Henry Spelman and Robert Poole were two Englishmen who were also hostaged to the Powhatan Indians and
later became interpreters the same as Ensign Thomas Savage. They were contemporaries of the Ensign and the
three knew each other well. According to the source cited below, He (Spelman) was survived by his Patawomeck
spouse "Martha Fox," a child named Clement Spelman, his father Sir Henry Spelman, his brothers Thomas
Spelman of Kecoughtan, Virginia, John Spelman, and Francis Spelman of Truro, Cornwall, England.
From The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Virginia Historical Society, Contributor Philip Alexander Bruce, William Glover Stanard, Published
1893, Virginia Historical Society p. 17
Spelman went back to England in 1613, and made several other trips, but returned to Virginia each time to
continue to serve as an interpreter, and eventually rising to the rank of Captain. During this time he married a
Patawomeck Indian woman who is believed to have been given the English name "Martha Fox." (According to
traditions passed on to Henry Spellman's descendents, - his native wife was a sister of Pocahontas, and daughter of
Powhatan.) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Robert Poole's spouse was unknown, but the wife of his son, William John Poole, was an unnamed American
Indian woman.Rev. Stephen E. Harris, The Surry County, Virginia, Historical Society and Museums.
In John Rolfe’s 1619 letter to Edwin Sandys he makes references that imply that Robert Poole lived among the Indians. He
even stated; “Poole being even turned heathen.” It's therefore obvious to me that Poole would have had an Indian bed-mate.
In the Proceedings of the Virginia Assembly at James City July 30 – August 4, 1619, after Henry Spelman is read his
sentence, an Assembly member stated; "This sentence being read to Spelman he, as one that had in him more of the Savage
than of the Christian"
As explained at length in my book, SAVAGE IS MY NAME - PART II, it was routinely common for traders and other white
men important to the American and Canadian Indians to be given young native girls as wives, or bed-mates. The Ensign was a
trader - and interpreters were certainly important to the Indians. If Spelman, Poole and Poole's son took Indian wives, it
certainly would have made good business sense for the Ensign to do the same.
information posted on the Internet. Before using any information found on-line one should make sure it
is documented. In my own searching, of this most valuable medium, I have found scores of postings
relating to the lives of Ensign Thomas Savage and Thomas Savage the Carpenter which are highly
questionable and many that are just plain wrong. After almost 30 years of searching, I have found no
person, or source, on the Internet or anywhere else, who cites an actual record which identifies the
parents of Ensign Thomas Savage, or the location in England from where he came. If anyone has such
hard evidence I would sincerely appreciate your sharing it with those of us who have spent many years in
search of it.
SAVAGE DNA PROJECT
I have had my DNA typed and posted on the Savage DNA web
site. If you are interested in comparing your DNA to my own,
click on the link further down this page.
To compare your DNA to mine you will need to know my "S"
code number. Email me your code and I will give you mine.
|Thomas Belson (This boy I believe to have been Thomas Savage the Carpenter)
Thomas. While common thought is that Belson was a surname, I believe that it was a family name and was
used to differentiate him from his father.
The reported age of 12 is probably incorrect. Anyone who has ever examined old census records knows
they were notorious for having gross errors on ages. Young Thomas may have been closer to 9 or 10.
Many of these old records were hand copied and re-copied several times and as any researcher who has
delved through old census records knows; there were many, many, errors. (I have a dozen different ages
recorded for my great-grandfather, Nelson Savage.) There may have been a misunderstanding on the part
of the census taker as regards the boy’s name and his age. Perhaps the person giving the information
named the boy's mother when answering; "xxxxxxx's son". Perhaps the copyist had difficulty with the
name when the muster taker's notes were transferred. Like my own name, it may have been a middle name
to differentiate him from his father. It would be like my father, Russell, telling the census taker that I was
Russell Blair. It is commonly reported that before the American Revolution the English rarely used middle
names. This opinion is based on what's found in surviving records which, in most cases were formal, or
legal documents. There is no reason to believe that families did not have pet names applied to certain
children, particularly when they had the same given name as the father. In the Jamestown Muster Rolls of
1624/5 Belson is listed as a servant of Ensign Thomas Savage. It was not unique to this boy to be listed as
a servant when he may have actually been the Ensign's son. In the muster of William Gany (wife Anna),
their daughter, also named, Anna is listed as a servant and as being born in Virginia. William arrived
Virginia in 1616 and Mrs. Gany arrived in 1620, so young Anna would have been no more than five to six
years of age; quite young to be a servant! Another instance of this may be in the muster of Captain
Samuell Mathews who arrived in 1622. Among his other servants there is listed a Robert Mathews, age 24.
Any number of reasons could account for Belson having been listed as a servant. As mentioned above, the
old records are rife with errors. Did the census taker mistaken him for a servant because he appeared to be
Native American? I have not been able to locate another person with the name, Belson during these early
years of the colony.
Of the 51 Eastern Shore people appearing in the census of 1624/25, this young boy is the only individual
who is not identified by either; “born in Virginia” or by the giving of a date of arrival and the name of the
ship on which he arrived.
Of those 51 people:
Forty-eight are identified by ship and date of arrival.
Two are identified as being “born in Virginia”.
Only one, the so-called, Thomas Belson, has no date of arrival, ship name, or “born in
To illustrate the above I include here an brief excerpt from the muster listing those residents of the Eastern
Shore. This is copied from page 11 of THE EASTERN SHORE of VIRGINIA 1603-1964 by Nora Miller
Turman and appears alphabetically instead of in the original order. I have a complete copy of the actual
1624/25 muster, so I am certain of the accuracy of what I include here.
William Andrews, age 25, in the Treasurer, 1617
John Askume, age 22, in the Charles, 1624
John Baker, age 20, in the Ann, 1623
Thomas Belson, age 12
William Bibble, age 22, in the Swan, 1620
James Blackborne, age 20, in the Sampson, 1619
Margaret Hodgskins, born in Virginia
child, John Savage, later called, Capt. John Savage. I believe that Ann/Hannah was perhaps the Ensign's
first "official" wife and the step-mother of the "Belson" boy. I believe this boy was actually Thomas
Savage the Carpenter, the son of the Ensign and a native girl. I believe "Belson" was a family name given
to the boy to distinguish him from his father, Ensign Thomas Savage. He may have been called, Thomas
"Belson" Savage. This is my theory and is yet to be proven.
SAVAGE IS MY NAME
After spending many years tracing my line
to Thomas Savage the Carpenter, in 1995
I published a book covering the thirteen
generations from he to my grand-children.
The book is entitled;
SAVAGE IS MY NAME
A History of Thirteen Generations of a
Savage Family in America
Who was the father of Thomas Savage the Carpenter?
This question is vigorously explored in my book;
Savage Is My Name - Part II
A Study of the lives and Relationship of
Thomas Savage the Carpenter
Ensign Thomas Savage
Virginia's Eastern Shore
1607 - 1655
Robinson T. Savage and many of his descendants are told about in Evelyn
Guard Olsen's book, Indian Blood, a brilliant narrative about life in the
Blooming Rose area of Garrett County during the 1800's.
Stephen Schlosnagle's bicentennial history of Garrett County contains
numerous references to our Savage ancestors. The book, Garrett County Graves
would be several pages thinner had Robinson not planted his roots where he did.
Robinson T. Savage was the first school teacher in Western Maryland. He was a friend and
neighbor of Meshack Browning. Meshack was a famous pioneer hunter and outdoorsman.
His flintlock rifle rests in the Smithsonian. In Meshack's book, Forty-four Years of The
Life of A Hunter, a tome about his many exploits, he tells about he and Robinson being
together in the War of 1812. They volunteered, were appointed sergeants and marched off
|Thomas the Carpenter had at least two sons; Thomas and John.
Savage the Carpenter was referred to , Thomas Savage the Elder.
Additions and corrections to the information
contained herein are welcome.
I may be contacted at:
R. Blair Savage
6622 Garde Rd.,
Boynton Beach, FL 33472
I may be contacted by email at the address following. This
address is coded to prevent copying by Internet spyders.
To use, please remove the blue x.
This web site went on-line in
July of 2005.
I will continue to add any information that I may
Thomas Savage the Carpenter
Ensign Thomas Savage.
As I hear from new "Cuzzins" I also add to the
several thousand names on the
Robinson T. Savage
|Thomas Savage the Carpenter had many craftsmen and laborers working his shops and plantation.
Some of them were slaves, some were indentured servants and undoubtedly some were freemen.
The aim of this site is to:
1. Make available information on the continuing effort to prove the familial relationship of Thomas Savage the Carpenter, who is first "proved" to be in
Colonial Virginia in 1632, and Ensign Thomas Savage who arrived in 1607/08 with the "First Supply" to Jamestown, and to determine their family histories.
2. Provide assistance to those who believe they may be descended from these two adventurers.
A colonial cooper needed skills, intelligence, and strength. They made casks and
containers of many specific sizes which included the barrel, firkin, kilderkin, hogshead,
butt, tierce, puncheon, rundlet and pipe. They also made pails, churns, tubs, and
dippers. These were made of cedar and pine, and were used to hold goods like flour,
tobacco, and water. Coopers used broad axes, planes, drawknives, and other tools to
make these items.
A carpenter was perhaps the most useful colonial tradesman. The carpenter used many
different tools, including the saw, broad axe, hammer, awl, mallet, plane, scribe,
drawknife, gimlet, and froe.
Carpenters built with, oak, locust, tulip, poplar, yellow pine, cypress and juniper.
|Last update on this page: 8 - 19 - 2017
Please click on the
"Arms" button in the
navigation bar for
information on the
Savage Coat of Arms
A great, great, grand-son of Thomas Savage was
Robinson T. Savage
Court documents tell us Thomas Savage the Carpenter built houses and boats.
It's reported that a Shallop was typical of thekind of boats built by his crew.
|Jamestown Plaque dedicated to Ensign Thomas Savage
|THOMAS SAVAGE GENTLEMAN AND ENSIGN
THE FIRST WHITE SETTLEMENT ON THE EASTERN SHORE OF VIRGINIA
HOSTAGE TO POWHATAN 1508, HIS LOYALTY AND
FEARLESSNESS ENDEARED HIM TO THE GREAT KING WHO TREATED HIM AS HIS
SON WHILE HE RENDERED INVALUABLE AID TO THE COLONY AS INTERPRETER.
GREATLY LOVED BY DEBEDEAVON, THE LAUGHING KING OF THE ACCAWMACKES.
HE WAS GIVEN A TRACT OF 9000 ACRES OF LAND
KNOWN AS SAVAGE'S NECK.
HE OBTAINED FOOD FOR THE STARVING COLONY AT JAMESTOWN THROUGH HIS
FRIENDSHIP WITH THE KINDLY EASTERN SHORE INDIANS.
A RELATION OF HIS VOYAGES ON THE GREAT BAY IN SEARCH OF THE TRADE FOR
THE ENGLISH WAS READ BEFORE THE LONDON COMPANY AT A COURT HELD
JULY 19TH 1621.
JOHN PORY, SECRETARY OF THE COLONY SAYS, "HE WITH MUCH HONESTIE
AND GOOD SUCCESSES, SERVED THE PUBLIQUE WITHOUT ANY PUBLIQUE
RECOMPENSE, YET HAD AN ARROW SHOT THROUGH HIS BODY IN THEIR
17th-century European engraving depicts Powhatan receiving Ralph Hamor, secretary of the Virginia colony and
interpreter Thomas Savage in 1614 at the chief’s new capital of Matchcot on the Pamunkey River.
Hamor relates: I had Thomas Salvage with me, for my interpreter; with him and two Salvages, for guides; I went
from the Bermuda in the morning, and came to Matchot the next night, where the King (Powhatan) lay upon the
River of Pamaunke; his entertainment was strange to me, the boy (Thomas Savage) he knew well and told him; My
child, I gave you leave, being my boy, to goe see your friends, and these foure yeares I have not seene you, nor
heard of my owne man Namontack.
|Ensign Thomas Savage was an"adopted son" to Powhatan and "brother" to
Pocahontas and lived in everyday association with them for three years.
is said to
The following law seems to imply that
consensual sex with an Indian was allowed:
The Library of Congress: For The Colony in Virginea
Lavves Diuine, Morall and Martiall .. Printed at
London for Walter Burre. 1612.
I've also written a book
short stories, 40 in all
and all true. It's 160
illustrated, soft cover.
|Here are some links to genealogy on Virginia's Eastern Shore.
Ensign Thomas Savage
In 1607, thirteen years before the Mayflower landed, an ex-privateer who had lost a hand by a
Spanish sword, commanded a fleet of three English ships crossing the Atlantic.
Their destination; Virginia. Their aim; to create a settlement on a river above the mighty Chesapeake. Against all odds,
that settlement called, Jamestown, survived and was the beginning of what would become the United States of America.
The ex-privateer was Captain Christopher Newport and he had on board a boy by the name of Thomas Savage.
Newport gave the boy, as a hostage, to the great Chief Powhatan in exchange for an Indian named Namontack. Newports
purpose was two-fold, to help insure friendship with the powerful Powhatan and to have Savage learn his language. John
Smith, present at the exchange, tells us Savage was thirteen years of age. Thomas Savage remained with Powhatan for
three years and was an interpreter for the English Colony for the remainder of his life. He became known as, Ensign
Thomas Savage. Had it not been for the influence that Savage had with the Indians, and the generous heart of Pocahontas,
the Jamestown Colony would probably not have survived. In 1619 Ensign Savage settled in Accomack as the first white
settler on the Eastern Shore. The Ensign is said to have given us the oldest continuing family name in America.
Thank you for visiting my web site. Please check for updates periodically.
Correction to SAVAGE IS MY NAME - PART II.
Nancy Garrett, descendant of Ensign Thomas Savage and very knowledgeable Eastern Shore Genealogist questioned my statement on page 24 that males aged 14 or more could serve on
juries. A thorough review of my resources indicates that Nancy is correct. At fourteen a child could act as a witness, but the age of majority, twenty-one, was necessary to serve on the jury.
The Savages intermarried with the
Friends, Fikes, Casteels and many other
pioneer families of Garrett County,
Maryland, Preston County, West
Virginia to the west and Fayette County,
Pennsylvania to the north.
|All written material on this site is protected through Copyright and is made available for private use only. Any commercial use or
for-profit publication in any form is forbidden without the written consent of R. Blair Savage at 6622 Garde Rd., Boynton Beach, FL 33472
|For those who regularly follow
this page, I will continue to
update it as I find new
information. For those who
visit here for the first time,
additional documentation of
this search is available in the
two books featured below.
In my book, SAVAGE IS MY NAME - PART II, I give considerable evidence to support the theory that Thomas Savage
the Carpenter was the son of Ensign Thomas Savage. I also share my reasons to believe that the Carpenter's mother was a Native
American girl, probably the daughter of an important Powhatan Chief, or the great Powhatan himself.
While some researchers do not accept that the English took Indian wives, I will provide evidence here to further prove that it was, in fact common
for them to do so, particularly the interpreters and traders.
As I find new evidence to support the theories shared in my book, I will report it here.
New additions will temporarily have a light blue background to indicate a new entry.
|Click here >>>
A quote from the
pen of J.C. Wise:
seem to have been
Dedicated to Thomas Savage "The Carpenter" and Ensign Thomas Savage of Virginia's
Eastern Shore during the first successful English colonization of America; Jamestown.
The search for their antecedents and their descendants. Covering the period from 1607 to 1655
|John Smith knew
The line from Thomas Savage the Carpenter to me:
01. Thomas Savage1 ? - 1654-55
02. Thomas Savage2 1646 - 1721
03. Robinson Savage1 1699 - 1774
04. Robinson Savage2 ? - 1786
05. Robinson T. Savage abt 1769 - 1830's (See link)
06. Evan Savage 1797 - after 1849
07. Robert Savage 1819 - 1895
08. Nelson E. Savage abt 1838 - 1916
09. Milton Jackson Savage 1880 - 1960
10. Russell Milton Savage 1901 - 1986
11. Russell Blair Savage 1934 – (That's me!)
Robinson T. Savage, early pioneer of Western Maryland, present day Garrett County, was my great, great, great, great,
Born on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, Robinson was relocated with his family to Sussex County, Delaware in 1779 when just a
small boy. Between 1787 and 1793 his father died and left Robinson his 250 acre plantation, which the young man sold and
traveled to beautiful Western Maryland where he settled for life.
The book; WE ARE THE SAVAGES by Jacob Cochran Savage is probably flawed.
compare my DNA with such a gentleman. There are living male descendants of Jacob C. Savage, but I regret to suggest that
J. C. Savage himself did not have a direct line of descent from Ensign Thomas Savage.
Several years ago when I read this book it appeared to me to not be adequately proven, so I went out to the Eastern Shore of Virginia and met with three
very qualified genealogists, one of which has been consulted by the Smithsonian. I left a copy of J.C.
Savages book with Dr. Miles Barnes, Head Librarian at the Accomack County Library. Dr. Barnes copied the book and it was studied closely by the folks
I reference above. They all agree there is no proof of the connection, cited in the book, between the John Savage of Northampton County and the John
Savage of Augusta County. There appears to be proof that the John Savage of Northampton stayed and died on the Eastern Shore. That breaks the blood
line for Jacob Cochran Savage. It is more likely that the John Savage who died in 1784 and married Delitha Ward was from Thomas the Carpenter's line.
Following are excerpts from correspondence between myself and the genealogists mentioned above;
“As I have related to you, Mrs. [Nora] Turman, you and I (independent of each other) agree on the descendants of John
Savage d. 1749 and we both disagree with the work of Jacob C. Savage at the level where a John Savage appears in Augusta Co. Blair had told us
that documentation was lacking in that work and it certainly is at that step. If we are correct then the Jacob Savage line to Ensign Thomas
Savage is flawed and I feel in a small way this even lends support to the theory of the Thomas Savage lines converging.”
“I see no proof in the book that this John Savage was from Northampton County. Seems like if that had been the case,
Mr. Dorman would have found that.”
“I do think, at this point, that the John Savage who died in 1784 and married Delitha Ward was from the Occahonnock
Savages (Thomas the Carpenter's line).”
Anyone interested in this issue may reach me at the email address shown above and I would be
happy to forward all the communications from which these excerpts are taken.
Words of Chief Robert P, Green of the Patawomeck Tribe of Stafford, Virginia.
April 20, 2004 interview with the Stafford Historical Society.
"We have a lot of interpreters I think that married into our tribe. A lot of the interpreter's surnames show up in
our family names, like the name Cox. The families that were in Virginia before 1700 tended to inter-marry a lot.
There weren't a lot of English women around. And who did the English kill? The Indian men, not the women. So
there were a lot of Indian women and few Indian men for them to marry. So, it made sense that these
interpreters married these Indian women since they spent most of their time with the Indian tribes anyway. So,
when you talk about blood quantum, I have no idea what my blood quantum is. When somebody tells me
they're pure Indian, I doubt that there are any pure Indians in this part of the country. The Spanish went into
the southwest, and then the settlers. The trappers in the north either raped the Indian women or married into
those tribes. To me, blood quantum doesn't really matter. Its like an older Elder that Mitchell Bush once
introduced me to said, "I know white men that are more Indian than some Indians I know. It's what's in your
heart and not necessarily what's in your blood that matters. Your heart tells you whether you are an Indian or
not. Do you love and respect Mother Earth?""
It's been claimed that Savage is
the oldest continuing name in
America. Can anyone confirm
Is there anyone living who is
descended from a person who
arrived before Ensign Thomas
Savage in 1607/08?
Is there a living male who has
proven his Savage line to the
Ensign? We have yet to find one
who will agree to have his DNA
Captain John Smith. He was one of those selected by Smith to
document Smith's activities in Virginia. Todkill appears to have
been Smith's shadow through most of his adventures. Todkill was
important enough to have once had an audience with King James
I. In 1618, back in England, Todkill wrote his own "relation" of
the Jamestown adventure and his fascination with Pocahontas. It
is titled; My lady Pokahontas: a true relation of Virginia, writ by
Anas Todkill, Puritan and Pilgrim. The book's contents were
researched for authenticity and it was republished in 1885 by
John Esten Cooke. Cooke critiques passages throughout to
compare events recorded by other writers of the period. The book
appears to give an accurate record of the events described by
Todkill. I believe a quote, attributed to Governor Thomas Dale,
upon his reading of John Rolfe's letter explaining his reasons for
wanting to marry Pocahontas - and asking Dale's permission,
gives us an important insight into the early practice of English
intermarriage with the Powhatan Indians.
Dale: "Since we English and the red beauties will get to marrying,
there need be no more war, but blessed peace. Know you what is
writ in this letter, my Lady Princess? I see thou dost, by thy
roses. Master Rolfe would marry thee - hath doubtless read thee
This book is available on Amazon
|Captain John Martin credits Ensign Thomas Savage with saving the colony through his relationships with the Accomack
Indians on the Eastern Shore.
ffirst I haue not onely reaped the benefitt, but all the whole Collonye since; whoe had perished had it not bene discouered
before Sr George Yardley came in by my Aunchient Thomas Savage & servants, besides necessities hath made those
Savages more industrious then any other Indians in or Baye] By Captain John Martin:
Shallops of the time were described
"of twenty-six feet by the keel with
masts, oars and yards".
"of four tons".
"a sloop rigged craft of about twelve
tons". (Capt. John Smith's shallop
with which he explored the bay area)
"Tons" refers to the weight of water
displaced by the craft, not the weight
of the craft itself.
Much information on our Savages may be found on the expansive genealogy work of M. K. Miles on the Miles Files.
An Indian Song
The Indians had their love songs, which they sang with
some idea of tune, and they had also their angry and scornful
songs against the Tassantassees, as they called the English,
one of which is given by Strachey. It celebrates an attack
upon the English at the Falls of the James River in 1610,
when Lord Delaware sent an expedition from Jamestown to
search the country above the Falls for gold mines. In this
attack Lord Delaware's nephew, Captain William West, was
killed and Simon Skore, a sailor, and one Cobb, a boy, were
taken prisoners. The song was as follows:
(In this song, Thomas Savage is called Thomas Newport. When Captain
Christopher Newport gave Savage to Powhatan he told him that the boy was his
Matanerew shashashewaw erawango pechecoma
Whe Tassantassa inoshashaw yehockan pocosack.
Whe whe yah haha nehe wittowa wittowa.
Matanerew shashashewaw erawango pechecoma
Capt. Newport inoshashaw neir inhoc natian matassan.
Whe whe yah haha nehe wittowa wittowa.
Matanerew shashashewaw erawango pechecoma
Thom Newport inoshashaw neir inhoc natian monacock.
Whe whe yali haha nehe wittowa wittowa.
Matanerew shashashewaw erawango pechecoma
Pochin Simon inoshashaw ningon natian monacock.
Whe whe yah haha nehe wittowa wittowa.
The words of the song boasted that the Indians had killed
the English in spite of their guns (pocosack) and copper
(matassun), meaning the copper crown which Captain New-
port had presented to Powhatan (hoping thereby to secure his
friendship); that Thomas Newport (that is, Thomas Savage,
whom Captain Newport had given to Powhatan, calling him
his son) had not frightened them with his sword (monacock) ;
and neither had Simon Skore's weapon saved him from
capture. The zvhe whe of the chorus made mock lamentation
over the death of Simon Skore, whom they tortured ; and the
words yah Jiaha ncJie zvittozva zvittoiua conveyed a jeering,
laughing commentary upon the English lack of fortitude
William Strachey. Travaile into Virginia, 79, 80.
evidence of the value of intermarriage: "for it is the onely course that uniting minds, free from jealousies, can first make strangers confide in a new friendship, which
by communicating their bloud with mutuall assurance is left hereditary to their posteritie."
An Encouragement to Colonies. Sir William Alexander, Earl of Stirling, London, 1624.
Until at least 1618, and possibly until as late as the Indian strike on English settlements in 1622, Powhatan and his successor, brother Opechancanough, still held out
some hope of dealing with the English intruders through intermarriage and diplomacy.
Women in Early Jamestown - Kathleen M. Brown, Associate Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania
"A Justification for Planting Virginia" reveals the propaganda campaign of The Virginia Company to counteract these negative reports: "Some forme of writinge in
way of Justification of our plantation might be conceived, and pass [...] into many hands." A number of these pamphlets were written by Anglican ministers, such as
William Symonds and Alexander Whitaker, William Crashaw, Robert Gray, and R Copeland (Pennington 189-92). These works provided an optimistic view of the
native population's readiness to serve as labourers and willingness to convert to Christianity. The Company's strategy was to convert the popular image of the American
native as barbarous threat to that of helpmate; the Amerindians would be represented as a people who would gladly trade corn for trinkets, convert easily, were sexually
available, and were unlikely to act violently against the colonists. The image of the submissive, attractive, and marriageable aboriginal transformed the stereotype of the
"savage" native, which had the desirable effect of spurring interest and investment in the colony by defusing a major obstacle to settlement.
Strange wives: Pocahontas in early modern colonial advertisement. Publication by Mosaic (Winnipeg) - David Stymeist 9-1-2002
Another source indicating that Henry Spelman had a Native American wife:
1 Henry Spilman b: 1595 Norfolk, Eng d: 1623 in of Jamestown Colony, VA, USA (killed by Indians)
.... +Mary (Native American Patawomeck) Fox b USA
....... 2 Clement Spilman b: Abt. 1620 d: 1677 in Westmoreland Co, VA
............. +Martha Mason b: Abt. 1619 in VA d: Abt. 1680 in Westmoreland Co, VA m: 1640 in VA
................. 3 James Spelman b: abt 1653 Westmoreland Co,VA d: Abt. 1715Westmoreland Co,VA
....................... +Mary Unknown b: c 1657 Westmoreland Co,VA d: ~1717Westmoreland Co, VA m: Abt. 1677 Westmoreland Co,VA
.......................... 4 Thomas Spelman b: 1680 Washington, Westmoreland Co. Va. d: Abt. 1740 Washington Parish, VA
................................ +Ann Unknown
-------------------------------- Etc., etc.......................
SPILMAN FAMILY ABROAD - Descendants of Henry SPILMAN - Editor: Lori (Spilman) Dollevoet - http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~spilman/Index.htm
Posted on several genealogy web sites are various family trees where the authors claim to be descended from Matachanna, daughter of Wahunsanawcock
and sister of Pocahontas. Matachanna was also known as, Cleopatra, a name given to her by the English. The following record is typical of those so posted.
Most all indicate that the daughter of Matachanna had a daughter who married a Scottish trader. I include this here as simply another reference which, if
true, indicates that it was not at all uncommon for colonial traders to marry an Algonquin native.
The youngest daughter of Chief Powhatan [17 years junior to Pochontas} was given the name Cleopatra by her brother-in-law, John Rolfe, the husband of
Pochontas. Cleopatra married Cayugha Chief Opechancanough. They had two children, a son, Cornstalk, and a daughter, Princess Nicketti: "Beautiful Flower"
or "She Sweeps The Dew From The Flowers." Nicketti married a Scottish trader named Hughes, and had a daughter, Abadiah Elizabeth Hughes.
"Note: Dec. 17th, 1641 -- Thomas Rolfe petitions the governor to let him see Opechankeno to whom he is allied, and Cleopatra, his mother's sister."
From the Powhatan Museum web site: One could interpret this marriage as the beginning of the whitening process of the indigenous people of Virginia, which
continues unabated today. Technically, Pocahontas was not the first Virginia Indian to engage in miscegenation with whites. There had been a number of non-
recognized liaisons between the English and Virginia Indians since 1607.
Excerpt from a 2002 undergraduate thesis by Kiros Anthony Boston Auld. (Auld is a Pamunkey, Tauxenent and Taino descendant.)
Intermarriage had been indeed the Method proposed very often by the Indians in the Beginning, urging it frequently as a certain Rule, that the English were
not their Friends, if they refused it. The History and Present State of Virginia by Robert Beverly
By 1609, Powhatan realized that the English intended to stay. Moreover, he was disappointed that the English did not return his hospitality nor would they
marry Indian women (an affront from the Native perspective).
The Library of Congress, Colonial Settlement, 1600's - 1763, Virginia's Early Relations with Native Americans
So here is another source that supports my believe that the Powhatan Chiefdom would offer a daughter in marriage to an influential colonial interpreter,
diplomat and trader. The English may have been reluctant to intermarry in 1609, but certainly by the time Ensign Thomas Savage was of marrying age and
was actively trying to develop good trading relations with the Powhatan, and maintain the peace for both the welfare of the colony and his own trading
business, he would have been utterly foolish to not accept a daughter of an important Chief. And of those offering daughters, which father would be
Savage's wisest choice? Probably Wahunsanawcock himself. In 1614 Savage, having left Wahunsanawcock's home four years earlier to return to
Jamestown, re-established his warm relationship with the great Powhatan "King". What better way to gain an edge as both trader and diplomat than to
marry a Powhatan Princess. I call Savage a Diplomat. Was he? "When Capt. John Martin visited the Eastern Shore in April 1610, he found Thomas Savage
already a power among the red men" and "Savage became well established in the Indian councils." Just a couple of many recorded examples of Savage's
importance in the development of good relations between the Powhatan and the Colonists. So, I feel comfortable in calling him a Diplomat.
Was Ensign Thomas Savage offered daughters of important Powhatan Chiefs, as wives or bed-mates? I find it very difficult to believe otherwise.
One might ask; but did he accept? Of course he would have, if not by marriage then certainly as a bed-mate. Would he have fathered a child by
one of these women. My opinion is that it probably happened more than once. Again, this is my theory based on the evidence, but it is not proven!
|Left; Anas Todkill is portrayed by Willie Balderson, Colonial
Williamsburg's manager of public history development.
Thomas Savage, "The Carpenter"
in surviving records, in 1632. He is known to have been a builder of watercraft and homes and operated a cooperage to manufacture
casks, barrels, kegs, buckets etc. At his death, he owned at least two properties totaling 750 acres.
The only known painting made during her lifetime.
It hangs in the National Portrait Gallery of the
Smithsonian, in Washington, D.C.
Posted on geni.com is a reference to one
Raleigh Croshaw, born 1584 in Croshaw,
died in Elizabeth County, Virginia April 10, 1667.
Croshaw is reported to have had an Indian wife,
Rachel,"sister of Powhatan"; and in another place;
"sister of Pocahontas". No documentation though, so
consider it speculation until a source is cited.
by a source that "some of the people who have gone there, think now some of them
should marry the women of the savages of that country; and he tells me that there are
already 40 or 50 thus married." Also reported that the other Englishmen, after being
put among them, have become savages themselves while the women, whom they took
out, also have gone among the savages where they have been received & treated well. A
minister who admonished them was "seriously wounded in many places" because "he
Brown 1964:572 [Vol. 2589, folio 61
Powhatan had died in 1618; his brother,
Opechancanough, had effectively inherited the
leadership of Tsenacomoco. Though Opechancanough
had been outwardly receptive to talk of peace with the
English and converting his people to Christianity, he
was planning an attack that would devastate the English
colony and, he hoped, send them away permanently.
One version of his plan had involved poisoning the
English using large quantities of a deadly plant native to
the Eastern Shore, which he needed to obtain from
Esmy Shichans; in addition to refusing to send the plant,
the Indian leader alerted his friend Savage to
true intentions. Savage tried to warn English authorities,
including Jamestown's new governor, Sir Francis Wyatt,
but his message fell on deaf ears. Wyatt had taken
Opechancanough's promises of peace at face value,
writing to the Virginia Company of London that the
English enjoyed "very great amytie and confidence w[i]
th the natives." On March 22, 1622, Opechancanough
led a swift and terrible assault on outlying plantations
that killed as many
as 347 colonists, or about one-fourth of the
English population in Virginia.
Encyclopedia Virginia: A project of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities in
partnership with the Library of Virginia
|Indian massacre of 1622, by Matthaeus Merian, 1628
Hannah (Ann) Savage; wife of Ensign Thomas Savage
Hannah has for years been mistakenly identified as Hannah Tyng of Boston. This error has been repeated over and over. Moody K. Miles, a trusted genealogist
who I know personally, and who has done important work for, among others, the Smithsonian, tells us that Hannah's surname was Elkington.
She was listed as, Ann in the Muster of February 1624/25 at Eastern Shore, Virginia in the home of Ensign Thomas Savage. In later years she is known from court
documents as, Hannah. The muster tells us she came to Virginia in 1621 on the Sea Flower. There is record of Hannah being the mother of at least two children;
Captain John Savage, son of Ensign Thomas, and Margaret "Margery" Cugley, daughter of Hannah's second husband, Daniel Cugley to whom she was married
after the death of Ensign Thomas. In later years, after Hannah's death, Margery was cared for by her half-brother, Captain John Savage.
For more information on this subject click on The Miles Files link above.
An Important DNA Match
In 2010 we discovered that a Mr. Savage (given name withheld)
who lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, within the bounds of
the 9000 acre tract that was owned by Ensign Thomas Savage,
has a close match to my own Y-DNA profile.
Mr. Savage and I both have documented lines to Thomas Savage
the Carpenter. The fact that Mr. Savage lives today within the
Ensign’s original tract does not necessarily mean that he’s
descended from the Ensign; I suspect a number of the
Carpenter’s descendants also live within those boundaries.
Mr. Savage and I have a genetic distance of, 2 and since we both
have documented lines to the Carpenter, this indicates that our
documentation is accurate and thereby the line is solidly proven.
If Thomas Savage the Carpenter were to be considered
Generation #1, then I am Generation #11 and am removed from
him by ten generations. This agrees with the Y-DNA standard
probability chart illustrated below.
Probability that a common ancestor lived no longer ago than this
number of generations.
Genetic Distance 50% 90% 95%
0 2 4 5
1 3 6 7
2 5 8 9
3 6 10 11
By 1691 intermarriage with Indian or Negro by the English had evidently become such a problem that the Virginia
Colony banned all such unions: And for prevention of that abominable mixture and spurious issue which
hereafter may encrease in this dominion as well by negroes, mulattoes, and Indians intermarrying with
English, or other white women, as by their unlawfull accompanying with one another, Be it enacted by the
authoritie aforesaid, and it is hereby enacted, That for the time to come, whatsoever English or other white
man or woman being free shall intermarry with a negroe, mulatto, or Indian man or woman bond or free
shall within three months after such marriage be banished and removed from this dominion forever.
An act for suppressing outlying Slaves,” Laws of 1691, act XVI, in Hening’s Statutes at Law
In 1705 that law was modified to leave out the reference to Indians.
There are those who refuse to believe that the English of the
Jamestown Colony intermarried with the Native Americans.
Thoughtfully considering all the information that I've
included here, to me it is clear that marriage, or co-habitation
between the English and the people of Powhatan's kingdom
was not at all unusual in the period from the early 1600's up
to the enactment of the 1691 law prohibiting such unions.
!!! News Flash !!!
Falmouth, Maine 3-25-2015
This just in: Our Grand Daughter,
Nola, who is also my Senior Research
Analyst (pictured in the photo to the
right with her Assistant Research
has evidently uncovered some sort of
evidence that proves conclusively that
Ensign Thomas Savage was
married to an Indian girl. Nola's
preliminary report is copied far right.
We believe that Nola may have had
some supernatural help with her
discovery, as she seems to be
communicating with an unknown
entity. Also, the two of them appear to
be in some sort of ceremonial garb.
We anxiously await their full report.
It appears that Nola was excited when she
submitted her preliminary
report, so we include what we believe is an
of her message.
|I am related to Pocahontas - it is true.
| To A More Recent Time
her Christianized name, to John Bass. She was the king of the Nansemond's daughter. The family still
own or still has in its possession the prayer book, which documents this marriage in 1638. Basically,
that's where our whole line today descends from, from John Bass."
Chief Barry "Big Buck" Bass - Nansemond Tribe May 21, 2004
Indians had to have a pass to travel. They couldn't testify in court against whites. They couldn't inherit
property at one time." Oliver "Fish Hawk" Perry Chief Emeritus Nansemond 1987
To see a chart of some 4000 descendants of Robinson T. Savage
click on the Robinson T. Savage radio button at the top of this page.
My Library Relating To My Eastern Shore Savage Ancestry Search
(Some lengthy titles are abbreviated to fit one line. “The” is omitted when preceding a title.)
(Recent additions in red)
The 1990 Census records
49,740 individuals in the
United States with the
surname of, Savage.
The name ranks number
582 with Smith being
number 1 at 2,501,922.
Total - 48367
Rank - 640
Balance - Other
The only source we have for the age of Ensign Thomas Savage is the writing of John Smith (or Anas Todkill) who wrote; "a boy of thirteen years old, called Thomas Savage, whom he
(Newport) gave him as his son". I believe Savage was older than 13. He was too influential with the Powhatans to have been only 15 when, in April of 1610 Captain John Martin found
"Thomas Savage already a power among the red men".
In 1610 there was an attack upon the English at the Falls of the James River when Lord Delaware sent an expedition from Jamestown to search the country above the Falls for gold
mines. In this attack Lord Delaware's nephew, Captain William West, was killed and Simon Skore, a sailor, and one Cobb, a boy, were taken prisoners. As a result of this fight the
Indians said in their song that Thomas Savage, “had not frightened them with his monacock (sword)”. Savage was obviously a man to be dealt with to have been wielding a sword and
surviving the attack. Fifteen years old? Perhaps older?
The competing cultures of the Powhatan and English
settlers were united through unions and marriages of
members, of which the most well known was that of
Pocahontas and John Rolfe. Their son Thomas Rolfe was
the ancestor of many Virginians; many of the First
Families of Virginia have both English and Virginia Indian
I've recently completed a novel,
THE BLACKWATER SHAFT
This book has nothing to do with Thomas Savage, but
I had some empty space here and I told myself; "Why
not give my book a plug." :)
I talk to myself a lot!
These books are all available for
sale on Amazon.
Click on the "My Books"
button in the Navigation Bar at
the top of this page.
I have been told, by a source which I trust, that
Thomas Savage the Carpenter, because he was
half Indian, was required to wear a copper
"badge", perhaps like the one to the right
which was excavated at Jamestown. Please
understand that this is NOT DOCUMENTED,
but if it is true, might such a "badge" be
similar to the "pass" to which Fish Hawk Perry
The late Dean Hickman studied the genealogy of the Eastern Shore of Virginia for many years. I had good respect for Dean's knowledge in that regard
and also of his good genealogy research principles. Dean had a theory that I'd like to quote here. It is not verbatim, but it's very close:
Although I have absolutely no concrete proof at the moment, what I suspect is that Thomas the Carpenter was a son of the Ensign by an Indian wife, or
something less formal, before he married Hannah (Elkington). My main reason for thinking this is that, apparently, after the Ensign died, Hannah brought
a law suit to have her son John Savage declared the heir of the Ensign. If he were the only son of the Ensign, why would she bring this law suit?
Unfortunately, the first part of the law suit took place before the court records begin -- the case, or its conclusion, is referred to right at the beginning of
the court records for Accomack County, apparently, so we're missing the whys and wherefores. But why would Hannah feel the need to bring this lawsuit
unless there was another possible claimant? Of course, according to English law, Thomas the Carpenter would be considered a bastard, anyway, since I
sincerely doubt that any relationship that the Ensign might have had with an Indian woman would have been formalized by the Anglican Church. An
argument could be made for a common law marriage, though -- hence the need for the lawsuit. Also, apparently right at the same time, the Indians gave
the Carpenter a big chunk of land right next to Savage Neck, the parcel they had given to the Ensign. Why would they do that?
It is documented that Ensign Savage and Savage the Carpenter were closely related. In a deposition given my one Francis Pettett in open court
he relates how he and Thomas Savage the Carpenter visited the home of Capt. John Savage, son of Ensign Thomas, and the Carpenter greeted
Capt. John, "saying how is it Cozen". The term, Cozen, during that period could have meant Nephew, Cousin, Half Brother, etc.
Northampton Co. Virginia Record Book, Orders, Deeds, Wills, etc. Vol. 3, 1645-1651. Page 35. June 29, 1656. Edited version by Dr. Howard Mackey pub. 2000 by Picton Press, page 75.
Here are two important quotes from published sources that tell us Ensign
Thomas Savage had at least two sons. Are these sources correct?
He (Ensign Thomas Savage) left two sons; Thomas, who was alive in 1652, but seems to have died without
issue* and a younger son John Savage.
The Genesis of the United States by Alexander Brown. Houghton, Miffin & Co. 1891 pg. 996
He (Ens. Thomas Savage) had two sons, Thomas and John, besides other children who died young. (G. F. A
[rmstrong]'s Savages of the Ards, pp. 113–14; BROWN, Genesis of the United States, i. 485, 487, ii. 996; CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH, Works,
ed. Arber, index).
*If this first son is Thomas Savage the Carpenter, we know he did not die without issue, but had at
least two sons, Thomas and John, and two daughters. (He died before 1655)
| Some minor additions and changes have been made below.
|Capt. Christopher Newport
|Savage Ancestry - Savage History - Savage Genealogy - Savage Family - Savage Lore - Savage Legend - Savage Traces - Savage Honor - Savage Women - Savage Roots - Savage Lineage - Savage Adventure - Savage Pioneers -
Savage Hero's - Savage Men - Savage Arms - Savage Ancestry - Savage History - Savage Genealogy - Savage Family - Savage Lore - Savage Legend - Savage Traces - Savage Honor - Savage Ancestry - Savage History -
Savage Genealogy - Savage Family - Savage Lore - Savage Legend - Savage Traces - Savage Honor - Savage Women - Savage Roots - Savage Lineage - Savage Adventure - Savage Pioneers
I'm frequently asked about DNA testing to detect Native American ancestry. Here's a link that can help: