Thomas Munday (c1645-1703)


For a couple list of records in which Thomas Munday appears, see this file.

Settles in Old Rappahannock County, Virginia in 1669

Thomas Munday first appears in Virginia on 29 August 1669 when he witnessed a power of attorney by Rebecca Tandy, the wife of Henry Tandy, in Old Rappahannock County.1  Henry Tandy was living on a large plantation and operating a mill on Gilson’s Creek (then sometimes called Mill Creek) that he had acquired from a man named John Daingerfield.  Sixteen months later on 4 January 1670/71 John Dangerfield agreed to sell 500 acres bordering Tandy to Thomas Munday, “carpenter”, pending a survey.2  The sale was consummated a few months later on 5 May 1671.3   On 14 September 1678 Thomas Munday purchased 100 adjacent acres from a neighbor.4. More than twenty years later in 1700 he bought another 200 acres adjacent from the nephew and heir of his deceased neighbor Henry Munkester.5.  H thus owned a plantation of 800 acres on the south side fo the Rappahannock a few miles above Tappahannock.

Gilson’s Creek is now called Mount Landing Creek. Both the Tandy and Munday plantations lay on the north side of the creek, which runs roughly eastward to empty into the Rappahannock River about three miles upriver from the village of Tappahannock.  From later records Munday’s land was likely within not much more than a mile or two from the river, where the creek runs though relatively flat land with many small tributary creeks. Indeed a patent to Robert Parker described as adjacent to Thomas Munday was described as being between the creek and the river.

Likely born mid or late 1640s

We guess at a birth date of mid-1640s on the assumption that, like most free immigrants to Virginia, he was probably in his early or mid-twenties when he arrived and doesn’t appear to have started a family until the mid 1670s.

Marries Sarah Browne, perhaps about 1675

His wife and widow were named Sarah.  The first mention of her is on 11 November 1695 when she relinquished her dower interest in land sold by Thomas Munday.6. She did  the same five years later on 11 September 1700.7  She was also a legatee that same year in the will of John Peatle.8

Although many genealogists suppose that Sarah Munday was the daughter of John Peatle, they have evidently not confronted the evidence that John Peatle was newly arrived in Virginia and was probably much too young to have been a parent. This is explained in much more detail in the separate document Sarah Munday was not the Daughter of John Peatle.

She was probably Sarah Browne.  Francis Browne had died in 1691 leaving a will naming his wife Elizabeth, two sons named Francis and Daniel, and four daughters named Elizabeth, Sarah, Mary, and Rebecca (no surnames noted)  The will of his widow Elizabeth Browne, dated 2 February 1698/9 and proved on 10 March 1701/2 left legacies to her two sons Francis Browne and Daniel Browne, and £12 to her daughter Sarah (no surname noted).9 That Sarah might have been Sarah Munday is suggested by Thomas Munday’s own will written in 1702, which made his wife Sarah his executrix but appointed “my loveing brother Francis Browne (to) see that this my Last will & Testament be justly and honestly performed according to the true Intent and meaning thereof”.

Carpenter, Planter, Slaveowner and Minor Official

The 1671 deed mentioned above referred to him as a carpenter.  Perhaps reflecting his expertise, on 6 February 1683/4 the Essex Court ordered that John Waters pay him for spending two days viewing “a house of the said Waters”.10   On 5 November 1681 the court ordered that he build a “sufficient prison on the Town land at Hobbs Hole” to match the prison on the north side of the river, for which he wold be paid 6,000 pounds of tobacco.11.  Hobb’s Hole was a trading post and settlement on the south bank of the river that later became known as Tappahannock. Then on 10 September 1694 Thomas Munday was one of three persons ordered to “meet at the house that Daniel Diskins is building for a Court House and consider land & make enquiry & adjudge of the true value & worth of the sd. house.”12

During is thirty-odd years in Essex County, Thomas Munday appeared frequently in Court and deed records.  Notably, he he had been appointed a surveyor of an unnamed roadway in 1684.13  On 6 July 1687 he was appointed a constable for his precinct.14 (The chief duty of constables at this time was to inspect tobacco, serving one-year terms.)  He was also a slaveowner. On 2 December 1685 he presented a ten year old slave to the court to have his age adjudged for tax purposes.15 (At that time, slaves were taxable at age twelve.)

His very large landholding suggests that he must also have been a planter. He recorded his stock mark in late 167816

Claimed as a Headright by George Taylor

On 3 March 1689/90 the Essex county court awarded a headlight certificate to George Taylor for the importation of 23 persons, one of whom was “Tho. Munday”.  ((Old Rappahannock County Court Orders 1686-1692, p199.)). Since Thomas Munday had lived in Essex County for more than twenty years, it is perhaps more likely that he sold his own headright to Taylor than that Taylor had actually imported him.  In any event Taylor did not use the headrights to claim land. Rather, he evidently sold the certificate to Charles Brown, who used 16 of those 23 headrights to obtain a patent in Essex County issued in 1694.17

On 11 July 1900 Thomas Munday was given a headlight certificate of his own for the importation of seven person.  ((Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 10, section with Court Orders 1699-1702, p47.])). He evidently sold this certificate to his neighbor James Boughan who, along with Richard Covington and William WIlliams, used it and several others to obtain a 2400-acre patent on 20 October 1704.

The John Peatle will

A man named John Peatle first appeared in Essex County records in 1694 and is found in a whopping two dozen records during the following six years until his death in 1700.  His will was undated but proved on 11 September 1700.  He owned no land, but individual items of personal property were gifted to each of the eight children of John Munday and to his wife Sarah Munday.18  He gave the remainder of his estate to Hannah Munday and appointed her executor. Since Hannah Munday was underage, Thomas Munday served as administrator of the estate “during ye minority of Hannah Munday his Daughter Exec’x therein named”19. His inventory was quite modest, consisting mostly of cloth, buttons, thread, buckles, clothing and similar items suggesting that he may have been a tailor.

Although some genealogists have suggested John Peatle was the father of Sarah Munday, that appears very unlikely.  For an extensive exploration of why see the separate paper on  John Peatle.

He Dies in 1703

Thomas Munday wrote his will on 1 August 1702 and it was proved almost exactly a year later on 10 August 1704.20  A transcript of the will may be found in this file of records.

The will named the same eight children as in John Peatle’s will in more or less the same order.  Most, perhaps even all, of the children were minors, as the will charged his executrix to “give good & Suff’t Security for my Children’s Estate abovementioned While they shall attain to Lawful age”. The eldest son, Thomas Munday Jr., may. have been of age since he was named a co-executor but was still living at home, as the will notes that he was to receive several of his legacies “as soon as he shall go to housekeeping.”  As mentioned above, the will charged “my loving brother Frances Brown” to see that the intent of the sill was performed. The txt of the will is in this file.

The inventory of the estate, recorded on 7 June 1704, is lengthy and included relatively large quantities of clothing and fabrics that may have been part of the John Peatle estate, four slaves, an indentured servant, and carpentry and cooper tools. It was filed in two parts totalling  £341.21. Interestingly, I did not see a still mentioned but the estate included 167 quart bottles.

Incidentally, Thomas Munday signed with a distinctive “TH” mark, which allows us to distinguish records that apply to him rather than to his son Thomas Munday.


  1. Old Rappahannock County Deeds & Wills Book 4, p186. []
  2. Old Rappahannock County Deeds & Wills Book 4, p363. []
  3. Old Rappahannock County Deeds & Wills Book 4, p452. []
  4. Old Rappahannock County Deeds & Wills Book 6, p64. []
  5. Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 10, p45-6. Indexed as p54-5. []
  6. Essex County Order Book 1, p259. []
  7. Essex County, Virginia, Deed Book 10, p54. Indexed as p58. []
  8. Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 10, pp53-54. []
  9. Essex County Deeds & WIlls Book 10, p101. []
  10. Old Rappahannock County Court Orders, item 1 of LDS Film #007673131, uncertain volume, p3. []
  11. Old Rappahannock County Court Orders 1686-1692, p335. Indexed as p239. []
  12. William & Mary Quarterly, Vol.18, No.3 (July 1938), p310. []
  13. Old Rappahannock County Court Orders 1683-1686, p21. []
  14. Old Rappahannock County Court Orders 1686-1692, p37. []
  15. Old Rappahannock County Court Orders 1683-1686, p182. []
  16. Old Rappahannock County Deed Book 6, p53.  Also apparently in Order Book 1677-1682, p193. []
  17. Virginia Patent Book 8, p399. []
  18. Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 10, p53-54. []
  19. Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 10, section of Court Orders 1699-1702, p57. []
  20. Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 11, pp55. []
  21. Essex County Deeds & Wills Book 12, pp19-22 []