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Richard Malpass Sr., Richard Jr., and Richard III
Danny Moody
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The Richard Malpass succession is somewhat confusing at times. Wouldn't it be nice to have renewed interest and someone stumble over the key to unlock its mystery? For the Malpass researchers I offer the following opinion in hopes of fueling fires of new interest.

Alternative Theory; Richard Sr., Richard Jr., and Richard III

I have read Terri Brown’s paper, Richard Malpass Senior, Junior and Third - GenealogicalSummary: Three Generations, and information posted by Mr. John H. Croom, and by Mr. Bob Duggan and believe they may be incorrect.

In as much, I would like to offer an alternative theory on Richard Malpass, Sr., Richard Jr., and Richard III..


  1. In the article there exist a trend to discount the value of data found in headright claims based on the corruptive nature and use of fictitious names, etc. One would reason that lax administration of this system would be prevalent in other systems of transactions conducted in the same era based simply on the nature of the way business would have been conducted. Unlike Ms. Brown and others, I believe some emphasis should be placed on the headright until preponderance is rendered that lessens the credibility of said material.


  3. The methodology of Ms. Risings is utilized in the paper in the attempt to isolate the early years of the Malpass family in the Colonies by establishing relationships of the Malpass clan with other families. I feel that conclusions may have been skewed as evidenced by the following:


a) No relationship could be established between Richard Senior and the Garrett family. Because of Garrett’s titled position in Albemarle County, an employer/employee relationship seems plausible. A cursory check of Northumberland County, Virginia records shows a Thomas Garrett appearing in that county in the 1650-1658 time period. Since Richard Senior appears frequently with Thomas Garrett in subsequent records, the record of 1694 seems to suggest a legitimate claim to land and not the selling of a headright claim.


Ms. Brown States that no relationship could be established but concludes that an employer/employee relationship seems plausible. The premise of her sentence is oxymoron in nature. She also assumes that from 1650 forward, the name Thomas Garret is synomanous with the Thomas Garret found in Northumberland County, Virginia records in the period 1650 – 1658.


The fact that Richard Malpas witnessed the Deed between Thomas Garret and wife Behia to Will Thomson on April 24, 1703 indicates at a minimum a nine-year relationship of some nature existed with Thomas Garret and Richard Malpas, Sr. Ref: (2) below.


Discrepancies exist in the two abstracts for the transaction listed under item (1) below. If we assume the transcripts are accurate then we can deduce the term "by importation" found in (1) below, implies Richard Malepass was either an indentured servant, a family member such as a Cousin, an in-law, etc., or a colleague of the family. The term also implies that Richard was in transit with the family. If it is found that Richard is kin or friend the term may assist in defining the original point of origin of Richard providing the origin of the Garret family is determined.


  1. Bertie County Deeds – Misc. Abstracts #217: Headright Land Grants; Thomas Garrett, 411 a., Chowan Precinct, 14 Sept. 1701. Warrant (400 a.) 12 Aug. 1694. Survey 26 Apr. 1699. By importation of Thomas Garrett, Senior, Bethia Garrett, Thomas Garrett, Junior, Rich. Malepass, Bethia Garrett.



  2. Certificates for Land

    This may certify that at a Court holden for the Precinct of Chowan ye 2d. of July 1694 being present ye. Commissioners Mr. Tho. Garrat proved five rights as ffolloweth Tho. Garrat Senr., Bethia Garret, Thos. Garret jur., Bethia Garret, Rich. Malepass. Attested P: me Nathaniel Chevin Clrk. and a Warrant given for 250 acres ye. 12 of August 1694.


  3. North Carolina Historical and Genealogy Register – Vol. 1 no. 1- Vol. III no. 3 - Page – 88 – 89; Thomas Garrett, and wife Bethia, to Will Thomson, of Nansemond County, Va. 106 acres land on Cataren Creek, as by patent dated September 14, 1701. Deed dated April 24, 1703. Test, Richard Malpas, Joshua Odem.

  1. Ms. Brown’s theory is that Mary, wife of Richard Sr. is in fact Mary Rogers, sister of Thomas Rogers. She appears to base her theory on the proximity or the re-occurance of the name Rogers in the vicinity of the name Malpass and a guardianship that will occur more than fifty years in the future. She seems to oversight the fact that many surnames appear in the vicinity of Malpass and that Mary was a popular name for the period.


    Ms. Brown makes reference to land acquired by Benjamin Rogers in Nansemond County, Va. in 1694 which is the same year that Thomas Garret filed a Headright Land Grant in Chowan Precinct. Richard acquires land in Nansemond County, Va. in 1711. It is possible that as a couple Richard and Mary may have lived in the proximity of the Rogers Clan at some time. Relatively speaking there just doesn’t seem to be enough information at this time to elevate the probability that Mary was a Rogers. Other surnames from the area are just as prominent in the trails paved by Malpass descendants.


    3. Ms. Brown states; As previously noted, Richard Senior migrated into North Carolina from Somerton, Upper Parish of Nansemond in Virginia.


    Unless I have misread, there is no factual information to document the migration of Richard from Somerton, Nansemond County, Va. to Chowan County, NC.


    1. Ms. Brown states; Richard appears in the Chowan County, North Carolina records for 1703 through 1717. And further in her article she states that Richard Malpass Senior last appears in the Bertie County records in 1717 and is presumed to have died in that year. Mr. Croom and Mr. Duggan appear to base information in their trees on the same premise.


    Richard Junior is identified as the oldest son and begins the trail of transaction, relationships and migration begin. Based on association of names on documents she speculates that Mary Malpass, wife of deceased Richard Malpass, Sr., had remarried to William Williamson By 1720.


    This is where I feel enough emphasis was not placed on the rationale or the intent of John hiding his deceased father’s will. In the event I am correct, then from this point forward relationships and time lines will differ from Ms. Brown, Mr. Croom, and Mr. Duggan.


    Note that at this time I have not located and read some of the original documents referenced below. My assertions are based on references I have received through contributions from fellow researchers.


    1. 1727 - Rd. Malpus - Bertie Co.,NC - estate account by William Williamson, administrator


      Note: Ms. Brown, Mr. Duggan, and Mr. Croom place the death of Richard Malpas, Sr., ca. 1717


      If Richard Sr. died on or about 1717 it would seem unlikely that 10 years would elapse before settlement of his estate would be initiated. Settlement of Richard’s estate would have taken approximately 17 years if you factor the b-d below into the equation.


      If Richard Sr. died on or about 1727 the settlement of Richard’s estate would have concluded in approximately 7 years vs. 17 years.


    3. 1733 - Mary Malpass - Berite Co.,NC - files complaint against son, John


      If Mary Malpass was Married to William Williamson would not Mary (Malpass) Williamson file complaint against son John. The following reference by Ms. Brown has little or no significance in proof of marital relationship between Mary Malpass and William Williamson:


      15 Apr 1720 - Mary Williamson of Chowan Prect. to Wm. Crawford power of attorney to acknowledge sale of 100 acres to Thomas Rogers son of Thomas Rogers, decd. which was sold by my husband William Williamson. Wit.: Jane Rogers X her mark, Richard Malpass RM his mark.


      It is more likely that Richard Sr. lived to approximately 1727 and appeared in numerous documents between 1717 and 1727 as exemplified in the following:


      Bertie Co., NC, Deeds, Bk. A, p. 28, as abstracted in Mary Best Bell, Colonial Bertie County North Carolina Volume I Abstracts of Deed Book A 1720-1725

      John Holly bought 100 acres on Wickacon Creek from Richard Mallpass and Mary on 13 Apr 1721 - Recorded in May Court 1723. John Holly buys the adjacent 70 Acres from John Bush in 1722.


    5. 1733 - John Mallpass - Bertie Co.,NC - arrest warrant for hiding father’s will


      15 August 1733: Mr. Che: Justice LITTLE having by Warrant under his hand & Seal directed that John MALLPASS appear before this Court to answer the Complaint of Mary MALPASS Relict Widow of Rich. MALPASS Deced. for accounting having got into his possession and concealing the Will of sd. Richard MALPASS And the Constable having made return that the sd. John is not to be found and by the sd. Warrt. it was there ordd. that Elinor OLDNER & Thos. ROGERS be sumd. to appear & give Evidence to this Court on ye Part of the Compllt. and the Court on hearing the sd. Evid Evidences have just Cause to Suspect that the sd. John MALPASS doth Conceal the Will of ye sd. Richd. and Doth thereon ord. that a Capias Issue directed to ye Marshall or any Constable to compell ye sd. John MALPASS to appear at the next Court & that he then & there have ye Will aforesd


      I believe this is reference to the will of Richard Sr. and not Richard Jr. based on the following argument:


        1. One should ask the question, did John hide the will of Richard Sr. or Richard Jr.? If so, why?



        3. If Richard Jr. died without a will real property of Richard Jr. would automatically resort to eldest son (no matter how young). (Robert W. Baird simplifies the law in articles posted under Bob’s Genealogy Filing Cabinet II)



        It is doubtful that in 1733 Richard Jr. would have sons old enough and educated at a level to understand the law of Primogeniture & Succession. It is also a stretch to believe that a young adolescent son named John that would conceal a will, be charged by his mother, and then hide from the court.


        If Richard Jr. had no children and no will existed the real property would regress to the second oldest son of Richard Sr. At this point we would have to assume that Richard Jr. was the eldest son of Richard Sr. and that John stole the will at the death of Richard Jr. in order for the real property to revert to John. This is not plausible based on the Mary Malpass charges against her son John in 1733 for the concealment of the will. Mary would have no legal rights in the estate of her son Richard and Richard’s wife provided he was married at that time. One could assume that Mary interceded if Richard Jr. was single and John stole a will that divided Richard’s property between his siblings.


        Is it more probable that John was the eldest son of Richard Sr. and that Richard Sr. died about 1727? The missing will of Richard Sr. may have divided his real property between his sons, of which John was the eldest; and that John understood the law of Primogeniture & Succession for real property in effect at the time of Richard’s death. (Robert W. Baird simplifies the law in articles posted under Bob’s Genealogy Filing Cabinet II)Basically; with no will the eldest son inherits "all" real property and title would pass "automatically", requiring no action on the part of any person or court. I also believe upon evaluation land sold by John after 1733 will prove land purchased by Richard Sr. prior to his death.


          1. Is it just as likely that Mary Malpass was the sister of William Williamson? William lived near Richard Sr., appeared in transactions with Richard Sr., administered the estate of Richard Sr., and bought land from John previously owned by Richard Sr.


          3. Is it probable that John was the eldest son of Richard and Mary and that John was born after 1694 and before 1708?


          5. 1734 - Richard Malpus - Bertie Co.,NC - deceased, account of sale by Williamson


          Based on inheritance law at the time of Richard Sr’s death and subsequent estate settlement it is probable that Williamson was disposing of Richard’s personal property and not Richard’s real property



Danny Moody
Kenly, NC
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