NOWLIN, David, of Goochland Co VA

David Nowlin was born ca 1730 in Goochland Co VA, where he died in 1777.[1] He was a son of Stephen and Mary (Perkins) Nowlin.

David married Mary Ferguson, on an unknown date, probably in the same county where both were born and resided. Mary was a daughter of James and Agnes (Adams) Ferguson.

The Douglas Register[2] lists several Nowlin, Knolling, or Knowling[3] births or marriages that relate to David and Mary (Ferguson) Nowlin:

  • Christopher Knowling & Mary Emmerson, a daughter Martha born Oct 28, 175… Baptized 1757 Ap: 11, p 130. There is also an entry in the Douglas Register for Christopher Norden, who married Mary Emmerson, 13 June 1754. Descendants of this couple used the name Norton[4].
  • David Knowling & Mary Fergusson, a son Joseph born May 8, 1758 Baptized 1759 Sep: 29
  • David Knowling & Mary ffergusson a Daughter named Milley born Sept 1, 1760. Baptized 1761 Jun: 6, p. 60.
  • Ann Knolling[5] m 26 Aug 1762 John Webster.
  • David Knowling & Mary ffergusson a son named Abraham born May 3, 1763. Baptized 1763 Sep: 4, p. 65.
  • John Knolling[6] m 22 Nov 1765 Mary Patterson.
  • John Knowling & Mary Paterson a son named James Pugh born Nov 22 1765. Baptized Jun 15 1766. p. 74.
  • John Knowling & Mary Peterson twins named Sarah & Susannah born Oct 15 1767. Baptized Jan 24 1768. p. 79.
  • Knolling, Eliz: & Ashley Alvis. both of Goochland Dec. 16 1772 p. 13.
  • Knolling, Sarah & Tucker Woodson 29 Dec. 1774.
  • Tucker Woodson & Sarah Knolling, a son Charles Woodson born Dec 29 1774 Baptized Jan. 15 1775
  • Sarah Knowling m 25 Dec 1775 Jacob Johnson.
  • Knowling, James and Sarah Webster both of ys parish. Mar 10 1776, p. 17.
  • James Knowling & Sarah Webster a child named Samuel born Dec. 23, 1777. Baptized May 4, 1777. p. 101.
  • Ja: Knowling & Sarah Webster a child named Ann born Sep 1781, Baptized Nov. 18, 1781. p. 105.

I have not been able to locate anything further about Christopher, who married Mary Emmerson, or John Nowlin/Knowling, who married Mary Patterson (or Peterson).

Other related Goochland Co VA marriages have been posted at “Selected Marriages of Goochland Co, Virginia,” marr/va-goochland.txt[7]:

  • 17 Jun 1782 Stephen Nowling[8] & Susanna Clarke
    • Married by Rev. Reuben Ford.
    • Goochland Co. Minister Returns. pg 392
  • 17 Oct 1784 David Nowlin & Ann Powell, d/o William Powell
    • Sur: Daniel Aston (spelled Ashton on the bond), pg 30
  • 29 Nov 1786 Thomas Chancellor & Milley Nowlin
    • Sur: Abraham Nowlin
    • Wit: William Millerd pg 35
  • 16 Feb 1788 Abram Nowlin & Mildred Watkins
    • Sur: Thomas Watkins, pg 39
  • 6 Nov 1789 Stephen Nowling[9] & Ann Witt (Deed Bk 15, p 478)
    • Goochland Co Marriage Register pg 394 [Surety for this marriage was Ashley Alvis. KP]
  • 2 Feb 1797 Henry M Layne & Nancy Clarke
    • Sur: Stephen Nowlin Jr pg 62
  • 19 Dec 1800 David Nowlin & Susanna Crouch
    • Sur: Stephen Woodson
    • Married 30 Dec by Rev. Charles Hopkins. p76
  • 24 Feb 1810 Thomas Martin & Polly Nowlin, d/o Stephen & Ann Nowlin
    • Sur: Robert Martin pg 106
  • 29 Apr 1811 Robert Rutherford & Elizabeth Royster, d/o Thomas Royster, dec.
    • David Royster is her guardian.
    • Sur: Stephen Nowlin pg 302
  • 26 Nov 1814 Turner R Henley & Huldah Higgason,
    • born 26 Sept 1791, sister of Elizabeth Nowling.
    • Sur: Daniel Wade Jr
    • Wit: Richard McCord pg 122

Probably the last three marriages were a younger generation than the children of David and Mary (Ferguson) Nowlin, being considered here.


Buckingham Co VA connection:

The following records, Buckingham Co VA Records, Buckingham Land Tax Summaries & Implied Deeds, were found at “O’Nolan (Nowland) (Noland) (Nowlen) (Nowlin) (Nolun) (Nolin) (Nowling) (Nolen) Census, Deed, Land, Marriage, & Obituary Records, 195-1990: Ireland, Austria, Canada, England, France, Spain, United States –Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee,” by Glenn Allen Nolen @, at[10]:

  • Nowlan, _____. 1797- sold 200 acres to Powell Hughes and John Langford. 1805- sold 35 and 1/2 acres to Leander Hughes.
  • Nowlin, A. 1813- adjacent to Thomas Chancellor.
  • Nowlan, Abraham. 1791 to 1814. Bought: 1798- 43 and 1/4th acres from P. Patteson. 1803- 127 acres from James Nowlin. 1805- 142 acres on Colemans Road (24W) from James Nowlan. 1806- 25 and 3/4th acres from Joice P. Christian and others. 1813/1814 Location: residence on Colemans Road (24W), with other parcels adjacent on the Naked Mountain, and 25 and 3/4th acres from Duiguid. Adjacent Samuel Nowlin (24W) in 1814.
  • Nowlin, D. 1811- sold 178 and 1/2 acres to Charles Phelps on Coleman Road (24W).
  • Nowlin, David. 1799 to 1814. Bought: 1799- 470 and 1/2 acres from Winfrey. 1804- 100 acres from A. Nunally. 1805- ­170 acres from William Jones. 1806- 90 acres from James Nowlin. 1807- 37 acres from Leander Hughes. 1807- 100 acres from Bernard Nunally. 1811- 232 acres from Isoms. Sold: 1811- 50 acres to Captain John Morgan (10SW). 1814- 232 acres on Slate River (16NE) to John Hill. 1813/1814 Location:, residence on Sharps Creek (16NE) with land bought of Nunally, also adjacent J. Harris and William Jones. In 1803, in possession of 111 acres of Dorothy Mullins on Sharps Creek (16NE); in 1814, his residence on this land.
  • Nolin, J. 1806- sold 63 acres to Leander Hughes.
  • Nowlan, James. 1784, 1797 to 1805. Bought: 1797- 170 acres from Pleasants. Sold: 1784- 250 acres to Thomas Hardwick. 1803- sold 127 acres to Abraham Nowlan. 1805- ­142 acres on Colemans Road (24W) to Abram Nowlan. 1806- ­sold 90 acres to David Nowlan, and 83 acres to John Langford.
  • Nowlin, S. 1805- sold 37 acres to Leander Hughes.
  • Nowlin, Samuel. 1805 to 1811, 1814. Bought: 1805­- 200 acres from Webster. 1814 Location: a resident, land adjacent (24W) Abraham Nowlin and J. Patteson, claimed by inheritance from his father.

In addition to the obvious fact of marriages and births in the same location, and sureties, several of the children of David and Mary moved, possibly as a group, possibly one after another, to Buckingham Co VA. Also, some of these Nowlins and their spouses are also linked through other families, for example, the Websters and the Woodsons. Also, in 1789 in Goochland Co VA, Ashley witnessed the marriage of Stephen Nowlin, whom I believe to be his brother-in-law. Ashley and Elizabeth (Nowlin) Alvis named a son Abraham, a name not previously used in the Alvis family, but the name of Elizabeth’s apparent brother.

Based on these records, I assert that the children of David and Mary (Ferguson) Nowlin were:

  1. Elizabeth,[11] married Ashley Alvis,[12] 1772, to Buckingham Co VA, 1794-ca 1805.
  2. Sarah, married Tucker Woodson[13] 1774 or Jacob Johnson[14] in 1775.
  3. James A, married Sarah Webster, 1776, to Buckingham Co VA, 1787-1805; sons were in Buckingham County as late as 1820 and probably after.
  4. Stephen, possibly the man who married Susannah Clarke, 1782, and then Ann Witt, 1789, with Ashley Alvis as surety
  5. David, possibly the man who married Ann Powell, 1784, and then Susannah Crouch, 1800
  6. Joseph (proven from Douglas Register)
  7. Milly (proven from Douglas Register), married Thomas Chancellor, 1786, lived adjacent to Abraham Nowlin in Buckingham Co VA, 1813; Thomas started receiving a Revolutionary War pension in that county in 1833.[15]
  8. Abraham (proven from Douglas Register), married Mildred Watkins, 1786, to Buckingham Co VA, 1790-1814. Abraham Jr was in the 1820 census there.

© 2009, Kathy Alvis Patterson

[1] John Frederick Dorman, Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia, 1607-1624/5, 4th ed., Vol. 1, Pt. B, p. 762.

[2] The Douglas Register, Being a detailed record of Births. Marriages and Deaths together with other interesting notes, as kept by the Rev. William Douglas from 1750 to 1797. An index of Goochland Wills. Notes on the French-Huguenot Refugees who lived in Manakin-Town. Transcribed and Edited by W. Mae Jones, GenealogicaI Publishing Co, Inc. Baltimore, MD, 1985, pp. 30, 136, 232.

[3] All Douglas Register entries use a letter “k” for this family.

[4] See, for example, Scott Norton, “” at, posted 2007.

[5] Ann was a sister of the David Nowlin being studied here; her husband Luke was a brother of Sarah Webster, who married James A Nowlin and an uncle of Elizabeth Webster who married Ashley Alvis. Luke and John also had a brother Samuel , who was a maternal ancestor of mine, while these Nowlins were my father’s ancestors.

[6] There was a John Nowlin, youngest son of David’s grandparents, James and Catherine (Ward) Nowlin, named in his father’s 1749 will. He may be the same John Nowlin found in a 1771 tax list in Surry Co NC. If this is the same man, he would have been in his 40s. 

[7]From Marriages of Goochland Co VA 1733-1815, Kathleen Booth Williams, 1979,

[8] Among others, “William A Bateman’s Family Tree,” posted by Bill, presumably William A Bateman, 9 Oct 2008 at says this a son from the second marriage of James Nowlin, the immigrant. 

[9] Identified at as the same Stephen who earlier married Susannah Clarke.

[10] Ward, Roger G., Buckingham Virginia Records: Land Tax Summaries and Implied Deeds, 1782-1814, Vol. I., 224-225.

[11] If Elizabeth had been 20 at the time of her marriage, David and Mary would have been about 22 and 19 when she was born. 

[12] Sarah Webster’s niece Elizabeth married Ashley Alvis’s younger brother Zachariah in 1798 in Goochland Co VA

[13] Identified at “Dodge Family,” posted by Robert Dodge, 2004, at as marrying a third time soon after the birth of son Charles to his second wife, Sarah (Knolling) Woodson, who must have died possibly in childbirth, and himself dying in 1779, Albemarle Co VA.

[14] “Picken-Lewis Ancestry,” posted by Paula Picken, 15 Apr 2006, at Sarah Knowling was born 3 Dec 1752 and died in 28 Dec 1838 in Nelson Co VA; her husband died in 1814 in Goochland Co VA. This couple had 8 children, with no David, Abraham, or Mary, but no children were named for Jacob’s parents either. Their first son was named Stephen.


Published on March 17, 2009 at 5:03 am  Comments (3)  

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  1. are you aware of a james nowlin marrying ursula patterson. they lived in stuart, va before the time of the amerian revolution. he served in the revolution but she was unable to obtain his pension due to lost records.

    • Can you verify the last name of Ursula? My mother had done a huge amount of genealogy of our families. She had us traced back to James Nowlin (d. c1816) and Ursula ??. We are decended thru their son Richard (b. c.1774, d. in Patrick Co., VA),who married Mary Burnett (b. c.1779, d. bef 1850) , their dau. Lucy Nolan (b. 1805/6, d. 15 Feb 1881 in Patrick Co., VA) who married Adam Turner, Jr (b. 27 Mar 1803, d. 21 Jan 1889 in Patrick Co., VA) , their dau. Mary Lou Turner (b. 20 May 1827, d. 6 Aug 1911) who married Samuel John Adkins (15 Feb 1817 in Franklin Co., VA, d. 9 Sep 1888). Their son Samuel John Adkins, Jr. was my ggrand father.
      Do you have any other information about these Nowlins and Pattersons?

  2. My Nowlins were living in Tennessee from before the Civil War. GGgrandfather was Stephen James Nowlin, GGrandfather James Stephen. Have a cousin who has traced out family back pretty far–they also started out as O’Nalin/Nawlan (all those different spellings). I am just curious if the Texas Nowlins ae related. All family of Stephen James except him went to Texas.

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