About Thomas Pepsironemeh Rolfe
From: Cavaliers and Pioneers. Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1623-1666, Vol. I, Patent Book 4:
THOMAS ROLFE, Gent., 300 acs. James City Co., 25 Apr 1656, p. 23, (36). On N. E. side of Wallingford Riv. alias Chichohominy. Adj. his own, land of Mr. Edward Digges & Richard New and on a branch of Ravenets Run. Trans. of 6 pers: Richd. Gummy, John Huson, Wm. Hollyman, Kath. Hockwell, Wm. Morley, Geo. Marler.
Birth: 1615 Jamestown James City County Virginia, USA Death: 1680 Richmond Richmond City Virginia, USA
Colonial American Figure. His mother was Pocahontas whose father was Chief Powhatan of a federation of the Algonquian Indian tribes of the tidewater region of Virginia The father of Thomas Rolfe was John Rolfe, a member of the House of Burgess & credited with establishing the planting of tobacco in Virgina Colony.
Thomas was born in the Virginia Colony, probably on Smith's plantation at Jamestown. His mother, Pocahontas, daughter of Chief Powhatan, gave up her native birth name and took the Christian name of Rebecca when she married John Rolfe.
Thomas' parents' marriage was as much a political action as an action of affection. In John's petition to the Governor for permission to marry Pocahontas, he stated both reasons.
When still an infant, Thomas went to England with his parents, where his mother died about seven months later. His father left him there to be raised in guardianship, while he returned to business interests in Virginia.
Since Thomas spent his childhood in the white society of England and the Virginia Colony, he thought of himself as an Englishman. When he reached adulthood, history recorded that the Virginia Governor granted Thomas permission to meet his Native American uncle, Opechancanough. Nothing was noted of the outcome of this meeting, however.
He served as a lieutenant in the English military, and was granted land at Fort James. By the time he died, his estate showed he held more than one deed and land grant, so he was a man of means in Colonial Virginia.
He married Jane Poythress, and their only child, Jane, married Colonel Robert Bolling. The Bollings had a son, John. He had seven children.
Some researchers suggest Thomas died at age 61 in 1674/75; However a property event dating 23 Apr 1681, lands of Thomas Rolfe, deceased, known as "the Fort Land" were divided and sold - so he was clearly gone before 23 Apr 1681; His only grandson, John Bolling, signed over some of his land in 1698 to a William Brown.
The Association for the Preservation of Virginia, copyright 1997,2000 at website antiquitieshttp://www.apva.org/history/jrolfe.html
Colonial National Historic Park Jamestown, Historic Briefs: Thomas Rolfe by Megan Snow, NPS Intern from William and Mary May 2003 at website http://www.nps.gov/colo/Jthanout/ThomasRolfe.htm
Brown, Stuart E., Lorraine F. Myers, and Eileen M. Chappel. Pocahontas' Descendants. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1994.
Stanard, William. Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 21. New York: Kraus Reprint Corporation, 1968.
Early Virginia Families Along the James River: Their Deep Roots and Tangled Branches, Volume III, page 73 (distribution of lands after 1680)
Parents: John Rolfe (1585 - 1622) Pocahontas (1595 - 1617) Spouse: Jane Poythress Rolfe (1620 - 1676) Children: Jane Rolfe Bolling (____ - 1676)*
- Calculated relationship
Note: Some researchers question why his daughter, Mrs. Bolling, is memorialized next to him instead of his last wife. Since the marker notes blood relationships only, the group erecting it was likely noting his historical significance - not wives
Burial: Kippax Plantation Hopewell Hopewell City Virginia, USA
Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]
Created by: L Pritchett Record added: Jul 10, 2006 Find A Grave Memorial# 14873513
"Thomas Eldredge married a daughter of
Colonel John or Robert Bolling of Virginia. Robert Bolling's wife was a daughter of Thomas Rolfe and Potthress (Indian) and granddaughter of Pocahontas, who died at Gravesend, England."
-------------------- Chief Powhatans grandson.Thomas Rolfe From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Thomas Rolfe Sedgeford portrait.jpg The "Sedgeford Portrait," said to represent Pocahontas and her son. Born January 30, 1615 Jamestown, Virginia Died 1680 Kippax Plantation, Virginia Religion Christianity Children Anne Rolfe (1633–1676) Jane Rolfe Parents John Rolfe (father) Pocahontas (mother)
Thomas Pepsironemeh Rolfe (January 30, 1615 – 1680) was the only child of Pocahontas by her English husband, John Rolfe. His maternal grandfather was Wahunsunacock, the chief of Powhatan tribe in Virginia. Thomas Rolfe (and his two marriages) made it possible for following generations, both in America and in England, to trace ancestry from Pocahontas. Contents
1 Early life 2 Family 3 Land 4 Death 5 Legacy 6 References
Thomas Rolfe was born in Virginia in 1615. He was named after Governor Sir Thomas Dale, who accompanied Thomas Rolfe and his parents on their trip to England aboard the Treasurer in 1616. He was a year old during this voyage, and (being half Native American) was not necessarily immune to the diseases and hardships of the voyage. Thomas survived, but a year later in the spring of 1617 was stricken with a severe fever, as was his mother.
Just as the family was preparing to re-embark on the George for Virginia (while still in Gravesend in Kent), Pocahontas died of consumption. Thomas was left in Plymouth, England with Sir Lewis Stukely, and was later transferred into the care of his uncle, Henry Rolfe. His father, however, sailed without him to Virginia (after being persuaded by Admiral Argall and other members of the journey that his son was too sick to continue the voyage) and this was the last time that the father and son saw one another. Thomas remained in his uncle's care in England until he reached roughly 20 years of age, by which time his father had already died. As Henry had raised Thomas, he felt he deserved compensation from his brother, and therefore petitioned the Virginia Council in October 1622, claiming entitlement to a portion of John Rolfe's land. It is assumed that Thomas Rolfe returned to Virginia in 1635, and there is no further mention of Rolfe's whereabouts or doings until 1641.
Once established in Virginia again, Thomas Rolfe fostered both his reputation as a plantation owner, and as a member of his mother's lineage. Family
As Thomas Rolfe was a child of a white man and a Native American woman, some aspects of his life were particularly controversial. Thomas expressed interest in rekindling relations with his Native American ancestors, even despite societal ridicule and laws that forbade such contact. In 1641, Rolfe petitioned the governor for permission to visit his "aunt, Cleopatra, and his kinsman Opecanaugh".
Thomas married Elizabeth Washington in September 1632 at St James's Church and they had a daughter named Anne Rolfe in 1633. Elizabeth died shortly after Anne's birth. Anne Rolfe married Peter Elwin (Elwyn) and through that line many people claim descent from Pocahontas and John Rolfe.
Thomas later married a woman named Jane Poythress, who was the daughter of Captain Francis Poythress, a prosperous landowner in Virginia. The two had a daughter together (who was named Jane after her mother). Thomas left his daughter with his cousin Anthony Rolfe to claim his inheritance. In 1698, Thomas Rolfe's grandson John Bolling (Jane's son) released to William Browne his rights in the land, in a deed in which Bolling is identified as "...son and heir of Jane, late wife of Robert Bolling of Charles City County, Gent., which Jane was the only daughter of Thomas Rolf, dec'd..." As confirmed by the 1698 deed quoted above, his daughter Jane married Robert Bolling. Robert Bolling and Jane Rolfe Bolling had one child; their son John was born January 26, 1676. Land
While Thomas did receive land from his father, it is believed that a fair amount of his land came from the Native Americans, as well. There were rumors in 1618 that when Thomas came of age, he would inherit a sizable portion of Powhatan territory; this information was transmitted through Argall to London, stating, "'Opechanano and the Natives have given their Country to Rolfe's Child and that they will reserve it from all others till he comes of yeares...." (Mossiker). Thomas's step-grandfather, named Captain William Peirce, received a grant of 2000 acres of land on June 22, 1635 for the "transportation of 40 persons among whom was Thomas Rolfe". He then listed Thomas as heir to his father's land. Prior to March 1640, Thomas took possession of this land which was located on the lower side of the James River.
Thomas also inherited a tract of some 150 acres on June 10, 1654 in Surry County, across from Jamestown; the land was described in a later deed as "Smith's Fort old field and the Devil's Woodyard swamp being due unto the said Rolfe by Gift from the Indian King".
The year after the 1644 Indian attack on the colony, four forts were established to defend the frontier: Fort Henry, Fort Royal, Fort James, and Fort Charles. Fort James was to be under the command of Thomas Rolfe as lieutenant as of October 5, 1646. He was given six men, and was instructed to fight against the Native Americans—his own people:
And it is further enacted and granted, That left.[Lieutenant] Thomas Rolfe shall have and enjoy for himselfe and his heires for ever ffort James alias Chickahominy fort with fowre hundred acres of land adjoyning to the same, with all houses and edifices belonging to the said forte and all boats and amunition at present belonging to the said ffort; Provided that he the said Leift. Rolfe doe keepe and maintaine sixe men vpon the place duringe the terme and time of three yeares, for which tyme he the said Leift. Rolfe for himselfe and the said sixe men are exempted from publique taxes.
Then, on October 6, 1646, Thomas was put in charge of building a fort at Moysenac, for which he received 400 acres of land. This fort was located on the west side of Diascund Creek.
Several years later, Rolfe patented 525 acres on August 8, 1653, "...lying upon the North side of Chickahominy river commonly called and known by the name of James fort...", apparently including the 400 acres he had received in 1646. This James Fort land was repatented by William Browne on April 23, 1681. The tract was described in the patent as "formerly belonging to Mr Thomas Rolfe, dec'd", thus establishing that Rolfe had died before that date. Death
The last recorded mention of Thomas Rolfe exists in a land patent from September 16, 1658. While some sources claim that Thomas died in 1680, others claim that the exact year is unknown. Legacy
Pocahontas did not leave any fully Native American descendants. However, many non-Native people in the United States claim descent from her through her son, Thomas Rolfe, and Thomas's daughter, Jane. Moreover, many people in Great Britain also claim descent from Pocahontas through Thomas's daughter, Anne, by his wife Elizabeth Washington.
The birth of Thomas Rolfe, as he was both white and Native American, reinstated peace between the Powhatans and the European settlements. Early in his career as deputy governor, Argall reported in a letter published within the Virginia Company Records that Powhatan "goes from place to place visiting his country taking his pleasure in good friendship with us laments his daughter's death but glad her child is living so doth opachank".
Thomas Rolfe appeared as a toddler in the Animated Hero Classics direct-to-video episode Pocahontas in 1994.
Thomas appears as both an infant and toddler in the 2005 theatrical film The New World, but is absent in the 1998 Disney animated straight-to-video film Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World, a sequel to the 1995 motion picture because of the inaccuracy about John Rolfe marrying Pocahontas in London rather than Jamestown. References
^ Palmer, Vera (March 17, 1935). "Pocahontas' Earrings". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Archived on May 25, 2011. Although the two figures in the portrait are said to represent Pocahontas and her son, the boy shown in the portrait appears several years older than Thomas Rolfe, who was two years old when his mother died. ^ a b c Clausen, Christopher. "Between Two Worlds." The American Scholar 76.3 (2007): 80–90. ProQuest. Web. 11 Mar. 2013. ^ Dorman, John Frederick (2004). Adventurers of Purse and Person. 4th ed., vol. 3. pp. 25–37 ^ a b Robert S. Tilton, "Rolfe, John (1585–1622)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online ed., Sep. 2012 ^ a b c Mossiker, Frances. Pocahontas: The Life and Legend. 1976. New York: Da Capo Press, 1996. pp. 213–313. Print. ^ a b Price, David A. Love And Hate in Jamestown. New York: Alfred A. Knopf Publishing, 2003. p. 183. Print. ^ a b c d Boddie, John Bennett. Coloniel Surry. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1974. Web., 12 March 2013. ^ a b c Barbour, Philip L. Pocahontas and Her World. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1969. pp. 184, 214. Print. ^ a b c McCartney, Martha W. "Thomas Rolfe". Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607–1635: A Biographical Dictionary. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2007. p. 608. Print. ^ a b Land Office Patent Bk 7, p. 96 ^ Hening, William Waller, Hening's Statutes at Large: Being a Collection of all the Laws of Virginia from the first session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619 ^ Land Office Patent Bk 3, p. 13.
1615 births 1675 deaths British people of Native American descent Rolfe family of Virginia Virginia colonial people
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Thomas Rolfe's Timeline
January 30, 1615
Jamestown, James City, Virginia, United States
October 10, 1650
Henrico County, Virginia
Virginia, United States
Charles City, Virginia, United States
Hopewell, Virginia, USA