Person:James Lessley (2)

James Lessley
b.BEF 1720
d.BEF 5 MAR 1767
  • HJames LessleyBEF 1720 - BEF 1767
  • WSarah McCuneABT 1721 - 1792
m. Abt. 1741
  1. James Lessley, Jr.ABT 1742 - 1775
  2. Mary LessleyABT 1743 - BET 1791
  3. John Lessley1746 - bef 1820
  4. Jane Lessley1747-1765 -
  5. Samuel Lessleyabt 1749 - 1814
  6. Isabella Lessleyabt 1750 - bef 1830
  7. Dolly Lessleyabt 1751 - bef 1786
  8. Agnes Lessleyabt 1754 -
  9. Elizabeth LessleyAbt 1755 - bef 1840
  10. Robert Lessleyabt 1760 -
Facts and Events
Name James Lessley
Alt Name James Lessley, Sr.
Gender Male
Birth? BEF 1720
Marriage Abt. 1741 to Sarah McCune
Death? BEF 5 MAR 1767

James Lessley, Sr. was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia


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Early Land Acquisition in Augusta County, VA


James Lessley's's land (Beverley Manor NE, 226 acres, 1741) as shown on the map meticulously drawn by J.R. Hildebrand, cartographer. This map is copyrighted©, used by permission of John Hildebrand, son of J.R. Hildebrand, April, 2009. (Note: the land acquired by James Lessley, Jr., is located just to the east of this tract).

Acquisition of Land from Orange County, Virginia Records:

  • Pages 337-40. 26-27 Feb. 1740 [1741]. William Beverley Gent. of Essex County to James Lessley of Orange County. Lease and release; for ₤7 current money. 226 acres in Beverley Mannor... at Jno. King's on the south side of Lewis Creek... Robert Patterson's line... corner to Jno. Pickens... (signed) Wm. Beverley. Wit: Thos. Chew, Richard Winslow. 27 Feb. 1740 [1741]. Acknowledged by Wm. Beverley Gent. [Orange County Virginia Deed Book 4, Dorman, pg. 57].

Will of James Lessley, Sr.

  • Augusta Co, VA Will Book 6-146, Mar 5, 1767: Anno que Domini, 1767. James Lessley's will--To wife, Sarah, to manage plantation and support the children; to son, James, $1, having already provided for him; to son, John; to son. Robert and Samuel, home plantation; to daughters, Mary Robertson and Mary Roger; to daughters "now with me," Isabella, Dolly, Sarah, Agness, Elizabeth. Executors, wife Sarah, son James, and William Johnston. Teste: John and William Stuart. Proved, 19th August, 1780 (the witnesses being both dead), by witnesses to handwriting. Sarah, the widow, qualifies. [AUGUSTA COUNTY, VIRGINIA - CHALKLEY'S CHRONICLES; Vol 3, pg 158-159]
  • Augusta Co, VA Court Order Book 17, Page 297 Aug 19, 1780: James Lessley's will proved by witnesses to handwriting and comparison of papers by the Court, the witnesses John and William Stuart being dead. Sarah, the widow, qualified executrix. [Chalkley Vol 1, pg 217]
  • Augusta Co, VA, Will Book 7, Page 339.--24th January, 1791. James Lesslie's estate settled by Sarah Lesslie--Isabella Gamble's dower paid at marriage before the appraisement. Dolly Woods, ditto, ditto; paid Mary Robinson, being a legacy formerly left her in the hands of the deceased. [Lyman Chalkley, Vol 3, pg 193] (continued on page 340)(Note: Apparently Mary was paid a legacy held by her father)
  • Augusta Co, VA, Will Book 7, Page 340.--Joseph Lesslie, Dr., in account with Sarah Leslie, executrix of James Leslie; Samuel Lesslie, Dr., in account with Sarah Leslie, executrix of James Lesslie; John Lesslie, Dr., in account with Sarah Lesslie, executrix of James Lesslie.
  • Augusta Co, VA, Will Book 7, Page 341.--Executrix to the estate of James Lesslie, Cr.--By his one-eighth part of the net estate as a legatee; by his wife's specific legacy per the will.
  • Augusta Co, VA, Will Book 7, Page 342.--Sarah Lesslie, Jr., in account as above; Robt. Lesslie, Jr., in account as above; James Woods, in account as above; Isabella Gamble, in account as above; Dolly Waddle, in account as above; balance due to the heirs of Dolly Waddle.

Processioning List of 1756

"Processioning" was the process or periodically reviewing and agreeing upon property lines between settlers. Processioning Lists can be useful in determining the area of a settler and the neighboring settlers at a specific time period:

  • Page 179.--1756: Processioned in Capt. Israel Christian's Company by John Henderson and Wm. Baskins, viz: For Rev. John Craig, for Daniel Denniston, for James Wallace, for David Bell, for Robert Poage, for John Anderson, for Andrew Russell, for John Hutcheson, for Patrick McCollum, for James Coyle, for Geo. Anderson, for Robert Patterson, for Mathew Armstrong. for William Lewis, for James Lesley, for Archibald Hamilton, for John Poage, for Mr. Shodder, for Wm. Bell, for Wm. Wallace, for Robert McClenachan, for Alex. Wright, for Samuel Wilson, for John Cunningham, for Alex. McNite, for John Black, for Nathan Gililand, for John Bigham, for John Coulter, for John Buchanan, for Elijah McClenachan, for Robert Breckinridge, for Wm. Baskins, for Widow Crawford, for Joans Henderson, for Andrew Scott, for John Henderson

Records of James Lessley in Augusta County, VA

From Chalkley's Augusta County Records:

  • Vol. 2 - Muster List. 1742: No. 1 - Captain John Smith's List: John Smith, Captain; John Moffet, Lieutenant; William Anderson, Ensign; Daniel Daniston, Sergeant; Sam Hogshead, John Hogshead, Will Hogshead, Dan. McAnear, Math. Edmeston, John Finley, Walter Trimble, John Francis, Robert Ralston, John Young, Alex. Blair, Alex. Craig, Thomas Gillespy, And. Erwine, Benj. Erwine, John Erwine, Edw. Erwine, John Trimble, James Trimble, Rob. Moffett, James Wright, Rob. King, Jam. Armstrong, John Pattison, Jas. Lesley, Felix Kanady, Thomas Gordon, And. Mitchell, Jas. Robertson, Gabrl. Pickins, Rob. Leeper, Sam. Moore, John Miller, James Miller, Patr. Quine, Mat. Armstrong, John Ramsey, Dan. Daniston, Sam Northward, Rob. Renick, John Archer, Sampn. Archer, Jam.'s Sayers, Thos. McCulough, George Anderson, John Anderson, Rob. Poage, Rob. Patterson, Jas. Craford, Will Baskins.
  • Augusta Co, VA, Deed Book 1, Page 228.--20th May, 1747. John Pickens, Gent., to William Baskins, £10 current money Virginia; 212 acres; corner to James Lesley. Teste; Jno. Buchanan, Thos. Chew, 212; Charles Campbell. Acknowledged, and dower released by Eleanor, his wife, 21st May, 1747. [Chalkley Vol 3, pg 259]
  • Augusta Co, VA, Deed Book 11, Page 840.--21st March, 1765. John Robertson and Mary to Thomas Tosh, £40, 560 acres on Mason's Creek, branch of Roanoke; corner John Mason's land. Teste: Alex. Stuart, James Lessley. Delivered: Jas. Crawford, June,1769. [Lyman Chalkley Vol 3, pg 421] (James is witness to the sale of property by son-in-law John Robertson).
  • Augusta Co, VA, Deed Book 12, Page 2.--22d May, 1765. William Baskins and Mary to George Crawford, £200, 212 acres on Lewis Creek; corner James Lessley; corner Pickens; corner Mathews. Delivered: George Crawford, 4th October, 1772. [Chalkley Vol 3, pg 424]
  • Augusta Co, VA Court Order Book 11, pg 341, Nov 17, 1767: Alexr. Dale appointed Constable, vice James Young. Joseph Bell appointed surveyor of highway from James Lessley's to fork of road leading to Staunton, vice Archd. Hamilton. [Chalkley Vol 1, pg 140]

Information on James Lessley

1. JAMES ALEXANDER1 LESSLEY, SR. died Bef. 05 Mar 1767 in Augusta Co., Virginia. He married SARAH MCCUNE. She was born Abt. 1721 in Augusta Co., Virginia, and died Bef. 23 Nov 1789 in Augusta Co., Virginia.


2. i. JAMES2 LESSLEY, JR., d. Bet. 05 Oct - 24 Nov 1775, Augusta Co., Virginia.
ii. SAMUEL LESSLEY, d. 29 Dec 1814; m. ELIZABETH STUART, 04 Aug 1792, Augusta Co., Virginia.


Samuel is identified in both his father and his mother's wills.

In 1799 he is given whatever interests his neices Mary and Isabella Robertson of Jessamine Co, KY may have held in the estate of their grandmother, his mother, of Sarah Lessley:

Apr 19, 1799 Jessamine Co, KY, WB9-15: Adin Webb, of Jessamine County, Ky., in right of wife Mary, who was Mary Robertson, a devisee of Sarah Lessley, and as attorney for Isabella (above) conveys to Samuel Lessley all interests of Mary and Sarah. Teste: J. Monroe, Wm. Sterrett, C. Kinney. But above agreement does not affect John Henry, of Rockingham, who married Jane Robertson.

[Lyman Chalkley, Vol 3, pg 216]

He is apparently still residing in Augusta County in 1809 as we note from the following:

Augusta Co, VA, Court Order Book 24: Fisher vs. Alfred.--Contract, 1809, with George Alfred as schoolmaster, signed by Alexander Nelson, Samuel Lessley, Joshua Hiden, James Johnston, Archibald Griffey, George Tevenbaugh, Daniel Fisher, John Brown, Jane Crawford, John C. Baskin, Charles Baskin, James Anderson, George Anderson, Thomas Galbreath, James Kelley, Robert Hansberger. [Chalkley Vol 1, pg 422]


Augusta Co, VA Marriages: 1792--July 24, Samuel Lessley and Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of John Stuart, deceased; surety, Matt. Gambill. Certificate that Saml. Lessley has consent to marry their daughter. Signed Arch and Mary Dickson. [Chalkley Vol 2, pg 296]

Augusta Co, VA Marriages: 1792, January 5th--By Rev. Wm. Wilson: August 4th, Samuel Lesley and Betey Stuart [Chalkley Vol 2, pg 352]

3. iii. MARY LESSLEY, b. Abt. 1743, Augusta Co., Virginia; d. Bet. 1791 - 23 Dec 1793, Augusta Co., Virginia.


We find John here identified in both his father's will dated Mar 5, 1767 and again in his mother's will dated November, 1789.

We also John Lessley in court documents for his brother-in-law John Robertson's will where he apparently was a witness or executor with his sister Mary as seen in the following two court extracts:

Augusta Co, VA Will Book 4-434: 6th August, 1771. John Robertson's will--To wife; to son, Alexander, infant; to children; to six daughters. Executors, wife Mary and nephew Alex. Robertson, son of brother Mathew Robertson. Teste: Silas Hart, Mathew Robertson, Matthew Matthewson. Proved, 21st August. 1771, by the witnesses. [Lyman Chalkley, Vol 3, pg 120]

Augusta Co, VA, Will Book 4, Page 436.--Mary qualifies (her mark --) with Wm. Hutcheson, John Lessley, Jos. Gamwell. [Chalkley Vol 3, pg 120] - Apparently the will extends over pages 434-436. John Lessley is John Robertson's brother-in-law and Mary Robertson's brother.

vi. ELIZABETH LESSLEY, d. Bef. 1779, Augusta Co., Virginia.


Augusta Co, VA, Deed Book 23, Page 81.--10th July, 1779. James Leslie's executors to Robert Rogers. James Leslie's widow, Mary, died shortly after James, without having remarried. Teste: Mathew Kenney, John ( ) Dixon, William Donlap, John and Thomas Graham. {Chalkley Vol 3, pg 559]