Who were the parents of William Carter?

+9 votes
There has been a lot of discussion over the past year about the parents of William Carter. We are trying to decide whether or not to disconnect the parents that are attached. Can anyone help? Thanks!!
WikiTree profile: William Carter
asked in Genealogy Help by Paula J G2G6 Pilot (208k points)

9 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer

I have no dog in this fight but the will of John "the Vintner" Carter http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Carter-1790 quite decisively proves that his son William must have been born c. 1610 at the earliest. No further debate seems necessary, or indeed possible, faced with this bedrock evidence.

That doesn't mean there wasn't a connection between the men. It seems John had a brother William who also had a son William of about the right age. That would be consistent with any yDNA evidence that existed. Of course there are many other possibilities.

I'm afraid Trudy massively weakens her case by refusing to disclose sources which runs directly against the ethos of wikitree.

answered by Matthew Fletcher G2G6 Mach 6 (69.4k points)
selected by Laura Rose Carter
Again with research its all out there.  John's will is everywhere if you research so its not proprietary.  In honesty we all have sources that we  just don't post. Forcing someone to post their evidence to suit another after all of the work that has been done/collaborated  by all via the theme world tree denotes what this site is about.  That is getting or starting to sound like ownership not collaborating. We can't all be right so we need to travel the less road. I think more team work is needed. I also have info showing his son William was born 1600 not 1610.  ( not I did not post needs more research) Wikipedia also has John the Vintner source and info. I have talked to others and DNA is not the know all. According to them is is a interpretation and or suggestion but they can not say with certainty its actual proof.  A guideline he said.

Now having said that no one person is correct here and I think a calm and a less derogatory approach is needed. Less finger pointing and a bit more lets all do some more research and so many sources but so many inconsistencies. We all cant be right so go the less route and do some research.

ok diatribe over  folks lol thanks
Matthew ,  exactly where in the will does it state that William Carter was born  in 1610.  Exactly where.  Thomas Carter the brother of William Carter and son of John Carter is reported to be born in 1610 according to a deposition in court.  The easy is place to find that reference is in Jeff Carter 's book.  In the chapter on the Carter's it is well referenced there .  The Ancestors of Jimmy and Rosalyn  Carter.  Very well written and sourced.  Forward written by his father Jimmy Carter  And my case for the parentage of William Carter was well document.  I removed it all Paula told me my information was second hand info. And wikitree tree doesnt use second hand info.  

Like I said I have had my work on this profile removed , reworked and had my torn down.  I have contacted others with my info and been treated like garbage.  I have been ignored for another researcher because he is a favorite of a leader.  When it comes to the ethos of wikitree I have busted  backside researching William Carter and his family.  I stated that the DNA info was from the Carter Society.  People can easily Google it.

When comes to ethos on this site the things that have happen to me shouldn't be able to happen to anyone on this site.
Srry folks but on this one I have to side for Trudy. This is a or supposed to be a world tree, if we all start thinking we know better than someone else the perspective gets skewed. There is no one to rely on to break this triangle but ourselves. The internet unless you dig deep is full of speculation, miss- construed ideas and charts, books  web sites you name it. How do we know if any of this is right or wrong or subjected to copying of other sites or trustful. At this point we have to rely on the original person who created the tree and let them have antinomy. (SP srry) We don't , we cant so it all is  subjected to scrutiny by each of us therefore a solution is unattainable at this point.   We could all be wrong or right . So we need to work together , how , you got me . That's the problem of a tree of this sort. If no one really owns this tree then I think to solve it the owner or original person who created should have first rights of refusal and ability to work and or take comments. Something has to change obviously. . Somewhere along the  road it has gotten confused and disoriented  , there has to be some rules put into place in order to succeed.  Ideas appreciated lol. There are no answers but definitely something needs to change. I am trying to take the high road here but its tuff.

Carter society one site

The English records are pretty clear that John's son, William, was a minor when he died in 1629. 

You know perfectly well where it implies William Carter was born c. 1610 at the earliest as I'm sure you've read the will's text many more times than me. I seem to recall seeing it's currently in the London Metropolitan Archives where I am a member and will certainly be visiting soon. If there's really any dispute about the text I could check it but it seems a waste of time. Edit: Scratch that, it's at Kew and anyone can download a copy anyway (for a fee).

The will was made 3 April 1630 and proved 6 May 1630 and lists his children George, William, ... with instructions for them to receive money on attaining the age of 21. Therefore, they were not yet 21 in 1630. If they were listed in age order - which seems overwhelmingly likely - then we're looking at a birth year of around 1613 for William.

John's will proves his son William was under 21 in 1630. If you dispute this you must provide evidence of equal quality or explain why this evidence can be discounted. I described it as "bedrock" and that's how it appears. How can it possibly be wrong?

I'm sorry you're upset that your work has been deleted or edited and I would prefer all disputes resolved amicably. But just look at it from my perspective for a moment. We have a man's will giving instructions for his children's welfare when they reach 21. You are basically claiming that his son wasn't 19 (or whatever) at all but in fact 30! Really? You think he wouldn't know? It's quite obvious the William mentioned in John's will was born sometime 1610-1615.
No Matthew.  I am saying that they had received their majorities. I am saying William Carter received his due and came to the Colonies at 21 .  Before his father died.  He stayed at the home of his father's good friend Dr. John Potts.  Goverment and cow thrive.  I am saying that there are 100's of records that are just as circumstantial as that will is applied to William of Surry.  I am asking that the users of this will on profile Carter-16747 do exactly what you asked me.  No not obvious that he was born 1610 - 15.  Not if all other ideas are actually worked regard the births of the other brothers.

And implication is not actually fact.  Except where it suits people.  Talked to a lawyer today at lunch.  The will wouldn't make it through as it is. No details.

Item I give and bequeath to Elizabeth Cooper and Elizabeth Foster my servants twentie shillings apiece 
Item I give and bequeath to my Executor hereunder named twentie shillings 
Item I give and bequeath to my overseers hereunder named twentie shillings apiece.  Item I will that my whole estate shalbe devided into three equall partes accordinge to the customs of the Cittee of London 
   One equall third part whereof I give and bequeath to Bridgett my lovinge wife to her own proper use and _____ for ever 
   One other equall third yte whereof I give and bequeath to my Children viz George William John Thomas Robert Anne Elizabeth Mary Silvester and Isabell Carter to bee devided parte and parte ___ , amongst them and to bee paid by my Executor when and at such tyme and tymes as they shall severallie? and respectively attaine the age of one and twentie yeares And if it Shall happen any of my said Children to die before they shall attaine theire said age of one & twentie yeares as aforesaid Then I will and my meaninge is that the partes and persons of my estate of him her or them soe dyinge shall remayne and come unto the Survivors or Survivor of my said Children and to bee paid by my Executor at theire age of one and twentie yeares as aforesaid  
Item I give and bequeath out of the remainder of my estate unto my foresaid sonne George twentie pounds and the remainder therof to him, and the other of my said Children equallie, to bee paid as aforesaid, and with the ___  ____  or ______ as is above expressed And I will that the benefitt and profitt which shall arise or maie bee made of my said Children porcons shalbe expended by my Executor for their education and proferment?  And if any ____ shalbe that the same shalbe equalllie devided to and amongst them as abovesaid 
And of this my last will and testament I doe make my loveinge brother in lawe Gabriell Benion Cittizen & Tallowchandler of London full and sole Executor And overseer thereof I doe ordaine and appoint my very lovinge friend William fforte Cittizen and Vintner of London & Robert Daivy? Cittizen and Ironmonger of London whom I doe desire to bee, aydinge and assistinge to my said executor in the executinge thereof for the good of my said wife and children. 

Thanks Debbs, the will seems pretty clear-cut

If William had already attained majority (21) then why would he be mentioned as an orphan in 1630 (as found by John Cherry)


"CLA/002/04/079 (London Metropolitan Archives)  Carter, John, citizen and vintner 1630: George, orphan of; William, orphan of; John, orphan of; Thomas, orphan of; Robert, orphan of; Anne, orphan of; Elizabeth, orphan of; Mary, orphan of; Silvester, orphan of; Isabell, orphan of"

We have two contemporary pieces of primary evidence confirming that William, son of John "the Vintner" Carter who died in 1630, was not yet 21. Why do you favour a book written hundreds of years later over them?

Really Debb.  Why even try to keep the current parents attached for all the other long reasons.  I can tell right now Paula will decide to detach because Eric did the research. That why Paula made the comment that Carter-16747 is John Carter 's son. After all her job is to keep  wikitree members playing in the governor code.  Talk to you later Debb.

Your DNA contains a record of your ancestors, but you aren’t a carbon copy of any one of them. The particular mix of DNA you inherit is unique to you. You receive 50% of your DNA from each of your parents, who received 50% of theirs from each of their parents, and so on. In the chart below you can see how the amount of DNA you receive from a particular ancestor decreases over generations. If you go back far enough, there is a chance that you inherited no DNA from a particular ancestor.


http://www.sfu.museum/forensics/eng/pg_media-media_pg/adn-dna/ Canada



A common misconception about genetic ancestry testing, Bolnick said, is that it can reveal information about an individual's ancestry. It cannot.

"People assume these tests can tell you your race or ethnicity and reveal exactly where your ancestors lived or exactly what social group they identified with," she said.

Recently, the Web site Ancestry.com rolled out a new service that allows people to mail in DNA samples to see if they have "genetic cousins" in the company's database and reveal their ancient origins.

One problem with this approach, scientists say, is that because such tests analyze less than 1 percent of a person's genome, they will miss most of a person's relatives.

"If you take a mitochondrial DNA test, you learn something about your mother's mother's mother's lineage," Bolnick said. "If you go back 10 generations, that's telling you something about only one out of more than a thousand ancestors."

just a FYI

Is DNA really reliable hmmmm now I question this


In 2013, the science education nonprofit Sense About Science released a public statement explaining why people shouldn't use these tests to determine their ancestry.

"The results from your DNA tests could be matched with all sorts of different stories," the statement read. "We don’t have to look back very far in time before we each have more ancestors than we have sections of DNA, and this means we have ancestors from whom we have inherited no DNA."

"You cannot look at [an individual's] DNA and read it like a book or a map of a journey," the group concluded.

ok srry lol done my curiosity know no bounds lol



I am not going to detach the parents. I have no vested interest in this profile. I am not a genealogist and have not been involved in this research. I have tried to assist with the collaboration. I posted this question in order to assist with the collaboration. I have removed the project from the profile following your complaints.

Peter Roberts or someone else from the DNA project is usually more than willing to help with DNA evidence. They have been instrumental in assisting resolve these questions in the past.  Let me know if you need any help in facilitating this. I am only here to help in whatever way I can.

I am not sure where exactly to step into this conversation and I may be a little premature with a discussion but will offer some comments anyway.  I have been in touch with Paula and Trudy but have not commented on this forum.   The Carter Society [of Colonial Virginians] has promoted the FamilyTreeMaker Y-DNA project results of which can be viewed at: https://www.familytreedna.com/public/carter/default.aspx?section=yresults.  Three Carter families in this project are now clearly defined as separate and non-related in a genealogical time frame [for the past 2000 years or so].  These are R1b-02 well represented by descendants of Thomas Carter of Lancaster County, Virginia [sometimes referred to as "of Barford"].  R1b-04 also with many members in the project that are clearly descended from Thomas Carter "of Isle of Wight," County Virginia.   R1b-32 John Carter [father of Robert "King" Carter] of Lancaster County, Virginia.  Unfortunately, these early colonists in Virginia left no proof of their origins in England.  Thomas Carter of Lancaster left few clues other than a one-time reference to "of Barford" in his book of common prayer, and naming patterns that could be clues.  He of course married Katharine Dale daughter of Edward Dale with well-documented connections to the Skipwith family from Leicestershire.  Diana Dale is clearly the daughter of the Royalist Sir Henry Skipwith.  Thomas Carter "of Isle of Wight" basically left no clues at all except there is strong evidence that he was associated with Carters of Husbands Bosworth in Leicestershire.  John Carter's only solid clue is that he and his son Robert prominently used the coat-of-arms of the Carters of Hertfordshire and he was connected to London merchants.  Much of this information on these Virginia Carter's Y-DNA results are forthcoming in the following publication:  Terry, R. Mike, Lumsden, Robert D. Genealogy and Genetics: A Genetic Evaluation of Thomas Carter of Lancaster County, Virginia; John Carter of Lancaster County, Virginia; and Thomas Carter of Isle of Wight County, Virginia.  In: Echoes of Yesteryear Vol. 3. Mary Ball Washington Museum & Library, Lancaster County, Virginia.  More information can be obtained from the Carter Project co-administrator, Mike Terry or the Mary Ball Washington Museum and Library.  Y-DNA may be a good way to establish English origins if English Carters can be located and convinced to join the project.  Matches with the Virginia Carter family's descendants will be strong evidence of where these family came from. Robert Lumsden, Annapolis, Maryland.

I hear you but from more sources than I can count say DNA will not does not and cannot go back this far in time.

David Joyce, Pane-Joyce Genealogy at http://aleph0.clarku.edu/~djoyce/gen/  

On the other hand, you can't really tell where your ancestors came from except that you'll get weak indications that some of them came from various broad expanse of continents, such as western Europe, or west Africa, or India. Don't expect details down to a specific country as there have been so many migrations that all countries have DNA from neighboring countries and even farther away. Take any indications as where your ancestors came from with a huge grain of salt.


Basically I am saying for this far back we cannot rely on DNA but must rely on pure research which is scattered and non cohesive. Its a guess at the best and the internet is full of speculation . Even historians say  to go this far back in time requires information not attainable from the internet but from family sources. So no one is right no one is wrong but deep digging is the answer, Archives lost a major part of data and the information obtained is scattered. Are any of us right (maybe) are any of us wrong (maybe ) but its hard. My ancestors are all on the English side and its like pulling teeth to get info even if you have someone over there to research. This is a standstill at the best. Best of luck to you all.


+5 votes
Trudy left a compelling message on William Carter's profile, but didn't include cites to the DNA evidence she described. I would think--since I can only comment on DNA in this scenario--that detailed yDNA STR results should come forward.

Obviously, with a person dating to the 17th century, autosomal DNA is not in play.

With such a common surname (pot-kettle) I assume there is a surname project at FTDNA. Does the evidence come from there?
answered by Edison Williams G2G6 Pilot (177k points)
Thanks! I will ask her to add that.
I won't add the source.  It is a member of the Carter Society .  It isn't hard to find.  I of course am not very through.  Someone who is can easily find it.  I am done with Carter4290 .  I am really tried of being bulldozed over.
+4 votes
I have researched William Carter of Surry Carter-4290 about 12 hours a day for several years.  Not only is he a direct ancestor of 3presidents I can think of off hand he is my direct ancestor.  

I have researched all of his wives and children.  His neighbors business associates and anything else I come across.

The big joke on me was I thought asking a project to take over management was a good idea.  Wrong.

Another profile of William Carter son of John Carter the Vintner was created to replace William Carter4290.  Paula you have placed a comment on that profile saying HE IS THE SON of John Carter.

The will of John Carter is used as a source.  First of all let me state that that will is frequently used to prove the parentage of Carter-4290.  I personally have not used that will because it is not conclusive enough to provide prove.  That would be sloppy genealogy.  It has however been manipulated with pure supposition to support the parentage on the newer profile.

On that profile another source.  Very small and not a backed up by any other info source , has been used to say this man was different than William of Surry.  " a gold drawer."  Carter-4290 worked in the forge of George Menefie.  At that time forges did multiple jobs ,  carriers , wheel Wright's.  They made dinnerware out of pewter and silver.  Jewellery of gold and silver.  It would be an entirely credible thought that Carter-4290 bought gold in London.  Several records indicated he crossed the Atlantic several times.

They Two Carter's are the same man.  The profiles should be merged.  Like

Like I said I have researched the wife's of William of Surry , and their other husbands.  Alice Croxon Carter Parke Warren married Edward Warren as her third husband.  I asked if Rapheal Creed had a wife named Grace , you answers me back and said the person who researched the Ralph Creed profile was was very through. In comments after that you infected I was not through and used second hand info.  Well the Creed profile research was not through. The profile I created for Grace Creed Warren should be merged with that of Ralhp Creeds wife.  You asked that I provide a source.  I told you the source was on the profile.  I also said that the person didn't read read the source far enough to get all the info.   I'm not going to do the work of a"  through person" after that person has been nasty to me.  I am not going to do any work with anyone after they have insulted me.

Let that whole bunch of sloppy researchers , that are so through look up the DNA results.  They had no problem finding 20 year old , second hand incorrect sources.  

The conclusion was made by some wikitree members that DNA proved William Carter of Surry was not the son of John Carter the Vintner.  When in fact there was no evidence at the time to prove he was or wasn't.  The line of William Carter had daughtered out.  There were no males with a direct , documented line-up had DNA tested.  That has changed. I'm not dealing with this profile.  I'm tired of everything I do on it being wiped out.  Let them find , correctly interrupted it and document it .  I'm tired of comments about my work. Let them do it right.

Let them THEM do actual in dept research into the Carter family.  This irrelevant profile manager is done.  With William Carter. I would hang around to see how intelligent people make something so simple so complicated but it makes me sick thinking about it.
answered by Trudy Roach G2G6 Pilot (169k points)
As project manager, my contribution is to see that everyone works together on profiles according to our honor code and within WikiTree guidelines. Everyone contributing to this profile appears to me to have a positive, collaborative attitude. The conflict over this data has gone on for quite a long time. Older profiles with common southern names are not always easy to find records for.  That's why everyone is excited about the new DNA evidence that you mentioned.
Yeah.  Is everybody working together when I've actively worked this profile for years and they feel free to wipe out my personal notes to myself and a few other people who have interest in the person the profile is about. To belittle my work or others .  Ignore or call my sources " second hand information".  No thank You. When someone actually starts at John Carter and explores the long held myth that he had two wives.  Goes through 100s of references to find that the one prevalent thought is that he had one wife.  A Benion womAn.  Most likely Elizabeth.  That " Bridget " is a Nick name for  Elizabeth.  That the two wives Bridgit and Elizabeth are mostly like the same woman.

When the people doing the research quit manipulating sources to fit what they think , maybe I'll take William Carter's research seriously.

I had research notes that listed why I was going in the direction I was going in on the profile.  I didn't site them in the source section.  After comment about my work in e-mails I removed them.  The conflict has gone because no one has settled it. It could have been settle with the source I mentioned. But no.  Jeff Carter's book. The Ancestors of Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter was considered a second hand source.  Even though it is well sourced.

Since I seem to be the conflict I don't care what the chosen few do with the profile.
My carter DNA results should be back here soon . As I am related to Trudy I will post.


tks Deb
Thanks!! I am not an expert on this but the DNA project has always helpful whenever I request they take a look. I appreciate your offer!!
+3 votes

John Carter


BIRTH 1574 • Watford, Hertfordshire, England

DEATH MAY 1630 • St Bride Fleet Street, London, England

10th great-grandfather

answered by Laura Rose Carter G2G4 (4k points)
Laura, nobody wants you to leave.

I want you to stay.

Please feel invited to contact me and I will help in any way I am able.

- Keith
Keith, thank you for your kind words. I will make Laura read them when they wake her. I promise. It will be 4 to 6 days maybe longer depending on the weather and what the Dr's feel is medically necessary. Her that she is using for this, I believe, is carterfamilygenealogy@gmail.com

From what I have read here, I do not expect here to check here. An email would be better. My wife truly enjoyed this community. I now understand why she was upset we they put her in the coma.


Calvin Carter
Thank you Calvin,

I will email her next week and she can read it when able.

I'm sure you are doing what you can for her; please take care of yourself too... you can only be strong for others by keeping yourself healthy and sane.

Bless you both,

Thanks, we need it. How much has she told you about CES and AA?

Nothing directly, mainly just what was posted on her profile page a few days ago (it does not show now).  I had left a message on her page complimenting her for sharing.

She explains it better. But it's is an extremely painful spinal cord injury. It effects everything from the belly button down. These are some Youtube videos she uses to help in her support group

CES: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLslmDLm2NcA8mbNzZdz0wAqKyoih3yYM2

I have to try to take care of her service dogs and our son. I will check her email if you have questions. She had to stop training ESA and MSA for other people about a year ago when they started the ketamine treatments.


She advocates so she talks about it and won't mind my answering questions or being asked questions. Too many cases of CES are misdiagnosed and AA is then caused during treatment. Awareness is important to her so that others don't end up like her.

Have a good day. I will check her email later.

BTW, I just read the pedigree she had above. She made a mistake on her 10th Great-grandfather. To correct her, it is 

Wine Merchant John William Carter

Also known as JOHN WILLIAM "the Vintner" CARTER


BIRTH 1574 • Watford, Hertfordshire, England

DEATH MAY 1630 • St Bride Fleet Street, London, England

10th great-grandfather

This really is her direct pedigree line for her father and she has boxes of crap everywhere. I had hoped she would just take pictures or scan everything to word, but it has 6 generations of family handwriting she says it is important and till I read this, I did not realize how important. 

I know she has personally really researched every bit of it, but if she has decided not play I. Your sandbox, I can't change her mind. I do know she was hurt and upset, not because someone questioned validity of her work, but the way it was done.

The woman is the center of my world, she is crazy intelligent and interested in literally everything. The language was a major indicator of how upset she was.

could you please email me  tks
Yes, I could and have
Laura ,  didn't doesn't matter who's direct ancestor William Carter is .  What matters is his historical significance to the United States.  There is a ton of information on this man and his family.  The need wikitree has to slap info together in such and alfired hurry is not good. Time should be taken and profiles attached to John Carter as William Carter should have been discussed. But the second William Carter profile was created anyway.   I am also  of John Carter's direct line.  I doesn't make my info correct.  It doesn't make it wrong.  Truth it doesn't matter the man has been dead 400.  I also have boxes and boxes of research on William Carter.

Like Debbs said every Carter researcher sees that will. Not all chose to use it.  Not everyone choses to use Gabriel Benion info until which Benion womAn is proven to be the wife of John.

This about the lack of respect people have for each other on this. No one has a problem with people manipulating sources to state what the want.  But I refuse to resite my sources again and I'm violating the honor code.  

Not once have I written anyone ever a nasty email or comment.  But now I mention what said been said and done to me I am the bad one. I can't count the nasty emails I get. For no other reason for asking a question.  

If one is not one of the children few around here you can forget about getting fair treatment from a leader.
Hi Trudy,

This is Laura's husband, Calvin. She is currently in a medically induced coma but I am sure she would like to correspond with you when awakened. I had hoped that would be tomorrow, but it does not seem to be. Please email her at carterfamilygenealogy@gmail.com when you can. Meeting new cousin is truly important to her and part of her interest in this project,


Calvin Carter
+3 votes
If the answer were known, we'd know.  This isn't one of those where the article's been written but people are ignoring it.

The answer isn't in any primary source so far found, or any secondary source.

Sometimes all you can do is dispose of the known errors, confusions and unsubstantiated claims.  Then leave the unknowns unknown and wait for somebody to discover a new primary source, do a lot of work and write an article.
answered by RJ Horace G2G6 Pilot (434k points)
Good answer . the unknowns are what make it interesting and fun to research. tks
+3 votes
William Carter Sr.  Carter-4290 is the profile that was created to represent William Carter of Surry.  No matter who his parents are his descendants are presendents of The United States.  I had asked for project protection on the profile because of the many duplicates being created.  When William Carter,  Carter-16747 was created PPP was removed to it.  PPP should be put back on Carter-4290 SINCE he is actually the ancestor of the presidents and by his own deposition was born in 1600.  

If the other William  Carter , the Carter-16747 , the newly proposed son of John Carter never came to The United State as the profile states then he has no historical significance and doesn't need PPP
answered by Trudy Roach G2G6 Pilot (169k points)
edited by Trudy Roach
+4 votes

Thanks Paula for putting this question before the G2G forum. It will be great to see what people come up with. I am a profile manager for John Carter (Carter-1790), the possible father of William Carter of Surry, and created the profile of the other William Carter (Carter-16747) who I think was the son of John. Trudy is unquestionably the expert on all Virginian records relating to the Carters - my interest has been on the English records and connections that pre-date them. The possible DNA evidence is very exciting and I look forward to it being posted at some stage. I am no expert on DNA, but as William's line 'daughtered out', I am not sure what it can tell us with any degree of certainty. For my part, I believe that William Carter of Surry  was almost certainly related to John Carter the vintner (a cousin or nephew) but probably not a son. 

Why? Because William Carter of Surry, from the Virginian records, was born around 1599 and already in Virginia by 1622, years before the death of John Carter in 1629. There are two English records that place William, the son of John, as being born at least a decade later. First there is the will of John Carter (PCC proved 6/5/1630). It says, in part:

"One other equall third yte whereof I give and bequeath to my Children viz George William John Thomas Robert Anne Elizabeth Mary Silvester and Isabell Carter to bee devided parte and parte ___ , amongst them and to bee paid by my Executor when and at such tyme and tymes as they shall severallie and respectively attaine the age of one and twentie yeares And if it Shall happen any of my said Children to die before they shall attaine theire said age of one & twentie yeares as aforesaid Then I will and my meaninge is that the partes and persons of my estate of him her or them soe dyinge shall remayne and come unto the Survivors or Survivor of my said Children and to bee paid by my Executor at theire age of one and twentie yeares as aforesaid..."  

This places the age of all eight of his children under the age of 21 in 1630. Their mother 'Elizabeth' Benion has died earlier, and the executor of the will was their uncle Gabriel Benyon.

The second document I found on the index of the London Metropolitan Archives online, which is a Bond of the Court of Orphans of the City of London dated 1630: 


"CLA/002/04/079 (London Metropolitan Archives)  Carter, John, citizen and vintner 1630: George, orphan of; William, orphan of; John, orphan of; Thomas, orphan of; Robert, orphan of; Anne, orphan of; Elizabeth, orphan of; Mary, orphan of; Silvester, orphan of; Isabell, orphan of"

This is again strong proof that all of the children of John Carter were under the age of 21 in 1630.  It would be great if any Wikitreers in London could track down the actual bond from the London Metropolitan Archives - it is a very important piece of evidence on Carter family history that few seem to know about.

Another piece is more circumstantial, from the Calendar of State Papers Domestic Series Charles I 1641-1643 p. 512-3:

"1643: A collection of obligations and bonds to the Sergeant At Arms at the House of Commons.....13 June 1643: William Carter, goldwire-drawer, Gabriel Benyon, waxchandler, and George Carter vintner all of London in 500l. The committee for Examinations ordered that the gold and silver....seised at the Court of Guard by the officers of Captain Mainwaring and belonging to Wm Carter of London should be restored to Carter, he first giving security to the Serjant At Arms with condition to pay bay 60l......If therefore William Carter and the above bounden Gabriel Benyon and George Carter shall pay the sum of 60l to the use of the State....then this obligation shall be void.”

George Carter was the eldest son of John Carter, Gabriel Benyon his  uncle and the executor of his father John's will. This does seem to suggest that William Carter, son of John, was living and working in London in 1643.  It is of course still possible he was crossing backwards and forwards to Virginia - I have found no further mention in London records. 

So, the best solution I can think of is to continue to leave both Williams attached to John Carter, which is where it has been left, and continue to document the sources that arise. I think that both Williams both existed and were probably cousins of some sort. 

I'd love to hear if anyone else knows of sources that can shed light on this family. As 400 years have passed, I suspect we will never know the real answer.


answered by John Cherry G2G6 (6.1k points)
Thanks so much, John! Yes, this is how it appears to stand. I will see if I can get someone to track down the bond in London. There may be some volunteers with the UK project that are willing to help. Thanks for that suggestion!!
We do have a copy of John's will attached as a pdf which includes the transcription and images of the original here:

I'll do it next week. I'm a member of the LMA and have to visit before they shut down for a couple of weeks.
John I am also on the English side of the Carters back to 1200. Might be interesting to compare notes. tks Deb
+1 vote
Why should the parents of Carter-4290 be attached? Carter-16747 is he profile John Cherry created as a duplicate son for John Carter the Vintner.  When he asked me to detach the current parents.  I had a well stated , well sourced  reason. stated in my research notes on the profile at one time.  But John created another son.  I and several others I know want to actually go with the genealogical world on this one.  Since Jeff Carter's book is the most current well sourced info out their right I'll go with it.  

Carter-16747 is suggestions and supposition.  The new suggest is to create yet another.  Bridget Unknown profile for John Carter's wife.  Really if John's wife turns out to be Elizabeth , do do we have to have  profile in a name for Elizabeth.  Bridget.

Please excuse any type's I have MS.  In the past John has rewritten my work.  He is a retired journalist.  Of course he knows what I want to say better than I do.  Or he wouldn't have wiped it out like I asked.
answered by Trudy Roach G2G6 Pilot (169k points)
+2 votes

Just to heighten the dramatic tension this Halloween, in a few hours I'm going to the London Metropolitan Archives to examine


I'm sure it will simply confirm what we already know - that all John "the Vintner" Carter's children were under 21 when he died and it wasn't some old will. I'll post the transcript here this evening.

Just to manage expectations ... there aren't going to be any pictures. I could order a digitized image but copyright would still reside with the LMA and you need explicit written permission to publish it, even online. This seems a bit silly for documents centuries old BUT I need access to write my dissertation on medieval London so I'm not going to break their rules!

answered by Matthew Fletcher G2G6 Mach 6 (69.4k points)
Well ... this is embarrassing. I had to go to the archives after work so I didn't get there until around 6 and they close at 7.30. They're actually taking a break for two weeks so I had to go to check a couple of things myself. You can only have one item at a time so it was nearly 7 before I got the bond.

I'd imagined a few lines confirming the details we knew. Instead it's a single sheet of paper folded up and looking as if it's been left in a damp shed for several hundred years. It's been scrunched up at the top and the first few lines are completely illegible. There are also matching semi-circular 'bites' from the top and bottom where it had been folded up and damaged or eaten away. There are also several dark blotches on the main text that look like some fungus rather than discolouration. Although it's doubtless been treated now I was very glad to wash my hands after touching it!

The hand-writing wasn't terrible but it was difficult to read and seemed to be fairly densely written legalese. I could read bits here and there but with the pre-amble missing and all the other damage I couldn't possibly transcribe it in the time. If anyone else wants to try then you should set aside a day, or perhaps two people work on it together. I couldn't see anything at all, however, that makes me doubt that William was an orphan at the time of the bond. His name was in the list, after George, and I couldn't see it elsewhere. Until someone better at reading medieval documents than me comes along I suppose there remains an iota of doubt but I feel pretty safe assuming that John's son William was under 21.
Thanks for trying Matthew. Early 17th century documents take a lot of perserverance.  John

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