Williamsburg was the capital of Virginia from 1699-1790, as well as the center of education and culture for the colony. The great political thinkers such as George Washington, Peyton Randolph, and Richard Henry Lee met to discuss and debate the issues of the day at the Raleigh Tavern. Important visitors were invited to dine and dance at the Governor's Palace. The latest English fashions could be found in the local shops, and the best of local cuisine was enjoyed at the inns and taverns. The flames of freedom from England were fanned in what became the political hotbed known as Williamsburg. Learn about 18th century life in Colonial Virginia while discovering how these amazing people are connected to our Geni Family Tree.
Profiles to be included in this project can include:
- founders, presidents, professors, and students of the College of William and Mary.
- rectors of Bruton Parish
- anyone interred in the Bruton Parish churchyard
- frequent visitors to Williamsburg, which would include many of the "movers and shakers" of the time, including George Washington and other political leaders
- royal colonial governors who resided in the Governor's Palace
- residents, merchants, and all others who lived in or earned their livelihood in the town
- those responsible for the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg: John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and their families
The College of William and Mary was founded in 1693 by a royal charter issued by King William III and Queen Mary II. The college educated U.S. Presidents St. George Tucker.
Governor's Palace- the official residence of the royal governor. Completed in 1721, it was the residence of the following governors:
- Alexander Spotswood (1714-1722)
- Francis Fauquier (1758-1768)
- Norborne Berkeley, Baron de Botetourt (1768-1770)
- Hugh Drysdale (1722-1726)
- William Gooch (1727-1740, 1741-1749)
- Robert Dinwiddie (1751-January 1758)
- John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore (1771-June 1775)
Acting Governor-( did not live in Governor's Palace)
- Robert "King" Carter (1726-1727
Post colonial governors who resided at the palace were:
Frequent visitors include many of the political leaders of the day including:
Bruton Parish Rectors:
- Rowland Jones (1674-1688), first rector; great grandfather of Martha Washington; buried inside the parish, north of the altar rail
- Samuel Eburne (1688-1697)
- Cope Doyley (1697-1702)
- Solomon Wheatly (1702-1710)
- James Blair, D.D. (1710-1743); also president of College of William and Mary
- Thomas Dawson (1743-1760); also president of College of William and Mary
- William Yates (1761-1764)
- James Horrocks (1764-1772); also president of College of William and Mary
- Josiah Johnson (1772-1773); also professor of Humanity and Grammar Master at College of William and Mary
- John Bracken (1773-1818); also Grammar Master and president of College of William and Mary
The Bruton Parish Churchyard is the final resting place of:
- Ethel Howard Goodwin d. 1954: 2nd wife of Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin, twice rector of Bruton Parish, who persuaded John D. Rockefeller, Jr. to finance the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg. Dr. Goodwin is buried inside the parish, just outside the rector's pew.
- The Custis children: Frances Park Custis - children of Martha Washington.
- Governor Sir William Berkeley named Bruton Parish.
- John Greenhow: local tobacco merchant.
- Elizabeth Tyler: 2nd wife of John Greenhow, ancestor of President John Tyler.
- Letitia Semple: daughter of President John Tyler
- Robert Rae: Scottish merchant from Falmouth who died while passing through the area.
- Eliza Coke: mother of Richard Coke, Governor of Texas and U.S. senator.
- John Blair: signer of the Constitution; nephew of James Blair, a founder of William and Mary; rector of Bruton Parish
- Edward Barradall: attorney general of Virginia 1737-1743
- Sarah Barradall; wife of Edward; daughter of William Fitzhugh, Esq.
- Henry Barradall: brother of Edward.
- Richard and Delia Bucktrout, and their 3 children
- St. George Tucker
- Ann Burges and infant daughter
- Judith Bray
- Governor Edward Nott: died after construction of the Governor's Palace began.
- Colonel John Page: gave land for the churchyard, and a generous donation for the construction of a new church building.
- Matthew Whaley, age 9, and his father. Mrs. Whaley went back to England. She left money for the construction of a school for children. The Matthew Whaley School in Williamsburg is still educating children today.
- Rev. Rowland Jones: buried inside the church, north of the altar rail.
- James Anderson: blacksmith
- Thomas Bray
Merchants, residents, and others who lived in or earned their livelihood in Williamsburg:
- John Palmer- lawyer; bursar of the college
- Alexander Kerr- d. 1738, Scottish jeweler and merchant
- John (or Jean) Marot- ran an ordinary (inn or tavern) along with
- Ambrose Cobb, who was also a church warden of Bruton Parish
- James Shields, turning it into the English Coffee House
- Lewis Hallam- celebrated character actor at the local theater
- John Burdett- ordinary keeper
- Dr. John de Sequeyra- first visiting physician to the Public Hospital
- Robert Nicolson- tailor and store keeper
- Dr. William Pasteur- apothecary shop keeper
- John Minson Galt- surgeon (later won honors during the Revolution as a field surgeon)
- Joseph Scrivener- store keeper
- John Coke- gold smith and tavern keeper
- John Coke (grandson of John Coke above)- operated the Raleigh Tavern
- Alexander Craig- saddler; operated saddle and harness shop
- Jane Vobe- operated the King's Arms Tavern
- James Craig- jeweler; owned The Golden Ball
- Margaret Hunter- ladies' milliner
- Henry Wetherburn- operated Wetherburn's Tavern
- James Tarpley- merchant
- Orlando Jones- son of Rev. Rowland Jones, grandfather of Martha Washington; homeowner
- Peyton Randolph-lawyer
- John Brush- gunsmith, armorer; first keeper of the colony's magazine
- Henry Bowcock- keeper of the Raleigh Tavern
- Christiana Campbell- ran Campbell's Tavern
These lists are not complete.
- Bruton Parish Church
- Wikipedia - The College of William & Mary
- Meet the People : People of Williamsburg
- Wikipedia - List of Colonial Governors of Virginia
- Colonial Williamsburg Official Guidebook, 1979
- Historical sketch of Bruton church, Williamsburg, Virginia