Sir William Lovelace, Knight of Bethersden

Sir William Lovelace of Bethersden, 1561-1629

Sir William Lovelace of Bethersden (1561-1629) was a soldier, knighted in 1599 for his role in suppressing an Irish rebellion. He was also a stockholder of the Virginia Company, a Kent magistrate, and a Member of Parliament for Canterbury. His life began on an uneven financial footing and ended in penury.

The son of Serjeant Lovelace, he was only 15 when his father died and left him with substantial property but also lots of debts and lawsuits. Worst was a payment of  £800 owed to Roger Manwood, Chief Baron of the Exchequer, tied to a lawsuit stemming from his father’s purchase of the Hospital of St. Lawrence in Canterbury. Manwood waited till after the Serjeant’s death to pounce. He did this despite having said at the time that “as the Serjeant was dead it was time their quarrels were forgotten.” Young Lovelace’s aunt, Margaret Cooke, pleaded with the Baron to settle the suit, as her nephew “was but young, fatherless and almost without friends.” Manwood replied “he might hang himself or sell his land” but clear the title he must.[...] read more

Have a pedigree why don’t you

Elizabeth Aucher, 1561-1627

One day in 1580 or thereabouts, Elizabeth Aucher wed Sir William Lovelace of Bethersden, about whom I haven’t written yet, though I did recently profile his father. (Update: here’s young Wills.) All of these people lived in Kent, in or near Canterbury. They’re important to us because, within two generations, the Lovelaces would be mixing with the Gorsuch family and colonizing Virginia and Maryland.

I don’t know much about Elizabeth Aucher, but her grandfather and nephew, both named Sir Anthony Aucher, were interesting public characters cut from the same cloth. Specifically, they were both pretty good at making money but even better at spending it.[...] read more

Serjeant William Lovelace, ca. 1527-1577

Serjeant William Lovelace in 1576

Back in 1247, the Lovelace family settled at Bethersden, in the Weald of Kent, and in 1367 purchased the property that was to become Lovelace Place. Two members of the family, possibly brothers, joined Cade’s Rebellion in 1450; another allegedly played a crucial role during the Second Battle of St. Albans in 1461 by withdrawing his Yorkist contingent from the fight. It was probably that man’s son, Sir Richard Lovelace, who served as marshal of Calais under Henry VII and was knighted after the Battle of Blackheath (1497).[...] read more

The man who owned Baltimore

The Story of Cole’s Harbor

Thomas Cole (1603-1679) was probably a passenger on the Transport, which sailed from London to Virginia in 1635. His age would have been about 32, which means that his wife Priscilla and their children Sarah, Rebecca, and Mary most likely traveled with him. Cole was the second son and third child of the Rev. Humphrey Cole, the Vicar of Tillingham in Essex. The Reverend’s oldest son, William, had already emigrated to Virginia in 1618, and would later move to Maryland.

Cole and his family settled first in Accomack County, on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. By 1649 they had moved to Maryland, probably Baltimore County, and by 1656 they were in Anne Arundel County. By January 1657, Thomas, his brother William, and William’s son “William Coale” were all acknowledged Quakers, and the younger William was on his way to becoming a Quaker leader. The Reverend Humphrey had died in 1624, so we don’t know how he would have reacted to all this free thinking.[...] read more

Josephs, Wilson, Pearson & Stott immigrants by year

I just added a new page to the history department and am reproducing it here.

Here’s a PDF chart showing every ancestor of our father’s family I can find who came from elsewhere. It shows their dates of arrival but not the ships they came in on; that information can be found here. I separated the immigrants into four lines based on the families of our paternal great-grandparents: Josephs, Wilson, Pearson, and Stott. Altogether I’ve found  228 Josephs forebears who chose to emigrate to this country, and 95% of them got here in the 1600s. Moreover, 85% of them were part of the Great Migration and were here by the 1640s.[...] read more

The Vicar of Tillingham

The Rev. Humphrey Cole (1572-1624) first appears on record as a young man of 21 or 22, enrolled at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. There he came under the influence of the most advanced English learning of his day, as well as the new Puritan movement in the English Church. After graduating, he served nine years in two London parishes before moving to the quiet town of Tillingham, Essex, some forty miles to the northeast and close to the North Sea. And there he served as Vicar of Tillingham Parish the rest of his life.[...] read more

The Arundel Family

This report is a very silly one, going back a ridiculous 28 generations from Alice Vernon Wilson. We start with Alan fitz Flaad, a mercenary…

The Levering Family

This section shows the descent of the Levering family to Alice Vernon Wilson. It begins with Rosier Levering and his wife Elizabeth Van de Walle,…

The Wilson Family

This is another short descent, from James Wilson of Scotland and Ireland to Alice Vernon Wilson (two different Wilson families, we think) in six generations.…

The Ambrose Family

This section shows the descent of the Ambrose family to Alice Vernon Wilson.  It begins with a Lutheran farming family from Alsace-Lorraine headed by Matthias…

The Hugh Wilson house

1741 Coliseum, New Orleans

Notes from Johanna:

My recollection from what Dad has told me about Hugh Wilson is that he was a cotton broker.  They had some property outside of town (where they stashed the silver during the war)  as well as the house we all remember from the picture on Coliseum Place in the Lower Garden District.  Dad told me that they had to buy the house back from the Union when the war was over.  (N.O. fell early on and was occupied for most of the war by the Union)  You know that the house was used in the movie A Murder of Crows starring Cuba Gooding Junior and that Mom and Dad visited N.O. to try and learn more.  Dad told me that A.K. was friends/business associates with Hugh Wilson and that is how Alice Wilson was introduced to Lyman.  Alice’s brother, Hugh never married.  Aunt Mary told me (one of the several times we visited her in Balto.) that she loved to go to her grandparents house in N.O.  She said, very proudly, that they always had Irish servants only.  (What?!) Anyway.[...] read more

Alice Wilson’s Ahnentafel

The first Ahnentafel, published by Michaël Eytzinger in Thesaurus principum hac aetate in Europa viventium, Cologne, 1590

An Anhentafel (German for “ancestor table”)  is a scheme for numbering ancestors in strict sequence so that one can easily calculate relationships. The base person is number 1. Each father is assigned a number exactly double that of his child. Mothers are assigned a number equal to that of their husbands, plus 1.

So to navigate through the list: pick any person, note the assigned number, and you can find his or her father by doubling that number. The mother, if known, will be one digit higher and right next door. Likewise, to find anyone’s child, halve their assigned number and ignore any remainder. (Numbers missing from the sequence mean that we haven’t found that ancestor.)[...] read more

Stansbury Descent to Alice Vernon Wilson

2. German Adventurers Detmar and Catherine Sternberg arrived about 1658 from Germany. Unlike most of the others in Alice Wilson’s family tree, the Sternbergs seemed to…

Back in the archives

LCJ about 1877

Dear Josephs People,

I’m back in the archives. Seven years of research has yielded some amazing finds, mountains of tidbits, and great stories about our family. My biggest challenge for a while has been putting it in readable form. So far I’ve made three false starts, organizing the material chronologically, then by region, and then by the ship they came in on. All three approaches died of unnecessary complication. Abandoned manuscripts litter my computer. Charts spill out of drawers. Books have colonized my office, multiplying in the night. (And I’m not even counting the e-books).[...] read more