Napier Progenitor...A Planter, Officer, Attorney and Vestryman

Robert Napier was born in Hampton Parish, York County, Virginia to Doctor Patrick Napier and wife Elizabeth Booth Napier(1641-1717) on May 2, 1660.  He was the first Napier to be born in America as his father Patrick was an immigrant from Scotland having arrived on the shores of Virginia in 1655 at age 21.  Robert had one sibling, a sister, Francis Napier Crump (1665-1720). 

Robert's father Dr. Patrick Napier died when Robert was nine years old, leaving Robert his sister Francis and mother Elizabeth well provided for in his will dated February 2, 1668.  The following is the portion of the will that names and provides for Robert and Francis....
    ...pcell of land lying in the prsh of Blessland in the county of New Kent in Virg containing by estimation fifteen hundred acres...To Have & hold the said piece of land to my said deare wife ELIZABETH NAPIER for the home of her natural life alsoe my will and pleasure is that my two deare children Robert Napier, Francis Napier shall have and enjoy the said piece of land or plantation...I give and bequeath unto my dears sone Robert Napier the majority on one halfe of the said piece of land containing fifteen hundred acres... (complete Will presented in Dr. Patrick Napier's segment).
Robert married Mary Perrin on October 11, 1668.  Mary was the daughter of a distinguished and wealthy land owner Richard Perrin and wife Katherine Royall.  The Napier's,  Perrin's and Royall's were considered elite citizens of New Kent, Henrico, Virginia.  All were members of  Henrico Parish where Robert and Mary were married. 

In 1740, the Vestry of Henrico Parish built a new structure which eventually became St. John's Church of Henrico County Virginia.  As one of the largest public buildings in the area, it served as a meeting place for prominent political figures and orators including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other Virginians who heard Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty of give me death."

Robert and Mary had seven children with the first born in 1692 and named Booth...Mary's mother Elizabeth's maiden name.  Their second child was a daughter born in 1694 and given the name Francis after Robert's sister.  Following the given name tradition, their third child was a son named after his father born in 1697.  Katherine was born in 1700 and died in 1751.  Patrick was born in 1713 and named after his doctor grandfather.  Robert and Mary's last son, Rene, was born in 1715 and would become the direct ancestor of my Great Great Grandfather Rene Marion Pittman.

The Napier's resided in Henrico County well into the 1690's where Robert continued to obtain and sell land patents in St. Peter's Parsh, New Kent and King and Queen Parish which would eventually become King William County.  A land grant in 1704 was within the bounds of the Indian Lease laid out according to the Articles of Peace for the Pamunkey Indians.  The Articles described the land granted to Napier as "It began on the north side of the Swamp on the river, to the mouth of Nicatawance Creek, along side the creek, to Philip Williams' line."  This patent was just two months before his daughter Elizabeth was born.

A declaration of the inhabitants of King and Queen County, filed in England March 1701/02 listing all the militia officers of the county included Robert Napier, Lieutenant.  The French king had tried to set up 'James III' on the English throne in place of King William III, but had failed.  King and Queen County's officials were glad, and so expressed themselves in a letter of loyalty to King William III. During his service it is assumed he rose to the rank of Captain, a title which he carried the rest of his life. 

Napier and later his son Robert appear in numerous documents concerning Wills and Deeds in Goochland County.  A last record of note is one filed by his wife Mary Perrin Napier acting as Power of Attorney which appended a deed of sale from her husband.  It read:  I doe By these Presents appt. Capt. William Randolph my true lawful Attorney for me in my stead to acknowledge my right of Dower to one hundred and fifty acres of land sold by my husband to Mr. Nicholas Cox confirming the Same as if personally present myself, as Witness my hand this third day of April 1718.  It is a matter of record that Mary Perrin Napier occasionally raised her hand in court to prevent her husband Robert from gambling away their children's money, and to ensure that he would spend a percentage of his income to support his family.

Captain Robert Napier was know as a Tobacco Planter, a Militia Officer, an Attorney and a Parish Vestryman.  He is historically noted as the real progenitor of the Napier name in America, since he was the only male child of his parents, and had a much larger progeny than his father.  Many if not all Napier's today can trace their origin back to Captain Robert Napier and Mary Perrin Napier. 

It is believed he died in Goochland County even though records from the time of his death have been lost or damaged.  Henrico County's records, also damaged and unreadable might have shown that he lived there at the time of his death and wrote his Will there.  No records of his Will or probate of his Will has been found in either County.

References for this post:  Captain Robert Napier-circa 1600s and early 1700s-Virginia...ancestry.com public member documents submitted Jan.15,2011.  Pittman Family Tree on ancestry.com, Sandra Pittman McPeak, owner. 
THE NAPIER FAMILY, a detailed Genealogical Research Anthology/Report traces the Napier Ancestry to 1600's Scotland.  HERE is the Link.  It is a significant and historical read with numerous speculations of Napier kinship to Earls, Lords, Dukes, Knights and even ties to King James I.  I will leave the Pittman/Napier Scottish Connection Research to another Pittman Family Historian, and I will get back to Georgia's Pittman/Napier Connections of ....


Rene's Maternal Lineage to NAPIER Family Tree

Matrilineality is a system in which descent is traced through the mother and maternal ancestors.  It is also a societal system in which one belongs to one's mother's lineage, which can involve the inheritance of property and or titles.   Rene Marion's matrilineal line to the Napier Family Tree was two generations of females which included his mother Francis Stone Pittman and his Grandmother Julia Napier Stone. 

Rene was born in 1812 when his mother was 29 years old and his grandmother Julia was 62.   Had his mother Francis held with 'Second Son Naming Tradition', his given name would have been Marvel...after her father Marvel Stone.  However, it is thought from piecing together early census records, marriage records and wills that grandfather Marvel was estranged from his wife Julia, daughter Francis and possibly most if not all of his seven living children. 

Two years before Rene's birth, Marvel Stone age 61 married for the third time.  Julia Napier was his second wife from which he could have separated or divorced as early as 1800.  She was not listed as a member of his household in the 1800 Census data.  It is presumed Julia was living with daughter Judith as indicated from probate records.   In 1807 when daughter Francis married Ichabod B. Pittman through a 'Marriage Bond' negotiated and signed in his stead by son Washington W. Stone...another indicator of family dissent and resentment against Marvel.

Mary Julia Napier was the daughter of  Rene Napier and Winifred Champion.  She was born in 1750 in Goochland, Virginia, and was only one year old when her father died.  She was named in his will dated October 30, 1871, which stated "I give and bequeath unto my Loven Daughter Mary Napier, one Negro boy named Solomon to her and her heirs forever."  Other bequeaths indicated Rene Napier was the owner of  land on Long Island Creek and a Plantation in Goochland County, Virginia.

Rene Napier was the youngest child of Captain Robert Napier and Mary Perrin.  The Napier's of Virginia were descended from a French Huguenot family of Manakin who came to Virginia as early as 1620.  He was born in King William, Henrico County, Virginia in 1715.  He married Winifred Champion about 1740 and fathered eight children:  Mary Jane 1730-1797, Rene 1739-1807, John F. 1740-1764, Chloe 1745-1790, Boothe 1746, James 1747, Champion 1748-1817 and Mary Julia 1750-1829.

Julia's widowed mother Winifred, married Thomas East in 1757.  Julia and her siblings still of the home became residents of North Cumberland County, Virginia.  It was her third marriage having married Francis Hudnall before Rene Napier. Winifred and Thomas had three children...Martha, James and Ezekial. 

Winifred Champion Hudnall Napier East died in August 1777.  
Julia Napier Stone was 27 years old, married for six years and mother to
Judith, John, William and Joshua Stone.
 Frances would be born six years later in 1783.
Sixty-two years after Rene Napier's death, his granddaughter Francis
broke with tradition and named her 'Second Son'
Rene Marion Pittman.
Etymology and Historical Origin~Rene is a French masculine name from the Latin Renatus meaning 'reborn'.  Such given names were used by early Christians in celebration of Jesus' resurrection or in reference to spiritual rebirth through baptism.  Two of the most notable name bearers are the French philosopher Rene Descartes (1596-1650) known as "The Father of Modern Philosophy" and Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte (1898-1967) most famous for his "The Son of Man" self-portrait where a green apple is suspended in front of his face. 


Rene Marion...A Given Name That Broke With Tradition

The Importance of Given Names

In genealogy we usually concentrate on surnames since they are the most important way of identifying people who are related.  A surnames is usually inherited and, while it may be changed, some form of it is usually retained.  Given names are more important in a way because they represent a voluntary choice by the parents.  A name is usually not given lightly.  It represents thought and feelings and can be significant to the researcher.  Such is the case of my Great Great Grandfather Rene Marion Pittman.

In the Pittman Family naming history, the names 'Rene' or 'Marion' were not found among the ancestors, at least from the Colonial Period to the time of Rene Marion Pittman's birth on January 28, 1812.  In the Pittman Family you will often see the same names used over and over again.  While certain names are popular in different areas in different times in history, the repetition represents a pattern.  Many cultures believe in honoring their elders and do so by naming children after them.  For example during the period between 1700-1875 the pattern was thus...
~first son was named after the father's father
~second son was named after the mother's father
~third son was named after the father
~fourth son was named after the father's eldest brother
~first daughter after the mother's mother
~second daughter after the father's mother
~third daughter after the mother
~fourth daughter after mother's eldest sister

Rene Marion Pittman was the 'Second Son' of Ichabod Byrd and Francis Jackson Stone Pittman.  Their 'First Son' was Thomas Augustus.  Already they have broken the pattern by not naming him after his Pittman grandfather John Ichabod.  When it came time to name their second son, it seems Frances was reluctant to name her child with her father's name of Marvel...which may have been due to the estrangement from her father at the time of her marriage when her brother Washington Ware Stone was the signee on the marriage bond.  That story HERE
Francis broke tradition by going to her mother's side of the family and named her second son after her maternal grandfather Rene Napier.  Since the focus of my Georgia Ancestors has been on the 'Paternal Lineage' and the Pittman name, the discovery and the source of my Great Great Grandfather Rene Marion's name was one I could not resist digging into.  

What a surprise and significant treasure of genealogical information the name NAPIER has revealed.

At this point in Tracks of My Georgia Ancestors if I were to continue with the established pattern of  a 'Generation Timeline', I would be initiating the 'Fourth Generation of Pittman's in Georgia'.  This would begin with the children of Rene Marion and Mary Anne Howell Pittman of the 'Third Generation', and include my Great Grandfather George Washington Pittman who was the first to migrate to Texas.

 However, like my 3X Great Grandmother Francis, I am going to break the pattern and take this time to share the research on the family of  my 4X Great  Grandmother Mary Julia Napier Stone and her Napier family name.  

Third Generation Direct Descendants...Rene M. and Mary Howell Pittman

Rene Marion Pittman
Born - January 28, 1812 in Columbia County, Georgia
Died - October 24, 1873 in Queen Mills, Cobb County, Georgia
Son of
Ichabod Byrd and Frances Jackson Stone Pittman
1780-1827       1783-1857
Thomas Agustus Pittman
Selina Ann Pittman
Joseph Marshall Pittman
Mary Anne Howell Pittman
January 28, 1822 - August 22, 1890
Married - December 20, 1840 
Rene Marion and Mary Ann Howell Pittman and the Howell Family lived in the Southern part of Cobb County in the vicinity of the Chattahoochie River. The Howell property, near Garrett's Bridge is now (1850's) owned by Mrs. Hampton Howell, the daughter of R.N. Pittman (? if N is meant as M). The adjoining Pittman property is owned by Mrs. Hattie Pittman Parish, daughter of Allison Pittman. (Allison son of Rene and Mary Ann)

Mary Ann's father, Isaac Howell, was a pioneer settler of Cobb County, and the brother of Evan P. Howell of Gwinnett County, then Atlanta County. Her brothers married Sewell sisters, and another brother married Elizabeth Redwine whose family was also associated with the Word Family in neighboring Coweta County.

Many Fulton and Cobb County landmarks are named for the Howell and Sewell families including: Howell Mill Road, Sewell Mill Road, Sewell Farms Subdivisions.

Mary Ann's Uncle Captain Evan P. Howell acquired the Atlanta Constitution Newspaper when it was struggling in it's infancy, and was the Editor-in-Chief for many years.
(From: The First Hundred Years, A Short History of Cobb County Georgia)

Children of Rene Marion and Mary Anne Howell Pittman
William Howell Pittman
George Washington Pittman
Albert Singleton Pittman
James Allison Pittman
Mary Eugenia Pittman Howell
Fannie Margaret Pittman
Emma Pittman
Elizabeth Lizzy Pittman
Isaac Marion Pittman
Savannah Bartow Pittman Brown

Rene Marion Pittman served in the 7th State Guard Volunteer Infantry Regiment of Georgia, and enlisted as a Sargent in Company K at the age of 49 years on May 31, 1861. (documented in US Civil War Records and Profiles). 
    The 7th Georgia along with the 8th, 9th, 11th, and 59th made up Gen. 'Tige' Anderson's Brigade in Hood's Division of Longstreet's Corps. The GA 7th Infantry Regiment was formed in May, 1861, at Atlanta, Georgia, and in June moved to Harpers Ferry,Virginia. Assigned to Colonel F. S. Bartows Brigade, Army of the Shenandoah, it was active in the fight at First Manassas. In April 1861, the regiment had 611 effectives and served under the command of General G. T. Anderson until the end of the war. It participated in the campaigns of the Army of Northern Virginia from the Seven Days Battles to Cold Harbor, except when it was detached with Longstreet at Suffolk, in Georgia, and at Knoxville. The 7th was not involved in the Battle of Chickamauga. It was active in the long Petersburg siege south and north of the James River and later the Appomattox Campaign. (From:  The War for Southern Independence In Georgia)
    Rene Marion and Mary Anne Howell Pittman lived most of their lives in Cobb County, Georgia, and were documented in the following US Census:
    ~US Census of 1840 - R.M. Pittman, age 28, head of house with 4 free white males and 1 free white female in household.  4 Slaves...2 males and 2 females with ages that indicate a young couple with two young children.  Agriculture.
    ~US Census of 1850 - R.M. Pittman, age 38, head of house with wife Mary Ann age 28.  Children:  William, George, Albert, James and Mary Eugenia.  Occupation Farmer.
    ~US Census of 1870 - R.M. Pittman, age 58, head of house with wife Mary Ann (47) and children:  James (23) farmhand, Mary, Fannie, Emma, Elizabeth, Isaac Marion, and Savannah.  Occupation Farmer.  Listed Real Estate value at $2500 and Personal Estate $500.
    ~US Census of 1880 - Mary A. Pittman, age 54, widowed head of house with children:  Eugenia (30), Fannie (28), Lizzie (23), Savannah (19)...all keeping house...Isaac (2l) Farmer.  (This Census taken 7 years after Rene Marion's death shows his widow and children farming his land.  His older sons Albert, George and Loren as living on neighboring farms.  Is possible that older sons inherited their part of their fathers estate and continued to farm all of R.M. Pittmans land.
    ~US Census of 1890 - There is no 1890 Census.  It was destroyed in a fire.  By the next Census in 1900, Mary Ann Howell Pittman has died, her older sons left Georgia for Texas, and her daughters have married or have moved in with relatives.  It is not know what became of the R.M. Pittmans Land....still researching.
    Rene Marion and Mary Anne Howell Pittman are buried in The Howell Family Cemetery.
    The Howell Family Cemetery is located in Marietta, Cobb County, Georgia.
    There are 99 Howell/Pittman and Relatives buried there .
    A descendent of the Howell Family, Clark Howell Hogan discussed founding the Howell Family cemetery in one of the Volumes of Cobb County Georgia Cemeteries. He said, "the cemetery was established in 1860 with the death of *Isaac Howell who fell dead, according to family legend, while 'cussing' Abraham Lincoln. Having said he would rather die than see Abe elected President."  *Isaac Howell was Mary Anne's Father.
    Find A Grave Memorial Links:
    Rene Marion and Mary Anne Howell Pittman
    2X Great Grandparents of
    Sandra Sue Pittman, Author
    Tracks of My Texas Ancestors
    through their son
    George Washington Pittman
    MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected


Pittman Brothers From Paulding and Cobb Counties

Rene Marion Pittman and Joseph Marshall Byrd Pittman were two of the three sons of Ichabod Byrd and Frances Jackson Stone Pittman.  Both were born in Columbia County, Georgia as was their older brother Thomas Augustus and sister Selina Ann. 

As the 'Third Generation' of Pittman Georgians, Thomas, the oldest child's story was featured first...'Father of Fifteen-Husband To Two', and Selina's story...Selina Rides Upon the Wings of Time...told second.  Rene Marion was the second child and Joseph Marshall the fourth and youngest. 

The two brothers lived most of their young years in Gwinnett County with their parents and siblings.  Brother Thomas remained in Gwinnett County for most of his life, and sister Selina stayed close to brother Joseph following her marriage and early death.  All however, stayed in close proximity to three counties in North Georgia...Gwinnett, Cobb and Paulding where they owned fertile farm land and raised their families.  
Joseph Marshall Byrd was named after his great grandfather the Reverend Daniel Marshall, and his father Ichabod Byrd.  Records often refer to Joseph as J.M.B. Pittman...such was the listing in the 1864 Census for Reorganizing the Georgia Militia.  Fourteen years earlier in the 1850 Census his name was listed as Joseph M. B. Pittman.  In the Census of 1870, he was listed as Joseph Pittman.  

The name 'Byrd' seems to be isolated to Ichabod and Joseph.  As unusual as 'Byrd' is, it does not appear in the fraternal Pittman ancestors dating back to the late 1600's and the Colonial Pittmans.   'Byrd' is not found in any of the female ancestors given or surnames dating back to the same period. 

Joseph married at age 23 to his first cousin Elizabeth Harriet Stone in 1846.  Elizabeth was the daughter of Washington W. Stone, the brother of Joseph's mother Frances.  Four years later in the 1850 Census Joseph is listed as a Farmer in Cobb County with real estate valued at $5000.  He and Elizabeth have one daughter, Eugenia born in 1847.  Living on adjoining land to the Pittman farm is sister Selina and husband Drury Dunn and their eight children. 

In nearby Coxes District, Cobb County, brother Rene Marion and his family of wife Mary Ann Howell and five children are listed in the 1950 Census.  The Census is not as complete as in Joseph's District and does not state the value of Rene's property, but it is assumed from earlier records that both have been heir to their father's property which had been handed down through the generations from a Colonial Land Grant.

Over the next ten to twelve years with the onslaught of the Civil War much if not all of the Pittman land holdings in Gwinnett, Cobb and Paulding counties was lost.  Joseph and Elizabeth appear in the 1864 Census for the Reorganizing of the Georgia Militia as living in Paulding County.  The last of their twelve children were born in 1865 with twin boys, George Irwin and William Hansel.   Of the twelve children, the twins and one sister Mary Alice Bella 'Bell' lived to adulthood.

In the 1870 Census Joseph (47), Elizabeth (47), Mary 'Bell' (19), Hayes (12) George and William (5) were still living in Paulding County.  His occupation was listed as a farmer with his real estate valued at $500 and personal property of $100.  Three years later in 1873 Hayes died at age 15.  After 1873 there are no 'confirmed'  records of Joseph, Elizabeth, Mary 'Bell' or the twins until the 1900 Census for George Irwin and William Hansel who were 34 years old. 

Between the two confirmed records, a gap of over 25 years, there are sketchy, hearsay, and unconfirmed Census records as well as the Howell Family Cemetery headstones to piece together the lives of Joseph and Elizabeth.

It is known that Mary 'Bell' married a Thomas Clay probably during the early 1880's.  In the 1900 Census she is listed with brother George Irwin as Bell Clay, 45 yrs., single and no children.

In the 1880 Census, there is one Joseph Pittman (57) found in neighboring Fulton County in a town called Bulkhead.  If it is Joseph M.B. Pittman, the indication would be that he left his wife and fifteen year old twin sons in Paulding County while he supplemented his income as a traveling 'Peddler'.  Likely, Joseph, Elizabeth and twin sons were either missed during the Census taking or were living with daughter Mary 'Bell' Clay...no records for her and husband Thomas have been found.  Due to the destruction of the 1890 US Census by fire at it's headquarters in Washington D.C., there are no records for anyone until the 1900 Census. 

Joseph Marsha lByrd Pittman HdStn
Joseph Marshall Byrd Pittman died March 14, 1890 before the 1890 Census was taken in April-June.  However, his wife, twin sons and daughter Bell Clay would have been enumerated and some record of their whereabout known had the 1890 Census had not be destroyed in fire.

Elizabeth Harriet Stone died on June 6, 1893 and was buried beside her husband in the Howell Family Cemetery.  It is assumed that they are buried here as an available gravesite from the wife of Rene Marion, Mary Ann Howell Pittman.  As her fraternal family cemetery, Mary Ann buried her husband Rene Marion in 1873 here.

 It also assumed from the inscriptions on Joseph and Elizabeth's headstones, that the monuments were erected some years after their deaths by their granddaughter Alma Pittman Croft, daughter of twin George Irwin.  George Irwin and his wife are also buried at the Howell Family Cemetery with headstones similar to his parents and with an inscription noting the donation of the stones by Alma Pittman Croft.

William Hansel, twin brother to George died three years before George on February 14, 1940, in Gwinnett County and is buried there.  Mary Alice Bellah 'Bell' who was listed with brother George Irwin in the 1900 Census died on December 30, 1911, at age 60, and although no records of death or burial have been found, it is assumed that she was still a member of brother George's household. 

All in all, it appears that Joseph Marshall Byrd and his first cousin wife Elizabeth Harriet Stone began their lives together in times of prosperity.  With the loss of seven children some of whom died at birth and others as toddlers or teens, the following years were filled with tradgedy and hardship.  Although they survived the Civil War, their family farms and many relatives did not. Their descendents through twins George and Willliam for the most part, remained in Georgia in and around the three counties of their parents and grandparents....Gwinnett, Cobb and Paulding.
Please refer to the FIND A GRAVE Link List on the Sidebar for
Memorials and more information for the Pittman Ancestors named in this post.