hHi Sidney; As you can seen from the time exspired between your message and my answer, I am not a fire ball on top of every thing. The following is the source of my information:
A Leila Balis daughter of Edith Cole and Frank Balis was working on the Cole and Crom genealogy in the late 1940's. When she had accomplished what she had she made books of her information. She gave one of those books to her cousin (my wife), and in that book is a 4 & 1/2 page discourse, double spaced typewritten information on people with the name Dimmitt's. In the Cole family, a Broad Cole married a Athaliah Dimmitt.
The following is copy of this story of Dimmitts by June Dimmitt Houston. Below is how she titled her family thesis.
"Robert P. Dimmitt"
June Dimmitt Houston
WHERE THE FAMILY CAME FROM AND HOW IT CAME
On June 23, 1635 a young man of twenty-three sailed from Gravesend, England, aboard the ship "America:, Ship's Master William Baker. His name was Thomas Dymett. One compilation of passenger list gives his destination simply as the American Plantations, another as Virginia. No specific port is given, which was not unusual in those days when very small ships set out to cross a very large ocean to virtually unknown land. Many a vessel bound for Virginia would be blown northward to New England or vice-versa; those less fortunate finished up on alien rocky shorelines or at the bottom of the Atlantic. Thomas Dymett appears to have been sailing alone, and until further evidence comes to light, it is reasonable to infer that he was the first of the name to arrive in the New World.
The passenger list of the "America" can be found in John Camden Hotten's "Original List of Persons of Quality, Emigrants, Religious Exiles, Political Rebels, Servingmen Sold for a term of years, Apprentices, Children Stolen, Maidens Pressed, and others who went from Great Britain to the American Plantations". Two hundred years later, in a letter written to an inquiring kinsman, William Currens Dimmitt would make a casual reference to the "America", and this provided my first clue.
It is a cliche of genealogies to begin with the words "There were three brothers who came to America--," and versions in our family prove no exception to the rule. However, it does not appear to apply. Brothers may have followed, and it is probable that Thomas found a wife soon after his arrival -- perhaps even one of the "Maidens Pressed"? -- for emigrants lost no time in establishing families in their new homeland; but he left England alone.
Dimmitt, in any of the several forms it takes in old documents -- Dimet, Diment, Deminet, and other variations in spelling -- it is a common English name. A genealogy set down largely from recollection a hundred years ago, opens: "The Dimmitt family name was originally de Mitte. They are a French family of Huguenots who came to America in the early 17th century and settled where Baltimore now stands." It carries a ring of conviction, and there is no reason to disbelieve it. When I was living in London from 1967 to 1973 I became a member of the Huguenot Society (oddly, come to think of it, by merely stating I was descended from Huguenots), and one of the pleasant advantages was permission to us the Society's Library. In the lists of Aliens dating back to the mid-sixteenth century I found a number of tantalizing similar names: de Mets, De Metter, Demitter, and Dematte. A notation made in the margin of the Hotten passenger list caught my attention particularly, though, since until that time I had not seen the list itself. "Thomas Dymett, sailing on the "America" from Gravesend." It is the only time I have found the name written with the Spanish tilde above the 'm'. The sole explanation I can suggest is that the Dimmitts, fleeing religious persecution in France, paused for a time, as did many emigres, in the Low Countries, where a few archaic forms from the earlier days of Spanish rule were still occasionally used in spelling.
It is logical to believe that the Dimmitts, or de Mittes, were Huguenots; they were certainly Protestants and stubbornly remained so. The fact that the passengers on the "America" required certification by the town minister as conforming to orders and discipline of the Church of England does not rule out the family's Huguenotry. A Calvinist would not be classed as a dangerous dissenter, and there would be nothing to prevent Thomas' ending his voyage in the Catholic colony of Maryland, for in Maryland from the earliest days religious toleration was practised except for limited periods; when the Calverts made their first voyage in the Ark and the Dove ( 1633/4) Protestants boarded at Gravesend and Catholics, including priest, at the Isle of Write.
A member of the Carolina branch of the family once suggested that the name was originally de Metz, connoting a place of origin. However, on a visit to northern France in 1977, Katherine Mulky Warne found the closest approximation in that city's directory to be J. Demet. Subsequent correspondence with Mme. Demet yielded the information that her husband's family was not native to that region, but came from the Loiret. The search is well worth pursuing, since to judge by old letters between members of the family nationality has always been an issue. there is one protestation by an elderly gentleman that the name is not 'Dutch', despite what his correspondent might have heard. Metz, lying in the Alsace-Lorraine sector of France, is still bi-lingual, having been both French and German in its time.
Perhaps some day we will be able to trace the family back to its roots abroad. Huguenots seem to fall into two groups: those who lift voluminous records which somehow escaped loss or destruction during their flights, or those who were adept at covering their tracks, presumably in order to protect members of the family who had remained with the old religion and in France. This latter course may have been that of our Dimmitts, or de Mittes.
We know then how Thomas Dymett got to America, be we do not know why he came. It is not too difficult to speculate. The usual reasons were religious or political oppression and economic hardship; younger sons seized the opportunity to emigrate because of the Law of Primogeniture which excluded them from inheriting family property. Half of all the English who arrived in the early days came under an indentured agreement, by which they agreed to work as bound-or bond-servants for a stipulated term of years in exchange for their passage; when this term expired they were paid a sum of money and given clothes and land, customarily fifty acres. If they had not travelled already committed to a specific master, they were auctioned off upon arrival. Most of them were farm boys, but there were also craftsmen of all kinds and , quite frequently, teachers who became tutors in the large landed families whose heads very often could neither read nor write themselves. Other emigrants came more or less involuntarily, having been offered the choice of transportation or hanging, often for what would be considered relatively minor offenses today. So far I have found no evidence that Thomas Dymett traveled as an indentured man, and none that he was a convicted felon. He may have been auctioned off to a master later, or he may perhaps merely have been adventurous.
We must assume that the "America" debarked her passengers at Jamestown, Virginia, or possibly at the younger settlement of St. Mary's in Maryland. There is a period of years still to be accounted for, since records were only beginning to be kept with regularity. At any rate, Dimmitts were living in the Proprietary of Maryland before 1679. In that year a William Demit witnessed that of Robert Bergin of Baltimore County. From then on the name appears scattered through Maryland records. As Christian names, William, James, and John predominate, but one finds Richards and Thomases as well. Thomas appears in what we may call 'the Patapsco branch.'
On the Maryland Tax Rolls for 1704/1706 there are listed two Wiliam Demmits, both residents of Patapsco Hundred. The two men may have been cousins: they may even have been brothers, for because of the high risk of infant mortality, prudent parents, wanting a name to be preserved, were inclined to give it to more than one a child in a generation. The deaths of these two Williams occurred forty years apart, but there is not sufficient evidence to indicate that they were father and son.
When one them moved, from Patapsco to Gunpowder Hundred, the line that concerns us established itself. By a Deed of Sale dated 31 July 174 we are able to document "our" Wiliam, and from him we can trace our direct descent.
In the history that follows I will use the currently most prevalent spelling of the name; however, in references to specific document I will use the spelling that applies.
Edwin N. Ballerstein 741 Nevada St. Gooding, Idaho 83330