In December, I finished indexing chapter 5, so I now have completed indexing the Introduction and the first five chapters. Before I could proceed further, however, I had to revise my biography of Thomas Pettus II of James City County, Virginia, which is in chapter 6, to reflect new information I gleaned while in Rotterdam, Netherlands, in September. I had trouble finding someone who could read and translate the archaic manuscripts, which were in Dutch. Eventually, one of the archivists undertook the task for me (for a substantial fee, of course). About two weeks later, I received his translations, which omit the legal boilerplate that always occupies space in legal documents. These documents clarified some things that had been confusing. At the same time, they raised several new questions, as often happens. Nevertheless, I have just finished revising Thomas’s biography and am now proceeding with source citations. When this task is complete, I will proceed with indexing the remainder of the book.
In the meantime, I have been in contact with an expert on heraldry in England who has challenged the traditional identification of the figures on one of the Pettus monuments in St. Simon and St. Jude. He believes that the reclining figure portrays Sir Augustine Pettus, Kt., and that the kneeling figures are his parents, Sir John Pettus, Kt., and his wife, Bridget Curtis. He has also helped me understand the various Pettus arms better. My book will have pictures of them. Unfortunately, I may have to swap the pictures previously identified as Sir John Pettus and Sir Augustine Pettus between chapters 5 and 6. As the pictures are not the same size, the swap will shift the text and mess up the index for chapter 5.