[Unfortunately, the Revolutionary War pension files of William and Keziah (maiden name unknown) Keyser and of William Harris and Keziah Snead Harris are not attached as is said in the message below because I do not find the capacity to attach files in this message exchange arrangement. The original files can be found at HeritageQuest on line, available through some public libraries. Search Keyser Keziah in Virginia and Harris Keziah in Virginia at that site. Transcripts can be found at www.southerncampaign.org. Viewing the originals at HeritageQuest is recommended.]
To Keith and other Snead researchers,
It is awfully hard to put a good mystery down! Rather than waiting for a good time to study your information, I had to do it right away.
First, some hard information in the form of the two attachments. They are from the HeritageQuest RW online files. The first is the William Keyser file. Pages 2, 3, 9 and 10 address the matter of Richard's children being listed on the back of William's children's listing. Fleming's need to identify William and Keziah's children was in connection with William's RW pension and it appears that the original listings and the explanation stayed in that file. Fleming's affidavit on pages 9 and 10 explains the significance of the listing of Richard's children as providing a timeline for his parents in figuring out the birthdates of him and his siblings.
You will see in the Keyser file that Keziah made an affidavit on May 10, 1843 describing herself as 78 years of age, meaning a birth between May 10, 1764 and May 9, 1765. You will also see that she signed the affidavit with an X.
You will see in the Harris file that Keziah made an affidavit on May 14, 1839 describing herself as 78 years of age, meaning a birth between May 14, 1760 and May 13, 1761. Apparently from information not included in the file, the War Department's records had her exact date of birth as January 29, 1971, as is stated in the letter that appears on the last two pages of the file. Note also that, on her affidavit, she signed her name and did not use a mark.
From this information, I think it is reasonable to conclude that William Keyser's Keziah and William Harris's Keziah were two different women. The latter was clearly a Snead. Looking at the documents you sent, I don't see that Keziah Keyser is clearly a Snead. Fellow researcher George's description of William Keyser as Richard's brother-in-law appears to be the conclusion of researcher Colleen Ray, which appears to be based on the two-family childrens' listing. This could be an assumption that a neighbor of Richard's named Keziah necessarily must have been his sister, instead of simply a coincidence. George will let us know if there was other evidence to support Colleen Ray's statement.
In my experience, migrations to the west and south often were carried out by neighbors in groups. The fact that William and Keziah Keyser lived in Hanover on land once owned by Sneads probably made them neighbors of Richard Snead. A Richard Snead is identified as an overseer in the 1787 personal property tax records of Hanover County. A John Snead, Sr. is also on that list. In the 1789 land records for Hanover County, a John, Jr., a John, Sr., and a Richard appear as owners. That listing carries the explanation that Richard's land had been transferred to him by John, Sr., since the last land ownership record was made. This suggests to me that Richard was present and living on or near the lands that had been in the Snead family for some time, likely making him a neighbor of the Keysers.
William and Keziah Keyser's sale to Bowls was of land that was once owned by Sneads. Your rereading of the deed abstract shows that the Snead references were to them as previous owners, helping to identify the particular land in question. The full text of the deed would be available to us, as it was to Rosalie Davis, on microfilm from the Library of Virginia or perhaps other sources, and it might be helpful to provide more precise location for this land on Stony Run. From the information at hand, I think that our conclusion must be limited to knowledge that William and Keziah Keyser owned land that they purchased from a John Snead, son of a John Snead, or that they purchased from another person land once owned by the John Sneads.
The history of the Sneads in Hanover and Henrico is interesting. I have a good deal of information on them. It is likely that the land owned by John, Sr., John, Jr. and Richard in the 1780's was the, or some of the, land that earlier John Sneads owned in the early 1700's. There is an earlier Keziah Snead, born in the 1730's, who may have been the inspiration for the naming of Keziah, born 1761.
If you conclude that the information I have provided distinguishes Keziah Keyser, and there is nothing that identifies her as a Snead, this may be the end of your interest. With that in mind, I won't volunteer details that don't pertain to your study. If I have missed something, please let me know so we can continue to explore it. The same request goes to the fellow researchers receiving copies of this e-mail.
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