Virginia Genealogy Trails
Colonial Churches of Virginia
[Source: "Colonial Churches in the Original Colony of Virginia by Especially Qualified Writers", 1908 - Transcribed by AFOFG]
The Island (which in
its great period was a peninsula) is rich in religious shrines, for, in
addition to the tower and ruins of two churches --one of which in the
seventeenth century almost became the first of our American cathedrals
because of a king's gratitude for the Old Dominion's loyalty--there are:
the Robert Hunt Shrine; the Memorial Cross dedicated to those buried
(possibly 1609-10) on the "Third Ridge"; countless other graves; various
religious objects discovered near the church and now exhibited in the
Visitor Center; and the wattle-and-daub church in the reconstructed James
Fort at the Festival park on the mainland.
Also discovered in the
first decade of this century were two tiers of burials, presumably a tier
beneath each of the two chancels and each tier presumably containing ten
graves. Several other graves were found under the chancel or partly
under it, and a large but indefinite number of other unidentified graves
were discovered in the nave on both sides of the center aisle. At
present, 21 square white stones are to be seen in the nave, although some
of these numbered stones represent two or more burials each rather than
but a single one.
James City Parish and County
James City Parish (which,
except for the first decade if that long, never included all of James City
County within its bounds) lost Lawne's Creek Parish in 1640 and Southwark
Parish in 1647, both on the south side of the James River; and Harrop
Parish (below Jamestown) was cut off in 1646. Harrop Parish later
formed part of Middletown parish and ultimately (1674) of Bruton
Parish. In 1720 the eastern part of Wallingford (originally
Chickahominy) Parish was annexed to James City Parish, and in 1725 the
lower part of Wilmington parish was also added. About 1750 a new
parish church was erected on he mainland, two miles north of the last
church on the Island, and this church stood until the 1850's.
Although the parish no longer has an active congregation, it cannot,
because of the Tower Church and the Robert Hunt Shrine, be considered
The Robert Hunt Shrine
In the old Confederate earthwork of 1861 stands the Robert Hunt Shrine, which was built in 1922 as a memorial to the first clergyman at Jamestown. The titular rector for James City in 1607 was the Rev'd Richard Hakluyt, a prebendary of Westminster Abbey and a noted geographer, but Parson Hunt was his vicar and it was he who sailed with the Founders and conducted the first worship at Cape Henry and Jamestown Island. It is sometimes forgotten--even by Episcopalians--that it was from the first little church in James Fort of 1607 that Anglicanism in America developed. The Robert Hunt Shrine and the Tower Church are still within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Bishop of Southern Virginia. The shrine is really an outdoor chancel of brick and stone, for in addition to the stone altar, there are protecting side walls and a canopy of brick construction, a reredos with a bas-relief (commemorating Parson Hunt's celebration of the rail for communicants. The shrine was moved a short distance in 1960 in order that celebrants and congregations might worship without the early morning sun shining in their faces, although the present location lacks the appeal of the original site of an eminence almost at the river's edge.
Merchant's Hope Church lies on the north side of route 641 in Prince George County, .5 miles west of that road's intersection with route 10, which in turn is 6.5 miles east of Hopewell. The church derives its name from a plantation of the same title. A seventeenth-century ship called "Merchant's Hope" is also thought to have been named for the plantation. The "Merchant" in the title is believed to have been originally Martin, as in Martin's Brandon plantation and parish. The confusion seems to have arisen from the fact that words like Merchant and Merbecke were in earlier times pronounced as Marchant and Marbeck, just as clerk is still pronounced in many lands as clark.
The traditional date of the building's erection, 1657, is cut into one of the beams of the roof trusses. The church was built to serve as the parish church of Jordan's Parish, but became a chapel of ease of Westover Parish in 1688 and the upper chapel of Martin's Brandon Parish in 1720. Jordan's Parish was created by 1655 out of the western portion of Westover Parish that lay south of the James River. All of the parishes of Prince George County (except Bristol Parish) were united with Martin's Brandon Parish in 1720. Martin's Brandon Parish was a plantation parish in 1618 and its final establishment as a separate parish occurred in 1655.
The building, which measures about 60' x 25' on the inside, is of brick laid in Flemish bond with glazed headers above the beveled water table and in English bond below the water table. Both gables are marked by a line of glazed headers along the barge board. The walls (22 1/2" thick) are remarkably well preserved. In fact, the walls of no colonial church in Virginia, regardless of its age, are in better shape than Merchant's Hope's walls.
The original tiles (18" square) of Portland stone still remain in the aisles (6' wide), although the shape of the aisles has at some time, for some reason, been changed from a liturgical T to an L. Also believed to be original are the stairway to the west gallery and the hand rail across the front of the gallery.
The church was abandoned after the Disestablishment and is said to have been used as a picket station in the War between the States. The building was restored for use in divine Service in 1870.
The Church owns a Bible (a folio edition of 1639) that was left to Martin's Brandon Parish in a will executed in 1658. The Bible is now kept in the Bank of South side Virginia at Prince George Courthouse. Bishop Andrews's sermons, which were also left to the Church in the same will, have long been lost. The communion silver (chalice and paten-cover) that was bought according to this legacy is in the possession of the present Brandon Church at Burrowsille, as is a baptismal bowl that was given to the parish in 1731. All three pieces are inscribed to the parish. The chalice derives from London in 1659-60, whereas the paten-cover is unmarked. The baptismal bowl was made by Thomas Farrer of London in 1731-32. Such bowls were preferred to fonts during Cromwell's rule.
There are no churchyard walls around Merchant's Hope Church and there was no cemetery nearby in colonial times.
Four miles southeast of Smithfield on route 10, is the Newport Parish Church (St. Luke's). The building is situated just northwest of the junction of route 10 and the highway that leads to Newport News over the James River Bridge
In colonial times this church was known as the Newport Parish Church, but from 1828 it became known as St. Luke's Church. The use of the "Newport Parish Church" name is complicated today by the fact that the building ceased to be the parish church of the nineteenth century. Vestry records in the last century referred to it also as "The Isle of Wight Church" and "The Brick Church". This last has been used despite the fact that it is hardly distinctive in Virginia where there are approximately forty other colonial churches constructed of brick.
Warrosquyoake County was one of the original shires of 1634. The name was derived from the Indian tribes that lived in the area, but was replaced with Isle of Wight in 1637, after the earliest settlement in the area.
The only recorded mention of the church's interior occurs in 1746 with the assignment of a corner pew of the chancel for wives of justices and vestrymen and their former pew for the young women of the parish.
The parish church of York-Hampton Parish stands on the bluff of the York River in historic Yorktown on the east side of a dead-end lane named for itself, Church Street. Colonial antecedents of the present parish are manifold. A Chiskiack parish in York County had it's own clergyman as early as 1635 and included the plantation (Middle Plantation) that was to become Williamsburg. In 1643 Chiskiack Parish's name became Hampton. York Parish was a plantation parish with its own parson by at least 1638. York and Hampton Parishes were joined together in 1706, and six years later, Martin's Hundred Parish in James City County became a part of York-Hampton Parish.
The site of the first York church of around 1642, is believed to be the same as that of the second church (around 1667), which is located at the old York settlement, now within the Coast Guard Reserve Training Center about two miles below Yorktown. This spot may also be seen the second oldest (1655) legible tombstone in Virginia.
The present building is believed to be the third parish church of York Parish and the only parish church in the long history of York-Hampton Parish. The existing structure is also believed to have been built as early as 1697.
The church lost its windows and pews in the Revolution when it became a magazine for Lord Cornwallis. It was burned in 1814 along with much of Yorktown in a fire caused by accident rather than by the British. The church was not rebuilt and restored to service until 1848. The name of Grace Church was first used at this time. During the War between the States, a signal tower was erected for the Federal forces on the church's roof.
The bell that is still in use is inscribed "County of York, Virginia, 1725". Still in use in the church is the second oldest set of communion silver in Virginia. It is a chalice and a flagon of 1649-50 and both are inscribed to Hampton Parish in York County. A silver paten (1698-99) that was apparently given to Martin's Hundred Parish before it joined York-Hampton Parish in 1712 is now at St. John's Church in Hampton.
There are a few tombs from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (including the handsome Nelson tombs) in the south portion of the churchyard. The tombs from 1674 and 1696 were originally placed in a graveyard elsewhere in the village. They were found when repairs were being made on the roads and were moved to the churchyard in 1931.
The first confirmation service ever held in Virginia is believed to have been conducted in 1791 at old York Church. The parish register (1648-1789) of another colonial York County parish, Charles (originally New Poquoson) Parish, has been published and the original manuscript is on loan at the State Library in Richmond from the vestry of Grace Church, Yorktown.
St Peter's Parish Church in New Kent County is completely surrounded by forests. It can be reached from route 33 (between West Point and Richmond) by going about a mile north of Talleysville on route 609 and about .5 farther on route 642. The approach through the woods is beautiful.
St. Peter's Parish was created out of Blisland Parish in 1679. In 1704 St. Paul's Parish, which became Hanover County in 1720, was cut off and before that in 1691, that part of St. Peter's lying north of the Pamunkey River was annexed to St. John's Parish. In 172 St Peter's Parish received part of Wilmington parish.
The first Lower Church of the parish has been called the "Broken-Back'd" Church because of its structural weakness and was, perhaps, erected as early as 1685. Its location is not known. Speculation places it in different locations: near the present route 33 east of the junction of that highway with route 608 (leading to Providence Forge), and southeast of Black Creek, east of the Tunstall Station and near "Mt. Prospect". This church seems to have been used for an indefinite period after the erection of its successor (1701-03) and the creation of St. Paul's Parish. Two churches were in existence in St Peter's Parish in 1685, but the second Upper Church (1690) as well as a frame chapel (1702-04), also in the upper area, were cut off from St. Paul's Parish. A wooden belfry was built in 1722.
It has been said that St Peter's Church and Yeocomico Church eminently represent the transition in Virginia's ecclesiastical buildings from late Gothic to Classical.
The church was abandoned after the Disestablishment and used by the Presbyterians from around 1810-20 to 1843, and from 1843 to 1856 by the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians on alternate Sundays. During the War between the States the building was desecrated through use as a stable by Federal troops. Major repairs have been made on the church in 1810-20 and 1872 and the recent restorations have included at various times the talents and labors of two architects, J. Ambler Johnston and Harden deVoe Pratt, and two ecclesiastical historians, the Rev'd Dr. Brydon and George Carrington Mason (1885-1955), the last of whom lies buried not far from the present gates.
St. Peter's vestry book (1684-1758) and register (1685-1786) have been published twice, in the latest instance (1937) in a single volume. The originals are on loan at the State Library in Richmond.
It is possible that the marriage of our first president and first "first-lady" was solemnized in St. Peter's Church or at a nearby house called "The White House", but the church is becoming widely known as "The First Church of the First First-Lady".
Yeocomico Church lies at the top of a wooded slope about a half mile west of Tucker Hill post office and can be reached easily from the hamlet of Lyells. This is at the junction of routes 3 and 203 that is itself three miles north of Warsaw.
The current building is the only surviving colonial church in Westmoreland County or Cople Parish. This county and Nominy Parish were both created in 1653. The upper part of Nominy Parish became Appomattox Parish around 1661 and the upper part of Appomattox County was divided into three parishes, although the middle parish seems never to have been organized. The lower parish apparently went unnamed at first, but was soon called Nominy and before 1668 became known as Cople Parish, after an English parish of that name.
The existing second Yeocomico Church was built in 1706 as the second Lower Church of Cople Parish and is constructed of bricks made in a nearby kiln.
The second Ware Parish
Church stands in a grove of trees on the south side of routes 3 and 14,
about one and one-half miles east of Gloucester Courthouse. The
parish is named for the Ware Rive. The date of the present
building's construction has never been definitely established. A
historical marker near the county seat gives 1693 and this is an assumed
date, as is 1710-15, which more recent guesses are given. The church
was built during the rectorship of Rev'd James Clack (1679-1723).
Bruton Parish Church
occupies the northwestern corner of the Duke of Gloucester Street and the
Palice Green in Williamsburg. In colonial times, up until 1880,
Bruton Parish Church was located on the York County side of the line
(which ran down the middle of the Duke of Gloucester Street at that
point). From 1880 to 1884 all of Williamsburg was included in James
City County. In the latter year, the town became an independent
city. Williamsburg was known as Middle Plantation (midway between
the James and York Rivers until 1700, when it succeeded Jamestown as our
capital and was renamed in honor of William III (of William and Mary).
Tombs and Graves
On the southside of the
Tower interior are now four marble tombstones. One (from 1692) has
been moved there from the churchyard; the others (from the first half of
the eighteenth century) were moved to the Tower in 1906 from a plantation
on the York River. There are six persons represented by these stones
in the Tower, in addition to Nathaniel Bacon sr. (the councillor rather
than the leader of the rebellion) (@1692), whose stone was moved to the
north side from another York River plantation in 1938-40.
parish church of Christ Church Parish in Middlesex County stands at the
village named for it (Christchurch), about 2 1/2 miles east of Saluda and
the same distance southeast of Urbanna. The church and Christchurch
School lie on the north side of route 33, not far south of the
CHRIST CHURCH, MIDDLESEX
The county of Middlesex is a narrow peninsula, lying
between the Rappahannock and Piankatank rivers. Its eastern boundary is
washed by the waters of the historic Chesapeake Bay, and it was therefore
easily accessible to the earliest settlers of the country.
|This church occupies the same
site as the first Lower Chapel (c 1665-66) of the parish. The first
chapel also possibly served as the Peanckatanck Parish Church until that
parish united with the upper parish of Middlesex County (aka
Lancaster Parish) in 1666. The Methodists have recently adopted the
name of the Piankatank Parish for their circuit of churches served by the
minister of the present Lower Church. The spelling of this Indian
name occurs in over a dozen forms in the colonial vestry book.
The date of the church's completion is 1717. A dating brick on the left side of the west doorway is marked 17A15" and is taken to indicate the completion of the walls to that height by 1715. The "A" possibly represents a Mr. Armistead, the builder. Another brick, on the opposite side of this doorway, is marked "I:W" (possibly for James Walker, an overseer for the vestry), although the first part of this inscription is not clear. Mortar remains in the part of these carvings, which are similar in style to those at the Mother Church at Christchurch. Other initials at the chapel include "B" on the east and "IG" and "TG" on the north.
Vawter's Church stands in Essex County on the north
side of route 17, .5 mile west of the hamlet of Loretto and about 12.5
miles southeast of the junction of routes 17 and 301 near Port Royal.
Vawter's Church is the second Upper Church is the second Upper Church of
St. Anne's Parish, which was created in 1704 out of Sittingbourne
Parish. This latter parish and Farnham Parish were formed in 1661
and, like Old Rappahannock County each of them included territory on both
sides of the Rappahannock River. Out the western portion of
Sittingbourne Parish was created, about 1677, St. Mary's Parish. The
name remaining on the north side, but in 1732 it ceased to exist when its
upper part was combined with Hanover Parish in King George County and its
lower section became part of the new Lunenburg parish in Richmond
County. Rappahannock County also ceased to exist when it was divided
into Essex and Richmond in 1692.
VAUTER'S CHURCH, ST. ANNE'S PARISH,
The third Upper Church of Stratton Major Parish in King and Queen County stands on the southwest side of route 14, about 5 miles northwest of Centerville, and 8.6 miles south of King and Queen Courthouse. It likely was built between 1724 and 1729, just south of its immediate predecessor. Remains of this earlier church were uncovered by a bulldozer. The site of the first Upper Church is either identical with or very close to that of the present Mattaponi Church in the northern part of the county.
Stratton Major Parish was formed from Blisland parish in 1655 and King and Queen County was created out of New Kent County in 1691. The origin of the parish's name is obscure, although one authority has attributed it to a Major family in the county in early times who may possibly have come from one of the many Stratton parishes in England. It is also possible that Major (meaning "Greater") may have been part of an English parish's title.
The vestry book (1729-83) of Stratton Major Parish has been published and the original manuscript is on deposit at the State Library in Richmond.
The fourth Elizabeth City Parish Church occupies the northwest corner of West Queen and Court Streets in the city of Hampton. The first church, which was known as Kecoughtan Church, was possibly built as early as 1613-16. Such an early date is thoroughly in keeping with the rate of construction of churches at Jamestown and on the Eastern Shore in the earliest times. The second and third churches were erected in 1624 and 1667. The present walls date from 1728. The actual settlement of Kecoughtan took place in 1610, although Cape Henry where the colonists first landed and planted a cross lay within the original bounds of Elizabeth City County. Kecoughtan, which is named for the Indians of the area, was one of the four original cities or boroughs of 1618. The names of Kecoughtan gave way to Elizabeth City the next year. The parish and the county were named for the Princess Elizabeth, eldest daughter of James I and the grandmother of George I. Both the parish and the town of Hampton have been in continuous existence since the early plantation of 1610. The name of St John's for the present church is first known only from 1827. The fourth church has suffered much from wars and the ravages of time.
Elizabeth City Parish owns English communion silver. The set, marked of London 1618-19, contains a chalice and two patens and was originally given to St Mary's Church at Smiths Hundred in Charles City County, apparently in 1619. After the Indian Massacre of 1622, the silver went to Sir George Yeardley, then to his widow, and then to the court at Jamestown. Elizabeth City Parish Church was located on the Southampton River. Smith's Hundred became Southampton Hundred. The set was later bestowed upon the Elizabeth City Parish. Traces of gilding are still seen on the silver. The parish owns a third paten (marked London 1698-99) that seems to have been originally given to Martin's Hundred Parish in James City County. The Elizabeth City Parish vestry book (1751-1883) is owned and kept by the parish.
The present Slash Church is located on route 656 between Peaks and Ashland in Hanover County, a little north of the junction of that route with route 657. In colonial times it was the Upper Church of St. Paul's parish.
In colonial times, Dolley Madison and Patrick Henry are said to have attended Divine Service at the church. Patrick Henry's uncle was rector for four decades. henry Clay was another who frequented .
Sometime after the Revolution and the Disestablishment, the Episcopalians abandoned the building in favor of St. Paul's at Hanover Courthouse. It then became a union Church shared by Methodists and Disciples of Christ, and has been owned by the latter since 1842. It is said to have been used once as a school, and also to have been a hospital in the War between the States. it gave its name to a battle in that war. The third Lower Church (1774-77) of St. Paul's Parish gave its name to the village still known as Old Church. The vestry book (1705-85) of St Paul's Parish has been published and the original manuscript is on loan at the State Library in Richmond.
Williamsburg possesses two colonial ecclesiastical structures: Bruton Parish Church (1711-15) and the Chapel of the Wren (or Main) Building of the College of William and Mary. An Anglican divinity school was a part of the College of William and Mary until it was abolished in 1779, when the college was re-organized under Governor Thomas Jefferson. Eight presidents of the College have been rectors of Bruton Parish Church and two presidents have been bishops of the Episcopal Church.
The Wren Building has known four forms: 1695 , 1709, 1859, and 1867-69. The causes of these "having been designedly effected by drunken" Federal soldiers. The walls remained standing in each instance and were re-used in each new form, including the restoration to the second form that was accomplished by Colonial Williamsburg in 1928-31. The seventeenth-century plan called for a quadrangle enclosing a courtyard but the first and second forms were built only in the shape of a L; the main range running north to south and the north hall running east to west.
Mangohick Church is at the end of route 638. A short distance south of the village of Mangohick on route 30 in King William County, Mangohick is about 10 miles west of Central Garage and 6 miles east of Dawn. The name, Mangohick, is Indian and is also applied to a nearby creek. The brick church was probably built around 1730 as a chapel of ease for St. Margaret's Parish, but became the Upper Church of St Davids Parish in 1744. St. Margaret's Parish was created out of the upper portion of St. Johns Parish in 1720 and St David's Parish was formed in 1744 out of lower St. Margaret's parish and the (remaining) upper part of St. Johns Parish.
The church was abandoned after the Disestablishment and was then used as a "free" church. Sometime after the War between the States, the building was deeded to an African American Baptist congregation which still owns it.
The second Lower Church of St Stephen's Parish in King and Queen County has long been known as Mattaponi Church. It may have been known locally at Mattaponi Church even in colonial times. This has been its name since the Baptists took the building over early in the last century. It can be seen on the west side of route 14, 5.7 miles north of the Courthouse and one-half mile south of Cumnor Post Office.
The second Upper Church of
Westover Parish (which is now the Westover Parish Church), in Charles City
County, is less than a mile south of route 5, and a little more than four
miles east of the junction of routes 5 and 156 (the Hopewell Ferry
Road). The church is high above Herring Creek, inside a bunch of
trees, and the churchyard is accessed by a lane through open fields.
Within the bounds of Westover Parish is
the shrine that marks the first recorded American Service of
Thanksgiving. The shrine at Harrison's landing by the James River
(about a fourth of a mile below Berkeley Plantation), commemorates the
Service that was first held there on December 04, 1619 (or November 25 on
the new calendar) by colonists who had set sale from Bristol on the Ship
"Margaret", the preceding September. It was ordained "that the day
of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of
Virginia shall be yearly and perputualy kept holy as a day of Thanksgiving
to Almighty God".
Christ Church lies on route 646 about half a mile west of the junction of routes 646 and 3, which is also known as Pitman's Corner in Lancaster County. Robert Carter's will, (a well-known public figure, landowner of the time,) dated 1728 and probated 1732, indicated the church was largely completed by 1728. In his testament, the church's patron left the parish only 200 pounds and the provision that the bricks were to come from his estate.
The parish owns several pieces of communion silver: a chalice and paten-cover made by an unidentified London goldsmith who is known to have been working in 1681-82, a flagon from London of 1720-21, a bason from London of 1695-96.
The colonial church is in bad condition. It is now known as Old St John's in King William County. It is located about eight miles southeast of King William Courthouse and sixteen miles southeast of Central Garage, and eight miles northeast of West point. It was created in 1680 out of Stratton Major Parish, and St Stephen's Parish, and in 1691 that part of St Peters Parish that lay north of the Pamunkey River was added to St John's Parish.
The third parish church of
Lynnhaven Parish in Princess Anne County, was built in 1736. The
site of the first church on Church Point on the western shore of the
Western Branch of the Lynnhaven River, is still known but has gradually
eroded away. The current church's unique name seems to have come
from the gift to the parish of adjoining lands. The parish
owns a set of English communion silver that includes a paten, a chalice
and a flagon. Another set of colonial silver still in use comes from
Lynnhaven Parish. This set (chalice, paten-cover, and flagon) was
made by William Grundy and is in the possession of the Eastern Shore
Chapel. The Eastern Shore Chapen became the parish church of East
Lynnhaven Parish in 1895.
Blandford Church of Bristol parish is named for the colonial town of
Blandford, which long ago became a part of the city of Petersburg.
It has also been known as the brick church on Wells Hill, and for a time
as St Paul's Church. It is on the east side of Crater Road
(routes 301 and 460) at the top of the hill. Bristol Parish was
named for the seaport on the west coast of England and seems to have been
formed out of the plantation parish at Bermuda Hundred. The Brick
Church on Wells's Hill is the third parish church of Bristol Parish.
The first of these parish churches was built about 1645 near the colonial
settlement of Charles City (on the Appomattox River about 3 miles west of
Hopewell). The second parish church was Jefferson's Church of 1723,
which wasn't far from the junction of routes 1 (and 301) and 10 in
Chesterfield County. When it was lost to the new Dale Parish in
1734, the existing building at Blandford had already been ordered.
The church was modelled upon Merchant's Hope Church.
The building's long disuse as a church is shown by the fact that the Episcopalians in the Blandford area, and have since the latter part of the last century, been worshipping in another building (the Church of the Good Shepherd), only a short distance north, down Wells's Hill.
The original manuscripts of the vestry book (1720-89) and parish register (1720-92) of Bristol Parish, are kept at St Pauls Church in Petersburg.
The Fork Church of St Martin's Parish in Hanover County gets its name from its location between North and South Anna Rivers. The church lies on route 738 about 4.5 miles west of the Gum Tree on route 1, which is 3 miles south of Doswell and 4.5 miles north of Ashland. The present building is the second Lower Church of St Martins Parish. The first Lower Church (around 1722) of the parish was originally erected as the Chapel in the Forks or Fork Chapel of St Paul's Parish.Dolly Madison and Patrick Henry attended services at this church Parson S.S. Hepburn, grandfather of Katherine Hepburn was rector of this parish from 1893 to 1903.
The parish church of North Farnham Parish is in Richmond county. Unmarked colonial graves lie on the west and south sides of the present, and a burying ground for slaves exists in the thick woods north of the church and its new parish's register (1704-1830). The vestry book (1743-93) of Upper Parish, Nansemond County, has been published and the original is on deposit at the State Library in Richmond. St Paul's Church in Suffolk is said to have two other remnants of this parish from colonial times. One is a 1751 Bible and the other is a hanging, an altar cloth, a pulpit fall, and a funeral pall.
Pungoteague Church was originally in Accomack Parish, but became part of St George's Parish in 1762. The vestry book (1763-86) of St George's Parish is at present kept in the clerk's office at Accomack Courthouse. The churchyard at Pungoteague Church doesn't appear to have any colonial stones.
Also known as St Paul's, the Borough Church of Norfolk was created by a royal charter in 1736. It lies in a large churchyard at the corner of Church Street and City Hall Avenue in downtown Norfolk. The parish museum contains the chair that John Hancock is believed to have used to sign the Declaration of Independence as well as a piece of armor from the "Merrimac" and early photographs of many of Virginia's colonial churches. The parish's colonial silver, now on loan in the Norfolk Museum, consists of a silver-guilt chalice (London 1700-01), another silver-gilt chalice with paten-cover (London 1722-23), an alms bason (London 1750-51) and a flagon (1763064). The chalice and paten cover were made by Thomas Farrer, the alms bason by John Robinson and the flagon by Fuller White. The original manuscript of the vestry book (1749-61) of Elizabeth River Parish is kept at the Seaboard Citizens National Bank in Norfolk.
ST. PAUL'S CHURCH, KING GEORGE
In King George county,
a few miles from the Potomac River and ten from the Rappahannock,
stands old St. Paul's church, one of the most venerable and interesting of
the Colonial churches of Virginia. Regarding its exact age there is
doubt, as the written statements concerning it vary, and there seems as
yet no way of determining which is right. We find the parish records,
however, running back as far as the year 1716, with references to still
earlier records, and furnishing a sort of context to the history of the
"To the Vestry of St. Paul's Parish:
Gentlemen,- I have been curate of this
parish upward of forty years. My own conscience bears me witness, and I
trust my parishioners (though many of them have fallen asleep) will also
witness. that until age and
infirmities disabled me, I always, so far as my infirmities would allow,
faithfully discharged my duties as a minister of the Gospel. It has given
me many hours of anxious concern that the services of the Church should be
so long discontinued on my account. The spirit indeed is willing, but the
flesh is weak. I therefore entreat the favor of you to provide me a
successor as soon as you can, that divine service may be discontinued no
longer; and at the end of the year the glebe shall be given up to him by
your affectionate servant, William Stuart."