Thomas Bouldin I, yeoman, who decided to come aboard the Swan early in 1610 as part of Lord De La Warr’s entourage and leave England forever was the first by that name in America. Thomas was among those willing to risk his life to settle in Virginia under the auspices of The Virginia Company of London. However dangerous the risk, the options to purchase one share of stock at the price of £12 and 10s, and to own a hundred acres for each share after a number of years must have appeared attractive. If one paid his passage to Virginia, he would be exempt from military service and taxes other than Church duties. If the Virginia Company of London paid his passage, he was required to pay annual fees on top of his service and do his share of military duties and taxes. On 8 June 1610, Thomas Bouldin I and other hopefuls were sailing up the James River aboard the Swan when their ship met another ship bound for England with the last of the survivors from Jamestown. This providential encounter helped prevent the abandonment of the Jamestown colony
Due to extensive loss of the earliest records, it is not known where Thomas Bouldin I first lived during this particular time. It is believed that shortly after his arrival, Thomas Bouldin I was sent immediately with other colonists to Kecoughtan, a recently destroyed Indian village, see rectified John Smith Map. As the next settlement after Jamestown in 1610, Kecoughtan was located on the east side of Hampton Creek, across from what is now Hampton on the west side.[i] This area, located at the mouth of the James River at Hampton Roads, was considered a healthier spot.[ii] It was one of the four locations that made up the “1st Divident” for The Virginia Company of London.[iii] Although Kecoughtan was later changed officially into The Corporation of Elizabeth City in 1624, Kecoughtan was still used as a place name by inhabitants in the 18th-century.
The 100 acre land patent given to Thomas is described in The Ancient Planter description as the patent grant of 100+100 [Richard Birchett's portion] acres at 1.5 miles up the Hampton River, with the River forming the East boundary, the "main land" at the West boundary and Mary's portion [also approximately 1.5 miles at the South boundary. It must be noted that 300 acres is .7 mile by .7 miles, or 3600 ft. by 3600 ft., a sizeable piece of real estate. This would put this area on a modern map where the "Downtown Hampton" area is currently located to include the City Hall. It would extend from Lincoln Street north to Mercury Blvd. with the Hampton River being the east border and the Main Land being on the western edge.
William Bouldin I, born ca. 1624–1630, Virginia, married Rachel (Lewis?) and later separated. His next love was Mary Thwaite who moved to Maryland with him before he died on or shortly after 26 August 1671, Baltimore County, Maryland. His birthdate is based on the following events of his life, his contemporaries, and date of death. From available evidence and circumstances mentioned earlier, it is very likely that William Bouldin I of Gloucester County was indeed the infant William, born ca. 1624 at Kecoughtan as the son of Thomas Bouldin I, but since there is yet still no documented genealogical proof, William Bouldin I of Gloucester County is designated as our earliest proven ancestor to date by way of documentation. It is believed that William Bouldin I moved around the peninsula of Elizabeth City County to Abingdon Parish, Gloucester County, in search of fresh soil for tobacco cultivation. He married Rachel, whose maiden name may have been Lewis. This marriage appeared to be devoid of surviving children, if any. Aged about thirty-six in 1660 if he was indeed the infant William born ca. 1624, William Bouldin I clearly wanted children but this spelled legal difficulties for his marriage. Divorces were considered nearly unthinkable in the eyes of the established English church, never mind frowned upon as part of the English tradition.Spouses could resort to local judges for divorce a mensa et thoro, i.e., a separation from bed and board. A couple could live apart but could not remarry as long as the other legal spouse lived. A divorce more familiar to us today was known as a vinculo matrimonii, a total dissolution of a marriage between spouses. While occasionally granted, such divorces required proof of adultery, not just consent or any default in the eyes of the law. Many men instead resorted to desertion of their wives and abandonment of their properties. Often no legal action was taken against them, and wives were left in awkward positions as femmes coverts without husbands. If the husband was not heard from after seven years, he was considered legally dead in the eyes of the court. His wife could then achieve the status of a widow, sell land, and remarry if she desired.[i][i] Marylynn Salmon, Women and the Law of Property in Early America (Chapel Hill: North Carolina Press, 1986), 58–59.
William Thwayte/Bouldin was born ca. 1664–1666, in Abingdon Parish, Gloucester County, Virginia. He married Thomasin Nash who was born between 1671 and 1673 in Kent Co. Maryland. She was the daughter of Richard Nashand Anne Blunt. William died after 17 April 1734 when he acknowledged a land transaction in court. According to Family Data Collections, Ancestry.com, he died in 1741 in Cecil Co., MD.
William and Thomasin Nash Bouldin had eight children: Mary b 2 Jan 1689, Richard b 5 Dec 1693, Elizabeth b 3 July 1696, William III b 29 June 1704 twin, Alexander b29 June 1704, Col. Thomas b 15 Jan 1706, Samuel b 7 Jan 1709, and James b 4 Sept 1712. From these children descend the thousands of present day Bouldins, Bouldens, and Bowlings alive today.
William III, twin to Alexander, married Martha Price, daughter of Thomas and Mary Price. His estate of 1744 list four children: Richard, William IV, Elizabeth and Mary.
Little is known about Alexander other than he moved a short distance from Cecil Co., Maryland to New Castle, Deleware (about 20 miles) and was living there in February 1750. Thus far his wife and children remain a mystery awaiting discovery.
Around 1744 Thomas moved from Cecil Co., Maryland to Charolotte Co., Virginia where he homesteaded Golden Hills near Drakes Branch. Thomas served in the Revolutionary War as a Colonel with distinction. He and his wife Ann "Nancy" Clark were parents of James E., Ephraim, Francinia, Thomas, Jr., Joseph, Wood, Richard, William B., Thomasin, Mary, and Jenneke. Sheriff's commission to right.
James married Elizabeth Phillips. Their children were: James, Thomas, Nathan, Elisha, Jesse, Augustina, Rachel, and Elijah. James moved to Pencader hundred in New Casle, Deleware later in life and died there in 1784.
Richard married Mary Hews. Their children were: Richard, Thomas, Mary, Thomason, Margaret, and Rachel. A son John had died earlier. Richard died around 1740 probably from an epicemic of 1739/40.
Elizabeth married Thomas Biddle in 1716 and had the following children: Sarah, Mary, William, Rachel, Noble, Thomas and Rebecca Biddle. She died after 1774.