Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Ancient Planter Captain William Powell Family

« Back to Projects Dashboard

Project Tags

Top Surnames

view all


  • Capt. William Powell (c.1577 - 1623)
    William Powell was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1619. Shortly after the massacre in 1622, Sir George Yeardly, Captain William Powell, and Captain Richard Butler each took a company an...

Special thanks go to the 1999 and the Powell research team of Roger Alex Powell of Texas, Joann Rhome Herring of Alaska and Flo DeFoor of Missouri whose combined six decades of prior Powell family research led to an assemblage of a vast bulk of Powell documented evidence of which this biography is based.

THE POWELL SURNAME From Family Surname History and Coat of Arms is on the Internet at, "The history of this ancient Breconshire family traces its ancestry as a family of Welsh origin before the year 1100 and appears first in the ancient records in Breconshire." From Colonial families of the United States of America: Volume 1:"The POWELL'S of Loudoun County, Virginia, are descended from the family of that name in the County of Brecknock or Brecon in Wales. The name of POWELL was ap [son of] HOWELL until the time of William ap HOWELL, of Bevalt, A. D., 1550, who was called William POWELL. "

WILLIAM'S PARENTS One version of the parents of Captain William POWELL is given in Family Tree Maker's CDROM #5,: William POWELL (b. cir. 1470 - d. cir. 1530) Castle Madoc, Wales; (son of Wm.) Hugh POWELL (b. cir. 1510 - d. cir. 1570) m. Elizabeth GWYN, cir. 1530; (son of Hugh) Hugh POWELL (b. 1545 - d. cir. 1600) m. Ann (Unknown); (son of Hugh, Jr) Captain William POWELL (1585-1623) m. (1) Elizabeth WELLES (2) m. Margaret STITT. A second parent version, the one used here, is Capt. William POWELL (abt. 1577 - abt 1623) had a father John POWELL (abt 1558 - ?) of St. Olave Parish, Surrey Co, England who married abt 1576 in England of an unknown lady born in England.

WILLIAM POWELL William POWELL was born ABT 1577 (or possibly 1585) in St. Olave Parish, Surrey Co, in England. He married (1) ABT 1599, in England, Elizabeth WELLES, born AFT 1585 in St. Olave Parish, Surrey Co, England and who presumably died abt 1619 (or aft 1628) in Virginia, and married (2) BEF 1621 in England, Margaret STITT, born ABT 1589 in and, and died AFT 1628 in Surry Co, VA. William died in 1623.

WILLIAM'S BROTHERS & RELATIVES William had two (or more) brothers who also immigrated to early Virginia: (1) Nathaniel POWELL, Sea Captain & Gov. born ABT 1587 in England (1598?),1 occupation Acting Gov. Jamestown who married ABT 1607 in England, Joyce TRACEY born ABT 1590 in England (daughter of William TRACEY, Sea Captain Esquire. Nathaniel died 22 Mar 1622 in VA, hacked to death by Indians. Nathaniel had immigrated 13 May 1607, (E1607) in either the "Discovery" or the "Godspeed"; and (2) Thomas POWELL was born ABT 1590 in Powellton, Suffolk, married BEF 1618, in England Gody UNKNOWN born ABT 1590 in England, ABT 1618 Emigrated to VA to East shore on the ship "Sampson". Thomas died 9 Feb 1687 on Isle of Wight, VA, and buried: 12 Jul 1626, He petitioned for his brother Captain Nathaniel Powell lands in 1626 and won.

William POWELL, John SMITH and John BURROW appear to be related - In "Colonial Surry" by John B. Boddie, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1966, p. 53, it says, "John SMITH, ancient planter, came over in the Ship "Elizabeth" in 1611. He later purchased or rented "Burrows Hill" and called "Smith's Mount". He and Captain William POWELL were brothers-in-law of the Provost Marshall of Middlesex County, England, quite an influential gentleman in the Virginia Company." From another source (Flo DeFoor by email): "Capt. [William] POWELL and Capt. John SMITH (not the swashbuckler John SMITH of the original colonists) were brothers-in-law of the Provost Marshall John BURROWS. But I never found out if it was through Capt. POWELL'S wife Margaret [STITT], Capt. SMITH'S wife Susannah, or John BURROW'S wife Bridgette or what. [Note A John BURROW is shown in the 16 Feb 1623 VA census. It isn't always clear which John SMITH is being referred to in these documents.]

WILLIAM WAS AN EARLY JAMESTOWN EMMIGRANT The record isn't clear whether William POWELL's first emigration trip was in 1607 or 1608. In one account, the first appearance of the name of POWELL in Virginia is found in Smith's "History of Virginia.", Captain William sailed from Blackwell, England [one of 105 men and boys] with his "trusted friend" John SMITH on 19 Dec 1606 with the three Captain Christopher NEWPORT ships, "Susan Constant," "Godspeed" and "Discovery" (which entered Chesapeake Bay on 20 Apr 1607), [and arrived at the location of future Jamestown site on 13 May 1607], or possibly on the "Sea-Venture" or "Mary & Margaret" (landed May 1607), arriving as the first wave of colonists in the new American continent in 1607, the year of the founding of Jamestown in what later would become the United States of America. Virginia is known as the "Cradle of the Republic". Alternately or additionally, he may have been in the 2nd supply, because in the "List of Settlers by Occupation in the 2nd Supply of Fall 1608", by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA), is, "Master [William?] POWELL, tradesman", so apparently Captain William POWELL was in the 2nd supply of Sep 1608 after the 1607 census. But both he and his wife Elizabeth WELLES were also in the 3rd supply of 23 May 1610 after the ill-fated "Sea Venture" ship wreck on a Bermuda offshore reef.

MILITARY CAPTAIN WILLIAM POWELL'S LEADERSHIP AT JAMESTOWN From "A True Discourse of the Present State of Virginia, 1615", Ralph Hamor, "Records of the Virginia Company of London," edited by Susan M. Kingsbury, Washington, 1933-1935, Volume III, pp. 87, 169, Volume IV, pp. 111, 209: "At first such an office [military office] served at the pleasure of the Governor. Ralph HAMOR mentioned in 1614 that "Master John SCARFE, Lieutenant to Captain WEST held that post. But in 1617, Governor Samuel ARGALL appointed William POWELL for life to be "Captain of his guards and company, Lieutenant Governor and Commander of James Town blockhouses and people there."; Also from "Jamestown 1544-1699," Carl Bridenbaugh, Oxford University Press, 1980: "But in 1617 Governor Samuel ARGALL appointed William POWELL for life to be "Captain of his guards and company, Lieutenant Governor, and Commander of James Town blockhouses and people there." William POWELL is always spoken of as a man of character and worth, "a gentleman of great name and fortune," and one of John SMITH's "trusted friends." He was one of the largest planters in the Colony and represented James City in the First House of Burgesses of Virginia, which assembled in the choir of the Jamestown church at Jamestown on the 30th July, 1619." His Chippokes Plantation which originates from a 1619 land grant is now part of Chippokes Plantation State Park, "One of the oldest working farms in the nation, is a living historical exhibit located in a rural agricultural area along the James River in Surry County... The plantation has kept its original boundaries since the 1600s and has a variety of cultivated gardens and native woodland..."

CAPTAIN WILLIAM POWELL KILLED IN A MILITARY ACTION BY INDIANS Portions from a summary email post by Roger POWELL: "Most accounts allude to Captain Nathaniel, William's brother, being beheaded by the Indians in the Great Massacre of March 22, 1622 [where 350 were killed and the population dropped to 1050. Then the ship "Abigail" docked on 12 Dec 1622 with infected passengers and dropped the colony to 500.]. There are accounts that say when Captain William POWELL killed the three Indians, and, out of remorse for his brother's death and that of his family, he beheaded them. Then when he was ambushed in late January or early February of 1623, almost a year later, he was beheaded by the Chickahomonies." Roger continues, "By whatever version of Captain William's death, it is presumed to be in early 1623, either January or February. The various dates given are only a few days apart, generally the last week of January or so and early February.

WILLIAM'S WIDOW MARRIED EDWARD BLANEY From "Colonial Surry", John B. Boddie, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1966, p. 55: "Captain POWELL led an expedition against the Chickahomonies and was killed by them between January 20 and January 24, 1623. Captain POWELL's widow married Edward BLANEY" Submitted by; John Patrick Peck of Pittsburgh, PA

The Children of Capt. William POWELL and Elizabeth WELLES were.

1. THOMAS, Sr. b. abt. 1600, m. abt. 1629, Lucretia______. 2. Capt, GEORGE, b. abt. 1609, m. abt. 1626 Annie________. 3. CUTHBERT, b. abt. 1610, m. abt. 1634 Mary SAYRE. 4. ANN, b. abt. 1611, m. abt. 1632 William PARKER. 5. (possibly) SAMUEL, b. abt 1616, m. abt. 1638 Ann______.

The Children of Capt. William POWELL and 2nd wife Margaret STITTS were

1. ALICE, b. abt. 1622, m. abt. 1642 Thomas WARREN, Sea Capt.






Found need sorting