Two Thomas Reynolds

There are records of two persons named Thomas Reynolds in Isle of Wight County and Lower Norfolk County.

First, I note that a patent was issued to Anthony Mathews on 1 February 1664/5 for 650 acres in Isle of Wight County for transportation of 13 persons, among them a “Tho. Reighnolds”.1  There are no further records of a Thomas Reynolds in Isle of Wight, meaning that he may be one of the two persons below.

Thomas Reynolds of Lower Norfolk County

Thomas Reynolds first appears in Lower Norfolk records as an appraiser of the estate of Thomas Edwards on 16 February 1648/9.2  A patent was issued to Thomas “Rennolls” on 16 April 1653 for 100 acres on the southwest side of Daniel Tanner’s Creek in Lower Norfolk County for transportation of two persons.3

He was probably the same person as “Tho: Reinolds”, one of eight persons for whom Lemuel Mason obtained a headright certificate in Lower Norfolk on 6 April 1649.4   Mason sold that headright certificate, and “Tho. Rennolds” was claimed as a headright a year later, on 13 March 1649/50, by John Cabbidge for land in Lower Norfolk on Little Creek, only about three miles from that 1653 patent to Thomas Reynolds.5

A letter written by Thomas “Renalls” of Lower Norfolk County was recorded (apparently after his death) on 28 April 1658 in Lower Norfolk.6  The letter was written to his “very loving sister” Elizabeth Renalls of St. John’s Gate, Bristol and refers to “my daughter” who was apparently living in England, as well as to “my aunt” and “my cousin James”.  The sister Elizabeth Reynolds, who had deposed herself to be age 41 in 1657, was the widow of William Reynolds, mariner, “brother of Thomas Renalls late of East Smithfield, London, mariner, deceased.”7   The daughter was named Elizabeth Reynolds, according to the same record.

Another Thomas Reynolds

A different Thomas Reynolds was named a son-in-law in the will of George Ashall of Lower Norfolk County.  [The name is “Ashwell” in other Lower Norfolk records.]  This will, dated 1 September 1671 and proved 17 February 1671/2, mentions “my daughter Elizabeth wife of Thomas Reynolds”.8  Elizabeth Ashwell was named a goddaughter in the will of Peter Markes in 1656, indicating she was still unmarried at that time.9

Thomas Reynolds apparently died within a few years leaving no issue, for a deed dated 16 September 1685 by James Peters of Little Creek speaks of 200 acres sold by Robert Blake to Thomas Reynolds “who dyeing without issue living” fell to John Reynolds “brother and heire to the said Thomas Reynolds” who sold to James Peters on 16 April 1679.10  [This is the only record of a John Reynolds in Lower Norfolk, suggesting he may have lived elsewhere.]  A patent to Charles Griffin in 1694 speaks of a different parcel of 208 acres at the head of Little Creek sold by Thomas Reynolds to Robert Blake sometime after 1661.11

On 23 October 1690 James Peters received a patent for transportation of 13 persons, among them Richard Ashall and Thomas Reynolds – both of whom had apparently arrived in Virginia forty years earlier.


Stephen F. Tillman in his book also concluded that the above records were for two different Thomas Reynolds, one of whom he did not address.  He identified the husband of Elizabeth Ashall as a Thomas Reynolds born circa 1655, who later moved to New Kent County.  Note, though, that this is unlikely, for it makes Thomas Reynolds barely 16 years old when he was named a son-in-law of George Ashall.

  1. Virginia Patent Book 5, p153. []
  2. Lower Norfolk County Minute Book (Wills & Deeds) 1646-1651, p114.  The name is written here as either “Thomas Ringold” or “Thomas Renyold”, but seems clearly to refer to the same person since Edwards was a neighbor. []
  3. Virginia Patent Book 3, p241.  Daniel Tanner’s Creek is now called the Lafayette River. []
  4. Lower Norfolk County Minute Book (Wills & Deeds) 1646-1651, p113.  Five of the eight headrights named in the certificate were used by Henry Brakes on 13 March 1649/50, the same day as John Cabbidge’s patent.  Two of the other three names were not used in patents, but Thomas Reynolds was surely the same person claimed by Cabbidge, a close neighbor of Lemuel Mason. []
  5. Virginia Patent Book 2, p196. []
  6. William & Mary Quarterly, Vol.7, No. 2, pp112-3. []
  7. Ibid., p133. []
  8. Lower Norfolk County Deeds and Wills Book E, p134. []
  9. Lower Norfolk County Deeds & Wills Book D, p10.  Dated 19 August 1656, the will named Anne Ashall, Richard Ashall, goddaughter Elizabeth Ashall, and appoints George Ashall executor. []
  10. Lower Norfolk County Deed Book 4, p207 reproduced in Allied Families of Delaware…, Edwin Jaquett Sellers, p37. []
  11. Virginia Patent Book 8, p320.  The 20 April 1694 patent by Charles Griffin for 208 acres at the head of Little Creek was granted to Charles Edgerton on 20 September 1661 then assigned to Edward Holms and William Olifant, and by them sold “to Thomas Reynolds and by the said Reynolds sold and assigned to Robert Blake” whose son and heir Arthur Blake sold to John Snayle.  John Snayle then sold the land on 14 June 1684, thus putting an envelope around the time frame. []