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Elias Fort I (1631 - 1678)

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Elias Fort I
Born in Isle of Wight County, Virginia Colonymap
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Died in Isle of Wight County, Virginia Colony, USAmap
Fort-30 created 22 Sep 2010 | Last modified
This page has been accessed 2,570 times.

Contents

Birth

Located "Elias Fort" born 1631 in France (Birth records on CD #17 - extracted from Lineage Linkage database CD #100) This is not proven to be correct.

Research

There is a Fort Family History book published in 1970 by Homer T. Fort, Jr. and Drucilla Stovall Jones in Midland, TX at the W. Texas Printing Co.
Received a few copies of pages from Randall B. Hall, 6797 Bayshore Drive, Lantana, FL 33462 (407) 533-0216, of the book "A Family Called Fort" The descendants of Elias Fort of Virginia.
Another book which mentions this Fort family is "The Rasco Family Tree" by William E. Rasco, Chapter 14: The Fort Families, Neighbors of the Rasco and Kin: as quoted from page 367... According to family tradition, the Forts were English with Huguenot origins. Like many other families in America, there is also a tradition of three brothers immigrating to the colonies. Like most of the other three brothers stories, this lore has not been proven for the Fort's either.
There is fairly good evidence that Elias was born before 1646 and probably after 1630. His service on juries required him to be at least 21 years old. While the estate administration papers filed after his death tell little about his family, they describe the children as being "orphans" and hence under legal age. Elias and John Fort show up on the "titheable" list for Surry Co. June 10, 1694; George appears in listings for Surry - in Southwark and Lawnes Creek parishes in 1698. These lists of titheables cover white males 16 years and older with independent livings. All indications prove he left comparatively young children and died perhaps in his 40's.
The administration papers on Elias' estate show his wife's name was Phillis; the will of Joseph Poole, made Jan 8, 1668, in Isle of Wight Co., indicates rather strongly that she was Phillis Champion, and that her widowed mother had married Joseph Poole after bearing a son Edward Champion.
Elias shows up on no surviving land records in Virginia. But it seems highly unlikely for a man who administered four estates and who owned 18 pigs and 10 horses at the time of his death to have no land of his own. The records seem to have been destroyed by fire.
Speculation has it that Elias might have been an indentured servant earlier or even at the time of his death. But Elias' service as an executor of estates argues against his having that status in his later years of life.
The small appointments of colonial living are shown in Elias' inventory, filed by his widow. They include a dozen "spoones", a long table, "three old pots", two flock beds and one featherbed, and "very old" furniture.
Kate Hayne's Fort's "Memoirs of the Fort-Fannin Family" - one of the few published works on the family - recounts a tradition that three brothers named Moses, Arthur and Elias Fort came to America with a British expedition sent to quell the Bacon Rebellion in Virginia. One was a wagonmaster. An elaboration of this tradition says they arrived under the command of a Col. Morrison and Col. Hubert Jeffries; the three brothers decided to stay after Nathaniel Bacon's uprising aborted.
Kate Fort's story came from her mother who was trying to recall something Kate's grandfather had said years earlier. Facts are that Bacon Rebellion did not take place until 1676, nine years after Elias first appears on the VA jury list. Furthermore, the brothers Moses and Arthur, along with a brother Drury Fort do appear together in a migration to SC - though some 75 years after the Elias died.
Another source states that two brothers did come to America together and they landed somewhere in the North, and one brother came South to Virginia.
A "Jennet Forth" arrived in James City Co., VA in 1651 and was indentured to Edward Greenwood; Surry Co. was originally part of James City.
Some of Elias' descendants evidently pronounced and even wrote the name "Foort" until about the end of the 18th century.
Another tradition states Elias Fort and his wife Phillis came to VA on the ship "George" in 1630. But this date seems too early for Elias.
A membership application from Ms. Mattie Higgs sent to the Wash D.C. chapter of the Huguenot Society of America states " Elias Fort born 1631, married to Phillis in England on 1660".
The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607-1776
27 August 1685. The following apprenticed in London: Richard Smith, aged 14, to Thomas Broomer, merchant, 8 years Virginia, with the consent of his mother Anne S. at Cripplegate; John FORT, son of Richard F. of Aldgate, Middlesex, husbandman, deceased, to Elizabeth Norris, 4 years Maryland, with the consent of his mother Jane F. near the King's Slaughterhouse, Swedeland Street, widow, and of his master Josiah Wallop of New Fleet Street, Spitalfields; Richmond Smith, son of John S. of Leather Lane, Holborn, Middlesex, cloth drawer, to the same, 4 years Maryland, with the consent of his father. (LMWB14/382).
The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607-1776
18 February 1699. Western Circuit prisoners reprieved to be transported to Barbados. Cornwall: Griffith Thomas of Probus; Richard Miller of Halberton; David Colwall alias Colwell of Morchard Bishop,

shoemaker. Dorset: Thomas Cumbershall of Forcehill, West Chaldon. Hampshire: John Tewksbury of Gosport; John Callaway of Berriton. Somerset: Thomas Newman alias Harding of Cucklington, linenweaver; John Turner of Cudworth, butcher; William FORT of Ilminster, sergeweaver; Henry Harding of Bruton, butcher; John Gully of Withypool. Wiltshire: Sarah Hamblyn of Shalbourne, widow; John Lawrence of Graton, Great Bedwin; Edward Lawrence of Graton, Great Bedwin; Henry Purton of Shalbourne. Nehemiah Peed of Wotton under Edge (Gloucestershire); Michael Norris of London; Robert Smith of London; John Hazlewood of London; George Holmes of London, shoemaker; Elizabeth wife of John Hazelwood. (PRO: C66/3412/16).

The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607-1776
Fort, Francis. Sentenced to transportation February 1735 Transported January 1736 Dorsetshire to Virginia. Middlesex.

Court Records

The first date recorded on Elias Fort is dated Oct 9, 1667, when he scrawled his mark on the findings of a coroner's jury investigating the death of William Persons in Isle of Wight Co., VA. There is another record of jury service later that year when he and other men looked into the death of Edward Burgess.
In the years 1669, 1670, 1675 and 1677, respectively, he was called on to administer the estates of Joseph Poole, Thomas Dixon, Robert Roe and William Groves.
A court record in Isle of Wight Co. for September 7, 1675, shows him in dept and overdue in his payments to Tom Denson.

Death

Elias died in late 1677 or early 1678, probably the latter, leaving his widow and "orphans". No one knows where his bones rest in old Isle of Wight.

Sources

  • This person was created through the import of PittsPenn_2010-09-21.ged on 22 September 2010 by MG Pitts.
  • 1) Homer T. Fort, Jr. and Drucilla Stovall Jones (Fort book listed above)
  • 2) D. Davidson.
  • 3) Randall B. Hall. (info. listed above)
  • 4) William E. Rasco (info. listed above)
  • 5) Kate Haynes.
  • 6) Ms. Mattie Higgs.
  • 7) MG Pitts, Rev. 2/26/2013


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