Thomas Pepsironemeh Rolfe

Male 1615 - 1680  (64 years)


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  • Name Thomas Pepsironemeh Rolfe 
    Born 30 Jan 1615  Jamestown, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Gender Male 
    Alt Death 0___ 1680  Richmond, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Died 0___ 1680  Hopewell, Hopewell City, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 3
    • on Kippax Plantation...

      Kippax Plantation was located on the south bank of the Appomattox River in what is today the City of Hopewell in southeast Virginia . Kippax Plantation was the home of Colonel Robert Bolling (1646-1709). Bolling married Jane Rolfe , who was the granddaughter of Pocahontas and John Rolfe . Their only child, John Bolling was born at Kippax in 1676, and settled nearby at Cobbs Plantation, just west of Point of Rocks across the Appomattox River in what is now Chesterfield County . While Jane's father Thomas Rolfe (1615-1675) never lived at Kippax Plantation, it is believed that he was buried there.

      Kippax Plantation is considered to be a well-preserved archaeological site that is also well documented. Archaeologist Donald W. Linebaugh , of the University of Kentucky , located the remains of Col. Bolling's house in Hopewell, Virginia in 2002.[3]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kippax_Plantation
    Buried Hopewell, Hopewell City, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    • on Kippax Plantation...

      Kippax Plantation was located on the south bank of the Appomattox River in what is today the City of Hopewell in southeast Virginia . Kippax Plantation was the home of Colonel Robert Bolling (1646-1709). Bolling married Jane Rolfe , who was the granddaughter of Pocahontas and John Rolfe . Their only child, John Bolling was born at Kippax in 1676, and settled nearby at Cobbs Plantation, just west of Point of Rocks across the Appomattox River in what is now Chesterfield County . While Jane's father Thomas Rolfe (1615-1675) never lived at Kippax Plantation, it is believed that he was buried there.

      Kippax Plantation is considered to be a well-preserved archaeological site that is also well documented. Archaeologist Donald W. Linebaugh , of the University of Kentucky , located the remains of Col. Bolling's house in Hopewell, Virginia in 2002.[3]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kippax_Plantation
    Person ID I40736  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 16 Jul 2018 

    Father John Rolfe, The Immigrant,   b. 6 May 1685, Heacham, Norfolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1621-1622, Jamestown, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Pocahontas,   b. 1595, Werowocomoco, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Mar 1616, Gravesend, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 21 years) 
    Married 5 Apr 1614  Jamestown, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 5
    • During her stay in Henricus, Pocahontas met John Rolfe. Rolfe's English-born wife, Sarah Hacker, and child, Bermuda Rolfe, died prior to his journey to Virginia. He had successfully cultivated a new strain of tobacco there and spent much of his time there tending to his crop. He was a pious man who agonized over the potential moral repercussions of marrying a heathen. In a long letter to the governor requesting permission to wed her, he expressed both his love for her and his belief he would be saving her soul claiming he was: motivated not by the unbridled desire of carnal affection, but for the good of this plantation, for the honor of our country, for the Glory of God, for my own salvation... namely Pocahontas, to whom my hearty and best thoughts are, and have been a long time so entangled, and enthralled in so intricate a labyrinth that I was even a-wearied to unwind myself thereout[46]

      Pocahontas' feelings about Rolfe are unknown. She married him on April 5, 1614. Though frequently the wedding is placed at Jamestown, there is in fact no surviving record indicating where the ceremony took place. Possible sites include Henricus, Bermuda City, and Jamestown. Richard Buck presided. They lived for two years on Rolfe's plantation, Varina Farms, which was located across the James River from the new community of Henricus. Their son, Thomas was born on January 30, 1615.

      Their marriage was not successful in winning the English captives back, but it did create a climate of peace between the Jamestown colonists and Powhatan's tribes for 8 years; in 1615, Ralph Hamor wrote:

      Since the wedding we have had friendly commerce and trade not only with Powhatan but also with his subjects round about us...

      Rolfe's longtime friend, Reverend Richard Buck presided the wedding.

      Pocahontas's marriage to Rolfe was the first recorded interracial marriage in North American history.[
    Photos
    Pocahontas with her son, Thomas Rolfe
    Pocahontas with her son, Thomas Rolfe

    The "Sedgeford Portrait", said to represent Pocahontas and her son, although its authenticity is debated.
    John Rolfe & Pocahontas
    John Rolfe & Pocahontas

    An 1850s painting of John Rolfe and Pocahontas
    Pocahontas (1595-1616)
    Pocahontas (1595-1616)

    John Rolfe (1685-1622) (right, standing behind Pocahontas) as portrayed in The Baptism of Pocahontas, 1840, by John Gadsby Chapman
    Family ID F14694  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Jane Poythress,   b. 1620-1630, Jamestown, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 0Jan 1680, Charles City County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 50 years) 
    Married 1640-1644  Hopewell, Hopewell City, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    • on his plantation, "Kippax"...

      Kippax Plantation...

      Kippax Plantation was located on the south bank of the Appomattox River in what is today the City of Hopewell in southeast Virginia . Kippax Plantation was the home of Colonel Robert Bolling (1646-1709). Bolling married Jane Rolfe , who was the granddaughter of Pocahontas and John Rolfe . Their only child, John Bolling was born at Kippax in 1676, and settled nearby at Cobbs Plantation, just west of Point of Rocks across the Appomattox River in what is now Chesterfield County . While Jane's father Thomas Rolfe (1615-1675) never lived at Kippax Plantation, it is believed that he was buried there.

      Kippax Plantation is considered to be a well-preserved archaeological site that is also well documented. Archaeologist Donald W. Linebaugh , of the University of Kentucky , located the remains of Col. Bolling's house in Hopewell, Virginia in 2002.[3]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kippax_Plantation
    Children 
     1. Jane Rolfe,   b. 10 Oct 1650, Varina, Henrico County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Jan 1676, Charles City County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 25 years)
    Last Modified 24 Feb 2020 
    Family ID F14695  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 30 Jan 1615 - Jamestown, Virginia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 1640-1644 - Hopewell, Hopewell City, Virginia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsAlt Death - 0___ 1680 - Richmond, Virginia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 0___ 1680 - Hopewell, Hopewell City, Virginia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Hopewell, Hopewell City, Virginia Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Thomas Rolfe, the son of John Rolfe and Pocahontas was born in Virginia in 1615 and was taken to England by his parents. When his mother died and his father returned to Virginia, im March 1616-17 he was left at Plymouth under the care of sir Lewis stukeley, who became so notoroious and generally detested for his treachery to Sir Walter Raleigh. Thomas Rolfe was afterwards removed to the care of his uncle Henry Rolfe, of London, who was a member of the Virginia Company. The boy remained with him for a number of years.

      On August 23rd 1618 the Virginia Company wrote to Governor Argall in Virginia. "We cannot imagine why you should give us warning that Opechankano and the natives have given the country to Mr. Rolfle's child and that they reserve it from all others until he comes of years." It would appear from this that the Indians were supposed to have intended that Thomas Rolfe should succeed to the chieftanship of the Powhattans.

      In October 1622 Mr. Henry Rolfe petitioned the Virginia Company requesting that he be paid out of the estate of his brother John Rolfe for having brought up the son of his brother and Pocahontas. In a grant of land in 1635 to Captain William Pierce the name of Thomas Rolfe appears among the head rights. This probably indicates the time that he came to Virginia. He was then about twenty years old.

      "He afterwards," says Stith, "became a person of fortune and distinction in the Colony." In 1641 he petitioned the Governor for permission to visit his aunt "Cleopatre and his Kinsman Opecancanough." In 1646 as "Lieutenant Thomas Rolfe" he was granted Fort Chickahominy and 600 acres adjoining on condition of keeping a guard there. Between that date and 1663 he patented a number of other tracts of land. There is recorded in Surry Country, in 1673, a deed dated June 20, 1654, from Thomas Rolfe to William Corker, conveying 120 acres in Surry, lying between "Smiths fort old field" and "the Devils' Woodyard," which was the property of Thomas Rolfe "by gift from the Indian King." It appears from various depositions recorded in surry that he at one owned the plantation called "Smiths fort," 1200 acres, at the mouth of Gray's Creek which he sold to Thomas Warren.

      One of the deponents states that he was present in 1654 with Mr. Thomas Rolfe in Mr. Warren's "fifty foot brick house" on "Smiths Fort" plantation soon after it was completed.
      Warren's "Fifty foot brick house" is still standing, the oldest brick dwelling in Virginia to which a date can be assigned. The farm still called "Smiths Fort" now belongs to a prosperous negro farmer. In addition to the old house there is much of interest in the neighborhood. On John Smith's map of Virginia may be seen at the mouth of Gray's Creek opposite Jamestown, the inscription "The New Fort", Smith states that on 1608 or 1609 he built a fort as a place of refuge in case of being compelled to retreat from Jamestown "on a convenient river upon a high commanding eminence." It has been suggested foolishly, that this fort was the "Old Stone House" on Ware Creek in the upper part of James City County; but any retreat to this place would have been through dense forests which afforded ample cover for the Indians. It seems there can be no doubt that the fort Smith refers to was the "New Fort" on Gray's Creek, and that this was on the "Smith's Fort" tract. About a half mile from the brick house referred to is a high bluff, about the middle of a long bend in Gray's Creek. On the opposite side are wide marshes, and ravines at the sides of the bluff make it something of a promontory. Across the rear of the bluf traces of trenches can be distinctly seen, though the covering of leaves makes them, in the photograph, less distinct than they really are. There can be little doubt that we have here the remains of Smiths "New Fort."

      Thomas Rolfe's wife is said (though there is no proof of the correctness of the statement) to have been a Miss Poythress, and he had an only child, Jane, who married in 1675 Col. Robert Bolling and died in 1676. Among the James City records (now destroyed) was the following deed, communicated to the "Southern Literary Messenger" by the once well-known Virginia antiquary, Richard Randolph: "This Indenture made 1st October 1698 between John Bolling of the County of Henrico and parish of Varina, Gent, son and heir of Jane late wife of Robert Bolling, of Charles City County, Gent, which Jane was the only child of Thomas Rolfe, dec'd, conveying to William Brown, of the parish of Wilmington, in the County of James City, one thousand acres of land commonly called the Fort on Chickahonimy River, as per patent granted to Thomas Rolfe (this was fort Chickahominy granted him in 1646).

      Thomas Rolfe probably died in James City County, so the records in regard to his will death &c. have been destroyed along with all of the records of that County. [6]
    • 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 descent from Pocahontas.[2]

      Early life[edit]

      Thomas Rolfe was born in Virginia in 1615.[3] 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.[4] 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 spring 1617 was stricken with a severe fever, as was his mother.[5]

      Just as the Rolfe family was preparing to re-embark on the George ship commanded by Samuel Argall, Rebecca (Pocahontas) died, possibly of consumption.[4] Thomas was left in Plymouth, England with Sir Lewis Stukley, and was later transferred into the care of his uncle, Henry Rolfe.[5] 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.[6] Thomas remained in his uncle's care in Heacham until he reached roughly 20 years of age, by which time his father had already died.[2] As Henry 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.[7] It is assumed that Thomas returned to Virginia in 1635, and there is no further mention of Rolfe's whereabouts or doings until 1641.[8]

      Once established in Virginia again, Thomas fostered both his reputation as a plantation owner, and as a member of his mother's lineage.[2]

      Family[edit]

      As Rolfe was a child of an Englishman and a Native American woman, some aspects of his life were particularly controversial. He expressed interest in rekindling relations with his Native American relatives, 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".[7]

      Rolfe married Elizabeth Washington in September 1632 at St James's Church in Clerkenwell 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.

      He later married a woman named Jane Poythress, who was the daughter of Captain Francis Poythress, a prosperous landowner in Virginia.[8] They had a daughter together (who was named Jane after her mother).[9] 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..."[10] 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[edit]

      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".[7] 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.[9]

      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".[7]

      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;[5]

      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.[11]

      Then, on October 6, 1646, Thomas was put in charge of building a fort at Moysenac, for which he received 400 acres (160 ha) of land. This fort was located on the west side of Diascund Creek.[9]

      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.[12] This James Fort land was repatented by William Browne on April 23, 1681.[10] 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[edit]
      The last recorded mention of Thomas Rolfe exists in a land patent from September 16, 1658.[8] While some sources claim that Thomas died in 1680, others claim that the exact year is unknown.

      Legacy[edit]
      Many non-Native people in the United States claim descent from Pocahontas 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".[6] [3]
    • Pocahontas and Rolfe had one child, Thomas Rolfe, who was born in 1615 before his parents left for England. Through this son, Pocahontas has many living descendants. Descendants of many First Families of Virginia trace their roots to Pocahontas and Chief Powhatan, including such notable individuals as Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, wife of Woodrow Wilson; George Wythe Randolph; Admiral Richard Byrd; Virginia Governor Harry F. Byrd; fashion-designer and socialite Pauline de Rothschild; former First Lady Nancy Reagan; actor Glenn Strange; and astronomer and mathematician Percival Lowell.

      Her "blood" was introduced to the Randolph family of Virginia via the marriage of her great-great-granddaughter, Jane Bolling, to Richard Randolph.[63] [2]
    • 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.

      Bibliography:

      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) [4]

  • Sources 
    1. [S4034] http://www.smokykin.com/tng/ahnentafel.php?personID=I43214&tree=Smokykin&parentset=0&generations=11.

    2. [S4039] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocahontas.

    3. [S4042] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Rolfe.

    4. [S5213] http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GScid=2186323&GRid=14873513&.

    5. [S4037] http://www.smokykin.com/tng/getperson.php?personID=I43252&tree=Smokykin.

    6. [S5212] http://algw.org/butler/families/rolfe.htm.