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Shands Family of Virginia

Frances Harrison married Thomas Shands, the father of William, who patented lands in Surry, VA, in 1722 and married Nazareth Roberts {RoBards}, daughter of John Roberts (sic), of Surry County, who left a will in 1740. They had one son named William Shands. This William died leaving a will in Surry, County, VA, in 1759, in which is named sons Thomas, John and William Shands, and three daughters whose Christian names are omitted by who married respectively, one a man named Stuart {William}, another a Nathaniel Mitchell, and another a certain Christopher Golightly." of his estate. Priscilla Moss Shands' date of death is unknown. Thomas Shands,II(3), was born in the early 1700's in what became Sussex County, VA. He was the son of William and Nazareth Robbards Shands and was not robust as he never married. He predeceased his father. Thomas signed his will 13 Nov 1751, in which he gave his land to his brother, William, Jr.; his 3 slaves "yellow Face," Dick and Bob to his father; his riding horse to his nephew, William Golightly, and the rest of his estate to his father. He named his brother, William, Jr., and a family friend, Thomas Young, as co-executors. Thomas Shands died in 1754. Mary Shands(3) born approximately 1720, in what became Sussex Co, VA, daughter of William and Nazareth Robbards, married WILLIAM STUART; their son, James, is named in his grandfather's will. This is the family highlighted in this researcher's history of the STEWART FAMILY. See the section entitled THE FAMILY OF WILLIAM AND MARY SHANDS STEWART OF SURRY COUNTY, VIRGINIA. Elizabeth Shands(3) born in early 1700's in what became Sussex Co, VA, was the daughter of William and Nazareth Robbards Shands. She married Nathaniel Mitchell, son of Henry and Tabitha Branch Mitchell. Elizabeth and Nathaniel had at least one child born in Sussex Co, John Mitchell, who was mentioned in his grandfather, William Shands' will. Elizabeth died in 1768. It is this researcher's belief that their son John Mitchell married Scota Stewart, daughter of William and Mary Shands Stewart, who had witnessed the christening of William Stewart, Peggy A. Givens' direct line ancestor, son of John and Lucretia _________Stewart in 1775, along with her brother William Stewart, and Thomas Ogburn, their cousin. Scota was apparently a pet name for either Elizabeth or Charlotte. A Rebecca Stewart married another Mitchell in Brunswick Co, VA. Frances Shands(3) born in the early 1700's in what became Sussex Co, VA, was the daughter of William and Nazareth Robbards Shands. She married Christopher Extracted from JAMES A. STEWART: SOMEWHERE IN TEXAS by Peggy A. Givens, GPG Publishing Co., L5992 Walnut Glen, McAlester, Oklahoma 74501, 1994, pp. 21-24 . . . The Shands' family history begins with a NICHOLAS COMINS(1) in York County, Virginia, as published in TYLER'S QUARTERLY AND GENEALOGICAL MAGAZINE, Vol XV, No. 3, Jan 1934: Nicholas Comins made his will in York Co, which was proved 24 Apr 1656. He names his wife Eleanor, son Nicholas and daughter Elizabeth, wife of Robert Harrison. Eleanor, the widow, married secondly Francis Wheeler, whose son was a London merchant. There is a very interesting letter from the son, in London, on record in York County, (dated 29 Dec 1659) to his father in Virginia, telling about the tobacco trade and the civil war in England, and giving advice to his father "to keep a plantation in Virginia, the times being so dangerous here." Mrs. Eleanor Wheeler's will was made 13 Apr 1660, and mentions among others her son, Nicholas Comins(2), grandchild Amy Harrison, and the child's father, Robert Harrison. Robert Harrison(1), age about 44 years in 1658, died in 1668—Robert Harrison being the same age as the William Steward, who left Gravesend, England, in 1635 bound for Barbados. The children named in his will were Nicholas, Robert, James, Amadea, Elizabeth, and Frances. Robert, the son, was a builder and erected the brick prison in Yorktown and perhaps the Custom House. A deed in 1693 recorded in York County names these children and states that Amadea (Amy) was married to James Minge(1) of Charles City County, and Frances was married to Thomas Shands(1) of the same county. Charles City County extended at that time on both sides of the James River, and the reference is to Prince George County, which was cut from Charles City County in 1704. There is little doubt that Thomas Shands(1) was the father of William Shands(2), who patented land in Surry County in 1722, although the loss of records prevents direct proof. He married Nazareth Roberts/RoBards, named as daughter of John Roberts/RoBards of Surry, in his will, dated 11 Sep 1740 and recorded in Surry County on 21 Jan 1741. It was stated by William Shands(4) born in 1757 that his ancestor came to this country as secretary to James Minge who was clerk of the Houses of Burgesses and drafter of Bacon's Laws in 1676. Of these, John Shands(3), died without a will before his father, and his inventory was admitted to record 21 Jan 1758. His wife Elizabeth is named as his administratix in 1761. His son, John Shands(4), married his first cousin, Priscilla, daughter of William Shands(3) and Priscilla Moss Shands in 1764. (Sussex County Marriage Bonds) They emigrated to Spartanburg, S.C. John Shands is the first of the Shands' names appearing in the records of Spartanburg County. Certainly as early as 7 Nov 1785 he was settled there. On that date he received a grant of 200 acres from the state of SC signed by the Hon. William Moultrie, Gov. (TYLER QUARTERLY MAGAZINE) Extracted by permission of Wayland Arthur Shands from his book SHANDS FAMILY HISTORY - Part I, 1986, Bagpipe Press, Inc, Route 2, Box 440, Greenwood, SC 29646, to Peggy A. Givens. Wayland Arthur Shands in his SHANDS FAMILY HISTORY - Part I - gives an in-depth account of the Shands' family in Surry and Sussex Counties in Virginia: Thomas Shands(1) who came from Scotland where he was secretary to James Minge, Clerk of the House of Burgesses and drafter of Bacon's Laws in 1676, married Frances Harrison in Virginia. We do not know when Thomas and James Minge arrived in America. . .However, documented evidence shows that William was the son of our Thomas and his wife, Frances Harrison, and that William was definitely of our lineage. William Shands(2), we believe, was born 1685 because his name was among 34 others whose signatures were affixed in 1710 to a petition of the citizens of Charles City Co, VA, deploring conditions resulting from the partitioning in 1703 of Charles City County. (VA Mag of Hist and Biog XVIII, 1910, p. 398) His signature on that document establishes he had reached his majority by or before that time, 1710, which indicates the date of his birth to have been about the mid-to-late 1680's. William became a large, prosperous land owner, as indicated by his will, which was dated 4 Jan 1759. It was said that William patented land in 1722 in Surry County, VA, from King George and that he was given land in Prince George Co, VA, by his father. The original of a deed of land to William Shands in Surry County, signed by then-gov, William Gooch. William married Nazareth Robbards, daughter of John Robbards. They had 3 sons and 3 daughters. The sons were John, William, Jr., and Thomas; the daughters were Frances, Elizabeth, and Mary. Thomas died young. William, Sr., signed his will 4 Jan 1759, and it was proved 17 Aug 1759. His wife, Nazareth Robbards Shands died before 9 Oct 1764, the date will was proved. Both wills were in Sussex County, VA. John Shands(3), born 1713, in Albemarle Parish, Surry-Sussex Co's, VA, son of William and Nazareth Robbards, married Elizabeth Averitt. John was a well educated man as shown by the several legal documents which he prepared and signed. He was also a very well-to-do man. Legal documents showed that he and Elizabeth made a number of purchases and sales of land. In addition, in the will of his grandfather, John Robbards, probated 21 Jan 1741, he was given his grandfather's "Otterdam Swamp Farm," a large tract. There was an indenture dated 14 Jul 1755 showing that John and Elizabeth agreed to sell 320 acres of that tract on the northeast side of the Otterdam Swamp farm, including all of the houses, appurtenances, orchards, lands, woods, etc., for 125 pounds. John and Elizabeth had 3 children born in Surry/Sussex Co's, VA: Francis born 5 Aug 1739; Mary born 8 Jun 1749; and John, Jr., born 27 Sep 1741 married his lst cousin, Phebe Shands, who was born 21 Jan 1744 in same county. (John Shands, Jr.(4) and his family from first and second wives moved to Spartanburg Dist, SC, shortly after the Rev War before 1784.} {Dr. R.E. Shands of the Shands Hospital, Inc., of New Albany, Miss, in his typed reference to this famiily prior to 1964 states that John Shands(4) had three wives: (1) Priscilla Shands, his first cousin - no children; (2) Rebecca Lee, with 2 children;: Anthony, born 1774 and Rebecca, born in 1776; (3) Margaret Castleberry, a devoted and pious woman, member of the Baptist church—7 children, William, Jesse, Joel, Gideon, Abraham, Dorcas, and Sarah.} Continuing with Wayland Arthur Shands' account of the Surry/Sussex Shands—William Shands, Jr.(3), who called himself "William, Sr.," was born in 1714, son of William and Nazareth Robbards Shands, married Priscilla Moss on 9 Nov 1738, daughter of William Moss. This William Shands was a well-to-do farmer, including sizable acreage of land, farm animals, slaves, and money. He and Priscilla had 11 children born in Surry/Sussex, VA: Lucy, Mary, Phebe, Augustine, Amy, Elizabeth, Thomas III, William III, William IV, Martha, and Priscilla. There is no indication why, but in his will, dated 24 Aug 1776, William made as his legatees Lucy, Phebe, Martha, Augustine, William IV. He gave mostly money to the 3 daughters; household goods and personal effects, slaves, farm animals, and implements to William IV; and slaves and land to Augustine. Augustine and William IV were named co-executors of the estate. The exact date of death of William Shands, Jr., is unknown, but it was shortly before 19 Dec 1776, when certificate was granted for obtaining a probate Golightly. Frances and Christopher had 5 children who were born in Sussex Co, VA: Shands, William, Christopher, Jr., John, and David. All of the sons moved to the Old 96 Dist of SC. These are names found in the book by Brent H. Holcomb which gives minutes of the county court, years 1785-1799, in Spartanburg Co, SC. All of the sons were reported to have served in SC during the Rev War (Union County Heritage - South Carolina, p. 114). The dates of death and places of burial of the parents are unknown.