Allen Cole's Website
How Many Places Can One Guy Be
You may only get two parents, but
that means 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents and 16 great-greats. These
days, I'm looking a lot at my 32 great-great-great grandparents, most of
which would've been born around 1800 and died around the Civil War. Some of
these folks' origins are well-documented and some are shrouded in mystery.
Luckily most of my family hails from Virginia and I can easily visit their
Struan, Scotland - Rev. George Robertson left the
British Navy to become a missionary to the colonies, and was the first rector
of Bristol Parish, headquartered at what is now Petersburg's Blandford Church.
An early resident of what is now Colonial Heights, he eventually made it out
to Winterpock in Chesterfield County, and along Flat Creek in Amelia County.
- Rochedale, England - Robert Holt came to St.
Mary's, MD in 1646 to be a good Catholic, but his wife's philandering would
eventually get him a death sentence. His descendents migrated from
Essex County to Charlotte County, VA intermarrying with Masons all along the
way. Campbell and Charlotte Counties are now full of Holts and Masons who
think they're not related.
East Frisia, Germany - Before Germany
consolidated in 1871, things varied a lot from place to place.
Cramer brought his family to America in 1863 to escape persecution for being
Baptist--something his brother-in-law Peter De Neui had attended seminary for
in neighboring Hamburg. Arriving in New York just a few days before the draft
riots, they lived in Illinois & Nebraska before settling at South Boston, VA.
- Barntrup, Hanover, Prussia - Wilhelmina Louisa Zinn
ventured from here to America in 1847, and settled in Holland, NY with her
husband Michael Bastian. While the vast majority of her descendents live there
today, she lies buried alone on a farm in Halifax County, VA, long after her
family moved back to New York.
Cornwall, England - Essex Bevill
struck out for Virginia searching for land in the mid 1600's just as his
ancestor, the Norman knight DeBeville, had come to England in 1066. His
grandson, Robert Bevill, settled along Wintercomack Creek in what today is
Amelia County. The decendents of my ggg grandmother Mary A. F. Bevill and her
husband James Allen are buried on this same land today.
Froeschwiller, Alsace, France - The Bastians came
Spechbach le Bas in the 1500's, and lived there for generations.
Michael Bastian came to America in 1832, and many of his descendents remain in
the area of Buffalo, NY.
Waldingfield, Suffolk, England - Robert Coleman came to America in 1638
for reasons unknown, but generated an explosive number of desendents all over
Virginia and beyond. Today, the Coleman name is associated with quality
coolers and camping equipment. They also appear on the periphery of most
branches of my family tree. My only line of direct descent is through the
Jones family of Caroline County, VA.
- Wales - Edward Broaddus came to America around 1700 and
settled on Gwynn's Island, VA. He now has over 10,000 descendents in the US.
The Coles intermarried so heavily with Broaddus's in Caroline and Hanover
Counties that my great grandfather married not one, but two of his first
- Kent, England - Some say that the
Crumps of New
Kent County are descended from Sgt. Thomas Crompe of Jamestown, and his wife
Elizabeth Buck. These origins have come into doubt lately, but hopefully we'll
soon know the origins of my great-great grandfather Hammond Fletcher Crump,
the one-legged blacksmith who rode with J.E.B. Stuart in the Civil War.
- Tillingham, Essex, England - I'm told that in colonial times, 1 in 9
English immigrants was named Cole. My earliest known Cole was
James Cole, a
house joiner and coffin maker who died in King William County in 1798. For
years, the family was located in Upper Zion, which was razed in the 1940's to
build Fort A. P. Hill. I'm still trying to find out where we come from. A
family researcher is currently investigating Humfrie and Hester Cole of
Tillingham, Essex, England. Humfrie's origins can be traced to Devonshire in
- Scotland - Many Allens trace their origins back to
James Allen, who arrived at Jamestown from Scotland in 1608. This family moved
westward through New Kent, and Hanover Counties, and eventually found their
way into Cumberland and Prince Edward Counties. A later James Allen helped to
found Hampden-Sydney College. My Allens descend from James Allen (1783-1855)
who appeared in Amelia County around 1800. We don't know his origins, although
he may have come from Goochland. This family of tobacco farmers was
Presbyterian and well-to-do prior to the Civil War, become less well-to-do and
more Methodist and Baptist afterwards.
See if you can help us solve the mystery of our origins.
Coincidence or Conspiracy? Burwell Nicholas Holt of
Charlotte County served in the Confederate Army with the 56th VA Infantry, and
was wounded in the forehead leaving a profound scar. Hammond Fletcher Crump of
New Kent County served with the 3rd Virginia Cavalry and also had a prominent
wound to the forehead. In 1906 their children Grace Eliza Holt and Charles Pryor
Crump married, and thereafter their descendents' homes were filled with photos
of ancestors with holes in their heads.