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Re: Christopher Reynolds 1611-1654 IOW
Posted by: Rod Stucker, Professional Genealogist Date: August 13, 2001 at 15:17:49
In Reply to: Re: Christopher Reynolds 1611-1654 IOW by Richard Reynolds of 1389

Richard, the following is an update, including some of the immigration information for "Chris: Renhold, 24," which you obtained from Hotten in reagrds to the life and family of Christopher Reynolds, Sr., who died in 1654 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia:

       Reynolds Chronology

       Isle of Wight County, Nansemond County, and related Virginia Records

       1622, Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia, by John B. Boddie, p. 87, Christopher Reynolds immigrated to Virginia aboard the John & Francis (Doc.#131w)

       Though The Robert Reynolds Family web-site lists that Christopher Reynolds, Sr., immigrated with a brother named Thomas Reynolds from Dorsetshire, England (Doc.#140), we have found no documentation to support this information. Other records such as those compiled by Sybil R. Taylor in 1992 for the Reynolds Family Association, list that Christopher Reynolds, Sr., was possibly born in Gravesend, County Kent, England (Doc.#144e-g).

       16 Feb 1623, Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia, by John B. Boddie, p. 37, Chr. Reinholds [Christopher Reynolds] was among 33 inhabitants listed in a census for Warrascoyack [Warrosquyoake County], Virginia (Doc.#131v)
       
       25 Feb 1625, Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia, by John B. Boddie, p. 37, Christopher Reynolds listed in a muster of the inhabitants of Wariscoyack [Warrosquyoake County], Virginia, who were servants of Mr. Edward Bennett (Doc.#131v)

       These records reveal that Christopher Reynolds, Sr., began residing in Warrosquyoake County within a year after arriving in the Colony of Virginia. He was a servant or “employee” of Mr. Edward Bennett according to the latter record. As a servant of Edward Bennett, Christopher Reynolds, Sr., may have known Edward Bennett and resided in the same general area of England prior to emigrating to Virginia as one of Mr. Bennett’s servants. Further research into the origins of Edward Bennett and his servants may allow us to confirm Christopher Reynolds, Sr.’s place of origin in England.

       21 Dec 1634, Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia, by John B. Boddie, p. 531, Isle of Wight County Deeds, Bk. A, p.103; Christopher Reynolds of Warwickqueak [Warrosquyoake County] obtained 100 acre patent from Robert Sabine of Warrisquick [Warrosquyoake County] Bay, Witnesses: Robert Cramporne and Thomas Coarkman (as shown in the deed of Wassell Webling and George Fawdon from Justinian Cooper and wife) (Doc.#131ac, 135b)

       This is the first record of Christopher Reynolds, Sr., obtaining land in Virginia. From the year of Christopher Reynolds’ arrival in Virginia in 1622, it was thirteen years later in 1625 before Christopher first purchased land. This indicates that Christopher Reynolds was probably an indentured servant of Edward Bennett.
       
       According to John Camden Hotten’s list of immigrants aboard the 1635 Speedwell, there is a listing for “Chris. Reinhold, 24," which could have been the same individual as Christopher Reynolds, Sr., who arrived in 1622 aboard the John & Francis as listed above. Richard Reynolds, a Reynolds family genealogist, has proposed that Christopher Reynolds, Sr., returned to England and then brought nine servants back to Virginia. Richard Reynolds proposes the following:

       Hotten in his passenger list of the "Speedwell" in 1635 has "Chri: Reinolds, 24," and has him grouped with nine other passengers -- most of them young women -- along with a six-month-old infant. I speculate that Christopher returned to England, gathered up these nine, and that they constitute the basis for his headright award of 450 acres, granted the following year. Incidentally, the age of 24 agrees perfectly with his assumed birth year of 1611.

Two of the passengers in his group, both in their early 20's were named Elizabeth. Could one of them have been the future Mrs. Reynolds?

       From the above information, Richard Reynolds and others have calculated Christopher Reynolds, Sr., as having been born in 1611. However, this does not appear to correspond with the 1622 date of arrival of Christopher Reynolds, Sr., aboard the John & Francis which indicates that Christopher Reynolds, Sr., was born prior to 1601 as listed above. If Christopher Reynolds, Sr., was the same individual as the Chris. Reinhold, age 24, who arrived aboard the Speedwell in 1635, he would have been only eleven years old when he arrived in Colonial Virginia aboard the John & Francis in 1622. This seems unlikely as he is listed the following year, in the 1623 census listed above, as one of the thirty three original residents of Warrosquyoake County. Censuses usually refer to tithables, i.e. persons above age twenty one years of age. However, this is a very early time period and the thirty three residents may have included children as well as the heads of households. Though it appears unlikely due to age patterns as listed above, subject to further research, i.e. identifying the port of arrival for the Speedwell and obtaining the names of the nine individuals who accompanied Chris: Reinhold, it is possible that Christopher Reynolds, Sr., who arrived in Colonial Virginia in 1622 aboard the John & Francis, is the same person as Chris: Reinhold, age 24, who arrived in America in 1635 aboard the Speedwell with the nine other persons. As Richard Reynolds points out, the time period in which the Speedwell arrived in America and the nine persons who accompanied him in 1635, corresponds with the 450 acre patent that Christopher Reynolds, Sr., received the following year in Warrosquyoake County.

       In 1636, Christopher Reynolds obtained a 450 acre patent on the waters of Pagan Shore for transporting nine servants to the Virginia Colony:

       15 Sep 1636, Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia, by John B. Boddie, p. 659; The Library of Virginia, Virginia Land Office Patents No. 1, 1623-1643, p.382; Christopher Reynolds obtained a 450 acre patent “bounded with a back creek running eastward behind Pagan Shore some three miles upward, the land lying on the south side of the creek in Warrasquinoke [Warrosquyoake ] County for transporting 9 servants. (Doc.# 131w,131ay, 142h)

       Warrasquinoke, also listed as Warrasquoyacke or Warrosquyoake, was a Colonial Virginia County which was originally formed in 1634. In 1637, the name was changed to Isle of Wight County. The article entitled Christopher Reynolds of Isle of Wight, Virginia, published by The Reynolds Family Association lists that Christopher Reynolds was born in 1611 at Gravesend, Kent County, England and immigrated with his wife Elizabeth aboard the Francis and John in 1622 which corresponds with the above information. Though the article further lists that they settled in “Warwick County, Virginia” (Doc.#144e-h), the records listed above reveal that Christopher Reynolds, Sr., and his wife, Elizabeth, were among the thirty three original inhabitants listed in a census for Warrascoyack [Warrosquyoake County], Virginia on 16 Feb 1623(Doc.#131v). Their first purchase of land there occurred almost nine years later for 100 acres in Warrisquick [Warrosquyoake] Bay in 1634 in the newly formed Warrosquyoake County. In 1636 Christopher obtained a 450 acre patent on the waters of Pagan Shore or Pagan Creek in Warrosquyoake County which subsequently became Isle of Wight County in 1637. This information confirms that they originally settled in Warrosquyoake County rather than Warrick [River] County as it was known during this time period.

       The fact that Christopher Reynolds, Sr., was responsible for transporting nine servants to Virginia indicates that he was a successful tobacco planter of Colonial Virginia. As were most individuals who resided in Colonial Virginia, Christopher Reynolds, Sr.’s will and the deeds listed below confirm that he was a tobacco planter. As a reward for bringing nine servants to Virginia, Christopher received the above patent for 450 acres.

       23 Dec 1636, Virginia Land Office, Patent Bk. 1, 1623-1643, p. 408; Nicholas Reynolds obtained a patent for 1000 acres lying at Lawnes Creek S.S. Et. up Lawnes Creeke (Doc.#156)

       As revealed below, this Nicholas Reynolds inhabited James City County which in Colonial time periods bounded the northern border of Isle of Wight County. James City County was an original shire/county of Virginia which was formed in 1634. In 1652, James City County changed it’s name to Surry County. According to several genealogical data bases (including the Ancestral File) and Reynolds family histories, there was a Richard Reynolds and his wife, Mary Anderson, who resided in Surry County during the colonial time period. However, no sources of information are listed for these data bases regarding the Richard Reynolds and Mary Anderson of Surry County. Though the county location for the 1636 patent for Nicholas Reynolds was not provided in the original description of the patent, the description does list Lawnes Creek which corresponds with the northern boundary for the Upper Parish in Isle of Wight County as listed below:

       In March, 1643, by an Act of the General Assembly, Isle of Wight County was divided into two parishes: “The upper parish to extend from Lawnes Creek to the eastern side of the Bay, the creeke devideing the plantation of Sam. Davis and Joseph Cobbs to be the extant and division of the said upper parish: The lower parish to extend from the Pagan-Poynt upon the river side to the plantation of Rich. Hayes, from the Pagan-Poynt upon the bay including all the southerly side to the plantation of the said Cobbs, and that all the inhabitants alreadie resideing or that hereafter shall reside on that side to belong to the said lower parish.” (Doc.#154c-d)

       As indicated above, this information confirms that Nicholas Reynolds settled in the same general area as Christopher Reynolds, Sr., who resided in the adjoining Lower Parish. However, these were large parishes during this time period, nearly sixty miles in length. Aside from this patent, Nicholas Reynolds also obtained two other patents in the years 1637 and 1638 as listed below.

       10 Feb 1637, Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia, by John B. Boddie, p. 664; The Library of Virginia, Virginia Land Office Patents No. 1, 1623-1643, p.517; Christopher Reynolds listed as a land owner bounding a patent for 350 acres lying behind the Pagan Shore issued to Charles Barcroft (Doc.#131az, 142b)

       As indicated above, the Pagan Shore referred to in this land patent appears to refer to that portion of the Pagan River where it is joined by the Cypress Creek tributary in the area of modern day Smithfield Town (Map-Doc.#160). According to the following deeds, Christopher Reynolds, Sr., and his descendants occupied this property for several generations.

       26 Aug 1637, Virginia Land Office Patents, Bk. 1, p. 473; Nicholas Reynolds obtained a patent for 1000 acres lying on Lawnes Creek (Doc.#156a)

       20 Feb 1638, Virginia Land Office Patents, Bk. 1, p. 676, James City County; Nicholas Reynolds listed as owning a patent which adjoins the 500 acre patent of Thomas Stamp bounding southerly from the head of Lawnes Creek (Doc.#156b)

       Though no county is listed in the second land patent for Nicholas Reynolds dated 1637, as listed above, Lawnes Creek is located on the border of the Upper Parish in Isle Of Wight County. The Upper Parish was adjacent to the Lower Parish where Christopher Reynolds, Sr., and his descendants resided for several generations. Notice that according to the 1638 patent, Nicholas Reynolds’ land was located next to a 500 acre land patent issued to Thomas Stamp at the head of Lawnes Creek in James City County. This indicates that Nicholas Reynolds’ land patents were actually located at the head waters of Lawnes Creek which today is in Surry County and borders Isle of Wight County to the south (Doc.153b). Subject to further research, Reynolds family historians list that a Richard Reynolds, Sr., and his wife, Mary Anderson, resided in Surry County.

       1 May 1639, Isle of Wight County Deeds, Bk. A, p.103; Christopher Reynolds sold 100 acre patent in Warrisquack [Warwicke Squeake or Warrosquyoake] Bay to Peter Hull, Witnesses: John Spackman and John Oliver (Doc.#131ac, 135b)

       21 Mar 1643, Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia, by John B. Boddie, p. 541, Christopher Reynolds assigned 350 acres, on main branch of Bay Creek Called Cypress Swamp, to Arthur Smith (Doc.#131ad-131ae)

       Notice that there is no previous record of this 350 acres on Cypress Swamp (which is also known as Cypress Creek on modern maps), a main branch of Bay Creek (which appears to be the same waterway as the Pagan River), as having been obtained by Christopher Reynolds prior to his assigning it to Col. Arthur Smith, I. On modern day maps Cypress Creek is situated just outside the Smithfield Town limits. Cypress Creek appears on Isle of Wight County maps as a tributary for the Pagan River which empties into the James River.

       The history entitled Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia, by John Bennett Boddie, lists the following on p.541, “Gov. William Berkeley confirms to Arthur Smith 350 acres on the main branch of Bay Creek [Pagan River] called Cypress Swamp [part of Cypress Creek], first granted to James Roe by Patent 10 Dec 1640 and by him assigned to Arthur Smith provided said Smith does not plant or seat for a term of three years, dated 21 Mar 1643." This area of Cypress Swamp was later part of Newport Parish where Christopher Reynolds, Sr., and his descendants resided for many generations.

       Early church records of Isle of Wight County reveal that Newport Parish, where Christopher Reynolds, Sr., and many of his descendants resided for several generations, was originally known as the Lower Parish according to deed and court records. These early parish church records were patterned after the Episcopal Church of England since Virginia was an English Colony prior to the Revolutionary War in 1776. Aside from land ownership regarding deeds and patents, the church and the court were the bodies around which much public life in Colonial Virginia revolved. Isle of Wight and Nansemond Counties played a significant part in the development of the Virginia Colony.

       According to the Parish Lines of Southern Virginia, by C. F. Cocke, the Upper and Lower Parishes of Isle of Wight County were created from Warrosquyoake Parish in 1643. In 1734, the Upper Parish was divided with the lower half becoming part of the Lower Parish, also called Newport Parish, and the upper half going to Nottoway Parish which later became part of Southampton County (created from that portion of Isle of Wight County lying west of the Blackwater River) when it was created from Isle of Wight County in 1749. The Upper Parish was dissolved by this division and the Lower Parish, which existed from 1643-1743, was now officially called Newport Parish (Doc.#154a-b). Unfortunately, the records for the Upper Parish, now known as Nottoway Parish in Southampton County, are not complete with current records beginning in 1748.

              “Parish vestries usually met twice a year to conduct the business of the Church. A new vestryman was selected to fill a vacancy when there was a designation or a death and two of the Vestryman were designated as Church Wardens each year. Every four years all of the land in each parish was “processioned” and boundaries were either confirmed or established between land owners unless there was a lack of agreement between the two land owners. These processioners’ reports always included the names of the men conducting the “processions” and often include the names of the individual land owners involved and any other persons who were in attendance at this important business undertaking. Another integral part of the business conducted at the vestry meetings was the selection of a minister, the purchase and constant repair of the Glebe and the financial aid give to individual members of the parish.” (Doc.#151a)

       A brief history of the Isle of Wight parishes reveals the following:

       Warrosquyoake, later Isle of Wight, Parish
        and the Parishes in the Dicoese of Southern Virginia Descended therefrom

       Warrosquyoake Parish, circa 1629.

              The first parish organization in what later became Isle of Wight County is recorded in 1629 as already existing at Warrosquyoake. Copies of the General Court Proceedings show that in 1629 the Commissioners at Warrosquyoake delivered complete records of the monthly court proceedings, together with the register of christenings, marriages, and burials under the hand of the minister and the church wardens, and likewise a copy of their lives and disbursements at Warrosquyoake. When Warrosquyoake was established as a county in 1634 a parish was already in existence.

              Until March, 1634, Isle of Wight County had but one parish.

              In March, 1643, by an Act of the General Assembly, Isle of Wight County was divided into two parishes:

              “The upper parish to extend from Lawnes Creek to the eastern side of the Bay, the creeke devideing the plantation of Sam. Davis and Joseph Cobbs to be the extant and division of the said upper parish: The lower parish to extend from the Pagan-Poynt upon the river side to the plantation of Rich. Hayes, from the Pagan-Poynt uppon the bay including all the southerly side to the plantation of the said Cobbs, and that all the inhabitants alreadie resideing or that hereafter shall reside on that side to belong to the said lower parish.”

              Officially, the Upper Parish became known as Warrosquyoake Parish, and the Lower Parish as Newport Parish. The Act of 1734 herinafter referred to gives the official name to Newport for the first time. (Doc.#154c-d)

       According to a book entitled Historical Notes of Isle of Wight County, we also located the following parish history online:

       “As early as 1629 a parish existed in Warrasquyoake. By 1643 it was necessary to divide the county lengthwise, making the Upper and Lower parishes using the Pagan River as the dividing line. Later the names were changed to Warrasquyoake for the Upper and Newport for the Lower Parish. In 1734 these parishes were again divided, this time at the Blackwater River. The upper parts were combined and called Nottoway Parish; the lower parts were named Newport. All of Nottoway Parish formed the new county of Southampton in 1749, leaving all of Newport in Isle of Wight County.”

       Notice that this second description of the parish histories is better defined than the original description listed above. The fact that the Upper and Lower Parishes used the Pagan River as the dividing line is important information for identifying the Reynolds families who resided on the shores of the Pagan River and Cypress Creek where Christopher Reynolds, Sr., obtained his first land patent in 1636 as listed above. In 1734, the Upper and Lower Parishes were divided again at the Blackwater River with the portions of the Upper Parish combined with the Nottoway Parish which became Southampton County in 1749, leaving all of the Lower Parish, now called Newport Parish, in Isle of Wight County.

       Another enlightening description from the book entitled Isle of Wight County, 1608 - 1907, by Col. E. M. Morrison, provides the following interpretation of the original description of the Upper and Lower Parishes of Isle of Wight County:

       In 1642 the county, heretofore one parish, was divided into two. Lawnes Creek was the northern and Pagan Creek was the southern boundary of the Upper Parish; Pagan Creek the northern and the Nansemond county line the southern boundary of the Lower Parish. They both extended [East] to the North Carolina line, about ninety miles [prior to the formation of Nottoway Parish in 1734, and Southampton County in 1749 as listed above].

       Though the Newport Parish records did contain some birth records for the years 1705-1757, which were transcribed from an early parish register, they are now lost. However, a transcription of these colonial birth records from an early parish register appear on pages 223-228 of a later parish register for Newport Parish which is contained on microfilm via Miscellaneous reel 649; Isle of Wight County reel 50, at the Library of Virginia. These birth records are also listed in the Newport Parish records which are transcribed and published by William Lindsay Hopkins. Though we located several listings for Christopher and Richard Reynolds in the Newport Parish records which are extant from 1724-1784 as listed below in this chronology, there are no birth, marriage, death or burial records listed for any individuals named Reynolds in those records.

       1 Oct 1645, Isle of Wight County Wills and Administrations, Bk. 1, p. 330, Christopher Reynolds listed as a land owner bounding land owned by Arthur Smith called the “Freshett” and “John Roe’s Neck” in the will of [Col.] Arthur Smith [Sr.] of Warrisqueake, recorded 9 Feb 1693 (Doc.#132j)

       9 Apr 1649, Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia, by John B. Boddie, p. 531, Christopher Reynolds listed residing next to 300 acres of land sold by Ambrose Bennett to Ambrose Meader (Doc.#131ac)

       These two records reveal that Christopher Reynolds, Sr.’s land was located adjacent to the land of his neighbors, Col. Arthur Smith, I and Ambrose Bennett. In addition, Christopher Reynolds, Sr.’s land was bounded by the tracts of land called the “Freshett” and “John Roe’s Neck.”

       1654, Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia, by John B. Boddie, p. 117, Elizabeth Reynolds, daughter of Christopher Reynolds, married Richard Jordan, son of Thomas Jordan, Sr., of Chuckatuck Parish in Nansemond County (Doc.#131w,131x)

       This record indicates that Christopher Reynolds, Sr.’s daughter, Elizabeth Reynolds, was married to Richard Jordan of Nansemond County prior to 1654. The year of this record indicates that she was born prior to 1638, i.e. she was probably born about 1635 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, if she was old enough to have married by 1654. Nansemond County was originally created in 1637 from Upper Norfolk County which bordered Isle of Wight County on the north side and North Carolina on the south side. On 1 Jan 1974, Nansemond County was merged with Suffolk City where the Nansemond County records are housed today.

       1 May 1654, Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia, by John B. Boddie, p. 521, Isle of Wight County Wills and Administrations, Bk. 1, p. 46; Will of Christopher Reynolds [Christopher Reynolds, Sr.], planter: to son Christopher [Christopher Reynolds, Jr.] land that Richard Jordan liveth on. To son John [John Reynolds] land near swamp when he is 21. To son Richard [Richard Reynolds, Sr.], land I live on when 21. My daughter Abbasha, I have given her a portion already. To daughter Elizabeth, cattle. Daughter Jane. To George Rivers unborn child, 1 heifer. To child wife goeth with. Wife Elizabeth to be executrix and bring up John and Richard, my sons until they are age 16. Teste, Sylvester Bullen, Anthony Matthews. (Doc.#131ab, 132b, 138c)

       Though the above will abstract for Christopher Reynolds, Sr., is useful, it is not complete. Portions of it are inaccurate when compared with the original will as noted below. The original will, as recorded in Isle of Wight County Will Bk. 1, p. 46, though difficult to translate in it’s entirety due to a poor filming, reads as follows:

       In the name of God, Amen. The first day of May 1654. I Christopher Reynolds [Sr.]of the Isle of Wight County in Virginia, planter, being healthful in body and sound in mind & memory make this my last Will and Testament in manner and form as followeth. First, I give and bequeath my soul unto the hands of God my Creator and Maker and my body to be buried in sure and certain hope of Resurrection and Eternal Life through the only merit and satisfaction of Jesus Christ my only Savior and Redeemer. Impremis: I give and bequeath unto my son Christopher Reynolds [Jr.] all my land on the southerly side of the Freshest swamp that Richard Jordan [son-in-law who married daughter Elizabeth Reynolds] now liveth upon. And I give unto my son John Reynolds lands on the northerly side of the said Freshest Swamp...(unreadable in full but appears to discuss the age of inheritance for son John when he reaches age twenty one). And unto my son Richard Reynolds I give all my land I now liveth upon and one cow and he to possess the said land until he is twenty one years of age. And my daughter Abbasha, I have give her a portion already which are two cows and two calves. And I give unto my daughter Elizabeth one heifer of two years old besides the stock I gave her formerly. And unto my daughter Jane I give one cow and one yearling heifer. And I give to [step son] George Rivers one yearling heifer. And I give unto the child my wife now goeth with if it lives two cows to enjoy them at three years old. And if any of my children dye my will is that the other should succeed what estate they leave. And unto Elizabeth my loving wife, I give all the rest of my estate both goods and chattels moveable and unmoveable and debts that are due to me from any person or persons whatsoever and my two servants she paying all my debts truly and justly. And I do constitute and ordain Elizabeth my loving wife my whole and sole Executrix. And my will is that my wife Elizabeth shall have the ordering and bringing up John and Richard my sons until they be sixteen years of age, and Elizabeth and Jane until they be fifteen years of age. In witness whereof I Christopher Reynolds do hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year first above written.

       Signed: Christ. Reynolds

       Witnesseses: Sylvester Bullen, Anthony Matthews
       Isle of Wight County, Virginia Wills, Bk. 1, pp.46-8, (Doc.#148)

       As indicated above, the will declaration that Christopher Reynolds, Sr., was a planter confirms that he was a successful tobacco planter in Colonial Virginia. His 450 acre plantation, which he received for transporting nine servants to Colonial Virginia, remained in the family for many generations as witnessed by the following deed descriptions listed below in Isle of Wight County records.

       The portion of Christopher Reynolds, Sr.’s will which lists “And I give unto the child my wife now goeth with if it lives two cows to enjoy them at three years old” is interpreted by many to indicate that Christopher’s wife was pregnant at the time he made out his will. Unfortunately, there are no subsequent probate records which reveal the date that this will was proved ,or provide an inventory and appraisal, in order to confirm if his wife Elizabeth had another child. The fact that only Christopher Reynolds, Jr., appears to have been over age sixteen and that Christopher Reynolds, Sr., had two sons under age sixteen and two daughters under age fifteen, indicates that Elizabeth was possibly young enough to have been pregnant.

       In regards to the age of Christopher Reynolds, Sr., and his wife Elizabeth, according to Christopher Reynolds, Sr.’s arrival in Colonial Virginia in 1622, he was probably at least age twenty one by that time. Otherwise, he would have been considered a minor which is unlikely since he was listed as one of the 33 original inhabitants in Warrosquyoake County in 1623, just a year after arriving in Colonial Virginia. Hence, Christopher Reynolds, Sr., would have been born prior to 1601, probably about 1595 which indicates that he was age fifty nine at the time of his death in 1654. This is assuming that he died the same year that he made out his will. Assuming that Christopher Reynolds, Sr., immigrated with his wife, she would have been close to his age, i.e. probably born around 1597. Assuming that Elizabeth was his first wife, she would have been age fifty seven at the time that Christopher Reynolds, Sr., recorded his will. This would have been too old for her to have been pregnant in 1654. However, the approximate ages of Christopher Reynolds, Sr.’s children, all of whom except for Christopher Reynolds, Jr., and Abbatha Reynolds, were under age sixteen, indicates that Christopher’s wife, who is listed in his will as Elizabeth, was younger than he was.

       Based on the ages of his children who were under age sixteen, Christopher Reynolds, Sr. would have been married about 1637, nearly sixteen years after he immigrated to Colonial Virginia. This information suggests that Christopher Reynolds, Sr., was previously married with Christopher Reynolds, Jr., and his sister Abbatha Reynolds, possibly having been the children of a previous wife. In support of this information, notice that Christopher Reynolds, Sr., listed George Rivers, who appears to have been a step son, as an heir. Furthermore, in the will of Christopher Reynolds, Sr.’s son John Reynolds, which is listed below, John refers to George Rivers as his brother: 11 Mar 1668, Isle of Wight County Wills and Administrations, Bk. 1, p. 62: Will of John Reynolds, Legacy: my [step] brother George Rivers; brother Richard; sister Jane; [step] sister Elizabeth Rivers; to Robert Driver; to Elizabeth River’s daughter Mary; to my sister Elizabeth Jordan a bill of Robert Clothier’s, at her decease to her son Richard Jordan. Recorded 3 May 1669. Witnesses: Anselm Baylic, William Bradshaw (Doc.#132c). The fact that John Reynolds refers to George Rivers as his brother, indicates that George was a step brother, i.e. the son of Christopher Reynolds, Sr.’s wife, Elizabeth, who was previously married to a Mr. Rivers.

       Unless we compare the will of Christopher Reynolds, Sr., with the will of his son John Reynolds, it is unclear from Christopher Reynolds, Sr.’s will how George Rivers was related. Contrary to the will abstract listed above, the actual will of Christopher Reynolds, Sr. does not refer to “George River’s unborn child” as listed erroneously in the above will abstract. The individual who abstracted this will information appears to have confused the following information in the original will: “And I give to George Rivers one yearling heifer. And I give unto the child my wife now goeth with if it lives two cows to enjoy them at three years old.” The reference to George Rivers is a separate item in the will and it appears to be unrelated to the item in regards to the wife of Christopher Reynolds, Sr. Though The Robert Reynolds Family web-site lists Christopher’s wife as “Elizabeth Matthews Rivers,” (Doc.#140) other than the listing of Anthony Matthews as a witness to the will of Christopher Reynolds, there is no documentation in the will of Christopher Reynolds, Sr., to support the maiden name of Matthews which is listed for his wife, Elizabeth Rivers who was previously married to Mr. Rivers.

       Though George Rivers may have been the husband of the Elizabeth Rivers who is also listed in John Reynolds’ will, George and Elizabeth Rivers are listed separately, which suggests that they were more likely brother and sister, not husband and wife. However, notice that there is no child named Elizabeth Rivers listed in the will of Christopher Reynolds, Sr. Hence, it is possible that Elizabeth Rivers was the child with whom his wife Elizabeth was pregnant at the time he recorded his will in 1654. However, this seems unlikely since her maiden name was Rivers and she appears to have been married prior to 1669. Note that John Reynolds’ will refers “to Elizabeth River’s daughter Mary,” which indicates that Elizabeth Rivers was possibly married at the time that Christopher Reynolds, Sr., made out his will in 1654. By 1669, she was still listed as Elizabeth Rivers in John Reynolds’ will with a daughter named Mary. If Elizabeth Rivers had married prior to 1654, this could be the reason why she was not listed in Christopher Reynolds, Sr.’s will. This information about Christopher Reynolds, Sr.’s step children, George and Elizabeth Rivers, appears to confirm that Christopher Reynolds, Sr.’s wife, Elizabeth, was previously married to a man named Rivers. This corresponds with the listing of his wife as Elizabeth Matthews Rivers by several genealogists. However, so far we have found no documentation proving that her maiden name was Matthews or that she was the daughter of Anthony Matthews from Ireland.

       According to the will of Christopher Reynolds, Sr., both John and Richard Reynolds were under age sixteen, i.e. they were born between 1638 and about 1645. His daughters, Elizabeth and Jane, are listed as having been under age fifteen, i.e. they were born between 1639 and 1645. Christopher Reynolds, Jr., who received land from his father, was apparently already age 21 indicating that he was born between 1630 and 1633. Notice that this is a few years earlier than the date of birth, 1637, which is calculated for Christopher Reynolds, Jr., according to The Robert Reynolds Family web-site (Doc.#140a).

       The Reynolds Family Association lists that Christopher Reynolds, Sr.’s children were born as follows: Richard Reynolds, born 1641; Christopher Reynolds, Jr., born 1642; John Reynolds, born 1644 and died 11 Mar 1668; Abbasha Reynolds, born 1646; Elizabeth Reynolds, born 1648, [married Richard Jordan, son of Thomas Jordan, Sr., of Nansemond County]; Jane Reynolds, born 1650; and Thomas Reynolds, born 1655 (Doc.#144e). Notice that the Reynolds Family Association lists a son named Thomas Reynolds who is not listed in Christopher Reynolds, Sr.’s will. Since no documentation is provided for this information, the Reynolds Family Association appears to have estimated the years of birth for the children of Christopher Reynolds based on the date of his will. However, the will of Christopher Reynolds, Sr., indicates that Christopher Reynolds, Jr., was the first son listed and the only son who appears to have been over age sixteen at the time Christopher Reynolds, Sr., made out his will. Notice also from above, that Christopher Reynolds, Sr., had a daughter named Elizabeth who married Richard Jordan about 1654. This would indicate that Elizabeth was at least fifteen or sixteen years old in 1654, i.e. she was born in 1638/9 if she is the same Elizabeth Reynolds who married Richard Jordan. However, Elizabeth is also listed as having been under age fifteen according to her father’s will? It seems unlikely that she could have been the same Elizabeth who married Richard Jordan.

       Occasionally, a will lists children in the order of their birth. According to the order in which Christopher Reynolds, Sr., lists his children in his will, they were actually born as follows: 1) Christopher Reynolds, Jr., born about 1632; 2) Abbasha Reynolds, born about 1634; 3) Elizabeth Reynolds, born about 1638, married Richard Jordan about 1653/1654; 4) John Reynolds, born about 1640, will dated 11 Mar 1668 and proved on 3 May 1669 in Isle of Wight County; 5) Richard Reynolds, Sr., born about 1642; 6) Jane Reynolds, born about 1644. Since Christopher Reynolds, Sr.’s will lists sons first, then daughters, from the order of the listing of his daughters, the apparent gap in years between Christopher Reynolds, Jr. and his brothers, the approximate age of Elizabeth and Jane who were under age fifteen, the approximate date of marriage for his daughter Elizabeth who married Richard Jordan prior to 1653/4, we have calculated and inserted the daughter’s birth years as listed above.

       According to a 1623 census Christopher Reynolds, Sr., was one of thirty three inhabitants for Warrosquyoake Bay (Pagan River Bay), Warrosquyoake County, Virginia. Hence, all of his children would have been born in Warrosquyoake County which became Isle of Wight County in 1637. After 1636, his children would have been born on the 450 acre patent which was located on the waters of Cypress Creek, a tributary of the Pagan River in Isle of Wight County. Hence, based on the dates of birth calculated for his children, Christopher Reynolds, Sr., and his wife Elizabeth were married about 1631 in Warrosquyoake Bay (also known as Pagan River Bay), Warrosquyoake County, Virginia. Though the Reynolds Family Association lists that there was also a son of Christopher Reynolds, Sr., named Thomas Reynolds (Doc.#144f), so far we have found no documentation which supports this information.

       Based on the above information, we list the following for the family of Christopher Reynolds, Sr., the immigrant:

       Christopher Reynolds, Sr., the immigrant, was born about 1695, probably in England. In 1622 he immigrated to Virginia aboard the John & Francis and settled in Warrosquyoake Bay,Warrosquyoake, Virginia (Doc.#131w). On 16 Feb 1623 Christopher Reynolds, Sr., was among 33 inhabitants listed in a census for Warrascoyack [Warrosquyoake County], Virginia (Doc.#131v). A few years later on 25 Feb 1625, Christopher Reynolds, Sr., was listed in a muster of the inhabitants of Wariscoyack [Warrosquyoake County], Virginia, who were servants of Mr. Edward Bennett (Doc.#131v). These records reveal that Christopher Reynolds, Sr., began residing in Warrosquyoake County within a year after arriving in the Colony of Virginia. He was a servant or “employee” of Mr. Edward Bennett according to the latter record. As a servant of Edward Bennett, Christopher Reynolds, Sr., may have known Edward Bennett and resided in the same general area of England prior to emigrating to Virginia as one of Mr. Bennett’s servants. Further research into the origins of Edward Bennett and his servants should allow us to confirm Christopher Reynolds, Sr.’s place of origin in England. On 21 Dec 1634, Christopher Reynolds of Warwickqueak [Warrosquyoake County] obtained a 100 acre patent from Robert Sabine of Warrisquick [Warrosquyoake County] Bay (Doc.#131ac,135b). This is the first record of Christopher Reynolds, Sr., obtaining land in Virginia. From the year of Christopher Reynolds’ arrival in Virginia in 1622, it was thirteen years later in 1625 before Christopher first purchased land. This indicates that Christopher Reynolds was probably an indentured servant of Edward Bennett. Two years later he obtained a 450 acre patent on the waters of Pagan Shore for transporting nine servants to the Virginia Colony: 15 Sep 1636, Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia, by John B. Boddie, p. 659; The Library of Virginia, Virginia Land Office Patents No. 1, 1623-1643, p.382; Christopher Reynolds obtained a 450 acre patent “bounded with a back creek running eastward behind Pagan Shore some three miles upward, the land lying on the south side of the creek in Warrasquinoke [Warrosquyoake ] County for transporting 9 servants (Doc.# 131w,131ay, 142h). Christopher Reynolds, Sr., wrote his will on 1 May 1654 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia.

       Married: Elizabeth Rivers, widow of Mr. Rivers and mother of George and Elizabeth Rivers from previous marriage

       Children:
       1) Christopher Reynolds, Jr., born about 1632, Warrosquyoake Bay,Warrosquyoake, Virginia
       2) Abbasha Reynolds, born about 1634, Warrosquyoake Bay,Warrosquyoake, Virginia
       3) Elizabeth Reynolds, born about 1638, Cypress Creek & Pagan River,Warrosquyoake, Virginia,
       married Richard Jordan about 1653/1654
       4) John Reynolds, born about 1640, Cypress Creek & Pagan River,Warrosquyoake, Virginia, will dated 11 Mar 1668 and proved on 3 May 1669 in Isle of Wight County
       5) Richard Reynolds, Sr., born about 1642, Cypress Creek & Pagan River,Warrosquyoake, Virginia
       6) Jane Reynolds, born about 1644, Cypress Creek & Pagan River,Warrosquyoake, Virginia

       The following information in this chronology pertains to the children and descendants of Christopher Reynolds, Sr.


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