The very first record we have of “our” John Hendrickson is a land lease in Loudoun County, Virginia in 1765.
How do we know it’s him?
In Loudoun County during the pre-Revolutionary War times, land was owned by “proprietors” — typically well-placed Lords in England and rich American families. They didn’t sell their Loudoun land. Instead, they rented it and lived off the rental income.
These “lease for lives” rental agreements were contracted between the land owner and the lessee farmer, for the lifetime of the farmer and his two youngest sons. This would ensure that the farm stayed in the family for many years, and the landowner would have consistent income. Here’s the lease information for John, naming his two youngest sons (at the time), John and Simeon, and the land owner, John Tayloe:
From “Index to Loudoun Co Deed Books A-Z, 1757-1800” by Pat Duncan. Book D, Page 641; Date: 10 Sep 1765; Returned to court: 14 Oct 1765
John Tayloe of Richmond Va to farmer John Hendrickson (sons Simeon & John) of Ldn [of Loudoun]. Lease for lives of 150ac. Witnesses: John McIlheney, Samuel Phillips, Thomas Humphrey, Thomas Pursley.MEANING: He’s already in Loudoun when he leases this land. We find him on tithable records dating from 1760, but he was probably leasing land at that time, too. Note that it says that John is a farmer.
Simeon is the linchpin here. There are only a few Simeon Hendricksons in existence in the 1700s, and only one in the VA, PA, MD area.
From Pat Duncan abstracts of Loudoun Co Order Books: Order Book C, 14 October 1765 [page 60]
Indenture of lease for lives between The Hon’ble. John TAYLOE Esqr. and John HENDRICKSON proved by witnesses John McILHANEY, Gent. Samuel PHILLIPS and Thomas HUMPHREY and ordered to be recorded.Note: John McIlhaney/McIlheney is Tayloe’s land agent.
John Tayloe leased much land in Loudoun, and these farmers would have been John Hendrickson’s neighbors. It’s possible that some of these families intermarried with the Hendricksons. Here’s a list of John Tayloe’s leases from that time frame.
Loudoun County Tithables Lists
Searching for the decade before and after 1765, we find John Hendrickson and his sons on tithables (tax) list from Loudoun County. A tithable is a taxable person. In the 1760s, it was a free white male over the age of 16 in a household. When you do NOT see a son listed, it’s probably because he’s not 16 yet. This helps you to estimate his age: when he first appears on the tax list, that’s when he’s hit the age threshold to be counted. Each jurisdiction had it’s own age limits, so I couldn’t assume it was 16 or 18 in Loudoun at that time; I had to look up the Virginia Statues for that era to be sure.
From the Index to the 1758-1781 Loudoun Co Tithables as abstracted by the Sparacios:
- 1760 Hendrickson, John – 1 tithable (from the tithables list taken by Jas. Hamilton for 1760, probably taken in 1759)
- 1761 Hendrickson, John – 1 tithable (from the tithables list give in to John Miclehenny for 1761)
- 1762 Hendrickson, John – 1 tithable (from John Mucklebary’s List of Tiths: 1762)
- 1765 Reader, Joseph [Reeder] – (3 men over 16) :; Reader, Danell [Daniel?]; Henderickson, James – 3 tithable (from the tithables list by Fielding Turner 1765) This is the first instance we see James Hendrickson, and if he’s 16 in 1765, he’s born sometimes before 1749
- 1767 Hendrickson, John – 1 tithable (from the tithables list for Colo. Nichs. Minors tiths; taken 1767 No. 2)
- 1767 Hendrickson, John – 1 tithable (from the tithables list taken by Jas. Hamilton for 1767)
- 1769 Starke, Philip. (3 men over 16) Allen, Enos; Henrickson, Simon – 3 tithables (from the List of Tithables taken by Jas. Hamilton 1769). This is the first instance of Simeon on a tithables list, so he’s born before 1753
- 1773 Henderson, Simion – 1 tithable (from the list taken for Shelburne Parish by Leven Powell) [Pat Duncan provided these tithable lookups for me in August 2018. She researched this last one, and realized it was a transcription error in the index. She said: “I looked at the actual tithables and the name is Hendraxon”] This means Simeon is still in Loudoun after his family moved to Fayette County, Pennsylvania circa 1770.
More from Loudoun County Records
There are several more records from Loudoun during the 1760-1770 era that are probably our family as well.
James Hendrickson and wife, Margaret
Order Book D, 13 April 1769 [page 188]
James HENDRICKSON & wife Margaret against Thomas HUMPHREYS – petition upon an account – petition is dismissed; Defendant to recover against Plaintiff his costs.
Order Book D, 13 April 1769 [page 189]
Abraham ANDERSON a witness for James HENDRICKSON & wife Margaret having attended Court nine days and traveled and returned from Frederick 26 miles three times, ordered that James pay him for the same 349 lbs. of tobacco.(I’m not sure if this means James Hendrickson was growing tobacco. Tobacco was the common currency of this era, and many records refer to paying in tobacco and not cash/money.)
- I’m not sure about this James Hendrickson. Loudoun County is in the northwest of Virginia, very close to both the Maryland and (what is now) West Virginia borders. I have searched in the area and can’t find a James married to a Margaret. It’s possible he’s from another Hendricks or Hendrickson DNA line. He needs more research.
- If he’s married by 1769, he was born before 1748, unless he married before he was 21.
- I’m not sure if this case file is available from Loudoun County courthouse. It might mention other people, so I’ll need to find a researcher willing to do a lookup at the courthouse for me.
- Note that the witness is from “Frederick.” They don’t say whether it’s Frederick County, VA or Frederick County, MD or the town of Frederick, Maryland. But the county seat of Loudoun is Leesburg, VA and the town of Frederick, MD is almost exactly 26 miles away. This means that James had connections with people in Frederick, Maryland, and this might be a clue as to where he comes from or where his wife comes from. There was a John Hendrick fighting in the French & Indiana War, 1757, from Frederick County, Maryland.
Order Book D, 10 April 1770 [page 338]
At a Court called and held Saturday the 7th of July 1770 for the examination of James SHAUGHNESS charged with felony in committing a rape on the body of Mary HENDRICKSON. Before George WEST, Craven PEYTON, William DOUGLASS, Stephen DONALDSON & Fleming PATTERSON, Gent. Justices. Pleads not thereof guilty. Opinion of the Court that James is guilty of the felony and ought to be tried for the same at the next General Court. Ordered that he be remanded to goal, and sent down for a further tryal and that it be certified that James is a transport and convicted. John QUEEN acknowledged £50 bond that Mary shall make her personal appearance in City of Williamsburg on the 6th day of the next General Court to give evidence. Court dissolved. George WEST. Truly recorded by C. BINNS. Cl.
This is a harrowing story and does not have a happy ending. But I tackle that story in another blog post.
1769, Loudoun: In Samuel Butcher’s will, he mentions the lease land he purchased from John Hendrickson. This means, at some point before the will date (12 September 1769), John Hendrickson sold his lease to Samuel Butcher. Whether it was the entire amount of land, or a portion, I don’t know yet. Does this mean that in September 1769, John was already planning to go to Pennsylvania? Or that the family had fallen on hard times and needed to sell the land lease? We don’t know.
Book B, Page 203; Date of will: 12 Sep 1769; Received in Court: 9 Mar 1778
I give my beloved Daughter Jane Butcher one hundred and fifty acres (of land) lying between the Baptis meeting house and Thomas Lewelyn to her and heirs and their heirs and assigns for Ever the same lot yt. was laid out for Else Pierce & And farther I do order that Lease Land that I purchased from John Hendrickson to be sould as soon as possible after me diseas by my Executors and the money to be equaly divided between my Wife and seven Children John excepted.(transcribed “as is” with misspellings in place)
That’s the records I have about the Hendricksons in Loudoun County, Virginia. There’s still a bit of research to be done on James and Margaret Hendrickson, but otherwise this is fairly solid evidence.