Sunday, April 6, 2008

POLL: Jerome HAM, April 2008




Jerome HAM Poll

April 6, 2008

One of the most enduring names for HAM genealogists of Virginia is that of Jerome HAM. High Sheriff and Burgess of York County, Virginia, he left an intriguing paper trail for us.


Jamestown Church in ruins

For well over a decade, I have received numerous emails and inquiries regarding Jerome HAM. Some claim that he was born in Bristol, England, and died in York County, Virginia. Some claim that he was born in Germany. Some say that he was born in 1577. Some say 1580. Others say he was born in 1650. Many believe that he was the single immigrant ancestor to all of the HAM lines in Virginia.

Nearly all of the inquiries that I get do not have him listed correctly. Why not? What's going on here?


Part of the problem is that Jamestown was destroyed by fire in 1699. Church records have been destroyed. Only York County records remain, and those records have never been made widely available to the public. Jamestown is now an archaeological dig. Most people will never see the extant records unless they make a research trip to Richmond.








Jamestown Church plaque








The Survey
I did a quick survey of Family Tree entries for Jerome HAM on several internet web sites. The one with the most trees was the pay service, Ancestry.com with well over 600 Jerome HAM Family Trees. Another was the Rootsweb WorldConnect web site. A third search was done at FamilySearch.org.

Here are the results:

The search from Ancestry.com returned over 600 Family Trees for Jerome HAM.

Here are some examples:


- The ALLEN Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1650 in York County, VA
- The ALLEN Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1577 in County Somerset, England.
- The BANNISTER Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1650 in York County, VA
- The BAUGH Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1577 in County Somerset, England.
- The BRYANT Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1650 in York County, VA
- The CALHOUN Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1650 in York County, VA
- The COLLINS Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1650 in York County, VA
- The COOK Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1650 in York County, VA
- The ELDER Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1650 in York County, VA
- The FRY Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1650 in York County, VA
- The GOLDEN Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1650 in York County, VA
- The HART Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1650 in York County, VA
- The HESTER Family Tree, where Jerome HAM is born in 1577 in County Somerset, England.

Some say that Jerome HAM was born in 1577, other say 1650.

The search at Rootsweb WorldConnect returned 33 trees





WorldConnect search

Some say that Jerome HAM was born in 1577, other say 1580.

The FamilySearch web site returned 100 Family Trees for Jerome HAM. This one I had to do in two searches, one for England and one for Virginia:




search at FamilySearch.org

These have Jerome HAM being married in 1648, and most have him buried in 1659. Probably the best, but not quite right either.

That’s about 708 Family trees counted from internet sources, and 96.5% had bad information about Jerome HAM.
Can you find the accurate ones?

One of the emails that I received about internet sources told me that the file on the internet that had the "most downloads" must be the correct one for her ancestor. I would have to say that "real" genealogists would never use the number of downloads as a gauge of accuracy. Genealogists prefer documentation, preferably from primary source material. (For more information on genealogy standards, see the "code of ethics" web pages for the Board for Certification of Genealogists and the Association of Professional Genealogists.)

So, today I am launching a poll at the HAM Country blog for the HAM researchers. The questions are:



- When was Jerome HAM born?

- Jerome HAM married Sibella. What was Sibella's maiden name?

- How many children did Jerome HAM have by wife Sibella?

- Were Jerome HAM of Bristol and the Jerome HAM of York County, VA the same man?



You will find the poll at the HAM Country blog.
The poll questions close on April 30th at 11:59 PM.













Jamestown church interior






4 comments:

Tanya and Adrian Scaletti said...

I answerd the poll questions from memory, not sure how accurately I remember everything and unfortunately I can not use the books to answer correctly because I now live in Ireland and the books are on a slow ship over here - I don't expect to receive them before mid June. So sad, I would have loved the book for my nephew as I have the entire collection.

Tanya Scaletti

Tanya and Adrian Scaletti said...

I am going to Bristol tomorrow for the christmas market and will check out to see if I can get any documentation while I am there on Jerome Ham.

Odon said...

Hi Tanya,

Well, good luck in Bristol. A lot of folks have an interest in Jerome HAM. He was Town Clerk for some 40 years, so his signature is all over the records at the Bristol Record Office.

The Britsol Record Office tells me that he looks to be new to the area in 1581, but there is a small town named "Ham" just north of Bristol.

However, I'd suggest St. Stephen's Parish records. Look for marriage record in 1598/99 to Elizabeth OLYVER, and perhaps burial record somewhere around 1630.

Looks like he had no children by Elizabeth, but an estate record might name some.

Good Luck!
- Odon IV

tonyplaysthemambo said...

I am too finding my search dead in the water at Jerome Ham and I was baffled to see all this information about the case of the two Jerome Hamms.

Is it possible that the Jerome Ham listed as being born in 1650 is in fact the grandson of the Jerome Ham listed as being born in Bristol in the 1570s? I was under the impression in my research there is a missing family link between Jerome Ham of Virginia and Jerome Ham of Bristol, England that the two were not one in the same but grandfather and grandson. I'd like to know if anyone else has any more information on there being two Jerome Hams with a familial relationships