William Godwin & Elizabeth Wright

Sally’s 7-great Grandparents:

William Godwin ca 1645 – 1720 | his parents
& 1666 Elizabeth Wright ca 1650 – 1727 | her parents
of Isle of Wight County, Virginia


 my working hypothesis – the way I see it as of this moment!!


William Godwin was a son of Col. Thomas Godwin II who left legacies to each of his six sons and three daughters.
William received 200 acres in Isle of Wight County, Va.

William Godwin first appears in the Isle of Wight records in 1655 when Humphrey Clark leaves him a cow. Thomas Griffen in his will dated 8 Nov, 1669 refers to him as my brother. [He was married to Elizabeth’s sister Ann] William Godwin is mentioned as neighbor to John Whitley on Feb 21, 1670 and was named as appraiser for several estates.
William Godwin wrote his will 21 Nov, 1710 and it was recorded 26 Sept 1720 in Isle of Wight Co, VA.
names his sons William, John, and Joseph Godwin. his daughters Sarah G….., ……. Bridger, Mary Whitehead, Martha Cotton, and daughter Jane. Wife Elizabeth, Extr.
Wit: William Pope, John Whitley, James Edwards.

godwinww-2 godwinww-3

Will of William Godwin
from Isle of Wight will book
copy by Lowell Avery

Elizabeth Wright daughter of Thomas Wright and his wife Elizabeth [Gibbs] was born ca 1650 in Isle of Wight County, VA. In 1666 she married William Godwin.

Elizabeth Godwin left a will in Isle of Wight Co dated 4 Feb 1726/1727 and recorded 27 March 1727.
names sons John and William Godwin, and “my five daughters”
Wit: John Chestnut, Thomas Whitley, John Whitley.

Children of William Godwin & Elizabeth Wright:
1. William Godwin ca 1670 –
married Sarah
?married 2nd Martha
2. John /Barnaby Godwin moved to Granville County NC; then Edgecombe Co.
married Wilkinora Wilkinson

a. Lilory Godwin 22 Dec 1750 –
married Jonas Shivers 14 Oct 1750 –  GA
b. Elizabeth Godwin
married John Milner GA
c. Jonothan Godwin GA
married Martha ?

3. Joseph Godwin   N. H. Co NC
married Bridget
a. Joseph Godwin
(not named in mother’s will 4 Feb 1726/27)

4. Sarah Godwin nfi
5. Elizabeth Godwin ca 1681 – rem. to Bertie County by 1716
married ca 1699 William Bridger 1658 – 1730
will dated 2 Nov 1729, proved May 1730
6. Mary Godwin
married Arthur Whitehead ca1645 – 1710/11
a. Arthur Whitehead ca 1690-1750/51
married 1st Isabella Pursell dau of Arthur Pursell
married 2nd Ann Cooke dau of Reuben Cooke
b. Mary Whitehead nfi
c. William Whitehead ca 1695 – 1750
married Rachel ?
7. Martha Godwin ca 1683 – aft 1732
married ca 1700 John Cotten ca 1661 – 1728
8. Jane Godwin nfi


William Godwin Esq est 1670 – 1753 | his parents
& ca 1695 Sarah | her parents
& ca 1740 Martha | her parents

of Bertie Co NC



my working hypothesis – the way I see it as of this moment!!


Children of William Godwin and wife Martha:
1. Barnaby Godwin
2. Julian Godwin [dau] ca 1742 –
married bef 11 Mar 1757 William Clarke
3. Silvia Godwin
4. Kearney Godwin ca 1748 – 1790
a. Samuel Alfred Godwin I 1770 – 1840
i. Samuel Alfred Godwin II 1810 – 1863
1. Samuel Alfred Godwin III 1847 – 1894
a. James Alfred Godwin 1889 – 1970
grand father of Tony Godwin
5. Willis Godwin ca 1749 –
6. Josiah Godwin
7. Courtney Godwin [dau]
8. Martha Godwin

Isles of Wight Co Deed Bk page 295 – On the 1st day of February 1749 between William Godwin of Suffolk Parish in the County of Nansemond of the one part and Thomas Bullock of Newport Parish of the County of Isle of Wight of the other part. . .for 22 pound . . . a certain tract of parcel of Land lying and being in Newport Parish in the County of Isle of Wight est 100 acres + or – . . .being the Plantation whereon this William formerly lived bounding on the lands of Robert Driver, William Driver, Barnaby Godwin, and William Bullock the same Part of a Patent formerly granted to Godfry Hunt for six Hundred acres and by the sd Hunt conveyed to Henry Reves? of Rappahanock who did by Deed of Bargain of Sale bearing Date the 19th Day of December 1688 convey and will two Hundred Acres of the said land to Thomas Godwin of Chuckachuck in Nansemond and the sd Thomas Godwin decd by his last Will and Testament give and bequeath the sd two hundred Acres unto his Son William Godwin, father of the aforesaid William Party to these presents — who did by his last Will and Testament bequeath the same to his two sons William and Barnaby Godwin which land has been divided etc . . .

Will of William Godwin,Esq. Bertie Co NC 4 May 1752 – May Ct 1753 Bertie Co
“being sick and weak of body”
– wife Martha
– son Barnaby Godwin – one shilling sterling
– daughter Julian – cows and calves, bed etc
– daughter Silvia Godwin – cow and calves, hogs, pewter dish, etc
– son Willis Godwin – items to be his when he is eighteen
– son Kearney Godwin – plantation, my silver clasps for a band
– son Josiah Godwin – Negro and gun, also a pair of silver studs
– daughter Courtney Godwin – Negro Amy
– daughter Martha Godwin – Negro Will and inscribed ring
legacies to be paid as they come of age or marry
EX: friend John Brickell
WIT: John Brown, Richard Roberts, Gilstrap Williams
from abstract by David B Gammon

Estate records of William Godwin
Martha Godwin was apptd gdn of the orphan Silvia Godwin, 29 Apr 1756.
Inventory of property left the said Silvia in her father’s will, 28 July 1755 by her guardian.
Account of sale 29 July 1756 by John Brickell, exr. Buyers were: Martha Godwin, Matthias Brickell, Harmon Hollemon, Edmund Bird and Edward Carter, and this record mentions money settled with the children of the dec’d and their gdn.
Acct. of the estate belonging to the orphan Martha Godwin with John Brickell her gdn from June 1756 to July 1759, mentioning the hiring out of Negro Will.
Samuel Hollaman was apptd. gdn. of the orphans Willis and Courtney Godwin 29 July 1757

Deed Book I-11 William [x] Clarke planter in Bertie Co to Samuel Hollamon planter of same 11 Mar 1757. 10 pounds NC. All my title in the estate of William Godwin dec’d being the legacy of my wife Julian, daughter of sd. Godwin as by his will. Wit: Moses Sumner, Micajah Lancaster. Oct Ct 1757 CC Benjn Wynns

William Murfree’s Tax Receipt Book [transcribed by Raymond Parker Fouts]
Barneby Godwin 1 tax 1768; 2 taxes 1769
Kirney Godwin 2 taxes 1769; 2 taxes 1770
Williss Godwin 1 tax 1770

2 thoughts on “William Godwin & Elizabeth Wright”

  1. Dear Cousin Sally,

    Does this connect with former Governor Miles Godwin of Suffolk, Nansemond County, Virginia? I hope you will respond.

    Charles E. Miller, Jr., BA, Old Dominion University ( Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary); MA, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

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