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Boat(w)right Family Genealogy in America

Generation 6

6-1. REUBEN BOATWRIGHT (JOHN6, BENONI5, JOHN4, JOHN3, JOHN2, Not Yet Determined1) was born 21 Mar 1762 in St. Pauls Parish, Hanover County, Virginia, and died Bef. 1840 in New Canton, Buckingham County, Virginia. He married LUCY PENICK 26 Jul 1785 in Farmville, Prince Edward County, Virginia, daughter of WILLIAM PENICK and JUDITH WALKER. She was born 02 Apr 1767 in Prince Edward County, Virginia, and died Abt. 1870 in Buckingham County, Virginia.


Social Hall - Home of Reuben Boatwright

Occupation: Deacon

Residence: "Social Hall" was the family home (across from Mont. Calm)

PROP: 1788 Settled in New Canton, VA.

Info from Debra Miller

Boatwright Family Genealogy

as recorded by Rev. Reuben Boatwright in 1905 - Buckingham Co, VA.

Social Hall Farm - Home of Reuben Boatwright Deacon Reuben Boatwright, Sr., the progenitor of most of the Boatwrights living in the county of Buckingham, was born in Hanover, Cumberland or Prince Edward Co., Va. the 21st day of March A.D. 1762. He married Lucy Penick, daughter of Squire Penick of Prince Edward Co., Va. She was born 2nd of April 1767. He bought land near New Canton and moved on it in 1788 and raised five boys and six girls. He had a sixth son, whose name was Daniel, who died before reaching maturity. By industry and good judgment he accumulated a considerable amount of property and with it helped his sons to settle around him in close proximity - the farthest one not more than four miles distant. He was positive, and regarded by some as stern - when he said no, meant it, but one of the kindest and hospitable men in all the country around. His home, Society Hall acquired the appellation of travellers rest. Nearly all the preachers at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, of which he was a member and a deacon, or pasing through the neighborhood, by direction or instinct found out where deacon Boatwright lived. He served a term in the Revolutionary War, was wounded by a bomb at Yorktown, and was present when Lord Cornwallis surrendered. He was fond of having his family, his boys and girls and grandchildren around his festive board. Always, as was the custom of those days, setting out before dinner his decanter of good whiskey, or brandy distilled from his own fruit; and inviting his own company to have a toddy with him, and then he would set it back in his sideboard and lock it up.

He and his wife visited all the sick in the neighborhood, carrying them something to eat. He always carried his lancet and bled them if he thought they needed it, and his wife prescribed Epson salts to the children, and worm seed stewed in molasses if she thought they had worms. They always rode in an old fashioned Gig when they had grown old. Very few things could keep them from their house of worship. His word had more weight in their church meeting than all the ballance of their members together. He and his wife died up in 70 at his own home, surrounded by all his family.

His oldest son, John Boatwright, married Fanny Guerrant, daughter of Peter Guerrant of Buckingham Co., Va. and he settled on a farm near his father's. They raised two children, John G. and Lucy Ann Boatwright. His son John graduated in medicine at the Medical College in Philadelphia, after having spent two sessions at the University of Virginia, and practiced his profession in Buckingham until the Civil War and was made an Army surgeon - after the war he moved with his family to Danville, Va., where he made a reputation as a physician. He married Pattie Phillips, whose parents lived near Charlottesville. He died in mature manhood, leaving five boys and one girl, his widow and most of his children still live in Danville. Lucie Ann, the daughter of John Boatwright, Sr., married George Montague of Cumberland Co, and they moved to the Kanawha Valley - they had several children, but I have not kept up with them.

William Boatwright, the next son of Reuben Boatwright Sr. married Miss Louisa Engby (difficult to make out the name) of Buckingham Co. and settled on a farm near Randolph Creek near Mt. Zion church. They accumulated some property, and died at an advanced age without issue. He lived to be 86 years.

Deacon Thomas Boatwright, the third son of Reuben Boatwright located at the old homestead (typist note: Social Hall) of his father, and remained there until his death at the advanced age of 94. They had three children, one son and two daughters - his son, deacon W. L. Boatwright, married Alice Putney, a granddaughter of Rev. Wm. H. Taylor of sacred memory and located on the same farm, of his father (Thomas), and grandfather (Reuben).

The two daughters of Thomas Boatwright, viz.; Virginia and Ann E. Boatwright, still live and are both widows - Virginia surviving her husband, Mr. George Layne of Fluvanna, and Ann E. surviving Dr. Wm. Putney of Buckingham, who died a few years ago without leaving any children (Ann Elizabeth Boatwright's first marriage was to a cousin, Thomas Frederick Boatwright, no children. He was killed in the Civil War at Spotsylvania Court House). Her second marriage was to Dr. William R. Putney, widower, with three children. They lived at Mont. Calm, across the road from Social Hall.

Reuben Boatwright, Jr. a son of Reuben Boatwright, Sr., married Miss Mary Ann Bryant; a daughter of Charles Bryant of Cumberland Co., Va., a farmer of some property - his wife was a daughter of Wm. Berryman of Buckingham Co., a man of large landed estate.

The said Reuben Jr., and wife had three sons and two daughters by his first wife, viz.; Charles Wm., Thos. Frederick and Reuben Baker Boatwright, and Sarah Jane and Susan Wyatt, both dying in infancy. He, the said Reuben carried on mercantile business in New Canton after his marriage a while and then bought land in the neighborhood of Mt. Zion Church and farmed the balance of his life. He, after his marriage and settlement on the farm, made profession of religion and joined the Mt. Zion Church and they ordained him to the full work of the ministry and he was called to pastorate of said church, but he declined to accept; preferring to preach wherever he chose, and when it suited him.

His son Charles married Ann Toney of Buckingham, located in Franklin Co., Va. They had five daughters. He is dead and several of his children. He spent his whole life in school teaching.

Thomas Frederick joined the army at the beginning of the Civil War; was promoted to 1st Lieutenancy, fought through three years, and was suddenly killed near Spotsylvania Court House.

Reuben Baker Boatwright, the second son of Reuben and Mary Boatwright, was born 23rd day of January 1831, on or near the line of Cumberland and Buckingham. He joined the church, Mt. Zion, at 17 years of age. Rev. Wm. H. Taylor predicted at his baptism that he was to be a preacher. At about 18 he was offered a position as deputy clerk of Cumberland. He served in this capacity of 3 1/2 years. He left to go to school to an academy, run by Jack Berryman, a cousin, and a graduate of Columbian College, Washington - from thence he went to Richmond College during the sessions of '55 and '56 - '56 and '57. His ordination was called for by the Mt. Zion Church in 1858 in order to serve Enon church as pastor. This call he accepted and continued as pastor for 18 months. In September 1859, the Theological Seminary opened in Greenville, S.C., and he went and remained one session and on his return called to the Scottsville Baptist Church. In the spring of '61 he joined as a private the 46th Va. Regiment as (unreadable) for 12 months, but during the time was elected as a chaplain of said regiment. His health failing he did not accept the appointment of Chaplain, but returned and preached and taught school - soldier's children during the balance of the war.

On the 5th of Sept. 1865 he married Miss Elizabeth M. Woodruff of Cumberland Co., Va., the daughter of deacon Wilson Woodruff and Miss J. F. Godsey.

The said R. B. and E. M. Boatwright have five living children, viz.; Frederick William Boatwright, president of Richmond College, Martha Susan Clark, Mary Booth, Sarah Gayle and John B. Boatwright.

The said Reuben Boatwright, Jr., married the second time Miss Nancy Anderson, a daughter of Capt. Wm. Anderson, and had by his second wife, Henrietta, Elizabeth, Cornelia, Ella and PoindexterP. Boatwright. He, the said Reuben, Jr., died at the advanced age of 85 or 86.

Reuben Boatwright, Sr. had one other son, viz.; Josiah Boatwright, who married Hopy (Hope) Clover (or Glover), and by her he had four children, one boy and three girls; viz.; Wm., Sallie, who married Elijah Anderson, Susan, who married (unreadable) Johnson, and a son who never married. Josiah lived to be about 84 and accumulated a large estate.

All these five boys of Reuben Boatwright, Sr., viz.; John, William, Reuben, Thomas and Josiah were members of Mt. Zion Church, highly esteemed as citizens and honored and loved as Christians, and frequently met around their father's board, and always showed honor, respect and love for their parents, and attachment for each other. They dwelt together in unity.

I have said there were five (actually six) girls as well as five boys. The girls' names were Betsey, as she was called, who married Allen Omohundro of Fluvanna Co. They had three children, viz.; John, Jane and Lucy Ann. Jane died young, Lucy Ann married Elijah Pace. John married, but I don't know who.

Two of the girls of R. Boatwright, Sr. married Brightwells of Prince Edward Co., viz.; Charles Brightwell and Barnett Brightwell, brothers. Charles, who married Hopy had a number of boys who grew to be men, and one or two daughters who grew to womanhood.

Barnett and Judith had one boy and two girls.

One daughter of the said Boatwright, Sr., viz.; Polly, married Geo. Burger and moved to Montgomery Co., Missourri. They had ten children, Thomas, Bettie, Wade, Apalonia, David and Marianna - their mother died in 1856.

Another of the girls of Reuben Boatwright, Sr., viz.; Jane, married Peter L. Burruss and they had two children, Lucy and Virginia, Lucy marrying Dr. Wm R. Putney and Virginia marrying Thos. Baber.

The fifth (typist note: actually sixth) daughter of R. Boatwright, Sr. Louisa, married Henry Hudgins of Cumberland Co., Va. and they located on a farm near New Canton in Buckingham and there were born to them eleven children, four boys and seven girls - Dr. Thomas, George, Reuben B. and Robert H. Hudgins, and girls Lucy, Ann, Pattie, Louisa, Bettie, Emma and Ellen - three of the girls died without marrying.

All of the daughters of R. Boatwright, Sr. were good and substancial women and women of Piety and industry.

Written by Rev. R. B. Boatwright at Gold Hill, Va. on or about March 17, 1905

Additional notes for Reuben Boatwright:

Buckingham County, Virginia - Property Tax List – 1800
Date: May 4, 1800
Name of Person Chargeable with Tax: Reuben Boatright
White Male Tithes: 1
Blacks above 16: 2
Blacks between 12 and 16: 0
Horses: 3
Tax: $1.24

1810 Census:
Name: Boatwright, Reuben
Township: Not Stated
County: Buckingham
State: Virginia
Year: 1810
Roll: M252_66
Page: 829
Image: 820
1 male over 45, 2 males under 10, 2 males 10 to 16, 1 male 16 to 26, 
1 female over 45, 2 females under 10, 1 female 10 to 16, 
1 female 16 to 26; 
20 slaves

1820 Census:
Name: Reubin Boatwright
Township: New Canton
County: Buckingham
State: Virginia
Year: 1820
Roll: M33_132
Page: 123
Image Number: 95
2 males: 16 - 26. 1 male: over 45,
1 female: 10 - 16, 2 females: 16 - 26, 1 female: over 45

1830 Census:
Name: Boatwright, Reuben
Township: Not Stated
County: Buckingham
State: Virginia
Year: 1830
Roll: 193
Page: 274
1 male: 30 - 40, 2 males: 60 - 70,
1 female: 20 - 30, 1 female: 60 - 70,
2 male slaves: 0 - 10, 5 male slaves: 10 - 24, 1 male slave: 24 - 36, 
1 male slave: 36 - 55, 1 male slave: over 55
7 female slaves: 0 - 10, 1 female slave: 10 - 24, 
2 female slaves: 24 - 36, 3 female slaves: 36 - 55,
28 total
Burial: Boatwright Cemetery, Social Hall, Buckingham County, Virginia

Notes for LUCY PENICK:

Christening: 1767

Will Book 6, pg 523, Prince Edward County, Virginia
Title: LDS Ancestral File
Material posted by:
Robert L. dean
724 Monmouth Way
Winter Park, FL
Page: AFN: T9ZQ-92

Author: Ricker, Norman H.
Title: "Index & Outline: The Boat(w)right and Allied Families"
Publication: LDS Library, Salt lake City, Utah, 1989
Material Compiled by Lt. Col. Wm. E. Boatright, Cabool, Missouri
Page: p. 108

1840 Census:
Name: Lucy Boatwright
Township: Northern District
County: Buckingham
State: Virginia
Roll: 550
Page: 362
1 male: 40 - 50,
1 female: 0 - 5, 1 female: 20 - 30, 1 female: 70 - 80,
2 male slaves: 0 - 10, 3 male slaves: 10 - 24, 4 male slaves: 24 -36, 
1 male slave: 36 - 55, 2 male slaves: over 55
5 female slaves: 0 - 10, 3 female slaves: 10 - 24, 
1 female slave: 24 - 36, 1 female slave: 36 - 55, 
1 female slave: over 55
27 total, 12 agriculture, 7 manufacturing
Burial: Boatwright Cemetery, Social Hall, Buckingham County, Virginia


 7-1.    i. JOHN REUBEN BOATWRIGHT, b. 20 Sep 1786, New Canton, Buckingham County,
                                     Virginia; d. 31 Mar 1854, Buckingham 
                                     County, Virginia.
 7-2.   ii. WILLIAM P. BOATWRIGHT, b. 12 Jan 1788, New Canton, Buckingham
                                    County, Virginia; d. 1874, New Canton,
                                    Buckingham County, Virginia.
 7-3.  iii. ELIZABETH ANN "BETSY" BOATWRIGHT, b. Abt. 1790, New Canton, 
                                                 Buckingham County, Virginia; 
                                                 d. 12 Feb 1854, Fluvanna County, 
 7-4.   iv. HOPI W. BOATWRIGHT, b. 27 Apr 1791, New Canton, Buckingham County,
                                 Virginia; d. 1870.
 7-5.    v. JUDITH W. BOATWRIGHT, b. 03 Feb 1793, New Canton, Buckingham County,
                                   Virginia; d. Oct 1875, Prince Edward County, 
 7-6.   vi. DANIEL BOATWRIGHT, b. Abt. 1794, New Canton, Buckingham County,
                                Virginia; d. Abt. 1800, New Canton, 
                                Buckingham County, Virginia.
 7-7.  vii. REUBEN BOATWRIGHT, b. 10 Feb 1796, New Canton, Buckingham County,
                                Virginia; d. Abt. 1883, New Canton, 
                                Buckingham County, Virginia.
 7-8  viii. THOMAS WILLIAM BOATWRIGHT, b. 01 Apr 1798, New Canton, Buckingham 
                                        County, Virginia; d. 15 Apr 1891, 
                                        Buckingham County, Virginia.
 7-9.   ix. MARY "POLLY" BOATWRIGHT, b. Abt 1799, New Canton, Buckingham County,
                                      Virginia; d. Abt. 1856.
 7-10.   x. JOSIAH A. BOATWRIGHT, b. 01 Feb 1801, New Canton, Buckingham County,
                                   Virginia; d. Abt. 1885, Buckingham
                                   County, Virginia.
 7-11.  xi. JANE BOATWRIGHT, b. 05 Jan 1805, New Canton, Buckingham County,
                              Virginia; d. 04 Dec 1871, New Canton, Buckingham 
                              County, Virginia.
 7-12. xii. LOUISA ANN BOATWRIGHT, b. 17 Dec 1806, New Canton, Buckingham
                                    County, Virginia; d. 16 Feb 1876,
                                    Buckingham County, Virginia.

6-2. CHARLES BOATWRIGHT (JOHN6, BENONI5, JOHN4, JOHN3, JOHN2, Not Yet Determined1) was born 1762 in Hanover County, Virginia, and died 1817 in Cumberland County, Virginia.


Thomas & Elizabeth Bolling to Charles Boatright 9-28-1789, Book 6, Page 547 - 66 Acres.

Elijah Clay to Charles Boatright 8-27-1792 Book 7, Page 189 - 200 Acres.

His Will dated 11-20-1817; proved Feb Court 1820
Estate Inv & Appr Mar 1820 Bk 6 Pg 208.
Div of Estate Mar 1820 Bk 6 Pg 228.
Executors Stlmnt 1-26-1824 Bk 7 Pg 196.

His wife must have died before 1817 as she is not mentioned in his Will.

Cumberland County, Virginia - Property Tax List – 1800
Date: April 19, 1800
Persons Name Chargeable with the Tax: Charles Boatright
Blacks above 16: 1
Blacks between 12 and 16: 0
Horses: 2
Tax: 68 cents

1810 Census:
Name: Boatright, Charles
Township: Cumberland
County: Cumberland
State: Virginia
Year: 1810
Roll: M252_68
Page: 133
Image: 258
2 males, 10 - 16, 1 male, 16 - 26, 1 male over 45,
1 female, 0 - 10, 1 female, 10 - 16, 1 female, 16 - 26, 
1 female over 45,
6 slaves


7-13.    i. ELIZABETH BOATWRIGHT, b. 1790, Cumberland County, Virginia.

7-14.   ii. JOHN BOATWRIGHT, b. 1791, Cumberland County, Virginia;
                              d. Abt. 1822, Cumberland County, Virginia.
7-15.  iii. JANE BOATWRIGHT, b. 1792, Cumberland County, Virginia.

7-16.   iv. JAMES DANIEL BOATWRIGHT, b. 1793, Cumberland County, Virginia; 
                                       d. Bef. 1880, Johnson County, Arkansas. 
7-17.    v. CYNTHIA BOATWRIGHT, b. 1794, Cumberland County, Virginia.

7-18.   vi. JOEL M. BOATWRIGHT, b. 1795, Cumberland County, Virginia;
                                  d. Oct 1858, White County, Arkansas. 

6-3. JOHN BOATWRIGHT (JOHN6, BENONI5, JOHN4, JOHN3, JOHN2, Not Yet Determined1) was born 1764 in St. Pauls Parish, Hanover County, Virginia, and died 1838 in Prince Edward County, Virginia. He married JERUSHA B. PENICK 09 Jun 1796 in Prince Edward County, Virginia, daughter of WILLIAM PENICK and JUDITH WALKER. She was born Abt. 1775 in Prince Edward County, Virginia, and died Aft. 1820 in Prince Edward County, VA.


It is my belief that John Boatwright is the son of John Boatwright, of Hanover County, Virginia. This belief seems to be refuted by the Revolutionary War Pension Application indicating that John was born in Amherst County, Virginia. However, I believe that the pension application is incorrect. Amherst County was incorporated in 1761, just three years before John's birth. All other members of John's extended family migrated from east to west through Virginia (as did almost all Virginia settlers in the 1700's), starting in Hanover County, then to Cumberland County, then on to Buckingham and Prince Edward counties. There are no other family members that moved east, which is what is suggested by the pension application (born in Amherst County, but settled in Prince Edward County to the east).

So why does the pension application state "born 1764, Amhurst County, Virginia"?

John was 69 years old when he applied for the pension in 1833. He may have been confused by the question. He may have mistakenly stated he was born in Amherst County. He may of been misunderstood, or simply it was recorded in error.

There is no evidence that John is the son of John, of Hanover County. DNA Testing may prove or disprove the connection to the Hanover County Boatwrights.

The following information was provided by Tim J. McCoy of Austin, Texas, a direct descendant of John Boatwright:

John Boatwright and his brother Reuben Baker Boatwright Sr. served in the Revolutionary War.

It must be noted, Mr. Edward Johnston ( has helped prove this "John" married to Jerusha B. Penick is, in fact, the Revolutionary War Veteran who filed Pension Claim Number S. 5290. A number of Boatwright descendants have mistakenly claimed John Joseph Boatwright, married to Frances Elizabeth Tinsley in Cumberland County, VA, was the veteran mentioned below. Mr. Johnston states "Frances Elizabeth Tinsley Boatwright was a widow when she moved to Logan Co., KY and John died in Cumberland Co., VA sometime in 1814 per Court records of Cumberland Co., VA 1814-1816 on microfilm at Virginia State Library and not in Kentucky after 1833. The John Boatwright in Prince Edward Co., VA that applied for a military pension in 1833 is not our [theirs] John Joseph Boatwright."

An examination of the census records, marriage records, etc. of Prince Edward Co., VA along with the witnesses John named, under oath, who could "testify as to his character for veracity and their belief of his services as a soldier of the Revolution", further proves this position. One of the witnesses named was Nathaniel Penick, a brother of John's wife Jerusha B. Penick Boatwright.

Virginia Militia In The Revolutionary War: Part II, Virginia's Share in the Military Movements of the Revolution, Page 56, Section No. 7 "Boatwright, John...Prince Edward County, August 22, 1832. Born in Amherst, 1764. Enlisted in winter of 1780-1, under Captain Crad. Haskins. From Cumberland, served three months in Colonel Posey's regiment, of General Muhlenberg's command. In next tour was under Colonels Dolman and Parker, marching to Suffolk and Portsmouth, in which vicinity he was in several skirmishes, and then to General Gregory's station, returning after a few days to General Muhlenberg near Suffolk. Discharged after three months at Chuckatuck Mills. Also in 1781, served two months under Captain William Meredith, of General Steubin's command, campaigning in and about Chesterfield County." Discharged at York, VA.

Application for Pension of John Boatwright
Born 1764, Amhurst County, Virginia
National Archives M805-0101, S. 5290

Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress
passed June 7th 1832.


On this fifteenth day of April 1833, personally appeared in open Court before the Justices of the Peace of said County, now sitting, John Boatwright, a resident of said County and State aforesaid, aged sixty nine years, who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of an Act of Congress passed June 7th 1832. That he entered the service of the United States in the Virginia Militia as a private soldier some time in the winter of 1781, the particular date not recalled and served under the command of Capt Creed Haskins from Cumberland County, where he then resided. He marched from Cumberland County to Suffolk, thence to the Long Bridge, near Butsmouth, and in that neighborhood had several skirmishes with the British, thence to Gen Gregorys Station where the troops remained a few days and returned to Gen Muhlenbergs Station near Suffolk, from thence he marched up James River and was discharged at Chuckaluck mills, having served a tour of three months, , the field officers in command during this tour were Col Posey, Dalman or Dourman and Parker. In a short time during the same year he was again called into the service as a private or soldier in the Virginia Militia in the same service and from the same County of Cumberland, under the Command of Capt William Merideth, marched to the town of Manchester, where they drew arms and joined Baron Steuben in Chesterfield County in said State and served a tour of two months where he was discharged in said State. After this last tour in the same year he was again called into the service as a private or soldier in the Virginia Militia in the United States service, from the same County of Cumberland in the said State and marched under Capt Seymore Scott to York and was there at the seige and engaged in that transaction, and served during this tour two months and was discharged near York in said State of Virginia. He the said declarant further states that he was born in the county of Amhurst in Virginia as he believes in the year 1764, he has a record of his age in his possession in his bible. He lived at the time he was called into service, in the County of Cumberland in Virginia, and has since the year 1797 lived in the County of Prince Edward, where he still lives, he was called into service each time and was drafted in his own place. The names of the officers regulars he believes who were in command over the troops with whom he served in the first tour were Cols Posey, Dolman or Downman and Parker, Genl Muchlenburg and Gregory, in his second Baron Steuben, in his third Gen Lawson Marquis Lafayette & Washington, he has no written discharge of his service, they were, he believes, verbal by the Captain who was in Command over him in each tour after his term of service had expired. He names as persons who are acquainted with him in his present neighborhood and who can testify as to his character for veracity and their belief of his services as a soldier of the revolution, John Tuggle, Nathaniel Penick (brother of Jerusha Penick Boatwright), Edward Booker, Charles Fore, Joseph Todd, Joseph Benford, Charles Wilkerson, William Venuable, Samuel C Anderson and the Rev. Wm Johnson.

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever of a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any State.

Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.

John Boatwright

March 21, 1933
John Boatwright-S.5290

Mrs. J.W. Meehan
420 Fulton Street
Mount Vernon, Washington

Dear Madam:

Reference is made to your request for information in regard to John Boatwright, a Revolutionary War Pensioner of Prince Edward County, Virginia.

The data contained herein were obtained from the papers on file in pension claim, S.5290, based upon the Revolutionary War service of John Boatwright.

He was born in the year 1764 in Amherst County, Virginia; the names of his parents are not given.

John Boatwright enlisted, while residing in Cumberland County, Virginia and served as a private with the Virginia troops, as follows - in 1781, three months in Captain Creed Haskins' company, Colonel Posey's regiment, and was in several skirmishes with the British; in 1781, two months in Captain William Meredith's company under Baron Steuben; in 1781, two months in Captain Seymour Scott's company, and was in the siege of Yorktown.

He was allowed pension on his application executed April 15, 1833, while a resident of Prince Edward County, Virginia, where he had lived since 1797.

There is no data in this claim relative to his family.

In order to obtain the date of last payment of pension, the name and address to whom sent and possibly the date of death of the Revolutionary War pensioner, John Boatwright, you should apply to the Comptroller General, General Accounting Office, Records Division, Washington, D.C., citing all the following data -

John Boatwright
Certificate No 12494
Issued May 3, 1833
Rate $23.33 per annum
To commence March 4, 1831
Act of June 7th 1832
Virginia Agency

Very truly yours,
Assistant to Administrator

John Boatwright, Prince Edward County
Private, Virginia Militia
Application Granted: March 4, 1831
$23.33 Annual Allowance
$69.99 Amount Received
Pension Claim: April 15, 1833
Pension Started: May 3, 1833
Age 71 (date age is based on is unknown).
Soldier Pension #: S 5290

Land Grants 42, 1798-1799, Reel 108
Pgs 597-598, VA State Library

James Wood, Esquire, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, to all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting:

Know ye, that by virtue of a Land Office Treasury Warrant Number two thousand three hundred and six, issued the thirty-first day of October Seventeen Hundred and Ninety Seven, there is Granted by the said Commonwealth, unto John Botewright a certain tract or parcel of land containing sixty six and a half acres by survey bearing date the twenty third day of October One Thousand Seven hundred and Ninety Eight, lying and being in the County of Prince Edward on the waters of Appomattox River, and bounded as followeth to wit, Beginning at a white oak near the mount branch running thence down the same as it meanders sixty six poles to a leach in Peaks patent line; thence on his line North sixty seven degrees East twenty five poles to a poplar, South fifty degrees East eighty three poles to Dillon's corner thence on his line South forty one degrees West thirty poles to a dead corner pine thence on the same South seven degrees West seventy eight poles to Peniks[Penick's] corner pine, thence on his line North sixty six degrees West four poles to a pine, thence continuing on his line South eighty one and a half degrees West seventy two poles to the mouth of a branch, thence down the branch ninety five poles to the Beginning, with its appurtenances, to have and to hold the said tract or parcel of land with its appurtenances, John Botewright[Boatwright] and his heirs forever.

In Witness whereof the said James Wood, Esquire, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, has hereunto set his and caused the lesser seal of the said Commonwealth to be affixed at Richmond, on the fourth day of September in the year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety Nine, and of the Commonwealth the twenty fourth."

On September 4, 1799, John "Botewright" was granted a patent for 66 and 1/2 acres on the Appomattox River in Prince Edward Co., VA. In 1807 Prince Edward Co., VA, he owned a total of 518 acres on the Appomattox River. On December 21, 1807, he & Jerusha conveyed 62 acres to Edward Dillon. John's land was on the northern boundary of Prince Edward & Appomattox Counties near Tuggle Town, about 20 miles east of the Appomattox County Courthouse.

Prince Edward County, Virginia - Property Tax List – 1800 Date: April 2, 1800 Persons Name Chargeable with the Tax: John Boatwright Number of Tithes: 1 Black males above 16: 2 Blacks between 12 and 16: 0 Blacks above 16: 2 Horses: 0 Tax: $1.12 1810 Census Name: Boatwright, John Township: Not Stated County: Prince Edward State: Virginia Year: 1810 Roll: M252_70 Page: 557 Image: 456 1 male over 45, 4 males under 10, 1 male 10 to 16, 1 female 26 to 45, 2 females under 10, 1 female 10 to 16. 1820 Census: Name: John Boatwright Township: Not Stated County: Prince Edward State: Virginia Year: 1820 Roll: M33_131 Page: 147 Image Number: 156 2 males, 10 - 16, 2 males, 16 - 20, 1 male over 45, 2 females under 10, 1 female, 10 - 16, 2 females 16 - 26, 1 female over 45, 4 males slaves under 14, 1 male slave, 14 - 26, 4 female slaves under 14, 2 female slaves, 14 - 26, 1 female slave, 26 - 45, 1 female slave over 45.

Buckingham County Land Tax Summaries & Implied Deeds 1815-1840, Volume 2:

Page 32: 1827 to 1828 - Boatwright & Penick rented in New Canton. In 1829, he and Penick bought 83 acres on Phelps Creek(25E) from John Anderson; in 1831, sold 83 acres to John Anderson.

Page 33: John Boatwright of Price Edward County. 1821 to 1840. Bought in 1821: 100 acres on Murphey's Ridge (7SE) from Edward Booker. Bought in 1823: 200 acres from John Diggs. Sold in 1830: 157 and 1/2 acres to Flemstead Jones. Sold in 1833: 8 acres to Isham Gilliam for taxes. Location: on headwaters Tongue Quarter Creek (7SE).

In 1824, John owned 10 slaves: Fanny, Pat, Amy, Sharper, George, Bob, Edy, Jeffry, Jetty & Gennie.

A transcription of Prince Edward County, Virginia Deaths, 1862-1879 found at lists Reuben [son of John] Boatwright's parents as "John & Mary Boatwright". This is either a transription error or John possibly married a second time. The 1820 Census reveals an additional 2 females, in John's household, born between 1810 to 1820. If Jerusha was still living in 1810, she would have been about 50 years of age.


Marriage Bond dated 8 June 1796. John Boatwright and Jerusha Penick, daughter of William and Judith Penick. Surety: William Penick. Married 9 June 1796. Source: Marriage Bonds & Ministers' Returns of Prince Edward County, Virginia 1754-1810.


 7-19.    i. MARY R. BOATWRIGHT, b. Abt. 1797, Prince Edward County, Virginia;
                                  d. Bef. 1880, Franklin County, Virginia.
 7-20.   ii. WILLIAM BOATWRIGHT, b. 1799, Prince Edward County, Virginia;
                                  d. 1846, New Canton, Buckingham County, 
 7-21.  iii. JOHN W. BOATWRIGHT, b. 1800, Prince Edward County, Virginia;
                                  d. Bef. 1860, Fluvanna County, Virginia.
 7-22.   iv. EDWIN BOATWRIGHT, b. 1801, Prince Edward County, Virginia;
                                d. 29 Dec 1882, Prince Edward County, Virginia.
 7-23.    v. ELIZABETH PERNETTA BOATWRIGHT, b. 1803, Prince Edward County, 
                                             Virginia; d. Bef. 1880, Prince 
                                             Edward County, Virginia.
 7-24.   vi. JUDITH B. BOATWRIGHT, b. 11 Jul 1805, Prince Edward County,
                                    Virginia; d. 16 Aug 1881, Montgomery 
                                    County, Missouri.
 7-25.  vii. REUBEN BOATWRIGHT, b. 14 Jun 1807, Prince Edward County, Virginia;
                                 d. 22 Jan 1871, Farmville, Prince Edward 
                                 County, Virginia.
 7-26. viii. THOMAS B. BOATWRIGHT, b. Abt. 1808, Prince Edward County, 

6-4. JAMES BOOTWRIGHT (JOHN6, BENONI5, JOHN4, JOHN3, JOHN2, Not Yet Determined1) was born 1765 in Hanover County, Virginia, and died 05 Dec 1853 in Richmond, Virginia. He married (1) UNKNOWN. He married (2) ELIZA POINTER 01 Sep 1804 in Richmond, Virginia. He married (3) PRICILLA MURPHEY 27 Jun 1806 in Henrico County, Virginia. She was born 1788 in Virginia.


James Bootwright Signature Shortly after Richmond became the state capitol in 1780, James Bootwright established a store at the then westernmost boundary of the city on present-day 1st street. James is listed as a “merchant” in several records and the store passed first to his son, William Bootwright and then in turn to his grandson William B. Bootwright. The Mutual Assurance Society, a state-wide insurance firm, has records on file for the stores operated by the Bootwrights on the southeast corner of 1st and what was then termed “H Street”, but today is known as “Broad Street.”

Virginia, Especially Richmond, in By-gone Days with a Glance at the Present, Being Reminiscences... By Samuel Mordecai
Chapter 5 - Broad Street - written in 1860

Some sixty years ago or more, Broad street, (or rather Broad Road,) contained few houses, except at its two extremities, which were First and Twelfth streets. The trade from Staunton and from both sides of the Blue Ridge was carried on by means of large four or six-horse wagons; and as they entered the city at the head of Broad street, small dealers established themselves there to meet the trade. The identity of one of them remains yet in the identical spot occupied by that of his grandfather James Bootwright in the last century, on the first house on First street, and when he recently died, we then lost "the oldest inhabitant". (The name of Bootwright, which had held its place over the door longer than any other in the city, was removed in 1859.) His contemporary, Gathwright, at the opposite corner, was his friendly rival in trade for some thirty or fourty years. The wagons came laden with flour, butter, hemp, wax, tallow, flaxseed, lead, feathers, deer and bear skins, furs, ginseng, snake-root, etc.; and I once saw a bunch of dry rattlesnakes, which I was told were useful to make viper broth for consumptive patients.

From Richmond: Its People and Its Story:

In earlier days Capitol Square had been filled with ruts and gullies and crossed by a road used as a short cut between Broad and Main Streets. Until about 1800, Broad Street ended at First Street. Lower down were Academy Square (with its theatre which was succeeded by Monumental Church), Swan Tavern, and a few other scattered houses, and at its western extremity two merchants, Bootright and Garthwright, on opposite corners, were friendly rivals in trade. At their stores the long, canvas-covered four or six horse wagons bringing produce down from the Blue Ridge Mountains made a first stop as they emerged from Brook Road into the city. After supplying the enterprising merchants named with flour, butter, hemp, wax, tallow, flaxseed, feathers, deer and bearskins, furs, ginseng, snake-root and so on, they creaked on to Governor Street across whose deep gullies they made a difficult passage to Main Street, to dispose of the remainder of their cargo to merchants there.

Also from the calendar of state papers, we see blacks conferring with each other about insurrection plans at James Boatwright’s store: On May 17, 1802 Henrico County Court records show the following:

Arthur, a negro man slave, the property of William Farrer, of Goochland, to death for conspiracy and rebellion, and orders him to be hung on the 18th of June, 1802, on a gallows to be built near the magazine… Lewis, a negro man slave, testified that he first heard of the insurrection from Arthur the preceding December at Mr. Bootright’s. Arthur said he had once gotten clear of the gallows, but was determined to lose his life that way sooner than not accomplish his object; that he had a great number of men towards Hanover, who would meet near the Brook bridge, and also that all of the free blacks and a great number of poor white people were to join in it.

As Revolutionary War veterans started to age, the Government provided a means whereby they could claim hardship and receive assistance. When such claims were made, the claimant could bolster his case with the testimony of citizens of good reputation. In this capacity, James Bootwright testified for George Rayburn, a musician (Fifer) in the Revolution who participated in the battles of Monmouth Courthouse and Charleston, SC. He was captured in Charleston and imprisoned in Halifax, Nova Scotia until the war’s end three years later. By 1819, he was advanced in years and reduced in circumstance, as attested to by James Bootwright.

Richmond February 15, 1819

I have been acquainted with Mr. Geo Raeburn for eighteen years, and believe at this time he stands in great need of assistance as he is poor – as well as old and in bad health and his family at this time in Great Distress.

J. Bootwright

Rayburn got his pension. He received $8 per month beginning in March 1819 and a back payment of $71.43.

James Bootwright Reibursement James Bootwright’s occupation and the location of his store brought him into contact with the Richmonders of his day. He is found in several different types of records. The “VA. Heads of Families (1782- 1785)” indicates a young James Bootwright (Boatwright) having a household of 3 whites and 2 slaves, at approximately 20 years of age. On March 23, 1801, James Bootwright makes a bond as a contractor to furnish supplies to the guard stationed at Richmond. He was reimbursed $333.33 on September 13, 1800 and October 6, 1800, another $209.68 on October 27, 1800 and $100.30 on December 4,, 1800 for expenses incurred during the “late insurrection of the negroes.” James’ reimbursement is identified as “furnishing the militia with provisions.” On September 14, 1801, James offers to furnish state troops with “good rations at 16 cents each and spirits at a dollar a gallon.” Governor John Tyler’s Executive Papers show James Bootwright making bonds to furnish rations for the Penitentiary on April 17, 1809 and March 21, 1810.

Alexandria Times, February 4, 1801. James submits a claim for $333.33 for supplying the militia which responded to the slave uprising known as “Gabriel’s Insurrection” in 1800.

James Bootwright also served as a juror for the treason trial of Aaron Burr, presided over by Chief Justice John Marshall, in 1807. According to “The Trial of Aaron Burr, on an indictment for treason, Before the Circuit Court of the United States, held in Richmond (Virginia), May Term, 1807”, Westcott and Company, Washington City.

James and his “friendly” merchant rival Gathwright served together as commissioners responsible for inventorying the estate of Batchelder Valentine, according to the Richmond Hustings Court records (Deed Book 5, page 300):

In pursuance of the annexed order of the Worshipful Court of Hustings we the subscribers being first duly sworn have made the foregoing appraisement of the estate of Batchelder Valentine, dec’d. In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands this 25th day of July, 1808 . Thos. Underwood, J. Boatwright, O. Gathwright. At a Court of Hustings held for the city of Richmond at the Court House the 14th day of November, 1808 . This appraisement was returned into court and ordered to be recorded. Test: Th. C. Howard, Clerk.

James Bootwright Ad

James Bootwright owned several properties on Broad Street, which was termed “H” street in the early 1800s. While his store was on Broad and 1st Streets in Richmond, his son William Bootwright operated a store in the same vicinity and James owned other properties as well – on 4th and Broad and Main Street.

James Bootwright married at least three times, although the names of only two wives are known: Eliza Pointer (married September 1, 1804) and Priscilla Murphey (married June 28, 1806). The name of his first wife is not known.

Parson John Durburrow Blair was a Presbyterian pastor in Richmond in the early 1800’s, where his church often met in the state capital building. The following is an excerpt from a June 30, 1806 letter mailed by Parson Blair to his wife vacationing in Warm Springs:

On Saturday evening I married Mr. Bootwright for the third time. He was married to a daughter of Mr. Murphey’s, who lives by Major Holloway’s.

James Bootwright Diagram

1819 Mutual Assurance Society insurance diagram of the Bootwright businesses located in the Richmond block bounded by Grace and Broad Streets (marked G and H), 1st, and 2nd Streets (right and left). The underwriters were most concerned about the proximity of flammable wooden structures. Over the years, three generations of Bootwrights lived and merchandised dry goods and lumber from this location. The site also featured a barbershop. Mutual Assurance Society records show policy renewals into the 1850s for James, then William Sr, and finally William Bootwright Jr.

James Bootwright Case

An interesting case in that Janes Bootwright is included among the plaintiffs along with his cousin, George Boatwright and James' cousin, Pleasant Boatwright is included among the defendants! Pleasant Boatwright is living in Robertson County, Tennessee in the 1830 census.

James and William Bootwright both signed a petition to the U.S. House of Representatives protesting removal of Federal monies from the National Bank. 900 Richmond citizens signed the petition, dated February 17, 1834. They protested the effects they were experiencing, namely, a 20% drop in the prices of tobacco and flour, staples of the city. Andrew Jackson, then President, was determined to kill the National Bank regardless of the effects on eastern merchants and the Bank was dissolved.

James Bootwright Obit

James died in his 88th year and his obituary appeared in the Richmond Whig and Public Advertiser on December 6, 1853.

It was written of his passing that Richmond had lost one of its oldest residents at the time. He was buried in the family plot of son William Bootwright, alongside wives and children that preceded him in death.

James Bootwright Will

A portion of James Bootwright’s will, written in 1842 “with my own hand.” Spelling/grammar errors were later underlined in the will (see “also” in first line above, and “Wrote with my own hand” two lines above his signature). The will was proved in court in December 1853 – both Bartholomew Slade and Joel B. Bragg certified that James’ handwriting, well known to each of them, was indeed on the document.

I, James Bootwright of the City of Richmond, being in sound mind do make and constitute this my last will and testament in words and manner following:

I give to my beloved wife Priscilla Bootwright, one negro girl named Ellen, also my chamber furniture and such other furniture as she may want for her comfort - also (700$) seven hundred dollars to be paid as follows $100 on recording this and $50 each month until the whole $700 is paid - the above is given to her dispose of as she may think proper

I also leave to her during her life the house that I now occupy or if she should prefer $200 two hundred dollars [per] year to be paid her quarterly, that is $50 every 3 months during her life -

I also leave her my servants during life or if she prefer $100 to be paid her the end of the year.

I give my stock of goods and all debts due the store, to my son Wm. Bootwright and my grand son Wm Bootwright Jr. jointly to have and dispose of as they may think proper.

All the rest of my property both real and personal of every kind whatsoever also the property that I have loaned my wife, at her death, I give to my son Wm. Bootwright Senr to him and his heirs forever - and appoint son Wm Bootwright Senr & my friend Bart. Slade my executors to see this my Last will carried into full effect in every particular - and it is my further wish that my executors should be qualified without being held to give security. Wrote with my own hand, signed this 19th day April 1842, being the day that I arrive to 76 years of age - in witness I have signed this testament.

Source: Frederick Oswald (Pete) Nuckols, Jr.

Virginia Marriages, 1740-1850
27 Jun 1806
Henrico County

1810 Census:
Name: Boatright, James
Township: Richmond
County: Richmond (Independent City)
State: Virginia
Year: 1810
Roll: M252_70
Page: 352
Image: 659
1 male, 10 - 16, 1 male, 16 - 26, 1 male, 26 - 45,
2 females, 16 - 26,
11 slaves

1820 Census:
Name: James Boatwright
Township: Richmond
County: Richmond (Independent City)
State: Virginia
Year: 1820
Roll: M33_131
Page: 169
Image Number: 181
1 male, 16 - 26, 1 male over 45,
1 female, 0 - 10, 1 female 16 - 26, 1 female, 26 - 44,
1 male slave over 45, 1 female slave, 0 - 14, 2 female slaves, 26 - 45,
9 total

1830 Census:
Name: Boatwright, James
Township: Richmond Monroe Ward
County: Richmond (Independent City)
State: Virginia
Year: 1830
Roll: 195
Page: 370
1 male: 10 - 15, 1 male: 60 - 70,
1 female: 10 - 15, 1 female: 40 - 50, 1 female: 90 - 100,
1 male slave: 0 - 10,
1 female slave: 0 - 10, 3 female slaves: 10 - 24, 1 female slave, 36 - 55,
11 total

1840 Census:
Name: James Bootwright
Township: Richmond Ward 3
County: Henrico
State: Virginia
Roll: 561
Page: 211
1 male: 70 - 80,
1 female: 50 - 60,
1 male slave over 55,
3 females: 0 - 10, 1 female slave: 10 - 24, 1 slave: 24 - 36,
1 slave: 36 - 55,
9 total, 1 commerce

1850 Census:
Name: James Bootwright
Date: October 5, 1850
Age: 83
Estimated birth year: abt 1767
Birth place: Virginia
Gender: Male
Home in 1850
(City,County,State): Richmond, Richmond (Independent City), Virginia
Occupation: Merchant
Value of Real Estate: $17,000
Page: 298
Roll: M432_951

Virginia, Deaths and Burials Index, 1853-1917 
Name: Jas Bootwright 
Birth Date: abt 1770 
Birth Place: Hanover 
Death Date: 2 Dec 1853 
Death Place: Richmond, Virginia 
Death Age: 83 
Occupation: Merchant 
Race: White 
Gender: Male 
Father Name: Jno. Bootwright 
Mother Name: Elizabeth Bootwright 
FHL Film Number: 2048591 

Richmond Whig and Public Advertiser
Tuesday, December 6, 1853
Died - yesterday, James Bootwright, in his 88th year. (p.1, c.5)
Burial: Shockoe Hill Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia


Burial: Shockoe Hill Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia


1850 Census:
Name: Pricilla Bootwright
Date: October 5, 1850
Age: 62
Estimated birth year: abt 1788
Birth place: Virginia
Gender: Female
Home in 1850
(City,County,State): Richmond, Richmond (Independent City), Virginia
Page: 298
Roll: M432_951
Burial: Shockoe Hill Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia


7-27.    i. WILLIAM BOOTWRIGHT, b. 1792, Richmond, Virginia; d. Dec 1870, 
                                 Bowling Green, Caroline County, Virginia.
7-28.   ii. DANIEL BOOTWRIGHT, b. 1794, Richmond, Virginia. d. Bef. 1850,
                                Richmond, Virginia.

Boatwright/Boatright Family Genealogy Website
created by George Boatright,
Please e-mail any additions / corrections / comments.

last modified: April 14, 2015


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