Arrival to America

Presnell Family History

From England to the New World

         Over 300 Years in America


Insula hyspana, 1494

When we discuss the earliest arrival of Europeans settling in North America,  we usually think of:


· In 1493 Columbus built “Isabella” a small town on the northeastern shore of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic) during his second voyage.


· In 1607 Jamestown became the first permanent settlement in the new world.    In April 1607, 104 colonists arrived and only 38 survived that first winter. 


· In November 1620 the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock with 102 English Pilgrims.



I am lucky to be able to trace my ancestry to an original Mayflower Pilgrim,  Edward Doty.


Edward Doty came on the Mayflower in 1620 as a servant to Stephen Hopkins and was apparently still a servant in 1623 when the Division of Land was held, indicating he was under the age of 25 during that time.  He signed the Mayflower Compact in November 1620, so he was likely over 21 at the time.  This narrows his likely birth date to around 1597-1599.


 Edward Doty married twice, according to William Bradford.  However, nothing is known of his first wife.  His second wife, Faith Clarke, came on the ship Francis in April 1634 with father Thurston Clarke, and they were married the following January in Plymouth.


 Edward Doty appears to have been somewhat of a troublemaker throughout his life at Plymouth.  In June 1621, he engaged in a sword and dagger duel with fellow Hopkins servant Edward Leister; both were wounded before being separated, and were punished by having their head and feet tied together for an hour (it was supposed to have been for a whole day, but they were let go early because of their apparent suffering).  Edward Doty also made regular appearances in Plymouth Colony Court,.

· George Prestnall,  “The First American Presnell?” 

             by James Holland Pressnall

· The Early Presnell Generations in America— the Roadmap  

              by Michael Clinton Presnell

· Jacob and Mary Presnell of Middlesex County Virginia

               by Michael Clinton Presnell

The first Presnell in America appears to have been George Prestnall at Middlesex County, Virginia who appears in records there in the 1680s.    Click on the link below for more details.


Jacob Presnell appears in Middlesex County Virginia around 1700.  He is married to Mary.    Many genealogies claim this was Mary Maupin, which is definitely false.   It is believed that she was Mary Hedgecock, daughter of Thomas Hedgecock and Margery Simmons.   With a few exceptions, nearly every Presnell in America today are descendants of this Jacob and Mary Presnell