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John Carter

Also Known As: ""The Vintner""
Birthplace: Hertfordshire, England
Death: Died in London, Middlesex, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Carter, I, of Watford & Aldenham; Thomas Carter, I; Thomas Carter; 3rd Wife Carter; Anne Carter and 1 other
Husband of Bridgett Carter; Bridget Carter and Miss Benion
Father of William Carter, Sr.; George Carter; Edward Carter; Col. John Carter; Robert Carter and 5 others
Half brother of Sybil Carter; Ellis Carter; William Carter; Robert Carter; Cicely Carter and 2 others

Occupation: Vintner
Managed by: R. Chad Brannon
Last Updated:

About John Carter

John Carter was born c.1574 in Hertfordshire, England. It is believed that he was the son of Thomas Carter (b.1528) of Watford and Aldenham and Thomas' third wife, whose name is not known. About 1588 John became the apprentice of his half-brother William Carter (1565-1614), Vintner of London.

Some sources claim that John Carter's mother was Jane (or Joan) Hyll. To date, there have been no credible sources to prove that Jane Hyll was the mother of Thomas Carter.

John married his first wife c.1596. She was the sister of Gabriel Benion. Their parents were Thomas Benion and Isabel Higginson of Berkswell, Warwickshire. Her given name has not survived. She was the mother of all of John Carter's children. After she died, John married a second time, about 1625. Her given name was Bridget and her surname is not known. CAUTION: some web trees merge these two ladies into one person.

John Carter died c.1630 at his home in Newgate, London, England. He left a will dated April 23, 1630, naming his brother-in-law Gabriel Benion as his executor. The will was proven May 6, 1630. He requested burial at Christchurch. His will named ten children.

Children of John Carter the Vintner and first wife:

  • George Carter - married Elizabeth (?) and stayed in London
  • William Carter - emigrated to Surrey, Virginia
  • Thomas Carter - 1610-1650, emigrated to Lancaster, Virginia
  • John Carter - 1613-1669, emigrated to Virginia, founder of Corotoman line
  • Robert Carter - b.c.1620, remained in London
  • Anne Carter
  • Elizabeth
  • Mary Carter
  • Silvester Carter
  • Isabell Carter

Will of John Carter, Vintner

[e-mail from Paul Murauskas posted on -- Below is my transcription of John Carter's Will. You may be able to fill in the blanks, I tried as hard as I could. The words at the edge of the page are difficult to read. Since he states the estate won't be divided until the children reach 21, then it seems to me that the children could not have been born before 1609. Does this make sense? I thought I would throw in my own two cents.]

Johannis Carter

In The Name of God Amen the three & twentieth dai of Aprill Anno Domini one thousand Six hundred & Thirtie And in the Sixt yeare of the Reigne of our Sovereign Lord Charles by the grace of god Kinge of England Scotland Frannce and Ireland defender of the faith, I John Carter cittizen and Vintner of London beinge at this present sicke and weake in bodie but of good sound and perfect minde and memorie praise bee given to God for the same knowinge the certaintie of death and the __certaintie of the tyme and houre thereof Doe therefore make a ordaine and declare this my last will and testament in manner and forme followinge, that is to saie, first and principle I committ and command my soule into the hands of Allmightie God my creator and master of his sonne Jesus Christ my onely Saviour and redeemer and of the holy ghost my Sanctifier, and comfortor, three distinct persons but one true, and everlastinge God assuredly trustinge and free of the beleeving that I shall be saved and have full and free pardon and forgiveness of all my Sinnes by and through the onely merritts death and passion of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and by none other meanes whatsoever. My bodie I committ to the earth from where not it came to bee decently buried in Christchurch London as niere to my late wife as maie bee And my will and minde is that all such debts and somes of money as I shall truly ____ indebted or give to any person or persons at the tyme of my decease shal be paid by my Executor hereunder named And after my debts and funerall expenses shall be paid and discharged I give and bequeath to the poore of the parish of Christchurch aforesaid fortie shillings to bee distributed and given amongst them accordinge to the discretion of the churchwardens and overseers of the said parish for the tyme being.

  • Item I give and bequeath to Elizabeth Cooper and Elizabeth Foster my servants twentie shillings apiece
  • Item I give and bequeath to my Executor hereunder named twentie shillings
  • Item I give and bequeath to my overseers hereunder named twentie shillings apiece.
  • Item I will that my whole estate shalbe devided into three equall partes accordinge to the customs of the Cittee of London
    • One equall third part whereof I give and bequeath to Bridgett my lovinge wife to her own proper use and _____ for ever
    • One other equall third yte whereof I give and bequeath to my Children viz George William John Thomas Robert Anne Elizabeth Mary Silvester and Isabell Carter to bee devided parte and parte ___ , amongst them and to bee paid by my Executor when and at such tyme and tymes as they shall severallie and respectively attaine the age of one and twentie yeares And if it Shall happen any of my said Children to die before they shall attaine theire said age of one & twentie yeares as aforesaid Then I will and my meaninge is that the partes and persons of my estate of him her or them soe dyinge shall remayne and come unto the Survivors or Survivor of my said Children and to bee paid by my Executor at theire age of one and twentie yeares as aforesaid
  • Item I give and bequeath out of the remainder of my estate unto my foresaid sonne George twentie pounds and the remainder therof to him, and the other of my said Children equallie, to bee paid as aforesaid, and with the ___ ____ or ______ as is above expressed And I will that the benefitt and profitt which shall arise or maie bee made of my said Children porcons shalbe expended by my Executor for their education and proferment? And if any ____ shalbe that the same shalbe equalllie devided to and amongst them as abovesaid
  • And of this my last will and testament I doe make my loveinge brother in lawe Gabriell Benion Cittizen & Tallowchandler of London full and sole Executor And overseer thereof I doe ordaine and appoint my very lovinge friend William fforte Cittizen and Vintner of London & Robert Daivy Cittizen and Ironmonger of London whom I doe desire to bee, aydinge and assistinge to my said executor in the executinge thereof for the good of my said wife and children.

In witness whereof to this my last will and Testament of the said John Carter have sett my hand and seale the dait and yeares abovewritten John Carter

Signed Sealed pronounced declared by the within named John Carter the testator for his last will and testament the three and twentieth daie of Aprill one thousand six hundred and thirty in the presence of Robert Jasfro the marke of Margarett Thomas and John Sharpe J_ [Jr?] Md that the is so ords (one of sonne George twentie pounds and the remainder thereof to him and the other of my said) betweene the one and twentieth and twentieth lines within written were interlyned before their sealinge hereof and afterwards read in ____ [front] of the witnesses above named /.

The Name Carter

This English surname, is in Ireland as le Carter, where it has been since taken by settlers in the fourteenth century. Sometimes the name is rendered as MacArthur. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000. CARTER was an occupational name 'the carter', derived from the Old French CHARETIER. The name was taken to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066.

Early records of the name mention Fulco Carettarius of the County of Cambridgeshire in 1177. Robert le Carter of the County of Essex was documented in the year 1246. Thomas Bell Carter of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Robert Carter and Margaret Byllynge were married at St. Dionis Backchurch, London in 1570. Richarde Carter and Cecilly Ellmar were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1574.

The names introduced into Britain by the Normans during the Invasion of 1066 were of three kinds. There were names of Norse origin which their ancestors had carried into Normandy; names of Germanic origin which the Frankish conquerors had brought across the Rhine and which had ousted the old Celtic and Latin names from France, and Biblical names and names of Latin and Greek saints. These names they retained even after the customs and language of the natives of Northern France had been adopted by them. After the Norman Conquest not only Normans, but Frenchmen and Bretons from other parts of France settled in England, and quite a few found their way north into Scotland. A notable member of the name was Elizabeth Carter (1717-1806) the English scholar and poet, born in Deal in County Kent. She contributed verse to many publications. Among her friends were Dr. Johnson, Sir Joshua Reynolds and Horace Walpole

The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. The arms were registered in London in the year 1612.

Carters in Virginia

Perhaps there never was an official royal class in North America, but the Carter Family who had huge land holdings in Tidewater Virginia were very close. The fortunes of the Carters in England began when William, Duke of Normandy crossed the English Channel in 1066 to fight for the crown of England. Naturally William brought his most loyal Norman knights with him, and among them was a clan of knights known as Cartiers.

According to the Tapestry, which recorded the Battle of Hastings, William found himself in danger of being surrounded and overwhelmed by English soldiers. The Cartiers rushed to defend their Duke, and saved his life. With out their action, William would surely have been killed, so when he won the battle and became King of England, the Conquer showed his gratitude by giving large estates and other privileges in England and Ireland to the Cartier Knights. The Cartiers became part of the privileged class of England.

The Cartiers were progressive and after a few generations many of the Cartier descendants became wealthy manor owners and businessmen. By the time England founded Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, Cartier had been changed to Carter, and the Carters were among the most educated elite of their time. Around 1612, members of the Carter business cartel began looking at the potential of the emerging tobacco trade in Virginia.

John Carter was born in 1613 at Edmonton, Middlesex, England. He was sent to the Virginia Colony in 1635 and settled along Corotoman River, which flows into the Rappahanock River near Chesapeake bay in Lancaster County, Virginia where he founded 'Corotoman' Plantation. He managed to become a colonel in the militia, and was instrumental in driving out the remaining Indians from the region by 1640.

With the support of wealthy relatives and associates back in England, John Carter had the resources to outfit ships to go to Africa and bring back slaves. He soon discovered that Africans from the Ibo culture were excellent subsistence farmers in a semi-tropical environment, and he chose people from the Ibo culture to become slaves on Corotoman Plantation.

He eventually had children by his five successive wives, but it was his son Robert "King" Carter (1663-1736), by his second wife Sarah Ludlow, who brought the family into prominence in colonial Virginia.

Carter died 10 June 1669 at Corotoman Plantation, and is buried in Christ Church Cemetery, Lancaster County, Virginia. The descendants of the Ibo people, enslaved and brought to 'Corotoman' Plantation by John Carter were the slaves for future generations of John Carter's descendants.

Robert "King" Carter was born at 'Corotoman' Plantation. The name "King" was not used in jest. By 1700 Robert "King” Carter was the richest man in the English Colonies of North America, owning nearly 300,000 acres scattered across the Northern neck of Virginia and he had about 1500 slaves on his many tobacco plantations which were managed by resident managers.

Not only did Carter cultivate tobacco, he owned warehouses where he stored tobacco purchased from other planters, and he owned ships which carried the product to Europe where other Carter family members operated businesses linked to the tobacco trade. His ships were also stocked with trading goods, and sailed down to Africa, where the goods were traded for African captives, who in turn were brought back to Virginia as slaves.

Robert “King” Carter's son Robert Carter Jr. was born in 1704. Robert Jr. died in 1732, leaving a son Robert Carter III, who was born in 1728. “King” Carter raised his grandson Robert Carter III, who became a wealthy planter in his own right, known as Robert Carter III of Nomini Hall Plantation in Westmoreland County, Virginia. In 1791, Robert Carter III emancipated 500 slaves.

Links to additional material:

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John Carter's Timeline

Hertfordshire, England
Age 22
London, Middlesex, England
Age 22
London, Middlesex, , England
Age 26
London, England
Age 28
London, England
October 7, 1613
Age 39
Christ Church Parish, Newgate, London, Middlesex, England
Age 46
London, Middlesex, England
Age 51
May 4, 1630
Age 56
London, Middlesex, England