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Early Virginia Records Concerning The Taptico Family
Compiled and Annotated by Steve Martin

The point of the records presented is this message is that my personal research into the early Taptico records indicates that all available records concerning William Taptico, Sr. and/or William Taptico, Jr. reveal that these two individuals are Wicocomico Indian, and that no available records indicate that they may be of Spanish or English origin as conjectured by others.

INITIAL COMMENT: The 1693 record below concerning William Taptico (Sr.) and the 1710 - 1718 record concerning William Taptico (Jr.) state that these men were "of the Wicocomico Indians"; in addition the 1710 record also speaks of William Junior in terms of "he and his nation" . These three records are the only records available that connect either of these early Taptico men to a racial group, nation or tribe; no record exist that identifies either of these men as being of any other race, nation or people other than the Wicocomico Indians. These three records represent the highest level of evidence a historian or genealogical researcher could hope to obtain in a search to identify a family's racial origin. Couple these records with the Algonquian language based surname of Taptico and the recent Y-DNA results and you have a level of evidence that most genealogical researchers can only dream about.

While not the topic of the records presented below, it is also possible that Elinor, the wife of William Taptico (Sr.), was also Indian. If only we knew if and how George Taptico was connected to William Taptico (Sr.) we could possibly make that determination, for one of the records concerning George identifies his mother as being "Indian". As for Elizabeth, the wife of William Taptico (Jr.), I personally believe she was of European origin, but fully admit that this conclusion is based only on circumstantial evidence, certainly not the same high level of evidence presented below regarding the Taptico family.

NOTE: Capitalization of complete words supplied by me.

SOURCE: McIlwaine, H. R. (Comp.). (1925). Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia (Vol. 1, p. 284 ). Richmond: Virginia State Library.

Att a Councill held att James Citty y'e 29'th Apr'll 1693

His Excell'y
Ralph Wormely Sec'r, William Byrd, Chr: Wormely, Edward Hill, Hen:Whiteing, Hen: Hartwell, Richard Lee Esq'rs

On reading the Peticon of Taptico and other of the Wickocomoco Indians about their Lands, and the order of the Gen'll Court dates June the 17th 1678 and an order of Councill dates May the 22'd 1683 relateing thereto. It is the opinion and Advice of the Councill and Ordred in Councill that Cap't John Smithe one of the Persons Complained of by the said Indians, have regard that they be not disturbed, to the Infringement of the aforesaid Orders.

COMMENT: The Taptico mentioned in the above 1693 General Court record is almost certainly William Taptico (Sr.) since we find that he and his wife Elinor have in fact moved to Northumberland Co., VA and are selling their Dorchester County, Maryland lands two years later in 1695. Notice that this 1693 Northumberland County record identifies Taptico and others who petitioned as being "of the Wicocomico Indians"; they had sent a complaint to the court concerning "their lands". The record also lumps Taptico into the statement "complained of the said Indians". Also, given the comments of William Taptico Junior later in 1718 regarding his father's 1696 land agreement/bond, the above mentioned Taptico is most likely William Taptico (Sr.). "

SOURCE: McIlwaine, H. R. (Comp.). (1928). Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia (Vol. 3, p. 237). Richmond: Virginia State Library.

April the 19th 1710.
Present: The Honorable Edmund Jenings Esqs. President, Dudley Digges, Robert Carter Esqrs., James Blair Com'ry, Phillip Ludwell, Henry Duke, William Churchill Esqrs.
WILLIAM PAPTICO KING OF THE WICOCOMICO INDIANS came before the President and Council and presented three Indian arrows as an acknowledgment for their land HE AND HIS NATION holds in Northumberland County which at the desire of the sd. King is ordered to be noted in the Council books to perpetuate the claim of the said Nation of Indians to this land.

COMMENT: This is William Taptico, the slight variation in spelling, i.e., "Paptico", is incidental. The William Taptico of this 1710 record is most likely Junior (Wm. Taptico, Jr. who married Elizabeth) and not Senior (Wm. Taptico, Sr. who married Elinor), since only William Taptico (Jr.) is identified in a later 1718 record as being a "King of the Wicocomico Indians". Notice that this record identifies William Taptico as "King of the Wicocomico Indians" and speaks of "he and his Nation".

SOURCE: Northumberland County Record Book, 1718-1726, pp. 95 - 96. (Copy of original document obtained in 2003 from the Northumberland County, Virginia Courthouse.)

Know all men by these present that I WILLIAM TAPPTICO of the County of Northumberland in the colony of Virginia and KING OF THE WICOCOMICO INDIANS am holden and firmly bound unto Phillip Smith of the aforesaid County and Colony in the full and perfect sum of 1000 pounds current money of Virginia to be paid unto the said Phillip Smith, his heirs, executors, and administrators or assignees which payment will and truly to be made. I do hereby bind myself, my heirs, executors and administrators firmly by these presents as witness, my hand and seal this 31st day of December, 1718. Whereas the above bound WILLIAM TAPPTICOS FATHER DID IN THE YEAR 1695/96 obtaining liberty of John Smith of Purton in Gloucester County to seat, tend, and occupy a certain neck of land commonly Old Town Neck and as much land att the mouth of the Neck of the said WILLIAM TAPTICO, ELINDER HIS WIFE, WM TAPTICO JUN. And his heirs, male of his body begotten could tend and after their decease to the return to the said John Smith and his heirs forever Now know ye that if the said Wm Tapptico and his heirs male of his body begotten shall and will at all times att the season bid request of him said Phillip Smith, his heirs, etc make over unto the said Smith all his right, title and interest in and above the said Neck and all the right and property of the said Tapptico and his heirs both without the said Neck and shall and with at all times forever exonerate, aquit, and disclaim and forever defend the same from all manner of persons claiming from, by or under him the said William Tapptico or his heirs; male of his body begotten then the above obligation to be void and of none effect. In witnesses wheof I set my hand and seal this day and year above written.

Signed Sealed and Delivered In Presence of Maurice Jones Bridgett Ward

William Tapptico (Mark and Seal)
This Feb. 17, 1719
This bond of Wm Taptico to Phillip Smith was presented to the court by Rich Lee in benefit of the said Smith provided by the oath of Captain Maurice Jones and on this said Lees motion its admited to record.

Test. Richard Lee Co Clerk

December 31, 1718 - Received of Phillip Smith the sum of Fifty Pounds Sterling Bills of exchange which bills are to be accepted by Capt. Maurice Jones till the last of April, that the said Phillip Smith may have liberty of exchanging the bills for current money of Virginia and to make his bargain with William Taptico more firm in case any mistake be made concerning the said Taptico land for which the said Smith pays the sum of money I payed by me first into Maurice Jones hands.

William Taptico

Feb. 17, 1719 - This receipt of Wm Tappticos to Phillip Smith Gent. Was presented to court by Richard Lee in behalf of the said Smith and on Lees motion it's admitted to record.

Test. Rd. Lee Co Clerk

COMMENT: The above record indicates that William Taptico (Jr.) is still "King of the Wicocomico" in 1718. Here for the third time a Taptico man is identified as being "of the Wicocomico Indians". It also identifies William Taptico (Sr.) and "Elinder his wife" as the parents of William Junior. Thus, the William Taptico and wife Elinor who sold their Dorchester Co., MD land in 1695 were the parents of William Taptico (Jr.) the King of the Wicocomico Indians. Upon the death of the male heirs of William Taptico (Sr.) the above stated land was to pass to John Smith or his heirs via the mentioned 1696 land agreement. Thus, when William Taptico (Jr.) died in 1719 his family was left with no land on which to live. The loss of land and home would certainly have been reason enough for his widow, Elizabeth Taptico/Tapp, to move to Spotsylvania Co., VA by 1722.

Information contained in this message is not copyrighted. A copyright notice erroneously appeared in an earlier version and has been removed.

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