The Immigrant Ancestor of the Eastern VA/NC Babbs

Today I’d like to kick-off a discussion about the origins of the Eastern Virginia and North Carolina Babbs. Sometime back we found that over time the Eastern VA Babbs migrated south into North Carolina. My predecessor Jean touched on a number of the documents that I’m not looking into with fresh eyes through the lens of Y-DNA.

Lots has happened in the 21 years since Jean hung up her typewriter. The Internet, for one, has exploded with access to things that in the past would have required trips to the source documents to find out. I always stand in amazement that she did everything without ever having used a computer. I’m of another generation and technology is one of my best friends. However, I’ve never seen interest until lately in going back over the ground she treaded in the US. I’d always felt that everything that could be discovered already had been.

To some extent that is true, but without the advanced knowledge of Y-DNA she couldn’t have known with any certainty that the connection between VA and NC existed. I only found it once someone had matched the NC Babbs and thus went looking. I’m doing far more of that these days and spend the majority of my time trying to make sense of the earliest generations. Note that there are numerous statements in the pre-amble to the EV/NC Babbs that have been eliminated. I’m not going to bother to discuss those. Just what is and what is still possible.

It is in that vein that I revisit the EV/NC Babbs. I’ve reached some different conclusions than she did as well.

Two Lineages, not to be confused

In 1735 there are two distinct Lineages of Babbs present in Virgina:

1. Phillip’s (1) son Thomas (1-2) who married Batsheba Hussey is first known to have been in Virginia when he received a Land Patent in 1735 of 600 acres located on Apple Pie Ridge in Frederick County, VA. Frederick County is in the Northernmost part of Virginia which today borders West Virginia along its northern border and is less than 10 miles from Maryland. This is where the next Reunion will be held in Winchester, VA in 2024 (Details pending).

2. The Babbs of what was once named Nansemond (named after a Native American Tribe) in what is now the Independent City of Suffolk, but was previous named Southampton County. This group spread to neighboring counties as time progressed with a large contingent on the Isle of Wight. This is in the Eastern side of VA almost bordering NC. These are the people that make up the Eastern VA/NC Babbs. It is this family that I’m talking about today.

3. For those Babbs (Plural) from the VA/NC lines. We have no idea how or why the Plural form of the name exists or why it was carried down through the generations. With almost 40K people in the combined trees we still can’t figure out a rhyme or reason for it. My best guess is that it was a matter of preference, with some carrying it on and others discarding the “s”.

4. It is pointless to attempt to connect to the Benjamin Babbs (Plural) lineage from Anne Arundel, MD. We have a dozen Y-DNA tests that say that they aren’t connected. I’m getting inundated with these requests. I’d love it to be the case, but it simply isn’t possible. Mourn it. It isn’t going to happen. I say this with the utmost of love and respect. But the DNA disagrees.


Prior to about 1850 you can make a great distinction based on where the record is located in relation to these two places. They are either Northern Babbs (aka Phillip of the Isles of Shoals) or they are Southeastern Babbs (along the border of North Carolina.

The chronology of events

Edward Babb had his transport paid for by Edward Sanderson in 1639 (The Massachusetts Colony was only founded in 1620) making him one of the very first Babbs in the States that we know of. Other than where Sanderson claims his 50 acres for paying for the transport, we see nothing else of him again. He would have had to make his way on his own. I covered this in 2014, but the blog site I was using has since shut down and the records I uploaded went with it. 🙁

While the document doesn’t explain a destination for Edward, it seems as though Edward Sanderson received land in Fairfax County (Mid-Eastern, VA). We don’t know what happened to Edward after this.

But there were no other Babbs in the entire state for another 96 years!

Almost simultaneously, Thomas Babb begins to take the same action in 1639, which didn’t bear fruit for him until 1641 with the land patent below. Each person who paid for someone’s transport to America, received 50 acres per transportee. In a short period of time, Thomas amasses over 500 acres of land, which is sizeable by any standard. We know not if Edward and Thomas were brothers, father & son or nothing in between. Even if they happen to be unrelated, Thomas staked a claim with zest in the New World!

in 1680 we see his son John building on Thomas’ legacy with purchases in the exact same area.

This is as far as I have gotten thus far. This isn’t the end. It is just the beginning!

It is clear to me that Thomas is the Immigrant Ancestor that all Eastern VA and NC Babbs descend. We will likely never know exactly how, but the big picture is clear!

Edward in England

There is only one Edward in all of England (at this point) who could be the same Edward. He married Susanna Coyve and had a family. He would have been a bit old to take on this journey in 1639, but thus far he is the only potential match.

Thomas in England

The only good potential match for Thomas in England is:

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