Thomas Howerton, Sr.
  b: ~1670 - Rappahannock Co.(old), VA
  d: 1740 - Essex Co., VA

Father: Thomas Howerton, immigrant
Mother: *****

Spouse: Mary Newball?
  m: ~1695

Child-1: Thomas, Jr.
          2: James - b: ~1697 - Essex Co., VA
          3: Obediah - b: ~1705 - Essex Co., VA - d: 1760 - Edgecombe Co., NC
          4: John - b: ~1715 - Essex Co., VA
                        d: 7/Aug/1792 - Spotsylvania Co., VA
                       m: Mary Winney - Essex Co., VA

Biographical Details:

Thomas Howerton, Sr., was born about 1670 in Rappahannock County (old), Virginia, and was the son of  the original immigrant Thomas Howerton.  The name of his mother has not been determined.  It is thought by some that about 1695 he married Mary Newball, who was the daughter of James Newball (or, perhaps, the family name was Newbill, as this name is found in a number of civil records from this period and later).  This presumption seems to derive from a bond made by Mary Newball and Thomas Howerton on June 19, 1699, which secured Mary Newball as the executor of the will of James Newball, deceased.1  In this case, one might suppose that Thomas was included in the obligation because he was the spouse of Mary Newball.  (According to common law of the time, a woman could not enter into a binding legal obligation apart from her husband.)  However, it also would have been customary to use a woman's married name instead of her maiden name and, moreover, to identify the couple explicitly as husband and wife.  Although not conclusive, this would tend to indicate that Thomas Howerton and Mary Newball were not married.  Therefore, there is little credible evidence for the marriage of Thomas Howerton and Mary Newball and in a strict sense, the wife of Thomas Howerton, Sr., should be regarded as unknown.

Upon the death of the immigrant Thomas Howerton about 1700 and in accordance with the law of primogeniture, which was common law prevailing at that time, all of his lands which lay in Essex and King and Queen Counties in Virginia, descended to his oldest son, Thomas.  This being the case, family legend further indicates that his remaining sons followed traditional custom and went up the Rappahannock River and settled in the Spotsylvania and Orange County area of Virginia to "seek their fortunes".  (In addition, the Howerton surname may have been changed to "Overton" in some family groups.)  It appears that Thomas Howerton, Sr., became a substantial citizen of Essex County.  Indeed, references to him can be found in the civil records of Essex County as early as 1692.2  In 1700, he was an appointed as an appraiser of the estate of John Billington.3  In 1708 he was named a defendant in a lawsuit brought by Thomas Meriwether.4  Also, in 1724 he and John Gilby served on a jury in Essex County.5  According to family legend and tradition in several lines of his descendants (which have been corroborated by civil records insofar as they exist), Thomas Howerton, Sr., died in Essex County in 1740 and all his known children were born in Essex County.

Source Notes and Citations:
1. Know all men by these presents that we Mary Newball and Thomas Howarton are held and firmly bound unto His Majesties Justices for the County of Essex in the sum of twenty thousand pounds of tobacco payable in one payment whereof and unto their heirs and administrators and assigns forever in the above stated county.  On demand we bind ourselves our heirs and administrators jointly and severally and firmly by these presents wittness our hands and seals this nineteenth day of June 1699.  The condition of the above obligation is such that if the above bound Mary Newball who at the Courthouse for the above said County of Essex and day and year above stated obtained a probate of the estate of  James Newball, deceased.  Shall and so from time to time and all times hereafter for all instance and purpose and perform and fulfill the stated will full pass and satisfy all such requirements as therein are specified. /s/Mary (her mark) Newball /s/Thomas Howarton  Witness: Francis Merriwether, J W Boughan, Richard Gregory  (Deed Bk. 9, Essex Co., VA, pg. 341, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA,  (microfilm: roll - City and County Records #2).)
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2. On November 19, 1692, the Essex County Court awarded Thomas Howerton two shillings for one wolfe killed by gun.  (Order Bk. 1, Essex Co., VA, pg. 47, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA,  (microfilm: roll - City and County Records #1).)
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3. On September 10, 1700,  Thomas Howerton was appointed to appraise estate of John Billington.  (Deeds & Wills, Bk. 10, Essex Co., VA, pg. 54, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA, (microfilm: roll - City and County Records #3).)
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4. Thomas Meriwether vs. Thomas Howerton:  On September 10, 1708, the action of this case brought by Francis Meriwether, plaintiff, against Thomas Howerton, Jr., defendant, was dismissed; no declaration being  filed.  (Order Bk. 4, Essex Co., VA, pg. 72, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA,  (microfilm: roll - City and County Records #66).)
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5. On May 20, 1724, Thomas Howerton, Sr., and John Gilby served on a jury in Essex County.  In addition, presentments were made against Thomas Howerton, Sr, and John Gilby for not frequenting the South Farnum Parish Church.  Perhaps, these accusations were made during examination of Thomas Howerton, Sr., and John Gilby to determine fitness for jury duty.  However, on the following June 17, these presentments against Thomas Howerton, Sr., and John Gilby were dismissed.  (Order Bk. 6, Essex Co., VA, pg. 137-8, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA, (microfilm: roll - City and County Records #68).)
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Additional Citations:

6. Robert L. Evans, "Our Family's History", November 9, 2001.

7. Ancestral File: BJD3-K1, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, UT, continuously updated.

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