Chapter 15 

Peebles Family 

The Peebles family is connected to the Poythress family [Chapter 12] by the marriage of Christian Peebles to John Poythress in Charles City County, Virginia. The Poythress family is thought to be connected to the Wall family [Chapter 11] by the marriage of Ann Poythress to John Wall about 1730-1740 in Virginia. The Wall family is connected to the Covington family [Chapter 10] through the marriage of Nancy Wall to John Covington on 26 July 1770. as his second wife. The Covington family is then connected to the Gathings family through the marriage of Martha Wall Covington to James J. Gathings on 5 April 1838. Their daughters, Mattie (Martha Wall Texanna) and Emma Davis Gathings, both married James McCown. 

There is not much information in the genealogical literature regarding our Peebles roots, but, fortunately, I have found two sources that provide us with some information. The first is a succinct summary of the family from Boddie’s Historical Southern Families that will serve as a fitting introduction to our Peebles family history. 


Peebles of Prince George County

"Pabell (with variations) was the original name in Flanders, where before the year 1115 were among a group who left that country because of civil and religious difficulties, and disastrous inundations from the sea. Matilda, daughter of Baldwin, Earl of Flanders and mother of Henry I of England, had obtained persmission for the group to settle in various parts of Britain. The name spelled Peebles (with variations) came into use in the 1500’s and 1600’s.

"David Peebles of Fife County, Scotland, m. Elspeth Mackie and had issue: a daughter Christan b. 1634; William b. 1635; a daughter Aliston b. 1641, Margaret b. 1642, and John b. 1644. Captain David Peebles, a Royalist, escaped to Virginia circa 1649 during the Cromwell Rebellion, leaving his wife (if then living) and their young children in Fife. In 1650 he patented 833 acres in Charles City County (later Prince George) SE of Old River Road (now Rte 10) and Powell’s Creek, less than a mile north of ‘Old Place,’ the plantation of Capt. Thomas E. Gary, on the Old Stage Road leading from a junction with Old River Road through Prince George Courthouse to Petersburg, for transporting himself and others. Later, he and Charles Sparrow patented 2500 ac. on both sides of Birchen Swamp at the old Weyanoke Indian town, which is still known as Old Town. David Peebles called his plantation ‘Bon Accord,’ and died there prior to 1 September 1659."

[Comment: See below. We are descended from Christian Peebles, who married John Poythress. There are records in Scotland that prove that David Poythress had a daughter, "Christon," born 1634, daughter of his first wife, Elspet Mackie. "Christon" could be the same "Christian." We know that David Peebles’ son, William, came to Virginia either with him, or more probably, at a later time. William could have brought his sister with him. However, the Virginia records, see below, refer to Christian as the daughter of David Peebles’ second wife, Elizabeth Bishop. Now, was Christian truly the daughter of Elizabeth, meaning that David Peebles had named a daughter of his first marriage Christon, and a daughter of his second marriage Christian? Or were Christon and Christian the same, and the Virginia record was really referring to Christian as the step-daughter of Elizabeth? My guess is the former, i.e., she was the daughter of Elizabeth Bishop.]


Turning now to a more comprehensive source: 



"Some of those who have had Scottish records searched, or done so themselves, have sent the records to me. Copied, they made two dozen or more single space pages of unrelated items. No connected family line back through the centuries has been worked out. That would have to be done by someone familiar with the history and geography of Scotland, trained in research, and able to translate the late Latin, different from classic, in which many of the few remaining records were written.

"However, in 1864 a native of the town of Peebles, William Chambers (1800-1883), published Peebles and its Neighborhood. He and his brother Robert (1802-1871) had a publishing firm, W. & R. Chambers, in Edinburgh. In 1872 William Chambers printed for the Scottish Burgh Records Society the charters and documents relating to the Burgh of Peblis, with extracts from its records, A.D. 1165-1710.

"Other works of value are A History of the Border Counties by Sir George Douglas, 1893, reprinted 1899; Peebles, Burgh and Parish in Early History, by Robert Renwick, 1903; and various books by Lord Tweedsmuir (John Buchan), Governor General of Canada in 1932, who grew up in Peebleshire. Scores of other books are worth consulting, but cannot be listed here.

"The name originally was Pabell, the plural variously spelled Pebyl, Peblys, Pebillis, etc. The spelling Peebles, with variations, began to be used in the 1500s and 1600s. Peebleses is a modern plural, even a century ago several of them were still referred to as ‘the Peebles.’

"Before the year 1115 a group of highly civilized refugees settled on the alluvial plain at the confluence of the Tweed and the Eddlestone — the latter for centuries called ‘Peebles Water.’ Mr. Chambers disproved statements of previous historians that they were of Celtic origin, and established that they were one of the groups that left Flanders because of civil and religious difficulties, and disastrous inundations from the sea. Permission for them to settle in various parts of Britain had been obtained by the mother of Henry I of England, who was Matilda, daughter of Baldwin, Earl of Flanders.

"Raids by the native Scots and border disturbances by the English were frequent. Their tents — the name means dwellers in tents — would be burned over, but caves had been dug beneath the tents, and when danger threatened the women, children and goods were put in the caves. When the attackers were driven off, new tents would be set up. Through the years they submitted one time to the Scots, another to the English. The town they built — Peebles — was burned by the English in 1406 and 1549. No records were kept for six years after the last date. In fact not many remain for any period.

"William the Lion, who reigned 1165-1214, made Peebles a Royal Burgh when Edinburgh was the only other place so designated, and built a magnificent Royal Castle on the outskirts of the town, to which he and many a later monarch came to hunt in the nearby forest of Ettrick. The castle is listed among the places burned in one of the fires that ‘completely destroyed’ the town, and only the site remains.

"Today the ruins of Neidpath Castle near the town are shown as the ‘Royal Castle,’ but date only from the 1600s, according to Alexander Pennecuik’s work, The Shire of Tweedale, published 1715 and dedicated to William, Earl of March, Viscount of Peebles, Lord Neidpath, etc., whose grandfather was the Duke of Queensbury.

"Mr. Wm. Chambers in his 1864 books mentioned two associations or societies in Scotland dedicated to the town, shire, and perhaps the name of Peebles. The Edinburgh Social Peeblean Society was founded in 1782. The Native Peeblean Society was later.

"Arms of the Town of Peebles, used by town officials, antedated the Act of 1672 requiring matriculation of arms, and appeared in italics in the Book of Public Arms published that year, but was registered in due form shortly thereafter. Arms: guiles, three salmon naient in pale, the center towards the dexter, and others toward the sinister. Motto: Contra nando incrementum (Increase by swimming against the flood).

"The verse below was found in the Clerk’s office by a Peebles lady from Ulster:

"‘Peebles, the metropolis of the Shire

Six times three praises doth of me require.

Three streets, three ports, three bridges it adorn

And three old steeples by three churches borne.

Three mills to serve the town in time of need

On Peebles Water and the River Tweed.

Their arms are proper and point forth their meaning —

Three salmon fishes nimbly counter swimming.’

"During the period when the Royal Castle was occupied by a succession of monarchs, games, tournaments, contests, etc., were staged there over a number of years. The saying grew up, ‘Peebles to Play.’ In the 1800s, due to its climate, scenery and healthful springs, the town became a health resort, and still is. On meeting Britishers many, when they caught my name, have said ‘Oh, Yes! Peebles for pleasure!’ Later I found the complete saying was ‘Paris for grandeur, Peebles for pleasure.’

"The first coat of arms given to an individual Peebles was confirmed to Alexander Peebles in 1621 by Charles I. This Alexander had lands in the shires of Edinburgh and Peebles. Burke refers to the arms as of the Earl of Wemyas, also of Peebles, Marquis of Queensbury. Both titles extinct. Arms are: Argent, a chevron engralled sable between three papingoes (popinjays — i.e., parrots) vert, membered gules. Alexander Peebles used a cinque-foil (fleur-de-lis) on the chevron, and is thought to have belonged to the family of Peebles of Cahpelhill. A variation of these arms, without the cinque-foil, was used by John Peebles, Bishop of Dewsbury in Yorkshire, England, who was known primarily for his persecution of dissenters, many of whom he burned at the stake. His line is extinct.

"No coat of arms can be claimed with any certainty, at this stage of research for Captain David Peebles, who came to Virginia in 1649, and those interested are advised to consult books on heraldry.

"The most interesting of the items gathered on the name of Peebles through the centuries, and sent to me, I am giving below, as a ‘starter’ should some reader wish to pursue the search in Scotland. No sources were sent me. I understand, however, that all early original records in Scotland have been gathered and are now in the New Register House, in Edinburgh.


"1291 Warrinus de Peebles, Burgess of Berwick.

"1296 John, Vicar of the Church of Peebles, on the Ragman Roll. Probably the John in Parliament, 1328.

"1321 Sir Robert of Peebles, Canon of Glasgow, Lord Great Chamberlain to King Robert Bruce, 1321-1325.

"1322 Lord William de Peebles, Prior of Melrose Abbey, killed at the Abbey by the English.

"1346 William Peebles, had lands in Forfairshire of King David II.

"1362 John of Peblys, ‘master of the hospital thereof.’

"1366 John, son of David, rendered account as Baillie.

"1377 John Peebles, LL.D., Treasurer of Glasgow, Canon of Glasgow, Canon of St. Andrews, Bishop of Dunkeld, Lord Chancellor to Robert II, Grandson of Robert Bruce.

"1441 Sir Thomas of Peblis, witness to Charter made by King James II, 1450, at St. Andrew’s Church at Peebles, Requiem for Sir Thomas of Peblis ‘and all Christian souls.’

"1448 William of Peblis, 20 April, witness to Charter to Burgh of Peebles. 1450, he a Burgess of Peebles, 1457, on Council, 1460, a Baillie. 1468 in Parliament for Burgh of Peebles, etc. Each several times.

"1492 Adam Peebles, April 5, witness to a deed in the new town of Peebles. Renwick, p. 193.

"1492 Sasine to Adam Peblis of the lands of Estir Acolfield, Exchequer Rolls X, p. 764.

"1496 Sasine to Adam Peblis of the lands of Cruxton, p. 772.

"1502 John Hay acquired 1/3 of Smithfield from Christian Dickson (to whom it belonged) and her husband, William Peblis.

"1520 William Peblis, Baillie of the Town of Peblis.

"1528 William Peblis of Croukston, in May, sold to Wm. Guven the lands of Acofield. (See 1492). 1532 William, John Hay and others elected Chaplains of the Parish Church of Peebles, he of Crukstoun. 1533, he Member Parliament for Peebles. 1549, town burned by English.

"1555 Thomas Peebles one of the Council, also Baillie. 1556 as Baillie he tried two men ‘for hurting Adam Peebles.’ 1562 the Geldstanes, several brothers, slew Adam Bell and Thomas Peebles and took their lands in Caedmore and Doids. Helen Thriepland, relict of Thomas Peebles, was destitute and appealed for help.

"1567 James VI of Scotland became James I of England. He took a great interest in Peebles, his Royal Burgh, and regulated schools, education, arming of men, etc. Caedmore, Crown lands held by tenants, lies to the south of the town, and he sponsored sports and amusements there, including games, races, tilts.

"1568 William Peebles was Member of Parliament for Peebles. Cruckstone, the ‘residence of Villelmo de Peblis’ (William of Peebles) lies to the southeast of the town, near Caedmore, and his lands of Doids. Both are marked on modern maps.

"1575 William Peebles on Dec. 16, sold to Adam Bell, Burgess of Peebles, the lands of Cruikstoun, also the lands of Langside in the Parish of Peblis. The charter to William had been confirmed to him by James VI Sept. 3, 1572. The transfer to Bell was ‘done at the door of the tower of Smithfield at 4 p.m. in the presence of … Thomas Peblis …’ and others. It had been held by the family under charter to Adam Peblis in 1496.

"____ John Peblis, Burgess of Peblis, confirmed sale by Adam Bell of Cruikstoun, with consent of Euphemia Lauder, daughter of the late Alexander Lauder, Burgess of Edinburgh. Sale made to Robert Scott of Thirlstane … old extent of Cruikstone. For annual rent paid John Peblis of 12£ ‘until redemption thereof.’

"____ David Peebles, Canon of St. Andrews, author of the ‘St. Andres Harmonized Psalter, a motet for 5 voices.’ He versified as well as set it to notes. A copy was presented to James V. David died 1579.

"1601 John Peblis owned a tenement in Burgh of Peblis.

"1610 Aug. 11 John Peebles, Merchant, Burgess of Dundee, and Elspet Mathew, his spouse.

"1634 David Peebles and Helene Craig in Grange, had a son baptized, George. Witnesses: James Watson and Robert Peblis.

"1636 April 27 David Peebles, lawful son of Robert Peebles, decd., Burgess of Dundee in 1583.

"1644 Dec. 5 Andrew Peibles married at St. Andrews Elspet Craigie. 1646, April 8, they had a daughter baptized, ‘Criston.’ 1649, April 10, a daughter baptized Marjorie. He a Mariner. Possibly the same Andrew Peblis, ‘dwelling in England’ who with wife Margaret Lentron, on Dec. 26, 1663 at St. Andrews had a daughter baptized Margaret.

"The items found in the parishes of Fife on the David who came to Virginia and his children, will appear in the next chapter. 

Captain David Peebles. His son William 1st
bon accord

"The first record in Virginia on David Peebles is on 5 August 1650, a grant of 833 acres in the present Prince George County. As it took about six months to obtain a grant, or patent, this places his arrival late in 1649, when over 300 adherents of Charles I, condemned to the block by Cromwell, escaped to Virginia.

"He, as did most of that group, took an active part in the community life of the Colony. In a Court Order Book of Charles City County for the years 1655-1665, he appears as a Justice of the County Court, a vestryman of Westover Parish, and a Captain in the militia, the area of his charge lying between Powells and Wards Creeks, on the south side James River.

"Search of Parish records in Scotland locates him in Fife, and gives names of his wife and children.

"1634 St. Andrews. David Peebles and Elspet Mackie, a daughter baptized Criston.

"1635 July 7. Kilconquhar. Baptism of William, lawful son of David Pebill and Elspet Mackie.

"1641 July 7. Balclavie. Alison, daughter of David Peibles and Elspet Mackie, Baptized. Witnesses, Peter Smith and John Thonson.

"The Alison Peibles below must be a sister of David Peebles.

"1646 Jan. 4. Elie James, son of James Swan and Alisone Peibles, baptized. Witnesses, the Laird of Sandford, James Dudingstoune, his son, and Martin Gourlay.

"1649 July 22. Elie. David, son to James Swan and Alison Peibles, baptized in St. Monance Kirk. Witnesses, John Small, skipper, and Alexander Small.

"Parish records checked were: Carnbie, 1646-1652; Elie, Births and Marriages, 1639-1650; Kilconquhar, Dates not given; St. Andrews, Births, 1627-1650, Marriages, 1633-1650.

"There is nothing to indicate that Elspet or any of the younger children came to Virginia, and she may have died before David came. By 1655 he had married Elizabeth Bishopp. Her father, John Bishopp, first came to Virginia in 1638, when he appears as a headright. The first land granted to him was in Surry, then a part of James City County, in 1643, he and Mrs. Bishopp among the headrights. In 1651 he had a patent ‘for John Bishopp,’ and headrights included Elizabeth and Mary Bishop and John Bishop, Jr.

[Comment: If I had to guess, I’d guess that David Peebles was in the military in Scotland, and that he ended up on the opposing side to the Cromwellians. This would account for his children being baptized at different places and his attaining military rank and prominence so soon after he arrived in Virginia. Furthermore, he must have been more than a flunky junior officer in Scotland to have feared for his life. The fact that he left Scotland without his younger children undoubtedly means that he left them in the care of relatives, but this had to have been a heart-wrenching decision, and underscores the urgency of his leaving Scotland for Virginia. It may also mean that his "crimes" were of such magnitude that he feared for the safety of his older children, if indeed, he took them with him. I can’t imagine him escaping with his older children and leaving his wife behind, unless she was already dead. See below, it is possible that William and Christian came to America at a later time.]

"John Bishopp, Sr., was a Burgess in 1644, 1652 and 1653. He died before April 1656, when his estate was settled. On 1 September 1656, probate of the will of Mrs. Elizabeth Bishopp was granted to Capt. Henry Perry and Capt. David Peibils. 3 August 1657, Edmond Bishop ‘according to his desire and consent’ was ordered to ‘serve Mrs. Elizab: Peibils until 17 years old’ (i.e., she his guardian). Court, 3 December 1658, Sylvanus Stokes acknowledged receipt of the inheritance of Mary Stokes, daughter of Capt. John Bishop, decd., from Capt. Henry Perry, on 23 September. At Court 4 February 1662/3, when Edmond was about 16 he chose Sylvanus Stokes as Guardian. 20 August 1663, John Bishop, Jr., was appointed guardian to William, son of John, Sr.

"Of interest is a court order in 1655 that ‘all tooles lately belonging to John Allison, decd.’ be delivered on demand to Capt. David Peibles. He must have been an uncle of David, and a Royalist.

"David Peebles seems to have leased portion of his large plantation, a usual practice, and among his tenants was John Burton (Burdon). Many transactions in tobacco, the medium of exchange, appear in the court record. Among persons owing Capt. David or owed by him appear: Theodorick Bland, Lt. Col. Walter Aston, Mrs. Sarah Hoe, widow of Rice Hoe [Book 1], Morgan Jones, Richard Jones, Minister, and William Ditty. The last put up the patent to his plantation, ‘High Peake,’ as security for a debt to Capt. David.

"A James Crews, who had much to do with the shipping of tobacco to England, kept on claiming in court that Capt. Peebles owed him a balance. Several times various justices or others audited the accounts, and Capt. Peebles paid, but Crews continued his demands, and finally engaged in personal dispute — and was worsted. He then took his claim to the General Court of the Virginia Colony. Orders of Assembly, 1 December 1656, re suit of ‘James Crews of Henrico against Capt. Peebles’ disposes of the actual accounts in several paragraphs, ruling that certain payments be made by each to the other, then this follows: ‘…and for the Stabs and Blows mentioned … they were occasioned by Crewes unworthy and uncivl provocation, for which Nothwithstanding, Peebles hath given satisfaction, and … no just proof appears on Crewes part, whereas we humbly Conceive that the said Crews ought to be made example of for such foul Base and unworthy defamations against Capt. Peebles … by paying costs of Suit and a fine to Capt. Peebles … and that this be a final Determination of the differences between them, this Report being by Unanimous Vote of Both Houses.’

"Even that did not stop Crews. Without paying what he owed, he continued to sue Capt. Peebles in county courts.

"The Charles City Order Book, 1655-1665, appears to have been written up from loose papers, and some not recorded in chronological order. The first court is 4 June 1665. Capt. Peebles was present as a Justice at all but 2 or 3 courts through 4 February 1656/7, when his name was one of four sent the Governor to be considered for ‘Sherif.’ But the summer of 1656 there had been Indian trouble, which Capt. Peebles’ militia helped subdue. Historians who have studied this book say that Capt. Peebles probably was injured at that time. Up to then, all courts had been held at Westover, on the north side of the James. In August 1657, Merchants Hope Church in the present Prince George (cut from Charles City in 1704) was completed [see Appendix 3], and many courts met in it. Although his plantation was but a few miles away, Capt. Peebles was not again present.

"He lived, inactive, and perhaps invalided, for 2 years or more. In that time Mrs. Peibils appears in records of his tobacco transactions. Also in suits — 2 of which she lost. She was exempted from tax on ‘2 persons escaped’ — indentured servants who had run away. And paid for unspecified ‘Com.’ — county — service.

"1 September 1659, the court appointed Mr. Antho: Wyatt and Capt. Robt. Wynn to appraise ‘the perishable estates of the orphans of Capt. David Peibles … and the estate of Edmond Bishop.’ The latter was still a ward of his sister, Mrs. Peebles.

"These orphans were the children of Elizabeth Bishop. It is not credible that any born in Fife could be referred to. Margret by now was old enough to marry, and John to have a guardian. The name of one orphan, Sarah, appears in a suit by Rice Hoe, 3 February 1662/3, for her estate ‘pretended to be in the hands of John Drayton.’ If ‘clearly proved’ ordered that it be granted the said Sarah. But no further mention. Not until 1688 do we find the name of Sarah’s sister.

William Peebles, 1st,
Bon Accord, and Burleigh.

"Before Rice Hoe [Book 1] sued for Sarah’s estate, William Peebles, the oldest son of David, had arrived from Scotland. He came to stay, and took over his father’s affairs. At Court, 3 December 1661, John Compton was ordered to pay him a bill due. About a year later, he married Judith, a ward of John Drayton. His receipt for her ‘porcon’ (portion) was recorded at Court 3 February 1662/3.

"Information on William Peebles is scant, most county records being missing. He took no prominent part in county activities, but was a good citizen who served as member or foreman of juries, appraised estates, was security for those he considered merited the risk, etc.

"His inheritance, the patent to Capt. David, is of interest. Few early Virginia patents show the names of the plantation — river front sites excepted. Bon Accord, locally called ‘Bonniecord’ for 300 years, has been claimed as the original seat of the Poythress family, but they ‘have never found the patent,’ — and the records do not uphold them.

"As with many grants of the period, no survey was made for Capt. David, and the boundaries are not too definite. Nevertheless they are identifiable today:

"‘Up Powells Creek at the head therof.’ The head of navigation.

"‘West upon the Birchen Swamp.’ Above navigation Powells Creek appeared in deeds, etc., as the ‘Birchen Swamp,’ even into the 1800s.

"‘South and West upon the land of Mr. Richard Tye.’ He and Charles Sparrow had patented 2500 acres on both sides of the Birchen Swamp at the old Wyanoke Indian town. The part of their patent west of the swamp is today still called ‘Old Town.’

"‘East into the woods. Northeast upon land of James Ward.’ See patent, and other Ward data to follow.

"‘North upon the Reedy Swamp.’ The Swamp is still on the maps.

"The 833 acres was granted to Capt. David for payment of importation of himself and 16 other persons, none of whose names are of interest. As was the custom, he paid the ship owners or masters the costs of passage, and was assigned the head rights.

"On 7 June 1651, patent was issued to James Ward, ‘up Powells Creek … on the Reedy Swamp, bounded South and West upon land or Mr. David Peebles’ — the latter’s patent issued 5 August 1650. When Ward acquired a much larger tract on the west side of the creek, on 2 January 1657/8, he ‘assigned and set over’ unto Mrs. Elizabeth Peoples the 150 acre patent. This was when she was handling Capt. David’s affairs — but probably aware that William Peebles would come, later, and take over the main plantation in which she had but a dower right.

"14 June 1665, John Drayton (Jr.) obtained a patent to the 150 acre Ward tract ‘as marrying the said Elizabeth.’ Administration on his estate was given her 4 February 1677/8, and by deed of 3 June 1679, she sold Adam Tapley land which included at least some of that tract. Meanwhile land adjoining on the east had been patented by Simon Simons, whose daughter Mary married Thomas Busby. Later, 26 April 1688, Thomas and Mary patented 539 acres on the Reedy Bottom at head of Powells Creek, ‘including 150 acres, deserted lands of James Ward, decd.’ and adjoining lands now or late of William Harrison and John Poythress.

"18 December 1688, John Poythress ‘as marrying Christian, the daughter of Elizabeth Peebles’ sued Thomas Busby for infringement on his land. The suit went through several courts, and on 5 August 1689 was ‘by consent let fall in court, the plaintiff averring that the land now claimed by him is within a Platt drawn by Mr. James Minge called Bonniecord, the Platt.’ No deeds remain for the period, no mention in the remnants of Charles City County Order Books. But it is clear that Bon Accord passed to the Poythress family through John’s marriage and probable purchase of additional area. Christian (Peebles) Poythress named a son for her father. The estate of David Poythress, who died without a will, was administered by his son, Edmond. Court Order, 8 April 1740.

"Before following William to his new patents, we will correct a mention of Bon Accord which went into print, referring to ‘a 1664 Lease for Bonnacorde by name from Francis Poythress to a Lt. John Bannister,’ which seems to be an inaccurate reference to a deed of trust given 12 January 1658/9, by John Burton on his crops, stock, etc. ‘at Bon Accord,’ where he had a lease ‘for 13 years or upwards to come,’ to Lt. John Bannister. Recorded court 3 February 1658/9. The Charles City Order Book shows that Francis Poythress then resided at Jordans. Lt. John Bannister died before October 1661, when probate of his will was given to James Wallace who had married his widow. John Burton died in 1660, as on 10 November Mr. John Drayton was ordered to produce inventory of Burton’s estate. Burton seems to have left a son, John, but John Drayton, having married Elizabeth Peebles, undoubtedly was responsible for matters involving Bon Accord, and on 3 December 1660, he was appointed administrator for John Burton, decd.

"Why was Capt. David Peebles’ plantation named Bon Accord? The Peebles name was in northeast Scotland well before 1660, so he may have been from Aberdeen, the ‘City of Bon Accord,’ famed in Britain and the Continent for culture and learning. Or his first wife may have been — Mackie is a Highland name. He seems to have been in commerce and moved from place to place — note that his children were baptized in several places in Fife.

[Comment: As already commented above, I believe the reason for his children being baptized in several places was because he was an officer in the military.]

"By or about 1800 the plantation was divided and Aberdeen built, its Early Republic architecture dating its construction. By this time, the Cocke family owned both places, and they and the Poythress family insist that they were never on tract, ‘despite strong tradition to the contrary.’ But Bon Accord today has 631 of the original 833 acres, and Aberdeen has 378 — a mere 175 acre purchase added to the 200 from Bon Accord. ‘Strong tradition’ is — as usual — correct, and Aberdeen was not so named by coincidence.

"In 1670 and 1673, William Peebles obtained three patents: two tracts, not connected, and a third patent for the total acreage of those two. They were about five miles south of Bon Accord, on the headwaters of the Birchen Swamp. One entirely east of the swamp, 388 acres, the other lying across the swamp but mostly west of it, 473 acres. As late as the 1820s small parts of this tract were owned and lived on by William’s great-grandsons. The easterly tract passed to other ownership before 1704, either sold or given to married daughters of whom we have no record.

"Like his father, David, William Peebles seems to have been inactive the latter years of his life. How long Judeth, his first wife, lived is not known, but she was probably the mother of William 2nd. Whether Elizabeth, in the 1690s, was a second or third wife is not certain. She was undoubtedly the mother of Henry, William’s youngest son, and she would seem to have been the Widow Busby. In 1690 Wilmot, the orphan of James Munford, was bound to her, and she was referred to as ‘the now wife of William Peebles,’ which would indicate she had not been for long. David, second son of William 1st, was born about 1683, and his descendants used the names Dudley and Hubbard extensively — and they appear in no other line. So David seems to have been the son of a second wife of William, name unknown, with Dudley and Hubbard connections.

"The westerly tract adjoined north the portion of Old Town west of the swamp. Today the plantation just south of Old Town is named Burleigh.

"In the Charles City County Order Book, 1687-1695, we find a court order on p. 597. Court 5 August 1695, ‘William Peebles will proved in court, and ordered recorded. Vide, Bk. 2.’ (The Will Book, which was destroyed.) ‘Probate of the will of William Peebles, late of Wynoke Parish, decd., is granted to Elizabeth Peebles, his Relict and Executrix named in the said will.’ No records remain for Wynoke Parish.

"William Peebles died on his westerly tract, and in 1704 the Quit Rent Rolls list: Elizabeth Peebles, 235 acres; William Peebles, 150 acres; David Peebles, 60 acres. A total of 28 acres less than William’s patent called for in 1670, 473 acres, Henry, still under age, does not appear. His land included with Elizabeth’s….

"Many of the standard reference works on Virginia mention the Peebles name in the 1600s and 1700s. It was seem that much was published by people who consulted remaining early records, but could not read the old-fashioned writing. Here are some of the most widely known errors: Capt. David Peebles appears as Daniel. A ‘Robert Peebles’ in Nansemond County, overseer for Richard Bennett, was really Robert Peelle. (The same name is later confused with Peebles in Northampton Co., N.C.) So far as can be ascertained, the Peter Pabill, mentioned twice in Charles City records, was not a Peebles. And, the Fran: Peoble, a headright to a grant in Lancaster Co., Va., in 1663, did not belong to Capt. David’s line, and may have been a forerunner of the Scots-Irish who came to New England and Pennsylvania later…."


From the above information, then, we know that Captain David Peebles married first Elspet Mackie in Scotland about 1633. They were the parents of at least five children: 

  1. Christon Peebles; baptized 1634 at St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland
  2. William Peebles; baptized 7 Jul 1635 at Kilconquhar, Scotland; m. (1) Judeth Drayton, (2) ____ ____, (3)
  3. Alison Peebles; baptized 7 Jul 1641 at Balclavie, Scotland
  4. Margret Peebles, baptized 18 Sep 1642 at St. Monance, Scotland
  5. John Peebles, baptized 9 Apr 1644 at Balclavie, Scotland 

Elspet Mackie Peebles probably died before 1650 in Scotland. Before 5 August 1650, David Peebles was in Charles City County (in that part that became Prince George County), Virginia. By 1655, he married Elizabeth Bishop, daughter of John and Elizabeth Bishop. David and Elizabeth Bishop Peebles were the parents of at least two daughters: 

  1. Sarah Peebles; b. circa 1656
  2. Christian Peebles; b. circa 1657; m. John Poythress before 1688 

Captain David Peebles died before 1 September 1659. We have no information on the death of his widow, Elizabeth. She was probably still living, and not remarried, in 1688, when the above cited court record noted that Christian Poythress was the daughter of Elizabeth Peebles. 

Much of the information, above, is substantiated in the following records. 

"Att a Co’rt holden att Westov’r Junij: 4 1655 present… mr Rice Hoe … Capt John Epes … Capt David Peibils…" 

"‘Memorand’ that I mr Wm Ditty do deliver in the hands of David Peibils the pattent of my Land lying at high peake in pledge of a debt of 1417 lb of tobbo w’th cask, and in case that I do not well and truly pay unto the sd Peibils his heirs the above men’coned debt before Christide next then the land w’th all houseing and fenceing to be David Peibils his heirs or ass’s freely for ev’r, and do bind me to acknowledge the same in Co’rt this next Co’rt att Westov’r Wittnes my hands this 15th ffebr 1654. Moreov’r in case mr Ditty can give me other security that I shall like of then this condi’con to be voyd." 

[Westover, 17 Dec 1655] "The whole difference betweene Capt David Peibils and Ja: Crewes is referred to the award and finall determination of Coll Edward Hill esqr Capt Henry Perry esqr Mr Thomas Drewe and Mr Anthony Wyatt, or an Umpier by them or the major part of them elected, And to be done the 20th day of January next." 

"Abstract. Morgan Jones ordered to pay Capt. David Peibils 264 lb. tobo due per bill." 

"Itt is ordered that Capt David Peibils forthw’th pay to Howell Pryse or his assgs 532 lb of good tobbo due for fees w’th costs als exec." 

"Itt is ordered that Mrs Sara Hoe [Book 1] shall pay to Ca: David Peibils for Peter Salmon 1000 lb tobbo. 4 barrells of Corne: 1 shirt and 2 pars shoes Due per cov’ent w’th costs als execu’con. Deduscing and Discounting therefrom what shall app’e by the next Co’rt to be formerly pd thereof." 

"Attachm’t is graunted to Capt David Peibils ag’st the estate of Tho: Nothway m’cht for 2000 lb tobbo and cask w’th costs incident." 

"Attachm’t is granted to Capt David Peibils agst the estate of m’r Richd Jones for 700 lb tobbo and cask w’th costs incident." 

"Refference granted Inter Ca: Peibils and Sam: Smith to the next Co’rt" 

"Abstract. In full of differences Capt. David Peibils is ordered to pay James Crewes 2640 lb. tobo. ‘and that the sd Crewes give acct to the sd Ca: Peibils of three hogsheads of tobbo Consigned and intrusted into London to be sold for him.’" 

"Abstract. Attachment is granted Capt. David Peibils agt. the est. of Henry Banks for 650 lb. tobo." 

"Itt is ordered that Capt David Peibils pay to Theoderick Bland mer’cht 360 lb of merchantable tobbo Due per a note under his hand, w’th costs, als exec." 

"Abstract. Capt. David Peibils ordered to pay Jas. Crewes 356 lb tobo for 8 bushels of salt now due." 

"Abstract. Order that all differences be settled betw. Mr Jas. Crewes and Captl David Peibils by Dec. 10th. Capt Henry Perry security for Peibils." 

"Capt David Peibils is hereby tolerated and permitted to reteine and keep an Indian according to the rules and prescriptions of the Law in that Case provided." 

"Abstract. Bond. No date. 20000 lb tobo., to abide my settlement of dif. betw. Peibils and Crewes, by Capt. Henry Perry and Mr. Antho: Wyatt. Signed: David Peibils, James Crewes. Wit: John White, Patrick Jackson. Recorded 12 July 1656."

"Att a meeting of the Militia of Cha: Citty
Com at Buckland this 25th July 1656


Coll Edd Hill

Capt Henry Perry

mr Tho: Drews Capt Rich Tye

mr Antho Wyatt Capt David Peibils

"Whereas there are certeine Intelligences brought to us by the King of Weynoke of severall strange Indians w’ch are come from the Northwards to the head of James river w’ch he calls Mastehocks, who (as he Conseives) come to fight the Richohockans by some Certeine Intelligence he hath from some of his owne Indians, As also Peter Lee having given notice to Major Wood of certeine Indians who have killed severall hogs in the upper parts, upon w’ch notice Major Wood sending out to discover what Indians they were he found by Confident Intelligence that there had beene several strange Indians upon the head of Swift Creeke, w’ch he Conceived to be Richohockans; And whereas there are severall other reports of a suddaine Invasion intended by strange Indians w’ch Conduce much to the Disturbances and feares of these frontier Counties; ffor preven’con whereof therefore, and secureing themselves and others in case any such unexpected warr should breake forth, We the Militia above men’coned Do order that there be forthw’th prest out of Coll Hills com’ at Martins Brandon 15 men, out of Capt Peibils his comp’ 20, out of Capt Tyes comp. 10 out of Capt Epes his comp 10 and out of Maj Woods comp’ 6 men all to be in readinesse at an howers warning w’th their armes and 12 shott of powder and ball a man for the security of the South side of James river. And for the north side 50 men be raised and in readinesse at an howers warning w’th armes powder and shott as aforesd. And that any one of the Militia shall have power to Comand the sd fiftie where any enemy shall appeare to assault." 

"Att a Co’rt holden at Westov’r ffebr: 4 1656. Present …. Capt David Peibils…." 

"Mr. Charles Sparrow, Capt David Peibils, Capt Robert Wynne, and Lt Howell Pryse are hereby nominated and presented to the Hono’ble Governor and Councell (according to act) whereof one to be elected sherriffe the next ensuing yeare." 

"To the worp’ Co’rt of Cha Citty Com

"James Crewes humbly presenteth That whereas Capt David Peibils recorded ord’r agst y’r pet’r at the late grand Assembly for 2000 lb tobbo and being indebted to the pern’t a greater sum as per his acct annexed appeareth

"The petn’r therefore humbly tendreth paymt of the sd sum so recorded ag’st him by Discompt according to Law of the Countrey, and that the s’d tender and discount may be satisfactory to acquitt the petn’t or be recorded to signifie the petn’rs forwardness to Discharge that Claime

And he shall pray &c

"Capt David Peibils Dr to mr Crewes

To one Judgm’t 1600 and cask

to the cask at 10 per Cent #9; 160

to costs of the Judgmt #9; 171

to one other Judgmt #9; 356 and cask

to the Cask #9; 35

to Costs of that Jugmt 37


"By tobbo Cred’ by Judgmt of the Assembly 2000

by costs of suite per the same Judgmt

M’d. Capt David Peibils Demandeth his tobbo according to ord’r of Assembly

Rec febry 20, 1656" 

[3 Aug 1657] "mr Tho: Drewe is exempted of the levy for six persons runn away before the list taken. The like is graunted to mrs Peibils for 3 persons escaped." 

[3 Aug 1657] "Ordered that Edmond Bishopp according to his desire and consent shall serve mrs Elizab: Peibils untill he be 17 yeares old." 

16 Nov 1657 … Charles City County expenses …. "Mrs Peibils for Com service … 240 (lb tobbaco)" 

[10 Jan 1657/8] "Abstract. Tho Huxe ord to pay Mrs. Elizab: Peibils 1600 lb. tob." 

[3 Feb 1657/8] "Abstract. Mrs. Hannah Aston is dismissed from the suit of Mrs. Elizab: Peibils with costs." 

[3 Apr 1658] "Abstract. Order that Robt Rowse pay Mrs Elizab: Peibils 404 lb tobo from Jo. Greenhough being his security. Attachment granted Rowse agt. Greenhough." 

Christian Peebles, daughter of Captain David Peebles, and presumed daughter of Elizabeth Bishop Peebles, was born circa 1657 in Charles City County (on the south side of the James, in that part that was later to become Prince George), Virginia. Before 1688, she married John Poythress

[For a continuation of the Peebles family lineage, see the Poythress family history, Chapter 12.]



 Notes & References

  McSwain, Eleanor Pratt Covington, My Folk, p. 60.

White, Eurie Covington, Covington Cousins, p. 35.

Boddie, Mrs. John Bennett, Historical Southern Families, Vol. XIX, pp. 89-90.

Weisiger, Benjamin B. III, Charles City County, Virginia, Court Orders, 1687-1695, p. 38.

Peebles, Anne Bennett, Peebles Ante 1600 - 1962, pp. 1-10.

Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 1.

"P. 6" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 5.

"P. 25" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 19.

"P. 28" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 22.

"P. 30" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 23.

"P. 38" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 28.

"P. 41" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 30.

"P. 41" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 31.

"P. 48" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 37.

"P. 49" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 37.

"P. 49" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 37.

"P. 50" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 38.

"P. 59" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 45.

"P. 59" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 45.

"P. 60" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 46.

"P. 60" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 46.

"P. 61" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 47.

"P.83" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 64.

"P. 83" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 65.

"P. 83" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 65.

"P. 105" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 82.

"P. 106" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 83.

Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 90.

"P. 121" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 94.

"P. 123" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 96.

"P. 135" — Fleet, Beverley, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. X, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p. 103.