Sisley Jordan Farrar—Ancient Planter

A fragment of a gold finger ring (top) and the decorated end of a silver bodkin, both from Jordan’s Journey. [1]

Sisley (NN) Jordan Farrar is our family’s earliest known arrival in America—Aug 1611, Jamestowne, Colony of Virginia.

Below is Sisley’s biography from Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607–1635: A Biographical Dictionary [2], interspersed with additional context and discussion of the original sources for her biography.

In the original sources, Sisley’s given name is spelled several ways including Cecily, Sisley, and Sysley. We use Sisley, the variant listed in two censuses taken during her adulthood, unless quoting a source.

The gold finger ring and silver bodkin above were recovered during excavation within the palisade fortification at Jordan’s Journey—archaeological site 44PG302—Sisley’s home. The ring was found within feature F-431 indicated on the artifacts map.


On January 21, 1625, Cisley Jordan (Jordain, Jorden, Jerden), an ancient planter, reported that she had arrived in Virginia in August 1610 on the Swan. As she was 24 years old in 1625, she would have been around 9 or 10 years old when she came to the colony.

Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607–1635

The Swan, a vessel in Sir Thomas Gates’ fleet, sailed from England in May 1611 via the West Indies, and actually arrived in Aug 1611, not Aug 1610. [3] More than 13 years later, Sisley is reporting her arrival in “Musters of the Inhabitants in Virginia, 1624/5” [4], which explains the mistake in the reported year.

“She may have been accompanied by her parents, for Gates’ ships brought some 300 men, women, and children to the colony.” [1] Her maiden name and parents are lost to us.

Gate’s fleet was the 6th group of colonists to arrive in Jamestowne. Sisley had the good fortune of not traveling in the first four groups. Of the 600–700 colonists in these four groups arriving between 1607–1609, only about 60 were still living after the Starving Time in the winter of 1609–1610. The group that included Sisley increased the population of colonists in America above 1,000 for the first time. [3]

Cisley may have wed ancient planter John Bayley and produced a daughter, Temperance, who was age 7 in January 1625 and living in her home. It is certain that Cisley married ancient planter Samuel Jordan sometime prior to December 21, 1620, when he received his first dividend of land, which also included her entitlement as an ancient planter.

The Jordans took up residence on the lower side of the James River at a plantation they called Jordan’s Journey. After the March 22, 1622, Indian attack, the Jordan plantation was strengthened and became a rallying point for the area’s survivors.

Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607–1635

Samuel and Cecily Jordan are listed as ancient planters in a 10 Dec 1620 land grant for 450 acres. [6]

Ancient planter is a term applied by the Virginia Company of London to colonists who arrived in Virginia prior to 1616, remained three years, and paid their own passage. After 1618, these colonists received a dividend of 100 acres of land each, the first land grants in Virginia. [7]

Sisley is listed in both “A List of Names; of the Living in Virginia; february the 16 1623[/4]” [5] and “Musters of the Inhabitants in Virginia, 1624/5” [4] at Jordan’s Journey with Mary Jordan, Margery/Margrett Jordan, and Temperance Baylife/Baley. Mary and Margaret are Samuel and Sisley’s daughters. From this, it is inferred that Sisley married a Baley (Bailey, Bayley), and was widowed, before marrying Samuel Jordan. Interestingly, Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607–1635, does not mention this marriage between John Bayley and Sisley in its biographies for John Bailey and Temperance Bayley.

Cisley Jordan was widowed sometime after April 1623, and on November 19, 1623, she was authorized to settle her late husband’s estate, with the help of William Farrar. Farrar, who at the time of the Indian attack had been occupying a plantation on the east side of the Appomattox River, somewhat inland from Bermuda Hundred, may have taken refuge at Jordan’s Journey and stayed on.

On January 21, 1625, when a muster was made of Jordans Journey’s inhabitants, Cisley Jordan and William Farrar were listed as jointly heading a Jordan’s Journey household that included her daughters Mary and Margaret Jordan, Temperance Bayley, and 10 male servants.

By May 1625 Cisley and William Farrar had wed. Probate records indicate that they produced at least three children: Cecily, William, and John.

Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607–1635

William Farrar died before 1637. Sisley is believed to have died after William, but the year is unknown.


Sisley is our Jamestowne Society Qualifying Ancestor (A9447). [8] The Jamestowne Society application lineage data is available in the membership only area.

What roles did Samuel Jordan and William Farrar play in the Colony of Virginia?

In July-August 1619 Samuel Jordan was one of two men who represented the corporation of Charles City in Virginia’s first legislative assembly.

In March 1626 William Farrar was named to the Council of State, and later in the year he was designated a commissioner of the monthly courts for the ‘Upper Parts,’ held at Jordan’s Journey and Shirley Hundred, to settle petty disputes in the communities west of Flowerdew Hundred.

Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607–1635

Sisley NN (1600–1637) is 11th great-grandmother of MKS in the Knight branch.

Samuel Jordan (1578–1623) is husband of 11th great-grandmother of MKS in the Knight branch.

William Farrar (1583–1637) is 11th great-grandfather of MKS in the Knight branch.

References:
[1] Martha W. McCartney, Jordan’s Point, Virginia, Archaeology in Perspective, Prehistoric to Modern Times (Richmond, Virginia: University of Virginia Press, 2011).
[2] Martha W. McCartney, Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607-1635: A Biographical Dictionary (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2007), 433-434.
[3] Wikipedia, “Jamestown supply missions.”
[4] John Camden Hotten, “Musters of the Inhabitants in Virginia, 1624/5,” The Original Lists of Persons of Quality (London: John Camden Hotten, 1874), 209-210.
[5] John Camden Hotten, “A List of Names; of the Living in Virginia; february the 16 1623[/4],” The Original Lists of Persons of Quality (London: John Camden Hotten, 1874), 171.
[6] “Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants Index,” Patents No. 8, 1689-1695, 125-127.
[7] Wikipedia, “Ancient planter.”
[8] “Qualifying Ancestors, Sisley ( ) Jordan,” jamestowne.org.

Facts and Events—Levels of Confidence

As our genealogy skills have developed, particularly over the last year, we are more often documenting our level of confidence in the facts and events we add to our family tree, or discuss in our posts here or in other documents we author.

There are many terms we could use to express our level of confidence, and many schemes to rank these terms relative to each other. No point in reinventing the wheel, though.

After purchasing a copy of Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Evidence Explained [1], we chose to adopt the hierarchy of terms presented there in Section 1.6 Levels of Confidence.


Certainly: The author has no reasonable doubt about the assertion, based upon sound research and good evidence.

Probably: The author feels the assertion is more likely than not, based upon sound research and good evidence.

Likely: The author feels some evidence supports the assertion, but the assertion is far from proved.

Possibly: The author feels the odds weight at least slightly in favor of the assertion.

Apparently: The author has formed an impression or presumption, typically based upon common experience, but has not tested the matter.

Perhaps: The author suggests that an idea is plausible, although it remains to be tested.


Being more mathematically and visually inclined, here is how we tend to apply these terms in our own use.

We usually keep possibly and apparently to ourselves until we have done a little more research.

When we estimate an individual’s birth year, based on a parent’s, spouse’s, or child’s birth year, we indicate this with, for example, “Estimate, based on her mother’s Birth.”

We assume the mother is 3 years younger than the father, and the mother is 22, 31, and 40 years old at the birth of their first, middle, and last child. These average ages were found in a reference that we unfortunately failed to record at the time. The reference though was for 1600–1900 America when the economy was largely agriculture-based.

And, if we copy something from someone else’s tree to preserve it until we have time to look at it, we now attach a source entitled “(copied from the internet; no source provided)”—copy these at your own risk!


References:
[1] Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained, Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, Third Edition, Revised (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2017), 19-20.

The Story of Virginia—Jordan’s Journey, 1621-1640

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture’s signature exhibition The Story of Virginia includes a display of artifacts recovered at Jordan’s Journey.

The Story of Virginia exhibition; Jordan’s Journey, 1621-1640 display; Virginia Museum of History & Culture, 2019.

The display description reads:

Jordan’s Journey, 1621-1640

Excavations at this site in the 1980s yielded information about the architecture of early settlements, lifestyles and standards of living, and the extent of trade in early Virginia.

Survivors of the 1622 Powhatan attacks relocated at eight Virginia settlements; one was Jordan’s Journey. Four complexes were built there to house fifty-five people in fifteen households. Six buildings provided housing; sixteen were agricultural. The largest complex—Samuel Jordan’s—was the size of a football field. Its principle residence was a “longhouse,” 55 x 16 feet, wooden and built on posts set into the ground.

Virginia Museum of History & Culture

Most of the artifacts on display can be found in Artifact Images from Jordan’s Journey [1].


Samuel Jordan (1578–1623) is husband of 11th great-grandmother of MKS in the Knight branch.

Sisley NN (1600-1637) is 11th great-grandmother of MKS in the Knight branch.

William Farrar (1583-1637) is 11th great-grandfather of MKS in the Knight branch.

References:
[1] Catherine Alston, Artifact Images from Jordan’s Journey, 2004.

Jordan’s Journey

Jordan’s Journey fortified settlement, Colonial Virginia, circa 1620-1635. [1, 2]

In early 1624/25, the Colony of Virginia made a record of its inhabitants and provisions, known as the 1624/25 Muster. There we find 30 miles upstream from Jamestown, on the south side of the James River, the plantation of Samuel Jordan—known as Jordan’s Journey. Samuel Jordan was a member of the first Virginia Assembly in 1619.

In the Muster, on 21 Jan 1624/25, we find [3, 4]:

  • William Farrar aged 31 [arrived] on the Neptune, Aug 1618
  • Sisley Jordan aged 24 on the Swan, Aug 1610
  • Mary Jordan age 3 years, borne heare [meaning Virginia]
  • Margarett Jordan 1 yeare, borne heare
  • Temperance Baly [Bailey] 7 yeares, borne heare
  • 10 servants, listed with name, age, and arrival
  • 41 others including several families, also listed with name, age, and arrival

The provisions include [4]:

  • 22 houses for 15 households
  • 3 boats
  • 37.5 pounds powder
  • 554 pounds lead
  • 130 pounds shot
  • 18 piece [arms]
  • 11 armor
  • 26 coat of mail
  • 1 coat of steel
  • 6 head piece
  • 1 petronel [“a portable firearm of the 15th century resembling a carbine of large caliber (Jester and Hiden 1987:18)]
  • 561 bushels corn
  • 1 bushel beans
  • 2 bushels peas and beans
  • 1,250 dry fish
  • 20 neat cattle
  • 24 swine
  • 227 poultry

Sisley is the widow of Samuel Jordan. Mary and Margaret are her daughters by Samuel. Temperance is believed to be her daughter from an earlier marriage.

On 12 Mar 1621/22, the Powhatan natives attacked the colony, killing 347 settlers, a quarter of the population. 10 settlers were killed at William Farrar’s home. None were killed at Jordan’s Journey. After the attack, William Farrar abandoned his home and lived with the Jordans at Jordan’s Journey. Samuel then died in 1623 of unknown causes. William Farrar was made administrator of Samuel’s estate on 19 Nov 1623.

Before 2 May 1625, William and Sisley married. There is an interesting story there—the first breach of promise suit filed in North America—but that is for another day.

The illustration above is the fortified settlement at Jordan’s Journey as it likely appeared on 21 Jan 1624/25 [1]. How do we know this?

From 1987 to 1993, an excavation was performed at Jordan’s Journey—archaeological site 44PG302. 60,000 artifacts of both Indian and English origin were recovered. Twenty-four graves were excavated during the 1992 field season. [1]

From the pattern of post molds (evidence of wooden posts in the ground), evidence of wall trenches, hearths, and chimneys, and other evidence, artist Twyla Kitts created the above illustration. From the 1624/25 Muster, we know that Jordan’s Journey consisted of 22 houses for 56 settlers. Five houses are listed for William Farrar and Sisley Jordan; likely the five largest structures in the illustration. The majority of the houses were therefore outside the palisade fortification (wooden fence). [1, 4]

Jordan’s Journey fortified settlement artifacts map. [7]

The palisade fortification is in the shape of an elongated pentagon measuring approximately 260 feet at its greatest length by 110 feet. The walls are estimated to have been 7 feet to 8 feet high. The evidence does not prove whether the houses were one or two stories high. [1]

The excavation reports [1, 5, 6, 7] provide incredible detail on the six archaeological sites at Jordan’s Point, including the protohistoric Indian settlement located there before, and are well worth a read.


Sisley NN (1600-1637) is 11th great-grandmother of MKS in the Knight branch.

Samuel Jordan (1578–1623) is husband of 11th great-grandmother of MKS in the Knight branch.

William Farrar (1583-1637) is 11th great-grandfather of MKS in the Knight branch.

References:
[1] Douglas C. McLearen, L. Daniel Mouer, Donna M. Boyd, Douglas W. Owsley, Bertita Compton. Jordan’s Journey: A Preliminary Report on the 1992 Excavations at Archaeological Sites 44PG302, 44PG303, and 44PG315. Virginia Commonwealth University Archaeological Research Center, 1993.
[2] Illustration by artist Twyla Kitts for exhibition Breaking New Ground, curated by Dr. Tom Davidson, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. The illustration is featured on the title page of [1].
[3] Alvahn Holmes. The Farrar’s Island Family and Its English Ancestry. Baltimore: Gateway Press, Inc., 1977.
[4] Jamestown 1624/5 Muster Records, Virtual Jamestown, The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia.
[5] L. Daniel Mouer, Douglas C. McLearen, R. Taft Kiser, Christopher P. Egghart, Beverly Binns, Dane Magoon. Jordan’s Journey: A Preliminary Report on Archaeology at Site 44PG302, Prince George County, Virginia, 1990-1991. Virginia Commonwealth University Archaeological Research Center, 1992.
[6] Tim Morgan, Nicholas M. Luccketti, Beverly Straube, S. Fiona Bessey, Annette Loomis, Charles Hodges. Archaeological Excavations at Jordan’s Point: Sites 44PG151, 44PG300, 44PG302, 44PG303, 44PG315, 44PG333. Virginia Department of Historic Resources, 1995.
[7] Catherine Alston. Artifact Distribution Maps from Jordan’s Journey. 2004.

Dr. William Henry Tutt, ARC Hall of Fame, 2019-2020

The Academy of Richmond County inducted Dr. William Henry Tutt into its Hall of Fame on 17 Oct 2019.

Dr. William Henry Tutt. [1]

His induction biography reads [2]:

Born in Augusta, August 31, 1823, Dr. William Henry Tutt became a name recognized throughout the country as the Physician who created several medicines, that in the nineteenth century were believed to have beneficial effects, including the best known Tutt’s Liver Pills. A graduate of the Medical College of Georgia, Tutt practiced medicine for a number of years. At this time, many Physicians were also Pharmacists. Tutt decided to become a merchant/manufacturer of patent medicines. The first advertisement for Tutt as a wholesale and retail druggist appeared in the Augusta Chronicle in April 1845. Two years later, he was appointed to the Board of Health by the Mayor and would continue to be active in the community in many ways, including several years on the City Council. In 1847, he married Harriet Remson Beall of Lincoln County. They had four daughters and two sons. In June 1860, he announced that he had given his interest in the drug store in Augusta to his brother B. F. Tutt. He moved with his family to New York to expand his wholesale drug business there. Unfortunately, the Civil War began only months after the family’s arrival and while William was able to get passes for his family to return South, he was delayed. Historian Edward Cashin explained, he basically escaped from the North by getting passage to Bermuda, then through the blockade, and finally overland to Augusta. By 1863, he was once again advertising a drug store in the newspaper. After the war, Tutt devised a plan to expand the Augusta canal. Although it did not happen until after he left the city again, he was correct that a larger canal would boost manufacturing and the economic growth of the city.

In 1872, the Tutt family returned to New York again to manufacture medicines, this time staying over fifteen years. He remained in New York until 1888, becoming quite wealthy in the process. He returned to Augusta in 1888 and began to invest some of that wealth for the development of the city. One of the backers and promoters of the Augusta National Exposition that fall, Tutt believed that Augusta could attract wealthy Northerners to the city in the cold months of winter. He bought acreage from the Anne McKinne Winter estate and built the Grand Bon Air Hotel sitting atop the Hill. His vision of Augusta, as winter destination, became a reality for the next four decades. It brought some of the country’s most successful industrialists and politicians of the late nineteenth century for several months each year to the community. The Bon Air introduced golf to the city. This winter colony was an economic and cultural boon to Augusta’s economy. When William Tutt died March 15, 1898, he was a Revered Citizen of the Augusta Community.

The Academy of Richmond County Hall of Fame biography
Dr. Willliam H. Tutt’s Golden Eagle Bitters bottle. [3]

Chartered in 1783 in Augusta, Richmond County, Georgia, the Academy of Richmond County is the fifth oldest existing public high school in the United States. [4]

William Henry Tutt I (1823-1898) is 1st cousin 6x removed of MKS in the Knight branch.

References:
[1] Men of Mark in Georgia, Volume III, edited by William J. Northen, 1911.
[2] ARC Hall of Fame, 2019-2020.
[3] Photograph courtesy of Mike Newman, © 2019 Mike Newman.
[4] Wikipedia, “Academy of Richmond County.”

Knight, Georgia, and the Ray City History Blog

Knight, Georgia. Johnson’s Georgia and Alabama, 1862. [1]

“About 1827, Levi J. Knight and his new bride Ann Clements Herrin homesteaded on land on Beaverdam Creek, near the present day site of Ray City, Georgia. … The Knight homestead was situated in Lowndes County (present day Berrien County).” [2]

Look in the middle of the map [1], just below the city of Nashville, Berrien County, Georgia. Apparently the renown of Levi J. Knight as first settler of the area and as Major General of the 6th Division of the Georgia Militia earned his community a place on the map in 1862 as Knight, Georgia.

The small community is later known as Knight’s Mill (1867), Ray’s Mill (1879), and Ray City (1909).

Our Knight family plays a prominent role in the history of Ray City. Learn more at the excellent Ray City History Blog.


Levi J. Knight (1803-1870) and Ann Donald Clements (1802-1857) are 5th great-grandparents of MKS in the Knight branch.

References:
[1] Johnson’s Georgia and Alabama, by Alvin Jewett Johnson and Benjamin P. Ward, 1862.
[2] Levi J. Knight ~ Settling Lowndes County 1827-1836, Ray City History Blog, 6 Jun 2013.

Priscilla Sanders Will

Priscilla Farrar will, 20 Aug 1807.

This is the last will and testament of Priscilla Farrar, dated 20 Aug 1807. Her original will was recorded in Will Book “B”, Page 25, at Oglethorpe County, Georgia, on 8 Nov 1808. She probably died just before Nov 1808.

She was born in 1729 at Farrar’s Island, Henrico County, Virginia, the daughter of George Farrar and Judith Jefferson. Priscilla married Henry Howard on 4 May 1762 at Lunenburg County, Virginia. After Henry died in 1796, she married Adams Sanders some time after 2 Nov 1798, probably at Person County, North Carolina.

She wills $30 to her son Robert Howard, and that the remainder of her estate be equally divided among those listed below, after deducting debts due to her estate by her sons Hiram ($80) and Abel ($100) Howard:

  • Hiram Howard, son
  • John Howard, son
  • James Patterson, son-in-law by her daughter Margaret Howard
  • Thomas Key (Howard), grandson by her deceased son William H. Howard
  • Abel Howard, son
  • Groves Howard, son
  • Thomas Chambers, son-in-law by her daughter Devina Howard
  • William Carter, probably son-in-law by her daughter Mary Howard
  • Henry William Howard, son

She appointed her son Groves Howard, and Clement Glenn as executors. The will was witnessed and later proved by Nicholas L. Meriwether and George Gilmer.


Priscilla Farrar (1729-1808) is 7th great-grandmother of MKS in the Knight branch.

Judith Jefferson (1698-1786) is 8th great-grandmother of MKS in the Knight branch, and paternal aunt of President Thomas Jefferson.

Nicholas Lewis Meriwether is the brother of Lucy Meriwether, wife of Groves Howard. Nicholas and Lucy are 1st cousins of Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Nicholas Meriwether, Lucy Meriwether, and Meriwether Lewis are also 3rd cousin 9x removed of MKS in the Knight branch.