I would guess that since 1989, when I started the King newsletter, I have heard from more people researching this line than any other. Small wonder, since within 150 years they had spread into many of the states of the south. And, strange to say, in all that time I have never heard directly from anyone who was doing any original research. Everyone has simply adopted what has "always been known."
It has turned out that the sources of most of the genealogy being circulated
were these three articles:
1. "King Family of Virginia," William and Mary Quarterly Vol 16, No2, Oct 1907), pgs 105-111. (I'm told no author is given.) This was primarily the descendants of John King, son of Michael of Nansemond Co.
2. "Memorandum of Solomon King's Predecessors, etc." Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol 36 pgs 194-195 (Solomon King's Bible)
3. "King", William and Mary Quarterly, Vol 18, Series 2 (1938) pgs 356-357 author I believed was Hugh B Johnson. (A combination of the above two articles.)
My own first exposure to this family was the book "William Rufus King and His Kin" by Henry Poellnitz Johnston, Sr, Fenton Press, P O Box 7661, Birmingham AL 35223, 1975. I saw this book at the NC Archives, where I was looking for Hulseys, my major interest at that time, and for any family with a Meredith King mentioned (my gggrandfather living in 1812 Franklin Co TN and Franklin co AL.) I made a few notes for future reference, chiefly because one of my cousins had speculated that we might be connected to the vice-president who also lived in AL. This book seems to have used the same source material mentioned above.
Then, about that same time, I began getting bits and pieces of "The Lees and Kings of Virginia and North Carolina 1636=1976" by Reba Shropshire Wilson and Betty Shropshire Glover, still available from Wilson and Glover Publishing Co, 571 Headden Drive, Ridgely, TN 38080, $52.50. This book seems to have been distributed fairly widely, and a number of libraries have copies.
This book is probably the source of most of the contemporary genealogy being circulated by descendants, whether the book is cited as the source or not. Often people seem to incorporate whole sections of the book word for word, which at least makes it easy to see where they got their information! One thing that makes this book so popular with descendants is that Wilson and Glover gave very careful listings of their sources, and in many cases included transcriptions of original records.
Another book which has been distributed widely is "Kennard, King, Knight, Hardin, Goodin, Their Ancestors and Descendants," by Alta Kennard Patterson. I used to see this book advertised in Everton's "Genealogical Helper", but I think the address I once had is no longer valid. If this book is available, I would like to be told of the details, as well as the address of the authors, since they carry out some lines not available in "Lees and Kings".
In addition, I have received several family group sheets or other notes where small amounts of the above genealogy were mentioned in books as the authors worked on the descendants of their particular line.
I had heard that there is a newer book about the descendants of Michael King, and have now heard from the author, who gives his own explanation of "Some Descendants of Michael King of Nansemond County Virginia, 1667-1987" It appears from the work of Henry Lee King, and a few other people now doing some of their own research, that all of the above-mentioned books adopted the original three articles from William and Mary and the Virginia Magazine without further verification.
Principally, Henry L King's research established that the William King who married Mary Curle and lived in Elizabeth City Co VA was not the son of Michael the Immigrant, and gives descendants of the William who was. Then, he also established that some of the people who had been considered descendants of Henry King, son of Michael, were actually descendants of William son of Michael instead. Once we have made it over the hurdle of adjusting to that, in most cases the descendants of the rearranged lines seem to be more or less the same as reported by Wilson and Glover, with a few minor adjustments here and there.
Here I would like to mention that the genealogist of 1907, or 1939, or even 1973, did not have nearly as much in the way of resources as we do today. For one thing, the records were not microfilmed until the technology became available. Nowadays, those who want to do research in North Carolina either need to live near an LDS Family History Center, where many records are available on microfilm, or rely on books published about the county, or go there. I can tell you from my own experience that travelling to the state archives or county courthouses is not the best way to do the detailed research required by this type of problem. I have now looked at some of the books used by Wilson and Glover, for instance, who obviously did more research than some others did and I am amazed that they were able to gather so much. It doesn't hurt us to pay a bit of respect to those who tried to preserve something for future generations.
Anyone who is connected to this family needs to know about the changes Henry Lee King's research has brought about. As far as I know, no one is working on a really comprehensive book about this line, showing all the resources and connections as now constituted. Those who want to have a correct genealogy really need to do some research for themselves. At the same time, I also know that a lot of the people who are interested in this family are not near an LDS Family History Center, (which are not as numerous in the east and south as in the west) and cannot go to the North Carolina Archives for an extended stay. My suggestion, then, is that Wilson and Glover's book can still be of value, if used with caution, in discovering records pertaining to a particular person. (For instance, Solomon King's will, as reported by Wilson and Glover, is still found in the same place and still says the same thing, even though Solomon's father should be connected to another family.) These home pages should be useful to anyone trying to work on these families.
Finally, I come to the matter of ages. I understand that in genealogy, we must take the information as it appears. Strictly speaking, if no date of birth is given, then we shouldn't give one either. However, I think some of the problems I've seen would have been averted with a reasonable estimation of age. Another aspect of this is that computer programs for genealogy seem to cry out for a birth date to be entered, the result of which is that people are now circulating some really wild age estimations, such as one I received with a 50 year span between children in the same family. My idea is that as information is gathered, estimations of age would be helpful, and I invite participation in that endeavor.
Introductory: About Henry L King
Michael the Immigrant
Second Generation: Nathan 11 , Michael 12 , John 13, Henry 14, William 15
Dr John King of NC and VA
John King 121 (of Elizabeth City Co VA)
Solomon 151, Mary 153, Henry 154, Charles 155
Charles 1551, William 1552, Michael 1553, Solomon 1554, Henry 1555
Stephen 14222 ,
Charles 15515, Benton 15516, William C 15531, William 15551
Hank's Map Use "back" button to return here.
Just a reminder folks, the person who does the work is entitled to "ownership" of his presentation of the facts. The work on "Hank's Menu" is copyrighted by Henry L King, 1997. You can contact him at HANKKING@aol.com regarding permission to use.