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Washington & Northern Virginia Company -- Biographies of Ancestors of Members
Thomas Purefoy

   Thomas Purefoy is listed in the census of 1624 and the muster of 1625, where he is shown as being age 43, then residing in Elizabeth City and having come to Virginia aboard the George in 1621. He appears in the records as having been appointed a justice in Elizabeth City in August, 1626, being named in July 1627 to lead a group against the Nansemond tribe, and being named in March 1629 the Elizabeth City official charged with "execution of all matters belonging to shipping and such warrants as shall issue from the governor and council". In September 1628 he patented 100 acres in Elizabeth City.  

    He represented the Lower Part of Elizabeth City in the House of Burgesses in 1630, and was elevated to the council where he served from 1631 to 1637. On December 20, 1631, he was one of the councillors-who signed an agreement with Governor Harvey to remove all causes of Mutual discord and rancor. In 1631 he patented 500 acres near Willoughby's Point, which was part

of a larger 2000 acre patent obtained in 1635 and named "Drayton" presumably after the place of that name in Leicestershire, which was one of the seats of the family of Purefoy, baronets, a title now extinct. In 1635 he patented another 100 acres and in 1637 sold 100 acres. He appears to have died sometime between 27 September 1638 and 4 October 1639.

        A contemporary has said of him: "He is a soldier and a man of open heart, hating, for all I can perceive, all kinds of dissimulation and baseness."

    During this time he married Lucy, surname unknown, had one son named Thomas and possibly a second named Simon. His son, Thomas, married Arnie (surname unknown) was a justice of Elizabeth City in 1650, and patented some 2000 acres in the "fresher of the Rappahannock" in 1655.



1.  "Adventurers of Purse and Person Virginia 1607-1624/5", 4"' Edition; John Frederick Dorman; Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, MD, 2005, pp 863-865

2.  "Genealogy", Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol 7, 1899-1900, pp 100,101

3"Records", Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol 8, 1900 1901, pp43 45

4.  "Minutes of the Council and General Court", Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol 19, 1911, p122

Nov 06