Volume 2 Issue 1
January 2002
Home Page and Index


The John Gentrys of Hanover and Louisa Counties
and Other Gentrys

Willard Gentry
Rewritten with major revisions

Family groupings and ancestry links are proposed for the John Gentry family which resided in Hanover County, and a similar John Gentry family which resided in Louisa County, Virginia at the turn of the 18th century. Evidence is presented relating to conflicting reports concerning two Patrick Gentrys and two Robert Gentrys who resided in Louisa, Hanover, and Henrico Counties. Finally, a number of previously unidentified Gentrys of Louisa County have been proposed for linkage to Nicholas Gentry, the Immigrant, in particular the proposed family of a widow, Frances Gentry, of Louisa County.

This article assumes prior knowledge of Part 1 of this series, found in the December 2001 issue of the Gentry Journal. We will be building on and continuing to add to the framework started there. We are attempting to learn from the limited amount of evidence available, the relationship of some of the Gentrys living in Virginia in the late 18th century to pioneering first and second generation Gentrys. These are all Gentrys who have never been clearly identified as to their descent from Nicholas-I Gentry, the Immigrant.

One of the hazards of researching the early Gentrys is the multiplicity of a number of common names. In the first four generations of Gentrys, there are at least 9 Nicholases, 5 Samuels, 9 Davids, and 10 Johns. Fortunately, most of the Johns left the Hanover-Louisa County heartland of the Gentrys by the late 1700's, for example, in Samuel-II's family, a son and one grandson had moved to or been born in Lunenburg County; in Nicholas-II's family, Benajah's son moved to Albemarle County, and the sons of Nicholas, Moses, and Martin all moved to Kentucky; the son of David-II had moved to South Carolina; and John-II and family had moved to Augusta and Botetourt County. We are still left with two families of John Gentrys who remained in the area, one in Hanover County and one in Louisa County. While trying to define the place of these Johns in the Gentry line of descent, a side issue will be to try and sort out two Patrick Gentrys and two Robert Gentrys, who were also living in the area. A third issue will be to investigate the family of Fanney, the widow of an unknown Gentry.


A. John Gentry of Hanover County

There is convincing evidence that in the latter half of the 1780's, there was a John Gentry who lived in Hanover County and another John Gentry family who lived in Louisa County. The evidence for the presence of the Hanover County John is relatively clear and uncomplicated, so we will begin with him. What is not so clear is the identity of his father and we will discuss this further shortly.

Louisa and Hanover Counties
Figure 1.

Father of John Gentry
With the above facts in mind, the next question to ask is "who was his father?". In the Gentry Journal article for October, 2001, we suggested that James-II was this father, and see no reason to change this opinion. We noted above that the 1782 state census enumeration for Hanover County showed eight members in his family and we assume six of these were children. Under normal circumstances with no loss of children through early death, this suggests that John was married for the first time approximately fifteen years earlier, that is about 1767. Extrapolating further assuming an age at marriage of approximately twenty-five, gives a preliminary estimate of John's date of birth as about 1742 and might have been as much as five years earlier. If we continue the extrapolation, it is unlikely that John's father could have been born later than approximately 1715 even if John was his oldest son. This places severe limitations on possibilities for this father, for the only Gentrys present in Hanover County in 1740 of the appropriate age were Joseph-II and James-II. The presence of John Gentry in the same neighborhood as George Gentry and Watson Gentry (whose father was James Jr.) very strongly supports the premise that John was a part of the James-II family, and his age places him in the middle of the family -- younger than George, but probably older than David.

While we are making estimates of John's birth and date of first marriage, we can also estimate a date for a second marriage. One inference from the 1785 deed in which John and his wife Nancy cleared title on land near Totopotomoy Creek, is that Nancy, whose maiden name was Sims, had been previously married to a Parke Smith who had apparently deserted Nancy and was believed to have died. It is apparent that her marriage to John was her second, and considering the size of family he had in the 1782 census, it was his second also. The timing of the land settlement suggests that John and Nancy were married not long before 1785.

Children of John Gentry of Hanover County
Information on potential children of John Gentry comes mostly from the tax records that were recorded in Hanover and Henrico Counties beginning in 1782, supplemented by census records beginning in 1810. Before considering possibilities, there are a number of Gentrys that can be eliminated because they are known to belong to other families. These are:

  1. David Gentry family which includes David, Henry, Matthew, and James Gentry. Two James Gentrys, one the son of David, and the other, presumed to be the son of John, require a certain amount of care to distinguish. In the Hanover tax lists of 1782 to 1815, one set of James Gentry entries is marked "son of D." for the years 1805-1809. David's son does not appear separately in the 1810 Hanover County census, but in 1820, he can be distinguished by the presence of 17 slaves, whereas the second James had none.
  2. Joseph-II Gentry family which includes Susanna, the widow of Joseph-III, the latter's sons, Joseph Jr. and Gaddis, and Robert, a son of Gaddis. We can also include Benjamin Gentry in this group for exclusion of consideration. Benjamin was a name that occurred a number of times in the Joseph Gentry families, but not elsewhere. The Benjamin who was listed in tax records was probably a son of a Benjamin C. W. Gentry who was married to Catherine Page in 1778 in Hanover County. This older Benjamin could not have been a son of John Gentry simply because of his age -- his date of birth would have been too early.
  3. Nathan Gentry family (son of Nicholas-II) which would have included a reference to Nathan's widow, Mary in the 1787 personal property tax list for Hanover County. It would also include a record of a marriage by Nathan's son, Wyatt, to Mary Amos that is listed in 1808 among Hanover County marriages. (Interestingly, apparently the same marriage, that of Wyatt to a "Polly Amos" is recorded among Louisa County marriages of 1806.)

This still leaves close to a dozen names that are present in one or more records that could potentially be a part of the family of John Gentry Sr. It will be helpful to tabulate these in an organized fashion, listing them in the order in which they first appeared in the tax lists since this would be a first approximation of their relative dates of birth.

Individual First Tax
Last Tax
First Census Comments
William17821787 ?1810 Hanover Probably nephew of John
1782 state census (1 ind)
Revol. War svc. 1777-1780
John (Sr.)17831790 ?1810 Hanover + "Patrick, a minor" in 1786
1782 state census (8 ind)
Patrick178817901810 Henrico 
George17891790 - - - This is very probably the George (#246) included in GFA<12(b)> who died early leaving a son who was raised in Hanover County
James (Sr.)17891815(?)1810 Hanover+ "Jr" (1791)
John (Jr)1791(?)18151810 Hanover+ 1 adult (1812)
Nicholas17921805 - - - 6 ac Hanover County (1800)
William179318121810 Henrico6 ac Hanover County (1794-1796)
39 ac Hanover County (1800)
Austin17951795 - - -  
Charles179918151810 Hanover 
Laney18151815w/John Sr(?), 1810 Hanovermarried Polly Sneed, 1813 (with consent of father John)

The 1782 state enumeration showed John with a family of eight, six of them presumably sons if his wife was still living, seven if his wife had died (John had married Nancy Sims by 1785, but the date of death of a first wife is unknown). The number of Gentrys in Hanover County at the time that could potentially have been part of his family was greater than that, so we will attempt to pick the six or seven most likely from the table above. We know from marriage records that Laney Gentry was a son of John, but he was born after the 1782 census so is not involved in an identification of the family members listed there. The older William can be excluded as a son of John because he was born too early for that to be so. All of the remaining individuals were of approximately similar age, none of whom can be said definitely to belong to any other Gentry family, but all of whom could easily be sons of John. We can infer from personal property tax and census records that a John Jr.was a son. From personal property tax records, Patrick Gentry was recorded as a tithable minor in the household of John in 1786, and presumably this same Patrick Gentry was charged as a principal tax payer in 1788 and later lists. This suggests that Patrick was another son of John and was over age 21 in 1788. Further, in last month's Journal article on the various William Gentrys of Hanover County, we also concluded that the William Gentry who lived first in Hanover County then settled in Henrico County was probably a son of John.

We will consider George Gentry next. As indicated in the table, he was probably the George reported by GFA who died at a relatively young age, leaving a son Edmund who was raised by an uncle in Hanover County. Henrico County marriage records show the marriage of Edmund Gentry to Rebecca Ford in 1816. An Edmund (sometimes "Edward") appeared in Henrico County census records until 1840, and he was then replaced in 1850 by a listing for "Rebecca Gentry". These census records show him to have been born shortly after 1794. It is significant that William Gentry of Hanover County, the war veteran, had a boy living with him in 1810 of that age who was not among the children he later listed in a request for Federal pension assistance. Moreover, this is the only Gentry family in the 1810 census in either Hanover or Henrico County with a child of this age with the exception of one son of David Gentry's son, Henry. We can therefore rather confidently conclude that William was the uncle to which GFA referred, and the extra child in William's household was his necphew, Edmund.

The Hanover County tax records show George listed for 1789 and 1790, which means he was born in or before 1768. With the exception of witnessing a deed in 1782 along with Austin Gentry, there is no record of him thereafter. The deed in question was for land along the Chickahominy River on the border between Hanover County and Henrico County. GFA refers to George living in Louisa County, but there are no records in that county of either this George, or of his wife Susan. It is likely that there was some confusion of identification between this George, and his uncle, George Gentry of StoneHorse Creek, who moved from Hanover County to Louisa County in 1784. It is more likely that the younger George continued to live in Hanover County until his death.

Austin Gentry also appeared very briefly in Hanover County tax records, in fact in only one year, 1795. The appearance of Austin along with George in 1792 suggests that the two were brothers. The disappearance of their names from the records after 1795 suggests further that something may have happened to the two of them shortly after, resulting in the death of both men, possibly by accident, or more likely by sickness. There is no record of George's wife, Susan, either, and she probably died also at about the same time. This would explain the fact that the child, Edmund, was raised by a relative rather than by the widow. The year 1795 is compatible with the birth of Edmund.

This is a long-winded way of rejecting George and Austin as probable children of John Gentry. We are left with the remaining Gentrys, namely James, Nicholas, and Charles as proposed children. James and Charles continued to appear in Hanover County records for many years, and are very logical members of this family. Nicholas Gentry is a mystery. He appeared in several Hanover personal property tax lists between 1792 and 1805 and in a confusing land tax record in Hanover County in 1800 which associates his name with 6 acres of land. There is no trace of him after 1805 and we have not been able to locate him in census records in 1810 or after. The conclusion is that he must have died early like George and Austin.

Summary of Family of John Gentry of Hanover

John Gentry
-- Born about 1740 to 1745, probably in Hanover County, Virginia
-- Married (1) Unknown
-- Married (2)Nancy (Sims) Smith about 1784-5 (widow of Parke Smith) (daughter of Bruster Sims)
 Children of John and First Wife (all born in Hanover County):
 i.Patrick Gentry born about 1767, Hanover County; died 1846, Henrico County, "age 83". Married (1) Nancy Gilman; married (2) Mary Ann [Unknown].
ii.William Gentry born about 1770, Hanover County; died 1819, Henrico County. Married (1) [Unknown]; married (2) 3 Jul 1816, Henrico County, Rebecca Phillips (remarried 9 Nov 1819, Henrico County to Henry Easley).
iii.James Gentry born about l773, died before 1815, Hanover County (survived by wife Mary).
iv.Charles Gentry born about 1775; died 1825-1830, Hanover County (survived by second wife, Caroline Matilda).
v.John Gentry Jr. born about 1778; died after 1860?
vi.Nicholas Gentry born about 1780; disappeared after 1805.
 Children of John and Nancy:
 vii.Laney Gentry born about 1786; died about 1846 -1850. Henrico County marriage records list Laney's marriage to Polly Sneed on 21 Aug 1813 and 12 May 1829.
viii - x.Three daughters, born 1784-1794, 1784-1794, and 1794-1800.
 xi.Permelia Gentry ? born about 1804; married 30 Dec 1824 to Dabney Snead.


B. John Gentry of Louisa County

The earliest apparent reference in Louisa County to a John Gentry (after those in the 1740's for John of Botetourt County), was in a 1761 tax report for Trinity Parish (formed in 1761 from Fredericksville Parish, covered roughly 3/5ths of the central area of Louisa County,) where John was listed as an overseer in the home of a Nicholas Crainshaw<7>. The next reference to a John Gentry was in the 1782 state census for that county<8> in which John was listed with 3 members in his family, located in the sixth "hundred" (a division of the county for purposes of census enumeration) which was in the north central part of the county and part of Trinity Parish. A John was also in the 1783 Louisa County personal property list<7>, liable for 1 tithe and located in Trinity Parish. He was missing from the 1785 state census, but there have been estimates that from 1/4th to 1/3rd of the county residents were missed in the two census enumerations for 1782 and 1785. There is the possibility of confusion of Johns at this point, as Nicholas-III (son of Nicholas-II), who lived along Goldmine Creek in the north central section of Louisa County (see map, Figure 1) had a son John of approximately the same age as the John we are studying. Nicholas was in the same 1782 census as John, but the nine members in his family presumably included his son who was living at home. Fortunately for our task of sorting out John Gentrys, the son of Nicholas-III did not remain in Louisa County but moved to Bullitt County, Kentucky.

The Louisa County John is reported in GFA ("The Gentry Family in America") as #248<12d>. The John Gentry (#250<12f>) listed as a son of John Sr, corresponds well with the John Jr. in the Louisa County census records, and John's marriage to Barbara Haggard is confirmed by a 1799 marriage bond on file in the county records<11>. Building on the list in GFA, we can propose the following children:

The Patrick Gentry included by GFA among John Sr.'s children (#249<12e>) is surely a case of mistakenly placing Patrick with this John rather than the John of Hanover County whom GFA does not describe at all. We will discuss Patrick further in a moment. Placing Patrick in this family is a problem that occurs not infrequently in the "Other Gentrys" section of GFA whereby there has been an erroneous combination of data. As to the other sons, the 1800 Louisa County census shows John Sr. with 2 sons born 1784-1790 which is consistent with the ages of Samuel and Wilson, while John Jr. is separately recorded with a date of birth as being between 1774 and 1784. The marriage of John Jr. in 1799 to Barbara Haggard<10> suggests that the earlier part of this census age range is more appropriate so that the date given in GFA is certainly reasonable. The substitute information for an 1810 census, namely a personal property tax in which John Gentry was liable for 3 tithable males<8>, almost surely applies to John Sr. rather than John Jr. The presence of Samuel and Wilson in his household is appropriate to the tax liability.

It is possible that John Sr. had a daughter, Matilda, although she does not appear in the 1800 census.. A Louisa County marriage bond dated 17 Mar 1803<11>, records the marriage of Matilda Gentry to William Purkins [Perkins]. John Gentry was the bondsman. Estimating her age at the time of her marriage suggests a birthdate of roughly 1780, so she may have been second in order of children between John Jr. and Wilson.

We have mentioned that both the 1800 Louisa County census and the 1810 tax list published as a substitute for the 1810 census are consistent with the presence of John Sr. accompanied by two sons, and a separate listing for his oldest son, John Jr. By 1820, we find John Jr.'s family present and a younger John Gentry family in which the mother and young children are present but the presumed father is missing (either absent or recently died?). John Sr. and the entire remainder of his family are missing.

Both the 1761 tax report and the 1782 census placed John in central Louisa County, in Trinity Parish. At some point thereafter he acquired land on Locust Creek<12b>. Whether he moved to this location or acquired it by purchase or inheritance and did not necessarily live there is not known. This creek runs northward into the Little River, starting just west of the Louisa-Hanover border and ending on the east side of the border (see map). This was in St. Martin's Parish, and was in the eighth "hundred" at the time of the 1782 state census. GFA reports that a deed in 1821 transferred 77 1/3 acres of this land to John Jr. The fractional acreage sounds suspiciously like a division of a larger plot of 232 acres into three equal portions. We have just said that John Sr. does not appear to be in the 1820 Louisa County census so we can speculate that perhaps the 1821 deed was written in settlement of his estate. We know that John's two younger sons, Wilson and Samuel , were in Kentucky in the early 1820's. This suggests that John Sr. died shortly before 1820 and that John's two other sons shared this estate with John Jr. and then left Virginia.

We have not considered the date of birth of John Sr. himself, nor the identity of his father. If the 1761 reference of a John Gentry serving as a plantation overseer was indeed for this John, he must have been over 16 years of age to be included in the tax list. That is, he was born before 1745. In all probability to be serving as an overseer suggests he was probably in his early twenties. This would give a date of birth of about 1738 to 1740. This suggests that his father was born before about 1715. James-II could not have been this father, his son, John, was the John Gentry of Hanover County we discussed above. Since there was no other second generation Gentry that remained in the Hanover/Louisa area, we must assume that this father was part of the third generation of Gentrys, born after the death of Nicholas-I. This leaves only one possibility among the known Gentrys and that is the elder William Gentry of St. Paul's Parish, who appeared briefly in parish records in 1732 and 1735, and then disappeared. We have mentioned him very briefly in an earlier Journal article published in October, 2001, and speculated that he left home at an early age and moved out of St. Paul's Parish to St. Martin's Parish. Whether or not William ever moved from western Hanover County to the area that became Louisa County is not known, but there is a strong likelihood that his children did so and represent some of the unidentified Gentrys that lived in Louisa County in the latter half of the eighteenth century.

Children of John Gentry of Louisa County
John Jr.

The younger John was married 4 Jan 1799 to Barbara Haggard who was a daughter of Jesse Haggard, and related to the Nathaniel Haggard who married Nicholas-II's daughter, Elizabeth. She was also related to the French Haggard who married Samuel-II's daughter, Ann. The information about John Jr. and his children found in GFA appears to be essentially correct except that GFA has John marrying Barbara in Orange County rather than Louisa County and with the wrong date. John Jr.'s children appear with him in the 1820 Louisa census, and then start appearing in their own right (Claybourn and Owen in 1830, and Austin in 1840).


GFA describes this son of John Gentry as marrying a Runkle in Kentucky in 1820 and moving to Missouri. Madison County, Kentucky, marriage records show the marriage of Polly Runkle to Wilson, 2 Mar 1820. There are no listings for a Wilson Gentry in any 1830 Kentucky censuses, nor the Missouri censuses for 1830, 1840 and 1850, although in 1840 in Lewis County, there is a "Winson" listed, born 1780-1790. There are six children listed with this family, all born after 1820, but no spouse. Wilson was present in the 1860 census for Napa County, California, living with a relative near his son Hudson Gentry. While Wilson has not been found in the 1850 census, Hudson Gentry and a presumed sister, Elizabeth, were in the 1850 census for Pike County Missouri. Wilson is said to have died in California in 1876 or 1877.


Samuel married Susan "Runcle", 24 Dec 1823, in Madison County, Kentucky<13>. GFA indicates that Samuel moved to Randolph County, Missouri in 1830, and the 1840 census for that county does include a Samuel Gentry, born 1790 to 1800. He was also in the 1850 census for Randolph County with his wife Susan and six of his seven children.


C. Patrick Gentrys

We have already discussed briefly the Patrick Gentry of Hanover and Henrico Counties. He appeared first in the Hanover County tax records -- as a minor in the household of John Gentry in 1786, then taxed individually in 1788 and 1790. We have concluded that Patrick-1 (as we will call him) must have been born in about 1767. This Patrick is the same as the one who was taxed in Henrico County in 1801. We can infer from the date of birth and circumstances relating to Patrick-1 that he was a son of John-IV of Hanover County, and specifically that he was John's oldest son.

Patrick-1 appeared repeatedly in Henrico County census records from 1810 to 1840 with dates of birth varying from 1750-1760 to 1775-1794<14>. In contrast to Patrick, the record for his wife (his second) are consi stent with a date of birth of 1775 to 1780. At the time of his death in 1846, he was listed in the settlement of his estate as "age 83" which would indicate he was born in 1763. Patrick was married twice. His second wife, Mary Ann, is named in his will that was written in 1838. This will and the will of Edmund Gilman, father of Patrick's first wife, Nancy, (who made bequests to his grandchildren) , give a considerable amount of detail about Patrick's children and grandchildren. This Patrick is the one listed by GFA as #249<12e>. GFA identifies him as a son of John Gentry of Louisa County which is a mistake.

The next Patrick, whom we shall designate as Patrick-2, is listed in GFA, as #32<12a>, which identifies him (correctly) as a son of Nathan Gentry, son of Nicholas-II, gives his wife's name as Mary Margaret Porter, and gives some details of his death in 1820. There are very few references to this Patrick among the Louisa County records. GFA gives his date of birth as about 1780 which is reasonable. A marriage bond for his marriage, 23 Oct 1802 is on record<11>, but the name given there is Mary Ann Porter. Both parties were listed as being over 21 years of age. Patrick's father, Nathan, died in 1784 in Louisa Co. and his widow, Marianna (or Mary Ann) Black is thought to have moved to Hanover County where a Mary Ann Gentry was listed in the 1810 census. Patrick did not appear in the 1800 Louisa County census, but there is a Patrick in the 1810 tax list, liable for 1 tithe at that time<9>. The 1820 Louisa County census has an entry for Patrick Gentry, but the individuals listed appear to be his widow and the family of their oldest son, William.

In case anyone should wonder about his connection to the Hanover and Louisa County Patricks, there was a Patrick Gentry (Patrick-3), who appeared in the 1850 Boone County, Missouri census. His age was given as 75 (which equates to an approximate date of birth of 1775), and was born in Virginia. With him in the same household, was an Elizabeth Gentry, age 72, also born in Virginia. This Elizabeth is believed to be the widow of Bartlett Gentry, son of Martin-III Gentry, who moved from Madison County, Kentucky to Boone County, Missouri, some time after 1810 and died there in 1821. Bartlett's grandfather, Nicholas-II Gentry, in his will of 1787, specifically bequeathed to him "one slave boy, Patrick", and this undoubtedly is the same Patrick who served the family as a retainer for all those years. The 1850 census has no comment on Patrick, but the 1840 Boone County census shows one free colored male living with Elizabeth and obviously Patrick was a freedman who chose to remain with his family.


D. Francis/Frances Gentry

Before leaving John of Louisa County, it will be helpful to briefly review some other Gentrys found in that county that may or may not be directly related to John. Of particular concern are a group that appear to be probable children of Francis/Frances or "Fanney" Gentry, the presumed widow of an unidentified Gentry. A "Francis" appears in the 1800 Louisa census with 5 children but no husband<14>. The family does not appear in the 1782 state census. An analysis of the ages of these children reported in 1800 suggests that the oldest was probably born between 1782 and 1784, and thus Frances was probably married shortly after 1780. The youngest 3 children were born between 1790 and 1800, which suggests further that their father probably died in approximately 1796, and certainly before 1800. Francis appeared also in the 1810 tax list for Louisa County with 1 tithable in the family -- presumably one of her sons<9>.

In reconstructing this family, we can estimate that the missing husband of Frances was probably born between 1755 and 1760. This places him in an age bracket where he could have been a younger brother of John Sr. of Louisa County. One might ask whether he was a son of Nicholas-IV (son of Nicholas-III and Elizabeth Stringer) who died leaving a wife and family who have never been identified. This could not have been the case, however, since Nicholas-IV died in 1787, and so could not have been the father of Fanney's children. Another possibility is that the unidentified father may have lived in Hanover County and then moved to Louisa County before his death, or his widow moved after that death. Among the Gentrys listed in the Hanover County personal tax records in section A. above, George and Austin Gentry's tax records do no extend beyond 1795. As stated above, George's wife was said to have been named Susan, and the survival of a son Edmund after his death completely eliminates him as a prospect. Nothing is known of Austin Gentry, on the other hand, and the lack of any Hanover tax records after 1795 fits what we know about Francis's family. There remains a big question, "If Austin was Francis' husband, why did he appear in the Hanover tax records only in the one year, 1795?"

In addition to census and tax list references, "Fanney" Gentry appears in the Louisa marriage bond records of 16 Jan 1810 when Elizabeth Gentry, "daughter of Fanney", married Lewis "Paggett"<11> A related entry with Lewis "Padgett" serving as bondsman, shows Nicholas Gentry marrying Nancy Carrel, 1 Jan 1814. This strongly suggests that Elizabeth and Nicholas were brother and sister. These two Gentrys fit the profile of the children found in Fanney's 1800 census record, Elizabeth born about 1786 and Nicholas born about 1790. Two otherwise unidentified Gentrys, namely John and Robert, appear in the 1820 Louisa County census and also fit Frances' family in terms of age. The family of a John Gentry who apparently was considerably younger than the John Jr. discussed above, is listed in that year. John himself was not present with the family and may have died shortly before the census (he had five children born between 1810 and 1820). A second, "orphan" or "left-over" Gentry in the 1820 census listing was Robert. His situation is discussed in more detail in Section D. below.

This leaves us with the following proposal for Frances' family:
Unknown Gentry (all Speculation)

--  Born about 1755; died perhaps about 1796. Married about 1782 to Frances/Francis ("Fanney") (maiden name unknown) presumably in Louisa County.
Children of Frances:
i Unknown Son, born before 1784, may have died before 1810 .
ii John Gentry, born about 1786 in Louisa County. His family is in the 1820 Louisa County census with a wife and 5 children but without John himself who may have died shortly before then.
iii Elizabeth Gentry, born about 1790 in Louisa County; married 16 Jan 1810 (Louisa County marriage bond) to Lewis "Paggett"[Padgett], and identified as the daughter of Fanney Gentry.
iv Nicholas Gentry, born about 1793 in Louisa County (according to the 1850 Rockingham County, Virginia, census); married 1 Jan 1814 (Louisa County marriage bond) to Nancy Carrel who was listed as being "of age" (bondsman, Lewis Padgett). Nicholas moved by 1820 to Rockingham County, where he spent the rest of his life.
v Robert Gentry, born about 1796 in Louisa County, present in Louisa County in 1820 but missing thereafter (see discussion below).


E.   Robert Gentrys

Another case of duplicate Gentry names that can be difficult to distinguish like John, William and Patrick, is that of Robert Gentry. Gaddis (or "Geddes") Gentry, who was a son of Joseph-III Gentry, had a son, Robert. A family bible survives detailing the names and pertinent dates for this family. Census records in Louisa County, for 1820 and 1830, show a Robert Gentry family which matches perfectly in ages and sexes, the family outlined in the bible. The bible gives the name of Robert's wife as Mary Marks whom he married in 1813 in Louisa County. In the 1810 Hanover County census, however, there is listed a Robert Gentry who was married, of the same age as Gaddis' Robert, and with no children. This must refer to the Robert Gentry married, also in Louisa County, to Elizabeth Kersey in 1809. Looking into this further, we find in the 1820 Louisa County census two Roberts, one the son of Gaddis, and the other a Robert who was five to ten years younger than the first Robert, with a wife of similar age, and with five children (or step-children?) . There is no further record of him. Because of the difference in age, he could not have been the same as the Robert of the 1810 census. If we can believe the Gentry family bible, the only thing that makes sense for this situation is that the two Roberts involved in the Louisa County marriages were the same person. Why Robert's first wife was missed by the family bible may possibly have been simply a matter of timing -- the bible records were started some time following his second marriage. This takes care of one Robert Gentry. We are left with a second Robert, born probably soon after 1794, for whom we have no good answer, and he simply becomes one more of the Hanover/Louisa Gentrys for whom we have no verifiable identification.


F. Other Unidentified Hanover and Louisa County Gentrys

In the discussions above, and in previous articles about the families of Joseph-II, Samuel-II, and Nicholas-II, we have touched on almost all of the Gentrys living in Hanover and Louisa Counties in the second half of the eighteenth century. We list below two others who are among the marriages and baptisms recorded by the Rev. William Douglas of Louisa County who have not so far been mentioned:

Elizabeth Gentry
Three children of Elizabeth Gentry and Jeremiah Blacklock were baptized by Rev. Douglas between 1764 and 1773<10>. Elizabeth and Jeremiah must have been married in perhaps 1762, and Elizabeth's date of birth can be approximated as about 1740.

Keziah Gentry
A daughter, Martha, of Keziah Gentry and Will Camp was baptized by Rev. Douglas in 1772 in Louisa County<10>. Keziah's name does not appear anywhere else in Louisa County records. If Martha was her first child, we can assume that Keziah and Will Camp were married in approximately 1770, and that Keziah was born probably between 1745 and 1750.


G. What was the Ancestry of the Louisa County Gentrys?

We have briefly or in detail, described at least four Gentrys who were born between about 1738 and say 1755, that do not fit into any of the family groups that we have so far considered in these Journal articles on the early Gentrys. Since these four all center very much on Louisa County, it appears probable that they were siblings and spent most if not all of their early life in Louisa County rather than in Hanover County. These four are:

What are the possibilities concerning their parents. The older ones could conceivably have been children of John of Botetourt County, born during the time he was living in Louisa County, and remaining there when he went on west to Augusta County. This appears very unlikely, and one is hard pressed to explain why the children did not also move to Augusta County, unless for example, John was divorced and his wife remained in Louisa County while John moved. That appears very unlikely in light of the scarcity of divorces in those days.

Another possibility is that these were children of James-II who certainly spent his earlier years in the western part of Hanover County before returning to his father's plantation in St. Paul's Parish in 1751. In addition, his oldest son James Jr. lived much of his life in Louisa County and western Hanover County. There are two problems with this. One is that we have already suggested (in the previous month's Journal article) a number of members of his family who were born during this same span of years. Given the number of children in some families during those early years, this is not necessarily a serious problem. Of more concern is the question: "Why did not these children, especially the younger ones, return to St. Paul's Parish with James along with his sons David (born about 1742) and William (born about 1745)?"

If we reject these options, we are led to a third possibility which we suggested in last month's discussion of multiple William Gentrys. This is that Joseph-II's son William who disappeared from St. Paul's Parish records after 1735, did not die, but rather moved to western Hanover County as did James-II. We can speculate that William may have moved on further west across the Hanover County border into Louisa County, while James remained in the vicinity of Stone Horse Creek.

There is no record of William during the years following 1735, but neither are there records of any of these children during that same period. There are no vestry records for St. Martin's Parish which bordered St. Paul's to the west and covered western Hanover County and eastern Louisa Co, which is where this hypothetical William probably settled. Tax lists for St. Martin's Parish do not exist before 1767, which we might postulate was after the time William died. In brief, we have no independent way of knowing whether or not William-III survived his last reference in St. Paul's Parish. The proposals we have made above are highly speculative and many cannot be backed up by any hard evidence. If the reader is willing to accept this suggestion of a family of Gentrys descended from William-III, it should be understood that this is done on the reader's own responsibility.

It must be emphasized that the present article is very much a "work in progress", and all conclusions contained herein should be carefully considered by the reader before being linked to specific family relationships of their own. We are providing a framework to facilitate further work as additional evidence becomes available. There are a number of uncertainties relating to John of Louisa County, and paerticularly to the family of Fanney Gentry. Questions remain about the Robert Gentrys, and there is very much of an open question as to whether William-III Gentry indeed survived to have children. Undoubtedly, more facts will surface in the future that will help to resolve some of the questions, and readers of this article are invited to contribute where they can.


1. U.S. Census of 1790, publ by Bureau of Census
VA county census records destroyed, substituted state enumerations for earlier years.
   Hanover Co. (1782) List of Winston Geddes
  p. 29 David Gentry     8 people
  p. 29 Joseph Gentry     5
  p. 29 William Gentry     1
  Capt. Owen Dabney district
  p. 28 John Gentry     8 people
  p. 28 Watson Gentry     4

2. Louisa County Deed Books
  1784 Jul 23         Deed Bk(H-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.

3. "Hanover County, Virginia Deeds 1783-1792" abstracted and compiled by Rosalie Edith Davis, Heritage Trails, Manchester, MO 1983
(a) 1785 Mar 10     (p.25)     Deed Bk p.118-119
  John Gentry and Nancey his wife of Hanover Co. to Benjamin Timberlake of same. Whereas Bruster Sims of Co. afsd. St. Paul's Par. dec'd in his life time purchased of Richard Foster and Sarah his wife a tract of land in par. and co. afsd. on branches of Totopotomy Cr. and died seised of same, having made his last will & Testament and bequeathed until his dau. Nancey Sims (now Nancey the wife of sd. John Gentry) sd. tract, who first intermarried with one Parke Smith, which land sd. Parke Smith sold unto George Parke who sold same unto Joseph Brand who transferred his right thereto to William Sims who also transferred his right to John Timberlake, dec'd which right was inherited by his son and heir at law the afsd. Benjamin Timberlake who now is in possession of sd. tract bounded as followeth: Archers corner...Taylors corner...Gentrys corner. Parke Smith who only had a right in sd. Land during the term of his natural life did convey sd. land 7 Sept 1755 departed this state and it hath been supposed that sd. Parke Smith is dead, but it being doubtful to the sd. John Gentry and Nancey his wife whether they can procure sufficient evidence to prove the death of sd. Smith without great expense and being willing and desirous to settle all disputes respecting sd. land do sell their right thereto unto sd. Benjamin Timberlake. For and in consideration of that tract lying on the north side of the road running through sd. tract being on the day of the date of these presents given until their possession, hath given and sold to Timberlake all their right to that part of the tract which lies on the south side of sd. road.
        Signed:     John (+) Gentry     Nancy (+) Gentry
Wit: Wm Wooddy, Jacob Christian, Charles (X) Tyler
Ack 7 Jul 1785 by John Gentry and Nancey his wife.
(b) 1786 Mar 1     (p.47)     Deed Bk p.218-219
  John Crenshaw & Elizabeth his wife of Hanover Co. to John Harvie of City of Richmond; for 600 lb.; two tracts of land on both sides of Stone Horse Cr.; one tract of 160 ac. the other 32 ac.; the first tract purchased by James Crenshaw of Phillip Pryor 22 Sep 1748...on Stone Horse Cr...John Gentrys line..Thomersons line...Symes line...the other tract purchased by James Crenshaw of James Cawthon 2 Jun 1757...on east side of Stone Horse Cr... Cawthrons new line.
        Signed:    John Crenshaw     Elizabeth Crenshaw
(c) 1789 Jun 18     (p.103)    Deed Bk p.487-488
  John (+) Gentry witnessed deed for land at mouth of Tussoky branch on Taylors Cr.
(d) 1792 May 21     (p.117)    Deed Bk p.559-560
  George Gentrey and Austin Gentry witnessed deed for land on "Chckahomaney" Swamp in St. Paul's Par.

4. "Hanover County Taxpayers Saint Paul's Parish 1782 - 1815", compiled by William Ronald Cocke, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD, 1956
  John 1783-1785,  1786 (+ Patrick, a minor),  1787-1789,  1790 (+ 1 adult),  1791-1793
     [John Jr?] 1805-1809,  1812 (+ 1 adult),  1815
  Patrick 1788-1790
  Nicholas 1792,  1796,  1799-1803,  1805
  Benjamin 1793-
  Austin 1795-
  George 1799,  1800 ("petitioner only", no property)
  Charles 1799-1803,  1805-1807,  1809,  1815
  William (son of John?)
    1782 (no poll tax),  1783-1787,  1790-1792 (+ 1 adult),  1793-1803,  1805-1812

5. "Hanover County, Virginia, Land Tax Books", compiled and edited by Ruth and Sam Sparacio, The Antient Press, McLean, VA, 1997
  John           40 ac:    1787-1790, 1792-1796
  William         6 ac:    1794; 45 ac: 1795-1796

6. "Binns Genealogy, LLC" at <>
Website contains online images of 1790 and 1800 VA taxlists published as a substitute for the 1790 and 1800 Federal Census.
(a) Hanover Co., 1790 (date of personal property enumeration):
  19 Mar Geddes
  19 Mar Susanna
  26 Mar David
  26 Mar John
  26 Mar "Partrick"
  26 Mar William
(b) Henrico Co., 1801 Personal property liability
  William 1 white     10 black     2 horses
  Patrick 1 white                      1 horse
  William 1 white      1 black      1 horse

7. "Louisa County Virginia Tithables and Census 1743 - 1785", edited and compiled by Rosalie Edith Davis, Manchester, Mo., 1988.
  From Trinity Parish [Separated from Fredericksville Parish, 1761, covered roughly 3/5ths of the center of Louisa County, boundaries running north and south approximately parallel to the county lines.]
    Head of Household Other Members Negroes Tithes/Acres  
  1761 (S. side South Anna River)
    Nicholas Crainshaw Jno Gentry Ovsr Abram 2 - 445  
  1775 Nichs. Gentry Jun son John Cate 3 - 194  
  1783 John Gentory     1 -       

8. "The Censuses of 1782 and 1785: Defective Yet Useful and Fascinating", from Louisa County Historical Magazine, vol 5, #1 (Summer 1973), p.20:
  1782 1785  
    "Hundred" White Black White Black  
  Gentry, Geo four 9 4 -- --  
  Gentry, John six 3 -- -- --  
  Gentry, Martin two 7 -- 6 1  
  Gentry, Nicholas six 9 2 9 1  
  [Approx 1/4 of householders omitted 1782, about 1/3 omitted 1785. Louisa Co. divided into 8 "hundreds" for census, 2 and 4 in center and east lower tier, 6 in west-central northern tier.]

9. "A Supplement to the 1810 Census of Virginia, Tax Lists of the Counties for which the census is missing", edited by Netti Schreiner-Yantis, Springfield, VA, 1971 (includes Halifax and Orange).
>age 12
  Louisa Co. Gentry, John Sr. 3 0 2  
  Gentrey, Patrick 1 0 0  
  Gentry, Fanney 1 0 2  

10. "The Douglas Register", transcribed and edited by W. Mac. Jones, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1977 (reprinted)
  C.    Births and Baptisms
  p.199 Nath. Gentry & Marianne Black
Son named Wyat born 15 Mar 1781; bapt 9 Apr 1781
  p.167 Will Camp & Keziah Gentry
Daughter named Martha born 28 Feb 1772; bapt 2 Jun 1772

11. "Marriages of Louisa County 1766-1815", compiled by Kathleen Booth Williams, 1977, C. J. Carrier Co.
(compiled from Louisa County Marriage Register which starts 1766)
  Date Groom Bride Bondsman/Witness
1780 Apr 1 John Gentry Milly Edwards Grant Edwards
1799 Jan 4 John Gentry Barbara Hogard
dau of Jesse Hogard
William Plant
/w/ William Poindexter
      Thomas Wash
      Benjamin Duke
(m. 5 Jan 1799 by Rev. Martin
[who says "Hoggard"])
1802 Aug 14 William Anthony Elenor B Gentry
over 21 years of age
dau of Mary Gentry
Stanley Alvis
/w/ William Perkins
      David Kersey
      J L Walton
1802 Oct 23 Patrick Gentry
over 21 years
Mary Ann Porter
over 21 years
William Whitlock Jr.
1803 Mar 13 William Purkins
Matilda Gentry John Gentry
/w/ William Dugins
(m. 17 Mar 1803 by Rev. William Cooke)  
1809 Dec 6 Robert Gentry
over 21 years
Elizabeth Kersey
John Thomasson is
guardian of Eliz.
Stephen Harris
1810 Jan 16 Lewis Paggett Elizabeth Gentry
dau of Fanney Gentry
Thomas Mann
(m. 16 Jan by Rev. John Lasley)  
1813 May 31 Robert Gentry Mary Marks [Polly]
21 years of age
William Sledd
1814 Jan 1 Nicholas Gentry Nancy Carrel
of age
Lewis Padgett
(m. by Rev. Claibourne Walton)  

12.    "The Gentry Family in America", by Richard Gentry, The Grafton Press, New York, 1909. (Referred to herein as GFA).

(a) Patrick Gentry, #32, p.74. (Nathan-III, Nicholas-II)
  "Born about 1780 and died in 1820 in Louisa Co., VA. The records of said county show that Nathaniel Perkins was his administrator, and that his estate was appraised Dec. 18, 1820 by Edward Casley, Benjamin Henson, and Joseph Bickley. He seems from this appraisement to have been a merchant. His wife was Mary Margaret Porter [Louisa Co. marriage bond of 23 Oct 1802 gives Mary Ann Porter]."
 -- William B. (#95), born 1802; married Sallie Sargent, 11 Mar 1824
 -- John P., married Mary Wright.
 -- James, bachelor.
 -- Mary Margaret, born 1809; died 1891; married Elijah Butler.
(b) George Gentry, #246, p.280
  "He died in Louisa Co., VA, when a young man, leaving one son, Edmund (#247) who was reared by an uncle, who lived in Hanover Co. George Gentry's wife's name was Susan Gentry.
(c) Edmund Gentry, #247, p.280
  "Born in Louisa [Hanover?] Co. About 1791; reared by an uncle in Hanover Co., after the death of his father; married Rebecca Ford of Henrico Co [Henrico Co. marriage bond dated 10 Jul 1786, John Ford surety], and came to Richmond to live. He and all his sons were carpenters by trade. He was a private soldier in the War of 1812 and was stationed at Camp Holly.
 -- Pleasant Edward, born in Richmond, VA, Aug 6, 1816; was a tobacconist; married Mary Miller, [Henrico Co. marriage bond dated 14 Sep 1837, Spottswood F. Bowles security]
 -- Watson. Resided in Petersburg, VA, [Henrico Co. bond for marriage to Ann Presson, dated 26 Aug 1840, Edmond Gentry surety]
 -- James. Resided in Petersburg, VA. He and his brother Watson were in the tobacco business.
 -- Mary; married Mr. Radford [Henrico Co. bond for marriage to John A. "Redford", dated 24 Dec 1844]; she lives in Petersburg, VA.
(d) John Gentry (#248), p.282
  "Born about 1750. On 25 May 1821, one John Gentry conveys by deed to John Gentry, Jr., 77 1/3 acres of land on Locust Creek, in Louisa Co., VA"
 -- Patrick (#249)
 -- John (#250), born about 1775
 -- Samuel, born in Virginia; moved to Kentucky; married --- Runkle and moved to Randolph Co., MO in 1830; died in 1867. [With John in 1830 Louisa, VA census (?), b.1800-1810; 1840 Randolph, MO census, b.1790-1800; no Samuel in 1850 MO census.][Samuel m. Susan "Runcle", 24 Dec 1823, Madison Co., KY]
 -- Wilson, born in Virginia in 1783; married --- Runkle in Kentucky in 1820; settled in Howard Co., MO, in 1830; lived also in Scotland Co., MO; moved to California in 1851 where he died in 1877. [No MO reference, 1830 census; 1840 Lewis, MO census as "Winson" (?), b. 1780-1790]
 -- Susan married Basil Duke.
 -- Anna married John Gafney and lived in Kentucky.
 -- [Plus ?: Matilda in Louisa Co. bond for marriage to William Perkins, dated 13 Mar 1803, John Gentry surety].]
(e) Patrick Gentry (#249), p.282.
  "Born in Louisa Co.[Hanover Co.]; died in 1848. His wife was named Mary Ann[??]. He names the following children in his will which was probated in 1848 [in Henrico Co.]:
 -- Harmon Anderson
 -- Fleming Paine
 -- Moulton [Milton] Woodson [Henrico Co. Bond for marriage of "Milton" W. Gentry to Emily Ford, ward of Meacon Ford, dated 12 May 1829, Meacon Ford surety].
 -- Arena White; married [William] Blackburn [Henrico Co. marriage bond dated 15 May 1827, Patrick N. Gentry, surety].]
 -- Washington Hawley
 -- (Also had two O'Conor grandchildren.) [Patrick's daughter Maria Price in Henrico Co. bond for marriage to John "Conner", dated 1 May 1822, John S. Hickson, surety]
(f) John Gentry (#250), p.282-3
  "Born in Louisa Co., VA about 1775; died in 1854; married Barbara Haggard, 24 Jun 1799, in Orange Co., VA [Louisa Co. marriage bond for John and Barbara, daughter of Jesse Haggard dated 4 Jan 1799, William Plant surety]. She died and he married second, Lucy King, who had no children. David Richardson was appointed curator of John Gentry, 14 Feb 1854, during contest over his will, which was probated 13 Feb 1854."
 -- Claybourne Watson, married Polly Johnson.
 -- Owen, lived in Tennessee.
 -- Austin, lived in Virginia.
 -- Theodosia, married Thomas Armstrong.
 -- William N., died without issue in 1866.

13. "1790-1844 Marriage Records of Madison Co., KY", transcribed by Charlotte Ramsey and posted at
  p. 147    24 Dec 1823    Gentry, Samuel married to Runcle, Susan.

14. Federal Census Returns, on microfilm, displayed below in standard order appropriate to year.
  1800 Louisa Co.
    Francis Gentry M: 2  1  1  0  0;   F: 1  0  0  1   0 widow of XX?
    John Gentry M: 0  2  0  0  1;   F: 0  0  0  0  1 John (Lou)
    John Gentry M: 1  0  1  0  0;   F: 0  0  1  0  0 son of John (Lou)
1810 Hanover Co.
 p.53 Jno Gentry M: 1  0  0  1  0;   F: 2  0  0  1  0 son of John (Han)
  p.53 Robert Gentry M: 0  0  1  0  0;   F: 0  0  1  0  0 son of Gaddis
  p.70 Charles Gentry M: 0  0  0  1  0;   F: 0  0  0  1  0 son of John (Han)
  p.72 Jack Gentry M: 0  0  1  0  1;   F: 1  1  2  0  1 John (Han)?
1810 Henrico Co.
  p.112 P.H. Gentry M: 1  0  0  0  1;   F: 2  0  0  1  0 son of John (Han)
  p.114 William Gentry M: 3  0  2  1  0;   F: 0  1  0  1  0      "
1810 King & Queen Co.
  p.219 Benjamin Gentry M: 1  0  0  1  0;   F: 1  0  0  1  0 son of Benj. Sr.?
1820 Hanover Co.
  p.60 John Gentry M: 4  2  0  0  1  0;   F: 0  2  2  1  0 son of John (Han)
  p.80 Charles Gentry M: 2  0  0  0  0  1;   F: 2  0  0  1  0      "
  p.81 John Gentry M: 0  0  0  0  0  1;   F: 0  0  2  0  1 John (Han)
1820 Henrico Co.
  p.100 Edward Gentry M: 1  0  0  1  0  0;   F: 1  0  0  1  0 "Edmund"?
  p.100 William Gentry M: 0  0  0  0  0  1;   F: 0  0  0  1  0 son of John (Han)
  p.101 Patrick Gentry M: 0  1  1  2  1  0;   F: 0  1  1  1  0      "
1820 King & Queen Co.
  p.16 Benjamin Gentry M: 0  1  1  0  0  1;   F: 3  0  0  0  1 son of Benj Sr.?
1820 Louisa Co.
  p.50 John Gentry M: 1  1  0  1  0  1;   F: 1  1  0  1  0 son of John (Lou)
  p.51 Patrick Gentry M: 1  1  0  1  0  0;   F: 1  0  1  0  1 son of Nathan
  p.51 John Gentry M: 1  0  0  0  0  0;   F: 4  0  1  1  0 son of Frances?
  p.51 Robert Gentry M: 2  0  0  1  1  0;   F: 2  0  0  1  0 son of Frances?
1820 Rockingham Co.
  p.138 Nicholas Gentry M: 1  0  0  0  1  0;   F: 2  0  1  0  0 son of Frances?

Substantially rewritten, January 2013

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