The Perry-Poole Family Tree - Person Sheet
The Perry-Poole Family Tree - Person Sheet
NameCatherine Digges
Birth1654, Hampton, Elizabeth City Co., Virginia
Death1729, Caroline Co., Virginia
FatherGov. Edward Digges (1621-1675)
MotherElizabeth Page (~1625-1691)
Misc. Notes
Daughter of Edward Digges, Governor of Virginia in 1655-1658.

From “Where's My Damn Castle?” by George D. Ziemann

”There is evidently a controversy concerning Catherine's parentage, created by the New England Historical Society. In the New England Historical and Genealogical Society newsletter, NEXUS, Vol. X, Nos. 2 & 3 p. 70, Gary Boyd Roberts states that, ‘Catherine, wife of William Herndon, was almost certainly not a daughter of Gov. Edward Digges and Elizabeth Page, since the 1691 estate division of this last, the alleged mother, lists no daughter Catherine or her heirs.’

Catherine would have been almost 40 in 1691. She was the oldest child. There are several reasons that persons would not be included in their parents' will. Maybe Catherine pissed off Elizabeth the year she wrote the will. Maybe Elizabeth felt that Catherine was taken care of and didn't need anything. Maybe the Herndons were Protestants or (shudder) Catholics? The lack of mention in a will is hardly proof that someone wasn't a member of the family.

If Edward Digges not Catharine's father, who is? There is a note on the page of the Sherley Association that says Edward was accompanied by Samuel Digges when he originally sailed from England. This would present another possible parent but I cannot locate any other mention of anyone named Samuel Digges at this point in time -- either in America or England.

However, I did come across a reference to a Richard Digges, who arrived in Elizabeth City County in 1645. Richard had been brought to Virginia by William Cock. (1) I haven't ascertained where Richard came from. It is possible he is a nephew or cousin of Edward Digges.

If nothing else, the mention by the New England Historical Society verifies the marriage of Catherine to William Herndon. But that doesn't happen until 1677.”

(1) Early Virginia Immigrants 1623-1666 by George Cabell Greer. (pg95)

Submitted to by Debbie Cook on August 2, 2012

Catherine Digges Herndon

Birth: 1654        Orange County        Virginia, USA
Death: 1729          Caroline County          Virginia, USA

Catherine Digges's parentage has recently been called into question because her brothers and brother-in-law (and first cousin) did not include her in the distribution of her mother's property in 1692. I have left these links intact, because I believe she was one of the thirteen children of Edward and Elizabeth Page Digges, and was left out of the distribution for reasons that did not survive in the records—specifically the possible enmity of her brother William, who was head of family when she married. My source is a compilation of original Virginia documents by a Huddleston descendant, who cites a 1698 reference to Catherine as William Herndon's wife and Edward Digges's daughter. This compilation is sympathetic to Nathaniel Bacon and his 1676 rebellion, and specifically to Bacon's right-hand man Thomas Hansford. It also gives an account of Captain William Digges, who accidentally came upon Hansford one day in York County. A sword fight ensued, which ended when William cut off one of Hansford's fingers, and Hansford fled. Shortly thereafter, the political tables turned and William himself had to flee for safety, to Maryland, only returning to Virginia after Bacon's death and Hansford's execution. The writer of the manuscript that describes this event added, "for her son's loyalty his mother [Mrs. Elizabeth Digges] suffered considerably in her estate.'' If William Herndon supported Bacon, then William Digges may have disinherited his sister Catherine on her marriage in 1677. Or it simply could have been that Catherine had already received her portion of the estate, perhaps as a delayed marriage portion after her mother's finances recovered from brother William's actions. The four heirs who benefited from the distribution of the estate were all men involved in the distribution: brothers William, Dudley, and Edward, and brother-in-law/first cousin Francis Page, acting as guardian for his daughter Elizabeth Page. Catherine was the only surviving sister, and we do not know the details of the sisters' marriage portions. Elizabeth Page was not only Elizabeth Page Digges's namesake and granddaughter, but her great-niece, and she was a minor in 1691.  Family links:  Parents:  Edward Digges (1621 - 1674)  Elizabeth Page Digges (1625 - 1691)  Spouse:  William Herndon (1649 - 1722)  Children:  Edward Herndon (1678 - 1758)*
Find A Grave Memorial# 68821007
Birthabt 1649, County Kent, England
Deathabt 1722, King and Queen Co., Virginia
FatherWilliam Herndon (1620-~1670)
MotherAnn Bishop (1622-~1660)
Marriage1677, New Kent Co., Virginia
ChildrenEdward (1678-1758)
 James (~1683-~1744)
 William (1685-1759)
Last Modified 14 Aug 2013Created 14 Jan 2022 using Reunion for Macintosh
Created Friday, January 14, 2022 by Mike Perry

using Reunion for Macintosh