Helen Glenn Court


A French engineer, Nicholas Martiau was hired by the Virginia Colony in 1620 to survey and patent the land near what is now Yorktown, which led in 1632 to the establishment of a fort at Middle Plantation, later Williamsburg.

Sources: Stoudt, Nicholas Martiau: The Adventurous Huguenot; Jamestown Society, "Nicholas Martiau," www.jamestowne-wash-nova.org; Sorley, Lewises of Warner Hall

generation no. 1

Nicholas Martiau, born 1591 in France, will dated 1 March 1656, proved 1657 in VA. Married 1625 Elizabeth Jane de Berkeley, widow.

generation no. 2

Elizabeth Martiau, born 12 December 1625 in Elizabeth City, Norfolk Co., died c 1686 in Gloucester Co. Married 1641 George Reade.


Nicholas Martiau timeline

Will: Nicholas Martiau

1 March 1656

In the name of God, Amen.

I, Nicholas Martiau, of the County and Parrish of York, Gent: being very sick and weak in body but of sound and perfect memory blessed be God doe make ordain constitute and appoint this my last Will and Testament in manner and forme as following revoking annulling and making void and by these presents cancelling & disclaiming all in all manner of former and other Will or Wills written or noncupative all codicils legacies and bequeaths whatsoever by me at any time before the ensealing of this my last Will made signed and sealed or otherwise by word or mouth or made and delivered; and appoint this one to stand and be my last Will and Testament as follows...

First I bequeath my soule unto the hands of God my maker hoping and assuredly believing that when this life shall end I shall through the merit of Jesus Christ my Redeemer to enjoy everlasting rest and happiness and my body to the earth from whence it came to be decently buried. Item. For that estate which Almighty God hath been pleased to lend me in this world I hereby give bequeath and dispose thereof in manner and for following.

Item. I give and bequeath to my eldest daughter Elizabeth wife of George Read, Esq., and the heirs of her body begotten or to be begotten forever all that my divident of land situate lying and being in the said parish and county of York except as hereunder excepted with all houses and appurtenances.

Item. I give and bequeath to my daughter, Mary Searsbrook. wife of John Searsbrook so much of my said divident of land in York Parish as is situate and lying beyond the swamp (viz) on the south ward side of that swamp called commonly Brocces swamp upon part of which the said John is now seated to be held by the said Mary and her heirs lawfully begotten and to be begotten forever with appurtenances.

Item. I give and bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth Read and her heirs forever my old mare with her whole increase male and female to her and her heirs except the first mare foal she shall bring after my decease which I have by gift and bequeath with the whole increase thereof to my daughter, Sarah, wife of Capt. Fuller and her heirs forever. Item. I give and bequeath to my loving daughter, Mary Scarsbrook and her heirs forever the mare foal now running with my mare with whole increase male and female. Item. I give and bequeath to my loving daughter Elizabeth Read, my watch.

Item. I give to my said daughter Elizabeth and her heirs my gray gelding but my son John Searsabrook to make use of for his occasions two years after my decease when he shall desyre the same. I give and bequeath to my daughter Sarah Fuller, wife of Capt. William Fuller above named and to her heirs forever all my divident of land lying in Potomac and containing two thousand acres but in case it shall not be seated by some of them (viz) Capt. Fuller or his said wife or heirs at least one month before expiration of time limited by the patents for seating, then the same to be made sale of executrixes hereunder or named and the produce thereof to be equally divided between my said three loving daughters for the good of them and their children.

Item. My Will is that within one year after my decease all cattle now in my possession marked with my daughters "Fullers marls" shall be divided for the good of her and her children. 1 doe also give and bequeath to her and her heirs forever ten cows more out of my stock or to be bought out of my estate with their whole increase, male and female, and also a Bull to be delivered within a year as aforesaid.

Item. 1 give to my loving son, George Read, Esq., all my wearing apparel except my stuft suite and coate and new dimity caster which I hereby bequeath to my John Searsbrook and also Will that five pounds ready money now lying by me to be equally divided between my two sons-in- law.

Item. My will that at finishing the next crop after my debts are satisfied my two negroes Phil and Nicholas shall be free and that each of them have then delivered by my executrixes one cow and three barrels of corn, clothes, and also maybe to build them a house but they or either of them shall hire themselves after their said freedom or before from the land hereunder appointed then then they or he to return to my executor as for the good of them and their children and my will is that they have land sufficient for themselves to plant in the said field where William Lee lived for their lives or the life of the longer liver of them.

Item. I give and bequeath to Hugh Roy lately my servant one 3 year old heifer with her increase to be delivered on demand after my decease.

Item. I give and to my above named two loving daughter Elizabeth Read and Mary Searsbrook for the good of themselves and their children ail the rest of my estate whatsover in Virginia or elsewhere to be equally divided between them but this division not to be made until all my debts and legacies be satisfied which said several debts are to be paid out of the part of my estate above given to my said two daughters and their children without any charge to my daughter Sarah or her heirs.

Item. Lastly, I doe by these presents nominate and appoint confirm my two beloved daughters Elizabeth and Mary joint executrixes of this my last Will and Testament to see that the same performed and kept in confirmation of this my said last Will and Testament and of every matter clause or thing therein contained I have hereto set my hand and seal this 1st day of March 1656.

Nicholas Martiau (SEAL)

Seal and Signed in the presence of us Nicholas Trott Tho. Ballard

Proved in Court April 24, 1657 p. sacramentum, Nicholas Trott & Th. Ballard, Cl Curia & Recor eodem die & ano. Deeds, Orders, Wills No. 1, page 377

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