Jacobite Family

by Laura

In an odd turn of events, I made a rather startling discovery in my adopted Dad’s tree: he is descended from a group of Scottish Jacobite Loyalists, some of whom were sold into an indentured, punitive slavery to work in, firstly, Barbados, and then, Maryland. Yes. Maryland…the colony that became the state. After researching some of this, it would seem that both Maryland and Virginia had “Scottish slaves”, as they were called, during the period of the English Civil Wars and the Highland Clearances. I’ve found books that give documented information about this, including lists of names of the folk sold and the folk who bought them; bills of sale; prices paid. It’s sobering. When you trace your family to the American South, you often come across slaves and slave-owners…but this was different. I wasn’t thinking about finding something like this.

Actually, it seems…and I am still working out the kinks in these convoluted relationships…that the ship’s captain? owner? fellow passenger? may have bought my Dad’s forebear, who’s progeny later married into this family.

Anyway, who I found is Pieter Ferdinandus, most likely from the Netherlands, who was a sailor for the Dutch East India Company, the first truly multi-national trading company, founded in 1602 and doing business until 1799. They plied the seas trading in exotic goods such as spice, porcelain, silks, and tea. They also supported the sugarcane industry and were, obviously, involved in shipbuilding. Pieter may have been a gunner. The details are sketchy and my Dutch is inferred rather than real. Eventually, he found himself in England, and then, in Barbados.

I found Pieter through my Dad’s Hunt relatives. His Mother, Bernice Hunt, traces her lineage back through Colonel John Tipton Hunt of Virginia and Kentucky. Colonel John was born in 1762, and had been in the militia in the War of 1812. His father, John Sr, had married Elizabeth Jane Tipton. Elizabeth Jane was from Baltimore, Maryland. Her father, Jonathan Tipton, had emigrated to Maryland colony from England by way of Jamaica. Historians are still researching this as he appears to have been born whilst Jamaica was still a Spanish colony. But the latest I found has Jonathan’s family leaving the Scottish Highlands during the early 1600s for Ireland. From there, they sailed to Kingston, Jamaica, where Jonathan was born…unless, he was born in Shropshire, England, where his family was connected to Jacobite Loyalists during the troubles resulting in the English Civil Wars; I have evidence for both narratives. In any case, as England fought out whether they were Catholic or Protestant, and how they desired to be governed, my Dad’s family appeared to be in the middle of this as Catholics, (loyal to the Stuart Kings who had a hereditary right to the throne of England, Ireland, and Scotland)…and who were the wrong religion at the wrong time.

So. Jonathan winds up in Maryland, either under his own steam or at the behest of Oliver Cromwell during the time England had no ruling King and the country was governed by their Parliament (lots of chaos, as you can imagine, which is reflected in the competing stories and documents I am finding). And it is in Maryland he meets and marries Sarah Pearce and they have a daughter, Elizabeth Jane.

Elizabeth Jane is a well-born young woman from Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Her Father, Jonathan, is a real-estate mogul; buying and selling plantations where, today, archeologists are digging around, doing research. At the time of Jonathan’s death at, yes, 118 years old, he owned over 1300 acres of land. And when Jonathan Dad dies, Elizabeth Jane inherits it all. By that time, Elizabeth Jane had married John Hunt, from Prince William County, Virginia, who’s Mother, Winifred, was born in Barbados. She is the Daughter of…yes! finally!…Pieter Ferdinandus and Jane Suleven.

I have several documents related to Winnie, as she was apparently called, and her family that indicate she, her Sisters, Mary, Elizabeth, and Ann and their Father were sold and shipped off to Maryland from Barbados. Then, after arriving in Barbados, they were granted citizenship. Now, her Husband, Joseph Hunt was originally from Buckinghamshire, England.  He had emigrated to the Colonies with the Tipton Family; it looks like they may have sailed together from Bristol, England. It appears the Hunts may have been connected to some of the folk that signed death warrant of Charles I of England, specifically, Henry Marten. As an aside, in doing this research, I found another regicide, Sir Michael Livesay, I am researching. There are also Livesays on another branch. It just.never.ends.

Tangled? Indeed. These folk all seemed to know each other either through their business interests, political connections, and/or religious affiliations. They were all merchants; they all were invested in some way, shape, or form in shipping; they were all Jacobite Loyalists and Catholics. And they were all either rounded up and sold out of England, or they managed to escape from England, and the new Commonwealth under Cromwell, just in the nick of time.

Fascinating. And I thought my family never did anything…