The restless spirit of the Asbill ancestors, the love of freedom and plenty of "elbow room" kept them either on the seas or in close touch with the ships that came and went to America.
In 1607 the London Company sent over a colony that made the first permanent English settlement. This was on the James River in Virginia and was named Jamestown in honor of King James 1. The ships that came and went to this colony passed by the Carolina shores where in a short time the first of our American ancestors were to land. For several years these Virginia settlers had many hardships and the fate of the colony in America hung in the balance. Many died of cold, hunger and disease, while others became discouraged and retruned to England.
In 1619 a shipload of "respectable maidens" came to cheer the hearts and brighten the homes of the bachelor settlers, many of whom remained bachelors no longer. In the same year another ship brought its first negro slaves from Africa. Still another important event of 1619 was the establishment of the first law-making body elected by the people to ever meet on American soil. This body assembled at Jamestown and was known as the House of Burgesses.
Many of the settlers were poor and could not even pay their passage across the Atlantic, so they sighed agreements or "indentures" to work for a certain number of years for the planters who would pay their ways across. These were known as "indentures servants". When their time of service was over, many of them made their way to the outskirts of the colony and there as hardy pioneers took up land for themselves.
A smaller group of settlers, but one that was very important in shaping the life and ideals of Virginia and her neighbors, was made up of the younger sons of the English nobles and "gentlemen". Over here they could buy at small cost plantations as large as those that their eldest brothers inherited in England. They could have slaves and indentured servants to work their broad fields. They could send their rich harvests of tobacco to England and get in return fine furniture, silverware, books and all the men could buy in those days to make like comfortable.
The law of England that all the lands of the father should pass at his death to the eldest son was also the law of Virginia. So just as tho younger sons of England were making their fortunes in Virginia. the younger sons of Virginia could go farther out into the frontier and start plantations of their own. As an expansion of the settlement in Virginia, we have records of the buying of lands from the Indians in 1648 along the Chowan River between the Albemarle Sound and the present Virginia line. Between 1650 and 1660 permanent settlements were made here. It is in this very land that we find the first Asbill ancestors of whom we have authentic record.
We are not sure to which class our early ancesors belonged. However, we find them as close friends of the noble family groups and several cases they married into the families of the "higher ups". According to an old logend handed down through an old Asbill negro slave known as "Old General", three Asbill brothers came to America and landed at the Port of Roanoke, Virginia. This port was just above the place where Edenton, North Carolina now stands. In keeping with this legend, we fine George Asball signing a certificate which gave him three hundred and fifty acres of land in 1652. We also find Richard Asbell (Aspelin) mentioned in the "Abridged Commendium of Americian Generology" (1925) on July 25,1649. Adam Asball (Aspull is mentioned in the "Handbook of American Genealogy". Book 47 (1893) on the date 1648. Further, John Ashbel (Ashbee) is mentioned at this period in the "Immigration to America before 1750" in Book 9. Without question, there must have been three brothers Adam, John and George. Richard night have been a fourth brother or a son of George.
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