Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Spanish - Portuguese & the Indians in Colonial Virginia

Anyone who has researched the people called Melungeon, Redbone, Lumbee, etc., has found the argument they could not have been Portuguese/Spanish because they didn't have last names or because there were no Portuguese listed on the early passenger's list.  These records below show a few of the documented Portuguese and Spaniards who was in Colonial Virginia.  The Spanish and Portuguese like the other 'foreigners' and Native Americans had no last names.

The Portuguese and Spaniards, like the Englishmen, who chose to take up with the Natives would not have left any records, just their DNA. 

"And even this Summer Cole and Kitchins plot with three more, bending their courst to Ocanahowan, five daies journey from us, where they report are Spaniards inhabiting."

Ocanahowan?  Occaneechi maybe?  A Spanish Plantation in 1614? Who were these Spaniards living 5 days from Jamestown?  Were they the Spanish/Portuguese explorers left behind by deAyllon, deSoto or Pardo?  Were these the ancestors of the people who would later be called Melungeons, Redbones, Lumbee, etc.?

Lower Norfolk County, Virginia Court Records: Book "A", 1637-1646 & Book B --  By Alice Granbery Walter  (HERE)

Jacob Bradshaw, age 29 years or thereabouts Sworn and examined, sayeth? that he the said deponent, went to Capt. John Sibsey's about November last past, to buy the time out which one Tawney, a Portingall, had then to serve the said Capt. Sibsey and, demanding of Capt. Sibsey how long the said Tawney had to serve him, he told this deponent that the said Tawney had a year and as much as until March next to serve him, whereupon this deponent would not meddle with him but Tawney said that though he came into the country for four years, yet Mr. Page promised him that, in respect he had coasted up and down for him, that he should be servant but for three years, and farther deponent sayeth not. 

Sergeant William Edwards, age 36 years or thereabouts, sworn &  examined, sayeth that there came a man from Linnhaven to the house of Capt. John Sibsey about November last, and demanded of the said Capt. Sibsey whether he would part from a servant of his, being a Portingall, called by the name of Tawney, whereupon the said Capt. Sibsey told him that the said servant had a year
longer to serve him, wherein the said Tawney being then present, said, that he came into the country for four years but Mr. Page, who brought him in, told him that he should serve but three years, and further this deponent sayeth not.

(The beginning of this record is torn)...... good weare..... taken away from MR: THO: WILLOUGHBY by Manuell ye Portuguesse... ordered that ye goods so found be returned unto ye sd Willoubhby & that ye sd Manuell shall not come to or neare the house of ye sd Willoughbys by a mile or have any communicacon with ANN WATKINS his Mayd without ye consent of ye sd WILLOUBHBY & if he shall bee found.... to receive 20 lashes on ye bare back....


The Expedition of Batts and Fallam:
A Journey from Virginia to beyond the Appalachian Mountains, September, 1671.
From Annals of Southwest Virginia, 1769-1800. 

September 5th 1671''The three gentlemen bore a commission from Major-general Wood "for the finding out tile ebbing and flowing of the Waters on the other side of the Mountains in order to the discovery of the South Sea." They struck off due west along a trail that was evidently already familiar, and having five horses made rapid progress. On the fourth day 'they reached the Sapony villages, one of which Lederer had visited the year before. They were "very joyfully and kindly received with firing of guns and plenty of provisions." They picked up a Sapony guide to show them to the Totero village by "a nearer way than usual," and were about to leave when overtaken by a reinforcement of seven Appomattox Indians sent them by Wood. They sent back Mr. Thomas Wood's worn out horse by a Portuguese servant of General Wood's whom they had found in the village, and pushed on to the Hanahaskie "town," some twenty-five miles west by north, on an island in the Staunton River. Here Mr. Thomas Wood was left, dangerously ill.'

NORTHAMPTON COUNTY MARY GALE (Living 1673) had an illegitimate child by Portuguese servant Nicholas Silvedo who was convicted on 12/7/1674 as being the father. Silvedo was committed to the custody of Sheriff John Culpeper but later escaped. Meanwhile, the child was kept by William Harman, a Negro, for 13 months and in September of 1673 it was noted that one Jane Harmon was the wet nurse for the child. (Northampton County, Virginia Court Orders and Minutes (1654 - 1795; Orders, Wills, Etc. 1674 - 1679, microfilm No. 27) 

Mary Gale appears again on 9/28/1694. Whereas a male child of Mary Gale, servt. to Mr. John Kendall, of which Nicholas Silvedo was convicted of being the reputed father, was the seventh of December 1674 placed to Charles Guildon of the County until 24 years of age, said child known by the name of Jephtah, now attains to 21 which also appeared by this County's records, set free. [A Mary Gale was brought to Northampton County on 10/3/1678 with seven others by Thomas Kendall, who was granted 400 acres of land.]

 1667Lower Norfolk County 
Order Book, 1666-1675, fol. 17.

Whereas Fernando a Negro sued Capt. [John] Warner for his freedome pretending hee was a Christian and had been severall yeares in England and therefore ought to serve noe longer than any other servant that came out of England accordinge to the custome of the Country and alsoe Presented severall papers in *Portugell * or some other language which the Court could not understand which he alledged were papers From severall Governors where hee had lived a  freeman and where hee was home. Wherefore the Court could find noe Cause wherefore he should be free but Judge him a slave for his lifetime, From which Judgement thesaid Negro hath appealled to the fifth day of the next Generall Court. [It is not possible to follow this case further owing to the destruc-tion of the General Court records for this period.]

Surry County Tax
#379  George -no last name- living at Lawnes Creek  June 1669  Note; he is a Spaniard
(#947 - living with Edward Warren in 1674 is "welsh" Harry - no last name)


[Source] Title: Letters to the Secretary of State and others from the Governors, Alexander Spotswood, William Gooch, Robert Dinwiddle and Francis Fauquier, and Presidents Thomas Lee and Lewis Burwell, with enclosures and replies. Depository: Public Record Office / Class: C.O. 5/1344 SR Number: SR 00233 Reel Number: 48 Dates: 1726 - 1783 References: Lists & Indexes, Vol. XXXVI, 29. Andrews Guide 183, List 493. ff. 86-87 Lords of Trade to the Duke of Bedford, 

10 Jan 1750/51. Spanish and Portuguese ships driven into ports of Virginia by bad weather. 
Encloses the four (only adding two) documents listed below: ff. 90-91 Enclosed in the above. Extract of a letter from Thomas Lee to the Board of Trade, 6 Nov. 1750. The Spanish and Portuguese ships driven into Virginia ports have proven irrepairable. The masters have been given permission to hire other ships to carry their cargoes to Europe. 

North Carolina State Archives
General Assembly Session Records
April-May, 1760 Box #2
Committee of Claims

Cornelius Harnett Esqur was allowed his claim of one pound nine shillings eight pence for holding an inquest on the body of one Menasses, a Portugese.

Page 225
A German visiting western Virginia in 1750 was shocked by people of the frontier who culturally were more Indian than white. Such folk seemed to be "a kind of white people...who live like the savages, having a half-Indian appearance" and "nearly allied in disposition and manners to Indians."

Observations gathered out of a Discourse of the Plantation of the Southerne Colonie in Virginia by the English, 1606. Written by the Honorable Gentleman, Master George Percy. 

"At Port Cotage in our Voyage up the River, we saw a Savage Boy about the age of ten yeere, which had a head of haire of a perfect yellow and a reasonable white skinne, which is a miracle amongst all Savages."

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