Col John ALSTON of Wethersfield ESS & Nth Carolina America. 
- Christened: 16 Apr 1677, Wethersfield ESS
- Marriage: Mary  in 1701
- Died: Bef Dec 1758
John Alston of North Carolina  had been widely thought to be one and the same as John Alston of Pavenham Bedfordshire England  however solid evidence now disproves this, and the actual ancestor of the American Alston family is suggested below with supporting evidence by Forrest King an American member of the Alston family.
Breaking News October 2017.
Since 2013, Forrest King in the USA and Mary Terbrak, an Alston descendant living in the Netherlands, have been working on finding an evidence based link between the Alston family of England and that of the USA.
Forrest has brought their work together in the first report of evidential links between the families.
The Parentage and Possible Wife of Colonel John Alston of Chowan County, North Carolina
Col. John Alston made his first appearance in Chowan County, North Carolina records in 1713 by purchasing a tract of land on Bennetts Creek. He became the first person with the surname of Alston to live in the area. Unfortunately, there is no information in the deed or any other document in North Carolina indicating anything about his prior background. This article will show that Col. John was the same John Alston who is found in Surry County, Virginia in 1693 living with his uncle Nicholas Pasfield. Furthermore, it will show that John came to Virginia from Essex County, England sometime after the remarriage of his father in 1684. Lastly, the possible identity of his wife Mary will be discussed.
Summary of the life of Col. John Alston in North Carolina
Col. John Alston of North Carolina held a number of important positions in the community. The first documented evidence of John came with a land purchase of 50 acres on Bennetts Creek on 28 Nov 1713, when he was called Mr. John Alston. He was a captain in the local militia by 14 Aug 1723 and had worked his way up to colonel by 1741. He was a sheriff, a vestryman on 3 Apr 1738, and a member of the Chowan County and North Carolina Colony Courts. He purchased over 2,000 acres in his lifetime, left a will on 17 Sep 1754, and died between the October 1758 Quarterly Court and 2 Dec 1758. In his will, he identified his wife as Mary. Mary Alston appeared in the records only one other time, as a witness to the will of John Maner on 21 Feb 1728/1729. Mary signed her name, showing that she was literate, which was rare for women of her time.
1. The term "Col." will be used throughout this article to refer to the John Alston who died in late1758 in Chowan County, North Carolina to distinguish him from any other John Alston that will be discussed. Col. John will be used for short.
2. Chowan County, Deed Book W no. 1 1699-1803, pp. 199, 202-203, Family History Library (FHL) Salt Lake City, Utah, microfilm 0,018,487.
3. North Carolina, Secretary of State Land Grant Record Books Volume 3, 1720-1730, 1735-1738, p. 168, North Carolina State Archives, (NCSA) Raleigh, North Carolina, microfilm S.108.160.1.
4. Chowan County Miscellaneous Papers Volume 2, 1738-1741, p. 135, NCSA microfilm C.024.99002.
5. Chowan County, St. Paul's Church, Edenton, North Carolina Vestry Minutes, 1701-1776, p. 123, NCSA microfilm C.024.04001.
6. Ibid., 84.
7. Chowan County Miscellaneous Papers Volume 3, 1741-1745, p. 37, NCSA microfilm C.024.99003.
8. Robert J. Cain, ed., The Colonial Records of North Carolina [Second Series] North Carolina Higher-Court Minutes 1724-1730 (Raleigh, North Carolina: Privately printed, 1981), 64-65.
9. North Carolina Will Records, Secretary of State Record Group Folder 126.96.36.199 will, John Alston, 1758 NCSA, no pagination.
10. Chowan County, Court Minutes 1755-1761, unpaginated, FHL microfilm 0,478,499. Col. John was deceased by the January 1759 Quarterly Court when he was replaced as the public warehouse inspector.
11. North Carolina Will Records, Secretary of State Record Group Folder 188.8.131.52 will, John Alston, 1758 NCSA, no pagination.
12. North Carolina Will Records, Secretary of State Record Group Folder 184.108.40.206 will, John Maner, 1729 (NCSA), no pagination. Mentioning Mary Alston as a witness. Solomon Alston, a son of Col. John's, had purchased some property from John Maner, who was acknowledging this sale in his will since the transaction had not been completed in the courts.
13. Julia C. Spruill, Women's Life and Work in the Southern Colonies (1938, reprint, New York, New York: Russell and Russell, 1969), 187-188. The author also states "Many belonging to prominent families were unable to write their names."
Col. John had significant social status in Chowan County. In his first land purchase in 1713, he was called "Mr." which was "a title applied only to those who had some social standing, through their family or office, before they emigrated." He was a captain in the county militia, a position ordinarily available only to those of high social standing or to upwardly mobile land owners rather than to those with military prowess. Col. John Alston and ten others were made Justices of the Peace by Charles Eden, Governor of the Colony, on 1 Oct 1720. The responsibility of being a Justice of the Peace was to be a judge in a county court. All these individuals were called "esquire", which was a title "used in this country to mean a person of considerable influence or even wealth."
It is unclear from North Carolina records how Col. John attained the "Mr." and "esquire" titles. His estate and wealth were average when compared to his Chowan County neighbors in the tax records on 17 Aug 1716 and in 1721 as well. There were several neighbors who had more land and paid four times the taxes that Col. John paid. His higher social status probably resulted from events prior to his coming to Chowan County.
English ancestors of John Alston
The first record of John Alston in the Colonies occurred on 10 Jun 1693 in Surry County, Virginia. He was a tithable, or a male 16 or older, living in the home of Nicholas Pasfield in the Lawnes Creek district. Nicholas Pasfield had been in Surry County for some time. Nicholas was a tithable by 9 Jun 1677 when he was found in the Samuel Cornwell household. He was called "Mr." on the 1690 tithable list, showing that he had social status in the community. He wrote his will on 9 Jan 1700 in which he named wife Joana and children Nicholas and Mary who were underage.
14. Barbara J. Evans, A to ZAX, A Comprehensive Dictionary for Genealogists & Historians 3rd Edition (1978, reprint, Alexandria, Virginia: Hearthside Press, 1995), 176, 179. The title "Mr." was used sparingly in colonial times, showing some social standing.
15. John T. Schlotterbeck, Daily Life in the Colonial South (Santa Barbara, California: Greenwood Press, 2013), 360.
16. Chowan County, Deed Book F no. 1 1716-1753, p. 80, FHL microfilm 0,018,490.
17. Helen F. M. Leary and Maurice R. Stirewalt, eds., North Carolina Research Genealogy and Local History (Raleigh, North Carolina: The North Carolina Genealogical Society, 1980), 223-224.
18. Barbara J. Evans, A to ZAX, A Comprehensive Dictionary for Genealogists & Historians 3rd Edition (1978, reprint, Alexandria, Virginia: Hearthside Press, 1995), 107.
19. Albemarle County, Papers: State papers, letters of administration, land patents, etc. of Albemarle County, North Carolina, unpaginated, FHL microfilm 0,018,123. Mentioning Jno. Alston in both tax lists.
20. Surry County, Virginia, Deeds, Wills, Etc. No. 4, 1687-1694, p. 332, FHL microfilm 0,034,100. Mentioning Jno. Alston in the Lawnes Creek parish.
21. Edgar MacDonald and Richard Slatten, eds., "Surry County Tithables 1673, 1674, 1675," Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, (May 1984): 38-39. The authors explain the tithable requirements unique to Virginia during the period.
22. Surry County, Virginia, Deeds, Wills, Etc. No. 2, 1671-1684, p. 147, microfilm 0,034,099, FHL. Mentioning Ni. Pasfield.
23. Barbara J. Evans, A to ZAX, A Comprehensive Dictionary for Genealogists & Historians 3rd Edition (1978, reprint, Alexandria, Virginia: Hearthside Press, 1995), 176, 179.
24. Surry County, Virginia, Deeds, Wills, Etc. No. 4, 1687-1694, p. 151, FHL microfilm 0,034,100. Mentioning Mr. Pasfeild in the blackwater precinct of the Lower pish.
25. Surry County, Virginia, Wills and Deeds No. 5, Part 1 1694-1709, p. 227, FHL microfilm 0,034,101.
Documents connecting John Alston and Nicholas Pasfield have been found in England. Fortunately, the last name of Pasfield is rare in England in the 1600s and is mostly found in Essex County, England. In the Essex County wills, there is one that mentions both Pasfields and Alstons. Phillip Pasfield, a yeoman of Wethersfield, Essex, England, wrote a will dated 3 Jun 1684 that had the following provisions:
His land and property in Wethersfield were to go to wife Susan during her natural life.
His property would then be divided at her death, with two thirds going to daughter Anne.
The remaining third would go to the four children of Mary "my daughter desed. late wife of Solomon Alstone." Children William, Philip, John, and Mary Alston would each get five pounds, with the rest being paid to them when they reached 21 years of age. Several individuals were put in charge of overseeing the estate until fully distributed.
He gave son Nicholas "five shillings of lawfull money of England to be pd to him upon his request or demand of paymt thereof."
There are several things that can be learned from the will of Phillip Pasfield. The will mentioned both a son Nicholas Pasfield and a grandson John Alston. It also implies that Nicholas was not living nearby at the time or he could have certainly and easily collected his money without demanding payment from his mother Susan as executrix. The land went first to Phillip's wife Susan and then to daughter Anne and four children of daughter Mary.
Tree: This Tree shows Alston and Pasfield relationships in Essex County that will be discussed in this article.
(Double click on the image of maps and Tree above to enlarge)
In 1677 Nicholas Pasfield filed a suit in the High Court of Chancery that showed his business relationship with Solomon Alston, the father of John. Nicholas Pasfield, yeoman, was about to travel to Virginia in 1676 and negotiated a one-year mortgage with Francis Strutt using 18 acres of land as his security. Nicholas "did thinke fitt to intrust the said Solomon Alston his Brother in law" to collect the rents due and
26. Bryan A. Garner, ed., Black's Law Dictionary 8th Edition (1891; St. Paul, Minnesota: Thompson West, 2004), 1647. Freeholder is just under the rank of gentleman who owns and cultivates properties.
27. Essex County, England Church of England ,Archdeaconry of Middlesex, Essex and Herts Division Court registered copy of wills 1678-1711, pp. 191-192, FHL microfilm 0,094,732.
28. Frederick A. Crisp, Fragmenta Genealogica, Volume 8, (1902, reprint, Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, Inc., 1996), 47. Susan was most likely a child of Mary Dyer. Susan inherited some copyhold land as the "next heir to Mary Dyer." Susan gave this land to daughter Anne.
29. The National Archives of the UK, Pasfeild v Strutt, 1677 (London, England: The Nationals Archives), C 7/271/32.
to pay the debt. Solomon was also to receive the land in the event that Nicholas died and had no heirs. The suit states that Solomon tried to pay the debt in a timely manner but Francis Strutt persuaded him to delay payment by 20 days. Francis then declared the mortgage in default, refused to take the money and wanted possession of the property instead. Nicholas went to court to recover his land in July 1677. This court case shows that Nicholas and Solomon were on good terms and had both a business and personal relationship.
Nicholas also brought court action against his mother Susan Pasfield and a number of other defendants on 5 Dec 1696 over property in Wethersfield. Nicholas had been in "Virginia and other parts beyond the seas" for divers years and had returned to England. Nicholas called himself the heir of Phillip Pasfield. He believed that he had inherited some other property during his absence from England and was due the rents therefrom. He discovered that no effort was being made to collect these rents on his behalf and that his title to the land was in question. Nicholas argued to the High Court of Chancery that "ye orators Grandfather Nicholas Pasfield late of Weathersfield in the County of Essex aforesaid Gent gave it by his last will and testament unto Phillip Pasfield ye Orators father and desired him not to sell it or otherways dispose of it or any part of thereof to any person but to ye Orator." Nicholas then requested the court to subpoena Susan and a number of others to get the title and rents that he was entitled to receive. No further records on this case are available in the High Court of Chancery. This lawsuit shows that Nicholas Pasfield, son of Phillip of Wethersfield, and Nicholas Pasfield of Virginia are one and the same person.
As the last three documents show, the connection between John Alston and Nicholas Pasfield was significant. The will of Phillip Pasfield in 1684 listed his son Nicholas, son-in-law Solomon Alston, and a grandson John Alston. The 1677 lawsuit shows that Nicholas had left England and was using brother-in-law Solomon Alston as his assignee. From the 1696 lawsuit, son Nicholas Pasfield is known to have lived in both Wethersfield and Virginia. In 1693, Nicholas Pasfield and John Alston are found in the same residence in Surry County, Virginia. These documents on both sides of the Atlantic support their family relationship.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, North Carolina records do not show how Col. John Alston obtained his significant social status. However, the English records do show that John Alston obtained social status from his direct ancestors.
Exhibit 1 summarizes Col. John's family relationships including the social status each had. Solomon Alston, father of Col. John and husband of Mary Pasfield, was a yeoman in Wethersfield in 1689. He had married Mary about 1665. Solomon's four children mentioned in the will of Phillip Pasfield are William christened on 9 May 1671 in Great Yeldham, Essex, England, with the other children being christened in Wethersfield, Philip on 22 Apr 1675, John on 16 Apr 1677, and Mary on 16 Feb 1678/79. Mary (Pasfield) Alston died before 3 Jun 1684 when her father wrote his will. Solomon married secondly Lydia (---) Pond on 25 Nov 1684 in Romford, Essex, England and was buried on 20 Oct 1721 in Havering-atte-Bower, Essex, England. Unfortunately, Solomon did not leave a will.
30. The National Archives of the UK, Pasfield v Pasfield, 1696 (London, England: The Nationals Archives), C 7/260/16.
31. The National Archives of the UK, Alston v Alston, 1689 (London, England: The Nationals Archives), C 7/595/1.
32. Essex County, England, Great Yeldham Register of Baptisms St. Andrew 1560-1812, Image 18, Essex Record Office [ERO].
33. Essex County, England, Wethersfield Register of Baptisms St. Mary Magdalene 1647-1683, Image 11, ERO.
35. Ibid., 12.
36. Essex County, England, Romford Register of Marriages St. Edward the Confessor 1610-1732, Image 95, ERO.
37. Essex County, England, Havering-atta-Bower Register of Burials St. John the Evangelist 1718-1812, Image 25, ERO.
Solomon Alston was the second son of William Alston, gent, of Sible Hedingham, Essex, England, who left a will dated 5 Jul 1693. Solomon was christened on 18 Jul 1648 in Toppesfield, Essex, England. His older brother William on 5 Feb 1642/43 and his younger brother Robert on 24 May 1652 were also christened in Toppesfield.
In addition to being a gentleman, William Alston was in a family important enough to be included in the Visitation of Essex. Heralds came to each county to document pedigrees of the more important residents for the visitation books and to authorize those families to bear arms. The heralds reported that William was the son of John Alston, Gent, and wife Anne Crachrode. William was mentioned in his father's will dated 30 Jun 1653.
John Alston, as the third son of Solomon Alston of Wethersfield, had good social standing from his immediate ancestors. However, he did not have good inheritance prospects from his father. This could have been a motivating factor in his relocation to Virginia. It is also possible that with the remarriage of his father, he was being farmed out to his uncle Nicholas Pasfield. It should be noted that John would have had his 16th birthday about April 1693. That is significant because John Alston appeared in the Virginia records for the first time on 10 Jun 1693 as a tithable, just after his 16th birthday.
Other activities of John Alston of Surry County, Virginia (1693-1702)
It is evident from the records that John Alston of Surry County lived by the first branch of the Blackwater Swamp and knew families of this area, including the Baker family and Arthur Davis Jr. After his initial appearance in the home of Nicholas Pasfield, John Alston shows up four other times in the Surry County records before 1703:
1.John Alston was a tithable in the Lawnes Creek district in the household headed by widow Alice Riddick in 1696.
2.Robert Sherrard caused John Alston to be arrested but did not appear to prosecute his suit; therefore, it was dismissed on 5 Mar 1699/1700.
3.Arthur Davis Jr, plaintiff as assignee of Alice Reddick, was in a suit with John Alston defendant. Arthur had married Alice who was now deceased; the suit dated 5 Mar 1699/1700 was about a debt John Alston owed to her estate. John pointed out that he owed the debt to Alice and not to Arthur Davis Jr. Thus John showed good knowledge of common law to avoid payment of this debt. In a countersuit, John Alston caused Arthur Davis Jr. to be arrested but did not appear to prosecute, so Arthur moved for a nonsuit and it was granted.
4.John Alston caused William Fallaugh to be arrested but failed to appear, so the suit was dismissed 3 Mar 1701/1702.
38. Bryan A. Garner, ed., Black's Law Dictionary 8th Edition (1891; St. Paul, Minnesota: Thompson West, 2004), 708. A person belonging to the landed gentry.
39. Essex County, England, Probate Records for the Commissary Court of the Diocese of London, Essex, and Hertfordshire division register copy wills 1697-1708, pp. 107-109, FHL microfilm 0,094,229.
40. Essex County, England, Toppesfield Register of Baptisms St. Margaret of Antioch 1559-1692, Image 27, ERO.
41. Ibid., 25.
42. Ibid., 28.
43. Bryan A. Garner, ed., Black's Law Dictionary 8th Edition (1891; St. Paul, Minnesota: Thompson West, 2004), 743, 1602.
44. Edward Bysshe, A Visitation of the County of Essex (London, England: Mitchell and Hughes, 1888), 7. William is person 3 in the Alston of Stisted chart.
45. The National Archives of the UK, Will, John Alston, Gentleman of Stisted, Essex, 24 Nov 1658 (London, England: The Nationals Archives), PROB 11/260/263. Mentions William Alston as a child of John Alston.
46. Surry County, Virginia, Wills and Deeds No. 5, Part 1 1694-1709, p. 116, FHL microfilm 0,034,101. Mentioning Jno: Alston in the Lawnes Creek parish.
47. Surry County, Virginia, Court Order Books 1691-1712, p. 208, FHL microfilm 0,034,129.
49. John A. Brayton, Order of First Families of North Carolina Registry of Ancestors Volume 1 (Memphis, Tennessee: privately printed, 2005), 2-3. Brayton incorrectly identified Richard Robinson, who was an assignee in this suit, as Alice's husband. Richard was of an age to be a son rather than a husband to Alice. Arthur Davis was the widower and plaintiff.
50. Surry County, Virginia, Court Order Books 1691-1712, p. 221, FHL microfilm 0,034,129.
John was living with Nicholas Pasfield in 1693. Nicholas was a neighbor to Arthur Davis Jr. and others in Lawnes Creek Parish on 4 Sep 1693. On 11 Mar 1695, Mr. Henry Baker Sr. obtained a judgment against Nicholas Pasfield. Also, John Alston lived in the Riddick household in 1696. Alice Riddick, as administratrix of her husband James Riddick's estate, lost a suit to Mr. Henry Baker on 5 Mar 1694. Nicholas Pasfield's will was written 9 Jan 1700, and his estate was appraised by Arthur Davis Jr. and others. In Nicholas Pasfield's will, Henry Baker Sr. received some land.
Arthur Davis Jr. of Surry County patented 461 acres of land on both sides of the first branch of the main Blackwater Swamp on 25 Sep 1679. The adjoining land was owned by William Baldwin, who listed Arthur Davis Jr., Capt. Baker, and others as neighbors. Arthur Davis Jr. relocated to Chowan County by 13 Jul 1718 when he purchased 640 acres on the south side of the Meherrin River from William Brown. John Alston was a witness to this sale.
John Alston's relocation to North Carolina
Col. John first appears in Chowan County in 1713. A hint that he had a Virginia connection is found in a power of attorney filed in the North Carolina colony court by Henry Baker of Virginia. John Alston was a witness to this document. It reads in part:
"I Henry Baker of Virga. & Nominated Constituted Authorized and Appointed … my Very Good friend Samuell Swann Esq. in Carolina to be my true and Lawfull Atturny, Irevocable to Sue for Leavy, Recover, Receive, Demand, and take of William Early of the sd. Carolina … Given Under my hand and Seal this 17 Day of Aprill 1703."
Hen. Baker (seal)
W: John Alston, James (IF) Flemmin, and Rich. (RB) Barfield
Map The Blackwater River, Virginia.
(Double click on the image of maps and Tree above to enlarge)
Henry Baker Sr. was a merchant of Isle of Wight County, Virginia who had dealings in both Virginia and North Carolina. He was a high sheriff, a member of the county court, and a member of the county militia. He was called Mr. Henry Baker in the Surry County records. His very good friend Samuel Swann, who had previously lived in Surry County, and his Virginia neighbor Richard Barfield are also mentioned owning land nearby.
Considering Henry's Virginia connections named in this North Carolina document, it seems probable that the witness John Alston is the same John Alston found in records of Surry County, Virginia from 1693 to 1701, where John had known Henry Baker Sr.
A chronology of John Alston's activities in Surry County, Virginia, and Chowan County, North Carolina:
10 Jun 1693 Lived with Nicholas Pasfield, Surry County
1696 - Lived with Alice Reddick, Surry County
5 Mar 1699/1700 - Brought lawsuit against Robert Sherrard, Surry County
5 Mar 1699/1700 - Brought lawsuit against Arthur Davis Jr. Surry County
3 Mar 1701/1702 - Brought lawsuit against William Fallaugh. Surry County
17 Apr 1703 - Witnessed a power of attorney of Henry Baker. Chowan County
28 Nov 1713 - Purchased 50 acres on Bennetts Creek. Chowan County
Jul 1720 - Witnessed the sale of land by Arthur Davis Jr. Chowan County
1 Oct 1720 - Became Justice of the Peace for the North Carolina Colony. Chowan County
51. Surry County, Virginia, Deeds, Wills, Etc. No. 4, 1687-1694, pp. 319-320, FHL microfilm 0,034,100. Mentioning Nicholas Pasfield owning neighboring property.
52. Surry County, Virginia, Court Order Books 1691-1712, p. 154, FHL microfilm 0,034,129.
53. Ibid., 125.
54. Surry County, Virginia, Wills and Deeds No. 5, Part 1 1694-1709, p. 227, FHL microfilm 0,034,101. Mentioniong Henry Baker and his heirs.
55. Surry County, Virginia, Court Order Books 1691-1712, p. 220, FHL microfilm 0,034,129.
56. Surry County, Virginia, Wills and Deeds No. 5, Part 1 1694-1709, pp. 192-194, FHL microfilm 0,034,101. Arthur Sr. is listed on several tithable lists at "old fields" while Arthur Jr. is of the Blackwater area.
57. Virginia Patents 1679-1689, 7:6; FHL microfilm 0,029,324. This land was on the border between Surry and Isle of Wight Counties.
58. Ibid., 7:131. Mentioning William Boaldwinne, Capt. Baker owning neighboring properties.
59. Chowan County, Deed Book B no. 1 part 3 1715-1719, pp. 613-614, FHL microfilm 0,018,486.
60. North Carolina Colonial Court Records, Miscellaneous Papers 1677-1775 CCR 192 Power of Attorney, Henry Baker, 1703 (North Carolina State Archives: Raleigh, North Carolina), no pagination. John Alston is literate.
61. Karl Musser, The Blackwater River Virginia (Wikipedia, undated). Reprinted by permission of Karl Musser.
62. Thomas F. Baker, Buckland Plantation 1670-2014 (Omaha, Nebraska : Wooli Labs LLC, 2014), 12-25. This source provides brief biographies of Henry Sr. and his family.
63. Mattie E. Parker, ed., North Carolina Higher-Court Records 1670-1696 (Raleigh, North Carolina: Privately printed, 1968), 27.
64. Isle of Wight County, Virginia, Court Orders 1693-1695, p. 34, Virginia State Archives, Richmond, Virginia microfilm no. [Reel 2].
65. Ibid., 1
66. Isle of Wight County, Virginia, Deed Book 2 1704-1715, p. 9, Virginia State Archives, Richmond, Virginia microfilm no. [Reel 2]. He had the rank of colonel.
67. Surry County, Virginia, Court Order Books 1691-1712, p. 154, FHL microfilm 0,034,129.
68. Surry County, Virginia, Wills and Deeds No. 5, Part 2 1694-1709, pp. 362-364, FHL microfilm 0,034,101. Samuel is selling property that he inherited from his father.
69. Virginia Patents 1689-1695, 8:338; FHL microfilm 0,029,325. Richard Barfield's property is on Saram Swamp, which is near land owned by Henry Baker Sr. that Henry called his Buckland plantation.
Col. John Alston land and court transactions in Chowan County (1713 to 1728) and other dealings with Henry Baker Jr.
Col. John Alston was mentioned in several land records in North Carolina. These land records show that Col. John continued his interactions with Arthur Davis Jr. and began to deal with Henry Baker Jr., the oldest son of Henry Baker Sr. These activities are similar to the interactions of John Alston of Surry with these same families:
Purchased 50 acres on the southeast side of Bennetts Creek from Patrick Laughler and his wife Patience on 28 Nov 1713. This is the first record for Col. John Alston in Chowan County.
In Jul 1720, witnessed the sale from Arthur Davis Jr. and wife Mary to Barnaby Mackinney of 640 acres on the south side of the Meherrin River.
Obtained two land warrants for 265 and 270 acres on the northwest side of Bennetts Creek probably in 1721.,
Witnessed along with Henry Baker Jr. the sale from Patrick Lawley to Thomas Martin of Nansemond County for 50 acres on the west side of Bennetts Creek on 25 Mar 1721.
Patented 263 acres at the head of Knotty Pine Pocoson next to property owned by Henry Baker Jr. and George Vaughan on 26 Mar 1723.
Lived next to his son Joseph John Alston and others on White Pot Pocoson on 14 Aug 1723. Col. John was a militia captain at that time.
Lived next to Henry Baker Jr., William Baker, and others on the north side of Bennetts Creek on 27 May 1728. Henry Baker Jr. had previously purchased property on Bennetts Creek.
Witnessed along with Henry Baker Jr. the sale of a slave from William Everitt to Thomas Piland of a slave on 6 Jun 1728. The slave was then assigned to Col. John.
Map above shows many of the properties purchased by John Alston in Chowan Co. before 1730. This map shows the close proximity of the Baker properties to those of John Alston.
In addition to land transactions, Henry Baker Jr. and Col. John interacted in other significant ways. Both were mentioned together in conjunction with the formalizing of the dividing line between Virginia and North Carolina. They dined with the surveying group at Buckland plantation on 20 Mar 1728. Col. John and his family had come to Buckland for a social visit with the Bakers and remained for several days. Also, Col. John was an appraiser on the estate of Henry Baker Jr. in July 1742, along with Mr. James Wilson, who was also a neighbor to Henry Baker Jr.
70. Thomas F. Baker, Buckland Plantation 1670-2014 (Omaha, Nebraska : Wooli Labs LLC, 2014), 16. A map is included that shows the locations of some of Col. John's purchases.
71. Ibid. 12-25. This source provides brief biographies of Henry Sr. and Henry Jr.
72. Chowan County, Deed Book W no. 1 1699-1803, pp. 199, 202-203, FHL microfilm 0,018,487.
73. Chowan County, Deed Book F no. 1 1716-1753, pp. 38-42, FHL microfilm 0,018,490.
74. North Carolina, Secretary of State Land Grant Record Books Volume 3, 1720-1730, 1735-1738, pp. 81-82, NCSA microfilm no. [Reel S.108.160.1]. This land patent is undated but is found among the 1721 deeds.
75. J. R. B. Hathaway, ed., "Abstract of Land Grants" North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, 1 (January 1900): 10. This abstract is dated incorrectly as 1711 for this patent. Given where this patent is found in Hathaway's abstracts and in state land grants volume 3, the date is a typographical error.
76. Chowan County, Deed Book C no. 1 1720-1735, p. 105, FHL microfilm 1,730,346.
77. North Carolina, Secretary of State Land Grant Record Books Volume 3, 1720-1730, 1735-1738, pp. 130-131, NCSA microfilm S.108.160.1.
78. Ibid. p. 168. Col. John's son is called John rather than his full name of Joseph John. This indicates that Col. John could have been married prior to 1703, assuming Joseph John was already of age.
79. Ibid. pp. 234-235.
80. Barbara J. Evans, A to ZAX, A Comprehensive Dictionary for Genealogists & Historians 3rd Edition (1978, reprint, Alexandria, Virginia: Hearthside Press, 1995), 21-22. This is a transfer of ownership to Col. John.
81. Chowan County, Deed Book F no. 1 1716-1753, p. 207, FHL microfilm 0,018,490.
82. Thomas F. Baker, Buckland Plantation 1670-2014 (Omaha, Nebraska : Wooli Labs LLC, 2014), 16. Reprinted by permission of Wooli Labs LLC.
83. William Byrd, Histories of the Dividing Line Betwixt Virginia and North Carolina (New York, New York: Dover Publications, 1967), 77, 89.
84. North Carolina, Wills and Estate Files, 1663-1978, Henry Baker Estate, pp. 183-210; FHL microfilm 1,738,554. John is called esquire.
85. Chowan County Miscellaneous Papers Volume 2, 1738-1741, p. 87, NCSA microfilm C.024.99002.
A possible Mary as the wife of Col. John Alston
Col. John's wife Mary showed up only twice in the records as Mary (---) Alston, as a witness to a will and as a legatee in her husband's will in 1754. Mary was literate, which indicates she was probably from a higher class background.
Henry Baker Sr. had a daughter named Mary who would have been of the proper age and social standing to be the wife of Col. John. This Mary Baker is mentioned in the wills of her father Henry on 10 Jun 1709 and her mother Mary on 5 Mar 1732, but unfortunately not by last name. In those two wills, none of her sisters were mentioned by last name either.
A number of circumstantial items point to a marriage between Col. John and Mary Baker, daughter of Henry Baker Sr.:
John Alston of Surry County would have known Mary Baker because of his proximity to the Baker family at the time he would have married about 1700. Nicholas Pasfield, uncle to John, had several dealings with Henry Baker Sr. in Surry County as well.
Henry Baker Sr. owned land on Honey Pot Swamp near Bennett's Creek by 6 Jun 1699, near Col. John's first land purchase in 1713. Henry's sons Henry and Lawrence were also neighbors to Col. John. (See Map )
Mary Baker was mentioned first of the daughters in the will of her father and received less than her sisters. It is very possible that she was married by 1709 and had previously received her dowry.
This marriage would better explain why Col. John Alston was a witness to Henry Baker Sr.'s power of attorney in 1703. Col. John would have been a son-in-law rather than just a casual witness when he journeyed to the colony general court.
Col. John had the appropriate social status that would allow him to marry a daughter of Henry Baker Sr.
Col. John and Henry Baker Jr. were witnesses on documents in Chowan County in 1721 and 1728. Henry Baker Jr. may have been present because of a personal request by Col. John. This last transaction was a slave sale followed by an assignment of the slave to Col. John. It was common in personal transactions to have a trusted relative present.
Col. John and Henry Baker Jr. were socially connected.
Col. John was the appraiser on Henry Baker Jr.'s estate. While not mandatory, it was common at the time to have either neighbors or relatives perform appraisals.
Col. John interacted with the Baker family for at least 40 years.
Henry Baker Sr. had eight children. Six of the children's names were used by Col. John Alston and Mary. Four of their eight children have the same names, and two other Baker names were given to Alston grandchildren.
Although Mary Baker, daughter of Henry Baker Sr., is found in one other will, this mention provides little or no information on her potential relationship to John Alston. Silvestra (Bennett) Hill in her will dated 7 Oct 1706 gave 550 acres in Isle of Wight County, Virginia to Mary (Blake) Baker, wife of Henry Baker Sr., upon Silvestra's death by 9 Jan 1706/1707. Silvestra's will stated that after Mary (Blake) Baker's death, the land was then to go to Mary's daughter Mary. Unfortunately, Mary the daughter does not have a last name mentioned in this will either.
Tracing the ownership of the land could help identify Mary Baker's husband. Unfortunately, there is very little available information about the description of this property. No further reference to the property is found in the Isle of Wight County land records through 1780. One possibility is that by the 1714 quit rents this land had ended up in the hands of James Day Jr., the great nephew of Silvestra, who at that time reported owning 1,300 acres of land in Isle of Wight; 750 acres descended to him from great-grandfather Edward Bennett through several individuals, while the origin of his other 550 acres is unexplained. The 1714 quit rents list is the only known tax list in Isle of Wight County from 1705 to 1780.
There are several points showing that Col. John Alston of Chowan County, North Carolina is both the son of Solomon Alston of Wethersfield, Essex County, England and the John Alston of Surry County.
The connection between John Alston and Nicholas Pasfield is significant. The will of Phillip Pasfield and the two court cases involving Nicholas Pasfield show the relationships between the Alstons and Pasfields in Essex County, England. Nicholas Pasfield is a Virginia resident for all the documents. The 1693 tithable list supports the relationship between John Alston and Nicholas Pasfield in Virginia.
John of Wethersfield was christened on 16 Apr 1677 and therefore was first eligible to be a tithable in June, 1693 in Surry County, the same year that John Alston of Surry was shown on the tithable list.
John Alston had significant relationships with the Baker family and Arthur Davis Jr. in both Surry and Chowan Counties.
There are no overlapping events between the John Alston of Surry and Col. John Alston as shown in Exhibit 3.
John Alston of Surry County had a grasp of legal matters as did Col. John in his role as a county and colony judge.
Col. John Alston was called both "Mr." and "esquire" by October 1720. Both of these titles show status in the community. Col. John of Chowan County did not have any known relatives in North Carolina that would have earned him the right to this social status. As John Alston, son of Solomon Alston of Essex County, England, he had many titled ancestors as shown in this Family History www.thekingscandlesticks.com This status would have carried over to his life in early North Carolina.
There are no other Alstons found in land, will, court records, and other documents of surrounding counties for this time period.
Thus the evidence supports the conclusion that John Alston of Wethersfield, Essex, England [RIN 2755] is one the same person as Col. John Alston of Chowan County, North Carolina.
As for the maiden name of Mary (---) Alston, a number of circumstantial items point to a marriage between Col. John Alston and Mary Baker, but currently there is no conclusive evidence. It would be nice to declare Mary Baker to be his wife, but unfortunately that cannot be done with certainty at this time.
Forrest D. King firstname.lastname@example.org
86. Isle of Wight County, Virginia, Record of Wills, Deeds, Etc. Volume 2, Part 1 1661-1719, pp. 539-540, Virginia State Archives, Richmond, Virginia microfilm no. [Reel 23]. Mentioning daughter Mary in will.
87. Isle of Wight County, Virginia, Wills & Accounts Volume 4 1734-1745, p. 22, Virginia State Archives, Richmond, Virginia microfilm no. [Reel 24]. Son William was given Mary (Blake) Baker's land in Nansemond County. The remaining estate was distributed equally among all of her living children. Mentioning daughter Mary in will.
88. Virginia Patents 1697-1706, 9:195; FHL microfilm 0,029,326.
89. Thomas F. Baker, Buckland Plantation 1670-2014 (Omaha, Nebraska : Wooli Labs LLC, 2014), 16.
90. Bryan A. Garner, ed., Black's Law Dictionary 8th Edition (1891; St. Paul, Minnesota: Thompson West, 2004), 530.
91. Virginia M. Meyer and John F. Dorman, Adventurers of Purse and Person Virginia 1607-1624/5, 3rd Edition (1956; reprint, Richmond, Virginia: The Dietz Press, 1987), 112-115.
92. Isle of Wight County, Virginia, Record of Wills, Deeds, Etc. Volume 2, Part 1 1661-1719, pp. 475-476, Virginia State Archives, Richmond, Virginia microfilm no. [Reel 23]. Mentioning Mary the wife of Henry Baker and Mary the daughter of Henry and Mary Baker. The daughter Mary Baker was called a goddaughter in the will.
93. unknown author, "Isle of Wight County Records," William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, 7 (Apr 1899): 204. This sketch shows where the land is located in Isle of Wight County. The land is referred to as Bennett's Hill.
94. Virginia Patents 1661-1666, 5:27; FHL microfilm 0,029,321. Edward Bennett's 1,500 acre property equally between his daughters Silvestra and Mary on 30 Sep 1664.
95. John D. Neville, "An Isle of Wight Quitrent Roll, 1714" The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 87 (Apr 1979): 176. Mentioning James Day.
96. Chowan County, Deed Book W no. 1 1699-1803, pp. 199, 202-203, FHL microfilm 0,018,487.
97. Chowan County, Deed Book F no. 1 1716-1753, p. 80, FHL microfilm 0,018,490.
Will of John Alston of Chowan Co Nth Carolina America.
17 Sept 1754 [started] - 20 Feb 1755 [signed]
Probate 2 Dec 1758 Chowan Co
In the Name of God, Amen. September 17th, in the year of our Lord God one thousand Seven hundred and fifty four, I, John Alston of Chowan County and province of North Carolina being in perfect health and of sound and perfect mind and memory thanks be to almighty God for it., Calling to mind the uncertainty of this Transitory Life, and that all flesh must Yield unto Death when it shall please God to call, Doe make Declair ordain, appoint this my last will and testament in Manner & form following and principally I Recommend my Soul to God that gave it to me in full hope I shall receive full pardon for all my Sins Past by the merits and meditation of our Blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Chirst and my body to be buried in Such Christion Like manner as shall pleas my Executor hereafter naimed and appointed, and secondly I doe by these presents frustrate and make null and void all other or former wills by me made or Declaired Either by word or writing and this to be taken for my Last will and testament and no other. Thirdly my will is that all My Debts Duly that I owe in the right or concience to any maner of persons What Ever Be Justly Contested and paid in Sum convenient time after my Death By executor hereafter nam'd and now as such worldy Estate as it hath pleased God to Bestow upon me I Give & dispose of the saim in manner and from following--
Item. I give and bequeath unto my well beloved Son Joseph John Alston my Land at White Oak River and other personall Estate By me all Ready delivered to him and a tract of land containing two hundred and fifty acres being in Chowan County Joining to Mrs. James Willson Line Beginning at a hickory standing on Benit's Creek Side I also give to my son Joseph John Alston one Gold Ring about fifteen shillings worth I say aforesaid Land and Estate to him and his heirs for Ever.
Item. I give and Bequeath unto my Beloved Son Solomon Alston a Negro woman named Sarah which he has in his possession and other personal Estate all Ready delivered to him by me I say the aforesad Negro and Estate to him and his heirs for Ever.
Item. I give and Bequeath unto my Beloved Son William Alston in his lifetime that part of my Estate I allotted for him and now his heirs has is in their possession.
Item. I give to my Beloved Son Phillip Alston one Negro man named Seser now in his possession and one Negro man named Robin and what Else of my personal Estate he has had of me before now in his possession I say the afor s'd Negro's & Estate to & his heirs forever.
Item. I give and Bequeath unto my Beloved Daughter Mary Seward one mulato woman named Moll and what Else she has had of me befor to her and her heirs for Ever I allso mean the use of my Dwelling House and garden to her Durin her natural life.
Item. I Give & bequeath unto my beloved Daughter Elizabeth Williams one Negro woman named Moll an her increas to her and her heirs for Ever and what Else of my personal Estate she has had all Ready.
Item. I Give and bequeath unto my Beloved Daughter Sarah Kearny one Negro woman nam'd fanney and her increase now in her possession and what Else she had of my Estate Before the afore said negro and Estate to her and her heirs forever.
Item. I Give to my Beloved Daughter Charity Dawson one Negro woman named janey and a Negro boy named Jupiter and a negro girl named Cate and a negro girl named Nancy I say the aforesaid Negro's to her and her heirs an assigns for Ever.
Item. I mean my Dear wife Mary Alston to have the use om my Estate as vis Dick fanney peter Robin & Easup and Diner allso--my plantation stock & household Goods During her naturall Life But at her Death to be returned in manner hereafter mentioned.
Item. I Give to John Alston Son of Solomon Alston one Negro boy named Peter to him and his heirs fr Ever.
Item. I Give to Elizabeth Alston Daughter of William Alston Deceased one Negro boy named ned to her and her heirs for Ever.
Item. I Give to Paty Alston Daughter of Joseph John Alston one Negro Girl named Pru to her and her heirs for Ever.
Item. I Give to William Alston Son of Philip Alston one Negro Boy named Hary to him & his heirs for Ever.
Item. I Give to John Alston Son of James Alston one Negro woman named Diner and her increase and one negro boy named Robin to him and his heirs for Ever.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my beloved Son James Alston one Negro man named Dick one Negro man named Peter and one mulato man named Easop allso my plantation whereon I now live and all the Land adjoining thereunto I allso give him the Rest and Residue of my whole Estate Both Raill and personall I say the aforesaid Land and Estate to him and his heirs & assigns forever I allso leave him my whole and sole Executor of this my last will and testament in witness whereof I have here unto set my hand and seall the 20 day of Feb'y 1755. JOHN ALSTON
Seasbrook Wilson, Thomas Byrd, Joseph Parker X his mark
Edenton 2d December 1758 - Then personally appeared before me Seasbrook Wilson & Joseph Parker two of the subscribing witnesses to the foregoing Will who make oath that they saw John Alston the Testateor sign seal and deliver and declare the foregoing as & for his last will and Testament and that the said John Alston was at that time to the best of their judgment & belief of sound and disposing Memory & understanding and that they together with Thomas Byrd subscribed their names to the foregoing will as witnessed thereto.
At the same time James Alston Executor before named took the Oath of an Executor.
Let Letters Testamentary issue thereon.
Background Research Commentary and Conjecture over the years:
Forrest King in 2015 writes an analysis of 4 of the theories espoused over the years to explain John Alstons antecedents,
Theories and analysis of the ancestry of Col. John Alston of North Carolina
Col. John Alston was a prominent citizen in Chowan County who held several important positions in his lifetime including being a justice on the North Carolina Colony Court1 before his death in 1758. There are four theories regarding the ancestry and activities of Col. John Alston prior to his first appearance in the primary records of North Carolina on 28 Nov 1713 when he made a land purchase on Bennett's Creek.2 Unfortunately, of the four theories discussed below, only theory three provides any documentation, which makes it difficult to verify the conclusions of the other authors. Therefore, in discussing the theories, I have added sources to help the reader identify information that is supported by records. The four primary theories and one theory response will be described and then analyzed:
Theory one by Joseph A. Groves: Groves' book was the first comprehensive genealogy of the Alston family. Mr. Groves stated that Col. John Alston was a child of John Alston and Dorothy Temple of Felmersham, Bedfordshire, England, and was christened there on 5 Dec 1673.3 He also stated that Col. John Alston married Mary Clark, daughter of John Clark and Mary Palin,4 in North Carolina about 1700. John Clark left a will on 30 May 16895 which mentions wife Mary, daughter Mary, and a possible child in esse. Mary (Palin) Clark, the widow, then married Joseph Glaister on 16 Feb 1709/1710.6 Joseph Glaister left a will on 27 Jan 1718/1719,7 and wife Mary left a will on 9 Jun 1740.8 As part of his reasoning supporting the marriage of Col. John Alston to Mary Clark, Mr. Groves tries to identify the source of their children's names. He postulates that the names came from neighboring families in Perquimans and Pasquotank counties (e.g. Akehurst, Chancey, Clark, Durant, Hatch, Hill, Palin, and Thomas) and referred to them as some of the best citizens of the colony. He then concluded, "It is here we find John Alston, among these he married, and the names Solomon, Philip, James, Martha, Charity till then not found in his ancestral lines, were doubtless obtained through his wife's mother's connections and relationship."9 Mr. Groves stated further that there is a family tradition that Mary, wife of Col. John Alston, was an orphan. 10 Mr. Groves also stated it is most probable that John Alston came to America in 1694 with Gov. John Archdale, who had been appointed governor of North Carolina. As proof, Mr. Groves asserted that John Dawson (a future Alston son-in-law) and William Williams (whose son married John Alston's daughter) came at the same time.11
Response to theory one by William Perry Johnson: Most of Mr. Johnson's comments12 were based on Mr. Groves' lack of any primary documentation. Mr. Johnson described what information is known about Col. John Alston, John Clark, Mary Palin, and daughter Mary Clark, including the marriage of Joseph Glaister to Mary (Palin) Clark. Mr. Johnson stated, "No further record of Mary (Palin) Clarke's daughter Mary has been found; it is presumed she died young. Neither is there any record of a second child being born to John & Mary (Palin) Clarke."13 Mr. Johnson also challenged the connection between John Alston of Bedfordshire County, England and Col. John Alston again because no conclusive proof was provided.
Analysis of theory one: One of the best sources that we have for assisting in this Alston analysis is the Internet. Edward Fenn hosts www.thekingscandlesticks.com, which makes available hundreds of copies of original documents on the Alston family both in England and America. Through his diligent research and the help of other contributors, Mr. Fenn has posted material providing answers to some of the disputes among the proposed theories.
Mr. Fenn documents the christening of a John Alston in Felmersham, Bedfordshire, England. Mr. Fenn shows that this particular John Alston married Elizabeth Shone on 14 Sep 1707 and was buried on 12 Feb 1710/11 in London, England. http://www.thekingscandlesticks.com/webs/pedigrees/15900.html
Thus Col. John Alston of North Carolina could not be the John Alston born in Bedfordshire County, England.
Mr. Groves lists Mary Clark, daughter of John Clark and Mary Palin, as the spouse of Col. John Alston. In John Clark's will of 1689, daughter Mary Clark received half of her father's land with caveats attached. Her mother was expecting, and if the child was a boy then the son would get the land, but if a girl the land was to be split between Mary and her sister. Daughter Mary's portion of the land was never sold by her or her mother.14 Neither the will of her mother nor the will of her stepfather mentioned any children from the mother's first marriage. To date, no primary record has been found mentioning Col. John Alston in reference to this land. In my own review of several thousand original court documents found at the Edenton Courthouse15 through 1740 including a number of unpublished tax lists, I did not find any records where a John Alston is mentioned in the same record as a Clark or a Palin. This analysis also supports Mr. Johnson's conclusions that Mary Clark probably died early and that there was no marriage between Col. John Alston and Mary Clark.
Mr. Groves stated that Col. John Alston arrived in North Carolina in 1694 with Gov. John Archdale. His evidence was a supposition that John Dawson (a future John Alston son-in-law) and William Williams (whose son married John Alston's daughter) came with Gov. Archdale. Actually, John Dawson, son of Henry Dawson of Isle of Wight County, was born in Virginia, since his father Henry Dawson was already in Virginia by 1650.16 William Williams was also born in Virginia about 1671.17 So Mr. Groves' supposition is incorrect.
Theory two by Douglas Tucker:18 Mr. Tucker was familiar with the writings of Mr. Groves and Mr. Johnson. He accepted the conclusions reached by Mr. Groves as to the birth and marriage of Col. John Alston without offering any rebuttal showing why Mr. Johnson was wrong. Mr. Tucker acknowledged that Mary (Palin) Clark could have been no older than 16 when she was married to Col. John Alston and recognized the possibility that she did not outlive her mother who died about 1740. Mr. Tucker believes that Col. John Alston arrived in 1694 with Gov. Archdale because Mary (Palin) Clark was a neighbor to Gov. Archdale but acknowledged that there was no conclusive proof. He concluded that there were no land records for Col. John Alston before 1713, so he assumes that Col. John Alston must have lived with Mary's parents. Mr. Tucker also claims that Thomas Harvey Jr.,19 son of Lt. Governor Harvey, was a personal friend of the Alstons who wrote in a letter later published that Mary Alston was a "solid Quaker influence on her ambitious husband."20
Analysis of theory two: Most of theory two is in support of theory one, which has been disproved above except for the Thomas Harvey letters. These published letters by Thomas Harvey Jr. pose an unusual problem because no source is provided. My search of books and the Internet did not locate any other mention of these letters for analysis or for any personal dealings between the Alstons and Thomas Harvey Jr. Mary Alston is also missing from all published Quaker records that I could find. The only documented time that Col. John Alston's family attended church was not in the Quaker faith.21 Until the missing letters are found, Mr. Tucker's comments about Mary (---) Alston are unsupported.
Theory three by David L. Kent: Mr. Kent was familiar with theory one and the response by Mr. Johnson but made no reference to theory two.22 Mr. Kent concurred with Mr. Johnson as to there being no documented evidence that John Alston was born in Bedfordshire County, England.23 Mr. Kent stated instead that Col. John Alston was a son of Solomon Alston and wife Mary of Wethersfield, Essex, England. This John was christened on 16 Apr 1677 and married Mary Lambert, daughter of John Lambert, on 17 Dec 1702. Mr. Kent documented his theory in two ways. The first was a power of attorney authored by Henry Baker in 1703 and filed in North Carolina that showed a John Alston as a witness. 24 The Solomon Alston family also dealt with a Baker family in Essex County, England. The second was by the circumstances surrounding this John Alston in England. John Alston of Essex County, England was born at the right time, married a Mary about the right time, and the names of the children for Solomon Alston from the parish registers of Essex County, England,25 are similar to those used by Col. John Alston
Analysis of theory three: Mr. Fenn shows that the marriage of John Alston of Essex County, England, son of Solomon Alston, was with Mary Hinch on 16 Jan 1694/1695, not with Mary Lambert. http://www.thekingscandlesticks.com/webs/pedigrees/2755.html
Mary Hinch died in 1730 and so could not be the wife of Col. John Alston, since Col. John's wife was still alive in 1758. Mr. Fenn documents that Mary Lambert married another John Alston of Essex County, England. Thus theory three is not correct about her marriage with Col. John Alston. Also, Mr. Kent compared the names of children of Col. John Alston as does Mr. Groves.26 Although interesting, no conclusion can be drawn from these comparisons.
Theory four: This is an unpublished theory on Col. John Alston offered by Internet articles. A John Alston who participated in the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685 was convicted of treason and shipped to Barbados to serve out a ten year sentence. He later relocated to North Carolina and then became Col. John Alston of Chowan County.
Analysis of theory four: Theory four concerning Col. John Alston being part of the 1685 Monmouth Rebellion in England came from emigration documents. John Alston was one of 100 individuals convicted of high treason and shipped to Barbados dated 25 Sep 1685.27 John Alston and three others were to be servants to Col. John Hallett, effective Dec 1685.28 These convicts were viewed as political prisoners, with a status not much better than that of the black slaves of the island.29
Shortly afterwards, William of Orange became King of England, and efforts to have the sentences commuted for these convicts, including a John Alston, began on 3 Apr 1689 with a petition from several individuals from Devonshire County, England to the Privy Council in London.30 The Privy Council repealed the sentences,31 and the official pardon arrived in Barbados on 9 Jan 1690.32 Gov. James Kendall of Barbados argued that the departure of the convicts would "cause injury to planters who had 'taught them to be their boilers, distillers, and refiners and neglected to teach any other as they would otherwise have done.'"33 On 17 Mar 1691, the Barbados Assembly reached a compromise of sorts. The rebels were free five years after their arrival, but plantation owners did not have to pay the customary dues for freeing them. The convicts were "forbidden to leave the island without the King's permission" and were forced to serve in the militia.34 There had been a serious emigration from Barbados over the previous 20 years,35 so the convicts were needed to defend the island. These released convicts could have gone elsewhere in Barbados.36 However, there is no record that any one of the 41 servants mentioned in the 1689 petition to the Privy Council which left Barbados before the end of 1699. It is conjecture whether the convict John Alston ever returned to England, stayed in Barbados, or went to some other place in the western hemisphere.
Mr. Groves and Mr. Kent were not the only individuals who tried to connect John Alston from England to North Carolina. Lionel Cresswell wrote an extensive book on the Alstons of England. Mr. Cresswell, a contemporary of Mr. Groves, communicated with Mr. Groves while both were writing their books. Mr. Cresswell stated, "I have confined my attention … to the 'missing link' between the Alstons of the two worlds, and I have to confess failure." He could not identify the John Alston of North Carolina but hoped his book would assist in that effort. He believed that theory one was incorrect because "there were plenty of other John Alstons in existence." He also believed that theory four had no evidence to connect John Alston of Barbados to the successful and prosperous planter of North Carolina. Mr. Cresswell also stated , "I find no John … who can with propriety be shipped across the Atlantic to figure as the patriarch planter…."37 Mr. Cresswell's conclusions were further bolstered by a recent book by John Brayton. His section on the Alston family strongly agreed with the arguments against Col. John Alston's birth in England and his marriage to Mary Clark.38
In summary, Col. John Alston was not born in Bedfordshire County or Essex County, England and there is no evidence supporting a marriage to Mary Clark in North Carolina or any Mary in England. There is also no documentation that Col. John Alston arrived in North Carolina with Gov. Archdale in 1694 or that he was ever in Barbados.
F. D. King [email@example.com]
1 - Robert J. Cain, ed., The Colonial Records of North Carolina [Second Series] North Carolina Higher-Court Minutes 1724-1730 (Raleigh, North Carolina: Privately printed, 1981), 64-65.
2 - Chowan County, Deed Book W no. 1 1699-1803, pages 199, 202-203; FHL microfilm 0,018,487, Family History Library [FHL], Salt Lake City, Utah.
3 - Joseph A. Groves, The Alstons and Allstons of North and South Carolina (Atlanta, GA: The Franklin Printing and Publishing Company, 1901), 27.
4 - IBID. page 96-98.
5 - North Carolina Will Records, Secretary of State Record Group Folder 220.127.116.11 will, John Clarke, 1689 (North Carolina State Archives: Raleigh, North Carolina), no pagination.
6 - William W. Hinshaw, ed., Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy Volume I North Carolina (1936; reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1994), 140. Marriage possibly took place in Virginia.
7 - North Carolina Will Records, Secretary of State Record Group Folder 18.104.22.168 will, Joseph Glaister, 1719 (North Carolina State Archives: Raleigh, North Carolina), no pagination.
8 - North Carolina Will Records, Secretary of State Record Group Folder 22.214.171.124 will, Mary Glaister, 1740 (North Carolina State Archives: Raleigh, North Carolina), no pagination. Mary listed children or step children of her second marriage as well as other relatives but no Alstons.
9 - Joseph A. Groves, The Alstons and Allstons of North and South Carolina (Atlanta, GA: The Franklin Printing and Publishing Company, 1901), 96.
10 - IBID. page 98.
11 - IBID. page 96.
12 - William P. Johnson, "Alston Genealogy," Journal of North Carolina Genealogy, 11 (Fall 1965) 1527-1530.
13 - IBID. page 1528.
14 - Weynette P. Haun, ed., Perquimans County, North Carolina Deed Abstracts 1681-1729 (Durham, North Carolina: Privately printed, 1983). This book covers the likely period when this land would have been sold.
15 - Helen F. M. Leary and Maurice R. Stirewalt, eds., North Carolina Research Genealogy and Local History (Raleigh, North Carolina: The North Carolina Genealogical Society, 1980), 321-323. Edenton courthouse was the home of Chowan County court records and many of the early North Carolina colony and Albemarle County records (which includes Perquimans and Pasquotank precincts) are found there as well.
16 - Virginia M. Meyer and John F. Dorman, Adventurers of Purse and Person Virginia 1607-1624/5, 3rd Edition (1956; reprint, Richmond, Virginia: The Dietz Press, 1987), 244-246.
17 - John A. Brayton, Order of First Families of North Carolina Registry of Ancestors Vol. 2 (Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield Company, 2008), 35-40, 106.
18 - Home pages of Rootsweb Ancestry.com histories. (http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~lksstarr/reports/alstnclr.txt 15 Oct 2015) article
19 - William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography: Vol. 3 H-K (Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press, 1988), 65-67. This source provides a biography of the two Thomas Harveys.
20 - Home pages of Rootsweb Ancestry.com histories. (http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~lksstarr/reports/alstnclr.txt 15 October 2015 2015) article
21 - William Byrd, Histories of the Dividing Line Betwixt Virginia and North Carolina (New York, New York: Dover Publications, 1967), 89. This happened in March 1728.
22 - David L. Kent, "English Origins of the Alston Family of the Carolinas," The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, 34 (Spring 2006): 63-68.
23 - John I. Coddington, "Buford Turner, of Maury, Giles, Madison and Shelby Counties, Tennessee, and his Hunter, Alston, Estes, Magevney, and Hanson Connections," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, 49 (Mar 1961): 24-26. Mr. Kent also uses this article as support for his position.
24 - North Carolina Colonial Court Records, Miscellaneous Papers 1677-1775 CCR 192 Power of Attorney, Henry Baker, 1703 (North Carolina State Archives: Raleigh, North Carolina), no pagination.
25 - David L. Kent, "English Origins of the Alston Family of the Carolinas," The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, 34 (Spring 2006): 63-64.
26 - Joseph A. Groves, The Alstons and Allstons of North and South Carolina (Atlanta, GA: The Franklin Printing and Publishing Company, 1901), 96. Groves does not elaborate on commonality of children's names beyond just listing these neighbors.
27 - John C. Hotten, The Original Lists of Persons of Quality (1874; reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1986), 326-328.
28 - John C. Hotten, The Original Lists of Persons of Quality (1874; reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1986), 328.
29 - Jill Sheppard, The"Redlegs" of Barbados (Millwood, New York: KTO Press, 1977), 29. The author also explains the poor conditions of the convicts upon their arrival.
30 - William J. Hardy, ed., Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series, of the Reign of William and Mary, 13th Feb1689-April 1690 (Dublin, Ireland: Hodges, Figgis, & Co., 1895), 50.
31 - J. W. Fortescue, ed., Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series, America and West Indies 1689-1692 (London, England: Mackie and Co. Ld., 1901), 77.
32 - Peter W. Coldham, The Complete Book of Emigrants 1661-1699 (Baltimore Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1990), 619.
33 - Parth Bhatt and Ingo Plag, The Structure of Creole Words (2006, reprint, Germany: DeGruyter, 2012), 72.
34 - Jill Sheppard, The"Redlegs" of Barbados (Millwood, New York: KTO Press, 1977), 30.
35 - Jack P. Greene, "Colonial South Carolina and the Caribbean Connection", South Carolina and Barbados Connections (Charleston, South Carolina: Home House Press, 2012), 38-41.
36 - Parth Bhatt and Ingo Plag, The Structure of Creole Words (2006, reprint, Germany: DeGruyter, 2012), 73. The convicts were primarily tavern assistants, clerks, and artisans.
37 - Lionel Cresswell, Stemma Alstoniana (unknown location: privately printed, 1898), 340-343.
38 - John A. Brayton, Order of First Families of North Carolina Registry of Ancestors Vol. 1 (Memphis, Tennessee: privately printed, 2005), 1-2.
Information on John of Nth. Carolina from American sources:
"Little is known of John Alston until he appears in the North Carolina records.
He seems to have lived first in Pasquotank Co and married there.
1711 - He received a grant of 270 acres of land on the NW side of Bennett's Creek.
1713 - he began to enter lands in the names of his sons.
1713, 28 Nov - Patrick Laler/Laughler of Chowan Prect and Patience Laler to Mr. John Alston for 1000 pounds of Tobacco. 50 A more or less on the SE side of Bennetts Creek and is part of a patent dated 17 Mar 1704/5
1714, 16 April - same for 5000 pounds of Tobacco, the back Swamp Plantation.
1715 - 20 April - He was a juror at a court held at the house of Henry King.
1720, 1 Oct - Gov Charles Eden gives commission as Justices of Peace for the Prect. of Chowan to William Charlton, John Holbrook, John Cotton, Thomas Betterley, Thomas Roundtree, Luke Meazell, John Parker, John Bryant the son of Lewis Bryant, John Alston, William Bridges and William Lattimer, Esquires. In 1721, 1722, 1724 he was on the grand jury of the oyer and terminer courts, and again in 1740.
In 1724 - he was a justice of the peace for Chowan and again in 1739.
Until 1725 - He was called captain, then major till 1729 and later colonel.
1738 - On 3 April he was elected a vestryman of St. Paul's Parish, Chowan Co.
In 1746 he was sheriff of Chowan Co."
Ref: Stephen B Weeks
By Forrest D King 2014
Noted events in his life were:
- Lineage:4 the editor discusses how his parents are not JOHN ALSTON and ANNE WALLIS that were born in England. His wife is not MARY CLARK, daughter of JOHN CLARK and MARY PALIN. All of this runs contrary to has been previously reported. However, the documentation of this option is well and will be considered accurate until proven otherwise. JOHN ALSTON probably did have a higher stature in England because of who his children intermarried with and his positions in North Carolina.
- (possibly the John Alston) He was involved in a court case on 30 Aug 1700 in , Surry, Virginia, United States.8 (possibly the JOHN ALSTON) "In the difference depending between ARTHUR DAVIS JR ase. fo ALICE REDDICK ase. of RICHARD ROBINSON plt. and JOHN ALSTONE deft. the plt. by his petition sett forth that the deft. stands justly indebted to him ... wch. the deft. pleaded that the said plt. his accon agt. him the sd. deft. ought not to have because the said plt. and the said ALICE intermarrying & being thereby only entitled to accon during the marriage, the marriage now being disolved by the death of said ALICE the plt. is now barred in Law from accon, to wch. the plt. offered to demurre but failing therein upon the defts. motion a nonsuite is granted him and ordered that the said DAVIS pay damage according to law" dated 30 Aug 1700
- He immigrated in 1711 to , Chowan, North Carolina, United States. he could have immigrated to America in or close to 1711 and landed at Bennett's Creek near the current town of Gatesville, North Carolina (now Gates County)
- Land Purchase on 28 Nov 1713 in , Chowan, North Carolina, United States.9 from PATRICK and PATIENCE LALER, 50 acres on the east side of Bennett's Creek (part of a patent dated 17 Mar 1704/5), W: --- (DL) LALER, TREEDLE KEEFE, and WILLIAM (V) VANN
- He was involved in a court case on 20 Apr 1715 in , Chowan, North Carolina, United States.10 on a jury in the case of SARAH SMITH vs. WILLIAM WADE in Chowan County, North Carolina
- He was involved in a court case about Witness on 28 Oct 1719 in , Chowan, North Carolina, United States.11 assignment from ROBERT HICKS to ADAM COCKBURNE, ALSO: JOSEPH YOUNG
- Land Witness in Jul 1720 in , Chowan, North Carolina, United States.12 from WILLIAM MURPHEY and wife MARTHA, to BARNABY MCKINNIE, 640 acres at the mouth of a Great Branch called the Cypress Gutt joining the plantation ARTHUR DAVIS did live on (being formerly granted to WILLIAM BROWNE dated 1 Apr 1713), ALSO: WILLIAM LATTIMER
- Position: 1 Oct 1720, , Chowan, North Carolina, United States.13 made a Justice of the Peace
- Land Patent about 1721 in , Chowan, North Carolina, United States.14 270 acres on N. W. side of Bennetts Creek joining sd. ALSTON, THOMAS MARTIN, WILLIAM DANIEL, and WILLIAM SUMNER
- Land Witness on 25 Mar 1721 in , Chowan, North Carolina, United States.15 from PATRICK LAWLEY to THOMAS MARTIN of Nansemond, 50 acres on Bennett's Creek (patent granted to TREEDLE KEEFE? dated 10 Dec 1712), ALSO: HENRY BAKER and JONATHAN ROWSE
- He was involved in a court case about Witness on 6 Apr 1721 in , Chowan, North Carolina, United States.16 of a power of attorney from THOMAS MARTIN to ROBERT HICKS, ALSO: PATRICK (P over L) LAUGHLER
- He served in the military on 7 Apr 1722 in , Chowan, North Carolina, United States.17 he was a Captain in the Militia
- Land Patent on 26 Mar 1723 in , Chowan, North Carolina, United States.18 292 acres in Chowan County on the north side of Bennets Creek joining, Col. THOMAS HARVEY and Capt. JOHN ALSTON
- Land Patent on 26 Mar 1723 in , Chowan, North Carolina, United States.18 200 acres in Chowan County at the head of Bennets Creek, joining PUGH, WILLIAM WRIGHT, and White Pot Pocoson
- Land Patent on 26 Mar 1723 in , Chowan, North Carolina, United States.19 263 acres on the head of Knotty Pine Pocoson and Goples? pocosin, joining HENRY BAKER, GEORGE VAUN, and the sd. Knotty pine pocoson
- Land Neighbor on 14 Aug 1723 in , Chowan, North Carolina, United States.20 WILLIAM LEWIS and AARON ODAM on White Pot Pocoson in Chowan County, North Carolina
- He served in the military 1724 to 1729 in , Chowan, North Carolina, United States.21 he was called Captain ALSTON until 1724, Major to 1729 and then a Colonel
- Position: 24 Oct 1724, , Chowan, North Carolina, United States.21 he was made a Justice of the Peace
- Land Purchase on 11 Aug 1726 in , Bertie, North Carolina, United States.22 from GEORGE POWELL, 124 acres on ES. Ahoskey Swamp adj. PETER PARKER, LEONARD LANGSTON (granted GEORGE POWELL dated 1 Apr 1725), W: JOHN NAIRNE and JOHN POWER
- Land Witness on 20 Mar 1727/28 in , Bertie, North Carolina, United States.23 from JOHN NAIRN to JONATHAN DAVIS, 200 acres on SS. Morattock River at Cypress adj. JOHN WOODS, ALSO: JAMES SPIER
- Will Witness on 29 Nov 1728.24 PATRICK LAWLER, ALSO: THOS. ROUNDTREE, JAMES HINTON, and JOHN (X) MARTAIN
- Will Witness on 21 Feb 1728/29.25 JOHN MANER, ALSO: ELIZABETH SMITH and MARY ALSTON
- Land Sale on 18 Feb 1735/36 in , Bertie, North Carolina, United States.26 of Chowan County, to THOMAS PILAND, 124 acres on SES Ahoskey Swamp (by patent dated 1 Apr 1723 to GEORGE POWELL, W: HENRY BAKER, JOSEPH VANN, and MARY MORRIS
- Position: 1738 to 1747, , Chowan, North Carolina, United States.21 elected Vestryman for the Parish of Chowan 3 Apr 1738 and served until 1747
- Position: 3 Apr 1738, , Edgecombe, North Carolina, United States.21 Justice for Edgecombe County, North Carolina
- Land Patent on 28 Jun 1738 in , Edgecombe, North Carolina, United States.27 150 acres in Edgecombe County on the East side of Bever Ponds, joining Co., MOSELEY'S corner on the pond
- Position: 1739, , Chowan, North Carolina, United States.28 he was still a Justice of the Peace in Chowan County, North Carolina in 1739
- Land Patent on 20 Nov 1739 in , Edgecombe, North Carolina, United States.29 500 acres in Edgecombe County on the S. W. side of Coneyway Creek, joining sd. Creek
- Land Patent on 31 Jul 1741 in , Edgecombe, North Carolina, United States.30 200 acres in Edgecombe County on the N. side of Fishing Creek joining a branch and the creek
- Land Sale on 22 Sep 1742 in , Edgecombe, North Carolina, United States.31 of Chowan County, to EDWARD YOUNG, 500 acres on the west side of Conway Creek (patent by sd. ALSTON dated 20 Nov 1739), W: JOSEPH JOHN ALSTON, PHILLIP ALSTON, and ELIZABETH ALSTON
- Land Sale on 12 Feb 1743/44 in , Edgecombe, North Carolina, United States.32 to HENRY LEDBETTER, 200 acres on the north side of Fishing Creek (patented to sd. JOHN), W: FRANCIS (X) REGAN and PHILLIP ALSTON
- Will Mention on 30 Aug 1744.33 THOMAS HOLLADAY, he had sold JOHN some land
- Land Neighbor on 11 Apr 1745 in , Chowan, North Carolina, United States.34 JOSEPH JOHN ALSTON, COLE, and WILSON, on the mouth of Sarum Creek where Troy Swamp joins it in Chowan County, North Carolina
- Position: Jul 1745, , Chowan, North Carolina, United States.35 he is a sheriff in Chowan County
- Position: 11 Jul 1747, , Chowan, North Carolina, United States.36 he may have been a Court Justice
- Land Sale on 22 Nov 1748 in , Granville, North Carolina, United States.37 of Chowan County, to HENRY LEDBETTER, 200 acres on the north side of Fishing Creek (patented by sd. JOHN in 1741 and originally sold to sd. HENRY in 1744 but a better deed is required), W: JOSEPH JOHN ALSTON and JOHN LEDBETTER
- Land Purchase on 20 May 1752 in , Edgecombe, North Carolina, United States.38 of Chowan County, from JOHN MOTLEY, 300 acres at the mouth of Buffalo Branch and FRANCIS YOUNG'S line, W: JOSEPH JOHN ALSTON and LEMUEL WILKSON
- Will Abstract on 20 Feb 1755 in , Chowan, North Carolina, United States.39 EX: son JAMES, W: SEASBROOK WILSON, THOMAS BYRD, and JOSEPH PARKER, recorded 2 Dec 1758
- Land Purchase on 9 Nov 1757 in , Edgecombe, North Carolina, United States.40 (possibly the JOHN ALSTON) along with two of his children in Edgecombe County, North Carolina
1. Bradley, Dr. Stephen E, Early Records of North Carolina Volume 3 Loose Papers 1712-1798 (Stephen E. Bradley (1993)), p. 79. he probably proved the inventory of WILLIAM SKINNER taken by ANN SKINNER on 11 Jul 1747. .... Haun, Weynette P, Perquimans County, North Carolina Deed Abstracts (NCPRQ-DE2) (Weynette P. Haun (1983)), p. 106. he and JOSEPH JESSUP received 200 acres as a gift from LUKE HOLLOWELL and wife ELIZABETH on 13 Jul 1724.
2. various, SC-PERIODICAL The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research (quarterly), Vol. 34, p. 63.
3. various, SC-PERIODICAL The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research (quarterly), Vol. 34, p. 64.
4. Not applicable, NC-STATE-PERIODICAL Journal of North Carolina Genealogy (Series), Vol. 11, pp. 1527-1530.
5. Smallwood, Marilu B Some Colonial and Revolutionary Families of North Carolina (Southern Press Inc. (1964)), Vol. 2, p. 11. .... Hathaway, J. R. B, Index to The North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register (Genealogical Publishing Company (1993)), Vol. 1, p. 475.
6. Holcomb, Brent H, Bute County, NC Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions 1767-1779 (Brent H. Holcomb (1988)), p. 142.
7. Not applicable, Journal of North Carolina Genealogy) (Series), pp. 1527-1530.
8. Davis, Eliza T, Wills and Administration of Surry County, Virginia 1671-1750 (Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc (1995)), p. 132.
9. Hofmann, Margaret M, Chowan Precinct North Carolina Genealogical Abstracts of Deeds 1696-1723 (The Roanoke News Company (1976)), p. 50.
10. Hofmann, Margaret M, Chowan Precinct North Carolina Genealogical Abstracts of Deeds 1696-1723 (The Roanoke News Company (1976)), p. 215.
11. Hofmann, Margaret M, Chowan Precinct North Carolina Genealogical Abstracts of Deeds 1696-1723 (The Roanoke News Company (1976)), p. 179.
12. Hofmann, Margaret M, Chowan Precinct North Carolina Genealogical Abstracts of Deeds 1696-1723 (The Roanoke News Company (1976)), pp. 57-58.
13. Hofmann, Margaret M, Chowan Precinct North Carolina Genealogical Abstracts of Deeds 1696-1723 (The Roanoke News Company (1976)), p. 62.
14. Hofmann, Margaret M, Colony of North Carolina Abstracts of Land Patents Volume 1 (The Roanoke News Company (1982)), p. 172.
15. Hofmann, Margaret M, Chowan Precinct North Carolina Genealogical Abstracts of Deeds 1696-1723 (The Roanoke News Company (1976)), p. 166.
16. Hofmann, Margaret M, Chowan Precinct North Carolina Genealogical Abstracts of Deeds 1696-1723 (The Roanoke News Company (1976)), p. 71.
17. Cain, Robert J, The Colonial Records of North Carolina Volume V 1709-1723 (North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources (1981)), p. 283.
18. Hofmann, Margaret M, Province of North Carolina Abstracts of Land Patents (Copy-it Printing Co. (1979)), p. 187.
19. Hofmann, Margaret M, Province of North Carolina Abstracts of Land Patents (Copy-it Printing Co. (1979)), p. 188.
20. Hofmann, Margaret M, Province of North Carolina Abstracts of Land Patents (Copy-it Printing Co. (1979)), p. 201.
21. Smallwood, Marilu B, Some Colonial and Revolutionary Families of North Carolina (Southern Press Inc. (1964)), Vol. 2, p. 10.
22. Bell, Mary B, Colonial Bertie County, North Carolina Deeds Volume II (Colonial Bertie (unknown)), p. 44.
23. Bell, Mary B, Colonial Bertie County, North Carolina Deeds Volume II (Colonial Bertie (unknown)), p. 77.
24. Bradley, Dr. Stephen E, Early Records of North Carolina Wills 1723-1736 Volume 5 (Stephen E. Bradley Publication (1993)), p. 50.
25. Bradley, Dr. Stephen E, Early Records of North Carolina Wills 1723-1736 Volume 5 (Stephen E. Bradley Publication (1993)), p. 57.
26. Bell, Mary B, Colonial Bertie County, North Carolina Deeds Volume III (Colonial Bertie (unknown)), p. 177.
27. Hofmann, Margaret M, Colony of North Carolina Abstracts of Land Patents Volume 1 (The Roanoke News Company (1982)), p. 268.
28. Haun, Weynette P, Chowan County, North Carolina Miscellaneous Papers 1685-1744 (Weynette P. Haun (about 1995)), p. 74.
29. Hofmann, Margaret M, Colony of North Carolina Abstracts of Land Patents Volume 1 (The Roanoke News Company (1982)), p. 283.
30. Hofmann, Margaret M, Colony of North Carolina Abstracts of Land Patents Volume 1 (The Roanoke News Company (1982)), pp. 154 and 159.
31. Hofmann, Margaret M, Abstracts of Deeds Edgecombe Precinct, Edgecombe County, North Carolina 1732 through 1758 (The Roanoke News Company (1987)), p. 178.
32. Hofmann, Margaret M, Abstracts of Deeds Edgecombe Precinct, Edgecombe County, North Carolina 1732 through 1758 (The Roanoke News Company (1987)), p. 199.
33. Bradley, Dr. Stephen E Early Records of North Carolina Wills 1737-1749 Volume 6 (Stephen E. Bradley (1993)), p. 44.
34. Hofmann, Margaret M, Colony of North Carolina Abstracts of Land Patents Volume 1 (The Roanoke News Company (1982)), p. 197.
35. Hathaway, J. R. B, The North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register (Genealogical Publishing Company (1979)), Vol. 1, p. 453.
36. Bradley, Dr. Stephen E, Early Records of North Carolina Volume 3 Loose Papers 1712-1798 (Stephen E. Bradley (1993)), p. 79.
37. Gwynn, Zae H, Abstracts of the Early Deeds of Granville County, North Carolina (The Reprint Company (1993)), pp. 9-10.
38. Hofmann, Margaret M, Abstracts of Deeds Edgecombe Precinct, Edgecombe County, North Carolina 1732 through 1758 (The Roanoke News Company (1987)), p. 35.
39. Bradley, Dr. Stephen E Early Records of North Carolina Wills 1756-1794 Volume 8 (Stephen E. Bradley (1994)), p. 2.
40. Hofmann, Margaret M, Abstracts of Deeds Edgecombe Precinct, Edgecombe County, North Carolina 1732 through 1758 (The Roanoke News Company (1987)), pp. 243-244.
Summary of Activities of John Alston
Purchased land on a regular basis beginning in 1713
Sat on juries beginning in 1715
Witnessed the sale of land beginning in 1719
Justice of the Peace in 1720
Captain of the Militia in 1722, he eventually rose to Colonel
Collector of Revenue for the colony in 1725
Sold land beginning in 1736
Elected Vestryman of the Parish in 1747
Sheriff in Chowan County in 1745
He also may have been a court justice in 1747
Links to Social Status in Early Virginia and North Carolina
The gentry were the "upper crust" of colonial society. They were large landowners, very wealthy merchants, and financiers. They owned huge tracts of land and usually many slaves. Gentry men, or gentlemen, took it as their right and duty to govern others. They served as local magistrates, church vestrymen, and councilmen. Gentry ladies, or gentlewomen, were at the top of social class and colonial fashion.
Much like the old world <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_World> , colonial America <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonial_America> was divided into a rigid social structure <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_structure> . Pedigree mattered more than anything, and wealthy, English families stood at the top of the social ladder. These families often controlled vast amounts of workers as well. These workers, the African American <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_American> Slaves, were the lowliest of those living in the colonies, standing below even the indentured workers who powered much of the new world. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonial_South_and_the_Chesapeake> Next, predictably, were these same indentured servants, men who were offered passage to America in return for years of labor. Though some were honest men, wishing to scrape out a new life in the new world, many of these men were criminals, waifs, and convicts, sent to the new world <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neologism> as punishment.
The largest social class <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_class> in the south and Chesapeake regions were the merchants, vendors and small farmers of the colonies. These people were the rank and file <http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/rank_and_file> citizens, moderately educated and skilled, but willing to work hard and create the America they needed. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonial_South_and_the_Chesapeake> Finally, at the top of the social ladder stood old, wealthy English families, clergymen, magistrates and large land holders in America. In this class, etiquette was rigidly enforced; no one was allowed to "dress above their station" and were forced to sit in church according to their own social standing. This class Hierarchy <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Class_hierarchy> lasted decades, and remnants of it still exist in today's free-er America.
Colonial Society - Social Classes
Colonial Society was determined by social classes and much like a pyramid shape. The top consisted of just a tiny number of people who were the most powerful and wealthy people in the colonies. The lower down the pyramid, the more number of people there were and the lower their status. Just as Europe there were several social classes in the colonies of 18th century North America as depicted in the following chart - also refer to Colonial Work <http://www.landofthebrave.info/colonial-work.htm> and Colonial Trades <http://www.landofthebrave.info/colonial-trades.htm> :
Chart of Social Classes in Colonial Society - 1700's upper Classes These men were the elite, wealthy, well bred and well educated minor aristocrats. Men of the Upper class could vote and held high public office. Middle Classes Men of the middle class could vote but few held public office. These men owned small farms, ran stores or small businesses, were skilled tradesmen or belonged to professions such as ministers, doctors and lawyers Lower Classes & 'Poor Whites' Men of the lower class could not vote, none held public office, few owned property and most were illiterate. These were manual workers, servants, apprentices, sailors and hired hands but also included semi-skilled tradesmen. "Poor whites" were increasingly forced to become tenant farmers Indentured Servants & Convicts Indentured Servants <http://www.landofthebrave.info/indentured-servants.htm> : Indentured servants (who included about 50,000 convicts) were were not paid any wages for up to 7 years. Indentured servants had few rights, they could not vote, they were not allowed to marry or to leave their houses and travel without permission and were not allowed to buy or sell anything.
Slaves 20% of population of North America were slaves and had no rights
Chart of Social Classes in Colonial Society
Conclusion of Social Status
John Alston was probably in the upper crust of the Chowan County residents.
John Alston of Chowan Speculation
A John Alston was transported to the new world in 1685/6.
"The Book of Emigrants in Bondage, 1614-1775 - Alston John. Rebel T 1685"
A John Alston was sold as in Barbados in 1689
A John Alston arrived in 1694 in North Carolina
A John Alston was an early settler in South Carolina, year unknown
A John Alston was in Surry County, Virginia in 1704
A John Alston is in Maryland in 1729
Alstons of Essex County, England
<http://www.thekingscandlesticks.com/webs/alston/d1.html> provides a descent from John Alston who died about 1514. One of his descendants is Solomon Alston
Views on the Groves Myth.
It appears from the Internet that the myth of the "two John Alston's" has been unquestioningly accepted by hundreds of persons creating a tree, and perpetuated in dozens of books and family histories over the last century. The time is long past to start the research to find the correct links between the Alston families on either side of the Atlantic. That can with confidence now begin in earnest, putting the errors of the past behind us.
However the correspondance below illustrates that not all American researchers have been uncritical in their work:
I am descended from five of the original John Alston's children. I have researched the family for over 50 years and I find that there is no proof whatsoever that the John who came to Chowan Co. NC was the John born in Femersham England. Groves in his Alston book surmised that he was the same. He is more likely to be the John who was captured in the Monmouth Rebellion and sent to Barbadoes. He was pardoned in along with a number of "good and honest men" and most likely came to America.
The reference to John Alston that I mentioned is:
Coldham, Peter Wilson. The Complete book of Emigrants 1661-1699.
pp. 548, 615-616, 619. 23 September 1685
Rebels convicted after Monmouth's rebellion to be transported from Dorchester Gaol by James Kendall to Barbados. nine men listed.
The next paragraph reads, and the following transported from Weymouth by the "Happy Return" of Poole. Capt. Roger Wadham, to Barbados and sold there in January 1686: ninety one men listed including John Alston and William Williams (Alstons married Williams) and other names appearing in the Carolinas and Virginia .
p. 615 - 616 3 May 1689
Petition by John Clap etc . . . . . that the following persons, men of industrious and sober lives, who were sentenced to be sold as slaves to America, be allowed to return home to their families. All were taken into custody after the defeat of the Duke of Monmouth, some having take up arms against the King, others having supplied provisions to the rebels but many not having assisted at all: Judge Jefferies required all of them to plead guilty or face immediate execution and they were therefore terrified into making false confessions and accepting banishment for ten years. Forty one men listed including John Alston.
p. 619. 9 January 1690
By order of the King the provision of 1686 whereby those convicted of complicity in Monmouth's rebellion were to serve ten years in the plantations is now revoked. Pardons may be given to those who desire them. In the following pages are listed ships which brought people to Virginia and the Carolinas .
Groves does mention this John Alston, but says it wasn't the same John as the one who came to Carolina. I firmly believe that it was. The rebel John could have been just a young boy at the time. He probably would not have wanted to go back to England for political reasons and this was the same time frame as he showed up in Carolina . Being accused of being a rebel and sold as a slave may account for the fact that little is known about John Alston before his coming to Carolina. Groves gave him a family background with which I disagree and of which there is no proof.
Ref: http://www.sallysfamilyplace.com/Neighbors/Alston.htm E-mails from Elizabeth Tissot.
See English Origins of Alston's of Carolina" under the "Books" button on this website, courtesy of David L Kent.
Cresswell writes on Grove's book:
American Families of Alston.
(Page 340) As is to be expected in the case of a surname so widespread in this country as Alston, bearers of it are to be found in the Anglo-Saxon Settlements overseas. Some of the Alstons of the seventeenth century had families of patriarchal size. and it would be only natural for some of their aspiring and ambitious scions. remembering Shakesneare's teaching that home keeping youths have ever homely wits, to dream golden dreams and eventually seek to transmute them into daylight realities by emigration. That our English Alstons were ancestors of those in America is beyond doubt. The difficulty is in linking on families in the new world to their right kindred here. Men who were independent and bold enough to cut themselves from their family moorings, would be careless of preserving for their descendants exact and intimate information of connexions they had themselves relinguished voluntarily or had been broken from by the force of unpleasing circumstance. Mere human nature and lapse of time have also to be reckoned with. Few can tell the full names of their great-grandfathers and few care what they were. The remotest relationships they concern themselves with are those of grandparents and grand-children. These bound the family horizons of most people.
In the course of correspondence with several members of the Alston clan in the States, it became clear that anv attempt on my part to work-out their genealogy with sufficient fullness and system for incorporation in my work would be a hopeless task. One must needs be on the spot. Moreover I was advised that Dr. Joseph A Groves (M.D.) of Selma. Alabamba, himself of Alston blood, had the task in hand. I have confined my attention therefore, to the "missing link" between the Alstons of the two worlds, and I have to confess failure. It has not fallen to my lot to pronounce the hoped for eureka. If my publication of "Stemmata Alstoniana" assists it will give me no little pleasure. The traditional kinship claimed by our American cousins is set forth hereafter. Uncertainty and grave differences are observable in the various versions of the traditional descent and they weaken the claim of any, and to my mind discover earlier though now forgotten attempts by American Alstons to elucidate their English ancestry. Genealogy is not a modern science.There were many lovers of it in past times, and some of our great-great-grandfathers and grand-mothers were as curious and as inquisitive into their descent as their children. But genealogy is an exact and exacting science. Few have the inclination or leisure to perfect themselves in its methods. Imperfect investigations and researches engender erronous assumptions. Evidence which appears sufficient to the inexpert induces conclusions that in the course of a generation or two crystallise into familv traditions. Any span of life exceeding that allotted to man imparts an aspect of venerable veracity to such tradition, to question which almost makes the questioner appear a goth. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the Alstons of Odell enjoyed a superior although dubious renown by reason of the publicity attaching to the matrimonial and testamentary affairs of the last baronet but one of that house. The Chelsea and other branches of the Suffolk stock, the Lancashire and Scottish Alstons were unheard of beyond their immediate country side. Nothing was simpler, nothing easier than for any genealogical Japhet with the name Alston to conclude that he must spring from the same Odell stock. It was an error into which Alstons here in this country fell. How much easier and more excusable for those beyond the seas?
Hotten's List of Emigrants mentions one John Alston who was deported to Barbadoes possibly for participation in the west country rising in favour of the Duke of Monmouth, the popular illegitimate son of the Merry Monarch by Lucy Waters. Monmouth was banished England for a conspiracy in 1683. He invaded England at Lynne June 11th, 1685. He was proclaimed King at Taunton on the 20th of the same month, was defeated at Sedgmoor near Bridgewater July 6th and was beheaded on Tower Hill July 15th, 1685. His followers suffered the fate of rebels some being transported across the seas to serve in the plantations. One John Alston was packed off to Barbadoes. Who or what he was or what rank in life he had or from what stock he sprang is unknown. He may have been gentle or boor, rich or pauper, and a Suffolk, Lancashire or Scottish Alston. Who ever and whatever he was there is no evidence to connect him with either of the successful and prosperous planters John Alstons of North and South Carolina respectively, the earliest known ancestors of our American cousins. It is discreditable to them to suppose it. Nevertheless the two have been claimed to be identical. Dr. Groves book has now been published and I was in hopes that if it did not solve the problem it might at least set forth some clue to be pursued further on this side. But it does not. Dr. Groves says "Tradition is very clear and emphatic in giving Odell Castle as the manorial seat of the family in England, also as to the statement that two young men (cousins) emigrated together, who, after reaching America disagreed and parted, one settling in North Carolina where his descendants are inseparably connected with its history, the other changing the spelling of the name by inserting an additional l, went to South Carolina where he founded the family which has been noted in the history of that State. In looking over the genealogical records of Odell Alstons the two who came to America are the only ones of that period bearing the name John excepting a son of Sir Edward of Strixton who died unmarried in England and a Vere John who was rector of Odell."
Put succinctly it is asserted that William and John sons of John and Dorothy Temple each had a son John who emigrated to America, the one born about 1665 dying in 1719 at St. John's Berkeley South Carolina aged 54, the other born about 1673 dying in 1758 aged 85 at Chinan North Carolina. Each was the prime Alston ancestor in his own State.
I have already adverted to the manner in which the traditional Odell descent was possibly incepted. My tables will shew there were plenty of other John Alstons in existence and I find no John in my Odell tables, to say nothing of two cousins John, of that house who can with propriety be shipped across the Atlantic to figure as the patriarch planters. Every historiographer is familiar with traditions of the two cousin or two brother order to explain the neighbourhood of families whose kinship has been disguised by the lapse of time. The supposed deliberate addition of an extra l to his name by one of the cousins is another flaw. Orthographical differences of surnames have as a rule arisen unconsciously, geographical division is not even required. Alston, Allston, Alstone, Allstone, Allstowne, Alliston, Alstin, Awston, Elston, are specimens of known variants existing contemporaneously all probably representing the original Saxon personal name Alstan. Spelling of surnames was conducted in a go as you please fashion until well
(Page 341) on in the eighteenth century and it was possibly only its superior looking elegance if not entirely accident that caused Alston to be accepted and perpetuated as the mould of form. Dr. Groves mentions among early and unplaced American Alstons a George of Granville Co. N.C. 1767-1771; a John Alston from Glasgow, a William Alston who died in Orange Co. N.C. in 1766 (whom he supposes to have been the younger brother of Sir Evelyn Alston Bart. of Chelsea who died in 1783 !) and a John Alston owner of 100 acres of land in Maryland in 1729. Also a Henry Alston and brother who came from Lancashire in 1861 and settled in Illinois. It is not made clear from what I can gather that John Alston the patriarch settler was even an original emigrant. He may just as likely have been the son, grandson or other descendant of earlier settlers. In Winthrop's "History of New England," Vol. I, P. 352, in a letter of John Winthrop's to his son John dated 7th April, 1628, occurs the note "Tell your uncle Downing that Peter Alston is dead" John Winthrop came from Groton in Suffolk. The Peter Alston referred to was the, Peter  of Table 12, p.13 of this book. Why should not some scions of the rather numerous Alston families in that neighbourhood have adventured forth along with the Downings and Winthrops? The Alstons and the Downings were no doubt kin then as later (see table 5). Dr. Grove will observe that a Wm. Downing and John Alston figured together as Assistant Justices of the Court of Oyer and Terminer Oct. 24; 1724 (p. 91 of Dr. Grove's Book). This note in Winthrop's book and that in Hotten's list are the only two connecting links I know of between the Alstons of England of the 17th century and America.
Dr. Grove's work - I speak only of the parts of which I am able to judge, namely, those relating to English genealogy -betrays a readiness to snatch at assumptions that is open to serious animadversion and mars the work if measured by the severe and strict critical methods of to-day. Thus for instance he gives brief biographies of Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke, and Robert Greville his cousin and successor from Horace Walpole's Royal and Noble Authors, and then, after saying that Thomasin his (sic) daughter born in 1643/4 married William Alston, tells us that the evidence that Lord Brooke was the father of Thomasin is presumptive. The presumption is obtained by deductive reasoning that is distinctly naive. Being mentioned as the daughter of Brooke carries with it the assumption that the father was prominent and well known before the British public. This could apply to no one else of the name at the time of her birth 1643/4 but this Robert Greville; Warwick Castle the seat of Sir Fulke Greville the predecessor of Sir Robert being only 48-50 miles distant from Strixton and Odell. No more need be said to rend such a farrago of genealogical nonsense to shreds than that Thomasine the wife of William Alston was the daughter of William Brooke of Norwich gent, by his wife Thomasine. She is described in Kimber and Johnson's Baronetage 1771. Vol. 1 p. 457, as the daughter of ". . . . . Brooke " simply because the compilers of that excellent work were ignorant of her father's Christian name. A similar presumption that Anne Wallis wife of John Alston Junior of Pavenham was the daughter of John Wallis the eminent mathematician who died in 1703 is arrived at by the same genealogy made-easy method.
Another tradition or hypothesis is a compound of the two before mentioned. Mr. Alex. R. Alston  (son of Sir Francis B. Alston) wrote to me some time ago, "My brother Francis met an American gentleman not very long ago of the name of Cabell (the Mr. Clarence Cabell of Richmond Va. mentioned in Dr. Grove's book as the collector of the extracts from English records given on p. 25 and 27 of that work) whose mother was a Miss Jane Alston of Virginia and whose family have the same coat of arms as the English branch "ten stars." This family claims to be descended from John of the Inner Temple and of Pavenham in Beds. and he married Dorothy daughter of Sir John Temple Kt. of Stanton Bucks. He died Aug. 13 1687. These Virginian Alstons also say that their ancestor was involved in the Monmouth rebellion and being transported to Barbadoes escaped to the States of America and became the founder of this branch."
Another correspondent tells me that "We have always supposed that John the emigrant was the son of William Alston and Elizabeth Westcombe."
One correspondent (Mrs. John Julius Pringle of Chicoria Wood Plantersville Georgetown Co. S.C.) writes frankly " We know absolutely nothing of the family before the arrival of John of St. John's Berkeley." Mentioning the "two cousins " theory this lady says "but I know nothing certainly and do not like to speak on such a matter without certainty." This is the right spirit in which genealogical problems should be approached.
In another place in his book Dr. Grove's writes "It may here be stated that according to the accompanying English records all the descendants of Thomas Alston and Frances Bloomfield had their lines successively to fail, so that the family name in that branch is now only found in the descendants of the two John Alstons who came to Carolina of whom the eldest now living by family seniority is Jos. Blyth Allston which would have made him the legal heir to the Baronetcy conferred on Sir Thomas Alston of Odell in 1642 and which became extinct upon the death of Sir Rowland the 6th Bart. in 1790 for want of a legitimate claimant. This seems to have been known to Gov. R. F. W. Allston, who spoke of it in his lifetime."
It is a pity to have to play the idol shatterer so much, but Mr. J. B. Alston must either forego his claim to be a descendant of John Alston and Dorothy Temple or forego the legal rights to the Baronetcy that Dr. Groves places to his credit. John Alston of Pavenham was the brother not the son of the first Baronet and therefore he and his descendants in the male line could not have anything to do with the Baronetcy. Baronetcies pass on the deaths of the grantees (the first baronets) to the eldest male issue or eldest male representatives of such issue and so on from father to son. The fathers, uncles, brothers, nephews, and cousins of the grantees and their descendants have no more claim to the titles than any chance wayfarer in the streets.
By way of introducing my English readers to their American kinsfolk, for such I think there is little doubt they are although the "missing link" is still missing, I am taking the liberty of extracting a few particulars concerning the more prominent members of the North and South Carolina families from Dr. Groves' book. The work has every appearance of being sound, exact and critical where treading on home and safe ground.
The Alstons of South Carolina.
John Alston 1666-1719. While it is not known certainly when he came to the Carolina Colony, every indication points to his coming with Governor John Archdale in 1694 who was sent from England and was in control during the year 1695.
(Page 342) In 1695 John Alston gent and Mrs. Elizabeth Harris "alias Allston" executed an indenture bearing date 13 Aug. 1695 relating to the goods of the late John Harris gent. His will dated Jan. 2, 1719 was proved Nov. 30, 1719. It describes him as of St. John's Berkeley, So. Carolina. To his wife Elizabeth he left his grey mare and her three year old as well as a liberal provision in land. To his eldest son John he gave 500 acres, to his son William a plantation of 490 acres called " Indian Jack"; to his daughter Elizabeth 500 acres; to his daughter Mary a tract on the East side of "Whiskenboo" ; to his son Peter 500 acres called "Whiskenboo," and to his daughter Tomassin 500 acres adjoining her sister Elizabeth's tract.
His eldest son John's will dated 24 Mar. 1749-50 was proved 11th May 1750. It describes him as of Craven Co. Parish of Prince George, planter. He had added substantially to his inheritance. He had four sons and one daughter.
The family now began to increase and ramify abroad rapidly. It is outside my province to set forth in this book what has been so ably done by Dr. Groves. But in passing I must refer to a few of the descendants of this patriarch. One Benjamin George Alston who never married, fought the duel with Hayne. In his after life he would never permit any allusion to it in his presence. The sensational article relating to his duelling penchant which was published a few years since in the New York Illustrated Record and headed "The Fighting Alstons" was a descendant perversion, not only of his character, but of that of his kinsman alluded to as "Honest Willie. Another is Washington Allston "born Nov. 5, 1779, died July 9, 1843, the famous American painter. A short biographical sketch will be found hereafter. A third member of this family was Robert Francis Withers Alston Governor of South Carolina in 1856-7. A biography of him appears in Appleton's American Encyclopaedia. A descendant also of this family in the female line Thomas Lynch was delegated to sign the "Declaration of Independance," but being ill at the time they met, his only son, Thomas Lynch, was chosen in his place. Colonel William Alston the father-in-law of Theodosia Burr was also a scion of this family. He took a prominent part in the Revolution, being entrusted with the defence of a fort in the Harbour of Georgetown. On the accomplishment of peace he settled down to a planter's life on the Waccamaw where he acquired the reputation of being "a Carolina gentleman of the old school," and where he entertained General Washington in a style which the President pronounced to be truly Virginian. Further, Washington is reported to have said that "he had seen nothing in all his travels so justly entitled to be styled a fairy land, as the rice fields of Waccamaw in the genial month of May." Colonel Alston was one of the biggest if not the biggest slave owner in the State.
The eldest son of the last named was Colonel Joseph Alston husband of Theodosia Burr and Governor of South Carolina in 1812-14. He was overwhelmed with grief at the tragic loss of his wife and survived her disappearance a few years only. The Alstons of North Carolina.
Dr. Groves writes, " In entering into an investigation of the genealogical history of the North Carolina family of Alstons, as was at first contemplated, we were confronted with the following difficulties: First - the general absence of family records; the scattered condition of the family extending throughout the Southern States and into some of the Northern and the tradition that they had all sprung from one common ancestry. Secondly - there being another family of the same name . . . . . These families, although in adjoining States, have to a great extent, kept separate, yet their many intermarriages have created much confusion, and raised difficulties in tracing their family ties.
The trouble was increased by the frequent recurrence of the same family names in the several branches from generation to generation
The first mention of the patriarch of this family also called John Alston, is in connection with a grant of land on the side of Bennett's Creek in 1711. This Creek is now in Gates County formerlv Chowan and his land was near where Gatesville now stands. Later he became an extensive land owner. He was a juror in 1715, and a grand juror at a general court of Oyer and Terminer 1721, thence coutinuously until 1724 when he was commissioned a justice of the peace. It is in this year that his name is found associated with that of William Downing as an assistant justice of the Court of Oyer and Terminer. He was continuously reappointed until 1729. In 1725 he was appointed collector to the King. In 1746 he was Sheriff of Chowan county. He was known early as Captain Alston later as Colonel. Whence the rank came is unknown. His will dated 17 September 1754 describes him as of Chowan county province of North Carolina. It parcels out his estate and slaves among his children, names his sons Joseph John, Solomon, William Phillip and James and daughters Mary (Saward), Elizabeth (Williams), Sarah (Kearney), and Charity (Dawson). No reference is made to anything or anybody intimating an English origin or connections. Groves adds that "The above John Alston was the eldest son of John Alston = Anne Wallis and was baptised at Felmersham Bedfordshire England Dec. 5th 1673." This is sheer guess work. As Dr. Groves himself goes on to shew there were emigrants to the Albemarle section from the Isle of Wight County and Nansemond Va. and elsewhere.
The will of his eldest son Joseph John Alston dated 5 January 1780 is given in full in Dr. Groves' book. It is a lengthy document and shews the testator to have been possessed of a considerable estate. But I do not observe any reference to immediate English origin or ancestry such as might occur in the will of a settler whose parents came from the older country. The will is interesting in its mention and disposition of Alston's slaves. His youngest son called John after himself removed to Chatham to the estate he gave him and became afterwards known as "Chatham Jack" A grandson was Gideon Alston noted for possessing the finest packs of fox and deer hounds in the State for his cock fighting proclivities. Another grandson Willis Alston served in the State Senate and Congress being known as "Congress Willis." Another descendant Colonel Augustus Alston served through the Indian War in Florida and was afterwards killed by General Reed who in turn was killed by Willis Alston who was afterwards killed in Texas by a mob, after having first killed Dr. Stewart. Hardy men these Carolina Alstons !
Colonel Philip Alston another grandson of the patriarch John was very active in his hostility to the Tories. Being captured in 1781 he was hurriedly put on board a prison ship from which with a companion he escaped at night
(page 343) by swimming several miles to land. In 1785 and 1786 he was a member of the State Senate. He was ultimately killed by one of his negros whom he was pursuing for the murder of a public official. Another scion of the North Carolina family John Alston son of Solomon second son of John Alston the patriach played a prominent part in the history of Louisiana or rather of that part of Louisiana known as West Florida. By birth a Carolinian, a true and loyal British subject he lived and died an Englishman at heart, remaining attached to the royal cause. Settling about the year 1770 in the Natchez district which fell under the dominion of Spain in 1779 John Alston headed a revolt of the English in the winter of 1781. Arrests, seizures and confiscations were begun to put down the rising. In attempting to escape to British territory Alston's wife sustained injuries which caused her death, he himself was betrayed into the hands of the Spaniards then in New Orleans and with six others was sentenced to imprisonment for life in Moro Castle (Havana). Until 1783 Alston was a close prisoner. At that time Prince William (afterwards William IV) visiting Havana as a midshipman interceded and secured the liberation of the prisoners. But the Spanish Governor of Louisiana General Galvez was still fearful of him again giving trouble and offered a reward of 5,000 dollars for his head if found within the Spanish dominion of Louisiana. In 1784 Alston with reckless temerity presented himself before the Governor and claimed the reward for his children. Struck by his bearing the Governor said "Give me your word never again to interfere with the Government and go home and take care of your children." This Alston did like a wise man and in time again became wealthy.
In 1901 there died at his home in Warren County another Alston who had a share in the stirring story of his country Major Robert Williams Alston. In 1862 he raised a company which as Captain he led in many a hard fought battle. At the death of his Major he obtained his Majority. He was wounded sixteen times and had three horses killed under him.
Ref: Stemmata Alstoniana 1905
Andrew Martin writes 2013
More documentation that Col. John Alston was connected to Puritans and Quakers such as my double ancestor Gov. Richard Bennett of Virginia, [also the ancestor of Robert E Lee], and traded with the local Indians at Bennett's Creek
"Upon the 24th of October, 1621, a patent was granted to Edward BENNETT, "a gentleman who had deserved singularly well of the company before he was a member thereof," who now joins with Robert BENNETT, his brother, Richard BENNETT, his nephew, Mr. WISEMAN, Mr. AYERS, and divers other associates, and they engage to transport one hundred persons to Virginia. They came over in the Sea Flower, in February, 1622, with one hundred and twenty settlers, among whom were the Rev. William BENNETTand George HARRISON, relatives of Edward BENNETT, and Ralph HAMOR, one of the Council.
The plantation of Christopher LAWNE and his successors extended from Lawn's Point along the shore of James river for six miles to Burwell's Bay; thence along the same shore for four miles to "The Rocks." The Plantation of Edward BENNETT extended from "The Rocks" along the shore of the same river for two miles including all of the land now known as Day's Neck. In this Neck, made by the waters of the James river on one side and Pagan creek on the other, and on that portion of Pagan creek called now Tormentor's Bay, was "Basse's Choice," then and the choice portion of that Neck of some twenty-five hundred acres. Population increased in the county so rapidly between May, 1619, and March the 22d, 1622, that it extended from "Lawne's Point" to and inclusive of "Day's Neck," a distance of twelve miles. On that day there was killed in the Indian massacre of March, 1622,onEdward BENNETT's Plantation alone, fifty-four people, among whom where Ensigne HARRISON and Mistress HARRISON....(The first settlers dispatched by Bennett arrived on the Sea Flower in February, 1622. There were 120 settlers, led by Captain Ralph Hamor, a member of the Virginia Council who had previously come to Virginia in 1609. Also in the group were George Harrison and Rev. William Bennett, kinsman of Edward Bennett. The Indian Massacre of Good Friday, 1622, occurred barely a month after their arrival. Fifty three persons were killed at Bennett's Plantation. A total of 347 were killed of the twelve hundred and forty inhabitants of Virginia. Bennett's plantation was abandoned.)
Warrosquoyake was resettled after the Indian Massacre of March 22, 1622. The census of 1623 and a similar count in 1625 show the presence of settlers at both Basse's Choice and Edward Bennett's plantation which came to be known as Bennett's Welcome.
Chief among the Puritans who were among the first to settle in Isle of Wight County was Edward Bennett, former elder of the Ancient Church at Amsterdam, son of Robert Bennett, a tanner of Wivelscombe, Somerset. He was christened in the Parish Church of Wivelscombe in 1577/78 being the fifteenth and last child in the family. Bennett married into the Bourne family of Somerset and is often described in the records as being a wealthy London merchant.
Edward Bennett fled to Holland during the Puritan migrations and became "by his wealth" a principal pillar of the Ancient Church.
Edward Bennett had a hand in settling over 600 people in Isle of Wight County. Bennett and his associates, Richard Wiseman, and Thomas Wiseman, were members of the Virginia Company in London and often sided with the faction led by the Earl of Warwick. The Wisemans were from the County of Essex and owned the manor of Rivenhall in Witham Hundred on the Blackwater River. The Blackwater River in Isle of Wight County may have derived its name from the Essex River since both flow generally east and southeast. Richard Wiseman was the leader of the Puritan uprising in London in 1641.
In addition to his position as a wealthy London merchant, Edward Bennett was the owner of a large fleet of ships which traded with Virginia. He was also Commissioner of Virginia at the Court of England. He came to Virginia at times but apparently did not become a resident, leaving the management of his lands to his nephews, Richard and Robert. Edward Bennett also had two brothers to die in Virginia, Robert and Richard. The brothers and nephews are often confused. When Edward Bennett returned to England shortly after 1628, his nephew, Richard, became the leader of the Puritans in Virginia. Richard Bennett and the Puritan colony moved to Nansemond which was largely populated by Puritans.
In 1635, Richard Bennett patented 2,000 acres on the east side of the Nansemond River on a creek still called Bennett's Creek. Robert Bennett, cousin of Richard, and Philip Bennett, brother of Richard, also patented large tracts in the vicinity.
By 1634, the Virginia colony had grown to the point that the government in Jamestown found it desirable to replace the system where plantations were governed by their owners and sent representatives to the House of Burgesses. The colony was divided into eight shires or counties: Accomack, Charles City, Charles River, Elizabeth City, Henrico, James City, Warwick River and Warrosquoyacke. In 1637, Warrosquoyacke was renamed Isle of Wight County.
The new Isle of Wight County lay on the south side of the James River between Lawnes Creek and Hayes Plantation near the mouth of the Nansemond River. From there, it extended westerly into the wilderness. (Act of Assembly, 1642-43) James City County lay to the North on the other side of Lawnes Creek. That part of James City County lying South of the James later became Surry County. The land to the east later became Nansemond County. The disputed boundary between the latter was not settled until 1674.
In the 1635 census, there were 532 inhabitants of Warrosquoyake and 4,914 residing in Virginia.
In 1642, the county was divided into the Upper and Lower parishes. The dividing line generally followed the Pagan River.
The Puritan migration to Virginia was strong from 1620 to 1640 and a trickle from 1640 to 1650 paralleling the success of the Puritan movement in England. With the onset of Civil War in England, migration to Virginia increased but of a different sort. As the Puritan success in England accelerated, there was a rapid increase in the number of Royalists who left England for Virginia (Cavalier Migration). The names of many who settled in Isle of Wight County included Thomas Woodward, James Pyland, and Colonel Joseph Bridger.
During the English Civil War and its aftermath, both Maryland and Virginia were under the domination of Royalist governors who refused to accept the rule of Parliament. As a result, the Council of State appointed commissioners to "reduce the colonies to obedience."
The commissioners appointed were Captain Robert Denis, Mr. Richard Bennett, Mr. Thomas Stegge and Captain William Claiborne. Governor Berkeley surrendered Virginia to the commissioners in 1652. Maryland soon followed and on April 30, 1652, the Virginia House of Burgesses elected Richard Bennett (the elder) Governor of Virginia.
Bennett remained active in the government of Virginia even after the Restoration and died in Nansemond in 1676. Before his death, he had become a Quaker and provided generously for several prominent Quakers in his will.
It will be noted that among those mentioned in the will of Richard Bennett were William Kinchen and William Blythe, having surnames still prevalent in Southampton County.
As with Richard Bennett, many of the Puritans who remained in Virginia became Quakers. The Quakers came to Massachusetts and Virginia about 1656 but were welcomed in neither. In fact, under order of Governor Berkeley of Virginia, any shipmaster bringing in a Quaker was to be fined 100 pounds, and the Quaker so transported was to be imprisoned without bail until he abjured his religion or agreed to leave the colony immediately.
Nevertheless, the Quaker movement prospered in Isle of Wight and Nansemond. The Quaker records show a meeting at the home of William Yarrett on the Pagan River in Isle of Wight in 1663. The real turning point for the Quaker movement, however, was the visit to the area by George Fox in 1672. Having converted most of the old Puritan fellowship in Maryland, Fox held a large meeting on the Nansemond River at which Richard Bennett (the elder) and many others were converted. The leading proponents of the Quaker faith in Nansemond and Isle of Wight were the members of the Jordan family beginning with Thomas Jordan who settled in Isle of Wight in 1624/25.
Edward Robins was a London merchant who actively traded with Virginia. In 1635, Edward Bennett filed an affidavit in England to the effect that sometime prior to 1635, the ship "Revenge" sailed to Virginia with goods partially intended for Edward Robins and partially for a firm named "Sir John Lawrence, William Perryn, Ambrose Harmer & Nicholas Reyneberd." It appears that some of the cargo was also bound for Richard Bennett, the nephew and representative of Edward Bennett in Isle of Wight County.
Accomac County was one of the eight shires or counties created in 1634. Its name was changed to Northampton in 1642/3 and still later in 1663, the northern part was made a separate county named Accomack. The name "Robins" has long been prominent on the Eastern Shore. Obedience Robins was one of the first Justices of the County Court and remained very active and influential until his death. He was a Puritan from Northamptonshire and was primarily responsible for changing the name of the county from Accomac to Northampton. Robins was in the colony at least as early as 1629. The first name listed on the first commission to govern the county in 1634 was William Claiborne who was to serve later as a co-commissioner with Richard Bennett of Nansemond County on the Puritan Commission appointed to bring the two colonies into line during the Cromwell Protectorate.
The Puritans, and particularly Edward Bennett, were responsible for settling Isle of Wight.
The Puritans migrated from Isle of Wight to Nansemond under the leadership of Richard Bennett, the nephew of Edward, and their subsequent migration to Maryland where many settled in Anne Arundel County.
Many battles occurred during the Protectorate between the Royalist forces of Lord Baltimore under the leadership of William Stone, an immigrant from Accomac County, Virginia, who served as the third proprietary governor of Maryland and the Puritans under the leadership of Richard Bennett of Nansemond, the Puritan governor of Virginia and one of Cromwell's Chesapeake Bay Commissioners. At one time, Richard Bennett was the Governor of Virginia and the acting Governor of Maryland.
With the collapse of the Puritan Protectorate in England, Bennett returned the control of the Maryland government to Lord Baltimore and submitted his resignation as Governor of Virginia. He remained active in the Virginia government, however, serving afterwards as a member of Council in 1666 and as a Major General by appointment of Governor Berkeley whom he had displaced as governor years earlier.
With the restoration of Charles II to the English throne, the influence of the puritan movement in England and in Virginia diminished. Most of the remaining Puritans in Maryland and in Virginia became Quakers, particularly after the visit of George Fox in 1672. The new Quaker movement included Governor Bennett and most of his neighbors in Nansemond and Isle of Wight.
*Excerpts from They Crossed the Blackwater - The First Settlers of Southampton County Virginia, by Ulysses P. Joyner, Jr. 2001
<http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Ioou56tIMxUJ:www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/wil> liam-alexander-smith/family-tree-book-genealogical-and-biographical-listing-the-relatives-of-genera- tim/page-17-family-tree-book-genealogical-and-biographical-listing-the-relatives-of-genera-tim.shtml +Lemuel+Bennett+Pee+Dee&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us"
The Chowanoke had always lived at a trading crossroads, and knew the trading paths well. According to the Trading Path Association Website, there was a clear route between the Meherrin River and the PeeDee. According to Shoshone "they also in turn had connections to John Alston (Indian Trader), John Colston (Indian Trader)" who according to records maintained a trade relationship with the Meherrin. In going to the Piedmont tribes, who better to guide them than the Chowanoke?
This theory as to John of Wethersfield son of Solomon Alston is now proved false - 2014
Because of the similarity of christian names used in the family of John & Mary Alston of Nth Carolina  it is conjectured that this John Alston & Mary Lambert may be one and the same, see below.
John Alston of Wethersfield
Forrest King (firstname.lastname@example.org) provides the following comments:
There is an ongoing search to identify the John Alston who came to Chowan, North Carolina about 1711 and left a will dated 20 Feb 1755 and recorded 2 Dec 1758 and had a wife named Mary at the time of his death. [See 459]  John Alston of Pavenham christened in 29 Dec 1673 in Pavenham, Bedfordshire, England for documentation why he should not be considered to be John Alston of North Carolina.] I believe that John Alston of Wethersfield is the most likely candidate for being John Alston of North Carolina. First, this John Alston is the only John of this time period known to have married a Mary. John married Mary Lambert on 17 Dec 1702 in Great Henny, Essex, England. Secondly, he is the son of Solomon Alston. Solomon Alston is a rare name in England in the 1600s but commonly used in the Wethersfield branch of the Alstons. Solomon is also commonly used by the Alston family of North Carolina. Thirdly, John Alston of Wethersfield was roughly the same social class as John Alston of North Carolina. John Alston of North Carolina came with both money and some social status. Fourthly, Solomon Alston, father of John Alston of Wethersfield, had eight children. John Alston of North Carolina used seven of the eight names in naming his children. The names in common are Solomon, Sarah, William, Philip, John, Mary, and Elizabeth. There is yet direct proof that John Alston of Wethersfield is the same as John Alston of North Carolina but he is by far the best candidate to date for this connection
THE SOUTH CAROLINA MAGAZINE OF ANCESTRAL RESEARCH
Volume XXXIV Spring 2006 Number 2
ENGLISH ORIGINS OF THE ALSTON FAMILY OF THE CAROLINAS Page 63
The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research (ISSN 0190-826X) Brent H. Holcomb, Editor and Publisher Laurence K. Wells, Founder and Contributing Editor Published quarterly at Columbia, South Carolina
2006 by Brent H. Holcomb
The subscription price is $30.00 per annum. All subscriptions begin with the winter issue of the volume. Issues are not sold separately. Correspondence may be addressed Box 21766, Columbia, SC 29221. 116
ENGLISH ORIGINS OF THE ALSTON FAMILY OF THE CAROLINAS
Contributed by David L. Kent, Austin, Texas
A century ago, Alston ancestral research was beset by the usual genealogical betes noirs. In England., "the Alston family was moved to its uttermost ramifications by the appearance of certain 'next of kin' advertisements in the London papers having reference to the Odell property." These arose from the publicity given to the matrimonial and testamentary affairs of the penultimate baronet. These also nicely coincided with the family 'tradition' announced in 1901 that both John Alstons of the Carolinas derived from the Odell line. A flurry arose among the American Alstons, who naively imagined a collaterally descending baronetcy and the incident estates and unclaimed wealth.1
Yorkshire barrister Lionel Cresswell vainly attempted to lay these rumors, remarking wryly that it was a wild goose chase: "Lest any Alstons cherish notions of 'rights' and 'wrongs' derived from paternal or maternal tradition it may be as well to note that all Alston property and estates of aforetime are to-day in the possession of those properly entitled to them. He remarked of Groves' work that "relating to English genealogy [it] betrays a readiness to snatch at assumptions," although otherwise it "has every appearance of being sound, exact and critical where treading on home and safe ground." In fact, Cresswell noted a possible connection between John Alston of South Carolina and the Odells (pp. 14, 19, 238, 400), but wrote, "The evidence so far brought to light is insufficient to establish it."2
But while Cresswell's work was in press, the wanted proof was discovered. Commenting at the same time on "the crudities and errors" of Groves' work I Alexander Samuel Salley published the indentures of apprenticeship entered into by William Alston of Middlesex, gentleman, on behalf of his 13-year-old son John, and James Jones, merchant of Charles Town in Carolina, dated 16 May 1682. John had been baptized 25 Feb 1668/69 in Pavenham, Bedfordshire, son of William and Thomasine Brooks and grandson of John and Dorothy (Temple) Alston and great-grandson of Thomas Alston (baptized at Newton 16 Nov 1572) and Frances Blomfield. Through Dorothy Temple the South Carolina Alstons had acquired a royal descent.3
In 1961 my friend John Insley Coddington revisited the question of the origins of John Alston of Chowan County, North Carolina, concluding his ancestry "remains unproved".4 He wrote me the proof may lie in the papers of the Public Record Office. Four years later, the editor of the Journal of North Carolina Genealogy disproved several of Groves' assertions and wrote, "Unless conclusive documentary proof is found, either in England or America, the North Carolina Alstons and Alston descendants should not claim the Bedfordshire Alstons."5 But in the Plantagenet Ancestry, Douglas Richardson dangles the prospect of a royal ancestry once again. Being doubly descended from John Alston of Chowan County, I present this article to set the record straight and prevent further such building of sand castles.6
John Alston was baptized 16 Apr 1677 in Weathersfield, Essex, England, son of Solomon and Mary Alston. He married 17 Dec 1702 Mary, daughter of John Lambert, in Great Henny, Essex, and soon after appears in the Colonial Records of North Carolina (1:587),
witnessing a power of attorney from Henry Baker of Virginia to Samuel Swann of North Carolina. He purchased acreage on Bennett's Creek in Chowan county in 1711, where his will was proved 2 Dec 1758. John and Mary Alston had ch Solomon (md Ann Hinton), Joseph John (md Elizabeth Chauncey, second Euphemia Wilson), William (md Hannah Kimbrough), Philip (md Winifred Whitmel), Elizabeth (md Samuel Williams), Mary (md Henry Guston, second William Seward), James (md Christian Lillington), Sarah (md Thomas Kearney), Martha (md Lemuel Wilson), Charity (md Robert Hilliard, second John Dawson).7
John's parents Solomon and Mary Alston had eight children baptized within a half dozen miles of Sible Hedingham, where Solomon's father William would die in 1699. In Great Yeldham, Essex: Solomon (5 Mar 1668), Sarah (19 Feb 1669), William (9 May 1671). In Weathersfield: Philip (22 Apr 1675), John (16 Apr 1677), Mary (16 Feb 1679), unnamed daughter (Apr 1681). in Gosfield.: Elizabeth (22 Apr 1685).8
In Public Record Office chancery suits, Solomon appears as a mercer in 1679, but soon turned to farming in Gosfield, and after Elizabeth's birth, moved his family 25 miles in the direction of London, to Havering atte Bower, where he appears farming as late as 1694.9
Solomon's father was party to a triple wedding on 28 Sep 1637 in Bocking, Essex. Three siblings married: John Alston to Johanna Maltwood, William Alston to Mary Greene, and Susan Alston to James Richardson. William and Mary had six children baptized in Toppesfield: William's executor Robert (24 May 1652), Mary (27 Sep 1638), Susanna (25 Sep 1641, md -- Blower), William (5 Feb 1643). Jemima (12 Feb 1644, md Thomas Furman), Solomon (18 Jul 1648). The will of William Alston, gentleman of Sible Hedingham, dated 5 Jul 1693, proved 5 May 1699, has never been noticed in print, since it has been rendered all but indecipherable through the action of mildew over the years. Following is a full transcript10
Wills and Administrations of the Minor Courts of Essex and Hertfordshire, 1697-1703 'Porter', Chelmsford Registry Commissary Court [FHL film 0094229, pp. 108ff]; abbreviations extended, spelling retained, transcription by DLK:
In the name of God Amen I William Alston of heddingham Sible in the County of Essex Gent being in reasonable good health of body & of sound & perfect mind & memory praised be almighty God therefore calling to mind the uncertainty of mans life here on earth and being desirous to settle things in order before I go hence and be no more do make ordain & declare this my last will and testament in manner and form following that is to say as touching such temporal estate as almighty God hath bestowed upon me here do order give and bestow the same as followeth Imprimis I give devise and bequeath unto my son Robert Allston & to his heires & Assigns forever All that my messuage tenement or farme lying & being in Wethersfeild in the said County of Essex with all the houses lands meadowes pastures profits Commodities rights members & appurtenances whatsoever thereunto belonging as they are now in the tenure and occupation of one William Simsonne or his assigns Item I give devise and bequeath all my Customary messuage or tenement
with all the lands meadowes pastures wayes easements rights members and appurtenances whatsoever thereunto belonging lying & being in Heddingham Sible aforesaid and also all my customary or Coppyhold & freehold lands lying & being in Topesfeild in the said County of Essex With their and every of their rights members and appurtenances as they are now in the tenure and occupacion of one William Hayward or his Assigns unto my lovinge son in law Thomas ffurman and Jemyma his now wife for and during the term of their two naturall lives & to the longer liver of them and after their decease To the only use and behoofe of their daughter Mary ffurman my Grandchild & to her heires & Assigns for ever Provided and upon the Condicion following That they the said Thomas ffurman my said son in law Jemyma my said daughter & Mary my said Grandchild or some of them or some of their heires Executors or Assigns do and shall give and faithfully pay or cause to be paid unto my daughter Susannah Blower or her Assigns the full summe of forty shillings of currant english mony yearly & every year during the term of her natural] life by ten shillings a payment at four the most usuall feastes or termes of payment in the year that is to say the feaste dayes of the Annunciacion of the blessed Virgin Mary Saint John the Baptist Saint Michael the Archangell & the nativity of our Lord Christ the first payment to begin upon the first of those four feasts which shall happen next after my decease And for want of such payment of the forty shillings a year my mind and will is and I do hereby give full power and authority & strength unto my said daughter Susanna & her assigns to enter into and upon a certain feild parte of the Lands now in the possession of the said William Hayward called by the name of Little Chare with the appurtenances & the same to have possesse & enjoy peaceably and quietly and receive and take the rents issues and profits thereof and to be fully satisfied & paid the said forty shillings [with all costs and damages that may issue] Provided alwaies Neverthelesse upon this Condicion following It is my will & mind that if in case my said son in law Thomas ffurman shall purchase and settle so good an estate of twenty poundes a year in messuages lands & tenements as my son Robert Allston shall agree unto and approve upon himself Jemyma his wife and Mary ffurman my Grandaughter & same to be paid the fourty shillings a year to my daughter Susan Blower in such manner and forme as I have given and bequeathed all those lands and tenements unto him and them now in the possession of William Hayward That Then my will mind & meaninge is and I give and devise full power and authority unto my said son in law Thomas ffurman or his heires or Assigns to sell settle & convey All the said messuage lands & tenements with the appurtenances pertaining thereunto whatsoever in the possession of the said William Hayward or his Assigns before in this bequeathed unto my said son in law Thomas ffurman and Jemyma his wife upon some person or persons by all the lawfull ways & means whatsoever and to such use or uses as the purchaser or purchasers sold with the same to be settled for the perfect sale thereof & for the purchasers full and perfect title & security Item I give unto my son William Allston two shillings and six pence to buy him gloves Item I give unto my son Solomon two shillings Item all the rest residue & remainder of my Goods and Chattels not hereby before by this my will given and disposed my debts legacies & funerall expenses & probate of this my will being first paid & discharged I give & bequeath unto my son Robert Allston which said son Robert Allston I doe nominate and appoint to be sole Executor of this my last will & testament hoping that he will faithful] performe the same And I do pronounce this to be my last will & testament revoking & making void all other wills & testaments by me heretofore made In
witnesse whereof to this my present last will & testament being contained in these sheets of paper written on one side to every sheet thereof have set my hand & the first & last sheet thereof my scale this fifth day of July in the fifth yeare of the reign of our Sovereign Lord & Lady William & Mary by the Grace of God King & Queen of England Scotland ffrance & Ireland Defenders of the faith etc Anno Domini 1693 [witnessed by Francis Clarke and others; proved by executor 5 May 1699].
William's father John Alston was baptized 23 Dec 1576 in Newton., Suffolk, England., son of William and Margery (Holmested) Alston. John married Anne daughter of Thomas Cocherode and Anne daughter of Robert Mordaunt, and had eight children: L'Estrange [Robert Mordaunt of Hempstead had married Barbara daughter of John L'Estrange of Little Massingham, co. Norfolk] (married in Castle Camps, Cambridgeshire, 13 Jan 1653, Ann Lewis), wp 6 May 1681; Matthew, d testate Oct 1677; John (md Johanna Maltwood), wp 24 Nov 1658; Elizabeth (md Edmund Drury); William (md Mary Greene); Anne (md Francis Rowley at Brent Pelham, 28 Jul 1661); Susan (md James Richardson); Henry (md Elizabeth). Father John of Stisted, Essex, died testate, wp 26 Nov 165611
John's father William Alston was born 1537 and died 9 Jan 1617/18 in Newton; he was the son of Edward Alston and Elizabeth Coleman. By Margery daughter of Henry Holmested and his wife the daughter of William Bendlowes, William had eleven children: William (md 1) Marian, 2) by license 29 Jun 1607 Ann (Neuce) Malyn, and d 5 Nov 1633); Thomas (bp Newton 18 Feb 1564/65); Edward (b Newton 1565, md 19 Apr 1596 Susan Brand and second Anne Ardl'ey, and d'22 Jan 1617/18); John (bp 20 May 1567 Newton); Ann (bp 15 Aug 1568 Newton); Peter (bp 30 Nov 1569 Newton, Elizabeth Petlow and second Katherine Buggs, and d 3 Apr 1628); Elizabeth (md 29 Jul 1590 Ralph Northey); Thomas (bp 16 Nov 1572 Newton), md 28 Apr 1606 Frances Blomfield, and d 21 Jan 1619/20 [ancestors of the S.C. Alstons]; John [above]; Joseph (bp 9 Nov 1578 Newton); Margery (bp 6 Oct 1584, md 15 Oct 1601 Valentine Parker).12
Edward Alston was buried 14 Nov 1592 in Newton; he was the son of William and Elizabeth (Simonds) Alston, and md 1) Elizabeth daughter of John Coleman, 2) at Newton 16 Dec 1590 Elizabeth (--) Bull, and 3) Christian, who survived him. He and Elizabeth had ch William [above]: Thomas (md Dorothy Holmested, and d 6 Jun 1614); Alice (md -- King) , William md second 12 Sep 1608 Parnell (--) Ellice, and Thomas md second at Newton 15 Nov 1579 Susan Gosse.13
Edward's father William was buried 30 Jan 1564/65 at Newton; he was the son of John Alston. By his wife (who d testate, we 30 Jun 1565), William had five ch: Edward [above]; William (md Alice and d testate, wp 16 May 1565); Robert; Anne (md -- Loder); Alice (md -- Kingsbury).14 From the above, it will be seen that John Alston of North Carolina and John Alston of South Carolina are second cousins.
1. Lionel Cresswell, Stemmata Alstoniana (Leeds, 1905) [FHL film 994084 item 51, p 285 et passim ; Joseph A. Groves, The Alstons and Allstons of North and South Carolina (Atlanta, 1901), p. 27.
2. Cresswell, pp. 340f, 399f.
3. South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, VI:114-16; Henry Bainbridge Hoff, 'The Temple Family of Stowe', The Genealogist, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 123-128, which lays out the ancestry in fifteen generations from Dorothy (Temple) Alston to Edward III of England.
4. John Insley Coddington, 'Buford Turner ... and His ... Alston ... Connections', & National Genealogical Society Quarterly, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 21ff, esp.
5. 24-26; 'Alston Genealogy', Journal of North Carolina Genealogy (Fall 1965), pp. 1527-30.
6. Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry (Baltimore, 2004), p. 66.
7. Weathersfield and Great Henny par regs. NC land patents 26 Mar 1723, 263 ac head of Knotty Pine Pocoson adjoining Henry Baker; Bertie county deeds, sale 18 Feb 1736 124 ac to Thos Piland, witness Henry Baker. Groves, pp. 95f et passim.
8. Toppesfield, Great Yeldham, Weathersfield, Gosfield par regs; will of John Alston dtd 20 Feb 1755, N.C. State Archives; Cresswell, pp. 183, 186, 207ff, 213, 357.
9. Bridges 541 (Pasfield v Alston), Hamilton 271/21 (Pasfield v Alston),
Hamilton 595 (Alston v Alston: 22 Feb 1689/90 Solomon Alston of Havering, yeoman, v John Alston of Weathersfield, yeoman. About 7 or 8 years since Orator owed arrears of rent to one Chas Baker gent for the rent of a farm in Gosfield, and also 12 pounds to the deft. He made over all his stock of corn and cattle on the farm to the deft, who agreed to pay his debt to Baker. Orator understood the 12 pounds was included. Now, after this long interval, John demands payment of the 12 pounds), Hamilton 61/6 (1693, Elizabeth Chapman wid of Halsted v Wm Alston, son in law: "Wm confederates with Edw Ennyver of Grinstead gent and Solomon Alston of Havering [atte] Bower, farmer, brother to the sd William"), Hamilton 1/41 (5 May 1693, lengthy answer to Hamilton 61/6), Reynardson 451/156
(26 Feb 1693/94, Wm Ward of Halsted gent v Wm Alston of Havering Bower, draper, Edward Ennyver and Solomon Alston) continues Hamilton 61/6. Cf Cresswell, pp 183-186, 207f, 213. In Mead v Alston (p. 209), Solomon Alston describes himself as desirous of living at peace and avoiding suits at law; and being ignorant of matters of law and the nature of conveyances.
10. Wills and administrations of the Minor Courts of Essex and Hertfordshire, 1697-1703 'Porter', Chelmsford Registry Commissary Court [FHL film 00942291, pp. 108ff; par regs of Toppesfield, Bocking; Cresswell, pp. 21, 113, 119, 273.
11. Cresswell, pp. 21, 113, 119, 273; par regs Castle Camps, Cambs; Toppesfield. Essex, Brent Pelham, Herts; Newton, Suffolk; Bocking, Essex; Chancery cases Hamilton 552 (Alston v Crachrod), Hamilton 83/58 (Cratcherode v Alston), Cresswell, pp. 181, 209, 363f.
12. Cresswell, pp. 4f, 6, 11, 13f, 218, 273, 278, 299.
13. Cresswell, pp. 3-5, 22, 89-92.
14. Cresswell, pp. 3, 87-92, 218. Alstons resided at Newton, Suffolk, so early as Edward I's reign, when Alston of Stisted was noted (p. 358).
From Forrest King Mar 2015
Comments on the Edward Alston Descendancy Chart
The underlying assumption is that John Alston of North Carolina has the same DNA markers as William Alston . John Alston of North Carolina was called Mr. John Alston, showing that he had social status from an earlier location.
Available John Alstons that are descendants of Edward Alston  based just strictly on appropriate age:
John Alston  (page 21) - baptized in 1671 in Great Waldingfield, Suffolk. Son of John Alston but the date for the baptism for his father looks funny. He and brother Samuel could have been in Great Waldingham in 1711. Not a direct descendant of William Alston 
·John Alston  (page 28) - baptized in 1671 in Woodbridge St. Mary, Suffolk. Son of John Alston of Woodbridge. Not mentioned in his father's will in 1709. His father had reached the "Gent" status. The family names are not even close to John Alston of North Carolina. In 1711, brother Edward is described as the only son and heir. Direct descendant of William Alston .
·John Alston  (page 32) - baptized in 1669 in Pavenham, Bedfordshire. Son of William Alston of Odell. Not mentioned in his brother's will in 1713 but his sister Tomasine was mentioned. William gives to her child or children. Brother William reached "Gent" status. Direct descendant of William Alston . Some claim that this person is the John Alston of South Carolina including having a child named Tomasine.
Accounted for John Alstons as descendants:
John Alston  (pages 33, 49) - baptized in 1678 in Wethersfield, Essex County and died after 1731. He married Mary Hinch in 1695. Children from this marriage.
·John Alston  (pages 31, 46) - baptized in 1673 in Pavenham and buried in 1711 in London. He married Elizabeth Shone.
·John Alston  (pages 29, 45) - baptized in 1685 and married Elizabeth Everard and Sarah Goffe. Children from his marriage listed.
·John Alston  (page 37) - son of Edward of Loughton. Died in his minority.
South Carolina Genealogies
Articles From: The South Carolina Historical (and Genealogical) Magazine
JOHN ALSTON. by A. S. salley, jr.
John alston, the founder of a family distinguished in the annals of South Carolina, was the son ot William Alston, gentleman, of Hammersmith (a part of London), Middlesex, and came to South Carolina in 1682 as an apprentice to James Jones, a merchant of Charles Town, as will be seen by the following indenture, which is recorded on page 123 of a book of miscellaneous records of the governor of South Carolina, covering the years 1672-1692:
This Indenture Witnesseth that John Alston the sonne of William Alston of Hamersmith in the County of Midlelxex gent doth put him selfe apprentice to James Jones of the County of Carolina merchant to Learne and follow his Art with him after the manner of an ap- prentice & to serve him his sd master the full end & terme of Seaven yeares from the day of the date hereof dureing wch sd Terme he the Aforesd James Jones doth hereby covenant to finde unto his said Ap- prentice meate, drinke, apparell Lodgeing and all other necessaryes which shall be needfull and convenient for him provided neverthelesse and it is hereby further Agreed by and between the said James Jones and the Afores* William Alston ffather of the said John that if the sd. William Alston shall at any tyme or tymes hereafter cause to require or call home to him his sd. sone within the aforesd. Terme of seaven yeares and before that time be compleated he the sd. James Jones doth hereby covenant and Oblige himselfe to returne him Care-fully (if alive; The said William defraying the money due for his pass- sage into England and returne In Wittness whereof the pties above named to these prsent Indentures have put their hands and scales In- terchangeably this sixteenth day of May Anno Dni 1682.
John Alstone1 (x)2
1This instrument was, of course, recorded by a clerk in Charles Town, and, as usual, little attention was paid to the proper spelling of the name. Subsequent original documents, which are herein given and to which John Alston signed his name, show that he himself spelled the name A-1-s-t-o-n.
2This mark indicates that the original indenture bore a seal of some sort.
Nine years later John Alston, now evidently a merchant in his own responsibility, and about to depart the Province temporarily, executed the following power of attorney to his old preceptor:
Be it knowne unto all men by these presents me John Alston of Berkley County in Carolina that Whereas I am Now Departeing out of this province, and therefore I doe hereby Impower James Jones of ye Afforesd County & province to be my Lawfull Attorney & factor for me & in my Name & upon my behalfe & Account to receive all Sum or sums of Mony Merchandize or whatever kind of goods shall be sent from Urope or Else where be they to me for my Use & I doe place ye sd James Jones in my stead to have all the right & power to receive keep sell or Dispose upon whatever goods shall be sent to
me in My Absence as if I were here in Carolina my selfe in Witness Whereof I have signed These presents at Carolina ye 23d day of Feb ry 1690
Jn 0-Alston (x)
Signed Sealed & delivered
in ye Presence of
Jno StewartMarch ye 17th 1690/1
Jos: Palmer proved this day before me
ffra: Williams and alsoe recorded3 by me
Sometime between February 8, 1693, when John Harris made his will, and August 13, 1695, John Alston married Mrs. Elizabeth Harris, widow of John Harris and sister of Francis Turgis, Esq. He was one of the sureties on the bond his wife executed to Governor Blake, on the last date given above, as executrix of Harris's estate.5
3 On p. 94 of the 1672-1692 book of miscellaneous records of the governor of South Carolina.
4 John Harris, in his will, dated February 8, 1692/3, appointed his "Loveing Brother M r: ffrancis Turges" one of his executors. (Re- cords of the Governor and Ordinary of the Province of South Caro-lina, Probate Court, Charleston County, book 1, p. 111.) Francis Turgis married Elizabeth Axtell, daughter of Landgrave Daniel Ax tell, and, after Turgis's death, she married Governor Blake.
5 August 13, 1695, John Alston, gentleman, Mrs. Elizabeth Harris, alias Alston, John Guffell, and Thomas Hubbard, all of Berkeley County, executed their bond to Governor Blake for Mrs. Alston's faithful performance of her trust as executrix of the estate of John Harris, gentleman, late of the Province, deceased, her former husband. Witness: John Hamilton. (Records of the Governor and Or- dinary of the Province of South Carolina, P. C., C. Co., book 1, p. 212.) In a work entitled The Alstons and Allstons of North and South Carolina Dr. Joseph A. Groves, of Selma, Ala., suggests that John Alston came over with Governor Archdale. That was purely a guess and the revelation made by the records above quoted shows the usual consequence of guessing in historical work-the wrong guess being usually made.
John Alston died in 1718 or 1719, leaving issue:6
I. John Alston, who married Deborah _________ and, upon her death, Mrs. Sarah Belin; died in 1750. (Issue.)
II. William Alston, m. Esther LaBruce. (Issue.)
III. Elizabeth Alston, m. Joseph LaBruce, April 6,1821.7 (Issue.)
IV. Mary Alston, m. Joseph Warnock. (Issue.)
V. Peter Alston, m. Sarah Torquet;8 buried April 16, 1748. (Issue.)
VI. Thomasin Alston, m. Abraham Warnock. (Issue.)
As the descendants of the above John, William and Peter Alston have been traced in The Alstons and Allstons of North and South Carolina (Groves) they will not be traced here now, notwithstanding the crudities and errors of that work.
6 John Alston, of St. John's, Berkeley, planter, in his will, made January 2, 1718, and proved November 30, 1719, mentions his children, John, William, Elizabeth, Mary, Peter and Thomasin Alston. (Simms's Magazine, Vol. II., p. 51.)
7 Register of St. Thomas and St. Dennis's Parish. The name is there given Joseph Marbeuf. The correct name seems to have been La Bruce de Marbeuf, the first part being the family name and the lat- ter part the place name. The place name was soon dropped.
8 Register of St. Andrew's Parish.
Baptism date16 Apr 1677
Baptism placeEssex, England
Father's first name(s)Solomon
Father's last nameAlston
Category Life Events (BDMs)
Source of bap - Wethersfield Registers Transcript, ESS PRO 2002 & IGI
Mentioned in his brother William's Will 1731
Legatee of his grandfather Pasfield's Will 1684
Recognizance of Nathl. Straite Yeoman and John Alston gent., both of Wethersfield; Straite to answer for refusing to pay William Pasfeild of the same the money that Sir John Marshall ordered him to pay to Pasfeild.
12 Jun 1692.
Ref: ERO 57-Q/SR 473/22 (F.King)
1. John Alston: Inventory of his Estate, 1759, America.
John spouse Mary  [MRIN: 1051] in 1701.