Pembertons of St. John’s Parishes in Virginia and Barbados

ST. JOHN’S PARISH PEMBERTONS – Virginia Colony and Barbados

[Editor’s Note: The following document is important for many reasons. Among them is that the author’s research reported here, shows that there was a St. John’s Parish in both the Virginia Colony and in Barbados. This fact probably lead to the confusion among some genealogical researchers that that compounded two John Pembertons into a single individual and thus their genealogical connections also became muddled together. You can read more about this here.]

By Ernie Pemberton
August 5, 2012

A review was made of documents obtained during visits to New Kent and King William Counties, Virginia in October, 1976 and a visit to Barbados in December, 1982.  The objective of this review was to clarify the existence and location of St. John’s Parish and to identify the St. John’s Parish associated with John Pemberton and his son George Pemberton.  This is not the George Pemberton identified by Dixie Ann Pemberton in her “A Pemberton Family Scrapbook” which she wrote in “The Pemberton Post” dated July 9, 2012.

A summary of this review is as follows:

1. A St. John’s Parish existed in both New Kent County, Virginia and in the Barbados.

a. The St. John’s Parish In New Kent County was formed in 1680 within the Pamunkey Neck of Virginia as identified in the pamphlet, “Historical Sketch of New Kent County, Virginia” published in 1954 for the 300th Anniversary Celebration.

b. The St. John’s Parish in Barbados was carved out of St. Michael in 1640-1641 as stated in a “Google” search.

2. The book edited by John Camden Hotten, “Emigrants to America 1600-1700, ” on page 508 identifies children baptized in Parish of St. John’s [Virginia] in 1679.  The Index shows page 508 as the only listing of a Pemberton in the book:

August 9 –John, sonne of James Pemberton

August 28 – William and Charles, sonns of Mr. James Pemberton

a. Several pages preceding page 508 of the Hotten book gives information from Barbados.

b. While on a trip to Barbados in December, 1982 a search of Census for 1679 showed the following:

I. Baptisms: 1679, Parish of St. John

August 9 – John, sonne of James Pemberton

August 28 – William and Charles, sons of Mr. James Pemberton

II. Burials

August 11 – John, sonn of James Pemberton

III. Census

Lists James Pemberton as having 17 negroes and 25 acres of land

IV. Records of Army shows James Pemberton having drum and man

c. Based on the 1679 Barbados Census records which were identical to the data shown on page 508 of the Hotten book, the Hotten book data is most likely for the St. John’s Parish in Barbados.

3. In my copy of the deed of January 20, 1702, Richard Littlepage of New Kent Couty, VA firmly made over to George Pemberton 184 acres of land in “Pamunkey Neck” now King William County.  As indicated in the deed this was the land John Pemberton (deceased) and father of George Pemberton, had bought from Richard Littlepage Sr. from the estate of Samuel Austeen.

a. I support an assumption found in my Dan Buckley files that the January 20, 1702 deed from Richard Littlepage to George Pemberton for the 184 acres of land bought by his father John Pemberton was made because George was a minor prior to that time.

b. There were at least three John Pemberton’s in Barbados during the period from 1701 to 1703; (1) John the son of James Pemberton identified as son and executor in the will of James Pemberton in August 7, 1701, (2)John buried on May 29, 1705 as the son of  Capt. John Pemberton, and (3)Capt. John Pemberton.

c. It appears unlikely that a John Pemberton from Barbados would be the John Pemberton who bought 184 acres of land in King William County, Virginia from Richard Littlepage Sr. from the estate of Samuel Austeen.

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