Category Archives: Thomas Garnett

Over 300 Years Apart ~Freaky Friday’s #4


jamestownMy 9th Great Grandfather Thomas Garnet (Born Dec 14, 1585, in Kirby Lonsdale, Lancashire, England) was brought to America from England as an indentured servant to Captain William Powell, a wealthy ships Captain and landowner in both England and Virginia. 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. At one time Thomas told another person that William Powell was a drunkard and he was draggedPillory into court. He was declared guilty and was sentenced to standing for 4 days with his ear nailed to a pillar and then be publicly whipped every one of those days.  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 38 years.

Dad & Mom ML from BookBenjamin 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 have 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!! And it is just one more “Freaky” occurrence in my family tree.


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on 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.


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Filed under Ancestry, Captain William Powell, Family History, Family Search, Freaky, Genealogy, History, Hughes, Jamestown Colony, Missouri, Oddities, Thomas Garnett, Uncategorized, Virginia

The Good Side of Bad

close up of teenage girl

A couple of years ago I was sharing some of my exciting Genealogy findings with my then 10-year-old Grandson. He was excited to discover that President Zachary Taylor was a distant cousin. He listened intently to the stores of our Ancestors who helped to establish Jamestown. Then I told him that we were cousins with the infamous outlaw, John Wesley Hardin. That is when he got a stern look on his face and said, “What’s so good about that?”

I started thinking about his statement this morning and realized that there really is a good side of the “bad” characters we find in our lineage. Let’s be honest, our family trees would be boring if we didn’t have a few bad seeds in it. They bring colorful tales to our stories and even some lessons.

One such story is about my 9th Grand Aunt Sarah (Hood) Bassett. She was born in 1657 insalem witch trials sign Lynn Massachusetts.  She married William Basset in 1675. In May of 1692, Sarah along with her sister Elizabeth and Sister-in-law Elizabeth were arrested on the charge of practicing witchcraft. All three were transported to Salem which was about 5 miles away. They were carried there by a wagon that had bars on it to prevent escape. All three women were tried and convicted and were sent to prison in Boston.  Sarah was accompanied by her 22-month-old son Joseph and she was allowed to keep him with her. She was released in December 1692. Not long after the ordeal was over, Sarah gave birth to a daughter whom she named Deliverance as an ode to her freedom.

PilloryAnother story is from my 9th Great Grandfather Thomas Garnett. He was born in Kirby Lonsdale, Lancashire, England, December 15, 1595. He was brought to Virginia in 1609 as an Indentured Servant by Captain William Powell. Indentured Servants were basically slaves and had to serve for at least 10 years to earn their freedom. William Powell was a mean master and he abused all of his “servants”. It is said that he was also a drunk. In 1619 Thomas complained to the Governor of Virginia about his master’s behavior to which William brought charges against him for disloyalty. This Petition by William Powell to the General Assembly caused the Governor himself to give this sentence upon Thomas Garnett “that the said defendant should stand four days with his ears nailed to the Pillory” that is to say from Wednesday, August 4th and for likewise Thursday, Friday and Saturday next following…and every of those four days should be publicly whipped.” [Journal of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 1619, page 12].

To me, regardless of the circumstances that each of these ancestors found themselves in, feel that these accounts bring some “Flavor” to my Family History. I actually find myself spending more time in research and writing about the ancestors that were “unique”!

What type of stories do you have in your Family Tree?

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on History and You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter

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Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Family Search, Famous, Genealogy, History, Jamestown Colony, John Wesley Hardin, Massachuettes, Research, Salem Witch Trials, Sarah Hood Bassett, Thomas Garnett, Uncategorized, Virginia