Person:Richard Sebree (4)

Richard Sebree
d.Abt 1794
  1. Richard Sebree1721 - Abt 1794
  • HRichard Sebree1721 - Abt 1794
  1. Elizabeth Sebree
  2. John SebreeAbt 1749 -
  3. Richard Sebree1752 - Abt 1836
Facts and Events
Name Richard Sebree
Gender Male
Birth? 27 Oct 1721 Northumberland, Virginia
Death? Abt 1794

The first Sebree whose presence in Orange county, VA, is of record was Richard Sebree who in 1749 was appointed road overseer "from the upper Church to Heads Ford." (Orange Co., VA, Order Bk. 5, p.235; ) Those places are in what is now eastern Greene county near the Rapidan river (R62a). In 1753 he was administrator of the estate of Richard Jeoffrys/Jeffrys. (Orange Co., VA, Will Bk. 2, p.184, and original wills 1746-1750; see frontispiece and A-2). Such official responsibilities mark this Richard Sebree as having been at least 21 years old and thus having been born c1728 or earlier.

The only Richard Sebree found to have a birthdate appropriate to the above role was born in Northumberland county, VA, 27 Oct. 1721 to Richard Sebree (R25). It was one of some 24 Sebree births recorded in Northumberland county between 1702 and 1790, the first being the birth of Sarah Sebree 9 Sep. 1702 to James Sebree. Strangely, the Index To Northern Neck Grants And Surveys (1690-1874) (Virginia State Archives) does not reveal the name Sebree or any known variant spelling. No proof has been found that the Richard Sebree born in Northumberland county in 1721 was the man who in 1749 was road overseer in Orange county, but it is a reasonable assumption. Although proof is lacking, his father, Richard of Northumberland county, is made the starting point of the lineage under investigation.

Richard Sebree is assumed to have been born 27 Oct. 1721 in Northumberland county, VA, the son of Richard 1. His mother's name is unknown, as is the name of his wife. Perhaps one or the other, mother or wife, was a Keziah Watts, mentioned as wife of Richard Sebree in DAR member application #4954 (R18a) and by Hand (R34) and Andrews (R3). Those three all referred to Keziah Watts as the wife of Richard, the wife who is now known to have been Esther Watts. The problem of the identity of Keziah Watts has not been solved.

Dada W. Cloud, quoted by Hand, states that Keziah Watts was a cousin of Mildred (Johnson) Sebree, wife of John Sebree. The term "cousin" as then used could mean any relationship outside the immediate family, although a niece or nephew was frequently meant.

Orange county, VA, order, minute, and land books through c1786 contain the names Richard Sebree/Sabre/Seebree/Seabrea/Sebbre (A-1), all apparently referring to Richard 2.

Tithable (taxable) lists show Richard Sebre with three tithables in 1756; Richard Seebre, three in 1763; and Richard Seebrey with four in 1769 (Orange Co., VA< Loose Papers (Court Papers), Oct. of Nov. courts of those dates; A-1). The numbers indicate the total of white males over 16 years of age plus all slaves over 16 years in the household. The 1782 census of Orange Co. (R35, p.39) lists as head of household Richard Sebree with two whites and one black, probably referring to Richard 2.

The first record of a land transaction by Richard 2 was the purchase of three lots in the 24,000 acre Octonia Grant, a patent first given to a company of eight individuals in 1722. The patent lapsed, was reassigned in 1729 to Robert Beverley, son of one of the original grantees, then passed to Harry Beverley, son of Robert, under a title (fee entail) forbidding sale of any of the acreage. In 1765 the Virginia General Assembly, in answer to a petition, appointed trustees of a portion of the land to sold at public auction for docking the entail, the proceeds of the sale being designated to buy slaves to help Harry Beverley work the remainder of his land. Richard Sebree bought Lots E5, E6, and E8, being 399 acres, for 76 pounds, ten shillings. Orange county records are contradictory concerning the date of the sale. One record gives it as 26 Sep. 1777 (Orange Co., VA, Deed Bk. 16, p. 506, rec. 26 Feb 1779). However, in his monograph, The Octonia Grant, J. Randolph Grimes, Jr., shows a photocopy of an entry in an Orange county deed book which gives the date of sale as 1 July 1767. (R31, Grimes' p. A-3; see also this volume, A-2).

Richard 2 Sebree's land was separated from the Rapidan river on the north by the Lots E7 and E9 which had been bought by Richard, Jr. It was in what is now the westernmost part of Orange county. A portion of the tract was included in Greene county when the latter was established in 1838.

Only one house of eighteenth-century vintage remained in 1980 on lands owned by Sebree's in that earlier period. It was "Carolton", near the Greene county line, owned by Mrs. Henry Tinder, according to Ann MIller of Orange, VA (R62a, letter of 28 Nov. 1980).

Disposal of Lots E5, E6, and E8 was effected by the following sales (A-3,4);

      26 June 1784-Richard Sebree to Martin Johnson of Orange Co., two parcels of land, 180 a. and 49 a. respectively, for 200 pounds (Orange Co., VA, Deed Bk. 18, p.327; A-3)
      7 Feb.  1789 - Richard Sebree of the County of Orange and Parish of St. Thomas to David Doyle of Culpeper Co. and Brumfield Parish, 160 a. of land "together with houses, outhouse, Gardin, yards, Orchards, woods, ways, and water-courses.......with the appurtenances thereto......."(Orange Co., VA, Deed Bk. 19, p. 320; A-3)

Richard 2 apparently was alive in 1792 when Richard 3 sold a plot of land and signed the deed as Richard, Jr. (Orange Co., VA, Deed Bk. 20, p. 152; A-4) It is assumed that Richard 2 was dead by 1795 when Richard 3 is known to have taken the title Sr. in Kentucky (Salyers, R65, p.9).