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Thomas Rolfe (1615 - aft. 1681)

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Lieutenant Thomas Rolfe
Born in Smith's Plantation, Jamestown, James City Co., Virginiamap
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of [half] and [half]
Husband of — married about in Jamestown, James City, Virginiamap [uncertain]
Descendants descendants
Died after in James City County, Virginiamap
Profile last modified | Created 30 Nov 2008 | Last significant change: 18 Jan 2019
13:48: Jillaine Smith edited the Biography for Thomas Rolfe (1615-aft.1681). (minor bio cleanup) [Thank Jillaine for this]
This page has been accessed 25,087 times.

Categories: Descendants of Pocahontas | Powhatan | Virginia Colonists | Jamestown, Virginia Colony | US Southern Colonist.

Matoaka Amonute Powhatan
Thomas Rolfe is a descendant of Pocahontas.
Join: Descendants of Pocahontas Project
Discuss: pocahontas
US Southern Colonies.
Thomas Rolfe settled in the Southern Colonies in North America prior to incorporation into the USA.
Join: US Southern Colonies Project
Discuss: southern_colonies
'Please read : ROLFE is a very popular family at WikiTree. However, there is only one THOMAS ROLFE. He only had one daughter named Jane Rolfe'



Thomas Rolfe was born 30 January 1615 at either Smith's Plantation, Virginia or Varina, Henrico, Virginia.[citation needed] He was the only child of John and Rebecca (Pocahontas) Rolfe.

A possible unproven legend states that Mattaponi oral history is adamant that Thomas was born out of wedlock, prior to the marriage ceremony between Pocahontas and Rolfe.[1]

When his mother died in England in 1617, he was left there to be raised by his father's family. He then returned to Virginia to claim his parents' property upon his majority.

Thomas became a lieutenant in the English Army. He came to America when he was about 25 years old (c. 1635).[2]

Residence: 1652 Thomas Rolfe House, Surry Co., VA: story-and-a-half homes with chimneys at both ends and a more nearly symmetrical facade, as in the Thomas Rolfe House (1652), in Surry County, Virginia.[3]

He married Jane Poythress about 1640 in Richmond, Henrico, Virginia or in 1644 Jamestown, James City, Virginia.[citation needed] See "Research Notes" below, however, for discussion of this claim.

They only had one child :

  1. Jane Rolfe who married BOLLING.

He died after 1658 in James City, County, Virginia.[citation needed] Others say he died in 1675 James River, Buckingham, Virginia.[4] A property event dating 23 Apr 1681, lands of Thomas Rolfe, deceased, known as "the Fort Land" were divided and sold - so he was clearly gone before 23 Apr 1681. His only grandson, John Bolling, signed over some of his land in 1698 to a William Brown." [5].

Research Notes

Disputed Information about Thomas' wife

Some claim he married Elizabeth Washington in England.[citation needed]

Moore and Slatten[6] traced the suggestion that his wife was a Poythress back to a comment by W. G. Stanard in "Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents", in Virginia Historical Magazine (I, 1894, 446-447):

"His wife is said to have been a Miss Poythress (if so, doubtless a daughter of Francis Poythress."

According to Moore and Slatten, Stanard cited as evidence handwritten notes on the flyleaf of a copy of A Complete Collection of All the Laws of Virginia Now in Force Carefully Copied from the Assembled Records (London, 168[?], now in the Library of Virginia. Moore and Slatten state:

"Interestingly, Thomas Rolfe here is recorded as married to a 'Miss Payers'. We recall that in John Rolfe's will the name of his third wife is spelt Pyers (Peirce) and that it was John who married a "Jane".

Here again a Bolling descendant confused the son with his father. Not recognizing the name 'Payers' as another variant of Peirce, someone searched the records for a name beginning with 'P' and having a 'y' in the first syllable. Francis Poythress lived in adjacent Charles City County and his name ended in s!

Wyndham Robertson, a Bolling descendant, wrote in Pocahontas Alias Mataoke and Her Descendants (Richmond, 1887):

"I adopt "Jane Poythress" (not "Poyers") whom he is stated in the Bolling Memoirs to have married in England."

He added in justification of his charming adoption of an ancestress, ' such name as "Poyers" is anywhere known ... the family of Poythress was already settled in Virginia.' ... The result has been the acceptance of a non-existent personage, 'Jane Poythress', in the Bibles of Virginia genealogy, as the bona fide ancestress of many illustrious Virginians. Who the wife (or wives) of Thomas Rolfe may have been remains an unanswered question.

Pocahontas' Descendants by Stuart Brown et al (1995), which is the most updated version of POCAHONTAS' DESCENDANTS: A Revision, Enlargement and Extension of the List as Set out by Wyndham Robertson in His Book Pocahontas and Her Descendants (1887) that he was only married once "to possibly the daughter of Francis Poytress, a Virginia colonist" . If there was a first marriage in England before he moved to Virginia to claim his inheritance & land, the first wife was listed as "unknown".

Disputed Child

Whether Anne Rolfe actually existed as a daughter of Thomas Rolfe

"The Elwyn family of Thurning, Norfolk, England, claims that Anne Rolfe, “cousin and adopted” daughter of Anthony Rolfe of Tuttington, Norfolk, and wife of Peter Elwyn of Thurning (1623-1695/6) was also a daughter of Thomas Rolfe, Pocahontas’s son, by an early English wife. Brown, Myers, and Chappel accept this claim; Moore and Slatton do not, and I [who?] am skeptical also. Margaret Wake, a great-granddaughter of Peter and Anne, married William Tryon (1729-1788), colonial Governor of North Carolina and New York.

English sources for the Elwyn progeny include R. T. and A. Gunther, Rolfe Family Records, Vol. 2 (1914): 289-91, and Patrick Palgrave-Moore and Michael J. Sayer, "A Selection of Revised and Unpublished Norfolk Pedigrees," in Norfolk Genealogy, Vol. 6, 1974, published by the Norfolk and Norwich Genealogical Society), 56-59 (Elwyn); and The Ancestor, 2 (1902): 183-84 and 4 (1904): 256-57 (Wake, Tryon)."[7]


  1. National Museum of the American Indian: Pocahontas, First Marriage, Huff Post article, date? author?
  2. Sponsor: William Pierce, Nugent: Virginia Land Patents; (spreadsheet: database online). Accessed 10 November 2018, amb
  3. Microsoft Encarta 98, "American Art and Architecture".
  4. Magazine of Virginia Genealogy. Volume? Publishing date? page 12 Better link sought.
  5. Bibliography: The Association for the Preservation of Virginia, copyright 1997,2000 at website antiquities. database online
  6. Elizabeth Vann Moore and Richard Slatten, "The Descendants of Pocahontas: An Unclosed Case," in Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, XXIII, no.3, pp.3-16, cited by John Frederick Dorman, in Adventurers of Purse and Person, 4th ed., Vol. 3, p.26, fn23-24.
  7. copied from Gary Boyd Roberts, Notable Kin: Some Descendants and Kinsmen of Descendants of Pocahontas: An Excursion into Southern Genealogy, April 1986 at

See Also:

  • David Morenus. Pocohantas Descendants. Accessed by Michael Boynton on December 22, 2015 at 3:30 PM. online
  • Virginia County Records Surname Index. The Generations Network, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 1999;
  • Gale Research, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s Publication: Name: Operations, Inc; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2010;
  • Godfrey Memorial Library, comp., American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI) Publication: Name: Operations Inc; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 1999
  • Virginia, Find A Grave Index, 1607-2012 Publication: Name: Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2012
  • Robert Gale LaMaster, LaMaster/LeMaster Home Page, (1998, online), "Electronic."
  • Pocahontas Descendants web page, (1998, online), "Electronic."
  • Stith, William: History of Virginia (1747), p. 146.
  • "Ancestors and Descendants of John Rolfe", in Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 21, No. 2 (Apr 1913), p. 209.
  • Stanard, W.G: "Virginia Land Patents", in Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 1 #4 (Apr 1894), p. 446.
  • Robertson, Wyndham: Pocahontas and her Descendants, p. 29.
  • "Will of John Rolfe", in Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 58, No. 1 (Jan 1950), p. 61. (Previously printed in NEHGR)
  • England, Select Marriages, 1538–1973
  • London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; Church of England Parish Registers, 1538-1812; Reference Number: DRO/040/A/01/002.
London, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812. Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.Original data - Church of England Parish Registers, 1538-1812. London, England: London Metropolitan Archives. Images produced by permission of the City of London Corporation Libraries
  • Thomas Rolfe and Pocahontas: image
  • Thomas Rolfe Home: image

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No known carriers of Thomas's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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Images: 3
Thomas Rolfe's Grave Memorial, Burial, Kippax Plantation, Hopewell City Virginia,
Thomas Rolfe's Grave Memorial, Burial, Kippax Plantation, Hopewell City Virginia,

Thomas Rolfe in " Magazine of Virginia Genealogy"
Thomas Rolfe in

Thomas Rolfe Image 1
Thomas Rolfe Image 1


On 11 Jun 2018 at 20:03 GMT David Rolfe wrote:

Rolfe-1 and Rolfe-1714 are not ready to be merged because: Looks to be the same person

On 11 Jun 2018 at 17:37 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

update: merge completed

Rolfe-1714 and Rolfe-1 appear to represent the same person because: birth date/place are the same & I just proposed a merge of the duplicate profiles for dau. Jane. Rolfe-1714 has no source for death "19 Apr 1676 in Purton, Gloucester, Virginia" - not sure what that's from.

On 21 Sep 2017 at 13:14 GMT Jeanie (Thornton) Roberts wrote:

Rolfe-1575 and Rolfe-1 appear to represent the same person because: This profile already exists. please merge.

On 16 Jun 2017 at 07:04 GMT Harry Edward Carlson wrote:

The information provided to me by my cousin, Patricia Gresham, says Thomas's middle name was Powhatten, and that he died in Richmond, Wise County, Virginia in 1675.

On 3 Jun 2016 at 22:13 GMT Wesley Doughman wrote:

Please edit father. Cannot be merged with Rolfe-1, until this is done. You cannot edit the parents during this merge because Thomas Rolfe is a Project-Protected Profile.

On 1 May 2016 at 03:11 GMT M (McQueen) M wrote:

Rolfe-1157 and Rolfe-1 appear to represent the same person because: same person

On 29 Mar 2016 at 19:42 GMT Jeanie (Thornton) Roberts wrote:

where does the name Pepsironemeh come from? Is there any proof he used this name?


On 10 Feb 2016 at 04:13 GMT Tim Stringfellow wrote:

2nd cousin 11 times removed

On 23 Aug 2015 at 07:17 GMT Sue (Bennett) Demele wrote:

These are my direct family history Pocahontas is in fact my 11th great grandmother on my mothers fathers side ..i have the tree of all this ..I'm just getting it loaded again it will take me awhile somehow ancestry lost everything I loaded...

On 1 Sep 2014 at 03:09 GMT Betty (Delisle) Tierney wrote:

Rolfe-751 and Rolfe-1 appear to represent the same person because: same person.

more comments

Thomas is 21 degrees from Robin Helstrom, 19 degrees from Katy Jurado and 16 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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