Jessica Eskew - Family Tree

DNA cousin match has Gabriel Arthur as an ancestor.


Looking at DNA matches for myself and Jessica Eskew, found that Shared DNA matches also has my cousin from James Arthur line (James is the brother of John B. Arthur my 2G-Grandfather).


Multiple shared DNA cousin matches indicate shared Arthur DNA.


This would seem to indicate that Gabriel Arthur is descended from the same line as my Arthur Family.

Possibly a sibling or close cousin of my ancestor Henry Arthur my 7G-Grandfather who was a contemporary of Gabriel.


Henry Arthur                 

birt: 9 NOV 1647

plac: Perth, Perthshire, Scotland

deat: 1750

plac: Ireland



In looking at the family trees of myself and the DNA cousin matches, there is no other apparent explanation for the shared DNA.

Henry Arthur’s son Thomas (my 6G-Grandfather) came from Ireland to VA, bringing his young family around 1720.


Gabriel Arthur – First European to see the TN River, first to enter what is today KY, first to enter Knawana River Valley of what is now WV.


Birth:  1652,

In VA by 1671

Death:  1742 Virginia, USA


Gabriel Arthur's name when first found described him as a young Englishman, 19 years of age, with little or no education, however highly intelligent. In Virginia he met and became the partner of James Needham and both were intent on entering the fur trade business. They soon met with Abraham Wood and became involved in his plans for opening up the west to exploration and settlement and to cash in on the trade for beaver furs from the Cherokee Indians in the Tennessee area. Wood was also interested in finding a water route across the continent. In 1671 he commissioned Thomas Batts and Robert Fallam, professional explorers, to search the western lands for such a passage. One discovery that they made was the New River which led to their claim to the whole Ohio valley. Batts and Fallam marked four trees as they crossed the mountains to identify their claim, one for the King of England, one for the governor of Virginia, one for Abraham Wood and one for themselves. In 1673 Abraham Wood promoted an expedition by James Needham and Gabriel Arthur to establish direct trade relations between the Colony of Virginia and the Cherokees. This meant breaking the control of the Occaneechi Indians who had been serving as middlemen between the English colony and the Cherokees. Its second purpose was to discover a possible passageway by water to the southwest.


In their first attempt the group was turned back by the Occaneechi. In their second attempt, they made it across the Blue Ridge Mountains and the headwaters of the New River. They then entered the valley of the Tennessee River. After securing a treaty with the Cherokee, Needham returned to Fort Henry to report and prepare for the third expedition. Arthur was left with the Cherokee to learn their language and customs. Upon Needham's return to the village he was murdered by his guide, an Occaneechi Indian.


Young Arthur was left with the Cherokee, some believing that he was being kept as a prisoner. Apparently he was not treated as a prisoner as he was soon dressing as the Indians and even joined with them on some of their war parties. In Northern Kentucky they met a war party of Shawnee Indians and Arthur was wounded and taken prisoner in their village in Ohio on the Scioto River. He soon became a favorite of the chief who wanted to adopt him into their tribe. Upon learning that he had married a Cherokee Indian maiden in the Cherokee in Tennessee, he was released and allowed to return to his family there. Later Arthur joined with a number of Cherokee on an exploration trip to the southern part of America. They skirted the western ends of the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains, finally arriving in what is now western Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. On their return trip they traveled westward to the Mississippi River and then followed it to the Ohio and up the Ohio to the mouth of Big Sandy River in Kentucky. They then entered into the present West Virginia and finally found a river that flowed to the East. the stream is now known as Coal River with its mouth at St. Albans. Here the party found a tribe of friendly Indians known as the Montons. After resting there for a time, they traveled down the Kanawha to the Ohio and later visited the Shawnee on the Scioto. After this visit, they returned to their home in Tennessee. Manakin Town (1654 - 1699), Manakin A Monacan Indian town/fort built on lands which were later officially set aside in 1680 by the colonial government according to the 1677 "Treaty of Middle Plantation". At first the English settlers downriver objected to the new settlement and then attacked in 1656 with help from Powhatan/Pamunkey Indian allies. The Monacans defeated the English and Pamunkeys, killing the Pamunkey leader Totopotomoy, in what was later termed the "Battle of Bloody Run". The Monacans were later evicted in 1699 during renewed troubles with white settlers. French Huguenot immigrants were resettled here by the colonial government in 1701.


Due to Gabriel Arthur's trip into present West Virginia, he has been accepted as the first white man to set foot in Kanawha County. Gabriel Arthur is believed to have been the first white person to see the Kanawha Valley, having visited the area with a band of Indians in 1674.


Little is known of Arthur personally, other than he was a young man, possibly 19, when his great adventure began, and probably of English birth. He traveled with James Needham and others sent out by Abraham Wood from Fort Henry (present Petersburg, Virginia) to explore western lands.

Needham was killed by an Indian guide, but Arthur traveled widely with the natives, possibly as their captive though he is said to have married an Indian woman. He ventured as far south as Spanish West Florida (present Alabama) and apparently participated in raiding the Shawnee in the Ohio Valley. Eventually he reached present West Virginia, following the Big Coal River to its mouth at the Kanawh River. Though in hostile Shawnee territory, the southern Indians with whom Arthur traveled were welcomed by local Moneton Indians, themselves perhaps a Shawnee remnant. Their large village was located at present St. Albans at the mouth of Big Coal River. Arthur's journey, which began in May 1673, ended with his return to Fort Henry with several Indians and a load of furs in June 1674.

Gabriel's land was in Tidewater Virginia in the middle of the domain that was claimed by the English aristocracy. This land belonged to the Powhatan tribes of which Pocahantas came from. It appears that she had a niece named Niketti. Nikitie was married to Gabriel Arthur, an Englishman.



Note that


At the same time Gabriel Arthur was working for Col. Abraham Wood, my Overby ancestor, Nicholas the immigrant, was also at Fort Henry working for Col. Abraham Wood.



Other Reading about Gabriel Arthur



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