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Generation V: Thomas & Millie Penley

Thomas Penley of Farnham after 1754

The fifth generation of Penleys, the children of Thomas and Sarah (Stone) Penley became migrants, leaving the Northern Neck of Virginia around 1754; it appears that they splintered off in different directions for a while, much of the family reconvened in North Carolina, and then separated again with the eventual result of Penleys scattered around the fifty states.

Our Thomas Penley was born in South Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Virginia on June 6, 1732. It has become the working thesis of this research that the Thomas P[en]tley, found on the 1782 Washington County, Virginia Tax List, is indeed OUR Thomas Penley. It is believed that Thomas Penley owned land in Washington County by 1782, and that he died circa 1785, possibly even before having his survey or deed recorded. It is proposed that his wife Milley took Epp to his Uncles William and Joshua in Burke County, North Carolina. Millie then "absconded" with John Stillwell, deserting her child, and owing money. Sometime in the 1790's, his brother Joshua came to Washington/Russell/Scott County to take charge and possession of Thomas' land, bringing the orphan(s) back to Russell County because Thomas owned land in Russell County. Although a preponderance of available evidence has led to these conclusions, the door at will always to open to new information.

It is probable that Thomas Penley outlived his first wife before marriage to Milley, or that he married late and was much older than Milley. It is difficult to imagine that Thomas' first child was born at his age of 57. Some of the Penleys with duplicate names in Burke County, North Carolina in the 1780's may be sons of Thomas. The last e-mail from the late Jerry Penley before his death in 2006 included his find of a Samuel Penley, age 81, born in Virginia, and literate, living in Cannon County, Tennessee on the 1870 Federal Census. William of Farnham was definitely in Burke County by the 1770's, and Joshua of Farnham was living in Guilford County, North Carolina by 1777. If this Samuel is related to this line, he may well be another son of Thomas and Milley Penley.

Thomas Penley’s 1754 release from jail after the murder/manslaughter charges against him by the court of appeals in Williamsburg is the last rock solid footprint by the Thomas Penley born in 1736. By 1755, all three Penley brothers disappear from Richmond County records, and Thomas is the least trackable of the three after that. At this point, the research will go forward to the death of Thomas’ son Epaphroditus in 1868, and attempt to work backwards to further identify Thomas and Milley Penley.

The only positive identification found for Thomas and Milly Penley is from Epp’s death notice provided to the Scott County Virginia Court in 1868 by his daughter, Nancy. That document names Epp’s parents as Thomas and Milly Penley, and that document is provided herein in the chapters on Epaphroditus and Temperance Penley, Generation VI. View Epp's death notice.

Reflecting on the rampant chaos in this era, the survival of the Penley family line is remarkable, and the occasional shreds of paper that survive as evidence of their footsteps should be celebrated instead of bemoaned for their paucity. After ten years of research, it is decided to go forward with the publication of what are deemed the most logical conclusions based on corroborative evidence, until proof to the contrary arises. It is hoped that the publication of this available data will inspire or enable further documentation or discoveries by other researchers.

Epp and Temperance Penley both gave their ages as 61 on the 1850 Census, and as 71 on the 1860 Census, which marks their birth near 1788. Upon his death in 1868, Epp’s daughter Nancy declared his age as 84, marking his birth four years earlier in 1784. Nancy’s designation of Epp’s birth at 1784 is more consistent with other data on Epp and his supposed mother Milly. Epp registered 7 children born before the 1820 census, and his oldest known living child was daughter Jane, born by 1805. Nevertheless, this research will use a range of 1784 - 1788 for Epp’s birth.

Finding no contradictory evidence, this research will take Epp’s death notice at face value:

•Epaphroditus Penley was born in Virginia
•Epp’s parents were Thomas and Milly Penley, marked as born in Virginia
•Epp was born between 1784 (per Epp’s daughter) and 1788 (per census information).
Given the fact that Epp was born in Virginia by 1788, Thomas Penley of Farnham may never have made the move to North Carolina with other Penleys. This research has located a possible Thomas Penley on the Washington County Personal Property Tax List in 1782.

1782 Washington County Tax List
Col. Arthur Campbell's Precinct
[This section of this tax list is faded, and very difficult to read]
P. . . tley, THoams 1 tithable 1 horse 2 cattle
(New River Notes website net/~newriver/va/wash1782. htm)

This investigation would prefer to find more elaborate proof of Thomas Penley’s residence than this scrap of a name but that may never happen. In this era there was a REVOLUTION, and a new world order established; “wild injuns” were chasing us, and boundary disputes raged between Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and the renegade State of Franklin. Washington County was created in 1777 from Fincastle County; Russell County was created from Washington County in 1786; Scott County was created from Russell County in 1814. The “malice toward all” Union Army burned the Washington County Courthouse in 1864. The 1790, 1800, and 1810 Censuses for Russell County do not exist. (  More  information about this entry is written later in this chapter.

Milley (Amelia, Milly, Millie) Penley, wife of Thomas Penley
Since Thomas Penley was born in 1732, and was 57 years old when Epp was born, one could imagine that he married late in life, or that a first wife died and he chose a new bride, starting a second family. It would be unlikely that a wife of Thomas’ same age group gave birth to Epp in her fifties, but stranger things have happened.

If Thomas did not name his first son(s) William, Joshua or Thomas Jr., it would be a rare departure from the naming patterns followed by all the previous American Penleys.

There is no record of a Thomas Penley found on the 1790 Census in Virginia or North Carolina. This could indicate that Thomas was deceased by that time, or that he was somewhere on the frontier outside the reach of census takers.

There are skimpy records of an Amelia/Millie Penley living in Burke County, North Carolina in 1787. In that year, William Penley, Jr. gave court testimony that Amelia Penley absconded from Burke with a man named John Stillwell while owing money to a neighbor. Jerry Penley of provided the following record.
"This 27 of Feb y 1787 personally appeard William Penley Jun and made oath in due form of law that on Monday the 12th of this instant a certain John Stillwell (formerly of our County of Burk) to the best of his knowledge and belief did aid and assist a certain Amelia Penley out of our said County or State and further said deponent sayeth not. Sworn before me.
William Penland JP
William (x his mark) Penley"

"This 27th of Feby 1787 Personally appeared Lazirus Phillips and made oath in due form of law that Amelia Penley late of our County of Burk justly indebted to him the sum nine shilling which hath obsconded out of our County or State and has good reason to believe she was taken or aided away through the means of John Stillwell formerly of this County.
Sworn before me
William Penland JP
Lazirus (x his mark)Phillips"
If this was our Millie Penley, it could indicate that Thomas Penley was dead by 1787, as he is not found in extant Burke County records. If Amelia’s husband was present or known to the court, he should have been mentioned in the proceedings. No connection was found of this Amelia Penley to any of the other Penleys found in Burke.

If this Amelia Penley was the wife of our Thomas, she may have fled Washington/Russell County after Thomas' death to be near Thomas’ older sons or brothers in Burke County. William Penley of Farnham, Thomas' brother was a documented resident of Burke by 1777, as well as numerous younger Penleys. The younger Penleys in Burke census records of 1790 and 1800 appear to be sons of either William, Thomas or Joshua, the Penley Brothers born in South Farnham Parish.

Uncle Joshua, brother of Thomas Penley, in Russell County by 1799

It has long been assumed that Thomas’ orphaned son, our Epaphroditus Penley, was living with or near Joshua Penley in Russell/Scott County, Virginia. Epp’s name has not been found on available tax lists until he appears as the head of his own household in 1810, and he does not appear to be included in Joshua’s totals on the found records of 1799 - 1802. If Epp was living with Uncle Joshua, he should have become tithable sometime between 1800 and 1804.

Fearing taxation, Joshua may have “confused” Epp’s age, or, as an orphan, he may have been excused from Joshua’s tithable list 1800 - 1802. The 1803 - 1809 Taxable lists for Russell County have not yet been located. If Epp was born in 1784 as his daughter Nancy stated, he should have been tithable by 1800, but he was surely taxable by 1804 when he married. Jane, Epp’s oldest known daughter, was born in 1805. All of Epp and Tempy’s children list their birthplace as Scott County, Virginia on ensuing documents. If the tithable lists for 1803-1809 ever become available, the mystery of Epp’s birthdate may be solved.

Virginia law required the counting of all males over the age of sixteen for militia purposes, they were included in the total number for each household. They were depended on to defend the community, but no taxes were due in most counties until they reached the age of 21 unless they married and were head of their own household. In the few counties that did assess a payable tax on sixteen year old males, the head of household was held responsible to pay the tax. At the age of 21, every male was listed separately and became responsible for their own tax, even if they resided in someone’s household. SEE HENING’S STATUTES Of VIRGINIA

By 1799, Joshua Penley was in Russell County with his son John; John's birth circa 1784 in North Carolina is repeatedly verified in ensuing census documents.

•By 1799, Thomas Penley’s youngest brother Joshua is listed as one tithable on the Tax List for Lower Russell County.
•Joshua is listed with two tithables after 1800 when his son John reached the tithable age of 16, the two being assumed to be Joshua and his son John.
•Joshua is listed on every found tax list for Lower Russell County after 1798 until his death in 1814, although he is designated as not tithable due to advanced age after 1803.
•Regarding the court record that follows, from what taxes is Joshua Penley being exempted if he owns no land?

Russell Co., VA. court records: page 289 - Court, February 28, 1804:
Joshua Penly exempted from paying levy & poor rates & taxes on account of age & infirmities
(transcription by Jerry Penley at

The first land transaction documented for Joshua Penley in Russell County is his 1806 purchase from McClung, but he positively resided in Lower Russell County for seven years before that purchase, evidenced by Personal Property Tax Lists. Where were Joshua, John (and possibly Nancy) living from 1799 until 1806?

Epp’s first purchase of land was not until 1817. Where were Epp and his wife Temperance living before 1817? Thomas’ son Epaphroditus (Epp) is listed as tithable and head of his own household by 1810, he is listed separately, not included as tithable under Joshua’s name. He is married to Temperance by 1804, and has a growing family including seven children by 1820. But he has no land until his 1817 purchase?

Nancy Penley Canady, Epp’s Sister or Joshua’s daughter?

Another child presumably in the home was Nancy Penley, erroneously thought for many years to be Epp's daughter, or his sister. According to Canady/Kennedy family records, a Samuel Canady of Lee County married one Nancy Penley around 1808, their first child born in 1810. A Samuel Kennedy is listed as one tithable with one horse on the 1818 Scott County Personal Property List. This research supports two Nancy Penleys in the Copper Creek area. This Nancy Penley Canedy has been located by researcher Larry Kennedy on the 1850 and 1880 Census for Wayne County, Kentucky, living with her son, Samuel Jr. Rich Scherer has also found Nancy on the 1870 Census. This Nancy Canedy gave her age as 89 in 1880, and cited her birthplace as North Carolina, and also stated that her father was born in Virginia.

There were two Nancy Penleys living along Copper Creek by 1806. It is now obvious through available census documents that Epp did name his second daughter Nancy, born in Virginia about 1806. She remained a spinster and appears in Epp's household census records consistently. In 1870, after Epp's death, she appears alone, as head of household. This daughter Nancy filed Epp's death notice in 1868, and she declared on that document that she was the daughter of Epp Penley. View Epp's death notice.

Joshua's son John Penley was born in North Carolina around 1784, and he moved to Wayne County, Kentucky. This Nancy Penley was born in North Carolina around 1791, and she moved with her husband to Wayne County, Kentucky. Epp was born in Virginia, and remained in Scott County. The working thesis of this research is that Epp’s father Thomas Penley died by 1787, four years before this Nancy’s birth. The scant data would appear to favor Joshua Penley as Nancy's father, but this is inconclusive.

The Penley Land in Russell / Scott County ?

They were there. They were tithable. They were taxed.
They had wives and children, cattle and horses.
But no land?

At the Russell County Rootsweb site (http://www. rootsweb. com/~varussel/deeds/index. html) abstracts of extensive records are posted on land transactions including The Grantors and Grantees Indexes to Deed Books # 1 - 4, covering the years 1786-1814 and the Russell County Deed Books # 1 - 4, covering the years 1786 - 1814. Washington County surveys are included prior to 1786. These records have been searched repeatedly for every known variation or fragment of the Penley name, but no land transactions are found for Joshua, John, or Epp Penley, until the 1806 Joshua Penley purchase.

Where were Joshua, John (and Epp) living from 1799 until 1806? They floated in mid air to avoid property tax? They had a houseboat on Copper Creek? Three realistic scenarios can be offered for the lack of land records for Thomas, Epaphroditus, Joshua and John Penley.

1) Were They Squatters?

They got by with “squatting” for 10-15 years, but in 1806 they were forced to buy land? This research concludes that the Penleys were probably not squatters. But this question may never be answered. Land deeds that never existed will never be found. If our Penleys were squatters, they paid taxes after 1799. Joshua Penley went to court in 1804 to be exempted from taxes two years before we find a record of his owning land. Why would a squatter go to court to ask for tax relief? It is not reasonable that Joshua, Epaphroditus, Nancy and John Penley were squatters.

Russell Co., VA. court records: P289 - Court, February 28, 1804 -
Joshua Penly exempted from paying levy & poor rates & taxes on account of age & infirmities
(Jerry Penley at

It is not believed by this investigator that Joshua was renting land in Russell County. Joshua Penley had documented land ownership in Halifax County, Virginia and Guilford County, North Carolina. Why would he sell that land and come to Russell County to squat or rent land in an area with plentiful cheap land available for sale?
Many settlers bought land directly from the Native tribes before 1789, only to have their deeds invalidated by the new government. Fraudulent deeds were sold during the chaos of the Revolution and Indian Wars, and the courtroom controversy surrounding those deeds continued for years. According to the official Washington County website, many of the earliest settlers of Washington County came with Land Grants issued to reward their military service during the Revolution (

Loyal Land Company heavily advertised cheap land in the area of Washington, Russell, and Scott counties in the 1750’s at the same time as the Penley Brothers left Richmond County. By 1754, Dr. Thomas Walker had surveyed and sold 224 tracts containing 45,249 acres of land in the area centered around Abingdon (http://www. Cheap land from the Loyal Land Company, or bounty land grants for the veterans of the Revolution could help to explain the erratic movement of the Penley Brothers and their children during this era. Tobacco “wore out the land” and often necessitated a move within twenty years.

Many Cherokee and Shawnee warriors were furious about the 1777 treaty signed by their chiefs at Long Island in the Holston River, and they terrorized the settlers along the frontier until Chief Benge’s death in 1794. Many settlers left their homesteads sporadically and headed for safety often during those years, causing frequent variations in surviving records. See Generation V: Indian Troubles for more details on the Indian uprisings.

2) Were their land records erroneously merged by transcribers with those of Joshua Penix ?

Actually, there are some discrepancies in the Russell County Records as they are published at the websites, perfectly natural when transcribing 200 year old documents. The journey back to the mountains in 2007 will absolutely take PenleyPearls to the courthouses in Scott, Russell and Washington County to view and photocopy every available relevant record for magnified perusal.

There were both a Joshua Penix (Penic, Penich, Penick) living along the south bank of Copper Creek, and a Joshua Penley living along the north bank of Copper Creek in this era, no relationship is documented. This research is well familiar with the separate Penix and Penley families here. PenleyPearls’s own father, Mitchell Penley is descended from the Thomas and Joshua Penley line and own mother, Helen Horne Penley is descended from this Penich line via an 1806 marriage between James Timothy Ramey of Russell County and Nancy Penich, daughter of Joshua and Ann Penix from Copper Creek ( There is no attempt here to merge the two Joshuas into one person. It is feared however, that transcribers not familiar with the two separate families may have erroneously merged some records through the years.

It occurs to PenleyPearls that a transcriber, confronted by blurry names on the 1792 Land Tax list, consulted Russell County Deed Book and Grantees/Grantors Index. Joshua Penix was on the first Russell County Personal Property Tax List, and documented a land purchase of 71 acres from Charles Kilgore in 1789. Finding no Penley on the tithable lists, and no Penley deeds or land transactions in Russell County, it is now believed that a transcriber may have erroneously combined Penley taxes with Penix taxes on the 1792 and 1793 Land Tax Lists.

The following list is a combination of the Personal Property Tax Lists, Land Tax Lists, and Deeds for the same year. Notice the variant spellings. Notice the fluctuations in the Land Tax List for Joshua Penix, even though there are no found land transactions for Penix between 1789 and 1800. Records sustain only a Joshua Penix purchase of 71 acres from Charles Kilgore in 1789, and an additional purchase of 74 acres from Isaiah Salliers, but not until 1800. Although online records have been searched for additional purchases for Joshua Penix from Washington County, none have been found.

Russell County Personal Property and Land Tax Lists (combined)
1787 Penia, Joshua (1)
1788 Penia, Joshua (1)
1789 Penix, Joshua Penix purchased 74 acres from Charles Kilgore
1789 Penia, Joshua (1)
1790 Penix, Joshua (1)
1792 Penic, Joshua (1)
Penic, Joshua - 200 Ac.
1793 Penick, Joshua (1)
Penick, Joshua - 371 ? Ac.
1794 Penick Joshua (1)
Penix , Joshua - 71 Ac.
1795 Pinnex Joshua (1)
Pinnex, Joshua -71 Ac.
1797 Pennex, Joshua (1)
1798 Pinnex, Joshua (1)
1799 Pinnex, Joshua (1)
Penley, Joshua (1)
1800 Penix, Joshua purchased 74 acres from Salliers
1801 Penix, Joshua (1)
1801 Pendley, Joshua (2)
1802 Pinnex, Joshua (1)
1802 Penley, Joshua (2)
1806 Pennelly, Joshua purchased 30 acres, north side of Copper Creek from McClung
1810 Penley, John purchased 50 acres from Samuel Esteep on Moccasin Creek

1810 Penix, Joshua (2)
1810 Penley, Joshua (0)
1810 Penley, Ephesditis (1)
1810 Pennix, John (1) *[PenleyPearls believes this entry should be John Pen(d)ley]
1814 Penley, Joshua Death
1815 PENISE (PENIX) JOSHUA 145 Acres Russell County Tax Assessments
1817 Penley, Epp purchased 100 acres on Copper Creek from Samuel Lane
1818 Pinix Josephua (0)

Page 48 & 49 - January 23, 1789 between Charles Kilgore of Green County, NC and Joshua Penix...for 50 pounds...on the south side of Copper Creek a branch of Clinch River containing 71 acres...Beginning on the west side of a spur above a a conditional corner on the original line...Signed: Charles Kilgore. Witnesses: James Davison, Christopher Cooper, Champion Faris, Robert Kilgore, Thomas Alley, John Salyer.
Page 66 - January 28, 1800 between Isaiah Salliers & Mary and Joshua Penix...on both sides of Copper Creek...74 ac...Beginning...crossing Copper Creek...Signed: Isaiah Salliers & Mary Salliers. No witnesses.

For some reason, Joshua Penix’ land is still assessed on Russell County Taxes in 1815, perhaps because it was located near the new dividing line between Scott and Russell counties. Note the 145 acre tract which would allow for the 71 and 74 acre documented purchases. As Epp, John, nor Joshua had none of their documented deeds listed on the 1815 Russell tax list, this would appear to document that although the Penix and Penleys both lived on Copper Creek, they were a substantial distance apart.

1815 Russell County Tax Assessments: JOSHUA PENISE (PENIX), one farm on Copper Creek, 145 acres having thereon one dwelling house of wood, one and a half stories, 17 feet square, one barn of wood, two stables, one corn house, one corn house (repeated), valued at $300. (

In 1818, Josephua Pinix is properly assigned to Scott County, documented with 3 horses on the Scott County Personal Property Tax List, although he is not charged as tithable, presumably because of age. In 1820, Penix is listed on the 1820 Scott County Census as being over 45, with a male child under 16 in the home, presumably a grandchild.

*Allied Families:

The names of Patrick Porter, Charles Kilgore and John Walker, Richard and William Lane (Leane), who all previously lived in Guilford County, North Carolina and whose descendants married Epp’s descendants, are also found on the 1782 Washington County Tax list. Joshua Penley lived in Guilford County, North Carolina before moving to Russell County. It would be quite a logical migration pattern for Thomas Penley to move from Guilford County, North Carolina to Washington County, Virginia. If this is our Thomas Penley in Washington County, it places him very close to what would become Joshua and Epp’s homestead in Scott County, just two years before the date of Epp's birth as provided by his daughter Nancy.

*Deed Boundaries:

It is never advisable to form a conclusion from a deed abstract, but it appears that Joshua Penley’s 1806 deed for 30 acres on the north bank of Copper Creek may have used his own previous bounds as the boundary for his new purchase. This boundary for the beginning corner appears to already belong to our Joshua, though it is interpreted by the transcriber as Joshua Penelton. The late Jerry Penley’s knowledge is sorely missed here, as it is remembered that he stated that the Penix and Penley families lived a far distance from each other on Copper Creek, but that cannot be verified. It is thought that the Penix property was near the bounds of Russell County because of the erroneous taxation of Penix by Russell County in 1815.

Page 728 - March 4, 1806 between Samuel Ewing atty for Hugh & Charles McClung of PA & TN and Joshua Pennelly...30 ac on the waters of Copper Creek... Beginning corner to Joshua Penelton...on the north bank of the creek...corner to Reubin Matthews...Signed: Samuel Ewing, atty for Hugh & Charles McClung of Pa & Tn. No witnesses.
*Joshua Penley’s Estate:

When Joshua Penley died in 1814, it took many years to settle his estate which was not fully settled until 1829 when his son John left for Kentucky. John Penley was hauled into court and forced to post a $1,000 bond on the settlement of Joshua’s estate (per the late Jerry Penley at Why would Joshua’s only heir apparent in the vicinity be forced to post such a large bond regarding only 30 acres that was not even valued near the amount of the bond?

It is believed that the bond and controversy surrounding Joshua’s estate were due to the fact that the court was aware that there were additional heirs and assets that had never been transferred to Joshua’s name, or property in Joshua’s possession that was not legally Joshua’s.

*Epp’s First Land:
Shortly after the sale of Joshua’s 30 acres in 1817 by his son John, Epaphroditus Penley bought his first land in his own name for 200 dollars in hard cash, no mortgage attached. It is believed here that this rare cash purchase was possible because of a settlement that Epp received from John Penley for assets in Joshua’s possession. John would have no need to settle up with his cousin if some of the assets had not belonged to Epp’s father, our Thomas Penley.

3) Did Thomas Penley buy land in Washington or Fincastle County before 1786?

Recall the Thomas P[en]tley on 1782 Washington County Personal Property List.
Ironically, the most exclusive proof of Thomas Penley’s arrival before 1786 is the lack of a land deed.

This is not the preferred genealogical practice of this writer, but deeds from Russell County seem well intact. Thomas P[en]tley’s personal property in Washington County in 1782 included a horse and two cattle. Only residents were taxed, and land would be required for the cattle to graze. Available evidence supports a Thomas Penley homestead in the area today known as Scott County, Virginia by the early 1780’s.

It has become the thesis of this investigation that this Thomas P[en]tley, found on the 1782 Washington County, Virginia Tax List, is indeed OUR Thomas Penley. It is the thesis of this research that our Thomas Penley owned land in Washington County by 1782, and that he died circa 1785, possibly even before having his survey or deed recorded. It is proposed that his wife Milley took Epp to his Uncles William and Joshua, and then absconded with John Stillwell, deserting her child, and owing money. Sometime in the 1790's, his brother Joshua came to Washington/Russell/Scott County to take charge and possession of Thomas' land, bringing the orphan(s) back to Russell County because Thomas owned land in Russell County.

*Recall the Thomas P[en]tley on 1782 Washington County Personal Property List. His orphan would not be tithable for many years, so recurring tax records do not exist until Epaphroditus became taxable at age 21, sometime before 1810. Joshua brought Thomas’ orphans back to Russell County and lived on the land Thomas had owned until he bought his own land in 1806, at about the time that Epp would be old enough to be the master of his own household.

Washington County Personal Property Tax List:
1782 Washington County Tax List
Col. Arthur Campbell's Precinct
[This section of this tax list is faded, and very difficult to read]
P. . . tley, THoams 1 tithable 1 horse 2 cattle
(New River Notes website net/~newriver/va/wash1782. htm)

Admittedly, this is not hard evidence of Thomas Penley’s presence in Washington County, but, given the many spelling variations of Penley suffered through in the past decade, this entry could not be ignored. The discovery of this particular fragment of a name in this particular location, at this particular point in history was so intriguing that a recent addition to the Penley Library was purchased in search of absolute truth, the trip to Abingdon being impossible from windswept Florida during hurricane season. Ah, but absolute truth rarely exists in genealogy, and the new book does not neatly declare this to be Our Thomas Penley.

Washington County Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists, Volume I, 1782 - 1786, 1788 - 1790 by Thomas Jack Hockett, published in 2004 by New Papyrus Publishing in Athens, Georgia was abstracted from microfilm, and again testifies to the difficulty of interpreting these pages.

Page ten of this book interprets the entry as Pestley, Thomas with the annotation that it could be Presley. The two sources agree on the beginning letter of P and the last four letters, TLEY. A search of the entire book found no subsequent entries for Mr. Thomas P--tley in later years. But neither was any entry found for a Pestley or Presley anywhere in the entire book, nor in Washington or Russell County websites. The book is not indexed, a name could have been missed, but several lists are in alphabetical order. The only names found remotely resembling this entry are the numerous entries for the clearly distinguishable Prestons, Robert and Walter.

An exact description of Colonel Arthur Campbell’s precinct has not been found; his personal estate was called Royal Oak and was near Marion, Virginia today, 1140 acres along both sides of the Middle Fork of the Holston River. However, it is apparent that Arthur Campbell also owned land along Moccasin Creek, his deeds reference some landmarks well known to the descendants of Epaphroditus Penley: Copper Creek, Clinch Mountain, Moccasin Gap, Copper Creek Ridge.

If it can be assumed that the precinct assigned to Arthur Campbell for tax collection included the areas where he was a landowner, the Thomas P[en]tley on the 1782 Washington County Tax List may well have resided on or very near the exact land where Joshua lived beginning in 1799. Arthur Campbell did list himself as one tithable on his precinct list, with 13 horses and 29 cattle. There are isolated Campbells spread around the various other Washington County precincts, but Captain Barnett’s precinct lists six different Campbell homes, who appear to be the family members of Arthur Campbell, probably the district around his homestead in Marion. Scott County was carved out of Russell County in 1814. Russell County was carved out of Washington County in 1786.

The following land grants, additional land owned by Arthur Campbell besides his homestead at Marion, Virginia, describe land where Weber City, Virginia is now located in Scott County, roughly near the old Taylor Drive-In Theater.


    Page 2 - Col. Arthur Campbell. . . 280 ac. . . Treasury Warrant. . . on both sides of Moccasin Creek in and above big Moccasin Gap. . . Beginning at the foot of Clinch Mountain and on the west side of creek, corner to Campbells other survey. . . in the Gap. . . at the foot of Copper Creek Ridge. . . crossing little Mockison Creek. . . at the foot of the mountain above the Gap. . . in the Gap along an inaccessible part of the Mountain. . . May 11, 1781

    Page 2 - Col. Arthur Campbell. . . 120 ac. . . Treasury Warrant. . . on both sides of big Mockison Creek, branch of the North Fork of Holston River and little below big Mockison Gap. . . Beginning on the east side of the creek. . . at the foot of Clinch Mountain. . . May 11, 1781

Washington County, VA Survey records abstracts  1781-1797 Part 1 of 5 (pages 1-100)
Submitted to USGenWeb archives, copyrighted by Rhonda Robertson rsr@mounet. com
    http://ftp. rootsweb. com/pub/usgenweb/va/washington/deeds/surv1001. txt
Many of the men whose names I have mentioned, and others from Old Washington, participated in the battle of Point Pleasant, in 1774, and principally fought the battle of the Long Island Flats, in 1776, and also participated in the memorable battle of Kings Mountain, distinguishing themselves in each battle. Yet there are some men and historians found who have been endeavoring to disparage them and throw them out of view in each battle."


Washington County Clerk
111 North Court Street
Abingdon, VA 24210
Marriage records begin in 1782 for Washington County, VA.
Deeds begin in 1778. Wills and Estate records begin in 1777.
There are no chancery or law orders prior to 1831.
Court orders can be found in court minutes, which begin in 1777.
Birth and death records 1853-1896 and after 1912.