US couple explore ancestral roots
Descendants of one of the first babies to be born in Bermuda have visited the spot where their ancestors made land after the Sea Venture was wrecked.
Ben and Barbara Eason stood by the Sea Venture monument in St George’s this week where Mr Eason’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather Edward Eason and his wife, “Mistress Eason” are commemorated.
The couple, who travelled to Bermuda from their home in Arlington, Virginia, found out about their family’s links to Bermuda when touring a church in Smithfield near Jamestown in 2015.
“My wife asked what the oldest gravesite was and we were told it was that of James Eason,” Mr Eason said. “It came as a complete surprise and was the catalyst for us to find out more about my family history. We found old wills and searched online and were slowly able to trace our descendants around the US to Jamestown and finally back to Bermuda.
“We had visited Bermuda before 12 years ago for our 30th anniversary, but had no idea of our familial links to the island.
“Coming back this time was really special, and felt a little bit like coming home.”
Mr and Mrs Eason spent time this week at the Bermuda Library doing further research into their family history before visiting St George’s on Monday.
They walked from the town to the Sea Venture monument near St Catherine’s Beach to catch sight of the spot where the first settlers came ashore.
The monument confirms the birth of Edward Eason’s son, Bermudas, who was born on the island in March 1610 and went on to live in the US.
Bermudas Eason was the second baby to be born in Bermuda, after John Rolffe’s daughter, Bermuda, but the only child to survive. Mr Eason told The Royal Gazette: “I look at those people on the Sea Venture and think what incredible spirit they had.
“The most surprising thing to me personally on this trip is I had no idea of the close links between Bermuda and the US. I have learnt a great deal.
“We have not been able to establish how Edward Eason left Bermuda yet, whether it was on the Deliverance or Patience; but I intend on looking more into that one.”
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