Antecedents and Peers


To the best of my knowledge, there is no reliable information, but only speculation, as to who might be the parents of either William Horn (1690-1754) of Nansemond County, Virginia or his contemporaries, Richard Horne of Northampton County, NC and Henry Horn who died in 1761 in Edgecomb County North Carolina.


On the other hand, fragmentary information about a number of other Horn's, present in the colonies prior to the time of William, Richard, and Henry Horn(e) is available, the earliest of which I am aware having been documented in the listing of the citizens living in Jamestown and surrounding areas in 1623. In the "Lists of the Livinge & the Dead in Virginia, February 16, 1623" both a Henry Horn and a Richard Horun (sic) are listed as living on the Surry side of the James River. No further documentation of these two men is available. (This information, now widely available, was first provided to me by Gwen B. Horne and discussed in interesting detail in her contribution to the Ray Horn book.)


It is, of course, tempting to speculate that these two Horn's, Richard and Henry, known to be and documented in the Jamestown VA area in 1623, are our progenitors, but I believe at this remote stage, there is little likelihood of determining how these or other Horn's unknown are related to the several other very early Horn's of which we have some documentation. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that other Horn families are documented in Virginia in the 1600ís, affording at least a potential genealogical link between Richard and Henry Horn of Jamestown, Virginia and the three Horn families who entered North Carolina in the early 1700ís.


About 25 years after the Jamestown census of 1623, a Thomas Horne appeared in Norfolk County, VA, before 1650, where he married Johanna Yates and purchased land from her brother, Richard Yates in 1649. This Thomas Horne is apparently of the age to potentially be a son of either Richard or Henry of 1623 Jamestown, but there is no evidence known to me to support this hypothetical relationship.


A short genealogy report on the family of Thomas Horne of Norfolk follows:


1. Thomas1 Horne was born Bef. 16281, and died Abt. 16582. He married (1) Johanna Yates, daughter of John Yates and Joane Unknown. She died March 1652/53. He married (2) Jane Rigglesworth.


Children of Thomas Horne and Johanna Yates are:

2 i. Hanna2 Horne, born Bef. 1645. She married John II Herbert.

3 ii. Thomas Horne, born Bef. 1652; died Aft. 1664.

4 iii. Elizabeth Horne, born Bef. 1652.



Information on this man, his two wives, and his known children was largely obtained from Elizabeth L. Gabriel of Crested Butte, CO who sent this information to Etheldred P. Horn, in 1995. "Thel" also sent me information from the book, Cavaliers and Pioneers, by Nell M. Nugent, p540, where the following entry is recorded: "THOMAS HORNE, 300 acs. nere the head of the W. br of Eliz.Riv., adj land of Jane Rigglesworth; 27 Sept. 1665, p 453, (548). Granted unto Robt. Capps & Robt. Spring 30 May 1653, & by them sould to sd. Horne." In addition he sent me an accompanying detailed plat of the ownership of many properties in this area of Norfolk County, VA. Elizabeth Gabriel is a 9th G-granddtr of Thomas Horne and Johanna Yates, via their daughter, Hanna.


According to Gabriel's correspondence, the following references are cited:


1) Alice Granberry Walter (comp.). Herbert in England and Virginia 1399 - 1900. 1977. Virginia Beach, VA. Horn bought land from Richard Yates, his brother-in-law, in 1649.


2) Charles Fleming McIntosh, Brief Abstract of Lower Norfolk County, and Norfolk County Wills 1637 - 1710. 1914, Rpt. Westminster, MD: Family Line Publications, n. d. P 23. Joane Yates 1664 will names as grandchildren the three listed children of Thomas Horne and Johanna Yates.


Gabriel recommends further examining Lower Norfolk County Court Records.


This Thomas Horne was a cooper.




If Elizabeth Gabriel is correct as to the time of death of the older Thomas Horne, it appears likely that it is Thomas Horne, the son, who is the 1665 purchaser of the 300 acres on Western branch of Elizabeth River. Note the important association that the older Thomas Horne second married Jane Rigglesworth, who was probably the widowed owner of 200 acres just to the west of Thomas Horne's 300 acres, shown on the available plat.


If the son, Thomas Horne, were born in, say 1640 - 1645, he would be of age to possibly be the father of William Horn of Nansemond, Richard, Henry, and other Horns. The time and location appears to admit of the possibility.


In the Virginia Rent Rolls of 1704 (obtained from two Horn(e)s are listed, affording independent documentation that two men with such names lived in southeastern Virginia at the beginning of the 1700ís:



I presume these two men are the Richard Horne who soon removed to Northampton County, NC, and the William Horn of Nansemond who then came to live in Edgecomb County, NC.





Richard, William, and Henry Horn(e) enter North Carolina



The first three Horn families that moved into eastern North Carolina from adjacent Virginia in the early 1700's included Richard Horne and his wife, Sarah, William Horn and wife, Margaret, and Henry Horne and wife Elizabeth. These men were of similar age, and it appears likely, but unproven, that they were brothers.


It is well documented that William lived and owned property in Nansemond County, VA, prior to moving south to North Carolina. The Thomas Horn who purchased 300 acres on Western Branch of the Elizabeth River in Norfolk County in 1665 is possibly the father of one or more of these three men, but no evidence to support that possibility is known.


Richard and Sarah entered North Carolina first, and from 1716 to 1724 they owned property and lived on Turkey Creek, west of the Meherrin River, near the present town of Murfreesboro. In 1723 they obtained a patent for 640 acres, a few miles to the southwest, and they relocated to this tract north of Potecasi Creek and west of Paddy's Delight (creek), retaining this property until 1746.


In 1729 Henry Horne and his wife Elizabeth purchased 290 acres at the head of the Cashie River, north of the present town of Lewiston, where they apparently lived until Henry's death in 1761. (The Cashie River property appears to have been in Bertie County, then and now; Henry's will is an Edgecombe County document, and it appears that Henry may have also had Edgecomb property, since he and his wife and children witnessed Edgecomb County deeds to property on Fishing Creek and Sappony Swamp in the 1750's).


In 1730 William Horn and his wife Margaret purchased property on Ahoskey Pocoson, just south of Rich Square, in 1730 and 1737 and lived there until 1743, located between and just a few miles from the properties owned by Richard Horne and Henry Horne.


Thus, by 1730 all three of these families had relocated to North Carolina and all were living within 10 to 20 miles of each other.

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There is fragmentary evidence suggesting that other Horn men, contemporaries of the above three were present in the area at this time, men who may well be related to the three better known Horn listed above.


A Michael Horne is named as a witness to three Bertie County deeds dated 1729, and Henry Horne is also named in all three. A Michael Horn also witnesses two deeds in which William Horn and wife Margaret sell Nansemond County property at about the time they are about to relocate into NC. William and Margaret's son named David Michael is said to have been born about 1721, thus disqualifying this Michael as the witness to the documents cited. Perhaps this earlier Michael was a brother or cousin to William and/or Henry. Nothing further is known about this person.


Henry Horn's 1761 will refers to a brother, Moses, as executor of his will. This Moses Horn is clearly not Moses Horn, the son of William, nor is he Moses Horn, the grandson of Richard Horne. No other documentation of Henry's brother Moses is known to me.


The fact that three large Horn families, living near each other, each with several sons, frequently used the same given names has sometimes led to great difficulty in differentiating the lineage of various individuals. The particular frequent use of the names Thomas, Henry, and William has been problematical.


Another well documented Horn line from that area of Virginia appears to descend from a James Horn (1720-1793) of Sussex County VA, seemingly one generation younger than William of Nansemond and his hypothetical brother, Richard (vide supra). James' relation to William and Richard, if any, is unknown to me. From this James of Sussex line, his grandson, Frederick Horn (1771-1849) appeared in the Nashville, TN area and a number of his descendants are recorded in the middle Tennessee area. One fairly well known Tennessean from this line was a 20th century writer of a number of historical works, Stanley F. Horn. A nicely detailed description of this Horn line is in Broderbund World Family Tree, CD #5, pedigree #1407. I have made no attempt to incorporate the descendants of this James Horn into the present treatise.

Several other individuals with the Horn(e) surname are mentioned in Nugent's book, CAVALIER AND PIONEERS, as being in Virginia in the mid-1600's, but further interpretation is problematic at the present time.