David Tyree


We place this David Tyree (born before 1690)  here as patriarch of this line because of a source at Ancestry World Tree Project. While this is speculation, we find it a good place to start. We do hope this inspires discussion and further research - either to prove us right or wrong - the important result should be the correct result.


From this David Tyree through his son David, we have little information. We are relying on the claims of others who seem to be shy of documentation. We are certain, however, of David Tyree as grandson (born 1748) since we have located our own documentation.


A word about naming habits in early Virginia during this time period.  In Virginia, among children born there, first born were often named for their grandparents, second born for their parents. There are many exceptions, of course. 27 percent of the first born sons were given parental forenames and 19 percent of the first born daughters fell into this category. This social naming habit would seem to stagnate the variety of forenames, yet, trends in names seemed to have begun with immigrants and those relocating from other colonies.


In the case of our Davids, this name was not on the top ten list of favorites for Virginia natives from 1650 to 1699, so we do not expect to see many of that name. Yet, we have three in a row. You say you are curious about which names were most popular? Okay, I'll be helpful:


   Male                                                         Female


1. John                                                        Elizabeth

2. William                                                 Mary

3. Thomas                                                 Ann

4. Richard                                                 Sarah

5. George                                                   Catherine

6. Robert                                                   Margaret

7. James                                                     Frances

8. Henry                                                    Alice

9. Charles                                                  Jane

10. Edward                                               Rebecca


Regarding the David born before 1690, he does fit in a general way with these naming habits.


(The Son) This David Tyree was mostly likely born in 1703/4 but there is some indication he might have been born on 1693. We arrived at this date because " tithables" were paid through road labor in 1720 by David Tyree. Custom required that a tithable be paid at either age 16 or upon immigration and declaration of journeyman class in some recognized skill. A tithable was usually a one-time only tax to practice a particular craft or occupation. It was much like a fee for a license to practice. Years later, a tithable became a simple tax.


In 1720 David Tyree lived in Hanover County, Virginia. There is a long history of the Tyree and Satterwhite families living and working together before 1720.


In 1732 David Tyree bought from Henry Stokes the fork of land between the Chickahominy and Upham Brook, 1034 acres.


In 1747 David bought 200 acres in Henrico County from Henry Stokes on the north side of Upham Brook.


In 1757 David Tryee bought 150 acres on the branches of  Buffalo, Prince Edward County.


In 1763 David's widow, Elizabeth, was "given payment" for support of her son. She processed land in 1764. (Note the singular "son")





Okay, so what is a "tithable"?  We see the term everywhere. It jumps up as if we ought to know what it means, but we don't. Well, join the crowd. Tithables are taxes. In some colonial locations these were fees for 16 year old males permitting them to participate in the working community as a "journeyman". In other places, it was merely a poll tax or an ordinary tax. . So, what did the colonial State of Virginia have to say about this? That answer is in the following:


Research Notes Number 17

Colonial Tithables


In seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Virginia, the term tithable referred to a person who paid (or for whom someone else paid) one of the taxes imposed by the General Assembly for the support of civil government in the colony. In colonial Virginia, a poll tax or capitation tax was assessed on free white males, African American slaves, and Native American servants (both male and female), all age sixteen or older. Owners and masters paid the taxes levied on their slaves and servants. Few tithable lists are extant. The Library of Virginia holds full or partial lists for about three dozen counties. These holdings are listed on the Library®s Web site; in addition, a detailed guide to manuscript, microfilmed, and printed tithables is available in the Archives Research Room.


Tithable lists do not enumerate anyone under the age of sixteen or any adult white woman (unless she was the head of household). Laws published in Hening’s Statutes at Large may assist the researcher in understanding who was considered tithable and how tithable lists were taken. In an attempt to stop fraud concerning the "yearly importation of people into the colonies," an act was passed in the House of Burgesses in 1649 requiring that all male servants imported into Virginia ("of what age soever") be placed on the tithable lists. Natives of the colony and those imported free who were under the age of sixteen were exempt. (William W. Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large: Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619[1809-1823], 1:361-362.)


Legislative History


In March 1657-8, an act passed in the House of Burgesses declared that all African Americans and Indians (both male and female) over sixteen years of age were to be placed on the tithable lists. Between the first and last of June, masters were required to return a list of all tithables to the clerk of the county court to be recorded (Hening, 1:454-455.)


In an attempt to stop fraud among sheriffs bringing in tithable lists, the House of Burgesses passed an act in March 1660 requiring that each county be divided into four precincts. A commissioner was appointed in each precinct. The constable alerted the county’s inhabitants to bring tithable lists to their commissioner by 10 June (Hening, 2:19.) According to an act passed in the House of Burgesses on 14 March 1661-2, the commissioners, who were appointed by the court, were to post a notice on the door of the church notifying the public when the tithables would be received before the June deadline. At August court, the commissioners delivered an account of the tithables to the county court clerk, who then returned a list to the clerk of the House of Burgesses (Hening, 2:83-84.)  By an act passed in December 1662, all female servants who worked a crop were to be considered tithable and levies were paid for them (Hening, 2:170.)


An act to discover concealed tithables was passed in the House of Burgesses session of September 1663. Every year, masters were to give an exact account of tithables (with names) by 10 June to the magistrate appointed to receive the list. Masters concealing tithables forfeited a servant to the informer. If the concealed person was a freeman or a servant with less than a year to serve, one thousand pounds of tobacco was forfeited for each person concealed. Women servants were exempted from this act (Hening, 2:187.)


In its continuing efforts to discover concealed tithables, the colonial government passed an act in October 1670 requiring tithable lists to be made public. At the court held after the June deadline, justices delivered the tithables to the county clerk, who made a copy and put it on the courthouse door where it remained all day. This procedure allowed persons living near those who were concealing tithes to discover and report the fraud. Penalties for fraud were the same as those passed in the act of 1663 (Hening, 2:280.)


In the House of Burgesses session of September 1672, an act was passed "concerning tithables borne in the country."  Those persons appointed by the court to take tithables were also charged with taking an account of all negroe, mulatto, and Indian children. The masters or owners of these children attested to their age. This act also required the masters or owners of African American children and slaves born in Virginia to register their births within twelve months in the parish register. Those who failed to register children paid a levy on them that year and every year until the child was registered. All African American women born in Virginia were accounted tithable at age sixteen (Hening, 2:296.)


An act for "ascertaining the time when Negro Children shall be tithable was passed in the House of Burgesses session of June 1680. This act required that all negroe children imported within three months of the act were to be brought into court and their ages adjudged by the justices and recorded. Negro children were not considered tithable until twelve years of age. Christian servants imported into Virginia were not tithable until age fourteen (Hening, 2:479-480.)  In the House of Burgesses session of November 1682, an act declared that all Indian women were tithable and charged with the same taxes as African American women brought into Virginia (Hening, 2:497.)


A more complete law concerning tithables was passed in the House of Burgesses session of October 1705. All male persons sixteen years of age and over, as well as all negroe, mulatto, and Indian woman sixteen years and over, were declared tithable. The age of all children imported was adjudged by the county court and entered into the records of the court. (This type of record is generally found in the county court order book.) The court of each county divided the county into precincts and annually appointed a justice for each district. Each justice took a list of tithables for his precinct. Before 10 June, the justice gave notice in writing (on the door of the church) where he would receive the lists of tithables. Lists were delivered to the justice on 10 June.


In August court, the justice delivered his list of tithables to the county clerk, who posted the lists at the courthouse for public inspection. Masters who concealed tithables or justices returning inaccurate lists were fined. If an individual failed to deliver the tithables to the justice by 10 June as a result of illness or "ignorance," the list could be taken to the justice’s house between the tenth and the last day of June without penalty. The governor and his family and beneficed ministers were exempt from the tithable lists (Hening, 3:258-261.)


In 1723, the House of Burgesses passed two acts expanding the definition of a tithable. As a result, those subject to the tax included all free negroes, mulattos, and Indians (except tributary Indians) above age sixteen and their wives (Hening, 4:133.)  In addition to their tithable lists, all masters were required to list the names of every person between the ages of ten and sixteen "for whom any benefit of tending Tobacco is allowed by this Act."  In tithable lists, masters were required to distinguish which persons were primarily employed in the cultivation of tobacco. Those who violated the law were fined. Justices appointed to take the tithable lists compiled a separate list of persons between the ages of ten and sixteen, and returned these lists with the tithables (Waverley K. Winfree, ed., The Laws of Virginia; Being A Supplement To Hening’s The Statutes At Large, 1700-1750 [1971], 251.)


In an attempt to avoid paying levies, some masters removed their tithables from the parish or county before 9 June. In the House of Burgesses session of November 1738, an act was passed which declared such activities illegal; as a result, any master engaging in this type of activity was fined. The act also stated that mariners and "seafaring persons," not being freeholders, were exempt from being listed as tithables (Hening, 5:35-36.)


In the October 1748, the House of Burgesses passed an act exempting sheriffs and the president, masters, scholars, and domestic servants of the College of William and Mary from the tithable lists. The act also required justices to deliver vouchers, as well as tithables, to the clerk of the county court in August. The term "voucher" likely refers to the original list of tithes each master wrote down on a scrap of paper and gave to the justice.  If an overseer failed to turn in a list of tithables, the owner was held responsible (Hening, 6:40-44).


Frequently researchers attempt to use tithable lists to establish an exact age for an individual. When free males appeared for the first time in the household of an individual having their surname, they were at least sixteen years of age. When a free male appeared in his own name rather than in the household of another, he was probably twenty-one years of age. Tithable lists, however, should not be used to establish the exact year when someone was born. Because the lists record only the taxable work force, they may not serve as an accurate indication of an individual’s complete slave holdings. Researchers must look for a will, appraisal, or inventory for a more complete picture of slave holdings.


After the establishment of the personal property tax in 1782, tithables continued to be one of the taxable categories. In some instances, the Library of Virginia has both tithable and personal property tax lists for a county. In some cases, the names on the tithable lists may not completely match the names on the personal property taxes, so researchers may benefit from examining both records.


Case Study


The following situation shows the value of tithable lists for researchers. Zachariah Hendricks, of Cumberland County, died leaving a will recorded in 1783  (Cumberland County Will Book 2, p. 315.) Researchers attempting to identify Zachariah’s father should first examine Cumberland County wills and deeds for the name Hendricks. The examination of wills does not provide the name of Zachariah’s father, but it shows that he had a brother, Obadiah. The will of Obadiah Hendricks (Cumberland County Will Book 2, p. 434) mentions his brother, Zachariah, and another brother, Benjamin. In his will, Obadiah Hendricks freed the following slaves: Old Ben, Young Ben, Moses alias Bachus, Dansey, Martin, Will, Harry, Artimy, and Bess.


Examination of the Cumberland County deeds shows that when Zachariah Hendricks first purchased land in 1765, he was a resident of Amelia County (Cumberland County Deed Book 4, p. 60). Clayton Torrence’s Virginia Wills and Administrations, 1632-1800 lists several wills for individuals named Hendricks in Amelia County. The 1777 Amelia County will of Benjamin Hendricks mentions executors, named Obadiah and Benjamin Hendricks, and makes a bequest to his son, Bernard Hendricks. No Hendricks will in Amelia County, however, mentions a son named Zachariah.


Fortunately, Amelia County has a long run of tithable records. In the 1746 list, Benjamin Hendricks listed Zachariah Hendricks as a tithable. 1n 1748, Benjamin Hendricks listed Zachariah Hendricks and Benjamin Hendricks Jr. In 1752, Benjamin Hendricks listed Benjamin Hendricks Jr. and Obadiah Hendricks. In 1762, Benjamin Hendricks listed Bernard Hendricks. These tithable lists reveal that Zachariah, Benjamin Jr., Obadiah, and Bernard were at one time or another listed as tithables in the household of Benjamin Hendricks Sr. The inventory of Benjamin Hendricks Sr. lists the following slaves: Ben, Bess, Harry, Joe, Peter, Bachus, Marten, Bob, Amos, Sally, Fan, Betty, Abigail, Rainy, Jenny, Rachel, Phebe, Silla, and Stephen (Cumberland County Will Book 4, p. 247.) The will of Obadiah Hendricks mentions slaves named Ben, Bess, Harry, Bachus, and Martin, which further connects Zachariah and his brother, Obadiah, to their father, Benjamin Hendricks Sr., of Amelia County. Only by using the Amelia County tithables is the father of Zachariah Hendricks able to be identified.


Compiled by J. Christian Kolbe

May 2001


Now you know. Whenever anyone mentions a tithable you'll have the answer right at your fingertips, right?




Basic information:


*In 1772 David Tyree and his wife, Ann, register with Powhatan County, Virginia.


*March 1802 David Tyree purchases the estate of Edmond Toney from John and Edmond Toney, executors, for 464 pounds.


*David Tyree purchases land from William and Polly Davenport of Chester County, South Carolina in 1803.


*David Tyree and wife Martha sold land to William Magruder of Powhatan County in 1824; this land sold by Satterwhite and Rhoda earlier. David received $725 for the land.


*The total of the David Tyree estate was worth $3, 861.25 at the time he wrote his will February 27, 1826 as follows:


"In the name of God. Amen. I, David Tyree of Cumberland County being of tolerable health, sound mind and memory, . . isk knowing the certainty of death; do make and . . . this last will and testament in manner and form following. Viqt (typed as published)

    Imps 1st. My will and desire is that all my just debts be paid and those due me received or goten.

    Imps 2nd. I give to my beloved wife, Patsy Tyree one Negro girl named Nancy to dispose of as she may think proper.

    Imps 3rd. I give to my son in law John M. Hamleton and his wife Betsey, one dollar each to them and their heirs forever.

    Imps 4th. I give to my daughter Agness Davenport five dollars, to her and her heirs forever.

    Imps 5th. I give to Saterwhite Tyree one dollar, to him and his heirs forever.

    Imps 6th. I give to the children of my daughter Betsey Hambleton (Vigt) David Hambleton thirty dollars, and to James, Patsey, Beverly, Henry, Parker and Kitty Hambleton, ten dollars each to them and their heirs forever.

    Imps 7th. I give to my son William Tyree'd decd. four children, thirty five dollars each to be paid to them as severally as they become of age or marry to them and their heirs forever.

    Imps 8th. I give to my daughter Agness Davenport's children that she now has, twenty five dollars each, namely, David Davenport, Saterwhite Davenport, Kitty Davenport, Betsey Davenport and John Davenport, to be paid to them as they severally become of age or marry to them and their heirs forever.

    Imps 9th. My will and desire is that my Executors here after named, make sale of my tract of land in Powhatan County of it remains . . . on a credit of five years and also make sale of as much of the perishable part of my estate as will be sufficient to pay all my debts.

    Imps 10th. I leave unto my beloved wife Patty Tyree all that remains of my estate both real and personal of any description, crops of every kind during her life or widowhood and at her death my desire is that all my Negroes be equally divided between my other six children: John Tyree, Timothy Tyree, Thomas Tyree, Benjamin P. Tyree, Patsey Tyree, and Kitty Toney. My will and desire farther is that my Executors hereafter named do sell all my lands and personal estate of what nature soever upon a . . . or not they may think most advantages; or . . . in this clause mentioned may agree on, and monies . . . therefrom be equally divided as my Negroes are divided and to the same persons, except Benjamin P. Tyree is not to have a feather bed.

    Imps 11th. My desire is that should . . . of my six children last mentioned die without heirs; that their proportion of my Estate be equally divided amongst their survivors.

    Imps 12th. My desire further is that should . . . of my grandchildren die without heirs; mentioned in the sixth, seventh and eight clause of this my will, that their portion be equally divided amongst their survivors.

    Imps 13th. And lastly, I appoint my two friends Peter G. Phillips and Nathan Gleason executors to this my last will and testament, testifying and confirming the same and revoking all other wills by me heretofore made. In testimony, where of I have here set my hand and affixed my seal this twenty eighth day of July one thousand eight hundred and twenty three. . ."


This last will and testament was submitted to the Cumberland County court the 27th day of February 1826.



David and Daniel Tyree appear to have conducted much business together until about 1809 when Daniel migrated to Tennessee and married. Just who Daniel Tyree was is unknown to us (for the time being) and often served as witness to David's legal documents and visa-versa.  Some examples:


1783 David of Powhatan buys 250 Acres on Ft. Creek // witness Daniel Tyree.

1785 David Tyree of Prince Edward County : "8 whites" // witness Daniel Tyree.

1788 Daniel Tyree witness for David Tyree registering in Prince Edward County.

1790 Daniel Tyree of Cumberland County registered // witness David Tyree.

1793 Daniel Tyree assumes grant in Prince Edward County // Wit; David Tyree.

1799 Daniel Tyree and Sallie sell 270 acres in Prince Edward County // Wit; David Tyree.


In 1813 Cumberland County, David Tyree petitioned for his Revolutionary War pension: "David Tyree Sr. wounded in the leg at Guilford Court House battle. (We are less certain this is the same David).


(See our Pedigree File on the home page for David Tyree) 


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