Leftwiches Visit K&Q (November, 2012)

Recently, some 70 members of Ralph Leftwich’s descendants came to King and Queen County to remember their forebears. Coming from all over the United States they were celebrating their 21st family reunion in Williamsburg. They belong to the Leftwich Historical Association which publishes an annual newsletter, The Leftwich Herald. As part of that reunion, they took a day off from the reunion festivities to travel to King and Queen County. Their ancestor, Ralph Leftwich, had on Aug. 10, 1658 patented (obtained title to) some 300 acres in that part of New Kent County that is now in King and Queen County (King and Queen was created in 1691 from New Kent and Gloucester counties). The patent was located on the Exoll Swamp. To gets to his land he would have traveled from the Chesapeake Bay up the Piankatank River to the Dragon Swamp, then to the Exoll.

The two bus load of the Leftwich family arrived at King and Queen Court House about 10 a.m. They were greeted by Page McLemore of the King and Queen Historical Society and toured the King and Queen Courthouse Tavern Museum. They were provided copies of a map developed by researchers at the museum showing the probable location of the original Leftwich patent on a modern U.S. Geological Survey map.

The group then toured the other buildings in the King and Queen Courthouse Green Historic District. They entered the quaint and historic Immanuel Episcopal Church, also located at the courthouse. Susan Gresham, a member of the church, discussed the history of the church with the group.

The Leftwich group then went to Mattaponi Baptist Church where they had lunch. Mattaponi Baptist Church occupies the building that once was the lower church of the Anglican St. Stephen’s Parish during the colonial days. The lunch and visit at the Mattaponi Baptist Church were arranged by Roberta Jones of King and Queen.

The group then visited the approximate site of the original Leftwich patent, near the old community of Crouch on Route 617 on the Exoll Swamp near Stevensville, before they returned to Williamsburg. It was a full day and they saw a lot of King and Queen County, but they were pleased with their visit.