Primary Surnames

This blog will cover the following families:

  • Sheffey / Sheffy / Sheffie / Scheffe (with origins in Virginia & Germany)
  • Roane / Roan / Rone / Rhone / de Rouen (with origins in Virginia, England & France)
  • Matthews / Mathis (with origins in South Carolina)
  • Turner (with origins in Maryland)
  • Bartelott / de Berthelott / Stopham de Berthelott / Barttelot de Stopham / Bartlett (with origins in Virgina, England & France)

39 thoughts on “Primary Surnames

  1. We have origins in Virginia, England, and France as well.I see the name Bartlett up above.I have been contacted by a Bartlett in Canada who has origins in England and France.He is a third cousin to me.

    1. Hello again!

      I started researching this family a few years ago. There are two Roane-Bartelott marriages. The problem I’m experiencing is the marriage of Robert Roane of Chaldon, Surrey and Elizabeth Bartelott. I’ve only found one baptism record for an Elizabeth Bartelott born in Surrey around this time. Her baptism date is in 1669. With all of Robert’s children being born before 1669, you can see the problem I’m having 🙂 And this Elizabeth (parents: Henry Bartelott and Katherine Stonestreet) is the one listed on every family tree I’ve found. So It’s an error that has been replicated over and over again.

      I’ve written to the current Baronet, Colonel Sir Brian Walter de Stopham Barttelot. I’m hoping to arrange a meeting with him to go over the family tree…and to (hopefully) prove or disprove the fabled connection to Charlemagne.

      1. Hello Mr. Sheffey,

        My name is Gail and I am currently working on genealogy study of my mother’s family tree. I noted that you have a relative named Lelia Roane on your family tree. I am writing to find out if Lelia Roane’s maiden name was Redman or Redmond. My grandfather had a sister named Lelia who married a James or Joshua Roane/Roan(DOB in the 1800’s). Thanks

      2. Hi Gail. Thank you for your comment. I’ve found the Lelia you referenced in the family tree. I haven’t found any records indicating her maiden name. I’ve seen marriage records for her daughter Mildred and her son Arkell and daughter Lucy. Only her first name was given, unfortunately. What’s your Grandfather’s surname? I can have a look for her using that name.

  2. Thank You,
    According to what I have been able to piece together, Leila’s maiden name was Redman, Ridman, or Redmond, and she had seven siblings. Her mother‘s name was Lucy Redmond. This Lelia had seven children by her husband James or Joshua Roan/Roane. Roune was another name I found for the Roane and/or Roan family. All of the different spellings yielded the same family group individuals. Mildred was her fist born child with an est . date of birth around 1909. Lucy was her second born child with an est. birth date of 1910 or 1911, and Arkell was the last child of the seven born with an est. date of birth 1922. Mildred and Lucy were married, but I can find no record of Arkell being married. Lucy was married and may have had two children with the last name of Blue. She died in 1933. One of the other four children was a son named William. He was married and had a daughter in 1939. The Social Security System shows she is still living today. Her last name is Roane.

    1. Thank you for the additional information. I’ve been able to do some initial work on the Redman family. what an intriguing family! It looks like Leila Redman was descended from an English indentured servant by the name of Ann Redmond and an unnamed African man (see

      If this is this case, then this Redman family line is connected to Henry Louis Gates’s Redman ancestors. He talks about the family in his African American Lives series.

      Here’s the initial family tree I’ve done for them. I believe Nancy Redman is Ann Redman’s grand-daughter.:

      Nancy Redman family treeIf the imae isn’t showing properly, try clicking this:

      1. Oh my God, Thank You!
        This is my relative. My Great Grandfather was Palmer and my Great, Great, Grandfather was William. I was not aware that Palmer married twice. Lelia appears to belong to Lucy and Palmer, Sr., while Palmer Jr. belongs to Eliza and Palmer, Sr.. Do you know Eliza’a maiden name by any chance?
        It seems we are related distantly through Leila Roane’s children, as my Grandfather was her uncle. I remember my great Aunt Inez talking about all of the children (nieces and nephews) Mildred, Lucy, Arkell, Jerome, etc.. Since this appears to be the same Leila Roane, she may have had three grandchildren named Blue and Roane. A girl named Audrey Blue born circa 1931, and a boy named Jerome or Jerone Blue born circa 1932 both born to Lucy. There was also a girl born in 1939 named Roberta Roane born to William Roane. The Blue and Roane grandchildren may be your distant relatives. I have not been able to locate their whereabouts.

        Now, I need to find out who was Hurley and Inez’s father, and I am still trying the locate two remaining children belonging to Leila. They are Henry Roane Jr. circa 1914 and Clementine Roane circa 1919. All this marrying is making me dizzy.

      2. I’ve done a bit more research, which has yielded all manner of revelations. I’m processing through the various strands.  To start with the most straight-forward, I haven’t been able to trace either Henry Roane or his sister Clementine either. Both are proving elusive. If I do find anything, I’ll shoot you an email as well as posting it here.

        There seems to be a sad tale around the two Blue children, Audrey & Jerome Blue.  By 1940, they were split apart and sent to live with Ball and Fauntleroy relations. I don’t quite understand how they came to be living with Mary Bell Fauntleroy’s paternal and maternal relations. Mary Bell Fauntleroy was William Norman Roane’s wife.  He, by turn, was their mother, Lucy Rebecca Roane’s, brother.The census says they were the grandchildren of their respective guardians.  I haven’t been able to work that connection out.

        Staying with Audrey & Jerome Blue, their father, Marion N Blue, comes from an old line of free blacks on his maternal and paternal lines.  Families like the Browns, Balls, Glascoes, Newtons, Thompsons and Johnsons from Richmond County & Westmoreland County figure largely in his lineages.

        This is yet another instance of a formerly enslaved Roane relation marrying into a long established family of free blacks. There’s something that made Roanes quite desirable marriage partners. The stigma of slavery didn’t diminish this. To say I’m curious about why that may have been in an understatement 😉

        I’ve doe a quick tree below:

        Blue Family Tree

  3. My great Aunt told me that it was very common for family members to take children whose mother had died, and the father could not or would not care for them. The child usually went to the mother’s family for care. Maybe the children were split because it strained one family financially too much to take in two children at the same time. Did they ever live with their father Marion I wonder? We will never know. I remember my great aunt always bemoaning Jerome’s plight, whatever that may have been. I got the feeling that Jerome was troubled or had a troubled life. I do vaguely remember her saying he lived with Mildred for a time in Mt. Clair, New Jersey. I am not sure whether he lived with his Aunt Mildred, Lucy’s sister, or his Aunt Mildred, Lelia’s sister. I do not remember her saying anything about Audrey. I found her by mistake while looking up the Fauntleroy family.

    My great Aunt and my uncle said the Redmond’s were related to Fauntleroy’s. That was how I found Roberta on the 1940 census. I attend church with one of the Fauntleroy children. She is around 74 years old now. Her father (who is now deceased) insisted that the Fauntleroy’s and Redmond’s were relatives. My uncle said they were second or third cousins at that time, but they were not sure. When I looked up these good folks, I found different Fauntleroy family lines. This cousin gave me her grandfather’s name. Neither her grandfather’s name, nor her father’s name appears as one of the Fauntleroy’s on the genealogy tree you provided. Thank you for a copy of the Fauntleroy tree by the way. I could not locate their tree branch to save my life.
    I am so sorry to see that Roberta Roane died in 2000, and I am assuming she died without issue. Maybe Jerome or Audrey married and had children. Doubtful regarding Jerome, but you never know.

    Could you send another copy of the Redman family tree? I can barely make out the names and dates. Maybe there is a site where I can see and enlarge it. Thanks.

    Oh yeah, whether the Roanes were enslaved or not, “yall just got it like that!”

    1. The Montclair connection is a fascinating one. I have a direct family connection with Montclair, NJ going back to the 1930s (I’m being a bit coy here as this person is still alive). This person never knew they had Roane family kin living there.

      In my research, I’ve found the descendants for a few more Roanes who lived in and around Montclair in the 1930s and 1940s. None of them knew they had family in the area. lol it makes you wonder how they all decided on Montclair as a place to move to from their native VA.

  4. P.S. You were right. Arkell was married. Who was he married to and when? Thanks

    1. Arkell married Agnes on 14 April 1985. I can’t find her maiden name anywhere, which is a bit odd for such a relatively recent marriage. They had at least one child, a son named for Arkell. I have also found a middle name for Arkell which is Redman. The Redman family connection was still being honored down the generations. That was a nice little find.

      1. Good to hear from you again. Kudo’s for finding additional Roane’s and being able to contact them. I wish I could say the same. Anyway, I found possible additional family group names related to the Roane family through their living arrangements. I’m sure you have located them too. In speaking with some older individuals, I found out that many African Americans went north to find work. Many of them found domestic work or worked as laborers.

        By the way, thank you for the information regarding Arkell. I found out that he was a preacher. I also located information confirming the children names(family group) for Leila and James or Joshua Roane. By the way, which one was it James or Joshua?

        Clementine, it seems, was 1 ½ years old and Henry was four years old during the 1900 census. It also appeared that James/Joshua, Leila, and their children lived with their Uncle Carter and his family. She and Henry seem to disappear after that census.

        I talked to a church member who is seventy-six years old. She thought that Clementine was married twice. She lived with the first husband (whose name she cannot remember) in Virginia. She also said that Clementine remarried in Baltimore, Maryland around the mid to end of the 1970’s. Maybe there is some way we could communicate minus the public forum. Should I find a long lost relative, I would like to maybe contact them and maintain their privacy. Thanks

        P.S.: 1. What year was Arkell’s son born?
        2. Still trying to locate Audrey and Jerome Blue.

      2. Hello Brian,

        Hope you are well. I think I found Arkell’s son and some more Roanes’. If you have found them, good! If not, I will let you know what state they’re in so that you can possibly contact them. I may have also located Jerome and Audrey. I’m still unable to locate Clementine and Henry, but the 1900 U.S. census proves they existed. What happend to them?

        I am new to family genealogy, and I am excited that I have been able to obtain so much history about family my starting with one person. This trip through history has been very enlightening. Slavery was an abomination for all peoples of color. Even through all of that oppression and degradation, the descendants of those brought over from Africa and our fellow Native American brothers and sisters continue to persevere. History also throws some curve balls at you. Man, was I surprised to learn that African Americans, and Native Americans owned slaves (that included white slaves from England and Ireland) in pre-revolutionary America.
        If I have not taken the time to thank you yet, then I take this time to thank you now for all of your assistance. You are a remarkable man.

        Thanks again

      3. Dear Brian Sheffey,

        I found some more of Leila’s living grandchildren and some great grandchildren. I made contact with the grandson, but I have not heard from his sister. She is the keeper of that side of the family’s history. I am not sure what’s going on here. He knew some his mother’s and maternal grandmother’s relatives, but had not heard of the other relatives. It feels like some kind of family spilt happened, but I will not know this until I can get more information. I am not sure how to proceed trying to make contact. These are Roanes by the way.

        **P.S.: My aunt is sending me letters where my uncle was corresponding with Redmond’s from North Carolina in the fifties’, sixties, and seventies. Now I am confused, my g,g,g,g, something father was an only child. What can I do to trace this information?

        *Sorry, I had to leave a message in this forum, but I got no response to my tweets and ancestry does not allow me to contact you via email.*

      4. Hi Gail

        Sorry Gail, I’ve been caught up in research, which is always a time-demanding activity.

        That’s great news about the contact made with Leila’s grand-children. I hope that produces some great leads and information for you. It’s frustrating but not everyone wants to share family information. It’s even more frustrating when they can provide information that helps us in piecing together our own direct family lines. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog – to publicly share what I’ve found about many family lines, both my direct one and tangent ones, in the hopes the information will help others 🙂

        Regarding the Redmond connection with your kinsman: given when he was born, there might be a strong possibility there were other brothers and sisters who were split from the family before official records like a census could record them. Or they could have been half brothers and sisters sharing either the same father or the same mother. That might explain the North Carolina connection. Those letters your aunt is sending sound like they’ll be invaluable to you! All the best with that too. you might search digitized North Carolina death records to see if anyone born around the same time cite the same mother and/or father. I hope that’s a useful lead for you. 🙂

        You can always email at: anamericanincornwall[at]gmail[dot]com

  5. I am descended from the Barttelot who went to England with William the Conqueror. Have you been able to get back that far (or farther)? It seems they must be related to the Baronets of Stopham.

    1. Hi Kate

      I have indeed been able to trace back that far, although there are some issues with how my distant ancestor Frances Barttelot is related to this family (too many incorrect family trees online). Long story short, the Barttelot de Stophams are descendants of two Barttelot lines – a female heiress marrying a male cousin – that merged in the early Medieval period.

  6. I need info on Willis Family of free blacks from Westmoreland Coutny, VA. This family originated from Twiford Plantation in Potomac Mills section of Westmoreland County, VA. They are said to have descended from Spanish men who came to Leedstown, VA port with ship load of molasses, had heated dispute and some of the Spanish men remained in Leedstown, VA. This area is very near Wakefield Plantation, birthplace of George Washington. It’s walking distance. I have been told that there was a Willis colonel who lived in the area and had slaves, thus the Willis surname and I guess they mated with a Spaniard. The Willise,s though black, look VERY Hispanic in appearance.

    1. Hi Hazel.

      Thank you for the comment. I’m afraid I don’t know anything regarding the Willis family. There were a handful of European descended Willises who married my European descended Roane relations. I have nothing on the African descended side of the family. If I do stumble across something in the course of my research, I’ll certainly let you know.

      1. Thanks and I would appreciate that very much. Somehow the link maybe a Wilis Slave on George Washington or a friend of his nearby plantation –

  7. Hi Mr. Sheffey. My name is Cyndi and I am researching the Roane lineage. I am from: Vera, Raymond Lionel, Arden E, Leonidas S, Curtis, Charles S, Alexander II (the Patriot), Alexander Sr, Charles. I am searching for information on the history of this family. I see you have ways to obtain this information. How can I do same?

    1. Hi Cyndi
      Thank you for your comment and your great question.

      Honestly? Excluding the English Roane’s Wills and probate records, everything I have found is freely available on line. Google Books has been an excellent resource for researching both the English and the Scots-Irish Roane families.

      Here are some other great online resources for the Roane family:
      The UK’s National Records Office:
      The National Records of Scotland:
      The Public Records Office of Northern Ireland:
      The National Archives of Ireland:

      I’d also suggest visiting parish churches in the places the Roane family lived in: London (All Hollows on Honey Street, St Swithins and St Alfredge), Surrey (Chaldon), York and Northumberland. These will more than likely have ancient records like marriage certificates, baptism records and death records. A visit to the local library might even produce a dusty old tome written by an antiquarian that will have information about the family.

      My hunch,

        which needs to be verified

      , is that the Roanes arrived in Northumberland during the early Norman occupation and spread out from there. The family may have started as minor nobility – and that is a pretty bug ‘may’. However, all of the Medieval Roanes I’ve seen so far were of the yeoman class up to at least the early 16th Century. By that, I mean they weren’t peasants (a nice way of saying the local lord’s chattel). Nor were they knights or nobility. Yeomans were a kind of pseudo middle class in an age when the middle class didn’t exist – not like we’d recognize it today. Finding records for yeomans isn’t easy. They just weren’t important enough or powerful enough to document. Another avenue would be looking at ancient land registry records. It wasn’t unusual for a Yeoman to own property/land.

      I mention all of this for a reason. For what it’s worth, I think the only way to really truly get to grips with the Roane family in England is to actually go to the UK.

    1. Hello Ollie. I’m sorry to say I don’t know if Luther attended Howard University. If you’re an member, you’ll probably find him in one of the HU yearbooks if he did attend. Ancestry seems to have a wealth of digitized old HU records.

  8. I read on your blog that information regarding the last name Tunley could possibly be found in one of the databases you listed. I searched in all of them with no results. If you have any information you would like to share regarding that last name I would be so grateful to learn what you know and hear back from you.


    1. Hi Melisa.

      I only one have one confirmed Tunley. Sadie Tunley, born abt 1868 in VA. She married Thomas Roane. They moved to West Hartford, CT where they raised their family.

  9. Hi, I’m wondering if maybe you have run across the FPOC Hill family in your research on Rachel Findley? My Hill family migrated back and forth from Wythe to Surry NC. We also all test between 2-5% Native American. All filed for Eastern Cherokee through Guion Miller as well, but that was primarily through John Johns of Goochland Va. They(Hills) were a fairly large free family in that area of Va. Not only the Hills that are connected, but I believe that my paternal ancestor Everett Bowser of Pittsylvania was freed along with them.

    1850 Federal Census

    Name: Elizabeth Findley
    Age: 25
    Birth Year: abt 1825
    Birthplace: Virginia
    Home in 1850: District 68, Wythe, Virginia
    Race: Mulatto
    Gender: Female
    Family Number: 826
    Household Members:
    Name Age
    Giden Hill 27
    Elizabeth Findley 25
    Thomas J Hill 0
    Powel H Hill 0
    George Hill 5
    Wesley Richardson 24
    Josiah Richardson 6

    1. Hi Chris. I’ve come across Hills associated with the Findley family as well as the Sheffey family in Wythe and Smyth Counties. Some were free while others were enslaved. I’ll be honest, I’ve struggled trying to stitch the older generations of Hills together (those born between 1760 to 1820). It’s a very large family, even at that early date. And records for the Hills are very patchy.

      Interestingly, I also have a lot of Wythe-based Richardson on the Sheffey side of my family tree too.

      These families were clearly quite close with each other. And they were close for quite some time. I wish I had access to records or accounts outlining the how’s and whys that connected these families in Wythe.

      1. I’ll keep digging at it. I do have some photos that I would like to share with you of the grandchildren(from my family) of those Hills………. 102 years old, next Bday April 2015

        My Hill family intermarried with Margaret Fulton of former slave Jerry Fulton’s family. She was in fact born a slave herself. He(Jerry) was allegedly the son of a slave woman and an Indian hog drover.

        This is George M. Fulton who was the son of Jerry and brother of Margaret. He became one of the most HIGHLY respected men in Surry County after being born a slave Newspaper clipping is a little fuzzy, but I can’t seem to get it to focus

        My great aunt Gracie knew the Findleys and claimed to be related to them. Now at 102 years old, her memory comes and goes. When she remembers something she remembers it perfectly, but it takes a lot of cueing lately. Luckily I videotaped her a few years ago. I’ll continue digging to see what else I can find.

        I did contact Paul Heinegg and he informed me that these Hills are most likely connected to Zachariah Hill who in the late 1700s(18th) was found in Halifax Va. which bordered Bedford at the time . One Hill record mentions a Fulkerson family kidnapping an Indian grandmother and selling her into slavery near the same area as the Findleys. That ‘s what is so intriguing about it

  10. I have been working I family lives and am finding that possibly it’s not something I am good at. However my stubbornness prevails and hours stress wasted going no where. The Redmond, Redman, Redmon family of Maryland. I cannot find earlier than Octavia Redmond And Joshua Redmon great great grandparents. Possibly from Virginia. One of their mothers is Rose. I was told that possible indian heritage is the block here. How do I get past that? Also looking into another Frederick family in Maryland there are so many.

  11. My maiden name is McCoy, my great grand father was born in Westmoreland VA, his name was Joseph McCoy. We are trying to connect our family tree.

  12. Not sure how I ended up here but I recently received my dna results and I’m unsure on where to start searching for actual ancestors. I only know of grandparents. I’d like to look further back since I found out there’s 8% African dna.

  13. Hi Tiffany. There are numerous Africsn-American centric research Facebook groups. If your on FB, type in “black ancestry’ or ‘black genealogy’ and have a look to see which one(s) will be a good fit for your research needs. Trust, you are far from being alone when it comes to resesrching unexpected AfAm dna results & ancestry

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