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Re: Plantation Owners in Chowan County N.C

Eight years later I find:

This page is a work in progress, so if you can help on bios on any of these people, please do help me out!

Nathaniel Batts-(ca 1620-1679)
Probably Batts was part of the group employed in 1653 and 1654 by Francis Yeardley, prominent planter of Lynnhaven, VA to establish a fur trade with the Indians to the southward and to explore that region in detail.
In 1655, Yeardley sent Robert Bodnam, a carpenter, to the ousth to build a house 20 ft square (containing 2 rooms and a chimney) for Batts to live in while he traded with the Indians. The house was erected beside Salmon Creek (then Fletts) Creek at the western end of Albemarle (then Roanoke) Sound. This trading post appears on the Nicholas Comberford map of 1657, entitled "The South Part of Virginia" with the legend Batts House.

He married 25 May 1656 Mary Woodhouse, a widow with some property; they lived in Lower Norfolk County on the Woodhouse plantation, Roede, which eventually came to be called Batts Quarters. Even before this marriage he was in financial difficulty as seen in the marriage agreement, he was "indebted to some men in VA", and promised not to use his wife's property to satisfy any of his debts. The following year, the VA Gen Court gave him as his reward for the discoverey of an inlet protection from all his Creditors within this County for one year and a day. Batts was frequently involved in litagation over the none payement of his debts and other matters. Despite his financial problems, he acquired nine 900 acres of land in Nansemond Co from Samuel Stephens and later sold the land to Colonel Thomas Francis.

Along with his important interest in VA, Batts continued to be heavily involved in Carolina. On 24 Sept 160 he purchased from Kiscutanewh, king of the Yeopim Indians, all the land on the west bank of the Pasquotank River from its mouth to the head of New Begin Creek. This transaction, which survives in the records of Lower Norfolk Co, VA is the oldest known surviving NC land deed. Batts also held land in Chowan Precinct on which he lived for a time [Salmon Creek ares]. His best known holding was Heriots Island at the mouth of Yeopim R. in the Albemarle Sond, which by 1672 was called Batts Island and by 1690s Batts Grave.

In 1672, George Fox, found of the Quaker sect, visited Carolina, met Batts, and visited him at his Chowan plantation. Fox reported that Batts "had been a rude, desperate man" but that he attended some of Fox's meetings and seemed interested in healing by means of prayer. Fox says that Batts "had been Gov of Roanoke" and refers to him as "the Old Governor". No other sources support this claim.

Source: NC. His Rev 43 1966; VA Magazine of History and Biography '79 (1971) Elizabeth G. McPherson and Herbert R. Paschal
Additional resource: The American Historical Review, Vol XLV, #1, Oct 1939. "The Earliest Permanent Settlement in Carolina" by W.P. Cumming.
Also see Nathaniel Batts by J.E. Tyler, II

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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