Born about 1730 and died 1807.

First known document of John Mitchell has him being made guardian of his sister Sarah in Essex 1752 (1:143). If he were 21 years old at the time, that would put his birth at 1731.

In 1753 John acted as a witness on a deed of land near his own (26:318) in Essex.

In 1755 there was a John Mitchell who claimed his headright (50 acres given to anyone who came to the colonies) and sold it to James Taylor. I cannot be sure, but I believe that to be my John Mitchell. It reads as follows:


John Mitchell came into Court and made oath that he came into this Colony from Great Britain in 1744 and this is the first time of proving his importation either by himself or parents and assigns the same over to James Taylor, Gent.


From this it says John was claiming his headright and selling it to James Taylor, Gentlemen. James Taylor was of the gentry (upper class) and bought fourteen other headrights that same day for a total of 750 acres. Our family later married into this Taylor family.

John Mitchell had married Alice Gray before 1758, which is when he signed an agreement (28:85) relinquishing his rights in the slaves of his deceased father-in-law, William Gray.

He did have slaves of his own - 14 in 1782 and 13 in 1784, which is when he was listed in the Essex Co. Personal Property tax list. In 1782 his slaves were named: Winny, Harry, Phill, Dinah, Betty, Jeny, Jack, Tom, Lucy, Jane, Beck, Aaron, Nancy, plus two others whose names I could not make out. The most slaves he owned was in 1786 when he had 18 slaves.

On 7 Aug 1784, (32:248) John and Alice Mitchell sold their 93 acres in Essex Co. to William Waring Jr. for £550. Immediately following this deed in the book was an agreement between John Mitchell and the siblings of his wife Alice, showing how they had drew lots over the distribution of the slaves of her father. That document had been written two years before, and was just then being made a permanent record to the court.

Almost a year later, on 14 July 1785, (1758-1845:16) John and Alice Mitchell bought 350 acres in Caroline Co. VA from John Johnson for £600.

They are listed in the Caroline Co. personal property tax list and land tax list for the years 1786 through 1807. The most cattle he owned was in 1782 and again in 1787 when he had 15 head. These records show that his grown sons frequently left and returned up until 1795. That would include Andrew, Caleb, James, and Reuben.

In 1801 John witnessed on a deed in Caroline (1758-1845:76) for 100 acres that bounded his own.

In chancery papers of Caroline (Mitchell vs. Mitchell) it shows that John Mitchell wrote a will on 10 Aug 1807. This will does not survive today. In a court order book dated 15 Mar 1809 is listed John Mitchell's settlement of his estate. William Mitchell began it and William Sale finished it. William Mitchell was probably a brother of John and may have died during that time, and William Sale was his son-in-law.

From the settlement we learn that his cash crop was corn. We also learn that John Mitchell was in the process of settling someone else's estate, and didn't finish. Legacy's were due to Nancy Dollans, Mary Ingram, Alice Vawter, and John Mitchell. I do not know who these people were. My guess is that they were neices and a nephew.

In January of 1808 a slave named Lucy was sold to pay for debts before the estate was sold. Therefore, he died between August of 1807 and January of 1808. Each of his 8 children received £190.4.8 1/4. A considerable estate for his time - totaling £1,521.17.6.

The settlement was in March 1809, and 5 months later his grandson Lovelace paid £118 for 155 acres in Madison. The year John died he had 9 slaves. The sale of Lucy brought £63. He also had Lucy in 1782, so she was probably not very young, therefore not bringing in a good price. If you multiply his 9 slaves by £63 it comes to £567.

The only records that survived the fire in the 1830's were the order books and some chancery papers in Caroline Co. VA. From a chancery paper dated March 1809:



To the worshipful court of Caroline County setting in chancery.

Humbly shew to your worships your complainants James Mitchell, Caleb Mitchell, Reuben Mitchell, Andrew Mitchell, Lovelefs Mitchell adm. of Mark Mitchell decd. and james Newman and Sarah his wife, that John Mitchell late of Caroline Co. being seized and pofsefsed of a considerable real and personal estate departed this life on or about the day of 1807 having first duly made and published his last Will and Testament in writing which Wm. Sale one of the executors therein named proved and in due form of law took upon himself the burden of the execution thereof by which said testament and last Will the said John Mitchell first directing the payment of his debts and making sundry spescific bequests of slaves and pecumary legacies, with the payment of which his executors are charged, he disposes of the Residue of the estate in manner following viz -

Item "It is my Will and desire that ale land whereon I at present live together with all my negroes and every other speclies of property I have that is not already bequeathed, be sold by my executors on 12 months credit, they taking bonds with good security and that the proceeds of the sale be equally divided between my children hereafter named, viz James, Mark, Caleb, Reuben and Andrew Mitchell, Molly Sale, Sarah Newman, and such of the children of Phoebe Sale as may be alive meaning that the whole of thoses children shall share but as one in receiving their mothers part, and that that part shall be equally divided between them, and be paid to each of them by executors as they come to the age of 21 or marry:"

and concludes with the appointment of executors as by the said Will dated 10 Aug 1807 and now among the records of this worshipful court, which you complainants refer to, and pray may be taken as part of this bill, will more fully appear ? That Mark Mitchell hath since departed this life intestate on whose estate Letters of ? have been in due form granted to your complainant Lovelefs Mitchell, also the children of Phoebe Sale in number are all Infants of whom the said Wm. Sale is the Guardian --

That the executor did sell all the residuary estate of the said John Mitchell according to the directions of his will, but a division of the proceeds still remain to be made, and such division your complainants, convinced that it would promote as well their own, as the Interest of the other Legatees have asked for but are told that the same can not be made so as to be final and obligatory by ? of the minority of the children of the said Phoebe Sale without the Interposition and Sanction of a Chancery Court -

In tender Consideration whereof and for asmuch as your complainants are otherwise without remedy. To the end therefore that the said Wm. Sale in right of his wife Molly one of the said residuary Legatees and the said Wm. Sale as Executor of the Will of the said John Mitchell and as Guardian to the Children of Phoebe Sale decd. may without oath, true and perfect answer make to all and sigular the premefses as fully as if here repeated by Way of Interrogation; and that by Decree of this worshipful Court apt persons may be appointed and directed to divided the proceeds of the Sale of the (ripped) Testator's estate according to his Will amongst your complainants and the other Legatees thereby entitled to the same, and make report of their proceedings to Court in order to a final Decree, and your Complainants have such further and other relief granted to them in the premifses, as to your worships shall seem right and equitable.

May it please your Worships ? And your Complainants will pray ?.


March Court 1809 - page 429

James Mitchell, Caleb Mitchell, Reuben Mitchell, Andrew Mitchell, Lovelefs Mitchell administrator of Mark Mitchell decd., and James Newman and Sarah is wife - complainants against

William Sale in right of his wife one of the ? legatees of John Mitchell decd. and the said William Sale as executor of the will of the said John Mitchell and as Guardian to the children of Phobe Sale deceased - defendants

This came this day by consent came on to be heard on the ?, answer the ? of John Mitchell deceased and ? of ?, on consideration whereof the court adjudged, ordered and decreed that John Cartar, Richard Sanders, Reuben Sander, Mackenzie Beverlly and James Samuel Senr. Gentlemen or any three of them who ar appointed Commifsioner for the ?, do after the several claimants shall have given bond and security for the indemnification of the executor to refund salable properties of ?, claims or demands as may hereafter appear against the said Testator Estate and the costs attending the recovery thereof, divide the proceeds of the sale of the said Testator John Mitchell's Estate according to his will, after deduting debts legacies and costs of administration which shall be properly charged by the excutor on that fund into eight equal parts, that they do allott one either part ot each of the complainants James Mitchell, Caleb Mitchell, Reuben Mitchell and Andrew Mitchell for their respective dividends, on eighth part to the complainant james Newman on right of his wife Sarah for her dividend to hold to the said respective complainants absolutely, one eighth part to the complainant Lovelefs Mitchell to hold as adminstrator for the dividen of his intestate mark Mitchell deceased, the two remaining eighth parts to the defendant William Sale, to ? one absolutly to himself for the dividen of his wife Molly and the other as excutor or guardian for the use and benefit of the children of Phobe Sale for the dividend of their mother in the Estate of the ? Testator, and that they do make report to Court of their proceedings hereafter in order to a final decree.


(chancery papers)

The Answer of William Sale in right of his Wife and Executor of the Testament and last Will of John Mitchell deceased and as Guardian to the Children of Phobe Sale decd. to the bill of Complaint ? against him in these several Characters in the County Court of Caroline by james Mitchell Caleb Mitchell, Reuben Mitchell, andrew Mitchell, Lovelefs Mitchell administrator of mark Mitchell, deceased and James newman and Sarah his Wife Complainants

This Defendant saving and reserving to himself all benefit of exception for answer to the said bill saith that he believes and admits the facts therin stated to be true, that the Complainants james, Caleb, Reuben and Andrew Mitchell, james Newman in right of Sarah, the representatives of Mark Mitchell who hath departed this life since the said (Vestahs), this defendant in right of his wife Molly, and the children of Phobe Sale, an respectively entitled to one eighth part of the proceeds of the estate of the said Testator sold according to his Will by the Defendant as Executor on twelve months credit, and he holds the bonds ready for division after (dionchig) debts, pecumary Legacies and costs of Administration which an charged on the fund, that to such division he cannot object when the respective Claimants shall have given bond and Security for his indemnification to refund their notable proportions of such debts a sumands as may herafter appear against the said estate and the costs attending the recovery thereof leaving in his honos the division interfed for the Children of Phobe Sale which by the Will is directed to be divided amongst them, and paid as they ? come of age or Marry

? Combination for he prays to be dismifsed with his Costs

Wm Sale


Please click here to go to a page about the children.


Please click here to go to the page about Thomas Mitchell.