Examining John Peatle (? – 1700)

Not Sarah Munday’s Father

Quite a few family genealogists have interpreted John Peatle’s will (see below) as evidence that he was the father of Thomas Munday’s wife Sarah.

However, that will makes no mention of any relationship to the Mundays.  The notion that he was related to any of them is purely an assumption unsupported by any facts that we know of.  Indeed, the available evidence suggests that he was not Sarah’s father:

  1. John Peatle appears to have arrived in the area in 1694, long after Thomas Munday and Sarah must have been married.  He first appears in Essex County records in September 1694 and was dead six years later.  There is no record of him prior to 1694.  Since he appears in two dozen records during those six years, but in no records whatsoever prior to 1694, we conclude that he arrived in the area in 1694.
  2. Thomas Munday was in Old Rappahannock County, predecessor to Essex County, by 1669, but his eldest child was barely of age when he died in 34 years later. That is, he must have married several years after his arrival in Old Rappahannock and long before John Peatle arrived in the area.
  3. The inventory of John Peatle;s estate included no household goods nor any farm or trade implements.  Rather, it primarily consisted of a modest quantity of fabric.  It is reasonable to think that he was a tenant or boarder of the Mundays, which would account for the distribution of his modest estate. That is, we might explain his will if he was a boarder in the Munday household.
  4. There is every reason to think that he was a relatively young man.  The peculiar provision to make Hannah Munday executor and recipient of the residual estate might be explained by a  young single man’s infatuation with his host’s daughter.
  5. There are no documents other than his will that intersect with Thomas Munday, other than his serving as a witness for neighbors of the Mundays.

A Compelling Alternative Theory

There is at least one alternative theory of Sarah Munday’s background that seems to be more compelling.  Thomas Munday’s own will entrusts “my Loveing brother Francis Brown (to) see that this my Last will & Testament be justly and honestly performed according to the true Intent and meaning thereof.”  “Brother” Frances Brown might have been his brother-in-law.  The will of his mother Elizabeth Brown made bequests to sons Daniel and Frances and to her daughter Sarah (no surname mentioned), and Thomas Munday was security for the will’s executors.

Records of John Peatle in Essex County

John Peatle does not appear in any court or deed records of either Old Rappahannock County, or of Richmond County (which was formed from Old Rappahannock in 1692).  Nor does he appear as a headright in any Virginia patent. The first known record of him in Virgnia is his appearance in Essex County in 1694.

10 September 1694:  John Peatle and Wm. Glover witness to Mary Roberts verbal relinquishment of dower in court.  [Essex County Order Book 1, p311.].
Same Date:  John Peatle and Ro. Brooke witness to a declaration by a freed slave named Ockery(?) of his willingness to serve a new master.  [Essex County Order Book 1, p316.].

10 September 1694 is the first appearance of John Peatle in Essex County.  

29 June 1695: John Peatle & Francis Meriwether witnesses to will of John Williamson. Peatle was dead by the time the will was proved on 10 September 1701 .  [Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 10, p91.]

30 November 1695:  Patent to Francis Merriwether 299.5 acres south side of Rappahannock river “about six miles back into the woods upon ye branch of occupatia & Mattapony path” assigned by Merriwether assigns to David Catlett on 30 November 1695.  Witness:  John Peatle, Ann Burnet [Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 9, p11.]

30 November 1695: Francis Meriwether assignment to David Catlett, [re-recording of patent assignment] Witness: John Peatle, Ann Burnet. Acknowledged by Francis Meriwether at a court held for Essex County on 10 November 1696. [Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 9, p56.]

10 February 1695/6:   John Peatle witnesses deed from James Merritt to Francis Merriwether for 154 acres whereon the said Francis Merriwether now lives… a purchase from Andrew Gilson to James Merritt dec’d father of ye said James Merritt bearing date 3 February 1663 [Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 9, pp2-3]

10 April 1696: John Peatle, Benjamin Newton witness deed by Thomas (x) Phillpin to Anne Ligley?, a 300 acre patent by 1694 deed from William Berry of Richmond County and Benjamin Newton of Stafford County to Thomas Pillpin of Richmond County formerly granted to Enoch Doughty 15 June 1675 [Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 9, p31.]

4 August 1696: John Peatle & Rob.t Long? witnesses to deed by Robert Waight to John Corbin & Elizabeth Corbin his wife of Richmond County, 100 acres in Essex County on the main run of Golden Vaile Creek  “which said land was given by my dec;d father John Waight to my sister Elizabeth Vickers? And by her sold to William Smith father of the abovesd. Elizabeth Corbin…. [Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 9, pp55.]

10 August 1696: At a court held for Essex County ye 10 August 1696 John Peatle by virtue of a power from Mary Meriwether appeard & according to the sd. power acknowledged her the sd. Marys right of dower of in and to the abovementioned land…
Same date. I Mary Meriwether of the sd. County do hereby authorize and Impower John Peatle my true and lawfull attorney to acknowledge my right of dower …. [Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 9, pp57.]

9 November 1696 Power of attorney from Phoebe Booth to John Peatle to acknowledge her right of dower in 30 acres sold by her husband Humphrey Booth to James Merrot on south side of Rappahannock river adjoining William Bendsey and the Church road… [Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 9, p79.]

10 April 1697:  Robert Pley, John Peatle, Tho. Gregson witnesses to release by Thomas Gouldman, having attained the full age of 21, of his interest in land left by his father Thomas Gouldman dec’d, to his mother Alice Forbes, widow of Arthur Forbes.  [Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 9, pp108.]

7 September 1698: John Peatle & Robert Kay witness deed from William Pennell and Thomas Pennell of Richmond County, sons of Tho. Pennell dec’d, to John Taliaferro of Essex County, 2/5 of a 6000 acre patent by Henry Berry of 8 April 1664 sold to John Barrow and by him sold to the said Tho. Pennell Dec’d & by his will given to be dived between his wife Katherine, two daughters Mary and Isabell, and the said two sons. Taliaferro having already acquired 3/5 of the land, the sons now deed the other 2/5. [Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 9, pp272.]

10 September 1698:  John Peatle & Robt. Brooke witnesses to deed by Edward Moseley & Elizabeth his wife to Abraham Stepp? of 100 acres on the Maine road.. adjacent John Wood, Robert Wood, Robert Moss… [Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 9, pp236.]

9 November 1698:  John Peatle & John Butcher witness to Deed from Humphrey Booth & Phebe his wife to Thomas Davis of 50 acres by Brices? run adjoining Garret Evens… James Merritt line… corners tree to Wm. Bendrey…[Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 9, pp262.]

10 June 1699:  John Peatle & Rich’d Cooper witness bond of James _____. [Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 9, p333.]

5 August 1699:  John Peatle, Ro. Brooke Sam’l Thacker, Tho. Winslow witness a lengthy deed from Wm. Harper, son and heir of Wm. Harper, to Thomas Gregson, both of Sitenbourne parish, 150 acres by a little creek proceeding out of Occupation Creek… [Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 10, pp4.]

10 November 1699:  John Peatle and Henry (x) Picket witness deed from Thomas Hindes to his mother Hannah Hindes relinquishing all his interest in the land “left to unto me by my father Tho. Hindes by his last will and testament”… [Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 10, p19.]

9 April 1700: Power of attorney from Sarah Stone to John Peatle authorizing him “to appeare for me att the next Court yt shall be held for ye County of Essex for me & in my name to relinquish all my right of Dower” in the sale of 250 acres by her husband William Stone to Francis Merriwether on 15 January 1699/1700.  The deed was acknowledged by William Stone and recorded on 10 April 1700 and John Peatle exercised the power of attorney. [Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 10, p34.]

10 April 1700: Two POAs to John Peatle recorded this date:  “Jno Peatle I hereby request you to appear for me as my attorney in an account depending between me & Randle Bird & for you soe doing this shall be yo’r sufficient warrant from yo’r friend. (Signed) William Williamson.
Jno Peatle I hereby request you to appear as my attorney in account depending in ye County Court fo Essex upon my acc’t & for yo’r soe doing this shall be yo’r sufficient warrant from yo’r friend. (Signed) David Gwyn. [Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 10, p36.]

11 April 1700: John Peatle and others examined account of Warwick Gray estate. [Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 10, p34.]

11 April 1700: John Peatle and Robt. Moseley witnesses to bond of Benjamin Moseley as administrator with the will annexed of estate of Wm. Moseley dec’d during the minority of Wm. Moseley Exor therein named…with securities Tho. Gregson and Wm. Tomlin. [Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 10, p35.]

11 September 1700:
Undated Will Recorded:   John Peatle of ye Parish of Sittingbourne & County of Essex being sick & weak of body…  I give & dispose thereof as followeth:
Item I give unto Tho. Munday, ye Son of Thomas Munday, my largest Stillards with Pce & Canhooks belonging to them.
Item I give unto John Munday, ye Son of Thomas Munday, my other Stillards with Pce & Canhooks belonging to them.
Item I give unto Sarah Munday, ye Wife of Thomas Munday, a hogshead of tobacco of mine lying att ye house of Francis James in Richmond County under my own marke.
Item I give & bequeath unto Frances Munday & Martha Munday, ye Daughters of Tho. Munday equally between them a hogshead of tobacco of mine at Mr. Tho. Peirces in Richmond County under my own marke.
Item I give unto Hanah Munday, Daughter of Tho. Munday, my Trunck with Lock & key.
Item I give unto Charles Munday, ye Son of Thomas Munday, my two yards & three quarters of brand cloth now in ye house of ye sd Tho. Munday.
Item I give unto Joseph Munday, ye Son of Thomas Munday, my remnant of speckled dimity, also now in ye sd Tho. Mundays house.
Item I give unto Thomas Munday my best Carolina Hatt
Item I give unto Tho. Munday & John Munday, Sons of Tho. Munday, each of them two pair of shoes that are in my Chest & all my Bookes equally between them.
Item All ye rest & residue of my Estate, Goods & Chattles whatsoever, I do give & bequeath unto Hanah Munday who I make full & sole Executrix of this my last Will & Testament and I do hereby revoke & make void all former Wills &Testaments by me heretofore made. In Witness whereof I ye sd John Peatle to this my last Will & Testament have sett my hand & seale ye day & year aforesaid.  Signed: John (ye mark of “IP”) Peatle.  Witness: Tho. Winslow, John Parker.
Proved by Tho. Winslow & John Parker on 11 September 1700 & administration with the will annexed granted to Thomas Munday on ye sd. deceased’s Estate dureing ye minority of Hanah Munday his Daughter.
[Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 10, p53-54.]

11 September 1700. Administration Bond: Thomas Munday bond for £50 as administrator with the will annexed of John Peatle “during ye minority of Hannah Munday his Daughter Exec’x therein named”… Securities Tho. Gregson & Tho. Hucklescott.  Signed: Tho. (his “TH” mark) Munday.  Witness: Hen. Goare, Francis Merriwether. [Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 10, p54.]. Also mentioned in court orders [Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 10, section of Court Orders 1699-1702, p57.]

20 September 1700:  Essex County Court order to Edmund Paget, Jno. Graves, Jno. Parker & Geo.Lloyd or any three of them to appraise the estate of Jno Peatle dec’d & order that Tho. Munday administer with the will annexed.. [Essex County Court Orders 1699-1702, p69.]

11 February 1700/1
Inventory: Estate of John Peatle by Edmund Pagett, Geo. Lloyde, John Graboe.  The inventory included a large inventory of various cloths and buttons, thread, shirts, cloaks, some buckles and other tailoring supplies plus a “little bay horse” with two saddles, one chest, “a parcel of old books”, “an old trunk and some other things”, 8 shillings in money, and the two stillards mentioned in his will.  The estate was small, valued at barely 2700 lbs of tobacco plus 850 lb. of “Tobb: ordered by the Vestry”. Presented by Thomas Munday administrator with the will annexed.  [Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 10, p68. Indexed as p69.]