The Napier Family
feel very lucky to have come across a great deal of research already
done on the NAPIER Family. I
had been researching this family for many years when I happened upon the
work of Vara Knepp. Her work confirmed my research findings and I
enjoyed corresponding with her. In exchange for permission to print my
work on the McGinty Family she in turn gave me permission to
print this portion along with my own findings of Dr. Patrick
This work appears in the book, "DR. PATRICK NAPIER of
Virginia and related families".
First, to the myths,
traditions and stories that surround our Napier line.
It is unfortunate that, as in many families with a very early
settlement in America, certain myths have gotten prominence by wide
circulation in print, and been accepted as facts of history.
Even the meaning of our surname has at least two conflicting
stories, both of them of quite respectable age.
This problem is easier to solve.
Surnames of Scotland, by George Black (1946), N.Y. Pub.
Library, publisher, page 624 reads:
Lt. Colonel John
Hawkins Napier III,
of Ramer, Alabama, but then of Picayune, Mississippi (hereafter
referred to for simplicity as JHN), in his book "Tha Hast Na
Peer," (1967 - but undated) amusingly recounts the tradition
about one Egfirth (d. 1064), who was father of a son named Arkyll,
who became father of a son of the same name, who in turn, had a son Alwyn.
This Alwyn was the first of the ancient earls of
"Levenax" (Lennox), now in Dumbartonshire, Scotland. Alwyn
sent his son, Ethus (or Donald), to fight for the King of
Scotland shortly before A.D. 1200.
As the legend goes, Donald saved the day for his forces. Afterwards, the king, in handing out awards, is said to have
announced, in good Scots-English dialect: 'Tha has all done valiantly
this day, but there is one amongst thee who hath na peer as a
fighter.' Then and there
he commanded Donald, Alias Ethus, to accept the epithet
"Na Peer" as a surname.
Hence ... it is said ... "Napier of Lennox" was born!
in his ancient work, The Scottish Nation (1863) A. Fullarton &
Co., Edinburgh and London, Vol. 3, p. 237, in a very lengthy account
of the family, repeats the above story.
This may have been its first time in print.
He says that the declaration of the king went like this:
"You have all done valiantly; but there is one amongst you who
had "Nae Peer," and thereupon commanded him to take the name
of Napier in place of Lennox. Anderson
says "THIS IS JUST A SPECIMEN OF THE OLD LEGENDS WITH WHICH THE
EARLY HISTORY OF SCOTLAND ABOUNDS, NOT ONE OF WHICH IS WORTHY OF THE
SLIGHTEST CREDIT." He
then asserts that the surname was "originally Le Naper, an
seems most likely to have been derived from an office attached to the
court, such as Le Botiler, Le Gros Veneur, &c."
To his credit, JHN also leans toward the latter statement. The surname "Le Napier" appears in England
in a Latinized form as early as 1103.
(It should be noted here, that, in the case of descendants of George
Chandler, who came to Pennsylvania about 1686, some claim the
surname comes from the trade of tallow chandler, i.e. a candle maker,
while others say it has its origin in the court office of lightbearer,
i.e. Le Chaundeleur!)
Now to the origin of Dr.
Patrick Napier, who lived in York County, Virginia, from at least
1655 until his death in late February of 1669, we have two differing
versions of the name of his father.
From our standpoint, having researched both, it is difficult to
remain neutral as to the more likely origin!
The older tradition -
but not a really ancient one - is that Dr. Napier was born in
1610 in Scotland, "one of the many children" of Robert
Napier, son of the most famous of all the Napiers, John of
Merchiston, "the celebrated inventor of the logarithms,"
of "John of Logs," for short.
exist numberless repetitions of this story, from archival family group
sheets in the library of the Genealogical Society of Utah, to the
International Genealogical Index (IGI) on microfiche, by the same
society, to many family histories in short, long, printed or
handwritten style. People
want to be descended from famous ancestors, and since the inventor of
logarithms might be their ancestor, as the story goes, they are
delighted, and seem disinclined to challenge it! In fact, some have
lost interest in genealogy after learning it is patently false!
writer, Anderson, in his above cited work of 1863 (Vol. 3, p.
244, col. 1) differs alarmingly with the John of Logs story:
Culcreuch, Sterlingshire, the 3rd son of the 2nd marriage of John
Napier of Merchiston, the inventor of Logarithms ... left one son,
Alexander Napier of Culcreuch, born 1621, who married Margaret,
eldest daughter of John Lennox of Woodhead, or Lexxon Castle,
Sterlingshire, and died in 1692.
Only one son! No Patrick? But we hasten to report that others claim he had a large family of "many children" including our Dr. Patrick Napier of York County, Virginia! Others? Yes - those who want to be descended from John of Logs! Well, take heart; Robert Napier did have more than one child. The Genealogical Magazine, Vol 1 (1897) p. 290, in an article "The Napiers of Culcreuch," by Walter M'Graham Easton, begins "By an oversight, which can hardly be accounted for, Burke's Peerage, sub Napier, Baronet of Napier, gives only one son, Alexander (afterwards of Culcreuch), to Robert Napier, first laird of Culcreuch, by his second wife, Anna, daughter of Sir William Drumond, third of Riccarton. Alexander was not even "son and heir" of this marriage, but the second son.
first of Culcreuch, Stirlingshire, was the second son of the greatest
man of the name, John Napier, eighth of Merchistoun, Midlothian
... head of an ancient Anglo-Norman family.
Robert was his father's amanuensis, and possessed a good
deal of his talent, and after his death he edited his work with credit
to himself. He was twice
married. By his first wife
he had two sons: 1: Archibald of Boquhaple, who was served heir
of this father on the 20 merk lands, of Bowhoopple, June 1, 1655. He died before August 19, 1662 ... 2. John, who had an
annuity from the lands of Drumquhassell, but seems to have died without
issue, as his younger (half) brother William succeeded to this
annuity, and he is not noticed in his father's will.
By his second wife, Anna Drummond ... he had" 3.
of Culcreuch and Culnagrein... 4. Alexander, succeeded his
brother William in the estate, who had either forfeited or sold
it before March 3, 1675, as on that date there is a sasine of the lands
of Culcreuch to his brother Alexander ... 5. Marie, m. Alexander
Seton ... 6. Anna, married Walter Leckie of Deshours,
and 7. Jean.
further shows that Robert Napier of Culcreuch died there in July
of 1642 leaving a will, as shown in the Commissariat of Stirlingshire
record of testaments, Vol. 5, not mentioning any son named Patrick!
Very well, then, he did
not have only one son, he had four sons and three daughters!
But he did not have a son Patrick! End of false story!
Well, if we can't be
directly descended from John Napier of Logarithms, can we at
least be related to him in some way?
Of course. Try
third, maybe fourth cousin. We
have not proved anything on this latter theory, but Dr. Patrick
Napier of York Co., Virginia probably was a distant cousin of John
of Logs. Be comforted in
on the Napier Family (1968), p. 35, states "Dr.
Patrick Napier was born and educated in Scotland, son of Robert
Napier, and grandson of Sir John Napier, noted
Mathematician, scholar, inventor. (He)
immigrated to America in 1655, sponsored by Peter Ford, settled
in Gloucester County, VA., and moved shortly to York County, VA."
On p.34 the statement is made that Robert Napier
(1580-1662) son of the Mathematician, "married Frances --
on November 13, 1595 (sic - at age fifteen!).
Among their many children was a son, Dr. Patrick, immigrant to
Virginia." As we
have proven, nearly all of this is false.
As we shall see in our
sketch, one Peter Ford patented 500 acres in Gloucester Co.,
VA., on 25 March 1655 using ten headrights to secure the patent.
A careful reading of the patent (Book 3, p. 340, LDS film
029,308) shows that the headrights were assigned to Ford by Lieut.
Colonel Abrall, who had been the assignee of one Captain John
Underwood. It is
possible that Peter Ford never saw Patrick Napier or any
of the ten whose names he used to get the land, and did not need to
do, to procure the patent. However, he may have met him in business later, since he
appears often in the York County records, as do the names of Abrall
and Underwood as well as Dr. Napier.
From the wording of the patent, it seems that it was John
Underwood who paid the passage of Dr. Patrick to America.
At least, he was the first to have his name on a qualifying
certificate for land.
is no evidence at all that Napier ever set foot in Gloucester
County, VA. The patenting
of land in no way implies that those named in the headrights had to
live in the county where the land was laid out.
Napier (p. 35) states that Patrick was born in 1610.
This statement is adhered to in every case where the theory of
lineage to John of Logs applies.
We have never found a statement of Patrick's age.
He could have been born that early.
But this assertion must take second place to a younger age for
the American immigrant. Patrick
did not marry until after his arrival in Virginia.
We have no evidence of a previous marriage for him.
Before November 1658, he had wed Elizabeth Booth (or Bouth),
daughter of Mr. Robert Booth, Clerk of the Court, member of the
Virginia House of Burgesses, etc. by his wife Frances. Their names, apparently, furnished the given names of
Napier's two children, Robert and Frances, not Robert Napier of
Culcreuch, and a supposed wife Frances.
Elizabeth Booth Napier
was born about 1637-1640. This
age we establish from a deposition of 1668 by her mother Frances
Bouth, then aged 49, giving 1619 as a year of birth for her, and
estimating that Elizabeth was born when Frances was between 18 and 20.
Elizabeth was living by 15, November 1641 when 50 acres were
given to her as "daughter of Robert Bouth" (Tyler's
Quarterly, XIV (1933) p. 181).
Elizabeth might have married a man 27 years her senior, but
this is unlikely. It
would mean that he first fathered children at the age of fifty.
H. Napier III
prefers a much younger age for the Doctor, and so do we, as based on
these facts: One
Valentine Napier deeded a horse named "Fox" to the
widow of Dr. Patrick Napier in 1669.
He, like Patrick, was a physician, and lived in Kent County,
MD. We find the baptism
of one Vallentine Napyer (sic) son of Patricke and Joane
Napyer, on 4 March 1626-27, in the church of St. Bride Fleet
Street, London. The
implication here is inescapable!
(This name Valentine Napier, surfaced some generations
later in the family of Robert 4 Napier
(Robert3; Capt. Robert2, Dr. Patrick1).
Add to that the marriage we located, in the register of the
parish of St. Gregory by St. Paul London. "Patricke Napper and
Joane Wallas (Wallace?) were married on 4, July 1628 by license
from the Vicar General of London."
Of course, if this Joane is the mother of the above Valentine,
the marriage took place sixteen months after the christening of the
child. Be that as it may
(and it was often), we believe we have found the parentage of Dr.
Patrick1 Napier, being Patrick Napier and Joan Wallas or Wallace, as above.
Just because we have not yet found the baptism of a Patrick
Napier in this same family does not mean we or someone else will
not do so upon a diligent search.
It should be remembered that people in London moved about quite
a bit, being usually in some trade of other, and may not have
christened all their children in the same parish church, or, indeed,
in the city.
his article in Vol. 15 of Historical Southern Families, p. 221
JHN has reported:
certain Mungo Napier was burgess of Dumbarton before 1600, and
his son Patrick was admitted to the same office on July 23, 1633.
This Patrick was barber to King Charles I. of England, and his
son Patrick, Jr. born between 1634-1639, was apprenticed to Sir
Alexander Pennycuik on May 6, 1649.
Dr. Pennycuik was surgeon to Sir Alexander Leslie's
Scottish Troops, defeated at the Battle of Dunbar by the army of Oliver
Cromwell. Subsequently Patrick Napier (the son) emigrated to Virginia with other
Scottish Royalist after the year 1650.
Lt. Colonel also shows that, in the same series, Vol. 59, being the Roll
Edinburgh Burgesses, 1406-1700 (pub. 1926), p. 398, under
Pennycuik, reads: Alexander, Burgess, chirurgiane to his Excellency
General Alexander Leslie (muskit), by act of Council of this date
- 20 November 1640, and, we also noted, Alexander Pennycuick,
Guild brother, chirurgian, Burgess of befoir, gratis, by act of
Council 13 February 1650. (NOTE: The surname Pennycuik, or Pennycook,
comes from a place in Scotland.)
indicates that Leslie's Scots army was defeated by Oliver Cromwell
at Dunbar, 3 September 1650, and puts 2 and 2 together, concluding
that, if Alexander Pennycuik was the surgeon at Dunbar, so was
his apprentice, Patrick Napier the Younger, there, and taken
prisoner to be "sold to the plantations in America."
JHN and Edward D. Napier, Genealogist of Clan Napier of North
America, Falls Church, VA. bring our attention to the following works:
George Hillier, Narrative of the Attempted Escapes of
Charles the First from Carisbrooke Castle (London, 1852), pp.
100-101; and Jack D. Jones, The Royal Prisoner (London,
1965), pp. 60,62. In
these we learn that "one Napier (given name not shown)"
attempted the escape of King Charles from his confinement in the
castle in 1648, but failed, the King getting stuck in a hole which was
prepared too small for his girth to maneuver. (The Public Record
Office, Chancery Lane, London, has this record in its original form,
to support the above statement.)
February 7, 1647-48
Earl of Kent, in the name of the Committee of both Houses to Col.
Hammond. Having received
some intelligence from a source which we formerly found true, we
thought it necessary to give you notice of it and recommend the
business to your especial care. That
the King's escape is designed, the manner thus, by one Napier
and a servant of David Murray, whom we take to be the King's
tailor. The King is to be drawn up out of his bedchamber into the
room over it, the ceiling whereof is to be broken for that purpose,
and then conveyed from one room to another till he be passed all the
rooms where any guards are at any doors or windows.
Sent by Mr. Faukeard. (Interregnum 24 E., p. 10. Copy 1/2p.)
Patrick Napier (The eleventh day issued forth Letters of
Administration to Anno 1660 Aprill) Christopher Napier the naturall and
lawfull sonne of Patricke Napier late of the parish of St. Martins in
the fields gent intestate deced to Administer all and singular the goods
Chatells - and debtes of the sayd deced, he being first Sworne truely to
Administer &c By order of Court. (LDS Film 093,261; Administration
Act Books, Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 1659-1660, folio 15, second
item on page.)
Archibald Napper, son of Patrick and Elizabeth, was christened 29
October 1633, in parish of St. Martins-in-the-Fields (Harleian Society
Publications, Vol. 66, p. 98).
Casander Naper, daughter of Valentine & Sarah, baptized 12,
January 1647 (1647/48?) at St. Margarets, Westminister, London (IGI
however, does not square with the supposition of Cromwell's ire toward
one who had attempted to free the Royal prisoner!
This Patrick Napier died the year the Crown was restored to the
head of Charles II., two years after Cromwell's death.
Of course, this in no way changes the possibility of the son
Patrick being taken prisoner and shipped out for his complicity,
active or tacit, in the Battle of Dunbar.
we must solve the problem of the wife Joan and the wife Elizabeth to
Patrick Napier. We have
located the first marriage, we think, but not the second.
We have at this time, no evidence of a second Patrick Napier,
which would mean two men of the same name, one with a wife named Joan,
the other with an Elizabeth, one of these men being the King's Barber!
his father the man married to Joan Wallas? Was this Patrick Napier, Sr. the same who was
apprenticed by servitude, in 1631, to William Hann in London?
Could he then be the identical man who was admitted Burgess of
Dumbarton in 1633, son of Mungo Napier?
Was he also the Barber-Surgeon to King Charles?
Finally was he the same who apprenticed his son to Pennycuik in
1649 and lived out his life in London, dying in 1660?
The General Armory (1884) pp. 722-723 lists no less than 30
different armorial bearings (coats of arms), of Edinburg
("Argent, a saltier engrailed between four roses gules barbed
vert"), there are coats of Naper or Napper from Oxford, England,
and Ireland. From
Scotland there are arms for families - individuals usually - from
Haddington, Culcreuch, Co. Stirling, Balwhapple (Balquahappie), Co.
Dunbartonm Faside, Co. Fife, Harviestoun, Co. Clackmannan, Tayock,
Blackstone, Co. Renfrew, Ballikinrain, Co. Dunbarton, Craigannet, Co.
Stirling, Kilmahew, Co. Dumbartonm Wright's House, Edinburgh, and a
family from Dorsetshire, England
entry for a Napier coat of arms granted in Ireland shows that Napier
of Middlemarshall and Morecritchell, Co. Dorset, England, Baronet,
extinct by 1765, was granted to Gerard Napier, eldest son of Sir
Nathaniel Napier, Knight, of Morecritchell, and grandson of Sir
Robert Naper, Napper of Napier, Chief Baron of the Exchequer in
Ireland, created Baronet in 1641.
His amrs: "Argent, a saltire engrailed between four
cinquefoils guiles." That
is reminiscent of the Merchistoun arms.
the family of Napier has been armigerous throughout the British Isles,
a quite impressive commentary in itself.
the publication of the above information on Dr. Patrick Napier, by
Vava Knepp, in 1988, more has come to light about the origins of Dr.
Napier. Lt. Col. John
Hawkins Napier III continued his research of 45 years into the
background of Dr. Patrick Napier and finally discovered his origins.
In October of 1989 he made a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland and
visited the Scottish Records Office, Register House.
There he found the crucial documents that proved Dr. Patrick
Napier's grandfather Mungo Napier to have been a son of Patrick Napier
of Blackyards and Tutor (guardian) of Kilmahew!
The document took the family back another eight generations to
the first John Napier of Kilmahew, living in Dunbartonshire in 1280,
from whom descended the other landed Napier families of Scotland--of
Wrighthouses, Ballikinrain, Merchiston, and their cadet branches, as
well as those who later went to England and Ireland.
Further, following traditionary accounts one can trace back
through Donald "le Nae-peer" and his ancestors, the ancient
Earls and Mormaers of Lennox and the hereditary abbots of Dunkeld of
the kindred of St. Columba to Kenneth MacAlpine, the first King of
Scots, and back to Niall of the Nine Hostages, High King of Ireland
(reigned c. 412-38), 47 generations in 1500 years.
For addition information into the Napier Family ancestors please refer
to John Hawkins Napier III's book, "Dr. Patrick Napier: His
Ancestors and Some Descendants". From his book I have taken a
partial listing of my husbands ancestors leading to his connection
into the Napier Family line.
For addition information into the Napier Family ancestors please refer to John Hawkins Napier III's book, "Dr. Patrick Napier: His Ancestors and Some Descendants". From his book I have taken a partial listing of my husbands ancestors leading to his connection into the Napier Family line.
Conn of the Hundred
Battles, d. c. A.D. 245
reigned in Ireland, c. 253-83
"Ulfhada,"r. c. 287-392, traditionally first King of
"Srabhteine," r. c. 330-61
"Tireach," r. c. 364-89
"Mugmedon," King of Tara, r. c. 389-98
8. Briun, brother of Niall of the Nine Hostages, High King of
Ireland, r. c. 412-38
9. Daughter, Fedlim Folt-choem, m. Domingart I, King of Dalriada,
Babran, King of Dalriada, r. 538-58 m. Lleian
11. Adian, King of Dalriada, r. 574-609, m. dau. of Malgwyn, King
Buide, King of Dalriad, d. 619
Donnall Brecc, King of Dalriada, r. 619-42
14. Domingart II, King of Dalriada, r. c. 660-73
Echoid II "Crooknose," King of Dalriada, r. 696-97
16. Echoid III, "Augbaidh," King of Dalriad, r. 726-33
Aedh Finn, King of Dalriada, r. 748-78
18. Echoid IV " The Venomous," King of Dalriada, r.
781-89?, m. King of Picts daughter
Alpin II, King of Dalriada, r. 839-41
Kenneth I MacAlpin, first King of Scots (Dalriada and Pictland),
21. Constantine I, King of Scots, r. 863-77
II, King of Scots, r. 889-900
23. Malcolm I, King of Scots, r. 942-54
24. Kenneth II, King of Scots, r. 971-95
25. Malcolm II, King of Scots, 1005-34.
26. Princess Bethoc (Beatrice), m. c. 1000 Crinan the Thane,
Hereditary Abbot of Dunkeld, of the Kindred of St. Columba.
They had (1) King Duncan I and (2),
27. Maldred (Malcolm), King of the Cumbrians 1034-45, m. Algitha,
daughter Uchtred, Earl of Northumberland and his wife Elgina, daughter
King Ethelred II "The Unready" of England.
Maldred and Algitha's 2nd son,
28. Maldred of Winlaton, d. 1100, 3rd son,
Seneschal of the Lennox, fl. 1070
30. Alwyn Mor MacArkyll, fl. temp. King David I (r. 1124-53), and
31. Daughter, m. Murdac, son of Maldouen, fl. 1136m son of Murdac,
desc. Maine Leamhan
32. Alwyn, first Earl of Lennox, d. ante 1199, m. dau. Alwyb Oge. 2nd
33. Ethus, or Donald "le Nae-peer," fl. c. 1200,
lands in Fife and Gosford
34. Robert Le Nae-peer, m. Mary Murray?
John Le Nae-peer
37. John Napier, Baron of
Kilmahew 1280, defender of Stirling Castle 1304
38. John Napier of Kilmahew, served Malcolm fifth Earl of Lennox 1333
39. Duncan Napier of Kilmahew, m. Elizabeth Ardincaple (MacAulay)
John Napier of Kilmahew, fl. 1407
41. John Napier of Kilmahew, fl. 1441
42. Duncan Napier of Kilmahew, fl. 1462, m. Elizabeth Musset
43. Robert Napier of Kilmahew, fl. 1497, m. Agnes Maxwell
44. John Napier of Kilmahew, c. 1500-48, m. Margaret Sempill,
45. Patrick Napier of Blackyards, Tutor of Kilmajew, c.
1536-85, m. Katherine Noble
46. Mungo Napier, Burgess of Dumbarton, c. 1579-c.
1633, to London 1603?
47. Patrick Napier, Gent., Barber to King Charles I, c.
1608-59, m. Joan Wallis
48. Patrick Napier, Chirurgeon, c. 1634-69, to Virginia c.
1651, m. Elizabeth Booth
Napier, b. c. 1660, m. Mary Perrin
husbandís line branches off here when the daughter of Robert and Mary
(Perrin) Napier, Frances, marries Benjamin Woodson.
Captain Robert Napier
He married, between October 1688 and October 1689, (probably at St. John's Church) Henrico Co., VA., Mary Perrin, daughter of Richard and Katherine (Royall) Perrin of that county. Mary was born about 1670, in Henrico County, and was living on 3 April, 1718, in Henrico County, aged about 48 years.
Starting out as an orphan child did not stop Robert Napier from becoming
a successful example to his peers.
Militia officer, plantation owner, vestryman of his parish, man
of influence. All these
terms describe him. His
father, though well known in his own time, did not attain his son's
stature in public service, and it would be several generations down
the line before his descendants equaled him.
Upon the death of Dr. Patrick Napier in the early months of 1669, Robert was a nine year old without a father. Land wise, he was well taken care of, however, for he would inherit half of a huge plantation of 1500 acres in New Kent County upon the death of his mother, as set out in his father's will dated 26, February 1668/9 and proved less than two months later.
It would be the early 1680s before Robert Napier would reach his
majority. It is about
that time that we pick up the first notices of the Napier name.
There is a grant of land, 28 September 1681, to Mr. William
Crump for 1015 acres in New Kent County.
It is described as "on the south side and narrows of York
River. Begin by the Mill
Roade near Stephen Crump's fence by a spring; by Westover Path ... Mr.
Nappier etc. (Cavaliers and Pioneers, Vol. 2, pp.223-224)."
In other words, Mr. Napier's land bounded the grant.
The Col. George Lydall here is doubtless the Captain George
Lyddall described as a neighbor to his land, by Dr. Patrick Napier in
his last will twelve years earlier.
However, it should be stated that the Mr. Nappier of this legal
description could refer to the deceased physician, not to son Robert,
who was only coming of age at that time, and his mother, Elizabeth
(Booth) Napier was probably still living and holding the property in
There are several other references in the Virginia Patent books to
"Mr, Napier," as set out in out Appendix to this sketch.
Some are surely references to Capt. Napier himself.
That brings us to the first grant in his own name.
On 23 October 1690 he patented 190 acres in New Kent, in St.
Peter's Parish "beginning on his own land; to fork of the tanhous
deep Southwest; on land late of Mark Warkman; to the line late of
Hukestep, etc." Four headright were used, " by Rowland Davies's
certificate to Robert Bouth, 6 August, 1683."
Robert Napier used a certificate held, but not used, by his
mother's brother, son of his grandfather, Dr. Robert Booth.
Incidentally, the "Hukestep" here is probably the Mr.
Walter Huckstep of other descriptions.
This property was very near where Dr. Booth had lived, for the
son, Robert Booth has been officially granted his father's land by
Order of Assembly dated 25 April 1679, and he has sold or assigned
same to Mark Warkman (op. cit. 2:228).
Robert obtained several other patents over the next few years: 753 acres
in St. Peter's Parish, New Kent (29 April 1693); 310 acres in the
Pamunkey Neck which fell successively into King and Queen and then
into King William County (which he assigned to one John Pettiver), and
300 acres in King William County (20 October 1704) which really was in
the same neighborhood. The
headright he used were probably all assigned to him, for he was not a
seafaring man and we have no indications of any trips abroad.
The 1704 grant was within the bounds of the Indian Lease :Part
of the land laid out according to the Articles of Peace for the
Pamunkey Indians who at a General Court held 22 October 1701,
relinquished their right & pretensions thereto, &c.
Now granted by order."
It began on the north side of the Swamp on
the river, to the mouth of Nicatawance Creek, along side the
creek, to Philip Williams' line &c.
This patent was just two months before his daughter Elizabeth
was born, as we shall see (Cavaliers, 2:385; 3:61, 86).
Counting his inherited land, and if he obtained the whole 1500 acres,
supposing his sister Frances had not lived, he would have held 2743
acres, not counting the 310 assignment to Pettiver.
However, apparently he had sold off some of the land.
The Virginia Quit Rent Rolls show he held only 100 acres
liable for quit rents in King William County (published 1957 by Annie
Laurie Wright Smith, p.64).
It should be explained that King and Queen County was formed in 1691
from a part of New Kent, north of the Pamunkey and York Rivers.
Napier seems to have continued in New Kent, being a vestryman
of St. Peter's Parish, and having his children baptized in that church
from 1692 through 1704. But
this is not the case. Other
records prove he had continued to live on the land which fell in King
and Queen, and then into King William when it was erected out of the
former in 1701.
Thus we see that although he lived in King and Queen, Robert Napier maintained a sentimental connection with St. Peter's Parish. The extant vestry minutes show that Mr. Robt. Napier was paid a thousands pounds of tobacco for keeping the "Widdow faulkner" for the year ending 23 October 1693 "according to a former order of them to Mrs. Warkman." On 1 May 1694 is a similar order. He was paid 300 pounds of tobacco on 15 October 1705 and 4 May 1706 to Mr. George Poindexter "assignee of Robt. Napier" 200 pounds of tobacco. The entries of five of his children in the register are as follows: Bouth son of Robt. Napier & Mary (original register shows Mary; printed show Marg) his wife borne ye 1st of Octr. 1692; Frances daugh of Robt Napier & Mary his wife borne Febry. ye 5th. 1694-5; Robt. son of Robt Napier & mary his wife borne 7br (September) ye 16th; Katherine Daughter of Robt Napier & Mary his wife borne 8br (October) ye 12th, 1700; Eliza Daughter of Robt Napier & Mary his wife borne 10br (December) ye 25th, 1704.
Before we move into the final phase of Capt. Napier's career, we should
note that since his wife was a native of Henrico County, the family
kept in touch with friends and neighbors there, even before he finally
settled there. Record Book 1688-89, p. 74 for Henrico, we read this
In 1712, the Napiers had removed from their Pamunkey Neck plantation to the Tuckahoe Creek area of Henrico County, which would itself, not many years hence, be taken off into Goochland County. Volume 1714-1718 of records, Henrico County, containing wills and deeds, etc., page 59, has a deed from John Ellis to Robert Napier for five Thousand pounds of tobacco. It was for 150 acres by the mouth of Peter's branch where it entered Tuckahoe Creek. It is dated 3, December 1715 and was presented at December Term of court. Witnesses were Frances Epes, Jr., Thomas Williamson and Bouth Napier, the eldest child of Capt. Robert Napier, who was then only 23 years of age. Napier sold this land on 1 January 1717 to Nicholas Cox of Charles City County and we see the unique signature (copied by the clerk) RNapier for the first time ( the R and N joined by one stroke of the pen), differentiating it from the signature of his son of the same name. (This was proved at April Court 1718, p. 240 op. cit.)
The final indications of the public appearance of our subject are in
Goochland Co. Wills and Deeds, Vol 1, pp.211 and 286. There, "R. Napier" signs as a witness to a deed
from Samuel Burk to Michal Holland, 17 & 18 August 1730, and
another from Thomas Christian to Matthew Harris, 3 September 1731.
He was then about 71 years old.
Returning to Henrico County records, we believe that we have found the
last record of Mary (Perrin) Napier, in this power of attorney
appended to the deed of sale from her husband to Nicholas Cox.
MARY NAPIER (SEAL)
Samuel (S mark) Hix
James (1 mark) Spears
This passed Court in Henrico County 7 April 1718, William Randolph Clerk
(P. 241 op. city.). It
appears that Mary Napier was not able, for some reason, to be in court
to relinquish her dower rights, which resulted in the affidavit above,
or power of attorney. Other
historians of the Napier family have apparently never seen the above,
and have concluded that Mary (Perrin) Napier was dead shortly after
her daughter Elizabeth was born, in 1704, thereby forcing wrong
conclusions about the ages or birth dates of the two known children who
were not baptized at St. Peter's, namely, Patrick and Rene Napier.
of Capt. Robert Napier and Mary (Perrin) Napier:
1. Booth (or Bouth) Napier, born 1 October 1692, King & Queen County, baptized at St. Peter's Parish, New Kent, died 1779- January 1780, Goochland Co., Va., aged 88 years, 2 months, married Sarah (maiden name unknown).
3. Robert Napier, Jr., born 16 September 1697, King & Queen Co. Va., baptized as above, died 1762, Ablemarle Co., Va. aged 65, married Mary Hughes, daughter of Jesse and Sarah (Tarleton) Hughes, of Henrico County.
4. Katherine Napier, born 12 October 1700, King & Queen Co., Va., baptized as above, no further information.
5. Elizabeth Napier, born 25 December 1704, King & Queen Co., Va., baptized a above. Believed to be the same who was tithed for 100 acres of land in 1763 in Hanover Co., Va. Witnessed a deed of her brother Booth Napier 17 February 1728/29 in Goochland Co., and also was tithed in 1755 in Goochland Co, for nephew Rene Woodson, and Negroes Jack, Speedwell and Nel. She also witnessed the last will of her nephew Booth Woodson, proved 19 July 1757, Goochland County.
6 Rene Napier born ca. 1710, King William (or Henrico) C., Va., died ca. October 1751, in Goochland Co.,, Va., aged about 41 years, married about 1740, to Winifred (Champion) Hudnall, Widow of Thomas Hudnall of Prince William Co., Va.
7. Patrick Napier, born 1 February 1713, Henrico Co., Va; died 23 August 1774, Ablemarle Co., Va., aged 61; married ca. 1735, Virginia, Martha Claiborne, daughter of Thomas and Anne (Fox) Claiborne of Henrico County.