Builders of the Old Dominion 4

Joseph Bridger and Hester Pitt

Because there is already so much written about Joseph Bridger and his wife, Hester Pitt, I will be including public domain documents here instead of writing it myself.

I. The first section is the Wikipedia article on Joseph Bridger.

Joseph Bridger (baptized February 28, 1632– April 15, 1686) emigrated to the Virginia colony from England where he became wealthy and known for supporting Governor William Berkeley and his successors. As would his namesake grandson and several other descendants, Bridger served in the House of Burgesses representing Isle of Wight County. Bridger also served in the legislature’s upper house, the Virginia Governor’s Council, and led troops against the rebels during Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676 as well as in 1682, when he helped suppress the tobacco cutters (although he had sympathetized with a similar solution nearly two decades earlier).[1][2][3]


Early life and education

Born in Woodmancote manor in Gloucestershire, England in the winter of 1631/2 and baptized in Dursley parish in late February, he was the third son of Samuel Bridger, auditor for the College of Gloucester, who died in 1650.[4][5] His grandfather, Rev. Lawrence Bridger, served as the rector of Slimbridge parish for 55 years and was a fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford University.[6] However records of the location of the education of this man have been lost.


Bridger was a merchant who imported wine and other products for sale in Virginia, possibly even before he emigrated to the colony. Although landless when he emigrated, Bridger accumulated more than 9500 acres of land in the colony, which he distributed among most of his children upon his death, as discussed below.[1] He also probably became one of the ten wealthiest Virginians of the era, and built a 15 room manor house on the Whitemarsh plantation in Isle of Wight County, where he lived. At least one brother and other near relatives also emigrated to the colony, including members of the Driver, Holladay and Pitt families.[1]

Isle of Wight voters elected Bridger as one of their representatives in the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1658, but he was not re-elected until his father-in-law Robert Pitt (who had succeeded him as a burgess in 1659), retired in 1662.[7][2] While a burgess, particularly after succeeding his father-in-law during what came to be criticised as the Long Assembly (1661-1676, when Gov. Berkeley refused to call for elections for 15 years), Bridger participated in boundary discussions between Virginia and the neighboring Maryland and North Carolina colonies. He also served on a commission that sought to cease tobacco planting during the 1667-1668 season due to an oversupply following the end of the Anglo-Dutch War and very low tobacco prices.[1]

In 1670, Bridger was nominated to the Virginia Governor’s Council, the legislature’s upper house, and resigned his seat as a burgess, as was required at the time. However, a surviving document indicates the appointment was questioned, and not approved until 1673, from which time Bridger continued as a Councillor until nearly his death.[8] During the interval, Bridger also commanded the colony’s militia in the southern counties.[1] Moreover, in 1673, he and his father-in-law Col. Robert Pitt had a disagreement concerning land formerly owned by Capt. John Upton, and Bridger asked that the matter be settled by a jury. The result is unknown, for Pitt’s will was admitted to probate the following January.[2] Bridger also became customs collector for the Lower District of the James River, a lucrative position, at least by the summer of 1675.[1]

Meanwhile, during Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676, Bridger allied with Governor William Berkeley.[9] He led government troops against the rebels and was one of Berkeley’s intimates most loathed by the rebels. Bridger temporarily fled to Maryland because of the many threats against him, and rebels occupied his plantation. He returned and according to an official report “was very active & Instrumental” in “Reducinge to their obedience the south part of James River” despite plundering of his own property “to a good value.”[1] He later made claims for damages sustained, including slaughtered livestock. Before his death Bridger was the colony’s adjutant general (leading all the colony’s troops) although with the title of “colonel” as customary at the time.[1]

In 1683, the year in which he wrote his will eventually admitted to probate, Bridger was building houses in Jamestown, presumably reflecting the royal decree requiring councillors to do so, and on November 25, 1692 (long after his death), the Council of State met in one of those accommodations.[2] Moreover, the litigation concerning the former Upton property did not badly disrupt relations with other Pitt family members, for Bridger in 1680 sold John Pitt his interest in land he and two others had patented in 1664, and when adding a codicil to his will in October 1683 to disinherit his namesake son, he named his wife as executrix and asked that she be assisted by Thomas and John Pitt and Arthur Smith.[2]

One source states Bridger briefly served as a co-acting Colonial Governor of Virginia in 1684 and 1685.[10] The custom of the time made the council’s longest serving member the acting governor during the royal governor’s absence.

Personal life

Around 1654,[11] Joseph Bridger married Hester Pitt, daughter of Colonel Robert Pitt who had emigrated to Isle of Wight County from Bristol, England. Their children were:

  • Capt. Joseph II (ca. 1654 – by 1713/4) who married Elizabeth Norsworthy . . .
  • Martha (ca. 1658 – 1714), married Thomas Godwin
  • Col. Samuel (ca. 1663 – by 1713), married Elizabeth Godwin
  • Col. William (ca. 1668 -1730), married Elizabeth Allen Caufield[12]
  • Elizabeth (ca. 1665 – 1717), married Thomas Lear
  • Mary (ca 1667 – ), married Capt. Richard Tibboth
  • Hester (1665 – ca. 1722), married George Williamson

Death and legacy

Bridger died in mid-April 1686, on his plantation in Isle of Wight County, about a year after executing a codicil to his will which disinherited his namesake eldest son for his profligate lifestyle.[13]  He was interred on his property, but in 1894 family members reburied some of his remains (and gravestone shown above) near the altar of St. Luke’s Church in Smithfield, Virginia. That church is now Virginia’s oldest church building (and a museum, although also used occasionally as a place of worship by various denominations). Although local legend dates the parish to 1632, research now indicates the building was completed in the late 1680s.[14] Bridger had helped finance the church and also imported artisans from England.[1]

Several of Bridger’s descendants also served in the House of Burgesses, including James Bridger (burgess), who served as an Isle of Wight burgess in the last sessions of the House of Burgesses, as well as in the first Virginia Revolutionary Convention.[15]

In 1738, a slave unearthed a cache of money minted during the reigns of Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I on what had been Bridger’s former plantation. The printer of the Williamsburg Gazette (slightly upriver) speculated that the money had either been hidden during Bacon’s Rebellion or that Bridger had confiscated it and kept it for himself and his family.[1]

His great grandson (William’s son) Joseph Bridger (burgess 1758-61) docked the entail at Whitemarsh and Curawayoak in order to sell the property and use the proceeds to purchase slaves.[16]

In 2007, descendants gave permission to the Smithsonian Institution to unearth Bridger’s grave and examine his remains.[17] Only about one-fifth of the corpse was unearthed, so in 2023, family members gave permission for another exhumation, this time of Anne Randall, who was originally buried next to Joseph Bridger on his plantation. Her body was also moved to St. Luke’s at the same time that Bridger’s body was moved. Anne Randall was the aunt by marriage of Joseph Bridger’s wife Hester Pitt Bridger. It is likely that the ledger stone originally intended for Hester was used for Anne Randall because she died ten years after Joseph Bridger died. [18] Bridger’s bones contained seven times the amount of lead in modern corpses, which scientists attributed to him eating with pewter tableware containing lead, which could leach out and produce lead poisoning.


  1. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j Morgan, Timothy E, ed. (2001). Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography. Vol. II. Richmond: Library of Virginia. p. 224-226. ISBN 0-88490-199-8.
  2. Jump up to:a b c d e McCartney, Martha W. (2012). Jamestown people to 1800 : landowners, public officials, minorities, and native leaders. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Pub. Co. pp. 85–86. ISBN 978-0-8063-1872-1OCLC 812189309.
  3. ^ Tyler, Lyon Gardiner, ed. (1915). Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography. Vol. I. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 131-132.
  4. ^ Boddie, John Bennett (1973). Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Genealogical Publishing Com. pp. 420, 453. ISBN 0-8063-0559-2.
  5. ^ “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,” database, FamilySearch: indexed 11 Feb 2018, Josephus Bridger, 28 Apr 1631; citing index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 425,402.
  6. ^ Boddie p. 407
  7. ^ Cynthia Miller Leonard, The Virginia General Assembly 1619-1978 (Richmond: Virginia State Library 1978) pp. 34, 38
  8. ^ Leonard pp. xix, 38
  9. ^ Wiseman, Samuel (2005). Samuel Wiseman’s Book of Record. Lexington Books. pp. 84, n28. ISBN 0-7391-0711-9.
  10. ^ “Archived copy” (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 August 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  11. ^ or 1670 according to the DVB
  12. ^ Boddie p.428 states William was born 1678
  13. ^ Will date 18 Oct 1683, probate date 8 May 1686. Chapman, Blanche Adams. Wills and Administrations of Isle of Wight County, Virginia 1647-1800. Citing LDS Family History Library, accession 975.554 P28c. 1995, p. 250.
  14. ^ “History”.
  15. ^ “VAgenweb” Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  16. ^ Boddie p. 429
  17. ^ “Watch Written in Bone: The Search for Joseph Bridger Clip | HISTORY Channel”.
  18. ^ “VIDEO: Smithsonian, St. Luke’s personnel talk bones buried beneath 17th century church”. 31 January 2023.
  19. ^ Fischer, David Hackett (1989). Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 633–639. ISBN 978-0-19-506905-1.


II. The second section is from a book called God’s Infinite Variety, published in 1939 and no longer in copyright.

I have not verified the following information from God’s Infinite Variety, by Georgia Brake Todd.



Arms — Argent, a chevron engrailed sable voided throughout the field, between three crabs gules.
Crest — Upon a rock proper, a crab as in the arms.

The name Bridger is English and signifies a builder of bridges. The family lived in County Sussex, England. In the middle of the seventeenth century, JOSEPH BRIDGER came to America, and was one of the early settlers in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. This county extended five miles along the James River and twenty miles inland. The first occupants were the Warrosquoyacke Indians. Captain John Smith and his party set out in December, 1606, to visit Powhatan, on the York River, and they spent the first night in Isle of Wight County.

When Captain Fawne [probably should be LAWNE] arrived at Jamestown with one hundred settlers in a ship commanded by Captain Evans, they settled near the mouth of Lyon’s [or LAWNE’S] Creek, which is the dividing line between the Isle of Wight and Surry counties. As new settlements are generally unhealthy, a terrible mortality prevailed among the settlers. Captain Fawne died soon after his arrival, and his associates were granted until 1625 to make up the required number to receive a grant of land. In March, 1622, a great massacre by the Indians occurred, and a fourth of the remaining population was wiped out.  In 1623 the settlers sent scouts in all directions with instructions to fight the Indians, burn their villages and take their crops. Their expedition was successful and times soon became better. Later, many men of wealth came to the colony from England, most of them Cavaliers, who were chiefly associated with the Royalists in England. Joseph Bridger was a man of wealth, a noted Royalist and Cavalier. He became a prominent member of the colony and is listed as one of the “F. F. V’s.” Both the Bridger and Parkinson families are connected with the Washington family, of which George Washington was a member.  In 1632 Joseph Bridger superintended the building of St. Luke’s, the “Old Brick Church” in Newport Parish, Isle of Wight County, and he, his son Joseph, his grandsons, and John Goodrich were all vestrymen of this church. Issue-

JOSEPH BRIDGER, who was born in 1628, lived on his plantation called “Whitemarsh,” Isle of Wight County, Virginia.  Joseph was a member of the House of Burgesses from 1657 to 1663, and in 1664 was a commissioner to adjust the boundary line of Maryland. In 1666 he was appointed commissioner to confer with Maryland and North Carolina in regard to tobacco, and in the same year was again a member of the House of Burgesses, and also served as Adjutant-General of the colony. In 1670 he was appointed a member of the Council, and in 1680 was Commander-in-Chief of the Horse of Isle of Wight, Surry, and Lower Norfolk counties. When he died, in 1686, he possessed a large personal estate, twelve thousand acres in Isle of Wight County, besides other lands in Surry County, and in James City, Maryland.

During Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676, “when Public works raised unjust taxes upon the Commonwealth for the advancement of private Favourites,” the Isle of Wight County was the scene of constant foray, and Colonel Joseph Bridger headed the followers of Governor William Berkeley, with John Jennings, clerk of the court, the most noted of the “Virginia rebels,” Nathaniel Bacon’s adherents. Later Jennings was run out of the country [or county?].

In Colonel Joseph Bridger’s will he states that “my Personal estate is to be equally divided between my wife and sons Joseph, Samuel, and William, and my daughters Martha (Godwin), Mary and Elizabeth share and share alike, excepting Martha, who is to have one hundred pounds less than the rest in respect of what I have already given her husband; and also their mother and my dear wife, shall have in the first place, and before it be delivered, over and above her proportion at her choice, one Bed covering and furniture to it, halfe dozen chaires, a chest of drawers, table and carpet, and looking glasses and Andirons to furnish the chamber, and one horse as she shall choose, and one man, and one woman servant, white or black, to waite upon her, besides all her apparell, Rings, jewels and appurtenances for life, and at her decease to go to her heirs; to Samuel Bridger the plantation bought by me of John Gatlin and William Gatlin wherein John Cooke now lives, also one half of my plantation of Curawaock, seven thousand eight hundred acres, etc.; to my son William eight hundred and fifty acres granted to me by an escheat, formerly belonging to Nathaniel Floyd, etc., and another tract part of which is leased to Christopher Wade; his wife to have the tract on which he lives, eight hundred and fifty acres formerly belonging to Capt. Vpton, and three hundred acres formerly belonging to Mr. Seward etc, etc. Lt. Coll. Jno. Pitt, Tho. Pitt, and Col. Arthur Smith to assist my wife, to whom I give 20 shillings apiece to buy Rings. Wife Hester (Pitt) Bridger” Exx. The will is signed August 3, 1683.

By codicil he disinherits his son Joseph, “Who I finde flys out with divers dissolute courses of life and is grown very disobedient to me.’’ Joseph, Sr., gives the land which went to him to his other children, Samuel, William, Martha, Mary, Elizabeth, and Hester. This codicil is dated October 1 8, 1683, and was proved May 8, 1686.

The inscription on his tomb reads as follows: “Sacred to the memory of Hon. Joseph Bridger, Paymaster-General of the British troops in America, during Bacon’s Rebellion, in the reign of Charles II of England. Counciller of the State to Charles II. He dyed Apl. 15, 1686. Aged 58. Mournfully leaving his wife, 3 sons and four daughters.’’

Married Hester Pitt. She survived him and became a Quakeress.

JOSEPH BRIDGER, son of Joseph and Hester (Pitt) Bridger, married Elizabeth . His will is as follows: “To my son Joseph, Silver Bowl, with a foot to it marked IS. S. B. S., and my coulors, Banner, Staff and appurtenances and also my trumpet strings; One loop ring marked in memory of R. P. I. B.; to sons Robert, William, John and James each one ring worth twenty shillings,” etc., etc. He then bequeaths various legacies of lands and horses, also mentions his daughters Hester and Elizabeth * (who married Thomas Lear); and his wife Elizabeth, and makes his brothers Samuel and William Bridger his “Exors.” The will, signed March 14, 1712, was proved June 25. I7I3.

JOSEPH BRIDGER, son of Joseph and Elizabeth Bridger, married Agatha

  • His will, signed September 9, 1756, was proved that same year. In it he mentions his sons William and James, his grandsons, John and David Bridger; his granddaughter Mary, daughter of his son Joseph; Keziah Bridger, his granddaughters Sarah, Ann and Hester, children of his daughter Martha Jones, Margaret Goodrich, Mary Bridger, Agatha Bridger, and Catherine Bridger, and also his sons-in-law, John Goodrich, and James Jones.

MARGARET BRIDGER, daughter of Joseph and Agatha Bridger, died April 12, 1810; married John Goodrich.T hey are both buried in England.

  • Elizabeth (Bridger) Lear’s will was dated December 14, 1727.



My Immigrant Ancestors

Growing up, I would hear about Americans celebrating traditions from other countries and wondered why my family didn’t celebrate anything “foreign”. After many years of genealogical research, I now know that it’s because every line of my family has been here for eight generations or more. By the time I came along, my relatives had long before abandoned any “foreign” traditions or loyalty to another country. We’ve been speaking English a long time!

All of the ancestral lines that I have studied so far arrived on this continent before 1776 though my ancestors from the Nansemond  Indian tribe were already here.  My DNA is 100% European, but the Native American ancestry did show up in my brother’s DNA.

My earliest immigrant ancestors were mostly English, Dutch, Scottish or Irish; later, many came from Germany, France, or Switzerland.  Some were descended from royalty, but I think that is true for most Americans with European ancestry.

I have found over 200 immigrant ancestors. Some of these are proven; others are assumed until documentation is found. As I do my research, the names on this list will change. Genealogy is full of surprises and sometimes long-held assumptions are found to be incorrect. As I continue my research, I hope to learn the answers to these questions:

    • Why did my immigrant ancestors come here?
    • What kind of work did they do?
    • What was their religion?
    • Were they good citizens?
    • How did they die?
    • Where did they live?
    • What was their family life like?
    • How did they contribute to the United States?
    • Were they patriots?
    • What kind of health problems did they have?
    • Were they literate and educated?
    • What kind of personality traits did they have?
    • What can I learn about them that helps me to better understand myself?

I can see a general pattern already. Most came for religious freedom, whether they were Puritan, Dutch Reformed, Presbyterian, Lutheran, or French Reformed. I have not found any who were Catholic. Most were literate and valued education. Many were leaders in their communities and were involved in the affairs of the day. Though almost everyone in the 17th and 18th centuries had to do some farming, my ancestry also includes sheriffs, elected officials, judges, preachers, tanners, ship captains, plantation owners, soldiers, millers, merchants, innkeepers, road builders, teachers, wheelwrights, surveyors, coopers, weavers, doctors, and lawyers. Almost all of my immigrant ancestors were involved in their churches and seemingly had healthy family relationships. A few were wealthy, but most were not. They must have had an adventurous spirit and a lot of faith to make that long, dangerous trip across the Atlantic.  I feel blessed that these immigrants laid such a solid foundation for me and for those who come after me.

This list is not static. It will be updated from time to time to make corrections or additions.

Immigrant Ancestors

8th Generation

  1. Reuben Steele, b. 1720 in Scotland, d. 1773 in Virginia
  2. Hannah Crockett Steele, b. 1705 in Ireland, d. 1800 in Virginia
  3. John McVey, b. 1737 in Scotland, d. 1823 in Virginia or Kentucky
  4. John Samuel Sparr, b. 1748  in Germany, d. 1835 in (West) Virginia
  5. Anna Maria Neathawk Sparr, b. abt. 1758 in Germany, d. 1834 in (West) Virginia
  6. Alexander Dickey, b. 1746 in Ireland, d. 1832 in South Carolina
  7. Ann Wiseman Dickey, b. 1757 in Ireland, d. 1830 in South Carolina
  8. Margaret Caldwell McKeown, b. in Ireland, d. in South Carolina
  9. Mary Seed McKeown, b. 1769 in Ireland, d. 1838 in South Carolina
  10. Hugh Lamb, b. 1756 in Scotland, d. aft. 1815 in Tennessee
  11. Mary Smyth Lamb, b. 1760 in England, d. in Tennessee
  12. Henry Johnson, b. 1738 in Ireland, d. 1815 in Tennessee
  13. Henry McNeely, b. 1725 in Scotland, d. 1811 in South Carolina
  14. Mary Elizabeth Causley McNeely, b. 1733 in Scotland, d. 1817 in South Carolina

9th Generation

  1. Robert Withrow, b. 1692 in Ireland, d. 1741 in Virginia
  2. Janet May Withrow, b. 1686 in Ireland, d. 1727 in Virginia
  3. Samuel Evans, b. in Ireland or Wales, d. 1787 in Pennsylvania
  4. Johann Theobaldt Mueller, b. 1736 in Germany, d. in Virginia (x3)
  5. Johann Philip Ensminger, b. 1727 in France, d. 1807 in Virginia (x3)
  6. Catherine Margaret Kessinger Ensminger, b. 1737 in France, d. 1812 in Virginia (x3)
  7. John Hunter, b. 1700 in Scotland or Ireland, c. 1778 in North Carolina
  8. John McFarland, b. aft. 1698 in Scotland, d. 1784 in Virginia
  9. Mary Montgomery McFarland, b. 1712 in Scotland, d. 1782 in Virginia
  10. James McVey, b. 1712 in Scotland, d. in Virginia
  11. Thomas Paxton, b. in Ireland, d. 1762 in Virginia
  12. Sarah Thomas Paxton, b. 1694 in Ireland, d. 1734 in Pennsylvania
  13. Johann Balthasar Koontz, b. 1735 in Germany, d. 1835 in (West) Virginia
  14. Jacob Neathawk, b. 1730 in Germany or Switzerland, d. 1793 in Pennsylvania
  15. Johann Friedrich Spahr, b. 1725 in Germany, d. 1789 in Pennsylvania
  16. Ana Margaretha Schnaeder Spahr, b. 1729 in Switzerland, d. 1801 in Pennsylvania
  17. Jackson McKeown, b. 1740 in Ireland, d. in South Carolina
  18. Caroline McKinney McKeown, b. 1747 in Ireland, d. in South Carolina
  19. Samuel McKeown, Sr., b. 1747 in Ireland, d. in South Carolina
  20. Robert McKeown, b. bef. 1750 in Ireland, d. in South Carolina
  21. Elizabeth Jane Seed McKeown, b. in Ireland, d. in South Carolina
  22. John Dickey, b. 1703 in Ireland, d. 1788 in South Carolina
  23. Robert Wiseman, b. abt. 1715 in Ireland, d. in South Carolina
  24. Margaret Jeffords Wiseman, b. abt. 1714 in Ireland, d. in South Carolina
  25. Samuel Caldwell, b. 1747 in Ireland, d. 1816 in South Carolina
  26. James Maitland Lauderdale, b. 1690 in Scotland, d. 1769 in Tennessee
  27. Jean Sutherland Gordon Lauderdale, b. 1693 in Scotland, d. 1747 in Virginia
  28. James M. McNeely, b. 1700 in Scotland, d. 1764 in South Carolina
  29. Agnes Munnerlyn McNeely, b. abt. 1700, d. 1764 in South Carolina
  30. Francis George Steger, b. 1710 in Germany, d. 1769 in Virginia
  31. Ann Perratt Steger, b. 1719 in England, d. 1748 in Virginia
  32. Mary Bryan Raiford, b. 1702 in England, d. 1765 in North Carolina
  33. James N Irwin, b. 1709 in Scotland, d. 1770 in North Carolina
  34. Agness Patterson Irwin, b. 1716 in Ireland, d. 1800 in North Carolina
  35. John Andrews, b. in Ireland, d. 1756 in North Carolina

10th Generation

  1. Richard Skaggs, Sr., b. in England, d. 1726 in Maryland (also in 11th generation x4)
  2. Johann Jacob Pederson Mueller, b. 1697 in Germany, d. 1766 in Virginia (x3)
  3. Maria Margaret Duerreberger Mueller, b. 1709 in Germany, d. 1758 in Virginia (x3)
  4. Nicholas Ensminger, b. 1699 in Germany, d. 1785 in Pennsylvania (x3)
  5. Anna M. Ludwig Ensminger, b. 1703 in Germany, d. 1786 in Pennsylvania (x3)
  6. Johann Peter Ensminger, b. 1694 in France, d. 1739 in Pennsylvania (x3)
  7. Mary Catherine Trautmann Ensminger, b. 1700 in France, d. 1773 in Pennsylvania (x3)
  8. Andreas Kessinger, b. 1707 in Germany, d. in Pennsylvania (x3)
  9. Maria S. Fischerin Kessinger, b. 1707 in Germany, d. in Pennsylvania (x3)
  10. Samuel Paxton, b. 1670 in Ireland, d. abt. 1746 in Pennsylvania
  11. Agnes Nees Paxton, b. 1670 in Ireland, d. 1746 in Pennsylvania
  12. Johann Georg Sparr, b. 1699 in Germany, d. 1777 in Pennsylvania
  13. Maria Catrina Kauffman Sparr, b. 1703 in Germany, d. 1776 in Pennsylvania
  14. Thomas Nevitt, b. 1720 in Ireland, d. 1760 in Pennsylvania
  15. Catherine Steer Nevitt, b. 1725 in Ireland, d. 1761 in Pennsylvania
  16. John Burdett, b. 1710 in England, d. 1755 in Virginia
  17. Mary E Reaves Burdett, b. 1710 in England, d. 1770 in Virginia
  18. Edmund Wolfe, b. 1720 in England, d. 1759 in Virginia
  19. Isabella Lowther Wolfe, b. 1720 in England, d. in Virginia
  20. John Shumate, b. 1708 in Martinique, d. 1783 in Virginia
  21. James McKeown, b. 1695 in Ireland, d. 1767 in South Carolina
  22. Heinrich Riggenbacher, b. 1735 in Switzerland, d. 1780 in Virginia
  23. James William Fyffe, b. 1713 in Ireland, d. 1781 in Maryland
  24. Sarah Watson Fyffe, b. 1720 in Ireland, d. 1795 in Maryland
  25. William John McMillan, b. 1717 in Ireland, d. 1792 in Pennsylvania
  26. Margaret Rea McMillan, b. 1710 in Ireland, d. 1768 in Pennsylvania
  27. Jane McDonald/McDaniel, b. 1717 in Scotland, d. aft. 1776 in Maryland
  28. Cornelius Noell, b. 1623 in the Netherlands, d. 1699 in Virginia
  29. Thomas Jefferson, (grandfather of the President) b. in the West Indies, d. 1687 in Virginia (x3 plus once in the 11th)
  30. John Henry Raines, Sr., b. 1686 in England, d. 1768 in Virginia
  31. John Bristow, b. 1649 in England, d. 1716 in Virginia
  32. Thomas Devane, b. 1700 in France, d. 1773 in North Carolina

11th Generation

  1. John Cartwright, b 1602 in England, d. in Virginia
  2. Benjamin Brashears, b. 1626 in France, d. 1662 in Maryland (also in 12th generation x4)
  3. Mary Richford Brashears, b. 1621 in England, d. 1663 in Maryland (also in 12th generation x4)
  4. Katharina Emmerich Trautmann, b. 1671 in France, d. in Pennsylvania (x4)
  5. Richard Tye, b. 1617 in England, d. 1658 in Virginia
  6. Frances Joyce Bland Tye, b. 1609 in England, d. 1677 in Virginia
  7. Jan Salomonse Goewey, b. 1649 in the Netherlands, d. 1731 in New York
  8. John O’Neal, b. 1675 in England, d. 1735 in America
  9. Isaac Steer, b. 1675 in Ireland, d. 1760 in Pennsylvania
  10. Jean de la Chaumette, b. 1664 in France, d. 1728 in Virginia
  11. Barbara Thommen Riggenbacher, b. 1700 in Switzerland, d. 1740 in Pennsylvania
  12. Eleazor Watson, b. 1694 in Ireland, 1723 in Maryland
  13. Margarite White Watson, b. 1694 in England, d. in Maryland
  14. Guein Corem Jones Carmack, b. 1685 in Scotland, d. in Maryland
  15. Mary Archibald McDonald/McDaniel, b. 1700 in Scotland, d. 1769 in Maryland
  16. Rebecca Statham Cartley, b. 1683 in England, d. in Virginia
  17. Thomas Page, b. 1605 in England, d. 1677 in Virginia
  18. Elizabeth Allen Page, b. 1607 in England, d. 1666 in Virginia
  19. Thomas Smithers, b. 1634 in England, d. 1678 in Virginia
  20. John Nettles, b. 1620 in England, d. 1686 on ship from America to Indonesia
  21. Mary Reed Nettles, b. 1626 in England, d. in America
  22. William Pritchett, b. 1630 in England, d. 1678 in Virginia
  23. Roger Tilsey, b. 1680 in England, d. in North Carolina
  24. Josiah Darby, b. 1670 in Ireland, d. 1715 in South Carolina
  25. Hannah Berrisford Darby, b. 1670 in England, d. in South Carolina
  26. Joseph Warnock, b. abt. 1678 in Scotland, d. 1754 in South Carolina
  27. Judith Soane Field, b. 1646 in England, d. 1707 in Virginia
  28. Philip E Raiford Jr., b. 1649 in England, d. 1724 in Virginia
  29. Sarah Kinchen Raiford, b. 1655 in England, d. 1724 in Virginia
  30. William Oliver, b. in England, d. in Virginia
  31. Elizabeth Muscoe Garnett, b. 1680 in England, d. 1750 in Virginia
  32. Humphrey Pope Sr., b. 1648 in England, d. 1684 in Virginia
  33. Elizabeth Hawkins Pope, b. 1635 in England, d. 1717 in Virginia

12th Generation

  1. Gregory Bland, b. 1567 in England, d. 1677 in Virginia
  2. Evert Jansen Wendell, b. 1615 in East Friesland (now Germany), d. 1709 in New York
  3. Abraham Staats, b. 1619 in the Netherlands, d. 1694 in New York
  4. Catrina J Wessel Staats, b. 1621 in the Netherlands, d. 1703 in New York
  5. Jacob Teunis De Kay, b. 1633 in the Netherlands, d. 1691 in New York
  6. Johannes Pieterszen Van Brugh, b. abt. 1624 in the Netherlands, d. abt. 1699 in New York
  7. Catrina Raeleffse Van Brugh, b. 1629 in the Netherlands, d. 1700 in New York
  8. Goosen G. Van Schaick, g. 1630 in the Netherlands, d. 1676 in New York
  9. Gerritje B. Van Nieukerke Van Schaick, b. 1623 in the Netherlands, d. 1656 in New Netherlands (now New York)
  10. Teunis Cornelis Van Der Poel, b. abt. 1618 in the Netherlands, d. abt. 1690 in New York
  11. Catrina Janse Croon Van Der Poel, b. in the Netherlands, d. 1694 in New York
  12. Salomon Abelse Goewey, b. 1617 in the Netherlands, d. 1668 in New York
  13. Barbara Philips Goewey, b. 1619 in the Netherlands, d. abt. 1710 in New Netherlands (now New York)
  14. Pieter Jansen Loockermans, b. 1593 in the Netherlands, d. 1684 in New York
  15. Mary Duncanson Loockermans, b. abt. 1614 in Scotland, d. in New York
  16. Ruth Mercer Steer, b. 1648 in Ireland, d. 1720 in Pennsylvania
  17. Thomas Gregg, b. 1650 in England, d. 1698 in Virginia
  18. Thomas Owsley, b. 1658 in England, d. 1698 in Virginia
  19. Henry Cartley, b. 1650 in England, d. in Virginia
  20. Richard Charles Harwell, b. 1640 in England, d. 1700 in Virginia
  21. Mary Ann Winterbourne Harwell, b. in England, d. in Virginia
  22. William Peacock, b. 1642 in England, d. 1723 in Virginia
  23. James Stringfellow, b. 1645 in England, d. 1735 in Virginia
  24. Margaret Madison Stringfellow, b. abt. 1640 in Scotland, d. abt. 1740 in Virginia
  25. Richard Singletary (changed name from Dunham), b. 1599 in England, d. 1687 in Massachusetts
  26. Susanna Cooke Singletary, b. 1616 in England, d. 1682 in Massachusetts
  27. John Stockbridge, d b. 1607 in England, d. 1657 in Massachusetts
  28. Andrew Warnock, b. 1654 in Scotland, d. 1728 in South Carolina
  29. Mary Jane Drake Warnock, b. 1655 in Scotland, d. 1733 in South Carolina
  30. Solomon Johnson, b. 1627 in England, d. 1690 in Massachusetts
  31. John Plympton, b. 1619 in England, d. 1677 in Canada after leaving America
  32. Abraham Munden, b. 1619 in England, d. 1645 in Massachusetts
  33. Christopher Branch, b. 1598 in England, d. 1681 in Virginia (x2, also in 13th generation x2)
  34. Mary Addie Branch, b. 1599 in England, d. 1630 in Virginia (x2, also in 13th generation x2)
  35. Samuel Almond, b. 1600 in England, d. 1644 in Virginia (x2, also in 13th generation x2)
  36. Mary Crockford Almond, b. bef. 1610 in England, d. in Virginia (x2, also in 13th generation x2)
  37. Francis Eppes II, b. 1627 in England, d. 1678 in Virginia
  38. Henry Isham, b. 1627 in England, d. 1670 in Virginia
  39. Katherine Banks Royall-Isham, b. 1625 in England, d. 1686 in Virginia
  40. James Field, b. 1604 in England, d. 1707 in Virginia
  41. Ann Rogers Clark Field, b. 1608 in England, d. 1707 in Virginia
  42. Henry Soane, b. 1622 in England, d. 1620 in Virginia
  43. Judeth Fuller Soane, b. 1620 in England, d. 1695 in Virginia
  44. Philip Wreyford, b. 1623 in England, d. 1680 in Virginia
  45. William Clopton, Sr., b. 1655 in England, d. 1733 in Virginia
  46. George Wilkinson, b. 1655 in England, d. 1717 in Virginia
  47. Sara Lyddall Wilkinson, b. 1662 in England, d. abt. 1705 in Virginia
  48. Thomas Hales, b. 1608 in England, d. 1657 in Virginia
  49. Ann Randolph Hales, b. 1611 in England, d. in Virginia
  50. Salvator Muscoe, Sr., b. 1645 in Italy, d. 1741 in Virginia
  51. William Morris Veale, b. 1628 in England, d. in Virginia

13th Generation

  1. Philippe A Du Trieux, b. 1586 in France, d. 1653 in New Netherlands (now New York)
  2. Susanna Du Chesne Du Trieux, b. 1601 in England, d. 1654 in New Netherlands (now New York)
  3. Jochem Wesselse, b. 1579 in Germany, d. 1681 in New York
  4. Geertruy Hieronimus Wesselse, b. 1584 in the Netherlands, d. in New York
  5. Theunis Thomaszen Quick, b. abt. 1600 in the Netherlands, d. aft. 1666 in New York
  6. Belitjen Jacobusse Quick, b. in the Netherlands, d. in New York
  7. Roelof Jansz Jansen, b. 1602 in Sweden, d. bef. 1637 in New Netherlands (now New York)
  8. Anneke Webber Jansen, b. 1605 in Norway, d. 1663 in New Netherlands (now New York)
  9. Brandt Van Neukirke, b. abt. 1593 in the Netherlands, d. 1644 in New Netherlands (now New York)
  10. Lubbertje Wouters Peelen Van Neukirke, b.1600 in the Netherlands, d. 1643 in New Netherlands (now New York)
  11. Dirck Jansz Croon, b. 1606 in the Netherlands, d. abt. 1706 in New York
  12. Jannetje Kroons Croon, b. 1610 in the Netherlands, d. 1693 in New York
  13. Edward Bourke Ellis, Sr., b. 1630 in England, d. 1670 in Virginia
  14. Elizabeth Kate Stevens Ellis, b. 1620 in England, d. 1669 in Virginia
  15. John Fearn, b. 1664 in England, d. 1700 in Virginia
  16. William Cornwell, b. 1609 in England, d. 1678 in Connecticut
  17. Peter Duncan, b. 1624 in Scotland, d. 1676 in Virginia
  18. Elizabeth Caldwell Duncan, b. 1625 in Scotland, d. 1671 in Virginia
  19. John Holeman, b. 1602 in England, d. 1652 in Massachusetts
  20. Anne Bishop Holeman, b. 1616 in England, d. 1673 in Massachusetts
  21. John Rigby, b. 1610 in England, d. 1647 in Massachusetts
  22. Isabel Prescott Rigby, b. 1610 in England, d. 1673 in Massachusetts
  23. Thomas Foulk Harwell, b. 1606 in England, d. 1704 in Virginia
  24. Elizabeth Bailey Harwell, b. 1616 in England, d. 1645 in Virginia
  25. John Benton, b. 1585 in England, d. 1653 in Virginia
  26. Joanne Reading Benton, b. 1587 in England, d. 1658 in Virginia
  27. John Cotton, b. 1625 in England, d. 1702 in Virginia
  28. Ann Harrison Hucheson Cotton, b. 1630 in England, d. 1685 in Virginia
  29. William Thomas Peacock, b. 1623 in England, d. 1661 in Massachusetts
  30. Robert Stringfellow, b. 1615 in Scotland, d. 1690 in Virginia
  31. Catherine Rodgers Stringfellow, b. 1620 in Scotland, d. 1700 in Virginia
  32. Thomas Broughton, b. 1614 in England, d. 1700 in Massachusetts
  33. Mary Biscoe Broughton, b. 1619 in England, d. 1644 in Massachusetts
  34. Francis Eppes, b. 1597 in England, d. bef. 1674 in Virginia
  35. Marie Pawlett Eppes, b. 1602 in England, d. aft. 1644 in Virginia
  36. Richard Taylor Jr., b. 1621 in England, d. 1684 in Virginia
  37. Sarah Frances Barker Taylor, b. 1623 in England, d. 1694 in Virginia
  38. Samuel Thomas Jones, b. 1612 in England, d. 1673 in Massachusetts
  39. Cornelia Polaer Jones, b. 1605 in Germany, d. 1633 in Massachusetts
  40. William James Osgood, b. 1609 in England, d. 1700 in Massachusetts
  41. Elizabeth Clere Osgood, b. 1612 in England, d. 1718 in Massachusetts
  42. Robert Booth, b. 1613 in England, d. 1657 in Virginia
  43. Frances Burgess Booth, b. 1609 in England, d. 1668 in Virginia
  44. George Lyddall, b. 1620 in England, d. 1705 in Virginia
  45. Barbara Stangways Lyddall, b. 1625 in England, d. 1704 in Virginia
  46. Elizabeth Newton Ford, b. abt. 1662 in England, d. 1714 in Virginia
  47. William Andrews, b. 1625 in England, d. 1684 in Virginia
  48. John Taylor Jr., b. 1627 in England, d. 1702 in Virginia
  49. Alice Gascoigne, b. 1628 in England, d. 1702 in Virginia
  50. William Francis Poythress, b. abt. 1609 in England, d. bef. 1661 in Virginia
  51. Mary Frances Sloman Poythress, b. 1618 in England, d. 1675 in Virginia
  52. Henry Lee, b. 1627 in England, d. 1657 in Virginia
  53. Anne Davers Lee, b. 1625 in England, d. abt. 1723 in Virginia

14th Generation

  1. Thomas Godwin, b. 1614 in England, d. 1676 in Virginia
  2. Mary Elizabeth Bridger Godwin b. abt. 1617 in England, d. abt. 1683 in France
  3. Christopher Wadsworth, b. 1609 in England, d. 1678 in Massachusetts
  4. Grace Cole Wadsworth, b. 1607 in England, d. 1688 in Massachusetts
  5. Nathaniel Biscoe (Briscoe), b. 1595 in England, d. aft. 1651 in England (after leaving America)
  6. Elizabeth Honor Biscoe, b. 1600 in England, d. 1642 in Massachusetts
  7. Thomas Pawlett, b. 1575 in England, d. 1643 in Virginia
  8. Stephen Hamlin, b. 1607 in England, d. 1665 in Virginia
  9. Agnes Margaret Powell Hamlin, b. 1614 in England, d. 1680 in Virginia
  10. Richard Taylor, Sr., b. abt. 1597, d. 1679 in Virginia
  11. William Barker, b. 1598 in England, d. 1655 in Virginia
  12. Richard Harrison, b. 1600 in England, d. 1664 in Virginia
  13. Elizabeth Besouth Harrison, b. abt. 1600 in England, d. in Virginia
  14. Robert Wyatt, b. 1620 in England, d. 1660 in Virginia
  15. Jonathan Jones, b. 1585 in England, d. 1666 in Massachusetts
  16. John Ford, b. 1636 in England, d. 1699 in Virginia
  17. Mary Jane Mallory Ford, b. 1641 in England, d. 1706 in Virginia
  18. Edward Newton, b. 1632 in England, d. 1713 in Virginia
  19. Arthur Starkey, b. 1611 in England, d. 1666 in Massachusetts
  20. Mary Wickstead, b. 1608 in England, d. 1680 in Massachusetts
  21. Thomas Garnett, b. 1585 in England, d. 1635 in Virginia
  22. Elizabeth Powell Garnett, b. 1593 in England, d. 1650 in Virginia
  23. Henry Hooper, b. in England, d. in Maryland
  24. Sarah Emily Rycroft Hooper, b. in England, d. in Maryland
  25. John Taylor, b. 1607 in England, d. 1651 in Virginia
  26. Elizabeth Nynne Taylor, b. 1610 in England, d. 1659 in Virginia
  27. Thomas Gascoigne, b. 1601 in England, d. 1665 in Virginia
  28. John Sloman, b. 1586 in England, d. 1658 in Virginia
  29. Katherine Eppes Maplesden-Sloman, b. 1587 in England, d. bef. 1660 in Virginia
  30. William Snowdall Sr., b. 1620 in England, d. 1670 in Virginia (x2)
  31. Elizabeth Dawson Snowdall, b. 1620 in England, d. abt. 1668 in Virginia (x2)
  32. Rice Justice, b. 1618 in England, d. in Virginia (x2)
  33. Grace Pondman Justice, b. 1635 in England, d. abt. 1654 in Virginia (x2)
  34. Henry Andrews Sr., b. 1608 in England, d. 1653 in Massachusetts
  35. Mary Pool Andrews, b. 1611 in England, d. 1653 in Massachusetts

15th Generation

  1. Mary Litcott Barker, b. 1558 in England, d. 1673 in Virginia
  2. Edward Newton Sr., b. 1604 in England, d. 1654 in Virginia
  3. Catherine Elizabeth Jones Newton, b. 1601 in England, d. 1650 in Virginia
  4. William Seale, b. 1635 in England, d. 1704 in Virginia
  5. Susanna Stow Seale, b. 1641 in England, d. 1704 in Virginia
  6. John Muse, b. 1633 in England, d. 1723 in Virginia
  7. John William Justice, b. 1598 in England, d. 1664 in Virginia

16th Generation

  1. John Newton, b. 1575 in England, d. 1633 in Massachusetts
  2. Samuel Neel Stowe, b. 1613 in England, d. in Virginia
  3. Elizabeth Etheridge Stowe, b. 1617 in England, d. 1680 in Virginia
  4. John Parsons, b. 1611 in England or Ireland, d. 1699 in Virginia
  5. Jane Deares Parsons, b. 1615 in Ireland, d. abt. 1699 in Virginia

Builders of the Old Dominion 3

Samuel Almond and Mary Crockford

Getting to Virginia

Despite the fact that many events in the life of Samuel Almond cannot be documented, he was a real person who really did leave his home in Chesham, England, to immigrate to Jamestown.  That much we know.

Chesham is only 11 miles from Aylesbury, where Thomas Harris and Adria Hoare had lived, and also not far from London, where Christopher Branch and Mary Addie had lived. They were among many who left this area of England in the first half of the 17th century to settle in Virginia. Samuel’s name is usually seen in the documents as SAMUELL, and the surname is sometimes seen as ALLMAND or D’ALMOND.

A review of my previous post, Builders of the Old Dominion 2, will help give context:   Christopher Branch and his wife Mary Addie had arrived on the Marchant in 1620. By the time Christopher Branch’s children had grown up, Samuel Almond had arrived in Jamestown. This is estimated by researcher Louise Ashby Almond to have been around 1635, when Henrico County was organized as one of the eight original shires of Virginia. 

Christopher Branch and Samuel Almond undoubtedly knew each other since they were land owners in the same county, but Christopher’s wife Mary had died by the time Samuel Almond arrived. Years later, Samuel’s daughter, Sarah Almond, married Christopher’s son, Christopher Branch, Jr.  There is no documentation for this, unfortunately—only family tradition and unverified notes. Sarah Almond and Christopher Branch Jr. were the parents of Mary Branch, future grandmother of President Thomas Jefferson.

Becoming a Land Owner

Samuel’s three land transactions were made in 1637, 1638, and 1639. Immigration records show his arrival in 1639, but that date refers to when his land was patented or the record created—not when he actually arrived. This is explained in this reference from

The map which follows shows Samuel’s land in the extreme upper left corner. It was just south of present day Richmond. The transactions are listed in Cavaliers and Pioneers.

  1. Arthur Bayly and Thomas Crosby received 800 acres in Henrico County in January 1637. They assigned 400 acres of this patent to Samuell Almond.
  2. Thomas Crosby transferred another 400 acres to Samuell Almond in February 1638.
  3. In March 1639, Samuell Almond received 600 more acres in Henrico County.

Almost all of the land owners grew tobacco, and, apparently, it was a very involved process to get the tobacco ready for market. (Note: The illustration more accurately portrays a much later time period.)

Whether Samuel had slaves or not, I do not know, but I doubt that he did. The first slaves arrived in 1619, but the Virginians had no intention of having slaves. Slavery was introduced when a Dutch ship captain, running short of provisions, was trying to get the Africans off his ship. He landed at Jamestown and wanted the Virginians to buy them. The Virginians did not want to do that, but they finally agreed to it when the captain threatened to throw the captives overboard. (Wallace)

Over time, more and more settlers had slaves, but it was a societal change that evolved slowly from that first encounter, eventually creating suffering and discord that has lasted to this day.

The tobacco growers had a system of verifying the quality of all the tobacco. Samuel was tasked with this responsibility in 1639, as explained in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. It is apparent that he had earned respect from his new neighbors after being in Henrico less than five years.

Still Researching the Almonds

I have seen some trees on that provide more detailed information about Samuel Almond; however, the sources included do not support the conclusions. For example, you can’t use birth records to support  a birth that occurred a century earlier. Obviously.

One contributor on did provide some credible notes of Louise Ashby Almond (1911-1990), who had received the genealogical records completed by her uncle, Frank Hobson. Clearly, we have to use this information cautiously since we have no other documentation. Louise stated that the Almond family originally lived in Alsace Lorraine, where residents were under severe stress due to wars and religious persecution. The Almonds fled to England and settled in Chesham.

According to Louise’s notes, Samuel’s two children, Sarah and William, survived the well-documented Indian massacre of April 1644 by hiding in a woodbox. Samuel, however, was among 500 other Virginians who were slaughtered. No mention is made of Samuel’s wife or who cared for the children after their father’s death.

The tradition is that Samuel’s wife was Mary Crockford. I have not yet been able to verify that, but I have found some English wills in Sussex that mention Crockfords. Contributors to WikiTree have included a little more detail, providing the names  John Almond and Elizabeth Weldon as Samuel’s parents, and  George Crockford and Anne Honna  as parents of Mary. The WikiTree page says Samuel and Mary were married in Sussex, England, in 1623.  I will update this post as more reliable information comes to light.

Hopefully, someone will read this and offer information that helps verify the wife and children of Samuel Almond, a resident of Henrico County for less than 10 years before his decease. If you know more details, I want to hear from you!


Mysterious Origins

John Bristow

My immigrant ancestor John Bristow is listed in some genealogies as John Newton Bristow, but I have not found any document that included the name “Newton”. The Christ Church Parish records from Middlesex County, Virginia, contain many of the births, deaths, and marriages of John Bristow, his children, and grandchildren, so we know they stayed in one place for several generations. Genealogists working on families from Middlesex County will appreciate the efforts of the vestrymen who, in 1663, initiated the creation of the register and then took care to preserve it.

The church now standing was being built before John died, but there had been another building on the same site since 1666. The photo of Christ Church was originally posted by J. T. Cummings at in the section devoted to Christ Church Cemetery, where John Bristow is buried. I do not know if there is actually a tombstone marking his grave, but his death and burial are included in the church register: “John Bristow dyed October ye 10 & was buried October ye 13, 1716.” There is a Christ Church Cemetery map posted by D. Bevan at, which indicates that plot 107 is where any Bristows are buried.

John’s origins are mysterious, and any effort to determine his ancestry will result in frustration. However, it seems fairly clear that John, was, indeed, an immigrant. The Bristow Association, which I have not yet been able to contact, previously issued a report saying that John Bristow was “found wandering through the Colony of Virginia in 1663”.  This was in Lancaster County, established in 1651. The Lancaster County Order Book mentions him: “John Bristow svnt to John Hughes coming into this country without indenture and appearing to this Cort is ordered to serve seaven years from his arrival.

It has been estimated that John was 14 years old in 1663, which would put his birth in 1649. Why was he in Virginia without “papers”? How did he get there? Where did he come from? Who were his parents? I am still trying to find satisfactory answers to those questions. Middlesex County was formed from part of Lancaster County in 1669, so John Bristow stayed in the same general area from 1663 until his death in 1716. These counties are on either side of the James River where it empties into Chesapeake Bay, and many immigrants entering Virginia from the Atlantic Ocean likely passed through them.

A Robert Bristow had property in Lancaster County at the time John arrived there, but it is not known what their relationship was. (Cavaliers and Pioneers pages 340, 505, 536, and 553 In searching wills, land records, county histories, and parish records for answers, one will find an extraordinary amount of conflicting data.

Here are some examples of the conflicting data: Robert Bristow married Averilla Curtis, and it seems his son Robert married Catherine Woolley in England. This much can be gathered from marriage records and wills. One may be inclined to say that Robert Sr. and Averilla were John’s parents, but one record says Robert Sr. was born in 1625 and another says he was born in 1643. Some records say he immigrated to Virginia in 1660, but he supposedly married Averilla, of Virginia, in 1650. Some records say Averilla was born in 1625, but her sister, Sarah Curtis Perrott, was born in 1657. That seems an unlikely age difference. Sarah Curtis married Richard Perrott, Jr., in 1672, at age 14, but she had already been married to William Halfhide before 1670, which would have made her 11 or 12 at first marriage. The mother of Averilla and Sarah was also named Averilla, so the records are sometimes unclear as to which Averilla is meant. Robert Bristow, the Lancaster County plantation owner, returned to England at some point and remained until his death in 1706/7. His son Robert Jr. apparently lived in England and died just before his father. They both left wills, but they are a little confusing (at least to me). Richard and Sarah Curtis Perrott attended the same church as John Bristow, but it is not known how they were related, if at all. One might guess that Sarah Curtis Perrott was John’s aunt or cousin. However, I have not found any evidence other than proximity that John was the son of Robert Bristow Sr. and his wife Averilla Curtis. I do believe they were related in some way. John did not name any of his children Robert or Averilla, but his son James Bristow did name children Robert and Averilla. James was the only one of John’s children whose birth is not in the parish records, but he was mentioned in John’s will.  Clearly, there are many issues involved in trying to pin down John’s heritage, and I don’t believe anyone has been able to do it at this point.

John’s indentured service ended around 1670. Sometime before 1680, he married Mary Michal Nicholls. In 1687, he served in the Middlesex County militia. The births of these children are in the parish records: Johannah in 1680, William in 1682, Michal in 1684, Thomas in 1687, Elizabeth in 1690, Nicholas in 1694, and Anne in 1701. Almost all of these children’s marriages are also in the parish records, as well as the births and marriages of some of John’s grandchildren. My descent is from the daughter Anne Bristow, who married Anthony Seale and moved to Prince William County. John’s first wife, Mary Michal Nicholls, died before 1711, and John then married Mrs. Mary Goodloe Carter, by whom he had three more children. I found birth records for two of them—Jedediah in 1713 and Mary in 1715.

John had a plantation with many slaves that are mentioned in the parish records. He left a will naming some of his children, but  daughters Elizabeth and Michal, and possibly Johannah, preceded him in death. The will of John Bristow was probated Nov. 6, 1716, and is recorded in Will Book “B”, p. 51, Middlesex County, Virginia. It reads

  “In the name of God Amen I John Bristow being sick and week in body but sound in memory do make this my last will and testamt First I bequeath my soule to God that made it; my body to the earth from whence it came; and all my worldly goods as follows:  Item I lend unto my loving wife Mary Bristow one negro woman named Judy during my wifes natural life; then to return to my estate againe Item I give and bequeath unto my son Nicholas Bristow one negro man named Jack to him and his heirs Item I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Anne Bristow one negro woman named Bess with incres to hur and hur heires forever Item I give and bequeath unto my grandson John Bristow sone of Tho: Bristow one negro  boy named Majgor to him and his heires Item I give and bequeath unto William Owen sone of Michaell Owen one negro garle named Lotty hur and hur incres forever Item I give and bequeath unto my sone William Bristow one negro garle named Rose hur and hur incres forever Item I give and bequeath unto my two sones Nicholas and James Bristow my land to be equally divided betoined them and their heires forever Item I give and bequeath my hole personall estate to be equally divided betoine my wife and children after my debts first paid and Lastly I appoint my sones Nicholas and James Bristow Executures of this my last Will and Testament as witness my hand and seale this 20 Day of Feb 1716.

  (Signed) John Bristow (Seal)

  Will Daniell

  Will Daniell jnr.

Probated November 6, 1716″

Despite his inauspicious arrival in Virginia, John seems to have been successful. I don’t like the fact that he owned slaves, but he was apparently devoted to his family and was a respected resident of Christ Church Parish where he served as lay reader, appraiser, juror, and clerk of the vestry.

Copyright © 2019 K Steele Barrera.   All rights reserved.


Sources for John Bristow

Cavaliers and Pioneers. Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1623-1666, Vol. I. Accessed at on March 15, 2019.

Colonial men and times : containing the journal of Col. Daniel Trabue, some account of his ancestry, life and travels in Virginia., Provo, Utah, 2005. Accessed on March 15, 2019.

England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975. Published by, Provo, Utah, 2004. Accessed on March 15, 2019.

The Parish Register of Christ Church, Middlesex County, Virginia, from 1653 to 1812. Printed by W.E. Jones, Richmond, Virginia, 1897. Accessed 15 March 2019 at

U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900. Yates Publishing, 2004. Accessed at on March 15, 2019.

Virginia Colonial Militia, 1651-1776, Vol. II. Accessed at on March 15, 2019.

Virginia Will Records. Accessed at on March 15, 2019