John Painter Sr.

Death 1771 (aged 60–61)
Frederick County, Virginia, USA
Burial Nineveh, Warren County, Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 104164263 View Source
Suggest Edits

Immigrant. Pioneer of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.

John Painter, born roughly 1710, reportedly in England, is said to have been a runaway blacksmith's apprentice who paid for his passage to America by laboring as an indentured servant.

John Painter and Hannah Braddock were married on 9 June 1735 in the Province of New Jersey. The marriage record identified John as a "yeoman," the respectable owner of a small farm, and Hannah, then 22, as a "spinster" in the sense of a single woman who had never married. Both were then residents of Evesham, a township in Burlington County, New Jersey, settled originally in the 1670s by Quakers. The couple are known to have had seven children who lived to maturity, all born in Burlington County. (This marriage record is the earliest known record of John Painter.)

John Painter purchased from Jost Hite 189 acres in Frederick County, Colony of Virginia, in October 1742, and an additional 125 acres there in November 1749. (As recorded in Frederick County Deed Book 2.) In 1760, the family of John and Hannah Painter relocated permanently from New Jersey to Frederick County, Virginia.

Mary Roberts (née Antrim) (1794-1885), the youngest child of Hannah (née Painter) and Godfrey Antrim, and granddaughter of Hannah (née Braddock) and John Painter wrote: "I will now give an account of my Mother's ancestors: John Painter, my grandfather on my mother's side was born in England and at the age of 15 years was bound an apprentice to learn the blacksmith trade. He served until he thought he was a master of the trade, being under a hard master who on certain occasions was sent to buy some bread took the liberty to slice from a loaf and eat it, which cause him a severe flogging at the hands of his master. From that time he quietly worked on an escape from his cruel master and seek his fortune in America. He went on board a ship without a cent of money to pay his passage over. After he worked out his passage he went to Virginia and took a claim and began an improvement. He borrowed a horse from a neighbor to ride a short distance. The horse was returned and yoked. It turned out as he intended, but before the owner had used the horse he was found dead, hung in the yoke. So the owner demanded pay for the horse. Mr. Painter, not wishing any trouble with the man, went to work and earned the money and paid his unreasonable demand. Shortly after this he was married to Hannah Bradock [sic] who was supposed to be related to General Bradock. She was a very stout, thorough going woman, well able to endure hardship incident to frontier life. He put up a rude cabin in the wilderness, built a shop, worked at his trade, cleared land. In the mean time his wife proved to him a helpmate for she assisted him in all his toils, both in and out of doors. By honest labor and rigid economy he acquired property and supported a family of seven children named as follows; John, Robert, Thomas and Isaac, Jane, Sarah, and Hannah, 3 of his sons received farms and one received a trade. He set up his daughter for housekeeping during this time. He joined the Quaker church, leaving his children to choose for themselves. Several of the children joined the Quakers. Hannah, which was my Mother, joined the Methodist church." (Mary Antrim Roberts Autobiography (undated; late 1800s) in: Clyde V. Antrim, The Antrim Genealogy News, 1998, retrieved 1 Dec 2018 from Internet Archive Wayback Machine:
Mary Roberts (née Antrim) (1794-1885), was the youngest child of Hannah (née Painter) and Godfrey Antrim. The original copy of the Mary Antrim Roberts Autobiography is not available, yet the text is filled with so much humble, domestic material that one can hardly imagine anyone taking the trouble to fabricate it.


"License of marriage on the ninth day of June anno domini one thousand seven hundred and thirty five was granted by his excellency William Cosby Esq. Captain General and Governor in Chief of the provinces of New Jersey and unto John Painter of Evesham, Yeoman of the one party, and Hannah Braddock of the same place, spinster of the other party.
Saml. Bristill Register.
[Signed] Wm. Cosby"
(New Jersey Colonial Records, vol. 22.)
This is the earliest known record of John Painter.

John Painter, senior, on 1 June 1758 obtained from Thomas Branson a 99-year lease for a 4-acre tract on the southeast side of Crooked Run to be used "for a Friends' Meeting house & burying ground, for that use, and no other." The Crooked Run Meeting House at that site was active until 1810. Meanwhile, the Zion Baptist Church was built nearby. A Presbyterian congregation later worshiped in the Zion Baptist Church until it acquired the meeting house lot and built its own church there. The Nineveh Presbyterian Church property today contains both the old Quaker burial ground and its own church cemetery. Formerly in Frederick County, Nineveh is now in Warren County.

On 8 October 1759: "john Painter by Wm Foster requested our certificate & his wife by ye weomen fnds [Friends] in order to recommend them to fnds of hopewell monthly meeting in verginia Therefore Wm Foster & Thomas Wilkins are appt to that service and report to next meeting." (Haddonfield Monthly Meeting, Minutes, 1731-1935, p. 410.)

John Painter's permanent relocation from New Jersey to Virginia: "At this Meeting [on 4 Feb 1760 of the Hopewell Monthly Meeting in Frederick County, Virginia] John Painter produced a Certificate for him self from Hatenfield [sic] Monthly Meeting in West New Jersey which being Read here was Received."

Will of John Painter, senior, of the parish and county of Frederick in the Colony of Virginia, dated 6 Feb 1770, proved 5 Mar 1771: "My well beloved wife Hannah do have the full use of the plantation whereon I now live during her widowhood [...] It is my will that all the remainder of my movable estate be equally divided amongst my said children as I allow, Sarah Humber, John Painter, Robert Painter, Jane Branson, Thomas Painter, Isaac Painter, and Hannah Painter to them their heirs and assigns forever." The actual date of John Painter's death is not known.

Research notes

John Painter's parents are unknown. There is no evidence that this John Painter was the son of George Painter and Elinor Musgrove (or Lydia Pusey). There is no known record of his birth. He was said to have been born in England. As an English colonist, he did not need to be naturalized. His estimated year of birth, 1710, is based on the year of his marriage, 1735, and the assumption that he was about the same age or a bit older than his wife, who was born in 1713.

There is no evidence that this John Painter was ever called "Jonathan" or "Johann." Primary-source records—marriage, Quaker, land, and will—all use "John."

Great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather of submitter.

Reviewed 28 May 2020.

Family Members

Gravesite Details No marker.