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Washington & Northern Virginia Company -- Biographies of Ancestors of Members
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Christopher Branch

Christopher Branch was about 22 years of age when in March 1620 he sailed in the London Merchant for Virginia. His parents, Lionel Branch (1566‑1605) and Valentia Sparkes Branch, had been married 8 July 1596 at St Martin's, Ludgate, in the City of London and their only son, Christopher, is thought to have been born about 1598.

 

Growing up in England, in 1619 he married at St Peter's, Westcheap, London, Mary Addy, daughter of Frances Addy of Darton, Yorkshire, and sailed with his wife six months later for Virginia. He is listed in 1624 as living on the college land in Henrico and in the 1625 muster at the same location with his wife and nine month old son, Thomas.

The land patent books show that Christopher Branch, "Planter, of Arrowhattocks in Henrico County" was granted in 1634 a lease for 21 years on 100 acres. The next year, 1635, he patented 250 acres at "Kingsland"adjacent to his leased land using headrights gained for transporting himself and four others. By 1639 his plantation had grown to 450 acres.

 
 

Because by 1640 there was a glut of tobacco on the market, the Assembly felt a need to limit the crop for the year to one and one half million pounds selecting only the best proportionately from all planters and destroying the rest. Branch was then a burgess for Henrico County, and that year an Act of Assembly, citing the need for "men of experience and integrity for the careful viewing of each man's crop of tobacco", named him as a tobacco viewer "from the World's End to Henrico". In 1641 he was again elected burgess, and in 1656 he became a justice.    

 

     On 1 December 1681 he signed a paper declaring the meaning of a formerly written deed giving 300 acres to his son Thomas Branch, and nine days later confirmed his grandson, Christopher Branch, his attorney for this action.
    
His will dated in June 1678 and verified by witnesses in February 1682 indicates the general

time of his passing and that he was still at "Kingsland". His wife, Mary, had,apparently died much earlier. They had three sons: Thomas (1624 ‑about 1695), William (about 1626 ‑about 1670), and Christopher (about 1628 ‑ about 1665). One of his descendants five generations later was President Thomas Jefferson, who married a fifth generation descendant of Francis Epes.

 

References:
      1. "Adventurers of Purse and Person Virginia 1607 ‑ 1624/5", 4' Edition ; Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, MD, 2004
      2. "Acts of the General Assembly Jan 6 1639/40", William & Mary Quarterly(series 2) vol 4, pp 16‑35
      3. Henrico County, Virginia Deeds 1677‑1705, Compiled by Benjamin B. Weisiger III, Richmond, Virginia 1986

 Nov 05