Please can we settle the matter of the origin of the Dandridge family in Virginia? I have seen so many versions of this on the web including some which a few minutes checking would have been shown to be nonsense. (For example, one ‘researcher’ has posted on his website that Colonel William Dandridge was born in ‘Norfolk, Worcester, England’. Norfolk is a county in East Anglia, England. Worcester is the county town of Worcestershire, England. This is the equivalent of someone saying that X was born in ‘California, Phoenix, USA’)
JOHN DANDRIDGE came to London where he was indentured to THOMAS POSTLETHWAYTE of the Painter and Stainers Company, on 30 October1668. The entry in their records, which I have examined, states clearly that he is the son of WILLIAM DANDRIDGE, yeoman of Drayton (St Leonard), Oxfordshire. John was born around 1655 as Drayton Parish Records show he was baptised on April 29th 1655. He married BRIDGET DUGDALE (born 1654) at Saint Mary Magdalene, Old Fish Street, London on Dec 14th 1676. His son FRANCIS DANDRIDGE was apprenticed to him “son of JOHN DANDRIDGE, Citizen and Painter-Stainer of London” was bound to his father for 7 years on 4 July 1711. FRANCIS died in 1765 and his will, dated 1763 (a copy of which I hold) refers clearly to his two brothers, WILLIAM and JOHN DANDRIDGE. Francis leaves a bequest to FRANCES ‘widow of my late brother’ this is (FRANCES ORLANDO JONES –the mother of MARTHA DANDRIDGE CUSTIS) An additional piece of evidence is that the will refers to a ‘DANZIE’ ‘daughter of my late brother WILLIAM’ This is a reference to WILLIAM’S daughter ANN DANDRIDGE who married THOMAS DANCEY/DANSIE. As was explained in Ryland EH. King William County Virginia from Old Newspapers & Files. Dietz Press, Richmond, Virginia 1955: ‘Thomas Dansie was a retired sea-captain and a picturesque character. In spite of a rough and adventurous career he married into one of the best families in the country.’
I have been working on the Dandridge family, both in the UK and USA for some years now and I find the link to the Drayton St Leonard Dandridges a compelling one. Perhaps other researchers would like to contribute to this debate so that we can agree an authoritative version of this family’s origins.