First Families of Virginia – The Randolphs

I suppose superlatives become cliche, or at least they’re overused when discussing Virginia’s leading colonial dynasties. The Randolph family, however, deserves those superlatives just as much as any of the preceding families that we’ve discussed in this series, if not more. They were an immense family that impacted Virginia and the United States in such a way that few others, even from this series, can claim.

William Randolph of Turkey Island is often credited as being the first Randolph to immigrate, but he followed his uncle, Henry, who was already established in the colony. Henry Randolph came to Virginia and soon settled just west of Bermuda Hundred on Swift Creek in today’s Colonial Heights in the early 1640s. From there Henry got involved in mid-17th Century Virginia politics, where he rubbed shoulders with all of the colony’s leading men, he even married one of their daughters when he wed Henry Soane’s daughter Judith.

Henry continued to expand his footprint throughout the 1650s and 1660s. He became friend with Sir William Berkeley, was involved in rewriting Virginia’s legal codes, and built one of the colony’s first grist mills at Swift Creek. Newly found wealth allowed Henry to return to England in the late 1660s, where he convinced his nephew William to join him in the New World.

William accompanied his uncle’s trip back to Virginia, and settled near him along the James River’s Curls section. It was from here that William Randolph earned his name as being from Turkey Island, and from here that an enormous family grew into being one of Virginia’s largest. Largest didn’t always mean best, as the family has a few interesting characters dotting the history books, but the Randolphs have do have some of American History’s stalwarts.

This First Family of Virginia episode takes a look into the Randolph patriarch’s life, and then summarily dives into some of those characters and stalwarts. Find the links below.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

SOURCES:

  1. Anderson, Jefferson Randolph. “TUCKAHOE AND THE TUCKAHOE RANDOLPHS.” Register of Kentucky State Historical Society, vol. 35, no. 110, 1937, pp. 29–59. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/23371542.
  2. Jefferson Randolph Anderson. “Supplement to Tuckahoe and the Tuckahoe Randolphs: As Appearing in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XLV: No. 1, January, 1937.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 45, no. 4, 1937, pp. 392–405. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/4244824.
  3. Billings, Warren M.; Selby, John E.; and Tate, Thad W. Colonial Virginia: A History. White Plains, NY: KTO Press. 1986.
  4. Billings, Warren M. Sir William Berkeley and the Forging of Colonial Virginia. Baton Rouge, LA: LSU Press, 2004.
  5. Billings, Warren. A Little Parliament: The Virginia General Assembly in the Seventeenth Century. Richmond, VA: Library of Virginia, 2004.
  6. Brock, R. A. “Virginia Randolphs–Arms and English Descent.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 25, no. 2, 1916, pp. 133–134. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1915198.
  7. Bruce, Phillip Alexander. Social Life of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century: An Inquiry into the Origin of the Higher Planting Class. New York: JP Bell Company, 1927.
  8. Cowden, Gerald Steffens, “The Randolphs of Turkey Island : a prosopography of the first three generations, 1650-1806” (1977). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. Paper 1539623707
  9. Dabney, Virginius. Virginia: The New Dominion, A History from 1607 to the Present. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1971.
  10. Daniels, Jonathan. The Randolphs of Virginia. New York: Doubleday, 1972.
  11. Eckenrode, H.J. The Randolphs: The Story of a Virginia Family. Indianapolis, IN: The Bobbs Merrill Company, 1946
  12. Evans, Emory G. A “Topping People”: The Rise and Decline of Virginia’s Old Political Elite, 1680-1790. Charlottesville, VA: UVA Press, 2009.
  13. Fischer, David Hackett. Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: a cultural history). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
  14. Freeman, Douglas Southall. George Washington: A Biography. New York: Charles Scribners, 1957. (Specifically Volume 1).
  15. Horn, James. Adapting to A New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
  16. Mapp, Alfred J. Virginia Experiment: The Old Dominion’s Role in the Making of America, 1607-1781Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc., 2006.
  17. McCartney, Martha W. Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers: A Biographical Dictionary, 1607-1635. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2007.
  18. Meade, William. Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia. in Two Volumes. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1891.
  19. Neill, Edward D. Virginia Carolorum: The Colony under the Rule of Charles The First and Second, A.D. 1625-A.D. 1685. Albany, NY: Joel Munsell’s and Sons, 1886.
  20. Paxton, William McClung. The Marshall family, or A genealogical chart of the descendants of John Marshall and Elizabeth Markham, his wife, sketches of individuals and notices of families connected with them. Cincinatti, OH: Robert Clarke and Co, 1885.
  21. Pecquet du Bellet, Louise. Some Prominent Virginia Families, 4 Volumes. Lynchburg, VA:  J.P. Bell Company, 1907.
  22. Ramage, C. J. “Randolph.” The Virginia Law Register, vol. 8, no. 6, 1922, pp. 415–418. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1105871.
  23. Randolph, Wassell. Henry Randolph I, 1623-1773 [sic] of Henrico County, Virginia, and his descendants. Preceded by short review of the Randolph family in early England and elsewhere. Memhis, TN: Cossitt Library, 1952.
  24. Randolph, Wassell. William Randolph I of Turkey Island, Henrico County, Virginia, and his Immediate Descendants. Memphis, TN: Cossitt Library, 1949.
  25. Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Auburn, AL: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 1999.
  26. Stanard, W. G. “Randolph Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 8, no. 2, 1899, pp. 119–122. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1915915.
  27. Swartz, James Eldred, “William Randolph, of Turkey Island, Progenitor of a Famous Family” (1942). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. Paper 1539624465.
  28. Taylor, Tess. “Remembering the Randolphs: A Genealogy in Thirteen Meditations.” The Virginia Quarterly Review, vol. 89, no. 3, 2013, pp. 56–69. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/26447054.
  29. Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and the James River. Richmond, VA: The Hermitage Press, 1906.
  30. Walsh, Lorena S. Motives of Honor, Pleasure, and Profit: Plantation Management in the Colonial Chesapeake, 1607-1763. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.
  31. Washburn, Wilcomb E. Virginia Under Charles I and Cromwell 1625-1660. Kindle Edition.
  32. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. Virginia Under the Stuarts: 1607-1688. New York: Russell and Russell, 1959.
  33. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. The Planters of Colonial Virginia. Kindle Edition.
  34. Wright, Louis B. First Gentlemen of Virginia. Charlottesville, VA: Dominion Books, 1982.
  35. “Descendants of Henry Randolph.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 4, no. 2, 1895, pp. 125–127. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1915057.
  36. Robert Isham Randolph. “The Sons of Isham Randolph of Dungeness.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 45, no. 4, 1937, pp. 383–386. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/4244820.

Special Links:

 

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is of the Randolph Family Crest. All Randolph Portraits as well as Swift Creek Mill are from Wikimedia Commons. The Turkey Island Mansion Marker and The Dungeness Marker are both from hmdb.org. Tazewell Hall is located at Skinner Family Papers. The Randolph Family Tree is located in Tess Taylor’s article, found in the Bibliography above. The Prayer in the First the First Congress, A.D. 1774 can be found at Boston Tea Party Ship. Edmund Randolph’s former home was accessed at RV Hub. The Virginia Ratification Convention Cartoon is part of Historically Thinking’s Shownotes page for Episode 78. Lastly, Edmund Randolph as Member of Washington’s Cabinet is found at the American Herigate.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on Apple Music, and “The Stubborn Mule” by The East Pointers also available on Apple Music.

First Families of Virginia – The Corbins

The story of the first Corbin’s arriving in the New World is interesting to say the least. Henry Corbin braved a commonly tempestuous trans-Atlantic journey, but the crew believed the storms were being brought on by a witch. Get rid of the witch, get rid of the storm was their belief. The captain disagreed, but had his most respected passengers check for the tell-tale witch marks on an elderly lady.  Henry then reinspected the lady, but the crew had already made their decision, she was to die. That’s the story Henry and other passengers gave upon their arrival.

Within a few years of that harrowing spectacle, Henry had established himself first in Maryland and then in Virginia. He, along with his brothers, ran a profitable trade network that elevated Henry into Virginia’s highest offices, and made him very wealthy in the process. The Corbin name solidified itself during subsequent generations, notably under Richard Corbin, who held the highest offices a Virginia born colonist could hold. He composed himself very well, earning praise and respect from his peers. But not all was well with the Corbins.

To this point in our First Families Series, each name has deep connections supporting Virginia and then the United States during and after the American War for Independence. Not so with the Corbins. They featured prominently in the Royal government, and looked set to continue in those lofty offices. But though they continued supporting the Crown, they also continued loving Virginia, and because of that love, the Corbins remained, and even championed their new country after her founding.

The Corbins chose to remain with Virginia when the Civil War erupted, and as so many others, suffered loss during the conflict. One such loss touched close to Stonewall Jackson, just before his sudden death in 1863. With such loss in focus, many of the Corbins chose to leave Virginia after 1865, and thus, this prominent family spread throughout the westwardly expanding country.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

SOURCES:

  1. Billings, Warren M.; Selby, John E.; and Tate, Thad W. Colonial Virginia: A History. White Plains, NY: KTO Press. 1986.
  2. Billings, Warren M. Sir William Berkeley and the Forging of Colonial Virginia. Baton Rouge, LA: LSU Press, 2004.
  3. Billings, Warren. A Little Parliament: The Virginia General Assembly in the Seventeenth Century. Richmond, VA: Library of Virginia, 2004.
  4. Bruce, Phillip Alexander. Social Life of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century: An Inquiry into the Origin of the Higher Planting Class. New York: JP Bell Company, 1927.
  5. Dabney, Virginius. Virginia: The New Dominion, A History from 1607 to the Present. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1971.
  6. Evans, Emory G. A “Topping People”: The Rise and Decline of Virginia’s Old Political Elite, 1680-1790. Charlottesville, VA: UVA Press, 2009.
  7. Emory G. Evans,”Richard Corbin (1713 or 1714–1790),” Dictionary of Virginia Biography, Library of Virginia, published 2006.
  8. Fischer, David Hackett. Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: a cultural history). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
  9. Freeman, Douglas Southall. George Washington: A Biography. New York: Charles Scribners, 1957. (Specifically Volume 1).
  10. Hackett, Mary A. “Francis Corbin (1759 or 1760–1821),” Dictionary of Virginia Biography, Library of Virginia, 2006.
  11. Harbury, Katharine E. and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. “Henry Corbyn (1628 or 1629–ca. 1676).” Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, 23 Sep. 2013.
  12. Horn, James. Adapting to A New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
  13. Mapp, Alfred J. Virginia Experiment: The Old Dominion’s Role in the Making of America, 1607-1781Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc., 2006.
  14. McCartney, Martha W. Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers: A Biographical Dictionary, 1607-1635. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2007.
  15. Neill, Edward D. Virginia Carolorum: The Colony under the Rule of Charles The First and Second, A.D. 1625-A.D. 1685. Albany, NY: Joel Munsell’s and Sons, 1886.
  16. Pecquet du Bellet, Louise. Some Prominent Virginia Families, 4 Volumes. Lynchburg, VA:  J.P. Bell Company, 1907.
  17. Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Auburn, AL: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 1999.
  18. Scheib, Jeffrey Lynn. The Richard Corbin Letterbook, 1758-1760. Williamsburg, VA: William and Mary. Unpublished Master’s Thesis, 1982.
  19. Tarter, Brent. “Gawin Corbin (1739–1779),” Dictionary of Virginia Biography, Library of Virginia, 2006.
  20. Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and the James River. Richmond, VA: The Hermitage Press, 1906.
  21. Walsh, Lorena S. Motives of Honor, Pleasure, and Profit: Plantation Management in the Colonial Chesapeake, 1607-1763. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.
  22. Washburn, Wilcomb E. Virginia Under Charles I and Cromwell 1625-1660. Kindle Edition.
  23. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. Virginia Under the Stuarts: 1607-1688. New York: Russell and Russell, 1959.
  24. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. The Planters of Colonial Virginia. Kindle Edition.
  25. Wright, Louis B. First Gentlemen of Virginia. Charlottesville, VA: Dominion Books, 1982.
  26. “The Corbin Family.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 28, no. 3 (1920): 281-83. www.jstor.org/stable/4243780.
  27. “The Corbin Family (Continued).” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 28, no. 4 (1920): 370-73. www.jstor.org/stable/4243793.
  28. “The Corbin Family (Continued).” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 29, no. 3 (1921): 374-82. www.jstor.org/stable/4243833.
  29. “The Corbin Family (Continued).” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 29, no. 1 (1921): 124-25. www.jstor.org/stable/4243808.
  30. “The Corbin Family of Virginia (Continued).” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 29, no. 2 (1921): 243-51. www.jstor.org/stable/4243818.
  31. “Corbin Family (Continued).” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 29, no. 4 (1921): 520-26. www.jstor.org/stable/4243851.
  32. “Corbin Genealogy (Continued).” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 30, no. 1 (1922): 80-85. www.jstor.org/stable/4243866.
  33. “The Corbin Family (Continued).” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 30, no. 4 (1922): 403-07. www.jstor.org/stable/4243898.
  34. “The Corbin Family (Continued).” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 30, no. 3 (1922): 309-18. www.jstor.org/stable/4243888.
  35. “The Corbin Family.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 31, no. 1 (1923): 80-83. www.jstor.org/stable/4243912.
  36. “The Corbin Papers.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 13, no. 1 (1905): 51-53. www.jstor.org/stable/4242724.

Special Links:

Jackson and Corbin
Janie Corbin and Stonewall Jackson

 

 

 

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is of the Corbin Family Crest. Henry Corbin Portraitis from Wikimedia Commons. Peckatone Ruins is from Bryan Dameron’s Family History. Moss Neck Manor is from http://www.fredericksburg.com. “Janie Corbin and Old Jack” is from artist Mort Kunstler.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on Apple Music, and “Wild I Am” by Vocal Few, also available on Apple Music.

Lessons from the 1721 Boston Smallpox Epidemic – Tony Williams Interview

The world continues to endure the Coronavirus pandemic with many locations reaching their peak in the coming weeks. This isn’t the first virus or disease to affect the world, so what can we learn from one previous example in American History?

To answer that question, Tony Williams joins me to discuss a book he had written detailing the 1721 Smallpox epidemic. Though Tony’s book isn’t Virginia History exactly, he mentions that one particular Virginian used Cotton Mather’s incredibly controversial inoculation method to protect his army more than 50 years later.

Join us as we discuss the events surrounding that fateful 1721 outbreak, and discover how many things are still quite similar in how we approach these fearful situations.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

MORE FROM TONY WILLIAMS:

 

 

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author. The Featured Image is of “The Cow-Pock or the Wonderful Effects of the New Inoculation” by James Gillray, 1802.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and Max Bruch – Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26 – Prelude. Allegro moderato performed by Sarah Chang and the Dresdener Philharmonie conducted by Kurt Masur, also available on iTunes.

First Families of Virginia – The Pages

The Page family fascinates for many reasons. Their rise was similar to other First Families, but their most prominent founding members didn’t leave much beyond wills from which one can learn about their lives.

What we do know about them is that they came into the colony around 1650, quickly established themselves as leading land owners, and became a major colonial influence. Perhaps they thought too much of themselves by the mid 18th Century, or they were just terrible financial planners, but they overextended themselves in building their most famous structure, Rosewell Plantation.

The fabulous manor home was to rival the Governor’s Mansion, and it certainly did, but doing so came at a hefty price. The cost to build Rosewell overreached Page family funds in such a way that two generations after it was completed the accrued debt essentially wiped the Page family out.

Their lands and homes were all out of the family by the early 19th Century. That doesn’t diminish the reality that during their relatively shorter period of dominance the Pages did impact the colony and young Commonwealth. For this reason, the Pages, in spite of their debts, are well worth studying.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

SOURCES:

  1. Billings, Warren M.; Selby, John E.; and Tate, Thad W. Colonial Virginia: A History. White Plains, NY: KTO Press. 1986.
  2. Billings, Warren M. Sir William Berkeley and the Forging of Colonial Virginia. Baton Rouge, LA: LSU Press, 2004.
  3. Billings, Warren. A Little Parliament: The Virginia General Assembly in the Seventeenth Century. Richmond, VA: Library of Virginia, 2004.
  4. Blair, John L. The Rise of the Burwells. MA Thesis, Williamsburg, VA: College of William and Mary, 1959.
  5. Bruce, Phillip Alexander. Social Life of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century: An Inquiry into the Origin of the Higher Planting Class. New York: JP Bell Company, 1927.
  6. Brown, Stuart E. Burwell: Kith and kin of the immigrant, Lewis Burwell (1621-1653) : and Burwell Virginia Tidewater plantation mansions. Virginia Book, Co, 1994.
  7. Dabney, Virginius. Virginia: The New Dominion, A History from 1607 to the Present. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1971.
  8. Dowdey, Clifford. The Great Plantation: A Profile of Berkeley Hundred and Plantation Virginia from Jamestown to Appomattox. Charles City, VA: Berkeley Plantation, 1980.
  9. Evans, Emory G. A “Topping People”: The Rise and Decline of Virginia’s Old Political Elite, 1680-1790. Charlottesville, VA: UVA Press, 2009.
  10. Fischer, David Hackett. Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: a cultural history). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
  11. Freeman, Douglas Southall. George Washington: A Biography. New York: Charles Scribners, 1957. (Specifically Volume 1).
  12. Horn, James. Adapting to A New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
  13. Lanciano, Claude. Rosewell: Garland of Virginia. Gloucester, VA: Gloucester County Historical Committee, 1978.
  14. Leviner, Betty Crowe. The Page Family of Rosewell and Mannsfield: A Study in Economic Decline. Williamsburg, VA: William and Mary. Unpublished Master’s Thesis, 1987.
  15. Mapp, Alfred J. Virginia Experiment: The Old Dominion’s Role in the Making of America, 1607-1781Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc., 2006.
  16. McCartney, Martha W. Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers: A Biographical Dictionary, 1607-1635. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2007.
  17. Neill, Edward D. Virginia Carolorum: The Colony under the Rule of Charles The First and Second, A.D. 1625-A.D. 1685. Albany, NY: Joel Munsell’s and Sons, 1886.
  18. Page, Richard Channing Moore. Genealogy Of The Page Family In Virginia: Also, A Condensed Account Of The Nelson, Walker, Pendleton, And Randolph Families. NY: Jenkins and Thomas Printers, 1883.
  19. Pecquet du Bellet, Louise. Some Prominent Virginia Families, 4 Volumes. Lynchburg, VA:  J.P. Bell Company, 1907.
  20. Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Auburn, AL: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 1999.
  21. Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and the James River. Richmond, VA: The Hermitage Press, 1906.
  22. Walsh, Lorena S. Motives of Honor, Pleasure, and Profit: Plantation Management in the Colonial Chesapeake, 1607-1763. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.
  23. Washburn, Wilcomb E. Virginia Under Charles I and Cromwell 1625-1660. Kindle Edition.
  24. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. Virginia Under the Stuarts: 1607-1688. New York: Russell and Russell, 1959.
  25. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. The Planters of Colonial Virginia. Kindle Edition.
  26. Wright, Louis B. First Gentlemen of Virginia. Charlottesville, VA: Dominion Books, 1982.

Special Links:

 

 

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is of the PageFamily Crest. Turn of the century Rosewell Pictures are all from Wikimedia Commons. Mansfield Plantation pictures are from Mysteries and Conundrums. John Page I Portrait by Peter Lely is from Wikimedia Commons.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and “Rich Kids” by Judah and the Lion, also available on iTunes.

First Families of Virginia – The Burwells

The families making up the First Families list intermarried with one another throughout their generations. Arguably no family played a more central role in those marriages than did the Burwells.

Marriage lifted Lewis Burwell II out of a fatherless middling status in that his mother Lucy remarried twice, elevating both her and her son’s station each time. Lucy’s last marriage to Colonel Philip Ludwell Sr. solidified their inclusion among Virginia’s most powerful colonial elite.

Lewis only added to his now elevated position by also marrying well. He first wed Abigail Smith, cousin to Nathaniel Bacon Sr, and then Martha Lear, William Cole’s widow. He was an intelligent planter, merchant, and builder, and that work brought him much praise throughout the colony. He was involved in moving Virginia’s colonial capitol from Jamestown to Williamsburg, as well as laying out the new power-center’s infrastructure. This work would have seen him enter the Governor’s Council, but the situation went awry when his daughter Lucy refused to marry Governor Francis Nicholson.

In the end, Lewis and family endured long enough to see Nicholson’s downfall instead of their own. The Burwell name remained and grew upon Lewis’ foundation, thus leaving her imprint upon the colony, Commonwealth, and later United States. Their influence was such that a West Point family named a son after the great Lewis Burwells of history. That son went on to achieve great things as well, and he’s still highly revered, especially by his beloved Marine Corps.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

SOURCES:

  1. Billings, Warren M.; Selby, John E.; and Tate, Thad W. Colonial Virginia: A History. White Plains, NY: KTO Press. 1986.
  2. Billings, Warren M. Sir William Berkeley and the Forging of Colonial Virginia. Baton Rouge, LA: LSU Press, 2004.
  3. Billings, Warren. A Little Parliament: The Virginia General Assembly in the Seventeenth Century. Richmond, VA: Library of Virginia, 2004.
  4. Blair, John L. The Rise of the Burwells. MA Thesis, Williamsburg, VA: College of William and Mary, 1959.
  5. Brown, Stuart E. Burwell: Kith and kin of the immigrant, Lewis Burwell (1621-1653) : and Burwell Virginia Tidewater plantation mansions. Virginia Book, Co, 1994.
  6. Dabney, Virginius. Virginia: The New Dominion, A History from 1607 to the Present. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1971.
  7. Dowdey, Clifford. The Great Plantation: A Profile of Berkeley Hundred and Plantation Virginia from Jamestown to Appomattox. Charles City, VA: Berkeley Plantation, 1980.
  8. Evans, Emory G. A “Topping People”: The Rise and Decline of Virginia’s Old Political Elite, 1680-1790. Charlottesville, VA: UVA Press, 2009.
  9. Fischer, David Hackett. Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: a cultural history). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
  10. Freeman, Douglas Southall. George Washington: A Biography. New York: Charles Scribners, 1957. (Specifically Volume 1).
  11. Horn, James. Adapting to A New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
  12. Mapp, Alfred J. Virginia Experiment: The Old Dominion’s Role in the Making of America, 1607-1781Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc., 2006.
  13. McCartney, Martha W. Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers: A Biographical Dictionary, 1607-1635. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2007.
  14. Neill, Edward D. Virginia Carolorum: The Colony under the Rule of Charles The First and Second, A.D. 1625-A.D. 1685. Albany, NY: Joel Munsell’s and Sons, 1886.
  15. Pecquet du Bellet, Louise. Some Prominent Virginia Families, vol. 2. Lynchburg, VA:  J.P. Bell Company, 1907.
  16. Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Auburn, AL: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 1999.
  17. Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and the James River. Richmond, VA: The Hermitage Press, 1906.
  18. Walsh, Lorena S. Motives of Honor, Pleasure, and Profit: Plantation Management in the Colonial Chesapeake, 1607-1763. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.
  19. Washburn, Wilcomb E. Virginia Under Charles I and Cromwell 1625-1660. Kindle Edition.
  20. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. Virginia Under the Stuarts: 1607-1688. New York: Russell and Russell, 1959.
  21. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. The Planters of Colonial Virginia. Kindle Edition.
  22. Wright, Louis B. First Gentlemen of Virginia. Charlottesville, VA: Dominion Books, 1982.

Special Links:

 

 

 

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is of the Burwell Family Crest. Lewis Burwell II, Fairfield Plantation, Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and “If You’re Still In, I’m In.” by The East Pointers, also available on iTunes.

First Families of Virginia – The Harrisons

The Harrison family was as close to American Royalty as possible, two Presidents bear the family name, and another has his roots intertwined therein. A Harrison signed the Declaration of Independence. Harrison names pepper Virginia’s annals, and they also extended their influence westward as America expanded into the Midwest. Their homes are among Virginia’s crown jewels illustrating just how impressive they were. But as impressive as they were, we know relatively little about their American foundations. In this episode we piece together their history and then show how the family impacted Virginia and later the United States.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

SOURCES:

  1. Billings, Warren M.; Selby, John E.; and Tate, Thad W. Colonial Virginia: A History. White Plains, NY: KTO Press. 1986.
  2. Billings, Warren M. Sir William Berkeley and the Forging of Colonial Virginia. Baton Rouge, LA: LSU Press, 2004.
  3. Billings, Warren. A Little Parliament: The Virginia General Assembly in the Seventeenth Century. Richmond, VA: Library of Virginia, 2004.
  4. Dabney, Virginius. Virginia: The New Dominion, A History from 1607 to the Present. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1971.
  5. Dowdey, Clifford. The Great Plantation: A Profile of Berkeley Hundred and Plantation Virginia from Jamestown to Appomattox. Charles City, VA: Berkeley Plantation, 1980.
  6. Evans, Emory G. A “Topping People”: The Rise and Decline of Virginia’s Old Political Elite, 1680-1790. Charlottesville, VA: UVA Press, 2009.
  7. Fischer, David Hackett. Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: a cultural history). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
  8. Freeman, Douglas Southall. George Washington: A Biography. New York: Charles Scribners, 1957. (Specifically Volume 1).
  9. Harrison, J. Houston. Settlers By the Long Grey Trail, Some Pioneers to Old Augusta County, Virginia, and Their Descendants, of the Family of Harrison and Allied Lines. Dayton, VA: Clearfield, 1935.
  10. Hildrup, Robert P. Upper Brandon. Richmond, VA: James River Corporation, 1987.
  11. Horn, James. Adapting to A New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
  12. Mapp, Alfred J. Virginia Experiment: The Old Dominion’s Role in the Making of America, 1607-1781Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc., 2006.
  13. McCartney, Martha W. Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers: A Biographical Dictionary, 1607-1635. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2007.
  14. Neill, Edward D. Virginia Carolorum: The Colony under the Rule of Charles The First and Second, A.D. 1625-A.D. 1685. Albany, NY: Joel Munsell’s and Sons, 1886.
  15. Pecquet du Bellet, Louise. Some Prominent Virginia Families, vol. 2. Lynchburg, VA:  J.P. Bell Company, 1907.
  16. Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Auburn, AL: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 1999.
  17. Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and the James River. Richmond, VA: The Hermitage Press, 1906.
  18. Walsh, Lorena S. Motives of Honor, Pleasure, and Profit: Plantation Management in the Colonial Chesapeake, 1607-1763. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.
  19. Washburn, Wilcomb E. Virginia Under Charles I and Cromwell 1625-1660. Kindle Edition.
  20. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. Virginia Under the Stuarts: 1607-1688. New York: Russell and Russell, 1959.
  21. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. The Planters of Colonial Virginia. Kindle Edition.
  22. Wright, Louis B. First Gentlemen of Virginia. Charlottesville, VA: Dominion Books, 1982.

Special Links:

 

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is of the Harrison Family Crest. Links to pictures not my own are President Benjamin Harrison, Benjamin Harrison IV, Claremont Manor, Sarah Blair Harrison Grave, Benjamin Harrison Signature, The Battle of Tippecanoe.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and “Local Honey” by Sean Watkins, also available on iTunes.

 

First Families of Virginia – The Lees

The Lee family impact upon Virginia’s history is undeniable. Richard I, “The Immigrant” had a seemingly boundless energy attached to a shrewd business sense. He used that combination to establish the Lee Dynasty from which foundational descendants sprang. He and his wife Anne (aka Anna) Constable Lee bore 10 children, of whom 9 survived infancy. Those 9 children, perhaps not as boundless as their patriarch, ensured Richard’s legacy within the Commonwealth lived beyond one generation.

Richard purchased vast lands, and left them to his children to build upon. They built enduring monuments to the Lee name such as Statford Hall, created tight bonds with other leading families of the day, and shaped Virginia’s future, while also taking part in America’s founding. But the Lee name didn’t stop there.

When Virginia’s First Family dominance seemed lost a Lee stepped forward in the twilight to give one last performance. In the end, the sun set on the Lee family as well as the First Families of Virginia, which in profound manner also influenced Virginia’s future. No longer a leader, Virginia became simply another contributing member of the United States, and the Lees, ever faithful continued to play their part.

Today debates abound, but what is not debatable is the Lee impact as trailblazers, innovators, country-builders, heroes, and sometime villains. Without them Virginia and the United States’ story, both good and bad, would not be the same, and their story begins with that brilliant family founder in 1639.

Tune in to this episode where we introduce this important family’s founding, while highlighting just a few of the Lee’s who impacted history.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

SOURCES:

  1. Billings, Warren M.; Selby, John E.; and Tate, Thad W. Colonial Virginia: A History. White Plains, NY: KTO Press. 1986.
  2. Billings, Warren M. Sir William Berkeley and the Forging of Colonial Virginia. Baton Rouge, LA: LSU Press, 2004.
  3. Billings, Warren. A Little Parliament: The Virginia General Assembly in the Seventeenth Century. Richmond, VA: Library of Virginia, 2004.
  4. Dabney, Virginius. Virginia: The New Dominion, A History from 1607 to the Present. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1971.
  5. Evans, Emory G. A “Topping People”: The Rise and Decline of Virginia’s Old Political Elite, 1680-1790. Charlottesville, VA: UVA Press, 2009.
  6. Fischer, David Hackett. Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: a cultural history). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
  7. Freeman, Douglas Southall. George Washington: A Biography. New York: Charles Scribners, 1957. (Specifically Volume 1).
  8. Freeman, Douglas Southall. R. E. Lee: A Biography. Charles Scribners: New York, 1936.
  9. Hendrick, Burton J. The Lees of Virginia: Biography of a Family. New York: Little Brown and Co, 1935.
  10. Horn, James. Adapting to A New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
  11. Lee, Edmund Jennings. Lee of Virginia, 1642-1892: Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of the Descendants of Colonel Richard Lee. Heritage Books, 2008
  12. Mapp, Alfred J. Virginia Experiment: The Old Dominion’s Role in the Making of America, 1607-1781Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc., 2006.
  13. McCartney, Martha W. Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers: A Biographical Dictionary, 1607-1635. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2007.
  14. Nagel, Paul C. The Lees of Virginia: Seven Generations of an American Family. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.
  15. Neill, Edward D. Virginia Carolorum: The Colony under the Rule of Charles The First and Second, A.D. 1625-A.D. 1685. Albany, NY: Joel Munsell’s and Sons, 1886.
  16. Pecquet du Bellet, Louise. Some Prominent Virginia Families, vol. 4. Lynchburg, VA:  J.P. Bell Company, 1907.
  17. Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Auburn, AL: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 1999.
  18. Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and the James River. Richmond, VA: The Hermitage Press, 1906.
  19. Walsh, Lorena S. Motives of Honor, Pleasure, and Profit: Plantation Management in the Colonial Chesapeake, 1607-1763. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.
  20. Washburn, Wilcomb E. Virginia Under Charles I and Cromwell 1625-1660. Kindle Edition.
  21. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. Virginia Under the Stuarts: 1607-1688. New York: Russell and Russell, 1959.
  22. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. The Planters of Colonial Virginia. Kindle Edition.
  23. Wright, Louis B. First Gentlemen of Virginia. Charlottesville, VA: Dominion Books, 1982.

SPECIAL LINKS:

 

 

 

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is of the Lee Family Crest.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and “Haven” by We Banjo 3, also available on iTunes.

First Families of Virginia – The Bollings

In this episode I begin making the case that perhaps Governor Berkeley’s greatest contribution to 17th Century Virginia and beyond was his encouraging Cavaliers to immigrate into the colony.

Beginning in the 1640s many of those Cavalier families took up Berkeley’s offer, and indeed moved many sons into the Old Dominion. The first family on our list, the Bollings, sent teen-aged Robert to the New World in 1660. He quickly worked his way into existing society, especially when he married Pocahontas’ granddaughter, Jane Rolfe in 1674.

Robert’s arrival was a case of old meets new in that the Rolfe line was one of the earliest prominent Virginia families, even if Thomas Rolfe, John and Pocahontas’ son, didn’t return to Virginia until the 1640s himself. The Rolfe’s still owned land, and it was in Thomas’ name. He received more lands over the next couple of decades, which made marrying his daughter Jane a highly prized choice.

Robert and Jane’s marriage extended genealogical links from John Rolfe and Pocahontas into the 20th Century. Their children and grandchildren were highly influential planters, merchants, and statesmen who helped shape Virginia into a powerhouse up to the American War for Independence and beyond. Because of that, as well as their connection all the way back to 17th Century Virginia’s most famous marriage, the Bolling family is my first episode in the First Family of Virginia Series.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

SOURCES:

  1. Billings, Warren M.; Selby, John E.; and Tate, Thad W. Colonial Virginia: A History. White Plains, NY: KTO Press. 1986.
  2. Billings, Warren M. Sir William Berkeley and the Forging of Colonial Virginia. Baton Rouge, LA: LSU Press, 2004.
  3. Billings, Warren. A Little Parliament: The Virginia General Assembly in the Seventeenth Century. Richmond, VA: Library of Virginia, 2004.
  4. Bolling, Robert. A Memoir of a Portion of the Bolling Family in England and Virginia. Richmond, VA: W.H. Wade and Co, 1868.
  5. Dabney, Virginius. Virginia: The New Dominion, A History from 1607 to the Present. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1971.
  6. Evans, Emory G. A “Topping People”: The Rise and Decline of Virginia’s Old Political Elite, 1680-1790. Charlottesville, VA: UVA Press, 2009.
  7. Fischer, David Hackett. Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: a cultural history). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
  8. Horn, James. Adapting to A New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
  9. Mapp, Alfred J. Virginia Experiment: The Old Dominion’s Role in the Making of America, 1607-1781Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc., 2006.
  10. McCartney, Martha W. Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers: A Biographical Dictionary, 1607-1635. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2007.
  11. Neill, Edward D. Virginia Carolorum: The Colony under the Rule of Charles The First and Second, A.D. 1625-A.D. 1685. Albany, NY: Joel Munsell’s and Sons, 1886.
  12. Pecquet du Bellet, Louise. Some Prominent Virginia Families, vol. 4. Lynchburg, VA:  J.P. Bell Company, 1907.
  13. Robertson, Wyndham. Pocahontas: Alias Matoaka, and Her Descendants. Richmond, VA: J.W. Randolph and English, 1887.
  14. Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Auburn, AL: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 1999.
  15. Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and the James River. Richmond, VA: The Hermitage Press, 1906.
  16. Walsh, Lorena S. Motives of Honor, Pleasure, and Profit: Plantation Management in the Colonial Chesapeake, 1607-1763. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.
  17. Washburn, Wilcomb E. Virginia Under Charles I and Cromwell 1625-1660. Kindle Edition.
  18. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. Virginia Under the Stuarts: 1607-1688. New York: Russell and Russell, 1959.
  19. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. The Planters of Colonial Virginia. Kindle Edition.
  20. Wright, Louis B. First Gentlemen of Virginia. Charlottesville, VA: Dominion Books, 1982.

SPECIAL LINKS:

 

 

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is of the Bolling Family Crest. Other images not my own are the Bolling Grave Markers, Diascund Creek, Robert Bolling, Sr., John Wesley Jarvis’s John Randolph of Roanoke, The Bolling Mausoleum, and Edith Bolling Wilson.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and “Brothers” by Little Chief, also available on iTunes.

 

Interview with Berkeley Castle’s Charles Berkeley

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Two men with deep connections to Berkeley Plantation – L-R Charles Berkeley (descendant of Richard Berkeley) and Graham Woodlief (descendant of Captain John Woodlief)

I used to tell my students that history is a giant web. Cause effects change, and that  change, sometimes unseen, is felt for generations.

Gloucestershire’s Berkeley Castle is a location at the heart of change. Even though the manorial seat has been in the same family for 27 generations, many of the people directly associated with the Castle moved to Virginia bringing profound influence with them to the New World.

The name Berkeley stands tall in 17th Century Virginia’s annals. The 1619 landing at what would become known as Berkeley Hundred put the Castle’s name on Virginia’s map forever. Decades later a Berkeley relative became Virginia’s most influential 17th Century colonial governor. But it wasn’t just Berkeley’s that came to Virginia from Gloucestershire. Skilled tradesmen, indentured servants, and merchants also moved from the old world, hoping to better there lives.

Berkeley Hundred soon suffered a horrific blow in 1622, but survivors endured and built a thriving colony. That colony became an early American leader, producing countless statesmen, scientific pioneers, westward explorers, military heroes, and seven United States Presidents. Two of those Presidents, William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison have immediate connections to Berkeley Plantation, and they were preceded by Benjamin Harrison V,  a Declaration of Independence signer.

The various causes spurring Berkeley Hundred’s first settlers to leave Gloucestershire undoubtedly left a lasting impact upon Virginia’s and the United State’s history. For that we should be thankful, just as those first settlers were, for new opportunities. Today we can build upon those opportunities, while we trace our history back to places like Berkeley Castle and beyond.

Charles Berkeley, 27th Generation owner of Berkeley Castle, visited Berkeley Plantation in order to share in highlighting Berkeley Castle’s profound influence upon Virginia. His kind generosity made this interview possible, for which I’m thankful beyond measure.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

SPECIAL LINKS:

 

 

 

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The featured image is of Berkeley Castle accessed from Wikipedia.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and English Folk Song Suite I. March ( Seventeen Come Sunday). Allegro by Ralph Vaughan Williams, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Adrian Boult, also available on iTunes.

Special Halloween Episode – Haunted Thoroughgood

The (Adam) Thoroughgood House has a lot of mystery surrounding it. At one time it was believed to be the oldest brick house in America, perhaps built by Adam Thoroughgood himself. Later work on the house put the house’s construction to 1719, almost 80 years after Thoroughgood died in 1640.

Other mysteries surround the famous Virginia Beach dwelling, such as whether or not the house is haunted. Many say no. Those who disagree on the otherhand tell rather compelling stories about eerie encounters.

Famed Virginia Ghost Storyteller L.B. Taylor paid the Thoroughgood House a visit in order to record some of those frightening stories for his book The Ghosts of Tidewater.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

Plan a visit to the Thoroughgood

More from L.B. Taylor Jr.

Special Links

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The featured image and subsequent images are from my visits to the Thoroughgood House.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and Kevin MacLeod “Vanished” found on Soundcloud.