Despite over a century of research by a small but dedicated band of Pettus family historians, many problems remained unsolved in Pettus genealogy, particularly with regards to the early generations in colonial Virginia. The critical reader will find inconsistencies, contradictions, and unsubstantiated conjectures in the available literature on the family history. Now, after nearly forty-one years of research and writing, William Pettus of Fairfax, Virginia, is ready to publish his well-documented solutions to some longstanding problems and offer fresh insights to others in his new two-volume family history, Thomas Petyous of Norwich, England, and His Pettus Descendants in England and Virginia.
Volume 1, due to be published in early 2011, contains extensive, readable biographies of eleven generations of Pettuses in England and Virginia, beginning with the earliest known progenitor, Thomas Petyous, freeman of Norwich, England, in 1492. Volume 1 includes all the known English Pettuses, including some in branches overlooked in previous genealogies; identifies English Pettuses known to have emigrated to Virginia ; and traces the migrations of Pettuses from Tidewater Virginia into the Virginia Piedmont, Southside Virginia, and Southwestern Virginia. Volume 1 also follows Pettuses who migrated from Virginia to other states and territories of the United States and the Province of Téjas, Mexico. Volume 1 is amply illustrated with dozens of pictures in full color and many others in black and white showing portraits, tombstones, monuments, maps, churches, houses, documents, artifacts, signatures, etc., in England, Virginia, and elsewhere.
Volume 2, which adds another four generations of Virginia Pettuses, is scheduled for publication later in 2011. It includes additional chapters of genealogical analyses that provide a logical foundation for constructing a new version of the family tree. The analyses are based upon evidence found in court, bible, census, letters, business, and other sources in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Texas, England, and the Netherlands. Some of the evidence described in Volume 2 was not available to earlier family historians. Volume 2 also contains numerous appendixes on diverse topics, including the author’s quest to locate the foundations of Littletown, the home of Thomas Pettus who immigrated to Virginia from England in the early seventeenth century; research trips abroad; and related families. Appendix M presents evidence rebutting Suzanne Lebsock’s thesis presented in her book, A Murder in Virginia: Southern Justice on Trial (W. W. Norton & Company, 2003), concerning the brutal ax-murder of Lucy Pollard of Lunenburg County, Virginia, in 1895.
The biographies in both volumes are arranged according to a modified version of the National Genealogical Society’s numbering system, where each generation is contained within a single chapter. Both hard-cover volumes are amply documented with over 7,500 endnotes.
Price will depend upon the size of the print run. For 200 copies, the prospective publisher estimates the cost will be about $50 per copy, plus shipping handling, and tax. If demand warrants a larger print run of 300 copies, the price will decrease by about $5 per copy. The author plans to sell at a price that will only cover his cost of publication and distribution.
William Walker Pettus IV
3405 Albion Court
Fairfax, VA 22031