William Bobbet, The Immigrant, Sources and Explanations


Marsha Berry

Updated April 10, 2005

Information found at Ancestry.com


  • ID: I3659
  • Name: William BOBBET [Senior]
  • Surname: BOBBET
  • Given Name: William
  • NSFX: [Senior]
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 12 Aug 1647 in Saint Mary,Woodbridge,Suffolk,England
  • Christening: 12 Aug 1647 Saint Mary,Woodbridge,Suffolk,England
  • Death: AFT 18 Jun 1712 in Bristol Parish, Prince George near Dinwiddie border,Virginia,USA
  • Burial: AFT 18 Jun 1712 Ferry Chapel S. of Petersburg, Bristol Parish, Dinwiddlie & Prince George border,Virginia,USA
  • LDS Baptism: 12 Mar 1985 Temple: JRIVE
  • Endowment: 12 Mar 1985 Temple: JRIVE
  • _UID: B5FFD09A6F221344A0FB2349BC4A4B81DF40
  • Sealing Child: 15 May 1985 Temple: JRIVE
  • Note:

    William Bobbet
    Christening: 12 Aug 1647 Saint Mary, Woodbridge, Suffolk, England
    Father: William Bobbet
    Mother: Francisse
    Parish registers,
    1545-1910 Church of England. Parish Church of Woodbridge

    Burial: Ferry Chapel S. of Petersburg, Bristol Parish, Prince George
    near Dinwiddie border, Virginia

    Ferry Chapel
    The Vestry Book and Register of Bristol Parish, Virginia.

    William Bobbet sold 95 of the 96 acres of his land granted to
    him on 27 October 1673 near the present day town of
    Hopewell and made this sale on 12 May 1703. William
    Bobbet lived on that one acre of land until the time was right
    and he bought land on 18 June 1712 south of the present day
    town of Petersburg, Virginia.
    Note: Hopewell and Petersburg are 20 miles apart, a little
    more than a day's ride on a horse. Then it is another 11
    miles from Petersburg to Jones Hole Swamp south of
    today's Templeton.

    William Bobbet purchased 90 acres of land on 18 June 1712
    South side of Jones Hole Swamp on the Dinwiddie County,
    Virginia border. As William Bobbet is buried south of today's
    Petersburg, Virginia, then he died after his land purchase in
    1712 as this land went to his son William Bobbitt Junior in
    1712 and his son William Bobbitt sold the land and purchased
    land in Rocky Run in 1718 and 1725.

    Survey for William Bobbit
    18 June 1712
    Prince George County [Virginia]
    90 acres on South Side of Jones Hole Swamp
    Prince George County Virginia Surveys 1710-1724 page 2

    According to the Cash/Malone/Wynne genealogy:
    "Her father Thomas Wynne gave the couple 98 acres
    "on ye south side of James Hole Swamp." In those
    days "swamp" meant an area around a slow-moving
    stream. It was a valuable piece of land."

    Jones Hole Swamp is 20 miles East of Rocky Run
    Jones Hole Swamp is a few miles south of
    Templeton, Virginia.

    Survey for William Bobbit
    5 Dec 1718
    on West Side of Rocky Run
    Prince George County Virginia Surveys 1710-1724 page 2

    Rocky Run is 20 miles West of Jones Hole Swamp
    Rocky Run is near the today's town of Dinwiddie, Virginia

    Survey for William Bobbitt
    17 Aug 1725
    Prince George County [Virginia]
    254 acres on West Side of Rocky Run
    Land Office Patients No. 12, 1724-1726, p. 278 [Reel 11]

    Virginia County Boundary Changes:
    1643-1701 Henrico, then Charles City, then Prince George County.

    William Bobbet's son William Bobbitt Junior
    1712 - received his father's land near Jones Hole Swamp
    1718 - purchased land near Rocky Run
    1725 - purchased land near Rocky Run

    William Bobbet's son John of Chowan Bobbitt
    1718 - received land in North Carolina

    William Bobbet's son John [of Chowan] Bobbitt
    North Carolina Archives
    Chowan County, North Carolina Cross Index to Deeds - Grantees
    1696 - 1878 Vol. B, Page 643
    State Archives
    Raleigh, North Carolina

    Transaction: Deed of gift
    1st Grantee Last Name: Bobbett
    1st Grantee First Name: John
    Grantor First Name: Jno
    Grantor Last Name: Owen
    Year: 1718

    Note: The above can be seen on RootsWeb.com

    Note: There are those who theorize that William Bobbit and his
    wife were married in Glamorgan, Wales, but, there are no Bobbit
    or Sturdivant entries on the Glamorgan pre-1837 Marriage Index.

    "There are no Bobbitt or Sturdivant entries on the Glamorgan
    pre 1837 Marriage Index, " Source: John Garath of the South/West
    Wales Look-up Exchange, Glamorgan-L Archives, Rootsweb.com.

    "Initially, Virginia was colonized under royal charters issued by
    James I to the London Company. However, in 1624, the London
    Company was dissolved and Virgnia became a Royal Colony under
    the direct rule of the King. The basic doctrine of land tenure
    throughout the colonial period was that all land was held immediately
    by the King, to be dispensed by the royal officials of the colonial
    government in accordance to the wishes of the King. Patients [grants]
    to land in Virginia were issued in accordance with the "Headrights
    system." Under this system, every person [or headright] who paid his
    own way to Virginia would be assigned 50 acres of land, and if he
    transported, at his own cost, one or more other persons/headrights,
    he would, for each person whose passage he also paid, be awarded
    an additional 50 acres of land."'
    From Section 2 - Colonial Virginia Land Grants, Norfleets of
    Colonial VA on the internet.

    Immigration to Virginia Encouraged by:
    Inflation and Population Explosion in England
    Headright System - 50 acres/paid passage
    Indentured Servitude - work of passage
    From West Valley Education

    1673 - Land Grant to William Bobbitt on October 27, 1673 is in the
    Virginia State Archives in Richmond, Virginia. This record is from
    Land Grants, Book 6, page 481. In London, England, October 27,
    1673 William Bobbit paid for the land grant to guarantee his
    passage to Virginia, so at his arrival, the date of his October 27,
    1673 payment in London, England was recorded in Virginia.

    A Land Grant purchased and paid for in London, England papers
    have the date of that purchase written on a temporary Land Grant
    to be given to the Governor of Virginia office upon arrival in
    Virginia, then another document by the Governor of Virginia
    office is drawn up with the original payment day on it.

    William Bobbet's Land Grant:;

    WILL BOBBETT, 96 A., 3 R., 24 P., Chas. City Co.
    S. side Appomatock Riv, neigh. Mr. Whittington; on
    Major Epes line; & the Cattale Br., 27 Oct. 1673, p.
    481. Trans. of 2 pers: John Lead, Richard Tonstall.

    Source: Book: "Cavaliers and Pioneers, Abstracts of
    Virginia Patients and Grants," Vol. II, 1666-1695, by
    Nell Marion Nugent, page 134.

    Source below: THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA Web Site:

    Bobbett, Will.
    27 Oct 1673
    Location: Charles City County
    Description: 96 acres 3 r. 24 po. of the South side of
    Appomattox River; adjoining the land of Mr. Whittington,
    thence &c. nigh the Cattail branch.
    Source: Land Office Patents No. 6, 1666-1679 [pt. 1 & 2,
    p. 1-6921], page 181 [Reel 6]

    On The Library of Virginia Web Site, the hyperlink above Will.
    Bobbett's name takes a person to the handwritten William
    Bobbett 27 Oct 1673 Charles City County, Virginia Land Grant


    To all &c: Whereas &c: Now know ye that by said Sir William
    Berkeley Knit [Knight] Goverr [Governor] &c: Give and Granst
    [Grants] unto the said William Bobbett a divident of Land
    conteynning [containing] ninety six acres three rods 24 po
    [poles]: on the said south side & off [of the] Appomattox River
    in Charles City County extending as fflolloweth [follows] - 1 br
    [branch] beginning at a point of a hickory nigh Mo [Mr]
    Whittington his line and running no. [north]: said line; 1/3 said
    line: 200 poles along mair [mayor or major] Cooper his line to
    a corner to a corner: Continueing said same coursse [course]
    40 po [poles]: to a small red oake nigh said Cattale [Cattail]
    Stream along the line: by 80: 80 po [poles]: to a header of a
    valley to a white oake &c marked four waise [ways], 80 degrees;
    56 po [poles]: to Mr. Whittington his line then up his line ne
    [northeast]: by 80: 296 po [poles]; no [north]: 6 po [poles], to
    said place aforementioned the said ' Land due by and for ye
    transportation of two p'sons [persons] into this Colony to have
    and to hold &c: to he held &c: yielding and payding [paying]
    &c: provided &c; Dated this said 27th day of October 1673.
    John Leader and Richard Tonstall

    It is questioned why on the internet one person thinks the
    name on William Bobbet's 1673 land grant is John Lead
    or Ladd when the correct name is John Leader.
    1673 LAND GRANT

    John Ladd is not the person on William Bobbet's 1673
    land grant.

    Facts about John Ladd:
    Birth about 1648 in Lynnhaven Parish, Norfolk, Virginia
    and died on 10 Feb 1680/1681 in Henrico County, Virginia
    John Ladd was already in Virginia so he was not
    transported from England to Virginia and would not be
    the correct person on William Bobbet's 1673 land grant.

    Note: It was not necessary in the transfer of 2 persons
    John Leader and Richard Tonstall to be with
    William Bobbet when they traveled from England to Virginia.

    MAJOR FRANCIS EPES, 927 A., 2 R., 16 P., Henrico Co.,
    N. side of Appomatock Riv., on Swift Cr., 27 Oct 1673,
    Trans. of 20 pers.....

    Source: Book: "Cavaliers and Pioneers, Abstracts of
    Virginia Patients and Grants," Vol. II: 1666-1695, by
    Nell Marion Nugent., page 134.

    FRANCIS WHITTINGTON, 1200 acs., Chas. City Co.,
    S. side Appomattock Riv., at the head of Baylye's Cr.,
    30 Oct. 1673, p. 484, 900 acs. granted Tho. & Henry
    Bates, who sold to sd. Whittington; 300 acs. for trans.
    of 6 pers: Barth. Batts, Jno. Cumber, Robt. Mevill [?],
    Jno. Collins, Mary Mahanes, Elizab. Wood.

    Source: Book: "Cavaliers and Pioneers, Abstracts of
    Virginia Patients and Grants, Vol. II: 1666-1695, by
    Nell Marion Nugent, page 136.

    27 Oct 1673 - William Bobbet
    27 Oct 1673 -- Major Francis Epes
    30 Oct 1673 - Francis Whittington

    Question: Why was Francis Whittington on William
    Bobbett's Land Grant 3 days Before he had his
    own land grant on 30 Oct?

    William Bobbet came from England to Virginia -
    and arrived in 1674.
    Major John Epes was already in Virginia Oct 1673
    Francis Whittington was already in Virginia Oct 1673

    The Library of Virginia, Land Office Grants
    Whittington, Francis
    29 July 1650
    Grantee[s]: Yarrett, William; and Francis Whittington
    Description: 580 acres.
    Source: Land Office Patients No. 2, 1643-1651, p. 216 [Reel 2]

    Francis Epes reportedly was born 19 Nov 1627 in London,
    Middlesex, England or Charles City County, Virginia and
    married Elizabeth Littleberry about 1660 in Henrico County,
    Virginia and he died 2 Dec 1678 in Henrico County, Virginia.

    Francis Whittington reportedly was born in 1624 in Nottingham,
    England and married Elizabeth about 1647 in Virginia.

    Below is one of the internet versions of William Bobbet's land
    grant which is not quite corrrect. Each internet version is a little
    different from the other.

    "To all to whom these presents shall come, greeting to our Lord
    God everlasting; whereas, it doth please our Soverign Lord King
    Charles the Second; Now, know ye that, I Lord and Governor,
    William Berkeley, appointed by the King, Governor of this
    commonwealth,... Give, and Grant unto the said WILLIAM
    BOBBITT, a divident of land, containing ninety six acres,.... The
    said land being due by transportation of two persons into this
    colony, to have and to hold etc. .Dated on this day, the 27th of
    October, 1673, Witnesses: John Leader, Richard Tonstall

    John Leader was not a witness, but was a transported person.

    A possible John Leader on William Bobbet's 1673 land grant
    but not in stone is:
    John Leader chr 21 May 1653 Saint Giles Cripplegate, London,
    London, England
    Father: John Leader
    Parish registers of St. Giles Cripplegate Church [London, 1559-1936
    Church of England. St. Giles Cripplegate Church [London]

    Richard Tonstall chr 26 Jan 1644 Rystone, Yorkshire, England
    Father: William Tonstall
    The registers of Fartham, Yorkshire, 1569-1812

    William Tonstall's brother Anthony Tonstall b. 12 Sep 1598 St. Mary
    Whitechapel, Stepney, London, England married Elizabeth Hutchinson
    20 Dec 1648 in Saint Abchurch, London, England.

    In contrast, if you can not pay for your Land Grant in England, but
    have someone else pay your way to Virginia, you will have an
    indentured Land Grant and when you arrive in Virginia you will
    have an indentured Land Grant drawn up in Virginia by the
    Proprietor of your county, not the Governor of Virginia.

    This is the Indentured Land Grant of one of my Crabb family, not
    related to the Bobbet's:

    "The Right Honorable Thomas Lord Fairfax Baron of Cameron
    in that part of Great Britain called Scotland Proprietor of The
    Northen Neck of Virginia, To all to whom this present Writing
    shall come sends Greeting. Know ye that for good Causes for
    and in Consideration of the confirmed and by these Presents
    for me and my Heirs and Assignes do give, grant, and confirm
    unto Edward Crabb of Berkeley County, a certain tract of Waste
    and ungranted Land on the Middle Fork of Sleepy Creek
    in the said County,.... dated the Sixth day of April 1778.
    William Crabb Deed for 432A. Signed Fairfax"

    Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500's - 1900's
    Name: Wm. Bobett
    Year: 1674
    Place: Virginia
    Source: Cavaliers and Pioneers, Abstracts of Virginia Land Patients
    and Grants, Vol. 2: 1666-1695. Indexed by Claudia B. Grundman.
    Richmond, VA: Virginia State Library, 1977, 609 p,, Nell Marion
    Page: 146

    Note: Cavaliers are from England, not Wales. And, land patients or
    grants were issued by the King of England, not Wales.

    Note: The land patient books provide the date of the patient, number
    of acres of land granted, general location of the land, and [when
    granted upon a headright basis] the individual names of the
    headrights/persons for whom the land was granted.

    Late 1673 and 1674 Immigration: Ship "Martha" sail to Virginia from
    London, England, stop in Wales.
    Wm Bobett
    Voyage Origin: Felixstowe, Suffolk, England to London, England
    Voyage: London, England to Virginia

    Abraham Wheelock filed a Will Aug 1673, "Being now
    outwards bound on a voyage to the seas and with all considering
    the dangers hazards..." Documents are found in the Public
    Records Office in London stating that Abraham Wheelock was
    the shipmaster of the Martha and the Good Hope. Will probated
    11/372, Public Records Office, London, Documents E190/59/01
    and E190/72/1, Public Records Office, London.

    Abraham Wheelock - shipmaster of ships "Martha" and
    "Good Hope"

    Only passengers on the flyboat "Martha" 1673:
    Wm Bobbet -
    Abram Estes - Indentured to Thoroughgood Keeling,
    who arranged and paid for passage from England
    John Skinner -
    The above was taken from later 2004 notes of the
    Bobbet, Estes and Skinner genealogy.
    This submitter still waiting availabilty of book temporarily
    off the shelves - Virginia Section - Mesa Regional Family
    History Center

    John Skinner
    Birth: 23 Jan 1653 Saint Gregory, Sudbury, Suffolk, England
    Father: Richard Skinner
    Mother: Ledea
    Messages: Extracted birth or christening record
    Parish registers, 1652-1872 Church of England. St. Gregory's
    Church [Sudbury, Suffolk]
    Microfilm of originals at the County Record Office, Bury St. Edmunds

    Note: Even though George Cabell Greer's book: Early Virginia
    Immigrants 1623-1666, does not include the years 1673 and 1674,
    in the online Virginia Help List, William Meacham said:
    "This is an alpabetical listing of ca. 20,000 immigrants with the
    following information: name of immigrant, date [probably the year
    in which "headright" was claimed, rather than the immigrant's
    arrival date in Virginia, name of patentee or other party importing
    the immigrant, county. Rarely, there is other information, such as
    "his wife."

    Thus, if William Bobbet had a wife with him, his land grant could
    have been stated "his wife," instead, William Bobbet seemed to
    travel alone, but he did have sufficient enough money to also
    transport two others who were not on the ship with William
    Bobbet, "The said land being due by transportation of two persons
    into this colony, to have and to hold etc." And, to have and to hold is
    not part of a marriage vow here.

    The language "to have and to hold," means that at the time of
    William Bobbet's purchase of his land grant in England, he was a
    single man, for if he had a wife with him his land grant would have
    read: "to have and to hold the said tract of land to the said William
    Bobbet and his heirs by these present forever...." Instead in this
    case "to have and to hold " means that if William Bobbet does not
    marry and have heirs, his land goes back to the King of England.

    William Bobbet did marry and had 3 sons.

    "William Berkeley lead the military against the colony's remainng
    Native Americans. He also organized the defence that prevented a
    Dutch landing on the Virginia coast in 1673."
    From Education of the Internet & Teaching History Online,
    Immigration to the USA on www.spartacus.schoolnet.co,uk

    Conclusion: The ship "Martha" had to be a British ship with British
    crew and passengers.

    Artist Jacob Knyff painted what he saw at the England port in late
    1673. The ship, an English flyboat, loaded with guns, and a few
    passengers, less than 5, was the ship "Martha."

    Jacob Knyff: 1638 - 1681
    Dock Scene at a British Port by Knyff
    Date 1673
    Materials: Oil on canvas
    Measurements: Painting 965.2 x 1270 mm

    England and Dutch ships taking on stores or cargo at a port. The
    activities relating to the loading has been closely observed. It has
    been set in a harbor, with the tower of a gate and a quay visable on
    the right, and the coast in the distance on the left. An England
    flagship is on the right, firing a salute and flying the ensign from
    the stern carved with the royal coat of arms. Beside the quay is
    an English flyboat that, from her shape, was probably Dutch-built.
    A royal yacht is arriving on the left and this has prompted the firing
    of the salute. On the extreme left is the stern of a Dutch ship. On
    the quay two bales of stores or goods with clear markings have
    been positioned in the foreground. Men are involved in loading up
    small craft. a horse dragging a barrel on skids to the water's edge
    and there are several groups of gentlemen and women observing
    the activities. A guard stands outside a sentry box in the gate-way.

    From 1673 Knyff's output appears to have been mostly British
    coastal or river scenes, with increasing emphasis on accurate and
    colourful depiction of the great ships of the Stuart navy. Although
    Dutch-born Knyff came to England when Charles II issued a general
    invitation to Dutch artists and craftmen to work in England in 1672.
    Although the two countries were at war, patronage for artists in
    Holland had diminished and a number took advantage of this offer,
    including the van de Veldes and Knyff.

    Source: National Maritime Museum, London, England

    Cockett's chapter on Jacob Wouterazoon Knyff in "Early Sea Painters"
    contains a list of Knyff's 37 paintings, some colour illustrations and a
    short sketch of Knyff's life and background. Jacob Knyff worked and
    died in England. As Charles II ordered, Knyff's paintings must be
    what he personally witnessesd.

  • end