Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Sizemore Family Roots

My Native American Connection 

 So, where did the Sizemore family come from?

As more than one writer has pointed out, we can be pretty sure that there wasn’t a Native American named Sizemore before the pilgrims landed. The name Sizemore is very old British name. One source says that the name comes from England originating in Lancashire (Sizemore family crest, 2009) and one researcher says

“… There were 44 spelling variants of SIZEMORE. The earliest record was dated 1556 and largest concentration of the surname was in the county of Gloucester [England].”  (Surname History)

 Some say the name comes from Jewish roots. There is a mention of an indentured servant in Jamestown of Portuguese-Jewish descent and also that some Sizemore’s may have come from a Scots-Irish heritage.  (The Metis Heritage of the Sizemore Family, 2001 )
There is a couple living near Jamestown in Charles City, Va. around 1619. William Sismore came from England and was granted 100 acres of land on the Appomattox River. William married Martha (probably) in Virginia. [As she is known to have traveled between England and the colonies a few times.] (Surname history)

Here’s an interesting bit of history – Martha came to Virginia later than William and is possibly one of the women that the Virginia Company ordered to be sent to the colonies.

The Virginia Company of London seemed to agree that women were indeed quite necessary. They hoped to anchor their discontented bachelors to the soil of Virginia by using women as a stabilizing factor. They ordered in 1619 that "...a fit hundredth might be sent of women, maids young and uncorrupt, to make wives to the inhabitants and by that means to make the men there more settled and less movable...." ( )

 It seems the planters and other landowners were growing restless without the joys of female companionship and the company decided this was the best way to help them settle. So they sent the ‘tobacco brides’ who could be bought at the set price of 120 pounds of tobacco which paid for their passage.  (History of Women in the United States)
Meanwhile, despite fires, Indian attacks and periods of starvation, Jamestown did survive with the help of these and other new colonists.
William and Martha appear on a list of ‘the living’ in Virginia at West & Shirley Hundred Jan. 14, 1623/4 after an Indian massacre on the Appomattox River. (Sizemore)

A few years later the Sizemore name shows up more commonly as the family name spreads out in Virginia and North Carolina. Details about the early families are sketchy but things start to get interesting in the mid to late 1700’s with an important central character by the name of Edward “Old Ned” Sizemore. As we will see Old Ned is used as the patriarch of many of the lines of Indians to follow.  
Edward “Old Ned” Sizemore was born, well, one source says prior to 1725, another says about 1742. (Did I mention they didn’t keep track of dates too well?) The son of Edward Sizemore and “a Shawano woman”, he died in Oct. 1780 in Ashe County, North Carolina.
He and his brothers – John, Hiram, George, Ephram, and Owen come up frequently in the stories told later in the ECA’s (Eastern Cherokee Applications) in the early 1900’s. As it turns out, these applications are the richest source for Sizemore family genealogy research known today. But these men are the foundation of most of the Sizemore family lines in the country.
Next: The Trail of Tears, Stick People, and the Whitetop Laurel Band


  1. Hmmm...this name caught my attention this morning while catching up on your posts. I have several Sizemore's in my database. Unfortunately they are names only, marriages attached to various people. If in your search you ever come across Aggie wife of Zachariah Minor, Celia wife of Isaac W. Kinsler, Clyde husband of Frances J. Kinsler, Ethel wife of George Washington Stout, or Laura wife of Samuel Thacker, give me a shout. With the exception of Ethel, these people were all born in the 1870s and earlier and probably in the VA and TN areas.

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  2. These links may (or may not) help... the Sizemore name has lot of history attached, both local (Stateside) and UK (Gloucestershire, I believe) and further afield. In the UK, spelling variants are apparently quite common.

    The name "Aggie" - particularly - caught my eye, as a lady of that name was a central figure in (US) Sizemore family history.

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