At the bottom of this essay, I have attached several images of a very early record of William Witcher. This William Witcher was the individual who was later commissioned as a Major in the Pittsylvania County, Virginia Militia.
The receipt is dated March 18, 1759, and is addressed to “Cornl” Clement Read. I strongly suspect this Clement Read is the famous Col. Clement Read, whose name is permanently affixed to the door leading into one of the boxed pews within the sanctuary of the historic Bruton Parish Church, located in the center of old Williamsburg, Virginia.
As a side note, among the men of the Revolution who attended Bruton Parish Church were Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Richard Henry Lee, George Wythe, Patrick Henry, and George Mason. It is said that these Patriots would enter the sanctuary of this church and pray for wisdom as to how to prosecute their bid for colonial independence.
The 1759 receipt is watermarked with a royal crown. I have provided a close-up image of that watermark, in case anyone would like to hazard a guess as to its meaning. Was it the English royal crown?
Witcher family-lore retells that William Witcher was married to a certain Lydia Atkins/Atkinson. I tend to suspect this was the case, based on my extensive research. Click here to read more about William Witcher and his children.
If in fact William Witcher was married to an Atkinson, then I also strongly suspect that William’s father and brother-in-law is listed on this 1759 receipt. The name “William Atkinson” and “William Atkinson, Sr.” are listed underneath William’s name. Keep in mind that William Witcher’s first land purchase was from William Atkinson in 1758, one year previous to this 1759 receipt. That land is now located in the boundaries of Pittsylvania County, VA.
My research of the Bedford County, VA, pre-1750 records, has uncovered the name William Atkinson in several documents. My conviction is that the Witchers of Bedford County included a young William Witcher, who may well have married an Atkinson girl in Bedford County and then followed his father-in-law into the Halifax County, VA, frontier. Just speculation, but based on known records. Click here to read about the Witchers of Bedford County, Virginia.
Among the images I have attached, you will find a picture of the exterior of the Bruton Parish Church, a picture of the sanctuary, as well as the door leading into the boxed pew.
Wayne Witcher, 5X great-grandson of William Witcher
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wwawitcher @ windstream. net
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A Witcher Family Genealogy
his 1759 receipt