Porter, Benjamin

Birth Name Porter, Benjamin [1]
Gramps ID I0450
Gender male


Event Date Place Description Notes Sources
Birth 1679 England  



Father Porter, Nicholas [I0869]
Mother Mitchell, Elizabeth [I0868]


Married Wife Campbell, Ann [I0451]
Event Date Place Description Notes Sources
Marriage 1730-10-03   Marriage of Porter, Benjamin & Campbell, Ann (married in either Ireland or VA - records in both countries)

  1. Porter, Ambrose [I0877]
  2. Porter, Thomas [I0879]
  3. Porter, Nicholas [I0880]
  4. Porter, Elizabeth [I0773]
  5. Porter, Charles [I0882]
  6. Porter, Patrick [I0884]
  7. Porter, Anne [I0885]
  8. Porter, Abner [I0448]
  9. Porter, Frances [I0774]
  10. Porter, Jane [I0878]
  11. Porter, Mary [I0881]
  12. Porter, Benjamin [I0886]


Benjamin Porter, a native of England came to America and settled in Orange County, VA in 1730. He brought his Welch born wife with him, Ann Campbell and had five son's and 2 daughter's here.

Other records say that he was born in 1695, 1696 and 1671 in England, b. 1675 in Spotsylvania Co., VA., WFT estimates b. 1654-1696; also d. 1742, d. abt. 1725, WFT estimates d. 1694-1778, d. aft. 1761 and as having died in North Carolina. DAR records for Miss Dollie Grigsby DAR ID Number 123121 indicate that he was married in 1730 and was b. 1709 and died 1784. They also say that he served as an enlisting officer, b. in England and d. in Orange County, Va.

He could not have been born in Spotsylvania " which was formed from King William and Essex in 1721" if he was born in that county in 1675, 1695, 1696, etc. it was then Essex

Virginia County Records SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY 1721-1800, DEEDS
DEED BOOK A 1722-1729, page 109
Novr. 5, 1729. John Taliaferro, the younger, and Francis Taliaferro of St. Marie's Par., Caroline Co., to Benjamin Porter of St. Geo. Par., Spts. Co. L10 ster., 10 a. of land in St. Geo. Par., Spts. Co.--part of a pat. granted John Taliaferro, the younger, and Francis Taliaferro, June 30, 1726. Witnesses: John Robinson, Thomas Benson, John Mickel. Rec. Novr. 5, 1729

Virginia County Records SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY 1721-1800, DEEDS
DEED BOOK B 1729-1734, page 115
Octr. 3, 1730. Benjamin Porter of St. George's Par., Spts. Co., to Samuel Henslee of Hanover Par., King Geo. Co. 2000 lbs. tob., 400 a. in St. Geo. Par., Spts Co.--granted to the sd. Porter by pat. Septr. 28, 1728. Abraham Field, Z. Lewis, Jno. Waller. Nov. 3, 1730. Ann, wife of Benj. Porter, acknowledged her dower, etc.

Clasping Hands with Generations Past by Emma R. Lloyd, Cincinnati: Wiesen-Hart Press, 1932, page 147
This is a very old family in Virginia. It is definitely known that one Nicholas Porter was living in Virginia as early as 1637, and it is possible that this family had moved to America some time before that date.
At this time there were only eight counties in Virginia and all settlements were along the rivers until the early part of the eighteenth century. The Porter family settled along the York and Rappahannock rivers on their arrival in Virginia. From there they drifted westward across the Blue Ridge and were among the first to locate in Spotsylvania County which was formed from King William and Essex in 1721. The next year we find Benjamin Porter securing a land grant in the new county. (Deed Book "D," Spotsylvania.)

Emma R. Lloyd at pages 147-148 lists the children of Benjamin and Ann as Benjamin, William, Samuel, Mary, "who married John Shropshire in 1757 and Patrick.

Ibid. at page 148
"Benjamin Porter son of Benjamin and Ann Porter lived in what was later to become Orange County, but on the east side of the Blue Ridge. He died in 1761. His descendants are found in Orange County as it is today.
His children are listed as: Ambrose, Nicholas, Thomas, Charles, Abner, Benjamin III, Joseph, Elizabeth, Frances, Jane, Betty, Mary and Anne.

National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volumes 1-85, 1600s-1900s Volume 25, "Early Settlers and Pre-Revolutionary Soldiers, Augusta Co., Va." issued by the Committee on Publication Washington, D.C. 1908 at p. 52:
"Porter, Benjamin; came to Orange Co. from Wales"
"Porter, Charles, Col., came to Orange Co. 1730, from Wales m. Ann Campbell. (McC. 5)."

Isabel Eileen Malin on her Family Home Page provides that "Benjamin and Ann (Campbell) Porter settled in Orange Co., VA, 12 or 15 miles from Culpeper court house, on the Rapid Ann river, about 1730, where they reared six sons and three daughters. Four of sons became owners of fine landed estates in that region. The other sons went to Georgia, married there, and became wealthy."

I believe that there are so many errors in the records on this family that much more research is needed. What appears in the records here provided is a combination of all records this researcher has come across with notes pertaining to conflicting information where possible or when noticed. Possible brothers to this Benjamin are listed in records as his sons. Reviewing the birth dates makes this obvious plus there are double entries for some of the children listed for this couple, an earlier and a later one (see notes under each of the individual children), conflicting spouses listed, conflicting father for Benjamin listed (some list Nicholas and others list Benjamin). There is further confusion because I cannot decide whether Ann Campbell is mother to the elder or younger generation in this record - for several reasons: 1. See entry above from Chakleys where "Ann, wife of Benj. Porter, acknowledged her dower." A dower is "that part of or interest in the real estate of a deceased husband given by law to his widow during her life, so then, the grantee in the below referenced deed of 1730 would be the son of Ann if the death of her husband is implied by the mention of "dower." If this is the case, Benjamin Porter, husband of Ann, is then dead by 1730; 2. See the entry from Edith Floyd's book wherein she lists Ann as the wife of the elder Benjamin Porter, in which case he could not possibly be the father of the children born some twenty years later than the first two. She may be in error, however, as she also says that Mary, "who married John Shropshire in 1757" is a child of Benjamin and Ann.

Lloyd says 1722 secured land grant in Spotsylvania - above entries show 1728 by patent and more land in 1729 - Are these deeds the younger Benjamin, son of Anne?

Their land is in St. George Parish, Spotsylvania County, later Orange County on the eastside of the Blue Ridge

"Germanna and the First Settlers".
Who were the first English settlers may be best ascertained from the family names mentioned in the earlier court proceedings as narrated in other chapters. In most instances these were the people who resided in the County before and at the time of its formation, though some that are oftenest named, and appear to have been of the most conspicuous of the landed gentry, never became actual residents. The great Baylor and Beverley grants, and other very large ones, appear to have been speculative only, for the grantees never lived in the County. Their lands were under the management of bailiffs, as they were then called, who had large numbers of servants under their control. Thus the census of 1782 (Appendix) shows that on the Baylor estate there were 84 blacks and not one white person. The real owners of the land attended court regularly, to acknowledge their many deeds of bargain and sale, and then returned to their homes in Tidewater.
Yet a good many people did actually take up their abode in this frontier county while it was still a part of Spotsylvania, and some of their names are household words to-day; Spotswood, Chew, Cave, Madison, Moore, Willis, Taliaferro, Thomas, Barbour, Scott, Smith, Taylor, Waugh, Porter, Head, Fry, Lightfoot, and many more; the general narrative must be looked to to learn who they were, and what they did. They all appear covetous of great landed possessions, but they appear also to have been resolute and public-spirited citizens, an ancestry of which their descendants may well be proud.

Copy of the Last Will and Testament of Benjamin Porter 1761, from Henrietta Hamilton's book
In the name of God Amen, I Benjamin Porter of Orange County Virginia, being in perfect health and of sound mind and memory--Thanks be to Almighty God for the same--but knowing the certainty of this life, do make and ordain this to be my last will and testament.

First, I resign my soul to God, hoping for pardon and remission of all my sins through the merit and suffering of my kind Savior, Jesus Christ. My body I yield to the earth, to be buried in Christian like manner. As to my executors, hereinafter named, shall they meet and to such worldly estate as it hath pleased God to bestow on me, I give, devise, and bequeath the same in manner and form the following:
I give and devise all my land and tenements in the tract I now live on and that lies on the east side of my Spring branch, down to the river, unto my sons Nicholas, Thomas, Charles and Abner--to them and their heirs forever, to be equally divided among them; my son Nicholas having his choice either of the manor home or the plantation where he now lives.
I give and divise to my sons Benjamin and Joseph all the lower tracts of land I purchased of Mr. Nicholas Battail, and the lands I purchased of Mr. Rowland Thomas, with a waterfront on the river--to them and their heirs.
I empower and order my executors to sell at auction the upper part of the land I purchased of the aforesaid Battail to the highest bidder and the money coming from such sale to be equally divided between my daughters, Elizabeth and Frances and their heirs.
I give and bequeath unto my following children viz: Benjamin, Thomas, Charles, Joseph, Abner, Jane, Bettie, Mary and Frances---all my slaves and personal estate--to them and their heirs forever, to be equally divided among them, except as to my son Nicholas, which I give an equal part of the personal estate (negroes excepted) , he having received his share of them.
I desire that my grandchildren of my daughters may be educated by my executors, out of the profits of my estate.
It is my desire, and I do order that if any of my sons should die before they arrive at the age of twenty-one years, or marry, that their part of the land be equally divided among the surviving heirs to whom I have given my land.
Lastly, I do appoint Nicholas and Benjamin , my executors of this last will and testament.

George Taylor
Lewis Taylor
George Bledsoe
James Madison (handwritten in pencil, father of President Madison)

Source References

  1. Barbara Miroslaw’s GEDCOM @ RootsWeb.com [S0046]
  2. David Porter’s GEDCOM @ RootsWeb.com [S0123]


  1. Porter, Nicholas
    1. Mitchell, Elizabeth
      1. Porter, Benjamin
        1. Campbell, Ann
          1. Porter, Ambrose
          2. Porter, Thomas
          3. Porter, Nicholas
          4. Porter, Elizabeth
          5. Porter, Abner
          6. Porter, Frances
          7. Porter, Jane
          8. Porter, Mary
          9. Porter, Charles
          10. Porter, Patrick
          11. Porter, Anne
          12. Porter, Benjamin