The Gordy Family
The Gordy Family
The Stories

Seeking the Origins of Adrian Gardee

If Peter and Moses Gordy were born according to their initial appearances on the Somerset County Maryland tax lists it is fairly certain that Adrian Gardee/Gordy was their father[1] The Gordy Family Y-Chromosome Project clearly indicates that Peter and Moses shared common paternal DNA[2]. In light of these facts, perusal of the ancestral origins of Adrian is of interest.

The earliest documentation we have of Adrian is the listing “Adn: Gardee serv’t to Mr Wm Brereton fourteen years of age” in the Order Book 1666-1678 of Northumberland County Virginia.[3] On 20 July 1670, “Adn: Gardee” appeared with “Pet: Gardee”, and 18 other children to have their ages judged so as to determine, according to the law, the length of their indentures. Their appearance in court implies that they did not possess formal indentures from their country of origin. “For those who had indentures, there would be no reason for their going to court unless there was a conflict to be resolved. As early as 1662, every master who bought a servant without an indenture was required by law to carry him to court within four months after the purchase to have his age judged.”[4] This law has left a court record of the existence of servant children who might otherwise have remained undocumented. Servants were often presold by a ship captain to a middleman who was then responsible for reselling them in the colony. If the servants didn’t sell immediately, the middleman often took them around the countryside offering them for sale. After this second sale the final master was required to bring them back to the court and have their ages judged and the indenture finalized.[5]

The particular group of 20 children indentured together on 20 July 1670 in Northumberland County is rather unusual. There are 380 separate entries in the Northumberland County Order Book between January 1661/62 [6] and December 1709 involving age judgment of servants without indenture records, of these only five entries include 10 or more individuals in a single record. Preston Haynie was interested in these groups and thought they each likely represented concentrated sales of servants off a ship that had docked on the Great Wicomico River coincidental with a court session.[7]

The 20 July 1670 Northumberland County record offers other hints of possible connections between the children. Included in the list of names are two pairs of possibly related children (Ad: Gardee, Pet: Gardee and Jane Servee, Mary Servee). Also significant is “John – a French boy” (no surname provided) and twelve other children with surnames that sound distinctly French. Two children definitely have English names. The remaining five children have names that are probably English of Norman origins[8]. In 1670, where were the possible locations where this combination of French and English children could have originated, and what nationality of ship could have brought them? The short-list of locations is England or Ireland: a 16th century Huguenot settlement surrounded the French Protestant Church on Threadneedle Street in London – this church also had connections with a Huguenot church and settlements in County Cork Ireland[9]. In both locations there existed economic pressures that would have encouraged the poor to seek emigration options for themselves or their children. A loss of parents often left children living on the city streets or housed in charity orphanages. The percentage of orphans among servants under 21 leaving London may have been as high as 70%.[10] It is also possible these children listed in the 20 July 1670 court record, including the Huguenots, re-immigrated from another British colonial location, perhaps Barbados, transported on a ship traveling the British intercolonial trade route[11]. In 1670 the English Navigation Acts restricted the ships that were legal to trade with the English colonies in America to English ships (registered in England or Ireland) or Colonial ships (native to a English colony registered in the colony or in England).[12] Extensive searches of emigrant/indentured servant lists from England or Ireland[13] fail to find any of the children on this court record. Emigration lists from Barbados to Virginia for 1669-70 are not accessible in the US. (The list of French emigrants from Barbados who came to Virginia in 1700 and founded the Huguenot settlement at Manokin Town was searched for the surnames in the 20 July 1670 court record. There are no matches.)

A search of Preston Haynie’s index to Records of Indentured Servants and of Certificates for Land Northumberland County, Virginia 1650 - 1795 for additional references to any of the children mentioned in the 20 July 1670 court record produces the following entry involving Pet: (Phil:) Hocar.

532.  21 Feb. 1670/71 – Whereas a French boy named Phil: Hocar, now servt to Hugh Baker, was July ye 20th last judged to be eleaven yeares if age & ordered to serve his sd Master according to Act by ye name of Pet: Hocar And when a Mr Tho: Bandenall had made oath in Court yt he bound ye sd boy by Indenture to serve but eight yeares & Mr Ewd: Lebreton hath made oath yt he sold sd boy unto sd Baker but for eight years. It is ordered yt ye former order be void and yt ye sd Philip Hocar serve his sd Master Hugh Baker only eight yeares to commence from ye first day of ye arrivalle of ye ship ye Nicholaus into great Wicomoco River. OB 1666-78, 59.” [14]

The striking information in this paragraph is the identification of the “ship ye Nicholaus”, as the ship that transported Phil Hocar.  A search for records of a Nicholaus that fit the period and the permitted ships was unsuccessful. Books of ships lists of different types were consulted, as well as several websites including the Ship Index, . There were several “possibilities” but no fit.

The second connection in the Phil: Hocar paragraph involves the legal process of servant emigration to the colonies. A servant “indenture” was a legal contract that bound the servant to a master who paid the servant’s ship passage in exchange for an agreed upon duration of service. An indenture contract made in the country of origin could be sold for a profit upon the servant’s arrival in the colonies. Those who took the indentures in Europe were most commonly mariners or merchants[15]. “Mr Tho: Bandenall had made oath in Court yt he bound ye sd boy by Indenture to serve but eight yeares” indicates that Thomas Bandenall was in the country of origin with Phillip Hocar, and he obviously was also at court in Northumberland County with him. This implies Thomas Bandinall was either a paying passenger on the Nicholaus, or her captain. If traced, he might lead to the country of origin for the children.

The Complete Book of Emigrants 1661–1699 compiled by Peter Wilson Coldham lists a reference for Bandinell, Thomas on page 178.

The entry reads: “28 July [1671] On the petition of Thomas Bandinell, Master[16] of the Nicholas of Jersey which was arrested in Virginia as an illegal trader, his penalty bond is cancelled. (APC)[17]”

Tracking this reference found the records below concerning Thomas Bandinall and the ship Nicholas of Jersey.

In the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia, 16th of March 1670/71

“Theoderick Bland Esqr having presented an information to this Court that the ship called Nicholas of Jersey now rideing in Wiccocomocoe river Tho: Bandinell Master is not a free ship to trade in America for that She belongs to the Island of Jersey, but it being affirmed that the Inhabitants of the said Island are in equall capacity with his Majesties English borne Subjects and a Copy of a Charter to that purpose appearing in court attested under the hand of Phillipp Cartwrite Esq and the Seal of the said Island It is ordered that the said Thomas Bandinell Master of the said Ship shall give bond with good and sufficient Security to saile directly for England (the danger of the Seas excepted) and shall there prove and make good that they are a free Ship to trade into America before the Kings most excellent Majesties and his Council  Wherein if they faile then this information to have a proceeding there to Judgment.[18]”


In The Privy Council of England, Whitehall, 28 July 1671

“Whereas Thomas Bandinell, Master of the Ship Nicholas of the Island of Jersey did by his petition this day presented to the Boord set forth, That according to the ancient Charters and Priviledges graunted by his Majestys Royall Ancestors to the Subjects of the said Island, and confirmed by his Majesty He traded with the said Ship to Virginia where she was arrested by Order of the Governor of that place (upon pretence that the said Ship belonging to the Island of Jersey was not a free Ship to trade to America) and was not released until the Petitioner gave 1000l. Security to prove that the said Ship was free to trade to his Majestys Plantations And forasmuch as the said Ship and also her Lading doth really belong to his Majestys Subjects of that Island and not to any Aliens whatsoever and that the whole Company belonging to her were also were also his Majestys natural born Subjects, He most humbly prayed and Order to the said Governor for delivering up the said Bond, And that his Majesty would be pleased to declare that for the future all ships belonging to his Subjects of that Island may freely trade to his Majestys Dominions in America. Which being taken into consideration together with a Memoriall from the ffarmers of his Majestys Customs Alleaging the said Ships trading to Virginia is contrary to the Acts of Trade and Navigation, It was Ordered [that the business be heard on 4 August, at which date all parties concerned, and likewise Sir Thomas Morgan, are to attend]”[19]

In The Privy Council of England, Whitehall, 4 August 1671

“[Upon full hearing of the case between Thomas Bandinell and the Farmers of the Customs] argued by the Councell learned,

It appearing to his Majesty that the Inhabitants of that Island were Ignorant of the force and Validity of the said Law in this case, His Majestie in Councell was pleased to Order  .   .  that Upon the said Thomas Bandinell causing the Custome of the Tobacco in the said Shipp to be fully and fairly paid at the Rate of Two pence per pound according to the Booke of rates the said Shipp Nicholas, and her lading shall be freede from the fforteiture demanded, and the said ffarmers having also heard his Majesties pleasure herein doe declare they will acquiesce, and not expect any defalcation from his Majestie by reason of the said fforteiture so demanded, Wherefore it is further Ordered that his Majesties Governor of the Isle of Jersey doe as well assist the ffarmers officers in Collecting the duty accordingly, as take notice that this remittall of the forfeiture so demanded is not to be drawn into precedent but on the contrary to declare to the Inhabitants of the said Island, that for the future they are not to trade in like manner to fforraine plantations contrary to the Acts of trade and navigation.  And  .  .  that the Governor of Virginia doe cancel and deliver unto the said Thomas Bandinall or his Order the said Bond of One Thousand Pounds upon his having submitted to the payment of the Duty aforesaid. And it is further ordered, that if the said Thomas Bandinell shall think fit to export any of the said Tobacco within the time limitted by the book of rates that then he shall receive back such part of the said duties as are here in England allowed by the said book of rates, provided that he adjust with the ffarmers how the same may be done without prejudice to them because they have noe fixed Office in that Island.”[20]

The cited records clearly place the ship Nicholas, with her Master Thomas Bandinall on the Island of Jersey prior to 20 July 1670, present in Northumberland County Virginia court on 21 Feb 1670/71 and arrested with a load of tobacco on the Wiccomico River in Virginia prior to 16 March 1670/71.

Reviewing the original emigration possibilities for the children: if they were from London, the ship would have sailed from London, with English papers, and had no problem in Virginia. Had the ship sailed first to Barbados, they might have had “free ship” issues there, as it was also an English colony. It also seems unlikely that Bandinall would have gone to court in Virginia to testify for Phil: Hocar if he were an unknown child he picked up in London or Barbados. It seems more probable that Bandinall knew Hocar and his family. Jersey Sailing Ships by John Jean records Thomas Bandinell operating as a ship captain/merchant between Jersey and Newfoundland in 1675.[21]

Situated only 14 miles off the coast of Normandy, Jersey was originally a part of the Duchy of Normandy. In 1066 it became a possession of the English crown when their Duke, William of Normandy, became William the Conqueror of England. Jersey continued to trade extensively with France – enjoying special privileges that encouraged this trade while insuring their loyalty to England.  In the 17th century as the relationship between England and France deteriorated toward war the tariffs levied on trade between them escalated. Jersey was a major supplier of knitted stockings to France. In 1654 the French put a tariff on knitting from the English affiliated Jersey, greatly reducing their sales to France and seriously impacting the Jersey economy. “By the second half of the century, island population had so exceeded the land available for its support that Jersey imported over half its grain every year, in large part from France. Under these conditions it was ‘not easie for a Man . . . to enlarge his Patrimony, in a country so full of people.’[22]”[23]

This evidence indicates that Adrian and Peter Gardee may have been from Jersey, Channel Islands. Now it remains for us to seek indications of ancestors and DNA from potential relatives there.

Eileen Gordy, 25 November 2014



  1. For a more detailed discussion of the birth dates of Peter and Moses Gordy, see The Gordy Family Website, Stories, Peter and Moses.
  2. Gordy DNA Surname Project Results.  For a discussion of the results, see Y-Chromosome DNA Test Results.
  3. Northumberland County Virginia Order Book 1666-1678, p.49. Northumberland County Courthouse, Heathsville VA.
    Preston Haynie, Records of Indentured Servants and of Certificates for Land, Northumberland County, Virginia 1650-1795. Heritage Books, 1996, p. 100.
    Facsimile copy and transcription of this document is available at
  4. Preston Haynie, p. 8.
  5. For general discussions of indenture practices and conditions in Chesapeake area see:
    -Lois Green Carr, Philip D. Morgan and Jean B. Russo, Editors. Colonial Chesapeake Society. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill NC, 1988.  Essay 2: Russell R. Menard. British Migration to the Chesapeake Colonies in the Seventeenth Century.
    -Richard Hofstadter. America at 1750 A Social Portrait. Vintage Books, 1973. p. 33-65.
    -Aubrey C. Land, Lois Green Carr, Edward Papenfuse, Editors. Law, Society and Politics in Early Maryland. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977.  Chap. 4: Russell R. Menard, Immigrants and their Increase: The Process of Population Growth in Early Colonial Maryland; Chap. 5: Lorena S. Walsh, Servitude and Opportunity in Charles County Maryland, 1658-1705.
    -Edmund Sears Morgan. Virginians at Home, Family life in the Eighteenth Century. Colonial Williamsburg Inc., Williamsburg VA, 1952, p. 51-57.
    -Thad W. Tate and David L. Ammerman, Editors. The Chesapeake in the Seventeenth Century, Essays on Anglo-American Society. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill NC, 1979.  Essay 2: James Horn, Servant Emigration to the Chesapeake in the Seventeenth Century.
  6. Before 1751 England, Wales, and all British dominions used the Julian calendar by which the new year began on 25 March. Since 1751, 1 January has been the first day of the year (the Gregorian calendar). Dates that fall between January 1 and March 25 in transcriptions of historical documents prior to 1751 often have the date noted as e.g. 25 Feb 1670/71 or 1670(71).
  7. Preston Haynie, p. 3.
    Prior to Preston Haynie’s death I had a phone conversation with him about the 20 July 1670 court record and the possible significance of the indenturing of a group of 20 children in a single record.  At that time he also indicated that the surviving Northumberland County Virginia Order Book 1666-1678 was the original document upon which the court record was scribed as it was heard.
  8. French sounding names: Pet: Gallee, Adn: Gardee, Pet: LaFolly, Pet: Gardee, Nich. Lee-how, Ellis Merrett, Rachell Grandee, Jane Servee, Pet: Hocar, Mary Servee, Clem. Cheksheir, and Robert Barbar; Definitely English names: Pet: Cartwright, and John Atkins. The five remaining names are English/French, often defined as “English of Norman origin”: Franc: Jude, Julian Gillen, Math: Swath, Colen Severin, and John Hamlin.
  9. Selected records of the Church of Threadneedle Street have been transcribed and are available in book and CD from the Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland (formerly The Huguenot Society of London). Applicable volumes were ordered and searched. While there are a few spellings close to Gardee documented, none is in a timeframe to be Adrian’s parent. The listings are: one of a grandfather’s age and one of a younger brother’s age in London, one of a daughter’s age in Southhampton, and one of a son’s age in Ireland. While it is possible that some were related to Adrian, without DNA connection to a descendent we do not have enough information to determine any relationship.
    Website of the Huguenot Society:
  10. Thad W. Tate and David L. Ammerman, Editors. The Chesapeake in the Seventeenth Century, Essays on Anglo-American Society. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill NC, 1979.  Essay 2: James Horn, Servant Emigration to the Chesapeake in the Seventeenth Century, pp.83-84.
  11.  “The numbers of colonists migrating to Virginia from other colonies never approached those coming directly from England.”  “Measuring the relative numbers of intercolonial and transatlantic immigrants with any precision is impossible because, while estimates exist for transatlantic migration, evidence for intercolonial movement is almost entirely anecdotal.” April Lee Hatfield. Atlantic Virginia, Intercolonial Relations in the Seventeenth Century. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia PA, 2004, p. 86-87.
    No evidence of the children could be found in the Barbados records that are available from the US.
  12.  The Navigation Act of 1660 required ships’ crews to be three-quarters English and “enumerated products” not produced in England (e.g. tobacco, cotton, sugar) to be shipped from the colonies only to England. Ship captains were required to post bond to ensure compliance but could recoup the funds upon legal arrival in England.
    The Navigation Act of 1663 required that all goods imported by the colonies be shipped from England and carried in “English bottoms” i.e. English or English Colonial registered ships.
  13. Emigrant and indentured servant lists consulted:
    - Peter Wilson Coldham. The Bristol Registers of Servants Sent to Foreign Plantations, 1654-1686.      Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1988.
    - Peter Wilson Coldham. The Complete Book of Emigrants 1661-1699: A Comprehensive Listing Compiled from English Public Records of Those Who Took Ship to the Americas for Political, Religions, and Economic Reasons; of Those Who Were Deported for Vagrancy, Roguery, or Non-Conformity; and of Those Who Were Sold to Labour in the New Colonies. Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore MD, 1990.
    - P. William Filby. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index (available online at Ancestry )
    - John Camden Hotten. The Original Lists of Persons of Quality: Emigrants; Religious Exiles; Political Rebels; Serving Men Sold for a Term of Years; Apprentices; Children Stolen; Maidens Pressed; and Others Who Went from Great Britain to the American Plantations, 1600-1700, with Their Ages, the Localities Where They Formerly Lived in the Mother Country, the Names of the Ships in which They Embarked, and Other Interesting Particulars. From MSS. Preserved in the State Paper Department of Her Majesty's Public Record Office, England. London. 1874. Digital versions at Ancestry.
  14. Preston Haynie, p. 102.
  15. John Horn, “Servant Emigration to the Chesapeake in the Seventeenth Century”, p.87-95, The Chesapeake in the Seventeenth Century – Essays on Anglo-American Society, UNC Press, Chapel Hill NC, 1979.
  16. “Master” was the term commonly used in this period to refer to the man in control of a ship, the title “Captain” was reserved for military use. In this context it has no intrinsic relationship to the use of “master” in relation to an indentured servant.
  17. Peter Wilson Coldham. The Complete Book of Emigrants 1661-1699, 1990, p. 178.
  18. Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia 1622-1632, 1670-1676 With Notes and Excerpts From Original Council and General Court Records, Into 1683, Now Lost, H.R. McIlwaine, Editor, Richmond Virginia, 1924, p. 243.
  19. Acts of the Privy Council, Colonial Series, Vol. AD 1613-1680, W.L. Grant, James Munro, Sir Almeric W. Fitzroy, Editors, Published by Authority of the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty’s Treasury, Hereford, Printed for His Majesty’s Stationery Office by Anthony Brothers Limited, 1908. p. 568-9.
  20. Acts of the Privy Council, Colonial Series, Vol. AD 1613-1680, p. 569.
  21. John Jean, Jersey Sailing Ships, Phillimore & Co. Ltd, Chichester, Sussex, 1982, p. 46.
  22. Philip Falle, An Account of the Isle of Jersey, The Greatest of Those Islands that are now the only Reminder of the English Dominions in France with a New and Accurate Map of the Island. London: John Newton, 1694. p 84.
  23. Phyllis Whitman Hunter, Purchasing Identity in the Atlantic World –Massachusetts Merchants, 1670 – 1780. Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, 2001, p. 47.


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