Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Strother Line

Remember the story of when George Washington cut down the cherry tree? It happened in Fredricksburg, Virginia on a farm once owned by William Strother III.

My great-grandmother, Nannie Koger Boles, was a descendant of William Strother I, who came to America from England prior to the 18th century.

In my story, ‘My Family Tree Has An Executive Branch," I mentioned that my family tree, through the Strother clan, includes John Tyler, the 10th president of the United States; Zachary Taylor, the 12 president of the United States; and, James Madison, the 4th president of the United States and the Father of the Constitution.

Another Strother descendent is Randolph Scott, a star of the stage and screen from 1928 to 1962.

That’s cool right there…I don’t care who you are.

Patrick Henry is also in the Strother line, as is President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, General George S. Patton and President Lyndon B. Johnson’s son-in-law, Charles Robb, former Virginia Governor and U.S. Senator.

I just found out about the George Washington connection. I also learned something else...

William the immigrant’s son, Robert, was the 6th great-grandfather of Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States!

William the immigrant was already wealthy when he arrived in America. According to an excerpt from “Royal Lineage of Seven Gentlemen Who Settled in Virginia About 1650” by Edward Lewis (1917), Strother was a descendent of King Edward II.

It is amazing how William III’s daughters and others in his line, produced or married into families that produced so many great men. James Madison was the father of the U.S. Constitution. Jimmy Carter struggled during his presidency but won the Nobel Peace Prize for his great humanitarian work. Known as "Old Rough and Ready", Zachary Taylor had a 40-year military career in the U.S. Army, serving in the War of 1812, Black Hawk War and Second Seminole War. Arguably the most famous and significant achievement of John Tyler's administration was the annexation of the Republic of Texas in 1845. The campaign slogan, “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too is among the most famous in American politics. Patrick Henry was a prominent figure in the American Revolution, remembered for his "Give me Liberty, or give me Death!" speech.

William Strother the 4th had a daughter named Elizabeth, who married Sheriff John Frogge, Sr. (Fro-Jay). Their grandson, Arthur Robinson Frogge, was one of the first people to settle in Fentress County, Tennessee (Frogge Mountain). He was also the grandfather of Nancy Frogge, who was the wife of Elisha Koger, Nannie Boles’ grandfather.

The Strother Coat of Arms, pictured above, is Prius mori quam fidem fallere, which is latin for "Die rather than betray trust."

The Strother ancestral line is filled with so many great men and women who, good or bad but mostly good, helped shape America. To learn more, check out The William Strother Society, Inc.


  1. We are distantly related. I descended from Jeremiah, (as did Zachary Taylor), and he was William the Immigrant's son - a brother to William and Robert. I am enjoying your stories!

    1. Thank you very much. I love meeting new relatives!

    2. We are also descendants of Jeremiah. I believe we are the 8th or 9th generation. My Grandfather gave a presentation at a recent family reunion with a lot of cool information. he took us through when William sailed here from Northumberland and showed us houses and ferry farms and followed the line all the way down to our generation. it was really cool to see that. Im actually planning a trip to Northumberland to go check out the area and see if I can get some more information. its a long shot but a cool vacation, I bet.


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