Our Savage Ancestry

Hosted By R. Blair Savage & Tracy Savage Zuccaro

In honor of Russell Milton Savage 1901-1986    


The line from the family of Ensign Thomas Savage to R. Blair Savage is proven by old documents and DNA.  (The DNA proof was determined in this way: There is a gentleman who lives on the Eastern Shore today, within the bounds of the 9000 acre parcel given to Ensign Thomas Savage by Chief Debedeavon. Mr. Savage and I are a close DNA match. He has, as I do, a documented line to Thomas Savage the Carpenter and we have documented proof that Thomas the Carpenter and the Ensign were from the same family. I have a document which has the Carpenter calling John Savage, son of the ensign, "Cozen".  This could have meant half-brother, but it also meant "to cheat or trick (someone)" and also "to obtain by deceit or persuasion". If John Savage was a half-brother of the Carpenter, and their inheritance was disputed, might Thomas call John by this term?  More research is being done on the history of today's term "cousin" and it's relation to the word "cozen" in Colonial times.                                                                                            

01. Ensign Thomas Savage was born in England about 1594.  In February of 1608 young Thomas was given to the Powhatan (Wahunsenaca), He lived with Wahunsenaca and family for three years, learned the language and thereafter was an interpreter for the English for what appears to have been the rest of his life. It was a short life as he only lived to reach about 33.  A deposition document that I found has Thomas Savage the Carpenter greeting John Savage, son of the Ensign, as Cozen. As a result, we believe John Savage was a half-brother of Thomas Savage the Carpenter. The term, "Cozen" at that time, could have been used when addressing a half - brother. If they were not half-brothers, they were certainly from the same Savage family.

02. Thomas Savage senior, the Carpenter    c. 1615 - 1654-55 Thomas Savage Sr. was probably born circa 1615 in Virginia. He married and had children with Rebecca Unknown. He died before 28 February 1655/56 in Accomack Co., Virginia. I believe it was during 1654.  Upon the death of the Ensign, his son "Thomas Savage, sonne and heire unto Ensign Thomas Savage inherited a "greate Quantity of land"". We cover this documentation and others under the tab "My Savage Ancestral History".  We also find in 1632, March 14. Thomas Savage, Carpenter, took deed to 100 acres on Old Plantation Creek, at Accomack. 

03. Thomas Savage II     1646 - 1721   Thomas II was born circa 1645 at Northampton Co, VA. He first married Unknown circa 1670 and had two children. He was named in the will of his stepfather on 27 October 1677 at Accomack Co, VA. He was shown as my son-in-law (meaning stepson) Thomas Savage in the will of John Smith, taylor, wife Joyce. He married Bridget Kellam, daughter of Richard Kellam I and Sarah Ansley, circa 1684.

04. Robinson Savage1   1699 – 1774   Robinson Savage I was born circa 1699 at Northampton Co, VA. He was the son of Thomas Savage (II) and Bridget Kellam. Robinson was named in his father's will on 10 November 1721 at Northampton Co, VA. He was shown as a son Robinson Savage in the will of Thomas Savage Sr., wife Bridget. He married Esther Turner, daughter of Edward Turner Sr., circa 1725 at Northampton Co, VA.

05. Robinson Savage2    c. 1730 - c. 1790     Robinson Savage II wrote his will on April 1 of 1786. His will was entered for probate by his daughter, Nancy on April 7. There is no mention of a wife in the will. Daughter, Peggy is included in the will. Son, Robinson T. Savage, who inherited the plantation, along with his wife, Mary, sold it on February 5th, 1792. Nancy Savage filed the final probate settlement papers in November of 1793. Nancy married William Argo and Margaret married John Coleman .

06. Robinson T. Savage    c. 1774 - 1830's     Robinson T. Savage, Sr. of Accomack Co., Virginia, Sussex Co., Delaware and Allegany - Garrett County, Maryland was an early Pioneer of Western Maryland. Wife, Mary unknown. He was the first schoolteacher in Western Maryland. He was a sergeant in the war of 1812.

07. Evan Savage 1797 - after 1849     When Evan Savage was born in 1797 in Allegany, County, Maryland, his father, Robinson, was 23 and his mother, Mary, who was 32, we believe to have been Mary Markley.

08. Robert E. Savage  1819 – 1895 of  Allegany, now Garrett County, Maryland. He married his cousin, Nancy Savage. They had eight children.

09. Nelson E. Savage  c. 1838 – 1916 Nelson Savage enlisted in the Second Potomac Home Brigade of the Maryland Infantry at Selbysport, Allegany/Garrett Co. MD. He later served in Company E of the 6th West Virginia Calvary Volunteers.

10. Milton Jackson Savage 1880 – 1960   Rev. Milton Jackson Savage also known as, Jackson Milton Savage. As of 1915, legal documents have him as, Milton Jackson Savage, Friends called him, Milt. As a kid, I always knew him as, Rev. Jack Savage. I have a letter that he wrote in the 1940's. It was sent to; District Elders and Ministers of the Free Church of Jesus Christ. He signed the letter as, General Bishop Jackson M. Savage.

11. Russell Milton Savage 1901 – 1986   When Russell Milton Savage was born on November 16, 1901, in Whitehouse, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, South of Uniontown, his father, Milton, was 21 and his mother, Olive, was 23. Russell had three sons and five daughters with Violet Lois Bucklew. He died on February 14, 1986, in Bedford, Ohio, at the age of 84.

12. Russell Blair Savage  1934 -  I was born on Number One Hill above Scotts Run, West Virginia, in a rented coal mining company house. The area was called Scotts Run for the Creek which flowed down the valley and into the Monongahela River. I had a hard-working father, and a mother who overcame polio at the age of 19 and raised a large family. Despite a very humble beginning, I was able to build a comfortable life for my family. My career was in manufacturing. In 1958 I started as a Foreman at age 23 with a small company in Northern Ohio. The company had about 60 employees. Over the years we developed several unique products and started operations in major countries worldwide. In assisting our various operations, I was privileged to see a major part of the world. I retired at age 61 as Executive Vice President and General Manager of our headquarters operation in the U.S.  I look forward to many more years on this Earth to spend time with family and friends and continue my research on our Savage Ancestry.



Updated 2-28-2024

All material on this site, other than that which is cited from other sources, 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 written permission from R. Blair Savage at ( or Tracy Savage Zuccaro at ( This site is a rebuild of the original which began in 2005 and is a work in progress. The software used in the original was discontinued and is no longer supported.

At the age of 88 I think it's time to let one of my daughters take charge. Having no sons to carry on my Savage line, the oldest continuing family name in America, my daughter, Tracy, is taking over. She tells me I can add to the effort if I behave myself. That will be difficult.

Note: The books displayed in "Blair's Books" were available on-line, but Amazon has changed their book sales program and mistakenly state that my books,, SAVAGE IS MY NAME and SAVAGE IS MY NAME PART II, are out of print. This is not factual, We have a good inventory and both books will be sold direct. By selling direct we should be able to reduce the cost. I will discuss this with Tracy who will soon be taking over book sales. R. B. Savage.
  "My Story" by Violet Savage and the "Darrell Savage Autobiography" are available on, "The Book Patch.
If you feel that you may have a connection to our Savage line you may contact me at, Exclude the xyz as it is there to deflect the internet crooks.


My name is Russell Blair Savage. I'm one of a long string of guys with the name, Savage. Here in America we date back to 1607/08 when a young fellow from a Savage family in England arrived in America. The ship he was on dropped anchor off the shore of a small island on what was to be named, the James River. The island was almost attached to the mainland of what the English called Virginia. There, the first successful English colony in America was established with the building of a fort and a small village they named, Jamestown.      

The purpose of this website is twofold; to provide our proven Savage line from the family of Ensign Thomas Savage, who arrived in Virginia in 1607/08, so that others who are trying to find their Savage roots may have an opportunity to examine our line and possibly find a connection with their own Savage ancestors. We have helped many to do just that. We believe the Ensign's family gave us the oldest continuing family name in America. On the Robinson T. Savage page we have helped hundreds of individuals find their connection to those Savage families who set foot on the shore of America 400 years ago.   

The Savage Surname


If one does a search for the meaning of the name, Savage, one will find such definitions as, barbaric, wild, pristine, rugged, shy natural, etc. I think most of those definitions have sprung up during the past twelve centuries or so.

Use of surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England known as the Poll Tax. My “understanding” of how the use of surnames started is this:  In the very early days of England, the HMRC (they did what our IRS does) determined that there were too many Toms, Johns, Marys, Elizabeths and so on, for them to keep track of who owed what, in the way of taxes. In deciding on a method to solve the problem, a young lady by the name of, Mary, who was the daughter of the local jailer and worked in the HMRC headquarters in a small office attached to the jail, suggested they use words that would describe a person’s looks. So, the guy with black hair became Mr. John Black. The old fellow whose black hair had turned white, obviously received the handle, Mr. Edgar White. The guy who ran the soup diner was tagged, Mr. Norman Campbell. You get the picture. But by the time they got to William Bignose, they felt the need to add an additional method. So, Mary, who was a persistent young lady, suggested they also could use a person’s job, craft, or business. Well, the assistant to the head guy in the HMRC took Mary’s idea to the head guy who thought it a grand idea. So, the black smiths, tin smiths, silver smiths, gold smiths, etc. were easy. But they soon ran out of Smiths, Carpenters, Millers and so forth. So, when they came to the stout young man by the name of Thomas, they asked, “What do you do?” Thomas replied, “I’m a man of the woods. I go into the woods to cut down trees, saw them into pieces and sell them to the Carpenters.” This resulted in the stout and rugged Thomas becoming, Thomas Savage, the man of the woods.  However, Thomas was an immigrant from Normandy and he preferred the Norman (French) spelling and pronunciation, so, he went to the local schoolmarm who spoke three languages, and asked that she write, Thomas Le Sauvage on a small chip of wood which he carried for situations such as this. The schoolmarm obliged and Thomas was thrilled to see his name in print. So thrilled that he carved tiny holes in each end of the wood chip and had his wife sew it to the chest of his tunic, thereby assuring the Savage family could claim the invention of the, ‘Name Tag’.

Okay Blair, get serious. "Darn it, Tracy says I need to be serious if I'm to be allowed to add or change anything on our web site. Well, the gist of my little tale is true." Basil Cottle, a British grammarian, classifies European surnames under four broad categories, depending on their origin: given name, occupational name, local name and nickname. This classification can be extended to surnames originating elsewhere. Other name etymologists use a fuller classification, but these four types underlie them. Occupational names include such simple examples as Smith (for a smith), Miller (for a miller), Farmer, Thatcher (for a thatcher), Shepherd (for a shepherd), Potter (for a potter), and so on, as well as non-English ones, such as the German Eisenhauer (iron hewer, later Anglicized in America as Eisenhower) or Schneider (tailor) – or, as in English, Schmidt.

                                                          Probable origin of the name, Savage.

1250–1300; Middle English savage, sauvage (adj.)  Middle French sauvage, salvage. Medieval Latin salvāticus, for Latin silvāticus, equivalent to silv, woods. Late Latin salvaticus literally 'man of the woods', a derivative of Latin silva 'wood', influenced by Latin salvus 'whole', i.e. natural



When I was ten years old, I began to wonder where my ancestors lived before they all came to America. I was most interested in knowing what nationality I was. In my very early days in the coal mining camp where my dad worked, the boys I went to school with and played with, were of various nationalities and they knew it. I didn't know mine and I wanted to. I knew the names of my dad's father and grandfather, but that was it. Of my mother's Bucklew family I could go back only to her father. Since I retired in 1995, I've been able to spend time searching and I have built a family tree of roughly 1200 people. Seven of those were men who fought in the revolutionary war. This site is limited to my Savage line. I was in the fifth grade when I found the first hint of where my Savage family may have lived before coming to America. It was in a very large book among a small collection in a two-room school on the edge of Morgantown, West Virginia. The book was some kind of historic collection of names of prominent people. One of those was an Edward Savage. He was an artist in England in years passed. That was my first clue that England may have been where our guy originated. Now we have the story of the men who started the twelve Savage generations which include me. Add three generations to that and we can include my children, grand children and great-grand children.


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. A 17th-century source noted that a total of 71 people were aboard the Susan Constant, 52 aboard the Godspeed and 21 aboard the Discovery. 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, accompanied by Captain John Smith,  gave the boy to the great Chief Powhatan in exchange for an Indian named Namontack. Newport's purpose was three-fold, to help insure friendship with the powerful Powhatan, to have Savage learn his language, and to report back any activities of the Indians which might appear troublesome.  John Smith tells us Savage was thirteen years of age. Smith missed the age of Pocahontas by a year or two and I think he did the same with Savage. The boy remained with Powhatan's family for three years and learned the native language. In return, Savage taught Pocahontas and other family members to speak English. Thomas Savage was then an interpreter for the English Colony for the remainder of his life. When he became of age he was given the military rank of, Ensign. 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 of Virginia. The Ensign is said to have given us the oldest continuing family name in America. Later in these pages we explore the life of another Thomas Savage, who appears in the Jamestown records as Thomas Savage the Carpenter. When we get this website further along I will get back to work on my third Savage book which proves the relationship of Thomas Savage the Carpenter and Ensign Thomas Savage. They are from the same family.

 In my many years searching records which were as old as 400 years, I've found no person, or source, on the Internet or anywhere else, which cites an actual record that identifies the parents of Ensign Thomas Savage and the location in England from where he came. There are many others who have also searched for a long, long time.                                   

We plan to share much of the history of our Savage Ancestry.  Various findings related to Ensign Thomas will help to prove his connection to Thomas  the Carpenter.  When the Ensign became of age he was given the military rank of, Ensign. On the following pages we explore the life of Ensign Thomas and Thomas the Carpenter. We know the Ensign and the Carpenter were closely related. Were they father and son? I believe I have strong evidence that they were and I will disclose it in book form soon. The book will be too large to adequately explain and include here. It will be available on-line. I want to make it clear that I have not found the hard document that proves they were father and son, but I am confident that it exists, perhaps in more than one location. I do have proof that satisfies myself and most others, but again, it is not in the form of a hard document, and that is what we need to satisfy the rest. Below is the present chapter names in the book, but they are subject to change.

          01, The Savage Surname

          02. Jamestown Characters

          03. Pocahontas

          04. Powhatan Wahunsenaca

          05. Captain John Smith

          06. Ensign Thomas Savage

          07. The Ensign’s Timeline

          08. Thomas Savage the Carpenter

          09. Intermarriage

          10. Pocahontas and John Rolfe

          11. Another Daughter?

          12. The Indian Wife Theory

          13. Debedeavon

          14. The Belson Boy

          15. Interpreters and Traders

          16. Unique Research Methods

          17. Proof Enough for Me





 Our family outside our home atop number 1 hill above the very small town of Osage on Scotts Run, a horribly polluted creek with chemical runoff from the coal mines. The creek was a bright yellow/orange color. That’s me on the half-lap of Russell Milton Savage in 1935. My mother, Violet Lois Savage, nee Bucklew, kneels behind my sister, Iris. Brother Darwin to the left and brother, Darrell to the right.                    




                        Pocahontas taught Ensign Thomas Savage how to speak Algonquin and he taught her how to speak English.

                       The portrait was done in England where she visited when invited by the Queen.