We will never answer all of the questions regarding our ancestors. Our work will therefore remain, as this web page, a work in progress. The material contained within these pages is provided to help you and will, hopefully, answer a few questions for you about your ancestors. It is an accumulation of research done by many Christmas descendants/researchers and myself. I feel very fortunate that so many Christmas descendants have shared their personal family information.
Since this is a work in progress web page, it does contain errors. I have tried to correct as many as possible, but know there are many that remain. Your help is needed in correcting those errors. Please drop me a note of any errors you find.
These web pages are in no way intended to be conclusive; it is only a small step on a long road. Where possible, we have documented our work. Where we have made assumptions, we have tried to note that it is an assumption and why the assumption was made. We have made an attempt to give you as many dates and locations as possible, to help you in your research. While we are of the present generations, we will be someone's great------grandparent many years from now. It is our hope that this web page will be of help to those of this generation as well as future generations.
Many transcribed documents are contained in these web pages; these transcriptions are my best efforts. I have tried to maintain the spelling as contained in the documents. Some of these documents were faded and most were written in what I call, old English script, which is difficult to read. If you would like a copy of a particular document, drop me a note and I will try to get it to you if I have it.
The web page contains some information on the following: Canadian, Irish & English Christmas families; Christmas families from TN, TX, LA, SC & others we have not been able to connect. The largest amount of information is on two Christmas branches, one originating with Thomas Christmas of Hanover Co., VA and the other Jonathan Christmas of Craven Co., SC. While we have tried to connect the VA/NC and SC families, so far we have not been successful.
At times, the Christmas name is spelled Christmus, Christmass, Christman and other ways; my gg-grandfather, William G. Christmas was buried under the name Crismas. I thank my wife, Annette, for spotting this as we looked through the records in the Virginia Archives; if she had not noticed the spelling, I probably would not have found his burial site in Oakwood Cemetery, Richmond, VA; 16,000 Confederate soldiers are buried in this cemetery. He was from the Williamsburg District, SC, and died from typhoid fever on January 23, 1863 in Richmond. Until this century, a majority of people could neither read nor write. Therefore, people wrote down names as they heard them pronounced and some poor and tired cemetery record keeper probably heard Christmas and wrote Crismas.
The Christmas name first shows up in early 1600's in Virginia and New England, and in the early 1700's in South Carolina and North Carolina. The first records, I've found is that of Dictoris Christmas in Eliz Citty Co., VA in 1620's with land on the Little Poquosun Creek; later, his wife Isabella is mentioned.
Dictoris Christmas' will was proven on Oct. 20 1654 in York Co., VA (York Co. Records No. 1. 1633-94, p. 276); his unnamed wife was executrix; after his wife's death, all real and personal property was to be given to his friend, Peter Starkey. Starkey probably married his daughter, but there is no mention of a male heir. Consequently, our Christmas line does not descend from Dictoris, unless Dictoris had previously given property to a son.
Ginger Christmas-Beattie has provided additional information on Dictoris Christmas, Victoris Christmas, Richard Christmas & others.
In "Early Virginia Immigrants," p. 66, records show a Isabell Christmas, sponsored by Victoris Christmas arriving 1635 in Elizabeth City Co. Another entry shows Isabell Christmas, wife of Victoris Christmas arriving in 1642 and sponsored by Victoris Christmas and Frances Finch. Note: Victoris and Dictoris are two different people.
Also on p. 66 is the arrival of Richard Christmas, sponsored by Capt. Henry Browne, in 1637 to James City Co. From "The Complete Book of Emigrants" by Peter Coldman, p. 412 is following: Feb. 7, 1659, Edward Wast of Corsham, [Wilts], bound to Richard Christmas, merchant, to serve 9 years in Virginia. This Richard could be very important, but I have no additional information on him.
From "VA Cavaliers and Pioneers;" some comments:
The Peter Starchey (p. 331) is probably the same Peter Starkey mentioned in Dictoris's will (Oct. 20, 1864; York Co., VA) - he was referred to as "my friend" - it is thought that he is the son-in-law of Dictoris. As I mentioned earlier, I have not found nor seen any information indicating Dictoris & Isabell had a male heir. Therefore, I do not think we descend from Dictoris, but who knows.
The Richard Christmas mentioned on p. 61, Bk. 1, Part 1, is the one that might be our best bet. I have not found any information other than this and what was in my Intro. letter. Records show him to be in James City in 1637 and in 1659 Edward Wast of Corsham was bound to him to serve 9 years in VA; Richard was referred to as a merchant.
It is this gap, from 1659 to the birth of Thomas (Bk.
14, p. 413) abt. 1690 and our Jonathan (b. abt. 1697-9, if he
is the one that witness a deed about 1720 in Chowan Co., NC,)
that needs to be filled in. If this Richard is our man, we are
missing at least one/two generations (Goodman, Charles ??)
between him and Thomas (Hanover Co., VA) and/or Jonathan
(Craven Co., SC).
[WHT: Findagrave.com - 100480607 shows Goodman Gad
Christmas, died 1708 in Stafford, Stafford Co., VA. This
memorial was created by someone called bergeron, but he has no
info on FAG. Also he shows Goodman's father as Richard, and
continues back a few generations. Information, but no
documentation? This Richard Christmas, # 223, born abt. 1590,
is under the Henry Christmas' line, web address is:
[WHT: Received the following from Marion C. Achurch on Dec. 29, 2013. I have tried to document her findings, but have not been able to prove, nor disprove. Marion did a great deal of the work on the line of Henry Christmas, which was shared with me by John Young; both are excellent researchers. ]
[At 08:27 PM 12/29/2013, you wrote:
I think I have the top of the Thomas Cross Christmas tree. His father was Charles Goodman Christmas (#1533) and his mother was Mary Cross (#1534). Charles Goodman Christmas'father was Goodman "Gad" Christmas (#1531) and his mother (Unknown #176) was Nancy or Anne Duke. Goodman Christmas'father was Richard Christmas (#223) (c-1590 in Worplesdon, Surrey, England) and mother was Mary Elizabeth Goodman. Richard Christmas' older brother was John (#222) (c-1587 in Worplesdon, Surrey, England). John may have gone to USA with his brother as there is a death listed in Virginia. John and Richard Christmas'father was John (#220)(born 1552 in Worplesdon, Surrey, England) and mother was Agnes Border (#221) and they were married in 1575 in Worplesdon.
John had a younger sister, Jone,#224 born 1554, and a younger brother, Robert #235 b-1558. John had two older brothers: William #214 b-1545 and Thomas #219 b-1549. The oldest boy, William, married in 1565 Joan (Jone) Purs b-1550. They had 3 girls and then William died in 1576. His brother, Thomas, married his brother's widow, Joan in 1576 and had 4 children \'96 of which I am a descendant of Thomas and Joan's son, Thomas.
Back to John #220 (b-1552) Christmas \'96 his father was Thomas Christmas #212 (1522-1587) a clothier of Guildford and his mother was Joan Inwood #213 (1531-1592). Thomas's father was Henry Christmas #2794 (1492 or 1493-1550) and mother, Julia #2795, who had married in 1514. I provided much of the information for Henry Christmas's tree which you list as = Henry Christmas (1492 -1550), Guildford, Cy of Surrey, England, m. Julia. These are the gggg grandparents of Sir Thomas Christmas, City of Waterford, Cy Waterford, Ireland.]
In reading these and other records, it appears both Dictoris and Richard came from England; also that Dictoris & Isabell returned to England at least once - Bk. 1, part II, p. 117. Dictoris & Richard could be related, maybe cousins, brothers - two people named Christmas - from England - same time period?
The North Carolina branch of the Christmas family, in Warren, Granville & Orange Counties, appears to descend from Thomas Christmas of Hanover Co., VA. The SC branch begins with a Jonathan Christmas of Craven Co., around 1731.
At the beginning of the section on Thomas Christmas of Hanover Co., VA, I show him to be the son of Charles Christmas, who was the son of Goodman "Gad" Christmas. This is for information only, just a another possibility.
A Jonathan Christmas was in the Chowan Precinct, NC, in 1719-20, where he was a witness to several deeds involving Richard Washington. Is this the same Jonathan Christmas? I do not know if this is the same person, or from where the SC Jonathan came or his relationship to the NC/VA branches, if any.
As with most families, we have a lot of people with identical names. The names we see repeated most often are John, William, Thomas and Richard. We also have Nathaniel or Nathan as a common name, with three being born in South Carolina about 1800-1805. In addition, we have at least two Nathaniel's born in the middle to latter quarter of the 1700s; one in North Carolina and one in South Carolina, both with fathers named John/Jonathan. Having two different Christmas groups, with similar names and time periods, has lead to some confusion, even to some researchers merging the two families. As noted, we are dealing with at least two families with similar names, I have tried to make a distinction among these families.
My earliest ancestor, George W. Christmas, b. abt. 1770 in SC, who I believe descends from William or Samuel, probable sons of Jonathan Christmas of the SC branch. This George W. had a son named Nathan (b. abt 1800 in SC). The earliest records I have of George W. and Nathan is a 1821 Marion Dist., SC legal document and in the 1830 Marion Dist., SC census. According to family legend, they were from the Kingstree & Murray's Ferry area of Williamsburg Co., a burned county.
A comment or two about the census information and the method of collection. Most Census enumerators were paid by the number of people they counted and as with most jobs, there will be some people doing good work and others doing poor work. For example: you will find people listed in one census and not in the next, but appear again in the following census in what appears to be the same area. A lot of times these people had not moved, but were simply not counted by the census taker. If people were not at home and sometimes even if they were, many census takers would ask people living in the that area for information on the family. This allowed the census takers to avoid a trip or repeated trips, especially to sparsely populated areas, and could increased the number of people counted, which determined their pay. This has caused great variances as to age, names, number of people in households, places of birth and so on between the different census reports. The census is a good source of information, but when possible, please confirm with another source.
Suggestions for improvements are appreciated.
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