JOSEPH HOLLINGSWORTH, SON OF VALENTINE
Joseph Hollingsworth, the 10th child of Valentine Hollingsworth, is probably the least studied of Valentine’s sons who reached adulthood.
Harry Hollingsworth, in the September, 1969, issue of the Hollingsworth Register, states:
JOSEPH HOLLINGSWORTH, born 10 July 1686 Shellpot Creek, New Castle County, Pennsylvania, died about 1732 or 1733, Opeckan, Frederick Co.,
Virginia, aged about 47 years. He was a cooper or barrel maker, by trade. Estate administered in Orange Co., Virginia, 26 Apr. 1737 by Isaac Parkins.
He married, before 1730 (probably about 1708-10 but we have no record-Ed.) ELIZABETH ________ (maiden name not known to us). She was probably
born c1690; died after 1733 location not known. Before 13 Nov. 1733 Elizabeth had re-married one Mr. Rentfro or Renfro. For same, having married
outside of Quaker jurisdiction, the committee of Hopewell Meeting was assigned to labor with her. (HR Vol. 2, p. 99) No record of her after that.
Joseph Hollingsworth’s name is rare in records. He seems to have remained a faithful Friend, as there is no record of his getting into trouble with the
Meetings He appears first in records as an adult when he signs a deed dated 7 May 1711 at purchase of land in Cecil County, Md. by his half-brother
Henry Hollingsworth. (HR 4, p. 105 item 1.) He again witnessed a deed of 7 Feb 1720-21 when his nephew Abraham Hollingsworth sold land to Henry
Hollingsworth. His last appearance in Cecil County, in a deed of 17 Dec. 1721. He resided in that county as who by the deed. (Ibid, pp 106-107, items 9 &
14) He probably accompanied his nephew Abraham and Isaac Parkins and other Friends to “Opeckan” in Virginia about 1729 or 1730.
Issue of Joseph and Elizabeth Hollingsworth is not known to us.
Subsequent research by Harry Hollingsworth determined that Elizabeth Hollingsworth, Joseph’s widow was soon remarried to John Rentfrow, Jr, and
that upon her death, Isaac Parkins (or Perkins) became the guardian of the “minor children of Joseph Hollingsworth”, although Harry was never able to
ascertain the given names of these children.
In the September, 1986, issue of the Hollingsworth Register, Harry published a court judgment dated 24 March 1737, in which Isaac Perkins and
Abraham Hollingsworth, representing the estate of Joseph Hollingsworth were awarded the sum of eighteen pounds nineteen shillings and one penny
against the Estate of John Rentfrow, Jr. (the second husband of the widow of Joseph Hollingsworth), ordering that William Rentfrow, agent for John
Rentfrow, pay the judgment out of goods in his possession.
Earlier this year I engaged Victor Dunn, a professional genealogist, to research this family. Citing Pioneers of Old Frederick Country, a well–respected
book by Cecil O’Dell, which opined that a Zebulon Hollingsworth was likely a son of Joseph Hollingsworth, Mr. Dunn studied Zebulon more closely.
Mr. Dunn found that a Zebulon Hollingsworth sold land on Opequon Creek in Frederick County, VA on 27 and 28 January, 1752. He noted that no wife
is mentioned, leading him to believe that Zebulon Hollinsworth was unmarried at the time.
On 5 September, 1758, Lettice Hollingsworth, widow of Zebulon, was granted administration of his estate, with William Roberts and John Reno as her
securities. (Mr. Dunn speculated that John Reno was John Rentfrow.)
Lettice Hollingsworth was remarried to William Alford prior to 3 December 1760, when the couple defended a suit brought by Richard and Mary Bechett.
On 5 March 1763, William Alford and Lettice his wife, administratrix of Zebulon Hollingsworth, defended a suit brought by Isaac Perkins.
William and Lettice Alford later moved to Amherst County, Virginia, where they bought land from William Hollingsworth in 1779. A number of land
transactions between William and Lettice Alford and William Hollingsworth occurred during the next 30 years, first in Amherst County, and later in
Nelson County, Virginia. On 15 July 1809, Lettice Alford filed a statement with the Nelson County court that she did not want to administer the estate of
her deceased husband, but wished that William Hollingsworth undertake the task.
William Hollingsworth married twice, first to Jemima Mays and later, in 1807 to Fanny Wright. He then moved to Davidson County, Tennessee, where
died after 1830.
Mr. Dunn believes, and I strongly agree, that Joseph Hollingsworth, son of Valentine had a son named Zebulon who was born before 1733 and who died
before September 5, 1758, leaving a widow, Lettice, who subsequently married William Alford, and a son named William Hollingsworth.
Traditional books about the Hollingsworth family state that William Hollingsworth had a brother named Joseph, who moved to Stokes County, North
Carolina, in the early 1800s. Although this project did not concentrate on Joseph, I note that a Joseph Hollingsworth married Molly Matthews in
Amherst County, Virginia, March 10, 1789, and that Joseph and his wife Mary, then living in Stokes County, North Carolina, sold land in Amherst
County, Virginia, to William Hollingsworth in 1805.
October 18, 2017
JOSEPH HOLLINGSWORTH, SON OF VALENTINE