Saturday, June 16, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - So Far Away

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of May 28, 2018, is So Far Away.

I’ve been intrigued by my paternal 7th great grandfather’s, Philip Pendleton, trek so far away from Norwich, England to the colony of Virginia in America, not once but twice. I imagine it was an arduous journey across the vast ocean, on the sea for months before making landfall. Of course, back then, our ancestors thought they were so modern in their modes of travel on horses, in wagons and carriages, and on ships with sails, like we think we're so modern with cars, trains, planes and jets, motorized boats and ships, and spaceships. What would they think of us now?

The information below is from The Descendants of Philip Pendleton, A Virginia Colonist (2007, Heritage Books) by David Ellis Pendleton. David notes that “many if not most” Pendletons in America are descended either from Philip Pendleton (the Virginia Pendletons) or Brian Pendleton (the New England Pendletons). DNA has shown that these two groups aren’t related to each other, but they come from the same area of England—Manchester, their “ancestral home.” 

Philip’s great grandfather George Pendleton Jr. (b. 1553, d. 1603) moved from Manchester England (possibly from the township of Pendleton near Manchester) to Norwich where he married Elizabeth Pettingale. Their son Henry (b. 1614, d. 1682) is my paternal 9th great grandfather.

Fast forward to Philip Pendleton, son of Henry Pendleton (son of Henry, son of George Jr. above) and his second wife, Elizabeth Douglass. Philip was born in Norwich March 26, 1654. His older brother, Nathaniel, was born March 31,1650. 

Philip and Nathaniel immigrated to Virginia in 1674, both indentured to Capt. Edmund Crask. Their voyage would have taken several months in a small ship under Master Capt. John Plover. Nathaniel, a unmarried clergyman with no children, died soon after their arrival. Philip worked out his indentured contract (1674-1679) in Old Rappahannock County, Virginia, where he lived. Then he returned to England where he married his first wife. Her name hasn’t been found as far as I know. She died about a year later. Philip stayed in England until the death of his father Henry in 1682, and then he left again for Virginia. He married Isabella Hurt in 1682 and they had seven children (their son Henry is my 6th great grandfather--all these Henrys! It gets confusing.).

Google Earth image with Norwich, England and Virginia noted with yellow pin marks and a red line connecting the two locales. (Click on the image for a larger view.)
According to a deposition quoted in David's book from William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, Vol. IV (“The First Generation of the Pendleton Family in Virginia,” in Genealogies of Virginia Families, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Baltimore, 1982), Philip’s mother Elizabeth sent him and his brother Nathaniel to America: 
Two reputed Brothers called & known by the name of Nathaniell [sic] Pendleton & Phillip [sic] Pendleton sent as this Depont heard by their Mother in the Ship…
A comment on the above deposition notes:  
The statement made by George Ward that he understood that the Pendletons [Philip and Nathaniel] were sent to the colony by their mother, is very interesting and one cannot but speculate as to the reasons for their being sent. Philip Pendleton evidently did not break off relations with his family in England for ‘at the end of five years servitude’ he returned to the mother country. After a brief sojourn there he came again to Virginia.
Indeed, why would a mother send her sons so far away with the possibility of never seeing them again? Neither of her sons would inherit property from their father, as he had sons by his first wife Hannah (if any were still living by this time). Maybe Elizabeth thought her sons could make their fortunes in America. However, David indicates in his book (pg 10) that in the 1670s, the economic situation in Virginia wasn't looking so good. Did Philip commit some indiscretion in England, so he was sent to America under the watchful eye of his older brother? Or was something going on in Norwich that Elizabeth wanted to spare her sons from? I looked up what was happening in England in 1674, but nothing of note came up in Norwich. I suppose we’ll never know Elizabeth’s reasons for sending her sons to America.


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