(and other bits of history and
Marable families of the southern United States
seem all to derive from one George Marable who traveled to Virginia in or before 1652 and made
his home in what we now call Jamestown. There
were Marables in the Massachusetts colony even
earlier than this, but they are not southern
Marables, and many of them succumbed to the
relentless pressure to change the name to "Marble."
There are now many more Marbles than there are
Marables in the United States.
For a substantial
proportion of the southern Marable families, the
connection with George Marable, the immigrant, is
indirect in that their ancestors were slaves
owned by his descendants. The African-American
Marable families may well account for a majority
of those who bear the Marable name at this time.
Consider the extreme case of the state of North
Carolina where the census of 1860 showed that
there were only four Marable households in the
state; but in the 1870 census, after the War
Between the States and the emancipation of all
slaves, there were at least 30 Marable households
enumerated. African-American Marables may be
particularly interested in the slave lists and
references to slaves in wills that Marable
researchers have been able to locate.
Marables remained in Virginia with surprising
unanimity until about 1800. Then, suddenly,
groups of cousins struck out, primarily for
Georgia (1800) and Tennessee (1805) and later to
Alabama (by 1840), the Carolinas and Texas (by
1870). Tennessee has replaced Virginia as the
state with the largest number of Marable
households; but the descendants of George Marable
of Jamestown can probably now be found in every
corner of the United States.
By the time of the Civil War, the
Marable family of Jamestown, Virginia, had spread across the
South. Marables are found in the rosters of units from at least
nine of the Confederate
States. In Virginia, Edward W. Marable of
the Charles City Southern Guard served aboard the
Confederate ship Patrick Henry during the
engagement of the Merrimac with the
Federal fleet at Hampton Roads, and John H.
Marable of the 13th Virginia Cavalry served as a
courier for Gen. J. E. B. Stuart. Marables have
also been found in units from Tennessee, Georgia,
Alabama and Mississippi, and among the dead at
Gettysburg. By the 1860's there were also a
number of descendants of George Marable of James
City, Virginia, who did not bear the Marable name;
and many of them would have served as well.
John E. S. Major of the Charles City Southern
Guards and Benjamin Graves, who fell at
Gettysburg, are known among these.