Fancy Meeting You On The Ark

Genealogy Journeys . . .

By Edna Peirce Dixon

Genealogy Research Notes, October 2012 – Recently I’ve been concentrating on Jack’s ALLEN family and the GREEN’s of my friend, Sandra “Sunfeather” Lee’s family. It was exciting to learn awhile back that Jack’s ancestor, one Thomas Allen b 1610 had journeyed from England in 1633-34 in the famous Ark and Dove voyages bringing settlers to the new Maryland Colony. Naturally I soon found myself submerged in the history of this voyage and the colony and eventually I’d uncover the story of the sad fate of Thomas Allen and his three sons.

So setting that aside, I moved on to Sandra’s paternal family history, tracing her Green family line as far back as possible. I could hardly believe my eyes when the words, “The Ark and The Dove” came up. Sandra’s ancestor on the voyage was Thomas Green, Esq, b. 1609. In time he would become the Governor of Maryland.

The next question, then . . . did these two men have any kind of association? Going back to the history books the answers soon came clear. Maryland Colony was founded by aristocratic Catholic leaders in England. Their goal was to populate the colony as quickly as possible and they were open to non-Catholic settlers.

The leader of this expedition on The Ark & The Dove was one Leonard Calvert, the younger brother of Cecil Calvert, the 2nd Lord Baltimore, mastermind and chief investor in the colony. He remained back in England, sending his younger brother, Leonard Calvert to serve as the Governor of the Maryland Colony. Shortly before his death years later, Leonard Calvert named his close friend, Thomas Greene as interim Governor. Thomas Greene’s wife, Winifred Calvert, was the daughter of Cecil Calvert and Anne Arundel.

Sandra Lee’s 10th Great Grandparents, Governor Thomas and Winifred Greene, produced sons, and in time several generations later, one of their descendants would marry a Cherokee woman, also named Winifred aka Winnie. Their daughter, Mary Polly Green, born in the uplands of NW South Carolina would become Sandra’s 3rd Great Grandmother. (Note: On Sandra’s maternal side there’s an even stranger story of Sarah, another Cherokee maiden, her 5th great grandmother who was a slave. She married her master and their son became quite famous. But that’s another story.)

Revisiting Thomas Allen, we learn that he was a protestant, and traveled the Ark as an indentured servant to Leonard Calvert. Thus, in payment for his passage, he worked the lands of Governor Calvert until 1640 when he gained his freedom and was awarded some 65 acres to call his own. During this time Thomas Allen married a woman remembered only as Mary and together they had three sons: Thomas b 1637, William b 1638 & Robert b 1640. Thomas Allen’s will was written in 1648 at a time when there was much unrest between religious factions and the local Indians. Clearly concerned, Thomas named two “Irishmen” who threatened his life and makes explicit instructions for the care of his three motherless sons already pre-arranged in case of his untimely death.

Shortly thereafter, Thomas and his sons disappeared. In time Thomas’ decomposing body, shot with part of the skull missing was discovered on the beach at Point Lookout, south of St. Mary’s City. In time the two older boys were returned for ransom by the Indians. History is unclear about the fate of the younger son. The middle son, William, went on to become Jack’s 8th Great Grandfather.

epd October 31, 2022

Published by Sings Many Songs

I'm Edna Peirce Dixon, an 80-something child of the great depression and WWII. Throughout my life I have been a seeker, an outsider, never quite belonging anywhere, still always looking through cracks in the fences of life, questioning, challenging, learning, trying to make sense of the world and its conventions. An R.N. by profession, I'm mostly a lifelong student with a love of writing and interests in history and genealogy. In my golden years some unexpected things happened that led me down unfamiliar paths with new challenges, opportunities and lessons to learn. This became the magic elixir that keeps me seeking, keeps me growing, keeps me alive.

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