The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

Posts tagged “Virginia

A peach of a man…

is our first known immigrant ancestor with the surname of Menefee. Carolyn Murray Greer wrote this biography which is posted on WikiTree for the progenitor of the Menefee family…which extends down to Giles County, Tennessee and into northern Alabama.


George Menefee Esquire, spelled Minifye in earliest documents


Born: circa 1596
Devon, England, UK


Probable: George Minifie and wife Mary Pendleton


Sister Minife who married John Bishopp
Sister Menife who married Roger Booker
William Minifie who George Minifye sponsored in 1639


Jane Pierce
Mary Potts


Married first to widow of John Rolfe whose maiden names was Jane Pierce
Married second to
Married third to
Married fourth to Mary Potts


Elizabeth Minifye who married Capt Henry Perry by Mary Potts

Immigration to America

Name: George Minifie
Arrival Year: 1623
Arrival Place: Virginia
Source Publication Code: 3520
Primary Immigrant: Minifie, George
Annotation: From state papers in the Public Record Office, London, a census of the inhabitants of Virginia taken between January 20 and February 7, 1624 or 1625. Lists 1,232 names, with ages and ships taken. Item no. 1272, Colonial Records of Virginia, has many more[1]
Page: 31


His death date is given as 1646 in records I have researched.


Parish Church of Weston(Westover) Virginia

The name Menefee has had numerous spelling variations over the centuries. Some spelled the name: Minife, Minefie, Minifye, Menifye and other variations of the surname, but the most prevalent spelling has become the surname written as Menefee. Those Menefee men were important people to lend their name to the history and the formation of this country, the great United States of America.

First settled by the English colonists in 1607 at Jamestown in the Virginia Colony, the County was formally created in 1634 as James City Shire by order of King Charles I. James City County is considered one of only five original shires of Virginia to still be extant today in essentially the same political form.

To further information on his immigration to America, George Menifie, who was born in 1596 or 1597, came to Virginia in 1623 on the Samuell from Wiltshire, England.

George Menefee is listed as counted among the living in James City on the first census taken in February of the year 1623. This first census was taken after the 1622 great Indian massacre who took the lives of a quarter of the 1,240 inhabitants within an hour of the start of the bloody ordeal.[2]

George Minify was listed among those in the VA Early Census Index in 1624. He lived in Virginia Pioneer Township, James City County in Virginia.[3]

George was born about 1596. George Menefee passed away in 1646. George Menefee was responsible for bringing over immigrants from England and with each sponsorship he received a grant of land.

In 1639 George Menefee sponsored William Minifie to be brought over to Charles City with a large group of people, and George received a bounty land warrant of acreage in Charles City.[4]

George Menifie arrived in Virginia in 1623, was Burgess for James City County, 1629, and member of the Council, 1635-1646.He was one the wealthiest men of his day in the Colony, and was probably the leading merchant.

In 1634 he lived at “Littleton,” or “Littletown,”‘ not far below Jamestown.His large garden here ” contained fruits of Holland and Roses of Provence.” His orchard was planted with apple, pear and cherry trees, and peach trees. George Menifie introduced the first peach trees to America as he cultivated the first peach trees.Around the house grew, in the fashion of the times, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram.He took a prominent part in the deposition of Governor Harvey.

Later he removed to “Buckland,” an estate of 8,ooo acres in Charles City County. His only child, Elizabeth Menifie, married Captain Henry Perry of Charles City County. Captain Perry was a member of the Council. They left two daughters and co-heiresses. Daughter Elizabeth Perry married John Coggs, gentleman, of Rainslip, Middlesex, Esq. Daughter Mary Perry married Thomas Mercer, stationer, of London.

George Menifie helped raise an native american boy after he reached about ten years of age. It can be presumed that he took care of him after the death of William Perry. The following is an account:

Pg 281
[June 10, 1640.] Mr. George MeniFye, Esqr., this day presented to the court an indian boy of the country of Tappahannock, Christened and for the time of ten years brought up amongst the english by Captain William Perry, deceased, and […]”The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography”
Pg 282
Mr. George Menifye: the indian was examined and found to have been well instructed in the principles of religion, taught to read, instructed to writing: and whereas there hath formerly been given by will, a stock of three hundred pounds sterling by Nicholas Farrar, late of London, Merchant, deceased, by [for?] the Indians, whereof 24 pounds sterling was yearly to be paid to any person that should bring up three of the indian children the said Mr. Menifye for his better supportation in the education of the said indian boy desire certificate from the court of the bringing him up and instructing him in christian religion as is said: the governor and council approving and commending the care that hath been used towards this youth have condescended to the request of the said Mr. Menifye and have thought goo to recommend hereby his suit for the allowance of 8 pounds per annum, part of the said 24 pounds. towards the maintenande the said youth and to that purpose in testimony of the premises have thought good to cause the seal of the colony to be hereunto affixed.Given at James city the tenth day of June, a domini 1640.[5]

The site of old Westover Church, near the house at “Westover,” still contains a number of tombs formerly in or near the old building. The name John James supplies information as to one of the early ministers of the parish. John Bishop was an early resident of Charles City County, as was Walter Aston. Howell Price was once clerk of the county. Virginia Council, 1641.

George Menefye was present at Court held at James City October 13, 1641. Those in attendance were:Sir Francis Wyat, Knt., Governor, Captain John West, Captain Wm. Pierce, Mr. George Menefye, Mr. Wm. Brocas, Mr. Amb. Harmer, Mr. Richmond Bennet.

The land owned by George Menifye, at least at the time, might be located using the information from this source:

[…]The area of the plat of John Harvey being given, also its northern boundary. Back Street, its eastern boundary “the Swamp lying on the East side of the said New Towne,” its southern boundary, **upon the highway close to the banke of the Main river, the approximate position of the tract was ascer- tained after several trials.

From the descriptions of the Harvey and Hamor tracts the position of those of George Menefy J and Richard Stephens, and also those of the two cross streets, all of which are men- tioned in the descriptions of the two first named, were readily found, and finally the tract of John Chew, all as shown on the Map of lames City, Va., 1607-1698.

N. B. — Lines indicated on the *’ Plat of the Tracts ** by numbers I, 2, 3, 4, II, 10, 9, are part of Sherwood (5) survey. [6]


GEORGE MENEFIE of Buckland in Virginia, Esquire.Will 31 December 1645; proved 25 February 1646-7.To be buried at discretion of my wife in parish Church of Weston [Westover]. All debts in Virginia to be satisfied.All Tobacco or money debts in England to be transferred to my books, “The shipp Desire now Iyeinge before Buckland may with all possible expedition be dispatched way for England, and to bee part loaded with what Tobacco is ready here above, and receive the remainder of her ladeinge belowe, vizt, tooe hundred Hoggsheads on the partable account” 100 hoggshead my own account and the rest by discretion of a note to be found in a small book of tobacco shipped and to be shipped.
My 100 hogsheads and my part in the ship Desire and cargo, and my 1-16 part of the William and George be consigned to Captain Peter Andrews, he to give an exact account to my heirs and executors.
To my daughter Elizabeth Menefie all my land at Weston, att James Citty, and at Yorke River.
To my brother John Bishopp, the money he owes me, and one-third part of my crop of Tobacco made the last summer at my plantation of Buckland.
My sheep at Buckland to be a joint stock between my daughter Elizabeth, and son-in-law Henry Perry.
To Mr. Jo. James £20 and 1000 lbs of Tobacco, he to preach a sermon at my funeral.
To Mr. Jo. Converse, Chirurgeon, 2000 lbs of Tobacco.
To my brother Roger Booker £50, he to assist Humphrey Lister in collecting my debts.
To Jo. White, Merchant, £50, provided he continue one year longer in Virginia and collect my debts as formerly.
Tobacco not able to go in the Desire to be sent in the Flower of London Goods consigned in the William and George to be returned in Kind.
Everything to my wife and daughter.Executrix and guardian to my daughter; my wife Mary.
Tobacco due to me from Captaine Tho. Varvell shall be Satisfied by Walter Aston. Satisfaction to be made to Mr. Humfrey Adlington for his care in my business concerning Chamberlaine, by Captaine Peter Andrews. Overseers friends Captain Peter Andrews, Richard Bennett, Esq.
Witnesses Howell Prise, Hunifrey Lister.Fines, 31.


  1. Source Bibliography: JESTER, ANNIE LASH, and MARTHA WOODROOF HIDEN. “Musters of the Inhabitants in Virginia 1624/1625.” In Adventurers of Purse and Person; Virginia, 1607-1625. N.p.: Order of First Families of Virginia, 1607-1620 [Princeton University Press], 1956, pp. 5-69.
  2. Original Lists of Person of Quality, by Hotters
  3. Virginia, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1607-1890
  4. Complete listing of Early Virginia Immigrants, 1623-1666 (from book published 1912 by George Cabell Greer, now copyright-free)
  5. The Virginia Council & General Court Records 1640-1641 From Robinson’s notes, Virginia Historical Society Collection.
  6. Virginia Land Patent Record, Book I, p. 3. t /did, Book I, p. 5. J /did, Book I, p. 4.

Bon Accord…

or Bonnie Accord, David Peebles‘ plantation or a part of it, is now known as Aberdeen and is on the National Register of Historical Places. Why, bless their  hearts, the Peebles name is not even listed as one of the former owners. Some of the information about the history seems erroneous to those who may be familiar with the David Peebles family of Prince George County in Virginia.Aberdeen - part of original plantation of David Peebles named Bon Accord

The two-story brick home, a temple  style building, rectangular in shape was built circa 1790. Perhaps James Cooke did build Aberdeen, however, as it was David Peebles who originally owned the property and as some descendants believe still owns it. The once pristine plantation is located on what would seem an isolated and lonely stretch of highway nine miles east of Hopewell on Route 10. It’s physical address is 15301 James River Drive in Disputanta, Prince George County, Virginia in the 23842 zip code. Given as primary owners are: James Cooke family, Thomas Proctor, and the Charles Marks  family.

Aberdeen, originally part of the Bonaccord estate,  the records of the Historical Register state that it was given to Elizabeth Bonaccord [Peebles] upon her marriage to James Cooke. It is named after Cooke’s birthplace, Aberdeen, Scotland.  The write-up about ‘Aberdeen’ is part of a Virginia W.P.A. Historical inventory Project sponsored by the Virginia Conservation Commission under the direction of its Division of History.

In 1840 a great celebration took place at ‘Aberdeen’ in the form of a wedding for the groom Nathaniel Cooke. Cooke had served in the Confederates States Army in Company F, 5th Virginia Cavalry. Evidently it was a grand and great event, as it has become part of the history of the home. Nathaniel Cooke died in 1862. The write-up suggests that James Cooke was the progenitor of the Cooke family.

The photos of ‘Aberdeen’ were taken 1 Dec 1937 by Jennie Harrison as part of a survey and documentation that was included in files with the W.P.A. program and associated with the record of review to determine the buildings’ qualifications for historical register status. Elizabeth Cooke Hurt was given as informant. The official name of the property is given as ‘Aberdeen’ and the site number is given as VDHR file no. 74-0001. The recommendation process was complete in 2001 on November 20th by the Virginia Department of Historical Resources.

The one building is given as privately owned. It is a single dwelling with agricultural fields that is currently functioning as a single dwelling for the purpose of agriculture that matches the given historic function as a single dwelling in the Domestic category with agricultural fields in the category of Agriculture.

The building is architecturally classified as Early Republic and Early Classical Revival. The property is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to te broad patterns of our history and embodies the distinctive characteristics of type, period, or method of construction or represents the work of a master, or possesses high artistic values, or represents a significant and distinguishable entity whose components lack individual distinction. There are 378 acres associated with the dwelling. The period of significance for the building is 1840. That date would coincide with the marriage of Nathaniel Cooke that was held at ‘Aberdeen.’ The information given is that the dwelling is owned by Aberdeen Farm Properties, LLC at Aberdeen Farm, 15301 James River Drive, Disputana, Virginia 23842.

The lengthy descriptions of the property as contained in the paperwork seeking placement in the National Register of Historic Places follow:


Aberdeen is an imposing brick temple-form house. The main façade features an imposing pediment finished with horizontal flush sheathing. The walls are laid in Flemish bond with flat arches over the openings. A diminutive portico with Doric columns is the central feature. It and the main roof have cornices with block modillion. A lateral hall runs across the entire front of the house, which is reflected in the side elevations that each have a door and two windows on the first floor below three windows on the second floor. Aberdeen is one of a group of houses that have this plan and front elevation. They occur over a long period and are scattered randomly across the state. Aberdeen also features important Federal interior woodwork in remarkably undisturbed condition. The house sits in a picturesque grove in front of woodland and wetlands. Between the fenced yard and the main road are flat fields typical of Tidewater Virginia still in cultivation, as they have been for at least three centuries. On these and other fields Thomas Cocke and his friend Edmund Ruffin conducted experiments in fertilization that led to Ruffin’s publications that revolutionized farming.

Exterior: The house at Aberdeen is a large plantation house built with the overall proportions of a classical temple. The walls feature Flemish bond brickwork with simple flat arches of the openings. The pediment is covered with flush sheathing and is outlined by a cornice featuring block modillion. This cornice continues around the house. The first-floor windows feature 9-over-9 sash and the second floor 6-over-9. The window frames are set flush with the brick walls and are not recessed, as is usually the case. The windows are fitted with louvered shutters. The house sits on a high basement lit by small rectangular windows.

The front (east) elevation is three bays wide. A diminutive 3-bay Doric portico shelters the central double door. It has the same cornice as the main roof. The porch has wide steps between stepped brick plinths (of 20th century vintage). In the center of the pediment is a round-arched window framed by arched blinds.

The 3-bay side elevations are identical with double doors at the front ends with two windows beyond on the first floor. On the second level windows occur above each lower opening. These elevations reflect the interior plan – a lateral front hall opening into two rooms behind.

In the rear wall brick continues to the top of the gable. There is a pair of slightly projecting chimneys. A one-story frame wing is attached which now houses a bathroom and kitchen. This wing contains work from different periods and probably has been rebuilt several times. Happily it is so subordinate to the great mass of the house that it does not compromise the classical proportions. It provides modern conveniences and leaves the original interior spaces unchanged.

Interior:  The front door opens in to the hall that runs the width of the front of the house. At each end are double doors. All three exterior doors feature transoms and leaves in which the panels have been replaced with panes of glass. Across the hall, interior doors lead to the two rooms beyond the hall. These single doors are robust 6-panel ones set in handsome double architrave frames. The splayed door and window reveals and soffits are reeded. In the northeast corner, the stair rises in a long initial run to a landing, a transverse run, another landing, and a final reverse run. The stair features a simple newel, square in section, and a handrail, oval in section, set on a recessed rectangular base. Simple balusters, square in section, support the rail. The treads rest on delicate curvilinear brackets. The hall like all the downstairs rooms, has pedestal wainscot with flush panels. There is a delicately molded cornice at the ceiling and a flat picture molding set in the wall about three feet below the cornice.

Behind he hall are the parlor (the southeast room) and the dining room (the northeast room). The large rooms are of equal size. They have similar pedestal wainscots and dentil cornices with slight variations in detail. The windows in the dining room have reeded reveals and soffits; those in the parlor are flat paneled. Each has a fireplace in its end (west) wall.

In the parlor, bookshelves have been built to the right of the fireplace. the fireplace probably retains its original large brick firebox, topped by a thin jack arch. The brick surround is framed by a delicate molding which is, in turn, bordered by a band of reeded blocks set flush with each other. Very narrow fluted  pilasters frame the opening and support and entablature of probably unique design. The cap molding of the pilasters continues across the top of the fluted band. The entablature breaks out over the pilasters and a central block. Between the three projections is a band of concave recesses. Above it is an intricate molding that breaks and carries over the projections. Above the molding a punch-and-dentil band occurs between the blocks. The cornice shelf features complex moldings.

In the dining room there is a closet to the left of the mantel and a door to the right that gives access to the one-story rear wing. While the doorcases to these openings appear to be original, the doors are not, and the present arrangement may not be the original one. The mantel is a simpler version of the one in the parlor. It repeats the fluted pilasters and three-part architrave but has a simpler entablature with a continuous band of modified wall-of-troy ornament. Above each pilaster cap is found a curious element that resembles an enlarged section of bead-and-reel ornament.

On the second floor, a winding stair to the third floor is located beside the main stair. There is a small hall room in the southeast corner. There are rooms of equal size over the parlor and dining rooms. These have wainscot and mantels with cornice shelves ornamented with dentils over openings framed with two-part architraves. The corners adjacent to the mantels (next to the common dividing wall) have been enclosed with angled walls to create a bathroom accessible to each bedroom.

The third floor has several rooms of differing sizes. Only two have windows – a small one served by the arched pediment window and a large one utilizing the window between the chimneys on the rear wall. There is a storage room under the roof on the south side.

There are photographic and other records of outbuildings that once stood near the house. A smokehouse was recently dismantled, but has been stored on the site for future rebuilding. The yard consists of mature trees and shrubs typical of rural Virginia. There are informal flowerbeds in the side yard north of the house. The yard is surrounded by trees in the fence rows on the front and sides and woodland  at the rear. In fornt of the house are broad open fields divided by an axial driveway that runs out to State Route 10. These fields and adjacent ones are planted today with seasonal crops. The deep cut where the road enters the gate to the front yard attests to the great age of the lane. Behind the house and fields are stands of pine timber, mixed woodlands, and designated wetlands. Except for a few small houses in the distance, view is of the flat fields that cover most of Prince George County. The land is still used as much of it was in the 19th century and some of the present crops may well still benefit from the marling done by Cocke and Ruffin almost two centuries ago.

Significance Summary

Aberdeen in Prince George County, Virginia, is significant at the state level under Criterion C for its architectural merit and under Criterion A for the unsung contribution of Thomas Cocke to the agricultural research done by his close friend, Edmund Ruffin. The house that Cocke built on his inherited land is one of a small group of houses built with lateral front halls serving pairs of large rooms. It contains distinguished Federal woodwork whose idiosyncrasies may well be linked to other houses through additional study. The house is remarkably well-preserved, with few changes, and sympathetic modernizations. Its sits surrounded by woodland, wetlands, and flat fields still being farmed. Thomas Cocke’s role as Ruffin’s guardian and later as confidant and friend has been overshadowed by Ruffin’s strong personality. Though Cocke did not publish his experiments on soil renewal, his debates with Ruffin and their mutual investigations were significant part of Ruffin’s research. In the fields still under cultivation at Aberdeen and on their lands nearby they experimented and cogitated. Ruffin’s published works reformed a significant segment of American agriculture.

Some War of 1812 Military Land Grants

from Lauderdale County Alabama. Help fill in the missing information for these soldiers.

Actual flag that inspired the writing of the Star Spangled Banner

Actual flag that inspired the writing of the Star Spangled Banner. Flag on display at the Smithsonian Institute


Last Name: First Name: Regiment Birth: Death: Spouse:
Adkisson, David Tennessee Militia      
Barnett, James Thomas’ Mississippi Volunteers      
Beard, Jabez 2nd Regiment Virginia Militia      
Beshirs, Henry Griffin’s Company South Carolina Militia      
Bevis,  Thomas L South Carolina Militia      
Boyd,  Joseph Ellis’ Company Tennessee Militia      
Bradley,  James A Williamson’s Company Tennessee Militia      
Brown,  Daniel Tennessee Militia      
Brown,  William Butler’s Company South Carolina Militia      
Bumpass,  Robert South Carolina Militia    bef 1852 Martha
Butler,  Darius H 1st Regiment North Carolina Militia      
Clark, CharlesH Fawcett’s Company South Carolina Militia      
Clark, James 1st Regiment Tennessee Volunteers      
Cole, Abraham Tennessee Militia      
Darby, Phillip 1st Regiment Tennessee Militia      
Dickey, Robert Hill’s Company South Carolina Militia      
Dowdy, Thomas 39th Regiment Alabama Militia     Margaret
Edwards, John Hodges’ Company Alabama Volunteers      
Estes, Josiah 9th Regiment Virginia Militia      
Farmer, Thomas Tennessee Militia      
Frosbaugh, John Allen’s Company Tennessee Militia      
Gordon, JamesF 3rdRegimentUnitedStatesInfantry      
Grissoud, Eaton United States Mounted Rangers      
Haddock, James White’s Company South Carolina Militia      
Hail, JohnA Edward’s Company Tennessee Militia      
Hammons, William Watkins’s Company North Carolina Militia      
Harrel, Asa Tennessee Militia      
Harvey, Ira J Boston’s Company Alabama Volunteers      
Hazelwood,  Mitchell 4th Regiment Virginia Militia      
Hendrix,  Abner Tennessee Militia      
Herstone,  Samuel 1st Regiment Tennessee Militia      
Hogan,  Anderson 4th Regiment Tennessee Volunteers      
Holt,  James Milligan’s Company Tennessee Militia   bef 1852 Elizabeth
Hough,  Joseph Welch’s Company South Carolina Militia      
Hugh,  David Tennessee Militia      
Hutton,  James Nance’s Company Tennessee Volunteers      
Iron,  Phillip 2nd Regiment North Carolina Militia      
Johnson,  John Brandon’s Tennessee Volunteers   bef 1852 Melinda
Lancaster,  David Williamson’s Regiment Tennessee Militia      
Lane,  Drewry H Bullington’s Company Virginia Militia      
Lee,  Henry Tennessee Militia      
Lemaster,  John W 2nd Regiment Tennessee Militia      
Lucy,  Jesse Raney’s Company Virginia Militia      
Martin,  Andrew 2nd Regiment Tennessee Militia      
Mason,  Thomas A 2nd Regiment United States Riflemen      
McAsel,  Allen North Carolina Volunteers      
McBride,  Thomas Allen’s Company Tennessee Militia      
McCartney,  Robert Hamilton’s Company Alabama Militia      
McConnell, James 2nd Regiment Tennessee Militia      
McDougal,  James 4th Regiment Tennessee Militia      
McGlamery,  John Keith’s Company Georgia Militia      
McGwier,  David Barrett’s Tennessee Militia     Margaret
McKelvy,  John Woods’ Company South Carolina Militia      
McKnight,  Thomas P Tennessee Volunteers      
McMillan,  Jesse 5th Regiment Virginia Militia      
Meals,  Daniel Copeland’s Company Tennessee Militia      
Miller,  John 8th Regiment Tennessee Militia      
Mitchell,  John S Gray’s Company Mississippi Militia      
Moses,  Peter Tennessee Militia      
Myrick,  James C 4th North Carolina Militia      
Nolen,  Thomas 2nd Regiment Tennessee Militia      
Partin,  Leonard Allen’s Company Alabama Volunteers      
Pike,  George 16th Regiment Virginia Militia      
Pinkston,  Mathew Williamson’s Regiment Tennessee Volunteers      
Poteet,  William 1st Regiment Tennessee Militia      
Pratt,  Jesse Steel’s Company Tennessee Militia      
Richards, William Griffin’s Company South Carolina Militia      
Romine,  Peter Raines’ Company Tennessee Militia      
Shelby,  Evans McNeil’s Company South Carolina Militia      
Siles,  John Martin’s Company South Carolina Militia      
Simmons,  William Collin’s Company Tennessee Militia      
Stewart,  Duncan 4th Regiment North Carolina Militia   bef 1854 Catherine
Tate,  Jesse O 39th Regiment United States Infantry      
Terrill,  Joseph South Carolina Militia   bef 1851 Tabitha
Thomas,  Andrew Tennessee Militia      
Walker,  Stephen Woodson’s Company Virginia Militia   bef 1853 Mahala
Washburn,  John 2nd Regiment Tennessee Militia      
White,  Abraham Shiver’s Company Georgia Militia      
Williams,  Benjamin Gregg’s Company Virginia Volunteers      
Williams,  Henry Taylor’s Company Virginia Militia      
Wood,  Alexander H 2nd Regiment Virginia Militia      

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