ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY, VIRGINIA
The Indian name for the county of Isle of Wight was Warrosquyoake, spelt in some sixteen or seventeen different ways.
The first English settlement of this county was made by Captain Christopher Lawne and his party in April, 1619. He landed at Jamestown, on the 27th of April. They settled at the point of land in Isle of Wight, then and ever since known as “Lawne’s Point” (eleven miles from Jamestown), which is separated for the county of Surry by a creek still called “Lawne’s Creek”, and the point is bounded on the north and west by Lawne’s Creek, and on the east and south by the James River.
Warrosquyoake existed as a county until 1637, when the name of the county was changed by an act of the General Assembly to Isle of Wight. The county was one parish, and the parish was called Warrosquyoake. It continued to be called by this name until March, 1642/43, when the county was divided into two parishes, to be called, respectively, The Upper and The Lower Parish.
The boundaries of the two parishes were: The Upper Parish to extend from Lawnes Creek to the eastern side of the Bay, and the creek dividing the plantation of Sam Davis and Joseph Cobbs to be the extent and division of the said Upper Parish. The Lower Parish to extend from the Pagan-poynt uppon the river side to the plantation of Richard Hayes, from the Pagan-poynt upon the bay including all the southerly side to the plantation of the said Cobbs, and that all the inhabitants alreadie residing or that hereafter shall reside on that side to belong to the said Lower Parish. (Parish Lines – Diocese of Southern VA – Cocke. Cocke’s reference is 1 Henning p. 279).
The church built to serve the parish in the Isle of Wight was The Old Brick Church. It is believed to have been erected in 1632 and is the oldest church of English construction in the United States. The first Vestry Book is apparently no longer in existence but the Vestry Book covering the period from 1724 to 1774 is on deposit at the State Library in Richmond, VA. The church is now in the hands of the VA State Corporation Commission and Historic St. Luke’s Restoration. Although the church is known as the Old Brick Church, the proper name is St. Luke’s Church.
The fourth minister to serve this Parish and church was Robert Bracewell. He must have taken over around 1656 when Rev. Robert Dunster died around 1656 (Will dated May 17, 1656.) Robert officiated in this Parish (may have been called Lawne’s Creek Parish) until his death in 1667. (Lineage of Jacob Thomas Braswell-Viola Vick Braswell)
---Copied as originally written.