Descendants of  Francis Willis of England

Union Flag of England and
Scotland (1606-1801)

Generation #2

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 Lady Anne, 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.

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.
NAME                   PARISH    DATE    PAGE
WILLIS, Col. Francis   ---       1748    21 
WILLIS, Col. Francis   Ware      1754    36


    1. Francis Willis

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.

Will of Francis Willis:
Berkeley County, Virginia, February 10, 1782. I do hereby certify that some time in the year 1768, I put into the possession of William Kennon and Priscilla his wife (my daughter) two mulatto wenches, mary and Page, then without children, for their use and benefit, and never vesting any right or title in them to the said Kennon and wife, he being in debt before he married my Daughter, which, I believe, was the chief reason and cause of it. As the cause of this Gift upon courtesy has ceased by the death of the said William Kennon and his wife my daughter, I doe therefore think proper to take back into my own possession the said negroes, " etc.

Francis Willis, appointed his son Robert his attorney to take back the mentioned slaves, etc and there is on the back of the paper, a certificate, 12 February 1782, from Robert Carter Willis before the clerk of Berkeley county that Francis Willis, Sen. made oath to the contents of the paper".

    2. Mary Willis

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

    4. Sarah Willis b. c. 1722 Gloucester Co VA

    5. Ann Willis

Generation #3


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