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William Floyd

Birthplace: Accomack County, Province of Virginia
Death: after 1800
Probably Jefferson County, Kentucky, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Floyd and Michal Floyd
Husband of Abadiah Floyd
Father of Sarah Powell; Isham Floyd; Elizabeth Tuley; James John Floyd; Maj. Robert Clark Floyd and 6 others
Brother of James Floyd and John Floyd
Half brother of Mary Goffigon and Maj. John Floyd

Occupation: Farmer
Managed by: Thomas Martin Harrigan
Last Updated:

About William Floyd

From Descendants of John Floyd, Generation No. 4

10. WILLIAM4 FLOYD (JOHN3, CHARLES2, JOHN1)[58],[59],[60]

  • was born Abt. 1721 in Accomac County, VA [61],[62], and
  • died Aft. 1800 in probably Jefferson Co., KY [63],[64],[65].
  • He married ABADIAH ABIGAIL DAVIS [66],[67],[68],[69] Abt. 1746 in Amherst Co., VA [70], daughter of ROBERT DAVIS and ABEDIAH LEWIS.
    • She was born Abt. 1730 in Accomac Co., VA [71], and
    • died Bet. 1822 - 1824 in Charles Floyd's home, Beargrass Creek, near Louisville, KY [72].

Notes for WILLIAM FLOYD: These are my notes (or I credit others); if you use them, fine, but please cite me as your reference, so that if I change my notes (which is all the time), others can track the info back to me. Thanks! ~~


We have no proof that this William Floyd is the son of John Floyd, born abt 1701, but as these notes relate, I have come to believe so.

(But there is another construct which has this William b 1721 as the son of John Floyd, son of Charles Floyd, son of John Floyd b abt 1643 in prob Wales... and m Mary Berry and d 26 Jul 1687 Northampton Co., Va, and it is this line that I currently (Jun 2008) think the best, but unproved, choice; see below after the next "line")


These notes are those which are not part of the above perturbation suggesting Wm is the son of John son of Charles son of John b abt 1643:

We should note that there is a marriage between Mrs. Burgomy and an Edward Floyd in Henrico County, a marriage that gave rise to Ann Floyd born abt 1662, documented as the wife of Joseph Tanner (married 1682), shown in these notes. Edward b 1641 or so and his wife are not the parents of our William. The years do not fit.

Anna Cartlidge speculates that our William is the son of John as I have shown (previously as the John III b abt 1695). But I have previously left the line 'broken' here because there is no proof.

However, in March, 2003, I have come to believe these "two" Williams are the same William and will henceforth record them as such. There is considerable, but vague, evidence. Certainly, the two John Floyds who appeared together at the Jackson Inaugural a century later were thought to be cousins. Anna Cartlidge by the 1960s thought William, the father of Col. John Floyd, was a son of John of Accomac... Further, in her 1966 paper, unpublished, "Children and Grandchildren of William and Abadiah Davis Floyd," she notes " We may never know who William's parents were, but it is my private opinion that they were John Floyd, Jr., and Mrs. Burgomy." But which Mrs. Burgomy, and what is her name?

Nevertheless that is what I have allowed for here, but have not indicated William's mother. I cannot make dates to make sense unless I construct a line as shown here.

We certainly know that William, born about 1721 probably in Accomac County, was the husband of Abadiah Davis. I have come to believe this line with the dates applied to make sense:

  • John, born abt 1643,
  • John, abt 1675,
  • John, born about 1695, and
  • William, 1721.

William moved always westward, until finally he was in the vicinity of Louisville, Kentucky, for his final days. But by the 1730s he was in Goochland County, for in 1738 we have this (excerpted from the order book):

Deed 19 Sept. 1738 William FLORD of St. James Parish, Goochland Co., to James BOSTICK of same, for £16, 200 acres bounded by the Appomattox River, being part of 350 acres granted to Peter BURGE, late of Goochland Co., and by his will given to William FLORD. (One may take FLORD for Floyd, and BURGE for Burgamy, as the name is quite clear in other entries in the same book.)

William had this acreage from Peter Burgamy, most probably his step-brother, whose grant it was on the 20th June, 1733, recorded in the order book, Goochland Co. And Peter's will we have record of today: Part of Index to Goochland County Virginia Wills & Admin’s. (1728-1800), pp 95-96, Will, probated 20 May 1735; Deed Book No. 2, 1734-1736.

The origin of the Floyds in 18th century Virginia is attributed to any of several early Floyd settlers. The notes I have scattered through this Floyd collection suggest a very early origin, as early as 1623, but more likely 1637. William was probably descended from 17th century Floyd settlers, possibly among them Richard Floyd who traveled in 1654, Walter Floyd in 1632, or Nathaniel Floyd in 1637, and others of later date, probably related to these. But I have chosen what I show above.

The only cite I have found directly to a Floyd family member-- other than NJ Floyd's work and Governor Floyd's wife Letitia Preston-- is Collins' History of Kentucky, which quotes Letitia Preston Floyd, born 1814. See those notes under her name.

And in Nov., 2002, Frances Noury Johnson, a great great grandaughter of Dr. George Frederick Holmes, kindly sent me a copy of his letter to Alexander Brown concerning the Floyds. His wife Lavalette was a daughter of the first governor, John Floyd of Virginia. This letter is owned by the library of the University of North Carolina Manuscript Department, and they note may be protected under copyright. He wrote from the University of Virginia on 17 May 1886:


QUOTE Alexander Brown, Esq. Nelson Co., Va.

Dear Sir, The interesting items of Davis genealogy have been communicated to Mrs. Holmes, and I send for her such items of interest as she possesses. They are slight, and disconnected, but are of such a character to explain and work in with the information which you may possess, or may obtain.

The Indian blood has always been recognized in the Floyd family, and was very manifest in her brother, Dr. William Floyd, and in her father, the first Governor Floyd. It was equally apparent in complexion, hair, and frame. John Floyd, the father of the first Governor Floyd, went to Kentucky. He was the son of William Floyd and Abigail Davis. Through Abby Davis the Indian blood came.

She was the daughter of Robert Davis, Sr. of Amherst, who was the son of an Indian squaw. The unbroken tradition is that this squaw, the mother of the said Robert Davis, was descended from Opecancanough, not a Catawba, but a Powhatan Indian. Her husband was reported to have been an Indian trader settled in Amherst County.

In riding up, from Jordan's farm on James River, through the rolling foothills, the thick pines and the thin lands, along the base of the Blue Ridge, I was shown the neighbourhood where the tradition of a Floyd settlement still lingered.

It was always recognized that the Floyds and the Venables were related, but the relationship was never understood, till explained to me by the late Abraham Venable of North Carolina, who moved to that State from Virginia, after the adoption of the Va. Constitution of 1881. He told me, that he often heard in his boyhood of Aunt Abby Floyd. His father, possibly his grandfather having married her sister, whose name was, I think, Martha.

From this same Davis origin are descended the Powells and Robertsons of Amherst and the Maryes of Fredericksburg, as well as the Browns.

Robert Davis Jr. who migrated to Kentucky with the first settlers, was accompanied by a brother. Both were killed by the Indians, in the Bear Grass settlement where the kinsman had a fort.

Presdt. Jefferson Davis, who married Genl. Taylor's daughter, at the home of my wife's Aunt in Louisville, was supposed at the time to be an offshoot from the "black Davises" of Kentucky, my wife's people and yours.

We are unable to give any information in regard to either of the wives of Robert Davis Sr. about whom you inquire.

Now, can you tell me, in what part or parts of Florida, John and Absalom Davis's descendants are to be found.

I have a son living in Marion County.

I should be glad to hear any further discoveries you may make, as I am interested in these inquiries.

Yours Resp. Geo. Fred. Holmes



Some of the earlier-- that is before William-- Floyds are shown in these notes, but as I noted above for a time I detached this William, Col. John Floyd's father, from them. For a time I carried William as the son of Samuel, but dates and other information from Marguerite Evans Mathews lead me to believe that is not the case. See Samuel Floyd, born 1718, for more on all this. I do think it likely that William descends in some fashion from John Floyd, born perhaps in Accomac County, 1675, as I note above.

As Anna Cartlidge said in her 1966 work, while there is little chance that William of Amherst and Samuel were brothers, they are beyond a doubt descended from a common ancestor. She notes Brice Claggett's (a Floyd descendant of the Ga. Floyds) assertion that Gov. John Floyd and Gen. John Floyd looked so much alike they were mistaken for each other. As is mentioned elsewhere, they were guests at the White House Inaugural festivities of Andrew Jackson, and probably other functions.

Perhaps one of the best cogitations about William's heritage is contained in William B. Marye's letters to Richard Hill of the Filson Club, August 10-25th, 1962, and here kindly summarized by the marvellous researcher Alexandra Luken of Louisville, Ky, who is quoted and cited dozens of times in these notes for her work on this and related families:



William Marye's great-grandmother Marye was Anna Maria Burton, of Albemarle Co. VA who married in 1816, John Lawrence Marye of Brompton (Marye's Heights) near Fredericksburg VA. Her mother was Elizabeth Powell, the daughter of Wiatt Powell of Amherst Co. VA by his wife Sally Floyd, daughter of William Floyd and Abadiah Davis. ( .... he mentions that NJ made serious errors in family data, and was irked that he referred to Wiatt Powell as "Wyatt Powell" and being from Northampton Co., when in fact several generations came from Caroline Co. I am left with the impression that he regards NJ's book as a collection of family stories). (Editor: This is NJ Floyd's 1912 work, frequently cited, but frequently wrong.)

William Floyd appears in Albemarle co. in 1745/6 when he received a bounty for a wolf's head, and he bought and sold land there in 1750-1. Late in life he removed to what is now Kentucky and was one of the earliest settlers of Jefferson County, where on the Floyd's Fork of the Salt River he was living with his sons Robert and Charles as late as 1789.

William Floyd in naming his children seems to have been scrupulous in bestowing on them a due proportion of Christian names taken from his wife's family and I believe he did the same for his own family. He called a daughter Abadiah after his wife, a son Robert after his wife's father, another son Nathaniel after his wife's grandfather Davis, and another son Isham who is his wife's uncle. His eldest son was Col. John Floyd and his second son was named Charles which suggests the theory that his father was a John Floyd and his grandfather a Charles Floyd. (Editor: this is not the order I have; indeed John is older than Charles, but Isham is older than John.... nor do I think the elder earlier Charles is in the direct line, but that it is William, 1721, to his father John, 1695, thence to John born abt 1675... )

John Floyd the founder of the Eastern Shore family was in Northampton Co. by 1639. He died in 1687. He was one-fourth owner of Hog Island and took up another sea island which contained 400 acres. I do not think he was ever wealthy and he held no important office. One of his sons, Charles Floyd, was a member of the of the House of Burgesses and died intestate in 1719. He had a son, John, whose inventory was taken in 1744. I think it quite possible that he was the father of our William Floyd, but at any rate, it seems not improbable that William Floyd was a grandson of Charles Floyd.

Comments on NJ Floyd from William Marye: Capt. Floyd was born in 1828. His father, Nathaniel Wilson Floyd, was the son of Charles Floyd, who was in turn the son of William Floyd. Captain Floyd's father was 35 years old when his father died, and his father was over 34 years old when William Floyd was living in KY. In other words, it is quite likely that Captain Floyd got his information about the family coming from the Eastern Shore from his father, who would have gotten it from his father, who would have known it to be true. William Floyd may not have had a lot to say about his parents or where he came from, and the story of his coming over the Bay from the Eastern Shore may be an invention, but I think that it is probably true.

On page 108 and 109 of the Floyd Biographical Genealogies NJ Floyd tells how he came into possession of a book called "A Little Family History" by Mary Floyd Hamilton, a granddaughter of Charles Floyd who went to SC from Northampton Co. and thence to GA. Capt. Floyd implies that the Ga. Floyds were known to be cousins. He quotes a letter he received from Mary Floyd McAdoo, whose father was the son of Gen. John Floyd. It seems he was the only child of the aforesaid Charles Floyd. Her account of the family agrees with that of Mary Floyd Hamilton, but does not seem to be based on it. She adds a generation: Samuel and Susan Dixon Floyd.

The line of Northampton Floyds begins with John Floyd who was living in that county in 1629, when he was involved with a suit with Anthony Hoskins. In the 1666 Tax List he is listed with John Wilkins, no slaves. In 1681 he was one of 4 patentees of Hog Island, 2200 acres. He left a will in which he mentions his sons and daughters, including a son Charles, who died in 1719. In 1704 Charles was taxed on 400 acres, so it is doubtful that he was ever wealthy. Charles left a will in which he mentions his children including a son Samuel. I believe this Samuel was the g.g.grandfather of old Mrs. McAdoo. She says he married Susan Dixon.

Charles Floyd had a son named John whose inventory was filed in Northampton Co. in 1744. He died intestate, and his eldest son would have inherited his land if he had any. Our William appears in Albemarle Co. in 1745. In view of the well attested relationship between the Albemarle Co. Kentucky Floyds and the Georgia Floyds, I think it is not impossible that William Floyd was the son of John Floyd, son of Charles. (Editor: However, I do not show this possibility).

I looked up Collins History of Kentucky, 1874. The authorities which he gives for his statements concerning Col. John Floyd are quite impressive. He was corresponding with a granddaughter of Col. Floyd, Mrs. Lewis (Editor: this is Letitia Preston Floyd born in 1814 of John Floyd (born 1783) who married William Lynn Lewis in 1837) and may have obtained the Floyd ancestry information from her. He says that two brothers came over from Wales and settled in Accomac Co. VA. One of them was Col. Floyd's grandfather. From them, he says, all Floyds of VA-KY-GA are descended.



N.J. Floyd, Biographical Genealogies of the Kentucky-Virginia Floyds, 1912: Southern Biographies and Genealogies, 1500s-1940s

William Floyd, the progenitor of the Virginia-Kentucky branch of the family, was born in Accomac County, Virginia, about the year 1721. He was a son or grandson (more likely the latter) of John Floyd, the wealthy owner of over two thousand acres of fine tobacco land in Accomac and Northampton Counties.

He received the rudiments of a substantial education, which was completed only in the line of mathematics. He commenced active life as a surveyor working in the James River Valley from the settlement at Richmond up to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In a region which was little more than a primeval forest, now known as Amherst County, he patented a body of land on which he made a home for himself.

A dozen miles distant was the commodious Bungalow of Nathaniel Davis, a Welshman by descent, and one of the very early settlers in that region. He had made quite a large fortune by trading with the Catawba and other Indians, and by locating choice river-bottom lands from the present site of Lynchburg up to the Balcony Falls. Mr. Davis had among other children a beautiful daughter named Abadiah, whom the young man fell in love with and won for his bride. She was of excellent Welsh ancestry on her father's side, and one fourth of her blood on her mother's side, was derived from the most distinguished Indian ancestry. Her mother's mother, Nicketti-- Indian equivalent for "Beautiful Flower"--was a granddaughter of the noted Powhatan (the daughter of his youngest daughter) while the father of Nicketti was a chief of the small but warlike Cayuga tribe. Nicketti, whom the white people dubbed "Princess Nicketti," married a noted Scotch hunter and fur trader by the name of Hughes who made his chief headquarters near the beautiful Balcony Falls of James River, where Nathaniel Davis met and married a daughter of his who was the mother of Abadiah. (ed.: through these pages I have at times taken issue with this rendering, but the Floyd family tradition is so well known that it needs to be recorded here.)

William Floyd was mentioned in his son's 1782 will.

William was living in Jefferson County, Ky. in 1800, notes the biographer Samuel Bassett French. (Library of Virginia)

Here is one of William's land deals recorded in early Amherst, courtesy Alex Luken and the Web site noted for Mathews, and note the names!

"Albemarle Co., VA Deed Books & Amherst Co., VA early deeds....

"14 Aug 1750 Wm Floyd- signed also by WM. MATTHEWS at end- to Saml. Burks Jr. for L100, 400 acres upper side of Pedlar. Wit: Wm Cabell, Matt. Jordan. (This is doubtless the famous Floyd family of Amherst. It will be recalled by researchers that Pedlar River became part of area of Amherst)" on the site at <>

Other transactions in the county are reported here: <>

  • 342 Wm Floyd 25 Sep 1746 PB 24:503-1 400a Goochlan/S s Pedlar Riv
  • 34 Wm Floyd 3 Mar 1760 PB 33:703-1 400a Albemarl/N s of a N br of Horsleys Ck
  • 50 Wm Floyd 14 Jul 1769 PB 38:662-1 300a Amherst/S s Pedlar Riv on Enchanted Mt

Anna Cartlidge in her unpublished 1966 paper states her belief that William was descended from the John Floyd born abt 1676 (I carry 1675) in these notes. She also notes that William was born in 1721 and died in Ky. in 1800.

References to these Floyds are found in: "Life and Diary of John Floyd, Governor of Virginia, an Apostle of Secession, and Father of the Oregon Country" by Charles H Ambler; "Children and Grandchildren of William and Abadiah (Davis) Floyd," compiled by Anna Margaret Cartlidge 1966; "Col John Floyd: Reluctant Adventurer" by Anna M. Cartlidge and published in Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, #66, 1968; "In a Dangerous Situation - Letters of Col. John Floyd" edited by Neal Hammon and James Russell Harris, printed in Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, #83, 1985, and "Genealogy of the Floyd and Stewart Families" by Pauline Stewart Crosley, 1899. (courtesy of Tuck Wilson) I would add the 'Winning of the West' by Theodore Roosevelt, usually in 4 volumes, about 1904.

There are almost numberless Floyds in the 1870s Virginia and West Virginia region, which by their names (William, Abby, and so on, must descend in some way from these early Floyds... the ones who did not go west, or, as Alex Luken says, "the ones left behind...." We are working to find the ties that bind these families together... if those ties exist. The problem is that we know so little-- or nothing-- of this William's (1721- ) brothers or sisters... a similar gap is how William himself is related to the SC and Ga. Floyds.... (November 2002)

From Ray Isbell, <>, March 2002, a Floyd descendant of a different line, this kind note:

"Hi, Pat, William Floyd of Amherst was the brother of John Floyd II, according to some descendants of John in S.C. 100 years ago (which was still 100 years after the fact) and in some books in Newberry Co, SC, the most recent being the Bicentennial History of Newberry, which stated they were brothers. If I recall, it's also stated or inferred in the book The Kentucky Floyd Families, isn't it? (Ed. this is the N.J. Floyd 1912 work.) I don't have anything substantial either, but I thought Alex Luken's statement in her email (below) was interesting. I need to more carefully dissect these statements and determine whether there is anything proving this was the William who was Capt. John's brother. Capt. John Floyd III's father (m. Ann Hurst) owned land adjoining wife Nancy Andrews' father William Andrews in VA., which helps identify them. I believe John Floyd II is proved as having sons John (III) and William (of Amherst?)"

Alex's note: "....... This is what I find exciting: John Floyd m. Ann Hurst is right age to be a brother of William Floyd m. Abadiah Davis. There is some sort of elusive Hurst-Floyd connection that I would run across-- Robert Clark Floyd, son of Wm. Floyd and Abadiah Davis, was involved with a lawsuit in Vincennes IN in 1802-- US v. Hurst. Also, the name Woodford Lee Hurst and Martin Floyd Hurst b. ca. 1828 in Indiana pops up, and Martin Floyd Hurst named a son Woodford Floyd Hurst. Woodford Floyd is a descendant of William Floyd, and Lee is a middle name used in the family. Also, the given names in John Floyd m. Nancy Andrews family are consistent with Floyd family naming patterns. Regards, Alex Luken" (For more on the Robert Clark Floyd name, see note from Alex under Esther Floyd in these notes).

William, or perhaps a child, might have a connection to the mulatto Floyds noted below, courtesy of Alex Luken and the Amherst web site shown:

This is really fascinating! John N. Rose is John Nicklons (Nicholas?) Rose, son of Patrick and Mary Rose. Patrick and two brothers, Hugh and Charles. <> The Rose brothers were sons of Robert Rose, a scottish minister.


The following is taken from Strangers In Their Midst The Free Black Population of Amherst County, Virginia by Sherrie S. McLeRoy and William R. McLeroy. Page 141

Legislative Petition: December 4, 1811: ( in Amherst Co., VA, which states) To the Honble the speaker and members of the Gen; Assembly of Virginia the Petition of Betty Dean, Franky Dean, Billy Dean, John Dean, Henry Dean, Daphne Dean, Samuel Floyd, Frank Floyd and Mitchell Floyd humble sheweth that they have been lately emancipated from a state of slavery by the humanity of Miss Margaret Rose and Capt. Jno N. Rose to whom they of right belonged, and being very desirous from many weighty considerations to remain in this State (but being informed that by the existing laws of the Country they are prohibited from that privilege ( sic) unless by a special interference of your Honble Body,) they beg leave in the most humble and respectful manner to solicit that favor at your hands.

Your Petitioners were born and raised in the County of Amherst and they now reside part of them in that County and the rest of them in the County of Nelson and for the peaceful disposition and industrious habits which they hope they will be able to make appear to the satisfaction of your Honble body they rest in the hope that their prayer will be granted and that a law will pass allowing them to remain in this state and to enjoy such rights and privileges as are allowed to free citizens of this Commonwealth.

We whose names are hereunto subscribed do certify that we have for many years been acquainted with the certain (?) Petitioners, that they have been peaceable and inoffensive in their Disposition, as far as we know or believe, that they are generally useful and industrious Mechanicks (sic) and we are fully (?) that they will at no time become chargeable to the State, that they are so nearly white that they would not be taken to be mulattoes where they were not known and upon the whole we are of the opinion that no injury could result to allow them the privilege (sic) of remaining in this State.

Given under our hands this (blank) day of 11/1811. Signed by 14 persons. The Legislature's response to the Dean - Floyd petition:



Now let me return to the parent of William noted as the May 2008 arrangement. We formerly had the early Floyds like this:

Descendants of John Floyd

  • Gen1 John Floyd, b: Abt. 1643 in prob. Wales, d: 26 July 1687 in Northampton Co., VA
  • +Mary Berry, b: Abt. 1644, m: Abt. 1660 in Northampton Co., VA, d: in prob. Northampton Co., VA
    • Gen2 Charles Floyd, b: Abt. 1660 in Northampton Co., VA, d: Bef. December 1718
    • +Elizabeth (unk), b: Abt. 1680
      • Gen3 John Floyd, b: Abt. 1701, d: 1744
        • Gen4 John Floyd, b: Abt. 1725
        • Gen4 Berry Floyd, b: Abt. 1730
        • (omitted some)
      • Gen3 Samuel Floyd, b: Abt. 1718 in Northampton Co., VA, d: Abt. 1753 in Northampton Co., VA
      • +Susan Dixon, b: Abt. 1720 in Northampton Co., VA, d: Abt. 1753 in Northampton Co., VA
        • Gen4 John Floyd, b: Abt. 1737 in VA, d: in the North
        • Gen4 Elizabeth Floyd, b: Abt. 1740
        • +Joshua Fitchett b: Abt. 1737
        • Gen4 Charles Floyd, b: 04 March 1746/47, d: 09 September 1820 in Bellevue Plantation, Camden Co., GA
        • +Mary Fenden b: 15 April 1747 d: 18 September 1804 in Bellevue Plantation, Camden Co., GA
    • Gen2 John Floyd II, b: Abt. 1675 in probably Northampton Co., VA
    • +Michal Harris, b: Abt. 1682, m: Aft. 1713
      • Gen3 John Floyd III, b: Abt. 1695
        • Gen4 James Floyd, b: Abt. 1718
        • Gen4 William Floyd, b: Abt. 1721 in Accomac County, VA, d: Aft. 1800 in probably Jefferson Co., KY
        • +Abadiah Abigail Davis, b: Abt. 1730 in Accomac Co., VA, m: Abt. 1746 in Amherst Co., VA, d: Bet. 1822 - 1824 in Charles Floyd's home, Beargrass Creek, near Louisville, KY
    • Gen2 Berry Floyd, b: Abt. 1680, d: 11 December 1750 in Northampton Co., VA
    • +Esther Dalby b: Abt. 1685
      • Gen3 William Floyd, b: Abt. 1730 in Accomac Co., VA
      • +Esther Kendall, b: 1751, m: 1772, d: 1785 in Accomac Co., VA
        • Gen4 Matthew Floyd, b: Bef. 1771 in Northampton Co., VA, d: Abt. 1806 in Accomac Co., VA
        • Gen4 William Floyd, b: Abt. 1774
        • +Frances Hallet b: Abt. 1780
        • Gen4 John Kendall Floyd, b: Abt. 1777, d: 1843
        • +Ann Stockley Teackle b: 17 February 1786, m: 1802 in Northampton Co., VA, d: 19 April 1846 in Northampton Co., VA
    • Gen2 Matthew Floyd, b: Abt. 1684, d: 09 June 1752 in Northampton Co., VA
    • Gen2 Sarah Floyd b: Abt. 1686

But based on some thoughtful but unproved notes by David Mordy, we might find our William b 1721 more probably the son of John b abt 1701 than the John shown above. Dave says:

"With respect to the Floyds and other Eastern Shore families, I can't help but notice the huge gaps in all these family genealogies. This contrasts with the generally better New England records during the 1700s. As a result of deficiencies in the records, we can only construct a genealogy of our Virginia Floyds if we invent a lot.

"I note four entries in the records that might need more attention:

  • 1) in Dec 1742 Jno. orphan of Jno. Floyd chose his guardian [implies age 14-21, birth 1721-1728], Northampton Order Book 21, p. 36;
  • 2) in Dec 1743 Wm. Floyd [father?] chose his guardian [implies birth 1722-1729] Northampton OB 21 p. 141;
  • 3) in Jun 1747 Berry, orphan of Jno. Floyd chose his guardian [implies birth 1726-1733] Northampton OB 21 p. 425;
  • 4) in Sep 1765 Jno Floyd proved his age as 40 [implies birth 1725] Northampton Land Causes 1754-1771, p. 95.

All these entries are contained in William R. M. Houston & Jean M. Mihalyka "Colonial Residents of Virginia's Eastern Shore Whose Ages Were Proved Before Court Officials of Accomack and Northampton Counties", Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1985.

"One way to put these entries together is to suggest that John [Dave here has John III but I omit because I am using a different ref for the Johns) Floyd (died intestate, inventory filed 1738) (wife Anne) had sons John, William and Berry born 1721-1733.

"As I am not familiar with the court records, I can't help but wonder if there are any more details in the Order Book than the summary reported by Houston & Mihalyka. Was there anything in Clagget or Cartlidge to indicate that they were aware of these records? Perhaps someone else has pursued this angle? (editor: I know of none)

"What about the idea that brother John inherited the Northampton property (primogeniture?) and the orphan brothers inherited nothing? What about the idea that younger brother William was "our" William, and left Northampton after his 1743 court appearance? [I realize that this interpretation would only be true if the Burgany connection pertains to some other Floyds]. Well--that's a lot of speculation....

"The most obvious objection to this type of genealogy is that it seems like 1 part of documentation to 2 parts of speculation--it may be plausible, but could easily be totally wrong. Also, from the point of view of research I wonder what else could possibly be available. Working from a digest of the Northampton Order Book--does this leave out some details that may be in the original order book? Also, I think there may be original minutes that have never been transcribed. Obviously someone who is more familiar with the Eastern Shore records could be helpful in opining on this, or checking records if there are any more records or rocks to turn over....(but) the odds must be slim that there is anything else to find."

I think this construct is the most accurate I have seen and I intend to shift William to the suggested family.



Anna Cartlidge in her 1966 work, "Children and Grandchildren..." says: "If anything, Abadiah's ancestry is even more confusing than (her husband) William's. The only thing that has been established definitely is that her father's name was Robert."

Also called Abigail by some. In her father's will (Natchez) she is Obediah. In Amherst Court records Alex Luken sent me, she is Abigail, although the spellings are more creative. Her family lineage is based on N J Floyd's 1912 work, op. cit. as supplemented by Leona, op. cit., and also adjusted by me to make generational sense where necessary. See also: "The Cabells and Their Kin" by Alexander Brown, copyrighted 1895, from which is drawn the following:

"....(It is said that) Elizabeth Cabell was descended from an Indian princess of the Powhatan tribe (some accounts have it 'of the Catawba tribe,' but this is not tenable), and that it was the knowledge among the neighboring Indians of this descent which protected her husband while locating these lands, and herself when she was managing them in his absence. It was more probably owing to her relationship to members of the Society of Friends, with whom the Indians were on friendly terms. However, the story is interesting, and "the evidences of its truth" are said to "have been carefully collected" in several branches of the Breckinridge, Floyd, and other families. I cannot vouch for it, but I will give it as I find it in the Floyd tradition.

"Opechancanough, the celebrated chief of the Powhatans, who was brutally murdered, while a prisoner, in 1644, left a lovely young daughter, the child of his old age, the Princess Nicketti -- 'she sweeps the dew from the flowers.' Some years after this graceful Indian maiden had reached the years of mature womanhood, a member name is not given of one of the old Cavalier families of Virginia 'fell in love with her and she with him,' and the result was a clandestine marriage, and a half-breed Indian girl who married about the year 1680 a Welshman (others say a native of Devonshire, England,) named Nathaniel Davis, an Indian trader, and, according to some accounts, a Quaker; and from this alliance many notable people in the East and in the West have descended. Their daughter, Mary Davis (born about 1685), married Samuel Burks of Hanover (the ancestors of the Burks family of Virginia), and their daughter, Elizabeth Burks, married Capt. William Cabell, the ancestor of the Cabells; Martha Davis, another daughter, married Abraham Venable, the ancestor of the Venables. Robert Davis, Sr., a son (the ancestor of 'the black Davises' of Kentucky, and from whom Jefferson Davis descended), had a daughter, Abadiah (or Abigail) Davis, who married William Floyd, the ancestor of the Floyds of Virginia and of the West. A daughter, or granddaughter, of the Quaker, married Gen'l Evan Shelby of Maryland, the ancestor of the Shelbys of the West. (ed: see note under Elizabeth Hughes) Samuel and Philip Davis of the Blue Mountains were sons, and there may have been other sons and daughters.\


NOTE TO FLOYD MEMBERS: If you are a male Floyd, here is a good way to help in the research into the Floyd family. Sharon at >< is organizing a Floyd DNA site:

"Pat-- can you put out the word to Floyd surname males to see if any of them want to participate with us in this project? We are using the lab at Ancestry and they are having a 40% off special. We are using the 46 marker kit which provides the closest possible match potential. I have also posted results on >< Their public (non-member) site is I haven't had any close matches yet, but I think the technology is still too new for most people to want to participate. Plus, they're not giving it away for free. I can understand hesitation. Anyhow, I just thought I'd ask. Thanks for your help. I'll keep you posted if any new information comes along. Sharon"



"William Floyd left the eastern shore of Virginia, went up the country as far as the present Amherst County, which was then a very wild region, where he met with this family of Davis, who had traded with the Indians and had gotten much property in that way. (The Quakers were much given to friendly trading with the Indians.)

"William Floyd and his wife's brother, Robert Davis, Jr., with their families, emigrated to Kentucky with the first settlers, and finally located in the Bear-grass region, near Louisville, where the kinsmen (Floyds and Davises) had a fort, called Floyd's Station.

"But it is not necessary to follow the Floyd narrative farther. It seems well to say, however that I have seen a Davis pedigree which asserts that 'the Indian blood first entered the family through the marriage of Abby Davis with William Floyd, a half breed Indian.' Other Davis pedigrees and traditions do not deny the Indian blood, while every Floyd with whom I have corresponded has asserted positively that 'it was through Abby Davis the Indian blood came.'

"The Princess Nicketti's name (it may be because the marriage was clandestine) has not been popular among her traditional descendants. The first Governor, John Floyd of Virginia, named one of his daughters for her. I know of no other namesake; but if the tradition is true, no more lovely women than some among her descendants ever "swept the dew from the flowers."


From Alex Luken, op. cit., who forwards the notes of another:

"I don't think that there is any doubt that there was Indian blood in the Davis family, for James John Floyd a son of Abadiah was described by a contemporary as 'somewhat slender, straight as an Indian, and almost as dark as one,' and had 'brilliant black eyes, and straight black hair.' A brother of his, Robert Floyd, once took a woman to court because she was alleged to have said the Floyd's were "of the mustic breed" and Robert Davis, a brother of Abadiah was known as the Black Davis, because of his dark complection, high cheekbones, black eyes, and dark skin, (which) occurred in various members of the family for generations."


From Kegley's "Virginia Frontier," reprinted from an earlier version in 1937, page 23: The Settlements Along the James Move West: ...up to this time (1721), the land from the Falls of the James to the mountains belonged to the Indians. In advance of the settlements there lived in this region a noted Scotchman by the name of Hughes who hunted and traded with the Indians and finally married one of their number, the Princess Nicketti, a daughter of a younger sister of Pocahontas and granddaughter of Powhatan. A child of Nicketti's, Elizabeth Hughes, married Nathaniel Davis and her children and grandchildren became the ancestors of many prominent families of middle and Southwest Virginia. Her daughter, Mary, married Samuel Burks, her daughter, Martha, married Abraham Venable, Jr.; another daughter, Abadiah, married William Floyd and became the mother of John Floyd, asst. to Col. William Preston of Fincastle and Montgomery Counties.


Alex Luken notes this: "Cavaliers and Pioneers: Virginia Land Patents and Grants Vol. V 1741-1749:

William Floyd, Goochland Co., Patent Book 24 page 503, 9/25/1746, 40 acres Goochland Co. on the south side of the Pedlar River into the wood on Maple Run.

Robert Davis, Patent Book 25 page 535, 4/1/1749, 400 acres Goochland Co. on the branch of Pedlar River adjacent to his own line and William Floy(e)d."



  • Among other proofs of their marriage is this entry in the Amherst County records:

Aug 2, 1779 - William Floyd and wife Abediah to Charles Burks p 371 Probably a transfer of property, perhaps incident to their removal to Kentucky.


  • 1. 13. i. SARAH5 FLOYD,
    • b. 15 October 1747, Albemarle/Amherst Co., VA;
    • d. Aft. 1824.
  • 2. 14. ii. ISHAM FLOYD,
    • b. Abt. 1748, Albemarle Co., VA;
    • d. 1790, the Indiana Territory where he was tortured to death by Indians.
  • 3. 15. iii. ELIZABETH FLOYD,
    • b. Abt. 1749;
    • d. 1833, Middleton, Jefferson Co., KY.
  • 4. 16. iv. COLONEL JOHN FLOYD,
    • b. 1750, the lowlands near the banks of the Pedlar River, Amherst Co., VA;
    • d. 14 April 1783, KY (then Jefferson Co., VA, near present Louisville) killed by Shawnee Indians.
    • b. Abt. 1752, Albemarle or Amherst Co., VA;
    • d. Bef. 07 March 1807, Jefferson Co., KY ?.
  • 6. 18. vi. JEMIMA FLOYD,
    • b. 1753, Amherst Co., VA.
  • 7. 19. vii. NANCY FLOYD,
    • b. Abt. 1755;
    • d. Bef. August 1791.
  • 8. 20. viii. CHARLES FLOYD,
    • b. 06 July 1760, Hanover Co., VA;
    • d. 1828, Todd Co., KY.
  • 9. ix. JAMES FLOYD,
    • b. Abt. 1763.
      • Notes for JAMES FLOYD: Anna Cartlidge and others do not show James, but there appears to be one, and I will add him here pending more detail.... The child Nicati is a similar add-- makes sense that this generation have a Nicketti as others do, and we know there is one aged 71 in the 1850 census living with Professor Holmes and his wife Lavalette!
  • 10. 21. x. NATHANIEL FLOYD,
    • b. Abt. 1767;
    • d. 1842, Louisville, KY.
  • 11. 22. xi. ABIGAIL DAVIS FLOYD,
    • b. Abt. 1770, VA;
    • d. 1834, Prob. Bullitt Co., KY where her will was probated.
  • 12. xii. NICATI FLOYD,
    • b. Abt. 1778.
      • Notes for NICATI FLOYD: Anna Cartlidge and others do not show Nicati, but there appears to be one, and I will add her here pending more detail.... It makes sense that this generation have a Nicketti as others do, and we know there is one aged 71 in the 1850 census living with Professor Holmes and his wife Lavalette! We do not know where she arose from, however....
view all 14

William Floyd's Timeline

Accomack County, Province of Virginia
October 15, 1747
Age 33
Albemarle County, Province of Virginia
Age 34
Albemarle County, Province of Virginia
Age 35
Albemarle, Virginia, USA
Age 36
Amherst County, Province of Virginia
Age 38
Albemarle and Amherst County, Province of Virginia
Age 39
Amherst County, Province of Virginia
Age 41
Amherst County, Province of Virginia
Age 44
Province of Virginia