Person:Sterling Willis (1)

Sterling Willis
Facts and Events
Name Sterling Willis
Gender Male
Birth? c1754-1758 Brunswick County, VA
Marriage 3 Apr 1779 Pittsylvania County, VAto Sarah Payne
Death? c1835-1839 Elkton, Todd, Kentucky


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Document. Sterling Willis Will, Todd County, KY, 1835
Transcript. Census data for Willis in KY, 1820


Notebook.Sterling Willis of KY
Notebook. Notes for Richard Willis of Mechlenberg County, VA
Notebook. Notes for William Willis 57 of Mechlenberg, VA
Person:William Willis (57)
Person:Richard Willis (20)
Person:Sterling Willis (1)
Analysis. Ancestry of Sterling Willis
Transcript:Sterling Willis in the 1830 US Census

Probate records for his estate were made on 11 November 1839 (Todd County Kentucky Will Bk D, pg 411), and 29 November 1839 (Todd County, Kentucky, Will Bk D, 436 & 439).


Will of Sterling Willis, Todd County KY, 1835


Brunswick County, VA
Brunswick County, VA
Sterling Willis is variously identified as having been born in Brunswick, Pittsylvania, or Mecklenburg County, VA, between 1754 and 1758. His father is commonly identified as either William Willis or Richard Willis. His mother as either Elizabeth Davis or Ann Crowder, depending on who they think his father was.

Most genealogists [1] identify his wife as Sarah Payne, daughter of William Payne and Sarah Nance, born between 1756 and 1768. Her place of birth is highly variable (Berkeley, Essex, and Pittsylvania counties, VA). Their marriage occurred 3 Apr 1779 in Pittsylvania County, VA, which would indicate that her DOB was probably about 1759; She might have been born as early as 1756 (making her 17 at marriage).

Land records show that Sterling purchased land in Pittsylvania County in 1782. In December of 1795 he was appointed Constable, Pittsylvania Co, Va. (Pittsylvania Co, Va Court Order Bk, page 148. [que non vide, fide Rootsweb, 26 Dec 2012))

In 1799 when he was appointed an Ensign in the State militia [2]In 1808 he sold a parcel of land in Pittsylvania County[3] This sale may indicate that he left the area about that time, but its possible that he had been gone for sometime when the property was sold. In anycase, some genealogists list him as appearing in the he appears in the Madison County KY census record in 1810, though a check of that census does not confirm this. In 1820 he appears in Russellville in Logan County Ky.

Sterling wrote his will died November 4, 1835. The will was recorded in Todd County, Ky, it is presumed that is where he was living at the time of his death. Probate records show that he died before 11 November 1839. His wife is identified as "Sarah", and ten children are listed in his will.

Mechlenberg County, VA
Mechlenberg County, VA
Pittsylvania County, VA c1754-1810
Pittsylvania County, VA c1754-1810
Madison County, KY. from 1810-<1820
Madison County, KY. from 1810-<1820
Logan County, KY. <1820-?
Logan County, KY. <1820-?
Todd County, KY, death between 1834 (Will date)-1839 (Probate date)
Todd County, KY, death between 1834 (Will date)-1839 (Probate date)


Based on Sterlings will, he and wife Sarah had the following children

Child (in order listed as will)DOM*Spouse*DIspersion*
Nancy Hoskins, formerly Nancy Willis 1801William HASKINSwent to Missouri
James Willis, 1803 Margaret HASKINSd. bef 1840 in Logan Co., KY
William Willis, 1803 Polly DALTON, d. in Madison Co., KY
Jincy Hoskins formerly Jincy Willis,1810 Samuel HAWKINS**went to Missouri
John Willis, went to Missouri
Anderson Willis, 1814Sarah JOHNSONwent to Missouri, then Iowa, where he d. in 1873
Sarah Bogar, formerly Sarah Willis, a RAGER**
Betsy Poe formerly Betsy Willis, 1829 Wyatt POE,lived in Todd Co.
Lettice Mundy, formerly Lettice Willis, 1821 John MONDYwent to Missouri
Ann Montray, formerly Ann Willis.1826 John MOULTRY
*Fide James I. Dwinell Posted: August 18, 1996 USGENNET
**NOt difference in name

Since the children are not listed with males separated from females, we can probablly assume that the order of mention in Sterling's will corresponds to their order of birth. Given their marriage date of 1779, we can reasonably assume the ten children were born between 1780 and roughly 1800. Each of the five daughters, incljuding the last mentioned child Ann, are listed under their married names, indicating that they were adults at the time Sterling wrote his will in 1834.


Deed: 16 May 1780 William Pollard to John Craddock, both of Pittsylvania County, for £1,250, 390 acres in Pittsylvania County on Buffalo Creek, adjoining Nathaniel Hendrick, Stephen Collins, and others–part of a 400 acre patent to Daniel Hamblin dated 10 Oct 1752... /s/ William Pollard. Wit: John Buckley, John Lumpkins, Sterling Willis. Elsie Pollard, wife of William, relinquished dower. (Pittsylvania County, VA, Deeds, 5:473) fide GenFiles extractd 26 December 2012

16 September 1799 Pittsylvania County, Virginiaa Court Order Book 9, pg 169 Appointed a Commissioned Officer to the rank of Ensign to the 2nd Battalion, 101st Regiment, 7th Brigade, 1st Division of the VA Militia.


  1. 43 of 43 entries on Ancestries World Tree Project.
  2. 16 September 1799 Pittsylvania County, Virginia Court Order Book 9, pg 169 Appointed a Commissioned Officer to the rank of Ensign to the 2nd Battalion, 101st Regiment, 7th Brigade, 1st Division of the VA Militia.
  3. Deed - Pittsylvania Co, Va, Mill Creek Sterling Willis to Avery M. Shreve Property 15 October 1808 Pittsylvania County, Virginia (See Notebook; no additional documentation given.


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