Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Our Family's Colonial Era, Part XXII

This continues a series of articles by cousin Robert Holloman, a B.A. in history from the University of Virginia.  In the previous article Robert explored our possible royalist connections in the English Civil War.  In this post, he presents information and raises questions on who transported our ancestors to Virginia.  Again evidence points one in the direction of Bedfordshire, England as the origin of the Holliman (and various spellings) families in the New World. - Glenn N. Holliman

Who were the Sponsors of the First Virginia Holymans?
by Robert Holloman

In regards to the early settlement of Holymans in Virginia,  I have been attempting to track down information on the named sponsors of Judith and Christopher (and William in 1656) Holliman. According to records, these sponsors were John Cos(x), Thos. Wilkinson, John Sherlock and Thomas Rolph (William's sponsor). In May 1650, John Cox received 1,000 acres of land in Northumberland County on the south side of the Rappahannock River, for the transport of twenty persons including two John Coxes, Elizabeth Cox, Xtopher Holleman and Judath Halloman.

Below in the center of this map by Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson in 1751, one will find Northumberland and Lancaster Counties.  Just below the left red line is the Rappahannock River; above are Lancaster and Northumberland Counties. Click on the map to enlarge.

In August 1653, John Sherlock received land in Lancaster County (which was created from Northumberland County in 1652) for the transport of three persons that included Epper a (possible corruption of Christopher?) Holliman, and another grant in November 1653 for the transport of four persons that included both Judith and Christoper Holliman.

A possible connection to both John Cox and Christopher Hollyman is a Vincent Cox who was transported to Virginia as an indentured servant to a Richard Cole on the ship Honor in October 1649.  His birth in 1632 can be traced to Bedford.  His father was Henry Cox, and he had a younger brother, John Cox but that brother died ten days after birth in 1634 according to Bedfordshire record.  In 1653 Cox and Cole legally disputed the end to his term of indenture and that legal fight provides us today the detailed record to trace his passage from England.  After winning his release, Vincent Cox settled in Westmoreland County (which was also created from Northumberland County in 1652) and later would receive land in both counties several times in the 1660s.

Both the Wilkinsons and the Coxes are known to have property in Isle of Wight County in the time period of Christopher and Judith's arrivals.  The Cox and Wilkinson families later intermarried.

There is a recent 2006 (expanding a 1996) book on the history of the Wilkinsons entitled The Wilkinsons of Isle of Wight, Surry and Sussex Counties and Related Families (including Cox) by Gene Cox Wilkinson and George Carroll Wilkinson. I have recently attempted to contact the authors to see where in England these families had originated and any information on Cox and Wilkinson's activities in the years of Christopher and Judith, but have had not had success as yet.- Robert Holloman

More in the next post concerning possible Royalist connections....

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