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William Ruffin Family

born: ca 1617 Scotland or England
married: ca 1645
died: 9 Jan 1674 Isle of Wight, VA (intestate - without a will)


William Ruffin listed a passenger on ship Assurance, leaving from Gravesend England on July 24, 1635 at age 18. Master of the ship was Isaac Bromwell.

William Ruffin witnessed the will of Edward Chetwin in Isle of Wight County in 1649, signing his name with the Latinized, Gulielm Ruffin.

Legatees James House, Thomas Attwell, Christopher Holms, John Young, Robert Watson, Henry Pitt, John Inglish, Nicholas Aldred, Mrs. Anne Jones, and all her children; Robert Watson and Henry Pitt, exors. Witnesses: Thomas Brook, and Gulielm. Ruffin.

on May 10, 1658, "Mr. Arthur Skynner and William Andrews, attorney and Henry Moore, for his part and Thomas Turner for himself", made over their right to 900 acres of land to Mr. William Ruffin.

In May 1666, Wiliam Ruffin and Robert Coleman patented 938 acres of land in Isle of Wight County adjacent to Thomas Harris.

In 1666, William Ruffin patented 750 acres of land in Isle of Wight County, VA at ye Cypress Swamp, adjoining Ambrose Bennett. In 1668, William Ruffin sold to Thomas POPE 450 acres out of the 900 acres patented by him and Robert Coleman.
[Cypress Swamp drained into the Pagan River and then to the James River and lay south and west of the two Rivers. Today this is a few miles southwest of the town of Smithfield. This was apparently the land where he lived and this is indicated in his son, Robert's sale of the land in 1677]

On February 7, 1667, Robert giving the authority to represent William in the court suit of Nicholas Brown.

In 1670, William Ruffin assigned 200 acres to Mrs. Katherine Thornton with reversion to her two children, Arthur Whitehead and Rebecca Thornton.

Katherine Thornton may have been his sister.

Court records on March 22, 1674 show Robert requesting the Administration of his father's estate. Securities were Captain William Oldis and Mr. William Body (Boddie). The bond was 90,000 pounds of tobacca, indicating a sizeable estate to be administered.

The Ruffin family may have worshipped at the church on the site of The Old Brick Church (present day St. Luke's Church near the James River bridge. They may also have worshipped at an earlier church Newport Parish which was located on Cypress Swamp.

His wife may have been the daughter of William Jewry. Will below shows inheritance to Robert Ruffin who might have been his grandchild.

Will of William Jewry

I, William Jewry, of the Isle of Wight County, being very sick and weak, but of perfect mind and memory.
To be buried at the Discretion of my Exeuctor in the Parish Church of the county aforesaid.
After my debts which I justly owe unto any man, being first paid and my funeral expenses satisfied.
Imprimis. I give and bequeath unto ELIZABETH PENNY, the daughter of Richard Penny, of the county aforesaid, One yearling cow calf.
Item. I give an Bequeath into ROBERT RUFFIN, son of William Ruffin of Isle of Wight County af'd, one Heifer of the proper Mark of me the sa' William Jewry. Item. I give and bequeath into John Arran, sone of John Arran of the county af'd a calf, all and singular, the rest of my estate I give and bequeath unto my dear and loving friend ye af'd Jno Arran, for and of this my last will and Testament and do make and ordain him full and sole Executor.
In witness whereof, I, the said William Jewry, renouncing all former wills to this my last will and testament, have set my hand the first of January Anno Domini, 1651.

William X Jewry (Mark)

Signed and deilvered in the presence of us
Richard R. P. Penny, William R Ruffin (W.R.), William Westray
[signed initials as "mark"]

From the Isle of Wight book by Boddie:
pg 535:
Deposition of John Smyth, aged 50 years, said Wm Ruffin covenanted with John Goves to build him a house for 300 lb tbco [tobacco], Ruffin's son to help 20 days, not built so tobc was buried in ground for want of housing.
9 June 1664.

Deposition of Katherine Thornton, aged 30 years, in regard to Jno Grove's house said same.

Transcribed by: Monk Moore (no e-mail address)


				October 10th 1687

Arthur Smith age forty nine years ould or thereabout says that about the
22nd of August hast past, being desired to go and see the widdow
(Katherine) Bathe that lay sick at the house of Stephen Horsfield her
sone in law, I went and Henry Clark and John Watson with me and when the
aforesaid widow saw me she seemed to be very glad and tould me that she
had a greate desire to make a will to dispose of the little she had and
advised me there to take notice of her words and then tould us that all
she had she did give to her sone in law Stephen Horsfield and his wife
and children; but one wether she would give to her sone Arthur
Whitehead. Yo deponant asked her was this that was all she would give
her sone, she said yes for she had never bene no help to Stephen
Horsfield nor his wife since they was married and had always bene
helping her son Arthur Whitehead & tould us there was five cows & two
yearling heifers & three ould steer at Arthur Whiteheads of hers that
she gave to her son Stephen & there or fower sheepe at Stephens house of
hers and what other things that was hers as debt or any household goods
she gave it all to her son in law Stephen Horsfield, only the forsaid
wether, for he must looke after her as longe as she lives & declaring of
it with weeping tiares how unnaturall her said sone Arthur Whitehead was
to her. This I can dispose of
									Arth. Smith
									Henry H. Clark
									John E. Watson
			The underwritten Henry Clark and John Watson
			have sworn to the above said noncupative will in
			court held for the Isle of Wight County October
			the 11th 1687.
						   Cert. John Pitt Ct. Cir.

Note: Wether - Old English for castrated ram or male sheep.

	 Dispose - to bestow of transfer property.

	 Noncupative Will: A will dictated to others and not written by the
person making the will. Could be verbal or written by another person.
Many times a deathbed will.

Monk's comments:

"Now we know what Katherine was talking about with the word unnatural.
She was not meaning that he was not a natural child but rather that his
treatment of her was not natural. She got her revenge by giving him the
most worthless animal there was, a wether (castrated ram), good for only
eating grass." Subject: Henry Jefferson Ruffin Vail Gray Applewhite I think I have finally found the Ruffin-Gray connection to the Applewhite/Applewhaite family and my grandfather. Katherine Ruffin b.1634 m. Arthur Whitehead b.1620 in Lancaster England. Great Grandson Joseph Whitehead b.1716 Halifax Co NC d.17 Feb 1781 m. Phereby Applewhaite b. ABT 1730 Isle of Wight. Their son Joseph Whitehead b.Abt 1781 Halifax Co NC m. Sarah"Sally" Gray b.1788 Halifax Co NC. Sincerely Jude Phillips Smith
Another RUFFIN Page pertaining to this family has been created by Randy Regan.

Click here to send e-mail to Virginia Crilley.

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