Friday, August 27, 2010

Devon Family Historian and the Devon DNA Project

The Devon Family Historian
and the Devon DNA Project

August, 2010

Debbie Kennett has just published an article entitled "DNA Testing And The Devon DNA Project" in the August, 2010 issue of the Devon Family Historian. In the article, she mentions that partial sponsorship is available for the HAM DNA Project, among others.

Debbie tells me that the Devon Family Historian is circulated to all members of the Devon Family History Society. They are one of the largest family history societies in the UK with around 5000 members. She believes that only the Cornish Family History Society is larger. Debbie says that she hopes the article will at least raise awareness of the possibilities of DNA testing and perhaps encourage a few more people to test.

I've already had a new inquiry about the DNA testing as a result of the article. She descends from Walter Ham, who married Margery Minkings on 26/03/1758 in Maker, County Devon.

In the article, Debbie provides a review of the development of DNA testing over the past 10 years. She gives a good description of the Y-chromosome tests, the Mitochondrial DNA tests, and the Autosomal DNA tests. She then follows with general information about the surname DNA Projects and the (geographical) Devon DNA Project.
For a little perspective on what I have for Devon, I will include here a summary of occurrences in our book. County Devon (HAM surname) FREQUENCIES from "A Short History of the HAM Surname in Virginia & NC"

Devon in the 1500's total references: 29

Devon in the 1600's total references: 34

Devon in the 1700's total references: 23

The 1700's saw the most significant migration of the HAM surname moving from Colyton, but it would appear that there were also evacuations in lesser quantities from Ashwater, Halberton, Hemyock, Oakford, Plymouth, Shute, Tiverton, and Uplowman.
Marvin Hamm (of the HAM DNA Project) has written me with Census information that has:

Devon with 161 Ham's listed for the 1861 Census.

For reference, Marvin found about 18 HAM's in Plymouth in 1861. And, indeed, Marvin tells me that the 1861 Census shows no HAM families in the towns of Ashwater, Halberton, Hemyock, Oakford, Shute, Tiverton, and Uplowman. This agrees with the differences in our book, and may be an indication of migration, although the destination is not yet clear. We have not yet determined if these HAM families could have moved to Cornwall, or whether or not they could have migrated to America.

The best evidence we have to date for migration is for one of the first progenitors of the HAM surname in the U.S., William HAM of Maine. Originally contracted to fish, he was part of the Trelawney expedition. The Trelawney expedition originated from Plymouth. The Maine HAM lines have done some research in the area of Devon, but to date, neither the Maine HAM lines nor the Devon HAM lines have tested for Y-DNA.

There is a little town called "Ham" (now called Ham Ward) near the city of Plymouth. There have been several Mayors of Plymouth named Trelawny, but near the time frame of 1635 there were Mayors:

1626-27 Thomas Sherwill 1627-28 Robert Trelawney
1628-29 Nicholas Sherwill and Abraham Colmer 1629-30 William Hele
1630-31 John Bownd
1631-32 John Waddon Jnr 1632-33 Philip Andrews
1633-34 Rob Trelawney Jnr 1634-35 John Martyn Jnr
1635-36 Thomas Crampporn 1636-37 John Cawse

Having a small town named Ham near Plymouth, and associated with the Trelawney Expedition does provide a clue that this HAM line may have originated from this small town of Ham, near Plymouth in County Devon.

Copies of some of the Trelawney documents can be ordered from the UK National Archives.

Hopefully, the article in this month's Devon Family Historian will encourage a few more people to test for DNA.
Some internet links that might be useful:
Searching the UK National Archives at:
Plymouth City Council
List of Mayors from 1600 to 1700
A map of the area shows the area known as Ham, near Plymouth:,54192&st=4&ar=Y&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf&dn=795&ax=248899&ay=54192
If you are a member of the Devon Family History Society, you can download the Devon Family Historian article in Adobe PDF format.

Devon Family History Society
PO Box 9
The Devon DNA Project: www.familytreedna/public/Devon

A Short History of the HAM Surname in Virginia & NC

Friday, April 9, 2010

Lost Gold of the Dark Ages - Staffordshire Hoard

Lost Gold of the Dark Ages

The Staffordshire Hoard

Largest stash of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found

April, 2010

The "Lost Gold of the Dark Ages" will premier on the National Geographic channel Sunday April 18th at 9 PM.

From the National Geographic Channel web site:

"Lost Gold of the Dark Ages chronicles the amazing story of how an amateur metal-detecting enthusiast discovered a gold hoard of more than 1,500 artifacts dating back a millenium, and valued at over $5 million.... To solve the mystery of where the gold came from, to whom it belonged and why it was buried, historians take us on a journey back into the Dark Ages."

The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found.

Discovered near Watling Street, Staffordshire. (One of the major thoroughfares of Roman Britain. The thoroughfare ran from for about 250 miles from Dover past Wroxeter.) The first pieces of the Staffordshire Hoard were found in early July 2009 by Mr Terry Herbert while he was metal detecting in a field in southern Staffordshire.
Finds included sword fittings, part of a helmet and three gold Christian crosses. Most of the complete objects are made of gold. Some are decorated with pieces of garnet, a deep red semi-precious stone, others with fine filigree work or patterns made up of animals with interlaced bodies. The red garnet gems are thought to be from as far away as India or Sri Lanka.
Current thinking dates the hoard to the later 600s or earlier 700s AD.

There's nothing like seeing some news about possible ancestors of a HAM DNA Project participant. I ran a Y-Search in 2007, and found some evidence of a match for DNA participant Josh Ham to Staffordshire, England.

There is probably more data collected from Y-Search today, but this is what I found for HAM DNA Group #7 from the Y-Search of 2007:

From the totals that I have for England, and without going to very much trouble of attempting to determine the name of the County for the cities, I get a rough account of the results that look something like this:

Staffordshire (3)
Kingstone, Staffordshire 1
Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire 1
Bedfordshire (2)
Stanbridge, Bedfordshire 1
Middlesex 2

others (less than 4 each): 18

I might want to repeat here that this haplotype is also known as "I1b2a," but here the search is for "I1c."
It is apparent that from the locations in England, the most likely locations of origin should be closely matched by Staffordshire, followed next by Bedfordshire and Middlesex.

Josh is actually haplotype I2b, renamed by FTDNA in 2007 from haplotype I1c. This Y-Search is now out of date, and there should be more DNA data available today. Josh descends from Stephen HAM of Culpeper County, Virginia. This Stephen is believed to be the son of Edward HAM, and possibly descends from Samuel HAM of Orange County, Virginia. This is still to be confirmed, as we are still waiting for more direct descendants of the Orange County or Culpeper County Ham line to participate in the DNA Project. I believe some descendants of Samuel Ham may still be living in Orange County today.

The HAM DNA Y-Search that I did gives an indication that Josh may be from County Stafford. As we know, the Ham surname is a place name, taken from local towns of the name when surnames were adopted. Staffordshire is located in Western England, between Lancashire and Worcestershire. I am not currently aware of a town called "Ham" in Staffordshire. However, research for our book does indicate the HAM surname to be in use in Middlesex.

From the Y-Search (above), Kingstone is about 15 miles from Stoke upon Trent.

From that Y-Search, Stanbridge, Bedfordshire would be about 100 miles away from the locations in Staffordshire.
In County Stafford, parishes in the vicinity would include St. Chad and St. Mary.

In County Middlesex, parishes would include Clerkenwell (or Clarkenwell) and would be about 135 miles (or 217 km) away from Staffordshire. London would be about 135 miles away from Staffordshire, but London is only about 35 miles away from Bedfordshire.

The only mention in our book of County Bedford is in the will of Adam FRIDAY, dated 1412 (mentions Richard HALM'). That would be in the vicinity of Weston, Multon, and Holbech.

I don't have much about this haplotype group "I2b," but the Y-Search also showed matches in Northern Ireland and Scotland. If not a variant of the Vikings or Danes, then I would suspect "I2b" could be either Saxon or Roman. (It would appear that most native peoples of England were R1b.)

Although I am overdue on updating the Y-Search, participants in the DNA Project are helping us to recognize the possible origins of the HAM surname.

further information:
The Staffordshire Hoard web site, images, & Information page:

(has village reconstruction, news, pictures of artifacts, etc.)
Lost Gold of the Dark Ages (the Staffordshire hoard video)

from the National Geographic channel:

The British Museum exhibit (the hoard on display November 3, 2009 through Apr 17, 2010 )
British Museum press release:

Book on sale at the British Museum:

HAM DNA Project Group # 7 Y-Search
GENUKI County map of Britain

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ancestry of Mary OLIVER

Ancestry of Mary OLIVER

Great Granddaughter-in-Law of Jerome HAM from Bristol

Last month on the HAM Country blog, we found a record of the date that Elizabeth married to Jerome HAM (1599). We can try to gather what is known about Jerome HAM of Bristol by examination of another book, this time published in 1867 on Mary OLIVER.

Following last month's article on the Will of Elizabeth OLYVER, I wanted to pass along a bit more information about the wife of Jerome HAM of Bristol. In the previous NEHGS article, it suggested that we also view the document "
Ancestry of Mary OLIVER," by William S. Appleton, privately published by John Wilson and Son in Cambridge in 1867.

Mary OLIVER was born in Massachusetts in 1640 and is listed as the great granddaughter to John OLIVER and wife Elizabeth ROWLAND. This is the Elizabeth OLIVER that married 2nd) Jerome HAM in 1599.
(see the 1867 book, page 45 of this PDF, listed as page 6 of the chapter on "Pedigrees" - about page 30 of the document).

The work was an attempt by William Appleton to track some documentation of the line of his ancestor John OLIVER of Newbury, MA. The document begins in this country with John OLIVER, born in Bristol in 1613. John was apprenticed to his uncle in 1629, when his father James OLIVER died. James OLIVER was the son of John OLIVER and wife Elizabeth ROWLAND.
This John OLIVER (b. 1613) of Newbury, MA was the grandson of Elizabeth OLIVER and father to Mary OLIVER born in 1640. Pedigree of Mary OLIVER

[ click on image to enlarge ]

That should mean Mary OLIVER (born 1640) was the great granddaughter-in-law to Jerome HAM of Bristol.

This document also includes other information, such as the pertinent material copied from the Apprentice Book of Bristol and from the Registry of Deeds in Boston (pages 22-23 of the document, or pages 34-35 of the PDF file).

Marriage of Jerome HAM and Elizabeth OLIVER is given on page 7 of the document, or page 19 of the PDF file.

From the chapter entitled "Documents" and subtitled:

"Extracts From Parish Registers of Bristol, England"

it has (OLIVER surname marriages and baptisms) for St. Stephen's Parish: St. Stephen's Parish records

[ click on image to enlarge ]

"1577. John OLIVER and Elizabeth ROWLAND were married the 28th of August."

"1599. Mr. Jerome HAM and Elizabeth OLIVER widow the 18th of February."


1578. Robert sonne to John OLIVER was Ba. the 28th of June.

1579. Margret dtr to John OLIVER was Ba. the 26th of September.

1580-81. Marie dtr to John OLIVER was Ba. the 2nd ("iith") of Marche.

1582. Thomas sonne of John OLIVER was Ba. the 14th of April.

1584. Edward sonne of John OLIVER was Ba. the 24th of October.

1585. John sonne of John OLIVER was Ba. the 11th of November.

1586. James sonne of John OLIVER was Ba. the 3rd of December.

1587-88. Tobie sonne of John OLIVER was Ba. the 26 of January.

1589. William sonne of John OLIVER was Ba. the 5th of April.

1591. William sonne of John OLIVER was Ba. the 3rd of May.

1592. Henry sonne of John OLIVER was Ba. the 23rd of April.

1593. Frauncis sonne of John OLIVER was Ba. the 22nd of August.


Will of John OLIVER is given on pages 12-15 of the document, or pages 24-27 of the PDF file.

Will of Elizabeth OLIVER is given on pages 15-18 of the document, or pages 27-30 of the PDF file.

Other wills also included are those of Thomas OLIVER, James OLIVER, Francis OLIVER.

When searching for more documentation on Jerome HAM, it might be useful to note the Parishes mentioned here (St. Peter, St. Thomas, St. Stephen, St. Werburgh, and others mentioned in the wills).

If you are doing research in Bristol, it might be useful note that you might want to look for the burial of Jerome HAM in the records of St. Stephen's parish some time after 1628.


Further reading:

The book "
Ancestry of Mary OLIVER," by William S. Appleton, privately published by John Wilson and Son in Cambridge in 1867.
(from the State Historical Society of Wisconsin)

on Google Books:

State Historical Society of Wisconsin

New England Historical and Genealogical Register

The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1893 volume XLVII on Google Books:

The HAM Branches by Donna Ham

A Short History of the HAM Surname in Virginia & NC

Monday, February 15, 2010

Will of Elizabeth OLYVER

The Will of Elizabeth OLYVER

Wife of Jerome HAM, Bristol

Perhaps no other immigrant captures the imagination of HAM researchers than that of Jerome HAM. For over 40 years, genealogists have written about him in books, posted numerous messages to the internet, and have added Jerome HAM to their genealogy charts for numerous HAM lines.

For over a decade, I have received numerous emails and inquiries regarding Jerome HAM. Some claim that he was born in Bristol, England. Some say he was born in Germany. Some say he was born or married in 1577. Some say he was born in 1580. Others have that he was born in 1650. Many say that he died in York County, Virginia.

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.

In April, 2008 I posted a Poll about him for genealogists on the HAM Country Blog in April, 2008, just to see how well Jerome HAM was understood. That poll included a quick survey of information from, Rootsweb WorldConnect, and the FamilySearch web site.

[ click on image to enlarge ]

That survey returned over 700 family trees for Jerome HAM. About 97% of the Jerome HAM family trees on the internet have bad information about Jerome HAM.

This past month I was asked to respond to an Ancestry message board post about him.

The 40 year old myth persists.

Today, I would like to examine the will of Elizabeth OLYVER, wife of Jerome HAM of Bristol. Her will was published in 1893 in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register (NEHGS), volume XLVII. (You will want to examine pages 126, 127, and 128.)

On page 126, the will of John OLYVER, merchant of the City of Bristol is listed. To be buried at St. Stephens parish. The will was proven in London on Feb 6, 1597. Mentions wife Elizabeth and children:

Robert OLYVER, lands in the County of Gloucester, and in the parishes of Wickwarr, Cromholde, and Yate.
Henry OLYVER, the youngest son, 20 pounds yearly.
Thomas OLYER
Mary OLYVER the profits and commodities from his part of the "presage" lease for three years.

Also mentioned is his father Thomas OLYVER and his mother Margaret COXE, widow.

To his wife Elizabeth OLYVER, he gives his land in long Ashton, in the County of Somerset. However, it would appear that wife Elizabeth does not afterwards live in Ashton, as we see in the will of Richard COLE (from NEHGS, vol XLVII, page 127):

Locations mentioned in the will of Richard COLE:

Richard COLE, of Bristol, alderman, files will on Jun 16, 1599 (will proven Jul 17, 1599).

A store house on the Key in Bristol, one “in the late tenure of Elizabeth HAM, late wife of John
OLYVER, merchant, in the parish of St. Stephens; all during her natural life.”


The will of Elizabeth HAM is given in NEHGS vol XLVII, pages 127 and 128:

"Elizabeth HAM, wife of Hierom Ham of the City of Bristol, gentleman, late wife and executrix of John Olyver of the said city merchant."

Elizabeth files her will Dec 24, 1619, and was proven Oct 30, 1628. In it, we find husband Hierom Ham (or Jerom Ham - it is spelled both ways in the will). She mentions her children from her first husband John OLYVER, but no children are mentioned by Jerome HAM.

From the notes on the top of page 127, we find that John OLYVER had married Elizabeth ROWLAND in Aug, 1577. John OLYVER dies in Jan 1597-98 and his widow Elizabeth marries Jerome HAM on Feb 18, 1599-1600. Elizabeth HAM files her will in 1619.

In review, Jerome HAM was merchant and Town Clerk of Bristol from 1581 to 1621. Elizabeth ROWLAND married John OLYVER in 1577. Elizabeth OLYVER marries Jerome HAM in 1599/1600 and is apparently too old to have children after that time.

So, it should be obvious that the HAM Country survey detected a number of errors from the survey for the Poll of April, 2008. For example, if you look at the web page from the Ancestry search, you will find among the genealogies listed is a Jerome HAM being married in 1577. Obviously, not correct when checked against the records.

Further reading:

The New England Historical and Genealogical Register

The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1893 volume XLVII on Google Books:

The HAM Branches by Donna Ham

A Short History of the HAM Surname in Virginia & NC

Friday, February 12, 2010

Faces of America

Faces of America

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is now running the series Faces of America on PBS. The Harvard scholar turns to the latest tools of genealogy and genetics to explore the family histories of 12
renowned Americans. Family histories range from Meryl Streep's eighth great-grandfather, who fought in Metacom's War (an English-American Indian conflict in 1675-76) to today's figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.

The Promise of America

Feb 10th - Feb 16th

Utilizing genealogical and genetic tools, Henry Louis Gates Jr. unearths the family histories of 12 prominent Americans in this series, beginning with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, director Mike Nichols and figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.

The first episode is also now available on line:

Becoming American

Feb 17th - Feb 23rd

The many pathways to America are explored via the ancestral stories of Stephen Colbert, chef Mario Batali, Jordan's Queen Noor and figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.

Making America

Wednesday, February 24 — Mar 2nd

The peopling of the New World is recalled via the ancestral stories of Meryl Streep and Eva Longoria. Included: Streep's eighth great-grandfather, who fought in Metacom's War (an English-American Indian conflict in 1675-76).

The Record Within

Mar 3rd - Mar 9th

Combining the documented stories of some of the guests' last known ancestors with DNA evidence, the series travels backward through time to reveal both distant relatives and surprising shared ancestral connections.

PBS website:

Local Listings:

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Charles Darwin Y-DNA

The Y-DNA of Charles Darwin

Deep Ancestry Analyzed

The Genographic Project analyzed the DNA of Charles Darwin (1809-1882). Darwin wrote "On the Origin of Species," the first authoritative work on evolution, following Jean Baptiste de Lamarck (1774-1829).

According to the project director Spencer Wells, Darwin's great-great-grandson tested for deep ancestry at the Genographic Project. G-G-Grandson Chris Darwin migrated from England to Australia in 1986, and now lives near Sydney. (Charles Darwin was from Shropshire in southern England.)

A panel of Genographic scientists gave a public presentation on the results at the Australian Museum in Sydney which included Dr. Spencer Wells, Dr. Ajay Royyuru, Dr. John Mitchell, and Dr. Simon Longstaff.

The complete article at the Genographic Project "news" area is no longer available, but Dienekes' blog reveals that Darwin was Haplotype R1b:

More on Darwin:

Story from The Telegraph

Tourist Guide to Darwin's home:

Somerset and Dorset Family History Society

Somerset and Dorset Family History Society
A Decade of DNA Testing

The Greenwood Tree, the journal of the Somerset and Dorset Family History Society, has published their February issue. In it, Debbie Kennett wrote a brief article on DNA testing, which mentioned the HAM DNA Project. ("A Decade of DNA Testing," published in "Greenwood Tree.")

The journal is distributed to those who are researching family history in the counties of Somerset and Dorset.

In "A Decade of DNA Testing," Debbie explains that Y-DNA has been used as a tool to confirm documentary research about a surname. She wrote on the subject of DNA testing, and notes that the editor only wanted a short article.

Quote from the article:

"The HAM(M) project will provide 50% of the cost of a test. Other projects will no doubt have similar offers."

O.K., not quite clear there. The editors probably kept the article too brief. The HAM
DNA Project can provide 50% of the cost of the test for individuals with financial difficulties, and only if the funds are available within the HAM DNA General Fund. A number of Y-DNA Projects have similar offers.

Thanks Debbie, it is good to seen the HAM DN
A Project mentioned in a local journal.

Debbie writes:

"Circulation of the journal is quite small (probably just a few
thousand) so there is no guarantee that anyone with your surname will actually read the article."


If you would like to subscribe to the journal, more information can be found below.

Somerset & Dorset Family History Society
PO Box 4502
Sherborne DT9 6YL, England

The Greenwood Tree web site is located at:

Magazine can be purchased from the web site.

More information participating in the HAM DNA Project can be found at:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Revolutionary War Veteran, Lieutenant William HAM

Revolutionary War Veteran, Lieutenant William HAM

of Elizabeth City County, Virginia

In 1780, British General Cornwallis had the Americans on the run. But soon, the American forces were to deliver some surprising defeats to Cornwallis. If you have read the Revolutionary Pension papers for Drury HAM, you will find him at about this time marching along the New River on his way to Cowpens. American Generals Morgan and Greene were converging upon the forces of Cornwallis.

The British General Cornwallis chases American Generals Morgan and Greene to Cowpens (SC), Guilford Courthouse (NC), and finally ends up in Yorktown, Virginia in 1781. The Americans had mustered some serious blows to the British forces at Cowpens and Guilford. Unknown to Cornwallis, General Washington had travelled by ship toward Yorktown. Cornwallis woke up in Yorktown one morning to find George Washington at his doorstep. Cornwallis was about to be defeated.

I'd like to share a couple of pages of research from Geneva. Included here are Revolutionary DAR Application papers for Revolutionary War veteran, William HAM. This William HAM was a Lieutentant in the Navy, and fought during the Siege at Yorktown. Evelyn Calvert Barron, a descendant, had filed this application in 1940.

Geneva had sent this to me while we were doing research for the book. She thought it might help with what I was finding in the Elizabeth City Parish Vestry Books and Elizabeth City Will books. Unfortunately, I received this in about May of 2003, shortly before the book was due to be sent to the publisher. No time to dig deeper. I did have time to put some resemblance of a summary of the DAR pages into the book.

(In the book, I do not try to explain the document. What I tried to do is keep the book small. However, I do try to point out what is in the document, and indicate where you might find the document by citing our sources. The original DAR application has additional sources.)

The DAR application was filed by Evelyn Calvert Barron in 1940, Evelyn age 45 at the time. ("A Short History of the HAM Surname..." vol. #2, pages 120, 135)

[ click on image to enlarge ]

Evelyn was born in 1895 in Elizabeth City County to Frederick Barron (b. 1859) and wife Mary Sue HAM (b. 1869, m. 1891). Mary Sue HAM was the daughter of Col. Joseph Huchison HAM (b. 1838) and wife Anna GAMBAL. Joseph Huchison HAM was the son of William HAM, Jr. (b. 1805).

And this is where you have to examine the document carefully, as it can be confusing to follow:

Lieutenant William HAM, Sr. was born in 1762 and married Susan COOPER in 1799.

William HAM, Jr (b. 1805) appears to have married Louisa HUCHISON in 1826.

This William HAM was involved in the Revolutionary War during the siege of Yorktown (near the end of the war). Because of the defeat of Cornwallis, Yorktown marked the point when the United States begun to be recognized as an independent nation. Lieutenant William HAM held duties on board the ship Nicholson, mainly shipping supplies on the James River during the siege of Yorktown. He was a favorite Lieutenant to Commander James Barron.

William was born March 16, 1762 and died in 1825 in Elizabeth City County, VA. It would appear that he was about 19 years old during the siege at Yorktown.
You may want to note that this is a DAR Application, and not a Pension Application. No Revolutionary Pension Application was ever filed for this William HAM. He died in 1825, and Congress didn't pass the Pension law until about 1838. William HAM had passed away by the time Pension Applications became available.

This Revolutionary War DAR Application can be very confusing to read. When you write down what is listed on page 2, and then compare to what is written on page 3, the line of descent is not immediately clear. That is, if taken separately, each page could cause a lot of confusion.

For example:

Page 2 has Rev War Veteran Lieut. William HAM, Sr. b. 1762 d. 1825 married Susan COOPER, and wife Susan dies in 1840. It also lists his first wife (at the top of the page 3) as "Mary."

Page 3 has son William HAM, Jr. b. 1805 who married Louisa HUTCHINSON. (Louisa HUTCHINSON was born in 1803 on page 2....)

Page 3 has Lieutenant William HAM, Sr. m
arried 1) Mary ____ and 2) in 1799 Susan COOPER in Elizabeth City County, VA. Further down page 3 lists the "Children of the Revolutionary Ancestor."

The children of William Sr. then married:

Benjamin HAM b. 1788 married Susan JENNINGS

William HAM, Jr. b. 1803 married Louisa HUTCHINSON

These children are born 1788 to 1816.

This implies that the "Children of the Revolutionary Ancestor" Lt. William HAM, Sr. were four sons, Benjamin, William Jr., Jacob, and John. However, the date of birth for son Benjamin (b. 1788) only makes sense if William HAM, Jr. was also previously married (to Mary ___).

Very confusing read. Probably also very confusing to fill out.

The form for the DAR Application itself can be confusing. Whomever filled it out was trying to put in the dates for parents within the blank spots for children's dates. That is, putting the birth date of the parents in the blanks that should have been for the birth date of the children.

To further
complicate the matter, I have had Kentucky HAM lines contact me and claim descent from this William HAM. However, the more experienced genealogists clearly know a different line of descent. Folks are grabbing this William HAM and just placing him onto their family tree for some silly reason. The William HAM of Madison County, Kentucky appears to have fought in the Revolutionary War, but he died prior to the issue of Revolutionary War Pension applications. His war records have never been located.

I was hoping some descendants of this HAM line would come along to help clear this up, but thus far, none have been located. It would be great to have them test for Y-DNA.

The DAR Application lists some source records that I was not able to retrieve, as it cites the HAM Bible, Captain William HAM's Will, and Elizabeth City County Tax Lists. So, I haven't exactly cleared any confusion independently. If you check volume #2 (Virginia), you can see that I have a Benjamin HAM and a William HAM in Elizabeth City County as early as
1760 (see vol #2, pages 96, 97, & 98). At the time that Benjamin HAM files his will (1767), he had wife Mary, sons Joseph and William and daughters Mary and Anne (see Will Book 1763 - 1771 or see "A Short History of the HAM Surname," vol #2, page 109-110).

I would gather that the names Benjamin and William were carried in this line. From the 1760 Elizabeth City Vestry book entry, it is hard to tell if Benjamin or William would be the father of the Revolutionary War Veteran. The Parish Registry has not survived, but there is this mention in the Vestry book. It is at least known from the Will books that Benjamin HAM did have a son named William in 1767 (see vol #2, "A Short History of the HAM Surname," pages 109, 110).

In our book (vol 2, page 210), the children are listed out this way:

Lieutenant William HAM, Sr. b. Mar 16, 1762
and married

1) Mary ____
2) in 1799 Susan COOPER in Elizabeth City County, VA.

Lieutenant William HAM, Sr. died in May, 1825.
Wife Susan COOPER died in 1840.

William HAM, Jr. and wife Susan COOPER had sons:

1) Benjamin HAM b. Jun 18, 1788 (m. Susan JENNINGS)

2) William HAM, Jr. b. Jul, 29, 1805 (m. Oct 5, 1826 Louisa HUTCHINSON and he died May 28, 1886 in Boydton, VA.)

3) Jacob HAM b. Oct 1813

4) John HAM b. Dec 1816

When in fact, Benjamin should have been a son by wife Mary.

The William HAM, Jr. appears to have been married on Oct 5, 1826 Louisa HUTCHINSON (from page 2).
Wife Louisa HUTCHINSON was b. May 18, 1803 in Accomack Co., VA and d. Jan 7, 1879 in Boydton, VA.

And again, William HAM, Jr. and wife Louisa HUTCHINSON had son:

1) Col. Joseph Hutchinson HAM (from DAR application page 2)

Joseph starts the line of the DAR applicant by his daughter Mary Sue HAM.

Lieutenant William H
AM will spend his career in the Navy, and later there would be a Captain William HAM at the time of the War of 1812. (It's not yet clear to me if the Captain would be the son of Lt. William HAM.)

I will always be wondering when the confusion about this line will end. Nevertheless, an interesting line to follow. Thanks Geneva, I can't wait to see the Y-DNA for this line.

Further reading:

Biography - Captain James Barron
Inventory of the James Barron Papers 1776-1899
Daughters of the American Revolution
Virginia Daughters of the American Revolution
A Short History of the HAM Surname in Virginia & NC
The Library of Virginia for a digital image of William HAM's 1783 record as a seaman
Elizabeth City Parish Vestry Book, at the Library of Virginia
Elizabeth City County Wills, 1733-1799 by Joan Charles, Heritage Books, 1995.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Indentured Servants: Early Immigrants

Indentured Servants: Early Immigrants

Jan 14, 2010

ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogists) recently had quite a discussion going on about the subject of indentured servants.

It would seem that the idea of indentured servants is not very well understood. At least one individual thought indentured servants were criminals. Another thought there was that indentured servants would never own their own land upon gaining their freedom.

Carol McGinnis writes in "Viginia Genealogy Sources & Resources" that the first African colonists from the West Indies are sold into indentured service in 1619.

Does that mean an indentured servant was a slave? Was an indentured servant a criminal? Would an indentured servant own land when they gained their freedom?

Finally, why should we even care if we know what an indentured servant is?

For me, the answer is simple. The first HAM to arrive on this continent was an indentured servant.

Joseph HAM arrived in 1621 as an indentured servant to Lt. Albiano Lupo. Transported by the ship Warwick. The Warwick probably set sail from Middlesex or London, England. He arrived in Elizabeth City, Virginia (now the city of Hampton, Virginia).

Joseph was 16 years old at the time. Joseph HAM would gain his freedom, live in York County, and marry Mary PEAD, the widow of John PEAD. Mary had two children by John PEAD, John PEAD and Catharine PEAD.

Joseph files his will on March 3, 1638 which is subsequently probated on July 10, 1638. Among his most valuable possessions are 2,000 pounds of tobacco, 20 young goats, what appears to be a maid servant, and a part of a plantation.

Nora Probasco has sent an email to notify folks that an excellent article about indentured servants is now available on line. An article by Nathan W. Murphy Origins of Colonial Chesapeake Indentured Servants: American And English Sources.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly, 93, no.1 (March, 2005), 5–24 is now on line:

If you know a little about researching early documents, then it helps to understand exactly what an indentured servant was. Or conversely, if you know how to research an indentured servant, then it could possibly help you to understand more about the times of your immigrant ancestor.

An interesting article. For folks that have not researched early documents, it gives a visual of an old printed document, so you can compare with today's writing to see how the handwriting has changed over time. Also, there is an extensive list of reference sources for help in researching early immigrants.

Further reading about Joseph HAM:

Peter W. Coldham, "The Complete Book of Immigrants 1607-1660"
Carol McGinnis, "Virginia Genealogy Sources & Resources."
P. William Filby, "Passenger and Immigration Lists Index"
John Camden Hotten, "Original Lists of Persons of Quality 1600-1700"
R. F. Walker article entitled "
Lists of the Living and the Dead in Virginia Feb 16, 1623" from the "Colonial Records of Virginia," Richmond, 1874
Library of Virginia, York County microfilm "Deeds, Orders, Wills, etc.," page 11, Richmond, VA
"A Short History of the HAM Surname in Virginia & NC"