Arms; Argent, on a fesse sable between three lions heads erased gules. Crest: Out of a ducal coronet or, a cock's head gules crested and wattled or.
MOTTO: "Hora E Sempre"---"Now and Forever"
Authority: Burke's "General Armory" - Bolton's "American Armory"
DESCRIPTION AS SHOWN BY TINCTURES - The shield is silver (Argent). The fesse is black (Sable). The lions heads are red (Gules). In the crest, the coronet is gold. (or) and the cock is red. (Gules) with gold (or) crest.
This is a genealogical record of descendants of Thomas Farmer of "The Neck of Land" which is now known as Farrars Island and is a part of Henrico County, Virginia.
The writer knew from the family Bible of Benjamin Farmer of Franklin Co, Ky, that he is the great grandson of Benjamin Farmer. The Bible gives the date and place of Benjamin Farmer's birth as September 13, 1783, in Chesterfield Co., Va., his marriage as October 15, 1807 in Chesterfield Co and his migration to Kentucky as 1807.
With this information to start on Mrs. Alice V D Pierrepont of Violet Bank, Petersburg, Va., a professional genealogist and a member of a Natonal Genealogical Society, was employed to trace Benjamin Farmer's ancestry back as far as she could. Her research extended at intervals over two years in Henrico and Chesterfield and nearby counties in Virginia. Mrs. Pierrepont is responsible for the data concerning Thomas Farmer whom she considers the immigrant ancestor of the Farmers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Henrico and Chesterfield counties. She is also responsible for the data concerning the first five generations after Thomas Farmer.
The writer, with the assistance of a number of other descendants of Benjamin Farmer, is responsible for the data concerning Benjamin Farmer and his descendants. Most of this data was obtained in the years 1933 to 1943, when it was interrupted by WW II. It would have been impossible to compile this record without the assistance of Mrs. W S Farmer of Frankfort, KY., who was widely acquainted in the family and had done considerable research of the Farmer family and her own Lillard family. Much help was also obtained from Mrs. AS Lillard, Frankfort, KY; Richard W Farmer of Chicago, Ill; Mrs Charles (Corrine) Lucas; Mrs George L Farmer, Louisville, Ky; Mrs. Edward C Farmer of Louisville, Ky; Mrs. Thomas A Cannon of Ashland, Ky; Miss Stella Bass, Archivist, Va. State Library, Richmond, Va; Mrs. G B McClure, Richmond, Va; Mrs Stephen W Dunwell, Poughkeepsie, NY and Mrs. Cecil V Cook, Jr. Bluefield, West Virginia, and many others.
Mrs Pierrepont found many Farmer wills, Farmer deeds and land patents and other Farmer records in Chesterfield Co., so that there is undoubtedly a wealth of data there for thousands of descendants of Chesterfield Co Farmrs not included in this record. This records lists four hundred and seventy-seven descendants of the immigrant Thomas Farmer, of whom three hundred and seventy-nine are descendants of Benjamin Farmer of the sixth generation who migrated to Kentucky in 1807. Ninety-eight of those listed herein are descendants of I Thomas Farmer of the first six generations.
The surname Farmer is derived from the early English Fermour or fermor, that is, tiller of the soil, which in turn came from the Saxon words fearme or feorme, meaning food. The name is found in early English records as Fermour, Fermor, Farmar and Farmer. Families of this name resided in England in early times in Northampton, Warwick, Shropshire, Leicester and Oxfordshire.
English sources of Farmer information:
"Early Virginia Immigrants" (1623 to 1666) by George Cabell Greer lists the following Farmer Immigrants:
Immigrants named Farmer settled in New England about 1672. Jasper Farmer's family was the first of the name to appear in Pennsylvania about 1685. Farmer immigrants from England came to the Carolinas before the Revolution. Many early Virginia Farmers migrated to North Carolina. One of the oldest hotels in Western North Carolina was built at Flat Rock, Henderson Co, by Henry T Farmer before 1850. Now called Woodfield Inn, it is still a popular hotel and a show place.
The number in front of each name indicates the generation of the person. The names are arranged starting with 2 Henry Farmer I, descendant of the immigrant ancestor 1 Thomas Farmer; then follows 2 Henry Farmer I's son 3 Benjamin Farmer of whose descendants there are no records: (**Probably my generation** bff) then follows 2 Henry Farmer I's son 3 William Farmer and his known descendants and their generations; then follows 2 Henry Farmer I's son 3 Thomas Farmer followed by his known descendants and their generations; then 2 Henry Farmer I's sons 3 John and 3 Henry II, each followed by their descendants and their generations and so on. In this manner the direct line of descent from or to the immigrant ancestor can be traced. For the first six generations the names are listed without reference to age for few of their birth dates are known. Beginning with the seventh generation the names are listed in order of their age as far as practicable.
Our Thomas Farmer, who came to Virginia in 1616, was among the first four or five thousand English settlers in Virginia. It is a matter of history that in 1616 there were only about five hundred English settlers living in Virginia out of several thousand who had come to Virginia since Jamestown was settled in 1607. The rest had died of malaria, starvation, hardship and had been killed by the Indians. The Mayflower arrived at Massachusetts in 1620, four years after Thomas Farmer arrived in Virginia.
Our ancestors in Virginia during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were generally tillers of the soil. That was the industry of most of the population at that time. Tobacco raised for export to England was a principal crop. Fines assessed by the Henrico and Chesterfield County courts were made payable in so many pounds of tobacco.
There was no coin of standard value in the colony. There were some Spanish pistoles and pieces of eight, French crowns and Dutch dollars of varying and uncertain value. there were also some English coin which passed at its value in England.
An early Virginia Farmer became one of our first American martyrs to the cause of liberty. Richard Farmer, a follower of Nathaniel Bacon, was convicted and executed in 1676 for treason against King Charles II, during Bacon's Rebellion. (Henning's Statutes 1660 - 1682, pp 378 - 550)
At the restoration of the monarchy and the accession of King Charles the second, after the Oliver Cromwell regime in 1660, the House of Burgesses, under the influence of Governor Sir William Berkeley, passed laws making the Church of England the established religion. Parishes were established; convenient Churches and Church property were provided. The pay of the clergy was fixed at eighty pounds per year and other perquisites. The churches and the clergy were supported by taxes on all the people. A few years after this, non-conformists, Quakers, Baptists, Presbyterians, Catholics and others began spreading and increasing in numbers, so that in 1664, new laws were passed placing rigid restrictions and severe penalties on all non-conformists. In 1785, under the influence of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, the church of England was dis-established as the religion of Virginia, and the laws against other denominations were repealed by the Virginia legislature. Jefferson ranked his authorship of these repeal laws with his writing of the Declaration of Independence, and the founding of the University of Virginia. The writer has often seen a monument standing near Chesterfield court house erected to the Baptist and other ministers who carried on during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Virginia.
There are records that 4 Lodowick Farmer was a member of the Vestry of his parish. The religion of the early Virginia Farmers is unknown but, being law abiding, many of them were probably Church of England. However, a majority of the descendants of 6 Benjamin Farmer and Susan Goode Farmer are known to have been Baptists.
A militia was maintained in Virginia from early times. Each county was supposed to have a Colonel, Lt. Colonel, Major, Captain and Lieutenants of Militia. All males from sixteen to sixty, except slaves and indentured servants, were mustered in each county once a year for Militia duty. Many of the muster rolls are extant. Beginning with Thomas Farmer on the muster rolls of Charles City County for 1623 and 1624 , his descendants are on many muster rolls of Henrico and Chesterfield Co, showing our ancestors were able bodied and not of the servant class. Several members served in the Virginia Line and Continental Line during the Revolution.
The Order books of Chesterfield Co. show that numerous Farmers served on grand and petit juries. Several Farmers were appointed to survey certain roads in Chesterfield Co. The will books of Chesterfield Co., show dozens of Farmer wills, both men and women, showing they were people of substance. Most of these wills, in addition to real estate and personal property, disposed of slaves. The records, particularly of Chesterfield Co., are rich in information of the descendants of Thomas Farmer in the seventeenth and eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Other Virginia counties to the south and west contain many records of these people as they spread out to other parts of the country. Anyone interested in tracing his line of descent from 1 Thomas Farmer's descendant 2 Henry Farmer I, would find these Virginia counties a happy hunting ground.