John Armistead

John Armistead (1635 - aft. 1697)

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Col. John Armistead
Born in Elizabeth City County, Colony of Virginiamap [uncertain]
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married about in Virginia Colonymap
Descendants descendants
Died after in Kingston Parish, Gloucester County, Colony of Virginiamap [uncertain]
Profile last modified | Created 24 Sep 2010
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US Southern Colonies.
John Armistead settled in the Southern Colonies in North America prior to incorporation into the USA.
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John Armistead is an ancestor of a US President/Vice President
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This person is an ancestor of President William Henry Harrison 9th US President



John Armistead, Colonel "the Councillor"


John was born probably before 1639 (possibly 1635) and certainly before 1645 (using ca 1641).[1] In August of 1660, when John made a power of attorney as executor for his brother, William, he was probably twenty-one at that time.[1] He was a son of William Armistead and Ann, of England. His parents immigrated to Virginia in about 1635, and settled at Elizabeth City County.[2] So while it is possible John was born in England, he was probably born in Elizabeth City County, Virginia.

John's mother is often called an Ellis, but there is no proof, and Patricia Hatcher, in her 2011 article on Judith Hone, called her Anne ________.[1]

Much study has been devoted to this family, as John and Judith Armistead are ancestors of Presidents William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison.[1]

Marriage and Children

John Armistead married to Judith (Hone, the daughter of Theophilus Hone and his 1st wife, (her name unknown).[1] (Please see Judith Hone profile for more info)

Children of John and Judith:[1]

  1. Judith Armistead, b c. 1662; m 1688 to Robert Carter[3]
  2. Elizabeth Armistead, ; m 1) on 6 Feb 1687 to Ralph Wormeley, Jr (1650-1701), 2) William Churchill[3]
  3. William Armistead, b ca 1671; mar Anna (Lee)
  4. Henry Armistead, b ca 1672; mar Martha (Burwell)

Above are the only known children of John and Judith. Others include the children below (without evidence, sources are Ancestry Family Trees and U.S. and International Marriage Records).

  • John Armistead, ; m Mary Brown
  • Mary Armistead, ;m Peter Rogers, Sr


  • Robert Beverley (1635–1687), business partner in several different enterprises over the 1660's, and then John married Judith Hone who was Robert's sister-in-law. Judith's sister, Katherine (Hone), married Robert Beverley.[2]

Hesse Plantation, Gloucester County, Virginia

John's father, William Armistead, had acquired substantial amounts of acres in both Elizabeth City and Gloucester Counties. John was not the oldest son, but he and his brother both received many acres which had originally belonged to their father. Possibly John's father sent him, when he came of age, to manage the plantation in Gloucester County. However it happened, in the 1650's, John removed to Hesse Plantation in Gloucester County, where he lived as a tobacco planter and "Councillor" for the rest of his life.[2] He became known as John Armistead Hon, of "Hesse" (p 74)[4] John built the house at Hesse, as the date 1674 can be seen carved into the chimney, (as of 1910, when Virginia Armistead Garber wrote her book on the family).[4] See drawing of Hesse.

House of Burgesses

Gloucester County lost almost all official records through multiple wars and fires. Therefore, we can only infer aspects of John's public and church service. Very likely he served as a vestryman of Kingston Parish. We know he served in both civil as well as military offices for Gloucester County. In 1670, he was a member of the County Court as well as a Colonel in the Gloucester County Militia.[2] John served Gloucester County in 1676 and in 1680 as High Sheriff.[2]

John Armistead, known as "the Councillor," was elected to the House of Burgesses in 1680, and he attended the first meeting of the Assembly of 1680–1682. He attended again in 1685, and in 1688, Governor Francis Howard, baron Howard of Effingham, who was a friend and visitor to the home of John's son-in-law Ralph Wormeley, appointed John Armistead to fill a vacant seat on the Council. He was sworn in on October 18, 1688, but in 1691, following the Glorious Revolution, John refused "thro Scruple of Conscience" to take the oath of allegiance to the new monarchs of England, William and Mary, and relinquished his seat.[2] On December 9, 1698, the Crown restored John's place on the Council, but he never took the oath. We do not know whether he had died by this date or was continuing his refusal to swear allegiance.[2]

Tobacco Plant-cutting Riots

Virginians were a proud and independent people, whether or not they owned property. As a result of the continuation of the aristocracy from England, and the indentured servitude system, there were limited opportunities for most to own land. Consequences of the recent Bacon's Rebellion, (1676–1677), were aimed at forcing obedience. For instance, suffrage had been the rule in Virginia since 1619; voting was not only a duty but compulsory.[4] After Bacon's Rebellion, the Governor suspended voting for a time as an attempt to gain control.[4] The more that England and the Council tried to insist, the more tensions mounted.[2]

Tobacco was the currency in Virginia, and when tobacco prices fell, the working people rebelled. They went into the fields of the large plantations and destroyed tobacco plants. This supposedly was an effort to drive up prices, but it was a symbolic gesture as much as anything else. From the planter's point of view, they were a "mutinous mob" whose actions were "wild and extravagant," going from farm to farm, tearing tobacco plants out by their roots. Governor Nicholas Spencer complained that the riotous "frenzy" destroyed tobacco plants at over 200 plantations.[2] John was in agreement with the governor, as he too deplored the tobacco plant-cutting riots. as they came to be called.[2] John was in favor of the strict policies and increased control implemented after Bacon's Rebellion. As sheriff, John arrested several women who were participating in the plant destruction.[2] Robert Beverley, the historian, was a member of the House of Burgesses and is sometimes called the instigator of the plant-cutting riots. He was outspoken in his opposition to the English policies of control, so he and John Armistead were at odds, politically and philosophically.[2]

Death and Legacy

On 18 March 1696/7, John signed a legal document acknowledging a deed of gift, so we know he passed away after that date, probably at Kingston Parish, Gloucester, Virginia.[1]

The date and place of his death are not known.[2] has both my data, and the original work of Virginia Garber, her data is so mixed up it it makes no sense. I spent over a year deciphering what she did and verifying with sources. Working with Armistead's here and in England. Doug Zimmerman


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 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. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 Billings, Warren M. and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. "John Armistead (fl. 1650s–1690s)." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, last modified July 8, 2013, Web accessed July 10, 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Berkeley, Edmund , Jr., transcriber, editor, and annotator, (October 10, 2009) "The Diary, Correspondence, and Papers of Robert "King" Carter." Library of
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Garber, Virginia A., (1910) The Armistead Family. 1635-1910.] Richmond: Whittet & Shepperson, (Pages 6-7, 21, 23, 74).
  • Zimmerman, Doug and Linn, "ARMISTEAD." extracted from The Armistead Family by Virginia Armistead Garber, organized for usability, archived 25 Feb 2011.
  • Hardy, Stella P, (1958) Colonial Families of the Southern States of America; a History and Genealogy of Colonial Families Who Settled in the Colonies Prior to the Revolution. Baltimore: Southern Book Co, (Pages 23, 448).
  • Metcalfe, Walter C., (1878) The Visitations of Essex by Hawley, 1552; Hervey, 1558; Cooke, 1570; Raven, 1612; and Owen and Lilly, 1634 ... London: Mitchell and Hughes (Pages 422-23).

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Images: 2
Virginia Plantation
Virginia Plantation

Hesse, the Plantation of Colonel John Armistead, Councillor
Hesse, the Plantation of Colonel John Armistead, Councillor


On 24 Jan 2017 at 03:03 GMT Cynthia (Billups) B wrote:

Armistead-223 and Armistead-4 appear to represent the same person because: Same name (birth date is a guess), same marriage (Judith's maiden name has now been resolved as Hone), same death (223 is an estimate - 4 is correct).

The only thing unresolved is what to do with the daughter Susan (cannot find her anywhere - please advise of any appropriate sources - not user-contributed). But this need not hold up the merge.

Please approve if you agree. Thanks!

On 26 Sep 2016 at 01:01 GMT US Presidents Project WikiTree wrote:

Armistead-223 and Armistead-4 do not represent the same person because: the dates on Armistead-223 are incorrect based on a source I just found

On 15 Sep 2016 at 23:45 GMT US Presidents Project WikiTree wrote:

Armistead-223 and Armistead-4 appear to represent the same person because: dates are very much the same, there is some discussion amoungst researchers that his wife was Judith Hone, and that the confusion with Robinson comes from her sister being married to a Robinson.

On 19 Sep 2015 at 23:52 GMT Robin Lee wrote:

Armistead-277 and Armistead-223 appear to represent the same person because: same name and dates

On 28 Jul 2014 at 06:41 GMT Cynthia (Billups) B wrote:

Disconnected Armistead-73 (John Armistead) from this profile as a son. Interestingly, John Armistead had no son named John. See pg. 31

Not sure where John belongs, yet Thanks!  :)

On 28 Jul 2014 at 06:38 GMT Cynthia (Billups) B wrote:

Disconnected Armistead-6 (Mary Armistead Rogers) from this profile as a daughter. John Armistead had no daughter named Mary. See pg. 31

Not sure where Mary belongs, yet Thanks!  :)

On 28 Jul 2014 at 06:31 GMT Cynthia (Billups) B wrote:

Disconnected Mary Brown-19861 as a daughter from this profile. John Armistead had no daughter named Mary. See pg. 31

Not sure where Mary belongs, yet Thanks!  :)

On 2 Feb 2014 at 14:44 GMT Andrew Moore wrote:

It appears Col. John Armistead may have been married to Judith Hone, whose sister was a Robinson (Katherine, nee Hone, Beverly then Robinson), according to research published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society-

"Author Patricia Law Hatcher shows that Judith (Hone) Armistead and Katherine (Hone)(Beverly) Robinson were daughters of Theophilus Hone of Gloucester County,Virginia."

Rejected matches › William Armistead 3rd (1671-1711)

John is 13 degrees from Jim Angelo, 15 degrees from Willis Carrier and 10 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.