Christopher Reynolds, of Isle of Wight

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Christopher Reynolds, of Isle of Wight

Birthplace: England
Death: May 1, 1654
Cypress Creek, Isle of Wight County, Virginia Colony, Colonial America
Place of Burial: Isle Of Wight Co, Virginia
Immediate Family:

Son of unknown Reynolds and unknown Reynolds
Husband of 1st wife of Christopher Reynolds and Elizabeth Rivers Reynolds, widow Rivers
Father of Christopher Reynolds, Jr; Abbasha Reynolds; Elizabeth Jordan; John Reynolds; Richard Reynolds, Sr. and 2 others

Occupation: Planter
Managed by: Ned Reynolds
Last Updated:

About Christopher Reynolds, of Isle of Wight

Christopher Reynolds was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses and progenitor of R. J. Reynolds. Other notable descendants include Mark Twain and "Lonesome" Charley Reynolds.

disputed origins

Wikipedia Although there are many references to the information above, there are many who question the parents of Christopher being George Reynolds and Thomasyn Nathanielle Reynolds much research, the Reynolds Family Association does not accept this as fact. There are two very well written and referenced articles to be found at: and that cast serious doubt on the accuracy of the conclusions of the writers of the sources quoted for this information.

Parents also seen as Thomas Reynolds, of Gravesend and Cecily Reynolds


Christopher Reynolds was born in Gravesend, England in 1611. He arrived in the Virginia Colony along with several family members, including his brother Thomas,[3] in 1622 aboard the John & Francis. His party settled in Warrascoyack County, Virginia, later named Isle of Wight County.[4]

In 1622 Christopher and his older brother Thomas went to Virginia, likely to take possession of lands associated with their father's association with The Virginia Company of London. They crossed the Atlantic from mid-July to September - - nine weeks aboard the "John and Francis". In a 1623 census, Christopher is listed as one of the residents in an area south of the James River called Warrascoyask or Lawne's Hundred. He is referred to as a servant of Edward Bennett, whom he served as an apprentice until 1625.

Christopher acquired some land from Robert Sabin in 1635. He returned to England, picked up nine people as "headright" and returned to Virginia on the "Speedwell". He received 450 acres on Pagan Creek about three miles upstream from the James River.

By 1637, Christopher married Elizabeth - - - , a widow with 2 children. In 1640, he acquired 350 acres of land transferred in 1643 to Arthur Smith and now a part of Smithfield, Virginia.

In 1654, Christopher was the father of six children:

  1. Richard (1641-1712)
  2. Christopher b. 1642
  3. John (1644-March 11, 1688)
  4. Abasha b. 1646
  5. Elizabeth b. 1648
  6. Jane b. 1650
  7. Thomas b.1655

Christopher wrote his will May 1, 1654 and died shortly thereafter.

Reference: Polly Ryan - Journey in Virginia

The following will was on the Reynolds mailing list, 3/11/1998, provided by Edward Reynolds, email:

The Will of Christopher Reynolds born 1611

The first Day of May 1654. I, Christopher Reynolds, of the Isle of Wight County, in Virginia, planter, being healthful in Body and Sound in Mind and Memory.

Imprimis. I give and Bequeath unto my Son, Christopher Reynolds, all my land on the Southerly side of the Freshest Swamp that Richard Jordan, now liveth upon. And I give unto my son John, all my Land on the Northerly Side of the Freshest Swamp, and one cow, and he to enjoy the said Land at Twenty one years of age. And unto my Son Richard, I give all my Land I now live upon and one cow, and he to enjoy the said land at Twenty one years of age. And unto my daughter Abbash, I have given unto her a Portion already, which was 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 unto 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 unmovable, 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 & Jane until they be fifteen years of age. In witness whereof, I, the said Christopher Reynolds, have hereunto set my hand & Seal the Day and Year first above written.

Christopher Reynolds

Sealed, subscribed and delivered in the presence of Sylvester B. Bullen, Anthony A. Mathews.

More About Christopher Reynolds:

Occupation: Planter


supporting data===

Came to Warwick County, VA around 1622 aboard the "Francis & John". There, they settled on 450 acre parcel of land. The patent for the land was dated September 15, 1636.

Source: The Rennolds, Reynolds family of England and Virginia, 1530-1948

Christopher Reynolds, son of George, born 1611, Gravesend, England, and died 1654, Isle of Wright County, Virginia. Married Elizabeth ???. Data is from his will. They arrived Warrick Co. Va. in 1622 on a ship called the "Francis and John". They settled there on 450 acres, patent to which was made 9/15/1636. Their children: Richard born 1641; Christopher B: 1642; John born 1644, died 3/11/1668. Abbasha B: 1646; Elizabeth B: 1648; Jane B: 1650; Thomas B: 1655. [source:]

Christopher and Elizabeth Arrived in Warwick County, Virginia in 1622 aboard the Francis & John. They settled on 450 acres patent to which was made September 15, 1636.

4628. Christopher Reynolds (Source: Broderbund Software, Inc., ANTHONY FAMILY, World Family Tree Vol. 8, Ed. 1 #3733, (Release date: January 12, 1997), "CD-ROM."), born 1611 in Gravesend, Kent County, England; died Aft. May 01, 1654 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. He was the son of 9256. George Reynolds and 9257. Thomasyn Church.


Virginia Land, Marriage, and Probate Records, 1639-1850 about Christopher Reynolds

Name: Christopher Reynolds

Location: Isle of Wight

Property: Land that Jordan lives on.

Notes: This probate record was extracted from microfilmed copies of the original Will Book.

Remarks: Christopher Reynolds, Planter. Leg.-son Christopher land that Richard Jordan liveth on; son John; son Richard; daughter Abbasha; daughter Elizabeth; daughter Jane; George Rivers; unborn child; wife Elizabeth.

Description: Son

Book: A-46

Prove Date: 1 May 1654

Source: Crozier, William Armstrong, ed. Virginia County Records - Spotsylvania County Records, 1721-1800. Being transcriptions from the original files at the County Court House of wills, deeds, administrators' and guardians' bonds, marriage licenses, and lists of revolutionary pensioners. New York, NY: Fox, Duffield & Co., 1905.

The will abstracts for Isle of Wight and Norfolk counties were taken from microfilmed copies of the original Will Books. Some of these records may be found at the Family History Library as well as other libraries and archives. The originals may be found at the appropriate county courthouses.

Christopher Reynolds had received a higher education in England and was a passenger on the "John & Francis" in 1622. He resided at Bennett's Plantation during the 22 Mar 162l massacre. He was recorded in Census of 16 Feb 1623 at Warwickqueake, as one of 33 people.

He was listed as Servant(secretary) of Edward Bennett along with: Luke Chapman, Edward Maybank who all three had arrived together on the "John and Francis". "The term servant as used here does not necessarily mean dometic or indentured servant, for in those days clerks, agents, or employees of any kind were terned srvants". Listed on the Muster 1624/5 headed the list of Mr. Edward Bennett's men.

On  18 Mar 1625-Christopher appeard in General Court at Jamestown and swore that he, as Secretary to Robert Bennett had seen and read Peter Collins indentures and that by the indentures Collins was to serve Mr.[Edward] Bennett four years from 1621.

The VA Council sent Bennet to London to seek a Colonial monopoly for VA in the tabacco trade with England. Christopher accompanied him and remained as his secretary during the time it took Mr. Bennett to sercure the monopoly.

There was a second arrival in VA of Christopher Reinolds aged 24 aboard the ship 'Speedwell' which departed from England 28 May 1635. On 15 Sep 1636- Christopher entered a patent for transportating nine people on the ship "Speedwell". He obtained a headright(patent) on these people for 450 acres in Warrisquick(sic) Co. bounded with a back creek and running eastward behind the Pagan Shore some three miles upward, Patent Bk 1 page 382.

Christopher along with his neighbor Richard Bennett was elected to the House of Burgesses on 30 Apr 1652 from Isle of Wight Co, VA. _________________________________________________ Isle of Wight Co, VA, Will Bk A p 46, Christopher Reynolds left Will dated 1 May 1654 no probate date. Being healthful in Body and sound in Mind & Memory... Sons: Christopher - "all my land on the southern side of Freshet swamp that RICHARD JORDAN now liveth upon." Sons: John (left Will 11 Mar 1668/9 mentiones my sister Elizabeth Jordan and her son Richard Jordan) Sons: Richard Dau: Abbasa Dau: ELIZABETH - I give one heifer of two years old besides the stock I gave her formerly. Dau: Jane Wife: Elizabeth withunborn child. Directed wife to have ordering and bringing up his sons John and Richard until they are of age 16, and dau Elizabeth and Jane to be of age 15. Step-son: George Rivers to receive one heifer.

   /s/ Christopher Reynolds

Wit: Sylvester Bullen and Anthony Matthews

  -21 Oct 1681 refers to 100 acres on SE side of Hutchison's Cr which Robert Sabine sold to Christopher Reynolds, 21 Dec 1634, and which he in turn sold to Peter Hull, 1 May 1639;  Patent Bk 7 p 417
More About Christopher REYNOLDS and Elizabeth MATHEWS: Marriage: 1635, Prob. VA

Children of Christopher REYNOLDS and Elizabeth MATHEWS are:

   i.   Christopher5 REYNOLDS, born 1642.
   ii.   Elizabeth REYNOLDS, born ca 1639 in Isle of Wight Co, VA; died Bet. 1668 - 1678 in Isle of Wight Co, VA.
   iii.  Richard REYNOLDS, born 1641 in Isle of Wight Co, VA; died Bef. 24 Jun 1707 in Isle of Wight Co, VA.
  iv.  John REYNOLDS, born 1644; died Bet. 11 Mar 1668/69 - 03 May 1669 in Isle of Wight Co, VA. Notes for John REYNOLDS: Isle of Wight Co, VA, Will Bk 2 p 62; John Reynolds Left Will11 Mar 1668/9-3May 1669; Names Brother George Rivers, brother Richard, sister Jane, Sister Elizabeth Rivers and her dau Mary and sister " Elizabeth  JORDAN and her SON RICHARD JORDAN" (II).
   v.  Abbasha REYNOLDS, born 1646.
  vi.  Jane REYNOLDS, born 1650.
  vii   Thomas REYNOLDS, born 1654 in Isle of Wight Co, VA.

............................... First male of this family to reach America. Reached the shore of Warwick Co., VA in 1622 aboard the Frances and John - he would have been around 11 years old at the time. Christopher followed his sister Anne to Virginia in 1622 aboard the 'John and Frances'. Christopher reported to his relative, "Uncle Billy".

Captain William Pierce (Cecily arrived with William and his wife in 1610) who was actually his mother's second cousin. William Pierce had considerable stature in the province in defense matters. He became Capt. of the Guard and then Governor of Jamestown. Uncle Billy's friend in London, Edward Bennett, had sent over 600 settlers to the colony and had been made an honorary member of the virginia Company and was given a substantial land patent.One of the strings attached was that Christopher Reynolds be given the job as secretary to Edwards's brother Robert Bennett, who was to act as general manager. Robert and Christohper resided in Bennett's Plantation. During the Indian attack in 1622 the adjacent Lawne's Plantation was totally destroyed, the only survivors were those away from home. At Bennett's Plantation 86 settlers had arrived by that time and trenches and stockades had been completed. There were 33 survivors of the initial attack including Christopher and Robert. (For more about Christopher and the others see "Reynolds History Annotated 1475 - 1977) Compiled by William G. Reynolds "Virginia Venturer" by Hale and "Seventh Century Isle of Wright Virginia", by John Broddie amoung refrences.[Roberts.FTW] (Ribaric, Michelle;; downloaded 26 March 2007.)

Birth: __ ___ 1611 _______________, Gravesend, Co. Kent, England (web site; FTW; no sources available.). Marriage: __ ___ 1640 _______________, _______________, Isle of Wight Co., VA (web site; FTW; no sources available.). Death: __ ___ 1654 _______________, _______________, Isle of Wight Co., VA (web site; FTW; no sources available.). _________________________________ Christopher Reynolds (? d c 1654) first appears in the 1624 and 1625 musters of Warascoyack, a plantation located in what was later Isle of Wight County on or near the Pagan River. The muster of 16 February 1623/4 lists 33 persons living there, among them a Chr. Reinold The Warascoyack muster a year later, on 7 February 1624/5, lists 12 of the 19 persons living there as servants of Edward Bennett, one of whom was Christopher Reynolds, age not given, listed as arriving in the John and Francis in 1622

The Warascoyack plantation had been organized by Edward Bennett and his partners in London on a patent issued on 21 November 1621 contingent on settling 200 colonists on the land. Bennett, a London merchant and shipowner, initially delivered 120 settlers in February 1622 (none of whom seem to have survived to the 1625 muster) but there are no records of his later importations Disease, starvation, and Indian attacks nearly destroyed the colony and, after the Good Friday massacre of 22 March 1622 which left 46 of Bennett’s colonists dead, the Governor ordered the Warascoyack plantation abandoned and the remaining settlers transferred to Jamestown. By mid-1623 the survivors had returned, supplemented by an unknown number of settlers from other plantations. The John and Francis, on which Christopher Reynolds arrived, was one of Edward Bennetts ships, but there is no record of its arrival in 1622. There is, however, record of its arrival in mid-1623.) Whether Christopher Reynolds was imported by Bennett or was one of the draftees from other plantations is unknown. Surviving records give no indication that Bennett imported any settlers to Warascoyack between the initial supply and mid-1623. On 13 March 1626, Christopher Reynolds testified at the General Court in Jamestown that he had read the indenture contract of Peter Collins, another Bennett servant at Warascoyack, and that it obligated Collins to serve Bennett for four years. This is an interesting record, as it tells us Christopher Reynolds was literate, and implies he was an adult at the time. He was not himself identified as a servant, and if not already freed would have been later that year if the terms of his own contract were similar.

Our next record of him is a purchase nearly nine years later, on 21 December 1634, of 100 acres in the same general area on the Pagan River by Christopher Reynolds of Warwickqueak.

Five months after this purchase, there was a Chri. Reinholds, age 24, who departed Gravesend [the port of London] for Virginia on the ship Speedwell. While it is possible that this was the same person, returning from a trip to England, a plausible argument can be made against it. On 15 September 1636 Christopher Reynolds received a patent for 450 acres on Cypress Creek for the transportation of nine persons. Whether he had actually imported these persons, or purchased the headrights, is unknown, but they are unlikely to have been Speedwell passengers. Nearly three years later, on 1 May 1639, he sold the original 100 acres. We also know that he acquired additional nearby land sometime after 1640, which he sold in early 1644. Although the loss of deeds after mid-1649 means there is no record of it, he somehow acquired additional land, which he identified in his will as the land he was living on at the time. From later deeds and patents, it appears this parcel, adjacent to his 1636 patent, was 200 acres he acquired from Ambrose Bennett, an neighboring landowner.  His son Richard Reynolds inherited this land, and Richards own son Christopher eventually sold the parcel in 1711, describing it as land “given” to Christopher Reynolds by Ambrose Bennett.

Christopher Reynolds will is dated 1 May 1654, with no probate date noted but clearly soon after.  It devises his 450-acre patent to his sons Christopher and John, and the home plantation on which he lived to his son Richard. John and Richard, both of whom were under 16, were to take possession when they reached 21, Christopher apparently already being of age. Daughter Abbasha, presumably the eldest daughter, was noted to have already received her inheritance. Bequests of livestock were made to daughters Elizabeth (who had received part of  her inheritance earlier) and Jane, to George Rivers, and to the child my wife now goeth with” (apparently meaning an unborn child.) His wife Elizabeth Reynolds, was named executrix.

Elizabeth was surely a second wife. The will charged her with the ordering and bringing up John and Richard, my sons, until they be sixteen years of age, and Elizabeth & Jane until they be fifteen years of age. That language on its own raises the question, and the later will of John Reynolds implies she was the widow of a Rivers. John Reynolds left a will 15 years later which made a bequest to my brother George Rivers. That suggests that John Reynolds and George Rivers may have had the same mother. The apparent age gap between Christopher Reynolds Jr. and the rest of the children suggests that he, at least, had a different mother. The fact that Elizabeth was pregnant in 1654 argues for this as well rarely did 17th century women bear children as much as 20 years apart, and the son Christopher was of age and perhaps already married by the time of the will. One plausible scenario is that Elizabeth was the mother of all the children except Christopher (and perhaps Abbasha), which would imply a marriage in the late 1630s. George Rivers, presumably her son, lived until 1707 leaving a will naming an unmarried daughter, which suggests he was younger than at least some of the Reynolds children. It seems highly likely that Christopher Reynolds had an earlier, unknown, wife who bore at least one of the children. The maiden name of his wife Elizabeth is likewise unknown, as is what happened to her.As a widow still young enough to bear children, and with at least five children at home, she surely would have remarried, but to whom is unknown.

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Christopher Reynolds, of Isle of Wight's Timeline

Warwick County, VA
Isle of Wight, Virginia
Isle of Wight, Virginia
Isle of Wight, Virginia
July 27, 1641
Isle of Wight County, VA
Isle of Wight County Virginia
May 1, 1654
Isle of Wight County, Virginia Colony, Colonial America