We are members of The Jamestowne Society, the national organization of descendants of the first permanent English settlement in America. The First California Company is composed of Society members in Southern California and was chartered in May 1999. Martha Pace Gresham was our Organizing Governor.
Jamestown was founded on May 14, 1607 to become and serve as the colonial capital of Virginia until 1699. It has a singular place among our American origins for what our ancestors did – as our nation’s first pioneers – to lay the foundation for its political and economic development. Please go to our About Jamestown page to learn what they accomplished and contributed to the building of our nation.
The Society was founded in 1936 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. Its mission includes discovering and recording the names of all living descendants of Jamestown residents, officials, “adventurers” (investors), land owners, Anglican clergy and Indian interpreters from 1607 through 1699, associating them as members of the Society, and honoring the memory of our settler ancestors. It has enrolled over 9,000 descendants; over 5,000 are currently active. There are 52 Companies throughout the nation. The Jamestowne Society was organized for educational, historical, and patriotic purposes. We have a range of activities, from visiting early American colonial sites, providing an annual graduate fellowship for research on Colonial Virginia prior to 1700, funding the restoration of records, and supporting preservation of historical sites. Donations to the Jamestowne Society are deductible as charitable contributions.
The Society has confirmed over 1,500 names of individuals who meet its 17th century ancestry criteria and are listed among its Qualifying Ancestors. Many Americans don’t realize that these persons may be among their ancestors and would qualify them for membership. Our mission also includes helping them explore whether they are.
Unlike many other lineage organizations, applicants must first join the national Society with sponsorship by a member. Our members are available to help with the application process. Please contact any of us, or go to the Join Us tab if you believe that you are a potential member. Any member of the Society may join the First California Company upon application to our Membership Chair. We hold an Annual Meeting and other Company meetings throughout the year. For more information, please contact our Governor and you can follow the Society’s Facebook page.
First California Company’s Officers and Councilors for 2016-18 include:
Governor: Scarlett Gathings Shepherd
Lieutenant Governor: Julie Plemmons
Secretary: Erica Hahn
Treasurer: Suzanne Leif
Historian: Jim Shepherd
Chaplain: Sandra Orozco
Membership Chair: Marty Sommercamp
Councilors: Donna Derrick*, Anita Guenin and Jim McCall
Parliamentarian: Martha Gresham*
Our Governor is our primary contact.
For membership and application information, please contact our Membership Chair.
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