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Monday, October 29, 2012

Local relatives at FTF!

Johann Homann [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsIf you couldn’t tell from the post at Family Tree Firsts, I loved being able to go to a local library and gather information on my family.  It was so much fun!  Granted, it is a bit of a drive if I want to visit the nearly 1,000 acres this man owned, or to see his headstone, but I think that may be worth it.

I haven’t gathered a lot, but what I have found has been amazing.  Samuel Givens was born about 1693 in Antrim, Ireland where he married his wife Sarah Cathey, born about 1697, also in Antrim.  They had all but their last child while living in Ireland.  Lucky for me, they were all listed on his oath of allegiance to the King that allowed him to own land in Virginia.

Samuel and Sarah’s children were: James (b. 1719), John (b. 1720), Samuel (b.1721), Martha (b. 1725), Elizabeth (b. 1728), William (b. 1729), Margaret (b. 1731), Sarah (b. 1733), Jane (b. 1735) and finally George who was born a few weeks after his father’s death in December 1740 here in Virginia.  After he came to Virginia I know he began acquiring land in earnest thanks to his will and the one deed that has been found in the Orange County, Virginia deed books.

On 28 September 1738 he purchased 311 acres of Beverly Manor from William Beverly of Essex County, Virginia.  I looked up William Beverly and found an interesting website about the Ulster-Scots of Virginia.  It really shed some light on the why they came here, and also insight into my family from the northern part of the Shenandoah Valley (the Germans).

Samuel then took his oath of allegiance (listing him, his wife, and children) the following 28 February 1739.  Deed Book III, p. 13, is the following order:

Deed (or release) dated Sept. 28, 1738, William Beverly of Essex county, Virginia, Gentleman of the first part, and Samuel Givens, of Orange County, farmer, of the other part, - for and in consideration of seven pounds, ten shillings, and six pence, - deeds 311 acres of land known as Beverly Manor." This was signed by William Beverly.

When I read his will, there was the distinct impression he amassed quite a bit more land over the few years he lived in Virginia.  Samuel left his wife 350 acres, unless she remarries, at which time it goes to his youngest son William.  His other sons John, Samuel, and James also receive 350 acres of land.  That adds up to 1,400 acres of land.  Not bad for a few years in the colonies. 

At the local library I found that in 1736 Samuel Givens was a “gentleman justice”, or justice of the peace, for the Orange County court.  He was listed with all the other men who served as a justice of the peace from 1735-1749.  To me this information appears to make him to be a well-respected man of the community. 

My next step:  going to find more in person records on the rest of the family. I hope that the Orange County Historical Society will be able to help me.  However, this website on the founding families of Augusta County may also come in handy.

Image from wikimedia


  1. Shannon,this blog post and the next one are very useful to me (also a novice genealogist). So by going to Orange (and Essex?) counties in Virginia, you found a will and a deed that gave you many great "finds" about your Givens relatives! This is an inspiring story. We can't yet trace our original (Irish?) immigrant, but maybe by going to the county where records of him first appear . . . even tho he wasn't there very long . . .Hmmmm... Thanks for this post!

  2. I only went to the index book that is at the public library in Orange County. Next stop is the county court house since I have to book and page numbers.

    Yes! Go to the original few counties to see what you can find. It appears that Givens family came over with most of their congregation from Antrim to Philadelphia. Then this family migrated (within a year) to Virginia. I would bet many of those that were on their boat did the same thing.