1619 Genealogy – Documents the Descendants of the First Africans to Arrive in Virginia
For 400 years, they were only known as the “Twenty & Odd.” Now, we know their names, their status, their descendants and the contributions they made to the survival of Virginia. The following is a shortlist and below are their stories.
- Frances Driggers
- Emmanuel Driggers
- Peter George
- Antoney Tucker
- Isabel Tucker
- Michael Blizzard
- Katherine Blizzard
- Anthony (Tony) Longo
- Anthony Johnson
- Mary Johnson
- Juan Pedro
- Edward Mozingo
- John Gowen
- Margaret Cornish
- Anthony (Toney) King
- John Francisco
- Bashaw Farnando
- Francis Payne/Pane
- Phillip Mongon/Mongom
- Paul Carter
- Benjamin Doll/Dial
Peter was the first documented African child in Virginia
Peter, who became known as Peter George was the first documented African child in Virginia. Peter and his mother, Frances’s relocation to Bennett’s plantation was one of the very few relocations of the Africans recorded in colonial Virginia. Peter was listed with his mother at Abraham Piersey’s (the Cape Merchant) plantation as early as 1621 – 1622 and again in 1624 – 1625. However, in 1623 they were at Bennett’s plantation, representing Piersey’s contribution to the building of the lookout fort located just east of Bennett’s on the south shore of the James River.
By 1640, Peter was found in Northampton County working for Nathaniel Littleton, where he was identified as a “Negro carpenter.” He married Joan Johnson, daughter of Anthony Johnson. They had two children, Jane and Anthony. In 1656 Peter’s son, Anthony (Little Tony), and daughter, Jane, were listed in a will of Littleton’s wife, Ann. In 1664 Peter was again found taxable in the Littleton family, tithable under Francis Littleton in Northampton County. Sometime during 1664-1665, Peter George, a carpenter, began working for Captain Francis Pigot (Piggot). About 1676, Peter George received a release from his indenture with the promise to pay ten thousand pounds of tobacco to his master. He completed the last payment in 1682. In 1684 Captain Francis Pigot, Littleton’s kin, made his will in Northampton County, Virginia, listing Peter’s son Anthony George.
The attached picture is the view from Bennett’s Plantation on the south side of the James River overlooking the Chesapeake where Peter and his mother were living in 1623.
The Johnsons; Antonio and Maria
Antonio and Maria become known as Anthony and Mary Johnson. They both arrived in Virginia from England courtesy of the Earl of Warwick. The likelihood that their passage was on the San Juan Bautista remains strong, yet documentation to confirm this is sparse. They would have been aboard the Treasurer when it arrived in Bermuda in 1619 after mysteriously leaving Virginia. In 1621, Antonio and Maria were put aboard the James, by Governor Nathaniel Butler in Bermuda and sailed for England. When they reached port, they were taken directly to Warwick’s estate of Leez Priory. Defiant to the Earl of Warwick’s requests, Anthony quickly found himself back on the James and on his way to Virginia. By November 1621, Antonio’s name had been anglicized to Anthony and he was at Edward Bennett’s plantation on the south side of the James River overlooking Burwell Bay, the outmost post accessible to Warwick. Bennett was a devout Puritan and a known loyal associate of the Earl of Warwick.
In March 1622, Anthony was one of a handful of settlers to survive the Native uprising responsible for slaughtering one-third of Virginia’s overall population and killing more than fifty settlers at Bennett’s plantation. For a time, the plantation is abandoned. Within six months, after an agreement for a lookout fort to be built there, Bennett’s plantation is reestablished.
Maria arrived in Virginia on the Margaret and John in late 1622 from England. Like Anthony, Maria anglicized her name to Mary, possibly camouflaging her Catholic heritage. By 1624 Mary was documented alongside Anthony on the south side of the James River at Bennett’s Welcome in Warrasquarake. By 1635 Anthony and Mary were married and living at John Upton’s plantation on the south side of the James, where they were listed as headrights. Upton had confirmed his patent with thirty-three headrights, which included two Africans: Anthony and Mary. Shortly thereafter, the Johnsons were documented as residents of the Eastern Shore.
On January 10, 1647, Anthony Johnson purchased a calf from James Berry, by a deed proven in Northampton County, Virginia. This purchase started Johnson’s livestock venture, which quickly grew into a major monopoly on the Eastern Shore in Northampton County.
The Johnson’s had four (4) children:
John, b. ca. 1631
Richard, b. ca 1632
Joan, b. unknown, wife of Peter George
Daughter, b. unknown.
In 1653 Anthony Johnson took his servant, Casor, to court to fight his neighbor from confiscating him from Johnson’s possession. Anthony won his case, but unfortunately for Casor, this court battle left him a servant to the Johnsons for all of his natural life. By 1665 Anthony and Mary Johnson had sold their land in Northampton County, with the exception of fifty acres they left to their son Richard. Joining them in their move to Somerset County, Maryland, was their son John and his wife Susanna along with John Casor, and fourteen head of cattle, a mare, and eighteen sheep. It must be noted that the Johnsons moved to Maryland in the vicinity of Richard Bennett, Johnson’s original master’s kin, who exerted a heavy Puritan influence.
In Maryland, many years later, Anthony and Mary’s grandson owned a small plantation he called Angola – a clear gesture to their heritage.
The Three Generations of Edward
Edward, (first generation) was aboard the Treasurer and would have been among the Africans who returned from Bermuda before March 1620. Edward is documented at Kingsmill Plantation at Ye Neck of the Land, a mile north of Jamestown Island in the List of the Living in February 1623 and again at Kingsmill Plantation in the Muster of 1624/25. It must be noted, Kingsmill plantation wasn’t always owned by Kingsmill. In 1619, Reverend Richard Buck patented 500 acres bounded by Mill Creek on the west. It’s questionable whether Buck ever resided at Ye Neck of the Land, rather residing at Jamestown. In 1622, during the Native uprising, Reverend Buck was killed. After his death, Richard Kingsmill became the caretaker of Buck’s children and executor for Buck’s property in Ye Neck of the Land, eventually known as Kingsmill.
Sometimes, between 1641 and 1644, Edward Mozingo, Edward’s son was born. On October 5, 1672, Edward completed his apprenticeship to Colonel John Walker.
By 1664, Edward Mozingo III was born. Edward III married Sarah Grinstead about 1690. Mozingo is mentioned with his children, Sarah and John, in Sarah’s mother’s last will and testament. Sarah was the sister of Ann Grinstead. The Grinstead family descended from the union of a mixed-race girl, Elizabeth Key, and her European husband, attorney John Grinstead. In July 1656, John Grinstead represented Elizabeth Key when she sued the colony for her freedom and won. The representation was prior to their marriage. Edward, like his father before him, indentured his son, Edward, to secure his future by giving him an end-date to his indenture.
The Picture below is the trail/road to Ye Neck of Land.