Christian Pettus Martin Waddington; another case of junky genealogy?

Wikitree is in the process of doing an overhaul of their "Powhatan Project" and the profiles contained therein. Many of these profiles have no source information, or if they list a source it is just an unsourced ancestry tree or website. Another 'source' is the unsourced book by Don Greene, Shawnee Heritage. Currently we are working on the profile for Ka Okee, supposed daughter of Pocahontas and her first husband Kocoum. This article is about her daughter Christian Pettus.

no proof no pudding
Let's start by saying that there is no proof that Pocahontas had a child with her first husband Kocoum. Mattiponi oral tradition says that the couple had a son named Little Kocoum.[1] Bill Deyo of the Patawomeck Tribe has converted the son into a daughter Ka Okee.[2] (Is this an admission that 'sacred oral history' is not to be trusted?) Anyway, Ka Okee was born about between 1610 and 1612. Pocahontas died in England in 1616 and never saw her child/children again. Now supposedly Ka Okee married one Thomas Pettus sometime after 1631, although there is no proof. This couple is said to have several children. What, if any of this, is based on facts? You know those pesky things that we use to prove our genealogy. Let's see what I can find in a review of the written histories and actual documents.

thomas pettus
In several  often quoted old books on the Pettus family it is stated that in the year 1638 the Virginia colonist petitioned the Virginia Company for assistance with the Indians. Captain Thomas Pettus was sent to Virginia with 40 soldiers. [3] If this is true, and I cannot find a single source which even speaks to the petition never mind the arrival of Pettus, then Thomas pitched up in Virginia no sooner than late 1638. I say late 38 because the letter would have to make it's way to England, several months journey, and arrangements made to hire, fund and supply soldiers. Then they had to be put on a boat and spend  send soldiers, two or more  months sailing to Virginia.

Okay so now the 40 year old Pettus is in Virginia to fight the Indians. Because that's what soldiers do right, they fight the enemy and the Indians were the enemy of the colonist. One writer would have us believe that  Thomas spent his off time tooddling around Virginia looking for the long lost daughter of Pocahontas, on the off chance that when in England Pocahontas may have mentioned her daughter and asked anyone who traveled to Virginia to check up on her. Did she have some premonition of her death?

Ka Okee would have been about 28 or so years old by then, apparently still single but willing to marry a man who was sent to Virginia to kill her people. Not to mention the fact that, according to Mattiponi sacred oral history, the English had murdered her father, kidnapped and raped her mother, forced her to marry John Rolfe and then murdered her before she could return from England. [4] All of which I'm sure was shared with her. I fail to see the attraction here. Thomas Pettus is known to have bought at least one Native American slave, if not more, so he certainly had no 'soft spot' for his wife's people or indeed the people of his children who were half Native. [5]

Anyway, Thomas finds Ka Okee, courts her, marries her and they start a family. According to those who believe this they had two if not three or more children. Given that most women, because they nursed their children, had babies about every one and half to two years, it could take up to six years to have produce three children, not to mention infant mortality, which could snatch away a baby just like that. But, by early 1643 Thomas is getting land patents for his new wife's first husbands land.[6] So, Thomas and Ka Okee marry by say mid 1639 Ka Okee, has three children in rapid succession, then Ka Okee dies and Thomas had to court and marry a new wife and petition for the land grant all by late 1642.

(I admit that I do know that by 1638 the Colony of Virginia was under the control of the King and that the story of the 40 soldiers is false. I include it because so many other do on their bio's of Pettus).

Thomas and Ka Okee are said to have had had multiple children: Christian, a girl,  Unknown, a girl, and a boy named Stephen. An if Christian Pettus was who many claim she was, then there had to be one more daughter, but more on that later. Here comes a snag, Christian Pettus is said to have been born in 1637.[7] This sets our timeline back several years if not more and throws out the whole soldier thing. So now we don't know when Thomas came to Virginia, but at least he and Ka Okee have plenty of time for lots of children. Let's start with Christian, who really is the topic of this post.

In 1689 a woman named Christian Waddington was deposed in a court case. [8] She swore that she was 50 years old, giving her a birth year of 1637. What does Christian Waddington have to do with our story?  Christian Pettus is said to have married a man named John Martin and after his death she married Francis Waddington. [9] In the deposition of Christian Waddington she testified about some business that occurred on her husband's property. He is not named in the records. No other name is given for Christian so all we know about her from this record is that she fifty and her current name was Waddington. She is believed to have been married to Francis Waddington of Stafford County. He would have been at least her second husband.

Frances Waddington was a land owner in Stafford County. He arrived in Virginia about 1667 as he was named in a land deed for John Matthews who recieved a headright land grant for transporting persons from England, including Frances Waddington. Francis was also named in a land grant in 1694. This makes it clear that the husband Christian was referring to in 1687 was a previous husband.

Francis had at least one son, Francis Jr. who may have been the son of Christian. He was at least 21 in 1701 when he sold his fathers land. He was married to Joanna____Monk whose husband James Monk died on 16 May 1700. [10]The land and court deeds concerning these people are difficult to decipher and at first I thought Joanna was married to Francis Sr. but later land deed prove that she as married to Junior.

the martins
In 1731 two women testified about the identity of Francis Waddington's wife 30 years earlier. Ann McPherson testified that a woman named Frances Golber came to her and asked if her mother was Francis Waddinton's wife. Ann said yes and Francis said then we are cousins as my mother was your mothers wife. Ann McPherson also stated that her mother was once married to John Martin. The second woman was Mary Reynolds who said in court that 30 years ago, she and Francis Golber went to see Mrs. Waddington to confirm that she was her aunt. [11] At first I thought that they were talking about Joanna Waddinton and that she was married to Francis Sr. But, if she was the wife of Francis Jr. she would be too young to be the mother of Ann McPherson. So, the wife in question is most likely the last wife of Francis Waddington Sr. We know that Christian was still alive in 1690, was she his last wife, was she the wife they were referring to? Possibly, but again there is no proof.

back to christian
Where does this leave Christian Pettus Martin Waddington? I don't think there was such a person. There was definitely a Christian Waddinton. There was possibly a Christian Martin. Maybe with a little more digging we can find out. But I have seen nothing that would lead me to believe she was a Pettus.

pettus book
In 2012 a second ed. of the Pettus Book, by William Pettus was issued. He includes the Ka Okee story. It's only source is Bill Deyo. No documented proof of the story is offered.

Got more to add to this story? Let me know, but please give me a detailed source for your evidence. Thanks to Kathie Forbes for her invaluable help with alot of this information.


[1] Dr. Linwood Custalow, Angela L. Daniel. The True Story of Pocahontas, (Golden, Colorado : Fulcrum Publishing, 2007)51, 79, 82, 89-90.

[2] Patawomeck Tides, 2009 Article by Bill Deyo,

[3]Walter Lee Hopkins, Hopkins of Virginia and related families, (Richmond, Virginia : J. W. Ferguson and Sons, 1931) 9, digital images, Hathi Trust ( : accessed 8 August 2016).

Pocahontas Hutchinson Stacey and Alice Bohmer Rudd, The Pettus Family, (Washington : self published, 1957) digital images, Hathi Trust ( : accessed 8 August 2016).

[4] Custalow and Daniel, True Story of Pocahontas.

[5] York County Deed, Orders, and Wills (2) 63, dated 27 Feb 1645/6; Thomas Pettus paid 600lbs. in tobacco for one "Native American".

[6] "Online Catalog: Images and Indexes," database with images, The Library of Virginia (javascript:open_window(""); : accessed 8 August 2016) Captain Thomas Pettus land grant, 7 April 1643, citing Virginia, Colonial Land Office Patents, 1623-1774.

[7] Find A Grave, database with images ( : accessed 8 August 2016) memorial page for Christian Pettus (1636-1701) Find A Grave Memorial #131605608, citing Ron Stephens.

[8] Deed and Will Abstracts of Stafford County 1686-1689, Eds. Ruth and Sam Sparacio, McLean VA 1989 pp. 38-39) information supplied by Kathie Forbes, thank you Kathie!

[9] not sure who owns this website.


[11] Record Book Abstracts of Stafford County, Virginia, 1699-1709, pages 39 and 40.

[12] Stafford County VA deed and will book 1699-1709; The Antient Press, page 67-68.

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