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Say It In Latin, Felo de Se

September 6, 2016 , , , , , ,

Lower Surry Church

Lower Surry Church

Lawnes Creek Parish Church was the first church erected on Hogg Island in 1628 for the citizens of James City County who lived on the south side of the James River. Surry formed from James City County and the first parish for the area now encompassed by Surry County was known as “Lawnes Creek.”
The parish church members would have been buried at their place of worship as was the custom in those days.
This site is now occupied by the Surry Nuclear Plant.
No access permitted.

The peninsula of land about 2 miles in width and 8 in length between Lower Chippoakes Creek and Lawnes Creek and south of Hog Island, was, together with the lands adjoining upper Chippoakes Creek and opposite Jamestown, the first to be settled in Surry away from the James River. Virtually all this land had been patented before 1635, mainly by William Spencer, Captain William Pierce, Roger Delke, and Captain Lawrence Baker.

My 8th great-grandfather, John Holt was born in 1664 in Surry County, Virginia, a British colony.  He died in  1705 Surry County, Virginia, hung by his own hand.  His 8th great-grandson, George Harvey Taylor,  committed the same “Felonious homicide of a man’s self”  by drinking carbolic acid in 1941.  George Harvey was my  maternal grandfather.  It is said that suicide reoccurs in families.

He was listed in the 1687 Cavalry of Surrey County, Virginia.  John M. Holt was born in 1664 in Lawnes Creek Parish, Hog Island, Surry County, VA.  John died 1705 at the age of 41 in Surry County, VA.  John Holt committed suicide.

On Feb 24, 1685 Mr. John Holt and his wife were fined for not going to church by the Surry County Court. (This may have been rather harsh as she most probably was pregnant.)
In 1703 he petitioned the Legislature to be Keeper of the Ferry settled on James River to Archer’s Hope Creek on the north side. Appears on the 1704 Rent Roll for Surry County, VA On November of 1706 the Surry County Court Records state that “John Holt upon his petition is admitted to keep a ferry in Hog Island pursuant to a Law made to that purpose and for his better compliance therewith ordered that he forthwith provide and maintain one substantial flat bottom boat of at least fifteen feet by the keel for carrying over of horses as also one other boat of at least twelve or thirteen feet by keel for passengers with three able men constantly to attend the said service ant that he enter into a bond with good and sufficient security duly to perform the same. In May of 1710 John Holt petitioned the Court and they “exempted him from payment from his bond for keeping a ferry at Hog Island. (Surry County, Virginia Court Records, 1707-1711, Book VI

By 1704 the Holt family would own 2,768 acres in Surry County. Of this, 1,450 acres were controlled by Elizabeth Holt, wife of Randall Holt, Jr.. The remainder was owned by the sons of Randall and Elizabeth..

John Holt (1664 – 1705)
8th great-grandfather
David Holt (1685 – 1749)
son of John Holt
Sarah Holt (1740 – 1792)
daughter of David Holt
James Truly (1755 – 1816)
son of Sarah Holt
Elizabeth Betsy Truly (1782 – 1851)
daughter of James Truly
Minerva Truly Darden (1806 – 1837)
daughter of Elizabeth Betsy Truly
Sarah E Hughes (1829 – 1911)
daughter of Minerva Truly Darden
Lucinda Jane Armer (1847 – 1939)
daughter of Sarah E Hughes
George Harvey Taylor (1884 – 1941)
son of Lucinda Jane Armer
Ruby Lee Taylor (1922 – 2008)
daughter of George Harvey Taylor
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Ruby Lee Taylor

By 22 September 1705 John Holt “laid violent hands upon himself”
Suicide was against the law. Without regard to the rights of the heirs, the estate and property of the perpetrator reverted back to the crown.  Govenor of Virginia Colony was Edward Nott decribes John as a man “who being under some indisposition of mind lately hanged himself…troubled with lunacy and distraction of mind.”
John’s eldest son David, had already received a substantial land grant from his grandfather David Crafford prior to David’s twenty-first birthday. John’s sons John Jr., Charles, Benjamin, and Joseph attended the hearing. The deposition of the court read in part: “Having labor’ d long under a very great Indisposition of Mind, and at last layd violent hands upon himself”, a coroner’s jury found that his estate was forfeited as “Felo de Se.” {Latin for “Felonious homicide of a man’s self”}
Governor Edward Nott appealed to the Crown for the family. He inventoried the estate at: 159I, 16s, 6d, and “his Five Surviving Children are fit Objects of Our Mercy and Compassion.”.
Queen Anne commanded the restoration of his estate to them on 7 Jan. 1706. “the said estate consisting chiefly in cattle proper for plantations and other perishable good is hereby to be restored to his five children John, David, Charles, Joseph and Benjamin. ibid, p.512.”

Source: I want to Especially THANK Charles Lindley Holt for sending me his research on this Virginia Colony HOLT family. THANK YOU. I used his dates and many of his ” ” ‘s.
Also:: Familysearch had some of this “(taken from the book “Adventurers of Purse and Person”.}” .


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Super interesting family history Pam! I find it more interesting as you dig into your history. I find it fascinating that Queen Anne actually cared enough to help those in Virginia. Not often one hears that about the crown in those days

Liked by 1 person

Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

September 9, 2016

Yes, the queen was generous to them. You are right that the Brits were not that helpful to the colonists.


Pamela Morse

September 9, 2016

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