Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Col. William Overton, Roundhead


Col. William Overton
William Overton, my 7th great-grandfather, born in Yorkshire, England in 1638, was the son of Gen. Robert Overton, a prominent soldier in the Parliamentary Wars in England in the 1640's and 1650's.  Robert Overton was a republican, a Roundhead, who supported deposing Charles I.  Overton was with Cromwell when he invaded Scotland and was appointed governor of Edinburgh there.   He remained until his father's death in 1753 when returned to England to take his father's place at their estate in Easington.  Some time later Overton became disenchanted with Cromwell; he was arrested in December 1654 and imprisoned in the Tower of London.  He was later moved to a prison in Jersey and released in 1671, when he returned to England to live near his daughters.

By the late 1660's, Robert's son, Col. William Overton was being sought by Charles I.  William, like his father, was a republican.  According to family stories, he was saved by his future wife, Mary Elizabeth Waters, when her nurse brought her word that the soldiers of the king were approaching to arrest William.   Mary hid him in a secret chamber of her house; at midnight, she wrapped him in a cloak and they were guided by the nurse to a ship bound for the New World.  Mary, a Catholic, knew her parents would not consent to her marriage to a "roundhead," so she later disguised herself as a gypsy and boarded another ship to Virginia.

William's arrival in Virginia is recorded as being in 1669 and Mary's in 1673.  Their marriage is recorded as November 1670; some records say they married in England and some say Virginia.  Their first child, a daughter named Anne Elizabeth, my 6th great-grandmother, was born in 1673 in New Kent, Virginia.  Two more daughters and two sons followed.  William died in either 1690 or 1697 in Albemarle, Virginia at about age 52 or 57, and is buried at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hanover County.  Mary died in 1697 at age 42.  Her burial place is unknown.

Anne Overton married Col. John Dabney Pettus, and after his death, George Poindexter.  Anne and John Pettus were the parents of ten children.  Son James Overton was an early settler of the Kentucky wilderness.  Temperance Overton married Col. William Claiborne Harris and was the mother of 12 children, remaining in Hanover, Virginia throughout her life.  Samuel Overton also remained in Hanover with his wife and four children; Barbara Overton married Col. John Winston and had three children.  She and her family lived in Hanover County.


1 comment:

  1. What a fun family story to have! I love it when we are able to find and know about the background information!

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