Col. Joseph Bridger


Col. Joseph Bridger I 1628 – 1686 | his parents
& ca 1650 Hester Pitt 1631 – 1711| her parents
of Whitemarsh, Isle of Wight

my working hypothesis – the way I see it as of this moment!!

1628 Joseph Bridger was born, the third son of Samuel Bridger and wife Mary in the manor of Woodmancote in the Parish of Dursley, Glocester, England, which his father owned.
Samuel was auditor of the College of Gloucester at the time of his death in 1650.
Joseph was well educated probably in his father’s College of Gloucester.
About 1655 Joseph and his brother James moved to Virginia.
He was a Royalist. He did well in Virginia, settling below Jamestown and south of the James River and patented more land than any other resident of Isle of Wight County during the 17th century

Joseph married Hester, daughter of Col. Robert Pitt.

He is a member of the House of Burgesses from Isle of Wight in 1657-8. and from 1661 to about 1672. As a Burgess he received 250 pounds of tobacco for each day the assembly was in session in Jamestown.

As “Captain” Joseph Bridger he patented 300 acres in Isle of Wight upon a branch of the Blackwater March 21 1664 with one William Burgh and his father-in-law Colonel Robert Pitt.

In 1664, Captain Bridger and two other commissioners were sent up to Chesapeake Bay to confer with their Maryland opposites to settle dispute of a claim by the State of Maryland over a county line.

He was often named to deal with intercolonial problems, and in the House of Burgesses sat on important committees to consider economic matters. He was also influential in military defence.
He became a colonel in 1672 and in 1673 at the age of 45, was a member of the Council of State and General Court of Sir William Berkeley.

The governor authorized a 500-man army to fight the Indians, appointing Col Bridger to organize it. It turned out that the governor was dealing with the Indians for their furs, so the army never marched against them. With this lack of protection, the farmers became rebellious under Nathaniel Bacon, the nephew of a member of the governor’s council with the same name.
In time, the governor was forced to flee Jamestown, and Bacon who named himself “General by consent of the people” called Joseph Bridger a “Wicked and pernicious councilor” for his continued loyalty to the governor and the King of England.  Bridger fled with the governor, but his son, Joseph Bridger, Jr cast his lot with Nathaniel Bacon. For this, he was disinherited by his father and his name stricken from his will.

Col. Bridger made his will 18 October, 1683. Probate was 8 May 1686.
The inscription on his tombstone: “the Honorable Joseph Bridger, Esq., councilor of State of Virginia to King Charles II.”

Children of Col. Joseph Bridger and Hester Pitt:

  1. Martha Bridger
      married Thomas Godwin of Nansemond,
       Speaker of the House of Burgesses
  2. Mary Bridger
      married Captain Richard Tibboth
          of the ship “Mary and Anne”
  3. Elizabeth Bridger
      married Thomas Lear
  4. Hester Bridger
      married George Williamson, grandson of Arthur Allen.
  5. Samuel Bridger
      married Elizabeth Godwin as her 3rd husband, she had first m James Webb and 2nd Joseph Woory d. 1694
  6. William Bridger
      married Elizabeth Allen, sister of Arthur Allen.
          she had first married Caufield.
  7.   Joseph Bridger d. 1713
        married Elizabeth Norsworthy ca 1663 – 1727
      1. Hester
      2. Elizabeth m. Thomas Lear
      3. John
      4. James
      5. Joseph
      6. Robert
      7. William Bridger d 1730
            a, Joseph
            b. William Briders d, 1729
                   m Sarah Dew d. ca 1754
                        She m 2nd William Cotten son of John of Bertie