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 twenty-four 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 below. Unfortunately there recently seems to
have been little effort to manage the site, but a
new administrator has been added, so hopefully
we'll see some improvement.
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.
Ensign Thomas Savage is well known in Virginia History. Arriving in Jamestown in 1608, he was given to
Powhatan by Captain Christopher Newport as a hostage to insure friendship with the powerful Powhatan. John
Smith, present at the exchange, tells us Savage was thirteen years of age. 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.
Thomas Savage, "The Carpenter," prominent figure in Northampton and Accomack Counties on the
Eastern Shore of Virginia, first appears, by name, in the records in 1632. He is known to have been a builder of
watercraft and homes, operated a cooperage to manufacturer casks, barrels, kegs, buckets, etc. At his death, he
owned at least two properties totaling 750 acres.
I have documented that these two men were closely related. Were they father and son?
| Thomas Belson
servant of Ensign Thomas. I believe this boy was Thomas Savage the Carpenter.
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.
Any number of reasons could account for this boy 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 Virginia” label.
To illustrate the above I include here an excerpt from the muster listing those residents of
the Eastern Shore. This is a copy 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
Why was the “Belson” boy treated differently than the other fifty
residents? Why was he the only one who had no information given as to
how or when he arrived in Virginia? Why is the listing of this boy unique?
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.
|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.
After the book was completed I continued the
search for the antecedents and descendants of
this remarkable man. The book is entitled;
SAVAGE IS MY NAME
A History of Thirteen Generations of a
Savage Family in America
hardback, 308 pages, illustrated and indexed.
Price is $29.50 plus $4.50 for packaging
and Media Rate shipping, total - $34.00.
Mail check to:
R. Blair Savage
157 Shadowleaf Drive
Hendersonville, NC 28739
If you have any questions about the contents of this book please
contact me at the email address listed near the bottom of this
Unless you can determine that you are likely a
descendant of Thomas Savage the Carpenter,
SAVAGE IS MY NAME would probably be of little value to you.
It does not explore the many branches of the Carpenter's
descendants. It is limited to the male line from the Carpenter to
myself and probable siblings found in each generation. The fifth
generation is Robinson T. Savage and the link further down this
page will take you to my site where I identify over 4000 of his
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
The book, Garrett County Graves
would be several pages thinner had
Robinson not planted his roots where
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 to Baltimore.
|Thomas The Carpenter had at least two sons; Thomas and John.
A century after he was active on the Eastern
Thomas The Carpenter was referred to, in
court records as;
Thomas Savage The Elder.
Additions and corrections to the information
contained herein are welcome.
I may be contacted at:
R. Blair Savage
157 Shadowleaf Dr.
Hendersonville, NC 28739
I may be contacted by email at the address following. This
address is coded to prevent copying by Internet spiders.
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
find on Thomas Savage the Carpenter and
Ensign Thomas Savage.
As I hear from new "Cuzzins" I also add to the
several thousand names on the
Robinson T. Savage web site.
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 relationship of Thomas Savage the
Carpenter, who first appears in Colonial Virginia records 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
|Last update on this page:
Please click on the "Arms" button in the
navigation bar for information on the
Savage Coat of Arms
Robinson T. Savage, early pioneer of Western Maryland, present day Garrett County, was my great, great, great, great, grand-
father. I have constructed a chart of the descendants of Robinson T. Savage which lists over 4000 individuals. This chart may be
accessed at the link below.
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 the
kindof boats built by his crew.
|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
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 SERVICE.
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.
|This European painting of the wedding of Pocohantas and
John Rolfe is said to include Ensign Thomas Savage
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
This follow-up to my original book,
SAVAGE IS MY NAME
is also high quality hardback, 130 pages, illustrated.
Price is $15.00 plus packaging and shipping:
First Class; $5.00 - Total - $20.00
Media Rate; $3.50 - Total - $18.50.
both books is $41.00 plus $5.00 for packaging and Media Rate
shipping; total - $46.00
Mail check to:
R. Blair Savage
157 Shadowleaf Drive
Hendersonville, NC 28739
The purpose of including this listing is to provide help, when possible, to other researchers.
If you would like me to look for a specific name or passage that you have reason to believe
may be in one of these publications, I would be happy to do so. Please do not ask me to search
the entire library. Email me your request at the address included further down this page.
Recent additions are temporarily shown in red. Some lengthy titles are slightly abbreviated.
1. A Concise History Of England – F.E. Halliday
2. A Genealogical History of The Savage Family In Ulster – George F. Savage-Armstrong
3. A Key to Survey Reports and Microfilm of the Virginia Colonial Records Project. Vol 1 & 2
4. A Land As God Made It: Jamestown & The Birth Of America - James Horn
5. A True Discourse of the Present Estate of Virginia ---- by Ralph Hamor -- 1615
6. A True Relation of The State of Virginia Left by Sir Thomas Dale - in 1616 – John Rolfe
7. Abstracts of Wills, Adm. Of Northampton Co. VA. 1632-1802 - James Handley Marshall
8. Accomack Co. VA. Court Order Abstracts Vol. 1-10: 1663-1710 – J. R. McKey (On CD)
9. Accomack Tithables 1663 – 1695 - Stratton Nottingham
10. Adventures of Purse and Person, 1607-1624/5, Vol. IV, R-Z - John F. Dorman
11. Adventures of Purse and Person, Va. 1607-1624/5, Vol. I, A-F - John F. Dorman
12. America’s First Family, The Savages of Virginia – Burghard
13. American Colonists In English Records – 1597 to 1800 George Sherwood 1982
14. American Colonists in English Records. Pub. 2011 2 Vol. in one – George Sherwood
15. American Journeys – An Anthology of Travel In the United States – E. D. Bennett
16. An Account Of Virginia: Its Scituation, Inhabitants, Etc. – 1676 Thomas Glover ---- On order.
17. Ancient And Noble Family Of The Savages Of The Ards, The – Geo. F. Savage-Armstrong
18. Anne Orthwoods’s Bastard – John Pagan
19. Atlantic World and Virginia, 1550-1624 – Peter C. Mancall
20. Before and After Jamestown: Virginia's Powhatans - Rountree & Turner
21. Between Two Worlds, Pocahontas & an English Boy Hostage to her Father – Clausen
22. British Empire, The - Jane Samson (on order)
23. Captain Christopher Newport - A. Bryant Nichols Jr.
24. Captain John Smith – Writings with Other Narratives – Ed. James Horn
25. Common Law of Colonial America, The – Nelson
26. Conquest Of Virginia, The Forest Primeval – Conway Whittle Sams
27. County Court Records of Accomack-Northampton 1640-1645 - Susie Ames
28. Directories of Accomack & Northampton Landowners - 1815 - Roger G. Ward
29. Early Virginia Immigrants, 1623 – 1666 – George Cabell Greer
30. Eastern Shore Indians of Virginia and Maryland - Rountree & Davidson
31. Eastern Shore of Virginia, The - 1603-1964 - Nora Miller Turman
32. English Duplicates of Lost Virginia Records – Louis des Cognets, Jr.
33. English Estates of American Colonists 1610-1699 - Coldham, Peter
34. Ethics and Indians – Social Relations in a Northwestern Ontario Town – David H. Stymeist
35. European And The Indian, The – James Axtell
36. First Colonists, The: the First English Settlements in North America – David and Alison Quinn
37. First People: The Early Indians of Virginia - Egloff & Woodward
38. First Republic In America: An Account of the Origin of This Nation - Alexander Brown
39. Formation of A Society on Virginia’s Eastern Shore 1615-1655 - James R. Perry
40. Genesis of the United States, The: the Plantation of North America by England – Brown, 1891
41. Good Wives, Nasty Wenches _: Gender, Race, Power in Colonial Virginia - Brown, Kathleen. M.
42. Historie of Travaile into Virginia Britannia, The - William Strachey
43. Histories of the Dividing Line Betwixt Virginia and North Carolina – Wm. K. Byrd
44. History of Savage Family in England 1066-2010 – Hugh Savage (CD)
45. Indians in Seventeenth-Century Virginia – McCary, Ben C.
46. Immigrants To America Appearing In English Records – Frank Smith
47. Jamestown Adventure, The: Accts of the Va. Colony, 1605-1614 - Ed Southern
48. Jamestown Colony, The – Cornerstones of Freedom – Sakurai
49. Jamestown Project, The - Karen Kupperma
50. Jamestown, the Buried Truth - Kelso
51. Jamestowne Ancestors 1607-1699 – Davis
52. Key to Survey Reports and Microfilm of the Virginia Col. Records Project, Vol. 1 & 2
53. Land Causes Accomack County, Virginia 1727-1826 - Stratton Nottingham
54. Life of the Powhatan (Native Nations of North America) - Sjonger & Kalman
55. Loose Papers and Sundry Court Cases 1628 – 1731 - Jean Mihalyka
56. Lord Mayor’s Court Of London Depositions Relating to Americans 1641-1736 – Peter Coldham
57. Lost Virginia Records, English Duplicates of – Louis des Cognets, Jr.
58. Marriages, Northampton County, Virginia 1660-1854 - Jean Mihalyka
59. Mother Earth – Land Grants in Virginia - W. Stitt Robinson, Jr.
60. My lady Pokahontas; a true relation of Virginia – Anas Todkill (Fiction based on history. RBS)
61. Narratives Of Early Virginia – Editor J. F. Jameson
62. Northampton Co. Va. Record Book, Ord, Deeds, Wills, 1654-55 - Mackey & Groves
63. One Among the Indians - Martha Bennett Stiles
64. Peopling of British North America, The - Bernard Bailyn
65. Pioneer Spirit – By American Heritage. Editor in Charge, Richard M. Ketchum
66. Pocahontas, Powhatan, Opechancanough - Rountree
67. Pocahontas's People: The Powhatan Indians of Virginia - Helen C. Rountree
68. Powhatan Confederacy, The - Past and Present – James Mooney 1907
69. Powhatan Indians of Virginia, The - Helen C. Rountree
70. Powhatan’s Mantle - Wood, Waselkov, Hatley
71. Reading, Writing and Arithmetic in Virginia 1607-09 - Susie Ames
72. Records of the Va. Co. of London, Court Book, Vol. 1, 1619-22 - Susan M. Kingsbury
73. Records of the Va. Co. of London, The - Vol. 1,2,3,4 (CD) - Susan M. Kingsbury
74. Records of the Virginia Company of London, Volumes 1-4 [CD] - Susan M. Kingsbury
75. Relation of Virginia c. 1613 - Henry Spelman
76. Savage Is My Name – Part II – R. Blair Savage
77. Savage Is My Name - R. Blair Savage
78. Savage Kingdom – The True Story of Jamestown – Benjamin Wooley
79. Shawnee Heritage I - Don Greene
80. Shawnee Heritage II - Don Greene
81. Sir William Berkeley and the Forging of Colonial Virginia – Warren M. Billings
82. Studies of the Virginia Eastern Shore in the 17th century - Susie M. Ames
83. Tom Savage - A Story of Colonial Virginia - John Logan (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
84. Tracks and Other Papers Relating to Origin (etc) of Colonies in North America (etc) - Peter Force
85. True Story of Pocahontas, The - The Other Side of History - Custalow & Daniel
86. Virginia – The First Seventeen Years - Charles E. Hatch, Jr.
87. Virginia ‘Publick’ Claims, Accomack & Northampton, 1780-83 -- Abercrombie & Slatten
88. Virginia Colonial Abstracts – Series 2, Vol. 3. Va. Co. of London 1606 – 1624 - Beverly Fleet
89. Virginia Court Records in Southwestern Pennsylvania – Boyd Crumrine
90. Virginia Gleanings in England – Lothrop Withington
91. Virginia Immigrants And Adventurers 1607 – 1635 - Martha W. McCartney
92. Virginia Wills and Administrations 1632-1800 - Torrence Clayton --- on order
93. Virginia’s Eastern Shore - Ralph T. Whitelaw
94. We Are The Savages – James C. Savage
95. Who’s Saying What in Jamestown, Thomas Savage - Jean Fritz
96. Wills And Adms of Accomack Co. Va. 1663 – 1800 - Stratton Nottingham
97. Ye Kingdom Of Accawmacke - Jennings Cropper Wise
and all true.
It's 160 pages, illustrated, soft cover.
Retail price is $13.95, but when ordered with
either of my Savage books the price is $5.00
plus $1.00 shipping.
|Go to >>>>>
| Here are some links to genealogy on Virginia's Eastern Shore.
|To explore these pages please
use the navigation buttons
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.
in unused condition may be
returned for a full refund of
the purchase price.
|Not that anyone gives a hoot, but a while back I had
a computer crash that wiped out my counter and it
hasn't worked since. The number was somewhere
around 39,000. RBS 9-7-14
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 157 Shadowleaf Drive, Hendersonville, NC 28739.
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.
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
My book, SAVAGE IS MY NAME - PART II, contains evidence to support
the theory that Thomas Savage the Carpenter was the son of Ensign Thomas
Savage and a Native American girl. As I uncover additional information,
while continuing the search for further documented proof, I will report it
here. Any new additions below will be temporarily in blue print to indicate a
For owners of SAVAGE IS MY NAME - PART II, the data below may be
copied, printed and inserted in your copy of the book.
Savage and that they had at least one child; John.
I believe that Ann/Hannah was the Ensign's second 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. I believe this young fellow may have
been called, Thomas "Belson" Savage.
|Click here >>>
A quote from the pen of J.C. Wise:
"These old carpenters and ship-builders
seem to have been
constantly occupied and prosperous".
Dedicated to Thomas Savage "The Carpenter"
Ensign Thomas Savage
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
The only known painting made during her lifetime.
It hangs in the National Portrait Gallery of the
Smithsonian, in Washington, D.C.
The 1990 Census
individuals in the United
States with the surname
The name ranks number
582 with Smith being
number 1 at 2,501,922.
Total - 48367
Rank - 640
Balance - Other
and Pocahontas as 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. It is the first definitive examination of Pocahontas written by a Powhatan Native American descendant. 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!
|John Smith knew Ensign
Thomas Savage quite well.
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!)
|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.
In SAVAGE IS MY NAME I mistakenly reported, in 1995, that
Thomas Savage the Carpenter was the same Thomas Savage who
arrived in 1623 on the ship, Ambrose and who was an indentured
servant hired out to one, William Gany. My mistake was in accepting
as truth an article printed in a respectable Virginia historical
publication without proper citation. The Thomas Savage who arrived
in 1623 died by drowning in c. 1629. The first hard record of
Thomas Savage the Carpenter is a 1632 land transaction. Several
years ago a correction was sent to all owners of
SAVAGE IS MY NAME and the record is set straight in
SAVAGE IS MY NAME - PART II.
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
Can anyone confirm
Is there anyone living
who is descended
from a person who
arrived before Ensign
Thomas Savage in
Is there a living male
who has proven his
Savage line to the
We have yet to find
one who will agree to
have his DNA tested!
If you can answer
any of these
friend of 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
This book is available on Amazon 9-10-2014
Accomack Indians on the Eastern Shore.
1622, Dec. 15. [ffor the Certentye of Corne it is best knowne to my selfe for yt by sendinge & discoueringe those places, 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:
Here we see two replicates of the colonial
Shallops of the time were described as;
"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.
In May of 1614, after the marriage of John Rolfe and Pocahontas, Thomas Savage was the
interpreter accompanying Ralph Hamor to meet Powhatan on a mission for the governor, Thomas
Dale, in which another daughter of Powhatan was being sought as a bride for Dale. This
mission was, however, unsuccessful as Powhatan said that one daughter gave him enough
assurance of English friendship.
|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 (Newport's) son.)
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.
|Anas Todkill is portrayed by Willie
Balderson, Colonial Williamsburg's
manager of public history development.