“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Signpine in Gloucester County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Poplar Spring Church

Poplar Spring Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Laura Troy, October 13, 2007
1. Poplar Spring Church Marker
Inscription. This is the site of Poplar Spring Church of Petsworth Parish. In 1694, Old Petsworth Church was abandoned in favor of this church. It was considered the finest church of colonial Virginia. In 1676, the followers of Bacon, the Rebel, interred here a casket supposed to contain his remains, but in reality filled with stones. The body was buried secretly.
Erected 1930 by Conservation and Development Commission. (Marker Number N-61.)
Location. Marker has been reported missing. It was located near 37° 27.834′ N, 76° 36.272′ W. Marker was near Signpine, Virginia, in Gloucester County. Marker was on George Washington Memorial Highway (U.S. 17) south of Chesapeake Rd, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Gloucester VA 23061, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this location, measured as the crow flies. Marlfield (approx. 0.9 miles away); Gloucester Hall (approx. 1.7 miles away); The Indentured Servants' Plot (approx. 3.6 miles away); King and Queen County / Gloucester County (approx. 3.6 miles away); Poropotank Creek
Poplar Spring Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Laura Troy, October 13, 2007
2. Poplar Spring Church Marker
(approx. 3.6 miles away); Bethel Baptist Church (approx. 3.7 miles away); Indian Princess Pocahontas (approx. 4.9 miles away); Gloucester Courthouse (approx. 4.9 miles away).
More about this marker. The Bacon referred to on this marker was Nathaniel Bacon (1647–1676), leader of Baconís Rebellion.
Regarding Poplar Spring Church. Rev. Thomas Vicaris and Robert Nettles had (12) twelve grandsons that fought in the American Revolutionary War. Seven (7) of whom fought in the Pee Dee Regiment commanded by General Francis Marion (The Swamp Fox). This Regiment was called Marion's Brigade and known as "The Light Dragoons"!
Captain William Nettles was the commander of the Kershaw Regiment and Major John Nettles was the commander of a company of "Catawba Indians">John Nettles was a graduate of William and Mary College.
Additional comments.
1. Pastor/Rev. Thomas Vicaris 1666-1696
My grrrr-grandfather was Rev. Thomas Vicaris and he was the pastor, rector and over the Vestry at Poplar Springs church from 1666 to 1696. He was born in Gloucester County.

His father's name was Thomas Vicaris, too. He was born in 1633 in York County (his mother was Jonne French born in 1639). The Reverend was an only child.

Rev. Thomas Vicaris's daughter Mary was married to my grandfather Robert Nettles. Robert was born in Gloucester in 1677. He was Gloucester County's surveyor in the 1690s and elected Gloucester County supervisor from 1700 to 1704.

Robert's parents were Captain John Nettles (sea captain) and Mary Reed. They were married at St. Dunstan, Stepney, London on May 18, 1647. Captain John Nettles was born in Portsmouth, UK., Oct.1, 1620. He first arrived in America as a sea captain on March 10, 1651 and was reported "lost at sea" on May 26,1686.

His wife Mary died in New Town(Newton), Massachusetts on October 4,1691.

Bacon's Rebellion...Reverend Thomas Vicaris and Robert Nettles had (4) grandsons, which were brothers, that were born in Gloucester County and fought in the American Revolutionary War in South Carolina. The most notable was Captain William Nettles. He fought from July 1776 to Dec. 1782. He was the Kershaw Company CMDR. His regiment was the Pee Dee Regiment. His commanding officer was Gen. Francis Marion (The Swamp Fox). The movie "The Patriot" depicts his Regiment!

Rev. Thomas Vicaris's relatives are thought to have been members of Virginia's "Lost Colony"!

Note: Reverend Thomas Vicaris owned approximately 2,000 acres of land. Much of his land was located on the Chesapeake Bay.

In 1678, he obtained 1,350 acres of the 2,000 acres from land grants for transporting 27 families into Colonial Petsworth Parish.

The city of Falmouth, Virginia was founded and subsists today on the same land that Reverend Vicaris was the first American owner.

The pastor also owned an 87 acre island located at the mouth of the Rappahannock River (Parrot Island).
    — Submitted July 31, 2011, by Randy Nettles of Charleston, South Carolina.

2. Something seems a bit off
As of February 25, 2015, this historical marker does not exist and is no longer visible at the location where the website says that it should be. I checked both the coordinates, and on Google streetview, and it does not exist anywhere where it is stated that it should be. I will look for it in person the next time I pass by to confirm.
    — Submitted February 25, 2015, by Jim Linkster of Anchorage, Alaska.

Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesChurches & ReligionColonial EraPatriots & Patriotism
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 14, 2007, by Laura Troy of Burke, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,331 times since then and 10 times this year. Last updated on February 15, 2012, by Randy Nettles of Charleston, South Carolina. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 14, 2007, by Laura Troy of Burke, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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