Dabney Family of Early Virginia
Cornelius Dabney (b 1630) and his descendants
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John Minor, of Topping Castle

Male 1735 - 1800  (64 years)


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  • Name John Minor, of Topping Castle 
    Suffix of Topping Castle 
    Born 13 Nov 1735  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 21 Mar 1800  Caroline County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID I1874  Dabneys of Virginia
    Last Modified 5 Mar 2019 

    Father John Minor,   b. 29 Jun 1707, Spotsylvania County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Jun 1755, Spotsylvania County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 47 years) 
    Mother Sarah Carr,   b. 14 Nov 1714,   d. 28 Sep 1772  (Age 57 years) 
    Married 14 Nov 1732  [2
    Family ID F366  Group Sheet

    Family Elizabeth Cosby 
    Last Modified 5 Mar 2019 
    Family ID F1280  Group Sheet

  • Notes 
    • John Minor of Topping Castle was born to John and Sarah (Carr) Minor November 13, 1735, in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.
      He married Elizabeth Cosby, a daughter of David and Mary Overton Cosby of Louisa County, and a sister of Barbara Cosby, who married John’s younger brother, Vivian. They had eleven children: Thomas Carr born January 13, 1757, married Ann Rudd, and moved to Tennessee; William, of Hybla, Hanover County, married Mildred T. Lewis, daughter of Capt. John Lewis of Fredericksburg; John, born May 13, 1761, died June 8,1816, a colonel of militia during the Revolution and brigadier general of militia from 1804 through the War of 1812, member of Virginia House of Delegates 1805-1807, in 1783, unsuccessfully urged the General Assembly to pass a bill to emancipate Virginia slaves and later freed his own slaves and sent them to Liberia; Lancelot, of “Minor’s Folly,” Louisa County, born in 1763, died in 1848, married Mary Overton Tompkins; Mary Overton, born 1765; Diana, born 1767, married Richard Maury of Spotsylvania County, parents of Commodore Matthew Fontaine Maury, a distinguished naval officer and weather scientist; Sarah, born 1773, married Harwood Goodwin of Louisa County; Charles, M.D., died young and unmarried; Elizabeth, born 1776, married Humphrey Hill of Caroline County and died childless; Barbara, married Kemp Gatewood of Essex County; and Elizabeth M., who married Stapleton Crutchfield of Spotsylvania County.
      His father, John Minor Sr., died in 1755 and left him his silver watch, trooper’s arms, £100, a gold ring, and an equal share of his estate.
      He was a major in the Caroline County militia from 1777 to January, 1779, when he resigned his commission. One Minor family historian has claimed that he was in active service when Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown in 1781, but this researcher has found no evidence for this in the military service records on the Fold 3 site or in Ancestry internet files..
      He lived on a farm called Topping Castle that burned March 31, 1896. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in Caroline County in 1769 by Gorernor Botetourt. He owned a grist mill on the North Anna River in 1774. He was also identified as a merchant in 1775 when the County Committee of Safety decided to examine merchants’ books for dealing with English companies. In the Caroline County land tax lists, he was charged with 725 acres in 1787 (the earliest surviving list), which decreased to 525 acres in 1788 and continued until his death. In the personal property tax lists, he was charged with 7-37 slaves and 5-9 horses from 1783 to 1799. Between 1748 and 1779, he served, often with several others, as executor or administrator for 12 estates of deceased persons. In 1769, he was appointed guardian for a family of 8 children, which he transferred to another guardian four years later.
      John Minor died 21 Mar 1800, aged 64. His wife, Elizabeth, continued to be listed in the tax rolls through 1811. [1, 3, 4, 5, 6]

  • Sources 
    1. [S1774]

    2. [S169] p. 143..

    3. [S1690]

    4. [S1776]

    5. [S1057]

    6. [S1777] P. 847-848..