Person:Robert Looney (7)

Robert Looney, Sr.
m. Abt 1715
  1. Thomas Looney1718 - Abt 1764
  2. Martha LooneyAbt 1717/18 - Bet 1763 & 1769
  3. Robert Looney, Jr.1721 - 1756
  4. Daniel Looney1723 - 1760
  5. Adam Looney1725 - 1770
  6. Samuel Looney1727 - 1760
  7. Louisa Looney1728 -
  8. Absalom Looney1729 - Bef 1796
  9. John Looney1732 - 1817
  10. Peter Looney1734 - 1760
  11. David Looney1735 - 1801
  12. Joseph B. Looney1740 - Est 1817
Facts and Events
Name[1][2] Robert Looney, Sr.
Gender Male
Birth? 1692 Maughold, Isle of Man
Alt Birth[1][2] Abt 1695 Ballagilly, Kirk Maughold, Isle of Man
Marriage Abt 1715 Isle of Manto Elizabeth Lewellyn
Will? 14 Sep 1769 Botetourt County, Virginia[Will Dated]
Death[1][2] Oct 1770 Botetourt County, Virginia
Will? 13 Nov 1770 Botetourt County, Virginia[Will Recorded]
Reference Number? 1956

Robert Looney was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia


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Early Land Acquisitions in Virginia

  • Robert Luna (like the others who entered Virginia with Alexander Ross and Morgan Bryan) received a patent from King George, 2nd. Robert's patent was dated 12 Nov. 1735 for 294 acres on the south bank of the Cohongoronta (Upper Potomac) River, near Samuel Owen's plantation, to be held as of the King's Manor of East Greenwich in the county of Kent, in free and common socage, not in Capite or by Knight's services, by paying for every 50 acres of land fee rent of one shilling yearly, and by cultivating and improving 3 and part of every 50 acres of the tract within 3 years. This property was probably not far from Hagerstown, Maryland, where, according to some accounts, one of the Looney children once attended school. (Source: Account of Robert Looney, by Elsie Stroud and Hopewell Friends History, 1734-1934, Frederick County, Virginia By John Walter Wayland, Joint Committee of Hopewell Friends, Hopewell Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends), pg. 22)
  • Robert Looney had a survey on Lunie's Mill Creek in April 1740. (Source: Baylor's Book of Surveys at Frederick County Courthouse)

Early Land Acquisition in Augusta County, VA

Acquisition of Land from in Augusta County, VA:

  • Robert Looney obtained a grant of 250 acres on James River and on Lunie's Mill Creek; also 400 acres on Luie's Mill (Looney's Mill) Creek on 30 July 1742.

Disposition of Land from Chalkley's:

  • Page 246.--21st November, 1766. David Looney and Mary to William Crow, of Staunton, £290, 140 acres, part of 250 acres patented to Robert Looney, 1742, whereon David lately lived, and which he recovered from John Bowyer, on James River; corner Col. Smith's land.

Will of Robert Looney

Will Abstract:

Looney, Robert. Will probated Nov., 1770/
Names: Wife, Elizabeth, and children: Joseph, and others, no names or number.
[Source: Early Marriages, Wills and some Revolutionary War Records, Botetourt County, Virginia, Compiled by Anne Lowry Worrell, pg. 59].

Will Transcript:

Botetourt VA Will Book A, p. 3:
In the name of God amen September the fourteenth one thousand seven hundred and sixty nine I Robert Looney being very sick and weak in Body but of Perfect mind and memory and calling to mind the uncertainty of this life and knowing that all men was born to die once I now Recommend my Soul to God who gave it and my Body to the ground to be buried in a decent manner at the discretion of my Executors nothing doubting but I shall have it again at the Resurrection. As for the worldly Estate that it has pleased God to bless me with I give and bequeath in manner and form following I Leave my well beloved wife Elizebeth Luney and my beloved son Joseph Luney to be my Sole Executors Next I leave my beloved grandson John Luney one shilling sterling all the remainder of my Bodily Estate after my funeral charge and lawful Debts are paid I give and bequeath to my well beloved wife Elizabeth to Live on and use as she pleases during her natural Life and then to decend to my beloved son Joseph at her death the rest of my children having already got all that is alow to them of my Estate.
Robert Luney
Sign and sealed and Pronounced
in Presents of us John Smith,
James Crow, Thomas Crow,
Elinor Crow
Will Book A, p. 4, Botetourt VA
At a court held for Bote. Co., VA, the 13 day of Nov. 1770, this writing purporting to be the Last Will and Testament of Robert Looney, deceased, was presented in Court by Joseph Looney, one of the executors herein named, and proved by the oaths of Thomas Crow, James Crow, and John Smith, and ordered to be recorded, and motion of the said executor who made oath according to law, certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate thereof, in due form, whereupon, he, together with Abraham McClelland, and John Looney, his securities, entered into and acknowledged their Bond in Five Hundred pounds, conditioned as the law directed.
Teste. John May. C.B.C.
[Botetourt became a county after the will was written but before the will was probated (in Botetourt).]

Records of Robert Looney

From Chalkley's Augusta County, VA Court Judgements:

  • Vol. 2 - Muster List of 1742: No. 11 - Capt. George Robinson's List: George Robinson, Captain; James McFeron, Lieutenant; Pat. Shirky, Ensign; James Ranfro, Sergeant; Dan Manaughan, Mark Coal, Peter Ranfro, George Draper, Rob Roland, Edw. Smith, Fran Kelly, And. Ganghagall, Henry Stiles, Hen Philip, Thomas Rindel, Thomas Looney, Rob Looney, Dan Looney, Adam Looney, Mark Joans, John Askins, John Flower, James Coal, Bryan Cass, Cornel Dougherty, Wm. Acres, Tasker Tosh, Hen Brown, Sam Brown, James Burk, Wm. Bean, _____Evins, Sam Martin, Peter Kinder, Stephen Evins, Peter Watkins, Stephen Ranfro, Benj. Davis, Wm. Clark, Wm. Shepherd, Benj. Deeson, John Smith, Hugh Coruthers, Wm. Bradshay, John Coal, Wm. Craven, Simon Acres, Nicol Horseford, _____ Meason.
  • AUGUST 20, 1747. (253) Elizabeth, wife of Rob. Looney, aged and infirm. Comn. to take testimony.
  • AUGUST, 1764 (B). Looney vs. Looney.--In 1759 Peter Looney and David Looney bought land from their father, Robert Looney. Peter Looney is dead (1763), leaving Peter Looney, an infant, his son and heir, but Robert made a deed to the land to John Bowyer. Robert answers that at time of making the contract he was drunk
  • Page 185.—15th March, 1765. Absolum ( ) Luney and Margret to Peter Luney, heir-at-law of Peter Luney, deceased, £80, 180 acres on Long Run, a branch of James; corner another tract belonging to Peter, formerly in possession of Robert Luney, Sr. Teste: David Looney. Delivered: Peter Looney, 26th September, 1783.
  • MAY, 1765 (C). Articles of agreement, &c., between Robert Luney, of one part, and Peter Luney and David Luney, of the other part.--Robert Luney, in consideration, &c., but especially of a sufficient support and maintenance to him and his wife, Elizabeth, during their natural lives, &c., (conveys) to his two sons, Peter and David, tract whereon Robert now dwell (except the part lying on the South Side of the Creek, where his son Daniel now lives); also the tract 493 where Peter now lives. Peter and David agree to build a good and commodious house for their father and mother wherever Robert choses. Three cows reserved by Robert; rest to be divided between Peter, John and David Luney. Horses he gives to son John, except two which he gives to son Daniel. Dated 11th October, 1759. (Signed) Robert (mark) Luney, Peter Luney, David Luney. Test: John Smith, John Buchanan, Thomas Ramsey.
  • MAY, 1765 (C). Looney vs. Looney.--Chancery, Col. John Smith deposes that in 1753 or 1754 Robert Looney sent for his son, Absalom, to come from Blue Stone to James River with his family. That before he came in Robert Looney proposed to his son Daniel that he would give him (Daniel) the land over the Creek for his land in the Draft to settle his son Absalom on, to which Daniel agreed, and when Absalom came in he settled on the land and Daniel Looney took possession of the land over the Creek. That some time afterwards Daniel Looney made the said Absalom a title to the same. That Daniel never got any title from his father that the deponent knows of, though he often afterwards heard the said Robert Looney acknowledge the bargain, and that when the said Robert Looney made over his other lands to his sons, he excepted and reserved the land over the Creek for his son Daniel.
Col. John Buchanan deposes: Of the original agreement he knows nothin but that in 1755 Daniel Looney was in possession of the land over the creek, and that Robert often told deponent he had given his son Daniel the land over the creek in lieu of the land in the draft whereon Absalom Looney then lived, and that Daniel Looney repeatedly told deponent the same thing. That when Daniel was on his death bed he sent for deponent, and, among other things, it was mentioned that the land whereon he then lived was his, and the said Daniel then desired that after his death it might descend to his daughter, which his father, Robert Looney, said nothing against, though he was present.
  • Page 198.—20th August, 1765. John Bowyer to Peter Looney, eldest son of Peter Looney, deceased. Whereas Peter, Sr., and his brother David Looney, on llth October, 1759, purchased of Robert Looney, father of Peter, Sr., and David, the tract Robert was living on, situated on James River and Creek, excepting the part on the south side 'the Creek, which Robert had some time before exchanged for a place called the Draper place, with Daniel Looney, another son of Robert's, notwithstanding which, said Robert under pretence that Peter and David had not complied with their contract, refused to make conveyance, but sold the same 'to said John Bowyer. Peter, Sr., >oon after making the purchase, died, leaving Peter, his eldest son, infant, who, with said David, brought suit against Robert Looney and John Bowyer, in which it was decreed that John reconvey to Peter, Jr. 80 acres on James River.
  • Page 2OO.—20th August, 1765. Same to David Looney. Similar deed as above, 140 acres; corner Col. John Smith; corner to above tract.


Robert Looney b. 1692-1702 d. 1770

Robert Looney was a public spirited man who provided valuable services on the Upper James River, an area that was a key to the advancement of the frontier. An account with Moses Thompson, made before 1746, may suggest that Robert Looney was a Long Hunter during the 1740’s. It is possible that nothing is known about the period of his life when he traversed southwestern Virginia, possibly even into what is now Kentucky, as a hunter, trapper and explorer. Through the generations, certain traits seem to be common among some Looney descendants; these include hunting and an interest in western land. One probably led to another; to reach the best hunting areas, one had to push westward. Robert Looney's main interest , hunting and exploring, may not be recorded in the records; but he probably taught these activities to his sons, who taught their sons, etc.

Robert Looney showed excellent judgment in choosing from all the vast wilderness areas available a location that nature had foreordained to be a gate to the future of Southwest Virginia. Here he and his sons built up a settlement that became the center of a community extending throughout the valley of the creek that took its name from his mill. They were capable, industrious, hardworking men. They cleared and farmed land, ran a mill, established and operated a ferry over the river, planted and tended a nursery, and started the first apple and peach orchards in Southwest Virginia, with pear, cherry and plum trees in all probability among the offerings of their nurseries. The Looney boys were also explorers, seeking out lands to be acquired, and hunters, ranging far over the vast unoccupied land to the south and west.

Robert established in 1742, Looney's Ferry. In one of the first maps ever made of this territory, by Peter Jefferson, father of Thomas Jefferson, the only designated place in the present confines of Botetourt is Looney's Ferry. His sons went forth to settle the frontier and their descendant's name is legion. Looney's Ferry was the first crossing of James River in that region

Looney's Mill was built by 1739-40, making it one of the very first mills west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The mill operated from 1740 (or before) until 1755 (and possibly later). During this period of time, Looney's Mill was certainly essential to the development of the region and many settlers depended upon the valuable services that Robert Looney provided. The French and Indian War (1754-1763) may have interrupted activities at Looney's Mill, since many inhabitants left the area or moved to forts for safety.

Robert married Elizabeth Llewellyn (tradition says this was her maiden name) and they had 10 children. Thomas, Robert Jr., Daniel, Adam, Samuel, Absalom, John, Peter, David and Joseph. There may of been other sons and daughters unknown.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Brøderbund Software, Inc. World Family Tree Vol. 16, Ed. 1. (Release date: December 15, 1997)
    Tree #1750.

    Date of Import: Oct 29, 1998

  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 wft16-1750.FTW.

    Date of Import: Oct 29, 1998