Chapter Three

Revised 21 January 2019 by author Lawrence Eugene Vaughn Jr

Vaughns of Colonial America

1600 British Sailing Ship.png

200 Ton British Sailing Ship of the 1600s – courtesy Wikipedia.org


  • Vaughans of Colonial Virginia
  •   Earliest Virginia Vaughans
  •   Colonial Virginia County Records
  •    John Vaughan (1612-1664)
  •    Hallowes Creek
  •    John Vaughan Patent
  •    Virginia Land Grants
  •    Will of John Vaughan of Westmoreland County, Virginia
  •    John Vaughan (1612-1664) Descendants
  •    William Vaughan of Charles City County
  •    William Vaughan’s Charles City Court Records
  •    John Vaughan
  •    William Vaughan of Mecklenburg County
  •   Vaughans of Colonial New Hampshire
  •    Sir Roger Vaughan
  •    Major William Vaughan of New Hampshire  
  • Genealogical Registry of the Butters Family”    
  • William Vaughan Obituary
  •    Genealogy of Colonial New Hampshire Vaughans
  •    The New Hampshire Colony
  •    William Vaughan Petition Court of Common Pleas
  •    Marriage to Margaret Cutt  
  • Colonel George Vaughan of New Hampshire
  •    George Vaughan Career
  •   New Hampshire Governorship
  •     Point of Graves Cemetery


The following content is Research by Eddie Davis

This past month (Sept 2009), after looking at some records that I (Eddie Davis) and others had presented as a genealogical line of John Vaughan who came to America on the “Bona Nova” in 1619, I began to have suspicions that there could be some errors.  So I began an in-depth look at early Virginia records into “Bona Nova” John Vaughan. It lead me to conclude that some of the genealogy we had presented was flawed.

So, I started trying to untangle the Genealogical mess that is Bona Nova John Vaughan’s line.  Here is what I did. I first found a list of all known Vaughans who came to Virginia before 1640.  Looking at the Johns in the list, you’ll see three, and the first one, arriving in 1619, is “Bona Nova” John.  As the next John Vaughan arrived in 1635, any record occurring between 1619 to 1634 that mentions John should be Bona Nova John.

Earliest Virginia Vaughans

  1. John Vaughan (1601- )
  2. 1619 John Vaughan, aged 23, an indentured servant aboard the Bona Nova. The age discrepancy is due to the fact that John was listed several years later in a census of Elizabeth City men, which mentioned their age and the ship they came to America on, and at the time, John was 23, but that has been confused to mean that he was 23 in 1619.  He wasn’t, he was born about 1601.
  3. The passenger list of the Bona Nova is found in the Ferrar Papers at Magdalene College, Cambridge, England,  and here it lists John Vaughan (third on the list) 18 years old, a cutler (knife sharpener) from Devonshire, England.

Colonial Virginia County Records

  1. 1632 John Vaughan signs a bond
  2. 1632 John Vaughan leases 30 acres of land in Accomack County “bounding northerly on a small creek, “pting” the same land belonging to the company (The Virginia Company)
  3. 1633 John Vaughn witnessed a warrant in James City, August 26, 1633  Probably travelled from Accomack County to James City for the court proceeding, he was the only John Vaughan in Virginia, so it has to be Bona Nova John  (1601- )
  4. 1633 to 1635  “John Vaughan having petitioned the Secretary for a lease of 224 acres already measured by the surveyor, this court certifies that Vaughan is desirous to be content with one half, and that Robert Dye have lease of the other half.
  5. 1634 John Vaughan ordered to pay 200 lbs of tobacco to Nicholas Harwood
  6. 1634 John Vaughan’s dogs attacked and killed a calf, but he put one dog to death so did not have to pay for the dead calf.
  7. Spring 1636, John Vaughan, aged 35 or so makes a deposition in court. This is Bona Nova John as there was no one else it could be.
  8. 1637 John Vaughan and wife appear in court to answer charges of public drunkenness.
    1. Married, and so, very likely Bona Nova John, though it is possible it was one of the immigrants, but they apparently weren’t married when they came to VA. in 1635.
  9. John Vaughan (1612- )
  10. John Vaughan (1612- ), aged 23, a passenger aboard the Amitie bound to St. Christopher in October of 1635.
  11. John Vaughan, (1618- )
  12. John Vaughan, (1618- ), age 17, a passenger transported to Virginia aboard the Elizabeth in August of 1635.

Other Vaughan passengers:

  • Rowland Vaughan, (1616- ), age 19, arrived 1635
  • Patrick Vaughan,  arrived 1635 in VA.
  • Lewis Vaughan arrived 1636  in VA..
  • David Vaughan arrived 1637  in VA..

13. 1637 or 38  John Vaughan is needed to appear at the next session of court in James City.  The youngest 1635 John Vaughan was too young to make a deposition in 1637, so this counts him out, this leave Bona Nova John or the man who came in Oct. 1635.

14. 1638 John Vaughan made a deposition in a court case.  This is probably the next session of court mentioned above.

John Vaughan (1612-1664)

This John Vaughan (1612-1664) was married to Elinor (1623- ). We can estimate John’s birth to about 1611 and Ellinors to about 1623 based on depositions given on May 11, 1659 in Westmoreland County, Virginia. We are not certain how he connects to the John Vaughan (1601- ) of the Bona Nova.  There are several possibilities:

  • 1.  Both men are the same person and John moved from Accomack County.
  • 2.  The John who died in 1664 was the son of Bona Nova John.
  • 3.  The John who died in 1664 was another Vaughan who immigrated to America.
  • 4.  The John who died in 1664 was the son of another Vaughan who immigrated to America.

Regardless of the connection, here is the data on the John Vaughan (b 1611) who died in 1664 in Westmoreland County, Virginia:

“The first patent granted in what is now Westmoreland County was at what is now “Muses beach” just below the mouth of Pope’s Creek.  It was granted to Edward Murfree and John Vaughan for 1,200 acres, February 24, 1643 (patent Book no. 2 page 1, state Land Office). Edward Murfree soon after died and John Vaughan Jr. (1658) re-patented and sold the same to Thomas Pope, after whom Pope’s Creek was named.”  — from “Historical Atlas of Westmoreland County, Virginia” by David W. Eaton.

A patent for 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) was issued on February 24, 1643, to Edward Murfey and John Vaughan. It is said to be the first patent for land in what became Westmoreland County. It bounded on the “Easternmost side of Cedar Island Creek.” The name is suggestive of the several little islands that dominate the mouth of the creek.

Next, John Vaughan is mentioned in a patent to William Freake: Freake Patent – To all, & whereas, & now know ye, that the said Richard Bennett Esq do give and grant unto William Freake two hundred acres of land situate lying and being in the head of Hallowes creek bounding on the lands of John Vaughn running north 320 poles west 100 poles south 320 poles east along the creekside 100 poles to the place where it begun the said land being due unto the said Freake by and for the transportation of four persons into the colony all whose names are in the records mentioned under this patent.

Given under our hand this 11th September 1653
Richard Bennett William Claibourne Secty

Hallowes Creek

Hallowes Creek was the first name given to a creek that later was named Appomattox Creek, which was in turn shortened to Mattox Creek, and it lies just north of Pope’s Creek.  By 1653, a John Vaughan had land on Hallowes Creek (Mattox Creek) in Westmoreland County, VA.  Next, we find John mentioned in a Patent to Nathaniel Pope, for whom Pope’s Creek was named.

John is also the principal of this patent: Phillips, David. Publication 25 September 1657. Virginia State Land Office. Patents 1-42, reels 1-41.  Location: Westmoreland County. Description: 350 acres bounding southerly upon Hollies’s Creek, adjoining land of John Vaughan and William Freke. Source: Land Office Patents No. 4, 1655-1664, p. 284 (Reel 4).

This is a transcription of a patent that John received in 1658, but it referred to missing patents in 1649 and 1654: John Vaughan -1400 acres.  This Patent received in the said Vaughan’s name the 18th March, 1662 and granted by William Berkley, Knight, his Majesty’s Governor Fra. Richman

To all ~ Whereas~ Now know ye that the said Samuel Matheas Esq. give and grant unto John Vaughan Fourteen Hundred acres of land situate in the county ___  bounded as followeth. Viz: Twelve hundred acres part thereof on the easternmost side of a small creek called Cedar Island Creek and beginning at the mouth thereof and runs southeast parallel to Potomac river 500 poles unto the marked (GUMS?) in a marsh or pond and thence southwest 320 poles to marked Pohickory thence northwest 40 poles to another Pohickory in the easternmost branch, then following the said branch unto the creek thence parallel to the creek to the place where it began.  ~ Two hundred acres the residue in the southeast side of Wm. Pope’s Creek bounding northwest upon the said creek including the marsh. ~ Northeast upon the head of the Seat of Land patented by him formerly. Southwest upon the Land of Wm. Terrill ~ Southeast upon the (MIRES WOODS?). The said land being due into the said John Vaughan viz: Twelve hundred acres by former patent bearing the date 19 of January 1649 and two hundred acres the residue by patent dated the 16th day July 1654. To have and to hold yielding and paying which payments ~  provided~ dated the 8th day of October 1658

In 1659 there was a court case in Westmoreland County in which John and Ellinor claimed a man stole some tobacco from them.  As they had a tobacco plantation and this was their source of income, it was a serious crime. In the case there were three depositions, all made on May 11, 1659.  The first was made by John Vaughan, who was said to have been ‘about 48 years old”. The second deposition was made by an employee of John’s, Rowland Evans, who was ‘about 25 years old”.  Finally, Ellinor Vaughan made her deposition, and she was listed as being ‘about 36 years old’. So we can estimate John’s birth to about 1611 and Ellinors to about 1623.

On February 14th, 1660 John Vaughan (1612-1664) made another deposition and is listed as being “48 years old”.

In May of 1660 John is mentioned again:- Moulton}

To all whom this &, I William Berkeley Kt & whereas & now know ye Pattent} that I the said William Berkeley & doe with the consent of the Council of State accordingly give and grant unto Thomas Moulton two hundred acres of land situate lying and being on the head of Hallowes creek bounding on the land of John Vaughn and running north 320 poles west 100 poles south 320 poles east along the creek side 100 poles to the place where it began the said land being formally granted unto William Freake by pattent dated the 11th of September 1653 and by him assigned over unto John Beard and by the said Beard assigned unto the said Thomas Moulton and now renewed by order of the Governor and Council bearing date with these present to have and to hold the said land & to him and his heirs and assigns forever yielding and paying & Given under our hands at James Cittie this 16th day of May 1660.

William Berkeley, William Claiborne Sec

October the 29th 1662 this patent was recorded

On May 17, 1660, “John Vaughan of Appomattocks in the county of Westmoreland” sells two horses and the transaction appears in legal documents.  Appomattocks is probably referring to the Mattox River, or where he was located.

On November 15, 1660 a Humprey Jones of Westmoreland County, VA.,  left all of his estate to his friend, John Vaughan. His will was probated Dec. 13, 1660, Rowland Evans, John’s servant is also given something by Mr. Jones.

On December 5, 1660 John Vaughan is discharged from all accounts left by Owen Jones.  This is in Westmoreland County and probably concerns a legal problem over something Humprey owed to a brother or son.  Since John had inherited Humprey’s estate, he may have been expected to pay the items due.

In 1661 John received this patent, which wasn’t recorded in the books until August 31 of 1664″

John Vaughan Patent

To all or whereas as now knows to that I the said Francis Morrison Esqr. do with the consent of the council of state accordingly give and grant unto John Vaughan six hundred acres of land situated in the county of Westmoreland and on the south side of the main branch of Attopin creek beginning at a corner marked persimmon tree by the said main run about the dam likewise above 100 acres of land patented by John Hiller 660 poles westward upon the said run thence parallel to the said run easterly 640 poles to a marked hickory so by marked tree north northwest 150 poles to the first station.  The said land being due unto the said John Vaughan by and for the transportation of 12 persons into the colony. To have and to hold and given at James City under my hand and the seal of the colony this 4th day of September 1661.    Francis Morrison

31st August 1664, this patent was recorded.

Then we have two documents from 1662:

Hoges, Robert. Publication 18 March 1662. Gen. note Formerly gtd. to Wm. Fricke Sept 11, 1653.  Virginia State Land Office. Patents 1-42, reels 1-41. Note Location: County location not given. Description: 200 acres on the head of Hallows Creek bounding on theland of John Vaughan. . Source: Land Office Patents No. 5, 1661-1666 (v.1 & 2 p.1-369), p. 480 (Reel 5).

Buckocke, John. Publication 18 March 1662. Virginia State Land Office. Patents 1-42, reels 1-41. Note Location: Westmoreland County. Grantee(s): Buckocke, John and Buckocke, Thomas. Description: 350 acres 250 acres part thereof bounding southeasterly upon Hollis’s Creek, southwesterly upon the land of John Vaughan, northerly towards the land of Wm. Freake, and 100 acres the other part bounding upon land of Lt. Col, Pope. Source: Land Office Patents No. 5, 1661-1666 (v.1 & 2 p.1-369), p. 158 (Reel 5).

In 1663 we have one mention, but note here we see that Robert Hodges, who received land in 1662 ,was claimed by Thomas Pope as a headright:

Virginia Land Grants

Patent Book 5, p. 163

23 Mar 1663

Thomas Pope, 2454 acs. W’moreland Co. Beg. on N.W. side of a marsh & swamp in a valley bet. two hills wch. divides this & land formerly in possession of John Walton, Cooper, running near Fishing Cr. &c. to a branch falling into Potomack Riv. near a branch dividing this from land of Arthur Terrill & near land of John Vaughan &c. 1050 acs. granted to Nathall. Pope 19 May, 1651 & 550 acs. granted to sd. Pope 24 Ar. 1656 & since renewed in name of Mr. Tho. Pope, son & heire of sd. Pope, dec’d 854 acs. for trans. of 17 person: Rich. Paine, Damras Watney, Ell. Pickett, Jno Cossick, Phill. Cole, Ann Found, Elizabeth Alexander, Jno Alexander, Jr., Jno Courtney, Jno Cosheir, Ann Paine, Jona. Samrayes, Robt. Hodges.

In 1663, John Vaughan knows he is dying and he writes his will:

Will of John Vaughan of Westmoreland County, Virginia

Vaughan, John

His Will

In the name of God, amen, I, John Vaughan of the parish of Nominy in the county of Westmoreland in Virginia, being sick and weak in this body but of perfect mind and memory praised be God for the same, do make this my last will and testament in waiver of over following imprinis:  I give and bequeath my soul into the hands of Almighty God my maker and creator hoping by the death and passion of Jesus Christ my redeemer to receive forgiveness of all my sins, I give my body to the earth from whence it came to be decently interred by the old house upon the plantation where I now live at the direction of my Executor hereafter named and for worldly goods wherewith God in his mercy hath blessed me withal I give and bequeath as followith:  

First I give and bequeath unto my very loving wife Ellen Vaughan the plantation whereon I now live with all the dwelling houses and tobacco houses with appurtenances thereunto belonging with others the deprees during her natural life.  And after her decease I give the said plantation with the appurtnancy as aforesaid unto my son Samuel Vaughan and his heirs forever, and if my said son Samuel Vaughan shall happen to die without heir or heirs, then I give the said plantation with the appurturances as aforesaid unto my son William Vaughan unto my son William Vaughan his heirs and assigns forever a tract of land containing 500 acres of land granted me by patent and bearing date the 4th of September 1661 his heirs and assigns forever.  ~ Item I give and bequeath ~ Item I give and bequeath unto my son in law Mr. John Watts his heirs and assigns forever a tract of land containing four hundred acres situated, lying and being in the old house creek. Also I will give and bequeath unto my aforesaid son in law W John Watts his heirs and assigns forever another tract of land containing six hundred acres lying on the south side of Mattox creek in the County of Westmoreland aforesaid and the rest of my personal estate in general as household stuff, servants, hogs, cattle, ready Tobacco and what I am now possessed withal I give and bequeath unto my loving wife Ellen Vaughan forever whom I made the sole and full Executrix of this my last will and Testament and further it is my will and mind that my said wife shall be guardian to my aforesaid sons Samuel and William Vaughan til they shall be of full age, and I do humbly make null and void all former wills and testaments by me made and do ratify and do confirm this to be my last will and Testament and have hereunto set my hand and seal this 9th day of January 1663.

John Vaughan

Signed, Sealed and Delivered

In the presence

George Williams

Thomas Wilsford 27 April 1664.  This will was proved and then recorded.

In 1664 a new Vaughan appears, and I’m not sure if this is John’s son or another Vaughan.  When John wrote his will in 1663, William was a minor.

3-23-1664 Westmoreland Co. VA Vaughan William Vaughan patented 156 acres in Westmoreland Co. East side of Fishing Creek .

Then, in 1663 or before April 27, 1664, John Vaughan dies.  

Interestingly, in Isle of Wight County appears this: Isle of Wight County, Virginia:  Vaughan, John: Dying intestate, administration requested by his relict Elinor Vaughan Feb. 29, 1663, Security Mr. England and Mr. Flake.

From this, it looks like John died between January 9th and February 29, 1663.  The Isle of Wight document seems odd, though, as John would not be interstate dying in Westmoreland County, or in Isle of Wight County.  Maybe he had other land in Isle of Wight. At any rate, we know it is the same guy, as how many John Vaughans, married to Elinor, who died in 1663 could there be in Virginia?

John Vaughan  (1612-1664) Descendants

In January 1664 in Westmoreland County, a Thomas Vaughan is a witness in a case.  It is very unlikely this could be one of John Vaughan’s grandsons, as his sons were listed as minors in 1663.  Maybe a brother of John?

On March 23, 1664 William Vaughan of Westmoreland County receives this land grant: William Vaughan, 156 acres. Ewd. Side of fishing Cr., beg. In a lyne dividing this land of Mr. Thomas Pope &c. to branch dividing this land of Arthur Terrill, now in possession of John Browne &c. Trans. of 3 pers.: Robt. Casher, John Dey, John Sparke. Pat. Bk. 5 P.163, (42) 447

Now by the names Pope and Terrill in this grant, this was right up next to John Vaughan’s land, so I’d think this was John’s son.

On May 14, 1664, John Watts and Elizabeth, his wife, sell unto John Boocock, for a valuable consideration already received all of my right of this patent given by my father-in-law John Vaughan.  It is signed by both John and Elizabeth Watts. This is the land on Mattox Creek that John willed to his son-in-law.

In May of 1666 in Westmoreland County, a John Vaughan is a witness in a case.  Just who he is remains unknown, again he could not have been a grandson of the John who died in 1663 or 1664.

In June of 1669 a Samuel Vaughan is a witness in a case in Westmoreland County, and this is very likely John’s son, Samuel.

As for the land that John and Elizabeth Watts sold: October 10th, 1670  Westmoreland Mr. John Boocook, 600 acres S. Side of the main br. Of Attappin Creek, above 100 acres of John Hiller’s; Granted to John Vaughan, assigned to Mr. John Watts, assigned to Boocoocke, who deserted; granted to Mr. Geo. Morris, deserted, & granted to Mr. Anth. Boocock, lately dec’d., by order &c., & due sd. John his brother & heire. Trans. of 12 pers.: Edward dutcheley, Tho. Whatly, Phineas Powell, Kather. Williams, Jasper Bennett, Mary Hamond, Mary Newman, Rich. Melcham (or Welcham), Margaret cooley, Tho. Redd, Kath. Butler, Jane Godwyn. Pat. Bk. 6 P. 322 83. So apparently it wasn’t great land.

The court asked Samuel Vaughan, age 24 in November of 1673, to observe the fence of a neighbor for the court for a land dispute.  Humprey Pope was also asked to also observe the fence. Samuel was thus born in 1649, and this is very likely John’s son, as Humprey was John’s neighbor.

In August of 1674 Samuel Vaughan bought part of the estate of Abram Field in Westmoreland County, VA.  Probably John’s son again.

On February 23, 1675, Elinor Quigly appointed her “loving son Samuel Vaughan my attorney”.  So Ellen had remarried after John’s death, to a Quigly. In April of 1675 Samuel is mentioned in a court case. On February 21, 1676 ‘Jno. Vaugh’ served as a witness in a case.

Then tragedy strikes:  On July 19, 1677 appears an inventory of Mr. Samuel Vaughan, deceased.  Elizabeth Vaughan appraised her husband’s estate and “Mrs. Quigly took cattle”.  So Samuel’s mother probably had some of her cattle on her son’s farm when he died and she took them back before they were appraised as part of John’s estate.

On July 25, 1677, Elizabeth Vaughan appoints her father, Major William “Peirce’ (probably Pierce) as her attorney and the legal document mentions something very interesting, “all debts due her in Virginia and Maryland”

December 12,1690, Westmoreland, John Spencer, Gent. Son of Nicholas Spencer, dec’d. Of the Parish of Washington, 820 acres. Insd. County & Parish which is a parcel out of the several patents formerly belonging to John & Samuel Vaughan, who died without heirs and sd. Escheated. The sd. Nicholas Spencer by the consent ofWm. Bridges & Elizabeth his wife, John Quigley & Ellinor his wife, & all other persons pretending any right to said land by right of heirship or preference escheated same,which land was resurveyed by Alexander Spense & Theodorick Bland, Surveyors. Beginning at a branch out of Potomac River dividing this from land of ths. Pope. 12Dec1690. Pat. Northern Neck Bk. “A” P14 1

No mention of William Vaughan, and apparently Elizabeth, Samuel’s wife had remarried a William Bridges.  And there is a Bridges Creek right in the middle of the other creeks. See the map. We also see that Elinor’s husband was named John.

Apparently they had no children, as there does not appear any guardian bonds or anything.  And there is another clue:

On March 27, 1706 is mentioned a land grant of 205 acres in Washington Parish, near Pope’s Creek, formerly the land of John Vaughan.

A final mention of John Vaughan is from January 1707 in a legal paper appears mention of a land grant to a John Spencer “820 acres in Westmoreland County, Virginia, in Washington Parish, near Pope’s Creek formerly John Vaughan’s, deceased, who died without heirs and then granted to John Spencer December 12, 1690″.

Well, obviously, John did not die without heirs, but apparently by 1707 there were no known heirs living — at least in Westmoreland County.  If there had been grandchildren, they would have been mentioned, but either William, John’s son, was dead as well by 1707 or he had moved away and no one knew where he lived.

So, we have seen the life of John Vaughan, his wife Elinor, his son Samuel and Samuel’s wife, Sarah Pierce.  There are some questions that remain, ones that I hope to fill in:

  • 1.)  Who were John Vaughan’s parents and where was he born?
  • 2.)  Where did he live before he first appears in Westmoreland County?
  • 3.)  How was he related to Bona Nova John (1601- )?
  • 4.) What happened to his son William, who seems to have disappeared after his father’s death?
  • 5.) Did Samuel Vaughan, John’s son, not have any children with Sarah?
  • 6.)  Did they own land in Maryland, and could that have been where William moved to?
  • 7.)  Who were Thomas Vaughan who appeared in Westmoreland in 1664, and John Vaughan who appeared there in 1666?  Were they related to John who died in 1663 or 1664?
  • 8.)  Could this line connect to our Vaughans, and can it be proven?


On the early lists of passengers to Virginia, very few children came to the colony, there are some teenagers, but very few children until the 1640s.  Probably because it was a dangerous place to come.

Here is the land in Westmoreland County, VA that a William Vaughan received. It is unclear which William Vaughan this would have been –  William Vaughan 156 acres:  To all~ …William Berkeley, Knight, Governor ~  give and grant unto William Vaughan One hundred and fifty six acres of land situate in the county of Westmoreland in the easternmost side of a creek called Fishing Creek bounded as followeth.  Beginning at a certain marked Oak standing in a line which divides this land and the land of Mr. Thomas Pope (extending?) one hundred and four perches west to a marked Chestnut in the same line from thence west – north west one hundred and sixty eight perches down a branch to Fishing Creek, which branch divides this land and the land of Arthur Terrill now in possession of John Brown from thence southeast and by east fifty perches including a marsh, north east and by north forty perches east southeast fifty perches to along point down the said Creek, finally southwesterly, two hundred and sixteen perches to the first red oak.  The said land being due unto the said Vaughan by and for the transportation of three persons ~ To have and to hold ~ to be held~ yielding and paying ~ provided ~ dated the twenty third of march One thousand six hundred sixty four.

The Land grant next to William’s in the Deed book is to his neighbor, Thomas Pope, and Thomas’ grant mentions in it the land of John Vaughan’s along the Potomac river, which is divided between them by a pond and a marsh.  Arthur Terrill’s land is also mentioned, as is Fishing Creek.

So the land granted to William Vaughan was in the neighborhood of John Vaughan and his neighbors. According to Wikipedia, Fishing Creek was the name of Pope’s Creek before the Popes lived there.  So, William Vaughan owned land across Pope’s Creek from where George Washington was born, and close to where Robert E. Lee was born. The land was on the south side of Pope’s Creek along the Potomac river.

End of Research by Eddie Davis


Based on Original Genealogical Research of Herbert A. and Katherine Elliott  Published to the Internet by James Vaughan, date unknown. Edited and updated by Lawrence Eugene Vaughn, Jr., May 2017.

In the original text by the researchers Elliott, they thought it likely that William was an immigrant, since James wrote when he published this work:  “It is not known just when William came to Virginia, and he apparently paid his own passage if he was a new arrival, but there is no record of his obtaining the usual grant of land under the land grant laws of the time.” It has since been shown that he was not an immigrant at all, but a natural born citizen of America.

  1. A William Vaughan appears in the records of Charles City County in 1658.
  2. 20 April 1658 – suit of William Vaughan vs Francis Gray.
  3. William Vaughan appears again in the records of Charles City County on 18 Sep. 1658 and 2 Feb. 1659.

Because of the loss of most of the early Charles City records, it is not known when he purchased  his first land, but a subsequent patent (20 April 1680) shows that he purchased 100 acres from Hugh Lee; 100 acres from Robert Burgess ( who may have been the Robert Burgess named in a Charles City land patent on 13 Oct. 1652); and 720 acres from Hugh Lee, William Battow (or Batton) and Gill Pratt. William Vaughan included these tracts in a patent together with 305 acres + 32 poles granted for the transportation of seven people into the Colony.

Each person who entered Virginia to settle was given fifty acres of newly available land to help them get established. But, in practice, the land was awarded to the person who paid the cost of transportation of the emigrant. Consequently when people traveled from England to Virginia, the headrights (entitlement to the land grant) were given to the person who paid for the passage to the new colony of Virginia.

If a person paid their own way, they owned the headright. If someone else paid, they were entitled to the headright and, therefore, the land grant. These grants for transportation of people often were issued and recorded long after the actual date of arrival, and owners of headrights might wait until more desirable land opened up. Others collected land grants until they could receive a large tract.  In 1652, Mrs. Jane Harmer received 2,000 acres for the transportation of forty persons, among whom was one James Tate.

During the 17th century, shortly after establishment of Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, English settlers explored and began settling the areas adjacent to Hampton Roads. By 1634, the English colony of Virginia consisted of eight shires or counties with a total population of approximately 5,000 inhabitants.

Charles River Shire took its name from King Charles I of England. During the English Civil War, Charles River County and the Charles River were changed to York County and York River, respectively. Several other counties were later divided out of this original shire. It was not uncommon for a residence to be located in multiple counties, one after another, as boundaries were changed.

William Vaughan was born in 1625, married Sarah (unknown) who was born in 1634, date of marriage unknown. He died in 1684 and his widow married again.  She died about 1712.

William Vaughan’s Charles City Court Records

  1. Land Grant: 20 April 1680- William Vaughan, 1225 acres + 32 poles in Charles City County on south side of Appomattox River, down ye Blackwater (creek), adjoining Hugh Lee, .(being) 100 acres purchased of Hugh Lee, 100 acres purchased of Robert Burgess and 720 acres assigned to said Vaughan by Hugh Lee, William Batton and Gill Pratt; 305  acres + 32 poles for transportation of 7 persons.
  2. Depositions: William Vaughan made oath that he was aged 48 years, and Sarah Vaughan made oath that she was aged 39 years, which gave us their birth years.
  3. Depositions made at the Charles City Court – 3 April 1673 – by William Vaughan and Sarah as witnesses in a suit.
  4. There is no extant will left by William Vaughan, but in a subsequent suit Sarah Vaughan is listed as the Executrix of William Vaughan, deceased. This will, now lost, undoubtedly named their children.
  5. Chancery Suit: John Vaughan And Samuel Vaughan,
    1. Complainants….
      1. James Seaveker, who intermarried with Sarah Vaughan, Relict
      2. (widow) and Executrix of William Vaughan, deceased, Defendant
      3. 13 Sept. 1715.
  6. The records are incomplete, but it appears that John and Samuel Vaughan, sons of William Vaughan, deceased, brought suit against their step-father for settlement of the estate of their mother.
  7. William Vaughan undoubtedly acquired an additional 550 acres of land but there are no extant records of additional land. This is assumed, as there appears to have been a division of the land of William Vaughan, but the records are now lost. The widow, under such division, was undoubtedly allotted the usual one third of the property. The following are posited as sons of William Vaughan and Sarah Vaughan since they all owned identical acreages.  There is no record of any daughters, and the following are assumed to be the children of William Vaughan, based on the award of equal amounts of his land.
  8. Quit Rent Roll, 1704, Prince George County:

Name                  Acerage

  • John Vaughan 169
  • Samuel Vaughan 169
  • Daniel Vaughan 169
  • James Vaughan 169
  • Richard Vaughan 169
  • William Vaughan 169
  • Nicholas Vaughan 169
  • James Seaveker 710
  • Including 280 acres of land jointly patented by Richard and William Vaughan on 15 Oct. 1698 in Charles City County. (See records below).

9.  The order of birth of the seven sons of William Vaughan and Sarah Vaughan  is not found in records, but since Richard and William Vaughan had patented land in 1698, they were over 21 years of age. The order of birth and ages can be approximated from this and other meager extant records only by assumptions.

10.  These names appear in Prince George County records, but the wives’ family names are unknown.  The order of birth and dates above are tentative only and without proof. We assume that William was the oldest (named for his father), and that Richard was the next child (named for his mother’s father) which were common practices in those days.

  • 1. William Vaughan, born ca, married Ann *. died in Prince George County after 1728.
  • 2. Richard Vaughan, born ca, married Alice *, died in Brunswick County before 23 Nov. 1733.
  • 3. Samuel Vaughan, born ca, married Sarah *, died in Prince George County in 1718.
  • 4. Daniel Vaughan, born ca, married Elizabeth *, died in Prince George County after 1728.
  • 5. James Vaughan, born ca, married Anne *, died in Brunswick County in 1735.
  • 6. Nicholas Vaughan, born ca, married Ann *, died in Prince George County before 1737.
  • 7. John Vaughan, born ca, married Elinor *, died in Prince George County after 1728.

11.   Land Grant: 15 Oct. 1698– William and Richard Vaughan, Charles City County. 200 acres on Hatchers Run and Moncusneck Creek, etc.

REF; Patent Book 8, page 244–Virginia State Library, Whereas William Vaughan and Richard Vaughan did obtain a joint patent for 280 acres of land between Hathers Run and Moncusneck Creek ….and did divide the land….William Vaughan, for 5 pounds and in consideration of him (Richard Vaughan) moving, conveys to Richard Vaughan 140 acres being the upper parts.


Rob’t Bolling

William Vaughan

Matt. Mayes

Abra. Cooks

John Mayes

Dated 11 Jan. 1725 — Rec. 14 June 1726 Wm. Hamlin, Clk Ct.

12.   At the same time in a similar deed, Richard Vaughan conveyed to William Vaughan his undivided interest in the 280 acres, being the lower part.

The above are the only complete surviving Prince George County records. Nearly all of the other records were destroyed during the Civil War.

John Vaughan

John Vaughan died in Prince George County after 1728, but there are few records to be found. John Vaughan and Elinor Vaughan were, apparently, the parents of William Vaughan of Mecklenburg County, and probably the parents of Mary Sisemore named in the will of William Vaughan of Mecklenburg County.

Abigail Vaughan, daughter of John and Elinor Vaughan, died 23 Feb. 1720, aged 6 years. There were undoubtedly other children, but no records have been found.

Richmond Ruins.png

During the American Civil War 1862-1865, many county governments shipped their most important and historic records to the Confederate States Capitol, Richmond, for safekeeping. There were many reports of courthouses being ransacked by Union soldiers, and documents strewn carelessly about. Richmond, of course, was almost totally decimated, and all vital records lost.

Charles City is among about 20 Virginia counties whose records were destroyed during the war. Only about 300 pages have been returned . . . pages 188 to 486 from a single book, cover the period from 1694 through 1700.

William Vaughan of Mecklenburg County

  1. While there is no documentary proof to be found, William Vaughan of Mecklenburg County is believed to have been the son of John and Elinor Vaughan of Prince George, grandson of William and Sarah Vaughan of Charles City County, and he is believed to have married to (1) Julia Green of Prince George County, and (2) Mildrige (—) Gregory, widow, in Mecklenburg County. There are no extant marriage records for that period, having been almost entirely destroyed during the American Civil War. Few remain.
  2. William Vaughan probably married Julia Green, sister of Henry Green and John Green of Prince George County, who also came to Mecklenburg County.
  3. William Vaughan and wife Julia Green Vaughan are mentioned in the Prince George County records in 1726.
  4. All of the children of William Vaughan were born in Prince George County before he moved to Mecklenburg County, and all were too old to soldier in the Revolutionary War, but he and his sons John Vaughan, James Vaughan, Samuel Vaughan, and Peter Vaughan all have Public Service Claims for services rendered in the Revolutionary War.
  5. Henry Green purchased land in Mecklenburg County on Buffalo Creek.  He patented two tracts of land in 1748, but died in 1749.
  6. Henry Green, John Green, Edward Sizemore. William Vaughan, William Jackson, Peter Overby, Nicholas Overby, Ralph Griffin and Richard Griffin all came from the same section to Mecklenburg County and all settled on Buffalo Creek and Aarons Creek on adjoining land in the Clarksville area.   All of these families intermarried.
  7. William Vaughan, owner of 400 acres of land, is listed with sons John and James Vaughan in the St. James Parish, Mecklenburg County, Tithe lists in 1764. This is the only list now in existence. All of the other records of St. James Parish have been lost.
  8. William Vaughan came to Mecklenburg County in 1756. Land Grants; 16 Aug. 1756; William Vaughan – 400 acres on Buffalo Creek adjoining land of Henry Green.
  9. The Will of William Vaughan names: Wife, Mildrige Vaughan, Sons;  Samuel, James, John, and Peter Vaughan. Daughters; Sarah Gregory, Milarson Overby, Milly Chandler,

Elizabeth Vaughan, Nancy Gregory (Nancy Ann) and Molly, who married Winkfield Hayes

10. The Will of John Vaughan — son of William Vaughan, names; wife Amelia, daughter of John Jones, sons Stephen Vaughan, deceased, John Vaughan, and William Vaughan, and daughters; Amelia Overby, Sarah Blanks, Mary Green, Susanna Harrington. Recorded 18 Oct. 1813.

11. John’s will filed in Halifax County named only his wife. Amelia Jones was the daughter of John Jones of Mecklenburg County.  She is named in the will of her father and John Vaughan is named in a division of the estate.

Louisa County VA Courthouse.png

Courthouse structure and earlier meeting house typical of the pre-Civil War era. This is the historic Louisa County VA courthouse and office building.

Children of Virginia Vaughans

1. Stephen Vaughan – Son of John Vaughan. Stephen died while preparing to move to Kentucky in the summer of 1813. He had married Druscilla Griffin, daughter of John Griffin of Halifax County.

2. Richard Vaughan – In 1728, Richard Vaughan of Brunswick County paid to William Vaughan, Junior, of Prince George County cons. 25 pounds 5 shillings for 140 acres, being one half of tract patented by said Richard Vaughan and William Vaughan. Sr.

3. Richard Vaughan of Brunswick County to Robert Bolling of Prince George County…in consideration of him (Richard Vaughan) moving (cons, net stated) …169 acres between the lines of Theophilus Feld and line of land formerly James Vaughan, and line of Samuel Vaughan, etc.

4. Richard Vaughan died in Brunswick County before 23 Nov. 1733. He had, apparently, an only son, Richard Vaughan, Jr. who married Priscilla (Pearce) and had children Pearce Vaughan, William Vaughan, James Vaughan, Susannah Vaughan and Mary Vaughan.

5. William Vaughan, Junr. and family moved later to Greensville County, VA, and some of his children moved to Tennessee.

6. Samuel Vaughan – Inventory of the estate of Samuel Vaughan, deceased, returned to Court by Sarah Vaughan, Administrator, 15 Sept. 1718. Appraisal of the estate of Samuel Vaughan made by John Peterson, William Batts, recorded 14 Oct. 1718. There are no records of the children, if any of Samuel Vaughan.

7. Daniel Vaughan died in Prince George County after 1728, but all records are lost.  William Vaughan with wife Mabel listed in records is believed to have been his son. No other identifiable children found. William and Mabel mentioned in 1729.

8. James Vaughan, late of Bristol Parish, Prince George County sells to Cornelius Fox -cons-25 pounds …all that tract of land called “Boyling Springs” containing 169 acres…joining Richard, Daniel, John and William Vaughan, etc.

  1. Court held at Merchants Hope for Prince George County, 14 April 1719, Ann Vaughan, wife of James Vaughan, released her dower right in land sold Cornelius FOX. Wm. Hamlin, Clk Ct.

9. James Vaughan removed to Brunswick County where his will was recorded in 1735.

It names his wife Anne Vaughan, and sons James and George Vaughan, and daughters; Tabitha Vaughan, Winnie Kirks, and Mary McDaniel.

10. Nicholas Vaughan sells to Thomas Hardaway…169 acres on south side of Appomattox River.11 July 1719. John Bannister sells to Nicholas Vaughan … 232 acres 9 March 1718.

11. Nicholas Vaughan bought land from John Bannister in 1718, and sold the land inherited from his father …. 169 acres…in 1719.

12. Nicholas Vaughan died between 1728 and 1737. There is an order book for 1737-1740, but the records have been lost.

13. Ann Fitts and Henry Fitts appointed administrators of the estate of Nicholas Vaughan, deceased.

14. Children of Nicholas Vaughan were Robert Vaughan, Nicholas Vaughan, Jr., and Ann Fitts.

15. Robert Vaughan and wife Martha are listed in records in 1732 with a notation (Nicholas).

16. Richard Hix Appointed  Guardian for Abraham Vaughan, heir of Nicholas Vaughan (Jr.), deceased.


Sir Roger Vaughan

Sir Roger Vaughan, born between 1580 and 1595, (not Sir Roger Vaughan of Cardigan) was a native and resident of Glamorganshire, Wales, where he died. Of his children were George Vaughn, baptized April 10, 1615; buried  April 5, 1699. He married December 8, 1639, Mary Boxall, buried October 28, 1645. The children of George and Mary Boxall Vaughan were: William, baptized January 3, 1640-1; emigrated to New Hampshire about 1664; died November 12, 1719. 2. Mary, baptized October 23, 1642. 3. Joane, baptized December 10, 1643; buried June 6, 1694.

Major William Vaughan of New Hampshire

William Vaughan was born 3 Jan 1640 in South Harting, Sussex, England, and immigrated to New Hampshire in 1664. He served as Recorder of the Province, Royal Councillor and Chief Justice of the Superior Court. He died 12 Nov 1719 at Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire at the age of 79.

His father was George Vaughan, who  died 5 April 1699, South Harting, Sussex, England, and his mother was Mary Boxall,  born 1619, Glamorganshire, South Wales who died 28 Oct 1645, South Harting, Sussex, England, at the age of 26 years. They were married 8 Dec 1639 in Petersfield, Hampshire, England.

William married Margaret Cutts, born about 1650, on 8 Dec 1668 in Rockingham, New Hampshire. She died 22 Jan 1690, Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire aged 40 years.They had eight children together.


  • 1. Eleanor Vaughan,   b. 5 Mar 1669, Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire,  died Sep 1727, Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire, at age 58 years.
  • 2. Mary VAUGHAN,   b. 6 Mar 1671, Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire
  • 3. Cutts VAUGHAN,   b. 9 Mar 1673, Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire
  • 4. Lt. Gov. George VAUGHAN,   b. 13 Apr 1676, Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire
  • 5. Bridget VAUGHAN,   b. 2 Jul 1678, Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire,   6. Margaret VAUGHAN,   b. 30 Dec 1680, Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire
  • 7. Abigail VAUGHAN,   b. 5 May 1683, Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire,  d. 1762, Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire, age 78 years
  • 8. Elizabeth VAUGHAN,   b. 26 Apr 1686, Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire.

Genealogical Registry of the Butters Family”

“Major William Vaughan, born in Wales about 1641 (son of George and Mary

(Boxall) Vaughan, and grandson of Sir Roger Vaughan), who came to New England from London about 1664. He was elected Constable in 1665, Lieutenant of Cavalry in 1672, Captain 1680, Major Commanding, 1681, one of the Council of New Hampshire 1682-1690, Treasurer of Province 1696-1698. He married Dec. 8, 1668, Margaret Cutt, daughter of Hon. Richard Cutt, son of Richard Cutt, Esq., of Grondale Abbey, Arkesden, Essex county, England.

An excerpt from the book, “A Genealogical Register of the First Settlers of New England”, William was referred to as Major William Vaughan.

From “Shannon Genealogy”

“William, the eldest, was educated in London for the mercantile profession by Sir Josiah Child, who had great regard for him, and from whose influence and assistance he derived great advantage in his subsequent career. “

William Vaughan Obituary

Died: Piscataqua, November 19th. On Friday the 13th currant dyed here the Honourable Major William VAUGHAN, Esq., in the 79th year of his age, who for several years together was the Chief Military Officer in the government, Judge of the Superior Court, and member of His Majesty’s Council. A gentleman of great hospitality, a true friend to his country, and one who stood steady in the most shaking times of tryall, a terror to vice and incourager of virtue, and one who in the time of health did constantly attend on the publick worship of GOD, who was yesterday decently interr’d.

Genealogy of Colonial New Hampshire Vaughans

William Vaughan, whose descendants are recorded in these pages, belonged to an ancient and distinguished branch of the Vaughan family in the South of Wales.

His grandfather, Sir Roger Vaughan of Glamorganshire, born about 1590, was a gentleman of prominence in that principality; his father, George Vaughan, baptized April 10, 1615, buried April 5, 1699, was married December 8, 1639, to Mary Boxall, whose burial is recorded October 28, 1645. Of this marriage were born three children, 1. William, baptized January 3, 1640-1; 2. Mary, baptized October 23, 1642, and 3. Joane, baptized December 10, 1643.

He emigrated to New England about the year 1669 and settled at Portsmouth, NH, where he became an eminent merchant. In public affairs, both local and colonial, he soon became active and influential, and for a long time was one of the most prominent men in the early history of New Hampshire.

The New Hampshire Colony

The New Hampshire Colony was one of the original 13 colonies located on the Atlantic coast of North America. The original 13 colonies were divided into three geographic areas consisting of the New England, Middle and Southern colonies. The New Hampshire Colony was classified as one of the New England Colonies. The Province of New Hampshire was an English colony in North America that existed from 1638 until 1776, when it joined the other 12 of the 13 colonies in rebellion against Great Britain and became the U.S. state of New Hampshire.

In the Charter granted by Charles the Second, constituting New Hampshire a separate Province, September 18, 1679, William Vaughan was named one of the Royal Councillors, and was commissioned by President Waldron, 1681, Major, Commanding the Militia of the Province. In 1682 this Charter was annulled by the appointment of Edward Cranfield, Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-Chief of New Hampshire.

Major Vaughan, however, was appointed one of the New Council, but his military commission was immediately revoked, and for non-compliance with the arbitrary measures of Governor Cranfield, in 1683, he was deprived of his seat in the Council, and soon after, imprisoned for nine months in the Province jail at Great Island (now Newcastle).

During his imprisonment Major Vaughan kept a journal of the important events of that period, extracts of which, with corroborative affidavits of prominent citizens embodied in a letter, he transmitted to Hon. Nathaniel Weare, at that time agent of the Province at London. While in prison he sent to the Chief Justice the following petition, which is in his own handwriting, and now in the archives of the State of New Hampshire:

William Vaughan Petition

To the Worshipful Walter Barefoot Esq. President and the rest of the Justices of ye Peace, now sittinge at the Great Island, at a Quarter Sessions. holden for the Province of New Hampshire in New England.

The humble request of William Vaughan. Aug. 5th, 1684.

May it Please your Worships:

The circumstances I have for some time bin under, necessitates mee, to make Applycation to our Honorable Governor, wherein begs, that at this time at this quarter sessions, I might have the liberty of appearing, to answer to what may be objected against mee. And if found criminal might suffer the penalty of the law; if otherwise, may be freed from my confinement.

Therefore humbly begs your Worships to give mee a Habeas Corpus, to be brought before you for the ends aforesaid, according to the Statute commonly called ye  Habeas Corpus Act, made Anno tricessimo primo Caroli Secundi Regis, Chap. 2, Section 10: and your petitioner shall pray, who am,

Your Worship’s humble servant, Wm. Vaughan.

Under the tyrannical administration of Gov. Cranfield, when Mason, who claimed the ownership of all the lands in New Hampshire, instituted suits against the principal landholders, and juries were found (through the influence of the Governor) to decide them in his favor, Major Vaughan was the only one of the defendants who appealed to the Crown for a reversal of these verdicts.

Court of Common Pleas

The Provincial Records show that Major Vaughan was one of the Justices of the Court of Common Pleas, 1680-16862. His reappointment to command the Militia, is dated 1690. He early united with the Congregational Church at Portsmouth, and continued as a member until his decease.

Marriage to Margaret Cutt

He married, December 8, 1668, Margaret Cutt, a daughter of Richard and Eleanor Cutt, of Portsmouth, who died January 22, 1690. Her tombstone can still be seen at the Old Point of Graves Burial Ground, with appropriate inscriptions.

Richard Cutt was the son of Hon. Richard Cutt of Bath, in Essex County, England, who died in 1654, while a member of Cromwell’s Parliament. Richard, with his two brothers, John and Robert, and sister Ann, who married John Shipway, emigrated to New England prior to 1645, and settled first at the Isles of Shoals and afterwards on the shores of the Piscataqua River.

John Cutt, the eldest, was the first Royal President of New Hampshire, under the charter of 1679, and died while in office March 27, 1681. He was succeeded by Major Richard Waldron, who was killed by the Indians, June 28, 1689.

Robert Cutt, the youngest, afterwards went to the Barbadoes, but soon returned and located at Kittery, where he became a noted shipbuilder. He died June, 1674. His descendants are numerous, and many of them have been distinguished.

Richard Cutt was for some years engaged in “the fisheries” at the Isles of Shoals, of which he owned Star Island. Afterwards became a wealthy merchant and large landholder in Portsmouth and held many public offices. He died — 1676. His wife’s name was Eleanor, by whom he was the father of two daughters, Bridget and Margaret.

Bridget was twice married, (1st), to Capt. Thomas Daniel, one of the Royal Council; he died November 13, 1683, aged 49; and (2d), December 11, 1684, to Thomas Graffort, also one of the Council, who died August 6, 1697. She died May 29, 1701, without issue, bequeathing the most of her large estate to the daughters of her sister Margaret.

Major Vaughan died at Portsmouth November 12, 1719, aged 78 years.


  • I. Eleanor, born March 5, 1669-70, married February 6, 1692-3, Col. Richard Waldron, a son of the celebrated Major Richard Waldron, of Dover, N. H., who was killed in that town by the Indians, 1689.
  • II. Mary, born March 6, 1671-2.
  • III. Cutt, born March 9, 1673-4; died at Barbadoes, unmarried.
  • IV. George, born April 13, 1676.
  • V. Bridget, born July 2, 1678.
  • VI. Margaret, born December 30, 1680.
  • VII. Abigail, born May 5, 1683.
  • VIII. Elizabeth, born April 26, 1686.

Colonel George Vaughan of New Hampshire

George Vaughan (13 April 1676 – 20 November 1725) may be best known for being Lieutenant Governor of the Province of New Hampshire for only one year. A graduate of Harvard College in 1696, he was also at various times a merchant, colonel of militia, agent for the province to England, and counsellor.

George Vaughan was born in 1676 to Major William Vaughan and Margaret Cutt Vaughan. His father was a representative of an English trading firm who migrated to the Province of New Hampshire, where he became a wealthy merchant. His mother also came from a family of merchants, one of whom, her uncle John Cutt, was the first royally appointed governor of the province. Vaughan graduated from Harvard College in 1696, and entered the family business in Portsmouth.

In 1697 he married Mary Belcher, the daughter of Massachusetts merchant Andrew Belcher, and sister to future governor Jonathan Belcher. She died in 1699, not long after giving birth to a daughter who did not survive. In January 1700 he married Mary Elliot. They had one child, Mary Vaughan, born 26 April 1713, who  died in 1793 aged 79 years.

George Vaughan Career

When Queen Anne’s War broke out in 1702, Vaughan joined the provincial militia, in which he was commissioned a colonel. In 1707 he was chosen by the provincial assembly as the colonial agent, and traveled to London. He was able to parlay his London connections into an appointment as the province’s lieutenant governor in 1715.

New Hampshire Governorship

Vaughan assumed the office of Lieutenant Governor in October 1715, during the governorship of Joseph Dudley. Dudley was also governor of neighboring Massachusetts, but did not travel to New Hampshire. He was replaced by the crown in October 1716, by Colonel Samuel Shute, who was also commissioned governor of both provinces. As a result, Vaughan acted as governor of New Hampshire during this time.

Vaughan and Shute disagreed on exactly what powers Vaughan held when Shute was not physically present in New Hampshire. Vaughan insisted that he had the full powers of the governor during Shute’s absence, while Shute felt that Vaughan’s powers should be limited. The conflict contributed to Vaughan’s removal from office in October 1717.

Sources disagree on his departure from office: He “resigned his office, after some months of controversy. This was occasioned by his opinions on some important measures not agreeing fully with those of the General Assembly, especially on the excise and import laws.”.

“In 1716, Samuel Shute, a resident of Massachusetts, was appointed governor of that province and of New Hampshire, and soon after, a controversy arose between these two highest officials. The Lieutenant Governor claimed that he was the true and sole executive, when the Governor was absent from the Province, and thereby became vested in all of the prerogatives pertaining to that office. He therefore declined to obey the mandate of his superior, when issued from Massachusetts. “… On the 30th day of September, 1717, Lieutenant-Governor Vaughan was removed from office ….”

Private Life

This closed George’s public life, and thereafter, until his decease, which occurred in December, 1724, he devoted his attention to the management of his large and valuable estate. Governor Vaughan was a Congregationalist in his religious opinions, a communicant of that Church in Portsmouth. His wife, who survived him, died December 7, 1750, aged 68 years.


  • I. Sarah, born Feb 8, 1701-2.
  • II. William, born Sep 12, 1703.
  • III. Margaret, born Aug 21, 1705.
  • IV. Elizabeth, born Oct 8, 1707.
  • V. Abigail, Mar 11, 1709-10-Sep. 9, 1719.
  • VI. Eliot, born Apr 12, 1711.
  • VII. Mary, born May 7, 1713.
  • VIII. Jane, born Dec 27, 1714.IX. George, Feb 18, 1720- Nov 1722



Portsmouth, N. H.,

August 19 and 20, 1884


An account of the opening of the Vaughan Family Tomb, the restoration of the ancient slate tablet marking the grave of Margaret (Cutt) Vaughan, who died in 1690, and of the granite monument erected in 1885 to the memory of the three Vaughans.


  • George E Hodgdon, Local Justice, by whom permission was granted,
  • Col. R. Cutts Shanon
  • James . Shannon, M.D.       } Relatives
  • Samuel Blatchford,
  • John Quinn              } Laborers
  • William Falvey
  • John Lolley
The Tomb is constructed of brick masonry and handsomely arched, measuring inside 8 feet six inches in length, 8 feet in width, and 5 feet from the floor to the crown of the arch.The exterior grounds were nearly level for some distance around, and to a casual observer there was nothing to indicate the excavation beneath,Upon close scrutiny there was found almost concealed below the sod a curbing of split granite, which rested upon the brickwork, or walls of the vault. The Tomb itself was discovered the first day of the excavation, upon removing the ancient Vaughan Tablet for the purpose of laying a new foundation for a proposed monument.The Tablet, which is 6 feet 10 inches in length and 3 feet in width, lay horizontally at the western end of the Tomb, and immediately over the entrance.How this entrance could have been used was a mystery; it was entirely beneath the surface, with the massive Tablet above, the latter broken into two nearly equal pieces.This entrance was in height 4 feet from the sill to the cord of the arch, and 2 feet 6 inches in width; it was inferred that originally it had a wooden frame and door, although not the slightest remnant of either was visible.The arch above the entrance had broken away, and the entire entrance and western portion of the vault were filled up to the arch with debris of all kinds. There must have been at some time an aperture near the broken arch, for inside the Tomb were found numerous pieces of broken crockery, earthenware and oxidized tin ware, bricks from the arch, stones, and one ball of solid India rubber of an ancient model.
Several hours were consumed in clearing out this debris, before the remains were found. All of the skulls, with frontal bones upward, were near the entrance, but nothing indicating a coffin appeared, with the exception of 3 iron handles nearly consumed by oxidation. Diligent search was made for metallic plates with inscriptions, &c., but nothing of that kind was discovered.There were taken from the vault, 28 well-defined skulls, numerous femur bones, ribs, &c.Dr. Shannon caused these remains to be removed to a neighboring building, and properly cleansed. They were classified by him as follows:Full grown adults.. 21Young adults……. 4Children between 5 and 8 years…. 2 Infant ………..1Total ……….. 28
The skulls of the adults, almost without exception, contained a full set of elegantly-formed teeth, with no appearance of decay.Several of the local physicians made unsuccessful overtures to obtain some of the skulls for professional purposes.From the promiscuous heap of bones Dr. Shannon selected and reformed with wonderful skill a complete skeleton of a child.On the 20th all of the remains were carefully enclosed in a beautiful casket, covered with a strong box of pine, and replaced in the vault, and the entrance closed up permanently with solid masonry of stone and cement.
Note – The last interment in this Tomb was probably in the years 1758, – that of Eliot Vaughan. Subsequently all members of the family removed from Portsmouth to Scarborough and Portland, ME – G.E.H.                             —
Details of the broken Vaughan Tablet

Point of Graves Cemetery

Above: Point of Graves Cemetery – Vaughan Vault in background

Point of Graves Burial Ground_3.png

Here entombed are the remains of

  • Full grown adults . . . . . . . . . .21
  • Young adults . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . .4
  • Children 5-8 years  . . . . . . . . . .2
  • Infants  . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . .1

This is believed to have been the last generation of Vaughans in New Hampshire, as they soon removed from Portsmouth and relocated in Scarborough and Portland, Maine.

Genelogical Record of the Vaughans of NH book.png

Much of the information on the New Hampshire Vaughans comes from this book, the entire text of which is available online. This author also picked up bits and pieces of subsequent research that descendants have conducted over the following years. Many are included as footnotes to the original Hodgdon text as supplemented by Thomas W. Hancock.

Recommended additional reading:

American Genesis:  Captain John Smith and the Founding of Virginia.  By Alden T. Vaughn.  Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1974.

Select Vaughan Resources on The Internet:

  • Welsh Biography Online:  Vaughans.
  • Vaughan Vaughn Resource Group:  Vaughan/Vaughn resources
  • Vaughan/Gnarini Genealogy Project:  Vaughan forum website.
  • Vaughan Pioneers- Descendants of William and John Vaughan from Virginia.
  • Vaughan Family Archive- Descendants of Sampson Vaughan of North Carolina.

Next Chapter: Vaugh(a)n Migration in America


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