Ancestral Recall: Discovering My English Heritage and My Ancestors from Colonial Maryland and Virginia

As I wrote in a previous post, about 25% of my DNA comes from southern Germany and eastern France, while another 25% comes from England with a dash of Scotland apparently, though I can’t seem to find that ancestor. The other 50% comes from my European Jewish roots.

In this post, I detail the ancestral links to the British Isles, and to do so, it is important to start where the British and German lines of my ancestors intersected.

In my previous post, I identified that the top four names on the far right of the chart were all of German and French descent. The bottom four, including the Odell, Doubleday, and Neepier lines all came from England. The Odell and Neepier lines have deep roots in Maryland, while the Klitsch and Schwarze lines were from Pennsylvania. They merged when my paternal grandfather Linus Klitsch married my paternal grandmother Evelyn Odell.

I have not been able to track much information on the Neepier family line past my 3rd-great-grandparents, William Neepier and Sophia McCutchan, who lived in Baltimore City in the mid-1800s, therefore, this post will focus on the Odell and Doubleday lines, which feature some fascinating ties to colonial Massachusetts, Maryland, and Virginia.

The Odell Family Line

The Odell family line has several ancestral lineages that trace to numerous areas of England and show that these ancestors came to Colonial America as early as 1636. While these lines get a bit squishy as records seem to overlap in some areas, the records show that the Dalton ancestors came from the English towns of Dennington (Suffolk), Parnam (Somerset), Haverhill, and Daulton (Yorkshire). Many of my 7th-great-grandparents in this line made the trek across the Atlantic Ocean in the mid-1600s and settled in the towns of Hampton, New Hampshire, Baltimore, Maryland, and Farnham and Gloucester, Virginia.

In the Talbot line, ancestors hailed from the towns of Waplington and Pocklington in Yorkshire, England. Many of them came to Colonial America around 1700 and settled in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

In the Baker line, which has an interesting man I’ll write more about later named Thomas Greenfield, these ancestors came from Nottingham and Billingshurst, England, before settling in Colonial Virginia and Maryland. One of these ancestors, according to, my 9th-great-grandfather Maurice Baker was born in 1622 in James City, Virginia, shortly after Jamestown became a permanent English settlement in 1607. The ancestors eventually moved north to Maryland and merged with the other lineages.

In the Taylor line, ancestors came from Bruton, London, Westbury, North Walsham, and Hingham, England and many of them also settled in Colonial Maryland and Virginia in the mid-1600s.

The Doubleday/Belt Family Lines

The Doubleday family line goes back to my 4th-great-grandmother Charlotte Doubleday, who reportedly grew up in London before coming to the United States around 1800, as her son, my 3rd-great-grandafather Samuel Doubleday was born in Maryland in 1810. Initially, I got excited about this line, because I wondered if I had any relation to Abner Doubleday, the famous Union Major General who is credited with fighting back and delaying the Confederate assault at Gettysburg just enough to allow his fellow Union commanders to establish effective defenses on the ridge line. But, alas, I could find no direct relation, so I digress…

That said, Samuel Doubleday married a woman named Elizabeth Belt, the great-granddaughter of my 7th-great-grandfather, whose name was Joseph Belt, who has a historical marker in Washington, DC which emblazons his accomplishments as the Colonel of the Prince George’s County Militia in the French and Indian War, his founding of the Chevy Chase neighborhood of the District, and his membership in the House of Burgesses. Elizabeth’s maternal grandfather was Robert Orme, who apparently fought in the Revolutionary War against the British. This entire line lived in Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties in Maryland, as far back as the late 1600s. While I found no information tying their ancestors to England, it is easy to deduce that they came from England considering their presence in the colonials at this time.

Among all of the ancestors from the Odell, Doubleday, and Neepier lines, I found the following surnames, including: Dalton, Talbot, Baker, Taylor, Griffith, Skinner, Dickson, Sykes, Chapman, Haines, Coulbourn, Lewes, Revell, Curtis, Scarborough, Butler, Margery, Griniff, Greenfield, Truman, Selby, Odell, Beale, Palmer, Cole, Brockenbaugh, Newman, Wilson, Doubleday, Belt, Orme, Edmonston, Lamb, Neepier, and McCutchan.

As I wrote before, I do not feel more English/British because of this, and you won’t find me flying a Union Jack flag in my bedroom. But as always, it is very interesting to know where my ancestors came from, how they met, how they came to the United States, and how I came from all of it.

From looking at this side of my family tree, the highlights include:

  • My ties to England as far back as the 1500s
  • The records that show my ancestors’ involvement in the French and Indian War and Revolutionary War
  • My apparent ties to the early settlement in/near Jamestown, Virginia, shortly after it became a colony.
  • My 400-year history to Maryland
  • Some of these ancestors have centruries-old gravestones which are within 30 miles of my home

If you’re interested in more about the ancestral lineage, check out these other posts:

Ancestral Recall: A Series of Posts Dedicated to Sharing My Lineage

Ancestral Recall: Tracing My European Jewish Heritage to Poland, Moldova, and Russia

Ancestral Recall: Explaining My Genealogical Ties to 15th Century Germany (and a Dash of France)

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