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Virginia House of Burgesses

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  • Thomas Swann (c.1616 - 1680)
    During the 1640s and 1650s, Thomas Swann served several terms as a burgess in the colony’s assembly, first representing James City County and then Surry. He also served as Surry’s sheri...
  • William Gaines (1705 - 1792)
    Will probated 1796. May have been the William Gaines mentioned among foot soldiers of Culpepper County who had part in Braddock's campaign. -------------------- The Will of William Gaines was not...
  • Col. Joseph Ball, of "Epping Forest" (1649 - 1711)
    Parents: William Ball b: 2 JUN 1611 in London, England and Hannah Atherold b: 2 FEB 1617/18 in England. The Ball family line connects to George Washington through his maternal lineage. Joseph Ball wa...
  • Henry Fleete, Capt. (c.1602 - 1661)
    Was burgess of Lancaster Co. VA in 1652 -------------------- Henry Fleete was born about 1602 in Kent, England, and moved to Jamestown, Virginia, in 1621. Fleete was seized by the Anacostan Indians...
  • Maj. Gen. Abraham Wood (c.1614 - 1683)
    Abraham Wood (1614–1682), sometimes referred to as "General" or "Colonel" Wood, was an English fur trader (specifically the beaver and deerskin trades) and explorer of 17th century colonial Virg...

The Virginia House of Burgesses was the first legislative assembly of elected representatives in North America.

The word "Burgess" means an elected or appointed official of a municipality, or the representative of a borough in the English House of Commons.

The House was established by the Virginia Company, who created the body as part of an effort to encourage English craftsmen to settle in North America and to make conditions in the colony more agreeable for its current inhabitants.

The House's first session of July 30, 1619, held in Jamestown, was cut short by an outbreak of malaria.

The assembly had 22 members from the following constituencies:

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  • 6. Stanard, William G. and Mary Newton Stanard. The Virginia Colonial Register. Albany, NY: Joel Munsell's Sons Publishers, 1902. OCLC 253261475, Retrieved July 15, 2011. p. 52.