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Peirsey Shield
Shield not authenticated.

 ABRAHAM PEIRSEY
of
JAMESTOWNE, VIRGINIA


braham PEIRSEY/PIERSEY arrived at Jamestowne aboard the ship "Susan", the first Magazine Ship sent to the Colony in 1616 from England. His wife, Elizabeth DRAPER and their two daughters, Elizabeth and Mary, arrived on the "Southampton" in 1616. He returned to England on the "Susan" and returned to Jamestowne aboard the "George", the second magazine ship. Abraham Peirsey was a Virginia Company stockholder. He made a trading visit to Newfoundland in 1619 on the "George" to exchange tobacco for fish.

Governor Sir George Yeardley sold his plantation known as Flowerdieu Hundred, which was on the south side of the James River just upstream from James City, to Abraham Peirsey in 1624. Peirsey was a merchant-planter who, after Yeardley, ranked as the second wealthiest man in Virginia. A census of the colony taken in 1625 provides some rare details about Flowerdew Hundred at that time. A total of 57 people lived on the plantation, including 29 servants and 7 Negroes' belonging to Peirsey. In August 1619 the first African slaves are brought to Virginia by Captain Jope in a Dutch ship. Governor Yeardley and a merchant, Abraham PEIRSEY, exchange twenty of them for supplies. These Africans become indentured servants like the white indentured servants who traded passage for servitude. They were found to be quite profitable in the cultivation of tobacco which was the staple crop at that time. The other residents included six married men, their families and servants, three single men, and a minister. There were twelve dwelling houses on the plantation as well as three storehouses, four tobacco houses, and the first windmill erected in the country. Ample supplies of food were on hand in the form of cattle, hogs, corn, peas, and quantities of fish. A continued concern over defense was reflected in the cannon, armour, gunpowder, and swords listed. Floweredieu Hundred became a palisaded settlement which may account for there being only six deaths during the Indian uprising in 1622.

In 1624, Peirsey owned Windmill Point at Peirseys Hundred which included twelve dwellings, three storehouses, four tobacco houses and the first windmill constructed in America. (Recontruction completed in 1978 to commemorate the original mill erected in 1621 by the original owner, Sir George Yeardley.) Abraham Peirsey was appointed to the Commission on 24 Oct 1623 along with John Pory, John Harvey, John Jefferson and Samuel Mathews to "look into the state of Virginia." He was appointed to the Council 1624 and was a member of the House of Burgesses in 1625.

The plantation went to his second wife, Frances Greville, upon his death in 1627/1628. She later married Samuel Mathews and died in 1633. At her death the property was awarded to his daughter Mary Peirsey HILL. In the five years that passed after Abraham's death the estate was altered to where Mary was destitute. As one of Mary's first act upon acquiring Peirsey Hundred she renamed it to the original Flowerdieu Hundred. Today, the plantation is held by the Flowerdew Hundred Foundation. The brass pipe tamper, at right, was uncovered during archaeological studies.  

 



Annie Elizabeth SMITH PENNEBAKER descent from Abraham PEIRSEY 		

1  Abraham PEIRSEY  1577 - 1627/28
      +Elizabeth DRAPER  1585 - 1623
2  Mary PEIRSEY  1613 - 1676
      +Thomas HILL, Capt.  ? - 1657
3  John HILL	
      +______ UNKNOWN	
4  Thomas HILL  ? - 1711
      +Eleanor CHARLES	
5  Mary HILL	
      +Thomas VINES  ? - 1737
6  Ann VINES  1703 - 1737
      +Isaac (II) COLLIER  1700 - 1771
7  Elizabeth COLLIER  1728 - ?
      +Josiah (Joseph) SMITH  1728 - 1817
8  Roda/Rhoda/Rodah SMITH  1775 - 1857
      +Margaret PLAXICO  1777 - 1854
9  Josiah Greene SMITH  1806 - 1895
      +Rachel JAMIESON  1814 - 1895
10  John A. SMITH  1838 - 1918
      +Frances "Fannie" MOODY  1838 - 1899
11  Annie Elizabeth SMITH  1866 - 1924
      +Wyand P. PENNEBAKER, Jr.  1854 - 1929

Note: Lineage not totally proved.



References:

 Abraham Peirsey History.
 Advenuturers of Purse and Person, Virginia, 1607-1624/5, Order of First Families of Virginia, third edition, 1987, pages 31, 478-485 - a recognized source of early Colonial Virginia genealogy.
 Colonial Records of Virginia, Lists of the Livinge and the Dead in Virginia, Feb. 16th, 1623, Genealogical Publishing Co, Baltimore, MD, 1964.
 APVA - Jamestowne Rediscovery, <http://www.apva.org/>
 Flowerdew Hundred Foundation, <http://www.flowerdew.org>
 James Deetz, Flowerdew Hundred, The Archaeology of a Virginia Plantation, 1619-1864, University Press of Virginia, Chartlottesville, VA, 1993.

Arrow Up Prepared by Paul E. Pennebaker