Thursday, November 6, 2014

52 Ancestors, Week 41: Ann Marwood Durant

Joseph Marwood (17) is listed on the passenger list for the Globe of London ship that sailed from England to Virginia in 1635.  (1)

So that tells us how the Marwoods came to America.  But little else is known about Joseph, except that he had a daughter named Ann, born in 1636.

"Ann Marwood Durant's marriage to George Durant in Northumberland Co., VA, on Jan. 4, 1658/9 was performed by Rev. David Lindsey. Nothing is known of her life before her marriage, although family legend has her born in Virginia, the daughter of John Marwood.

They Durant Family Bible, preserved in the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was printed in London, England in 1599, and is reported to be one of the oldest English Bibles in America. It records that Ann was mother to eight children born over a period of sixteen years:

  • George born Dec. 24, 1659; 
  • Elizabeth Feby., 15, 1661; 
  • John born Dec. 26, 1662; 
  • Mary born Feby., 11, 1665; 
  • Thomas born Augt. 28, 1668; 
  • Sarah born Jany., 16, 1670; 
  • Martha born August 28, 1673; 
  • and Parthenia born August 1, 1675. 
  • (For some reason, it doesn't list their youngest daughter, Ann (1681)

George Durant was a mariner by profession, and this kept him at sea quite often. Ann gained strength of character through the running of the plantation and often hosted political dignitaries at the Durant home.

She achieved a measure of independence unknown to most women of the seventeenth century. Court trials were usually held in private homes during Carolina's proprietary period and Wicocombe was often chosen for this purpose. Therefore, a set of stocks was eventually erected on the house grounds.

That Ann felt comfortable with legal matters becomes obvious after examination of existing colonial documents. Ann Durant first appeared in court on May 25, 1673, as the attorney for a seaman named Andrew Ball. Ball was charging that he had not received his due wages for service on a vessel called the Two Brothers.

Although the court records do not exist to prove that she acted as attorney for her husband, it is believed to have been the case as evidenced by an extant power of attorney dated May 17, 1675, in which George empowered Ann to bring suit and take other actions to collect debts due him or to recover property belonging to him.

Surviving records also show that Ann appeared in court on her own behalf from time to time - to sue for debts owed her or as the defendant in suits against her. The debts at issue in these suits arose in connection with her business activities, which apparently included the operation of Wicocombe as an inn, or at least a less formal provision of board and lodging.

'Her bills contain such items as 'his accommodations,' 'the Trubell of my House' and 'attendance in his sickness.' Other services listed in her bills include making shirts and leather breeches, making coffins, and arranging funerals. Among the articles for which she sought payment were beverages (rum, cider, and quince drink), stockings, cloth, thread, planks, nails, and corn.'

Her contributions to the newly begun colony of Carolina were less conspicuous than those of her husband, but just as important. It is not known what role Anne Marwood Durant played in Culpeper's Rebellion, but it is assumed that she supported her husband, as Wicocombe served as headquarters during the uprising.

George passed from his earthly existence ca. January 1692/93. In his will, George Durant made his wife the "whole and sole Executrix" and granted her the plantation to live on for the rest of her natural life.

In March of 1693/4, Ann Durant named her son John Durant to be "my true and Lawfull atorney." From then until her death, John acted on his mother's behalf in court. Ann Marwood Durant died on January 22 or 23, 1694. She survived her husband by less than two years.

A marker to Ann Marwood Durant was placed at the intersection of NC 17 and state road 1300 in Perquimans County. The North Carolina Society of Colonial Dames XVIIth Century, the Perquimans County Restoration Association, the NC Department of Transportation and the NC Department of Cultural Resources Division of Archives and History sponsored its placement." (2)


(1) Ship Manifest
(2) Parker, Mattie Erma E. “Ann Marwood Durant” Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, Vol. 2 D-G. William S. Powell (Chapel Hill, The University of North Carolina Press, 1986), 122-123. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

52 Ancestors, Week 40: George Durant (part 3)

“George Durant's home was now the unofficial seat of government.

After learning that Thomas Miller was still imprisoned, several men who were loyal to the British government, helped him to escape. Miller headed immediately back to England.

At this news, the rebel government dispatched John Culpeper to London, in order to counter the charges that were sure to be levied. John Culpeper sailed first to Boston with Benjamin Gilliam and from there to London with Benjamin's father Zachariah.

Thomas Miller arrived in London, penniless, sick and bitter. Miller quickly gave additional evidence to the Commissioners of Customs. He charged that, besides the tobacco confiscated by the rebels, that they had also stolen some of His Majesty's customs receipts and fines amounting to 1,242 Pounds Sterling.

Both Culpeper and Gilliam were charged as "being two of the Principal Contrivers and Promoters of the said Rebellion." On 31 Jan 1680, depositions were taken and Culpeper was found guilty of "Treason in abetting and encouraging a Rebellion in Carolina."

The following day the prisoner was committed to Newgate Prison. Zachariah Gilliam was called before the Lords of Trade and Plantations a week later. He skillfully defended himself as an innocent ship's captain, caught up in events of which he had nothing to do. As there was no direct evidence against him, he was allowed to go free and promptly sailed away.

John Culpeper's treason case dragged on and on until 20 Nov 1680, when the trial finally began.

Representing the British government and the ‘Lord Proprietors’ during the trial was Lord Shaftesbury, the Earl of Craven. Lord Shaftesbury's devotion to his "darling Carolina" was well-known and he surprised everyone by siding with the accused!

Apparently he was aware that, should Culpeper be found guilty, the Carolina charter could easily be revoked. The Lords Proprietors were taking no chance of losing their favorite cash cow. Shaftesbury argued that John Culpeper, George Durant, and the others rebelled only due to Thomas Miller's loose tongue, his threats, and his fanatical zeal in governmental operations.

Culpeper's claim that his authority was derived from the Assembly of the people, said the Proprietor, was not without basis. Under their constitution, the people of Carolina had been granted the privilege of electing delegates to the legislature every two years.

Therefore, Carolina’s "pretended Parliament" was in itself a legal body! The verdict was acquittal for John Culpeper. The Proprietors gave assurances that restitution would be made for the confiscated customs, which was done by the Carolinians.

After several years, the uprising finally drew to a close. The Culpeper Rebellion lasted from 1677-1680 and Durant's estate had been a frequent meeting place for insurgents, as well as a jail for political prisoners.

An Act of Oblivion granted pardons to the rebels and in 1681 the Proprietors relaxed their claims on all products of the whaling industry for seven years, in order to allow the inhabitants to steady their fortunes.

John Jenkins was eventually recognized as governor and George Durant became attorney general in 1679. He also served as speaker of the Assembly. However, some of his contemporaries claimed that "though Jenkins held the title, yet in fact Durant governed and used Jenkins as his property."

The Culpeper Rebellion received its name due to John Culpeper's trial in London. Yet it was George Durant who initially determined that Culpeper should go to London and it was Durant that first encouraged the arrest of Thomas Miller and others.

Until his death, Durant continued to influence the colony and did not hesitate to punish his enemies - particularly the Old Neck Quakers who had supported the British Government during the rebellion.

Durant's will was probated on February 6, 1694, some thirty-five years after his first arrival in Carolina.

At the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, George Durant's Bible - printed in London, England in 1599 - is displayed in a locked cabinet. He brought this Bible with him when he came to the New World. It is one of the oldest English Bibles in the United States.” (1)


  • (1) By Deborah Barclift, The Descendants of William Bartlett Website (website link was not active in August 2004) via
  • History of Perquimans County

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

52 Ancestors, Week 39: George Durant (part 2)

"New rules, part of a set of British laws called the Navigation Acts, dictated that all colonial trade was required to be carried in English ships, while all European goods destined for the colonies had to be first landed in England. 

Certain items, such as tobacco shipped from Carolina, could land only in England. In addition, heavy customs duties had to be paid on the tobacco once it entered British ports. This effectively cut off the New England market, one of Carolina’s prime trading partners. 

 Carolina planters did not wish to be forced into paying expensive customs duties and were unhappy with the fact that they were no longer allowed to trade with other foreign countries. To circumvent the Navigation Acts, Carolina merchants began smuggling. 

The New England coastal traders opened a profitable illegal trade with the Carolina planters. Tobacco was carried by sloop to Boston. From there it was transported to heavy ships bound for Scotland, Ireland, Holland, France, and Spain. 

England quickly caught on to the fact that they were losing valuable customs revenue and retaliated by passing the Plantation Duty Act in 1673. This act stated that colonial ships leaving port had to pay customs duties prior to sailing. Parliament appointed customs officials in Carolina to collect the duties. 

The Carolina planters were outraged. They felt that they should be able to trade with whomever they pleased. 

 In 1675 or the following year, George Durant went to London and presented his party's views. He protested against conditions then existing in Carolina and warned of trouble to come. His comments were ignored. 

However, he was informed that there would be a new governor for Carolina named Thomas Eastchurch. Eastchurch would enforce the collection of the customs duties and the rules of the Plantation Duty Act. Durant told the Lords that he would revolt before he would support Eastchurch and that he refused to allow the appointment! 

These were strong words for a colonial settler and they reveal much concerning Durant's important role in Carolina politics. Durant promptly sailed back to Carolina aboard Zachariah Gilliam's 5-gun ship The Carolina. 

On the first Saturday of December, 1677, Captain Zachariah Gilliam sailed into Albemarle Sound. On board was George Durant and in the hold was a large amount of firearms, ammunition, and swords. Gilliam's response to authorities, when questioned about the nature of his cargo, was that it was to be sold to white settlers for defense against the Indians. 

Gilliam, a native of Boston, had been in the Carolina trade since 1674 and was firmly allied with the planters. Upon dropping anchor, Captain Gilliam went ashore to tender his papers to the customs collector named Miller. The captain's papers were seized and his boat crew placed in confinement. 

Among Gilliam's papers was his passenger list. After discovering that George Durant was a passenger aboard The Carolina, Miller armed himself with a brace of pistols and rowed out to the ship at about eleven o' clock at night. Stepping on deck, he thrust his cocked pistols into Durant's chest and "in an insolent Hectoring manner," arrested him as a "Traytour." 

 The crew onboard quickly overpowered him. For the next two hours he was kept confined aboard ship. During this time, several planters came out to the ship for a hurried conference with Durant. The plan of action was quickly laid. 

The rebellion that would become known as Culpeper's Rebellion, was to begin in earnest at first light. It is now seen as one of the earliest uprisings against the British Crown in the New World. 

Furnished with muskets and cutlasses from Gilliam's ship, the rebels rounded up and imprisoned English Officials at Durant's plantation. Timothy Biggs later recalled that Durant's home was often the site of rebel meetings and considered "their usual rendezvous." 

Illustration of Miller imprisoned after Culpeper's Rebellion from an 1890 history book. 

Durant had called a new Assembly and his supporters included nearly all of the leading planters. A trial was begun to convict Thomas Miller and his supporters of "several odious crymes, including blasphemy and treason." Not only was Miller "clapt in irons," but he was allowed no communication with anyone and was treated in what he claimed was "a cruell and barbarous manner shut up from all society." 

For a short time, peace reigned in the area and merchant business flourished." (1) be continued...


  • (1) Deborah Barclift, The Descendants of William Bartlett Website (Website link was not active in August 2004) 
  • History of Perquimans County

Monday, November 3, 2014

52 Ancestors, Week 38: George Durant

“George Durant was born 1 Oct 1632 in England.  He (age 18) was in Virginia by 1650 or before.

Very interesting chart, we are related to George Durant on 3 lines.

By trade, Durant was a "marriner" - as attested in his will dated 9 Oct 1688.

The earliest sailing voyage that is documented for George Durant was in 1658, when he sailed aboard the Patomack Mecht, commanded by Robert Clarke. Young George Durant was about twenty-five years old at the time. The Patomack Mecht was possibly of Dutch construction and sailed from Virginia to Holland with a cargo of tobacco and other goods.

We know of this voyage because there is a court case associated with the thirty hogsheads of tobacco stowed on board. This tobacco was owned by the Lee family, who were represented in court by Ms. Hannah Lee. Upon arrival in Zeeland, the tobacco was found to be rotten and unfit for sale. The Dutch refused to buy and the Lees sued for damages. On 20 Jul 1658, George Durant testified on behalf of his commander, saying that the hold remained dry during the entire voyage and that the tobacco was spoiled when it was loaded back in Virginia. The verdict of this case remains unknown.

George Durant married Ann Marwood in Northumberland County, Virginia on 4 Jan 1658. The Reverend David Lindsey performed the Anglican ceremony.

  • On 24 Dec 1659, George Jr. was born. 
  • On 15 Feb 1661, Elizabeth was born and 
  • On 26 Dec 1662, John was born. 
  • All born in Virginia, the rest of the Durant Children: Thomas, Sarah, Martha, Parthenia and Ann were born in North Carolina.

George purchased land from a gentleman named Dr. Rice Maddocks. When George bought the Maddocks land in the late 1650s (around the time of his marriage), Dr. Maddocks retained the plantation house. As part of the payment, George Durant built Dr. Maddocks a 50-foot tobacco barn. Rice Maddocks, a well-known local doctor, did not live to see his new barn used for very long. He was murdered by three men who were convicted and jailed.

George Durant often appears in County court documents of the time, indicating that he was an active member of the community.

Durant helped to locate land for others, he also spent two years exploring and determining the best spot for his new home before purchasing land.

  • On 4 Aug 1661, land was purchased from Cisketando, a Yeopim Indian Chief. 
  • On 13 Mar 1662, a second purchase was made from Kilcocanen, another Yeopim Indian Chief. 
  • This deed is still in existence and is now the oldest deed in North Carolina. 
  • The land chosen by Durant still bears the name of Durant's Neck (formerly known as Wikacome) and is located on a point of land bordered by Roanoke Sound (now Albemarle Sound) in southern Perquimans County. 
  • Although much of the new frontier was composed of swamp and watery marsh, Durant chose his plot well. His land had virgin forests, holly trees, lofty pines, white juniper and rhododendrons. The soil was a mixture of sand and heavy humus; it grew corn and wheat well. Cattle and swine thrived and the animals of the forest furnished skins.
  • The tall pines were generous with the tar and pitch so wanted by naval interests. The ground itself yielded the herbs, including "saxafras," so desired as "druggs" by the apothecaries of Europe. 
  • The wide rivers offered transportation for the settlers and teemed with fish. 
By 1662, Durant had already built a house and had cleared a part of the land.

The wharves of the plantations on the Little and Perquimans Rivers served the white-sailed ships that carried tobacco, indigo, tar and pitch to New England, the West Indies and Great Britain.

George Durant offered the use of his home for court to be held, council meetings to convene, and assemblies called. In fact, court was held so often at Durant's home, that a set of stocks was eventually erected on his property. Durant was a popular man, who had a reputation for fairness. By the 1670s, he had become a leader of the political party representing the interests of the original settlers." (1) be continued...

  • (1) Deborah Barclift, The Descendants of William Bartlett Website (Website link was not active in August 2004) 
  • History of Perquimans County

Sunday, November 2, 2014

52 Ancestors, Week 37: Joseph Sutton

Joseph Sutton was born 6 Aug 1673 in Sutton's Creek, Perquimans, NC.  He (20) married Parthenia Durant (18) on 18 Jan 1694 and they had 4 children.

Joseph's grandparents came to North Carolina, fleeing Quaker persecution  by the Puritans in Massachusetts.  Joseph's parents: Nathaniel and Deborah are found in the NC Quaker Records.  However, I don't believe that the family remained Quaker.  They are not found in the Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy Vol. I (North Carolina Yearly Meetings).

In addition, I don't think that Quakers' owned slaves, and Joseph Sutton did have slaves, as documented in his will.

Parthenia (37) died in 1713, and Joseph (49) died ten years later in 1723.

Below is the Will left by Joseph Sutton.  It greatly troubles me to see human beings named in a will.  But I want to share everything that I find, both the good and the bad, so here it is.  

(I added the spacing and the numbering, just to make it easier to read)

"Know all men By these presents that I Joseph Sutton of Perquimans in North Carolina being at this time weak of body but of sound and perfect mind etc. . .

Item: I give unto my two Sons George & Joseph Sutton the plantation I now live on

  1. George to have that part from the Landing down to Nathiell Suttons Line... ... 
  2. and Joseph the Other part from the Landing to (Joseph Thomas)* Line so runing up the Land to the head I give the said Land to them & their heirs forever, 
  3. also I will that Pethine my Second Daughter live with Joseph Sutton to have A Room in the House while she lives unmarried. 

  1. I give to my Son Joseph two negros named Jones and Batte. 
  2. I give to my Daughter Pethine two Negros Yoaker(?) and Jenny with their Increases. 
  3. I also give my Daughter Elizabeth, two Negros Nan & Mariah with their Increases 
  4. I also give my son George one Negro man named Allin. 
  5. I also give to my Grandson Thomas Sutton one Negro Girl Nan with her Increases to him. 
  6. I also give to my son Joseph one negro man named Robbin. 

  1. I also give to my son Joseph three Cows and three yearlings and one three year old Heiffer. 
  2. I also give to daughter Pethine three cows & three yearlings & one three year old heafor 
  3. I also will that all the remaining part of my Cattle may be Equally divided amongst all my Children. 
  4. I give to my Daughter Pethine one Gray mare named Bonney with her Increases. 
  5. I also Give to my son George one horse named Butten. 
  6. I also Give to my Daughter Elizabeth one white mare named Jinne and her increases. 
  7. I also give to my son Joseph one young Gray Mare. 
  8. I also give to my Son Joseph one mous Cullered Maro mare with increases

  1. To son Joseph two Iron Potts, one Small one and one Great one. 
  2. I also Give to my Daughter Elizabeth two Iron potts one small one and one Large one. 
  3. I also give to my Daughter Pethine two Iron potts one small one and one Large one. 
  4. I also give twenty Six pewter basons to be Equally Divided amongst my five Children George, Elizabeth, Thomas, Pethine and Joseph. 
  5. I also give to my two Daughters Elizabeth and Pethine and my son Joseph Each of them one Dozen and a half of Pewter Plates apiece. 
  6. I also give to my two sons George and Thomas Each of them eight pewter plates apiece. 
  7. I also give seven and twenty pewter Dishes to be Equally Divided between my five Children and all the rest of the pewter to Pethine and Joseph. 

I also give to Pethine and Joseph nine sheep Apeace Ews and increases (?).

  1. I also give to my Daughter Elizabeth one feather bed and one pair of sheets, one pair of Blankets and one rug. 
  2. I also give to my son George one feather bed one pair of sheets and one pair of blankets & one Civerlid 
  3. To Pethine one feather bed & one pair of sheets & one pair blankets & one green rug. 
  4. To Joseph one feather bed and one pair of sheets & one pair of Blankets & one Rug with bolsters to each of them. 

I give to my Daughter Pethine one piece of Garlick likewise I give to my son Joseph one piece of Garlick.

  1. I also give three hatts to my three sons. 
  2. I also give all the rest of bed clothes to be equally divided to the beds. 
  3. I give one piece of sheeting lining to be made up for the beds. I Give all the remaining part of what Lining I have Ozenbrigs (?) fine and Cource to be equally divided between my five Children. 
  4. I also leave Each of my three sons one Coat apiece. 

  1. I also leave all my axes and hoes & all my Iron things to be Divided Equally amongst all my children. I also give to my son George one great table and form(?) and one Chest. 
  2. I also give to my son Joseph one small table and form and one Chest. I also give to my Daughter Pethine one small table and Chest. 
  3. I also give to my Daughter Elizabeth one large Juniper(?) Chest. 
  4. I also give to my son Joseph one pair of Culling mill stones. I also give to my son George one pair of Millstones. 
  5. I also give to my Daughter Elizabeth one Silver Cup and six Silver spoons and one Silver tankard 
  6. I give to Pethine - one brass kettle 

  1. I also give my part of the Smith Tools to my two sons Thomas and Joseph. 
  2. I also give to my son Joseph my Gun. 
  3. I also give eather of them a lining Spining Wheal. 
  4. I also give to my three sons Four Thousand Nailes Apeice. I also give to my Daughter Pethine one wolling spining Whele. 
  5. I also give to my son Joseph one wolling and one lining Spinning Wheels. 

I also give all the rest of my Estate to be Equally Divided between all my Children.

I do make and ordaine my loving brother Richard Whidbee & my son George Sutton to be my Executors of this my Last Will & Testament this 11 day of January 1723. Wit: Richard Ratliff Signed: Joseph Sutton William Wood William Barber." (1)


(1)  The will of Joseph Sutton may also be seen as an abstract in NC Wills by Grimes.

Notes for Joseph SUTTON: (All the notes from Jason Bell)

Here is the Will for JOSEPH SUTTON, Perquimans County 1723 copied from the loose papers in the North Carolina State Archives. For any of you who would like more specific information about who got what. There are TWO copies in the folder - both difficult to read. The original (written in 1723) is so bad that a new copy was submitted on the 6th of March 1771, handwriting proved and ordered Reg in April 1763. After the Will you will find several deeds that relate directly to THOMAS SUTTON, for anyone interested in that line:

Saturday, November 1, 2014

52 Ancestors, Week 36: George Sutton

“George Sutton (age 21) sailed on the ship, Hercules, in 1634 from Sandwich, Kent, England. He was a servant in the party of Nathaniel Tilden of Tenterden, Kent, England.” (1)

“An indentured servant would sign a contract agreeing to serve for a specific number of years, typically five or seven. Many immigrants to the colonies came as indentured servants, with someone else paying their passage to the Colonies in return for a promise of service. 

At the end of his service, according to the contract, the indentured servant (male or female) usually would be granted a sum of money, a new suit of clothes, land, or perhaps passage back to England.  

Once a man was made a freeman, and was no longer considered a common, he could, and usually would, become a member of the church, and he could own land.” (2)

Within two years of settling at Scituate, Massachusetts he married Sarah, the daughter of Nathaniel Tilden.” (1) “Sutton lived on Greenfield Lane where he built the forty-third house by 1636.” (3)

George and Sarah had 9 children:

  1. Joseph (1637)
  2. Daniel (1639)
  3. William (1641)
  4. John (1642)
  5. Mary (1642
  6. Nathaniel (1643) * our ancestor
  7. Lydia (1646)
  8. Sarah (1650)
  9. Elizabeth (1653)

George and Sarah were puritans, but at some point "converted to the Quaker faith. (3)  So, I wondered, what was the difference between the two religions?

“The Puritans viewed humanity as hopelessly sinful, while the Quakers believed God lives inside everyone. 

The Puritans believed in predestination, the theory that most people were destined for eternal damnation, but some were chosen by God for salvation. These few, called the "elect," had to undergo a conversion process, including a personal testimony about how God had changed them. Sanctification, or holy behavior, was expected to follow conversion. 

The Quakers' belief in the "inner light" that leads a person to God influenced them to adopt a more positive view of humanity. They believed everyone could hear the voice of God and favored a gentler approach in dealing with people. “(4)

The Plymouth Colony puritans enacted penal laws against the Quakers,

Quaker Persecution Book

“About 1668, George Sutton emigrated to North Carolina with most of his family to escape religious persecution. He died (on 12 Apr which was his 56th birthday) in 1669 in what is now Perquimans County, North Carolina within a year of leaving Massachusetts.” (1)


  5. The Suttons of Caroline County, VA by T. Dix Sutton
  6. “History of Perquimans Co” by. Mrs. Watson Winslow