Men and Manors
In the South Branch Valley

Submitted by: Sara Stevens Patton

Between 1745 and 1797, the South Branch Valley lay within the boundaries of the Fairfax "Northern Neck" land grant, bordered on the north by the Potomac River and in the south by the Hardy-Rockingham county border, extended through Cabins, WV to the headwaters of the northern branch of the Potomac. Within this South Branch portion of his proprietary lands, Lord Fairfax created at least four separate tracts or manors including the South Branch Manor, the South Fork, the Wappacomo or Great South Branch of the Potowmack, and the Peterson Creek Manor. Each was subdivided into lots of a few hundred acres, most to be leased out for the term of 21 years (the life of the tenant) or more, at an annual fee of 25 shillings per hundred acres.

The two primary manors, consisting of about 55,000 acres each, were located along the South Branch of the Potomac. The Wappacomo, or Great South Branch of the Potowmack (sic), lay on both sides of the South Branch River from its mouth on the Potomac to the southern end of the Trough near Old Fields. The "South Branch Manor" extended from the southern tip of the Trough along the river south and west to the Petersburg area to the Royal Glen Gorge and included the lower portions of Mill Creek and Lunice Creek. The third tract lay on the South Fork from its mouth near Moorefield, south to Brake. This tract included only 18 lots. Another 10,000 acres situated along Patterson Creek was divided into 31 lots, extending from Headsville to just southwest of Russeldale on today's maps.

The best description of the South Branch Valley manor lands, their somewhat complicated history, geography, tenure agreements, and the names of the earliest settlers associated with these manors (ca. late 1740s-1750s) appears in two excellent articles by Charles Morrison entitled "Early Fairfax Land Grants and Leases Along the South Branch of the Potomac," in West Virginia History, V37 (Oct 1976), pp. 1-22 and "Early Land Grants and Settlers Along Patterson Creek," in West Virginia History, V40 (Winter 1979), pp. 164-199. Morrison indicates that the rental lists for the South Branch Manor found in the Library of the WV Dept of Archives and History are incomplete, not completely accurate, and undated (though internal evidence shows them to be prior to 1763). But they do include many of names of the lessees or those associated with him, perhaps as witness or bondsman.

The Patterson Creek, South Fork and Wappacomo manors have been mapped by lot number. Armed with a list of names of the lessees or deed holders, one could actually "find" the location of the deed on a plat of these three manors. Unfortunately, there seems to be no plat or reconstructed map for the South Branch Manor. Various maps and research notes regarding these manor lands, primarily the works of Charles Morrison and Galtjo Geertsema, can be found in the Hardy County Public Library.

It is important to remember that other families and individuals may have been living in the greater South Branch Valley on non-manor lands. Many had claimed the land prior to the Fairfax survey. And, of course, new settlers continued to arrive throughout the remainder of the eighteenth century. To add to the confusion, parts of the Fairfax grant in this area lay in Frederick County (north of the Trough), and those south lay in Augusta County. Since leases for this land was considered a private transaction with Lord Fairfax, they were not generally recorded in the county deed books, though references can be found in Hampshire, Hardy, Frederick and Augusta County records. Many of the Northern Neck land records are available at the Virginia State Library and the Library of the West Virginia Department of Archives and History. A few published abstracts of Northern Neck warrants, surveys and grants are also available, specifically in works by Peggy Shomo Joyner and Gertrude E. Grey.

The original data as recorded by Charles Morrison is listed alphabetically. By rearranging this data using numerical lot numbers or grouped by creek name, it is possible to discern geographical proximity and sometimes the actual location of a given farmstead or "plantation." This is useful in genealogical research because often it is the names of such neighbors that appear as witnesses on wills, estate appraisers, adjacent neighbors on land deeds, or bondsmen on other documents. Family researchers may also notice how often the maiden name of a wife appears as a neighboring name to the husband's family. Those listed below are thought to be among the earliest, settling in the late 1740s and early 1750s. I have listed them in numerical order by lot number. Locations are based on notes in deed records or other sources, and from reconstructed maps.

South Branch Manor Lands
Arranged Numerically

It appears that the South Branch Manor lot numbers began at the south end of the Trough (#1) near Old Fields, south to Moorefield (#20s), southwest to Petersburg (#60s) and west to the "Manor Line." The following list gives the lot number (where available), name of the renter, acreage (abbreviated as "a.") and approximate location (such as "South end of the Trough". E and W probably refer to East or West side of the river. Two or more names may appear on one lot if it was subdivided.

Lot #NameAcreage& Approximate Location
(from Morrison or other sources)
  1John Renick215a(South end of Trough)
  2Abraham Hite668a(also 71 a - no location given)
  3Christian Snider190a 
  3John Snivey/ Sively 77a 
  5Harry Glebe210a 
  7Daniel McNeal320a 
  8Matthew Gilmore155a, etc. 
  9James Christian52a 
  9John McNeal437a 
13Christopher Cocke/ Cox133a 
Joseph Inskip133acre,etc. 
14EGeorge Reed/ Reid135a, etc. 
15WJohn Lawrence124a 
15EPatrick Linch/ Lynch166a 
17Hampton Manor
(Noah Hampton?)
17John Renick122a(also on Lot 1)
19Jonathon Heath105a 
20Charley Lynch  
Linches Mill280a"Mill Track" mouth of South Fork in Moorefield
21Henry Maun78a 
21ESamuel Beall212a 
22Charles Loyns/ Lynch81a 
Conrad Moore62a(Site of Moorefield)
23Charles Lynch116a 
24Stephen Heart/ Heard50a 
24Simon Hornback137a 
25James Cunningham150a 
25Samuel Hornback150a 
26Henry March/ Marsh103a, etc. 
27John Bishop83a 
27ERichard Cartright/ Cutwright86a 
28Moses Hutton580a, etc. 
29David Castleman119a 
31WMichael Alt24a(also has 78 acres on 73W)
33E[dward] Williams235a 
33Isaac Hornback235a 
35Ratliff or Westfall95a 
36ELuke Collins322a(corner to 36 E)
37WWm Ashby45a 
40Michael Sea216a(including an island in the river)
42Wm Cunningham242a(also has lot 57 W)
43Robt Cunningham338a 
43John Pancake52a, etc. 
44WJohn Kimble100a, etc.  
45John Briggs55a 
46Anthony Baker45a(near Durgontown-Baker Rock)
46John Miller45a 
48John Harness271a 
49EJacob Harness249a 
49EAlexander Liggett175a, etc. 
50Matthias Hite8a, etc. 
52Jacob Hinkle130a 
52WHenry Landers130a 
55Andrew Byrn76a 
55Christopher Huffman168a 
55Seighman Hour59a 
55John Miller76a 
57WWm Cunningham68a 
58Adam Hyder104a 
59Anthony Badgely20a 
59Lewis Bush77a 
60ERudolph Hyer/ Hire165a 
61Randolph Shobe (Petersburg area )
61ELeonard Hyer/Hire223aFt. George here or adjacent lot
(east side of river, opposite Petersburg)
63Jacob Shobe169a 
63WMichael Hornback16a 
64Martin Power (s)130a 
65Christopher Hermantrout/ Armentrout266a 
66Martin Shobe300a 
66Henry Steel105a 
67Jacob Stooky120a 
70WJohn Cochran55a 
71John Robinson139a 
73WMichael Alt78aAlso Lot 31W
76Benjamin Bean114a 
77WJames Cooberly129a 
82McKenny Robinson55a 
84Valentine Power41a 

No lots given but all appear to be living in Petersburg area:

—— Thomas Arby1500a Along Mudlick Run
—— George Burn/ Byrne     193aAlong Mill Creek
—— Michael Hahn60aMill Creek
——Benjamin Jones311aMill Creek
——Edward McGuire1045aMill Creek
——Daniel Richardson465aMill Creek at Manor Line
——John & Henry Wilson258aMill Creek
——Leonard Harness202a, etcLooney's Creek
——Abraham Kuykendall120aLooney's Creek
——James Scott400aLooney's Creek
——Joseph Watson322a, etc.Adjoining his own land on Luney's Creek
——Job Welton172aLooney's Creek
——John Welton244aLooney's Creek
——Jacob Westfall140aLooney's Creek
——John Westfall42aLooney's Creek
——George Whitman90a, etc.Claylick Run, draft of Looney's Creek
——David Welton373aFlats

Other names without lot numbers or creeks; some may have been witnesses or bondsmen.

  Maunis Alkier405a
  James Anderson
  Henry Batten100a
  Wm Bonner
  Bryan Bruin425a, etc.
  Richard Byrn100a
  Michael Carr89a
  Samuel Cartwright137a W (27?)
  Peter Casey620a
  Robert Clark16a
  James & Jonathon Cockburn/ Coburn(Near mouth of Mill Creek at Petersburg according to George Washington diaries)
  John Collins119a
  John Conrad
  Couchman/ Coughman
  Friend Cox195a
  Christian Dasher/ Tosher200a, etc.
  Samuel Delay
  John & James Delm/ Delham31a
  Samuel Dew182a
  Robert Ferguson100a
  Adam Fisher(Neighbors of Harness, Parson, See)
  John Fisher
  John Foxcroft352a, etc.
  John Francis181a
  Christian Funk42a
  John Wm. Geinitz51a
  Eve Glaze133a
  Henry Hamilton106a
  Noah Hampton
  Conrad Harness
  George Harness160a
  Isaac Harness
  Michael Harness249a(West side of river, south of Fisher, across from golf course today)
  William Haton63a
  Jacob Helmick100a
  John Hogban60a
  Daniel Hole88a
  Anthony Hornback81a
  Daniel Hornback152a
  Joel Hornback
  John Howard
  John Inskip89a
  James Keith110a
  Henry Kerr215a
  Humphrey Keys170a
  Peter Kuykendall
  Henry Lancisco/ Lanciscus
  William Lane209a
  Thomas Larry89a
  John Legate/ Liggett181a
  Enock Leonard150a
  Job Little60a
  Jacob Long158a
  Luny/ Looney
  Nehemiah Martin150a
  Philip Mason82a
  Nicolas Mass32a
  Robert Maxwell18a
  Jacob May175a
  John McCulloch
  Elizabeth McCullough
  Thomas McGuire463a
  Daniel McLaughlin100a
  Philip Moore138a
  G.[George] Murray
  William Naylor
  William Norman119a
  John or Joseph O'Bannon/ OBannion
  Adam O'Bryan85a
  Robert Owen100a
  Andrew Pancake285a
  Robert Parker232a
  Baulden Parsons161a
  James Parsons145a
  Thomas Parsons22a(Neighbor to See & Fisher)
  Peter Peters214a
  Martin Peterson
  Thomas Price
  Henry Pringle
  Samuel Pringle
  Peter Rambo182a
  Benjamin Ratliff131a
  John Reagar
  John Reed100a
  Solomon Reed396a
  Peter Reid
  George Renick367a, etc.
  William Renick108a
  Daniel Richards140a (Also at Mill Creek)
  Benjamin Robinson49a
  John Ross100a
  Philip Ross150a
  John Royce228a
  William Ruby90a
  James Rutledge500aAdjacent South Branch Manor
  Benjamin Scott35a
  David Scott
  John Scott351a
  Frederick See
  George See
  Felix Seymour450a
  James Seymour
  Abram Shobe
  Rudolph Shobe186a
  Lawrence Shock/ Schrick46a
  Herman Shook
  Charles Smith155a
  E[dward] Smith
  William Smith400a
  John Spohr/ Spohre215a
  Philip Swank78a
  James Tarpley20a
  Tapley Taylor349a
  Michael Thorn405a
  Peter Thorn
  Robert Travis55a
  Andrew Trumbo232a
  Garratt VanMeter298a
  Isaac & Joseph VanMeter129a
  Jacob Van Meter235a, etc.Adjoining his own land on Spoor'/Spohr's Run
  John VanMeter
  Joseph VanMeter288a
  Andrew Waggener100a
  John Walker
  Cornelius Ward20½ a
  Henry Welton
  Jesse Welton243a
  Jonathon Welton
  Mary Welton
  Solomon Welton412a
  William Welton
  Abel Westfall
  Thomas Wheeler106a
  John Williams270a, etc.
  Mary Williams
  Richard Williams232a
  William H. Wilson
  Andrew Wodrow100a
  John Wood9a
  Thomas Wood312a
  George Yokum
  John Yokum119a
  Mathias Yocum  Near mouth of South Fork
  Ebenezer Zane Near Old Fields
  Elizabeth Zane
  William Zane

South Fork Names

The twenty lots along the South Fork were numbered sequentially beginning at the upper end of the South Fork at the Fairfax line and ending (#20) at the South Branch Manor Line near the mouth of the South Fork where Moorefield is located today.

Lot #NameAcreage& Approximate Location
1& 2 Peter Reed680a(Starting near Brake, mouth of Dumpling Run)
3 Michael Stump366a
5 Anthony Reagar375a
6 Anthony Regarr/Reager498a
7 Herman Choke/Shoker400a
 (Elias Cellars mentioned in Washington survey)
9 Abel Westfall400a
10Abram Vanderpool432 or 462a
 (Occupied by Michael Catt Lives on at time of original survey)
11Leonard Naff/Neff/Nave432a
12Michael Stump510a
13Jacob Westfall400a
14James Simpson400a
15Philip Moore238a
17Henry Shepler294a
 (Washington describes Lots 16 and 17 under single survey, mentioning Henry Harris and Widow Wolfe houses on the tract)
18George Osborne396a
 (Washington also gives "Jeremiah Osborne")

1747-1749 Deeds and Leases on Wappacomo or Great South Branch,
Below the Trough (from Old Fields to the Potomac)

Recreated map in Hardy Co. Public Library shows many of the lots straddling the river, others side by on either side of the river. Lots along the Wappacomo were numbered sequentially beginning with #1 at the Trough and ending with #64 at the mouth of the South Branch. #6 was at the mouth of Buffalo Run, #18 at Romney, and #28 at Hanging Rock (Wapocomo).

Lot #NameAcreage& Approximate Location
1Peter Kirkendall420a
2Henry VanMeter405a
3Conrad Hoffman398a
4William Miller433a
5Mathias Kirkendall337a
6Jonathan Cockburn250a
7John Kirkendall448a
8Benjamin Kirkendall291a
9John Decker400a
10Giles Sullivant415a
11James Fannin347a
12Garrat Decker380a
13Peter Tostee403aBoth sides of river at mouth of McDowell's Run
14Reuben Keyser406a(lease)
15William Buffington413a
16Maj. Samuel Eyrle 323a
17William Watson217a
18Laid off in a Town called Romney350a
20John Collins425a NW of Romney on east side of river
21Peter Casey356a
22Benjamin Foreman300aeast slope of Mill Creek Mtn.
24John Colvil369a
25John or Benjamin Foreman400a
26Benjamin Foreman400a
27 John Blew304a
28Lodowick Castlemain300a
29Lodowick Castlemain404a
30Michael Pruntee312a
31John Welton243a
32Peter Peters232a
34Rev. Jacob Townshend203a
35Oliver Cremer385a
36William Cartman400a
38John Cunningham430a
41George Cowin219a
42Thomas Rennick270a
44John Parker350a
45James Ross400a
46James Ross236a
48Thomas Bromsey416a
49Edward McGuire346a
50Jasper Sutton, et al.400a
51John Martin's heirs400a(lease)
52George Hogg/Hoge400a
53George Hogg/Hoge400a
54Francis Ross400a
55Francis Ross456a
56Thomas Walker238a
57Robert Rutherford231a
58Edward Ruth251a
60Thomas Bryan Martin312a
61John French246a
62John French300a
63Thomas Bryan Martin 360a
64John Hopkins310aMouth of the South Branch at the Potomac


The thirty one lots along Patterson Creek north of Petersburg consist of lots 1-13 fronting or on both sides of the river itself. Lots 14 to 31 run adjacent to these river lots on the west. Names listed in 1762 survey as those who occupied or claimed lots of Patterson Creek Manor.

Lot #NameAcreage& Approximate Location
1Thomas Douthitt162½About 35 miles south of Burlington on west side of Patterson Creek
2George Corn299a
3Solomon Hedges625aJust northwest of Russelldale
4Benjamin Rutherford529a
5Lord Fairfax561a
6Edward Corn and Philip Langly421aAt Burlington on both sides of the river
7Timothy Corn333a
8Windle Miller280a
9John Ramsey278a
10Joseph Barker/Parker295a
11Robert Bell330a
12Charles Savours and Samuel McMurray371a
13Nicholas Seavours292½aJust south of Headsville on Patterson Creek
14John Moffitt296a
17John Hared201

Wild Meadow Run was Hamptons Run; Mill Creek was Ed. Corns Run; Staggs Run was Parkers Mill Run

1748-1749 Grants on Patterson Creek
Below (North Of) Patterson Creek Manor

Lot #NameAcreage& Approximate Location
1George Parker399a
2John Adam Long293a
3Nicholas Reaner277a
4John Ratan354a
5Abram Johnson293a
6David Thompson312a
8Power Hasel328a
10Nicolas Crist167a
11Joseph Hamlin289a
12John Parker312a
13Mathew Rogers &379a
 Jacob Good394a
15Joseph Walter238a
21Joseph Robinson332a
22Philip Martin283a (Nephew of Lord Fairfax)
XCapt. John Greenfield200a

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