Robert Bedwell is the first Bedwell to come to America. It appears that all Bedwells in North America, including our family, descend from this man. It is not know when Robert actually landed in the colonies but it was probably about 1650-60. He arrived first in old Rappahonnack Co. VA where he married Ann Colly, he daughter of Thomas Colly. The couple had five known children, Thomas, Robert, Henry Elizabeth and Mary. It seems that Ann died while the family still lived in Virginia. Robert then remarried to Susanna Fisher but does not appear to have had children with her. Susanna did bring two of her children, Susan and Adam to the household. Sometime around 1670 Robert moved his family to Kent Co. Delaware. He died there in 1686

Robert Bedwell, the son of Robert is the next in our line. Robert was born in old Rappahonnack Co. VA about 1662. He traveled with his father to Kent Co. Delaware and it was there that he married Helen (Her surname may have been Preston). We know that Helen and Robert had two sons, Robert and James but there may have been others that have been lost. Robert lived his life out in Kent County, dying there in about 1718.

James Bedwell also lived his life out in Kent County. He was born there probably sometime between 1690-1710. We do not know the name of James' wife but we do know he had eight children, Robert, Thomas, Susannah, James, John, Elijah, Cabel, and Elizabeth. All eight of the children were born in Kent County Delaware. James Bedwell died in Kent County sometime before 1771.

Robert Bedwell, the oldest son of James was born at Murderkill 100 in Kent County Delaware in about 1735. Robert married Anne Wilson, the daughter of Robert Wilson and they too had eight children, James, Elisha, Robert T., John, Ruben, Thomas, Micha, and Mary. After his marriage, Robert left Kent County. He lived for 12 years in North Carolina before moving to Virginia. In 1769 he was given a grant for land in Montgomery Co, (now Grayson County) Virginia. Robert remained here until his death in late 1807. He is buried in and old family cemetery about 4 miles from Independence in Grayson County.

James Bedwell was the oldest son of Robert and was probably born while the family still lived in Kent County Delaware. He traveled with his father to Grayson County Virginia where, on July 6, 1797 he married Jane Wells. His brother Elisha Bedwell performed the ceremony. In 1800 Jane and James had their first child, John. He was followed by Wilson, Lorenzo Dow, James, Sarah, Charolette, Rebecca, Jane and Rosemund. James was a farmer and a minister in the Methodist church. He lived in Grayson County until his death on Dec 12, 1856.

John Bedwell was born in Grayson County Virginia in 1801. When he was about 19 or 20 years old, on Dec. 20, 1820 he married, in Grayson County, Martha Pool. Martha's nickname was Patsy. She was the daughter of William Poole and Penelope Permelia Harrison. It appears that some of their first children may have died as infants. The first child to survive was a daughter, Telitha who was born in 1826. Their second child and first son was Erasmus born in 1827. (Later ages given at the time of the censuses suggest he was born in the early summer, June or July). The next child, Wiley was born in 1829 followed by Eliza (1831) Levi (1835), Alfred (1836) William (1840), Charolette (1834), Nancy (1843) Felix (1847) and Martha (1849). John, like his father, was a farmer and was also affiliated with the Methodist church. He lived his entire life in Grayson County. John died prior to 1870.

Sources: Much of the information on the early Bedwell family comes from the book "A Bedwell Family" by Larry King (1982Hendersonville TN) and from Grayson Co. Virginia and Kent Co. Delaware records.

The earliest beginnings we have been able to trace for our Southeast Kentucky Bedwell family start in London, England around 1600 with a man named Thomas Bedwell. We know very little about Thomas other than his name and the fact that in 1635 he was living at St. Giles Parish, Cripplegate, London. That is where and when his son Robert Bedwell was born.

Note:Ralph Bedwell has recently developed an excellent web page with much more detailed information on Erasmus' ancestors (as well as the whole Bedwell family in North America) Use the link at the right to go there.