John Melson
(Abt 1646-Abt 1694)


Family Links

1. Elizabeth Painter

John Melson 1

  • Born: Abt 1646, England
  • Marriage (1): Elizabeth Painter on 04 Apr 1672 in Somerset Co., MD
  • Died: Abt 1694, Accomack Co., VA


Much of the early Melson material here was derived from a well researched work called, "The Melson Family in America - With special emphasis on the John-John-Daniel-Daniel-Benjamin-Sampson branch that originated on the Eastern Shore of the Delaware-Maryland-Virginia Peninsula" by Lewis B. Melson of Annapolis, Maryland written in 1992. Here is the write-up for John Melson from that paper (paraphrased and embellished by this compiler for brevity, clarity and further information):

The first mention of John Melson is as a servant of John Renny of Accomack County,VA, (Accomack County,VA Court Order Abstracts 1666-1670, Vol.2, JoAnn Riley McKey, pgs 13-15) In this same reference, his fiance' and future wife, Elizabeth Penter (Painter) is mentioned. The first record though of her presence in Virginia is when she was listed as a Headright by John Renny on Feb 16 1663/4 (MHR "Somerset County General Index to Warrants & Assignments, Earliest-1680," Liber 7 transcribed from old Liber CC:88)

Just when John Melson was transported by John Renny is not known, but 1665 would be a logical estimate. The third record concerning both John Melson and Elizabeth Painter is announcing the publication of their marriage banns on Jan 9 1671/2 (SoJ-1672:43). They were married 4 April 1672 at Rehoboth Plantation, south of Pocomoke, Somerset County, by Robert Maddox, Clerke.

In the old Somerset Liber IKL, we find, "Came John Reny of Somerset County and proved his right to Three hundred acres of Land to him for transporting John Reny Mary Reny John Melson Elizabeth Melson Henry Allen and Warren Day to this Province to inhabit Somerset County in the Province of Maryland planter for and by these presents and in consideration to be paid & do Assigne Sell and Set Over and by these presents have Signed sold and made over to John Baker of St.Maries County all my Rights Title and Interest in Rights following John Reny Mary Reny John Melson Elizabeth Melson Henry Allen Warren Day which I did transport into the province here to Inhabit whereof I have here unto set my hand & Seale this 12th day of June 1672. Tho.Taylor & John Betts John Reny sealed" John Renny is first listed as being transported into Virginia by Thomas Teague in 1652, and his indenture was purchased in 1653 by Charles Scarburgh. When released from his indenture, he purchased land in Accomack County, VA, 400 acres on Muddy Creek, Jan 10 1662 and another 400 acres also on Muddy Creek, Feb.13 1663, and 500 acres on Crooked Creek, Sep 10 1664. That same year, he sold 200 acres on Muddy Creek to William Wallis.

John Melson was released trom his Indenture by 1671 and he acquired land in Accomack County while becoming a Trader which had him travelling all around the lower Delmarva Peninisula, southern MD and VA. He was mentioned in the Inventory of James Williams of Calvert County, MD Jun 23, 1683. He was listed on the Tax Rolls of Accomack County,VA for the years 1675-1683. He patented land "The Gore" in Nanticoke Hundred, Somerset County, for 200 acres in 1685 (MD Hall of Records Microfilm M393, folio 885, Calvert Rent Rolls 1639-1723).

John and Elizabeth had three known sons: Samuel, John Jr. & Joseph. On Oct 19 1694, in Accomack County, a deed "to my loving Godson, Samuel Melson, son of John Melson formerly of aforesaid County, gift of cattle." Samuel, probably when about 21 years of age, left Accomack County and settled in Nanticoke Hundred, Somerset County as a Planter. John Melson Jr. remained in Accomack County where he married Mary Smith, daughter of Joshua and Margaret Smith. In 1702, he purchased 50 acres of land from Jeremiah and Sarah Cary that was northwest of William Willet's mill in Tract 99 (see Whitelaw) on Hunting Creek.

Ralph T.Whitelaw wrote a definitive and seminal tome on the Eastern Shore of Virginia lands called "Virginia's Eastern Shore, A History of Northampton and Accomack Counties" where he systematically laid out tracts, patents and land records and deeds. For our purposes here, we find in Whitelaw's segment A100, in 1664, a patent was given to John Cary for 400 acres. In 1696,he left 100 acres to his son Jeremiah and the home part balance to his son Solomon. In 1702, Jeremiah and Sarah Cary sold 50 acres to John Melson (Jr.), who in 1737 (with wife Mary) left this to his son John. John Melson made no disposition of his wife's own inherited land, although he mentioned other sons, Daniel, Joshua and Smith. The next year, the widow gave 60 acres of her land to her son John for her life. In 1744, Mary Melson bequeathed the 60 acres to John and left the balance of her land to her son, Smith, her son Joshua may have died as he was not mentioned in her will.

John Melson died intestate and was succeeded by a son Solomon, who in 1774 left a home place of 50 acres to his son Isaac and a place of 60 acres to his son Daniel. Solomon's acquisition of the 50 acres is not noted nor how it went from Isaac to Daniel, but in a later survey of adjacent land, it then belonged to Daniel and formed the northeast corner of this tract just south of the 46 acres of land he had obtained from Thomas Bayly, which resulted in the latter owning the western half of the tract and Daniel and Smith Melson between them,the eastern half. A survey of Smith Melson's land showed he owned 120 acres in the south east corner of the tract and in 1796 (wife Betty) he left to his son Smith.

John married Elizabeth Painter on 04 Apr 1672 in Somerset Co., MD. (Elizabeth Painter was born about 1651 and died before 1715 in Accomack Co., VA.)


1 Lewis B. Melson, The Melson Family in America - With special emphasis on the John-John-Daniel-Daniel-Benjamin-Sampson branch that originated on the Eastern Shore of the Delaware-Maryland-Virginia Peninsula (Lewis B. Melson
1928 Pendennis Drive
Annapolis, Maryland 21401


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