Christopher Reynolds, of Isle of Wight

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Christopher Reynolds, of Isle of Wight

Birthdate: (48)
Birthplace: England
Death: May 1, 1654 (44-52)
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 Inferred 1st wife Reynolds; Elizabeth "Widow Rivers" Reynolds; 1st wife of Christopher Reynolds and Elizabeth Rivers Reynolds, widow Rivers
Father of Christopher Reynolds, JR; Abbasha Reynolds; Elizabeth Reynolds; John Reynolds; Richard Reynolds, SR and 9 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.


Reynolds Family Records Annotated

, collected mainly by, and including much expert commentary by Bob Baird and additional records, notes and arguments as to descendants by Laura Knight.

1625 Feb 16 - Christopher Reynolds (Reinolds) came to Virginia in 1622 on the John and Francis. On February 16, 1624, he was living in Warresqueak (26) and was one of Edward Bennett’s servants. On February 7, 1625, Reynolds was still residing in the Bennett household. On March 13, 1626, Christopher Reynolds testified that he had seen the contract of Peter Collins, another Bennett servant (CBE 42, 62;MCGC 97) (Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers 1607-1635 by Martha W. McCartney, p. 597)

1625 Mar 13 - At the General Court at Jamestown: "Christopher Reighnalls, sworne and examined sayeth that he did see and read Peter Collins indenture and that by [the said] indentures he was bound to serve Mr. Bennett four years." [Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia, H. R. McIlwaine, ed. (1924), p97]

1634 Dec 21 - Deed: Robert Sabine [Savin] to Christopher Reynolds of Warwickqueak (sic), 100 acres. Witness: Robert Cramporne and Thomas Coarkman. (Isle of Wight Deeds & Wills Book A, p103 abstracted by Hopkins) Baird Note: This sale is also mentioned in a patent to John Mungoe, which describes the land as being on the west side of the Pagan River near its mouth: “the said Sabin (sic) conveyed to Christopher Reinolds the 21 December 1634 and by the sd Reinolds conveyed to Peter Hull the 1 May 1639.” (See entry below for 21 Oct 1684)

1635 – Probable date of Marriage of Christopher Reynolds an either unknown wife number one, or Elizabeth “Widow Rivers” who had a newborn infant, George. She was probably just barely sixteen as girls often were married at 15 in those times. (See notes accompanying Will of Christopher Reynolds, 1654 further on.) Inferred by date of his first land transaction. This transaction may not be his first, but only the first that survived, so this marriage could have taken place earlier.

1636 – Birth of Christopher Reynolds JR. (Probable date though could be several years earlier. See Will notes.)

1636 Sept 15 – Land Patent: Christopher Reynolds, 450 acs. Warrisquick Co., 15 Sept 1636, p. 382. Bounded with a back Cr. Running Ewd. Behind the Pagan shore some 3 mi. upwards the land lying on the S. side of the Cr. & old Indian field belonging to the land, also running into the woods S. W. & lying on the main Cr. N.E. Trans. Of 9 servants. (Virginia Patent Book 1, p382, p. 47 Cavaliers and Pioneers, Nugent)

Baird Note: In his will, Christopher Reynolds identified this patent as the land he was not living on. He gave 241 acres of it to his son Christopher Reynolds and 209 acres of it to his son John Reynolds.

1638 - Birth of Abbasha Reynolds (Probable; see will notes.)

1639 May 1 - Deed: Christopher Reynolds to Peter Hull, the 100 acres purchased in 1634. Witness: John Spackman, John Oliver. (Isle of Wight Wills & Deeds Book A, p103 abstracted by Hopkins)

Baird Note: Also mentioned in a patent to John Mungoe, which describes the land as being on the west side of the Pagan River near its mouth: “the said Sabin (sic) conveyed to Christopher Reinolds the 21 December 1634 and by the sd Reinolds conveyed to Peter Hull the 1 May 1639.” [See entry below for 21 Oct 1684]

1639/40 – Birth of Elizabeth Reynolds. (See Will Notes.)

1640 - Inferred Deed: John Roe to Christopher Reynolds. [see 21 Mar 1643/4] (Baird note)

1641 - Birth of son John Reynolds. (See Will notes.)

1642 – Birth of son Richard Reynolds. (See Will notes.)

1642 Feb 18 - Inferred deed: Christopher Reynolds to Henry Snayle [see 23 Feb 1652/3 and 10 May 1653] (Baird note.)

1643 Mar 21 – Inferred Deed: “Gov. Wm. Berkeley confirms to Arthur Smith 350 acres on main branch of Bay Creek called Cypress Swamp, first granted to James (sic) Roe by Pat. 10 Dec 1640 and by him assigned to Christopher Reynolds who assigned to Arthur Smith provided said Smith do not plant or seat for a term of three years. Dated 21 March 1643. (Endorsed on back) George Smith does assign this pat. To Chris. Hollyman except 100 acres that was given to Arthur Long by my father Arthur Smith in his will and 100 acres that was sold Wm. Oldis. Assignment dated 11 Jan. 1661. Teste, John Jackson ?, Richard Jordan, Jr. Arthur Smith disclaims all right to this land which my brother George assigned to Chris. Holliman and may have by the death of my brother George assignment forever. 11 Jan 1611. Recorded 9 Aug. 1665. Anne Smith wife of George Smith also assigns. ” [Isle of Wight Will & Deed Book 1, no page given, abstracted by Boddie on p541] (Baird note.)

1645 – Birth of Jane Reynolds. (See notes to Will.)

Baird NOTE: Many deed records between 1648 and 1688 are missing.

1649 April 7 - Deed: Ambrose Bennett to Ambrose Meador, 300 acres, part of patent of 1100 acres to Ambrose Bennett dated 23 June 1641, bounded by Christopher Reynolds and Ralph Warriner. [Isle of Wight Wills & Deeds Book A, p111 abstracted by Hopkins]

Baird note: Boddie gives this date as 9 April, Hopkins as 7 April. A portion of this patent may have been the home plantation of Christopher Reynolds, which from later records appears to have been purchased from Ambrose Bennett.

1652/3 Feb 23 - Will of Robert Fowler devises to his son Robert Fowler 200 acres part of the land bought of Mr. Christopher Reynolds. Recorded 16 May 1653. (Lower Norfolk County Minute Book 1637-1646, p47 abstracted in Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Beverley Fleet, Vol. 31, p60)

1653 May 10 - At a court in Lower Norfolk County “In dif between Mary Fowler, widow, extrx of Robert Fowler decd, and Henry Snayle, concerning 350 acres a the head of the southern branch of the Little Creek, and assigned over by X’pofer Reynolds to the sd Fowler in his lifetime. The court orders that Henry Westgate, Giles Collins, Thomas Workeman and Henery Brakes lay out the 350 acres according to agreement betw Snayle and Reynolds dated 18 Feb 1642 (? - this date blotted and impossible to read). (Lower Norfolk County Minute Book 1637-1646, p46 abstracted in Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Beverley Fleet, Vol. 31, p58)

1654 May 1 – Will of Christopher Reynolds:

(Abstract found in Wills and Administrations of Isle of Wight County, VA, 1647-1800, Chapman)

Reynolds, Christopher, 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. May 1, 1654. Wit: Sylvester Bullen, Anthony Matthews. Page 46, P.2.

(Transcript from document image by Laura Knight):

In the Name of God Amen 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 & Memory make this my last Will & Testament in manner and form as followeth: First I give and Bequeath my Soul into the Hands of God my Creator and Maker and my Body to be Buried in sure and certain Hope of Resurection to Eternal Life thro the only Merit & Satisfaction of Jesus Christ my only Saviour & Redeemer.

Imprimis I Give & Bequeath unto my Son Christopher Reynolds all my Land on the Southerly side of the Cypress Swamp that Richard Jordan now liveth upon.

And I give unto my Son John all my Land on the Northerly side of the said Cypress 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 possess this land at twenty one Years of Age.

And my Daughter Abbasha 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 on 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 & Chattles Movable & Unmovable and Debts that are due to me from any person or persons whatsoever and my two Servants she paying all my Debts truly & justly.

And I do Constitute and Ordain Elizabeth my loving Wife my whole & sole Executrix.

And my Will is that my Wife Elizabeth shall have the ordering & bringing up John & 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 sd Christopher Reynolds have hereunto set my Hand & Seal this Day & Year first above written.

Signed and seal.

Sealed Subscribed and Delivered in the Presence of Sylvester B. Bullen, (mark) Anthony A. Mathews (mark) Examined and truly Transcribed Teste. Ja. Baker Clerk

Baird note: Christopher Reynolds Jr. was the eldest son, according to a later patent [see entry below for 10 May 1679] and was evidently already of age when this will was written. Note that sons John and Richard were to receive their land at age 21, but Christopher received his immediately. The will also tells us that John and Richard Reynolds were under 16, and Elizabeth and Jane were under 15. Abbasha was apparently over 15 but not yet married. The “child my wife now goeth with” almost certainly refers to an unborn child. George Rivers, later called “brother ” in the will of John Reynolds, was apparently a stepson.

LK note: I formerly disagreed with Baird on this point, but after parsing all the records and relationships, I've changed my mind. The probable gap between the birth of the older children and the fact that Elizabeth was again pregnant at the time of the will raises questions. More than that, there is a division between the families of Christopher and Richard (John dies young) that becomes more and more apparent as one looks at the documentary record that is available.

As for Christopher’s reference to “my sons”, that wasn’t unusual at all as an expression. Also, frequently, a father would assign guardianship away from the wife in his will. The sons were, effectively, the property of the father. That he made no stipulation about George Rivers doesn’t tell us much. Was George under age, but under the guardianship of his mother? Or was he of age to receive an inheritance? The fact that he was only given a cow suggests that he might have had his own inheritance either already in hand or pending. If George Rivers was of age (16 at least), then his mother was probably Reynolds only wife.

The date of birth of Jane Reynolds is completely unknown. We don’t know if she was a very small child, or close to the age of maturity. It may be that there was not such a large child-bearing gap after all.

I agree with Baird that it is interesting that Christopher divided land he did not live on between his sons Christopher and John, and left his home plantation to Richard. This suggests something of favoritism toward Richard; perhaps he was seen by his father as stronger, smarter and more competent. And, referring back to my speculation that there is some fundamental difference between the lines of Christopher and Richard, a difference of character, perhaps the best solution is that Christopher and Abbasha were children of a different mother?

1668 Mar 11 – Death of John Reynolds. Leg. My brother George Rivers; brother Richard; sister Jane; sister Elizabeth Rivers; to Robert Driver; to Elizabeth River’s daughter Mary; to my sister Elizabeth Jordan a bill of Robert Clothier’s at her decease to her son Richard Jordan. D. March 11, 1668. R. May 3, 1669. Wit: Anselm Baylie, William Bradshaw. Richard Reynolds executor, with securities Ambrose Bennett and Benjamin Beale. [Isle of Wight County Deed Book 2, p 62] P. 7 Chapman.

Baird Note: We can safely infer that John Reynolds died unmarried and childless. This will seems to clarify that George Rivers was a stepbrother. The use of “brother ” together with the fact that he leaves him a legacy suggests the possibility (but doesn’t prove) that he and George Rivers may have had the same mother. Note also that he mentions four of his siblings but not Christopher or Abbasha, who were perhaps already dead.

1672 Nov 21 - Richard Reynolds, James Bagnall, Arthur Smith, Richard Jordan, Anthony Fulgham, Nicholas Fulgham, William Rufinn, Giles Driver, Tristram Knowles, William Body, Robert King, and William Oldis (foreman), served on an escheat jury to determine whether “Capt. John Upton at the time of his death was seized of 800 acres of land or thereabouts lying at a place called the White Marsh in this county and by him held by pattent which had been formerly in the possession of Mr. James Bagnall, Mr. Francis Slaughter, and one Morris, and since a parte of the land hath beene purchased by Coll. Joseph Bridger, and whether Capt. John Upton disposed of the land by will, legall conveyance or otherwise.” Jury found that the land escheated. [The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 20, p174-5]

Baird Note: Escheat means that the land reverted to the Crown due to a lack of heirs. See the record in 1698 in which Richard Reynolds refers to having served on this jury 26 years earlier. LK Note: This seems to be the first activity of Richard Reynolds, son of Christopher the Immigrant. In the collection, I don’t notice any deed or patent showing him affirming his inheritance so it is difficult to determine his age/DOB without that clue. He would probably be somewhat more than just 21 to serve on an escheat jury; probably closer to 30 which means that there must have been a patent record somewhere around 1663 that is lost. It might have been done around the same time Richard Jordan received his patent in the 1662/3 Mar 18 entry. They may have all gotten together to go take care of business around the same time. If that is the case, it might suggest that it is around that time that Richard married and started his family. That would put the birth of his son, Richard, in 1663/4.

1672 – 1678 - A number of notices of Richard Reynolds serving as witness or on juries.

1679 May 10 - Land Patent: Richard Reynolds the younger, 566 acres in the lower parish of Isle of Wight, on northwest side of the head of the Lower Bay Creek... “beginning at a hickory marked three ways standing in an island surrounded with marsh near the head of the lower Bay Creek. tree in Chr. Bly's line thence along the sd Blys line. Hen. King’s line thence along the sd Kings line. corner tree of Col. Smith thence by the lines of Col. Smith and Mr. Driver. to a small sycamore at the head of West freshet. thence by various courses down the sd freshett or swamp to lower Bay Creeke & so up the sd Creeke to the first station. due to the sd Reynolds as follows: 241 acres part thereof being part of a pattent of 450 acres granted to Mr. Chr. Reynolds late of the aforesaid County the 15 September 1636 & by the last will & testament of the sd Chr. Reynolds given to his eldest sonn Chr. & his heirs forever & by him the said Chr. by his last will & testament likewise bequeathed to the sd Richard the only sonn & heire of the said Chr.; & 100 acres part of the residue being part of a pattent for 350 acs. granted to Mr. Richard Jordan Sen. the 18 March 1662 & by the said Jordan sold & conveyed to Chr. Reynolds the 17 May 1658 & by the last will & testament of the sd Chrstr. together with the former land bequeathed to the said Richard; the remaining 225 acres being wast[e] land which together with the aforementioned 341 acres is likewise due to the sd. Reynolds by & for the transp. of twelve persons in to this Colony.” Of the 12 persons only four are named: Danl. Hinnon(?), Jno. Champion, Lewis Davis, Edwd. Goodson. [Virginia Patent Book 6, p684-5]

Baird Note: This is obviously the son of Christopher Reynolds Jr. This patent clarifies that (a) Christopher Reynolds Jr. was the eldest son of his father and (b) that he died before 1679 leaving only one son. There doesn’t seem to be any record of his death in the Isle of Wight records, though this patent clearly says that he left a will. This record identifies Richard Reynolds the younger as his only son.

Note that from this point onward, the two Richard Reynolds - uncle and nephew - are frequently differentiated as “Senior ” and Junior.” Where they are not so identified, it is difficult to determine which is meant, since they lived adjacent to one another.

LK Note: It is here, in that last paragraph, that I disagree strongly with Baird. There is a record that makes it clear that Richard, son of Christopher the Immigrant, also had a son named Richard, and it was this latter who was known as Richard JR. in most cases where that appellation was used, and in some where it was not. Richard, son of Christopher was sometimes referred to as “The Younger”, and possibly a couple of times as JR before the real Richard JR came of age c. 1684. He was also sometimes referred to without the qualifier which is why it is difficult to separate things.

This patent indicates that Richard the Younger, son of Christopher II, had come of age 21, and it is probably at this time that he also married though there is no record as to whom he married. Baird notes elsewhere that there is a deed of sale by Christopher Reynolds dated 1749 May 10, in which Christopher identifies himself as the grandson of Richard Staples meaning that his father, Richard Reynolds had been married to a daughter of Richard Staples. As will be seen further on, the first record (1693) of the wife of Richard Reynolds, son of Christopher II, shows her name to be Joyce, so we may assume that her maiden name was Joyce Staples. However, as Baird notes, Christopher Reynolds must have been born at least 15 years earlier, that is 1678. That fits perfectly with this patent record being the sign that Christopher the Younger had come of age. I think it is safe to assume that the marriage of Richard Reynolds, son of Christopher, to Joyce Staples took place c. this time, as well as the birth of Christopher Reynolds, son of Richard the Younger.

1679 May 10 - Land Patent: Arthur Smith [Jr.], 2275 acres, being 1500 acres patented by his father Arthur Smith on 10 September 1643 plus an additional 775 acres of new land. to a stake in Richard Reynolds Senior his line thence along the sd Reynolds his line. [Virginia Patent Book 6, p683] LK Note: This is the same parcel of Col. Smith’s mentioned in the previous patent, but Richard Reynolds “the younger” and Richard Reynolds “Senior” are on different sides of it. This implies that the parcel which Christopher Reynolds’ will left to his son Richard was close (if not adjacent) to his patent of 1636. 1679 May 10 - A patent to Richard Jordane Senr.: “on northwest side of the head of Lower Bay Creek & mouth of the maine Cyprus Swamp... beginning at a small island surrounded by marsh. a hickory a corner tree of Richd. Reynolds Junr. [Virginia Patent Book 6, p684]

LK Note: The Richard Reynolds JR here could be Richard, son of Christopher, and this was simply a convenient way for the recorder to distinguish him from Richard SR the son of Christopher the Immigrant. On the other hand, Richard Reynolds SR may have already apportioned some land to his son, Richard Reynolds JR who, by now, is 16.

1679 Nov 13 - Deed: Richard Jordan, Sr. to Joseph Woory, 360 acres formerly granted by Gov. Chichely at head of Lower Bay Creek and mouth of Cypress Creek, to corner tree of Richard Reynolds Jr. Witness: Wm. Crawford, Jno. Combe. [Isle of Wight County Deed Book 1, abstracted by Boddie, p583]

Baird Note: Boddie gives the year as 1672, which is surely incorrect. For one thing, this land is the same 363 acres patented by Richard Jordan on 10 May 1679. For another, the “Gov. Chicheley ” referred to is Deputy Governor Sir Henry Chicheley, who filled that office only from 1678-1680 and who was the grantor of the 10 May 1679 patent to Richard Jordan. And finally, there was no patent issued to Richard Jordan that fits this description other than the one in 1679. This is important, because it obviously bears on when Christopher Reynolds Jr. died. The land identifies this Richard as Richard Reynolds Jr. (the younger), son of Christopher Reynolds Jr. LK Note: See my note above. As I said, the “JR” in these two cases could very well be the recorder’s way of making a distinction between an elder Richard Reynolds, and a younger one involved in land transactions and did not imply anything more than that. And, taking a cue from Baird, it could very well be related to the fact that Christopher Reynolds is now dead. Or it could be that Richard SR has transferred a parcel to his son and we just don’t have the record of that transaction.

1680 - Robert Coleman, Thomas Giles, Ambrose Bennett, and Richard Reynolds appraisers of the estate of John Bromfield. No date on appraisal or recording, but recorded circa December 1681 or January 1681/2. [Isle of Wight Will & Deed Book 2, p225, abstracted by Chapman]

LK Note: The above is obviously Richard Reynolds SR. It is unlikely that Richard Reynolds the Younger would have been given such a task when he was just 22/23.

1680 Aug 30 - Will of Ambrose Bennett: Legatees - Wife Elizabeth and the child she now goes with, reversion to Mary Beale, daughter of Benjamin Beale, Alice Blackit, Martha Rutter, daughter of Walter Rutter, Isacke Williams. Wife Extx. Overseers, Col. Arthur Smith and Richard Reynolds Sr.. Wit: Walter Rutter, Christopher Wade. Recorded 9 December 1680. [Isle of Wight Will & Deed Book 2, p214, abstracted by Chapman] 1681 April 23 - Land Patent: Richard Reynolds Senr., 380 acres “on the north west side of the lower Bay Creeke in the Isle of Wight County in the lower parish. 209 acres part thereof being part of a patent for 450 acres granted to Chr. Reynolds late of the county aforesaid by patent dated the 15 September 1638 & by the sd Chr. by his last will & testament given to his sonn John Reynolds & by the sd John by his last will & testament given & bequeathed to the sd Richard & the remaining 171 acres being wast land within his ancient bounds & due to the sd Richard by & for the transportation of foure persons. beginning at a marked hickory on the Lower Bay Creeke side being Col. Arthr. Smiths uppermost corner tree. to an ash standing on the northwest side of west freshet thence down the run of the said freshet to the Lower Bay Creeke & so down the sd Creeke to the first station.” The four persons are: Jno. Dale, Tho. Leese[?], Tho. Otly, Mary Howly. [Virginia Patent Book 7, p71]

Baird Note: This is Richard Reynolds the elder, son of Christopher Reynolds the immigrant. The succession of this land can be traced to show that this Richard Reynolds is the same Richard Reynolds who died intestate in 1707.

LK Note: Contrary to Baird, when we come to the relevant records, I will argue that the Richard Reynolds who died intestate in 1707 was Richard son of Christopher II, who married Joyce Staples, and was father of Christopher who clearly stated that his grandfather was Richard Staples. This is the land left to Richard SR by his brother, John. And we already noted that there was no legacy to either Christopher his brother, or to Christopher’s son, Richard “the Younger”.

1682 April 20 - Land Patent: Richd. Reynolds, 450 acres “of land according to the most ancient and lawfull bounds thereof. wch Ambrose Bennett died seized of and was found to escheat [by a jury on] 16 June 1681.” [Virginia Patent Book 7, p174]

Baird Note: This is Richard Reynolds SR, the son of Christopher Reynolds the Immigrant, who died in 1707. The original patent to Ambrose Bennett was apparently a patent for 1,450 acres. It would appear that this land was adjacent to the home plantation which Christopher Reynolds left to Richard Reynolds in his 1654 will.

LK Note: Note also that Richard SR was the executor of the Bennett will. And again, I will argue that Richard SR was NOT the Richard who died intestate in 1707.

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Christopher Reynolds, of Isle of Wight's Timeline

Age 16
Warwick County, VA
Age 20
Isle of Wight, Virginia
Age 28
Isle of Wight, Virginia
Age 30
November 20, 1637
Age 31
Borna, Leipzig, Saxony, Germany
Age 32
Age 33
Age 34
Isle of Wight, Virginia