Capt. Nathaniel Powell, of Jamestown

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Capt. Nathaniel Powell, of Jamestown's Geni Profile

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Capt. Nathaniel Powell, of Jamestown

Birthplace: Suffolk, England
Death: March 22, 1622 (40-49)
Powelbrook, Charles City, Virginia Colony, Colonial America (Beheaded by Indians)
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Powell, of Howelton and wife of Thomas Powell
Husband of Joyce Powell
Brother of Thomas Powell, Jr., of Howelton and Sir Stephen Powell, of Howelton

Occupation: Gov of the Virginia Colony
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Capt. Nathaniel Powell, of Jamestown

Captain Nathaniel Powell, who came to Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, wrote much of John Smith's "History of Virginia", and it was he who made the first Map of Virginia, and sent it back to England, where it is now preserved in the British Museum.

In 1618, Captain Nathaniel Powell was Governor of Virginia, for a short time. He was appointed a member of the Council in 1621. He married a Miss Tracy, daughter of William Tracy, who brought a Colony to Virginia in 1620; she was the granddaughter of Sir John Tracy.

Captain Nathaniel Powell and all his family, were massacred by Opechanough, at Powell's Brook, March 22, 1622; twelve in all were murdered. No person was better known among the Indians; yet they slew him and his family, haggled their bodies and cut off his head to express their utmost scorn and cruelty.


Per the Genesis of the United States Written by Alexander Brown.

Powell Captain Nathaniel, One of the first planters left England in December 1606 and arrived in Virginia in April 1607 In the winter of 1608 with Xewport exploring the York River From July 24 to September 7 1608 with Captain Smith exploring the Chesapeake Bay He was probably the author of the Diane of the second voyage in discovering the Bay which was sent to England by Newport in December 160H aud the sixth chapter of Smith's History was probably partially compiled from this Diarie as it bears Powell's signature and it was probably Captain Powell's Map of the bay and rivers which accompanied The Relation of the Countries and Nations said to have been sent to Kngland by Smith in December 1G08 He was deputy governor of Virginia for a short time in 1619 and member of the council there 1619 22 Himself and wife were killed by the Indians March 22 1622 His wife was a daughter of Master William Tracy and he was interested in the Tracy Berkeley Smith of Nibloy Thorpe plantation at Berkeley in Virginia



There was a Nathaniel Powell who was maried to Joyce Tracy in early Jamestown, VA. They were both massacred by Indians in 1622. She was the daughter of Gov. William Tracey. Nathaniel Powell was a Captain.


Sir Stephen Powell, who was a brother of Captain Nathaniel Powell, had a son, William Powell, who came to America as a young man in 1620; this William married in this country and had children, among them a Thomas. William died and his children were scattered among friends.



He [William Powell] took possession of the estate of Nathaniel Powell, who was killed along with his wife during the attack. It was later determined Powell was not related to Nathaniel as he had claimed. Nathaniel's older brother, Thomas Powell, succeeded to ownership of the property.[1]

1. McCartney, Martha W. Virginia immigrants and adventurers, 1607-1635: a biographical dictionary. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 2007. ISBN 978-0-8063-1774-8. p. 576



The next major error is that Capt. William Powell and Capt. Nathaniel Powell were brothers.They were kinsmen, not brothers, they were probably first or second cousins.This is in the London Company and the British Chancellery records.Nathaniel did have a brother named Thomas who lived in Howelton, Suffolk, England and did later inherited his estate after Nathaniel and his wife were killed by Indians March 22, 1622.



(Compiler) Charles S. Powell also states that in 1626, Thomas Powell (the elder brother of Captain Nathaniel Powell), then living in England, petitioned the Government in regard to his estate. They stated that William Powell, who had gotten possession of all of Nathaniel Powell's estate in VA, was no relative of Nathaniel Powell. How the matter was decided there is no record, but in 1653, George Powell, Richard Powell and Mary Powell, supposed to have been the niece and nephews of Nathaniel Powell, made petition for the property, which would indicate that Nathaniel Powell and William Powell left no lineal descendants in VA or elsewhere" (p. 10).


Grandfather William had a younger cousin Nathaniel, living in Jamestown in March of 1622. After the battle, when William went searching for his cousin he found him. His head lay not far from his body which had been hacked into pieces, the ground covered in blood. The body of Nathaniel’s pregnant wife lay not far from him.


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Capt. Nathaniel Powell, of Jamestown's Timeline

Suffolk, England
March 22, 1622
Age 45
Powelbrook, Charles City, Virginia Colony, Colonial America