Christopher Mercer I

Barbados, English Settlement:
When Spain and Portugal came through the Caribbean, they either overlooked the flat island of Barbados or they bypassed it. But in 1625, Captain John Powell landed near modern-day Holetown to claim Barbados for England in the name of King James I. The settlement started in earnest on Feb. 17, 1627 when 80 English settlers and 10 African slaves made their home on the west coast. Many of the early settlers were the misfits of English society: gamblers, kidnappers, political refugees, etc. Younger or second sons of wealthy English families also came to Barbados to claim land, money, and a chance at starting a life of their own. Often, they worked as indentured servants for two to ten years…

1 William Mercer (1590 – )
……2 Christopher Mercer (1612 – 1671)
………3 Thomas Mercer (1648 – 1718)
…………4 Christopher Mercer (1672 – 1711)
……………5 Thomas Mercer (1695 – after 1780)
………………6 Shadrach Mercer (1740 – 1800)
…………………7 Thomas-Martin Mercer (1779 – 1821)
……………………8 Nancy Anne Mercer (1804 – after 1850)
……………………+ Ezekiel Tyson (1800 – Bet. 1840 and 1850)

November 2, 1644 Stepney, England–Christopher Mercer, Cooper marries Mary Simson. (MS 9241/1 Mar. Records, Holy Trinity London)

May 12, 1654–Barbados, West Indies–John Moseley sells to Christopher Mercer, cooper, of ye said Island, sixteen feet of fifty foote in length of land and ground Southwest from ye Street path towards ye sea side and one halfe of ye messuage of tenement commonly called or known by ye name or sign of ye KEEN’s HEAD, situated or lying in ye Parish of St. Michaels at ye Bridgetown. Witnesses: Francis Moses, Sr., John Lachilus, Thomas Sanford.

December 2, 1667–Barbados, West Indies-Christopher Mercer married Mrs.Elizabeth Souter, a widow.

May 12, 1654–Barbados, West Indies Christopher Mercer of the Parish of St. Michaels, Island of Barbados, Cooper, givespower of attorney to Thomas Fenford, cooper, my loving friend, dwelling on the Southward Branch of the Elizabeth River in Virginia, to cover business dealings in Virginia. Witnesses : William Henderson, John Workman, Thomas Hart.

April 15, 1669–Norfolk County, Virginia-Court Minute Book page 32,Thomas Fenford, Attorney for Christopher Mercer sued James Harris for the hire of a servant boy that the said Harris hired of the said Mercer in Barbados, but said Harris alleging that his ship was taken and therefore the servant’s wages lost, but by reason of a hurt of a servant while in Harris employment (that of a Cooper ) , it is ordered that Harris pay for the cure thereof.

August 16, 1669–Norfolk County, VA, Court Minute Book page 36 Thomas Fenford 100 acres for the transportation of himself and Thomas Mercer.

December 5, 1670–Barbados, West Indies-Will of Christopher Mercer names wife, Elizabeth, executrix; Sons Thomas and Joseph. Other legatee William Hart, son of Thomas Hart witnesses: Henry Hunt, Thomas Cardew, Thomas Hart. Will probated April 18, 1671 Filed on May 5, 1671.

June 15, 1671–Norfolk County, Virginia, Court Minutes Book page 67 Whereas, Thomas Fenford, Attorney for Christopher Mercer hath made it appear there is due said Mercer from William Henderson full quality of 300 # meat porke with out the head or hoofe was sent by Mercer in Barbados, clear of all charges, especially from under Henderson’s hand did appear order that Henderson send said porke and pay cost of suit.

Will of Christopher Mercer, Barbados, West Indies – entered 5 May, 1671


I, Christopher Mercer, being at present weake and sick in body but good and perfect memory, God Be Praised. Upon the consideration of the certainty of my mortality doe make my last will and testament and revoking, nullifying, and makeing voyd and every former will or wills, gifts or promises by me hereto fore made, done or executed any wayes relating to my temporall Estate either reall or personall, doe make this present writing and declare the same to bee and forever abide — my last will and testament as followeth. Dated this fifth day of December in the year of our Lord, One Thousand Six Hundred and Seventy.

Imprimus – I surrender my soul unto Almighty God the giver and faithful creator of my body. I commit to the ground in faith and full assurance through Christ Jesus of the glorious resurrection.

Secondly – for my Temporall Estate be it reall estate or personall estate I will, bequeath, give and devise unto my loving wife to be hers and her assigns forever.

Thirdly – I will and give unto my sonne, Thomas Mercer, three hundred pounds of Muscovado Sugar or Forty shillings Sterling money for his portion when he shall come to this Island to receive the same. And unto my sonne, Joseph Mercer I will and bequeath three hundred pounds of like sugar or Forty Shillings Sterling money for his portion when he shall come to this island to receive the same, the which two said portions I give unto my two said sonnes to be their portions in full to each of them and each shall be barred from all other claims by any pretence whatsoever unto the provised and prebequested Estate.

Fourthly – I will and bequeath to William Hart, the sonne of Thoams Hart, four hundred pounds of Muscovado Sugar to be paid at the discretion of my Executrix herself named.

Lastly – I do nominate and make my well beloved wife, Elizabeth my sole Executrix to receive my credits, to pay my debts, to see my body in case of my mortality to be buried. To pay my legacies and after all these are done and executed, the remainder of my estate, be it reall or personall, to be and remains to and with her or her assigns forever.

In witness of this last will and testament the same I doe declare and publish in the presence of Henry Hunt, Thomas Hart and Thomas Cardew and hereunto put my hand and seal the day and year aforesaid.

Christopher Mercer

(his mark)

Henry Hunt

Thomas Cardew

Thomas Hart

By the Deputy Governor – personally appeared before me this day 18th of April, 1671,

Henry Hunt, Thomas Cardew and Thomas Hart, being sworne on the Evangelist of God, and say that they did see the above named Christopher Mercer signe seal and publish the within and above will to be his last will and Testament as it is written and that their several names and handwritings are subscribed as above for proof thereof.

Given under my hand the day and year above written.

Christopher Codrington

All the spellings and capitalization above are those of the original.

Mercer Family Research by Don Mercer, 1985.