Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Jamestown Ancestor Cicely Reynolds Bailey Jordan Farrar

December 4, 1619 the first Thanksgiving celebration occurred at Berkeley Hundred, near Jamestown Virginia. The town charter actually required an annual Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, details of who was present or the food consumed at this event has been lost to history.
Very likely in attendance at the first Thanksgiving in the New World was my 10th great grandmother Cicely likely Reynolds (Bailey, Jordan, Farrar). Cicely arrived in Virginia Colony aboard the Swan in 1610 with Captain William Pierce and his wife Jane, who may have been her uncle and aunt or some other relation, at about the age of 10. (Some sources claim that Cicely’s mother and brother Christopher also came to the New World. It’s also possible that Cicely’s mother had died.) Cicely’s first husband probably Thomas Bailey died, probably from malaria, about 1620 and she quickly married her neighbor Samuel Jordan who was himself a widower and twice her age. The evidence of Thomas Bailey is in the existence of temperance Bailey and her inheritance at Bailey’s Point. Samuel died in 1623 and Cicely married for a third time, to William Farrar, in 1625. (Some claim that Cicely was married five times, including Peter Montague and Thomas Parker, however there are no records proving this claim and it seems more likely that these men married other women named Cicely. A major clue is the fact that Peter Montague married a Cicely when our Cicely would have been married to William Farrar.) Cicely had six children, Temperance Bailey, Mary Jordan, Margaret Jordan, Cicely Farrar, William Farrar and John Farrar. I descend from daughters Temperance Bailey and Mary Jordan. It is believed that Margaret died young. John had important occupations in the community, but never married and produced no heirs. Cicely Farrar is believed to have married Isaac Hutchins and then Henry Sherman, but there is confusion regarding some dates and this connection remains uncertain. William Farrar II and Temperance Bailey Cocke are known to have numerous descendants.   
On March 22, 1622 the Powhatan Indians massacred about one third of the residents of Jamestown and the story goes that Cicely survived by standing in the doorway of her home and refusing to move. The Powhatan Indians, impressed by her courage and beauty determined to let her live. While this story may sound far-fetched, there is a part of me that believes it. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether or not you think it’s plausible. Their property, called “Jordan’s Journey,” was fortified and many local residents, including William Farrar, survived the attack by seeking refuge there. After the massacre many people fled to more inhabited areas, but Cicely, Samuel, William Farrar and others remained at Jordan’s Journey.   

Cicely evidently proved quite the catch in the New World, because within four days of second husband Samuel’s death, Rev. Greville Pooley sought her hand in marriage and she apparently agreed. However, Cicely was pregnant with Margaret, the child of her late husband, and wanted Rev. Pooley to remain quiet about the planned marriage for the time being. In his excitement of securing the hand in marriage of Cicely, Rev. Pooley blabbed all over town, causing Cicely to determine that she would not marry him. She supposedly remarked, “Mr. Pooley maught thank himself for he might fared the better but for his own words." Thus, began the first breach of contract lawsuit in the New World as Rev. Pooley sued my 10th great-grandmother Cicely Reynolds Bailey Jordan for refusing to marry him. William Farrar, London trained attorney and administrator of her late husband’s estate served as her attorney. The court did not know how to resolve the matter so the case was sent to London, where they also didn’t know how to settle the matter and returned it to Virginia. Finally in 1624, Rev. Pooley, persuaded by a fellow reverend withdrew his suit and Cicely married William Farrar in 1625. This case actually resulted in a Virginia law forbidding a woman from contracting herself to more than one man at the same time. 

Cecily Reynolds Bailey Jordan Farrar is credited with the “invention of flirting in America” as well as "number one wife and mother of America." (Ray, Index and Digest to Hathaway's North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, page 135.)

Cicely Reynolds m. Thomas Bailey                       Cicely Reynolds m. Samuel Jordan

Temperance Bailey m. Richard Cocke                   Mary Jordan m. Arthur Bailey

Thomas Cocke m. Margaret "Agnes" Powell      Abraham Bailey m. Mary Rogers

William Cocke m. Sarah Perrin                               Abraham Bailey m. Temperance Cocke

Temperance Cocke m. Abraham Bailey              Richard Cocke Bailey m. Mary Renard

Richard Cocke Bailey m. Mary Renard                 Mary Bailey m. Stephen E. Winfree

Mary Bailey m. Stephen E. Winfree                      Mary Frances Winfree m. John Bennett Willis

Mary Frances Winfree m. John Bennett Willis   Catherine Willis m. William Maddox

Catherine Willis m. William Maddox                     Francis Maddox m. Mary Jane Devenny

Francis Maddox m. Mary Jane Devenny              Charles Henry Maddox m. Lydia D Janke

Charles Henry Maddox m. Lydia D Janke             Maddox m. Rhoads

Maddox m. Rhoads                                                   Mom m. Dad

Mom m. Dad                                                               Me


*If the Thomas Bailey that married Cicely Reynolds is related to the Arthur Bailey that married her daughter Mary, I am unaware of the connection.

** Temperance Cocke is Cicely Reynolds great-great granddaughter through her daughter Temperance Bailey and Abraham Bailey is Cicely Reynolds great-grandson through her daughter Mary Jordan. Thus, besides being husband and wife, Temperance Cocke and Abraham Bailey were second half cousins once removed.


  1. Hello Amber. My name is Craig. I'm doing family history work and I'm a descendant of Thomas Bailey. I was looking at his record on Family search and found out that the records for Cicely on there need some straightening out. I was hoping that I could post a link from Cicely's record to this page of your blog for anyone who wants to find out more. I figure that should help keep the records consistent and accurate. I was also hoping to post the picture of Bailey's Creek marker onto the records for her and her daughter Temperance.

    Any more information that I could find out about the family would be appreciated.
    My email is

    Thank you for your help and for putting up the blog. It helps clear up her life considerably. Otherwise all I'd know is that she was recorded as married to three different men. Without the story it gets confusing.

  2. I, too, claim Temperance Bailey as a great (x10) grandmother. One of her descendants married into a Cherokee family, by virtue of which I am a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

    Fantastic history. Only the tip of the iceberg, I'm sure.

    1. Hi Mike I am also related to Temperance Bailey and would love to hear more about the Cherokee side of the family. My other side of my family is Cherokee but I never knew that there was a Cherokee part of Temperance family and I wonder if I could be related that way as well. Thanks Tracy