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John Bristow

Birthdate: (61)
Birthplace: Binstead, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
Death: 1680 (61)
England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of John Bristow and Jane Bristow
Half brother of Robert Clifton Bristow, of Virginia and London

Occupation: land owner, juror, appraiser, militia man, clerk of the Vestry, reader at the Upper Chapel of Convenience of Christ Church
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About John Bristow

The Bristow Family

This account will supplement and in some cases correct “Notes on the Bristow Family” by Myon E. Bristow published in Vol. 23 (1942) of Tyler’s Quarterly Magazine; and 'John Bristow of Middlesex County, Virginia' and Descendants through Ten Generations by Gordon Byron Woolley, N.Y. (1969). Each is available in many libraries.

Anne Bristow, youngest daughter of 'John Bristow (c. 1649-1716) and his first wife Michal (Nicholls) Bristow', married Anthony Seale on December 24, 1720, and eventually settled in Prince William County near Manassas, close to Anne’s older sister Michal Bristow Owen and older brother Thomas. Many descendants of these three families (Seale, Owen and Bristow) migrated through North Carolina into the south and west.

'John Bristow married second, Mary, widow of William Carter, and daughter of George and Mary -- Goodloe'. Of this marriage Jedediah Bristow married Catherine Tomson and settled in Buckingham County. Of their children Tomson (Thompson) married Nancy Hockaday and eventually settled in Greenville District, South Carolina, where their children (eight sons and two daughters) adopted the surname spelling of Brister. Descendants of this branch of the family now number in the hundreds and live mostly in the southwest. The second child, a daughter Mary, married Christopher Ammon and descendants of this marriage are mentioned in Hancock family history of lower Norfolk, Henrico and Bedford Counties.

Throughout the colonial period each generation sent all but a few of its children into the south and west to establish new families in these areas. A student of these migrations may find their lost genealogies among the neighbors and cousins and in-laws who left Middlesex to establish families and fortunes.

Researchers should note that Christ Church Parish, Lancaster County is often confused with Christ Church Parish, Middlesex County, which formed in 1666 on the south side of the Rappahannock River in what was then part of Lancaster County but in 1669 became Middlesex County. Both the vestry book (1663-1767) and the parish register (1653-1812, which recorded baptisms, marriages, and burials) survive. The Library of Virginia offers more information on these two sources and other Middlesex County records.


As a youth, John Bristow was found wandering in the colony and, because he could offer no good reason for his being there, he was indentured for a period of seven years. "John Bristow, svnt to John Hughes, coming into this country without indenture and appearing to this Cort is ordered to serve seven years from his arrival." [Lancaster County, Virginia Order Book, February 10, 1663, p. 264].

When he died, he left a substantial estate in land and slaves, and a reputation for service to his community and church. He had served as a juror, appraiser, militia man, clerk of the vestry, and, for many years, was a reader in the Upper Chapel of Convenience of Christ Church, in Middlesex Co., Virginia.

Will of John Bristow, . . . 20 Feb. 1716/ 6 Nov. 1716, . . . Middlesex Co., Virginia:

Son Nicholas Bristow, Daughter Anne Bristow. Grandson John Bristow, son of Thomas Bristow. William Owen, son of Michal Owen. Son William Bristow. Son James Bristow. Wife Mary Bristow and children. Exors: Sons Nicholas Bristow and James Bristow. Wit: William Daniel, William Daniel, Jr., and Mary Rice. (Will Book B - 1713-1734, part 1, p. 51) & [William Lindsay Hopkins. "Middlesex County, Virginia Wills and Inventories 1673-1812 and Other Court Papers," p. 73].

Mary Bristow against Nicholas Bristow and James Bristow, executors of John Bristow, decd. 6 Mar. 1716. * Ibid., p. 238.

Nicholas Bristow presented the will of John Bristow, decd. Wit: William Daniel, William Daniel, Jr., and Mary Rice. 6 Nov. 1716. *Ibid., p. 236.

Inventory of Estate of John Bristow, decd., by Nicholas Bristow and James Bristow,

executors. 5 Nov. 1717. *Ibid., p. 75.

Chichester Bristow and Mary Bristow, infants of Mary Bristow their guardian, against Nicholas Bristow and James Bristow. 1 Jul. 1718. *Ibid., p. 242.

  • __________________

Gordon Byron Woolley. "John Bristow of Middlesex County, Virginiaand Descendants Through Ten Generations. Vantage Press, Inc.; New York, pages 20-21.

The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of

Virginia. "The Parish Register of Christ Church, Middlesex County, Virginia,

1653 to 1812. Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1975.

William Lindsay Hopkins. Middlesex County, Virginia Wills and

Inventories, 1673-1812, and Other Court Papers. William Lindsay Hopkins;

Richmond, Virginia, 1989.

  • --------------------

John Bristow was vestryman of Christ Church, Middlesex County, which church Register shows this marriage on p 83; and baptism of their children Jedediah 1713 p 87 and Mary 1715 p 92. He was married previous to Michal Nicholls. Children of that marriage are named in his will while children of his second marriage to Mary Goodloe Carter are not.

Note-John Bristow was an active communicant of the church of England (Protestant Episcopal in the United States after 1789). Christ Church as the mother church of Christ Church Parish. There was an Upper and Lower Chapel located as convinient places of worship for persons living some distance from the mother church. On January 29th, 1666, a general vestry meeting was held at which it was decided that the two parishes formerly called Lancaster and Peanckatanck would be united as one and called Christ Church Parish. That a Mother Church would be built in about the midddle of the Parish. The first building appears to have been of clapboard contruction and was used until 1712, when a Vestry meeting ordered a new church to be built of brick by June 14, 1714. The present CHrist Church occupies the same ground as the 1666 church.

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John Bristow's Timeline

Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
April 5, 1652
Age 33
Norwich, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom
Age 61
England, United Kingdom

The will of John Bristow probated November 6, 1716 and recorded in Will Book
"B", page 51, Middlesex County, Virginia reads:

"In the name of God Amen I John Bristow being sick and week in body but
sound in memory do make this my last will and testamt First I bequeath my
soule to God that made itt & my body to the earth from whence it came & all
my worldly goods as follows: Item I lend unto my loving wife Mary Bristow
one negro woman named Judy during my wifes natural life & then to return to
my estate againe Item I give and bequeath unto my son Nicholas Bristow one
negro man named Jack to him and his heirs Item I give and bequeath unto my
Daughter Anne Bristow one negro woman named Bess with incres to hur and hur
heires forever Item I give and bequeath unto my grandson John Bristow sone
of Tho: Bristow one negro boy named Majgor (sic) to him & his heires Item I
give and bequeath unto William Owen sone of Michaell Owen one negro garle
named Lotty hur and hur incres forever Item I give and bequeath unto my
sone William Bristow one negro garle named Rose hur and hur incres forever
Item I give and bequeath unto my sone James Bristow one negro woman named
Giney hur & hur incres forever Item I give & bequeath unto my two sones
Nicholas & James Bristow my land to be equally divided betoined them &
theire heires forever Item I give & bequeath my hole personall estate to be
equally divided betoine my wife & children after my debts first paid &
Lastly I appoint my sones Nicholas & James Bristow Executures of this my
last Will & Testament as witness my hand and seale this 20 Day of Feb 1716

(Signed) JOHN BRISTOW (Seal)
signed and sealed & delivered in Jre of us
Will Daniell
Will Daniell jnr.
Probated November 6, 1716"