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The Tynes Plantation

in Isle of Wight County, Virginia

There were in fact several plantations owned by members of the Tynes family in several counties of Virginia and North Carolina, but the most important one is the one pictured here. This is the land owned by Robert Tynes (who died in 1794) and his wife, née Mary Joyner. Robert inherited the land from his father, Timothy Tynes (died 1752), and built the home that still stands. Robert was a very successful planter and merchant; his name occurs frequently in the court and church records of the last half of the eighteenth century. When he died, he left the plantation to his only surviving son, Timothy.

Timothy Tynes ran the plantation until his death in 1802. He was a bachelor. At his death he had 81 slaves; in his will he freed every one of them, much to the consternation of his white family, and gave them most of his extensive land holdings. The freed slaves are the ancestors of most of the black Tynes families of Virginia.

One of the few parcels of land that Timothy gave to members of his white family was the Tynes homestead. This went to his nephew, David Tynes. However, David was not a businessman like his great-uncle Robert. Without the large plantation and the slaves to work it, David could not afford to keep the home up. He sold it in 1818, and moved his family to Tennessee.

The Tynes plantation home is located in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, just west of the town of Smithfield. The following photographs were taken by Hope Stanley (whose husband Charles is a descendant of Robert and Mary Tynes) in February 2000, at a time when the home was for sale and visitors allowed.

Please send any comments to Mark James at

This page was last updated on 28 March 2001.

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