What do the years 1610 and 1948 have in common?

What do the years 1610 and 1948 have in common?

In the grand scheme of things, 1610 and 1948 really have very little to do with each other. However if we take a closer look we might discover a very startling revelation.

Jamestown Colony about 1619


In 1610 my 9th Great Grandfather Thomas Garnet (Born 14 Dec 1585 in Kirby Lonsdale, Lancashire, England) was brought to America from England as an indentured servant to Captain William Powell. Between one-half and two-thirds of white immigrants to the American colonies came under indentures. Indenture lasted usually between 3-10 years. They were basically slaves and were treated as such.

1619 Captain William Powell vs Thomas Garnett

“Captaine William Powell presented a pettition to the generall Assembly against one Thomas Garnett, a servant of his, not onely for extreame neglect of his business to the great loss and prejudice of the said Captaine, and for openly and impudently abusing his house, in sight both of Master and Mistress, through wantonnes with a woman servant of theirs, a widdowe, but also for falsely accusing him to the Governor both of Drunkennes and Thefte, and besides for bringing all his fellow servants to testifie on his side, wherein they justly failed him. It was thought fitt by the general assembly (the Governour himself giving sentence), that he should stand fower dayes with his eares nayled to the Pillory, viz: Wednesday, Aug. 4thm and so likewise Thursday, fryday, and Satturday next following, and every of those dayes should be publiquely whipped.”  [Tyler, Narratives of Early Virginia, 268]   It is not evident how serious or true the accusations leveled by William Powell against Thomas Garnett actually were. The only testimony offered in the case came from William Powell himself, and he was known to be a drunkard and gambler. Also, William Powell was well acquainted with the governor, played cards with him and allegedly lost his beautiful estate called Chippokes [on the James River] in a card game with the governor. Such comradeship between Captain Powell and the governor would not likely ensure fair treatment for Thomas Garnett against the word of his accuser.

Thomas Garnett was confined to this type of Pillory and whipped .

Captain Powell was killed by Indians in late 1622 or early 1623 and Thomas Garnett went on to be a free man, having paid off his debt and became a man who owned hundreds of acres of land, a large home, had a wife and several children and was a well liked and respected man in Jamestown.

These two men’s paths crossed in such an unusual way and with such an unlikely outcome.


Fast forward about 3 hundred and 20 years.

Benjamin Douglas (Doug) Hughes met Emmajane Smith when his younger sister brought her new friend home to their rural Missouri farm (about 1938). 10 years later, after both of them had been married, widowed and/or divorced; they fell in love and got married on December 13 1948. They were married for 26 years when Doug died of lung cancer. From their union I was born.


So what do these two events have in common?

Here is what I just discovered:

Thomas Garnett is my Maternal 9th Great Grandfather

Captain William Powell is my Paternal 9th Great Grandfather

Both lines came together because of life changing events over 300 years apart, to me this is absolutely amazing!!

To read my Blog on Captain William Powell click here: http://tinyurl.com/kaoufpx



I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

4 thoughts on “What do the years 1610 and 1948 have in common?

    1. Ruth

      That is the belief that he was indeed the first Garnett here in America. He is listed in the Early Virginia Colonial Census of 1624.

      Thank you for the link to your blog. I really enjoyed reading the letter.


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