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The Hughes Family History

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  • ID: I8040
  • Name: Richard Massey
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 13 AUG 1661 in Burton-in-Wirral, Cheshire, England
  • Note: It is believed that this date is actually the date he was baptized.
  • Death: in Brunswick, Virginia
  • Reference Number:

    • 1
    • _MILI: Pvt. in Capt. Joseph Wynn's Co. of Dragoons 1702
    • Note:

      by Theron L. Smith 19 December 2004

      [] [masarm4.rtf]

      Two important books on Massey genealogy were published in the last quarter
      of the 20th Century:
      -(Judge) Frank A. Massey, MASSEY GENEALOGY ADDENDUM (1979)
      -William W. Massey, MASSEY GENEALOGY 2000 (2000.)
      Both authors agree that Hezekiah[2], Joseph[2], and Richard[2] of Surry and
      Prince George [later Brunswick] Cos., VA were brothers, but disagree
      regarding their English origins. Numerous Internet articles can be found
      referring to one or the other of these origins. In what follows, the
      generation numbers were converted if necessary to that of the more recent
      publication to allow easier comparison of analogous persons in the two
      accounts. The subscript [A] indicates the generation just before [1].

      In the earlier account, John[A] Massey is identified with a 1637 land grant
      in the name of John Mace or John Marsey who was claimed as a headright in
      Charles City Co., VA by Walter Aston. Judge Massey was convinced that this
      John was a John Massey of the Isle of Ely in Cambridgeshire, and, that his
      son John[1] Massey was the father of the three brothers. As will be
      seen, other considerations may support the immigrant ancestor being from
      Cambridgeshire, but there is no evidence that (1) John[A] was our ancestor
      or (2) that John[A] had a son John[1] - this hypothetical son was based on
      an incorrect dating of a 1748 Brunswick Co., VA voting list and the
      placement has no merit.

      In the 2000 account, the apparent immigrant ancestor, Richard[1] Massey of
      Charles City Co., VA, is placed as Richard Massey, born 13 Aug 1661, son of
      Edward Massey of Puddington in Cheshire, based on the following logic
      developed by genealogist Paul Reed:
      1. Richard's older brother, William, inherited Puddington
      2. Because of their Catholicism, these Masseys were persecuted by
      the Protestant governments in England after 1685.
      3. Richard received enough in the will of his father to pay to his
      transportation to Virginia and purchase some land (though he would not have
      been unusually wealthy.)
      4. Church records of Richard's parish church show that in Feb 1686, he had
      been absent the last three Sundays.
      5. A suitable candidate for Richard has not been found in later English

      These arguments along with a "purported heraldic achievement passed down in
      the Virgnia family" led to a belief that the connection was correct although
      "not proven beyond any shadow of a doubt." A reasonable and plausible case
      for a connection can be made from items (1) through (5). However, the
      consideration of the "purported heraldic achievement" made a stronger case
      and provided the frosting on the cake. As will be seen, with more complete
      information about this achievement than what is provided in Judge Massey's
      book, these arms provide no support for a descent of these Charles City Co.
      Masseys from the Puddington Masseys of the late 1600s - actually the arms
      may support a Coddington descent for the Charles City Co. Masseys.

      The "purported heraldic achievement" refers to a coat-of-arms painted on
      sheepskin, that was passed down in the compiler's sub-branch of
      Richard[1]'s descendants. Judge Massey's ADDENDUM, p. 22, 286-287, appears
      to be the sole source of information about the "sheepskin arms" that was a
      part of the above arguments. The ADDENDUM account could lead to an
      impression that the sheepskin arms were Puddington arms. Judge Massey's
      book calls them Coddington arms but never points out that these arms had a
      Coddington crest. He also failed to emphasize that the placement of the
      silver cantons on the sheepskin arms is incompatible with the standard
      Coddington arms.] The allusions to Pontington (aka Puddington) in the book
      were to emphasize that the Coddington arms were derived from the Puddington
      and not the Tatton arms.

      The crest on this home-made coat-of-arms is a crude drawing of the crest of
      the CODDINGTON Masseys. As is well known, the basic Coddington arms were
      derived from the PUDDINGTON arms but have a different crest and have a
      silver canton in the 1st quarter "for difference." The Puddington crest was
      "a lion passant"; the Coddington and sheepskin arms "a semi-pegasus with
      wings displayed." All known published pictorial depictions of the
      Coddington arms show a single silver canton superimposed on the 1st quarter,
      whereas the sheepskin arms have a silver canton superimposed on both the 2d
      and 3d quarters.

      More recent information provided to the compiler by one who has researched
      in the College of Arms (CoA) indicates that the cantons in the 2d and 3d
      quarters are found in a CoA description of arms intended for a Massey of
      the Isle of Ely [in Cambridgeshire], but never actually granted. The
      intended recipient of these arms may have been another persecuted Catholic
      Massey who may have emigrated to Maryland.

      Two related items need further research:
      (1) Burke's GENERAL ARMORY shows the crest associated with the Masseys of
      Isle of Ely, co. Cambridge and Coddington, co. Chester as an owl.)
      (2) Only the VISITATION OF CAMBRIDGE shows Nicholas Massey of the Isle of
      Ely in Cambridgeshire as a son of John Massey of Puddington. He is not in
      the CODDINGTON charts in Omerod's HISTORY OF CHESTER and Burke's COMMONERS.

      The earliest verifiable owner of the sheepskin arms in our family is John
      Ross[6] Massey (1821-1898), a cavalryman in the Confederate Army. The most
      recent owner (1984) known is Col.(Ret.) Marschal Wilson [9] MASSEY of
      Riverside, CA. The arms were kept in a bank vault. Traditionally, the
      sheepskin arms have descended to the youngest son or grandson. The descent
      of Col. Marschal[9] Massey from Richard[1] Massey is:
      Richard[1] Massey
      Richard[2] (1790-1740) m. Anne PETTIPOOL.
      Hezekiah[3] MASSEY Sr (abt. 1718 - 1791) m (1) Sarah -----
      Richard[4] MASSEY of Franklin Co.,NC (abt. 1750 - 1815).
      Barachias[5] MASSEY (1778/9 - aft, 1850) m. Obedience "Beady" Williams
      John Ross[6] MASSEY (1821 - 1898)
      [brother of the compiler's gg gf Nathaniel Dudley[6] Massey 1822/23-1864]
      Jefferson Walton[7] MASSEY (1861,GA - 1934, TX)
      Frederick Bailey[8] MASSEY (1883-1962)
      Col. (Ret.) Marshcal Wilson[9] MASSEY.

      Actually, nothing can be concluded from the sheepskin arms about an
      immigrant ancestor unless indeed these arms were brought to the colonies by
      the immigrant. However, the Coddington crest and double cantons on the
      sheepskin auger against their supporting a descent from a Richard Massey[1]
      of Puddington in Cheshire of the late 1600s. Then, discovery of a College o
      Arms document mentioning cantons in the 2d and 3d quarter of Coddington
      arms may lead to identifying our immigrant ancestor as being from
      Cambridgeshire rather than from Puddington.

      The following notes were submitted by Dennis Pugmire as reported in part by the Wm Massey book.

      Confirmed on original parish register of Burton-in-Wirral, Richard Massy, son of
      Edward Massy of Puddington Esq.

      Primary source of information, Massey Genealogy 2000, published by William W. Massey, Jr.

      One of the tenets of genealogical research is to research all possible sources.
      This was done in English records, which brought a total of 14 men named Richard Massey
      within a probable age span to be our American Richard. At first it seemed that all 14 had been
      proven not to be ours, until a more exhaustive research was undertaken on records in
      Burton-in-Wirral, where it first appeared that their Richard, born in 1661, died there in 1699.
      A more complete look at the original parish records revealed that the man who died in 1699
      was not the man born in 1661, but instead his uncle Richard.
      No further records were found for Richard born in 1661 beyond February, 1685, when it was
      noted that both he and his uncle of the same name had not been present at the Catholic church
      for three Sundays past. The older man remained, and died there in 1699, but evidently our
      Richard did not, he had gone to Virginia!
      He was a second son, his father died in 1674 leaving the real property to his older brother
      William, and he only received an equal share with his other siblings and mother of the
      remaining estate value. He was only mentioned not by name but as one of "my four children"
      by his father Edward. Christening records prove Richard was Edward's son. The rest of his
      family (two sisters besides brother William) continue to be mentioned in records in Cheshire,
      he does not. He received his inheritance in 1682, at his coming of age. He undoubtedly was a
      witness to the execution of their family priest, whose only crime was remaining true to his faith,
      with the pieces of his body being returned to Puddington Hall, the family home. His brother,
      who supposedly never married, remained a staunch Catholic in spite of royal opposition and persecution.
      The family had already lost much of it's holdings and position, lives were at stake. Richard really
      had nothing left in Cheshire to look forward to.
      It is unclear whether he married in England and perhaps had his first child there, or if he
      married after arrival in Virginia where the rest of his family was born. Since there is no
      record of the marriage or a child in England, I tend to believe he left England single.
      The only mention of his name in connection with a headright of James Thweat in 1703,
      (usually much later than actual emigration) is for him only, another clue that he came here single.
      The first evidence of Richard in Virginia is a fragment of a Court Order in Charles City Co., VA,
      regarding his guardianship of an orphan 1691-93, indicating by then he was a family man,
      and a landowner of good character. In 1702 he served as a private in Capt. Joseph Wynn's
      company of dragoons, or mounted troops, a cut above foot soldiers. The men supposed to be his sons,
      Richard Jr., Hezekiah, and Joseph, all remained in close proximity to each other, as did their children,
      even as they moved away from Charles City Co. into Brunswick Co., and later North Carolina.

      Richard1 Massey of Puddington was born 13 August 1661, at
      Burton-in-Wirral, Cheshire, England. His older brother, William, had
      inherited the family estate in 1674, was devoutly Catholic, joined an
      uprising in Lancashire in favor of the exiled James Stuart in late
      1715. When the rebel army was soundly beaten and surrendered at
      Preston on 14 November, William returned to Puddington only to be
      seized and cast into a cell at Chester Castle. On 6 Feb 1715/6, he
      willed his estates to the Catholic infant Thomas Stanley of Hooten.
      William was buried at Burton-in-Wirral on 25 February 1715/6.
      Richard, seeing no future for his family in Cromwellian England, had
      emigrated to Virginia in 1684. He first appeared in records of Charles
      City Co., VA in 1693 when he was ordered for the second time to bring
      to court the orphan under his guardianship. Richard's headright was
      finally claimed by James Thweatt in 1703. By 1702, Richard had been
      well acquainted with the men whose descendents peopled southside VA
      and northern NC counties. He served in Capt. Joseph Wynn's company of
      dragoons with several who later appear in related records, including
      William Pettipool, whose daughter Anne would later marry Richard's son
      Richard2. Date of death of Richard1 is unknown
      Benjamin B. Weisiger III, Prince George County, Virginia Wills and
      Deeds 1713-1728, (Richmond, VA: Weisiger, 1973), pp. 101, 132.
      p. 767 9 Nov 1724 John Sroud of Pr. Geo. Co. to Richard Massey of
      same, for L5, 80a on south side of Monks Neck Creek.
      p. 768 9 Nov 1724 John Stroud of Pr. Geo. Co. to Richard Massey pf
      same. 46a on south side of Monks Neck Creek.
      p. 991 Richard Massey of Pr. Geo. Co. to Richard Herbert of Henrico
      Co., for L13, two tracts on south side of Moccosoneck Creek in Pr.
      Geo. One of these is part of a large parcel granted by patent formerly
      to Henry King of Pr. geo. and transferred to Joseph Stroud, and from
      Stroud to said Massey. Bounded by the Licking Place, 80a. The other
      parcel of 40a was patented 15 Jul 1717 by John Stroud of Pr. Geo. Co.
      and conveyed to Richard Massey. Bounded by first tract above.
      Signed: Richard (X) Massey. Wit: William Hamilin, Richard Skoggin,
      John Holloway. Recd: 13 Jun 1727. Ann, wife of Richard Massey,
      relina. dower rt.

      Father: Edward Massey b: DEC 1612 in Burton-in-Wirral, Cheshire, England
      Mother: Alice Brathwayt b: 25 SEP 1623 in Kendal, Westmoreland, England

      Marriage 1 Sarah b: ABT 1660
      • Married: EST 1681
      1. Has No Children Hezekiah Massey b: ABT 1685
      2. Has No Children Joseph Massey b: BEF 1690
      3. Has Children Richard Massey b: 1690 in Brunswick (now Greensville) Co, Va

      Marriage 2 Ann b: EST 1670/1680
      • Married: ABT 1715 in Prince George, Virginia

      1. Abbrev: Photo of Sheepskin CoA contributed by Theron Smith,
        Photo of Sheepskin CoA contributed by Theron Smith,
      2. Abbrev: Information on this individual compiled by researcher Denny Pugmire as posted in RootsWeb datab
        Information on this individual compiled by
        researcher Denny Pugmire
        as posted in
        RootsWeb database "denny". Mr Pugmires
        original sources are included and were
        taken from the book, "MASSEY Genealogy 2000"
        by William W. Massey.