Earliest Brocks in Virginia

The first permanent settlement in North America began in 1607 at Jamestown, VA, twenty-two years after the Roanoke Colony and forty years after the Spanish landed at what is now St. Augustine, Florida; forty-three years after the French settlement of Fort Caroline at what is now Jacksonville, Florida; and thirteen years before the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts.

The first French colony in what is now the United States was in 1564, Fort Caroline (now Jacksonville, Florida). It was intended as a refuge for the Huguenots, but lasted only a year before being obliterated by the Spanish, who abandoned it in 1569.

Queen Elizabeth I of England chartered Sir Walter Raleigh to establish the first English colony in the Americas. An expedition under Ralph Lane set sail and landed on 4th June 1584 at a region known as Roanoke Island in Virginia (today the Outer Banks of North Carolina). The passenger list included one John Brocke. He was still there in 1587, as John Brook. Raleigh took home glowing reports, but the following year some settlers returned to England with Sir Francis Drake. In 1587 another group was brought by John White from England, bringing more than 100 additional soldiers, colonists, and scholars. White returned to England later in the year, in desperate need of supplies. It took him three years to return, and sometime between August 1587 and 1590, all the colonists had vanished, leaving the sign CROATAN carved into a palisade of the fort and CRO on a tree. Circumstances of an impending storm prevented any extensive search for them and it appears they were absorbed into the Lumbee tribe of natives.


  Barbara Estes: "Where Have all the Indians Gone? Native American Eastern Seaboard Dispersal, Genealogy, and DNA in Relation to Sir Walter Raleigh's Lost Colony of Roanoke," Journal of Genetic Genealogy 5(2): 2009, p. 98.

The first permanent settlement of Carolina was in 1653 by Virginians. North Carolina was not differentiated from South Carolina until 1691.


Barbara Estes: "Where Have all the Indians Gone?" . . . as above, p. 98.

In 1607, the Virginia Company of London, England, commissioned three ships carrying Capt. John Smith and English colonists which arrived in what became Jamestown, on the James River, Virginia. The majority of colonists died during the first winter, but some reinforcements arrived in 1608 and 1609. By the Fall of 1609 there were 450 or so colonists ~ but by spring of 1610, only 60 had survived. More reinforcements arrived and the colony managed to continue. In 1612 John Rolfe planted the first commercial crop of tabacco, and later married Pocohantas, daughter of the Chief Powhatans. Today, descendants of Rolfe and Pocohantas's son are numerous.

In 1618, the Virginia Company granted land to all free settlers and allowed a General Assembly to be held. An Indian massacre in 1622 and internal disputes in the colony led King James I to revoke the Virginia Company's charter and to make Virginia a Royal Colony in 1624. To encourage continued immigration, colonists who transported themselves or others to Virginia were entitled to 50-acres per person patents of free land. As a result, Virginia kept excellent Patents and Grants records. They are housed at the Library of Virginia in Richmond (which is further up the James River).

There were only two European women at Jamestown, VA, in Aug 1609, and only one survived the terrible winter of 1609, called "the starving time."

White traders began to visit among Indian tribes and this had a dramatic impact. The social custom regarding hospitality to visitors meant providing a male traveler with a bedmate for the night. Children born as a result of these liaisons were regarded as full tribal members. The tribes in these areas were matrilineal, regarding children as belonging to the mother. Traders often learned enough of the native language to communicate, and to learn social customs, which made them more welcome. Often, visitors stayed long enough to repair equipment, hunt for food to take with them, or just rest. Children of such unions were welcome as a means of replenishing tribal members lost through ongoing warfare between tribes and from devastating diseases brought by Europeans, such as smallpox.

It was not until 1619 with the arrival of 90 women that English women became possible mates for the male colonists.

Abstracts of the Virginia patent books were published in a series of books: CAVALIERS & PIONEERS: ABSTRACTS OF VIRGINIA LAND PATENTS, Vols. I-III by Nell Marion Nugent and Vols. IV-VIII by Dennis Ray Hudgins. Today, the patents are indexed and images are viewable and downloadable on-line at the Library of Virginia [State archives] in Richmond.

In 1634, eight original shires (counties) were created: Accowmack (name changed to Northampton in 1643), Charles City, Charles River (changed to York in 1643), Elizabeth City, Hewnrico, Warrosquoyacke (changed to Isle of Wight in 1637), James City, Warwick, Warwick River, and York Cos. Over time, out of them were formed all other modern-day counties of Virginia and West Virginia and some Independent Cities. See the animated formation map of Virginia Counties.

Virginia counties were created (eight original shires) in 1634 (maps courtesy of Newberry Library):



New settlers arrived every month, and by 1700 there were 80,000 settlers in the Tidewater Region of Virginia. In 1704 all Virginia landowners except those of Lancaster, Northumberland, Westmoreland, Richmond, and Stafford Cos. were required to pay a Quit Rent to the king for every 50 acres. A Quit Rents list was made for all those who paid. Lists of residents for some colonial years exist, and the 1624 has been published.

The earliest Brocks found in Virginia records:

1619, Thomas Flint his muster - John Brock age 19 in the Bona Nova (p. 259). Was he the same John Broche granted two patents on 24 Nov 1637? (1) for 400 acres butting upon a point of Queens Creek, for transporting himself, his wife Barbara Brocke and six other persons to the Colony; and (2) 300 acres bounded by a swamp by the Indian Cabin, lying upon Queens Creek, for transporting six persons to the Colony at his own expense. On 16 Sep 1639, he was granted a patent for 300 acres butting upon Queenes &c. at the head of the Creek with the Maiden Swamp, for having transported five persons into the Colony. This John Brocke has been proven to be a French Huguenot.

In Apr 1638 John Broche, surgeon, "freely bestowed upon my godson John Major, sonne of Richard Major of Queens Cr., boate right, age 3 3/4 yrs, one cow one heifer and one yearling, etc., to be delivered when he is 18 yrs." In May 1638, he assigned his 400 acres in Charles River Co. to Nicholas Jarnes.

In Nov 1669 he was in New Kent Co., when "50 acres granted to John Brocas, decd., was by inquisition patented by the Deputy Escheater to Jno. Broccus; and 1800 ac. granted by John Broche decd. was by inquisition patented to Capt. William Bassett by the Deputy Escheater on 10 Nov 1669. VA Land Office Patents No. 6, 1666-1679 (pt.1 & 2 p.1-692), p. 248 (Reel 6).

Use of the term Escheat (patenting his land to Capt. Bassett) indicates John Brock/Broche/Brocus died without heirs, except for the bequest to his godson John Major.

Early Huguenots in Virginia

 Huguenots came to Virginia as early as 1620, when Elias La Guard, James Bonnall and David Poole settled in Elizabeth City. In the 1630s Nicholas James, John Broche, William Savary, Nicholas Martiau, Giles Tavernor, John Vallet, and John Galliott settled in what is now York County. Also at that time, many French names appear in the upper County of New Norfolk. More French settlers came over the next three decades, settling in Lower Norfolk, Princess Ann and Isle of Wight Counties.

 [from Huguenot Lineage Research, Melford S. Dickerson]

 Another source says, "It turns out that our progenitor was a French Huguenot, who migrated to Virginia in 1634. He was John BROCHE, a surgeon. Over the years his surname, BROCHE, gradually evolved in BROOKS."



1622 servant William Brock, 26, came on the Margaret May;

16 Feb 1623, William Brocke listed on "The List of Names: Of the Living in Virginia" (p. 173);

22 Jan 1624, William Brock at Richard Bigg's Muster of the Inhabitants of West and Sherley Hundred, Charles City Co. (p. 25).

Logically, if William Brock b. ca 1596 survived, he should have obtained a land patent much earlier than the one granted to a William Brock in Lower Norfolk Co., VA, in 1664. He had two patents, the first in 1670 for 420 acres, the second for 100 acres for transporting two persons to the Colony).

On 27 Sep 1680 William Brock was granted a patent for 1000 acres in the parish of Lynhaven at the fresh ponds, to the Southward of Rudee - Bounded &c. 350 acres of it in the Dam neck at the head of the fresh ponds for 1000 acres).

So, it seems doubtful they were one and the same man.

A WILLIAM BROCK was granted a patent on 2 May 1713 VA PATENT in Princess Anne Co., VA, for 254 acres at a place called and known by the name of the Dam neck Joining on the fresh pond alias white marsh? Descendants say he was b. 1694 in Spotsylvania Co., VA; md. Mary Carter, and d. 29 Jan 1768 in Spotsylvania Co.


1635 Apr 27, Richard Brocke, age 31, carpenter, transported to New England on Elizabeth Ann (p. 70) [colony not stated].
3 Dec 1689, At a Vestry held at ye Church of St. Peter's parish, in ye behalf of ye s'd parish ... It is ordered y't Rich. Brock for ye future do pay no parish Levy.


Two men named George Brocke and George Broche were imported (by two different men) to Virginia in June 1666 -- the first, to Lancaster Co., and the second, to "Rappahannock River." A few years often passed before the transporter applied for and was granted a patent, listing those he transported. The patent of course showed where his land was, but not where his transportees settled. In 1650 a William Brocas also had land on the Rappahannock River, 1,750 acres in two patents. This is part of the area of Virginia known as the Northern Neck, lying between the Potomac and James Rivers.

It was not unknown for a man to "double dip," claim transporting the same person twice to get more or better land.

Patents went to "free men" only, not to those in servitude to pay back the cost of their transportation.

 Sources: The Original Lists of Persons of Quality: Emigrants, Religious Exiles, Political Rebels, Serving Men Sold for a Term of Years; Apprentices; Children Stolen; Maidens Pressed; and Others Who Went from Great Britain to the American Plantations 1600-1700, By Great Britain Public Record Office , edited by John Camden Hotten, London, 1874 [known as "Hotten's List"].

The Parish Register of St. Peters, New Kent Co., Va., from 1680-1797. National Society Colonial Dames of America in Virginia, 1904, as Parish Registers Series 2; reprinted 1988 and republished 1988 and 2004 by Southern Historical Press, Greenville, SC.

New Kent Co. was created 1654 from York and James River Cos.:


On 1 Apr 1717 Mary Broche patented 420 acres in King & Queen Co. on north side of the Mattapony River, adjoining Col. Robert Abrahal's patent for 950 acres. King & Queen Co. was created out of New Kent Co. in 1691, and from King & Queen Co., King William Co. were created in 1700 and Spotsylvania Co. in 1720 (the same year Hanover Co. was created from New Kent Co.). She and surgeon John Broche were Huguenot.

Richard Brock died ca 1689, leaving a son Richard (see above).

 Lt. Col. Robert Abrahal obtained a patent in 1660 for 640 ac on the north side of Mattapony River in New Kent Co. some four miles from the river on the branches of Oppactenoke Creek; and in 1662 a patent for 1,550 acres in New Kent Co., of which 550 acres were on the branches of Peanketank Swamp and 300 acres on Col. Claiborne's line. As Col. Robert Abrahal he received five more patents, in 1674 for 350 ac escheated, in 1678 for 1,000 ac on NE side of Mattapony River, in 1679 for 250 ac escheated on Tansantium Swamp on NE side of Mattapony River, in 1681 for 1,000 ac on both sides of Whorecock Swamp, and in 1683 for 600 ac on south side of York River on the W. most branch of Chickahominy Swamp -- all in New Kent Co. -- altogether totalling 9,390 acres.

He and Col. Claiborne between them owned so much land it's no wonder others patented land further and further west.

Let's hope the answers to possible relationship among these people still exist, since early records of New Kent and several other VA counties have burned.


(1) JOHN BROCK and wife BARBARY were in Charles River Co., VA, bef 24 Nov 1637, when he was granted a patent for 400 acres butting upon a point of Queens Creek, for transporting himself, his wife BARBARA BROCKE and six other persons to the Colony.

On 16 Sep 1739, he was granted 300 acres bounded by a swamp by the Indian Cabin, butting upon Queenes &c. at the head of the Creek with the Maiden Swamp, for transporting six persons to the Colony at his own expense.

JOHN BROCK's 1637 patent:


(2) WILLIAM BROCK was in Lower Norfolk Co., VA, by 1664 (with two patents, the first for 420 acres, the second for 100 acres for transporting 2 persons to the Colony). On 27 Sep 1680 he was granted a patent for 1000 acres in the parish of Lynhaven at the fresh ponds, to the Southward of Rudee - Bounded &c. 350 acres of it in the Dam neck at the head of the fresh ponds for 1000 acres).


(3) GEORGE BROCK (Sr.), born ca 1680 in England (descendants say) was in St. Peters Parish, New Kent Co., VA, by 1703 when his son JOSHUA was baptized. He was processioned in 1711/12 and again in 1714/15. In 1719 George obtained a Virginia patent for 300 ac for transporting 6 persons; the land adjoined John Sims; on the West branch of Stonehorse Creek. On the same day his neighbor John Sims' patent adjoined George Brock. The patents were signed by Governor Alexander Spotswood.

From the Brock DNA Project -- Results of Y-chromosome descendant testing indicate this man was the patrilineal ancestor of Jesse Brock of Harlan Co., KY, who served in the Revolution from VA and NC, and of Elder George Brock of Laurel Co., KY. Descendants of both have a 67-67 marker match.

Continued on another page.

(4) WILLIAM BROCK ~ granted a patent on 2 May 1713 in Princess Anne Co., VA, for 254 acres at a place called and known by the name of the Dam neck Joining on the fresh pond, alias white marsh? Probably the William Orrell Brock b. 1694, Spotsylvania Co., VA, son of JOSEPH BROCK and 1st wife Anne Orrell.

William Orrell Brock md. Mary Carter, and d. 29 Jan 1768 in Spotsylvania Co. Their children were:

1. Mary Brock, b. 1746

2. Joseph Brock, b. 1748, Spotsylvania Co.

3. William O. Brock, Jr., b. 1750

(5) JOSEPH BROCK, Gentleman, was born 1668 in Chester, Cheshire Co., England, came to America as a 17-yr. old boy (or abt 1685), according to descendants. He came to Virginia in 1685, was a Vestryman and Latin scholar in St. George's Parish, Spotsylvania Co., VA, in 1688. He was "of King and Queen County, VA" on 7 Oct 1723 when he purchased 9,020 acres of land in Spotsylvannia Co. from Larkin Chew and wife Hannah for £320 currency, which lands were granted to sd. Chew by patents, 4 Jun 1722 and 12 Jun 1723 (recorded 3 Dec 1723). In 1738 he received a 7,467-acre Patent from King George the Second on the Mattapony River, St. George Parish, Spotsylvania Co.

JOSEPH md. 1st Ann Orrell, 1693; and 2nd Mary Clayton abt 1725.

He may have been related to the Robert and Barbara Brock who were in King and Queen County earlier, or to the William Brock mentioned above who was granted a patent for 254 ac on 2 May 1713 in Princess Anne Co., VA, who descendants say was b. 1694 in Spotsylvania Co., VA; who md. Mary Carter, and d. 29 Jan 1768 in Spotsylvania Co.?

Joseph Brock's line or property was mentioned in:

JOSEPH wrote his will in 1742, Spotsylvania Co., VA, and died 30 Mar 1742, naming his wife Mary and leaving land to her and his sons:

Virginia County Records SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY 1721-1800,

WILL BOOK A 1722-1749, p. 360 ~

BROCK, JOSEPH, Spotsylvania Co., d. Mar. 3, 1742, p. July 5, 1743. Wit. W. Robinson, Agatha Robinson, William Waller. Ex. wife Mary.

Leg. wife Mary, 750 acres of land, together with my mansion house, beginning at a black oak, corner of Bloomfield Longs in sight of Burros Road, and is also a corner of my patent, thence keeping my patent lines to Rice Curtis, Junr.'s corner on the north side of Burros Road; thence keeping said Curtis' line to Thomas Duerson's corner pine on the east side of the road that leads to Snell's Bridge; then along the said road by Mattapony Church, to the said Duerson's Corner on Larkin Chew's land; thence keeping the said Chew's several lines, to a large white oak in the corner of my patent. Then keeping my patent lines to the Middle River, thence up the river to John Durrett's lower corner on the river; thence with his line to his corner white oak; then along a line of marked trees to the first mentioned place.

Son William Brock the rest of my land not disposed of by me to Rice Curtis, Junr. and Thomas Duerson, which is part of a patent granted Larkin Chew, decd. for 1600 acres in the year 1722.

Son Joseph Brock, 787 acres of land from the same tract with his mother;

son Henry Brock, 650 acres of land including the plantation whereon he now lives;

daughter Mary Brock plantation known by the name of Folly, and to include 500 acres joining thereto;

daughter Susanna Brock;

grandson Joseph Duerson;

grandson, Rice Curtis;

daughter Hannah Duerson. Mentions tract of land of about 4,000 acres lying in Spotsylvania Co., also mentions slaves given to Rice Curtis, Junr. and Thomas Duerson.

Cousins (6) HANSS MICHEL BRACK (JOHN MICHAEL BROCK) and (7) RUDOLPH (RUDY/RUDAL) BRACK/BROCK, settled in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia ca 1732-36. In 1740 they were granted adjoining Northern Neck Patents in the portion of Orange Co., VA, which became Augusta Co.

Rudolph was born 1692 in Zweibreucken, Switzerland, moved to Germany, and he and his wife and a child immigrated from Germany aboard the ship HOPE in 1732 from Rotterdam to England, to the port of Philadelphia, PA, where they stayed a few years in Lancaster. Perhaps he was an indentured servant. He wrote his will in Augusta Co. in Jan 1748/9 which was recorded a month later.

Hanss Michel BRACK (John Michael Brock), immigrated from Germany to New York in 1709-10, stayed several years, moved to PA abt 1724, and joined a large German settlement in the portion of Orange Co., VA, which became Augusta Co., and then Shenandoah and Rockingham Co. with his cousin Rudolph Brack/Brock.

Both men had adjoining Virginia land grants in Augusta Co., probably the first land they'd ever owned. Rudolph left his interest in his surveyed but not yet granted land to his minor son George Brock.

Rudolph and John Michael Brock

(8) Rudolph's son GEORGE BROCK was granted a patent on 9 Feb 1749/50 in Augusta Co., VA, from Thomas Lord Fairfax, Baron of Cameron, Proprietor of the Northern Neck of Virginia.

George was named as the minor son of RUDOLPH/Rudal/Rudy BRACK/BROCK, of Augusta Co., in his Jan 1748/9 will, probated 15 Feb 1748/9, leaving George his father's interest in the grant.

He left a large family who moved to South Carolina.


(9) Rudolph's grandson ISAAC BROCK from VA in SC was b. 1744 Augusta Co., VA, son of Frederick Brock the son of Rudolph. Isaac d. 1845 in Buncumbe Co., NC. Descendants say he was a trader among the Cherokee (note by Lisa Mitchell on Genforum 6 Nov 2001), "trapping and establishing trade routes. In the course of his 'business' he became acquainted with various other tradesmen whose genealogies can be notated through Quaker records of SC and NC: Lamb, Lynch, Siniard, Edmondson and Thompson. 'My Josiah Brock (son of Hiram) married Sarah Clarinda (Clara) Siniard who was the daughter of James Thomas Siniard (a French Indian Trapper) and Margaret Lamb, the half sister of Chief Red Head Will Webber.' "

Isaac and his brothers and sons lived near sons of his 1st cousin George Brock.

Isaac's children were born mostly in Orange Co., NC, and in Pendleton District which later became Anderson Co., SC. He served as a quartermaster in SC during the Revolution.

One of Isaac's brothers was Reuben Brock (b. 1754 Orange Co., NC, served in Revolution from NC, d. 1842 Anderson Co., SC), a Revolutionary pensioner. There were no fewer than 11 known Reubens in this family, none of whom settled in Kentucky or was the father of Aaron Brock (Chief Red Bird):

Brock, Reuben b: 1775 in probably, Caswell Co., NC
Brock, Reuben b: 1801 in Lincoln Co., NC d: AFT 1880
Brock, Reuben b: 1803 in Buncumbe Co., NC
Brock, Reuben b: 1810 in Greenville Co., SC
Brock, Reuben b: ABT 1810 in Anderson Dist., SC
Brock, Reuben Jr. b: 1826 d: 1910 in SC
Brock, Reuben Jr. b: 1833 in GA
Brock, Reuben Sr., son of Frederick b: BEF 27 SEP 1754 in Orange Co., NC d: 04 MAY 1842 in Honea Path Twp., Anderson Co., SC
Brock, Reuben Sr., son of Isaac b: 1778 in Honea Path, Pendleton Co., SC d: AFT 1840 in Brevard, Buncumbe Co., NC
Brock, Reuben Barney b: 07 MAR 1830 d: 09 FEB 1909 in Anderson Co., SC
Brock, Reuben Oler b: 16 SEP 1874 in Anderson Co., SC d: 03 NOV 1922