Surry County and a beautiful sunset from the James River Ferry

Captain Charles Barham in the Colony of Virginia


East Hall, Charles Barham's birthplace Charles Barham was the fourth son and fifth child of Robert Barham and his wife, Katherine Filmer Barham. He was born at East Hall, the family home, in the Parish of Boughton-Monchelsea, co. Kent, England in 1625/26.

He was left legacies in the wills of both of his maternal grandparents, Sir Edward Filmer in 1629 and Dame Elizabeth Argall Filmer in 1635. These legacies were quite small and in no way provided him with a landed estate. In fact, In the 1600's it was very unusual for a fourth son or fifth child to inherit much, if any, of an estate.

It is not known when Robert Barham, Charles' father, left Boughton-Monchelsea but the family did move to the environs of London and it is likely that Charles was educated there. From available records it appears that Charles' three eldest brothers, Edward, Robert, and Thomas Barham died without children and possibly were never married. It is known that Edward died testate in 1661. Edward left his land to his mother for her lifetime. It was then to go to his sister, Susan Barham, until Charles paid her 500 pounds, at which time the land was to descend to Charles and his heirs forever. From this it appears that Robert and Thomas Barham were both deceased and that Charles was next in line to inherit the land. It is not known when the provisions of the Will were met or whether Susan remained on the land. Charles' next younger brother, Richard, lived in London and handled business for Charles while he was in Virginia. Nothing at all has been found of John Barham, the youngest of Charles' brothers. He had three sisters, Elizabeth, Susan and Ann.

It is known that Charles Barham came to Virginia in March 1652/53 (old and new calendars). He was evidently the kinsman who accompanied his uncle, Henry Filmer and brother of Catherine Filmer Barham, who was returning to Virginia with his family. Henry Filmer, unmarried at the time, first came to Virginia around 1636 - 1640 and served in the Army of Occupation, becoming a Burgess for James City County in 1642 and 1643. Sometime thereafter he returned to England where he married Elizabeth (maiden name unknown) and fathered two children. A rough trip to the colonies
Ships at anchor-Jamestown He obviously decided to return to Virginia because in March of 1652/1653 he, his wife, his son and daughter, an unnamed kinsman (apparently Charles), and others embarked on the "John and Ambrose" at Gravesend for the long journey to the Colonies. The trip to Virginia was covered in a letter to a friend in England and is among a collection of correspondence between Henry Filmer and his nephew, Robert Filmer, and other friends in England. It is known that Henry Filmer paid his way to Virginia and, since Charles Barham was not named as a headright in any land records, it appears that he also paid his own way.

The records of Surry County, Virginia, note that Charles Barham was living in Surry County in December, 1653, and from that point his name occurs frequently in official records. Both Henry Filmer and Charles were evidently well-educated since both held responsible positions after they established themselves. In 1653 Charles Barham was known merely as "Charles Barham". In 1661 when he was a vestryman at Lawnes Creek Parish Church he was called "Mr. Charles Barham" and, in 1673, when he was the High Sheriff of Surry County, he was called "Captain Charles Barham". It is also known that he served as a Justice of the County and as Captain of Horse in the County Militia. In February of 1663 he bought a 300 acre farm on Hog Island from the sisters of a deceased John Medmore and it appears that was his primary residence in Surry County.

Charles Barham married Elizabeth Ridley (?) and they had four children:

  • Elizabeth
  • born abt 1671
  • Priscilla
  • born abt 1671
  • Charles
  • born bef 1673
  • Robert
  • born abt 1679

    In June,1680, Charles Barham was on the tithe list in Surry County for the last time. Later that year he and his family moved to Martin's Hundred, across the James River in James City County, where he bought four hundred and sixty three acres of land from a John Hayman. In July, 1682, he prepared his will and in late 1683 he died. There is no record of his place of burial nor has a grave site ever been found.

    "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God."
    Hebrews 4:9


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