In the 17th century, our Ancestors settled in Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, and Massachusetts.
Seventeenth century England suffered from a weak economy. Low wages, high unemployment, scarce commodities all contributed to the suffering of the people of England. Primogeniture provided for the eldest child in the family, usually inheriting the entire estate of his father, while the remaining children were left to their own devices. The younger sons, hearing of the "land of milk and honey," often looked towards America to make his fortune.
In 1642 civil war broke out in England, dividing the country between Charles I and the Parliament with the leadership Oliver Cromwell. The Puritans were a dominant factor in Parliament and a powerful force against the King. As Cromwell's power increased, the royalists began to be persecuted. Charles I was beheaded in 1649 and Cromwell's army set about England and Scotland, Ireland and Wales, persecuting the Royalists. Many of these Royalist Cavaliers sought refuge in America and formed what would later be known as "Tidewater Aristocracy," which ruled Virginia in the second half of the 17th century.
Others came to Virginia seeking freedom of worship: the Puritans, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Huguenots and the Quakers all sought religious freedom in Virginia. However, the majority of colonists to Virginia came seeking a brighter economic future, a better life for their families.
The average journey to America was 2-3 months across the Atlantic. The ships were crowded and unsanitary with poor hygiene and poor living quarters. Many of these immigrants suffered from: hunger, thirst, boredom, depression, anxiety, fear, sickness and all too common, death. Epidemic diseases broke out aboard the ships: measles, small pox, yellow fever and other contagious diseases, which often spread throughout the colonies.
See Jamestown for early Virginia history.
In 1642, Sir William Berkeley was appointed as governor of Virginia. Berkeley was generally well-liked by the colonists and served until 1652, when he was forced to surrender the colony to Oliver Cromwell.
The period of 1652-1660, when Cromwell died, England had little governing control over the colony and the Virginia Assembly was left to govern the colony themselves. The majority of colonists were Royalists and were pleased when Charles II was crowned. Berkeley was reappointed as Governor of Virginia in 1660. The majority of colonists in Virginia were not pleased with this second term of Berkeley's and this led to widespread discontent. During this second term, the heads of various prosperous families of the colony rose to positions in the House of Burgesses and Virginia was ruled by a very small group of affluent and wealthy families, known as the "Tidewater Aristocracy." The colonists discontent resulted in Bacon's Rebellion. Following the rebellion, Berkeley was called back to England and died there. The Tidewater Aristocracy held their political and economic control of the colony throughout the 1600's.
The settlers in Virginia hugged the rivers and Eastern Coastline of Virginia The Tidewater area included all of the land between the James, the York, the Rappahannock and the Potomac and westward to the piedmont of Virginia, which was known as the "fall line". In the Tidewater region, the land was constantly enriched by the soil constantly washing from the fertile Piedmont region into the Tidewater area.
Virginia was dominated by a three-tiered class system in which the top was the ruling aristocracy, wealthy landowners characterized by their vast plantations. A large yeomanry class was most numerous and included the common, small, independent farmer or "planter", which constituted the middle class. These farms ranged between an average of 50-500 acres. He was comparable to a wealthy squire of England. This group lacked the political and economic power of the aristocracy. In the Old World, many of this group had been merchants or craftsmen. The third tier consisted of the indentured servants and slaves. Many in the Old World, in order to escape the poverty there, would anxiously accept their fare to America in exchange for five to seven years of labor.
European immigrants were not locked into a particular social status but could work their way up the social ladder. Many of the aristocracy members were formerly men of modest means and some had immigrated as indentures or as prisoners.
America was a land laden with hardships and dangers. Winters were often severe and colonists often existed upon a diet of preserved meat and bread. Indians were a constant threat and small parties of white settlers were often ambushed. The Indians would often plunder and burn the crops of planters. Epidemic diseases ran rampant among the settlers: yellow fever, small pox and even the bubonic plague were all feared by the colonists. A high infant mortality contributed to the morality rates and often the mother would die in complications of childbirth. Few trained medical professionals were available.
In 1620, the Pilgrim's landed at Plymouth Rock, about 30 miles south of the present city of Boston. Jamestown had already been settled for thirteen years by the time the pilgrim's landed. At this point in our genealogical quest, I know of none of our ancestors who landed at Plymouth on the Mayflower. However, settlers migrated to Plymouth during the 1620's and some of our ancestors arrived in Massachusetts during that time frame. Advance parties for the Puritans arrived in Plymouth in 1628 and 1629.
Winthrop's fleet landed in Salem, MA in 1630. Several of our ancestors arrived with him. This was the first exodus of Puritans from England. There were one thousand settlers in that first group. Two hundred died that winter and two hundred more returned to England that spring. In the next ten years, some twenty thousand arrived mostly from England and most of them being Puritans. After that group of colonists arrived, there was very little migration into the colony and after 1640, most of the population was natural reproduction.
John Winthrop led the pilgrims until his death in 1649. He also helped finance the first expedition and his money provided food for the first year.
Though they landed at present day Salem, they almost immediately moved to the present site of Boston harbor. Within a few years, Charleston was created. Within then years, other settlements were established at Woburn, Lexington, Concord, Cambridge, Watertown and others all within a 30-50 mile radius of Boston.
Matthew Atkinson- (England)- Surry
Thomas Atkinson- (England)- Surry
Martha/ Mary Marriott- (England)- Surry
Thomas Gwaltney- (England)- Surry, VA
John Hollyman- (England)- Isle of Wight
Christopher Holiman/ Holloman- (England)- Isle of Wight
William Cooke- (England)- Surry
Mary Blackborne- (England)- Surry
Joan Roper- (England)- Isle of Wight
Philip Meredith- (England)- Accomac
George Truitt- (England)- Accomac
Frances Graves- (England)- Accomac
George Truitt Sr.- (England)- Accomac
Capt. George Parker- (England)- Accomac
Florence Cade- (England)- Accomac
John Parker- (England)- Accomac
Garrett Anderson- (England)- Accomac
Amy Pritchett- (England)- Accomac
Mary Brent- (England)- VA
Thomas Pearsall- (England)- VA
John Cave- (England)- Stafford
Hester Davis- (Wales)- King George
Jane Elliot- (England)- VA
John Boteler/ Butler- (England)- VA
Thomas Butler- (England)- Kent Island
Joan Christopher- (England)- Kent Island
Walter Evans- (Wales)- Caroline
Betsy Holcomb- (Wales)- Caroline
Thomas Henley- (England)- VA
Eliza Reynolds- (England)- VA
Henry Howard- (England)- VA
Alice Howard- (England)- VA
Stephen Wells- (England)- VA
Richard Jones- (England)- York
John Llewellyn-(Wales)- VA
Daniel Llewellyn- (England)- VA
Margaret Llewellyn- (England)- Henrico
James Crewes- (England)- Henrico
Andrew Monroe- (Scotland)- Westmoreland
Col. John Alexander- (Scotland)- Stafford
Agnes Graham- (Scotland)- Stafford
Elizabeth Alexander-(Scotland)- Westmoreland
Catherine Talbott- (England)- Westmoreland
John Mewes- (England)- Westmoreland
Cornelius Turner- (England)- VA
Philemon Hawkins- (England)- Charles
Richard Hawkins- (England)- Westmoreland
Ann Eleanor Howard- (England)- Charles
Maurice/ Morris Veale- (England)- Westmoreland
Thomas Sturman- (England)- Westmoreland
Ann Porter- (England)- Westmoreland
Elizabeth Hallowes- (England)- Westmoreland
Patrick Spence- (England)- Westmoreland
Richard Kindred- (England)- Surry
Benjamin Knight- (England)- James Cittie
Robert Abernathy- (Scotland)- Prince George
Christopher Tilghman- (England)- James Cittie
Thomas Chamberlayne- (England)- Henrico
Edmund Chamberlayne- (England)- VA
Edward Stratton- (England)- Henrico
Francis Stratton- (England)- Henrico
Joane Button- (England)- Henrico
Elizabeth Thurston- (England)- Henrico
Robert Butler- (Ireland)- Ipswich
Robert Cross- (England)- Ipswich
Hannah/ Anne Jordan-(England)- Ipswich
William Durkee/ Durge (Ireland)- Ipswich
Geoffrey/ Jeffrey Parsons- (England)- Gloucester
Walter Knight- (England)- Cape Ann
Bridget Knight- (England)- Gloucester
William Vincent/ Vinson-(England)- Gloucester
Robert Moulton- (England)- Salem
Margaret Goode- (England)- Charlestown
Abigail Goode- (England)- Salem
Henry Cooke- (England)- Salem
Judith Birdsall- (England)- Salem
Henry Birdsall- (England)- Salem
Judith/ Agnes Kempe- (England)- Salem
Nicholas la Groves (France)- Beverly
Thomas Sallows- (England)- Salem
Grace Lemon- (England)- Salem
Peter Wolfe- (England)- Salem
Henry Cooke- (England)- Salem
Lt.Griffin Craft- (England)- Roxbury
Robert Seaver- (England)- Roxbury
Elizabeth Ballard- (England)- Roxbury
John Harris- (prob England)- Roxbury
Mary Sawyer- (prob England)- Roxbury
Lt. John Andrews- (England)- Ipswich
Jane Jordan- (England)- Ipswich
Stephen Jordan- (England)- Newbury
Corp. John Andrews- (England)- Ipswich
Sarah Connant- (England)- Ipswich
Robert Andrews- (England)- Ipswich
Elizabeth Franklin- (England)- Ipswich
Ezekiel Woodward- (England)- Ipswich
Ann Beamsley- (England)- Ipswich
Nicholas Patch- (England)- Salem
Elizabeth Owsley- (England)- Ipswich
William Woodbury- (England)- Beverly
Elizabeth Patch- (England)- Beverly
John Balch- (England)- Bass River
Margary Lovell- (England)- Bass River
Thomas Gardner- (England)- Salem
Margaret Friar/ Frier- (England)- Salem
Humphrey Warren- (England)- Charles Co.
Thomas Warren- (England)- Charles Co.
Mary Barton- (England)-Charles Co.
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