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First Generation


1. NICHOLAS GENTRY1 was born about 1660 in England.2 He died circa 1736 at the age of 76 in Hanover County, Virginia.3

The first Gentrys found in colonial Virginia were Samuel and Nichols Gentry. Samuel either died or returned to England as he soon disappeared from the records. The two men lived on adjoining properties indicating a likely relationship. They had children baptized in St. Peter's Parish, New Kent Co, at about the same time, 1687, indicating they were probably close in age.

From CAVALIERS & PIONEERS, Nugent, Vol II, p.282:
Samuell Gentrey, 300 acres, New Kent Co; S. side York R; betw. brs. of same and brs. of Tottapottamoys Cr. 21 Oct 1684. Adj. Col John Page Esqr, Edward Houchin, & Nicholas Gentrey. Trans. of 6 pers: John Morris, Francis Middleton, Hen. Tully, Elizabeth Ody, Mor. Gardner, 2.
Here is the disposition of Samuel Gentry's grant:
From CAVALIERS:
Book III, p.107 David Holt 300 acres New Kent, S side York R bet branches of river & Totopotomoys Creek 2 May 1706. Adj Col. John Page, Edward Hawkins, Nicholas Gentry. Granted Samuel Gentry 21 Oct 1684; deeded to David Crawford, Grandfather of said David Holt on 5 Jan 1685 who conveyed to David Holt by deed of gift 28 May 1686. David Holt was then and still is a minor.

That Nicholas Gentry's transport to America was paid by another is evidences by CAVALIERS, Vol III, p.37
George Alves, 1014 acres, New Kent Co in St. Peter's Par; both sides Totopotomoys Cr, 24 Apr 1700. Trans. of 21 per. [includes Nicholas Gentry as well as George & Alice Alves]
This transport was obviously claimed some years after the fact as Nicholas Gentry was already living on the Tottapottamoy in 1684. The Alves family will also be found living near the Gentry's upriver at a later settlement.

Samuel Gentry was likely the first of the two men to arrive. From Court Order Book 1, Middlesex Co VA is the following entry dated 7 Sep 1674.
Certificate is graunted this day to Nicholas Cocke upon his Oath according to Act for transportation of Seven persons. Richard Anderson, Samm Salmon, Daniel Allpool, Jane Ward, Robert Reppett, Clemcent de Loppo, Saml Gentry.

The dates of birth and death for Nicholas are simply those that appear often in databases - there apparently is no record of either although he probably was born 1657-1662.

The articles online in the JOURNAL OF GENTRY GENEALOGY have dispelled some of the myths generated through the years in regard to Nicholas & Samuel Gentry. One story was that they had served in the British Army against Nathaniel Bacon's Rebellion of 1676 and then remained. Since Samuel had come two years earlier, this story is obviously not possible.
Parents have been proposed as Samuel Gentry & Margaret Draper but this cannot be substantiated. There were Gentrys in county Essex in England and in Kelvedon parish are records of baptisms of children of Nathaniel & Mary Gentry to include a Samuel born 22 Jul 1649. There is no Nicholas but that does not rule out the possibility that there was also a Nicholas - there is also no record of the marriage of this Nathaniel & Mary Gentry. A wife named Lucy Cornelius is present in the Ancestral File of the LDS church; again there is no substantiation for such a person. No record has been found that gives the name of the wife of Nicholas Gentry.

Another wife is reported to have been a Mabel Wood - this is erroneous. In the St. Peter Parish Vestry Book, 25 Nov 1700, Mabell Wood, widow, received a payment from the vestry for her support. On 22 Oct 1701, Nicholas Gentry was paid for clothes and sundry items for Mabell Wood. Nicholas did name a daughter Mabel - she was baptized 13 Dec 1702.

There is a distinct possibility that Nicholas was married twice because of what seems to be a rather wide span in the ages of his children.

NICHOLAS GENTRY had the following children:

2

i.

Joseph GENTRY2 was born about 1688 in New Kent County, Virginia.4

Joseph Gentry first appears in the vestry records of St. Peter's Parish in 1709. There is no baptism record for him as a son of Nicholas. However he appears in processing records along with Nicholas Gentry in the church records. The records of the elder Nicholas seem to cease after 1709; records that appear beginning in 1719 are in a different location & probably those of Nicholas II. Joseph Gentry continued to live in the Totopotomoy Creek area through the processioning records of 1751. If Joseph was of age when he first appeared in 1709, it was born by at least 1688. He is assumed to be the eldest son of Nicholas I, given that there are no other Gentry candidates in New Kent County.

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ii.

Elizabeth GENTRY2 was born on 29 August 1689 in New Kent County, Virginia.2

The date of birth given for Elizabeth was her baptism, St. Peter's Parish.

Elizabeth Gentry is often seen as married to James Haggard, believed to be the immigrant of the Haggard line. They were not in the same location so this seems highly unlikely. A later Elizabeth Gentry, daughter of Nicholas II, married Nathaniel Haggard, son of James, and perhaps the Elizabeths have been confused.

Some also show Mabel Gentry as married to both James & Nathaniel Haggard which also appears unlikely. When Nicholas Gentry II made out his will, he named a daughter as Elizabeth Haggard and he had no daughter named Mabel. The generations have apparently been confused.

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iii.

Samuel GENTRY.

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iv.

NICHOLAS GENTRY II.

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v.

Mabel GENTRY was born on 13 December 1702 in New Kent County, Virginia.2

The date of birth for Mabel Gentry is instead her baptism date, St. Peter's Parish, New Kent Co. Some say she married Nathaniel Haggard of New Kent and they had a daughter Nancy who married Joseph Dabbs, 11 Jul 1733, Goochland Co VA

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vi.

James GENTRY was born (date unknown).

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vii.

David GENTRY.