PATTERSONs of Augusta Co., VA


AUGUSTA CO., Virginia, was one of those pivotal places that played a very important role between the first colonization of America in the early 1600s and early western settlement 100 years later. Augusta was a huge county with no western boundary, containing much of the Shenandoah Valley and all of what later became West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, and the upper Mississippi River.

Many Scot and Scots-Irish immigrated from Ireland to Pennsylvania abt 1727, when England's King George II was proclaimed. Many stayed there only a few short years before moving south to Virginia. There was a great migration of Scots-Irish and some Germans down the Great Wagon Road from Pennsylvania to Augusta Co. beginning abt 1730. Augusta was formed from Orange Co.,VA, in 1738 with the proviso that it not be organized until justified by its population growth. By 1745 when its first court was held, there had been a great influx.

 A 1738 map of Virginia's counties shows the new Augusta and Frederick Cos. (gray area) cut out of Orange Co.

 In 1770 Virginia's county map shows the still huge area of Augusta Co.



Several of our ancestral lines settled there early before Augusta's records began in Feb 1745.

1. My paternal grandmother Mary Ann Green Ross's PATTERSON family from Scotland via Co. Donegal, Ireland.

2. Her husband, my grandfather William Alfred Ross's DAUGHERTY Irish ancestor from Co. Donegal, where Doherty or O'Doherty is the most common name on the Inishowen Peninsula.

3. His MAGILL Scottish ancestors from Scotland via Co. Down, Ireland, south of Belfast.

4. My mother's BOTKIN ancestor from Co. Galway, Connemara, Ireland, settled on the Cowpasture River in Augusta Co.

5. A BROCK family, from Switzerland (Rudolph and his cousin John Michael Brack/Brock).

There were numerous Magill-Daugherty and Magill-Patterson marriages. For example, John Magill, Sr. (1725-1826) married Mary Patterson, progenitors of the Magill family of Lincoln Co., KY, whose descendant Samuel Patterson Magill and his family came in the 1840s in my hometown of Burnet, Texas.

Pattersons are mentioned on almost every page in Lyman Chalkley's three-volume Chronicles of the Scots-Irish of Augusta Co., VA 1745-1800 ~ in various court minutes, from jury service, to road maintenance crews, to baptisms of children, to buying and selling land, gift deeds to their children, witnessing deeds and wills for neighbors, to serving as executors or administrators of neighbors' wills. This indicates that they lived not far from the court house in Staunton.

The first church established in new Augusta Co. was Tinkling Springs Church, the first in western Virginia. Several Pattersons married children of its first minister, the Rev. John Craig. He baptized Patterson, Magill, Daugherty, and many other children, as listed in Fay Maxwell's book, Augusta County, Virginia, Record of Baptisms 1740-1749: John Craig, D.D., Pastor (W. Augusta became Pa. 1780), published in Columbus, OH, 1975.

Of several PATTERSON families in Augusta, some can be shown to be related; but it is not clear whether or how all were related.

WILLIAM PATTERSON's widow, Margaret (Donnell Patterson) (Adams) obtained a grant on Linvel's Creek, Augusta Co., a little west of Harrisonburg, seat of present-day Rockingham Co., VA. William died and his widow had remarried before she witnessed a deed May 1727 in Sussex Co., DE, as Margret Addams. Her husband John Adams died before she wrote her will in Orange Co. in Feb 1745 ~ shortly before Augusta Co. records began. It was not recorded until thirty years later, in Augusta Co. and in Tryon Co., NC -- probably when her heirs wanted to sell her land.

As her oldest son Robert "R" (his mark) Patterson had moved to Tryon Co., NC before her death in 1770, her will was recorded both in Augusta Co., VA, and in Tryon Co., NC , where her son declined his legacy before a J.P. in 1770.

Searching for Robert "R"'s descendants in huge Tryon Co. (which extended to several of today's South Carolina counties and as far west as the Cherokee Treaty border) led to many other Augusta Co.-Tryon Co. Pattersons. This was significant, for Tryon lasted only ten years, 1769-1779, before it was dissolved into two new counties: Lincoln and Rutherford ~ and my gr-gr-gr-grandmother PRISCILLA PATTERSON (1790/1800-17 Aug 1852) had a brother WILLIAM TRYON PATTERSON.

Most of the Pattersons in what became Augusta Co. settled on the enormous Borden's Great Grant and Beverly Manor patents in what later became Rockingham Co., VA.

In 1740, JOHN PATTERSON (Sr., whose parents I don't know, with wife AGNES _____) was the agent of Samuel Borden, selling off parcels of "Borden's Great Grant" of many thousands of acres. When John died in 1749, he left an infant son JOHN PATTERSON, who went on to raise a strong family of five children. Son GEORGE PATTERSON remained in Augusta County, while other family members left the area. GEORGE and his sister SARAH PATTERSON married into the Sillin family. Son ADAM PATTERSON became a pioneer in Licking County, OH, in 1810, according to descendant Sue Phillips' Augusta Co. website.

Another JOHN PATTERSON (Sr., with wife JANE ____, the son of WILLIAM PATTERSON and JANET ERWIN, mentioned below) bought land in Beverly Manor in 1748.


 Augusta Co. with the Borden Patent to the west of the Beverly Patent. The Court House was/is at Staunton. For a larger view of the map, go to Augusta Co., VA website; also see other maps there.

For a large map of Beverly Manor and the Borden Grant in Augusta Co., which shows Tinkling Springs Church, and in the lower left section, the Nathaniel Patterson grant, visit the Augusta Co. website. A closer view of the N.E. section of an 1736 map shows the Robert Patterson patent in the bend of Cathey's River, with neighbors whose children married into the family: Robert and John Craig, Robert King, Robert Magill, and John Pickens.


 This section of the N.E. corner of Augusta Co. as of 1740s from the Augusta Co. website shows Robert Patterson's 1740 patent in the meanders of Cathey's River (top left), with neighbors whose children married Pattersons: the Rev. John Craig, James Craig, John Pickens, & Robert King. Notice 3/4 down on lefthand side, William Preston - a name given to several children in the Longley and Bodine families - later one of the earliest settlers in Sevier Co., TN 

It can be difficult to distinguish among the various William, James, John, Robert, and Samuel Pattersons in Augusta Co. Court records such as deeds and wills help to organize many by family relationships.

Perhaps the largest Patterson family in Augusta Co. was that of WILLIAM PATTERSON and wife JANET ERWIN/IRVINE. William was b. ca 1680, Craighie Par., Wigtown, Ayre, Scotland; and d. 1745 in Londonderry, Chester Co., PA. JANET was b. ca 1684 in Wigtown, Ayre, Scotland; and her death is unknown. Seven children are known, all settling in Augusta Co., VA by some of whom subsequently moved to Tryon Co., NC, which became Lincoln Co.; and some onto Abbeville Dist., SC. Probably WILLIAM and JANET had daughters as well, but I have no information on them. If WILLIAM Sr. left a will in Pennsylvania, I'm not aware of it. Their sons were:

1. JAMES PATTERSON, b. ca 1697, Chester Co., PA, settled in Tryon Co., NC, by 1769; d. 1779-80, Lincoln Co., NC; left will; md. (1) SARAH IRVINE; (2) SARAH FLEMING, 1767 in Rowan Co., NC; (3) JEAN _____. He bought in Tryon Co., NC, in Nov 1769 a tract of land from SARAH ERWIN, widow of HUGH ERWIN, no doubt a kinsman. I haven't determined whether he was one of the JAMES PATTERSONS with transactions in Augusta Co., before going on to NC.

2. ROBERT PATTERSON, b. 28 May 1700, d. Oct-Nov 1774, Augusta Co., VA; md. wife FRANCES _____ in Ireland; witnessed a deed in Spotsylvania Co., VA, in 1733; and on 22 May 1740, applied to the Orange Co., VA, court for a land patent, stating that he came from Ireland through Philadelphia at his own expense, transporting himself, his wife FRANCES, son THOMAS, daughters MARY and ELIZABETH. In Virginia, their daughter ABIGAIL, son JOHN, and daughter ISABEL were born:


THOMAS md. MARY CHRISTIAN; he d. in Augusta Co. bef 22 Jul 1794. THOMAS appears well educated, for he was often named as Executor of estates or appointed 1760-1793 by the Court to appraise estates. He and MARY had 10 children, according to descendant Wesley Patterson, who gave me the names of five: MARY "POLLY," FRANCES, ISRAEL, JAMES F., and ISABELLA PATTERSON.

ELIZABETH, probably died young; was not in her father's will.

ABIGAIL probably died young, not in father's will. An Abigail Patterson was one of only three people baptized by Rev. John Craig at a place called "Halfway House"; the other two were Jeremiah Harrison (Nov 3 1740) whose wife Elizabeth Patterson was the sister of Robert "R" Patterson. The other was Lydia Donnel, a child sponsored by Jeremizh Harrison (May 17, 1743).

JOHN married MARGARET BASKIN, had a large family; and they followed her Baskin family to Tryon Co., NC, which became Lincoln Co., NC; and on to Abbeville Dist., SC, where JOHN died in 1808, leaving a will.

ISABEL was baptized 2 Aug 1741 by Rev. John Craig in Augusta Co., VA, of Tinkling Springs Church; she probably died young, as she was not in her father's will.

On 16 Aug 1756, ROBERT PATTERSON (son of WILLIAM PATTERSON and JANET ERWIN) received a Patent in Augusta Co., VA for 193 1/2 acres on both sides of the South River of Shanando.



Robert and 2nd wife ANN deeded to son-in-law ALEXANDER STEWART for £40 on 18 Aug 1767, after STEWART sued because he didn't receive the same share of ROBERT's estate ~ ROBERT having given his sons THOMAS and JOHN PATTERSON similar (gift) deeds in 1761 for 167 acres and 331 acres for £10 each. Probably ROBERT's 1st wife FRANCES had died, as she didn't sign the 1761 deeds; but ANN signed the 1767 deed:

 Virginia Patent Book 33, pp. 281-282



Robert Patterson received a second Virginia Patent in Jun 1764, for 164 acres in Augusta Co., on one of the head branches of Linvil's Creek joining the land the said Patterson now lives on.



3. JOHN PATTERSON, SR., b. ca 1702? d. Mar 1770, Augusta Co., VA; md. JANE _____ probably in Chester Co., PA. He bought land 1748 on the Beverly Patent, Augusta Co. He left a will in Augusta Co., and so did his widow JANE, both naming children and grandchildren. Of nine known children, two sons and a daughter were dumb or deaf and dumb, and one daughter an "idiot"; their siblings became guardians after the widow JANE died within two years.

4. NATHANIEL PATTERSON, b. ca 1705, d. 1752, Augusta Co., VA; left will; md. ISABELLA ERWIN. He was a vestryman when the church wardens and vestrymen were deeded the church glebe of 200 acres in Beverly Manor in 1749. NATHANIEL and ISABELLA had children ROBERT, JOHN, MATHEW, MARY, MARTHA, SARAH, ISABELLA, JAMES. One of ROBERT's sons was a Patriot in the Revolutionary War, William Patterson, b. 1753 in Augusta Co., served while living in the part of North Carolina which became Tennessee, drew a Revolutionary pension, and d. 1841 in Anderson Co., TN.

5. ERWIN PATTERSON, b. ca 1710? d. Jan-May 1761, Lunenberg Co., VA; md. ELEANOR ERWIN ca 1729 in Newry, Co. Down, Ireland. He bought land on the Beverly Patent in 1740.

6. EDWARD PATTERSON, probable son (mentioned with ERWIN PATTERSON in records), b. ca 1715? He and ERWIN were on a road repair crew together in Nov 1753; and he was plaintiff in a lawsuit in Augusta Co. records 25 Nov 1755 ~ the last mention I found.

7. WILLIAM PATTERSON, II, b. ca 1720? obtained a deed from Robert Beverly on the South River, 28 Feb 1749; served 1752 in the Augusta Co. militia in the French & Indian War; was exempted from Augusta Co. levies 1785; so he d. aft 18 Apr 1785, probably in Augusta Co. He md. (1) MARY WALKER, and four of their children were baptized by Rev. John Craig; and (2) MARY McDONALD from Cumberland Co., PA.

JAMES PATTERSON of Chester Co., PA (parents' names not known), d. there abt 1741, leaving a will which named his wife ANN and children MARGARET, MARY, ANN, SAMUEL, REBECCA, and JAMES PATTERSON. His widow ANN remarried, to ANDREW ERWIN, and they moved to Augusta Co., VA, for on 20 Nov 1747 in Augusta, "Andrew Erwin and wife were summoned for abusing the children of James Patterson, decd., and to account for the estate left by Patterson to the said children."

1. Probably JAMES and ANN's oldest child was MARGARET PATTERSON, who married MATTHEW EDMISTON in 1751. In Augusta Co. on 19 Nov 1751, Matthew Armstrong was appointed guardian of JAMES PATTERSON's son SAMUEL, with Matthew Edmiston, surety. On 20 Jun 1764, Matthew and Margaret Edmiston deeded to SAMUEL PATTERSON a tract in Borden's Grant. On 15 Oct 1765, JAMES and ANN's son SAMUEL PATTERSON qualified as executor of ANDREW ERWIN's will, which named his wife ANN and his son Francis (not married, perhaps a minor?) and mentioned Andrew's brothers Edward and Francis Erwin.

ANDREW ERWIN witnessed the Will of WILLIAM MAGILL, whose son JOHN MAGILL, Sr., married MARY PATTERSON, the 2nd daughter of JAMES PATTERSON and wife ANN ____ above. JOHN MAGILL, Sr., and MARY PATTERSON had a son HUGH MAGILL married MARGARET "Peggy" DAUGHERTY. HUGH and PEGGY's son DR. JAMES DAUGHERTY MAGILL wrote a lengthy letter in 1882 describing his grandfathers, JAMES MAGILL and JAMES DAUGHERTY.

MARGARET PATTERSON and MATTHEW EDMISTON had four daughters: Betsy, Sally, Nancy Jane, and Priscilla. NANCY JANE EDMISTON married JOHN MAGILL "the author," son of JOHN MAGILL and MARY PATTERSON, mentioned above. Two of JOHN and MARY's Magill children married Daughertys and three married Frames, but their son JOHN MAGILL "the author" journeyed back to VA from Lincoln Co., KY, to marry NANCY JANE EDMISTON, then journeyed back to Lincoln Co., KY with his bride. At her death, 14 Nov 1832, Franklin Co., KY, JOHN "the author" described NANCY as "my best friend," and, "she was left-handed and every one of her children was left-handed; she was good natured and every child was also," in a letter to his nephew CALEB MAGILL in 1838. In 1832 JOHN MAGILL published his book, The Pioneer to the Kentucky Emigrant, one of the rarest pieces of Kentuckiana.

2. Nothing more is known about ANN PATTERSON, the 3rd child mentioned in will of her father JAMES and ANN.

3. SAMUEL PATTERSON, SR., md. (1) MARTHA _____, had one son JAMES.

4. REBECCA PATTERSON, b. ca 1730, Chester Co., PA; nothing more known.

5. JAMES PATTERSON, JR., b. 1732, Chester Co., PA, moved to Augusta Co., VA, and on 29 Aug 1750 was added to the list of titheables.

6. ROBINA PATTERSON was JAMES's posthumous daughter, for on 2 Mar 1749 in Augusta Co., VA, "MATHEW EDMISTON, Danl. Harrison, Gabriel Pickens, farmers, were bondsmen on MATHEW's bond as guardian of ROBINA [his young sister-in-law], daughter of JAMES PATTERSON." The court record did not say Robina choose her guardian, implying she was too young.

A child CHARLES PATTERSON, son of JOHN, was baptized 22 Nov 1747 in Augusta Co., VA by Rev. John Craig. As we have noted, there were several JOHN PATTERSONs in Augusta Co. who may've been his father, but I found no JOHN naming a son CHARLES in his will, except for JOHN PATTERSON who wrote his will in Mecklenberg Co., NC, 16 Oct 1786, "being very sick and weak in body," naming his wife ELIZABETH, and children CHARLES, ESTHER, ROBERT, ALEXANDER PATTERSON, and a daughter ELIZABETH LAWRENCE.

JOHN PATTERSON may have been the brother or son of a CHARLES PATTERSON who wrote his will 12 Sep 1775 in Mecklenberg Co., "being very weak and sick in body," with legacies to his wife SARAH, his son JOHN, his friends JOSEPH REED, JAMES DEASON, and naming Executors JOHN REED and JOSEPH LAWRENCE.

WALTER PATTERSON was in Augusta Co., VA, in Aug 1753 when he (1) witnessed a deed, (2) testified in court that he had witnessed another deed transaction in Staunton, and (3) received a certificate of good character in order to practice law.





Robert & John Patterson were on the 1790 Augusta Co. list of males 16+ not chargeable with taxes. Thomas, William, Joseph, John, and William were "chargeable with taxes" in 1790 Augusta Co. Taxlist 

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