I should identify the person that I have been researching. My father’s mother was Harriet Bird. Harriet Bird’s grandfather was William S. Bird. William S. Bird’s father was John Bird. John Bird is the person that I have been trying to find information about his ancestry.
In Search of John Bird
The information most researchers have on John Bird is: born February 4, 1742 in Middlesex County, Virginia and died 1833 in Bedford County, Virginia. His wife was named Jane. John Bird moved to Bedford County, Virginia in 1796 & purchased 142 acres.
John Bird was in Loudoun County, Virginia as early as 1768 in Cameron Parish. John Bird appears in Loudoun County, Virginia until as late as 1790.
The earliest record of John Bird in Loudoun County is: Loudoun County Cameron Parish 1768
Tithe List by Leven Powell included: John Burd and a family friend Thomas Hunt.
Index to the Tithables of Loudoun County, Virginia 1758-1786 – Margaret Lail Hopkins
John Byrd – Cameron Parish 1779, 1780, 1782
John Byrd – Shelburne Parish 1773-1777, 1783 & 1785
1790 Loudoun County census – Thomas Bird listed with Samuel Gregg;
Luke Bird 5 horses; Benjamin Bird 5 horses listed near Luke;
John Bird 3 horses; Elizabeth Bird 2 horses; Derrick Bird 2 horses
Interesting facts when researching the ancestry of John Bird from Loudoun County, Virginia:
1. It is generally assumed that John, Luke and Benjamin Bird are brothers. It is also assumed they are the son of Richard Bird. The three brothers did not have a male son named Richard or any name similar to Richard. The brothers lived close to each other in Loudoun and Bedford County, Virginia. A Franklin County, Virginia land transaction verifies the relationship between John and Luke Bird.
Franklin County Virginia Deed Book 10 page 7, March 4, 1822 Luke Bird to Charles Lunsden and John W. Lumsden (of the 3rd) where Luke Bird is indebted to John W. Lumsden in the sum of 58 dollars, 10 cents (secured by personal property) and the oat mill owned and claimed by my brother, John Bird and myself. No Witness
2. Researching land transactions in Loudoun County, Virginia in the period that the Bird brothers lived there shows no land transactions by the Bird brothers. The brothers must have been tenant farmers on larger plantations. The early grants were usually large tracts of around 600 acres or more and no Bird name appears on those grants. A Bird family from the Westover Birds would have surely received one of those grants.
A Westover Bird would have also spelled the surname as Byrd. A court transaction from Loudoun County, Virginia shows that one of this Bird family was a tenant farmer. The Bird, Semones and Hunt families were most likely all renters.
According to the Loudoun County, VA Guardian Accounts 1759-1904, a Samuel Conner was under the guardianship of Preston Hampton: beginning 1785; income from Clater Smith in part for rents he rec’d., from Stephen Hunt arrears of rent for 1786 and 1787 which Clater Smith had not rec’d., from Stephen Hunt for rent of 1788-93, from Joseph Braden for rent of 1788-95, from Luke Bird for Hunt’s place 1793-95, and from Clater Smith dec’d, of tenants. Scrs: James Coleman, William Stanhope, and Johnston Cleveland. TrCt 9 Oct 1797 (A:145)
3. John Bird and his brothers were closely associated with the Semones and Hunt families. The area the Bird, Semones and Hunt families lived in Loudoun County was mainly of the Quaker faith. The Philip Michael, Jr. family lived in Loudoun County and later moved to Bedford County, Virginia. John Bird’s son William S. married the daughter of Philip Michael, Jr..
4. A few years prior to the Revolutionary War, John Bird appeared on tithe lists with Captain Samuel Cox.
Tax List from Cameron Parish 1773 taken by George West – Samuel Cox, Abraham Bateman, John Bird, Jacob Woolbright.
Tax List from Shelburn Parish 1776 by Thomas Lewis – Captain Samuel Cox, John Bird, Thomas Featherstone, James Hampton, Daniel Black, John Semonius.
John Semones was born about 1725 probably in Switzerland and died before 1803 in Bedford County, Virginia. Daniel Black was born circa 1746 and probably married to daughter of John Semones.
Samuel Cox had a grist mill in Loudoun County, Virginia before the Revolutionary War. John Bird may have worked at the grist mill and lived on the Cox plantation.
5. It is generally assumed that John Bird was born 1742 in Middlesex County, Virginia. If John Bird was 21 years old when he appeared on a 1768 Loudoun County Tithe List that would make his birth date closer to 1747. The birth dates between 1742 to 1747 might mean an age of 28 to 33 when he was married. It is generally assumed that a tithe age would be 21 but if John Bird was 16 on the 1768 tithe list that would equate to an age of 23 when married in 1775.
6. The wife of John Bird is identified by the name Jane with the surname unknown. The identity of John’s wife Jane may relate to their eldest son William Simons. William Simons Bird was born December 28, 1777. This birth date might indicate a marriage date before March 1777 and possibly as early as 1775. The marriage dates between 1775 and 1777 would mean a marriage in Loudoun County, Virginia. If the marriage was recorded by the Quaker faith or any religion that wasn’t the official Anglican faith of the British Crown would have been a problem. The minister would have kept records but probably never officially recorded.
The name of the eldest son William Simons might answer some questions about the identity Jane Bird. The name William may have been the brother and the name Simons may be Jane’s surname. Jane may have been the daughter of John Semones.
7. John Bird’s identity may be revealed from a tithe list with an older Luke Bird. The existence of an elder Luke Bird is revealed on a 1785 tithe list.
A List of Tithables by John Alexander taken the year 1785 (Loudoun Co., VA).
Luke Bird Sr., Luke Bird Jr. 2
Benjamin Bird 1
John Bird 1
This tithe list may be important because it lists a Luke, Sr and a Luke, Jr. and a brother John plus another brother Benjamin. The birthday of Luke Bird Jr. was December 25, 1768 meaning that he was 17 years old when the list was taken.
8. We also know from the 1822 Franklin County, Virginia land transaction that John Bird was Luke Bird’s brother and John Bird’s birth date was 1745-1750. This would adjust the birth date of Luke and John Bird’s father to 1725 or earlier.
The following lineage seems possible considering the individuals that were recorded in Loudoun County, Virginia.
1.Thomas Bird born about 1678 in Oyster Bay, Nassau, New York
Thomas Bird children
1a. Andrew Bird born about 1716 in Somerville, Raritan, New Jersey
1b. Andrew Bird born August 14,1741 in Somerset County, New Jersey
1c. Derrick Bird born 1763 (Derrick Bird appeared on the 1790 US Census for Loudoun County, Virginia and possibly returned to Pennsylvania before remarrying.)
2. Lucas born 1720 (This individual is assumed to be Luke, Sr.)
John born 1745-1750
Benjamin born circa 1762
Luke, Jr. born circa 1769
Thomas Richard born circa 1762
Derrick Bird (the grandson of Andrew is shown to reveal the relationship to the Lucas Bird family and possibly why he appeared on the Loudoun County, Virginia tax list).