Preliminary Analysis - Thomas Vaughan of Sussex County

Thomas Vaughan, Sr. purchased 135 acres in Surry County, Virginia from Thomas Addison on 6 Aug 1747. This land was located on Hardwood Swamp and was originally granted to Thomas Mitchell in 1723 (Surry County, Virginia Deed Book 5, Page 329). On 21 Nov 1752, Jacob Jones gave 100 acres to Thomas Vaughan (Surry County, Virginia Deed Book 6, Page 571). Then on 12 Nov 1753 the Commonwealth of Virginia patented Thomas 204 acres on Hardwood Swamp. This patent included the 135 acres he had purchased back in 1747 along with an additional 69 acres (Patent Book 11, Page 265). This brought his total land holdings to 304 acres. Also in 1753 Sussex County was split off from Surry County. His land was then in Sussex County. Hardwood Swamp is in the very western corner of Sussex County and runs along both sides of the Sussex-Dinwiddie County line. Thomas Vaughan’s 304 acres is on the Dinwiddie County Line with only one tract between it and the Nottoway R. (Greensville County Line). See Direct Line Software Deed Data Pool for Sussex County. (Requires DeedMapper Software)

Thomas still owned the same 304 acres 1782 when Virginia started its annual series of Land Tax Digests. At the time of his death in 1788, Thomas was married to Dorothy (maiden name unknown). She died in 1795. From the Wills of Thomas (Sussex County Will Book D, Page 521), his widow Dorothy (Sussex County Will Book E, Page 411), Sussex County marriage records and the Albemarle Parish Register we can put together the names of his children as follows:

William Vaughan

Thomas Vaughan, Jr., b. 20 Sep 1751, m. Susannah _____

Fielding Vaughan, m. Frances _____

Dorothy Vaughan, m. Thomas Hunt 22 Mar 1765

Lucy Vaughan, m. _____ Harwell

Elizabeth Vaughan, b. 12 Jan 1754, m. William Rivers 16 Dec 1773

Martha Vaughan, b. 7 Jun 1756, m. Charles Lock 2 Feb 1778

Nancy (Anne) Vaughan, b. 7 Jan 1757, m. _____ Wilkerson

Judith Vaughan, b. 16 Jun 1762

All of the above are known to be the children of Dorothy, with the exception of William. He may have had a different mother. There are no records of William Vaughan in Sussex County. However, in 1771, William Vaughan of Sussex Co. bought 640 acres in Brunswick County (Brunswick County Deed Book 10, Page 75). This land was near to the intersection of Brunswick County, Greensville County and the N.C. State line. Capt. William Vaughan amassed large amounts of real estate before he died in 1809.

Capt. William Vaughan gave a bequests to his son Robert Vaughan’s children (among other bequests) in his will (Brunswick County Will Book 7, Page 376). His son Robert Vaughan does not appear in Brunswick County. However, his family is found back in Sussex County. Robert Vaughan m. Lucy Harwell 16 Dec 1802 in Sussex County. (Now remember he had an aunt named Lucy Harwell). Thus, it appears he married his first cousin (additional research needed). He died a young man leaving three orphans: Eaton, Robert H. and Dorothy (See guardian returns in Sussex County Will Book K, Page 454). Robert appears in the tax digest in Sussex County in 1803-1805.

Robert’s daughter Dorothy Vaughan married Alfred Jefferson Vaughan, Sr. of Dinwiddie County on 6 Mar 1823. They were the parents of the brilliant and famous Confederate Brig. General Alfred Jefferson Vaughan, Jr.

Robert Vaughan’s son Robert H. Vaughan sued Alfred Jefferson Vaughan, Sr. (Dinwiddie County Chancery Case No. 1847-001) for fraud. This case adds substantially to the proof of the family relationships.

Questions for future research:


1.          There were a lot of connections between the Vaughan families in Dinwiddie County and Sussex County. How are these branches related?

2.          There is yet another Dorothy Vaughan who m. Joseph Cannon 6/8 Apr 1797. Was she the daughter of Thomas Vaughan, Jr.?

3.          There are more than one reference to land in Bedford County. Who owned this land?

Compiled By: David H. Robertson, 159 Hickory St., Roswell, GA 30075