Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

William Farrar and Cecily Reynolds, Our 9th Great Grandparents and the Jamestown Indian Massacre (Mattson Line)

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,

Today in our family gathering I'd like to introduce you to our 9th Great Grandparents, William Farrar and Cecily Reynolds.   We begin with the Relationship Chart

Relationship Chart 

William Farrar (1583 - 1637) Cecily Reynolds (1601 - 1661)
are your 9th great grandparents
Son of William and Cecily
Son of William
Daughter of Thomas
Daughter of Mary
Daughter of Hannah
Son of Sarah
Son of Levi
Daughter of John Mayberry
Daughter of Vesta Althea
Daughter of Violet Mae
Victor Williamson

William Farrar was the son of John Farrer and Cecily Kelke).  He was born before April 28, 1583 in Croxton, Lincolnshire, Halifax Parish, Yorkshire, England, and died before October 1636 in Farrar's Island, Henrico Co. Virginia. He married Cecily on January 03, 1624/25 - May 02, 1625 in Charles City, Henrico, Co. Virginia.

William Farrar was the third son of John Farrer the Elder, Esquire of Croxton, Ewood, and London, and Cecily Kelke. He was born into the wealthy landholder gentry of Elizabethan England.  It is not known for certain where the family resided at the time of William's birth. Though it is known that John Farrer preferred to live at Croxton, Lincolnshire near his wife's family the Kelkes rather than at Ewood, the Farrar ancestral estate since 1471. Christening records of two of the sons of John and Cecily Farrar seem to confirm that the family resided at Croxton:  
Parish Christening Records:
"John Farrer" Sex: male, Christening: 20 January 1581 in Croxton Parish, Lincoln, England. Father: John Farrer
"Willyam Farer" Sex: male, Christening: 28 April 1583 in Croxton Parish, Lincoln, England. Father: "John Farer."

The importance of education was long stressed in the Farrer family.  Among the earliest in the Farrer family was Bishop Robert Farrar (1500-1555), educated at Cambridge and Oxford, which a number of later generations also attended.  We don't know where William received his education,  though it is certain that he and his brothers attended the finest institutions. William was trained in the law which in addition to his families' wealth and high standing,  enabled him to make a valuable contribution in the New World.

In July 1609, The Armorial Bearings (Coat of Arms) of John Farrer of Croxton were confirmed as appertaining to him by William Camden Clarenceux, King of Arms." (College of Arms record.) 
This meant that the family received a Coat of Arms.
The family crest of:  ARMS OF JOHN FARRER THE ELDER OF LONDON, ESQUIRE AND OF CROXTON, LINCS., CONFIRMED IN 1609 consist of as "Argent, on a bend engrailed sable, three horse-shoes of the field; and for the crest, on a wreath of the colors, a horse-shoe argent, between two wings ."

On November 24, 1615, "John Farrer the elder of London, Esquire, granted to his sons Henry, John, William and Humfrey lands in Newgate, London." 


In 1611, four years after Capt. Christopher Newport's early explorations, Sir Thomas Dale left Jamestown to establish a settlement up river. Relations with the Indians had steadily deteriorated since 1607, and Dale's company suffered constant Indian attacks. The party finally came to a peninsula on the north side of the river, now Farrar's Island, where Dale established the colony's second settlement, "Henricus," known also as the "city" or "town" of "Henrico." In just four months the town grew to a fortified settlement. Frame houses lined three streets, and the men had built a wooden church, a brick foundation for a permanent church, storehouses, watchtowers, and huts. 

Life in the New World was hard, but the English had high hopes that their settlements would add valuable minerals and raw materials to their economy, in addition to providing strategic military outposts. They also saw this land as a new frontier for spreading Christianity. Virginia's economy was sharply transformed by the introduction in 1612 of new strains of mild tobacco by colonist John Rolfe. Rolfe's tobacco was shipped to England, and Virginia's economy soon began to prosper. In 1614, peace with the Indians was temporarily established, following Rolfe's marriage to Powhatan's daughter, Pocahontas, who had converted to Christianity and been baptized "Rebecca." 

In 1619 the Virginia Company instituted reforms in the colony that led to the establishment of a representative form of government. The colony was divided into settlements or "plantations," one being the City of Henricus. Each plantation sent representatives to Jamestown to the General Assembly of 1619, the first representative legislature in a British colony. An Indian uprising on March 22, 1622, abruptly halted plans to further develop Henrico. The Indians regarded the colony's rapid development as a threat. On Good Friday morning, Indians attacked settlements throughout the colony. Houses were burned. Men, women, and children were murdered. Henricus was almost completely demolished. Most survivors retreated to Jamestown or other nearby settlements. The city called Henrico was abandoned. The site of Henrico's first settlement was part of a large land grant made to William Farrar, Sr., and came to be known as Farrar's Island.

WILLIAM FARRAR who emigrated to Virginia in 1618 was a subscriber to the Third Charter of the Virginia Company (He paid £37 10 shillings, although many who subscribed never paid.). His name appears among the citizens and merchants of London listed in Article V of the Charter, 
"So that posterity may hereafter know who have adventured and not been sparing of their purses in such a noble and generous action for the general good of their country..." 
Alexander Brown wrote: 
"Unlike the Second Charter made up mostly of trades people, three fourths of the Third Charter were of the gentry," and many of those named in Browne's Biographies, among them, our 9th great grandfather William Farrar, "are originators of families who are today largely represented in the United States, and as patriotic citizens should take much pride in being of the Founders' Kin as is taken by Englishmen in tracing from the Roll of Battle Abbey."

At the age of 35 William Farrar cast his lot with the venturers and sailed from London March 16, 1618, in the "Neptune" with Lord Delaware, who had been urged by the settlers to return to Virginia as a governor and who had persuaded many of the gentry to emigrate to Virginia. Although the ship was a large one, with 200 passengers, especially equipped by the Virginia Company for Lord Delaware's return, the voyage was a long, perilous one lasting sixteen weeks.

"Meeting with contrary winds and much bad weather many fell sick, and thirty died (among them) Lord Delaware himself... Camden tells us he had been feasted at the Western Islands, and that his death was not without suspicion of Poison. And I think I have seen that he died about the mouth of the Delaware Bay, which thence took its name from him... After his death they were forced on the the Coast of New England, where they got a Recruit of Wood and Water and took such an abundance of Fish and Fowl, as plentifully served them to Virginia. They likewise here met a small Frenchman, rich in Bever and other Furrs, who feasted them with so great a Variety of Fish, Fowl and Fruits, they were all amazed." (From the History of the First Discovery & Settlement of Virginia by W. Stith)

A further account of the Neptune's wanderings was given in a lawsuit by the owner of the ship Treasurer, which, while on a fishing voyage, met the Neptune at sea, June 5, 1618, and took on eleven of its passengers due to sickness aboard. The ships then parted, the Treasurer turning south, the Neptune taking the usual northern course, but later their paths met again and sailed along together for awhile. At the mercy of winds and sickness that so often accompanied these voyages, the Neptune finally arrived in Virginia in August.

In spite of the great tragedy of the voyage, the Neptune brought welcome news that "multitudes were preparing to be sent." Although the cultivation of tobacco was becoming profitable for trade, attracting an increasing number of settlers, the colony was struggling desperately for survival. In the summer of 1618, Virginia experienced a severe drought and an epidemic considered the worst in the colony's history. That William Farrar survived and remained to play an important part in the establishment of the colony is a great tribute to his stamina as well as his ability.

William Farrar quickly made a place for himself in the colony acting as appraiser, executor of estates, a member of the the King's Council and justice of two counties. There is no record of whether William Farrar was married in England or possibly brought a family with him to Virginia. If he had a wife and children, they died before or shortly after he arrived in Virginia. 

William Farrar was first granted 100 acres on the Appomattox River, Charles City County, about three miles from where it flows into the James River. Listed in the minutes of the Virginia Company, May 1625: "Land laid out for ye Company below Shirley Hundred Lland: Wm. ffarrar uppon Appomatucke River 100 acres."

During the famed Indian massacre of Virginia settlers, which began on Good Friday, March 22, 1622, ten persons were killed at William Farrar's house upon the Appomattox River. There were...
 "slain at Mr. Farrar's house, Master John England and his Man; John Bell, Henricke Peterson, Alice his wife, William his son, Thomas his Man; James Wardlaw (Woodshaw); Margaret and Elizabeth, Maidservants." 
Some writers have erroneously stated that William Farrar was then living at Farrar's Island, but records show that the Island was not abandoned as Henrico City until some time after the Massacre.

William Farrar fled with other survivors and managed to escape and find refuge at the fortified home of his neighbors Samuel and Cecily Jordan on the James River arriving the next day, where he stayed for years thereafter. Beggar's Bush, the plantation of Samuel Jordan (a member of the First Virginia Assembly, whose name is on the monument at Jamestown), was a stronghold of the colony to which settlers fled for safety when attacked by Indians. 

After the Massacre, "Master Samuel Jordan gathered together but a few of the stragglers about him at 'Beggar's Bush' where he fortified himself and lived despite the enemy." Governor Wyatt wrote to the Virginia Company, April 1622, "that he thought fit to hold a few outlying places, including the plantation of Mr. Samuel Jordan; but to abandon others and concentrate the colonists at Jamestown."

It is thought that Beggar's Bush, soon to be known as Jordan's Journey, one of the earliest land patents of record, was a large area similar to the "hundreds". It was located at the present Jordan's Point, Prince George County (formerly Charles Cittie), near where the Appomattox River flows into the James River, and where the Hopewell Airport is now located. 

In the Muster of Jordan's Journey, February 16, 1623, nearly one year after the massacre, 42 persons are shown still living at Jordan's Journey. Two years after the massacre on January 21, 1624/5 William Farrar and seven of the settlers for whom he later patented Farrar's Island, are among those listed. 

About one third, 347 of the 1240 Virginia colonists, perished during the Indian Massacre. As Indians continued to prey upon settlers, colonists were ordered to remain in specified settlements. In the years following the Indian uprising of 1622, the colonists engaged in regular attacks against the Indians, pushing them farther and farther westward. Presumedly William Farrar's home on the Appomattox River was burned and destroyed by the Indians, and he did not return to live on the property. He stayed on at Jordan's Journey as he and other survivors had been ordered to do:

From Persons of Quality: A List of Names; of the Living in Virginia, February the 16, 1623LivingAt Jordan's JorneySislye JordanTemperance BaylifeMary JordanMargery JordanWilliam Farrar (37 more names follow the above listed.)

William Gains the Hand of our 9th Great Grandmother

Upon the death of Samuel Jordan, nearly a year after the Indian Massacre and shortly before the February 16, 1623 Virginia Muster, the Reverend Greville Pooley 46, minister of the Parish of Fleur-Dieu Hundred, near Jordan's Journey, read the burial service and four days later wooed the widow, Cecily Jordan, and thought he was accepted. The parson, in his joy at having won her hand "spread the word" of the engagement and boasted of his good fortune, which Mrs. Jordan resented, saying he would have fared better had he not revealed it, for she had not wanted her engagement announced so soon after her husband's death nor until after she had delivered her unborn child. The young widow refused to go through with the wedding and instead accepted William Farrar's proposal of marriage.

 Enraged Parson Pooley, undaunted, went before the Council on June 14, 1623 to state his claim thus instituting the first breach of promise suit in America. Pooley accused the lady of having jilted him and alleged that it was nothing short of "Skandelous" for Mr. Farrar, his rival, to be "in ordinary dyett in Mrs. Jordan's house and to frequent her Company alone." This was the celebrated case of its day! The Governor and Council could not bring themselves to decide the questions and continued the matter until November 27, 1623, then referred the case to the Council for Virginia in London, "desiring the resolution of the civil lawyers thereon and a speedy return thereof." But they declined to make a decision and returned it, saying they "knew not how to decide so nice a difference." Reverend Pooley was finally persuaded by the Reverend Samuel Purchase to drop the case. As a result on January 3, 1624/25, Reverend Pooley signed an agreement freely acquitting Mrs. Jordan from her promises.

 Cecily Jordan then went before the Governor and Council and formally "contracted herself to Captain William Farrar." William Farrar, trained for the law in England, successfuly defended Mrs. Jordan winning not only the suit but his client in matrimony.

During the course of the breach of promise suit, William Farrar was made administrator of Samuel Jordan's estate. A worn record, dated November 19, 1623 shows Court presided over by Sir Francis Wyatt, Governor, and Christopher Davison, Secretary, indicates that a warrant was issued "to Mr. Farrar to bring in the account of Mr. Jordan his estate by the last day of December." Another warrant was issued to "Mrs. Jordan, that Mr. Farrer put in security for the performance of her husbands will." An abstract of the orders were to be delivered to Sir George Yeardley.

In the 1624 will of Richard Domblawe of London, bachelor, "Mr. William Farrar" was appointed co-executor of his affairs in Virginia.

In the census of January 1624/5, William Farrar was listed at Jordan's Journey, where his muster was recorded jointly with that of Mrs. Sisley Jordan and her three daughters: 



WILLIAM FERRAR aged 31 yeares in the Neptune in August 1618. 
SISLEY JORDAN aged 24 yeres in the Swan in August 1610. 
MARY JORDAN her daughter aged 3 yeares }
MARGARETT JORDAN aged 1 yeare }borne heare
TEMPERANCE BALEY aged 7 yeares }

(*The age of 31 years stated for William Farrar is thought to be in error by ten years based on his 1583 christening record.) 

William Farrar 42, and Mrs. Cecily Jordan 25, were married shortly before May 2, 1625. The young, attractive, and wealthy twice widowed Cecily came with a ready-made family of girls as Cecily had had two daughters by her second husband Samuel Jordan- Mary 4, and Margaret 2, plus her daughter Temperance Bailey 8, from her earlier first marriage. 

Since William Farrar and Cecily Jordan had married, his bond to administer Samuel Jordan's estate was ordered canceled: "At a Court, 2 May 1625, 'Yt is ordered yt Mr. William Farrar's bonde shall be cancelled as overseer of the Estate of Samuel Jordan dec'd."

William Farrar was given a position of great responsibility when on March 4, 1625/6, Charles I appointed him a member of the King's Council, a position he held until 1632. He attended quarterly court at Jamestown and was closely associated with the governor, councilors and burgesses. Shortly after William Farrar's appointment to the Council, he was made commissioner of the Upper Partes on August 7, 1626:
"Monthlie Courtes to be kept above Percies hundred shalbe kept at the discretione of Mr. William ffarrar, one of his Majesty's Councill of State, either at Jourdan's Journey of Shirley Hundred." 

William Farrar and his wife Cecily continued to reside at Jordan's Journey after their marriage. Records from the Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia 1622-1632 show that William Farrrar was living at Jordan's Journey as late as September 1626, and possibly until 1631/32. The children born to William and Cecily Farrar, of whom there is record, were Cecily, William and John. The children were probably all born at Jordan's Journey. Thomas Pawlett, of West & Shirley Hundred, who had arrived in Virginia aboard the "Neptune" with William Farrar was named godfather of William Farrar II. The numerous Farrar descendants of Councilor William and Cecily Farrar all stem from the elder son, Col. William Farrar, Jr.

In the list of burgesses for 1631/32, Arrowhattocks, Neck-of-Land and Curles were represented by Capt. Thomas Osborne, while "both Shirley Hundreds, Mr. ffarrars and Chaplaynes" were represented by Francis Eppes and Walter Afton. This would seem to indicate that William Farrar was not at the Neck-of Land (Farrar's Island) and it may be that it was only after the sale of his inheritance in London in 1631 that he patented the Island. After the Great Massacre of 1622 many colonists were in doubt as to where to locate and did not settle permanently until after 1628. Whatever the date, the delay proved fortunate for William Farrar, for he was able to select one of the choicest locations, the site of Henrico Towne, the second settlement in the colony. His land extending to Varina, the county seat, and his duties as "chief" justice of the county made him a close neighbor and associate of the leading families of Henrico as well as Charles Citty County.

William's father, John Farrer the Elder had his very long will written on November 14, 1627. On May 28, 1628 the will was proved by his son Henry. (Excerpts from the will of:) John Farrer, the elder of London, Esquire, of parish of St. Mary Aldermanbury Parish, bequeathed: To third son William Farrar "all those messuages, land, etc., in Hoddesden, Bloxeborne and Amwell or elsewhere in the countie of Hertford heretofore ... conveyed to Henry and John Farrer (which they were to relinquish to William) ... To William and his wife and children 20 pounds a yeare during the terme of their lives and longest liver of them to be paid out of Greate Ewood and Little Ewood at ye feaste of ye Annunciation of ye blessed Virgin and St. Michaell the Archangel by my sonne Henry Farrer his heirs or assigns."
In the codicil to his will dated April 24, 1628, "Also my will is that my son William shall receive of mine executor fiftie pounds at his return into England ... My pewter, brasse, bedding and Linen shalbe divided equally between my fower sonnes Henry Farrer, John Farrer, William Farrer and Humfrey Farrer... and that William Farrar's part shalbe reserved for him or ye valewe thereof in the handes of my overseers, and in case he be not living it shalbe reserved for his wife and children." 
"Son Henry Farrer sole executor; overseers, son John Farrer and nephew Henry Wilkenson. Witnesses to codicil: Henry Croke, Henry Wilkenson."

William, at age 48, returned to London in the summer of 1631 after his father's death and sold his inheritance to his brother, Henry Farrar of Berkshire, for £200 in a document dated September 6, 1631. William's wife, Cecily, and his children, Cecily and William appear in the deed and relinquished their rights to his inheritance. It isn't known whether his wife or children accompanied him on the trip. William carried with him letters from Virginia colonists, as was the custom to do. A letter from John Ferrer of Little Gidding to his brother Nicholas: "I have since I wrote my other letter gott from William (Farrar) these inclosed which I send you now what is best to be donne for delivery of them I leave to you as being best able to judge..."

The achievement for which William Farrar is most remembered is the establishment of Farrar's Island, in what is now Henrico Co. Virginia on a bend in the James River. The estate consisited of 2000 acres, very large for its day, granted to William Farrar for the transportation of forty settlers. It probably wasn't until after the sale of his inheritance in London in 1631 that William Farrar patented Farrar's Island, living there for only about the last five years of his life. It was not until after William Farrar's death, at the age of 54, that the patent for Farrar's Island was finally granted posthumously by King Charles I to his and Cecily's son William Farrar II on June 11, 1637. 

One of the most dramatic events occurring during William Farrar's tenure on the Council was the arrest and deportation of Governor Harvey, "a Royal governor who had exercised unbearable tyrannical and arbitrary power." After an eventful decade during which the Virginia Compny was overthrown along with the loss of a representative form of government which it had attempted to establish there was uncertainty about what to expect from Royal rule. In March 1634 the Council reluctantly voted to accept the loss of prime territories to Lord Baltimore, but rebelled against Gov. Harvey. William Farrar was one of a committee of 20 appointed to arrest Gov. Harvey and return him to England in protest.

May 1636: Nathan Martin patented 500 acres, 100 acres of which was due "by surrender from William Farrar Esquire for transportation of two servants." 

William Farrar's brother Humphrey's will dated October 1636 mentions property bequests to each of his brothers except William Farrar of Virginia. It is presumed that this omission establishes that William Farrar had died prior to the drawing of the will. William Farrar was survived by his wife Cecily 37, and children Cecily, William and John. He undoubtedly left a will, but it does not survive.