MITCHELL'S OF VIRGINIA

My initial interest in genealogy was sparked by the fact that both of my parents surname is Mitchell and both are from the state of Virginia. As far as they knew, they were not related otherwise, but I vowed to find out for myself. As it stands, I have not connected their families, although they have stayed in the state.

I will try to share my ancestors with you in the form of a story, and relate them to the times that they lived, the struggles they endured and lives they touched along the way. To help keep my father's Mitchell's seperate from my mother's Mitchell's I will post a timepiece from each side on the page. The mantle clock belonged to my mother's family and they kept it on the mantle on the farm for as long as she could remember. The pocket watch belonged to my great grandfather on my father's side and is over 150 years old.

Paternal Mitchell's

Madison farm I have traced these Mitchell's back to Essex Virginia where they migrated west to Madison Virginia and then north to Loudoun Virginia. Along the way they intermarried with a group of Germans from the Germanna Colony in Spotsylvania and Madison Virginia.

From Germanna Colonies of Virginia 1714-1721:

The Germanna Colonies of Virginia were first establised in 1714 under the administration of Governor Spotswood. There were 12 families in the first colony, numbering 42. The 2nd colony, also called Germanna 2, arriving in 1717, was entirely different from the first, its destination being Pennsylvania and not Virginia. This colony was comprised chiefly of Lutherans and numbered approximately 80 persons, which made up 20 families who came from Alsace, the Palatinate, and adjoining districts in Germany.

My ancestors were mostly from this second group. In 1717 a little band of Germans left Germany attempting to make their way to PA. The vessel stopped at London and the captain was imprisoned for several weeks because of debt. By this delay, part of the ships provisions was consumed while in port so that many of the passengers died of hunger while crossing the Atlantic. A storm arose and they were driven south, landing on the shores of Virginia. Here they were sold by the captain of the ship in order to pay their transportation charges. They were bought by Governor Spotswood and became his indentured servants. He settled them in what is now Orange County near Germanna.

Governor Spotswood employed these Germans in his iron mines and they did a little farming. The later decided to seek land of their own. They pushed out into the wilderness and found what is now Madison County. This was around 1725. English settlers soon joined them. The English settlers, in contrast to the Germans, sought the high lands. Tobacco grew better on the high lands and was used as currency at the time. The Germans built a school for the teaching of religion, reading, writing, and arithmetic. It was the first authentic public school for white children in the Old Dominion (Virginia).

Maternal Mitchell'smoms mantle clock

This family is found primarily in the counties surrounding the cities of Lynchburg and Roanoke Virginia. A preponderance of evidence show them to be related to an indian tribe in Virginia under Chief Powhatan (father of Pocahontas). There is also a good story on this side relating our line to that of former slaves.