Rev. George Keith, father of Anne Keith

Anne Keith (bef 1683 – aft 1728) was the daughter of Rev. George Keith (1639-1716) and Elizabeth Johntson (bef 1658 - ?)

Rev. Keith's daughter Anne was married to George Walker I, who was a pilot on the James River. Their home was at Kecoughtan, at the mouth of the James River near Jamestown. Evidence follows.

Thomas Story was a Quaker minister who visited Kecoughtan twice1, in 1699 and in 1705, and visited the Walkers on both occasions. Story kept a journal of his travels and visits. The journal was printed in 1747 through the efforts of one of his sons.

In 1699, Thomas Story describes visiting George Walker (Senior) in Kecoughtan, and meeting with "the Wife of George Walker the younger, who was one of the Daughters of that unhappy Apostate George Keith"2.

The travel diary of Reverend George Keith3, father of Anne Keith, states that on May 2, 1704, he arrived at "Keketan by James-River, and staid some Days at the House of my Son in Law there".

The diary of a third Quaker minister, Samuel Brownas4, recounts a visit to Hampton in 1728, where he stayed with George Walker for 4 nights. He discusses "his [George Walker's] wife being more loving than I expected: she was the daughter of George Keith".

These three Quaker diaries do not mention the name of George Walker's wife. Her name is confirmed in a suit5 that Anne Walker brought against her husband in 1708. By 1708, Anne Walker had converted to Anglicanism from Quakerism, and wished to take the couple's children to Anglican Church services. George Walker did not allow her to do so, and she brought a suit before the council for an order to allow her to determine the church attendance of the children.

Anne Walker's suit is interesting when viewed through the prism of contemporary American thought. The Council faced a decision between promoting Anglicanism over Quakerism on the one hand, and protecting a husband's prerogative over important family decisions on the other hand. They chose the latter, but were obviously distressed to impose such a decision on her, calling themselves "y'r freinds", and they also stated that if Anne were to prove that George was "Not a Christian", they would rehear the case.

The name of Anne Keith's mother was Elizabeth Johnston6. She and Rev. Keith married in 16727 . Assuming Elizabeth was age 15 or older when she married Rev. Keith, her birth date would be before 1658. Her date of death is not known.

Citations

1 A Journal of the Life of Thomas Story. Newcastle Upon Tyne. Isaac Thompson & Company, 1747, p. 165 & pp. 388-389

2 Ibid., p. 165

3Collections of the Protestant Episcopal Historical Society 1851. New York: Stanford and Swords, 1851, p. 47

4Journals and Extracts of Journals and Other Writings of Members of the Society of Friends Volume XII. London: Lindfield, 1836, p. 235

5 Miscellaneous Colonial Documents. The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 16, No. 1 (Jul 1908). Virginia Historical Society, pp. 72-84

6 Hall, Timothy. American Religious Leaders. Infobase Publishing, 2003, p. 197

7 Ibid.