I am sending some info that I have on Col. Bridger. The people that he brought over from England to finish the Old Brick Church were my ancestors--Giles Driver The Immigrant and his brothers.
Can someone help me establish how the Drivers are kin to the Bridgers. In Driver Families of America it is stated that Col. Bridgers' wife and Giles Driver The Immigrant are related.
Below is the info on Col. Bridger.
Joseph BRIDGER, Sr. of Gloucester, England was a Royalist, loyal to the king of England.When Cromwell became Lord Protector by 1653 many Royalist fled England - Joseph Bridger, Sr. was among them, and settled in Isle of Wight Co., Virginia.
Joseph Bridger, Sr. served as a member of the House of Burgesses by 1657 and 1658 then again in 1663. Member of the House of Burgesses from the Isle of Wight in the session of 1657-58. Colonel Joseph BRIDGER was the most prominent man of his time in Isle of Wight County in Virginia.
As "Captain" Joseph BRIDGER, he Patented 300 acres upon a branch of the Blackwater 21 MAR 1664 with Wm BURGH & his father in law Colonel Robert PITT. He eventually accquired about 12,000 acres of land and raised tobbacco and cattle. ------- TitleBridger, Joseph, Capt.Publication21 March 1664.Other FormatAvailable on microfilm. Virginia State Land Office. Patents 1-42, reels 1-41.NoteLocation: Isle of Wight County.Grantee(s): Pitt, Colo. Robert, Bridger, Captn. Joseph and Burgh, William.Description: 3000 acres.Source: Land Office Patents No. 4, 1655-1664, p. 614 (Reel 4).
On the 7th of June, 1666, Joseph BRIDGER together with William BURGH patented 7,800 acres "beginning by a White Marsh, a meadow about a half a mile from the main run of the Blackwater'. His residence was named Whitemarsh. Colonel BRIDGER was a very wealthy man.His house must have been one of the largest of its day in Virginia.
TitleBridger, Joseph, Col.Publication20 November 1674.Other FormatAvailable on microfilm. Virginia State Land Office. Patents 1-42, reels 1-41.NoteLocation: Isle of Wight County.Description: 800 acres escheat land. Formerly in the possession of Captn. John Upton, decd.Source: Land Office Patents No. 6, 1666-1679 (pt.1 & 2 p.1-692), p. 309 (Reel 6).
Commander of the Isle of WIght Militia in the Indian War of 1675. Adherent of Governor of Berkley during Bacon's Rebellion in 1676. Colonel Joseph BRIDGER was an adherent of Governor BERKELEY during Bacon's Rebellion, in 1676, serving as Paymaster General of the King's Forces. Joseph, Sr. and his son Joseph, Jr. were on opposite sides during the Bacon's Rebellion.Joseph, Jr. sided with Nathaniel Bacon in favor of the small farmer.Joseph, Sr. sided with Governor William Berkeley in favor of the large land holders.Eventually the Governor had many followers of Bacon hanged.Joseph, Sr. was able to have his son pardoned.Because of this uprising much of Joseph, Sr.'s land was plundered and Joseph, Sr. and his son never got along after that, Jr. was disinherited. Two changes in the spelling of the Bridges name occured, the first of whichwas soon after the Bacon Rebellion by Joseph, Jr. - perhaps as a result of the family fight. -------------- In Bacon's Rebellion (1676) Isle of Wight was the scene of constant foray.Col. Joseph BRIDGERheaded the followers of Berkeley, and John Jennings, clerk of the court, was the most noted of Bacon's adherents. He was banished from the colony. but died before the decree could be carried into effect.
In 1677, Joseph BRIDGER is a member of the court at the Middle Plantations, and is a witness to the will of Sir William Berkeley.
TitleBridger, Joseph, Col.Publication22 July 1678.Other FormatAvailable on microfilm. Virginia State Land Office. Patents 1-42, reels 1-41.NoteLocation: Isle of Wight County.Description: 850 acres escheat land. Formerly granted and belonging to Nath. Floyd.Source: Land Office Patents No. 6, 1666-1679 (pt.1 & 2 p.1-692), p. 650 (Reel 6).
On the 15th of July, 1680 Joseph BRIDGER was commissioned to raise men to protect the frontiers against Indians and was placed in command over troops of Lower Norfolk, Nansemond, and Isle of Wight at Surry. In 1680, he is a Councillor of State and Commander~in-Chief of the forces in Isle of Wight, Surry, Nansemond and Lower Norfolk; and Colonel Arthur Smith, of Isle of Wight, and Colonel John Lear and Major Milner, of Nansemond, are under his command.
In 1683, Joseph BRIDGER is a member of the Council of State and of the General Court, along with his Excellency, Thomas, Lord Culpeper, Governor, &c., Mr. Secretary Spencer, Mr. Auditor Bacon, Major-General Smith, Colonel Philip Ludwell, Colonel William Cole, Ralph Wormley, Esq., Colonel Richard Lee, Colonel John Page, and Colonel William Byrd.21 ----------the Old Brick Church alluded to was built under the care and superintendence of one Joseph Bridger, the father of General Joseph Bridger, who lies buried on the farm now owned by James Davis, about a mile and a half distant from the old church-a farm that was called by General Joseph Bridger in his will in 1683, "The White Marsh Farm," and is so known, and so called, to this day.
ElizabethBRIDGER was born about 1685 in of Isle of Wight, VA.
(Col) Joseph BRIDGER Sr.died on APR 15 1686 in Smithfield, Isle of Wight, VA and was buried in Old Brick Church, Smithfield, VA. Colonel Joseph BRIDGER died on the 15th of April, 1686. He was buried at Whitemarsh, his home. Years later, his remains and the massive tombstone were moved to the OLD BRICK CHURCH where he lies under the floor near the alter. THE OLD BRICK CHURCH, now called Saint LUKE'S CHURCH, by tradition dated 1632, is the nation's only original gothic house of worship surviving from colonial times and may also be the oldest church in the United States. Some references state that Joseph BRIDGER built the church. He did not, but he did have it renovated by workers be brought from England. The stained glass windows honor Colonel BRIDGER. Inside the church, the tombstone can still be read clearly, the letters are carved deeply into the stone. It states:
SACREDTO THE MEMORY
OFTHE HONORABLE JOSEPH BRIDGERESQ.
COUNCELLOR OF STATE INVIRGINIA TO KING CHARLES
ye 2d DYING APRIL ye 15A.D.1686 AGED 58 YEARS
MOURNFULLY LEFT HIS WIFE 3 SONS 4 DAUGHTERS
Will of Colonel Joseph Bridger: Personal estate to be equally divided between his wife and sons: Joseph, Samuel and William, and daus Martha (Godwin), Mary and Elizabeth, share and share alike; except Martha Godwin is to have one hundred pds. less than the rest in respect of what I have already given her husband; and alsoe there mother and my dear wife shall have in the first place and before it be delivered, over and above her proportion at her choice, one Bed covering and furniture to it, halfe dozen chaires, a chest of drawers, table and carpet and looking glasses and Andirons to furnish the chamber and one horse as she shallchoose, and one man, and one woman servant white or black to waite upon her, besides allher apparell, Rings, jewels and appurtenances for life, and at her decease to go to his heirs; to Samuel Bridger the plantation bought by me of John Gatlin and William Gatlin wherein John Cooke now lives; also one half of my plantation of Curawaock 7800 acres &c; to son William 850 acres granted to me by an escheat formerly belonging toNathaniel Floyd &c; and another tract part of which is leased to Christopher Wade; his wife to have the tract of land on which he lives, 850 acres formerly belonging to Capt Upton and 300 acres formerly belonging to Mr Seward, and she keeping the brick housing and orchard in repaire; after her death they are to go to his son Joseph as well as halfthe land at Curawaock for his natural life, and remainder to the heirs male of his his body; also tract at Manokin; to my Mother Mrs Mary Bridger 5 pounds yearly during her life. Lt Coll Jno Pitt, Mr Tho Pitt and Coll Arthur Smith to assist my wife to whom I give 20 shillings apiece to buy Rings. Wife Hester Bridger Ex.. 3 August 1683. By a codicil he disinherits his son Joseph " whoI finde fly out with divers dissolute courses of life and is grown very disobedient to me.'
Entails the land that went to him on his other sons and divides the personal estate between his children Samuel, William, Martha,Mary, Elizabeth, and Hester. Dated 18 Oct. 1683. Proved May 8, 1686. --------------Appraisement of Coll. Bridger's estate. Mentions chamber over the store, the stores goods, upper chamber of the oulde bricke house. In the next chamber, in the first chamber of the first story, in the next chamber, dining room, children's chamber;uppermost chamber of the new house, middle uppermos chamber, 3rd chamber over the dining room, the gallery, parlor, hall, lower chamber, kitchen chamber, outer chamber, landing, kitchen, cellar, 13 negroes, 4 white servants; total value of goods including a sloop that will carry about 28 hhds. 816* 17s. 04, not counting 105 cows, 46 hogs, 7 sheep, 490 oz plate, 60* in Spanish money, 42* 10 in English money, 14 horses and mares. [One parcell of Virginia made clothes]. Money due by bills,tobacco debts, Bills of exchange, due in porke, wheate and Beefe. --------- TitleBridger, Joseph.Publication1686Gen. notePart of index to Isle of Wight County Wills and Administrations (1628-1800)Notep. 251. Codicil recorded 9 Apr. 1685p. 250-251. Will pro. 8 May 1686p. 254. Inv. & Appr. rec. 27 Sept. 1686p. 242. Disinheritence of eldest son rec. 9 Apr. 1685Wills, Deeds, Etc., Vol. 2, 1661-1719 (Reel 23)