A letter by Richard Frethorne of Martin’s Hundred of the Jamestown colony to his parents in England, begun on 16 March 1622/3 and finished on 3 April 1623, lists “the names of them that bee dead of the Companie came out with us to serve under our Leifetenants”, among them Geo: Banum.1 I note that John Baynham, who was living at Jamestown, was recorded as “Banum” on one occasion. Whoever George Banum was, he was apparently not related to John Baynham.
A John Bynam witnessed four deeds in Old Rappahannock County, Virginia between March 1665/6 and 1 February 1671/2.2 There seems to be no further record of him. Old Rappahannock was split into Essex and Richmond counties in 1692, in which no Bynums are found until the children of William Baynham settled there more than 100 years later. It is conceivable that this is the same person who was settled in Surry County by 1663, though the two areas were quite far apart by the transportation methods and paths of the time.
A Robert Baynham was apparently in Northumberland County, Virginia (now Westmoreland County) in 1658. William Coleman and Robert Baynham received a patent for 300 acres in Northumberland County on 29 January 1662/3.3 A later record establishes that Robert Baynham had actually sold his interest in the land nearly five years earlier. Coleman and Baynham were renewing a patent originally issued Thomas Sheppard and James Claughton on 6 May 1652, which had been assigned to Richard Flint, who in turn assigned it to Coleman and Baynham. [That is, they already owned the land and the patent was merely a confirmation of their title.] On 13 December 1665, Richard Coleman patented the same land as the heir of his deceased brother William Coleman, stating that it had been assigned to William Coleman and Robert Baynam “ and the said. Baynam granted his right therein to the land said Coleman as by deed dated the 12th day of July 1658.”4 Thus all we can determine is that Robert Baynham was in or near Northumberland around 1658. Only the court order books of Northumberland survive for the 17th century, and they were not checked for other mention of this man. The patent was for land in what was then in Northumberland but is today Westmoreland County.
A James Bynam recorded a 200 acre grant in Baltimore County, Maryland in June 1671.5 The southern boundary of the grant, called “Come by Chance”, was a creek called Bynum’s Run, a name that survives to this day. Interstate Highway 95 runs across Bynum’s Run about twelve miles northeast of the Baltimore beltline in what is now Harford County. In 1671 several Indian trails met in the area, and James Bynam is thought to have been an Indian trader who located a trading post there. He was killed by Indians in 1673, evidently leaving no heirs for the tract escheated and repatented by others.
Seventeenth-Century Virginia Headrights
The spelling of surnames in headright lists is notoriously unreliable. By the time the names were written into the patent books, they had been copied several times by different clerks. To make matters worse, the condition of some of the pages often make the names extremely difficult to read. Whether some of the names below are versions of “Baynham” or other surnames entirely is anyone’s guess.
The majority of seventeenth century headrights were indentured servants, many of them teenagers, who tended to die at alarmingly high rates. The combination of mortality prospects and the great scarcity of women resulted in most headrights leaving no descendants.
Thomas Bainham was one of four persons claimed as headrights by James Bagnall in a patent issued 26 August 1643 for 200 acres in Lower Norfolk County, Virginia.6 The patent notes that the headrights were assigned to Bagnall by Arthur Haslington. The importation was probably to another county, as neither Haslington nor the four importees are mentioned in Lower Norfolk records.
Robt. Bynom was one of four persons claimed as headrights in a patent to Richard Foster for 200 acres in Gloucester County, Virginia on 1 April 1655.7 There is no further record of this name.
Robert Baymond was claimed as a headright by George Lob, whose headright certificate was used for a patent of 15 July 1657 to William Thomas in Westmoreland County. Given the similarity of names, date, and location this may be the same man as Robert Baynham above.
Geo. Baymun was a headright used for a 20 February 1662/3 patent in Rappahannock County by Mich. Hugill.8
Augustin Beanham was among several headrights claimed by William Kendall for a 1670 patent in Accomack County. The list of headrights appears twice, with the surname nearly unreadable in both cases.9
John Baynam was one of fourteen persons claimed as headrights in a patent of 9 October 1675 to Lemuel Mason and George Fowler for land in Lower Norfolk County.10
James Bayman was one of 100 headrights claimed for a patent of 20 November 1682 by George Gill for land in New Kent County (later King William County).11
Geo. Bayman was among 47 persons claimed by Samuel Blomefield, John Dangerfield, William Mosely, Bryan Ward, and William Bendery for a patent between the Rappahannock and Mattaponi Rivers.12
Wm. Bininham [?] was one of 37 persons claimed as headrights for a patent by John Woodson in Henrico County dated 23 April 1688.
Seventeenth-Century Immigrants from Passenger Lists
Richard Bayneham was transported to Virginia on the ship Susanna sometime between 1663 and 1679. His name appears on a list of “servants to foreign plantations” sailing from Bristol.13
Robert Bainham, bound to George Purvis for eight years in Virginia on 5 October 1685. Identified as the son of Thomas Bainham, deceased, a tailor of St. Clement Deanes, Middlesex. Witnessed by his mother Mary Armstrong.14
Solomon Baynam, son of Richard Baynham (sic) a weaver of Spittlefields, London. Bound to Richard Prissicke for four years in Barbados on 31 March 1686.15
A Few Eighteenth Century Baynham Immigrants
William Baynham, sentenced to transportation (14 years) and shipped to Virginia April 1718 in the Tryal. Landed at Charles Town, South Carolina in August 1718.16
Henry Baynham, sentenced to transportation April 1763.17 (The source notes only the sentiencing, not the actual transportation to America.)
Richard Baynham, age 2, a footman, was shipped as an indentured servant from Wiltshire to Maryland on the Elizabeth from London in July 1774.18
- The Records of The Virginia Company of London, Susan Myra Kingsbury, ed., (Government Printing Office, 1906) Volume IV p60. [↩]
- Old Rappahannock County Deeds, Wills, and Inventories Book 3, p28, p37 and Book 4, p117, p532. [↩]
- Virginia Patent Book 5, p294. [↩]
- Virginia Patent Book 6, p264. [↩]
- A description and plat is found in Our Harford Heritage, C Milton Wright, p28-29. [↩]
- Virginia Patent Book 1, p894. [↩]
- Virginia Patent Book 3, p336. [↩]
- Virginia Patent Book 5, p226. [↩]
- Virginia Patent Book 6, p314, p316. [↩]
- Virginia Patent Book 6, p584. [↩]
- Virginia Patent Book 7, p199. [↩]
- Virginia Patent Book 7, p254. [↩]
- Bristol and America, A Record of the First Settlers in the Colonies of North America 1654-1685), Vol. II, p291. [↩]
- A List of Emigrants from England to America, 1682-1692, Michael Ghirelli, p5. [↩]
- Ghirelli, p7. [↩]
- English Convicts in Colonial America, Peter Wilson Coldham, Vol. I and in Vol. II [↩]
- Ibid. [↩]
- Passengers to America, A Consolidation of Ship Passenger Lists from The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Michael Tepper, p306. [↩]