Thursday, June 01, 2006


When Joseph Maddera / Maddra died in 1777, he left 200 acres in Isle of Wight County to his sons, James and Joseph. His will reads as follows:

“In the Name of God-Amen. I, Joseph Maddra of the County of Isle of Wight being in perfect health and memory do make this my last will and testament. I give and bequeath unto my loving wife Sarah Maddery the use of my land for her life afterwards to be divided between my two Sons James Maddery and Joseph Maddery I give and bequeath to my son James Maddery all of my land on the South Side of the branch beginning at the dancing bridge and down said Branch to Joseph Atkins line I give and bequeath unto my son Joseph – all of my land lying on the North Side of the above mentioned branch to him and his heirs forever except a small parcel of land lying over the Crooked Limb Road upon the north side I give and bequeath to my Neighbour William Barlow and his heirs forever Beginning of a white oak running South West course to a small Red Oak upon the said Road I give and bequeath to my loving wife Sarah Maddery all my Personable Estate During her life afterwards to be equally divided between my two sons James Maddera and Joseph Maddery Given under my hand this twenty Sixth Day of February in the year of our lord one thousand Seven Hundred and Seventh Seven.” (Isle of Wight County Will and Deed Book 9, 1779 – 1785, Reel 26, page 64)

For a few years, the two brothers were living side-by-side in Isle of Wight with their wives, the Wombwell sisters Mary and Margaret. In 1797, Joseph sold his land, and he and Margaret moved to Wake County, North Carolina.

According to Northampton County Deed Book No. 48, page 268, James (1750 – 1783) received a land grant of 500 acres in Northampton County, North Carolina, on October 29, 1782. One year later, he died, leaving the land to his five sons. His will reads as follows:

James Madray’s Will
April 22nd day 1783
In the Name of God Amen I James Maddrey
Of Northampton County in North Carolina being
in perfect ??? and memory Blessed be God for it
I do make this my Last Will and Testament in manner
And form following and personally I recommend my
Soul to the hands of Almighty God that gave it hoping
That through the meritorious death of my only Savior
Jesus Christ to have full pardon and free Remission
of all my Sins and my Body to be ??? Buried by
my Children ??? ??? and for ??? worldly Estate
as it hath ???
Item. I Give and Bequeath unto my Son Nathaniel Maddrey
One hundred acres of land the plantation he now
lives on
Item. I give and bequeath to my Son James Maddrey
Fifteen pounds Virginia money and one young mare
named ???
Item. I give and bequeath to my Son William Maddrey one
hundred acres of land lying between Nathaniel & William
Item. I give and bequeath to my Son Randolph Maddrey Two
hundred acres of land the plantation I now live on and
Two feather beds and Two cows and One calf and Twelve
head of hogs, Two mares one called P??? and f??? and One
pot and One frying pan and the Meat and Corn that
I leave, I also give unto him my B??? molds Plate molds
And for him to take care of his Mother Mary Maddrey
Item. I give and bequeath to my Daughter Hannah Davis
Ten pounds Virginia money
Item. I give and bequeath to my Daughter Lucy Maddrey
Fifteen pounds Virginia money One feather bed and
One cow yearling
My desire is that after my debts and Legacies is ???
The remains of my Estate may be equally divided
Amongst all my children named: Nathaniel Maddrey
James Maddrey William Maddrey Peter Maddrey
Randolph Maddrey Hannah Davis & Lucy Maddrey
I leave my sons William Maddrey Peter Maddrey and
Randolph Maddrey my Executors

The 1790 census lists Nathaniel Maddra, James Maddra, William Maddra, and Randolph Maddra as residents of Northampton County. (Curiously, a 1784-1787 Northampton County census also lists a Samuel as part of this family – was this perhaps a son of Josiah?) Their brother Peter made his will in 1786. It seems possible that he may have died before 1790. His will reads as follows:

Peter Madra’s Will
March 17th day 1786
In the name of God Amen I Peter Madra of Northampton
County in North Carolina being in perfect sense and memory
praised be god for it I do make this my last will & testament
as followeth ---------------
Item. I give & bequeath to my Brother Randolph Madra my sorrel
mare I call Fenick.
Item. I give & bequeath to my Sister Lucy Madra one negroe
Boy by the name of Daniel after the ??? in Law is deter-
mined I also give to her my boy mare named Dolley and my
sealskin trunk.
Item. I give & bequeath to my Sister Hannah Davis Children
to each of them James & Thomas two years schooling
to Bedey & Mary and Elizabeth one years each
Item. I give & bequeath to my brother Randolph my
Chest of Carpenters Tools
My desire is that the remainder part of my Estate after my
Debts and Legacies is paid may be sold and both land and
??? household furniture and equally divided among
my brothers, Nathaniel Madra and William Madra and
Randolph Maddra & my Brother James Madra’s Daughter
Sally Madra and I seek my Brother Randolph Madra
my sole and ??? Executor and to see the Children above
mentioned have their Schooling allowed them by the Executor.
Peter Madra
Northampton County 1st
June Court 1786

Dr. Charles E. Maddry writes that “there were many descendants from James Maddery and Mary Wombwell who remained in Isle of Wight and Surry Counties in Virginia. Others came into the border counties of eastern North Carolina.” It seems likely that the Northampton County Maddreys are descended from one or more of the four brothers. I trace my lineage to William.

In order to aid the research of other family genealogists, the texts of several documents pertaining to these four brothers are copied below. All of these, with the exception of the final document (Randolph Maddrey) come from the research of Olivia Maddrey McNeill. She adds that Randolph Maddrey died in 1806, and that his estate was divided among Randolph, Sally, John, Anne, and infants. Also: Elizabeth, Randolph’s wife, died in 1821, and left her slaves to the children.

239 acres, 3 slaves, 4 horses, 19 cattle, 8 sheep, 49 hogs, a parcel of wheat in crib, bacon and lard, fish in smoke house, 85 gallons of brandy in the house, 20 gallons for the family, honey & bees wax, wool & cotton flax, crop now on the plantation, cylinder of sweet potatoes, 5 hives, 7 augers, 2 chisels, drawing knife, hand saw, hammer, 2 pair carpenters compass, fleshing knife, 1 pair iron wedges, hatchet, 1 triangle, jointer, 6 barrels, 1 keg stand to salt meat, 2 fish barrels, 1 grinding stone, coopers, guns, saddles, bridles, 1 woman saddle, bridle, & plow gear, 3 beds and furniture, 2 chests, small boxes, 2 tables, 10 chairs, easel, qt. bottles, 2 snuff bells, butter dish, 1 stone mug, 2 thimbles, 1 teapot, 1 case knife, 9 pewter dishes, pewter plates, 1 doz. Tablespoons, 1 doz. Teaspoons, 2 guns, 1 cartridge, box of powder, shot, some powder, 6 fire flints, sword, 1 pewter candle mold & candle stick, sniffers, 1 flax wheel, woolen wheel, 4 pair cards, 1 loom, 2 sl ???, 1 wash basin, 2 meat skewers, 1 pair sheep shears, 1 dictionary, old books, 1 looking glass, 1 chest lock, a pair money scales, 1 pocket book, 3 razors, 1 dutchoven, frying pan, skillet, 2 lamb skins, 20 deer skins, shoe leather, 2 washing tubs & tray, seed oats, hay, and potatoes. In money 14 lbs. 5 shillings, dollar and 10. $34.60 $1.10
E. Hayes (1800)
Balance to Estate after sale Nov. 1802 was 419 lbs. 7 shillings. $1006.44

Mary Maddrey wife of Nathaniel D. Maddrey
In the name of God Amen I Mary Maddrey of Northampton County and state of North Carolina, being of sound mind and disposing memory, do make and publish this my last will and testament.
First. I give and bequeath unto my grandson Henry Maddrey (son of William Maddrey) Three negroes Easter, Peter, and Miles and their future increase(?) to him and his heirs forever.
Secondly. I give and bequeath unto my son William Maddrey the whole of the balance of my estate after paying my last debts and funeral expenses to him and his heirs forever.
I do hereby nominate and appoint my son William Maddrey my whole and sole executor to this my last will and testament, disannulling and making void all other wills heretofore made by me. In testimony whereof I have set my hand and seal this Twenty ninth day of June Anno Domini eighteen hundred and twenty six. 29, June 1826.
Mary Maddrey

JAMES MADDREY DECEMBER 29, 1818 filed March 1819
I bequeath to my mother Mary Maddrey $350.00 and a note which I hold against her.
I give to nephew Lazarus Maddrey $75.00 to be applied for his education.
I give to my nephew John Maddrey $350.00 out of which $150.00 to be applied to his education my Executor pay the other $200.00 when he gets twenty one.
I give to nephew James T. Maddrey my small gun to him and his heirs.
I give to nephew Henry W. Maddrey my large gun to him and his heirs.
I give to nephew Anderson J. Maddrey my chest and two trunks to him and his heirs.
I lend to my brother William Maddrey all my land I possess during his life at his death it is to be sold and divided among the whole of his children.
I appoint my brother William Maddrey Jr. sole Executor to pay all my debts and the remainder of my estate to him. Signed and sealed Dec. 29, 1818.
J. Maddrey

To all people to whom these present shall come I William Maddrey, Sen. of the county of Northampton County, state of N.C. send greetings. Know yea that I William Maddrey, Sen. for the consideration of the natural love and affection which I have and bear unto my Grandson Jessie Maddrey of NHC and state aforesaid and for giving other good causes and consideration have given and granted and by these present do give and grant unto the said Jessie Maddrey a certain tract of land called “Peter’s Place” containing one hundred and forty acres more or less. Bounded by the land of Thomas D. Hollamon Heirs, John Maddrey, son of Randolph and other’s. To have and to hold the above mentioned land and premise together with all the compensation, which may arise from the same. Also I give with the same love and affection give unto the said Jessie Maddrey the following negroes Aran and Jacob, one feather bed & furniture, two cows & calf, two sows & pigs. To have and to hold and enjoy the land together with the above property do give unto said Jessie Maddrey all and singularly the said land and persons together to Jessie Maddrey and his executor and heirs. Will warranty and forever defend his rights by those present. I seal this and record 2 day December 1820.
William Maddrey, Sen.
Wit. Lewis Woodard

Same wording as above. To Willie Maddrey grandson too.
One Hundred Forty acres where William Maddrey Sen. now lives.
2 negroes Mary and Abram, one feather bed & furniture, 2 cows & calf
2 sows & pigs.
William Maddrey, Sen.
Wit. Lewis Woodard
William Maddrey, Jr.
Recorded 2 day December 1820

Munell to Madrey
Registered July 5th Day 1787
To all to whom these presents shall come Randolph Madry of Northhampton County – planter – sendeth greeting, Know ye that I Randolph Madry Executor of Peter Maddrey’s Estate – Deceased(?) – for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds Virginia money, to me in hand paid at or before the Ensealing or Delivering there of by Nathaniel Maddry, of the same county aforesaid – planter, the Recipient – when of I do hereby acknowledge, have bargained & sold aliened ??? relinquish conveyed confirmed & by these presents do freely, clearly, absolutely, give grant – bargain sell aliened relinquish(?) and convey and confirm unto the said Nathaniel Maddrey, his heirs and assigns for ever all the certain tract of parcel of land it being a tract or parcel of land belonging to the Estate of Peter Maddry – Deceased – in the County of Northampton and of North Carolina on the North side of Kirbys(?) Creek beginning at a white oak John Reynold’s line along his line N45 E180 pole to a pine then S 45 E 140 pole to a poplar in the Cabbin(?) Branch Walter Mossell(?) line there So. 45 W 120 pole then along the side of the branch to a pine then down the ??? of the branch S 45 E 44 pole to the said main branch then down the said branch S 26 W 80 pole to a poplar at the mouth of the said branch then up the various courses of the said creek to the first station to have and to hold the said tract or parcel of land containing by estimation two hundred acres more or less to gather with all woods under woods water & water courses buildings fences & improvements whatsoever to the same belonging unto him and the said Nathaniel Maddrey his heirs and assigns for ever to these only Souls use and ??? I the said Randolph Maddrey at the Ensealing and Delivering thereof do vouch myself to be the Executor of Peter Maddrey Estate – Deceased – of the above mentioned two hundred acres of land with the appurtenances thereunto belonging, and appertaining and have full power right & lawful authority to sell and dispose of the land freely, and clearly, ??? exonerated(?) and discharged of from all manner of encumbrances whatsoever and I the said Randolph Maddrey, for myself my heirs Executors(?) Administrators(?) do covenant and agree to with the said Nathaniel Maddrey, his heirs and assigns against the lawful demand of all persons whatsoever in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty eight-day of February, one thousand seven hundred & eighty seven.
Randolph Maddrey

Until recently, I assumed that William was the son of James (1750 - 1783) and the father of James Thomas Maddrey (1806 - 1866). However, new information based on the research of Olivia Maddrey McNeill makes it appear as if I am missing a generation. Were there two Williams, father and son?

Becky Dozier provides the following information from an 1824 will of William Maddrey Sr.:
"item 1 – wife Sarah / item 2 – land to wife / item 3 – grandson Jesse Maddrey / item 4 – grandson Willie Maddrey / item 5 – grandson William Gums / item 6 – grandson Anthony Gums / item 7 – grandson Umphrey Gums / item 8 – nephew William Maddrey / item 9 – James Thomas Maddrey (no relationship given) / item 10 – Henry W. Maddrey (no relationship given) / item 11 - Nathaniel Maddrey (no relationship given) / item 12 – Anderson J. Maddrey (no relationship given) / item 13 – property left to wife until her death to be equally divided between Jesse & Willie Maddrey / item 14 – everything not divided to be given by Extr to Wm Maddrey. Will written 21 May 1824, probated Sept. 1826."

This will mentions James Thomas Maddrey, Henry W. Maddrey, Nathaniel Maddrey and Anderson J. Maddrey. Are these the children of William Jr?
James Thomas Maddrey, my ancestor (1806 - 1866)
Henry White Maddrey (August 24, 1810 - July 20 , 1867)
Nathaniel F. Maddrey (b. 1813)
Anderson J. Maddrey (1814 - 1888?)
Mary W. (b. 1817)
Rebecca (b. 1819)

Family researchers have suggested three different names for their mother, William's wife:
(1) Sally Odom
(2) Sally Monger - this name is found in handwritten notes of the late James Anderson Maddrey
(3) Sarah "Sallie" Sykes

Research of Olivia Maddrey McNeill includes the following documents pertaining to William Maddrey Jr., his wife Sally, and their children:

Lot #1 – Jacob val. $1,000. drawn by Salley T. Maddrey and pay to Mary W. maddrey $65.62 ½.
Lot #2 – Daniel val. $900. to Henry W. Maddrey and receive from James T. Maddrey $34.37 ½
Lot #3 – Tempy and Amy val. $900. drawn by Anderson J. Maddrey receive from james T. Maddrey $34.37 ½.
Lot #4 – Edwin & Phoebe val. $900. drawn by Nathaniel F. Maddrey and pay Mary W. Maddrey $15.62 ½.
Lot #5 – Deban & Lucy val. $1,050. drawn by Salley Maddrey pay to Mary W. Maddrey $115.62 ½.
Lot #6 – Mason & Tom val. $1,025. drawn by Rebecca W. Maddrey pay Mary W. Maddrey $90.62 ½.
Lot #7 – Matt val. $667. by Mary W. Maddrey and receive from Salley T. Maddrey $65.62 ½ from Nathaniel F. Maddrey $15.62 ½, from Salley Maddrey $115.62 ½, from Rebecca W. Maddrey $90.62 ½, and from James T. Maddrey $46.87 ½.
Lot #8 – Ramous, Cherry and Bob val. $1,050 drawn by James T. Maddrey and pay to Henry W. Maddrey $54.37 ½, pay to Anderson J. Maddrey $34.37 ½, and pay to Mary W. Maddrey $46.87 ½. April 8, 1836. Total value $6,063.00

In the name of God Amen
I Sally Maddry being of sound mind and
??? memory and calling to mind that it is
appointed for all mankind over to die do this
day make ordain and publish this my last will
and testament in manner and form following:
first my will and desire is that my just debts be
paid by my executor herein named, and for that
purpose I desire my negro named ??? to be
sold by my said executor.
Secondly I give and bequeath to my son Nat. T. Madry
Our cow and calf
Thirdly I give to my son Henry W. Maddry One
Feather bed and furniture.
Fourthly I give to my Daughter Rebecca Stephens
One cow and calf
Fifthly I give to my son Anderson Maddrey
One bed and furniture
Sixthly, I give to my Daughter Mary Taylor One
Seventhly, I give to my Grandson William Maddrey
Son of Rebecca Stephens my Negro Girl Lucy and
her future increase(?) provided he arrives at the
age of twenty one years first Should he die
before he arrives at that age my will and desire
is that the said Lucy and her increase if any be
he equally divided, between the whole of my
children that may be alive at that time
& my desire is that my executor hire out the said negro
girl Lucy until the said William arrives at the age
of twenty one or die Should he arrive at the age of
twenty years then I give the said negro Lucy & her
increase to him and his heirs forever, and should the said
William die under twenty one years of age –
then I give the negro & her increase to all my
children which may be alive at that time to equally
divided between them
And eighthly, I give and bequeath to my
Son Nathaniel F. Maddry the residue(?) of my
whole estate of whatsoever kind it may count.
And lastly I do by these persons nominate and appoint
my Son Henry W. Maddrey whole and sole Executor to
this my last will and testament revoking all
the wills by me heretofore made and
declaring this to be my last will and testament.
In witness whereof I ??? herewith set my hand
and seal this 2nd day of Sept. 1842.
Sally Maddry

I would LOVE some help sorting out the details of all this information! Please respond directly to the blog by clicking on the "comments" icon below this posted message.


  1. Hello, My name is Brad Madry. I am a descendant of James and Sarah Maddera. I believe that I have a missing link to your tree! I may have it. I am going to do some more research. If you would like to contact me at

    I have to get with my mother and sister in law and figure this out!

    thanks Brad L. Madry

  2. Anonymous5/11/2011

    Hi! Iam Jenn Crane. I descend from Junie Rochelle & R.B. Maddrey. I have had little luck with the Rochelle line. I love your web site!

  3. Anonymous12/25/2014

    Hello, I am Philip Madre here is what I think is my dads genealogy. Arnold Madre b. 1913,William Francis Madre b. 1863, William Gouldsmith Madrey b. 1830, William Maddrey Jr. b. 1800, William Maddrey Sr. b. 1770, James Madrey B 1750, Joseph Maddray b. 1725, James Maddray Jr. b. 1695 Isle of Wight, James Maddray Sr. b. 1662 England Let me know if you agree.

    1. Hi Philip - I don't see any indication in my research that William Maddrey (b. 1770) had a son named William (b. 1800), but that certainly doesn't mean it's not true. The oldest children named in my research are a daughter named Salley (who married Richard Inman in 1837) and my ancestor James Thomas Maddrey (b. 1806 or 1807). It seems likely that William Maddrey (b. 1770) would have fathered children before Salley and James. To be fair, information on this generation is pretty fuzzy.... The Maddreys used certain names, like William, so many times that even the primary documents are pretty confusing.

  4. Mr. Maddrey,

    I really enjoy your blog. Thank you for the information.

    William Benton Maddry, son of Frankie Maddry and "Mr. Drake" Maddry, is my 2nd GG. As you know, Frankie is the daughter of Margaret Wombwell and Joseph Maddrey. Who are "Mr. Drake's" parents"