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 on petition by 26 Society members. 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 Jamestowne Society was organized for educational, historical, and patriotic purposes. It was founded in 1936 in the Memorial Church at Historic Jamestown 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 53 Companies throughout the nation.
The Society has confirmed over 900 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 be invited to 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.
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.
On the following pages, you will find the following:
News of our company and relevant Society and member information. This is our blog.
Our meeting announcements, programs and summaries
Information and suggestions on how to join the Jamestowne Society and First California Company.
Links to websites with information about Jamestown
A reading list with our Jamestown book and other media recommendations and a link to the Society’s
A history piece that discusses Our Ancestors’ Accomplishments
A summary of the archeological project that our Society and company are supporting: Jamestown Rediscovery: Our “Most Consistently Prolific Archaeological Site”
Who to contact in our company and has helped us with this site..
Our members have elected the following to our Council to govern our company:
First California Company’s Officers and Councilors for 2020-22 include:
- Governor: Marty Sommercamp
- Lieutenant Governor: Norma Keating
- Secretary: Ellen Anderson
- Treasurer: Sandy Bill
- Historian: Kathleen Beall
- Chaplain: Pat Fleming
- Membership Chair: John Ferris
- Councilors: Joanne Murphy*, Tyler Jackson, Julie Plemmons*
- Parliamentarian: TBA
Our Governor is our primary contact.
For membership and application information, please contact our Membership Chair.
You can contact the editor of this website and our blog at: firstname.lastname@example.org