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VENY, VINEY Indian ancestry

William Venners, born say 1701, was the servant of Arjalon Price in September 1732 when he petitioned the Richmond County, Virginia court for freedom from his master, stating that "he is a Mulatto born of a white woman named Elizabeth Venners who at the time of his birth was a Servt. in Northumberland County." The following month the court ordered him set free [Orders 1721-32, 652, 658]. He evidently married an Indian slave named Bess according to the deposition of witnesses for the freedom suit of Bess's daughter Sarah Venie and her children in the District Court in Northumberland County on 5 September 1791 and depositions taken for the freedom suit of Sarah Venie's daughter Rachel in Montgomery County in 1811. Elizabeth Daniel of Richmond County deposed in 1814 that "Rachel descended from a male branch of the Viney family many of whom...recovered their freedom by suit, on the grounds they were of Indian extraction." John Smith of Richmond County testified that Thomas Hammond, a very old man born about 1701 or 1702, informed him that when he was a lad of ten or twelve years old, a twelve or thirteen-year-old girl named Bess and an old woman named Mary, said to be her grandmother, were brought by ship and had the appearance of Indians with straight black hair hanging down to their waists [Kegley, Free People of Colour, 94-7]. Thomas Hammond, son of Job Hammond, was born 20 April 1702 in North Farnham Parish, Richmond County [King, Register of North Farnham Parish]. Bess was apparently identical to "Betty an Indian Girl belonging to Job Hammond" whose age was adjudged by the Richmond County court as six years old on 6 June 1705 [Orders 1704-8, 65]. Job Hammon, Sr., left a 22 March 1717/8 Richmond County will by which he gave an Indian woman named Bess to his son William Hammon and gave an Indian woman named Mary to his son John Hammon. His inventory included an "Ingen woman" valued at 50 pounds currency and an "Old Ingin woman" valued at 5 pounds currency [WB 4:18-9, 24]. William Venie and Bess were the parents of
i. ?Richard1 Venie, born say 1725, permitted by the Richmond County, Virginia court to sue for his freedom in forma pauperis on 6 July 1747. The court assigned Charles Beale as his attorney, and in April 1749 the court dismissed his suit against William Hammond for 10 pounds damages for trespass, assault and battery [Orders 1746-52, 61, 75, 117, 138, 176].
2 ii. Sarah, born say 1730.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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