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Looking for Information on Raleigh and Charles Chinn of Virginia

Replies: 15

Re: Looking for Information on Raleigh and Charles Chinn of Virginia

Posted: 27 Feb 2008 11:22PM GMT
Classification: Query
I've done alot of research on this particular family and I'll see what I can do to help here.

First, the Rawleigh Chinn you're looking for is not 2nd, but 1st. His father was John Chynn (or Chinn), his mother Alice (maiden name controversial but that can be saved for a later time).

He was born the 23rd of May 1684 in England and died about 1741 (will date, probated 1742) in Lancaster County Virginia. Rawleigh married Esther Ball, daughter of Joseph Ball and was half sister of Mary Ball, circa 1700/01. They had five (or seven depending..) children: Joseph, Rawleigh, Thomas, Chichester, Ann (and possibly John and Sarah).


Beginning about 1721 Esther and Rawleigh's marriage had gone bad and they began a rather public fight in and outside the courtrooms which ultimately was settled with a general court decision granting Esther 'separate maintenance'- a legal separation. Divorce was very rare and so this was really the only solution.


At this time Rawleigh started his relationship with the widow, Margaret (Ball) Downman, daughter of Captain William Ball and Margaret Williamson. She was a cousin to Esther as William and Joseph were brothers. She was born in 1694 and died in 1758.

Margaret was married circa 1715 to Rawleigh Downman (son of William Downman and Million Travers). They had two sons William and Rawleigh (who would marry Joseph Ball's- esther's brother- daughter Frances years later). Her husband died about 1719, and she was left a wealthy, land owning, single mother.


Since Rawleigh did not get a divorce, he and Margaret could never marry. Despite this, they had three sons, eldest Charles (born 18 Oct 1723 in Richmond Co), Christopher and Elijah. Margaret was, between about 1728 and 1735 repeatedly taken to court for 'adultery', fornication, leud character and at least twice for having an 'illegal' child. On occasion, Rawleigh too would be brought in on charges.


Rawleigh died about 1741, and left to his 'godsons', "the sons of Mrs. Margaret Downman", land (in Prince William County) and personal effects, for the most part, equal to his other sons.


As you research this part of your family you will find many unkind remarks about Rawleigh, and even Margaret. In his defense, I think he has been poorly misjudged by time and I can, if you're interested elaborate on the many honorable and kind things he did throughout his life. As for Margaret, she did what she had to do, in a time when being an unmarried woman was extremely difficult.


Of their three sons, while born with the Downman name, they all changed their surnames to Chinn after the death of their mother. All three moved to the lands their father left them (which changed to the name of Farquier county, and then Loudoun)


Charles's will is dated 1787, in it he names children: Charles, Elijah, Rawleigh, John, William Ball, Joseph, Margaret, Betty, Suckey, Nancy and Mary. The mention of your ancestor specifically says 'my daughter Mary Reno' and mentions her husband Zila Reno. Charles' wife was Cynthia Davis (who he calls Seth in his will I think) about 1753.


So... while your Ball line is not a direct descent from Esther Ball, you still have the same grandfather line so to speak.

William Ball (Margaret's father) and Joseph Ball (ether's father) had the same parents; Colonel William Ball of Millenbeck, Lancaster County, Virginia and his fine wife Hannah Atherold.

Which makes you a cousin of sorts to Geo Washington, and as it happens, a cousin to me as well. Hope this helps, Elizabeth
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Pamkf 26 Feb 2008 12:42AM GMT 
Elizabeth Har... 27 Feb 2008 1:11PM GMT 
Pamkf 27 Feb 2008 2:16PM GMT 
Elizabeth Har... 27 Feb 2008 3:49PM GMT 
plinkmusic 28 Feb 2008 6:22AM GMT 
Pamkf 28 Feb 2008 2:56PM GMT 
plinkmusic 1 Mar 2008 5:23AM GMT 
Kimberly John... 1 Mar 2008 6:41PM GMT 
Elizabeth Har... 1 Mar 2008 7:15PM GMT 
Kimberly John... 1 Mar 2008 9:23PM GMT 
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