William Lansdown, died 1800-1803, Wilkes County, North Carolina

William Lansdown was first mentioned in the will of his father, William Lansdown of Westmoreland Co., Virginia, written in November 1753. This will declared that all of the sons of William, including this William, be bound out to learn a trade until the age of twenty-one. This tells me three things. First, William was most likely born in Westmoreland County, Virginia or thereabouts in northern Virginia, NOT Halifax County. Second, it tells us that he was under age in 1753, helping us to narrow his birth year down to sometime after 1732. Third, it gives us the names of his siblings, which included the ‘top three list’ of Lansdown boy names – John, George, (don’t forget this William), and his sisters, Lucy, Mary, and Sarah. 

William, who may have been the oldest of his father’s sons, enlisted to fight in the French and Indian War and served briefly “in the armed expedition to the Ohio under the command of Colonel George Washington in 1754,” being in Capt. Stewart’s company in the Virginia Regiment. He was discharged on a review “as being under the proper size” and was allowed back for 120 days service in 1755. So we see that he may have escaped his apprenticeship by running off and joining the army. Did he return to northern Virginia or did he settle in Halifax County without ever returning home? I wish there were some records to fill in the gap between this record in 1755 and the next record in 1770. I would feel better in making the assumption that they refer to the same William. [Note that in some trees you find on the internet you will see this military service attributed to William Sr., but if that William died in 1753, he couldn’t have served in 1755.]

I have just recently come across a mention of William Lansdowne entering a land grant, dated 17 November 1770, for 50 acres of land on “the Moravian Creek” and for another 50 acres in what would later become Wilkes County, North Carolina “on Joseph’s Fork on Buffelow Creek.” He seems to still be living in Virginia, however, because when John Dyer wrote his will in Halifax County on 9 April 1771, William was mentioned in the will as holding land that Dyer had given to his son, Elisha. Then, in September of 1772, William Lansdown served on jury duty in Halifax County. Also in September of 1772, William sued a man named Benjamin Johnson in Halifax. They must have parted friends because in November of the same year he was a witness for Benjamin in separate suit. In June 1773 a deed given to William Dobbie in Halifax indicated it was adjoining Lansdown’s line so it would seem as it William Lansdown still had his land in Halifax in 1773.

I haven’t been able to find any records for William in either location between 1773 and 1781, although there is a mention of a _____ Lansdown, schoolmaster in the records of Halifax County in 1773. William is next spotted in Wilkes County, North Carolina when he was a bondsman for the marriage of William Cokerman and Mary Henderson on 17 March 1781. So we know that he made his move to North Carolina sometime between those dates. William’s wife, Mary Lansdown, gave a deposition in 1805 in which she stated that they had come to North Carolina “26 or 27 years ago” which gives us a year of 1778 or 1779 for the move. That fits nicely with the evidence we have and can help us determine where their children were born. Most, it would seem, were born in Halifax County. Note that in this deposition she also stated that “my husband Wm Landsdown was crippled.” Interestingly, the first mention of George Lansdown in Halifax County that I have been able to find was in 1779 when he witnessed the will of Richard Logan. Did he take over his brother’s property?

Records for William Lansdown in Wilkes County, North Carolina began with the land record mentioned above and continued with marriage records. His son John Lansdown married Mary Holton in 1786 and in the state census taken the following year [1787] we find both William and his son John listed. William’s household consisted of himself and his wife, Mary, with four boys and five girls. [Please note – Just as others have made mistakes in assigning his children, I am sure that I will make a few myself but I do think that I have uncovered a few more facts, and will at least not make the same mistakes. : >] We know that John married the previous year, so we have at least 10 children for William and Mary, equally divided among the sexes. From later marriage records we can positively identify Nathaniel and Reuben as two of the boys and Sarah and Elizabeth as two of the daughters. This leaves two boys and three girls unidentified. We will get to identifying the children shortly.

The first federal census of North Carolina was taken in 1790. William’s daughter, Sarah was married the 26th of August 1790 and she and her new husband, Peter Campbell are enumerated beside her father. William’s household reflects the loss either through marriage, death, or moving on of one more son, showing just four males; two over the age of twenty-one and two of them under age. We know that William the father is one of the men over 21, and Nathaniel and Reuben are still at home. Who is that older boy still at home and who left home? Two possibilities include the David Lansdown mentioned in the will of Millien Hall of Wilkes County, North Carolina and the William Lansdown that married Triphenia Settle in Culpeper County, Virginia in 1797 and later resided in Bedford County, Virginia. Since William didn’t marry until 1797, he is likely the one still at home, leaving the possibility that David was the son who married before 1790. Turning to the girls, we assume that since Peter Campbell is enumerated beside William in a household of just himself and a female that this census was taken after the marriage of Peter and Sarah, so just who are the six girls?

In 1799, William’s son, Nathaniel, married Nancy Fairchilds and in 1800 he and his father were found in the census. Nathaniel’s household consisted of he and his wife, along with what was most likely their first daughter. William and Mary still had their son Reuben at home, as well as three girls. Two of the girls were between ten and fifteen, the third was between sixteen and twenty-five. It would seem as if William died between 1800 and 1803 when both Reuben and Elizabeth Lansdown married. Reuben served as bondsman for Elizabeth’s wedding to Benjamin Moody in January and he married Selah Morgan in August.

In 1805 Mary Lansdown gave a deposition in Wilkes County and she stated that she and her husband had left Virginia 26 or 27 years before and she refers to William in the past tense. From this we can be fairly certain that William has died and indeed, in the 1810 census we find Mary Lansdown listed as a head of household with one boy under ten years of age and one young woman aged sixteen to twenty-five.  Are these two her grandchild Milly Lansdown [daughter of David and Milly Hall Lansdown] and Milly’s illegitimate child Simon or Seamore Lansdown? Reuben Lansdown is listed on the same page as Mary with his family.

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7 Responses to William Lansdown, died 1800-1803, Wilkes County, North Carolina

  1. Patricia Jones says:

    I am descended from William Landsdown (William Landsdown) born 1740 in Halifax Co., VA. Died in 1803 in Wilkes Co., NC. He married Mary Seamore ca 1764 in Halifax Co., VA She was born ca 1744-1755. She died ca 1810.

    Their children were:
    John Landsdown, David Landsdown, William Landsdown, Nancy Landsdown, Sarah Landsdown, Nathaniel Landsdown, Reuben Landsdown, Elizabeth Landsdown, Idacia Landsdown, and Clary Landsdown**

    Clary Landsdown’s son David Allen Landsdown (his father was the son of the local sheriff Richard Allen, but Clary never married him. Clary had a son named DAVID ALLEN LANDSDOWN born abt. 1802 in NC. Died 1861 Pickens Co., GA. He married 7 Feb 1839 in Forsythe Co., GA BUT first was married abt. 1822 to a Martha (last name unknown, but might have been Strickland). 2nd. wife was Julia Ann Martin, daughter of Wm. Martin.
    David Allen Landsdown was a member of the GA legislature in 1837. He was also an Ensign in the Georgia Militia.
    Children of David Allen Landsdown and first wife Martha were:
    Martha Jane Adeline Landsdown, Emily A. Landsdown, Richard E. Landsdown, Mary Mariah Landsdown, and my GG Grandmother Elizabeth Sophrona Landsdown, B. 29 Jan 1837 Forsyth Co., GA, Died 1/Aug/1862 Pickens Co., GA. Married 11 Oct 1855 to William M. Swafford.

    I’ll be happy to share the Landsdown information I have with other family members.
    pattij777@aol.com

    • spotisadog says:

      I will agree with you that William Lansdown was born around 1740, but what proof do you have that he was born in Halifax Co., VA?

  2. Patricia Jones says:

    My information actually came from a professional researcher who worked for a Swafford cousin of mine. This person gave us all the information on each child from the second William on. All the info given led directly into Elizabeth S. Landsdown Swafford to the decendents of present day. So, we did assume the info correct. As you are aware, genealogy is a most difficult research and errors do creep in. You may have found one.

  3. Melinda McWhite says:

    Emily A. Lansdown married Sion Arenton Darnell in 1851 in Cherokee County, GA (now Pickens County. She is my great grandmother.

  4. Brad Kyte Hynde says:

    Reuben Lansdown who married Selah Morgan 3 August 1803 would have been my 4th level great grandfather, ( I have a copy of that marriage and the 500 pounds paid to the governor for that marriage ) there daughter Margaret “Peggy” Lansdown married Anderson Kite ( Kyte ) November 25 1823 this is my 3rd level Great grandfather. I am having difficulty finding anything on Selah Morgan however I carry the ser name Kyte as my middle name.

  5. Jerry Lansdowne says:

    I am from the illegitimate branch of the Lansdownes produced as a result of Milly Lansdown’s sexual encounter with an unknown man in either late December 1812 or January 1813. As listed in the last paragraph of the blog above, said encounter produced a boy whom she named Frederick Seamore Lansdowne (with an “e”). I have long wondered why Milly (Millien) gave Frederick the middle name “Seamore”, and if there was some hidden motive or message, she was trying to share. Records provided at numerous sites, state that Milly’s father (David Lansdown) had a mother who’s maiden name was Seamore. I have looked high and low for information regarding Mary “Polly” Seamore-Lansdown (Milly’s grandmother), but found nothing that tells me whether she had brothers or perhaps nephews. Hopefully anyone reading this, will discern what I am suggesting without me having to say more. Could her son’s first name, Frederick, have been an even louder clue as to who the father was? Was their perhaps a male relative (brother or nephew) of Mary Seamore-Lansdown who’s name was Frederick?

    Frederick’s other possible father may have been a man named Jesse Smithey, who married Milly in 1816. Jesse and Milly may have been in love for years and put their relationship on hold while Jesse went off to fight in the War of 1812. As we all know, from watching too many movies, many passionate, war-time goodbyes have produced children out of wedlock. If that’s the case, the war was over in 1815, at which time Jessie and Millie may have resumed their relationship and began planning their 1816 marriage. A nice scenario, but with it has come a dead end. I can’t find any War of 1812 records that show Jesse Smithey served in said war.

    Any help regarding Mary Seamore Lansdown’s relatives on the Seamore side, or any records showing that Jesse Smithey fought in the War of 1812 would be greatly appreciated.

    Below is a list of Lansdownes from Milly Lansdown forward:
    Milly’s son: Frederick Seamore Lansdowne (b:1816 – 1883)
    Frederick’s son: Azwill Harvey Lansdown (b: 1846 – 1919)
    Harvey’s sons: Leo Martin Lansdown & Alton Lynn (Dick) Lansdown(e) (1904-1972)
    Alton’s sons: Delayne L Lansdowne (b:1924-1943) & Larry Max Lansdowne (1925-1989)
    Larry’s son: Jerry Lynn Lansdowne (b:1951)
    Jerry Lansdowne – no sons, but one very lovely daughter.

    :

  6. Anonymous says:

    My 4th Great Grandmother who was married to A. I. Thornburg in TENNESSEE. It is stated in article Prominent Tennesseeans she was orphan from N. C. Any help will be appreciated .

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