Captain Francis Willis of Greenwich, England (Conjecture)
Captain Francis Willis was born in 1666 in Ware Parish, Oxfordshire, England. Before 1689 Francis immigrated to Gloucester Co VA where his uncle, Col. Francis Willis, was a major landowner. In Col. Francis' will which was recorded in London in 1691, Captain Francis Willis received lands and estates in Gloucester Co VA. These lands were located between the Severn and Ware rivers west of "Mockjack Bay" and were annotated on a 1751 map of Virginia.
In about 1689 in Gloucester Co VA, Francis married Sarah Lewis b. 1669 in Henrico Co VA. The union of Francis and Sarah produced at least two sons, Francis and Henry. Unfortunately, Cpt. Francis died shortly thereafter. Sarah's 10/1692 marriage to Robert Woodson in Henrico Co VA gives us a reference.
Francis died before 10/1692 and is possibly buried on the family estate. Of note, no extant will is found. The question is whether Francis left his property to his sons or Sarah inherited it as surviving spouse. Most probably, the sons lived at their mother's residence until they reached majority to inherit their father's estate is Gloucester Co VA.
Born 1666 Oxfordshire, England
Immigrated before 1689 to Gloucester Co VA
Married c. 1689 in Gloucester Co VA to Sarah Lewis b. 1669 in New Kent Co VA
4/25/1691 Received lands and estates in Gloucester Co VA
| New England History and Genealogy Register
Vol. XL, p. 257:
25 April 1691 Will of Col. Francis Wills:
Received in the East Greenwich Parish of Kent County, England. In that will he left large estates on Ware Creek, in Gloucester County, Virginia, one thousand pounds sterling, together with the cattle, chattels, etc., etc., and all other property of his uncle that was not bequeathed to others to his nephew Francis, son of his brother Henry Willis deceased and 100 acres to his nephew William Willis [son of William] and cousin, Hugh Willis who was a son of John, of Winchester.
Genealogies of Virginia
Families, Vol. V., p. 493:
Died after 1705 Gloucester Co VA
1. Francis Willis b. 1690 Gloucester Co VA
2. Henry Willis
Born 1691 Gloucester Co VA
1718 Elected Burgess from Gloucester Co VA
1726 Spotsylvania Co VA Land Patent
|Henry WILLIS of Gloucester Co., VA obtained a patent for land in Spotsylvania Co., VA.|
Married 10/30/1726 in Spotsylvania Co VA to Mildred Lewis (daughter of Councilor John Lewis) b. c. 1691 New Kent Co VA
1727 Appointed Trustee of the Town of Fredericksburg VA
1730 Spotsylvania Co VA Land Transaction
|Spotsylvania Co Deed Book B, p. 129:
2 March 1730. Henry Willis to John Lewis of Gloucester and Charles Lewis of New Kent. 1465 acres. Witnesses: Goodrich Lightfoot, Thomas Chew, Edwin Hickman.
1/6/1733 Spotsylvania Co VA Land Transaction
|January 6, 1733, between herself [Mildred Washington], Henry Willis and John Washington, of Gloucester, "in view of her intended marriage with said Willis, and she now conveys property to her son Lewis and her daughters Frances, wife of Francis Thornton, Jr., Mildred and Elizabeth|
7/7/1740 Will written in Spotsylvania Co VA
Died 9/14/1740 Spotsylvania Co VA
6/4/1741 Spotsylvania Co VA Probate
| SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY VA
DEED BOOK C (1734-1742), p. 156:
June 4, 1741. Honble. John Grymes of Middlesex Co., Esqr., and Francis Willis of Gloucester, Esqr., executors of the last will and testament of Henry Willis, late of Spts. Co., Esqr., Decd., to John Allen of Spts. Co., Mercht., and Nathaniel Chapman of Stafford Co., Gent. Whereas Henry Willis by his last will and testament bearing date July 27, 1740, among other things, did appoint sd. Jno. Grymes and Francis Willis, executors, etc. £141—by Allen and Chapman paid—they receive a tract of land partly in the town of Fredksbrg and partly in Spts. Co. Witnesses: Benja. Hubbard, William Hunter, Thos. Wood, John Thornton. Augt. 4, 1741.
1772 Spotsylvania Co VA Court Proceeding
In an act of 1772 Mary Willis, daughter of Col. Francis Willis, and wife of Hon. Lewis Burwell, is declared to be "the cousin of the whole blood of Henry Willis".
3. Elizabeth Willis b. 1/29/1694 Gloucester Co VA
4. Nathaniel Willis b. 5/8/1697 Gloucester Co VA
5. Judith Willis b. 11/19/1699 Gloucester Co VA
6. Mary Willis b. 12/17/1701 Gloucester Co VA
7. Anne Willis b. 10/5/1702 Gloucester Co VA
8. Dinah Willis b. 9/30/1705 Gloucester Co VA