Select Travers Miscellany

Here are some Travers stories and accounts over the years:

Travers and Travis Today

Numbers (000's)

Travers' Epitaph

This epitaph, probably fake, sought to demonstrate that their Norman ancestor came over with William the Conqueror and fought at the Battle of Hastings.  Travers and his men later took the towers of Tulketh Castle and he proceeded to marry the daughter Alison.

"I, Travers, by birth a Norman
To gain victorious conquest
With William the Conqueror in I came
As one Chief ruled among the rest.

His querdon was a crown
And our subjects spoil
Some ransomed Tower and Town
Some planted English soil.

Tolketh his castles and herison  
My captives maulger were
His daughter and heir Dame Alison
I espoused to my fere.

Thirty winters thus were worn
In spousals mirth and glee 
Four begotten she had and born
Ere crowned was Beauclard Henry.

Arnold and Jordon Fitz Travers
The one me succeeded, the other took orders
With Constance and Blanch my daughters
The one to spousals, the other vowed cloisters

Christopher Travers in Shakespeare

Christopher Travers is thought to have been one of the younger sons of Roger Travers of Nateby.  He was probably born at Nateby sometime in the late 1300’s.  He may have shown up as a character in Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part Two.  Northumberland’s retainers in the first act of that play were called Travers and Morton.  The timing works for him.  And Christopher Travers had a brother-in-law named Morton from Bawtry. 

He made his home at Doncaster in south Yorkshire.  In 1466 he was in London and, “knowing himself to be in imminent danger of death,” made his last will and testament in the presence of his brother Bryan.  He died soon afterwards and was buried at St. Paul’s in London.  From this Bryan is thought to have come Richard Travers the London merchant tailor and his son Walter Travers the Puritan divine

The Two Quaker William Travers

There were apparently two William Travers Quakers living in the 1650’s, one living in London and the other in Bandon, county Cork. 

The first William Travers opened a tobacco shop at the Three Feathers on Watling Street in 1636.  He had married Rebecca Booth who later became a fervent Quaker.  He followed her in this belief as he was mentioned several times in the Quaker books in London of the time.  However, he died in 1664.  Rebecca remained passionately involved in the Quaker movement until her death at the age of 79 in 1688. 

The second William Travers, from the Nateby family in Lancashire, was living in Bandon at that time.  William like his mother was an ardent Quaker but faced persecution in Ireland.  In 1655 the Earl of Clancarthy and his soldiers were destroying the wall and other properties at Bandon.  William took refuge in America, first in Isle of Wight county in Virginia where he married Sary West and then in the 1670’s in North Carolina.  He died at Pasquotank in Albemarle county in 1685.

Buck Travis and His Son

William Barrett or Buck Travis ranks next to Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett as the immortal Texas heroes who defended the Alamo to the death in the cause of Texas Independence.  Bowie and Crockett stand out in the popular conscience as the fierce frontiersmen who fought to the last.  Buck Travis is forever remembered for commanding the Texan garrison and drawing his famous line in the sand. 

He may have been considered a hero in Texas, but he had left a bad reputation in Alabama.  Apparently in 1831 he had killed a man over his wife.  The judge there told him to run and they would find someone else to take the rap. He hurriedly left during the night and headed for Texas, leaving behind his wife and two children. 

With this new-found adoration in Texas, Buck’s son Charles might have had everything going for him.  It was not to be.  He did start out with bright prospects as a captain in the US Cavalry.  But he had made enemies.  In 1856 he was arrested for “conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman,” a not trivial charge at the time.  The charge was contested but eventually stood.  Four years later Charles died of TB, a forgotten man, and was buried in an unmarked grave.

Taylors Island

Taylors Island along the Eastern Shore of Maryland was one of the first settlements in Dorchester county.  John and Thomas Taylor took ownership of about 400 acres on the island in 1662 and initially called it Taylor's Folly.  William Travers and his family and other early settlers later joined them. 

The fertility of the soil, the large holdings of slaves in the years before the Civil War, and the profits on shipbuilding and trading to Brazil and The Indies produced a state of considerable prosperity for its inhabitants.  The dominant families were closely bound together by blood and by almost daily association. 

House parties were large and frequent.  Educational provisions were quite good.  The children were usually sent to school in Baltimore or taught by tutors in private homes.  The water as well as the land furnished food in abundance.  The houses were commodious. 

This neighborliness resulted from the relative isolation of Taylors Island.   The status of the island, its distance from the county seat and the almost impossible roads prohibited easy communication with other parts of the county. Connection with the mainland was originally by ferry.  It was not until 1856 that a wooden bridge was constructed.  

The Travers lived on Taylors Island for many generations.

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