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Onesiphorus Harvey

Son of unknown parents, Onesiphorus Harvey is believed to have been born during 1677 in Plymouth England.

It is unknown when he arrived in the colonies, but he was a “well-known” Quaker.

THE FIRST ONESIPHORUS HARVEY OF COLONIAL VIRGINIA IS LINKED TO PLYMOUTH ENGLAND
Source: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~hervey/HFAV9N34.htm#OnisHarvPlymouth

[Author's note: It has been shown previously in an article published in the Bulletin in February 1987 {GoTo Article}, that the first Onesiphorus Harvey known to be in the Americas was in Lancaster County, Virginia by 1702. This Onesiphorus Harvey of Lancaster Co. may be the brother of William Harvey, probable progenitor of Col. Thomas Hervey/ Harvey of Halifax, North Carolina, who is the earliest proved Hervey/Harvey ancestor of the majority of the subscribers to the Bulletin. If not a brother, he would likely be an earlier generation of the Thomas Hervey line.

For related families of colonial Virginia, i.e., Dameron, Robuck, Gaskins (Gascoyne), see next issue of the Bulletin {Go to next issue}.

As your editors traveled in Virginia during the month of May, we stopped in the town of Lancaster to search for records in the court house, hoping to find some traces of Onesiphorus Harvey. The original court record books of Lancaster County have been photocopied and the copies placed in new binders in the well organized, clean courthouse. Lancaster County, one of the oldest counties in Virginia, fortunately has preserved many of its old records. We were pleased to be able to visit the courthouse and delighted with one document in particular that we found. While looking through a deed book, dated 1654-1702, we found a hand-copied transcription of a letter written by Francis Jones and posted at Plymouth, England, dated August 24, 1698, addressed to Onesiforous Harvey of Lancaster County, Virginia. The letter refers to two brothers of Onesiforous: Francis, who resided in Plymouth, England, and William, who apparently was with Onesiforous in Virginia. The reason for the letter being recorded in the deed books of Virginia seems to do with references to some bills of exchange, one written by Onesiforous Harvey drawn on the author of the letter. The entries in the deed book are printed below in their (legible) entirety.

A brief synopsis of the letter is given here to help the reader follow the meaning of the letter, which is written in very long, run-on sentences and uses constructions unfamiliar in modern English.

The writer of the letter, Francis Jones, had sent a ship, the Eliza, to Virginia to pick up a load of tobacco that had been stranded in Virginia due to the incapacity of another of Mr. Jones' ships, the Susanna. En route to Virginia it was to stop in Cork County, Ireland, to pick up some indentured servants for transport to Virginia. Mr. Jones is entreating Onesiphorus Harvey, who is in Virginia, to assist the ship's Master to see to the transfer of the Susanna's cargo onto the Eliza. Jones asks Harvey to send him a list of materials, stores, and cargo which Harvey removed from the Susanna, and to return as much of it on the Eliza as possible, the rest to be returned via freight on other vessels. Harvey should inform Jones when and where he can expect the goods to arrive in England.

Jones assures Harvey he will pay the notes Harvey drew on Jones at sea, as soon as they arrive in Plymouth, and he offers to assist Harvey in any way he can.

In a personal note to Harvey, Jones informs Onesiphorus Harvey about his brother, Francis Harvey, who has cheated Jones in a business dealing. Jones gave Francis Harvey a bill of sale for half the value of a ship, the Johanna, and asked him to purchase the remaining half from a Mr. Hutchins, but Francis Harvey instead sold Jones' half worth £63 and kept the money for himself. Jones has sued to get his money from Francis Harvey and cautions Onesiphorus Harvey that his brother is pretending that he has Onesiphorus' letter of attorney to sue Jones and requests that Onesiphorus write Jones a letter and also write his brother a letter to get the matter cleared up.

Jones further requests Harvey to assist the Eliza's Master to get needed repairs made to the Susanna.

Jones closes the letter by sending his love to Harvey's brother William Harvey, also in Virginia, who is assisting Onesiphorus Harvey.


LETTER FROM PLYMOUTH, ENGLAND TO ONESIPHORUS HARVEY OF VIRGINIA (1698)

Transcription of Deed & Will Book 2 (1654-1702) of Lancaster Co., Virginia, page 405

[Note: Editorial inserts are in brackets]

[page 405] [to] Onesiforous Harvey [from] Plimouth [England] the 24th 08 [16]98

I writ you of the 15th of the last month that John Matthew in my vessel Eliza who at the same time sailed from Pensanz to Corke in Ireland to victual [i.e. to supply with food] & to take in some servants if could get them. Sd. ship arrived in Ireland the 21st of Sept & the Mr [Master] writ me from thence that

[page 406] he should be ready to saile to Virga. in 8 days so that I conclude he has been gone from thence this 14 days at least [-] God send him well[.] He is ordered to Virga directly to you to take in what she can of the Susanna's cargoe that lay in yr hands & I hope before this comes to yr hands sd Jno Matthew in my sd. ship Eliza wil be with you[.] If he brings any Irish servts. I desire you will be pleased to take care wh him in the disposal of them & I earnestly reccomend to yr care the dispatch of Jno Matthew in the ship Eliza with her ful loading of tobacco out of the p'duce of the Susanna's cargo in yr hands[,] on wch occasion I have sent sd vessel into this country on purpose[.] and I do also earnestly reccomend to you that yr self & the mr do not fail to ship home on freight for Plymo if possible [(]or any other[)] where rather then fail all the rest of the p'duce of the Susanna's cargo[,] the ship stores and materials of wch I admire you did not send me a particular and distinct list of every thing you took out of the ship[,] the which I desire you wil send me or also give anor of it to the Mr Jno. Matthew[,] and that you fail not to make return of the whole effects [(]both cargo stores & materials of my vessel & on freight in other vessels[)] that we may begin again[,] in which I do assure you I wil be as much yr friend as you can wish for. I am returned home to Plymo this 4 days where I am ready to do you any service & suite[.] I come to town I have enquired after the bills you drew on me at sea[,] and so soon as they come to hand I wil punctually pay them. Yr asking & doing every thing for my interest according to the trust I have imposed in you [(]wch I do not doubt of but you wil[)] and that p'ticularly mind my interest[,] especially considering how great a sufferor I have been lately[,] [–] wch now god be praised is all over [–] & am ready to serve you again in what I may. Yr Brother Francis Harvey would have finely betrayed me if it lay in his power[,] therefore I now give you caution how you have to do wh him[.] I entrusted him wh a bill of sale of the Johanna Ketch[,] [a ship] and in my absense ordered him to buy from Hutchins the other half wch he ptended he would do[,] but instead of that he sold away my half £ 63 –

[page 407] & kept the money[,] & to this time I cannot get it tho I have under his hand for it payable on demand[.] so I have now been forced to sue him. I am glad I have got by much adoe good[,] coil [turmoil?]. he is a great trouble to all his friends here in England[.] I refer you to Jno Matthew as to p'ticulars Its too large for me to write of it[.] he now ptends that I owe you money and that he has yr letter of attorney to sue me so I find his necessity makes him do or ptend anything[.] Pray write me a letter & inclose one to him signifying how much you admire at his folly & impudence in those matters[.] I am sure if I owe you any thing you & my selfe can pay our own attoy & not for him to ptend to such wretched stuff[.] I hope this may be caution for you how far you do trust such dealing[.] I shal suddenly make him sensible of his trick but he was in hopes [(]I suppose[)] I could not appear again & so had hopes to keep my money wch I so innocently entrusted in his hands[.] I hear he did write you that I have left all my concerns in his hands [–] god forbid[.] I am sure if I had[,] I had been absolutely ruined. for in this smal matter he did endeavor to cheat me[,] but in it he has done himselfe that disgrace that he wil never retrieve it again. I thot fit for yr sake to give you some hint of him to pvent damage to yr selfe for the future[.,] what also John Matthew wil acquaint you of[.] and now as to the dispatch of John Matthew wh his loading[.] I cannot too often reccomend to you & desire that you wil get the best large heavy tobacco and that it may be all laden in bundles wel pack't except some few _ that p'haps you may put in the ground[,] but then that must priz'd _ & what the Eliza cannot carry pray betwixt you and the Mr fail not to send it home on freight according as you writ me that you would. Be sure you would not make any bad debts[.] so I conclude that you wil not & that the caution you have had formerly wil be a warning to you now how far you trust the planters[.] This vessel now gon out on purpose to you for part of my goods has been a great charge to me especially now in this juncture when my other business was in hand therefore pray consider it accordingly & do yr best for me to retrieve some of my losses and I wil always be yr friend to the utmost of my power as you are kind to my interest[.] I have sent the mr Plantation certificate by Mr Black in Mr Burl__'s ship the George signifying that I have given bond here in England that the ship shal return to England wh her loading wch I hope wil come safe to his or your

[page 408] hands if not that it should miscarry[.] You must give bond in Virginia & I wil take care to return to you a certificate of the goods being landed in England if it please God it arrive safe[.] I reccomend to you that if it can be done with any convenience & that you with the Mr can pvide a carpenter or two. He says that you wil get the vessel now fitted according as I have directed the Mr at raising the forecastle and putting in some beams & timbers in her sides & some plank in her lower & upper deck[.] I cannot tell what further to enlarge to you at psent but to desire dispatch of my vessel wh her loading & to act everything as directed yr selfe & the Mr and then god willing he shal return to you next year wh a good cargo & a better ship or if you come home now you may return wh him again[.] I pray my kind love to yr honest brother Wm of whom I hear a very good comendation & that he is very assisting to you[.] I have writ him a line or two of thanks[.] all yr friends in the West are very well & desire kindly to be remembered to you so I conclude[.]

Francis Jones

advise on wh ship you send on freight that I may engd the goods if occasion[.]

Note that in all this time I recd- but 2 lettrs from you & not any pticulars materials suite, I admire at it


At sea March 21st 1697/8 Exchas for £ 12:10:6

Thirty days after sight of this my first of Exchs my second or third not being paid pay unto Mr Abraham Loyd & Compa on order the sum of twelve pounds ten shillings & six pence sterling current lawful money of England for value here recd at time make good payment & place it to anot of

Yr Servts

To Mr Francis Jones Onis. Harvey Mercht in Plymouth Jacob Williams

Pay the contents to Henry Clave on order Abra. Loyd & Compas

At sea March 21st day 1697/8 ———— Thirty days [after] sight of this my only bill of exchange pay unto Abra: Loyd & Compa on order the sum of three pounds ten shillings of lawful money of England the value recd of Christopher Standret comander [page 409] of the Bengall mercht of Bristol as witnes my hand the day above written.

Jacob Williams

Onis. Harvey

Pay the contents to Henry Clave on order Abra: Loyd & Compa

Record: 8 Jun 1700 P Jos: Tayloe Cl: Lancr

Sometime before November 18, 1713 (probably during 1709), he married Dorothy Gaskins in Virginia.

Harveys of Virginia
A varient of the name Onesiphorus appeared in the British Colony of Virginia in America. The earliest reference to Onecephorus was found in Northumberland County, Virginia on 4 Dec. 1702, when he witnessed the will of Patrick Pollick, which was re- recorded 16 Jan 1716/17.1) On 16 July 1705, Onecephorus Harvey witnessed a deed of Mahane to Childton.2) Then, on February 23, 1709/10 Onesph. Harvey witnessed the signing of the will of John Harris in Northumberland Co. Virginia.3a Probably this same Onecephorus Harvey is the one who is mentioned in this court record: “The Grand jury having presented Dorothy Gaskins for having a bastard child and Onecephorus Harvey coming into Court affirmed that the said Dorothy is and for some time before the child was borne (for which she was presented) was his wife, and that they were marryed according to the Rule of the Quakers whose Religion they profess And having here in Court proved such their marryage the said Presentment is therefore dismissed the said Harvie paying Costs. 18 Nov. 1713.3) Dorothy Gaskins was the daughter of Josias Gaskins and his wife, Dorothy Dameron.4) Later, Onecepherus Harvie/ Harvey was “Presented for not going to Church in Wicco par. 18 Nov. 1714” and it happened again on 15 May 1717.5) An Onesepherus Harvey died testate (no issue) in Lancaster County, Virginia (county adjacent to Northumberland) in 1732.6)

They are believed to have had the following children (while living in Northumberland, Virginia):

  1. Onesiphorus Harvey (1710–1732)
  2. William Hervey (1713–1745)
  3. John Hervey (1715–1745)
  4. Rebecca Hervey (1717–)
  5. Thomas Hervey (1719–1777)

Onesiphorus Hervey died during 1732 in Lancaster, VA.

1) , 2) , 3) , 5)
Source: Fleet, Beverly, “VA Colonial Abstracts”; Northumbria Collectanea, Vol. 19, 1645-1720 (Court Records); Richmond, VA, 1943, pp 70-71.
4) , 6)
Source: Unverified information submitted by Thelma Freet from research of a paid genealogist. Web page: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~hervey/HFAV3.htm#OneHervVA
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