William B. Hazlewood


Mary Etta’s father, “Willie” Hazlewood spent his entire life in Hart County, Kentucky. He was born a post-Civil War baby to parents Daniel and Parthenia Hazlewood on a farm north of Munfordville. Daniel abandoned the family about 10 years later. His son would prove to be a better husband and father.

Willie married Alice Tennison in 1886 just eight days shy of his twentieth birthday. Together they raised a brood of nine children in the rolling hill country near Mammoth Cave. The kids called him “Pop.” His daughter Gracie remembered him as the kind of maryettafamilyphotoman that “always said what he thought, (and) never smoked or chewed tobacco.” He was a respectable man of the community; a civic-minded farmer who always voted Republican. The following begins with Willie in his mid-50s. The year is 1920.

“Return to Normalcy”

Warren G. Harding campaigned that what the country needed was a return to “normal.” The Great War (WWI) had ended nearly two years before. It was time to roll back government. Get on with business. With a good speaking voice and a handsome face, the former Ohio Senator won the Presidential election by a record-breaking landslide. Willie Hazlewood was no doubt pleased as punch.

The 1920 political landscape changed dramatically: a new President plus an expanded electorate made up of millions of women. How Willie felt about the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution is unknown. As long as wife Alice supported the Republican ticket, Willie was likely pleased to have another voter in the household.

Suddenly in the summer of 1923, Harding suffered a fatal heart attack in San Francisco. Vice President Coolidge assumed the Presidency. Shortly thereafter, the Congressional investigation of the Teapot Dome Scandal became widely known. Calvin Coolidge, never implicated in the bribery corruption, ran as the Republican Party nominee in 1924. All would be determined on November 4th.

horsetxtboxElection Day

Willie set out early that morning. He dressed in layers wearing a coat over his ubiquitous overalls. Alice probably wrapped a biscuit or two for him to stuff in his pocket as a snack for later. He put on his hat, and went out to the barn to saddle his horse.

As a Republican election official, Willie and his Democrat counterpart oversaw the election process in the nearby crossroads town of Cub Run. He knew almost everyone who showed up to vote. Not only had he lived in the area all his life, he had also gone house to house as a census taker.

Lever ballot machines were first used in the national election of 1920, but not in Hart County. Kentucky voters marked their paper ballots then deposited them into a box. After the polls closed, Willie sealed the lock box. Then he climbed on his horse and rode about 20 miles to Munfordville carrying the ballots with him.hart co courths old postcard

The November air felt cold on his face. The narrow road ran up hill and down. Occasionally a Model T may have passed him by on the long 2 1/2 hour trip. Once Willie arrived in town, he delivered the lock box to the court house. It wasn’t quite the end of his long day though. There was still the ride back home through the darkness to Alice.

coolidgefrontpgCoolidge Wins

The next day’s evening newspaper touted a win for the incumbent President. WHAS radio in Louisville covered the election results in Kentucky. (The first radio station in the state, WHAS began broadcasting two years earlier.) Telephones in Munfordville rang in the news. But the typical farmer had none of these resources. The Hazlewoods probably found out that Coolidge had handily beaten the opposing candidates the way they heard most news: by word of mouth.


In later years Willie commented on how his daughters all married Democrats, except one who opted for a Republican man. With a smile he’d say he “guessed the Devil owed him and was repaying him by giving him Democrats for sons-in-law.”



“A historical look at our nation’s county courthouses through postcards.”,

“Calvin Coolidge.” The White House, The United States Government,

Young, Betty. Family History.





Daniel Albert Hazlewood


During an interview late in life, Mary Etta’s youngest sister, Grace Hazlewood Gipson related the vague family history of their Grandfather Daniel. She used the word “wanderer”. All Grace knew was that her grandfather had left his family behind and moved to Menard County, Illinois to work on a farm. And that much was true.

But there was more to the story than Grace or Mary Etta ever knew.


Parthenia Mears lived with her elderly parents James and Rutha Mears in Green County, KY. In 1851 she became Mrs. Daniel Hazlewood. Then came the children, seven in all: Martha, Emily, Mary, Nancy, Jerome, William, and Rose Etta. The Civil War disrupted their marriage in 1864, when Daniel enlisted in the Union Army as a private in the Kentucky Infantry.Union-Return-Fire-e1369159990779

The 30th Regiment fought against Confederate guerrillas operating in Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee. Daniel’s company served as mounted infantry, traveling on horseback to an engagement, then dismounting to fight on foot. The 30th operated for less than two years. Daniel mustered out of uniform in Munfordville, KY in the spring of 1865, four days after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

Back home in Hart County, Daniel and Martha (Parthenia’s nickname) tried to return to a normal life on their farm near Frenchman’s Knob. In 1866, a son William was born. Then death visited when four-year-old Jerome tragically died from choking on a bean. Their older daughters married and moved on. One day in 1872, Daniel did the same.

He packed his bags and headed north to Illinois. Parthenia raised the remaining children alone, including a new baby named Rosie. (Mary Etta’s father, William was about six years old when Daniel deserted the family.) Parthenia declared herself “widowed, head of household” on the next census in 1880.


Daniel trekked to Petersburg, IL to live with his daughter Martha and son-in-law Amos Wallace. He found work as a farm hand. Eventually he also found himself another wife. On March 25, 1878, Daniel married the widow Elizabeth Cardiff from Pennsylvania.

Postwar times brought many changes. Rails soon connected the states and territories from coast to coast. Raw materials, goods, livestock, and people traveled both east and west. Daniel and Elizabeth migrated westward like so many others following the promise of a better life.

Cowboys-Cattle-crossing-river-Neb-finalThe Hazlewoods likely rode the train south through Springfield IL, west to Saint Louis, and straight across Missouri into Kansas. Ottawa County just north of Salina became their new home. In the 1880s the county population exploded. It was a boom time of cowboys driving herds of Texas cattle up to Salina on the Chisholm Trail. But it didn’t last. Barbed wire fencing brought an end to the open range of livestock as farmers moved into ranch lands.

Daniel returned to Illinois a broken man. His daughter Martha took him in again. She and Amos had relocated from Petersburg to the town of Waverly about ten miles south of Springfield. The year was 1893. Daniel’s rheumatic heart condition worsened: “He is not able to perform … manual labor… When he would do anything that exerted him very much… (he would) have to lie down… Any unusual excitement would cause him to complain of smothering and he is not a man of vicious habits but a sober, civil man …”

Amos successfully helped his father-in-law apply for a disability pension in 1896. Daniel’s next stop was Dayton, Ohio. He gained admittance into The National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, a retirement home of sorts for Civil War veterans. It was a home unlike any he had known before.


All soldiers at the National Home wore regulation army uniforms. Their lives followed the same structure as if on duty: Each man belonged to a company. Slept in company barracks. Awoke to reveille at 5 am. Listened for taps every night at 9:30. By imitating army life, the home provided structure and social support to the men.

DanielAlbertHazlewoodphotoAt age sixty-seven, Daniel stood 5’10” with gray blue eyes. He retained a slim build, but his wavy hair was no longer dark. A fashionably big moustache covered his upper lip. It must have felt strange seeing himself in the mirror dressed in a uniform he hadn’t worn in 30 years.

The enormous Dining Hall served three meals daily to over 5,000 men. Church services were held Sunday morning and evening. (Daniel was a Protestant.) There were occupational therapy opportunities such as cigar-making and stocking-weaving. The jobs paid $5-$25 per month. Daniel earned spending money, while being productive in spite of his heart ailment. Yet it wasn’t all work and no play.

The soldiers home offered a library, a theater for live performances, bowling alleys, andnationalhomedaytonohio a billiards room. The Dayton campus also boasted a 25 acre park. Its manicured gardens and its lakes dotted with swans attracted thousands of local citizens as visitors each year. There was even a small zoo on the grounds with an aviary, an alligator pond, a bear, a buffalo, and a monkey exhibit.


As the century came to a close, Daniel moved one final time- back to Kentucky. He stayed with family residing in downtown Louisville. Grayson Street (present day Cedar Street) lay between Walnut (Muhammad Ali Blvd) and the banks of the Ohio. It would be his last residence.schoppenhorst cropped

A wave of malaria hit the river city between 1901-1905. Daniel succumbed on May 1, 1901. The Saturday morning edition of the Louisville Courier Journal ran his obituary: “Daniel Hazlewood died of Malarial Fever at 70 years old.” Schoppenhorst Funeral Home (pictured at left) handled the funeral. Daniel was buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in the Soldiers Section, a parcel of land purchased by the U.S. government during the Civil War for soldiers who died in action.

Sources U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA; Operations Inc, 2007.

“Interior of Neurath-Schoppenhorst Funeral Home in Louisville, KY.” Neurath-Schoppenhorst Funeral Home, American Marketing and Publishing, May 2017

Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, Kansas; 1885 Kansas Territory Census; Roll: KS1885_105; Line: 5

National Cemetery Administration. U.S. Veterans’ Gravesites, ca.1775-2006 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006.

Young, Betty. Hazlewood Family History.

Martha Hazelwood Hord

1826 – 1900+

The month before I was inducted into DAR, a colleague came across the following newspaper article featuring Aunt Martha. The Courier-Journal title from October 23, 1898 reads “A Real Daughter of the Revolution.” Martha was a member of the Beargrass Chapter in Louisville, KY. She would have been Mary Etta’s great aunt, being the sister of Daniel Hazlewood, Mary Etta’s grandfather. (See chart.)marthahorddescent

I’m uncertain about the “French connection.” My research has Martha’s and Daniel’s father, Luke Haselwood living near Lynchburg as stated in the news article. But Luke was born in Virginia, not France.

Still the photograph gives some familial semblance that I can recognize. A wonderful find! -MMB


Luke Hazlewood

1761 – 1834

Luke Hazlewood of Lunenburg, Virginia grew up as a farm boy on Reedy Creek. During the Revolutionary war, he and his older brother, Benjamin enlisted in the state militia. Luke served a total of twelve months under such famous generals as Horatio Gates, Baron von Steuben, and George Washington. (Note that his government records use the spelling “Hazelwood.”)

lukehazlewood descent

Upon returning home he married a local girl Sarah, daughter of Charles Halloway. They had eleven children; some born in Virginia, some in Kentucky. Luke’s second marriage was to Nancy Ballard (nee Bolton). Four children resulted from this union: Mariah, Patsy, Jane and Daniel. (Mary Etta descended from Luke’s last-born child. See chart.)

The following is partly fictionalized. Luke’s thoughts and feelings have been lost to the ages, but the facts are true.

May 17, 1820 – Crab Orchard, Kentucky

Today was the day. Wednesday morning. Left sock on.

He had done this before. A lifetime ago. The leaves were turning red and yellow back then. It was the autumn after the surrender at York. He and Sarah were so happy.

Right sock on.

Now she was gone. Thirty-seven years together. The long wagon trip from Virginia to Kentucky. At least the government had granted him land for his war service.

Left shoe.

And the children. Sarah had been a good mother. Losing Luke Jr. hurt them both deeply. He still saw his son every time he looked into the eyes of his grandchildren.

Right shoe.

They needed a new mother. He couldn’t possibly manage, even with Mary’s help. Thank heaven for Nancy.

Stand up.

She was so much younger. Twenty-nine years younger. Widowed like himself.

Straighten coat.

Time for new beginnings. Spring was in the air. A fine day for a wedding.

Life with Nancy

Nancy Ballard married Luke Hazlewood Sr. shortly after the death of his first wife. She walked into a ready-made family of five children: three boys and two girls. No doubt the children had to adjust to their stepmother. At 31, Nancy was nearly half the age of their deceased mother. The remainder of Nancy’s new household consisted of two slaves: an unknown man and the young woman, Mary. The slaves worked primarily as farm labor alongside Luke.

Nancy’s sixty-year-old husband relied on slave labor to run his Lincoln County farm. Small farms in the county, like the Hazlewood’s, averaged 1-5 enslaved negroes. Crab Orchard farmers raised livestock and/or grain crops such as corn and wheat.

The domestic side of the marriage arrangement traditionally would have been Nancy’s domain. She tended the garden, cooked meals, kept the house. The children stayed close to home helping their stepmother. There were chores enough to go around: chicken eggs to collect, water to haul, wood to gather, a cow to milk, butter churning, sewing and mending, etc. (None of the Hazlewood children likely received a formal education. Kentucky didn’t institute a school system until the 1840s.)

Crab Orchard – 1820s

Situated about 50 miles south of Lexington, Crab Orchard was home to no more than a few hundred residents in 1820. The village derived its name from a stand of old crab apple trees growing alongside the Wilderness Road. wildernessrd map3The dirt road stretched up from the Cumberland Gap, through Crab Orchard, north to the county seat of Stanford where the Hazlewoods had married. Slowly but surely the Kentucky wilderness was steadily being tamed.

The 1820s saw a tide of evangelical fever take hold of the region. Quite possibly the Hazlewood family attended one of the famous revivals. People traveled miles to worship and socialize with other conservative Christians, camping for days before returning to the modest comforts of home.

In 1827, Crab Orchard began drawing crowds to partake of the mineral springs. Starting as a “House of Entertainment” in the Sign of the Golden Bell tavern, it grew into a fashionable destination spot for wealthy southerners. The spa resort’s popularity peaked around the mid-century.

For Luke and Nancy, the decade brought forth children: Mariah b.1824, Martha b.1826, Jane b.1828, and Daniel Albert b.1829. Nancy was about forty years old when she had Daniel. Luke was nearly sixty-eight.

‘Til Death Do Us Part

Congress finally arranged pensions for Revolutionary War veterans in 1832. Luke traveled to the court house in Stanford to apply. Like thousands of other men, he gave testimony as to his service record in order to qualify. Reliving old memories and campaigns, the young nation recognized the contribution of their fathers and grandfathers. For his part, Luke was awarded $40 annually.

Mary box lukehazlewood bio

Two years later, Nancy was widowed a second time. Luke died July 16, 1834. In all likelihood his health had been failing for months. In February, Luke drew up a will naming his children from both marriages and dictating how to distribute his estate. Nancy and her children retained the house and farm. The last person mentioned in his will was Mary. After Luke’s death, she was no longer a Hazlewood slave, but a freed woman instead.

timeline lukehazlewood


1820 U S Census: Census Place:  Crab orchard, Lincoln, Kentucky; Page: 5; NARA Roll: M33_25; Image 15.

1830; Census Place: Lincoln, Kentucky; Series: M19; Roll: 38; Page: 368; Family History Library Film: 0007817.

Bryant, Ron. Lincoln County, Kentucky. Turner Pub., 2002.

Lincoln Co., Kentucky Will Book M:69, 1834.

“Page 27 Revolutionary War Pensions.” Fold3,



Susannah (Hatcher) Burton

1646 – c.1706

Thomas Burton settled in Bristol Parish, Virginia. In the mid 1600s, he purchased a piece of land on the Appomattox River near Swift Creek called “Cobbs Plantation” or “Cobbs Hall” after its original owner, Ambrose Cobbs. Here he and his wife Susannah reared four sons (Thomas Jr., John, Isaac, and Abraham) and a daughter, Ann. (Mary Etta Hazlewood descended through Susannah’s daughter. See  chart.)susannahburtondescent

Thomas Jr. apparently had a close relationship with his Grandfather Hatcher, Susannah’s father. William Hatcher left a codicil to his will giving the boy a farm. Though generous, Hatcher was also a contentious old man who seemed to always be stirring up trouble. One such altercation took place in 1680, which is where this account begins.

“Lantroope picked up the axe as instructed.”axe

He took one good whack at the canoe owned by Mr. Robert Woodson. William Hatcher ordered Lantroope to do the same to any other boats found in the swamp. The former Burgess didn’t tolerate neighbors fishing on his land without permission.

His daughter, Susannah knew only too well how combative her father could be. Three years earlier, he had been found guilty of supporting Bacon’s Rebellion. Long ago, when she was only a child, the court forced her father to publicly apologize on bended knee for slandering a public official. This time was different, however. This time it involved her son.

Mr. Woodson sought redress in civil court for the damage done to his boat. Sixteen-year-old Thomas Jr. having witnessed the event was questioned. Susannah’s son testified “that he saw John Lantroope strike a piece out of the head of Mr. Robert Woodson’s cannoe with an axe, and that ye deponent heard Mr. William Hatcher order ye said Lantroope and his other servants to splitt all ye cannoes they found in the swampp and further saith not.”

Susannah may have wanted to keep Thomas Jr. from spending so much time with his grandfather after such an incident. But it wouldn’t matter. William Hatcher died shortly after the April court date. Her father was gone.

Five years later, the other important man in her life lay on his deathbed. An ailing Thomas Burton was about fifty when he dictated his will. In it he gifted 100 acres of land to each of his sons. Susannah widowed at age forty quickly remarried. She became the new wife of Mr. John Stewart. In turn, Stewart became a step-father to Susannah’s children.

The older couple was blessed with a child of their own. Little Mary Anne Stewart would be Susannah’s last baby. No doubt she relied on her daughter Ann to help look after her much younger half-sister. As for Susannah’s sons, the Burton boys had grown into young men. Thomas Jr. married and moved to Boston, opting for a cosmopolitan life in the busy seaport.

Bad news arrived from Massachusetts about 1691. Susannah’s eldest son had died in the prime of life at age 27. Her brother, Benjamin Hatcher traveled to Boston to help settle the estate. According to her father’s will, the farm William Hatcher had gifted to his grandson was only for Junior’s lifetime. A Virginia court awarded the land to Benjamin upon his petition.

Life went on. Susannah watched her Mary grow from toddler to little girl. At the same time, she saw her teenage daughter Ann mature into a young woman. A summer wedding in 1693 joined Ann Burton and Bartholomew Stovall, a former indenture on a neighboring plantation. Step-father John gave his surety. Susannah looked forward to many grandchildren in the years to come.

One of Susannah’s grandsons, Bartholomew Stovall, Jr. would continue the family line to later include Mary Etta Hazlewood.


1646       Susannah Hatcher born

1676       Bacon’s Rebellion and the burning of Jamestown

1692       Salem Witch Trials (Susannah’s son lived about 15 miles from Salem.)

1700+    Susannah Hatcher Burton dies before her second husband

1706       Benjamin Franklin born


Henrico Co. Deeds & Wills 1677-92, p. 121.

Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia (McIIwaine), p.458; Heming’s Statutes at Large, (Hening) vol 2, pp. 551-2.

“Thomas Burton, Sr.” Thomas Burton, Sr b. Abt 1634 HenricoCo, VA d. Abt Feb 1685 HenricoCo, VA, 7 Dec. 2011,

Yates Publishing. US and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.



William Hatcher

c.1614 – 1680

During the 17th century, the House of Burgesses convened in Jamestown, Virginia. One of Mary Etta’s ancestors, William Hatcher served as a Burgess representing Henrico County. He was elected five times while civil war raged in England.hatcherdescent

When Cromwell’s Reformation ended, the monarchy reassumed power. In 1676, one hundred years before the American Revolution, a young Burgess named Nathaniel Bacon led a rebellion against the local colonial government. He and his followers challenged Governor William Berkeley, set fire to the capital Jamestown, and ravaged the plantations of Royalist neighbors. But Berkeley’s soldiers soon regained control over the chaos.

Hatcher like many others was prosecuted for his support of Bacon’s Rebellion. Several men were sent to the gallows the following January. More executions followed.

“Sentence of death therefore past upon him…15th instant.”

A specter of death arrived in Virginia on the Ides of March 1677. Giles Bland, Robert Jones, Anthony Arnold, Richard Farmar, Robert Stokes, John Isles, and Richard Pomfrey climbed the steps of the gallows. Governor Berkeley was on a vengeful tear. Over twenty colonists would hang for their participation in Bacon’s Rebellion of the previous year.

William Hatcher’s trial was about to begin. Four cases were scheduled that ominous day before a civil court. Hatcher’s would be the first. The elderly governor himself was there, presiding along with his commissioners.berkeleypic

Sir William Berkeley governed Virginia by appointment of King Charles II of England. Despised by Bacon for his unwillingness to defend frontier settlers from native Indians, Berkeley subsequently lost favor with his King. In a royal proclamation the previous autumn, Charles granted a general pardon to the rebels. Instead, Berkeley brought charges of treason against Bacon’s supporters in military court. Those found guilty hung by their necks.

The governor’s flagrant disregard for the King’s order resulted in royal commissioners sailing to Virginia. Beginning March 1st, rebels were no longer tried at court martial. The commissioners insisted on a trial by jury. Hatcher would have the advantage of a civil court.

At age 63, William Hatcher was an old man. He had left England many years before to make Henrico County, Virginia his home. As a large landowner and former Burgess, he had attained a certain social standing in the community. Now in the court room awaiting the jury’s decision, he appreciated that more than just his reputation was at stake.

The room quieted as the judgment was read aloud:

“William Hatcher being brought before the court for uttering divers mutinous words tending to the disquiet of this his majesties country, and it being evidently made appeare what was layd to his charge by divers oaths, and a jury being impanelled to  assesse the damages, who bring in their verdict that they award the said Hatcher to pay tenn thousand pound of tobacco and caske, which verdict of the jury this honorable court doth confirme; but in respect the said Hatcher is an aged man, the court doth order that the said Hatcher doe pay with all expedition eight thousand pounds of drest pork unto his majesties commander of his forces in Henrico county, for the supply of the souldiers, which if he fayle to doe, that he pay eight thousand pounds of tobacco and caske the next cropp, and pay costs.”

No hangman’s noose. A relieved Hatcher walked outside into the early spring air a free man. He could afford the loss of several hogs. Even so, the penalty must have stung.outspoken box

Berkeley used the civil courts to target wealthy landowners. He imposed fines of tobacco and butchered livestock to feed royal troops, the same soldiers who had put down the rebellion. Hatcher probably took some satisfaction when King Charles recalled Sir Berkeley to England a couple of months later. The hanging governor no longer held power over the Virginia colonists. In fact, William Berkeley died that May. William Hatcher survived his nemesis by three years, dying in 1680.


“William Hatcher.” William Hatcher b. Abt 1613 England d. Bef Mar 1680 HenricoCo, VA, Accessed 7 Sept. 2017.

Ridpath, John C. Governor William Berkeley and the insurgents. Accessed 7 Sept. 2017.

Papers relating to Bacon’s Rebellion The Statues at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, From the First Session of the Legislature, in 1619., Accessed 7 Sept. 2017.

“Dale & Henrico Parishes Hatcher Wm.” Ancestry, Accessed 7 Sept. 2017.

Bartholomew Stovall


Another of Mary Etta’s English ancestors emmigrated to America in the late 1600s. Bartholomew Stovall (aka Stovell) was born in Surrey County in the summer of 1665 to Quaker parents George and Joan (Tickner) Stovall. George Stovall, possibly a victim of the Great Plague of London, died within weeks of his son’s birth. About ten years later, widowed Joan also died leaving her young son an orphan.


When Bartholomew turned eighteen, he was baptized at St Peter and St Paul Episcopal Church in Albury, England. (Originally a Saxon church, the building still stands. See photo.) By age 21, Bartholomew found himself alone with few prospects.

This short biography spans the years of Bartholomew’s early adulthood. For those readers interested in a fictionalized history of his entire life, I recommend Bartholomew Stovall- An English Immigrant, written by my distant cousin William Stovall. 

The Booth was a slave ship.

In midsummer 1684, she sailed south from London toward her first port-of-call in the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa. Bartholomew Stovall watched as the English coastline faded from view. Along with other passengers both male and female, he had committed himself to a new life in a new land far across the ocean. Although not slaves, they were certainly no longer free. Each signed away on average four years of servitude in exchange for passage to His Majesty’s Plantation of Virginia.indentureBartStovall

Captain Peter Pagan had witnessed Bartholomew’s indenture contract “To and with John Bright a London Merchant.” The young man from Surrey was destined to likely work the tobacco fields of the Chesapeake area. At least he would have a roof over his head, food to eat, and clothes to wear. No more scrounging the crowded streets of London. Once he completed his indentured term, he could make an independent start in Virginia. But first he had to get there.

It took six weeks to reach the Canaries. After resupplying the ship’s stores, Pagan followed the current west to the Caribbean. For another six weeks, Bartholomew saw only vast ocean in every direction. By October, the Booth arrived in the Virgin Islands.

Life aboard a wooden sailing ship was confining, whether at sea or in port. The captain was responsible for conveying cargo to its destination, including the transport of indentures to Jamestown. Bartholomew stayed on board when the ship dropped anchor, confined to the Booth lest he slip away. There would be no long walks on tropical beaches for Stovall.(c) Merseyside Maritime Museum; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

The last leg of the voyage veered north. Sailing along the Atlantic seaboard, Bartholomew naturally wondered what life would be like in Virginia. He and his fellow passengers probably debated among themselves: What of possible Indian attacks? Would their masters be fair-minded or cruelly demanding? How did one grow tobacco?  When would they arrive? Would they meet again? All that was certain was uncertainty.

Yet another six weeks slowly passed. Each day ran into the next. The sun rose later in the morning and set earlier each evening. The transatlantic trip that began in July finally concluded in early November as the Booth sailed into the Chesapeake Bay.

Henrico County, Virginia

Jamestown, the first permanent settlement in Virginia had a tumultuous history. The early settlers had endured starvation, disease, and Indian raids. Yet the town survived. Around the time of Stovall’s birth, a powerful hurricane nearly washed away the town altogether. In 1676, fire razed the town during Bacon’s Rebellion. By the end of the century, Jamestown’s population dwindled. The new power center would be Middle Plantation, later called Williamsburg. But that was in the future.

After three quarters of a century, Virginia had established itself as a land where tobacco was king. The local economy depended on the plant’s cultivation. Payments were made in pounds of tobacco leaves instead of hard currency.indenturebox

Plantation owners such as Richard Kennon of Henrico County needed many laborers to clear the forest and drain the swampy ground. Bartholomew Stovall worked for Kennon throughout his indenture. Four years later, Stovall struck out on his own.

The young man was ready for marriage and a family. He set his eye on the granddaughter of William Hatcher, a neighbor of the Kennons. On an early August day, twenty-eight year old Bartholomew married Ann Burton. Together they started a new life.

The Stovalls had at least five children, one of whom was named after his father. Bartholomew Stovall Jr. continued the family line to Mary Etta Hazlewood. (Click here to read of Bartholomew Junior’s daughter, Anna Stovall and son-in-law George Gaddy.)bartstovalldescentbox

The orphaned boy from Surrey, who crossed the Atlantic to make his mark in the world is one America’s earliest success stories. He worked hard. Married and raised a family. He went from having nothing to owning a 318 acre farm on the James River. However, his greatest legacy was not land, but progeny. Over 100,000 Americans descended from Bartholomew Stovall and his wife Ann.

Sources England & Wales, Quaker Birth, Marriage, and Death Registers, 1578-1837 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013. England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014. Accessed 31 Aug. 2017.

Robert Beverley, The History of Virginia, in Four Parts, reprinted from the author’s second revised edition, London, 1722 (Richmond: J. W. Randolph, 1855), 219–222.


Yates Publishing. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.