Another Saturday Night Story: TAPSCOTT...."THE EMIGRANT"......Part 1


Saturday, February 24, 2007


My research of the Tapscotts has been both exhausting, and exhilariating. It is with the help of many other Tapscott family researchers that I finally put our Tapscott family together in one piece. The story of the Tapscotts is about a boy, Henry, who comes to America in 1696. He spreads his seeds, and over generations they all learn trades, they fight in the Revolutionary War, as patriots, and in the The Civil War, for the Confederacy......and Yes...some died in these Wars. It is about three brothers who became Doctors, even though there mother and father never learn to read and write. There is so much to write here, there is so much to say, but there is no way I could ever get it all on this Blog. But suffice to say, I am going to try to to tell this compelling, and powerful story as briefly as I can in two parts.

The name TAPSCOTT was originally Tapp's Cott, meaning "Tapp's land." Tapscott is a Devonshire, England, name and the home of the Tapscotts was in Minehead-on-the-Coast (now called Minehead-on-Sea) in Devonshire. There are tombstones in the churchyard there bearing the name of Tapscott.

I will try to write a little about each of these ancestors in descending order.
Our Tapscott Ancestry
6th Great Grandfather - The Emigrant Boy - Henry Tapscott b 1685 d 1727
5th Great Grandfather - James Tapscott b 1722 d 1770
4th Great Grandfather - Henry Tapscott b 1769 d 1832
3rd Great Grandfather - Samuel Tapscott b1777 d 1858
2nd Great Grandfather - Dr. A. B. (Arlen Byron) "Ira" Tapscott b 1835 d 1882
Great Grandfather - Dr. Charles Vaught Tapscott b1869 d1921
Grandmother - Mary Sue Tapscott b.1905 d 1984

6th Great Grandfather - The Emigrant Boy - Henry Tapscott b 1685 d 1727

Our Tapscott family begins in America from which we descend from a young boy named Henry Tapscott, who arrived on the ship William and Orion in 1696, and bound himself to Alexander Swan until his 21st birthday, and then had to sue for his freedom. The document for his release gives us his birthdate of August 27 1685.
Henry married Ann Edney. Joseph Tapscott gives the following data on their possible marriage date. "I do not have the record of their marraige but Henry was released from indenture in 1706/7 and on the 16 May 1711 in Northumberland Order Book 1710-1713 they had a Richard Niggens (Nickens) indentured to them. So it is reasonable to say they were married BEF 16 MAY 1711 in Great Wicomico Parish, Northumberland Virginia.
The imigrant boy Henry lived on a 266 acre spread touching on Mr Carters Great Mill Pond. He died in April 1727 possessed of the farm and his oldest son Edney inherited the land whose son Henry (called Henry of Caswell) disposed of it in 1782 within days of his fathers death.
Records indicate that Henry was a Carpenter and a Joiner. From Northumbria Collectanea 1645-1720 m-z;1. Richard Niggins, Six years old next August, Elizabeth Niggins of Lancaster County Binds him apprentice to Henry and Ann Tapscott for 15 years and four months to be taught trade of joyner and trade of carpenter.. 16 May 1711 18.21my note; Niggins could be Higgins and do not know what 18.21. is.
Henry and Ann had three sons, Edney b1714 d 1782, Henry b1716 d1781, and James b1722 d 1770. Our family descends from their son James. We also descend from Edney, which you will see later.
Henry b1716, would be my 5th Great Uncle, he married second a woman name Mary Shearman. Her father was Martin Shearman who married Ann Chinn. Ann's mother and father were Rawliegh Chinn and Esther Ball. Esther was Mary's sister. Mary Ball married Lawrence Augustine Washington, their son was our first president, George Washington. These were the first families of our new Federal Government that lived along the Pontomac River in what is now modern day Washington D.C.. These families.........Washingtons, Parks, Dandridge, Chinn, Lee, and Ball all lived there, and intermarried. Powerful Military men, who had lots of land, and money. They then surrounded themselves with powerful statesmen, and the rest is history, we pushed the british out of America.
The picture above is of the Edgehill Plantation, in Lancaster County, VA. This was the home of Captain Henry Tapscott.
Interesting, the name Rawliegh to be rampant throughout generations of Tapscotts.

5th Great Grandfather - James Tapscott b 1722 d 1770

James Tapscott married a woman name Catherine. We don't know her last name, but there is record of her first name being Catherine. It could be assumed that her last name was George. It seems the Tapscotts and George family intermarried.
James Tapscott will was written 5 December 1769; probated 8 January 1770. He named his children listed below. Aside from some items, all of his moveable estate and slaves were to be divided among his five children. Exers: Brothers Henry Tapscott and Benjamin George. Wit: Enoch George, George Tapscott, Benjamin George.

1769 will of James TAPSCOTT Northumberland Co VA Record Book 10 page 456 [transcribed from the original by Lin Van Buren]

In the Name of God Amen I James Tapscott ofthe County of Northumberland and Colony ofVirginia being very sick and weak but of PerfectSence and memory blessed by God, but Calling tomind the Uncertainty of this Life do make this myLast will and Testament in manner following (Viz): --Imprimis I Resign my Soul to God and my Body tothe Earth to be Decently buried at the Discretionof my Executors hereafter Named, and as to myworldly goods I dispose thereof as followeth: ~Item, I give to my son George Tapscott all mywearing Cloaths Silver Shoe-Buckels, and RidingHorse Saddle and Bridle, and My big Gun.-Item, I give to my Son Henry Tapscott my Little Gun.--Item, it is my Desire that all my Debts Should be paidOut of my Moveable Estate, and after they are paidthen to be Equally Divided among my five Children,George Tapscott, Ann Conway Tapscott, CatyTapscott, Betty Tapscott and Henry Tapscott, tothem and thier [sic] Heirs forever.~Item, as to my Negroes that I have not made over tothem in Court it is my Desire they Should be EquallyDivided among my five children above-mentioned, tothem and their Heirs forever.--Lastly I do Nominate and Appoint my Brother HenryTapscott and my Brother Benja. George, Executorsof this my Last Will and Testament hereby Revokingall Other Wills by me heretofore made as Witnessmy hand and Seal this 5. Day of December, 1769.[Signed] James Tapscott {Seal}Signed, Sealed and Acknowledgedby the first mentioned James -Tapscott to be his Last will -In Presence ofEnoch GeorgeGeorge TapscottBenja. George.-

James and Catherine Tapscott had five children, George b1748 d1787, Ann b 1750 d ?, Catherine b1752 d?, Elizabeth b?d?, and Henry b1769 d1832.
Our family descends from their son Henry.

This was the generation that fought the Revolutionary War. This record of George Tapscott:
Crozier's Virginia County Records, Vol. IV.Lancaster Co. p. 56George Tapscott m Elizabeth James 16 Nov 1780George received all his father's wearing clothes, silver shoe buckles, riding horse, saddle, bridle, and "my big gun"Source: "Genealogical Abstracts of RevolutionaryWar Pension Files Vol III N-Z" by Virgil D. White"TAPSCOTT, George, VA Line, R18351 also VA1/2 Pay, on 13 Jul 1812 William & Raleigh Tapscottappl in Buckingham Co VA for letters of adm'r asheirs of dec'd sol George Tapscott, in 1847 inBuckingham Co VA sol's only heirs were WilliamTapscott (adm'r), Nancy W. (Tapscott) who mRobert Evans, Sarah S. (Tapscott) who m IsaacBaber, James, George & Realeigh Tapscott &Elizabeth (Tapscott) who m John N. Blankenship,date of sol's death was not given"A Family Bible belonging to his grandson George5Tapscott (1819-1901) makes this mention ofGeorge3 (James2, Henry1) Tapscott:

4th Great Grandfather - Henry Tapscott b 1769 d 1832

Henry Tapscott married a cousin, Nancy Tapscott. They lived in Rockingham County, NC. This is where it get's interesting. Lets go back to the three sons of "The Emigrant", Henry, and Ann. Nancy, descends from there son Edney, then his son Henry. They are first cousins. This also means that these two men are also my Great Grandfathers. Marrying cousins was not unheard of in those days, in fact many families have married cousins over the years. There are many reasons for that, which I don't want to get into here in this writing. The fact that our family forks back to "The Emigrant", Henry, means that those Grandfathers, and thier siblings, are all Aunts and Uncles, and their children are all first cousins. This is not a bad thing, it just means that we have double Tapscott blood. In the case of my first cousins, Tommy and Kent Tapscott, they are direct male descendents that carry the Male YDNA. I am quite sure that they are probably related to most Tapscotts of America, being a direct male descendent of "The Emigrant", twice over. I would be proud of this fact, the Tapscotts were a wonderful group of family in the early days, and help build America to what it is today.

Henry and Nancy had six children. Samuel b1791 d1858, Henry b1800 d 1858, William, Nancy(was blind), Susanna, and James. I found Nancy in a 1860 census living with another relative in Obion County, TN. Our family descends from thier son Samuel.
It is way to much to go into here, but you will find that the Tapscotts married into a close knit of families, Hill, Castello, George, Windsor, and Swift families among others. The boys married the girls, and the girls married the boys. Nancy Tapscott was the daughter of Henry Tapscott and Winfred Hill.

Now I'm going to update the ancestry Chart of my relation.
Our Tapscott Ancestry
6th Great Grandfather - The Emigrant Boy - Henry Tapscott b 1685 d 1727
5th Great Grandfather - James Tapscott b 1722 d 1770
5th Great Grandfather - Edney Tapscott b 1714 d 1782
4th Great Grandfather - Henry Tapscott b 1769 d 1832
4th Great Grandfather - Henry Tapscott b 1746 d 1817
3rd Great Grandfather - Samuel Tapscott b1777 d 1858
2nd Great Grandfather - Dr. A. B. (Arlen Byron) "Ira" Tapscott b 1835 d 1882
Great Grandfather - Dr. Charles Vaught Tapscott b1869 d1921
Grandmother - Mary Sue Tapscott b.1905 d 1984

I don't know how our Henry, who married Nancy, got to Rockingham County, NC, because the family roots were back in Lancaster County, VA. He was a very successful farmer, and left alot of land that was farmed by Tapscotts for several years, including my 3rd Great Grandfather, Samuel Tapscott. He left the land to his youngest sons, which we will talk about later.

Here is the will of Henry Tapscott of Rockingham County, NC.:

In the name of God Amen, I Henry Tapscott of the County of Caswell and State of North Carolina being in a low State of Health But in perfect mind and memory, But calling to mind the mortality of my Body, and that it is appointed for all once to
die, do make constitute and Ordain this my last will and Testament in mammer and form following - this is to Say and principally command my Soul into the hands of almighty God who gave it and my body I commit to the Earth, to be Buried in a
decent Christian Like manner, at the discretion of my Executors when I shall here after nominate and appoint and as to Such Worldly Good as it hath pleaseth God to Bless me with in this world, I give demise and bequeath the Same in manner and
form following- that is to say, my desire first and Last that all my Just Debts be paid_
I leave my lands, one negro woman named Ednye, my Stock and House hold and kitchin furniture Such as is not named, to any of my Children to be Sold to pay my debts_
Item I give and bequeath to my Son Samuel Tapscott one negro woman by the name of Ester and Feather bed and furniture and horse to him, his heirs or assigns for ever_
Item I give and bequeath to my son William Tapscott one negro boy name of John, one feather bed and furniture to him, his heirs or assigns for ever_
Item I give and bequeath to my Daughter Nancey Tapscott one negro Girl by the name of Mary, one feather bed and furniture one black .......... to her and her heirs or assigns for ever_
Item I give and bequeath to my daughter Susannah Tapscott, one negro woman by the name of Shirley one feather Bed and furniture to her, her heirs or assigns for ever_
Item I give and bequeath to my son James Tapscott, one negro Girl by the name of Lisa one negro boy by the name of D....... one feather bed and furniture to him his heirs or assigns for ever_
Lastly I constitute and ordain my son Henry C. Tapscott my executor of this my last will and Testament Revoking and disavowing all and Every other will by me heretofore made, declaring this my Last Will and Testament. In witness whereof I do
hereunto Set my hand and affix my Seal, this 26th day of May 1832_
Signed and sealed in presents of us
John Tapscott, Senr Henry Tapscott, Senr (seal)
State of North Carolina
Caswell County....................July Court 1832_
The Executiion of the foregoing last will and Testament of Henry Tapscott dec'd was duly proved in open court by the oaths of John Tapscott and Joseph Windsor the Subscribing witnesses thereto and on motion ordained to be Recorded_ At the
same time Henry C. Tapscott, the Executor therein named, Came into open Court and duly qualified to Execute the Same,
And Letters Adminstry were ordered to be issued to him which did issue accordingly_
Test Paul A. Haralson, Clk Joseph Windsor

This ends the era from the Tapscotts arrival in 1696, up to the Civil War period. I will continue this story next week with, TAPSCOTT...."THE EMIGRANT"......Part 2.

Many Thanks go out to those who help put this family together. John fox, Lin Van Buren, Dan Tapscott who was an early researcher and lived not far from the original Tapscott Home. Dan Is now deceased. Many thanks to other Tapscott researchers who have help me finally find this family.

Song of the Week

"The Smithereens", have got alot of publicity lately from their latest album "Meet the Smithereens". You will remember and old song they did years ago called "A Girl Like You". They have done a remake of old Beatle tunes on their new album. I have to admit they are pretty good. I guess what makes it sound better than the old beatle recordings are the instruments, and recording studios we have now are so high tech. Here is one of their cuts from thier new album, "I Saw Her Standing There".

Have a Good Week


John Fox said...

Hello David,

The reason that your Henry Tapscott reached Rockingham County, NC was since he was of marriageable age,and since his first cousin, once removed, had not married, he seized the opportunity to visit and make his intentions known. The Tapscotts were not immune to nor unresponsive to marrying their cousins, as they were a known entity. My general take on this, what better way to keep the looks, the money and the land in the family! This same concept applied when Henry and Nancy Tapscott's son, Samuel became of marriageable age and married a young cousin of his mother, Winifred Hill, of Franklin County, Virginia. He did not reside in Franklin County, but he certainly knew that Winifred did.

Cousin John Fox
Winston Salem, NC
Grandson of Frances O'Reta Tapscott
and GGGGgrandson of Henry Tapscott of Caswell County, NC and grandfather of Isabel Tapscott-McCauley Engel

John Fox said...

Your comments about Samuel and Winifred Hill Tapscott's lacking the skills of reading and writing are really poignant when one reads the listing of the family in Rockingham in the 1850 Census. What they had lacked in their education, must have made them more acutely aware of the necessity of a good education and preparation for life:

Lived in Rockingham County, North Carolina. 1850 US Census NC Rockingham Co page 40B:
Samuel Tabscott 59 b VA farmer unable to read and write
Winfred Tabscoot 52 b VA unable to read and write
George Tabscoot 27 b VA laborer
James Tabscoot 20 b NC teacher
S. T. Tabscoot 17 b NC laborer male
A. B. Tabscoot 14 b NC male attended school
Amanda Tabscoot 12 b NC attended school

All of the above children were literate

Their other children, John Hill Tapscott and H. C.(Henry Conway) Tapscott were found in the Surry County, NC Census for 1850; both were listed as Ironmasters, and were able to read and write.

All of the above represents the high degree of consideration that Samuel and Winifred had in the education of their children. That is most remarkable, considering that a free, public education had really not come into being by 1850. Most education was conducted in church schools or private academies.