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William Piatt and ?

William Piatt appeared on the tax records of Hampshire County from 1797 through 1813 as William Peyatt, Peayatt, and Peatt and on the 1810 Hampshire County census, page 24, as William Peatt. In that census record he apparently lived with his wife, whose name is unknown, and three children less than 10 years old. The son was Benjamin F. Piatt, born 1808, who later married Ann Carter. The daughters were Mary Elizabeth Piatt, born about 1805, who later married John C. Ward, and perhaps Rachel Piatt, who married George Bowman in 1827.) Subsequently, William Piatt and his wife (or wives) apparently had 12 or 13 more children. His widow appeared on the 1850 census for Nicholas County, VA, as Margaret Piatt, age 58; if Margaret's age was correct, she was on the verge of being too young to have borne William's oldest children.

In 1814 in Augusta County, VA, a William Peatt married Mary Smith, the daughter of Martin Smith, and in 1815 William Peat was listed on the Augusta County tax records. Piatt genealogists have supposed that this was William of Hampshire County marrying Mary as his second wife. However, this conclusion has not yet been proven. The only real evidence for this supposition is the 1864 Mason County, WV, marriage record of John S. Piatt, born about 1841, who supposedly said his parents were "William and Mary". However, at the age of 8 this same John had appeared on the 1850 census of Nicholas County, VA, with his mother, Margaret Piatt (recorded as Poatte). (See page 384a, lines 5-9, family number 573, at the following Web page:

Perhaps an inspection of John's original marriage record might disclose that his parents were actually identified as "William and Marg".)

An alternative possible identity for the William who married in 1814 is William Piatt/Pyatt the basketmaker, who was born about 1790 in VA, migrated to Ohio prior to 1820, and later lived in IN, TN, and MO. This William's first child Benjamin is said to have been born about 1813. This William's first wife has been thought to have been Catherine Glass, but without any confirming evidence. Is it possible that the 1814 William and Mary moved to Ohio, perhaps with relatives, while the older William remained in Hampshire County?

Land grants in Hampshire County, VA, found in "Sims Index to Land Grants in West Virginia" shows the following entry:
Peepyat, William / 50 / Mill Creek / 1796 / 9 / 119
William Peepyat's 50-acre tract was surveyed in 1794 and the grant was issued in 1796. The record of the survey conducted by John Mitchell Jr. reads in part, "December 2nd, 1794. By virtue of part of aland office Treasury Warrant No. 415 dated April 28th, 1794, and entered August 6th, 1794, I have surveyed for William Peepyat assignee of William Fox a tract of land in Hampshire County on the middle ridge adjoining Thomas Lazenby on the drains of Mill Creek. . . ."

This William Peepyat survey document was witnessed by Cornelius Peepyat and Wm. Lazenby. A summary and scanned images of the survey record can be viewed at the following Web pages: - [begins] - [continues]

The record of the 1796 grant issued to William Peepyat by Robert Brooke, Esquire, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, can be viewed at the following Web page:

William Peepyat's survey is mentioned again in an adjoining 1795 survey and 1799 land grant issued to Frederick Finks (Fink). - [survey] - [grant]

Immediately following the Finks survey (on page 499) is the record for a 1795 survey for William Fox, presumably the same man who had assigned William Peepyat his Mill Creek tract. To conduct additional online search of Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants, go to the following Web page:

William Peepyat/Piatt who received the Hampshire County land grant was born about 1770-1775, probably in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. The identity of William's parents is uncertain.

William was undoubtedly related to Cornelius Piatt, who had acquired 50 acres of land on Beaver Run in Hampshire County in 1792 and who witnessed the 1794 Peepyat survey. In the Hampshire County tax records for 1795 and 1796, two males over 16 were listed in Cornelius's household; one of them was presumably William Peepyat. Only one male over 16 had been charged to Cornelius in 1792 and 1794, and once William started appearing on the tax list in 1797, Cornelius again was charged with only one male over 16 in 1797 and 1798.

How was William related to Cornelius? He might have been a son, in which case the unidentified female over 45 in Williams's household in 1810 might have been his widowed mother. But alternatively, William could have been brother, cousin, or nephew to Cornelius. It is possible that William's father was James Piatt, born before 1765, who was listed near William on the 1810 Hampshire County census, page 23 (recorded as James Peate, and sometimes transcribed at James Peale).


Updated Dec 2001

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