Immigrants 1607-1776

Immigrants 1607-1776
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The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607-1776

PRO.  Public Record Office.  Most references are to documents held at
the PRO, Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1 LR, England;; those references
with a CO prefix are held at the PRO, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU,

20 September 1614.  Instruction to Sir Thomas Dale to send home Eliazar
Hopkins from Virginia by the next ship. (CSPC)

18 September 1620.  Certificate of the Mayor of Bristol of 56
passengers embarked in the Supply for Virginia under Captain William
Richard Hopkins

16 February 1624.  List of the names of the living in Virginia and of
those who have died since April 1623: Ouills. (PRO:CO1/3/2).

Barthelmew Hopkins

31 July 1635.  Persons to be transported (from London) to Virginia by
the Merchant's Hope, Mr. Hugh Weston, after examination by the Minister
of Gravesend: Annis Hopkins 19   (PRO:E157/20).

10 August 1635.  Persons to be embarked (from London) to Virginia by
the Safety, Mr. John Graunt:  Richard Hopkins 25  (PRO:E157/20).

28 August 1660. Smith, tailor, to serve 4 years in Virginia. Katherine
spinster, bound to John Hopkins, merchant, to serve 4 years in
Virginia. (BRO)

10 September 1660 Richard Cumberly, yeoman, bound to John Hopkins, mariner,
to serve 4 years in Virginia. (BRO)  (BRISTOL RECORD OFFICE)

7 September 1676.  Shipper by the Fortune of Bideford, Mr. Ethelred
Darracott, bound from Bideford for Maryland: Andrew Hopkins. (PRO:

22 September 1682.  Shipper by the Adventure of Barnstaple, Mr. Philip
Greenslade, bound from Barnstaple for Maryland: Andrew Hopkins. (PRO:

15-22 October 1685.  Shippers by the Swallow, Mr. Joseph Eldridge,
bound from London for New England: Edward Hull, Charles Duke, Thomas
Hopkins, Richard Beaumont, Noah Lawrence, Benjamin Alford, Ralph
Ingram. (PRO: E190/129/1).

17-18 July 1695.  Shippers by the Supply, Mr. John Long, bound from
Portsmouth for New England: John Hopkins, William Troward. (PRO:

7 July 1696.  Western Circuit prisoners reprieved to be transported to
America. Berkshire: William Hopkins of  Fremington

23 February 1699.  Midland Circuit prisoners reprieved to be
transported to America. of Northampton; John Hopkins of  the same.  (PRO:

20 February 1700.  Midland Circuit prisoners reprieved to be
transported to America. John Hopkins Nottinghamshire (PRO: C66/3417/25).

18-25 August 1715.  Shipper by the Valentine of Bideford, Mr. John
Hopkins, bound from Bideford for Carolina: George Buck. (PRO:

14 May 1716.  Shipper by the Valentine of Bideford, Mr. John Hopkins,
bound from Bideford for Virginia: John Buck. (PRO: E190/989/13).

29 July 1718-30 August 1718.  Shippers by the Philadelphia, Mr. John
Hopkins, bound from Bristol for Philadelphia: George Brayne, Joseph
Farmer, Edward Gough. (PRO: E190/1183/1).

15-30 March 1720.  Shippers by the Philadelphia, Mr. John Hopkins,
bound from Bristol for Pennsylvania: Richard Warren, Joseph Browne for
Ambrose Crowley, John Pearsall. (PRO: E190/1187/1).

14 November 1723-13 December 1723.  Shippers by the Hopewell of
Bideford, Mr. John Hopkins, bound from Bideford and Barnstaple for
South Potomack, Virginia: Edward Greening, John Parminter. (PRO:
E190/995/8, 995/13).

21-23 October 1724.  Shippers by the Hopewell, Mr. John Hopkins, bound
from Bideford for Virginia: Edward Greening, John Parminter. (PRO:

7 February 1725-8 March 1725.  Shippers by the Chester pink, Mr. David
Roberts, bound from Bristol for Philadelphia: Richard Champion, Edward
Hopkins, John Player, David Roberts for Clare Butty. (PRO:

1726 The following bound to John Taylor to serve in Maryland: Paul Learwood,
Thomas Moulder, Charles Hopkins, Richard Wallden, Richard Edge, Robert
Wilkins, John Brown. (CLRO: ATSR/ f.17v).

1726 The following bound to John Cooke to serve in Maryland: John Williams,
Joseph Yeates, Matthew Owen, William Berry, Richard Jarvis, James
Cheyne, John Hopkins, Henry Crow, Thomas Brittain, William Welling,
Alexander Stewart, Thomas Gharrett. (CLRO: ATSR/ f.19, 19v).

9 October 1727.  Shipper by the Peter of Bideford, Mr. Thomas Hopkins,
bound from Bideford for Maryland: George Martin. (PRO: E190/997/6).

23-27 October 1727.  Shipper by the Amity of Barnstaple, Mr. William
Hopkins, bound from Barnstaple for Maryland: George Buck. (PRO:

29 December 1727-8 January 1728.  Shippers by the Dorothy, Mr. John
Bedford, bound from Bristol for Philadelphia: Isaac Knight, Martha
Baker, Joseph and Samuel Percivall, Joseph Mills, Anthony Hopkins for
Casper Wister. (PRO: E190/1201/3).

21 November 1729.  Shippers by the Amity of Barnstaple, Mr. William
Hopkins, bound from Barnstaple for Maryland: George Buck & Co. (PRO:

8-23 September 1730.  Shippers by the Amity of Barnstaple, Mr. William
Hopkins, bound from Barnstaple for Virginia: George Buck & Co. (PRO:

5-18 January 1733.  Shippers by the Hawk of Bideford, Mr. William
Hopkins, bound from Bideford for Maryland: George Buck & Son. (PRO:

7-12 January 1734.  Shippers by the Hawk of Bideford, Mr. William
Hopkins, bound from Bideford for Virginia: George Buck, Bartholomew
Shapton. (PRO: E190/999/18).

1 December 1734-22 January 1735.  Shipper by the Hawk of Bideford, Mr.
William Hopkins, bound from Bideford for Maryland: George Buck. (PRO:
E190/999/18, 1000/1).

February 1735.  Grants made in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury,
London:  Administration pending production of will of William Hopkins of
Virginia, who died in St. Dunstan in the West, London, bachelor;
Administration of Thomas Davies of Bermondsey, Surrey, who died on H.M.
ship Winchelsea in Virginia, bachelor. (AW).

4-27 April 1737.  Shipper by the Hawk, Mr. William Hopkins, bound from
Bideford for Maryland: George Buck. (PRO: E190/1001/2).

21 February 1740-18 March 1740.  Shippers by the Hawk, Mr. William
Hopkins, bound from Bideford for Maryland: John Buck, James Clibbett.
(PRO: E190/1002/8).

27 March 1745.  Shipper by the Peace, Mr. James Hopkins, bound from
Bideford for Maryland: Isaac Williams. (PRO: E190/1003/12).

The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607-1776

of research time.  This Family Archive contains the texts from Peter
Wilson Coldham's "The Complete Book of Emigrants" (four volumes) and
"The Complete Book of Emigrants in Bondage" and supplement.  These
texts reference the names of approximately 140,000 individuals.  For
your convenience, Broderbund Software has provided search capabilities
that span all six of the books on this CD.  The texts of these books
were provided by the Genealogical Publishing Company of Baltimore,

Peter Wilson Coldham's groundbreaking books contain virtually every
reference to English emigrants of the colonial period that could be
extracted from surviving sources in English archives.  While they
identify only about 140,000 emigrants and passengers, admittedly not
all of those who emigrated, they nonetheless embody an amazingly
significant percentage of them.  As a means of understanding just how
significant, consider that between 1776 and 1820, approximately
250,000 people immigrated to the United States from Europe.  Owing to
the extensive research that went into these books, they are preeminent
in their field.  Whether a genealogist tracking down 17th- and 18th-
century immigrant ancestors, or an historian seeking answers to
questions about the peopling of colonial America, few can afford to
ignore them.

The author, Peter Wilson Coldham, is the foremost authority on English
emigration records.  After serving both in the Royal Navy and the
Foreign Office, he retired from public service to devote more time to
historical and genealogical research and writing.  He is the author of
several standard works on Anglo-American genealogy, including "Bonded
Passengers to America," "English Estates of American Colonists,"
"English Adventurers and Emigrants," and "Emigrants in Chains."
Mr. Coldham is also a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists
and a contributing editor of the "National Genealogical Society

The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607-1776

History of Emigration

The genealogical history of America may be accurately dated from 19
December 1606 when John Smith set out from Blackwall on the Thames with
140 colonists to found Virginia. The flotilla of three ships, the Susan
Constant under Christopher Newport, the Godspeed under Bartholomew
Gosnold, and the Discovery under John Ratcliffe, arrived at Chesapeake
Bay on 26 April 1607. By 22 June there were 105 colonists still living,
but after the rigours of a harsh winter and the onset of disease, the
number had been reduced by a further sixty-seven by the following
January. In June 1609 the Virginia Company sent out a further nine
ships with 500 colonists under Newport's command, and with the
exception of the Seaventure, which was wrecked in Bermuda, they arrived
in Virginia on 11 August 1609. Despite the legislation introduced in
1606, official records have not survived which would tell us the names
or origins of most of the first Virginia colonists. It is pitifully
clear from the first great censuses of Virginia taken in 1624 and 1625
that a mere handful had managed to survive and to acquire a certain
status thereby with the title of 'Original.'

The contribution of the London prisons and penal institutions to the
early growth of Virginia should not be underestimated. The Bridewell,
set up under Queen Elizabeth for the education of destitute children,
the care of paupers, and the occupation of vagrants, developed rapidly
to become a correctional institution from which apprentices were
cheaply bound. Two hundred vagrant or miscreant children (who, one
suspects, were rounded up for the specific purpose) were sent over from
this place of ill repute to Virginia in 1619 and 1620, and many more in
later years. The ultimate fate of most has gone unrecorded but a few
certainly survived to create their own dynasties. Henry Carman who came
by the Duty in 1620 and Arthur Chandler who came by the Jonathan, both
from the Bridewell, figure in the 1624 and 1625 censuses. Others such
as Thomas Helcott, Thomas Fernley, Thomas Garnett, William Bullock,
James Brooks, Thomas Cornish and William Kerton appear in the 1624
census but died, were killed, or had just disappeared by 1625.

What can be established by reference to the documents is that the
recorded population of Virginia had grown from less than 1,500 in 1624
to an estimated 5,000 in 1635 (see April 1635). In crude terms,
allowing for the considerable ravages of disease and the poor life
expectancy of the time, the figures suggest that between fifty and one
hundred passenger ships from England had discharged their passengers in
Virginia over a period of ten years.

In very basic ways the history of the settlement of Virginia and New
England is different. One might truthfully say that Virginia was
founded by those who were compelled to it by economic necessity or
legal process. Emigrants to Virginia were mustered into groups in
England by Virginia landlords or proprietors and indentured to
servitude. Most often this meant that, in return for his passage,
clothing, board and lodging, an indentured servant became the property
of his master for a term of years, after which he might expect to be
given his freedom and some land. The indentured servant was, in effect,
little different from a transported felon: both were slaves in every
sense, and ranked as part of their master's estate to be bought and
sold at will. The headright system used in Virginia meant that planters
could claim fifty acres of land for every indentured servant they
brought over, and in time headrights and tobacco became established as
accepted currency. This pattern of recruitment, reflected in the
passenger lists which have survived, means that groups going to
Virginia tended to have a common geographical origin, and to repeat an
English pattern of surname distribution in the area in which they
settled. The springs of early emigration to New England were, however,
religious, and the passenger lists establish that the groups who took
passage were disparate and came from widely separated geographical
areas, though with a preponderance from East Anglia. These
distinctions, though helpful, could prove dangerous if allowed to
become generalisations. There were thousands of later emigrants to New
England who were inspired by no religious motive,and many in Virginia
who went voluntarily to find fame and fortune.

If it were not for the censuses of 1624 and 1625 there would be
virtually no record in English archives of the first settlers of
Virginia, except ironically for those unfortunate children rounded up
in the City of London and forcibly deported from the Bridewell. (The
Virginia Company appear to have made no permanent record of the names
of those they sent out apart from their own officials.) But the arrival
in London of those censuses seems to have sparked off a taste for more
of the same, with the government demanding of the Governor in 1626 (see
19 April 1626) a further census return, this time showing sex, age,
profession, birthplace and names of parents. Was such a census ever
compiled? There is no record of it to the great loss of genealogy and
history. It is not until 1635 that we have evidence of any organised
procedure for making a permanent record of ships' passengers bound to
the Americas - and it is a rueful reflection that the bulk of such
lists that appear in this book are taken from only one surviving volume
which spans only one port over a one- year period. An ambitious project
concocted by the Grand Assembly of Virginia in 1633 to maintain a
register by name, age and birthplace of every new arrival also failed.
Despite grievous losses of records and the failure of many of the more
enlightened registration schemes, there is ample evidence that the tide
of emigration was in full spate from 1625 until the onset of the
English Civil War in 1642 brought a temporary end (reports from
Virginia give a figure of 1,200 immigrants for 1634, 2,000 for 1635,
and 1,600 for aftermath of a debilitating war and the miseries of
Puritan government gave a further spur to those who sought greater
freedom and opportunity overseas. This was also a time when the
American colonies were experiencing great labour shortages, having been
virtually cut off from the motherland, and private enterprise was not
slow in capitalising on the situation by resorting to kidnapping,
bribing, and otherwise 'spiriting away' children and young workers to
the Americas. The practice was serious and widespread enough for the
Parliament in 1645 to have enacted an ordinance requiring the diligent
searching of ships in order to 'apprehend and bring to condign
punishment all such persons as shall steal, sell, buy, inveigle,
purloin, convey or receive any little children.'

That this practice continued unabated over many years is evident from
an order made by the Bristol Common Council in September 1654 that all
indentured servants going beyond the seas should be enrolled in a
register, in order to counter the many complaints of kidnapping which
had been made. As late as November 1660 a petition was made for a
register office to be set up to correct abuses arising from the
forcible transportation of children. The re-discovery in 1925 of the
Bristol registers, known as 'Servants to Foreign Plantations,' wedged
behind an ancient wall-press, opened a new treasury of information on a
vast number of early emigrants, and the entries are here transcribed in
full for the first time. The ever- lengthening lists entered in the
registers give some measure of how consistently emigration swelled
during the years 1654 to 1660. And Bristol, though by now the principal
port for intending emigrants, was by no means the only one: London,
Southampton, Weymouth, and many others must have contributed at least
an equal number of new planters and indentured servants.

What opinion was held in England of the new American colonies and of
the new colonists? Not a very flattering one to judge from contemporary
writings, but neither very surprising given that, from the first,
America was seen as a place to which undesirables might be sent. While
on both sides of the Atlantic the foundations of America are popularly
remembered as the good escaping oppression, quality establishing new
frontiers, and the brave triumphing over misfortune, the darker aspect
of migration is rarely given full weight. But it is a matter of record
that for the Englishman Virginia was 'a place where idle vagrants might
be sent' (see 1606), and New England was a hotbed of schismatics and
separatists (see late 1634). It would have been inconceivable to a
seventeenth century Englishman to picture Virginia as anything but a
disreputable penal colony since it was largely peopled by the scourings
from English prisons, vagrants, waifs and strays, and those lured into
migration by promises of land and wealth. Francis Bacon, the pre-
eminent philosopher of that time, voiced much the same view in his
Essay on Plantations. 'It is a shameful and unblessed thing to take the
scum of people and wicked, condemned men, to be the people with whom
you plant.'

Unpalatable though some historical truths may be, the acceptance of a
darker strand in the waves of emigration may help to balance the
disproportion which inevitably exists in official records which are
preoccupied with the 'great and good' at the expense of the mean and

James I, at first enthusiastic about the new colony of Virginia, is
seen to settle into a fixation that if all that could be produced there
was tobacco then it deserved a melancholy fate. Having wrested the
administration of the colony from the hands of the Virginia Company,
Charles I also appears to have let his interest wane. Governors
appointed by both kings seem to have found it necessary to send home a
stream of letters with litanies of complaint about the colony itself,
the intractable colonists, and the lack of support from home. Of those
who chose or were compelled by circumstance to seek a new life in
Virginia the London Custom House provided a terse opinion: 'Those who
go to Virginia are better out of the kingdom than in it' (see 1637).

If Virginia was considered wretched, New England was in a worse state,
and the Court and Church factions at home vied with each other to
vilify the politics and religion of the new settlement: letters are
intercepted to provide proof of treasonable intent, and spies report
their suspicions to the Archbishop of Canterbury. The supposition in
such quarters was that those intending for New England were 'debtors or
persons disaffected with the established church ... and affected with
giddiness' (see 4 February 1634). Others report with alarm the
'incredible numbers' departing (see 17 March 1638) and the need to
restrain the transportation of schismatics (see 20 June 1638). Strange
people these who were prepared to 'commit their whole estate to the
venture' of finding a new home (see January 1637). The king's manifesto
in July 1637 designed to bring New England to heel by establishing
direct government on the lines adopted for Virginia was never more than
a brief hiccough in history: in a very few years New England was the
solace and Virginia the bane of the Puritan regime.

The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607-1776

About this book

It is, perhaps, necessary to emphasise that the content is exclusively
taken from English (as opposed to Irish, Welsh, Scottish or American)
records. The one possible exception is the collection known as the
Smyth of Nibley Papers, originally part of the Cholmondley MSS before
they were sold to an American collector. They are now housed in the New
York Public Library. Susan Kingsbury made such an excellent
transcription in her monumental work, The Records of the Virginia
Company of London, that I have had no qualms in quoting that source.
Throughout the volume original spellings have been used for proper
names though, for the sake of comprehension, the index has been
arranged according to accepted modern spellings. Dates have all been
rendered according to the modern calendar.

As a rule of thumb officially printed calendars and transcripts have
been accepted as sufficiently reliable to permit quotation without
reference to original documents. The same latitude has been given to
works published under the author's own name. For the rest, however,
with only a handful of exceptions, the documents cited have been
transcribed or summarised from the originals or copies thereof. No
serious or competent researcher will cavil, however, at the disclaimer
which has to be made regarding possible errors which may have
infiltrated while fading and crumbling documents were transliterated
and crabby antique hands deciphered.


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