Sunday, March 31, 2013

DAVENPORT (Part II: The Pamunkey Neck Davenports)

According to The Library of Virginia:
"Several Virginia counties, most of them in the eastern part of the state, have suffered tremendous loss of their early records during the intense military activity that occurred during the Civil War, and others lost records in fires."

Despite the scarcity of records, our Davenport lineage appears to flow from the James River Colony through LANCELOT into New Kent, King & Queen, King William, Louisa, and Hanover counties by his children and their families. Earliest evidence suggests that some Davenports had settled in Pamunkey Neck by 1650.

Although little evidence is found to connect Lancelot to the next generation, Martin Davenport (father of Davis) is believed to be his son, born around 1624 in King William Co.  [Others have connected Martin to the John Davenport line -an interesting, influential Boston/Stamford family that does not appear to be related.] 

The first evidence of Davis Davenport is through a survey made in 1696 for Major John Waller, laying off almost 1,000 acres on the Mattaponi River in Pamunkey Neck (then part of King & Queen County) that Waller had bought from Elias Downes. “Davenport's plantation” was shown on the survey as bounding Waller's purchase on the upriver side with "below Davis Davenport's landing on Mattaponi" cited as the beginning point of the survey.  Davis Davenport and his son Martin both appear in the 1704 Quit Rent roll of land owners of King William County; Davis with 200 acres and Martin with 100 acres. A 1703 patent in the area refers to “the path from Yarbrough’s Ferry to Davenport’s.”  A 1705 patent mentions “Davenport’s Path” in the same area. 

In the third generation, Davis' son Martin of Pamunkey Neck married Dorothy Glover (widow of Paul Harralson, daughter of William Glover).  The next generations are then marked by Glover as first or middle names. Research among the few records remaining of King William County identify a William Glover as a freeholder located relatively near Martin Davenport's land listed for Quit Rents in 1704.   [There may be some interconnections with our Glover/Kennedy lines but I believe this family to be of different ancestry.  We have seven William Glovers, fifteen Thomas Glovers, and ten John Glovers of whom our 'Glover-side' ancestor immigrated to America in 1754 -generations after Dorothy's family.]

Our Pamunkey Davenport line continues through Martin and Dorothy's daughter, Crotia Cassity Davenport, born circa 1710 in King William Co.  Crotia married Charles Kennedy and their son Davenport Kennedy began the westward migration down the Anna River from Hanover Co. to Louisa, VA.  
[Although I am attempting to maintain a focus on our 'direct line' ancestors, I share this 'kissing-cousins' finding too:
James Glover Davenport, Jr., (Crotia's nephew) married Dorothy Kennedy, daughter of Crotia's son, Davenport Kennedy.] 

Our Pamunkey Davenport Ancestors include:
LANCELOT DAVENPORT  immigrant @1620 (1599 – 1660)

The paper-trail begins with my 9th GGF:
Martin Davenport (1625 - 1700)
son of Lancelot Davenport @1620

Davis Davenport (1660 - 1732)
son of Martin Davenport

Martin Davenport (1682 - 1735)
son of (William) Davis Davenport

Crotia Cassity Davenport (1709 - 1780)
daughter of Martin Davenport

Davenport Kennedy (1735 - 1784)
son of Crotia Cassity Davenport

Mary Kennedy (1770 - )
daughter of Davenport Kennedy

James Madison Mayfield (1800 - 1876)
son of Mary Kennedy

Temperance Mayfield (1835 - 1910)
daughter of James Madison Mayfield

Joan (or Joanna) Seese (1873 - 1963)
daughter of Temperance Mayfield

Horse Landing, formerly Davenport Landing, King William Co., VA

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

DAVENPORT (Part I: The DNA Projects)

The ravages of colonial/nationalist wars included the inestimable loss of many records that would have 'filled-in the blanks' making our earliest American family history more complete and accurate.  One modern -and increasingly popular- method used for providing 'proof' of ancestry is DNA testing of potential descendants.  There are at least three main DNA branches of the Davenport family in America for which some records  exist:
1652 Virginia
THE JAMES RIVER DAVENPORTS   Lancelot Davenport is listed on the ship rolls of The Duty which was dispatched by the Virginia Company to America, landing in Jamestown in early 1620. He was in the service of Mr. Edward Blaney, a colonial agent for the Virginia Company of London with a plantation on the south side of the James River, Virginia Colony. In 1639, Lancelot became a landowner, with 50 acres of land in James City County "due for his personal adventure."  This unusually small parcel was his 'headright' provided by the King.  It is believed that within two generations, part of his family moved from King William County into the area called Pamunkey Neck.  The early James River Davenports were noted as literate people, skilled as clerks, bookkeepers, and public servants. The fact that Lancelot worked in the colony for almost 20 years before earning his acreage has some researchers wondering if he engaged in a long apprenticeship and married later in life. Another plausible theory is that Lancelot was sent to the colonies as a convict serving a 20-year sentence.  Since he was probably 'indentured' to Mr. Blaney, it seems more likely that he, as most did, earned his 'freeman' status within four years after arrival.  If true, it would help us to imagine Lancelot's American family beginning with a child of Martin Davenport's age.  If not true, then Martin was probably descended from one of the Boston Davenports (see below).

Our family line stretches back to early descendants of Davis Davenport[My research shows Davis as son of Martin Davenport who was born and died in King William Co., VA.  Although the link between Lancelot and Martin is generally agreed-upon as father/son, records are sparse and speculative.]  According to a 1696 land survey, Davis owned a plantation and landing in Pamunkey Neck.  The early Pamunkey Davenports were small-farm tobacco planters, but -unlike Lancelot- typically illiterate.  Another group settled in the "Northern Neck" area; these were the Tidewater Davenports who were slave-owning, gentlemen planters with possible aristocratic background. 

Yankee Rebel Tavern
Mackinac Island
The Mackinac Davenports have connections to Michigan's Mackinac Island through "The Yankee Rebel" Ambrose R. Davenport.  Born in Virginia in 1771, Ambrose served in the army under General "Mad Anthony" Wayne and was assigned to Mackinac in 1796.  Upon leaving the military, he remained on the island to work in the fur trade.  When the British took control of the fort at Mackinac in 1812, Ambrose was temporarily deported to Detroit as a prisoner of war along with the entire garrison and some other islanders.  Refusing to swear allegiance to the British crown, he is quoted as having said
"I was born in America, and am determined, at all hazards to live and die an American citizen." 
He was able to return to his wife and children at the close of the war and lived out the remainder of his long life on Mackinac Island.  Descendants from his six children remained in the Great Lakes region, settling in Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin.  \[The Yankee Rebel Tavern, located on a side street of downtown Mackinac Island, honors the memory of Ambrose.]
Ambrose Davenport historic cabin in Hubbard's Annex, Mackinac Island, MI

Additional info on the Davenport DNA project can be googled, including the following from:
From the Davenport DNA Project
"The "original" Davenport can be traced back to Ormus De Davenport, (one of many spelling variations), alive at the time of the Norman Conquest around 1066 AD in the Cheshire area of England. Almost 800 years later, in 1851, Amzi Benedict Davenport published the first major Davenport genealogy. Although Amzi concentrated on his own line, the Rev. John Davenport, (founder of New Haven, Connecticut), he and others were able to document the line back to Ormus. Twenty five years later he published a newer updated edition. Today, except for a few minor instances, that research has stood the test of time. Because of Amzi's research, it is Ormus that most Davenports hope to trace back to.
In the 1600's, five Davenports resided in the Boston area. They were the Rev. John (1597-1670), Thomas "of Dorchester" (abt 1604-1685), Humphrey (bef 1622-abt 1680), Capt. Richard (abt 1606-1665), and Lancelot (abt 1594-?). All supposedly originated in England and shared the same family crest, but no genealogical link has been found to prove any connections.
One of the original goals of the Davenport Surname DNA Project was to determine if these five Davenport lines were related and, if any were descended from Ormus. In the project's first year, we discovered Rev. John and Thomas shared a common ancestor, while Humphrey did not. Surprisingly, we also discovered that they match the descendents of Richard Davenport, born in England in 1642, and settling in Virginia and then Albemarle, North Carolina. We have not found descendents of Capt. Richard or Lancelot yet.
The next step was to confirm an English connection. In 2005 we began an extensive search for Davenports of known Cheshire ancestry. We found a few and some matched the Rev. John/Thomas/Richard lines. This was encouraging, we were on the right track. Finally, we were able to locate a Bromley-Davenport who was willing to donate his DNA.. The Bromley-Davenport's are one of the few remaining lines with documentation back to Ormus.
The Bromley Davenports matched the others. This means the Rev. John, Thomas of Dorchester, Albemarle's, and several other individuals of "unknown English ancestry" all have a common Davenport ancestor with the Bromley Davenports. It's official now, DNA corroborated our common descent from Ormus De Davenport; but the who, where, and when - we don't yet know. As more markers and participants become available, that day may come."
- - Posted on 5 Jun 2006

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. PATRICK'S DAY ~Ulster Scots in America

It was my intention to feature prominent Irish ancestors today. What I found, instead, were links to our Ulster Scot kinsmen and women, the "Scotch Irish"... who all, for the most part, made the 20-mile crossing to Northern Ireland in the mid-1600's to early 1700's and, later, on to America. 

Historians believe that the real St. Patrick (given name Maewyn) was born in the late 4th century, in Wales or maybe even Scotland.  At 16, Maewyn was captured during a raid and sold as a slave to an Irish landowner of Dalriada. During his time in Ireland as a shepherd, Maewyn began to have religious visions and dreams -- including one in which he learned how to escape captivity. Once free back in Britain, Maewyn moved on to France, where he studied and entered the priesthood under the guidance of the missionary, St. Germain. Eventually, he returned to Ireland to "care and labour for the salvation of others", according to The Confession of St. Patrick, and changed his name to Patrick, which means "father of the people." In the year 431, he was consecrated second bishop to Ireland by Pope Celestine I.  In his 30 year mission, Bishop Patrick converted thousands of Irish to Christianity and is famed for teaching the doctrine of the Holy Trinity with the three-leafed shamrock. St. Patrick died around 461 and was probably buried in Ulster, County Down, Ireland.
Some interesting St. Patrick trivia:
~though included on the official List of Saints of the Catholic Church, Patrick was not formally canonized as a saint. 
~St. Patrick is also honored by the Episcopal Church with the celebration of St. Patrick's Day on March 17th; recognized by the Anglican, Eastern and Coptic Orthodox, as well as Roman Catholic churches.
~The Irish have observed St. Patrick's Day as a religious holiday for over a millenium.  
~And, surprisingly, the FIRST St. Patrick's Day parade took place in BOSTON, not Ireland, on March 18, 1737. 
~Between 1717 to 1770, over a quarter of a million Protestants from the north of Ireland -the Ulster-Scots- emigrated to America. 

~Seventeen of the 44 Presidents of the United States have Ulster-Scots roots.
~Members of the Irish Society of Boston, a group of immigrants (mostly Scots-Irish merchants and tradesmen) were instrumental in organizing the first public celebrations for St. Patrick's Day.
~and, my favorite:  General George Washington allowed his Continental Army troops to take a day off from the American War of Independence on March 17, 1780 to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. 

 Please link to: Song & Tribute  to our family's Ulster-Scot heritage: 
Hi Uncle Sam
When freedom was denied you,
And Imperial might defied you,
Who was it stood beside you
At Quebec and Brandywine?
And dared retreats and dangers,
Red-coats and Hessian strangers,
In the lean, long-rifled Rangers,
And the Pennsylvania Line!

Hi! Uncle Sam!
Wherever there was fighting,
Or wrong that needed righting,
An Ulsterman was sighting
His Kentucky gun with care:
All the road to Yorktown,
From Valley Forge to Yorktown,
That Ulsterman was there!

Hi! Uncle Sam!
sent her brave men,
The North paraded grave men,
That they might not be slavemen,
But ponder with this calm:
The first to face the Tory
And the first to lift Old Glory
Made your war an Ulster story:
Think it over, Uncle Sam!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

WELSH WARRIORS (Straight/Seese Family)

Cordican, (Cardigan) Wales
Welsh defiance to English rule appears to be 'in the blood' of our Straight family generations as far back as the 13th century.  But by the late 1600's we find our ancestor, Jacob Straight taking sides with England against the French in America, with descendants later defending the new America from French, Indian, and English control.
Unlike the Morgans, who supposedly came from Glamorgan, the Straights originated on the midwest coast of Wales.  Records show their origin as Cordican (which I found to be the phonetic spelling of Cardigan.) Although I haven't yet found much 'official' documentation to help support that claim, it does appear that at least one Straight, our immigrant ancestor, found his way to England, married, and raised two sons there.   He was said to be the only one of James Straight's sons who did not live and die in their beloved Wales.
Below is a rough timeline that is as factual as the few, conflicting records allow:

13th Century. The first mention of this family line begins with David Straight who was said to be descended from the great Llewllyn, the Welsh chieftain who refused to pay tribute to King Edward I in 1283 [on link, scroll down to "Wales Rebels -The Declaration of Defiance, 1282"].   Assuming this has merit, we might also believe that David's son (?) Robert Straight "set defiance to the English king's son being named the Prince of Wales in 1301, and led a party of three hundred of the free- minded Welsh people into the mountains of Wales, where they and their descendants lived in defiance of English rule for two centuries."  [uncomfirmed source from]
1485 Battle of Bosworth Field
15th Century.  In 1491 James Straight, a descendant of David, fought in the Battle of Bosworth.
 Between James and the birth of William Straight in 1612 the family lineage is difficult to document, and no special mention of this Cardigan family has been found in the English records of that time. 

The following lineage we do know:
10th GGF William Straight (1612 - 1691) m. Margaret Lesh
  • William Straight, said to bdescended from the Welsh branch of the Six Nations of Celts, became a supporter of King Charles I in 1645. From 1649 to 1660 William Straight with his wife, four sons and two daughters continued to live as Welsh without interference by the English. In 1664 he was made a magistrate in his native district, and lived until 1691. His wife Margaret Lesh died in 1686. Their sons, Robert, Jacob, William, and Joseph, with two daughters were born in Cardigan (Cordican) and all the family with the exception of son William Straight lived and died in Wales.
William Straight (1642 - 1717)  m. Abbie Bruce (William born in Cardigan, Wales; he and his wife died in Bristol, Gloucestershire, England.)

Capt. Jacob Straight 1689 Immigrant (1663 - ) m. Elizabeth Moorefield (Jacob was born in Cardiganshire, Wales; died in England)
The surrender of Quebec, King William's War
  •  Jacob Straight, eldest son of William and Abbie Straight, was born in 1663, and his brother, William Jr. was born in 1665. They both had military school education and were "Guards of Honor" in 1685. In 1689 these sons of William Straight were sent to the American Colonies as captains in the King's service, active in King William's War, 1689-1697 (the first of four French & Indian wars). They retired from the King's service in 1695 and lived in Philadelphia for three more years.
  • Jacob Straight married Elizabeth Moorefield, daughter of Dr. Samuel Moorefield of Winchester on Christmas Day, 1687.
King William’s War:   (1689 – 1697) King William’s War was fought for North American territory contested between France and Britain, under its new king William III. The war, which was the North American extension of the international War of the Grand Alliance, involved French Canadiens and New England colonists and their allies. The British captured Port Royal, Acadia (later Nova Scotia), but failed to take Quebec. The French, under the count de Frontenac (pictured above in his reaction to the British terms of surrender, "I have no reply to make to your general other than from the mouth of my cannons and muskets."), won skirmishes at Schenectady, New York, and in New England but failed to take Boston. The war ended with the Treaty of Rijswijk (1697).

era flintlock musket with King's cipher 

Scene from King George's War
John Milton Straight  (1688 - 1758)  m. Ann Carhart in America in 1712 
(John was born in Gloucestershire, England; died in Maryland)

·    John Milton Straight  was a captain in the New York Militia Company in the third of four French & Indian wars, King George'sWar, 1744-1748. American Genealogical Society, 1939.

Jacob Straight (1715 - 1758)  m. Rebecca Brown
son of John Milton Straight 1689 
Fort Frederick
Jacob Straight was born in Philadephia in 1715. He and brother William settled in Frederick Co, MD. He learned the cooper trade (barrel making) in Philadelphia, and worked for William Conwell in 1738.  
He served as a guard at Fort FrederickMaryland in 1757.  Jacob Straight died in the service of General Forbes’ Army near Will's Creek, Maryland in October, 1758.
[Note: Oct. 12-13, 1758 a French force attacked Gen. Forbes's army at Ft. Ligonier and was repulsed. The British continued to advance toward Fort Duquesne.]
Jacob Straight, Jr. (1741 - 1786) m. Elizabeth Ann Dragoo
Jacob Straight Jr. was born in Frederick Co. Maryland in 1744. He learned
surveying and in 1767 did the first surveying on Indian Creek, in
Monongalia Co., VA. He surveyed for David Morgan in 1769 and again in 1772.

Lord Dunsmore
Jacob Straight, Jr. was a Wood Ranger in 1774-1775. He served in Lord Dunmore's War in 1774 and as a frontier guard along the Monongahela River above and below Morgantown. He was in service in 1777-1778 with Captain Will Minor, and was one of the Rangers that drove the British soldiers from the Dunkard Valley in 1779.
The story of Jacob's death can be found on this blog at "Raid at Chunk's Run".   [His widow, Elizabeth Dragoo Straight survived the attack at Chunk's Run and soon married William Kennedy, Jr.]

Jacob Kennedy Straight (1787 - 1853) m. Permelia Shuman

·         Some researchers show Jacob being born more than 1 year following his father’s death and prior to his mother’s marriage to William Kennedy; some suggest he may have been born earlier than 1787.  Either way, it seems most likely that Jacob was conceived prior to Jacob, Sr.’s death and born earlier than October of 1787.  The middle name Kennedy, however, shows an interesting, yet unknown, connection to the family of the man his mother would marry the year following Jacob Straight’s tragic death.   Elizabeth  Dragoo Straight  had four children with the surname of Straight before she married about 1788-89 to William Kennedy, Jr., an immigrant from County Mayo, Ireland who had served as a private in the Revolutionary War. Elizabeth and her four Straight children moved to the Kennedy farm on McFarland’s Run south of Morgantown in Monongalia County. Elizabeth had six more children with William Kennedy, all of whom were given the Kennedy surname. 
·         Jacob K. married Permelia Shuman in 1810.  They settled on Big Indian Creek near the head of Chunks Run where both the Shuman and Kennedy families lived. (The present day county line between Marion and Monongalia Counties divided Jacob K.'s farm on the Monongalia side from the Kennedys.)  Their first child, daughter Permelia continues our family line.
·         “Jacob K. supplemented his farm income as a cobbler and boot maker. The story is told that two of his sons, Levi J. and William Milton, walked from Marion County, WV to Chillicothe, OH, worked for two years in timber along the Ohio River, and walked back home in the same boots that they had started out in.” (from Roane Co. WVA GenWeb)
·         Jacob K. died of a stroke at his home on 20 July 1853 and was buried with a fieldstone marker on a ridge near his home in the Straight/Floyd Cemetery on Chunks Run, Monongalia Co. where his widow was later interred by his side.

The Straight line continued with three generations of daughters leading to the Glover line:
Permelia Straight (1810 - 1879) m. James Madison Mayfield
daughter of Jacob Kennedy Straight)
Temperance Mayfield (1835 - 1910) m. Jonas Seese
daughter of Permelia Straight
Joan (or Joanna) Seese (1873 - 1963) m. Thomas Jackson Glover
daughter of Temperance Mayfield
Ira Russell Glover (1895 - 1964)
son of Joan (or Joanna) Seese and my grandfather

Friday, March 8, 2013


(from wikipedia) “The Flushing Remonstrance was a 1657 petition to Director-General of New Netherland Peter Stuyvesant, in which several citizens requested an exemption to his ban on Quaker worship. It is considered a precursor to the United States Constitution's provision on freedom of religion in the Bill of Rights.

"According to Kenneth T. Jackson, the Flushing Remonstrance was remarkable for four reasons: (1)it articulated a fundamental right that is as basic to American freedom as any other, (2)the authors backed up their words with actions by sending it to an official not known for tolerance, (3)they stood up for others and were articulating a principle that was of little discernible benefit to themselves, and (4)the language of the remonstrance is as beautiful as the sentiments they express."

Remonstrance of the Inhabitants of the Town of
Flushing to Governor Stuyvesant,
December 27, 1657
Right Honorable
You have been pleased to send unto us a certain prohibition or command that we should not receive or entertain any of those people called Quakers because they are supposed to be, by some, seducers of the people. For our part we cannot condemn them in this case, neither can we stretch out our hands against them, for out of Christ God is a consuming fire, and it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Wee desire therefore in this case not to judge least we be judged, neither to condemn least we be condemned, but rather let every man stand or fall to his own Master. Wee are bounde by the law to do good unto all men, especially to those of the household of faith. And though for the present we seem to be unsensible for the law and the Law giver, yet when death and the Law assault us, if wee have our advocate to seeke, who shall plead for us in this case of conscience betwixt God and our own souls; the powers of this world can neither attach us, neither excuse us, for if God justifye who can condemn and if God condemn there is none can justifye.
And for those jealousies and suspicions which some have of them, that they are destructive unto Magistracy and Ministerye, that cannot bee, for the Magistrate hath his sword in his hand and the Minister hath the sword in his hand, as witnesse those two great examples, which all Magistrates and Ministers are to follow, Moses and Christ, whom God raised up maintained and defended against all enemies both of flesh and spirit; and therefore that of God will stand, and that which is of man will come to nothing. And as the Lord hath taught Moses or the civil power to give an outward liberty in the state, by the law written in his heart designed for the good of all, and can truly judge who is good, who is evil, who is true and who is false, and can pass definitive sentence of life or death against that man which arises up against the fundamental law of the States General; soe he hath made his ministers a savor of life unto life and a savor of death unto death.
The law of love, peace and liberty in the states extending to Jews, Turks and Egyptians, as they are considered sons of Adam, which is the glory of the outward state of Holland, soe love, peace and liberty, extending to all in Christ Jesus, condemns hatred, war and bondage. And because our Saviour sayeth it is impossible but that offences will come, but woe unto him by whom they cometh, our desire is not to offend one of his little ones, in whatsoever form, name or title hee appears in, whether Presbyterian, Independent, Baptist or Quaker, but shall be glad to see anything of God in any of them, desiring to doe unto all men as we desire all men should doe unto us, which is the true law both of Church and State; for our Saviour sayeth this is the law and the prophets.
Therefore if any of these said persons come in love unto us, we cannot in conscience lay violent hands upon them, but give them free egresse and regresse unto our Town, and houses, as God shall persuade our consciences, for we are bounde by the law of God and man to doe good unto all men and evil to noe man. And this is according to the patent and charter of our Towne, given unto us in the name of the States General, which we are not willing to infringe, and violate, but shall houlde to our patent and shall remaine, your humble subjects, the inhabitants of Vlishing.
Written this 27th of December in the year 1657, by mee.  Edward Hart, Clericus
[NOTE: signers below include my 10th & 9th great grandfathers JOHN TOWNSEND* and his brother HENRY.* (see blog post "By Twig & Turf" 4/9/13) This is particularly interesting because I am related to them through the SMITH line, whereas I am related through the GLOVER line to John Bowne, a fellow townsman who would later suffer imprisonment and temporary banishment to Holland for his defiance of Dutch religious law. Some signers, including Tobias Feake, were jailed for not recanting their part in this document.] 
Additional Signers
Tobias Feake (Hannah Feake Bowne's cousin)
Nathaniell Tue
The marke of William Noble
Nicholas Blackford
William Thorne, Seignior
The marke of Micah Tue
The marke of William Thorne, Jr.
The marke of Philip Ud
Edward Tarne
Robert Field, senior
John Store
Robert Field, junior
Nathaniel Hefferd
Nich Colas Parsell
Benjamin Hubbard
Michael Milner
The marke of William Pidgion
Henry Townsend*
The marke of George Clere
 George Wright
Elias Doughtie
John Foard Edward Farrington
Antonie Feild
Henry Semtell
Richard Stocton
Edward Hart
Edward Griffine
John Mastine
John Townesend*