“Christmas in 17th-century England and Virginia”


Guest Author:  Nancy Egloff, Jamestown Settlement Historian Christmas in 17th-Century England and Virginia Exploring English customs and the Lord of Misrule Along with their friends and relatives in England, the Englishmen who came to Jamestown in 1607 considered Christmas to be one of the most special times of the year. In England, the season lasted … Continue reading “Christmas in 17th-century England and Virginia”

Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, Doctor, lawyer, Indian Chief!


Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, Doctor, lawyer, Indian Chief--that's the first line from one of my childhood jump rope rhymes.  I thought it appropriate for opening this post that connects farmers, merchants, lawyers, sailors, a kidnapper, and even a President, Indian Chief, and an Indian Princess who became famous for her peacekeeping powers … Continue reading Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, Doctor, lawyer, Indian Chief!

John Rolfe Letter to Governor Thomas Dale, 1614


Continuing to further document and understand the lives of our earliest ancestors - emigrants from England to Jamestown, Virginia, I have included below, the 1614 letter  (transcribed and updated to today’s word usage and spellings by me--I made no changes to word choices or punctuation and kept present-day English spellings).  My  11th great-grandfather, John Rolfe, … Continue reading John Rolfe Letter to Governor Thomas Dale, 1614

May 13, 2017: Jamestown Colony’s 410th Anniversary


Four hundred and ten years ago today (May 13, 1607), one hundred colonists (dispatched from England by the London Company) arrived along the west bank of the James River.  The next day they founded the first permanent English settlement in what is now the Virginia, known as the"James Fort." As I have written in other … Continue reading May 13, 2017: Jamestown Colony’s 410th Anniversary

The Lee’s–a Historically Significant Virginia and Maryland Political Family


Colonial America and Prominent Lee Family Members Many prominent members of the Lee Family are known for their accomplishments in politics and the military.  This family first became prominent in Colonial America when Richard Henry Lee I arrived in Virginia in 1639 and went on to become possibly the richest man in Virginia by the time … Continue reading The Lee’s–a Historically Significant Virginia and Maryland Political Family

ISO my Family’s Sociological “Big Bang!”


According to my most recent research into the Bolling-Chambers-Taylor families, I am descended from an ancient line of folks who were known to be bald, short, fat, stammerers, and some even barbarians! At my eldest grandson's wedding in Chicago last weekend,  my third eldest grandson approached me for genealogical help. For his college sociology class, his assignment … Continue reading ISO my Family’s Sociological “Big Bang!”

A Girl Jekyll and Hyde Who Embezzled $110,000


I subscribe to World Explorer Ancestry.com which gives me full access to everything Ancestry has available, including Fold3.com, the military records site, and Newspapers.com, which includes unlimited access to more than 50 million pages from more than 1800 newspapers across the United States with billions of articles, obituaries, and announcements that may contain stories of my … Continue reading A Girl Jekyll and Hyde Who Embezzled $110,000

Irish-American Heritage Month: March 2014


DNA Test Reveals 10% Irish Ancestry From my ancestry.com DNA report--A Look Into My Irish Ancestry - Primarily in Ireland, Wales, Scotland, but some lived in France, and England: I guess the DNA results that revealed my blood lineage as 10 percent Irish, allow me to legitimately wear green today to honor my Irish heritage.  Ireland, … Continue reading Irish-American Heritage Month: March 2014

Hello Again, World – My 145th Post


My First Post - Eight Months Ago Eight months ago on November 15, 2012, I published “Hello World“--my 341-word first blog post ever, under the category of Witches and Witchcraft.  I wondered then if some of my family from among the 40 generations I have traced back could have been among those accused of witchcraft … Continue reading Hello Again, World – My 145th Post

The Tudors and Taylors: My British Connection


The Tudors Two years ago, we watched on Netflix, almost incessantly, 38 streamed episodes of Showtime TV's monumental, award-winning series The Tudors.  The Tudors originally aired from April 1, 2007, to June 10, 2010. It starred the 35-year-old Golden Globe award-winning Irish actor, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers,  (2nd from left in the photo), and this year's 30-year-old, British born actor, Man … Continue reading The Tudors and Taylors: My British Connection

Tobacco, Slavery, Earthworms, Honey Bees; Grains, Livestock, Disease…Oh My!


After reading one of my posts, a friend suggested I take a look at the book 1493... by Charles C. Mann. Only in a few pages and I had a rude awakening.  It appeared to me that up to this point I had merely been scratching the surface when describing our family's roots, branches, history, … Continue reading Tobacco, Slavery, Earthworms, Honey Bees; Grains, Livestock, Disease…Oh My!

Johannes Eustacius “John” Rolfe…My 11th Great Grandfather


Johannes Eustacius "John" Rolfe, Father of John Rolfe, Jr. Who Married Pocahontas Birth: Oct. 17, 1562, Heacham, Norfolk, England Death: Nov. 29, 1594, Heacham,  Norfolk, England (Age 32) Buried:  Dec. 1, 1594, Heacham Church, Heacham, Norfolk, England Norfolk County in which Heacham resides is known for its industry in Lavender. It is thought that settlers … Continue reading Johannes Eustacius “John” Rolfe…My 11th Great Grandfather

Captain John Thomas Rolfe II…


My 10th Paternal Great Grandfather Date of Birth: 6 May 1585 in Heacham Hall, Norfolkshire, Watkins Co., England Date of Death: 22 Mar 1622 (killed in Indian Massacre) in Jamestown, Virginia Colony; killed in a massacre  Marriage: 05 Apr 1614 (Age: 28) Jamestown, James, Virginia, USA to Princess Pocahontas Matoaka Rebecca POWHATAN (1595-1617) Children Thomas Powhatan ROLFE (1615-1675) Varina, Henrico County, The American South … Continue reading Captain John Thomas Rolfe II…

“Rare Gems of Human Knowledge”


If you have read more than one of my posts, by now you know that I love to read, explore, and learn on my own from others--those who came before me and those living, who I may or may not personally know.  Over the past several months especially, I have been following those people/blogs who … Continue reading “Rare Gems of Human Knowledge”

Meet Jane…14-Year-Old Jamestown Colony Victim of Cannibalism?


Scientists revealed Wednesday, May 1, 2013, that they have found the first solid archaeological evidence that some of the earliest American colonists at Jamestown, Va., survived harsh conditions by turning to cannibalism. For years, there have been tales of people in the first permanent English settlement in America eating dogs, cats, rats, mice, snakes and … Continue reading Meet Jane…14-Year-Old Jamestown Colony Victim of Cannibalism?

May 11, 2013: 406th Anniversary of America’s First Settlement in Jamestown, VA


1606 Expedition from England to Virginia Coastlines An all-male expedition led by Captain Christopher Newport departed from England in December 1606. Aboard the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery ships, were 105 passengers (one of whom died during the voyage).   Many aboard these ships were upper-class Englishmen. On May 13, 1607, after two weeks of exploration of the Virginia coastline, the … Continue reading May 11, 2013: 406th Anniversary of America’s First Settlement in Jamestown, VA

Pipers Piping, Ladies Dancing, and Lords a Leaping


And we’re off to Scotland in our ‘Reflections of the past and mirrors to the future…’ It’s a wee country, full of contradictions and BIG surprises!  In Scotland, you can… See tiny, stone cottages nestled at the foot of huge, rugged mountains Watch ominous steel-grey clouds part suddenly to reveal vivid blue skies and bright sunshine Look … Continue reading Pipers Piping, Ladies Dancing, and Lords a Leaping

‘To Claim on Not to Claim’ the Royal Plantagenet Family as Kin is the Question


With the recent news of the forensic archaeological discovery of King Richard III's remains under a parking lot in the English city of Leicester, I went immediately to my tree of ancestors to see if or how we might have been related.  Today's Washington Post Newspaper wrote that this story has "thrilled history buffs around the world. But the … Continue reading ‘To Claim on Not to Claim’ the Royal Plantagenet Family as Kin is the Question

Walt Whitman’s Battles of Chancellorsville: Horrific Wounds, Night Fighting, and Other “Strange and Fearful Pictures”


Mysteries and Conundrums blogs about Civil War Battles in Virginia stir deep emotions in me as I try to imagine the fear. horrors, and impact of families during these times. The Bolling family, my grandfather, 3 great grandfathers and their families (descendants from the Bolling family originally from England) and descendants of John Rolfe and Pocahontas, lived for decades (1802-1946) on Elys Ford Road immediately adjacent to major Civil War Battles at Chancellorsville, Five Forks, and the Wilderness Farms. In fact the now infamous “Widow Tapp” was my 3rd great grandmother. The bulk of the Bolling descendants also lived in Stafford and Spotsylvania Counties, and in Petersburg. Where Widow Tapp lived a simple and poor life in Spotsylvania County, Robert Bolling IV in 1823 built the Bollingbrook Mansion, known today as Centre Hill Mansion Museum. Thank you again for these wonderful posts.

Mysteries & Conundrums

from: Harrison

This year’s sesquicentennial commemorations of the Battle of Chancellorsville will build upon long traditions of eyewitness, published narrative and non-eyewitness scholarship.  Yet I’ve been fascinated lately to realize that Chancellorsville inspired Walt Whitman to make, forcefully, one of his earliest contrarian forecasts for writing about the Civil War, a view that he later expressed in the now-famous sentence, “The real war will never get in the books.”

Whitman’s longest-known rumination on Chancellorsville, dated May 12, 1863, asked

Of scenes like these, I say, who writes—who e’er can write, the story?  Of many a score—aye, thousands, North and South, of unwritten heroes, unknown heroisms, incredible, impromptu, first-class desperations—who tells?  No history, ever—No poem sings, no music sounds, those bravest men of all—those deeds.  Nor formal General’s report, nor print, nor book in the library, nor column in the paper, embalms the bravest, North or South, East or West.

(If…

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Hello world!


This is my very first post.    I’m looking forward to sharing with you many interesting facts and stories about the nearly 40 generations of people in my family and their times from around the world.  Many of the stories were unearthed through my 20+ years of  genealogical research.  As in most families, ours has … Continue reading Hello world!