From Flanders to America

Michael (Vanlandigam) Vanlandingham, immigrant ancestor of the Vanlandingham/Vallandingham families in this country, came to America directly from the Spanish Netherlands, (Flanders, present-day Belgium) about the year 1650. A listing in Heraldry, Landeghem (van) - Gand, places the family in Gand, (present day Ghent), in early times in Flanders, and could explain the origin of the name of the small village "Landeghem" located just west of the city of Ghent, Belgium.

In the 1640s the people of Flanders spoke Flemish or dutch but were under the control of Spain. In 1648 Spain gave independence to the Dutch Netherlands but retained control of the Spanish Netherlands. The Treaty of Munster in 1648 also closed the Scheldt River to navigation, causing Ghent and Antwerp to suffer declines in trade. The economic depression and continued dominance of Spain may have motivated Michael Vanlandingham to seek his fortune in a more peaceful location.

Michael's choices of where to immigrate were limited. England would have been the most convenient place to migrate, but in England the Puritans and the Church of England were at war, and Michael is believed to have been Catholic. America was a popular place for immigrants at the time, but the English Colony of Virginia discriminated against Catholics. However, Maryland, just north of Virginia, passed a religioous tolerance law which made Catholics and all other Christian religions welcome. Michael Vanlandingham may have been among the new settlers welcomed to Maryland.

Before 1830 a trading post had been established on Kent Island, far up the Chesapeake Bay. The trade was with Indian tribes, white men trading with Indians for furs. In 1634 Lord Baltimore sent about one hundred settlers to an area across the Potomac from Virginia and the settlement became known as the "Citie of St. Mary's". After a few years the religious dissension in England and Virginia reached the settlement in Maryland and many of the Protestants and Royalists began to think about moving. In March, 1655 at the Battle of the Severn, The Puritans rebelled against the Maryland Authority and took control of the government in Maryland, causing many of the other Christians, and especially Catholics, to flee across the Potomac River and take refuge in the Northern Neck of Virginia where a settlement had previously been established by Maryland people.

About 1640 John Mottrom of Maryland crossed the Potomac and landed at the mouth of the Coan River and became the first settler in the Northern Neck. John liked the area, inhabited only by friendly Indians, and far away from the government at Jamestown. He built his house on the east bank of the Coan River in the Walnut Point area on the Potomac River. Other settlers from Maryland and a few from Jamestown soon arrived, and the settlement became known as Chicacoan. In 1655 Michael Vanlandingham bought 450 acres about forty miles up the Potomac River northwest of Chicacoane in the Chotanck River area. Michael bought the land from Hugh Fouch, who lived in Maryland before moving to Virginia. After about two years Michael assigned the Chotanck River land back to Magregory and Fouch and moved downriver to the Coan River area and bought 350 acres on Kings Creek just off the Coan River in Chicacone Parish.

Early in 1657 an English merchant ship loaded with tobacco ran aground and sank in the Potomac River. All hands abandoned ship, including John Washington, the second officer and part owner. While waiting for the ship to be refloated the crew from the ship became acquainted with the residents of the area. John Washington became well acquainted with Anne Pope, the daughter of a leading Virginia planter. By the time the ship was refloated John had decided he liked the country and the people so well, especially Anne Pope, that he would remain in Virginia.

John Washington married Anne Pope in 1658 and Nathaniel Pope, Anne's father, gave the couple some 700 acres of land on nearby Mattox Creek as a wedding present, establishing John as a property owner. John and Anna soon had a son Lawrence, who had a son, Augustine, who was the father of George, first president of the United States.

Since the area of the Northern Neck of Virginia was sparsely settled at the time, Michael and John Washington undoubtedly became acquainted. Michael surely would have known of the boat sinking near his home, so he probably went to the the river where the men from the sinking boat made it to shore. Who knows? It is entirely possible that Michael Vanlandingham welcomed John Washington to Virginia.

 

 

1) Michael Jr. sold land in Old RappahannockCounty 28 August 1686. He had to be over 21 years of age to sell land, so he was born before 1664, but was not listed in parish register so he must have been born before 1661 and probably was first child of Michael Sr. and Elizabeth.

2) Richard's birth date of 1772 in the parish register obviously is incorrect. He was born prior to 1667 because he petitioned for probate of his mother's will in 1688, and he had to be over 21 years of age. Richard's son, William, was born prior to 1682, indicating Richard was born prior to 1662, and he must have been older than his sister, Ann whose first child was born in 1681.

3) Ann was born in 1663. The register lists the birth of Ann's son, Phillip, in 1681, when Ann would have been almost 18.

4) Francis was born in 1666 as listed in the register.

5) Benjamin was born in 1672 as listed in the register. He was appointed constable for Mattapony in 1696 when he was age 24.


Richard Vanlandingham (2nd. Generation)

Richard is believed to have been the second child of Michael and Elizabeth Vanlandingham. Richard's date of birth recorded in St. Stephens Parish register is August 6, 1772, and obviously is incorrect. The first five entries in the register were copied from previous records and were entered almost one hundred years after the births, leaving plenty of room for human error.

Richard probably was born before 1662 because his son, William, was born prior to 1682. Philip Evans, second husband of Richard's mother Elizabeth, signed a will August 15, 1682 in which he stated that Richard was Elizabeth's son and Richard was the father of William. (Northumberland County Order Book 1678 - 1698, page 166). Richard must have been older than his sister Ann. Ann's first child was born in1681, and girls generaly had their first child at younger ages, but Richard's son was born before 1682.

Richard petitioned for a probate of his mother's will in 1688. The petition proves that he was a son of Michael and Elizabeth and was born before 1667. Richard was appointed constable for Mattapony in 1694.

An indenture dated September 24, 1700 between Richard Valandiham and Sarah, his wife, of Northumberland County, involved 100 acres on a branch of Gatesby Creek.Richard's birth was recorded in St. Stephens Parish Register, but the recorded date, 6 August 1772, obviously was wrong. The St. Stephens Parish Register dates were taken from previous records and entered more than ninety years after the births, so it is not hard to understand errors being made in recording the dates of births. Richard was born prior to 1667 because he petitioned for probate of his mother's will on September 3, 1688, and he had to be at least 21 years old.

Richard probably was about 15 years old when his father, Michael Sr., died in 1676. Richard and his brothers continued to operate the family plantation. Elizabeth remarried in 1678, the family plantations were then most likely divided between Richard and his three brothers. Richard remained on the Northumberland County plantation He was married by about 1680 or 1681 because his son, William, was born by 1881.

No records of birth of children for Richard have been found, other than Phillip Evans' will mentioning that William was a son of Richard. Richard married young and lived more than seventy five years, so most likely he had other children, and most likely he named one of his sons after his brother Benjamin who died young.

Records found in Northumberland County Order Book 1678 - 1698, page 654 show that Richard was appointed constable for Mattapony May 17, 1694. The Mattapony area is now known as Pea Neck, extending from the city of Callao to Harryhogan. Richard's son, William, was witness to the will of James Flynt's will of 1723, recorded in Northumberland County Record Book 1718-1726, page 405A. Richard was administrator of William Howard's will of 1725, recorded in Northumberland County Order Book 1719-1726, page 192. And in 1722 Richard "Vanlandegan", Sen. and Michael Vanlandegan were witnesses to the will of Samuel Winstead, Sen., of St. Stephen's Parish. (Northumberland County Record Book 1726-1729, page 32A.) Since Richard was referred to as Senior there must have been another Richard Vanlandingham of legal age in the family in 1726. The other Richard may have been a grandson of Richard Senior.

Records found in Richmond, an adjoining county, show that Richard became involved in land transactions in Richmond County. Northumberland County was more densely populated and land was less expensive in Richmond County.

On April 2, 1697 Richard "Vanlandyham" of Northumberland County bought 150 acres of land in Richmond County, for two thousand pounds of tobacco. (Richmond county Deed Book 2, 1693 - 1697, page 226). Just over three years later, Richard and his wife Sarah, sold 100 acres of the land for three thousand pounds of tobacco. (Richmond County Deed Book 3, pages 69-73). Then on June 20, 1702 Richard "Valendighem" sold half of the remaining 100 acres of Richmond County land to his brother Benjamin "Valendigham" for fifteen hundred pounds of tobacco. Richard was referred to as a "planter" in legal records, which indicates he was successful. And he didn't do too badly in land dealings.

In the indentures involving the Richmond County land Richard is referred to as a planter of Northumberland County but he may have lived on the Richmond County plantation at times. From Philip Evan's will Richard had a son named William, and from the North Farnham Parish Register in Richmond County, the birth of Mary, daughter of William and Sarah, was listed 15 October 1720.

On March 2, 1713 Richard "Vanlandegem" was Executor of the estate of Henry Wilson who died February 10, 1713/14, leaving a daughter, Ann Wilson, Westmoreland County. (Virginia County Records, New Series, Volume I, page 21).

From North Farnham Parish Register, Richmond County, Virginia, a William and his wife Sarah had a daughter Mary born October 15, 1720. William probably was the son of Richard. Other records in North Carolina extend Richard's branch of the family.

Richard Vanlandingham ( 2nd. Generation)

 

2 Richard Vanlandingham 1661 - 1737

+Sarah (unknown) 1665 - 1702

.. 3 William Vanlandingham 1682 - 1738

........... +Sarah (unknown) 1710 - 1737

............. 4 Mary Vanlandingham 1720 -

............. 4 John Vanlandingham 1721 - 1774

................... +Sarah Ann ? 1735 - 1774

..................... 5 Leroy Vanlandingham 1753 -

..................... 5 William Vanlandingham 1755 -

..................... 5 John Vanlandingham 1758 -

..................... 5 Judith Vanlandingham1760 -

..... 3 Benjamin (possibly) Vanlandingham 1700 -

........... +unknown

............. 4 Benjamin (possibly) Vanlandingham 1732 - 1795

.................. . +Susannah Haynie 1738 -

..................... 5 John Vanlandingham 1755 -

.......................... . +Nancy Ann ?

..................... 5 Benjamin Vanlandingham 1756 - 1825

.......................... . +Sarah (Sally) Smith 1760 – 1824

..........................5 George 1758

........................ 5 Francis 1763 - 1816

Descendants of George Adams Vanlandingham

Generation No. 1

1. GEORGE ADAMS1 VANLANDINGHAM (GEORGEA, FRANCISB, MICHAELC) was born Abt. 1750 in Northumberland Co., Virginia. He married REBECKAH (BECKY) ? Bef. 1774 in Northumberland Co., Virginia. She was born Bef. 1760 in Northumberland Co., Virginia, and died Bef. 1789 in Northumberland Co., Virginia.

Notes for GEORGE ADAMS VANLANDINGHAM:
George Adams Vanlandingham's birth was not recorded in St. Stephens Parish Register but was named as a son of George Vanlandingham in his will probated in Northumberland Co., Virginia in 1774. From the order in which children were named in George's will it is generally believe that George Adams was born about 1750 and had two older brothers, Richard and Henry.
St. Stephens Parish Register lists the birth of five children to George Adams Vanlandingham and Becky (Rebeckah). They were Elizabeth, Mary, Kenner, Becky and George. George, the last child listed was born October 12, 1783. One more child must have been born, for in the 1784 Northumberland County census George A. Vanlandingham is listed with eight white souls in his family.
George Adams Vanlandingham was a Revolutionary War soldier, enlisted in Northumberland county, served five and a half years, and applied for a pension in 1818 while living in Frederick Co., Virginia. We have a copy of his pension papers, number S 46281.

Children of GEORGE VANLANDINGHAM and REBECKAH ? are:
i. ELIZABETH2 VANLANDINGHAM, b. April 23, 1774, Northumberland Co., Virginia.
ii. MARY VANLANDINGHAM, b. October 16, 1775, Northumberland Co., Virginia.
iii. KENNER VANLANDINGHAM, b. July 17, 1778, Northumberland Co., Virginia.
iv. BECKEY VANLANDINGHAM, b. March 08, 1781, Northumberland Co., Virginia.
v. GEORGE VANLANDINGHAM, b. October 12, 1783, Northumberland Co., Virginia.

Descendants of Francis Vanlandingham, 2nd. Generation, son of Michael Vanlandingham, Sr.

2 Francis Vanlandingham b.1666 - d.1740
.... +Elizabeth (unknown) 1680 - 1747
..... 3 Elizabeth Vanlandingham 1700 - 1775
..... 3 Mary Vanlandingham 1701/02 -
........... +John Dawson
..... 3 Ann Vanlandingham 1705 -
........... +John Grinsted
..... 3 Francis Vanlandingham, Jr. 1707 - 1753
........... +Nanne (unknown) 1720 - 1753
............. 4 Benjamin Vanlandingham 1736 - 1780
................... +Susannah Winstead 1736 - 1780
.............5 Peter Vanlandingham 1765 - 1832
.............+Martha Ballard 1774 - 1860
5 Elizabeth Vanlandingham 1767 - 1780
..... 3 Benjamin Vanlandingham 1710 - 1740
..... 3 Thomas Vanlandingham, Sr. 1711/12 - 1764
........... +Ann Claughton
.......... 4 Francis Vanlandingham 1750 - 1790
................... +Winnefrit
....... .5 Ann Vanlandingham 1773 -
....... .5 Samuel P. Vanlandingham 1789 - 1836
........................ +Martha Kerr 1793
5 John (possibly) Vanlandingham 1790 -
......... +Lucy ? 1787
4 James Vanlandingham 1750-1790
4 Thomas Vanlandingham, Jr. 1755-1808
+ (unknown)
5 girl Laningham 1.
5 girl Laningham 2.
5 girl Laningham 3.
5 Zachariah Laningham 1774
5 Egbert Laningham 1785-abt. 1835
5 William Laningham 1787
5 Allen Laningham 1789-1835
+Catharine Patrick
5 John Laningham 1794
+ Nancy Abbot
5 Thomas Laningham 1799
+Betsey Harris
3 Jane Flaningham 1715
3 George Vanlandingham 1718 - 1774
+ (unknown) Brown
4 Richard Vanlandingham abt.1740 - 1811
+ (unknown)
5 James Vanlandingham, Sr. Abt. 1761
5 Richard Vanlandingham, Jr. 1762-aft.1840
+ (unknown)
+ Nancy Henson
5 George Vanlandingham bef. 1765 - bef. 1815
5 Jeremiah Vanlandingham b. aft. 1765
5 John Vanlandingham 1766 - aft. 1850
+ Nancy Vanlandingham
........ 5 William Vanlandingham 1771 - 1842
................... +Martha Denton 1783 - 1875
........ 5 Polly Vanlandingham 1781 -
......... 5 Joshua Vanlandingham 1788 - aft. 1850
........................ +(unknown) 1796 - 1828
........ 5 Thomas Vanlandingham 1790 -
........................ +(unknown)
........ 5 Susan Vanlandingham 1790 -
........................ + Joseph Crawford 1770 -

.... 4 Henry P. Vanlandingham 1748 - 1790
... ................+Elizabeth "Betty" ? 1752 - 1816
.......... 5 George Vanlandingham 1770 -
....................... +Polly Dawson
.......... . 5 Ann Vanlandingham 1772 -
........... 5 William Vanlandingham 1775 -
................... +Chloe Winstead
........... 5 Benjamin Vanlandingham 1776 -
.......... . 5 George Brown Vanlandingham, Sr. 1779 -
..................... +Mary "Polly" Dawson
........... *2nd Wife of George Brown Vanlandingham, Sr.:
................... +Elizabeth ? -
.......... 5 Betsey Hail Vanlandingham 1781 -
........... 5 Sarah "Salley" Vanlandingham 1783 -
...................... +Samuel (Bromley) Brumley 1787 - 1837
........... 5 Spencer Vanlandingham, Sr. 1787 - 1833
.................. +Winifred Bryant
........ .4 George Adams Vanlandingham 1750 - 1814
................... +Rebeckah (Becky) ? 1760 - 1789
......... . 5 Elizabeth Vanlandingham 1774 -
........... 5 Mary Vanlandingham 1775 -
........... 5 Kenner Vanlandingham 1778 -
........... 5 Beckey Vanlandingham 1781 -
........... 5 George Vanlandingham 1783 -
............ *2nd Wife of George Adams Vanlandingham:
`` ................... +Jane Bromley 1771 - 1859
.......... 5 Elizabeth Vanlandingham 1790 - 1877
....................... +Edmund Perkins 1787 - 1831
........... 5 George Vanlandingham, Jr. 1792 - 1846
..................... +Mary D. (Polly) Fulton 1800
........... 5 Susan Vanlandingham 1793 - 1838
...................... +?
........... 5 Richard Vanlandingham 1799 - 1872
...................... +Jane Rice 1805
........... 5 Daniel Vanlandingham 1803 - 1868
...................... +Mary Buoy 1963
........... 5 Mary Ann Vanlandingham 1804 - 1854
....................... +John B. Whitton
........... 5 George Washington Vanlandingham 1807 - 1870
........... 5 Manley Brown Vanlandingham II 1808 - 1883
..........4 Manley Brown Vanlandingham 1752 - 1820
................... +Mary (probably) Brown 1760 - 1820
..........4 Winnie Vanlandingham 1754 -
..........4 Elizabeth Vanlandingham 1756 - 1790
................... +M. J. Smith
..... *2nd Wife of George Vanlandingham:
.......... +Mary (unknown, not Brown)
............4 Thomas Vanlandingham, Sr. 1759 - 1812
................... +Mary (Molly) Vanlandingham - 1824
........... 5 Elizabeth Vanlandingham 1777 -
........... 5 Samuel Vanlandingham 1789 -
........... 5 Thomas Vanlandingham, Jr. 1793 - 1848
.......... +Mary Hamilton 1798 - 1850
......... 4 Ezekiel Vanlandingham 1762 - 1790
+Elizabeth (Betty) Bromley 1765 - 1833
........... 5 Easter B. Vanlandingham 1782 - 1847
........... +Francis E. Kimbley, Sr. 1792 - 1861
........... 5 Oliver Cromwell Vanlandingham, Sr. 1785 - 1856
........... +Mary Ann Spray Drake 1806 - 1844
........... 5 Elizabeth (Betsey) Oliver Vanlandingham 1788 -
........... +Samuel Miller Weir 1769 - 1830

..... 3 John Vanlandingham 1721 - 1747

Submitted by:

J. Leon Vanlandingham
513 Windjammer St.
Norman, OK 73072-4858