Williamson M. Rainey1

M, #5887, b. 7 November 1760, d. before 19 April 1847
FatherFrancis Rainey2 b. 12 Oct 1733, d. 24 Feb 1804


Edith Morgan b. 1763, d. b 8 Jan 1846
Last Edited19 Sep 2019
     Williamson M. Rainey was born on 7 November 1760, son of Francis Rainey, in Mecklenburg County, Virginia Colony.3

     He performed his Military Service as a Private in the Mecklenburg County, Virginia Militia during the Revolutionary War.4

     In his pension application, he states that he enlisted under Col. Macklin of Brunswick County, Virginia, Maj. Anderson of Mecklenburg County, Virginia, in Capt. Burton's Company of militia of the Virginia line. They rendezvoused at Mecklenburg Courthouse in the year 1776 or 1777 and took up the line of march from thence sometimes in the month of July and marched through the counties of Brunswick, Prince George, through the town of Smithfield, crossed the NancyMun river at Sleepy Hole Spring from thence to Portsmoth and joined the main army under command of Gen Harrison.3

     There is a D. A. R. marker at his former home in the front yard commemorating the Revolutionary War service of Williamson Rainey, Sr. (1760-1847) as a private in the Virginia militia.5

     His original tour of duty was for three months. He cannot remember the exact day of discharge. He then served a tour as a substitute for a man by the name of Jeter.3

     The full names of the men under whom he served were Captain John Burton, Major James Anderson, and Colonel Frederick Maclin.3

     In 1779, he was called to serve a second tour of militia duty for three months under Captain Benjamin Marshall or Capt. Mabry (he can't recollect which) of Mecklenburg County. He rendezvoused at the Mecklenburg Courthouse and took up the line of march sometime in the month of June. They marched through Brunswick County to Dinwiddie Court house and were there stationed until discharged, serving only three weeks.3

     Williamson M. Rainey and Edith Morgan obtained a marriage bond on 23 November 1779 at Mecklenburg County, Virginia, with Francis Rainey as Bondsman.6,7 Reuben Morgan, father of the bride, gave consent to the marriage on 23 November 1779 which indicated she was under the age of 21 on this date.8

     Williamson M., 19, married Edith Morgan, daughter of Reuben Morgan, on 23 November 1779 at Mecklenburg County, Virginia.8

     In 1781, "I was called out to serve a third Tour of Militia duty under Col. Tucker, Maj. Holcomb, in Capt Whittier's [?] Company of Militia of Mecklenburg County, Virginia line. . . rendezvoused at Mecklenburg Court house and took up the line of march sometimes in the month of April. . . . . at the time of marching I were (sic) sick and obtained a furlough for 10 days. . . at the expiration of my furlough I joined my company into the main army at Point of Fork on James River under command of Barron Stuben and Gen. Lawson - in view of the enemy camp on the oposite (sic) side of the river. . we were generally moving, not long stationed at any one place and in no engagement. We marched through Cumberland County, Prince Edward, and into the County of Charlotte and remained there a while. While there I was taken very sick and were (sic) confined to the hospital and [?] got a substitute to finish my Tour of duty after serving Two and half months fo the best of my recollection. I was drafted and I have not any documentary evidence to prove my service only the affidavits of William Coleman, William Inscoe which is here annexed."3

     His name appears as William Rainey on a list of Patriots of Brunswick County, Virginia who rendered services during the Revolution.9

     On 22 November 1790, James Paine, Sheriff, to Henry Fitts. Sale of a negro belonging to Henry Sturdivant sold for debt of £62, 9 shillings and 6 pence he owed Williamson Rainey. Henry Fitts being the highest bidder at sale 22 May 1790. Acknowledged in Nov Court at Warren County, North Carolina.10

     On 28 February 1791, James Paine, Sheriff, to Elisabeth Foote, highest bidder at sale of a negro, property of Henry Sturdivant & sold for his debt of £19, 5 shillings, 4 pence and 3/4 owed to Williamson Rainey. Witnesses: Ricey Colclough. Acknowledged in May Court in Warren County. Could this be the Sturdivant male who married Williamson's sister, Sarah?11

     On 20 August 1803, Williamson Rainey paid £87.6.0 current Virginia money to Isham Nance Senr for 66.5 acres in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.12

     On 21 October 1803, he is named in his father's will of this date.2

     On 15 October 1804, Williamson Rainey witnessed the will of Stephen (his mark) Jones, as well as being one of the two witnesses to prove the will by oath at Mecklenburg County, Virginia.13

     At some point between 1811 and 1813, the Methodist minister, Rev. John Early, who preached at Salem Church (built between Nov 1792 and Dec 1794) two miles south of the present town of South Hill, spent a night at Brother Williamson Rainey's home north of Route 627 near Route 620.14

     In 1815, his land is listed as being on the east side of Great Creek, 17 miles southeast of the courthouse at "Great Ridge" in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.15

     On 19 January 1842, he applied for a Revolutionary War Pension (No. 8563) explaining that after the passage of the act of 7 Jun 1832 he was called on to swear to the service of himself and a neighbor, William Inscoe, at the home of Col. George Rogers (acting magistrate) about a mile and a half from his house. He left the affidavit in the hands of Col. Rogers in order for him to make his declaration after taking the affidavit of William Coleman and Thomas Tanner, contemporary soldiers also. However, Tanner died shortly thereafter and Coleman lived the distance of 20 miles. Col. Rogers informed him that it was mislaid or lost and has not been since seen and moved away a distance of about 22 miles. Williamson stated he had not been from home but once for the last 20 years past and since the removal of Col. Rogers he has not made an application to any person to make out his declaration.

     His son, Williamson, traveled a distance of 50 miles to undertake getting the application to the right place for his father. William Coleman, William Inscoe, along with the Justice of the Peace, Stephen Pool, as well as Col. Rogers swore to this explanation for the delay.3

     Williamson M. Rainey left a will dated on 8 January 1846 at Mecklenburg County, Virginia.

The Will of Williamson M. Rainey

     Item 1st I give and bequeath to my daughter Nancy Nance one hundred and fifty dollars to her and the heirs of her body forever. 2nd, I give and bequeath to my son Bartlett Rainey the tract of Land on which I now live (except fifteen feet square lying by the side of the Garden under some apple trees which I reserve for a grave yard and which I desire to be walled in with rock) and containing by actual survey four hundred and forty acres be the same more or less and bounded as follows: Beginning at white oak in William Rainey's line thence the new road to white oak [?] in my old line thence to the creek to Turkey oak, thence up the creek to horn beams on Poythreps line thence along his line to a sycamore along the same to a black jack on Cleatons line to a corner formerly Lewis Williams thence along Geo. Willis line to persimon [?] to a gum thence down the branch to the creek thence down the creek to a new line to be run on the south edge of a ticket to a small persimon tree thence to a poplar on great branch where there were two [?] [?] thence to William Rainey's line thence along his line to the beginning to him and his heirs forever. I also desire that he shall be allowed to take the negro girl May [?] sister of Charlotte at valuation. 3rd I give and bequeath to my son Williamson Rainey all that parcel of Land not included in the devise to my son Bartlett and bounded by the new line before mentioned William Rainey and great creek supposed to be fifty five acres more or less to him and his heirs forever. 4th I give and bequeath to my Daughter Elizabeth Kydd two negroes a man Washington and a girl Harriet to her and the heirs of her body forever. 5th I give and bequeath to my Daughter Rebecca King the following tract of land containing by survey one hundred and eleven and a half acres be the same more or less and bounded as follows beginning at pinters in my old line at the road thence along my old line to the creek up the he creek to Poythrip line thence along his line to a pine along the same to a spanish oak thence along Moons line to the road thence along the old land to the begining (sic) to her and the heirs of her body forever. I also in like manner give her the sum of twenty five dollars. Item 6th I give and bequeath to my son Allen Rainey five dollars to him and his heirs forever. 7th I give and bequeath to my Grand Daughter Betsey W. Saunders seventy five dollars to her and the heirs of her body forever. And I also desire that she shall not be held accountable for any board while she lived with me. 8th In the distribution of my Estate hereafter directed to be sold I require that those hereafter named shall account for the following sums William Rainey to account for $125.00. The heirs of Allen Rainey for $125 & Williamson Rainey for $125. Mary A. Thomas for $100.00 Elizabeth M. Kydd for $125 and Bartlett Rainey for $125.00 in consideration for a negro David given him and not mentioned in the 2nd Item. The above sums have been severally advanced them over what my other children have received. 9th My will and desire is that all the residue of my estate of every description at my death be sold including the following tract of land containing by survey one hundred and thirty five acres and bounded as follows Beginning at a corner Turker oak in Moon's line at the road, thence along my old line to scrub oak in Len Thomas' line along his line to William Rainey's corner along william Raineys line to white oak at the road thence along the road to the begining (sic). But I desire that my sons William Rainey and Bartlett Rainey shall be allowed to take this land at the price of three dollars per acre if they choose, and the proceeds arising from said sale as well as that of all the rest of my Estate, after the payment of all my just debts be equally divided (sic) among the following persons (viz) to Nancy Nance one ninth part[,] to the two children of the late Isham Rainey one ninth part; to William Rainey one nineth part to Mary A. Thomas one ninth part to Williamson Rainey one ninth part, to Sally Thomas one ninth part to Elizabeth M. Kydd one ninth part to Bartlett Rainey one ninth part, to William Rainey hereby appointed trustee of Rebecca King one ninth part to be used by him the said Trustee for the sole benefit of her the said Rebecca King, and the heirs of her body as he the said William may think she requires it or in his judgement may think necessary to them and the heirs of their bodies forever. My further will and desire is that should my sons William and Bartlett conclude to take the tract of Land mentioned in the last clause above at the price there stated that they shall have two years to pay the money in. 10th I hereby nominate and appoint my sons William Rainey and Bartlett Rainey Executors to this my last will and Testament and wish them to receive as compensation for their trouble the sum of one hundred and twenty five dollars each. In testimoney whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 8th day of January 1846.                               (Signed) William Rainey [seal]
     Witnesses: Benjamin I. Walker, Miles Hall, Francis O. D. Green, James E. Poythrep, Lewis T. Poythrep and Matthew Williams.

     I do not know who the granddaughter named Betsey W. Saunders could be!16

     Williamson M. Rainey died before 19 April 1847 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia,16 and was buried near South Hill, Mecklenburg County, Virginia. According to Wayne Rainey, Williamson is buried across the road from his home in the old Rainey Cemetery. "Some of the Rainey descendants protested the placing in 1969 of the DAR tombstone, but the Bartlett Rainey descendant who started the process had it placed there."

     Find A Grave lists his burial in Lay-Ramsey Family Cemetery, Lunenburg, Lunenburg County, Virginia. I've sent an email dated 6 May 2019 correcting this.17,18,19

     His estate was probated on 19 April 1847 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. The will was proven by the oaths of Benjamin I. Walker, Miles Hall, James E. Poythrip and Matthew Williams and recorded. On the motion of Wm. Rainey and Bartlett Rainey the executors therein named who made oath thereto according to law and together with Matthew Williams, John B. Northington and George Rogers there (sic) securities entered into and acknowledged their bopnd in the penalty of '$25000 conditioned according to law certificate is granted them for obtaining a probat (sic) in due form.
Test Richd B. Baptist.20

     His estate was inventoried on 27 May 1847 at Mecklenburg County, Virginia, which started off with ten slaves. Only part of it was copied by Ms. Piercy for her application.21

Tax Rolls

1782on Lewis Parham's List with three white souls and five black soulsMecklenburg County, Virginia22
1787on Personal Property List "A" with no white males between 16 and 21; two Black males over 16; one Black male under 16; two horses, mares, colts, and/or mules; and, fifteen head of cattle. His slaves are named: Ned, Butcher, and LydiaMecklenburg County, Virginia23

Census and Occupation

DateEnumeration and OccupationLocation
1820with one free white male between 16 and 26; one free white male 45 or older (himself); two free white females between 16 and 26; one free white female 45 or older; ten people engaged in agriculture; three male slaves under 14; two male slaves between 14 and 26; one male slave between 26 and 45; two male slaves 45 or older; three female slaves under 14; one female slave between 14 and 26; two female slaves between 26 and 45; and, one female slave 45 or older - a total of 20 people in the householdMecklenburg County, Virginia24


  1. [S493] Rainey, H. Wayne, e-mail message from (e-mail address) to Toby Turner, dated 16 Feb 2001, containing Gedcom attachment.
  2. [S3129] Brunswick County, Virginia Will Books, vols. 6-7, 1795-1812, FHL Film 0,030,635, microfilm of original records at the Brunswick County Courthouse in Lawrenceville, Virginia, Francis Rainey will, Will Book 7, pages 2-4.
  3. [S1062] Williamson Rainey file; R8563; image 534 (n.p.: ProQuest's HeritageQuest Online).
  4. [S493] Rainey. Email.
  5. [S251] Luke, Joy Turner, e-mail message from (e-mail address) (Sperryville, Virginia) to Toby Turner, dated 11 Apr 2001.
  6. [S423] Vogt, John and Kethley, T. William. Mecklenburg County Marriages - 1765-1853 (Athens: Iberian Publishing Co., 1989), page 242. Virginia Historic Marriage Register.
  7. [S3485] Membership application of Ann Payne Murphy, applied to Treasure Coast Chapter, Florida on William Thomas and Joel Thomas. Ancestor No. A113768, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Office of the Registrar General, Washington, D. C., a copy of the original marriage bond is in this file on which Williamson Rany signed his name whereas Francis Rainey made his mark.
  8. [S423] Vogt and Kethley, Mecklenburg Co VA Marr - 1765-1853, page 116.
  9. [S3577] Lane, Rosa Thornton, compiler, Revolutionary Patriots of Brunswick County, Virginia (DAR Library: Col. Charles Lynch DAR Chapter, n.d.), Compiled from records in the State Library, Richmond, Virginia and copied by Flora Allen Lewis. Composed of Patriots who rendered services during the Revolution under the "Commissioners of Provisions" providing supplies for Continental Troops under Lafayette, Baron von Steuben, Gen. Nelson, Gen. Green, Gen. Washington, and others, as well as transporting the sick, provisions and guns with 44 names, including 46 officers.
  10. [S977] Kerr, Mary Hinton, abstractor. Warren County, North Carolina Records, Volume III, Abstracts of Will Books, 1779-1814 (Warrenton: M.H. Kerr, 1969), page 38, citing Warren County, North Carolina Will Book 5, page 197.
  11. [S977] Kerr. Warren Co., NC Abstr of Wills, 1779-1814, page 41, citing Warren County, North Carolina Will Book 5, page 243.
  12. [S3130] Mecklenburg County, Virginia Deed Books, vol. 11-12 1801-1806, FHL Film 0,032,537, microfilm of original records at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse in Boydton, Virginia and at the Virginia State Library and Archives in Richmond, Virginia, Deed Book 11, page 442; Fanny Nance's relinquishment of dower occurred on 6 Apr 1805 in Deed Book 12, page 197.
  13. [S3128] Mecklenburg County, Virginia Will Book 6, 1807-1810, FHL Film 1,870,859, microfilm of original records and typescripts at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse in Boydton, Virginia and at the Virginia State Library and Archives at Richmond, Virginia, page 44.
  14. [S3053] Bracey, Susan L.. Life By The Roaring Roanoke: A History of Mecklenburg County, Virginia (Mecklenburg County: The Mecklenburg County Bicentennial Commission, 1977), page 108.
  15. [S3277] Ward, Roger G., compiler. 1815 Directory of Virginia Landowners (and Gazeteer), II (Athens: Iberian Publishing Company, 1997), page 141.
  16. [S3131] Mecklenburg County, Virginia Will Books, vol. 15 (p. 426-end), 1841-1843, vols. 16-17, 1843-1853, FHL Film 1,870,865, microfilm of original records and typescripts at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse in Boydton, Virginia and at the Virginia State Library and Archives at Richmond, Virginia, William Rainey Senr. will, Will Book 16, pages 374-376.
  17. [S493] Rainey. Email, dated 21 Feb 2001, containing genealogy report attachment.
  18. [S493] Rainey. Email, dated 5 Aug 2014 5:38:56 PM CDT, entitled Re: A Mixup, for detail on burial.
  19. [S2702] Find A Grave. Database and images; accessed 6 May 2019, memorial page for William Rainey, Sr (1760-1847) at memorial page... Maintained by Amanda Bishop Burns; citing Lay-Ramsey Family Cemetery, Lunenburg, Lunenburg County, Virginia. This site consists of data submitted by individuals supposedly of cemetery internments, often from grave memorials or cemetery records and many times supplemented by other information, generally without identification of the sources except when a tombstone photo is included.
  20. [S3131] Mecklenburg Co., VA Will Bks 15-17, 1841-1853, FHL Film 1,870,865, William Rainey Senr will, Will Book 16, pages 374-376.
  21. [S3485] Membership application, Ann Payne Murphy, National Society DAR.
  22. [S3796] "Mecklenburg County, Virginia 1782 Taxlist of Lewis Parham", contributed by Joy Fisher, email at e-mail address, online at http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/mecklenburg/census/1782/1782tax04.txt , uploaded 29 Jun 2008, website address verified 13 Jul 2019.
  23. [S549] Schreiner-Yantis, Netti and Love, Florene Speakman, compilers. The 1787 Census of Virginia, I (Springfield: Genealogical Books in Print, 1987), page 554.
  24. [S59] "1820 United States Federal Census," Mecklenburg County, Virginia, Roll 130, page 298, line 26, Williamson Rainy household, digital image, citing National Archives microfilm M33. ProQuest's HeritageQuest Online, formerly accessed through participating libraries. HeritageQuest moved their census data to Ancestry.com in 2015. Their 1820 census image quality was superior to those available on ancestry.com.