Eighteenth in a series of biographical sketches on Burgesses whose descendants belong to the First Mississippi Company; in honor of the 400th anniversary of the July 30, 1619, meeting of the first representative governmental body in America at the 1617 Church on Jamestown Island.
Abraham Peirsey first arrived at Jamestowne aboard the Susan, the first Magazine ship sent to the Colony in 1616 from England. His wife, Elizabeth Draper and their two daughters, Elizabeth and Mary, arrived on the Southhampton in 1616. He later returned to England on the Susan and sailed back to Jamestowne aboard the George. Peirsey was Cape Merchant of the Virginia Company and a stockholder. In late August 1619, John Rolfe reported that the privateer White Lion landed “20. and odd Negroes…which the Governor and Cape Marchant [Peirsey] bought for victuals.” He also made a trading visit to Newfoundland in 1619 on the George to exchange tobacco for fish.
In 1624 Abraham Peirsey bought Governor Sir George Yeardley’s plantation known as Flowerdew Hundred, located on the south side of the James River just upstream from James City in present day Prince George County. Peirsey renamed the plantation Peirsey’s Hundred and built a stone house with the first permanent foundation in the colony. Flowerdew Hundred was a palisaded settlement which may account for there being only six deaths there during the Indian uprising in 1622.
According to the 1624/25 Muster, Peirsey was the second wealthiest man in Virginia after Yeardley. Peirsey’s Hundred included twelve dwellings, three storehouses, four tobacco houses, and housed a total of 57 people, including 29 servants and seven Negroes belonging to Peirsey as indentured servants. The other residents were six married men with their families and servants, three single men, and a minister.
In 1624, Peirsey also owned Windmill Point at which included the first windmill constructed in America. Ample supplies of food were on hand in the form of cattle, hogs, corn, peas, and quantities of fish. A continued concern over defense was reflected in the cannon, armor, gunpowder, and swords listed.
On 24 Oct 1623, along with John Pory, John Harvey, John Jefferson and Samuel Mathews, Abraham Peirsey was appointed to a commission to "look into the state of Virginia." He was appointed to the Council 1624 and elected as Burgess in 1625.
Peirsey’s plantation went to his second wife, Frances Greville, upon his death in 1627/1628. She later married Samuel Mathews and died in 1633. At her death the property was awarded to Peirsey’s daughter Mary Peirsey Hill. One of Mary's first act upon acquiring Peirsey’s Hundred was to rename it Flowerdew Hundred. In the five years that passed after Abraham's death the estate was altered so much that Mary became destitute.
Today the plantation is held by the Flowerdew Hundred Foundation and is listed on Virginia’s Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, Civil War Overland Campaign Lee-Grant Trail, and the National Register of Historic Places.
First Mississippi Company Descendant of Abraham Peirsey: Henry Hunter Jordan III
Seventeenth in a series of biographical sketches on Burgesses whose descendants belong to the First Mississippi Company; in honor of the 400th anniversary of the July 30, 1619, meeting of the first representative governmental body in America at the 1617 Church on Jamestown Island.
The Macon family were French Huguenots who left France and then established themselves in England for several generations. It is thought that the emigration took place soon after the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, 24 August 1572, and before the Edict of Nantes, which, in 1598, gave the Huguenots equal religious rights in France.
Gideon Macon was the son of William and Anne (Garland) Macon.
In 1671, Gideon Macon was an attorney at law in York County. He was Secretary to Governor William Berkeley during his second administration from 1660 - 1677. He was an early Vestryman in Bruton Parish, where a brass tablet to his memory marks a pew in the church. In 1684 he was named church warden in St. Peter’s Parish and observed his church duties faithfully. He entertained the vestry at his home, and in the Vestry Book on 04 March 1702 he is referred to “as lately deceased.”
Gideon Macon moved to New Kent County about 1680 and established his home on Macon’s Island. Soon after building his home, he married Martha, daughter of William Woodward, the Indian Interpreter to the Pamunkey tribe. He was given the title of Colonel as the Commander in Chief of the New Kent County Militia. He became prominent in the affairs of New Kent County and was elected to the General Assembly where he served as Burgess in 1693 and 1696 to 1703.
On 10 October 1700 he wrote his will and named his wife, Martha, his Executor. Following his death, Martha married for her second husband Captain Nathaniel West. Gideon and Martha (Woodward) Macon had the following children: (1) Gideon Macon, Jr., born 20 January 1682 and probably died before his father; (2) Anne, born 15 December 1684 who married James Christian; (3) Martha, born in 1687 who married Orlando Jones; (4) Elizabeth, born in 1690; (5) William Macon, born 12 November 1693 who married Mary Hartwell; (6) John, born 17 December 1695 who married Anne Hunt; (7) A daughter born in 1698; and (8) James, born 22 October 1701 who married Elizabeth Moore.
First Mississippi Company Descendant of Gideon Macon: Anita Lou Tribble Bove
Sixteenth in a series of biographical sketches on Burgesses whose descendants belong to the First Mississippi Company; in honor of the 400th anniversary of the July 30, 1619, meeting of the first representative governmental body in America at the 1617 Church on Jamestown Island.
William Kendall was born in 1659 in Northampton County, Virginia, and was the son of Colonel William Kendall and Susannah Baker. He was a member of the House of Burgesses for Northampton County in 1688 and 1692-94. William married Anne Mason, daughter of Lemuel Mason of Lower Norfolk County. William’s father-in-law, Lemuel Mason, was also a member of the House of Burgesses. Kendall made out his will 29 January 1695, and it was proved 28 July 1696. In his will he named his wife Anne; two sons, William Kendall III and John; and three daughters. His name appears on the list of participants in Bacon’s Rebellion who were pardoned by Governor Berkeley in 1676. He died young in his thirties.
William Kendall’s father, also named William Kendall, was born in England about 1625 and emigrated to Jamestown in 1650 as an indentured servant. He had also become a Virginia politician, and was serving in 1685 as Speaker of the House of Burgesses when it was prorogued by Governor Howard. He had died by the time it reconvened in 1686.
First Mississippi Company Descendant of William Kendall: Donna Lane
Fifteenth in a series of biographical sketches on Burgesses whose descendants belong to the First Mississippi Company; in honor of the 400th anniversary of the July 30, 1619, meeting of the first representative governmental body in America at the 1617 Church on Jamestown Island.
Little is known about the origins of Barnaby Kearney; neither his exact birth date, birth place nor identity of his parents. Whether he was born in Virginia or immigrated is unknown; no manifest from a passenger ship to America has been found that bears his name.
Kearney lived in Nansemond County; records show he owned 460 acres there. He served as a Justice in Nansemond in 1678 and was a Major in the Nansemond County, Militia in 1680. In 1684, he was elected to serve as the Burgess from Nansemond. He was still living in the county as late as 1697, when he authorized Captain Joseph Godwin to serve as his attorney. Since he was living in Nansemond as late as 1697, he probably died there.
There was a close Kearney-Godwin connection, Thomas Godwin of Nansemond County and Barnaby Kearney were friends who had much in common. On 10 Jun 1779, Kearney and Godwin attended a Quaker wedding together when Thomas Jordan and Elizabeth Burgh married because the Godwins were Quakers. Like Kearney, Colonel Thomas Godwin also served in the Virginia Militia defending Nansemond from the Indians. Like Kearney, Godwin also served in the House of Burgesses from 1664-1665 and 1676. In 1676, Godwin was elected the Speaker of the House in the Assembly that met just before Bacon’s Rebellion began. Kearney was a participant in Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676, led by Nathaniel Bacon against the rule of Governor William Berkeley.
Barnaby Kearney was definitely as odds with Governor William Berkeley before Bacon’s Rebellion, for Governor Berkeley sued Barnaby Kearney in 1672 for paying him with some invalid tobacco bills. When Barnaby appeared before the General Court on 21 Mar 1672, Barnaby claimed he had received the tobacco bills from Mr. James, probably Richard James I, a Jamestowne merchant. Mr. James had received the tobacco bills from John Everson. Kearney was ordered to pay William White of urban Jamestowne half of the freight charges associated with the transaction.
In 1674 Kearney was summoned for jury duty and was fined 200 pounds of tobacco for not appearing.
Although the name of Barnaby Kearney’s wife is unknown, he had two sons who have been proven: (1) Barnaby Kearney II, who married Elizabeth Godwin, the daughter of Thomas Godwin II, who also married Martha Bridger; and (2) Thomas Kearney, who married Sarah Alston.
First Mississippi Company Descendant of Barnaby Kearney: Dr. Russell F. Kearney, Jr.
Fourteenth in a series of biographical sketches on Burgesses whose descendants belong to the First Mississippi Company; in honor of the 400th anniversary of the July 30, 1619, meeting of the first representative governmental body in America at the 1617 Church on Jamestown Island.
Robert Ellyson, born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, was in St. Mary’s Hundred in Maryland from 1642-1644 and also was an absent freeman of Kent in 1642 with land likely located on Kent Island. He was a practicing physician and also the sheriff of St. Mary’s County, Maryland.
By February 1646, he was practicing law in York County, Virginia, and also resided at various times in James City and Gloucester Counties. He was elected as a burgess from James City County in 1655/56 and again in 1663. He was the sergeant-at-arms for the General Assembly and was appointed to a committee to examine the election of burgesses newly returned to the Assembly. He was also the High Sheriff of James City County and was listed among the justices of the Gloucester County Court in 1656. He was appointed in 1660 to a committee of the Council and Assembly to make plans to build a state house.
He held the rank of Captain, Major, Lt. Colonel, and Colonel in the militia, though not necessarily in the correct rank sequence. In the spring of 1664, he was ordered to accompany Edmund Scarborough, the Surveyor General of Virginia, to Manakin to confer with the commissioners about the boundary dispute with Maryland.
By the mid 1660’s, Ellyson owned land in James City County on Ware Creek and patented land in New Kent County on the narrows of the York River in 1657. At the same time, he patented 200 acres in James City County on the east branch of Burchen Swamp; his son later re-patented these tracts of land.
The name of Robert Ellyson’s wife cannot be proved, but most printed accounts claim that she was probably Elizabeth Gerrard, the daughter of Dr. Thomas Gerrard. The Gerrard name was used for several generations of Robert Ellyson’s descendants. Elizabeth Ellyson was present as a sponsor in 1658 at the baptism of William Randolph, son of Henry Randolph, in James City. The marriage of Robert and Elizabeth Ellyson probably occurred in the mid-1650’s.
Robert Ellyson had two known children: (1) Gerrard Robert Ellyson, born about 1658; and (2) Hannah Ellyson, wife of Anthony Armistead, born by or before 1660. When Gerrard Robert Ellyson recorded the patent his father had made in 1657 for 577 acres in New Kent County, he identified himself as “sonne and Heire” of Robert Ellyson. In July, 1698, Hannah Armistead deeded land that was given by her father, Robert Ellyson, to her son-in-law, John West.
Gerrard Robert Ellyson, orphan of Major Ellyson, was under age in Oct 1672, when the James City County court ordered that Mr. Thomas Viccars be his guardian. Whether Hannah was older is not certain, but she had a son-in-law by 1698.
Dr. Robert Ellyson continued to practice medicine his entire life and died 28 Sep 1681 in James City County, Virginia.
First Mississippi Company Descendants of Dr. Robert Ellyson: Rev. Janin Ryniker Goff, Dr. Michael Lee Davis
Thirteenth in a series of biographical sketches on Burgesses whose descendants belong to the First Mississippi Company; in honor of the 400th anniversary of the July 30, 1619, meeting of the first representative governmental body in America at the 1617 Church on Jamestown Island.
Major Joseph Crowshaw was the son Captain Raleigh Crowshaw, an Ancient Planter, a member of the London Company, an Adventurer, and a Burgess from Elizabeth City County. Raleigh arrived in Virginia in 1608 on the Second Supply to Jamestowne and settled on Middle Plantation, in the area that later became Williamsburg. Raleigh’s wife’s name is unknown; she arrived in Virginia on the Bona Nova in 1620. Raleigh was a member of the Virginia Company of London and, alongside Captain John Smith, fought the Indians led by Opechancanough.
Joseph Crowshaw, born about 1612, may have been educated in England; he became a lawyer and a justice of the court in York County; represented York as a member of the House of Burgess in 1659/60; and represented York in the Assembly in 1656, 1659, and 1660. In 1656 he was also the Sheriff in York County. Joseph was also an ardent Royalist who opposed the rule of Oliver Cromwell.
As a planter, Joseph Crowshaw patented many tracts of land: 600 acres on the Charles River in York County; 1350 acres on the south side of the York River; 1000 acres at Poplar Neck plantation in present-day Williamsburg, near the land of his brother Richard Crowshaw.
Joseph Crowshaw married five times and had six children by two of his wives. The name of his first wife is unknown, but they had the following children: (1) a daughter whose name is unknown but who married Robert Blackwell and had two sons named Robert and James; (2) Mary Crowshaw, who first married Henry White and then Thomas Taylor; (3) Rachel Crowshaw, who first married Ralph Graves, and then Richard Barnes; (3) Unity Crowshaw, who married Colonel John West; (4) Benjamin Crowshaw, who died young; and (5) Joseph Crowshaw, who died young.
Joseph Crowshaw next married these women: (2) widow Finch; (3) Anne Hodges, widow of Augustine Hodges; (4) Margaret Tucker, widow of Daniel Tucker; (5) Mary Bromfield, widow of Thomas Bromfield, who bore Joseph a son named Joseph [II].
Joseph Crowshaw died 10 Apr 1667 in York County. He mentioned his wife Mary and infant son Joseph [II], and his two sons-in-law John West and Ralph Graves. His son named Joseph [II] by his last wife Mary died at age 15; and, according to the provisions of his will, his estate went to John West, Unity’s husband. The inventory of Joseph’s estate included pewter and silver and 1,000 bricks manufactured by his servants or transient labors.
First Mississippi Company Descendants of Joseph Crowshaw: Walter Granville Jordan
Twelfth in a series of biographical sketches on Burgesses whose descendants belong to the First Mississippi Company; in honor of the 400th anniversary of the July 30, 1619, meeting of the first representative governmental body in America at the 1617 Church on Jamestown Island
David Crawford was born circa 1625 in Scotland, emigrating to the Virginia Colony with his father, John Crawford, around 1643. His father was later killed in Bacon's Rebellion of 1676.
Crawford received a land grant in the Parish of Martin’s Hundred, James City County, as early as 7 Aug 1667. He later settled in that part of St. Peter’s Parish, New Kent, which ultimately became St. Paul’s Parish, Hanover County; here he patented land in 1672, naming his plantation Assasquin. On 23 Jan 1687, Crawford was elected to the vestry of St. Peter’s Parish, an office he held until the division of the parish in 1704, after which he served as a member of the vestry of the new St. Paul’s Parish. He served as one of the two church wardens of St. Peter’s from 1698 to 1700.
During the first session of the Assembly of 1691-1692, an Act was passed creating King and Queen County from New Kent, and Burgesses from both counties were elected for the second session this this assembly. Crawford was one of the two Burgesses elected for New Kent and took his seat in the House of Burgesses on 01 Apr 1692. He was instrumental in enacting legislation requiring Clerks of County Courts to maintain offices in their respective Court Houses.
An act in Henning’s Statutes-at-Large shows David Crawford deeding the Assasquin estate of four hundred acres to his grandson William Meriwether. He granted 200 acres in St. Paul’s Parish to another grandson, David Meriwether, in 1697. He amassed many acres of land and operated a large plantation that eventually became part of the site of Richmond, Virginia, in the 17th Century.
The name of David Crawford’s wife is unknown; however, he married and had several children: Elizabeth who married Nicholas Meriwether, a daughter who married a Lewis, Angelina who married a McGuire, John, and Sarah. As an elderly man, he was allegedly killed by the Pamunkey Indians about 1710 in New Kent County, Virginia.
Note: An excavation of the site of David Crawford's fortified home began In 2010.
First Mississippi Company Descendants of David Crawford: Kenneth Holt Oilschlager
Eleventh in a series of biographical sketches on Burgesses whose descendants belong to the First Mississippi Company; in honor of the 400th anniversary of the July 30, 1619 meeting of the first representative governmental body in America at the 1617 church on Jamestown Island
Joseph Bridger was elected as a Burgess to represent Isle of Wight County in 1658. Who was this man?
Joseph Bridger, born in 1628 in the Parish of Dursley, England, was the son of Samuel Bridger. A dedicated Royalist, Bridger came to Virginia about 1655, at a time when those supporting King Charles II in exile in France were fleeing England to escape Cromwellian persecution or possibly death. He did well in Virginia, and settled below Jamestowne, south of the James River, and probably patented more land than any other resident of Isle of Wight County during the 17th century.
Bridger was chosen to represent Isle of Wight County in the House of Burgesses in the session of 1658. After 1661, he filled the position without interruption until about 1672. As a Burgess, he received 250 pounds of tobacco for each day the assembly was in session in Jamestowne. In 1664, Captain Bridger and two other commissioners were sent to Chesapeake Bay to settle the dispute of a claim by the State of Maryland over a county line.
He attained the rank of colonel in 1672 and in 1673, at the age of 45, became a member of the Council of State and General Court of the aging Virginia governor, Sir William Berkeley.
Bridger was destined to take an active part in a series of historic events in Virginia history. With the governor's authorization he formed a 500-man army to fight the Indians who threatened the farmers. But Colonel Bridger never used his militia to protect these farmers because the governor was trading with the Indians for their valuable furs. Lacking government protection, the farmers became rebellious and allied with Nathaniel Bacon, a dissatisfied member of the governor’s Council. Berkeley was forced to flee Jamestowne; and Bacon, who named himself “General by consent of the people,” called Joseph Bridger a “wicked and pernicious councilor” for his continued loyalty to the governor and the King of England. Bridger fled with Berkeley; but Bridger’s son, Joseph Bridger, Jr., cast his lot with Nathaniel Bacon. Bridger disinherited his son and struck his name from his will in a codicil, perhaps because of their political differences.
While in exile, Bridger witnessed the governor’s will and was appointed by the King to continue as a member of the Council. Berkeley was instructed to rebuild Jamestowne, burned by Nathaniel Bacon, and asked to have each Council member build a home there. By 1682, Joseph Bridger’s house was completed, and the Council met in his new home on the afternoon of November 25 that year.
Colonel Bridger’s will was dated 03 August 1683 and probated 08 May 1686 in Isle of Wight County. In it he named his mother, Mrs. Mary Bridger; his wife, Hester (Pitt) and children: Joseph, Samuel, William, Martha, Mary and Elizabeth. Bridger was buried at his plantation named “Whitemarsh”; but in 1894 his body was moved to the chancel of the Old Brick Church near Smithfield.
First Mississippi Company Descendants of Joseph Bridger: Janice (Joy) Willis Herron, Cynthia Walker Kennedy
Tenth in a series of biographical sketches on Burgesses whose descendants belong to the First Mississippi Company; in honor of the 400th anniversary of the July 30, 1619, meeting of the first representative governmental body in American at the 1617 Church on Jamestown Island
Christopher Branch served as a Burgess from Henrico County, VA. Who was this man?
Christopher Branch was about 22 years old when, in March 1619/20, he and wife Mary Addy embarked on the London Merchant for Virginia. He is listed in 1624 as living on the “College Land” in present Henrico County. In the 1624/25 muster, he, his wife and nine-month old son, Thomas, are named in the same location.
In 1634, Christopher Branch of Henrico County was granted a lease on 100 acres. The next year, he patented 250 acres at “Kingsland” adjacent to his leased land using headrights gained for transporting himself and four others. By 1639 his plantation had grown to 450 acres.
By 1640 there was a glut of tobacco on the market. The General Assembly decided to limit the tobacco crop to a percentage per planter and to destroy the remainder. Branch was then a Burgess for Henrico and was named by the Assembly to inspect each planter’s tobacco crop. In 1641 he was again named Burgess and in 1656 he was named a Justice.
His will dated June 1678 and verified by witnesses in February 1682 indicated the general time of his death and that he was still at “Kingsland” at that time. His wife, Mary Addy, died much earlier. They were the parents of three sons: Thomas, William and Christopher.
Christopher Branch was the third great grandfather of President Thomas Jefferson.
First Mississippi Company Descendants of Christopher Branch: Suzanne Worthington Walters, Clayton Walters, Thomas Walters
Ninth in a series of biographical sketches on Burgesses whose descendants belong to the First Mississippi Company; in honor of the 400th anniversary of the July 30, 1619, meeting of the first representative governmental body in American at the 1617 Church on Jamestown Island
Cheney Boyce was elected as a Burgess to represent Shirley Hundred in 1629. Who was this man?
Cheney Boyce, born in 1586 in England, first came to the Virginia Colony before 1616 and survived the Indian massacre of 1622. Some authorities suggest that Cheney's first wife, Sarah, was captured during the Indian raid; others, however, disregard this idea. Cheney is found in John Throgmorton’s Muster of the inhabitants of West and Shirley Hundred taken on 22 January 1624. Cheney is listed as a single man, aged 26 years, who arrived on the George.
Cheney served as Burgess for Shirley Hundred Island in 1629, 1630, and 1632. He married a woman whose first name was Joyce about 1635; their one known child was Thomas Boyce whose testimony stating that he is the only son of Cheney Boyce appeared in the Charles City County Court Order of 1655-1665, p. 355.
Cheney was designated as an "Ancient Planter" in the land grant he received for 1550 acres including the 100-acre bequest for being a settler before the time of Sir Thomas Dale. Boyce was responsible for importing 29 persons, according to Nell Nugent's Cavaliers and Pioneers p. 24.
In August 1637, Boyce received another grant on Merchants' Hope Creek in Charles City County. The final land patent was dated 1 September 1643, when he received an additional 1,198 acres of land. The date of Cheney's death was after 1643 and well before 26 Oct 1649, when Cheney’s widow, Joyce, was described as being the widow of Richard Tye, her second husband.
Thomas Boyce's records from the court primarily deal with property due him from his father's estate. Thomas petitioned the court to gain control of his father’s land, which, at Cheney’s death, had become the property of his mother, Joyce, and her second husband, Richard Tye. Joyce Boyce Tye apparently married a third time Dr. John Cogan. Several records establish a relationship between Cheney and Joyce Boyce and their daughter-in-law Emelia Boyce, wife of son Thomas. Emelia Boyce also obtained property from her grandfather, Richard Craven, another qualifying ancestor of the Jamestowne Society.
First Mississippi Company Descendants of Cheney Boyce: Azalia Smith Francis Moore and Steven Merril Smith
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