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William Armistead (abt. 1610 - bef. 1660)

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William "the Emigrant" Armistead aka Armestead
Born about in Englandmap [uncertain]
Ancestors ancestors
Son of [uncertain] and [uncertain]
Husband of — married about in Virginia Colonymap [uncertain]
Descendants descendants
Died before in Elizabeth City County, Colony of Virginiamap
Profile last modified | Created 25 Mar 2011
This page has been accessed 4,005 times.

Categories: English Immigrants to Virginia | Armistead Name Study | US Southern Colonist.

Entry by Jim Miller (appears that William Armistead arrived in Virginia in 1633): "Genealogical Notes York County, Virginia" Page 25: #74: (see link below):

"Mention of John Armistead heir and one of the executors of Mr. Wm. Farmstead deceased, who was assignee of Mr. Mathew Bassett, Sept. 11, 1660."

"Note, William Armistead settled in Elizabeth City County in 1633, was vestry man of Hampton Parish 1646, Married --------- and had with other son I Col. John Armistead (Above) long Justice of Gloucester County, sheriff, 1675, appointed to the council 1687, His John's seat was 'Hesse' gloucester county."
US Southern Colonies.
William Armistead settled in the Southern Colonies in North America prior to incorporation into the USA.
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William Armistead

Disputed Origin

Kirk Deighton, Yorkshire, England is often given as the place of origin for William Armistead, however we have no record to prove this. Patricia Hatcher, in her 2011 article on Judith Horne, does not accept the idea. She argues there are chronological difficulties with the claimed relationships. In addition, she points out that the surname, "Armistead," is common in Yorkshire, and the given names are found in other areas.[1]

Anthony Armistead and Frances Thompson are frequently named as the parents of William Armistead, immigrant,[2] yet the only "evidence" is that William named two of his children "Anthony" and "Frances." It seems there are no actual records which prove William Armistead's ancestry.[3]

The family of Anthony Armistead and Frances Thompson had a son, William, christened at All Saints Church, Kirk Deighton, Yorkshire, on 3 August 1610.[3] However, if this was the immigrant who patented large tracts of land in Virginia in 1636, then he was "a rather younger man than one would expect," at only twenty-six.[4]

No Sibling named Ralph

The Parish Records at Kirk Deighton, Yorkshire, England have by now been thoroughly searched, and there is not a Ralph Armistead.[5] On record, there are 10 baptism dates, 6 burial dates (some of William's siblings), but no Ralph.[5] In fact there is not any record of birth, baptism or death for any Ralph Armistead in Yorkshire.[5]

When this is viewed in connection with the discrepancies in time-line between Ralph, supposed son of William, and the other children of William, as pointed out by Virginia Garner, the chances that William had a son named Ralph seem very remote.[6]

Unknown Wife's Maiden Name

William married between 1627 and 1634 probably in Virginia, to Ann Unknown.[7] There is no evidence of Anne's maiden name. She is called only "Anne" by Charles P. Keith, by William Crozier,[2] and also by Virginia Gardner.[6]


  1. William Armistead, b c. 1638, No Issue
  2. John Armistead, b 1640, d 1688
  3. Anthony Armistead (Capt.), b 1645, d Oct 26, 1726 Elizabeth City Co. VA
  4. Frances Armistead, b c. 1647, d May 25, 1685; m 1) Justinian Aylmer, 2) Anthony Elliott, 3) Christopher Wormeley.

Above are the only proven children of William and Anne. Others include the child below (without evidence, source is Ancestry Family Trees and U.S. and International Marriage Records).

Note: Virginia Gardner is not sure that Ralph Armistead (who patented 48 acres in 1678 at Kingston Parish, Gloucester) was a son of William, because his timeline is different than the other children (Page 19).[6] As noted above, it now seems there was no sibling named Ralph, so the chances the Ralph who immigrated in 1678 was a son of William seem remote. If Ralph was not a family name, there is actually no reason to believe he was closely related to William.

Elizabeth City County

William probably arrived by 1635, as he received a patent on 7 July 1636 for 450 acres at Elizabeth City Co (Gloucester County after 1642), for the transportation of 9 persons, including his wife, Ann.[8]

Death and Legacy

William died by 1660, when on the "last of August" 1660 John Armistead, as executor for his brother, William Armistead, made power of attorney in York County, Virginia.[9] His second son, John, was named heir of his first son, William, who died childless.[2]


  1. Hatcher, Patricia, L., (2012) "Identifying Judith Hone, Wife of John 2 Armistead of Virginia, with Hone and Aylmer Ancestry of Presidents William Henry and Benjamin Harrison." American Ancestors Journal. Boston, MA: NEHGS (2012, Pages 352-64).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Crozier, William A., Virginia Heraldica Being a Registry of Virginia Gentry Entitled to Coat Armor, with Genealogical Notes of the Families , (Page 96) New York: The Genealogical Association, 1908, Web accessed September 14, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Keith, Charles P. The Ancestry of Benjamin Harrison President of the United States of America, 1889-1893: in Chart Form Showing Also the Descendants ... and Notes on Families Related. (Page 13), Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1893, Web accessed July 11, 2014.
  4. Appleton, William S. The family of Armistead of Virginia, (Page 5) Boston: David Clapp & Son, 1899, Web accessed July 11, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Zimmerman, Doug and Linn, "ARMISTEAD", extracted from The Armistead Family by Virginia Armistead Garber, March 26, 2014, Web accessed September 14, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Garder, Virginia A., The Armistead Family. 1635-1910. (Page 19) Richmond: Whittet & Shepperson, 1910, Web accessed July 28, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 Keith, Charles Penrose, (1893) The Ancestry of Benjamin Harrison ... Philadelphia: [J. B. Lippincott Co.] (Page 13).
  8. Nugent, Nell Marion, (1934) Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1623-1800, 1st ed. Richmond: Dietz Print Co., (Page 45).
  9. Hatcher, Patricia, L., (2012) "Identifying Judith Hone, Wife of John 2 Armistead of Virginia, with Hone and Aylmer Ancestry of Presidents William Henry and Benjamin Harrison." American Ancestors Journal. Boston, MA: NEHGS (2012, Pages 362 footnote).

See also:

  • John Michael Harris, Camberwell, London, England, research presented here [English Armisteads]
  • Kinard, June. comp. Early Immigrants to Virginia from the 1500s and 1600s.


  • Thank you to Doug and Linn Zimmerman for the extraction of the dense but confused book, The Armistead Family. 1635-1910, by Virginia Armistead Garber.

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No known carriers of William's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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On 24 Jun 2015 at 00:41 GMT Katharine (Mounger) Jones wrote:

Armistead-275 and Armistead-10 appear to represent the same person because: Almost all the details are the same.

On 15 Sep 2014 at 00:33 GMT Cynthia (Billups) B wrote:

New evidence now makes it more likely than not that Ralph Armistead (Armisted-15) was not a son of William, and was probably not closely related. Anyone have any comments on this? Thanks

William is 23 degrees from Neil Armstrong, 34 degrees from Gaile Connolly and 15 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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