Elizabeth Rolfe

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Elizabeth Rolfe (Washington)

Also Known As: "Rolphe;"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: England
Death: Died in Norfolk, England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John Washington and Dorothy Pargiter
Wife of Lt. Thomas Pepsironemeh Rolfe
Mother of Ann Elwin

Managed by: Heather Billig
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Elizabeth Rolfe

Additional Curator's Notes:

There is a possible wife and child BEFORE Thomas Rolfe returned to Virginia. The Pocahontas Society has accepted this theory. The proponents of this theory claim the birth of an additional daughter, Ann Rolfe, by what would have been Thomas' first wife, in England. This Anne Rolfe married an Elwyn and had numerous descendants. Some items said to have belonged to Pocahontas, such as her earrings, were passed down in the family for years.

The Pocahontas Society, one of the leading organizations working to promote accuracy in the Pocahontas tree, has accepted Ann Rolfe Elwynn as most likely the daughter of Thomas Pepsironemeh Rolfe, based on the earrings that remained in the family for generations. They remain quiet on the subject of her mother..

The most likely candidate for the first wife is Elizabeth Washington. A church record shows the following: Thomas ROLFE married Elizabeth WASHINGTON in September 1632 at St.James Church, Clerkenwell, London, England. The unlikely part is that Thomas, son of Pocahontas, would have been 17 at marriage and Elizabeth would have been 18. Those who support Thomas, son of Pocahontas, as wife of Elizabeth Washington, point out that Thomas had to be either 21 or married in order to claim his inheritance in Virginia. Elizabeth Washington who married Thomas Rolfe died giving birth to a daughter Anne Rolfe.

Let us not forget that Thomas had been left in England to be raised by family. The Thomas who married Elizabeth could have been a cousin. There were several branches of the Rolfe family in England. The husband could be from any of those families. There is absolutely no physical evidence, other than the pair of earrings, that the Thomas who married Elizabeth was the son of Pocahontas.

It is the opinion of this curator that if the Pocahontas Society accepts Ann Rolfe Elwyn as the granddaughter of Pocahontas, then we should accept her mother and the marriage to Pocahontas' son.

Maria Edmonds-Zediker, Volunteer Curator, March 23, 2015

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Elizabeth Washington was born c. 1614 in England and died there in Norfolk, England in 1633, from complications of childbirth. The date of death is known because the date of her daughter Ann's birth is known. The date of birth is estimated from her marriage at age 18, to Thomas Rolfe.

Her husband, Thomas Rolfe, is believed by many to be the son of Pocahontas.

Child of Thomas Rolfe and wife Elizabeth Washington

  • Ann Rolfe, born 1633 in Norfolk, England and died in 1676 in Norfolk, England; married Peter Elwin or Elwynn.

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Elizabeth Rolfe's Timeline

1614
1614
England
1632
September 13, 1632
Age 18
Clerkenwell, London, Middlesex, England, (Present UK)

After growing up in England, Thomas Rolfe married Elizabeth Washington on 13 September 1632, at the St James's Church in Clerkenwell, London. Their daughter Anne was born in 1633. Elizabeth died shortly after Anne’s birth.

1633
1633
Age 19
Norfolk, UK
1633
Age 19
Norfolk, England