After much careful work on this family, in N. C. and Virginia, the writer has arrived at the conclusion, that the Toms emigrant, to N. C., was living in Charles City Co Va, where he sold land in sd County, to Francis Gray, Feb 17, 1656. Only mention of him, so far found, but that is not strange, considering the fact, that nothing remains of the records in that Co, except one book. Gabriel Toms appears on the records in Essex Co Va, but no connection between the two, can be made. However, there may have been, some relationship. It is thought, but not proven, that the Francis who settled in Perq, is the identical one, who is named in sd record, as the dates would bear me out, in that opinion. From Edmundson’s Journal, we are led to believe, that he did not embrace Quakerism, until the time of Edmundson’s first journey to N. C. 1672. At which time, he & his wife, Mary (d of John Nicholson, sister of William) went over to the new cult. Mary being his 3d wife, by whom he had no issue. Her will p in Perq, 1717, does not name a single one of his children. She was probably a widow before m francis toms, as she names in her will, Vesty Lewis, who was wife of Edward Lewis, & probably her daughter.
francis toms, m before coming to Perq, Pershillah — by whom he had issue: Penelope, b Jan 27, 1670—Francis (2), b Sept 19, 1672—Pershillah, b Mch 19, 1674/5—Joseph, b Nov 16, 1677, died June 6, 1679—Caleb, & Joshua (twins), b Nov 25, 1679.
Toms, Francis, m 2d Abigail Lury (widow of John) Jan 6, 1683, by whom one d Abigail, b Dec 10, 1684. Abigail Toms, Wife of Francis, died Mar 17, 1687.†
Toms, Francis, m 3d Mary Nicholson, who survived him.
Toms, Francis Sr, lived near “Lower Pond, on Reedy Branch, at the head of Vosses Creek.” His land adj John Flowers, on western side of “Long Reach” in the “Narrows” of Perq River. The land on Vosses Creek, where his dwelling was erected, adj William Morgan. He had a stretch of land, running from Vosses Creek, to “Middle Swamp” called “Frog Hall.” This place still retains its original name, to this day. francis toms Jr owned land on S. W. side of Perq River, on “Bull Branch, adj land sold to Henry Grace, June 24, 1714. His land also joined land of William Jones. francis toms Sr, made a deed of gift, to Thomas Pierce, Wm Bogue, Isaac Wilson, & Gabriel Newby, 1a of land, “for the Society of Protestant Desenters, Vulgarly called Quakers, whereon a Church is now built,” in Perq Precinct, 11mo called Jan, 1705/6. This house of Worship, is supposed to have been Vosses Creek Meeting house, on said Creek, the exact location, being lost and uncertain. He was a member of the Council, for many years (see deeds). Clerk of Pasq Precinct Aug 8, 1692 (see will of John Nixon). Dept’ to Lord Amey, & his name appears on many grants given by the Lords Pro’r. His oath before the Gov Council, is of interest, to all historians, in its quaint wording, he promised “to Keepe ye Secrett of ye Council, to ye best of my advice, according to my Understanding.” This oath was administered in 1706. He had been a member of the Council, since Feb 6, 1683/4. francis toms “Collector of Customs” (no date).
On 15, 7mo 1696, he left Perq, on a two months journey (probably to London) but his business is not stated, maybe in the interests of the Quaker Church. Before leaving, he deputized “Wm Glover, his Lov’ Friend, to get timber for a big Mill, or a little one, & left it wholely to him, which thee thinks most benificall for me.” This was probably the beginning of Toms Mill, on Suttons Creek, in fact if his land ran to Middle Swamp, as before stated, & sd place was called even then, “Frog Hall” we are certain the “Mill” here mentioned, was built on this property. He made a deed, Feb 9, 1688, with consent of wife Abigail, for 300a at the head of Yeopim Creek, “called John Lasy’s Plan’,” land pat by Wm Charles, June 6, 1683. Another deed Jan 5, 1689/90, with the signature of his last wife Mary. In a deed Mar 24, 1687, he gives the information, that he had been grt 587a in Perq Precinct. (See deeds.)
The Hon’ble francis toms, had a grt, in Perq Pr’ct, 640a, adj Capt Ralph Fletcher, & James Morgan, to corner of Wm Voss, & along his line to the River (Perquimans). May 1, 1695. francis toms Esq, another grt, in Perq
†Note: John Lacey (Lurey) 2d husband of Abigail Balie, in his Will Perq Precinct, Dec 1, 1682, names wife Abigail, & d Sarah. This may be the same Sarah, for whom Foster Toms put in a claim, for her Estate, in 1754. It is thought she m Christopher Denman, but no absolute proof is forthcoming.
Pre’ct 375a on North side of Perq River, by beaver dam Swamp. Feb 26, 1696.
Toms, Francis Sr, will Perq, 6, 10mo 1709. Names wife Mary, sons: Francis, Joshua, d Mary Newby (wife of Gabriel) gr-son Francis Newby, father-in-law
John Nicholson, makes bequest to “d Priscilla Kinsey,” late wife of John Nicholson.*
Priscilla Toms, had previously m John Nicholson, by whom she had, the children named in their father-in-laws will. He is named in francis toms will, also. (See francis toms will, & deeds in Perq Co.)
Mary Toms, will p Jan 15, 1717/18, made bequest to Vesty Lewis, & Rachel Laurence, & Elizabeth (d of my brother Wm Nicholson) Joseph Glaister (a Quaker preacher), & wife Mary were made Exrs.
Toms, (2) Francis Jr, (s of Francis & Pershillah) m Margaret Lawrence (widow of Wm, née Bogue) June 8, 1696, “at a meeting at said Lawrence’s house,” issue: 1 Mary, b 20 — 1696/7—2 Elizabeth, b Nov 20, 169- —3 Penelope, b Nov 19, 1702—4 Margaret, b Dec 5, 1707. (Wm Lawrence 1st husband of Margaret Bogue, died Aug 13, 1694.) francistoms Jr died 2, 7mo 1729.
Toms, Francis, will Perq p Oct 6, 1729, names: son Francis (3) d Mary Newby, & her husband, Nathan Newby, gr-son Francis Newby, d Elizabeth Phelps, d Priscilla Jones, d Margaret Toms, d Pleasant Winslow, wife Rebecca.
Rebecca, 2d wife of francis toms Jr, is thought to be d of Mary Simmons, whose will was p 1724, but no absolute proof exists. She was a d of John Pierce, & wife Mary Scott (d of Joseph) b Aug 9, 1680. (Mary Pierce, m 2d Wm Bundy, 3d Nicholas Simmons.) Rebecca 2d wife of francis toms, must have been mother of his son Francis (3), & d Pleasant, who m Joseph (2) Winslow s of Thomas (1) & wife Elizabeth Clare. The age of neither of these two can be found in Berkeley Parish Reg, Perq Co, where the others are recorded.
Toms, Francis (3), m Rebecca Nixon (d of Zachariah, & wife Elizabeth Symons, who lived at that time in Pasq Co, at Nixonton). (See Pasq Co Deeds.)
Toms, Francis, & Rebecca (Nixon) had issue: 1 Zachariah, b Apl 10, 1741—2 Rebecca, b Sept 26, 1743—m Caleb White, of Thomas, & Rachel (Jordan)—3 Mary, b Jany 8, 1745/6—4 Caleb, b Feby 3, 1747/8—5 Elizabeth, b May 25, 1750, m Samuel Phelps, & 2d Zachariah Nixon (2) her cousin.
(3) Toms, Francis, (3) will Perq, p July 1771. Sons: Zachariah, Caleb, dau’s Rebecca White, Elizabeth Toms, son-in-law Jos McAdams, & Caleb White.
(4) Toms, Zachariah (1), will Perq, p April 1774, names wife Margaret, sons: Francis, William, dau’s Rebecca, & Margaret Tow, bro-in-law Joseph, & Caleb White.
(2) Toms, Joshua, (1) (s of Francis, & Pershillah) m Sarah Gosby (d of John, & Hannah, née Nicholson) b Nov 12, 1687. (See Berkeley Par Reg.) Issue: 1 Sarah, b Mch 5, 1703/4—2 Hannah, b June 6, 1706, m Ezekiel Maudlin (2). Joshua Toms m 2d Rebecca Sutton (widow of Joseph, who was dec’d 1724, née Jones, d of Peter Jones Sr, will 1752). She m 1st Joseph Sutton, 2d
*Note: John Kinse (s of John, & Catherine) was b 6, 10mo 1692, in Nansemond Co Va. He m in Perq Co N. C. Pershillah Toms, (d of Francis Sr, & wife Pershillah). John Kinseys will, Perq April 14, 1717, names d Elizabeth, dau-in-law Mary Nicholson, son-in-law Samuel Nicholson, wife Preshillah.
Joshua Toms, & 3d 1737 Charles Denman, Clerk of Perq. Joshua Toms had by Rebecca one d Sarah, b July 4, 1727.
(2) Toms, Joshua, Will Perq, p April 1732, names son, Foster, dau’s Sarah, Hannah Maudlin, & Miriam Sutton, son-in-law Christopher Sutton, gr-sons William, & Joshua Sherro (Sherwood). Wife Rebeckah. (Clerk of Court Charles Denman.) The two Sherro children, are thought to be step-gr-children, as Rebecca had a sister, who m Sherwood. (See divisions.)
(5) Toms, Foster, (1) made pet’ to the court, Oct 1754, for Est of Sarah Toms, “out of the hands of Charles Moor, Admix of Christopher Denman dec’d.”
(5) Toms, Foster, will Perq, p April 1, 1779, Sons: Joshua, John, Gosby, & Foster (2), d Martha.
(5) Toms, Martha, will Perq, p Feby 1794, names sons: John, & Foster, gr-son John (s of Joshua) gr-son Francis Newby (s of Francis) gr-son Zachariah (s of Gosby) gr-son Joshua (s of Gosby). Test’ Zachariah Nixon.
(6) Toms, Foster, (2) will Perq, p May 1794. Sons: Joseph, & Samuel, wife Elizabeth. Brothers, John, & Gosby, cousins: Francis Newby, and John Toms Jr.
(7) Toms, John, will Perq, p Nov 1808, names wife Mary, sons: Benjamin, Anderson & John A. Toms, gr-son John White, d Miriam White and her husband Francis, s Foster, dau’s Sarah, & Mary.
francis toms (2) had land grt him Nov 25, 1714, 200a—which he sold, July 12, 1726, to Thomas Winslow.
Toms, Zachariah (1) s of Francis (3), m Margaret White, (d of William, & Margaret). See his will 1774.
Toms, Zachariah, deed to s Caleb, with consent of wife Margaret. 1775.
Toms, Margaret, made a deed to son Francis, a negro, — 29, 1775. The same to dau’s Rebecca, & Elizabeth, April 29, 1775. Elizabeth Toms, (d of Zachariah, & Margaret, m — Tow).
Toms, Foster, & wife Mary, were Admix of Malachi Jones, (who died without issue) July 1777. Malachi Jones in his will, names niece Mary Jones (d of Thomas).
Toms, Foster, (s of John, & Mary) died 14, 12, 1807. He had no issue. Names in his will, p 1808, Brother Benjamin, sister Nancy Toms, cousin Foster Nixon, and sisters Miriam White (wife of Francis) Martha Nixon, & Sarah Elliott, Exrs brothers: John A. & Anderson Toms. It seems clear that John Toms, father of Foster (above) m Mary Anderson, d of John Anderson. John Anderson, will p in Perq, 1808, names d Mary Toms, & her sons Anderson & John A. Toms.
Toms, Anderson, (s of John dec’d) m Mary Bagley (d of Nathan) “at Suttons Creek Perq Co” 15, 12, 1808. Nathan Bagley in his will, Perq Co, 9, 11mo 1815, names d Mary Toms, & gr-children Mary, & Foster Toms, son-in-law Anderson Toms.
Toms, John Anderson, m Phariby Bagley, (d of Nathan, of Perq) “at Suttons Creek 1, 12mo 1805, issue: 7 Mary, b 24, 11mo 1806—2 Foster, b 5, 3mo 1809.
Toms, Benjamin, (s of John) m Martha Wilson (d of Christopher, & Pheribe) of Perq, “at Suttons Creek” 16, 9mo 1813. He seems to have died intestate. Christopher Willson, will Perq, p Feby 1824, names d Martha Toms, son-in-law Benjamin Toms, wife Pheribe.
Toms, Foster, (1) will 1779, m Martha — who for some reason is not named in his will, but she survived him, making a will, which was p 1794.
(Her will already given.) Heirs of Martha Toms dec’d Jan 3, 1798. (Division.) Orphans of Gosby Toms dec’d, John Clary, (in right of his wife Penelope) Samuel Nixon, (wifes part) Jesse Copeland, part—Henry Copeland (wifes part) Isaac Barber, (wifes part) Willis Newby part, Nathan Newby part, Francis, Leah, Zach’ry, & Joshua Toms prt, Mary Clary part. (Auditors account.)
Another Audit, Aug 4, 1797, gives to John Toms Sr £58 s14, Foster Toms, Representatives, (same) Francis Newby Jr, (same).
Toms, Leah, account with her Gar, John Clary. Jan 27, 1805.
Toms, Mary (d of Benjamin, & Martha (Wilson) Toms) is buried in the Episcopal Cemetery, in Hertford. She died Sept 1855, age 25 years and 6 months.
Toms, Joshua, (s of Foster, & Martha) m Millicent Newby, —, 8mo 1779. (Welles.)
Toms, Benjamin, in a deed, names d Phereby Blount.
Toms, Zachariah, in a deed to Zach Nixon, 13, 11mo 1804, conveyed “all my part of a Grist Mill, on Suttons Creek, called Toms Mill.” In another deed, to Joshua Toms, 14, 5mo 1805, he sold land, “formerly belonging to our father Gosby Toms dec’d.”
Toms, Margaret, m Thomas Jones, 5, mo 1775.
Diana (Manners) Harris, wife of Thomas, married second William Foster, 1675, hence the next precinct court came to order at the house of “Diana Foster in February 1694/4, with same justices present. The proceeding of this court show that Mr. John Davis was dead, and John Philpott withdrew an action against Richard Nowell. Rights were proven by Thomas Lepper for ten persons as follows: Thomas (twice) Ann, Sarah, Rebecca Lepper, Ann Kent, John Thomas, William Brown, William Brickstone, and Nicholas Roberson. Caleb Calloway proved rights for “Dan’ll Pembroke, Tho. Merett (an Indian) and Arthur Long.” The last captain in Bacon’s Rebellion. Roger Snell by gift conveyed land to Jonathan Taylor. The will of Mr. George Durant was probated during the session of this court, “by oath of Mr. John Philpott and Mr. Francis ffoster.” Seth Sothel had also passed away, and his will was proven by Col. William Wilkinson, Capt. Henderson Walker, and Sarah Woolard, all residents of Perquimans. Lawrence Arnold, deceased, his widow, Elizabeth, was sworn in as his Administratrix. Rights were proven by Thomas Pierce, for himself, John, Susanna, Ruth, Dorothy, Mary, and John Pierce. Hannah Gosby proved rights for her son, John Gosby, Jno. Anderson, Jean Anderson, Katherine Kinsey, Jeremiah White and Henry Clayton. (John Kinsey came to North Carolina from Nansemond County, Virginia, and wedded Katherine, daughter of Francis toms, having one son, John, born 1692, his death occurring soon after, she married second John Nicholson.) John Bentley entered land for importations, Jean, Mary, and Sarah Bentley. Jenkins Williams proved rights for himself. Timothy Clare imported Edmond Rodman, and Richard Fox, Junior. Samuel Nicholson rights for Christopher Nicholson, and Hannah his wife (who came from New England) Deliverance Sutton (daughter of said Christopher, and wife of Joseph Sutton) Francis Simons, Hannah Nicholson. Thomas Harloe proved rights for himself, Mary (twice) and John Harloe, probably his son. John Durant rights for himself and wife Sarah (Jooke). William Godfrey rights for himself and Sarah Godfrey. James, Ann, Alice, and John Wilson came to Carolina as headrights of James ffewox. Edward Mayo, Senior, transported himself and children, Edward, Sarah, Ann, Elizabeth Mayo, also Em John, and Ann Nixon, and Samuel and Affica Pike. William Butler rights for himself and wife Diana. Richard Nowell rights for himself Joan, Ellinor, Alice, and Olliver Nowell, John Smith, Charles, George, and Mary Taylor. (Richard Nowell settled on Little River.) Tabitha
Haskeet (Hasket) rights for John Gray and Tabitha his wife (her daughter), John Gray, Junior, and Thomas Gray. William Lacey proved rights for himself, his father, William Lacey, Sr., Grace, and John Lacey, probably his wife and brother, and Jean Davis. James Loadman rights for himself (twice) and his mother, Jean Buyard. Stephen Manwaring rights for Edward Berry, and John Deadman (who died at the house of John Harris July 15, 1692, for whom Deadman’s Swamp in Perquimans was named). The name of Manwarring appears on the records of Richmond County, Virginia, and one Stephen Manwarring came to Carolina from Surry County, Virginia, apparently.
Henderson Walker was Governor of the Province, April 24, 1703. Peter Godfrey was appointed Clerk of Perquimans, January 1702/3, at which time Captain John Stepney turned over the books, while Samuel Swann administered the oath to the new Clerk, being secretary of the Court. Governor Walker had sworn in three new justices, Samuel Swann, Frances toms, and William Glover.
This road appears to be the same which now runs from the Causeway to Winfall. Zachariah Nixon, Richard Cheston and James Morgan, Senior, were appointed to lay off the road. On the same date Mary Newby, widow, petitioned the court that her “Tithables be taken off the main road to labour on the ferry road, it being more Convenient to me than the main road and I can better tend the ferry if any person Comes to be Set over my lands being on that road Can Set them over so shall get no Blame.” (Petition granted.) Mary Newby (nee toms, wife of Nathan first) was required to give bond after the death of her husband in 1735 for the maintenance of the ferry between her Point and where the ferry landed on the Phelps Point side. She exhibited her husbands will in Court, July, 1735. Soon after his death she married Samuel Moore. Her son, Nathan (2), continued to operate the ferry, which was later cared for by Samuel Pretlow who married his widow. Jonathan Phelps, who had charge of the ferry on the Hertford side, died before January, 1769, when Francis Nixon in behalf of Benjamin Phelps, his son, petitioned the Court showing that about January 1, 1767, he had rented the ferry and ferry house in the town of Hertford and by Order of Court for six years on condition that the highest bidder should pay the rent yearly which had been bid off to Hatten Williams in behalf of William Newbold, now in possession, who failed to pay the rent, and said Nixon now prayed for the use of said premises for four years. This Francis Nixon had married the widow of Nathan Newby (2). She being Kesiah Pierce, daughter of Thomas, and having for her third husband Samuel Pretlow. Dorothy Phelps (nee Jordan daughter of Matthew Jordan of Isle of Wight County, Virginia), wife of Jonathan had by him son, Benjamin, and a daughter, Dorothy. The widow of Jonathan Phelps married second John Skinner, and he is found at a later date keeping the ferry.
Thomas Nicholson, being guardian for Joseph McAdams, prayed the Court for an Order to “run a ferry over to Nixonton which might prove of great ease to the publick,” and also petitioned the Court “that said Orphans’ slaves be exempt from working on the publick road rather putting their labor on the road” that leads to Nags Head Chappel. (No date.) The “Inhabitants of Old Neck complained that they were at great hardship for want of a road, and prayed the Court to have one cleared from Francis toms Bridge to the mouth of Suttons Creek.” The following persons were assigned to keep the road in order: Richard Sanders, Aaron Albertson, Joseph Ratcliff, Samuel Parks, Christopher Sutton, Thos. Pierce, and Joseph Newby. The records mention a “Landing” at the mouth of Suttons Creek on the south side, and it is possible that the road here spoken of is the same still traceable through the woods past the Martin Towe home straight to the Creek. The road is now impassable.
List of Taxables taken by Thomas Weeks, J.P., 1742: Robert Cock, George Gording, and sons, William and Nathaniel, Jeremiah Hendrick, Joseph Robinson, Thos. Knoles, Samuel Moore, Francis toms, John Morris, John Guyer, Mary Newby, widow, and son, Thomas, Ezekiel Maudlin, Jane Morgan, widow, John Henby and son, Silvanus, Arthur Albertson, John Lacey, James Henby, Jr., Edward Maudlin, and sons, William and Ezekiel, Thos. Jessop, Jesse Newby, Thos. Barclift, John Mann, John Barclift, Sr., and son, John, Solomon Hendrick, David Huffton, Michael Murphy, Thos. Montague, Josiah Raper, Benjamin Monday, and son, Thomas, Thos. Stafford, William Tomblin, Margaret Stanton, and sons, Moses and Aaron Jackson, Charles Overman, John Robinson, William Hasket, Nathaniel Welch, Isaac Hendrick, William Colson, Phineas Nixon, John Winslow, William Knoles, Thos. Godfrey and son, Thomas, Samuel Right (Wright) William Arnold, Jno. Nixon, Jno. Moore, Thos. Sharbo, Thos. Winslow and son, Job, and six slaves (Thomas Winslow, Senior), Thos. Winslow, Jr., Joseph Ratcliff, Aaron Albertson, Jno. Anderson, Rachel Pearson, widow, and son, Jonathan, John Perrishaw, Josiah Bundy, John Wilson, William Bundy.
As has already been mentioned John Skinner, married Dorothy, widow of Jonathan Phelps, who owned the land at the ferry and operated it as long as he lived. A stipend of £5 s5 p10 was paid to said John Skinner July 18, 1763, by Andrew Knox, Sheriff, of Perquimans for maintenance of the Ferry. “Having attended the ferry Duly for the Year past over Perquimans River at Publick times According to Order of Court.” John Skinner and Keziah Newby petitioned the court for their “Sallery.”
At a Precinct Court April 18, 1754, Jacob Docton prayed the Court to exempt him from further taxation on account of “mind being impaired.” Joshua Hobart did the same thing on account of a broken Shoulder April, 1762.
Among those who from the beginning have elected to remain in the county can be cited such names as White, Wilson, Skinner, Whedbee, Blount, Wood, Modlin, Evans, Winslow, Jessop, Cox, Hollowell, Nixon, toms, Newby, Leigh, Morgan, Smith, and many more whose names were first found on the page of history when Perquimans first opened its doors to settlers. For over two hundred years these people have considered the home land of their forefathers good enough for them, and they continue to bless the old fireside with their presence.
RELIGION AND CHURCHES
AS FOUND MENTIONED IN COUNTY RECORDS AND OTHER DATA
The Friends have every right to claim that it was their denomination that first flourished in Perquimans, and the Colonial records are proof of the fact. It may also be a fact that the Church of England here was established simultaneously, but no documentary proofs can be found to establish the claim, and the letters of ministers sent out by the English Church bear out the point, testifying as they do that Friends had four well appointed Churches in Perquimans before a single one of any other denomination was erected. It is claimed that Henry Phillips was the first Quaker to set foot in the precinct, coming from New England in 1665, and it is a well known fact that the first religious service held in Perquimans was that of William Edmundson in the spring of 1672. Tradition coming down through Quaker sources has it that Henry Phillips wept for joy on seeing the Quaker minister, and well he may have, had he realized how strong his society would grow in the new land. Old records show that this “meeting” of Friends was held on the banks of Perquimans River, under several large Cypress trees, two of which are still standing by the side of beautiful Perquimans. Henry Phillips, so the story goes, lived on the “Point.” His humble dwelling offered to the great preacher for the service of God being too small to accommodate the crowd of worshipers who came to hear this noted speaker, and some probably coming through curiosity, they gathered in the spring sunshine under the venerable trees to hear him expound the “truth” as he understood it, and many converts were there made. In his Journal Edmundson states that “many received the truth gladly,” chief among them being one “Tems” (toms) who embraced the new religion on the spot and requested them to “meet” at his home the next day, which house is reported to be two miles away across the water. The records of Perquimans show that the lands of Francis toms here mentioned were on the head of Vosses Creek, somewhere in the vicinity of the present Mount Sinai Church neighborhood, which is about two miles from Hertford and the water they had to cross was none other than Perquimans River, a rather formidable stream to get over in that day. The supposition is plausible that up to that date Francis toms had not embraced Quakerism, but from that day he became one of the most influential in the county, his son Francis, Junior, following in his footsteps. In fact all the early tomses were of that belief, and married into families of the same persuasion. Edmundson was followed in the
A. Baptist Church, Hertford, remodeled, which replaced the church built in 1854, an offshoot from Bethel. First trustees: Charles W. Skinner and Richard Felton.
B. Episcopal Church, Hertford. Built 1859. Replaced the old one on the corner of Main and Grubb streets.
C. Methodist Episcopal Church. Built before July 23, 1838, on Lots No. 80 and 82. An offshoot of New Hope in Durant’s Neck.
D. Modernized Piney Woods Friends Church, which was in use before the Revolution.
same year by the noted Quaker minister, George Fox, who came in the fall, giving in his Journal a most interesting account of his visit to Perquimans. Four years later Edmundson returned to the precinct and wrote in his Journal afterward that he found “Friends finely settled” in the county, and “things well among them.”
From records still extant it seems certain that Little River “meeting” was the earliest to be “set up” in Perquimans, and the Virginia records are authority for the fact that Henry White built the first “Meeting House.” He, it appears, was already a resident of Perquimans Precinct as early as 1699, at which time a “meeting” was held at his house, where Quaker marriages were solemnized. Taking into consideration the fact that he lived in that part of Perquimans bordering on Little River, somewhere near the present town of Woodville just across the line from Pasquotank County, makes it all the more evident that the church he built was somewhere in the vicinity of his own home, then too records show that part of Perquimans was the earliest and most thickly settled. Hertford and its environment had not then come into prominence, although there were no doubt settlers in and around the “Point.” Deeds in Perquimans are authority for the fact that “Little River Meeting House” stood at the turn of the road going over Weeks Bridge, which is just beyond the village of Woodville, and it is spoken of as being “at the head of Little River” where today a Quaker burying ground can be seen on a small eminence on the right side of the road going toward the old Weeks home across Little River, on the Pasquotank side. A large sycamore tree marks the location and many small grave stones lift their mute testimony for all to see. Here in tranquil peace lie numbers of old residents of Quaker faith, probably in their midst the renowned Herny White, and certainly Joseph Jordan.
Why the Quaker settlers abandoned the Little River neighborhood and finally congregated in the Piney Wood section is one of the unsolved problems of the past, but it is true nevertheless that they did move, in and around Belvidere which has from early times been the stronghold of that faith. At the present date not any or very few live anywhere else in the county, and a large proportion of this once flourishing sect have moved away, some to Baltimore, others to Raldolph County, North Carolina, from which section they went west to Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and even as far as California. These good people in their new homes have made for themselves a name that makes those remaining in Perquimans proud. Among the families given in this book will be found the names of many who so migrated, who still keep up with the doings in the old State and county. Joseph Jordan, one of that splendid family of Nansemond County, Virginia, came early to Perquimans and lived on Little River, where he taught school in the first place of learning mentioned in the precinct. He was also a Quaker minister, being named in the Quaker Records in Virginia as “that great and worthy man and Minister” according to Lower Monthly Meeting, Nansemond County, Virginia. He was a son of Thomas Jordan, a prominent Quaker of said county and state, and his wife Margaret Brasurre (French Huguenot) who took an active part in the Church and civic activities in Virginia.
Vosses Creek meeting was probably the next to be “set up” and was built on land donated by Francis toms (second) but the location is not definitely certain, however, as his land can be traced and the location of that is proven, there is not much doubt that this chucrh was built near his home, probably near Boswell Fork. The record of Vosses Creek meeting was carried west by one of the old residents of Perquimans where it reposed for many years, finally being copied by an old gentleman in Richmond, Indiana, who sent the old record back home, but in some way it was lost and no one knows what became of it. As represented to the writer the copy made by the Richmond gentleman is a wonderful piece of recording, and posterity should and will be undyingly grateful to him for his labor in years to come.
Suttons Creek Meeting house stood on ground where Newbolds school house now stands. Just back of it in the woods is the old Quaker burying ground, and Quaker records show that numbers of their dead are buried there, among whom if stones could be found would probably be found Albertsons, Nixons, Townsends, Suttons, tomses, Hollowells, Newbys, Morrises, Henbys, Moores, Morgans, and many more whose names appear on Suttons Creek Register, who attended and affiliated with the personnel of this particular “meeting.”
The location of Wells Meeting house is well authenticated, but the time it was built is not indicated by any record so far found in Perquimans. The place where this old house once stood remains in the memory of some of the oldest citizens of the county, being on Perquimans River across from the old Jessop residence not far from Blanchands Bridge. After a number of years for some unexplained reason the church was moved out on the road across from the Peele place, going towards Belvidere and here it still stands as part of a barn on the property of Mrs. Jack Trueblood who was before her marriage a daughter of Mr. Thomas Jessop. The old structure was for many years used as a school house, called “Jessops Schoolhouse” and here the children of the neighborhood went to study the Blue-back Speller, where formerly their ancestors came to worship God. It is claimed by old residents in Perquimans that there was at one time a “float bridge” across Perquimans River where the old Blanchard place stands, which was later
replaced by a ferry. At this time it seems that part of the county was more prosperous than it is at the present day, and Ephrim Blanchard, himself a Quaker, probably lived there and gave the place its name. A store of thriving trade did business at the crossing and Mr. Blanchard accumulated there a handy sum, from which some descendant of his laid by enough to come to the town of Hertford and set up a store, from which has emerged “Blanchard Brother since 1832” still going strong. Mr. Blair who arrived in Carolina January 24, 1704, in an epistle written later mentions the fact, “that the roads were deep and difficult in Perquimans, and that there were seven great Rivers over which no passing was possible with horses, over one of which the Quakers had settled a ferry for their own conveniency and no body but themselves had the privilege of it.” From the fact that Wells meeting house stood near this point and further that Quakers were settled on both sides of the river at that date the “ferry” here named was probably the same as that spoken of as being at Blanchards Bridge. Wells was probably a rather weak “‘meeting” and was absorbed by the stronger sister “Piney Woods” at what date can not be ascertained. As in other sections of the precinct this “Meeting” was kept up and attended by those near by and among those lifting their hearts to God in this sanctuary are to be found the names of Pritlow, Nicholson, Elliott, Lamb, Cannon, Haskit, Saint, Fletcher, Cosand, Draper, Anderson, Copeland, Albertson, Chappel, Sanders, Ratcliff, Munden Jordan, Barrow, Charles, Jessop, Guyer. It may be that this “meeting” was named for Francis Wells, an influential Quaker residing in this neighborhood.
No. 19. Charles Prows of Pasquotank, planter-Ex of the last will of Ann Prows, late of sd precinct, widow; relict of Henry Prows Dec’d, sold unto Francis toms of Perq 260a, adj Wm Vosses, & Wm Charles. June 11, 1683. Test’ Henderson Walker, Josiah Slocum, Wm Charles.
No. 20. Grant from Lords Pro’ unto Francis toms, planter-478a on West side of Perq River, adj Robert Wilson, “due sd toms for Trans’ of eleven persons into the Country.” Feb 6, 1687. Seth Sothel Gov, & Comd-in-Chief. Councillors; Thomas Miller, Anthony Slocum, James Blount, Thomas Harvey.
No. 21. Wm Charles of Yeopim, “in con’ of a plan’ where I now live, 300a up Perq River, now in poss’ of my brother Daniel (formerly John Lacys) delivered to us by our father-in-law Francis toms, do assign to sd Francis 140a on East side of Perq River.” April 11, 1687. Test’ John Stepney, Anthony Heathcott, Edward Mayo Sen’r.
No. 22. Francis toms of Perq River, in con’ of a plan’ on East side of sd River delivered to me by Wm Charles, do covey to sd Daniel, & Samuel Charles, Brother of sd William, 300a on West side of Perq River, “taken out of my Dividend of 580a,” adj land of Robert Wilson. Mar 26, 1687. Test’ John Stepney, Anthony Heathcoatt. Edward Mayo Sec’r.
No. 23. June 6, 1683. Francis toms, with consent of Abigail my wife, (John Lacy Dec’d, her former husband) do give right of land at the head of Yeopim Creek, 300a called “John Lacys Plantation” unto William Charles. Test’ Joseph Goodman, Samuel Pricklove.
No. 24. William Vose of Perq River, planter-sold to Thomas Kent of Albemarle Co, parcel of land in Perquimans, on East side of the River, adj William Charles. 100a by an assignment of a Pattent from Wm West. Mar
No. 49. Albemarle. 21—3 Mo 1689. “I Francis toms, do sell my right to Land, adj Joshua Lamb, & Wm Lawrence,” to line of Anthony Haskit. Test’ John Harlow, Mary toms.
No. 50. David Blake of Perq, sold to Robert Beasley of same, all right to a Tract of Land—adj Peter Gray, on North side of Perq River. Mar 5, 1687. Test’ Peter Gray, Stephen Mannering.
No. 75. Wm Turner of “Little River” do give to my son-in-law (step-son) John Kinsie, two thirds of a Plan’ which did belong to my Predecessor John Kinsie father of sd John, on North side of Perq River, when he comes of age, “after Decease of my wife Catherine,” 150a. 6-2 mo 1694. Test’ Francis toms, Joseph Nicholson.
* (This was probably the land George Durant deeded to Seth Sothel, “unlawfully taken from him, while in durance.” One of the charges brought against said Seth Sothel, when he was impeached.)
No. 76. Wm Turner, “binds himself” to pay to son-in-law John Kinse (son of wife Catherine) a “debt due him from me,” £20 Sterling, at age of 21 years. April 9, 1694. Test’ Francis toms, Joseph Nicholson.
No. 77. Francis toms assigned right of within mentioned Patent, to Gabriel Newby. 278a. 22-5 mo 1693. Test’ Israel Snellen, Samuel Nicholson.
No. 78. *Thomas Lepper, of Albemarle, for £20 pd by James Hogg of same-sold 166a on Yeopim Creek, “being Wester-most side of Land grt to me by Lords Pro’ April 1, 1694.” Thomas, & Ann Lepper. Test’ Robert Beasley, Elizabeth Cook, Wm Glover.
No. 79. Joseph Trowel of Perq precinct, to Thomas Horton, 640a adj James Long, on North East side of Yeopim River. Jan 1, 1693-4. Test’ John Stepney, Peter Gray.
No. 80. John Flowers, & Susanna his wife, sold a plan’ to Timothy Clare, on North side of Perq River, adj Wm Bundy, & sd Flowers. Nov 2, 1693. Test’ Patrick Kenedy, Wm Bogue. Edward Mayo Clerk.
No. 81. Timothy Clare assigned sd “Bill of Sale, within Specified” unto Robert Fraser. June 25, 1694. Test’ Peter Gray, Charles Macdaniel.
No. 82. Wm Godfrey of Albemarle, sold unto Wm Bentley 150a on West side of Little River, adj John Hawkins, & Lawrence Arnold. April 6, 1693. Test’ Henry White, Robert White, Arnold White.
No. 83. John Hawkins, doth “Engage myself never to molest, nor trouble Wm Bentley Sen’r, of a seat of Land, sd Bentley hath now bought of Wm Godfrey.” April 6, 1693. Test’ Henry White, Robert White.
No. 84. John Tomlin of Little River, planter—for “love I bear my sons: John, & William Tomlin, do give unto them, six cows each, with increase” when they are of age. To dau’ Elizabeth “six cows, two pewter dishes, & to my sd sons, & dau’ one Mare.” 20-11mo 1693-94. Test’ Thomas Twede, John Baker.
No. 85. Hannah Gosby, for Natural love I bear my son John Gosby, & dau’ Sarah Gosby, do give £30 when they are 16 years of age.” Aug 13, 1694. Test’ Stephen Manwarring, Jonathan Bateman, John Stepney.
(Note, Sarah Gosby above married Joshua toms, son of Francis, & Priscilla.)
No. 114. Hon’ble Francis toms Esq, Dept to Thomas Amy Esq, one of the Lords Pro’, “deposed that about 1669 he did see the Lords Pro’ grant to the Co of Albemarle Authority for holding Lands, with their Lordships great Seal affixed” & Hon’ble Thomas Harvey Esq Dept to John Earle of Bath, one of the Lords Pro’, deposed that “about 1670 he did see the Lords Pro’ grant to the Co of Albemarle Authority for holding Lands.” Before John Archdale Gov. (1696-7.)
No. 136. Samuel Charles of Car, Planter—to Charles Scott, planter of same—60a purchased by sd Charles of “my father” (step father) Francis toms, as per Deed Mar 27, 1687, “on Wide of Perq River,” adj West Land of Gabriel Newby, & sd Samuel. Jan 1, 1698-9. Test’ John Pricklove, David Sharwood. Gabriel Newby.
No. 151. Samuel Charles, & Elizabeth his wife, of the Co of Albemarle for a Val’ Con’ pd by Gabriel Newby, of same, sold 240a on West-side of Perq River, adj Robert Wilson. “Land purchased by me of my father (step father) toms.” Mar 26, 1699. Test’ John Stepney, John Nicholson.
No. 158. James Thigpen Att’ to Stephen Manwaring, late of N. C. sold to John Lilly of same, 30a formerly belonging to Wm Voss, purchased of said Wm Voss by Stephen Manwaring, Jan 16, 1696, on line of Francis toms & Jonathan Jones. Oct 1, 1700. Test’ Gabriel Newby, Mary Newby.
No. 174. James Thigpen Att’ to Stephen Manwaring of Perq, for a Valuable con’ pd by John Flowers of same—sold 80a on Western side of “Long Reach, in the Narrows of Perq River” adj Francis toms Sr. Aug 12, 1701. Test’ John Barrow, Francis Foster.
No. 198. Hannah Snelling,* widow of Israel, of Perq Pre’ct, “for Love I bear my Daughters; Richel, & Esther Snelling, do give part of my Estate
* Hannah Snelling, (née Larance, dau of William, & Rachel Welch) married 2d Timothy Clare, shortly after this deed was made. She was his third, & last wife; having issue by him one dau Hannah, who married Benjamin Bundy. Esther Snelling was wife of John Winslow, thought to be a brother of Thomas Winslow, who married Elizabeth Clare, eldest dau of Timothy Clare, by his first wife Mary Bundy, dau of William Bundy. There were three other Clare children, all children of the first wife, respectively; Mary (twin to Elizabeth) who married Edward Mayo, Sarah who married John White, m 2d Jacob Elliott, Jane married 1st — Robinson & 2d Thomas Jessop, & Ann, thought to be the wife of William Newby. (2) of Perq Co. one young mare bought of Samuel Nicholson, with her increase,” To dau Rachel one cow, named “Tulip” to dau Esther one cow, & calf named “Meele,” to Rachel my great Bible, & to each “one Iron Pot.” 8-12mo 1702. Test’ Francis toms, Timothy Clare.
No. 236. *Wm Bogue of Albemarle, for a Val’ Con’ pd by Wm Newby, conveyed to said Newby, Isaac Wilson, John Prickloe, & Wm Moore, one a of Land, to belong to a Society of Protestant Desenters; Vulgarly called “Quakers” living in Perq precinct, “upon which a House of Worship has already been Built.” Land formerly belonging to James Lodman, & now leased to Anthony Haskit, on Perq River. 2 day 6 mo 1704. Test’ Francis toms, Francis Wells, Francis toms, Jr.
No. 237. John Davenport of Perq Pre’ct, planter—for a Val’ Sum pd by Alexander Ray, assigned 100a “on Albemarle Sound, Opposite Batts Grave.” Reg Oct 12, 1704. Test’ Archibald Holmes, John Anderson.
No. 238. John Foster, with Consent of my wife Elizabeth, assigns Right of within mentioned Deed of gift to John Davenport. Oct 10, 1704. Test’ Dennis Macklenden, John Yates.
No. 239. Richard Burtonshall, assigns “Right to within Bill of Sale,” to David Harris. 11 of 7 mo 1704. Test’ Francis toms , Ralph Fletcher.
No. 240. Jan 8, 1704/5. James Coles of Perq precinct, to John Pettiver of same, for £60 assigns “Dividend of Land Granted to John Peire, under the hand of Phillip Ludwell Gov; & Thomas Harvey, Francis toms, Benj Laker, & Thomas Pollock, of the Counsel. By said John Peairee “Conveyed to Jacob Peterson, & said Peterson Dying left it to Mary wife of James Coles, she being widow of said Peterson.” Test’ John Falconer, John Foster.
No. 260. Francis toms of Albemarle, to Thomas Pierce, Wm Bogue, Isaac Wilson, & Gabriel Newby, one acre of Land, “to belong to a Society of Protestant Desenters, Vulgarly called Quakers, living in Perq Precinct” where on a “house is there built to Worship God in.” Jan 11, 1705. Francis toms Sen’r. Test’ Mary toms, John Stepney, James Coles.
No. 283. Daniel Jones of Albemarle, for a Val’ Con’ sold unto Timothy Clare, 180a in Perq Pre’ct, “upon Vosses Creek, adj Land of John Morgan, & Francis toms. Land purchased by me of David Harris.” June 10, 1706. Seal Jan 8, 1708. Test’ Gab’l Newby, Wm Newby Jun’r.
No. 294. Thomas Harvey of Perq Pre’ct, Planter—for £25 pd by Timothy Clare of same, sold Land on Upper Vosses Creek, adj Land of John Morgan, William Morgan, & Francis toms— 200a. “An Estate of Inheritance.” Test’ Wm Moore, Joseph Jessop. Thomas & Margaret Harvey. Samuel Nicholson, Att to Margaret Harvey. Ack in Gen’l Court Mar 31, 1709.
No. 308. Anthony Dawson of Newton New Jersey, appoints beloved friend Francis toms, the Elder; & Francis toms, the Younger both of Perq River, in N. C. Lawful Att, to ack deed in open Court unto Isaac Wilson, for 590a of Land. Test’ Joseph Jessop, John Kay Jun, John Kay. Reg Jan 14, 1712/13.
No. 315. Richard Cheston of Perq precinct, Cooper—Atty of George Fox, of Isle of Wight Co, Virginia, planter—” Whereas the Lords Pro’ of N. C. did Grant unto Richard Fox father of said George, 200a in Perq precinct on Perq River,” adj Land of Joseph Jessop, formerly Land of Timothy Clear, as by pattent upon record, Richard Cheston Att’ for George Fox the Elder, son & heir of Richard Fox, Con’ £5 pd by Wm Bogue of Perq precinct, sold plan’ on Perq River, now in poss’ of Wm Moore, & Thomas Winslow. April 10, 1713. Test’ Thomas Pierce, Francis toms, John Barrow.
No. 318. “I do assign right of within Bond” to Wm Moore. April 14, 1713. Test’ Francis toms, Joseph Jessop. William Bogue.
No. 325. Thomas Meriday & Elizabeth my wife, dau of John Larance (Lawrence) Dec’d “son of Old William Larence, the first in the Co of Albemarle, N. C.” for £35 pd by Francis toms, assign our Right of ½ acre of Land on North-side of Perq River,” on line formerly Thomas Finkles, now in Possession of Elizabeth Goodlet.” Reg Aug 13, 1713. Test’ Caleb Bundy, Edward Mayo, John Henly
No. 386. Lewis Alex Knight of Pasquotank Pre’ct, for £30 pd by Joseph Sutton Jun’r, of Perq Pre’ct, “assigns Right of within Deed of Sale.” Oct 9, 1716. Test’ Francis toms, Richard Leary. Court at the House of Mrs Eliz. French.
No. 79. francis toms, of Perq, in Con’ of a “Plan’ adj one where Arthur Jones Lately lived,” (now in my possession) secured to me by Stephen Gibson, & Jane his wife, sold to said Gibson, “Part of said Tract,” 128a, on N. E. side of Voses Creek, beg’ at “Bull Branch,” & running to lower “Great Pond,” on James Henbys line, to me Grt by Pat’. 11 of 9 mo 1719. Test’ Wm Moore, Jos Jessop.No. 89. francis toms of Perq, for £5 pd by Wm Moore Sen’r of afore’ “Sold Part of Tract,” adj his own line, 2a. April 10, 1721. Test’ Jo Jessop, Jo Oates.page 76
No. 100. July 14, 1719. francis toms of Perq, for £20 Received of James Henby of afore’ assigns Right of Patent. Test’ Henry Clayton.page 87No. 241. Lords Pro’ of Car. Grant unto francis toms, 200a on Perq River, at the mouth of “Reedy Branch,” formerly Surveyed for Samuel Bond, & by him sold to said Francis, “due for transportations.” C. Eden, T. Knight, N. Chevin, Francis Foster, Wm Reed. Nov 25, 1714.No. 242. francis toms of Perq, for £50 pd by Thomas Winslow, of afore’ sold 200a, Pattented Nov 25, 1714. Seal July 12, 1726.pageNo. 306. francis toms, of Perq, for £25 pd by Jonathan Phelps, of afore’ sold 100a on No E. side of Perq River, adj Samuel Swann. Jan 18, 1728. Test’ Will’m Moore, J. Jessop.No. 307. Jan 20, 1728/9. Joseph Godfrey, of Perq, to Wm Evens, of afore’ for a “certain sum,” Assigned 50a, on So West side of Little River, adj said Wm Evens, “taken up by John Godfrey year 1694.” Test’ Richd Sanderson Jr, Ezekiel Maudlin.No. 308. Stephen Gibson, of Perq sold Plan “secured to me by francis toms,” of afore’ do “Ack’ myself fully Satisfied, also to the Satisfaction of my wife Jane Gibson,” land on No E side of Perq River, adj Arthur Jones line, to “Bridge Branch,” along Branch to John Lawrence, & along his line to the River. 75a. 11mo 9ber, 1719. Test’ Wm Moore, Jos Jessop.page 110No. 182. Foster Toms, of Perq, for 40 Barrels of pork, pd by Joseph Perishoe, of afore’ Sold 250a, on No east Side of Perq River, adj “Beaver Cove Swamp,” part of a larger “Survey to my Gr-father francis toms Esq,” by a pattent grt by John Archdel (Archdale) Esq, Gov, & Com’ in Chief, of No Car, “with advice of Lords Pro’ at six pence per hundred quit Rents, Dated Feb 25, 1695.” Seal June 25, 1735. Test’ Richd Cheaston, Ralph Fletcher.
No. 183. James Morgan, of Perq, for £50 pd by John Henbe Jun, of afore’ Conveyed 50a at the head of “Dirty Branch” to James Morgans line, along his line to Isaac Elliott, & Thomas Jessop lines. Oct 20, 1735. Test’ Zach Nixon, Jun, J. Jessop.
No. 185. James Morgan Jun, of Perq, for £25 pd by Mary Newby, widow of Nathan Dec’d, of afore’ Sold 90a part of tract “at the main Road, of the path formerly Called Stephen Gibsons” along Wm Morgans line, to francis toms. Jan 19, 1735/6. Test’ R. Cheaston, R. Fletcher.
Many more references to Francis Tomes in the book on the website.
also 975.6 D2s (SLC Family History Library)