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Two Local History Stories Collide – Al Gore & The 1670 Map of Middlesex County

FIRST Was Former Vice-President Al Gore’s ancestor really an early settler in Middlesex County?? Yes, his name was John Gore!

SECOND Is Al Gore’s last name listed on the 1670 map of Middlesex County?? Probably

Yes, former VP Al Gore’s roots start in Virginia. John Gore immigrated to Virginia as an indentured servant in 1643. The indenture was to Thomas Willoughby, on the south side of the James River. He was one of 28 people brought to Virginia for 1400 acres granted to Thomas Willoughby. It is estimated, he was born about 1630 which would make him 13 on arrival. This sounds a little young today, but was somewhat more normal in those days. He was probably of English decent.

John next appears in 1658, patenting 150 acres in Lancaster County on the North shore of the Piankatank River. Middlesex County was formed from Lancaster County in 1668. Sometime before 1669 he married “Margaret” last name unknown. They had two children; Joseph in 1669, and Henry in 1671.

The next event was well noted in county history. After John Gore’s death in 1674, Margaret married George Ransom who died a few years later. She then married John Ascough In 1683 Middlesex Court acted quickly to control the estates of Gore and Ransom, to prevent Margaret’s current husband , John Ascough, from selling the land and taking the profit with him to England. Thus the estates value was saved for the children. The Gore family was in Middlesex County for several more generations, also spreading to Essex County. After the Revolutionary War some of the Gore family moved to Tennessee. This is Al Gore’s branch of the family.

In early Virginia Colonial Times, last names were spelled in many ways. The last name Gore was also spelled ; Goar, and Goare, likewise the name Scarborow was also spelled Scarborough and Scarburgh.. Now look at the 1670 map of Middlesex. between plantations 5 and 10. The letters Goa are spelled out. We believe this stands for Goar or Goare (Gore) last letters missing. Another name “Scarburgh” or Scarborow is just below Goa on the map. Planters John Gore and John Scarborow knew each other and their properties were close together. Gore and Scarborow were both mid level tobacco growers, of little note. Names on this map are extremely rare. We believe Gore, Scarborow, and Augustine Herrman (author of the map) somehow knew each other and had direct contact. This would be a tremendous find for those interested in the “ Map of Virginia and Maryland as it is planted and inhabited this present year 1670”, by Augustine Herrman.

The only unsolved part of these two stories is the location of the Gore 150 acre plantation (farm) , and the Scarborow 300 acre plantation (farm) in Middlesex. Our best guess is south of the old main Middlesex Road (route 33 today) between today Wilton subdivision, and Pipe-In-Tree subdivision. Using the 1670 map Gore is near 5. Shooters Hill, and Scarburgh is near 6. Mottrom’s Mount (the latter includes; the golf course, Barn Elems, Bath Farm and Mariners Woods today). Anyone with better information, please contact us!

Rob Warner, 434 242 3279, Deer Chase subdivision on the Piankatank and

David Moran, 804 761 6136, Deltaville

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