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Christopher Reynolds of Isle of Wight, VA

Chapter 3

The Sister of Christopher Reynolds of Isle of Wight VA?
by Susan E. Clement and Sybil R. Taylor
© 1992 Reynolds Family Association


From the evidence examined to date, it appears that the first American genealogical writer of Cecily and Christopher was J.R.B. Ray in 1901. (The North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol II, No 4, Oct 1901. Repr Balto: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1979, pp135-136.) Unfortunately, Ray gave little in the way of sources for his information. William Glasgow Reynolds in his Reynolds History Annotated(1475-1977)used Ray as his single source for Cecily's as well as Christopher's parentage.

Our primary interest in Cecily is her possible relationship to Christopher of Isle of Wight VA. Ray's primary interest was in the Parker family, but he thought that to convey an adequate conception of the Virginia origin of the Parkers it would be necessary to present brief sketches of the families with which they were connected.

The Parker relationship to Cecily was supposedly that Thomas Parker of "Macclesfield" in Isle of Wight Co. VA, married the widow of Peter Montague and referenced the VA Magazine of History & Biography 6:420. This reference does not name Montague's wife; however, in the will of Peter Montague, proved in May 1659 in Lancaster Co. VA, her name is given as Cecily. (Page 57, "History and Genealogy of Peter Montague" by George William Montague (1894)). More about the Montagues later.

Ray appears to have found Cecily entrancing, and he wrote of the "Mysterious Cicely Jordan": "At or about the same time, if not on the same vessel, in the year 1611, a ten year old girl named Cicely Reynolds, and a comparatively young widower, who had left his small sons behind him in England, arrived at Jamestown in the Colony of Virginia. The young widower was Samuel Jordan, who afterwards established a seat on the James River near its confluence with the Appomattox, which he called 'Jourdan's Jorney'. Almost contemporaneously with the coming of these two, but perhaps a year earlier, Sir Thomas Gates and his companions of the ill fated 'Sea Venture' had landed, among them being Capt. William Pierce."

"This was followed by Joane Pierce, the Captain's wife on the 'Blessing.' Capt. Pierce was a relative in some degree of the young girl Cicely Reynolds, and doubtless the advance arrival of Cicely was known to both Captain Pierce and his wife. Besides, Samuel Jordan was a near-relative of Cicely and her mother's cousin, and still another cousin (of her mother) Silvester Jordan, came about the same time, so there was no lack of relatives to look after the ten year old child, whose mother, still living in Dorsetshire, for some reason had consented to her coming."

"Twelve years later, her brother, Christopher Reynolds, arrived on the 'John and Francis' and may have discovered for the first time that his sister was then married to her second husband Samuel Jordan and the mistress of Jordan's Jorney, with a six year old daughter by her first husband, named Temperance Bailey..."

Ray went on to give Cecily a rather long ancestry, but failed to cite his sources: "The grandfather of Cicely Reynolds was Thomas Jordan, of Dorsetshire, England, grand daughter, the mother of Cicely married a Reynolds [sic]. Her mother's maiden name was Cicely Fitzpen or Phippen, and she was the daughter of Robert Phippen and his wife Cicely or Cicellie Jordan. Robert Phippen was the son of one Joseph Phippen, whose mother was Alice Pierce, and thus Ciceley Reynolds was related to Capt. William Pierce and his wife Joane."

There was still confusion about these relationships in 1978 when William Glasgow Reynolds, in his Reynolds History Annotated (1475-1977) stated: "Her [Cecily's] father, Robert Phippen, sprang from grandfather Joseph Phippen whose wife was Cecily's great-grandmother Alice Pierce" [sic].

The earliest official record RFA has located pertaining to these families is the 1620 Visitation of Cornwall (Vivian 1847; Harl. MS 1162; Genealogical Gleanings in England, Vol II, 1907). From a copy of the original Visitation, signed by Geo. Fitzpen, als. Phippen we are told:

1         Hen. Fitzpen of St. Mary Overy in Devon m. Alice dau of Pierce of Ireland.
11       Jo. Fitzpen m. __
111     Robt Fitzpen als. Phippen of Wamouth in Com. Dorset m. Cicilie dau of Tho. Jordan of Dorsetsh.
1111   George of Truro in Cornwall living 1620.
1112   David, 2 [2nd] son.
1113   Owen Fitzpen of Ireland, 1 [1st] son.
1114   Cicilie a daughter

Note that there was no name given to the wife of Joseph Fitzpen; that Alice Pierce was the wife of Henry, not Joseph.

Secondly, we have the will of George Fitzpen als Phippen, 20 July 1650, proved at London 1 March 1651 by Mary Phippen, relict and executrix, in which George devises "To my sister Cicely Reignolds my two biggest silver spoons, my ring with Death's head unto her husband." Note the date of the will. Could Phippen possibly have referred to "our" Cecily as Reignolds?

William Glasgow Reynolds included the following lineage for Cecily:

1           Henry Pierce b. ca 1475 Somersetshire ENG; m. Ann __ 1495.
11         Richard Pierce (I) b. 1499 Somersetshire ENG; m. Elizabeth __ 1524.
111       Alice Pierce b.1530 Dorsetshire, ENG; m. Joseph Phippen
1111     Robert Phippen b. 1552 Dorsetshire, ENG; m. 1571 Cecily Jordan (I), dau of Thomas Jordan (I) of Dorsetshire, ENG.
11111   Cecily Phippen b. 1575 Dorsetshire, ENG; m. Thomas Reynolds c. 1594.
111111 Cecily Reynolds b. 1600 Dorsetshire, ENG; d. after 1659 VA; m. 1st Thomas Baily 1615.
111112 Christopher Reynolds

A piece of significant information that was overlooked or perhaps unknown by these researchers was the documented births of members of this Phippen family. According to Henry F. Waters, in his Genealogical Gleanings in England, p. 997-998, Robert Phippen, of Weymouth, Dorsetshire, married Cecily Jordan 18 Septmeber 1580. Owen Phippen, the oldest son of Robert and Cecily (Jordan) Phippen, was born at Melcomb, Dorsetshire in 1582. His sister Cecily (Phippen) Reynolds was baptized at Melcomb March 10, 1593. The practice at that time in England was to have infants baptized as soon as possible after birth. Therefore, it is likely that Cecily Phippen was born in 1593. Since Cecily Reynolds was born 1600/01 based on documentation in the Virginia Colony records, her mother would have been aged 7 or 8 at the time of her birth.

There appears to be sufficient evidence that one female named Cecily came to Virginia in the "Swan" with Sir Thomas Gates, arriving near the end of August 1611. It would also seem evident that she did marry first a man named Baley and second Samuel Jordan. (See records of The Virginia Company.)

Very shortly after the death of Samuel Jordan, of Jordan's Jorney, one of the legatees in the will of Abraham Persey, a certain Rev. Greville Pooly, vociferously "woed" the widow Cecily Jordan, who rejected his early advances on the ground that she was with child; but thereafter she married Capt. William Farrar, a prominent man of the Virginia Council. Thereupon the parson brought what has been called by Alexander Brown "the first breach of promise suit in America". The astute third husband, being a lawyer, succeeded in quashing the proceedings, and Parson Pooly went on his way. But the child was born. His name was Richard Jordan.

Ray said Richard Jordan married his first cousin (as they so often did in those days) Elizabeth, the daughter of Christopher Reynolds. Tillman also attributes the marriage of Christopher's daughter to one Richard Jordan. (See Boddie's 17th Century Isle of Wight, and the will of Christopher Reynolds.)

Thus Cicely Reynolds had been married twice and was the mother of one child by each of her first two husbands. By Captain William Farrar, she became the mother of two sons Capt. William Farrar Jr and Lieut. Colonel John Farrar, of Henrico Co. [VA] who left no children and never married, so that the girl-emigrant thus became the ancestress of the numerous Farrars of VA, through her son William Farrar, Jr. Her third husband, Capt. (or Colonel) William Farrar died about 1635-6. But as Ray said "Cicely was not near through."

Now, back to Ray's Montagues. "In 1621 Peter Montague, then a very young man, came to Jamestown [VA] in the 'Charles' and was living in James City in 1624 aged 21 years. He was two years younger than Ciceley Farrar, the widow after 1636. He too, had been previously married and had two daughters, then very young, named Dorothy and Sarah. He married the widow Cicely as her fourth husband. His will in Lancaster co. [VA] names seven children, all obviously her children, but obviously also, not all of his family, this reflecting his previous marriage. It was proven in 1669. Sarah Montague, one of the daughters of his first marriage married James Bagnall (VA Magazine of History & Biography 6:420) and the same authority tells us that the widow of Peter Montague became the wife of Thomas Parker. As Cicely was born in 1601, she was 58 years old at the time of the death of Peter Montague, therefore it is patent that this latter marriage was one of convenience, and that no children resulted." After Cecily's marriage to Thomas Parker, there is no other reference to her. When and where she died does not seem to be recorded. It seems true, as W.G. Reynolds wrote, "Cecily...was able to end out her days in calm assurance that her title 'Number One Wife and Mother of America' was abundantly secure."

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