The following is how I read the tea leaves.Please note, that my Wilburn family research work is always a work in progress.Itis subject to changes as new (or perhaps more accurately stated,) old documents surface to my attention).
Hopefully by this time next year, I will have my database cleaned up, more corrections will have been madeand I will be comfortable in posting my entire workon Ancestry.com for all who are interested.In the meantime, here is an overall summary of my findings to date.Also note that even though this surname is and has long been spelled in various ways, I will use the spelling of Wilburn. Save for a few exceptions which will be noted shortly.
Starting with John Welsbourne,who is recorded living on the Eastern Shore in VA in 1623.He is living near John Wilkins and his wife Goodwife Wilkins.No children are noted for either John Welsbourne or the Wilkins family.
Please note, the Eastern Shore was later to be part of Accomack co VA and so noted as Accowmak by 1634.Accomack co VA so known by 1663, borders on Northhampton.
Some historical tidbits to keep in mind.As history notes, in 1623, there were less than 2500 white colonists in VA. (The first black slaves arrived in 1619. And exchange for tobacco for slaves who were initially slated to be tranported to the West Indies was negotiated by John Rolfe. Rolfe was thenmarried to Pocahontas.And while ships continued to arrive at VA,bringing new colonists, only one colonist out of seven managed to survive more than a few years due to incredible hardships.
These newplantations and small farms were scattered within a sixty miles radius along the eastern seaboard. Twenty three planations were noted in 1623.The rest of the population consisted of small farm owners.
So it would appear likely that John Welbourne knew mostof his neighbors then living on the eastern Shore in 1623.
As history notes, there were approximately 5000 white colonists scattered throughtout VA in 1635.
By 1636, William Wilburn is noted as a servant, along with 23 other servants and one slave, who was transported from the Eastern Shore to Nansemound VA by John Wilkins.Note that John Wilkins is reported to be same John Wilkins who was neighbor of John Welsbourne in 1623. (Muster taken following the Indian Massacre in March of 1622. Noted in serveral gen books, and in 'Early Colonists of VA'
What kinship there was between John Welbourne and William Welbourne is unk.Father and son, brothers??? This bit of information appears to be lost to the ages.
Between 1652,54 and 1656, other names of Welbourns were recorded in VA.Samuel, Robert Wilburn were noted as servants being tranferred to Lancaster Co VA and Westmoreland VA. However, Richard Wilburn,of York Co,VA,is noted as delinquent on his taxes in 1656.(Save for the delinquent tax list) all of the above noted Wilburns noted as servants can be found in Nell Nugents 'Cavaliers and Pioneers'.
Now the waters get murky...When did Thomas Welbourn of Accomack Co VA arrive???I think that he was born in York Co VA...and not in York England.But that is my opinion and I can understand that others would think diffently since he is quoted as saying that he was from the 'Citty of York'.However, it makes more sense for me to considerthat he too, was born in VA...
What I do think unlikely is this.That a bunch of unrelated Wilburns left theBritish Isles and settled intoVA within a twenty to thirty year span of time. With a still very small population, the odds simply do not support this consideration.No passenger lists support this either.And in fact, to my knowledge, no passanger lists show any Wilburns arriving until 1727.(John Wilburn is noted arriving to MD as a convict.)
Instead, here is what I do think likely.I think that about 97# of Wilburns living in America today, descend from ancestors who lived on the Eastern Shore and/or Accomack VA.
And in fact, I think it likely that the Quaker Welborn families who lived in Chester Co PA and then settled into Baltimore Co MD did not arrive directly from England, but instead settled first into VA.I am referring toEdward Welborn and his Teague in-laws and their descendants. My reasons for thinking this are many.But I will just cite two general reasons at this time.
1. Governor William Berkerley,then Gov of VA,until Bacon's Rebellion was quelled in 1676,ordered ALL Quakers and Puritans out of VA.
2. Numerous families living on Eastern Shore/Accomack VA c 1650/1680 migrated to MD. This included a number of Welsh and Scotch Quaker families.AND IMPORTANTLYto note, many of these families such as Tilghman/Tillmans who lived in both Accomack VA and PA and MD also married one of Edward Welborn and Elizabeth Mitchell's grandchildren. The Tilghmans are just one of many families who have roots first in Accomack VA and then later married descendants of Edward Wilburn/The Teagues and Crabtrees.(Please note, it would take me many hours to look up and report these family connections for this one post.So for now, I'll pass on this project.
Now back to the Accomack VA families.As most long time researchers know, Thomas Welborn of Accomack, VA,married Arcadia Tolf, died in 1703 and left descendants, some of whom continued to live in Accomack Co Va, as late as 1830, if not beyond that time frame. He served in the House of Burgess, having been elected in 1699 and also owned a plantation and slaves.He also held other postitions of power and would today be noted as a mover and shaker.
Some interesting tidbits here.William Drummond also a member of the House of Burgess, but at an earlier date, was later rounded up and hanged for his part in
'Bacon'Rebellion'Drummond and Nathaniel Bacon were both aristcrats,who none-the-less, were sympathetic to the small farm owners who, for the most part, had no rights and were being squeesed out by the wealthy plantation owners. Runaway slaves and servants were welcomed into this rebellion, which was quickly put down after Bacon was spelled by fevor and died during this turmoil.
William Drummond was kin to the Drummond family of Accomack VA.These Drummond families in Accomack VAmarried into the family of Thomas Welborn...
As history notes, when Bacon and his armed rebels stormed into Jamestowns and torched everything in sight, Gov Berkerely and his cronies escaped and crossed the bay over to Accomack VA and there enlisted the help of the wealthy plantation owners.Thus, so fortified by the Accomack land owners they were able to beat back the rebellion. Waht role if any, Thomas Welborn played in aiding the Gov is unknown.But William Drummond was later rounded up and hanged!
Please note, there are some Parish records in England that show kinships between Welborns and Drummonds c late 1500's.(something that I would like to explore.)
But again, I digress.All of this is to say that in my own reconstruction of various Welborn records, such as those who are known to me, I find it likely that these early Welborn families were ALL related.
I suspect that some Welborns who embraced the Quaker faith, left VA and settled into more friendly communities...hence the move to Chester Co PA...and then later moved to MD, while theircousins stayed in VA and and contined to live in VA for many generations. And then descendants of these early Welborn families migrated into NC and beyond.In other words, Welborns from MD settled into Rowan Co NC, while Wilburns in VA also settled into various counties in NC.
Also worth noting is this:Moses Teague and Wm Wilburn both had land deeds recorded on the same date in Goochland Va in 1751.These lands deeds were granted by Lord Granville.By 1753, Wm Sr Wm Jr and Edward Welborn can be found in Orange Co, NC, living close to each other and also livingnear the Haw River.
Meanwhile during this same time frame, descendants of the Accomack VA Welborns can be found in Surry/Sussex VA records.Albemarble Parish Records 171-1778.
Some names connected to these Surry/Sussex VA Wilburn families are: Sturdivant and Threewitts.These same names can be found on documents for John Wilburn who died in Lunenburg VA in 1757.John left two minor children: Thomas and Susanna.
Descendants of these Accomack VA/Surry/Sussex VA Wilburn families can later be found in the following VA counties c 1755 and later.
Bedford VA, Lunenburg VA, Mechlenbugh VA, Powhaton VA and Campbell Co VA. Green Co GA among many other places.Other noted places are: Davidson Co TN and Wilkes Co NC.Also some descendants also Might be found in Halifax VA too.
Now this is where is gets wicky....One cannot assume that all Wilburns in a particular county are from same families.I've done this and I have also proved myselfWRONG!That they all had sharedancestors, yes, I think this to be 98% likely. But closely related???? Sometimes yes, and sometimes, not!
And to complicate things even more.The vast majority of all of these families were related many times and in many ways....people could easily be both second cousins, uncle and newhew, and fourth cousins and this was just on their father's side.Mother's side could be even more complicated with kinships.
Well,its time for me to take an aspirin and give me brain a rest.If anyone has managed to read down to this bottom line, I would advise that you do the same.
Vikky Wilburn Anders