OUR VIRGINIA, TENNESSEE AND MISSOURI FAMILIES:Information about Col. Robert Pitt
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Lt. Colonel Col. Robert Pitt (b. Bet. 16 Mar 1604 - 1605, d. Bet. 06 Jun 1672 - 1674)Col. Robert Pitt (son of William Pitt and Mary Gibbs) was born Bet. 16 Mar 1604 - 1605 in Bristol, Dorsetshire County,England, and died Bet. 06 Jun 1672 - 1674 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia USA.He married (1) Hester Stevens on 1622.He married (2) Martha Lear on 1626.
Notes for Col. Robert Pitt:
COLONEL ROBERT PITT, an ancestor on the Rhoades (Rhodes) side, was
born on March 16, 1604 or 1605 in Bristol, Dorsetshire County, England.
His parents were William Pitt and Mary Gibbs, of England.
The first known ancestor of Robert Pitt lived in Blandford, Dorset, England
in 1545.A branch of the family settled in Bristol, so it is not surprising that
the familybecame ship owners, nor is it a surprise that Robert Pitt came to
Robert's ancestors and kin had owned ships with names, Fortune, Unicorn,
Mary Rose and Supply.Robert Pitt was the owner and Captain of the privateer
of Bristol named the "Thunder".He sailed and fought the ship in the English
War of 1628 against France to help the Huguenots.At that time, he was about
28 years old.
On September, 1631 Robert Pitt, son of William Pitt, merchant, qualified for
freedom and admittance to the Merchant Society, Bristol, England where he
lived.He was descended from the same Pitt ancestry in England that pro-
duced another William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, and who at one time was
Prime Minister of England. Alfred, Lord Tennyson, the famous English poet,
also was in the same line of descent.
When his mother died in 1634, five of her eight children went to America.
Robert Pitt went to Isle of Wight, Virginia.Robert was not a poor farmer when
he came to Virginia.He was a wealthy young man.
On February 14, 1637, he appeared in Virginia records as Robert Pitt merchant
and he patented 550 acres in Isle of Wight.The land was about three and one
half miles up New Haven River, then called Pagan River.
The plantation of Robert Pitt is mentioned as being included within Isle of
Wight County, Virginiain the Act of 1642-43 which determined the
boundaries between Isle of Wight and Upper Norfolk (Nansemond) Counties.
There were many patents of land to Colonel Robert Pitt and his son-in-law
Col. Joseph Bridger.
In 1648, he acquired 1,200 more acres as Lt. Robert Pitt.He had become an
officer in the militia.In those days, men were always called by their proper rank
and their standing in the community depended upon their service in protection
against the Indians and other enemies.
In later years, Robert Pitt gained several thousand additional acres of land in the
In 1649, he was sent as a Burgess to the House of Burgesses of Virginia
representing Isle of Wight County, and continued as Burgess until 1660.In
1662, he was the commander of the Isle of Wight militia and was a member of
the Governor's Council, both very high honors.
He was elected a commisioner of Isle of Wight County on February 9, 1666.
Will was written June 6, 1672 and proved January 9, 1674 in Isle of Wight Co,
Virginia.Note:Lists wife Martha, son John, grandson John, grandson William,
daughter Hester Bridger, daughter Elizabeth Norsworthy, grandson Robert P. (son
of Robert, dec'd), daughter Brasheire.At the time the will was written,
Hester Pitt was married to the foremost citizen of Isle of Wight County, Virginia -
Colonel Joseph Bridger.She got little more than the mention of her name.She
needed nothing.Her sister, Martha, got more, but she was instructed to give
half of it to "poor women" and the other half to "poor female orphans".In memory
of his dead wife, Martha, he left land and instructions that a home "twenty foots
in length" be built, "which fore said land and housing is to be for the relief of poor
women".Daughters, Elizabeth and Mary got thousands of pounds of tobacco,
the same as money in those days.Also, the girls got various odds and ends -
furniture and drinking mugs.He was generous to his grandson given his name
Robert Pitt, son of Robert Pitt.He made no effort to give out all of his wealth, so
there was plenty to be divided by his son John, the executor.By the time he died,
his children were not in need.He was more concerned about poor women and
poor female orphans.
Genealogists do not agree on the name of Robert Pitt's wife.When a wife's name
is not proved, it does ot change the line of descent through the male side, but any
pursuit of the wife's uncertain lineage is useless.Robert Pitt may have had two
or more wives.It is not known.There is land documents that show that Robert
Pitt married a daughter of George Stevens, a Burgess from Surry County.In
his will Robert calls his wife "Martha".She could be Martha Stevens.On the
other hand, Colonel John Lear, a powerful neighbor, named "Sister Pitt" in his will,
so some books name Martha Lear as the wife of Robert Pitt.
Pitt lineage, 1066 - 1600s,England/Virginia
Generations prior to the 1500s were taken from the following books:
"Visitatin of Worcestershire 1560"
"Visitation of Shropshire 1623" and "Visitation of Surrey 1662/69"
1.Gervase de la Puette of c.1182 Normany(first to go to England from
2.Thomas de la Pitte ofc.1225 Sommerset, England (first born in England).
3.Simon de la Piatte, soldier of King Henry III1216-1272.
4.Thomas Putte, living near Worcestershire in 1278.
6.Simon Atte Putte,soldier for King Edward III1327-1377.
7.Richard Pyts,soldier of King Henry IV1399-1433.
8.Johannas (John) Pitt of de Curvyarddied 1438.
9.William Pitt of de la Perry died early 1400s.
10.Sir Edward Pitt of Kior in Worcestershiredied 1455.
11.William Blithe Pitt died 1528.
12.Nicholas Pitt of Blandford in Dorset, born 1474, died 1545.
"Later the name was changed again to Pitts.Most likely all names beginning
with Pit are related to the De La Puette family of Normandy.Puette could be
placed in Normandy."
Following is the descent of the Pitts of Isle of Wight County, Virginia from
Nicholas Pitt of Blandford, Dorset, England.
Nicholas Pitt of Blandford was born about 1474 in Blandford, Dorset, England.
Henry VIII was King of England during this period of time.
His Son, William Pitt, was married to Helena Haviland, daughter of James
Haviland and Helena De Beauvois.William Pitt died before January 17, 1552.
On January 17, 1552 Helena was widowed and living with her brother,
Christopher Haviland of Poole, Dorset, England.
Children of William Pitt and Helena Haviland are:
1. Thomas Pitt - died Abt. July 1613.
2. John Pitt married Joan Swayne.John was the Clerk of the Exchequer for
Queen Elizabeth I.He was married to Joan Swayne, daughater of John
Swayne of Blandford Forum, Dorset, England.John and Joan's third son,
Thomas, was the great great grandfather of William :Pitt, Earl of Chatham,
who was the Prime Minister of England from 1783 to 1801 and 1804 to 1806.
He played a dominant part in British politics during the intervel between the
3. Christopher Pitt-was the Captain of the "Handmaiden" a ship from
Bristol which fought in the Spanish Armada in 1588.
Notes for #1 Thomas Pitt - Thomas Pitt was the Chamberlain of Bristol and a
merchant.His will was written May 1, 1613.He died about July 1613.His
will was probated on August 5, 1613.
Children of Thomas Pitt are:
1.William Pitt-died Aft. 1622
2.Alice Pitt-married Mr. Northen
3.Anne Pitt-married Mr. Watersm. (2) John Merrick
4.Mary Pitt-married Robert Owen
Notes for #1 William Pitt-William Pitt, the son of Thomas, was a merchant
and ship owner.He was in the trade business in East India and Turkey.
He was married to Mary (maiden name unknown).William was named
executor of Thomas (his father) estate and was given a lease for life of a
tenement outside the Temple Gate in the City of Bristol.The said tenement
was in the possession of George Tyce, who had an inn called the Saracen's
Head.William also inherited another tenement outside the Temple Gate that
was occupied by Thomas Arther, Esq.When William's son Robert reached
the age of 22 years, he was paid ten pounds yearly by Thomas Arther.
At William's death, his son Robert was to inherit the two tenements.
William was also to give his two sons, Robert and William, ten pounds each
when they reached sixteen years of age.
William Pitt died After 1622.In his will dated March 13, 1622, and proved on
February 4, 1624, William left his wife Mary, 500 pounds, his son William,
250 pounds, Robert 70 pounds, and 250 pounds to Henry, Thomas, and daughter
Mary.He also left three houses to his wife, Mary.
His son Robert, inherited the two houses William inherited from his father,
Thomas Pitt.William, Jr. was given the best Turkey ring he had inherited from
his great grandfather, Roger Cookes.Robert received his father's pearl ring.
To the rest of the children and various relatives, he left jewelry and various
gifts.Since a large part of his estate was in debt and "beyond seas" he
further stated any loss was to be divided equally between his heirs.
William Pitt's wife Mary and son William were named executors of his will.
Mary's will was dated November 25, 1634 and her son Robert was the
executor.The children of William Pitt and Mary are:
1.Col. Robert Pitt-born between 1604- 1607 in England and died before
January 9, 1674, Isle of Wight, Virginia.
3.Mary Pitt-married Andrew Newell.They moved to New England.
4.Thomas Pitt-He settled on the Appomattox River in Virginia.
6.Maud Pitt-married Dr. Richard Russell.They moved to New England.
8.Captain Henry Pitt-married Ann, the widow of Robert Watson.They
settled on Pagan Creek, Virginia in 1652.They had a son named Thomas
that married Col. Athur Smith's daughter Mary.
Notes for #1 Col. Robert Pitt - He was born about 1607 in England and was,
like most of his family a sailor.He served as a Captain of a privateer out of
Bristol named the "Thunder", aiding the Huguenots in the war against France
in 1628 - Bristol Privateers, Powell, page 84.
As a sea merchant he owned a fleet of ships which sailed out of the Port at
Bristol, England.He had moved to the colonies by 1637 as he had patented
550 acres of land in the Isle of Wight, Virginia on February 14, 1637.This
land was located on the New Haven River which was later changed to the
On April 17, 1648, he patented 300 acres adjacent to the original land.On
June 7, 1654, he patented an additional 1,200 acres.
Between 1649 and 1660 he served as a member of the House of Burgesses
for the Isle of Wight, served as a Lt. Colonel in 1662 commanding the Isle of
Wight Militia and on the Governor's Council.
On March 12, 1662 he patented 1,000 acres in Accomac and 3,000 acres
in Accomac on October 2, 1663.
In 1664, he patented 3,000 acres on the Blackwater with his son-in-law,
Captain Joseph Bridger, and William Burgh.
It is thought that Col. Robert Pitt was married only two times.First to
Hester Stevens, before 1622.She was born about 1605 in Bristol, Dorsetshire,
England and died before 1625.He married Martha Lear by 1625.She was
born about 1606 in Bristol, Dorsetshire County, England and died about 1672
in Isle of Wight County, Virginia which was formed 1637 from Warosquyouke Co.
Colonel Robert Pitt died before January 9, 1674, as his Will was recorded on
that date.It was dated June 6, 1672 and witnessed by Richard Jones and
Thomas Hill.His wife, Martha, had died before that date as he left in her
memory, a parcel of land with the stipulation that his executor would build one
house of twenty-five feet within four years of his death on the land to be used
for poor women.He also left in memory of his daughter, Martha, "two cows
and two female cows, which cattle and their increase are to be put upon the
aforesaid land, and what shall be over that number of cattle shall be disposed
of by the Sheriff, then one half of the benefit of the cows and the whole
benefit of the land to be for the estate of poor women and the other half of the
benefit of the cattle to be for the estate of poor female orphans".(Will of Col.
Robert Pitt recorded in Isle of Wight County, Virginia.)
Children of Col. Robert Pitt and Martha Lear are:
1.Martha Pitt-died before January 9, 1674.
2.Mary Pitt-married John Brasseur in Virginia.
3.William Pitt-stayed and lived in England.
5.Robert Pitt-married Unknown Stephens in1652 is Surry County, Virginia.
Robert died in 1672 leaving a son, Robert.
6.Elizabeth-married John Norsworthy in Virginia.
7.Hester Pitt-married Col. Joseph Bridger of "White Marsh," Virginia. They
were a prominent family of the Isle of Wight, Virginia.
8.Lt. Col. John Pitts
More About Col. Robert Pitt and Hester Stevens:
More About Col. Robert Pitt and Martha Lear:
Children of Col. Robert Pitt and Martha Lear are:
- +Hester Pitt, b. Bet. 1628 - 1629, d. Bet. 1711 - 1712, Isle of Wight County, Virginia.