Reverend Dr. John "Rappahannock" Russell

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John De Russell Russell

Birthdate: (86)
Birthplace: North Farnham Parish, Rappahanock County, Virginia
Death: Died in North Farnham Parrish, Rappahannock, Virginia
Immediate Family:

Son of Hugh De Rozel Russell
Husband of Alicia Bayley Billington
Father of Lt Col William James Russell, Sr.; George Russell and Peter Russell

Occupation: Pastor at Wethersfield and Hadley, Virginia
Managed by: Erica "the Disconnectrix" Howton
Last Updated:

About Reverend Dr. John "Rappahannock" Russell

Alicia Billington-Russell was born in Rappahannock County, Virginia around 1649. Her parents Luke and Barbara Billington were Irish Immigrants from Dublin, Ireland. She married John Russell on September 16th, 1673 in Rappahannock County, Virginia. Alicia had one brother and three sisters.

Old Rappahannock County, Virginia Wills & Deeds Book 1, p.114

In the name of God amen, I Luke Billington of Farnham parish in Rappahannock county being of sound and perfect memory, thanks be given to God, therefore I do make this my last will and testament in manner and form as followeth. Viz. Imprimis. I give and bequeath unto my loving wife Barbary Billington the house wherein I now dwell with all moveable and unmovable belongings and land, thereunto belonging to the plantation with all the cattle belonging to me and mares sheep and all the grain and corn and wheat with servants and all my household goods within doors and without during the term of her natural life, and after her decease the land to fall to my son Luke Billington and his heirs forever, and I do oblige my wife to provide and give unto my daughter Elizabeth at her day of marriage either a man servant or a maid for the term of time as servants come into this country to serve. Item. I give unto my son Luke Billington the mountain fields wherein now Richard Peacock liveth to him and his heirs forever, and in case he dies without issue, then the land to be divided between his lower sisters here nominated, being Elita and Elizabeth and Jane and Barbary my daughters, and in case that any or either of my daughters shall die without issue, that the land belong to the survivor or survivors. Item. I do oblige my son Luke to give and deliver at the day of marriage of my daughter Jane and Barbary to each of them a man servant or a maid servant for the full time and term of years servants serve their lawful apprenticeship in this country. Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter Elita three hundred and fifty acres of land belonging to the mountain fields as by a patent purchased appeareth, and if my daughter dieth without issue, that then the land fall and be divided between my three daughters Elizabeth, Jane, and Barbary and in case any of them die without issue, to fall to the survivor or survivor. Item. I give unto my daughter Mary a piece of plate to the value of thirty shillings and to her son, my grandchild William Daniel, a ewe with a ewe lamb by her side. Item. I do further appoint and oblige my wife to pay and satisfy all or any just debts which shall be made appear that I oweth or by obligation or account. Item. I make my wife Barbary Billington my whole and sole executrix of this my last will and testament, and further I desire my trusty and well-beloved friends William Travers and Giles Cale to be trustees of this my will testament that to their power as much as in them lyeth it be performed. In witness whereof, I have set my hand and seal this 13th day of November 1671. Further, Dr. John Russell to be a trustee to this my last will with William Travers and Giles Cale.

Signed Luke Billington (seal)

Sealed & delivered in the presence of: Henry Sheares John Russell

Recorded May the 3rd, 1672. Recorded May the 3rd, 1672.

Henry Sheares, aged 35 years or thereabouts, and John Russell, aged 26 years or thereabouts, sworn and examined, say that they saw the above named Luke Billington sign, seal, and publish this writing whereunto his hand and seal is affixed as his last will and testament and that he was in perfect mind and memory to the best of their knowledge and further say not.

Signed: Henry Sheares John Russell


Jan 2015

Seen as father of Lt. Col. William James Russell, who was born 1679 in England, 4 years after this John Russell's death.

According to the Postem comments 2011:

-1- It is my unproven opinion that Dr John Russell was the elder of the two Russells who were associated with the will of Luke Billington in about 1671 Rappahannock Co VA, and that the John Russell who witnessed that will was the younger of the two, and probably the son of Dr. John.

-2- The John Russell who witnessed that will declared in a deposition related to its probate that he was about 26 years of age, which works out to birth in about 1645 or 1646.

-3- John Russell, almost certainly “witness John,” married Alicia Billington, daughter of the deceased Luke, in September 1673, and then Alicia was widowed by his death IN OR BEFORE December 1674, as proven by court records, LESS THAN 15 MONTHS after the marriage.

-6- It is not proven that John and Alicia had any children during the 15 months or less of their marriage, although it does seem likely that there was at least one child, and possibly two. Whether the child, if any, was a son or daughter, and what his / her name was, is all pure speculation I believe until it is otherwise demonstrated.

-7- I do think however, for a certain reason that I will reveal to anyone who contacts me, think that George Russell who first appears in Richmond Co records soon after 1700, does have a special claim as the possible son of John and Alicia. Another name as their possible son, for obvious reasons, would be John Russell.

"I have found research that suggests that Rev. Dr. John Russell's parents were Peter Russell and Sarah Holloway perhaps , since they lived in Virginia."

Notes for Dr. John Russell:

It seems likely that Dr. John Russell descends from one of the earliest white men in Virginia, John (Chief) Russell and is likely his son. Unless there were men in two generations named Dr. John Russell, which is entirely possible, he was more likely a grandson. He married Elitia Billington in 1673, and is said to have had a son, George Russell, who was probably married soon after 1690. Of course, he could also have married another, sooner.

The author cited immediately below indicates that he is likely Dr. John Russell's son. He was Sheriff of Rappahannock County from 1688 to 1692, after Dr. John's death.

"Deeds & Wills No. 1 (Old) Rappahannock County 1665-1677". Luke Billington appointed Dr. John Russell to be a Trustee to his Last Will with Mr. William Travers and Mr. Giles Cale, May xx3th 1672. Right under the will is - "Henry Shears aged 35 years or thereabouts. John Russell aged 26 years or thereabts. Sworn and examined say that they saw the above named Luke Billington signe seale and publish this writing whereunto his hand & seale is annexed as his Last Will and Testamt and that then he was in perfect mind and memory to the best of their knowledge and further say not.

Henry Sheares

John Russell "

The following is a collection of quotes and paraphrases from "The Russell Family In Early Virginia", Chapter II of "The Russell Family in Virginia" by Louis des Cognets, Jr. The three John Russell names are separated as "Dr. John Russell" (the proven ancestor who married Elitia Russell), John (Chief) Russell (in Virginia in 1608) and John (Rappahannock) Russell, sheriff of Rappahannock Co., VA around 1690 (after Dr. John died).

Dr. John Russell was appointed a trustee in the 1671 will of Luke Billington, and was evidently a close friend, and John (Rappahannock) Russell acted as a witness and must also have been a frequent visitor in his household [Since the will was dated 1671, and John (Rappahannock) Russell must have been 21-26 years old, the author presumes a birth date of about 1645]. That two Russells should have been so intimately connected with the Billingtons, but in no way related to one another would be highly improbable. The most reasonable relationship for the two Russells would be that of father and son. In 1688 John (Rappahannock) Russell was Sheriff of Rappahannock County, a post he held until 1692, the year that Rappahannock was abolished by division into Essex and Richmond Counties. John (Rappahannock) Russell was likely born by 1645, which implies that Dr. John Russell may have been born by 1623 [presuming one to be the father of the other]. As that was the year in which John (Chief) Russell was known to be alive and at his plantation near Jamestown, he is qualified to the father of Dr. John Russell and grandfather of John (Rappahannock) Russell.

Dr. John Russell owned land on Chikacone Creek (Coan Creek) in Northumberland County 29 Nov 1658 with Colonel John Trussell and John Chandler (Chandeler) as neighbors on the same stream. Both Trussell and Chandeler appeared on the list of 1623 in proximity to John (Chief) Russell. John Trussell had been born in 1605, came to Virginia in 1622, and was a Burgess for Northumberland County between 1649 and 1655. He was presiding Justice in 1659, and died 21 May 1660. [John Trussell may be an ancestor of Mark Freeman on another line, though the exact link is not known.]

(end of quotes and paraphrases from "The Russell Family In Early Virginia", Chapter II of "The Russell Family in Virginia" by Louis des Cognets, Jr.

In May, 1675, Thomas Erwin deposed to the county court about some activities he had observed at John Russell's house, saying, "that on or about the beginning of March last past this Deponent being at the house & plantation called Island where John Russell then lived and the sd Russell being at the prsent deprived of his Speech but according to my Judgment in perfect Sence and memory did first according to this Deponts. understanding make signes to William Serjeant to follow him the sd Russell they went into a little Shed and the sd Russell took two pewter dishes in his hand & made signes to his Sonne to give him one of the sd Dishes and according to this Deponents understanding the sd Russell make signe to give the other Dish to his Daughter & coming out of the sd Shed went & opened a Small box & tooke out two Silver Spoones & delivered the one of the sd Spoones to his aforesd Son & the other Spoone according to this Deponents understanding the sd Russell made signes to give to his aforesd Daughter and afterwards the sd Russell took out a small box of which he took one Gold ring & one Silver seale & delivered the same to William Serjeant and sd Serjeant saying to the sd Russell what to me the sd Russell made signes to the Contrary, then the sd Serjeant said to the sd Russell what to my Wife the sd Russell then made Signes according to this Deponents understanding that he did give the same to the sd Serjeants Wife after all which signes the sd Russell put up the severall things above mentioned in the respective places where they were And there they continued till the sd Russells decease to the best of this Deponents Judgment & farther saith not May the 17th 1675. Thomas Erwin."




---1--- A John Russell, probably he who was born in about 1645, we know not where but not in Massachusetts I feel sure,married in Rappahannock Co VA in September 1673 Alicia / Elitia Billington.

      Alicia’s husband John died by December 1674, about 15 months or less after they married.In that short time they had time for one, maybe two, children.       It is thought by many, including me, that they had a son named George Russell who died in Richmond Co in 1731.

---2--- Alicia’s husband John’s probable father was Dr John Russell, who was almost certainly the John Russell who in March 1675 made a nuncupative will, although he couldn’t speak, and at that time had, according to a court deposition, a wife, a son and a daughter.He died by May 1675.

      It seems almost certain that the daughter was Emme / Em who married by 1669 William Serjeant of Rappahannock Co.
      The names of the wife and son mentioned in the deposition are not known, but the son’s name is open to conjecture by following subsequent Rappahannock / Richmond Co records.

---3--- IGI, WorldConnect and other sources have many errors that get repeated ad infinitum.The info above is fact where presented as such, and the other speculation is I think clearly labeled.

---4--- Rappahannock Co was formed in 1656 and extinguished in 1692 when Richmond and Essex Counties were formed from it. I think the careful genealogist should take care not to have people born in a county not yet formed or already extinguished and thusI would be happy to send anyone who asks a list of early VA counties and when they were formed, and a list of early parishes, detailing their history and what counties they were in, when they were divided, etc.

---5---John and Alicia were married less than 15 months, and yet there are claims that they had these children:::William, George, John, Jonathan, Joseph, Peter and Thomas, many with birth years several years after John died.It is important to actually check the records now and then.

Enough ranting.

I would be happy to engage in a dialog about the Rappahannock / Richmond Russells or Billingtons, answer questions if I can, and be corrected if wrong.

Finally, I would like to learn / discuss the origins of the Rappahannock Co Russells and Billingtons.I have one hint on the Billingtons::: Luke Billington lived in Accomack Co VA from1645 or earlier until 1656 or later before moving to Rappahannock Co by 1660.

Please do answer here or to

Graham Louer Plano TX

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Reverend Dr. John "Rappahannock" Russell's Timeline

September 23, 1650
North Farnham Parish, Rappahanock County, Virginia
March 25, 1659
Age 8
Age 23
Farnham, Richmond County, Virginia, United States
Age 27
Richmond County, Virginia, United States
March 25, 1737
Age 86
North Farnham Parrish, Rappahannock, Virginia