THOMAS CHEVERS: ARRIVAL IN AMERICA
THE RICHARD AND BENJAMIN
28 January 1653/54
The death of Thomas Crowder aboard the RICHARD AND BENJAMIN (Captain John Whitty) at two oclock in the morning of January 28, 1653/54 both ended and began a search for my ancestral arrivals and perhaps those of others.
For some time, the actual arrival of my maternal ancestor, Thomas Chevers, founder of major lines of Chevers/Shivers families in Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey, had proven elusive. His name could not be located in any of the major sources of immigrants.
Reviewing an index of wills from Lancaster County, Virginia, it was with some weary interest that I noted a Thomas Chever/Chivers had been witness to the non-cupative will of one Thomas Crowder. What the actual record revealed was quite exciting.
The will itself is quite simple1:
These are to certify to all those whom these presents may come that we whose names are hereunder written are and at all times to testify upon oath the truth of this last order desire and will of Mr. Tho: Crowder who departed this life ye 28th of January 1653 Viz that about two oclock of the morning ye sd Tho: Crowder being very sick and weak desired Capt John Whittey comandr of the ship Rich & Benjamin in which ship ye sd Crowder then was to come unto him with ye sd John Whittey & presently did & then & there in the presence of us Tho: Chetwood Mercht Tho: Chewers Chirurgeon Robt Osborne Carpenter & Wm Moulte planter in Virginia ye sd Th Crowder did will and order ye sd John Whittey to be pleased to oversee and dispose of all ye goods whatsoever belonging unto him aboard ye ship Rich & Benja & otherwise gave him power to receive all debts oweing unto him in ye country of Virginia & to manage all his affairs there & to return & ansr thereof to his excrs in England ye sd Crowder willing that what goods were returned to England should be equally divided amongst his brothers & sisters children. For witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands this 29th of January 1653.
Tho: Chivers Jurant coram me ye dec Martes 1653
The mark of Teste me Jo: Carter
Robt RO Osborne Recordat 26 March 1654
Further light was shed on the passengers of the RICHARD AND BENJAMIN by minutes of the court proceedings for the court in Lancaster County held on March 7, 1653/542:
Whereas Tho: Crowder, Marcht, passenger aboard Capt. Whitteys Ship died & in his last Will & Testament willed yt Capt. John Whittey Comander of ye Ship Richard & Benjamin of London should dispose of & return for England to his kindred mentioned in his Will his estate on boarde ye sd Ship & alsoe all debts due to him in Virginia And Whereas Capt Jno. Whittey doth peticon this court yt: comission of Administration may be granted to him on ye sd Estate wch: ye Court hath accordingly granted unto him he puttinge in security etc.
Whereas Syth Hayward Juner aboard ye Richard & Benjamin of London died intestate & whereas Capt. Jno: Whittey Comander of ye sd Ship out of a tender care of his widow & Orphants hath peticoned this Court ye Comm. Of Administracon on ye sd deceds Estate wch: ye Court hath accordingly granted him, he puttine in security &c.
This was exciting news, indeed. Not only did it give a strong indication of the chip, arrival date and fellow passengers for Thomas Chevers, it also gave a vivid picture of the times: two deaths on the same voyage could not have been unusual.
The journey had been authorized under the Cromwellian regulations as early as the preceding November. On the 26th of November 1653, Captain Whittey had received a warrant for the RICHARD AND BENJAMIN to proceed with passengers for Virginia.3 The length of time between warrant and departure was not unusual for Captain Whittey. The following year saw a nearly identical timetable when Whittey, then master of the FREEMAN received a warrant for passage to Virginia on November 24, 1654, arriving at the James River in Virginia on January 26, 1654/55. He remained in Virginia on that voyage at least until 30 May 1655.4
Of the persons mentioned in the court proceedings, some basic facts are known and may be of interest.
Captain Whittey appears to have been a busy man in both Virginia and in London. He accepted land in Virginia in discharge of shipping debts and was entrusted with various documents for transport.5 In addition, his word was highly respected in at least some quarters, being quoted as an (anti) character witness for one individual: Robert Bletso as ment. in my former Letter was one who was recommended to me to be a very civill man & very able to keep accompts but since his being abroad have received so ill a Character form Capt. Whittey of him that I shall now desire you to dispose of him as a Common Servt. Unless you find him to carry himself so as to deserve better wrote one Richard Gower to a Mr. John Catlett, Sr., in 1664.6
William Moult, planter of Virginia, was also a somewhat busy man. He had first arrived in Virginia quite some time prior to the RICHARD AND BENJAMIN, and appears to have conducted business in London from time to time.7 He had settled in Accomack County on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, dying there by June of 1657 when his will was administered in England.8
Robert Osborne, Carpenter, may have been of the County Meath Ireland Osbornes, but this is not yet clear. In all events, as with so many, he became a planter in Virginia and seems to have acquired sufficient properties, as record and deed books in Lancaster and Old Rappahannock Counties show.9 He also took an active interest in community affairs in those counties, witnessing land leases as in the case of John Curtys to Thomas Tuggle in January 1657/58, mentioned as Power of Attorney as on 23 August 1664, or as when he acted as guardian for Anthony Briskett whose mother married Samuel Ward who took possession of his wards estate but was later condemned for mutiny.10
Thomas Chetwood, whose wifes name (Elizabeth) we know from her involvement with a land patent from Will Borksly in 166311, was very active as a man of property. Much of his business appears in Old Rappahannock County, Virginia, as well as in Lancaster County.12
Was his wife aboard the RICHARD AND BENJAMIN? We dont know as of this writing.
Regarding Seth Hayward, Jr., I could not locate a record of his family receiving his belongings or collected debts in England, but Robert Osbornes nephew by his brother Henry Osborne had dealings with a Samuel and Nicholas Hayward, perhaps related to Seth.13
John Whittey seems to have died by 1667.14 Robert Osborne was deceased by 1685, by then living in Stafford County, Virginia. His heir was his nephew.15
In reference to my ancestor, Thomas Chevers, as will be noted in the next segment, SETTLING IN AMERICA, he appears to have traveled with his wife and at least four children: Thomas, John, Petronella and Elizabeth. A fifth child, William, was born in Virginia.
The Chevers family of Ireland found 1653 and 1654 quite unsettling. Thomas Chevers was the second son of a second son: his parents were Henry Chevers and Catherine FitzWilliam of Monkstown Castle, county Dublin. Henry and Catherine had three sons and one daughter: Walter, who married Allison Netterville, the daughter of Viscount Netterville, Thomas, Patrick who died young and unmarried and Margaret, who died young and unmarried.16
So on December 16, 1653, Walter Cheevers was ordered to proceed to Connaught with his family and descendants and was required to supply the English authorities with a statement of his goods and a description of all who were to accompany him. This document reads as follows: Walter Cheevers, of sanguine complexion, brown haire, and indifferent statue; his wife Alison Netterville otherwise Cheevers, with five children, the eldest not above seven years old; four women servants and seven menservants 17
While Thomas Chevers occupation was listed as chirurgeon (surgeon) on his landing, no record exists of him studying at any of the known medical schools of the day. While an archivist at Trinity College, Dublin, stated that it was likely he studied with a physician rather than in an academic setting18, there is no record of Thomas practicing as a surgeon in Virginia. By all accounts, he became a landowner and practiced husbandry.
The confiscations of Cromwell had stripped most Anglo-Irish of their lands and titles.19 There are indications that Thomas had held land near the old Wexford property in the Barony of Bargy, Ireland. There is record20 of Forfeiting Proprietors, In Ireland, Under the Cromwellian Settlement Commencing A. D. 1657, which finalizes the acts of Cromwell, and which includes the following members of the Chevers family [under the alternate spelling, Cheevers]: Barony of Forth: John Cheevers, George Cheevers, Esq. [also listed as George Cheevers] ; John Cheevers; Marcus Cheevers, Esq. [also listed as Marcus Cheevers]; Richard Cheevers. Barony of Bargy: John Cheevers, Esq. [also John Cheevers], Maystowne, George Cheevers, Esq. [also George Cheevers] , Thomas Cheevers, Arthur Cheevers. This listing also includes several members of the Whitty family, including Nicholas Whitty, Richard Whitty, Esq., and Richard Whitty, the Younger.
In the restoration of Charles II to the throne, many of these confiscations were reversed: These included the Forty Nine officers:21 These Adjudications refer to the Arrears of the Commissioned Officers who served Charles II, or Charles I, in the Wars of Ireland, before the 5th day of June, 1649, [and are] preserved in the Office of the Chief Remembrancer of the Exchequer, Dublin [The list includes] Barnaby Cheevers, Christopher Cheevers, John Cheevers, Richard Cheevers, Thomas Cheevers, and William Cheevers In 1658, Oliver Cromwell died, leaving his son Richard as Lord Protector.22 By 1659, the call was out for Charles II to return to the throne. While Protestants and Catholics who had served with Charles II and remained with him in exile received much of their property back instantly, when Charles II returned to England in May, 1660, others were delayed [and in the case of Catholics, eventually denied much justice].23
On the 20th of May, 1659, less than a year before Charles II return to England, and while negotiations for the return were being promoted, Thomas Chevers purchased some 1100 acres of land from one Ralph Creed. It is the purchase of this land that presents us with Thomas Chevers, planter and practitioner of husbandry:
"For and in consideration of two good Young Cowes to be such as shall be chosen by me Ralph Creed out of ye whole stocke of Tho: Chiffers his cattle upon demand as also for ye payment of ffower Thousand pounds of good Tobacco and Corke payable 10th of October next and foure thousand pounds more of like tobacco and Corke to be paid the 20th day of October thence next comeing which shall be in ye year 1660 I the said Ralph Creed have bargained and sold unto Tho: Chiffers. His heires and successors for ever Eleven hundred and odd Acres of Land At ye head of Sunken Marsh neare upper Chippoakes in Surry County which was lately in ye Occupation off Richard Hill and sould unto mee [sic] the said Ralph Creed by Geo: Jordan by order of Court and alsoe by ordr of ye Grand Assembly...to be held by ye said Tho: Chivers...ye sd Ralph Creed Doe further ingoiyn my Selfe to Deliver unto ye sd Tho: Chivers or his assigns A pattent for ye said Tract of land in his and there owne names upon reasonable demand And a witnesse of ye truth hereof as also to binde me to ye true and faithful performance hereof I the said Ralph Creed for my Selfe and them have hereunto Sett my hand and seale ye 20th of May 1659. Sealed Signed and Delvd in ye psence of Ralph Creed his black wax marke R Tho: fflood Christ CL Lewis, Acknowledged in Court by Ralph Creed et uxor."
Records on Thomas Chivers in the New World are scarce, but he obviously prospered. It is apparent from the deed quoted above, and from the lack of evidence of surgical practice, that Thomas had come to this country equipped much as his brother Walter had been for Connaught: with family and possibly livestock. Or, he may have expected to use the arrearages for service which might have been anticipated [after his migration) under Charles II, if collected, to purchase the livestock. The intent would have been logical: To start a new life and, as the second son of a second son, to make a better place for self and family.
There is indication that Thomas maintained correspondence with his brother, Walter. It appears from the record that Walters oldest son, Walter Chevers, Jr., set sail for the New World apprenticed to one Richard Homewood [1 August 1661] The following apprenticed in Bristol: Walter Chivers to Richard Homead, 4 years Virginia.24 The Homewoods were neighbors to Thomas Chevers in Surry County25, and to his son Thomas in Maryland26.
Some idea of Thomas's way of life in the New World can be gleaned from elements of his will quoted by his son William in various land conveyances. An example is the conveyance of the old Ralph Creed land, the last family homestead, to Benjamin Harrison on 6 October 1691, which mentions that the land is sold with "houses, orchards, gardens, woods, ways and waters, with free privilege of hunting, hawking, fishing and fowling."27 The phrases well describe the lifestyle of a 17th century landowner. The mention of orchards is especially important, as orchards represented an attempt to diversify from the staple money crop, tobacco. Likewise, Thomas had wisely chosen to engage in some degree of animal husbandry, since cattle were also in rare commodity: hogs were the more staple livestock. It should be noted that Thomass grandson, John Shivers of Maryland, in one lease of land was charged with setting out an orchard (1701 lease from John Cross of Anne Arundel County, Maryland28).
We know also that Thomas became active in local affairs: he served on a Grand Jury in neighboring Isle of Wight County, where he may have had land, in June 1658:
We the Subscribers to this Verdict being impannalled as a Jury by Order of the Isle of Wight Court dated the 9th June 1658 in a difference between Major Nicholas Hill Plt and John Snellock Deft to see the Patent for Land which Major Hill bought of Col. Bernard wholy Surveyed, Have in Obedience to the sd Order wth much Care and Pains observed the Surveyor to perfect and compleat the same according to Patent to ye utmost of our Knowledge & Judgments and to Satiusfy that the Surveyo Thomas Woodward following the Head Line of the Mile upon the Land on James River formerly belonging to Mr. Justinian Cooper came ypon John Snelllocks Land wthin two Chains or thereabout of ye Northernmost Branch of Pagan Creek which part the sd Snellocks Land and Edward Prince and so along the said Branch as it runs upwards towards Mr. Charles Barocrofts to a Corner Tree of the said Coopers and from thence along ye Swamp to ye marked Tree of Ely and Pantios and to the Mill Dam and so down the Swamp to ye head of Lawnes Creek and so along the Land of Robert Lawrence to ye said lawrences corner marked Tree joyining upon Coopers Line ye Computation of the whole patent of Col. Bernards Land according to Mr. Thomas Woodwards Report to Us being Nine Hundred Acres including therein all the Housing & Land as abovesd that the said John Snellock now lives upon which we do find to belong to the said Major Hill according to the Survey made by Us and Mr. Woodward. AS WITNESS our hands this 28th day of July 1658.
Thomas [TL] Lewis Thomas Taberer
St. Mount Wells Robert [R:B] Bird
Edward [E:P] Pryme Francis [FI] Ingland
Peter Bedford Charles Barecroft
Thos: [T: C:] Chivers Edmond Wichins
Robert Kea Edward Bichenoe
Examined & truly Transcribed
Tste Jas: Baker, ClCur29
Following the restoration of Charles II to the throne, Thomas's uncle in Ireland applied for and was eventually restored to some of the Chevers land, most particularly, the land at Killyan.30 Thomas made no effort to return to Ireland. He must have been satisfied with his lot in the New World he was helping to construct.
When his wife died is not known: she pre-deceased her husband by all accounts, since with his death his children were left orphans. Thomas died after 8 February 1663/4. His son William later stated that he had received the Ralph Creed land in his father's will dated 8 February 1663/4.31 The will is missing, but probably provided for all of the children, now scattered: As we will see in the next chapter, Thomas had gone to Maryland in June 1663 to work for Benjamin Rozer of Charles County32. Peternell followed, being in Calvert County sometime before 1665, when Edward Dorsey claimed land for her transportation, among others33. John arrived later, transported by 1675 by Maurice Baker34. Peternell has documented contact with the Quakers of Calvert County, and John likely also joined the Society of Friends in Maryland. Fox's preaching and that of many other Quakers were making a considerable stir in the area. Elizabeth remained in Virginia. Past the age of 14, she was able to choose her own guardian, which she did. In the papers filed at various times relating to Elizabeth and her brother William, it is stated that the guardian, Robert Cartwright, owed her money to buy a horse35.
Elizabeth appears to have been caretaker for William, and probably for John. William would have been an infant or no more than four when his father died: William was most likely born about April of 1660, able to choose his own guardian in 167636 and claiming his inheritance in 1681. The date of birth of John Shivers of New Jersey was estimated at 165037: it could easily have been 1652 or 1654, any of which would have left him under age 14, and a minor at his father's death.
From Virginia to Maryland, New Jersey and the Carolinas
1663 - 1700
Thomas Chevers the Younger
Thomas Chevers the Younger appears to have been born approximately 1643 - 45, based on the known ages of Elizabeth and William and estimated age of John by the New Jersey lines.38 He would, at age 19 to 21, have been of more than sufficient age to conduct his own business at the time of his fathers death.
We have only bare hints of Thomas Chevers/Shivers stay in Maryland. He appears in a variety of settings, but seems to have settled primarily in the area of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, after working off or paying off his debt to Benjamin Rozer. He may have returned to or retired in Virginia. His occupation was probably planter. He may have married one ______ Griffen.
In June 1663, Benjamin Rozer claimed acreage for importing Thomas Chevers. His demand exhibits one of the first usages of the transformed name Shivers from Chevers.
June 4, 1663. Benjamin Rozer Enters these rights following Vizt himself, Thomas Phillips, Thomas Shivers and Ann Bonnick and doth assign them to Henry Sewall, Esq., Wittness my hand the day above. Benj Rozer.39
It is significant to our story that among the many servants and would-be planters that Benjamin Rozer brought into Maryland was a claim for land for transportation of a servant in 1673: John Pattison, age 13, servant to Benjamin Rozer in Charles County Maryland.40
Benjamin Rozer, or, as he is referred to in other documents, Colonel Benjamin Rozer, was a wealthy planter in Maryland, and quite active in the area. His most famous son was Notley Rozer, mentioned in the will of Thomas Notley of St. Marys County, 3 April 1679. The will mentions his Godson Notley Rozer, son of Benjamin Rozer, while executors of the estate were Charles, Lord Baltimore and Col. Benjamin Rozer, who were also residuary legatees. The will was witnessed by William Digges and Nicholas Sewell.41
Thomas appears also in Anne Arundel County as Thomas Shevers in the estate accounting of Thomas Lawrence, filed 25 September 1705. In addition, land records of Anne Arundel County show Thomass Choice, a lease or patent of 50 acres, in possession of Thomas Severs, a neighbor of John Welch [Welchs Delight,], and John Cross [Crosses Park and Whedon].42
There is some indication that Thomas the Younger may have also been in possession of land in Surry County at this time: Land in Southwarke Parish, Surry County, possessed by Jno. Griffen and Thomas Shivers appears on the Surry County Titheables of 1700, 1701 and 1702, above the Stonyrun. While Thomass younger brother, William, had a son Thomas and was living in Surry County, the only record of this nephew of Thomas the Younger receiving land was in 1725 when William Shivers gave by deed of gift land in Nansemond County to his son Thomas.43 By 1690, William Chevers was doing little business in Surry County. Thomass son, Thomas appears in Rappahannock County, Virginia in 1685, indicating Thomas himself may have actually had interests in that colony on or before that date.
Thomas and his brother William may have shared land or, more likely, been neighbors in Nansemond County: There a Thomas Lawrence [the Younger?] was possessed of land bounded by Thomas Shivers  and William Shivers .44 The fact that William did not convey land in Nansemond County to his son until 1725 would indicate that the Thomas of 1717 was his brother, though this is not proven. Because the land passed from Thomas to William, however, it is far more likely it was from brother to brother than from son to father. Especially since later William was to sign it over to his son.
At a Court held for Rappa: County the 4th day of February 1684 [1685 NS. TM] Thomas Chiffers being by his Master James Bowler presented to this Court to have inspection into his age is adjudged seventeen yeares old and ordered to serve his sd Master or assignes according to Act. 45
Thomas the Youngers second son, John Shivers, took up land in Anne Arundel County, Maryland as early as 1700, and was immediate neighbor to his father:
Oct. 8, 1700 from Jno Cross of Anne Arundel County, to John Chivers of Anne Arundel County, planter, for and in consideration of the covenants hereinafter mentioned, the lease of all that plantation and land in Anne Arundel County, being part of a tract of land that Sarah Whitehead, widow, now lives upon 46
This activity gives us an estimated date of birth for Thomas the Youngers son, Thomas (1668) but also indicates that he was married about the time the average indenture ran out four years. Having arrived in Maryland on or before June of 1663, his indenture would have cleared by or before June of 1667. If he received monies from his fathers estate, he may have purchased his freedom somewhat earlier. This gives us a date of marriage no later, probably, than June of 1667.
These records would also seem to indicate that Thomas Shivers III inherited the land near Welch and Cross and either bought out his brothers share or was sole heir of the land and plantation with John receiving monies directly from the estate. The records of Anne Arundel County show a Thomas Shivers in possession into the 1740s47. Since no will has been found either directly or by reference, chances are Thomas inherited the land as heir at law of my father, in the words of a later descendant, thus dispossessing his brother by the law of primogeniture.
The records also show the continuing ambiguity of the name Chevers as it changed to Shivers.
Petronella Chevers/Shivers would have been born approximately 1645-1647, based on her brothers Thomass and Williams dates of birth. Thus she was of more than sufficient age to either choose her own guardian or to conduct her own business. Born 1645-6, she would have been 18 when her father died.
Born in Ireland and accompanying her parents to Virginia, Petronella left home at about or before the time her father died, and settled in Calvert County, Maryland. She was an astute business woman in her own right and of considerable personality. She appears to have joined the Quaker movement in Maryland, during the time of that churchs growth there. Petronella was either married or deceased by 1680.
It is interesting to note that Petronella Shivers was transported to Maryland by a man who later sold the land he obtained to one of Petronellas great-nephews father in law. We do not know the exact date of Petronellas arrival, but she was certainly there when Edward Dorsey claimed land for her transportation and that of others:
Edward Dorsey demands land for transporting Peternell Chives Nathll Dalton William Grimes Joyce Grimes Edward Batts Sarah Booker Edward Armour. Phillip Calvert.
May Vijth MDCSixvij (May 7, 1667)
Warrant then issued in the name of Edward Dorsey for three Hundred and fifty acres of Land due to him for the transportacion of seven persons returnable the vijth August.
Know all men by these presents that I Edward Dorsey of Ann Arundell boatwright doe assigne all my right title and interest of the within mencioned warrant unto Cornelius Howard his heirs or assigns 48
Petronella appears earlier in the rather touching noncupative will of Thomas Darling, December 1665.
The last will of Thomas Darling verbally delivered by him as by the oath of John Martin taken before William Groome one of his Lordsps Justices of Peace in Calvert County by order and Comission under the Lesser Seale from the Liet Generall which is as followeth.
John Martin aged Eighteen years or thereabouts Saith Mrs Becworth asked Thomas Darling who he would make his Execr if in case he dyed. Thomas Darling replied unto Mrs. Becworth whether he might not make man or woman his Execr and Mrs Becworth Said yes any one that he made Should Stand and he the Said Thomas Darling did reply unto the Said Mrs Becworth that Peter Nell Chivers should Injoy his Estate and Mrs Becworth asked whether She Should take all and Pay all and he replied I and Thomas Darling did give Two thousand Pounds of Tob. And his Iomer unto Mrs Becworth. Swore before me this Seventh of Decemr 1665. Willm Groome49
Mrs. Becworth may have been Mrs. Marmaduke Beckwith of Virginia and Maryland, who was widowed in 1670, and a50 daughter of Ralph Creed.
Thomas Darling certainly appears to have been a Quaker. Certainly, he had dealings with the Quakers of Calvert County, and stood as a witness for Guy White, Quaker:
Then came Guy White of Calvert County and desires letters of administration upon the Estate of John Brimstone Late of the Said County decsd by virture of the following will verball November 13th 1664 or thereabouts
I Thomas Darling being a liver in the house of Guy White Neighbours Comeing in Seeing John Brimston to be very weake asking of him why he did not sett things to right the old man being Sensible at that Time did desire that Guy White Should take all and pay all, and further saith not.
Sworn before me [Charles Calvert] 29th Novr 1664
The Marke of Thomas Darling.51
The Last Will and testament made by William Stockden he lying very sick know not whether he might Live or Dye but being in perfect memory Leaveing Guy White his full and whole Executor to take all and pay all so far as the Estate of William Stockdon will goe So I do give to poor distressed friends fifteen hundred pounds of Tobacco to be paid to Richard Preston or Wm Berry or John Webb the XXth of Decem MDCLXVI (20 December 1656]52
Calvert County was a hotbed of Quaker activity in Maryland.
The chief accomplishment of George Foxs labors in Calvert County was that he succeeded in establishing toleration for the Quakers, enabling them to become permanent settlers.
The largest settlement of Quakers established in Calvert County was on the Upper Cliffs, extending from Plum Point to Parkers Creek. The Quakers held meetings at the home of John Gary, and later at the home of Richard Johns Richard Johns settled in Calvert County about 1670 Other Quakers of this community were Francis Billingsley and his brother Thomas Billingsley, Francis Hutchins, John Hance, William Harris, Robert Freeland, Thoms Talbot, and James Dorsey.
Berry, a tract of 600 acres, was acquired by William Berry, a Puritan settler of 1652.53
Petronella appears again as late as 1674, when she is mentioned in the estate accounting for George Reade of Calvert County filed July 28, 1674. This inventory was appraised by John Gittins, William Innis, John Bogue and Andrew Robinson. It shows payments to Petranilla Chivers, Dr. Hansby, Capt. Coibreath, Richard Bayley, and William Berry among others. George Reades administratrix was Joane Tyler, his widow who had remarried.54
It would appear that Petronella had died by October 1681, when her younger brother William referenced the fact, in a land sale, that his sisters had received a part of the Ralph Creed land, but that their portion had fallen to me by their death, in a land transaction of about October 1681.55
John Shivers was born in Ireland about 1650, according to the reckoning of his descendants. He accompanied his parents to the New World on the RICHARD AND BENJAMIN. John would have been just under the age at which he could have chosen his own guardian when his father died, and of sufficient age to depart Virginia on or before his guardians death.
John Shivers was one of the orphans mentioned after the death of Thomas Chevers who remained behind in Virginia at first, but upon achieving the age at which he could select his own guardian he moved first to Maryland, where he lived among the Quakers, and then to New Jersey where he settled and died, the ancestor of many of the family in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
In or before 1651 a Maurice Baker was transported to Virginia by Thomas Thornbrough, who claimed land for his entry on 25 March 1651 in Northumberland County, Virginia.56
By 1675 Baker had removed or was removing to Maryland. He brought with him John Chevers/Shivers:
May the 8th 1675
Came Maurice Baker of Anne Arundell County and proved his Rights to one hundred acres of Land for Transporting himself and Importing John Shelvers into the province to Inhabite. Warrant then granted to the Said Maurice Baker for one hundred acres of Land due to him as abovesaid.57
Once in Maryland, John settled in rather quickly. He appears there in a list of payments made by the Province in 1678:
An Act for payment and assessing the Publick Charges of this Province.
Whereas There hath been Eight hundred twenty five thousand Nyne hundred Seventy Nyne pounds of Tobacco Expended layd out & disbursed by severall of the Inhabitants of this Province in the late Expedicon against the Nanticoake Indians and other the necessary Charges of this Province which hath been Examined stated and allowed by the upper and lower houses of this present generall Assembly that the same may bee satisfyed And be payd to the severall persons to whome the same is due as aforesaid.. That is to say Baltimore County: To John Chevers twenty-six pounds of Tobacco 58
This would indicate that John had worked off or paid off his debt on time, according to the four year average for such indentures, providing Maurice Baker was only a little tardy in recording his demand.
By 1693, John Shivers was in New Jersey:
March 24, 1692/3: Deed. Mordecai Howell, Yeoman, to John Shivers, butcher, both of Livewell, Gloucester County, for 100 acres in said county, on the Millbranch adjoining John Wright; also a piece of meadow, 4 acres, called the Horseshoe, adjoining grantor on Coopers Creek.59
He prospered in New Jersey as a butcher, and continued to buy land: October 2, 1699. Deed. Anthony Sturges of Philadelphia to John Shivers of Coopers Creek, West Jersey, butcher, for the upper half of 200 acres on Sand Creek.60
While the bulk of documents used the name Shivers at least one document, dated August 7, 1697, used the name Chivers. The old spelling died hard.61
John associated himself with the Quakers. Certainly by the time of his arrival in New Jersey he was himself a Quaker:
In Gloucester County, New Jersey, recorded in first court 1686, at a Justice and Freeholders meeting, date 5th February 1715, John Shivers was one of the freeholders. From history of Camden County, New Jersey history. The Quakers migrated to West New Jersey, settled at Salem, 1675-1676, at Burlington, 1677-1678. Obtained their land titles by purchase from the Indians and by 1681, there were 1400 arrivals
John Shivers appears to have been the first of the name in this neighborhood In 1692, John Shivers purchased a tract of land of Mordecai Howell in Waterford township, which was bounded on the south side by Coopers creek and partly by a stream branching therefrom whereon Mordecai had erected, or was about to erect, a mill . . . On this tract John Shivers erected a dwelling, and remained until his death. He deceased intestate in 1716, his widow Sarah having been appointed administratrix
Upon his death an inventory of his estate was made by John Cock and William Hunt. Sarah, the widow of John Shivers, being a Quaker, attested to the inventory, which amounted to 18.104.22.168
SHIVERS GENEALOGY further states that, according to one Ida E. [Shivers] La Grone of Shreveport, Louisiana, that her father told her that he has been told all his life that there were two brothers that came to this country from Ireland. They became separated and one never knew what happened to the other one.63 Ida was a descendant of William Shivers of Virginia, son of the immigrant.
States another descendant of William Shivers, My people were among the first settlers of South Carolina. I have no records to prove it but that information was positively handed down from father to son in each generation. The story goes that two brothers directly after landing cut two gourds from the vines just the same size. These gourds were kept by the settlers to store gunpowder in and I have the old gourd left to me by my father and it holds just one pound of gunpowder.64
The probability is that when John left Virginia, he and William were the two brothers who shared the experience of cutting the gourds.
John Shivers married one Sarah Bellton who later married a Thomas Gadsby in New Jersey. Her brother, Jonathon Bellton was a witness, together with Mary Champion and John Kay. The will was affirmed 14 July 1733.65
Elizabeth Shivers was born no later than 1650 in Ireland, since she chose her own guardian at the death of her father. Records of this young lady are very scarce.
Elizabeth Shivers, born 1650 in Ireland, was taken in by her guardian in Surry County, Virginia at the death of her father. She may have married one _____ Blythe, and was deceased between May 1680 and October 1681.
Elizabeth Shivers first appears in the records of Surry County as an orphan, when she was owed a mare by her guardian to be paid when she comes of age. Her guardian was Robert Cartwright, and he gave bond between April 13 and May 3, 1664.66
There is little else said of Elizabeth. She may be the Elizabeth Blyth in the household of William Carpenter 27 May 167967: Elizabeth Blyth is still in the Carpenter household in the tax list of 22 May 1680, but does not appear again after that.68 By that date, Robert Cartwright was deceased, and her brother William Shivers was a ward of Mr. Carpenter. It is noted that following the death of Robert Cartwright in 1676, on March 28th, Wm Shivers hath made choyce of Jno Orchard for Guardian, who is to appeare at the next Cort & bring Security for the said Orpts. Estate, but that the guardianship was given over to William Carpenter without explanation69: quite possibly, Elizabeth being with him, it was deemed more appropriate for William to be with her. If so, Elizabeth may have been listed ignominiously as a servant since the tax lists of 1678. Or, at the death of her husband, she may have gone to live with Williams guardian.
Elizabeth was deceased by October 1681 when her brother began selling off his patrimony.70
William Chevers/Shivers is the first known child to have been born in Virginia, with an estimated date of birth of April 1660. He was under age at his fathers death in 1664, and was a primary beneficiary of his fathers will, receiving the home plantation but no other land.
Born in April, 1660, William remained under the guardianship of Robert Cartwright, and, following his death, was of age 14 or older in 1676, when he made choice of his own guardian although he appears to have been assigned a guardian not of his choosing, William Carpenter. He came of age in May, 1681. Shortly after that, he began selling off his land in parcels. By 1690 he was heavily in debt, and by 1695 was working his way back into property, so that by 1725 he was once again propertied and probably financially wiser. He married Elizabeth, perhaps Crossland, and had at least one son, Thomas. It is not known for certain if he had any daughters, but it is possible there were two: Constance and Ann.
William appears first as William Shivers when he chose his guardian, following the death of Richard Cartwright in 1676:
March 28, 1676 . . . Wm Shivers hath made choyce of Jno Orchard for Guardian, who is to appeare at next cort & bring Security for the said Orpts. Estate.71
The matter was decided quickly: he was not given the guardian of his first choice, but instead:
May 2nd 1676 . . . Upon the Motion of Mr. Harrison it is ordrd that Mr. Arthr Jordan, Mr Wm Norwood & Mr Nat: Knight doe see that the Estate of Wm Shivers Orpht be paid unto Richd Cartwright who is to give security for the same at the Next Cort, & the rest to Mr. Harrison for the use of the Orphts. 72
Thus it would seem that Elizabeth and other[?] children were under the care of Benjamin Harrison, who lived in the upper end of Southwarke parish, Surry County,73 while Thomas was assigned to Richard Cartwright. In one of his first land transactions, William refers to his sisters, which included Elizabeth and Petronella, as deceased and may have included one or more other sisters.
Richard Cartwright was not Williams final destination nor his choice. Why William was not granted his wish in his choice of Jno. Orchard is not known, but on July 4, 1676, Wm Chivers Orpht of Tho: Chivers, hath made choyce of Wm Carpinder for his Guardian, who is Ordrd top take the sd Orpht & his Estate into his Custody, and give Security for ye same at the Next Cort.74
Titheables in Virginia at this time included any male over age 16. Thus it is significant that William Shivers does not appear as a titheable until the tax list of 10 June end of August, 1677. This indicates a date of birth of 1660-1661. He appears again in the tax lists of June 1678 with Richard Hide, Wm. Phillips, Wm Carpinder, Wm Knot, Samll Pellett and a servt: maide.75 On 27 May 1679, the Wm Carpinter household includes Wm Knot, Wm Chivers Samll Pawlett & Eliz: Blyth and on 22 May 1680 the household consists of Wm Carpinder, Wm Chivers, Ja: Pollett, Eliz: Blith.76
On 3 May 1681 Wm Shivers appeareing in Cort & acknowledgeing a discharge to Wm Carpinder it is Admitted to Record.77 This would indicate that he had come of age that is, age 21, sometime around April 1681. On 8 June 1681, he appears individually on the tax list from Sunken Marsh upwards, indicating he had moved onto his fathers land. His neighbor was Richard Cartwright, Elizabeth Blythe is no longer listed.78 In 1682, William is listed as Wm Chivers and is counted with one Tho: Hux, still living on upper Sunken Marsh.79 By this time he ahd begun to sell off part of his patrimony:
9br 1st 1681. Wm Shivers appeareing in Cort & acknowledgeing a deede of sale of a Pcell of Land to Tho: Peddington It is therefore Admitted to Record.80 In this deed, which is the sale of 200 acres of certain woodlands, William refers to the Creed land as land given to me by my father in his Last Will and Testament, and the rest given to my sisters and fallen to me by their death. 81 In this deed, no wife signs off on dower rights, but in deeds which follow beginning in September 1682, Elizabeth the wife of Wm Chivers appearing in Cort relinquishes her dower rights.82 This deed, dated 5 September 1682, refers to William as William Chivers of Southwarke Parish, and sold to Thomas Hux 100 acres iof land adj. Land sold to Wm Hunt, divided from the remainder of my land by marked trees, from Mr. Benj. Harrisons land to Wm Knotts land . . . to dividend where I now live. 83 There are recorded at the same time additional sales of land to William Hunt and Thomas Piddenton, all for the cash crop of the day, tobacco. In 1683, William and Elizabeth sell land to Thomas Sidway, John King, and Hezekiah Bunnell additional lands.84 William and Elizabeth signed with their marks. In 1691, William Chivers of Southwarke Parish to Benjamin Harrison for 2000 pounds tobacco sold 60 acres (part of a patent for 1100 acres granted to Ralph Creed on 30 April 1661 and by him sold to Thomas Chivers on 20 April 1662 who willed it to William Chivers in his will dated 8 February 1663). Land is 1 1/2 miles from James River up a Sunken Marsh and bounded by William Blackburn and the said Harrison.85
Things were not going well for William and Elizabeth, however. By 3 August 1690, Thomas Sidway, Hezekiah BunnellChristopher Foster and Benjamin Harrison filed complaints against William Chivers for debts due them.86
William did what was necessary to restore himself. He apparently indentured himself to Ralph Wormeley, Esq., Secretary of Virginia, of King and Queen County:
Ralph Wormeley, Esqr., Secretary of Virginia, 13,500 acres, King and Queen County in Pamunkey Neck, 25 October 1695 . . .Importation of 270 persons: James Fleming, Patr. Fleming, Tho: Greenwood, Moses Armitage, Wm Brewer, Jno Robert. . . .Wm Chevers
In 1717, Williams brother Thomas Shivers held land adjoining Thomas Lawrence, Mrs. M<ary Baker, William Bryan and Thomas Page in the Upper Parish of Nansemond County.87 By 1730 this land was in the possession of William Shivers.88 Did he inherit it from his brother? Probably.
This land had been subdivided in 1725, when:
1725: William Shivers, by deed of gift, recorded in Nansemond county court, gave to his son Thomas Shivers, a parcel of land, lying at a place commonly called South Key, in the county of Nansemond aforesaid; being the land whereon the said Shivers now lives.89 No wife is mentioned.
Did William spend some time in the Carolinas between 1695 and 1725? Marcus Shivers seemed to believe so, when he recorded that by the will of Elizabeth Crossland she left estate to her granddaughters, Constance and Ann, the children of her daughter who had married a William Shives or Chivas.90 This is not yet confirmed. The family there retains the shortened name.
It is with the children of Thomas Chevers that the name in America began to be transmogrified into Shivers, by the grace of scribes in Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey. The children, beginning with Thomas the Younger, made their own way after leaving home, and did quite well for the most part. The youngest, William, left behind in Virginia, had it both easiest and toughest. Inheriting the Ralph Creed land, he lost it within 11 years of his assumption of it. Later generations, as they spread throughout the United States, did well. Marcus Shivers noted in his book that while some of the family went into Scotland in the 1860s and then left that country no one of the Shivers clan appears to have returned to Ireland.
1 LANCASTER COUNTY COURT RECORDS Book 2, 1652-1657, f. 87.
2 Ibid. f. 142
3 THE COMPLETE BOOK OF IMMIGRANTS 1607-1660; Peter Wilson Coldham; Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.; Baltimore; 1987.
4 ENGLISH ADVENTURERS AND IMMIGRANTS 1609-1660; Peter Wilson Coldham; Clearfield Co.; Baltimore; 1991.
5 SURRY COUNTY RECORDS BOOK 1, 1652-1672, f. 127 and f 377.
6 OLD RAPPAHANNOCK COUNTY DEED BOOK 1656-1664, f. 310-311.
7 County Land Records of Accomack/Northampton Virginia 1640-1645, f. 55
8 THE COMPLETE BOOK OF IMMIGRANTS; op. Cit.
9 LANCASTER COUNTY COURT RECORDS 1652-1657 op. Cit. and OLD RAPPAHANNOCK COUNTY COURT RECORDS, op. Cit.
10 LORD MAYORS COURT OF LONDON, Depositions Relating to Americans 1641-1736; Peter Wilson Coldham; National Genealogical Society; Washington, D.C.; 1980.
11 LANCASTER COUNTY DEEDS AND WILLS
12 OLD RAPPAHANNOCK COUNTY DEED BOOK, op. Cit.
13 LORD MAYORS COURT OF LONDON, Depositions Relating to Americans; op. Cit.
16 FUNERAL ENTRIES Vols. 1 & 2; Genealogical Office of Dublin.
17CHEVERS OF KILLYAN; Fredericka Sophia Chevers; privately printed; Jacobean House, Capel-le-Ferne, Kent, England; October 1936.
18 CHEVERS FAMILY CORRESPONDENCE; Nathan A. D. Miller; Letter from Jane Maxwell, Assistant Librarian [College Archives], Manuscripts Department, Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland; 26 May 1995.
19 HELL OR CONNAUGHT; Peter Beresford Ellis; St. Martins Press; New York; 1975.
20 THE IRISH AND ANGLO-IRISH LANDED GENTRY WHEN CROMWELL CAME TO IRELAND; John OHart; M. H. Gill & Son; Dublin, Ireland; 1884.
22 THE WORLD WIDE ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA, Vol. 1; C. Ralph Taylor, et al.; Blue Ribbon Books; New York;1935.
24 THE COMPLETE BOOK OF IMMIGRANTS 1661-1699; Peter Wilson Coldham; Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.; Baltimore, MD; 1989
25 CLAREMONT MANOR: A HISTORY; Eve S. Gregory; Plummer Printing Company, Inc.; Petersburg, Virginia; 1990. Land patent for John Homewood.
26 SIDELIGHTS ON MARYLAND HISTORY: Baltimore and Anne Arundel Counties; Homewood Range, patented July 5, 1670 for John Homewood. INVENTORIES AND ACCOUNTS OF MARYLAND; estate appraisal of Edward Marshall, Anne Arundel County, Nov 30 1690, sureties: James Peasly, James Homewood.
27 SURRY COUNTY [VA] DEEDS, WILLS Liber 4 1687-1694; f. 254; William and Elizabeth Chivers to Benjamin Harrison.
28 ANNE ARUNDEL LAND RECORDS BOOK WT #1; f. 207.
29 ISLE OF WIGHT DEED BOOK A ff 77-78.
30 CHEVERS OF KILLYAN; op. Cit.
31 SURRY COUNTY [VA] DEEDS AND WILLS, Liber 4, 1687-1694; f. 254 op. Cit.
32 MARYLAND PATENTS, LIBER I, f. 383. Warrant to Benjamin Rozer dated June 1,1663.
33 MARYLAND PATENTS, LIBER F, f. 538, Warrant to Edward Dorsey dated 1667.
34 MARYLAND PATENTS, May 8, 1675, Warrant to Maurice Baker of Anne Arundel County.
35 SURRY COUNTY RECORDS, BOOK I, 1652-1672; f. 234, 13 April 1664.
36 SURRY COUNTY RECORDS, BOOK III; 1672- JAN. 1682; f. 127.
37 SHIVERS GENEALOGY; Marcus O. Shivers; The Deseret News Press; Salt Lake City, Utah; 1950.
38 See forward in this section.
39 MARYLAND PATENTS, LIBER I, f. 383 op. Cit.
40 MARYLAND ARCHIVES, VOL. 1; f. 498.
41 WILLS OF MARYLAND, Vol. 1:
42 RENT ROLLS OF ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY:
43 HENINGS STATUTES AT LARGE, LAWS OF VIRGINIA, VOL. IV; Chapter XVII, page 526.
44 CAVALIERS AND PIONEERS; VIRGINIA PATENT BOOK NOs. 10 and 14.
45 OLD RAPPAHANNOCK COUNTY ORDERS 1683-1685; f.63.
46 ANNE ARUNDEL LAND RECORDS BOOK WT #1 f. 207
47 RENT ROLLS OF ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY: op. Cit.
48 ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY LAND AND PATENT RECORDS, BOOK FF f 538
49 MARYLAND WILLS v. 1 f 240
50 VIRGINIA WILL RECORDS; Indexed by Judith McGhan; Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.; Baltimore, MD; 1993.
51 Ibid. f. 212
52 Ibid. f. 277
53 HISTORY OF CALVERT COUNTY; C. F. Stein; Published by the Author in cooperation with the Calvert County Historical Society; Baltimore MD; 1960.
54 MARYLAND ACCOUNTS, Calvert County, Maryland. Book 1, f. 54.
55 SURRY COUNTY RECORDS, BOOK II 1671-1684; f. 297
56 CAVALIERS AND PIONEERS; Patent Book No. 2;
57 MARYLAND PATENTS, BOOK M.M.; f. 824
58 MARYLAND ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS, OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 1678, f.173
59 PATENTS AND DEEDS AND OTHER EARLY RECORDS OF NEW JERSEY 1664-1703; ed. by William Nelson; Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.; Baltimore MD; 1976. P. 663.
60 Ibid. p. 674
61 Ibid. p. 667.
62 SHIVERS GENEALOGY; Marcus O. Shivers; The Deseret News Press; Salt Lake City, Utah; 1950.
63 Ibid. p. 6
64 Ibid. p. 7
65 NEW JERSEY COLONIAL DOCUMENTS; CALENDAR OF WILLS 1730-1750; Will of Sarah Gadsby, April 2, 1732
66 SURRY COUNTY DEEDS AND WILLS, BOOK 1; f. 234
67 SURRY COUNTY TITHEABLES 1679.
68 SURRY COUNTY TITHEABLES 1680; 1681, 1682.
69 SURRY COUNTY COURT RECORDS, 1672 January 1682; Book III; F 122
70 SURRY COUNTY RECORDS, BOOK II 1671-1684; f. 297.
71 SURRY COUNTY COURT RECORDS, 1672-JAN. 1682, BOOK III; f.122.
72 Ibid. f. 126
73 SURRY COUNTY TITHEABLES 1674 and 1677.
74 SURRY COUNTY COURT RECORDS 1672-1682; f. 127.
75 SURRY COUNTY TITHEABLES 1678.
76 SURRY COUNTY TITHEABLES 1679, 1680.
77 SURRY COUNTY RECORDS, BOOK III, 1671-1684; f. 338.
78 SURRY COUNTY TITHEABLES 1681.
79 SURRY COUNTY TITHEABLES 1682.
80 SURRY COUNTY RECORDS, BOOK III 1671-1684; f. 353
81 SURRY COUNTY RECORDS, BOOK II, 1671-1684 f. 297
82 SURRY COUNTY RECORDS, BOOK II 1671-1684; f. 310.
84 Ibid. ff. 330, 342, 343.
85 SURRY COUNTY DEEDS, WILLS, ETC. #4 1687-1694, f. 254
86 Ibid. Book # 5, f. 153
87 VIRGINIA PATENT BOOK 10 f. 359
88 VIRGINIA PATENT BOOK 14, f. 132
89 HENINGS STATUTES, VOL. IV F. 529.
90 SHIVERS GENEALOGY; op. Cit.p 12