Terry Mason's Family History Site

Major lines: Allen, Beck, Borden, Buck, Burden, Carpenter, Carper, Cobb, Cook, Cornell, Cowan, Daffron, Davis, Downing, Faubion, Fauntleroy, Fenter, Fishback, Foulks, Gray, Harris, Heimbach, Henn, Holland, Holtzclaw, Jackson, Jameson, Johnson, Jones, King, Lewis, Mason, Massengill, McAnnally, Moore, Morgan, Overstreet, Price, Peck, Rice, Richardson, Rogers, Samuel, Smith, Taylor, Thomas, Wade, Warren, Weeks, Webb, Wodell, Yeiser.


Selected Families and Individuals


Jacob Beer

QUESTION: How can he have death date of 1620 and have children born in 1623?

Nicholas Moore

Probate 31 Oct 1617

Margery Moore

Probate 23 Nov 1627

Margaret Gaines

VIRGINIA GENEALOGIES, by Rev. Horace Edwin Hayden, reprinted 1931:  "Excursus-Rowzee": In Essex Co. records Col. John Catlett made deed, 1663, to Ralph, son of Ralph Rowzee, dec'd. ... Ralph Rowzee's will, dated Sep. 28, 1716, pro. May 19, 1719, names wife Margaret, sons Ralph, Benjamin, and John, daus. Margaret, Martha and Mary Rowzee, Sarah Fenwick and Rebecca Davis.

Re: Margaret Gaines and Simon Miller - VA
By Margaret Amundson September 08, 2002

In reply to: Margaret Gaines and Simon Miller - VA
Marshall Tyler 11/25/00

First of all the second wife of Symon Miller was not nee Gaines as so many have asserted over the years. Who this Margaret is remains a mystery. But it flys in the face of common logic to say she was Margaret - the daughter of Daniel Gaines. You will note the LWT of Daniel Gaines does have a daughter Margaret who from the wording appears to be recently married.

Will of Daniel Gaines
In the name of God Amen, I Daniell Gaines of the Parish of Sittenburne in the County of Rappa: being in good health of body & sound & perfect memory Praise be therefore given to Almighty God ...
  Impris. ...debts pd...Orphants of Colnll John Catlett deced to be paid out of the negroes and other goods that did belong to the sd Colnll Catlets Estate the Negroes & Goods to be pd as they were appraised to me as may appear by Inventory.
  Item...Son, Bernard all my land that I now live upon to him & his heires lawfully begotten & that he shall not let sell or mortgage any part or parcell of the same so longe as his two Sisters, Margret & Maryor their heires be alive.
  It is my will that if all my Children die without heires of their bodyes then my land to fall to my Grandson, John Smyth & to his heires forever.
  Item I give to my Daughter Mary the Mare colt that now sucks on Mare Betty and all her encrease to her & her heires for Ever.
  Item It is my will that the Mare Heyfer & hogs that I have given to my Grandson in Law John Smith be & remaine to his proper use forever.
  Item.It is my Will that the first living Child that my Negro Cate doth bring be given to my Daughter Margarett and to her heires for ever & if it lives to the age of three yeares to be in lieu of a man Servant, otherwise to be in no stead.
  Item I do give to my Son, Bernard my Silver hilted sword & Belt & my Seale Ring.
  Item I give unto my deare & loveing Wife, Margret, one third of all my Estate in lieu of her Dowre.
  Item. My will is that the other two parts of my Estate be deviced (divided) between my three children, Bernard, Margret and Mary and no part of it be apprised but to be inventoried and delivered in kind.
  Item.It is my will that my Daughter Margaret have a good feather bead & furniture at my death in full of her part of my bedding.
  Item It is my will that my Daughter Mary have the use of so much housing & land as she needs soe long as she continued unmarried.
  Item. It is my will that as soone as it can a man Servant be bought with Tobacco for my Daughter Margaret in part of he [sic her] porcon.
  Item. It is my will that my Wife, Son Bernard and Daughter Mary keep their shares together for their menteyance doing their best by their Endeavours to Encrease the same as long as my Wife continues Widdow or so land as either of my Children continue unmarried and at the day of Marriage of my Wife or of either of my Children then my Childrens part to be delivered them in kind.
  Item My will is that my two Children Bernard & Mary have as many things apeice out of my Estate as my Daughter Margaret hath had already & the rest to be devided between them equally by my loveing Kinsman, John Catlett & Sons in Law John Smyth and Ralph Rowzey and not to go to Law one with the other.
   Item It is my will that my Estate be inventoryed within ten dayes after my decease.
  Item I give to my deare & loving wife Twenty Shilling to buy her a Mourning Ring to ware for my sake & to my two Daughters each of them a Ring of Ten Shillings price.
  Item It is my will that if I die haveing no tobacco in my house that my Servants bee & remaine together till they make a good crop of Arenoco Tobacco out of which my Wife having first taken her Thirds then my Son Bernard & Daughter Mary have out of therest each of them as much as my Daughter Margarett hath already then if any be remaining over & above to be devided equally between them all three.
  Item.It is my will that my Children have their Estate at the death or day of Marriage of my Wife whether they be of age or not.
  Item It is my will the Children of Colnll John Catlett remaine with my Wife til they come of age or not.
  Item I nominate & appont my dear and loveing Wife my sole Executrix of this my last Will and testament and Guardian to my Children so longe as she lives a Widdow.

IN Witness whereof I the sd Daniell Gaines to this my last Will & Testamt do sett my hand & Seale this Eighteeenth of August in the yeare of our Lord One thousand Six hundred Eighty & two
Signed Sealed & delivered and declared Daniel Gaines
presence of Wm Murrow
John Catlett Wm Browne
Wee the Subscribers do hereby testifie and declare upon or Oathes wee did see Capt Danll Gaines with menconed signe seale & deliver this ...Recorded 1 die 8bris Ano 1684

Now let's go over the infomation on Margaret who married first John Prosser [there is a marriage in England for John Prosser to Margaret Banks]

How he came to the attention of the widow, Margaret (?) of Prosser Miller is not known. Her second husband, Simon Miller was a boatright, living on the frontier of the colony, where there was much trading with the Indian tribes to the west. She appears to have been firmly established on the Rappahannock River side of the peninsula.

Margaret (?) made her last appearance in the records of [Old] Rappahannock County, as the widow of Simon Miller on 5 March 1684/85. At a court held in [Old] Rappahannock County, on 6 May 1685, a reference is made to Hugh French who married the relict of Captain Symon [sic] Miller. Hugh and Margaret were married sometime between 5 March 1684/85 and 6 May 1685. These dates become important when examining the ages of their children, and reconciling them with other records, in order to prove the children named in Hugh's 1701 will, were his and Margaret's. This will be discussed in further detail in the biography of Hugh2, their son, who has been assigned to a hypothetical first marriage of Hugh's.

The twice widowed Margaret, brought considerable economic advantage to the marriage. In order to get an accurate picture of what she controlled the wills of both Symon Miller and John Prosser must be examined. John Prosser, her first husband signed his will 28 August 1673.

In it he gave
...my Wife that now is, I meane my loving Wife Margarett five hundred acres of land on the North side of the River joyning to Five hundred acres sold to Thomas Pannell to her & her heirs & assigns for ever, & one halfe of my moovable Estate my Debts and funerall charge being paid; & if my moovable Estate will not pay my Debts, then so much of my land back upon Pewmansin to be sold by her as will fully satisfie all. She I doe hereby make my full & whole Executrix to execute my whole Will...

In addition to the five hundred acres he gave her outright, he gave her
...his plantation of the Golden Valle & the land in the neck, during her Natural life & then to fall to my eldest son, John Prosser and his heirs forever.

It can not be established exactly when Margaret married Simon Miller. Not only is exact date of John Prosser’s death not known, but neither is the date of Symon Miller's first wife. Margaret probably did not remain a widow too long. A widow with property did not have a hard time finding a husband. Simon had several motherless children, and Margaret had at least one of her own, and three stepchildren to care for. Symon [sic] Miller, boatwright sold four hundred and forty acres to Roger Cleveland, November 1679. Margaret signed with an M for her mark.

Thomas Hoskins Warner in his History of [Old] Rappahannock County, Virginia, has the following to say about Symon Miller:

...During the summer and fall of 1676, Major Simon Miller, who was in command of Bacon's forces in the upper Rappahannock...devoted his efforts to fighting the Indians and keeping them under control. His lands lay on the south branch of Puemendson Run, sometimes called Mill Creek: and later on he lived on Golden Vale Creek above Port Royal. Miller's lands adjoined those of Cadwallader Jones and were within the area of the massacre of January 25, 1675-76. So great was the service of Symon Miller in protecting the settlers when their homes and lives were imperiled by the red men that even his nominal enemies joined with his friends in petitioning the Governor to look upon him with an eye of favor.

Cadwallader Jones wrote when it appeared Miller might be hung, along with others who participated in Bacon's Rebellion,
...because of the good he hath done to protect this section from the Indians and keeping them under control.

Simon Miller wrote his will 16 February 1679. He was seven and thirty years old then. In it he lists the following children; Simon, William, John, Susanna, Isabella, and Margaret. He mentioned Anthony Prosser and called him his wife's son. Later on in his will he included provisions for the sons of Mr. Prosser
...every one of them to have a heifer delivered to them one after another when they come to Eighteen years of age ...

He left his wife Margaret the plantation and house they lived in for her natural life. But he included a stipulation that if she should marry one that should let the house and orchard go to ruin, then she is to return her Third.

Miller's will was accepted for probate 7 May 1684.It was dated several years before his death. Margaret entered into a lease agreement with Andrew Harrison, 30 November 1683 as the widow of Simon Miller. Some of the witnesses to Miller's will may not have been present in the area when Margaret presented it the first time for probate. It was accepted in May 1684. It is apparent from the November 1683 lease agreement, that Miller was deceased by that date.

When Hugh married the twice widowed Margaret, she owned 500 acres of land given her by her first husband John Prosser, plus life time use of a plantation from him. She also had lifetime use of land from Simon Miller, as long as the land was kept in good order. She had at least nine step-children, and children of her own.


Many French family historians have said Margaret was the daughter of Daniel Gaines. Certainly Daniel Gaines had a daughter Margaret, who, based on the wording of his 1682 [Old] Rappahannock County will, appeared married. Daniel Gaines' will was presented for probate in October 1684. Simon Miller's will reveals Margaret had at least one son, Anthony, by John Prosser. Anthony Prosser was living when Daniel Gaines signed his will in August 1682, because he witnessed an instrument between his then, step-father, Hugh French, and John Fossaker, in 1693.Gaines does not mention any grandchildren by the three children, Margaret, Bernard or Mary, named in his will. He does refer to sons-in-law, Ralph Rowzey and John Smith. In this particular case this means step son and stepson in law. Neither of Daniel Gaines’ other children Mary or Bernard were married at the time he wrote his will. Daniel says

It is my will that if all my children die without heirs of their bodies then my land to fall to my Grandson John Smith.

Later on in this instrument, he refers to John Smith as his grandson-in-law. The precise meaning of this statement is not clear, but it appears that Daniel Gaines had step-children, one of whom, married a John Smith. Given the care he demonstrated in providing for disposal of his land, in the event all three of his children die without issue, if he had a twelve year old grandchild, he certainly would have favored him over a step-grandson, in his will.

Margaret (?) Prosser, Miller, French, Sommerville was not nee Gaines. No primary source document has been found to date revealing her identity.

There is a third document that suggest that at least one of the daughter of Symon Miller was by wife Margaret. It is the last will and Testament of James Scott, probated in January 1722/23. In this document Scott names his sister loving Aunt Margaret Amon, Brother Paul Scott, Sister Margarett Scott an also to Aunts Izabel Triplett and Margaret Taliafreeo, loving Uncle Hugh French.

This will suggest that Paul Scott was the son of a daughter of Margaret's. Perhaps Mary French.
I hope this helps to sort the tangled mess of Margaret's idenity.


Virginia, Marriages of the Northern Neck of Virginia, 1649-1800
Virginia, Marriages of the Northern Neck of Virginia, 1649-1800