John Muse Sr
Our Child: John Muse Jr

John Muse Sr.-1; John, Jr.-2; Mary-3

MARY MUSE-3 was the daughter of ANNE __?__ and JOHN MUSE, Jr.-2, who was the son of JOHN MUSE, Sr.-1. JOHN, Sr.-1, was born in England about 1633 [1623?], and was the founder of the Virginia MUSE family. Apparently, he is the only man by that name in early Virginia who left male issue. Though there were two or three other men named Muse who lived in the general area at the same time he did, there is no proof that these men died in Virginia or left issue.

The name Muse can also be spelled “Mewes” and several other ways. Wills from Northumberland and Westmoreland Counties in Virginia give us quite a bit of information about this family. The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 53, page 132, gives a genealogy of “The MUSE [Mewes] Family of the Northern Neck of Virginia,” by Mary Hope West and Juliet Fauntleroy.

Children of John Muse, Senior-1 [1633-1723]

  1. Thomas Muse-2 born about 1655, died 1732. He leased lands in 1718 from his brother, JOHN MUSE, Jr.-2. Thomas’ children are: John Muse-3, Thomas Muse-3, Christopher Muse-3; James Muse-3, Elizabeth Muse-3, Ann Muse-3, Mary Muse-3, Nicholas Muse-3, and Daniel Muse-3. He had several wives. Thomas Muse-2 and his brother, JOHN MUSE, JR.-2, were granted 265 acres of land in Westmoreland County “in swamp Rappahannock Creek. Their brother, Nicholas Muse, Sr., had also leased lands in the area. [West & Fauntleroy, “The Muse Family.” VMH & B.]

  1. Jane Muse-2, married Christopher Prichett.

  1. Ann Muse-2, married John Willson.

  1. Mary Muse-2, married Humphrey Quisenberry.

  1. JOHN MUSE, Jr.-2, born 1673, died before 1723, married a woman named ANNE, and predeceased his father. JOHN was not mentioned in his father’s will, but his father’s estate was left to his widow. He had been granted lands with his brother, Thomas-2, in 1711. June 7, 1703, his father, JOHN MUSE, SR., had granted him a patent of 360 acres in Richmond and Westmoreland Counties. The land was urveyed for said JOHN MUSE, SR., March 1692. [Northern Neck Grants, Book 3, pg. 2.]

  1. Nicholas Muse, Sr.-2, not mentioned in his father’s will. In 1715, William Woodward bound his son, Thomas Woodward, to Nicholas Muse and Mary Muse, his wife, until age 21. Muse agreed to “learn him to read the Bible and also learn him the trade of a carpenter and cooper” Nicholas Muse signed with an X.

JOHN MUSE, Sr.’s will, written April 5, 1723, and probated October 8, 1723, mentions small bequests to “son Thomas; daughter Jane Pritchett, daughter Ann Willson, daughter Mary Quisenberry [all for one shilling] and rest of estate to daughter-in-law ANN MUSE.” [Westmoreland Will Book VII, page 30.] Witnesses to the will included ROBERT SANFORD-2. JOHN MUSE, Sr., was about 90 years old when this will was written. The birthdate of JOHN MUSE, Sr., is derived from a deposition he made in Richmond County, October 2, 1715, in which he states that he was “aged 82 years.” [Richmond County Miscellaneous Records, pgs. 93-94.] It is also interesting to note that he still had enough of his mental facilities left to write his own will at the age of 90+ years.

We may wonder why JOHN-1 cut his children out of the will in favor of ANN, the widow of his deceased son, JOHN. Whatever the reason, we may be grateful that he did, as this left us at least a scrap of evidence for piecing this family together. The son of JOHN MUSE, Sr.-1, who was not named in the will was JOHN MUSE, Jr.-2, who married ANN __?__ and predeceased his father. JOHN, Sr.-1, had assigned a grant of 265 acres in Westmoreland County in the main swamp Rappahannock Creek adjoining on the north Thackers’ land to him. Another son of JOHN, Sr.’s, Nicholas Muse, Sr.-2, had leased for 50 years 179 acres on the branches of the Great Rappahannock Creek near Thacker, Thomas Muse-2 and JOHN MUSE, Jr.-2

JOHN MUSE, Sr.-1, married at least twice. We don’t know the name of the first wife, by whom he had children, but his last wife was a widow, Catherine __?__Moss-Talbott. On December 7, 1720, Catherine Moss-Talbott-Mewes gave her bond as administrator of Ann Lewis, deceased. JOHN MUSE -1 and Catherine had no children, and she may have pre-deceased him, as she was not mentioned in the will. He married Catherine apparently before 1698.

JOHN MUSE, Jr.-2, was born about 1673, and died intestate prior to April 6, 1723, when his inventory was returned. He was obviously one of the younger sons of his father. His father had given him lands, including 360 acres in 1704, which was partly in Richmond County and partly in Westmoreland. In 1712, he leased another 200 acres for his lifetime and the lifetime of his wife, ANNE, from Colonel William Fitzhugh.

These “Three Lives” leases were for the natural lives of the people leasing them. The people leasing the lands were required to improve the lands, build houses, and barns, plant orchards, etc. In addition, they paid a year’s rent at the time the lease was made, and a hogshead of tobacco per year thereafter. They held the lands for the natural lives of the people involved. If one of the parties died, or they wanted to renegotiate the lease [i.e., add another person to the lease] they could also do that at any time, by paying a small additional fee. Some leases required 10 year’s lease money at the time of the initial lease, and a hefty re-lease fee, but Fitzhugh had so much land, and needed settlers so badly, that he was willing to keep the rents and lease fees low to encourage people to settle his lands. He had one grant that was between 20,000 and 30,000 acres.

In December, 1707, JOHN MUSE, Jr., earned 1,200 pounds of tobacco for trapping four wolves.

JOHN, Jr.’s wife, ANNE, may have been surnamed Hopkins, as one of their sons bore that given name. That name was continued for three generations in their descendants.

The inventory of the estate of JOHN MUSE, Jr., was returned April 6, 1723. He was probably only about 50 years old at the time of his death.

ANN__?__MUSE, the widow of JOHN MUSE, Jr.-2, was also appointed the executor of the estate of JOHN MUSE, Sr.-1, in 1723.