Nicholas Lansdown, died 1665, Westmoreland Co., Virginia

Below are records for Nicholas Lansdown in Virginia that I have come across. Note that until he writes his will, the last name was spelled Lansden in early records.

The earliest records of the Lansden/Lansdown family are found in Westmoreland County, on the Northern Neck of Virginia. Formed in 1653 from Northumberland County, Westmoreland County encompassed land that would later become the counties and cities of Northern Virginia; specifically the city of Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, and Prince William County. These would remain part of Westmoreland County until the formation of Stafford County in 1664. Westmoreland County is bounded by the Potomac River on its northern side. We can see by the first entry below that Nicholas was in Westmoreland shortly after its formation.

Others of this surname lived in the Halifax/Pittsylvania Counties area of Virginia and a later generation moved into Bedford County, but it is really impossible to claim a relationship between them. This area of Virginia is part of what is typically referred to as “Southside Virginia”. Both Halifax and Pittsylvania Counties are on the Virginia/North Carolina border so it comes as no surprise that some of this family have moved to North Carolina and others to Missouri and points West. I am separating these records by the area of Virginia they come from and then chronologically. Hopefully, this will help to sort out family groups.

Westmoreland Co., Virginia Wills & Deeds Bk 1
p. 85 10 July 1654 “To all to whome these presents shall come . . . now know that I Richard Bennet Esq. doe with the consent of the counsil (sic) of state accordingly give and grant unto Nicholas Lansden two hundred acres of land situated in the County of Westmoreland . . upon upper Mashodick River . . . bounded by land of Thomas Davis . . . due to the said Nicholas Lansden by and for the transport of four persons into this Colony.” There was a stipulation that the land must be seated (planted) within three years. 16 July 1654.
Assigned by Lansden to Jacob Porter and Thomas Lastaff . . . made over to Abraham Inman and Arthur Shore.

Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. XXIII, Westmoreland County, Beverley Fleet
p. 44 10 Jan 1655/6 Nicholas Lansden witnessed Maj. John Hallowes disclaimer to a bunch of cattle.
p. 48 16 April 1656 Nicholas Lansden of Westmoreland County files mark for hogs & cattle.
p. 55 20 Oct 1656 Major John Hallowes assigns Nicholas Lansden half of a patent for 300 acres he received from John Walton in 1652. Walton received the patent in 1652 for the importation of 6 person. This land was in Northumberland County on the SE sided of Hallowes Creek and adjoined John Hallowes land.
p. 64 20 Oct 1656 Leonard Yeo assigned his interest in a patent belonging to his brother, Robert Yeo, to Major John Hallowes. “Acknowledged by Nicholas Lansden attorney of Mr. Leonard Yeo.”

We can surmise that Nicholas was an attorney from this, but wonder why he is not present in more records if that is the case.

Westmoreland Co., Virginia Wills & Deeds Bk 1
p. 95 16 July 1659. Nicholas Lansdone to Mr. John Washington. For a valuable consideration. . .my interest to a patent of 300 acres lyeing at the head of Hallowes his creeke and bounded … land of Mr. Jno. Hallowes … along the said creeke…
Nicho. (NL) Lansdowne
Wit: Rich. Sturman, Th. Wilsford.
“20 July 1659. Alice Lansden wife of Nicholas Lansden do renounce all my interest of my thirds of the land unto Mr. John Washington.
Alice signed with her mark.

This would have been the land that Nicholas got in 1656 from Major John Hallowes. John Washington was the grandfather of George Washington. Lansdowne’s daughter, Mary, supposedly married Edward Washington, no known relation to the family of John. I have no record or proof of this marriage, or any reference other than what is on the internet. If anyone would like to leave a comment with the source information, it would be greatly appreciated, not only by me, but also by other family members. However, I am not altogether certain that her marriage to Washington is a fact because Mary Lansdown is spoken of as the daughter in law of either Patrick Spence or William Bishop in the deed at the bottom of this blog. In the seventeenth century terms such as daughter in law were not used as strictly as they are today and it is quite up in the air as to what this term means in this document.

Archives of Maryland, Volume 41, Maryland Historical Society
p. 477 “Nicholas Lanstowne aged thirty three yeares or thereabouts being sworne and Examined Sayth That in October anno 1654 Mr Thomas Gerard and Coll Speake bought betweene them of Captaine Robert Henfeild Eight Irish boyes the Eldest of those boyes in my Judgement then was not aboue tenn yeares of age and many of them not neere soe much And further this depon’ sayth not
Sept 11th [1661] Nicholas Lansdowne
Jurat coram nobis John Washington Wm Peirce”

This conveniently gives us an approximate age for Nicholas, which allows us to give him a date of birth of about 1628. This sadly means that he was only 36 or 37 when he died in 1664 or 1665.

Westmoreland County, Virginia, 1653-1983, Walter Biscoe Norris
p. 146 “WO 1662-64: 36 Nicholas Landsdown is appointed to be Surveyor of the Highways for Westbury Parish.” also WD 1: 268, a deed dated July 20, 1665. “WO 1742-45: 54.

Westmoreland Co., Virginia Wills and Deeds, Bk 1, p. 260
Will of Nicholas Lansdowne written 11 Dec 1664, recorded 29 Jun 1665
I Nicholas Lansdowne of the parish of Nomony County of Westmoreland . . . to my wife; my daughter Mary; “the said Alse my wife executor”, Cols. Valentine Peyton and John Whistone to be overseers. Witnessed by John Brooke and Robert Drury.

While no sons are mentioned in this will, it certainly doesn’t prove that he had no sons. It would be a fair statement to say that he probably had no sons, but then that would make the presence of William Lansdown in this county about seventy-five years later just a coincidence. I am not saying that it couldn’t be a coincidence, but with such an unusual last name and only these two men in the colony with surname at this time, it doesn’t seem likely that there would be no relationship between them.

Westmoreland Co., Virginia Wills & Deeds, Bk 1, p. 394-395
2 Feb 1660 [sic; 1669/70]. Articles of agreement between Patrick Spence, William Bishopp and William Moxley. There is 1050 acres granted unto John Wheston, Patrick Spence and Thomas Dyas, the land being by conveyance from Whiston to William Bishopp and Mary Lansdon as also Dyas unto John Quigley and Quigley to Moxley. For the prevention of future trouble it is agreed by Spence and Bishopp, for himselfe and his daughter in law Mary Lansdon, and Moxley that the dividing line shall begin … at the side of a deep runn … east side of the great runn … line of 1200 acres surveyed by Thomas Dyas, now in the possession of Spence … Patrick Spence to injoy as his share all that lyeth within the said bounds. … side of a small branch … crossing the path … to the great runn … William Bishop and Mary Langsdoun to injoy that part. … to the deep run … William Moxley to injoy that part.
Signed by Patrick Spence, William Bishopp, William (X) Moxley.
Wit: James (X) Hawley, Samll. Bonam.
2 Feb 1669 [1670]. Recorded.

Mary, Mary, who did you marry? Who is your father in law? If she really were married to Bishop or Spence’s son, would her father in law still refer to her by her maiden name? Is it possible that this man is really her guardian and so considers himself her father ‘in the law’?

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