Ancestors of Christopher Reynolds of Isle of Wight VA
by Sybil R. Taylor
© Reynolds Family Association, 1992
For ease of reference, Tillman's 1948 book will be identified as T1 and his 1959 book as T2. His numbered paragraphs will be identified, for example, as T1-3 Thomas, T2-2 Richard, etc. Counties are in parentheses when written with the state. Maiden names of females are in parentheses when written with married surname.
T1-1 CHRISTOPHER REYNOLDS, the first known of this branch of the family was born circa 1530 in County Kent, England. He m. -, and settled in London, England, where he engaged in commerce and trade. Issue: George [T1-2]; Richard [T1-1570]; Christopher; Mary who d. y.; Cornelius; and Thomas. In compiling this history the author has studied most carefully all available data in the Library of Congress; in the library of the national headquarters of the DAR; in the National Archives (census reports and Revolutionary War pension applications; wills, land deeds, data from family Bibles, etc. This has been supplemented with data furnished by living members of the family... In the past there has been considerable confusion and errors in the various compilations that have been made [of the Reynolds family in VA]....same errors with regard to the family having descended from a Reynolds that settled either in CT or PA...I have read newspaper writeups [sic] of the Reynolds of some 30 years ago in which appeared the statement that the VA Reynolds descended from the emigrant that settled in CT and others said PA. A little research on the part of the writers of these articles would have shown that the VA Reynolds were seated in that State [VA] as early as 1637. There is one line of the northern family that has names very similar with the VA family. The Northern emigrant was named Christopher and may have been an uncle of the Christopher Reynolds that settled in New England also came from County Kent, England. Having spent many years on this compilation the author can assure the members of the family that it is factually correct. It has always been legendary in my branch of the family that the name originally was spelled Rennolds. Mr. Benjamin C. Rennolds (par 199) of Mt. Landing VA...informed me that his family has always spelled it as Rennolds. He is now living in the house that has been in his family for about 200 years and is the owner of several family Bibles of equal age. Brackets appearing in family paragraphs such as (S-), (W-), and (R-) indicate an application on file in the National Archives for Rev War pension. There are 87 applications on file there under the name of Rennolds and Reynolds. All were examined.
T2-1 Christopher Reynolds, the first known of the family was born circa 1530 in County Kent, England. He m. - and settled in London where he and his sons engaged in trade and commerce. A study of early English records indicate that he had a brother - Nathaniel Reynolds - also engaged with his company. A sister, Dorothy, who d. 21 November 1552 [sic], m. 11 Aug 1567 William Tilghman, son of Richard and Julian (Newman) Tilghman, of (Kent) England. The record of the Tilghman Family is available in the DAR Library and the Library of Congress. In addition to the many official sources of information that have been consulted in the computation of the REYNOLDS FAMILY, much assistance was graciously given by the late Mrs. A.C. Rippier who served so many years as the Secretary of the Reynolds Family Association. The names of the children of Christopher and that of his wife are not known completely. His known or identifiable issue are not necessarily listed in order of birth. Issue: George [T1-2, T2-1894]; Richard [T1-1570, T2-2]; William [T2-4162]; Mary who d.y.; Thomas; Cornelius; Robert; Christopher; John; and several daughters.
RFA has no record to support any of the above information about this Christopher. Tillman did research the RFA files, but there is nothing in the files to support the information he provides on Christopher or his children. The RFA files have no sources that indicate any of the New England colonial settlers were children of any Christopher Reynolds. Several members of RFA have researched in England many times for this elusive Christopher with no success.
There is no evidence that Christopher ever came to America and most likely he did not. The earliest record of a positive Reynolds arrival is Christopher Reynolds in VA in 1622, when Christopher of New Kent England would have been 92 years old. He probably died in London, England, but to date, no records have been found of his existence in County Kent or London. [Sue Clement in Reynolds Monthly Newsletter by Belle Hester, August 1991.]
One publication has stated that this Christopher died in America, without giving a source for the information. Note that Tillman did not make this assertion, and no other similar statement is known to RFA. There is no evidence available that indicates Christopher ever came to, resided in, or died in the United States.
GEORGE REYNOLDS OF ENGLAND
T1-2 GEORGE REYNOLDS, son of Christopher (1) Reynolds, b ca 1555 in County Kent England, and d. 1634. Data from his will. He m. 1-20-85 Thomasyn Church and settled in Bristol, England, and then in London. He is shown to have visited VA several times but did not settle in the colony. Issue: Thomas, b 1590 [T1-3]; Anne; and Christopher b 1611 [T1-433].
T2-1894 George Reynolds of (1) b 1555 County Kent, England and d 1634 London, England, m 20 Jan 1585 Thomasyn Church, and settled in London, and elsewhere. Data partially from his will. His children settled VA and the now New England states. Issue: Thomas [T2-5571] and John (twins) b 1590 [T2-2491]; Robert b 1586 [T2-1895]; Anne; Christopher b 1611 [T2-6292]; and several others.
There is a marriage record for a George Reynolds who m. Thomasyn Church 20 Jan 1585 at St. James Clerkenwell. [A True Register of all the Christenings, Mariages, and Burialles in the Parishe of St. James, Clarkenwell, from The Yeare of Our Lorde God 1551. Edited by Robert Hovenden. Vol. III, "Marriages 1551-1754". London, 1887.] There is no record of any children of this couple in St. James Clerknwell Parish.
The will of Henry Hobson of Bristol, proved 27 May 1636: ...[to]...My kinsman Christopher Reynolds, son of George Reynolds, deceased, and Anne Reynoldes, sister of the said Christopher (at twenty one or day of marriage)... . [Henry F. Waters, A.M., Genealogical Gleanings in England, 2 Vols. Balto: Genealogical Publications Co, 1969 (reprint edition).] Although this Christopher and Anne are children of a George, there is no evidence that they are the Christopher and George of interest in this article.
While the possibility exists, until more clear and convincing evidence becomes available, RFA cannot accept Christopher born 1530 and George who married Thomasyn Church as the parents of Christopher Reynolds of Isle of Wight VA.