Robert Lawrence 1680 – 1744

Robert Lawrence, Jr. was born in Virginia. We know his father was living in Nansemond County when he wrote his will in 1696 and his mother was there in 1700 when she attended a Quaker meeting. In 1704 quit rent (tax) records list several Lawrence men in Nansemond: George, Henry, James, John, Richard and two Roberts. Robert and his brother, John, may be two of those men.[1]

Much like his father, Robert appears in both Virginia and North Carolina records. Considering the abundance of Robert Lawrences in the family; the overlap of Virginia and North Carolina records; and the unknown birth date of this Robert Lawrence, it is difficult to absolutely determine which Robert Lawrence is referenced in some land and court records.

At some time Robert moved south to Bertie County, North Carolina. He and wife, Elizabeth Nicholls, had 8 children: John Lawrence, George Lawrence, Humphrey Lawrence, William Lawrence, Elizabeth (Lawrence) Spruill, Thomas Lawrence, Robert Lawrence and Martha (Lawrence) Parker.[2]

Robert lived on Bear Swamp in Bertie County, North Carolina when he died in 1744. We know this because in 1747 his son, Humphrey Lawrence, sold 120 acres of land to his brother, George Lawrence. The record of that transaction says the land was willed to Humphrey by his father and was the land “my father Robert Laurence lived on when he died”.[3]

[1]Smith, Annie Laurie Wright. The Quit Rents of Virginia, 1704(Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1980).

[2]Boddie, John Bennett, Historical Southern Families, Vol. I (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1967) digital image, Ancestry (ancestry.com: accessed February 2018) 183.

[3]Bell, Mary Best. Colonial Bertie County North Carolina 1744 – 1753. Volume V; Abstracts of Deed Book G. (Windsor, North Carolina: Colonial Bertie, 1965. From the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, North Carolina) 283.

1 Robert Lawrence b: c 1680  Nansemond, VA, d: 1744 in Bertie, NC
… + Elizabeth Nicholls
……2 John Lawrence b: c 1721, d: c 1788 Bertie, NC
……2 George Lawrence b: c 1725, d: c 1756 Bertie, NC
……2 Humphrey Lawrence b: c 1726, d: 1772 Bertie, NC
…… + Ann Ashley b: c 1733
……2 Thomas Lawrence b: c 1733
……2 Robert Lawrence b: c 1735
……2 Elizabeth Lawrence
…… + Spruit
……2 Martha Lawrence
……2 William Lawrence

Robert Lawrence is mentioned in a Bertie Co., NC Deed when one of his sons gave land to another son.

9 Jan 1747. Humphrey Laurence, George Laurence, Robert Laurence, William Laurence “Humphrey Laurence to George Laurence. January 9, 1747. 7 pds. 10 sh. For 120 A. ‘…A Certain Piece of Land which was Willed to me by my father Robert Laurence…’ On SS Bear Swamp ‘…being part of the Land my Father Robert Laurence Lived on when he died…’ Wit: William Laurence, Alexander Haw, John Sallis. February Court 1747. Benjamin Wynns. Source: Bell, Mary Best. Colonial Bertie County North Carolina 1744 – 1753. Volume V; Abstracts of Deed Book G. Windsor, North Carolina: Colonial Bertie, 1965. From the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, North Carolina. Page 283.

Selected Sources:

  • Bell, Mary Best. Colonial Bertie County North Carolina 1744 – 1753. Volume V; Abstracts of Deed Book G. Windsor, North Carolina: Colonial Bertie, 1965.
  • Creel, Bevin, A Patriot’s Legacy: The Family of Richard Dillon and Ann Lawrence from Bertie County, North Carolina to Southern Mississippi and Louisiana,Mildred Penton Richbourg, Publisher, 2002.
  • Whitley, Caroline B. North Carolina Headrights; A List of Names, 1663 – 1744. second Printing. Raleigh, North Carolina: Office of archives and History North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, 2008.

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