See also the "Reynolds Chronicles" files for more details and specific citations.
Christopher Reynolds 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 Bennett’s 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
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
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 Richard’s 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. The children were:
Christopher Reynolds II (by1633 – by1679) He was apparently of
age by the date of his father’s will, for his father devised his land outright
while specifying that his brothers would receive their lands at age 21. In
fact, he may have already married, since his daughter Elizabeth was apparently
married to John Neville by January 1664/5
and his son Richard was born no later than 1658. Though he was clearly born by
1633, it may have been much earlier. On 25 November 1657 he recorded a patent
for 350 acres which he assigned to Richard Jordan, 100 acres of which Jordan
immediately sold back to him.
He appears in no further records. He was deceased by 10 May 1679 when his son
Richard renewed by patent both that 100 acre purchase and the land his father
This patent identified Christopher Reynolds II as the eldest son of his father
Christopher Reynolds Sr., and Richard Reynolds as his only son and heir. Although
no record of his death is preserved in the Isle of Wight records, this patent
states that he left a “last will & testament.” Whether that will was
recorded in neighboring Nansemond County or is among the apparently missing
wills of Isle of Wight between 1656 and 1661 is unknown. His wife’s name
does not appear in any records, but she was apparently a sister of Richard
Sharpe, whose 1700 will makes bequests to three “cousins” who were sons of “my
cousin Richard Reynolds”.
Richard Reynolds, son of Christopher Reynolds II, was also executor of that
The usual meaning of “cousin”, and the obvious one in this case, was “nephew” (see
lengthy note below),
implying that Christopher Reynolds’ wife was a sister of Richard Sharpe. Her
first name is unknown and appears in no records. From the patent of 1679, his
only son was Richard Reynolds. A later court record indicates a daughter named
1.1. Richard Reynolds
(by1658 – 1712) As “Richard Reynolds the younger” he renewed the patent for
his father’s inherited land on 10 May 1679, declaring that he was the only son
and heir of his father.
He appears frequently in Isle of Wight records, often as “Richard Reynolds Jr.”
to differentiate him from his uncle of the same name. He married Elizabeth
Williams, daughter of George Williams, sometime before mid-1685 when he and
his wife, along with her brother George Williams Jr., divided the estate of
their deceased brother William Williams.
George Williams Sr. had died in 1672, naming three minor children in his will:
William, George, and Elizabeth.
Elizabeth Reynolds, wife of Richard Reynolds Jr., is later identified as
George Williams’ daughter in deeds of 1694 and 1700. In 1698, Richard
Reynolds purchased the land his uncle Richard Reynolds had inherited. He is the same Richard
Reynolds named as a “cousin” in Richard Sharpe’s 1700 will, which makes
bequests to the three sons of Richard Reynolds and names Richard himself as
Richard Reynolds own will, dated 27 July 1711 and proved 26 May 1712, names his
wife Elizabeth and the same three sons.
Reynolds (c1680 – by1741) Richard Sharpe’s will of 15 January 1700
devises a lease to Richard Reynolds the “son of my cousin Richard Reynolds”,
implying that he was of age.
In 1706, as “Richard Reynolds Jr.”, he surveyed land south of the Blackwater. The patent for
that land was issued seven years later, on 13 November 1713, in the same name (though
he was by then no longer a “Junior”).
A posthumous patent to his father was issued the same day. Having by then
inherited much of his father’s lands, he apparently never lived on that patent,
which he and his wife Rebecca sold in two transactions in 1715 and 1718. The maiden name
of his wife Rebecca is unknown. He may have died not long afterward. Following
that last sale in early 1718, there is not a single mention of a living Richard
Reynolds in Isle of Wight records for another 18 years, by which time this
Richard Reynolds was apparently dead. There is no record of his death, but on 7
April 1741 his estate was distributed among the four children below, each of whom
was evidently of age by then.
He may have died much earlier, as the first references after 1718 appear to be
for his son, beginning in 1736. Rebecca Reynolds’ own will, dated 4 May 1745
and recorded 6 March 1755, names the same four children, plus a grandson.
22.214.171.124. Richard Reynolds
(c1710 –1773/4) He is likely the grandson mentioned in the 1711 will of his
grandfather Richard Reynolds. His mother’s will of 1745 also mentions his own son
Richard, and he was a legatee of his uncle Sharpe Reynolds’ will. He first
appears in the records in 1736, when his land was processioned. Thereafter he
appears frequently in Isle of Wight records. The appraisal of his estate is
undated, but recorded on 3 February 1774.
His wife was perhaps Prudence Pitt, daughter of John Pitt, but there is no
Richard and Randolph can be proven to be his children, and several records tie
the other two sons to them.
126.96.36.199.1. Richard Reynolds (c1738? –c1760?) As mentioned above, he was mentioned in the will of his grandmother Rebecca Reynolds, dated 4 May 1745. The only certain reference to him is a deed witnessed by both his father and him in 1759, he signing as Richard Reynolds Jr. There are no further references to a “Jr.”, nor any later references that we can identify as him. He evidently did not survive his father, as there are no references to a Richard Reynolds for 23 years following the death of his father.
188.8.131.52.2. Rowland Reynolds (? – c1799) He first appears as a witness in 1772. He later leased out land formerly owned by his father which he presumably had inherited. He married Martha Godwin, widow of Jeremiah Godwin, in 1787, though probably as a second wife. The 1791 will of Joseph Chapman names “granddaughter Liddia Reynolds, daughter of Roland Reynolds” but it’s not clear if she was the daughter of the widow Martha or of an earlier wife of Rowland Reynolds. He was not on the 1799 tax list, and an accounting of his estate was recorded in 1800, paying Randall Reynolds among others.
184.108.40.206.3. Randall Reynolds (? - ?) His father made a deed of gift to son Randall Reynolds on 8 February 1772, his first appearance in the records. Subsequent records are for both “Randall” and “Randolph”, probably the same person. He married Martha Dickinson in 1795, surely not his first wife. He is on the 1799 tax list but was not tracked further.
220.127.116.11.4. Pitt Reynolds
(c1740? – c1774) He first appears in the records in 1762. He died about
the same time as his father, as an undated appraisal of his estate was recorded
on 1 September 1774.
An estate accounting recorded sixteen years later on 2 November 1790 suggests
he had two daughters by then married to Benjamin Applewhaite and Charles Groce,
who split the estate.
He may also have had a son Richard, for whom Rowland was guardian.
18.104.22.168. George Reynolds
(bef1721 – 1763) He married Elizabeth Norsworthy, daughter of Joseph Norsworthy,
whose 1757 will identifies Elizabeth Reynolds as a daughter. His son Isham
Reynolds also identified Rachel Norsworthy, widow of Joseph Norsworthy, as his
George Reynolds died intestate before 5 July 1763, when his estate was
Elizabeth evidently survived George, for she was briefly the guardian of two
of the children.
Later records identify four minor children.
22.214.171.124.1. John Reynolds (c1760? - ?) He was apparently the surety for the marriage of his cousin Rowland Reynolds in 1787. He is on the 1790 tax list of Isle of Wight, and married Elizabeth Whitley in 1792 then Polly Jordan in 1798, but was not tracked further.
126.96.36.199.2. Robert Reynolds (c1760? - ?) Robert Reynolds may have been the youngest child, as he was bound out as late as 1773 and 1775. He appears in no further Isle of Wight records.
188.8.131.52.3. Isham Reynolds ( - 1777) He evidently died unmarried, leaving a will dated 12 August 1776 and proved on 1 January 1778 bequeathing his estate to his grandmother Rachel Norsworthy.
Reynolds She may have been the Martha W. Reynolds who married George Bains
184.108.40.206. Tabitha Reynolds
(bef1721 - ) She was unmarried when she received her share of her father’s
estate in 1741, and evidently still unmarried when her mother’s will was
written four years later. A 1752 estate accounting mentions a debt to Tabitha
Reynolds, suggesting she was still unmarried.
Reynolds (bef1721 - 1763) By 1747 he had married Elizabeth Saunders,
sister of John Saunders, according to a court record. Indeed, he and
his wife Elizabeth sold land on 29 January 1750. Immediately
thereafter he bought land from his cousin Christopher Reynolds. His wife
apparently predeceased him, for she is not mentioned in his will dated 22 March
1763 and recorded six weeks later on 5 May 1763, which names children Sharpe,
Saunders, and Sweeting and implies other children. Two of these
other children were Mourning and Mary from later guardian accounts. On 7
September 1775, Sweeting Joyner filed a guardian account on behalf of her
deceased husband (the will’s executor) for Mourning, Mary, Saunders, and Sweeting
Reynolds, orphans of Christopher.
The will had left to son Sharpe Reynolds “the plantation I bought of my cousin
Christopher Reynolds” thus identifying which of the several Christopher
Reynolds he was. When his son Sharpe Reynolds sold that land in 1773, his deed
clearly identified his father as the son of Richard Reynolds.
220.127.116.11.1. Sharpe Reynolds (c1750 - 1784 ) was apparently the eldest son. His will, dated 13 February 1784 and recorded 6 May 1784, names his wife Sophia and children Henry, Betsey and Patsy. His wife was the daughter of Samuel Godwin, whose 1791 will mentions his daughter Sophia Reynolds.
18.104.22.168.2. Saunders Reynolds was still a minor when the 1775 record above was filed. He doesn’t appear in further Isle of Wight records, and likely died young.
22.214.171.124.3. Sweeting Reynolds
126.96.36.199.4. Mourning Reynolds She was apparently a witness to a deed by her cousin in early 1775.
188.8.131.52.5. Mary Reynolds
Reynolds (c1690? - 1733) His father’s will left him land which eventually
passed to his own eldest son Christopher. He married Ann Coleman, both being legatees
of her brother Robert Coleman’s will in 1716
and of her father Robert Coleman’s will in 1721. He was himself dead,
at a reasonably young age, by 27 March 1733 when an appraisal of his estate was
He apparently left small children, for the personal estate was not divided amongst
the widow and orphans until nine years later, in early 1742 and his eldest
son was still a minor in 1743. His widow Ann, remarried to a Hunt and was
again widowed, for as Ann Hunt she released her widow’s dower in two land sales
by her son Christopher in 1753 and in one land sale by her son Robert in 1754. She was
apparently dead by early 1762 when her son Christopher sold the remainder of
this land without her release.
Reynolds (c1725 – c1782?) He was evidently the eldest son, for he
inherited his father’s land. He was still a minor, or had just reached
majority, on 26 September 1743 when his guardian and uncle, Sharpe Reynolds,
submitted a guardian account.
On 1 February 1750 he and his wife Mary sold part his father’s land to his
cousin Christopher Reynolds, identifying himself as the son of Christopher
A few days later, he made a gift of 200 acres of his inherited land to his
brother Robert Reynolds.
He and Mary then sold part of the land his father inherited from Robert Coleman
on 5 July 1753.
On 1 January 1762, he again sold land identifying it as land willed to his
father by Robert Coleman and descended to him as heir, this time without Mary’s
His wife Mary was apparently Mary Lightfoot. Mary Reynolds and Patience
Reynolds were legatees of Henry Lightfoot Sr. in 1754, evidently the wives of
brothers Christopher and Robert Reynolds.
She did not release dower in his land sales of 1758 or 1762, apparently having
died by 1756.
Christopher Reynolds then remarried before 1763, and probably in 1761, to
Penelope Nolleboy, the widow of Needham Nolleboy. (There is some
mystery about this, however.)
Since he was a resident of Isle of Wight as late as 1763, it could be that he
was not the same Christopher Reynolds who appears in Johnston County, North
Carolina by the late 1750s.
On 7 February 1763, as Christopher Reynolds of Isle of Wight, he bought land in
Craven County, North Carolina in or near the part that became Jones County. He subsequently
accumulated land in Dobbs (later Greene and Lenoir), Craven, and Jones counties
and appears in the records of each county. Two deeds of gift to his children,
dated 1756 and 1762 and acknowledged by him in 1775, name his children. Later records
suggest that the first five children below were by Mary Lightfoot and the last
four by Penelope Nolleboy.
184.108.40.206.1. Christopher Reynolds
220.127.116.11.2. Robert Reynolds
18.104.22.168.3. Sharpe Reynolds
22.214.171.124.4. Elizabeth Reynolds (the wife of James Wood)
126.96.36.199.5. Mary Reynolds (the wife of Simon Speight)
188.8.131.52.6. Richard Reynolds (c1761 - ?)
184.108.40.206.7. Sarah Reynolds
220.127.116.11.8. James Reynolds (c1761 – 1785)
Reynolds (the wife of Nathan Bryan)
18.104.22.168. Robert Reynolds
(c1725? – aft1780) He first appears on 6 February 1750 when his brother
Christopher Reynolds deeded him 200 acres on which he lived. On 7 June 1754 he
and his wife Patience sold that land. with his mother Ann Hunt releasing dower. His wife was Patience
Lightfoot, sister of his brother’s wife and daughter of Henry Lightfoot, whose
1754 accounting mentions her as a legatee.
After selling his land in 1754 he moved to Johnston County, North Carolina
where a Robert Reynolds appears twice in the indices of its lost deeds recorded
He was probably the Robert Reynolds who witnessed the 1758 will of Benjamin
Brock of Johnston County, which was recorded in Isle of Wight. By 1762 he was in
neighboring Craven County when he bought land there. He then lived in
both Craven and Jones County, but was Robert Reynolds Sr. of South Carolina in
1780 when he sold his land in Jones County to his brother Christopher Reynolds. He has not been
Reynolds (c1690s - 1754) He is first mentioned in the 1700 will of Richard
Sharpe, but appears infrequently in the records, first as an appraiser of an
estate in 1733.
He had inherited land from his father, which was processioned in his name as
early as 1736.
He was guardian of his nephew Christopher Reynolds in 1743 (see above). He left
a will dated 8 July 1754 and proved on 5 September 1754. He was evidently
unmarried and childless, for he left his estate to his “cousin” (nephew) Christopher,
son of his brother Christopher Reynolds, to cousins Richard and George Reynolds,
the sons of Richard Reynolds, and to Sarah Wooten.
1.2. Elizabeth Reynolds
(c1645? - ?) A 1690 deed regarding a dispute over land indicates that
Elizabeth, the wife of John Neville, was the sister of Richard Reynolds above. The dispute was
likely over a deed three months earlier, when John Neville and his wife
Elizabeth gifted 100 acres of the Richard Sharpe patent to Benjamin Beale Jr.
and his wife Martha, evidently their daughter.
John Neville had evidently married Elizabeth prior to 1665 when when, as
residents of Nansemond, both signed three deeds for land in Isle of Wight. Because the Nevilles
lived in Nansemond County, whose records are destroyed, we have few records of
them. John Neville was apparently dead by 1704 as the quit rents show no land
owned by him. They appear to have three children named John Neville Jr.,
Martha (the wife of Benjamin Beale), and Benjamin Neville
Richard Reynolds (1638-48 - 1707) Like his brother John, he was
under 16 when his father made his will, in which Richard was left the home
plantation. His brother John Reynolds left him his own inherited land in his
1669 will. He subsequently appears frequently in the Isle of Wight records
beginning with a jury service in 1672.
With the first appearance of his nephew in 1679, he was sometimes styled as
Richard Reynolds “Senior” to differentiate him from that nephew. He appears to
be the Richard Reynolds who was undersheriff in 1694, and he probably accounts
for the majority of 17th century references to Richard Reynolds in
Isle of Wight records. On 23 April 1681, as “Richard Reynolds Sr.” he renewed
the patent for the land he had inherited from his brother John Reynolds, plus
adjoining additional land.
The succession of this patent proves that he was the same Richard Reynolds who
died in 1707. A year later, on 20 April 1682, he patented an additional 450
We can identify him as the patentee because his son Christopher sold part of
that land in 1708, identifying Richard Reynolds, the original patentee, as his
Despite having inherited so much of the original plantation, Richard Reynolds
apparently leased it to others and was living on this 1682 patent at his
death. In 1694 he patented 720 acres in Nansemond County but evidently
sold it off, for the 1704 quit rents show no land in Nansemond. In 1698, he
sold his patent of 1681 to his nephew Richard Reynolds, who immediately sold
100 acres of it back to him.
Richard Reynolds died intestate before 24 June 1707 when his appraisal was
His wife Joyce, who survived him, was first mentioned in a deed in late 1693. Whether she was
the mother of his children or not is uncertain, for two later joint deeds refer
to “his” children. She (or an earlier wife, if there was one) was evidently
the daughter of Richard Staples, for their son Christopher later identified
himself as the grandson of Richard Staples.
Richard Staples, is something of a mystery, as he apparently lived just over
the line in Nansemond County, whose records are lost. He does not appear in the
Isle of Wight records, though his lands are mentioned several times. Richard
Staples apparently left a will devising land to his grandson, for on 9 August
1704 Richard Reynolds and his son Christopher jointly sold land formerly
belonging to Staples.
Richard Reynolds seems to have had only three children. He made deeds of gift
of parts of his 450-acre patent to two daughters, and his son Christopher
Reynolds inherited the rest of his lands. This clearly implies that Christopher
was the only son, and there is no record of any other potential sons.
2.1. Christopher Reynolds (c1675 – aft1749) He first appears in the records as a witness to a power of attorney to his father on 8 February 1701, then again as a witness on 12 December 1701. He was the eldest son (and apparently the only son), for all the land of his intestate father descended to him. Within four years of his father’s death he had sold all of his father’s lands in northern Isle of Wight, including the land on which his father had lived, and moved into the southern part of the county. He sold the 100 acres his father had purchased in 1698 on 28 July 1707 in a deed in which both his wife Elizabeth and mother Joyce released dower. This deed not only clearly identified his father, but also his wife (for his cousin of the same name was married to Ann Coleman). On 28 April 1708, he sold land to his “father-in-law” Robert Brock, identifying it as part of his father’s 450-acre patent, portions of which his father had previously gifted to his daughters Elizabeth Reynolds and Jane Casey. Christopher Reynolds’ wife Elizabeth was later named as the daughter of Susannah Brock in her will of 1724, which also named John Reynolds as a grandson. (There is some uncertainty over whether Elizabeth was her child by Robert Brock; see footnote.) Christopher Reynolds also sold 200 acres in 1711 which appear to have been the original plantation of Christopher Reynolds the immigrant. With this 1711 deed, he sold the last remaining land his father had held in the 1704 quit rents, and apparently moved to or below the Blackwater. By 1712 we find him witnessing the first of several deeds for land south of the Blackwater. Having geographically separated himself from his cousins, he appeared quite frequently as a witness to wills and deeds, and as an appraiser, for persons living in the southern part of the county for the next several decades. He was perhaps the “Mr. Reynolds” schoolmaster referred to in a 1724 letter by the minister of Newport parish, for in 1738 Christopher Reynolds leased out 100 acres adjacent “the schoolhouse.” The school was perhaps the one located on land donated for that purpose by Hugh Campbell on the north bank of the Blackwater, for we also know that Campbell had left adjacent land to Christopher Reynolds’ father. In 1731 he patented two parcels nearly on the North Carolina line, in the fork of the Blackwater and Nottoway Rivers, in what was then Nansemond County (and was later added into Southampton County). What became of these parcels is lost with the records of Nansemond. On 8 January 1748, as a resident of Nottoway Parish he sold the 100 acres on the north bank of the Blackwater described as given by Hugh Campbell to Richard Reynolds [son of the immigrant]. A little over a year later, on 10 May 1749, identifying himself as the grandson of Richard Staples, he sold part of a Richard Staples patent of 1661. After 1749, the only certain reference to him is a 1758 patent adjoining his of 1731 which may have used an old survey. If he was living on that land in Nottoway parish, it was in Nansemond County, whose records are lost. Though it eventually became Southampton County, I did not find any further record of him or his children in Southampton, nor in Isle of Wight. If either he or his son John produced male descendants, they are to be found elsewhere. Only one child is certain.
Reynolds (c1710 - ?) He was named as a grandson in the in the 1724 will
Susannah Brock, which left land to his mother with reversion to him. He must have reached
majority shortly before 21 March 1733 when he confirmed the earlier sale of
that land by his parents.
He appears again in 1738, jointly executing a lease with his father. He is apparently
the John Reynolds whose land was processioned in 1743. He does not appear
in any Isle of Wight records thereafter, nor could I find a later sale of the
land leased out in 1738. Whether his disappearance was caused by death, or by
migration elsewhere, or simply because he lived in Nansemond County (whose
records are lost), is unknown.
Note: A Michael Reynolds married the daughter of a neighbor living south of the Blackwater, and may be another son. There may also have been a son William Reynolds, who is mentioned once in Isle of Wight, as a witness to a will in 1729 for which the principal and other witnesses were neighbors of Christopher Reynolds. It is also possible that there was a son Robert Reynolds, who witnessed a deed for land adjoining the Staples patent in 1750 and who may have been a different person than the Robert Reynolds who was the son of Christopher Reynolds and Ann Coleman mentioned above.
2.2. Elizabeth Reynolds
(c1680s - ?) She was unmarried but evidently an adult in 1706 when her father
gifted her with part of his 450-acre patent.
Who she married, and what became of her, is unknown. I was unable to follow the
succession of this land.
2.3. Jane Reynolds
(? – aft1746) She was married to Richard Casey, son of neighbor Nicholas Casey,
by 1706 when her father made her a deed of gift of part of his 450-acre patent. The Caseys
remained in northern Isle of Wight, apparently living on that gifted land. Jane
was named as the widow in Richard Casey’s will of 8 March 1745/6, which also
identified five children.
These children were Richard Casey Jr., Ann Applewhaite, Sarah Smelley, Patience
[Casey?], and Martha Wills. The last, Martha Wills, was the wife of John Wills
and mother of John Scarsbrook Wills who appear in several subsequent records
with members of the Reynolds family.
Sarah Smelly was apparently the wife of John Smelley.
John Reynolds (1638-48 - 1669) John Reynolds was under 16 at the
time of his father’s will, but his precise birth year is undeterminable. Other
than his father’s will and his own, he appears in no significant records other
than a sale of land in late 1668
and a patent mentioning him as an adjoining landowner in 1658. He died,
unmarried and without children, sometime in early 1669. His will, dated 11
March 1669 and proved two months later on 3 May, devised his inherited land to
his executor and brother Richard Reynolds and made bequests to “sister”
Elizabeth Rivers and her daughter Mary, sister Jane Reynolds, “brother” George
Rivers, and sister Elizabeth Jordan and her own son Richard.
Abbasha Reynolds (c1634-9 - ?) She was apparently the eldest
daughter, as her father’s will leaves her nothing, noting that “I have given
unto her a portion already, being two cows and two calves.” The will further
implies that she was over 15, perhaps even of age, but not yet married. Since
the majority of free women at this time were married by the end of their teens,
we can speculate that she was born sometime between 1634 and 1639, perhaps even
a year or two earlier if she were in the minority of women who married after
age 20. She and Christopher are the only siblings not mentioned in John
Reynolds will, suggesting the possibility that she may have been dead by 1669.
There is no woman of this name, regardless of surname, listed in any Isle of
Elizabeth Reynolds (c1640-44 – aft1700) She was unmarried and
under 15 when her father’s will was written in 1654. The fact that she had
already received livestock from him implies she was older than an infant,
perhaps not many years younger than 15. Her brother’s will of March 1669 calls
her “sister Eliza Jordan”, with a son named Richard Jordan. Though many
researchers have assumed she married the Richard Jordan mentioned in her
father’s will, the evidence actually favors the theory that she married his son Richard Jordan
Jr. Richard Jordan Sr. does not appear in any records with a wife named
Elizabeth, the first appearance of a wife being one named Alice in 1679. However, his
son Richard Reynolds Jr. appears in the records as a witness in January 1662 and again in
and as a head of household in the Surry County tithables of 1673, making him much
too old to have been the child of Elizabeth Reynolds. Richard Jordan Jr.’s own
son, Richard Jordan III, is a tithable of his father beginning in 1685,
implying a birth date of 1668/9, and making him the obvious candidate to be the
son mentioned in John Reynolds’ will. Richard Jordan Jr. did, in fact, have a
wife named Elizabeth, though her first appearance in the records is fifteen
years after the will, a release of dower on 4 November 1684. However, his
will calls her the mother of a minor son born c1677, indicating they were
married at least by then. That will, dated 10 September 1695 and proved 7
November 1699, makes Elizabeth his executor and names nine children: Richard,
Charles, Robert, Elizabeth Fort, Margaret House, Rachael, Mary, Hannah, and
Sarah (the latter three under 16).
Elizabeth Jordan was alive as late as 7 May 1700 when she presented her
but does not appear in any records thereafter. See the separate page on
Which Richard Jordan Married Elizabeth Reynolds
for a more thorough discussion of this topic. Also see the separate Jordan document for this family
Jane Reynolds (c1650? - ?) Her father’s will implies that she was
the youngest daughter, not yet 15 in 1654. We can infer from her brother
John’s will that she was not yet married in 1669, so perhaps was quite young
when her father died and therefore likely a child of his second wife. Who she
married is unknown. An intriguing possibility – but only a possibility - is
that she was the Jane Jordan who in 1687 was the widow of John Jordan, the
other son of Richard Jordan Sr., who lived on his father’s land adjoining the
original Reynolds plantation.
7. Unborn Child: The 1654 will refers to “the child my wife now goeth with”, language found in several other wills of the time which almost certainly refers to an unborn child. (Had this referred to an infant, the will would presumably have identified its gender if not its name.) The identity of this child cannot be determined. If Elizabeth Reynolds was noticeably pregnant on 1 May 1654 when the will was written, the child would have been born sometime later that same year. Given the child mortality rates of the mid-17th century, there’s a roughly 50% chance that the child would not have lived to reach maturity. Certainly there are no male candidates in the Isle of Wight records, with only two unknown Reynolds appearing in the next fifty years of records, neither of whom was nearly the right age. It is perhaps significant that John Reynolds’ will makes no mention of this child, who would have been 14 or so at the time and an obvious candidate for a bequest in his brother’s will. Given the high odds of unsuccessful pregnancies and births, and the fact that barely half of all infants lived to reach majority, there’s a strong possibility that this child did not live to 1669 when John Reynolds wrote his will. Some researchers claim a Thomas Reynolds of nearby Lower Norfolk County as this child, but that claim is easily disproved since that Thomas Reynolds was himself an adult at the time Christopher Reynolds wrote his will.
 The Original Lists of Persons of Quality…, John Camden Hotten, ed. (Reprint by G.A. Baker & Co., 1931) pp181-2.
 Adventurers of Purse and Person Virginia 1607-1625, Annie Lash Jester (Princeton University Press, 1956) is a transcript, thus more complete than the several books which abstract this record.
 Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia, H. R. McIlwaine, ed. (1924), p97.
 Although a male could testify in court as early as the age of 14, it’s a relatively rare occurrence. In this case, he was the only witness, suggesting that he was mature enough that the court felt his testimony sufficient. In addition, the fact that he was literate and had been in the colony at least four years by this time (a colony without schools) makes a reasonably strong argument that he was an adult.
 Isle of Wight Book A, p103 abstracted in Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia, John Bennett Boddie (1938), p531. Also mentioned in a 1684 patent, see Virginia Patent Book 7, p417.
 The Original Lists of Persons of Quality…, John Camden Hotten, ed. (G.A. Baker & Co.,1931) pp84.
 Other than the coincidence of the name, there is no evidence that this was the same person. Some of the Speedwell passengers were later used as headrights for patents in both Isle of Wight and Henrico counties, providing some very weak evidence that the second Christopher Reynolds could have arrived in or near Isle of Wight. However, I note that he would have had to travel to England, conduct his business, and then board a ship for the return only five months after buying land in Virginia. Further, he would have been away from that land at the very time he should have been planting his initial crop. In addition, later evidence shows he had a wife and at least one infant child, who he should have been reluctant to abandon in the still-dangerous environment of Virginia. The passenger’s age is also a problem. If he were 24 in May 1635, then he had arrived in Virginia on the John and Francis at the age of 10 or 11 and had testified for Collins at the age of 14 or 15, an unlikely scenario. Relative to the earlier muster, I note that the vast majority of servants in Virginia were in their 20s and 30s, only 5% being aged 15 or under in the 1625 muster (of those whose ages were given). Those odds favor his having been an adult at that time, thus a different person than the Speedwell passenger. The fact that there is no later reference to a second Christopher Reynolds is not persuasive since roughly 80% of all immigrants at the time lived less than five years.
 Virginia Patent Book 1, p382. The location is clear from later patents and the succession of the land. It was on the west side of Cypress Creek.
 Technically, headrights were not usable at this time until three years after their arrival. The Speedwell passengers would not have been usable as headrights until two years later. Further, recent research has shown that nearly 80% of headrights were used in patents by persons other than those who actually imported them, so we cannot conclude that Christopher Reynolds was the importer.
 Isle of Wight Book A, p103 abstracted by Boddie, p531.
 Isle of Wight Will & Deed Book1, p541, p544, reference the sale by Reynolds.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 2, p186.
 Isle of Wight County Book A, p46.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 2, p62.
 Isle of Wight Will & Deed Book 2, p479.
 See “Chronology of Reynolds Records” for more details.
 Virginia Patent Book 4, p243-4 and Book 6, p684-5.
 Virginia Patent Book 6, p684-5.
 Book “A” covers the period 1651-6. Wills & Deeds Book 1 has only 5 wills recorded between 1655 and 1659, then only one more, in 1663. Wills and Deeds 2 begins with a recording in mid-1666. The Administrations & Probates book begins in 1661 but refers to wills that are not recorded in the other books. It seems highly likely that there are lost records in the period of roughly 1659 through 1666.
 Isle of Wight Will & Deed Book 2, p422.
 Isle of Wight Administrations and Probates, p81.
 “Cousin” could have had a variety of meanings, being used to identify relationships outside the immediate family circle, but before the mid-1700s was most commonly used to mean “nephew” or “niece.” In this will, it is probably used for both “nephew” and “grandnephew”. Its use in the modern sense was rare, and in this case was extremely unlikely. Richard Sharpe’s literal first cousin would have been the son of his aunt. There is no evidence that he had an uncle in Virginia since the only Sharpe who appears in early Isle of Wight records is Richard Sharpe himself and perhaps his father also named Richard Sharpe – assuming his father was the Richard Sharpe of the earlier patent. There is also the possibility that Richard Reynolds was the child of Richard Sharpe’s wife’s sister, who would also have been a “cousin” to him. However, the will mentions no living wife or children of his own, so it is not clear whether Richard Sharpe had ever been married or not.
 Virginia Patent Book 6, p684-5.
 Isle of Wight Will & Deed Book 2, p243.
 Isle of Wight Will & Deed Book 2, p114.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 1, p90 and p306.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 1, p254.
 Isle of Wight Will & Deed Book 2, p422 and Administrations and Probates book, p81.
 Isle of Wight Will & Deed Book 2, p536.
 Isle of Wight Will & Deed Book 2, p422.
 English Duplicates of Lost Virginia Records, Louis des Cognets, Jr. (Genealogical Publishing Co., Reprinted 1990), p90.
 Virginia Patent Book 10, p98.
 Virginia Patent Book 10, p114. The patent was surveyed in 1707 when he was still alive, but not signed by the Governor until after his death.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 2, p332 and Isle of Wight Great Book, p140.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 9, p326-7.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 6, p164.
 Newport Parish Vestry Book, p77.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 8, p298.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 11, p332 indicates that (if this was him rather than his son) his wife was Prudence, and suggests she may have been the daughter Prudence Pitt named in the 1729 will of John Pitt Jr. I would note that Richard Reynolds named a son Pitt.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 11, p332 for instance, and numerous estate appraisal and witnesses that clearly show they were living in the same small area of the county. Since we can eliminate all the other possible parents, all four children shown must be Richard Reynolds’ sons. Several later records also imply the relationships.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 10, p203.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 8, p267.
 Isle of Wight County Deed Book 13, p306 and p311.
 Chapman includes both the bond and the minister’s return.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 10, p220.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 11, p262.
 Isle of Wight County Deed Book 12, p459.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 7, p190, as an estate appraiser.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 8, p331.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 10, p190.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 6, p316. Isle of Wight Order Book 1759-1763, p330, p504 identifies her husband as George Reynolds.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 8, p477.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 7, p192.
 Isle of Wight Guardian Accounts 1740-1767, p328.
 Isle of Wight Guardian Accounts 1740-1767, p328, 264, 376, 399.
 Court Minute Books transcribed in Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 26, pp 121, 205, 209.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 8, p477.
 Isle of Wight Guardian Accounts 1740-1767, p77.
 Isle of Wight Order Book 1746-52, p29.
 Isle Of Wight Deed Book 8, p292.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 8, p359.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 8, p279.
 Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 4, p255.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 13, p93.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 9, p230.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 10, p205.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 13, p311.
 Isle of Wight Will & Deed Book 2, p607.
 Bath County, North Carolina Will Book 4, p106 abstracted in Early Records of North Carolina, Stephen A. Bradley and in Abstracts of North Carolina Wills, J. Bryan Grimes, p75.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 3, p372.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 4, p396.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 9, p154, 156, 289.
 Isle of Wight County Deed Book 11, p4.
 Isle of Wight Guardian Accounts 1740-1767, p8.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 8, p. 359.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 8, p361.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 9, p156.
 Isle of Wight County Deed Book 11, p4.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 6, p122.
 The deed of gift in 1756 (qv) may have been a means of effecting a prenuptial agreement by gifting slaves to his minor children in order to remove them from his own estate, thus removing them from a future wife’s dower interest.
 Isle of Wight Order Book 1759-1763, p464 according to Marriages of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, 1628-1800, Blanche Adams Chapman, p39.
 The only Needham Nolleboy (sometimes “Nolley”) mentioned in Isle of Wight records died by 7 May 1761 when his appraisal was ordered. Though his widow Penelope remarried to Christopher Reynolds by 1763, an estate accounting was filed as late as 1771 in Isle of Wight, long after they left the area. And his minor son was bound out in 1763 in Isle of Wight a few months after Penelope moved to North Carolina. Either there was a second Needham Nolleboy not mentioned in the records, or Josiah was not the natural son of Penelope and was abandoned by his stepmother to the care of blood relatives..
 See Chronology.
 Craven County, NC Miscellaneous Records 1749-1777, p47.
 Jones County Deed Book C, pp33-34.
 Eg, Jones County, North Carolina, Deed Book D, pp127. The deeds of gift suggest that the last four children were born after 1756, that James and Richard were born before 1762, and the daughters after 1762, so it’s not entirely clear whether all four were Penelope’s. James Reynolds’ will calls Penelope his mother, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she was his natural mother. Penelope’s will, however, suggests Nancy, Sara, and Richard were her own children.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 9, p289.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 6, p122.
 Johnston County Grantee/Grantor Index, recorded Book 5, p299 and p336. The deeds themselves are lost.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 6, p440.
 Craven County, North Carolina Wills, Deeds, Etc. 1749-1777, p17 and p272, both dated in 1762.
 Jones County Deed Book C, p27.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 3, p388.
 Newport Parish Vestry Book, p77 etc.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 6, p115.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 1, p25. Chapman’s Marriages of Isle of Wight identifies her as the sister of Richard Reynolds.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 1, p22.
 Boddie, p541, p586.
 The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 20, p174-5.
 Virginia Patent Book 7, p71
 Virginia Patent Book 7, p174.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 2, p102.
 Virginia Patent Book 8, p347.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 1, p309 is a sale by Richard and Joyce Reynolds of 220 acres of this patent. The remaining sales are likely among the lost deeds of Nansemond County.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 1, p254.
 Isle of Wight Will & Deed Book 2, p494.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 1, p80.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 8, p242.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 2, p1.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 1, p323.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 1, p357.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 2, p74.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 2, p102.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 3, p22.
 Susannah Brock, the widow of Robert Brock, also named her “son Thomas Calcote” as legatee and executor. He was apparently a son by a prior marriage, not a son-in-law, for in 1734 his wife Ann Calcote was identified as the daughter of John Bromfield. [Deed Book 4, p397] Although this raises some uncertainty over Elizabeth Reynolds’ maiden name, the earlier reference to Benjamin Brock seems to suggest her name was Brock rather than Calcote. On the other hand, Robert Brock could have been Christopher Reynolds’ father-in-law in a legal sense even if not the natural father of Elizabeth.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 2, p186.
 Isle of Wight Will & Deed Book 2, p231.
 William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, Vol. 6, p77 and Vol.7, p210. She the chronology for more details.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 5, p331. The deed is by Christopher Reynolds and his son John, with no release of dower by a wife.
 Virginia Patent Book 14, p297 and p351.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 8, p52.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 8, p242.
 Virginia Patent Book 33, p469
 Isle of Wight Will Book 3, p22.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 4, p228.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 5, p331.
 Newport Parish Vestry Book, p109.
 Michael Reynolds appears in Deed Book 5, p157 and Deed Book 8, p268 as the husband of Alice Darden, daughter of a neighbor living considerably south of the Blackwater.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 4, p3.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 8, p363.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 2, p52.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 2, p46.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 5, p112.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 8, p142.
 Isle of Wight Will Book 7, p369.
 Boddie, p554
 Virginia Patent Book 4, p252. Patent to Giles Driver of 12 March 1657/8 mentions “[Cypress] Swamp which parteth the land of Christopher Reynolds and John Reynolds” referring to the dividing line between the inherited land of these two sons of Christopher Reynolds Sr.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 2, p62.
 Isle of Wight Deed Book 1, p398.
 Boddie, p541.
 Boddie, p548.
 Surry County Deed Book 3, p12.
 Surry County Deed Book 5, p183.
 Surry County Orders 1691-1713, p209.
 Tobacco & Slaves: The Development of Southern Cultures in the Chesapeake, Allan Kulikoff (UNC Press, 1986), pp61. About 20% of all infants died before the age of 5, and another 20% died before reaching 21. Combined with unsuccessful pregnancies, the chances of a child being born and reaching maturity were under 50%.
 Virginia Patent Book 3, p241 contains a grant to this Thomas Reynolds in Lower Norfolk in 1653.