Christopher Reynolds

Christopher REYNOLDS (1530 – 1600 ) was Alex’s 11th great grandfather, one of 4,096 in this generation of the Miner line through his grandson John.  He was also Alex’s 12th great grandfather, one of 8,192 in this generation of the Miller line through his granddaughter Catherine.

Christopher Reynolds – Coat of Arms (Note the foxes)

Christopher Reynolds was born in 1530 in Kent, England.  His parents were Robert REINOLDS and [__?__].  He married Clarissa HUNTINGTON.  Alternatively, he married Alyce Streetinge .  He settled in London where he and his sons engaged in trade and commerce.  Christopher died in 1600 in London.

Clarissa Huntington was born 1534.  Clarissa died in 1575.

Children of  Christopher and Clarissa:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Nathanial Reynolds 1553 Aylesford, Kent, England 1634 London, England
2. George Reynolds 1555 Kent, England Thomasyn Church 20 Jan 1585
St. James Clerkenwell London, England
1634 England
3. William REYNOLDS 1560 London, England Esther RUTH
2 Feb 1580 Kent, England
1646/47 Bermuda
4. Thomas Reynolds 1564 Middlesex, England Cicely Phippen
10 Mar 1593 Dorset, England
14 Jul 1603 St James, Clerkenwell, London, England
5. Christopher Reynolds 1565 1566 or
6. Mary Reynolds 1567  Died Young
7. John Reynolds 1569 1604 – London, England
8. Richard Reynolds 1575 Ann Harrison
York, England or York, Virginia
9. Robert Reynolds 1578 1579

Various explanations have been offered as to the origin of the surname Reynolds. It is thought by eminent authorities, however, to have had its source in the Norman French Renaud, or Regnauld, which the English render as Reynard, the fox. Renaud was one of the most popular font-names of the surname period, which accounts for its widespread popularity as a surname a century or more later. Reynolds is of the baptismal class, and signifies literally “the son of Reynold”, which is the Anglicized form of Regnauld, or Reginald. The common use of the fox on coats-of-arms of Reynolds families supports the fox theory, however, the use of the fox in a Reynolds family blazon, does not necessarily imply the origin of the name, but instead may be a play on the word and its similarity to ‘Reynard’. Arms were often ‘assigned’ by the rulers, there sole purpose to distinguish one warrior from another on the battle field, and some of them actually had senses of humor.

Christopher’s father  Robert REINOLDS b 1505 in East Bergholt, Suffolk, England m. 1526 Kent d. 1580 Kent, England. The children of Robert are: Christopher, Henry, Robert, Dorothy, Anne, Francis, Nathaniel. A study of early English records indicate that he had a brother – Nathaniel Reynolds – also engaged with his company. A sister, Dorothy, who d. 21 November 1552 [sic], m. 11 Aug 1567 William Tilghman, son of Richard and Julian (Newman) Tilghman, of (Kent) England. The record of the Tilghman Family is available in the DAR Library and the Library of Congress.

The Reynolds Family Association has no record to support any of the above information about this Christopher. Tillman did research the RFA files, but there is nothing in the files to support the information he provides on Christopher or his children. The RFA files have no sources that indicate any of the New England colonial settlers were children of any Christopher Reynolds. Several members of RFA have researched in England many times for this elusive Christopher with no success. There is no evidence that Christopher ever came to America and most likely he did not. The earliest record of a positive Reynolds arrival is Christopher Reynolds in VA in 1622, when Christopher of New Kent England would have been 92 years old. He probably died in London, England, but to date, no records have been found of his existence in County Kent or London.


2. George Reynolds

After their marriage, he and  Thomasyn Church settled in Bristol, England, and then in London. He is shown to have visited Virginia several times but did not settle in the colony.

Children of George and Thomasyn

i.  Robert Reynolds b. 1586; m. Mary [__?__]

Robert Reynolds is known to have been in Boston as early as 1632, and perhaps was a part of the Winthrop fleet in 1630. At least he was a part of the great immigration which streamed over to New England in the few years after 1630. With him came his wife, Mary (maiden name unknown), a son, Nathaniel, aged about five, four daughters, and probably his supposed brother, John Reynolds of Watertown, whose wife Sarah Reynolds is believed to have sailed in the ship “Elizabeth” of Ipswich in 1634 [Hotten, Early Immigrants].

In Genealogy of New England, Mr. Charles Nutt of Worcester, Mass. asserts, without stating his grounds, that Robert came from Aylesford, County Kent, some thirty miles southeast of London. The parochial records of that town now extend back to only 1660, earlier records having been lost. [Other sources list various places of birth for Robert. Charles Edward Banks in The Winthrop Fleet of 1630 (Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1989) states that Robert was “probably from Boxford, co. Suffolk.” Col. Stephen Tillman in Christopher Reynolds and his Descendants, 1959, states that Robert was born 1586 in Kent Co., England and was the son of George and Thomasyn (Church) Reynolds, data taken from George’s will. A source reference for the will is not given, nor is the will abstracted.]

Ueber of 1635 according to Boston records enumerating on 8 Jan 1637/38 those who were inhabitants of the town on the “14th day of the 10th month 1635.” Robert took his family back to Boston, where he acquired considerable property and lived the rest of his life. His wife Mary was admitted to the Boston Church Oct. 4, 1645. His occupation is frequently mentioned in various records as “cordwainer” (shoemaker), and property owner.

Robert Reynolds acquired just about 1640 [“Book of Possessions” compiled 1643] or shortly previous – the early pages of the “Book of Possessions” have been lost – a pretty large piece of land, which he afterward divided up into several lots, on the site of the southeast corner of Washington and Milk Streets [Shurtleff, History of Boston ch. LI] (then called High and Fort Streets, respectively) on the corner across Milk Street from the Old South Church, then part of Governor Winthrop’s home lot. On one of these lots of the Reynolds estate, Josiah Franklin about 1685 became the tenant of Capt. Nathaniel Reynolds, then living in Bristol, and apparently remained there until about 1712. It was thus on Reynolds property that Benjamin Franklin was born 6 Jan 1705/06. Though most of the other lots of the original homestead passed out of the hands of the Reynolds family before 1700, this particular Franklin lot was not disposed of until May 21, 1725, when the widow of the third Nathaniel Reynolds conveyed it to John Fosdick, son-in-law of Captain Nathaniel Reynolds.

Robert Reynolds also owned land at Muddy River (modern Brookline), which he conveyed in 1645 and 1653. In 1638 he was mentioned as owning land “bounded on NW with Newtowne” [Boston Record Comm. 2:29]. In 1640, Robert Reynolds is mentioned as selling land on Hogg Island. Robert’s name is often found in the county records of land transfers, as a witness to legal papers, as an appraiser of estates, etc.

At the time the sharp old Capt. Robert Keayne and Mrs. Shearman went to law over a stray pig in 1642, an excited public opinion turned upon the old captain, and judges wrangled over what has become a notable case in the history of bicameral “courts” or legislatures, Robert Reynolds apparently lent his voice to the defense of Keayne [see Palfrey, “Hist. New England” 1:618]. Some years later (Nov. 14, 1653) the following paragraph appears in Keayne’s will [NEHGR 6:156]: “Unto our brother Renolds, shoemaker, senior, twenty shillings; not forgetting a word he spake, publiquely & seasonably, in the time of my distresse, and other men’s violent opposition against me.”

About 1650, Robert’s only son, Nathaniel, rapidly came to be a young man of importance, being elected in 1658 to the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company; marrying in 1657; and commanding a company at Chelmsford, 1676, in King Philip’s Indian war.

In 1658 Robert, “being stricken in age,” realized his end to be approaching, for on April 20, he drew up and signed his will with his own hand, and died a year and seven days later on April 27, 1659. His wife Mary died January 18, 1663. Until a generation or so ago the original will was on file in the Suffolk Registry of Probate in Boston and was copied into the volume of early wills and also published in the New England Genealogical Register [NEHGR 9:137-8], but it has evidently long been stolen. The yellowed original inventory of his estate, 1659, taking minute account of pots, rope-ends, shoe soles, etc. is still to be seen at the Registry. Following is a copy of Robert’s holograph will, as nearly exact as can be had from Registry copies. The fact that its English is comparatively good would indicate that he had a fairly good education.

LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF ROBERT REYNOLDS (Suffolk, Mass. Registry of Probate, Book I, p. 324)

Will. Now Liuing in Boston. ITEM: I give to my wife, my house with all that appertaine unto it, with my Marsh ground at Muddy River, with one Lott of Ground at Long Island, so Long as she Liveth, with all my house hold stuffe whatever is in my house, and what money there is left, and after her decease I haue given my house & Orchard to my sonne Nathaniell and to his heyres foreuer, and if he should dye without Children, or any one Child Lawfully begotten of his owne body, then his wife to enjoy the said house and Orchard so long as she Liueth, and after her decease, to Returne to my fowre daughters Children, that is to say, one part to my daughter Ruth Whitneyand to her Eldest Sonne; a second part to my Daughter Tabitha Abdy & her sonne Mathew Abdy, and if he should dye, to her two daus. one part to either of them alike; a third part to my daughter Sarah Mason and her sonne Robert Mason, & if he dye, to her daughter Sarah; and a fourth part to my dau. Mary Sanger & her sonne Nathaniell & if he dye to her next child, either sonne or daughter; likewise I give to my daughter Ruth Whitney twentie pounds to be payd in good countrey pay & likewise I give to my Daughter Tabitha twentie pounds & also I give to my daughter Sarah twentie pound & likewise I give to my dau. Mary twentie pound, & for the payment of these Legacies I have eight accres of marsh Land, which if my sonne Nathaniell will pay £20 in good pay towards this fowre score pound, then he to haue and enjoy my Marsh land and his heyres foreuer; but if he refuse to pay the twentie pound, then to be devided equally to my fower daughters & to theire children, that is to my daughter Ruth & her Children one part, and to my daughter Tabitha & her Children one part, & to my daughter Sarah and her Children one part, and to my daughter Mary & her Children one part, or else that it may be sold for as much as it will yeeld, and devided among them equally as I said before, & the other three score pound to be raysed out of my owne estate, & what is ouer and aboue, my will & desire is, my wife shall haue, and so I do make her my Executrix to pay all my debts and receive all my debts, and also I joyne my sonne Nathaniell with her, to be as helpefull to my wife, his mother, as possibly he can, and these legacies to be payd within one yeare and a day, and if it should please God that I doe Liue so Long as any of my Estate should be spent, as it is likely it may, I & my wife being stricken in age & are almost past our Labour, then, for euery one of them to abate proportionably alike. Written with my owne hand the 20th day of the 2d month 1658.

Robert Reynols

ii. Thomas Reynolds (twin b. 1590)  m. Mary [__?__] Immigrated to Virginia Settled in Isle of Wight County, Virginia with his brother Christopher.  About 1637, Thomas and his family settled on the Rapidan River.  Children 1. Henry Reynolds b: 1624 Isle of Wight Co VA d 1669-04-06 2. John Reynolds b 1650 Isle of Wight Co VA 3. William Reynolds b 1655 d 1700 4. Rachel Reynolds b 1626 Richmond VA 5. Mary Reynolds b 1625 Richmond VA d 1711 6 Cornelius Reynolds b: 1639 in Old Rappahannock, VA 7. Thomas Reynolds 8 Richard Reynolds iii. John Reynolds (twin b. 1590) m. Sarah Chesterson; John Reynolds of Watertown, whose wife Sarah Reynolds is believed to have sailed in the ship “Elizabeth” of Ipswich in 1634 his brother Robert, sister-in-law, Mary (maiden name unknown), a nephew, Nathaniel, aged about five and four nieces , [Hotten, Early Immigrants]. Upon his arrival in the new world, John settled for a short while in Boston.  Then he removed to Watertown, Mass., with his brother Robert.  John followed Robert to Wethersfield, CT about 165/36.  John and his family remained in Connecticut, but Robert did not stay there long.

John’s name is noted on the monument to the original settlers of Watertown, Mass., to have arrived in 1630 with Governor Saltonstall. His name is included with the original 60 other settlers listed on that monument. Included on that monument, is also the name of Thomas Doggett, a progenitor of Elizabeth Daggett, who married Jeremiah Reynolds about 1772 or 3. Other historical records reveal them to be part of the Winthrop fleet, many of which emigrated from the area around Grafton and Boxford, in Suffolk, England. He married in England, before he came to Massachusetts, as Sarah his wife is known as Reynolds, on the ship passenger list, when they departed Ipswich on May 06, 1634.

He was admitted as a “Freeman”, of Watertown, suggesting he may have been indentured. In 1636, he removed with several other settlers, including Robert Reynolds (probably his brother [whose name is NOT on the monument of the original settlers]), to Weathersfield, Connecticut. The site of his home is noted on the early maps of that town. He is not to be confused with another John Reynolds, who arrived some time later, and was married to a Naomi Latimer.

John Reynolds was a founder of Wethersfield, Hartford, CT

Wethersfield was founded in 1634 by a group of ten Puritans hailing from Watertown, Massachusetts led by John Oldham and Nathaniel Foote Wethersfield is the second-oldest town in Connecticut after Windsor.

Along with Windsor and Hartford, Wethersfield is thought by some to be represented by one of the three grapevines on the Connecticut state flag signifying the state’s three oldest settlements.

John’s home was on High Street, third from the meeting-house and about the center of town, between John Gibbs and Andrew Ward, some 3½ acres. On 11 Mar, 11 Feb, 1640/41, he received a houselot and several other pieces of land. These were all sold to Lieut. John Hollister, recorded May 20, 1644, o.s. [Descendants of John and Sarah Reynolds of Watertown and Greenwich, p. 17; Stiles, History of Wethersfield].

In 1641, He and Sarah removed to Stamford, Connecticut, with some other Weathersfield men, and they established the town of Stamford. He is noted to have received 11 acres of land from the original division of land.

The place and date of his death is not known, but in 1651 the Stamford town records (p. 51) Deed: “the housing and lands of JohnHolly…. more or less bounded by ye lot which was John Renoles…” His name is not mentioned in 1657 when the death of SarahReynolds his wife is recorded. There is some speculation that he was a seaman, crew or officer, and perchance one of the Captains of one of the Winthrop fleet ships and that he made several trips back and forth to England, while at Watertown. This may explain why his name is not listed on the passenger manifest of any of these ships, but that later his wife Sarah’s name is so listed. He may have also died in England on a trip back to the land of his birth. The gravestone of Joseph, grandson of Robert Reynolds who is also noted to have come from Boxford, suggests that the family were of some stature in England, as the tombstone with this Reynolds Family coat of Arms, carries the helmet of a Squire.

There has been some suggestion of a relationship to Governor Winthrop, and or the Gray family (Lady Jane Gray) also of the same area of Suffolk, and related to the Duke of Clarence. A home of the Dukes of Clarence is still standing in the New World in Antigua. They were in residence there before Lord Horatio Nelson made the harbor below their home his dockyard.

More About Sarah Cheserton: April 1634, arrived at Watertown, Mass, as “Sarah Reynolds”, on board the ship, Elizabeth, from Ipswich, Suffolk county, England. This implies she was married before leaving Boxford, to John, before he left England. She was reported at that time to be 20 years of age. Their daughter Elizabeth, may have been named after this ship.

December 1640, They sold their Wethersfield property.

1651, Stamford town records, p. 51: Deed “the housing and lands of John Holly…. more or less bounded by ye lot which was John Renoles…” August 21, 1657, Stamford town meeting records [p. 25-26], record of Sarah Reynolds death. No similar records of John’s death have been found. Did he die before this? Did he make a trip back to England to visit his family, and die while he was there?

iv. Anne Reynolds

v. Christopher Reynolds b.  1611  d 1654 Isle of Wight Co. VA;  m. Elizabeth [__?__] The will of Henry Hobson of Bristol, proved 27 May 1636: …[to]…My kinsman Christopher Reynolds, son of George Reynolds, deceased, and Anne Reynoldes, sister of the said Christopher (at twenty one or day of marriage)… . [Henry F. Waters, A.M.,Genealogical Gleanings in England, 2 Vols. Balto: Genealogical Publications Co, 1969 (reprint edition).] / Although this Christopher and Anne are children of a George, there is no evidence that they are the Christopher and George of interest in this article.  While the possibility exists, until more clear and convincing evidence becomes available, The Reynolds Family Association does not accept Christopher born 1530 and George who married Thomasyn Church as the parents of Christopher Reynolds of Isle of Wight VA.

Christopher and Elizabeth came to Warwick County, Virginia in 1622 aboard the Francis and John, where they settled on 450 acres, patent to which was dated 9-15-1636. Issue: Richard b 1641 ; Christopher b 1642 ; John b 1644, who d. unm. 11 Mar 1668; Abbasha b 1646; Elizabeth b 1648 ; Jane b 1650; and Thomas b 1655 .

If Christopher was born in 1611 and came to Virginia in 1622, he would have been only 11 years of age at the time of his arrival (which is documented). In 1625 he testified as a witness (documented) in the General Court. It is possible that he might have been in such a position at age 14, but is it likely?

It is not known when Christopher married and it is not known who he married or how many wives he had.  Tillman named her Elizabeth, and stated that “They” arrived… No source given for this information.

RFA member Robert A. Reynolds presented an interesting theory. “There was a second arrival in Virginia of “Chri: Reinolds”, aged 24, aboard the ship Speedwell which departed from England 28 May 1635 (Hotten, p. 83; Boyer p67). I presume Christopher returned to England for a bride; his wife’s name was Elizabeth and there were two women of his age aboard the ‘Speedwell’ with that name.” The women on board Speedwell were Elizabeth Pew age 20, Elizabeth Tuttell, age 25, and a child Elizabeth Biggs, age 10. Was this our Christopher or another Christopher on his initial arrival in the new Colony.

Adventurers, 1987 ed., page 494-495, “Christopher Reynolds left a will dated 1 May 1654… [named] wife Elizabeth, and George Rivers (apparently a step-son), and directed that his wife Elizabeth have the ordering and bringing up of his sons John and Richard, to be of age at 16, and daughters Elizabeth and Jane to of age at 15. He apparently married (1) — and (2) Elizabeth [__?__] Rivers.”

3. William REYNOLDS (See his page)

4. Thomas Reynolds

Thomas’ wife Cecily Jane Phippen was about 1578 in Regis, Dorset, England. Her parents were William Phippen  and Jane Jordaine.  Cecily died before 1611 when her daughter Cecily traveled to Virginia with her twin sister Joan and brother-in-law Capt. William Pierce.

Cecily Reynolds first married Thomas Bailey (b. 1580 in England d. 20 Sep 1620 in Jamestown, Charles City, Virginia. Next she married Samuel Jordan (b. 1578 in England  d. 1623 in Virginia.  She married third to William Farrar. She married Peter Montague, first son of our ancestor Peter MONTAGUE fourth around 1645. After Peter died, she married Thomas Parker (b. 1600 in Burnham, Buckinghamshire, England d. 1663 in Isle Wight, Virginia. Cicely died 12 Sep 1660 in Charles City, Virginia.

Cicely’s parents died before 1611 when Cecily traveled to Virginia with her aunt and uncle Joan Phippen and Capt. William Pierce.  Joan was her mother’s twin sister.

William Pierce was born about 1570.  He may have died in the Indian massacre on Mar 22, 1622. According to John Smith’s list of the dead of that massacre, it says that “at Apamatucks River, at Master Peirce his Plantation, five miles from the College.”

Captain Pierce came to Virginia in 1610 on the ill-fated “Sea Venture” with Capt. Thomas Gates.  Jone, his wife, children (William, Joan, Jr., and Thomas)   came  in 1611 on the “Blessing“. She also brought with her a young niece, Cicilly Reynolds, age 10, probably to help care for the younger children.

Capt. Pierce had a home in James Cittye and a plantation on Mulberrie Island.  In addition to the lands named above, Capt. Pierce owned large holdings in various sections of Virginia. On June 22, 1625, he received grant of 2,000 acres for transporting into Virginia 50 persons. May 1623 Gov. Francis Wyatt appointed him Capt. of the Guard and Gov. of the City.

In that year, as Lt. Gov. of James Cittye he led an expedition against the Chickahominy, in retaliation for the 1622 Massacre, falling on them on July 23rd, with no small slaughter. Shortly thereafter, George Sandys, Treasurer of Virginia, wrote to England that Capt. William Peirce “Gov. of Jamestown” was inferior to none in experience, ability and capacity, recommending him for appointment to the Council, which appointment was made 1631, at which time he was living in Surry County. [It was Capt. Pierce who transported to Virginia the renowned Capt. John Rolfe, soon to become his son-in-law] In 1629/30 he was in England, and while there prepared a “Relation of the Present State of the Colony of Virginia”, by Capt. William Pierce, and Ancient Planter of 20 years standing. His wife, Mrs. Jone Pearse accompanied him and was known in England as an honest, industrious woman, who after passing 20 years in Virginia, on her return to England reported that “she had a garden at Jamestown containing 3 or 4 acres,where in one year she had gathered an hundred bushels of excellent figs, and that of her own provisions she could keep a better home in Virginia than in London – for 3 or 4 hundred pounds a year, although she had gone there with very little.”

They returned to Virginia, and while in the Council, Dec. 20th he signed an Amity Agreement between that body and Gov. John Harvey. He was displeased with Harvey’s governing of the colony and was one of the Councillors who arrested and disposed him in 1635, leading the Musketeers who surrounded his house. Capt. Pierce went on an expedition to the Northern Neck, called “Chicoan” in 1645. Surry County, Va. records, 21 Jan. 1655, Book 1, p. 116: Capt. William Pierce, his son, Thomas and grandson William Peirce were living on Mulberry Island, Warwick Co., VA.

Cicely’s aunt Joan Phippen was born about 1578 and died 1650. In A Durable Fire, the following comments were made about Joan:

“Joan Pierce, brisk blackhaired young woman, who shared the house with Meg Worley and Temperance Yardley (during the Starving Time) had taken her 4 year old daughter and her servant girl to stay at another house , so as not to see Sarah’s last dying moments. Joan Pierce hated Jamestown even more than Temperance did. “There’s nothing here but sickness and laziness.”‘

“Tempers were short these days. Even the soft spoken were sharp, and those with a cantankerous nature, like Joan Pierce, were as easily provoked as hornets.”

“Joan Pierce, who lived next door to Governor Yeardley, had put on weight after the Starving Time. She took pride in her cooking and equal pleasure in eating.” She had plump hands.

Child of William Pierce and Joan Phippen

i. Jane Pierce b. 1588; d. 1625-35 Jamestown; m1. John Rolfe (Yes, that John Rolfe) m2. Roger Smith

Rolfe’s second wife was the Indian Princess, Pocahontas, daughter of the great Chief, Powhatan.

Pocahontas and John Rolfe

On what, in modern terms, was a “public relations trip” for the Virginia Company, Pocahontas and Rolfe traveled to England in 1616 with their baby son, where the young woman was widely received as visiting royalty. However, just as they were preparing to return to Virginia, she became ill and died. Their young son Thomas Rolfe survived, and stayed in England while his father returned to the colony.

In 1619, Rolfe married Jane Pierce. They had a daughter, Elizabeth, in 1620.  Rolfe died in 1622 after his plantation was destroyed in an Indian attack. It remains unclear whether Rolfe died in the Indian massacre or whether he died as a result of illness

Capt. Rolfe made his will in 1621 shortly after daughter Elizabeth was born. It was probated in London 1630, (copy in Va.) by his father-in-law, Capt. William Peirce. However, Capt. Rolfe was deceased. before 1625, as the Surry Co. Va muster of 1625 shows Capt. Roger Smith residing at his plantation on James Island, with wife – Mrs. Jone Smith, who came on the “Blessing”. Living with them was Elizabeth Rolfe, age 4, b. in Va.

Cicely’s first husband Thomas Bailey

Cicely Reynolds and Thomas Bailey were married in Virginia when she was at the tender age of 15.  He was killed by Indians 20 Sep 1620.

Despite her young age, legend says that she was spoken of as a “a notorious flirt” and “the Glamour Girl” in the colony. Within a few years she married her first husband Thomas Baley and–apparently before she was 17–bore their only child, Temperance.

Cicely’s second husband Samuel Jordan

Cecely and her daughter were living on their property that adjoined that of the commander of the local militia, Captain Samuel Jordan. A union of convience was entered into in which the property inherited by Mrs. Bailey reverted to her daughter when she married but until then it would be tended by Capt. Jordan. She then married Capt. Jordan.  Today, Jordan Point is a small unincorporated community on the south bank of the James River in the northern portion of Prince George County, Virginia.

On 2 Jun 1609 the  Sea Venture sailed for the first surviving English settlement in America. Among the 150 or so Adventurers and Planters aboard were Sir Thomas Gates (newly appointed Governor of the fledgling Jamestown Colony), Sir George Somers, John Rolfe (soon to be wedded to Pocahontas), Rolfe’s ill-fated first wife, and our young man, Samuel Jordan wiki .

File:Sir George Somers portrait.jpg

A portrait believed to be of Admiral Sir George Somers.  — On 2 June 1609, he set sail from Plymouth, England on the Sea Venture, the flagship of the seven-ship fleet, towing two additional pinnaces) destined forJamestown, Virginia, carrying five-to-six hundred people.

On June 2, 1609, the Sea Venture set sail from Plymouth as the flagship of a seven-ship fleet (towing two additional pinnaces) destined for Jamestown, Virginia as part of the Third Supply, carrying 500 to 600 people. On July 24, the fleet ran into a strong storm, likely a hurricane, and the ships were separated. The Sea Venture fought the storm for three days. Comparably-sized ships had survived such weather, but the Sea Venture had a critical flaw in her newness: her timbers had not set. The caulking was forced from between them, and the ship began to leak rapidly. All hands were applied to bailing, but water continued to rise in the hold.

Sea Venture in the Storm by William Harrington

The ship’s guns were reportedly jettisoned (though two were salvaged from the wreck in 1612) to raise her buoyancy, but this only delayed the inevitable. The Admiral of the Company, Sir George Somers himself, was at the helm through the storm. When he spied land on the morning of July 25, the water in the hold had risen to nine feet, and crew and passengers had been driven past the point of exhaustion. Somers deliberately drove the ship onto the reefs of what proved to be Bermuda in order to prevent its foundering. This allowed all 150 people aboard, and one dog, to be landed safely ashore.

Wreck of the Sea Venture by Christopher Grimes

The survivors, including several company officials and Samuel Jordan were stranded on Bermuda for approximately nine months. During that time, they built two new ships, the pinnaces Deliverance and Patience, from Bermuda cedar and parts salvaged from the Sea Venture, especially her rigging. The original plan was to build only one vessel, the Deliverance, but it soon became evident that she would not be large enough to carry the settlers and all of the food (salted pork) that was being sourced on the islands. While the new ships were being built, the Sea Venture’s longboat was fitted with a mast and sent under the command of Henry Ravens to find Virginia. The boat and its crew were never seen again.

Some members of the expedition died in Bermuda before the Deliverance and the Patience set sail on 10 May 1610. Among those left buried in Bermuda were the wife and child of John Rolfe, who would found Virginia’s tobacco industry, and find a new wife in Powhatan princess Pocahontas. Two men, Carter and Waters, were left behind; they had been convicted of unknown offences, and fled into the woods of Bermuda to escape punishment and execution. The remainder arrived in Jamestown on 23 May.

This was not the end of the survivors’ ordeals, however. On reaching Jamestown, only 60 survivors were found of the 500 who had preceded them. Many of these survivors were themselves dying, and Jamestown itself was judged to be unviable. Everyone was boarded onto the  Deliverance   and Patience, which set sail for England. The timely arrival of another relief fleet, bearing [our ancestor] Governor Thomas WEST3rd Baron de la Warr, which met the two ships as they descended the James River, granted Jamestown a reprieve. All the settlers were relanded at the colony, but there was still a critical shortage of food. Somers returned to Bermuda with the Patience to secure provisions, but died there in the summer of 1610. His nephew, Matthew, the captain of the Patience, sailed for England to claim his inheritance, rather than return to Jamestown. A third man, Chard, was left behind in Bermuda with Carter and Waters, who remained the only permanent inhabitants until the arrival of the Plough in 1612.  The ordeal was recounted by William Strachey, whose account is believed to have influenced the creation of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest .

Very soon after arrival, Samuel Jordan carved out a place on land up the River from Jamestown and very near the present town of Hopewell VA. His land jutted out into a great James River curl he named “Jordan’s Point“. On this plantation he called “Jordan’s Journey” he built his manor house, “Beggar’s Bush”. The fact that he started quickly was probably a major reason he was prepared for the harsh winter that followed and was able to build a very substantial plantation.

On the day of the Great Indian Massacre March 22, 1622, Capt. Jordan at once ganthered all the men, women, and children into his home at “Begger’s Bush” , known later as Jordan’s Journey,  and defended that place so resolutely that not a single life was lost; however, Capt. Jordan died before the census of the “Living and Dead in Virginia”  was taken in February of 1623. The muster of the living at Begger’s Bush was:  Sisley Jordan 24, Temperance Bailie 7, Mary Jordan 3, Margery Jordan 1, and William Farrar 31.

Great Indian Massacre of 1622 Woodcut by Matthaeus Merian, 1628.

A failed courtship

Jordan died a year later, and there was a rush for the hand of his beautiful young wife, led by the Rev. Greville Pooley. Jordan had been in his grave only a day when Pooley sent Capt. Isaac Madison to plead his suit. Cecily replied that she would as soon take Pooley as any other, but as she was pregnant, she would not engage herself she said, “until she was delivered.”

But the amorous Reverend could not wait, and came a few days later with Madison, telling her “he should contract himself to her” and spake these words: “I, Greville Poooley, take thee Sysley, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold till death do us part and herto I plight thee my troth.” Then, holding her by the hand he spake these words, “I, Sysley, take thee Greveille, to my wedded husband, to have and to hold till death do us part.” Cicily said nothing, but they drank to each other and kissed. Then, showing some delicacy about her condition and the situation she found herself in, she asked that it might not be revealed that she did so soon bestow her love after her husband’s death.

Pooley promised, but was soon boasting of his conquest. Mrs. Jordan resenting this and chose to exercise her woman’s privilege to change her mind and said that “he could have fared better if he talked less.” She immediately announced her engagement to Capt. William Farrar, one of the Deputy Treasurer’s younger brothers, and member of the Council.

Enraged, Pooley brought suit for breach of promise. When the Parson sued, 14 June 1623, Capt. William Farrar, trained for the law in England and now the attorney who administered her husband’s estate, successfuly defended Mrs. Jordan in what was the first breach of promise suit in America, winning not only the suit but his client in matrimony. The Governor and Council could not bring themselves to decide the questions and continued it until 27 Nov., then referred the case to the Council for Virginia in London, “desiring the resolution of the civil lawyers thereon and a speedy return thereof.” But they declined to make a decision and returned it, saying they “knew not how to decide so nice a difference.”

At this point Rev. Pooley was persuaded by the Rev. Samuel Purchase to drop the case. Cecily and William were finally free to marry, which they did sometime before May 2, 1625, when his bond as overseer of Samuel’s estate was canceled.

Poole signed a formal release to the Widow Cecily bonding himself in the sum £500  never to have any claim, right or title to her, the Governor and Council of the Colony were so stirred by the extraordinary incident that they issued a solmn proclamation against a woman engaging herself to more than one man at a time. And there is not in Virginia any known record that this edict has ever been revoked.

The jilted Pooley soon found solace in a bride, it appears, but met a tragic death in 1629, when Indians attacked his house, and slew him, his wife and all his family.

Cecily’s third husband William Farrar

In 1625 Charles I appointed William Farrar to his King’s Council – a position of great responsibility which he held for over a decade.

Holmes writes, “It was during this critical period, 1625-1635, that William Farrar served on the Council, considered by historians the most important in the government of the colony, for laws were passed and the representative form of government which we have today became well established, based on the liberal charter, which [Sir Edwin] Sandys and Nicholas Ferrar are said to have written.”

In 1626 William was also appointed commissioner “for the Upper Partes kept above Persie’s Hundred,” and given the authority to hold a monthly court at either Jordan’s Journey or Shirley Hundred.

Sometime before November 1627, William’s father died, leaving him a fairly large inheritance. This may have been what enabled him to apply for a patent on 2,000 acres of choice land on a bend in the James River, formerly the site of Henrico Towne.

Henricus the second settlement in the colony, was established in 1611 and was the proposed site for the University of Henricus which was to be the first English university in America. The fortified settlement was burned to the ground in 1622 during the “Greate Massacre” and wasn’t opened up for resettlement until 1628 when William applied for the patent. [The area, which is still known as “Farrar’s Island,” is located 12 miles south of present-day Richmond and is the site of a state park.]

Some researchers believe William and Cecily moved their family to Farrar’s Island at this time. Others have them remaining at Jordan’s Journey until 1631, the year in which William returned to England and disposed of his entire inheritance. He sold his Hertfordshire properties to his brother Henry and his annuities from the Ewoods to his brother John for a total of 240 pounds. The agreement he made with his brothers gave him the option of buying back the property at its sale price, but he never invoked the privilege, remaining in Virginia the rest of his life.

In May of 1636, Nathan Martin patented 500 acres, 100 of which was due “by surrender from William Farrar Esquire for transportation of two servants.” William died sometime between this date and June 11, 1637, when the patent to Farrar’s Island was granted to “William Farrar sonne and heire of William Farrar Esquire deceased, 2,000 acres for the transportation of 40 persons [indentured servants] at his own cost.”

Holmes writes, “His land extending to Varina, the county seat, and his duties as “chief” justice of the county made him a close neighbor and associate of the leading families of Henrico, as well as of Charles Citty county. Continuing as a member of the Council until shortly before his death at the age of 43, he attended quarterly court at Jamestown and was closely associated with the governor, councilors and burgesses.”

Cicely’s fourth husband Peter Montague

What became of Cecily after William’s death is unclear. She was only 36 when William died, so it seems likely that she remarried. She may have been the “Cecily” who married and had five children with Peter Montague. Peter died in July 1659, after which another “Cecily” was married to Thomas Parker of Macclesfield. Parker had come to Jamestown in 1618 on the “Neptune” with William Farrar.

To have withstood the perils of the New World took endurance enough, to do so while bearing eleven children and burying five husbands took fortitude and courage. Cecily Bailey-Jordan-Farrar-Montague-Parker was, at the very least, a survivor.

Peter Montague’s Will dated 27 Mar 1659 and proved 25 May 1659

“In the name of God amen, I Peter Montague being weak in body and perfect memory do make this my last will and testament, this the 27th of March 1659 in name and form following,

First I bequeath my soul into the hands of my redeemer Jesus Christ, and my body to be buried.

Item, my debts being first paid I give to my loving wife Cicely one third part of all my real and personal estate according to law.

Item, I give to my two sons Peter and Will Mountague all my land lying on Rappahannock river to them and their heirs forever, and the land being divided it is my will, that the elder is to have the first choice, and in case of want of heirs of either, the survivor to enjoy all the land, and in case both of them shall depart this life without heirs, lawfully begotten, then my will is that the said land be sold by the commissioners of this county after public notice given either at an outcry, or by an inch of candle and the produce thereof to be equally divided between my three daughters Ellen, Margaret, and Elizabeth, and the child of Ann late wife of John Jadwin, and in case of any of these shall died without issue, then the produce of the said land to be divided between the survivors.

Item, I give the other two thirds of my personal estate to my four children Peter, Will, Margaret, and Elizabeth to be equally divided among them.

Item, I give to my daughter Ellen, the wife of Will Thompson, one thousand pounds of tobacco, and cask to be deducted, of a bill of thirteen hundred pounds of tobacco now due to me by the said Will Thompson.  Lastly I ordain my loving wife cicely and my son Peter jointly Executrix and Executor of this my last will and testament.  In witness of the previous I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written 1659 interlined before the signing and sealing therof.  (Signed) Peter Mountague, (Ye seal)

8. Richard Reynolds

Richard’s wife Ann Harrison was born 1575 in Yorkshire, England. Ann died 1618 in York, Virginia or England.

Richard Reynolds and Ann Harrison settled in Sussex County, England, where he became the head of vast trade and commerce business. This business had branches in Virginia, what is now the New England States and Bermuda. It is legend with this branch of the family that Richard Reynolds d. in York County. But as to whether York County, Virginia, or York County, England is not known. It is also recorded in the Reynolds Family Roster that Richard had several daughters.

Child of Richard and Ann:

i. William Reynolds b. 1606 in Kent, England; d. 19 FEB 1668 in Providence, Providence, RI; m. 1644 to Margaret Exton

He came to America either in 1661 or 1671, and landed in Burlington, New Jersey. He engaged in commerce and trade and made repeated trips to England, and died in England while on one such trip. He and his family had settled in Chester county, Pennsylvania.


This entry was posted in 13th Generation, 14th Generation, Artistic Representation, Historical Church, Line - Miller, Line - Miner, Place Names, Sea Captain, Storied, Twins and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Christopher Reynolds

  1. Pingback: William Reynolds | Miner Descent

  2. Pingback: Peter Montague | Miner Descent

  3. Pingback: Twins | Miner Descent

  4. Wanda Paul says:

    I have found an English Reynolds coat of arms that is different from the one you show. Did family branches have their own particular coat of arms?

    • markeminer says:

      Hi Wanda,

      The large majority of colonists didn’t have family coats of arms when they immigrated. If you were part of the gentry, you had much less motivation to try your luck in the wilderness. I use coat of arms to indicate the immigrant and original ancestor in each line.

      The three fox Reynolds Coat of Arms that I used is the same on the Reynolds Family Association Site: I have seen another version with fox heads and a chevron, , an Irish version with a lion, and one with three bars and what looks to be a portcullis (castle gate, had to look up the spelling)

      When he was an old man in 1680, my first paternal American ancestor Thomas Miner wrote back to England to see if he had a coat of arms. Here’s the story:

      Cheers, Mark

  5. Pat Spaeth says:

    Please edit!!! Richard R. had a number of sons, not just one. How could William R. die BOTH in Rhode Island and England? If Cl;arissa Huntington R. died in 1575, who was the mother of Robert R. born in 1578?

  6. Pingback: Favorite Posts 2013 | Miner Descent

  7. My family history leads me to Agnes Hall…
    Birth 1505 in Kent County, England
    Death 1579 — Age: 74 in East Bergholt, Kent, England
    Marriage to Robert REYNOLDS, 1526 — Age: 21, Kent, England
    Burial, 1570 February, St Dunstan and All Saints, Stepney, Middlesex, England

    My 10th generation GreatGrandParents were…

    Robert REYNOLDS 1505 – 1580 and Agnes Hall 1505 – 1579
    My line comes through Christopher Tillman Reynolds…
    Birth 1530 in Kent County, England
    Death 1575 in London, London, England

    Christopher Tillman Reynolds married…
    Clarissa Huntington
    Birth 1533 in Aylesford, Kent, England
    Death 1585 in London, Chester, England

    My line comes through…George Reynolds of 1555.

    Please respond…Debra Jean Reynolds

  8. The Reynolds are of Dishman’s now, of France. Sarah Reynolds of 1723 married a Dishman, which now they are in Monticello, KY, Would love pictures of our descendants and history,

  9. Will Jones says:

    Great stuff, I believe this is my ancestor as well. Through William2 and Alice who’s son was Job.

  10. Karen Finley Bailey says:

    8. Richard Reynolds and Ann Harrison had several sons and daughters: “William b 1606, Robert b. 1606 (twins), Edward, Nicholas, John b 1612, James, Gilbert, Christopher and several daughters” per Christopher Reynolds and his descendants. S.F. Tillman, 1959. I am a direct descendant of Nicholas.

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