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Christopher Reynolds of Isle of Wight, VA

Chapter 4.1

T1=Tillman, The Rennolds-Reynolds of Virginia and England 1530-1948
T2=Tillman, The Rennolds-Reynolds Family Roster 1530-1959
W.G. Reynolds=Reynolds History Annotated 1475-1977
Boddie=John Bennett Boddie, Historical Southern Families, Vol II, "Reynolds of Isle of Wight," 1958
Ray=Worth S. Ray, Index and Digest to Hathaway's NC Historical & Genealogical Register, 1945
Hotten=John Camden Hotten, The Original Lists of Persons of Quality 1600-1700, 1874
Adventurers=Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia 1607-1624/5, Order of First Families of Virginia, various editors. Three editions, Jester 1956; 1964; Meyers & Dorman1987.


As Christopher's ancestors are in doubt, so is his place of birth. Was it Gravesend, County Kent or was it Dorsetshire, ENG as preferred by both Ray and W.G. Reynolds?

W.G. Reynolds writing in 1978, siding with W.S. Ray, states "Christopher Reynolds was born in Dorsetshire, England, although Tillman takes a contrary position that it was County Kent, England. Boddie in Historical Southern Families, Vol II, "Reynolds of Isle of Wight," p201, [1958], seems to agree with Judge Ray."

The following quote is actually what Boddie had to say in the foregoing reference:

"Christopher Reynolds is shown in a published Reynolds pedigree as son of George Reynolds and Tomasine Church, born in 1611 at Gravesend, England. No references are given."

T1-433 CHRISTOPHER REYNOLDS, of George (2), and Thomasyn (Church) Reynolds, b 1611 Gravesend, England, an d 1654 Isle of Wight Co. VA. He m. Elizabeth -. Data is from his will. They came to Warwick Co. VA, 1622 aboard the Francis and John, where they settled on 450 acres, patent to which was dated 9-15-1636. Issue: Richard b 1641 [T1-434]; Christopher b 1642 [T1-1135]; John b 1644, who d. unm. 3-11-1668; Abbasha b 1646; Elizabeth b 1648 [T1-1569]; Jane b 1650; and Thomas b 1655 [T1-1284]."

T2-6292 Christopher Reynolds, of (1894 George), b 1611 Gravesend, England, d 1654 Isle of Wight Co. VA, m. Elizabeth - . Data from his will. They arrived in Warwick Co. VA 1622 aboard the "Francis and John", and settled there on 450 acres patent to which was made 15 Sep 1636. Issue: Richard b 1641 [T2-6293]; Christopher b 1642 [T2-7471]; John b 1644 and d 11 Mar 1668; Abbasha b 1646; Elizabeth b 1648; Jane b 1650; and Thomas b 1655 [T2-7899].

Of all the many family histories I have seen (particularly the many at the NSDAR Library, Washington DC, and the VA State Library in Richmond), Ray, W.G. Reynolds, Tillman and are quoted repeatedly as the source for the information about Christopher Reynolds of Isle of Wight VA. (It is amazing how many have taken verbatim quotes from the sources and not given any credit to the authors!)


Col. Tillman stated that Christopher was born in 1611, but does not give a source for this birthdate. This does not seem probable since he appeared as a witness in court in 1625, when he would have been only 14 years of age.

William Glasgow Reynolds wrote "Christopher Reynolds was ... born 1604... [Ray, Index, p135]." Reynolds did not give a source for this birthdate.

Ray makes no mention of Christopher's birthdate.

If Christopher was born in 1611 and came to Virginia in 1622, he would have been only 11 years of age at the time of his arrival (which is documented). In 1625 he testified as a witness (documented) in the General Court. It is possible that he might have been in such a position at age 14, but is it likely?


It is not known when Christopher married and it is not known who he married or how many wives he had.

We have seen that Tillman named her Elizabeth, and stated that "They" arrived... No source given for this information.

Ray made no mention of his wife or wives.

W.G. Reynolds stated that Christopher married as her 2d husband Elizabeth Matthews, whose first husband had been George Rivers, by whom she had a son, George, but gave no source for the information.

In the early VA records, I have not been able to find a record identifying Elizabeth as Elizabeth Metthews, or a husband named Matthews with a wife named Elizabeth, or the death of a male Matthews.

RFA member Robert A. Reynolds presented an interesting theory. "There was a second arrival in Virginia of "Chri: Reinolds", aged 24, aboard the ship Speedwell which departed from England 28 May 1635 (Hotten, p. 83; Boyer p67). I presume Christopher returned to England for a bride; his wife's name was Elizabeth and there were two women of his age aboard the 'Speedwell' with that name." The women on board Speedwell were Elizabeth Pew age 20, Elizabeth Tuttell, age 25, and a child Elizabeth Biggs, age 10. Was this our Christopher or another Christopher on his initial arrival in the new Colony.

Jester, in Adventurers of Purse and Person Virginia 1607-1625 (1956), makes an interesting statement in writing of Christopher's will: "...to George Rivers (apparently a step-son).... He apparently married (1) ___ and (2) Elizabeth (___) Rivers."

There is nothing in the article to give a clue as to what brought her to this conclusion. No additional information was provided in later editions of Adventurers.

Adventurers, 1987 ed., page 494-495, "Christopher Reynolds left a will dated 1 May 1654... [named] wife Elizabeth, and George Rivers (apparently a step-son), and directed that his wife Elizabeth have the ordering and bringing up of his sons John and Richard, to be of age at 16, and daughters Elizabeth and Jane to of age at 15. He apparently married (1) --- and (2) Elizabeth (---) Rivers."

I asked Mr. Dorman the basis for the statement, "He apparently married (1) --- and (2) Elizabeth (---) Rivers." He replied that it probably was based on the date of the death of Elizabeth's husband.

In the VA records, I have not been able to find a record naming an Elizabeth Rivers, or any record pertaining to a Rivers husband or his death. One record exits, from which such speculation could be made, which will be seen later, in the article about the will of Richard2 Reynolds, son of Christopher1.

So, to date we do not know Christopher's ancestors, his date and place of birth, his wife or wives' names.

If anyone can provide any information about the foregoing, please contact Lee Taylor

At this point we are without facts. But we can provide clear and convincing evidence of the first male Reynolds in the New World, i.e., Christopher Reynolds of Isle of Wight VA. The next chapter will deal with the evidence we do have for Christopher and his family.

Additional References:

Boddie, John Bennett. Colonial Surry. Orig pub Richmond VA 1948, repr 1959 Southern Book Co, Baltimore, repr pub 1989 Clearfield Co, Baltimore. This volume does not once mention the name Reynolds by any spelling; however, there were Reynolds there in later years.

Boddie, John Bennett. Births, Deaths and Sponsors 1717-1778 from the Albemarle Parish Register of Surry and Sussex Counties, Virginia, Balto: Gen. Pub. Co., 1974. This volume does not once mention the name Reynolds by any spelling.

Peter Wilson Coldham, The Complete Book of Emigrants 1607-1660, A Comprehensive Listing Compiled from English Public Records, p35-46: 16 Feb 1624. List of the names of the living in VA and of those who have died since April 1623 from PRO:CO1/3/5 (Public Record Office, Kew, Richmond, Surry TW9 4DU, England).

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