William Corley, Sr.-1; Austin-2; Ann Elizabeth-3
AUSTIN JOHNSON’s first wife, ANN ELIZABETH CORLEY-3, was born in St. Martin’s Parish, Hanover County, Virginia, just before her family moved to Tennessee. ELIZABETH’s father was AUSTIN CORLEY-2, and he was born and raised in St. Martin’s Parish, Hanover County, Virginia. Several families named Austin [Ostin] had lived in the New Kent/Hanover area from early times and may be connected to both line[s]. The JOHNSONs and the CORLEYs lived in the same general area, though not in the same parish or county, but we can imagine that they may have known each other in Virginia and for the connection to end in marriage of the two children of these families who settled distantly in Tennessee.
Evidence has been found that the Corleys settled in the area [New Kent] which would become Hanover County, Virginia, very early in the history of the colony. There are two theories for the descent of AUSTIN CORLEY-2. The author is not entirely sure which of the two theories is most likely to be correct, so both will be presented here. Due to the destruction of many of Virginia’s early records, there are some gaps left in both lines of descent which may never be filled in. Scenario I is entirely the author’s research, and Scenario II is a mixture of the research of the author and of others. Any additions or corrections to this information are welcomed by the author and other researchers.
“The Edmund Line”
The name Corley [Carley, Corly] is fairly rare in early Virginia and descent from these lines is not unlikely. Maybe at some future date, some researcher will find the absolute connection between AUSTIN CORLEY-2 and these earlier Corleys. Those people, the author thinks, are the direct ancestors of AUSTIN CORLEY-2 and are listed in the following scenarios in bold lettering.
This genealogy is conjecture, from the best evidence available to this researcher at this time. It is not proven beyond a doubt that AUSTIN CORLEY descended from this line. Other researchers disagree with this theory, and a second theory will also be given. It is also full of loop holes, and at this time is also only a theory.
The first person in the colonies the author has found named Corley is Thomas Corley, who took three indentured servants to Barbados in 1660. [Coldham, Complete Book of Emigrants 1607-1660.] This Thomas Corley had a brother named Edward [Edmund.] “Edward” and “Edmund” are used interchangeably and are not two different men. Edmund Corley is found in the records in 1682 in Virginia. He patented land in York County on Cheeseman’s Creek. His will was written December 23, 1728, and probated December 15, 1731, in York County and his children were named. Later, the Corleys and Cheeseman families would intermarry.
Children of Edmund Corley-i and Katherine Curtis
Christopher Corley-ii, left a will probated 1772. His widow was named Ann. His will mentioned, as heirs, the sons of Edmund Curtis, brother of his mother, Katherine Curtis. He apparently left no offspring.
Elizabeth Corley-ii, married a Mr. Wooten.
Sarah Corley-ii, mentioned in Adventurers of Purse and Person, pg. 175.
Edward/Edmund Corley-ii, born circa 1690, married a woman named Ann, and left a will written in 1735, probated July 21, 1735, in which he mentioned a son named William Corley-iii [born 1730 in York County Virginia, Charles Parish.] [Bell, Charles Parish, York County, Virginia, History and Registers]]
A young man named William Corley, of Yorkhampton Parish, died September 21, 1749, at age 19. Some researchers think this William was the son of Edward Corley-ii and that he died childless. Of course, that is possible, and it is also possible that the young man who died was not the son of Edward/Edmund-ii. [Charles Parish York County, Vestry Book] [Adventurers of Purse and Person, pg. 175.]
John Corley-ii, mentioned in his father’s will. [This may be the line of descent --see Scenario II]
CURTIS, CHESSMAN [CHISMAN, CHRISMAN] & CORLEY
Edward/Edmund-i Corley’s wife, Katherine Curtis-ii, was the daughter of Robert Curtis-i, who died between 1713 and 1716, and his wife, Mary Chrisman, who was born about 1650, and died in 1687/8. The author has not traced Robert Curtis’ line, but Mary Chrisman’s line goes back to Jamestown. [Adventurers of Purse and Person, pg. 175.]
The name “Chrisman” was pronounced “Cheeseman.” The records spell it various ways. The following sources and quotations from them are spelled as each record did. [Albion’s Seed, Virginia Speechways, pg. 259.]
Three brothers, Thomas-i, John-i and Edward Cheeseman-i, [born 1601] were listed on the 1623/4 census living at Elizabeth City [Jamestown Colony.] In 1624/5 Lieutenant John Chrisman-i, age 27, [born c. 1597] was listed as having come to the colony in 1621 on the Flying Hart. Edward Chrisman-i, age 22, had come in the Providence in 1623. Their brother, Thomas Cheeseman-i, gentleman, had left Virginia and gone back to England. John Cheeseman-i, Gentleman, of Kiccoughtan, received a patent for 200 acres for transporting four servants. [Cavaliers and Pioneers, pg. 202]
When York County land was opened up, the Cheesemans located there. Lieutenant John Cheeseman-i was Justice of Charles River County by April 8, 1634, this land later became York. His first patent in this region was November 21, 1635, for 600 acres for transporting 12 persons [50 acres each.] On November 19, 1638, Captain John Cheeseman-i sold land to his brother, Edward Cheeseman-i. In 1640, John-i was a tobacco viewer. John Chrisman-i was successively Lieutenant, Captain, and Lieutenant-Colonel of militia, and a member of the Assembly for York in 1643, and a Councilor in 1652. [Cavaliers and Pioneers, pg. 7, 202, 262, 263, 377 & Fleet, Virginia Colonial Abstracts. ]
By August 22, 1661, John Chrisman-i had returned to England, where, in the Parish of St. Mary Magdalene in Bermondsey, in the County of Surry, listed as a merchant, he made a power of attorney to Lawrence Smith. Under this, April 1, 1662, Smith leased for 21 years to Edmund Cheeseman-i, brother of John-i, all of John’s property in York County, Virginia, with the provision that if John-i and Margaret, his wife, did not survive the lease, then as provided in the will of John-i, dated August 5, 1658, the property should go to Edmund-i. At Edmunds’s death the property went to Edmund’s sons, Edmund-ii, and Thomas-ii, and their heirs forever.
In the Economic History of Virginia in the 17th Century, page 89, Philip Bruce mentions that in 1647, “Captain Chrisman of York County bought four Negro men, two Negro women, and two Negro children for one hundred and fifty pounds sterling, an average value of eighteen pounds.” [Records of York County, Vol. 1638-1648, pg. 63, VA State Library.]
John Cheeseman-i left a will dated 1662/3, and probated May, 1675, which devised freeholds and copy-holds in Helen Norwood, Norcourt or Norcoke, Southall, in England; to his wife, Margaret, to maintain his grandchild, Ann Cheeseman-iii, until her marriage, or until June 24, 1670, and if they both died; to his brother Edmund-i, and then to Edmund’s sons, Edmund-ii and Thomas-ii; his tenements in Baraban Kent to the heirs of his deceased nephew, Thomas-ii, the son of his eldest brother Thomas-i; and his estate in Glouchester County, Virginia, to his grandchild, Ann Cheeseman-iii. On September 20, 1678, his widow, Margaret, gave power of attorney to her “cozen Thomas Cheeseman-ii of York River in Virginia.” [“Cousin” frequently means nephew.] [Henrico County, VA, Beginnings of its Families, pg. 739.] She had been given a silk carpet in 1645/6 by the will of Humphrey Hanmore, and judging by her will January 15, 1679/80 [OS/NS], probated July 21, 1680, made as a resident of St. Mary Magdalen Bermondesy, she was a close-relation to Francis Mason’s family in Virginia.
John-i and Margaret Cheeseman’s only son-ii, given name unknown, married the widow of Samuel Matthews and had one daughter, Ann-iii, who died unmarried.
John’s brother, Edmund Cheeseman-i, owned 300 acres in Charles River County before 1637, when he deeded land to his brother John-i, who exchanged land with him the next year. In 1650, he patented land at Milford Haven in the part of Glouchester County, which in 1791 was part of Matthews County. He was Justice of York County May 8, 1652. On September 20, 1668, he patented 300 acres on Cheeseman’s Creek and Bay Tree Neck, which had been patented by John Adleston in 1654, but deserted. [Cavaliers and Pioneers, pg. 122.]
Edmund Cheeseman-i married his [second?] wife, Mary, widow of John Lilley, who died after 1642. Edmund-i is described in the records as “father-in-law” [stepfather] of John Lilley, “orphant of John Lilley.” “Father-in-law” is the term used in the records of that day to denote “stepfather.” [Cavaliers and Pioneers, pgs. 7, 202, 262, 263, 377.]
Mary___?__ Cheeseman was a Quaker. She caused quite a few problems for herself and her family by this ardent belief in her religion, which was banned at that early time in Virginia. On September 10, 1659, the York Court ordered the sheriff and his deputies to prevent all private and other meetings of “dangerous persons now in the county, called Quakers.” Later, Virginia would be more-or-less tolerant of dissenting religions, but at this time Governor Berkeley, who ruled Virginia as his own private kingdom, did not tolerate the Quakers. Berkeley remained governor until after Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676, and for about a year afterwards.
In 1660, the General Assembly issued a decree against the Quakers and ordered
the said Chrisman and his wife to have notice of the Governor’s order and if shee shall hereafter offend in the like kind that the sd order be put in effectual execution against hir and also that Mr. Crisman restreyn his said negroes and whole family from repairing to the sid unlawful assembly at his perill. [York County Deeds, Orders, & Wills 3, pg. 125-127.]
Early Quakers did own slaves, and it was not until the 1760s that the policy of the group seriously frowned upon the ownership of slaves, or even the hiring of slave labor.
Most Virginians had not come to Virginia primarily for religious freedom, and generally did not want to change the status quo. Not everyone was expected to believe alike, but everyone was expected to at least outwardly conform to the established religion and join in the rituals. The gentry, who came from the southwestern part of England, had long favored “uniformity in church governments.”
When Quakers began to appear, the authorities quickly moved against them, and in 1658, ordered them banished from the colony. Governor Berkeley enacted laws which required “all nonconformists to depart the colony with all conveniency.” Several small puritan communities had been founded before Berkeley arrived, and many fled to Maryland. One female Friend was ordered to be whipped 20 lashes, but she promised to conform and the whipping was withheld. By 1705, it was reported dissenters were “very few.” It wasn’t until the mid-eighteenth century this drastically changed and several large Quaker settlements grew up in the back lands of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Hanover [lands contained then in New Kent] had a thriving Quaker Community before 1721. Many of the author’s maternal line were Quakers living in Hanover. There was some persecution at that time, but none that I am aware of that was fatal or life-threatening.
Children of Edmund Chrisman-i and Mary, the Quaker
Edmund Chrisman-i, who lived in New Poquoson Parish, in York County, Virginia, wrote his will March 26, 1673, and it was probated February 23, 1673/4 [OS/NS]. It mentioned his land in Milford Haven.
The”odd” looking date above is the usual way to represent dates that fall after the new system of starting the New Year on January first took over. Because the old system started the New Year on March 26th, when the new system of calculating years took over, there was a period of time in which a date fell in a different “year” because it was between March 25th and January 1st. The above date, which originally fell in February of 1673, under the old system, now fell into the new year of 1674, because the new system calculated it in the new year of 1674 because it was after January 1st.
Edmund Chrisman-ii allied himself with Nathaniel Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676. He qualified as a Justice in York County in July 25, 1670. He was, not withstanding, apparently one of the leaders of the Rebellion. After Bacon’s death, he and several others were taken prisoner in York by Robert Beverly and held in prison. Edmund Cheeseman-ii, died “of feare, of griefe, or bad useage” before he could be brought to trial. The Act of Assembly in February, 1676/7, was told he had “escaped” his just dues for high treason. James Crewes, another of Bacon’s chief followers, would be hanged for his participation in the Rebellion. For a more detailed account of Bacon’s Rebellion, see the CARTER section.
Mary Cheeseman-ii, married Robert Curtis and died by January 26, 1687/8, as proven by land deeds.
Edmund Chrisman-ii married Lydia, perhaps surnamed Farlow, the daughter of Mrs. Elizabeth Bushrod, by her first husband, and niece of Captain George Farlow, one of Bacon’s other supporters, who deposed in April, 1678, that she was aged “about 29 years.” Lydia__?__Cheeseman went to the “trial” of her husband conducted by Governor Berkeley and pled for his life, telling the court that she was responsible for her husband being involved in the Rebellion and asked the court to punish her instead of her husband. Governor Berkeley wasn’t very receptive to her pleas; he called her a “whore.” She was granted administration of the estate of Edmund Chisman-ii, April, 1678. Lydia’s second husband, whom she married June 11, 1678, was Thomas Harwood. She was “killed by thunder” March 16, 1694/5. Does this means she was struck by lightening?
After Bacon’s Rebellion, in which many of the settlers fought the Governor and his henchmen, on January 29, 1677, commissioners, sent over by the English Government to inquire into and report on the state of affairs in the colony, arrived in Virginia. They let the people know they wanted to know what was really happening. “Grievances” were duly signed and sworn and were sent to the commissioners from almost every area of Virginia. Blisland Parish sent its list of “grievances,” complaining of oppressions which had caused the Rebellion. Richard Corley signed this grievance with his mark, “RC.”
To the Honorable Herberte Jeffries, Esq. Sr. John Berrie Knighte Francis Morrison, esq. his Maiesties Commissioners appointed to Enquire into and to make reporte to his most exelent Maiestie of the Grievances and pressur’s of his Maiesties Subjects of this his Maiesties plantation of Virginia.
We his Maiesties most obedient and gratefull subjects being some of ye inhabitants of the Parishe of Blisland, in the countie of New Kent, in obedience to his Maiesties condescentation and mission, doe humbley present to your honours these followinge Greiveances and pressure.
Wee present as a most heavie greivance the late frequent horrid and barbarous murthers committed and petuated upon our fellow subjects by the fidious indians, the Manifould rapins and depredations by them committed upon our stocks and estates, and still expecting releife, but on order was taken but only that we should drawe together at leaste tenne able men to one house, whereupon ensured the lamentable burninges of houses and severall killed [by] the Indians, in adventuringe to goe to there plantation to make some corne.
We present as a greivance the great exactions of shirriffes, altogehter the compleate sallarie of tenn in the hundred be raised with ye leavie, yet in case a man hath not tobacco readie at his owne house, he will not receive it at any other place without the allowance of tenn pounds more for every hundred more.
We present as a greivance the sellinge of stronge drinke to any place where the countie courte is kept during the courte day or what time the court shall sitt or continue it breeding matter of protraction in the countie afayrres, to the great expense and losse of time to those that live remote.
We present as a maniffest grevance the fort duties mentioned in the printed booke of Acts of Assemblie Levied upon the ships for and towards a Magazeene, it being as we conceive for the use of the publlique, notwithstandinge, when we are at any time called fourth by publicke authorie upon any millitarie occation, we are forced to find our selves amunition upon our private charge, nor canne we understand, who have, or what use employed the said amunition soe raised to so nessessary and good intent.
We present as a great greevance the imposition of two shillinges the hogshead, we humbly conceive if narrowly looked into, and employed acordinge to the true intent and meaninge of the express words of the act, it would lessen and leavie and give mutch creaditt to the publicke dated the 2nd day of April, 1677 we the subscribers have set our names and markes.
About 90 men signed this document, including Richard Corley and James Austin. The total was probably more than half of those living in the area. Richard Corley making his mark, “RC,” on such a document proves the Corley family was probably not one of those allied with the government. This Richard Corley is possibly the ancestor of our AUSTIN. [See Scenario II.]
Mary Cheeseman-ii, born about 1650, was the daughter of Edmund-i, and Mary __?__Cheeseman. She married Robert Curtis before March, 1673. She died January 26, 1687/8. [OS/NS] Robert Curtis re-patented to himself 242 acres in New Poquoson Parish on the south side of Cheeseman’s Creek, part of John Cheeseman’s original patent. John Cheeseman-i had transferred it to his brother, Edmund-i, who bequeathed it to his daughter, Mary-ii. Robert Curtis repatented it “in right of my now wife, Mary” October 21, 1687. [Cavaliers and Pioneers, pg. 35.]
Robert Curtis also had 250 acres of land in York County and was vestryman in Charles Parish in 1708. Since Robert Curtis was a vestryman, we may assume he lived in the community and was in conformance with the established church. We may also assume that he was one of the leading men in the community and of substantial financial means in order to be appointed to the vestry. He wrote his will August 11, 1713, and it was probated May 21, 1715.
The children of Robert Curtis-i and Mary Cheeseman-ii Curtis
Edmund Curtis-ii, married Mary, the daughter of Arminger Wade,2nd, who died in York County, Virginia.
2. Thomas Curtis-ii
3. Sarah Curtis-ii
4. Jane Curtis-ii
5. Elizabeth Curtis-ii
6. Robert Curtis-ii
7. Katherine Curtis-ii, born circa 1670, married Edward Corley-i.
John Corley-ii was mentioned by his father Edward Corley-i in his will in 1716. In 1708, what is probably this same John-ii was living in what is now Hanover County, Virginia. The vestry book in New Kent mentions John Corley[ii?] and an Austin family living in the area. The family whose surname was Austin, [sometimes spelled Osten or Ostin], had lived in Virginia since early times. Several documents signed by men surnamed Austin exist prior to Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676. [Scenario I and Scenario II again intersect at this juncture.]
Bacon’s Rebellion was not the only rebellion to shake the colony before the Revolution, though it was the largest and most wide spread. Only about five years after Bacon’s Rebellion, the farmers again took up force and the “Tobacco Riots” ensued in New Kent and Glouchester Counties and spread because the price of tobacco was very low. Poor farmers destroyed about half of the seedbeds before they could be transplanted, in hope of raising the price of the tobacco which was left.
AUSTIN CORLEY-2’s brother, according to his Revolutionary Pension records, was named William-2. There was also another man named William Corley, Sr.,[1?] living in Hanover after AUSTIN-2’s “brother William had moved out of the county” [per William’s pension.] The older William Corley, Sr., was witnessing deeds with AUSTIN-2 up to 1803, but he was not found on the 1810 census in that area, unless he is the “W. Cooly” listed there. AUSTIN-2’s oldest son is named William-3, so this underscores the relationship between these families, but is no proof. Checks of Virginia naming patterns in members of the Established Church show that 80% of the time the first male child was named after the paternal grandfather.
The possible descent of the CORLEY family by this Scenario: Edward/Edmund Corley John William Austin Ann Elizabeth Corley m. Austin Johnson.
It is also possible that it goes Edward/Edmund Edmund William Austin etc.
“The Richard Line”
A second possibility is that Richard Corley-i born before 1650, as evidenced by a deed witnessed in 1671, of Blisland Parish, is the oldest Corley ancestor of our AUSTIN’s. The descent would be Richard-i, Richard-ii, James-iii, William-iiii, AUSTIN-v. There is some evidence that this second scenario is the correct one but it isn’t totally conclusive. Several other researchers have come to the conclusion that the Richard-line is the correct one. Due to the destruction of several of the counties’ records, however, there may never be “absolute proof.” Richard may also be descended from the “Edmund” Line.
Richard Corley-i was an adult in Blisland Parish as early as 1671 before Bacon’s rebellion. He witnessed a deed with his mark “RC” from William Claiborne, Jr., to Joseph Cockeram. A while later, he was a signatory, with the mark “RC,” to a “grievance” submitted to his Majestie’s Commissioners sent from England in January, 1677, after Bacon’s Rebellion. In 1678, St. Peter’s Parish was cut from Blisland, and in 1704, St. Paul’s Parish was formed from Blisland Parish. What this Richard’s connection, if any, to the “Edmund Corley line” is unknown, but it is likely that there is a connection, if only because of proximity of residence and rarity of the name.
In 1689, the orders for processioning were given and the neighbors around Richard Corley included Thomas Tinsley. The records incorrectly refer to Richard as “Richard Caudry.” The Tinsley family would “live next door” for several generations, and in the 1780s a member of this family was representing Hanover in the General Assembly Sessions. [Glazebrook, Virginia Migrations.]
In 1702, this same group of neighbors “upon a petititon of the upper inhabitants of this parish presented by John Kimburrow, James Nuckols and Richard Corley laying down that they live very remote from the Church, it is ordered that a new Church or chapel be built upon the upperside of Mechumps Creek adjoining to the Kings Roade. [Vestry Book.]
With the original Richard Corley-i, and his presumed son, Richard Corley-ii [“junior”], living in successive counties, but apparently on the same lands, from the time of Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676, up to at least the 1720s, we can see a continuity of family in the area. On March 24, 1725, Richard Corley received a grant of land for 257 acres in Hanover adjoining John Harris, Garland, Reynolds, and Brown on Harris’ Branch. On September 20, 1734, Richard Corley witnessed an indenture for Reynolds and Brown, both of St. Paul’s Parish. These references could both be to either Richard-ii or Richard-iii.
Richard Corley-i, born about 1650, lived in Blisland Parish in New Kent in 1671. He apparently died about 1708 in St. Paul’s Parish, Hanover, County [the same area as Blisland.] He was mentioned in March of 1708/9 in the Vestry Book of St. Paul’s Parish. The 39th precinct was divided for processioning of lands and listed “the lands of Daniel Parks, Esq., Henry Chiles Gent, Henry Bourn, Paul Harrald, Richard Anderson and Richard Corley, lying adjacent to each other, being made one precinct.” Returns were made in November 19, 1708, that all lands except one had been processioned. An order dated 1-8-1708 [unknown whether the month is January or August] mentions Richard Corley, Jr.-ii, along with John Tinsley, indicating that by this date Richard-ii had come of age and that his father[?] Richard, Sr.-i, might possibly be deceased.
Since the elder Richard Corley was the only man of this name and age appearing in earlier records of the area, it is reasonable to assume that Richard Corley, Junr. was his son. No further entries using the designation “Junior” appear later in St. Paul’s records” [Neal, Southern Sojourners pg. 3-4.]
In 1711, the same precinct mentioned “the widow Austin” and Richard Corley-i, as well as Thomas Tinsley. [Note the proximity of the family named Austin [Ostin]. May 16, 1716, the estate of Thomas Tinsley, total valuation f46.12 was returned in Essex Co. [VA Colonial Abstracts, pg. 70].
Richard Corley-i may have had two sons, John-ii, born about 1675, and Richard-ii, born about 1670. This Richard-ii, died in Hanover about 1740, and his children were John-iii, born in 1695; Rebecca-iii, born about 1710; Richard-iii, born about 1719; and James-iii, born about 1700. [Neale, Southern Sojourners.]
The Vestry Book of St. Paul’s Parish Hanover County, Virginia 1706-1786, records mentions of Richard Corley in 1723. “In obedience to an order of Court dated 1st day of Feb 1723”…..” appoints John Tinsley to be surveyor of a road to be cleared from Crumps Creek by Richard Corley, to the road by Edward Chambers, Sr., & that he have to assist him, ….”
Again, in 1723, “Richard Corley for keeping a woman six months and burial, 350 lbs tobacco.” [The Vestry Book of St. Paul’s Parish Hanover County, Virginia 1706-1786]
Later in 1723, Richard Corley was appointed with John Tinsley and “all his own sons to assist him in clearing the road whereof he is surveyor.” This indicates that by 1723, this Richard Corley had grown sons. Hanover County had been split off from New Kent lands prior to the 1723 mention of the Corleys and Tinsleys still living near each other. [Vestry Book of St. Paul’s Parish, Hanover Co., VA 1706-1786.]
In 1732, the vestry recorded that “Richard Corley have Wm. Chambers…John Tinsley….and his own sons to assist him, clearning the road, whereof he is surveyor.” This is the last entry found for him in the parish records.
The supposed sons of Richard-ii are: James Corley-iii; John Corley-iii; Richard Corley-iii; and a daughter, Rebecca Corley-iii. [Neal, Southern Sojourners pg. 5]
James-iii, [Richard-ii, Richard-i] was the supposed father of William, Sr.-iv [the father of AUSTIN-5 and William-5] Other children of James-iii were Bartlett Corley-iv, born about 1725; Charles Corley-iv, born 1726; Zachariah Corley-iv, born 1727, and died in 1771 in Louisa County; James Corley-iv born about 1728; Edward Corley-iv born 1731 and who died 1798 in Mecklenburg, Virginia; and a daughter whose given name is unknown. [There’s that name Edward again!]
James Corley-iii was granted 150 acres of new land in Hanover County September 27, 1729, adjoining the lines of Reynolds and “Kembrow” [Kimbrough] on both sides of the road between the Northanna and Little Rivers. This land was in the new parish of St. Martin’s on the western side of Hanover near the lands of his father, Richard-ii. [Neal, Southern Sojourners, pg. 6] Unfortunately, the records of both St. Martin’s and St. Paul’s parishes are lost. No evidence has surfaced, however, to indicate the presence of any other adult male named Corley in the vicinity. In 1740, Richard Corley-ii had been mentioned in the accounts of the store of Thomas Partridge in Hanover. James-iii’s daughter, “Miss Colley,” was also mentioned in these accounts.
Corley-iv, the supposed son of James-iii, would have been
born probably between 1720 and 1730, using the known birth dates of
his two known sons. He resided in St. Martin’s Parish,
Hanover County, Virginia. Since it was probably him on the 1810
“W. Colley,” the latter date is probably closer to his date of birth. [Neal, Southern Sojourners pg. 12.] Since many of the records of both the parish and the county are lost, there are few mentions of William-iv in the available records. October 4, 1784, a “W. Colley” witnessed an indenture of several men on the Little River. He was not listed in the 1782 state enumeration of Hanover County, but was shown on the 1800 tax list as owning two horses, two slaves over age 16, one slave between the ages of 12 and 16, and had two male tithables in his household. There is evidence both pro and con for both these scenarios, though no hard evidence for either one. It is hoped that some future researcher will be able to supply the data necessary to finally and completely link AUSTIN to the proper line[s]. With the destruction of many of Virginia’s colonial records, however, it is possible that no hard-and-fast evidence above what we have already will be found.