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The Collier Family of Surry Co VA
Generations 1-3


1. Thomas1 COLLIER, born bef 1613 in possibly England; deceased aft. 1643 in Surry Co. VA. He married Unknown.

Notes for Thomas Collier:

Thomas Collier (Coluer) on Oct. 31, 1643, acknowledged a debt to John Flowers of 4000 lbs. tobacco to be paid each year beginning Oct 31, 1643 (Surry Co deed Bk 1, p. 112, Recorded 1657). His presence in Surry Co. suggests his parentage of John Collier, but I have found no proof of this as yet. In Hotten's List of Original Persons of Quality, there is a Thomas Colley who emigrated to VA in 1623. He is found on the 1624 census of Jamestown, VA. It is possible that the name was "shortened" by the person who recorded it.

Child of Thomas1 Collier and Unknown MAY have been as follows:

2 i John2


2. John2 COLLIER (Thomas1), born bef 1631 in VA ? or England?; deceased 1676 in Surry Co. VA. He married abt. 1668 in Surry Co. VA, Mary SOWERBY, born abt. 1650 in Surry Co. VA; deceased aft. 1697 in Surry Co. VA, daughter of Thomas and Anna (Lee) Sowerby.

Notes for John Collier:

John Collier's signature is on a petition presented in open court by the Rev. John Dibdall and signed by abt seventy others. See Surry Co Bk 1, pg 4, Nov 7, 1652. For his signature to carry legal weight, John would have had to be at least 21 yrs of age. If this is John, husband of Mary Sowerby, and not an earlier generation, then he was much older than she, and a contemporary of her father's. There is the possibility that this John Collier was a SR and the one who married Mary in 1668 was a JR. There is no concrete evidence that Thomas Collier was John's father, however he did name his eldest son Thomas, which is in keeping with the family's tradition of naming the first son after the father's father. Research into this will continue, but at the moment I am inclined to believe that there was only one John Collier,and he was the son of Thomas, and was almost 20 yrs older than his wife.

In 1668, Edward Collier (Collie) of Charles City,VA names John as Attorney in Account for a bill of sale to Richard Rogers of 200 acres on Chippoakes Creek and refers to him as his "loving cousin" (at this time, cousin could also mean "nephew"), see Surry Co Bk. 1,pg 143.

An inventory of John's estate was filed on 27 May, 1676,recorded in Deed Bk 1661-1674, pg 151.
Another inventory was filed as follows:
COLLIER, John: Est. - adm. by John King. 15 Nbr, 1677 . "There appeared in Court Mary Rawlin, ye relict of above, and certified to the inventory as being correct." Bk. 2, p. 15.
Mary Collier granted administration of the estate on 24 Apr, 1678 - Bk 2, pg. 169.
Still another inventory was recorded in Bk 2, pg 211 by John Rawlings in 1679 in which the estate was divided among John's orphans named as Thomas, John, Joseph and Mary.

Notes for Mary Sowerby:

Mary was most likely the daughter of Thomas Sowerby and his wife, Anna Lee. This is suggested by the fact that the Sowerbys witnessed the marriage contract on 24 Sept 1677 between Mary and her second husband, John Rawlings, son of John and Eleanor Rawlings of Surry Co, and by a deed of gift of one yearling from Thomas Sowerby to Mary's son, John Collier Jr. Another son,Thomas Collier, petitioned the court and was granted the right to live with Thomas Sowerby in 1683.Deed Bks 1671-1674, pg 172 and Bk. 2, pg 15.
Mary and John Rawlings had two children, John Rawlings, Jr and Elizabeth, who are named in Anna Lee Sowerby Jordan's will in 1697. They also had a son, Gregory Rawlings. John Rawlings grandparents were Gregory Rawlings I and Jane LEE, so it would appear that Mary Sowerby and John Rawlings were probably cousins.

Children of John2 Collier and Mary Sowerby were as follows:

3 Thomas3
4 John Jr3
5 Joseph3
Mary3 Did she marry Richard HIDE ? See notes on John JR3 Collier.


3. Thomas3 COLLIER (John2, Thomas1), born abt. 1669 in Surry Co. VA; deceased abt. 1724 in Surry Co. VA. He married Mary? UNKNOWN.

Notes for Thomas Collier:

Thomas married abt 1689. The June 1694 tithables (Surry Co bk 5, pg 24)Upper Sunken Marsh Parish includes Thomas Collyer and Mary, 2 Polls. Date and place consistent with this Thomas Collier; others listed were John and Joseph Collier, John Rawlings, and Richard Shockley. Information from an abstract of Collier names on the tithe records done by Leroy Collier and published in the Collier Collater Newsletter,date unknown.
In 1783, Thomas petitioned the court to live in the household of Thomas Sowerby. He was a Justice of the County Court in 1714 and High Sheriff of Surry Co in 1720. Information from the book Southside Virginia Families by John Bennett Boddie 1956.

Abstract of the Will of Thomas Collier:

COLLIER, Thomas: Leg. - To grandsons, Thomas Collier and John Collier. To daughter-in-law, Jane Lather, to daughter, Sarah Marriott, wife of William Marriott, to granddaughter, Mary Marriott, to grandsons, William and Thomas Marriott. Makes son-in-law, William Marriott and grandson,Thomas Collier, Exrs.
15 Feb., 1727/28. Prob.: 20 March, 1727.
Wits: John Cargill, Robert Watkins, Henry Barnes. Book 7, p. 794.
From: pg. 36 "Wills and Administrations of Surry Co. VA
1671-1750" by Eliza Timberlake Davis.

Children of Thomas3 Collier and Mary? Unknown were as follows:

6 i Sarah4
7 John4

4. John JR3 COLLIER (John2, Thomas1), born abt. 1670 in Surry Co. VA; deceased 1732 in Surry Co. VA. He married abt. 1692 in Surry Co. VA, either Grace or Hannah LUCAS, born abt. 1671 in Surry Co. VA, daughter of William and Grace (Beckwith) Lucas.

Notes for John Jr Collier:

It appears that a man named Richard HIDE was guardian to John Jr after his father died in 1676. In 1678 Thomas Sowerby petitioned the Orphans Court that the "guift he received for Jno. Collier son of Jno. Collier deced. may be and remaine in the possession of Rich. Hide who hath the said Orpt". And it states in this record that Hide was giving an account of the increase of this gift to the Orphans court. See "Surry County, Virginia Court Records, 1672-Jan 1682, Book III" by Weynette Parks Haun. Information from a HIDE family webpage says that Joseph Collier, brother of John Jr, witnessed the will of Richard Hide in 1710 and shows Mr. Hide's wife as Mary _____. Could she have been the daughter of John Collier and Mary Sowerby, also named Mary, who hasn't been traced ?

By 1683, John Jr was living with Thomas Sowerby, but lived in the household of his mother and stepfather sometime in between as per the following record:

John Collier, son of John Collier, deced. , having formerly lived with John Rawlings who entered into bond to teach said Collier rudiments of the Christian religion and bring him up according to his quality but said Collier now living with Thomas Sowerby and said Rawlings in court consenting that he should continue there provided, etc.". (0.B. 1671-90, p.413).

John is found on the list of foot soldiers for Surry Co in 1687. He is living in the household of William Lucas on the 1691 Tithe List. On the 1693 Tithe List, he is head of household and so was married by that time.

Surry Co. Deeds & Wills 1687-1694, pg 352: Deed from John Collier to Richard Shokkee, recorded 6 Mar 1693, 100
acres, part of 450 acres granted to William Carpenter Apr. 1686 and sold by Carpenter to said John Collier Sep. 1692.

Abstract of the will of John Collier,JR from the book
"Colliers of Surry County Virginia" by Paul Arnot 1989:

Surry Co VA Bk -8- 246
dated 3 July,1732
"made bequests to daughter, Mary one guinea;
to Moses Jonson (Johnson),one guinea(relationship
not stated, but husband of daughter Mary);son John
the land and plantation he now ____,etc.;son
William one guinea;son Thomas, the land_____and
all he owes me;daughter Grace____-bed she lies
on and the bolster,etc; Benjamin the house_____bed
and furniture,five pounds____fodder to winter his
cattle; son,Charles the house and plantation_____
and the land laid out to it,etc;son Henry all the
remaining part of my land and ten pounds and the
feather bed that I keep to lodge strangers upon and
all furniture belonging to it; remainder part of
money and puter (pewter) and balance of estate
after debts are paid to be equally divided between
my son Benjamin,son Henry and son Charles.
Give son Henry to son William until he comes
of age 20 years "desiring ___?___ him in
fear of God as much as he can"; give son
Charles to Moses Johnson until he comes to age
20 years "and ____ fear of God as much as he can".
Appoint Moses Johnson and son Thomas Collier
executors. Signed John Collier.
Witns: Wm. Hix, Solomon Hawkins and Charles
Proved 15 November 1737."
(note: this should say Wm HUX)

Notes for Grace or Hannah Lucas:
It has not been positively proven which daughter of William Lucas was married to John Collier, but has been narrowed down to only the two possibilities.
The will of William Lucas names his wife, Grace and daughters: Ann,Elizabeth,Grace,Hannah, and Mary. Appoints wife Grace and son Charles executors. Bk 7, pg 79, dated 1 Oct 1716, probated 16 Dec 1717.
The will of Grace Lucas made bequests to daughters Ann, Grace, Hannah and Elizabeth,who was ill "If she die, Henry Briggs to have no part" . Others mentioned are daughter Martha, sons Charles and William. Also Val Williamson (relationship not stated). Appoints son William Lucas and John Collier as executors.
Abstract from the book Colliers From Surry Co VA by Paul Arnot, 1989.

Children of John Jr3 Collier and Grace or Hannah Lucas were as follows:
i John4
Benjamin4, b. abt 1697;it is possible that this Benjamin married Hannah_____ and was the father of Hannah Collier, b. 1727 Surry Co VA who married Henry PITTS and removed to SC. Hannah's siblings were Mary,Audrey,Benjamin,& Jean. If anyone has more information, please contact me and I will put you in touch with a researcher of Hannah Collier's line.

Charles4 Charles was underage when his father died in 1732. John Collier's will appointed his son-in-law Moses Johnson as guardian. He married Lucy WYCHE.

Henry4 Henry was underage when his father died in 1732 and his
brother William was appointed his guardian in his father's will.

8 Mary4
9 William4
10 Thomas4

5. *Joseph3 COLLIER (John2, Thomas1), born abt. 1675 in Surry Co. VA; deceased 1726 in Surry Co. VA. He married abt. 1698 in Surry Co. VA, Jean HALSO, born abt. 1675-80 in Surry Co. VA; deceased abt. 1747 in Surry Co. VA.

Notes for Joseph Collier
From the book by Margaret M. Hofmann NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA:
1759-1808 GENEALOGICAL ABSTRACTS OF WILLS copyright 1975
Will Abstract - Joseph Collier Will Bk. 7 pg 698 Surry Co. VA
10 Dec 1726 Probated 19 Apr 1727
To son, John Collier, a tract of land where he now lived, part of the tract where I now dwell---
the land runs to a tree in Caleb Ellis's line and contains 100 acres, also give him household goods, after the decease of my wife. To son, Joseph Collier, a tract of land part of where I live beginning at Bowling Alley line- to Miry Branch, 100 acres. To son, William Collier, tract of land--at Horse-going Branch- to Joseph's line, 100 acres. To son, Thomas Collier, all the rem. of my plantation and land where I now live after decease of my wife. If any died their part to survivors. To daughters, Mary, Jeane, Elizabeth and Sarah, each a cow.
Wife Jeane Extrx, Witnesses Richard Wigins, Wm. Barton.

Notes for Jean Halso:

Jean was a daughter of William and Susan/Susannah Halso or Also/Allso.

Surry Co VA, Bk 5, pg 246
03 Mar 1701/02
William Allso sold to Joseph Collier a 40 acre tract
at the head of Hooper's Branch between Allso and
Collier on Robert Nicholson's line, part of a patent
granted to George Watkins in 1668. Signed
by Wm (his mark) Allso, Susannah (her mark) Allso .
Wits: Nick Maget, Charity Maget.

Surry Co. Deeds 1715-30, p. 115:
William Halso of Surry to William Cocke for 25 lbs. Plantation of 165 acres called Swan's Bay purchased of George Nicholson, decd. Dec 2, 1695 adjoining Robert Nicholson and William Cocke, reserving 40 acres which my son-in-law, Joseph Collier, holds, and the land I gave my son, William Halso, dec'd., being 50 acres, and 4 acres to Mr. John Simmons May 21, 1718. Witnesses : Harry Floyd, Nicholas Cock and Thomas Cocke.

After the death of Joseph Collier, Jean had a life tenancy on the land that he left to his son Thomas. Jean re-married to an Owen before 6 Apr 1739, when she co-signed, as Jean Owin, with son Thomas Collier on a deed for 180 acres of the land sold to Anthony Atkinson. See Surry Co Bk 9, pg 58.
I have found in genealogies posted to the internet that Jean (aka Jane) married Robert Owen. Was this the son of Bartholemew and Joannah Owen or was he the son of Robert Owen and either his first wife Hannah FIGURES or his second wife Katharine _____ ? It is worth noting that Robert Owen had four children,usually credited as being his children with Jean Collier, but Jean Halso Collier would have been at least 48 yrs old and possibly older at the time of her marriage to him. Is it probable that Jean would have had 4 more children in this marriage ? There are a couple of other possibilities: one is that the "Jane Collier" who married Robert Owen was actually the daughter of Jean Halso (but if that is the case, then who did Jean marry ?); the other is that the 4 children were Robert Owen's by a previous marriage. Need at least approximate birthdates on his children: Robert,Benjamin,David,John. If they were born before Joseph Collier died, then they weren't Jean's, and either Robert married her daughter Jane Collier, or he was married to someone before he married Jean Halso Collier.

Children of Joseph3 Collier and Jean/Jane Halso were as follows:
11 John4
12 Joseph4
13 *Thomas4

Generation 4