Peter Montague

Peter MONTAGUE (1580 – 1638) was Alex’s 12th Great Grandfather;  one of 8,193 in this generation of the Miner line. I like genealogy for the stories. This this one may be more of a story than most. See comments below.

The Montagues were exceptional among our ancestors having a coat of arms at the time of their immigration

Peter Montague was born 11 Dec 1580 in BoveneyBurnham Parish, Buckinghamshire, England.  It is a small Hamlet, picturesquely situated upon the river Thames, 7 miles from Windsor, 23 from London.   His parents were William MONTAGUE and Margaret MALTHOUSE. He married Eleanor ALLEN. Peter died 16 Mar 1638 in Warfield, Berkshire, England.

Eleanor Allen was born 7 Feb 1579 in Burnham, Buckinghamshire, England. Her parents were William ALLEN and Ellen [__?__]. Eleanor died Jan 1656 in Berkshire, England

Children of Peter and Eleanor:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Peter Montague 21 Jan 1603 Boveney, Burnham, Buckingham-shire, England Hannah [__?__]
Cicely Reynolds
25 May 1659 Lancaster, Lancaster, Virginia
2. Ann Montague 1609
Boveney, England
 John Wheatlie
Warfield, Berkshire, England.
3. William Montague 1610
Boveney, England
Boveney, Buckinghamshire, England
4. Robert Montague 1612
Boveney, England
England or
14 Dec 1781 Virginia
5. Richard MONTAGUE 1614
Boveney, England
about 1640, probably in Wells, Maine.
14 Dec 1681
Hadley, Hampshire, Mass.
6. Elizabeth Montague 1618
Boveney, England
Jefferson Melvin Warriner
7. Margaret Montague 1622
Boveney, England
 [__?__] Tayler  1659

Much of the info on this post is based on the work of  Robert Montague III,  He has  just completed a 13 year comprehensive research effort and published a new two-volume, 3200 page, “History and Genealogy of Peter Montague of Jamestowne Virginia (1607-2007), Quadricentennial Edition.   The new HGPM will be released by Christmas 2012. Prepaid orders made by 15 Dec get a 10% discount from the retail $295. 312 of 1,000 copies are already reserved. If interested, email him, at (The website is not yet ready for orders)

You can also check out The House of Montague On-line


Peter’s father William Montague was born in 1536 or 1548 in Boveney Burnham, Buckinghamshire, England, He married Margaret Malthouse. William died 20 Mar 1594 in Boveney, Berkshire, England.

Peter’s mother Margaret Malthouse was born 15 Feb 1559 in Binfield, Berkshire, England. Her parents were John Malthouse and Margaret Bullock. Margaret died 1594 in Binfield, Berkshire, England

Peter’s grandfather Robert Montague was born between 1505 and 1528 in Boveney, Berkshire, England, His parents were William Montague and Joan Grow.  He married Margaret Cotton.  Robert died 10 Jan 1575 in Boveney, Berkshire, England.

Peter’s grandmother Margaret Cotton was born 1528 in Wardville, Berkshire, England.  Her parents were Roger Cotton and [__?__].  Margaret died in 1575 in Boveney, Berkshire, England.

Peter’s great grandfather William Montague was born in 1485 in Buckingham, Berkshire, England.  He married Joan Grow. William died 21 Mar 1555 in Boveney, Buckinghamshire, England.

Joan Grow was born in 1489 in Wardville, Berkshire, England.  Joan died in 1540 in Boveney, Buckinghamshire, England.

The starting point for documentation of the Montagues of Boveney is the Visitation of the County of Buckingham made in 1634, referred to hereinafter as “the Visitation”. The Visitation begins with Robert who married Margaret Catton of Wardville Berks. producing two children, Laurence and William.

Montague of Boveney Visitation of 1634

The lineage continues through William who married Margaret Malthaus of Pynfield Bucks (Berks) from which issued five children. The youngest of these five, Peter, married Ellen Allen of Burnham, to become the parents of Richard Montague of Massachusetts and Peter Montague of Virginia. Except for the statement “Peter now in Virginia 1634”, there are no other dates recorded on the Visitation. As an aside, it should be noted that the Visitation pedigree shows a line drawn from “Peter now in Virginia 1634”, up to Peter’s Uncle George. Subsequent research to supply dates to the pedigree has determined that the visitation scribe, or perhaps the printer, drew the line to the wrong father for that group of children.

HGPM, p. 27, asserts that from 1500 to 1550, two brothers (William and John) lived in the County of Buckingham and Parish of Burnham, England. William, the eldest of the two, had four children–one of them named Robert. Without offering any evidence, the author, Mr. Montague “anoints” this Robert as the Robert described in the Visitation. While he states that William’s will was proved March 21, 1550, he does not provide its contents. Here, reprinted with permission from The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 142, p. 152, of Ms. Hydes’ article are the contents of that will:

“A photocopy of the original has been procured (Buckingham Record Office, Archdeaconry of Buckinghamshire Wills, March 1550/51). Dated 16 March 1550/51 and probated 21 March 1550/51, it calls him “Will’m Mountaguewe the Elder of Boveney in the p’r’she of Burnh’m, Fyssherman.” “Will’m Mountaguewe of Bray my eldyst sonne” was to receive the messuage at Bray where he was living, over the river northwestward in Berkshire. “Jone my wyffe duringe her lyffe” was to have the family dwelling in Boveney with ten acres and another lease of land. “Robt’e Mountagewe my yongist Sonne” was eventually to have Jone’s legacy and also a messuage called “Durdants w’t syxtene akers of arable lande medowe & pasture” that William had purchased. William additionally named daughters Alice and Katherine. Executors were to be his wife Jone and “Robt’ Mountague my youngiste sonne, Robt’e noneage [a minor].” Overseers were to be Thomas Grow and “Robt’e Mountagewe of Bovney.” As William’s son Robert was a minor in 1551, he cannot be the Robert born about 1505. Probably the overseer Robert Montague of Boveney was the Robert born about 1505. Possibly he was William’s brother.”

The de facto authority on the pre-colonial ancestry of Peter Montague of Boveney, England is History and Genealogy of Peter Montague of Nansemond and Lancaster Counties, Virginia, and His Descendants, 1621-1894 by George William Montague (1894) (HGPM).  This authority has remained mostly unchallenged since publication, but more recent researchers have questioned some of its assumptions and conclusions.

For example, HGPM presents a careful, detailed review of the lineage of Drogo de Montagu, the forefather of all English Montagues – famous, royal, and commoner alike.  Against this backdrop, HGPMhypothesizes, but does not prove, that the “pedigree [of the Montagues of Boveney] is clear and perfect from the American branch (1634) back to A.D. 1500 and lacks (from there) two generations, possibly three, to make a perfect record back to the conquest of England, A.D. 1066.”

Over the past ten decades, this hypothesis quietly became a “well-known” fact as those missing “two generations, possibly three” got found (WARNING: speculative material posted here — > Montague Proposed Noble and Royal Lines).  However, some contrary conclusions of more recent research have been compiled and published by Robert Vaughan Montague III on the website of House of Montague, an organization which he created to be a centralized, authoritative repository for the Montague families that immigrated to and colonized America before the 20th century.  English, French, German, Irish and Scottish branches of the family are examined.  The thesis of House of Montague is that the Montagues of Boveney “appeared” on the scene circa 1505 without portfolio or, if one prefers, pedigree.  While the pre-1500 “roots” of the Montagues of Boveney may ultimately prove to be royal, it is as likely to prove otherwise.  The earliest ancestor of the Virginia immigrant who can be positively identified is a Robert Montague who was probably born about 1505.


1. Peter Montague

Peter Montague came to Virginia in 1621, when sixteen years of age.  He settled first on the plantation of Samuel Matthews.

The elder Samuel Mathews was the first of the Mathews family to emigrate from England to Virginia, arriving at Jamestown by 1619. He eventually had several other land holdings, including one near Henricus and another at Old Point Comfort. Known as Colonel Mathews, the elder Samuel became one of the most prominent men in the colony. He was a member of the Governor’s Council and was actively involved in conflicts with the Native Americans. In 1635, he was one of the leaders of the popular mutiny that ousted Royal Governor Sir John Harvey. Upon returning to England, the elder Mathews was eventually cleared of any charges; upon returning to Virginia, he resumed service on the Governor’s Council until 1644

Peter Montague afterwards removed to Upper Norfolk (Nansemond), which he represented in the House of Burgesses in 1652 and 1653. About 1654, probably, he removed to Lancaster (then including Middlesex), and represented that county also from 1651 to 1658.

In the “Adventures of Purse and Person, pg 40, Peter Montaque he is listed as a servant, age 21,  on the Charles in 1621.

From the narrative by George W. Montague in 1894, “There is a tradition in one branch of Peter’s descendents which can be traced back as far as 1730, to the effect that ‘Peter was rather wild, that he ran away from home, went to America, and not being in funds had not the cash to pay for his passage and was sold for his passage money.  The first half-day’s work he did ruin his hands so that he had to rest.  To pass the time he began to read his master’s books, who caught him reading Latin, and soon obtained for him the position of a school teacher.

He was a large landowner and a leading citizen, and was styled “Col. Peter Montague,” from his rank in the militia. His will, proved May 27, 1659, is on record in Lancaster.

Peter Montague Memorial

As described in the 1894 compilation (HGPM),  Peter’s gravesite was identified on the north side of the Rappahannock river, “much defaced by the hand of time”. A new monument was erected on this location in Oct, 1903, by then Governor of Virginia, Andrew Jackson Montague–sixth great grandson of Peter. The grave site is now maintained by the Montague Memorial Association, and as of 2003 was being overseen by the Governor’s grandson, Robert Latane Montague, of Urbanna, Middlesex Co., VA

Among his most prominent descendants prominence were Col. Philip Montague, who served actively in various commands in the Middlesex militia during the Revolution; Lewis Montague, sheriff of Middlesex, 1762; Col. James Montague, of Middlesex, member of the Convention of 1776, and County Lieutenant during the Revolution; Rev. Philip Montague, a distinguished Baptist minister; Richard Montague, Lieutenant State Navy in the Revolution; General Chas. P. Montague of Maryland; Lieutenant Walter P. Montague, C.S.N.; Prof. Andrew P. Montague, Columbia University; Judge Robert Latane Montague, Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia, member of Confederate Congress (of whom there is a portrait); Edgar Burwell Montague, colonel 32d Va. Infantry, C.S.A.; Lieutenant Wm. L. Montague, C.S.A., mortally wounded at the Crater, and Capt. Thos. B. Montague, C.S.A., also injured at the Crater.

Peter first married Hannah [__?__] about 1629.

Peter’s second wife Cicely Reynolds (wiki) was born about 1605 in Dorset, England.  Her parents were Thomas Reynolds and Cicely Phippen.  Her grandparents were [our ancestors] Christopher REYNOLDS and Clarissa HUNTINGTON  Cicely died 12 Sep 1660 in Charles City, Charles, Virgina.

Alternatively, Peter’s second wife was Cecily Matthews, daughter of Samuel Matthews, the owner of the Virginia plantation where Peter first worked.  Cecily’s brother was Samuel Mathews  Jr. (1630–1660), of Warwick County Virginia, a member of the House of Burgesses, the Governor’s Council, and Royal Governor of Virginia from 1656 to 1660.

Cecily Reynolds first married Thomas Bailey (b. 1580 in England d. 20 Sep 1620 in Jamestown, Charles City, Virginia. Next she married Samuel Jordan (wiki) (b. 1578 in England  d. 1623 in Virginia).  She married third to William Farrar. She married our 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.

An 1850s painting of John Rolfe and Pocahontas

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)

Checking Our Facts

While the above stories are lots of fun, despite calims that may be made to the contrary, at this time the maiden name of Cicely is not proven by any documentation that is available to us, and such documentation may never be found.

It has been suggested that Cicely Farrar might have outlived her third husband and gone on to marry other men, including Peter Montague as her fourth husband and his second wife.  Despite the fact that Peter is known to have been married to a woman named Cecily at the time he wrote his will in 1659, no definite evidence has emerged to substantiate this theory and connect him positively with this Cicely.  Only the first three marraiges are well-documented.  By the time of William Farrar’s death, she was a wealthy woman.  The Farrars were so prominent that if she had married again, some record would surely show it, although given the appalling state of Virginia records in the colonial period, it may not have survived.  Her death date is also undocumented.  Apparently no lineage society (such as Jamestown Society, Ancient Planters, or Colonial Dames, etc.) accepts any other marriages for Cecily except (1) a man probably named Baley, (2) Samuel Jordan and (3) William Farrar, due to documentation requirements.

John Frederick Dorman (in Adventurers of Purse and Person, pp. 926-929) suggests it is “More likely, but unproved, that … [Cicely Montague] was Cicely, widow of Robert Jadwin, who later married Nicholas Jernew and left will dated 30 Jan. 1667/8 (Westmoreland Co. Deeds, Patents &c 1665-77,pp.32-32a) naming her Jadwin children, including son John [who married Peter Montague’s daughter Anne] and grandson Bartholomew Jadwin [son of John Jadwin and Anne Montague].”  Therefore, another possibility is that Peter‘s presumed second wife, Cecily, was the daughter of William and Cecily Farrar, also named Cecily, who was born about 1625.  Of this Cicely no further records have been found.  Based on her age (20 years old in 1645 when the marriage likely occured), she was almost certainly not the mother of Peter’s last two children (William and Elizabeth).  Also, this Cicely is definitely not the mother of Peter or his older siblings Anne and Ellen, as documented in Lancaster County Court Orders, 12 Sep 1660, stating,Cicely Montague Widdow of Mr. Peter Montague decd. & Peter Montague her Sonne in law Exors. to divide the Est.

An alternative theory posits that Peter’s second wife may have been Cecily Matthews, daughter of Samuel Matthews, the owner of the Virginia plantation where Peter first worked.  Cecily’s brother was Samuel Mathews (Jr.) (1630–1660) of Warwick County, Virginia, a member of the House of Burgesses, the Governor’s Council and Royal Governor of Virginia from 1656 to 1660..

Children of Peter and Cicely

i. Ann Montague b. 1630 in Virginia; d. 1659 Westmoreland, Virginia; m. John Jadwin (b. 13 Apr 1634 in London, England; d. May 1707 in Talbot, Maryland)

John Jadwin born before 1638 at London, England; died after 31 Oct 1700 at Talbot Co, MD. He was the only one of the three grandsons of the “Virginia Adventurer” Thomas Jadwyn – to have male issue.  “Robert and Jeremiah were Episcopalians (Anglicans). John was a Quaker.  England at the time was Puritan, and all the Jadwins enumerated above were persecuted and left England on that account. Robert and Jeremiah. . .found themselves at home among friends in the province of Virginia, for Virginia received Episcopalians throughout Cromwell’s rule. But John, being a Quaker, had to ‘leave.’ John’s wife, Ann Montague Jadwin, died before 1659, he returned to England.  John then married Hannah (surname unknown), and then settled in Talbot Co, MD.” Cornelius Comegys Jadwin, in HJ 47.  With his two wives, John Jadwin sired an enormous family!

ii. Ellen Montague b. 1632 in Nansemond, Virginia m. d. 27 Mar 1659 Middlesex, Virginia, m. William Thompson (b. 1627 in England, d. 1664 in Lancaster, Virginia)

iii. Peter Montague b. 1634 in Nansemond, Suffolk, Virginia d. 2 Dec 1695 Montague Island, Middlesex, Virginia  m1. Elizabeth Morris m2. Mary Doodes/Marie Minor (b. 1642 in Christchurch, Middlesex, Virginia d. 1682 in Middlesex, Virginia)

“Peter Mountague (1603-1659) was an active merchant in Virginia as his then deceased father and uncle had been in England.  It may have been in connection with his merchant business with Holland that he first met the Sea Captain, Meindert Doodes, in Nansemond Co.,  Virginia.  The two families of Mountague and Doodes (later transliterated to Minor) probably moved together in mid to late 1656 to Lancaster Co., Virginia, where Doodes Minor married Elizabeth Mountague around 1671 and Peter Mountague (ca. 1638ca. 1682) married Mary Minor by 1665.”

A fair number of researchers believe that Mary Montague, daughter of Peter & Mary (Doodes/Minor) Montague, may have been the widow Mary Johnson, 2nd wife of Col. Joseph Ball. Why is this particular fact interesting? Because Joseph and Mary Ball’s daughter Mary Ball Washington was the mother of George Washington.

File:Mary Ball Washington(Pine).jpg

George Washington’s mother Martha Ball Washington. (1708-1789) She was the only child of Joseph Matthäus Ball and his second wife, the widow Mary Johnson, whose maiden name and origins are not known for sure, but might have been Mary Montague. Fatherless at three and orphaned at twelve, she was placed, in accordance with the terms of her mother’s will, under the guardianship of George Eskridge, a lawyer.

At the heart of this issue is the maiden name of Mary Johnson. What follows is a complete, source-based presentation of the facts surrounding the issue. It includes all documentation known to this writer, as of this writing, concerning Mary Montague, Joseph Ball, Mary Johnson, and Mary Ball. Unfortunately these facts are not sufficient to know her maiden name. For now, we can only judge the relative probability of Mary’s maiden identity from a limited number of potential candidates. We open this treatment with the earliest known documented discussion of George Washington’s presumed maternal grandmother from George William Montague’s, History and Genealogy of Peter Montague of Nansemond and Lancaster Counties, Virginia, and His Descendants, 1621-1894. (Amherst, Massachusetts: Carpenter & Morehouse, 1894, p. 48 (Hereinafter cited as HGPM)

“A tradition has existed for fifty years or more, that George Washington was of Montague descent, through his mother Mary Ball. It probably originated from the fact that William Montague married, 1727, a dau. of Capt. Richard Ball, who was Mary Ball’s cousin [their fathers were brothers]. This subject has been thoroughly investigated by Rev. Horace E. Hayden in his Va. Genealogies, published Wilkes-Barre, Pa., 1891. The compiler also has made a thorough search, and left no means untried to obtain the truth. The result is, that the only place where such descent could be possible, was through Mary Ball’s mother who was, before Col. Ball married her, a Mrs. Mary Johnson, a widow, of Lancaster Co., Va. A tradition exists in the Ball family that Mrs. Mary Johnson was born in England. This tradition has been traced to Mrs. Ann Shearman, whose mother was Esther Ball, the half sister of Mary Ball. If it is true, that she was born in England, then – any descent from Peter Montague was impossible. No record has been found to show the maiden name of Mrs. Mary Johnson, or who she was before her marriage to Johnson. If she was a Miss Montague, she would have to be a daughter of one of the sons of the emigrant Peter Montague. One of his sons did have a daughter whose name was Mary Montague, but church records prove that she married, Oct. 24, 1682, Thomas Payne, and no record exists to show that she ever afterward married any one else. Records of that time and locality are lost, and the maiden name of Mrs. Mary Johnson [Washington’s grandmother] will probably never be known.”

iv. Elizabeth Montague b. 1636 in New Kent, Virginia d. 1708 Christ Church, Middlesex, Virginia m. Maurice Cocke (b. 1666 in Middlesex, Virginia d. 15 May 1696 in Middlesex, Virginia)

v. William Montague b. 1638 in Nansemond, Virginia d. 7 Dec 1713 Montague Island, Middlesex, Virginia m. Hannah Ball

vi Margaret Montague b. 1640 in Nansemond, Virginia d. 1679 m. Francis Ball (b. 1630 in Virginia d. 1740 in Virginia)

2. Ann Montague

Ann’s husband John Wheatlie was born 1605 in Boveney, Berkshire, England. John died in 29 Sep 1659 in Saint Mary’s City, Maryland,

5. Richard MONTAGUE (See his page)

6. Elizabeth Montague

Elizabeth’s husband Jefferson Melvin Warriner was born 2 Aug 1613 in England

7. Margaret Montague

Margaret’s husband [__?__] Tayler was born 1596 in Boveney, Berkshire, England.


For better or worse, George Wm. Montague’s History and Genealogy of Peter Montague (hereinafter HGPM), published in 1894, is the de facto authority on the pre-colonial ancestry of Peter Montague of Boveney, England. This authority has remained mostly unchallenged these past 110 years and is overdue for a review of some of its assumptions and conclusions.

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21 Responses to Peter Montague

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  5. I have been working for 13 years on an update of George Wm. Montague’s 1894 edition of HGPM. My book, “History and Genealogy of Peter Montague of Jamestowne, Virginia (1603-2003)” will be released this Dec 2012 in two volumes (3,000+ pages). Since my update contains research never been published before and is entirely sourced and cited, I can say with confidence that much of the information above regarding Peter Montague the immigrant is either not correct or half right. I am particularly keen to know the source for Peter’s birth date of 21 Jan 1603. My research shows it has to be between Mar-Oct 1603. I am only planning to publish 500 copies. If you want to be on the advance pre-pub list, contact me at

    • There are many, many errors in the above regarding Peter Montague’s history. I have just completed a 13 year comprehensive research effort and published a new two-volume, 3200 page, “History and Genealogy of Peter Montague of Jamestowne Virginia (1607-2007), Quadricentennial Edition. In fact, part of the text above was written by me and published in an article I wrote for Northern Neck of Virginia Historical Magazine Dec 2010, but not credited to me. The new HGPM will be released by Christmas 2012. Prepaid orders made by 15 Dec get a 10% discount from the retail $295. 312 of 1,000 copies are already reserved. If interested, email me, the author, at (The website is not yet ready for orders.)

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  8. Virginia Earle McGee Reynolds says:

    Where does Henry Montague of Montague Station, SC (above Greenville, SC ) fit into this lineage?? Does anyone know??

  9. A research of my Montague database suggests the person you are looking for is actually Maj. Henry Montague Earle, b. 21 Oct 1808, earlesville, Spartanburg Co., SC; d. 19 Apr 1893; bur. at Christ Episcopal Church Cemetery, Greenville, Greenville Co., SC. He m. Sophia Frost Rowland, 1 Oct 1838. He was the son of Mary Montague and Aspasio Earle. Based on your name Virginia Earle McGee, I’m very confident this is the person you are asking about.

  10. markeminer says:

    Dear Mr. Montague,

    I try to include links to sources and attribute longer excerpts with quotes, but I admit I’m doing a more thorough job of this than when I started this project. I’m not certain which quotes are from your article, but certainly the House of Montague is the definitive source of research for this ancestor.

    I put an overall attribution to you at the lead of the narrative. I understand how much you have put into this subject and by no means do I wish to take credit for your work.

    Pretty much all my research in 17th and 18th century ancestors is from secondary sources, though I was able to take a photo of Cornelius Turk’s gravestone in Caroline NY when I attended my son’s graduation and Peter Winne’s home when I visited the NY Metropolitan Museum.

    Right now, I’m working on 19th Century cousins based on the family records first available in the 1850 census,

    Thank you for your understanding,


    Mark Miner

    • Robert V. Montague says:

      Mark, I appreciate your remarks and thank you for not hiding in the weeds. My entire two-volume History will be published at Christmas time. Miners are descended from Peter through Peter’s son Peter II (as you know). We’re all cousins here.
      Let me know if you have any specifics. Alot of my work, particularly on Cicely is original and never been published. One thing I’d like to know is where did you get that birthdate for Peter Montague? If you can cite a source I could still get that in my book. My analysis has his birth pegged between Mar-Aug 1603.

      Take care
      Robert V. Montague

  11. Virginia Earle McGee Reynolds says:

    Thank you for this information regarding Major Henry Montague Earle…..Virginia Earle McGee Reynolds

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  13. Caren Fowler, direct descendant of Peter Montague. says:

    Thank you for your wonderful work! I do have a question. I was looking at the photo of “The Visitation” record. All of the research I have read has listed the parents of the immigrant, Peter Montague, as Peter and Ellen (Allen) Montague. However, the photo shows a line down from George & Susan (Norris) Montague. Has anyone found absolute proof which brother is Peter’s father?

    • Robert V. Montague says:

      Caren: The Virginia Montague, Peter, was the son of Peter and Ellen. The photo or drawing you are referring to is a reprint of the Visitation of Boveney Montague Pedigree of 1634 in which the printer incorrectly drew the line from George & Susan (Peter’s Uncle and Aunt). I just published a watershed work on Peter Montague of Jamestowne Virginia, 1603-2003, Quadricentennial Edition. It is 2 volumes, 3,243 pages. One of the proofs in the book is in my DNA studies in which I’ve shown that Y-line DNA haplotype from descendants of Peter and from Richard (Peter’s alleged brother) are identical. I will be publishing these findings in another venue. The book set is huge at 17 lbs I have about 400 sets remaining. I also have an E-book version on DVD if interested.

  14. mnburnett says:

    I would like to point out that you have all of Cecily and Peter Montague’s children being born while she was still married to Mr. William Farrar, uh, how is this possible ? i am a descendant of Cecily and William Farrar and I can assure you she did not have children by Mr. Montaque nor was she married to him. You have also stated that Pocahontas was the second wife of John Rolfe, this is incorrect, she was his first wife. You need a better editor for your work.

  15. Nicholas Wright says:

    John Rolfe definitely had a first wife, she and his daughter (Bermuda) died in the SeaVenture trouble. His 3 wives names are on Wiki.

  16. Elizabeth Tissot says:

    Cecily Baly, Jordan, Farrar’s and Joan Pierce’s backgrounds are totally unknown. There is not one word of proof that Cecily was a Reynolds or had Phippin or Jordan ancestors. This is entirely made up by a Mr. Reynolds who wrote a Reynolds book claiming that Cecily’s husband was Thomas Baley and he died of measles. How ridiculous! No reputable historian or genealogist accepts any of this. This tale is enhanced by a Connie who has written trite books on Jamestown and gives talks all over repeating this erroneous information to anyone who will listen. She says Cecily’s aunt was Joan Pierce. There is no proof of who Joan Pierce was either. Connie does label her books fiction, but she then states her information is true and she has proof – she does not! There is no proof of Cecily’s background, who she was, why she came to VA a little girl of 10 yrs. She certainly did not even know Peter Montegue let alone marry him. The dates don’t match at all. An irresponsible writer suggested this due to the name of Cecily only. There were 35 Cecilys who could have been his wife (it has been researched and no one knows today which Cecily he married). Cecily Farrar evidently had died before 1637 when William Farrar died as there are no record of her after abut 1632. Read “Adventures of Purse and Person” ed. by John Frederick Dorman. All proven information about Cecily and Joan Pierce are there and sources are given. It is unconscionable for people to simply repeat what someone else has said having done no research to confirm it.

    • markeminer says:

      Hi Elizabeth,

      I was previously alerted that there is some fantasy in this one. I put a warning label on top. :”II like genealogy for the stories. This this one may be more of a story than most. See comments below.”

      Kind Regards,Mark

  17. Robert Jadwin Ballantyne says:

    As far as I can tell, the reference in Peter Montague’s 1659 Will to “my three daughters Ellen, Margaret, and Elizabeth, and the child of Ann late wife of John Jadwin” is the foundation stone for all genealogical studies of this branch of the Jadwin family. Thank you, Peter.

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