A Witcher Family Genealogy
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After a fair amount of research, I have built and now present spreadsheets which list Witcher transactions in chronological order for the purchase and sale of land in Pittsylvania County, VA., and the ensuing taxation of those properties.
This date is critical if we wish to unravel the mysteries of who was whom in the Witcher clan during those early years. The first transaction I list is a deed dated September 27, 1768, the last is dated December 19, 1808.
Land taxation records are complete and listed for the period 1782 through 1802.
This webpage doesn't include tithables or other personal tax records.
The sources I used were the microfilmed images of all deed records within the scope of my research, while the land tax records were retrieved from "Pittsylvania County, Virginia Land Tax Lists: 1782-1802," written by Gayle Austin in 2007.
As you view the spreadsheets below, keep in mind that the deed records are in blue font within the grid, while the property tax data is in black font and underlined. Each year is listed separately and in order.
The property tax data will occasionally list who the land was sold to or was bought from, including land patents. This will be listed to the right of the property owner, though not always did the tax collector list this information. Each parcel is listed separately. So there is a redundancy of land ownership within each year.
Unfortunately, due to space limitations, I could not list all the information that the individual deed records revealed, such as who witnessed the signing of a particular deed record. However, I did include the most relevant information, such as deed book and page number.
Most importantly, this data collection documents migration and the swelling of the Witcher clan through the years. One will notice that in the early years (beginning in 1768), Juniors and Seniors were absent titles, but as the new century was beginning to dawn, obviously youngsters began to inherit and purchase land, while the old war-horses in the clan inserted titles before their names, titles such as Senior, Captain and Major Witcher. What is also interesting is who is absent in the records for these years, such as Caleb Witcher.
Through careful observation, we can compare the yearly tax records against the corresponding deed records, and in so doing, begin to see specific personalities lift from the pages of history.
However, not all transactions were so completely obvious. A good example would be the sale of Steven Potter's land to John Witcher Sr. in 1795. I first noticed that Steven Potter had acquired land, when in 1792, he was in taxed for 50 acres he had received from (W), obviously Ephraim Witcher, whose land he bordered. No record of this purchase is found in the deed books, which causes me wonder if there wasn't some kinda friendship agreement between these two.
The pursuant records indicate that once Ephraim Witcher had sold his land, Steven Potter followed suit. Other records from Surry County, North Carolina, plot the migration of these two good friends to new frontiers. Such is the value of these deed books, furthering our quest to understand who was the son (or daughter or wife) of whom.
The following names are listed in the spreadsheets: Oney Witcher, Young Witcher, William Witcher, William Witcher Jr., Major William Witcher, John Witcher, John Witcher Sr., John Witcher Jr., James Witcher, Daniel Witcher, Daniel Witcher Jr., Daniel Witcher Sr., and Captain Daniel Witcher. I have not listed all the incidental names in the deed records, except for these notables: David Polly, Jeremiah Ward, Steven Potter, and George Hern.
For those researching Major William Witcher, note in the earliest deed records that he had received a land patent in this Pittsylvania County on May 27, 1764.
Happy hunting, Wayne Witcher, ggggg-grandson to Major William Witcher.
Land deeds and Tax Records for Witchers in Pittsylvania County, VA.