Long Family of Wiltshire

500 years of history

Immigration to Colonial America

There are an estimated 76,000 individuals living in America today with the surname Long. Documentation indicates that the early Longs of Wiltshire were interested in the American colonies, and certainly there were members of the family who emigrated there. How many and exactly who, is difficult to determine since records are elusive. The early Longs of Baltimore are noted as being of English origin and were an extensive and industrious family who continued for several generations in the same area. It is probable that they descended from Long of Monkton and Rood Ashton, as it is believed that Thomas Long, son of Thomas Long of Monkton, died in Baltimore in 1672.

He was the grandson of Gifford Long (magistrate, Sheriff of Wiltshire in 1624 and MP for Westbury 1625) and his wife Amy Warre. Amy was a well-connected lady herself.  Her grandfather was Sir John Popham, Attorney General and later Lord Chief Justice, who wielded even more power than the Longs. He imposed the death sentence on Mary Queen of Scots, Guy Fawkes, and Sir Walter Long's great friend Sir Walter Raleigh - to name but a few. Sir John Popham, whose line can be traced back to the Plantaganet kings, Edward I, II & III etc., is also famous for financing the first colonisation at Sagadahoc, Virginia, which failed.
Significantly perhaps, there are a number of males in the Monkton line who remain unaccounted for - in terms of when and where they died. One of these, Gifford Long, nephew of his namesake the magistrate, was apprenticed to a London merchant, Nicholas Hayward in 1651.Hayward was involved in business in Maryland and Virginia, and the following year he issued a power of attorney authorising his "servant and factor" Richard Foote (who later married his daughter) to manage his business in Virginia,  and in the event of his death Gifford Long was to take over as manager.
A Thomas Long was Sheriff and magistrate of Baltimore in 1686, most probably the son of the previously mentioned Thomas Long who died there fourteen years earlier, and who had left a will identifying his children.
Two sons-in-law of Sir Walter Long (Maurice Berkeley and Col. Gerard Fowke) were also known to have emigrated to Virginia.