Perhaps the Armisteads, pronounced “Ahmi-steyud” by colonial Virginians, are not the most important First Family of Virginia, but their impact is without question. They feature in most First Family genealogies, including two presidential lines the Tylers and Harrisons. They also have ties to other important figures such as Robert E. Lee and Robert “King” Carter to name a few.
Beyond family connections, the Armisteads were involved in settling along early Hampton and Norfolk as well as the Middle Peninsula, where the main family branch settled. Soon thereafter, the Armisteads were involved in not only Virginia, but also Maryland, and then North Carolina, before they started to spread south and westward into the evolving United States.
Along the journey, Armisteads featured in all of early America’s Wars from Independence to 1812, Mexico, and the Civil War to name a few. The most notable figures from those conflicts were William and his slave James, George, and Lewis Armistead respectively.
The Armisteads did more than fight America’s wars; however, they helped unite leading families, and build a Commonwealth as well as a newly formed Country. For that, their inclusion in the First Family list is undeniable.
LINKS TO THE PODCAST:
- Appleton, William S. The Family of Armistead of Virginia. Boston: Press of David Clapp and Son, 1899.
- Barnhart, Becky F. “Hesse Research” Compiled for Matthews County Historical Society Inc. March, 2006. Unpublished.
- Billings, Warren M.; Selby, John E.; and Tate, Thad W. Colonial Virginia: A History. White Plains, NY: KTO Press. 1986.
- Billings, Warren M. Sir William Berkeley and the Forging of Colonial Virginia. Baton Rouge, LA: LSU Press, 2004.
- Billings, Warren. A Little Parliament: The Virginia General Assembly in the Seventeenth Century. Richmond, VA: Library of Virginia, 2004.
- Billings, Warren, and Dictionary of Virginia Biography. “John Armistead (fl. 1650s–1690s)” Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (22 Dec. 2021).
- Bruce, Phillip Alexander. Social Life of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century: An Inquiry into the Origin of the Higher Planting Class. New York: JP Bell Company, 1927.
- Dabney, Virginius. Virginia: The New Dominion, A History from 1607 to the Present. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1971.
- Dozier, Graham. “Lewis A. Armistead (1817–1863)” Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (22 Dec. 2021).
- Evans, Emory G. A “Topping People”: The Rise and Decline of Virginia’s Old Political Elite, 1680-1790. Charlottesville, VA: UVA Press, 2009.
- Fischer, David Hackett. Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: a cultural history). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
- Freeman, Douglas Southall. George Washington: A Biography. New York: Charles Scribners, 1957. (Specifically Volume 1).
- Garber, Virginia Armistead. The Armistead Family: 1635-1910. Richmond, VA: Whittet and Shepperson Printers, 1910.
- Horn, James. Adapting to A New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
- James, Clifford. “Battles That Saved America: North Point and Baltimore 1814” The National Museum of the United States Army.
- Mapp, Alfred J. Virginia Experiment: The Old Dominion’s Role in the Making of America, 1607-1781. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc., 2006.
- McCartney, Martha W. Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers: A Biographical Dictionary, 1607-1635. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2007.
- Meade, William. Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia. in Two Volumes. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1891.
- Neill, Edward D. Virginia Carolorum: The Colony under the Rule of Charles The First and Second, A.D. 1625-A.D. 1685. Albany, NY: Joel Munsell’s and Sons, 1886.
- Pecquet du Bellet, Louise. Some Prominent Virginia Families, 4 Volumes. Lynchburg, VA: J.P. Bell Company, 1907.
- Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Auburn, AL: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 1999.
- Salmon, John, and Dictionary of Virginia Biography. “James Lafayette (ca. 1748–1830)” Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (22 Dec. 2021).
- Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and the James River. Richmond, VA: The Hermitage Press, 1906.
- Walsh, Lorena S. Motives of Honor, Pleasure, and Profit: Plantation Management in the Colonial Chesapeake, 1607-1763. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.
- Washburn, Wilcomb E. Virginia Under Charles I and Cromwell 1625-1660. Kindle Edition.
- Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. Virginia Under the Stuarts: 1607-1688. New York: Russell and Russell, 1959.
- Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. The Planters of Colonial Virginia. Kindle Edition.
- “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 6, no. 1 (1897): 31–33. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1914798
- “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 6, no. 2 (1897): 97–102. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1915366
- “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 6, no. 3 (1898): 164–71. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1914603
- “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 6, no. 4 (1898): 226–34. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1915886
- “Armistead Family (Continued from Vol.VI p.226).” The William and Mary Quarterly 7, no. 1 (1898): 17–24. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1919906
- “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 7, no. 3 (1899): 181–86. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1923246
- “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 8, no. 1 (1899): 63–70. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1915807
- Armistead, Constance. “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 11, no. 2 (1902): 144–45. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1915166
- “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 14, no. 4 (1906): 282–85. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1916230
- “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 17, no. 2 (1908): 145–46. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1916059
- “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 22, no. 1 (1913): 64–67. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1915076
- “Armistead Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly 25, no. 2 (1916): 117–23. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1915194
- Fort McHenry
- Hesse Plantation – Virginia Department of Historical Resources
- Lewis Armistead – Stone Sentinels
- Matthews County Historical Society
- Colonial Virginia Portraits – Armistead Family
All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is of the Armistead Family Crest. Photographs from top left to bottom right – Original Hesse Drawing, James Armistead Lafayette, Hesse Plantation – 1983 Lewis Addison Armistead, Hesse Plantation 1935.
Music used for the first episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on Apple Music, and “The Crossing” performed by The East Pointers, also available on Apple Music.