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Sir William Daines of Norfolk. Virgina and Bristol
Posted by: Jim Deans Date: September 06, 2001 at 19:13:48
  of 84

May be more than you wanted to know. I have a list of references as well of course and can send a copy to you if you wish. Tehy are in MS Word format.


(1) William Daynes b1617 England m7/28/1636 Phillis Bembrigg d1687

Much of this information is per Mrs. Alice Granberry Walter's "Daynes, Conner, Lawson, Walke, Thorowgood and Sayer Connections"[5]. There is also a record [1] at Stepney, Saint Dunstan Parish church (2-3 miles east of London in the early 17th century) of the marriage of a William Daynes/Phillis Bembrigg on July 28, 1636. This entry indicated William Daynes was then a "mariner" and lived in Ratcliff (now Limehouse) parish below Stepney. As a seaman, Ratcliff (on the Thames) was likely a convenient residence area while William was not at sea and may not have been where he was born. Based on sparse information discovered regarding the marriage of Ann Daines in generation (2) below there is some chance that William Daynes' ancestral lands were in Essex Shire near Chelmsford north east of London.

The consistent and unusual spelling of Daynes (usually spelled Danes or Daines at that time) found in these records indicates William Daynes' probably spelled out his name for his marriage and other records. Thus he was at least able to spell/read at some level at the age of about nineteen years. He also later became an attorney [3]in the American Colony. He was probably a junior son of some English family who had the resources to provide an education for their children. However since William would not inherit land to justify staying home (it probably went to the eldest son) he took to the sea, saw Norfolk, Virginia Colony in his travels and decided to quit the sea and move himself and his new wife to Norfolk, Virginia. There as we shall see he quickly solved the lack of land problem.

William Daynes became a tobacco planter in Norfolk starting about 1645(Phillis arrived in June 1645 per Richmond Land records [2]). He is granted 400 acres of land on the "Eastward side of the mouth of Bullock Creek down to the main (James) River" in Lower Norfolk County on April 26, 1646 for transportation of eight people including himself and Phyllis [27]. Bullock Creek was then the border between Nansemond and Norfolk Counties and eventually in the 20th century became the border line between the cities of Suffolk and Portsmouth and is now the north flowing creek this line follows before it enters the James River NW of Portsmouth.

Later he became an attorney and eventually a Norfolk County court commissioner in 1655(appointed by then Governor Edward Digges along with William's presumed brother Thomas Daynes). He continues to acquire substantial additional Norfolk and almost certainly Nansemond County land acreage by paying for indentured servant transportation thus receiving 50 acres "headright" for each person brought over plus their labor for three to seven years. William Daynes shows up several times in the early Norfolk County court records [3] for this reason. Per the titheable lists [6,7,8] of Norfolk County, Virginia all the currently known Norfolk Daynes/Daines/Deanes/Deans et. al. lived in this Western Branch precinct location until the late 1700's probably as a result of William Daynes' success in acquiring land in that area that passed to his descendants.

Children ("Daynes, Conner, Lawson, Walke, Thorowgood and Sayer Connections"[5])
(Sir) William (b ca1647) Daines m ca 1662? Elizabeth Harris
Mary (b before 1687) m ca 1687? John? Hoffler and inherited the James River plantation.
Elizabeth (bca1660)-married (1) Lewis Conner and (2) Anthony Lawson and also lived in Norfolk County, Virginia in the Western Branch precinct.

(2)(Sir) William Daines bca1647 Norfolk, VA m1662? Elizabeth Harris d9/5/1724

Source-Mrs. Walter's monograph [3] and "House of Commons 1715-1754"[32]. A note given by Mrs. Walter in this reference indicates that this William Daines was underage and married to Elizabeth Harris by 1662. William Daines went to England in or prior to 1689 along with his wife Elizabeth as there is a birth record in Bristol, England on 3/18/1690 relative to their daughter Mary in the LDS Locality Index for Gloucester County (as William "Deanes"). He became a Sheriff of Bristol for which he was knighted on November 28, 1694[22]. He is next found listed in a tax census of Bristol taken in 1696[13]. His daughters Mary and Ann and his wife Elizabeth are with him in Bristol but not his son who was then in Norfolk County, Virginia possibly under the watchful eye of his sister Elizabeth. Sir William later gives some land to Elizabeth as described below perhaps as a result of her stewardship of his son and Norfolk, VA estates.

He lists four servants, keeping his household comfortable, located in St. Leonard's Parish in the Bristol city center. He also owns at least two ships-the Lyon and the Betty [26] that are used for transportation from Bristol to/from Virginia and Maryland primarily for tobacco trading. It seems reasonable that he transships the tobacco from his Virginia estate on these vessels as well. He was also Mayor of Bristol 1700-1701, a Member of Parliament representing Bristol in 1701-1710 and 1715-1722 as a Whig party member[26,32].

Per ship records Sir William left Bristol on the Cornwell for a return visit to Virginia, Colony between 30 September and 14 October 1702.

He sends a power of attorney back to Norfolk from Bristol dated 1708 to transfer some Norfolk county land near the "Indian Creek" of the Elizabeth River originally owned by Captain James Harris (his father in-law) to his sister Elizabeth and her son Keador Conner.

The aforementioned genealogist Mrs. Alice Granberry Walter believes incorrectly [5] that Sir William returned and stayed in Norfolk before his death whereas Mr. Silas E. Lucas, a Powell family genealogist (the Powell family intermarried with the Norfolk County Daines), believes [24] that Sir William's son was the William Daines who was the decedent of the 1717 Norfolk County will [4]. Both of these genealogists were apparently not aware of the Bristol tax census or the records of the House of Commons that conclusively establishes his presence in Bristol/Bath, England at his death in 1724. Thus William Daines d1717 (Generation 3 below) Nofolk, Virginia Colony was most likely Sir William Daines' son.

Sir William Daines retired from the House of Commons in 1722 due to ill health and died in Bath (near Bristol) on September 5, 1724.

Children (Bristol, England tax census of 1696[13], Powell family genealogy [24] and "House of Commons 1715-1754"[32])
William Daines(b after 1662)assuming born near the year Sir William
married ca 1662. Children-see generation 3 below.
Ann       (b ca 1695 m 6/23/1713 John Shute=Lord Barrington) Lived near
Chelmsford, Essex northeast of London. Per the House of Commons
reference this property was acquired by John "Barrington" by marriage
and thus there is some chance this area was home to the family of
William Daynes (1).
Mary        (b3/18/1690 Bristol, England)


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