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First Generation


1. Robert Bedwell1 was born on 24 Jan 1634/35 in St. Giles, Cripplegate Parish, London, England.1 He was christened on 8 Feb 1634/35 in St. Giles, Cripplegate Parish, London, England.2 He died in Jun 1686 in Kent County, Delaware.3 He was a planter and a carpenter.

Robert Bedwell, the original immigrant ancestor of the people chronicled in this genealogy, was probably born in England in the first half of the 17th Century. He seems to have emigrated to Virginia Colony in America by 1659, where he was a carpenter and a planter. He married, had at least five children, then endured the death of his wife, Ann Colly Bedwell. Remarrying, he sold his land and other holdings in Old Rappahannock County, Virginia, then moved north and resettled in Kent County-on-the-Delaware. There, he appears to have been a leading man in the community, serving as a delegate to the first Pennsylvania Assembly.

A common belief among Bedwell family researchers is that Robert Bedwell is the son of Thomas Bedwell and Mary Ashton of St. Giles Cripplegate Parish, London, England. The St. Giles Cripplegate Parish records show Thomas and Mary Bedwell did have a son named Robert on 24 January 1634/35. However, proof is lacking that this is the same Robert Bedwell who appears in Virginia in 1661.

Another possibility for Robert Bedwell's origins is found in Richard Norwood's Survey of St George Island, Bermuda, completed 1662-1663 (but unknown how long it took to compile) show John Bedwell and Robert Bedwell among those listed as occupying the Governor's 12 shares at the east end of St George's Island. There is also an earlier reference to Bedwells in Bermuda: "Grace Bedwell trial (accused of witchcraft) at an assize 1655 wife of John Bedwell of town of St George's; Charges: marks on her body, afflicting several people incl Kate, and Indian woman servant of Robert Powell found not guilty" (from Memorials of the Bermudas by Maj Lefroy). Bermuda was part of Virginia Colony at this time.

Lending support to this theory, Bruce Bendler's Colonial Delaware Records, 1681-1713, page 1, Kent County Rent Roll, 1681-1688, shows “Jno Bedwell”, just the name, no other information. In the same book, Robert Bedwell is shown as the owner of The Flowery Neck, 1050 acres, surveyed June 21, 1685; granted June 20, 1679. Are these men, John Bedwell and Robert Bedwell, the same ones found in earlier records on St. George's Island in Bermuda?

Robert Bedwell first appears in records on the American mainland in Old Rappahannock County, Virginia Colony, where he received a grant of land in 1661 (Cavaliers & Pioneers, by Nugent, page 335). Additional land was also received for paying the passage for two non-family members. Early deed records show a wife, Ann. (Rappahannock County, Virginia Deeds 1668-1672, page 94). Ann is deceased in 1675. According to deed records, Robert then married Susanna (Widow Fisher). Apparently, he adopted her son, Adam Fisher.

• (Rappahannock County, Virginia Deeds, pages 105-106):

Description: 640 acres on the North side of Rappahannock River; adjoining the land of John Williams, thence &c on the North East side of a branch of Totske called the Beaver dams branch. P0lents. 20 February 1662. Source: Land Office Patents No. 5, 1661-1666 (v.1 & 2 p.1-369), p. 337 (Reel 5). Part of the index to the recorded copies of patents for land issued by the Secretary of the Colony serving as the colonial Land Office. The collection is housed in the Archives at the Library of Virginia.



"To all &c whereas &c now know ye that I the said William Berkeley Knight Governor &c give and grant unto Robert Bedwell six hundred and forty acres of land in the county of Rappahannock in the parish of Farnham on the north side of Rappahannock River, and beginning at a marked red oak on the north east side of the land of John Williams and _ north east three hundred and twenty poles to a marked red oak on the north east side of a branch of Totoske called the Beaver dams branch and thence north west over the said branch again three hundred and twenty poles to a red oak. Again south west three hundred and twenty poles to the land of John Williams aforesaid and finally south east three hundred and twenty poles by a line of marked trees that divideth this land and the land of John Williams aforesaid to the place where it began including some certain points of land lying between this land and the aforementioned branch containing eighty seven acres being in all seven hundred and twenty seven acres land. Six hundred and forty acres thereof being formally granted to the said Bedwell and Richard Powell by patent dated the tenth of September one thousand six hundred and sixty one and is since become wholly unto the said Bedwell. And eighty seven acres the residence being _ per transportation of two persons &C to have and to hold &C. To be held &C yielding and bargaining to _ &C. Dated the twentieth of February one thousand six hundred and sixty two."


Robert Bedwell appears to have been in Virginia Colony for at least two years prior to this land grant, however, as his name appears in 1659 as "Robert Bedwell, Virginia, Rappannock" on a bill (Deed Book 2-345 Feb. 10, 1659 R.B.) which appears to be an order by the court to pay certain expenses incurred, perhaps by the court.

There are four references found in original documents that list Robert Bedwell working as a carpenter in History of Old Rappahannock County, Virginia, 1656-1692, by Thomas Hoskins Warner (Pauline Pearce Warner, Publisher, Tappahannock, VA 1965). Deed records also list him as a "planter".

In the summer of 1679, Robert Bedwell and his son-in-law, Isaac Webb, traveled to Kent County, Delaware where they obtained a grant of land. During this time away, daughter Elizabeth appears to have been managing the family's affairs in Virginia, selling parts of their tobacco crop on several occasions (see Notes for her listing). After spending the fall and winter making improvements on the land, they returned to Virginia to complete final preparations for the move. Robert and Susanna sold their final holdings in the state of Virginia in April, 1680. (Rappahannock County, Virginia Deeds 1672-1682, pages 105-106).


The Duke of Yorke Record...1646-1679, pages 155-156:

(213) “A Pattent for a parcell of land on the West side of Delaware Bay graunted unto Robert Bedwell. Sir Edmund Andros Knt. &c. Whereas there is a certaine parcell of land on the W. side of Delaware Bay scituate lyeing & being on the S. E. side of St. Jones Creek, called by the name of Folly Neck, the which hath been layd out for Robert Bedwell, beginning at a markt black Oake standing by the said Creeke side neare unto a branch goeing up to a Beaver (213) Damm being at the North side of the sd Branch separating this from the land of Joshua Barkestead and runing from the said Oake North up the sd St. Jones Creeke, then North North West twenty foure perches up the sd Creek then North North East four degrees Easterly to a point by said creeke, and from thence up the sd Creeke North West and by North one hundred and sixty Perches to a marked Black Oake standing on the South East side at the Mouth of a branch proceeding from St. Jones Creeke, aforementioned and comonly called the Cypresse branch and from thence runing South West and by West sixty Perches binding likewise upon sd branch, then South south East also binding upon the sd Branch one hundred and forty perches from the head of sd Branch, then south east fifety six Perches to a marked red Oake standing in the woods about forty perches from the head of the sd Branch, then south east fifety six Perches with a line of marked trees to a bounded black oake standing in ye woods by Chaptanck road and from thence North East to the head of the South Easter most branch of the aforesd Beaver damm and so binding up the sd branch and sd Beaver damm unto the first bounded black oake containing eight hundred acres of land as by the returne of the survey and certificate from the Court at ye Whorekill that the same is already seated by the sd Robert Bedwell doth and may appeare. Know yee &c. Quitt Rent. 8 Bushells of winter Wheate. Dated in New Yorke, the 20th day of August 1679.”
(Folio 160)

• From The Duke of Yorke Record...1646-1679, page 188: "A Pattent for parcell of land on the West side of Delaware Bay. Granted unto to Joshua Barkstead. .....being on the S. E. side of St. Jones Creeke called Caroone manor...next to land of Robert Bedwell....being 800 acres. Quitt rent 8 bushells of wheate. Dated in New Yorke the 20th day of August 1679."

• From Deed Book B, Vol.1, page 19 in 1683, Kent County, Delaware:

“Know all men by these presents, That I Christian the Indian, alias Patequoquo, Lord and Owner of all the land between Murderkill and Duck Creek, have alienated, bargained and sold and do by these presents bargain and sell unto Thomas Bedwell, Henry Bedwell, Robert Bedwell Junior and Adam Fisher, sons of Robert Bedwell Senior, plantor, to them their heirs and assigns, forever, that is to say: Eleven hundred acres of land, together with the runs and branches bounding and adjoining to the same, know by the name of Longneck, being situated on Isaac Webb's Branch, as may appear by the Certificate under the hand of Richard Noble Moore, attorney at large, and further do give and grant unto the said Robert Bedwell and Adam Fisher, aforesaid, their heirs and assigns forever, all rights and privileges of hunting, fishing and fowling upon the said land and branches aforesaid. To have and to hold all and singular the premises without molestation and trouble from me, my heirs or assigns, or any Indian whatsoever, in consideration of the premises aforesaid, I have received of Robert Bedwell Senior the which he hath paid me before the signing and securing hereof for and in the behalf of the aforesaid Thomas Bedwell, Henry Bedwell, Robert Bedwell junior, and Adam Fisher, Three overcoats, three gallons of drink, four double handfulls of powder, and four double handfulls of shot, or the value of the aforesaid premises to my content and satisfaction and do acknowledge to have received of him the said Robert Bedwell and to be fully satisfied and do by these presents acquit him the said Robert Bedwell and the aforesaid Thomas Bedwell, Henry Bedwell and Robert Bedwell Junior and Adam Fisher, his heirs and assigns, of the same as witness my hand and seal this Tenth dau of the Tenth Month 1683.
Was signed and sealed by
his sign
s/Christian the Indian (Seal)”


• In March 1682-3, Robert Bedwell was one of six delegates from Kent County-on the-Delaware to the first regularly scheduled Pennsylvania Assembly at Philadelphia. He went again in 1686 shortly before his death in June 1686. (History of Delaware 1606-1888 by Scharf, Volume 1, page 86).

Calendar of Kent County, Delaware probate records, 1680-1800, De Valinger, Leon,. Dover, Del.. Public Archives Commission, State of Delaware. 1944:

Bedwell, Robert. Admin. of, to Susannah Bedwell, widow. June 14, 1686. Penna. Hist. Soc. Papers, vol. AM. 2013, page 66.

Ann Colly4 (daughter of Thomas Colly) was born about 1629 in probably England.4 She died in 1675 in probably Old Rappahannock County, Virginia.4

Name also may have been spelled Colley or Cowley. Ann may have been born in Virginia. See notes for Thomas Colly. Robert Bedwell and Ann Colly had the following children:

+2

i.

Thomas Bedwell.

+3

ii.

Robert Bedwell Jr..

+4

iii.

Henry Bedwell.

+5

iv.

Mary Bedwell.

+6

v.

Elizabeth Bedwell.

Robert Bedwell and Susannah [--?--] were married after 1675 in Probably Old Rappahanock County, Virginia.