Some Savage Families of the Eastern Shore
Colonial Virginia in the 1600's
|There appear to have been at least four
Savage families on the Eastern Shore of
Virginia in the 1600's. There relationship, if
any, is not known.
1. Thomas Savage "The Ensign"
2. Thomas Savage “The Carpenter”
First hard evidence is a land record of in 1632.
3. Griffith Savage
Identified by Whitelaw as land owner who died
in 1685. Miles Files has birth in 1639.
4. Rowland Savage
Earliest reference to a Rowland Savage is
found in 1666 where he is listed as a headright
in a land patent to Southy Littleton.
It’s interesting to note that the land of Rowland
bordered that of John Savage, son of Thomas
“The Carpenter” and that of Griffith Savage.
Some believe Rowland to be another son of
Thomas Savage "The Carpenter." It's also
possible that he was the son of John Savage of
Thomas "The Carpenter".
| Colonial Naming Customs
Source: Colonial Homes magazine...Feb 1996, p. 24,
Author: Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG, firstname.lastname@example.org
"The history of given (first) names in early America offers a glimpse at our forebears and their customs, as
well as clues to their origins."
"New England's first settlers bore names of three different types: those of English origin, those of Hebrew
derivation and those intended to have moral significance. Old English names, connected with the Church of
England, were not often favored by the Puritans. The Massachusetts Puritans named their children
somewhat differently than other English-speaking settlers, preferring biblical names. Evidently, some parents
shut their eyes, opened the Bible, and pointed to a word at random -- what else could account for a child
being named Notwithstanding or Maybe? The early Massachusetts Brewster family had two sons, Love and
Wrestling, and two daughters named Patience and Fear. The names Humility, Desire, Hate-evil, and
Faint-not also appeared in the region."
" Other New England onomastic practices included obscure references and names that commemorated an
occasion -- such as Oceanus Hopkins, who was born on the Mayflower in 1620. Early settlers seemed to
favor names for their associated moral qualities. Among girls' names, which were no doubt intended to incite
their bearer to lead godly lives were: Content, Lowly, Mindwell, Obedience, Patience, Silence, Charity, Mercy,
Comfort, Delight, and Thankful. In many families, the first names of the father and mother were given to the
first-born son and daughter, respectively."
" In the Massachusetts Bay Colony, 53% of all females were named Mary, Elizabeth, or Sarah. Other popular
girls' names were Rebecca, Ruth, Anne, Hannah, Deborah, Huldah, Abigail, and Rachel. Meanwhile,
prevalent boys' names included John, Joseph, Samuel, Josiah, Benjamin, Jonathan, and Nathan"
" In Virginia, biblical references were less common. Early settlers often names sons for Teutonic warriors,
Frankish knights, and English kings. Favorites included William, Robert, Richard, Edward, George, and
Charles. Daughters received names of Christian saints and traditional English folk names, such as Margaret,
Jane, Catherine, Frances, and Alice, along with English favorites Mary, Elizabeth, Anne, and Sarah.
First-born children were named for their grandparents, and second-born for their parents."
"A popular custom in both Virginia and New England was the use of surnames as given names. This occurred
mostly with boys, but it was not unknown for girls. Some names were also chosen for their magical properties,
and astrologers were consulted in an attempt to find a "fortunate" or "lucky" name."
Among Quakers in Colonial Pennsylvania and Delaware, babies went through a ritual called nomination. An
infant's name was carefully selected by the parents, certified by friends, witnessed by neighbors, and then
entered in the register of the meeting. First-born children were named after grandparents, honoring maternal
and paternal lines evenly, often with an eldest son named after his mother's father, and an eldest daughter
after her father's mother. While this practice was not universal among Quaker families, it was common in the
Delaware Valley Many names came from the Bible, with favorites for boys being John, Joseph, Samuel,
Thomas, William and George; and for girls, Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah, Anne/Anna/Hannah, and Esther/Hester.
Also popular among the Quakers, was Phebe, which rarely appeared in New England or the South. ( There
was a group of southern Quakers) They also favored the names Patience, Grace, Mercy, and Chastity. One
family's eight children were named Remember, John, Restore, Freedom, Increase, Jacob, Preserve, and
Naming patterns differed in the "back country" of early America, which was heavily populated by Scotch-Irish
as well as German, Scandinavian, Irish, Scottish, French, and Dutch families. In these rural areas, many
given names were "Americanized", making it difficult for genealogists to identify a family's ethnic origin. As a
general rule, the patterns included a mixture of biblical, Teutonic, and saints' names. Among the most
popular given names for boys were: John, Robert, Richard, Andrew, Patrick, and David. Celtic names such
as Ewan ( and variants Ewen and Owen), Barry and Roy were often used, as were Archibald, Ronald,
Alexander, Charles, James Wallace, Bruce, Percy, Ross, and Clyde. Again, eldest sons were often named
after their grandfather's, and second or third sons after their fathers- similar to patterns found in early
Tidewater Chesapeake families."
"One peculiar naming pattern found among the back-country settlers was the one bestowing unusual --
sometimes made-up-- given names. From an early date, these rugged pioneers cultivated a spirit of
onomastic individualism, a spirit still found today in this country as parents search for a special, perhaps
unique, name for their baby. Others prefer to select a name from their family tree that has been passed
along for generations."
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Our early ancestors often used an unwritten, but mutually understood formula for naming their numerous
children. The following is a general pattern that can be used to determine the previous generation of
ancestral names in a family.
1st son named for Father's father
2nd son named for Mother's father
3rd son named for Father
4th son named for Father's eldest brother
1st daughter named for Mother's mother
2nd daughter named for Father's mother
3rd daughter named for Mother
4th daughter named for Mother's eldest sister
Many children were named after their aunts, uncles and grandparents before they were named for their
parents. It is not unusual to find a young child in census records before 1900 with no name. The mortality
rate was high, and often a child was not named until the family was almost certain the child would live. In
some cases in rural America, the child was allowed to name him/herself.
If you are researching in the South, after 1840, you will find an abundance of names for one individual --
often 2 or 3 middle names, as well as the given (first) name and surname. Individuals in the South were/are
often called by their middle name--not the proper first name as given in official documents.
|To see a comprehensive list of
Eastern Shore Savages
go to the Miles Files.