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Col James Lynn Patton

Londonderry, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Death 30 Jul 1755 (aged 63)
Augusta County, Virginia, USA
Burial Non-Cemetery Burial
Memorial ID 60865656 · View Source
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"The Pattons were originally landed gentry seated at Ferrochie, Fifeshire, Scotland. The progenitor of the Irish branch of the family, William Patton, M.A., was born in Scotland; had immigrated to Northern Ireland during the King James Plantation. He was in County Donegal by 1626 as Rector of the parishes of Ramoigh and Clonmary, Barony of Raphoe and later at Aughnish, Barony of Kilmacrenan. Rev William Patton and his wife, Margaret, made their home at an estate called 'Groghan', and reared two sons, Henry and John. Henry's son, also named Henry, married Sarah Lynn, daughter of David Lynn of Kilmacrenan and a descendant of the Lynns of Loch Lynn, in Scotland. Henry and Sarah lived in the Manor of Springfield, Parish of Clondevaddock, Barony of Kilmacrenan, County Donegal.

James was a younger son, born in 1692 in Newton, Limavaddy, not slated to inherit any of the Patton estates, so he went to sea when very young. The book goes on to say, "A very impressive ship's master he must have been, as he was a 'man of gigantic statue, handsome and dignified and of remarkably commanding powers'. He was dark-haired and brown-eyed and over six feet two inches tall." It is said that James took part in the War with France called "Queen Anne's War" which terminated in 1713.

James Patton took up several thousand acres on the New River, in what is now Montgomery Co, Virginia. Here, on the river, Phillip and Mary (Preston) Barger built a fort and began a settlement. To this day, it is known as the "Barger's Fort", and across the ridge Patton built a fort and began a settlement known as "Draper's Meadows". Here the Drapers, Ingles, McDonalds, Cloyds, etc. made their first home in the New World. Patton's home was called "Solitude" and it was here, in July, 1755, Col. James Patton met a tragic death when much of the settlement was wiped out on a bright Sunday morning by the savage tomahawk. It is said that Patton had sent his nephew, William Preston, on an errand to Sinking Spring near present day Newport. Drapers Meadows is now known as Blacksburg, the home of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Four generations of Pattons lived here (at what is now known as "Solitude") as well as Governor John Floyd.

James served in the British Royal Navy in Queen Anne's War. After the Treaty of Utrecht, he procured a passenger ship and traded to the Colony of Virginia at Robbs Hole on the Tappahannock. He penetrated the then wilderness of the state as far as Orange County, thence across the Blue Ridge and commenced a settlement near Waynesborough in Augusta County. He crossed the Atlantic 23 or 25 times as Master of a ship in and around 1728. In his private shipping enterprises, Capt James Patton made contracts with promotors of the settlement of the western part of Virginia. He sailed on the ship 'Walpole' to Virginia, arriving August 26, 1738*. His first residence was Beverly Manor on the south fork of the Shenendoah. From his headquarters there, adventurer Patton soon extended his interest to the management of the Roanoke and James River Grant of 1740 and the Woods River Grant of 1745.

After the organization of Augusta County, Patton came to be county lieutenant, commander of the Virginia militia, president of the Augusta court, president of the Augusta vestry, commissioner of the Tinkling Spring congregation, county coroner, county escheator, customs collector, county sheriff, member of the House of Burgesses, and other minor offices. While tending to affairs of the community, Colonel James Patton was killed by Indians in July 1755 at Drapers Meadow."

("James Patton and The Appalachian Colonists", by Patricia Givens Johnson)

(read more about Draper Meadows Massacre at

In his Will of 1750 is stated:
"L10 to be paid to Rev John Craig, pastor at Tinkling Spring, to pay his stipends from 1740 to 1750, to be paid by the congregation out of the money advanced by him to help build the Meeting House. L10 of same to be laid out for a pulpit and pulpit cloth.... All disputes between executors to be left to arbitration of the minister and elders of Tinkling Spring Church".
(Tinkling Spring Church, which is a Presbyterian church, founded in 1740)
Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, from 1726 to 1871, by Joseph Addison Waddell, pg. 114. He therein notes Col. Patton's will in which he expressed his desire to be buried at Tinkling Spring:

"I commend my soul to God who gave it, hoping, through his mercy and the merits and intercession of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to be eternally happy. My body I commit to Providence, but if convenient to where I resign my last breath, to be buried at the Tinkling Spring, where my wife now lays. I order ten pounds to be paid to the Rev. John Craig, minister at ye Tinkling Spring, as his stipends due from October, 1740, until October, 1750, out of the money now due me by y't congregation, which money I have advanced for them to build their meeting-house, & etc. Providing I do not pay s'd ,£10 before my death. I leave ten pounds out of the aforesaid debt when collected, to be laid out by the minister for a pulpit and pulpit cloth."

However, Waddell continues later with;
"It is unnecessary to say that Colonel Patton's request as to his burial place, was not complied with. It was impossible at that day to transport a corpse from Smithfield to Tinkling Spring. He was buried near the spot where he "resigned his last breath," and his grave was covered with loose stones. There is no slab or inscription. An idle report arose that a large amount of money was buried with the body, and the grave was desecrated a few years ago by vandals in search of the treasure."
(Harvey Bell, Jun 2013)

His parents were Henry Patton, Jr & Sarah Lynn of Springfield Manor, Clondavaddock Parish, Barony of Kilmacrenan, County Donegal, Ireland.

Family Members

Gravesite Details James, among others, was killed in a Shawnee attack upon the Draper Meadows settlement - later called Smithsfield near todays Blacksburg.

See more Patton memorials in:

  • Created by: Sue McDuffe:)
  • Added: 30 Oct 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 60865656
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  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Col James Lynn Patton (8 Jul 1692–30 Jul 1755), Find A Grave Memorial no. 60865656, ; Maintained by Sue McDuffe:) (contributor 47122067) Non-Cemetery Burial.