Wife of Giles Carter of Henrico
Reasonable doubt exists that Giles Carter married an illegitimate daughter of James Crews that he supposedly had with an Indian slave.Shawn Potter made many assumptions and considers his conclusions a virtual certainty or absolute Proof.It is not.He asked for input to his "theory" but when I told him of John Rowen's will over a decade ago;He stated that it should not be considered.Clearly he was rejecting facts that didn't fit his theory.Years later I have seen many people accept this rather wild speculation as a Proof.Once again it is NOT.
If you examine each point of this "proof" you will see that all are assumptions and do not offer proof in themselves or all taken together do not yield anything like a virtual certainty or a Proof.
1.The main point of Shawn's proof rests on the interpretation of Attorney Grendon's statement that James Crews left no widow or lawful children.What did he mean.That Crews had NO living wife or children is probably what he meant.ShawnAssumes he meant that James Crews had no widow but had illegitimate known children and that child was Hannah wife of Giles Carter.Why must we also assume that he meant Hannah?JamesCrews didn't marry until age 33 was in London until age 29.That' a long time to be celibate perhaps he was trying to exclude any illegitimate children James may have had in Londonor elsewhere and didn't want someone to turn up claiming to be an heir later on. Did Hannah ever go to court claiming to be his daughter?She may have gotten some traction on this in Va. with the other heirs in England and Berkley now gone.If you don't accept the assumption that what Grendon meant was that James Crews had known illegitimate children and that child was Hannah.Then the proof collapses.
2.The Will:The generosity of James Crews will in giving personal items and the bulk of his wealth to the Giles Carter family could indicate a family relationship, butJames Crews at the time of his will was known to have no wife or children."generosity TRADITIONALLYreserved to children or grandchildren" but if Crews had no children, wife or grandchildren ...Was he to let the property revert to the crown or
Berkley for want of a bequest??? Tradition is not law or proof but a generalization.After the death of John Rowen, Giles Carter continued to live in the same area Probably working as James Crews overseer from 1662 until 1676.He let (leased) land and a house from him and according to James Crews was his "loving friend".James Crews only known Blood relations was his father Matthew Crews in London,and his brothers:Edward, andFrancis.Francis had a son Matthew (nephew of James later his administrator)Edward had a daughter Sarah who married a Whittingham).James never mentions Sarah but she seems to be the leader in trying to break James Crews will.Under the laws at the time James Crews can leave property to whoever he likes...with the exception of the bulk of his real property( real estate). He is allowed to bequeath small parts of real estateHe gives Giles Carter 60 acres and the house he let him.He gives his Indian Slave Tero about 20 acres.If Hannah were his daughter legitimate or otherwise he was free to give her the 20,000 lbs of tobacco that he gave her daughters.Note Shawn's age estimates below:
"I invite any and all to review and comment on my conclusions concerning the identity of Hannah (born about 1652), the wife of Giles Carter of Turkey Island, Henrico County, Virginia. Hannah married Giles in about 1670; and their children were: Theodorick (born about 1672), Susannah (born about 1674), Mary (born about 1676), Ann (born about 1678), and Giles Jr. (born after September 14, 1681)."
If we ignore John Rowen's will as Shawn did and consider Hannah to be Giles first and onlywife he is marrying at age 36 pretty late .Susannah (b. 1674 is receiving James bequest at age 2 and Mary at under age 1They received 10,000 lbs of tobacco each....at the time tobacco had fallen price to 1.5 pence per pound, but that amountwould convert to over 62 Poundssterling....what a skilledcraftsman in England could expect for 2 years wages!!Enough money to buy over a square mile of land in Va. or several plantations.Would this be given to an infant??Even if Hannah was James Crews illegitimate daughter she could have been giventhe 20,000 lbs of tobacco with no legal problem...worth 120 Pounds Sterling enough to buy a larger plantation than Turkey Islandor one for her and one for Giles and still provided for her children.
James Crews acted as an agent and a lawyer.He knew he couldn't will the majority of his real estate to a non blood relative.At the time he made his will he had no living wife or children but he did have his life's work....The Turkey Island Plantation...which he wanted to survive him and devised a plan to protect it.He would rent it to his "Loving Friend" and overseer Giles Carter to continue running it paying his administrator only "a grain of Indian Corn per year".In this way the State or the King or especially Governor Berkley wouldn'tget the plantation by default.He never suspected Sarah Whittingham would convince Nephew Matthew Crews to break his will and take the plantation and trade it to William Randolph for 15 pounds sterling and 3 acres of land in England.This all occurred over 4 years after James Crew's death so Giles Daughters got their 20000 lbs of tobacco, Daniel Price got Jame's best coat and suit, Slave Tero got his bit of land and livestock and Giles got his 60 acres which he also later sold to Randolph.
James Crews gave land to both Giles and Hannah the 60 acres....so he considered them both friends....a married couple was considered one legal entity and owned property jointly only the husband who was considered "smarter" could buy and sell real estatebut there is a restriction on the husbands rights....the dower or widow's third.She was entitled to 1/3 ofher husband's wealth or property during her lifetime...if property was sold the wife was interviewed separately from her husband and signed to remove her dower rights.An unmarried woman, or a widow enjoyed full property rights. Look at James Crews mother-in-law.I believe James Crews married Margaret Llewellyn his business partner likely his boss's daughter.His mother-in-Law Ann Price Hallom Llewellyn at one time controlled over 3000 acres land comprising both the Curles and Turkey Island area...Thru the patents of her first husband John Price and her second husband Robert Hallom and I think one of her own.
Are we to believe that James Crews was in fear to reveal an illegitimate child because of a fine? 500 lbs of tobacco?3 lbs sterling or that Governor Berkley would find out?He would have already known.There was a low population ...James was a wealthy Planter and business man..no stranger to the court where he frequently took his ...non paying customers for debt.The area was like a small town today...there are few secrets.
James Crews had much more serious concerns thansomething as trivial to him as an illegitimate child ?I believe James Crews was pretty fearless:He was going against the royal governor who already didn't like him....it was said that Berkley was against public education and books because it stirred up the common people and caused unrest.James Crews was educated had books in English and Latin, was pretty good in raising up the population..went around justifying Bacon's rebellion.The punishment for this offense ..Treason..is death...usually unpleasant death.Berkley and his men traded with the Indians and wanted a monopoly in this trade...I suspect Crews may have done some trade with the Indians as well.Who knows where the fur comes from settler or Indian but Berkley may have known this too thru his Indian friends.
3.The mother of supposedly illegitimate Hannah had to be an Indian let's look at this argument.She couldn't have been a white woman, because of strict laws and fines and social consequences.The main thing the court would consider is support for the bastard child so it wouldn't burden the state.The woman might be whipped.A rich planter such as James Crews would likely suffer at most a file of 500 to 1000 lbs of tobacco....3 to 6 lbs sterling.A rich planter in Maryland had a child thru the rape of an indentured girl...she was whipped and had her servitude extended because of the pregnancy, but the planter's only consequence was being shunned by the church for a time.The Proof states no contemporaneous records show James Crews was fined for having a white bastard childso do we have a proof for lack of evidence.....there exists almost no contemporaneous recordslikely 95% are missing we have a few for the years 1655 and 1656 the rest are fragments and a few scattered documents.There was an inventory of records in the 1700's that show dozens of books which are now lost.So the argument that Hanna's mother couldn't be white falls.In the unlikely James crews actually had an illegitimate child he could have been fined, excommunicated, Jailed, but because of the missing records from this time period we just don't know.We certainly don't have any evidence to prove the mother of a likely nonexistant unlawful child could not have been white.Note also there is no record of afineshowing James Crews had a bastard child of any color:White, Black, Yellow or Red.
Hannah couldn't have been African American because she inherited an African American female slave?At that time in Virginia it was legal for her to do so.How then is this any proof that the mother is non black?The law restricted African Americans to owning slaves of their own color.Which didn't apply to Whites: they were free to own any race.So Indians could have Indian slaves...and did.African Americans could have African American Slaves and did.At first the laws were more lax.Some African Americans earned or were given their freedom and were entitled to own slaves and property.Later the laws became so strict that a planter couldn't free his slaves unless he transported them out of Virginia.
I noticed no exclusion for the possibility of a Chinese slave as the mother of Hannah would not this to be a possibility?
That brings us to the possibility of an Indian mother.James Crews had a license to keep an Indian Slave and he did have one.The only known and documented Indian Slave of James Crews was his MAN Tero mentioned in James Crews will and in later court records.There is no license for keeping an Indian Female or any mention or record of one.Because he owned one male Indian Slave is this proof that he also owned a female slave or had a child by her?
Theevidence that James crews had a loving disposition toward Indians in that he freed his Slave Tero after him serving 3 years after Crews death and providing him livestock and land for himself and another.Yes he liked Tero, but Indians in general?NO.Look at Bacons rebellion.Settlers in Maryland had massacred 10Susquhannock "great men"under a flag oftruceand they went south vowing to kill 10 settlers for every chief killed.They actually killed quite a few more than that...and not just killed ...disemboweled, burned etc which terrorized the small planters and settlers in the frontier area .Bacons overseer of whom he was fond was so massacred.I suspect James Crews friends and his customers up and down the river met similar fates Possibly even his own wife and Children....which would explain why he would risk his life and fortune going against all Indians in the rebellion....trying to kill them all :the hostile and the friendly.
4. " Possession of the Will"In colonial Virginia wills were usually kept in the testators home with their personal papers until their death.After they died someone with access to these papers and an interest (heir or administrator) in the will would present the will to court to be recorded.This was often some family member because they were living in the same household, but if the testator had no surviving familyit would fall to a neighbor, friend, the sheriff.We already know by the will that Giles Carter was living on James Crews plantation, making his crops, commanding his servants...so of course he would have access to the will and as an heir have an interest in presenting it.There is no law that he had to be family.It's just a generalization ...rule of thumb...and not any proof at all.
Each point taken separately or all lumped together just don't add up to Proof that Hannah was the bastard child of James Crews and an Indian maiden.It's just a bunch of assumptions and a theory at best.
Who then is the real father of Hannah?Well I have a "Theory about that"not the virtual certainty that Shawn purports.
Henry Rowen/Rowin/Rowingeb. 1602 came to Va. on the Temperance in 1621.He was indentured to George Yeardley and lived in Virginia at Flower dew 100.Later Percy's 100 Which was on the south side of the James River near what later became the Turkey island plantation.Little information survives relating to Henry.He got a land grant for 300 acres in Weyanoke just east of Turkey island in 1634 and likely married after his servitude about 1628.He was dead by 1662, but you can get a glimpse of his family thru the will of his son John Rowen.John Rowen was born about 1630 and married about 1656 to the widow of John Price(2) Her maiden name was Wall and she had 2 children: Daniel and John Price who became John Rowen's step children.At the time of John Rowens will his wife is dead and he has a young son named Henry about age 5 who he wants educated and provided for with the proceeds of his estate.His brother in law Richard Ingram is to have this obligation.So we know John also has a Sister that marries Richard Ingram.Also mentioned in John's will is his brother Henry Rowen who has a son named John.Rounding out the family is in my theory isHannah Rowen now wife of Giles Carter.Giles Carter is living on John Rowen's plantation at the time of Rowen's death and is given a Cow called Mad Cap which may indicate that he has small children likely Susannah and Mary.He is also given the use of a house and land on the plantation for a year.So Giles Carter is receiving about the same value of bequest as John Rowen's other siblings.After a year the house given Giles is to revert to John Rowen's young son Henry.I think the land John Rowen is living on may have come from his wife.His step sons have an estate of about 300 acres which he was managing.This is land that was once patented by John Price Sr and Robert Hallom .Some of which was later sold to James Crews and became the Turkey Island Plantation.Witnessing John Rowen's will is MargaretCrews wife of James Crews and Daughter of Daniel Llewellyn whom James Crews works for as an agent.The Wife of Daniel Llewellyn is Ann Price Hallom Llewellyn the mother of John Rowens wife's first husband and grandmother of Daniel and John Price.Daniel Price later married Giles Carter's daughter Susannah and is given James Crew's best coat and suit in his will.
By my theory Giles Carter married at about age 25 after his possible indenture.He marriedJohn Rowen's sister and she is his only wife dying after him after 1701.Thesimplesttheory is often the correct one.