Edward Garland (c1665 – 1720) was the first of that surname in the New Kent – Hanover area, apparently arriving in the area sometime in the late 1690s. When the lands of St. Peter’s parish were processioned in 1689, there was no mention of any land owned by a Garland.1 Yet by the 1704 Quit rents Edward Garland held 2,600 acres in New Kent, the seventh largest landowner in the county He therefore must have acquired that land sometime after 1689. He probably did not arrive in the area until sometime near 1700, for the only record of a Garland in the parish register is that of Edwd son of Edward Garland born the 20th May Bapt. 8 July, 1700. 2 It is significant that there is no entry for the births of his older children. After St. Paul’s parish was split off from St. Peter’s in 1704, Edward Garland’s name is among the most frequently mentioned names in its vestry book.
He owned vast quantities of land in what became Hanover County. Although deed records no longer exist, there are three patents to him between 1714 and 1717 for a total of 4,664 acres in what was later Hanover County.3 He also served as a vestryman and one of the two churchwardens of St. Paul’s parish, being mentioned in the surviving vestry records scores of times. He was still alive on 3 July 1720 when he was present at a meeting of the vestry4 but apparently had died by the next vestry meeting on 29 October 1720 when his son Peter Garland was elected in absentia to replace him.5 (The fact that his will was recorded in New Kent rather than in Hanover is consistent with a death before the formation of Hanover County on 26 November 1720.) The next recorded vestry meeting, on 21 May 1721, confirms he was deceased.6 His will was recorded in New Kent County and subsequently lost in the malicious burning of the county courthouse in 1787. Luckily, we learn something of its content from a legislative act thirty years later on behalf of his grandson David Garland, the son of Edward Garland Jr.7 [See this footnote for an explanation of the case.]
On 9 March 1752 David Garland petitioned the Council to dock the entail of his inherited land in Hanover County.8 A legislative act passed shortly thereafter on his behalf states that Edward Garland Sr. made a will dated 14 March 1719 and recorded in New Kent County in which he devised the 680-acre plantation on which he lived in New Kent (later Hanover) County to his son Edward Garland Jr., with possession after the death of “his wife Jane Garland.”9 The act further states that Edward Garland died shortly thereafter, followed by Jane Garland, and the land passed to Edward Garland Jr. and at the son’s death to his eldest son David Garland. The only additional clue to the will’s content is the statement that it provided that if Edward Garland Jr. failed to produce heirs, the land would fall to “the other brother in the manner before directed by the said will”, thus clarifying that Edward Garland Sr. had at least two sons. In fact, it appears from later records that he devised his land to four sons.
Jane Garland was mentioned in May 1722 when the legislature established and set fees for a ferry “from Mrs. Garland’s, in the County of Hanover, across the [Pamunkey] river to Mrs. Littlepage’s land in the County of King William.”10 She died sometime between 24 May 1737, when “Mrs. Jane Garland”, a widow, bought three pairs of women’s shoes at the Partridge store in Hanover, and 5 July 1737 when the account of “Jane Garland deceased” was transferred to Peter Garland.11 Although she is widely reported to have been “Jane Jennings”, there is no evidence for that claim in the records. In fact, this claim appears to result from a misunderstanding as to the wives of Edward Sr. and Edward Jr. See the separate section below for details: “Was Edward Garland’s wife Jane Jennings or Jane Hensley?”
Four sons of Edward Garland are easily identified, one who is provable and three others with an acceptable degree of certainty. Since no other Garland is mentioned in parish or other records until 1719, we can reasonably conclude that the four Garland males who begin to appear at that time were his sons. Further, the processioning records for 1727, after his death, show that the district which had earlier included his lands now included the lands of Peter Garland, Edward Garland Jr., and John Garland.12 A fourth son, James Garland, seems highly likely to be the youngest son, probably born in 1704-5 when there is a gap in the St. Paul’s parish register. There are no records which identify any daughters, although at least six daughters are claimed – without proof — by descendants of other families.
- Peter Garland (c1690-95 – 1745) He seems to be the eldest son, apparently born prior to his father’s arrival in New Kent, for his birth does not appear in the St. Peter’s register. He was of age in 1719 when Peter Garland replaced Edward Garland in the processioning of the district which included his father’s land.13 From processioning records it appears that he inherited and occupied a part of his father’s eastern Hanover County land, for he continues to appear in St. Paul’s parish past the formation of St. Martin’s parish. On 29 October 1720 he was elected to replace his father as a vestryman of St. Paul’s parish, and was elected one of its two churchwardens for the first of three times on 28 April 1724.14 He was appointed sheriff of Hanover in 1722 and again in 1735.15 He was alive as late as the vestry meeting of 13 October 174416 but was “Peter Garland Deceas’d” by 16 April 1745 when his position was filled.17 In the next processioning order in September 1750, his land was described as “Widd: Garland’s”.18
- John Garland (c1690-95 – 1734) Like Edward Jr., he must have been born prior to his father’s arrival in New Kent. His first appearance is a patent to him issued on 20 February 1719/20 for 285 acres adjacent to Edward Garland Jr.’s patent in what was later Louisa County.19 This land fell into St. Martin’s parish in 1726, and most or all of it was left to two sons in his will.20 John Garland also owned land in St. Paul’s parish, apparently inherited from his father, that was processioned in his name in 1727 and in 1731. He was elected to the vestry in 1732 and served alongside his brother Peter until his death.21 He is mentioned in St. Paul’s parish as overseer of a road in 172822 (That some of his children were still minors ten years after his death suggests he was himself quite young when he died.) Peter Garland was a witness to his will, which was dated 27 September 1731 and fortuitously recorded on 5 April 1734 in the only book of surviving colonial records of Hanover County. The will mentions his wife Anne and five sons: Peter Garland, Robert Garland, John Garland Jr., James Garland, and Nathaniel Garland. (He evidently had no daughters.) Peter and Robert were to divide a tract which appears to be their father’s 1719 patent, the other three received cash and Nathaniel was instructed to purchase land for the remaining two.
- Edward Garland Jr. (26 May 1700 – c1750) His brother’s patent of early 1720 mentions an adjoining tract of Edward Garland “Jr.” for which he received a patent on 22 June 1722.23 The tract seems to have been surveyed by his father and patented by Edward Jr. after he turned 21. An adjoining patent of 1729 to Charles Yancey refers to the patent as the land of Edward Garland deceased, meaning Edward Sr. Two deeds by a neighbor in 1733 make the same reference. In both cases it is likely they relied on old surveys in which the neighbor was Edward Garland Sr. Indeed, it would seem that the land was originally surveyed and claimed by Edward Sr. sometime prior to his death in 1720. The patent, though, was issued to Edward Garland Jr. two years after Edward Sr.’s death but after Jr. reached majority. He sold this land to John Hinson, probably not long thereafter.24 The 680-acre plantation he inherited from his father was part of the 1714 patent on the south bank of the North Anna river, far enough east to remain in St. Paul’s parish after the formation of St. Martin’s parish in 1726. The legislative act of February 1752 mentioned above notes that David Garland was his “eldest son and heir.”25 We can infer from the act that he had at least one other son, and perhaps several sons and daughters but none can be identified with certainty.
- James Garland (c1705 – ?) His birth is not recorded in St. Peter’s register, suggesting that he was born after the formation of St. Paul’s parish in 1704 (and whose register does not survive). He first appears in the records when he was issued a patent on 22 February 1727/8 for 315 acres adjoining the west side of Edward Garland’s 1714 patent on the south bank of the North Anna.26 This tract was in St. Martin’s parish (formed from St. Paul’s in 1726), which explains why we find no mention of James Garland in St. Paul’s parish records.
Was Edward Garland Sr.’s wife Jane Jennings or Mary Jane Hensley?
His widow’s name was “Jane” according to his grandson’s petition of 1752 and the Partridge store account books of 1736-37. The theory that she was “Jane Jennings” appears to be a misunderstanding that has been widely perpetuated in print and on the internet. This misunderstanding seems to originate in the early 20th century from descendants of Edward Garland Sydnor, whose parents were William Sydnor and Bessie Ann Garland [called Betsey in another record27], who married in Hanover County about 1768.
The earliest record I can find of the “Jane Jennings” claim is in a 1912 query posted in the William and Mary Quarterly mentioning William Sydor “who married Bessie Ann, daughter of Edward Garland and Jane Jennings.” A 1922 article in Tyler’s Quarterly repeats that Bessie Ann Garland was the “daughter of Edward Garland and Jane Jennings” although the author is careful to characterize this as a “family statement”.28 A 1974 article about this same family in Historical Southern Families says Bessie Ann Garland was “probably the daughter of Edward and Jane (Jennings) Garland”.29 Note that none of these sources identifies which Edward Garland is referred to,. This lack of clarity is what evidently caused the later confusion, for all of these accounts must be referring to Edward Garland Jr. as the husband of Jane Jennings, not Edward Garland Sr.
It seems obvious that it must have been Edward Garland Jr. who married a Jennings. For one thing, Sydnor descendants estimate Bessie Ann’s birth at about 1745, twenty-five years after Edward Garland Sr. died. For another, there is a compelling claim that Robert Jennings Jr. (son of the only Jennings in the area) married Edward Garland’s sister – surely he would not have married his own sisters child. [For more on this, see below].
If the 1912 query and 1922 article are indeed the earliest printed reference to Jane Jennings, then perhaps they were also the sources for all later statements.
Mrs. Virginia Armistead Garber, writing brief articles in Tyler’s Quarterly in 1932 and again in 1945, identified the same Jane Jennings (whom she called “’Mary’ Jane Jennings”) as the wife of the original Edward Garland Sr. Did she misunderstand the earlier article? She further stated, with no evidence whatsoever, that Edward Garland had three daughters: Mary (who married Edward Nelson in 1719), Margaret (who married William Overton), and Elizabeth (who married James Overton).30 The same information was repeated in a 1978 Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly article about the Nelson family.31 An abbreviated version appears in a 1941 query posted in the William and Mary Quarterly.32
Another genealogy published in the William and Mary Quarterly in 1928 appears to contradict the claim of only three daughters, identifying the wife of John Cosby as “Martha Garland the daughter of Edward Garland Sr. son of Peter Garland who came to Virginia in 1650…”33 (This is evidently based on one of John Cosby’s grandsons being named Garland Anderson.) This same genealogy, in abbreviated form, also appears in the 1928 volume of the Compendium of American Genealogy.34 Note that neither version of this 1928 pedigree mentions Edward Garland’s wife. But when the same genealogy was printed in the 1942 Compendium volume, Edward Garland’s wife had mysteriously become “Jane Hensley”.35 The “Jane Hensley” identification appears again, and quite briefly, in a 1975 publication by the Colonial Dames.36 This and later mentions of her seem to have sprung from the 1942 Cosby genealogy.
The “Compendium” contains two other references to Edward Garland Sr., neither of which identifies his wife’s surname. In a genealogy in the 1930 volume which mentions his grandson David, no wife is mentioned.37 In the 1933 volume, his wife is identified only as “Jane”.38
I assume that more recent published genealogies are based on one or more of these early ones.
Nowhere in any of these articles is any evidence offered. Nor do any of them explain the reasoning or produce a source. It appears that both “Jane Jennings” and “Jane Hensley” are imaginary women. Let’s dispose of “Jane Hensley” first. Nowhere in the records of St. Peter’s or St. Paul’s is anyone named Hensley (or anything like it) mentioned. And the earliest printed reference of her name is made in a notoriously unreliable source.39 The original source of the “Jane Jennings” statement appears to be a misunderstanding, as suggested by the 1922 article quoted above.
The Real Garland – Jennings Connection?
Jennings researchers claim that Robert Jennings Jr. married Mary, the daughter of Edward Garland Sr. This, of course, is mutually exclusive with the notion that Edward Garland Sr. was married to Jane Jennings. Jane Jennings (if she existed) must have been the daughter or sister of Robert Jennings, and her daughter surely would not have married his son.
This theory is, however, perfectly consistent with the hypothesis above that Edward Garland Jr. married a Jane Jennings, a daughter of Robert Jennings. The notion that two children of Edward Garland Sr. both married children of Robert Jennings Sr. is quite attractive because it explains both the closeness of the second generation of these families as well as neatly accommodating both theories of a Garland-Jennings connection.
There are two arguments in favor of this theory. First, there was no Jennings in the area who might have produced a daughter married to Edward Garland, but Robert Jennings Sr. probably did have a daughter or two of the right age to marry Edward Garland Jr. Second it explains the use of the Garland name in the third and fourth generations of the Jennings family.
The only Jennings living in the Hanover – New Kent County area was Robert Jennings, the baptism of whose sons John (1698) and William (1702) appear in the St. Peter’s parish register. No Jennings appears in the list of landowners for the 1689 processioning, and no Jennings patented land in New Kent or Hanover. Yet Robert Jennings owed quit rents on 100 acres in the year 1704. Added to the fact that he had an elder son named Robert whose baptism is not found in the St. Peter’s register, the logical conclusion is that he did not arrive in the New Kent area until perhaps the mid-1690s.40 Robert Jennings lived in what became Hanover County and served as a vestryman alongside Edward Garland in St. Paul’s parish. He died in late 1716, for at a vestry meeting on 22 October 1716 a replacement was elected for “Robt Jennings lately deceased”.41 His eldest son was Robert Jennings Jr. who was apparently of age in 1708 when he was assigned alongside Robert Jennings Sr. as a processioned.42 Robert Jennings Jr., who was not only quite prominent in civil and vestry affairs but who became quite wealthy as well, left a will in Hanover dated 6 December 1750 and proved 6 July 1758 which identifies his wife as Mary and two sons named John Garland Jennings and Robert Jennings.43 The sons carried on the Garland name, as Robert Jennings III named his own eldest son Robert Garland Jennings. From this we can hypothesize that Robert Jennings Jr.’s his wife Mary may well have been Mary Garland. If so, the only possible father would have been Edward Garland Sr.
Peter Garland: Father of Edward Garland?
The 1928 account which suggests that Edward Garland was a son of Peter Garland (and all subsequent publications) refer to a Peter Garland who came to Virginia about 1650. This is apparently a conclusion drawn from patent records, which show the same Peter Garland claimed as a headright in three different patents for land in York County issued in 1650 and 1656.44 The same eight names, in the same sequence, appear as headrights in all three patents. The names were copied by clerks in the Governor’s office from headright certificates, meaning that the same certificate was used (illegally) for all three patents. Thus there was one, not three, Peter Garland. The fact that Edward Garland gave the name Peter to a son (perhaps the eldest) is intriguing, but doesn’t constitute proof that his own father was named Peter. Nor is there is any evidence whatsoever that the imported Peter Garland was related in any way to Edward Garland.
There was a Peter Garland, perhaps the same person, who shows up in 1655 in Isle of Wight County records. But he appears to have no relationship to Edward Garland of New Kent County.45
John Moone of Isle of Wight wrote an undated will, proved on 12 August 1655, in which he leaves to “Joanne Garland my wive’s daughter four female cattle & two [hogsheads of tobacco] to be delivered if she be living or her child be living… to Peter Garland my wive’s son-in-law one [hogshead of tobacco]…”46 John Moon was married to a widow named Prudence Wilson, thus Peter Garland was evidently married to her daughter Joan Wilson. Notice that the will does not indicate that the Garlands themselves were living in Isle of Wight at the time, although they were certainly there a few years later. When Prudence Moone herself died in March 1664 Peter Garland was security for administration of her estate by her son William Wilson.47 A year later, he was administrator of William Wilson, and claimed Wilson’s estate on behalf of Mary, Prudence, and Abigail Garland “daughters of my late wife” Joan Garland.48 Almost all Isle of Wight deeds before 1688 are missing, but two later deeds show that Peter Garland gave a tract of land to those daughters, evidently in 1660.49 He remarried to a woman named Grace and had five more children. Peter Garland left a will in Isle of Wight dated 6 September 1694 and proved in 1700 mentioning his wife Grace and sons Samuel and John, daughters Sarah (wife of William Mecone), Deborah (wife of William Daniel), and Anne.50 His son John, who was born in 1671 and died in 172751, was the only Garland listed in the Quit Rents of 1704 (with 100 acres) other than Edward Garland of New Kent.
- The Vestry Book and Register of St. Peter’s Parish, New Kent County, Virginia 1684 to 1786, edited by Dr. C. G. Chamberlayne, (Virginia State Library, 1937), pp20-22. In the processioning records of 1689, no Garlands are mentioned as landowners. Nor does any Garland appear in the St. Peter’s records other than the single register entry mentioned below. The land processioned in 1689 covered New Kent County, including what was later Hanover and Louisa. [↩]
- Chamberlayne, p357 (p13 of original). [↩]
- Virginia Patent Book 10, p182, pp241, and pp316. [↩]
- The Vestry Book and Register of St. Paul’s Parish, Hanover County, Virginia 1706-1786 edited by Dr. C.G. Chamberlayne, (Virginia State Library, 1940), pp89-90. [↩]
- Chamberlayne (St. Paul’s), p92. [↩]
- Chamberlayne (St. Paul’s), p94. [↩]
- Briefly, the land left by Edward Garland in his will to his son Edward Jr. was entailed – that is, instead of leaving the land outright to his son Edward Jr. he left him a lifetime interest, called a fee tail. When Edward Garland Jr. died, the land would automatically descend to Edward Jr.’s eldest son. That son would likewise hold only a lifetime interest after which it would descend to his own eldest son, and so in perpetuity. The practical effect of entailing the land was that the descendants could not sell the land or dispose of it in their own wills. (See a complete explanation of entail elsewhere on this website.) At this time in Virginia, only an act of the legislature could break the entail and convert title to fee simple. David Garland, eldest son of Edward Garland Jr., was moving to Lunenburg County and wanted to sell the land. He petitioned the General Assembly to break the entail on the Hanover County land so he could sell it and to transfer the entail to land he had recently purchased in Lunenburg County. The statute was passed in the session which began in February 1752, apparently sometime in mid or late March. [↩]
- Journals of the House of Burgesses, Volume 5 (1752-1755), p25. [↩]
- The Statutes at Large, William Waller Hening (Heritage Books, reprint 2003), Vol. VI. pp311. [↩]
- Hening, Volume IV, p113. [↩]
- Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 2, p24 and Vol. 23, No. 3, p30. These are from some preserved account books for the store of Thomas Partridge in Hanover County. [↩]
- Chamberlayne (St. Paul’s), pp271. [↩]
- Chamberlayne (St. Paul’s), p256. [↩]
- Chamberlayne (St. Paul’s), p92 (election as vestryman) and p107 (election as churchwarden). [↩]
- Chamberlayne (St. Paul’s), p101 and William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 1. (1912), p59 (his bond as sheriff dated 5 June 1735). [↩]
- Chamberlayne (St. Paul’s), p182. [↩]
- Chamberlayne (St. Paul’s), p185. [↩]
- Chamberlayne (St. Paul’s), p316. [↩]
- Virginia Patent Book 11, p12. [↩]
- Louisa County Deed Book A, p175 contains a 1744 deed adjoining “Garland’s Orphans” for land which clearly adjoined the 1719 patent to John Garland. As noted above, Edward Garland has sold his adjoining patent. [↩]
- Chamberlayne (St. Paul’s), p134. See also p138 for the election of the replacement fro John Garland, deceased. [↩]
- Ibid., p118) Land he must have inherited from his father was processioned in St. Paul’s in both 1727 and 1731, but in the next available processioning in 1744 the district included the land of “John Garland’s Orphans”. ((Chamberlayne (St. Paul’s), p306. Note that the district also included the land of Peter Garland and Edward Garland (the former Jr.) was one fo the overseers appointed for that district. [↩]
- Virginia Patent Book 11, p141. His brother’s patent issued more than two years earlier refers to this patent, meaning that Edward Garland Jr. had claimed the land by 1719. [↩]
- Louisa Deed Book A, p175. This is a 1744 deed from Samuel Goodwin which states that Edward Garland sold the patent to John Hinson, that all or part of it was subsequently was resold three times, and was now being sold for the fifth time. [↩]
- Hening, Volume 6, p312. [↩]
- Virginia Patent Book 13, p209. [↩]
- Hanover County Court Records, 1783 – 1792, p411 abstracted in the Valentine Papers, Vol. 1, p362. A deed from William Sydnor and his wife “Betsey” in 1789. [↩]
- Tyler’s Quarterly, Volume 4 (1922), p45-46. This is reproduced on pp489-90 of Genealogies of Virginia Families From Tyler’s Magazine…, Volume 3, (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1981). Note that there is a Bible of Edward Garland Sydnor, but it does not identify his parents. [↩]
- Historical Southern Families, Volume 19, Mrs. John Bennett Boddie (Genealogical Publishing Company, 1974), p173. Incidently, this reproduces Edward Garland Sydnor’s family Bible, in which he namesd his eldest daughter “Elizabeth Garland Sydnor”. [↩]
- Tyler’s Quarterly, Volume 13 (1938), pp185-187 and Tyler’s Quarterly, Volume 27 (1945), pp35-38. [↩]
- Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume 16, No. 1 (January 1978), p14. [↩]
- William and Mary Quarterly, 2nd Series, Volume 21, No. 1 (January 1941), p67. [↩]
- William and Mary Quarterly, 2nd Series, Volume 10, No. 3 (July 1930), p237 as part of “The Thompkins Family”. [↩]
- The Compendium of American Genealogy, Volume 3, ed. Frederick A. Virkus (F. A. Virkus Co., 1928), p424. [↩]
- The Compendium of American Genealogy, Volume 7, ed. Frederick A. Virkus (F. A. Virkus Co., 1942), p821. [↩]
- Seventeenth Century Ancestors of Members of National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century, (National Society Colonial Dames, 1975), p99. [↩]
- The Compendium of American Genealogy, Volume 4, ed. Frederick A. Virkus (F. A. Virkus Co., 1930), p82. [↩]
- The Compendium of American Genealogy, Volume 5, ed. Frederick A. Virkus (F. A. Virkus Co., 1933), p524. [↩]
- Experienced researchers regard The Compendium of American Genealogy as an unreliable source. For one thing, it entirely omits evidence for its claims. For another, the abbreviated pedigrees that comprise it were published without validation of any sort. As Virkus, the editor, notes in the introduction the pedigrees were compiled after World War I to establish the patriotic ancestry of contemporary individuals. [↩]
- The alternative is that he had been in the area all along but wasn’t old enough to own land in 1689. That is, perhaps he ws an orphan who reached maturity around 1690. That doesn’t explain why his eldest son’s birth and baptism would not appear in the parish register. Nor does it support the case that A female Jennings was in the area by 1689 as the wife of Edward Garland. I note that a Robert Jennings was one of 77 headrights used in a patent issued on 13 February 1673/4 for land in what was then New Kent but later King and Queen County (Patents 6, p502). That could conceivably be the same person. [↩]
- Chamberlayne (St. Paul’s), p75. [↩]
- Chamberlayne (St. Paul’s), p211. [↩]
- Although the will itself was lost along with the rest of the Hanover records, a descendant named Richard Jennings had the original document, which he contributed to the Virginia State Library. See Historical Southern Families, John Bennett Boddie, ed., (privately published 1960), p104 for an abstract. [↩]
- Virginia Patent Book 2, p384; Book 3, p384; and Book 4, p44. [↩]
- Not only are there no records suggesting a relationship, but in several decades of research in Isle of Wight and surrounding counties, I have never encountered a resident who migrated into the New Kent-Hanover-Louisa geography. [↩]
- Isle of Wight County Will Book A, pp81. [↩]
- Isle of Wight Commissions of Administrators 1661-1701, p7. [↩]
- Isle of Wight Commissions of Administrators 1661-1701, p10 and also see Wills and Deeds Book 2, p46. This means that William Wilson died without issue and thus his lands and estate were inherited by his nearest kin, the daughters of his deceased sister. [↩]
- Isle of Wight “Great Book”, Volume 2, p737 shows a deed in 1726 from Sarah and Mary Alverson for land described as that deeded from their [great]grandfather Peter Garland to their grandmother Abigail Garland on 10 March 1660. In Deed Book 2, p242 is a deed dated 22 September 1712 from John Gardner to Samuel Garland for 454 acres “belonging to my grandfather Peter Garland” who left it to his three daughters viz Mary Garland, Prudence Garland, and Abbygale Garland and “I am son and heir to Mary Garland.” [↩]
- Isle of Wight Wills & Deeds Book 1, p422. [↩]
- Isle of Wight Deed Book 1, p130 is a deposition by John Garland, age 23, on 11 October 1694. His will is at Will Book 3, p30. [↩]