Watts Island is located north of the mouth of Onancock Creek in Virginia. At one time it was inhabited. The waters surrounding all the Islands have grown and widened and the Island has washed away, beaten by time, tides and the numerous storms over the centuries. Like other islands in the Chesapeake Bay, it has been diminished to an uninhabited tiny island of pines and wild asparagus that springs up in early spring. In 1923 it was purchased as a little island "reduced to 3 acres by erosion"1. Today it is used as an educational tool by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for school children.
The earliest record on this island was in 1652, when Nicholas Waddelow patented 400 acres called "Gabriel's Island. In 1657 he and his wife Amy assigned the patent to Robert King, John Watts, Gilbert Henderson and Robert Blake. Robert Blake shortly deeded his quarter back and Amy and her next husband Thomas Fowkes sold this quarter to Walter Taylor. Amy was married four times, Thomas Fowkes being her last husband. In the will of Walter Taylor he leaves "To eldest son John plantation known as 'Gabriell's' or 'Watts Island'" The island has been known as "Watts Island" since.
In 1673 John Taylor patented 24 acres as "Little Watts Island." On 25 April 1702 Francis McKemmie and Henry Jenkins patented 150 acres on the south end of Watts Island and 24 acres on "Gabriel's" alias "Little Watts Island" alias "Goat Island"
In 1743 John Taylor sold the island to John Parker. This John Parker (c1685-1755) was the third John in a line of John Parkers. Though he did not name the Island in his will, it passed to his son William Parker (c1717-1784,) who left it to his son Robert (c1745-1809.) William Parker was a Captain during the Revolutionary War.
From Robert Parker it became owned by his son by his second wife, Hannah Sterling, Josiah Parker. In 1832 Josiah Parker sold "Little Watts Island" to the Government for a lighthouse. In the 1850 census Josiah Parker is listed as 53. Living with him are Matilda Bundick age 23, Tabitha Bundick age 27, Susan Taylor age 22, Thomas Mitchel sailor age 20, Burnetta Parker age 5 and Mary J. Parker age 3. In the 1860 census was listed as Josiah Parker age 67. With him were Matilda Bundick age 30, William Parker age 18, Burnetta Parker age 13, Melissa C. Parker age 7, Louseanna Parker age 6, Walter C. Parker age 3 and Isaac H. C. Parker age 1. In 1870 he and his second wife were still living on the island as noted in the census in Household 1727 Family 1767.
It states Parker, Josiah, 80 White, occupation farming, personal estate $600.00. Parker, Matilda 50 Female, keeps house. Parker, Burnetta 25 Female, at home. Parker, Maliccia 20 Female, at home. Parker, Laura 15 Female, at home. Parker, Walter 13 Male, at home. Parker, Isaac H. 11 Male, at home. Parker, George 9 Male, at home. Josiah Parker's children were baptized by the travelling ministers on the Cokesbury Methodist Church Circuit.
In 1908, Arinthia Parker Dormeus, daughter of Robert Parker and Mary Jane Horsey, son of Josiah Parker and his first wife Elizabeth Sterling, sold the island out of the family.
Nicholas Waddelow emigrated from Sheffield, Yorkshire to Virginia in America in 1622. We find him in the IGI for Yorkshire, the son of Nicholas Waddelow.
He married Amy Anderson, the widow of Garrett Anderson in about 1649, leaving three children. Nicholas and Amy had three daughters, Comfort, Temperance and Patience. Nicholas died in 1660. The record of the descendants of these daughters appears on page 147, Magazine No 5, Volume 3. He was engaged in shipping hogsheads of tobacco to England.
Lists of Wadlows and Wadleys in Virginia from 1778 are likely to be descendants of Nicholas who settled in Virginia. It is interesting that the name changed to Wallop. On page 133 we have the will of John Wallop alias Wadlow. There is also a Wallop Island in Accomack County. This is now a Nasa Centre and Nature Refuge. Page 127-139, Magazine 4, Volume 4.
If you are interested in further references to Nicholas:
see page 307, Magazine 11, Volume 4
Pages 143, 147 & 150Magazine 5. Volume 3
Pages 161 & 162, Magazine No. 6, Volume 3
Or search the internet.
The Waddelow Society is a non profit Family History Group, established in 1988, interested in reasearching the Waddelow/Wadlow name.
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