Connections to America

Jane Thelwell was the daughter and heiress of Edward Thelwell, Esq. (Prince of Wales) and Elizabeth (Morys) Thelwell, and sister of Ciselye Thelwell, the wife of Edward “Redsleeves” Goodman. Jane Thelwell married Coronet George Williams, son of William Williams Esq., of Cochwillian, by his wife Dorothy, who was the 4th daughter of Sir William Gruffyd, Knight, of Penrhyn. William Williams, Esq. had another son by Dorothy Gruffyd. This son, William Williams, Esq., married as his first wife, Agnes, daughter of Sir John Wynn ap Meredydd, and took the name William Williams-Wynn when he acceded to the estate of Sir John Wynn, that estate being know as Wynnstay in Denbighshire, on the banks of the river Dee. Dorothy (Gruffyd) Williams, married secondly, Robert Wynn, Esq., of Conway, who was the third son of Sir John Wynn ap Meredydd (See Wynn Notes). Sir William Williams-Wynn was Solicitor General under James II (1685-1688). Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn, his son, married Charlotte, the sister of Lord Grenville, one of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina. Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn, Bart., was b. 1772, the eldest son of Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn, and he was M.P. for Denbighshire in 1789.

Coronet(?) George Williams, brother of William Williams-Wynn, was an early “Cavalier” of Virginia in the mid-1600s, and we may surmise that one or more Goodman, Wynn, Salusbury, Conway and/or Thelwell (or, as Howell) families also came with him to America. A William Williams was living on Virginia’s Eastern Shore Feb 16, 1623. Indeed, a William Goodman was appointed by Oliver Cromwell, who was commander of the army from 1649, and ruled as Lord Protector from 1653-1658, to reduce Maryland and Virginia to the Parliamentary government of England. See following. This William Goodman was probably a high ranking officer in Cromwell’s army or navy, and may have already been a representative of the Crown in America at the time.

John Williams, b. 1679 in Wales, married Mary Keeling, daughter of Capt. George Keeling, and sister of the Ursula Keeling that married Thomas Henderson. Daniel Williams, b. 28 Sept 1710, 3rd son of John Williams and Mary Keeling, married Ursula Henderson, his 1st cousin, and daughter of Thomas Henderson and Ursula Keeling. Their daughter Marya Williams married Benjamin Goodman, of Hanover / Louisa Co., VA. Many of these families lived in New Kent, Hanover, and Louisa Co., VA., and some removed to Granville Co., NC with Goodman families in the 1750s. Their descendants and allied families were the principal proprietors of the Transylvania Co., sponsors of Daniel Boone’s settlement at Boonesborough. More on these families later.

An important related Williams line in Virginia was descended from Morgan ap Williams, 5th son of William ap Gruffyd, and youngest brother of William Williams, Esq. of Cochwillian. Morgan ap Williams married Katherine Cromwell, sister of Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex and vice-regent under Henry VII, who sent him to the block in 1540. Morgan ap Williams then took the name Cromwell in honor of his wife’s family name. Their son, who signed his name as Sir Richard Cromwell Alias Williams, married Frances, daughter and co-heir of Thomas Murphyn, Knight. Sir Richard Cromwell was knighted by Henry VIII. Their eldest son was Sir Henry Cromwell, called the Golden Knight. He married Joan, daughter of Sir Ralph Warren, Lord Mayor of London in 1536. Henry Cromwell was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I in 1563. He served in the House of Commons, and died in 1603. Their second son was Robert Cromwell, who was the father of Oliver Cromwell, later Lord Protector of England.

The eldest son of Sir Henry Cromwell Alias Williams and Joan Warren, was Sir Oliver Cromwell of Hinchenbrook. Sir Oliver Cromwell married Elizabeth Bromley, daughter of the Lord Chancellor of England, and their eldest son, Henry, came to Virginia with his wife in 1620. Henry Cromwell Alias Williams received grants in Virginia in 1618 from the Virginia Company and another in 1639 from Sir John Harvey. He may have earlier come in the “Treasurer” in 1615, and settled at Dale’s Gift. In 1625, he was living on his land in Charles City. All of this family added Alias Williams to their names, and some reverted to the Williams name in America, forever confusing genealogists as to which were Cromwell, and which were Williams. A Morgan Williams, obviously named after his illustrious ancestor, was in New Kent Co., VA since before 1638, and by his name, was almost certainly the son of Henry Cromwell Alias Williams.

William Overton of Wales, came to America about 1668/9. He was descended from Edward Overton, Esq., of Northhamptonshire, Eng. William Overton was born in England 3 Dec 1638, and he married Elizabeth Waters 24 Nov 1670 at Yorktown, VA. They met through the Spencer family, with whom he was friends. This was probably the same Spencer family of Bosworth Field fame. The older brother of Edward Overton, Esq. was Bishop William Overton (1525-1609), who was in 1570 Cannon of Salisbury and Rector of Stokes-in-Trent, then Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield. He was therefore a contemporary of Dean Gabriel Goodman, Bishop Godfrey Goodman, and Archbishop John Williams.

The William Overton of Wales who came to America had several notable issue with Elizabeth Waters. Elizabeth Overton b. June 28, 1673, married Robert Anderson, Jr., who by 1752 was a Gentleman and Attorney in Hanover / Louisa Co., VA. Bartellot Anderson and Benjamin Anderson witnessed a deed in Louisa Co., VA in 1756, the lands of which adjoined those of Samuel Goodman. David Anderson of Hanover Co., VA, b. about 1756, married Elizabeth, daughter of the Charles Goodman of Louisa and Albemarle Co., and their son Nathaniel Anderson had a grandson named Overton Anderson. Nathan Goodman, a son of Charles Goodman and Elizabeth Horsley, married Mildred, daughter of Manoah Clarkson in Albemarle, VA. Manoah Clarkson had purchased 600 ac. in Albemarle, from David Anderson.

Samuel Overton b. Aug. 14, 1685, married a Miss Carr, probably the sister of Thomas Carr of Caroline Co., who owned over 3,770 ac. that included sections in Hanover, Louisa, and Caroline Co., and they lived in Hanover Co., VA on lands that adjoined those of Thomas Carr and Samuel Goodman. Sam Overton was a Capt. in the VA Rangers in 1752. This was probably Sam Overton, Jr., a son of the Samuel Overton b. 1685, as the earlier Samuel Overton was probably too old for that kind of service. Ansel Clarkson and Bartelott Goodman were on the roll of Capt. Samuel Overton’s Co. of Rangers, as documented in several Rev. War and French & Indian War pension claims in Louisa Co. Captain Sam Overton and Major Andrew Lewis led 100 VA men who assisted the North Carolinians in the construction of Ft. Loudon, 1755/56, in what was to become Monroe Co., TN.

Another son of Samuel Overton, Sr. and Miss Carr, was James Overton, who married Mildred Clayton of Bedford Co., VA. Ann Overton b. ca. 1682, and probably the sister of Samuel Overton, Sr., married John Pettus of New Kent Co., who was vestryman of Blissland Parish in 1703, and their son William Pettus married a daughter of John Hart, planter, of Essex Co., VA.

Nicholas Gentry came from Wales to New Kent / Hanover Co. before 1684. He had at least three sons. His eldest son, Nicholas Gentry II lived for a time in Bedford Co., and was at the Battle of King’s Mountain, with the Williams and Goodmans of Granville Co., NC. His second son, Benajah Gentry b. in Hanover Co. in 1733, died in Albemarle Co. at age 98, in 1831. Benajah Gentry’s 2nd daughter Elizabeth married William Goodman, son of Charles Goodman and Elizabeth Horsley, of Hanover and Albemarle, VA. His third son, Martin Gentry, married Betsie, the 2nd daughter of Daniel Maupin and Mary (Spencer) Maupin. Mary (Spencer) Maupin was the daughter of Earl Spencer of England, traditionally also the line of the late Princess Diana Spencer, wife of Edward, Price of Wales and current heir to the throne of England.

Mention is also made of Stephen Darden, who was a shipbuilder and soldier of early Nansemond County, VA. His plantation was called “The Thicket”, as was his homeland in England. The Darden and Goodman families on Nansemond and Isle of Wight, VA and also of Gates Co., NC, intermarried in early 1700s. There were also early marriages between Goodman and Fitzhugh families, and other prominent and prosperous colonial families of the region and time.

In Colonial Records of North Carolina (vol. 4, p. 521-525), the List of Jurymen of Bertie and Edgecomb Co. of 1704, which reflects the prominence of those men in the community, included the following names, many of which can be recognized as the same as those who came from Wales and England, and many of which were related to the Goodmans, before and after this time, vis: Robert Williams, Tho. Bell, Richard Williams, Archibald Bell, Pettygew Salesbury, Thomas Williams, William Boon, Samuel Williams, Arthur Williams, Nathaniel Williams, Jno. Howell Jr., Thomas Hart, Thomas Howell, Joseph Wynn, Jno. Hart, Benjamin Wynns, Wm. Williams, Wm. Rhodes, John Williams, Roland Williams, Jno. Bell, John Mory, Joseph Wynns, Robt. Terrell, Nich. Boon, Wm. Goodman, George Williams, Nathan Williams, Wm. Hart.

The Goodman, Williams, Wynn, Conway and Thelwell extended families and their allies, would be key contributors to the settlement of Nansemond, Surry, Isle of Wight, Hanover, and many other counties of Virginia and North Carolina from the mid-1600s through the end of the 1700s. These relationships, especially to the Grenville/Granville family, go a long way to explain the numerous grants to the Williams, Wynn and Goodman families, especially in NC. William Goodman pat. 600 ac. in Tyrill Co., 7 Jun 1739. Thomas Goodman pat. 500 ac. in Edgecomb Co. in 1740. Between June 1746 and 1751, Samuel Goodman’s grants in Bladen Co. (from Lord Granville’s agents in Salisbury, NC) totaled over 3,160 ac. His home was on the banks of the Peedee River (Remember the river Dee, in Denbigh?). In 1747, Henry Goodman was granted 100 ac. on 2 March, and 200 ac. on 24 Mar., both in New Hanover Co., NC.

See following sections for more on related families of Virginia and North Carolina.

The Catholic faith of most of the Goodman family of Wales is especially interesting, since the Ansel/Anselm name is known to have long been a traditional given name in our family, and family tradition has it that the Goodmans were originally Catholic. See following for more on St. Anselm of Aosta, Archbishop of Canterbury. St. Anselm was also at odds with the King of England for his loyalty to Rome and the Pope, as some members of this Goodman family were. Bishop Godfrey Goodman and his relations were quite well read, and he and Dean Gabriel had very likely studied Eadmer’s account of Anselm’s times. It is possible that the Ansel/Anselm name was bestowed and passed down through the generations as a subtle reminder to the Goodman family of its Catholic roots, and its persecution under Charles I, Archbishop Laud, and later. Even in Virginia, the Anglican church was the only one officially allowed. Even Quakers and Catholics were required to attend Anglican church meetings, or suffer punishments by the ruling elite of the Cavaliers.

The close associations with royalty and the titled and landed families of Wales and England is also very interesting. The specific prominent families associated with these Goodmans in Wales recur with amazing frequency in association with the colonial Goodman lines, as well. One of the earliest examples is: the will of Edmond Goodman was read in Queen Anne’s Co., VA (on the Upper Chesapeake, and now part of Maryland), on 1 Oct 1709. It names sons John, Richard, daughter Rebecca, wife Katherine, and a testator of Ennion Williams. Einion is an old Welsh name that appears in the genealogy of Angharad, wife of William ap Gruffyd of Cochwillian, who was daughter of Davydd ap Jevan ap Einion ap Gruffyd.


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