Tuesday, May 12, 2009

St Peter's Parish

St. Peter's Parish, New Kent County, VA
Today I will introduce you to a place prominent in my (our) family history. St Peter's Parish is located not far from Richmond in New Kent County, VA. It was established on 29 Apr 1679 and continues to be an active parish today. It is also the oldest church in the Diocese of Virginia. It is the church where Martha Dandridge Custis married her second husband George Washington on 6 Jan 1759, thus earning the nickname "The First Church of the First Lady". So, what does all this mean to us? Descendants from both sides of my family are listed in the parish records.
Based on the research by Betty Collie and Robert King in their book The Collie Family, the Richardson family of Halifax and Pittsylvania Counties, VA trace back to Skip Richardson of New Kent County, VA. Skip and his wife Margaret are believed to be the probable great-grandparents of Elijah Richardson (my great x 4 grandfather). The line of descent looks something like this: Esther Lee, Daniel, George, Elijah, Thomas Jr, Thomas Sr, Skip. Richardsons show up in the St Peter's Parish vestry book as early as the 1720's documenting Skip Richardson's children's births. By the time of the 1782 Halifax County census, it appears that Thomas Jr and his family were living in Halifax County, having followed other family members who were already there.
In their book above, Betty Collie and Robert King present very detailed and well documented information about the Richardson family genealogy. The above information is from their research, not my own. If you ever get the opportunity to read their book, I highly recommend it. I have not found any more copies available to purchase, but many historical and/or genealogy libraries have copies. On an interesting note, I found myself listed in their book! I suppose I went so far back I found myself.
The Maddox family are also found among the parish records. Our earliest known ancestor was John Maddox born 1667 in Wales and died 1718 in St Peter's Parish. His wife Margaret's death is also listed in the vestry book. Several of their children's early 1700's births are listed in the parish's vestry book. The Maddoxes left New Kent in the 1720's and moved to Goochland Co, VA and then between 1774/1777, David Maddox moved the family to the Cape Fear River in Chatham County, NC . Descendants still live the area today. Why the family left VA for NC is not known. To give a perspective, the line of descent (maybe ascent?) is Mattie Maddox, James T, Calvin, Tarlton, David, John, John.
Connecting the NC Maddoxes with the VA Maddoxes is circumstantial. Research back that far can be hard to confirm and I would like to have more solid evidence connecting David and John Maddox. Some researchers disagree with the connecting John Sr and John Jr. I suppose that's what makes all this so fun!
I hope you enjoyed this post and I did not just muddy the waters. Walking where your ancestors walked 300 years ago can be humbling.
Back View of St Peter's Parish


  1. Whew, it's tough to tell if we are distantly related. I believe that Skip Richardson may be the father of Susannah Richardson who married a Thomas Black? If so, they had a child named Susan Black who married one William R. Turner. This Susan and William had a son named Cornelius Turner who married Martha Jane Brantley. One of their daughter's Susan Elizabeth Turner married my Great Grandfather William Hopkins Bailey in Louisiana. Not holding my breath... Thanks, Nolan Bailey

  2. Thanks so much for the comment! I have not done a large amount of research on Skip Richardson's lines beyond my direct line. I look forward to learning more about Skip Richardson's other lines. Lisa


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