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The Todds of Augusta County, Virginia

Richard McMurtry

May 2007


There were two Todd families that settled in Augusta County


Family historians for decades have tried unsuccessfully to determine if James Todd could have been a grandson of William Todd (through his son James 1726-1789).  However, there is no conclusive evidence of this and the evidence we have is contradictory.  See discussion at the end of this section.


Below is a brief summary of these two families.


William Todd b abt 1700


William Todd came from northern Ireland prior to 1723 and settled in New Jersey.  He must have been a staunch Presbyterian because he travelled all the way to Abington Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia County to have his first children born between 1723 and 1728 and then again 1736 to 1738.  In the interlude, he and his wife Alice went all the way to First Presbyterian in downtown Philadelphia to have three of their children baptized. 


Williamís brother John married at Abington Church in 1724 and had a pattern of baptizing in Abington and First Presbyterian similar to Williamís. 


By 1735, William and his four brothers (including Robert Todd the ancestor of Mary Todd Lincoln) and a sister were living in Somerset County, New Jersey and buying goods on credit at the Janeway Store in Bound Brook New Jersey.  In the 1740s, he is reported in court records in Hunterdon County New Jersey and by 1750, he had taken the long journey down the Valley of Virginia to settle on a branch of Buffalo Creek just beyond the southern end of the Benjamin Borden grant (present Rockbridge Co.)


But he didnít stay put.  In 1760, he sold his land to his son Samuel and moved to Turnip Creek in Bedford Co.  We have no record of his death, but two of his sons sold his Turnip Creek land in 1770 and 1772; so he was either dead or had moved out of the area with one of his children.


His children were:


For more detail, click here:

Wiliam Todd Family (click here)



James Todd d 1799 Augusta Co, VA


James Todd abt 1750 d 1799 first appears conclusively in the 1787  to 1789 tax list for Rockingham Co under Capt Joseph Smith and Capt Uriah Gartens.  Uriah Gartens was associated in the public records with the Dever/Devier family who lived on Mossey Creek near the Augusta Co border; so presumably thatís where James Todd lived.


He appeared in the Augusta Co tax lists first in 1791 in Joseph Bellís district, and then in the Districts of the Kinney family 1793 until his death in 1799.  In 1795, he encumbered a debt with Walter and James Davis (who had bought land in 1793 on Pudding Spring Draft of Mossey Creek).  In 1799, the Davisí went to court to collect.  


James seems to have obtained some sort of verbal agreement from the Davisí to sell to James Todd their 104 acre parcel on Pudding Spring Draft near Mt Solon.  This land was obtained by patent by Moses Hall in 1755/1756, sold to the Hogshead family and then to Walter and James Davis in 1793.   In 1804, Jamesís sons George, Nathan and Samuel agreed to sell to their brother James Todd Jr. their interest in the land their father was in possession of at his death and which they seemed to infer came to them by inheritance.  But there is no evidence that the land was actually deeded to James Todd.  In 1820-1822, James Todd Jr. obtained a court judgement (presumably based on the verbal commitment of the Davisí to sell) that resulted in the Walter and James Davis selling James Todd Jr. the 104 acre parcel.


Jamesí children were:



            James Todd d 1799 connection to William Todd family


As mentioned above, family historians have been trying to prove that James Todd d 1799 was the grandson of William Todd of Buffalo Creek.  Here is the evidence in support and against.


            Evidence in support


  1. James Todd descendants are an exact genetic match with the family of William Todd.  (This means that James COULD have been a descendant of William, but he could also have been a cousin from a family that immigrated from Northern Ireland independently of Williamís migration.)
  2. There is a James Todd who served in the military operation of Pt Pleasant in DunMoreís War in 1774.  He was from Augusta Co and some sources say that Most if not all of that military unit were from the Rockingham area of Augusta Co.  He would be the right age to be James Todd d 1799 of Mossey Creek.
  3. The Walter, James and John Davis family of Northern Augusta County associated with James Todd d 1799 may have been  kin to the Nathaniel and James Davis family that moved from the Beverly Manor area of Augusta Co between 1751 and 1763 to the Buffalo Creek area where James Davisí son Samuel married Hannah Todd in 1758.



      Samuel Davis who married Hannah Todd in 1758 was probably born in the 1730s and was the son of James Davis.  James Davis bought land on Buffalo Creek in 1751, 1759, and 1762 in lands next to the Todds; Nathaniel Davis  got a grant there in 1763 having sold his Beverly Manor land in 1760.    


Nathanielís 1749 Beverly Manor grant was about 6 miles west of the cluster of Walter (1753) , John and William Davis  in the 1730s/1740s and this cluster in turn was 4 miles west of James Davisí 1738 grant.   Whether this proximity is cause to assume family connection is not clear.  Though there are records connecting Walter, John and James Davis together; we have nothing to connect them to Nathaniel other than proximity.



Evidence against

  1. The James Todd who appeared in the 1774 record does not seem to appear in any subsequent records.  The next appearance of a James Todd in northern Augusta Co is in 1787 and not in the tax lists between 1782 and 1787.  This does not suggest that the James of 1774 is the James of 1787.
  2. There is an Andrew Todd born abt 1762 that has an identical DNA structure to the William Todd family that was in York County, Pennsylvania in 1779 and 1781, married in Maryland in 1782, and appears in Rockingham in 1787 in Capt George Crissomís company, and then went to Tazewell Co by 1789.  The fact that other families had identical DNA structures means that James is not necessarily a descendant of William or his brothers.
  3. Though the Todds of Buffalo Creek and the Todds of MOssey Creek were associated with Davis cousins, we have no evidence that this means that the Todds were related.