Analysis. Mudlick Property of John Walker, 1751

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Source:Chalkley's Chronicles
Person:John Walker (81)
Document. Walker to Walker POA, 1771, Roanoke land sale

Data

The following items are directly relevant to property owned by John Walker, on Mudlick Run, in the Roanoke Watershed:

  • John Walker, Sr., 2nd August, 1753 - 112 acres on Mudlick Run and joining on a branch of Roanoke called Goose Creek.
  • John Walker, Sr., 3rd August, 1753 - 359 acres on Mudlick Run on Roanoke, otherwise called Goose Creek, from William Martin.
  • OCTOBER 15, 1765. (4) Thos. Woddell and 545 acres added to tithables. John Buchanan and two others and 513 acres added to tithables. Alexander and John Walker and 359 acres added to tithables.

  • Walker to Walker Power of Attorney
John Walker of Orange Co., N.C. ... hath nominated constituted and appointed well beloved brothers Samuel Walker and Joseph Walker or the Survivor of them
my true and lawful attorneyes (to sell) 471 acres of land ... in two tracts lying in Co. of Botetourt on south side of Roan Oke below the land of Alexander Ingrim to Andrew Armstron of said Co. of Botetourt for sum of 225 pounds current Co. of Botetourt money of Virginia ...
Wit: John Walker (seal)
Alexr Stewart
Joseph Cloyd

Discussion

This analysis assumes that the John Walker who purchased the land Mud Creek property in 1753 is John Walker (85) of the Wigton Walker line. That John Walker is known to have moved to Orange County NC by 1756. It is possible that the purchaser was a different John Walker. However, internal evidence in the land transactions seem to be consistent with identifying him as John (85)

In 1753 John Walker acquired two tracts of land on Mud Creek, a tributary of the Roanoke, totaling 471 acres of land. In 1765 an Alexander and John Walker are shown as the tithables on the 359 acre tract. By 1771 John Walker, the owner, is identified as living in North Carolina, and authorizes his brothers Samuel and Joseph to act as his attorney's in the sale of the property.

Since John (85) was in Orange County, North Carolina by 1756, it seems curious that he would acquire these two tracts in the Roanoke area of VA. Its possible that he initially intended to settle here, but changed his mind and headed further south. Alternatively, he may have had other objectives in mind. Since we have a record showing that a John and Alexander Walker were living on one of these tracts in 1765, it may be that he acquired the property with the intent of benefiting other family members, or perhaps as an investment. In anycase, it doesn't seem likely that John (85) was the John Walker who was identified as one of two tithables on the 359 acre parcel. During the 18th century it was the person who occupied a parcel that were responsible for the tithable on the land, not the owner. Apparently John (85), the absentee owner living at the time in Orange County NC, allowed his kinsmen John and Alexander to occupy the land in 1765. Later, they have apparently moved on (or perhaps died), and John (85) attempts to sell the property through the agency of his brothers Samuel and Joseph. The note in the POA "well beloved brothers Samuel Walker and Joseph Walker or the Survivor of them" suggests that John may have been concerned that one or the other might die before the land was sold. Since John himself was to die shortly after this (his will enters probate in 1778, but he probably died about 1776), his fears may have been well founded. It may also be that the reason the property was up for sale is not because kinsmen John and Alexader had left the area, but because they too had died.

It would be interesting to know who occupied the smaller of the two tracts that John (85) purchased in 1753. In this regard there is an item in Chalkley's which lists the entries of administrator bonds in the Augusta county Court for 1767. That listing includes a "Samuel Cowen, Roanoke", indicating that Samuel was living within the Roanoke watershed. Ann Walker, a daughter of John (85), married a Samuel Cowan, and it is possible that the couple were living on the smaller tract in 1767. When John (85) moved to the Castle's Woods area about 1771, Samuel and Ann Cowan joined him, and Samuel's kinsmen. The timing of that move is consistent with the fact that John was attempting to sell this property in 1771.