George Mynifie, a merchant at James City (Jamestown), transported a Thomas Newman. Cavaliers & Pioneers, pg 188. This Thomas was born in 1620. He was listed as age 15 on the Plain Joan 1635 ship manifest. George Mynifie transported a lot of slaves and indentured servants. We do not know if this Thomas was an indentured servant or not. According to the Lost Records Localities guide from Library of Virginia, “Beginning in 1770, the courts of James City County and Williamsburg shared a common courthouse. During the Civil War, the records of both localities were transferred to Richmond for safekeeping, but were destroyed by fire there on April 3, 1865. The records of the superior court of chancery for the Williamsburg district were destroyed by a courthouse fire in April 1911.” Because of these fires, no other known records for this Thomas still exist.
Multiple spellings have been used for the Plain Joan, but this is the only known record for this ship. This just shows how simply and how often errors have crept into research on these Newmans.
The living conditions were extremely harsh in Colonial Virginia. Many people did not live through their first year in the colonies. Harsh winters, swampy summers and limited food supplies caused a huge death toll among early Virginians. Some people decided that colonial life was not for them after all, and returned to England.
This Thomas Newman born in 1620, was visible on a ship record. George Mynifie was given land in payment for transporting immigrants, so this Thomas Newman has been assumed to be the same man that died in 1700 in Richmond County, Virginia. The Thomas who died in 1700 is 1 of 4 Thomas Newman who died in that area. Four Thomas Newmans immigrated directly to Richmond County, Virginia, which was known as Rappahannock County at that time. Genealogists have been merging Thomas Newman of the Plain Joan ship and Thomas Newman who died in 1700 together in their trees for over 100 years. Please click on these buttons to see new sources and records, about the Thomas Newman that died in Richmond County, Virginia.
For further reading see:
- Death & Disease in Colonial America
- Environment, Disease and Mortality in Early Virginia
- Burned records guide at the Library of Virginia
Pages with more information: