Fifth Generation

21. Elizabeth MARABLE30 was born about 1700 in James City Co., VA. She died after 1747.

She married Edward [III] Travis in James City Co., VA, in or before 1719.30  Edward [III] TRAVIS31 was born about 1697 in Jamestown Island, James City Co., VA, and died after 1727.31

Edward [III] Travis was the son of Edward [II] Travis (whose 1700 burial stone is still visible in the Travis burial ground on Jamestown Island). It is probable that he was the son by Edward [II]'s first wife, Elizabeth [probably Champion] She is believed to have been the sister of John Champion (who also died in 1700 and is also buried in the Travis burial ground).

There is a note signed “Edwd Travis” to Henry Hartwell Marable, dated 18 Nov 1747, in which Travis conveys a message from his mother to Hartwell. That Travis styles himself "your friend and relation, Edw.d. Travis" in signing the note is primary evidence of some family relationship with the Marable family. Although not signed "Edward Champion Travis," I find it more likely that the note was written by Edward Champion Travis (27 years old in 1747 and known to be living) than by his father, Edward [III] Travis (who would have been 47 at the time the note was written, and possibly deceased -- he is known to have died in or before 1755). Consequently, it seems more likely that the "mother" named in the note is Elizabeth [Marable] Travis than an otherwise unknown step-mother of Edward [III] Travis supposed to have married his step-father William Broadnax after the death of Rebecca Travis.

The note is in the Major-Marable Family Papers in the Special Collections held by the Rockefeller Library of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Box 1, Folder 2.  

  The note reads:      

Novemr 18, 1747

As I forgott a message to you from my mother I therefore take this oppertuniy by M.r Massenburg to acquaint you of it which is that she is a mind to dispose of her Chears which you sometime ago was a talking to her of buying Therefore She Desires to no if you are of the same oppinion so if you are you may have them all

from your Friend and Relation
Edw.d Travis


  1747 Edward Champion Travis Note  

Now we have an elegant solution to the puzzle of the relationship of Edward Champion Travis to the Marable family. We have at least tertiary authority showing that his mother was Elizabeth, a previously unknown sister of the four known sons of Maj. George Marable. This came to light with the publication of John Frederick Dorman, Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia, 1607-1624/5, Vol. II, Families G-p (4th Ed., Genealogical Publishing Co., 2005) ,  p. 360 and fn. 18, citing William Bedford Coles, The Coles Family of Virginia (New York, 1931), p. 52 [Gateway Press Virginia, 1989]; and William Pope Anderson, Anderson-Overton (Cincinnati, 1938), p. 42 [Gibson and Perin, 1945] (the name is given as "Marible" in the Coles and Anderson genealogies, and corrected to "Marable" by Dorman).

The dust has not quite settled on this question, however. Dorman's view of the family of Edward [III] Travis is at odds with what has been the accepted genealogy of the Travis family for almost 100 years (See, "The Travis Family," William and Mary Quarterly (1st. Ser.) 17:141-144, at p. 142 (1909); and, most recently, Martha W. McCartney, A Study of the Africans and African Americans on Jamestown Island and at Green Spring, 1619-1804 (National Park Service and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2002), at p. 134).

The established view is that Edward [III] Travis died in about 1720 and his wife, the mother of Edward Champion Travis, married, second, William Brodnax, and died herself in 1723.

The Rebecca [Travis] Brodnax who died in 1723, however, must in fact have been the mother of Edward [III] Travis. This is consistent with the published family Bible records of William Brodnax which show that he married his widow Travis in about 1700 (not after 1720), and she bore his three children, including one born not later than 1710, before dying in 1723.

I am indebted to Jeanetta Sharp for bringing the Dorman work to my attention and corresponding with me extensively on the question of the Travis succession on Jamestown Island. 

Jeannetta also provided me with a transcription of Rebecca E. [Travis] Tucker's death notice in the 31 March 1804 issue of the Virginia Argus which establishes that she was 77 years old when she died in 1804. This gives a birth year of 1727 for Rebecca, a fact also inconsistent with the 1909 note, and shows that both Edward [III] Travis and his wife (Elizabeth, not Rebecca) were living in 1727 (not both dead by 1723).

Notwithstanding these facts and arguments, we are not in a position to alter the established historical view of the succession of the Travis family of Jamestown Island. For that, we must await further attention to the matter by historians rather than genealogists. 

There is some movement in this direction. A recent publication by Martha W. McCartney, although careful not to confront the confilct with the established view directly, did accept Dorman as authority for the fact that Edward [III] Travis married Eliizabeth Marable and that she was the mother of Edward Champion Travis (born in 1720) and his sister Rebecca Elizabeth Travis (born in 1727).  In her passage on Edward Champion Travis,McCartney also referred to the 1747 note described above.  Martha W. McCartney,  Jamestown People to 1800 ((Genealogical Publishing Co., 2012).

Elizabeth MARABLE and Edward TRAVIS had the following children:



Col. Edward Champion TRAVIS.



Rebecca Elizabeth TRAVIS.