Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Virginia Adventurers

Many of the first colonial settlers to Virginia originated from England. The early 17th century was a popular period in history for adventurers, or those who needed a fresh start. Not only were colonial Virginians adventurers, they were also business men, seeking wealth in a new country. The old family seats were virtually worn out, relatives owning titles and estates which would not pass into the hands of distant relatives. Too, these Englishment were staunch advocates of freedom and free enterprise. They heartily embraced the plantation system and the idea of creating country estates resembling the old English manors, bringing with them stocks of english boxwood, herbs and other plants to embellish the American landscape. They sought the free land offered to those who would colonize. Those who brought family and friends to settle received thousands of acres in land grants. Transporting large companies to the New World was an adventure in itself. The master had to support these people while he developed self-sustained communities and lifestylles, mostly along the beautiful James River which was used for importing and exporting goods to and fro. They grew large healthy stalks of tobacco and harvested plentiful crops. Tobacco was used as script locally as well as abroad. It was an excellent cash crop. These business men invested time and money in the crop and outbuildings, not so much the manor home. Although they were active in local politics, they were not terribly excited about being required to attend church and tithe. They who had criticized class distinctions so prominent among the English, but as they amassed their fortunes as Virginia gentlemen, also created a lower class. After all, the practising royal governors were in the province exuding their class and wealth.

ANCIENT FAMILIES CONNECTED TO VIRGINIANS...citations from English Records. Names included so far: Audley, Ellis, Babb, Bacon, Ball, Boys, Burley, Barnard, Baxter, Bridge, Cary, Chestwood, Chinn, Cody, Cobin, Cutler, Digges, Driver, Ducane, Famsterwick, Grendon, Honeywood, Lamp, Littleton, Maddock, Matthews, Nicholson, Reeve, Richards, Strachey, Veheath, Vesey, Younge and Wyeth. More to come.

ANCIENT FAMILIES FROM THE BRITISH ISLES TO VIRGINIA. These are ancient genealogies which have Virginia connections. Cocke of Shropshire; Chiefs Colquhoun of Scotland; Molyneux/Mullenax of Lancastershire; Nicholson of Suffolk; Yuille (Yowell) of Dumbarton, Scotland

Jeannette Holland Austin, author of over 100 genealogy books
Virginia Pioneers

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