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February 11, 2013 / Joanne Yeck

Colonial Buckingham: Rev. William Peaseley


Buckingham Baptist Church (foreground section, Old Buckingham Church)

Photo by Joanne Yeck

While a record of Anglican ministers in Virginia exists for 1758, no parson is included for Tillotson Parish, indicating that there may have been a lag between the establishment of the parish and the arrival of a minister. Buckingham’s first known rector was Rev. William Peaseley, who served the county uninterruptedly for almost two decades. Born in 1714 in Dublin, he was the son of a carpenter. Educated at Trinity College in Dublin, he began serving the Church of England at age nineteen, continuing until his death in about 1786.

During Peaseley’s first decade in Buckingham, all four churches were holding services and he was attending to orphans and the poor. Between 1772 and 1776, William Binion served as a lay reader at Buckingham Church; John Flood was the sexton, while William Hensley acted as lay reader and sexton at Buck and Doe Church. John Patteson was reader and sexton of Maynards Church.  Charles May and Charles Maxey were lay readers at Goodwin’s Church; Margaret McDaniel was sexton there.

In 1774, among the Gentleman Vestrymen were: Samuel Jordan (Magistrate and County Lieutenant), William Cannon (Sheriff), John Nicholas (County Clerk of Albemarle, who resided in Buckingham), Dolphin Drew, John Fearn (Captain, Revolutionary War), Rolfe Eldridge (County Clerk of Buckingham), John Bernard (Sheriff), and Hardin Perkins (Captain, Buckingham Militia). They were all leading planters and/or civic leaders.

The surprise in the list is Margaret McDaniel.  Does any recognize her or the McDaniel family?


Leave a Comment
  1. Bob Flood / Jan 19 2017 9:30 am

    Between 1772-1776, my grandfather, John Flood served as church Sexton and is actually buried under the church along with his first wife. He actually arrived in Buckingham County around 1760-1761. After the death of his first wife he remarried Aggie Payne and subsequently had two families. Aggie’s children for the most part left Virginia for Kentucky around 1805-1810.
    Thank you for your research and blog.
    Bob Flood

    • Joanne Yeck / Jan 19 2017 10:37 am

      Hello Bob, Every bit of Buckingham County history is valuable. Thanks for adding this information about John Flood to the post about Rev. William Peaseley. It’s nice to know what happened to his family. John Flood is mentioned as Sexton in “Tillotson Parish and Rev. William Peaseley” in my book “At a Place Called Buckingham.” Joanne

  2. Kimberly / May 28 2013 8:08 am

    Joanne – I may have asked you this before, but someone here might have an answer. My 4th GGF, William P. Shepherd married Martha Gaines Booker (dau of Bernard Gaines Booker) on 26 May 1830. They were married by Rev John Ayers. The announcement was in the Richmond Enquirer. I suspect it was placed there by her father, as his gold mine was thriving at that point. I do not know what church it was, though. Any ideas? Two of Wm and Martha’s sons married Spencer sisters, daus of John James Spencer, so there might have been a Baptist connection. I have completely hit a brick wall on where and from whom William P comes from, so I am working collaterally!


    • Joanne Yeck / May 28 2013 8:57 am

      Kimberly, I have this note: “Pastor John Ayres, Methodist minister, was authorized to serve in Bedford County 26 Oct. 1789.” He had settled in Buckingham prior to the birth of his son, John Bransford Ayres (1794). I will do some digging. Watch for a future post about Rev. Ayres. Perhaps, we’ll get some comments. His large family was certainly wide spread in Buckingham County. As for the Spencer-Ayres intermarriage, switching denominations was not uncommon and Rev. Spencer had lots of converts to the Baptist church. Also, watch for more about the Booker Gold Mine. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Bill Davidson / Feb 12 2013 5:25 pm

    Reverend William Peaseley was apparently the father of Gabriel Bradstreet Peaseley, Senior. Gabriel “Senior” married first to Tabitha and second to Judith Davidson. Tabitha appears to have been Tabitha Davidson, and she appears to have been a daughter of my ggggg-grandparents Hezekiah and Tabitha (Childers) Davidson. Judith Davidson was a granddaughter of Hezekiah and Tabitha (Childers) Davidson, via their son who was named Philemon Davidson (my gggg-grandfather; Philemon was married to a Mary/Mollie, and I SUSPECT that her maiden name was Boatwright).

    Gabriel “Senior” and his first wife Tabitha had a daughter who was named Lucy Peaseley, and Lucy married my ggg-grandfather Reuben F. Davidson (a son of Philemon Davidson….so Reuben apparently married a daughter of his aunt Mrs. Tabitha (Davidson) Peaseley). Gabriel “Senior” and his second wife Judith Davidson had a son who was named Gabriel Bradstreet Davidson, Junior (who married Caroline Sanderson). There is today a “father and son pair” of living men (descendants of the above Gabriel “Senior” and “Junior”) who are also named Gabriel Bradstreet Peaseley (“IV” and “V,” or “V” and “VI”….or something like that).

    • Joanne Yeck / Feb 12 2013 5:33 pm

      The Peaseleys and the Davidsons certainly got along! Now, I’m wondering who Gabriel Bradstreet might have been. Rev. Peaseley’s second wife was Lucy Sanders; they had at least three children. She came with him to Buckingham from Lunenburg County.

      • Bill Davidson / Feb 13 2013 6:12 pm

        Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) was a well-known poet who came to America (New England) from England, as I recall. You can “Google her” to obtain a lot of info. Who knows….maybe Reverend William Peaseley was a “fan” of her work (and Anne Bradstreet had a brother-in-law, as I recall, who was also a minister)? “Gabriel,” of course, is a Biblical name, so the Reverend may have simply taken that given name from the Bible.

        The Reverend and his second wife Lucy Saunders (who was a widow; her maiden name was “Swepson,” as I recall….and “Swepson” was a well-known name in the Lunenburg Co., VA area) supposedly had children who were named Lucy, Mary and Gabriel B. Peaseley, Senior. By the way, I “Googled” “Gabriel Bradstreet Peaseley,” and I saw where there is now a GBP “VII” who was on the Dean’s List at a college in 2011.

    • Joanne Yeck / Feb 13 2013 8:36 pm

      Thanks. I’m especially glad to know that Lucy’s name was Swepson and that hers was a well-known family.

  4. Ed Ayres / Feb 12 2013 2:01 pm

    Margaret McDaniel was possibly the widow, daughter, or daughter-in-law of Arthur McDaniel. Arthur took our several grants on Ripley’s Creek and in the vicinity of the Slate River in the 1750s. In his will, dated 1757, he left the land he lived on to his son, Thomas McDaniel, who was elsewhere identified as a carpenter. Thomas was listed in a 1782 tax list for Buckingham, but there do not appear to be any McDaniels living in the county in the following years. It is interesting that in 1772 George Ingle was paid for serving as sexton at Goodwins Church, but from 1773 until the fragmentary Tillotson Parish records end, Margaret held this job.

    • Joanne Yeck / Feb 12 2013 3:13 pm

      Thanks, Ed. Very interesting. If Margaret McDaniel was on her own (without a husband), a paid job was preferable to outright charity and, in Colonial Buckingham, the parish was responsible for taking care of the needy. More about that in a future post.

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