Ancestral Family Topic 894

 894   John Watson (c.1710-c.1800)
Pedigree Chart 07

John Watson, in his own words
If he could speak to us today, John Watson might describe his life as follows.

I was born about 1710, the son of Benjamin and Agnes Watson of Henrico County. My father died when I was a boy and I grew up on the plantation of my stepfather, Robert Mosby, on Upham Brook north of present-day Richmond.
Looking for better opportunities, I acquired land on Little Guinea in Cumberland County before settling on Little Buffalo Creek near present-day Farmville, Virginia. My wife was Hannah, likely Hannah Allen. We had at least ten children, many of whom stayed in Prince Edward County. We attended Cumberland Presbyterian Church across the Appomattox River from Farmville, where I was an elder.
A resident of St. Patrick’s Parish, I helped renew the lines marking the boundaries between neighboring farms in 1760 and 1764.  To be a processioner, as this was called, required that I be “an intelligent, honest freeholder.” 
In November 1775 I was among several Prince Edward citizens elected to the Committee of Safety.  Many months before the Declaration of Independence, every Virginia county had such a committee assuming the administrative powers of the governor whom we no longer recognized. During the Revolution I gave our army 30½ bushels of wheat and 725 pounds of beef, for which I was later reimbursed. 
I owned 6 slaves in 1755,  and 20 in 1783. Although 8 whites were my household that year, just 4 were living under my roof in 1785. 
I was in my 70s in 1781 when I declined to witness the will of my son-in-law because I was too old. The will I made in 1797 left property to my children and grandchildren and I was dead by 1805.

John married Hannah whom Walter Watson, a descendant, thought to be an Allen.  Excluding children of children who married women named Allen, 5 of Hannah’s grandchildren were named Allen, including one Hannah A. Watson. Although John’s mother was an Allen, we tentatively accept John Watson’s wife as Hannah Allen.
John and Hannah named an elder son Drury Watson. Since Drury was a very popular name among the New Kent Allens, her family may have originated there. Yet an examination of these families reveals no Hannah.
The will of John Watson remembered 10 children. Yet at least two predeceased him. In 1796 John Watson Sr. gave Allen Watson a power of attorney to compel the widow of Benjamin Watson of Franklin County, Ga., to return “a Negro man, Gilbert, loaned to the said Benjamin Watson for his life.”  Allen Chambers, his grandson, and Drury Watson, his son witnessed the instrument. Benjamin and Allen were undoubtedly sons named for John’s father, Benjamin Watson, and his wife, Hannah Allen. Neither appear in his will. 

His plantations
At one time or another John Watson held land in Henrico, Goochland, Cumberland, Halifax, and Prince Edward counties.
As John Watson Jr. of Varina Parish, Henrico County, he bought 300 acres in present-day Cumberland County on the north side of the Appomattox River, bounded by a branch of Little Guinea, 15 Aug. 1734.  Among the witnesses to the deed was Benjamin Hambleton. Watson added 400 neighboring acres on the Chickahominy in 1733 and got 395 more acres on the north side of the James River in 1735. 
Watson held a patent to 425 neighboring acres on Little Guinea in 1745 to which he appended 300 acres in 1751.  He appeared often as a Jr. to distinguish himself from his uncle of the same name. They apparently held some property in common they deeded to John Warner in 1739. 
Watson was still in Henrico County in 1742 when he secured a patent to 121 acres on the north side of the James River next to John Mosby.  In 1743 John Watson Jr. sold property to John Williamson and to Thomas Spraggins Watson still had land in Henrico County in 1746. 
In 1760 Watson bought 550 acres on the north side of the Dan River in Halifax County for £300,  of which he and Hannah sold 183 acres in 1763 for £100 and the remainder in 1766 for £280.  In 1746 John Watson Jr. of Goochland County bought 496 acres on Little Buffalo Creek near present-day Farmville, Prince Edward County, from Richard Randolph of Henrico County for 5 shillings.  We do not know why the purchase price was nominal. He sold Anthony Cole a Goochland County patent of 17 March 1736/7 on 18 Nov. 1746.  On 5 April 1748 John Watson got a patent to 330 acres on Little Buffalo and added 404 acres in July 1748. 
When Watson sold 725 acres in Cumberland County in 1751, the deed described him as then a resident of “the Parish of Nottoway and County of Amelia” and Hannah relinquished her dower right. 
During his lifetime, John sold portions of his plantation: John Morton bought 150 acres in 1759, George Smith purchased 300 acres in 1761, and John deeded his son of the same name 250 acres in 1764. 
Prince Edward County taxed John Watson on 8 tithes, including Samuel Watson, and 300 acres in 1767. 
By 1781 John was in his 70s when he declined to witness the will of his son-in-law Josiah Chambers because of his age. A British mercantile claim for £65.10.5 confirmed that John Watson Sr. of Prince Edward County could pay all his debts. 

John’s will
When John made his will 3 Feb. 1797, he was then about 87 years of age.  He left bequests to children and grandchildren and appointed 3 sons, John, Joseph, and Jesse, executors.
John Watson was dead by 17 June 1805. His inventory held several old books, including Confession of Faith, 4¾ gallons of rum, and cash of £11.11.9.
Here is an abstract of his will.

Will of John Watson
3 February 1797
To son John one acre of land, more or less, joining the land he lives on, and likewise one Negro by name Dick, and one Negro girl named Aggie and her increase, which he has in his possession, and likewise one Negro man named Nick.
To son Drury a Negro woman named Aggie and her increase, which he has had in his possession for years past, and of late has placed said Aggie into possession of his daughter Susanna.
To Hannah, daughter of son Drury, Negro boy named John and one feather bed and furniture.
Lend to daughter Mary Chambers 200 acres of land more or less, agreeable to the lines as they stand at present, being the land whereon she now lives, for her use during her life, and after her death the said 200 acres of land to her son, Josiah Chambers.
To the children of Josiah Chambers one Negro woman named Jane, and her increase, which was lent to Josiah Chambers and by him willed to his children, as they are mentioned in his will.
To daughter Susanna one Negro named Peyton, which she has in her possession, and one Negro girl.
To son Samuel one Negro woman and her increase and one boy.
To daughter Judith one Negro boy and one woman and her increase and one woman named Fanny and her increase and one Negro girl and her increase.
To son Joseph one Negro boy and one girl and her increase and one other boy.
To son Jesse one Negro woman named Lucy and her increase from this date, and likewise John, Tom, Nancy and her increase, likewise Lewis and Lydia and her increase, and one boy named Nott, which he has in his possession.
To son Josiah two Negroes, Peter and Hannah and her increase, which he has in his possession, and one Negro man named Isham.
To son Abner two Negroes, and likewise Old Dick and likewise Pepesley and her increase and her daughter and her increase; likewise the plantation he now lives on, 300 acres, and a cart and yoke of oxen, which he now has.
Lend to granddaughter Judith Nelson one Negro girl named Cate, during her (Judith’s) life, and after her death to be divided with increase among her children.
Old Negro woman Aggie, to have liberty to live with which of my children she pleases, but if she should live to get so infirm as not to be able to maintain herself, to be maintained at the equal expense of all my children.
All the residue of my personal estate not here devised to be equally divided among all my children.
Estate not to be appraised nor executors to be held to give security.
John Watson

Descendants of John Watson
Information about the children of John Watson, 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 Watson (-1828),  
Mary Smith,  
Betty Ann Watson,  Alexander Ritchie,  
Drury Watson,  Frances Richardson,  
Samuel Watson,  Hannah Watson,   Permelia P. Booker,  
Nancy Watson,  
Thornton Watson,  
Mary Watson,  Allen Watson Smith,   
Susanna Thorn Watson,  Willis V.R. Crute,  
 Drury Watson,  
Sally (—) Watson,  
Susanna Watson,  
Elizabeth Watson,  
Hannah Watson,  James Calhoun,  
Drury Calhoun,  Walter Allen Watson,   
Judith Watson,  Humphrey Nelson,  
Mary Watson,  Obediah Woodson,   
 Mary (Watson) Chambers (-1800),  
Josiah Chambers,  
Elizabeth Chambers,  Charles Allen,   
Martha W. Allen,  Warren W. Meredith,   Francis Anderson,  
Elizabeth Sims Allen,  Josiah Penick,   
John C. Allen,  Nancy Watson,   
Harriet E. Allan,  Johnson M. Duncan,  
Mary Watson Allen,  John Elliott,  
Richard Allen,  
William C. Allen,  Julia B. Anglea,  
Sarah Watson Allen,  
Josiah Allen,  
Edward Chambers Allen,  
John Chambers,  
Allen Chambers,  Abner Watson,   Martha (Atkinson) McGehee,  James McGehee,   
Elizabeth Ann Chambers,  Benjamin Thackson,  
Mary Susanna Chambers,  Andrew Nelson,  
Keziah Chambers,  Benjamin Sims Allen,   
Martha Allen,  Robert J. Moore,  
Ann A. Allen,  William Wilson,  
Sarah Chambers Allen,  James Watson Womack,   
Marietta Keziah Womack,  
Benjamin William Womack,  Elizabeth Daniel,  
James Watson Womack,  
Egbert Womack,  Elizabeth Colley,  
Sarah Ann Womack,  
Francis Womack,  
Martha Allen Womack,  
Paulina Jane Womack,  
Josiah Chambers,  
 Susanna (Watson) Smith,  
John Smith,   
 Judith (Watson) Allen (1746-c.1800),  
James Allen,   
Margaret (—) Allen,  Samuel Watson Jr.,   Allen Watson,   
John Allen,  Rebecca —,  
Hannah Allen,  Gregory Holloway,  
Elizabeth Sims Allen,  William Shepherd,  
Sarah Watson Allen,  Allen Watson,   
Martha Allen,  Nathan Bell,  
Mary Allen,  James Bell,  
James Saul Allen,  Mary Allen,  
Daniel A. Allen,  
 Samuel Watson (1747-1806),  
Ann Allen,   
Mary Watson,  James Dillon,  
Capt. James Watson,  
Hannah Watson,  Samuel Watson,   
John Watson,  
Capt. Benjamin Allen Watson,  Dicia DeJarnett,   
Elizabeth Watson,  John Key,  
Samuel Watson,  Rebecca Ann Watson,   
Mary Ann R. Watson,  Benjamin Fuqua,  
Littleberry Watson,  Mary Ann Thackston,  
Nancy Watson,  
Joseph Watson,  
Allen Watson,  Sarah Watson Allen,   
Martha R. Watson,  
John Watson,  
Daniel Watson,  H.E. —,  
Nancy Watson,  John C. Allen,   
Sarah Josephine Watson,  James Bondurant,  
Martha Watson,  Chappell Love,  Isaac Love,  
 Joseph Watson (-1828),  
Sarah Allen,   Frances Wade,  
Joseph Watson,   Sims Allen,   
 Lt. Jesse Watson (-1812),  
Mary Meredith,  Pleasant Meredith,  
Joseph Allen Watson,  Jane C. Bruce,   
Alexander J. Watson,  Fowlkes,  
Joseph William Watson,  
Jacob P. Watson,  
Branch A. Watson,  
Armistead E. Watson,  Katherine Fox,  
Bruce Watson,  
Rochette B. Watson,  Lucy B. Watson,  
Martha S. Watson,  George Bruce,  
Joanna B. Watson,  Tom Watson,  
Frances J. Watson,  Scott,  
Jesse Watson,  Sarah Ann Thompson,  
Minerva Watson,  
Thomas Watson,  
Robert J. Watson,  
Joseph Watson,  
Jackson E. Watson,  
Hannah A. Watson,  William Towler,  
Watson Towler,  
Saunders Towler,  
Mary Ann Elizabeth Watson,  Keeling,  
John William Meredith Watson,  Jane Watkins,  Thomas Watkins,  
Jesse A. Watson,  
Jane E. Watson,  
William E. Watson,  
Mildred B. Watson,  
Louisa P.A.M. Watson,  
Sarah M.T. Watson,  
Elisha M. Watson,  Nancy Parson,  Mary A. Cole,  
Mary J. Watson,  
John W. Watson,  
Permelia Watson,  
Josiah Watson,  
Virginia Watson,  
Martha J. Watson,  
Robert Allen Alexander Watson,  Mary Elizabeth Watson,  John Allen Watson,   Rev. Matthew Dance,   
Francis Marion Watson,  
S. Meredith Watson,  Josephine Leonora Robertson,   
Mary Guthrey Watson,  
 Abner Watson (-1835),  
Mary Price,   
 Josiah Watson (-c.1828),  
Mary Nelson,  Matthew Nelson,  
Matthew Edward Andrew Hercules Nelson Watson,  
John Allen Watson,  Nancy Hamlett,  Jesse Hamlett,   
Mary Nelson Watson,  Crawley Fowlkes,  James Thackston,  Capt. Benjamin Cox,  
Rebecca Ann Watson,  Samuel Watson,   John B. Geers,  
 Benjamin Watson (-c.1795),  
 Allen Watson,  

This family topic includes the following notable individuals.
Soldiers of colonial and American wars
Drury Watson - War of 1812 Samuel Watson - War of 1812
Drury Watson - Revolutionary War James Watson Womack - War of 1812
Daniel A. Allen - War of 1812 James Watson - War of 1812
Littleberry Watson - War of 1812 Jesse Watson - Revolutionary War
Joseph Allen Watson - War of 1812 Jesse Watson - War of 1812
Nelson Watson - War of 1812 John Allen Watson - War of 1812

Legislators - colonial and state
Benjamin William Womack - Virginia Daniel A. Allen - Virginia
James Dillon - Virginia Branch W. Watson - Texas

This topic, which represents .27% of all the family history material at, includes 214 citations and the names of 227 individuals.
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