A Family Research Project

A. Ray Griffin, Olde Ghote

Last Updated 25 June 2000



Find the connection between the Gelding/Griffith lines to the Yeardley family/families.



One of the "leads" that might connect Gelding/Griffith lines to Yeardley is HARMANSON. There was close association between these families. Jerom Griffith (d 1708) named "my friends Lt Col William Waters, Capt. William HARMANSON and Capt Francis Costin" to assist his widow with the estate. Also witnessing the will were William HARMANSON and Henry HARMANSON JR.

Also, Jerom's wife, Elizabeth Gelding, must have had a connection with Yeardly ESQ.: In 1665, Jerom registered a cattle mark for cattle his wife received when she was a child from YEARDLY ESQ. Anything anyone might have regarding connections between Harmansons and Griffiths and Harmansons and Geldings would be greatly appreciated.

Unless my research in the English Records around London can uncover that illusive marriage record, or will or whatever; I will have to depend upon the preponderance of evidence that I can gather.



Elizabeth //, wife of William Gelding, was the daughter of Sir George Yeardley.



1. Sir George Yeardley is known to have had three children: Francis, Argol, and Elizabeth. Francis and Argol are well documented in the records. Elizabeth just disappears from the Records.

2. After Sir George died 1627 and Temeprance bef Feb 1629, the three children were sent to England to be with their Uncle, Ralph Yeardley.

3. In 1639, Argol Yeardley returns to Virginia to claim his inheritance and huge Eastern Shore land holdings on Mattawoman Creek. Francis Yeardley returned during the same era. What about Elizabeth? In the 1640s, Argol grants cattle to his children. However, the registering of cattle marks by Jerom prove the conveyance. Elizabeth Gelding would have been the niece of Argol Yeardley ESQ. and was certainly a child in the 1640s.

4. William Gelding is shown as being imported by virtue of a land grant claimed by William Burdett for 1050 ac in Accomack Co 18 Mar 1639. Elizabeth Gelding is shown as being imported by virtue of a land grant claimed by John Clarke for 250 ac in Lower Norfolk Co 20 Oct 1648. This would suggest that William and Elizabeth were married in England before coming to Virginia. William and Elizabeth Gelding appear in Eastern Shore Court Records as early as Feb 1644/5. In 1666, William Gelding acquired a patent for part of the land that Burdett had claimed in 1639. Obviously, my Gelding stayed on the Eastern Shore.

Gelding and its variant forms was an unusual name for the colony during this period.

4A. As shown in Whitelaw, Yeardley was to the northwest, Gelding to the east and south, and Griffith to the south. They lined up pretty well.

5. Sir George Yeardly was baptised at St. Saviour's, Southwark, London. This is where my search is now located. Looking for the marriage or other records that might connect Elizabeth and William.

Since Elizabeth became a ward of Ralph Yeardly, it is logical to think that she married there and other records regarding her are there.

6. In another section of London, Surry at All Saints Kingston upon Thames, one finds Geldings in the 1650s and later with names like MOSES Gilding, David Griffin, Gwen Griffeths, ......You see how I can begin to dream that the noose is tightening around this rabbit.

Another significant thing about the names above is the name MOSES. Moses was a name in the Griffith family that began repeating itself in the latter half of the 1700s. It was the MOSES clue that led me to the Eastern Shore of Virginia to find my connection to Jerom Griffith. I hope this luck holds out.


Well, fellow ghotes and others, there you have it. Any clues, sniplets, etc that one can find that even hints of a Harmanson, Custis (from Francis Yeardley's marriage), Griffith, Gelding connection, please let me know.

Thanks so much!
Ray Griffin

25 June 2000 Update:
Since I posted this research query, I have communicated with several individuals, all of whom agree that this theory is very plausible. Unfortunately, we are all still working on it. While at the most recent GHOTES conference, I noted with great interest information on Dr. Bill's computer that William Gelding married Elizabeth Gelding in St. Michaels, Worchester, England. Now, on to the English Records once again!

If any ghotes or browsers have information that might help Mr. Griffin find this connection, please send a message to him at ghotes@esva.net with a copy to him at griffin2@mindspring.com

All help and suggestions greatly appreciated.

Barbara Cox
ghotes home page proprietor

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