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David Potts
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David Potts was born about 1700 in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was without doubt the son of Jonas and Mary Potts, of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, though no record of birth has been found. All the traditions and statements of aged members of different lines of the family point to that conclusion. These allegations, summed up, may be included in the following. The Potts family came to Pennsylvania from Wales - some allege, with William Penn. They lived at or about Pottsgrove, where their ancestor owned a plantation to which the Virginia descendants were heirs. (Note: Jonas Potts owned and occupied a farm in Gilberts Manor, which adjoined Pottsgrove. It is not certain that he ever secured a full title to this land, and no deed of conveyance from him or his legal representatives has been found. Such a tradition might easily grow from such a foundation). One tradition, in a collateral line, alleges that Jonah or Jonas Potts came to Pennsylvania from Wales. Another tradition alleges that the Potts' were driven from Wales by reason of religious oppression.

The first notice of David is as a witness to the marriage certificates of the two daughters of Jonas Potts in 1719.

On 27 May 1731, the "Pennsylvania Gazette" contained the following advertisement: "Run away from David Potts, as Socken above the Great Swamp, (Note: The Great Swamp was a marshy tract of land in the upper end of Bucks County, including the village of Quakertown. Saucon is the name of a creek emptying from the south-west into the Lehigh River, a few miles below Bethlehem) a Servant Boy named John Williams, about seventeen Years of Age, of swarthy complexion, has black Hair, and two Molds on his Forehead. Had on a brown linsey-woolsey Jacket, Leather Breehes, a pair of Shoe packs, and Stockings footed White. He is supposed to have with him a Big Bay Horse, with a Switch Tail, and a Star in the Forehead, a helf crop and a half penny in the Ear, and branded on the near Shoulder I P with a Dagger, over it. Whoever secures him and gives notice to George Shoemaker, Innkeeper, in Philadelphia, so that his Master may have him again, shall have Forty Shillings Reward, and Reasonable Charges paid, by David Potts."

David removed to Virginia, but at what time is not clear. One person gave the date as 1735. In 1881, Eliza (Potts) Neer, then above 80 years of age, said that David Potts, her great-grandfather, on coming to Virginia, first settled in Jefferson County, where Cabletown now stands, and that his first wife died there. If this statement be true, then it is probable that the date named is substantially correct. It is however quite certain that he was in Fairfax County, Virginia in 1746, when he leased a tract of land from Catesby Cocke, for five shillings in hand paid, with power to purchase. The lease was dated, November 16, 1746, and covered a tract of 866 acres on Kittockton Run, in Fairfax County. The annual rental was one ear of Indian corn. Subsequently, Catesby Cocke and Mary, his wife, conveyed the same by deed to David Potts, who is therein described as a yeoman (landowner).


On 9 Jun 1747, David leased for one year, 333 acres, part of this same tract, to William Williams, at an annual rental of one ear of Indian corn. Subsequently David Potts and his wife, sold the same to Williams. On the same date David leased to John Osburn, 200 acres of this tract, and later David and his wife conveyed it to the said Osburn, by deed.

On 16 Jul 1753, Peter Lewis, yeoman, of Fairfax County, conveyed to David, one hundred acres of land on Kittockton Run.

In 1755, Loudoun County was formed from the northern part of Fairfax County, and David Potts' land was included in the new County. The land of David was located between the Short Hill and the Blue Ridge Mountain, in a valley known as Between-the-Hills. Loudoun County land records show the following additional conveyances of land, in which David was concerned. Catesby Cocke, of Fairfax County, sold to David, 540 acres of land situated, formerly in Prince William, now Loudoun County. It is described as being north west of Short Hill, and on the south run of the North branch of Kittockton.

On 8 May 1759, David sold and conveyed to "Jonas Potts, Smith, his half-brother," 270 acres, one half of tract of land, formerly granted by Catesby Cocke to the said David Potts. In describing the boundary, mention is made of "the corner of Samuel Potts' land," and of "Line of another Jonas Potts." On 8 Apr 1760, Joshua Gove and Elizabeth, his wife, sold and conveyed to David Potts, 310 acres of land on the head branches of Piney Run and on the west side of Short Hill.

David was brought up under the influence of the religious teaching of the Friends (Quakers), though it is not certain that he was recognized as a member in Pennsylvania. David was taken under the care of Fairfax Monthly Meeting on 10 mo. 31, 1748, as shown by the following minute of that date. "David Potts having been for a considerable time under the care and notice of Friends, now requests to be received as a member in unity, and nothing appearing to obstruct, his request was granted."

At the same meeting his sons Jonas and Jonathan Potts were also received into membership, and his daughter Ann Potts appeared in the declaration of intended marriage with John Vestal. As David's other children were afterwards recognized as members of the meeting, it is probable that his own acceptance carried with it that of his minor children.

On 12 mo. 24, 1749-50, the Fairfax Monthly Meeting issued a certificate addressed to the Monthly Meeting of Friends held at Chesterfield in West Jersey, commending the acceptable service of Joshua Greeve, while sojourning with them. Among the signers was David Potts.

Meetings were held at the house of David for several years, it being commonly known as Potts' Meeting. The Fairfax Monthly Meeting of 8 mo. 30, 1755, has this entry, "The Friends living above Short Hill Ridge have a meeting kept at David Potts' House, this meeting thinks it reasonable, and allows them to hold meeting on every first and third First-Day in every month till further orders."

On 9 mo. 30, 1758, Fairfax Monthly Meeting appointed Joseph Burson, (Note: Joseph Burson married Rachel Potts, a daughter of Jonas Potts, in 1719). Overseet at Potts' Particular Meeting until further orders. He was released as Overseer in 1762. It does not appear when this Meeting was discontinued.

 

David was twice married. He first married Elizabeth Lane, probably in Pennsylvania. She was a daughter of Edward Lane, of Perkioman. She is said to have been a woman of fair complexion, and was familiarly known as "Betty." His second wife was Ann R., whose maiden name has not come to notice. She was a woman of dark complexion, and was familiarly know as "Nancy."

David erected a grist and saw mill on his land not far from his residence, which was largely patronized. A mill still stands on the same site. These lands have continued in the possession of his descendants down to the present time. A portion of ground was set apart for a graveyard in which many of the family lie buried. David died 1 May 1768 in Loudoun County, Virginia, and was doubtless buried in the family graveyard, though no tombstone can now be found. His will was made 25 Apr 1768, and proven and record 9 May 1768. John Osburn and William Dillon were the Executors' bondsmen, who were held in the sum of L1000. Anne Potts, (widow), of the Parish of Cameron, County of Loudoun, was still living on 13 May 1771, when she executed a deed of gift to her son Samuel Potts, for "a negro Lad, named Austin."