The Virginia Lilly-Lilley Family
Links on this site:
This entire Lilly site is under
construction, please return.
If you are researching a Virginia Lilly or Lilley family, please
contact Junebyr@gmail.com If
have additional information, I would be glad to hear about it.
The early spelling of the name
varied. Records can be found for
Lilly, Lily, Lillie, Lille, Lylly, etc. Please note that correct
a Twentieth Century concept. The earliest record found for Edmund
Lilley is in a Goochland County court record dated 1735, where his
spelled Lilley. Later members of the family mostly spelled it Lilly.
Lilley and Ann Flippen of Goochland,
Albemarle, and Fluvanna
Lilly son of Edmund Lilly
Lilly son of Edmund Lilly, died 1759.
Lilly son of Edmund
Lilly, and his wife, Elizabeth Paulette. She was the daughter of
Thomas Paulette and Semiramis Johnson.
Lilly daughter of Edmund Lilly, born ca. 1738. Armiger
Lilly, son of William Lilly and his wife, Rebbecca Hutchinson
of the Lilly children who married into the Cullumber and Clover
families in Franklin and Madison Counties, Ohio.]
Probable Sons of Edmund and Ann
Lilly of North Carolina
of West Virginia Note: Connection proved by DNA testing.
Lilly of Kentucky
Ann Flippen, wife
of Edmund Lilley. See Flippen/Flipping
Ancestry of Edmund Lilly in
Gloucester and York Counties, Virginia.
of Elizabeth Paulette and her mother Semiramis Johnson
Records of Fluvanna County, Virginia
from some possible Lilly cousins:
Information on other Virginia Lilly families
Information on Kentucky Lilly Records.
Many members of the Virginia Lilly family moved to Kentucky.
Information on non-Virginia records of Lilly
I have them here because they are often mistaken for Virginia families.
did Edmund Lilly come to Goochland County?
The first records found of Edmund Lilly are in Goochland County,
Virginia in 1735. He most likely
came with a group of relatives. We know that his wife, Ann, was
daughter of Elizabeth Flippen from her will written 1747. Stephen
married to another daughter of Elizabeth. For research about
Elizabeth Flippen will which ties the Flippen, Bedford, Lilly families
together, see Flippen.
We know that the Edmund Lilly,
the Flippen Family, and Stephen Bedford arrived in Goochland County
about the same time because the first records of them in Goochland
County are dated closely together. Note that Stephen Bedford is
referred to as "late of Gloucester County." This suggests that they
arrived directly from Gloucester and did not stop for a few years
The Bedford and the Flippen
entries were dated February 1735/6 which would actually be a
year after Edmund's first record in June 1735. But these are just the
first court records they left. We don't have an actual date that they
arrived in Goochland. There
may have been other earlier records which did not survive.
The first Goochland County
for Edmund Lilly is a court record dated June 1735.
Ann R. Blomquist, Goochland County
Order Book, 1731-1735, (Heritage
Books, 2006) , page 448:
1735. Lilly vs. Webb: On the petition of Edmund Lily vs. William
Webb, the parties and witnesses being heard it is ordered the the said
Webb do pay unto the said petitioner four pounds two shills and three
pence current money with costs.
Skeyman vs. Lilley On the motion of George Skeyman a witness for Edmund
Lilly vs. William Webb it is ordered the the said Lilly do pay him for
three days attendance 90 pounds of tobacco.
Sent by Lou Poole:
Weisiger, Benjamin B., III, Goochland
County, Virginia, Wills and Deeds, 1728-1736, p. 73.
12 Feb 1735[/6] Claudius Gory of King William Parish, Goochland Co.,
planter, to Edward Scott of same, Gent., for £ 50, 50 acres on
side of James River, now in occupation of said Claudius, bounded by the
river, Gideon Chsmboone, and said Gory, as by patent to said Gory 31
Wit.: John Williams, Ralph Flippen, Thomas (+)
Signed: Claude Gauri, Recorded 16
Weisiger, Benjamin B., III, Goochland
County, Virginia, Wills and Deeds, 1728-1736, p. 72.
14 Feb 1735[/6] John Woodson of Goochland Co., to Stephen Bedford, late of
for £ 52/10, 350 acres on south side of James River on Deed
being part of a tract of 1000 acres granted to said John Woodson by
patent 11 April 1735, bounded by Deep Creek and Nicholas Cox.
Wit.: Stephen Hughes, Fleming Bates,
Ralph Flippen, John [S] Franklin
Signed: John Woodson
Recorded 17 Feb 1735[/6]
How did the Lilly Family come to Goochland
The settlement of Virginia in the 1700s was the result of
two separate waves of migration. The northern part of Virginia
what became West Virginia, was settled from Pennsylvania,
York, and New Jersey. These migrants primarily came via the Lancaster
Trail and were mostly German and Dutch with a few others mixed in.
southern half of Virginia, including the area of
the original Goochland
County, was settled by descendants of early emigrants to the
area who were mostly from England. These people moved up the York,
other rivers as the population grew and the settled areas
expanded. Prior to 1800, with a few exceptions, most migration in
southern part of Virginia was via the river system. Travel on land
too slow and too difficult and too dangerous. The river routes
were also the highway to take the tobacco and other crops to market.
Even if a river required a portage at the fall line, it was still
the best highway of the 18th century in Virginia.
Thanks to Lou Poole for generating this map to help us visualize the
Color Codes: Pink is York County, Brown is Gloucester County, Grey is
Mathews County, Black
is Fluvanna County, Yellow is Goochland County, Blue is
Louisa County, Red is Albemarle County, and Green
is Cumberland County. These represent the modern borders of these
counties. Look at the rivers to see the
direction of population growth and settlement.
You can see, looking at the above map, that families from
the early settlements in York County, and Gloucester County, could
easily travel up the river system to the area where they settled.
When the Flippen, Bedford, and Lilly families arrived, the entire area
was Goochland County. It was only later that county boundaries
changed and they ended up in Fluvanna and Cumberland
Counties. Goochland County was formed in 1727 from Henrico. A few
later, Albemarle and Cumberland were formed from Goochland
on, Fluvanna was formed from eastern Albemarle. No matter what
it ended up in, the original Lilly, Flippen and Bedford land all
within about 5-8 miles of the James River in
and all of them settled within about 15 miles of each other.
Although they settled close to
the James River, the river system in Virginia is large and complicated.
They might also have traveled to the area via one of the rivers
that drains into the York River. For a map showing the river
system, see http://geology.com/lakes-rivers-water/virginia.shtml
The followin map is taken from Early Virginia Families along the James
River and is titled, Highways into New Lands.
Exactly where did these
family, the Bedford Family and the Lilly Family settled within just a
few miles of each other in Goochland County. The area was fast growing
in population and the boundaries changed quickly as new counties were
formed. Eventually, the Bedford and the Flippen families found
themselves in Cumberland County, while Edmund's land was on Byrd Creek
partly in Goochland and partly in Fluvanna County according to the
legal descriptions in the deeds. Although they ended up in
different counties, the people did not move. Instead, the county
Thanks to Lou Poole for sending us this wonderful map of the area.
He has marked it with x's to show the approximate locations
the land where the families settled in 1735. You can see that
they are very close together. I think from the scale of the map
that they are perhaps all within 15 miles of each other.
Where did the Lilly
Family come from?
Flippen, Bedford, and Lilly Families appear to have
come to the Goochland area about the same time, and were related
according to the will of Elizabeth Flippen, we need to know where they
could have come from. The deed record above describes Stephen
Bedford as "late of Gloucester County." The immediate question this
raises is whether or not the others came from the same place.
Rents of Virginia, 1704
is a kind of tax list on all the land in Virginia with the exception of
the Northern Neck area. If we examine this, we find that the only Lilly
who owned land in 1704 was in Gloucester County. The only Flippen
owned land in 1704 was in Gloucester County. The only
owned land in 1704 was in Gloucester County. All of them
lived in the
Kingston Parish area of Gloucester County. If this family
group from the Goochland area did not come from Gloucester County, it
would seem to be an unbelievable coincidence. To find all three
related families in one
parish of one county in the Tidewater area where we would expect them
to be, is
convincing evidence that the Goochland group did, in fact, migrate
from Gloucester County.
Annie Laurie Wright Smith, Quit
Rents of Virginia, 1704, (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical
Publishing Company, 1975
). This book is also available on
Ancestry [paid site]. http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=48421
Page 7. The only Bedford listed in the Colony of Virgina in
Thomas Bedford, 50 acres
in Kingston [Parish], Gloucester County.
Page 32. The only Flipping or Flippen listed in the
Colony of Virginia in 1704.
Thomas Fliping, 300 acres in
Kingston [Parish], Gloucester County
Page 57. The only Lilly-Lilley-Lillie-Lylley listed in the Colony of
Virginia in 1704.
Lylley, 584 acres in Kingston
How do we know they didn't get married in
Stephen Bedford's dates are
easier to prove than Edmund's dates are. According to the Bedford
book, see Flippen, Stephen was born about 1698 and his first
child was born ca. 1722. Three of his five children were born
before they would have arrived in Goochland. Remember that
Bedford was described as "late, of Gloucester County," so he had left
there recently. Thus, he had to have married in the Gloucester County
Edmund also had
at least three children born before that date and perhaps more because
we can't be sure of the dates of all of the children. So both
were married to a Flippen girl some years before they arrived in
are there no records of these individuals in Gloucester County?
The Parish Register of Kingston
Parish, Gloucester County begins in 1749, which is well after they had
moved to Goochland. There may have been earlier church records,
did not survive.
The county records for Gloucester
County, i.e., court records, deed records, will records, were mostly
destroyed during the Civil War and we have only a tiny portion of the
Because of the
records, we have no chance of ever finding the names we are
seeking in Goucester County.
did these families leave Gloucester County to settle in Goochland?
Both Ralph Flippen and Edmund
Lilly were likely to have been younger sons. With the Law of
Primogeniture in effect, the entire estate of a father would have
gone to his oldest son. This meant that although they might
have received something, they had no land. Land
equaled wealth in 1735, and land had become more expensive by
that time in the Tidewater Counties. So people were moving up
river where there was more available land and they could afford to
purchase or patent a plantation. Cheaper land was the primary
motivation for all of the movement up the rivers from the original
settlements. This was true not only in the
Southern states such as Virginia, but in New England as well. It
remained the primary motivation for the settlement of the Ohio Country
at the beginning of the 1800s, and the settlement of the West in
century. It was also the primary moving force in the emigration
from England to America in the 17th Century.
From the evidence, it seems sure that our
Edmund Lilly came originally from Gloucester County. No other scenario
fits the known facts. The more difficult question is, of course,
which of the Lilly's there was his father? At this time, I
believe that the
following is the
most likely answer.
See the following links for a discussion of evidence on these
See Records of Edmund Lilly.
See Records of Gloucester and York
See Records of the Wade Family
DNA Project on Lilly - Lilley at
information about this project on Lilly DNA
See information on the DNA results from current testing.
Article on DNA and genealogy with comments on Autosomal DNA
This page includes help for those who are struggling with this.
Since we do not have surviving
records, we are attempting to discover some links between the
Southern Lilly and Lilley families with DNA. Please contact me if
interested in this project. Junebyr@gmail.com
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is used here with her permission.
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2009 June C. Byrne
last 7 July 2013