Henry Ledbetter (1625-1700) was the only known son of parents Thomas Ledbetter (1600-1655) and Mary Molissie (Thomas) Ledbetter (1603-1673). Some circumstantial evidence suggests more children were born of this marriage. However, Henry Ledbetter is the only son and only child, thus far identified by adequate documentation and positively connected with these parents, after much diligent family history research.
Author's Commentary of 3 November 2018
My voice is added in harmony with the chorus of "Ledbetters From Virginia" book authors and more recent researchers, writers and historians, who all have noted numerous Ledbetter Early Settlers in Colonial Virginia, whose direct kinship and/or identities remain unknown.
Did Henry Ledbetter have siblings (brothers and/or sisters)? In a figurative sense, sufficient smoke existed to confirm fire was present. Circumstantial evidence follows, which reasonably supports enduring verbal history family traditions, regarding: Henry Ledbetter of Colonial Virginia was one of several children born unto parents Thomas Ledbetter and Mary Molissie (Thomas) Ledbetter.
1. Ledbetter Family Oral History Traditions, in various versions, claim three to five sons, born of parents Thomas Ledbetter and Mary Molissie (Thomas) Ledbetter, originally lived in Charles City County, Colonial Virginia. These Ledbetter Family Oral History Traditions, enduring stories respectfully handed down from generation to generation in different Ledbetter Family Branches, reasonably had a Genesis or origin in foundational fact.
2. Aside from the Ledbetter First Settlers in Colonial Virginia previously identified near Petersburg, Charles City County, VA, additional Ledbetter Registered Voters have been documented, but their kinship connections remain unknown. Two examples among several "Unaccounted For" Ledbetters were recorded in Brunswick County (VA) Year 1748 Colonial Voter Registrations. Quoting the excellent 1964 published book, entitled, "Ledbetters From Virginia" by author Roy C. Ledbetter, et al: "There were many Ledbetters of whom we have no record. This is shown by the voters' list of 1748 in Brunswick County, naming two Henrys and two Williams, of whom we can account for only one of each given name."
3. Several Ledbetter Landowners were recorded in Colonial Land Records of southeastern Virginia, but they remain "unaccounted for" in modern times, insofar as family lineage connections are concerned. Some of these "Unaccounted For" Ledbetters were discussed in the book, "Ledbetters From Virginia" by author Roy C. Ledbetter & others: "There were many Ledbetters of whom we have no record... We know very few of the children of known Ledbetters. Also, we find several Ledbetters, whose parents we are unable to trace."
These 'Unaccounted For" Ledbetters lived in the same era and same area, as the Ledbetter First Generation (Thomas Ledbetter & Mary Molissie Thomas Ledbetter), the Ledbetter Second Generation (Henry Ledbetter), and the Ledbetter Third & Fourth Generations, namely: Historic Charles City County of Colonial Virginia. This same vast portion of "Tidewater Virginia" real estate in modern times, includes five different counties (Charles City, Prince George, Dinwiddie, Brunswick, Amelia & Prince Edward), plus three independent cities (Petersburg, Hopewell and City Point). Charles City Shire was one of the original eight shires (counties) established in 1634 within Virginia Colony, by Royal Order of English King James I.
Geographically, Charles City Shire was located: West of Jamestown & Williamsburg (ancient Colonial Capitals of Virginia Commonwealth) and South-Southeast of Richmond (modern State Capital of Virginia), situated amongst the Appomattox, Chickahominy and James rivers, in the Atlantic Coastal Plain of southeastern Virginia.
4. Basic Genealogical Research Principles are: Identify by Name and Verify by Date, Location and Relationship. Ledbetter Landowners, Ledbetter Registered Voters (and perhaps, Ledbetter Families) living in the same time period and the same locality, suggest close kinship, especially during the early settlement years of Colonial Virginia.
5. Name Linkage alone is a strong indicator of family ties, especially with the unique shared surname, "Ledbetter", but also with generational repetition of popular given names, such as, Thomas, Henry, Richard, William, John, Francis, which given names often appeared in records of several Ledbetter Early Generations in Colonial Virginia. When Name Linkage is considered in conjunction with Date, Location and Migration, revelation of likely Family Kinship receives more clarity. Again quoting "Ledbetters From Virginia", the book authored by Roy C. Ledbetter & others: "That the families were closely related is shown by their living in the same communities and removing together to a new home. Often the repetition of unusual given names is a clue to kinship. Henry, Richard, Thomas, as well as the very common John and William, appear as given names in practically every generation of the early Ledbetters. Francis as a given name was common at first, but almost disappeared after one hundred years."
7. High Birth Rates amongst Colonial American families were characteristic standard occurrences, while having only one child was an uncommon exception. Therefore, the likelihood of Thomas Ledbetter and Mary Molissie (Thomas) Ledbetter having a larger family, containing multiple children, would fit physiologically, socially, culturally and historically in the Virginia Colonial Era. However, the sad absence of many verifiable records causes this concept to be in the realm of conjecture: a conclusion or proposition based upon incomplete information, for which no definitive proof has been discovered. The impact of a lack of sufficient documentation is discussed further hereafter.
Greatly complicating genealogical research, whether generally in the population, or specifically for the Ledbetter Family, is the loss of much documentation of Colonial Virginia, during the past four centuries (17th Century to 21st Century or 1600s to 2000s). In many cases, only fragments of Early Colonial Virginia records have survived until modern times, due to the ravages of weather, decay, insects, vermin, fires, massacres, wars and other calamities. Moreover, birth, marriage and death certificates were not required to be registered public records with any civilian government agency, until much later, in the 1800s and 1900s. Instead, such personal vital records traditionally were certified in family bibles, church registers, cemetery sexton registers, military service documents and military veteran pension affidavits, with many such vital records later lost amidst the foggy mists of time...
-- Dean Ledbetter 3 Nov 2018.
Nativity of Henry Ledbetter: Colonial Virginia or Ye Merry Olde England?
Latest 2017-2018 Ledbetter Family History Research suggests the nativity of Henry Ledbetter was in Charles City County, Colonial Virginia, but not proven conclusively beyond reasonable doubt. Possible alternative birthplace of Henry Ledbetter was in County Durham (northeastern England "border county", near southern Scotland).
Whichever nativity location (America or England) proves to be correct, this much is known fact: Henry Ledbetter was a Colonial American Pioneer in Virginia Commonwealth Colony.
Special Clarifying Notation of 19 February 2016:
Some vital info evidence indicates Henry Ledbetter was born as early as Circa 1625, while other research results point to a birthdate as late as Circa 1635. Also previously mentioned, conflicting evidence exists regarding the birthplace of Henry Ledbetter: whether his nativity was in County Durham, England, or in Charles City County (parent county of Prince George County, Dinwiddie County and Brunswick County), Virginia Commonwealth Colony. Crucial to determining the birthplace of Henry Ledbetter, would be discovery of essential parental immigration documents, which record a full date or at least a year, when his parents, Thomas Ledbetter and Mary Molisse (Thomas) Ledbetter, departed England and arrived in Virginia Colony. Such parental immigration documents, also should provide immigration information for Henry Ledbetter (as an infant or young child, if indeed, he was born in County Durham, England, rather than in Charles City County, Colonial Virginia). More genealogical research will be necessary to establish fact and dispel fable...
-- Dean Ledbetter 19 Feb 2018.
Thomas Ledbetter, father of Henry Ledbetter, received a 1638 British Royal Land Grant of 99 acres in Virginia Colony for importing 2 Caucasian females, Mary House and Margry (Margory) Linsal, into the Virginia Colony; place of origin was England.
Mary House eventually became the love of life and wife for life of Henry Ledbetter. The marriage of Henry Ledbetter with Mary House, which occurred circa 1649, produced several identified children (2 daughters and 6 sons), declared hereinafter:
Frances LEDBETTER, daughter, born circa 1650;
Francis LEDBETTER, son, born circa 1653.
John LEDBETTER, son, born circa 1662;
Henry LEDBETTER, son, born circa 1664;
Richard LEDBETTER, son, born 04 July 1666,
Charles City-County, VA;
died circa 1759, Brunswick County, VA;
Drury LEDBETTER, son, born circa 1668;
William LEDBETTER, son, born circa 1668;
Martha LEDBETTER, daughter, born circa 1670.
To reiterate in summation, Henry Ledbetter sired 8 identified children (2 daughters and 6 sons) with Mary (House) Ledbetter, during a 20-year timespan (Circa 1650-1670). Troublesome is the nearly 10-year "birth gap" of 1653-1662. Perhaps further family history research will resolve this problem, either correcting marriage & birth dates, or revealing more children born of this marriage.
Clarifying Correction Commentary of 21 Oct 2018:
Conflicting (and confusing) information abounds in numerous family trees, regarding the alleged early death of Mary (House) Ledbetter (Circa 1655) and a purported subsequent second marriage (on 18 March 1658) of Henry Ledbetter (1625-1700) unto Sarah Tolman. This biographer was mistaken in accepting these two aforementioned scenarios, and now just must swallow some humble pie. I trusted, but did not verify thoroughly enough. Factual information recently has come forth from reliable sources, which reveals a more plausible family history. Thus, remedial actions and corrections are necessary and are implemented forthwith.
Rather than dying Circa 1655, Mary (House) Ledbetter, wife of Henry Ledbetter, apparently lived at least into October 1673. Henry Ledbetter of Charles City County, Virginia, married only once (to Mary House) and did not remarry Circa 1658 with anyone, including Sarah Tolman. Therefore, Mary (House) Ledbetter was the mother of all 8 identified children sired by Henry Ledbetter (1625-1700).
Moreover, a Henry Leadbetter and Sarah Tolman married couple did exist during the same 1600s British American Colonial Era, but in 1658 were residents of Massachusetts, rather than Virginia. Henry Leadbetter and Sarah Tolman (married 1658 in Boston, Massachusetts and coincidentally with a Thomas Leadbetter possible connection!) represent a different branch of the family, than the Ledbetter Early Settlers in Colonial Virginia. The following quotations are extracted from the Ledbetters From Virginia excellent book.
"Thomas Leadbetter was Vicar of Hinckley, Leicestershire (England), in the time of (King) Charles II (1630-1685). It is established that Henry Leadbetter migrated from Hinckley and married Sarah Tolman of Dorchester (Boston), Massachusetts in 1658."
--Source reference: "Migrations, Racial Origin And Traits" chapter, Ledbetters From Virginia book, Authors & Researchers: Roy C. Ledbetter, William R. Ledbetter (Colonel, US Army), Justus Reiniger Moll, James D. Tillman, Junior, Christian Albert Ledbetter, Publisher: Wilkinson Printing Company, Dallas, Texas, USA, 1964, page 10.
-- Dean Ledbetter 21 Oct 2018.
Land-Grant Documentation, Regarding Historic
Maiden Voyage Emigration of Mary House
from England to Virginia Colony in 1638
Late 1600s A.D. Colonial Virginia land records, archived in the Virginia State Capital of Richmond, initially discovered in 2013 and reexamined in 2016 by this bio-sketch author, shed some light of insight into the emigration timeframe of Thomas Ledbetter and family, from England to America. A 1668 Virginia Land Patent (verifying Deed of Title to 224 acres possessed by Henry Ledbetter, south of the Appomattox River near Charles City, Prince George County, Virginia), was issued by Sir William Berkley. This Land Patent for 224 acres included 125 acres, which Thomas Ledbetter purchased from Edward Tunstall, plus 99 more acres acquired a a special incentive reward. This same Land Patent to Henry Ledbetter, specifies the 99 acres of the real estate property, originally was a Royal Land Grant to the father of Henry Ledbetter in 1638, awarded for importing two white females into the Virginia Commonwealth Colony.
During Summer 1638, the father of Henry Ledbetter imported two Caucasian females, named Mary House and Margry (or Margory) Linsal, from England to the Virginia Colony in America. Mary House and Margry (Margory) Linsal were transported via sailing ship from the British Isles and imported to the English Commonwealth Colony of Virginia: arriving upon 4 August 1638.
By virtue of importing these two white females into Colonial Virginia, the father of Henry Ledbetter (believed to be named Thomas Ledbetter) was awarded a land-grant total of 99 acres, "at a place called Bristol", Bristol Parish, Charles City Shire, Virginia Commonwealth. Bristol and nearby Blandford were pioneering settlements along the south shore of the Appomattox River, located near Fort Henry and the "fall line" strategic point. Fort Henry Commander, English Major Peter Jones, in 1675 also established an Anglo-Native American trading post, named, "Peter's Point", in Charles City Shire, Virginia. Peters Point was renamed in 1733 as, "Petersburg", in honor of English Major Peter Jones, by city founder and British Colonel William Byrd II. Both Bristol and Blandford in 1748 were incorporated into Petersburg, Bristol Parish, Prince George County, Virginia.
Although sought in much diligent research, no ship manifest (passenger list) has been discovered thus far, listing the names of Mary House and Margry Linsal, as immigrants to the Virginia Colony in 1638. Yet and still, the 1668 Virginia Land Patent of Henry Ledbetter, legally verifying his land title ownership, serves the additional purpose of factually recording this significant immigration event of 30 years earlier (upon 4 August 1638).
Supporting evidence of the above assertions follows herewith, quoting from the 1668 Virginia Land Patent to Henry Ledbetter, issued by Sir William Berkley, as paraphrased in the "Ledbetters From Virginia" book by principal author Roy. C. Ledbetter, well-researched and published in 1964.
"The second record is a patent dated August 29, 1668, issued by Sir William Berkley to Henry Ledbetter for 224 acres of land on the south side of the Appomattox River in Charles City County at a place called Bristol, 125 acres of which was sold to Henry's father by Edward Tunstall and 99 acres for transporting to the Colony Margory Lurae (sic) and Mary House (spelling not legible)... Just when Henry's father purchased the land from Edward Tunstall we do not know. On August 16, 1637, land in Henrico County, Virginia, had been granted to Edward Tunstall..."
1. Virginia Commonwealth Land Patent for 224 acres at Bristol, Charles City County, VA, dated 29 August 1668, issued from Sir William Berkley to Henry Ledbetter.
2. British Royal Land Grant in Commonwealth of Virginia (dated 1638) to Thomas Ledbetter, for importing 2 white females into Colonial Virginia upon 4 August 1638.
3. "Ledbetters of Early Virginia"chapter, Ledbetters From Virginia book, Principal Author: Roy C. Ledbetter, et al, Publisher: Wilkinson Printing Company, Dallas, Texas, USA, 1964, page 13.
4. Brittany Ledbetter: Family History Research & Edit Suggestion dated 18 January 2019.
Henry Ledbetter (1625-1700)
Memorial Biographical Sketch
Author: Dean Ledbetter
Created: 26 Sep 2013
Revised: 19 Feb 2016, 27 Feb 2017,
29-30 March 2017, 19-20 May 2017,
20-21 Oct 2018, 3-4, 10 November 2018,
21 January 2019, 17 April 2020
Copyright (c) 2013-2020 by Dean Ledbetter;
All Copyright Law Provisions Reserved (American & International).
Mary House Ledbetter
1625–1673 (m. 1649)
Gravesite Details Unmarked Grave with Henry Ledbetter remains; Tombstone likely obscured or destroyed in 1864-1865 trench warfare battling & bombardment between Union & Confederate armies, during Petersburg Siege Campaign in & around Petersburg, VA.