Early Families: Pre-1700 Arrivals to America from Europe


First to explain how I was able to gain information on some of the major family lines in our family's ancestor charts: My parents lived to be quite old, as did all my grandparents. From them I was able to go back in their own personal memories to the end of the Civil War (War between the States). My grandparents had known their grandparents, whose memories in turn took us back to the early decades of the United States of America. My grandfather, Mitchell Mullins, knew his grandfather, William Dow Mullins, who had lived near his own grandfather, Terry Mullins , who had moved to Madison County, Kentucky when James Madison had just become President of the United States. And so it goes, in one line after another. The memories were kept alive of where the family had "come from."

Seldom do the collected memories reach all the way back to the immigrant ancestor, except in the one case of an immigrant ancestor in the early 1800s. All the others were much, much earlier, and we have to resort to public records to trace beyond the collected family vital statistics.

I am very grateful that my ancestors remembered and shared their memories with me. It is a valuable gift in locating and tracing our family lines in the public land records, court records and church records in Colonial times in America.


From the Anglo-Saxon settlement of England to the mass immigration to the New World and the settlement of the American West, the Garner family was there. Visit their pages to learn their genealogical record and to see photos of their ancestral home which dates from the 1700s in Kinsale, Virginia.


From the Norsemen's invasion of Northern France in the 9th century to the Huguenot flight to religious freedom in Protestant Europe and finally to Virginia and onto the Western frontier, the Mullins (de Moulins, Desmoulins, Molines) family was in the thick of it. Read their history and learn their fascinating international family connections.


The earliest record of a Pinkston (Pinkstone) in America is a land warrant issued October 25, 1695, to Peter Pinkston for 200 acres named Pinkston's Delight in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. In 1699, Peter bought another parcel in the same county on a branch of the Pattuxent. (Anne Arundel County, Maryland Land Records on deposit at the Hall of Records, Annapolis, Maryland.) Visit the Pinkston Pages.


In the 1650s, when Lord Baltimore was looking for settlers for his proprietorship, the colony which became Maryland, he advertised his religious tolerance as one of the incentives to immigrants from any other country or New World settlement. As a result, the Annapolis area of Anne Arundel County was soon populated with Virginia Non-Conformists (the Lloyds, Owens, Bennetts and others), with Quakers such as the Galloways (Calloways), with Huguenots (the Duval family) and with Welshmen (Snowden, Davis, Griffith and Welsh). However, many of the Welshmen were not religious dissenters: they conformed to the doctrine of the Church of England and established St. Anne's and All Hallows Parishes in their settlement.

In the 1660s, John Welsh immigrated to this community, probably directly from Wales. By 1667, John Welsh (Welch) was serving the County as a Justice. He was called Major John Welsh. The earliest record of land owned by Major John is a survey dated June 1, 1669. Enter the Welsh (Welch) pages here.


The first public records that we have on these families as a group locate them in the Western reaches of Virginia in the period 1758-1783. The frontier Blackburns were apparently descendants of old Tidewater Virginia settlers from very early colonial times. The Branners were more recent immigrants.

George Goforth, born ca. 1565, had a son, Miles Goforth, born ca. 1600 in Knedlington, England. William, a son of Miles Goforth, immigrated to America on the fly-boat, "Martha" in Autumn, 1677 from Hull, England to Delaware Bay, arriving October 28, 1677. Read more of the story of these folks and their relationships.


First let me say that the spelling of this name varies a great deal, but those who wear the name are all at least as closely related as cousins. This family was one of the later arrivals in our line; George Poffenbarger, born ca. 1700, a Lutheran, probably a citizen of the Palatinate, sailed from Holland to Philadelphia in the pink, "Mary" in 1733. He brought with him his wife, Mary, and his son Valentine. They settled near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This family contributed heavily in wealth and in suffering during both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.


John Lewis Dougherty was born in 1844 in Glasgow, Scotland to Irish immigrants -- Peter and Bridget Doughrty -- fleeing the famine in Ireland. Landing in New York in 1848, John was old enough to fool the recruiters for the Union Army and was mustered into the Union Cavalry, 5th New York Regiment at Albany in 1862. After serving time as a POW in Andersonville, John married a Southern girl, Permelia Ann Allen and headed West, ending up in Oklahoma around 1908. Read more of their story in the later dates of the Welch section.


John Lewis, whose death is recorded in the family bible in my personal possession, as March 31, 1855. He is the first ancestor in this branch of the family that we can document. But Lewis is definitely a colonial name. John Lewis was a resident of Gilmer County, Georgia, where the 1850 census reveals that he was born in South Carolina in 1794. The Lewis family were inveterate pioneers, ending up in Newton County, Arkansas by 1856.


An index pointing to images of the family papers, including hundreds of photographs as I can catalog them and post them to the site, but also documents which trace the history of these various individual families and their allied lines.

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Here let me acknowledge my debt to:

(1)John Casper Branner, Casper Branner of Virginia and His Descendants. Privately printed, Stanford University, Calif. 1913. (2)J. D. Warfield, The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Md. Baltimore, 1973. (3)Ruth Ritchie, The Garner-Keene Families of Northern Neck Virginia. I hope I may be excused for leaning so heavily on these three books; I was forced to do much of my writing and research long distance, while I lived in Amman, Jordan. Therefore, I could not check all the original records myself. However, I have amassed a great number of copies of deeds, marriage records and other county and federal records which I keep as family archives.

Sources used and/or cited (link here.)

Email me with information on these lines at: ann_garner at yahoo.com (Of course, you will use the correct way of addressing your message. This is a work-around to avoid having my email harvested from the source code of this site by the spammers.) I do not research for other people, but feel free to use any information which I post on this site. I would appreciate being mentioned as your source for the information.

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