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The JETT Family

Peter Jett   ca. 1600 d.1688                            Mary Triplett (?)

William Jett ca 1625 d. 1695                           Elizabeth Hoskins Wood

Francis Jett        d. ca 1722                             Sarah Claxton or Saxton

Peter Jett  b. ca 1717    d. 1784                       Rebecca Bowen

Francis Jett  b. ca 1735  d. 1791                      Bathsheba Porch

Ann  "Nancy" Jett b. 1757  d. 1830                 Archibald Rollo


            The preponderance of existing data indicates that the surname Jett, or Jette, was probably of French origin, and the Jett coat arms seems to bear this out.   There were few Jetts in England in the 1500s as compared to the many who have been documented in the 1600s, indicating that perhaps the original emigration to England from France took place at this time. 

    A good bit has been written on the Jett family of VA, and it is believed that  the American Jett family is descended from one man, Peter Jett, often referred to as The Immigrant.  He was an Englishman who came to Leedstown, Virginia, in 1663.  At the time, Leedstown was an important port in the colony of VA, trading goods and settlers directly with England.  Peter Jett and his family, wife Mary (Triplett?) and four of his five children  arrived in Leedstown, on the Rappahannock River, in 1663.  Only their last child, John, was born in the colonies.  Peter first appears in the records of Old Rappahannock county, Va in 1664 (now Essex Co)

    It is believed that Peter Jett's wife Mary's maiden name was Triplett, and the 2 families lived close together in Oxfordshire, England, long before the they  moved to London, where they also lived in close proximity   It appears that the 2 families may have "pulled a fast one" upon their arrival in Virginia, for Gov. Berkeley granted Peter Jett 600 acres of land on the north side of the Rappahannock River for bringing over a number of headrights, among them Francis and Alice  Triplett.   In turn, Francis Triplett was granted over 1000 acres of land (on the same day of Peter Jett's land grant), and Francis' list of headrights included Peter, Mary, Will, Peter Jr, Mary and Martha Jett!  It is believed that Francis Triplett was Mary's Triplett Jett's brother.

    Peter Jett and his family settled on Peppenocks Creek, a small tributary of the Rappahannock River, near present Leedstown..  Here they lived uneventfully until the end of January of 1675/6, when there occurred the last Indian raid of the Northern Neck area of Virginia (the land between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers.  Indians swarmed into the area and after being joined by the local Indians, proceeded to attack the settlers of the area, who numbered no more than several hundred.   In this brutal attack, more than 30 settlers were killed, and more than 100 were forced from their homes..  Almost every home within a 20 mile area was burned, and that part of the country was in ruin.  Peter and at least 2 of his sons survived the attack, but we don't know about Mary, his wife, one son and 2 of his daughters.  Frances Triplett survived, and some, if not all of his sons also .    Peter died without a will ca 1688.  The children of Peter and Mary  Jett are;

  1. William, who was born in England ca 1652 , came to Virginia with his parents in 1633. This is my line, so there is a page for William.
  2. Peter Jr, was born in England, accompanied his family to Va, but nothing more is known of him.  He may have died in the Indian raid.
  3. Mary, born in England, and nothing further known.
  4. Martha, born in England and nothing further known.
  5. John was probably the last child of the family, and born in VA.  He died ca 1710.

the background for this page is a very old photograph of what was called the "old Jett house", at Port Conway, Va.  I am unsure which Jett actually lived in the house, but as all the Jetts of this part of the country descend from one man, Peter Jett, then we can be sure it was one of "our" Jetts..  As an interesting aside, Port Conway was a river town, and the Jetts owned a ferry there ( not there's a huge bridge that necessitated the destruction of the town of Port Conway).  After President Lincoln's assassination, John Wilkes Booth and his associate, in their flight from Washington, were helped by William Stark Jett, or Willie as he was known, and a friend, on leave from the Confederate forces, where Willie served as a commissary agent ..  After helping Booth hide on the Garrett farm.  Mr Garrett was not told of Booth's identity, byut became suspicious, and asked him to leave his, Booth moved to the barn.  Willie was captured on the night of April 25 in the front parlor of the Star Hotel.  Faced with the .44 caliber service revolver of  Everton Conger, a civilian detective and former lieutenant colonel in the 1st District of Columbia Cavalry,  Willie reluctantly led Federal troops to Booth's hiding place. Willie was not prosecuted for his role in the escape, but was ostracized by his neighbors and eventually  moved to Baltimore after the War.  He died at the age of only 37, in the asylum of Williamsburg, VA....not a happy life, I think!   

port conway.jpg (540631 bytes)This is a photo of Port Conway, early in the 1900s.  The village is no longer in existence, razed to build a bridge.

Leedstown .jpg (40978 bytes) This is the once busy harbor of Leedstown, as it is today.....absolutely NOTHING there.  However, in the early days of the Colony of VA, it was an important port on the Rappahannock River, where many early colonists, including Peter Jett and his family, arrived to start life in the New World.