Thomas Pruitt, Sr.

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Thomas Pruitt, Sr.

Also Known As: "Pruitt/Prewitt/Pruett/", "Thomas Prewitt"
Birthdate: (76)
Birthplace: Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
Death: circa 1692 (67-83)
Charles City, Charles River, Virginia, United States
Place of Burial: Point Charles River, Virigina, USA
Immediate Family:

Husband of Sarah Pruitt and T.* Unknown
Father of Charles Pruitt; John William Pruitt; William Prewitt, Sr.; Henry Pruett, Sr.; Thomas Pruitt, II and 2 others

Occupation: Tobacco Farmer
Managed by: David Shane Bennett
Last Updated:

About Thomas Pruitt, Sr.

. THOMAS PRUITT PRUETT2 PREWITT (JOHN PRUITT PRUETT1)1,2 was born 1616 in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England3, and died 1692 in Charles City, Charles River Co., Virginia. He married UNKNOWN M. PREWITT.T. UNKNOWN. She was born Bet. 1626 - 1629 in Yorktown, York Co., Virginia, and died in Virginia.


1636 came to Charles River Co., Va. Early Virginia Immigrants by G.C. Greer. Thomas Prewitt, May 6, 1636, indentured by Joane Bennet to Charles River Co., Virginia. Joane Bennet received 450 aces in Charles River Co., Virginia, upon the Poqueson River, east towards the bay, west into the woods, north upon the Pinye Swamp (river), and south upon Robert Thrasher. 50 acres due for transfer of eight persons...Ann Winter, John Roote, Jon Marshall, Andrew Chant, Jon Morris, Pole Carplights, and Thomas Prewitt. Joane Bennet was a Quaker. On June 2,1636, Thomas Prewitt was granted his 50 acres of land in Clarles River Co., Va. Charles River Co is now York Co., Va.[Brøderbund WFT Vol. 1, Ed. 1, Tree #4989, Date of Import: Jan 13, 2002]

Thomas Prewitt is listed as coming to Charles River Co., Virginia in

1636 with seven others (Patent Book No. 1). Nothing more is know about

the circumstances of his arrival.

[Brøderbund WFT Vol. 1, Ed. 1, Tree #4989, Date of Import: Jan 13, 2002]

Thomas Prewitt is listed as coming to Charles River Co., Virginia in

1636 with seven others (Patent Book No. 1). Nothing more is know about

the circumstances of his arrival.



THOMAS PREWITT was born at Salisbury, Wiltshire, England in 1616. In 1636, Thomas Prewitt and seven others were transported to Charles River Co., Virginia (Patent Bk 1). Early Virginia Immigrants, by G.C. Greer, Clerk of the VA State Land Office, contains a list of some 25,000 persons who came to Virginia from 1623 to 1666, together with the patentee or person who brought them over. In this list is: Thomas Prewitt, 1636, by Joane Bennet, to Charles River Co.

On May 6, 1636, Joane Bennett, widow, received 450 acres in Charles River Co., VA., upon the new Poqueson River, east towards the bays, west into the woods, north upon the Pinye Swamp (River) and south upon Robert Thrasher. 50 acres due for transfer of 8 persons: Ann Winter, John Roote, Jon Marshall, Thomas Prewitt, Andrew Chant, Jon Morris and Pole Carplights (Patent Bk I, part I, p. 346).

At first, land could only be had by paying the passage of settlers to poor to pay their own; the man who paid the transportation costs got 50 acres of land for each person brought into Virginia. The transported person usually had to spend five years in working out the costs of his passage, but at the end of that time, he or she also received 50 acres of land.

On June 2, 1636, Thomas Privett was granted 50 acres of land in Charles River Co., VA, being a neck of ground at the New Poqueson, west upon William Clarke a creek, then east upon Thomas Harwood a creek. The said 50 acres of land being due unto him the said Thomas Privett for the transportation of one servent into this colony (Patent Bk I, p. 357).

This seems strange that an indentured servant would be transporting an indentured servant to do his work for him.

Much has been written about the indentured servants that came to the colonies. Like most immigrants, they were of all classes, but they were mostly young men with little or no material goods, believing that they could make a killing quickly in the new world and return home. There were some who, for political or religious beliefs, chose to come as indentured servants because, in doing so, they would not have to take an oath to support Church or King.

Charles River Co., VA was changed to York Co.. In 1646, Thomas Privet confessed he borrowed a canoe from John Wilson and lost it. Ordered to pay Wilson 2 bushels of corn for it 1st November next (York Co. Records, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. 25, p. 14).


Event 1: Lived Charles River Co. Virginia, gave4

Event 2: Mortgage in neighboring York Co. VA4



3. i. JOHN PRUITT PRUETT3 PREWITT, b. Abt. 1648, Charles River, Virginia; d. WFT Est. 1649-1738.

4. ii. WILLIAM PRUITT PRUETT PREWITT, b. 1651, Charles River Co., Virginia; d. February 10, 1748, Caroline Co., Virginia.

5. iii. HENRY 1 PREWETT, b. September 02, 1654, Charles City, Virginia; d. Bef. June 04, 1722, Henrico Co., Virginia.

Born Dec 1616 in Salisbury, Wiltshire, Bedford, England.

He transported to America in 1636 to Charles River County, Virginia.

See correspondence from Richard A. Prewitt: "transported to Charles River Co. Virginia in 1636";

"Thomas and wife were Quakers and not married by the rules of the established church; July Court 1648 York County, Virginia"


  1. Title: Ancestry of Richard A. Prewitt.
     Author: Prewitt, Richard A.
     Publication: Des Moines, Iowa : 1991.
     LDS call # US/CAN 929.273/P929pp;
  2. Title: Correspondence from Richard A. Prewitt
     Author: Prewitt, Richard A.
     Publication: 1800 N.W. 81st Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50325
  3. Title: Michael Prewitt Sr. and his Descendants
     Author: Prewitt, Richard Arthur
     Publication: LDS Call #929.273/P929r 

Notes for Thomas Pruitt: We shall probably never know who the person was who first bore the surname which became, over time, Prewett. He may well have been a Norman soldier or journeyman who came to England either or following the Conquest of 1066. Another possibility is that he may have been a half-savage Welshman from the Western Marshes. "Many years ago, there was a Pruitt family reunion held in SC. A member of the family, Dr. L. C. Branyon, address the reunion and later reprinted his talk in a small pamphlet...He had this to say about the

  • **********************

Prewitt origins: I have been able to trace the earliest historical beginnings of the family and name back to the 11th century. By the unusual application of the laws of "ethnology and genealogy, I find tht the first trace of the name appears as Norman blood, with a name strikingly similar to the poresent name. At this early stage I find the names of Guelliaum Pritte, John Pritt, Jean Proute enrolled in the army of William the Conquerer. There, after the Saxon tongue became blended with the Norman French, during the next 200 years, giving rise to old English, we find the name appearing as Prewett which was maintained for several centuries even into Scotland.

"Whoever that first Prewett was, he began a line bearing name which as come down for many centuries. In any event, the name Prewett is a venerable one which, in one form or another, has appeared in English hsitorical chronicles many times over the centuries. It has been spelled a variety of ways---Prewett, Prewit, Prewitt, Pruit, Pruitt, Pruwit, Pruwitt, Prewet, Prewette, Pruet, Pruett, Prouitt, Prout, etc.

"One account suggests that its ancient origin may have been a combination of an archaic French root "prue" or "proud" plus the affixes "ett" or "itt" which are identical. Phonetic spellings of names were common until spelling became somewhat codified during the past 100 years. The Prewett name as used in English speaking countries is probably related to the Anglo Saxon word "prut" or "pryte" denoting "proud," "gallant," or "arrogant," probably imported by the Normans after 1066. The affixes are diminutives denoting "small" or "son of". While spelled many differnt ways, the name is invatiably pronounced the same in both England and America -- -"prew-itt." "The Halls of Names, Ltd., in England, reports that the name Prewett (or its variations) has been found in ancient Welsh chronicales pre-dating 1066. Therefore, the name's origin may not be French. The source says that the name was first found in Carmathenshire in Wales. Versions of the family name also appear as early as the 13th century in such records as the Doomsday Book, the Hearth Rolls, the Black Book of Exchequer, and the Curia Rolls.

"In 12-2, Matthew Pruet was listed in the "Pipe Rolls." In another document, it was recorded that in 1249 William Pruet and his son Adam "did damage ot the King's property in Winchester." We also learn from the Charter Rolls of King Henry VIII that in 1273 the Earl of Darby released Reginald Pruet and his issue and their lands and holdings from "servetutem" and made them freemen. In 1273, Andrew and William Pruet were mentioned in the "Hundred Rolls of Cambridge." In 1275, Henry Pruet was pardoned a 12 shilling fine for conempt. In 1278, Hugh Pruet of Somerset went surety for L. 40, and in 1317, Thomas Pruwett of Devon was mentioned in Dwelly's Name Indices. Records from 1327 in Somersetshire list Thomas Pruwet, Walter Pruwet, and Juliana Prouet. A Mary Pruett, said to have been a nurse in London who died in 1717, is buried at St. Dionis Backchurch, London.

"There appear to have been several coats of arms granted in the Middle Ages to people bearing the Prewett name. The most ancient one was "silver with a black lion rampant, sometimes with a raven crest and bearing the motto. ~ Author Unknown ~ -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

More About Thomas Pruitt: Religion: Quaker


Immigrated May 6, 1636 to Virginia as an indentured servant to James Bennet, to Charles River County, VA. After spending five years in service to James Bennet, he recieved 50 acres of land to farm.

Thomas and his wife were Quakers, and were often pursecuted, because their marriage was not legal at the time.


married abt 1629 yorktown york co va lived in england at a place called stonehenge located the plains salisabury wittshire came as indentured servants with 7 others for joane bennett she recived 450 acres

PARENTS UNKNOWN- There has long been speculation that Thomas Prewitt was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England in 1616, and that he was the son of John Prewitt, baptised 16 Jan. 1588 in Wiltshire, married Margaret Pickernell 24 Feb. 1616 in Wiltshire. In an attempt to confirm or deny these rumors Bob Prewitt of Colorado hired British Ancestors Family History Services ( to search the relevant records. British Ancestors replied that there are entries for John Prewett's baptism and marriage at Winterbourne Earls, Wiltshire. The baptismal record for Thomas "Wiett", 25 May 1616, at St. Edmunds, Salisbury, has apparently been mistakenly misread as "Piett" by others in the past. So back to square one, still no evidence of the birth or parents of Thomas Prewitt, the Immigrant.

Thomas Prewitt immigrated from England to Charles City County, Virginia, May 6, 1636. He was tranported to America with seven others to Charles City County, Virginia; the patentee, or person who brought him over is shown as Joanne Bennet. He and his wife were Quakers. He came to America in an indentured state so that he wouldn't have to swear an oath to the Church or King of England.

"On June 2, 1636, Thomas Prewitt was granted 50 acres of land in Charles City County, Virginia, being a neck of ground at the New Poqueson, west upon William Clarke a creek, then east upon Thomas Harwood a creek. The said 50 acres of land being due unto him the said Thomas Privett for the transportation of one servant into this colony.":

"Thomas Priuett Land Grant, 1636 - York Co. Virginia

Land Office Patents and Grants - Library of Virginia Thomas Priuett 50a.

To all to whome these prsents [presents] shall come I Capt John West Esq Governr &c send greeting &c Whereas by letters &c Now Know yee that I the said Capt John West Esq doe with consent of the Councell State accordingly give and grannt unto Thomas Priuett fiftie acres of land situate lying and being in the Countie of Charles river being a neck of ground at the new poquoson river west upon William Clarke a Creeke pting [parting] them

East upon Thomas Harwood a Creeke alsoe pting [parting] them The Said fiftie acres of land being due unto him the Said Thomas Priuett by and for the transportaton of one servant into this Colony whose names are in the record mentioned under this Pattent To have and to hold &c Dated the Second day of June 1636 Ut inalijs

"In 1646, Thomas Privett confessed he borrowed a canoe from John Wilson and lost it. Ordered that he pay Wilson 2 bushels of corn for it 1st November." This is from records of York County, Virginia (York County was formerly Charles City County).

In 1647, John Thomas has an attachment against Thomas Prewitt to secure debt of 600 lbs. tobacco.

On May 24, 1648, Thomas Pruitt confesses judgment to Robert Abrall for 1202 lbs of tobacco to be paid the next October 10 at the house of Pruitt. Three cows bound in security. Court for the County of York. Cattle were very valuable to the early settlers. They were expensive to bring over by ship and scarce.

In 1648, Thomas Prewitt confessed judgment to Mr. William Hockaday, 1 1/2 bushel of corn and 56 lbs tobacco.

On July 25, 1648, Whereas Thomas Privett and his wife were presented to his court for committing fornication and thereof found guilty. Court ordered that they shall do a pennance in the parish Church on the New Pawqueson and during the tyme of devine servis the next Sabbath Day. The church wardens ordered to see this done. Pruitt and his wife to appear at the next Court to abine further censure." (York Order Book 2, page 387) and (Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Volumn 26, page 9). This was part of the persecution of the Quakers; and the sect was a problem for Governor Berkeley.

On Dec. 6, 1648, Thomas Prewitt binds himself to pay John Madison 600 lbs of tobacco before next Oct. 1, a steer and heifer as security.

Henry Prewett and his wife are possibly 5th great-grandparents of Abraham Lincoln.


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Thomas Pruitt, Sr.'s Timeline

December 1616
Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
Age 19
York, VA, USA
- 1641
Age 19
Charles River County, Virginia, United States
Age 32
Age 34
Yorktown, York County, Virginia, United States
Age 34
Charles River, Virginia, USA
September 2, 1654
Age 37
Charles City County, Virginia, Colonial America
Age 39
Virginia, United States
Age 41
Charles City County, Virginia, United States