John Dods, of the Jamestown Colony

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John Dods, of the Jamestown Colony

Also Known As: "John Dodson", "John Jesse"
Birthplace: Yorkshire, England
Death: 1652 (79-81)
Jamestown, James City County, Virginia
Immediate Family:

Son of John Dodson, Sr. and Mary Ann Dodson
Husband of Jane Dods

Occupation: Laborer at Jamestown, Original Jamestown settler in 1607
Managed by: Sarah Montgomery
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About John Dods, of the Jamestown Colony

Note: Pay no attention to the drivel dispensed of no known this or that. I have the birth, death, census records connecting these individuals together, I spent thousands of my own money and months of my own time painstakingly connecting Records. It is laughable and even heartbreaking to see my Ancestors torn down like this.

Thank You, Melissa Bryan

John Dods was one of the original passengers on the Susan Constant to Jamestown in 1607.

His wife was Jane, parents unknown. No known children.

He did not marry Jane “White Feather” Dodd, (Fictional)

"John Dodson came over to America from England with Capt. John Smith in 1607. There were a hundred and five men in this company that founded the first permanent English Colony in America.

They reached the capes of Virginia April 1607, and sailed up the broad river, thirty two miles from the river's mouth. They named the river, James and their settlement Jamestown, in honor of their King.

The colonists soon erected cabins out of poles and branches and some dug caves to live in. The site of the colony was unhealthy, and the deaths, especially during the first few years of the colony, were horrifying. From 1606 to 1618, a period of twelve years, eighteen hundred immigrants sailed from England for Virginia. At the end of that time only six hundred were living.

Attacks by Indians, starvation, and the system of holding property in common added to the difficulties of the colonists. But in 1612 they began to grow tobacco and they fared better.

The year 1619 brought three important events to Virginia and the colonists. Virginia was permitted to enjoy a measure of self government; a ship load, eighty, of rospective wives arrived from England. The colonist could secure a wife, with her permission, and by paying her transportation, in the amount of one hundred and twenty pounds of tobacco--about $500 dollars worth; and the first Negro slaves landed in Virginia.

In spite of all the hardships John Dodson survived and was reported to have been a mighty hunter and fur trader and in his dealings with the Indians became the possessor of large bodies of land. He was a good citizen [and] we find descendants of this early Jamestown settler in every emigrant western movement."

Judging from the text, it would appear that Jesse and William came across the ocean with their father, probably leaving their mother behind, who may have been dead when they left England.

Another possibile conclusion, is that they followed him to Jamestown as they grew of age.


Williams and Lucas, "The Dodson (Dotson) Family of North Farnham Parish, Richmond County, Virginia", Vol. 1, p. vi, Publisher's Preface:

"A word of warning concerning trying to claim kinship with people with whom we cannot prove a relationship, i.e.: Are we kin to the "John Dodson, 1607 of Jamestown, Virginia, or Benjamin Dodson, c. 1652 of Essex County, Virginia?

Some people would like to say that these men are the direct ancestors of Charles Dodson who died in 1701. They state that a John Dodson came with Captain John Smith in 1607 and the John Dodson had sons Jesse and William Dodson. It is further stated that the aforementioned Jesse Dodson was the father of Charles Dodson, born about 1649 and died about 1701, in Richmond Co., Virginia....(and so on, then)

it must be stated unequivocably that no legal records exist to prove this hypothetical descendancy of Charles Dodson."

Williams and Lucas looked for decades on the Dodsons.

see The Eagle Plume/Dodson Myth

Notes for John Dodson


Note: John Dodson, who was the brother-in-law of Captain John Smith, was in charge of dispensing bread to the passengers during the trip to America. He came on a ship named "Ann" with Captain John Smith and landed at Jamestown , Virginia in 1607.

Group: Labourer Region: Lincolnshire

Age about 18. Arrived on Susan Constant, listed on the Virginia musters 1622 and 1624 as at Neck-of-land, Charles City, so survived 1622 massacre and may well have family descendants. Dods is one of only three 1607 settlers still alive in 1624. He also went with George Percy in the Pinnace when Smith in the Discovery went to visit Powhatan at Werowocomoco, and during the visit, built a house for Powhatan. This would probably have been of the same 'mud and stud' type of dwelling that has been found at Jamestown, and is unique to the East Lincolnshire area.

John Dods married Jane (Unknown).

There are two main theories about who was this wife, Jane. One is that she was Jane Dier, the 15 or 16 year-old who arrived aboard the Marmaduke which arrived in November 1621.[9]. This assumption is based on the matching first names. As circumstantial evidence, the name Jane is a small point in favor, but the difference in ages argues strongly in the negative. When the Muster was taken, on 24 January 1624/5, Jane Dods was reported "aged 40 yeares." On that date, Jane Dier (born 1605-1606) was no more than twenty years (half the age of Jane Dods). Twenty years is a large discrepancy, too large it seems to be explained by the tendency to give rough estimates for ages. The unavoidable conclusion is that Jane Dier was not the wife of John Dods.

Other researchers assume that John Dods married an American Indian, usually a Princess, and often called "Princess Niketta," or "Jane Eagle Plume." It is unlikely that John Dods wife was a Native American as there is no notation beside her name in the 1624 Muster and other individuals who were Native American had the notation beside their name "Native". Following is what Nancy Egloff of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation wrote:

Dods was a laborer who, twice, accompanied a group with John Smith to explore the Chesapeake Bay and to meet with Powhatan, leader of more than 30 tribes in Tidewater Virginia at the time. However, we know nothing about his wife Jane. Finally, there is no documentation in any primary sources on the person often called “Princess Niketta,” alias “Jane Eagle Plume.” From documents, we do not know the names of any of Opechancanough’s children.[10]

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John Dods, of the Jamestown Colony's Timeline

Yorkshire, England
Age 81
Jamestown, James City County, Virginia