An American Family History


The Catlett Family

  also spelled Cattlett  
Mister ( Mr.) was derived from master and Mrs. and Miss were derived from mistress. They indicated people of superior social status in colonial America.

Old Rappahannock County was founded in 1656 from part of Lancaster County. In 1692 it was divided to form Essex and Richmond Counties.

European and indiginous American fought fierce battles as the Europeans expanded their territory.

John Catlett was born in 1625 England.

On May 23, 1650, John and his half brother, Ralph Rousey received a patent for 400 acres on the south side of Rappahannock River for the transportation of eight people to Virginia.

On January 7, 1652 John Catlett and Ralph Rouzee were granted 300 acres adjoining their first patent.

In 1653 he was presiding justice in Old Rappahannock County, Virginia.

On July 1, 1655 a patent for 1,542 acres in Lancaster County granted to John Catlett and Ralph Rouzee.

In 1661 a deed of John Catlett and wife Elizabeth was witnessed by Thomas Catlett and Robert Bledsoe in Essex County.

In 1663 he was a justice in Old Rappahannock County.

In 1663 John Catlett married Elizabeth, widow of Capt. Francis Slaughter, daughter of Margaret Lucas, formerly Upton,.

John and Elizabeth's children included:
Nicholas Catlett,
John Catlett, Jr.,
Elizabeth Catlett Taliaferro (married Francis Taliaferro),
Sarah Catlett Taliaferro (married Robert Taliaferro),
William Catlett.

In 1663, John received a deed from William Hearsey for 500 acres on the north side of Rappahannock in Sittingboourne Parish. The deed was witnessed by Humphrey Booth, who transferred this land in 1664 to Joseph Yeats.

Aug 1663: Rappa. Co. - Virginia Land Patent Book

Jno. Catlett (Cattlett), Gent.
500 A. N side of Rappa. Riv. & parish of Sittingborne.
Beg. by river side, line of trees dividing this from land of Peter Mills, the eire of Wm. Mills, decd., NE &c butting upon land of Mr. Toby Ssmith SW &c.
Trans. 10 persons: Mary Joones Wm. Wittington, Susan Steward, 3 Negroes; Anthony Due [Dew?], Wm. Peters, Suan Tye, Richard Joyce. (C&P5:528) SW: Whittington

On January 17 1664, Elizabeth Catlett gave power of attorney to Mr. Thomas Hawkins to acknowledge her consent to sale of land from her husband John Catlett to James Yeats.

On March 23, 1664, John was appointed by Governor William Berkeley to be high sheriff of Old Rappahannock County.

In 1665, John was the presiding justice of Old Rappahannock County.

On August 24, 1666, John bought Green Hill from John and Susannah Spearman.

For three thousand pounds of good Tobo., 200 acres of land lying in the freshes of Rappa. county on the southside the river beginning at a marked white oake at a m'ked oake at the Mouth of a Creeke called by the name of the Golden Vale being a pcell of land belonging to a greater patent of John Prossers and running from the aforesd Whiet oake into the woods with a lyne of trtees that parts the sd land formerly John Gellett's deced, etc. Conveyance made to me John Spearman from John Prosser and his wife Martha, dated the 15th of August 1665. Signed 14th day of Augt 1666

In 1666 John established the rights of his wife's son, Francis Slaughter, to lands which had been owned by indigenous people.

On June 2, 1666, John patented 2,000 acres of land near Frederickburg.

On September 27, 1667 John received 4,606 acres in Old Rappahannock, Sittingborne Parish,

  • 1850 Acres bet Rappa River & Occopason Creek. below a parcel of marsh called The Thickett, to Pigg Poynt & is the lower end of land of Thomas Hawkins, Gent & to Lightwood Poynt
  • 1542 acres therof granted to John Catlett & Ralph Rowzee, decd, 20 Feb1662
  • 304 acs of which was first granted to George Eaton decd, 18 June 1651 and for sometime holden by sd Catlett & Rowzee, now found to escheat, and granded to sd Catlett 13 Apr 1664 &c
  • 792 acres thereof called The Forest beg on the East side of a great branch falling into Occupason main run thence to Mattapony path
  • 1864 acres purchased vis 1364 from Jno Prosser 17 Jan 1665, 200 acres from John Spereman 24 Aug 1666 and 300 acres from Jno Lampart 21 Jan 1667. The whole being part of a greater devdt granted to sd Prosser 8 Oct 1665 beg by the mouth of Golden Vale Creek on the South side and near Pwomunzeene Cr &c to land of Roger Richardson

February, 1688: survey of land for John Catlett since he "finds his aptents of ye land going to decay."

In 1668, Governor Berkeley wrote to Major General Robert Smith and recommended that the indigenous people be destroyed and that the surviving the women and children be sold as slaves to defray the expense. The justices of Old Rappahannock County replied:

We intend, with the assistance of Almight God, by the strength of our Northern part, utterly to destroy and eradicate without further incroachment than the 'spoyles of our enemies' Signed John Catlett, John Wetre, Thomas Goodrich, Humphrey Booth.

In 1670 John was killed while defending the fort at Port Royal.

Know All Men by these presents that I Elizabeth Catlett of Rappa County Widdow

out ot the natural affection I bear unto my loving Children Francis Slaughter, John Catlett, Elizabeth Catlett, Sarah Catlett and William Catlett their heirs and assignes
do give grant sell assigne and make over from me my heirs Executors and Administrators one sorrell mare about the age of seven years with a white star on her forehead with all her increase male and female to be divided amongst my said Children as hereafter mentioned

Vizt. that when my Male Children shall arrive to the age of Twenty and one years then to have their part as they do come to their said age and my Daughters at the day of their Marriage or when they shall arrive to the yeares of Eighteen and in the case of the mortality of any of my aforesaid Children then to be equally divided amongst the surviving Children whose shares have not already been taken out.

In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seale 29th day of April in the 24th year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord Charles the Second &c. and in the year of our Lord 1672. in presence of Thomas Blessed, John Jarvis, Thomas Rawson.

In 1673/74 Thomas Lucas's will was probated. He was Margaret Underwood-Upton's husband. It was written before John died and he left a bequest to John.

A gentleman had no title, but descended from an aristocratic family, was of the landed gentry, and had a coat of arms.
Old Style Calendar
Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.
King Charles II ruled England from 1660 to 1685.
Tobacco is a native American herb that is cultivated for its leaves which are prepared for smoking, chewing or snuff. In parts of colonial America, it was used as money. Tobacco plantations in the colonial south fueled the need for enslaving people.