Francis Rainey1

M, #6003, b. 12 October 1733, d. 24 February 1804

Family 1

Ann (--?--) d. 1779

Family 2


Family 3

Judith Lambert b. bt 1766 - 1784
Last Edited24 Aug 2019
Ancestry Issues for Francis Rainey
     There is much debate over the parentage of this man. Various websites claim different fathers for him, but provide no documentation for their assertions. The will of William Rainey, dated 7 Jan 1765, and proven in Sussex County, Virginia in 1769, lists son William Rainey, son Nathaniel Rainey, son Francis Rainey, daughter Mary Baley (lived near "our" Francis Rainey), Elizabeth Rainey, Amy Rainey, and a plantation of 249 acres. The executor was his son, William Rainey.2 He states that before William died he had given Frances and Amy slaves as property. Frances married a Taylor, a family also of southeastern Mecklenburg County.3 If Wayne is correct and I believe he is even without seeing the will for myself, this makes it impossible for William to be Francis' father. However, there are other candidates.

     Another potential father is Roger Rainie, born c1700-1710, who was married to Sarah (--?--), lived in Sussex County with the following children listed in parish registers: Peter, born 20 Mar 1729; William, born 13 April 1731; Francis (named as a son in land records, but not listed in the parish register); (--?--) Raney, born 12 Oct 1733 (with no given name listed). Wayne Rainey does not believe that Sarah was the mother of Francis, but probably a second wife was. He suspects this Francis might be the grandfather of our Francis. He states that a Francis Rayney, with wife Mary, bought land in 1735 in the area that became Mecklenburg County, selling it in the 1750s to a man that became the father-in-law of James Rainey, oldest son of Francis and Ann.4 William Brent Allen has DNA analysis from FTDNA.

     In Patent Book 15, a Francis Raney, son of Roger Raney of Prince George Co., [patented] 200 acs. NL in sd Co. on middle Seller Fork of Deep Cr., above Westbrooks Survey; 20 Jun 1733, page 13. £1. This is clearly impossible if he was born in 1733! So, if the date of birth I have is accurate, there was another Francis Raney of an age to have a child. Even if Francis was born as early as 1725, he would not be old enough to patent acreage in 1733.

     To complicate matters even further, the Rainey DNA Project has turned up a Y-dna link between Francis Rainey and Peter Rainey. The current thought is that this connection occurred in Dinwiddie County where most of the records were burned.56
     Francis Rainey was born on 12 October 1733 in Surry County, Virginia Colony. One Rainey descendant claims Francis Rainey was born on October 12, 1773 in Martins Brandon Parish, Prince George County, Virginia. However, he fails to provide any source for his claim. Furthermore, from personal research we absolutely know this date to be erroneous.7,8

     On 3 July 1735, an entry of 52 deeds was made which had not been previously recorded. Among the presented and acknowledged deeds of lease and release we find the following familiar names: Francis Rayney, Philip Morgan, Henry Rottenberry, Jr., several Couch surnames. [Note: our Francis appears to have been too young to have been the Francis Rainey of these men.]9

(To see a map, please click Lunenburg County, Virginia 1748)

     On 20 July 1748, a patent for John Ornsby was entered in Amelia County, Virginia, in which his land is described as adjoining that of a number of men, including a Francis Raney. However, this is not where our Francis Rainey ultimately settled and, therefore, must refer to a different man. [It is added to prove that there were a number of men named Francis Rainey in Virginia.]10

     Francis married Ann (--?--). E. Wayne Rainey states that Francis was married to Ann (--?--) in an email to me. A number of family historians also show his wife as Ann, but so far I've found no deeds or other documention which name his wife as Ann, also known as Nancy Rottenbury. There was a connection to the Rottenbury family, but I'm unable to verify exact details at this time.11

     In 1758, he is listed in a Lunenburg County, Virginia Colony deed as being a resident of Dinwiddie County, Virginia Colony. "The deed was for 100 acres of land along the Great Creek. This area would later become part of Mecklenburg County. Francis and his children lived mostly in the area south of Gaulding Road which is off Marengo Road in southeastern Mecklenburg County to the Roanoke River."12

     On 24 April 1758, John Rottenberry and his wife, Mary, of Cumberland Parish in Lunenburg County conveyed to Francis Rainey of Bath Parish in Dinwiddie County "for divers good causes" and for £30, a tract of 100 acres of land, part of 400 acres patented to Henry Rottenberry on 16 Aug 1756, on the north side of the Roanoke River, bounded by the Great Creek and a new line. Signed by John (his mark) Rottenberry and Mary Rottenberry. Witnesses: Jon Ezel Jr., Eph. Mabry, Wm (his mark) Bartlet. Recorded 3 May 1758 in Lunenburg County, Virginia.

     This deed is the sole basis for the contention by some family historians that the surname of Francis' first wife was Rottenberry. There is no other record I've found to confirm this fact. While it is suggestive, most genealogists would be reluctant to confirm her surname with only this deed.

     On 17 September 1759, his name is listed on the Returns of Processioning in the Cumberland Parish Vestry Book at Lunenburg County, Virginia Colony. This means that the boundaries of his lands had been reviewed as required by the parish and its land marks renewed.13

     On 6 April 1769, he patented 400 acres on Great Creek, adjoining Malone, Lankford, et al in Mecklenburg County, Virginia Colony.14

     On 13 September 1773, there is a deed conveyance from Francis Rainey to Wm Rainey in Mecklenburg County, Virginia Colony.15

     On 8 April 1776, his name appears on the Polls for Mr. Henry Delony and Col. Bennett Goode. The presence of his name on these lists is considered "proof of loyalty and sympathy to the Revolutionary cause by voting to send staunch patriots to the General Assembly may be accepted as patriotic service by those hereditary societies which require such proof for membership."16

     On 3 February 1778, Francis Rainey of Mecklenburg County, conveyed to Frederick Rainey of Brunswick County, for the natural love that sd. Francis has for his son, sd. Frederic, and for 5 shillings, about 100 acres in Mecklenburg County and bounded by sd Frederick Rainey's corner on the great branch, in the spring branch. Signed Francis (his mark) Rainey. Witnesses were John Brown, Stephen Mabry, and John Neal. Recorded 9 Feb 1778 at Mecklenburg County, Virginia.17

     A return of provisions etc. collected by Henry Delony, Comr. of Mecklenburg from the 30th March to the 8th September 1781 for bacon: Francis contributed 1 pound, plus 100# of beef over his division beef added to his other certificates.18

     On 9 April 1782, the county court processed claims originating from the Revolution in which it noted Francis Rainey for 400# of beef.19

     Francis Rainey and Judith Lambert obtained a marriage bond on 7 January 1797 at Mecklenburg County, Virginia, with Mark Lambert Jackson (Francis' son-in-law) as bondsman.20 Francis, 63, married Judith Lambert on 7 January 1797 at Mecklenburg County, Virginia. Judith was about 37 when they married.20

     On 14 July 1800, there is a deed conveyance from Francis Rainey to Frederick Rainey of this date at Mecklenburg County, Virginia.21

     "Francis and his much younger bride moved soon after their marriage to neighboring Brunswick County where they purchased 204 acres of land from Lemmon Shell in the sourthwestern corner of that county in present day Ebony, Virginia. This fits the 19 mile distance from the courthouse listed on county tax records."22

     Francis Rainey left a will dated on 21 October 1803 at Brunswick County, Virginia, in which he describes himself as "being sick & weakly of body"; names his son, James Rainey, dec'd, and his heirs (unnamed); children (unnamed) of son Frederick Rainey; son, Buckner Rainey; son, Williamson Rainey; daughter, Cresey Malone; daughter Sarah Sturdivant; Dicey Sturdivant; children (unnamed) of deceased daughter Color Jackson; wife, Judith; son, Isaac Rainey; daughter Betsey S; deceased children names are James, Frederick, and Drusilla. His executors were "my friend Grief Harwell and James Harwell." Witnesses were James Petillo, James Baugh, William Shell.23

     He died on 24 February 1804 in Brunswick County, Virginia, at age 70.
     Find A Grave does not have a burial listing for him as of 23 Jan 2019.24

     His estate was probated on 27 February 1804 at Brunswick County, Virginia, proven by the oaths of James Baugh and William Shell.23

     On 16 November 1805, an accounting of the estate of Francis Rainey by John H. Bass, administrator, for 1804-1805 named Harrison Barner, Grief Harwell, John Lett Abner Steed. The widow was noted. Also the hire of Jacob was noted. It was audited as of this date by Willie Harrison, William Batey, Wm Huff. Returned to Court 23 Dec 1805 at Brunswick County, Virginia.25

     His estate was appraised on 23 December 1805 at Brunswick County, Virginia, by James Baugh, William Baugh, and William Shell. It was returned to Court by John H. Bass Administrator.26

     In 1815, his heirs' land is listed as being at Hobbeses Meeting house, 5 miles southeast of the courthouse at Lawrenceville. His estate is listed as being 20 miles south of the courthouse at Lawrenceville in Brunswick County, Virginia.27

Tax Rolls

1764on Edmund Taylor's List as Francis Raney with four tithes and 100 acresSt. James Parish, Lunenburg County, Virginia Colony28
1764on Edmund Taylor's List with four tithes on 100 acresSt. James Parish, Lunenburg County, Virginia Colony29
1782on Lewis Parham's List with three white souls and eight black soulsMecklenburg County, Virginia30
1801with 1 white tithe, 2 black tithes, 1 black between 12 and 16 and two horses [I would think he was too old to be taxed]Brunswick County, Virginia31
1802with 1 white tithe, 2 black tithes, 1 black between 12 and 16 and two horsesBrunswick County, Virginia31
1803with 1 white tithe, 2 black tithes, 2 blacks between 12 and 16 and two horsesBrunswick County, Virginia31


  1. [S493] Rainey, H. Wayne, e-mail message from (e-mail address) to Toby Turner, dated 21 Feb 2001, containing Gedcom attachment.
  2. [S1216] Hopkins, William Lindsay, abstractor. Sussex County, Virginia Will Books A-F, 1754-1806 (Richmond: W. L. Hopkins, 1990), page 191, citing Will Book B, however Wayne Rainey has seen the original will and says the index is mistaken that Francis is actually Frances a girl which he verified through deed study.
  3. [S493] Rainey. Email, dated 5 Aug 2014 8:27:59 PM CDT, entitled Re: Francis Rainey LWT 21 Oct 1803.
  4. [S493] Rainey. Email, dated 12 Apr 2014 entitled "Re: Rebecca Lee Carroll".
  5. [S493] Rainey. Email, dated 31 May 2014, entitled "Re: Some Rainey Mystery Women".
  6. [S1032] Nugent, Marion Nell, abstractor. Cavaliers and Pioneers - Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1732-1741, IV (1934; reprint Richmond: Press of the Dietz Print Co., 1999), page 3.
  7. [S493] Rainey. Email, dated 21 Feb 2001, containing Gedcom attachment, provides the date provisionally used.
  8. [S2189] Book Committee. The Heritage of Mecklenburg County, Virginia 1765-2006 (n.s.: Walsworth Publishing Company, 2006), page 227, says he was born c1725.
  9. [S3682] Brunswick County, Virginia Order Books, vols 1-3, 1732-1783, FHL Film 0,030,662, microfilm of original records at the Brunswick County Courthouse in Lawrenceville, Virginia, page 99.
  10. [S806] Nugent, Marion Nell, abstractor. Cavaliers and Pioneers - Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents & Grants, 1741-1749, V (Richmond: Virginia Genealogical Society, 1934-1999), page 259; citing Patent Book No. 26, page 457, but mentioning several other dates.
  11. [S493] Rainey. Email, dated 5 Jan 2011.
  12. [S2189] Book Committee. Mecklenburg Co., VA Heritage, page 227.
  13. [S2922] Bell, Landon Covington, editor. Cumberland Parish (Richmond: W. Byrd Press, 1930), page 500; accessed 23 Apr 2011.
  14. [S1217] Elliott, Katherine B., compiler. Early Settlers, Mecklenburg County Virginia, Volume I (South Hill, Virginia; Easley, South Carolina: K. B. Elliott; Southern Historical Press, Inc., 1964; 1983), page 58; citing Patent Book 38, page 622.
  15. [S3137] Mecklenburg County, Virginia General Index to Deeds, Grantor M-Z 1765-1933, FHL Film 0,032,529, microfilm of original records at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse in Boydton, Virginia and at the Virginia State Library and Archives in Richmond, Virginia, Book 4, page 151 for original.
  16. [S2393] Bell, Mary McCampbell. "Patriotic Service in the Revolutionary War: Mecklenburg County, Virginia Poll Lists of 1776 and 1777," The Virginia Genealogist, vol. 26, no. 3 (103) (Jul-Sep 1982): page 171.
  17. [S3138] Mecklenburg County, Virginia Deed Books, 1777-1786, FHL Film 0,032,534, 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 5, page 177.
  18. [S3780] Abercrombie, Janice L. and Slatten, Richard, compilers. Virginia Publick Claims - Mecklenburg County (Athens, Georgia: Iberian Publishing Company), page 45, citing page 16.
  19. [S3780] Abercrombie and Slatten. Mecklenburg Co., VA Public Claims, page 2, citing page 2.
  20. [S423] Vogt, John and Kethley, T. William. Mecklenburg County Marriages - 1765-1853 (Athens: Iberian Publishing Co., 1989), page 115. Virginia Historic Marriage Register.
  21. [S3137] Mecklenburg Co., VA Grantor M-Z Indx, FHL Film 0,032,529, Book 10, page 303.
  22. [S3824] Membership application of Judy Gail Thompson, applied to Daughters of the American Revolution on Francis Rainey. National No. M816954, Ancestor No. A203817, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Office of the Registrar General, Washington, D. C., page 86, citing Brunswick County, Virginia Deed Book 17, page 253.
  23. [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.
  24. [S493] Rainey. Email, dated 21 Feb 2001, containing a genealogy report attachment.
  25. [S3129] Brunswick Co., VA Will Bks., vols. 6-7, 1795-1812, FHL Film 0,030,635, Francis Rainey will, Will Book 7, page 101 (139).
  26. [S2792] Bradley Jr., Stephen E., abstractor. Brunswick County, Virginia Will Books 1804-1812, 5 (Lawrenceville: S. E. B., 1998), page 29; citing Will Book 7, page 98.
  27. [S3277] Ward, Roger G., compiler. 1815 Directory of Virginia Landowners (and Gazeteer), II (Athens: Iberian Publishing Company, 1997), page 29.
  28. [S5669] Belll, Landon C., compiler. Sunlight On The Southside: List of Tithes, Lunenburg County, Virginia 1748-1783 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1974), page 256.
  29. [S1217] Elliott. Early Settlers, Mecklenburg Co., VA, v. 1, page 158.
  30. [S3796] "Mecklenburg County, Virginia 1782 Taxlist of Lewis Parham", contributed by Joy Fisher, email at e-mail address, online at , uploaded 29 Jun 2008, website address verified 13 Jul 2019.
  31. [S3824] Membership application, Judy Gail Thompson, National no. M816954, National Society DAR, page 87.