A peach of a man…
is our first known immigrant ancestor with the surname of Menefee. Carolyn Murray Greer wrote this biography which is posted on WikiTree for the progenitor of the Menefee family…which extends down to Giles County, Tennessee and into northern Alabama.
- George Menefee Esquire, spelled Minifye in earliest documents
- Born: circa 1596
- Devon, England, UK
- Probable: George Minifie and wife Mary Pendleton
- Sister Minife who married John Bishopp
- Sister Menife who married Roger Booker
- William Minifie who George Minifye sponsored in 1639
- Jane Pierce
- Mary Potts
- Married first to widow of John Rolfe whose maiden names was Jane Pierce
- Married second to
- Married third to
- Married fourth to Mary Potts
- Elizabeth Minifye who married Capt Henry Perry by Mary Potts
Immigration to America
- Name: George Minifie
- Arrival Year: 1623
- Arrival Place: Virginia
- Source Publication Code: 3520
- Primary Immigrant: Minifie, George
- Annotation: From state papers in the Public Record Office, London, a census of the inhabitants of Virginia taken between January 20 and February 7, 1624 or 1625. Lists 1,232 names, with ages and ships taken. Item no. 1272, Colonial Records of Virginia, has many more
- Page: 31
- His death date is given as 1646 in records I have researched.
- Parish Church of Weston(Westover) Virginia
The name Menefee has had numerous spelling variations over the centuries. Some spelled the name: Minife, Minefie, Minifye, Menifye and other variations of the surname, but the most prevalent spelling has become the surname written as Menefee. Those Menefee men were important people to lend their name to the history and the formation of this country, the great United States of America.
First settled by the English colonists in 1607 at Jamestown in the Virginia Colony, the County was formally created in 1634 as James City Shire by order of King Charles I. James City County is considered one of only five original shires of Virginia to still be extant today in essentially the same political form.
To further information on his immigration to America, George Menifie, who was born in 1596 or 1597, came to Virginia in 1623 on the Samuell from Wiltshire, England.
George Menefee is listed as counted among the living in James City on the first census taken in February of the year 1623. This first census was taken after the 1622 great Indian massacre who took the lives of a quarter of the 1,240 inhabitants within an hour of the start of the bloody ordeal.
George Minify was listed among those in the VA Early Census Index in 1624. He lived in Virginia Pioneer Township, James City County in Virginia.
George was born about 1596. George Menefee passed away in 1646. George Menefee was responsible for bringing over immigrants from England and with each sponsorship he received a grant of land.
In 1639 George Menefee sponsored William Minifie to be brought over to Charles City with a large group of people, and George received a bounty land warrant of acreage in Charles City.
George Menifie arrived in Virginia in 1623, was Burgess for James City County, 1629, and member of the Council, 1635-1646.He was one the wealthiest men of his day in the Colony, and was probably the leading merchant.
In 1634 he lived at “Littleton,” or “Littletown,”‘ not far below Jamestown.His large garden here ” contained fruits of Holland and Roses of Provence.” His orchard was planted with apple, pear and cherry trees, and peach trees. George Menifie introduced the first peach trees to America as he cultivated the first peach trees.Around the house grew, in the fashion of the times, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram.He took a prominent part in the deposition of Governor Harvey.
Later he removed to “Buckland,” an estate of 8,ooo acres in Charles City County. His only child, Elizabeth Menifie, married Captain Henry Perry of Charles City County. Captain Perry was a member of the Council. They left two daughters and co-heiresses. Daughter Elizabeth Perry married John Coggs, gentleman, of Rainslip, Middlesex, Esq. Daughter Mary Perry married Thomas Mercer, stationer, of London.
George Menifie helped raise an native american boy after he reached about ten years of age. It can be presumed that he took care of him after the death of William Perry. The following is an account:
- Pg 281
- [June 10, 1640.] Mr. George MeniFye, Esqr., this day presented to the court an indian boy of the country of Tappahannock, Christened and for the time of ten years brought up amongst the english by Captain William Perry, deceased, and […]”The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography”
- Pg 282
- Mr. George Menifye: the indian was examined and found to have been well instructed in the principles of religion, taught to read, instructed to writing: and whereas there hath formerly been given by will, a stock of three hundred pounds sterling by Nicholas Farrar, late of London, Merchant, deceased, by [for?] the Indians, whereof 24 pounds sterling was yearly to be paid to any person that should bring up three of the indian children the said Mr. Menifye for his better supportation in the education of the said indian boy desire certificate from the court of the bringing him up and instructing him in christian religion as is said: the governor and council approving and commending the care that hath been used towards this youth have condescended to the request of the said Mr. Menifye and have thought goo to recommend hereby his suit for the allowance of 8 pounds per annum, part of the said 24 pounds. towards the maintenande the said youth and to that purpose in testimony of the premises have thought good to cause the seal of the colony to be hereunto affixed.Given at James city the tenth day of June, a domini 1640.
The site of old Westover Church, near the house at “Westover,” still contains a number of tombs formerly in or near the old building. The name John James supplies information as to one of the early ministers of the parish. John Bishop was an early resident of Charles City County, as was Walter Aston. Howell Price was once clerk of the county. Virginia Council, 1641.
George Menefye was present at Court held at James City October 13, 1641. Those in attendance were:Sir Francis Wyat, Knt., Governor, Captain John West, Captain Wm. Pierce, Mr. George Menefye, Mr. Wm. Brocas, Mr. Amb. Harmer, Mr. Richmond Bennet.
The land owned by George Menifye, at least at the time, might be located using the information from this source:
[…]The area of the plat of John Harvey being given, also its northern boundary. Back Street, its eastern boundary “the Swamp lying on the East side of the said New Towne,” its southern boundary, **upon the highway close to the banke of the Main river, the approximate position of the tract was ascer- tained after several trials.
From the descriptions of the Harvey and Hamor tracts the position of those of George Menefy J and Richard Stephens, and also those of the two cross streets, all of which are men- tioned in the descriptions of the two first named, were readily found, and finally the tract of John Chew, all as shown on the Map of lames City, Va., 1607-1698.
N. B. — Lines indicated on the *’ Plat of the Tracts ** by numbers I, 2, 3, 4, II, 10, 9, are part of Sherwood (5) survey. 
- GEORGE MENEFIE of Buckland in Virginia, Esquire.Will 31 December 1645; proved 25 February 1646-7.To be buried at discretion of my wife in parish Church of Weston [Westover]. All debts in Virginia to be satisfied.All Tobacco or money debts in England to be transferred to my books, “The shipp Desire now Iyeinge before Buckland may with all possible expedition be dispatched way for England, and to bee part loaded with what Tobacco is ready here above, and receive the remainder of her ladeinge belowe, vizt, tooe hundred Hoggsheads on the partable account” 100 hoggshead my own account and the rest by discretion of a note to be found in a small book of tobacco shipped and to be shipped.
- My 100 hogsheads and my part in the ship Desire and cargo, and my 1-16 part of the William and George be consigned to Captain Peter Andrews, he to give an exact account to my heirs and executors.
- To my daughter Elizabeth Menefie all my land at Weston, att James Citty, and at Yorke River.
- To my brother John Bishopp, the money he owes me, and one-third part of my crop of Tobacco made the last summer at my plantation of Buckland.
- My sheep at Buckland to be a joint stock between my daughter Elizabeth, and son-in-law Henry Perry.
- To Mr. Jo. James £20 and 1000 lbs of Tobacco, he to preach a sermon at my funeral.
- To Mr. Jo. Converse, Chirurgeon, 2000 lbs of Tobacco.
- To my brother Roger Booker £50, he to assist Humphrey Lister in collecting my debts.
- To Jo. White, Merchant, £50, provided he continue one year longer in Virginia and collect my debts as formerly.
- Tobacco not able to go in the Desire to be sent in the Flower of London Goods consigned in the William and George to be returned in Kind.
- Everything to my wife and daughter.Executrix and guardian to my daughter; my wife Mary.
- Tobacco due to me from Captaine Tho. Varvell shall be Satisfied by Walter Aston. Satisfaction to be made to Mr. Humfrey Adlington for his care in my business concerning Chamberlaine, by Captaine Peter Andrews. Overseers friends Captain Peter Andrews, Richard Bennett, Esq.
- Witnesses Howell Prise, Hunifrey Lister.Fines, 31.
- ↑ Source Bibliography: JESTER, ANNIE LASH, and MARTHA WOODROOF HIDEN. “Musters of the Inhabitants in Virginia 1624/1625.” In Adventurers of Purse and Person; Virginia, 1607-1625. N.p.: Order of First Families of Virginia, 1607-1620 [Princeton University Press], 1956, pp. 5-69.
- ↑ Original Lists of Person of Quality, by Hotters
- ↑ Virginia, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1607-1890
- ↑ Complete listing of Early Virginia Immigrants, 1623-1666 (from book published 1912 by George Cabell Greer, now copyright-free)
- ↑ The Virginia Council & General Court Records 1640-1641 From Robinson’s notes, Virginia Historical Society Collection.
- ↑ Virginia Land Patent Record, Book I, p. 3. t /did, Book I, p. 5. J /did, Book I, p. 4.