More information on Larkin Chew of Spotsylvania County, Virginia (part 1)

William Logan is referenced several times in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, court documents in conjunction with Larkin Chew. We have assumed that either William Logan was an indentured servant of Larkin Chew, or a former indentured servant of Chew’s, or perhaps he simply worked for Chew. We know they lived in close proximity from the interactions cited in court documents.

The excerpts which follow concerning Larkin Chew give us a bit more to go on in terms of Chew’s possible relationship with William Logan. More pieces of the puzzle. The source is “Larkin Chew of Spotsylvania County and His Family” by Rudolf Loeser, The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 47, No. 1, January-March 2003 and Vol. 47, No. 2, April-June, 2003. The editor of The Virginia Genealogist is John Frederick Dorman.

“Larkin Chew deeply offended Alexander Spotswood [for whom Spotsylvania County is named], who damned Chew as that “base, drunken, infamous … vilest of fellows.” Chew had served me as a Common Carpenter for Wages….” [In other words, originally Chew was not a “gentleman” by birth or status in Virginia; that is, he “worked with his hands” for “wages.” Later, as we’ll see, Chew did achieve gentleman status.]

Larkin Chew’s age: “Spotswood was 48 years old in 1724 while Larkin Chew was about five years older.”

“Larkin Chew is thought to have come to Virginia from Maryland. His father is supposed to have been Joseph Chew of Virginia and Maryland, son of the immigrant John Chew of Jamestown.” [Unproven, as far as I know.]

Chew “married into the family of Roy.” [William Logan is referenced in Spotsylvania County documents in conjunction with John Roy as well.]

Larkin Chew was a carpenter and surveyor. Again, because he “worked with his hands,” he would not initially have been a member of the gentleman class in Virginia at that time. Class was highly important in the colony of Virginia at that time. Chew’s skills led to wealth which led to county offices which led, in turn, to gentleman status.

Chew was a member of the Essex County, Virginia, militia. Essex County was one of the counties from which Spotsylvania County was created. John Roy was an Essex County planter.

In 1722, “Larkin Chew and his son Thomas were sworn justices of the peace. Appointment to this office entitled Larkin Chew by common usage, to style himself ‘Gentleman.'”

In 1723 and 1726, Larkin Chew was a Burgess; in 1724, 1726, and 1727, one of the county coroners; and in 1728, he was appointed sheriff of Spotsylvania County. “… With his son Thomas he was vestryman of St. George’s parish….” [This is helpful because it gives us a location for Chew and, because he and William Logan lived in close proximity, it means Logan lived either in or near St. George’s Parish. (We have a reference from 1734 where William Logan is a witness to a document concerning land sold for a glebe for St. Mary’s Parish in Spotsylvania County, so the St. George’s Parish information gives us another clue for where to search.)]

“Larkin Chew died between 7 February 1728/9 and 11 March 1728/9.” [His will is quoted in the article.] Interestingly, in 1730 and 1731, after Larkin’s death, William Logan and John Chew, Gent.[leman] were in Spotsylvania County court because of assault and battery and trespass charges. John Chew was Larkin Chew’s son. (The other children were Thomas, Larkin, and Ann.)

 

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