Sunday, January 26, 2014

52 Ancestors: #4 - That OTHER Jollett Family

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued a challenge:  write one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor.  It can be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem – anything that focuses on one ancestor.

Last time I mentioned another Jollett family living in Culpeper County, Virginia, James and Gracey.  While it looks like they would be likely candidates for the parents of my confirmed James Jollett, “Gracey” as mother defies logic considering all the marriage records on which “Mary” is listed as mother of the bride.  Instead I have tricked myself into assuming they are an aunt and uncle, but I do realize they need more attention than I have given to their research. 

What I do know for sure is that there was a James JOLET who obtained a land patent for 61.5 acres in Spotsylvania County in 1748.  That puts him in the time frame of Thomas and William Jollett. 

In exchange for the land, James Jolet was required to pay one shilling for every 50 acres of land on the Feast of St. Michael the Arch Angel.  “Michaelmas” fell on September 29, the beginning of autumn when harvest was done.  In addition, he was expected to cultivate and improve 3 acres for every 50; failure to do so would result in revocation of the patent.  (I do not know for sure whether the payment was to King George II or to the governor of the Virginia colony.)

Then in 1760, James JOLLY purchased 127 acres along Little Crooked Run in Culpeper County from Joseph and Mary James.  I have transcribed the indenture, but to avoid a snooze-fest of legal jargon, I have isolated the description of the property because metes and bounds are just fun to read:

. . . Grant, Bargain Sell Enfeoff and Confirm unto the said James Jolly his heirs and assigns forever all that Tract or Parcel of Land Situated lying and being in the County aforesaid and on little Crooked Run and Bounded as followeth. Beginning at two Maples and Red Oak on Little Crooked Run in Beverlys line thence with his line North Twenty seven Degrees East One Hundred and Sixty eight poles to a White Oak and Two Pines Corner to the said Beverly and Henry Field, thence with the said Field’s line North Seventy two Degrees West one hundred and four poles to a White Oak and Pine thence South Twenty seven West one hundred and Sixty eight poles to two Pines on the North side Crooked Run thence South Six Degrees West fifty poles to three Pines on Kirtley Road thence East Sixty Pole to a White Oak on the South side the said Road thence North Seventy Degrees East Seventeen pole to a Maple and White Oak in the Little Crooked Run thence down the Several Meanders of the Run to the Beginning. Containing One hundred Twenty seven acres of Land . . . .

Seventeen years later, James and Gracey JOLLETT sold 127 acres along Little Crooked Run to Alexander Newman.  Let’s compare those metes and bounds:

. . . one hundred twenty seven acres of land in County aforesaid on Little Crooked Run bounded beginning at two Maples on the aforesaid run in BEAVERLY's line thence with his line North to two pines Corner to said Beaverly and HENRY FIELD thence with said Field's line North to a white oak on the North side of Crooks Run thence South West to KIRTLEY's ROAD thence East to a white oak on the South side of the said road to a Maple in Little Crooked Run down the several courses of the run to the first beginning. . . . 

Yep, sounds like the same property to me.  I wonder if those maples and white oaks are still standing.  Seriously, obviously this Jolly and Jollett are the same person.  The difference in spelling might indicate a pronunciation, perhaps French. 

(LIGHT BULB moment:  maybe James and Gracey were Thomas’s parents – it makes sense for Thomas to name a son after his father, little James’s grandfather). 

To do list:
  1. Look for wills, marriage records in Culpeper County using variant spellings Jollett, Jolet, Jolley, Jolly
  2. Look to see if Newman sold the land

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. I love reading about the immense amount of research you do. Your light bulb moments are the best!

  2. Great research Wendy! It's kind of interesting to me that they used trees in these descriptions of the properties. Weren't they concerned about these trees being gone at some future date?