Dear Mr. Dudley. I found your message very interesting and scholarly and I’m sure you put a good deal of thought into it. But I question your assertion that John Porter, husband of Martha, the widow Traylor, was son of John Porter, Burgess from Norfolk. How do you know? You didn’t give any documentation for this assertion.
There was certainly more than one John Porter in Henrico County. I have found mention of two being imported as headrights.
1. From Early Virginia Families Along the James River, Vol. 1 Henrico County-Goochland County: Mr. Robert Woodson received 1192 acres in Henrico, north side of James River, 26 June 1670 for transportation of 24 pers which included JNO. PORTER.
2. From Henrico County, Virginia Deeds 1677-1705, by Benjamin B. Weisiger III. 2 April 1690. There is due to Gilbert Elam, Sr. 200 acres for importation of: James Harris, JOHN PORTER, Thomas Livesay and John Walthass.
In addition, there is John Porter whose wife Mary was granted administration of his estate on 20 April 1689.
Martha’s husband John Porter could have been either one of the headrights above or possibly a son of the John Porter who d. in 1689.
Regarding John Porter, the Burgess from Norfolk, in 1663 John Hill became sheriff of Norfolk and began “a systematic persecution of the Quakers.” He turned in a good many people and reported to the House of Burgesses “that JOHN PORTER, the representative from Norfolk, was loving to the Quakers and stood well effected towards them, and had been at their meetings, and was so far an Anabaptist as to be against the baptizing of children.”
There was a trial which took place on Sept. 12, 1663 and John Porter admitted that he was “loving to the Friends but denied that his accusers could establish the truth of their accusations.” When they administered to him the Oath of Supremacy he refused to swear and was expelled from the House. In 1663, 35 persons, including “the ever irrepressible JOHN PORTER, JR.,” were arrested by Sheriff Hill. About ten days later he found another Quaker meeting on the ship Blessing and again arrested JOHN PORTER, JR. (Source: Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight, by John Bennett Boddie.)
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