John Gittens, Senior

John Gittens, Senior

Male Abt 1628 - Abt 1698  (~ 70 years)

Personal Information    |    Media    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name John Gittens  [1, 2, 3
    Suffix Senior 
    Born Abt 1628 
    • Birth year calculated based on age of his oldest child Mary. CCG
    Gender Male 
    Immigration 1645  Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • from England in about, Although no record of John's immigration can be found it is fairly certain that he immigrated from England near the end of the English Civil War. It was probable that the Civil War itself along with food shortages prior to the Civil War were the motivating factors that lead to Johns immigration.
    Religion Abt 1668  Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Quaker in, Quaker beliefs precluded militia service which was mandatory in Barbados in this era. John's refusal to bear arms and otherwise support the milita resuted in his incurring significant fines and brief imprisonment imposed by the Govoner. John also incurred fines for refusing to pay church-dues in support of the Anglican Church. Records show that these fines continued for a number of years from 1668 to at least 1674.
    Census 1680  St. Philip, Barbados, Owning 30 Acres Of Land And 8 Slaves Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    • Barbados
    Died Abt 1698  Saint Philip, Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Buried Abt 1698  Cliff Quaker Burial Grounds, St. Phillip. Parish Find all individuals with events at this location  [6, 7
    • Cliff Burial Ground, opposite St. Philip Parish Church. Richard Settle's stepson, Richard Taylor constructed a family vault in the coral stone cliff as did John Gittens, Dr. Ralph Weekes, Robert Pilgrim and others. The Thickets Meeting House was in this area.2008
    Wills 10 Nov 1698  Saint Philip, Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    • recorded
      Gething, John the Elder, Planter
      St. Philips Parish, RB6/1. p.149
      To be buried in the manner of Quakers; wf Hannah Gething; sons Joshua Gething, Samuel Gething, & Nathaniell Gething; friends Benony Pearcy, Thomas Philgrim, & John Beeke; sons Isaac Gething and Joseph Gething; dau Rebeccah Griffith widow; Gr son John Gething. (last of will missing)
      Recorded 10 Nov 1698
    Person ID I136  Gittens Direct Line from REunion
    Last Modified 18 Jul 2018 

    Family 1 Mabel,   d. Bef 1668 
    Married Abt 1646 
    • Estimated on the birth of their first child, John. CCG
    +1. Isaak Gittens,   d. Abt 1713, Saint Philip, Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location
    +2. John Gittens, Junior,   b. Abt 1648
     3. Mary Gittens,   b. Abt 1649
    +4. Joseph Gittens,   b. Abt 1655,   d. Bef 1752  (Age ~ 96 years)
     5. James Gittens,   b. Abt 1659
     6. Maria Gittens,   b. Abt 31 Jan 1660
     7. Elizabeth Gittens,   b. Abt 1661
    Last Modified 13 Nov 2018 
    Family ID F67  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Hannah (--?--),   b. Abt 1640,   d. 1721, Saint Michael, Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 81 years) 
    Married Abt 1661 
    • The marriage date is assumed at about 1 year before the birth of their first child.
    +1. Rebecca Gittens,   b. Abt 1662,   d. Bef 1720  (Age ~ 57 years)
    +2. Joshua Gittens,   b. Abt 1670,   d. 1715, Saint Philip, Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 45 years)
    +3. Samuel Gittens,   b. Abt 1674,   d. 1718, Saint Philip, Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 44 years)
    +4. Nathaniell Gittens,   b. Abt 1676, Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1752, Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 76 years)
    Last Modified 19 Sep 2013 
    Family ID F59  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Gittens Vault Cliff Quaker Burial Ground
    Gittens Vault Cliff Quaker Burial Ground

  • Notes 
    • Name: John /Gething/
      Name: John /Gettings/, ,
      Name: John /Gittings/, ,
      Name: /Gittins/, [5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]
    • John Gittens immigrated to Barbados from England in about 1645, he would have been about 17 years old. John's home was surely in Bristol or one of the surrounding counties of a, b or c. For these are the areas where he would have learned of the opportunities that were present on this small island of Barbados. These opportunities centered on the creation of wealth and a growing climate that thrived 12 months of the year and a very lucrative crop sugar. John was most likely a farmer in England and these things were very much an attraction. What compelled John to venture from England is conjecture, but the English Civil War being fought mostly in the South West certainly would have had a significant influence, as it had a significant impact on the common folk living in the South West.

      The Civil War was not a war in the normal context but rather a series of skirmishes between two completing groups. On one side were the royalists who support the King, Charles I and on the other side were the parliamentarians. These two groups were on the move constantly through the South West of England in attempts to control the economic hubs and agricultural areas were food and shelter were available. It was this constant need for food, shelter and clothing that put the first stain on the common folk most of whom had no interest in the civil war. Most folks were also compelled in some manner or another, to pick sides in the Civil War in which they had no interest in, whether it was a landlord who was a declared Royalist obliging tenants to also support the royalists, or an employer exerting a similar pressure to support the parliamentrains. Taxes to support the civil war were another significant hardship on the common folks of the era for what little wealth could be accumulated was quickly consumed by both sides with demands for taxes. When he civil war started the armies were recruited using volunteers but as the war continued so did the need for soldiers to fight. By 164x both sides had resorted to conscription to fill the ranks. All in all the civil war had a very profound impact on the everyday lives of the common folk in the South West region of England and many were looking for escape.

      The era before the civil war although peaceful was plagued by successive crop failures in England and lead to continued food shortages. This is the era that John was born and would have lived through.

      All in all it is not very difficult to understand why John would be willing to find escape from England to an island in the Caribbean where the stories of riches from sugar and a year long growing season, even though this escape meant a treacherous sea journey which John would never have experienced.
    • (Research):

      2. John Gittings, in the Year 1668. Then taken from him by John
      Higginbotham Lieutenant-Colonel, one Iron Pot, for not bearing Arms, worth 100 lb. of Sugar. Afterward the aforesaid Gittings was sent for into the Field by a File of Musquetiers, by Order of the said Higginbotham, who made his Mittimus and sent him to Goal from Constable to Constable, where he remained twelve Days, but was then set at Liberty by Daniel Searl, Governour at that Time. Ferdinando Bushel, Captain of Foot, sent a Drummer with Soldiers, and took from him a fat Hog, for not serving in Arms, which was worth 500 lb. of Sugar. Nathanael Trevanyan, Captain, sent a Soldier with a Serjeant, and took from him a Sow worth 250 lb. of Sugar. Ferdinando Bushel, Captain of Horse, sent Thomas Perry, his Deputy-Marshal, who demanded of the said Gittings 2000 lb. of Sugar for not trooping, for which he took away his Horse, and never returned any Thing again, which Horse was worth 4000 lb. By Order of a Court of War he was committed to Prison for a Year and one Day for not appearing at an Alarm. The said Ferdinando Bushel, Major, sent Samuel Buckley, Marshal, to him the said Gittings, who demanded of him 630 lb. of Sugar for not trooping, for which he took away a Mare-Colt, appraised at 1500 lb. and returned no Overplus, John Jennings, William Goodall, and other Commissioners for the Fortifications, sent Matthew Pinket, Constable, who took away from him in Cotton to the Value of 840 lb. of Sugar, for not sending seven Negroes one Week to help him build Forts.

      anno 1674 : 69. John Gettings, for not appearing to serve in the Troop, 2900lb

      46. John Gettings, for several Defaults of not appearing to serve in the Troop, 3771 lb. and for Church-dues, so called, 560 lb. In all 4331 lb.

      39. John Gittings, for not sending Men to work at the Fortifications, 344lb. for refusing to take the Oath of a Juryman, 1000lb. and for not paying Priest's Demands, 140lb. In all 1484lb.

      45. John Gettings, for Church and Priest's Dues, so called, 1 l. 17 s. 6 d.

      ANNO 1678.

      For Governour Atkins, the King's Council, and Assembly of Barbadoes.

      WITH our last Address and Account of Sufferings, we intreated you
      Ano-r Address to the Governour and Council.
      to consider how much more severe and penal the last Law for the Militia was, which was made in thy Time, more than in former Governours Times, viz. That after Execution had been levied for Default of a Footman's Non-appearance, 50lb. of Sugar, and that they that did not send should be deemed refractory, &c. and should pay for the next Default double, viz. 100lb. for a Footman, also for every twenty Acres of Land they possess, and 200lb. of Sugar for every Hundred Acres of Land they possess, or in case of no Land, for an able Horse, if they have one, and some Particulars when they have had no Horse; and for the next Default, so called, though they be willing, and do appear to do any Duty as far forth as they can for Conscience-sake, either in watching or patrolling, yet because we brought not Swords, Pistols or Muskets, which we dare not, our Fine was again doubled, and we were caused to pay 200lb. of Sugar for every Footman's Defect of Arms, and an Horseman 400lb. of Sugar, which is near forty for one a Footman may be hired for to serve in the said Time, and this by the Law comes once in two Months, and sometimes in some Places by special Order in half the Time: Which we desired and intreated might be considered as an Aggrievance, by reason a Man by his Labour cannot earn the said Goods to pay the same. And we believe the King did not intend to destroy such as could not comply with every Branch of the Law, especially such as were made Offenders, not for Stubbornness and Refractoriness, and Wilfulness, but for Conscience-sake; and after thirty Years Experience in several Governments (when sometimes were Uproars and Confusions) found innocent and always willing to pay the King his Customs, Taxes, and publick Levies of Money or Goods: We did and do believe, the King would not have such as so differ, to be destroyed (though sometimes discouraged) to prevent Hypocrites, especially by such as spend our Estates upon their Lusts, and often exceed and abuse the Law also; in which we are much discouraged, when we seek Redress, because we bring not Men to sweat the same.

      And now, Governour and Friends, we again desire you to consider our continued Aggrievance of the same Nature, and something more enacted, for when as before we made our Address, we suffered as above recited, there issince made an additional Clause to the said Act for 1000 lb. for a Footman so deficient, and 5000 lb. for an Horseman so deficient, upon an Alarm. And by thy special Order Defaults are doubled, and some exceed that, though there was no War, but the Lord alone disappointed the Intention of the Adversaries of the Peace of this Island, though they might intend us Harm, and provide for the same: We do know he commands the Winds and Seas, and they obey him, and he ought to have the Praise and the Dominion under the whole Heavens, and Mercy then will be shewn unto his Creatures, as we believe our King expects, who is a merciful Prince, and would not have his Promises made of none Effect to any of his Subjects, though they may differ in those Things merely for Conscience-sake.

      And all that we do desire of thee the King's Governour is, that under him in the future we may live a godly peaceable Life, as long as we pay him his Taxes and Customs, for Money or Goods, proportionable with other of his Subjects, which we are willing to do, but not to suffer twenty or thirty Times or more by Spoil, which is above our Ability.

      We are necessitated to complain for Redress, and we desire and intreat the Governour, in the future we may be esteemed by thee as the King's loving Subjects, as he hath owned us, and we believe will, so long as we are innocent from mischievous and wicked Designs and Practices, which our Principles, by believing in the Light of Christ Jesus, lead us out of, and as we abide in his Fear, will, we hope, preserve us, that we may have a Conscience void of Offence towards God and all Men. Amen.

      So in the Love of God we bid you Farewel, desiring the King's Prosperity and his Government, and in particular to thee, Governour Atkins, who hast much Power in thy Hand to do Good for the King, his Subjects, and thy own everlasting Peace. Amen, say thy Friends, in Behalf of the rest of our Friends.

      The 29 th of the Sixth Month called August 1678.

      Lewis Morris, Thomas Robins, Ra. Fretwell, Tho. Pilgrim, John Gettings, Henry Gullop.

  • Sources 
    1. [S135] "Caribbean, Marriages, 1591-1905. Index," database, Citing collections of the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah. Contains only some localities and time periods. Consult individual records for additional citation information., FamilySearch  , accessed 25 Nov 2012); This is a batch update of data scraped using OutWit Hub.

    2. [S131] "Caribbean Births and Baptisms 1590 -1928, index," database, Genealogical Society of Utah. Caribbean Births and Baptisms. Index based on data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah., accessed 4 Dec 2012); Data scraped using Outwit Hub from the Family Search Site.

    3. [S153] Personal knowledge of Clifford C Gittens, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE]\.

    4. [S688] Barbados and Amercia, David L Kent, (Name: Library of Congress ; Catalog Card No. 80-80184; CM Kent; 831South Frederick; Arlington, Virgina 22204; Copyright 1980 David LKent;).

    5. [S668] English Settlers in Barbados . CD-ROM database, Sanders, Joanne MsRae, (Name: Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc, n.d.;).

    6. [S685] Caribbean Family History.

    7. [S687] John Gittens Senior.

    8. [S689] English Settlers in Barbados . CD-ROM database, Sanders, Joanne MsRae, (Name: Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc, n.d.;).

    9. [S690] Barbados and Amercia, David L Kent, (Name: Library of Congress ; Catalog Card No. 80-80184; CM Kent; 831South Frederick; Arlington, Virgina 22204; Copyright 1980 David LKent;).

    10. [S205] English Settlers in Barbados, Genealogical Publishing Company, (Name: English Settlers in Barbados, 1637-1800 ; Sanders, Joanne McRee."Barbados Records: Marriages, 1643-1800."; Baltimore: GenealogicalPublishing Company, Inc. 1982. Page 211.; Reproduced on Family ArchiveCD #022 (International Records:; English Settlers in Barbados,1637-1800).; Barbados Records: Baptisms 1637 - 1800; Barbados Records:Marriages 1643 - 1800, Volumes I and II; Barbados Records: Wills 1639- 1725, Volumes I-III;), Page 447 - Baptism of Mary.

    11. [S691] The Original Lists of Persons of Quality, John Camden Hotten, editor, (1874; reprint, New York, New York: Empire State Book Co (Digitized by Google), n.d.).

    12. [S206] English Settlers in Barbados . CD-ROM database, Sanders, Joanne MsRae, (Name: Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc, n.d.;), St John parish, page 439.

Scroll to top