Captain John Flood

Buckingham County Baptist Church

The earliest documented record of the immigrant, John Flood, was a land patent in Albemarle Co., Virginia. On March 3, 1760, for the sum of 30 shillings, he was granted 295 acres of land, among them the south branches of Hunt’s Creek, near a church. When Buckingham Co. was formed in 1762, the Flood land was included, and the nearby church later became Buckingham Baptist Church (pictured right,) which is still standing and in regular use today. From 1771 to 1774, John Flood was an officer of that church serving as Sexton. A plaque donated by the descendants of his son, Henry, is mounted on the wall of the church and states that John and his wife were buried beside the church, with a later addition built over the graves.

According to family tradition, Captain John Flood, upon retiring from the British Navy, moved his family from England, to the state Virginia, in America. However, no proof has been found that John served in the British Navy. He was born in 1694, and was 60 years old, before his first child was born. His first wife, Ms Davis bore at least five children. Some researchers give Ms. Davis’ first name as Agatha. However, no basis for this has been determined. Sons, Henry (born 1755), and John (born 1757) and Thomas (born 1760) were probably born in England. In addition, John had a set of twins by Ms. Davis. Their names were William and Mary. According to a letter by John’s grandson, Joel Walker Flood, Mary died in childhood and William died in the Revolutionary war.

John’s first wife was dead by 1762, when he married for the second time, to his housekeeper, Agnes Payne, at the age of 68. Son, Noah was born in 1763, and in the 1764 Buckingham Co. List of Tithes, John was listed as “Patroler”, with 200 acres of land. Three more sons, Moses (born 1765), Joshua A. (born 1772), and Joseph (born 1774), were born by 1773 and 1774, when he was listed as a tithe, on John Barnard’s list of tithables. A second set of twins, William and Mary (1777), and his last son, Benjamin (1780), had been added to the family by 1782 when personal property and land tax lists showed that he owned three horses, six cattle and 200 acres of land.

Excerpts from letters written in April 1959 to B.R. Fitzgerald from Joel Walker Trent Flood, Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit of Virginia, states the following: “John Flood, Sr. was born in the year of 1694. He was an Englishman, and belonged to the British Navy. He came to this country as a Man-Of-War in 1754, landing in Glouster County, Virginia. There he met a Miss Davis, whose charm proved more captivating to him than his sailor life, and after a few months, at an advanced age of 60, they were married. From what I have heard, I judge that he was wild in his early life. He was remarkable for honesty, information, and honor, and universally esteemed where known. After marriage he moved to Buckingham County, and settled near the Buckingham Church, of which for years he was Clerk, discharging his duties with true manly zeal. By his first wife (Miss Davis) he had five children, viz: Henry, John, William, Mary and Thomas. When Thomas was a few weeks old, the mother died, leaving to the husband’s care five young children. Afterwards, he married Miss Payne by whom he had eight sons, and two daughters!”

The Richmond Times Dispatch of Saturday, December 4, 1965 carried an article written by Genevieve Agee, concerning what was once known as “Buckingham Olde Church.” It is located on U.S. Route #15, and is the one founded by Captain John Flood, being on his farm near Dillwyn, Virginia. Captain John Flood and his wife (there is no mention of which wife,) and their daughter Mary, were buried under the church to protect their graves from the Indians. Their graves, marked by stones, are visible under the church. The original building was added to in the 1830’s and again in 1965, the dedication being planned for the spring of 1966.

There is no real evidence that John was a captain in the British Navy. This fact comes only from family tradition. Some suspect that he might have actually been a merchant sea captain.

In a letter, Joel Walker Trent Flood, a great great grandson of John, states that John’s father and grandfather were both named John.

Parts of the above were written by Beth Flood.