THE “ANCIENT” INDIAN ANCESTRY
Origin of the surname:
SIZEMORE (Eng.) Descendant of Sigmar (victory, great) dweller on the Saxon's wasteland1
When I checked the LDS IGI for England (Jan/Feb 1988) many years ago, I found numerous pages of records. There were 44 spelling variants of SIZEMORE. The earliest record was dated 1556 and largest concentration of the surname was in the county of Gloucester.2
However, we do have a mixed bag of results that does need explaining. The largest group in our DNA test results is Haplogroup Q. This haplogroup designation has been confirmed with SNP tests of several of our participants. It is found in Native Americans and in Europe. In addition to our main Q group, we have received results for three of our participants that also have SNP confirmed Hg Q but do not match the main group.
In order to be sure our markers are consistent with the Native American markers, our main group participants were joined to the FTDNA Q3 Native American project.3 The three non matching participants and a few of the main group participants were joined to the FTDNA Q project.4 The administrators of both projects have concluded our participant’s markers are most consistent with the Native American markers, which means they are all descendants of a MALE Native American, but not the same Most Recent Common Ancestor.
Even though some Sizemore lines have an oral history of NA ancestry, it was always thought to be from a MALE SIZEMORE/FEMALE NA relationship, so these results were quite surprising.
I think everyone will agree there wasn’t a full blood male or female Indian named SIZEMORE waiting on the banks of the James when the English arrived. These DNA results are for the “ancient ancestry” and genealogically the earliest MRCA would have to be in 1600s Virginia. The DNA results indicate the origin of these male lines is apparently due to FEMALE SIZEMORE and MALE NA relationships with the child/children using the Sizemore surname. This also means these male lines are not *genetically* Sizemores.
The genealogical research shows the earliest appearance of the surname in Virginia is WILLIAM SISMORE who came to VA from England and received 100 acres of land "Upon Appomattox River" in the first division of land in 1619.5
William isn’t found on any of the surviving early ship lists, but in order to qualify for this amount of land he had to be in VA before 1616.6
The Henrico & Charles City Co. division line was moved in 1634 and later patents mentioning SIZEMORE'S CREEK indicate William's land was on the north side of the Appomattox River in Henrico Co. in the area that became Chesterfield Co. in 1749.
There are two records for Martha SISEMORE, one dated 18 July 1620 saying she had paid for her passage to VA7, the other dated 23 May 1625 indicating she made frequent trips between England & Virginia.8
No record of a maiden name has been found for Martha. I believe she arrived later than William. It is assumed they were married which most likely occurred in Virginia. She may have been among the women that were transported from England, starting in 1619, with the intention of marrying the many unhappy single males already there. 9
During the Indian massacre William & Martha fled across the river where they are found on the 16 Feb. 1623/4 list of the living at West & Shirley Hundred.10
They are not found on the 1624/5 census, but on Jan 14, 1625/6 William was still living in VA when he sent 2000 lbs. of tobacco to England.11
1636/31/Dec.- VA Patent Bk. 1-Part II: Ralph WYATT, Gent. to Richard JOHNSON, Roger DAVIS & Abraham WOOD, Planters, last day of Dec. 1636, p.590. One parcell of land lying & being from SIZEMORES Cr. & soe up the Cr. as farr as CAPT. BUTTONS land doth extend, from thence up to the Rock in Apamattock Riv., thence along the river & soe into the Baye & from thence to SIZEMORE his Cr. againe. Said WYATT, his assigns &c. shall possess & enjoy 10A of land aforesaid running down from the Rock above mentioned. Signed Ralph WYATT. Wit: Joseph FISTER, Daniell LEWELLIN.12
Abraham WOOD, Richard JOHNSON, & Roger DAVIS jointly leased from Ralph WYATT, a tract on SIZEMORE'S CREEK and extending to the rock in Appomattox River for 21 yrs. On May 14, 1638 Abraham WOOD patented 400A in Charles City Co. on Appomattox River adjoining lands of JOHN BAKER & JOSEPH BOURNE and extending west on the main river over against Peircie's Toyle Creek.
Another patent for 200A in Henrico Co. on the north side of Appomattox River "neere unto the great Rocke" and opposite land of JOHN BAKER was granted to him 8 June 1639. These two tracts, with 100A added, were incorporated in a patent for 700A in Henrico Co. on SIZEMORE'S CREEK granted to him, 20 Oct. 1642.13
FORT HENRY, located at present-day Petersburg, was granted to Captain Abraham WOOD with 600A of land plus all houses, edifices, boats, and ammunition belonging to the fort. WOOD was required to maintain and keep ten persons continuously at the fort for three years. The forts served as the first line of defense against possible attacks by the natives. Being the center of the varied activities of the frontier, they also were the starting point for expeditions against the Indians and became the center of trade for the outlying regions.14
In 1650 he [Abraham WOOD] joined Edward BLAND, Sackford BREWSTER and Elias PENNANT on a journey of discovery along the Chowan and Nottoway rivers into NC. In 1653 the Assembly granted him and his associates special privileges for fourteen years in trading activities "in places where no English ever have bin and discovered, nor have had particular trade." 15
Appamattucks, chief village of King Coquonasum was located until 1623 on Swift Creek, a tributary of the Appomattox River, about a mile above its mouth. Apamatuks (Smith) or Mattica (Tindall) was the chief village of Queen Oppussoquionuske, sister of King Coquonasum. It was located on Bermuda Hundred point until it was destroyed about Christmas, 1611, by Sir Thomas Dale. Appomattocks Indian Towne apparently became the chief village after the destruction in 1623 of King Coquonasum's village by Capt. Nathaniel West. It was located on Old Indian Towne Creek, the present Rohoic Run, and remained there until 1691. It was within a short distance of the site of Fort Henry, 1646-1676. Population about 250.16
Various deeds continue to use SIZEMORES Cr. as a boundary location, but I haven't found anything else naming either William or Martha, and nothing indicating they had any children. However, I believe the NA ancestry had to have come into the line during this early time period when it was encouraged and totally accepted. The most likely suspect right now is Martha, but there's no actual proof of that. It also seems possible this MALE NA could have been from the above Appomattock tribe, although I doubt we'll ever know exactly which tribe this ancestry actually came from.
Surry Co., VA- 10 June 1654. Deed Thomas ROLFE to Wm. CORKER 150 acres of
land between SMITH's Fort old field & the Divell's Woodyard Swampe & all
houses, etc., being due unto the sd ROLFE by guift from the INDYAN KING.
Wit: Ja. MASON, Edmund HOWELL.
On backside assigned by Wm CORKER to Wm. BARBER, 22 Aug. 1654.
Wit: Richd. WEBSTER, SAM SUKLEMOE. [Is this SIZEMORE? JK]
Assigned by Wm BARBER to Rober GILBERT and Xo. MITCHELL on 1 Dec. 1654.
Wit: Wm. MARRIOTT, Jno. BRADY.
Interest assigned by Chr. MITCHELL to Roger GILBER.
Wit: Jno. CORKER.17
Note JK: The above dates are shown in this deed but all other entries in this section are dated 1674. If the 1654 date is correct, SAM would have been at least 21 so born by 1633 or earlier.
A record has been found that indicates SAMUEL SIZEMORE owned a lot in Norfolk Town, Norfolk Co., VA, in 1693.18 In order to acquire land, SAMUEL would have to be at least 21 at this time so born by 1672 or earlier. If this is the same SAMUEL that’s a witness on the above deed and the 1654 date is correct, he would have been 60 yrs. old in 1693!
No record of this purchase by SAMUEL or the sale to Thomas TABOR has been found, but the purchase by TABOR is mentioned in his 1700/1 will.19
1707/10/Mar. - Deed Book W #1, Chowan County, N.C.
Note JK: Only place in deeds from 1696 to 1723 that Suklemore is listed,
all others Sizemore.
Samuel SIZEMORE is also found on a 1715 tax list in Perquimans Co., NC21
Joseph SISEMORE is a witness to a deed in Chowan Co., NC Oct. 13, 1718 but not found in any other records.20
Samuel SIZEMORE received land grants in NC.22 He md. Elizabeth HOOKER, daughter of William HOOKER. Elizabeth’s sister Ann was married to Robert EVANS, son of the above Peter EVANS.23 He is found on a 1721 tax list 24, but was dead by 1723 leaving one known son, Samuel Jr., and Elizabeth md. Nicholas SESSUMS.25
There are later records for Samuel SIZEMORE, Jr., but nothing has been found in any of the records, so far, that indicate he had a wife or children. I do think Samuel Sr. and Joseph were related to the early Henrico Co., VA family, but there is no concrete proof of that either.
In 1712 Margery SISEMORE was a witness to the will of Richard HOMES/HOLMES. The Henrico Co., VA records, found so far, show Margery was born in 1690, most likely the orphan of Evan OWEN & his wife Margery. They also show she was Margery SISEMORE in 1712, living in the same area of then Henrico Co., VA (present Chesterfield Co.) where the 1st William SIZEMORE received land in 1619.26
In 1734 William SIZEMORE of Henrico Co., VA had a land survey. He would have to be born by 1713.27
In 1736 another Henrico Co., VA deed mentions SIZEMORE Cr.28
William SIZEMORE received a patent in 1738, the land was located in Amelia Co., VA.29 He is also mentioned in other patents.30 He is not found on the early Amelia Co., VA tax lists so may not have lived on this land.31
In 1739 Henry SIZEMORE is found in one Goochland Co., VA record, but there’s no indication he ever actually lived there.32 There’s no way to know his actual age at this time, but if he was of legal age (21) he would have been born by 1718.
There are numerous entries for the SIZEMORES in the VA survey books and all the locations are in present Halifax & Mecklenburg counties of VA.33
In 1741 WILLIAM has the 1st survey entry.
In 1743 MARGERY has a survey entry. This is transcribed as MARY but
additional records show it was probably an abbreviation of MARG.
In 1743 HENRY & EPHRAIM have surveys so born by 1722 or earlier.
In 1744 WILLIAM sold the Amelia Co. land and is "of Brunswick Co., VA" (the
parent Co. of present Halifax Co.).34
In 1746 EDWARD & JAMES are mentioned for the first time in the surveys so
born by 1725 or earlier.
In 1747 GEORGE SIZEMORE enters 200 Acres of Land on the Lower side Line of his Mother MARY [MARGERY] SIZEMORE's Survey. GEORGE was born by 1726 or earlier.
Also in 1747 is this entry:
P.50 (March 19 1746/7 Void) HENRY SIZEMORE junr. enters 400 Acres of Land Begin: at his Fathers begin. W.O. Blaz'd 3 Ways thence running for length Southwardly.
Note JK: There is nothing in any of the continuing records that mention HENRY as SR. or JR. and only one Henry is on the tithes list in 1748.
The 1748 Lunenburg Co., VA tithes lists for the area that became Halifax Co. included:
William, Ephraim, Henry James, and Edward SIZEMORE, 1 tithe each and all 21 or older.35
In 1749 we find William and Edward SYSMOORE, and James SIZEMORE. In 1750 George & Ephraim SIZEMORE.35 The 1751 list for the area of present Halifax & Mecklenburg counties has not been found. No Sizemores are on the few lists that do exist.
There are extensive continuing VA records for this Halifax/Mecklenburg group of Sizemores, all of which indicate they were considered white by the early 1700s. I am confident these are the men our DNA participants with the Hg Q markers descend from. Most of them left VA in the 1750s and are found in the SC records before some of them moved on to GA, NC, TN, and KY.
Some Sizemore researchers consider the 1753 record, that refers to EPHRAIM SIZEMORE as a mulatto, as proof of mixed NA ancestry.36 I have a different view on this. There are numerous references in various county minute books where slanderous statements have been made and later retracted. Since there is nothing, pertaining to this petition, in the remaining published abstracts of the Orange Co. Minutes, which continue for several years, the case may have been dropped for this reason, but Ephraim did not sue for restitution.
It’s also possible his early NA ancestry was known and fully accepted while living in VA, but was *tested* for acceptance in NC by Mary Torrington. Since nothing else is found on this case, and he’s not noted in any other records as anything but white, NC officials apparently accepted it as well, as did SC in this time period.
The half-blood Creek Indian ARTHUR SIZEMORE of AL is well documented, as are his descendants. The male descendant that has been tested does not have the NA markers. He is Hg E3b and matches no one in our project. Until we test another direct line male descendant of this line, we can't be sure the present tested descendent has the true markers for this line.
1. Smith, Elsdon C. - New Dictionary of American Family Names, 472.
5. Sams, The Conquest of Virginia The Third Attempt
An image of the original can be seen at The Library of Congress web site in The Thomas Jefferson Papers Series 8. Virginia Records Manuscripts. 1606-1737. Virginia, 1606-92, Charters of the Virginia Company of London; Laws; Abstracts of Rolls in the Offices of State
6. Charles E. Hatch, Jr., The First Seventeen Years VA 1607-1624
"The first real, or general, division was provided for in 1618 and became effective in VA in 1619. Two classifications of planters- those who came to VA before Dale departed in 1616 "ancient planters", each with three yrs. residence entitled to 100A. Those after Dale's departure, if they had come at their own charge, were to obtain 50A."
7. Library of Congress- Records of the VA Company Vol.1 p.408 and can also be seen on the Library of Congress website at: Manuscript Volume8. Virginia Magazine of History and Biography Vol.XXIII No.2, 135/136 - Minutes of The Council & General Court [ink folio 130]. Date confirmed 6/24/05 in email from Jean L. Cooper, Associate Director, Interlibrary Services University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA 22903.
Between 1619 and 1621 the Virginia Company sent about 250 young English women to Virginia . . . [Virginia Company Records, 16 July 1621, Ferrar Papers, Magdalene College, Cambridge College]
Nell Marion Nugent, Cavaliers And Pioneers 1623-1666, xvii. Introduction- Among the projects under the new order was one of November 3, 1619 duly carried into effect, except in the matter of number. “Lastly he wished that a fit hundredth might be sent of woemen, Maides young and uncorrupt to make wives to the Inhabitants and by that means to make them more setled & lesse moveable * * * These women if they marry to the publique farmers, to be transported at the charge of the Company; If otherwise, then those that take them to wife to pay the said Company their charges of transportation.”
10. Colonial Records of Virginia (1874; reprint, Baltimore, MD: Clearfield Company, 1989), 40-41; Sams, The Conquest of Virginia The Third Attempt, 655.
11. VTLS, Inc., Virginia Colonial Records Project, Survey Report No.3758 (revised) http://www.lva.lib.va.us/siteindex/index.htm
12. Nell Marion Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers-Abstracts of VA Land Patents & Grants 1623-1666, 95.
13. Adventurers of Purse And Person, 695-698: WOOD
Note JK: 2/25/05- http://users.rcn.com/deeds/pool.htm
This site has transcribed and mapped the location, but the Deed Mapper software is needed to view the maps. If anyone has this software, please let me know. This would be a great addition to our Sizemore records.
14. W. Stitt Robinson, Jr., Mother Earth Land Grants In Virginia, 1607-1699, 32.
15. Adventurers of Purse and Person, 696-7; Landon C. Bell, The Old Free State: A Contribution to the History of Lunenburg County and Southside Virginia, Vol. I Chapter III, 76-78; Philip A. Bruce, Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century: An Inquiry into the Material Condition of the People, Based on Original and Contemporaneous Records. Citation: New York: MacMillan and Co., 1896 Subdivision: Chapter VIII HTML by Dinsmore Documentationhttp://www.dinsdoc.com/bruce-1-8.htm
In 1646, Fort Henry on the Appomattox with six hundred acres attached was granted to Captain Abraham Wood, Fort James on the Chickahominy with four hundred acres to Thomas Rolfe, and Fort Royal with six hundred acres to Captain Roger Marshall, in return for which each was to maintain a band of rangers for the defence of these fortified posts.2 Hening’s Statutes, vol. I, 326, 327.
16. Ben C. McCary, Indians In Seventeenth-Century Virginia, 3.
Clarence Walworth Alvord and Lee Bidgood, The First Explorations of the Trans-Allegheny Region by the Virginians 1650-1674, 32-33.
“Just across the river was situated the principal village or “town” of the Appomattox Indians, who furnished Wood with messengers, hunters, porters, and courageous and faithful guides.”
17. Davis, Surry County Records - Surry County, Virginia, 1652-1684 Book II, March 1671 to 5 July 1684, 54.
18. Roger Dey Whichard, author and editor, The History Of Lower Tidewater Virginia Volume I (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., Inc., 1959), 325-370.
19. Abstracts of Norfolk County Wills, 175-6. Copy of pages personally requested & supplied to me by Kristina 7/23/07. They can now be seen here:http://www.rootsweb.com/~vanorfol/orf175.jpg
Norfolk, Norfolk Co., VA Will Book 6 f.201. Dated 8 Jan. 1700. Proved 15 Jan. 1700/1.
20. Margaret M. Hofmann, Chowan Precinct North Carolina Genealogical Abstracts of Deed Books 1697-1723.
21. NCGSJ-Aug 91, 130/131.
22. Margaret M. Hofmann, Province of North Carolina 1663-1729 Abstracts of Land Patents.
23. 1716/8/June Chowan Co. NC - Will of WM. HOOKER - Oct. Court 1717.
24. Weynette Parks Haun, Chowan Co., NC Misc. Papers 1685-1744 Bk.1, 22.
25. Journal of NC Genealogy Vol. VIII No.2 June 1962 Number 30 NC Inventories 1677-1784- File No. SS876 Dated 1722-1735 page 61.
26. Benjamin B. Weisiger III, Colonial Wills of Henrico Co., VA Part One 1677-1737 ; Cavaliers and Pioneers-Abstracts of VA Land Patents & Grants 1623-1666; Benjamin B. Weisiger III, compiler, Henrico County Virginia Deeds 1677-1705 (Athens, GA: Iberian Publishing Co., 1996); Cavaliers and Pioneers Volume II; Weisiger, Colonial Wills of Henrico Co., VA Part Two 1737-1781.
27. Beverley Fleet, Virginia Colonial Abstracts Vol. XXI Henrico Co., VA - Southside, 21, 29, 45, 48. Also see p.2- PREFACE: “. . . The records are of persons who lived in Henrico on the south side of James River. This became Chesterfield County in 1749. And also records of persons who had properties or business in that section.”
28. VA Gen. Soc., Cavaliers and Pioneers Vol. Four 1732-1741, 124- PB 17 p.211.
29. VA Land Office Patents No. 17, 1735-1738, p. 510 (Reel 15).
30. VGS, Cavalier And Pioneers Volume Four: 1732-1741, 130, 175, 235.
31. Amelia Co., VA tithe lists 1736-1755, 1762 and partial 1779 can be viewed online at:
32. Court Records, Goochland County, VA, Free Negro and Slave Records, 1739, Library of Virginia. “Samuel BURTON, John SPEARS, and HENRY SIZEMORE this day brought before me the head of Hampton, an outlawed slave belonging to John OWEN .... which said slave they could not take without killing of him. (Signed) George CARRINGTON.”
33. Marion Dodson Chiarito, Entry Record Book 1737-1770 (Land entries in present VA Counties of Halifax, Pittsylvania, Henry, Franklin & Patrick).
34. Amelia Co., VA DB.2 - 1742-1747.
35. Landon C. Bell, Sunlight on the Southside Lists of Tithes Lunenburg County, Virginia 1748-1783.
36. Shields- Orange Co., NC Abstracts of the Min. of the Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions of Sept. 1752-Aug. 1766.
Sept. 1753 Folio 10 p.20: "Mary Torrington petitions this court praying that an orphan female child, called Sarah Torrington taken from her in a forcible manner by a certain EPHRAIM SIZEMORE a mulatto & be bound to Miles Parker . . ."
Note JK: Copy of original ordered by & received from Jack Goins 24 Mar. 1999
The original reads as follows:
Mary Torrington Petitions this Court praying that an orphan female Child called Sarah Torrington taken from her in a forcible manner by a certain Ephraim Sisemore a Mullatto
OD. [ordered JK] be bound to Miles Parker, ordered that the said Parker take the said Orphan Child into his care at present and that the said Mary appear with said Sarah before the Justices of next Court.