Thomas (#1) came to Northumberland County with Josias sometime before 1666. 4 On 5 January 1677 Thomas (#2) was awarded land in Lancaster for transporting three people, John Sell, William Nelmes, and Thomas Smith. The Lancaster property is described as “120 acres at a pond on the NW side of Washington’s run: on Col Carter’s line, a little above the roade & adjacent to land formerly James Gates’s.” 18 Thomas (#1) is recorded as having transported himself to the county a second time on 15 November 1677 by assignment of John Hawkins, who sold Josias his Lancaster property two years earlier (no other records yet located suggest this being a second Thomas Draper). 19
When Thomas (#1) died in September 1688, his will lists his wife, Katherine, and two brothers, William (#1) and John (#1), but he did not list children (so he could not be Josias’ father, and our Thomas was probably already born). Thomas (#1) willed his estate on Washington’s Run to his brother William (#1), upon the death of his wife, Katherine. 20
John Draper (#2), the son of Josias, died in 1676, leaving a wife Anne. William (#1) witnessed his will, which stated, “for my father Josias.” In 1677 a list of accounts due the estate of Robert Breckingham included John (#1) Draper for 120 bushels of Indian Corn, 15 bushels of Wheat, three bushels of malt, and a barrel of tobacco, and bills for Richard Draper and John Man. 21 John (#1) Draper, brother to Thomas and William, successfully petitioned the Lancaster court on 12 November 1679 to build a mill on a branch of the Curratomon River near Pritchard’s Bridge. 22
No records are identified about the movements of William (#1) until 15 February 1697 when he, described as a Lancaster blacksmith, buys Foxes Mill on the western branch of the Corrotoman River in Lancaster from Elizabeth Man and her husband, William Man. 23 But on 28 January 1698, William (#1) sold Foxes Mill to Hugh Ladner. 24 Hugh sold Foxes Mill to Richard Ball on 14 July 1703. 25 It is very possible William Man and two other Lancaster colonists, Hugh and John Man, are related to the Elizabeth Man who married Richard Draper in Old Rappahannock County in 1680.
On 13 May 1702 William (#1) Draper, the Lancaster blacksmith, sells for 1000 pounds of “good and legall” tobacco to Samuel Fox the land situated on the Rappahannock River “on ye south side of a Swamp Marsh Pond & Run, commonly called by ye name Washington’s River”, which sounds like the original property of Thomas (#1) bordering Fox’s property. The indenture was witnessed by Thomas Martin and John Wells. 26 (This is accurately transcribed but mysterious, since Josias Draper witnessed Thomas Martin’s will, which was probated in 1692, and John Wells’ estate inventory in 1697).
With this sale William (#1) moved to Richmond County. On 6 February 1703 William, “now of Richmond County,” sold to Nicholas Buttler the Lancaster plantation where he formerly lived. The property was situated at the mouth of the Washington River, next to a marsh and pond, and adjacent to Samuel Fox and James Gates. 27
The witness on William’s deeds selling his Lancaster home after moving to Richmond was William Hanks Sr. His granddaughter, Sarah, married James Draper, the son of our Thomas and brother of Solomon Sr. This is an important circumstantial connection between William and Thomas. Through a son who moved to Kentucky, Hanks had a great granddaughter, Nancy, who married and had a son, Abraham, who became president of the United States. Richard Ball ended up with William’s Lancaster mill on Washington’s Run. Ball’s father was Captain William Ball, a friend of Josias Draper. William Ball’s granddaughter, Mary, married another Lancaster planter and had a son, George, who became the country’s first president.
Based on this information, it is possible to suggest potential family connections and a relationship with this Draper clan. The first Thomas Draper and Josias Draper settled and stayed together, but they couldn’t have been father and son. Even though William (#1) witnessed the will of John (#2), who stated Josias was his father, Josias didn’t have a son named William. So the brothers Thomas, William and John were too close to Josias and his son not to be somehow related.
They lived in the same parish, built mills on the same rivers, knew the same people, knew each other, and shared the same occupations. The question is whether the family is related to Thomas Draper of Richmond County. At this point it is impossible to know for sure if Josias is directly related to the brothers, or if our Thomas is related to them, but circumstantial evidence is strong. Further research into county and parish records may help define these relationships.
While it is unproved, best evidence seems to suggest that the Lancaster County blacksmith William Draper, who moved to Richmond County in 1702, could very likely be the father of our Thomas (*) Draper. There is no record of Thomas’ birth date or place; nothing to suggest he did not come to Richmond County with his father at a later age. No parish records from Lancaster County have been located listing births. Unfortunately, there is no surviving record of William’s death in Richmond County, and no will or inventory still recorded that might list his children.
The family may never know for certain which ports these Drapers sailed from to reach the Northern Neck of Virginia. It is possible these Drapers landed in Maryland when that colony was first settled. George Draper, of Draper’s Meadows, first settled in Philadelphia where most colonists debarked in Baltimore. Perhaps both Draper lines trace back to the same Maryland or Delaware immigrants. Even though most Draper immigrants came from England, the family may never connect our line to the original Draper who arrived in the Virginia or Maryland colony, or know which part of England was home.
Based on this research, it’s possible to suggest that Thomas (*) was the likely son of William (#1) from Lancaster County, and his grandfather was also named Thomas (#1). But what is positively known is that the earliest recorded Draper in our line is just a few generations – a single lifetime - away from the original founding of the first Virginia colony. The related families of Draper wives, Davey or Harrison, Taylor, Williams, and possibly Cleford, are not yet traced back to the emigrant beginnings.