From Pathway: A Family History

A Pleasant Places Project from biographiks

Cecely Reynolds Baley Jordan --
Records of the Virginia Company

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The story unfolds on the pages of three series of books -- The Records of the Virginia Company of London as edited by Susan Kingsbury, The Journals of the House of Burgess of Virginia and the Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia both series edited by H. R. McIlwaine.

Our first piece of our story dated 20 September 1620 records an event of 16 November 1618. When "George Yardley, Knight, Governor and Captain General of Virginia with the consent of the Council gave to Samuel Jordn of Charles City in Virginia, ancient planter who hath abode here in the Colony for 10 years .... 450 acres and to Cecily his wife an ancient planter also of nine years continuance ... 100 acres more ...." This is not recorded until 1690.

On 16 February 1623 in a list of the living and dead since April 1622 was made by the Virginia Company of London. We find the first five settlers listed at Jordan's Journey are Siscly ( Cecily ) Jordan, Temperance Baylise, Mary Jordan and William Farrar.

On 16 June 1623 there appears in the Council of Virginia Records an examination of Captain Issac and Mary Maddison and the Serjeant John Harris taken before the Council of Virginia regarding thg a supposed contract of marriage between Mr. Greville Pooley and Mrs. Cecily Jordan a few days afetr the death of her husband. Cecily Jordan has since contracted herself to William Farrar. Details of this examination will be given later.

On 21 January 1625 another list was made of the settlers in Virginia. We find the first five settlers at Jordan's Journey as follows: "Mr. William Ferrer, 31 by Neptune August 1618, Sisley Jordan 24 by Swan August 1610 , Mary Jordan, her daughter 3 born here; Margrett Jordan 1 born here; Temperance Baley 7 born here. A list of servants follows.

From these four entries, we know Cecily/ Sisley arrived on the Swan in August 1610 at 9 or 10 years of age, and that she probably married a Bayley and was married to Samuel Jordan who dies before 16 February 1623. Also that at the age of 17 or 18 she is an ancient planter and has land in her own name. In addition she has now contracted to marry William Farrer, the lawyer.

Some researchers say that Cecily was a Reynolds, the daughter of Thomas and Cecily Phippen Reynolds of Dorsetshire. The name Cecily was hereditary. Cecily's mother was a first cousin ( called a near relative by many researchers) of Samuel Jordan. Samuel had at least 3 sons by a previous marriage all of whom were much older than Cecily. It is felt that Cecily had a brother Christopher Reynolds who followed her to Virginia aboard the John and Francis in 1622. There is no documentation for this theory yet.

Why she came alone is still a mystery. It appears she had near relatives living in Virginia. It is thought that she met her first husband, Thomas Bailey while she lived with Captain William Pierce (perhaps a near relative) and his wife Joan. Thomas was a member of the Governor's Guard stationed at Jamestown. Young Bailey became the victim of malaria and left his widow and a young daughter, Temperance, who was born in 1617. His daughter inherited this land. Many believe Thomas was the son of of Samuel Bailey and that Temperance was named in honor of Temperance West Lady Yardley , wife of Governor George Yardley.

Records show that few lives were lost at Jordan's Journey during the Indian Massacre of 1622 and it was one of the four fortified plantations not abandoned after the massacre. Records indicate that Cecily had married Samuel Jordan by September 1620. At the time of the massacre, William Farrer had sought refuge at Jordan's Journey. In the dawn's darkness, he rowed as rapidly as he could from Farrer's Island. He was to stay at Jordan's Journey for the next 6 years.

CCLXVII. Examination of Captain Isaac Madison, Mary Madison, and Sergent John Harris

June 4, November 17, 1623

C. O. 1, Vol. II, No. 30
Document in Public Record Office, London
List of Records No. 521
Records of the Virginia Company - Vol. 4 pp. 218

The examination of Captain Issac Madason took place on 4 June 1623 regarding the supposed contract between Mr. Grivell Pooley and Mrs. Sysley Jordan. Those present were Sir Francis Wyatt, Governor, Sir George Yardley, Mr. George Sandys, Dr. John Pott, Captain Roger Smyth, Captain Raph Hamor and Mr. John Pourntis.

Quoting from the records of the Virginia Company of London by Kingsbury "Captain Isack Maddeson sworne and examined saith that (as near as he remenbeth) the first motion to him by Mr. Grivell, touching a match with Mrs. Jordan was about three or four days after the Mr. Jordan's death, who entreating this examinant to move the matter to her, he answered he was unwilling to meddle in any such business; but being urged by him he did move it. Mrs. Jordan replied that she would as willingly have him as any other, but she would not marry any man until she delivered. After this Mr. Pooley (having had some private talk with Mrs. Jordan) told this examinant that he had contracted himself unto her, and desired him and his wife to be witnesses of it, whereupon Mr. Pooley desiring a dram of Mrs, Jordan, and she bidding her servant fitch it said he would have it of her fetching or not at all. Then she went into a room, and the examinant and Mr. Pooley went to her, but whether she were privy to his intent this examinant knoweth not; when Mr. Pooley was come of her, he told her he would contract himself unto her and spake these words. I Grivell Pooley take thee Sysley to my wedded wife, to have and to hold till death us depart and there to I plight thee my troth. Then (holding her by the hand) he spake these words I Sysley take thee Grivell to my wedded husband, to have and to hold till death us depart; but this examinant heard not her say any of those words, neither doth he remember that Mr. Pooley asked her whether she did consent to those words or that she did answer ant things which he understood. then Mr. Pooley and she drank each to other and he kissed her and spake these words, I am thine and thou art mine till death us separate. Mrs. Jordan then desired that it might not be revealed that she did so soon bestow her love, after her husbands death; whereupon Mr. Pooley promised before God that he would not reveal it, till she thought the time fitting."

This is the basis of the story told in many different versions of the preacher who got engaged by quoting the marriage ceremony.

The examination of Mrs. Mary Maddeson and Sergeant John Harris on the 17 November 1623:
"Mary Maddeson sworne and examined saith, that she was not present at the making of the supposed contract between Mr. Pooley and Mrs. Jordan say if Mr. Pooley had not revealed it he might have fared better and saith further that her husband told her that night, that Mrs. Jordan had made her self sure to Mr. Pooley, but what words passed her husband did not particularly repeat, but spake of their drinking to the other and of Mr. Pooley saluting her."

"John Harris sworne and examined saith that he heard Mrs. Jordan say tha Mr. Pooley maught thank himself for he might fared the better but for his own words."

This is the basis of the statement made by many family historians that Cecily said she would have married him if he had not gone back and bragged about it.

"This Women before Mr. Grivell Pooley called her into the Court, contracted her self to Mr. Willm Ferrar: before the Governo and Counsell disavowed the former and affirminge the latter: Wee (not knowinge how to decide so nice a difference, our devines not takinge upon them presisely to determine, whether it be a formall and legall contract desire the resolution of the Civill Lawiers, and a speedy return thereof.
Extract p
Ed: Sharples, Cler:@"

In November 1623 the Court and General Council of Virginia issued a warrant to Mr. Farrar to bring the account of Mr. Jordan, his estate by the last day of December. Another warrent was issued to Mrs. Jordan, that Mr. Farrar put in security for the performance of her husband's will.

On 21 April 1624 at a Court held in Virginia to review the last documents sent to the Virginia Company of London by Governor Sir Fransis Wyatt "whereof one containing certain examinations touching a difference between Mr. Pooley and Mrs. Jordan referred unto the Company here for answer, being read the Court entreated Mr. Purchas to conferr with some Civilians and advise what answer was fit to be returned in such a case."

Things moved along too slowly for Mr. Pooley and in January 1624/25, he appeared before the Cort and General Council to state " Mr. Farrar and Mrs. Jordan live skandeloufly together, being sayeth ye Conceveth it skandlous witness, ye produced none but Mr. Caufey ( Nathanial ) but sateth ye Conceveth it skandelous for Mr. Faffar to break the order in court which he hath done by being on ordinary diet in Mrs. Jordan's house and to frequent her company alone without some body else be to be in place according to the order of the court.

Nathanial Causey, a neighbor of Mrs. Jordan's who many feel was influenced by William Farrar, testified that he never saw any other unfitting or suspicious familarities between Mr. Farrar and Mrs. Jordan although admitting that he hath seen Mr. Farrar kiss her.

The Governor and the Council repeat "the determination of the business between Mr. Pooley and Mrs. Jordan till the first arrival of ship out of England. Wherein we expect a resolution and in the meantime things to remain in the state that they are and Mr. Farrar behaving himself witout scandel in the meantime and ye Court do conceive his being in ordyary dyett there nor any familiarities hath been alleged not cause of scandal ......."

The last item of that court session is as follows:
I Grevell Pooly preacher of the word do for myself freely acquit and discharge Mrs. Cycelie Jordan from all former contracts, promises and conditiond made by her to me in a way of marriage and do bind myself in five hundred pounds never to have any claim right or title to her that way. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this third day of Januaury1624/25."

However our story does not end there, in the court of 7 March 1628 present were John Pott, Capt. Smyth, Capt. Mathewa, Mr. Clayborune and Mr. Farrar the following appears: "It is thought fit that Mr. Farrar at the next meeting of the Court do bring down Mr. Pooly and Edward Auborne to answer to such things as shall be objected against them."

The show-down between the lawyer and the preacher never occurred for in 1629 Court we find the following "At this Court was held a serious consultation concerning the massacre of Mr. Pooly and four other of our men with him by the Indians. And at length it was concluded that one of the Indians now remaining with us should be sent unto the great King with a message to this effect -- that whereas by the last treaty of peace it was agreed on that none of their people should come to any of our plantations or houses nor call or ..."

William Farrar disappears from being a court member about 1633/36 and is assumed to have died in that period.

Researchers have Cecily marrying for a fourth time to Peter Montague. Peter left a wife, Cecily , in his will proved 1 July 1659 in Lancaster county, Virginia. It is felt that Peter's first wife was Cecily Mathews, the daughter of Anthony Matthews. Many researchers state that Cecily Farrar had five children by Peter Montague.

After Peter's death, researchers say she married in 1660 Thomas Parker, who also left a wife Cecily. Thomas came in the Neptune with William Farrar in 1618 and on 23 January 1625 was at "College Land."

There is another Cecily in Virginia -- she is the daughter of William and Cecily Farrar. There is no mention of her in the records of Virginia that mentions her brothers, William and John, frequently. However when William Farrar sells his inheritance from his father to his brothers in England in 1631 there is an English court record as follows: "William, his wife Cecily, daughter Cecily and son William." This document is recorded before the birth of son John, Could it be that these last two marriages attributed to Cecily, could have been this daughter Cecily, born about 1625? We do not have a death date for Cecily Reynolds(?) Baily Jordan Farrar Montague(?) Parker(?).

Other references:

Coldham, Peter Wilson, "The Complete Book of Emigrants" Baltimore, MD Genealogial Publishing Company 1988.

Holmes, Alvahn, "The Farrar's Island Family and its English Ancestry", Baltimore, MD , Gateway Press Inc. 1977

Nugent, Neil Marion, "Cavaliers and Pioneers" Baltimore, MD , Genealogical Publishing Company, 1983

Author unknown, text provided by Bill Molony, DeLamble and Robert E. Jordan

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