128. Trader (Capt) John,
Jr. Evans(1) was born about 1671
in Charles City Co., VA. He died after 1747. He has reference number I012.
CAPT (TRADER) JOHN EVANS
In 1728 a project was begun to survey long disputed boundary lines between Virginia
and North Carolina. Colonel William Byrd, one of the leaders of the Virginia
party, kept a daily journal of the project. This "history" was preserved
and first published by the North Carolina Historical Commission in 1929. Dover
Publications reprinted this record in 1967 under the title William Byrd's Histories
of the Dividing Line betwixt Virginia and North Carolina.
One of my distant ancestors, Trader (Capt) John Evans and his brother Stephen
was among those employed in this venture. Colonel Byrd's "histories"
mention John Evans by name some ten times, and describe his crew on other occasions.
Here are some quotes:
1. First John is named among "15 able Woodsmen, most of which had been Indian
Traders...ordered to meet at Warren's Mill, arm'd with a Gun & Tomahawk,
on the 27th of February, and furnisht with Provisions for ten days" (Page
2. In March, while working their way through a 15 mile "desart," provisions
ran so low "...they were reduced to such Straights that they began to look
upon John Ellis's Dog with a longing Appetite, and John Evans who was fat and
well liking, had reasons to fear that he wou'd be the next Morsel."
Byrd reports, "They had however gone thro' it all with so much Fortitude,
that they discover'd as much Strength of Mind as of Body." (Page 83). The
next day he notes: "It was really a Pleasure to see the Chearfulness wherewith
they receiv'd the Order to prepare to re-enter the Dismal on the Monday following,
in order to continue the Line..." (Page 84).
Reflecting further, Byrd writes of "the hardships the poor Men underwent
in this intolerable place, who besides the Burdens on their Backs , were oblig'd
to clear the way before the Surveyors, and to measure and mark after them. However
they went thro' it all not only with Patience, but cheerfulness..." Then
he refers to "the merriment of the Men, and their Innocent Jokes with one
another..." (Page 87) Often inclined to pontificate, Byrd concludes: "When
People are join'd together in a troublesome Commission, they shou'd endeavor
to sweeten by Complacency and good Humour all the Hazards & Hardships they
are bound to encounter, & not like marry'd People make their condition worse
by everlasting discord" (Page 89).
In September Byrd describes an event in which the men "were to meet us
at Kinchin's, which lay more convenient to their Habitations (Page 143)."
I note this reference since John's brother Robert's son William later married
into the Kitching family. Could these be different spellings of the same family?
3. John is again specifically mentioned on page 147: "In the Evening 6 more
of our Men join'd us, namely,... John Evans, Stephen Evans... (others named).
My Landlord had unluckily sold our Men some Brandy, which produced much disorder,
making some too cholerick, and others too loving. So that a Damsel who came to
assist in the Kitchen wou'd certainly have been ravish't, if her timely consent
had not prevented the Violence. Nor did my Landlady think herself safe in the
hands of such furious Lovers, and therefore fortify'd her Bed chamber & defended
it with a Chamber-Pot charg'd to the Brim with Female Ammunition..."
4. The group killed game for food whenever possible. In October Byrd notes: "The
Indians kill'd 2 Deer & John Evans a third, which made great plenty &
consequently great content in Israel." Apparently John's hunting skills
rivaled that of Indians employed to hunt for the surveyors.
5. Late in October some of the surveyors got lost from the rest of the party.
"So soon as we encampt I dispatch'd John Evans to look for the Surveyors,
but he return'd without Success, being a little too sparing of his Trouble."
The next day: "This morning I sent John Evans with Hamilton back to our
last Camp to make a farther Search for the Stray Horse, with orders to spend
a whole day about it....About Sunset Evans & Hamilton came up with us, but
had been so unlucky as not to find the Horse....But woodsmen are good Christians
in one Respect, by never taking Care for the Morrow, but letting the Morrow care
for itself, for which Reason no Sort of People ought to pray so fervently for
their daily Bread as they (Page 225, 229)."
6. In early November, "By the negligence of one of the Men (obviously John
Evans) in not hobbling his Horse, he straggled so far that he could not be found....The
Pioneers were sent away about 9 a Clock, but we were detain'd till near 2, by
reason John Evan's his House cou'd not be found, and at last we were oblig'd
to leave 4 Men behind to look for him (Page 252,3)."
7. Late in November when the project was completed the men were near "Notoway
River...Here I discharged John Evans, Stephen Evans (and others) allowing them
for their Distance Home (Page 313)."
8. Before listing all his men by name, Byrd concludes: "Yet I must be more
just, and allow these brave Fellows their full Share of credit for the Service
we perform'd & must declare, that it was in a great Measure owing to their
spirit and indefatigable Industry that we overcame many Obstacles in the Course
of our Line, which till then had been esteem'd unsurmountable (Page 318)."
Then, in his two lists of men who served in both the first and second "Expedition,"
he includes John and Stephen Evans in both. He also notes that they have "been
out Sixteen Weeks, including going and returning and had travell'd at least Six
Hundred Miles, and no Small part of that Distance on foot (Page 320)."
Sarah Batte [3524.9.4] was probably the Sarah Batte who, on 27 January 1697/8
in Henrico County married John Evans Jr. Evans paid quit rents on 800 acres
in Prince George County in 1704. This was undoubtedly the tract of this measure,
called Bacons Quarter Branch, that he sold loving friend
Charles Roberts of Bristol Parish, January 1713/14.
John and Sarah lived along Stony Creek in present-day Dinwiddie County. Robert
Bolling surveyed for Capt. John Evans 175 acres on Stony Creek that John secured
with a patent in March 1717. John added a neighboring 1,001 acres in December
On 9 January 1715/6 John and Sarah Evans conveyed to Capt. Richard Jones 168
acres in Prince George (now Dinwiddie) County for £2,200. Sarah relinquished
her dower right in the land. This Richard was presumably Sarahs brother-in-law.
Prince George County rewarded Capt. John Evans for willing two wolves 11 January
1720/1. John joined William Byrd on his two expeditions to run the dividing
line between Virginia and North Carolina in 1727.
With Joseph Tucker, Capt. John Evans processioned land along Stony Creek in
1747. Evans was caring for Edward Dunn in 1733, for which the vestry paid him
316 pounds of tobacco.
John had a quarter in Amelia County in 1737. One Amelia County deed identifies
Robert Evans as a son of John Evans. An Amelia County bond of 25 May 1749 reveals
the identity of five individuals who recovered slaves through a lawsuit in the
General Court: Robert Evans of Prince George County, Stephen Evans and Richard
Stokes of Lunenburg, and Thomas Ellis of Amelia County.
Although not specifically stated, these are presumably sons and sons-in-law of
John and Sarah Evans. John and Robert Evans appeared together in the 1736 Amelia
County tithe list.
John was still living 20 August 1745 when Stephen and Robert Evans of Prince
George County secured a patent to 200 acres on the north side of Stony Creek
adjoining their father. John may have been living as late as June 1747 when
a land patent was issued to his son, still called John Evans Jr.
Assumed the name John Evans, Sr., probably after his father died.
Yes to all of that. John, husband of Sarah Batte was the Capt. and was also the
Trader mentioned in the lawsuit filed on behalf of the descendants of the Indian
Slave. I don't know if John that married Mary was ever a Trader or known as such.
Also, consider this....John that married Sarah Batte would have had as his father-in-law
Thomas Batte who was a bona fide explorer and woodsman and discoverer and whom
also carried the Capt. rank. I think that influence may have been enough to encourage
John and Stephen to embark on their adventure.
Forgot your other question. Yes, John Sr. was dead by 1704, was out of the picture
and has a rather obscure record as to his life beyond the few deeds and administrations
accorded him. John Jr./Capt./Trader gets all the copy, gets the girl, participates
in the expedition, trades in slaves, owns Muriah illegally, lives to ripe old
age, divides his estate (he may have given William his allowance prior to his
move to S. Carolina. (email form Richard Fischer)
In a deposition given in 1814 concerning slave ownership, a reference to Trader
John says: "It was said Trading John Evans owned an African wench Bess who
had an Indian named Jack for her husbsnd. (See file) He was married to Sarah
Batte on 27 Jan 1696 in Henrico Co., VA.
Sarah Batte(1) was born in 1673
in Henrico, Virginia, USA. Sarah Batte [3524.9.4] was probably the Sarah Batte
who, on 27 January 1697/8 in Henrico County married John Evans Jr. Evans paid
quit rents on 800 acres in Prince George County in 1704. This was undoubtedly
the tract of this measure, called Bacons Quarter Branch, that
he sold loving friend Charles Roberts of Bristol Parish, January
1713/14. (From Virginians.com) Children were:
John Evans III(1) was born about 1698.
John Evans III [35220.127.116.11] was just a young man by November 1721 when he secured
a patent to 350 acres on both sides of Sappony Creek four miles south
of Stony Creek where his parents lived. Robert Bolling had surveyed this tract
for his father, Capt. John Evans, in November 1715.
As John Evans of Prince George County, he got 323 acres in Brunswick County
28 September 1728, the same day John Evans Jr. acquired a plantation of 839 acres
in Brunswick County. The 839-acre Brunswick County patent lay on both sides
of the Nottoway River, mainly in Prince George (later Amelia, now Nottoway) County.
As John Evans Jr. of Bristol Parish he sold 200 acres of the 1728-patent
to William Evans of Raleigh Parish, presumably his brother, September 1737.
John acquired another 917 acres on Sappony Creek in 1746 and 1747. He evidently
lived out his life in Dinwiddie County.
Known sons of John and Elizabeth () Evans
5 Evan Evans [3518.104.22.168.1] and wife, Mary , of Dinwiddie County,
sold 200 acres on both sides of the Nottoway River 19 October 1772. The deed
described the tract as having been granted to John Evans in 1728 and devised
to Evan Evans.
5 Thomas Evans [3522.214.171.124.2] was a resident of Dinwiddie County when
he sold half his fathers 323-acre patent in Amelia County to James Jeter
22 April 1756. He was processioning land on the south side of Stony Creek in
5 Richard Evans [35126.96.36.199.3] and his wife Jemima were residents
of Dinwiddie County 19 November 1778 when they sold 239 acres on both sides of
the Nottoway River. The description of the tract is consistent with being part
of John Evans 839-acre patent of 1728.
Stephen Evans(1) was born about 1703.
Stephen Evans [35188.8.131.52] was identified as a resident of Lunenburg County
in 1749. With Charles Irby he got 400 acres on both sides of Falls Creek
5 August 1751. Evans and Irby sold this plantation to Daniel Wynne in 1754.
Stephen got 88 acres on the north side of Fucking Creek in 1749 that he sold
to Peter Fountain in 1751. In 1754 Stephen patented 400 acres on the branches
of Flat Rock Creek that he and Katherine sold to Richard Rogers of Amelia
County that same year.
By patent he acquired 1,400 acres on Little Hounds Creek in 1754-55 and 2,635
acres on Bluestone Creek in 1759. He got also 804 acres on a branch of Bluestone
Creek in 1747 to which he added 1,888 acres in 1764.
The children of Stephen Evans Sr. are revealed in deeds he made to each of them
in Mecklenburg County in 1774 and 1775: Stephen, William, John, Ludwell, and
Catherine. Among the witnesses to some was James Hall.
Evans was head of a household of 12 whites and five blacks in Mecklenburg County
William Evans(1) was born about 1710
in Prince George Co., VA. He died between 1772 and 1780 in Amelia Co., VA.
William Evans [35184.108.40.206] (-1780) is tentatively placed as a brother of John
Evans Jr. who sold William 200 acres of land in Amelia (now Nottoway) County
By patent, William acquired 3,618 acres in Lunenburg County: 427 acres on both
sides of the south fork of the Meherrin River in 1747, 400 acres on a branch
of Bluestone Creek in 1754, 1,021 acres on both sides of Irbys Branch of Bluestone
in 1760, and 1,590 aces on the Meherrin in 1764. William was a resident of
Amelia County when he sold 400 acres on Bluestone to Abraham Brown in 1760 and
1,201 acres to Robert Christopher in 1761. At Williams death, he still
held 600 acres on the south branch of the Meherrin River in Lunenburg County.
William bought 638 acres in Nottoway Parish from Richard Ellis and his wife,
Mary, in 1773 that he deeded to John Evans in 1780.
William died in Amelia County naming wife, Grace , possibly Grace Ellis,
and the following children. Among his executors was his posited uncle Richard
Jones Sr. (will dated 12 April 1772 , recorded 26 Oct. 1780). Amelia County listed
the estate of William Evans in its 1782 enumeration. Four whites and ten blacks
were in the household. Grace died in Nottoway County about 1794.
Daughter Evans(1) was born about 1713.
Martha (Mary Ann) Evans(1) was born
about 1716 in Prince George Co., VA. Mary Ann Evans [35220.127.116.11] (-1780) married
Thomas Ellis of Amelia County. He was a son of John Ellis of Nottoway Parish
who left a will in Amelia County in 1762.
John and Mary Ann were both dead by 27 July 1780 when Amelia County appointed
Joshua Rucker administrator of the estate of Mary Ann Ellis, late administratrix
of Thomas Ellis, deceased