Note from Judith Ann Presnell Canant: Many of these documented sources are from some other Stith cousins, and many are from my own research. I do not deserve credit for them all. I am happy to share with others who are researching the STITH family line.


Va Colonial Abstracts, Vol III, Charles City County Court Orders, 1655-1658, p 167

"p.58. The Deposition of Jo. STITH exa'ed and swarne Saith That when he passed by the planta'con of THO. GREGORY dec'd he often saw Wm ffISHER at work in the fiels w'th the sd GREGORY's people and that the Dep't tooke him to be a sharer in the Crop."

= = = = = = = = = =

(ibid) p 312

"p.516. 'Know all men that I JOHN STITH doe release all claymes of a mare and her increase recorded by Stephen HAMELIN for the use of THO: GREGORY sonne of THOS. GREGORY, dec'd x x x In Witness hereof I hae sett my hand to these presents the 6th of July 1662." Signed JOHN STITH. Wit: James x HARDWAY, S HAMELIN. Rec. 12th Dec. '64.'"

= = = = = = = = = =

(ibid) p 173

"p.71. Att a Cort holden att Westov'r Octobr: 27. 1656. Present: mr Tho: DREWE, Capt Richd TYE, mr Antho: WYATT, Capt David PEIBILS, Capt Jo: EPES, Capt Tho: STEGGE, mr Cha: SPARROW, Capt Robt WYNNE. Ordered that 26 lb tobbo per poll be forthwth Levied and Collected by the present sherr on every tytheable person in this Com being 516 and paid as foll vidz

(in list:)

Jo: STITH 1 wolfe 200 lb tobbo




The documents herewith presented are printed from copies obtained from the Public Record Office of Great British. When the question of the boundary line between Maryland and Virginia was before the Legislature of the latter State, in 1860, Colonel Angus W. McDONALD was sent to England to obtain the papers necessary to protect the interests of Virginia. He brought back "nine volumes of manuscripts and one book containing forty-eight maps" (see his report, Virginia Legislative Documents, No. 39, 1861,). The volumes of manuscripts contained, upon an average, 425 pages each, and were filled with valuable historical documents, of many of which no copies had ever been seen on this continent since the originals were sent from the Colony of Virginia. In a conversation with the writer, held soon after his return from England, in March, 1861, Colonel McDONALD stated that having obtained copies of all the documents relating to the question of the boundary line which could be found, and having more money left of the appropriation made than was needed to pay the expenses of his return home, he decided to devote the surplus to obtaining copies of papers relating to the early history of the State, without reference to the question of the boundary line. This statement will, we presume, satisfactorily account for the presence in his collection of such papers as do not relate to the subject upon which he was engaged. That he was well qualified to select such papers is evident from an examination of the list which he made out.

During the occupation of the State capitol building by the Federal troops and officials, after the surrender of the Confederate authorities in April, 1865, a very large quantity of the official documents filed in the archives of the State were removed from that building, and at the same time four of the nine volumes and the portfolio of maps above mentioned. Nothing has been heard from any of them since. In 1870, the question of the boundary line being again before the Legislature of Virginia, the Governor sent the Hon. D. C. De JARNETTE upon the same errand that Colonel McDONALD had so well performed, and the result was the obtaining of such papers as he could find relating to the subject under consideration, including duplicates of some of those which though useful in this connection, are included in the five volumes remaining of those collected by Col. McDONALD; also, charters of great length, but which are to be found in print in the histories and statutes of the State, andmany of the miscellaneous papers which Colonel McDONALD had copied under the circumstances above named. Among the latter is the account of the first meeting of the Assembly at Jamestown in 1619. When Colonel McDONALD visited the State Paper Office (as it was then called) in 1860, this great repository of historical materials had not been thrown open to the public, and he tells us in his report that it was "twenty days after his arrival in London before he could obtain permission to examine the archives of the State Paper Office." A year or two afterwards all of the restrictions which had existed were removed, the papers arranged chronologically, and an index made by which they could be referred to. Farther, W. Noel SAINSBURY, Esq., one of the officers of what is now called the Public Record Office, had published a calendar of all the papers relating to the British colonies in North America and the West Indies, from the first discoveries to 1660 (soon be followed by another coming down to the period of the independence of the United State ), which contains a brief abstract of every paper included inthe above named period, so that enquirers upon subjects embraced in this calendar can by reference see what the office has on file relating to it, and obtain copies of the documents required, at a much leas cost than a voyage to England. Acting upon this knowledge, the Library Committee of the Virginia Legislature has made a contract with Mr. SAINSBURY for copies of the titles and copious abstracts of every paper in the Public Record Office, and other repositories, which relates to the history of Virginia while a Colony. All of which he proposes to furnish for about £250, being legs than one-half the cost of either of the missions sent, which have obtained only a small fraction of the papers which we are to receive. He is performing his work in a most satisfactory manner; so much is he interested in the task that he has greatly exceeded his agreement by furnishing gratuitously fall and coral)tote copies of many documents of more than ordinary interest. Yet notwithstanding the known facilities afforded by the British Government and its officials, Mr. De JARNETTE complains that he was refused permission to examine the Rolls Office and the State Paper Office (see his report, Senate Documents Session 1871-'2, p. 12); and further, on page 15, he informs us that the papers which he obtained "had to be dug from a mountain of Colonial records with care and labor." His troubles were further increased by the fact that "the Colonial papers are not arranged under heads of respective Colonies, but thrown promiscuously together and constitute an immense mass of ill kept and badly written records," ib. p. 22.

The reader will infer from the preceding remarks that the State has two complete copies of the record of the proceedings of the first Assembly which met at Jamestown, viz: the McDonald and the De Jarnette copies, and also an abstract furnished by Mr. Sainsbury. Bancroft, the historian, obtained a copy of this pal) or, which was printed in the collections of the New York Historical Society for 1857. We have therefore been enabled to compare three different versions, and in a measure, a fourth. The De Jarnette copy being in loose sheets, written on one side only, was selected as the most convenient for the printer, and the text is printed from it. Where this differs from either of the others the foot notes show the differences, and when no reference is made it is because all of them correspond.

When these papers were submitted as a part of the report of the Commissioners on the Boundary Line a joint resolution was adopted by both houses of the Legislature authorizing the Committee on the Library to print such of the papers as might be selected, provided the consent of the Commission could be obtained. Application was made to allow the first and second papers in this pamphlet to be printed but it was refused. The Commission having been dissolved the Committee on the Library have assumed the responsibility and herewith submit this instalment of these interesting documents, which were written before the Colony of Maryland was known, and all of which, save the first, were never before printed.

The Report of the proceedings of the first Assembly is prefaced with the introductory note published with Mr. Bancroft's copy, to which a few notes explanatory have been added.

Trusting that this instalment of these historical records of the Ancient Dominion will be acceptable to the students of our early history, and sufficiently impress the members of the Legislature with their value to move them to make an appropriation sufficient to print all that has been obtained, this is Respectfully submitted, by your obedient servants,



Chin, Senate Com, on Library, Sub Committee in


In the relation of Master John ROLFE, inserted by Captain John STITH (THE PREFACE SAYS TO CHANGE THIS TO STITH) in his History of Virginia,*there is tiffs meagre notice of the Assembly: "The 25 of June came in the Triall with Corne anti Cattell in all safety, which tooke from vs cleerely all fete of famine; then our Gouernor and counsel] caused Burgesses to be chosen in all places, and met at a generall Assembly, where all matters were debated thought expedient for the good of the Colony."

This account did not attract the attention of Beverley, the early historian of Virginia, who denies that there was any Assembly held there before May, 1620.t

The careful STITH, whose work is not to be corrected without sheerly recognition of his superior diligence and exemplary fidelity, gives an account‡ of this first leg]sis-five body, though he errs a little in the date by an inference from ROLFE's narrative, which the words do not warrant.

The prosperity of Virginia begins with the day when it received, as "a commonwealth," the freedom to make laws for itself. In a solemn address to King James, which was made during the government of Sir Francis WYATT, and bears the signature of the Governor, Council, and apparently every member of the Assembly, a contrast is drawn between the former "miserable bondage," and "this just and gentle author lye which hath cherished us of late by more worthy magistrates. And we, our wives and poor children shall ever pray to God, as our bounden duty is, to give you in this worlds all increase of happines, and to crowns you in the worlde to come with immortall glorye."§ ?

  A desire has long existed to recover the record of the proceedings of the Assembly which inangurated so happy a revolution. STITH was unable to find it; no traces of it were met by Jefferson; and Hening,XXX and those who followed Hening, believed it no longer extant. Indeed, it was given up as hopelessly lost.

Having, during a long period of years, instituted a very thorough research among the papers relating to America in the British State Paper Office, partly in person and partly with the assistance of able and intelligent men employed in that Department, I have at last been so fortunate as to obtain the "Proceedings of the First Assembly of Virginia? The document is in the form of "a reporte" from the Speaker; and is  -

* Smith's Generall Historie of Virginia, Richmond edition, Voll. 11, pp. 38, 39.

See Beverley's History of Virginia, p, 37 of the first edition, and p. 35 of the Second.XXX

Stith's History of Virginia, p. 160, Williamsburg edition.4

§MS. Copy of Address of Sir Francis WYATT, &c., &c., to King, James I,, signed by Sir Francis WYATT, and 32 others.

XXX Hening's Statutes at Largo, I., p. 119, refers to the acts of 1623-'4 -as "the earliest now extant,"

XXX" These Burgesses met the Governor and Council at Jamestowon in 1620, and sat in consultation in the same house with them as the method of the Scots Parliament is." "This was the first Generall Assembly that ever was held there"--Beverley.--

"And about the latter .rid of June (1619) Its (Sir George YEARDLEY, Governor called the first General Assembly that was ever hold in Virginia. Counties were not yet laid off, but they electded their representatives by townships, So that the Burroughs of Jamestown, Henrico. Bermuda Hundred, and the rest, each sent their members to the Assembly? * * * * "and hence it is that our lower house of Assembly was erst called the House of Burgesses," Stith, p. 160. "In May, this year (1620), there was held another Generall Assembly, which, has, through mistake. and the indolent. and negligence of our historians in searching such ancient records as are still extant in the conntry, been commonly reported the first General Assembly," ib. p. 182. We do not see that STITH "errs" even "a little in the date," ROLFE says, "The 25 of June came in the Triall with Corne and Cattell in all safoty, which took from us cleerely all fears of famine, then our gouernor and councell caused Burgesses to be chosen in all places, and met at a generall Assembly," Smith, p. 12& STITH says, "And about the latter end of June he called," &c., STITH, p. 160, Neither intimate when the Assembly met, only that the governor called them in the latter part of June---Era

The first published notice of the existence of this paper occurred in lbs, proceedings of the snnual meeting of the Virginia Historical Society, hale December 15, 1853. In the report of the Executive Committee the chairman, Conway ROBINSON, Esq., states that he had seen the original report in the State Paper ()ffica in London, on a recent visit to that city.--See Virginia Historical Reporter, Vol, I, 1 1854 Whatever question there may be in regard to priority of discovery, it is to be regretted that it was left to the Historical Society of another State to publish a document of so much value to the one to which it solely relates more full and circumstantial than any subsequent journal of early legislation in the Ancient Dominion.

Many things are noticeable. The Governor and Council sat with the Burgesses, and took part in motions and debates. The Secretary of the Colony was chosen Speaker, and I am not sure that he was a Burgess.6 This first American Assembly set the precedent of beginning legislation with prayer. It is evident that Virginia was thee as thoroughly a Church of England colony, as Connecticut afterwards was a Calvinistic one. The inauguration of legislative power in the Ancient Dominion preceded the existence of negro slavery, which we will believe it is destined also to survive. The earliest Assembly in the oldest of the original thirteen States, at its first session, took measures "towards the erecting of" a "University and Colledge." Care was also taken for the education of Indian children. Extravagance in dress was not prohibited, but the rain-inters were to profit by a tax on excess in apparel. On the whole, the record of these Proceedings will justify the opinion of Sir Edward SANDYS, that "they were very well and judiciously carried." The different functions of government may have been confounded and the laws were not framed according to any speculative theory; but a perpetual interest attaches to the first elective body representing the people of Virginia, more than a year before the Mayflower, with the Pilgrims, left the harbor of Southampton, and while Virginia was still the oldest British Colony on the whole Continent of America.



VA Colonial Abstracts, Vol III, Charles City Co, VA Court Orders 1661-1664

p 366. Abstract. Indenture. 7 June 1662. James HARDEWAY of Kermidges in Charles City Co makes over to John STITH all property real and personal. STITH agreeing to keep HARDEWAY in good condition the balance of his natural life. Signed James x HARDEWAY. Wit: George SPENCER, Thomas MASON, Edward x EMERSON, Robert x CRADDOCK, William ALFERDE. "Recognit in Cur ffebr: 4: 1662 per Jacob': HARDWAY Test: Hoel (Joel?) PRYSE Cl".


LifeNotes: He was in America by 1656 and at that time had received a 500 -acre grant to him and to Samuel EARLE; the land was in Charles City County, VA on the James River upstream from Jamestown. There were land grants of 550 acres on July 29, 1664, 636 acres on May 11, 1675 and many other tracts in the vicinity of the James River. An attorney and a magistrate. He was a captain in the Militia in 1676, later by 1680, a major. John STITH was a member of the House of Burgesses 1685-6. At one period he was accused of using his powers to the detriment of the citizens and for a period he was forbidden to hold any public office; this restriction was later rescinded, as in 1691 he was sheriff and in 1697 he was taking grievances with the people of Charles City County. See the assorted records re: John STITH.


VA Colonial Abstracts, Vol III, Charles City Co Court Orders 1655-1658, (1656\7) p 79:

Abstract. Peter SALMON arrested on suit of Jo: STITH, for 928 lb tobo, failing to appear, the sherif ordered to bring his person, estate or security to the next Court.


(Ibid) p 79: Ordered that John STITH pay to Edd MOSBY 30/8 sterl' pd by him to m'r Thomas DREWE for necessaries for the funerall of Joseph PARSONS dec'd als exec and costs.


(Ibid) p 80: Itt is ordered upon the accot of m'r Rich DIBDALL of the estate of Wm ffisher that the sd Mr DIBDALL paying the debts wherew'th he charged the sd orphaneand delivering to the sd prphane one young mare two Cowes and one heyfer be acquitted fom the sd estate, wch mare, cowes and heyfer are to be rendered into the possession of the sd ffisher, but not to be disposed by him untill his full age of 21 yeares. Wm ffishers accot. Due to Wm ffisher 5500.

Contra Credit lb to.

to Jo. STITH 500 (among several other credits)


(Ibid) p 106 (1657):

Abstract. John STITH confesses Judgt to Capt Tho: STEGGE and Mr Stephen HAMOLIN, attorneys of Edd ADDENBROOKE, Thomas HARRISON and Wm MANSFIELD of London for 12000 lb Tobo for future payment.


(ibid) p 106: John STITH is publiquely admonished and fined according to law for rash profane sweareing in open Co'rt.


(Ibid) p 116(1657):

"Howell Pryse hath proved right by testimonie produced in Co'rt to 3850a of land for the charge of Importacon of Richd PRICE, (many names mentioned here that I have left out-JPC) Jo. STITH, Alex BALFORE, Wm BUCKNER, Jone MILLER, Dorcas JONES, Mary ROLFE, ..."


(Ibid) p 234 (1660):

Abstract: Dif betw Willm BIRD and John STITH to next Court. Also dif betw Richd PARKER and Wm HUNT.


(Ibid) p 237 (1660):

Abstract. Jno STITH security for appearance of Thomas Stevens conf judgt to Mr John HOLMWOOD attor of Mr Tho: BRANCH for 300 lb tobo.


Various records re: Major John STITH

from Cavaliers & Pioneers, Nell M. Nugent

(p. 3) EDMD. COWLES, 125 acs. Chas. City Co., 29 Sept. ---- , p. 7. Part of dev'dt. assigned by Jno. STITH to Ja. HARDAWAY & by Jno. HARDAWAY, his sonn & heire, sold to sd. COWLES, 3 June 1674. (Badly mutilated.) Mentions Westover Path & Kemige's Creek.

(p. 163) MR. JOHN STITH, 636 A., 1 R., 24 P., Chas. Citty Co., N. side James River; 11 May 1675, p. 555. Beg. on N. side of the Easterne Runn Br., niegh MARTIALL's Path; down the westerne Gr. Branch to the Indian Cabbin point, being the forke of the branches; &c. Trans. of 13 pers: [etc...]

(p. 165) [NICHOLAS & WM. COX's section refers to their 273 acs. in Chas. Citty Co., N. side James Riv., adj. Mr. Jno. STITH; nigh a br. of Herring Cr.]

(p. 255) MAJOR JOHN STITH, 236 A., 2 R., 16 P., Chas. City Co., Westopher Par., on S. side of James River; 16 Apr. 1683, p. 244. Beg. on E. side of the Northerne br; along western br. of Herring Cr., &c. Trans. of 5 pers: [etc...]

(p. 257) MR. JONAS LISCOMB's section of Westopher Par., Chas. Citty Co., S. side of James Riv, mentions adj. Major John STITH.]


John STITH's Charles City Co.will has a codicil dated 10/3/1693, proved 4/3/1694, that reads:

"I give and bequeath to my Daughter AGNES, the now wife of Mr. Thomas WYNN, the sum of 15 pounds sterling, in full of all that she may or can claime as a child's part in mine estate.'



I, JOHN STITH, SEN'R, of the parish of Westover, in Charles Citty County, in Virgina, Gent, being well in body . . .

I give and bequeath to my oldest son JOHN STITH all the land, houseing & appurtennances thereunto belonging whereon I now live alsoe my --- mill by me lately built . . . excepting all that tract:

or parcell of land that is mine lying on the northside of the eastern branch on Herin Creek, which with the houses & all & every the appurtenances therwith belonging I give my son DRURY STITH & to his heyrs forever.

I give & bequeath to my Daughter JANE, the now wife of Capt. Daniel LLUELLIN the sum of 5 punds sterling . . .

I give & bequeath to my Daughter ANN, the now wife of Mr. Robert BOLLING, the sum of 10 pounds sterling . . .

I give & bequeath to my Daughter AGNES, the now wife of Mr. Thomas WYNN, the sum of 15 pounds sterling, in full that she may or can claime as a child's part in mine estate.

After debts & legacies paid, I give the remainder of my personall estate to be equally divided between my loveing wife JANE STITH & my sd two sonns JOHN & DRURY STITH joynt executors of this my last will & testament.

Lastly, I give to my loveing friend Hugh DAVIS 20 shillings sterling to buy him a ring. Hugh Davis to compose any differences which might arise in settlement of will.

Codicil: DRURY has already received his third share after his marriage, and therefore remaining part of estate to be divided between JANE and JOHN.

Will witnessed by: James BATTY, John GAY, Frances F. G. BATTY, Hugh DAVIS.

Codicil witnessed by: Willam COLE, John JONES, Thomas GRIG


"In 1663 he was made guardian of Judith PARSONS, orphan of Joseph PARSONS, Vice Edward MOSBY, deceased." (Gen of VA Fam, I, The Buckner Family, p 496, states that Jos PARSONS had a child by a first wife and mentions no child by Jane)


He had a grant to himself and Samuel EALE, of 500a of land on the N S of James River in Charles City CO, 15th Feb 1663. (VA Land Record Book 5, p 268). He also had grants of 550a, July 29, 1664 and 636 a 11 May 1675. Other tracts he acquired by purchase, and at his death left a very considerable landed estate. In 1656 he was Lt, according to some existing fragments of the Charles City Records. (Dr Christopher Johnston, Baltimore, MD, In Wm and Mary Q, Vol 21, 1912, 1913.)


From Genealogies of VA Families, Vol. I, Buckner Family, page 496:

Mr. R A Brock, in a letter dated November 10, 1893, writes as follows:

"I have gleanings from the despoiled Charles City county records establishing that Lt. John Stith married in the latter part of 1656, Jane, the widow of Jospeh Parsons; (his, Parsons, second wife, he having an infant child by a former marriage); Jane's was a second marriage also, her first husband having been Thomas Gregory.

"In 1663, John Stith was made the guardian of Judith Parsons, the orphan of Joseph Parsons, vice Edward MOsby, deceased." (it then gives a copy of the will), then...

The two following epitaphs are from Hazlewood, near Port Royal, VA:

"Here lies the body of Judith Buckner who departed this life the 19th day of June, 1757."

"Here lies the body of Susanna Morton, daughter of Mr Richard Buckner, who departed this life 27th July, 1739, in the eighteenth year of her age."

The following was published in the Caroline Sentinel, October 1 1884. It is on the farm of T H Braadley, near New London, Caroline Co, VA:


Stith relationship (From Rootsweb site)

Posted by Sarah Rafte <> on Fri, 05 Nov 1999

Surname: Stith

My Stith connection is: John Stith and Jane Moseby had a daughter Agnes Stith who married a Thomas Wynne. They had a daughter, Lucretia Wynne, who married Joseph Tucker. Joseph Tucker had a Robert Tucker, who had another Robert who had Paschal J. Tucker who had Ann Elizabeth Tucker who married John HT Darby in Dinwiddie Co. John HT is my great great grandfather. Agnes Stith Wynne is my 7th great grandmother (I think). My uncle was named after two maternal grandmothers Preston, Penelope (my Cleaton line) and Stith (the Tucker/Darby line).

Hope this helps