Sunday’s Salute #36 ~ Bacon’s Rebellion ~ Thomas Hayes

Bacon’s Rebellion was an armed rebellion by Virginia settlers that took place in 1676. It was led by Nathaniel Bacon against Governor William Berkeley.

Starting in the 1650s, as English colonists began to settle the Northern Neck frontier of Virginia the Chicacoan, some Doeg, Patawomeck and Rappahannock Indians began moving into the region and joined then local tribes in disputing the settlers’ claims to land and resources. In July 1666, the colonists declared war on them. By 1669, colonists had patented the land on the west of the Potomac as far north as My Lord’s Island. By 1670, they had driven most of the Doeg out of the Virginia colony and into Maryland.

Thousands of Virginians from all classes, including those in indentured servitude and races rose up in arms against Governor Berkeley because of his lack of leadership. They chased him from Jamestown, Virginia, and ultimately torching the capital. The rebellion was first suppressed by a few armed merchant ships from London whose captains sided with Berkeley and the loyalists. Government forces from England arrived soon after and spent several years defeating pockets of resistance and reforming the colonial government to be once more under direct royal control.

Modern historians have suggested that the rebellion was a power play by Nathaniel Bacon against Berkeley and his favoritism towards certain members of the court. While Bacon was on the court, he was not within Berkeley’s inner circle of council members and disagreed with him on many issues.

Bacon’s followers used the rebellion as an effort to gain government recognition of the shared interests among all social classes of the colony in protecting the “commonality” and advancing its welfare.

Nathaniel Bacon

According to the Historic Jamestown National Park website, “For many years, historians considered the Virginia Rebellion of 1676 to be the first stirring of revolutionary sentiment in North America, which culminated in the American Revolution almost exactly one hundred years later. However, in the past few decades, based on findings from a more distant viewpoint, historians have come to understand Bacon’s Rebellion as a power struggle between two stubborn, selfish leaders rather than a glorious fight against tyranny.”

Thomas Hayes, my 7th Great Grandfather, was born in Ireland in 1645. He arrived in Surry County, Virginia in 1665. He married Prudence Flake (1657-1702), in Surry County in 1677. They had 6 children, 5 sons, and 1 daughter. As a witness in a lawsuit, he made a deposition stating that he was 23 years of age in 1668. He took part in Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676, and had to flee the James River valley after Bacon’s death. In vengeance, Governor Berkeley hunted down every known participant in that popular uprising. Thomas Hayes found refuge in Maryland and then in Northumberland County, VA where he dies in 1715 at the age of 70.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Here’s Your Sign #18 ~ Jamestown, Colonial Virginia

For many years I have been collecting photos of and information about the various signs that have been placed in honor of some of my ancestors. These signs are a glimpse into some event and/or place where they lived. Some of the signs are small like a placard with a few poignant words, some are large and they go into great detail, and then there are those that are somewhere in between. Each one gives added life to those ancestors.

The sign states the following: “Nearby to the east is Jamestown, the original site of the first English colony in North America. On 14 May 1607, a group of just over 100 and boys recruited by the Virginia Company of London came ashore and established a settlement at Jamestown Island. They constructed a palisaded fort there within the territory of the Paspahegh Indians, who with other Virginia Indians had frequent contact with the English. In 1619 the first English representative legislative body in North America met there and the first documented Africans arrived. Jamestown served as the capital of the Virginia colony from 1607 to 1699. Historic Jamestown preserves this original site and the archaeological remains.”

I have many ancestors who were early settlers of Jamestown. My earliest one, John Dods, came over on one of the first 3 supply ships, The Susan Constant. In 1608 he accompanied Captain John Smith on a voyage into the Pamunkey River, and on December 29, 1608, he was among the men who accompanied Smith to Werowocomoco, Powhatan’s village on the York River. On February 16, 1624, John and his wife, Jane were, living at Bermuda Hundred. They were still there on January 24, 1625, at which time he was described as a 36-year-old household head who was very well supplied with stored food and defensive weaponry. In May 1625, when a list of patented land was sent back to England, he was credited with 50 acres in Charles City and 150 acres in Tappahannah land to which he was entitled as an ancient planter.

John was born in 1571, in Great Neck, Yorkshire, England and his wife Jane is said to have been born in 1584, but little more is known about her. They had two sons Jesse and Benjamin, and I descend from both of them. John died in 1652, in Jamestown at the age of 81.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

52 Ancestors-Week 6 – Thomas Garnett – So Far Away


When I first saw the title for this week’s blog I thought of many ways to write about “So Far Away.” I chose far away in time because over 400 years is really “far away” from today.


This particular Ancestor, Thomas Garnett came to America in 1609 aboard the “Swan” a ship that was in the fleet that brought Lord Delaware to the Virginia colony of Jamestown. He came as an “indentured servant” to one Captain William Powell.  Thomas Garnett is my maternal 9th Grandfather. The interesting part is that Captain William Powell is my paternal 9th Grandfather.  Thomas worked for 10 years to pay off his debt. Once he did this, he married Elizabeth Powell (no relation to William) who was among the very first women to arrive in the colony. Previously the settlers had almost all been men. In 1619 a boat load of young women arrived to become wives of the lonely settlers. Each settler gave the London Company 120 pounds of tobacco in payment for his wife’s passage. Thomas was given some land and tobacco at the time he was released from servant hood.


William Powell was made Captain of the Governor’s Guard and Lieutenant Governor. He was also a representative in the First Assembly of Virginia. William was also a drunk and a thief. When Thomas Garnett accused him of these things Powell had Thomas publically flogged every day for 4 days and his ear nailed to the pillory.

In 1623, William Powell was killed by Indians when he led a raid against the Chickahominy tribe. Thomas Garnett went on to become a man of wealth and prestige.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on and You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Please Define Famous

FamousIn our search for our Ancestors we always experience that excited anticipation of possibly discovering that one famous person in our lineage. Finding someone who accomplished some great feat or invented something used by millions or who became President or who was an outlaw can bring color and excitement to our trees. When you gather together with other Genealogists you would now have something interesting to tell. Talking with family about these persons may peak their interest in their own history and of those who came before them.  I just wonder, How do we define “Famous”?

Webster’s dictionary defines it this way “known or recognized by very many people: having fame”.

In today’s society the term fame or being famous is applied to anyone who can get themselves in front of a TV camera, or across the internet regardless of the reason. Most are just famous for being famous, really not earning the “title” by doing anything worthwhile.  So I just wonder by what standard we measure those we deem famous in our own families.

Colby Rucker sign

To me, my 4th Great Grandfather Colby Rucker who fought in the Revolutionary war should be called famous. He volunteered to fight at the age of 17, defying his father in doing so and even after he was captured and imprisoned by the British, upon his escape he returned to fight till the end of the war. I JamestownFortconsider my 9th Great Grandfather  William Powell famous because he came to America, Jamestown Virginia to be exact, in 1609. He survived the massacre of 1622 but was killed in 1623. Regardless of how some may feel about what happened once immigrants came and forcibly took over this country, he was still brave to come to this strange land, far from all he knew. I believe my 4th Great Grandmother, Permelia Loving Permelia Loving Allen 2Allen was famous. At the age of 66 she became a widow, after 47 years of marriage.  4 years later after her husband’s estate was settled at the age of 70 she personally lead a group of settlers from Cole County Missouri to Tarrant County Texas. Included in this group were 8 of her 10 children and their families. She was one of the first women to own land in this county and she donated land for the Mount Gilead Baptist Church to be built. This remarkable woman witnessed the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War and she died in her 92nd year.

These ordinary people who did extraordinary things are more “famous” in my eyes than some of the other “famous” people in my trees.  These are the stories I want to tell, the ones I am most proud of. Maybe we should rethink our definition of “Famous”. My new definition would be: “Those ordinary individuals, who through their own convictions succeeded to accomplish remarkable things that very few others are aware of”.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available at Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

What do the years 1610 and 1948 have in common?

What do the years 1610 and 1948 have in common?

In the grand scheme of things, 1610 and 1948 really have very little to do with each other. However if we take a closer look we might discover a very startling revelation.

Jamestown Colony about 1619


In 1610 my 9th Great Grandfather Thomas Garnet (Born 14 Dec 1585 in Kirby Lonsdale, Lancashire, England) was brought to America from England as an indentured servant to Captain William Powell. Between one-half and two-thirds of white immigrants to the American colonies came under indentures. Indenture lasted usually between 3-10 years. They were basically slaves and were treated as such.

1619 Captain William Powell vs Thomas Garnett

“Captaine William Powell presented a pettition to the generall Assembly against one Thomas Garnett, a servant of his, not onely for extreame neglect of his business to the great loss and prejudice of the said Captaine, and for openly and impudently abusing his house, in sight both of Master and Mistress, through wantonnes with a woman servant of theirs, a widdowe, but also for falsely accusing him to the Governor both of Drunkennes and Thefte, and besides for bringing all his fellow servants to testifie on his side, wherein they justly failed him. It was thought fitt by the general assembly (the Governour himself giving sentence), that he should stand fower dayes with his eares nayled to the Pillory, viz: Wednesday, Aug. 4thm and so likewise Thursday, fryday, and Satturday next following, and every of those dayes should be publiquely whipped.”  [Tyler, Narratives of Early Virginia, 268]   It is not evident how serious or true the accusations leveled by William Powell against Thomas Garnett actually were. The only testimony offered in the case came from William Powell himself, and he was known to be a drunkard and gambler. Also, William Powell was well acquainted with the governor, played cards with him and allegedly lost his beautiful estate called Chippokes [on the James River] in a card game with the governor. Such comradeship between Captain Powell and the governor would not likely ensure fair treatment for Thomas Garnett against the word of his accuser.

Thomas Garnett was confined to this type of Pillory and whipped .

Captain Powell was killed by Indians in late 1622 or early 1623 and Thomas Garnett went on to be a free man, having paid off his debt and became a man who owned hundreds of acres of land, a large home, had a wife and several children and was a well liked and respected man in Jamestown.

These two men’s paths crossed in such an unusual way and with such an unlikely outcome.


Fast forward about 3 hundred and 20 years.

Benjamin Douglas (Doug) Hughes met Emmajane Smith when his younger sister brought her new friend home to their rural Missouri farm (about 1938). 10 years later, after both of them had been married, widowed and/or divorced; they fell in love and got married on December 13 1948. They were married for 26 years when Doug died of lung cancer. From their union I was born.


So what do these two events have in common?

Here is what I just discovered:

Thomas Garnett is my Maternal 9th Great Grandfather

Captain William Powell is my Paternal 9th Great Grandfather

Both lines came together because of life changing events over 300 years apart, to me this is absolutely amazing!!

To read my Blog on Captain William Powell click here:



I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.