Haywood County Tennessee

Penelope Golland Maule Lovick Phenney Johnston

My direct descendants are in bold type.

This is a work in progress. Much of my direct line is documented, but some may not be. If there is a question, I usually include words like "seems likely" or "possibly" in hopes that it may help someone else or eventually get me closer to documentation. Also, I do make errors when transferring info to my files or to the site. If you find errors that you can correct, please e-mail me and I'll gladly make the changes or if you have more information on anyone mentioned here and can share it, I would be really appreciative.

One interesting possible ancestor of mine was present during the birth of America, had four very powerful and influential husbands, and even hung out with Blackbeard the Pirate. Some documents state my fifth great-grandfather married a "Dawson from Eden House." The Dawson family made the connection with Eden House when the daughter of Gabriel and Penelope Golland Johnstone, also named Penelope, married Colonel John Dawson. Born around 1710, Penelope Golland was married to Charles Eden. Eden was her second husband and Penelope's step-father. The Gollands were among the wealthiest families in the colonies. From her father, Penelope Golland had inherited an estate called Mt. Golland but the name was later changed to Mt. Gould.

Penelope's mother died in 1716 when her daughter was very young and just three years after her husband, Charles Eden, had been appointed Royal Governor of North Carolina. Eden is well known in history both for his efforts to end piracy in the area but also for suspicions that he was partnering with the very pirates he was pardoning.

"Gentlemen pirate" Stede Bonnet and the notorious Blackbeard, whose real name was Edward Teach, surrendered to Governor Eden and received the "King's Pardon" as long as they promised to change their ways. Both, however, would eventually return to being pirates. When he was finally killed, Blackbeard had in his pocket a letter letting him know Eden needed to meet with him.

Eden's reputation was forever clouded by his connections to Blackbeard and other Pirates. More recently, he was even featured in a Hallmark Mini-series called "Pirates: The True Story of Blackbeard" in which Penelope is also portrayed. In the movie, Eden tries to arrange her murder so he can claim her inheritance. That is likely fiction.
Image courtesy of the North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries.

A peer of Penelope Golland, Penelope Barker is credited with organizing the women who participated in the Edenton Tea Party. Penelope Golland attended the event.
Clips from the movie "Pirates: The True Story of Blackbeard" which feature Richard Chamberlain as Charles Eden and Jessica Chastain as Penelope Golland.
Marriage to William Maule
Penelope Galland's first husband was William Maule who, among other things, was the Surveyor General of the Bertie County, NC area.

Maule, who had been born in 1690, was a planter, politician, and military leader who had been captured twice by the French in the War of Spanish Succession. From 1711 - 1713, Maule led military operations in The Tuscarora War, Cary's Rebellion and The North Carolina Volunteers. After this period he became known as Colonel Maule and began concentrating on building a fortune in land, eventually acquiring over 16,000 acres mostly in the area that would become Bertie Co., NC. He was not a friend to the Indians and stole their land and allowed settlers to encroach as well.

He continued to be the surveyor general and for every survey of land there was due to Governor Eden the sum of two shillings and six pence for each purchase right. In 1720 Eden brought into the General Court a complaint against Maule because Maule had allegedly not turned the money over to Governor Eden for a number of years.
Governor Eden died of yellow fever in Bertie Co., NC in 1722 at the age of 48. Governor Eden left his plantation and home, Eden House, along with much of his estate to his friend and associate John Lovick and left Penelope and her husband, William Maule nothing. Maule himself died in 1726.
Marriage to John Lovick
The widow Penelope Golland Maule then married and became the second wife of John Lovick. This was the same John Lovick who had inherited Eden House along with much of Eden's estate, several years before.

Lovick was born in 1691 so he was at least 20 years older than Penelope. He had arrived in America in 1713, as a member of a sailing party of Edward Hyde and although colonial records of North Carolina identify John as "attorney for Dame Catherine Hyde,” in "Secret History of the Dividing Line," William Byrd stated that Lovick was Hyde’s valet. He also describes Lovick as “merry, good-humored man.”

John was about 18 years old when he arrived in the American colonies. He quickly became involved in the colonial government of North Carolina. He served as a member of Penelope's step-father, Governor Charles Eden's Council from May 28, 1714 through March 26, 1722. After Eden's death, he continued to serve on the Council under the Governors who came after Eden. He was also one of four commissioners representing North Carolina charged with drawing the dividing line between Virginia and North Carolina.

Charles Eden purchased property along the banks of the Chowan River and Salmon Creek in 1719 and constructed "Eden House" a few yards north. His home in time became an elegant center of social life for the Albemarle aristocracy. Eventually, after Gabriel Johnston married Penelope around 1740, they lived at Eden House. Later, their daughter, also named Penelope would bring her husband, John Dawson, to live at Eden House.
John and Penelope had no children when John died in 1733 after they had been married around seven years. His inheritance left Penelope Galland Maule Lovick one of, if not the, wealthiest women in the colonies.
Woodes Rogers (seated) who was Governor of The Bahamas before and after George Phenney.
Marriage to George Phenney
She quickly married her third husband, George Phenney. At the time of their marriage, Phenny's official title was "Surveyor General of His Majesties Customs Southern District on the Continent of America," although he had been Governor of the Bahama Islands from 1721 to 1727. It was under George Phenney that the first substantial cargo of slaves was imported directly to the Bahamas. Phenney was fired from his position in a large part because of his wife at the time. The first Mrs. Phenney, while credited with introducing basket weaving to the natives, attempted to enslave many of the people of the Bahamas, forcing them to work for free and creating a monopoly on trade in Nassau. She was also accused of bullying competitors and threatening other businesses on the island.
At some point after 1727, Phenney either divorced his wife or she died. After 1733, he married Penelope but they would only be married a few years before his death. Phenney wrote his will on June 23, 1736 and it would be probated after his died just one year later to the day. In his will, he mentioned his "unborn child." Penelope did give birth to a son but he died just four months before George. "The Virginia Gazette" included an article on May 6, 1737 that stated the loss of his infant son "afflicted him so much it occasioned his death." Soon thereafter, Penelope married for the final time.
Marriage to Gabriel Johnston

Gabriel Johnston, was born in 1698 in Southdean Scotland to Reverand Samuel and Isobel Hall Johnston. In 1717 he entered the University of St. Andrews as a divinity student, graduating with a Master of Arts degree. In 1721 he began attending the University of Leiden to study medicine but then after a month applied to teach Hebrew at St. Andrews. In 1727 he moved to London to pursue political opportunities. For seven years he lived in the house of his benefactor Spencer Compton, first Lord of Wilmington and his primary occupation was as a political writer. He primarily wrote articles for a publication called the “Craftsman.”
Wilmington helped him obtain an appointment in the Colonies as governor of North Carolina. On October 27, 1734, he arrived in North Carolina almost penniless with two children. One, a son named Henry and the other, a daughter who had a mentally disability. He began a plantation on Salmon Creek on the Chowan River.

But, around 1737, Johnston became wealthy when he met and married the widow Penelope Galland Maule Lovick Phenney who by this time, appears to have liked politicians.

While he was Royal Governor of North Carolina, he and his brother built the largest collection of books in the colonies which was kept at his brother’s home, called Hayes Plantation. Also, under his leadership, the first printing press began operation in North Carolina. The population of the colony tripled thanks to the immigration of Scots, Irish and Germans and many acts were passed into law that regulated marriage, interest rates, building of roads and improving the prisons.

At home, Governor Johnston and Penelope had a daughter, also named Penelope.

Penelope Golland Maule Lovick Phenney Johnston died in 1751 around age 41 while her husband was still Governor.
Image from "The Five Royal Governors of North Carolina, 1729 - 1775" by Blackwell P. Robinson

Governor Gabriel Johnston's bookplate.
Tablet which was erected May, 1911 by the North Carolina Society of Colonial Dames of America to mark the site of Fort Johnston, the first fort in the Province of North Carolina, built under Act of Assembly of 1745 and completed 1764, and named in honour of Governor Gabriel Johnston.
In 1751, Governor Johnston married a widow, Frances Button, but then just a year later, on July 17, 1752, he died.

In his will, the Governor begs of his "Dearest wife" to be a kind mother to his "dear little girl." He left his daughter, Penelope, much land and many slaves, but did not include her among those who had a share in the money he was owed for being Governor. He had not been paid for a number of years and his estate was owed a great deal of money. On the death of her half brother, Henry Johnston, in 1772, Penelope fell heir to Henry's fifth of Johnston’s estate. It took many years of legal battles to secure her portion. She married Colonel John Dawson, a Virginia lawyer, who came to live with her at Eden House.

In 1889 Governor Charles Eden's, Governor Gabriel Johnson's and Penelope Golland’s graves were moved from Eden House to St. Paul's Church Cemetery in Edenton, NC.
John and Penelope Dawson’s son, William Johnston Dawson, became a member of Congress and was one of the commissioners to select the site and prepare the plan of the city of Raleigh, giving his name to one of the streets.

A few of the books written by Inglis Fletcher.
Inglis Fletcher who is best known for writing historical novels about eastern North Carolina in the 1940s and 50s, included characters inspired by Penelope Galland and many of the other people in her life as part of her novels. She wrote a series of 12 novels which sold millions of copies. Because of the great amount of research she did for each book, they are still an interesting resource for those researching North Carolina ancestry.
General Sources:
Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, William Powell
North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, J.R.B. Hathaway. January 1903
Blackbeard the Pirate: A Reappraisal of His Life and Times, Robert E. Lee

Sources for Charles Eden
Republic of Pirates
North Carolina History Project

Sources for William Maule
Southern built: American architecture, regional practice

Sources for John Lovick
Colonial Bath and Pamlico section, North Carolina, Bonner, Lottie Hale

Sources for George Phenney
The People Who Discovered Columbus, William F. Keegan
Homeward Bound, A History of the Bahama Islands, Sandra Riley

Sources for Gabriel Johnston

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