Thomas Christian Burton, Sr., of Cobbs (2023)

See "Burton Chronicies of Colonial VA",by: Francis Burton Harrison (1933)

Known as Thomas Burton of Cobbs, because in May 1656 he became owner of the area known as "Cobbs." By the time he became more established at Cobbs, the Colonial government was functioning and the tobacco trade was flourishing. Increasingly, however, the colonists began to resist English taxation and repression and by 1776 Bacon's rebellion and the Mecklenburg Declaration evidenced the Revolutionary War to follow.

Cobbs was located in an area strategic to both sides of the Revolution. In 1781 Lafayette and Cornwallis passed through or within miles of Cobbs, prior to the siege and surrender of British forces at Yorktown.

From 1636 to 1865, Cobbs was in the very center of colonial expansion and the formation of our nation. Indian massacres, revolution, Constitutional government, the War of 1812 and the War between the Statesall occured at sites near or within the estate. Within 25 miles laid the Jamestown Colony, Williamsburg, Yorktown and Richmond.

The Burton decendents moved west to Amelia County and Mecklenburg as the Civil War neared. Almost all the Burtons were slave owners who were caught in the turmoil of the growing conflict over state's rights and slavery and the call for secession from the Union.

Ochre was first used as war paint by indians, was mined at Cobbs.

Deed of THOMAS BURTON, SR. of Bristol Parish, Henrico County, VA to hihs four sons; recorded 1 Feb 1685, Henrico Court, page 350: 100 acres to eldest son THOMAS adjoining my plantation 100 acres to son JOHN adjoining James Baugh 100 acres to son ABRAHAM, where I now live 100 acres to son ABRAHAM 100 acres to son ABRAHAM (sic) next to Maj. Thomas Chamberlayne Sons not to get land until my decease, dated 1 January 1685 Witness Thomas Lockett & John Baugh "Deed ot Thomas Burton, dec'd probated 1 Feb 1685 and land given to four sons THOOMAS, JOHN, ABRAHAM, & ISAAC)

Thomas was born in Henrico County, Virginia, in 1634. Henrico Co is one of the oldest “political” areas of Virginia, originally settled in 1611, four years after the Jamestown colony was established. It was the second settlement in Virginia. Today, you’ll find Henrico County surrounds the state capital of Virginia, Richmond. Thomas was one of eight children – with five brothers and two sisters. He and his brother John purchased Cobb Hall (Cobbs Plantation) in 1656; when Thomas was only 22. It had been the estate of Ambrose Cobb. Six years later, Thomas, age of 28, married Susannah Hatcher, age 24. Susannah was the daughter of William Hatcher and Marian Newport, great grand-daughter of Captain Christopher Newport, colonial founder of Jamestown, June 1607 (Family Jewell’s #1). John Burton transferred his share of Cobb Hall to his brother Thomas in 1680, and the estate stayed in the hands of the Burtons until 1704 when Thomas’ oldest son sold the property to John Bolling, the great-grandson of Pocahontas and John Rolfe. According to Wikipedia, today, Cobb, or “Cobbs”, is: just west of Point of Rocks on the north shore of the Appomattox River downstream from present-day Petersburg, Virginia. Cobbs was located in Henrico County until the area south of the James River was subdivided to form Chesterfield County in 1749. It is now an area of ball fields and parks. If you’d like to read more, here is a wonderful article published at, a website in Columbia, Adair County, Kentucky. It was written by Greg Burton. He too has researched the life of Thomas Burton and “Cobbs”. An internet search found that Thomas made a gift of cattle and “swine” to his sons, John and Abraham, on December 13, 1681. Then on January 1, 1685/6, he deeded land to all four of his sons – Thomas, John, Isaac, and Abraham. Less than a month later he died. Susannah, his widow, administered his estate on February 1, 1685/86.

Lost cemetery on Longfield plantation owned by John Burton of UK

No markers remain

John Burton and Thomas Burton were the two immigrant brothers who came to Charles City County, Virginia around 1652. John Burton of "Longfield" and Thomas Burton of "Cobbs." The following Burton landowners are listed in the 1780 Land Book of Mecklenburg, Virginia: Abraham Burton, 285 acres; Benjamin burton, 100 acres; Hutchins Burton, 115 acres; Captain John Burton, 687 acres; John Burton, 727 acres; Josiah Burton, 150 acres; Captain Peter Burton, 407 1/2 acres; Robert Burton, 500 acres; and Thomas Burton, 385 acres. All of these Burton's were the great-grandchildren of the two immigrant brothers. --Source, Burton Genealogy of Marlene Burton DeLung & Peggy Burton Rich; Salem, Virginia; published on-line.

Located on New Market Road (Route 5). "The name Curles is derived from the "Curles or meanders in the James River", which defines the broad flat peninsula known as Curles Neck. The property has passed through a number of hands, but the Randolf family, who acquired the land in 1698, had by far the longest tenure. Earlier, from 1674 to his death in 1676, Nathaniel Bacon lived at Curles. Through the years, various names have been applied to different sections of this vast tract, viz., "Raleigh", "Bailey's", "Tillmans", "The Slashes", "Bremo", and "Strawberry Plains."

The property was originally referred to by early settlers as “Longfield”.

32. Thomas Sr 0f Cobbs Burton, born Abt. 1634 in England; died April 01, 1686 in Cobbs Chesterfield Co Va. He was the son of 64. Richard Burton and 65. Katherine Christain. He married 33. Susannah Hatcher 1663 in Henrico Co Va. 33. Susannah Hatcher, born Abt. 1646 in Henrico Co Va; died Abt. 1668 in Va. She was the daughter of 66. William Hatcher and 67. Mary Ward.

Notes for Thomas Sr 0f Cobbs Burton: Thomas came to America in 1656 and lived at Cobbs, Chesterfield Co Va. His home was known as the Bolling home. Thomas left it to his son, John, who sold it to Bolling family in 1704.

He owned Cobbs Plantation, thus called "Thomas of Cobbs". Source: "A History of a Colonial Land Patent" 1639-1864 Ancestral Home of Thomas Burton from 1656-1685 In 1656, Robert Cobbs sold the same 350 acres to Michael Masters in turn surrendered the 350 acres to Thomas & John Burton. (Will & Deed Books, Henrico Co., Va. / transcript) p 265 At Court at Fort Henry Jan 15, 1656 Present : Col. Abraham Wood, Mr Wm. Baugh. Mr Wm Walthall and me George Worsham, Commissioners I John, Knight, etc. grant to Ambrose Cobbs. 350 acres on Appomattox River in Henrico, Co. bounded on south by the main river, west by land of Mr John Baugh, north by the main woods Signed : Thos Brerton "extracted from the records of Bristol Parrish by Nich. Dison. C. Cur." Recorded 1 Feb. 1683 at request of Thomas Burton.

Thomas Burton is our Colonial ancestor in Virginia. From the evidence it appears that the John Burton referred to above is the brother of Thomas Burton. However, in the sequence of deeds to follow, John does not appear as a grantor. Thus in May, 1656 Thomas Burton became the owner of "Cobbs". Subsequently he was known as Thomas Burton of Cobbs. John Burton settled 8-10 miles to the north on land patents north of the James River and his decendants form a long family of Burtons throughout the south somewhat parallel to our own. John Burton's plantation was called "Longfield". By the time Thomas Burton became established at "Cobbs", the Colonial government was functioning and the tobacco trade flourished. Increasingly, however, the colonist began to resist English taxation and repression and by 1776 Bacon's Rebellion and the Mecklenburg Declaration evidenced the Revolutionary War to follow. "Cobbs" was located in an area strategic to both sides in the revolution. In 1781 both Lafayette and Cornwallis passed through or within a few miles of Cobbs, prior to the siege and surrender of British forces at Yorktown. From 1636 to 1865, "Cobbs" was in the very center of Colonial expansion and the formation of our nation. Indian massacres, revolution, Constitutional government, the War of 1812, and the War between the States all occured at sites near or within the confines of the Estate. Within 25 miles lay the Jamestown Colony, Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Richmond. The owners and occupants of this remarkable Estate were a cross section of pioneers, adventurers, merchants, planters, statesmen, hunters and war heroes; and not the least of these was our forefather, THOMAS BURTON, OF " COBBS".

In a will recorded 1 Feb, 1685, Thomas Burton leaves 100 acres each to his sons, Thomas, John, Abraham and Issac. Note that the original 350 acres has become 400 acres. We do not know if 50 acres were acquired after 1656 or if the descriptions were general in nature. In 1735, Issac Burton sold his 100 acres to Hohn Bolling, son of John Bolling of Cobbs, and thus the last Burton in our family line left "Cobbs". John Bolling purchased "Cobbs" in Nov, 1704 from John Burton, the land consisting of 300 acres. The descendants of John Bolling were distinguished and active in Military, Commerce and the Political development of Virginia. John Bolling was born in 1676 and died in 1709. He was the great grandson of Rolfe & Pocahontas and carried on a lively trade with the Indians. He was buried at Cobbs and his marker was surrounded by a stone wall. John Bolling was born in 1676 and died in 1709. In 1622 a band of Indians led by Chief Opechancanough led an uprising that massacred 347 colonist, one third of the settlers in Va. In addition to Jamestown to the south, Henricus, several miles to the north of "Cobbs" suffered a severe loss of life. During the War of 1812, the French Navy controlled the Chesapeake Bay area. From Feb 1813 to July 1815, there were few land engagements near Cobbs, but the French did carry out limited foraging expeditions along the banks of the James and Appomattox Rivers. During one of these expeditions the Cobbs Estate was overun. The outbuildings and grain storage buildings were burned, but the Mansion and the family grave areas were spared. The Burton decendants were moving west to Amelia County and Meckenburg as the Civil War neared. Almost all Burtons were slave holders and caught up in the turmoil of the growing conflict over states's rights and slavery and the call for secession from the Union. "Ochre", first used as war paint by the indians, was mined at Cobbs. This was in trade by the subsequent owners of "Cobbs" until ca. 1900.

More About Thomas Sr 0f Cobbs Burton: Immigration: 1665, Va

Notes for Susannah Hatcher: There are descendants of Anne Burton who married 1693, Bartholomew Stovall of Henrico County, Va. who have been admitted to the Colonial Dames of the XV11 Century through the line of Allen as shown by Worth Ray. The ascent is as follows: Anne Burton, dau of Thomas Burton who married Susannah, dau of Valentine Allen and Mary Page. (?) The ever frustrating thing about Ray is that he so often fails to give dates or any kind of references, but because it is published, it has been accepted without question to the fact. There are others who claim Susannah was a Hatcher. (as in this file) They are as convinced as those who say she was Allen. Dr. Philip Burton of Fort Myers, Fl who has done a great deal of research on the Burton family and it was his opinion that Susannah probably was a Hatcher, but that neither he nor any careful genealogist known to him could give a satisfactory and final answer to the question. In 1951, it was shown that Susannah Hatcher, born 1650, dau of Edward Hatcher and Mary Ward, who was the dau of Seth Ward. No proven facts to this. so, Hatcher or Allen? Stands as Hatcher until farther proven incorrect!

The origin of Susannah as being Susannah Allen, the daughter of Valentine Allen posibly originated with, or was compounded by, Worth Ray in Tennessee Cousins, pages 636-639. This assumption left much to be desired in the way of reference to primary references or sufficient logic to support this parentage.

Perhaps the most analytical and complely unbiased examination of the controversity was an in depth study 'Burton-Aller/Hatcher Anthology' by Glenn M. Turnell, FAS wich appeared in the Colonial Genealogist Vol I no 4 pp 204-8 which ended " conclusion is that Ann Burton Stovall was the daughter of Thomas Burton (Sr) and Susannah Hatcher.

One of the most convincing items of evidence proving that Susannah was the daughter of William Hatcher was the will (Will & Deed Book Part 1 page 125, Henrico Co VA; recorded 4/1/1680) of William Hatcher wherein he bequeathed substantial property to Thomas Burton Jr (his grandson). It should be noted that William Hatcher's will mentioned Thomas Burton Jr and that Valentine Allen's will listed only Allens! Not Burtons!

There were also strong geographical reasons to discredit Allen and reinforce Hatcher.

The preponderance of evidence supported by chronological sequences, historical fact and geography indicate that the wife of Thomas Burton was Susannah Hatcher, daughter of William Hatcher.

"It is generally agreed now that the maiden name of Susannah, wife of Thomas Burton, was HATCHER, the d/o William Hatcher. William Hatcher named Thomas Burton, Jr in his will; he was to receive one year schooling, etc. There have been several articles written on this subject. I understand this lineage has been accepted by the Jamestowne Society. Harrisons's book on Burtons is very helpful in some ways, but there are many errors in it.

In William Hatcher's will, Henrico co, Deeds & Wills Bk. 1, pgs 121-123, made 1676/7, Wm. gave "unto Thomas Burton, Junior the plantation Betweene the land of Mr. Henry Lound & the land of Gilbert Elam", "a years schooling & clothes till he arrives to age of 17 yrs", as well as several other items. In the will of Thomas Burton, Sr, Henrico Co. Will Bk 1, pg 351, among his heirs was "his oldest son Thomas Burton". In estate settlement papers, Thomas Sr's wife was named as Susannah. There was an article called "Burton-Allen/Hatcher Anthology" which appeared in The Colonial Genealogist, Vol. X, #4, pgs 204-208 which may explain this better than I can here. Also some articles on this subject appeared in "The Stovall Journal" in Feb. & May, 1994. I don't know who the wife of John Burton of Longfield was; I've heard it was Mary Cocke or Cox, but don't know if this ever proven or not. And I have never seen proof that Thomas of Cobbs & John of Longfield were sons of Richard Burton. I would like to know the source of this information, too." Source Vivian Creeden.

"Susannah Hatcher is concluded to be the wife of Thomas Burton of Cobb's. Info that he mar Susannah Allen, dau of Valentine Allen is pure garbage put out by Worth Ray in his 1929 "Tennessee Cousins". Valentine Allen never had a dau named Susannah to start with"

Source Robert Quinn

Data on children of Thomas and Susanna from "Burton and Hatcher Ancestry of Ann Burton Stovall".

On 13 Dec 1681 Thomas Burton made gifts of cattle and swine to his sons, John and Abraham Burton, and on 1 Jan 1685/6 he made a deed of gift of land to his four sons, Thomas (eldest), John, Isaac, and Abraham (youngest). Within a month he was dead and his widow, Susannah, was granted administration of his intestate estate on 1 Feb 1685/86. An estate inventory was filed 1 Apr 1686. Estate debts were paid by 1 Dec 1686. On 1 Dec 1699 Susannah renounced dower on 100 acres sold by John Steward to Michael Turpin.

Source Ann Maloney

More About Susannah Hatcher: Date born 2: Abt. 1646
Children of Thomas Burton and Susannah Hatcher are: i.Thomas Jr Burton, born 1664; died 1691; married Elizabeth Buchanan; born Abt. 1664; died Abt. 1691.

Notes for Thomas Jr Burton:

Thomas received 226 acres of land devised for life from his grandfather, William Hatcher, the emigrant. After Thomas's death in 1691, Edward, son of William petitioned the court for the return of the land. The land was delivered to Edward. Thomas had no children from his marriage to Elizabeth.

16ii.John of Cobbs Burton, born 1666 in Henrico Co Va; died 1754 in Dale Parish Chesterfield Co Va; married (1) Judith Nunsry; married (2) Susan Elizabeth Fowler 1688; married (3) Elizabeth Bevin Abt. 1728. iii.Isaac Burton, born 1667; died 1746.

Notes for Isaac Burton: "Burton and Hatcher Ancestry of Ann Burton Stovall" Isaac sold his 100 acres of "Cobbs" that he received from his father to John Bolling. No probate record and no clear record of marriage or issue.

iv.Abraham Sr Burton, born 1669 in Henrico Co Va; died January 14, 1735/36 in Va; married Ann Featherstone; born 1669; died Aft. 1689.

Notes for Abraham Sr Burton: Will dated 5/13/1736, proved in AmeliaCo, VA 1/14/1736

21v.Ann Burton, born Abt. 1664 in Va; died Aft. 1738 in Henrico Co Va; married (1) Bartholomew Stovall August 08, 1693 in Henrico Co Va; married (2) John M Saunders Abt. 1725.

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