About Thomas Duke, Sr.
There seems to be great confusion on various family trees about the identity of this Thomas Duke. It appears that there were at least two Thomas Dukes in England about this same age, one from Kent and one from Devonshire. Their identities have been conflated and they have been merged together by many amateur genealogists. However, it appears that the Thomas Duke of Otterton, Devon, son of Richard Duke and Margaret Basset, was buried 8 January 1652 in Otterton, Devon--and so he could not have been the same Thomas Duke who migrated to Nansemond County, Virginia and reportedly died in Virginia in 1665. This Thomas was reportedly from Aylesford, Kent, England. And so his parents are *not* Richard Duke and Margaret Basset. (Curator's Note from Pam Wilson, 21 January 2011)
Thomas Duke "the Immigrant" from Kent, England, was a draper, or cloth merchant.. He and his wife Mary Barham, also from Kent, were reportedly the first Duke family to arrive in America from England.They settled in Virginia in 1637 or 1638, and on the South side of the Nansemond River in Nansemond County, Virginia, next to Anthony Barnham and Captain William Pierce. Records show that Thomas received a patent for 150 acres in Upper Norfolk. On August 5, 1638, he received another 400 acres, and In October 1638, he received yet another 300 acres. Other family trees list a wife named Marcella Herbert. (Source: Glenda and Ron Sorrells, http://www.myblueangel.net/Myblueangelpage15.html, glendas@Myblueangel.net)