Capt. Henry - Creeches, supposedly killer by Indians in James City. Help, oh, help.

Started by Anne Brannen on Thursday, April 13, 2017
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4/13/2017 at 6:56 AM

I'm starting this discussion from the profile of Henry Creech, whom I have just unmerged from his wife's other husband, Capt. Henry Creech, Sr.

I was cheerfully tidying up the Creeches, when, alas, I discovered that Really We Have No Consensus On Reality Here At All.

Though I knew; don't.

Erica Howton you may be able to help here.

Things that we sort of know but don't fit together:

One inherited family story is that Richard Creech (Creich, also, or Crich) left Fife (this sometimes shows up as "the Highlands," which may be due simply to a misunderstanding of geography), brought by William Carter as an indentured servant, in 1622. They came to James City. This is nicely specific but evidence is not to hand.

There is a Richard Critch who shows up on a passenger list, coming from London to America in 1635. What this has to do with Henry's father I do not know.

Anyway! Continuance of family story! Richard Creech, his wife Frances Beale, young daughter, all killer by Indians in 1630. Henry survived on account of not being home. His brother Nicholas was also killed. Or, maybe not. But Henry, and maybe Nicholas, if he wasn't dead, was raised by Frances's brother, John Beale, whose will, 1721, has Henry Creech as one of the witnesses.

Further confusing details: William Carter was given 100 acres in 1636, for transfer of Michael Siler and Richard Crich.

And one story is that the Richard Creech who came in 1635 was killed by Indians along with the entire family, except for Henry.

Clearly any Richard Creech who emigrated in 1622 and was killed in 1630 was not emigrating in 1635 and being killed after that, date undisclosed.

And here is me doubting that TWO Richard Creeches emigrated to James City from Scotland and got killed by Indians.

In case you are wondering, the major Jamestown massacre was 1622, which may be how that date wandered into the story. There was another major confrontation in 1644; in between those dates were a treaty and other various deaths. So the Only Survivor story isn't impossible.

Who are these Henry Creeches? How are they related, if they are? What validity does the only survivor story have?

7/5/2021 at 4:54 PM

I am pulling my hair out over this also. There is a Richard Crouch living in the Maine of Virginia in a census taken about a year after the 1622 Massacre. This may be the source of the 1622 date. But Crouch is Anglo-Saxon for Cross........thus more likely English. Creich is Gaelic for hill. Carter is also tied to the ship passenger list that Richard Critch age 27 is on in 1635. No ships list contains Richard Crouch so some ships passenger list must be missing or Crouch paddled a canoe over (highly unlikely) Where does the story of the massacre come from? No documentation available. Top that off with David Bethune Lair of Creich did not father a son named David according to the most reliable records. Though his first son Robert died early and his second son David inherited the title. Perhaps Robert was disowned by Bethune and moved to England under the name Richard where he met an English woman and married her. The stuff of novels and movies but pure imaginative speculation on my part. It is not likely an English commoner would have met and married Scottish aristocrat in those days. Hundreds of miles apart. I hope all these questions will someday be resolved. Until then I will be scratching my head.

7/5/2021 at 5:20 PM

This all runs together and doesn’t much resemble the Geni tree. Frankly I would do a skeleton tree based on it separately and then compare. with disclaimer

Richard Creech of the “Journeyman” in 1622/1623 d 1630 murdered in (what incident) m (maybe Frances) Beale, daughter of Robert Beale & Mary Belt (let’s find this family), sister of John Beale Sr.

Their children:

1. daughter killed by Indians

2. Henry Creech Sr (1621 - 1709) m Joyce Paine (1633 - 1712), daughter of Benjamin Paine

3. Nicholas Creech

7/5/2021 at 6:06 PM

Cross ref previous discussion

I think Richard Crouch of the Maine is a different person.

There’s no mention of his family.

Why is he attached to David Bethune?

7/5/2021 at 6:12 PM

Comment From ancestry member:

I'm struggling with the conflicting timelines in this history. The 1635 arrival date makes sense if the Indian attack was the one that occurred in 1644. 1622 arrival makes sense for the 1630 Indian attack and is more inline with Henry's date of birth (1621) and birth location (Scotland). Henry is my 8th gr-grandfather, however, no one in my family has traced our line back this far until now, so I have no "family" stories to compare to. I'm really curious if anyone has updated these histories since they were published in 2012.

7/5/2021 at 6:16 PM

Note: Third Anglo-Powhatan Wars, 1644-1646. So far no list of the dead.

I don’t know of a particular incident in 1630 although not a surprise if there was one. In any case, Crouch & Creech are after 1622.

Disconnected Richard Creech (Critch, Creich) as child of Lady Margaret Ogilvie & David Bethune, 7th of Creich

Unless TSP had something to say.

7/5/2021 at 6:24 PM

Original data: Greer, George Cabel. Early Virginia Immigrants 1623-1666. Richmond, VA, USA: W. C. Hill Printing Co., 1912.

Name: Richard Crich
Arrived By: 1635
Sponsors: William Carter
Residence Place: James City, Virginia


So this is real and he didn’t die in 1630.

7/5/2021 at 7:08 PM
7/5/2021 at 7:54 PM

Anne Brannen - improved the tree.

If we take “Richard Crouch” and “David Bethune” (!!!!) out of it, this is no worse than most Jamestown arrivers now.

Hope I helped.

New project:

7/5/2021 at 7:58 PM

Oh yay.

I had forgotten about all this — it’s my son’s other ancestry — but am glad it fell into view agin.

7/5/2021 at 8:01 PM

Then I’m really sorry I lost him his laird. :). OK, not sorry.

7/5/2021 at 9:59 PM

Erica Howton lol. Laird or no laird makes us no never mind. So don’t you be sorry!

7/5/2021 at 10:01 PM

Though I will say that Creich is a sept of Macduff. We like that.

7/9/2021 at 9:15 PM

Interesting discussion. I am really curious about where all the stories of Richard Creech come from. Documentation is lacking. I cannot find David Bethune of Creech having a son David. A son Robert supposably died about 20 years old. Possible he had. falling out and left home changing his name. But no evidence of that. Richard Crouch that JM Creech mentions is listed in a census after 1622 attack as born about 1586, a carpenter, and from shire in England. So doesn't seem to be right. The 1635 Richard Creech fits better. Carter name is with his.

7/9/2021 at 9:25 PM

James Michael Creech - that was pretty much my thinking also.

I don’t see how a Bethune became a Creech though, or why one would.

Apparently some soldier types were living more at the periphery of Jamestown in 1644, and there was something I read about Creech possibly an ex soldier? Anyway it doesn’t make sense with the story of wife & daughter killed.

Also, that Henry was “away at school.” What school? University of Edinburgh? :)

7/9/2021 at 9:57 PM

Cont. (Meant David not having a son Richard of course, he did have a David. Also should typed Crich not Creech. Doing this on my phone late at night) Can't find a ship Journeyman. Though historians admit we don't have all passenger lists for the period. So its possible their is another Richard Crich or whatever the name was Another concern is Mary Frances Beale is supposed to be English. In a time of limited travel. How did an English commoner meet and marry a Scottish nobleman's son in Scotland. More likely if he left home that he had gone to England and met and married her there. There are very few women on the passenger lists or census making it unlikely, though not impossible they met and married in Jamestown shortly after his arrival as some have said either Last question. Where does the story of the family being killed by Indians come from? Is there any historical source? I don't doubt it I just want to be accurate. Lords and Indians make an amazing genealogy but only if true. Perhaps J M Creech and others have non public sources. I know a lot of families had meticulous family histories written down in old family bibles. Perhaps they had access to some of them. If anyone has information that can give us a firm footing for our family story I would love to hear it. I will enjoy following your discussion. I think we are all curious. Thank you all for sharing my interest in our heritage.

7/9/2021 at 10:05 PM

James Michael Creech - I can tell you just from point of view of having many early Virginia arrivers.

And except for the few who made the history books, or were officials - we know bupkus about most until much, much later. And of the sketchy records that were preserved (land records mostly, and other legal instruments), much went up in smoke. They call them “burned over counties,”

7/9/2021 at 10:12 PM

I’d like to hear from Anne about her sense “was Creech really Scots” for example, because my guess would have been English. Although England was ethnically diverse, so he could have been origin / Scots living in England.

I say this because the Scots (and Welsh and French) tended to be more obviously so. I do have an early Ross to Elizabeth City County, who did marry a clearly English origin person. And Ross can be an English name. But he was noted as Scots, so I think he must have been. Was Creech?

Another question to ask is about Henry. And actually that’s where history “really” begins, because he’s in a Will! So yay! He’s definitely a Beale.

And they’re saying the Beale was English, but the most famous Beale in the Colonies (many years later) was very, very Scots. So are so sure mother “Frances” (it’s only a guess name) was English?

7/9/2021 at 10:15 PM

If Richard was from Creich Parish (Noble or commoner he possible could have taken the parish name as a surname. Bethune seems to be the Family name for the Lord. Creich was the place of his authority. I read somewhere that there is no record of Creich surname that early in Scotland. I have wondered the same thing about the boys Supposably in school north. In 1600s Virginia where would that be? Jamestown was probably about it. If Henry and Nicholas were about 9 and 11 I doubt they are in a university in England. Especially if Richard is living on a guards pay. The first story I read about the massacre said the boys were out in the fields when the Indians attacked the house. Thus they were able to hide.

7/9/2021 at 10:19 PM

Now as to being a laird’s son.


Why do I say that? Because Scots sent their younger sons to the colonies to look after their business interests (ie the rum trade). There would be no reason to hide or downplay identity & every reason to trumpet it. And there would have been stories of money in the family which there aren’t.

Most arrivers were indentured servants. Most arrivers died brutally and young. It was a harsh colony,

Look into Henry, where History begins. There might be more to find out on the Beale’s, since they managed to survive.

7/9/2021 at 10:21 PM

James, there were no schools, none. The gentry hired tutors and sent the boys to university in England as teens. That’s it. Schools were a New England thing.

7/9/2021 at 10:23 PM

Re: The first story I read about the massacre said the boys were out in the fields when the Indians attacked the house. Thus they were able to hide.

Do you have a link to that story? At least it rings true.

7/9/2021 at 10:28 PM

You are right about it all being sketchy. My understanding is that the British burned most of the records from that period during the War of 1812. Alot of census records and legal documents went up in smoke. Things are really sketchy about Richard's wife too that's for sure. Like you I wonder what we can be sure of before Henry I don't think we even know when or where he was born

7/9/2021 at 10:36 PM

I will have to do some digging. I thought it was in James Milton Creech's history of the Creech's But it was early in my research and I didn't copy or take notes as I didn't know at that time I was going to run into so many contradictions about that period.

7/9/2021 at 10:54 PM

Thanks Erica for your valuable insights.

7/12/2021 at 5:06 PM

Re: Henry and Nicholas being in the fields during the Indian attack that killed their parents. My source is the Creech Family History by James Milton Creech which is on the web. I believe it was the revised version (1980) I don't know his source. But there is no source that I know of for the "at school" story we see on the web.

7/12/2021 at 5:51 PM

1980 is good - it wasn’t “born on the internet.” Have you looked at the old Creech mailing lists (Ancestry,, rootsweb)? That should help nail dates for stories.

7/14/2021 at 9:31 PM

Haven't invested money in paid subscriptions. Have a family tree that my nephew got from It has errors. A lot of people in the family have the same first name. I started tracing it backwards and it was wrong. Not going to pay for sloppy work Last couple days have read a couple Beale family histories trying to get a hold on Henry's parents. Find that both histories say Beale, Beal, and Bell are the same family in Virginia. Also remember Richard Crich arrived 1635 as a servant of Mr. Carter. Well John Bell/Beale arrived in 1638 also paid for by the same Carter. So that could connect Richard and John I was thinking if Richard was the son of a noble (uncertain for sure) he would have been trained in weapons growing up. So the possibility does exist for the story he forsook the family and ended up indentured as a guard in Virginia. Definitely uncertain. Now another twist. I was reading a Beal/Bell family history. It said that Frances Beale Creech was great granddaughter of Sir George Bell. That she arrived in Virginia in 1623. Was killed in an Indian attack in 1630 with her husband Richard Creech and daughter. Her sons Nicholas and Henry survived and were sent back to England where they were raised by uncle John, Frances's brother. Some years later they returned to Virginia. If that is so then Richard Crich 1635 would not be Henry's father. The Beale/Bell story may be borrowed from a Creech history. There is no documentation. So the roots are as twisted and knotted as ever. Let me know if you learn anymore.

7/14/2021 at 10:08 PM

The Beale story & sending the kids to England has a nice ring, and that would make them the earlier Crouch people. But also consider that Henry Creech was unrelated and the line starter, and these are stories to tie him to the two earlier unrelated Creeches.

7/14/2021 at 10:10 PM

Also be careful. There were very many Beales and Bells, Scots & English, and unrelated. Bell was a popular name in England at the time.

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