About a week ago, I was poking around in Currituck County land records. I don’t even remember why. While skimming through the index, I stumbled over something, or someone, unexpected. John Vindrick! That’s right! A Vendrick in Currituck. I was every bit as astonished as you are now. You better believe I immediately navigated to the book and page indicated.

Currituck County Deed Book 2, p. 404

The Indenture made the Ninth Day of Semptember in the year of our Lord one thousand Seven hundred and seventy between John Vindrick of the County of Craven and in the province of north Carolina planter of the one part and william pugh of Currituck County planter of the other part witnesseth that the sd. John Vindrick for and in Consideration of the sum of twenty five pound proclamation money to him in hand paid by the said william pugh at or before the Insealing and Dilivery of these presents the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged have bargained sold aliend Conveyd and Confirmed unto & by these presents we Doth bargain Sell alow in Shore Convey Convey Convey & Confirm unto the said Wm pugh his heirs and assigns for Ever a Certain tract or parcell of Land Lying and being in Currituck County on Chukme Commack Banks [?] by a pattent granted unto William Daniell Bareing Date on thousand Seven hundred and seven hundred and forty 1 one hundred acres of Land Begining at a Stake of Cedar the Corner of Thomas Willis’s Land Runing South ten [?] four hundred and sixty four pole parable Corns up the Sound to a Live oak a corner of Thos. Neels Land thence East ten south Ninety six pole to a pine then North ten Est. one hundred and sixty four pole to a pine then west Ninety six pole to the first station to the to the said william pugh to Have and to hold the said Land together with all the building there on and all the Benefit and appurteanances unto the said William pugh his heirs and assigns to the only proper use Benefit and Behoof of the said william pugh his heirs and assigns to them fore Ever and the said John Vendrick his wife and his mother for ther heirs Executors admins. and assigns Doth Covenant and grant to and with the said Wm pugh his heirs and assigns that he the said William pugh is heirs and assigns shall and may from Time to Time and at all times here after peaceably and [?] have hold use occupy posses and Injoy the Said tract of Land and marsh – Buildings there on and premises hereby Granted and sold without any Lott hindrunce or molestation of or from Every other person or persons [?] Ever Claiming of the said John Vendrick his Wife or his mother their heris or assigns and from Every other person or persons whatsoever Claiming by from or [?] us him or any of them and we the sd. John Vendrick his Wife his Mother for our selfs our heirs and assigns shall and will warrant and for Ever Defend the afore said Land and premises unto the said William pugh his heirs and assigns for Ever against the Lawfull Claim of all manner of persons whatsoever in witness Whereof I the said John Vendrick Elizabeth havens Mary Vendrick have here unto Sett our hands and seals—-
The Day and year above written

Currituck County Deed Book 2, p. 404

The Land

The deed, while garbled and repetitive, presents these basic facts:

  1. John Vendrick sold William Pugh one hundred acres located on “Chukme Commack Banks.” Or, more correctly, Chicamacomico Banks. On a modern map, this area would include Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo. At the time, this was within Currituck County.
  2. The original patent, issued in 1741, belonged to William Daniel, adjoining the lands of Thomas Wallis and Thomas Neel. The issue date for the Wallace patent was 16 Feb 1739 and Thomas Neel’s was 18 June 1741. They were for 150 acres and 500 acres, respectively. Other landowners on Chicamacomico Banks included Christopher Neale (500 acres, 20 Jun 1741) and Robert Burrows (200 acres, 6 Mar 1740). William Daniel’s grant bears the date 2 Oct 1741. This grant strikes me as odd because the core of Daniel family land was on Roanoke Island.
  3. John’s wife, Mary, and his mother, Elizabeth Havens, relinquished their rights to the land.

Which John Vendrick?

Tax lists in Craven County show three men named John Vendrick in 1769 and 1779.

Three John Vendricks left wills. Only the one dated 30 Nov 1804 mentions a wife called Mary. This will mentions sons Peter and James, daughters Lany Dickson, Rebecah Read, and Penny Vendrick. Liza Hukins is left a “puter Bason”, but the relationship between them is unspecified. He also made bequests to granddaughter Sarah Carpenter. A bond was purchased by George Carpenter to marry a Polly Vendrick on 22 Feb 1785. Jesse Vendrick and Church Vendrick witnessed the will. Whether or not this is the same man who sold the tract to William Pugh, I cannot say.

Which begs the question: How did John Vendrick acquire this tract? This I have yet to discover. The key, I think, is Mrs. Havens.

Elizabeth Havens

No one with this surname shows in Currituck land indexes. Or probate records, for that matter. To be thorough, I also checked Hyde County records. Up until 1745, portions of eastern Hyde were part of Currituck County. No luck. All Havens land records in Hyde County are too recent to pertain. Same for Beaufort and Craven. I’ll admit to becoming seriously annoyed!

There is an estate record for Elizabeth Havens in Craven County. The sale of her Estate took place on 17 Oct 1777. Among the buyers were John, Abraham, and Daniel Vendrick. None of them was the administrator, however. James Williamson, Richard Nixon, and John Bryan paid an administrator bond of 300 pounds proclamation money 12 Sep 1777. I also noticed a file labeled Thomas Havens. The sale of his estate occurred 24 Oct 1766, Christopher Neale administrator. There were no Vendricks among the purchasers. Time for a dive into Craven Court Records. Sometimes, you learn more about the relationship between the administrator and the deceased that way.

First, I zeroed in on the October 1766 term. It turns out that Christopher Neale was Thomas Havens’s greatest creditor. No luck there. Next, Sep 1777.

Yet another husband!

Well, not only was Elizabeth Havens the mother of John Vendrick, but of James Williamson as well! On 11 Sep 1777, it was

Ordered that James Williamson having Orders for administration on the Estate of his Deceased Mother Elizabeth Havens, at the same time he Entered into Bond with Richard Nixson and John Bryan his Suritys in the Sum of £300 and Qualified agreeable to Law, Ordered that Mr. Secretary have notice thereof that Letters Issue accordingly.

Craven County Minutes, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, 1772-1784, Volume 1, p. 105

James returned an inventory of the Estate and an account of sales on 10 Dec 1777.

No estate records for James Williamson exist. However, on 7 Jul 1761, the Court issued a summons to Elizabeth Williamson, “Relict of John Williamson,” to give a reason why William Carraway could not be granted administration of John’s estate. Since she wasn’t doing it. Carraway was John Williamson’s greatest creditor. Well, Elizabeth came into Court on 11 Jul and asked for Letters of administration. Christopher Dawson and Thomas Green were her sureties for the £150 bond. She promulgated an inventory of the estate 3 Oct 1761 and submitted such to the Court 7 Oct. This document reveals John to have been a shipwright. Among the listed items are a cradle and a child’s chair. From this, I conclude James was a very young child. The sale of the estate occurred 13 Oct. During all of this, she was, still, Elizabeth Williamson.

A Theory

Technically, you could be an Executor at age seventeen.  I don’t know if that was true of an administrator.  However, James Williamson approached the Court on his own behalf.  Ergo, he must have been twenty-one.  Or pretty close to it.  This would place his birth in about 1756.  So, her earlier husband died before or early in 1756. So, I looked at my Vendrick notes.  I have an actual spreadsheet, arranged in chronological order!  What struck me? The complete absence of anyone named Peter Vendrick from the mid-1750s to 1779.

The Death of Peter Vendrick

Peter Vendrick appears on a muster roll of Captain John Shine’s Company dated 5 Dec 1754. There is, also, an undated roll for Captain James Shine’s Foot Company of the North Shore. The name of Peter Vendrick, and a few others, have both a plus sign and an “X” beside them. No explanation was given. Comparing the two, I saw William Whitty is absent from the James Shine roll. I know he died in 1757. Thomas Little, who married Whitty’s widow, is present on both. His death occurred in early 1762. So, it is safe to conclude the date of this muster to be between 1757 and 1762. The absence of Francis Dawson, Sr., who died in 1760, may shrink the gap even more.

My conclusion? Well, I think Peter Vendrick, son of Benedictus, died in late 1757 or early 1758. Elizabeth, his widow, Elizabeth, did not waste any time remarrying. James Williamson was born in late 1758 or early 1759. Although, I’ll admit to wondering why I child of about two needed a cradle in 1761. That’s just asking for trouble! So, perhaps, these dates need to be pushed forward a year. Maybe he was a big, strapping seventeen or eighteen in 1777. At some point between Oct 1761 and Oct 1766, she married Thomas Havens.

Further, Peter Vendrick patented 162 acres of land on the east side of Beard’s Creek. Adjoining tracts belonged to John Vendrick and Thomas Brown. A John Vendrick sells what sounds like this tract, plus 15 acres, to William Carraway 1 Sep 1800 (Craven County Deed Book 34, p. 257). Strangely, the later deed places the land on the east side of Goose Creek. Other than that, the descriptions are the same.

Of course, none of this tells how John, Mary, and Elizabeth acquired rights to the Daniel patent. I remain clueless on that score. Anyone else have an idea?