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Francis (1Francis) Willis (Conjecture)
Francis Willis was born in 1690 in Gloucester Co VA. Francis' father, Cpt. Francis Lewis, died in about 1691. This left their mother, Sarah Lewis, a young widow with two infant sons. Records show that Sarah married Robert Woodson in Henrico Co VA in 10/1692. Reasonable conjecture leads to the belief that young Francis and his brother Henry grew up in the home of Robert Woodson in Henrico Co VA until they reached the age of majority and inherited their father's estate.
Sometime before 11/1714, Francis and Henry collected their inheritance; as Henry had the wealth to marry Ann Alexander and Francis had the wealth to voyage to England. Francis is first found recorded in 1715 in London where he married Lady Anne Rich b. 1695 London, England. Did Francis collect his inheritance and use it to pay his way back to England? After marrying Jane, did he bring her back to White Hall in Gloucester as the new owner/occupant?
Evidently Francis and Jane had a good life at White Hall. In 1741, Francis is referenced in his brother Henry's will as Francis Willis, Esq. Beginning in 1748, Francis is referenced to as Col. Francis Willis. Additionally, Francis began service in the House of Burgesses in 1748.
Francis died 1/26/1769 in Gloucester Co VA and is probably buried at White Hall.
Born 1690 Gloucester Co VA
Married 1715 in London, England, to Ann Rich b. 1695 London, England
1741 Spotsylvania Co VA Probate
| SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY VA
DEED BOOK C (1734-1742), p. 156:
June 4, 1741. Honble. John Grymes of Middlesex Co., Esqr., and Francis Willis of Gloucester, Esqr., executors of the last will and testament of Henry Willis, late of Spts. Co., Esqr., Decd., to John Allen of Spts. Co., Mercht., and Nathaniel Chapman of Stafford Co., Gent. Whereas Henry Willis by his last will and testament bearing date July 27, 1740, among other things, did appoint sd. Jno. Grymes and Francis Willis, executors, etc. £141—by Allen and Chapman paid—they receive a tract of land partly in the town of Fredksbrg and partly in Spts. Co. Witnesses: Benja. Hubbard, William Hunter, Thos. Wood, John Thornton. Augt. 4, 1741.
1748/1754 Gloucester Co VA Surveyor: Col. Francis Willis
INDEX TO GLOUCESTER COUNTY SURVEYOR'S BOOK, 1733 - 1806: NAME PARISH DATE PAGE WILLIS, Col. Francis --- 1748 21 WILLIS, Col. Francis Ware 1754 36
1748 House of Burgesses: Francis Willis of Gloucester
Died 1/26/1769 Gloucester Co VA
1. Francis Willis
Born 1717 Gloucester Co VA
1751 Talbot Co MD Record
|In 1751, Francis Willis contributed three pistoles for his annual subscription to Mr. Bacon's school in Talbot County, Maryland. His wife is believed to have contributed one doubloon. Francis is believed to have had warehouses and a bakery on Mockjack Bay according to the Virginia Gazette.|
Died 2/1782 Berkeley Co VA Probate
Will of Francis Willis:
2. Mary Willis
Born 1718 Gloucester Co VA
Died 1746 Gloucester Co VA
1772 Spotsylvania Co VA Court Proceeding
In an act of 1772 Mary Willis, daughter of Col. Francis Willis, and wife of Hon. Lewis Burwell, is declared to be "the cousin of the whole blood of Henry Willis" which shows that Col. Francis and Col. Henry Willis were brothers.
3. John Willis
Born 1719 Gloucester Co VA
Migrated c. 1744 to Brunswick Co VA
Died 1766 Brunswick Co VA
4. Sarah Willis b. c. 1722 Gloucester Co VA
5. Ann Willis
Born 6/3/1727 Gloucester Co VA
Died 6/10/1727 Gloucester Co VA