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Subject: Fwd: John R.Kilby Virginia House of Delegates 1850s-60s etc.
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 20:35:15 EDT


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I don't know if any of you received Mr. Higgins original message sent to
, the address to which I replied. Remember list,
to SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE, send to the address that includes the word
request. To send e-mail to the LIST, send it to (NOTE:
THE WORD "REQUEST" IS NOT IN THERE). Anyway, hope you will all find this
interesting even though it's a bit long.

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Subject: Re: John R.Kilby Virginia House of Delegates 1850s-60s etc.
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John Richardson Kilby was born 31 DEC 1819 in Suffolk Co., VA and died there
on 5 Dec 1878, according to the DAR papers of Susan Kilby Clark Towner.
However, he is found on the 1840, 1850 and 1860 census of Nansemond County,
VA. He married Martha Jane Louisa Smith in 1838 and had eight children. His
papers are at Perkins Library, Special Collections Department, at Duke
University. I have not reviewed them.

He was the son of Turpin Kilby and Martha Glazebrook, and the grandson of
John Kilby and Elizabeth Thompson. The grandfather, John Kilby (1758-1826),
is the mariner of Revolutionary War fame. Below are my notes for him. I am
confident that he was the son of Thomas and Sarah Kilby who lived in
Dorchester Co., Maryland. Thomas Kilby died there in 1774, and was resident
there as early as 1756. In 1769, he was security to Mary Turpin, widow and
executrix of Beauchamp Turpin. This Maryland connection is very intriguing
and perhaps very relevent to finding the origins of John Kilby of Culpeper
Co, VA.

Here are the notes for John Kilby, mariner:

JOHN KILBY, ancestor of the Kilby's of Hanover county, VA, was born in
Vienna, Dorchester county, Md., Sept. 15, 1758. He settled in Hanover
county, Va., when "I married and quit the seas" about 1786 and died there in
1826. He shipped from Maryland 6 AUG 1776 aboard the brig Sturdy Beggar,
fought during Revolution, taken prisoner and placed on the captured ship
Smyrna, and imprisoned in Portsea Jail, England, for 22 months. There he was
accused of "high treason upon His Majesty's Seas", and he asked who had given
His Majesty ownership of the seas? Seems like the Kilbys have always had a
penchant for biting sarcasm.

Upon being exchanged he went to France and shipped from L'Orient under John
Paul Jones for the famous cruise around England. He was quarter-gunner for
the Bon Homme Richard during engagement with the Serapis and at the surrender
was one of the three officers appointed to escort Capt. Pearson to John Paul
Jones. His account of this fight was published in Scribner's magazine July
1905, edited by Col. A C. Buell from the original manuscript. Other details
of his life and experiences are cited in a letter from his son, Thomas
Jefferson Kilby, to his niece, Indiana Virginia Kilby.

Of genealogical import in this article is the statement that, after his
cruise with Jones, he went to Boston in 1781, then returned to his home in
Maryland where "I found that my mother had died some time before. My brother
had long before entered into the service of his country for three years or
during the war [sic], and, having serviced upwards of three years, was killed
at Camden in Gates defeat." [This refers to Thomas Kilby who served in the
2nd Maryland Regiment of Foot and who was killed in the Battle of Camden, SC
on 16 August 1780]. After this visit, John Kilby ended up in Jamaica, toward
the end of the war, again as a prisoner. He laid a plan of escape: "At last
through a friend who had many years before lived in Somerset County
(Maryland), and had sailed on many voyages with an uncle of mine, a plan was
laid for [our] escape." [Query: Would this uncle be the mariner/merchant,
John Kilby of Dorchester, MD who died in Onslow, NC in 1760?]

The John Kilby papers are now at the Virginia State Archives, in the Virginia
State Library, Richmond, VA, which I reviewed in March of 1992. John Kilby's
original mss. for Scribner, many personal letters from later descendants,
some original deeds, the handwritten manuscript, etc., including a letter
from a former slave who went to Liberia after the Civil War, and which
recounts some pretty horrible experiences both on the voyage to Africa and
subsequent events in the new nation.

Further Notes on John Kilby:
9 JUN 1791. Inspector of Merriweather's tobacco warehouse, New Castle (5C324,
copied). Had to do with Merriweather being accused of falsifying records,
John Kilby on panel to determine guilt, which acquitted Merriweather.

5 MAY 1802, John Kilby, Justice of Hanover County, VA, condemns slave
Glasgow, belonging to Paul Thilman, to hang for conspiracy and insurrection
(9C298). Rather harsh convictions from one who fought in Revolution and
spent 2 years in prison.

28 JUL 1810. Hanover Co., VA. John Kilby nominated on Republican
(anti-federalist) slate of magistrates (10C87).

He is on Hanover Co, 1810 Census, p. 877. He is on Hanover County, 1820
census, p. 70.

On file, service record and pension application of John Kilby which mentions
he was married to the widow of Mr. Talley and was supporting her son Augustus
Talley. This must have been a second marriage for him. The pension
application dated 28 April 1818, contains an affadavit signed by John Kilby
which gives many details of his career. It states on 6 August 1776, he
shipped aboard the Sturdy Beggar from Vienna, MD to New Bern, NC "where the
brig then lay."

His additional affadavit of 28 April 1821 concludes he has no property other
than clothes, had never been paid for his service while in the Navy, and
states "I have been bred to the Sea, but have quitted that calling for near
thirty years and am now unable to do much labor; that I have a wife about
forty-three years old who has a child living with me by her former husband,
William Augustus Talley aged about six years and that I now stand in need of
assistance from Country for support which I faithfully served nearly through
the whole war, and I hope the Seretary of War will order that Ishall receive
pension from the time I was last paid."


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