An American Family History

Henry Oxley

Oxley is also spelled Owsley, Oxleigh and Oxly.
Loudoun County is part of Northern Neck of Virginia. Settling of the Loudoun area began between 1725 and 1730. Settlers came from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.

A yeoman was a man who owned and cultivated a small farm. He belonged to the class below the gentry or land owners. A husbandman was a free tenant farmer. The social status of a husbandman was below that of a yeoman.

Henry Oxley was born on May 11, 1699 in Chesterfield, Burlington County, New Jersey. His father may have been Henry Oxley. It is impossible to tell from early records which Henry Oxley in New Jersey did what.

He married Mary Everett in 1722 in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Their children and life together are described in detail in the section on Henry Oxley and Mary Everett.

In 1727 he inventoried Nicholas Everett's estate.

On June 3, 1732 his bond (or possibly his father's) was included in the inventory of the estate of Daniel Howell.

In 1736 Henry Oxley recorded a stray steer. In 1748 he recorded a stray black mare. Also in 1748 he was a witness to Benjamin Still's estate inventory.

In 1749 he was the administrator of his sister-in-law, Hannah Van Gelder's estate. He was called yeoman.

In 1756 he recorded three sheep, two rams and an ewe.

On September 14, 1762, Henry Oxley bought 1,200 acres from John Hough for 200£. This transaction was a "lease & release" where the land was leased for one year for one peppercorn and the second year was sold for the full 200£.

In 1763, Henry testified for Giles Stephens in a fraud case in Loudoun County.

In 1776, Henry Oxley appeared on the list of communicants of the Ketocin Baptist Church.

He died on March 17, 1777 in Loudoun County, Virginia. He was buried on his lands in Loudoun County which was later owned by the Dyer Gum family. The cemetery is on Route 15 near Leesburg, Virginia.It was described in an article was published in the Loudoun Times, on October 14, 1920.

In a clump of brush and surrounded by a few trees there is an old graveyard near Lucketts on the western part of the farm now owned by Mr. Dyer Gum. The graveyard is perhaps one of the oldest in this county judging by the inscriptions on the few remaining tombstones, which were made out of branch rock slabs and rudely carved.

Oxley Stone
Henry Oxley's Tombstone

This burying spot was the graveyard of the Oxley family a family now extinct in this County so far as we can far as we can learn, for on the remaining stones we find these inscriptions:

Henry Oxley. Born 1699, Died 1777
Catherine Oxley, Born Sept. 14, 1743, Died July-1780
Violet Oxley, Born, March 24, 1730, Died May 1774;
R. Oxley, Aged 52, Died 1771.

These graves now lie close beside a new-cut road leading to Stumptown by a parallel route to the Point of Rocks road, and it be interesting to know something of the history of these early settlers.

Children of Henry Oxley
and Mary Everett
  • Everit Oxley
  • Mary Oxley Howell
  • Elizabeth Oxley
  • Hannah Oxley Stephens
  • Henry Oxley
  • Rachel Oxley
  • Clare Oxley
  • John Oxley
  • Hunterdon County was originally part of Burlington County, West Jersey. It was set off from Burlington County on March 11, 1714. It included Amwell, Hopewell, and Maidenhead Townships.

    Horse Terms
    Foal: less than 1 year old
    Yearling: between 1 & 2
    Colt: male under 4
    Filly: female under 4
    Mare: female over 4
    Gelding: castrated male
    : non-castrated male over 4

    New Jersey's first permanent European settlement was in 1660.




    January ye 4th: 1736 Henry Oxley By the Dictates of the Law haith recorded a red Stray Stear Coming two Years old Without any Ear Mark two hind Legs White Haff way to the Cambrels half his tail white and Part of his fore feet hofs White and White under his Belley and a White Spot on Coplings of Hipps. (from The Town Records of Hopewell, New Jersey, 1931)


    from The Town Records of Hopewell, New Jersey, 1931

    Jan 2d 1748
    Henry Oxley records A Black mare. Comes three or four years old. She is Branded on ye Near Shoulder with an H and something before it that cant be understood She hath A small Star and A Snip on her Nose No Ear Mark her off hind foot is white. (Returned to ye Owner)

    Cattle were vital to a household and an important legacy.
    Unweaned cattle are calves.
    Female cattle are heifers and cows (had a calf).
    Male cattle are steers (castrated) and bulls.
    are trained draft animals and are often castrated adult male cattle.


    Benjamin Still Estate
    1748-0, Feb. 27. Still, Benjamin, of Amwell Township, Hunterdon Co. Int. Renunciation of Jean Simones and Kathreen Still of right of administration. Witnesses—Zaccheus Beebe, Thomas Stllwell.

    1748-9, March 16. Adm'r, Jacob Race of Amwell, yeoman. Thomas Stllwell, of Amwell, yeoman, surety. Witnesses—Henry Oxley, Titus Hixson. Inventory (£11.11.9) includes a gun and sword; cash at Tunes Quick's and Andrew Morehead's.

    1760, May 15. Account. Payments to Catherine Still, for nursing, Nathaniel Parker, Dr. Ballard, suit against John Phillips, Justice Smith.


    from The Town Records of Hopewell, New Jersey, 1931

    March ye 5th 1756
    Henry Oxley Records 3 sheep 2 Rams and one Ew. One is A large white Ram with Crooked Horns & is Markt with A half penny on the fore side of Near Ear and A half penny on the Under Side of ye off Ear the other is A Black Ram lamb having No Ear Mark the Ew is Markt with A Swallow fork on ye Near Ear and A haip Crop on y off Ear She is supposd to be Old.



    ye is an archaic spelling of "the."

    Seals were used to authenticate documents and men were expected to have a personal die. Records in deed books are copies and signatures are usually in the clerk’s handwriting. The clerk drew a circle around the word “seal” to indicate that the original document was sealed.

    Loudoun County Will Book B
    In the name of God amen
    I Henry Oxley of Virginia in Loudoun County being weak in Body but of Sound Memory blessed be God do this Day February 6th in the year 1776 make and publish this my last Will and Testament in manner following that is to say

    First I give to my Son Henry Oxley a feather bed & pillers,

    Also I give and bequeath to my Daughter Hannah Hennings [sic-should be Stephens] a large puter Bason,

    Also I give to my Daughter Mary Howell a pewter dish and Bason,

    Also I give to my Grandson, Jessey Oxley one English shilling.

    Also I give to my grand Daughter Barthaney Sanders a Bible.

    Also I give to my Daughter Rachel Oxley all the goods that shee had before I came to live with her the last time and likewise all the remainder of my goods that I brought from Clear Oxley and I make and Ordain my Daughter Rachel Oxley Executrix

    and Joseph Janney and Robert Slocombe Executers of this my will to take care and see the same performed according to my true intent & meaning in Witness

    whereof I the said Henry Oxley have to this my last Will and Testament set my hand and Seal the Day and year
    above written.

    In the presence of us Robert Fulton, Henry Oxley Senor
    Ann Oxley, Brittain Oxle

    Pewter is an alloy composed mainly of tin, but can include lead. It was used for dishes and utensils. Some colonists suffered lead poisoning from using it. It dents easily and lasted about ten years. It was expensive and wooden dishes were used most often.

    American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.
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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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