I have known since I was a small child that my maternal side, my mother's families, have deep roots in Virginian soil.
At least the last 5 generations had been born and raised in Virginia. That was a fact passed down orally in the family.
Seems nobody in my mother's families nor her cousins had the genealogy bug. Sure, there were "stories" that got passed down but nobody had any proof of anything, nor seemed interested in proving the stories were fact.
But little did I know beyond those generations how deep my maternal family trees had been planted in American soil until I began this genealogy quest in earnest.
I quickly was able to dive back into history 200 hundred+ years.
Progress slowed once I got back into the 18th century however.
By year three of digging I had compiled a list of my immigrant ancestral lines that all arrived in the 17th century(pre-1700). Jamestown was founded in 1607 so all these ancestors arrived within the first 100 years of the English occupation of the New World.
These are my earliest ancestor lines in my direct descent for each surname with the date of, or at least an approximation if records haven't pinpointed, their entry year to America.
Now these are only those ancestral surnames that arrived in Virginia. I do have some other early arrivals(pre-1700) in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts too. I also have a handful of 18th century arrivals too.
ALLEN-1635 to Virginia Colony
ASTON-1628 to Jamestown/Virginia Colony *
BANNISTER-1635 to Jamestown
BATHURST-1680 to Virginia Colony
BOWMAN-1666 to Virginia Colony
BURTON-1624 to Jamestown
CHAPPELL-1635 to Jamestown
CLEIBORNE-1635 to Virginia Colony
CRIPPS-1664 to Virginia colony
DICKSON/DIXON-bef. 1688 to Virginia Colony
DUDLEY-1637 to Virginia Colony
DUKE-1638 to Virginia Colony
FLIPPEN-bef. 1699 to Virginia
FOSTER-bef. 1675 to Virginia Colony
FOSTER or FORESTER-1648 to Virginia Colony
GARNETT-1610 to Jamestown *
GAYNEY-1622 to Jamestown/Virginia Colony
GREVILLE-1620 to Jamestown *
HARRISON-1632 to Jamestown/Virginia Colony *
HAYES-1637 to Jamestown
HOLLOWAY-bef. 1635 to Jamestown
HOSKINS-1624 to Jamestown *
HUDSON-1635 to Jamestown
HUNT-1635 to Jamestown/Virginia Colony
MASON-1613 to Jamestown/Virginia Colony *
MATHEWS-1622 to Jamestown *
MEADOR-bef. 1635 to Virginia Colony
MERIWETHER-1652 to Virginia Colony *
MILLS or MYHILL-bef. 1647 to Virginia Colony
MOULSON-1663 to Virginia Colony
PUCKETT-1665 to Virginia Colony
RAGSDALE-bef. 1644 to Virginia Colony
RUDD-1698 to Virginia Colony
SEWELL or SEAWELL-1637 to Virginia Colony *
SHEPPY/SHIPPY-bef. 1633 to Virginia Colony *
SNEAD-1635 to Jamestown
STITH-1656 to Virginia Colony *
STRINGER-Before 1644 to Virginia Colony
TAVERNER-1618 to Jamestown
VASSER-1635 to Jamestown/Virginia Colony
WADE/WAAD-1655 to Virginia Colony *
WHITE-1651 to Virginia Colony
WOMACK-before 1655, no port listed but settled in Henrico County(Richmond area)
The Jamestowne Society(a private genealogical society for people with ancestors who were early settlers to Virginia)has a list of criteria it uses to see whether your direct ancestor qualifies you for membership in this "club".
As far as my list above goes all the surnames with astericks are currently qualifying ancestors. Ten ancestors, whom, if I wanted to spent the time and money on gathering records for, would gain me membership in that club.
Though I've got lots of direct ancestors who came to Virginia very early on in it's settlement by the English I had yet to find one of the original 105 settlers who made the voyage on the first fleet of three ships in 1607 to the shores of the new world.
Meet my 3rd Cousin, 13 x removed, George Percy.
George's 2 x Great Grandfather was Richard Neville, 2nd Baron of Latimer.
Richard was also my 15 x Great Grandfather, so our common ancestor.
Born the youngest son to Henry Percy, 8th Earl of Northumberland and Lady Catherine Neville he had to make his own way in life due to primogeniture inheritance laws in England.
A graduate of Oxford he made the military his vocation. He served in Ireland and fought in the Dutch struggle for independence from Spain in the early 1600's.
He was also interested in the world of exploration as it was an exciting time as England tried to play catch up in this arena in the first decade of the 17th century.
He bought shares in the Virginia Company and signed on to venture to the New World in 1607, embarking onto the flagship, Susan Constant, piloted by Christopher Newport.
George Percy was there during the infamous "Starving Time" in the Winter of 1609-1610 and survived. He kept journals of his experiences during his time in Jamestown which were published.
You can read excerpts from his journals HERE .
George Percy left Jamestown 22 April 1612 to return the England due to ill health and I suspect the tenuousness of life in the colony then.
He sold his Virginia Company shares in 1620 and went back into military service serving for the Dutch forces in their war against Spain. There is debate on where he died and when, those most seen to think he died around 1627 somewhere in the Netherlands area.
He did marry while in Jamestown to Anne Floyd, and they had a daughter, Anne Percy, who married John West, a subsequent Governor of Jamestown.
Incidentally, John West is also my 6th cousin 13 x removed, through our common ancestor of Richard de Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick.
You will notice that in the portrait of George Percy he is missing part of his middle finger on his left hand. The story goes that he lost it during one of the battles in the Low Countries against the Spanish.
So the digging continues and I hope to unearth more ancestral connections to explore.