Search for Names
Last Name:
First Name:
   
The Avent Family Genealogy Site Rev. Isaac Watts Avent (1823-1900)



Col. Thomas Avent[1]

Male ca. 1671 - 1757


Personal Information    |    Media    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    All    |    PDF

  • Title  Col. 
    Born  ca. 1671  Devonshire, England (?) Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  31 Oct 1757  Sussex Co., VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I0870  avefamily
    Last Modified  4 Jul 2008 

    Family  Elizabeth Unknown,   d. BET. 1755 - 1756 
    Married  bef. 1706  Unknown Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    >1. John Avent,   b. BEF. 1706, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 18 Aug 1755, Sussex Co., VA Find all individuals with events at this location
    >2. William Avent,   b. ABT. 1706, Sussex Co., VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1760-1761, Northampton Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Sarah Avent,   b. ABT. 1707, Sussex Co., VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. AFT. 1764, Sussex Co., VA Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. Mary Avent,   b. ABT. 1709, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1790
    >5. Thomas Avent,   b. on or Before 1712, Sussex Co., VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1752, Northampton Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location
    >6. Peter Avent,   b. ABT. 1720, Sussex Co., VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 May 1779, Northampton Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified  16 Feb 2006 
    Family ID  F056  Group Sheet

  • Documents
    Avent, Col. Thomas (1671-1757). Letter written ca. 1728.
    Avent, Col. Thomas (1671-1757). Letter written ca. 1728.
    As Sheriff and Justice of the Peace of Surry/Sussex County, VA, Thomas Avent would have been the chief law enforcement officer for the area. As such, he was called in by the Council of Gov. Alexander Spottswood of VA to investigate some troubles involving the local Indian tribes, the Sapony, the Nottoway, and the Catawba (Thomas calls them the 'Cotobers' in his letter). A page with more details about this letter can be accessed from the main page of this website.

    Histories
    Militia records of Greensville Co., VA
    Militia records of Greensville Co., VA
    Greensville Co., VA notes
    Greensville Co., VA notes
    Avents in 1850 VA census
    Avents in 1850 VA census
    Avent/Marshall Cemetery, Hardeman Co., TN
    Avent/Marshall Cemetery, Hardeman Co., TN
    Minister Returns, Sussex Co., VA, 1784-1851
    Minister Returns, Sussex Co., VA, 1784-1851
    History of Surry/Sussex Co., VA
    History of Surry/Sussex Co., VA
    Mentions briefly Thomas Avent and his son John Avent.

  • Notes 
    • Contrary to widely-held belief, there is no evidence whatsoever that his wife was named Margaret Elizabeth Gooch, and the webmaster is virtually certain that the Gooch connection is entirely false, since there is no known evidence that Margaret Elizabeth Gooch ever existed, much less that she was Col. Thomas' wife. All we know from the record is that her name was Elizabeth. Any evidence as to her identity would be gratefully appreciated.
      =============================================
      1702--appears on list of Surry Co., VA, tithables (as "Thomas Avon" - could this be how he pronounced the name? In modern Devonshire, England, though, they pronounce the name exactly as American Avents do; sort of rhyming with 'playpen'.) living on plantation of a John Nicholls. Source: Boddie (see below)

      1714--appears in records of Surry Co., VA.
      1716--Chowan Precinct NC lists his wife as Elizabeth.
      July 1716 - sells land in Chowan Precinct, NC, below Mt Royall on Morattock (modern day Roanoke) River
      1716-land grant in Surry.
      1718-land grant in Surry
      1718--sold land to Richard Moore.
      Elizabeth Avent relinquished her right to this land.
      1729--land in Surry.
      1728--land in Greensville.
      1741--land in Brunswick.
      1741--appeared at court in Southwark Parish, Surry Co., VA.
      1746--of Northampton Co, sells land to Vincent Vaughon
      1747--sells land to James McManus of Edgecombe, land on Pea Hill Creek, Northampton Co., NC

      Col. Thomas Avent named as a colonel of militia in Sussex County records (Court Order 1:212, 14 July 1755). He was a Presiding Justice of the Surry Court in 1741 (Surry County Order Book [1741-1744],p. 1),

      Justice of Sussex Co 1753-54. Vestryman of Albemarle Parish, Sheriff of Sussex Co. in Sussex Co. Virginia records (Court Orders 1:212, 14 July 1755). Had patents for over 6000 acres of land in VA. Owned land in NC.

      Death recorded in the Albemarle Parish register 1739-78, p. 164, that he died in Sussex Co., 31 October 1757, age 86. His son, William Avent being the informant.

      Will of Thomas Avent, written 21 September 1756, Sussex County, VA, probated 18 November 1757, Will Book A., p. 80. Devises land to his son, William Avent in Sussex Co., VA and in Northampton County, NC and also appoints him an executor.

      "Son, William; son, Peter; grandson Thomas Avent son of John, dcd; granddau Elizabeth Massey, dau of son John , dcd; five granddaughters (who are the daughters of son, Thomas dcd); dau, Mary Vincent wife of Thomas; dau Sarah Fox wife of William" src: W. B. A. P. 80, Va Hist Mag Jan 1911, pg 46.

      [pg 016][Sussex Co. Will Book "A" 1754-1764]
      (p. 222) Account of Estate of Col. Thomas Avent by Thomas Vinson, executor, shows payments to Mrs.
      Atheliah Keziah Norris, John Dorch, Matthew Walden, Rev. John Noverion, Joseph Carter, Mr. Peter Avent, the children of Thomas Avent, Jr., decd., Dr. Samuel Peete, Capt. John Machin, Lewis Solloman, William Hyx, sheriff of Lunenburg Co for quitrents on 6904 acres, Mr. Major Tiller, Mr. Joseph Prince, Rev. William Willis, Capt. James Wyche, Mrs. Elizabeth Eldridge, Mrs. Sarah Underwood, Col. John Willis, Matthew Waldin, Mr. Ingram Blanks, Mr. James Stewart, John Barlow, cash from the sale of 304 acres and 390 acres in Lunenburg Co and William Doby. 19 Nov 1761

      Witness to will of John Barlow in 1727, Surry. Witness to will of Nicholas Brewer in 1729, Surry. Witness to will of Edward Clarke in 1713, Surry. Witness to will of Joseph Kimball in 1713, Surry. Witness to will of James Mayo in 1725, Surry . Witness to will of Lewis Solomon in 1742 in Surry. 1702 listed on Surry, Tithables.

      REGISTER OF ALBEMARLE PARISH, SURRY AND SUSSEX COUNTIES, 1739-1779, Gertrude R.B. Richards, 195 8, p. 214.

      SOME COLONIAL AND REVOLUTIONARY FAMILIES OF NORTH CAROLINA, VOL. 1, Marilu Burch Smallwood, Washington, NC, 1964, pp. 7-9, 15, 21. Thomas Avent was Justice, Surry County, Virginia 1741, and a Captain of the Militia:

      REGISTER OF ANCESTORS, THE NATIONAL SOCIETY OF THE COLONIAL DAMES IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, Richmond, 1979, p. 3. VA. Records, 3 May, 1739 Thomas Avent refers to his importation "from Great Britain 38 years ago" (ie in 1701) and in which he states further that he has never before received the benefit of the Act of Assembly which allows 50 acres of land for every person imported from Great Britain.BRUNSWICK CO. VA. COURT ORDER BOOK 1 PAGE 241

      (From Avant, SCF):
      "This record causes us to reflect that Thomas Avent must have imported himself from Great Britain and paid his own passage, as otherwise he would not have been entitled to 50 acres of land. Since John Nicholls listed him as one of his headrights in the 1714 patent, Thomas Avent must have made another trip back to England after 1701 and before 1714, and it seems very possible that he may have been an agent or factor for John Nichols since he was living on his plantation."

      He also spent some time in North Carolina. On 17 July 1716 Thomas Avent, weaver, acknowledged sales of land to Jacob Coleson, Robert Green and Richard Moore, his wife ELIZABETH, through her attorney in fact Robert Hicks, recouncing dower. (Chowan Co. Deed (1): 19-20) Although Thomas Avent had been in VIrginia more than ten years, on the 16th of December 1714 John Nickolls, gent. obtained a patent for land in Prnce George County for transport of several persons, including Thomas Avent.

      (From Avant, SCF):
      "Because these patents may have been sought years after the transportation took place, it is possible that Nickolls was in fact responsible for bringing Thomas Avent in 1701, in which the two men may have had a connection in England."

      from "Sketches of Greensville County, Virginia, 1650-1967", Chapter II, "That Honest Man, Captain Hicks", Part II, By Douglas Summers Brown.

      "...In March of 1720/21 he (Capt. Hicks) was at Williamsburg with Richard Kennon, Drury Stith, John and Robert Bolling when they were granted vast tracts of land in Prince George County. At the same time he and Thomas Avent were granted 2,000 acres on Roanoke River. After the business was over he and "Major Bolling" dined with William Byrd - "ate pie and after dinner talked till four" in the afternoon when they left."

      On 31 October 1716 Thomas Avent paid 2 cash for a patent for 400 acres in Surry County. Land Patents 10:198.

      It appears that son WILLIAM did not long outlive his father; his will, dated the 22nd of april 1760 and proved August 1761 (Northampton Co. Will 1:56) named as executors his wife (identified as SARAH AVENT in the probate act), WILLIAM RAGLAND (his son-in-law) and JOSEPH AVENT. His daughter REBECCA was bequeathed two Negro slaves -- she was well under age. North Carolina Wills, 1690-1760, page 12.

      English Duplicates of Lost Virginia Records. List of Patents, page 107: 400 acres, Surry Co . To whom granted: Thomas Avent

      1716. Chowan Deed Book B #1, Pages 357 363, # 901-905. (Per Garland Avent, Mount Royall was site of present-day Gaston, NC. "Morattock river" is now known as the Roanoke River.)

      Thomas Avent of Chowan Precinct, weaver, transfers (1) 270 acres more or less at Mount Royall on Morattock river, joining Robert Green at ye mouth of a branch, to Jacob Coleson of Chowan Precinct, carpenter, for 4 Pounds;
      (2) 370 acres more or less at Mount Royall at the mouth of the first branch, joining the branch next to the mouth of Morattock River as by patent to me July 29, 1712, to Robert Green of Chowan Precinct; for 10 Pounds
      (3) 200 acres on Morattock, joining Nottaway Richard Moore and Richard Moore upon ye River, to Richard Moore of the Province of N.C. for 10 Pounds; and
      (4) 240 acres more or less being part of a tract of land lying on the north side of Morattock river below Mount Royall which was surveyed for me the said Thomas Avent by Captain William Maule, Dept. Surveyor May 8, 1713 to Richard Moore of Nottaway River, planter, for 6 Pounds.

      All four deeds are dated July 16, 1716 and are registered on August 6, 1716. Witnesses include Richard Moore () his mark , John Nairne, Henry Jones () his mark, Robert Green () his mark.

      Elizabeth Avent of Surry County, Virginia, Spinster, also gives a letter of attorney dated July 12, 1716, to Robert Hicks of North Carolina to make over in her stead land at Mount Royal to Robert Green and Jacob Coleson and 200 acres to my neighbor Richard Moore and 240 acres to Richard Moore of Nottaway River. Witnesses to the letter of attorney are Henry Jones () his mark, and William Green () his mark.

      Garland Avent believed that the Avents emigrated to England from Brittany, France. Had no proof of this, however. Has visited 'Pont Aven' in Brittany.

      Concerning allegations that Thomas Avent was a Huguenot:

      "A letter dated 30 September 1969 from Herbert A. Elliot, Registrar of "The Huguenot Society of the Founders of Manakin in the Colony of Virginia: to Mrs. Travis H. Clark, R. 1, box 28, Moorehead, MS, 38761 states, "I know of no proof that Colonel Thomas Avent was of Huguenot descent, in fact, all available evidence indicates that he was not."

      Another letter from Mr. Elliot to Mrs. Clark dated 14 November 1970 states, "I have examined the Avent record you left with me Sunday before last as presented by the Nanticoke Chapter to the NSDAR 1 March 1948. [These are the five pages of charts drawn by John Smith Avant, which on page one state Joseph Avent was born in France and descended from the Conde, Freeman and Bartlett lines.] An example of inaccuracy in the papers you left with me, the names given are all English names and no French names. This paper has Joseph Avant born in Brunswick County, Virginia Colony August 24, 1720. Officially there was no Brunswick County until 1732. A check of the records of Albemarle county did not list the name of Avant or any variation of the name. chronologically the Virginia and French references contained on page one of the records are perfect, but historically, they are completely inaccurate...I do not know who compiled the records or the source from which they are taken, but I suspect that this is the work of Sandy Miller...it is a complete fake." This same opinion was independently reached by Charles H. Hamlin about a year later. English genealogist, P. WIlson Coldham comes to the same conclusion.

      Land patent (ref VPB 18:531) dated 12 Mar 1739/40 to Clement Reade:

      Land granted in compensation for "...importation of 10 persons to dwell in Virginia whose names are John Stevens, John Scott, John Jackson, Cornelius Keith, Marmaduke Johnson, Michael Cadet Young, Henry Morris, William Eaton, Patrick Dempsey and Thomas Avent and 45 shillings..."

      Colonel Clement Reade (1707-1/2/1763 VA) married 1730, Lunenburg co., VA, Mary Hill (1709-1786VA). Mr. Reade served as First Clerk of Lunenburg County for 16 years. He was the King's attorney in Brunswich Co., VA, Vestryman at St. Andrew's Parish until the formation of Lunenburg county from Brunswich County in 1746-47. He with Colonel Byrd surveyed tracts in southern Virginia, a Burgess representative, and a Commissioner during the French and Indian War. He graduated from William and Mary College.
      ====
      Various Avent/Devon records from http://www.a2a.org.uk/default.asp
      (these may or may not have anything to do with the VA Avent family and/or Col. Thomas Avent.)

      Plymouth and West Devon Record Office: Woollcombe of Hemerdon

      WOOLLCOMBE OF HEMERDON

      Catalogue Ref. 710
      Creator(s):
      Woollcombe family of Hemerdon, Devon

      FAMILY
      MARY WOOLLCOMBE I
      Papers of the Avent Family
      Testamentary
      FILE [no title] - ref. 710/288 - date: 1698
      [from Scope and Content] Probate copy will of Thomas Avent of Plympton Earle, weaver (will dated 4 May 1698)

      DEEDS AND LEASES
      section MIXED PARISHES AND MANORS
      section Lands in Manor of Heligan, Trewoone, Tyndeale, p. St. Ewe, Mevagissey, Goran, Week St. Mary, St. Mewan, Ladock, Ruan Lanihorne, Veryan, Cuby, Tregoney also some lands in Devon

      FILE - [no title] - ref. T/753/1-3 - date: 12th/13th. December, 1693

      Contents
      (VARIOUS NAMES)
      John Avent, Inner Temple, gent.
      Properties in Cornwall: Manor of Heligan, Heligan Mills, Poyles Heligan,.....many more
      ====
      PROB Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury
      Division within PROB Exhibits
      PROB 4 Prerogative Court of Canterbury and Other Probate Jurisdictions: Engrossed Inventories Exhibited from 1660

      Record Summary
      Scope and content

      Avent, Thomas, of Plymouth, Devon, merchant, ob. intestate at Antegua, one of the Carrebia Islands on or about the beginning of June last, belonging to the ship "Tradesmens' Blessinge" of Plymouth
      Covering dates 1686 2 June (1685)
      Availability Open Document, Open Description, Normal Closure before FOI Act: 30 years
      Former reference (Department) Admon
      Held by
      The National Archives, Kew
      =====
      E. Records of the Exchequer, and its related bodies, with those of the Office of First Fruits and Tenths, and the Court of Augmentations
      Division within E Records of the King's Remembrancer
      E 215 Exchequer: King's Remembrancer: Records of the Commissions on Fees, James I and Charles I
      Subseries within E 215 PAPERS OF THE COMMISSIONERS OF CHARLES I
      Subsubseries within E 215 Papers of Sub-Commissions

      Record Summary
      Scope and content
      Devon Certificate by Thomas Avent, Steward of the Hundred of Plympton, of his fees.
      Covering dates Rec. 11 Jan. 1629
      Availability Open Document, Open Description, Normal Closure before FOI Act: 30 years
      Held by
      The National Archives, Kew
      ====
      TITLE DEEDS
      section DEVON
      section Hemerdon and Bickfordtown
      section Bickfordtown

      FILE - [no title] - ref. 710/82 - date: 1697

      Contents
      Grant of annuity in lieu of jointure
      1 Jane Avent, widow of Tristram Avent, of Plympton St Mary, gent
      2 Tristram Avent, son of 1
      Bickfordtown and Cholwill
      Consideration: 20
      =====
      Brixton Feoffee Lands Charity Catalogue in Full

      FILE - [no title] - ref. 1277/16 - date: 1594-1860
      item: [no title] - ref. 1277/16/21 - date: 1 December 1661

      Contents
      Lease
      i) Edward Fortescue of Spriddlestone esq., James Wood gent son and heir of Richard Wood of Hareston, Walter Stert [place illegible] gent, Thomas Maynard of Brixton gent, John Avent of Venn, yeoman, Robert Worth, Philip Avent, Richard Avent, Nicholas Winston, Andrew Avent and John Towson all of Brixton yeomen
      ii) Joanne Wood of Brixton widow
      Cottage garden and orchard in Brixton (see 1277/16/16)
      Term: 99 years or 2 lives
      Consideration: 40/-
      Rent: 12/-
      ===
      Kitley Estate, Yealmpton
      Bastard family of Kitley, Devon

      FILE - [no title] - ref. 74/82/1 - date: 1698

      Contents
      Release
      1 Thomas Avent of Venn, Brixton, yeoman
      2 Walter Stert and Thomas Stert of Brixton, gents, Walter Worth of Brixton, yeoman, John Philips of Thurlestone, yeoman, Andrew Phillips of Plymouth, gent and Bartholomew Avent of plymouth, merchant
      3 John Avent of Inner Temple, London, gent, son of (1)
      Chillaton, Aveton Gifford and messuage in Brixton town, Doddevens, East Sherford, both in Brixton
      ===
      Shelly & Johns, Solicitors, Plymouth
      Shelly and Johns, Plymouth, solicitors
      section Modbury

      FILE - [no title] - ref. 567/88/7a and b - date: 1697

      Contents
      Lease and release
      1 Henry Avent, yeoman, and Mary Avent, widow, both of Modbury
      2 Nicholas Avent of Modbury
      3 Silvester Holditch of Slapton, yeoman
      North Greenaven, Modbury
      ==
      Brixton Feoffee Lands Charity, Brixton, Devon

      FILE - [no title] - ref. 1277/16 - date: 1594-1860
      item: [no title] - ref. 1277/16/34 - date: 3 April 1706

      Contents
      Lease
      i) Edward Read of Brixton gent, Nicholas Winston, Walter Worth, Philip Avent, John Avent and John Stevens all of Brixton yeomen
      ii) John Cole of Brixton, husbandman
      House and garden in Brixton, as in 1277/16/29
      Term: 99 years or 3 lives
      Consideration: 3-2-6
      Fine: 3/-
      ===
      Kitley Estate, Yealmpton
      Bastard family of Kitley, Devon

      FILE - [no title] - ref. 74/123/15-16 - date: 1626

      Contents
      Assignment
      1 Thomas Avent of Wifferton, Brixton
      2 John Avent, his son
      Property as above
      ===
      WOOLLCOMBE OF HEMERDON
      Woollcombe family of Hemerdon, Devon
      section TITLE DEEDS
      section DEVON
      section Hemerdon and Bickfordtown
      section Bickfordtown

      FILE - [no title] - ref. 710/89 - date: 1702

      damaged

      Contents
      Mortgage in 400
      1 Tristram Avent of Bickfordtown, gent
      2 Edward Avent of -, gent, brother of 1
      Property as above
      ===
      Brixton Feoffee Lands Charity, Brixton, Devon

      FILE - [no title] - ref. 1277/16 - date: 1594-1860
      item: [no title] - ref. 1277/16/24 - date: 20 May 1679

      Contents
      Lease
      i) Edward Fortescue of Spriddleston esq., Walter Stert of Brixton gent, Thomas Maynard of Brixton gent, John Avent of Venn yeoman, Robert Worth, Nicholas Winston and John Towson all of Brixton yeomen
      ii) Thomas Wood of Brixton husbandman
      House, garden and orchard in Brixton (see 1277/16/21)
      Term: 99 years or 2 lives
      Consideration: 40/-
      Rent: 12/-
      --------------------------------------
      Brunswick County, Virginia
      Deed Book 5 (1751-1755)

      Indenture made 26 March 1751, between Nathaniel Edwards of St. Andrew Parish, brunswick County, and John Irby of same, 100, 250a, on the Lick branch, being part of a larger tract of 1675a,
      granted to Thomas Avent by Letters Patent dated 22 September 1739, and by the said Thomas Avent sold and conveyed to Charles Stewart and by the said Charles Stewart sold and conveyed to Charles Williams by deed dated 3 January 1744, and by the said Charles Williams and Benjamin his son sold and conveyed to Nathaniell Edwards by deeds dated 27 March 1749. Signed Nathaniell Edwards. Court 26 March 1751, Indenture and Memorandum acknowledged by Nathaniell Edwards. Deed Book 5, Page 63.

  • Sources 
    1. [S2027] Avents of Avent's Ferry, Claude Moore, 1.


  

This site powered by The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding, Copyright © 2001-2006, created by Darrin Lythgoe, Sandy, Utah. All rights reserved.