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Northampton County Tithables, John B. Bell

Free Africans of Northampton County, Virginia 1662-1677

Free Africans living in Northampton County in 1660’s are listed in the Northampton County Virginia Tithables 1662-1677 as Heads of their own Household:

Bastian Cane and his wife Grace.

Emanuel Driggers

Bashaw Ferdinando and his wife Susan, and Hannah Carter.

King Tony and his wife Sarah.

John Francisco and Christian Francisco.

William Harman and his wife Jane.

Anthony Johnson and John Johnson, his son

John Kinge

Philip Mongon and his Wife.

Francis Pane

King Tony and his wife Sarah.

 

The Fight for Freedom

America’s First Freedom Fighters, Emmanuel and Frances Driggers

The Driggers’ should be known as one of the America’s earliest FREEDOM FIGHTERS. In February of 1623 at Bennett’s plantation Frances is listed with her son Peter in the list of the Living.  Frances was listed in Piercey’s Muster at Flowerdew Plantation in the 1624/25 as an African woman with young child of hers, which we now know is Peter.   Other than a listing of a African man, Emmanuel is not named until the 1640’s.  Emmanuel Driggers marries Frances prior to 1640 in Northampton County, Virginia.  They had at least seven (7) children, of which two were not their natural born children.

1. Elizabeth, was born in 1637 since she was eight (8) years old when she was bound to serve Francis Pott in 1645.  Her indenture to Potts stated: “given to my negro, Emmanuel Driggers by one who brought her up by ye space of eight years” (DW 1645-51, 82)

2. Jane, born May 1644 and noted as one (1) year old on 27th of May, 1645 when Emmanuel bound her to Captain Francis Pott to serve him until the age of thirty-one (31).   Like Elizabeth (above) Jane was not their biological daughter since her indenture read: “bought and paid for to Captain Robert Shepard” On May 24, 1652, Driggers paid for the balance of Jane’s indenture, freeing and releasing her from Potts.  Note: Jane was the biological child of Margaret Cornish and Robert Sweat of Robert Shepard’s household.  She was one of four children born of this relationship.

Emmanuel and Frances’ biological children were…

1. Frances, born 1640

2. Thomas, born 1644

3. Ann, born 1648

4. Edward, born 1650

5. William, born 1655

Frances, Emmanuel’s wife died before 1656 when he took a second wife named Elizabeth, an English woman.

Emmanuel and Elizabeth bore two (2) more children:

1. Devorax/Deverick, born 1656

2. Mary, born 1658.

Emmanuel and Frances Driggers along with most of their children received their freedom during a time when legalized slavery was emerging in Virginia.  How you ask?  The foresight and understanding of the English legal system.  Recording their contracts of indentured servitude set an end date to their indentured time. Legally freeing them from servitude and allowing their FREEDOM!

 

From Bermuda to Leigh's Priory

Who Were the Three Africans taken from Bermuda to Leighs (Leez) Priory, Felsted, England in 1621

ANTHONY/ANTONIO
One of the most documented early Africans to arrive in Virginia was Anthony/Antonio. Records show Anthony/Antonio arrived in Virginia on the ship ‘James’ from England in 1621.  Was he one of the first “twenty and odd” sold on the shores of the James River in August of 1619? The short answer is NO. However, its slightly more complicated than that.  Anthony/Antonio was among at least two others who found their way to Virginia from the pirating of the San Juan Bautista in the Bay of Campeche in the summer of 1619.  The San Juan Bautista is the same slave ship the first “twenty and odd” were pirated from.   Anthony/Antonio’s path would be slightly different than the “twenty and odd” who arrived on the White Lion.  From the San Juan Bautista, Anthony/Antonio was put aboard the Treasurer, which arrived at Point Comfort three days after the White Lion.  The Treasurer would be turned away or “warned” off allowing its Captain, Daniel Elfrith, to sail to Bermuda.  Anthony/Antonio would remain in Bermuda until 1621 when Gov. Butler would put him and two other Africans/Angolans aboard the ship “James” sailing for the Port of Southampton, England.  Once in the English port the three Africans/Angolans were taken to Robert Rich / Earl of Warwick’s Felsted estate, Leighs (Leez) Priory.   Before the end of 1621, Anthony/Antonio would be brought back to the south shore of the James River and indentured to Robert Bennett of Bennett’s Plantation also known as Warrosquarak.  There he would survive the great massacre of 1622 and remain in the area for nearly 30 years.  Anthony/Antonio was one of America’s first FREE Africans.

MARY / MARIA
Mary, like Anthony/Antonio, was among the African slaves pirated from the San Juan Bautista in the Bay of Campeche, 500 miles from their destination of Vera Cruz, Mexico.  Mary was put aboard the “Treasurer” which arrived at Old Point Comfort, Virginia three days after the “White Lion.”  Warned of the pirating charges the Captain would face the Treasurer would disappear from the James River and reappear in Bermuda with a cargo of Africans. Mary, like Anthony/Antonio was among them.  In 1621, Mary would be put aboard the ship James, sailing from Bermuda for the port of Southampton, England where she would be taken with Anthony/Antonio and one other African to Robert Rich’s Estate in Felsted, England known as Leighs (Leez) Priory.  In mid 1622, six months after Anthony/Antonio was removed from Leighs/Leez Priory Mary was put aboard the English ship “Margaret & John” sailing to Virginia.  By 1623, Mary would be listed on a muster, like Anthony/Antonio, at Bennett’s plantation on the south side of the James River in the area called Warrasquarak.  Later, Mary would marry Anthony and they would be known as Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Johnson.  By 1644, they would have four children, two boys and two girls.

JOHN PEDRO

Like Antonio/Anthony and Maria/Mary, John Pedro was among the San Juan Bautista survivors brought to Bermuda on the “Treasurer” in 1619.  John Pedro is the third and last African to be put aboard the  “James” in 1621 sailing for the English port of Southampton and delivered to Robert Rich’s estate in Felsted, England known as Leighs (Leez) Priory.  Where the other two Africans (Antonio/Anthony and Maria/Mary) were sent from England to Virginia, John Pedro, a catholic, would take a different route.  In 1622 John Pedro was placed on the “Swan,” one of Robert Rich’s ships, sailing for Cape Cod, New England.  Within the year John Pedro would make his way to Virginia with Captain Francis West.  In 1623, John Pedro is listed on the muster at Captain Francis West’s plantation at the Eastern Shore where he would remain until West’s death in January of 1634.

Interesting fact:  The Angolan kingdom raided by the Portuguese in 1618/1619 where the San Juan Bautista survivors were enslaved was documented as a Catholic community.   John Pedro would be the first openly practicing Catholic in Virginia’s early Anglican settlement.

WHY DID ANTHONY, MARY AND JOHN PEDRO FIND THEMSELVES IN ENGLAND IN 1621?  Antonio/Anthony, Maria/Mary and John Pedro were taken to Leighs (Leez) Priory, the estate of Robert Rich II, Earl of Warwick in Felsted, England in 1621 as an aristocrat’s attempt to cement a political charade.

The Earl of Warwick was fully engaged in a court battle with Count Gondomar, the Spanish Ambassador in King James’ English court, over the Piracy of the San Juan Bautista’s Africans.  As FATE would have it, the Captain of the San Juan Bautista pirated by Rich’s Treasurer in the summer of 1619 was  no less than Count Gondomar’s kin. By 1621, deep within the court case, Gondomar is rabidly demanding his African slaves to be returned to his family’s possession. Believing he could convince Anthony, Mary and John Pedro to twist their testimony in his favor, the Earl of Warwick brings Anthony to testify before the court.  But, Anthony would not falsify his testimony and claims there were two ships at the raid, the White Lion and Rich’s Treasurer.  Instantly Rich/Earl of Warwick declares Anthony’s testimony invalid bringing to light the fact Anthony’s baptismal was unverifiable.  Angry over his testimony and unable to wait, Rich puts Anthony aboard the “James” shipping him to Bennett’s plantation on the south shore of the James River.  Mary and John Pedro follow as soon as the harsh winter months pass.

Interesting facts:  

The Angolan kingdom raided by the Portuguese in 1618/1619 where the San Juan Bautista survivors were captured and enslaved was documented as a Catholic community.   John Pedro would be the first openly practicing Catholic in Virginia’s early Anglican settlement.

Robert Rich was a Puritan leader as was Edward Bennett of Bennett’s Plantation.  Bennett’s plantation is the only puritan plantation in all of the Anglican settlement of Virginia until 1624 when Virginia becomes an English colony.

 

The Genealogist

The Chosen Ones – A Genealogy Poem

The Genealogist

The Genealogist

The Chosen Ones
In each family we hear the call to find our ancestors.
To put flesh on their bones and make them live once again,
To tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve.
To me, genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts,
But instead, breathing life into all who have gone before.
We are the story tellers of the tribe.
We have been called as it were by our genes.
Those who have gone before cry out to us:
Tell our story.
So, we do.
In finding them, we somehow find ourselves.
How many graves have I stood before and cried?
I have lost count.
How many times have I told the ancestors?
You have a wonderful family, you would be proud.
How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me?
I cannot say.
It goes beyond just documented facts.
It goes to who I am and why I do the things I do.
It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever,
To weeds and indifference and saying I can’t let this happen.
The bones here are bones of my bones and flesh of my flesh.
It goes to doing something about it.
It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish.
How they contributed to what we are today.
It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up.
Their resoluteness to building a life for their family.
It goes to deep pride that they fought to make and keep us as a nation.
It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us,
That we might be born who we are.
That we might remember who they were.
So we do.
With love and care we scribe each fact of their existence,
Because we are they and they are us.
It is up to that one called in the next generation,
To answer the call and take their place in the long line of family storytellers.
That is why I do Genealogy,
And that is what calls those young and old to step up and put flesh on the bones.

Author: Della M. Cumming ca. 1943

Family of Dr. John Harland Paul

Returning a family album to its rightful owners

Family of Dr. John Harland Paul

Family of Dr. John Harland Paul

Recently, I came into the possession of a very old and beautiful family album. It is in very good condition for its age. The photos seem to range from 1900 to 1910. The family names noted are Coffin, Hauk, Norman and Paul. Also, there is a letter written by Ellen Coffin of the Parker Coffin family of the Wayne County Coffin Quaker Pioneers, stating that they are of Norman-French descent. Total, there is probably 30-40 very old photographs. The following are just a few. If a notation is added, it is what someone has written on the back of the photo. Please let me know if you recognize any of these, so that the album may be returned to its rightful owner.

John Harland Paul and Kathryn Paul, Shanghai, China 1905  (siblings)

John Harland Paul and Kathryn Paul, Shanghai, China 1905 (siblings)

Harvey Hauk

Harvey Hauk

Florence Hauk, age 8 yrs. old  1903 possibly 1908

Florence Hauk, age 8 yrs. old 1903 possibly 1908

Massacre of 1622

The Great Massacre of 1622

Massacre of 1622

Massacre of 1622

The day would be like no other yet it started as every other had. The fields were active and the town was a bustle with merchants trading up and down the river as the natives began to arrive with their own trade. Then, like a bell tolling out, the natives turn savage mutilating one unsuspecting settler then the next. Bodies are strewn about, with no pause for woman or child. They all lay tangled, one with another, hacked and disfigured.

When the savagery calms and the tallies are made, some three hundred forty-seven souls are lost, a third of the struggling settlement’s total population. Of the eighty (80) plantations that were beginning to flourish up and down the James River, they all lay in wait, now gathered within eight (8) to sustain a position of defense.

James A. Reaves and Jimmie Letson Reaves with their young family

The Third Generation in Winter Garden

James Alexander Reaves was born on May 4, 1861, just before his father Daniel Asbury Reaves joined the 3rd Florida Infantry.  As a young boy, James arrived in Winter Garden with his parents, younger sister and brother along with his baby brother that was not yet a year old. James himself was only eight.

On June 4, 1884, James married Jimmie Tellula Donnie Letson.  Jimmie was born April 24, 1864 to Sethiel J. Letson and MaryAnn E. Dearing.  Her father, like James’ father Daniel was a Civil War Veteran.  By 1887 when James’ parents along with most of his siblings returned north to settle in Bradford County, Florida, James remained at Reaves Settlement in Winter Garden along with his younger brother Mark Bryan Reaves.  James was an established citrus grower and farmer who had acquired a vast amount of land.

James and Jimmie had nine (9) children.

Alberta (Ada Belle) Reaves was born in May of 1885. She would marry Dudley Lanier Clyatt by 1908, in Worthington Springs, Union County, Florida.  Dudley was the brother of Samuel “Dee” Reaves’ wife, Mattie.

Olin Reaves was born November 8, 1887, in Winter Garden, Florida.  He died November 18, 1906.

James Glover Reaves was born September 7, 1889, in Winter Garden, Florida.  James Glover married Minnie Ada Walker, and they had five girls.  He died October 21, 1973 in Micanopy, Alachua County, Florida.

Ida Reaves was born 1891, in Winter Garden, Florida.  She married W.D. Martin from High Springs, Alachua County, Florida.  She died January 16, 1980.

Irvin Raleigh Reaves was born July 16, 1892, in Winter Garden Florida.  Irvin married Winnie Roberson and established his residence in Marion County, Florida.

Mabel Claire Reaves was born March 30, 1894 in Winter Garden, Florida.  She married Edwin F. Johnson and had four children.  Mabel and Edwin Johnson remained at Reaves Settlement (Beulah) until their deaths.  They are buried at Beulah Cemetery, in Winter Garden, Florida.

Creasy Reaves was born in 1896 in Winter Garden, Florida.  She married Albert Bronson and they had three children.  Creasy died in 1936, at the young age of forty, in Winter Garden, Florida.   She is also buried at Beulah Cemetery.

Sethiel Asbury Reaves was born in March 21, 1898, in Winter Garden, Florida.  He married Sallie Frances Martin and died May 3, 1973, Marion County, Florida.

Mamie Mildred Reaves was born March 5, 1900, in Winter Garden, Florida.  She married William Eugene Hendry and had five children.  She died November 4, 1933, in Highlands, Florida.

James Alexander Reaves died May 9, 1939.  His wife Jimmie continued to live in Winter Garden, until her death in May of 1951.  They are both buried in the Beulah Cemetery in Winter Garden, along with many other Reaves ancestors.  Many generations of their descendants remain in Winter Garden, Florida today.

Daniel Asbury Reaves, the Second Son

The Second Son – Daniel Asbury Reaves

Rev. Daniel Asbury Reaves, the Second Son

Rev. Daniel Asbury Reaves, the Second Son

Company H of the Third Florida Infantry consisted of one hundred and thirty two (132) volunteers from Jefferson County, Florida.  The “H” company was called “The Jefferson Rifles” and would include three (3) Reaves brothers under the command of Captain William Girardeau.

Samuel J. Reaves, the third son of Rev. and Mrs. Rawlins Reaves would be the first of the three brothers to fall, Samuel died May 9, 1862, in Gainesville Florida.  Just over six months later, during the Battle of Stones River, which sometimes is called the Battle of Murfreesboro, James Alexander Reaves sustained serious injury. The bloody battle was fought from December 31, 1862, to January 2, 1863, in Middle Tennessee.  Of the major battles of the Civil War, Stones River had the highest percentage of casualties on both sides.  James was taken to Foard Hospital in Chattanooga, where he died from his wounds on January 12, 1863.  Soon, the family of Rev, Rawlins Reaves would hear the wretched news once more, this time of their eldest son’s death.

The only surviving Reaves brother of the Jefferson Rifles would continue with the Confederates through Tennessee.  Daniel Asbury Reaves was the second to eldest son of Rev. and Mrs. Rawlins Reaves, a twenty five year old ordained Methodist Minister, like his father.  He married Lucretia Ann Sledge, some three or so years before the war started and before his enlistment had seen his first son born, which was named after Daniel’s older brother James Alexander.   Daniel Asbury Reaves would be wounded on September 20 1863 at the Battle of Chickamauga.  He would be the only brother of the three that would return home to Monticello, in Jefferson County, Florida.  On April 15, 1865 he signed an order swearing to not bear arms against the United States of America.

After the war the clan of Rev. and Mrs. Rawlins Reaves along with their now adult children moved two-hundred miles south to establish Reaves Settlement, just outside of the small town of Winter Garden in Central Florida.  Daniel Asbury Reaves and Lucretia (Creasy) Ann Sledge would follow, just after the birth of their fourth child in 1869.

Daniel Asbury Reaves and Lucretia (Creasy) Ann Sledge would have a total of eight (8) children.

James Alexander Reaves – born May 4, 1861 in Monticello, Florida married Jimmie Tellula Donnie Letson in 1884.  He died in 1939, Winter Garden, Florida.

Sallie Crew Reaves– born October 23, 1864 in Monticello, Florida married Orville Leroy “Jeff” Mizelle in 1889.  Sallie died February 15, 1949 in Lake Butler, Union county, Florida.

Samuel Darius “Dee” Reaves– born 1867 in Monticello, Florida, married Martha “Mattie” Jane Clyatt in 1891.

Rollins Green Reaves– born in 1869, married Iva May Knight in 1911.

Hester Elizabeth (Hattie) Reaves– born 1872, Hattie married William Townsend McIntosh in 1890.

Richard Mathis Reaves– born 1874, Richard married Rosa Bell Carver in 1897.  In 1930, after his first wife’s death, he would marry Lou Dugger.  Richard died April 28, 1952.

Whitmel Tison Reaves – born 1876, married Hattie Vanola Blair about 1904, and later he would marry Rosa Crews.  Whitmel died November 25, 1954.

Edwin Bryan Reaves – born June 10, 1881, and  married Rita Jane Watson in 1930.  He died August 26 1941.

In 1887, Daniel Asbury and Creasy Ann Sledge would move all of their family except their oldest son James, who was already established in Winter Garden, north to an area west of Worthington Springs, in then Bradford County, Florida, where they would live out the rest of his life.

Rev. Daniel Asbury Reaves