Facts and Events
Henry Downs was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
Early Land Acquisition in Virginia
Acquisition of Land from Virginia Records:
- 16 June 1727, Henry Downs "of St. Georges Parish, Spotsylvania County" received a patent for 1,000 acres "lying in the parish & county aforesaid; c. to Thomas Philips", (as listed in records below).
- 4 March 1727 - Thomas Rucker sold to Henry Downs "100 acres mongst the little mountains, part of 8,500 acres granted James Taylor by pattent 21 July 1722 and by him given to Thomas Rucker and by Thomas Rucker sold to Henry Downs by deed 4 March 1727... corner of Thomas Jackson's... in Mr. Baylor's line... on the north ease side Thomas Jackson's spring branch... now in tenure of Hezekiah Rhoads", as listed in the dispositon below:.
- Page 5.--10th February, 1745 (1746). Alexander Thompson to Henry Downs, Sr., of Orange, £60.8.4; 300 acres on both sides South River, Shanando; part of 400 acres of land Alexander now lives on, granted to Alexander 8th July, 1742. Witnesses Thomas Lewis, Jno. Beanham, Jr.; John Nicholas. Acknowledged, 10th February 1745.
- 24 March 1747, land in Orange County, Virginia, from Henry Downs, Sr., to Richard Downs, both of Orange County (Deed).
- Page 225.--21st May, 1747. William Burk to Henry Downs, Gent., £85 current money Virginia; 350 acres on Shenandoe River at the upper end of 2,000 acres that did belong to Richard Malden near Peaked Mountain; corner to Paul Long; Selsor's line. Witnesses, Adam Muller, Barbara Miller, Jno. Edwards. Acknowledged, 21st May 1747.
- K-215: Col. Thomas Chew of Orange County possessed 750 acres in two tracts, 150 acres granted James Dyer 12 April 1734 & 600 acres granted Henry Downs 10 Sept. 1735. Resurv. by Richard Young shows 511 acres surplus. Deed for 1,261 acres to Chew in Culpeper County adj. James Dyer, Tho's Rucker, Rappadan River, Jos. Emmons, Robert Shearman, Rich'd Quinn, Downs, Charles Walker, Jam's Finney, Tho's Zachary, Nicholas Ware, Seth Huston, Henry Rice. 14 Jan. 1761. [Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, 1742-1775, Vol. 2, Gertrude E. Gray, pg. 145].
Disposition of Land from Virginia Records:
- Pages 164-69. 17-18 Nov. 1735. Henry Downs of St. Mark's Parish, Orange County, planter to Hezekiah Rhoades of same. Lease and release; for £30 current money. 100 acres mongst the little mountains, part of 8,500 acres granted James Taylor by pattent 21 July 1722 and by him given to Thomas Rucker and by Thomas Rucker sold to Henry Downs by deed 4 March 1727... corner of Thomas Jackson's... in Mr. Baylor's line... on the north ease side Thomas Jackson's spring branch... now in tenure of Hezekiah Rhoads. (signed) Henry Downs. Wit: William Bohannan, Battle Harrison, James Cox. 18 Nov. 1735. Acknowledged by Henry Downs. 16 March 1735 . Jane Downs relinquished her right of dower in land formerly conveyed by her husband Henry Downs. [Orange County Virginia Deed Book 1, Dorman, pg. 14].
- Page 278.--19th August, 1747. Henry Downs, Gent., of Orange County, to Henry Downs, Jr., of Augusta, £60.8.4; 300 acres on South River Shanando, part of tract Henry, Jr., now lives on; patented to Alexander Thompson for 400 acres, 30th July, 1742. Teste: John Harvie, Jno. Ruddle, Jr.; G. Jones. Acknowledged, 19th August, 1747.
- Page 80.--Henry Downs, Sr., to Wm. Downs, 400 acres on Smith's Creek, patented to Henry 1st October, 1747.
- Page 453.--20th November, 1747. £5. Henry Downs, Sr., of Orange, to Ludwick Francisco, 470 acres on south side Shanado patented to Henry Downs, 25th June, 1747; corner of the 800 tract near lower end of the great island. Acknowledged, 19th November, 1747.
- Page 2.--Back of book reversed. Henry Downs to John McKearney, 20th August, 1748, conveyed to Thos. Chew, George Taylor, Benj. Cave, Justices of Orange, to take privy examination of Jane, wife of Henry, 25th May, 1749. Executed 15th August, 1749. See supra, p. 69. (refers to following record):
- Page 68.--20th August, 1748. Henry Downs, Gent., and Jane, to John McKemey farmer, 388 acres on north branch Shanando at end of Buckhill. (See infra, last entry from this book.) Teste: Ro. Rennick.
- Page 209.--20th May, 1751. Henry Downes, Sr., of Orange Co., Gent., to Philip Lung, 350 acres on Shanadore adjoining Richard Mouldin's 2000 acre tract, near Peaked Mountain. Cor. Paul Lung, Sealer (Scaler) Hill.
- Page 214.--3d April, 1751. Same (Henry Downes, Sr., of Orange Co., Gent.), to John Madison, gent., 330 acres, part of Jacob Stover's 800 acre patent, 13th December, 1738, which Stover failed to improve and Downs got patent for 5th June, 1747; on South and Shanadoe River. Corner Ludwick Francisco, Upper Red Banks; Lower Red Banks. Teste: John Lewis, Mathew Edmiston, Wm. Armstrong, James Porteus.
Acquisition of Land in North Carolina
- 26 May, 1757 - Henry Downs received a patent for 100 acres in Anson County, North Carolina on the S.W. side of Pee Dee River joining the river bank and William Phillips property. [The English Crown Land Patents/Deeds, page 155, Book #2 #956]. (Note: a few years later this area became Mecklenburg County).
- 23 December, 1763. - Henry Downs received a patent for 500 Acres in Mecklenburg Co.,N. Carolina on the East side of the Catauba River on the Waters of the four mile Branch of McCapins Creek and Sugar Creek joining John McKee and James McClure properties. [The English Crown Land Patents/Deeds, page 431 # 4387]
- 18 April 1771 - Henry Downs received a patent for for 200 acres in Mecklenburg on the Waters of Six Mile Creek and Tar Kiln Branch on both sides of the Old Saw Mill Path, joining the Indian Line. [The English Crown Land Patents/Deeds page 669, #3018]
Processioning List of 1747/8
- "Processioning" was the periodic review and agreement of property lines between settler's lands. Processioning Lists are useful in determining the general area of a settler’s lands and their neighbors at specific time periods:
- Vol. 2 - Page 23.-(Processioner's Report, abt. 7th March, 1747-8) - Thomas Harrison and Robert Cravens make returns, viz: Processioned for Daniel Harrison, present Daniel Harrison; processioned for Robert Harrison, present Daniel Harrison; processioned for Robert Cravens, present Daniel Harrison; processioned for John Harrison, present Zebulon Harrison; processioned for John Harrison, present Zebulon Harrison; processioned for John Harrison, Jr., present John Harrison; processioned for John Harrison, Jr., present John Harrison; processioned for Thomas Harrison, Samuel Minefee; processioned for Thomas Harrison, present Samuel Minefee; processioned for Thomas Harrison, present Samuel Minefee; Henry Downs, not processioned; Valentine Sevier, not processioned.
Records of Henry Downs in Virginia
- Benjamin Walker, 1000 acres, Lapsed L., formerly granted by patent to Henry Downs of St. Georges Par., Spotsylvania Co., 16 Jun. 1727, lying in the par. & co. afsd.; c. to Thomas Philips; (p. 57); (p. 58). 20 Jun. 1733. [Spotsylvania County Deed Book 15].
- 1735 - Henry Downs sued John Rucker for assault, trespass and battery, asking £50 in damages. Downs later dropped the suit. [Spotsylvania County Records].
- Pages 99-102. John Caspar Stoever. Inventory. Made in obedience to an order of 24 May 1739. Total valuation £218.17.9½. 29 May 1739. (signed) John Finlasson, Benja. Cave, Hen. Downs, Michael Schmidt. 28 June 1739. Presented into Court by James Porteus. [Orange County Virginia Will Book One, 1735-1743, Dorman, Pg. 20].
- Page 108. Richard Parsons. Estate Account... to fees due on acct. of a petn. between the said Parsons and Keaton whidh I paid to Mr. Downs, 50 (pounds of tobacco)... 28 July 1739... [Orange County Virginia Will Book One, 1735-1743, Dorman, Pg. 21].
- Page 128. Thomas Grisom (Gresham). Inventory. Total valuation £41.16.- including two Negroes valued at £38.0.0. (signed) James Barbour, Thos. Watts, Hen. Downs. 26 June 1740. Returned into Court. [Orange County Virginia Will Book One, 1735-1743, Dorman, Pg. 25].
- Pages 137-38. Bond of Edward Spencer and Henry Downs, Gent., unto Thomas Chjew, Gent., justice. For £100. 26 Sept. 1740. Edward Spencer is admr. of Simon Rayne. (signed) Edward Sp[encer, Hen. Downs. Wit: Jonath. Gibson. 26 7br [Sept.) 1740. Ack and admitted to record. [Orange County Virginia Will Book One, 1735-1743, Dorman, Pg. 27].
- Pages 140-41. bond of Jacob Stover, Henry Downs, Gent. and Jacob Castle unto Thomas Chew, Gent. For £500. 26 March 1741. Jacob Stover is admr. of Jacob Stover, dec. (signed) Jacob Stover, Henry Downs, Jacab Castle. Wit: Catlett Conway, John Willis. 26 March 1741. Ack and admitted to record. [Orange County Virginia Will Book One, 1735-1743, Dorman, Pg. 28].
- Pages 154-55. Bond of Jacob Castle and Henry Downs, Gent., unto Thomas Chew, justtice. For £100. 30 May 1741. Jacob Castle is guardian of Abraham Stover, orphan of Jacob Stover. (signed) Jacob Castle, Hen. Howns [sic]. Wit: Catlett Consay, Jonathan Gibson. 30 May 1741. Ack and admitted to record. [Orange County Virginia Will Book One, 1735-1743, Dorman, Pg. 31].
- Pages 194-95. Bond of Jno. Michael Stolts, Henry Downs and Thomas Wood unto Thos. Chew, Gent., justice. For £150. 25 Feb. 1741 . John Michael Stolts is admr. of John Michael Stolts, dec. (signed) John Michael (X) Stolts, Henry Downs, Thomas (X) Wood. Wit: Catlett Conway. 25 Feb. 1741 . Acknowledged. [Orange County Virginia Will Book One, 1735-1743, Dorman, Pg. 37].
- Henry Downs, it having been proved that before his election to the House he had been convicted of felony and theft, was on May 11, 1742, expelled from the House (p. 11). [Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 1742-1747, 1748-1749, pg. viii]. [See Article: Henry Downs' dismissal from the House of Burgesses.].
- Pages 272-73. Bond of James Patton, Henry Downes, John Smith, Wm. Robinson and James Davis unto Thoms. Chew, Gent., justice. For £1000. 23 June 1743. James Patton and Henry Downes' are administrators of John Hart. (signed) James Patton, Hen. Downes, Jno. Smith, Wm. Robinson, James (S) Davis. 23 June 1743. Acknowledged. [Orange County Virginia Will Book One, 1735-1743, Dorman, Pg. 32].
- Pages 1-2. Bond of James Cathey as administrator of John Story. Unto Thomas Chew, Gent., first justice. For £1000 sterling. 28 June 1744. Securities, Henry Downs and Edward Spencer, Gent. (signed) James Cathey, Henry Downs, Edwd. Spencer. Sit: M. Stanfield. 28 June 1744. Acknowledged. [Orange County Virginia Will Book Two, 1744-1778, Dorman, Pg. 1].
- Pagees 31-32. Bond of Edward Spencer as guardian of Wm. Lightfoot, orphan of Goodrich Lightfoot, Gent. Unto Thomas Chew, Gent., first justice. For £500 current mooney. 23 NOv. 1744. Security, Henry Downs, Gent. (signed) Edward Spencer, Henry Downs. Wit: M. Stanfield. 22 Sepr. [Nov.] 1744 Acknowledged. [Orange County Virginia Will Book Two, 1744-1778, Dorman, Pg. 5].
- Page 140. Henry Rice. Estate Account. Margaret rice, administrix. Payments made to John Smith (execution for Bostick), Henry Downs (quit rents for 8,700 acres and for 500 acres now in Lord Fairfax's bounds).... [Orange County Virginia Will Book Two, 1744-1778, Dorman, Pg. 29].
- Page 148. Alexander Brackenridge. Estate account. Paymenents made to Col. Wm. Beverley, Henry Downs.... (listed among many others). [Orange County Virginia Will Book Two, 1744-1778, Dorman, Pg. 32].
- Pages 173-75. John Willis, Gent. Estate account. April 1750. Payments made to... Henry Downs... (listed among many others). [Orange County Virginia Will Book Two, 1744-1778, Dorman, Pg. 38].
Records of Henry Downs in Augusta County, VA
From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records:
- Vol. 1 - December 9, 1745. - (2) John Buchanan and Henry Downs qualified Deputy Sheriffs.
- Vol. 1 - February 10, 1745/6. - (5) John Hawkins and Henry Downs--Under Sheriffs qualified.
- Vol. 1 - February 11, 1745/6. - (8) Wm. Pierce and Adam Miller to view a road from top Blue Ridge at head Swift Run to Cap. Down's place, formerly Alexander Thomson's.
- Page 39.--27th March, 1746 (not 7, but 1745-6). Timothy Crosthwaite, of County Orange, to James Patton, _____ consideration; 400 acres in fork of James River granted by patent to William Crosthwaite, deceased, 12th February, 1742, and now in possession of Timothy, eldest son and heir of William. Witnesses, Thomas Chew, Henry Downs, Sr. and Jr. Proved by all the witnesses, 14th February, 1746, and 23d May, 1747.
- Vol. 1 - MAY 13, 1746. - (46) Henry Downs, under sheriff, ordered to get a house for a jail.
- Vol. 1 - JULY 16, 1746. - (68) New Court--Commission dated 13 June, 1746: James Patton, George Robinson, Robert Cunningham, James Montgomery, Wm. Jameson, Saml. Gay, John Lewis, Peter Scholl, John Wilson, Silas Hart, Richard Burton, Wm. Thompson, John Buchanan, James Bell, Thomas Lewis, Henry Downs, John Christian.
- Vol. 1 - JULY 16, 1746. - (69) Henry Downs to be Sheriff and qualified, and John Hawkins and Henry Downs, Jr., qualified Under Sheriffs.
- Vol. 1 - August 20, 1746 - (72) Petition of Henry Downs--Road to be marked from the road that leads off the mountain near Alexr. Thompson's to the lower Meeting House and Wm. Thompson, Jr., Saml. Givens and John Campbell mark and lay off the same.
- Vol. 1 - FEBRUARY 20, 1746/7. - (167) John Rutledge and James Bell produced deeds from Thomas Galesby, but Henry Downs claimed that he was Galesby's security for £50, and Court refused to record deeds.
- Page 101.--15th February, 1748. John Stevenson's bond, £500, as administrator of John Hindman, with sureties Henry Downs, Thos. Stevenson, Samuel Givins.
- Vol. 1 - FEBRUARY 16, 1748. - (78) Henry Downs petitions for counter security from Jane McDonald, widow and admx. of Randol McDonald (admn. granted in Orange), now wife of Joseph McClallan.
- Page 1.--Adam Miller to Jacob Miller, 16th August, 1748, on Shanandoe. Witnesses, Jno. Cormichel, Wm. Burk, Henry Downs. Delivered: Henry Miller, 24th July, 1756.
- Page 32.--25th March, 1749. John Young's estate, Dr. to James C. Young, administrator: To funeral charges, £4. To cash, by Henry Downs, Capt. Danl. McAnare. Capt. John Brown, Hugh Young, Robt. Scott, Robt. Boyd, John Davis.
- Page 246.--21st April, 1749. William Beverley to James Patton and other justices, John Lewis, John Buchanan, George Robinson, Peter Scholl, James Bell, Robert Campbell, Robert Cunningham, John Wilson, Thomas Lewis, James Mountgomerv, Silas Hart. Henry Downs, William Jameson, Rich. Burton, John Christian, Samuel Gay, William Thompson. Courthouse. 25 acres.
- Page 163.--19th May, 1749. James Lockhart's bond as executor of Patrick Cook, with sureties Henry Downs and Jno. Smith.
- Page 79.--29th November, 1750. William Crittenden of Orange, to John Frogg, Gent of Prince William, 200 acres on Shenandoe, bought of Henry Downs by deed recorded in Orange, part of Jacob Stover's grant, 5000 acres.
- Page 301.--8th February, 1750-51. Mathias Shaup's appraisement, by John Stevenson, Wm. Williams, Henry Downs.
- Page 332.--29th May, 1751. Patrick Frazier to Abraham Estes of Caroline, 140 acres. Henry Down's Mill; Robert Scott's land. Patented to Patrick, 20th June, 1749.
- Vol. 1 - NOVEMBER 30, 1751. - (217) Henry Down's estate attached. (Note: the exact date of Henry Downs, Sr.'s death has not been established, although this record appears to indicate Henry's estate was attached in 1751. Some sources claim that Henry died in 1765, 1770 or 1778 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. More research is necessary.).
- Page 245.--8th May, 1753. George Scott to Andrew Leeper, 278 acres Cathey's alias Middle River, Wm. Thompson's land; Hugh Thompson's cor. Teste: Hugh Thompson, Samuel Henderson, Henry Downes.
- Page 529.--18th February, 1758. William Downs to John Madison, £35, 200 acres patented to William, 5th November, 1747; Stover's Mill Creek; land of Wm. Lamb. Teste: Henry Downs, Abraham Miller.
- Page 223.--15th March, 1758. John Armentrout's appraisement for John Kouts, executor, by Henry Downs, Jacob Nicholas, Augustine Price. Sold by Adam Kittrick before appraisement.
- Page 311.--17th May. 1759. Samuel Scott's estate settlement, by Robert Scott and Robert Hooks, executors. Paid Thos. Stevenson, Christopher Zimmerman, Robt. McFarson, David Nelson, Henry Downs, Saml. Wilkins, Wm. Craig, Wm. Snodon, Margaret Fowler, William Jordan, Jno. Vought, Patrick Cain, Doctor Harrison, Hugh Thompson, Jonathan Gibson, Jas. Beard; 1 coffin for Samuel Scott; 1 coffin for George Scott; keeping 3 negroes one year, nine months, bv R. Scott. Vendue to, viz: David Crighton, Jno. Paul Fought, David Logan, Jas. Underwood, James Berkley, widow McDonald, Patrick Quin. Joseph Kinkade, John Love, Bernard Man, Jacob Pence, John Wilkins, Ann Scott.
- Page 143.--20th August, 1765. Philip Lung, eldest son and heir of Paul Long, deceased, who was eldest son and heir of Philip Lung, deceased, of Frederick County, to Henry Lung, of Augusta, £200, 350 acres on Shanandore River, at the upper end of Richard Mauding's 2,000-acre tract, purchased by Philip, Sr.. from Henry Downs, pine near Peaked Mountain, Paul Lung's line. Sealer's line. Delivered: Henry Lung, October, 1766.
- Page 404.--21st August, 1771. John McKemey and Agness to William McKemey son to said John, £100, 107 acres, part of tract conveyed to John by Henry Downs, on branch of North River of Shanando, at end of Buckhill. Teste: Thomas Woddall, John Hogshead, Alex. Kilpatrick. Delivered: William McKemy. 19th June, 1772.
Information on Henry Downs, Sr.
Henry Downs, Sr. of England and his wife Lady Jane Douglas of Scotland emigrated to America early in the eighteenth century. In 1728, he received a land grant of 1000 acres in Virginia, signed by Robert Carter. He eventually received approximately 57,000 acres in Virginia and the Carolinas. He served as vestryman and Church Recorder of St. Thomas Church, Orange County, Virginia.
In 1728, his son Henry Downs, Jr., was born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. In 1750, Henry Downs, Jr. married Frances Chew, daughter of Thomas Chew and his wife, Martha Taylor. Henry Downs, Jr. and his wife moved to Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, where they raised a large family. He was Captain of Colonial Militia and fought against the Cherokee Indians in 1763. He served as Justice of the Peace in his district and was a signer of the famous Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence on May 20, 1775. He was also a member of the Committee of Safety. He had four brothers who fought in the American Revolution. One of them, William, was Adjutant Colonel in the Revolutionary Army, serving under General Gates, and he was also one of the officers who founded the Order of the Cincinnati.
Henry Downs, Jr. died in 1798, and he and his wife are buried in the Providence Presbyterian Churchyard, twelve miles from Charlotte, North Carolina.