Friday, November 4, 2016

Holbrook line: Luke Raven, Immigrant-but when?

It's fun sometimes to pull my head out of New England and go south to our ancestors who came early to Virginia and Maryland.  Their stories were different than our New England ancestors, if only because their worship was different.  In Virginia, you were a member of the state church, or else.  In Maryland, you could be almost anything as long as you were Protestant (except for brief periods when Catholics were in control).  So far, I've not learned which religion Luke followed, and there are a lot of other details I don't know, also. 

Luke was born about 1630 somewhere in England.  John Washington,  an ancestor of President George Washington, paid for his passage here in 1662, for which John received 50 acres headright, as well as the services of Luke, either personally or sold to another, as an indentured servant for some period of time.  Records showing what happened with Luke are lacking, or at least I haven't found them yet.  I found a reference in "Genealogy of some of the descendants of Thomas Dew, to the fact that "Both Robert Gorsuch and Luke Raven of the last two records above were early colonists around Jamestown, who migrated to Northern Neck and after a stay there for a few years migrated again (they and their offspring) to Baltimore County, Maryland".  From this, it's not clear whether the author thinks that Raven was here prior to 1662 or not.  But we know he was here in 1664, when he was a witness for Thomas Browne of Piankatank River on January 4.

Luke may have married  Elizabeth, possibly the daughter of Thomas and Mary Hughes, probably in Virginia.  They are believed to have had three children together, Luke, Sarah, and Avarilla.  By 1671 and for whatever reason, Luke had moved to what is now Baltimore County, Maryland.  There he purchased land and continued practicing his trade of blacksmith.  (Smiths were quite needed in the New World and probably had a higher status, and a higher income, than we would think, looking back through our wrong-colored glasses.  That may explain how Luke was able to acquire several pieces of land.)

He is believed to have died in 1687, which means he was in Maryland for at least 16 years, long enough to call it home.  It seems that his wife, possibly Elizabeth, must have been sick or died early with only three children in the family, but there seems to be no information about her. 

I need to keep researching this man, to try to figure out who his parents were (John and Joan Raven, of Northumberland County, have been suggested but there's no proof as far as I know) and to learn more about his story.  I'd love to know where he came from, why he decided to come to Virginia, and whether he was glad he'd made that decision.  I'd like to know his religion, and whether he had slaves, and so much more about him.  That's why genealogy is never done-we always ask more questions!

The line of descent is

Luke Raven-Elizabeth
Sarah Raven-Tobias Stansbury
Thomas Stansbury-Jane Dixon Hayes
Thomas Stansbury-Hannah Gorsuch
Rachel Stansbury-Alexis Lemmon
Sarah Lemmon-Abraham Hetrick
Isaac Hetrick-Elizabeth Black
Mary Alice Hetrick-Louis Stanard
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants