Here’s Your Sign #18 ~ Jamestown, Colonial Virginia

For many years I have been collecting photos of and information about the various signs that have been placed in honor of some of my ancestors. These signs are a glimpse into some event and/or place where they lived. Some of the signs are small like a placard with a few poignant words, some are large and they go into great detail, and then there are those that are somewhere in between. Each one gives added life to those ancestors.

The sign states the following: “Nearby to the east is Jamestown, the original site of the first English colony in North America. On 14 May 1607, a group of just over 100 and boys recruited by the Virginia Company of London came ashore and established a settlement at Jamestown Island. They constructed a palisaded fort there within the territory of the Paspahegh Indians, who with other Virginia Indians had frequent contact with the English. In 1619 the first English representative legislative body in North America met there and the first documented Africans arrived. Jamestown served as the capital of the Virginia colony from 1607 to 1699. Historic Jamestown preserves this original site and the archaeological remains.”

I have many ancestors who were early settlers of Jamestown. My earliest one, John Dods, came over on one of the first 3 supply ships, The Susan Constant. In 1608 he accompanied Captain John Smith on a voyage into the Pamunkey River, and on December 29, 1608, he was among the men who accompanied Smith to Werowocomoco, Powhatan’s village on the York River. On February 16, 1624, John and his wife, Jane were, living at Bermuda Hundred. They were still there on January 24, 1625, at which time he was described as a 36-year-old household head who was very well supplied with stored food and defensive weaponry. In May 1625, when a list of patented land was sent back to England, he was credited with 50 acres in Charles City and 150 acres in Tappahannah land to which he was entitled as an ancient planter.

John was born in 1571, in Great Neck, Yorkshire, England and his wife Jane is said to have been born in 1584, but little more is known about her. They had two sons Jesse and Benjamin, and I descend from both of them. John died in 1652, in Jamestown at the age of 81.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Freaky Fridays ~ A Tangled Web!

Freaked Out Letters Funny A Little Crazy Word

I realize that the farther back you can trace your family the more likely it is that there may be some freaky things that happen. Especially in early Colonial America where there weren’t thousands of people to intermingle with. I have found where I have 2 sisters who are both my 8x Great Grandmothers. They each married and had children and I descend from both lines. This is strange enough, but tonight I found something even more strange.

Jamestown 1607-map

John “Dods” Dodson immigrated to Jamestown Virginia in 1607. He married a woman named Jane and they had two sons. Jesse Dodson was born in 1623 in Jamestown, Virginia. The next year Benjamin Dodson was born. At the age of 22, Jesse married Judith Hagger on May 7, 1645. I have only found documentation for one child born to Jesse and Judith, a son named Charles Joseph born in 1649.

Benjamin married Anne Simms in 1647. They had 3 children, two sons, Peter and Francis, and a daughter named Anne born in 1651. As with most families of the time, all three families lived close to each other in the small city of Jamestown.

cousinsIn 1680 first cousins, Charles Joseph son of Jesse, and Anne, daughter of Benjamin got married. They went on to have 8 children. Their second son, Thomas is my 6x Great Grandfather. So here is the breakdown:

 

Charles and Anne are 1st cousins.

Anne is the niece and daughter-in-law of Jesse Dodson.

Charles is the nephew and son-in-law of Benjamin Dodson.

Their 8 children are 1st cousins as well as siblings.

Each of the children are both children and nieces/nephews to their parents.

There is no denying that this situation is indeed FREAKY! No matter how common it may have been in the mid-1600s.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Hometown Tuesday ~ Bermuda Hundreds, Colonial Virginia

hometown tuesdayIn the early days of the Virginia colony, it was hard to recruit settlers to leave England and travel to the Colony. Life here was hard. Most settlers were dying here, about 80% over the “Starving Time” during the winter of 1609-1610. Since this was a private venture, managed by the Virginia Company with the blessing of King James I, the Company had to figure out a way to entice people to make the trip. They soon discovered the one item that was the most effective incentive to attract new settlers. It began to offer land, a commodity which the company had in abundance. Anyone paying their own expenses to Virginia, or the expenses of someone else, would receive a warrant authorizing them to survey and “patent” 50 acres of land free.

bermudahundred map

In an even better offer, new investors could assemble a whole group of new settlers and start a plantation away from Jamestown. The new plantations were called Hundreds as each “Hundred” could comfortably hold 100 people including women and children. Each immigrant brought to Virginia, no matter what their age or sex, entitled the investor who was paying their way to 100 acres of land. As a result some colonists became wealthy having plantations of over 1000 acres.

susan constant drawing

Although the initial inhabitants of Virginia came to find gold and silver it didn’t take long to realize the real “gold” was the tobacco that was grown here. My 9th Great Grandfather John Dodson born in 1571 in Great Neck, England, arrived at the Virginia Colony on April 26, 1607, aboard the “Susan Constant” and was one of the first colonists in the area. In 1608, John Dodson accompanied Captain John Smith on a voyage into the Pamunkey River, and on December 29, 1608, he was among the men who accompanied Captain Smith to Werowocomoco, Powhatan’s village on the York River. He married a woman named Jane (Unknown last name) sometime before his first son, Jesse, was born in 1623. By early 1624, he owned land in the Bermuda Hundreds and he grew tobacco. He died in 1652 at the age of 81.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.