Capt John Ratcliffe arrived at Jamestown with Capt John Smith, in Discovery, April 26, 1607, with 20 other passengers. After Edward Maria Wingfield was expelled for wasting the “stores” he was elected president in his place. John Ratcliffe was one of the Council, “when the Colonists first reached shore” on their crossing to Accomac Co. (History of Accomac Co.) He was living at Jamestown May 23, 1609. (Browns Gen. to America.)

Roger Radclife was living “att West, and Sherlew hundred” Feb 16, 1623. (Hotten.) He arrived in Va, in “George” May 1619, with his wife Ann, age 40, and son Isaac 9 years old. He gave his own age as 44.

Charles Radcliffe had land grt him, in Accomac Co, July 10, 1664.

The History of Grant Co Ind, shows that James & Mary Ratcliffe came from England to Bucks Co Penn, with five children, as follows: 1 Richard, b April 8, 1676—2 Edward, b Aug 14, 1678—3 Rachel, b Feb 16, 1682—4 Rebecca, b Nov 11, 1684—5 James, b 1686/7.

The theory has been advanced that the Richard (s of James & Mary) is the identical one who was such a prominent Quaker in Isle of Wight County Va, but if one will stop to investigate the date thoroughly, it would be seen immediately, that such could not possibly be the case. The Richard in Penn, was only ten years of age when the Richard in Isle of Wight, made his will 1686. May we not more plausibly surmise, that Roger of West and Shirley hundred, might be the progenitor of Richard of Isle of Wight, for certainly propinquity would lend color to that version. Again he could have been a descendant of John Ratcliffe of Jamestown, however the records do not give any positive proof.

Richard Ratcliffe, first in Isle of Wight Co, made a will in sd county, which was Ack in Court Mar 4, 1686/7. Son Richard (2) to whom he bequeathed 200a of land, “if he die to s Cornelius” son John, dau’s Elizabeth, Sara, Mary, & Rebecca, wife Elizabeth, & John Copeland Exrs. Test’ Daniel Sandbourne, Wm Outland, Edmund Belson.

The children of Richard are given in Chuckatuck Friends Reg, Nansemond Co, as follows:

  1. Elizabeth, b 21, 7mo 1668, m James Jordan (s of Thomas, & Margaret, of Chuckatuck Nansemond Co) 9, 12mo 1688—
  2. Sarah, b 19, 9mo 1670, m Joseph Kennerly, of Dorchester Co Md, 20, 7mo 1696—
  3. Richard (2) b 13 7mo 1672, m Elizabeth Hollowell (d of Henry dec’d of Isle of Wight Co) 18, 7mo 1700—
  4. Cornelius, b 15, 1mo 1674, m Elizabeth Jordan, widow (thought to be Elizabeth Sanborn, wid of Joshua Jordan) of Isle of Wight Co) 3, 9mo 1721—
  5. Mary, b 5, 2mo 1679, m Thomas Newman, 13, 2mo 1699—
  6. Rebecca, b, 3, 5mo 1684, m Richard Jordan (s of Thomas of Chuckatuck) 2, 8mo 1706. The marriage Banns name her as “d of Richard Ratcliff of Trerasco Neck” and her father appears among the witnesses to the m certificate.

Richard Ratcliffe Sr attended a “meeting at Leavy’s Neck, 13, 4mo 1708.” Richard and John Ratliff are named in the m certificate of Rebecca (Jordan) as “brother.”

How to account for the fact that Richard Ratcliff (1) made a second will in Isle of Wight Co 8, 8mo 1713, p Oct 27, 1718, but from the fact that he names the identical children, and that they had the same husbands, we are led to conclude it was certainly the same Richard who made a will 1686, although a period of 27 years intervened. The 2d Richard could not have had a child ofr marriageable age, at the time the sons and dau’s of Richard Ratcliff did marry. Also the issue in the second will is in exactly the same sequence as the first, but the text of the will is different. Will of Richard Ratcliff of Lower pish Isle of Wight Co, p Oct 27, 1718, gives to son “Richard plan’ whereon I now live,” after the death of his wife Elizabeth, to her he left 5 negroes for her “Natual life,” to be equally divided between his children: Richard, Cornelius, John, Mary, Rebeccah, & the “children of my two dec’d dau’s Elizabeth, & Sarah, a childs pt to be divided among them.” Son-in-law Thomas Newman (husband of Mary) Richard Jordan (husband of Rebeccah) “a part of my Estate.” Test’ Wm Best, Humph’ry Marshall, Tho. Copeland.

  • Cornelius Ratcliff will Isle of Wight Co Va, p Feb 4, 1762. Leg: John Outland, Cornelius Moore, Marthy Winslow (wife of Jesse of Perq Co, (will 1771) John Jordan “over Nansemond River,” Richard Jordan & wife Elizabeth, John Newman, Rachel Outland’s heirs, Thomas Outland “my plan’ in Western Branch” Cornelius Outland (s of Thomas). He gave to Thomas Outland, & Gideon Moore “all ready Money.” Test’ Charles Driver, Henry Pitt, Samuel Cutchin.
  • Cornelius, and Gideon Moore were sons of John Moore of Perq Co who made his will Mar 11, 1750. Joseph Ratliff is named in this will as “bro-in-law.”
  • Richard (2) Ratliff moved to Perq Co, where he m for his 2d wife Damaris Nixon (d of Zachariah, & wife Elizabeth Page, d of Mark Page, b 8, 6mo 1682). His will p in Perq pre’ct, July 14, 1724. Sons: Thomas, Joseph, to whom he bequeathed “lands in Vir, & N. C.” Dau’s Elizabeth, Mary, Sarah, Huldah, wife Damaris, & brother Cornelius Exrs.
  • Damaris Ratlif also made her will in Perq, p Feb 24, 1734. Son: Joseph. Dau’s Mary Moore (wife of John, father of Cornelius, & Gideon) Sarah Winslow, “sons-in-law John More, & Thomas Winslow, gr-dau Betty More.
  • Joseph Ratcliffe, m Mary Fletcher (d of Ralph) 13, 3mo 1747. He was dec’d Apl 2, 1760, apparently without a will. Inventory on that date. His son Cornelius was bound apprentice to Josiah Jordan of Perq, July 1771, “to learn the Art of a Cordwainer,” & Thomas his brother bound at same time to said Jordan. (2) Joseph Ratlif will Perq, p July 1787. Names dau’s: Elizabeth, Mary, Peninah, & Catherine, brother Thomas, wife Sarah. Brother Cornelius, & Benj Albertson Exrs.
  • Joseph (1) Ratliff dec’d Feb 9, 1760; Mary relict. (Loose papers.)
  • Cornelius Ratliff was heir of Daniel Saint, Jan 18, 1783. (Divisions.)
  • Joseph Ratliff in Act’ with his Guardian Ralph Fletcher, Jan 20, 1771. (Audit.)
  • Mary Ratliff Admix of Joseph; William Newby who intermarried with Elizabeth Ratlif, petitioned the Court for division of negroes, “given the several Representatives” by Cornelius Ratlif of Va. Jan 19, 1769. (Loose papers.)
  • Joseph Ratliff m Sarah Newby, 3, 8mo 1774. (Welles Mo Meeting.)
  • Thomas Ratliff m Hannah Munden, 28, 11 mo 1778. (Welles Mo Meeting.)
  • Cornelius Ratliff m Elizabeth Charles, — 12mo 1780. (Welles Mo Meeting.)
  • Daniel Saint, m Margaret Barrow, 15, 6mo 1744. (Welles Mo Meeting.)
  • Damaris (Nixon) Ratcliff, m 1st Joseph Pierce (s of John & Mary, née Scott) Aug 11, 1699, “at Little River meeting.” The Scotts also came to Perq from Nansemond Co Va, and were Quakers.

Source: History of Perquimans County by Ellen Goode Rawlings Winslow, (1931).

Posted under: Early Families of Perquimans County

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