Newman Immigrants

This page shows both the immigrants and people paying their passage. Letters and numbers represent people on maps, plotted on the water ways as mentioned in records.

Figure 1

All previously published writings about Thomas Newman the Immigrant, say that the men represented in the small pink circle, as “A” and “1” down by Williamsburg, are the same men represented in the large pink circle: “B” for John and either “2, 4, 5 or 6” for the various Thomas Newmans. There are seven other John Newmans that immigrated to Virginia in the 30 year time period on the timeline above, each to a different locality than shown on this map. I don’t see how all of these Johns could have been the same man, and all these Thomases the same man, or how all these Susans could be the same woman. Two Susans (Susan “b” & Susan “c”) immigrated on the same ship. One Susan was listed as Thomas Newman’s wife, the other Susan’s relationship was not stated. I’m not sure exactly were the Thomas represented by the number 5 was. The only land information given was that it was in north Rappahannock County. The rest of the group shown in the large pink circle area were in southern Rappahannock County. Morattico Creek is the current boundary line between Richmond County and Lancaster County, Virginia.

Figure 2

Close up view of Morattico & Farnham Church area

Below, you can see the people who paid for ship transport (in green lettering), with the people they paid ship transport for. (Orange in the 1650’s and purple in the 1660’s) Mansfield and Fristow’s land was not explained other than it was in what we now call (Old) Rappahannock County. Today, this area is part of Richmond County. The rest of the people are placed along the creeks mentioned in land patents and deeds

Figure 3

Figure 4

The records below were used to create the above mappings. They are transcription extracts of land patents from the reference book Cavaliers and Pioneers .

Captain David Mansell had land & lived in Rappahannock County (present day Richmond County), bordering the land of Thomas Griffin, even though this patent says he got land in Westmoreland.

This picture is of the land mentioned in the patent above.

Men who paid transportation costs for people were rewarded with land patents. About 50 acres per “head” (person) transported, hence the term “headrights”. Headrights included paying for themselves, their family, free people, indentured servants and slaves. These headright policies increased the population in the Virginia colony as intended. The system was also abused by people wanting more land, with some reports that twice as many people were listed for headrights than actually lived in the Virginia colony. The fraud did happen, but it would be incorrect to assume the fraud in the system means seeing the same name several times in the same time period must therefore be only one person. For more information: see this page about headrights and its sources.

Land patents meant that the person listed on the record was the first European to own that parcel of land in Virginia. It is not clear if the passengers listed on the patent records shown on this web page were indentured or family or friend. This Library of Virginia’s page explains about headrights. We are searching for more information about how indentured servants were listed or notated in contrast to free passengers.

This patent for Henry Wilson shows he paid for two people who also had the surname Wilson and supports our current theory that men in the Morattico Creek & Farnham Church areas were paying for friends and family to come over and that they received land for doing so.

Notice that some patent records in the mid 1660’s patents were being renewed. That seemed contradictory to the purpose of a patent giving proof of land ownership. There were big complicated land ownership issues because of the British civil war. This Library of Virginia guide explained, “King Charles II of England was forced into exile in 1649 after the execution of his father. In that year he granted to seven of his supporters, including John Culpeper, the unsettled region between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers to their headwaters, totaling more than five million acres. The restoration of Charles to the throne in 1660 saw renewed efforts on the part of the original patentees to claim this land, which had begun to be settled. A new charter lasting twenty-one years was issued in 1669, but further complications continued…” You can learn more about and search the Northern Neck proprietary grants system and Royal land patents here. The land patents on this web page were in Old Rappahannock County, which existed from 1656 to 1696. The county split in two along the Rappahannock River in 1696 with Richmond County on one side of the river and Essex on the other side. Morattico Creek is the current boundary line between Richmond County and Lancaster County.

Did the Newman men in Rappahannock county and James City County own land in those respective counties at the same time? If so, it would indicate that they couldn’t be the same individual. Might the individuals in James City County have sold their land in the process of moving to Rappahannock County? Deed records in both counties should show when and where these Newman men owned land. None of the Rappahannock county records for Newmans indicate a prior residence. And it is important to know the following according to Library of Virginia “Beginning in 1770, the courts of James City County and Williamsburg shared a common courthouse. During the Civil War, the records of both localities were transferred to Richmond for safekeeping, but were destroyed by fire there on April 3, 1865. The records of the superior court of chancery for the Williamsburg district were destroyed by a courthouse fire in April 1911.” If there are no records for James City County and none of the Rappahannock County records indicate a different county as residence, it seems highly unlikely that the Newmans of James City County moved north to Rappahannock County.

We know our Thomas Newman died in 1700. We do not yet know for a surety which Thomas Newman in the Morattico/Farnham Church area is in fact the Thomas who died in 1700. We do not know if our Thomas was born in Virginia or England. If he was born in the Colonial Virginia about 1634 he could be the son of one of the earlier immigrants mentioned above.

We can’t account for all of the immigrants mentioned above due to the harsh living conditions in Colonial Virginia. Many people did not live through their first year in the colonies. Harsh winters, swampy summers, and limited food supplies caused a huge death toll among early Virginians. Some people decided that colonial life was not for them after all, and returned to England.

For further reading see:

Other Newman immigrants: 

George Mynifie a merchant at James City (Jamestown) transported a Thomas Newman. Cavaliers & Pioneers pg 188. The Thomas in Figure 2 (Gold-1) was born in 1620, and was listed as age 15 on the Plain Joan 1635 ship manifest. George Mynifie transported a lot of slaves and indentured servants. 

Harry Singleton transported Thomas & Susannah his wife, Anne Newman & Susan Newman. No date, but is in the 1652-1653 part of patent book #2. Harry Singleton got land beginning at Mr. Hamptons land, at Mockjack Bay, the easternmost River. Cavaliers & Pioneers pg 213. See Figure 2 (Gold-3, Red-b, Red-c)

1650– Richard Axom & Thomas Godwin 1,000 acres south side Rappahannock River in Breakneck Bay. They paid for Susan Newman in 1650. Cavaliers & Pioneers, pg 198

1650– Thomas Wilkinson paid for Alice Newman, got 500 acres south side of Potomac River & mouth of Machotick River. Cavaliers & Pioneers pg 202

1654– Samuel Newman sponsored by John Wyre, John Gillett, Andrew Gilson, John Phillips. They got 4,000 acres south side Rappahannock River, 12 miles above Nanzemum Town. Cavaliers & Pioneers pg. 293

1656– Sam Newman -George Bryer paid his transport-on South side of Rappahannock River. Cavaliers & Pioneer pg. 293

1665– Edward Newman -William Talbert paid his transport-on South side of Rappahannock River. Cavaliers & Pioneers pg. 5261665– Francis Newman -John Phipps paid his transport-on South side of Rappahannock River Cavaliers & Pioneers pg 440

There are also Newman families mentioned in Richmond City. It is incorrect to connect Richmond City and Richmond County. Richmond County is in the Northern Neck. Richmond City is an independent city surrounded by Henrico and Chesterfield counties in a completely different region of Virginia. The Newman families of Richmond City are often incorrectly merged with the Newman families of Richmond County.

Thomas the Immigrant page is under construction
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