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The following information was submitted by Ginny Keefer

1652-1912 The Descendants of Capt. Thomas Carter of "Barford" Lancaster County VA by Joseph Lyon Miller, M.D., second edition, 1956 for Virginia Historical Society and The Filson Club, KY

The first of the family in Virginia was Capt. Thomas Carter, planter and tobacco trader and said to be the son of a London merchant, though it is pretty well established that "gentle blood coursed through his veins".

A noticeable fact is that many of the Carters of Virginia as well as elsewhere, though they cannot give a connected account of their ancestry beyond the Revolution, are by "tradition" descendants of famous old "King Carter of Corotoman", whose immense wealth has enabled his descendants to hold onto the splendid old homes of his sons.

The Carters marriages with the Dales, Skipworths, Balls, Thorntons, Fitzhughs, Masons, Chews, Beverley's, Armisteads and in the early nineteenth century, marriages with the Washington's, Lees, Pages, Pendleton's, Bland, Bacons, Taliaferros, Marshalls and others have made their families greater yet.

1st. William Carter, who patented more than two thousand acres in the county of James City between 1635 and 1640, and doubtless was the emigrant of the Carter families found in James City county and Surry and adjacent Southside counties in the next century. The loss of the James City records precludes the writing of a history of this family.

2nd. Col. Edward Carter, who settled in Nansemond County prior to 1650, was a member of the House of Burgesses, Council, Colonel of Militia, etc. He purchased large plantations on the Rappahannock in Lancaster County, but probably never lived on them, returned to England, where his will was probated in 1682 styles him as "Edward Carter, Esq. of Edmonton, Middlesex."

3rd. Col. John Carter, who settled in Nansemond County prior to 1650, was a Colonel of Militia, Justice, Burgess, member of the Council, etc. About 1650 purchased several thousand acres of land on Corotoman River, Lancaster, to which he removed and founded the famous "Corotoman" estate of this Carter family.. He died comparatively young in 1669, but in the meantime had five wives, one of whom was a daughter of Cleve Carter, Gent. of Crumdale, County Kent, died in 1603 leaving issue- George-eldest son, Thomas of Winchauck, yeoman born in 1592, Christopher, Jonas, Richard and Cleve. This Cleve Carter may have been the Cleve Carter,aged 25 years, of St. Alphage, Canterbury, Woolendraper, who obtained a license April 17, 1624, to marry Elizabeth Boys, aged 19 years, daughter of Edward Boys of Boneington, parish of Goodnestone. They may have had a daughter who married Col. John Carter of Virginia. Col. John Carter of "Corotoman" left three sons- John, the eldest, died without male issue, Charles, the youngest, died unmarried, and Robert, the second son, was the famous Robert Carter of "Corotoman" and ancestor of all of this family of Carters. Numerous accounts of this family have been published, and the late Robert Carter of "Shirley" and his daughter some years ago prepared an extensive chart of the family in both male and female branches.

4th. Capt. Thomas Carter, who came to Virginia prior to 1652- it is thought to Nansemond County- was a Captain of Militia, Justice, Deputy Clerk of the county, Burgess, etc. Purchased a large plantation on Corotoman River from Col. John Carter and was settled there in 1652. Of his descendants this volume is the first published account, except some preliminary notes in the William and Mary Quarterly.

5th. Giles Carter, who came to Virginia several years later than the others, and died in Henrico County in 1701 at the age of 67 years, leaving sons Giles and Theodorick and daughters Mrs. Davis and Mrs. Williamson. So far as known he never held any military or political positions and is supposed to have belonged to the Gloucestershire Carters. His descendants were chiefly settled in Henrico, Goochland, Prince Edward, and Halifax counties. an interesting account of them has been published by Gen. W.H.G. Carter, U.S.A.

In some counties in Virginia the untangling of the Carter lines has been very trying, as in addition to two or three branches of the Thomas Carter family, there was also one or more branches of the descendants of Col. John Carter and Giles Carter. As for example in the small section of Southwest Virginia, now in the County of Scott, there settled between the years 1772 AND 1795 the following Carters; Thomas, Joseph and Norris Carter, sons of PETER CARTER of FAUQUIER COUNTY, Dale, John and Charles Carter, sons of Charles Carter of Amherst, a brother of Peter of Fauquier County, John Carter Sr. and sons, John and Landon, supposed to have been of the Corotoman Carters- later removed to Tennessee; Joseph and John Carter, who came direct from England; and in the next decade William Carter, supposed to have belonged to the Giles Carter family, and Richard Carter from North Carolina. Most of them were opposed to race suicide, intermarrying until some the present generation are descended from at least four of the original emigrants.

Since my preliminary account in the William and Mary Quarterly, the discovery of the old Carter Prayer Book and other family records have made necessary some changes in the branches as formerly traced.

From Mrs. John Scarlett Smith of San Francisco, who step-mother was a Carter, I have obtained the old Carter Prayer Book, printed in 1662, which contains many valuable records of this family:

  • Captain Thomas Carter's Marriage and Children; "With this Book pr Rv Mr John Shepperd on Wednsday ye 4t Day of May 1670- was Mard Mr Thomas Carter of Barford in yr County of Lancaster in Virginia and Katherine Dale, ye eldest daughter of Mr. Edward Dale, ye same county.
  • Capt. Thomas and Katherine Dale Carter has issue ten sons and three daughters, three of whom died in infancy.
  • "Edward ye eldest sonne of Tho. & Kathn Carter was born on ye 9t Ap'll 1671 of a Sunday at 8 aclock in ye Morn and was bap on sunday the 30th Mr John carter, Mr. Edw. Conaway & Mr Edw Dale, gdfath & Mrs. Diana Dale & Msz Lettys Corbyn G'Moth".
  • Thomas Carter son of Thomas was born on the 4th day of June 1672 betw 3 & 4 in ye Morn and was Baptz att ye new Church Aug 5th. Capt. John Lee, Mr Th. Hayne, ye Lady Ann Skipworth & Eliz Dale godpar.
  • John 3rd son was born ye 8th May 1674 and bapd sund ye 24th and had for God Parents Coll. Jno. Carter, Mr. Jno. Stretchley and Mrs. Ball.
  • "Henry Skipworth, 4th sonn Tho & Kath. Carter bornd of a Wedns the 7th June was baptzd att Home by Rev. Mr. Dogette on Sunday aft Service ye 18th Capt Wm Ball, Cap David Fox and Mrs Srah Fleete standing."
  • Diana ye eldest Daugh Th & Kath Carter was born on the lastDay of Apll 1678 near 5 in the aftnoone and Christnd on Sunday 12 of May by Mr Doggett when was Entertaind a large Company. Mrs. Diana Dale, Mrs. Mary Willys & Capn Ball God parents. she depard this life of a Putrid soar Throate at ye age of 2 yeares and 3 days.
  • "Wm & Nich twinn snnes of Tho Carter born 2d of Nov 1679 and dyed on teh 11th & 12th July 1680 of a Cholrey."
  • "Elizabeth 2nd dauter was Born 4th day of Febr 1680 about Sunrise & weighd 11lbs. Baptz at St. Mary's Sunday 15 May Mrs. Margaret Ball, Mrs. Elizabeth Rogers & Cptain Ball standing for her".
  • "Daniel son the Thomas & Katherin Carter born 22d October 1682 and died on the 30th of a Fit."
  • "James 8th sonn was Borne on Christmas Day 1684 it being Thursay at 2 in teh morn & was Chrisnd at Home on Sunday, Mr. Jno Edwards, Mr Tho. Wilkes & Mrs. Edward standing at God parts."
  • Katherine 3rd Dau. was born at 6 aclock Easter Morning 4th Apll 1686 Bapt on White-Sund Mr David Fox, Mrs. Hannah Fox & Mrs. Sarah Perrotte GDp."
  • Peter 9th son was born near midnight 23r May 1688 & Bapzd on 3r June Mr Edwin Conaway, Mr Tho. Dudly & Mrs ann Chowning standing".
  • "Joseph Youngest son born Friday 28 Nov 1690 & Christnd at home on 10th Dec Mr. Robt Carter & Mr. Joseph Ball Godfath & Mrs Judith Carter, Godmother".
  • "Captain Thomas Carter Sr. died Oct 22, 1700 aged about 70 years."
  • Mrs. Katherine Dale Carter died May 10 1703 in the 51st year ofher life.

    Capt. Carter's will, dated aug. 16, 1700 was probated Nov. 14, 1700 by his second son, Thomas Carter Jr. He divided his estate as follows: Wife Katherine to have the home plantation for the rest of her life, a negro man named Dick, the great table, and one-third of the remainder of his personal property. Sons Edward, Thomas, Henry (then in England) and John to each have a hundred acres of land; son James to have the land divised to Henry if the latter did not return from England. Daughters Elizabeth and Katherine and sons Peter and Joseph have been provided for by tier grandfather Dale. Son in law William George to account for 1,560 pounds of tobacco that he had advanced him on the Dale estate due to hiis wife from her grandfather. Son Thomas to have the home plantation after the death of his mother. The rest of his real and personal estates to be devided equally between all his children.

    Capt. Carter sealed his will with the seal showing the crest of his father in law, Edward Dale, which doubtless was more convenient at the time of signing the paper than his own seal. The original papers in Virginia show numerous examples of men using some other family seal than their own, though they are known to have possessed one with their own crest on it. The personal estate amounted to L236 and included a "parcel of old Bookes", a silver drinking pot, tankard, and twelve silver spoons, beside the usual household and plantation furnishings of a man of his class.


    Submitted by Ginny Keefer. Copied from above mentioned book borrowed from New England Historical & Genealogical Library in Boston. If someone needs more information about a specific person listed above, advise me quickly as I have to return this book soon.