William White and James Bailey

Of Fauquier County, Virginia

French and Indian War veterans

1761 – 1763

French and Indian War

The French and Indian War (1754 -1763) was one in a series of wars fought between England and France beginning in the late 1600s.  What made the French and Indian War different from the earlier conflicts was that it began in the New World. All previous wars had begun in Europe, and with the exception of King George's War (1744 – 1748), no battles had been fought in the New World.  Most of these conflicts began because each side hoped to gain trade or military advantages in Europe as well as in various European colonies in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

The reason why the French and Indian War began in the New World involved the Ohio Country.  Both the English and the French claimed the land west of the Appalachian Mountains.  Beginning in the 1740s both countries had merchants engaged in the fur trade with the Native Americans in Ohio.  By the 1750s, English colonists, especially the investors in a venture called The Ohio Company, also hoped to convert the wilderness into viable farms.

In the 1750s, the French and the English each moved to deny the other access to the Ohio Country.  In the early 1750s, French soldiers captured several English trading posts.  They also built Fort Duquesne (modern-day Pittsburgh) so they could defend their territory from English threats.  A Miami village called Pickawillany in what is now western Ohio hosted English traders.  The French and their Indian allies destroyed it in 1752.

In 1754, George Washington and a small force of Virginia militiamen marched to the Ohio Country to drive the French from the region.  Hoping to capture Fort Duquesne, Washington quickly realized that the fort was too strong.  He retreated a few miles from the fort and constructed Fort Necessity.  If he could not drive the French from the area, he would at least contest their presence with his own stockade.  A combined force of French soldiers and their native allies overwhelmed Fort Necessity on July 3, 1754, marking the start of the French and Indian War in the New World.  England did not officially declare war until 1756, although the conflict had actually begun two years earlier.

The next few years witnessed French successes on the battlefield against the English, including General Edward Braddock's defeat in 1755. The major reason for the French victories was their Native American allies.  Ohio Country natives enjoyed trading with both the English and the French.  Natives west of the Appalachian Mountains feared that the number of English colonists would continue to grow.  As the English population increased, the Indians believed that white settlers would seek their fortunes in the west, encroaching all the more upon their land.

In 1757 the tide turned in favor of the English.  William Pitt, the English Prime Minister, determined that the best way for the England to defeat the French in Europe was first to conquer the French in the New World.  In 1758, sizable numbers of British soldiers arrived to carry out Pitt's plan.  With colonial assistance, British soldiers captured Fort Duquesne that year. In 1759, the English captured both Fort Niagara and Quebec, France's major city in the New World.  Montreal fell the following year, leaving England in control of France's possessions in North America.

The French and Indian War continued in Europe, Africa, and Asia for three more years.  In 1763, both sides signed the Treaty of Paris (1763), which formally concluded the war.  The end result in the New World was France's loss of practically all of its colonies in North America to the English.  England now owned most of modern-day Canada and most of the land between the Atlantic seaboard and the Mississippi River. Although French territory now belonged to England, the British did not have firm control over most of it.  Native Americans, including those in the Ohio Country, stood ready to defend their territory from the colonists' westward expansion.  Most tribes hoped that friendly trading arrangements could be made, but they also feared the large number of English colonists in the New World.

"French and Indian War", Ohio History Central, July 1, 2005, http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=498

We do not have many of the particulars of what the soldiers from Fauquier County, VA did during the French and Indian War, but we do know that a contingent was solicited in 1761-1763, to join the forces that had been in the field from 1755 to the end of the war in 1763.  However, we have found a record of the roster of those soldiers who answered the call from this county and served for the two-year period mentioned above.  The “Roster of Captain Wm. Edmond’s company of Virginia Troops in the French and Indian War, 1761” includes the names of Wm. White and Jas. Bailey.  Both of these men were close personal friends, both born around 1730 and therefore about 31 years old and married at the time of this muster.  Both are our direct ancestors.  Additionally, James Bailey’s brother, Carr Bailey (Sr.) was also listed on the same muster roll—Sept. 25, 1761. 

Source: VA. Hist. Mag. V.7. p.305  (This item was found on the Internet.)              Lionel Nebeker


WILLIAM WHITE was born abt 1730, probably in Prince William County Virginia.  His parentage is unknown.

WILLIAM WHITE is listed in 1761 on the roster of Captain William Edmonds as a soldier from Fauquier (formerly a part of Prince William) County Virginia in the French and Indian War.  He served with his lifetime friend Carr Bailey as well as James and Stephen Bailey.

Following the French and  Indian war WILLIAM WHITE owned land near Carr Bailey, noted planter, and was himself a miller.  At a court held for Fauquier County 28 May 1783, WILLIAM WHITE was one of three ordered to assist the Surveyor of the County to "divide the lands devised by the last Will and Testament of Carr Bailey, deceased, to be sold after the marriage or death of his widow …and allot to each of the children of the said Carr Bailey…"  WILLIAM WHITE is listed on the 1787 tax list for Fauquier County Virginia.  He made his mark on various documents including one granting permission for James Bailey to marry his daughter Elizabeth dated 27 February 1786, and another for his son Carr White, who was underage, to marry Nancy Donaldson 19 February 1795.

According to one DAR record WILLIAM WHITE was first married to MARY (Unknown). To them were born the following children listed in DAR and in the will of WILLIAM WHITE:

1.John White: born abt 1753, (Rev. War) married Ann Bailey 7 January 1783, died 1843-1852.

2.William White, Jr. born 10 January 1755, (Rev. War) married 1. (name unknown),   2. Elisabeth (maiden name unknown) before 1814, died 6 May 1833 in Lincoln County Tennessee.

3.Ann/Nancy White: born abt 1764, married William Waddell, Sr. 13 Dec. 1786.

4.Hannah/Hanna White: born abt 1765, married Thomas Russell James 13 Dec. 1787, died 1840 in Clay County Kentucky.

  1. 5.          Sarah/Sally White: born abt 1768, married George Roach 25 Aug. 1789, died after 1816. 

  1. 6.          Elizabeth/Betty White: born abt 1770, married James Bailey 28 Feb. 1786.

7.Jemima/Mima White: born abt 1772, married 1. George Greene Waddell 10 Jan. 1791, 2. Stephen Wade 1847.

8.Carr White: born abt 1777, married Nancy Donaldson, daughter of John Donaldson, 19 Feb. 1795.

All of the children of WILLIAM WHITE and wife MARY were born in Prince William or Fauquier County Virginia.  MARY apparently died sometime not long after the birth of her last child.  WILLIAM then married Ann Bailey, the widow of James Bailey, before 1787.  WILLIAM and Ann had no children.  However, WILLIAM was given legal guardianship of James and Ann Bailey's children: Nanny, Molly, Thomas and William.

The will of WILLIAM WHITE was written 7 May 1796 at Haymarket, Prince William County, Virginia.  He bequeathed all of his estate "to Ann my dearly beloved wife…so long as she liveth or widowhood and at her death or marriage it is my desire that all my estate should be sold and equally divided amongst the seven children named: John White, Betty White, Nancy White, Sally White, Carr White, Hanna White and Mima White."  He added: "I give and bequeath to my son, John White, a Negro girl named Janney and all her increase as a legacy left him and his heirs forever."

Then appears this startling statement: "And to my son, William White, I give and bequeath one shilling Virginia Currency and never no more of my estate to him or his heirs."  It appears that for some unknown reason WILLIAM SR. disinherited his son WILLIAM, JR who had probably migrated to Rowan County North Carolina six or more years earlier.

WILLIAM WHITE, SR. must have died shortly before 31 October 1804 when George Roach (son-in-law) and William Hunton (neighbor) made an appraisal of his property.  Ann Bailey White did not probate her deceased husband's will for several years, not until the Fauquier County Court forced her to do so in May 1816. In the meantime all of the heirs of WILLIAM WHITE, except Sarah Roach, had moved to Mason County Kentucky, from whence they sent legal authority for George Roach to sell the land, which he did to William Hunton on 22 May 1816.  However, the estate was not fully settled until 1825.

Submitted by James F. Thomas