Facts and Events
Analysis of the Timeline
William Hall can be traced fairly continuously for 30 years via Augusta and Botetourt County records from 1742 to his death in 1772. Several county court entries after his death deal mostly with the dispersal of his estate. The first entries in Augusta County, Virginia record his membership in the local militia in 1742 (Table V), although it is quite possible that one or more of these entries may refer to his son. The lists, themselves, verify the presence of William Hall in the Augusta County area, but what is intriguing is that his name appears on three lists (Captains John Buchanan, James Gill and John McDowell). Captain Buchanan and McDowell's lists are, essentially, a sampling of landowners in the Borden Grant. Of the 65 names listed in Buchanan's list, 30 can be found as landowners on the Borden map (Figure 8/TableII). Many of these names, however, are not listed as landowners until after 1742 with some of them recorded as purchasing land in the early 1750s. In addition, 13 of the names appear to be either sons or fathers of landowners. Captain McDowell's list contains 50 names, 12, of which, can be shown to be Borden landowners. At least seven more of the names probably represent either sons or fathers of landowners, since they are either listed along with a known landowner or have the same surname as a nearby landowner. Captain Gill's list probably represents landowners outside of the Beverley and Borden grant areas. While it is not entirely clear why William Hall's name appears on more than one list, there are two possible options. It could be that the militias were called up for short periods of time, and reformed each time they were needed. On the other hand, maybe William Hall owned property in each of the areas of responsibility of these militia captains.
The next entry represents a purchase of Borden Grant land in the spring of 1743, and this property can be found on the Borden map (Figure 8) in a large meander of the Maury River. In the fall of 1746 William served on a jury, and in the late spring of 1747, his wife served as a witness in a local murder trial. The wives of Thomas Paxton, James McClung and Gilbert Campbell, all of whom can be found on the Borden map, were also listed in this entry as witnesses. The last entry for the 1740s notes William Hall, as well as a neighbor, Gilbert Campbell as testators in a land sale.
In the first entry for the 1750s, William Hall was listed twice as being late in paying his property taxes. In May of 1750 he purchased 212 acres of land on Buffalo Creek, which is the next drainage to the southwest of the Borden Grant (Figures 10and 11). The purchase was from John Collier, who was identified in another Augusta County court entry as being William's brother in law.21 At the present time, the exact location of this property cannot be determined, although it is interesting to note that there is a Collier Creek in the headwaters of Buffalo Creek. In the winter of 1751, William, along with a neighbor, Robert Allison (whose property can also be found on Figure 8), helped appraise the estate of James Randall, and about a week later, William Hall and Robert Allison served as testators in another land deal. The next entry is for the following November when William purchased more land on the Buffalo River, apparently adjacent to the earlier purchase from his brother in law.
1753 appears to have witnessed a spate of road building throughout the area, for William Hall was listed, as were many of his contemporaries that year, as a landowner and charged with building and maintaining a road between James Young's Mill and Joseph Long's Mill and on to the Great Wagon Road. James Young's Mill can be located near the mouth of Whistle Creek across the Maury (James/North) River from William Hall's Borden property, but the location of Joseph Long's Mill is unknown.21 Some of the names on the March 1753 entry appear to include landowners along Buffalo Creek (where John Collier lived), so it seems that this drainage (or a tributary) would be a likely place for that mill. The Great Wagon Road, which is depicted on Figure 8, served as a conduit for Scotch-Irish migration from Pennsylvania up the Shenandoah valley, and can be found on the map (Figure 8), snaking across the Borden Tract not far from William Hall's property. Several of the other names mentioned in these 1753 entries can be found on the Borden map as landowners (Figure 8), for example, James Young, James Huston/Houston and James Campbell. John Collier (William's brother in law)21, Samuel and George Gibson and William Brown can be documented as owning land in the vicinity in the late 1770s and early 1780s, and may have owned land on Buffalo Creek.124 Also, although there is no land for a James Thompson on the Borden map, a John Thompson appears as a neighbor of William Hall. In June of 1753, the road is discussed again, where it's importance in communication and commerce is mentioned. For the most part, the same names from the March 1753 entry are charged with keeping the road maintained. In the fall of 1753, William Hall and his brother in law, John Collier, provided surety bonds in an estate administration case.
The next series of entries are parish vestry records, which were discussed in some detail earlier in the report. The first entry defines the processioning districts, and William Halls' area is described as lying between Purgatory Creek to the south and west of Buffalo Creek from the Great Wagon Road to the mountains (Figures 10 and 11). The next entry designates additional processioners in adjacent areas with William Hall being listed as being in Captain Joseph Kennedy's Company. Joseph Kennedy purchased Borden land in 1752 at the northern end of the Borden tract. The final parish vestry record in this series represents a listing of the properties that were processioned in William Hall's district. Many of the names in this entry, such as Moses, Alexander and Nathaniel McClure, Robert Huston, Thomas McSpadden, Thomas Paxton, Lowry, Moses Whiteside, William Lusk, David Dryden and John Dule/Lyle, can be found on the Borden Tract Map as landowners along or near the Great Wagon Road (Figure 8/Table II). Others, such as Samuel and Matthew Lyle, Archibald Alexander, Isaac Taylor, John Davidson and John Robinson can be shown to have owned land in the vicinity by at least the late 1770s.124The landowners in this parish record are concentrated in the southern portion of the Borden tract.
In May of 1756, the court case of Hall vs Fleming involves the Hall family taking in a member of the Fleming family, that, unbeknownst to the Halls, had smallpox. William Hall's wife, Jenny, apparently made a deposition, and John Collyer (Collier), who is, here, described as William Hall's brother in law, also made a statement in the case. There are several possible ways that John Collier could have been a brother-in-law of William Hall. He could have married William Hall's sister; he could be the brother of William's wife or the husband of his wife's sister. While no definitive evidence has been discovered to ascertain which interpretation is correct, another Rockbridge County deed record notes that John Collier's wife is named "Jean", which pretty much eliminates the last possibility.124 If the second option is true, then the maiden name of William Hall's wife was Jean/Jane Collyer.
In the spring of 1756, James Campbell purchased Borden land on the North branch of the James River at the mouth of Whistle Creek and adjacent to James Young's land. William Hall served as a testator. This property, along with the 1756 date, can be identified as property 172 in Figure 8 and
Table II. A little over a year later, William Hall served as a testator when David Wallace purchased 200 acres of Borden land. This property can be found in the northern portion of the Borden tract (property number 17 in Figure 8) near the properties of William and Charles Berry. William and Jane Hall started selling off their land to their sons at the end of this decade. The 1758 sale to their son Andrew Hall involved a 280-acre chunk of the 353 acres that William had purchased from Borden in 1743. The land is described as being on the North Branch, which was also known as the James River. George Campbell is listed as a testamentary, and, although he is not listed as a landowner on the Borden map, there is a Gilbert and a James Campbell nearby. It is interesting to note that on the same day, Andrew Hall sold a 110-acre tract of land to William Hall. This land constituted at least part of the property where James Young had his mill on Whistle Creek, and was right across the river from the above land sale. The last entry for the 1750s records a 292-acre land sale to Samuel and John McMurtrey. This property can be found on Figure 8 and Table II with the 1759 date. Apparently William Hall had surveyed this land, but it had somehow reverted to Borden. Another property owned by James Young (and identifiable on the Borden map) bordered this land. There appears to have been some boundary disputes in this area, which are probably related to errors in the original Borden survey in this area. Most of the Borden boundary matches quite well with current USGS 7 1/2 minute quadrangle maps, but this part of the Borden tract does not, which could well explain the property boundary problems.
In the summer of 1760 William Hall purchased 115 acres on Todd's Spring Creek, a tributary of Buffalo Creek that can be found on the Borden map (Figure 8). Since the property appears to be out of the Borden tract, it's exact location cannot be determined at this time. In the winter of 1761, he purchased an additional 150 acres from Borden, which is described as bordering Halbert McClure, Samuel McMurtrey and Mary Anne Crawford's properties. From a check of the Borden map there are two possible locations for this land. In 1746 Halbert McClure purchased 203 acres adjacent to William Hall's original Borden property along the James/North/Maury River. Two adjacent chunks of property are owned by Samuel Todd and John McMurtrey just across the river and adjacent to a 1763 Borden purchase by William Hall. The Crawford name does not appear on the Borden map, but a 1778 Rockbridge County deed records notes that Crawford owned land adjacent to Halbert McClure and John McMurty, which appears to confirm the second location.124 In the spring of 1761, a neighbor, Patrick Young passed away, and William Hall served as a testator for the will along with his neighbors James Campbell, James McKee and Samuel McMurty. All of their properties can be located on the Borden map. Several months later William Hall was involved in the appraisal of Patrick Young's estate. Two of the other appraisers, John Wiley and Richard Woods, owned several chunks of Borden land nearby, as shown on the Borden Grant map. Later that same month, William Hall and John Summers (another Borden landowner on the map) appraised the estate of William Brown. A year later in the spring of 1762, Samuel Todd purchased land adjacent to land owned by William Hall, and bordering several other neighbors that can be found on the Borden map (James Campbell, Samuel McCurtrey). While the acreage numbers don't match, there is a land tract with the Todd name in that vicinity on the Borden map. This transaction also describes the location of a meeting house, which represents what served as the local Presbyterian church. The Old Monmouth Presbyterian Church was organized in 1746. Although it was originally situated on Wood's Creek, a hewn timber structure on Whistle Creek was built in 1767, and was known, locally as Hall's Meeting House. The wooden structure was replaced by a stone structure in 1789, and the name was changed to the Monmouth Presbyterian Church. A year later it was renamed as the Ebenezer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.240It was here that William Hall was eventually buried.
In June 1763, William Hall served as a testator in a yet another Borden land sale, this time involving a 100-acre plot on Walker Creek sold to Alexander Govouck. This land can be found on the Borden map, as well as James Coulter's land, which is described as lying opposite this tract. While no William Robinson (another adjacent landowner in this entry,) can be found on the Borden map, John and Matthew Robinson hold land in this vicinity, so William is probably a son of one of them. About a week later, William Hall purchased a 346-acre tract of Borden land, which can be located on the Borden map. The description notes that it is adjacent to Crawford's land, which was described above in another land transaction.21
In 1765 there are another set of vestry records, although, this time, William Hall was not a processioner. These two processioning records could either represent properties of two William Halls i.e. William Hall and his son, or two separate sets of properties owned by the elder William Hall. In the first processioning record, there are 31 property owners, eight of which are known Borden Grant owners, and another eight appear to be relatives of original owners. In the second set, out of a total of 40 property owners processioned, 16 were original Borden Grant purchasers, and seven have the same surname as original owners.
On 16 September 1765, William Hall made two large land purchases, totaling 890 acres, on tributaries of the James River. One is an unnamed branch of the James, but the other is described as being on Cedar Creek (Figure 16). A later entry shows that both properties were located along Cedar Creek.
In May 1766, John and William Hall were selected to assist in what appears to be road work. Since John and William Hall are known sons of William Hall, the William Hall of this entry may actually represent William's son.21,132 Several months later, William, Sr. sold 175 acres of land to his son William, Jr. This entry also notes that William Hall had purchased two tracts of land in 1761, totaling 890 acres, along Cedar Creek in the forks of the James River. On the 20th of November 1766, William sold land to another son, Nathaniel. The next year, in 1767, William Hall was listed among other landowners in the parish vestry books. Samuel McClure, John Gilmer (Gilmore) and the Paxton family are landowners from this list that can be found on the Borden map. In March of 1767, William Hall served as a testator in a land sale from Robert Poague to his son, that, apparently, was outside the Borden Grant.
The next two entries represent additional sales of the lands owned by William and Jenny Hall in the fork of the James River. While none of the neighbors noted in these records can be found on the Borden map, William McKee can be found in Augusta County records as owning land adjacent to a 440 acre tract purchased by John Summers from Borden in 1768, and a John McKee owned land not far away, on Gilmer Creek.21 This property is not far from the William Hall properties. In addition, one of the testators was Nathaniel McClure, a local Borden landowner. In March 1768, William Hall's Mill is mentioned, which must be the land and mill he had purchased from James Young near where Whistle Creek emptied into the James River. Halbert McClure is noted in this entry, and his property can be located nearby on the Borden map. Two additional vestry records from 18 March 1768 mention William Hall. In the first, a processioning replacement is named for William Hall, while the second entry records the names of property owners who had their land processioned, including William Hall. In this entry, there are no original Borden land purchasers and only three surnames of original landowners listed.
Several months later in May 1768, William Hall served as a constable, and the following fall, two Negroes, George and Pall, were jailed for robbing William Hall's house. At the beginning of August 1768, James Campbell, who owned land opposite the James River from William Hall, sold his property, which is described as being located at the mouth of Whistle Creek on the James River. This location can be easily verified on the Borden map. Hall's Mill is mentioned again in this entry. William Hall served as a testator in another land transaction about a week later, and about a week later, William and Jenny sold another 100 acres of land in this same area described as the fork of the James. In August of 1769, William Hall is mentioned as having provided a bond, probably in a land transaction, and a month later he appraised the estate of Robert Allison, probably related to John Allison, who owned land just across the James River from William Hall's 1743 Borden land purchase.
The first entry for William Hall in the 1770s records a 45-acre land purchase in the fork of the James River adjacent to some land he already owned. In 1770 a large portion of Augusta County was split off to form Botetourt County with part of the new border being drawn near the Borden/Beverley Grant boundaries. For the next two years, the tax lists for all county residents were drawn up, so William Hall, suddenly appears in Botetourt County records after being an Augusta County citizen since he arrived in the area in the early 1740s. The 1770/1771 Botetourt County tithable list notes that William Hall has one tithable (meaning one male over the age of 21 lives n the household). He also, apparently, turned in seven scalps, presumably derived from killings of members of the local American Indian population.241,242,243,244 Since William Hall passed away within a year or so, and noted in his will (which he wrote only a year later) that he was in "a low state of health" it is quite possible that the William Hall of this entry represents a son with the same given name. On the other hand, the description of James Trimbles' tax district, where William Hall was recorded, appears to be the same area where he can be traced through the land transactions noted above. William Hall wrote his will in December of 1772, naming his wife Jean, and his children: Andrew, John, William, Nathaniel and James Hall, Agnes Berry and Isabel Buchanan. The will was proved the following February, so William passed away in the interim. In late 1779, William's son (Andrew Hall) and son in law (George Berry) sold off some of the land they had inherited from William. Two final entries for William Hall can be found from court cases in the early 1800s. In the 1803 entry, William Hall is noted as having purchased a tract of land in 1752. The 1815 case noted that William Hall purchased his first Borden tract in 1741 or 1742, but did not receive the deed until 1743, which is the date recorded on the Borden map.