According to Strachey's account of the 1609 shipwreck in the Bermudas and various other sources
(Bermuda Unintended Destination 1609-1610,) Tucker, Terry, Bermuda Island Press Ltd., 1978 and Sams, Conway Whittle, the Conquest of Virginia, The Second Attempt , V ll, Norfolk, VA, Keyser-Doherty, 1924, p. 825, reprint 1929,)
the wife of one EDWARD EASON was delivered of son who was christened BERMUDAS EASON, during the passengers' stay in the islands. We are told that another child was born who did not survive and was "named BERMUDAS ROSE".
One might conclude then that BERMUDAS EASON may have been the first child born in the colony of Virginia whose survival is documented since
the islands were indeed a part of the Virginia Colony at the time of his birth. There is, however, no further
record existing today which might tell us of the ultimate fate of little BERMUDAS or EDWARD EASON, since neither are listed in the crude census taken of the colony in 1629.
It might be of interest to note that according to Strachey, there were several rather influential individuals among the passenger list of the Sea Venture, including John Rolfe, who is credited with securing
the Virginia Colony's economic future by introducing Spanish tobacco to the colony. He may be better known by today's school children as the husband of Pocahontas. The passenger list, according to Strachey, also included Lord Gates, the Royal Governor.
If indeed, Strachey's log is accepted as historical fact, then the EASON surname existed on these shores a full ten years before the famous Mayflower set sail for Plymouth.
After the arrival of the Patience and Deliverance on May 10, 1609, the population of America of known names was 125 people and the total population was the eight ship convoy of approximately 400 people.
By 1630, the population was 4800, by 1650, known names exceeded 52,000 and by 1680, the population had grown to 150,000. Though Indian raids, starvation and disease decimated their numbers, the
early settlers had by 1700 managed to survive and multiply.
On July 10, 1637, a land patent was granted as follows: William Cotton, 350 acres. 10 July, 1637, Patent Book 1, page 434. "old mans neck and lying between two maine branches of Hungers Creeke"
(Northampton County) "100 acres for the personal adventure of himself and wife, Ann Graves, and 250 acres for the transportation of five persons" "William Cotton, Ann Graves, Eleanor Hill, Richard Hill, EDWARD ESON,
and Domingo and Samso, negroes." Note: This is the first mention of BLACK slaves in early American records. ("The first slaves of which mention is made in the old records, were the two West Indian negroes, named
Sampso and Domingo, servants of the Rev. William Cotton, who came to the peninsula about 1632." Wise, Jennings C., Ye kingdome of Accawmacke; or, the Eastern Shore of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century, Bowie, MD,
Heritage Books, 1988, 406 p.reprint. Originally published: Richmond, Va.: Bell Book and Stationery, 1911.)
The above named EDWARD EASON could not have been the father of BERMUDAS EASON who arrived fully 27 years earlier, yet no records have been located which tell us of this Edward's ultimate fate in
On August 22, 1637: John Neale, Merchant, 200 acres in Accomack Co., August 22, 1637, p. 465. "At the head of Kings Cr., abutting on S. side of John Wilkins, running Sly. in breadth & Ely, in length into the woods.
Sd. land purchased by Edward Bastwicke of W. William Melling by whom it was assigned to sd. Neale; being also due for trans of 4 pers: Francis Seamer, Rich. Hill, EDWARD ESON, Thomas Moore."
Was this the same or a different EDWARD EASON (ESON)? Again, no further records have been located which might give present day researchers a definitive answer.
March 11, 1664: "Francis Spike, 700 acres. Up. Parish, Nancimond Co., March 11, 1664., P. 264. (205). On the head of Mathews Cr., butting on land of WM. EASON. The following names appear, without stating due for trans.
of same: Eliz. Hamack, Eliz. Edins, Ann Say, Sym. Haymon, Jno. Wms (Williams), Ann Moore, Antho. Welden, Walter Hedges, Mary Stevens, Walter Miles, Wm. Henning, Jane Harte, Tho. Williams, Jude Hans."
Oct 20, 1665: WM. EASON, 700 acres. in the "upper parish of Nancimond", Oct. 20, 1665, p. 463 (562) (Appears in two patent books) "Beg. on a poynt by Mathews Cr., running W. & c Trans. of 14 pers: Hester Bennett,
Blanch Clarill, Jno. Smith, Thomas Light, Roger Perry, WM EASON, his wife, Henry Dutton, James Dutton, Mary Dotton, Jno. Surly, Jno. Irisman, Teage Irishman, Richard Bishop"
How many WILLIAM EASONS might one conclude exist? On March 11, 1664, one WM. EASON
already owned land according to the Spike patent. On Oct 20, 1665, one WM. EASON was granted 700 acres for transportation which included yet another WM. EASON and his wife. Thus, the researcher might assume that three
WILLIAM EASONS had arrived in Virginia by 1665. No records have been found by this
researcher to prove or disprove any theory, since it is possible the Wm. Eason of 1665 may have returned to England specifically to transport another group in 1665 and included himself and his wife as transported in order to secure more acreage.
We may never know. We do know that one WM. EASON already owned land in Nancimond in 1664.
September 10, 1669: TRISTRAM EASON is listed on a patent entry dated September 10, 1669 as one being "transported" by Thomas Atkinson who received 600 acres of land in Isle of Wight Parish.
This researcher has been unable to locate any further records naming TRISTRAM EASON. Until and if some
record is found, his fate will remain an unsolved mystery.
August 20, 1666: Robert Flack (Flake): 2400 acres. Is. of (Wight) on Brs. of the Blackwater. Aug 20, 1666, p. 232. Mentions Jno. Oliver, Tho. Wombell "due by his former patt. & 430 acres. for trans. of 9 persons:
Mary Jenkens, Jno. Bettey, JANE EASON (or Eaton), Robt. Loafes, Geo. Johnson, Jno. Colwall, Geo. Todds, Geo. Morrison. Tho (nv). JANE EASON is not found in any further records at this time, though
it is possible she married and might be traced if a marriage record could be found.
April 16, 1683: John Baxter, 517 A. 2 R. 28 P., Chas. City Co: Westover Par: N. side of James River, Apr. 16, 1683, p. 271. Mentions Madam Bland. and for the "...trans of 11 pers: Jon. Hagman, Jon. Darby,
Eliz. Holland, Kath. Keating, Richd. White, Danll. Kelly, PHILL. ESON, Arth. Bryant, John Rich, Jon. Overton, Wm. Williams. Again, there is no further record of PHILLIP ESON or his descendants.
October 7, 1672: Col. Jno Blake 200 acs., Nansimond Co. adj. WILLIAM EASON; 7 Oct. 1672, p. 435. Trans of 4 pers: Mary Blenly, Jeremy Upshaw, John Tilson, Tho. Stevens. At least one WILLIAM EASON was still living in Nancimond in 1672.
October 20, 1672. p. 436. "on S. side sd. Riv., part on branches of Bilson's Cr. & part in Hodgkins Cr.: adj. Mr. Beverly, near Button bridge; over the new road "for the "trans. of 15 pers: John Oldis, Tho. Knott, Tho. (nc), Peter (nv)
Sarah Warner, John Miles, John Cooper, JOHN DEARING, Thomas Hill, Mathew Lewis, Jno. Luke, Robert Young, Henry Milby, Judith Abbott, Rich. Deprize. NOTE: The Dearing family was
closely related to the EASON family during the early years and in fact at least one descendant carried a middle name of DEARING well into the 20th century.
October 28, 1702: PETER EASON, 101 acs., Up Par. of Nansemond Co., "near place called the Cyprus; Oct. 28, 1702. p. 504. Trans. of 2 pers: James Macknemarrow, Elianor Mackhoone. It is frequently assumed by researchers that Peter is a son of one of the Williams,
but which one, and how many actually existed?
September 28, 1728: William Jacob, William Major, George Turner & Margaret Bagwell, 740 acres. in N'ampton Co; "adj. Nathaniel Bell; on main br. of Neswaddux Cr., called the Otterdam Br; JOHN ESON; & on lines of Thomas Adison; & John Cobb; 28 Sept. 1728,
p. 319. 238 acs. part being surplus within patent granted to Thomas Leatherbury & Alexander Maddux for 516 acres., Oct. 20, 1661. Is JOHN ESON a son of
William or one of the others named?
January 24, 1717: Humphrey Griffin, 275 acres) on the "up. Par. of Nansemond Co; Alexander Reddick; his own land; William Thomson; & John Binley; on head of the Mossey SW; up Peters branch; to PETER EASON'S corner; on George Gwilliam's line; 24 Jan 1717, p. 361.
One might assume this and the 1702 PETER EASON are one and the same, yet there may be other possibilities, and if he is not ,which of the above Easons might be his father?
All the above entries may be downloaded from the Library of Virginia Archives for analysis by the
individual researcher. The names of PETER EASON, WILLIAM EASON and JOHN EASON appear in the 1704 tax rolls for Nansemond Parish, and can be obtained from the following sources:
Des Cognets, Louis, English Duplicates of Lost Virginia Records, Princeton, NJ, L. Des Cognets, 1958, 380 p. and Lawrence-Dow, Elizabeth, Virginia Rent Rolls, 1704, C 1979, 147 p.
It has been widely assumed that the above are brothers and are the sons of WILLIAM EASON, who received the 1665 land grant. Yet, how can we definitively prove that assumption. It is true that their
combined lands roughly total the amount of William's grant. It is true that the dates could indicate they were all sons of William, but they could just as easily be descendants of any of the other EASONS mentioned above. It is, therefore impossible to prove their relationship. One can only assume.
We also have documented proof that other EASONS were living and doing business in the area as follows:
- On Feb. 5, 1693, "Protection for the Return, RICHARD EASON, Master, 100 tons, with 8 unnamed seamen to VA.: " Survey Report No. 7349, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Orders and Instructions, Commissioners of the Admiralty. Jan. 22-Mar 21, 1694.
- JOHN EASON, 24, Gardener, Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Indentured to John McLeod, merchant in Edinburgh, for five years service in Maryland in 1741. (RH9-SRO) Directory of Early Scottish Settlers, page 45.
- 10-15 August, 1709: Shippers by the New Hampshire of London, MR. ROBERT EASON, bound from Portsmouth for New England: John Mellish for Joseph Hayward and John Salter, Gabriel Auboineau, John Arnold for Zebedee Wyatt,
Lewis Lofton. (PRO: E190/851/21) Complete Book of Emigrants, 1700-1750, page 107.
- 23 August - 20 September, 1708. Shippers by the New Hampshire of Ramsgate, MR. ROBERT EASON, bound from Plymouth for Piscataqua, New England: Thomas Bound, Nathaniel Packer, Joseph PUlsifer, John Addis, John Wyat, Nathaniel K---cott, George Coade, Capt. Charles Stuckley.
Complete Book of Emigrants, 1700-1750, page 107
- 23 May-31 July, 1707. Shippers by the New Hampshire of Deal, MR. ROBERT EASON, bound from Portsmouth for Piscataqua: Cornelius Collis for Peter Meyer, John Caswall, John Arnold for Josiah Clark and John Heron & Co. and Paul Boucher, James & John Arnold for John Waldwin,
Thomas Miller, William Chambers, Lewis Martin for Samuel Bagnall & Co., John Wakefield & Co, David Aldridge, Thomas Brounker, Roger Lawson, Thomas Barton for James Rolleton, Roger Lawson, Gaabriel Auboineau for Christopher Topham. (PRO: E190/849/;9) Complete Book of Emigrants,
1700-1750, page 85
- 4-30 September, 1704. Shippers by the New Hampshire of Ramsgate, MR. ROBERT EASON, bound from Portsmouth and Plymouth for New England: Thomas Barton, John Mitchell (PRO: E190/846/7, 1062/28). Complete Book of Emigrants, 1700-1750, page 58
- 1-7 July Date. Shippers by the Thanet of Ramsgate, MR. ROBERT EASON, bound from Portsmouth for Piscataqua: Thomas Barron, John Woods. (PRO; E190/845/l) Complete Book of Emigrants, 1700-1750, page 51.
- 2 May - 18 June, 1702. Shipper by the Thanet of Ramsgate, MR. ROBERT EASON, bound from Portsmouth for New England: (PRO; E190/844/3) Complete Book of Emigrants, 18700-1750, page 38.
- 2 February, 1677, the following apprenticed in Bristol to go to Nevis by the Exchange, Mr. Richard Speed: John Bushell to Elias Loud, 5 years; Ansell Williams to JOHN EASON, 4 years. (BR)
Complete Book of Emigrants, 166l-1699, page 278.
- Coldham, Peter Wilson, Complete Book of Emigrants 1700-1750, Genealogical Pub. Baltimore.
- 1737 JOHN EASON, B. 1717, gardner, res. Blairgowrie Pertshire, SH. 1741 t Md. (SRO. R H 9.17.308)
The Original Scots Colonist of Early America 1612-1783.
- JOHN EASON, 24, Gardner
Directory of Early Scottish Settlers 1625-1825, page 45.
- Brandow, J.C., Omitted Chapter from Hotten's Original List of Persons of Quality and others who
went from G. B. to Am. plantation 1600-1700, Census Returns, Parish Records, Milita Rolls, from
Barbados census 1679/80, Published by Genealogy Publishing Co., Baltimore GEN972.98 055 WIND
- Brandow, James C., Genealogies of Barbados Families: from Caribbeana and the Journal of the
Barbados Museum and Historical Society Baltimore Md.: Genealogical Pub Co., 1983,
p. 753 GEN 971.98 B819BARBA.
Another unaccounted for Eason is NICHOLAS EASON - issued a Tobacco License in 1637, according to records in the VA. Archives. No known records carry his name past 1637, so it may never be known what
happened to him. Did he have children? No land or military record known bears his name, but at this time,
there exists no absolute proof he is not the father of one of the William Easons who owned land in 1664.
It should also be noted that this was a period of great turmoil for the settlers of the new country. Indian uprisings caused the death of numerous settlers.
They were often buried without markers at the spot where they fell, or left behind to be devoured by predators. Others were taken captive never to be heard from again.
Many of our ancestors may lie in unmarked graves somewhere in the wilderness that was
Early America. Undoubtedly, many died of disease and in the warm humid climate of Early Virginia and North Carolina, were buried hurriedly to prevent further spread. Crude markers which may have been raised
have long since disintegrated.
When one considers the difficulties faced by the early settlers, it is remarkable that so many of the old records survived to the present century. The facts we are able to ascertain today may be entirely
attributable to the foresight of a few individuals who sought to preserve the history of their generation.
It is incumbent upon their descendants to document as fully as possible their existence and evidence of
their daily lives lest they be forgotten as completely as that first ancestor, who will be forever hidden in the
annals of time.
It is highly improbable that any one researcher could search all the old archives and records of
all the colonies thoroughly and completely. One lifetime would not be enough! What may be probable
is that present day technology and unified effort of many individuals may one day discover the one piece of evidence needed to tie all former research together.
If and until that happens, novice researchers will continue to base conclusions on the evidence available, further confusing future researchers.
The purpose of this book is to state the facts which are known and can be documented, and to point out the pitfalls of
arriving at anything other than an assumption without ample evidence to prove a conclusion.