Colonial Virginia Documents

This section summarizes key documents and records from colonial Virginia courthouses pertaining to Samuel Duchemin (Dishman) and his children.

Court Order Book Entries

County court order books or minute books record all matters brought before the court when it was in session and may contain important information not found anywhere else. Generally minute books contain brief entries, while order books provide synopses of cases in a neater, more organized form. These volumes are sometimes internally indexed; more rarely, there is a comprehensive index.  A wide variety of information is found in order books including: appointments of county and militia officers, records of legal disputes heard before the county court, appointments of guardians, apprenticeship of children by the overseers of the poor, naturalizations, road orders, and registrations of free Negroes.

Extracts from Virginia public records concerning Samuel Dishman (Duchemin) and Isaac Duchemin of Westmoreland County, Virginia, and some of their children. Listed in chronological order.

Court order extracts prior to 1700

Court order extracts from 1700 to 1720

Court order extracts after 1720

Name variations in the records: Dishman, Duseny, Decymee, Decimee, Ducemen, Duchmen, Duchemen, Duchiminia, Dishmons, Duchemien, Decemen, Duchmine, Dismen, Ducheman, Duceman, Duchman, Dishmen, Duchmine, Dismen, Dushemon, Duchmein

Wills and Estate Records

The wills of Samuel Duchemin (Dishman) and four of his eight children (John, James, David, and Elizabeth) are extant as clerk’s copies in the records of Westmoreland County, VA. In addition, the estate inventory of Samuel is also recorded. The wills of several of Samuel’s grandchildren have also been found and as a group they provide valuable information concerning the genealogy of the family. Some of these will are summarized below along with links to several full transcripts.

Samuel Dishman (Duchemin) ( -1726) (Progenitor)

1726, Nov 15 – Will – Heirs: Wife – Cornelia; Sons – John, James, David, Peter; Daughters – Elizabeth (Brown), Ann, Mary.  Executors: Son John and wife Cornelia.  Witnesses: Richard Rollins, Richard Arrowsmith, Francis Lacon.  Proved: 31 May 1727.  Source: Westmoreland County, VA, Deed Book 8, page 84.   Transcript of will and inventory

John Dishman, Sr. (1700-1739) (Samuel)

1738, Mar 20 – Will – Heirs: Wife – Frances; Sons – Samuel, John, James.  Executors: Son James and wife Frances.  Witnesses: Robert Sanford, John Brown, Jon. Foards.  Proved: 27 Nov 1739.  Source: Westmoreland County, VA, Deed Book 9, pages 31a-32. Transcript pdficon

David Dishman, Sr. (1712-1794) (Samuel)

1788, Apr 25 – Will – Heirs: Sons – David, John, Isaac; Daughters – Sarah, Jenny.  Executors: Sons David, John, and Isaac.  Witnesses: Samuel Dishman, John Dishman Jr., Obed. Gray.  Proved: 25 Apr 1794.  Source: Essex County, VA, Will Book 15 (1792-1800). Transcript pdficon

James Dishman, Sr. (1712-1800) (Samuel)

1790, Nov 25 – Will – Heirs: Sons – John, James, William; Daughters – Mildred Bryan, Elizabeth Massey, Sarah Baker; Grandsons – James Dishman Massey, William Lovell Massey, James Baker; Granddaughter – Mary Dishman.  Executors: Sons John, James, and William.  Witnesses: Henry Suttle, James Grant, John Hilton.  Proved: 4 Sep 1800.  Source: King George County, VA, Will Book 2, page 271. Transcript pdficon

John Dishman, Jr. (c. 1730-1791) (Samuel – John Sr.)

1790, Jan 17 – Will – Heirs: Wife – Ann.  Executrix – Wife Ann.  Witnesses: John Berkley, Nathaniel King, George Briscoe.  Proved: 26 Apr 1791.  Source: Westmoreland County, VA, Deed Book 18, page 184. Transcript pdficon

Ann Triplett Dishman (1737-1791) (Wife of John Jr.)

1791, Mar 20 – Will – Heirs: Sons – William, Samuel; Daughters – Ann Richardson, Elizabeth; Sons-in-law – Charles Dean (husband of Frances), Thomas Chancellor (husband of Sarah (Sally)).  Witnesses: George Briscoe, Walter James, Wm. Triplett.  Proved: 26 Apr 1791.  Source: Westmoreland County, VA, Deed Book 18, page 185. Transcript pdficon

Samuel Dishman, Sr. (1723-1796) (Samuel – John Sr.)

1793, Dec 26 – Will – Heirs: Sons – Samuel, William, James Degge; Daughters – Frances, Mary, Sarah, Elizabeth (dec’d); Granddaughter – Betsy Butler Dishman.  Witnesses: C. Edrington, John Lovell, John W. Ashton, James Dishman.  Executors: Sons Samuel and James Degge.  Proved: 5 May 1796.  Source: King George County, VA, Will Book 2, page 198. Transcript pdficon

Samuel Dishman (1748-1807) (Samuel – Peter)

1807, Apr 8 – Will – Heirs: Brothers – John, James, Jeremiah, William; Sister – Sarah Beasley; Nephew – Reuben Noel; Niece – Sally Noel.  Witnesses: John Taylor, Abed Gray, Andrew Reynolds, Davis Reynolds.  Executor: Brother John.  Proved: 15 Jun 1807.  Source: Essex County, VA, Wills No. 17 (1806-1814), page __.


A valuable source of genealogical information are the Chancery Court records. Cases in chancery often address estate and business disputes, debt, the resolution of land disputes, and divorce. Summaries of Chancery Court records pertaining to the Dishman family in Colonial Virginia are summarized below.

Essex County Chancery Court suit, Dishman vs. Dishman (filed 17 Dec 1798)

In his will, Samuel Dishman (d. 1726) left his land in Essex County to his sons David and Peter, to be equally divided.  Apparently, David did not take possession of his share of the land, and Peter maintained possession of the entire property.  David died without mentioning the land in his will.  In 1798, David’s children sued Peter’s son Samuel, who was then in possession of the land, for their share.  This lawsuit is documented in an Essex County chancery suit, Dishman vs. Dishman (filed 17 Dec 1798, answered 21 Dec 1798, dismissed 25 Jun 1808). Link to partial transcript and genealogical analysis

Land Records

Land records in Virginia are of two basic types: those where the Colonial or state government transferred ownership of land to the original owner and those where one private owner transferred land to another private owner. The first type used documents and records such as certificates, grants, patents, plats, surveys. vouchers, and warrants. The second type used documents and records such as deeds, mortgages, and leases.

Land belonging to Samuel Dishman (Duchemin) and his children:

Acquired 1693/94 – 60 acres (est) in Westmoreland County, VA

Purchased with Isaac Duchemin from Malachi Peale. Part of 600 acres willed to sons John and James. Area 1 in the map below.

Acquired 1696 – 100 acres in Westmoreland Co., VA

Purchased by Isaac Duchemin from Charles Ashton for 4,000 lbs of tobacco. Part of 600 acres willed to sons John and James. Area 2 in the map below.

Acquired 1701 – 200 acres in Richmond Co., VA

Purchased from Robert Peck for 3,500 lbs of tobacco. Willed to son James.

Acquired 1710 – 440 acres in Westmoreland Co., VA

Northern Neck grant. Part of 600 acres willed to sons John and James. Area 3 in the map below.

Acquired 1711 – 202 acres in Stafford Co., VA

Northern Neck Grant. Willed to son John, sold by John’s widow in 1740.

Acquired 1714 – 816 acres in Essex Co., VA

Patented under the headright system for transportation of 6 persons. Willed to sons Peter and David. Subject of 1798 Chancery Court suit.

Sold 1740 – 202 Acres in Prince William Co., VA

Frances Dishman, widow of John Dishman (c. 1700-1739), sold 202 acres of land in Prince William County, Virginia (formerly a part of Stafford County) to Samuel Davis. Land originally granted to John’s father Samuel and willed to John. John’s will requested that land be sold.

Acquired 1752 – 150 acres in Westmoreland Co., VA

Inherited by Mary Butler, wife of Samuel Dishman Jr., from her parents. Given to his son, Samuel Dishman Jr. Area 4 in the map below.

Note: These land records are based on the research of James Dallas Dishman of Lynchburg, VA.  The four areas shown in the map below became part of King George Co., VA after 1778

King George County Virginia Land Map
Dishman Land in King George County, Virginia

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