Rowlett Family Tree / Generation 2

Notes by Russell J. Rowlett, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Peter2 Rowlett: Probable child of Peter1; born about 1639, probably in Virginia but possibly in England; lived as a young man (1661-65 at least) at Shirley Hundred in southwestern Charles City County, where he worked as an overseer; settled by the 1670's at his father's farm near the mouth of Old Town Creek in southern Chesterfield County (then part of Henrico County); inherited, in 1679,160 acres from his father and purchased, in 1689, 200 acres at the mouth of the Great Branch of Old Town Creek; made his will 4 Dec 1701 and died before 2 Feb 1702. Nothing is known of his wife or wives. See here for a more extended account of Peter's life.

I believe Peter2 was born in Virginia, but we can't exclude the possibility that his parents brought him to America as a young child. There is absolutely nothing supporting the claim that Peter1 was associated with the French Huguenot colony at Manakin Town in western Henrico County. He was in Virginia long before that settlement was established, and all the records of him are from the southeast corner of the county, more than 25 miles from Manakin Town.

I have no doubt that the Peter Rowlett of Charles City court records (1661-65) is the same as the Peter Rowlett of Henrico court records (1679-1701). Peter was often in court and exhibited the same personality in both counties.

The will of Peter2 Rowlett is missing from Benjamin Weisiger's Colonial Wills of Henrico County, 1654-1737, perhaps because it is filed in a book of miscellaneous records (Henrico County Deeds, Etc., 1697-1704, p. 263), or perhaps because it is nearly illegible. See here for the best transcript my son and I were able to make.

On 20 Apr 1697, Peter2 witnessed the will of his neighbor Godfrey Ragsdale, who left a widow named Rachel and sons named Godfrey, Peter, and Daniel. Genealogists of the Ragsdale family have speculated that Rachel was a daughter or sister of Peter2 Rowlett. Since Rachel is unknown as a given name in early generations of the Rowlett family, this idea is very unlikely to be correct.

Children of Peter2 Rowlett:

Peter3 Rowlett, born about 1673
William3 Rowlett
Mary3 Rowlett, mentioned in Peter1's will
Martha3 Rowlett
, killed "by being dragged by a horse" in July 1691

Note: We have no firm information on the order of birth of the children. Since Peter3 is mentioned first in his father's will, family historians have assumed that he was the older son. However, it is possible that William3 was older. See here for my comments on this issue.


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Latest revision April 3, 2003