Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States, and was named for King James I of England. The Jamestown Settlement was established on the James River about 40 miles upstream from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay on May 24, 1607. Established by the Virginia Company of London, along with making a profit, the goals of the company were to expand English lands abroad, seek a northwest passage to the Orient, and convert the Indians in Virginia to the Anglican religion. Jamestown served as the capital of the colony of Virginia for 83 years, from 1616 until 1699.
'The first 105 settlers set sail for Virginia on the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery. One died during the voyage which departed from England in December 1606. The expedition was led by Captain Christopher Newport. The Virginia Company brought Polish and Dutch colonists within the first year of settlement. The first documented Africans were brought to Jamestown in 1619.
Jamestown suffered many hardships, including warfare between the colonists and Indians, and the deaths of many English men and women from starvation and disease. Jamestown ceased to be a town by the mid 1700s, but the government, language, customs, beliefs, and aspirations of these early colonists are part of the heritage of the United States today.
Profiles to be added to this project will include:
- stockholders in the London Company or Virginia Company
- those who owned land on Jamestown Island or lived on the island prior to 1700
- those who were residents in Virginia at the time of the 1624 Muster
- those who served as Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Attorney General, Clerk of the General Court, Member of the Council or House of Burgesses prior to 1700
A good place to look for people to include in this project is the Qualifying Ancestors Index for the Jamestowne Society.
- Those named for the initial Council
Edward Maria Wingfield
- Additional Council members
Matthew Scrivener (from 1st supply mission)
Peter Winne (from 2nd supply mission)
Sources for overview and additional reading include:
- Wikipedia - Jamestown, Virginia
- Wikipedia - Virginia Company
- Jamestown & Yorktown
- A Brief History of Jamestown, Virginia
- Timeline of Jamestown, Virginia
- Jamestown Rediscovery
- United States History - Jamestown
- The first Black Americans of known origin in America, and the Woodson family
- Jamestown Colony: A Political, Social, and Cultural History
- A Study of the Africans and African Americans on Jamestown Island and at Green Spring, 1619-1803
- Search the Registers of Servants Sent to Foreign Plantations, 1654 - 1686