2482. Col. Joseph Bridger & 2483. Hester Pitt [England, VA]
1628, Joseph born in Woodmancote, England, s/o 4964. Samuel Bridger & 4965. Mary Newce.
1633, Hester Pitt born in ?, d/o 4966. Col. Robert Pitt & 4967. Hester Stevens.
1650, in his father’s will Joseph received parcels of tenanted property in the surrounding parishes, notably Slimbridge.
Joseph, the 3rd s/o Samuel, was well educated.
1652, Joseph brought to VA by Col Nathaniel Bacon [not of Bacon’s Rebellion], with whom he later served as a “Councillor of State in Virginia to King Charles II”.
Joseph married Hester Pitt.
3/21/1664, “Capt. Joseph Bridger” & his father-in-law & William Burgh patented 300 acres in Isle of Wight Co., upon a branch of the Blackwater. (S) Isle of Wight, B4, P614.
1657-1658, Joseph a member of the Nansemond Council. (S) Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, V1, Publ. 1915.
1663, Joseph a member of the House of Burgesses from Isle of Wight Co.
3/21/1664, Col. Robert Pitt, Capt. Joseph Bridger, & William Burgh, 3000 acres. (S) Isle of Wight, B4, P614.
1664, Captain Bridger and two other Commissioners with Commissioners from Maryland went up the Chesapeake Bay to settle a dispute of a claim by the State of Maryland over a boundary.
6/7/1666, Joseph & William Burgh patented 7800 acres “beginning by a White Marsh, a meadow about a half a mile from the main run of the Blackwater”.
1670, Joseph a member of the Council. (S) AP&P, 1956, P334.
6/6/1672, “daughter Hester Bridger” mentioned in her father’s will. (S) Isle of Wight, WB2, P128. Hester did not receive anything, but she was married to one of the weathiest men at the time.
1673, Joseph became a member of the Council of State and 12-member General Court of governor Sir William Berkeley. Each of the advisors was allowed to hire 10 servants at public expense. They were paid a salary out of the taxes collected.
10/1/1673, Joseph Bridger and his father-in-law Col. Robert Pitt appeared in the James City Grand Assembly to address a land issue between them. (S) Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County Virginia, John Boddie, 1938.
3/1675, Coll. Thomas Godwin is listed with officers from Virginia. In the same list, near his name, is the name of Coll. Joseph Bridger. Gov. Berkeley authorized a 500-man army to fight the Indians appointing Joseph Bridger as a colonel. However, the Gov. did not actively engage the Indians. (S) Hening’s Statutes, March 1675-6, 28th Charles II, P330. In view of the lack of protection, the farmers rebelled, with the help of Nathaniel Bacon. The governor was forced to flee Jamestown and Bacon’s army burned the town.
Joseph Bridger witnessed the governor’s will while in exile. He was appointed by the King to continue as a member of the Council. The new governor of Virginia, Lord Culpepper, was instructed to rebuild Jamestown, and insructed that each Council member should build a home there.
1676, Col Bridger was an adherent of Gov. Berkeley during Bacon's Rebellion, serving as Paymaster General of the King’s Forces. This was the losing side, and he was denounced as one of the “wicked and pernicious councillors against the Commonality in these our cruel commotions”. (S) Seventeeth Century Isle of Wight County, Virginia; Boddie, 1938.
1677, Joseph a member of the Govenor’s court, and a witness to the Governor’s will. The King sent a commission to investigate the insurrection and Joseph was described as “active and instrumental” in restoring order.
7/15/1680, Joseph was commissioned to raise men to protect the frontiers against Indians and was placed in command over troops of Lower Norfolk, Nansemond, and Isle of Wight at Surry.
12/9/1680, Joseph Bridger sells Lt Col John Pitt land patented on Mar 21, 1664.
1681, Lord Culpepper commissioned Col Joseph Bridger sole commander against the Indians.
4/21/1682, “Ordered that Coll Joseph Bridger goe to the House of Burgesses, with a copy of yt part of his Majesties letter, that relates to the disbanding of the soldiers.” (S) Leg. Journals of the Council of Col. VA, Waine, P15.
11/10/1682, Joseph a member of the Gen. Assembly at James Citty. (S) Leg. Journals of the Council of Col. VA, Waine, P19. On 11/14 Joseph, “his Majesties Councel of State”, was appointed to give the Oath of Alliegence to all members. Also see PP20,22,23,28,30,35.
11/25/1682, Joseph Bridger’s home was completed in Jamestown; the Council met there in the afternoon. His residence was named Whitemarsh, a 17 room brick house. Otta, and old Negro man, and Isee, an old Negro woman, were in charge of operating his house, while 9 other slaves and 4 indentured servants helped maintain the estate.
5/29/1683, the governor appointed Joseph deputy vice-admiral, with jurisdiction over all Virginia's maritime matters.
8/3/1683, Joseph wrote his will. In his will he names his wife and children and leaves a bequest to his mother still living in Dursley, England. (S) Family notes.
10/18/1683, Joseph modified his will to revoke all bequests to his son Joseph, because he had “grown very disobedient to me.” (S) Family notes.
4/9/1685, Joseph modified his will, disowning all the descendents of his son Joseph.
6/1685, the Gov. left VA for London [he would not return], leaving the governing of VA to Joseph and his Council members.
4/15/1686 Joseph died; now buried [after his remains were moved] in Saint Luke’s Church, once renovated by workers Joseph brought from England. [During excavations at Whitemarsh his headstone was recovered. 10/11/1894 the bones and slabs were moved to St. Lukes Chruch, Smithfield, VA.] Joseph’s gravestone read: “Sacred to the memory of The Honourable Joseph Bridger Esq. Councellor of State in Virginia To King Charles the 2nd. Dying April the 15: A. D.: 1686. Aged 58 yeares. Mournfully left His wife, 3 sons, & 4 Daughters.”
6/28/1686, Joseph’s estate appraised by Col. James Powell. (S) Isle of Wight, B2, P255. [See “Cox” book No. 1034.]
7/16/1686, Hester distributed legacies of Joseph’s estate. (S) Isle of Wight, WB2, P254.
1711, Hester died in Isle of Wight Co., VA.
(S) Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County Virginia, by John Bennett Bodie, PP423-4. (S) George Thorpe and the Berkeley Company, A Gloucestershire Enterprise in Virginia, Alan Sutton 1982. (S) History of the Hundred of Berkeley by J. Smyth.
• Will of Joseph: Leg. wife Hester; son Samuel land bought of John and William Gatlin, whereon John Cooke now lives, also one-half of plantation at Curawoak; son William land granted me by escheat of 850 A. formerly belonging to Nathan Floyd, except what is disposed of by me to Francis Hobbs, Mrs. Dorothy Bond and William Blunt, also two tracts taken up by Col. Pitt, Mr. William Burgh and myself containing 3000 A., except 600 A. sold to Lt. Col. John Pitt, part of this tract leased by me to Thomas Mandue, Richard Parker, William Worrell, Richard Jones, Thomas Reeves, Robert Sturdy and others, also tract leased to Christopher Wade; to my wife the land on which I now dwell of 850 A. formerly belonging to Capt. Upton and 300 A. formerly belonging to Mr. Seward on which Mr. Izard, Ould Phillips and William Lewis lived, reversion to son Joseph with half of the tract at Curawoak and a tract at Monokin; Daughters, Martha Godwin, Mary, Elizabeth and Hester; my mother, Mrs. Mary Bridger. Wife Extx., with the assistaree of Lt. Col. John Pitt, Thomas Pitt and Col. Arthur Smith. D. August 3, 1683. Revocation of all bequests to son Joseph. October 18, 1683. Wit: James Bennett, Robert Pitt, Samuel Luck, Richard Glover. R. April 9, 1685. (S) Isle of Wight, WB2, P250.
Children of Joseph and ?:
i. Martha Bridger ( 1241), born ~1660 in Isle of Wight, VA.
ii. Mary Bridger, born ~1662.
Mary married Capt. Richard Tibboth, of the ship Mary and Ann.
1686, receipt by Capt. Rich’d Tibboth for his wife Mary, the money being 303 pds 8 sh and 5 pence, one silver punch Bowl, one small dish and spoon, containing 70 oz. due by the will of her father.
iii. Elizabeth Bridger, born ~1664.
Elizabeth married Thomas Lear, s/o John Lear of Nansemond Co.
iv. Hester Bridger, born ~1666.
Hester married George Williamson.
v. Samuel Bridger, born ~1668 in Isle of Wight, VA.
Samuel married Elizabeth Godwin2480ii, widow of Joseph Woory.
1705-06, Samuel a Burgess.
Samuel a Justice and Lt Col of Militia of Isle of Wight.
vi. Col. William Bridger, born ~1670 in Isle of Wight, VA.
William, “of White Marsh”
1678 William married Elizabeth Allen [Caudfield], d/o Maj Arthur Allen of Surrey.
1714, 1718, 1720-22, William a Burgess for Isle of Wight.
11/23/1730, William’s will proved in Isle of Wight.
William Bridger Jr, born ?.
James Bridger, born ?
1758-1767 James was a Burgess from Isle of Wight.
1768 James Coroner of Isle of Wight.
1769, 1770, 1772-74 James a Burgess from Isle of Wight.
vii. Joseph Bridger, born ~1672 in Isle of Wight, VA.
Joseph married ?, d/o of John Pitt ( 1242) [who apparently died prior to 1729.]
[This Joseph may have died in 1713.]
12/1/1729, Capt. Joseph Bridger mentioned in the will of John Pitt ( 1242) as living on his land. [John also mentions a grandson Joseph Bridger.]
7/3/1745, Joseph of Northampton Co., NC sold 436 acres for £18 to William Kinchen on the north west side of Mill swamp.