- Born: 2 Feb 1648, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England
- Marriage: Ann
This John Pomfret came to Virginia in 1702, transported by Richard Littlepage. He was a step-brother or half-brother to John Waller, Jr., son of Mary Key Pomfret (widow) and Capt. John Waller of Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England. John Pomfret and John Waller sold their headrights* to Richard Littlepage. The Pomfret and Littlepage families continued to live in the same communities until about 1785.
* headwright: a grant (as of money or land) formerly given one who fulfilled certain conditions relating especially to settling and developing land (as used in Virginia in 1619 and in Texas in 1839)
+ as aposed to indentured servant: a person who came to America and was placed under contract to work for another over a period of time, usually seven years, especially during the 17th to 19th centuries. Generally, indentured servants included redemptioners, victims of religious or political persecution, persons kidnapped for the purpose, convicts, and paupers.
+ redemptioner: an emigrant from Europe to America, generally in the 18th or early 19th century, who gained passage to American Colonies by selling themselves into indentured servitude for a specified period of time to pay back the shipping company and/or landowner who had advanced the cost of the transatlantic voyage. The indentured servants were considered the property of their master for up to seven years of the indentured servitude.
Indentured servitude was developed by the Virginia Company in the early 1600s to supply cheap labor to early American settlers who needed help caring for their large land plots. Somewhere between one-half and two-thirds of European immigrants to America worked as indentured servants to afford the trip overseas. Both adults and children worked as indentured servants.
Indentured servitude was not the same as slavery, but indentured servants could be sold or inherited during their contract term. They performed work such as bricklaying, plastering, blacksmithing, cooking, gardening and housekeeping.
An indentured servant's work contract could be extended for bad behavior such as getting pregnant, even if she got pregnant from her master, or running away. Whipping was another common punishment. Indentured servants were prohibited from getting married or having children until they earned their freedom. Many indentured servants died from hard work or disease, and many others ran away. Those who completed their contracts earned their freedom. Indentured servitude declined in popularity when the enslavement of black Africans became commonplace.
On pages 66 & 67 of Our Webb Kin of Dixie by William James Webb, published in 1940:
The name Pomfret does not appear frequently in American records. The story I have of this family is that one John Pomfret emigrated from England to America, settling first in Connnecticut. Later he moved to King William Co., Va. Apparently he had only one son, John. This John married Ann Hunt, had a large family, and later in life moved to Granville Co., where most of his children made their homes.
Tradition, and perhaps records, have it that the immigrant John, was an earl, married a Miss Aylette. From some books of peerage is quoted "John William Femor Pomfret came to America in 1722, landed in Conn., moved to King William Co., Va. His only son John moved to N. C. and died there." In an old book "Constitution of the Presbyterian Church" in Granville, printed in 1797, we find memorandum as follows:
Age of John Pomfret's children:
Franky Pomfret born born Aug. 7, 1747.
Mary Pomfret born Mch. 31, 1749.
Joseph Pomfret born Mch. 31, 1751.
Elizabeth Pomfret born Jan. 15, 1753.
John Pomfret born Jan. 6, 1757.
Ann Pomfret born May 4, 1759.
Amy Pomfret born Jan. 23, 1760-61.
Sarah Pomfret born Jan. 8, 1763.
In the same book a record in pencil:
John William Femor Pomfret born Feb. 11, 1617, Pontiface, Yorkshire, England.
Sarah Aylette wife of John William Femor Pomfret born Oct. 6, 1620, Blackburn Lancastershire [Lancashire] England.
John Pomfret, son of John W. F. Pomfret was born in Poneface, England Feb. 2, 1648.
Ann Pomfret, wife of John Pomfret was born in Herfordshire Eng. Jan 14, 1648.
Ann Pomfret, dau. of James Hunt was born Jan. 14, 1723 and departed this life 6 day of Mch, 1794.
John Pomfret, son of John Pomfret was born Feb. 2, 1720 and departed this life May 6, 1814.
In Book O, page 414, Granville Co. records, date 1785 is noted a deed from John Hunt to John Pomfret. In 1795, just after his wife's death, he deeded this plantation to his son-in-law John Blackwell, reserving a graveyard. This old place is near the Oak Hill High School - probably the original house still standing. In the graveyard I find stone at his youngest daughter's grave: Stephen Beasley. Died 1857 92 years and 9 mos. old. Sarah Beasley died 1848. Aged 83 years and 2 mons.
In 1834, Mrs. Amy Smith, dau. of John Pomfret drew an elaborate Family Tree. The Trunk: John Pomfret married Ann Hunt; the branches
(1) John Pomfret (no children)
(2) Elizabeth married Peter Bennett (8 children)
(3) Frances married John Blackwell (12 children)
(4) Mary married Isaac Butler (9 or 10 children)
(5) Sally married Stephen Beasley (6 children)
(6) Amy married James Smith (11 children)
At the bottom this note: Children 6, grandchildren 47, gr. grandchildren 218, Gr. gr. grandchildren 138, g. g. g. grandchildren 4. Total in 1834 413.
The name John Pomfret is still used in the Blackwell family (E 45) John Pomfret Webb (E 42) was a grandson.
John married Ann. (Ann was born on 14 Jan 1648 in Herefordshire, England.)