Maj. John Drury Stith, Sr.

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John Drury Stith, Sr.

Birthplace: Kirkham Parish, Lancashire, England
Death: Died in Charles City County, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Stith, the Immigrant and Mary Stith
Husband of Jane Stith
Father of Agnes Jane Wynne; Capt. John Stith, Jr.; Ann Bolling; Jane Llewellyn; Lt. Col. Drury Stith, Sr. and 1 other
Brother of Dorothy S. Stith

Occupation: Major - House of Burgesses
Managed by: Heather Billig
Last Updated:

About Maj. John Drury Stith, Sr.

Additional Curator's Notes:

John Drury Stith was born in Kirkham Parish between 1631 and 1642. His baptism is recorded as March 25,1642 in the Lancashire Parish Register, as transcribed by the Lancashire Parish Register Society, Volume 32, page 95. He was educated in England to be an attorney. John Stith came to Virginia before 1656 and settled in Charles City County. It is believed that he was brought over by a Samuel Eale (or Earle) and that he quickly repaid his passage through his law practice.

In 1656 John was a lieutenant of militia, in 1676 a captain, and in 1680 a major. He was also a merchant, a lawyer and a justice of the peace. He was a prominent supporter of Sir William Berkeley during Bacon's rebellion in 1676. In 1686 he was a burgess for Charles City county.

In June, 1676 an act was passed by Bacon's House entitled: "An Act to disable John Stith and Edward Hill from holding office. (Hening, II., 364). The preamble recites that Col. Hill and Lieut. Stith took advantage of their positions as officers and magistrates to create misunderstandings between the governor and people, and were the cause of oppressive taxes and other grievances. They were therefore disqualified from holding office, either civil or military. This partisan act was subsequently repealed.

He married widow Jane (Mosby) Parsons on Dec. 1656, in Charles City County, Virginia. She was the widow of Thomas Gregory and also widow of Joseph Parsons. She had no children with Thomas Gregory. There are claims out there that Thomas Gregory had a son, Thomas, Jr., and that Jane was the mother. Thomas had been married previously and the child was most likely from that marriage. Jane was, however, pregnant with a child by Joseph Parsons at the time of her marriage to Stith. That child was named Agnes Jane Stith and she was raised by John as his own child. Joseph Parsons had a daughter by a previous marriage, Judith Parsons, who can be found in old land records, and should not be confused with Jane. In 1663, John Stith was made the guardian of Judith Parsons, the orphan of Joseph Parsons.

John Drury Stith's will has survived to modern times and is quoted below. In his will, he names his children and the daughter's spouses. There are unproven claims of another daughter, who married a Thomas Hardaway. This daughter is not mentioned in his will, however, it is probable that this daughter existed, since there is a patent in 1686 endorsed by John and Jane Stith to Thomas Hardaway. Perhaps the patent was her portion of the estate given to them as they started married life.

John Drury Stith died between 1693 and 1694 (when his will was proven), in Charles City County,Virginia.

Many thanks to all the Geni members who contributed their research to this profile. I have sorted through all your notes to write this overview of the life of Maj. John Drury Stith. Maria Edmonds-Zediker, Volunteer Curator, 8/20/2011. (rev. 4/16/2012)

Links to additional material:

The Will of John Stith

I, John Stith, Sen'r, of the parish of Westover, in Charles Citty County, in Virgina, Gent, being well in body . . .

  • I give and bequeath to my oldest son John Stith all the land, houseing & appurtennances thereunto belonging whereon I now live alsoe my --- mill by me lately built . . . excepting all that tract: or parcell of land that is mine lying on the northside of the eastern branch on Herin Creek, which with the houses & all & every the appurtenances therwith belonging I give my son Drury Stith & to his heyrs forever.
  • I give & bequeath to my Daughter Jane, the now wife of Capt. Daniel Lluellin the sum of 5 punds sterling . . .
  • I give & bequeath to my Daughter Ann, the now wife of Mr. Robert Bolling, the sum of 10 pounds sterling . . .
  • I give & bequeath to my Daughter Agnes, the now wife of Mr. Thomas Wynn, the sum of 15 pounds sterling, in full that she may or can claime as a child's part in mine estate.
  • After debts & legacies paid, I give the remainder of my personall estate to be equally divided between my loveing wife Jane Stith & my sd two sonns John & Drury Stith joynt executors of this my last will & testament.
  • Lastly, I give to my loveing friend Hugh Davis 20 shillings sterling to buy him a ring. Hugh Davis to compose any differences which might arise in settlement of will.

Codicil: Drury has already received his third share after his marriage, and therefore remaining part of estate to be divided between Jane and John.

  • Will witnessed by: James Batty, John Gay, Frances F. G. Batty, Hugh Davis.

Codicil: I give and bequeath to my daughter Agnes, the now wife of Mr Thomas Wynne, the sum of fifteen pounds sterling. Oct 3 1693.

  • Codicils witnessed by: Willam Cole, John Jones, Thomas Grig

Born about 1631 in Kirkham Parish, Lancashire, England to Robert and Mary Townsend Stith, John Stith Sr. immigrated to Virginia before 1656, settling in Charles Cittie Shire (sic), one of the original boroughs created by The Virginia Company under rule of the reigning monarch, King James I of England.

Educated in England as an attorney at law, John's passage was paid by Samuel Earle of London, the owner of a large tobacco plantation along the James River. Stith repaid his passage quickly from his earnings at his practice of Law in the Virginia Colonies and as a County Magistrate of Charles City. He came to this new land holding grants awarded him by King Charles II himself, for his loyalty to the new reigning monarch. He later acquired additional patents containing the following, February 15, 1663/64, Patent for 500 acres on the north side of the James River, property 2: July 29, 1664, 550 acres, property 3: May 11, 1675, 636 acres.

In 1656 He married Jane (Mosby), thought to be the daughter of Vice Edward Mosby; she being born about 1624, and died 1686 in Westover Parish, Charles City County, Virginia. One of the First Families of the original Virginia Colonies, John and Jane became the progenitors of the Stith lineage in America, having at least the following children: their first child, Captain John Drury Stith (called Jr., although his father's name did not include "Drury"), heir to his father's fortune, married Mary Randolph, daughter of Colonel William and Mary Royal Isham Randolph of Turkey Island; a son, Lieutenant-Colonel Drury Stith, married Susanna Barthurst; a daughter Ann, wife of Colonel Robert Bolling Sr. of Kippax Plantation, Hopewell, Virginia; a daughter Jane, wife of Captain Daniel Luellin and daughter Agnes, wife of Thomas Wynn of Prince George County. It is said John had an infant daughter at the time of his marriage to Jane. In 1686 a patent, endorsed by John and Jane, given to Thomas Hardaway, probably the husband of that daughter, as Stith Hardaway descended in this family line.

A gentleman of considerable wealth, a successful merchant, rich tobacco plantation owner, a prominent member of the "colonial aristocracy", John's position in the Colonial Militia was elevated to the rank of Major. And, In the years following, 1685 – 1686, 1692 – 1693, John, elected as a Representative to the House of Burgesses became on of its notable and contriversial members.

His death is reported about 1693 in Westover Parish, Charles City County, Colonial Virginia. His Last Will and Testament recorded April 3, 1694.

The foregoing biographical information is a compilation of historical data as found in various writings of the era and not one particular source. § By C. Hileman

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Maj. John Drury Stith, Sr.'s Timeline

June 1, 1631
Kirkham Parish, Lancashire, England
August 12, 1632
Age 1
Lancaster, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
March 25, 1642
Age 10
Lancaster, Lancashire, England, (Present UK)
December 1656
Age 25
Charles City County, Virginia
Age 25
Charles City, Virginia
Age 26
Charles City, Virginia
January 25, 1660
Age 28
Charles City, Charles City, Virginia
Age 28
Age 33
Charles City, Virginia
Age 46
Charles City County, Virginia