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John Waugh d. 1735 Fairfax Va - large landholder is who?
Posted by: Anne (ID *****8869) Date: April 28, 2002 at 07:00:20
  of 1604

Citing the research done by the following researcher, this information is posted to the Hemlock Overlook Park website.

Perunko's research through deeds states John Waugh died 1735 and left his large land holdings to 3 sons named John, William and James. A wife is not mentioned. My question is, who is this John Waugh that died in 1735? Comments welcome.

1.8 Review of History

A complete title search was conducted for the Hemlock Overlook Regional Park project area by Ms. Jennifer Perunko. The results of the title search as well as other documentary research pertinent to the history of the area is incorporated below into the chronological/development periods that have been established for the state of Virginia in the Virginia Department of Historic Resources publication: How to Use Historic Contexts in Virginia: A Guide for Survey, Registration, Protection and Treatment Projects.

1.8.1 Settlement to Society Period (1607-1750)

The earliest evidence of European contact in the region suggests that Captain John Smith explored the Potomac as far upstream as Little Falls in 1608 in his search for the Northwest Passage. In 1649 King Charles II granted the lands known as northern Virginia to seven of his supporters. By 1690, a 5.3-million acre tract stretching from the Rappahannock River to the Potomac River was owned by Thomas, Fifth Lord Fairfax. The European settlers of the region established semi-autonomous plantations with a few courthouse villages, rather than towns. A settler paid the purchase price, or "caution money," and received a warrant for the land. Next, the land was surveyed and a title or patent was presented to the purchaser. The purchaser or patentee then chose a name for the property and it was recorded.

European settlement at the end of the seventeenth century clustered along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac and Rappahannock River valleys within the Tidewater. The Piedmont area to the west of the fall line was frontier and occupied only by Native Americans and a handful of European trappers (Cramm, 1987:18). The 1670 Augustin Herrman map of Virginia and Maryland shows no settlement of the area that is now the Hemlock Overlook Regional Park project area.

Lady Catherine Fairfax, wife to Thomas, Fifth Lord Fairfax, had vast land holdings. Agents working for her and her heir, Thomas, Sixth Lord Fairfax, Baron of Cameron, kept records for the proprietary and visited most of the extensive Fairfax property. Gradually, land was granted in smaller parcels to wealthy men who could afford to pay for the patent and have the land surveyed. The area containing and surrounding the Hemlock Overlook Regional Park project area and including the present study area of 225 (approximate) acres was acquired by three men between 1710 and 1730. Beth Mitchell, a local historian, mapped the patent and land grants (Fig. 5) on top of the Fairfax County tax map in her book Beginning at a White Oak: Patents and Northern Neck Grants of Fairfax County Virginia.

By the beginning of the eighteenth century, land grants were being made in the area now known as Fairfax County. The ratification of the Albany Treaty of 1722 removed the Iroquois Indian threat from the Piedmont Uplands area and the European population of the area grew.

Three men, John Waugh, Richard Kirtling, Jr. and Wansford Arrington were granted land in the project area for the first time. The land lay on Popes Head Creek and Bull Run and these owners may have hoped that this strategic location would benefit from the economic development of the western lands. Since land ownership determined social status, each would have been a prominent figure in society.

The largest of these three grants was to John Waugh. He was granted 2800 acres on September 20, 1710 (NN3:265). This land was described as starting at Pope’s Head Creek through Johnny Moore Run. Mr. Waugh probably was an absentee landlord as he owned other large parcels of land in Fairfax County. On December 7, 1716, Wansford Arrington was granted 335 acres by Catherine Lady Fairfax. This grant was described as land along Bull Run from just north of Yates Ford Road to south along Bull Run to a peninsula (Northern Neck Land Grant NN5:128). The final land grant of the three that now make up the project area was made from Thomas Lord Fairfax to Richard Kirtling, Jr., on September 12, 1730 (Northern Neck Land Grant NNC:69LS). These 290 acres comprised most of the land occupying the area of Hemlock Overlook Regional Park from Popes Head Run to just north of Yates Ford Road. Kirtling is also the owner of other large land grants in the area (Fig. 5).

These three men were undoubtedly absentee landlords with large land holdings in Fairfax County. Living on an established estate elsewhere, the difficult tasks of clearing and farming the land was undertaken by tenant farmers.

As the century progressed, the owners began to divide the land into smaller parcels to sell or bequeath. When John Waugh, Sr. died in 1735, his land was divided among his three sons. John Waugh, Jr., took the upper portion, William Waugh took the middle portion and James Waugh took the lower portion (Pr. William Deeds B:196, September 17, 1735). On the same day, James Waugh conveyed his property to John Grant on a contingency agreement (Pr. William Deeds B:478). It is James’ property, or the lower portion of the 2800-acre land grant, that is now the Hemlock Overlook Regional Park land. This contingency agreement of sale obviously was foreclosed or forfeited as James Waugh is still the owner later in the century. It is likely that the land was still being farmed by tenant farmers at this time.

The County of Fairfax split off from Prince William County in 1742 by Act of the House of Burgesses, Prince William County having been formed from Stafford County in 1730. These splits reflected the population growth and the need to have county seats closer for the convenience and use of the growing number of county residents.

The 290-acre Kirtling land was sold by Richard and Mary, his wife, for £70 current money of Virginia to William Davis on February 16, 1746. Also included was a water grist mill standing on Popes Head Run (B:246). This was most likely the earliest mill on the site. The purchaser, William Davis, is the father of Sukey Wickliff — nee Susan Davis, widow of Benjamin Wickliff, who was the son of Robert Wickliff and Dorcas Arrington — who married Daniel Kincheloe (wife #2) in 1769 (see below). These intricate kinship relationships between the families who owned or were to purchase the land was typical of the Virginia upper class at this time.

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