Posts Tagged ‘Catherine Proctor’

Grantham family lineage to William the Conquerer

November 23rd, 2008 No comments

I forgot whether it was my junior or sophomore year in high school, but at the end of class one day, Mrs. Wright asked me if I knew anything about my family tree. I told her I did not, and a few days later she told me she believed I was a descendent of William the Conquerer. This was in 1988 or so. I never believed it and had always gotten a kick out of it.

One thing I’m learning as I explore my family tree is the English kept damn good records, and it seems they tried to impress this upon early American settlers. Maybe life was too tough then, or maybe the constant accounting of life is what they fled for a more simple life in America. The early settlers did enough record keeping to get by, but it was way more than the pioneering generations that soon followed.

Over the past couple of weeks, my family tree has sucked me into a rich family narrative woven into some of the most fascinating moments in history. My weekends have become consumed with exploring one family member or another, imagining their life’s challenges or pondering their noted failures. It’s even more profound seeing some of these ancestors with their own Wikipedia entries.

Last week an email came from saying records were recently added that showed the Warren line in my family tree now going back to the First and Second Crusades. I opened up the family tree and went back in time to my 30th great grandfather Fulk the Younger, King of Jerusalem. His battles in the Crusades, his involvement with the Knights Templar, his appointment to King of Jerusalem and burial in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are documented. So is his lineage, and it was just a matter of someone entering it into before the Warren line in my family tree was recognized as a match.

The Warrens who colonized early America trace their ancestors back to the son of Fulk, Geoffrey of Anjou, who is also the father of King Henry II. It was that online bio that made me do a double take. King Henry II is the great grandson of William the Conquerer.

I could not believe that when I read it and went back to my family tree. Geoffrey’s wife, Matilda the Empress, is the daughter of King Henry I who did not have an heir and passed the thrown to Geoffrey and Matilda’s son. King Henry I’s father was William the Conquerer, also know as William the Bastard because of the illegitimacy of his birth.

Part of my family descends from there through Geoffrey’s illegitimate son named Hamelin (de Warenne) Plantagenet who begat the Warrens. The descendant Thomas Warren, who died in Surry, Va in 1670, was the great, great, great grandfather of Catherine Proctor who married my 8th great grandfather Edward Grantham.

How could Mrs. Wright have known this 20 years ago? Even after two weeks of research, I can see how certain surnames have a known traceable history like a well worn path back in time. I assume she knew something about parts of my own family from her studies of English history and literature. Maybe certain points in my surname’s family tree take those well worn paths.

Grantham family land deals in Colonial America

November 14th, 2008 No comments

Thomas Warren is the great great grandfather of Catherine Proctor (my 8th great grandmother), who married my 8th great grandfather Edward Grantham, yes the tobacco farmer who received levies for not going to church and for trading with Indians. Thomas Warren’s estate at Smith’s Fort was purchased from Thomas Rolfe, the son of John Rolfe and his wife Pocahontas, according to old land deeds.

Here are some notes I’m finding on Warren. According to these notes, Warren’s estate, Smith’s Fort Plantation, was land he purchased from Thomas Rolfe, the son of John Rolfe and Pocahontas.

Thomas Warren was born before 30 January 1623/24 at Ripple Court, Kent, England.1 He was the son of William Warren and Katherine Gookin. Thomas Warren was baptized on 30 January 1624/25 at Ripple Court, Kent, England.3,4,5 He married Alice Powell, daughter of William Powell and Margaret Whitney, before 1645 at Virginia. Thomas Warren married Elizabeth Spencer after 25 September 1654 at Surry County, Virginia.6 Thomas Warren married Jane Stokes after 1658. Thomas Warren died on 21 April 1670 at Smiths Fort Plantation, Surry Co, Virginia.7 His estate was probated on 21 April 1670 at Surry County, Virginia.8

He was Type: Bought land at ‘Smith’s Fort’ from Thomas Rolfe (son of John Rolfe & Pocahontas). He Notes for Thomas Warren: Came to VA in 1640. Purchased land from Thomas Rolfe (given to John Rolfe, his father, by Powhatan as a wedding gift in 1614 when he married Pocahontas) in 1643. Member of House of Burgesses for James City, Oct 1644- Mar 1658. In 1653, he began construction of a brick house 50 feet long which he managed to have completed by the time he married Elizabeth, daughter of ancient planter William Spencer. Member of House of Burgesses for Surry Co., 1663-1666. He was qualifying ancestor for Jamestowne Society.9 Thomas Warren immigrated before 3 February 1639/40 to Surry County, Virginia.2 He was Type: Granted land on 3 February 1639/40 at 450 acres, eastern branch of Smiths Fort Creek, Surry Co, Virginia.2 He immigrated in 1641; With Daniel Gookin.4,5 He immigrated after 3 February 1640/41 to Surry County, Virginia.1 He was Type: Land patent on 3 July 1648 at 290 acres, Surry Co, Virginia.2 He was Type: Built circa 1651 at Smith’s Fort, Gray’s Creek Plantation, Surry Co, Virginia.10 He lived in 1668 at ‘Smith’s Fort’, 1200 acres at the mouth of Gray’s creek, Surry Co, Virginia.11,12 He left a will on 16 March 1668/69 at Surry County, Virginia.8

Grantham family history in early Colonial America

November 12th, 2008 No comments

My great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandpa was pardoned by the Grand Assembly in Virginia,

William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, Vol 3, No. 2. (Oct., 1894), pp. 81-96.

In March, 1655, the Grand Assembly, con-sisting of the Governor, Council and Burgesses, pardoned(2).
“Leift.-Coll. Thos. Swann, accused and impeached for the death of his servant, one Elizabeth Buck”, the ordinary course by petition to the chancellor being impossible, as “this collony is not as yet settled with such officers as belong to passing such pardon, and noe publick seale being in the countrey.”

and he rounded up the boys to get the Indians.

On 10 March 1638/9, Thomas renewed his deceased father’s patent to 1200 acres on the south side of the James River. In 1639, Thomas was named as Viewer of Tobacco for James City County, Virginia, from Smith’s Fort to Grindall’s Hill. As a viewer, Thomas was responsible for enforcing the rules governing the growing of tobacco. In 1644, the Virginia Assembly ordered that various counties march upon enemy Indian tribes. Captain Shepard and Mr. Swan were to raise 50 men in Surry [James City?] County as their contribution to a march to Pamunkey.

In November 1645, Thomas was a member, from James City County, of the Virginia Assembly. His wife Margaret died 5 April 1646 at Swann’s Point, where she was buried. In 1649, Thomas served from James City County in the Virginia House of Burgesses.

and owned slaves.

On 9 April 1674, Thomas Swann was one of the Councillors present when the General Court was held in morning and afternoon sessions. On 3 November 1674, the Surry county court found in favor of Thomas Swann in a lawsuit he brought against Francis Gray. Thomas was awarded 2769 pounds of tobacco. In the list of tithables for 1675, Thomas was one of the few men in Surry County who owned slaves. On that list, Thomas, of Southwark Parish, had 3 white servants and 2 Negro slaves. On 16 March 1676, Thomas was appointed administrator of the estate of Francis Sumner.