Alternate FREEMAN Ancestry

From the files of Stephen M. Lawson


  Bennett Ancestry in England

  Freeman Ancestry in England

  Bridges Freeman and Bridget

 
* Freeman Ancestry Note *

John Freeman and Mary

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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.





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

  1. 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. .
  2. Frances - b. about 1585, England.
  3. Margaret - b. about 1587. Married John DAVENPORT.
  4. Richard - b. about 1589. Of Nordon, Surry, he married Ms GLOVER.
  5. Bridget - b. about 1591. Of Nordon, Surry, she married Andrew HOLKS.



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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 [1680]. 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 wife. (LMCD)."

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.

  1. Bridges - b. about 1603, Oxfordshire, England; d. after 1655, VA.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Thomas - b. England. Possible son of Thomas. He arrived in America about 1650 with Henry FREEMAN. No other information is available. No known children



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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 this source.


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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


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Modified: 5/1/08