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The Family History and Genealogy of Laura and Elizabeth Henderson.The Family History and Genealogy of Laura and Elizabeth Henderson.

 

Person Sheet


Name Job PEARSALL
Birth Date ca 1700
Residence Place Hampshire County, VA (Now West VA)
Lease Date 28 Jul 1761233
Lease Place Hampshire County, VA (Now West VA)
Lease Memo Samuel Earl and wife Elizabeth of Frederick County (lease and release) to Job Pearsal of Hampshire County Lot #10, 323 acres on South Branch. Recorded Aug. 10, 1762. Witness: J. Keith, Gabriel Jones and Henry Begly. Make note of this, Henry Begley most likely owned 50 acres of lot #11
Land Sale Date 10 Nov 1766234
Land Sale Place Hampshire County, VA (Now West VA)
Land Sale Memo Job Pearsall of Hampshire County to Luke Collins of Hampshire County, 323 acres on South Branch. Recorded Nov. 12, 1766.
Lease Date 12 Dec 1763234
Lease Place Hampshire County, VA (Now West VA)
Lease Memo Job Pearsall of Hampshire County (lease and release) to Thomas Cressap of Frederick County, Md., Lot #64, 310 acres on South Branch. Recorded Dec. 13.
Will Written Date 20 May 1770
Will Written Place Hampshire County, VA (Now West VA)
Will Written Memo Abstract of Will of Job Pearsall: Land to my son John after my wife's decease. Son John to pay L20 to each of my daughters Margaret & Eleanor when 21 or Day of Marriage, the land given John of much greater value than what I had to give any of my other children. Execs John Pearsall & Samuel Dew (?). Proved by oaths of Joseph Branton & John Carpenter (?)
Probate of Will Date 14 Aug 1770
Probate of Will Place Hampshire County, VA (Now West VA)
Probate of Will Memo Will proved.
Father PEARSALL
Spouses
1 Bethiah
Children Elizabeth
John
**Edward
Rachel
Benjamin
Margaret
Eleanor
Notes for Job PEARSALL
"A stockade fort (Fort Ohio), was erected by Job Pearsall on the present site of Romney, in Hampshire County. Probably erected prior to 1754, as it is recorded that "Major Washington spent the night at this fort on April 19, 1754." 235

Early Records of Hampshire County, Virginia (Now West Virginia)
(Page 15) July 28, 1761 ­ Samuel Earl and wife Elizabeth of Frederick County (lease and release) to Job Pearsal of Hampshire County Lot #10, 323 acres on South Branch. Recorded Aug. 10, 1762. Witness: J. Keith, Gabriel Jones and Henry Begly. [See Samuel Earle]

Page 46
March 10, 1762 ­ Job and wife Bithia Pearsal of Hampshire County (mortgage) to Bryan Bruen, Merchant of Winchester, 323 acres on South Branch. Recorded March 11, 1762. Witness: Sam Dew.

Page 63
Surveys on Wappacomo ­ South Branch of Potomac. #16 to Job Pearsall and Sam Earl.
Comments
A Job Pearsall was born about 1742, Chester, PA, son of John Pearsall and Sarah.21 This seems to be too late to be our Job Pearsall who died 1770 with a number of children and was called "old Mr. Pearsall" in a 1769 land dispute.7
Overview
Job Pearsall and his wife Bithiah were early settlers of Hampshire County, VA (an area that would become West Virginia in the next century). It appears that they leased land from Samuel Earle (see Branson and Corder records) near present-day Romney, WV, whereupon Pearsall erected a small fortification when the French and Indian War appeared imminent. Fort Pearsall (sometimes referred to as Fort MacKenzie for its commanding officer) is mentioned numerous times in the records of George Washington. The fort was enlarged and large numbers of soldiers were garrisoned there during the war. Job Pearsall later applied for remuneration for timber used in the maintenance of the fort, and complained that he had suffered impairment to his health as a result of serving as a guide for the troops (this would appear to be confirmed in the 1769 records of the Hamblin land case, as 'old Pearsall" was mentioned having lived at Hamblins during "sickness").
Web Post
Job Pearsall: An 18th Century Pioneer of West Virginia
By Brian Bowers

Job Pearsall was a pioneer in what is now West Virginia. He is best known for building a fort on his property that was used by the Virginia militia during the French and Indian War. 
    Several secondary sources say he was the son of John Pearsall of Nantmeal Township, Chester County, Pa.  However, I have been unable to find original documents to confirm this during extensive searches of records in Chester and Lancaster counties in Pennsylvania and Hampshire County, W. Va. (1)
    Job married a woman named Bithia.  She is said to have been the daughter of Thomas Bull of Nantmeal Township, who was a Quaker. (2)
      It is difficult to determine the names of all of Job's children. Although Job's will seems to have disappeared ­ probably in the destruction caused to Romney during the Civil War ­ a synopsis has survived in the records of a land dispute concerning his son John. (3)  This lists Job's children as John and his daughters Margaret and Eleanor, who were younger than 21.  However, this does not preclude other children since it lists only the main heir and the minors among Job's children.  The following people are listed as siblings in the 1811 will of Job's son John: Benjamin; Rachel Mooney, who had at one time been married to a man named Barkley or Berkley; Margaret Jackson; Eleanor Hall or Hill; and Naomy, who was married to Ebenezer McNary.  Others who appear to be siblings are Kisiah Hill, Hannah Kelley and a woman who married Cornelius Hoagland. (4)  "History and Genealogy of the Pearsall Family in England and America, Vol. III," by Clarence Pearsall, lists Job's children as John; Benjamin; Eleanor, wife of Daniel Hale; Rachel, who married a Berkeley; Margaret, who married Richard Jackson; James, who was killed in the Revolution; and Richard.  I have been unable to find Pearsall's original sources for his information.
    Job is generally credited with being among the earliest settlers in the area around what is now Romney in Hampshire County, W.Va.  The Pearsall family history says Job was granted control of South Branch manor by Lord Fairfax, who, according to Clarence Pearsall, was distantly related to the family through marriage.  This manor embraced 55,000 acres.  While Pearsall portrays Job as the "lord of the manor" in the English style, Job's name is remarkably absent from the official government records for someone of that status.  However, additional documents may still appear in archives that hold Lord Fairfax's records, which I have been unable to check at this point.
    While Pearsall and several other secondary sources state that Job settled in the area as early as 1735, he doesn't appear in official records until November 1751, when he leased from Samuel Earle of Frederick County, Va., a "Tract of Land lying an being on the great South Branch of Potomack Containing three hundred and twenty three acres more or less." (5)  All sources agree that the area was first known as Pearsall's Flats.  Many believe that Job's home was at the present site of Indian Mound Cemetery at Romney.
    One interesting account of Job's arrival in the area is presented in a history of the German Brethren churches of the area.  Although the identification of the family as German is highly questionable, the account poses the major questions for researchers of this family: where did it come from, where did it worship and to whom was it related.
    The book states: "Among the earliest Germanic settlers were father and son, Job and John Pearsall (Piersall), who arrived between 1735 and 1738.    The Pearsall family's religious connections are mysterious.  No record is known of their religious preference in Hampshire County.  The family apparently came from Chester County, Pa., adjacent to Lancaster County.  If we may trust the scholarship of the author of 'The Seventh Day Baptists In Europe and America' (1910, Vol. 2, 981), we will note that three Piersalls, Richard, Jeremiah and John, were related to the Conestoga congregations and the Ephrata Cloisters.  The connection of these Piersalls to Hampshire County remains unclear." (6) 
    It has been assumed by most researchers that Job was a member of the Quaker Pearsall family of Chester County.  However, if this is the case, his branch of the family left remarkably few records behind to document its stay in the Chester-Lancaster area.  I have not yet checked into the possibility of a link to the German religious communities in Lancaster County or the book cited in the passage from the Brethren church account.   A additional concern highlighted by this item is Job's relationship to John Pearsall, who has been identified as either Job's father or his brother in various sources.  However, I have not yet found any original documents mentioning John.  These, too, may turn up in a check of Lord Fairfax's documents.
    As mentioned above, Job is best known for his fort, which was a key supply base and rallying point during the French and Indian War.  Although some details of the fort's history are in dispute, its importance is indicated by its frequent appearance in records of the war.  The following is from "Frontier Forts Along the Potomac and Its Tributaries," by William H. Ansel Jr., which provides an excellent account of the history of Fort Pearsall. (7)
    "Pearsall doubtless began construction of his stockade in the fall of 1754, for by that time it was apparent that border warfare was inevitable.
    "To have taken the name Pearsall, the fort must have been built on land under the ownership or the control of a person by that name.  In 1754, Job Pearsall owned no land along the South Branch, as he did not acquire Lot 16 until seven years later.  He must, however, have been a tenant of Samuel Earl, who was a resident of Winchester, and Pearsall occupied this land with Earl's consent and probably under an oral agreement to purchase the real estate, which was a common arrangement in the eighteenth century.  [The author appears to be unaware of the lease recorded in Frederick County in 1751.]
    "As first constructed, the fort was a small affair, perhaps consisting of a log stockade built around Pearsall's cabin.  But because of its strategic location, being on the military highway connecting Forts Loudoun and Cumberland, and also on the Shawnee Trail leading from Cresap's fort at Oldtown to the upper reaches of the South Branch, it soon attracted the attention of [Col. George] Washington as well as Governor Dinwiddie.  By early 1756, the place had been enlarged at public expense to a size sufficient to accommodate a garrison of up to one hundred men, and it soon became a very important link in the chain of forts being built or refurbished so as to defend the frontier.  So important, in fact, that the Virginia Regiment, and at times, the rangers and the militia too such complete charge of the place that Job Pearsall was pushed into the background."
    While "Frontier Forts" says, "There appears to be no record that Colonel Washington ever ordered a fort to be built at Pearsall's," Job claimed that Washington did order the construction.  In 1767, Job petitioned the Virginia House of Burgesses to reimburse him for his expenses during the French and Indian War and Pontiac's Conspiracy in 1763.  Records of the House of Burgesses mention the "Petition of Job Pearsall of Hampshire County who in 1756 had a large fort erected on his land on the order of Col. Washington of the Virginia Regiment. The timber was cut down in great quantities and used by the inhabitants and the garrison until the end of Gen. Forbe's campaign in 1758. When the Indian War began in 1763, the fort was repaired and said Pearsall pitched on for a garrison until 1764. Many times he piloted officers and parties and was obliged to return by night for security. 28 March 1767." (8)
    However, Job doesn't appear to have gained anything from this petition because it continued to be referred for later action until Job died in 1769.
    According to the Pearsall family history, Fort Pearsall was attacked by the Indians after the disastrous defeat of an English force led by Gen. Edward Braddock near the present site of Pittsburgh, Pa., on July 9, 1755.  "One of the first settlements to receive a visit from the savages was that of Job Pearsall, where their attack was met in force, with the result that while one man of Job Pearsall's force was wounded, ten of the Indians were killed and many more were wounded, so that they speedily drew off and did not again attack this fort." 
    However, "Frontier Forts" gives the following account:  "No record can be found that would indicate that Fort Pearsall ever came under attack by the French and Indians as was the case at Fort Edwards, which was besieged on two separate occasions.  But Indians prowled in the vicinity of Pearsall from time to time and did considerable damage.  About the first of August, 1757, Captain McKenzie reported to Washington at Winchester that five men had been captured and another killed and scalped while harvesting in a field not far from Fort Pearsall.  On May 17, 1756, Washington ordered Captain John Field who commanded Spotsylvania and Orange County militia, to take charge at Fort Pearsall.  He was also directed to summon a council of war to devise a plan to combat the Indians 'who were numerous in the neighborhood of the fort.'  In September, 1758, Sergeant John David Wilper who was in command at Fort Pearsall, and who feared an Indian attack, wrote Washington at Fort Cumberland that he and only fourteen privates made up the whole garrison and that his men were from the commands of Major Andrew Lewis and Captains Waggoner, McNeill, McKenzie and Bates."
    A very dramatic account of this period appears in "History of Hampshire County, West Virginia, From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present," by Hu Maxwell and H.L. Swisher.  It focuses on a letter Washington wrote on April 24, 1756. (9)
    "Washington wrote another letter from Winchester in which he said: 'The inhabitants are removing daily, and in a short time will leave this county as desolate as Hampshire, where scarce a family lives. Colonel Martin has just sent me a letter from Fort Hopewell on the South branch. They have had an engagement there with the French and Indians. The waters were so high that, although Captain Waggoner heard them engaged, he could send them no assistance. You may expect, by the time this comes to hand, that, without a considerable reinforcement, Frederick county will not be mistress of fifteen families. They are now retreating to the secured parts I droves of fifties. Fort Cumberland is not more use for defense of the place than Fort George at Hampton. At this time there is not an inhabitant living between this place and Fort Cumberland except in few settlements upon the manor around a fort we built there, and a few families at Edwards' fort on Cacopehon river, with a guard of ours, which makes this town (Winchester) at present the uttermost frontier.'
    "This is a gloomy picture of Hampshire as it existed in the darkest hour of the French and Indian war. When Washington drew that picture he did it with all the facts before him. Only two small clusters of families between Winchester and Cumberland! One of these were seeking protection at For Edward on Capon, the others at Pearsall's fort, which stood on the bluff overlooking the present bridge across the South branch, about half mile south of Romney. It is no wonder there is a blank place in the court records of Hampshire county from Jun 11, 1755, till 1757. Nobody was left in the county to hold court. It is interesting to learn from this letter of Washington that e build the old fort which stood almost on the site of the present town of Romney."
     The Pearsall family history goes to great length to present Job as a good friend of George Washington.  The history offers some fanciful descriptions of meetings that "may have" taken place.  However, "Frontier Forts" indicates that any early good feelings may have evaporated during the war.  It states: "On Aug. 5, 1756, Washington wrote Captain McKenzie from Winchester, the wording of the letter clearly showing that McKenzie was at Pearsall's fort.  Washington ordered that if Pearsall desired meat from the public stores, it was not to be given to him but he must buy what he needed.  McKenzie was also told to use his fields as he saw fit on the premise that one of the reasons for posting troops at Pearsall's was for his protection and he could do no less for the benefit of the troops.
    "The tenor of this letter would indicate that Washington and Job Pearsall were not quite so close as they probably were at the beginning of the war."
    Despite this, Washington was indeed very interested in Fort Pearsall.  "Historical Hampshire County," by Selden W. Brannon, focuses on this. (10)  A portion of the book reads: "On his way with troops to build a fort where Pittsburgh now stands, Washington spent the night of April 19, 1754, at Pearsall's. Washington, in his journal of 1754, says: 'April 19th I tarried at Job Pearsall's for the arrival of the troops when they came the next day.' J.M. Toner, in his 1893 edition of 'Washington's Journal,' says: 'Job Pearsall was on the first settlers on the south branch of the Potomac, at or near the site of the present town of Romney. His cabin on the right bank of the stream, was surrounded by a stockade, which in 1756 was enlarged to a garrison and troops were stationed there by the direction of Colonel Washington. This was on the line of the main road between Winchester, the forts on Patterson creek, Oldtown and Fort Cumberland. It is presumed that it was here that the junction of Washington's forces which composed the Virginia regiment took place. He set out with two companies; three others joined him en route or were brought up to him by Major Muse.'
    "After Braddock's defeat in July 1755, Indians frequently marauded the South Branch. On October 11, 1755, Washington wrote from Winchester to Governor Dinwiddie saying: 'The men I hired to bring intelligence from the South branch returned last night with letters from Captain Ashby, and other parties there. The Indians are gone off. It is believed their numbers amounted to about one hundred and fifty, that seventy-one men are killed and missing, and several houses and plantations destroyed. I shall proceed by quick marches to Fort Cumberland in order to strengthen the garrison. Besides these, I think it absolutely essential to have two or three companies of rangers to guard the Potomac waters.'
    "On his way to Cumberland he stayed at Pearsall's October 23; here he wrote letters to Captain William Cocke and George William Fairfax concerning the defense of the frontier.
    "For the next three years Fort Pearsall was a chief depot of supplies in Virginia on the South Branch of the Potomac. On January 10, 1756, at Winchester, Washington, in instructions to Commissary Thomas Walker, wrote: 'There are three thousand weight of pork laid in at Job Pearsall's which I would have you receive, and supply Cocke's Fort out of it.'
    "At times Pearsall's Fort was heavily garrisoned. On May 17, 1756, Washington, at Winchester, ordered ninety men plus officers to Fort Pearsall to meet threatening Indians. On many other occasions there were thirty-five to forty-five men plus officers stationed at the fort. May 16, 1757, Governor Dinwiddie instructed Washington to station a garrison of forty-five men under Captain Robert McKenzie at Fort Pearsall.
    Washington's last visit to Fort Pearsall was June 30, 1758. At this time he was on his way to join General Forbes for the expedition against Fort Duquesne starting from Raystown, now Bedford, Pennsylvania.  The French and Indian War ended a few months after Forbes captured the fort, bringing a close to the most active period of Fort Pearsall's history.
    Job appears to have sold off his holdings in the Romney area on Nov. 10, 1766, when he sold 323 acres on the South Branch to Luke Collins of Hampshire County. (11)
    Job then appears to have moved to nearby Patterson's Creek, or at least he acquired control of some land there.  After Job's death, the ownership of the land on Patterson's Creek was disputed because Job had never actually bought it but was given it by a man named Joseph Hamlin.  Eventually, Job's son John was awarded the land. (12)
    Job died in 1769.  Job's will was filed in mid-1770 but an earlier date can be surmised from the dropping of his claim against Virginia for reimbursement for expenses during the Indian wars and the beginning of the Patterson's Creek legal dispute.  During the last years of his life, he was confined to a chair because of rheumatism, according to the Pearsall history.

    (1) "History and Genealogy of the Pearsall Family in England and America, Vol. III," by Clarence E. Pearsall, pages 1413 to 1441. (2) First name is in "Early Records of Hampshire County, Virginia (Now West Virginia)," compiled by Clara McCormack Sage and Laura Sage Jones, page 46. Link to Bulls comes from "History and Genealogy of the Pearsall Family." (3) "Abstracts of Virginia's Northern Neck Warrants & Surveys Hampshire, Berkeley, Loudoun, Fairfax, King George, Westmoreland, Richmond, Northumberland & Lancaster Counties 1697-1784, Vol. IV," compiled by Peggy Shomo Joyner, pages 52-52.  (4) "Early Records of Hampshire County, Virginia (Now West Virginia)," page 29.  (5) "Frederick County, Virginia, Deed Books Series, Vol. I," compiled by Amelia C. Gilreath, page 85.  (6) "Allegheny Passage: Churches and Families; West Marva District, Church of the Brethren, 1752-1990," by Emmert F. Bittinger, page 148.  (7) "Frontier Forts Along the Potomac and Its Tributaries," by William H. Ansel Jr., Pages 162-169.  (8) "Virginia's Colonial Soldiers," by Llyod DeWitt Bockstruck, 1988, page 192. (9) "History of Hampshire County, West Virginia, From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present," by Hu Maxwell and H.L. Swisher, 1897 pages 332, 333.  (10) "Historical Hampshire County," by Selden W. Brannon, 1976, pages 31, 236 and 237.  (11) "Early Records of Hampshire County, Virginia (Now West Virginia)," page 46. (12) "Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, Vol. II, 1742-1775," compiled by Gertrude E. Gray, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1988, pages 210-211.
Web Post
Early Records of Hampshire County, Virginia (Now West Virginia)
Compiled by Clara McCormack Sage and Laura Sage Jones, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore.


Page 15
July 28, 1761 ­ Samuel Earl and wife Elizabeth of Frederick County (lease and release) to Job Pearsal of Hampshire County Lot #10, 323 acres on South Branch. Recorded Aug. 10, 1762. Witness: J. Keith, Gabriel Jones and Henry Begly.
Page 26
Sept. 7, 1762 ­ John Hopkins of North Carolina (power of attorney) to Job Pearsall. Gives Job Pearsall authority to sell land to Thomas Cressap. Recorded Dec. 13.
Page 46
March 10, 1762 ­ Job and wife Bithia Pearsal of Hampshire County (mortgage) to Bryan Bruen, Merchant of Winchester, 323 acres on South Branch. Recorded March 11, 1762. Witness: Sam Dew.
Nov. 10, 1766 ­ Job Pearsall of Hampshire County to Luke Collins of Hampshire County, 323 acres on South Branch. Recorded Nov. 12, 1766.
Dec. 12, 1763 ­ Job Pearsall of Hampshire County (lease and release) to Thomas Cressap of Frederick County, Md., Lot #64, 310 acres on South Branch. Recorded Dec. 13.
Page 63
Surveys on Wappacomo ­ South Branch of Potomac. #16 to Job Pearsall and Sam Earl.
Page 129
John Piersall ­ wrote will Feb. 13, 1809. Probate Nov. 18, 1811. Wife: Hannah. Eleanor Lyons and Amee Kearfoot, daughters of Cornelius Hoagland, deceased. Sister: Rachel Mooney. Brother: Benjamin. Sister: Margaret Jackson and Eleanor Hall or Hill. Sister: Rachel has 7 children, Rachel, Isaac, Edmund, and David Mooney; also Mordecia, Elijah, and John Berkley or Barkley. Benjamin has children named probably nieces and nephews. Kisiah Hill, Hannah Kelly, sister (?) Naomy McNary, (husband Ebenezer), her children to get Alleg. Co MD land. Exec. William Vance and John Snyder. Wit. Alex King, Wm. Fox, Vincent William and Lewis Dunn.
(Note: Question mark is in transcript.)

"Abstracts of Virginia's Northern Neck Warrants & Surveys Hampshire, Berkeley, Loudoun, Fairfax, King George, Westmoreland, Richmond, Northumberland & Lancaster Counties 1697-1784, Vol. IV,"
Compiled by Peggy Shomo Joyner, Portsmouth, Va., 1995, pages 52-52.

    JOHN PEARSALL, heir of Job Pearsall for whom survd, escheated from Joseph Hamlin; 10 Sept. 1769-17 Nov. 1769; this being part of a larger tract (Lot 11) granted Joseph Hamlin for 289 a. by this office 7 June 1749. Hamlin died intestate without known heirs (see following affidavits.). 230 a. on Pattersons Crk; adj. Christ (Lott 10),  Parker (Lott 12), Bagley (part of Lott 11 Bagley bought of Joseph Hamlin), Beaver (Lott 9) house drawn of 230 a. tract. CC-Garrett Reasoner & Jacob Criss. Present ­ Henry Bagley & Power Hazell. Surv. Moffett.
    The following notes are from numerous 1769 affidavits in a dispute after Hamlin's death. John Parker sd Hamlin solicited Edwrd Pursell to come live with him but Purslee inclined to go to Carolina. Thos (X) Queen sd Hamlin told him Job Persall would get his land if he outlived him. Henry Cyger declared the same. Job Pearsall had his improvements on Hamlin's place apprd by Robert Bell (?), John Carpenter & Michael Diebolt (GS) ­ at L80.  Usley Crist, wife of John Crist, sd Hamlin told her that whosoever lived on his plantation & maintained him would have it. Elizabeth Seaver sd Hamlin told her his land should be divided equally between two orphans, a boy of Ann Pursell alies hampton named Jonathan & the other a girl belonging to Elizabeth Begley alias Brannon alias Persall named Bathia Brannon. John Ramsey sd he asked Hamlin if he had no children to leave his land & Hamlin said he had but they ware so far off that Before they came to prove themselves Hairs ye costs & trouble would overgo ye profit. It had been Pearsall's home in sickness & health for a long time & Hamlin was determined to make old Mr. Pearsall his hair & that sum time before he had determined to give it to Bagley's Wifes daughter & Edward Purcells Son, but now Pearsall should have it. (Bagley's wife formerly married to Robert Brannon.) Additional affidavits were taken from Noah Hampton, Nicholas Seaver, Zadok Wright, Nicohlas Crist, Mrs. Alexander Gibney & Martha Wilson. 15 May 1770 ­ Summons to Ann Purcell on behalf of son Jonathan, a minor, & Henry Begley to shew cause why Deed should not issue to John Pearsall, devisee of Job Pearsall, decd.
    Will of Job Pearsall (copy) 20 May 1770, proved 14 Aug. 1770. Land to my son John after my wife's decease. Son John to pay L20 to each of my daughters Margaret & Eleanor when 21 or Day of Marriage, the land given John of much greater value than what I had to give any of my other children. Execs John Pearsall & Samuel Dew (?). Proved by oaths of Joseph Branton & John Carpenter (?).
    1771 ­ Lewis Green, aged 35, swore he was working for Job Pearsall on Joseph Hamlin's planation on 1 Jan. 1768 & Hamlin sd he would leave land to Pearsall after his death. Thomas McGuire and Nathaniel Ware, aged 43, gave their affidavits. N.d. ­ His Lordship is of opinion Ann Purcell has no right to the land & Henry Bagley has left the colony. Deed to issue to John Pearsall.
(Note: All question marks are in transcript.)


"Abstracts of Virginia's Northern Neck Warrants & Surveys 1653-1781, Vol. V,"
Compiled by Peggy Shomo Joyner, Portsmouth, Va., 1995, pages 91-92.

ROMNEY PLAN; 3 May 1811.
Lot Number
61. Job Pierceall ­ Assignd to John Piersall Heir at law to Job Piersall decd.


"Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, Vol. II, 1742-1775,"
Compiled by Gertrude E. Gray, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1988, pages 210-211.

P-31: The late Job Pearsall of Hampshire Co. before he died did inform Office he had 239 A. of 289 A. granted Joseph Hamlin 7 June 1749 known as Lot. No. 11 on Patterson's Cr. in said Co. Joseph Hamlin died intestate without known Heir and made no legal disposal of said part whereby it escheated. Pearsall entered same as escheated. Advertisement from Office by Samuel Dew Deputy Clerk of said Co.  Resurv. By John Moffett shows 230 A. in bounds. John Pearsall heir at Law of said Job Pearsall applied for Deed but Caveats had been entered by Ann Purcell & Henry Begley on behalf of some Infants. Matter was determined in Favor of John Pearsall. Adj. Lot No. 9, land Henry Begley bought of Hamlin. 20 Apr. 1771

"Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, Vol. II, 1775-1800,"
Compiled by Gertrude E. Gray, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1993, page 69.

S-507: John Piersall heir at Law of Job Piersall dec'd asne. of Thomas B. Martin ? A. (Lott No. 61.) in town of Romney adj. The Commons, Lott No. 71, Lott No. 62, High Street. 26 June 1778


"Frederick County, Virginia, Deed Books Series, Vol. I,"
Compiled by Amelia C. Gilreath, Nokesville, Va., 1989, page 85.

Bk 2, page 387 ­ 15 Nov. 1751
[Lease] Between Samuel Earle Gent of County of Frederick [to] Job Pearsall of the County of Frederick .. Consideration of five Shillings Tract of Land lying and being on the great South Branch of Potowmack in the line of the 15th Lott Containing three hundred and twenty three acres more or less rent of one Ear of Indian Corn on the Lady day next
Witnesses: L. Stephens
Wm Greeway
Recorded: 16 Nov. 1751
Bk 2, page 388 ­ 16 Nov. 1751
[Release] Between Samuel Earle Gent of County of Frederick [to] Job Pearsall of the County of Frederick Consideration of One hundred Pounds 323 Acres (same as above)
Witness: same as above
Recorded: 16 Nov. 1751

"Virginia's Colonial Soldiers,"
By Llyod DeWitt Bockstruck, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1988, pages 192.

Petition of Job Pearsall of Hampshire County who in 1756 had a large fort erected on his land on the order of Col. Washington of the Virginia Regiment. The timber was cut down in great quantities and used by the inhabitants and the garrison until the end of  Gen. Forbe's campaign in 1758. When the Indian War began in 1763, the fort was repaired and said Pearsall pitched on for a garrison until 1764. Many times he piloted officers and parties and was obliged to return by night for security. 28 March 1767.
(The petition continued to be referred for later action until Job died in 1769.)

"The Statutes at Large, Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia,
Vol. VII,"
By William Waller Hening, Richmond, 1820, page 25.

Appropriations made on March 29, 1756:
"For the following claims from the County of Hampshire, viz.
To Job Pearsal, for one hog and salt 1l, 6s, 4d"
Written Mention
Frontier Forts Along the Potomac and Its Tributaries
By William H. Ansel, Jr., Romney, W.Va., Fort Pearsall Press 1995


Chapter XIII
Your Meat Make Pearsall Buy
(Pages 162-169)

Fort Pearsall
This stockade was located along or near the South Branch River west of present Romney in Hampshire County, West Virginia. It stood on Lot. No. 16 of the Fairfax South Branch survey, this land having been originally conveyed by Lord Fairfax to Samuel Earl on June 16, 1749. (1) On July 28, 1761, Earl conveyed this lot to Job Pearsall, (2) who remained the owner until November 10, 1766, when he sold it to Luke Collins. (3) Lot 16 contained 323 acres and was situate on the east side of the river just north of the point where United States Route 50 now crosses the stream. It extended back from the river in an easterly direction 240 rods (3,900 feet) on the south boundary and 182 rods (3,003 feet) on the north side, sufficient distances so as to include a part of what is now known as Indian Heights, all of Indian Mound Cemetery and a part of the land now within the corporate limits of Romeny.

There appears to be no record that Colonel Washington ever ordered a fort to be built at Pearsalls as was the case at Parkers and at Ashbys on Patterons Creek. The original structure was built by Pearsall with the help of his neighbors ... Pearsall doubtless began construction of his stockade in the fall of 1754, for by that time it was apparent that border warfare was inevitable.

To have taken the name Pearsall, the fort must have been built on land under the ownership or the control of a person by that name. In 1754, Job Pearsall owned no land along the South Branch, as he did not acquire
Lot 16 until seven years later. He must, however, have been a tenant of Samuel Earl, who was a resident of Winchester, and Pearsall occupied this land with Earls consent and probably under an oral agreement to
purchase the real estate, which was a common arrangement in the eighteenth century.

As first constructed, the fort was a small affair, perhaps consisting of a log stockade built around Pearsalls cabin. But because of its strategic location, being on the military highway connecting Forts
Loudoun and Cumberland, and also on the Shawnee Trail leading from Cresaps fort at Oldtown to the upper reaches of the South Branch, it soon attracted the attention of Washington as well as Governor Dinwiddie. By early 1756, the place had been enlarged at public expense to a size sufficient to accommodate a garrison of up to one hundred men, and it soon became a very important link in the chain of forts being built or refurbished so as to defend the frontier. So important, in fact, that the Virginia Regiment, and at times, the rangers and the militia took such complete charge of the place that Job Pearsall was pushed into the background.
Because of the practice of calling the forts by the name of the commanding officer, by 1756, Pearsalls was being referred to as McKenzies fort, probably more often than it was called by the name of the original builder. Captain Robert McKenzie commanded a company in the Virginia Regiment and he was in charge at Pearsalls longer than any other officer. In Washingtons orders and correspondence, he often mentioned McKenzies fort when it was apparent he was referring to Pearsalls. On Aug. 5, 1756, Washington wrote Captain McKenzie from Winchester, the wording of the letter clearly showing that McKenzie was
at Pearsalls fort. Washington ordered that if Pearsall desired meat from the public stores, it was not to be given to him but he must buy what he needed. McKenzie was also told to use his fields as he saw fit on the premise that one of the reasons for posting troops at Pearsalls was for his protection and he could do no less for the benefit of the troops. (4)

The tenor of this letter would indicate that Washington and Job Pearsall were not quite so close as they probably were at the beginning of the war. In the same missive, Washington advised Captain McKenszie
about the water supply at the fort. He was told to built a fence eight or ten feet high, covered on top; that it should be strongly staked and straight and to lead within a sails length of the water (5)
...
On May 14, 1756, Washington assigned forty-five men and five officers under command of Captain James Hamilton to the garrison at Pearsalls, but then hearing that Indians were in the vicinity, he increased the
command to ninety-four soldiers from Prince William County and six officers, which appears to have been the largest garrison at Pearsalls during the war. On May 17, 1756, Colonel Henry Peyton with his company
of militia was ordered to make Fort Pearsall his headquarters and from there to send out scouting parties as far north as the mouth of the South Branch. On May 17th, Captain Hamilton was ordered to take Captain
Minors place at Fort Kuykendall, seven miles up the South Branch, as soon as Colonel Peyton returned, he being engaged in escorting Colonel Innis to Cumberland. On July 13, 1756, Captain Robert McKenzie was
ordered to take command at Pearsalls and with further instructions to escort all wagon trains and expresses as far as Fort Ashby and to scout the area well around Pearsalls. A year later, June 16, 1757, the garrison at Pearsalls consisted of thirty-five men, all attached to the Virginia Regiment. ...

Fort Pearsall seemed to have been a favorite resort of the friendly Catawba, Creek and Cherokee Indians attached to the British service, especially so when Captain McKenzie was in charge of the fort. Being
great beggars, the Indians would importune McKenzie for blankets, arms, liquor and for any thing else that he would be inclined to give them. On June 12, 1757, Washington was forced to write McKenzie ordering him to cease giving horses to the savages on the premise that if he continued this type of philanthropy the Virginia Regiment would soon be out of riding stock. (7) About the first day of October, 1757, Washington dispatched twenty Cherokee warriors commanded by one of that tribes principal chiefs to Pearsalls to engage in scouting work in the forts vicinity, as the South Branch Valley was overrun by enemy Indians
at the time. The Cherokees did not remain long at Pearsalls. Hearing that Richard Pearis, an Indian trader, was at Fort Cumberland, they immediately set out for that place. Pearis had great influence with the
southern Indians and they desired to operate against the French Indians under his direction. (8)

Fort Pearsall became an important place on the frontier not only because its garrison was in a position to escort military convoys west and north as far as Fort Cumberland and east to Fort Edwards, but being
situate on the road leading up the river, it became a supply deport and a staging area for troops being sent south to Fort Pleasant and beyond.No record can be found that would indicate that Fort Pearsall ever came
under attack by the French and Indians as was the case at Fort Edwards, which was besieged on two separate occasions. But Indians prowled in the vicinity of Pearsall from time to time and did considerable damage. About the first of August, 1757, Captain McKenzie reported to Washington at Winchester that five men had been captured and another killed and scalped while harvesting in a field not far from Fort Pearsall. (9) On May 17, 1756, Washington ordered Captain John Field who commanded Spotsylvania and Orange County militia, to take charge at Fort Pearsall. He was also directed to summon a council of war to devise a plan to combat the Indians who were numerous in the neighborhood of the fort. (10) ...

After the capture of Fort Duquesne in November, 1758, there was a lessened need for troops on the frontier and in 1759, the garrison at Fort Pearsall was withdrawn. But during the fresh Indian disturbances
resulting from Pontiacs Conspiracy in 1763, the old fort was again garrisoned and considerable repair work was done to it. In 1766, Job Pearsall petitioned the Virginia House of Burgesses to be reimbursed for
a great quantity of timber used by Washingtons men in building and maintaining the fort through the 1756-58 period. He also alleged that in 1763 a garrison was again stationed at the fort and much timber was cut to restore the place, and that this garrison remained until the winter of 1764. Pearsall also stated that he had acted as guide to scouting parties on numerous occasions and in very foul weather, and
that his health was impaired thereby. (14) Pearsalls claim was not acted upon at the time, and there appears to be no further record that the prayer of the petition was ever granted, possibly because Pearsall
sold his land to Luke Collins in November, 1766, and thus took no more interest in the claim....

(1) Northern Neck Grants G, p. 203.
(2) Deed Book 1, p. 107, Hampshire County.
(3) Ibid, p. 345.
(4) Fitzpatrick, Vol. I, p. 439.
(5) Ibid.
(6) Ibid, Vol. II, p. 108.
(7) Ibid, p. 54.
(8) Ibid.
(9) Ibid, p. 118.
(10) Ibid, Vol. I, p. 375.
(14) Journal House of Burgesses, 1766-69, p. 101. Virginia troops were
stationed at Fort Pearsall for a time during Dunmores War in 1774.
Last Modified 2 Sep 2006 Created 8 Feb 2007 Laura K. Henderson

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