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Short Histories of Families Attached to Our Direct Smiths



Smythe Family

By: Jerry A. Smith,
Smith Family Researcher

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Blount Family

Wow.  Where do we start with  this connection?  Most believe that the Blount Family dates back to the medieval times, through the Barons of Mountjoy, Saxlingham, and Ixworth and back to the Counts of Guisnes who commanded the War ships for William the Conqueror.  Guisnes’ are old lands in what we now know today as France. The Blount family were of Maple Durham, Berkshire and had influence in and around Banbury.  I have not researched this linage but have obtained the list below from creditable sources.  These lines actually run all the way back to the 900s.  Don’t forget that if there is not a specific date (day, month, year) it is rough estimates as to the dates.

Blount Family
Mountjoy Line

1. Siegfried Le Danois, 1st Count of Guisnes
    (905 – 965)
2. Ardolph, 2nd Count of Guisnes
    (930 - ?)
3. Rudolph, 3rd Count of Guisnes
    (980 - ?)
4. Robert Le Blount, 1st Baron of Ixworth.
     (1029 - ?)
5. Gilbert Le Blount, 2nd Baron of Ixworth
    (1071 - ?)
6. William Le Blount, 3rd Baron of Ixworth
    (1096 - ?)
7. Gilbert Le Blount, 4th Baron of Ixworth
    (1120 – 1188)
8. Stephen Blount, 1st Baron of Saxlingham
    (1166 – 1235)
9. Robert Blount, 2nd Baron of Saxlingham
    (1197 – 1288)
10. William Blount, Sir Knight
    (1233 – 1316)
11. Walter Blount, Sir Knight
    (1270 - ?)
12. John Blount, Sir
    (1298 – 1358)
13. Walter Blount, Sir Knight
    (1350 – 21 Jul 1403)
14. Thomas Blount, Sir
    (1378 – 1456)
15. Walter Blount, 1st Baron of Mountjoy
    (1416 – 1 Aug 1474)
16. John Blount, 3rd Baron of Mountjoy
    (1450 – 12 Oct 1485)
17. William Blount, 4th Baron of Mountjoy
    (1478 – 8 Nov 1534)
18. Charles Blount, 5th Baron of Mountjoy
    (28 Jun 1516 – 14 Oct 1544)
19. James Blount, 6th Baron of Mountjoy
    (1533 – 20 Oct 1582)
20. William Blount, 7th Baron of Mountjoy
    (1561 – 1594)
21. Sarah Blount
    (1582 – 12 Mar 1655)   

Obviously there were more to the family, but this is the direct male line down to our Smith connection, Sarah Blount.   Without going into a book about each of these, there are just a few interesting things about a few.  In 1029, it was recorded that Robert, the 1st Baron of Ixworth, was an Admiral.  He was in charge of all the fleet belonging to William the Conqueror.  He was dubbed in Latin, “Dux Navium Militarium”.   His portion of the spoils encompassed 13 manors in Suffolk, in which he was the first Feudal Baron of Ixworth and Lord of Orford Castle. Nothing really exciting happened for several generations.  But Walter Blount, the 1st Baron of Mountjoy, was a Knight of the Garter (a very high honor) and was given the post of Lord High Treasurer.  He actually fought in the Battle of Towton under King Edward IV.  A bit of history on the Knights of the Garter would not go astray.  The Brotherhood was founded in 1348 by Edward III, the Garter was England's highest and most coveted order of chivalry, having been revived in imitation of the Burgundian Order of the Golden Fleece by both Edward IV, who had built St. George's Chapel at Windsor, and Henry VII.  Henry VIII, with his passion for ancient chivalric values and his policy of accentuating his own magnificence, would continue this tradition.  The Order comprised the sovereign and twenty-five elected Knights Companions, who were only replaced upon death or disgrace. Vacancies were filled at the annual chapter meeting. Each chapter was marked with a magnificent feast; at Windsor, this took place in St. George's Hall. The Knights wore "a blue velvet mantle with a Garter on the left shoulder, lined with white sarcenet, and scarlet hose with black velvet around the thighs". Each sported a light blue silk garter with a gold buckle and embroidered Tudor roses round his leg--the garter being the oldest item of the insignia--and the rich gold collar introduced by Edward IV or Henry VII.

Henry VIII decreed in 1510 that the collar consist of twelve Tudor roses set within blue garters, interspersed with twelve tasselled knots; from it hung a "Great George"--a jewelled pendant of St. George slaying the dragon. The Knights were allowed to wear their insignia only on St. George's Day and the great feast days of the court, so in 1521 Henry instituted a smaller pendant, the "Lesser George" for everyday use.  This was suspended from a gold chain or a blue ribbon, and might be set with a rare cameo; (Just a bit of trivia for you).  Then Sarah’s father, William Blount – 7th Baron of Mountjoy, in 1592 was recorded leasing Sir Francis Drake (famous explorer) the fishing rights of the Tavy between Lopwell and Denham Bridge for a minimal 2 shillings a year.  William’s younger brother, Charles was a volunteer aboard Drake’s ship, the Revenge, during the Armada Campaign in 1588.  Charles was eventually given the title of 1st Earl of Devonshire.  Now that is something, so we will discuss him a bit more in detail. 

Blount, Charles Charles Blount was born the son of James Blount, the 6th Baron of Mountjoy and Catherine Leigh, in 1563.  He died on 3 Apr 1606.  He too became a Knight of the Garter.  But his greatest accomplishment was becoming the 1st Earl of Devon while inheriting the 8th Baron Mountjoy and thus served as Lord Deputy and as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland during the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras.

The grandson of William Blount, 4th Baron of Mountjoy, Charles became the most notable of the later holders of the dukedom. The favour which his youthful good looks procured for him from Queen Elizabeth I of England aroused the jealousy of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, and led to a duel between the two courtiers, who later became close friends. Between 1586 and 1598 Blount spent a lot of time on the continent, serving in the Netherlands and in Brittany. He joined Robert Devereux and Sir Walter Raleigh in their expedition to the Azores in 1597, along with his distant cousin, Sir Christopher Blount (1565-1601), who married Robert's mother, the Countess of Essex, Lettice Knollys (Cousin to Queen Elizabeth), and was afterwards executed for complicity in Robert's eventual treason.  In 1600 Mountjoy (Charles) went to Ireland as lord deputy in succession to Robert, where he succeeded in suppressing the rebellion of Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, whom Robert had failed to subdue.

In 1590, Lady Rich or Penelope Devereux, took as her lover the dashing Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy, by whom she had six children. Her husband, Lord Rich gave in to her adultery, being in awe of her brother, Robert.  After the latter's execution in 1601, Lord Robert Rich (Penelope’s husband) cast his wife out. Meanwhile, Mountjoy had replaced Robert as commander in Ireland and was methodically destroying the rebellion that had cost Robert his reputation. Charles was taking over Robert’s life, and took his sister for his wife.

In 1600 AD Charles Blount was sent to Ireland as the last viceroy of  Queen Elizabeth. He joined a group of mercenaries, including Sir Arthur Chichester and Richard Wingfield, who had been fighting in the valley of the Blackwater. Thus he came to the place we now call Charlemont, where he established a bridge of wood and a fort to guard the bridge in 1602.

Prior to his founding of the fort the place had been called "Achad and Da Charadh" - the field of the two weirs - but it was renamed in his honour, using his Christian name and the French word for a hill or mountain - Mont - Charles Blount is better known in history as Lord Mountjoy. He put Sir Toby Caulfield in charge of the fort and the estates around it. The Caulfields took the family name Charlemont.  The place where Mountjoy built his fort already had a village of long standing and this was surrounded by a flooded plain and bog land. In the first 100 years of it's history Charlemont changed hands many times, and by the end of the century it was in the possession of the Jacobites. It was still the one high spot in a large waterlogged area and was the last post in Ulster to hold out for King James.

In  Sep 1600, the Irish forces of Hugh O’Neill, whom the English had made Earl of Tyrone, were in rebellion against the crown. Two years earlier O’Neill and his principle ally "Red" Hugh O'Donnell had routed an English army under Sir Henry Bagenal at Yellow Ford, expelling the English completely from the lands of O’Neill. Now Charles was marching on Tyrone with 3,000 foot and 300 horse, a sizable army for those times in Ireland.  Irish armies of that time were usually made up of three principal types: gallowglass, kern and cavalrymen. Gallowglass were warriors who had first come to Ireland from Scotland and the Western Isles around the 13th century. They had family names such as MacDonnell, MacSweeny, MacCabe, MacDowell, and MacRory. They stayed in Ireland and mixed with the native population through the years but remained a warrior class, making up large parts of Irish armies until the Battle of Kinsale. By the end their preferred weaponry, the axe, was obsolete but if the armies came into close combat they were still a force feared by the English.  Kerns were lighter armed infantry than the gallowglass, often carrying javelins, swords or bows. They were usually the most numerous in the Irish armies of this time. The cavalry were often "bonnaghts" a term derived from the Irish for "billeted men", because the local population of the Irish lord was required to furnish them with food and lodging. There were a limited number of Scotch mercenaries in the army of Hugh O'Donnell around the time of Moyry; they were often referred to as "Redshanks" for their practice of going barelegged. But the reason O’Neill could fight the English on more even terms than earlier Irish armies had was his widespread introduction of the most modern weapon, firearms, into his army. Englishmen of the time reported the Irish were good shots and Sir Walter Raleigh said the Irish had muskets, "good .... as England hath".

Forty miles to the south of the ford of the Blackwater river, the way to Dungannon, O’Neill headquarters in Tyrone, lay Moyry Pass. It had bogs which were impassable to the English army on either side and had been the scene of other military actions in the past; here O’Neill would try to stop the advance of Mountjoy's army. Mountjoy was a formidable opponent for O’Neill and would eventually defeat him at Kinsale at the end of 1601, but this fight would be on ground of O’Neill's choosing.  On 20 Sep Mountjoy's army reached the hill of Faughart, half a mile south of Moyry pass, and the scene of Edward Bruce of Scotland’s defeat and death in 1318. A small advance was sent out by the English and discovered that O’Neill's army was not only in the pass, but that they had built formidable works across it. They obviously meant to stand and fight, rather than depend on their usual ambush tactics. Bad weather for much of the next ten days slowed the English preparations for attack and only light skirmishing was done until 2 Oct.  Finally, the two armies came to serious blows. Mountjoy was at first successful, driving O’Neill's men from their first two lines of barricades. But Mountjoy could see that they would never force the third that day, and he would not divide his force to hold his gains, so the English retreated to where they had started.

The English suffered 160 casualties during the battle, many of them coming as the Irish harassed them during their retreat. They claimed that Irish casualties had been higher but, with the English being on the attack during the entire fight, that is unlikely.  Mountjoy had had enough of frontal assaults on the strong Irish defences and next tried a flank attack. On the 5th he sent 3 regiments of foot and 100 horse to try the right flank of the Irish defences. They had to scale some high ground to get at the Irish line but did so and drove them back some distance before the Irish counterattacked and stop their advance. All the English troops on the heights were soon back down. A simultaneous attack near the bottom of the heights had also failed.  The English had been in front of the pass for over two weeks now and were no closer to getting through it than they were on Sep 20th. On the 9th Mountjoy retreated south to Dundalk. On the 11th, O’Neill abandoned the pass and moved north. No one is sure why he did so; he may have feared being caught in a trap when Mountjoy sent Sir Samuel Bagenal's regiment toward Carlingford, a position from which he might move around to O’Neill's rear.

Mountjoy's men soon moved through the pass, getting a good look at the defensive works one said, "could not have been won without the great hazard of the whole army." Still, in spite of having gotten through the pass, Mountjoy found it was too late to mount an attack on O’Neill's stronghold in Tyrone. He built a fort at Mount Norris, between Newry and Armagh, and withdrew to Dundalk with the bulk of his army. O’Neill did not let him do so unscathed, however; attacking him with a small force near Carlingford Lough in the more usual ambushing manner of Irish armies, he inflicted serious casualties on Mountjoy again.  By holding of Moyry pass in a stand up fight and attacking Mountjoy again on his retreat, O’Neill had shown that the men of Ulster were still ready to resist all England had to bring against them, and he had retained full control of Tyrone for another year. But the end was on the horizon for The O'Neill and the rest of the Earls. It was just over a year to The battle of Kinsale, and disaster, and only seven until the "Flight of the Earls".

Returning to England as a hero, Lord Mountjoy served as one of Sir Walter Raleigh's judges in 1603; and in the same year James made him master of the ordinance and created him Earl of Devonshire, also granting him extensive estates.  Lady Rich moved in with him as his wife. Mountjoy and Penelope had both supported the cause of James, and he made them favored courtiers, promoting both, and seemingly indifferent to their blatant adultery. Mountjoy became Earl of Devonshire; Lady Rich, daughter of a junior Earl and wife of a junior baron, was given precedence of all barons' wives and almost all earls' daughters.

Blount, Sarah In 1605, Lord Rich sued for divorce, and Lady Rich confessed to committing adultery with a stranger. Robert Rich wanted a new wife, and Penelope (and Charles) wanted to marry and legitimize their children. Divorce was granted, but remarriage was forbidden, and legitimizing the children was out of the question. King James was infuriated by the divorce proceedings, banished Lady Rich from his court, and reprimanded Devonshire. The two lovers made an illegal marriage in 1605 in a ceremony conducted by his chaplain, William Laud, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury; and they continued to live as husband and wife until Devonshire died in Apr 1606. Lady Rich died in Jul 1607 and was buried in a London church without any marking on her grave. The register simply recorded the burial of "A Lady Devereux". 

After the 1500s, there is tons of information but we will not get into that now.  The family overall was considered part of the aristocracy and the elite.  Therefore when Sarah came along, it was a good match for the Smith Family.  But on the other hand, it was not too bad either for the Blount Family to marry Sarah [see picture] into the influential and powerful Smith Family with Sir Thomas Smythe.  To pick up where Thomas and Sarah left off you can read the Smith Family history.  One further note, is that after Thomas’ death in 1625, she remarried to Sir Robert Sidney, Earl of Leicester.

By: Jerry A. Smith,
Smith Family Researcher

1.  All information gathered from:  http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/index.html
2.  Lineage gathered from:  http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/BLOUNT1.htm#Gottfried%20(Prince%20of%20Denmark
3.  Heath, Ian and Sue, “David: The Irish Wars: 1485 – 1603 / Men at Arms Series”, Osprey Publishing Ltd., 1933.
4.  Hayes-McCoy, G.A., “Irish Battles: A Military History of Ireland”, The Appletree Press, Ltd., 1990.
5.  Foster, R.F., “Modern Ireland 1600 – 1972”, Penguin Books, 1989.
6.  Berleth, Richard, “The Twilight Lords”, Barnes and Noble Books, 1994.
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 Townley Family

The following information about the history of the Townley family was not researched by me.  I wish it had because it is very good.  But it can all be found at: http://www.burnley.gov.uk/towneley/family/TTv4_web.pdf. Now the name of Townley was not always thus.  It has been spelt also as Towneley and Tunleia along with some others.  The reason is simple but there needs to be a bit of history first.  Townley is a name whose history dates back to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.  A wave of migration after the invasion on English soil brought many to the land.  The Townley family lived near the settlement of Townley in the county of Lancashire to begin with and then spread out.  The surname thus belongs to two different categories of names:  Habitation names, which were derived from pre-existing names of towns, villages, parishes or farmsteads, and Topographical names, which were given to people who lived near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees.  The family motto is just as simple but very powerful:  Speak the Truth. 

But where did they come from?  Towneley is in the borough of Burnley in the north east corner of Lancashire, where the Pennine hills mark the boundary with Yorkshire.  It became the home of a family who used the place as their surname.  Over the years, the family began to spread out from the original site in places such as Barnsyde, Stone Edge, Holme, Read, and Ribchester just to name a few.  When the Doomsday Book, our earliest public record, was compiled for King William I in 1086, Lancashire itself didn’t exist.  The book describes an area between the Rivers Ribble and Mersey flowing west into the Irish Sea as “Inter Ripam et Mersham” and the picture emerges of a sparsely populated land of little value.  The Saxons had divided the lands up into Hundreds and these Hundreds were unchanged by the Norman Conquest.  The area between the Ribble and Mersey contained four Hundreds and the one of interest to us is the Hundred, Blackburn in the Blackburn Shire.  Doomsday records only two churches in the Hundred, Blackburn in the west and Whalley to the east.  It records 28 manors scattered amongst moor, marsh, and woodland but does not identify by name.  Sometime after 1086 during the reign of King William II, the lands of the Hundred of Blackburnshire were granted to Robert de Lacy.  The de Lacy family already controlled large areas of land in Yorkshire [just north] and had built a castle at Pontefract.  They established their headquarters for the Hundred at Clitheroe.  The main benefit of Blackburnshire for the de Lacy’s was the abundant supply of wild animals.  Normans loved hunting and three large areas of the parish of Whalley (Pendle, Rossendale, and Trawden) became private hunting grounds of the de Lacy Family. 

King William II died in 1100 and early in the reign of King Henry I, Robert de Lacy was banished to Normandy and Hugh de la Val held his English lands.  The earliest local charter dated from around 1121 when Hugh de la Val made a give of the revenues from Whalley church to the Priory of Pontefract, which had been founded by Robert de Lacy in 1090.  Included as part of the gift were the churches at Burnley and Colne and this is the earliest mention of the townships. 

By the time King Henry I died in 1135, the de Lacy Family had regained their English lands and were loyal supporters of his successor, King Stephen.  Before the arrival of the Normans there were 48 monasteries in England but by 1154, when King Stephen died, the numbers of religious houses had increased to nearly 300.  The most important monasteries in the north of England were those of the Cistercians who arrived in England in 1129.  They established communities in remote areas where they improved marginal land and reared large flocks of sheep.  The wool from the sheep became the country’s principle export for years.  In 1147, Henry de Lacy, son of Robert, now head of the family, founded a Cistercian abbey at Barnoldswick, 5 miles north of Colne.  Even the Cistercians found the local climate unsuitable and by 1154, they relocated to Kirkstall between Bradford and Leeds, just 40 miles east.  In 1160, the monks were granted land in Cliviger where the monks established a farm.  The area of Cliviger extends south eastward from Burnley to the border of Yorkshire with the River Calder running through the center.  As we will see later, the monks found this place not much better than Barnoldswick.  During the reign of King Stephen, the Scots had held the lands north of the Ribble and they were not forced out until 1157.  In 1160, the Sheriff of Lancaster was appointed to collect taxes for the royal exchequer from the four Hundreds south of the Ribble together with the Hundreds of Amounderness and Lonsdale north of the Ribble.  These lands formed the county of Lancashire but that was not until 1182. 
The male line of the de Lacy family died out with Robert de Lacy in 1193 and the Lacy lands were inherited by Roger, Constable of Chester, who took the de Lacy name.  Some time between 1195 when he legally acquired the land and 1211 when he died, Roger de lacy made a grant of land to Geoffrey, son of Robert, the Dean of Whalley.   This is where Towneley is first mentioned.  The charter begins in granting Geoffrey and his heirs two bovates of land in Tunleia (Towneley) for a hunting lodge together with the right to share in the common pastures of Brunleia (Burnley).   It then describes a large are around Cliviger where Geoffrey was allowed to hunt unhindered and goes on to grant four bovates of land at Coldcotes, where his hunting dogs could be kept and two more bovates of land at Snodesworth for keeping cattle.  These last two places are much closer to Whalley.  In return, Geoffrey was to tender the service de for one tenth of a knight’s fee.  A bovate was as much land as and ox could plough in a year [about 15 acres].  About 1500 acres were considered necessary to support a knight.  Therefore, small estates were measured in fractions of a knight’s fee.  The King granted land to his Barons in exchange for military services and the maintenance of law and order.  This gave the King more opportunity to increase his revenues.  The Barons in turn were able to grant some of the land to others who could satisfy the Barons’ commitments to the military and help in administering justice through out the local Hundreds courts.  The de Lacy Family established the Hundred court at Blackburnshire at their castle in Clitheroe and much of what we know of the early history of Towneley and the surrounding districts comes from charters granting land together with related court and tax records.  The concession of allowing Geoffrey hunting rights was highly prized by his descendants and appears a number of times in the later court records. 

The Dean of Whalley was the local custodian of the church in this remote part of the country and was an important member of the community.  He was allowed to marry and pass on his authority to his heirs, which helps us establish continuity.  Within a few years the post was abolished but the last Dean passed the lands described in this charter to members of his family.  Only later copies of the first Tunleia charter exist but there are 13th century public records that confirm the services rendered by those who settled the land at Townley.  In 1242, Henry Gedleng is recorded as holding these lands by knight service.  The name “Gedleng” does not appear in any other records and this Henry is probably the same Henry de Tunlay [ or Henry de Lacy], who along with his brother Richard and son William was witness to a charter when Adam Abbot of Kirkstall (1249 – 1259) granted land in Cliviger to Walter, the Chaplain of Tunlay.  Surnames were still not in general use at this time and it is not uncommon to find the same person using a different name in relation to different land.  This charter of Walter the Chaplain is now the Lancashire Record Office.

Skipping ahead to 1295, the last of the Towneley branch of old Deans of Whalley had died and the land was shared between Henry’s three daughters: Agnes, Cecily, and Isabel.  Cecily was married to John de la Legh.  John’s father Gilbert was in overall charge of the de Lacy vaccaries [cow or oxen farms].    Before 1285, John’s grandfather, Michael de la Legh had rented pasturage for 100 oxen and 200 sheep in Cliviger.  The monks of Kirkstall could make any profit from the lands and in 1287 they handed the lands back to Henry de Lacy (great grandson of Roger de Lacy) who was born in 1251.  Henry ratified and added to this grant so that by the time he died, Gilbert de la Legh was the largest tenant in the Cliviger renting 140 acres.  Together with his brother and son-in-law they accounted for over 40% of the developed land in Cliviger.  In 1315, Robert de Gretton and Agnes his wife took court proceedings against John de la Legh and Cecily his wife and Philip de Clayton and Isabel his wife, complaining they had refused to make partition of the manor of Towneley which Agnes, Cecily, and Isabel had inherited from their brother Nicholas de Towneley.  The de la Legh family saw the benefit of the land being managed by a single entity and continued to add to their estates.  In 1323, John successfully defended against a charge of unlawful hunting in the East Moors in Towneley and in Cliviger.  He cited the hunting rights given to his late wife’s family but by now the bounds of these rights had expanded beyond Cliviger to include land almost 10 miles across at its greatest extent and over 40 square miles in area.  In 1328, Gilbert, John’s father, increased the land holdings by purchasing the manor of Hampton.

John and Cecilia had two sons: Gilbert and Richard.  In February 1351, the franchise for providing a bailiff for the district of Blackburnshire was shared between the Abbot of Whalley, John de Altham, Gilbert de Legh and his brother who now called himself Richard de Touneley.  They collected all the profits and in return rendered a fix yearly sum to the Lord of Blackburnshire who was the time was Henry Grosmont, 4th Earl of Lancaster.  Later that year, King Edward III gave the Earl of Lancaster sovereign rights within the county as the 1st Duke of Lancaster.  As a result, the de la Legh family became in effect direct tenants of the crown.  Richard de Touneley developed a career as a court official.  In 1353, he was one of the two receivers for Lancashire appointed by Henry and in 1361 and 1371 he attended parliament as a knight of the shire.  He as Escheator of the County in 1371 and was High Sheriff from 1375 to 1378.

Although Richard used Towneley as his surname, he probably didn’t live at Towneley during the last thirty years of his life.  In 1351, he rented a manor of St. Saviour, called ‘Le Sted (now Stydd)’ at Ribchester five miles west of Whalley.  The hospitals of St. John had acquired it around 1265 and probably it was now vacant because of plague.  By 1350, the plague known as the Black Death had killed over a quarter of the population of England and records indicate that 100 people had died in Ribchester in that year.  Ribchester was more central for someone moving regularly around the country.  Documents of that period now in the Lancashire Records office show Richard was using the Stydd as a base in the 1360s and he acquired more land in Dutton in 1376.  Richard died on 16 Apr 1381, leaving three sons, John, Robert, and Henry.  Gilbert de Legh died after his brother and left a widow, Alicia, but not children.  When Alicia died in 1388 there was an inquiry called and inquisition post mortem.  This is similar to the one we have for our Smith’s in 1517 for Richard Smythe and John Smythe.  Such and inquiry was always taken after the death of a tenant in chief (that is a direct tenant to the crown) but not all the records have survived.  The purpose was to establish what lands were held and who should succeed to them.  If there was no one to inherit the land, it was reclaimed by the crown.  In this case, Richard’s son John inherited.  The feudal system required the lands be held by one person and not be dispersed among many.  This made it easier to enforce the obligations that came with the lands.  The rule adopted was that of primogeniture, the eldest son inherited. 

The lands John gained included manors of Hapton and Birtwisle and two parts of the manor of Tounlay together with various buildings and land in Cliviger, Worsthorne, and Briercliffe cum Extwhistle.  In 1381, the third part of the manor of Towneley inherited by Agnes, the sister of John’s grandmother, had been released to John by her descendants and so in 1388 one person held again the whole of the manor.  Richard de Tounlay’s descendants all took one or another of the variations of Towneley as their surname.  Robert and Henry are recorded as chaplains but Robert appears to have had a son called Henry Towneley of Dutton.

In 1382, John de Towneley had married Isabella, daughter of Mathew Rixton and had a son Richard.  John died in 1399 and again the records survive of an inquisition post mortem.  It showed John still had all the lands inherited from Gilbert and Alice and confirmed Richard was the heir to his father’s estates but as a minor he would have to wait till he was of age to take possession.  The inquisition also recorded that Richard was born 14 May 1387 at Stydd Chapel in Dutton and baptized at Ribchester Church.  He proved his age and inherited the estate in the 10th year of King Henry IV (1408-9).

Toweley Hall, England In November 1408, Richard made an enfeoffment of his estate to Richard Catterall and Robert Singleton in a deed given at Cliviger. (An enfeoffment was an early form of a trust in which trustees held the land on behalf of the landowner as a means of avoiding inheritance taxes).  This indicates that Richard was living at Cliviger rather than at Ribchester or at Hapton where many of the earlier deeds were signed.  Legend has it that the early Towneley hunting lodge was on Castle Hill, a quarter mile south of the present Towneley Hall.  At the foot of this hill is a farm called Old House.  This is thought to be the site of the Towneley Family Home at Cliviger in the 14th Century.  [According to http://www.r.tokeley.btinternet.co.uk/MostlyHaunted/towneley01.htm , it is rumoured that the hall is haunted by a spirit whose visits were limited to once every seven years, when its thirst for vengeance had been satisfied by the untimely death of one of the Hall residents.  Legend says that Sir John Towneley (b. 1473 – 1541) was said to have offended and injured the poor of the district by enclosing some of the area’s common land where the villagers used to graze their cattle, making it part of the park.  As a result, his soul is said to wander the Hall crying out, “Be Warned! Lay out! Be Warned! Lay out! Around Hore-Law and Hollin-Hey Clough.  To her children give back the widows cot, For you and yours there is still enough”.  In addition to the wailing spirit there are few other phantoms reported to wander the grounds of Towneley Park.  Deep within the woods behind the hall is a small bridge that crosses a stream.   This is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of a white lady.  Who is she, nobody knows.  Perhaps she waits at the bridge for her lover who never returned.  Or was simply just a place of peacefulness that she enjoyed in life.  Quite close to the bridge is a long avenue through the woods. ... It has been reported that the sound of marching boots has been heard coming down this avenue.  Some say that it is the ghost of Roundheads, sent by Oliver Cromwell, coming to arrest Charles Towneley or that it is just the ghost of a faithful retainer reporting that his master had been killed in the massacre of 2 Jul 1644.]

The use of knight service as a means of raising armies died out during the early 14th century, so when the monarch needed soldiers he used a contractual system with ‘indentures’ to the King and his tenants in chief and then between them and their tenants and so on right down to the troops at the bottom of the hierarchy.  One such an indenture concerning Richard is the in the Public Office at Kew:

    E 101/69/6/473 : Parties to Indenture: Indentures between king and the following for service in his invasion of France; John Morely and Richard Touneley.  3 Henry V [1415]

Henry V of England invaded Normandy in August 1415.  Other records show Richard was one of the 900 men-at-arms who together with 5,000 archers defeated a French force, estimated to be over 20,000, a the battle of Agincourt on 25 Oct 1415.

The lands of Towneley had not appeared very prominently in the 14th century deeds.  Coldcotes and Snodesworth do not appear at all in any of the inquisitions post mortem.  These lands, part of the original charter granted by Roger de Lacy, must have been given to Whalley Abbey before 1388.  In 1446, Richard Towneley and Abbot of Whalley were identified as holding Towneley, Coldcotes, and Snodesworth by a tenth of a knight’s fee and as a result were each requested to pay 5 shillings as tax.  In 1453, Richard and his cousin, Henry Towneley of Dutton, had a dispute over the boundary between Cliviger and Towneley.  James Walton and John Halstead arbitrated.  To quote the historian T.D. Whitaker describing the boundary in 1800, “These wiseacres having appointed a few stakes and a ‘Root Walt’ tree to be boundaries for evermore, they are as might be expected not very certain at present”.  Today part of the boundary is taken to be the Everage stream that divides Towneley Hall and Old House. 

Richard had a son, John, born in 1415 and a daughter Matilda.  When he died on 30th September 1454, he left a widow Alice but it is unclear if she is the mother ofTowneley Coat of Arms 1500 his children.  His inquisition post mortem was held on 30th Apr 1455 and his son John was confirmed his heir.  It is possible that Richard started building on the Towneley Hall site but it is most likely that the earliest part of the building we see today was completed by his son John in the 1450s.  This is the South Wing, originally a tower house, 90 ft. by 40 ft. with a basement and two floors above the buttresses at each corner.  At the time, it would have been the largest private house in Blackburnshire and firmly established Towneley as the main base for the family.  John was married to Isabella, daughter of Nicholas Rawcliffe, before he was four years old but a divorce was obtained in 1442 and in 1445 he married Isabelle, daughter of Richard de Shireburne.  In 1456, he obtained a license from the Bishop of Lichfield for a domestic chapel at Towneley, Cliviger, and Birtwisle.  Isabelle died before 1462 having born five sons and a daughter.  For a genealogist this is probably the most important of the Towneley marriages.  Most of the American descendants of the Towneley family today find their links with either Lawrence, the second son or Nicholas, the third son.  Grace Towneley, the only daughter, married Roger Nowell of Read and many American descendants of the Whitaker family can find a link with the Towneley family through Grace’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Nowell who married Thomas Whitaker of the Holme in Cliviger. 

John died around 1473 but there are no records surviving of an inquisition after his death.  On 5 May 1474 at Towneley, the eldest son, Richard, granted lands in Hapton and Birtwisle to his brothers Lawrence and Nicholas.  The contract of Richard’s marriage to Joanna, sister to Christopher Southworth, is dated 24 Sep 1472 and their son John was born at Towneley on 31 Jul 1473.  In 1482, Richard took part in the war with Scotland and was knighted on 24 July at Hutton Field.  Sir Richard died 8 Sep and the record of his inquisition post mortem which took place on 19 Dec 1482 survives showing that his son John was his heir to the estate.  Previously in 1480, Richard had arranged the marriage of John, then seven years old, to Isabella, daughter and heir apparent of Charles Pilkington.  Therefore, in 1482, John became the ward of his father-in-law, now Sir Charles Pilkington.  Sir Charles himself died around 1485 and his daughter inherited the estate at Gateford in Nottinghamshire.

Ok, that is enough for now.  Our linage lies with the above mentioned Lawrence.  I have managed to put a few charts with all that we have discussed so far as it pertains to us below.  I tried to mark the portions for you to stop and pick up with next chart.   Notice on the last chart at the bottom, the name of Christopher Smith.   This is our direct line who married Elizabeth Townley.

Towneley Tree1 Towneley Tree2

Towneley Tree3

The Townleys are our main connection, although not the only connection, to a few famous people and families.  Quite a few descendants of John Townley and Isabel Sherburne, who married in 1445, had visited America before 1700.  Almost certainly the first was Alexander Whitaker (1585 – 1616).  His grandmother was Elizabeth Nowell, granddaughter of Grace Townley [sister to our Lawrence Townley of Barnsyde].  He settled in Virginia in 1611, just two years after the first arrival of the first settlement in Jamestown.  His first had account of the country was published as Good News from Virginia in London in 1613.  He never married but his brother Jabez, who also lived for a time in Virginia, left many Virginian descendants.  As Elizabeth Townley married our Christopher Smith, whose lineage can be continued through the Smith Family History, her sister Mary Townley (1614 – 1662), the sixth daughter of Lawrence Townley of Stonehenge and Jennet Halstead, is shown in the 1664 pedigree to have married Augustine Warner of Norwich, Gent.  A number of relations had settled in Norwich, then one of the largest cities in England after London.  Augustine Warner (1611 – 1674) first went to Virginia in 1628 and it seems Mary joined him in 1638.  The Warner story will have to wait till the next section.
John Towneley Family 1600

By: Jerry A. Smith,
Smith Family Researcher

1.  Website: http://www.burnley.gov.uk/towneley/family/TTv4_web.pdf
2.  Website: http://giesing.org/townley_pictures.htm 
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Warner Family

Today when we hear the name Warner, I’ll bet a dollar that most people think of Warner Bros.  [Cartoons and movies] or the company Time Warner accompanied with AOL.  But in the 1600s, the name Warner meant something else.  It meant the name of a respected member of the community.  The Warner family (as far as I can find out) is believed to begin with a Thomas Warner (b. 1514) in England.  Although the mother is unknown, Thomas had a son named William Warner who was born about 1540.  William was born in Hoe, Norfolk, England.  According to Boyd’s Marriage Index of 1538 – 1804, William married a lady named Mary Hunt around 1579 at St. Botolph Church, Colchester, Essex (another source reports 16 Oct 1574 in Gretton, Northampton).  Together they has a  son and called him Thomas Warner.   The family name of Warner was a good one and William was considered a Gentleman.  This basically means that he was considered worthy of bearing his own coat of arms.  Therefore, he had to have been of some wealth and notoriety.  Now this third generation of Warners, Thomas, was born 14 Mar 1581 in Hoe, Norfolk and married a lady named Elizabeth Southerton on 15 Oct 1602 in St. Mary’s Church at Helleston, Norfolk.  Elizabeth was the daughter of Augustine Southerton (b. 1553) and Ann Peck (who were married 22 Sep 1572).  She was born about 1582 and died around 1629 at the age of 47.  Thomas and Elizabeth had a son named after Elizabeth’s father, Augustine Warner.  Augustine was born on 28 Sep 1611 in Norfolk, England.  He died on 24 Dec 1674 in Virginia.  That is correct.  Of the Warner family he is the “Immigrant”. 

Before Augustine took off for America, he was married to a Mary Townley, daughter of Lawrence Townley and Jennet Halstead of Stone Edge, Wiltshire, England.  Mary was born on 13 May 1614 in Stone Edge and died on 1 Aug 1662 at Warner Hall in Virginia.  Now this is where the story gets interesting.  The first Augustine Warner (1611-1674) arrived in Virginia in 1628 at the age of seventeen, as one of a group of thirty-four brought in by Adam Thouroughgood.  It was seven years (of indenture no doubt) before Warner accumulated enough assets to make his first land acquisition, patenting two hundred fifty acres in 1635, the earliest known land grant in Gloucester in 1635.  The first Augustine Warner must have been a gentleman of some importance; he used his Grandfather’s arms of an English family--nowWarner Hall difficult to identify--and he left England in the first year of Oliver Cromwell's "reign", no doubt to satisfy his beliefs, and to save his fortune. When he arrived in Virginia he built a fine house on an arm of the Severn, that flows into the York River and then into Chesapeake Bay, where the first English emigrants had sailed, in 1607, and formed the tragic settlement of Jamestown. There were dangers still, but Augustine Warner prospered; he became a Captain of the Militia, a Justice, and a Burgess in the General Assembly.  This enabled him to advise the Governor on many important matters. He was named Speaker of the House and known as Speaker Warner at this time. He became Captain of the Virginia Militia and received commission from the Governor as a "Gentlemen."  He aided the Dutch with the attacks on the Virginia Fleet of Hampton Roads.  Augustine's wife, Mary Townley, immigrated to Virginia in 1638 by The Charles River Company.  In 1638, not long after Mary’s arrival to America she gave birth to their first child Sarah Warner (Sarah died after 1675).  Then again on 24 Aug 1640, they had their second child, Isabella Warner who died on 9 Feb 1703.  In 1642, Augustine Warner's wife gave birth to their third child on July 3, Augustine II who died about 1681.  By the 1650's, Augustine Warner had acquired over one thousand acres through land grants spanning Virginia, it has been rumored that he was granted nearly 33,333 acres total throughout Gloucester County. This may have included land covering the entire North side of the Severn River, out to the Mobjack Bay.  Part of this land came from importing his nephew, Lawrence Smith (b. 1629) and brother to our direct Christopher Smith (b. 1630) in 1652 according to records.  As Augustine's acquisition of land increased, so did his political influence in the area. He became important in government and a man of respect in the county.   He was prosperous enough by 1657 to send his son to school at the Merchant Taylors School in London for it was the habit with these southerners to cling to their Englishness, while the emigrants to the northern states tried to mould a separate American character, and forget the land of their nativity.  At about this time he moved across the York River to Gloucester County, where he settled and built the first house at Warner Hall.  Augustine continued the typical pattern of seventeenth-century success in Virginia as a merchant, investor in land, and statesman till in 1659 he was appointed a member of the Council, the highest office a colonial Virginian could attain.  There he continued until his death in 1674. 

Warner Hall was built in 1674 on the land granted to Augustine Warner thirty plus years before. It was the first brick home built north of the York River, which included a brick stable with three chimneys, the only one in the history of Gloucester County. Warner Hall surpassed all other homes as a monument of extreme wealth and culture, as Gloucester County has always been distinguished in Virginia as the residence of a large number of families of wealth, education and good birth.  Warner Hall is set on the northern shore of the Severn River. It reveals three centuries of architectural development on the site.  Through its history several fires have damaged or destroyed the home.  The first fire in 1841 destroyed the five room house and in 1845/49, the central part of the mansion burned down leaving only the two wings. These two fires were only a fraction of the amount of destruction that has happened to the house since it was first built.  The house has been restored as closely as possible to the original structure and design.

The first house on the site was built in 1674, although there may have been a house or a wing on this site earlier in the 17th century; a later house was certainly built about 1740.  The circa 1905 Colonial Revival core of the expansive dwelling is attached to two colonial wings, original free standing dependencies, that remain from an 18th century house which burned circa 1940.  The 18th century west wing was enlarged and remodelled ca. 1840s probably to house the family after the center portion was destroyed by fire.  It is likely that this section of Warner Hall occupies the site of the 18th century dwelling which burned.  The center portion of Warner Hall is underpinned by brick and sits on a full basement, there are no basements under the wings.  Four giant Ionic columns support the steep pediment. The three center bays are closed by Ionic pilasters.  Greek revival moldings are used almost exclusively throughout the structure. Laid entirely in Flemish bond, the wing was raised from its original 1-1/2 stories to two stories. The north door lost its transom during this enlargement to allow for the installation of the stair.  A dwarf portico shields the center bay of the north elevation. The wing has a bevelled water table, and the first floor windows are capped by gauged brick jack arches.  Corbelled interior end chimneys (one original, one rebuilt) terminate the gable ends.  A box cornice with returns and unmolded entablature runs the length of the north and south elevations.  This single pile, center passage structure has retained much of its interior fabric.  Interior walls are laid in English bond and were originally plastered.  The studs with lath were probably added during the 1840s rebuilding.  The center passage contains the open string, dog-leg stair which has a carved newel and handrail and two square balusters per tread.  A three light transom caps the south door, and both the south and north doors are Colonial Revival replacements.  Fireplace openings have been rebuilt to facilitate the installation of stoves.

Three dependencies of note, a smokehouse, dairy, and stable, are associated with Warner Hall.  The 19th century smokehouse is laid in seven course American bond and is utilized for storage; partially constructed of 18th century brick with shell mortar, the dairy shows evidence of 19th century rebuilding.  Its small windows and spatial division indicate that it may have been used as a stable.  The large 18th century brick stable was enlarged with a frame addition in 1903 designed by the Richmond firm Noland and Baskerville.  Exterior walls of the original section are laid in Flemish bond, while interior walls are English bond.  The windows were originally like those on the dairy.  A bevelled water table circles the structure.  Notches in the plate evidence an addition, now removed.  Warner Hall remained in ownership of the Warner family and its descendants until the last century when another family bought it to preserve the old home.  The land around Warner Hall today includes the house, three dependencies and a circa 1900 tenant house.  The total acreage is approximately thirty eight acres.  Also adding to Warner Hall's historic interest [although there is more we will get to later] is the potential archaeological significance of the site.  Artifacts from the 17th and 18th centuries, if they are preserved on the property, could yield valuable information about the settlement and expansion of early Virginia as well as important clues to the cultural history of Warner Hall.  In the vicinity of the present 20th century structure are possibly the remains of a mid 17th century house, a dwelling built by John Lewis in the 1690s, the house built by John Lewis II for Priscilla Carter Lewis in the mid 18th century, and subsequent buildings erected on the site during the 19th century.  The grounds were tested for archaeological evidence by the Virginia Research Center for Archaeology in the spring of 1980, and various l8th century Artifacts were unearthed.  As of 1980, no full scale archaeological investigation has taken place.  Today Warner Hall with its magnificent center frame construction having columnar fronts toward the land approach and toward the Severn, and two brick wings stands as majestically as ever in its grove of century’s old trees. 

So why go into so much detail about the house?  It was the home of President George Washington's great grandfather, as well as his grandfather.  Betty Washington's husband, Fielding Lewis, was even born there; thus, the ancestors to Robert E. Lee, Capt. Meriwether Lewis and the Queen of England as well were raised here.  That’s right; Augustine Warner (b. 1611) is the great grandfather of President George Washington, the 2nd Great grandfather to Capt. Meriwether Lewis, the 5th great grandfather of General Robert E. Lee, and 12th Great Grandfather of the current Queen of England, Elizabeth Windsor.  Please don’t forget that he is my 12th Great Uncle.  The one strange fact that I have found that exists with three of  the four is that the price of fame was that they had no children.  Their line died with them. The following is just a quick reference to his famous descendants and can be found at the following website: http://home1.gte.net/mimieric/famous.htm.

WARNER, Augustine 1610 - 1674
TOWNLEY, Mary 1614 - 1662
WARNER, Augustine 1642 - 1681
READE, Mildred ? - 1694
WARNER, Sarah 1640
TOWNLEY, Lawrence


GRYMES, Charles ?- 1753



LEE, Henry 1729 - 1787
LEE, Henry 1756 - 1818

LEE, Robert E. 1807 - 1870

Civil War General
WARNER, Mary ? 1679/80
SMITH, John  
WARNER, Mildred
WARNER, Elizabeth 1672 - 1719/20
LEWIS, John 1669 - 1725
SMITH, Mildred
PORTEUS, Robert 1679 - 1758  
WASHINGTON, Augustine 1694 - 1743
BALL, Mary 1708 - 1789
LEWIS, Robert 1704
PORTEUS, Robert 1705 - 1754
COCKAYNE, Judith 1702 - 1789 
WASHINGTON, George 1731/32 –
First President of the United States
LEWIS, William 1733 - 1781
MERIWETHER, Lucy 1751/52
PORTEUS, Mildred 1744  &
HODGSON, Robert 1740

LEWIS, Meriwether 1774 - 1809
Lewis and Clark Expedition   

HODGSON, Henrietta Mildred
SMITH, Oswald 1794 - 1863 

SMITH, Frances Dora 1833 - 1922

BOWES-LYON, Claude George 1855 - 1944
BENTINCK, Nina Cecelia 

BOWES-LYON, Elizabeth Angela Marguerite "Queen of Britain" 

WINDSOR, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary     "Queen of Britain" 

Augustine Warner died in 1674, at the great age, for a seventeenth-century Virginian, of sixty-three, and was succeeded at Warner Hall by his only son, the second Augustine Warner (1642-1681).  After his English education in London and at Cambridge, the younger Augustine Warner returned to Virginia, and soon, by 1666, became a member of the House of Burgesses, and then Speaker of the House in 1676. [When you read the Smith Family History it is in 1666, that we believe our direct ancestor Christopher Smith arrived in America.  It is believed he came back with his cousin].  In 1677 he took his seat on the Council, but his career was cut short by his early death in 1681 at the age of thirty-nine. 

A fascinating glimpse of Warner Hall and insight into the Warners’ activity as merchants is afforded by the affidavit of their cousin John Townley, who was overseer in charge at Warner Hall in September, 1676, when Bacon’s Rebellion took place and Bacon invaded Warner Hall.  Colonel Augustine Warner II had took over his father’s business and became political friends with Nathaniel Bacon, who was educated at Oxford and a Barrister in London.  Townley tells how he had been entrusted with the guidance of the house and family as overseer, and had “also delivered to him by Inventory all the household goods and other merchandising goods and stores in and belonging to the sd Coll. Warner and laid up and stored in his said house and storehouses thereto belonging, the Keyes of which houses and storehouses were demanded and commanded from him by the said Bacon and those with him; which Keyes being afterwards in the hands & keeping of Capt. Wm. Bird.” According to his report, Captain Bird shortly after coming to Warner Hall took a plate-handled scimitar and black-fringed shoulder belt belonging to Warner and wore them while there, and was still wearing them about a fortnight later when John Townley again saw him at Col. Warner’s house at “Chieskake.”  He tells how Bird at Warner Hall opened the stores and chests and issued the goods to the armed men, who carried them away.  He took particular notice that when Bird was delivering out the goods and “mett with any ffine goods, as Silke ffine Hollands, or other ffine linnings, silke Stockings Ribband, or the like he sent them into Bacons roome, where he was often called in and was very Conversant.”  After the intruders were gone, John Townley, on the understanding that they intended to return, packed of the remainder of the goods and put them on board the ship Lady Frances, taking an inventory so that he knew what was missing and that the true value of the purloined goods was 845 pounds 2 shillings sterling.  His deposition, which he sighs, is followed and confirmed by the testimony of William Blackburne and William Sympson, servants, and Richard Scarlett, a freeman and sharer, all living at Warner Hall.
Bacon staged the first actual American Revolution in 1676, as he organized an army of three hundred to four hundred pioneers to cope with the Indians North of the York River.  He was involved in a private fur deal spanning the entire Virginia frontier.  By the end of the decade, Bacon's troops had taken care of all the Indian tribes.  They marched on Jamestown as Governor William Berkeley fled, and sailed to the Eastern Shore.  Nathaniel Bacon and his troops soon set up their headquarters at Warner Hall after the burning of Jamestown in 1676.  This Virginia Colony was in charge of matters north of the York to the Potomac River.  Beyond the Potomac, lay the Maryland Colony.  It was at Warner Hall, where he sent notices for the people to assemble to take the "Oath of Fidelity" of his fellow countrymen.  Bacon contracted Malaria and died within a year his troops then fleeing the Colony.
Augustine Warner II inherited Warner Hall at the death of his father in 1674. He married Mildred Reade, the daughter of George Reade, founder of Yorktown, and after her death, Elizabeth Martian. Augustine II was speaker of the House of Burgesses during Bacon's Rebellion in 1676, and also was a member of the Council.
When Augustine Warner II died, he left three daughters his son dying June 19, 1681.  Mary became the wife of John Smith, of Purton, on the York, and their son Augustine Smith was said to have been one of the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe with Governor Spotswood, on his famous expedition across the Blue Ridge in 1716.  From Mary descends the present Queen of England.  Mildred, another daughter of Augustine Warner II, married Lawrence Washington, of Westmoreland, and her second husband was George Gale. Her three Washington children were John, who built Highgate, Augustine, father of George Washington (first President of the United States), and Mildred.  Augustine Washington married Mary Ball, and named his son George for his great grandfather, George Reade, who founded Yorktown.
Elizabeth, the third daughter of Augustine Warner II, became the wife of John Lewis and inherited Warner Hall. Their son, John Lewis II was a member of His Majesty's Council, and was prominent in the county. For generations the Lewis’ lived here, and members of the family immigrated to all parts of the United States. Their descendants built Belle Farm, Eagle Point, Abingdon, Severby, and Severn Hall, all in Virginia. Elizabeth and John Lewis I's grandson, Colonel Fielding Lewis, of Belle Farm, married Catherine Washington, and after her death married Elizabeth Washington, also known as Betty, sister of George.  He built beautiful Kenmore for her, in Fredericksburg.  The above information can be found at the following website: http://home1.gte.net/mimieric/Augustine.html.  It was also through these Lewis’ that Meriwether Lewis came from as shown above. 
Besides the son Augustine Warner the second, the first Augustine Warner (1611-1674) had at least two daughters.  One married David Cant, and the other, Sarah, married Lawrence Townley (her cousin), and was the ancestor of General Lee. 
When it comes to ancestry, there has never been any mystery about Mildred Reade, the wife of the second Augustine Warner.  The Reades trace back through Windebank and Dymoke, Champion of England, to the blood royal.  However, the ancestry of the Warner family and the identity of Mary, wife of the first Augustine Warner, were completely unknown until comparatively recently.  This always seemed odd, because the name Augustine Warner was distinctive, he obviously came from an educated class, he used a coat of arms, and it seemed reasonable to expect to find records.  It remained for a very able scholar, Mrs. Mary Derrickson McCurdy, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to notice a clue in Raine’s edition of Dugdale’s 1664-5  Visitation of …Lancaster.  Mrs. McCurdy had been studying the Townley family, and came across a chart in this visitation of a branch of the Townley family which included the marriage of a Mary Townley to an Augustine Warner.  Proceeding from here, she developed a magnificent essay in the July, 1973, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, which gives Augustine Warner’s ancestry, identified his wife as Mary Townley, and shows several other connections of the Townleys with the Warners and other early Virginia families.  It is from Mrs. McCurdy’s article that the account of Bacon’s invasion of Warner Hall is copied.
It is interesting to follow the given name Augustine through these families.  In the 1400’s there was an Augustine Boyce in Norwich, Co. Norfolk.  His grandson, Augustine Steward (1491-1571), frequently Mayor of Norwich, in turn had a grandson, Augustine Southerton (ca. 1550-1585), an Alderman of Norwich.  His daughter Elizabeth Southerton married Thomas Warner of Hoe, near Norwich, and they were the parents of our first Augustine Warner (1611-1674) in Virginia.  From his granddaughters, of course, the given name of Augustine has continued to this day in the Smith and Washington families, but apparently not in the Lewis family.  On the other hand, the name Warner persisted as a given name in the Washington and Lewis families, but not with the Smiths.
Warner Hall stayed in the eldest male line of the Lewis family, through a succession of eldest sons named Warner Lewis, until 1834, when it was finally sold by a daughter of the last of them, Elizabeth Lewis (Mrs. Matthew Whiting Brooke) according to an essay written by John A. Washington in February 2001.

Just to be sure of what we have above, I did some further research and found some other interesting facts of this and our heritage.  I found that we, or may have a lineage going back to King William I, The Lion, of Scotland as well as King Edward I, de Longshanks, of England.  But you will have to go to the Pre-1400 section for this story.

By: Jerry A. Smith,
Smith Family Researcher

1.  Website: http://www.gordonbanks.com/gordon/family/Lewis_&_Clark/Lewis.html
2.  Sorley, Lewises of Warner Hall; Virginia County Record Series, Crozier, vol 5 p 58; Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1619-1658; Hening Statutes, vol 1 pp 369-71
3.  Gary Boyd Roberts, Notable Kin (Santa Clarita, CA: Carl Boyer, 1998
4.  Gary Boyd Roberts, Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002
5.  David Faris, Plantagenet Ancestry of 17th Century Colonists, 2nd ed. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999
6. Frederick Lewis Weis, Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to American before 1700, 7th ed. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999
7.  Walter Garland Duke, Henry Duke, Councilor: His Descendants and Connections (Richmond: Dietz Press, 1949
8.  William Terrell Lewis, Genealogy of the Lewis and Kindred Families (KY: Courier-Journal Job Printing Company, 1893
9.  Margaret C. Pilcher, Historical Sketches of the Campbell, Pilcher, and Kindred Families (Nashville: Marshall Bruce & Co., 1911
10. Gary Boyd Roberts, Ancestors of American Presidents, 2nd ed.(Santa Clarita, CA.: Carl Boyer, 1995
11. Colonial Dames of America, Ancestral Records and Portraits (New York: Grafton Press, 1910

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Fairbanks Family

As best as I can tell, the Fairbanks originated from the Northern portion of England, in Yorkshire County.  In 1415, it was reported that an Edmund Fairbank was born.  He was supposed to have married a lady named Margaret.  Although it seems late in life, I have only found one child of theirs, William Fairbank who was born in 1455.  He was born in Sowerby, Parish of Halifax, Yorkshire, England.  In 1492 (or recorded as 8th Henry VII), it was discovered that he took “land of the soil and waste of the Lord in Sowerby, to hold according to the custom of the manor”.  He died in 1518 at the same place he was born.  Then after a long search, I finally ran across the following website in a GenForum for the Fairbanks:  http://www.familyorigins.com/users/k/e/e/Louis-J-Keester/index.html.  It was here that I discovered the following information.

John Fairbanke, son of William Fairbank, was born in 1480 in Sowerby, Halifax Co., Yorkshire. He died in 1551 in the same place.  It appears this family were close knit and didn’t fall far from the apple tree.  In 1504 (19th Henry VII) and in 1506, there were land transfers in the name of John as a son of William.  I assume this transfer of land was to prepare for his marriage as in 1504 he married a lady named Margaret (or Margaretta).  He and Margaret had at least one child, Gilbert Fairbanks.  Notice the name changes from William to Gilbert (Fairbank to Fairbanke to Fairbanks).  Gilbert was born on 6 May 1505 in (you guessed it) the same place Sowerby, Yorkshire.  In 1526 and later in 1550, the name of Gilbert as the son of John appeared on some land transfers in Sowerby.  Then in 1569 (11th Elizabeth), he was recorded as not paying the stipend (fee) of the minister or curate of the chapel.  Virtually nothing else is known of him but that he died on 4 Mar 1577.  He signed his will in Mar of 1577 in Sowerby.  The will was proved on 16 Apr 1578, which named his wife and surviving children.  Around 1522, Gilbert married a lady named Jennet.  Together they had 10 children: George, William, Johanna, John, Michael, Hugh, Dorothy, Agnes, Elizabeth, and Edward.  As our line goes through George we will continue only through him. 

George Fairbanks was born about 1530 in Sowerby, Yorkshire.  He died on 29 Mar 1610 in Sowerby with no story to tell but that he married a Ms. Sybil (Cybil) Wade on 10 May 1551 in Sowerby.  Together they had 8 children: Jennet, Dorothy, John, Genet, Maria, Edward, George, Robert, and Susan.  Again, there is nothing else to report with George (b. 1530); therefore, we will continue our linage through his son George (b. 1562).  George Fairbanks (Jr.) was born in 1562 in Halifax, Yorkshire and died 28 May 1650.  He was baptised on 2 Aug 1562.  He resided in what is called Heptonstall, Halifax, Yorkshire and was reported as being a church warden in 1612 and living near his son, Jonathan. 

George was married to a Ms. Mary Farrer in 1593 in Heptonstall, Halifax, Yorkshire, England.  This could be possibly his second marriage, but no proof.  Mary was the daughter of William Farrar (b. 1500 / d. 1573) and Margaret Lacy (b. unk / d. 1571).  George and Mary had four children:  Jonathan, Mary, Esther, and Richard.  From this point, Our line goes through Jonathan Fairbanks.  Jonathan was born on 2 Jan 1594 and died on  5 Dec 1668 in Dednam, Massachusetts.   That’s right; Jonathan was the Immigrant to America on the ship “Griffin”.  He was one of the earliest Pioneers, and was a signer of the Covenant when the town was established and named.  Jonathan Fairebanke (Fairbank, Fairbanks) came from Sowerby in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, to Boston, Mass., in the year 1633, and in 1636 settled in Dedham, Mass., where he became a wool merchant and where he built the noted "Old Fairbanks House" which is still standing as an ancient landmark, the oldest dwelling house in New England that, for the same period of time, has been continuously owned and occupied by the builder and his lineal descendants. Only a few houses, or parts of houses of the same age remain, and most of these are in ruins. It is, moreover, a remarkable fact, perhaps unparalleled in this country, that during all this time, two and a half centuries, the estate has never had a mortgage encumbrance upon it.
This house is now historically famous, and is an object of great interest to many visitors to the old town of Dedham. On the 20th of June 1895, a new Court House was dedicated in that town and Hon. Frederick D. Ely delivered an historical address on the occasion. Speaking of old landmarks he referred to the old house in the following words:

    "In a neighbouring street stands a dwelling house, erected early in the last half of the seventeenth century. It is warped and worn by the sunshine and the storms of its nearly 250 years. Winter and summer, frost and heat have done much to undermine its symmetry, and its leaning walls and sloping floors are only held in place by its frame of massive oak. Yet hundreds, I may safely say thousands, of men and women come from far and near to view and examine the old Fairbanks house in every minutes particular, while they scarcely accord a passing glance to the magnificent and costly modern mansion on the opposite side of the street."

It has been claimed that this house was built in 1636. This claim has been the subject of considerable discussion among historians, and is disputed on historical grounds. One, at least, expresses the belief that it was not built till about the year 1654. The chief reason assigned for his belief is that the old house is a framed building of massive oak timber, and that there is no historical evidence that any framed dwelling houses were erected in the town as early as 1636. Against this alleged fact is the tradition that the frame of the main part of the house, together with the bricks and tiles and windows, was imported from England, and remained in Boston for several months before it was carried to Dedham.

The truth is that the house was not built as it stands at one time, or in one year; and it is certain that Jonathan owned a house situated probably on the same lot in 1648. In the valuation of houses, made in that year for the purpose of assessing the "country rate," there were enumerated eighty-one houses, ranging in value from £45, the highest, to £2, the lowest, omitting fractions. The valuation of Jonathan Fairbanke's house was £28, and only eight houses were estimated higher. The highest valuation, £45, was placed upon the house of Rev. John Allin, pastor of the church.
Subsequently, perhaps as late as 1654, a large addition was made to the original building, which was called the new house, which is said to have been built for the occupation of his son John after his marriage. In the Inventory of Jonathan's personal estate taken after his death in 1668, some things are mentioned as contained in certain "rooms in the new house." From these facts and circumstances, particularly the fact that he owned a lot of land prior to May 1637, it is not unreasonable to conclude that he built a house in 1686, or soon after, which is a part of the present building, or in a short time was replaced by a framed structure to which the addition was made some years later.

He had a family consisting of his wife and six children, four sons and two daughters, namely, John, George, Mary, Susan, Jonas and Jonathan, who were all born in England. Of the ages of his children when he arrived here we can judge only by circumstances. The dates of their births, except one, have not been ascertained. Mary was born, according to a descendant of the Metcalf family, Apr. 18, 1622. If she was the third child, we may judge approximately of the ages of the rest; but the places of the daughters, as given in the table, may not be correct. In 1638 John was appointed, with John Rogers, to survey the Charles River, and he was married in 1641. George was married in 1646; Jonas in 1658; and Jonathan, the youngest son, about 1653.

The town of Dedham was established and named by the General Court the "10th of ye 7 Month, 1636," upon a petition signed by twenty-two persons, in connection with a grant of land in addition to a "grante formerly made of a Plantacion above the Falls," with "Immunitie from publike Charges" for three years. Thereupon the "Dedham Covenant" was drawn up and signed by the petitioners and others.

The covenant was in the nature of a mutual compact concerning the future management of the affairs of the town. It was signed by one hundred and twenty-five persons, and among them were Jonathan Fayerbanke, John Fayerbanke, George Fayerbanke and Jonathan Fayerbank, Jun. Not all of this number, however, subscribed in 1636, but some of them from time to time as they were admitted townsmen.

The following record is found in the "Towne Booke":
,, Dedham. The 23th of ye first Month called March 1687. The First Assembly in Dedham, by whose names are underwritten, vizt, Edward Alleyn, Abraham Shawe, Samuel Morse, Philemon Dalton, Joseph Shawe, Ezechiell Holliman, Lambert Genere, Nicholas Phillips, Raffe Shepheard, John Gay, Francis Austin, Willm Berstowe, John Rogers, Danfell Morse, John Huggens.
Jonathan Fearbanke being p'sented by John Dwite was accepted and subscribed."
John was admitted townsman and signed the covenant as early as 1642; George about 1651, and Jonathan in 1654.
It would appear that the lands were originally granted to individuals in twelve and eight-acre lots, for among the earliest town proceedings it was
"Ordered that euery Twelve Acre Lott shall haue route acres of swampe granted in the first grante there vnto besids what may be granted in any deuident of swampe that may afterward be layed out. And that also; in like manner euery Eight Acre Lott shall haue the like grante of three acres of swampe layed out as due there vnto."

It was also "Ordered that euery man that hath an whole Lott shall haue so many Acres of Meadowe as he hath vpland in his first grante for an house Lott. where of part of such pcells of Meadowe as lyeth adioyneing to his said Lott shall be granted to him in pt and the remainder shall be made vp else where."  Before 1687, Jonathan Fairbanke had been granted at least a twelve-acre lot with four acres of swamp land, for in that year he received as his proportion of a further allotment four acres of "Swampe" land. The additional grant was made because "vpon a good viewe taken of ye Swampes next ye Towne they are fownd to be soe gteate yt ye formr pportion allotted to men will not be neere sufficient to cleere them." But it was provided that a fourth part of such extra land, if accepted, should be cleared every year, and "whosoever shallbe found defective shall for eury defaulte" forfeit and pay for the benefit of the town the price "of an Ewe kid of Eight weeks old."
In 1688, the 30thof the 3a month, he was appointed, with several others, "to measure out those pclls of Medowe wch adioyne to mens Lotts. And to measure out soe much medowe in seurall pcells as is allotted vnto eury man according to their graunts made vnto them."

The c28th of ye 5th month, 1688, it was "ordered yt those wch Inhabit on ye East side of the little River shall haue for yr Medowe next beneth ye greate pond," each a certain number of acres. Under this order Jonathan Farebancke received six acres, five rods. "But by Reason of some Interruption arising by challenge made of the same medowe to belonge vnto some of the Farmes &c.," there was given to him in 1642, in place thereof, "Sixe acres in ye medowe neere vnto the South side of Ballpate hill."

Assembly, Sept. 15, 1041.
Granted vnto John Dwight Francis Chickeringe Eliazer Lusher Jonathan Fairbanke Michael Powell Peter Woodward Michaell Metcalfe & John Frary that percell of the Low playne (nere Mr. Stoughtons farme) that belongs to this Towne to be deuided amongst themselves as they or a major part of them shall agree to be layd out by themselves or by whome soeuer they shall apoynt or imploy therein;
The 15th of ye ~/th month 1641 DEDHAM GRANTITH to Jonathan Fairbanke and to his heyres or assignes for euer; One acre more or lesse as it lyeth on ye Low playne; abutting vpon Michael Powell toward the North east & vpon John firamy toward the South west; & vpon the waest towards the Norwest and vpon ye highway from Dedham to Dorchester mill the South east. MICHAEL POWELL, clrt; In 1649., there was granted to him "2 acres 2 roodes of vpland ground fit for improuement with the plough." The 17th Of the 3a month, 1644, a grant was made to him of two acres of land "upon the North end of the wigwam playne." "The 4 of ye 19 month 1644," he received a grant of two and onehalf acres of woodlands.”  In 1656, he was alloted his proportion of "Comon town rights," six and three-fourths acres.

The following unique record appears on the books of the First Church:

"Jonathan Fairebanke notwithstanding he had long stood off fro' ye church upon some scruples about publike p'fession of faith & ye covenant yet after divers loving conferences wth him; he made such a declaration of his faith & conv'sion to god & p'fession of subjection to ye ordinances of Xt in this X yt he was readily & gladly received by ye whole church: 14d 6m 1646."

His will was executed on 4 June 1668 in Dedham, Norfolk, MA.  The will mentions a wife, Grace, but there is no way of knowing whether she was the mother of his children. He bequeathed his "whole movable Estate whatsoever, as well within doors as without,: to wife Grace. Small bequests were then made to his "second son," George, to his daughter, Mary, wife of Christopher Smith (who were still in England), to Jonas, to Jonathan, to Sarah, eldest daughter of his "son John," and to Ralph Daye, his "son in law," (husband of Susan), and to "each of the four Children of the said Ralph." Finally he bequeathed to John, his eldest son, all his "houses and lands whatsoever, not being formerly above (mentioned?) and together with all my common Rights and town privileges whatsoever, to have possess and enjoy the same (-----) and his heirs (-----) to enter upon all my lands forthwith after my decease; and all my houses and hordes at the end of four months next following the same". And he made him sole Executor of the will below:

    In the yeare of our Lord one thousand sixe hundred sixty and eight, the first day of the fourth month, com'only called June; I Jonathan ffarbanke of dedham in the Countie of Suffolke Senioe, Being sicke and weake, And expecting that the day of my desolution is drawing neere doe in the name alad feare of God ordaine and make this my Last will & Testamt for the disposelng and settling of the things of this life, with which the Lord hath at prsent Intrusted me in manner & forme as followeth; viz first I commit my soule to God that gave it, Trusting in the alone Righteousnes & mediation of Jesus Christ my Redemet & aduocate, & my body to the earth whence it was taken, to be after my decease Desently buried therein in christian buriall at the discretion of my Executor. In prims I give & bequeath vnto grace my Deere & well beloved wife, All and Every prt & pfcell of my whole moueable Estate whatsoeuer as well within dores as without, namely all my household stuffe, of all & Euery sort & kinde as allso all my cattell of all kinds all my corne cartes ploughs workeing tooles & vtensils of husbandrye all debts due to me & whatsoeuer Ells come within the denomination of moueable Estate & all this I giue and Bequeath to my said wife, to despose of when And to whom shee shall at any time see meete. And more I giue to grace my said wife an Annuitie of Eight pounds pr Annm to be paid to her or her assignee to her vse yearely & euery yeare, in two equall prts. * *Ite I glue & bequeath to George (ffarbanke my secon)d sonne & to his heyers for euer, sixteene pounds the one halle whereof shall be payed to him within the space of one ( .... ) yeare next ensueing after the decease of my said wife; And whereas I haue allready giuen and doe herby confirme to my said sonne George all that my prt in the generaIl deuident (dividend ?) already laid out thro Meadfield & some workinge tooles & such like small things, my will & my mind is, That the said percell of lande and tho6e tooles and other small thing soe giuen shall be all indifferently & Equally aprized and if they shall together amount to the value of eight pounds then it shall be accounted for his first payment. * * * And I glue & bequeath to my daughter Mary the wife of Christopher Smith the sume of sixteene pounds, which sixteene pounds I glue to my said daughter in prticuler, And distinct from her husbans Estate & to be allwayes at her dispose, this sixteen pounds to be payed in two equall (sum'es ?) of Eight pounds. * * * Item More I giue to my said daughter Mary Three pounds to purchase her a suite of aparrell to be paid within the space of three months next after my decease. Item. I giue and bequeath to Jonas ffarbanke my third sonne & his heyers for euer the like sume of sixtene pounds to be allso payed in two equal sumes. * * * Item I giue & bequeath to Jonathan ffarebanke my yongest sonne & to his heighers the like sume of sixteene pounds, to be paid allso in two Equal Sum'es. * * * Item I giue and bequeath to Sarah the Eldest daughter of my sonne John flarebanks one young beast betwixt one and two yeares of age, & more three pounds to be payed by my Executor when she shall attaine lawfull age, the young beast before mentioned I Reserue out of the cattell bequeathed to Grace my wife; Item I giue & bequeath to my sonne in lawe Ralph Daye ffourty shillings to be payed within six monthes after my wives decease;
    Item. I giue & bequeath to each of the foure Children of the said Ralph which he had by my daughter Susan his late wife the sum'e of flourtie shillings to be payd them seuerally as they shall attaine lawfull age pruided all my other Legacies to my three sonnes & my daughter be first payed in manner as is aboue Expressed; Item my mind ~ my will is that all these my legacies aboue bequeathed, the specie or kind of payment whereof is not named shall be all payed in current Contreypayment at price then Currant In ded (ham I glue ~ bequeath) To John ffarebanke my Eldest sonne all my houses &-' lands whatsouer, not being foremerly aboue (mentioned ? togeth)er with all my common Rightes & towne pruiliges whatsoeuer, to haue posses &' injoy the same ( .... ) & his heyers to enter vpon all my lands forthwith after my decease; and all my houses and yardes at the end of foure mo'nthes n(ext followin)g the same; Item I doe nominate apoiht and ordayne John Fairebancke my afforesaid Eldest Sonne, To be my sole Executor to whom I coremitt all nessary trust d~' power Requisite for the due and full prformeance & Execution of this my last will as it belongs or is necessary for an Executor to doe in all & euery prt as is aboue expressed; Item I allso name & intreate my very loueing friends Eleazer Lusher & Petter Woodward Sene to be ouerseers to the performance of this my present will & to be assisting to my aboue named Executor therin as themselues shall see cause, & I doe hereby reueoke & make null & voide all other or former wills whatsouer by me formerly made; & doe auouch & decleare this prsent wrighting, as is aboue herein entered, to be & contayne my true onely & last will & testemant.
    In wittnss whereof I the said Jonathan ffarebanke Sene haue herevnto subscribed my hand & affixed my seale the day & yeare first aboue written.
    This a true copy of the will of Jonathan Fayerbank senyore.
    as attest Daniel filsher.
    William Avery.

The father, it would seem, had a good opinion of the English law of primogeniture, and so John, his eldest son, came into possession of the homestead. From that time down to July, 1892, the old house was continuously occupied by him and his descendants, Joseph, Joseph 2d, Ebenezer, Ebenezer 2d, Prudence, Sarah (Sally), Nancy, and Rebecca, the last of the family tenants. In July, 1892, the house was struck by lightning and considerably damaged. Miss Rebecca's pet dog, lying under the bed where she was sleeping, was killed, but she escaped with a severe shock. Shortly after this event, deeming the house no longer a desirable place of abode, she abandoned it, leaving a strange family in charge, and removed to Boston. Thus for the first time in over two hundred and fifty years the old house was occupied by persons not "to the manor born." But after spending several months in Boston she returned to dwell in the time-honoured mansion, of which she was then the sole owner, and is still living there (Fall of 1896).

As we learned of the children of Jonathan earlier (John, George, Mary, Jonathan, Jonas, Susan, Sarah, Martha, James), so now lets go through some of the children and tell what we know.  John Fairbanks was born about 1618 in Sowerby, Parish of Halifax, Yorkshire, England. He was baptized on 15 Feb 1618 in Parish of Halifax, Yorkshire, England. He died on 13 Nov 1684.  John married Sarah Fiske in 1641. He lived for a time, it is supposed, in a house of his own, but later, after his father had built an addition to his house, he occupied with his family a part of it before his father’s death.

Two grants of land were made to him by the town, viz : in 1640, six acres "at ye east end of his fathers lot ," and in 1642, two acres seventeen rods "upland fit for improvement with the plough." In 1656 he received, with others, "common rights according to the proportions of his estate," eight and three fourths acres.  In 1628, at an assembly held the 21th of ye 7th month, John Rogers and John Farebanke were "appoynted to goe vpon ye discou'y of Charles Riur with such men as shall by ye courts appoyntmt call them ye 2nd day of ye next weeke."   In 1663 he was sent by the selectmen of Dedham in company with Daniel Fisher to examine the land at Deerfield, then called Petumtuck.

His name appears many times in the Town Records, and he held local offices:  He was received into ye X 4d 3m 1651; Inherited old House in Dedham, MA; Report of 2nd marriage to Mary Fish after 1683 is questionable; and was a Signer of The Covenant of Dedham, MA.  The following is the will of John Fairbank:

    Suffolk Probate Records, Lib. 6, Fol. 487. Proved 19 Feb. 1684 (O. S.) The tenth day of novemb.r one Thousand Six hundred Eighty & four. BEE IT KNOWN that I, John Faierbancks of Dedham do make this my last will and Testament in' manner and forme following, being sound in my understanding and of a disposing minde, For which I bless God, and knowing the uncertainty of this life, and being by many awful1 intimations minded of my great change, shall therefore, God assisting me, endeavour to set my house in order. And First I comit, bequeath and resigne my Soule unto the hands of Almighty God, my Creator, being hopefully assured, believing that I shall receive the full pardon and free remission of all my Sins and be saved by the precious Death and merits of Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, and my body to the earth from whence it was taken, to be Decently and in Christian manner interred after my Decease, by my Executor and Overseers or Supervisors hereafter men-tioned, and after my debts and funerall charges be paid, my mind and will as touching such worldly things over which the Lord have me steward, is that they be empowered as followeth,- viz.

    IMPRIMIS. I give and bequeath to my eldest son John Fairbanks all my rights within the Town of Wrentham, conreining thirteen Cow commons with some Sheep commons, with all that do or shall belong of right to them in any manner or kind whatsoever within the Town of Wrentham or adjoyning to that Township, to wit, my rights in that last Indian purchase bought of Philip Sagamore, all which I value at Forty pounds. More I give and bequeath to my eldest son ]ohn Fairbanks ten pounds which is to be understood because he is my eldest Son, and therefore my mind and will is that he s John Fairbanks shall receive of my Estate or from my Executor ten pounds more than either Joseph Fairbancks, my second son, or Benjamin ffairbancks, my youngest Son: And further my minde and will is that after my debts and Legacies and other charges be paid, that my son John Fairbanks shall receive of my Sons Joseph and Benjamin Fairbanks in currant Country payment to make up that Fourty pounds by me given in Wrentham equal with my other two Sons, namely Joseph & Benjamin Fairbanks, and my mind and will is that Joseph and Benjamin flairbanks shall pay or cause to be paid to my Son John Fairbanks or his heires in Dedham ten pounds in currant Country payment pr yeare beging the next yeare after my decease and so to continue forth on in ye insuing yeares to pay untill he sd John Fairbanks shall have received both his ten pounds above expressed, and to make him equall with his Bretheren as above is expressed, and Mike my mind is that if my Sons Joseph & Benjamin ffairbanke can pay their Brother John ffairbanke more than ten pounds pr yeare they shall do well, but my mind in expressing ten pounds pr yeare is that they shall not be driven to more.

    Item. I give and bequeath to my daughter Hannah ffaierbanks Sixty pounds, and my mind and will is that she shall have her first choice in the movables of the house to the value of twenty pounds, and then she my said daughter to receive ffourty pounds more of her Brothers (to wit) Joseph and Benjamin flairbanks within the space of Six yeares after the day of my decease in currant Country payment, my mind is that my daughter Hannah Fairbank do receive Six pounds thirteen Shilling four pence pr yeare in the yeares as above expressed, to be paid by Joseph and Benjamin Fairbanks.
    Item. I give and bequeath to my grand daughter Mary Sawyer the Sum of ffifteen pounds to be paid by my Sons Joseph and Benjamin Fairbanks in currant Country payment, and my mind is that She my sd Grand child shall receive the first ffive pounds when she shall attain to the age of one & twenty yeares, and so forth on in the next ensuing years five pounds pr yeare untill she have received her ~fteen pounds. And if She my sd Grand Child shall dye before she attain to the age of twenty and one years then this ffifteen pounds to return to my Children surviving to be equally divided.
    It. I give and bequeath unto Joseph Fairbanks my second Son and unto Benjamin Fairbanks my youngest Son all my houses barns Orchards Lands meadows common rights goods movables cattell debts and whatsoever is not already given and legally disposed of, they paying all debts & Legacies and charges whatsoever, to be in all honest respects divided equally betwixt them my Sons Joseph and Benjamin Fairbanks. And forasmuch as my Son Joseph Fairbanks have already received one of my dwelling houses and Land to it notwithstanding if he shall see fit to choose the house of which I am now possest of and shall resigne that situation that he is possest of by a deed of gift from me his Father to my Son Benjamin upon equall terms as he shall receive the other house, then my mind is that he have his choice of the houses, and that the whole of my remaining Estate be divided betwixt them sd Joseph and Benjamin Fairbanks as above sd .
    It. I do hereby make ordein and constitute my loveing Son Joseph Fair-banks my sole Executor to do and pefforme this my last will in all the parts thereof above expressed: I do also desire and choose my trusty and well beloved friends Thomas Medcalfe and James Thorpe Senior my Overseers or Supervisors to assist my Executor by joyning with him to help by counsell and advice that all might be carried on peaceably, and I do hereby declare that my mind is that my Executor and my other Children be ready to be advised by my Overseers.
    IN WITNESS that this is my last will I have set to my hand & affixed my Seale the day & year abovewritten.

    John Fairbanck {seal}

    In presenc of THOMAS MEDCALFE, JAMES THORPE  MEM. It is to be understood that the division betwixt Joseph and Benjamin Fairbar/ks is to be equall.

Now John was married to Sarah Fiske on 16 Jan 1641. They begat the following children: Joshua,     Lt.  John, Sarah, Jonathan, Mary, Martha, Joseph (Deacon), Hannah, and Benjamin.

The second child of Jonathan and Grace was Captain George Fairbanks.  George was born on 26 Nov 1619 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.  He was baptized on 28 Nov 1619 in Sowerby, Parish of Halifax, Yorkshire, England.  He died on 10 Jan 1682 in Millis, Norfolk, Massachusetts by drowning, (was then called Medway, MA).  George came with his father from England and resided in Dedham until about 1657, when he removed to the southern part of Sherborn (after Medway and now Millis). He was the first settler there and was an esteemed citizen and one of the select men, and a member of the Artillery Company (Ancient and Honorable).

He married, "the 26 of the 8 mo., 1646", Mary Adams of Dedham, who died Aug. 11, 1711, in Mendon, MA, probably at the home of her son-in-law, William Holbrook.  In 1648 he owned some land and a dwelling house in Dedham. In that year he was granted a small parcel of land "as it lye against the side of his own yard for an enlargement and to set a Barne upon it."  He had acquired some interest in lands in Medfield prior to the death of his father, as appears by an item in the latter's will.

He established in Medfield, afterward Medway, a homestead which remained in the family for several generations.  It was held in whole or in part by four Georges in succession, then by Silas and his son Silas, the last of the name who lived on it, about the year 1820. He was undoubtedly the first to settle within the territory of Medway. His dwelling was the famous stone house near the northern border of Bogestow Pond in the eastern part of the town, which is now included within the limits of the town of Millis, incorporated in 1885. That which has been more recently known as the Fairbanks farm was the southern portion of his large landed estate. The Inventory of his estate mentions three hundred acres adjacent to his homestead, and a small lot lying between that tract and the homestead.
The stone house occupied by him was originally a garrison house, built by the residents of Bogestow farms unitedly as a place of refuge and defence, to which they could flee in times of danger from the attacks of hostile Indians. It was sixty-five or seventy feet long, and two stories high. The walls were built of flat stones laid in clay mortar. It had a double row of port holes on all sides, and was lined with heavy oak plank. The stones have all been carried away, and there is now nothing left to mark the spot where the building stood.

In 1662 George, with thirteen of his neighbours, signed the first petition for the incorporation of Sherborn.  Again, in 1674, he and twelve others signed a second petition which was successful, and by an Act of the General Court, the petitioners and twenty more of such as they might consent to receive as inhabitants were constituted a proprietor of lands now comprising Sherborn, Holliston and large districts of Framingham and Ashland. After the formation of the town he seems to have been an active citizen, engaged in public affairs. For four years he was selectman, and was chosen on a committee to engage and settle a minister. His sudden death by drowning in 1682 was a great loss in the new settlement.  His son, Jonathan, appears to have inherited the northern and eastern part of his farm, including the stone house. He too was drowned, in 1719, while attempting to cross the river from Medfield. The farm then fell into the hands of his two sons, Samuel and Jonathan, a part of which was sold to their uncle, George, who occupied the south western portion of the original homestead, the place now occupied by Frank E. Cook. See History of Medway, by Rev. E. O. Jameson.

George was a man of sterling character, and a model pioneer. His descendants are found in almost every state of the Union, and in Canada and Nova Scotia. Everywhere they are noted for their high character, morality and intelligence. They are proud to call the "second son" of Jonathan their ancestor, and to know that his successors down to the present time have well and nobly maintained the honor of his name. Like all the original settlers of New England, they were at first mostly farmers. They hewed their way into the primeval forests, established homes, and did their share in laying broad and deep the foundations of a great and prosperous nation. But mechanical ability is a family characteristic, and many of them engaged naturally in the various industrial pursuits. At the same time they have always taken an active interest in the cause of education, and they have had a good representation in the learned professions. Jonathan, a son of George, was the first physician of Sherborn, and his son Jonathan followed the same profession. In later generations we find many instances of successful business careers, while not a few have risen to distinction in broader fields of usefulness.

George was listed as "of Dedham" until after the birth of Jonas, when he removed to Medfield. Was listed as "of Sherborn but at Medfield." A couple of obvious discrepancies exist relative to this file regarding the children. An apparently spurious concurrent marriage, wife unidentified, lists Samuel, Elizabeth and Berry as children.  This marriage is most likely not true.  He may have had children by a concubine, I suppose, but that would be scandalous for the times. If one merges the two families, the birth records become a problem, as both Samuels were born within two months of each other, and Elizabeth and Eliezer were born too close together. None of the later group was listed in Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England. Berry is listed as son of George and Mary by Doug Bingham, from which source comes the reference number also.

George was a signatory of the Dedham Covenant, a member of the Ancient and Honourable Artillery Company and Captain and resident commander of the old stone garrison house at Bogestow Pond.  He owned several hundred acres of land surrounding it.  His estate was inventoried at 800 pounds, 17 shillings, 9 pence British Sterling. Lawson lists seven children, and does not include Elizabeth, Berry and Samuel noted above. The MacDougall genealogy lists birth as 28 Nov 1619 in Yorkshire, England and death as 10 Jan 1682 at Sherborn, Mass. They also only list John, Mary, George and Eliezer as children. One record was found [Tavie Stultz Demaree (demaree@tlk.net) (http://www.fortunecity.com/victorian/tiffany/121/+file name)] which lists birth as Sowerby, West Riding, Yorkshire, England & marriage as 26 Aug. Lists death same as MacDougall, but at Dedham, Norfolk, Mass. Also in Weymouth family files gives Sowerby as place of christening, most other files only Halifax, Yorkshire, and listing death at Dedham, also. Sources: Colonial Families of the United States of America, Vol 2, page 258:  For all those who don't live in the Sherborn-Medfield area of Massachusetts and are researching the Fairbanks family, you should know that in 1657, when George moved to the west side of the Charles River, the area was known as Boggastowe, and it was part of Medfield. It later became Medway and Sherborn. George's "great stone house" was built near a pond that is really a part of the Charles River and is now known as South End Pond. It is on the town line of Sherborn and Millis, MA.  George didn't really move around, the area just became part of a different town as it became more inhabited.  If you have access to The History of Medway, MA, by E. O. Jameson (Millis, MA:1886), on page 29 you will find a description of the Stone House.

As we stated earlier, George was married to Mary Adams on 26 Aug 1646 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts.  Together they had the following children: Mary, George, Samuel, Eliazer, Jonas, Jonathan (Dr.), Margaret, and Berry.

Jonathan’s third child, Mary Fairbanks, was born on 18 Apr 1622 in Yorkshire, England. She died on 3 Oct 1676 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, (she may have died 4/4/1684).  She first married Michael Metcalf (who was a witness on Mary’s brother John’s will) on 2 Feb 1644.  They had 5 children: Michael, Mary, Sarah, Jonathan, and Eliazer.  Just 10 years later, Michael died and she then married Christopher Smith on 2 Jun 1654 and had 7 children.  Then afterwards, Mary and Christopher had the following children: John, Richard, Thomas, Ambrose, Christopher, Charles, and Ann.  The rest of the Mary and Christopher story can be picked up in the Smith Family History.

The fourth child was none other than Jonathan Fairbanks Jr.  Jonathan was born about 1628 in Sowerby, Parish of Halifax, Yorkshire, England. (4891) He died on 28 Jan 1711 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts. He lived in the Old House built by his father.   He was an admitted townsman in Dedham "ye 1 of ye 11: 1654" and signed the covenant. He resided in Dedham till he died Jan 28, 1711-12.  He was a soldier in King Philip's War, serving in the first, or Mt. Hope campaign in 1675, also in several subsequent campaigns. His name appears in the list of "Assignment of Wages" to the town of Roxbury, Aug. 26, which leads to the supposition that at the time he resided there, for it was the custom of the time for soldiers to assign their wages to the towns in which they resided in order that their families could be provided for. (See "Soldiers in King Philip's War" by George M. Bodge.)

Jonathan, the youngest son of Jonathan, senior, remained in Dedham, and some of his descendants have always resided there and in the neighbouring towns, though many of them removed in early times to other States, particularly Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont, where, as well as in New York and the Western States, a considerable number of families are now living.  He was a man of vigorous constitution, of good executive ability, and a highly respected citizen. He lived to be nearly eighty years of age; and his wife died only six years earlier. His descendants, wherever found, to bear the stamp of their rich inheritance of sterling qualities of character, and among them there have been many remarkable instances of longevity.

No records of the births of Abigail, Elizabeth, or the second Jonathan have been found, and the order of their births, as above given, may not be correct. Their father's will was dated Dec. 8, 1708, and was probated Feb. 14, 1711-12. ttis children mentioned in it were Edward, his "eldest son," Jeremiah, Samuel, Jonathan, Deborah, Abigail, Elizabeth, Rachel and Mary. His "son-in4aw," Samuel Whiting, and his grandson, David Thurston, were also mentioned. Administration was committed to his son Jonathan and his son-in-law, Samuel Whiting. (See Suffolk Probate Records, Vol. I7, .fol. 389).
Jonathan, whom his father no doubt desired to perpetuate the name, received a large share of the latter's estate, viz., "my house and barn, and my land near home and thirteen acres of land lying at the six-mile tree joining to twenty acres of land which I formerly gave him, and a right to take up three or four acres which remain to be laid out of the same; plus dividends in full of all due to him from my estate."

Just for a bit more information on Jonathan, the following Petition of Jonathan Fairbanks Jr. is here inserted as an interesting historical document.


    Vol. 30, page 200.

    To the Honed Gov. & Council convened in Boston -- April I9th  I676 @ The Petition of Jonathan ffairebankes:

    humbly Sheweth that yo* petition~ hath been a considerable time abroad in the Country's Service, & of late a Voluntier under the command of Capt Benjamin Gibbs, & in o~ march, wth the army towards Quabaug,* upon the information of Job the Indian. that there was a wigwam about ten miles from the Rhode, where were some of his Children --with other Indians, the sd Capt Gibbs with 9 or 10 more of which yor petitionr was one by permission of Major Savage, went thither., where wee found some of the sd Jobs Children--with some others amongst which a young girle of about ten or twelve yeares of age, whome yor petitionr. upon mr Gibbs his promiss that Shee should bee his own, tooke her up upon his horse & brought her to Quabaug, wch was about 3° miles & the Army proceeding further Shee was there left wth some others, who yor petitionr understands are since brought down--& carried to Deere Island. Wherefore the premisses considered, yo~ peti-tion• . doth request yo~ Honor~ would bee pleased to grant him the sa girle & hee shall willingly Satisfy the necessary charges the Country have been out upon her & bee obliged to pray for yor Honors peace & prosperityes.
    (on reverse)
    Jno fairebanks peticon
    to ye Council 20 Aprill 76.
    (Quaboag is now Brookfield, Mass.)

Jonathan was married to Deborah Shepard on 4 Oct 1649 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts. (possibly Dedham) and had the following children: Jonathan, Deborah, Grace, Sarah, Edward, David, Samuel, Mary, Abigail, Elizabeth, Rachel, Jeremiah, and Jonathan.

The fifth child was Jonas Fairbanks was born in May 1624 in Sowerby, Parish of Halifax, Yorkshire, England. He died on 10 Feb 1676 in Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts as he was killed by Indians with son Joshua during a raid upon the settlement.  Born in England; came to Dedham with his parents; till he moved to Lancaster in 1657.  He also signed the covenant March 7, 1659 and was "one of the fathers of the town".   Jonas was a farmer, and, it is believed, also a carpenter.  In 1652 he was fined for wearing great boots before he was worth £200, which was contrary to the sumptuary regulation of the government of Massachusetts ordered in 1651.

Jonas became the progenitor of numerous families scattered through the New England and Western States.  In his family there was good ancestral stock on both sides of the house. He was a strong man, both in his mental and his physical personality. It may be presumed that he had received as fair an education and training as were afforded in the new settlement of Dedham where, as we know, the school and the church went hand in hand with the founding of homes, while his earlier education was no doubt begun in England. In short, he was qualified to be what he was called~ '"One of the fathers of the town." His wife was a daughter of John Prescott, who, as the historian declares, "was a rare type of man, the ideal pioneer." "Not one," he says, "of the famous frontiersmen, whose figures stand out so prominently in early American history, was better equipped with the many qualities that win hero worship in a new country than was (he) the father of the Nashaway Plantation." The story of his life is indeed interesting, but only this bare glimpse of his character can be given here.

The children of Jonas appear to have been well educated for the times. Jabez, his only son who left any male descendants, shines in history.  His military despatches preserved in the records show him to have been a man of marked intellectual ability, and he was certainly a hero of great physical stamina and bravery. His children and their descendants contributed largely to the population of Lancaster and the neighbouring towns, especially Sterling and Harvard, originally parts of Lancaster. The name did honor to the towns in those days. The marriages were generally with the foremost families.

Living representatives of this sturdy stock are among the best men and women of the country. They possess in an eminent degree the qualifications due to their ancient inheritance and fortunate successions in after generations. Among them are many fine illustrations of the solid truth that "blood will tell," and their blood is not thin enough to be very "blue." Many of the men are athletes of splendid proportions, and manly vigor and intellectual force are common qualities. They are engaged in all the respectable occupations of life; are well represented in the learned professions, while in the arena of business there are conspicuous examples of successful and honorable careers. Some of them are prominent and active workers in missionary fields abroad, as will be seen by their records hereafter presented. From the earliest times they have been noted for their interest in education, and in the present generations they are in this respect keeping pace with the progress of the age.

Jonas was killed, with his son Joshua (who was age 15), by the Indians in the desperate assault made upon the settlement by King Philip, with fifteen hundred warriors, on the morning of the tenth day of February 1675-6, in which from fifty to fifty five persons, out of about the same number of families, were massacred and twenty or more were carried into captivity. His son Jonathan and one of his children were victims of the massacre of Sept. 22, 1697. Thus, except for the escape of Jabez in the first Indian raid, this branch of the family, in the male lines, would have been exterminated. Jabez lived to rear a large family, and by heroic bravery to avenge the atrocities by which not only his own family, but more than fifty others suffered in those dark days.  Jonas married Ms. Lydia Prescott on 28 May 1658 in Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts and had the following children: Marie, Joshua, Grace, Jonathan, Hasadiah, Jabez, and Capt. Jonas.

We will stop her with the Fairbanks family.  More can be found at the website in the resources below.

By: Jerry A. Smith,
Smith Family Researcher

1.  Website:  http://www.familyorigins.com/users/k/e/e/Louis-J-Keester/FAMO1-0001/d157.htm#P173
2.  New England Historical and Genealogical Record, Vol 60, p. 153, 1906.
3.  Fairbanks, Lorenzo Sayles, GENEALOGY OF THE FAIRBANKS FAMILY IN AMERICA 1633-1897. Boston: Printed for the Author by the American Pringing and Engraving Company, 1897. p. 9, 10, 11, 12.
4.  The American Genealogist", # 2, April 1961, pp. 65-72

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