|Patrick Hamrick||May 4, 1722|
Patrick Hambrick produced a certificate under the hand of John Travis SubSherif of Stafford County for that the Said Sherif pressed a Mare of his which he kept ten days And the Said Patrick made Oath that he never Received any Satisfaction for the Same which is Ordered to be Certified to the next General Assembly for allowance.(1)
Although this entry refers to the sub-sheriff of Stafford County, Patrick presented this claim in King George County court. Previous and subsequent occurrences (as well as research regarding the geographic locations of neighbors properties)(2) make it apparent that Patrick resided very near the King George/Stafford County line, although it was not a clearly delineated border. Stafford County has existed since the mid-1660s. However, no specific boundary definitions, nor any official record of its establishment have ever been discovered.(3) During Patricks time, the northwestern and north central sectors of present-day King George County were clearly a part of Stafford County (and the northeastern sector was a part of Westmoreland County). In other words, Stafford County was north of King George County, not west of it as it is now. (The modern borders were not established until 1778.) The indistinct east-west border between King George and Stafford roughly followed the watershed between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers. As a point of reference, the area of the modern-day county seat (the village King Georgewhich was not yet in existence during Patricks time) was considered to be within the bounds of Stafford County.(4)
The word "pressed" means "summoned to service by some legal authority."(5) Evidence of the claim being submitted to the general assembly for resolution is not apparent in the surviving records maintained at the Virginia State Library and Archives.
(1) King George County Orders 1721 1734. p. 50.
(2) As one example, see Seaman/Burges deed, King George County Deed Book No. I, Part I. p. 126-129.
(3) Charles Francis Cocke. Parish Lines Diocese of Virginia. Richmond: The Virginia State Library, 1967. p. 88.
(4) "Historic Map of King George County", King George County Courthouse (on wall outside of County Clerks Office).
(5) Paul Drake. What Did They Mean By That?: A Dictionary of Historical Terms for Genealogists. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, Inc., 1994. p. 172.
© 1999 Ronald K. Hamrick, Burke, VA