Page prepared by Dr. Donald Richardson

Issue: When did Robert Richardson (d1682) arrive in the Colonies?

Until I applied to become a member of the Order of Founders and Patriots of America, I  had not given this much thought. In my line, I have 2 ancestors who can be listed as Patriots, but I needed Robert Richardson (d1682) to be a Founder or in the Colonies within 50 years of the founding of the Jamestowne Colony i.e. before May 14, 1657!

Background: There are two references citing a Robert Richardson arriving in the Colonies in 1615. One was age 20 [1], the other age 33 [2]. Both would have been too old to be the Robert Richardson who married Susan Smith (c1642-?) and was about her age. There are also two references for Robert Richardsons in different parts of Virginia: one went to Nutmeg Quarter, near Charles City now Prince George County area in 1639 [3] - this Robert Richardson was referenced with a wife named Mary in 1655 [5]. In Gloucester County, we find that a Mr. Thomas Peck had brought to Virginia a number of people for his Patent of land, one of whom was a Robert Richardson [4]. We can trace Robert Richardson (d1682) back to December 1659 [6] in Northampton County, VA where he bought sheep along with his brother-in-law Nathaniel Bradford. The early colonial times the part of York County which became Gloucester County in 1639 (on the mainland between the York and Rappahannock Rivers) and Northampton County (after 1642, Northampton/Accomack Counties) of Eastern Shore of Virginia were connected by commerce and regular trading routes were established [7] due to their close proximity [When I was sailing, this would have been a easy day trip, depending on the wind direction (see map below)]. Also, when I was at the Nabb Research Center of Salisbury University, MD they have archives from Northampton and Accomack Counties Virginia as well as from Maryland and Delaware due to the migration patterns of the early emigrants! It has yet to be confirmed that the Thomas Peck, who moved to and died in Old Somerset County, Maryland is the same one who was on the Gloucester County, Virginia 1655 patent and on the adjoining land was listed as owned by Major Taylor - He may be the Major [Wm.]Taylor who was one of the men who conducted court at Accomack Co ...

Hence, I conclude that Robert Richardson (d1682) of Mount Ephraim Plantation arrived in the Colonies by 6 April 1655 in Gloucester County, Virginia. Who later moved straight across Chesapeake Bay to Northampton County, VA before December 1659. In c1666 he and his family moved to the Mount Ephraim Plantation, which was then in Accomack County, VA. In 1668, the VA- MD line was changed so that Robert Richardson and family then lived in Somerset County, MD! Later in 1742 that part of Somerset County, MD became Worcester County, MD, which it is called today.

Taken from "Tobacco Coast A Maritime History of Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era" by Arthur Pierce Middleton The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore (1953) pg 45

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[1] The Original Lists of Persons of Quality by John Camden Hotten page 50.

[2] Ibid. page 128.

[3] Cavaliers and Pioneers by Nell Marion Nugent page 111.

[4] Ibid. pages 306-307.

[5] Virginia Land Records Indexed by Gary Parks page 615.

[6] Northampton County Virginia Record Book Court  Cases Vol 8,
1657-1664
Howard Mackey  and  Marlene A. Groves page 151.

[7] Conversations with researchers from Accomack and Gloucester Counties.

Donald Richardson, PhD