCES KEELING, b. 1646.
  • vi. THOROWGOOD KEELING, b. 1648.
  • vii. EDWARD KEELING KEELING, b. 1640.
  • viii. SARAH KEELING, b. 1645.
  • ix. JOHN KEELING, b. 1654; d. Abt. 1701




(281) Thomas Keeling [1], 100 acres in the county of Elizabeth City, adjoining the land of Henry Southwell and William Morgan and the Back River; due for the transportation of 2 persons. Nov. 18, 1635.


[1] Ensign Thomas Keeling, the patentee, was ancestor of a family which has been resident in Princess Anne and Norfolk counties to the present day. Doubtless a careful examination of the records of this section would supply a nearly complete genealogy of the family. The following are some notes from the records of Lower Norfolk:

Ensign Thomas Keeling lived in that county and was a vestryman of Lynnhaven parish in 1640. In 1642 he made a deposition in which he stated that his age was 34. In August, 1642, a deposition of Anne Keeling, doubtless his wife, gave her age as 22.

On July 26, 1656, "Mr. Thomas Keeling" was a justice of Lower Norfolk. In 1666 there is an entry that Mrs. Anne Keeling's son, Edward, was heir to his brother, Thomas Keeling, deceased. Adam Keeling lived in Lower Norfolk in 1670.

The will of Elizabeth Keeling was dated October 30, 1670, and proved April, 1671. Legatees: her brothers, Alexander and Thoroughgood Keeling.

Lieutenant Thomas Keeling was a justice in 1656. The will of Thoroughgood Keeling was dated March 31 and proved August 15, 1679. Legatees: eldest daughter, Lucy, youngest daughter, Ann, wife, Lucy; mentions his property then in the possession of " my father Bray" (his step-father, Colonel Robert Bray). Deed dated July, 1679, from Lucy, wife of Thomas Keeling, conveying land left her by her father, Edward Hall. Deed, December, 1680, from Adam Keeling and his wife, Anne, to John Martin, "my wife's brother and my nephew." Deed, August 15, 1682, from Ann Bray to her son, Alexander Keeling, to Ann Keeling, daughter of her son, Adam, to her daughter, Frances Waker, and her grandchildren, Anne, Edward, and Robert Land (she was the widow of Colonel Robert Bray, of Lower Norfolk]. Will of Adam Keeling, dated April 2 and proved December 10, 1683. Legatees: wife, Ann, sons, Thomas and John, brother, Alexander Keeling, daughters, Elizabeth and Ann Keeling; mentions father-in-law, John Martin, and appoints brother-in-law, Lieutenant-Colonel Anthony Lawson, an overseer of his will. Deed, March 18, 1683, from Ann Bray, in which she states that her former husband, Thomas Keeling, in his will gave her certain property, with reversion after her death to her sons, Edward and Thomas, who have been some years dead; she therefore deeds said land to Alexander Keeling, the surviving son and heir of her said husband. Adam Keeling was present in court as a justice February, 1676. From other sources it appears that William Keeling, Jr., was appointed a justice of Princess Anne in 1742; William Keeling was sheriff of Princess Anne 1761; Keeling a Burgess in 1757 and 1758; and Adam

Keeling a member of the House of Delegates 1793. George Keeling, who was sheriff of New Kent in 1708 and 1709. A number of the descendants of Thomas Keeling served gallantly in the late war; among them Captain Robert H. Keeling, son of Rev. Henry Keeling, of Richmond, who was a captain in the 13th Alabama Regiment, C. S. A., and was killed at the battle of Seven Pines, May 31, 1862.


  1. [http://books.google.com/books?pg=PA200&lpg=PA200&dq=ensign+Thomas+keeling&sig=xECIXWc_RHOnXncmNMJBhX5II0o&ei=OmLFUYa_E4P89QTYxoDoCg&id=o78RAAAAYAAJ&ots=0KMsWeZg-V&output=text The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 4. edited by Philip Alexander Bruce, William Glover Stanard. Page 200


Wife: Anne (Thorougood?): added by Louis Boone, Jr

Link: http://home.valornet.com/t7789ter/JTerrell.htm

Thomas Keeling came to Virginia as one of the 105 headrights of Adam Thorowgood's 1635 patent. In that same year, Keeling acquired 100 acres of land on Back River. He served as a vestryman in 1640. Upon his death he left six children. His eldest son, Adam (godson of Adam Thorowgood), married Anne Martin (sister of William Cornick's wife, Elizabeth). The Keelings, like the Woodhouses and Cornicks, were large landowners in the area south of London Bridge and Oceana.3

Came over on the "John & Dorothy" in 1634. Link:http://www.tntcardn.com/tree/ensor/Keeling.htm


Thomas Keeling1 was born circa 1608 in Worcestershire, England.1 He died on 1 Oct 1664–17 Oct 1664 at the age of 56 in Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, British America.1 Thomas Keeling was born about 1608 in Worcestershire, England. His parents are believed to be John Keeling [1577 or 1582 - 1642] and Alice Waterhouse [c1586 - 1650]. Thomas first arrived in Virginia in 1628 on the Hopewell as one of Adam Thorowgood's indentured servants.

Following his term of indenture, Keeling returned to England. He married Anne Thorowgood, daughter of Sir John Thorowgood and Frances Meauris. John was Adam Thorowgood's elder brother. The Keelings returned to Virginia in 1634 on the John and Dorothy, with Adam Thorowgood the ship's captain.

Thomas Keeling received two headrights of 100 acres on the Back River in Elizabeth City Co. on 18 November 1635. (Elizabeth City Co. originated as Elizabeth River Shire in 1634, f rom which New Norf olk Co. was f ormed in 1636, and became Upper and Lower Norf olk Counties the f ollowing year.) He was granted 200 acres on 9 November 1643 for transporting four people. The tract was near Francis Land's plantation. This tract was transferred to William Shipp in 1647. On 25 October 1651, Keeling was granted 700 acres near the head of the main branch of the Lynn Haven River for transporting 14 people.

In a deposition taken in 1637, Thomas gave his age as 24 "or thereabouts." He gave his age as 34 "or thereabouts" in 1642. These depositions would place his birth between 1808 and 1813. Similarly, Anne's age was given as 22 in 1640 [born about 1618.]

Thomas was a vestryman in 1640. He was appointed County Lieutenant for Lower Norfolk in 1659.

Thomas was a witness at the 15 December 1659 trial of Ann Godby, who accused Nico Robinson's wife of being a witch. Godby was ordered to pay the accused 300 pounds of tobacco, a cask of wine and assessed court costs. [Godby had been flogged for defamation in 1648 and filed a complaint in 1650.]

Keeling's will was written on 1 October 1664 and proved on 17 October 1665.

Estimates on the birth of the Keeling children begin as early as 1628. All of the children are shown as being born in Virginia.

The fact that Thomas returned to England, unmarried, in 1634 excludes birth estimates prior to 1635. Thomas received his 1635 headright of 100 acres for the transport of two persons - himself and his new bride. The earliest birth? Perhaps shortly after the Keelings arrived in Virginia.

Anne's 1666 will [proved 1689] named the following children: Alexander, Sarah [Henry] Woodhouse, Ann [John] Oakham, Frances [Renatus] Land, Elizabeth, Adam, Thorowgood and Edward.

In a 1666 deed, Ann mentioned her son Edward, heir to "his brother" Thomas, deceased. Elizabeth Keeling's will [30 Oct 1670 - Apr 1671] named her brothers Alexander and Thorowgood. Adam Keeling's will [2 Apr - 10 Dec 1683] named brother Alexander and brother-in-law Anthony Lawson [widower of sister Anne].

In a deed dated 18 March 1683, Ann Bray mentions her son Edward and Thomas who had been dead for some years. Confirmed from these documents are the following children of Thomas and Anne: Alexander, Sarah Woodhouse, Ann Oakham, Frances Land, Elizabeth, Adam, Edward and Thomas. Children named in other sources were Jane, John and Leonard.

Jane's birth is given c1635 and death c1654. If she was a daughter of Thomas and Anne, the 1654 death would explain her omission from later records.

John is shown as the youngest, born c1654 and died 1 July 1701. If he belongs to this family, John should have been named in several of the documents.

Leonard is the most problematic. His birth is generally shown as 1628-1632, but as late as 1636. His birthplace is given as Jamestown, James City, VA. Leonard died c1689 in New Kent Co. or Davidson Co., TN (which did not yet exist!) He married Naomi/Nancy Ferguson. The Keeling family seems to have remained in Lower Norfolk/Princess Anne Co.

Thomas Keeling and Ann Thorowgood were married circa 1634–1635 in England.1 Ann Thorowgood1–2 was born circa 1613 in Hertfordshire, England.3 She died circa 16 Jan 1687 at the age of 74 in Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, British America.1–2 Ann's identity and parentage is somewhat muddled. Most sources, primarily undocumented, give her maiden name as Thorowgood. The mystery then becomes three-fold:

  • (1) Was she the brother of prominent Lynn Haven settler Adam Thorowgood [1602-1640] and the daughter of William
  • Thorowgood [1560-1625] and one of his three wives, Anne Edwards, Mary Dauge or Alice Holbeck?
  • (2) Was she the daughter of Adam Thorowgood [1602-1640] and Sarah Offley?
  • (3) Was she the daughter of one of Adam's elder brothers, John, Thomas, Edmund, Mordaunt or William?

In her 1974 publication The 17th Century Families of John Martin & Thomas Keeling," Alice Granbery Walter makes the claim that Ann's maiden name was as of yet unknown. She also notes that the names of the Keeling children [Adam, Thorowgood, Edward, Elizabeth, Sarah, Frances and John were all common to Thorowgood families.] Adam Thorowgood had convinced Thomas Keeling to j oin in the settlement in Lowe Norfolk. There is also the issue of her date of marriage. 1630, 1634 and 1637 are the primary dates offered. If Ann was born in 1618, she would have been 12 in 1630; 16 in 1634 and 19 in 1637. The latter is the most reasonable. Ann and William are recorded with children born as early as 1630 and 1635.

Most sources, again, undocumented, give Ann's birth about 1618. A few give her birth as about 1608. 1608 would allow for a marriage in 1630 [age 22]. However Ann would have been 46 when her youngest was born in 1654.

There is also a christening date of 27 February 1613 in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, England for an Anne Thorowgood, daughter of John Thorowgood. [England Select Births & Christenings 1530-1975; Familysearch.org]

Other entries for Anne Thorowgood [Thorogood, Thoroughgood]:

  • 6 Feb 1602 [father - Abraham];
  • 12 Feb 1614 [father - Abraham]; both Sawbridgeworth.

Other Hertfordshire entries:

  • 7 Oct 1604 Reed [father - Phillip];
  • 24 Mar 1604 Ware [father - John];
  • 11 Nov 1604 Barkway [father - John];
  • 28 Dec 1618 Reed [father - Jonathan]
  • 11 Aug 1611 Crostwick, Norfolk [parents - Edward & Bridgett]

A birth date just prior to February 1613, would make Anne about 21 in 1634, the predominant year of marriage. This would make much more sense that a birth about 1618.

Anne married three times. The first was to Thomas Keeling, about 1634/35 in England. Her second was to William Jermy, about 1665. Jermy died 15 January 1666. Anne's final marriage was to Robert Bray, after 1666. Anne died in 1687.

Thomas Keeling and Ann Thorowgood had the following children:

i. Anne Keeling, born ca 1636–1650, Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, British America; married John Martin,

ca 1665, Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, British America; married John Oakham, 15 Oct 1666, Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, British America; married Lt. Col. Anthony Lawson, bef 16 Feb 1670/1, Princess Anne, Virginia, British America; died bef 15 Aug 1672, Princess Anne, Virginia, British America.

ii. Thomas Keeling was born circa 1637 in Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, British America.4–5 He died circa 25 May 1666 at the age of 29 in Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, British America.4–5

iii. Adam Keeling, born ca 1638/9, Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, British America; married Ann Martin, ca 1663, Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, British America; died ca Dec 1683, Princess Anne, Virginia, British America.

iv. Edward Keeling6 was born circa 1640 in Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, British America.5–6 He died before Mar 1683 at the age of 43 in Princess Anne, Virginia, British America.5–6 In a deed dated 18 March 1683, Anne [Keeling] Bray refers to her sons Thomas and Edward, "who have been some years dead." Edward was alive in 1666, when his mother wrote her will.

v. Alexander Keeling, born ca 1642, Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, British America; married Grace Martin, 10 May 1677, Princess Anne, Virginia, British America; died 3 May 1704, Princess Anne, Virginia, British America.

vi. Sarah Keeling, born ca 1644, Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, British America; married Henry Woodhouse, ca 1662, Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, British America; died bef 29 Jan 1686/7, Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, British America.

vii. Frances Keeling, born ca 1646, Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, British America; married Renatus Land Sr., ca 1665, Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, British America; died ca 1694, Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, British America.

viii. Thorowgood Keeling, born ca 1648, Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, British America; married Lucy Hall, ca 1670, Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, British America; died 31 Mar 1679–15 Aug 1679, Princess Anne, Virginia, British America.

ix. Elizabeth Keeling4 was born circa 1652 in Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia, British America.4 She died on 30 Oct 1670–Apr 1671 at the age of 18 in Princess Anne, Virginia, British America.4 Elizabeth made her will on 10 October 1670. It was probated in April 1671. She named her brothers Alexander and Thorowgood.

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Ens. Thomas Keeling's Timeline

August 1607
Worcestershire, England
Lower Norfolk,,Virginia,USA
Age 29
Appears in Lower Norfolk Co., Virginia
Lower Norfolk, Virginia Colony
Lower Norfolk, Virginia
Virginia Colony
Lynnhaven Parish, Princess Anne, Virginia, United States
Lower Norfolk, VA
Of Lower Norfolk, Lower Norfolk, Virginia
Of Lower Norfolk, VA