Changes to Newman genealogy tradition

  1. The Thomas Newman that died in 1700 in Old Rappahannock County, Virginia can’t be the same person who immigrated on the ship The Plain Joan in 1635. We calculated that the Thomas Newman that died in 1700 was born about 1634.
  2. The John and Thomas Newman in James City County, Virginia are not the same men that settled on Morattico Creek. Morattico Creek is the present day boundary between Richmond County and Lancaster County, Virginia.
  3. The men commonly referred to as “John Newman the Immigrant” and “Thomas Newman the Immigrant” are a combination of several men. The Thomas Newman that died in 1700 and the John Newman who was the father of Captain Alexander Newman might not be brothers.
  4. We have one less generation than others show in their trees. (Alexander was the brother, not the father of Elias Newman.)
  5. The Thomas Newman that died in 1700 probably married twice and the names of these women remain unknown.
  6. The Thomas Newman that died in 1700 did not write a will, but there was an inventory for his estate, which we found in Richmond County Deed Book One.
  7. The Thomas Newman that died in 1700 might not be an immigrant. He might have been born in Virginia.

Julie’s Background Notes:

I feel the need to acknowledge Wade Newman’s tremendous research efforts which were utilized by me to write about Colonial Newman friends and families. Wade contacted me about three years ago with his theory that Alexander Newman was the brother, not the father of Elias Newman. He asked if I’d be willing to read his research and discuss his ideas. Wade and I decided to collaborate our research efforts. Several phone calls and emails had us going through over 100 pages which he had transcribed from microfilms of court records! This is an amazing task in itself. All of the typed pages with his questions and ideas notated, were records I had not previously found or felt I understood very well. Further discussion had us both questioning whether the Thomas Newman that traveled on the ship The Plain Joan in 1635 could really be our ancestor. We wanted to either prove or disprove Wade’s theories, so together with my best friend and sleuth-joined-at-the-hip Anne Willson we studied Wade’s research and spent many hours reading, charting, and plotting facts. We frequently study the digitized Colonial Virginia court record books on FamilySearch.org.

Anne, Wade, and I, feel that previous published works, such as William Fletcher Boogher’s book Gleanings of Virginia History written and published in 1903, was a colossal research undertaking. The digitized version has 910 images. The amount of research Boogher compiled and shared in his book is remarkable as it was published before microfilming was even invented. He couldn’t even borrow microfilms for his research. We have so much more information accessible today, and I live in Virginia so I am able to visit the Library of Virginia and visit places mentioned in old records. Boogher is the first person I know of to say that the Thomas Newman who immigrated on the Plain Joan is the same man that died in Richmond County in 1700. Boogher also wrote that Alexander was the father of Elias. Neither of these statements have been challenged, and therefore continued to go unchecked.

Wade, Anne and I look at old research like Boogher’s book to see the sources referenced. Then we go look at the original sources, and also for additional records that have been made accessible more recently. We then discuss if we come to the same conclusion as previous researchers or not. We also study patterns of the area in that time period. If we see something that looks unusual, we look at other people in the same court record collections (deed, order, or wills) to see if anyone else did something similar within a year or so.

We share our research with you, presenting images and links of the records we used to draw our conclusions on this and every page of our website. Now you too, are able to review the research and see if you draw the same conclusions. We welcome any discussion about the records and research.

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