1621 - Jamestown, VA
BEF 29 OCT 1655 - Northampton, VA

Argoll Yeardley, Sr.

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Merchant and member of The Governor's Council.

Argoll Yeardley, Sr. was born about 1621 in Jamestown, VA. He was the oldest son of George Yeardley and Temperance Flowerdew who married in London in 1618. His father had returned to London in 1617 after serving for two years as Deputy-Governor of Virginia. George was appointed to serve as Governor of Virginia and was knighted by King James I on November 24th, 1618 at Newmarket, Suffolk, England. Soon after the couple sailed to Jamestown, VA. The following summer Sir George Yeardley led the first meeting of representative government in America when he presided over the House of Burgesses.

When a census was taken in Jamestown on February 16th, 1624 George and Temperance were counted along with two children (Argoll and Elizabeth). A count taken the following year on January 24th, 1625 included the birth of Argoll's younger brother Francis and showed that the family had 24 servants, eight of who were African. Argoll's father again served as Deputy-Governor in 1625 and was Governor at the time of his death in 1627. Argoll's mother died the following year.

Argoll was to receive the largest share of his father's estate at the age of 21 including 3,700 acres on the Eastern Shore. In the meantime he returned to London along with his brother and sister to live with their uncle, Ralph Yeardley, who had been appointed as guardian. On March 9th, 1636 Argoll married to Frances Knight at St. Stephen, Coleman, London, England.

Argoll and Frances returned to Virginia. On February 5th, 1638 he patented 500 acres of land in Upper Norfolk County, and listed himself, his wife and eight servants as head rights. Later that year the courts in Accomack and Northampton recorded the boundaries of the land of George Yeardley. In 1639 Argoll received about 3,700 acres on the Eastern Shore from his father's estate. On October 12th, 1640 received another tract of land containing 4,000 acres in Charles River County as a dividend for investments made by George Yeardley in the Southampton Hundred Company. He sold parts of the Southampton land to George Ludlow and William Whitby and moved to Eastern Shore in late 1640 when he had his 3,700 acre tract surveyed and began building a house. On January 11, 1641 Argoll attended his first session of Accomack County Court, and on May 31st, 1642 he was comissioned as Commander of Accomack County Court. He was also involved in the leadership of the county militia, where he rose to the rank of colonel. In 1642 Argoll bought a horse from George Ludlow, this is the first known evidence of a horse on the Eastern Shore. By 1650 only seven landholders on the Eastern Shore owned horses.

Argoll was a tobacco planter and also raised cattle. He traded with Native Americans for furs and also had sailing vessels for trading with the other colonies. Argoll served in The Governor's Council from 1639 to 1653, and the first resident of the Eastern Shore to sit on the Council. Council members were royally appointed to advise the governor and were part of the General Assembly. They met as part of the House of Burgess until 1643 and then formed an upper house of the state legislature.

Frances died sometime before 1649. Argoll remarried to Ann Custis, they were wed in Rotterdam Holland, perhaps while Argoll was on a trading trip. Argoll and Ann had two sons, Edmund and Henry, before Argoll's death. On October 29th, 1655 an inventory of Argoll's home in Northampton County was recorded.

According to the inventory the house had six rooms plus a "milk house". The home is thought to have been located near the mouth of Mattawaman Creek on the same foundation of a previous house built by Argoll that burned in 1651. The inventory contained many feather beds, linens and silver/pewter items. Books listed included two Bibles, a ten-book volume by early Roman poet Marcus Annaeus Lucanus that dealt with the civil war between Ceaser and Pompey, and books by William Perkins, "a liberal-minded Puritan theological writer." Livestock counted was; ten sheep, 22 cows, three bulls and three horses. Seven black servants were inventoried as well as one other black servant who was noted as being three years old and to be freed at the age of 24 and given two cows. Another two men (their race not indicated) were listed as servants with three months remaining on their indenture. The value of the estate was calculated in pounds of tobacco and added up to 41,269.

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Sources:

  • Dorman, John F. Adventurers of Purse and Person : Virginia 1607-1624/5: Volume Three Families R-Z. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co, 2007. Print. Pg. 865.
  • Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983
  • Miles Files, Eastern Shore Public Library, http://espl-genealogy.org
  • Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Yeardley
  • Encyclopedia Virginia, https://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Governor_s_Council_The
  • Nora Miller Turman, and Mark C. Lewis. “Inventory of the Estate of Argoll Yeardley of Northampton County, Virginia, in 1655.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 70, no. 4, 1962, pp. 410–419. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/4246890.
  • UPSHUR, THOMAS TEACKLE. “SIR GEORGE YEARDLEY OR YARDLEY, GOVERNOR AND CAPTAIN-GENERAL OF VIRGINIA, AND TEMPERANCE, LADY YEARDLEY, AND SOME OF THEIR DESCENDANTS.” The American Historical Magazine, vol. 1, no. 4, 1896, pp. 339–374. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/42657115.
  • Garrett, W. R. “THE FATHER OF REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT IN AMERICA.” The American Historical Magazine, vol. 1, no. 1, 1896, pp. 3–21. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/43700484.
  • “GENEALOGICAL NOTES.” The American Historical Magazine, vol. 1, no. 1, 1896, pp. 92–102. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/43700489
  • Nugent, Nell Marion. Cavaliers And Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents And Grants, 1623-1800. [1st ed.]. Richmond: Press of the Dietz Print Co., 19341999.
  • Tyler, Lyon Gardiner, 1853-1935. Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography. New York: Lewis historical publishing company, 1915.
  • Perry, James R. Formations of a Society on Virginia's Eastern Shore, 1615-1655. Place of publication not identified: Univ Of North Carolina, 2011. Print. pg 42
  • Turman, Nora M. The Eastern Shore of Virginia, 1603-1964. Onancock, Va: Eastern Shore News, 1964. Print. Pgs. 16, 41, 58.
  • Wright, F E. Northampton County, Virginia: Marriage References and Family Relationships 1634-1800. Lewes, Del: Colonial Roots, 2012. Print. Pg. 233.

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Curabitur mattis purus ornare augue finibus, sed tempus ex eleifend. Maecenas vitae volutpat diam. Curabitur sollicitudin porttitor nisi. Nulla rutrum facilisis quam, sed bibendum magna consectetur sit amet. Fusce nulla turpis, efficitur eu tempus eu, accumsan malesuada sem. Morbi vestibulum libero et metus porttitor, vel ultrices lorem facilisis. Donec maximus ultrices ex ac tincidunt. Praesent vel enim laoreet, pharetra massa feugiat, iaculis neque. Nunc volutpat, nibh a laoreet venenatis, sem augue sodales nunc, eu commodo quam nisi vitae nunc. Nullam tristique placerat quam quis ornare.

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Curabitur mattis purus ornare augue finibus, sed tempus ex eleifend. Maecenas vitae volutpat diam. Curabitur sollicitudin porttitor nisi. Nulla rutrum facilisis quam, sed bibendum magna consectetur sit amet. Fusce nulla turpis, efficitur eu tempus eu, accumsan malesuada sem. Morbi vestibulum libero et metus porttitor, vel ultrices lorem facilisis. Donec maximus ultrices ex ac tincidunt. Praesent vel enim laoreet, pharetra massa feugiat, iaculis neque. Nunc volutpat, nibh a laoreet venenatis, sem augue sodales nunc, eu commodo quam nisi vitae nunc. Nullam tristique placerat quam quis ornare.

Future 3:

Curabitur mattis purus ornare augue finibus, sed tempus ex eleifend. Maecenas vitae volutpat diam. Curabitur sollicitudin porttitor nisi. Nulla rutrum facilisis quam, sed bibendum magna consectetur sit amet. Fusce nulla turpis, efficitur eu tempus eu, accumsan malesuada sem. Morbi vestibulum libero et metus porttitor, vel ultrices lorem facilisis. Donec maximus ultrices ex ac tincidunt. Praesent vel enim laoreet, pharetra massa feugiat, iaculis neque. Nunc volutpat, nibh a laoreet venenatis, sem augue sodales nunc, eu commodo quam nisi vitae nunc. Nullam tristique placerat quam quis ornare.

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Siblings:

  • Elizabeth Yeardley
    • 1619-
  • Francis Yeardley
    • 1623-

Last Updated: 2/15/2020