Volume 1 Issue 11
November 2001
Home Page and Index


by John W Reed

Recent research on George Gentry, proposed to be a grandson of immigrant Nicholas-I, is reviewed and compared to the description provided in "The Gentry Family in America." George Gentry family history information and references from Hanover, Louisa and Albemarle counties in Virginia are presented.

Richard Gentry, in his book "The Gentry Family in America" (GFA<1a>) published in 1909, included a number of Gentrys in Part III of the publication which could not be readily connected to either of the immigrant Gentry brothers, Nicholas and Samuel. One such Gentry family was that of George Gentry, family #185<1b>. GFA suggested that George Gentry was the son of James-II, a son of the immigrant Nicholas-I Gentry.

GEORGE GENTRY of Albemarle County
"George Gentry moved to Albemarle County, Virginia, just before the American Revolution and settled on land near Free Union. He remained in Albemarle County until his death in 1810. The Gentry descendants owned the land, originally patented to George Gentry under the signature of King George III, until the late 1800s. George was a man of large property for those days. He owned considerable land and a number of negro slaves. George Gentry and his wife Elizabeth made deed to lands in Hanover County, Virginia, in 1787. George Gentry's will was recorded in Albemarle County and was probated on November 5, 1810. He named as legatees his wife Elizabeth, his ten children and his grandson George Ballard."

This article provides the results of a recent research effort by the author to attempt to validate and update the description of the George Gentry family as provided in GFA.

Relationship to Nicholas-I
Many of the early records of Hanover County were destroyed during the Civil War. The few surviving records of St. Paul's Parish in Hanover County do not provide any specific information on the parentage of George Gentry. The Gentry names in the early parish records tend to be only of the primary landowner and did not typically include names of younger married sons who may have lived on their father's land.

Perhaps the best clue as to the identity of George Gentry's father can be obtained from an inspection of the names of his six sons. Since it was a common tradition to name the first born son after the father's father or paternal grandfather, one would expect that George's first son would carry the given name of George's father. George named his first son, born in 1757, James. The given name James was also a popular name among George Gentry's grandsons and great-grandsons.

Assuming that George Gentry's father was James Gentry of Hanover County, then the question becomes one of determining how the elder James Gentry was related to the immigrant Nicholas-I. Was James Gentry a younger son of Nicholas-I? Or, was he a grandson of Nicholas-I?

George Gentry was probably 25 years old or slightly younger when his first child was born; hence, his birth year would have been in the early 1730s (GFA has 1732). Comparing a birth year of 1732 to those of the children of Nicholas-II would tend to indicate that George Gentry was likely a member of the third generation of Gentrys in America. George's father, James-II, would have then been one of the sons of the immigrant Nicholas-I<2a> probably born around 1705 or 1706.

In Volume 1, Issue 10 of this Journal<2b>, Bill Gentry provides a discussion of the information that is known about James Gentry of Hanover County in the early part of the 18th century. [Note. The issue in question originally proposed that James Gentry was a son of Joseph-II Gentry rather than a son of Nicholas-I. A revision of that article now concludes the opposite, in agreement with the author of the current manuscript.]. The relationship of James Gentry to the immigrant Nicholas-I will continue to be debated by Gentry family historians. The interesting family history story, however, is of James' son, George Gentry, during his early years in Hanover County, his migration to Louisa County after the Revolutionary War and his final years in Albemarle County.

Early Years in Hanover County, Virginia
George Gentry was born about 1732 (according to GFA) in Hanover County during the reign of King George II of England. As a possible son of James Gentry-II, George was probably born in the vicinity of Totopotomoy Creek along the Pamunkey River area of eastern Hanover County where his grandfather Nicholas-I resided. (See Figure 1 below)

George Gentry married Elizabeth, or "Betsey", about 1755 in St. Paul's Parish of Hanover County. No marriage record or information on Elizabeth's maiden name has survived. Following their marriage, George and Elizabeth Gentry resided along the western border of St. Paul's Parish<2c> near Ground Squirrel Bridge on the South Anna River. Ground Squirrel Bridge was located between two nearby creeks which flow into the South Anna River: Stone Horse Creek and Beech Creek. Samuel-II Gentry received land patents in 1724 for 400 acres on the north side of the South Anna River and another 196 acres on the opposite side of the river on both sides of Beech Creek adjoining the land of George Alves and William Harris<3>. Nicholas-II Gentry, son of the immigrant Nicholas-I, is also known to have owned land along Stone Horse Creek.

The children of George and Elizabeth Gentry are listed below based on an assumed birth order provided in George Gentry's will. All children were born in Hanover County.

  1. James Gentry (GFA #186), born 1757; died June 22, 1851, Albemarle County, Virginia. Married Mary Hicks about 1782, probably in Hanover County, Virginia.
  2. Nancy Gentry, married Edward Walton, June 13, 1791, in Louisa County, Virginia.
  3. George Gentry (GFA #187), born 1765 or 1766 near Ground Squirrel Bridge in Hanover County, Virginia; died October 28, 1855, Albemarle County, Virginia; wife's name not known.
  4. William Gentry. (Editor: This may be the William who married Elizabeth Kersey, April 24, 1787, Louisa County, Virginia. Thomas and Daniel Gardner were witnesses, Thomas Kersey, the father, was surety.)
  5. Francis Gentry, died about 1811, Louisa County, Virginia. Married Nathaniel Tate, October 8, 1788, Louisa County, Virginia.
  6. Austin Gentry died 1814, Madison County, Kentucky; not married.
  7. Elizabeth (Betsey) Gentry, died in Kentucky. Married Edward Ballard on February 27, 1797, Albemarle County, Virginia.
  8. Martha "Patsey" Gentry, married (1) Hezekiah Wood on July 1, 1799, Albemarle County, Virginia, with George Gentry serving as surety; married (2) Jehu (John) Walton.
  9. Aaron Gentry (GFA #188), born 1771 ( from GFA); died in Tennessee. Married (1) Polly Mary Ogg, January 10, 1801, Orange County, Virginia; married (2) Peggy Ogg, January 10, 1803, Orange County, Virginia.
  10. Christopher Gentry (GFA #189), born about 1773 (GFA); died before October, 1822, Albemarle County, Virginia. Married (1) Juriah Woods, July 13, 1804, Albemarle County, Virginia, William Woods serving as surety; married (2) Sarah "Sally" J. Dunn, August 2, 1810, Albemarle County, Virginia, John Gibson serving as surety.

Two of George Gentry's oldest sons, James and George, served as soldiers during the Revolutionary War.

George Gentry first appears in the records of St. Paul's Parish on November 30, 1763, when he was reimbursed by the parish for "keeping Edy Cawthon from 16th April til now." A neighbor, Mary Spraddling, was also reimbursed by the parish for keeping "Widdow Cawthon 6 months with a cancer.<4a>"

Eight years later, on November 12, 1771, George Gentry was listed in a land processioning order as one of the land owners in parish precinct 26<4b>.

At a Vestry held for Saint Pauls Parish November 12, 1771.
[Precinct 26] Ordered into precinct for processioning the Lands of . . . George Gentry. . . And that William Morris and James Cawthon do see the processing performed .

The geographic location of the precinct in the 1771 processioning order was described in an order issued on November 17, 1755<4c>. The precinct number was 6 in 1755 and included the land owners along both Stone Horse Creek and Beech Creek.

At a Vestry held for Saint Pauls Parish November 17, 1755.
[Precinct 6] Lands of . . . Nicholas Gentry . . . all lands beginning at Mouth of Beech Creek up the River to the mouth of Stone Horse Creek and up the creek to the main road and down the road to Beech Creek.

As discussed in Volume 1, Issue 9, of Journal of Gentry Genealogy<2a>, Nicholas-II Gentry appears to have left his father's home on Totopotomoy Creek and moved west with, or to join, his brother Samuel-II to settle at the western boundary of the parish. In 1719, Nicholas was living in the Stone Horse Creek precinct along with other landholders that included George Alves, Chris. Cawthon, John Sym and William Harris<4d>. As mentioned above, Samuel received a patent in 1724 for land on nearby Beech Creek adjoining the lands of William Harris and George Alves.

In 1771, Nicholas Gentry's name disappeared from the list of precinct 26 landowners and George Gentry first appeared in the precinct as a landowner. George Gentry was also listed in the final parish processioning order issued on November 12, 1779<4e> for the same precinct. While we know that George Gentry was living on land near Stone Horse Creek as early as 1763, he did not appear in the parish records as a landowner until 1771. No Hanover County land records have survived to indicate how George Gentry acquired his land in the precinct. As a possible nephew of Nicholas-II, George may have been gifted the land when his uncle left for Louisa County or he may have been able to purchase the land after his marriage.

Louisa and
Hanover Counties

Figure 1.   Map of St. Paul's and St. Martin's Parishs (1742-1779)

Migration to Louisa County, Virginia
Following their marriage about 1755 or 1756, George and Elizabeth Gentry lived along Stone Horse Creek, until the end of the Revolutionary War. On July 24, 1784, George Gentry purchased 540 acres of land in Louisa County from John Powel (Powell) of Fluvanna County<6a>. The land adjoined that of Captain Terrel, Dickinson, Waddy and Anderson and may have been located along Harris Creek in the central part of the county [Harris Creek runs southward from the vicinity of Louisa Courthouse into the South Anna River.]. The deed witnesses were John Michie, John Gentry and Judah Gentry (Editor: Since there are no other known references to a "Judah" Gentry in Hanover or Louisa Counties, this was probably a mis-spelling on the part of the clerk.)

In his will, recorded in 1806, George Gentry acknowledged that he owned land in Louisa County, Virginia, where his son, George Jr., was living at the time. This was presumably part of the land purchased in 1784. The Louisa County residence is also confirmed by the marriages of daughters Francis and Nancy recorded in Louisa County in 1788<13a> and 1791<18a> respectively.

On June 7, 1787, George and Elizabeth Gentry deeded 66 acres of land on the Pamunkey River to John Harvie of the City of Richmond, Virginia<5a>. Colonel John Harvie was a member of the House of Burgesses and the Continental Congress. He was also a large land dealer and resided in Albemarle County where he was appointed the guardian of young Thomas Jefferson. The George Gentry land adjoined that of Mr. Patrick Henry, John Crenshaw and the Nelsons. The Patrick Henry land had also been previously sold to John Harvie . This land may have been an inheritance from George's father, James Gentry. Land in the 1700s tended to be bought and sold in even hundreds of acres (100, 200, 300, etc.). The somewhat unusual size of 66 acres could have resulted from dividing a land tract of 200 acres, for example, among three heirs. Since the land was located along the Pamunkey River it may have been in the vicinity of Totopotomoy Creek which is a tributary of the Pamunkey. .

Migration to Albemarle County, Virginia
GFA indicates that George Gentry left Hanover County prior to the American Revolution and had received a land patent from King George III of England for land around Free Union in northern Albemarle County, Virginia. No record of the early land patent or, in fact, any Virginia land patent for a George Gentry can be found. In addition, there is no George Gentry listed in the 1785 Virginia state census for Albemarle County or on the county tax rolls. The earliest Gentry land patent in Albemarle County, Virginia, was issued to Benajah Gentry, dated July 26, 1765, for land located on the south side of the Rivanna River and a branch of Biscuit Run Creek. Benajah Gentry was a son of Nicholas-II, and the family resided south of today's Charlottesville, Virginia. Part of Benajah Gentry's land legacy in Albemarle County is the location of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville.

In 1785, James Gentry, who was residing in Louisa County, purchased a tract of land in northern Albemarle County from Thomson Walton and his wife, Sarah, for 40 pounds of current Virginia money<11a>. The 200 acre tract was located near the Orange/Albemarle county line north of Buck Mountain. The oldest son of George and Elizabeth Gentry, James Gentry, was the first family member to settle in Albemarle County.

Map of
Albemarle County

Figure 2a. Map of Albemarle County
Map of Virginia Counties
Figure 2b. Northern Albemarle County

In 1796, George and Elizabeth Gentry purchased 400 acres of land along Buck Mountain Road in northern Albemarle County from Christopher and Margaret Cawthon of Louisa County, Virginia<7a> (see maps, Figures 2a and 2b above). The land tract adjoined that of Benjamin Walters and the Rogers family. The Albemarle County land deed was dated March 14, 1796. (Christopher and Margaret Cawthon were previously from Hanover County. James and William Cawthon were land owners along Stone Horse Creek.)

George Gentry purchased an additional 100 acres of land from Liner Gooch and his wife, Rhoda, in 1801<7b>. The 100 acre tract was located along Rocky Creek, approximately one mile southwest of Free Union, Virginia. The deed was recorded in Albemarle Court on October 5, 1801.

After his will was recorded in 1806, George Gentry purchased 200 acres of land from Crenshaw Fretwell in 1808<7c> and an additional 100 acres from John Ballard in 1810<7d>. Both tracts were located near Rocky Creek in Albemarle County southwest of Free Union. At the time of his death in 1810, George Gentry also owned an additional 94 acres of land in Louisa County, Virginia, that was not included in his will.

George and Elizabeth Gentry were listed as members of the Buck Mountain Baptist Church of Albemarle County located in Earlysville, Virginia, in the late 1790s. Both George and Elizabeth were listed in the Buck Mountain Baptist Church record dated April 21, 1799<9a>. Nancy Gentry was also listed on the church register. Nancy may have been the daughter of James Gentry who married Enoch Seamonds in 1806.

Probate Court Records
George Gentry died in Albemarle County prior to October 1, 1810. His will, recorded on July 4, 1806, was proven in Albemarle Court on October 1, 1810<8a>.

George Gentry Will
Albemarle County Will Book 5, Page 103

In the name of God, Amen. I, George Gentry of the County of Albemarle being sick and weak in body but of sound mind and deposing memory (for what I have to thank God) and calling to mind the uncertainty of human life and being desirous to dispose of all my worldly estate that it has pleased God to bless me with I give and bequeath the same in manner following, that is to say.

First. It is my will and desire that my executors hereafter mentioned pay all my just debts and funeral expenses after my death.

Second. I give and bequeath to my son James Gentry two negroes viz. Billey and Phillis and the future increase to him and his heirs forever.

Thirdly. I give and bequeath to my daughter Nancy Walton ten pounds to be provided by my executors hereafter maintained out of the first moneys which come into their hands which said ten pounds I give to her & her heirs forever and that she shall receive no other part of my estate whatever.

Fourthly. I give and bequeath to my son George Gentry one moiety of my tract of land lying in Louisa which he at present resides on to him his heirs and assigns forever. I also give and bequeath to my said son George Gentry one negro woman Celia to him his heirs and assigns forever.

Fifthly. I give and bequeath to my son William Gentry, two negroes viz. Polly & Garlenia with the increase in future to him & his heirs forever.

Sixthly, I give and bequeath to my daughter Frances Tate, wife of Nathan Tate, one moiety of my tract of land in Louisa county to be divided equally in a number of acres between my said daughter Frances Tate and my son George Gentry by my executors hereafter mentioned. I give and bequeath to my daughter Frances Tate three negroes viz. Sarah and her live children Bill & Beverly with their future increase to her and her heirs forever.

Seventhly. I give and bequeath to my son Austin Gentry all my tract of land I purchased of Liner Gooch adjoining James Ballard & others and a negro boy named Curfrick to him his heirs and assigns forever.

Eighthly. I give and bequeath to my daughter Betsy Ballard wife of Edward Ballard viz. two negroes Jude & Gresey and their increase to her, her heirs and assigns forever.

Ninthly. I give and bequeath to my daughter Patsey Walton wife of Gehugh Walton three negros viz Polley and her two children Lucas & Jack which three negroes Polley, Lucas & Jack I give to my daughter Patsey Walton during her natural life and then to be divided among her natural children and their heirs forever and I wish it to be understood that for no reason whatever the aforesaid negroes are to be taken out of her possession during her life. I also give to my said daughter Patsey Walton all that tract of land I am presently residing on lying on the north side of the Buck Mountain road and after her death it is my will and desire that the aforesaid land shall pass to her children in the same manner as the aforesaid negroes are direct this clause her son George Walton his heirs and assigns forever.

Tenth. I give and bequeath to my son Aaron Gentry three negroes viz. Gabriel, Shoemaker, Manny, his wife and their son Washington to him & his heirs & assigns forever.

Eleventh. I give and bequeath to my son Christopher Gentry my two negroes Patsey & Sally and their future increase to him his heirs and assigns forever. I also give to my son Christopher Gentry after the death of my beloved wife Betsy Gentry all the tract of land I now reside on except that part lying on the north side of Buck Mountain Road I devised to my daughter Patsey Walton during her life to her, her heirs and assigns forever.

Twelth. I give and bequeath to my grandson George Ballard, son of Edward Ballard one negro boy named Joe to him, his heirs and assigns forever.

Thirteenth. It is my will and desire that my executors hereafter named immediately after my death sell for the best price they can in cash my negro woman Violet and the money arising herein is to be applied as is hereafter directed how the remainder of my estate shall be applied.

Fourteenth. I hereby leave to my beloved wife Betsey Gentry the tract of land wherever I now reside except that part given to my daughter Patsey Walton, during her natural life and all the residue of my estate both real and personal of whatever description whatsoever during her natural life and after her death it is my will and desire that it be equally by my executors in the best equitable manner possible divided amongst my children following: James Gentry, George Gentry, William Gentry, Frances Tate, Austin Gentry, Aaron Gentry, Christopher Gentry, Patsey Walton & Betsey Ballard to them and their heirs forever.

And lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint my son James Gentry, Thomas E Fletcher, John Michie and Benjamin Brown my executors of this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking all other or former wills by me made.

In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand & affix my seal this 4th Day of July, 1806.

Signed sealed and acknowledged his
George X Gentry
in presence of
Ison Walton
Hawkey Furguson

At a Court held in Albemarle County by 1 October 1810. This instrument of writing purporting to be the last will and Testament of George Gentry Dec. was produced into Court and proved by the oath of Thompson Walton and continued for future juries at a court held for said County 5th November, 1810. It was again provided to Court and fully proved by the oath of Hawkey Furguson one other witness thereto and ordered to be recorded.

Test. John Nicholas

George Gentry's death in 1810 may have been somewhat unexpected since he was still purchasing land and his will had not been updated to reflect his later land purchases. His oldest son James Gentry, plus Thomas E. Fletcher, John Michie and Benjamin Brown, were appointed administrators of the George Gentry estate as specified in the will.

George Gentry named as legatees his wife Elizabeth, his ten children living at the time of his death and his grandson, George Ballard. George gave slaves and land to most of his ten children. An exception was daughter Nancy (Gentry) Walton, wife of Edward Walton. George Gentry gave Nancy 10 pounds and specified that "she shall receive no other part of my estate whatever."

The will specified that the Louisa County land would be shared by son George Gentry and daughter Frances Tate, wife of Nathan Tate of Louisa County. The tract of land that George Gentry had purchased from Liner Gooch was willed to son Austin Gentry.

A portion of the 400 acre tract of land north of Buck Mountain Road was willed to daughter Patsey (Martha) Walton, wife of Jehu Walton. George's wife, Elizabeth, was to continue to live on George's Buck Mountain Road land except for the part willed to daughter Patsey Walton. Following Elizabeth's death, the Buck Mountain Road land was to pass to son Christopher Gentry.

On February 1, 1811, Elizabeth Gentry filed a Deed of Relinquishment<7e> to release her claims to the 200 acres of land that George Gentry had purchased from Crenshaw Fretwell, the 100 acres of land purchased from John Ballard and 94 acres of land owned in Louisa County, Virginia. The three tracts of land were purchased after George Gentry's will was recorded in 1806. The deed requested that the Court appoint administrators to divide the land among her children in the manner specified by George Gentry's will.

The estate inventory was filed in Albemarle Court on February 4, 1811, by James Gentry and John Michie, estate administrators<8b>. The initial estate division was recorded on February 6, 1811<8c>. The final estate settlement, including detailed financial transactions, was recorded in Albemarle Court on November 6, 1820<<8e>.

George Gentry was a man of some means considering the time period. He owned over 1,000 acres of land in Albemarle and Louisa counties and the inventory of his estate included 27 slaves and personal property with a total value of 2,186 pounds.

On July 5, 1817, a document was filed in Albemarle Court for the division of two tracts of Albemarle County land, part of the George Gentry estate, in response to a court order, dated September 5, 1816. The land was in two plats, one of two hundred acres and the second of one hundred acres and was divided among nine legatees<8d>. The 200 acre plat, purchased from Crenshaw Fretwell, and adjoining the corner of Henry Harris land south of Buck Mountain Road was divided into six parts. The 100 acre plat, purchased from John Ballard, adjoined the land of Thompson Walton and was aligned along Rock Creek (shown as Rocky Creek on modern maps) which is located southwest of Free Union, Virginia, and along Buck Mountain Road (see maps in Figures 2a and 2b). This plat was divided into three parts. The nine legatees on the court record were: James Gentry, George Gentry, William Gentry, Edward Ballard, Aaron Gentry, Tate's children, Austin Gentry, Christopher Gentry and Jehu Walton.

A legal contest over the settlement of the Louisa County land willed to George Gentry's daughter, Francis Gentry Tate, occurred in 1818. Francis Tate died shortly after her father, George, in 1810, prior to the final estate settlement. In his will, George, indicated that his daughter Francis was to inherit a share of the Louisa County land along with her brother, George. On October 2, 1818, a court record was filed in Louisa County by all of George Sr.'s children as plaintiffs with the exception of James and Francis<6b>. The defendants in the case were Nathan Tate, Francis's surviving husband, six of their children, and Betsy Gentry, widow George Gentry, deceased, and James Gentry, executor of the estate.

The Court ordered that several commissioners, from both Albemarle and Louisa counties, be appointed to divide the Louisa County land willed to Francis into ten equal parts. One part was allotted to each of the complainants and one part to defendant James Gentry. The remaining tenth part was allotted equally among the children of Francis Gentry Tate The personal estate was also to be divided into nine equal parts and allotted to the defendants, excluding Edward Walton and his wife Nancy. Apparently James Gentry and his mother, Elizabeth, wanted the children of Francis Gentry Tate to inherit the full share of land and property. The other eight children of George and Betsy Gentry, however, felt that they should have a share of their sister's Louisa County land inheritance.

The contested will may have had a lasting effect on James Gentry and his son John. The wills of both men contained clauses that if any of their children contested their inheritance, they would forfeit any inheritance. Could this have been a result of the contest over the inheritance of Francis Gentry Tate?

George's wife, Elizabeth, died in 1813 in Albemarle County. An inventory, following her husband's death in 1810, was recorded on December 13, 1813<8f>. Her oldest son, James Gentry, was the administrator of Elibabeth's estate. The final settlement was made in November, 1820<8g>.


Children of George and Elizabeth Gentry

A brief family history description of each known child of George and Elizabeth Gentry is provided below.

James Gentry (GFA #186)

In his pension application, made in 1832<10a>, James Gentry stated that he was born in Hanover County, Virginia, in 1757. As the first child and oldest son of George and Elizabeth Gentry, James probably spent his early childhood in the vicinity of Stone Horse Creek in the southwest part of the county.

In 1777, when James was 20 years old, he volunteered to serve in Captain Eddens' Company of the 1st Regiment of Artillery, Continental Army, commanded by Colonel Charles Harrison for three years beginning on January 11, 1777. The artillery regiment was organized during the spring and summer of 1777 at Williamsburg, Virginia. The regiment entered camp at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, in January, 1778. Bombardier James Gentry was listed on the roster of Company 8, Samuel Eddens' 1st Artillery Regiment at Valley Forge on June 3, 1778. James was present at the battle of Monmouth, New Jersey, in June, 1778, when General George Washington's troops were chasing the British from Philadelphia back to New York. On July 4, 1779, Captain Eddens' artillery company was located at Smith's Clove, New York, located west of the Hudson River about 15 miles from West Point. General George Washington had arrived at Smith's Clove on June 15 and used the town tavern as his army headquarters.

Corporal James Gentry was discharged by Lt. Col. Edward Carrington, 1st Regiment of Artillery, on January 10, 1780, at Morristown, New Jersey. Following his discharge, James returned to Hanover County where he met and married Mary Hicks (or Hix) sometime prior to 1783.

The children of James Gentry and Mary Hicks were:

  1. John Gentry, born 1783 in Hanover County, Virginia. Married 1) Patsy Hicks on November 25, 1804, Albemarle County, Virginia and 2) Polley Shiflett on April 20, 1848, Greene County, Virginia. John died December 30, 1857, in Greene County, Virginia, and is buried on the Gentry farm.
  2. George A. Gentry. Married Elizabeth Dunn, daughter of James Dunn and Sarah Harvey, on November 1, 1808, in Albemarle County Virginia. Elizabeth was born about 1792. George Gentry died prior to 1851.
  3. Nancy Gentry, married Enoch Seamonds, September 22, 1806, Albemarle County, Virginia. Nancy Gentry died prior to 1851.
  4. Dolly ("Polly") Gentry, married Richard Harvey, son of Nicholas Harvey and Mary Snidow of Orange County, on January 3, 1805, in Albemarle County, Virginia. Dolly Gentry died December 6, 1857, Rock Camp, Monroe County, Virginia.
  5. Elizabeth Gentry, born January 14, 1793, married Martin D Harvey on January 16, 1808, in Albemarle County, Virginia. Martin Harvey was born June 4, 1785, Albemarle County, Virginia, and died June 15, 1848, Lincoln County, Missouri.
  6. James Gentry, born Albemarle County, Virginia. Married Nelly Gibson, August 5, 1816, Albemarle County, Virginia. (Editor: A bond for the marriage of James with Peachy Langfeld was filed on January 3, 1823 in Albemarle County. James, age 59, was listed in the 1850 Cedar County, Missouri census together with a wife "Peaches") James died in Gonzales County, Texas after 1851. Peaches died in 1861.

James and Mary Gentry moved to Louisa County, Virginia, with James' parents, George and Elizabeth, in the mid-1780s. In 1785, James Gentry, from Louisa County, purchased 400 acres of land in northern Albemarle County near the county line with Orange County<11a>. The land was purchased from Thomson and Sarah Walton for 40 pounds of current Virginia money. In 1810, James Gentry purchased 400 acres of land from John Huckstep and his wife, Aggy, just across the Albemarle County line into Orange County. The 400 acres was located on the Lyne (Lynch) River and is now located in Greene County (see map, Figure 2a). The Gentry farm in Greene County was operated by James' son, John, and was known as Cedarmere Farm. Cedarmere Farm was owned and operated by members of the Gentry family until the 1950s.

Figure 3 Gentry Methodist Church

In 1848, a Methodist Church was built about one mile east of Boonesville, Virginia, on the James Gentry land. James Gentry had deeded 2 acres of his 200 acres to the Methodist Conference<11b> in 1848. The first church building was of log construction and used until about 1900 when a new frame church building was constructed. The Gentry Methodist Church and Cemetery is located on Route 810 in Albemarle County east of Boonesville.

James Gentry was still residing on his Albemarle County land when the 1850 census was recorded. He was 93 years old at the time and his occupation was listed as "farmer." James Gentry died on June 22, 1851, on his farm. Along with his wife, Mary, who died about 1835, James is believed to be buried on a one-half acre plot on his land that was placed in trust for a Gentry family cemetery.

James Gentry's will was recorded on May 5, 1851, and proved on July 7, 1851<12a>, in the Court of Albemarle County. The final estate settlement was made in March, 1857<12c>. As specified in his will, the land (198 acres) was sold and the proceeds divided among his children<11c,11d>.

Nancy Gentry

Nancy Gentry married Edward Walton in Louisa County, Virginia, on June 13, 1791<13a>. George Gentry provided the security and served as witness.

Also in 1791, Edward Walton deeded a tract of land in Hanover County, Virginia, to George Gentry for the "benefit of Nancy Gentry Walton." The deed was witnessed by Francis Gentry Tate and her husband Nathan Tate<14a>. Edward Walton and Nancy Gentry probably resided in Louisa County, Virginia.

George Gentry (GFA #187)

George Gentry Junior stated in his application for a pension to the War Department, made October 2, 1832, that he was a resident of Albemarle County, that he was born in Hanover County near Ground Squirrel Bridge [on the South Anna River near the mouth of Stone Horse Creek] in 1765 or 1766, and that in January, 1781, he substituted for his father and served as a private in Captain John Thompson's Company of Virginia Militia<15a>. George marched to Richmond and then to Williamsburg where he was stationed. He initially served for about two months. After the two months, he returned home and then was immediately drafted to serve another two months. Still later, George substituted for two-month periods for John Childress and for John Alves.

In total, George Gentry served in the Virginia Militia for eight months and was wounded in the leg by a sword cut during his service. He was stationed on the York River when Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown. George listed the officers that he served under as John Thompson, James Augland, Major Dekkleman (a French officer), General Thomas Nelson and General Washington. George's pension payments of $26.66/year began on June 4, 1833, when he was 68 years old.

Following his military service, George Gentry returned to Hanover County, Virginia, where he married and began raising a family. He moved to Louisa County, Virginia, with his parents, George and Elizabeth Gentry, in 1785. When his parents moved to Albemarle County in 1796, George Jr. remained on their Louisa County land until about 1815 when he also moved to Albemarle County.

The children of George Gentry:

  1. John Gentry, remained single and resided on Louisa County land.
  2. Nancy Gentry, married Jessie Rice Walton, son of Thomson and Sarah Walton, May 9, 1816, in Albemarle County, Virginia.
  3. Jemima Gentry, married William Gibson, December 23, 1817, Albemarle County, Virginia.
  4. Francis ("Frankie") Gentry, married James A. Johnson, April 17, 1824, Albemarle County, Virginia.

A Deed of Gift was recorded in Louisa County, Virginia, on July 22, 1814, by George Gentry<16a>. The deed described the disposition of George's personal property and land among his four children: John, Nancy, Jamina and Franky (Frankie). At the time, George lived on the Louisa County land that he had received from his father's estate. The deed specified that the two hundred and eight acres were to be divided into four equal tracts, and George's only son, John, was instructed to manage the property that George gave to his three daughters "in any way that he may think most conducive to their interest."

Following the disposition of his Louisa County land and personal property in 1814, George moved to Albemarle County in 1817. In that same year, George deeded to his three daughters additional land in Albemarle County that he had received from his father's estate<17a,17b,17c>. By 1833, George was living with his son-in-law James Johnson and daughter Francis. In the 1850 census, George Gentry was living with daughter Nancy (Gentry) Walton and her husband Jessie Rice Walton. George died October 28, 1855, in Albemarle County, Virginia at the age of ninety.

William Gentry

Almost nothing is known of William Gentry. The William who married Elizabeth Kersey in Louisa County April 24, 1787, was in all probability this William which suggests that he was born not long after his brother George. He is known to have received land located both in Albemarle and Louisa counties from his father's estate, but there is no record of the sale of this land.
[Editor's note, added June 2008. William's age, and geography support the probability that he pushed farther west into the western Virginia mountains and was the William Gentry who was granted land in Greenbrier County in 1802 (this later became a part of West Virginia). The grant was for three hundred acres on the south side of Greenbrier River. The family apparently settled permanently there, for there are records of two marriages for a William D. Gentry (1820 and 1841), for a Nancy Gentry (1836) and for a John H. Gentry (1841) in Greenbrier County. ]

Francis Gentry

Francis Gentry married Nathaniel Tate, son of Nathan and Elizabeth Tate, in Louisa County, Virginia, on October 8, 1788<18a> Their children are named in the contested will court case mentioned earlier in this article.

Children of Nathaniel Tate and Francis Gentry:

  1. Elizabeth Tate, born about 1792 in Louisa County, Virginia. Married David Washington Gregory, June 6, 1819, Goochland County, Virginia.
  2. Austin Tate, born 1808. Married Mary Anthony.
  3. Salley Thomson Tate, married Henry Kersey.
  4. Mary Tate, married Henry W. Lassiter, July 18, 1825, Louisa County, Virginia.
  5. Thompson Tate, married Melvine Gentry.
  6. Polley Tate.
  7. Nathan Garland Tate, born about 1805. Married Louise Cawley, May 30, 1860.
  8. Watson Tate.

Francis Gentry died shortly after the death of her father in the fall of 1810. While her father's will left her one half of his Louisa County land, Francis' death lead to a will contest in both Albemarle and Louisa Courts in 1817 which has already been discussed above.

Austin Gentry

Austin Gentry left Albemarle County for Kentucky. He lived with his sister Elizabeth Ballard in Madison County and probably is the male, born 1765 to 1784, living with Elizabeth's son James B. Ballard in the 1810 Madison County, Kentucky census. He died in Kentucky in 1814 and left the following brief will on record in Madison County.
"Memorandum of what Austin Gentry wants done with his property. He says he wants a horse left with John Watson, sold and the proceeds of him given to Austin Ballard; and the money come from my father's estate I want given to Hudson Ballard."
Signed: Austin Gentry."

Elizabeth Gentry

Elizabeth Gentry married Edward Ballard, son of John Ballard and Mary Powers, on February 27, 1797, in Albemarle County, Virginia. The Ballards moved to Madison County, Kentucky where their children were prominent citizens and where Elizabeth and Edward both died.

The children of Edward Ballard and Elizabeth Gentry were:

  1. George Ballard
  2. James B. Ballard
  3. Austin Ballard, died 1898, Kentucky.

Martha (Patsey) Gentry

Martha (Patsey) Gentry married Hezekiah Wood ["Woods"?, was this a brother of the Juriah Woods who married Patsey's brother Christopher?], July 1, 1799, in Albemarle County, Virginia, with her father George serving as security. It is not known how long Hezekiah lived, but Patsey had married again, this time to Jehu Walton by the time of her father's will in 1806. Jehu was born about 1778 and was probably a son of one of the three Walton brothers (Richmond, Isom and Thomson) who lived in Albemarle County, Virginia.

Jehu and Patsey Walton lived on land that Patsey had received from her father's estate near Free Union, Albemarle County, Virginia.

Aaron Gentry (GFA #188)

"Aaron Gentry was born about 1771 in Hanover County, Virginia. Aaron married 1) Polly (Mary) Ogg, November 18, 1801, in Orange County, Virginia, and 2) Peggy Ogg, January 10, 1803, in Orange County, Virginia. Both Polly and Peggy were daughters of Alexander Ogg and Susannah Lindsey."

Child of Aaron Gentry and Polly Ogg:

  1. George Alexander Gentry, born about 1803; died after 1894. Married 1) Elizabeth A. Jackson, Greene County, Virginia, and 2) Mahala Frances Lamb, October 3, 1846, Greene County, Virginia.

Children of Aaron Gentry and Peggy Ogg:

  1. James Overton Gentry, born about 1807. Married 1) Charlotte Reynolds, January 25, 1826, and 2) Sarah Grimmett, May 15, 1841, Knox County, Tennessee.
  2. Susan Jane Gentry, born May 18, 1811, Knox County, Tennessee; died May 9, 1902, Madison County, Virginia. Married William E. Jackson, December 18, 1830, Orange County, Virginia.
  3. Hardin Gentry
  4. Garrett Gentry
  5. Joseph Gentry
  6. Fountain Gentry
  7. William Gentry

Aaron Gentry and Peggy Ogg moved from Virginia to Tennessee. Their two oldest children, George Alexander and James Overton, remained for a time behind in Virginia, but then James also moved to Tennessee.

Christopher Gentry (GFA #189)

Christopher Gentry was born about 1773 (from GFA) in Hanover County, Virginia, and died about 1822 in Albemarle County, Virginia. Christopher married twice, first on July 13, 1804 in Albemarle County, Virginia to Juriah Woods, then on August 2, 1810, again in Albemarle County, to Sarah ("Sally") J. Dunn, daughter of James Dunn and Sarah Harvey.

Children of Christopher Gentry and Juriah Woods:

  1. Martha ("Patsey") Gentry, married Joel Walton.
  2. Dicey ("Dig") Gentry, married Garret White, March 19, 1829, Albemarle County, Virginia.
  3. Mary ("Polly") Gentry, married Henry Via, May 18, 1829, Albemarle County, Virginia.

Children of Christopher Gentry and Sally Dunn:

  1. Henry H. Gentry, born about 1812. Married Susan Gibson, November 16, 1847, Albemarle County, Virginia.
  2. Paschal B.D. Gentry, died before 1852. Married Susan Maupin Dunn, November 6, 1847, Albemarle County, Virginia.
  3. Elizabeth ("Betsie") Gentry, married James Dunn, July 10, 1834, Albemarle County, Virginia.
  4. Frances ("Fanny") Gentry, born about 1815. Married Thomas Gibson, November 29, 1827, Orange County, Virginia.

Christopher Gentry and Sarah Dunn lived on land that Christopher had received from his father's estate southwest of Free Union in Albemarle County, Virginia.

George Gentry was born about 1732 in Hanover County, Virginia. While no new information on the relationship of George Gentry to the immigrant Nicholas-I has been discovered, it does appear that George's father was an immediate descendant of Nicholas. There seems to be little doubt that James Gentry Senior of Hanover County was George's father.

After marrying his wife, Elizabeth, about 1755, George and Elizabeth lived in the southwest portion of the county near Stone Horse Creek. After the end of the Revolutionary War, George and Elizabeth left Hanover County and migrated west to Louisa County about 1785. In 1796, George and Elizabeth purchased 400 acres of land in northern Albemarle County, Virginia, southwest of Free Union from Christopher Cawthon. When he died in 1810, George Gentry owned over 1,000 acres of land in Albemarle and Louisa counties. George owned many slaves at his death and his personal property was appraised at over 2,000 pounds. Several of the ten children of George and Elizabeth Gentry remained in Louisa and Albemarle Counties, while others left Virginia to settle in Kentucky and Tennessee in the early 1800s.

No evidence of a land patent from George III, King of England, to George Gentry for land in Albemarle County has been found to support the description of George Gentry in GFA. Deed records of land purchases made by George Gentry confirm that the family did not arrive in Albemarle County until well after the Revolutionary War.


References to George Gentry

1. Richard Gentry, "The Gentry Family in America 1676 to 1909", The Grafton Press, New York, 1909.
  a) Abbreviated in article as GFA
  b) George Gentry, GFA Family Number 185, Page 242.
2) Journal of Gentry Genealogy, , Willard Gentry, Editor
  a) Article entitled "Sons of Nicholas Gentry, Immigrant, by Denny Ellerman, Volume 1, Issue 9.
  b) Article entitled "Sons of Nicholas Gentry, Immigrant, Part 3. Joseph-II, James-II and John(?) Gentry", by Willard Gentry, Volume 1, Issue 10.
  c) For a description and history of St. Paul's Parish, see "Nicholas Gentry, Immigrant, Part 1. The Colonial Virginia Found by Nicholas", by Willard Gentry, Volume 1, Issue 2.
3. Virginia Land Patents
  a) February 22, 1724, Samuel Gentry, 400 acres, north side the South Anna [River] between lines of Drumond, Scott & Taylor, Patents 11, page 328
  b) February 22, 1724, Samuel Gentry, 196 acres, Beech Creek, Hanover County, adjoining land of William Harris and Alves, Patents 12, page 145.
4. C. G. Chamberlayne, editor, "The Vestry Book of St. Paul's Parish, Hanover County, VA, 1706-1786", The Library Board, Richmond, 1940 reprinted 1973.
  a) 1763 Nov 30      p. 420 [327]
"To Mary Spraddling for keepg, Widdow Cawthon 6 months with a cancer.
To George Gentry for keepg Edy Cawthon from 16th April til now."
  b) 1771 Nov 12      p. 494 [ 394]
[Precinct 26] "Ordered into precinct for processioning the Lands of James Cawthon, James Crenshaw, John Pendleton formerly Pryors., Wm Berry's Orphans, William Cawthon, William Morris, Andrew Christian, William Johnson, Richard Gilman, William Howard, William Gunter, Robert Lee, George Gentry, Daniel Camron, Joseph Crenshaw, David Crenshaw, William Tompkins, William Davis (Constable), John Gosling and John Hughes. And that William Morris and James Cawthon do see the processing performed ..."
 c) 1755 Nov 17      p. 343 [271]
[Description of Precinct 6] "Lands of James Cawthon, James Crenshaw, John Spraddling, Nicholas Gentry, Samuel Pryor, William Berry's Orphans, William Cawthon, James Phillips and William Harris ... all lands beginning at Mouth of Stone Horse Creek and up the creek to the main road and down the road to Beech Creek ..."
  d) 1719 8br[Oct]      p. 265 [205] Processioning return.
[Precinct 31]: "The lands of Mr. Geo. Alves, Nich'o Gentry, Chris. Cawthorn, Mr. John Sym, & Will. Harris, Sam'l Gentry, of which Mr. Geo. Alves & Nich'o Gentry were Overs'rs; who made this return, the within Order comply'd with, by the persons Within nam'd, or their Ordered [signed] Geo. Alves, Nich'o Gentry."
  e) 1779 Nov 12      p. 562 [449]
[Precinct 28] "Ordered into precinct for processing the lands of Ja Cawthon, Ja Crenshaw, Jn Pendleton, Parke Goodall, Wm Cawthon, Wm Morris, And. Christian, Wm Johnson, Rich Gilman, Wm Howard, Wm Gunter, Rob. Lee, Geo. Gentry, Daniel Camron, Joseph Crenshaw, David Crenshaw, Wm Thompkins dec., Wm Davis (Constable) dec., Jn Maddison & Jn Hughes. And that Jn Pendleton and Park Goodall do see the said processioning performed & returns their proceedings ..."
5. Hanover County Deed Books, S. O Southall, 1910
[There are only two old deed books in the Clark's Office of Hanover County, VA. The oldest, designated the "Small Book" covers the years 1734 and 1735 and contains orders, wills, deeds, etc. The "Large Book" is a deed book for 1780-1790. Notes from the two deed books were abstracted by S. O. Southall in 1910.]
  a) June 7, 1787      Large Deed Book      Hanover County
Geo. Gentry & Elizabeth, his wife to John Harvie of Richmond City 66a, now in possession of said Harvie, on Pamunkey River ­ adj. land Mr. Patrick Henry, lately sold said Harvie adj. Crewshaw's
6. Louisa County Deed Books
  a) July 23, 1784      Book H, Page 471
John Powel [Powell] to George Gentry of Hanover County, Virgnia, 540 acres in the County of Louisa beginning on [Deruns Dunns ?] line, continuing Capt. Terrells, to Dickinsons, to Waddy's and Edwards new line. Witnessed by John Michie, John Gentry and Judah [?] Gentry. Recorded July 27, 1784.
  b) October 2, 1818      Book P, Page 74
Will contest and land division held in Court for Albemarle County involving infant children of Francis Tate, deceased. Plaintiffs: Edward Walton and Nancy, his wife, George Gentry (Jr.), William Gentry, Austin Gentry, Edward Ballard and Betsey, his wife, John Walton and Patsey, his wife, Aaron Gentry and Christopher Gentry. Defendants: Nathan Tate, Henry Kersey and Sally, his wife, Elizabeth Tate, George F. Tate, Nancy Tate, Augustine Tate, Polley Tate, Garlana Tate, Watson Tate, Betsey Gentry, widow and relict of George Gentry, deceased.
7. Albemarle County Deed Books
  a) March 14, 1796      Book 12, Page 33
Christopher Cawthon and Margaret, his wife, of Louisa County to George Gentry of the county of Albemarle, 400 acres beginning at Benjamin Walter corner. Witnessed by J. Barbour, Jr., R. Bruce and Thomson Walton. Recorded in Albemarle County Court in April, 1796.
  b) October 4, 1801      Book 13, Page 530
Liner Gooch and Rhoda, his wife, of Louisa County to George Gentry of the county of Albmearle, 100 acres on Rocky Creek. Witnessed by D. Miner, William Davenport, Matthew Watson, Butler Bradburn and John White.
  c)      1808      Book 16, Page 240
Charles Fretwell to George Gentry, 200 acres near Rocky Creek in Albemarle County.
  d)      1810      Book 17, Page 75
John Ballard to George Gentry, 100 acres near Rocky Creek in Albemarle County.
  e) February 1, 1811      Book 17, Page 314
Deed of relinquishment by Elizabeth Gentry, widow of George Gentry. Witnessed by Paramus Rogers, Philip Grafton, Samuel Garrison, Hawkey Furguson and Henry Harris. Proven by oaths of Philip Grafton, Samuel Garrison and Hawkey Furguson on February 4, 1811.
8. Albemarle County Will Books
  a) October 1, 1810      Book 5, Page 103
George Gentry will. Witnessed by Ison Walton and Hawkey Furguson. Proven by Thompson Walton and recorded on November 5, 1810.
  b) February 4, 1811      Book 5, Page 120
George Gentry estate inventory. Submitted by James Ballard, Ison Walton and Pramus Rogers. Certified by John Michie and James Gentry, executors of George Gentry, dec.
  c) February 6, 1811      Book 5, Page 147
George Gentry estate division. The division was made by James Gentry, Paramus Rogers, Thompson Walton, James Ballard and Goosley Goodman.
  d) July 5, 1817      Book 6, Page 296
George Gentry estate division. The court document was signed by Richard Woods and testified by Nathaniel Thompson, Jesse Garth, and Paramus Rogers.
  e) November 6, 1820      Book 7, Page 78
George Gentry estate settlement. The final settlement was certified by Paramus Rogers, Nathan Thompson, Crenshaw Fretwell and John Wood.
 f) December 13, 1813      Book 5, Page 324
Elizabeth Gentry estate inventory. The inventory record was witnessed by Thompson Walton, Charles Burras and Henry Harris.
  g) November, 1820      Book 7, Page 79 [?]
Elizabeth Gentry estate settlement
9. Albemarle County Church Records
(Acc. 7403-a) Alberman Library, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
  a) a) Minute Book of Albemarle County Church, Microfilm M-1377 (1773-1811)

References for James Gentry

10. National Archives
  a) Pension records, James Gentry, S8555, Corporal in Captain Eddens' Company, 1st Artillery Regiment, Continental Army.
11. Albemarle County Deed Books
  a) October 13, 1785      Book 9, Page 154
Thomson Walton to James Gentry, 200 acres, beginning at corner of Robert Hammock's line.
  b)      1848      Book 46, Page 13
James Gentry to Methodist Church Conference, 2 acres.
  c)      1852      Book 51, Page 225
James Gentry (Heirs) to D. Wood, 198 acres
  d)      1852      Book 51, Page 226
James Gentry (Heirs) to B. Kimon (P. Atty)
12. Albemarle County Will Books
  a) July 7, 1851      Book 21, Page 187
James Gentry will. Witnessed by T. H. Brown, Horace Brown, Peter Gibson, Jr., and Isaac Gibson. Peter Gibson and Austin Gentry were named as executors.
  b) September 15, 1851      Book 21, Page 474
James Gentry estate inventory. Signed by James L. Dunn, John Gibson, William F. Parnell [?] and Thomas Naylor.
  c) March, 1857      Book 25, Page 139
James Gentry final estate settlement

References for Nancy Gentry

13. Louisa County Marriage Books
  a) June 13, 1791      Marriage Register 1&2 (1766-1851), Page 54
Edward Walton and Nancy Gentry. George Gentry was witness and security.
14. Barbour Family Papers- 1741-1876, Virginia Historical Society
  a) Land of Edward Walton to George Gentry for benefit of Nancy Gentry Walton. Witnessed by Francis Gentry Tate and Nathan Tate.

References for George Gentry, Jr.

15. National Archives
  a) Pension records, George Gentry, S6685, Virginia Militia, Captain John Thompson's Company.
16. Louisa County Deed Books
  a) July 22, 1814      Book M, Pages 377-378
George Gentry to John, Nancy, Jamina and Franky Gentry
George Gentry deeded 208 acres, where he was living, to his four children in four equal shares. Deed indicates that son John Gentry shall manage the property given to three daughters "in any way that he may think most conductive to their interest."
17. Albemarle County Deed Books
  a) February 3, 1816      Book 20, Page 322
George Gentry to Francis Gentry, 100 acres more or less beginning at pointer on Zack Maupin to John Wood line .. to Wilson Roberts line. Witnessed by David Tilman, Sarah Tilman and Rachel W. Tilman. Recorded April 16, 1817.
  b) March 1, 1817      Book 20, Page 324
George Gentry to Jemima Gentry, 100 acres more or less bounded by Thomas Walton, John Wood and James Ballard. Witnessed by John Ward, Samuel Ward, John Ward, Jr. Recorded April 16, 1817.
  c) March 1, 1817      Book 20, Page 416
George Gentry to Nancy Walton, 35 acres more or less bounded by Henry Harris, Jehu Walton and Nathan Tate. Witnessed by Samuel Ward, William Maupin, and John Ward. Recorded On September 1, 1817.

References for Francis Gentry

18. Louisa County Marriage Books
  a) October 8, 1778      Marriage Register 1&2, (1766-1861), Page 41
Nathan Tate and Francis Gentry. George Gentry listed as parent of bride. Security and witnesses: John Kersey, Jesse Payne and Nancy Gentry. No minister was listed.

Minor Revisions June 2008

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