Heritage

Matilda Anna Sublett Fletcher

Matilda Anna Sublett Fletcher

Today would have been my father’s 85th birthday. He died in 1978 at the age of 49. I still miss him and have written about him here and here and here and here.

I guess I think about him a lot. Truth is, I’ll never come to terms with losing him so soon.

But one of the new joys in my life is a page on Facebook called Old Pictures of Giles County, where I grew up.

In the past few weeks since joining the page, I’ve seen pictures of my grandfather at work at the local tannery, and pictures like the one here of my great grandmother Matilda Anna Sublett Fletcher. I’ve never seen her picture before.

Matilda was a descendant of Abraham Soblet, a French Huguenot who came to Virginia in the very late 1600s and settled on the James River west of Richmond. Somewhere in my files I have a copy of a letter that the then Governor of Virginia sent to England saying “what do I do with these people?”

The solution was to settle them on the western border as a buffer from the Indians. I suppose the thought was “They aren’t British, what’s the loss of a few more French?”

Also somewhere in my files I have the descendants of Abraham Soblet (be patient, I’m sorting through years of boxes). So, I know a little bit about my Huguenot Ancestry. Soblet became Sublett.

Sublett’s Tavern still stands in Powhatan County today. I need to visit.

According to the cousin who posted Matilda’s picture on Facebook, she lived to be 94 but spent the last 11 years of her life in bed due to arthritis. I hope I have her longevity genes. Heaven knows I’ve got the arthritis.

I find it amusing, maybe only to me, that today some 300 years later, I live off of the extension of Huguenot Road in Chesterfield County.

And those Indians the Governor of Virginia wanted protection from? My family’s solution was to marry some of them.

It sort of explains why my DNA sample looks like a patchwork quilt.

I love quilts.

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