Saturday, September 12, 2015

Revisiting Thomas Key

Our 4th grader's field trip to Jamestown is coming up fast, so I am accelerating my look back at Virginia ancestors who were early arrivals in the Colony. Back in February 2012, in my post on Elizabeth Key Grinstead, I included some information on her father, Thomas Key. This is an update focusing on Thomas' arrival and early years before the birth of Elizabeth about 1630.
Source: NYPL Digital Collection.
Thomas Key arrived in Jamestown in June 1619 on the Prosperous. It looks like he settled into Charles Cittie (Charles City County). The first African slaves arrived in Jamestown around the same time.

Thomas survived the Powhatan massacre of 1621/1622, when 347 of 1240 white inhabitants of the colony were killed (according to Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1623-1800).

Thomas appears on the muster of 21 January 1624 in Chaplain's Choice, Charles Cittie with wife Sarah, who had arrived in 1622 with Rowland Truelove's Company. Thomas likely met and married Sarah after she arrived in the colony. In 1624, they would have been two of the twenty-four people living at Chaplain's Choice plantation. According to the Virtual Jamestown website, Thomas had a boat, a pistol, 23 bushels of corn, and 6 poultry.

Sarah Key must have died before December 1628, as Thomas married a second wife, Martha, by 2 December 1628.

I am looking over the Library of Virginia's online records to see if there might be more on Thomas Key during these early years.

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