Whittle Flanagan, 1747-c1832

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What follows is the research performed by Dr Edward Latané Flanagan, which was donated to the Virginia Historical Society (now the Virginia Museum of History and Culture), Richmond, Virginia. Commentary – in bold italic – includes additions, clarifications and corrections resulting from new research. Footnotes in Dr Flanagan’s manuscript were letters inside parenthesis – example: “(a)”; these have been replaced with numbered footnotes in superscript. Clicking on the footnotes will take the reader to the cited documents available online, whenever possible.

Whittle Flanagan (Flannagan) b. 1749 d. ? (c1832) 

The Bible records, the name of Whittle Flanagan spelled with one n in the surname in one entry and with two n’s in another. The subsequent generations apparently preferred the abbreviated spelling and dropped one n. Whittle was born 18 November 1749. This is the only recorded birthdate of James Flanagan’s four children – three boys and one girl – that the writer has been able to find. In the available records, the order of the names of the boys, when all were mentioned, is Ambrose, Whittle and James, generally indicating order of birth. The father of Whittle died between June 1 and June 20, 1752, as indicated by his will recorded in Louisa County. This would indicate that Whittle was just a little more than two and one-half years old when his father died. Whittle was probably born in Louisa County as this appears to have been the home of his father all of his life. 

The records show that all three of these brothers—Ambrose, Whittle and James Junior—had early interest in Albemarle County. The first account of Whittle being in Albemarle is the purchase of the dower interest of Sarah Whittle, his grandmother, consisting of 112 acres of land in Louisa County1 (a) on Hudson’s Creek for 100 pounds of current money, and the deed of conveyance states that Sarah and Whittle were of Albemarle County. Whittle’s name does not appear on the land books of Albemarle County until 1810. The first land book of Louisa County, 1782, records 60 acres of land in the name of Whittle Flanagan but does not indicate how he obtained it and the writer has not found any record of it on the deed books of Louisa County.

On the 29th of January 1788, Whittle Flannikin of Louisa County bought 200 acres of land in Louisa County on Hudson’s Creek from David Brock for 10 pounds and bounded by the lands of Whittle Flanikin and Ambrose Flanikin (b). This land appears on the land books of Louisa County 1789, in the name of Whittle Flanagan. January 6, 1790, Whittle Flanagan gave a deed of trust on this land to Thomas Johnson, trustee, to secure payment and described it as “lying in the upper end of Louisa County whereon the said Flanagan now resides together with one small mare between two and three years old with a Blaze in her face about four feet seven or Eight inches high, five head of cattle, one of them marked with a crop and two slits in the right ear, the other four marked with a crop and a hole in each ear and underseal (?) in the right. Twenty head of Hoggs marked as the above four cattle, two feather beds and furniture, three pewter dishes, three Dr. Basons, eight Dr. plates, ten Earthen plates, two iron plates, one Dutch oven, one iron skillet, one horse last, three plank chests, one Dr. table, a parcel of carpenter tools, one broad axe, two Nasson Dr., four hilling hoes, two ploughs Dr., one woman’s saddle, one leather trunk, one man’s saddle, one cotton wheel, one Fl–? Dr.” (c). This deed was signed “Whittle Flanagan”. It appears that this transaction ended up in a court litigation under the caption of “Richard C. Johnson, Exor., of Thomas Johnson, deceased, v. Whittle Flanagan.”, 15 March 1797, and after several continuances and hearings, the matter was finally heard upon the report of auditors appointed by the Court to adjust the differences of the contending parties and the Court ordered: “In confirmation whereof the said report is ordered to be recorded. And it is ordered and directed by the Court that the plaintiff recover against the said defendant the sum of fifteen pounds, fourteen shillings and one penny agreeable to said report and the said defendant may be taken…” (d).

It seems that Whittle tangled with the law again Nov (unable to read entire date) in an action of debt brought against him by Tarlton Goolsby which matter was settled in Louisa County 9 June 1800, by a judgment against him in favor of Goolsby for one pound, eighteen shillings and three pence with lawful interest thereon from the 4th day of January 1800, till paid and the costs of $3.84 (e). There is another account of a judgment against Whittle Flannagan, Louisa County Court, 9 February 1802, in favor of Peter Crawford for the “sum of five pounds, twelve shillings and seven pence and one fathering with lawful interest thereon from the 2nd day of December 1800 till paid and the Costs by him in this behalf expended and he may be taken” (f).

The next land deal discovered wherein Whittle Flannagan participates is in Albemarle County, wherein he and his wife, Judith, William Eastin and his wife, Mary, and Susana Furgason, all of Albemarle County, sell four hundred odd acres of land in said county to Laurence and Daniel Furgason for the sum of one hundred and six pounds current money of Virginia, 12 January 1789. It is not clear how Whittle Flannigan obtained an interest in this property, but it is not unreasonable to suppose that the land was an inherited interest of his wife, Judith, who apparently was a Furgason. The deed is recorded as being signed by “Whittle Flannagan, (Seal)” and “Judea Flannagan (Seal)” (g).

Whittle Flanagan and his wife, Judith, sold 100 acres of land lying on both sides of Hudson’s Creek in Louisa County to John Farris, January 10, 1792. This, in all probability, was a part of the 200 acres he bought 29 January 1788 from David Brock.

Of interest is a deed of trust, 4 July 1805, given by Whittle Flanagan of Louisa County to James Lindsay of Albemarle County pledging 333 1/3 acres of land in Louisa County along with personal property, furniture, cattle, etc., to secure a claim of forty pounds and eighteen shillings in lawful money of Virginia. It is not clear how Whittle obtained possession of or an interest in this land and it does not appear on the land books of Louisa County in his name.

In the year of 1809 (month and date not mentioned), Whittle Flannagan of Louisa purchased of Daniel Ferguson, __________ Ferguson, Laurence Ferguson and Ann Ferguson of the County of Albemarle, 56 2/3 acres of land in Albemarle Country for 102 pounds of current money of Virginia (i). This tract was sold by Whittle, 5 June 1814, to John Dowell and the deed is recorded as signed by “Whittle Flanagan (seal)” and “Judea Flanagan (seal)” (j). This tract is the only one appearing on the land books of Albemarle County in the name of Whittle Flanagan (Flannagan).

Whittle Flanagan sold 70 acres of land in Louisa County, 11 April 18th, to Stephen Flanagan for 100 pounds of lawful money of Virginia. This is probably his son, Stephen Ferguson Flanagan (k). On April 10, 1815, he gave 250 acres of land in Louisa County to his son Francis W. Flannagan. This deed was recorded signed “Whittle Flannagan (Seal)”. His wife did not sign (l). Another transfer of real estate in Louisa County, 13 November 1815, consisting of 140 acres of land sold to Ludlow Franham for $1,450 lying on both sides of the road from Louisa Courthouse to Charlottesville. The deed recorded indicated that it was signed “Whittle Flanagan (Seal)” and “Judea Flanagan (Seal)” (m).

In a deed of conveyance, 8 November 1817, Whittle Flanagan Sr. and his wife Judith, and Whittle Francis Flanagan Jr., all of the County of Louisa, sold to Benjamin Farris of the same county for the sum of $510 a tract of land lying in the County of Louisa on the waters of Burton Creek containing by late survey 255 acres according to a patent for the same granted to James Flanagan, deceased and bearing date the 20th of August 1747 (n). In the will of James Flanagan (o) he directed that this tract of 250 acres should be sold to pay his debts. This is another instance where the record is not clear how Whittle gained possession of this tract of 250 acres which was in the estate of his father, James Flanagan. If Whittle acted as the administrator of his father’s estate, the writer has not been able to find any record of this in Louisa County where James Flanagan’s will and inventory of his estate are recorded. The use of “Sr.” and “Jr.” in distinguishing the Whittle Flanagans is to identify Whittle Flanagan, the father, and Francis W. Flanagan, the son, whose middle name was evidently “Whittle”. The deed was recorded as signed “Whittle Flanagan (Seal)” and Francis W. Flanagan (Seal)” (p).

Whittle Flanagan and Judith, his wife, of Louisa County, January 9, 1823, sold a tract of land in Louisa County “supposed to contain 100 acres” to Reuben Flanagan, their son, for ten dollars,” it being a part of the tract of land whereon Whittle Flanagan now resides. This deed was recorded as signed “Whittle Flanagan (Seal)”. His wife did not sign (q).

It appears from the record that Charles Flanagan son of Whittle, got into some trouble and was brought into court and Ewel Boulware went his bail and Whittle Flanagan gave a deed of trust, 13 of June 1823, to John D. Fielding, Trustee, on 100 acres of land and certain personal property to guarantee security to Ewel Boulware. (r).

October 6, 1825, Whittle Flanagan, his wife Judith and Reuben Flanagan sold to Nancy B. Flanagan and Elizabeth Flanagan forty-three and one-quarter acres of land in Louisa County on Hudson’s Creek for the sum of two hundred and forty-two dollars and eighty-seven and one-half cents. The identity of the parties in this transaction is not disclosed, but Elizabeth was probably Whittle’s daughter, and Nancy H. Flanagan, his niece, the daughter of Ambrose Flanagan, and Reuben was the son of Whittle (s).

Whittle Flanagan and his wife Judith, and Reuben Flanagan sold 6 October 1825, 56 ¾ acres in Louisa County to William Morris, T. C., Trustee, for $312.12½ (t). Whittle and his wife Judith gave a deed of trust 18 October 1825 to Ludlow Braham, Exor., of John N. Duncan, deceased. The terms of the agreement were to pay the amount due before the 18th day of October 1826. Then land was that on which Whittle Flanagan at that time resided. The deed of trust, in addition to the land, included two horses, ten head of cattle and nineteen sheep. The deed as recorded was signed “Whittle Flanagan (Seal)”. His wife did not sign (u).

In addition to the appearance of Whittle Flanagan’s name on the deed books of Albemarle and Louisa Counties, it is found on the Louisa County Order Books in several instances. He served on the grand jury for the term of court beginning May 3, 1800 (v). On the 14 March 1791 he was appointed Surveyor of the road from the River to the County line in the room of Ambrose Flanagan (w). And 13 November 1807, he and Eppa Fielding were directed by the Court to prescription all the land between the Courthouse Road, the Parish line and Mar__? Road and make report (x). Then the next year, “Eppa Fielding and Whittle Flannagan processering , etc. this day, June 13, 1808, in open court, returned their report which is by the court ordered recorded, and it is ordered that they be allowed for five days service each for performing the same as the law directs (y)

It is not disclosed by any available records the full name of the wife of Whittle Flannagan (Flanagan). It is well established by Bible and court records that she was named Judith (Judea), and judging from the close association of Whittle and Judith with the Fergerson (Furgason) family as revealed in land transfers, and by the further fact that one of Whittle’s boys was named Stephen Fergerson Flanagan, it is a reasonable conclusion that his wife was a Fergerson.

From the information obtained from the Whittle Bible, it is apparent that Whittle and Judith had eleven children—seven boys and four girls. His descendants are numerous and are scattered over many states of the south and as far west as California. No record has been found to indicate that Whittle or his older brother, Ambrose, and younger brother, James Jr., were in the Revolutionary War. Whittle was 27 years of age when the war started. In the Gilmer Papers, 1672-1865, Virginia Historical Society Library, is a record of Whittle Flannagan taking the Oath of Allegiance to the Commonwealth of Virginia about 1776. This oath was subscribed to at the time by 217 persons and among them were Dr. George Gilmer, Thomas Jefferson, Randolph Jefferson and John Jouett.

End. ELF
Sep. 1964


a. Louisa Co. DB “E”, p.348 April 10, 1780

b. ” DB “F”, 1784-1790, p. 326

c. “ DB “F”, 1784-1790, pp. 613-4

d. “ OB, 1797-1799, p. 42

e. “ OB, 1797-1799, p. 104, p. 216

f. “ OB, 1799-1802, 640

g. Albemarle DB 9, 1784-1789 pp. 552-3

h. Louisa Co. DB “G”, 1790-1794, pp. 171-2

i. Albemarle DB 17, 1809-1812, pp. 9-10

j. “ DB 19, 1814-1815, pp. 337-8

k. Louisa Co. DB “M”, 1812-1816 p. 335

l. “ DB “M”, 1812-1816 p. 467-8

m. “ DB “M”, 1812-1816 p. 588-9 

n. Louisa Co. Patents No. 28, 1746-1749, p. 127, p. 150, State Library

o. “ WB 1, p. 25

p. “ DB “O”, 1818-1821, pp. 183-4

q. “ DB “P”, 1821-1823, pp. 572-3

r. “ DB “Q”, 1823-1826, pp. 408-9

s. “ DB “Q”, 1823-1826, p. 578

t. “ DB “Q”, 1823-1826, p. 500-1

u. “ DB “Q”, 1823-1826, p. 452-3

v. “ OB, 1799-1802, p. 167

w. “ OB, 1790-1792, p. 229

x. “ OB, 1806-1808, p. 505

y. ” OB, 1808-1810, p. 91

  1. Louisa Co VA Deed Book E p 348, 10 Apr 1780 ↩︎

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