Origin of the Ligon Name
The original LIGONS name was spelled LYGON. There are many variations of the spelling. Evidently, the first change of the name came with Col. Thomas LYGON when he came to America. This change was to LIGON. Much of this information is from the Ligon book The Ligon Family by William D. Ligon, Jr. LEGONS is the name I have used because it is the variation of the spelling that my related family uses.
Here are some of the variations. LYGON, LIGON, LIGONS, LEGON, LEGONS, LEGIN, LEGINS, LEGEN, LEGENS, LIGGON, LIGGONS, LEGGON, LEGGONS, LEGION, LEGIONS.
Sources: “The Ligon Family and Connections,” (1947), by William D. Ligon, and “Four Thomas Lygons (Ligons): An Abstract of New Findings,” (1978), by Michael J. Wood and Gary Boyd Roberts (The Va. Genealogist: 22:253-255); “Further Observations on the Ancestry of Colonel Thomas Ligon of Henrico County,” (1994), by Neil D. Thompson (The Va. Genealogist: 38:48-51).
Colonel Thomas Lygon was the first Ligon who emigrated to the U.S.
Source for Ligon/Lygon on back through Dennis, Berkeley, de Spencer, de Mowbray, de Clare, Plantagenet, Stafford, and other royal lines: Col. Thomas Ligon is shown on Line 66-14 of “The Magna Charta Sureties, 1215,” 5th Edition, by Frederick Lewis Weis. Among various royal connections therein, Line 66-14 traces back to Line 66-7, Sir Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk (ca. 1365-1399) who m. 2) Elizabeth Fitzalan. Sir Thomas Mowbray is continued on Line 63-7 and shown as the son of John de Mowbray (1340-1368) and Elizabeth, Lady Segrave (b. 1338). Line 63-6 shows Elizabeth as the daughter of John, Lord Segrave, and Margaret de Brotherton; and Margaret as the daughter of Thomas de Brotherton, Earl of Norfolk, the son of King Edward I and his 2nd wife Marguerite of France. Edward I’s line is traced back to Alfred the Great from Lines 161-14 to 161-1.
Thomas Lygon (also known as Ligon) was baptized on 11 Jan 1623/4, Sowe co, Warwickshire, England. The Lygon family is a very ancient and prestigious family in England. Thomas came to Virginia in the 1640s and married by 1649, Mary Harris, daughter of Thomas Harris and Adria Gurganey. He was a member of the House of Burgesses for Henrico County, Virginia, in 1656. Thomas acquired large tracts of land. In 1657 he bought a tract of 800 acres from Colonel William Byrd. On 5 Apr 1664, he was granted 800 acres on Powell’s Creek next to that of Thomas Jones due him for transporting 16 persons from England. This was followed by 6 other patents, the last in the year 1672, just 3 years before his death. On 3 Oct 1664, Thomas Ligon and Captain William Farrar patented 375 acres in Henrico County on the north side of the James River for transporting 8 persons. On the same date, 335 acres in Henrico County on the south side of the James River in ‘Mount My Lady’ field was assigned to Captain!
Thomas was baptized on 11 Jan 1623/4, Sowe Co., Warwickshire, England. He was appointed Official Surveyor through his connection with his kinsman Sir William Berkeley the Governor. He was a member of the House of Burgesses from Henrico in 1655-1656. His will admin. 16 Mar 1675/6. See Four Thomas Ligons (Lygons): An Abstract of New Findings, by Michael J. Wood and Gary Boyd Roberts.William Farrar and Thomas Ligon. Altogether, his patents totaled about 4,005 acres. He was a Justice of the Peace for Charles City County, Virginia, in 1657. Thomas was appointed Official Surveyor of Henrico County, Virginia, through his connection with his kinsman (2nd cousin) Sir William Berkeley the Royal Governor of Virginia. In 1667 he surveyed and named an area “Mawburne” or Malvern Hills, in Henrico County. In England, Malvern Hills is located very near Madresfield, the Lygon family ancestral home. Thomas remained surveyor of Henrico County for many years, up until the time of his death. On 18 Apr 1644, when he was a Lt. Colonel of the county, the Indians made a sudden attack upon the Virginia settlements and massacred about 300 of the colonists before they were repulsed.
William Farrar and Thomas Ligon. Altogether, his patents totaled about 4,005 acres. He was a Justice of the Peace for Charles City County, Virginia, in 1657. Thomas was appointed Official Surveyor of Henrico County, Virginia, through his connection with his kinsman (2nd cousin) Sir William Berkeley the Royal Governor of Virginia. In 1667 he surveyed and named an area “Mawburne” or Malvern Hills, in Henrico County. In England, Malvern Hills is located very near Madresfield, the Lygon family ancestral home. Thomas remained surveyor of Henrico County for many years, up until the time of his death. On 18 Apr 1644, when he was a Lt. Colonel of the county, the Indians made a sudden attack upon the Virginia settlements and massacred about 300 of the colonists before they were repulsed.
While this furious attack was in progress, Lt. Col. Thomas Ligon, called ‘Colonel’ Ligon, who happened to be passing at the moment the residence of Dr. John Woodson, helped Sarah Woodson defend her home against the Indians. According to tradition, their only weapon was an old gun which Colonel Ligon handled with deadly effect. At the first fire he killed 3 Indians, and 2 at the second shot. The howling mob on the outside took fright and fled, but Ligon fired the third time and killed 2 more, making seven in all. The old gun, which rendered such valuable service on that dreadful day, was made in England and was later placed in the possession of the Virginia Historical Society. The name of Ligon was carved upon the stock. Colonel Ligon was also later among the men involved in a battle with the Indians near Richmond in 1656. The Indians won the battle, but apparently returned to the Blue Ridge where they had been living and did not make any further attacks. He made his will 10 Jan 1675, and administration of his estate was granted to his widow and executrix, Mary (Harris) Ligon on 16 Mar 1675/6.
Children of Colonel Thomas Ligon and Mary Harris:
Thomas Ligon (Jr.), b. ca 1651, d. unm. bef. 20 Aug 1678
Johan aka Joan Ligon, b. ca 1653, m. Robert Hancock
Richard Ligon, b. ca 1656, m. Mary Worsham
Matthew Ligon, b. ca 1659, d. unm w/o issue bef. 1 May 1689
(Maj) William Ligon, b. 1660, m. Mary Tanner
Hugh Ligon, b. ca 1661, m. Elizabeth Walthall
Mary Ligon, b. 1663, m. Thomas Farrar
Compiled by James Reid Hancock (HANSER5@aol.com)
Sources: The Hancock Family in England and America (1993), by Arvil Dale Hancock, 726 Jura Way, Sunnyvale, CA 94087, Publisher: Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, Md; The Ligon Family and Connections (1947), by William D. Ligon, Jr; Four Thomas Ligons (Lygons): An Abstract of New Findings (1978), by Michael J. Wood and Gary Boyd Roberts (The Va. Genealogist: 22:253-255); Further Observations on the Ancestry of Colonel Thomas Ligon of Henrico County (1994), by Neil D. Thompson (The Virginia Genealogist:38:48-51); Gateway Families (1994), by Christy Hawes Bond, distributed in coop. with The New England Historic Genealogical Society.
Also, see much info from these websites:
John W. Pritchett’s website, “Virginians,” which contains a wealth of info:
He accepted his part of his father’s estate in Madresfield, Worcestershire, Ingland, and came to Jamestown, Virginia in 1641 with his relative, Sir William Berkeley, Royal Governor of Virginia. When Col. Thomas Ligon arrived the colony was established by settlers spread over a few plantations along the James River and extended to the Falls, near the present city of Richmond. There were about 15,00 white settlers at that time. Col Thomas Ligon was ambitious and wealthy and wished to be active in public concerns. He became well known in Henrico County and served in public matters until 1672. Gov. Berkeley appointed him as surveyor of Henrico County, a very important job in the New World. He was allowed to pass this office on to his son Richard Ligon who surveyed the Huguenot Settlement at Manakin town located in Powhatan County. Col. Thomas Ligon died in 1675. Col Thomas Ligon married Mary Harris born in 1625 in Virginia and died in 1794. This Col. Thomas Ligon is the brother of Princess Di’s Ligon grandfather.
A Note from Tamara Toler Steinkamp…7/23/17
Earlier this year I started tracing back the Ligon name through Ancestry.com. As I came Colonel Thomas Lygon III (my 10th great-grandfather), and his wife, Mary Harris, I happen to be watching the TV show “Who do you think you are,” a genealogy research show who traces the ancestry of different actors and singers. They were featuring actress, Courtney Cox (from the 90’s popular tv show, “Friends”). She also had the connection to Colonel Thomas Lygon III. So, she is a distant cousin The show went on to trace our shared ancestry back to King Edward I and William the Conqueror, who basically founded England. More digging showed that William the Conqueror was also a direct descendant of Charlemagne, the Holy Roman Emperor from the year 800 A.D. Because of the royal lineage, very good records exist. I was able to go back as far as Gallo-Roman Consul, 381 Afranius Syagrius was born in 369, the son of Mr. Clodoreius. I’ve included part of the family tree in the photos above. Contact me at email@example.com if you would like to have access to the family tree on Ancestry.com.