BRIDGER Family of England, Virginia, and North Carolina

 

St. Luke's Church
St. Luke’s Church

 

The tombstone in the floor of St. Luke's Church
The tombstone in the floor of St. Luke’s Church

Joseph Bridger Sr. signature

Signature of Joseph Bridger Sr.

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Woodmancote Manor, birthplace of Joseph Bridger

This website shares my personal story of how I discovered my Bridger ancestors.

I had one of those” serendipity” moments in December of 2008 that genealogists often have when they least expect it. I traveled often with my husband when he worked near Williamsburg, Virginia. In early December we stayed over a weekend, which we normally don’t do. We had been to Williamsburg many times, so when I saw a tourist brochure in our hotel lobby for Smithfield, Virginia,

Smithfield brochure

a town about an hour from Williamsburg, I told my husband that it looked like a quaint town with many Victorian homes and I thought we would enjoy a visit there. We drove into Smithfield on Sunday and stopped first at the museum. I didn’t even realize we were in Isle of Wight County until I saw the sign on top of the museum.


Isle of Wight Museum

As we started to walk into the museum, a woman ran across the street behind us and said she would open the museum for us. When we entered, she asked us to wait in the gift shop because she needed to go around the museum to turn on the lights.  As I walked into the gift shop my eye immediately fixed on a thick red hard bound book in the corner of the shop on a shelf entitled Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County Virginia by John Boddie.

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I knew for sure that either me or my husband had ancestors from Isle of Wight, but I couldn’t remember which ones. So I quickly started skimming the index for family names. Then the name BRIDGER jumped out at me. Of course! This is the family that I had discovered when I had a previous serendipity moment in the Butler County Courthouse in Kentucky. The Registrar for the local DAR Chapter who happened to be in the museum at the same time that my sister and I was there researching our ancestors found that one of our ancestors was a Revolutionary War Patriot. Then she said “your Talitha Cotton’s mother was a BRIDGER!” She said that like I should have known what she meant, but I didn’t. I have since come to understand what she meant by that comment.

When the docent in the museum finished turning on the lights, she came into the gift shop and noticed I was looking at the book. She told me that there was another book that I might want to look at – Marriages of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, 1628-1800.

Isle of Wight Book Marriage Book

I told her that I was sure that I wouldn’t find my ancestors in that book because the records had surely been burned or lost during the Revolutionary or Civil War, as many Virginia records had been. She said no, that there was a very interesting story that was well known in Isle of Wight about that, as told in the historical fiction book No Borrowed Glory (that she pointed out was also in the museum gift shop). The book tells the story about Mrs. Elizabeth Bennett Young who, knowing the value of the Isle of Wight County records and the Old Brick Church Vestry records, buried them outside of town in a deer skin trunk until after the war was over. Along the way, Mrs. Young was stopped by British soldiers while in a wagon leaving town with a man who was riding along to help her. The soldiers let her go without searching the trunk because Mrs. Young told them that she had her dead baby in the trunk that she was taking the trunk to a graveyard to bury her son. The soldiers actually watched her to make sure that she did indeed bury the trunk. After the war the trunk was dug up and that trunk was in the Isle of Wight Museum for many years until it disintegrated. Then again, during the Civil War, the records were again saved from destruction. So, unlike many records from Virginia, the Isle of Wight County records are very complete from the early beginnings of the county in 1628.

The docent then told me that we needed to get out to St. Luke’s Church before they closed at 4 o’clock. She said “A Bridger finished that church.” So after a look through the museum we drove the short drive to St. Luke’s Church. A volunteer docent walked us from the St. Luke’s Church gift shop down to the “Old Brick Church” as it has long been named, and told us that St. Luke’s, which was built about 1632, is the oldest brick church still standing complete in all of the United States. Our founding fathers’ met and worshiped in that church.

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Elaine at the entrance to the Old Brick Church.
Elaine at the entrance to the Old Brick Church.

As we walked into the old church, I got chills up my spine as I saw that there was a large stone marker (see photo above) which is one of only two in the floor, right in front of the alter of the church which was placed over the bones of my ancestor Joseph Bridger which read:

SACRED TO THE MEMORY

OF THE HONORABLE JOSEPH BRIDGER ESQ.

COUNCELLOR OF STATE IN VIRGINIA TO KING CHARLES

ye 2d DYING APRIL ye 15 A.D.1686 AGED 58 YEARS

MOURNFULLY LEFT HIS WIFE 3 SONS 4 DAUGHTERS

She told us that Colonel Joseph Bridger, a Royalist and a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, served the King of England until his death in 1686 at age 58. Joseph Bridger gave the money to help finish the church and brought men from England to help build the church tower. To honor him, church members chose to have his bones removed from his gravesite at his home, Whitemarsh, and rebury them in the church. Joseph Bridger’s wife was Hester Pitt, daughter of Robert Pitt, who was also a Burgess. The docent at the church then told me that there was a Bridger Family Association that I might want to join. From their website, I learned that the bones of Col. Joseph Bridger, determined to be one of the wealthiest men in Colonial Virginia at the time, were exhumed in April of 2007 and taken to the Smithsonian Institution for study. Smithsonian anthropologist Dr. Douglas Owsley and his team have studied the bones for information on Bridger such as his health, diet and build. The information gleaned from the study of Bridger’s bones is part of an exhibit which opened in February 2009 at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History entitled “Written in Bones: Life and Death in the Colonial Chesapeake.” See http://anthropology.si.edu/writteninbone/ for a video of the exhibit and an explanation by Dr. Owsley. The History Channel filmed the exhumation of Joseph Bridger’s bones and published the film on their website.

Bones of Joseph Bridger

Bones of Joseph Bridger

Bridger family and members of the Bridger Family Association gathered at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. the next April. We were all allowed to enter the museum one hour before it was opened to the public. We had a personal tour by Dr. Owsley, who exhumed my 12th great grandfather Joseph Bridger’s bones and who helped create the Written in Bone exhibit at the Smithsonian. There was a plaque and displays illustrating that our “Grandpa Joseph” died from lead poisoning and that he was a victim of his wealth.

joseph-bridge-plaque

Plaque in the Written In Bone exhibit

Less affluent people ate with wooden utensils and plates. Wealthier people ate with pewter utensils, cups and plates. At that time, pewter contained lead. The plaque indicated that while Joseph might not have died of lead poisoning, testing indicated that his lead levels were seven times the average level of today.

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Dr. Owsley talking to the members of the Bridger Family Association in the Smithsonian.

After we all viewed the exhibit, all 200 family members were invited to join Dr. Owsley in the Baird Auditorium at the Smithsonian. He told us that we had the distinction of being the only family to ever hold their family reunion in the Smithsonian. He gave a presentation of why and how they prepared the exhibit and explained that they did not find enough of our ancestor’s bones to do a facial reconstruction, as they had hoped. The President of the Bridger Family Association Jean Tomes told us that they are hoping that the land where Joseph was originally buried (Whitemarsh) might be excavated to look for more bones. The original track of 17,000 acres that Joseph owned is where his 17 room house once stood. A dowser found 24 gravesites there and Dr. Owsley said a preliminary investigation found many buried artifacts. Later on the Bridger Family Association was instrumental in funding an archaeological project to unearth the foundation of the house and exhume more bodies and artifacts for identification and investigation.

At the end of his presentation, Dr. Owsley rolled out a table that contained the bones of our ancestor Joseph Bridger. He explained that a femur bone will be kept at the Smithsonian so that in the future when DNA extraction is perfected, they can extract DNA to compare with living descendants. Eventually the bones will be reburied at St. Luke’s Church in Smithfield.  The weekend culminated with a banquet and meeting Bridger cousins I never knew I had. I have never felt so at home in a room full of people I’d never met before. It was obvious we were all connected to something (and someone) very special.

In order for me to substantiate my descent from Joseph Bridger, I started gathering proof in documents and books in Virginia and North Carolina. I first visited the library in Isle of Wight County Virginia where Joseph Bridger and many of his family members lived and died.

I first spent several days in the Smithfield Library in Isle of Wight County.

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Smithfield Library

They have a separate genealogy room and I was in there by myself for two days. I looked at every book in the library, to see if there might be any info on my Bridger family. I even found a folder in their vertical files on the Bridger family.

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The Genealogy Room in the Smithfield Library

After making copies of pertinent books with references to Joseph Bridger and his family, I then visited the Isle of Wight County Courthouse.

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Isle of Wight County Courthouse

I spent several days there copying many wills and deeds from the 1600s. Thankfully, as I mentioned before, the early records were saved from the ravages of wars and time. And then those early documents have been preserved and are now in huge, heavy deed and will books. Since I was copying documents for many of Joseph’s family members, I had a lot to copy.

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Abstract of Joseph Bridger Sr.’s will, written Aug. 3, 1683

I also went to the Library of Virginia in Richmond where they have records on every Virginia county and all the states that join Virginia. Joseph Bridger’s grandson William Bridgers (my 10th great grandfather) migrated to Bertie County, NC in the early 1700s. I was able to find information in North Carolina books at the LVA also. Other descendants in my line then migrated to Sumner County, Tennessee. So I was able to find deeds and will transcripts in books and microfilm in the library.

I also visited the William and Mary College Swem library to look at their archives from the Abingdon Parish Register in Gloucester County Virginia to find a 1744 birth record for Robert Hobday, for my Bridger Family Association application.

I organized my all my source documents to prove my line of descent from Joseph Bridger and submitted them for membership in the Bridger Family Association. My documents were approved and I was admitted as a voting member of the Bridger Family Association in the spring before the Bridger Family Reunion of 2010 took place.

I have since attended the Bridger Family Association annual reunions in Smithfield in 2010, in Suffolk in May 2012, Norfolk in 2013, England in 2014, and Williamsburg in May 2015.

Members of the association donated money so that excavation could be done at Whitemarsh where Joseph Bridger lived. At our 2010 & 2012 banquet we were told by archaeologist Alain Outlaw that he and members of his Wheatland Foundation were indeed able to find a 17th century foundation of what most likely is the location of the 17 room home of Col. Joseph Bridger. Many artifacts were found and cataloged. The complete report can be seen by downloading  http://bridgerfamilyassn.org/BOOK/Bridgerreport.doc

One of the most exciting artifacts that has been found at Whitemarsh was a wine bottle seal bearing a seal with three crabs from the Bridger coat-of-arms. (Photo below)

wine-btl-seal

For me personally, I believe the very best part of discovering the bones of my 12th great grandfather in the Smithsonian was meeting and becoming friends with all my Bridger cousins.

PLEASE GO TO www.bridgerfamilyassociation.com for more info on the Bridger Family Association.

If you have any questions about the BFA, you may leave a message in the comment section of this website or contact BFA President Jean Tombs at jtomes@enbarqmail.com

My line of descent from Joseph Bridger down to me follows:

1 Joseph Bridger b: 1628 in Woodmancote Manor, Dursley, Gloucestershire, England d: 15 Apr 1686 in Whitemarsh, Isle of Wight Co., VA

.+Hester Pitt b: 1631 in Dursley, Gloucestershire, England m: 1644 in Gloucestershire, England d: 1711 in Isle of Wight, VA

..2 Joseph Bridger b: 1658 in Isle of Wight, VA d: 1713 in Isle of Wight, VA

…+Elizabeth Norsworthy b: 1663 in Isle of Wight Co., VA m: Abt. 1679 d: 1727 in Isle of Wight Co., VA

….3 William Bridgers b: 1678 in Isle of Wight Co., VA d: May 1730 in Meherrin River, Bertie County, North Carolina

…..+Elizabeth Godwin b: in Isle of Wight, VA m: Abt. 1700 d: in Edgecombe Co., NC

…. 4 William Bridgers b: Abt. 1703 in Fishing Creek, Edgecombe Co., NC d: Nov 1729 in Bertie Co., NC

…..+Sarah Dew b: Abt. 1705 in Upper Norfolk Co., VA (now Bertie Co., North Carolina) m: Abt. 1724 in Bertie or Chowan Co., NC d: 28 Feb 1754 in Northampton Co., NC

…….5 Patience Bridgers b: Aft. 11 Mar 1728/29 in Upper Norfolk (Bertie Co.), North Carolina d: Aft. 1762 in Bertie or Hertford Co., NC

…….+ Thomas Cotton b: 1722 in Bertie Co., North Carolina m: 1742 in Bertie Co., North Carolina d: Aug 1787 in Hertford Co., North Carolina

……..6 Talitha “Lytha” Cotton b: 1752 in Hertford Co., North Carolina d: 16 Nov 1846 in Sumner Co., TN

……..+ Robert Hobday b: 13 May 1744 in Abington Parish, Gloucester Co., VA m: 1770 in Halifax, NC d: 16 Nov 1797 in Sumner Co., TN

………..7 Thomas Cotton Hobdy b: 1780 in Halifax, Northampton Co., NC d: Aft. 1850 in Morgantown, Butler County, Kentucky

…………+Elizabeth Brackin b: 1781 in Orange Co., N. C. m: 19 Mar 1800 in Sumner Co., TN d: Aft. 1850 in Morgantown, Butler County, Kentucky

………….8 Alexander Hobdy b: 1818 in Kentucky d: Bef. 1880 in Butler Co., KY

…………..+Sarah Ann “Sally” James b: 1825 in Butler County, Kentucky m: 26 Jun 1843 in Butler County, KY d: Aft. 1880

…………….9 Evelyn Hobdy b: 28 Jan 1846 in Ohio Co., KY d: 16 Apr 1938 in McHenry, Ohio Co. KY

……………..+ Samuel Francis Warren b: 07 Aug 1834 in Garrard or Butler Co., KY m: 04 Feb 1863 in Corning, Clay Co., AR d: 09 Dec 1911 in Warren’s Mill, Butler Co., KY

……………… 10 Alexander Arthur Warren b: 16 Apr 1868 in Butler Co., KY d: 15 Nov 1947 in Jacksonville, Morgan Co., IL

………………..+Martha A. Short b: 20 Feb 1874 in Missouri m: 02 Jan 1894 in Greene Co., IL d: 04 Feb 1899 in Warren’s Mill, Butler Co., Kentucky

…………………. 11 Catherine Evelyn Warren b: 12 Jan 1895 in Warren’s Mill, Butler Co., Kentucky d: 07 Oct 1983 in St. Louis City, MO

……………………+Ora Ezrah Hatfield b: 08 Dec 1897 in Elsberry/Annada, Lincoln Co., Missouri m: 10 Apr 1917 in Alton, Madison County, IL d: 14 Mar 1944 in San Francisco, CA

…………………….12 Edsel Arthur Hatfield b: 02 Jan 1919 in East Alton, Madison Co., IL d: 05 Jul 2007 in St. Louis City, Missouri

…………………….+Jessie Louise Whitelaw b: 19 Apr 1921 in St. Louis, MO m: 10 Oct 1942 in Camp Robinson, Pulaski County, Arkansas d: 26 Feb 1991 in St. Louis County, MO

………………………13 Elaine Marie Hatfield ME

I have found many, many books and documents on my Bridger family. I will be adding information from those and I will also add images in hopes of helping other Bridger researchers.

If you would like more information or want to see more descendants of Joseph Bridger, make a post to this website and I will respond.

Elaine Powell

(c) Copyright Elaine Powell 2016. Please ask my permission before copying any of this information or copying my photos, which were taken by me.

68 thoughts on “BRIDGER Family of England, Virginia, and North Carolina

  • Susan Bridges

    This is so interesting – thanks for posting it! Joseph Bridger is my 12th great-grandfather too – I am not a member of the Bridger Family Association but I am listed on the Thomas-Bridges Family Association website, which documents the branch of the family that moved from Bertie County, NC to Trigg County, KY in the early 1800’s.
    I will continue reading your site for more news on your research!

  • Jessiann McCarthy

    Joseph Bridger was my 9th great-grandfather. I, too, had a wonderful trip to St. Lukes with my daughter in Nov. of 2006. Your journal of going to Smithfield was similar to my own. My great-great-great grandmother was Patience Hobdy who was a sister to your Thomas Cotton Hobdy. Patience married Jacob Cartwright. I did quite a bit of work in the geneology library in Sumner Cty. Tn. The Cotton and the Hobdy family settled that area and there is much quite a bit about them there.
    You are the closest person that I have been in contact with to that particular part of my family. I hope we stay in touch.

  • Lynn Bridgers, Ph.D.

    Thanks for more information about Joseph Bridger. We found out about our connection through my cousin, Don Bridger, who participated in the DNA research with the Smithsonian. It was a near perfect match. We still don’t know when the S got added, but according to my late great Uncle Lem, from western North Carolina, it was added after Jim Bridger married his second Native American wife and brought her back to St. Louis. The matriarch added the S to dissassociate the family from Jim Bridger. Thanks for your research. I’ll touch back from time to time.

  • Barbara Sharpe

    I am trying to do some family history for my husband who is related to Patience Bridger. Your Patience Bridger born aft 11 Mar 1728/29, seems to fit the right time frame. However we have her married to a Capt. Stephen Cobb. six years her junior. Her daughter married into the Pender family. Am I on the right track? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Barbara

  • Jean B. Tomes

    Dear Elaine,
    Thank you so very much for the great work you are doing for the Bridger family.
    The May 13 – 16, 2010 gathering in Smithfield, VA is all planned and can barely wait to see all the cousins again. Especially you and your “better half”.
    We are going to have a Membership Campaign shortly and hope that even if folks don’t have the documentation to join as a Lifetime member they will join as an Associate Member. If anyone needs help, we’ll try to help them put their documentation together.
    See you soon and lots of love,
    Jean (President, Bridger Family Association)

  • Hi Jean,

    I’m glad to provide this forum for information on the Bridger Family Reunion in May. Can’t wait for the reunion! I have received some inquiries from my Bridger website regarding the Association and I’ve given them your email address. I will eventually post copies of original Bridger documents (wills, deeds, etc.) so that might help people connect their line. I would love to gather other Bridger lineages to connect to mine so that we might have a master list of Bridger descendants.

    See you soon.
    Elaine

  • innervoice

    I am descended from Col. Robert Pitt and have recently come across the Bridger surname and copies of wills pertaining to Hester Pitt. I am hoping to visit the Isle of Wight and New Kent, VA areas one day soon. As many time as I’ve been to England, I’ve never visited Bristol, Dorset or Glousestershire–I’ll have to put them on my list, too!

  • Hello, Which of Robert Pitt’s children is your ancestor? If you visit Isle of Wight you will find a copy of the orginal will of Robert Pitt. If you don’t get there, then I can send you a copy. I’m going to scan in all the wills I’ve copied eventually. While in Williamsburg, I also copied the House of Burgess records that list Robert Pitt when he was a Burgess. Isle of Wight is a nice area and they are building a brand new courthouse so it will be easier to copy their old documents. And Smithfield is a charming town.

    Regards,
    Elaine

  • Fonda Pusatero

    I, like Susan Bridger, above am dedcended from the Josph Bridger line that migrated and settled in Isle of Wight, Virginia from Dursley, Glouchestershire, England in 1600’s — on my mother’s side.
    If you Google “Thomas & Bridges Family History” and go the the BRIDGES FAMILY LINE, it goes back to a Lawrence Bridger (born abt.1550 – died 1630) in Slimbridge, Glouchestershire, England. It says he married but the name of his wife is unknown but they had seven children.
    The first child, Samuel Bridger(TRIGG COUNTY LINE), born 1584 in Slimbridge, Glouchestershire, England- died 1650, married Mary Neuce and they had eight children. It does not tell where or when they died but I assume it was in the Slimbridge/Dursley area.
    Of their children, the third, Joseph Bridger(TRIGG COUNTY LINE) and fourth, James Bridger, both migrated to Isle of Wight, Virginia.
    Joseph Bridger, born 1628 in Dursley, Glouchestershire, married, 1644 to Hester Pitt, born 1631 in Dursley, Clouchestershire. They had seven children.
    You pretty much have it from there. I have a request in for more information on Bridgers that go even farther back than Lawrence, 1550-1630.
    This stuff is so confusing when it gets this far back that I hope I got it all correct. If anyone out there has more information on the Bridgers of England beyond 1600, please let me know.

    Thank you very much

  • The following information comes from Jean Tomes, President of the Bridger Family Association:

    “John Brayton has been in Europe to research the Bridger family and has written a book, which is now available for purchase.

    The name of the book is “Colonial Families of Surry and Isle of Wight Counties, Virginia, Volume 10 — Bridger of Godalming, Surrey; Slimbridge, Gloucestershire; and Virginia”.

    The books are $10.00 each and you may send your check to: John Anderson Brayton, 1900 Central Ave., Memphis, Tennessee 38104

    The earliest date on the “Pedigree of the Family of Bridger of Godalming, Surry, and Slimbridge, Gloucester” is 1350. The folded Pedigree which is inserted in the book is 11″ x 16″ and is printed on heavy paper which is suitable for framing.

    For years most folks have thought Gen. Joseph Bridger’s mother, Mary, was from the Neuce (Newce) family. John has proved she was Mary Purchas.

    You will also read that we descend from Lawrence Elliott who sailed around the world with Sir Francis Drake. They set sail from England on 13 Dec 1577 and returned to England on 3 Nov 1580. What an accomplishment!

    I don’t know how many copies were printed, but if you want a copy you need to get your “check in the mail” right away.

    John has done a great job documenting each fact. I’m certain you’ll enjoy reading every word!”

    Regards,
    Elaine

  • Yes, I have at least two other women named Patience Bridger in my file. Your Patience was indeed married to Stephen Cobb in 1755. She was born in 1734 and died in 1807 probably in Wayne County, NC. I obtained that information from a Cobb researcher. I’m sorry but at this time I’m not sure of the identity of the parents of this Patience Bridger, but her father could be William Bridger. If you have information on her ancestors, please let me know. Also, if you’d like to share info about her descendants, I’d love to have that info as well. I have 12 children for Stephen & Patience — Mary, Benjamin, James, David, Nathan, Martha, Patience, Stephen, Nancy, Priscilla, Celia, and John.

    Regards,
    Elaine
    We are the sum of all the people that have lived before us.

  • Pollette Bridgers

    Hello,

    I married into the Bridgers family on my husband’s father’s side. My father-in-law who is originally from NC was stationed in TX while in the Army where he met his wife. He permanently stayed in TX after they married and lost all contact with his side of the Bridgers family.

    All I know of what he told me is that the Family originally came from England. I would love any information since my husband has never met any of his family in NC and now that we have a 1 year old, we would like to tell him about the family when he grows up.

  • Wilma Fullmer

    We are trying to connect our Cobbs with yours. We have an Ann Cobb born about 1786. We think married to Henry Sasser. Do you have any information that might help us?

  • Joyce Preston

    My husband is a descendant of Joseph Bridger and Hester Pitt. We are interested to know if there if Jim Bridger, the fur trapper in the American west, is also a descendant of Joseph Bridger, and if so, what is the connection? Thank you.

  • Julianne Murphy

    I am so glad I unearthed your website! I do hope you will be at the Bridger reunion and/or Jamestown Society meeting this weekend in Smithfield and Williamsburg, VA. I believe we met at our big D.C. to do last year? I am a descendant of Martha, Bridger’s daughter. Thank you for sharing your news with us all. Best, Julianne

  • Brenda Riddick

    do you know if Joseph Bridger had a daughter that married Henry Mills(b. 1630). Henry Mills ended up with White Marsh and there has to be a connection somewhere. Thanks for any help.

    Brenda Riddick

  • Julianne,

    I was at the reunion in Smithfield and at the Jamestowne Society meeting. I tried to look for you, but never did find you. It was a busy weekend! I’m sorry I did not get to chat with you.

    Elaine

  • Kari Carpenter

    Hi Elaine!

    It was so nice to meet you at the Bridger Family Association gathering. I have a couple of nice pictures that I would be happy to forward to you (just e-mail me and I will send them on to you).

    I believe I have the information that might help Barbara Sharpe (posted entry Feb. 18). After scanning over your Bridger information – it seems pretty clear that your Patience and my Patience were first cousins. BFA genealogist William P. Carrell confirmed that the parents of “my” Patience were Samuel Bridgers and Mary Johnson. I believe that this is the link Barbara Sharpe is looking for (if she hasn’t found it already.)

    Kari

  • John O'Donnell

    Cuz Elaine, I read your Bridger postings w/interest, as I’m
    an 8X gr’grandson of Joseph & Hester (Pitt) Bridger, by descent fm couple’s dau., Martha (m. Thomas Godwin, Jr.) Al-
    though not a Society member, I learned of group, etc, fm an undergrad frat bro @ UNC, Vince Bridgers of Tarboro. If you maintain a mailing list, I’d appreciate inclusion. Thanx, John

  • Kimberely Faw

    Hello,
    Can I still get the books by John Brayton.

    The name of the book is “Colonial Families of Surry and Isle of Wight Counties, Virginia, Volume 10 — Bridger of Godalming, Surrey; Slimbridge, Gloucestershire; and Virginia”.

    The books are $10.00 each and you may send your check to: John Anderson Brayton, 1900 Central Ave., Memphis, Tennessee 38104

    The earliest date on the “Pedigree of the Family of Bridger of Godalming, Surry, and Slimbridge, Gloucester” is 1350. The folded Pedigree which is inserted in the book is 11″ x 16″ and is printed on heavy paper which is suitable for framing.

    Thank You,

    Kimberely Faw

  • Pamela Bridgers

    Hello Elaine,
    Wow, am I glad that I found you. I am also familiar with those serendipity moments, like now.
    I have been doing research on my father’s family for a few years now.
    All via internet as I currently live abroad. Unfortunately I lost my dad when I was young
    and a whole treasure chest full of heritage info went with him as well. I would be very thankful and appreciative of
    any help or comments you may have.

    My research so far…

    1 Joseph Bridger 1628 – 1686
    …+Hester Pitt 1631 – 1711
    ….2 Joseph Bridger 1654 – 1713
    ….+Elizabeth Norsworthy 1663 – 1727
    ……3 William Bridgers 1675 – 1729
    ……+ Elizabeth Godwin
    ….. 4 William Bridgers 1703 – 1729
    …….+ Sarah Dew 1705 – 1754
    …….5 Joseph Bridgers 1723 – 1808 Bertie Co. NC
    ……. + Mary Braswell 1713 – 1760
    ……… 6 William Bridgers 1760 – 1819 Northampton Co. NC
    ……….+ Lucy Johnson 1760 – 1796 Northampton Co. NC
    …………7 Kinchen Bridgers 1786 – 1857 Northhampton Co. NC
    …………+ Susannah Suckey Lassiter 1787 – 1804 Northhampton Co. NC
    ………….8 Edwin Bridgers 1813 – 1871 Northhampton Co. NC
    …………..+ Mary Penelope Stephenson 1821 – unk. Northhampton Co. NC
    …………..9 William Henry Bridgers 1842 – unk. Seaboard, Northhampton Co. NC
    …………..+ Julia A. May of 1834 – unk.
    ……………10 Henry Edwin Bridgers 1 Sep 1873 – unk. B: Seaboard, Northhampton co. NC D: Newport News, VA (first wife died in childbirth w/ first child)
    …………….+ (second wife)Urva V. Carson Lewis 1886 – unk
    ……………..11 Henry Edwin Bridgers Jr. 20 Aug 1923 – 1975 B: Newport News VA D: Albany NY
    …………….. + Living Yarborough 1926 – still living
    …………….. 12 Pamela Bridgers ME

    Thank you for your dedication!

    All the best to you and yours,

    Pamela

    Blessed are the Ancestors because they are why I AM.

  • Pamela Bridgers

    Sorry, I see a typo in my message above

    Susannah Suckey Lassiter’s date of death is unknown to me.

    Pamela

  • S. Clyde Gallop,II

    I am a 9th gt. grandson of Joseph in fact I joined the Jamestowne Society on my line from Robert Pitt and Mary Bridger of Edgecombe County NC. I do have other bridger lines as well. My second gt. grandmother was Sally Ann Pitt (1832-1907) who married Bennett Walston of near Pinetops, NC. I have been doing my history since 1969 and now have over 500+ families many before 1500. I am an inactive member of the Bridger Family Assoc. and had placed flowers for Joseph on Apr. 15, 1986 the 300th Anniv. of his death. How many of you out there have checked Boddie, 17th Cent. IOW Co. Va. History as it has excellent on the Bridger and Pitt lines. You are welcom to keep in touch with me.

  • S. Clyde Gallop,II

    I forgot to mention that Sally Ann Pitt was the daughter of John Robert Pitt and Mary Moon. John was the son of thomas Pitt and Catherine Willians dau. of Burrell Williams and Winifred Williams a cousin viw Williams, Alston lines plus Burrell was from the Arrington line of Nash County NC. Thomas Pitt was the son or Robert Pitt and Mary Bridger who came to Edgecombe County from IOW County Va.

  • Hello Elaine,
    I hope there is no misunderstanding. I have not recieved any mail from you and my comments here have all been removed. Is everything OK? Please let me know, whatever it may happen to be. This quest is very important to me. I understand you are a very busy person but now I am wondering what is wrong.

    Sincerely,
    Pamela Bridgers

  • Pamela, Your past comments are still on the other postings page of my website. I originally responded to your first post the day after you posted it — on July 2, via email. Perhaps you did not receive it. I sent another one today, plus am posting to this page and the other page.
    Thanks,
    Elaine

  • Barbara Bridgers Barham

    I am searchng for my Bridgers ancestors – my great great grandfather was James BRIDGERS. He married Elizabeth (BETSY) Bowles in Granville
    County NC about 1830. His oldest child was named WILLIAM. My great grandfather was Allison Green Bridgers born 1835. My grandfather was Alonza (Lonnie) Bridgers b. 1868.

    My father, Vaden V. Bridgers, b, 11/1/1890 was 48 years old when I was born in Wake County, NC. My mother, Susan Leonard Bridgers was 25. I am an only child.

    Please help me – I am semi shut-in at this time. I am very proud to be of Bridgers descent.

    Barbara Bridgers Barham – 919 847 0781.

  • Carla

    Thank you for your website. Found out about 1 mth ago that I am a
    descendant of Col. Joseph Bridgers as well. I am truly grateful for the generosity in sharing the information with other descendants.
    Carla

  • Virgil Huntley

    Do you have an Elizabeth Bridger married to Mathew Rushing of Chowan County by 1718? Reply appreciated as Mathew’s wife has not been identified. Virgil

  • Annette H. Perkinson

    I am a descendant of Joseph Bridger as well. My grandmother was the daughter of Captain Alfred Bridgers (Civil War), who was a son of George Washington Bridger(s). They generally lived in the Nash, Edgecombe, and Franklin County areas.

    There is some confusion in my mind about how the name changed from Bridger to Bridgers. If anyone has the answer to that one, please let me know.

  • Crystal Perry

    I am seeking information on a Rachel Bridges, born abt. 1790 in North Carolina. Moved to Claiborne County, Tennessee, where she married Edmond Perry in 1810, thence to Brown County, Illinois, where she died in 1866. I have seen some questionable data that her parents were a William Bridges and Sarah, but I have no firm dates on these people. If anyone might have anything to share, please let me know. Your website is fantastic!

  • Sharon

    Hi Elaine,
    I am new to genealogy and came across your website while searching the Bridger surname. My great grandfather was John Bridger (abt 1859-1905). He married Emma C Everett (1872-1966). They lived in Newport, Isle of Wight, VA.
    I think, but am not positive, that John’s parents are E. Washington Bridger (1821-1898) and Martha Ann Elizabeth Barrett (1837-1915). I cannot seem to find any information beyond this. Are you familiar with any of these names and dates associated with them? Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Feel free to email me!
    Sharon

  • Jessiann McCarthy

    I just found your website and smiled as I read about your first visit to Smithfield. My daughter and I had a similar visit, although I knew at that time that I was related to Joseph Bridgers. We went there to explore the Bridgers as well as the Bass Family, the Pitt Family, and many others.
    We share a close line. My gggg-grandparents were Robert Hobday and Talitha Cotton. Their daughter Patience who married Jacob Cartwright is my ggg-grandmother. I have done quite a bit of study at the library in Sumner County, TN and in the Nashville library.
    I am looking for more family stories that would add richness to my family album.

  • Sandy Boyd

    Elaine,
    I want to ask if you were accepted into Colonial Dames and the Jamestowne Society. I am a NSDAR member under the patriot Edmund Hobday and have submitted a supplemental for his father Robert Hobday, b. 1744. Could you possibly share any of your documentation for the generations prior to Talitha Cotton back to Joseph Bridger, Sr.? I need help sorting out the two Williams and two Josephs. I appreciate your website so much and thank you for sharing it with countless others. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Sandy

  • Carolyn

    Joseph Bidger was my 7th Ggrandfather. I am new to genealogy, so can anyone tell me a little about how to contact other “cousins.” Thanks, Carolyn

  • Sandi

    Help! When the unearthing of Col. Joseph Bridger occurred, my mother said that we were invited because he was our ancestor Yet, in trying to do my family tree, I cannot figure out the family relation. I have never done this sort of thing, so I’m not sure how to go about it. I had no luck in contacting the family members who knew the relationship. Any ideas?

  • Galen Medlin

    Joseph Bridger was my 10th Ggrandfather from my paternal gmother, Phoebe Alice Bridges Medlin. Strangely, I am leaving for a trip to Wyoming in a few weeks and will be staying in a cabin near Kelly Wyoming adjacent to the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Anyone know why the name on our side of the family went from Bridger to Bridges?

  • Hello Elizabeth,

    What do you want to reference/source? Do you mean as a source for your own personal genealogy? Or for a lineage society?
    This website is my personal website and everything I’ve put on this website can be documented by me. I haven’t noted my sources for my personal line of descent from Joseph Bridger to myself, however, I have the source material for each generation and that was used to gain membership in the Bridger Family Association.

    A lot of info on the Bridger family came from the book Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County Virginia by Boddie.

    Are you related to the Bridger family?

    Regards,

    Elaine Powell

  • Elizabeth,

    Thanks for the information. I just ordered the book. Of course, for those of us that descend from Joseph Bridger, we also descend from his wife Hester PITT. So for a complete genealogy, one must research both the BRIDGER and PITT family.

    Thanks!
    Elaine Powell

  • mary thomason

    Joseph Bridger was my 10th great-grandfather thurmy hamrick and hardin familys. would love to exchange information. mary thomason

  • Hi Mary,
    What information would you like to share? I would like to have your lineage from Joseph Bridger to you, if you’d like to send it. I’m trying to build a database of all of Joseph’s descendants. If you could send you line in the format I have below, that would be great.

    My line follows:

    1 Joseph Bridger b: 1628 in Woodmancote Manor, Dursley, Gloucestershire, England d: 15 Apr 1686 in Whitemarsh, Isle of Wight Co., VA
    .+Hester Pitt b: 1631 in Dursley, Gloucestershire, England m: 1644 in Gloucestershire, England d: 1711 in Isle of Wight, VA
    ..2 Joseph Bridger b: 1658 in Isle of Wight, VA d: 1713 in Isle of Wight, VA
    …+Elizabeth Norsworthy b: 1663 in Isle of Wight Co., VA m: Abt. 1679 d: 1727 in Isle of Wight Co., VA
    ….3 William Bridgers b: 1678 in Isle of Wight Co., VA d: May 1730 in Meherrin River, Bertie County, North Carolina
    …..+Elizabeth Godwin b: in Isle of Wight, VA m: Abt. 1700 d: in Edgecombe Co., NC
    …. 4 William Bridgers b: Abt. 1703 in Fishing Creek, Edgecombe Co., NC d: Nov 1729 in Bertie Co., NC
    …..+Sarah Dew b: Abt. 1705 in Upper Norfolk Co., VA (now Bertie Co., North Carolina) m: Abt. 1724 in Bertie or Chowan Co., NC d: 28 Feb 1754 in Northampton Co., NC
    …….5 Patience Bridgers b: Aft. 11 Mar 1728/29 in Upper Norfolk (Bertie Co.), North Carolina d: Aft. 1762 in Bertie or Hertford Co., NC
    …….+ Thomas Cotton b: 1722 in Bertie Co., North Carolina m: 1742 in Bertie Co., North Carolina d: Aug 1787 in Hertford Co., North Carolina
    ……..6 Talitha “Lytha” Cotton b: 1752 in Hertford Co., North Carolina d: 16 Nov 1846 in Sumner Co., TN
    ……..+ Robert Hobday b: 13 May 1744 in Abington Parish, Gloucester Co., VA m: 1770 in Halifax, NC d: 16 Nov 1797 in Sumner Co., TN
    ………..7 Thomas Cotton Hobdy b: 1780 in Halifax, Northampton Co., NC d: Aft. 1850 in Morgantown, Butler County, Kentucky
    …………+Elizabeth Brackin b: 1781 in Orange Co., N. C. m: 19 Mar 1800 in Sumner Co., TN d: Aft. 1850 in Morgantown, Butler County, Kentucky
    ………….8 Alexander Hobdy b: 1818 in Kentucky d: Bef. 1880 in Butler Co., KY
    …………..+Sarah Ann “Sally” James b: 1825 in Butler County, Kentucky m: 26 Jun 1843 in Butler County, KY d: Aft. 1880
    …………….9 Evelyn Hobdy b: 28 Jan 1846 in Ohio Co., KY d: 16 Apr 1938 in McHenry, Ohio Co. KY
    ……………..+ Samuel Francis Warren b: 07 Aug 1834 in Garrard or Butler Co., KY m: 04 Feb 1863 in Corning, Clay Co., AR d: 09 Dec 1911 in Warren’s Mill, Butler Co., KY
    ……………… 10 Alexander Arthur Warren b: 16 Apr 1868 in Butler Co., KY d: 15 Nov 1947 in Jacksonville, Morgan Co., IL
    ………………..+Martha A. Short b: 20 Feb 1874 in Missouri m: 02 Jan 1894 in Greene Co., IL d: 04 Feb 1899 in Warren’s Mill, Butler Co., Kentucky
    …………………. 11 Catherine Evelyn Warren b: 12 Jan 1895 in Warren’s Mill, Butler Co., Kentucky d: 07 Oct 1983 in St. Louis City, MO
    ……………………+Ora Ezrah Hatfield b: 08 Dec 1897 in Elsberry/Annada, Lincoln Co., Missouri m: 10 Apr 1917 in Alton, Madison County, IL d: 14 Mar 1944 in San Francisco, CA
    …………………….12 Edsel Arthur Hatfield b: 02 Jan 1919 in East Alton, Madison Co., IL d: 05 Jul 2007 in St. Louis City, Missouri
    …………………….+Jessie Louise Whitelaw b: 19 Apr 1921 in St. Louis, MO m: 10 Oct 1942 in Camp Robinson, Pulaski County, Arkansas d: 26 Feb 1991 in St. Louis County, MO
    ………………………13 Elaine Marie Hatfield ME

    Regards,
    Elaine Powell

  • Amanda Bridges

    OH MY GOSH! I am so excited! I am also a descendent of Joseph Bridger, but my line was the one that joined up with the Thomas’ and moved to Trigg County, KY! Can’t wait to really read your site!!!

  • I’m also a descendant of Joseph Bridger through Robert’s line. It’s so exciting to meet others! I loved your story! I would love to see your list of references. Thank you!

  • 2011/09/28

    From Cindy Furman

    Hi Elaine,
    I am interested in your research on Samuel Bridger b. 1584 Slimbridge, Gloucester, England. He is a 10th great grandfather to me. I see you have his wife as Mary Purchase as sourced from John A Brayton’s Vol 10. Other candidates for his wife seem to be Mary Newse, Mary Webb and Mary Pitt. I don’t know about the evidence for Mary Newse or Mary Pitt, but there does seem to be a possible record of marriage to Mary Webb b. 1601 Slimbridge, Gloucester, England d. aft 1683 Woodmancote, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England in US and International Marriage records 1560-1900 although the name in the record is Samuel Bridgers but the birth year matches. I have not see the record itself only the index information. There is also a will in the following record that may be him: UK, Extracted Probate Records
    about Bridger, Samuel
    Text: Bridger, Samuel, Slimbridge
    Book: Burialls 1604. (Burial)
    Collection: Gloucestershire: – Wills Proved in The Court of Bishop of Gloucester, 1660-1800
    I have the will of Samuel’s son, Col Joseph Bridger in Vol 7 of John A Brayton’s book on the Pitt family of Bristol, Gloucester, Charlestown, Massachusetts and Isle of Wight County, VA but his mother is only referred to as Mary. There seems to be a lot of confusion on Ancestry.com public trees as to exactly which Mary was the wife of Samuel Bridger, so I am hoping you can help me with the facts. Looking forward to hearing from you and please visit my website. Enjoyed your website by the way and your clever name for it.

    Cindy Furman

    Hello Cindy,

    I took my info directly from John Brayton’s book which states on page 16-18 that Samuel Bridger married Mary Purchas(e). He also has the full transcript of the will in the book, on pgs. 18-22. I think that the thorough research that John Brayton did while in England is more believable than the US and International Marriage records 1560-1900. I’ve attached pages 16-18 of his book so you can come to your own conclusions.
    If you descend from the Bridger family I would recommend that you get Vol. 10. It has all his research and his conclusions. And it has a great family tree chart, just like the one in his Vol. 7, which I assume you own.
    What is your line of descent from Samuel? I am trying to create a database of all the Bridger family members in order to help other Bridgers. I don’t ever put info on living persons on my websites, so if you’d like to share your line, that would be great.

    Elaine

  • Donna McCullough

    You haven’t forgotten me and my Heziah Bridger, have you?

    In any case, have a great autumn weekend.

  • Donna McCullough

    I’m still looking for info on John Norman and Heziah Bridger who married in Isle of Wight in 1786. Did they have a son named Alfred N. Norman, b. 1800, who married Anna Byler in 1823?

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