Early Seays

Here is a lengthy report from Paul Reed with regard to the Hanover County Seay family, which I think all posters will find very interesting.

Raleigh F. (Sandy) Seay, Jr., Ph.D email: Sandy Seay


Hanover County SEAYS (Extracted from a larger report on Joseph SEAY)

       William SEAY was listed in the 1782 tax list taken April 10th. He was taxed for himself, one cow and three horses. In 1783 he was again taxed for himself, one cow and three horses, and again the same in 1784. WILLIAM SEAY DISAPPEARED FROM THE PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX LISTS AFTER 1784. HE WAS NOT LISTED IN 1785 OR ANY SUBSEQUENT LIST. He was not listed in the 1787 personal property tax lists for any Virginia or Kentucky county, all of which are published and indexed. This would indicate he died in 1784/5 in Hanover County. He had no land. As he was not yet ancient, he would have been under age sixty, he must have been born after 1725 . . . .

       The eldest SEAY in Hanover County was Hezekiah SEAY. Although it is known he owned land, he was not listed in the land tax books of Hanover County, which begin in 1782. He was listed in the Personal Property Tax lists from 1782 until 1789 . . . . He was listed with one slave (Tom) 1782-4, but in 1785 had Tom and George (over age 16), and Nan, Tom and Aggy (under age 16). In 1786 the elder Tom was gone, but George, Nan, the younger Tom, and Aggy were there with Dinah and several infants. The 1787 list indicated he had seven slaves, but did not name them. In 1788 he was down to four, and in 1789 three.

       Hezekiah SEAY payed the tithable for Thomas SEAY in 1784, who was then aged 16-21, and above 16 in 1786, when he was again living with Hezekiah, and again in 1788, when Hezekiah was taxed for two white tithables, but Thomas SEAY apparently turned twenty-one in 1789 when he was listed by himself with no slaves, horses or cattle. This fits chronologically with his first appearance at 16 in 1784. Thomas SEAY was therefore born in 1768. Thomas SEAY married Mary HARRIS, daughter of Micajah HARRIS, in Louisa County on 17 September 1789. William SPICER was a surety. As James SEAY the Revolutionary Veteran married Sarah SPICER in 1792 there definitely appears to be a relationship.

       Hezekiah SEAY was charged as a tithable through 1786. He was NOT tithable in 1787, which meant he was “ancient,” or aged sixty. He was not tithable in 1789 either. If Hezekiah SEAY turned sixty in 1787, Hezekiah must have been born in 1727, and therefore was probably about two years or so younger than Thomas SEAY, son of Isaac SEAY, presumed son of Mathew SEAY [trans. Note – subsequent to this report, Paul Reed proved conclusively that Isaac SEAY was Mathew SEAY’s son].

       James SEAY was charged to Hezekiah in 1787. As he was aged twenty-one in 1782, James was probably Hezekiah’s overseer. Chronology indicates that neither James nor Thomas SEAY were Hezekiah’s sons, but more probably grandsons taking care of the old man. Hezekiah SEAY sold five slaves, his furniture, horse and hogs to James SEAY together with the 194 acre tract he lived on on 10 December 1789. The purchase price was 266.7.6 Pounds.
       As Hezekiah is NOT listed in the land books for the 194 acres before 1790, it appears that land might have legally already belonged to someone else. James SEAY first appears in the land tax lists in 1790, but the 237 acres of land listed as being conveyed to him in that year was from the estate of John SEAY [Sr.], deceased. Did Hezekiah assume the land reverted back to him after John’s death? This is a strong indication that John SEAY [Sr.] was Hezekiah’s son and the father of James SEAY and John SEAY, Jr.

       Hezekiah SEAY gave his brother-in-law John HINES of Hanover County several slaves (Doreah, Aggey, Phillis, Rose and Billey) in consideration of the “natural love & Affection I bear” in August 1790. James SEAY was a witness and gave oath in court to prove the transaction. As several of these slaves were conveyed to James the previous year, it may be that Hezekiah wasn’t really in his senses. He probably died soon after. The personal property tax lists should reveal the year, if had anything taxable left after 1790.

       John SEAY “Sen’r” was taxed for himself, six slaves (George, Agnes, Tites, Ann, Tom and Agnes), eleven cows and five horses in 1782. In 1783 John SEAY and John SEAY, Jr., were taxed for three slaves above age sixteen (George, Aggey, and Phillis), three under sixteen (Tom, Aggey, and Nan), five cows and thirteen horses. As the two were taxed together the entry would be interpreted to mean that John SEAY, Jr., was the son of the elder John SEAY, and apparently at least twenty-one, or born before 1762. He was probably elder than James (born 28 February 1761) as he received more land from his father’s estate.

       John SEAY, Sr., was taxed for 437 acres in 1782. The 1783-6 land tax alterations are poorly arranged and still need to be searched. But the next year of the land tax, 1787, records John SEAY’s estate with 437 acres, indicating that John Seay, Sr., died between 1782 and 1787. The personal property tax lists record no John SEAY in 1784. That is the probable date the elder John died.

       John Seay, Jr., was taxed for one slave (Phyllis), two horses and four cattle in 1785, and two horses and five cattle (no slaves) in 1787. John and Hezekiah SEAY are described as having land bordering land of Joseph WOOLFOLK, William SPICER and others in 1787. Joseph WOOLFOLK’s father was a resident of Louisa County. John SEAY [Jr.] married Lucy ANTHONY by 2 March 1790, when her father, John ANTHONY, of St. Paul’s Parish, Hanover County, deed them a Negro named Charles for the sum of 5 shillings. John SEAY’s land bordered the Pamunky River. John SEAY apparently married a second time in 1801 in Louisa County to Jan WINDROW. John died between 1804, when he was taxed for 180 ¾ acres (he had conveyed 56 ½ of his 237 acres to Edward ROWZEE in 1803) and 1805, when John SEAY’s estate was taxed for 180 ¾ acres of land.

       A William SEAY first appears in the land tax books of Hanover County in 1809, when he was taxed for 91 acres “of Richard OWEN.” The personal property tax lists need to be checked after 1790 to account for him. At least the name William was still occurring in the family. In 1815 his land was described as bordering that of Jesse ANTHONY and Joseph F. PRICE, being 25 miles west of the court house. This ;might indicate he was son of John Seay [Jr.], as his wife’s name was Lucy Anthony.

       James SEAY applied for a Revolutionary War Pension on 25 November 1832, at age 71. He was born in Hanover County on 28 February 1761. He died on 10 December 1844, leaving a widow, Sarah SEAY (formerly SPICER), who applied for a widow’s pension on 30 August 1845. James was father of Woodson, Mathew, Caleb, Eliza, Martha, John and Sarah SEAY. Caleb SEAY married Jane B. SMITH in Louisa County by a bond dated 8 March 1824.

       Woodson SEAY’s son, George W. SEAY, married Elizabeth BUCHANAN in Louisa County, the bond being dated 15 March 1849. As Woodson SEAY is known to be a son of the veteran James SEAY, there is a proven connection between the Hanover County SEAYs and the Louisa County family.

       James SEAY consistently appears in the land tax books after 1790 being taxed for 200 acres. He appears to have conveyed at least 34 acres to William SPICER in 1794 and must have conveyed another parcel the same year as he was taxed for 151 ¼ acres in 1795-1807. He also acquired 16 ½ acres from Augustine WOOLFOLK in 1795 and 35 acres from Martin KENNEDY, both of which parcels he was taxed for from those dates through 1809. The 1813 land tax book described the 192 acres of James SEAY as being adjacent land of Martin KENNEDY and William ASHBY 28 miles west of the court house. The 180 ¾ acres belonging to the estate of John SEAY bordered land of William LUCK and Edward T. ROWZEE and was 25 miles west of the court house.

       IT STRIKES ME THAT THE NAMES HEZEKIAH AND WOODSON SEAY APPEAR IN THE RECORDS OF MCMINN/MEIGS/RHEA COUNTIES, TENNESSEE. Hezekiah appeared in the tax lists of Hanover County , as did the names John and William SEAY. As Jane R. SEAY, widow, died in McMinn County, Tennessee, leaving as heirs (1) Laurena Frances SEAY, wife of Galen B. GIDEON, (2) Elizabeth Jane SEAY, wife of Thomas S. KITCHENS, (3) Silas B. SEAY, (4) Hulda A. LEMONS 9who married Daniel LEMONS in Rhea County on 10 February 1842), (5) Littleton P. SEAY, (6) Barthena A. SEAY, (7) Hezekiah P. SEAY (who died 18 September 1882 without heirs, and (8) Bennette F. SEAY (deceased, who had three children).

       The Jane SEAY whose daughter was living with Thomas SEAY in Denton County, Texas, in 1860, married William HAFLEY in McMinn County in 1843. Woodson SEAY married Keziah LARREW in McMinn County on 20 August 1828. The 1830 census of Tennessee indicates that John SEAY, of McMinn County, was born about 1790-1800, or old enough to be the son of the Revolutionary War veteran James SEAY of Hanover County, Virginia. The 1830 census indicates that Woodson SEAY of McMinn County was born 1810-15, and therefore might be a grandson of the veteran James SEAY, rather than his son, although it is not unusual to have a spread of sixteen years between children in a family of seven or eight children (Woodson SEAY was listed first among the children in the pension application and would therefore be expected to be the eldest, born about 1793/4).

       Sarah (SPICER) SEAY married James SEAY on 26 December 1792. She was aged 84 on 9 May 1855, still residing in Hanover County, indicating a birthdate on 1771.

       A William SEA was listed in Captain GIBBS’ Company of the Knox County Militia in 1812, being tithed for himself and 100 acres of land. William SEAY was a name that appeared in the Hanover County tax lists from the first year they were kept in 1782. The William SEAY of Tennessee also owned land in Knoxville. The question arises, was there a Hanover County connection with this William SEAY, too?

       One last note. The Revolutionary War veteran Samuel SEAY stated he was born in Amelia County, Virginia, on 12 April 1760. He and his brother, Jacob, with other siblings, were children of Moses SEAY (son of Jacob SEAY of Amelia County) and Elizabeth LUCK, daughter of Samuel LUCK.

       Samuel LUCK, Sr., of Spottsylvania County, sold land in Hanover County to his son, Samuel JR., on 8 November 1784. The land joined land of John Sea [sic] and the Pamunkey River. The birth of Samuel, son of John LUCK, was recorded on 18 September 1709 in the St. Peter’s Parish Vestry Book, New Kent County. A deed of gift was recorded in Amelia County on 28 March 1765. In it Samuel LUCK described Moses SEAY as his son-in-law. LUCK was at that time described as a resident of Hanover County. He didn’t buy land in Spottsylvania County until 30 July 1784. Samuel LUCK’s will was dated 16 June 1787 and proved in Spottsylvania County on 2 October 1787. It includes his daughter, Elizabeth SEAY, among his children. Samuel SEAY’s journal recorded that “Grandfather Luck departed this life, August 6th 1787.”

       As Samuel LUCCC was always a resident of Hanover County before his daughter’s marriage, it would appear that Samuel SEAY must have married Elizabeth LUCK in Hanover County. As his land bordered that of John SEAY [Sr. and Jr.], it would appear that the Hanover County SEAY’s had some relationship with the Amelia County family. If this were so it would seem to tie all together as descendants of Mathew SEAY. Doesn’t that make your mind whirl a little?

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