Goodman and Related Families of Hanover County Virginia

Hanover County Boundary Formation and History

Hanover was formed in 1720/21 from New Kent Co. Hanover Co., VA, like its parent county of New Kent, is a “burned” county, so very few early deeds or other county records survive. The best source of information about the families that lived in this county in the early 1700s, although not detailed, is probably the Vestry Book of St. Paul’s Parish, New Kent Co., and later Hanover Co.

in 1742, Hanover was divided to form Louisa Co. from its north and western areas.

Prominent Goodman and Related Families

The vestry book of St. Paul’s Parish, by then in Hanover Co., first mentions the lands of Samuel Goodman in 1732, next to Benjamin Goodman, who was his brother. Brother Robert Goodman first appears with Samuel and Benjamin in the same precinct in 1739, the first processioning after the death of their father, Benjamin Goodman, Sr. (p. 278).

The Blackwells were neighbors of the Goodmans in New Kent and Hanover Counties. Lucy Blackwell was Benjamin Goodman’s wife.

The original Overton grant in Hanover Co., VA. was along the south side of Little River from its junction with the North Anna River and westward into Louisa Co. The Goodman lands were on the north side of Little River, and adjoined some of the Overton Lands. It is possible, even likely, that the Overtons and Goodmans intermarried, leading to Overton as a given name in some later Goodman family lines.

Robert, Samuel and Benjamin Goodman are brothers as established by the will of their father, Benjamin Goodman, described following. Samuel was b. 1701, and christened that year at St. Peter’s Parish, then in New Kent Co. Benjamin Goodman’s will of 29 Mar 1729, and proved 5 May 1735, gave son Samuel the lands on which Samuel was then living, plus 100 ac. where his father lived. Son Benjamin received lands in Louisa Co. Son Robert received “the old plantation and 100 ac”, the old plantation presumably in old New Kent / Hanover County, and the 100 ac. presumably in Hanover / Louisa County.

Since Hanover is a burned county, this will probably only survived because it was also recorded in Halifax County [LVA: Halifax Court Records, Part of index to Halifax County Wills and Administrations (1753 – 1800). 1733-1735 (Reel 2) Re: pp. 225-226. Will proved. 1 May 1735. Re: pp. 226-227. Executors bond rec. 1 May 1735. Re: pp. 252-254. Inventory & Appraisal rec. 5 June 1735].

Halifax County was formed in 1752 from Lunenburg County, which was formed in 1746 from Brunswick County. Originally, Halifax included what is today Pittsylvania, Patrick and Henry Counties; and parts of Franklin and Floyd Counties. The present day boundaries of Halifax were decided in 1766. Since this will was recorded in conjunction with a will of Halifax before its original formation in 1753, it appears that it was first recorded in Brunswick County, which did exist in 1735, and consisted of much of what is now southwestern Virginia. The land it recorded may have been in that part of Brunswick that later became Lunenburg, and in that part of Lunenburg that later became Halifax.

In 1771, the St Paul’s Parish vestry book mentions lands of William Horsley, Mary Goodman and Littleberry Wade in the same precinct as those of Benjamin Goodman (p. 480). Benjamin Goodman is named in St Paul’s Parish Vestry book for keeping his mother, presumably Lucie Goodman, so is presumed to be the son of Benjamin Sr. and Lucie, having remained in what was now Loiusa County as his other kin moved on to other places.

Benjamin Goodman, son of Samuel, had removed to Lunenburg Co., VA before 1758, and from there to Granville County, NC with his Williams and Henderson relatives. Mary Goodman has been presumed by earlier researchers to be the widow of Robert Goodman, and I have no reason to dispute that. A Benjamin Goodman appears in Lunenburg Co deeds by 1758, along with a Robert Goodman, Henry Williams and other Williams kin.

In St Paul’s Parish vestry processioning of 1759, Robert Goodman is mentioned twice, once as Robert Goodman, and again as Robert Goodman Dec’d. However, in the 1763 processioning, he is mentioned only as Robert Goodman, without the Dec’d, possibly indicating that the 1763 Robert Goodman was living, and that he was probably the son of Robert Goodman who was dec’d by 1759. The later mention of Mary Goodman in that precinct may have been because her son, Robert Goodman Jr, had removed to his new lands Lunenburg, leaving the Hanover property in his mother’s ownership. This is why the Robert Goodman in Lunenburg Co. by 1759 is presumed to be a son of Robert and Mary Goodman.

Elizabeth Horsley, who married Charles Goodman about 1771 in Albemarle Co., was the daughter of Roland Horsley, son of the William Horsley who had lands in the same precinct as the Goodmans, and William Horsley was also of Welsh descent. See Albemarle Co., VA page for more on Charles Goodman of Albemarle and his family.

The Douglas Register records the marriage of Overton Goodman to Mary Camp, 7 Feb 1765 in Goochland Co., VA. An Overton Goodman appears in the 1790 census of Greenville Co., SC, and also in the 1810 census of Barren County, KY. The one in VA and NC are probably different persons, and I have not been ascertain which is the one who went to Barren Co. By this, I believe that a daughter of James or Sam Overton married a son of their neighbor Samuel Goodman of Hanover Co., VA, or that Samuel Goodman himself married the daughter or sister of Capt. Sam Overton, and they had Overton Goodman, who married Mary Camp, and they later they removed to Barren Co., Kentucky. This further confirms without a doubt, at least to me, that at least some of the Goodman families of Barren and Hart Counties of KY are descended from Goodmans of New Kent, Hanover Co. and Louisa Counties of VA. There was yet another and different Overton Goodman, of Orange Co., NC, mentioned elsewhere in this report, who was almost certainly related to Benjamin Goodman of Granville Co., NC, and previously of Hanover / Louisa Co., VA.

The Benjamin Goodman of New Kent / Hanover Co. who d. 1735 may have been related to the Peter Goodman who owned 400 ac. in York Co., the Henry Goodman who was granted 256 ac. in Nansemond Co. in 1711, and the John Goodman who owned 275 ac. in James City Co. in 1704. Samuel was probably the brother of William Goodman of Surry and Isle of Wight Co., who was on the militia roll of Surry Co. with Anselm Baley in 1678.

The Charles Goodman b. ca 1730 in Hanover Co., and later of Albemarle Co., was probably a brother of the Benjamin Goodman b. 1732 in Hanover Co., and who lived for a time in Culpepper Co., and removed to Granville Co., NC with the Henderson and Williams and other Goodman families. This Benjamin Goodman married Maria Williams, and they were the parents of the Claiborn / Clayborn Goodman who was b. 1769 in Culpepper Co., VA, and who later removed to Wilson Co., TN, where Ansel Goodman died. Claiborn Goodman also had brothers William, James, and Timothy, Timothy also b. Culpepper Co. Timothy owned lands on Beaver Dam Creek in Hanover Co. William and Timothy names are also common in the line descended of William and Rebecca Goodman of Surry / Isle of Wight Co.

Of the Goodmans in Hanover Co., VA in 1787, and recorded on the tax lists, there are two Timothys and a Samuel, all with large families, and a total of 56 slaves. This Samuel was probably a grandson of the Samuel Goodman who d. 1735. William Goodman is in Westmoreland Co., on the Chesapeake east of Hanover, also with large holdings, including 13 slaves. Benjamin Goodman had removed to Granville Co., NC with his wife, Maria Williams, and the Henderson and Williams families, and was killed in the battle of Hays Station, SC on 7 Oct 1781.

Some of the Goodman lands in Hanover and Louisa Co. were apparently in the family for several generations, as some were later sold, 100 ac. in Hanover by James Goodman in 1781, and 200 ac. in Hanover and Louisa by Joseph Goodman in 1786.

Hanover County Deeds and Wills

  • 05 Feb 1733 Hanover Co., VA. Will of Robert Horsley mentions wife Frances, sons Rowland (Roland), William, John, daus. Elizabeth, Ann and Mary. Also held lands in Goochland. Wills and Administrations of Hanover Co., VA. The Goodmans and Horsleys were probably acquainted in Hanover Co., before Roland Horsley and Charles Goodman removed to Albemarle.
  • 4 June 1734, several land transactions describe the Whatley and Carr properties. Shirley and Rebecca Whatley sold 100 ac. to John Cooper, that land being adjacent to Sam Goodman’s. Several other sales of Whatley lands are recorded on that date. On that same date, Thomas Carr and his wife Caroline deeded 1000 ac. to his son John Carr. The Carr land was on both sides of the north fork of Elk Creek and on the south side of the North Anna, and adjoined the lands of John Ragland and James Overton. This is no doubt the James Overton mentioned previously, grandson of William Overton of Wales, who was probably the father of the Sam Overton who was a Capt. of the VA Rangers in 1756 and who married Miss Carr of Hanover Co., who was apparently a close neighbor. A later Sam Overton married Mildred Clayton of Bedford Co., VA. This Sam Overton was probably a son of Capt. Sam Overton of Hanover / Louisa Co.

Will of Timothy Goodman of Hanover Co., VA

12-06-1803 Wrote will. 05-22-1805 Will probated. Mentions brothers William, Benjamin (possibly the TN land speculator?), Charles (prob. the Charles who migrated to Albemarle), nephews Edmond, William, Zachariah; Joseph Terrell Goodman (d. 1853), relationship not given; friend Charles Terrell. Hanover County VA Wills and Notes by William R. Cooke III. Joseph Terrell, Thomas Overton, Thomas Jefferson, William and Richard Anderson, Frances and Samuel Talliaferro, and William and Shadrack Reynolds, are among the signers of the 1779 Declaration of Independence of Albemarle Co., VA.

Many of these families are documented in earlier New Kent, Hanover and Louisa Counties. The reference in this will to brother Benjamin Goodman could not be the same Benjamin who was the son of Samuel Goodman, ca. 1701, since that Benjamin died at the battle at Hays Station in 1781. Therefore, this family must have been the issue of the Robert Goodman, b. ca. 1703, or his brother Samuel, ca. 1705, or may have been descended from the William Goodman of Surry Co., whose known male descendants in Gates Co., NC also included names of Timothy and William.

Cumberland County Grants, Deeds and Orders

In 1764 Samuel Goodman sold the Hannah Goodman plantation in Cumberland County. Their daughter, Hannah Goodman, married Micajah Terrell, a brother of Ruth (Terrell) Brooks. In 1768 Joab Brooks presented a land dispute to the Courts against Samuel Goodman and the Courts settled the case in favor of Joab Brooks. It is interesting to note that we find them in the same section of South Carolina with members of the Brooks family.

Nov 1767: John Brooks, Esq., deeded his lands to his children and the deeds were presented to the Courts, proved by the oath of Thomas Brooks, and ordered to be recorded. Martha Goodman was among those given land, and is presumed to be a daughter. She was the wife of Samuel Goodman of Cumberland County.

04-28-1768 Samuel Goodman and wife Martha sold land in Cumberland County joining the Rutherford plantation to Arthur Mabson of New Hanover County, N.C. This may have been Martha’s legacy from John Brooks.

1787: Robert Goodman resides, with one slave under 16, one horse. [1787 VA Census (reconstructed)]

2-19-1788: John Williams of Laurens County, S.C. sold to Samuel Goodman his original grant of 1765 in Cumberland County.

1788: Robert Goodman, insolvent. [Cumberland Co. List of Insolvents and Removals, Year 1788]. and again in 1789, owing 1s. [VA Genealogist v21:168]


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