BIOGRAPHY: When Jane Poythress died, after bearing an only daughter, Thomas Rolfe is reputed to have left Virginia and moved to North Carolina, where he is also reputed to have married again. With the laws of North Carolina so strict, both then and during the next century or so, it is understandable that Thomas would never have mentioned the fact that he was half Indian, nor would that information have likely been passed down in the family tales.
Thomas was probably named for Sir Thomas Dale, the Colonies acting governor who returned to England in the spring of 1616, taking the Rolfe family and several other Indians with him. They arrived at Portsmouth on 31 May 1616. Pocahantas sickened during the following winter and died around 19 March 1617. A note in the Gravesend Parish Register says that she was "a Virginia lady borne" and she was buried there on 21 March 1617. Thomas was sick too, so John was urged to leave him in Gravesend with his brother Henry. John, however, was of another mind and "had no *** intent" of doing so. Both he and Thomas started out by sailing to Plymouth. The voyage was rough and John was persuaded to leave the boy in Plymouth. According to Argall, Sir Lewis Stukely, Vice-Admiral of Devon, kept careful care of the boy until he recovered enough to be sent to Henry at Gravesend, and Thomas was left in England.
Thomas did not return to Virginia until 22 June 1635. He came back with Captain William Pierce, his stepmother's father. Thomas died sometime between 16 September 1658 when he received the headright grant for 50 acres on the Chicahominy and 01 October 1698 when the grant was deeded to another.
Thomas was raised in England by his uncle Henry until 22 June 1635 when he returned to Virginia with Captain William Pierce the father of his stepmother. 1