RANKIN: Northern Neck of Virginia

NN Timeline1.htm

RANKIN: Northern Neck of Virginia

Time Line c1650 – c1825

compiled April 2010 by LSS

from correspondence dating back to 1985

Most information herein comes from the research of Henry Rankin Jr. and extractions by my gen-buddy Rhoda Fone. At the time of our last correspondence, Henry was actively searching for a direct connection between this group of Rankins and "our George" who settled in the valley of Virginia around 1740. Henry was convinced the extended families knew about each other and he fully expected to discover they communicated directly with each other. Several years passed before I decided to do any actual research on this line myself. That’s when Rhoda Fone graciously offered to share the RANKIN entries from her personal collection of northern neck Virginia sources. Even more importantly, she shared her knowledge of other families in the area.

An abbreviated source is listed with each entry, followed at the end of the time line by "as complete as I can provide" publication data. Everything I have and everything I know about these Rankins is presented here. All geographic areas are found in Virginia unless otherwise stated. Being aware of the changing county and parish lines is a must when working in Virginia; the most relevant of these is included here. Personal comments are hopefully all italicized; but, italics doesn’t always carry over into cyberspace and I apologize for any personal statements that aren’t clearly identified as such. As with all things, everyone should take these entries as offered: good clues directing individuals towards more research opportunities. Linda Sparks Starr copyrighted 2010


1648 Northumberland Co. created from the Indian District of Chickacoan [Handybook]

1652 Lancaster Co. created from parts of Northumberland and York Counties [Handybook]

1656 Creation of "Old" Rappahannock County from parts of Lancaster Co. [Handybook]

Farnham Parish (a.k.a. Upper Parish) was formed at the same time. [Cocke]

1666 Stafford County was created from parts of Westmoreland County [Handybook] 1664 is date given [Cocke] Upper Parish became Stafford, then Overwharton, Parish [Ibid p. 171]

Christ Church Parish was created by re-combining the recently divided Lancaster Parish

and Piankatank Parish. Located on the South side of the Rappahannock River, it fell into Middlesex County when that county was created from parts of Lancaster County. [Cocke] The part of Middlesex County that lay on the North Side of the Rappahannock River was known an St. Mary’s White Chapel Parish; however, records suggest Christ Church Parish was never legally divided and White Chapel was actually just a precinct of Christ Church Parish. [Ibid]

1674 Middlesex County was created from part of Lancaster County. [Handybook]

1683 Farnham Parish was divided into North and South Farnham Parish, the river being the

dividing line. [Cocke]

1692 Richmond and Essex Counties were created. The area of "Old" Rappahannock County

that lay north of the Rappahannock River became Richmond County and the part on the south side

became Essex County. Rappahannock County ceased to exist. (In 1833 the current county by that

name was created from an area that never was within the borders of "Old" Rappahannock County.)


1702 Overwharton Parish (Stafford County) first appears in records. It was the new name

for Upper or Stafford Parish. The name Chotank Parish was changed to St. Paul’s Parish. Both

parishes remained in Stafford Co. until 1776 when new lines moved the part of St. Paul’s in Stafford

Co. into King George Co. [Cocke]

1720 King George was created from part of Westmoreland and part of Richmond County.

[Handybook] Hanover Parish constituted the upper part of King George Co. [Cocke]

1727 Prince William Co. created from parts of King George and Stafford. [Handybook]



1666 approximate birth year John Rankin who was about 38 years old in 1704 when he gave a deposition in Richmond Co. Court. [Fleet p. 28]

1682 Isle of Wight Co. VA will William Yarrett was witnessed by J. Rankin. [Henry] LSS: Several families residing on the south side of the James River did migrate into the northern neck area of Virginia around this time frame. Whether this "J" is the John born c1666 is unproven.

1688 "The Clark papers state that the Rankins family were settled in the area now King George Co. VA as early as 1688 and were related to the family of Chief Justice John Marshall." [Cloyd]


1691 August 6 (will date) Thomas Dusen of Farnham Parish, Rappahannock Co. (probated 7 June 1704.) Entire estate to wife Susannah. wit: William Smith, James Rankin, Charles Dodson [Headley citing f69v] Richmond County Court 1704: James Rankin witness to will Thomas Dusen of Farnham Parish, Richmond County [Henry citing Richmond Co. Wills & Inventories (1699-1709)]

1692 May 5 Richmond Court: It is ordered that John Rankin [ I ], as marrying the exrx of John Overton doe appare at the next Cort & give an accot of the Estate of ye sd Overton & security for the same. [Richmond Order Bk] LSS: My notes don’t indicate which transcriber – Sam & Ruth Sparacio or John Frederick Dorman.

1693 Richmond County Court: Elizabeth Hill, wife of John Hill of Farnham Parish, POA to trusty friend John Rankin [Fleet vol. 17 p. 28]

March 10 (will date) Richmond Co. will of Elizabeth Grady was witnessed by John Rankin, Thomas Durham, Richard Draper. [Headley citing f53v]

1694 November 20 Land Grant to John Rankin 32 acres on Marrettico Creek, Richmond Co. surveyed by Mr. Edwin Conway, adjacent Mr. John Ockley, Mr. John Overton. [Gray citing Grants Book 2 p. 63; Crozier citing Grants Book 2 p. 63] LSS: Was this the widow’s dower portion from Overton’s estate?

1696 October 2 Adam Woffendall [gave] 70 acres to his daughter Elizabeth Harrison. [Rhoda citing Richmond Co. Deeds Book] LSS: Henry, possibly quoting Cloyd, citing George H. S. King: "... daughters of a second marriage for Adam Woffendale were Elizabeth Kendall, Ann Thornley and Mary Woffendale. Rhoda: "Adam’s daughter, Elizabeth married Robertson Harrison before October 1696 and his daughter, Mary Woffendale, married Benjamin Strother before 1703. I think perhaps [the above three] were instead daughters of Francis Woffendale, the son of Adam, and thus were granddaughters of Adam. LSS: This seems the more logical explanation based on other records mentioned herein. Thus my reason for suspecting Henry was later one generation off on the Woffendale line.


1700 December 8 Lancaster Co. (will date) John Bertrand of White Chapell Parish witnessed by John Rankin, Jos. Jones and Jno Mathews. Probated 1702. This will gave "to John Rankin a ring of ten shillings priced to compensate." [Lee]

1703 April 25 (probate date) Richmond Co. will Adam Woffendale naming sons Harrison, Strother and Francis and daughters Sarah and Mary. [Henry citing Richmond DB 2 p. 61]

LSS: Rhoda Fone is credited with the realization the words in this will were taken too literally. Other Richmond records prove Robert Harrison and Benjamin Strother married daughters of Adam Woffendale; thus he was naming his sons-in-law by their surnames, and not his own biological sons as several researchers show the family. His biological son Francis is the only son named in the will; the eldest son is not. Under primogeniture eldest sons received all the real property not mentioned in the will or deeded in his father’s lifetime to others. We think the eldest son was James; but to date, a documentable statement identifying James Woffendale as Adam’s son hasn’t surfaced. See entry 26 Oct 1746 for additional support for this James.

1704 Richmond Co. Court: John Rankin, aged about 38 years old, gave a deposition [Fleet p. 28]

1706 Stafford Co.: James Rankin, mariner of London, buys 320 acres at mouth of Pohink Creek in Prince William Co. on survey of William Green. In 1736 notice given land was escheatable and bought by Rev. Dr. Green in 1741. [Gray citing Grants Bk E 1736-1742 p. 299]

1707 April 2 Richmond Court: Petition of Richard Seavious, servant to John Rankin, for his Freedome continued till next Court; ordered that John Rankin do allow Seavior the terme of four dayes to procure his evidence in this behalfe ... [Sparacio p. 3 citing Richmond Order Bk 1707-1708] May 7 Court: Richard Savor agst John Rankin for Freedome &c is dismist; Plt not appearing [Ibid p. 15]

November 3 Richmond Court: Frances Brooke, only daughter Matthew Brooke, late of this county dec’d ... chooses John Rankin her guardian; Order granted him to administer upon the estate of Matthew Brooke dec’d with John Dalton his surety. ... William Moote, George Devenport, Richard White and Edmond Overton to appraise the Brooke estate [Sparacio p. 52 citing Richmond Order Bk 1707-1708] LSS: Likely the same John who married the widow of John Overton and thus is John Rankin born c1666.

1709 September 2 (survey date) Joseph Carr of Stafford Co. 326 acres on Patowmack River below Dogues Creek adjacent James Rankins, William Green. Warrant 26 January last, survey by Thos. Gregg [Gray citing Grants Bk 3 1703-1710 p. 226] LSS: This James is the mariner of London. [see entry for 1736 land grant to Rev. Dr. Green.] Henry, using the same data identifies him as "probable son of John Rankins Sr. (a.k.a. John I or John born c1666).

December 30 (will date) John Mills of Farnham Parish witnessed by John Rankin, Thomas White, Winfred Southern. [Henry citing Richmond Co. Wills & Inventories (1709-1717) p. 37; Headley citing Wills & Inventories 1709-1717] LSS: Henry adds Mills’ had daughter Elizabeth (b. 1682) and others. 7 February 1711/12 The LWT of John Mills, late of this county dec’d was proved by oathes of John Rankin and Thomas White ... upon ye motion of Hester Mills, Executrix, a probate granted [Sparacio p. 7 citing Richmond Co. Order Bk 1710-1711]


1711 March 7 Richmond Court; Action of debt brought by Mary Jeffreys, Admrx Edward Jeffreys dec’d, against John Rankins is dismist; Plt not prosecuting. [Sparacio p. 19 citing Richmond Order Bk 1710-1711]

May 1 Richmond Court: Ordered that Sheriff summons to next Court John Rankins, Surveyor of the Highways, to answer presentment of Grand jury agst him for not repairing the same. [Sparacio p. 46 citing Richmond Order Bk 1710-1711] 3 May 1711 In action of Debt between John Rankin, Assignee Francis Brooks plt and John Tainter deft for eleven hundred fifty pounds good tobacco and caske, deft being called and not appearing ... Judgment is granted John Rankin ... [Sparacio p. 57 citing Ibid] LSS: See entry Nov 1707; Rankin was probably acting in his role as guardian of the minor daughter Matthew Brooke dec’d here.

July marriage agreement Frances Slaughton (sic) Sr. and Ann Hudson [Henry citing Richmond Co. Deed Bk 6]

August 2 Richmond Court: The Presentment of Grand Jury against John Rankin is dismist, there being no Cause. [Sparacio p. 83 citing Richmond Order Bk 1710-1711]

1712 June 4 Richmond Court: Abraham Goad, John Rankins, William Goodrich and William Smoot to appraise estate James Wilson dec’d ... [Sparacio p. 21 citing Richmond Order Bk 1711-1713]

1712/13 January 3 Richmond Court: In action of Case Mary Jeffreys, Admrx of Edward Jeffreys plt and John Rankin Defendt for 369 pounds tobacco due by Acct, the Defendt being called and not appearing ... Judgment is granted her ... [Sparacio p. 89-90 citing Richmond Order Bk 1710-1711]

1712-13 Northumberland Co. Court: John Rankin proved will of John Thomas [Henry citing Court Order Bk] LSS: Probably not the same John as one found in Richmond County records. Are the two John Rankins members of the same Rankin extended family, or does this Northumberland County John represent another, distinct, Rankin line in Virginia?

1714 April 7 Richmond Co. Court: Thomas Harper, action of Trespass for £10 sterling damages agst Robert Rankin is dismist [Sparacio p. 52 citing Order Bk 1713-1714]

1716 December 25 Lancaster will [LSS: probably date] Peter Butler of Christ Church Parish wit: William Rankin, Jno Gilbson, Tobias Roach [Lee citing Will Bk 10 p. 189] LSS: William died 1735 leaving a half-sister as next of kin.

1717 April 4 Barbee vs James. Action of debt between John Barbee Plt and Thomas James Deft. Attachment was granted Plt agst the deft’s estate ... in hands of Robert Rankins; sd Rankins to be summoned to next Court [Sparacio p. 58 citing Richmond Co. Order Bk 1716-1717]

1717 July 25 death James Rankins in St. Paul’s Parish (Stafford Co.) [Nicklin] LSS: I think this is the mariner of London -- see entry 1723.

1718/19 March 4 Richmond Co. Court: LW&T John Hoxford was presented in Court by Elizabeth Hoxford, his executrix and proved by Isaac Arnold, Henry Ward and Charles Powell. Estate appraised by Isaac Arnold, Richard Butler, Henry Wood and Robert Rankins [Sparacio citing Order Bk 1718-1721]


1720-22 King George Co.: John Rankin II married Sarah Woffendall, daughter of Adam and sister of Elizabeth Kendall, Ann Thornley and Mary Woffendale (will dated 1762). [Henry citing George H. S. King citing Draper Papers] LSS: Rhoda and I instead position these as daughters of Francis Woffendale. See note within entry dated October 1696.

1723 Stafford Co., Overwharton Parish, Quit Rent Roll: Capt. James Rankin 320 acres "Heirs in England" [Vogt & Keithley vol. I p. 12] LSS: This is the mariner of London; acreage is the same as given in his survey dated 1706.

1724 King George Co: Robert Rankins ordered to repair road; sworn member of Grand Jury [Henry citing Order Bk 21]

1725 February 11 Henry Ward of Stafford Co. 106 acres on Pohick Run; March 5, 1730: 232 acres on Pohick Run. [Henry]

King George Co. Court: Francis Woffendale gives slave to John Rankins for his lifetime; then to Reuben Rankins, son of John and Sarah. [Henry] Henry’s added comment: The historian G. H. King says Sarah Woffendale [sister of Francis] married John Rankin in early 1720s. This John Rankin II had to be a son of John Rankin I and Reuben a son of John and Sarah (Woffendale) Rankin. Reuben married Isabella ___ and by 1782 had located in Fauquier Co. He then moved to Bourbon Co. KY by 1787 and died 1811. LSS: Rhoda Fone checked this statement against the Sparacio transcriptions of King George Co. Orders Books 1723-1725 and 1725-1728: "The above gift does not appear in either book." LSS: My guess, Henry got this supposed King George Order Book entry from the Cloyd tapes. The actual deed, if there was one, should be located in the Deed Books; if found, it provides proof of "the before this date" birth of Reubin Rankin. See 1696 entry for our view Francis is the father, not brother, of Sarah (Woffendale) Rankin.

July 14 (recorded date) Lancaster Co. inventory James Key returned by William Rankin administrator [Lee citing Will Bk 10 p. 463] LSS: The surname Key and Kay are interchangeable spellings by court clerks even though representing two distinct families. Actually I suspect there are at least 3 distinct family groups with one of these spellings in colonial Virginia. I urge caution when dealing with any of them.

estimated birth year Robert William Rankin [Cloyd #643 Reel #7] Robert William married Massena (Margaret or Peggy) Marshall, daughter Capt. John Marshall of The Forrest and Elizabeth (Markham). Massena was sister of Col. Thomas Marshall (born 1730) who married Mary Randolph Keith, parents of Chief Justice John Marshall. Robert William Rankin and Massena were parents of Robert Marshall (born 1753) and William (born 1759) Rankin. [Cloyd] Henry: "The sons are completely documented, but identity of the parents has not been proven." LSS: Although not unheard of, middle names were rare in this time period. Did she perhaps combine two men – a Robert and a William – into one?

1726 Richmond Co: Elizabeth Hill inventory account witnessed by John Rankin [Henry] LSS: see entry 1693. I’m assuming this is the same John Rankin and Elizabeth Hill. John was 60 years old, if still alive.

1728 Richmond County will John Hill witnessed by John Rankin. [Henry] LSS: John Hill and Elizabeth Hill were probably related, but were not husband and wife unless Elizabeth was a wealthy widow when she married Hill and they signed a pre-nuptial agreement.

King George Court Elizabeth Holdsworth submitted the inventory of her husband John Holdsworth; Robert Strother witnessed the accounting. [Cloyd]

November 8 Lancaster will James Conner of Christ Church Parish wit: William Rankin, Thomas Purcell, William Townsend [Lee] LSS: see entries dated 25 Dec 1716 and 28 Dec 1735.

1729 December 1 (survey date) Mr. Joseph Carter on West side Main Road adjacent own land and land sold by Thomas Shays to Thomas Marshall dec’d, now belonging to ye orphan of Marshall, minor; survey has land formerly John Marshall’s and adjacent William Chilton. Survey by Wm Ball [Joyner citing Lancaster Co. 1723-1756]


1730 King George County: Robert Rankins appointed surveyor of Forest Road from Robert Strother to Benjamin Rush [Henry citing Order Book 21]

1731 King George County: Robert Rankins appointed surveyor Ferry Road from Ridge to Gravelly Run [Henry citing Order Bk 21]

1733 June 16 (will date) Thomas Lee of Lancaster Co., proved 11 June 1735. Son William land where William Rankin and Richard Weaver now live; sons Thomas, Richard and Charles, land where I now live; son John land at head of Corotoman River which I had by my wife where Harvey now lives ... wit: Isaac Currill, Ezekiel Gilbert [va-roots list citing Lancaster Co. Record Bk 12 (1712-1736) p. 342]

King George County: Robert Rankins appointed surveyor road from Court House to Duff’s Ordinary [Henry citing Order Bk 21]

1734 King George Co., Hanover Parish: Robert Rankins, planter of Hanover Parish buys 100 acres (which he already leases) from Thomas Grimsley, part of 200 acres Thomas Grimsley Sr. purchased from Adam Woffendale 2 April 1676. Land adjoined sd Rankins and William Marshall, Jeremiah Strothers, Francis Wofendale and William Hudson dec’d. /s/ Thomas Grimsley and wife Jane. witnesses: Isaac Arnold, Thomas Arnold, Mary Arnold. [Henry citing King Geo. Deed Bk IA p. 299-300] LSS: See July 1711 entry. Was Robert son of John II and Sarah (Woffendale)? Sarah’s Aunt Mary Woffendale married "a" Benjamin Strother.

1735 death in King George Co. Robert Strother whose wife was Elizabeth Berry, the youngest daughter of William Berry and Margaret (Doughty). [Henry] Henry continue: Their children included Enoch Strother (1728-1772) who married in 1763 Mary Key and Elizabeth Strother who married in 1762 Robert Key; both marriages occurred in St. Paul’s Parish, Stafford Co.

December 28 death in Northumberland County of William Rankin. His only heir was his half-sister, wife of John Tully of Lancaster Co., who received an escheat grant for William’s 174 acres. [Gray citing Grants Bk E 1736-1742 p. 111] Mona: Public Notice by Mr. James Fontaine, Clerk of sd County 3/17/1735-6 Escheat Grant to John Tully of Lancaster Co. who married the half-sister of sd Rankin, surveyed by Mr. James Thomas adjacent Richard Hadwell, John Cole, Col. Pressley, George Kesterson, Wm Fallin Jr., 174 acres 11/27/1739. [Gray] July 5 – 10 1739 (survey date) Northumberland Co: John Tully 174 acres belonging to Wm Rankin who died seized without heirs escheated. On Stowells Creek of Great Wecocomoco River, mansion house and grist Mill adjacent Rich’d Hadwell, John Cole, Col. Presley, Geo. Kesterson, Wm Fallin Jr. [Joyner]

1736 King George Co. Hanover Parish Robert Rankins buys 50 acres from James Surlock and wife Sarah, being part of patent for 1050 acres granted by the Proprietor to William Baltrop, James Green and Wisloper Lervis. The tract was on the lower side of a branch of Gengoteague dividing the land of William Settle & wife Sarah from Robert Rankins’ land. wit: John Strother, Wm. Settle. [Henry citing King Geo. Deed Bk 2 p. 85-7] LSS: Henry identified Sarah as nee: Settle.

April ... north side Western main branch of Gengoteague Creek near land of William Duff to mouth of small branch which divides this land from land of Robert Rankins; line of Alford Head ... [Sparacio citing King George Deeds Bk 2]

300 acres [out] of 1150 acre grant to William Green 25 Oct 1669 who sold to Francis Ellis of New England who sold to James Rankins of London, mariner, many years ago. Rankins or anyone of that name never seated tract called Rankin’s Point between Pohick or Accotink and Doggs Run in Prince William. [Gray citing Grants Bk E 1736-1742 p. 299] Rev. Dr. Green granted 320 acres escheatable land of James Rankin, tract called Rankin’s Point, located between Pohick or Accotink & Doggs Run in Prince William County. [Henry]

1736/7 February 4 James Scurlock and Sarah of Hanover Parish, King George Co. to Robert Rankin of same ... for £25 ... 50 acres on lower side of Western main branch of Gingoteague adjacent land of William Settle [Sparacio p. 9 citing Deed Bk 2 p. 83-7]

1737/8 January 3 Peter Newport & wife Elizabeth of Hanover Parish to Robert Rankins of same ... for £20 ... 50 acres adjacent lands whereon Robert Rankins now lives. Left to sd Elizabeth by LWT of James Butler, her father, and 30 acres adjacent left to Elizabeth by LWT Richard Butler her uncle. Both parcels part of 1050 acres grant to William Baltrip, James Green and Francis Lewis. wit: Samuel Reeds, Joseph Tutt, William Duff Jr. [Sparacio p. 19 citing King Geo. Deed Bk 2 p. 170-3]

February 26 birth Jane Fingleston in Stafford Co., daughter Daniel and Margaret. [Nicklin, St. Paul’s Parish Register] LSS: She married Robert Rankins 26 Dec 1756 [Ibid]


1743 April 12 indenture Weedon Arnold of Westmoreland Co. and Harry Turner of King George Co. ... 100 acres where Isaac Arnold Jr. now lives conveyed by Isaac Arnold Sr. to James Arnold (father of said Weedon) by deed 1719 and recorded in Richmond Co. The other 50 acre tract was purchased by Thomas Arnold from Adam Wofendale dec’d March 1695 and bequeathed by Thomas Arnold to James Arnold to Weedon as eldest son and heir. wit: William Rankins, John (x) Rankins, T. Turner. [Sparacio citing KG Deed Bk 2 p. 463-6]

1746 October 26 (will date) William Woffendale ... I give to my Uncle Francis Wofendale my horse Figure and my riding saddle .... [Rhoda citing Richmond or King George Wills Bk] Rhoda: If Francis was his uncle, then I’d think Adam died 1703 had another son. I found a James Woffendale appearing as witness to documents also witnessed by Adam. Tabitha, wife of this William Wofendale, married twice more -- to Meredith Payne who died in 1751 and then to George Strother.

1746-1751 estimated marriage years John Rankin (second son of Robert Rankin) and Elizabeth Marshall, daughter of Rankin neighbor William Marshall who died 1746. [Henry]

1747 March 4 death Robert Rankins of Hanover Parish, King George Co. Witnesses to his will were Charles Holesworth, William Rankins, James Rankins. Executrix wife Elizabeth and son William. Inventory was appraised by Isaac Arnold, William Harrison, Charles Holesworth. [Henry citing Will Bk A-1 p. 201] Henry: death in King George Co., Hanover Parish Robert Rankin, probable son John Rankin I who was 38 years old in 1704 when granted a POA in Richmond Co. Court. Therefore he was born in 1666. [Cloyd citing Fleet p. 228] Continuing with info from Cloyd tapes: ... lands of Robert Rankins (will 1747 ) in King Geo. Co. were adjacent lands of William Marshall, Jeremiah Strothers, Francis Woffendale, Richard and James Butler, Robert Green and Robert Harrison. His will left all lands to be equally divided among his three eldest sons: William, John and James. His younger four sons: Moses, George, Benjamin and Hopkins to receive one shilling sterling. This would indicate he had married twice; his second and last wife is named Elizabeth in the will. Three of his sons married wives surnamed MARSHALL. Robert’s estate was appraised by Isaac Arnold, William Harrison and Charles Holesworth. 1748 inventory Robert Rankins was returned to King George Co. Court. [Torrence p. 350]

1748 will George Harrison of King George Co. names cousin [niece] Sarah Harrison and appoints Benjamin Marshall executor. Witnesses were Richard Green and Mary Green. [Henry]

1749 King George Co. will Charles Holdsworth (Holesworth) entered for probate. [Cloyd] Henry citing Cloyd: Charles was witness to Robert Rankin’s will 1747. Charles named wife Elizabeth and his mother, Elizabeth Rankins; his sister Elizabeth and her husband James Kay. Robert Strother was to be executor if James Kay refused to act.

November 20 William Green of Culpeper Co. to James Pead of Hanover Parish, King George Co. ... down Spring Branch to the mouth thereof making into Duff’s Spring branch ... to mouth of another Branch called Davis’ Spring Branch ... westerly to Hudson’s line ... to Marshal’s line ... to Wm Rankins’ line & with Rankins line to the Courthouse road. [Sparacio p. 110 citing King George Deed Bk 3 p. 343-4]


1750 March 1 Benjamin Strother Sr. of Hanover Parish, King George Co. to Benjamin Strother Jr in Brunswick Parish, King George Co. ... 150 acres binding upon Grace Berry, William Harrison, William Rankins and Judith Johnson, it being plantation Wm Harrison now holds. [Sparacio p. 116 citing King George Deed Bk 3 p. 392] LSS: I’m assuming Benjamin Strother Sr. is husband of Mary (Woffendale) Strother and Benjamin Jr. is their son. However, a Robert Strother (parents unknown by this compiler) married Elizabeth Berry, daughter of William. This William Rankins is son of John Rankins II and Sarah (Woffendale).

1751 January King George Co. Poll List: two William Rankins and one John Rankin [Sparacio citing the poll list recorded this day]

August 5 William and James Rankins of Hanover Parish, King George County to Harry Turner, Gent., of same ... for £105 ... 200 acres, it being two thirds of the tract given & devised by Robert Rankins unto said William and James by his LWT ... wit: M. Robinson, Thos. Vivion, Will: Jett, F. Jett Jr, Thos. Jett. /s/ William Rankins, James Rankins [Sparacio p. 120 citing King George Deed Bk 3 p. 437-441] LSS: Neither William or James are married by this date, but both were over 21 – thus born prior to August 1730. They were sons of Robert died 1747 and his first wife, name unknown.

1752 January 14 birth in Stafford Co. Ann Rankins, daughter of George and Sarah [Boogher p. 152 citing Overwharton Parish Register]

July: John Rankin was a member of the group who appraised the value of one acre adjoining land of Benjamin Strother [Sparacio citing King George Deed Bk 2 or 3]

September 14 John Rankins and wife Elizabeth of Hanover Parish, King George Co. to Thomas Turner, Gent, of same ... £52. 10 shillings ... 100 acres in Hanover Parish, it being land where sd John Rankins now lives and was given him by LWT of his father Robert Rankins dec’d. wit: Thomas Vivion, Francis Thornton, Thos Jett. ... Elizabeth released dower /s/ John (x) Rankin, Elizabeth (x) Rankin [Sparacio p. 130 citing DB 3 p. 496-9] LSS: John was the third son of Robert died 1747 and his first wife, name unknown.

December 26 marriage in St. Paul’s Parish, Stafford Co. Jane Fingleston and Robert Rankin [Nicklin] LSS: I’m not sure who this Robert is. I’ve positioned him as the same "Robert William" who married Mesena (Marshall) but highly suspect that is an error.

1753 estimated birth year Robert Marshall Rankin, son of Robert William and Mesena (Marshall) Rankin. [Cloyd microfilm #643, Reel #7] Cloyd continued: Robert Marshall Rankin died 1837 in Cold Spring, Texas. In 1782 he married Margaret Berry (born 1756). Margaret was daughter of Capt. Thomas Berry and Frances Kendal, daughter of Samuel Kendal Jr. and Elizabeth (Woffendale). Henry in 1992: We have not been able to prove the exact relationship, but the Revolutionary War records of Robert Marshall Rankins state he served as a private, ensign and Lt. under Col. Hugh Stephenson and Capt. John Marshall. Capt. John Marshall, (later Chief Justice), was a near kinsman to Robert Rankins. It should also be noted that Robert Marshall Rankins and wife Margaret Berry had a daughter named Masena "Peggy" (born 1798 in Mason Co. Ky). Other of their children carried MARSHALL family names. Henry citing the RS file for Robert Marshall Rankin: The letter states Robert William Rankins served for 7 years from 1776 under Col. Hugh Stephenson [in] Capt. John Marshall’s Co. (later Chief Justice). Capt. Marshall was a near kinsman, degree of relationship not shown. [Nat’l Archives letter written by A. D. Hiller – correspondence date not given.]

1755 February 10 marriage in Stafford Co. Daniel Fingleston and Martha Whiting [Nicklin, St. Paul’s Parish Register] LSS: see October 1696 entry Adam Woffendale to daughter Elizabeth Harrison (wife of Robert.) Robert Harrison’s mother, Thomasin ( ) married, "the widow Thomasin Harrison," about 1686 in Rappahannock County Ralph Whiting. [Harrison p. 164-171] The relationship, if any, between Ralph Whiting and the above Martha (Whiting) Fingleston has not been researched by this compiler.

Frederick Co. Court: William Rankins [presented] for missing 2 musters [Bockstruck]

April 3 Nuncupative will Elizabeth Rankins was presented into Court by George Green. Ordered that William Rankins be summoned to appear at next Court to contest same if he please. [King George Co. Order Bk 1751-1765 p. 470] May Court: William Rankins ... came into Court and declared he had not any objections to proof of same. [Order Bk 1751-1765 p. 495] Elizabeth’s will was witnessed by Charles Holesworth, William Rankins and James Rankins. [Henry citing King George Co. Will Book A-1 p. 201] Henry: Elizabeth (Butler) Rankins received 50 acres per will of her father James and 50 acres per will of her Uncle Richard Butler. LSS: Elizabeth was the widow of Robert Rankins (died 1747) whom she married about 1729 as "the widow Holesworth." See 1749 entry for will of Charles Holesworth naming his mother Elizabeth Rankins. Thus I position the witness Charles as probable grandson of Elizabeth from her first marriage to John Holdsworth. William and James Rankin were her step-sons; William was the eldest son, thus heir at law of Robert.

1756 Augusta Co. Court: George Rankin exempt from military service [Bockstruck] LSS: This is George died 1760, patriarch of the first group of Rankins to locate in the Virginia valley.

1758 January 21 will Daniel Fingleston [Henry] LSS: I’m presuming this was filed in King George Co. and Daniel is either the father of the Daniel who married in 1755 or the groom himself.

1759 estimated birth year William Rankin, brother of Robert Rankin, sons of "Robert William" and Mesena (Marshall.) William died 1836 in Mason Co. Kentucky. About 1790 he married Mary Ann Reed (c1768-1836) and they had 11 children. Their daughter Sarah married James Rankin 28 July 1812, the son of Reuben Rankin of King George Co. (who was son of John II and Sarah Woffendale. [Henry citing Cloyd microfilm film #643, Reel 7] LSS: William and Robert Marshall Rankin are identified as grandsons of Robert died 1747 and his first wife.


1762 November 4 will Mary Woffendale of Hanover Parish, King George Co. To cousin [nephew] Reuben Rankins residuary legatee. To sisters Elizabeth Kendall, Sarah Rankins, Ann Thornley. To cousins [nieces] Elizabeth Butler and Jenny Humbston. To friends Catherine Berry, Molly Wharton, George Strother [Henry] Henry: Mary Woffendale’s sister Elizabeth married 1st Robert Harrison; 2nd Samuel Kendal. The Kendels had Benjamin Kendal whose daughter Frances married Capt. Thomas Berry; their daughter Margaret Berry (born 1756) married in 1781 Robert Marshall Rankin (born 1753). LSS: Henry errs – there were two Elizabeth Woffendales: the "older aunt" married Robert Harrison before October 1696 and the "younger niece" married Samuel Kendal.

1766 King George Court: On motion Richard Green it is ordered he have administration of estate James Rankins. Joseph Harrison, Robert Strother, Samuel Kendall and James Geuge to appraise. [Henry citing King Geo. Order Bk #4 p. 24] Henry: The wife of Richard Green (Mary Rankin) was half-sister of the deceased James, children of Robert (died 1747.) Richard and Mary’s son, George, was executor of his father (Richard Green) in 1778. LSS: Harrison, Strother and Kendall were relatives of Sarah (Woffendale), wife of John Rankin. John Rankin and Robert Rankin (died 1747) were brothers, sons of John Rankin I. Is my interpretation of the Cloyd tapes correct? Was she correct?

1767 April 2 King George Co. Court: Action of debt between Thomas Whiting and John Rankin, James Rankin (d. 1766-7) and Hopkins Rankin with William Allen and William Rankin sureties. They to pay amount plus interest from 1 April 1760. [Henry citing KG Order Bk 4] Henry: These Rankins are sons of Robert died 1747 and William Allen married their sister.


1775 June 14 marriage in St. Paul’s Parish Stafford Co. Mary Rankin and Henry Ward [Nicklin]

1776 August 3 enlistment William Rankins in Capt. William Brady’s Co., Berkley Co. Virginia. He served 3 years and received a warrant for this service of 100 acres 2 August 1783. "Sir: Please give Robert Rankins a certificate of my service in order that he may obtain a warrant for my ... Land as a soldier ... as I have appointed him to transact this business for me." Witnessed by John and Benjamin Rankins. [Henry citing Pension Claim S-31315 and Military Land Grant 1483, National Archives.] Henry: William turned the warrant (certificate) over to his brother Robert, sons of Robert (born c1725) and Messana (Marshall). LSS: My interpretation of this record: William Rankins merely gave POA to Robert Rankins to obtain the certificate; the land warrant was not assigned over to Robert.

December marriage in King George Co. George Rankins and Judith Marshal [Nicklin; Henry citing King Geo. Marriage Records]

1777 December 1 death in Philadelphia hospital George Rankin while serving with Col. Stevens of the 10th VA Rgmt. [Henry citing military record] Henry: George had married Judith Marshall in 1776. No dates given, but Hopkins Rankin served in the 11th VA Rgmt under Col. Buford and the 4th VA Rgmt under Capt. Wallis.

1778 will Richard Green did not name his wife Mary (daughter Robert Rankin died 1747); therefore she is assumed deceased before this date. Nine children were named (including daughter MaryAllen.) Witnesses: James Martin, William Rankin and Elizabeth Wood. [Henry] Henry: The 1763 Culpeper Co. will William Green shows a relationship between Wood and Green and the 1748 Orange Co. will Robert Green may be important to our Rankin research.

1779 July 4 Robert Rankins enlisted as Lt. in the Virginia Continental Line; he was discharged 28 Dec 1782. For this service he was entitled to a land warrant. [Crozier vol. VI]

Will Philip Peed of King George Co. witnessed by John Rankins, John Kendall, Francis Rankins. [Henry] Henry May 1993: "I think this is the most informative [record] since I found the Mary Woffendale will ... There are relations with Boone, Allen, Wharton and Butler families yet to be identified; also Marshall, Ward & Green. I think the Robertson and Poage lines offer clues. LSS: Robertson and Poage are closely allied with the George Rankin died 1760 line. Continuing with Henry’s letter: ... those mentioned in the Peed will are: Margaret Peed, wife of Philip, was daughter of Richard Green and his wife Mary (Rankin) who was daughter of Robert Rankins died 1747. John Kendall was son of Samuel Kendall Jr. and his wife, Elizabeth (Woffendale). His sister, Frances Kendall, was wife of Capt. Thomas Berry. They had daughter, Margaret Berry, who married Robert Marshall Rankin (1753-1837). John Rankin II married Sarah Woffendale and they had son Reuben Rankin. He inherited the estate of Mary Woffendale d. 1762. These relationships along with many other proven facts, helps tie the Northern Neck Rankin families together. However, we have yet to anchor George Rankin died 1760 and wife Martha (Crawford) of Augusta Co. I think they fit in this branch of Rankins [but where?] LSS: Henry was working under the mistaken theory all Woffendales were children of Adam; I think Rhoda provided the necessary proof Elizabeth Kendal and Sarah Rankins were daughters of Francis instead.


1780 April 24 Fauquier Co: Warrant for 200 acres issued to Moses Rankin [Bockstruck] Henry: This was service in the French & Indian War. LSS: I show Moses as son of Robert died 1747, but that’s based on assumption there was only one Moses in the area in this time period.

1781 marriage Robert Marshall Rankin (1753-1837) and Margaret Berry (born 1756) daughter Capt. Thomas Berry and Frances Kendall, (daughter Samuel Kendal Jr. and Elizabeth (Woffendale.) [Cloyd microfilm #643, Reel #7] LSS: I show this Robert M. was son of "Robert William" and Mesena (Marshall) and grandson Robert died 1746 and his first wife.

1783 March 8 Robert Marshall Rankin received a Land Warrant for 165 acres out of a combined grant of 2666 1/3 acres in Mason Co. Kentucky with his father, brother and other family. [Henry citing Virginia Genealogist vol. I p. 13-14: The Berry Family]

"William Rankin was discharged from active service and assigned his service certificate for 100 acres to his brother Robert. This transaction was witnessed by John Rankins and Benjamin Rankins." [Henry] LSS: Henry identifies the witnesses as sons of Robert Rankins died 1747 and suggests this points to a kinship of the northern neck families. See my comments with entry August 1776 for another interpretation of this record.

1784 February 11 issued to Benjamin Rankin. [Henry citing Certificate #2472] Henry: Benjamin was son of the John Rankin; he moved with his father and siblings to Fayette Co., KY where Benjamin married Elizabeth Marshall, daughter of William Marshall died 1746.

1785 January 5 Thomas Berry and John Berry assign land grants in Kentucky to John Rankins. [Henry]

1786 August 24 birth William Marshal Rankin in Mason Co. KY; he married Sarah Landrum and died in Polk Co. Texas. [Henry] Henry: Wm Marshall was son of Robert Marshall Rankin (1753-1837) and Margaret Berry.

1787 April 11 Stafford Co. personal property tax list: John Rankins 1 white male over 21, 1 horse [Vogt & Kethley vol. II p. 348] Ditto date: John Rankins 1 white male over 21, 1 horse [Ibid p. 315] April 15 Robert Dunbar paid tax for Alexander Rankins 1 white male over 21 and other items. [Ibid p. 309]

Taxpayers in King George County: Elizabeth Rankins, John Rankins, Sarah Rankins and William Rankins. [Henry]

Fauquier County: Reuben Rankins, 4 slaves

Fayette County [now Kentucky]: Benjamin Rankins and William Rankins

1789 August 29 Stafford Co. personal property tax list: John Rankins 1 white male over 16 [Vogt & Kethley vol. II p. 461] Ditto date: John Rankings 1 white male over 16 [Ibid p. 426]

after 1789 marriage in Mason Co. Kentucky Peyton Key and a Rankin. [Paxton p. 26-28] LSS: The surnames Key and Kay are interchangeable as recorded by various court clerks; however I think they are two distinct families who need careful attention when sorting. Henry: William Randolph married Mary Isham, daughter of Henry and Catherine. One son, Thomas Randolph of Tuckahoe, married a Fleming and a daughter, Mary Isham Randolph, married Parson James Keith. Mary Randolph Keith married Thomas Marshall – parents of the 1st Chief Justice. Mary’s sister, Judith Keith, married James Key. Their son James Key II married Nancy Ireland. James and Nancy lived in Westmoreland Co. until 1789 when they moved to Mason Co. Kentucky where their son, Peyton Key, married a Rankin.


1790 estimated marriage year William Rankin (1759-1836) and Mary Ann Reed (c1768-1836). [Cloyd] Henry: This William assigned his 100 acre service-related land grant to his brother Robert. William and Mary Ann spent their last years in Mason Co. KY.

August 19 Stafford Co. Personal Property Tax List: John Rankings 1 white male over 16, 1 black over 16, 3 horses [Vogt & Kethley vol. II p. 519] Ditto date: John Rankings 1 white male over 16, 1 black over 16, 1 horse [Vogt & Kethley vol. II p. 488] LSS: I think there is only one John Rankings in the county who either inherited a slave and perhaps two horses or purchased them.

1793 marriage Elizabeth Scott and Robert Rankin [Henry citing Hall of Records, Annapolis, MD] Henry: In 1745 Gov. Gooch appointed Rev. James Scott to Dettinger Parish, Prince William Co. VA; this was adjacent to Stafford Parish where his brother, Rev. Alexander Scott, presided. A glebe [for Dettinger Parish was located] on Quantico Creek which runs up the Potomac to Dumfries. Rev. James married Sarah Brown and among their children was Gustavus Scott, father of the above Elizabeth. [Bishop Mead vol. II]

1794 birth in Virginia Blackstone H. Rankin who died 1868 in Mason Co. KY. He married Elizabeth Barker (born 1797 in MD d. 1853 Bracken Co. KY), daughter of Joseph Barker (b. 1759) and ___ Adams (1769-1854) daughter of John Quincy Adams. [Henry] Henry: Blackstone was son of William Rankin (1759-1836)

1795 November 14 marriage Mary "Molly" Gill, daughter of Edward, and Moses Rankins of King George Co. VA, cousin of Frances Rankin. This Moses was son of Robert Rankins d. 1747 King George Co. This connection would tie into the George Rankin died 1760 Augusta Co. line and suggests George could be a brother to Robert died 1747 -- both being sons of John Rankin I of Richmond Co. VA [Cloyd] Cloyd: "Cousin" Frances Rankin (1801-1836) was daughter of William 1747-1817 and wife of John Gill. William Rankin 1747-1817 was the son of George died 1760 and Martha. Jo Ann Wigington thinks it is highly unlikely William and Letitia (Robertson) had a daughter named Frances. Her reason: the given name "Frances" (male or female) is not found elsewhere in either this Rankin or Letitia’s Robertson line. LSS: A daughter born around 1801 is not documented as a member of the South Carolina household of William Rankin and Letitia (Robertson). Although his will is not extant, deeds show William divided his land between three males, two refer to William as "father" and the third was a nephew. The closest sourced statement for Frances as their daughter is in the very-suspect work by Virkus who may well have been Cloyd’s source.


1811 September 3: Thomas B. Rankin and Robert Rankin, land grant in Washington Co. AL: T8 R 3W [Hahn citing Ledger A: Dec 1806-March 1812] LSS: I’m guessing this is the Thomas B[erry] Rankin killed during the battle of Fort Mims (1813); however, he didn’t have a brother named Robert IF he is also the Thomas B., son of Robert Marshall Rankin (1753-1837).

1812 July 28 marriage in Kentucky James Rankin and Sarah Rankin. [Henry] Henry: James was son of Reuben Rankin of King George Co. VA (son of John & Sarah Woffendale); Sarah was daughter of William Rankin (1759-1736). Both came from the northern neck area of Virginia. William’s brother Robert married Margaret Berry. Reuben lived in Bourbon Co. KY and William in Mason Co. KY.

Joseph Rankin (son of Robert Marshall Rankin 1753-1837) was killed by Indians. [Henry] LSS: Location of death was not given.

1813 death Thomas B. Rankin at the Battle of Fort Mims, Alabama [Henry] Henry: Thomas B. was son of Robert Marshall Rankin (1753-1837)

1815 marriage John Keith and Elizabeth Butler, sister of William Butler [Henry]

1825 will Elizabeth Crawford of Mill Creek Hundred, New Castle Co. DE names daughter Sarah Rankin and granddaughter Eliza Ann Rankin. In 1858 another Elizabeth Crawford names her brother-in-law Joseph Rankin and his children: Eleanor Rebecca, Robert Thomas, Sarah Mariah, Joseph Chamberlain and Hannah Margaret Rankin. [Henry]

1826 January 10 James M. Rankin married Lorina Nellson [Henry] Henry: James M. was son of William (1759-1836)


1833 November 22: William Rankin either filed or was awarded a pension for his Revolutionary War service under claim #S-31315. He enlisted 1776 in Berkeley Co. VA and received Bounty Land Warrant 1483 for this service. His pension number is given as 25274. John Hall, son-in-law, and Marshall Rankin, son of John gave oath his information was correct. William was discharged 27 Feb 1785 by Capt. Brady. 29 July 1783 he "assigned his certificate for 100 acres" to Robert Rankins; witnesses were John Rankins and Benjamin Rankins. [Henry] LSS: See my comments under 3 August 1776 listing reasons I think he merely gave Robert a Power of Attorney to obtain the certificate.

1836 April 12 death in Mason Co. KY William Rankins (born 1759 King George Co. Virginia) [Henry] LSS: Sources of information listed by Henry include: Mason Co. Court Order Book M. p. 405; History of Maysville and Mason County compiled by G. Glen Clift. July Court Mason Co. KY 1836: the inventory and sales account for estate William Rankin was returned by administrators [sons] John L. Rankin and Robert P. Rankin. [Henry]

September Court Mason Co. KY: "William Rankin, late pensioner of the US departed this life April 12, 1836. Satisfactory proof has been found that this William was the William who had a pension of $80 per year." [Kentucky Pioneers and Their Descendants, p. 155] Widow Mary Ann Rankin died July 29, 1836. Among their children were James M. Rankin. William Rankin, born 1758-9, served from Berkeley Co. Virginia. He married Mary Ann Reed about 1790. [Pension Claim #S 31315 and BLW #1483] According to the requestor, James M. Rankin, resident of Cynthiana, KY, married Catherine Moore October 26, 1811. Tradition in her family says his middle name was Medford and that he was born in Harrisburg, PA.

Another letter is a reply from a Fayette Co. Curator: "In Mason Co. KY a William Rankin applied for a pension December 10, 1833 at age 75 and received $80 per year. [Mattingly citing letters sent to the Kittochtinny Library requesting information.] Mona: Edna L. Rankin identifies this William as son of Jeremiah and Rhoda (Craig) but nothing really fits.

1837 Mason County Kentucky: House sales to B. H. Rankins, Marshall Rankins, James M. Rankins. [Henry]


Bockstruck, Lloyd D., compiler. Virginia’s Colonial Soldiers Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, Md 1988.

Boogher, Wm F. compiler. Overwharton Parish Register 1720 to 1760: Old Stafford County. Clearfield reprint 2003

Cloyd, Flossie, researcher. My understanding is, her two volume manuscript covering all Rankins in the U.S. plus other countries was not published because of lack of pre-publication orders. To date, no one has located an extant copy of the manuscript itself. However, her extensive notes were microfilmed onto several reels and one complete set was placed at the Tennessee State Archives. Henry Rankin shared his notes from Microfilm #643, Reel 7 which includes these northern neck Virginia families. Everything herein cited [Cloyd] comes from Henry’s notes, not my personal viewing of the tapes.

Crozier, William Armstrong, compiler and editor. Virginia County Records, volume IX 1911; volume VI, 1909.

Fleet, compiler. Virginia Colonial Extracts, Volume 17

Gray, Gertrude E. compiler. Virginia’s Northern Neck Land Grants Book volume 2 (1694-1700) Genealogical Publishing Co. 1987 Land Grants 1694-1742 vol. __

Hahn, Marilyn Davis, compiler. Old Stephens Land Office Records and American State Papers: Public Lands vol. 1: 1768-1888 Southern Historical Press, SC 1983.

Harrison, James Edward, contributor. "Andrew Harrison of Old Rappahannock County". Davis, Virginia Lee Hutcheson Davis, publisher. Tidewater Virginia Families: A Magazine of History and Genealogy volume 5 Number 3 November/December 1996.

Headley, Robert K. Jr. abstractor. Wills of Richmond County, Virginia 1699-1800; Wills & Inventories 1699-1709. 1983.

Joyner, Peggy Shomo, compiler. Abstracts of Virginia’s Northern Neck Warrants & Surveys: Hampshire, Berkeley, Loudoun, Fairfax, King George, Westmoreland, Richmond, Northumberland and Lancaster Counties 1697-1784 volume IV. 1987

Lee, Ada J. Abstracts Lancaster County Virginia 1653-1800 Genealogical Publishing Co. 1973

Nicklin, Jno B. compiler. St. Paul’s Parish Register 1715-1798: Stafford & King George County, Virginia Clearfield Printing.

Paxton, W. M. The Marshall Family

Rankin, Henry Preston Sr. and Jr., researchers. Although academics have always cited their source for specific statements of fact, it was only recently that the genealogical community insisted on such. Henry Rankin Sr. worked at a time when his word was enough for his contemporaries. Both Henrys were thorough and competent researchers; therefore, I trust the accuracy of records they cite verbatim. Interpretation of records is another matter; I don’t always agree with them and I fully expect others will not always agree with me. The specific source for an entry is listed when known; otherwise, [Henry] as the source is used for those entries originating with the research efforts of these two men.

Sparacio, Ruth and Sparacio, Sam, transcribers. Richmond County Virginia Order Books 1710-1711 The Antient Press. 1997 Order Books 1711-1713. Order Book 1707-1708 Order Book 1714-1716 Order Book 1713-1714 Order Book 1716-1717

Sparacio, Ruth and Sparacio, Sam transcribers. King George County Virginia Deed Abstracts 1735-1752 The Antient Press, 1987 King George Order Book 1723-1725 Order Book 1725-1728

Torrence, Clayton, compiler. Virginia Wills and Administrations 1632-1800

Vogt, John and Kethley, T. William Jr., compilers. Stafford County Virginia Tithables 1723-1790: Quit Rents, Personal Property Taxes & related lists and petitions in two volumes. Iberian Publishing Co., Athens, GA 1990.