Notes about Dictoris Christmas of Elizabeth City and York Counties, Virginia
compiled from abstracts by Eve Gregory
Dictoris Christmas was in Virginia as early as 1623, for his name, Dictras Chrismus, along with Elizabeth Chrismus, appeared in the 16 February 1623 list of those still living after the 1622 Indian uprising.
He made depositions before the Council and General Court in 1624 and 1625, and in 1627 patented fifty acres of land at Strawberry Banks, which he sold to Lionel Roulston in 1628. In November 1635 he received patents for 350 acres on the north side of Old Poquoson River in Elizabeth City County, in which he claimed a headright for his wife Isabell Christmas.
His name appeared occasionally in court records thereafter, and in 1648 he was paid by York County for keeping a ferry in New Poquoson. His will was recorded in York County court records 17 December 1655. He devised cattle to his maid Rebecka, his man Robert, amd to Peter Starkey's servant, Nicholas. He made his wife executrix of his will and bequeathed her his land, house and other property for her lifetime. After her death his "loving friend", Peter Starkey, inherited land, house and property. He did not name his wife in the will, but her death on 24 March 1669 was recorded in the Charles Parish register as Isabel Chrismas, widow.
He did not mention children or other kin in his will. Possibly Peter Starkey was related to him or to his wife.
Chronology for Dictoris Christmas
1623 "A List of Names; of the Living in Virginia february the 16 1623" ... "more at Elizabeth Cittie"
(in the list) Dictras Chrismus, Thomas Hill, Arthur Davies, William Newcome, Elizabeth Chrismus
10 Oct. 1624. Council & General Court of Va.
Dictoris Christmas sworne and examined sayeth that he heard Capt. Marten say that Mr. Rastall and the Company had consented to make him away, further says that Capt. Marten demanding of this Examinate why Edward Sharples was set on the pillory and lost his ears, this Examinat answered that it was for disclosing of the secrets and council of the Governor and Council. Capt. Marten answered it had been better it had not been done. And further said that Capt. Marten said that for the wrongs he had received from Sr. George Yardley he would be righted when he came up, or otherwise the Governor and Council should show themselves rebels and that Capt. Marten said that there was a new Governor and council to come over and that none of these that now are of the Council should continue there place.
Nov. 1624. Council & General Court of Va.
Received of Dicktoris Christmas and John Hassarde for the use of Southampton hundred four barrells of corn by the appointment of Mr. John Powntis. Per me John Utie.
12 Sep. 1625. Council & General Court of Va.
Dictoris Christmas makes deposition.
28 Nov. 1625. Council & General Court of Va.
John Utie gent deposes that the bond wherein John Hassarde, Dictoris Christmas, & Mr. Jonas Stogden stand bound to Mr. John Powntis late Treasurer of Southampton Hundred was for the discharge of the said John Hassards and Dictoris Christmas from the service of Southampton Company. It is ordered that John Hassarde and Dictoris Christmas having discharged their bond to Mr. Powntis shall have their freedoms according to agreement as other tenants have had.
24 Aug. 1627. Patent to Dictoris Christmas, Planter of Eliz. City.
50 acres part of the Strawberry banks, Easterly on land of Edward Waters, Gent, Westerly. along the bank of the great river, South upon the same & North with direct line striking into the main land. Lease 10 years.
20 Sep 1628. Patent to William Cox of Eliz. City.
100 acres abutting East on land of Dictoris Christmas, Planter.
29 Sep 1628. Dictoris Christmas, Planter of Eliz. City, assigns to Lyonell Roulston, Gent., his 50 acres lease at Strawberry Banks.
3 Jul. 1635. Patent to Thomas Garnett.
200 acres bounding upon land of Dictoris Christmas, upon head of the little Poquoson Creek & due West upon George Hull.
21 Nov. 1635. Patent to Dictoris Christmas.
300 acres Eliz. City Co. On north side of the old Poquoson River, joining on land of Gilbert Perkins Eastward, West upon Monack neck & North into the woods. 100 acres for per. adv. of himself & wife Isabell Christmas & 200 ac for trans. of 4 pers.
Same. 50 acres same county Eastward on the old Poquoson River, North upon Benjamin Sims & West into the woods. for trans. of Roger Leach.
13 May 1638 Patent to Peter Stafferton.
200 acres Eliz City Co. SouthEast upon the head of the little Poquoson Cr., on West side of the land of Dictoris Christmas & bounded on East with land of John Moore.
24 Oct. 1639 Patent to Dictoris Christmas.
300 acres Eliz. City Co. Upon Northwest side of the Old Poquoson River, Adj. Gilbert Perkins and West upon Monack. 100 acres for per adv. of himself & wife Isbell Christmas & 200 for trans. of 4 pers. (Renewal of 1635 patent.)
10 Oct. 1642 Patent to Dictoris Christmas & Francis Finch.
300 acres in Mobjack Bay. for trans. of himself, wife Isabell & 4 pers.
30 Jan. 1645/46 York Co. Court.
Order that Dictoris Chrismas pay debt of 300 lb. tob. due Tho. Bushrod attorney of Henry Hawley and Mathew Bassett within 5 days.
30 Nov. 1647 York Co. Court.
Order to pay county's debts. To Dictoris Chrismas for keeping the ferry in New Pawquoson..... 0700 (700 lb.. tobacco)
(on or after) 26 Mar 1648, but no later than 24 May 1648 York Co. Court.
Estate of Thos. Deacon of York Parish, dec'd paid Dicto. Chrismas 390 lb. tobacco.
8 May 1648. Patent to Capt. Francis Poythres
750 acres Charles City Co. part by right of Dictoris Christmas, confirmed by order of court 27 Feb. 1636.
29 May 1649. Patent to Richard Kemp, Esq. Secty. of State for this Colony.
3,500 acres on Mockjack Bay in Ware River. 500 acres adjoins land of Dictoris Christmas.
20 Dec. 1654. Will of Dictoris Chrismas of the new Poquoson.
Weak of body but of perfect mind. Date is interlined.
Item: I give and bequeath to my mayd Rebecka one Cow Calfe to be delivered within 3 months after my decease and to my man Robert One Cow calfe to be delivered as aforesaid And also I Give unto Nicholas servant to Peter Starkey 1 Cow Calf to be delivered as aforesaid And also I give unto Rebecka one yeare of her time or a Cow to (be) delivered at the expiration of her time which hir own pleaseth of them.
Item I give to my loveing friend Peter Starkey all my land, housing, Chattle, and Chattles moveable and Unmoveables after my Wifes decease. Peter Starkey imploying my servants as formerly hath done. And alsoe I make my wife whole Executrix of all my Estate and also I doe make Peter Starkey and Henry Freeman overseers of this my last will and Testament.
Wit: Alexander Skipworth, Ro Foukes
Signed Dictors x Christmas
Recorded at court of 17 Dec. 1655
20 Mar 1655/6. Patent to Peter Starchey.
100 acres in the new Poquoson commonly called Oxford, bounding Westerly upon land of Dictoris Christmas. For trans. of 2 pers.
24 March 1669. Charles Parish Register
Isabel Chrismas, widow, died.