John White, in his own words
If he could speak to us today, John White might describe his life as follows.
I was born about 1720, undoubtedly in the Colony of Virginia, and by 1760 was living in
Lunenburg County with my wife, Phoebe Carter, and 3 teenage sons. Our home was on Reedy
Creek, south of present-day Victoria, and we were parishioners of Cumberland Parish.
After Phoebe died, probably in the 1780s, I married Penelope and had two more sons. The
older boys were too old to fight during the Revolution, and my younger ones, too young. At the
outbreak, I owed the Petersburg store of British merchant Wm. Cunningham & Co. £8.17.3½.
Since the war did not extinguish the debt, I had to pay it many years later.
Carter and John stayed nearby in Lunenburg while my other sons were later in Georgia,
Kentucky, and elsewhere.
I lived to be about 70. Since I had given all my land to my older boys, by 1791 all I had was
some personal property to leave to my wife and her sons. Born an Englishman, I died a
The family of John White
This table recaps the family of John White, my paternal great great great great great
great-grandfather (eight generations). Only the wife from whom I descend is shown.
341 Phoebe Carter
William White (c.1743-1818)
170 Carter White (c.1745-1833)
John White (c.1747-1796)
Daniel Green White
John and his wife, Phoebe, whom we presume to be Phoebe Carter, were the parents of three
known sons. John married second Penelope and they had two sons named in John’s will.
Because the Cockerham family was so closely connected to the White family, John’s second
wife may have been Penelope Cockerham, a daughter of Minor Cockerham. After her father
died, her uncle John Cockerham gave livestock to Penelope and her two sisters 3 September
John White was a resident of Lunenburg County when he bought 120 acres on Reedy Creek
from Benjamin Cockerham 1 July 1760.
Although John’s name was not in the 1752 tithable list of Lunenburg County, he did appear in
the next surviving 1764-list when he was charged on four tithables, including William and
Carter, and paid taxes on his 120 acres. Only Carter was listed in his household in 1769. In
1775 his adult sons were on their own and John paid on just three tithes. The next year the
tithe list depicted him as John White Sr. with three tithes.
Processioners returns of 1768 confirm that John White Sr. was a landowner near Reedy Creek.
He must have soon given land to his sons, since in 1771 John White Sr., John White Jr., and
Carter White had land processioned in Cumberland Parish. Neighbors were Peter Jones, Mary
Cockerham, John Hazelwood, and Thomas Winn. John Sr. served the vestry as a processioner
in 1776 and 1784.
John White bought 167½ acres on Great Hounds Creek for £40 in April 1770, which he and
Phoebe, his wife, sold to Carter White for £50 in September 1770. Then he purchased about
167 acres on Stokes Creek 12 March 1772.
John gives slaves to his sons
In 1788 John White Sr. gave to property to three sons: William White got four slaves, John got
four slaves, 120 acres, and livestock, and Carter got six slaves. His then wife would receive
part of the personal property if she gave up her dower right in the land.
John makes his will
John made his will in Lunenburg County 15 March 1791. He left all his personal property to
Penelope during her widowhood. It would afterwards descend to sons, Daniel Green White and
David White. He nominated his wife and son Carter White executors. John lived several more
years for the court did not record his will until 8 September 1796. Penelope White qualified as
executor 11 September 1797, with Philip Snead, security.
Descendants of John White
Arranged below is the information we have regarding the five children of John White and their
William White (c.1743-1818) [340.1]
William White, the eldest son of John and Phoebe (Carter) White, married Mary
Hooper, a daughter of Obediah Hooper and Massilva Brooks. William had land near the Hooper
family in 1768.
William bought 200 acres on the branches between the Middle and North Meherrin rivers from
John Chandler 13 August 1767 and 100 acres on the branches of the Middle Meherrin River
from John Thornton in 1778. William and Mary White deeded both parcels to Robert Wilson 29
The list of tithes for Lunenburg County called William White “constable” in 1772, 1773, and
1774, and he continued to appear in the county 1776-83.
William and Mary died in Georgia. His Franklin County will named wife, Mary, and children
Phoebe Carter Smithson, Polly Williams, Betty G. Hunt, Zachariah White, and Richard White
(will dated 27 Feb. 1817, recorded 2 Nov. 1818).
Children of William and Mary (Hooper) White
3› Phoebe Carter White [340.1.1] married Marion Coy Smithson in Lunenburg County 27
3› Mary White [340.1.2] married Nathan Williams.
3› Betsy G. White [340.1.3] married Nathaniel Hunt.
3› Thomas White [340.1.4] (c.1773).
3› Nancy White [340.1.5] (6 Oct. 1775 - 15 Aug. 1851) married Stephen Dickson 11
September 1803. See their family
3› William White [340.1.6] (9 Dec. 1778 - 16 June 1875) married Nancy Hooper (10 Nov.
1783 - 13 Jan. 1837).
3› Richard White [340.1.7] married Eleanor Dickson in Halifax County 2 January (bond)
1807. See their family
3› Zachariah White [340.1.8] married Jane Cockerham.
170 Carter White (c.1745-1833) [340.2]
Carter White, the second son of John and Phoebe (Carter) White, was born about 1745. See
Family Topic 170
John White (c.1747-1796) [340.3]
John White, the third son of John and Phoebe (Carter) White, appeared as John White Jr. in
the 1773 and 1774 tithes list and by 1775 paid taxes on two tithes.
John purchased 30 acres on the north side of the Middle Meherrin River from Thomas Estes in
John and Frances were the parents of several children whom John identified in his Lunenburg
County will (will dated 1796, recorded 12 Jan. 1797). Not mentioned in his will but identified in
1799-guardian accounts were Martha and Nancy White.
The inventory of his estate taken February 1797 included ten slaves, a variety of livestock,
household furniture, farm tools, and few kitchen utensils. Joshua Johnson, Josiah Ellington, and
David Ellington valued the estate for £597.8.6. They settled John’s estate in 1800.
His brother, Carter White, reported on his wards 1802-10.
Children of John and Frances (—) White
3› Mary White [340.3.1] married William Smith in Lunenburg County May 1785. He was
among the legatees of the estate of John White.
3› Carter White [340.3.2] (28 April 1769 - 12 Aug. 1858) married first Elizabeth Winn
Cockerham between the November Court 1790 and the May Court 1791. They were the
parents of one child before “Betsy’s” death.
As Carter White Jr., he married second Betty Ann Wood (4 Mar. 1776 - 12 Sept. 1837)
30 January 1794. Baptist minister John Williams officiated at their wedding. His bride was a
daughter of David Wood and Martha. Lunenburg County taxed Carter White Jr. on one white
tithable, four horses, and two slaves more than 12 years of age in 1800.
Carter and Betty were the parents of nine children born in Virginia. They left for
Kentucky in 1811 and one daughter was born on the way there. Two children were born in
Kentucky. The Census of 1850 places them in Warren County.
Carter married third Sarah Randall 11 August 1842 and fourth, Betty Smithson, a niece
of his second wife, 27 June 1847. Carter died in Warren County.
3› Elizabeth White [340.3.3] married Ambrose Lee in Lunenburg County 14 September
(bond) 1792. Her father was surety.
3› Rebecca White [340.3.4] married John Adin in Lunenburg County 11 November 1802.
3› John White [340.3.5].
3› Elisha White [340.3.6] came of age by 20 August 1802 when he gave Carter White
receipt for his legacy.
3› Elijah White [340.3.7] appeared last in guardian accounts in 1805 and evidently came of
age by then.
3› James White [340.3.8] appeared last in guardian account in 1805 and evidently came of
age by then.
3› Henderson White [340.3.9].
3› Martha White [340.3.10], called “Patsy,” appeared last in guardian accounts in 1805 and
evidently came of age by then.
3› Nancy White [340.3.11].
3› daughter White [340.3.12] married Robert Whitlock who was a legatee of her father’s
Daniel Green White [340.4]
Daniel Green White, a son of John and Penelope White, married Martha Wood in Lunenburg
County, 14 August 1811. Stephen Wood was surety.
Martha was the daughter of David Wood who named daughter Patsy White in his 1816-will in
Daniel and Martha were later in Simpson County, Kentucky, with her sister Betty who married
David White [340.5]
David White, a son of John and Penelope White, married Nancy Stone in Lunenburg County 20
February 1812. Amos S. Johnson was his surety.
“White.” Simpson County, Kentucky, Families Past and Present. 1989: 481. • Family of Carter
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Civil War Soldiers from Brunswick County, Virginia