John Chick
of Caroline County, VA

John Chick, son of James CHICK of Caroline Co., VA, was probably born around 1750-1755 in Caroline Co., VA, and died unknown.  It is possible that he is the John CHICK who was in Fauquier Co., VA, in 1779, and later lived in Prince William Co., VA, where he died testate in 1789.  However, this is still unproven.

None of John Chick's children have been identified.


John Chick is the only proven son of James Chick of Caroline County, VA.  An entry entry in the Caroline County court order books dated March 9, 1780, states that John Chick was the son and heir at law of James Chick of Caroline Co., deceased. John Chick was entitled to claim the bounty land which was owed to his father, a solider discharged in 1758.  (Caroline County Orders 1777-1780, p.217; see also Some Colonial and Revolutionary Soldiers as Shown by the Order Books of Caroline County, VA, Virginia Military Records (Gene. Pub. Co., 1983), p.112, orig. pub. in William & Mary College Quarterly, 2nd Series, Vol. XII (1932), pp.221-228).

A brig ship

The records of the Virginia Navy describe an interesting incident involving a John Chick, who could have been the son of James Chick of Caroline County, VA.  According to A History of Caroline County, Virginia by T.E. Campbell (1954), pp. 270-274, a number of sailors aboard the ship Liberty including John CHICK were from Caroline County.  Further sordid details appear in History of Virginia's Navy of the Revolution by Robert Armistead Stewart (Gen. Pub. Co., 1993, orig. pub. 1934).  On Mar. 7, 1776, the Brig Liberty, then lying at Cumberland on the Pamunkey River, was ordered into public service and was fitted out for the protection of the York River.  On Oct. 11, 1776, the warrant officers of the Liberty, including the gunner, John CHICK, presented a petition to the Naval Board decrying the "arbitrary tyrannical unmanly & illiberal behavior and treatment" under Capt. Thomas Lilly which had caused 13 sailors and 4 marines to desert, reducing the ship's complement of seaman to 4 men and one boy.  John CHICK declared that "when very sick he was called up watonly to load & charge the guns."  The Naval Board decided the charges were not sufficiently proved but gave permission to the petty officers with grievances to leave the ship.

The name of John CHICK, gunner, appears on a list of non-commissioned officers, seamen and marines in the state Navy entitled to bounty land for a service of 3 years in the Revolutionary War. (Gaius Marcus Brumbaugh, Revoluntionary War Records, Virginia (Gen. Pub. Co., 1967), p.67.)

John CHICK's signature appears on p.286 of the "Ten Thousand Name Petition," originally dated Oct. 16, 1776.  This was a petition signed by religious dissenters all over Virginia calling for ending the established church, and the institution of religious equality.  Dissenters were people such as Baptists and Quakers who were not part of the official church, yet by law, were still required to pay parish tithes and could be fined for failing to attend services.  The names on the petition are generally not identified by location, but p.286 appears to include a number of people who lived in Caroline County.  (Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, Vol. 38, No. 3 (Aug. 2000), p.285.)  Notably, James CHICK (John's father) received a fine in 1768 for refusing to pay tithes to the Drysdale Parish church, according to the Caroline court order books.  This suggests the Chick family were dissenters, possibly Baptists.

John Chick's name also appears on a petition by the inhabitants of Drysdale Parish, Caroline County, dated Oct. 22, 1779, opposing another petition which had proposed dividing the parish.  (To view the petition, go to Library of Congress, "Early Virginia Religious Petitions", then enter image no. 5.)  The petioners complained that the proposed division "would involve the Inhabitants in little less than total ruin" because they would be forced to pay for the construction and support of a new church, when they had already incurred "great expenses in building Two good Churches in said Parish".  (Many arguments for the separation of church and state were about money as much as religion!)

On July 12, 1782, Edward WEST the assignee of John CHICK was suing the estate of John JONES, dec'd, in Caroline County, VA.  There are no further records of John Chick in Caroline County, except one additional reference in 1787 to lawsuits John Chick and William Chick had assigned to Edward West.  (Caroline County Order Books.)  This suggests that John Chick may have left the county by 1782 and had to assign his pending litigation to a third party.

As mentioned above, it is possible that John Chick went to Fauquier and later Prince William Co., VA, where there are many records concerning a John CHICK who was a tavern-keeper and died in 1789.  However, it is also possible John Chick took his bounty land and moved west to Kentucky or Tennessee, where there is no clear trace of him.