Montague #6114

Peter Montague (1603-1659)

Born in England.  Arrived in Virginia in 1621 and

Hannah? ( -before 1645) or (possibly but probably not) Cecily

Born in England.  Arrived in Virginia before about 1629.

Montague #6114

Peter Montague Memorial, Lancaster County, Virginia – As described in 1894 (HGPM), Peter’s gravesite was identified on the north side of the Rappahannock river, “much defaced by the hand of time”, as late as 1849.  A new monument was erected at this location in October 1903 by then Governor of Virginia, Andrew Jackson Montague, sixth great grandson of Peter.

My ancestor, immigrant to Virginia, is Peter Montague, the son of Peter Montague and Eleanor Allen of Boveney, in parish of Burnham, Buckinghamshire, England.  Peter’s mother, Eleanor, was the daughter of William Allen of Burnham parish.  Peter was born in about 1603.  He was an elder brother of Richard Montague, the ancestor of the New England Montagues, to whom I have no known ancestral connection.


English Origins:

The de facto authority on the pre-colonial ancestry of Peter Montague of Boveney, England is History and Genealogy of Peter Montague of Nansemond and Lancaster Counties, Virginia, and His Descendants, 1621-1894 by George William Montague (1894) (HGPM).  This authority has remained mostly unchallenged since publication, but more recent researchers have questioned some of its assumptions and conclusions.  For example, HGPM presents a careful, detailed review of the lineage of Drogo de Montagu, the forefather of all English Montagues – famous, royal, and commoner alike.  Against this backdrop, HGPMhypothesizes, but does not prove, that the “pedigree [of the Montagues of Boveney] is clear and perfect from the American branch (1634) back to A.D. 1500 and lacks (from there) two generations, possibly three, to make a perfect record back to the conquest of England, A.D. 1066.”  Over the past ten decades, this hypothesis quietly became a “well-known” fact as those missing “two generations, possibly three” got found (WARNING: speculative material posted here — > Montague Proposed Noble and Royal Lines).  However, some contrary conclusions of more recent research have been compiled and published by Robert Vaughan Montague III on the website of House of Montague, an organization which he created to be a centralized, authoritative repository for the Montague families that immigrated to and colonized America before the 20th century.  English, French, German, Irish and Scottish branches of the family are examined.  The thesis of House of Montague is that the Montagues of Boveney “appeared” on the scene circa 1505 without portfolio or, if one prefers, pedigree.  While the pre-1500 “roots” of the Montagues of Boveney may ultimately prove to be royal, it is as likely to prove otherwise.  The earliest ancestor of the Virginia immigrant who can be positively identified is a Robert Montague who was probably born about 1505.

Montague of Boveney Visitation of 1634 (click image to expand)

Our starting point for documentation of Peter Montague‘s history and lineage is the Visitation of the County of Buckingham made in 1634 (“the Visitation“).  The Visitation pedigree appears on p. 92-93 of the Harleian Society publication, Volume LVIII (1909).  This pedigree was examined in a watershed article by Myrtle Stevens Hyde (“The English Origin of Peter and Richard Montague,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. CXLII, No. 566, April 1988, pp. 149-164).  The Visitation pedigree begins with Robert Montague of Boveny in ye Parish of Burnham in Bucks., who married Margaret Catton (Calton?) of Wardville, Berks. producing two children, Laurence Montague (Minister of Dorney in Com. Buckingham  and William Montague of Boveny (predict.:).  The lineage continues through William who married Margaret da. of John Malthous of Bynfield in Com. Bucks (Berks.) from which issued five children.  The youngest son, Peter Montague 3d. son, married Ellen da. of William Allen of Burnham, to become the parents of Peter Montague of Virginia.  Except for the statement Peter now in Virginia 1634 and William Montague of Boveny Master (of) Arts (and) some time fellow of Kings Colledg [sic] Cam(bridge) now living 1634 [? unmarried], there are no other dates recorded on the Visitation.  As an aside, it should be noted that the Visitation pedigree shows a line drawn from Peter now in Virginia 1634, up to Peter‘s uncle George Montague 2d. son.  Subsequent research to supply dates to the pedigree has determined that the visitation scribe, or perhaps the printer, drew the line to the wrong father for Peter.

Myrtle Stevens Hyde concludes:

“Probably the pedigree earlier than Robert Montague could be ascertained from manor court rolls, as Robert held property in the hamlet of Boveney, also in the village of Burnham, and in the parish of Dorney, but few rolls for the involved manors have been found.  Indications are, however, that the Montague family was well established at Boveney before Robert’s generation…  The names of Robert Montague’s parents and grandparents, must await the emergence of some as yet unknown, or unstudied, archival document.”

The following information concerning our ancestor Peter Montague, immigrant to Virginia, is taken from History and Genealogy of Peter Montague of Nansemond and Lancaster Counties, Virginia, and His Descendants, 1621-1894 by George William Montague (1894) pp. 49-57 [updates based on more recently located records and accounts followed the quoted portion; earlier errors are preserved so that corrected information can be juxtapositioned, and grammatical inconsistencies have also been preserved.]:

Burnham parish church in Boveney, England where Peter Montague and his family attended.

“Boveney, the place where Peter was born, is a small hamlet, picturesquely situated on the river Thames, twenty-three miles above London, three miles from Eton college, that was founded in 1440 by Henry VI., while on the opposite side of the river in Berkshire is Windsor Castle, the residence of the Kings and Queens of England for the past 900 years. In this vicinity the ancestors of Peter had resided, probably for 200 years before his birth. Here his childhood and youth were passed, and here he probably obtained a fair education, though there is no record that he was ever a member of Eton college. His uncle William Montague was a fellow of Kings college, Cambridge, and also of Eton. Richard Montague, the celebrated divine, and bishop of Norwich, was his father’s cousin. Peter’s family consisted of his parents, an elder brother William, two, younger than himself–Richard and Robert–and three sisters, Elizabeth, Anne and Margaret. His father was an agriculturist, or was engaged in raising sheep, cattle, hogs, etc. This County was celebrated at that time for its beech trees, the nuts of which were said to be very nutritious for the feeding of swine, that roamed through the woods at will.

“At the age of 18 years Peter emigrated to Virginia, in America. What motive led him to this step is not known. The oppressions of royalty, which at a later date sent so many to America, had not then begun. The Kingdom was at peace with all the world, and the King was loved by his people. There is a tradition6 in one branch of Peter’s descendents which can be traced back as far as 1730, to the effect that “Peter was ‘rather wild,’ that he ran away from home, went to America, and not being ‘in funds’ had not the cash to pay for his passage and was sold for his passage money. The first half-day’s work he did ruin his hands so that he had to rest. To pass the time he began to read his master’s books, who caught him reading Latin, and soon obtained for him the position of a school teacher.” The record of Peter’s life in Virginia rather precludes the idea that he was “wild” to any alarming extent. If he ran away, records at least show that he was among those who came to America OPENLY and in a legal manner. The record is that he was “duly examined by the Minister at Gravesend [Eng.] touching his conformitie to the orders and discipline of the Church of England and took the oath of allegiance and supremicie to the King.” It is true he was under age, being only 18, and it is also true that no schools were founded until the arrival of the company with whom he came. It is quite possible that he may have been one of the founders of the first school established in Virginia.

“The ancient name of Virginia appears to have been Wingandacoa, it received the name of Virginia in honor of England’s Virgin Queen–Elizabeth. She died March 24, 1602/3 which was the same year that Peter Montague was born. This Queen was of Montague descent through her grandmother Elizabeth, dau. of Edward IV. On the same day and year of her death James the VI, of Scotland was proclaimed James the First, King of England. He too was of Montague descent through both his mother, Mary Queen of Scots, and his father, Henry lord Dernly7. It was during the reign of this King James, and under his special care and protection, that the first Colony was established in Virginia. [Note: This discussion of ancient royalty should not be construed as documentation of lineage to Peter or any of the Boveney Montagues].

“Little could even the most sanguine of the early emigrants to America have contemplated the subsequent effect which their action would work upon the world’s history. Many of them were men of small means but they possessed large hearts and consciences. They were the seed grains from which the mighty Republic has sprung. Virginia was first visited by Sir Walter Raleigh in the year 1584; to whom the first Letters Patent were granted for making a Plantation there. But no Colony was sent thither till the year 1606. The first to any purpose was in the year 1607, under the conduct of Capt. Gosnoll, John Smith, and Mr. Edward Maria Wingfield who carried a colony thither of 100 persons, but of these many died of sickness, or were slain by the savages. A new supply came in the year 1608, of a hundred and twenty persons under the conduct of Captain Nelson. After which was sent another supply of three score and ten persons, and in the year 1608, a third supply came, of five hundred persons under a Patent granted to Sir Thomas West, lord Delaware, but conducted thither by Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Summers, and others. In the year 1611 was a fourth supply of three hundred men under the conduct of Sir Thomas Gates. In the year 1612 two other supplies were sent of forty men in each. In the year 1618 Lord Delaware came, with a supply of two hundred people and soon after he died there. In 1620 eleven ships were sent over with twelve hundred and sixteen persons, and now they founded themselves into Corporations. In the year 1621 Sir Francis Wyatt came over as Governor of the colony, in company with thirteen hundred men, women and children, and now they founded schools and courts of justice; and the plantation was extended 140 miles up, on both sides of the James river. With this company was Peter Montague. He came in the ship “Charles” and landed in Virginia in the month of November, 1621.*9 The following persons came in the same ship at the same time and were his fellow passengers: Randall Crew age 17, John Hely age 21, Robert Manuell [or Mannell] age 22, William Lusam age 24, William Field age 20, Roger Ruce age__, Adam Thorogood age 15, Niccolas Browne age 15. Three years later two of these persons, William Lusam and William Field are found to be engaged upon the same plantation with Peter.

“Where he went, or what he did for the first two years, no record has been found to say. In a list of the living and dead in Virginia, taken Feb’y 16, 1623, his name does not appear. He may have visited the Bermudas during this time, or the list itself may be at fault. In the Muster Roll of the inhabitants of Va., taken Jan’y 23, 1624, his name is found as residing on the plantation of Capt. Samuel Mathews at James City. This Samuel Mathews was afterward Governor of the Colony [1656]. This muster roll of 1624 gives Peter’s age as 21, and states that he came in the Charles in 1621.

“No further record of him has been found until the year 1637. The State Land Registry Office of Virginia at Richmond, has these entries, Book 1, p. 463, Peter Montague was granted, Aug’t 22, 1637, 15011 acres of land in the upper County of New Norfolk. Book 1, p. 610, 50 acres in the same county, Feb’y 25, 1638. Book 2, p. 73, 150 acres in the same County, Dec 18, 1645. From 1624 to 1637, thirteen years, he had reached the age of thirty-four – had probably married, and from his continuing to enter land in Upper Norfolk, no doubt can exist that he had removed his residence to that County. Upper Norfolk consisted in what is now known as Nansemond County, and the present Norfolk and Princess Anne Counties were called lower Norfolk until 1691. The Clerk’s office and all the records of Nansemond were destroyed by fire in 1736 [Hening’s Statutes, Vol. 4, p. 526], and all the records were again destroyed by fire in February, 1866, and the history of Peter Montague during these years is entirely and irrevocably lost. It is known, however, that he resided in Nansemond in 1652 and 1653. He represented that Co. in the House of Burgesses under dates of Nov 25, 1652, and July 5, 1653, and Col. Samuel Mathews was a member from Co. of Warwick during the same time [Hen. Va. Stat. Vol. 1, pp. 373-379]. His children were probably born in this Co. That his mind often reverted to his family in England is evidenced by the fact that his children are named after his brothers and sisters in his native country, and the names of William, Peter, Ann, Margaret and Elizabeth are perpetuated in the new world. Having still another daughter he named her after his mother, – Ellen (or Eleanor). This is regarded as corroborative evidence of the correctness of his pedigree as stated in the Introduction. Of the exact date of the birth of his children no record exists. There is no doubt that they were faithfully recorded in the church records of that County, but those records have shared the fate of other early church records of Virginia. No church records exist back of Nov 30, 1743. Nansemond was divided into two parishes, Lower or Suffolk parish, and the Upper parish in which was the town of Suffolk. In the Lower parish were two old brick churches, one on the left and the other on the right bank of the Nansemond river, each about ten miles from Suffolk. On a hill one mile back of Suffolk was an old graveyard, a very beautiful spot. But it too has disappeared, having long since been plowed up. On the 3d of November, 1647, Peter bought one hundred acres of land in County Nansemond [Virginia Land Office, Book 2, p. 130]. This makes a total of 450 acres of land which he owned in that County, the purchase of which extended from 1637 to 1647–a space of ten years. This land is not mentioned in his will and probably he gave it to his son Peter, as we find Peter disposing of land in that Co. after his father’s death. Probably before the year 1654 he had removed his family from Nansemond to Lancaster Co. and made a home on the north bank of the river Rappahannock, probably not far from the present county seat of Lancaster. That he owned considerable land along the river in Lancaster as early as 1651 or 2 can scarcely admit of a doubt, though the records that are preserved at Lancaster do not show it. Jan’y 16, 1657/8, he was granted 200 acres on the Rappahannock river [Virginia Land Office Book 4, p. 340] and this is the last recorded purchase he ever made. He had now become a large land owner and a leading citizen of the Colony, a man of intelligence, of moral worth and of influence. He represented the County of Lancaster in the Assembly [House of Burgesses] from 1651 to 1658. [Hist. of Virginia by R. R. Howson, p. 309-310.] “In 1657-58, he represented the County of Lancaster in the House of Burgesses at James City.” – See Hen. Stat., Vol. 1, p. 431. Failing health at this time no doubt was the cause of his resigning his official duties in that capacity. In his will, dated March, 1659, he says he is “weak of body but of perfect memory.” He was a member of the Established Church, and the absence of church records will not prevent the fact being recorded here–that he was a leading member, prominent in all good works, one of the founders of the church in Virginia. “There were two parishes in Lancaster on the north side of the river, St. Marys and Christ Church. The White Chapel Church was in the parish of St. Marys. These two parishes were afterward united into that of Christ Church, Lancaster. The first vestry book known was dated 1654. The church was completed in 1670 under the direction of Mr. John Carter, the great ancestor of many bearing that name in Virginia. The present church, built upon the same spot by Mr. Robert Carter [known as King Carter] son of John and was completed in 1732. In 1654 Rev. Samuel Cole was the minister of this church, [the same who was minister in Middlesex in 1664] he was at that time the minister for the whole Co. both sides of the river. After him the Rev. Andrew Jackson was minister, and he was succeeded by Rev. John Bell, who was minister from 1713 to 1743. Rev. David Currie succeeded him until his death in 1791, nearly fifty years. From 1796 to 1805 Rev. Daniel McNaughton was minister and James Ball, William Montague, and Martin Shearman were lay delegates. In 1732 a new church was built upon the site of the old one and was standing in 1857 in good state of preservation, being very solidly build, the was three feet thick. The first White Chapel church was torn down, the present one was built in 1740. In 1724, Mr. Bell, who had been their minister for twelve years, informs the Bishop of London that there were three hundred families in the parish. The name of John Washington of Westmoreland appears on the records of this church. The graveyard is full of the family of Balls.” [Bishop Meades old churches of Virginia.] Having digressed for the purpose of recording this brief history of the old church which Peter Montague attended, and probably was one of the founders, his own history will be continued.

“The occupation of Peter was that of a planter. His crops consisting of wheat, barley and tobacco, which was exported to England. There was much in this spot, upon this broad and grandly flowing river, to remind Peter of his old home upon the Thames in England, and here his last days were passed, among the solitudes of a new world. Here he peacefully passed away, surrounded by his wife, his children and neighbors, and with full and firm trust in his Redeemer and Saviour. He died the last of April or the first of May, 1659, and was buried on the north bank of the Rappahannock, near his home. His tombstone was standing as late as 1849, but much defaced by the hand of time.

”He married, probably in the spring of 1629, Cicely *_______*. [More recent research concludes that Cecily was Peter’s second wife, and that the woman he married in about 1629 may have been named “Hannah”].  Effort has been made to discover the maiden name of his wife and something of the family to which she belonged. They were no doubt married some where in the vicinity of James City, for there it was that the first years of Peter’s life in the new world were passed. Tradition says she was a daughter of Samuel Mathews, who was Governor of the Colony in 1656. It is true that Peter lived upon the plantation of Capt. Mathews during these early years, and that Capt. Mathews and Peter Montague were life-long associates and friends. No record of such marriage however has been found. All of the records of James City Co. were destroyed during the late war and no record there dates back of 1865. His wife outlived him and was the executor of his estate jointly with her eldest son [in-law] Peter. No record of her death has been found.

“The records of Lancaster have an inventory of the estate of Hannah Montague, taken Nov 28, 1659, returned to court, Nov 30, 1659. It has been found impossible to state who she was. Perhaps she was the first wife of Peter Montague the emigrant and the mother of his children, the said Cicely being his second wife. His will was proved in May, 1659, and this [Hannah’s] inventory coming so soon afterward would seem to indicate that it related to a part of his estate. Possibly said Hannah was a deceased wife of either one of the sons of Peter, but as it was the year Peter died it does not seem probable, if it was so she certainly died childless, as the will of Peter proves.”

The following update (dated 2003) was prepared by Robert V. Montague, III of Navarre, Florida and presented on his excellent website for House of Montague, a resource he has created as a centralized, authoritative repository for the Montague families that immigrated to and colonized America before the 20th century:

“Regarding Peter’s birth date, two facts are known: (1) The muster roll of 1624/5 giving Peter’s age as 21, and that he came in the Charles in 1621 (Virginia M. Meyer and John Frederick Dorman, Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia, 1607-1624/5, 3d edition (Richmond, Virginia: Order of First Families of Virginia, Dietz Press, 1987), 40. Hereinafter cited as Adventurers of Purse and Person.); and (2) At the age of 18 years Peter emigrated to Virginia, in America. [Montague, History and Genealogy of Peter Montague (HGPM), 49, and “He came in the ship Charles and landed in Virginia in the month of November, 1621.” (Ibid., 52.)] Given these two age-confirmed events, Peter’s birth year is unquestionably 1603 and his birth month constrained between Mar and Nov. While 1603 is often cited as his birth year, no documentation (to my knowledge) has been presented for this year date. Simple analysis based on the above two facts brackets his birth date between Mar-Nov, 1603.

“Peter was listed as one of 28 headrights transported at the expense of William Ewen, a merchant. The 1400 acres granted Mr Ewen consisted of 400 acres by a patent granted him 15 Sep 1619, “& 1,000 acs. by patent granted him–of Jan 1621 also due for trans. of 28 pers. . .”.14 Jan 1621 is more correctly Jan 1621/2 (or 1622 new date), as Peter came to Virginia in the ship Charles in Nov 1621, at age 18 years.

Adventurers of Purse and Person, p. 450, gives the order of birth for the children as: Anne, Ellen, Peter, Margaret, William, and Elizabeth. Only Peter’s birthdate is approximately stated. It now appears that Peter m. twice: (1) ______, and (2) Cicely ______.

“He m. his first wife most likely at James City while residing at Capt Samuel Mathews plantation where Ann and Ellen were born. [need to plot the plantation]. The name of this first wife is not known, but it was not Cicely as stated in HGPM, p. 56 by George W. Montague; but she may well have been the Hannah mentioned on the next page (57). The coincident return of Hannah’s will to the court a few months following Peter’s death is compelling. It may be that some items of Hannah’s will were only to have been invoked upon the death of Peter.

“Between the muster of 1624/5, and Aug 1637 when he received his first land patent, Peter appears in extant records only twice. The first appearance was 19 Jul 1627, age 24 years: “William Bonham, William Felgate, Nathaniel Snell, William Bootheby, Walter Ashton, Robert Eyre, Thomas Collins, Stephen Beale, Edward Clark, John Robinson, William Webb, Toby Fellgate, Peter Mountague, Robert Haye, and Edward Hard ship goods in the James. Mr. Toby Felgate, bound from London to Virginia. 19 Jul 1627.”[1] This record is complemented by an earlier one which references Peter’s father, dated 9 July 1627: “In the James of London, Toby Felgate master, for Virginia. Peter Montague, native, exporting wheatmeal, cloth, 2 small bibles, 28 small English books, shoes, gloves, ribbons, clothing, oatmeal, tobacco pipes, gingerbread, nutmegs, ginger butter. 9 July 1627”[2]. The following reference in The Augustan Society Omnibus, p. 76, by Arden H. Brame, although not referencing Peter the immigrant directly, probably refers to Peter’s Uncle William (brother of Peter’s father), dated 16 Aug 1627: “William Perkins, William Mountague, John Compton, Thomas Grindon, Michell (sic) Marchant/Marshall, William Peacocke, Thomas Harwood and William Olbery ship goods in the Truelove, Mr. Thomas Gibbs bound from London to Virginia 16 August 1627.”[3]

“The second record identifying Peter was 3 Mar 1631/2, age 28 years when he witnessed the will of Andrew Howell.[4]

“Sometime around 1636, he moved his first wife and two children to his newly patented 150 acres in Nansemond Co., bounded on the east by the Southern Branch and on the north by the Elizabeth river (now Portsmouth City). It was in all probability, there in Nansemond Co., between abt 1636 and 1642, his remaining four children were born. This location was remote even by Jamestowne standards. Their mother [Hannah?] probably d. before 1645. One always suspects women of child bearing age to have died of complications arising from a difficult pregnancy.

“That Peter was in Nansemond Co. in 1639 is documented in this Virginia land patent for Thomas Davis: “Thomas Travers, gent. plt. vs. William Hobbs, gent. et. al. 19 May 1656. James Davye, now a prisoner in the Fleet, London, esq. aged 50 deposes that 17 years ago he was a planter in Virginia, and says that he has heard that Richard Hobbs was a planter there in Nansemond in Virginia and that he was formerly a goldsmith in London. He has heard it credibly reported by Thomas Davie, John Garratt and Peter Mountague, all old planters, that the sd. Richard Hobbs was gone thence to Barbados …”. [This above record places Peter Mountague (1603- 1659) in Nansemond County in 1639 and Thomas Davie and John Garratt were neighbors of Peter Mountague at Chuckatuck (New Town Haven), Nansemond Co., Virginia.][5]. Bracketed information was added by the author of the cited article, Arden H. Brame, Jr.

“On 10 Apr 1642, there is this Dutch notarial record of the city of Rotterdam, Holland, No. 159, Notary: Jan van Allen. “I, John Glover, English Merchant living in this City authorize herewith Jan van Allen, public notary of this city, to act for me and in my name, representing the interests of Pieter Montague for 13 barrels, and of Rebecca Ebens [?Evans] for 8 barrels, and of Vilyat [Williard or William] Rippen for 9 barrels of tobacco, all brought from Virginia in the ship Elizabeth & Helen, William Wilkinson, master, to this city and stored in Abraham Cheppert’s [Sheppard’s] warehouse ….”[6]. The bracketed names were added by the author of the cited article, Arden H. Brame, Jr. Mr Brame, speculates that “the above record shows that Peter Mountague (1603- 1659) was an active merchant in Virginia as his then deceased father and uncle had been in England. It may have been in connection with his merchant business with Holland that he first met the Sea Captain, Meindert Doodes, in Nansemond Co., Virginia. The two families of Mountague and Doodes (later transliterated to Minor) probably moved together in mid to late 1656 to Lancaster Co., Virginia, where Doodes Minor married Elizabeth Mountague around 1671 and Peter Mountague (ca. 1638ca. 1682) married Mary Minor by 1665.”

“He m. (2) Cicely, probably abt 1645, for it was on 18 Dec 1645 that he was granted 150 acres on New Town Haven river and then again on 3 Nov 1647 another 100 acres in “Nansimum” county on the Northside of New town haven River,” adjacent to Thomas Jordan, deceased, and Humphrey Scownes. William Farrar and Mrs. Cicely Baley-Jordan (widow of Samuel Jordan of Jordan’s Journey) had a dau. Cicely, b. 1625[7]. Of this Cicely no further records have been found, however, she undoubtedly grew to adulthood in the vicinity of Jordan’s Journey. While Thomas and Samuel Jordan were not related, both families were prominent in the Upper County of New Norfolk and Isle of Wight Co. While not proven here, it is likely that Peter’s acquisition of lands in this area was motivated by his interest and intentions for this local girl Cicely Farrar, whose age at this time – 1645 –  would have been 20 years. At this age, she was almost certainly not the mother of Peter’s last two children (William and Elizabeth). And, Cicely is definitely not the mother of Peter or his older siblings Anne and Ellen, as documented in Lancaster County Court Orders, 12 Sep 1660, stating, “Cicely Montague Widdow of Mr. Peter Montague decd. & Peter Montague her Sonne in law Exors. to divide the Est.”[8].

“About 1654 he moved his family to the Northern Neck Lancaster Co. (south bank of Rappahannock river) where a number of Nansemond planters had gone to take up land after peace had been effected with the Indians in 1645.23. He patented an additional 200 acres in 1657. As described in the 1894 compilation (HGPM), his gravesite was identified on the north side of the Rappahannock river, “much defaced by the hand of time”. A new monument was erected on this location in Oct, 1903, by then Governor of Virginia, Andrew Jackson Montague – sixth great grandson of Peter. The grave site is now maintained by the Montague Memorial Association, and currently [2003] being overseen by the Governor’s grandson, Robert Latane Montague, of Urbanna, Middlesex Co., VA.

“He He left a will on 27 Mar 1658/59 at Lancaster Co., VA; A copy of the will of Peter Montague, dated 27th March, 1659, and proved 25th May, the same year, is given below:

In the name of God amen, I Peter Montague being weak in body and perfect memory do make this my last will and testament, this the 27th of March 1659 in name and form following, first I bequeath my soul into the hands of my redeemer Jesus Christ, and my body to be buried. Item, my debts being first paid I give to my loving wife Cicely one third part of all my real and personal estate according to law. Item, I give to my two sons Peter and Will. Mountague all my land lying on Rappahannock river to them and their heirs forever, and the land being divided it is my will, that the elder is to have the first choice, and in case of want of heirs of either, the survivor to enjoy all the land, and in case both of them shall depart this life without heirs, lawfully begotten, then my will is that the said land be sold by the Commissioners of this county after public notice given either at an outcry, or by an inch of candle (Montague, History and Genealogy of Peter Montague, p. 57, footnote explanation: Sale by inch of candle, is an auction in which persons are allowed to bid only till a small piece of candle burns out. – Webster’s Dictionary) and the produce thereof to be equally divided between my three daughters Ellen, Margaret, and Elizabeth, and the child of Ann late wife of John Jadwin, and in case of any of these shall die without issue, then the produce of the said land to be divided between the survivors. Item, I give the other two thirds of my personal estate to my four children Peter, Will, Margaret, and Elizabeth to be equally divided among them. Item, I give to my daughter Ellen, the wife of Will Thompson, one thousand pounds of tobacco, and cask to be deducted, of a bill of thirteen hundred pounds of tobacco now due to me by the said Will Thompson. Lastly I ordain my loving wife Cicely and my son Peter jointly Executrix and Executor of this my last will and testament. In witness of the previous I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written 1659 interlined before the signing and sealing hereof. (Signed) PETER MOUNTAGUE,            (Ye seal) In presence of GEORGE MARSH THOMAS JAMES Probat fuit humoi testam 25th May A. D. 1659 p fanam George Marsh, Thomas James et Willi Montague and ded Peter Montague Jr. in Cir et record primus July 1659 pr Edward Dale Ilan.[9]


The six known children of Peter Montague (probably by his first wife, who may have been named Hannah) are listed as follows[10]:

  1. Anne, born about 1630 at probably James City (now Surry County), Virginia.  She married John Jadwin.
  2. Ellen (or Eleanor), born about 1632 at probably James City.  She married William Thompson.
  3. Margaret, born. between 1636-38 in the northeast corner of what is now Portsmouth City, Nansemond County, Virginia.  [Her father’s first patent, dated 22 Aug 1637, described as one hundred and fiftie acres of land scituate lying & being in the Upper Countie of New Norfolk, was renamed Nansemond Co. in 1642/43.  That first patent now lies on the Northeast corner of the City of Portsmouth.  It is most probable, based on these plots, that the birthplace of at least his last four children (Peter, Margaret, William, and Elizabeth) occurred in what is now the City of Portsmouth].
  4. Peter, born about 1638.  He married Mary Minor (aka Doodes).
  5. William, born after 1639.
  6. Elizabeth, born after 1640.  She married (1st) Doodes Minor, (2nd) Maurice Cocke and (3rd) James Blaise.

Peter Montague first married Hannah [?] about 1629.  We believe this to be the case because the records of Lancaster have an inventory of the estate of Hannah Montague, taken 28 Nov 1659, returned to court, 30 Nov 1659.  It has been found impossible to state who she was, but a strong possibility is that  she was the first wife of Peter Montague the emigrant and the mother of his children.  His will was proved in May 1659, and this [Hannah‘s] inventory coming so soon afterward would seem to indicate that it related to a part of his estate. Possibly said Hannah was a deceased wife of either one of the sons of Peter, but as it was the year Peter died it does not seem probable, if it was so she certainly died childless, as the will of Peter proves.

Virginia Department of Historic Resources sign at "Jordan's Journey", on the south bank of the James River near Hopewell Virginia (GPS location: N 37.31292, W 77.22247)

Virginia Department of Historic Resources sign at “Jordan’s Journey”, on the south bank of the James River near Hopewell Virginia (GPS location: N 37.31292, W 77.22247)

In 1659, when he wrote his will, he was married to a woman by the name of Cecily, and her identity is a conundrum.  One possibility, although probably not the most likely, is that she was Cecily (surname Reynolds?) who was previously married to (1) Thomas Baley (born 1580 in England and died 20 Sep 1620 in Jamestown, Charles City, Virginia, (2) Samuel Jordan (born 1578 in England  and died 1623 in Virginia) and (3) William Farrar.  This woman was an early settler of colonial Jamestown, who came to the colony as a child in 1611.  Cicely’s parents died before 1611, and historians believe that Cecily traveled to Virginia with her aunt and uncle Joan Phippen and Capt. William Pierce.  Joan was her mother’s twin sister.  William Pierce was born about 1570, and evidence suggests that he have died in the Jamestown Indian massacre of 22 Mar 1622, or shortly thereafter.  Cicely’s first marriage is inferred from circumstantial evidence.  In the census taken in 1623, and also in the 1624/5 Muster, a child, Temperance Baley, is shown living with Cicely Jordan and her family.  The 1624 muster provides the additional information that the child was borne in Virginia in 1617.  Temperance Baley is mentioned as an adjacent landholder in the 1620 patent of Cicely’s husband Samuel Jordan, proving that the child had ownership of her land by the time she was three years old, and therefore must have been the sole heir of her (deceased) father.  Since she lived with Cicely, and no guardian’s record has been found, the conclusion is that Temperance was probably Cicely’s daughter by a first marriage to Thomas Baley.  By 1620, Cicely was married to Samuel Jordan, who established a plantation known as “Jordan’s Journey”.  The two censuses show that two children were born from Cicely’s marriage to Samuel Jordan: Mary, born around 1621 and Margaret, born in 1623, after her father’s death.  Jordan died before April 1623.  In November 1623, administration of his estate was granted to fellow-colonist William Farrar, a relative of Nicholas Ferrar, a leading member of the Virginia Company.  Cicely married William Farrar in January 1635, following an interesting litigation involving Farrar and Rev. George Pooley, who claimed that Cecily had been betrothed to him.  We know only that Cecily died after 1631 (when she was mentioned in a deed).  The exact date of her death is unknown.

It has been suggested that Cicely Farrar might have outlived her third husband and gone on to marry other men, including Peter Montague as her fourth husband and his second wife.  Despite the fact that Peter is known to have been married to a woman named Cecily at the time he wrote his will in 1659, no definite evidence has emerged to substantiate this theory and connect him positively with this Cicely.  Only the first three marriages are well-documented.  By the time of William Farrar’s death, she was a wealthy woman.  The Farrars were so prominent that if she had married again, some record would surely show it, although given the appalling state of Virginia records in the colonial period, it may not have survived.  Her death date is also undocumented.  Apparently no lineage society (such as Jamestown Society, Ancient Planters, or Colonial Dames, etc.) accepts any other marriages for Cecily except (1) a man probably named Baley, (2) Samuel Jordan and (3) William Farrar, due to documentation requirements.

John Frederick Dorman (in Adventurers of Purse and Person, pp. 926-929) suggests it is “More likely, but unproved, that … [Cicely Montague] was Cicely, widow of Robert Jadwin, who later married Nicholas Jernew and left will dated 30 Jan. 1667/8 (Westmoreland Co. Deeds, Patents &c 1665-77,pp.32-32a) naming her Jadwin children, including son John [who married Peter Montague’s daughter Anne] and grandson Bartholomew Jadwin [son of John Jadwin and Anne Montague].”  Therefore, another possibility is that Peter‘s presumed second wife, Cecily, was the daughter of William and Cecily Farrar, also named Cecily, who was born about 1625.  Of this Cicely no further records have been found.  Based on her age (20 years old in 1645 when the marriage likely occured), she was almost certainly not the mother of Peter’s last two children (William and Elizabeth).  Also, this Cicely is definitely not the mother of Peter or his older siblings Anne and Ellen, as documented in Lancaster County Court Orders, 12 Sep 1660, stating, Cicely Montague Widdow of Mr. Peter Montague decd. & Peter Montague her Sonne in law Exors. to divide the Est.

An alternative theory posits that Peter’s second wife may have been Cecily Matthews, daughter of Samuel Matthews, the owner of the Virginia plantation where Peter first worked.  Cecily’s brother was Samuel Mathews (Jr.) (1630–1660) of Warwick County, Virginia, a member of the House of Burgesses, the Governor’s Council and Royal Governor of Virginia from 1656 to 1660.

WARNING: Despite claims that may be made to the contrary, at this time the maiden name of Cicely is not proven by any documentation that is available to us, and such documentation may never be found.

"Historic Voyage, Sea Venture and Consorts at Sea 1609" (detail), a 1984 oil painting by Deryck Foster

“Historic Voyage, Sea Venture and Consorts at Sea 1609” (detail), a 1984 oil painting by Deryck Foster

The possibility that she was Cicely Reynolds (husband of Baley, Jordon and Farrar) is intriguing, since this woman has an interesting connection to the historical wreck of the Sea Venture in 1609, an event to which we are also connected through my 11th g-grandfather, Capt. William King (1544-1609), who is believed to be the first of my ancestors to reach the shores of North America.  He is discussed under his own heading.

Capt. William King was captain of the Diamond, one of one of the ships of the so-called “Third Supply” mission to Jamestown, Virginia, and he is discussed under his own heading.  Cicely’s parents died before 1611 when Cecily traveled to Virginia with her aunt and uncle Joan Phippen and Capt. William Pierce.  Joan was her mother’s twin sister.  Captain Pierce came to Virginia in 1610 on the ill-fated Sea Venture with Capt. Thomas Gates.  Jone, his wife, and their children (William, Joan, Jr., and Thomas) arrived in 1611 on the Swan.  She also brought with her a young niece, Cicely Reynolds, age 10, probably to help care for the younger children.  On 2 Jun 1609, the Sea Venture set sail from Plymouth as the flagship of a seven-ship fleet destined for Jamestown, Virginia as part of the “Third Supply” mission, carrying 500 to 600 people.  On 24 Jul 1609, the fleet ran into a strong storm, likely a hurricane, and the ships were separated.  The Sea Venture fought the storm for three days.  The ship’s guns were reportedly jettisoned (though two were salvaged from the wreck in 1612) to raise her buoyancy, but this only delayed the inevitable.  The Admiral of the Company, Sir George Somers himself, was at the helm through the storm.  When he spied land on the morning of 25 July, the water in the hold had risen to nine feet, and crew and passengers had been driven past the point of exhaustion.  Somers deliberately drove the ship onto the reefs of what proved to be Bermuda in order to prevent it from sinking.  This allowed all 150 people aboard (and one dog), to be landed safely ashore.

"Safely Ashore, July 28th, 1609". All passengers and crew of the Sea Venture safely make it to shore in Bermuda. While being thankful for their safe delivery, they are unaware of the historical significance of their shipwreck for the island (painting by Christopher M. Grimes).

“Safely Ashore, July 28th, 1609”. All passengers and crew of the Sea Venture safely make it to shore in Bermuda. While being thankful for their safe delivery, they are unaware of the historical significance of their shipwreck for the island (painting by Christopher M. Grimes).

The survivors were stranded on Bermuda for approximately nine months.  During that time, they built two new ships, the pinnaces, Deliverance and Patience, from Bermuda cedar and parts salvaged from the Sea Venture, especially her rigging.  While the new ships were being built, the Sea Venture’s longboat was fitted with a mast and sent under the command of Henry Ravens to find Virginia.  This boat and its crew were never seen again.  Some members of the expedition died in Bermuda before the Deliverance and Patience set sail on 10 May 1610.  Among those left buried in Bermuda were the wife and child of John Rolfe, who would found Virginia’s tobacco industry, and find a new wife in Powhatan princess Pocahontas.  Two men, Carter and Waters, were left behind; they had been convicted of unknown offences and fled into the woods of Bermuda to escape punishment and execution.  The remainder arrived in Jamestown on 23 May 1610.  This was not the end of the survivors’ ordeals, however.  On reaching Jamestown, only 60 survivors were found of the 500 who had preceded them.  Many of these survivors were themselves dying, and Jamestown itself was judged to be untenable.  Everyone was boarded onto the Deliverance and Patience, which set sail for England.  However, the timely arrival of another relief fleet, bearing Governor Thomas West, 3rd Baron de la Warr, which met the two ships as they descended the James River, granted Jamestown a reprieve.  The sister of Thomas West, Elizabeth West (1573-1633), is our 10th g-grandmother, discussed under her own heading.  All the settlers were relanded at the colony, but there was still a critical shortage of food.  Somers returned to Bermuda with the Patience to secure provisions, but died there in the summer of 1610.  His nephew, Matthew, the captain of the Patience, sailed for England to claim his inheritance, rather than return to Jamestown.  A third man, Chard, was left behind in Bermuda with Carter and Waters, who remained the only permanent inhabitants until the arrival of the Plough in 1612.  The ordeal was recounted by William Strachey, whose account is believed to have influenced the creation of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest.

The daughter of Peter Montague and (probably) his first wife [unknown] is Elizabeth Montague (1636-1708), who married Doodes Minor (1640-1694).  Their lineage is continued under the heading of Meindert Doodes (1617-1677).


George Washington (1732-1799), 1st President of the United States of America

George Washington (1732-1799), 1st President of the United States of America

Another Mystery – The possible connection between the Doodes/Minor and Montague families and George Washington, first President of the United States, through his mother, Mary Ball (1708-1789):

A fair number of researchers believe that Mary Montague, daughter of Peter Montague[11] and & Mary Doodes[12], may have been the widow “Mary Johnson”, second wife of Col. Joseph Ball (George Washington’s maternal grandfather).  At the heart of this issue is the maiden name of “Mary Johnson”.  The evidence for this claim is not conclusive, and unless additional evidence is discovered in the colonial records of Virginia, we can only judge the relative probability of Mary’s maiden identity from a limited number of potential candidates using the incomplete sources that are available to us.

Mary Ball Washington (1708-1789) was the second wife of Augustine Washington, a planter in Virginia, and the mother of George Washington

Mary Ball Washington (1708-1789) was the second wife of Augustine Washington, a planter in Virginia, and the mother of George Washington

This particular fact is interesting because Joseph and Mary Ball’s daughter Mary was, in fact and documented to be, the mother of George Washington.  At the heart of this issue is the maiden name of Mary Johnson. What follows is a complete, source-based presentation of the facts surrounding the issue.  It includes all documentation known to this writer, as of this writing, concerning Mary Montague, Joseph Ball, Mary Johnson and Mary Ball. Unfortunately these facts are not sufficient to know her maiden name.  For now, we can only judge the relative probability of Mary’s identity from a limited number of potential candidates.  We open this treatment with the earliest known documented discussion of George Washington’s presumed maternal grandmother from George William Montague’s, History and Genealogy of Peter Montague of Nansemond and Lancaster Counties, Virginia, and His Descendants, 1621-1894 (Amherst, Massachusetts: Carpenter & Morehouse, 1894, p. 48 (HGPM):

“A tradition has existed for fifty years or more, that George Washington was of Montague descent, through his mother Mary Ball.  It probably originated from the fact that William Montague married, 1727, a daughter of Capt. Richard Ball, who was Mary Ball’s cousin [their fathers were brothers].  This subject has been thoroughly investigated by Rev. Horace E. Hayden in his Virginia Genealogies, published Wilkes-Barre, Pa., 1891. The compiler also has made a thorough search, and left no means untried to obtain the truth.  The result is, that the only place where such descent could be possible, was through Mary Ball’s mother who was, before Col. Ball married her, a Mrs. Mary Johnson, a widow, of Lancaster County, Virginia.  A tradition exists in the Ball family that Mrs. Mary Johnson was born in England.  This tradition has been traced to Mrs. Ann Shearman, whose mother was Esther Ball, the half sister of Mary Ball.  If it is true, that she was born in England, then – any descent from Peter Montague was impossible.  No record has been found to show the maiden name of Mrs. Mary Johnson, or who she was before her marriage to Johnson.  If she was a Miss Montague, she would have to be a daughter of one of the sons of the emigrant Peter Montague.  One of his sons did have a daughter whose name was Mary Montague, but church records prove that she married, 24 Oct 1682, Thomas Payne, and no record exists to show that she ever afterward married any one else.  Records of that time and locality are lost, and the maiden name of Mrs. Mary Johnson [Washington’s grandmother] will probably never be known.”

Undocumented Sources:

Following are four other respected sources which have published their own accounts of the legend that a Montague was the grandmother of George Washington (followed by parenthetical commentary by this writer):

  • George Washington – A Life, by Willard Sterne Randall, 1997, p. 15, “Mary Ball had gone to London to be introduced into English society.  On her illiterate mother’s side she was a Montague, a member of a famous landed family.”  (Only problem here is that I find it hard to believe that Mary Montague, granddaughter of Peter who was a member of the House of Burgesses, could not read or write? She is from a well-to-do family, a very prominent family, yet had not been taught what basically separated the upper class from the lower, the ability to read & write? Also, no source is provided for the “Illiterate” Montague statement.)
  • Montague Genealogy and Virginia Genealogy, by Rev. Hayden, p. 664, “Joseph Ball would select his wife from the neighboring family of Montague.” (Again, no source cited.  Also, could it be that this Mary was a servant of the Montague’s? Big stretch .. but have to be open to all possibilities.)
  • George Washington, by Douglas Southall Freeman, p. 532, Note 23, “It has been …. Maintained that she was Mary Montague before her marriage and that from her George Washington received the Montague seal he used.” (Again, no source cited.)
  • Colonial Families of the Southern States of America, by Stella Pickett Hardy, p. 39, In the genealogy of Col Joseph Ball, “m. (second) 1707, Mary (Montague) Johnson, of Lancaster Co., VA, a native of England.” (Again, no source cited.)

Documented Sources:

None of the authors above cite their sources for the statements they have made.  It’s as if they are feeding from one another’s work.  What follows are a compilation of all the documented facts available on the issue.  Each fact standing alone is but a brick, but taken together with all the other bricks creates something of a brick wall, in that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts:

  • About 1664: The approximate birth date of Mary (dau. of Peter I) [citing HGPM 62, (8)].
  • Prior to 12 March 1666/7: Mary [Montague] was born before 12 March 1666/7 because on that date she “… was given a “heyfer” by her aunt Elizabeth Montague” [Adventurers of Purse and Person, pp. 452-453 citing Lancaster Co. Deeds &c 4, 1666-82, p. 18.] Establishes Elizabeth Montague (dau. of Peter I and sister of Peter II) had niece named Mary, and that Mary was one of the children of Peter II.  See more at paragraph D below.
  • 13 Dec 1677: Meindert Doodes’ will states “. . . son Doodes Minor’s children were to have half of the Negroes and the other half to go to Peter Montague for the sole use of his wife [Mary Minor], and after her death to the sole use of her children.”  [Adventurers of Purse and Person, p. 451 citing Middlesex Co. Wills 1675-1798, p. 6].  Establishes that Meindert Doodes had two living children: son Doodes and a daughter married to Peter Montague II referred to as “his wife”.  Note that both of Meinert Doodes children married children of Peter I-(i.e. Elizabeth Montague m. Minor Doodes Jr. and her brother Peter II m. Mary Minor Doodes). [Note: Meindert Doodes’ children dropped “Doodes” and used “Minor” as their last name, thus Minor Doodes, Jr became Minor Minor, Jr.]
  • 17 Nov 1678: The will of Mary Doodes states: “Mary Doodes will named her sons Doodes Meindert and Peter Montague and daughter Marie Montague’s daughter Marye” (Adventurers of Purse and Person, p. 451, citing Middlesex Co. Wills 1675-1798, p. 35). Establishes Mary Montague is daughter of Peter II.
  • 24 Oct 1682: Mary Montague weds Thomas Paine, [John Otto Yurechko’s, Christ Church Parish Register of Middlesex County Virginia, 1615-1812, p. 12; and Adventurers of Purse and Person, p. 453 citing Lancaster Co. Deeds 1666-82, p. 18].  Adventurers shows this is Mary Montague, dau. of Peter II & Mary Minor. We also know “John Mountague, son of Peter and Mary, bapt 21 May 1682” [Christ Church Parish Register, p. 10]. These two dates place the Mountague family in Middlesex County, Christ Church Parish as late as 24 Oct 1682.  It is almost certainly her first marriage, as she is listed as a Montague, and not “widdow” or “relic” as was the custom.  Establishes that Mary’s first husband was Thomas Paine or Payne.
  • 17 Feb 1686/7: Christ Church Parish Register of Middlesex Co., 1615-1812 lists that in 1686/7 “17 Feb Mary Payne” was buried.  This doesn’t state if it is Mary, wife of Thomas; a child of Thomas & Mary; or a completely different person. [This is the last time the name of Mary (Montague) Payne is ever known to have been recorded on any documents.]
  • 10 Feb 1688/9: Christ Church Parish Register of Middlesex Co., 1615-1812, “William Johnson of Norwich and Mary Bennett of West Chester were married 10 Feb 1688/9.” [Could this be the Mary Johnson who m. Joseph Ball between 6 Feb 1707-25 Jun 1711?  They had two children: Elizabeth & John.]
  • 4 Feb 1693/4: Indenture to Richard Hutchens of ye said Parish and county …. parcel of land and plantation where I now live situated in ye aforesaid Parish of South Farnham containing by examination one hundred seventy-seven acres, with all appurtances and houses building edifaces, structures, gardens, orchards, fences there unto belonging or appertaining to ye land.  For this Richard paid 2,000 pounds of sweet-scented tobacco.  The deed was written on 4 Feb 1694, and was recorded on 11 Feb 1694.  On that same day, Richard gave Mr. Edward Adock a permit for free passage through his land to Thomas Payne’s landing at the Rappahannock River.  He also offered to help Mr. Payne’s father-in-law to find timber.  The document was signed by Richard with his mark R. (From Tidewater Virginia Families, no page listed).  Once again, a mention of Thomas Payne having a father-in-law.  Same problem as in the paragraph above.
  • Before 2 Dec 1695: Both Peter II and his wife Mary are dead by this date.  This is known because Peter Mountecough and William Mountecough petitioned the Middlesex court on behalf of themselves and their two sisters Elizabeth and Catherine” for a division of five Negro slaves “given by Mindret Dodes to the children of Peter Mountecough, deceased, after their mother’s death.  [Adventurers of Purse and Person, p. 451 citing Middlesex Co. Order Bk. 3, 1694-1705, p. 78].  This is interesting in that there is no mention of Peter II siblings, Mary or John, suggesting they were both deceased by this time.  It is also possible they did not pursue this because they were out of the area.  In fact, John apparently did remove himself to Essex County, where he lived out his life and died, unmarried in 1733 [Adventurers of Purse and Person, p. 452, footnote 25, citing Essex County Will Bk. 5, pp. 204-05], or just not interested in obtaining their share (unlikely).  This again establishing the likelihood that Mary was already deceased.
  • Before 15 Jan 1694/5: Estate of Thomas Payne needed for his debt of 1300 pounds. (Essex Co., VA. Deeds & Wills Book 9, pg 16). It appears that Thomas Payne is dead by this date.  It appears that he left no will (probably died a young man).  Also it is highly unlikely that he could be the unproved son Thomas, b. abt 1684, who would have been too young to leave an estate.  However, if Thomas were now deceased, leaving Mary (Montague) Payne as his widow, she would theoretically be free to remarry.
  • June 1698: Richard Hutchens was a witness for Captain Edward Thomas, and was paid for his court attendance according to law.  In 1698, Richard witnessed a deed for John Miller, and in 1700 he proved the will of John Ellett, who was the father-in-law of Thomas Payne. (From Tidewater Virginia Families, no page listed).  Interesting in that Thomas Payne has now acquired a father-in-law.  This could mean 1) Thomas has remarried a woman surnamed Ellett (Elliott) or 2) Thomas Payne’s mother has married (2) John Ellett.  Neither one has been proven because there is no mention of Thomas Payne’s mother’s name (in records that I’ve seen).  Adds to the likelihood that Mary is deceased and her widowed husband has remarried.  [Note: The term “father-in-law” was used when the relationship was what today would be called a stepfather.]
  • 1703: Mary Johnson is witness to a gift deed from Col. Joseph Ball to his son-in-law Rawleigh Chinn.
  • After 6 Feb 1707: Mary Johnson marries Col. Joseph Ball.  Married Well and Often – Marriages of the Northern Neck of Virginia, 1649-1800: p. 24, citing Parish Register of Christ Church Middlesex Co., 1997, p. 37.
  • 1708: Mary Ball is born to Mary Johnson and Col. Joseph Ball.  [Mary Montague would have been about 44 years old.]
  • 25 June 1711: Col. Joseph Ball’s will leaves to his beloved step daughter Elizabeth Johnson, 100 acres of land for her life.
  • Bef 12 Aug 1712: Richard Hues (Hewes, Hughes) marries Mary Johnson Ball.  His will mentions his wife Mary & her children Elizabeth & John Johnson in his will. [Married Well and Often – Marriages of the Northern Neck of Virginia, 1649-1800:p. 190, citing Northumberland Co., VA, 12 Aug 1712-17 Feb 1713/4]
  • 26 May 1715: Thomas Payne m. Catherine Lydford (Christ Church Parish Records, p. 60).  Is this the son of Thomas & Mary (Montague) Payne, or a new person completely?
  • 7 Feb 1720/1: In Thomas Montague’s will he leaves, Thomas Paine of Middlesex County, 150 acres out of the upper side of my land lying in Essex County.  (Adventurers of Purse and Person, p. 455 citing Essex Co. Deeds, Bonds. Letters of Attorney 17, 1721-24, pp. 359-60).  This Thomas Montague would be the cousin of Mary (Montague) Payne.  He doesn’t state the relationship between himself & Thomas Paine, but one would assume that he is related somehow.  This reestablishes the long-running relationship between Montague and Payne families.
  • 1721: Mary (?) Johnson Ball Hewes dies at Cherry Point Farm, Northumberland County, Virginia, as did her son John. [Robert K. Headley, Jr., Married Well and Often–Marriages of the Northern Neck of Virginia, 1649-1800, p. 45, citing Northumberland Co. Record Book, 1718-1726:176; Northumberland Co. Wills, 1713-49:2; Johnson:176]. Mary Hewes in her will mentions her dau. Mary Ball (a minor), her dau. Elizabeth Bonham & her son John Johnson. [Married Well and Often–Marriages of the Northern Neck of Virginia, 1649-1800, p. 190, citing Northumberland Co., VA, Order Book 1713-19:17; Record Book 1718-26:176; Johnson:176]

Sources from Published Genealogical Articles:

  • “Col. William Ball of Balleston, MD, and Millenbeck, VA, g-grandfather of George Washington”. (“Genealogies of Virginia Families” from Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine):  “Colonel Joseph Ball, youngest son of Colonel William Ball, was transported by his father from Maryland to Virginia.  By his first marriage he had one son and four daughters: Joseph. born 11 March, 1684, who was educated in England and there wooed and wed Miss Frances Ravenscroft; Elizabeth married Rev. John Carnegie, Hannah married Mr. Rawleigh Travers; Anne married Colonel Edwin Conway and Easter married Mr. Rawleigh Chinn.  He married second Mrs. Mary Johnson, a widow with two children, John and Elizabeth Johnson.  She was born in England and was living neighbor to him in Lancaster County, Virginia, at the time of their marriage.  Colonel Joseph Ball died at “Epping Forest,” Lancaster County, Virginia, in 1711, leaving an only child by this marriage, Mary Ball.”‘  Probably his widow with their daughter, Mary, returned home to visit relatives.  She married, as her third husband, Captain Richard Hewes.  They were living in St. Stephen’s Parish, Northumberland County, Virginia, when he died circa 1713.  In her will dated 17 December, 1720, she leaves her daughter, Mary Ball, under tutelage and government of her friend, Captain George Eskridge, during her minority.  She died in 1721 and when her daughter, Mary Ball, was of age most likely she went to England to live.
  • “Mary Johnson, Second Wife of Col. Joseph Ball”, by Elizabeth Combs Pierce (“Genealogies of Virginia Families” from William & Mary Quarterly, pp. 194-95)”
    • The identity of Mary Johnson, widow, whom Col. Joseph Ball made his second wife sometime after Feb. 6th, 1707 and who became the mother of Mary, the mother of Washington in 1707/8 has remained an unsolved riddle but by comparison of the records of Westmoreland Co. compiled by Miss Lucy Beale with the records of Lancaster and Middlesex Counties a reasonable solution is seen.
    • In 1703, Col. Joseph Ball made a gift deed to his son-in-law Rawleigh Chinn, Gent. of 190 A.  To the westward of the land of the sd Col. Joseph Ball, which afterwards bore the name, “Oakley”, and which has never been out of the possession of descendants of Rawleigh and Esther Ball Chinn.  This deed was witnessed by Mary Johnson, her mark.
    • On Feb. 6th, 1707, Col. Joseph Ball made a gift deed to his five children as follows, To son Joseph Ball, To Hannah Travers, wife of Mr Rawleigh Travers of Stafford Co. To Ann Conway, wife of Mr. Edwin Conway of Lancaster Co. To Easte-Chinn, wife of Mr Rawleigh Chinn aforesaid each daughters of the aforesaid Col. Joseph Ball and to Joseph Carnegie, son of Elizabeth Carnegie late dec’d, which sd Elizabeth, my daughter and wife of Mr John Carnegie, minister in Northumberland Co. and adds this: If I the sd Col. Joseph Ball should decide to marry, – evidently having the Widow Johnson in mind at that time as he reserves certain dower rights in his estate.
    • No record of the marriage of Col. Joseph Ball to Mary Johnson has ever been found in court records, but in his will dated June 25th, 1711, he leaves to his beloved step daughter Elizabeth Johnson, 100 A. of land for life.
    • The “Register of Christ Church Parish” Middlesex Co., p. 41, records this marriage – William Johnson of Norwich and Mary Bennett of West Chester, England was married the 10th. of February 1688/9
    • In Middlesex Co., we also find the will of a Capt. George Johnson – 9th Sept. 1701 – naming sons, John, William and George also wife, Elizabeth.  In this we note the similarity of names.
    • After Col Ball’s death in 1711, his widow married Richard Hewes who died in or before 1713.  A suit was brought by Joseph Ball against the estate of Richard Hewes, Dec’d in that year. (Lancaster Co.)
    • Following the death of her third husband, Mary Hewes lived either in Westmoreland Co. near her daughter Elizabeth Johnson who married Samuel Bonam or with her son John Johnson.  She died in 1721 and appointed her son John Johnson and well beloved friend, George Eskridge, executors of her will in which she placed her daughter, Mary Ball, under the tutelage and government of Capt. George Eskridge.
    • John Johnson died unmarried soon after the death of his mother and bequeathed to his sister, Mary Ball, land which his father-in-law (step-father) Richard Hewes, had willed him and Samuel Bonam, husband of Elizabeth Johnson died in 1726 leaving a son, Samuel Bonam.
    • As Samuel Bonam the younger was a grandson of Mary Johnson Ball Hewes, the following is offered as proof of the fact that her maiden name was Bennett.
    • Fiduciary Accts. 1742-P,89-Date 1738/9 Westmoreland Co., Lindsey Opie, Guardian of Samuel Bonam, son of Samuel and Elizabeth Bonam etc., Pay to Mrs Bennett for board 400 lbs of tobacco. Pay to Mrs Chatten for board. Pay to Mrs Kennedy. Paid Mr Bennett. Credit to John Johnson for a wig. To pay Mr Thos. Bennett cash etc. Aunt and Uncle Thomas and Elizabeth Bennett.



Based on the body of evidence compiled here, the only factual statements are: (1) Mary Montague, b. abt 1664, is the dau. of Peter Montague and Mary Minor; and (2) she m. 24 Oct 1682, Thomas Paine (or Payne) in Middlesex Co., VA.  What follows is my interpretation of what the indirect evidence suggests: Mary Montague probably d. in 1686/7 as Mary Payne–probably while giving birth to her first child, Thomas Paine Jr.  This supposition is enhanced further by the fact that Mary (Montague) does not appear in the record after 1687.  It is not insignificant, for example, that Mary is not mentioned with her siblings in the settling of her father’s estate in 1695.  Furthermore, her husband Thomas appears to have remarried, as the few extant records containing Thomas Paine show he had a father-in-law named Ellett or Elliott.  Thomas Paine apparently did not leave a will when his estate was being settled in 1694/5, but there is no record of a widow or other court orders against his estate as one might expect were there any surviving family.  On the other hand, the evidence supporting Mary Bennett as grandmother of George Washington is far more convincing, if not actually proven.

[1] Peter Wilson Coldham, The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607-1660 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1987), p. 79, citing documents (E190/31/1) at Public Record Office, Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1LR, England.

[2] Arden H. Brame Jr., “The One and Only Peter Mountague (1603-1659) of Warfield, Berkshire, England and Nansemond, Isle of Wight, and Lancaster Counties, Virginia,” The Augustan Society Omnibus, volume 13 (1991): p. 76 citing The Port of London Port Book-Searcher dated Xmas 1626-Xmas 1627 at E190/31/3 fo. 99 as published by Coldham, Peter Wilson. 1987. The Complete Book of Emigrants 1607-1660. Gen. Pub. Co., Baltimore, p. 79.

[3] Coldham, Emigrants, 1607-1660, 76 citing The Port of London Port Book-Searcher dated Xmas 1626-Xmas 1627 at E190/31/1 as published by Coldham, Peter Wilson. 1987. The Complete Book of Emigrants 1607-1660. Gen. Pub. Co., Baltimore, p. 79.

[4] Meyer and Dorman, Adventurers of Purse and Person, 449, citing York Co. Deeds, Orders, Wills &c 1, 1633- 94, p. 33.

[5] “The One and Only Peter Mountague”, pp. 76-77, citing Virginia Land Patents, Vol. I, by Nugent, 1934, p. 156: patent of Thomas Davis.

[6] Coldham, Emigrants, 1607-1660, p. 76.

[7] Meyer and Dorman, Adventurers of Purse and Person, p. 275.

[8] Lindsay O. Duvall, compiler, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Series 2, Vol. 2, Lancaster County, Virginia Court Orders and Deeds 1656-1680 (1979; reprint, Greenville, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1990), p. 10.

[9] Montague, History and Genealogy of Peter Montague (HGPM), p. 57.

[10]  Meyer and Dorman, Adventurers of Purse and Person, p. 450 states Peter’s first wife (name unknown) was probably the mother of all of his children (certainly of Peter, Anne, Ellen and Margaret).  This source gives the order of birth for the children as: Anne, Ellen, Peter, Margaret, William, and Elizabeth. Only Peter’s birth date (about 1638) is approximately stated.

[11] Brother of Elizabeth Montague (1636-1708) (my 9th g-grand uncle).

[12] Sister of Doodes Minor (1640-1694) (my 9th g-grand aunt).



  • Amy Putnam

    Thank you so much for this wonderful site. I too had Cicely as the mother of my Elizabeth (who married Doodes Minor). I have added your link to this so that I remember to stop researching Elizabeth’s mother for now. Peter 1603 is my 12th g-grandfather.

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