Ancestral Family Topic 204

 204   Capt. Joseph Fowlkes (-c.1789)
Pedigree Chart 06

Capt. Joseph Fowlkes, in his own words
If he could speak to us today, Capt. Joseph Fowlkes might describe his life as follows.

I was still living in Caroline County in 1756 when I bought 400 acres on the Little Nottoway River in Amelia County near my brothers from Bartholomew Zachary for £115,  and moved there by 1761 when my name appeared first on their tax rolls. 
My wife was Mary Jane Jennings whose family came from Hanover to live along the Little Nottoway, too. Baptists, I and 2 sons signed a petition in 1768 requesting a license to worship at George Walton’s house.
During the Revolution, Charles Knight, a Tory, printed counterfeit tobacco notes using equipment he hid in a fodder stack. One night I and about a dozen citizens raided the operation, tied the counterfeiters to a tree, and whipped them.  In July 1781 British Col. Banastre Tarleton raided our community and rested briefly at our house. In contrast with his reputation as “Bloody” Tarleton, he behaved quite well.
Nine whites were living in my household in 1785 and we owned one dwelling house and 4 other buildings. 
I was “sick and weak of body” when I made my will in Nottoway County in 30 April 1789 providing for Mary, 10 children, and grandson John Palmer.  I was dead by 3 September 1789. Mary, who lived a widow 30 years, died in 1822. At her death her property amounted to the usual contents of a lady’s bedroom worth about $31, $2 worth of kitchen stuff, and about $36 in money. 

He may have been the Joseph Fowlkes with an account at Thomas Partridge & Co. in Hanover (now Louisa) County in 1756. 

Land transactions
Joseph Fowlkes sold 200 acres to Samuel Thompson of Caroline County for £47 in 1758 and bought a nearby 200 acres in Amelia County from James Lampkin for £60 in 1763.  He sold 140 acres of this farm to his son Thomas Fowlkes in 1776,  and bought 480 acres in Amelia and Prince Edward counties from James Jennings in 1785. 

Baptist petition
On 27 Oct. 1768 the following petition was presented to the court of Amelia County. The original is in the Library of Virginia. 

Amelia County Court
To the Worshipful Court of Amelia 27th Otr. 1768.
We the subscribers do humbly pray that your worship would favor us so far as to license George Walton’s House as a place for those Dissenters call’d separate Baptists to assemble and Preach in.
We therefore humbly submit the consideration to your Worships, hoping you will in mercy grant the same to who [intend?] to always pray for all Authorities under God and over us.
Simeon Walton  David Thomson  Agnes Walton
George Walton  John Jennings  Elizabeth Walton
John Thomas Dejernatt  Alexander Berkly  Sarah Fowlkes
Thos. Dobson  Mary Anthony  Ann Thomson
John Fowlkes  James Griffin  Stephen Peace
Joseph Fowlkes  Joseph Jennings  Newson Peace
Thomas Fowlkes  Alexr. Guy  Millisant Dejarnatt
Samuel Thomson  [Mary?] Guy  James Hines
Charles Anderson  Lucy Anderson  Jesse Walton
James Anderson  Josiah Peace  Annas Walton
David Ellington     

On the reverse of this petition are the words, “Rejected 24 Novr. 1768.” Yet this did not stop the petitioners. Samuel Harris, a young preacher, was so powerful that in 1769 his followers established Nottoway Meeting House, the second oldest Baptist Church south of the James River. Joseph’s son John Fowlkes gave the land upon which they built the church and his cousin Jerusha Fowlkes married subscriber David Ellington who was later a Baptist minister in Lunenburg County.
Of the above petitioners, John Thomas Dejernatt was John Thomas DeJarnat and Millisant Dejarnatt was his wife. The Fowlkes named were Joseph and his sons, John and Thomas. Sarah Fowlkes may have been his daughter.
The Waltons were Simeon Walton, a minister, and his brothers, George Walton and Jesse Walton. Agnes Walton was Simeon’s wife.
Samuel Thomson was Samuel Thompson whose wife was Ann Thomson, Anne Thompson.
Charles Anderson was Rev. Charles Anderson, later a Baptist minister, Lucy Anderson was his wife, and James Anderson was Charles’ brother James Anderson.
The two Jennings subscribers were probably John Jennings and Joseph Jennings.

Rev. Walker continued to violate established law by preaching his Faith. In 1773 he went to Chesterfield County on a preaching mission and met John Clay and Eleazer Clay, local Baptist ministers. Chesterfield County briefly imprisoned him. 

Chesterfield County Court
Jeremiah Walker, who was committed by a warrant issued by Archibald Cary, Gentleman, for sundry misdemeanors, being at the Barr and acknowledge that he had convened the people in this County and preached to them, not being a minister of the Church of England within six months past, The Court being of Opinion that such behavior is a Breach of the Peace and of Good Behavior, do order that said Jeremiah be committed to the Goal of this Country til he enter into recognizance himself in penalty of 50 pounds with two sureties in penalty of 25 pounds each for his keeping the peace, and being of Good Behavior for the space of one year next ensuing.

The Clay’s were undoubtedly guilty of the same “Breach of Good Behavior” yet were natives of Chesterfield County. The court set them free.

Tarleton’s raid
In July 1781 during the Revolutionary War, British Col. Banastre Tarleton and his dragoons raided the community. They said that Tarleton was mostly generous to the inhabitants during the raid. He stopped at Mary Jane’s house, and while in her home, he turned a chair down for a pillow and lay on the floor to rest. He posted guards and did not allow his soldiers to disturb anything. Tarleton rebuked his men for plundering and often showed a kind spirit, which contrasts sharply with his reputation as “Bloody” Tarleton. 

Joseph’s will
Joseph’s 1789 will remembered his wife, Mary, grandson John Palmer, and children Austin, John, Sterling, Sally, Jerusha, and William Fowlkes, and Betsy Hamblin and Lucy Pace. He appointed as executors his wife, Mary, sons Thomas, Joseph, and Sterling Fowlkes, and his cousin Gabriel Fowlkes. Simeon Walton Sr., John Bass, and William Fowlkes witnessed the will.

Mary Jane’s will
The will of Mary Fowlkes, which of course she did not write because she was illiterate, contained many spelling errors that were noted by the county clerk as he transcribed it to the county will book. We will not replicate them here nor perpetuate the capitalization style of the period. It was recorded 2 May 1822. 

Will of Mary Fowlkes
8 November 1821
In the name of God Amen. I Mary Fowlkes of Nottoway County, being of sound mind and memory do make this my last will and testament in manner and form following, to wit:
I leave to my three grandsons John Fowlkes, Jeptha, and Austin Fowlkes, sons of my son John Fowlkes, deceased, what part of hire that Stephen Rowlett, Abraham Hatchett, and Joyce Fowlkes may be owing me at my death, but Austin is to have £5 more than either of them.
I will to my granddaughter Frances Robertson my safe and table and to my granddaughter Eliza Robertson my glass cupboard and what’s in it. I will to Henry J. Cooke’s daughter my black bonnet.
I will to my granddaughter Lenza [?] Hudson all my spun cotton and to my granddaughter July [Julia?] Fowlkes my looking glass and to my daughter Sarah Jennings my pine chest and all that’s in it.
I will to son Sterling Fowlkes all that he is owing of me with the hire of Hall that he has kept and my son William Fowlkes, what part that he is indebted to me for. To my Negro woman to have my coarse clothes to be divided among them all. The rest of my estate I give to my son Joseph J. Fowlkes with the rest of my land where my grandson Thomas Fowlkes lives and the hire of a boy by the name of Bill that he has got.
Lastly I appoint my sons Joseph J. Fowlkes and Sterling Fowlkes executors of this my last will given under my hand and seal this eighth day of November 1821.
William Zachary
Lodowick Brown

We do not know who this Thomas Fowlkes was, nor have we identified granddaughters July Fowlkes or Hudson. She was evidently a neighbor of Henry Jones Cook who lived near Jennings Ordinary. Joyce Fowlkes was Joyce Motley, the widow of Mary’s brother-in-law Jennings Fowlkes. Archer Robertson, William Robertson, and Joseph Fowlkes inventoried Mary Jane’s estate 4 June 1822. 
A lawsuit regarding the heirs of Joseph Fowlkes in Nov. 1824 included Sally Fowlkes wife of Coleman Jeffress, Betsy Fowlkes, deceased, wife of Daniel Hamlin, Nancy Fowlkes, a daughter of Austin Fowlkes, deceased who married Thomas Fowlkes, and Jerusha Fowlkes, deceased, and her husband John Vaughan. 

Descendants of Capt. Joseph Fowlkes
Information about the children of Capt. Joseph Fowlkes, their descendants, and allied families previously found at is now available as Southside Virginia Genealogies. Learn more 
Names found in this topic include the following.
 John Fowlkes (-1808),  
Nancy Newby,  John Newby,  
Simeon Walton,   
John Jeffress,   
Austin Fowlkes,  Amelia Griffin,  
Jeptha Fowlkes,  
John Fowlkes,  
Louise Fowlkes,  
Elizabeth Ward Fowlkes,  
Pamelia Ann Fowlkes,  
 William Fowlkes,  
Mary Clarke,   Martha Anderson,   
Thomas Pettus,  
Thomas P. Fowlkes,  Clarky Cheatham,   
Austin Fowlkes,  R.P. —,  
Anderson J. Fowlkes,  Eliza Jane Fowlkes,   Joseph Jennings Fowlkes,   
John W. Fowlkes,  Martha Jane Jennings,   
Martha A. Fowlkes,  
Robert J. Fowlkes,  
Elizabeth J. Fowlkes,  
William M. Fowlkes,  
Missniah J. Fowlkes,  
Amanda N. Fowlkes,  Lipscomb,  
Permelia C. Fowlkes,  
Amanda Fowlkes,  Thomas Harvey,  
William Cross Fowlkes,  Nannie Perkinson,  
 Sterling Fowlkes (c.1755-1827),  
Elizabeth Jennings,   William Pamplin,  Rev. Simeon Walton,   
Thomas Crenshaw,  
Philadelphia Bruce Fowlkes,  Abner Crenshaw,   
Sterling Fowlkes,  Pamelia Fowlkes,   
Mary J. Fowlkes,  Clement J. Thompson,  
William Thompson,  
Norton Thompson,  
Agnes Thompson,  
Ann Elizabeth Fowlkes,  Stephen D. Rowlett,   
Nancy Fowlkes,  William S. Pamplin,  
Thomas Fowlkes,  Nancy Fowlkes,   
 Thomas Fowlkes (-1817),  
Mary —,  Raleigh Carter,  
 Austin Fowlkes (c.1763-1805),  
Mary Price Pulliam,   
Nancy Fowlkes,  Thomas Fowlkes,   
 Capt. Joseph Jennings Fowlkes (1769-1844),  
 Jerusha (Fowlkes) Vaughan (c.1765-),  
John Vaughan,   
 Sarah (Fowlkes) Jennings,  
Coleman Jennings,   
 Elizabeth (Fowlkes) Hamblin,  
Daniel Hamblin,  Rev. Simeon Walton,   
Polly Jennings Hamblin,  Edward Penick,   
 Lucy (Fowlkes) Pace,  
John Pace,  William Pace,  Catherine (—) Pace,  Susanna (—) Pace,  
 daughter (Fowlkes) Palmer,  
George Palmer,  Reuben Palmer,  Permenius Palmer,  Thomas Palmer,  William Palmer,  
John Palmer,  
 John Walton (-1772),  
Mary (—) Walton,  
George Walton,  William Jennings,   Elizabeth (—) Walton,  Josiah Ellington,   
John Walton,  
Simeon Walton,  Agnes Hester,  
John Walton,  Susanna Anderson,   
Barbara Walton,  Thomas Harvey,   
Robert Walton,  
Edward Walton,  
Josiah Walton,  
Agnes Walton,  William Harvey,   
Anne Hester Walton,  William Penick,   
Elizabeth Walton,  Edward Robertson,   
Robert Walton,  
Hester Walton,  Milner Bennett,  
Edward Walton,  
Mary Walton,  William Baker,  
Jesse Walton,  John Jennings,   Thomas Paine,  
Elizabeth Walton,  Isham Watkins,  
Robert Walton,  
Frances Walton,  
William Walton,  
Mizapina Walton,  
Newel Walton,  

Selected sources
Doughtie, Beatrice Mackey. Documented Notes on Jennings and Allied Families. Privately published, 1961:445-453, 488. • Family of Joseph Fowlkes.

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