My ancestor I am going to talk about today is Lieutenant-Colonel William Claiborne because he is of KING William County, he had much favor with the King of England at the time, and also his wife Elizabeth Butler is said to be a gateway ancestor to royalty and Charlemagne. I have yet to research and cite that myself, however, so that's something I will be working on in the future.
Screenshot from my tree of the connection between Terry and Claiborne
William is my 12th great grandfather on my paternal grandfathers side, through his grandmother Elizabeth Mary Terry (Sommer). William is a very famous figure himself, being born on August 10, 1607 in Kent, England and was told on the wonderful prospects of America by none other than the famous Captain John Smith. When John Smith returned to England, he told young William of the land that would later become Maryland.
He first went to Virginia as a part of the Virginia Company and landed in Jamestown in October of 1621 on the ship "George". He mapped out the entire state which made him very rich. He then found Palmer's Island and Kent Island. He bought them from the Indians and set up trading posts. Because of his great success, King Charles I gave him a license to trade in all areas of America. William had great power and status because of this making him similar to a King in authority.
William achieved many honors during his lifetime. He was the first Secretary of the colony, 1625-35, 1652-60. He later became Treasurer and then Deputy Governor of the colony. By 1626, he had accumulated a total of 17,500 acres of land and he served as a courageous Captain of the Colonial troops in their struggles with the Indians. He survived the 1622 massacre where 347 settlers- men, women, and children - were slaughtered. William was wounded, however, in 1624 during one of the retaliatory raids against the Powhatan Indians.
William and his group of 60 colonists defeated the Indian force of about 800 bowmen. William was wounded but no colonists died. Later, William commanded a Virginia force against the Powhatan's in 1644-45 and actually captured Chief Opechancanough. He was the half brother of Chief Powhatan, whose daughter was Matoaka "aka" Pocahontas.
William lived to be about 70 years old and died on his plantation in 1677 in New Kent, Virginia. His portrait is hanging in the Virginia state capitol, Richmond.