Monday, May 28, 2012

Line 16.1 John West, Southern Friends and Loved Ones

John was squarely, firmly Church of England. Yet he married a woman who became a Quaker, in spite of her father’s destine for that church. How this affected John is not recorded but he must have struggled in some way with the differences in his own and his wife’s faiths.

John West was born 08 April 1638 St. Dunstan, Stepney, London, England, son of Anthony and Anne West.
Married Matilda Scarborough was born about 1643 in Accomac, Accomack Co., Virginia the daughter of Edmund Henry Scarborough and his wife Mary Littleton (see line 15.2 for children)
Died May 27, 1703 in Accomac, Accomack Co., Virginia

John West began to collect land at the young age of 18. On 23 Dec 1650 he required 1600 acres in Northampton, Virigina. Ten years later on 3 Nov 1660 he gain 800 acres of land. His wife, Matilda was “granted” 250 acres which became John’s because of “marrying with the said Scarburgh”. By 1663, he moved his family to Accomck County, Virginia where in 1670, he and his brother-in-law Charles Scarborough were granted land on an island in Chesapeake Bay. From a 1713 patent issued years after the deaths of  Charles who died in 1702, and John who died in 1703, we can guess that the island was Tangier.
John West was a busy man. He farmed his island land. He was a carpenter and shipbuilder. He was a commissioner for Accomack County, Virginia in 1662, Justice of the Peace from 1663 to 1702, High Sheriff of Accomack Co. in 1664 and 1667 and a member of the House of Burgess in 1680. From 1665-1703 he was a Captain then a Major and finally a Lieutenant Colonel in the state militia. John may have been  the John West Major serving under General Berkely during the Bacon rebellion and suffered great losses in property. If so he was captured and imprisoned for a while as well. The Bacon Rebellion started when a group of settlers, lead by a wealthy planter named Nathnaiel Bacon, protested against the Indian raids. Governor Berkely allowed the Indians to remain enraging the settlers. Both poor white and poor black farmers united to fight against what they felt threat they felt from both the native population and Governor Berkely. The Indians, at least for a time, were allowed to remember but poor old Berkely was recalled to England.
John West wrote his will 3 Februaty 1702/3. It was proved 2 August 1703. The Snead Bible records " Lieut. Coll. John West died May 27, 1703" John’s will named his wife Mathilda and their six sons (Anthony, Alexander, Jonathan, Bennony, John the elder and John the younger) and seven daughters (Catherine, Anne, Mary, Scarburgh, Mathilda, Frances and Sarah) as well as other relatives, included grandchildren.

A busy man indeed was my ancestor John West. He fought rebellions, claimed large portions of land, built ships and raised a large family. On top of all that, he worshiped in the Church of England while his rebellious wife became a Quaker. I can feel assured that their relationship, while certainly differing on theology, remained warm in that they had a large family over nearly twenty-seven years. John left Matilda well off and well provided for. She survived him by over sixteen years, probably being cared for by her children and her “friends” in the Quaker Church.

1. [CR] "Descendants of Anthony West" by Carolyn Rozelle
2. [AWJV] "Anthony West, James city, Virginia" from Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia 1607-1625
3. [WFCF] "West Families from Colonial Families of U.S."
4. [PSA] "Pam Shelton-Anderson Gedcom"
5.  [CMG] "Descendants of Edmund Scarborough" from Cynthia McDaniel, Ghote
6. [JWW] Will of John West, 1703
7. [RB] West family lineage, Ralph Barlow, Northampton Virginia
8. [LCJW] "Ancestors of Lt. Col. John West" Internet,

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