Richard Reynolds, the Merchant of Virginia

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About Richard Reynolds, the Merchant of Virginia

Richard Reynolds The Merchant of Virginia was born in 1575 in England. He died about 1645 in York County, Virginia. Parents: Christopher Reynolds (b. 1530, Kent, England - abt. 1590, London Chestershire, England) and ? Married: in 1605 in Sussex County, England, to Ann Harrison (1575-?), daughter of John Harrison (1553-?) and Susanna ? (1557-?). Eight known children of Ann Harrison and Richard Reynolds include:

  1. William Reynolds was born in 1606 in England.
  2. William Reynolds was born in 1607 in England.
  3. Edward Reynolds
  4. John Reynolds was born in 1612 in England.
  5. Nicholas Reynolds
  6. James Reynolds was born about 1612
  7. Gilbert Reynolds was born about 1610
  8. Christopher Reynolds was born about 1614

Notes

He had several daughters that are not listed in the Rennolds-Reynolds Family Roster. He settled Sussex County, England, where he became head of a vast shipping and commerce business. This business had branches in Virginia, what is now the New England States, and Bermuda. It is legend with this branch of the family that Richard Reynolds died in York County. But as to whether York County, VA, or York County, England, we do not know. (From the Rennold-Reynolds Family Roster).

The following information is from this website:

http://reynoldspatova.org/getperson.php?personID=I4845&tree=reynolds1

Richard Reynolds was the first ancestor in our family to set foot on American soil, arriving in Tidewater Virginia around 1610. He settled on a narrow peninsula of land between the York and James rivers near Chesapeake Bay, in what became York county. It was near Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement on mainland America. Jamestown had been established three years earlier by Captain John SMITH on behalf of the Virginia Company of London, a joint-stock company that held a grant from the King. (The entire region was given the name Virginia by Sir Walter Raleigh, who had attempted colonization in 1585 on Roanoke Island, off what is now North Carolina. It was known as the Lost Colony, and failed for lack of supplies from the motherland to sustain it). The Indians were a threat to the Colony until 1614 when a settler named John ROLFE, married the daughter of POWHATAN, chief of the Tribes in the area. Her name was POCAHONTAS and the marriage halted the menace of raids, and brought an eight year peace. The Indians broke that peace in 1622 when they unexpectedly attacked settlements in the area, killing about 350 settlers. John ROLFE also made a more lasting contribution...the means for economic survival of the Colony. In 1612 he began to raise tobacco, developed a way to cure it, and demonstrated that it could be successfully exported to markets in Europe. Thus, the settlers were given a way to support themselves. Before coming to Virginia, Richard REYNOLDS spent his first 35 years in England. He was reared in the county of Kent and married Ann Harrison in Sussex, about 1605 when he was around 30. Richard and Ann raised a large family of eight sons and several unidentified daughters. At least three of the children were born in England but those born from 1610 onward are shown in books on the REYNOLDS family as having been born in York County, Virginia -- the basis for determining when the family arrived in America. They probably came on a ship known to have arrived in 1610 bringing more colonists and supplies -- and one that salvaged the Jamestown settlement following a winter of famine known as "the starving time." The initial housing for these earliest colonists were simple wooden structures with thatched roofs. Furnishings were almost entirely handmade: thick wooden planks on sturdy legs for a table; blocks of wood, small barrels or rough benches for chairs; and bags of straw for mattresses, placed on the floor or bedsteads made of log slabs. Hardly what had been available in England. But as the decades passed and the colony began to prosper, better houses were built and goods to make life better arrived in increasing quantities from the motherland. The year 1619 brought two new groups to the Virginia Colony. The Virginia Company sent a boatload of women described as, "young, handsome and honestly educated maids" to become wives to lonely settlers. Also, Dutch traders brought Negro slaves to the New World for the first time. The same year saw establishment of the House of Burgesses, the first representative legislative assembly in the Western Hemisphere. Following in the footsteps of his father with whom he worked with in England, Richard REYNOLDS began operating a trade and shipping business to furnish needed supplies to the Colonies, and carry their produce back to England. With the population growth in Virginia, Massachusetts, and other Colonies over the years, the enterprise expanded to a size large enough to require branches in England, New England, and Bermuda. Four of his siblings settled in, or were involved with the New World. It is known that his brother Christopher arrived in the Isle of Wight, a Virginia county across the James river, aboard the "Francis and John" in 1622. Fourteen years later, he is recorded as having gotten a patent for 450 acres of land there. Robert also came at an early but undetermined date, and is known to have died in York county. Although Richard's brother George made several trips to Virginia, he did not stay there, but lived in Bristol, England. However four of his children emigrated to the Colonies. Another, William, settled in Bermuda. Some of them probably participated in the business with Richard, particularly the two living in Bermuda and England. He also had nephews who were among the increasing number of Colonists moving into such places as Rhode Island and Kennebunk, Maine, the latter then considered a part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. (Taken from: A Family History, by Donovan Faust)

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Richard Reynolds, the Merchant of Virginia's Timeline

1575
1575
Kent, England
1606
1606
Age 31
Of York, Va
1606
Age 31
Exeter, Devon, England
1608
1608
Age 33
Sussex CO,England
1610
1610
Age 35
Kent, England
1612
1612
Age 37
Sussex, England
1612
Age 37
Of York, Va
1616
1616
Age 41
York, VA, USA
1618
1618
Age 43
Sussex CO,England