18 Comments

  1. Joshua Catalano

    Your answers are probably not Virginian but Pennsylvanian.

    For the Indian Land location, it is possible that it is referring to land owned by John Wilkinson or John Wilkinson Jr. – he is the namesake of Wilkinsburg, PA. They both had Revolutionary credentials and spent time in Western PA. While the current town was christened in the late 19th century, it is possible that a location on the PA/VA frontier might not have had a name but was owned by him. Interestingly, John Wilkins, Jr. was born in East Donegal in eastern PA and there was subsequently a Donegal that popped up in Westmoreland County, PA.

    For Hancocks Town, it is possible that this was a corruption of Hannastown, PA. The name dates back to the early 1770s. Famous for the nearby battle in Pontiac’s Rebellion.

    Carlisle, PA is also a candidate.

    Also Greensburg PA was once known as Newtown as well. It is closely connected to Hannastown. Except for Carlisle, all of these locations were arguably part of Virginia -depending on 18th century political preferences.

    There was a significant number of slaves in the PA backcountry as well so these locations are possibilities.

    • I really, really like this idea–especially with Carlisle. It appears there are quite a few old French and Indian War territory disputes. I have three loyalists who claim they are from “Fort Pitt, Virginia.” Either there is a dispute over who owns what territory or a bunch of displaced Virginias who refuse to give up their identity as Virginians–which is also fascinating. Definitely looking into this!

  2. Sara Brower

    Cecil County is in Maryland. Benjamin Chew was from Philadelphia, PA and owned plantations etc in Maryland. This is NOT Virginia.

    • Hi Sarah,

      It’s all really crazy. I went back to double check the record and it clearly says Cecil County, Virginia (spelled out, not abbreviated). This is definitely the Philly Benjamin Chew and I looked up his records earlier today after having a similar conversation with a friend. He did own land in Cecil County. What’s crazy to me is why his slave would have said Virginia as opposed to Maryland. There could have very easily been a miscommunication with the secretary and could have been born in Virginia, etc. It looks like some things were mixed up somewhere. Thank you so much for checking on this!

      • Sara Brower

        The will of Benjamin Chew states “of Cecil County, Maryland”. I have seen his holdings as I research my ancestors in Cecil County. Benjamin Chew’s homestead Cliveden was the scene of the Battle of Germantown in Philadelphia

  3. Sara Brower

    On Ancestry.com 1790 US Census I queried with just the surname of Worthington and given name of Brice and came up with a Brice Worthington in Anne Arundel County, MD. I don’t know of a Bristol in that county. I had been thinking of Bucks County, Pennsylvania because of the names Lambert and Worthington and there being the town of Bristol on the Delaware River in Bucks County. Bucks County is the only county so named in the whole of the United States.

    • That is fascinating! Thank you so much for finding that! Bristol, Virginia was looking like it might actually work, but this is much better with the Brice Worthington. I’m gonna go grab some additional records from MD and see if this works out. I think this is the answer.

  4. Sara Brower

    If it is abbreviated VA or PA sometimes the P looks like a V and gives the impression of being from Virginia. This is a common problem with early records and reading the handwriting.

  5. Sara Brower

    You can view Benjamin Chew’s will online at Ancestry.com. You might want to contact the HIstorical Society of Pennsylvania about Benjamin Chew and his slave holdings.

  6. Sara Brower

    Indian Land – I think of Conestoga in Lancaster County, PA. Maybe Eastern Shore Maryland (that part of Maryland on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay). There is also Eastern Shore Delaware which is that part of Delaware where the waterways drain into the Chespeake Bay.

  7. Sara Brower

    Try Googling “Swineyard’s Road”. It brings up items in Charles City County, Virginia. Perhaps there was a plantation called Swineyard Hall by the “locals”?

    • Perfect! This matches up with the map we found on the 30th placing Swynyard between Westover Plantation and Queen’s Creek! I’m glad to know there is an alternate spelling!

  8. Sara Brower

    You might also wish to contact the American Philosophical Society (amphilsoc.org) or the David Library of the American Revolution (dlar.org) to see what they may know.

  9. Sara Brower

    I searched http://www.genealogybank.com for newspapers between 1760 and 1790 in PA, DE, MD, and VA for Gold Mine (mine as a surname and gold as a given name) and on Page 4 of the Virginia Independent Chronicle (Richmond, Virginia) Wednesday September 17, 1788 is an advertisement in the 3rd of 4 columns, near the top of the page, for the sale, in Hanover County, of land by the name of Gold Mine.

  10. John Galloway

    Regarding “Pancatant” – that really sounds like a corruption of Piankatank, the river between the Rappahannock and York rivers. Middlesex County on the north side, and Gloucester County on the south side. Named for the Indian tribe that once inhabited its shores, and where we currently live. Hope this helps!

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