By National Park Service Digital Image Archives [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
As my ‘armchair genealogy’ research continues, I find myself delving into the history of the Jamestown Colony of 1607 and beyond which I hadn’t done since school days. Guess I should’ve known since I was aware that some of my ancestors had lived in Virginia like the Barnetts who migrated to Georgia early on. Yet it’s been quite surprising to discover links to the historical Jamestown settlement and time period for I had no idea my ancestors had been quite that busy or involved! Even so, I had found years ago that tobacco growing so depletes soil that emigration resulted to the more fertile areas of the 13th Colony of Georgia as evidenced by settlers to the Goosepond District, its soil fertilized for centuries by…you guessed it…goose poo. Legend says it was an awesome sight as thousands of migratory geese lifted off from the area each year and continued their journey.
Now one example of Jamestown ties was mentioned in a recent post on Matthew Strickland and wife Ann Braswell (alternate spelling, Bracewell, or even Brazil) of Isle of Wight County, VA and who are Jamestown Society Proved. There may be others of my various lines that qualify for such an honor and perhaps they’ll turn up as things proceed for there is so much more info online now that there was in the mid-1990s when I first attempted sleuthing into my family roots.
This week I’ve been looking into my father’s grandmother’s family, the Childers-Childress lineage. At first her parents’ names weren’t turning up but then a breakthrough occurred and I found that the parents of “Mattie,” Martha Ida Childress Coile were David and Zilla (a Biblical name, the second wife of Lamech) Childress. Zilla was born a Barnett in the line that descends from William Barnett Sr of New Kent County, VA (circa 1730 – 1822) via his son and her father, Benjamin Johnson Barnett (their family Bible is online if you care to seek it out). William Sr’s wife, Zilla’s mother, was Susannah “Sukey” Webb (b. 1760 in VA; d. 1822 in GA), daughter of John D. and Martha Claiborne Webb.
So from the Childress line I followed links that others before me had established (from my armchair–well, actually a desk chair) which led to a distant maternal ancestor, Martha Hatcher (circa 1686 – 1767), mother of Elizabeth Hobson (aka, Hopson) who married William Burton Childress, Sr. Intriguingly, this Hatcher line is said to lead to Captain Christopher Newport, privateer and seaman for the Virginia Company of London and thus an early participant in Jamestown.
Col. Christopher Newport is known for a few things, one of which is the transport of colonists to the New World where he led “explorers northwest up the James River,” says Wikipedia, to an area inhabited by the Powhatan Confederacy. Actually, Captain Newport helmed the Susan Constant, largest of the three ships that brought the Jamestown settlers in 1607. He made other such voyages as well, and Christopher Newport University at Newport News, Virginia is named in his honor.
For more on Captain Newport and his seafaring career, see the Richmond, Virginia entry at Wikipedia.
Your comments are welcome as my research into this tangled web continues!