Our Savage Ancestry

Ensign Thomas Savage

Captain John Martin credits Ensign Thomas Savage with saving the colony through his relationships with the 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 than any other Indians in or Baye] By Captain John Martin.

In Alexander Brown's THE GENESIS OF THE UNITED STATES, 1605-1616, pg. 996 Brown says of Ensign Thomas Savage: Savage, Thomas. Born about 1594; arrived in Virginia January 2, 1608, and was soon after exchanged with Powhatan for Namontack; remained with the Indians about three years; with Hamor as interpreter in May, 1614. He traded with the Indians and was long an interpreter for the colony. In 1620 he sent a relation to the Va. Co. of a great trade in furs by Frenchmen to the northward. In 1625 he was living on his divident on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with his wife Ann and two servants. The date of his death is not known to me. The Indians called him Thomas Newport. At April court, 1668, Northampton County, Va., the deposition of William Jones aged 59, sayeth that being at Colonel Robins, deceased about four or five and thirty years since (when Laughing King came annually to visit said Robins in the spring), was desired by Colonel Robins to ask the said King, whose such a neck of land was? and the King replied that he had given the south side of Wessaponson to his son, Thomas Newport. Savage evidently lived in favor with the Indians, being called son both by Powhatan and the Laughing King. He left two sons: Thomas, who was alive in 1652, but seems to have died without issue, and a younger son, John Savage.....

A similar statement appears in THE DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY by the Oxford University Press in London, pages 839-840."By his wife, Anne (Hannah) he had two sons, Thomas and John besides other children who died young. ( I don't know if I would trust this source. It appears to have been taken from G. F. Armstrong's "Savages of the Ards" and I question some of the claims made in his work. However, if Armstrong took it from Browns work, above, I believe Brown's is pretty solid. RBS)


Thomas Savage, The Carpenter

We believe the Ensign Thomas Savage and Thomas Savage; the Carpenter were father and son.  Thomas Savage, the Carpenter was a prominent figure in Northampton and Accomack Counties on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  He first appears, by name, 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.  However, we believe he appeared in earlier court documents.  We have found documentation of a Thomas Savage "sonne and heire" inheriting land from the Ensign. We also believe his inheritance was fought in court by his 'stepmother' Hannah (Anne) Savage.  Hannah was the English bride of the Ensign. We believe she fought to have their son, John Savage, listed as the rightful heir and granted the land.  We believe she won and the land was given to John Savage.  This court record is the document we are still searching for to this day.  Our theory is he was of English/Native Indian descent and therefore denied the inheritance.

 Below is the entry documented in the County Court Records of Accomack-Northampton, Virginia 1640-1645 Edited by: Susie Ames and Published for The Virginia Historical Society in 1973.

This is important as it proves Ensign Thomas Savage had a son, Thomas Savage.  Thomas Savage was the heir to the Ensign's estate.  Our theory is if he was half native American, then he would not be eligible to inherit land.

A very greate Quantity of land is graunted unto Thomas Savage, sonne and heire unto Ensigne Thomas Savage {bounded} as followeth viz. with the Creeke of Accomack on the South the Greate Bay on the West Wisoaponso [?] on the North and the ____ on the East dated the one and twentyeth day of December: tertio Caroli Rex 

Also in the same volume we find......

February 22, 1639

[fol.17] It is thought Fitt and Accordingely Ordered By this Courte [that the] Land of Thomas Savage sonne and heire unto Ensigne Thomas Savage Deceased shall Be surveyed within the space of a Moneth after the date hereof.  And that the Survey thereof shall bee payde for By the Overseers; And Further if in case noe payment shall bee by them made For the survey thereof, That then there shall soe much be raysed out of the said Land as shall Fully satisfye and pay For the same.

County Court Records of Accomack-Northampton, Virginia 1640-1645  Edited by: Susie Ames and Published for The Virginia Historical Society.