Alternate FREEMAN Ancestry
From the files of Stephen M. Lawson
Bennett Family in England
Note: This information is presented as a possible,
undocumented, history of the BENNETT family ancestry in
England. A copy or abstract of any document source that supports
one or more of the following relationships would be greatly appreciated.
The town of Wallingford
was in Berkshire in the 16th century, but is now in Oxfordshire
since the county realignments of 1974. The town
history spans more than a millenium.
- William MOLYNS (b. about 1479)
Ann COLEPPER (b. about 1483)
- Agnes Ann MOLYNS (b. about 1505, Mackney, Berkshire)
Sir Thomas BENNETT (b. about 1503, Wallingford, Berkshire)
- Children, born about 1526-1545 at Wallingford, Berkshire:
Aves married Robert SOUTHBY
Richard married Elizabeth TISDALE
John married Miss FRITWELL
Elizabeth married MR. GUNNE
- Richard BENNETT (b. about 1528, Wallingford, Berkshire)
Elizabeth TISDALE (b. about 1547, Deanly, Berkshire),
daughter of Thomas TISDALE (b. about 1521)
- Children, born about 1553-1568 at Wallingford, Berkshire:
Elizabeth married John PIERCE
Ralph married Alice HARRITT
William (d. Feb. 22, 1608/9) married Ann HUNGERFORD
John (d. Feb. 15, 1626/7) married Ann WEEKS
Thomas (d. Apr. 19, 1620) married Mary HEYRICK
Bridget married Thomas BRICKMAN
Walter (d. about 1614) married Dec. 13, 1608 Katherine COTTON
Ralph and Alice (Harritt) Bennett
Ralph BENNETT - b. about 1555, Wallingford, Berkshire.
Son of Richard BENNETT and Elizabeth TISDALE.
Alice HARRITT - b. about 1555, Bristol.
Children of Ralph and Alice Bennett
- David - b. about 1583; d. before Aug 14, 1680. Of Norden
Surry. Son: David (b. about 1629) of St. Martin in the Fields,
Middlesex, he deposed on Aug. 14, 1680 that his father was a
brother of Thomas FREEMAN's wife. .
- Frances - b. about 1585, England.
- Margaret - b. about 1587. Married John DAVENPORT.
- Richard - b. about 1589. Of Nordon, Surry, he married Ms
- Bridget - b. about 1591. Of Nordon, Surry, she married Andrew
Freeman Ancestry in England
Thomas and Frances (Bennett) Freeman
Thomas FREEMAN - b. est. 1580, England; d. prob. Berkshire,
England. Two depositions were given by residents of Middlesex
England on Aug. 14, 1680, one indicating that Thomas FREEMAN,
gent., had resided at Wallingford Castle, Berkshire, and naming
three of his sons and a daughter. The other deposition identifies
his wife as being the sister of David BENNETT. Although one source
indicates that Thomas was a gunsmith at Jamestown, VA in 1622,
and was killed by Indians that year in Henrico Co., VA, the depositions
give no indication that Thomas went to VA, and seem to imply that
he did not. The following entry is found in Complete Book of
Emigrants 1661-1699, by Peter Wilson Coldham:
"14 August . Deposition by John Crouch of Westminster,
Middlesex, gent aged 60, that William Freeman of King Street,
Westminster, gent, is the oldest surviving son of Thomas Freeman,
formerly of Wallingford Castle, Berkshire, gent, deceased, and
brother of Col. Bridges Freeman, and Bennett Freeman of Virginia,
deceased. William Freeman also had a sister, Elizabeth Freeman,
who went to her brother Bridges in Virginia. Deposition by David
Bennett of St. Martin in the Fields, Middlesex, gent aged 51,
that his father, David Bennett, was a brother of Thomas Freeman's
Frances BENNETT - b. about 1585, England. The 1680 deposition
states that an unnamed sister of David BENNETT was wife
of Thomas FREEMAN, but does not specifically state she was the
mother of his children. Believed to be the daughter of Ralph
BENNETT and Alice HARRITT.
Children of Thomas and Frances Freeman
Only Bridges, Bennett, Elizabeth and William are documented
as children of Thomas FREEMAN. The others were listed, mainly
based on their connection to Bridges and William, in Freeman
Forebears, by Garland Evans HOPKINS (monograph about 1942/3).
All of William's older brothers had died by Aug. 14, 1680.
- Bridges - b. about 1603, Oxfordshire,
England; d. after 1655, VA.
- Bennett - b. England; d. before Aug. 14, 1680, VA. Reportedly,
Bennett arrived in America in 1635, with Bridget FREEMAN. The
name Bennet FREEMAN 20 appears on a 4 July 1635 list of 'Persons
to be transported [from London] to Virginia by the Transport
of London, Mr. Edward Walker, by certificate from the Minister
of Gravesend.' The name Bridget does not appear on this list.
No record of Bennet's marriage or children has been found.
- Henry - b. about 1615, England; d. before Aug 1680, York
Co., VA. Possible son of Thomas. Henry was a mercer at Chipping
Norton, Oxfordshire, prior to coming to America about 1650. By
1662, he was in York Co., VA, when he was a grand jury member.
Henry's will, proved Aug. 24, 1680, left his estate to his wife
for life, and then to daughter Sarah, wife of Richard YOUNG of
Parish Islipp, Oxfordshire. The estate property was sold May
27, 1687 to Henry ANDERSON in London. Married Alice (d. Dec.
1684, VA), who arrived in America in 1664. Children: Sarah married
Richard YOUNG; and Hannah did not marry.
- Elizabeth - b. about 1617, England; d. before Aug. 14, 1680,
VA. The referenced deposition indicates she died prior to Aug.
14, 1680 since it states that William FREEMAN "had"
a sister Elizabeth, who "went to her brother Bridges in
Virginia." Since the deposition implies that Elizabeth was
single when she left England and that her brother was already
in America, it is also consistent with a ship passenger list
of 1635: "2 October 1635. Persons embarked on the John of
London, Mr. James Waymoth, bound (from London) to St. Christopher's:
... Elizabeth Freeman 18." Verification that this record
is for the sister of Lt. Col. Bridges FREEMAN is being sought.
- Robert - b. England. Possible son of Thomas. He patented
land in York Co., VA in 1638, and may have returned to England.
No known children.
- William - b. England; d. after Aug. 14, 1680, England. William
appears to have been in America for a short period of time, assigning
200 acres of land in York Co., VA to Robert FREEMAN. Called 'gent'
and 'the oldest surviving son of Thomas FREEMAN', he was living
at King Street, Westminster, England on Aug. 14, 1680. It would
appear that he had knowledge of the death of Henry FREEMAN, whose
will was proved Aug. 24, 1680, and it may be that the depositions
of Aug. 14, 1680 were related to the probate of Henry's will.
- Thomas - b. England. Possible son of Thomas. He arrived in
America about 1650 with Henry FREEMAN. No other information is
available. No known children
The Freeman Family in America
Lt. Col. Bridges and Bridget Freeman
Note: The information on Bridges FREEMAN, his children
and grandchildren, is primarily from Freeman Forebears,
by Garland Evans HOPKINS (monograph about 1942/3), edited by
Virginia Lee FREEMAN TAYLOR and Robert Brant TAYLOR (Arlington,
TX: August 12, 1995). Thanks to Raymond McGARITY for providing
Bridges FREEMAN - b. about 1603, Oxfordshire, England;
d. after 1655, VA. Son of Thomas FREEMAN and
Frances BENNETT. Arriving in America about 1622, Bridges bore
military titles of Commander of the Maine, Adjutant, Captain and
Lieutenant-Colonel. On March 4, 1629-30 he became a Burgess from
Pasbyhoy, in September 1632 from Chickahominy, and in 1647 from
James City County. He was named to the Virginia Council of State,
April 30, 1652, and was re-elected in 1655. In 1648, Bridges had
a bequest of 200 acres of land from widow Antonia FOWLER. Bridges
married Bridget about 1635, reportedly in VA. Land records for
Bridges, as cited in Freeman Forebears, include:
"On December 1, 1635, he patented one hundred and fifty
acres of land in James City County. On August 11, 1637, he and
Francis Fowler patented nine hundred acres, probably on the Chickahominy.
On August 12, 1637, he patented one hundred acres on the east
side of the Chicahominy. On August 5, 1640, an additional one
hundred acres was patented, 'lying in the woodyard, adjoining
Southerly unto four hundred acres now in possession said Freeman.'
Later we find that eight hundred acres granted to both Freeman
and Fowler is patented solely by Freeman. This land was originally
allowed for transporting eighteen people to Virginia."
Bridget - b. est. 1605-15, England; d. VA. With no solid
evidence, Bridget has been called the daughter of Francis FOWLER,
VA Burgess in 1642 and deceased by Feb 1643/4, apparently based
on patents of lands granted "by the will of Mrs. Antonia
Fowler the late relict of Mr. Francis Fowler part of a dividend
due sd Fowler by patent Aug. 4, 1639." Two hundred acres
of this land was bequeathed to Capt. Bridges FREEMAN. Lists of
persons living in VA provide the following: James City, 1623 Francis
FOULER; Elizabeth City, 1623 William FOULLER; Elizabeth City 1624
Widow FOWLER; James City, 1625 Francis FOWLER, age 23. Based on
the patents of land granted by Antonia FOWLER, and the FOWLERs
listed, Bridget may have been the sister of: William FOWLER (b.
about 1595) married Margaret; Francis FOWLER (b. about 1602; d.
between Apr 1642 and Feb 1643/4) married Antonia; Miss FOWLER
married Capt. Henry BROWNE; and possibly others. It is possible
that Bridget was daughter of the Widow FOWLER of Elizabeth City
1624. Refer also to The Evelyn
Family in My Southern Families, by Hiram Kennedy Douglass
(1967), which identifies Bridget as Bridgett EVELYN, daughter
of George EVELYN and Jane CRANE.
Children of Bridges and Bridget Freeman
- Bridges - b. about 1637. Bridges apparently inherited his
father's lands in James City Co., VA, and probably some in New
Kent County. He was a Crown Justice of James City County. Children:
Jane married Alexander WALKER; a daughter married Stephen POTTUS;
and Elizabeth married John Jacob Goignan DANZE/DANCY.
- James - b. about 1640; d. Jan. 23, 1687/8, St.
Peter's Parish, New Kent Co., VA. James inherited his father's land along
the Chickahominy River in St. Peter's Parish, New Kent County.
He probably also had land in Gloucester County. There is no direct
evidence that James was the father of John FREEMAN of Surry Co.,
VA. Married Mary about 1664. Children of James and Mary: John; Robert married Anne ROBINS; and William.
- Henry - b. about 1646; d. by Apr. 24, 1676, VA. Freeman
Forebears includes the following concerning Martha, widow
of Henry: "On April 24, 1676, she was ordered to pay Samuel
Toplady two hundred pounds of tobacco for settling her husband's
accounts. On January 14, 1677, she was ordered to pay Major John
Seasbrooke, 2,805 pounds of tobacco in the settling of the estate."
Married Martha. Children: John married Elizabeth; Anne Maria;
and Henry III married first Barbara CALTHORPE (of Royal descent,
and ancestor of Freeman Forebears author Garland Evans
HOPKINS), and second Elinor.