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                     1.  ARTERBURN is clearly not genetically related to any of the previously suspected

                          variant spellings of "Arterburn" as represented by the individuals bearing those

                          surnames  (i.e.,  "Edeburn, Otterburn, Arterberry, Otterbein, Arthaber")  who

                          agreed to participate in our Project (see "DNA Results" page),  since their Y-SNP

                          results locates them in Haplogroups J, R1b, and I, respectively, and ARTERBURN

                          is in Haplogroup R1a.  Whether these particular individuals represent all family

                          lines bearing these surnames has been rendered irrelevant since we now have

                         definitive evidence of the genetic origin of the ARTERBURN patrilineal line.

                     2.  ARTERBURN has clearly matched at Y-SNPs R-Y47/46 with distant relatives who

                          share a common ancestor(s) with us, and who are either Indian emigrants living

                          abroad or Indians currently living in India (see "Results" page).   Thus, South

                          Asia, or most likely the subcontinent of India, was the Old World place of origin

                          of the patrilineal ancestors of William and Peter.    The genetic evidence also

                          corroborates the available historical evidence.



                                The Story Continues . . .


Some Research Notes was compiled and published, we lacked the
more recent Y-DNA discoveries that have since confirmed an "out of India
or South Asia" origin for the patrilineal ancestors of Peter Arterburn.  In   
that earlier book, I proposed a "dark German" origin for Peter because that 
seemed the best interpretation overall of the evidence at the time.  I also
suggested that "Arterburn" could have been our original surname— as a 
compound of "Arter" and "Bern" or "Berner" perhaps, even if of very recent 
origin since there is no history for "Arterbern/er" or a similar spelling in

While taking seriously John Elsea's testimony that "James Arterburn's father
was a very dark skin man, as dark as a Cherokee Indian," who "came from
the East India," the dark German scenario presumed an interlude for Peter
of travel to and from the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia, today), or possibly
to and from the trading posts of the Dutch or the English on the Indian
subcontinent.  Given all that we have since learned, it's clear now that the
dark German scenario is not supported by the facts.  With the discovery
of "East Indians" from India or South Asia in the public records of colonial
Maryland and Virginia, Peter's "alias Williams" connection, and the new
Y-DNA evidence, John Elsea's meaning becomes clear.  

The single most compelling research question for ARTERBURN descendants 
that remains unanswered:  If Peter Arterburn was of "East Indian" or South
Asian (patrilineal) descent as historical sources attest and Y-DNA testing 
clearly supportsas opposed to Native American or African or European
descent, then how did Peter come by the "Atterburn/Arterburn" surname?
Since there is no apparent history for "Atterburn" or "Arterburn" in Europe
or the British Isles, it's unlikely that either spelling could have been the
actual form of an Old World surname.

And these corollary questions:   Was "Peter Atturburn alias Williams" the 
son of the East Indian indentured servant, "John William/Williams?" 
Was Peter the son of the (East) Indian, "William,"  the father of George

Was William and John William/Williams related, or were they both East
Indians who happened to share a common English given name that was
converted into a common English surname, "Williams?"  

Did "Atterburn" or "Otterburn" represent the ancestral surname of Peter's 

mother— perhaps spelled differently, or did Peter simply adopt a different

(i.e., than "Williams") surname?  

Could "Elizabeth," a "Pamunkey Indian Queen" and mother of George

Williams who intermarried with the (East) Indian, William, have been the

mother of Peter, which might confirm a local Shenandoah (Warren) County

tradition in which the family of "Peter Otterburn" was remembered as a

"tribe of Indians?"   Could William's Elizabeth instead of William's Nancy

have been the "full-blooded Indian" remembered in family tradition?

If Elizabeth was Peter's mother, could "Atterburn" or "Otterburn" have

been an English-sounding surname rendered or adapted from an Indian

name given to Peter by his mother?


   Arterburn, Otterburn, Atterburn, ____?____


   The pronunciation of the "Otterburn" surname with its anomalous

   variations of spelling found in 19th-century English census records 

   are remarkably similar to the variations in spelling of Peter's name

   as recorded in 18th-century public records of Maryland and Virginia.

   In 19th-century England, "ar" was often pronounced with broad A 

   (as in "father")  while the  "r"  sound was dropped or diminished

   (non-rhotic)  but retained in the spelling of many common words 

   of ordinary speech (e.g., "card," "arse," etc.). This speech sound of

   broad A could be confused with the sound of short O, and vice versa,

   when names were spelled only from vocalization,  as illustrated 

   by anomalous renderings of "Arterburn" for "Otterburn" names in

   England (see Some Research Notes (7th ed.), pp. 29-46; pp. 61-70).

   The "Great Vowel Shift" that resulted in the emergence of broad A 

   (/a:/) and non-rhotic pronunciation from Middle English and Early

   Modern English had begun in the 15th century, and also impacted

   evolving American English in 18th-century Maryland and Virginia.


   The earliest spelling (May, 1773) we find in Shenandoah County is 

   of "Peter Otterburn" in Henry's record of baptism, which agrees with  

   the broad A sound heard in "Arterburn."    Some transcriptions of

   "Atterburn" (e.g., when not in an alphabetical list, originally) could

   arguably have been transcribed as "Otterburn,"  since examples

   of upper-case cursive "A" and "O" (without an upper loop) can be

   found that are virtually indistinguishable.  (For an example of Peter's

   name transcribed as "Otterburn" in Prince William County, see "Prince

   William County People," then compare this to the actual facsimile

   image of the "Tithables List of 1765," in Appendix #5 of Supplemental


   The broad A sound heard in "Arter-" and the similar sound of short O

   in "Otter-" suggest that broad A (not short A as in "cat") was probably

   represented in renderings of  "Atterburn,"  in those instances where

   cursive "A" was originally rendered, although this appears to us a

   deviation in spelling since a short vowel typically precedes double

   consonants in English, today.  "Atterburn" (as transcribed) is found

   exclusively for Peter in Maryland, and occurs predominantly for both

   Peter and William in Prince William County, which suggests that an

   "r" sound was not heard in the first syllable of Peter's pronunciation,

   originally (as suggested by "Peter Otterburn," also).


       While Peter was likely born in America and learned to

       speak English from childhood, his repeated use of a

       personal mark is evidence that he was almost certainly

       illiterate.  Thus, Peter's surname as spelled in public

       records is almost certainly the result of the phonetic

       renderings of others based on Peter's pronunciation,

       not Peter's spelling.  We cannot safely assume that

       "Atterburn"  or  "Otterburn"  simply and literally

       rendered in English whatever speech sounds Peter

       may have initially vocalized as a surname.  However,

       we can reasonably infer that Peter's vocalization of 

       his name apparently remained largely consistent from

       1736 on   assuming that broad A and not short A

       was originally intended in the renderings of "Atterburn,"

       which appears likely.


   The evidence is clear that Peter's patrilineal ancestors could not have

   been English (or Scottish) "Otterburns."   Could Peter's mother have

   been an "Otterburn?"  There is no history of "Otterburns" in colonial

   Maryland or Virginia.     We must seriously consider that Peter may

   have simply adopted a surname similar in sound to one or more other

   European names so to identify more fully with the dominant culture

   of white Europeans in Maryland.   Peter's Asian ancestry also makes

   this prospect more likely, since he would have been less likely to have

   had an inherited English surname on his father's side.  The additional

   prospect, explored below, that Peter's mother may have been Native

   American increases the probability that Peter adopted rather than

   inherited an English-sounding surname.


   What are we to make of the tradition of German ancestry reported

   by a majority of the descendants interviewed by Art & Jan Arterburn,

   or of the related claim of Swiss ancestry for the ARTERBURNS by a

   Shenandoah County genealogist?   Could Peter's wife, Sarah, have

   been the source of this tradition?   Germans were by far the majority

   population in Shenandoah County, and Peter clearly associated with

   English-speaking Germans and Swiss (e.g., Henry Spillmann, John Wolf,

   Samuel Stover/Stauffer).   Some of the children of Peter and William

   and their descendants intermarried with Germans and Swiss  (e.g.,

   Booker/Bucher, Carrier/Karrier, Houn, Leith, Smoote/Smootz, Wey, 

   Wolfe) in Virginia and Kentucky. 


   In his monumental work of research, Paul Heinegg's summary statement

   that   "East Indians apparently blended into the free African American

   population"  clearly does not describe the ARTERBURNS.  In his foreword

   to Heinegg's book, Maryland historian Ira Berlin notes that  "Heinegg's

   genealogical excavations reveal that many free people of color passed

   as whitessometimes by choosing ever lighter spouses over succeeding

   generations."  Although Berlin primarily had free African Americans in

   mind, his observation could also apply to East Indians.  Peter was always

   listed as  "White"  in the tax lists and censuses of Shenandoah County,

   apparently a clue that he was accepted without racial distinction among

   his peers.  Prior to Shenandoah County, extant records in Prince William

   County and in Maryland make no explicit mention of Peter's status, with 

   the reasonable inference that Peter was regarded as a "free person." 


       Art and Jan Arterburn, the authors of The Arterburn Cousins, knew

       nothing of the ARTERBURN story before Shenandoah County.   We

       all owe them an immense debt of gratitude for their groundbreaking

       research, but they missed or overlooked important clues and evidence

       even in Shenandoah County public records.  They also made some

       mistakes, but then made determined efforts to publicly correct those

       mistakes when discovered (e.g., "William Smith Arterburn" and Mary

       "Polly" Arterburn as Peter's daughter).  Regrettably, Jan and Art had

       both left us before new evidence was discovered which corrects their

       assumption that Peter and William were brothers.    We may never

       have "smoking gun" evidence to positively prove that William was the

       son of Peter.  But the weight of the evidence that we do have clearly

       does not support the assumption that Peter and William were brothers,

       while it does reasonably support the conclusion that Peter was much

       older than William, and far more likely to have been William's father.


       The Arterburn Cousins does not present any evidence to support this

       assumption because there was none, and none has since been found.

       This assumption was largely based on the fact that both Peter and

       William had young children in Shenandoah County.   We now have 

       evidence of additional and unidentified children in Peter's household

       who may have been older, of different birth years for some of the

       children of record, and clues that Sarah may have been much younger

       than Peter.  Sarah does not appear in public records until 1773, so

       we cannot be certain which children born before 1773 belonged to



       We know Peter's age and birth date (1711) from public records in

       Maryland.  Peter appears several times in public records of Charles

       County, Maryland from 1736, and in Prince William County (PWC),

       Virginia from 1759.  William appears for the first time by name in any

       public record, in 1767, and only then in Glassford's credit accounts,

       in PWC— about the time that William married and started his family. 

       Peter appears in the Tithables List of 1765 in PWC as head of house-

       hold with another male, age 16 or older;   William is not otherwise

       listed.  Peter appears in court records of Prince William County, but

       never William.  Peter requested and was granted an exemption from

       the poll tax in Shenandoah County, in 1783, because of his age

       as provided by Virginia law;  William never requested or received

       such an exemption.  


       Peter drafted his Will in 1797 after an absence from the tax lists for

       a few years perhaps a sign of frailty or failing health, and died in

       1803.  In his Will, Peter left his entire estate, which consisted only of

       personal and no real property, to Sarah unless she should remarry

       implying that she was a youthful prospect for remarriage.   If Sarah

       should remarry, then Peter's property was to be divided among "each 

       of my children," implying children other than Sarah's.  If Sarah had

       been comparable in age to Peter, and Peter's progeny were limited

       to his family with Sarah, there would have been no need for such a

       proviso.  Finally, William made the arduous move of hundreds of miles

       to Kentucky with his family, about 1798, and apparently lived a vital 

       life until his death there— almost 20 years later, in 1817.


       Peter and William apparently moved their families about the same

       time from Prince William or Fauquier County to Dunmore County, and 

       were obviously closely related (confirmed also by Y-DNA testing).  There

       is no evidence of a "Peter Sr." and "Peter Jr." all of the evidence

       clearly points to only one "Peter" who was old enough in Shenandoah

       County to have been born in 1711.   The scenario that best explains

       the evidence is that William was most likely the son of Peterborn to a

       previous wife in Maryland, probably within the time frame1739-49.  

       There were likely other children, too, as suggested by unidentified 

       members in Peter's household in the censuses of 1775 and 1785 

       (see also Some Research Notes and Supplemental Notes). 


   We have no solid clues about the identity of William's mother, Peter's 

   previous wife.  John Elsea's description of James Arterburn's mother as 

   a  "fair skin woman"— presumably Sarah, suggests a decided preference

   for an Anglo-European identity, as do the intermarriages of their children

   and descendants (and of those of Peter's son, William) with Germans,

   English, Scots, and Scotch-Irish.  Peter's apparently enduring ties with

   William Davis and the Davis family— presumably European, also suggest

   as much.  


   The anomalous rendering of  "Peter Arturberner"  in Shenandoah

   County appears more likely a case of an identity attributed than

   of a surname revealed, given what we now know.  "Arter," "Bern,"

   "Berner," and "Burner" were Swiss/German surnames, and both

   "Berner" and "Burner" were represented in Shenandoah County.

   However, this compound rendering of  "Arturberner"  cobbled

   apparently from the sound of Peter's name has no history in either 

   Germany or Switzerland.  Germans of dark complexion (e.g., "Black-

   Dutch")  from the south of Germany and neighboring Switzerland

   were present in the Middle Colonies, and in northern VirginiaPeter's

   physical appearanceinformed perhaps by the knowledge that he

   had German relationsand the fact that he was in court supporting

   a German, "Henry Speelman,"  when this early spelling was rendered

   (1774)  might have suggested such an identity to the clerk who

   heard Peter and recorded his name.  If this clerk happened to have

   been a German literate in English,  he might have heard either 

   English broad A or German long A,  both of which are practically

   identical in sound.   Similarly, the consonant  "r"  at the end of a

   syllable (as in "Ar tur bern er") is often muted or slurred by German

   speakers, similarly to English non-rhotic  "r."   In either case, this

   spelling would probably have sounded like   "Ah tuh buhrn uh"

   when pronounced,  and essentially matches that heard in the

   renderings of Peter's vocalization spelled as  "Otterburn"  and

   "Atterburn"  (i.e., with broad A).

   The evidence is clear that Peter's patrilineal ancestors were not

   dark Germans or Swiss.  However, Peter's support of Speelman

   and apparent connections with other Germans, together with

   intermarriages and a family tradition all suggest some kind of 

   familial or cultural relationship, very likely derived from Sarah.

   William's wife, Nancy, might have been German, too, or even

   English or Scottish, instead of the "full-blooded Indian" of family

   tradition (see "George Williams in Charles County Court," below).

   "Arturberner" probably does not tell us anything about the origin

   of our surname, but does mark the emergence of "Arterburn" as the

   predominant spelling found in public records of Shenandoah County.

   "Arterburn" occurs only twice in Prince William County (PWC), in

   John Glassford's Dumfries Stores accountsfor Peter, compared to   

   ten entries of "Atterburn" (as transcribed) for Peter and William in

   these same accounts, not including extant PWC court records for

   "Peter Atterburn."  These two anomalous "Arterburn" spellings in

   Prince William County appear to be instances of interpolating "ar"

   in rendering Peter's pronunciation, interpreted as English broad A 

   with non-rhotic or diminished "r," similar to anomalous renderings

   of  "Arterburn"  (and  "Atterburn")  for  "Otterburn"  in England.

       John Walker used "ar" to indicate the sound of long (broad) A

       for pronouncing "aunt"— a word not spelled with "r"— in his

       London dictionary in 1775.  Walker's example seems remarkably

       revealing of the extent to which  "ar"  had become identified

       during Peter's time (e.g., Tidewater Englishwith the speech

       sound of English broad A paired with non-rhotic "r." 

      Whether the "Arterburn" spelling became the final form of our

      surname as a result of the intersection of German and English

      cultures and languages in 18th-century Shenandoah County, 

      aided perhaps by our family's embrace of a German-American

      identity the better to fit in, may be impossible to prove but seems

      likely.    The origin of the tradition of our German ancestry and

      the origin of our surname are probably not related, otherwise.

      As American English continued to evolve and as rhotic pronun-

      ciation became the norm, and as literacy improved, the spelling

      of "Arterburn" was established beyond Shenandoah County in

      family and public records.    However, spelling variations of our

      surname can be found in public records throughout the 19th

      century.   Even today, many of us have probably heard others

      pronounce "ar" in "Arterburn" as broad A with and without the

      sound of "r."



   "Peter Atturburn alias Williams"



   The formulation, "Peter Atturburn alias Williams," has not been

   found subsequently in Charles County Court records.  Although

   earlier records that are available have not been searched, this

   entry (1736) may reflect Peter's (b. 1711, age 25) first court 

   appearance and a statement of Peter's bona fides as a free man

   with standing before the court.  "[A]lias Williams" suggests the

   court might have relied on the previously adjudicated status of 

   John Williams in this court (1706/7), during which John Williams
   was declared free of his indenture, as surety for Peter's status. 
   Once Peter's credentials were established before the court,
   there may have been no further need to declare this extended
   formulation in subsequent court records, which could explain
   its singular occurrence.

       Another prospect is that "alias Williams" may have referred to
       the family of "George Williams," who might have been Peter's
       older brother or relative.  George Williams had very recently 
       appeared before Charles County Court (1733) claiming title to 
       ancestral Indian land by right of his mother, "Elizabeth," a
       "Pamunkey Indian Queen."    George also claimed that this
       Pamunkey land had been given to his father, "William," who
       appears to have been an East Indian without an inherited
       English surname, and a free person  (see "George Williams
       in Charles County Court," below). 
   We also have the account of John Gardiner pointing out his 
   (Nonesuch) property boundaries to Peter around this same time
   (1736/7), as attested in Peter's later court deposition (1748). 
   Could this be a clue that Peter had only recently arrived at

                      RootsWeb/Marshall:  "Early Colonial Settlers of Southern Maryland
                         and Northern Neck Counties" (continually updated)

       John Williams in Charles County Court  (12 November 1706,

John Williams' exact age is unknown, but we can
infer from this court record that he was of majority
age (i.e., over 21) in 1706,  since his contract of
indenture had been purchased 14-16 years prior 
by Johannah Hodgson, deceased mother of then
current master, Richard Hodgson.

During his first hearing (p. 272), only "John William"
without the "s"— was recorded by the court as the
petitioner's name, and only once.  Thereafter, he was
referred to only as "East Indian, Indian, Indian boy,"
or "servant."    Several witnesses testified before the
court but no decision was reached.  The court ordered 
"the said East Indian remain in his Masters service"
until "the next Court to be held on the fourteenth
day of January next."

      During this first court hearing, the court record 
      begins with a most unusual statement that refers
      to the petitioner, John William, to wit:  "Being 
      Recommended to the Court by his Excellency the
      Governour ... "   Could this be a clue of some
      recognition of special status or standing for John
      William by the royal governor of Maryland?

In a second hearing (p. 288) two months later, the
court recorded the petitioner's name as "John Williams." 
The hearing was brief, with testimony from only one
witness, Henry Tanner, who supported Williams' case.
The court then ordered that the "said John Williams
be free from the said Richard Hodgsons service."

Was the recording of his name as "John William" in
the first hearing revealing of an East Indian known
to be without an inherited English surname, or simply
an error by the clerk?    Were two common English
calling or given names, "John William," converted to
the customary English first name and surname by the
court, or by John Williams himself, to reflect his new 
status as a free person in Maryland society?

Who was John William/Williams and was he related
to George Williams' father, William?  Could they have
been one and the same?

     George Williams in Charles County Court (13 June 1733): 

" ... George Williams son and heir to William who

intermarried with a Pamunkey Indian Queen named

Elizabeth of Prince George's County  ...  a certain

neck of Land then lying in Charles County .... John

Ward aged 75 deposeth that he has known George

Williams a Native Indian from his infancy ... son of

the Queen of Pamunkey who was wife to an Indian

called  Mc  [?]  William the father of the said Geo.

Williams ...  31 years ago [1702] George Williams

and his parents lived where Fran[ci]s Payne now

lives ... John Gar[di]ner deposed the Indians were

forted in Cornwallis' neck about fifty years ago ... "

(Underline, italics, and bracketed contents above

added.  See Heinegg's complete transcription.)  


       The terms "intermarried" and "Native Indian" in contrast with

       "Indian" in this context suggest that George Williams' father

       was probably an Asian or "East Indian" and not an American


            ("Cornwallis' Neck" and the community later named 

               "Pomonkey" are in Charles County, today.)


       John Gardiner (of Nonesuch) here testified apparently in

       support of this claim of George Williams,  whose family

       had also lived in the community around Mattawoman Creek

       (see also "Prince George's Land Records," below).  If Peter

       belonged to the family of George Williams and had had a

       longstanding acquaintance with Gardiner, this could account

       for why we find Peter at Nonesuch, in 1736/7.


       William and Elizabeth are identified in this court record

       only by English calling (given) names.  Complete names

       were typically used to identify individuals in these court

       records.  This appears to be a telling clue that William had

       not inherited an English lineage or surname.   George's

       surname of  "Williams"  very likely was a  "patronym,"

       adapted from his father's name (i.e., son of William),

       probably on the occasion of George's Anglican baptism  

       or when as a boy he attended the "Indian school" at

       the College of William and Mary (see below).  Elizabeth,

       a "Pamunkey Indian Queen," appears to have been

       "Mrs. Betty, the Queen"   ("Betty" was a common 

       nickname for "Elizabeth"),  who succeeded her aunt,

       "Cockacoeske,"  as  "weroansqua"  or female chief of

       the Pamunkey upon the death of her aunt, in 1686.  

       Betty's age is unknown.  She was mentioned only as

       the "niece" in a document, in 1686.    This and the 

       fact that "Mrs. Betty, the Queen" appears as her name

       on a document only once and much later, in 1701, 

       suggests that Betty might have been a young maiden 

       or even a child, in 1686. 

           "Time LineOctober 22, 1701 - A petition

           requesting the confirmation of a sale of

           Pamunkey land to English subjects is

           submitted to the General Court bearing

           the mark and the name, "Mrs. Betty, the

           Queen."     It is thought that Mrs. Betty 

           ..., the niece who succeeded the Pamunkey

           chief Cockacoeske,  [and Ann] are the

           same person."

           (Encyclopedia Virginia. Underline and

            bracketed content added)

       Betty apparently adopted the name of "Queen Ann"  

       after the royal Queen Anne ascended the throne of

       England (1702), perhaps as a conciliatory gesture

       toward the English at a time when the fortunes of 

       Pamunkey Indians were waning.  That Betty may

       have been young when she became leader of the 

       Pamunkey is suggested also by the fact that "six

       great men of Pamunkey Town"  co-signed, using

       their adopted English names with personal marks,

       the first petition bearing the name, "Queen Ann," 

       in 1705/6.    These "great men" may have been 

       Betty's council of advisors from her earliest days

       as a youthful leader of the Pamunkey.


            "Often, Indians held more than one name

            simultaneously, with different names used in

            different situations.


            "Sparse documentation and the Powhatan

            Indians' practice of changing their names on

            important occasions have led to confusion in

            identifying the principal leaders of the


            "Pocahantas  [aka "Amonute," also "Matoaka

            alias Rebecca"],  for instance, had a formal

            given name; a "secret," or highly personal 

            name; and nicknames that were updated 

            throughout her life, sometimes commenting

            on her personality or her position within the


            (Encyclopedia Virginia.   Hyperlinks and

             bracketed content added)


       Since "Elizabeth" and "Betty" and "Ann" were apparently

       one and the same, George may have been the unidentified

       son of "Queen Ann" who was sent to the "Indian school"

       at the College of William and Mary, in 1711.  George's age

       or birth and death dates are not known, but he was living

       with his parents in 1702, and thus was likely a child or

       youth in 1711.  This court record appears to represent

       George as a literate and astute person, and this coupled

       with the fact of his Anglican baptism also supports the

       likelihood that George may have benefited from English



       George may have used "Elizabeth" instead of "Ann"  

       as his mother's name in this court record because the

       former (as in "Betty") may have been her primary 

       English name.  That Betty probably chose the English

       name,  "Elizabeth,"  also suggests an aspirational

       awareness of English royalty befitting a "Pamunkey

       Queen," since the colony of Virginia was originally

       named for Queen Elizabeth I.  This politic sensibility

       seems evident in choosing as a second English name 

       an honorific of the currently reigning royal, "Queen

       Anne,"  at a time when the Pamunkey Indians 

       undoubtedly were in need of the goodwill of the

       English.    Incidentally, Queen Ann used a unique

       personal mark remarkably similar to an English 

       upper-case cursive "E"  (as in Elizabeth?).   The

       English royal Queen Anne was married to "George,"

       a prince from Denmark  (as in Prince George's

       County).  That Elizabeth— as "Queen Ann," chose

       the name of "George" for her son appears to have

       been an homage to the English royal family, also.


            This court record (p.332) of George's claim includes

            testimony that "Mary Dempsey 58 years deposes she

            knows William ..." (from Heinegg's transcription), so

            William must have still been alive in 1733.   But no

            mention was made of Elizabeth.  This appears to be

            a clue that Elizabeth was already deceased by 1733,

            which would also accommodate the presumptive date

            of Queen Ann's death (1723 or after).

       William must have been recognized as a free man since

       George apparently asserted his lawful claim to this land

       through his father as well as his mother.  In his petition

       that George presented to the current proprietary governor

       of Maryland, Charles Calvert, the 5th Baron Baltimore, and

       now lodged as this record before Charles County Court, 

       George claimed that the governor's grandfather, Charles

       Calvert, the 3rd Baron Baltimore, who served as governor

       of Maryland for two terms, 1661-76 and 1679-84, had 

       "granted" this land to George's "ancestors" the Pamunkey 

       Indians who later by  "Mutual agreement of the Indians

       afsd  [i.e., aforesigned, or conveyed]  their part to your

       petitioners father  [i.e., William]  and his heirs forever." 


       Could "Peter Atturburn alias Williams" have been the

       younger son of William and Elizabeth?   If William did

       not have an inherited English surname, then Peter may

       have had no compelling reason to use the same surname

       as George.  Charles County Court used this extended 

       name for Peter in this single instance only, as far as we

       know— as if "alias Williams" was an initial validation of

       Peter's legal status as a free person before the court by

       connecting him to William's family.  Peter next appears

       (1743) in Charles County Court,  and in all subsequent

       court records, only as "Peter Atterburn."


           If Elizabeth was Peter's mother, her native customs

           might have influenced Peter's choice of a different

           surname.    Naming practices among Powhatan

           peoples— which included the Pamunkey— were

           distinctly different to that of Europeans, and did

           not use the equivalent of inherited family names:

              "The Powhatans  ...  also took multiple names,

              sometimes simultaneously, beginning early in

              their lives.  These multiple names did not follow

              the English pattern of first name, middle name,

              and surname, however. In fact, Strachey reports

              that the Powhatans were unaccustomed to

              English naming practices and often insisted on

              calling Englishmen by their first names only." 

              (Encyclopedia Virginia.  Ellipsis added.) 

           Peter may have had an ulterior reason for choosing

           a different surname.   Peter's desire to identify with

           Europeans, or to distance himself from his Native

           American or Asian roots or from African Americans

           in Maryland bearing the "Williams" surname— one

           or more of these could have been a factor.    This

           dispute over land rights on Cornwallis' Neck may

           have even played a role;   we don't know exactly

           when Peter first used the surname that we first

           find recorded as "Atterburn," in 1736.   George's

           status as "heir" might possibly have been a factor,

           although this court record does not make clear 

           whether George's ancestral claim to this land was



       If this William was Peter's father, this could be reflected

       in the naming of Peter's son, "William"  (i.e., William

       who married Nancy and d. 1817 in Jefferson County), 

       apparently born to Peter's previous wife in Maryland.

       If Elizabeth was Peter's mother, this could be reflected

       in the naming of "Elizabeth (Arterburn) Carrier/Pringle" 

       and "Elizabeth (Arterburn) Cornwell," daughters of Peter

       and William, respectively. 

      If Elizabeth was Peter's mother, this could explain the 

       naming of the early 20th-century  "Otterburn School"

       (in "Otterburn Precinct," today) for a "tribe of Indians"

       that once had lived there.  The school was located where

       Peter is known to have lived in Shenandoah County (in

       Warren County, Virginia, today).  No Native American

       tribe in Virginia was known by this or a similar name; 

       "Peter Otterburn" was the obvious referent. 


           We must consider the possibility that, if Peter 

           was the son of William and Elizabeth, whatever

           he initially vocalized in Maryland as a surname 

           could have been based on an Indian name given

           to him by his mother or that he himself had

           chosen, whether adapted by Peter himself to

           sound more like an English name or by those

           who initially rendered "Atterburn" in spelling.


                 "Virginia Indians began adopting English first

                 names after the middle of the seventeenth

                 century.    In the 1680s, a small number of 

                 Indian children who went to work for English

                 farmers were given English first names, and

                 in some county records both names were

                 recorded.  By 1700 some Indian elders took

                 on English first names, sometimes paired with

                 shortened Indian surnames, to be used when

                 dealing with non-Indians and possibly even

                 among themselves.     By 1750,  ...  most

                 Powhatan people [which would have included

                 the Pamunkey] ... had English first [names]

                 and surnames that they apparently used



                 (Encyclopedia Virginia. Underline, hyperlinks,

                  ellipses, and bracketed contents added)


       A 20th-century contractor's inspiration for the naming of

       "Otterburn  School"  may not have been garbled local

       tradition resulting from a memory of Peter's "East Indian"

       ancestry, but actual if vague local memory of a Native 

       American ancestry for the ARTERBURN family, as well

       If Elizabeth was Peter's mother, our family tradition in

       which William's Nancy was remembered as a "full-blooded 

       Indian" may instead refer back to William and Elizabeth—

       who was almost certainly a "full-blooded" Pamunkey. 

       It seems unlikely that Peter's William (whose wife was

       Nancy) would have diverted from what appears to

       have been a predisposition to intermarry with Anglo-

       Europeans that began with his father (Peter) and that

       was continued, apparently, by all of William's children.


       Testing the mtDNA of a matrilineal (female) descendant

       of one of the daughters of William and Nancy would

       reveal whether Nancy was of Native American or

       European descent.   If the latter, such results would

       favor the likelihood that the  "full-blooded Indian"

       tradition refers to Elizabeth, instead.   (A confirmed

       matrilineal descendant of Elizabeth (Arterburn) Cornwell,

       daughter of William and Nancy, has been located and

       plans for mtDNA testing are underway.)


            (According to Merriam-Webster, the pronunciation

             is "Pa·mun·key: \pə' məŋkē\," with the accent on

             on the first syllable.  I have not been able to verify

             whether this is the actual native pronunciation.)


       Testing the Y-DNA of a patrilineal (male) descendant— 

       if one could be found— of George Williams would show

       whether George's father was also likely to have been 

       Peter's father.  Perhaps in time enough evidence from

       atDNA will accumulate from DNA testing that will also

       show a preponderance of American Indian ancestry

       indicated for known ARTERBURN descendants.  Although

       not ancestor-specific, atDNA might effectively confirm

       Native American ancestry on Peter's mother's side, since

       his father's side is confirmed for Asian ancestry.  Aside

       from the prospect of DNA evidence, we may yet find

       additional clues in historical records— public or private—

       that will corroborate this likely scenario of Peter's parents

       in Maryland.   Whether the story of William and Elizabeth

       is also our story poses a very interesting prospect for the

       future of ARTERBURN family research.   We invite you

       to join in the search and help extend the ARTERBURN


   "Received from Francis Payn[e], Peter Atterburn" (1744)
                "Deposition of John Cof[f]er, age ca 63"  

                "John Gardiner, age ca 72; mentions he has known
                Mattawoman 40 years then called St. Thomas' Fresh;
                mentions Old Indian Field ..." 

               "Francis Pain, age 29 years; mentions Henry Ward ..."

John Ward ... mentions his father, John Ward, Sr.,
                 dec'd, his Pamunkey land ..."

                      Who exactly was the "William Davis" who provided "security"
                      for credit with Glassford (see Dumfries Stores Index) for "Peter     
                      Atterbirn"— landlord, employer, benefactor, relative/in-law,
                      or some combination of these?

"William Davis" in Colonial Maryland and Virginia 

"William Davis" in the census of Dunmore County (1775)
in district #4 adjacent to that (#3) of Peter and William
(see Supplemental Notes, Appendix #7, p. 598)

"Henry Tanner" and "William Davis" in Charles County
                Court Records, March 1738/9 Court, Liber T#2, Page 537.

                    "Henry Tanner, age about 89, declares that about 
                     30 years ago, he lived on the Plantation now in the
                     possession of Thomas Stone ...."
                   "William Davis, age about 70, declares that about 
                    40 years past, he remembers a bounded white oak 
                    which stood very near the place mentioned in Henry
                    Tanner's deposition ...."
                   (RootsWeb/Marshall ID:   I012916 and I009797)
     (Family Search)

"William Davis Arterburn" (1855-1931) 
    (see Cousins, p. 380)

What connection if any between "Presley Davis" and 
"Presley Arterburn," or "Elijah Davis" and "Elijah
       Arterburn," and Peter's "William Davis?

                      "Jesse Davis"  (RootsWeb/Marshall ID: I051076)

                      "Jesse Davis"  (RootsWeb/Marshall ID: I046252)

                         (Note:  Nelson County, adjacent to Jefferson County)



               Might Peter Arterburn's distinctive personal mark of three wavy 
               lines have reflected memories of his youth working as a sailor 
               or fisherman, or just nostalgia for an earlier life along Mattawoman  
               Creek and the coastal waters of the Chesapeake in Maryland, or
               of something else?


                              "The wavy line is a common sign for water,
                              watercourse, water surface, and the sea."                             
                                (Symbols: Encyclopedia of Western Signs
                                and Ideograms / Carl G. Liungman)

                              Tobacco Coast:  A Maritime History of Chesapeake
                                Bay in the Colonial Era / Arthur Pierce Middleton

                             "John Gardiner" (of "Nonesuch")  

                                (RootsWeb/Marshall ID: I047926)

Captain John Gardiner," "mariner"
                                (RootsWeb/Marshall ID: I053395)                          



Family Search:  Charles County, Maryland Genealogy

Family Search:  Prince George's County, Maryland Genealogy

Family Search:  Virginia Public Records

MSA:  Charles County Court Records

MSA:  Maryland Government Records  (Jurisdiction:  Search by County)

MSA:  Search the Maryland State Archives Online

Wikipedia:  Haplogroup R1a1  (Y-DNA)

Eupedia:  Haplogroup R1a  (Y-DNA)

National Geographic Society:  Genographic Project

Smithsonian/NMNH:  Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation

Miss America 2014:  Nina Davuluri

ABC News:  Indian Ancestry of Princess Diana

Native Heritage Project:  Pamunkey Indians


                        {Updated October 10, 2015}