We Held Our Fall 2019 Meeting in Solana Beach and Learned About the First Thanksgiving

Forty-four members, prospective applicants and guests were convened by Governor Julie Plemmons on Saturday, October 26 at Lomas Santa Fe Country Club in Solana Beach to initiate First California Company’s twenty-first year.

Membership Chair Martha Pace Gresham introduced new members Jimmy Grimes from San Diego and John Ferris of Coto de Caza. Those in attendance then introduced themselves and their guests.  Governor Plemmons and Lieutenant Governor Marty Sommercamp reported on their attendance and participation in the  Society’s Council and Membership meetings July 27-29 in Williamsburg and recounted their experiences and impressions of the commemorations of the 400th anniversary of the First General Assembly.

After a short business meeting, reports from the officers and Thanksgiving-themed luncheon, Lieutenant Governor Marty Sommercamp offered a video presentation on the 400th Anniversary of the First Thanksgiving on December 4, 1619 at Berkeley Plantation on the James River, in what is now Charles City, Virginia.  The program related the history of plantation and the event and how its existence was rediscovered among the long-neglected “Nibley Papers” by Dr. Lyon Tyler, retired President of William and Mary College  and son of President  John Tyler, who resided nearby at his Sherwood Forest residence. First California member Julia Tyler Samaniego would later recount her memories of her grandfather, Dr. Tyler, and scenes of locales of where she was raised.

The time, date and program of the forthcoming Winter Meeting will be announced when available.

 

 

 

 

Posted in 1619, 1619 First General Assembly, 2019 Fall Meeting, Berkeley Plantation, First California Company, Jamestowne Society, Julie Plemmons, Marty Sommercamp, New Members, Uncategorized | Comments Off on We Held Our Fall 2019 Meeting in Solana Beach and Learned About the First Thanksgiving

Our Fall Luncheon Meeting Is on Saturday, October 26, 2019 In Solana Beach

The First California Company of the Jamestowne Society will hold its Fall Meeting and Luncheon at 11:30 AM on Saturday October 26, 2019 at the Lomas Santa Fe Country Club, 1505 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach, CA 92075.  (lomassantafecc.com; 858-755-6768)

We will commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the First Thanksgiving at Berkeley Plantation.

Come and enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving luncheon with our First California Company and learn about the First Thanksgiving that occurred on the James River prior to the Pilgrims arriving in Massachusetts.

Menu:

Traditional Turkey Dinner Luncheon: $45 each

Vegetarian – Butternut Squash Ravioli: $45 each

Make check payable to First California Company, Jamestowne Society

Mail to: Governor Julie Plemmons ~ 4080 Hancock Street, Apt 3701, San Diego, CA 92110-5176

RSVP By October 17, 2019

For more information and with questions, please contact jpnkids@yahoo.com

Posted in 1619, 2019 Fall Meeting, 400 Anniversary of 1619, Berkeley Plantation, First California Compoany, Jamestowne Society, Julie Plemmons | Comments Off on Our Fall Luncheon Meeting Is on Saturday, October 26, 2019 In Solana Beach

Our Governor Reports on the Society’s Meetings at Williamsburg July 27-30, 2019

The Jamestowne Society rescheduled its 2019 spring membership and Council meetings from their customary May dates to July 27-30 to commemorate the 400th anniversaries of two major events in the colony’s history: the convening of the first General Assembly – now the oldest representative legislative body in the New World – and the first recorded landing of enslaved Africans in English America.

The meetings were a major success and, according to our Executive Director Bonnie Hofmeyer, “We had 400 at the luncheon, 280 on the tour[s], 230 at the governors’ dinner, and 290 at the wine and cheese reception. We had wait lists for all events. We could have had a lot more. The largest attendance we have [recently] had at a May luncheon is 310 and 92 at the governors’ dinner.”

Governor Julie Plemmons reports as follows:

Lt. Governor Marty Sommercamp. Governor. Julie Plemmons and Councilor Ginny Gottlieb

The First California Company was well represented at the Jamestowne Society’s annual meeting and celebration of the 400th anniversary of the First General Assembly.  In addition to myself and Lieutenant Governor Marty Sommercamp, Past Governor and current Jamestowne Society Councilor Ginny Gotlieb, Friend of the Company Valeria Toms, and Valeria’s granddaughter Kelsey Toms from Texas were in attendance.  The meetings were held at the Kingsmill Resort on the James River in Williamsburg as well as on the Jamestowne Island.

Marty and I took advantage of the early registration on Friday and enjoyed seeing the newly designed church pin available from headquarters. There is a new Register of Qualifying Ancestors, and, if you or a friend would like to inquire about an ancestor, please let me know.  While most of the information is readily available and more current on the society’s website, the Register will prove to be a valuable asset at our genealogy events.

Saturday morning started bright and early with the Council meeting.  While Ginny was a participant as a Councilor, I was allowed to observe but not participate in the discussions.  We are in good hands with our current Council and continue to have a healthy treasury to carry on the good works of preservation and research.  A $75,000 donation was approved for Jamestowne Rediscovery with $15,000 of the donation to be directed to the church belfry.  The executive committee will be reviewing previous letters of protest to the power lines and to take appropriate action as they deem necessary.  A DVD and book on the 400th Anniversary will be available in the coming months with notification in the next magazine.

Two colonial representatives playing the drum and fife led the procession of the society’s Council and distinguished guests to the Annual Membership Meeting and Luncheon.  Special guests were the retired Rev. Chris Stone and his wife from St. George’s Church in Gravesend England, the final resting place of Jamestowne ancestor Pocahontas.

After an enjoyable lunch, Dr. Jim Horn, CEO of Jamestowne Rediscovery focused his lecture on the events in his book 1619: Jamestown and the Forging of American Democracy.  Although his remarks were similar to those presented at our June Company meeting, it is always a delight to hear him speak and we learn new tidbits about those early years on the island.

Sunday was a full day heritage tour on the island, beginning with a prayer service in the Memorial Church from the 1559 Book of Common Prayer.  Our Society Governor, the Reverend Dr. Roy Abbott Martin, Jr., and our Society Chaplain, the Reverend James Wilbur Browder, III, presided and the new church bell was rung.  It has a beautiful tone and several participants have put videos on the Jamestowne Society Facebook page for your listening pleasure.

We had lunch in an air-conditioned tent, however, with the high heat and humidity, it was not exactly California comfortable weather!  One must wonder and be amazed at how our ancestors managed through such difficult weather 400 years ago.  The lunch program included a portrayal of Mrs. Yeardley, wife of the Governor.  She assured us it was no picnic for the ladies in their finery during the summer of 1619.

Then, the highlights of the First General Assembly, which was held over six days in July and August of 1619, were reenacted in a living history interpretation.  It was interesting to hear the words of those first in attendance as well as the commentator pointing out that one of those in attendance actually passed away during the meetings.

We then toured the New Town portion of the island and placed a wreath at the Angela site [where archeologists are seeking evidence of where one of the first recorded landed Africans has been found to have lived.]  Archeologists discussed the interesting artifacts that have been found in that portion of the island.  We were left on our own to explore the exhibits in the Archearium and the visitor’s center.

That evening was the Governor’s Dinner with a beautiful anniversary cake.  Noted archaeologist Dr. Bill Kelso made the first cut of the cake with a sword discovered on the island.  Glasses were raised in a toast to our ancestors who founded the colony of Virginia and ultimately the United States of America.

Monday morning was a company Governor’s forum where various items were discussed including the annual giving program, meeting attendance and programs, and regional correspondence or lack thereof.  Unfortunately, time was quite limited for discussion amongst the governors, but a sharing of company meetings, membership, and ideas were briefly exchanged.

Monday evening was a final Wine and Cheese Jamestowne Society event on the island.  In addition to the wine, a local brewery had used hops grown on the island for a new beer.  A dedication prayer for the new church bell was given by Governor Rev. Roy Martin.  And a toast was given to all our ancestors and those descendants of the General Assembly were recognized.

Due to the President of the United States’ participation in events at [the nearby] Jamestown Settlement, access to the island was limited on the actual day of the anniversary and we were disappointed to not be able to venture to the island that day.

Having attended the 400th Anniversary of the landing in 2007, this was an equally moving event and I was thrilled to represent the First California Company.  If you have any questions I am always willing to share my thoughts with you in person, by phone, or via email.  Thank you for your continued support of the Jamestowne Society and of our First California Company!

Friend of the Company Valeria Toms, and Valeria’s granddaughter Kelsey Toms

Here, too, is Val Toms’ report:

Going to our first Jamestowne event was planned for a year. I had just finished my granddaughter Kelsey’s membership application and she had just been accepted into membership of the Society.  Kelsey is an AP teacher of American History in San Antonio, Texas. Her special interest is colonial history. We share that love. She was exhilarated by all she saw and heard, and I know her classes will benefit! We loved every part—- walking into the beautiful church, saying the same words on the same spot as ancestors had done was a goosebumps experience.  I in particular loved hearing the thoughts of historian Mark Summers. “E Pluribus Unum“ will always mean more to me now. I think Kelsey was thrilled by the archeologists’ work. The chance to interact with them in the church, in the museum, and the Angela site, were especially exciting to her. We both loved the reenactment.  It was all so much more than we had anticipated. A wonderful first experience of what the Jamestowne Society is all about, and SUPPORTS!

 

 

 

Posted in 1619, 1619 First General Assembly, 17th Century Church Bell Tower, 400 Anniversary of 1619, First Africans in 2019, Gotlieb, Historic Jamestown, James Horn, Jamestowne Society, Jamestowne Society Governor, Julie Plemmons, Marty Sommercamp, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Our Governor Reports on the Society’s Meetings at Williamsburg July 27-30, 2019

We Learned About Democracy, Diversity and Race at Jamestown in 1619 at Our Company’s 20th Anniversary

We commemorated our Company’s 20th anniversary on June 29 in Irvine with an auspicious event presided over by Governor Julie Plemmons. 37 members, guests and prospective members heard a fascinating presentation by Dr. James Horn, historian, author and President of Jamestown Rediscovery, on Democracy, Diversity and Race in 1619 in the Jamestown Colony.

Governor Plemmons with Dr. Horn and Charter Member and Past Governor Donna Derrick

Based on his recently published book, 1619, Jamestown and the Forging of American Democracy, Dr. Horn’s themes were the reforms for the colony as initiated by Sir Edwin Sandys  (who had just become the chief officer of the Virginia Company), which included recognizing private property, the rule of law, self-government and the common weal. Chief among his plans was to turn the native people into English people, both by religion and by the way they were to live.

Self-government led to the creation a General Assembly of elected representatives (the basis of our own form of government) which met for the first time on July 30, 1619 in the 1617 church, now the site of significant archeological work. Those discoveries indicate that it was a classic Tudor church, semi-timbered with a belfry.

Weeks later, two ships arrived with their cargo, captained by two English privateers who had seized a Portuguese slave ship loaded with Africans that had been captured in Angola. John Rolfe, Pocahontas’ widower, would later report the landing in Virginia of “20. and odd Negroes,” who were “bought for victuals.” We know from records that one of the Africans was a woman called “Angela” and from other records we know where she was a “servant” on Jamestown island. That site is now also a major archeological site.  Thus, 1619 brought to the English colonial world democracy and diversity and slavery, legacies of which are still with us.

Dr. Horn commended the Society for the financial support we have given Jamestown Rediscovery over the years.

Governor Plemmons introduces our new members

In the absence of Membership Chair Martha Gresham, Governor Plemmons introduced three new members: Norma Keating, Linda O’Hoy and Cathy Sherman.

Governor Plemmons gave a brief history of the company, noting that the company was chartered on May 8, 1999. Former governors were acknowledged: Mary Brown, 2000‐2002, Dee Rickards, 2002‐2004, Martha Gresham, 2004‐2006, and Cher Bucknam Sesma, 2006‐2008.

Three past Governors who were present offered their greetings and each gave a bit of history from her term of office. Joanne Murphy served 2008‐2010, charter member and current Society Councilor Ginny Gotlieb served two terms, 2010‐2014, and charter member Donna Derrick served 2014‐2016. Donna was followed by Scarlett Gathings Shepherd in 2016‐2018, who was not present.

Collectively,  the three past governors reviewed several important company events, including the June 2002 visit from now-Treasurer Emeritus Harrison Tyler, who spoke about Pocahontas, John Rolfe, the Harrison and Tyler lines and Sherwood Forest, our 2006 naming of the seventh race at Del Mar to help commemorate Jamestown’s founding, Society Governor Carter Branham Snow Furr and Mrs. Furr’s visit in 2010, and others among those listed on the Meetings page on our website.

They recollected the company’s achievements that included creating and maintaining our website, publishing a brochure, revising our bylaws and standing rules, participating in the Southern California Genealogical Society’s annual Genealogy Jamboree and fostering the organization of two new companies in California. Past Governor Gotlieb reflected on the pleasure of “…finding interesting speakers which I did for six years.  We were privileged to have several from the East Coast.”

Dr. Horn with Society Councilor and Past Governor Ginny Gotlieb

She added, in her capacity as Society Councilor, “I have never seen the Jamestowne Society more vibrant and focused on fulfilling its goals.  Thank you for your individual gifts and for supporting this Company’s strong and steady practice of Company gifts.  These annual gifts are key to the success of the Society’s projects. First California Company, over the years, has given to Jamestown Rediscovery, Preservation Virginia, the Wingo Fund, scholarships, the mortgage retirement Fund for our headquarters building in Richmond, and the 400th Anniversary celebration [of the 1619 events].  We can be very proud of this!” The Society’s contributions to Jamestowne Rediscovery have gone for the church tower preservation, replica bells, golf carts for staff and other transportation and archeological dig investigation of the remains of the 1617 church within the 1907 Memorial Church.

Past Governor Donna Derrick noted that during her tenure, our company actively participated in the efforts to thwart the construction of power transmission towers across the James River by asking the US Army Corps of Engineers to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement that would consider all alternatives to the towers. Dominion Energy succeeded in obtaining a permit without the EIS, and the towers were built. However, on March 1, an appeals court vacated the USACE permit and directed it to follow to the law and prepare the EIS. Please watch for more on this.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, October 26, 2019 at the Lomas Santa Fe Country Club in Solana Beach, with the program focused on the First Thanksgiving in 1619 at Berkeley Plantation.

Thanks to Erica Hahn her contribution to this report.

 

Posted in 1617, 1619, 1619 First General Assembly, 17th Century Church Bell Tower, 17th century church tower, 2019 Annual Meeting, 400 Anniversary of 1619, Donna Derrick, Erica Hahn, First Africans in 2019, First California Company, Gotlieb, James Horn, Jamestowne Society | Comments Off on We Learned About Democracy, Diversity and Race at Jamestown in 1619 at Our Company’s 20th Anniversary

Dr. James Horn of Jamestowne Rediscovery will speak at our June 29, 2019 Annual Meeting and 20th Anniversary Commemoration

We will commemorate our company’s 20th Anniversary at our Annual Meeting and luncheon on Saturday, June 29 at noon at the Il Fornaio restaurant, 18051 Von Karman Avenue, Irvine, CA 92612. (949) 261-1444.

Dr. James Horn

Our speaker will be Dr. James Horn. President and Chief Officer of the Jamestown Rediscovery and author of 1619: Jamestown and the Forging of American Democracy.

RSVP By June 20, 2019 ~ Limited Capacity of Fifty Guests

Cost: $55.00; meal preferences :(1)  Penne alla Vodka ~ Pasta Tubes with bacon, vodka-cream-tomato sauce; (2)  Cappellacci di Zucca ~ Vegetarian Ravioli with butternut squash and grana padano cheese; (3)  Pollo Toscano ~ Free range rotisserie Chicken, vegetables and roasted potatoes;(4)  Breaded grilled ~ Filet of Sole, vegetables and roasted potatoes (4) Sogliola alla Calabrese.

Send your reservation, meal preference and check by June 20, 2019 to Governor Julie Plemmons ~ 4080 Hancock Street, Apt 3701, San Diego, CA 9110-5176

For a map and directions, please go to https://www.ilfornaio.com/irvine  Phone (949) 261-1444

For more information, please contact Julie Plemmons, Governor  at jpnkids@yahoo.com; phone: (619) 207-7006

Posted in 2019 Annual Meeting, 400 Anniversary of 1619, Early American History, First California Compoany, Historic Jamestown, James Horn, Jamestown Rediscovery, Julie Plemmons, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Dr. James Horn of Jamestowne Rediscovery will speak at our June 29, 2019 Annual Meeting and 20th Anniversary Commemoration

Ringing the New Bell

Our Society has been supporting, through contributions from its resources and donations from members (like you), the replication of the bell that once hung and rang from the tower of the early church on Jamestown Island. That bell has been replicated and will be displayed and played at the commemoration events this coming July.

Bonnie Hofmeyer, our Executive Director, recently was among the Jamestowne Rediscovery group that welcomed the replicate bell to where the fragments of its progenitor was found and used for the replication. Jamestowne Rediscovery has described how it happened. 

Bonnie said: “The Jamestowne Society was delighted to help fund the recreation of this important early bell, which many of our members’ ancestors heard. Visitors to Historic Jamestowne will soon be able to hear a sound that the first settlers knew well.”

Bonnie has shared photos of the event:

The bell (photo by Bonnie)

JR Welcoming group: Pictured: Dr. Bill Kelso, Michael Lavin, & Dr. Jim Horn of Jamestown Rediscovery. Benjamin Sunderlin, Owner & Campanologist of the B.A. Sunderlin Bellfoundry. Bonnie Hofmeyer.

Bonnie Rings the Bell for the Society

You can also hear Bonnie ring the bell in this very short (12 second) Facebook video by Cindy Deuell.

 

Posted in Bell, Historic Jamestown, James Fort, James Horn, Jamestown Church Bell Tower, Jamestown Rediscovery, Jamestowne Society, Kelso, News, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Ringing the New Bell

Our 2019 Winter Meeting Was Held in Temecula, Featuring the 400th Anniversary of the First Recorded Africans in Virginia

Thirty First California Company members and guests attended our 2019 winter meeting at Baily’s Restaurant in Old Town Temecula on Saturday, January 26. Governor Julie Plemmons convened the meeting at noon.

New member Ellen Anderson is introduced by Membership Chair Martha Gresham

Membership Chair Martha Gresham introduced and welcomed new member Ellen Anderson.

Lt. Governor Marty Sommercamp introduced the speaker, Michael Oddenino, whose topic was “The 400th Anniversary of the First Recorded Africans in Virginia.” Here is a summary of his remarks:

“1619 was significant as marking the first time African slaves arrived at the first permanent English settlement in the New World – Jamestown. Of course, the Spanish had the first European permanent settlement in what is now the U.S. in St. Augustine, Florida.

“Spain became the richest country in the 16th and 17th centuries as they reaped the riches of conquests in Mexico and Peru. Other European countries aspired to emulate the wealth gathering that made Spain the envy of the world at that time. Spain enforced their claim to the New World by aggressively attacking whomever they viewed as interlopers. The French Huguenots at Fort Caroline (in what is now Jacksonville, Florida) were wiped out by the Spanish at St. Augustine in 1565.

“The Virginia Company of London, in financing the new settlement in Virginia, specifically advised the settlers to establish themselves sufficiently upstream to better guard against Spanish attack. The James River and Jamestown Island appeared to satisfy the goals of protecting against Spanish attack as well as Indian attack. What the location did not offer was gold and silver like Mexico and Peru. That lack of easy riches led to challenging times for the Jamestown settlers.

“John Rolfe, who married Pocahontas, saved the economy of Jamestown by importing ‘sweet’ Spanish tobacco from the West Indies, resulting in a cash crop that proved invaluable to the fledgling English settlement. A shortage of labor made new settlers and other arrivals most welcome in exploiting this crop. The arrival of Africans in 1619 marked an increase in much needed labor for Jamestown.” [Ed. note: The “20. and odd” Africans who were landed in 1619 were captured by a Dutch-flagged English privateer in the Caribbean from a Portuguese slave ship and brought to Virginia. While this marked the beginning of a supply of  involuntary labor for Virginia, most of the needed agricultural labor in subsequent decades came from the transport of tens of thousands indentured and other English who vastly outnumbered Africans for most of the 17th century. The emergence of chattel slavery and mass import of Africans would only occur later in the century after the flow of English indentured servants would diminish.]

FCC Governor Julie Plemmons and Lt. Governor Marty Sommercamp with our speaker, Michael Oddenino.

“African slaves were in other parts of the world at that time. The Arabs had been taking Africans as slaves since the seventh century into the 19th century. Blacks had been enslaving other blacks in Africa for some time by 1619. The Portuguese had been taking slaves from the west coast of Africa to the New World in the 16th and 17th centuries. They also enslaved Brazilian Indians at that time. White Europeans were being taken as slaves in the 17th century by Arabs in North Africa. The majority of the population in Russia in 1619 was made up of white serfs, who were slaves by another name.

“The arrival of the first Africans to Jamestown in 1619 wasn’t a race issue, rather a labor issue. Throughout history slavery was more a function of the spoils of war rather than a race issue. A fascinating significance of 1619 in Jamestown is that approximately one month before the arrival of the Africans, the first representative assembly in America was convened. Virginia Company officials sought to promote the Jamestown settlement as being governed by the rule of law, that is to say, that all people are created equal under the law.

“1619 represents an interesting intersection of slavery, liberty, and democracy. We look to Lincoln‘s Gettysburg Address for the most articulate commentary on the challenges faced by our country as a result of slavery and the loftier aspirations underlying American democracy. The events of 1619 in Jamestown reverberate down to our times today as we continue to struggle with the challenge of insuring that the rule of law is more than aspirational. The issues and forces connected to slavery in America continue to present a struggle with that Jamestown combination of slavery, liberty, and democracy. It all began in Jamestown.”

Meeting items:

  • We have 67 members, a net gain of 11 members since last year. Our meetings averaged 40 in attendance.
  • Our Annual Meeting and the 20th anniversary of our company will be held in late spring. A special program us is being planned to complement the Society’s 400th anniversary commemorations of 1619 events in late July.
  • Seven Southern California residents have been admitted as new Jamestowne Society members since our last meeting and one has joined us. The rest were our members’ children or grandchildren.
  • Member Sandy Krutilek will host our table at the Southern California Genealogical Jamboree on Saturday, June 1. She is working on a new display for our table.

 

Posted in 1619 First General Assembly, 2019 Winter Meeting, 400 Anniversary of 1619, Early American History, First Africans in 2019, First California Company, Julie Plemmons, Marty Sommercamp, New Members, News, Oddenino, Virginia | Comments Off on Our 2019 Winter Meeting Was Held in Temecula, Featuring the 400th Anniversary of the First Recorded Africans in Virginia

Our Winter Meeting: Saturday, January 26 in Temecula

Our next meeting will be held at noon on Saturday, January 26, 2019, at Baily’s Restaurant, Temecula, CA; The program will be The 400th Anniversary of the Landing of the First Recorded Africans in Virginia.

Our presenter will be Michael L. Oddenino,  who lectures on a variety of historical subjects including the Civil War, and portrays Patrick Henry delivering his famous “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech. He is a University of Virginia School of Law graduate and practicing attorney in Arcadia, California.

The cost of the luncheon and meeting is $40. The meal choice is chicken schnitzel, medallions of pork tenderloin or baked salmon.

Please make your check payable to First California Company, Jamestowne Society and mail to Treasurer Richard Burke, 1810 W. Northern Ave A-5 153, Phoenix, AZ 85021-0965. Your reservation must be received by January 18, 2019.

Baily’s Restaurant is located at 28699 Old Town Front Street, Temecula, CA 92590. Phone: 951-676-9567. We will meet in its North Dining Room, 2nd Floor, Elevator Available. Website: www.baily.com

For more information or details, please contact Governor Julie Plemmons at jpnkids@yahoo.com or 619-207-7006.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Our Winter Meeting: Saturday, January 26 in Temecula

Jamestowne Society’s 2018 Fall Heritage Tour

By Scarlett Gathings Shepherd

The Jamestowne Society’s 2018 Fall Heritage Tour gave me the opportunity to visit my ancestral Randolph homes, Tuckahoe and Wilton, near Richmond, Virginia on November 2.

William Randolph and Mary Isham Randolph of Turkey Island Farm are considered the Adam and Eve of Virginia as their children married into all the other First Families of Virginia. Their descendants include Thomas Jefferson (3rd President of the United States), Robert E. Lee (commander of the Army of Northern Virginia during the War Between the States), John Marshall (Chief Justice of the Supreme Court), Peyton Randolph (President of the Continental Congress), Richard Bland II (member of both Continental Congresses), John Randolph of Roanoke (Congressman) amongst many others….including me as William Randolph and Mary Isham Randolph are my eighth great grandparents. Elizabeth Randolph and Richard Bland I are my seventh great grandparents.

William Randolph and Mary Isham Randolph had at least 9 children. Their first son was William Randolph II, whose son, William Randolph III, built Wilton. Thomas Randolph of Tuckahoe was the second son of William Randolph and Mary Isham, who began construction of Tuckahoe around 1714, located near Manakin, Virginia. Their third son was Isham Randolph, whose daughter, Jane Randolph, married Peter Jefferson; Thomas Jefferson was their son.  William and Mary Isham Randolph’s ninth child was Elizabeth Randolph, as mentioned above.

Susan McCrobie and me in front of Tuckahoe

It was a thrill to participate in the tour with my friend with my friend Susan McCrobie (2017-2019 Councilor and Communications Committee Chair) to visit my ancestral cousins’ homes. The group was divided into two buses. One went first to Tuckahoe and then Wilton, where we had a box lunch and the other group did the opposite. Our group leader was Anne Stokes Moore, (2017-2018 Historian and Special Events Committee Chairman), who did a great job.

Tuckahoe is the only early Randolph home still standing on its original site and was built by Thomas Randolph. Another William Randolph III, Thomas’s son, built a two story, four room house in 1733 around the original structure.

Later, a center hall and south wing were added, creating an H shape. The home is located on a bluff overlooking the James River. William’s wife died in 1744 and William in 1745 leaving young children. In his will, he asked that his cousin Jane Randolph (Jefferson) and her husband Peter Jefferson come to the Tuckahoe Plantation and care for their three orphaned children until his son, Thomas Mann Randolph Sr. came of age.

The Jeffersons did move to Tuckahoe with their three daughters and two-year-old son, Thomas Jefferson. The Jefferson children studied with their cousins in the one room school, which still exists, until 1752, when the family returned to their own plantation, Shadwell. Shadwell was on the land of the future Monticello and many Randolphs as well as Jeffersons are buried in the cemetery there. Thomas Mann Randolph Sr. had two sons named Thomas Mann Randolph Jr, born 1768, and Thomas Mann Randolph III, born 1792, by two different wives. (Thomas Mann Randolph Jr. married his cousin Martha Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson’s daughter.)

Tuckahoe has been privately owned and lived in by distant descendants of the Randolphs since 1935. Majority owners are Addison B. Thompson and wife Sue as well as his sister and brother, Jessie Ball Thompson Krusen and William T. Thompson III.

As mentioned, Wilton was constructed in 1753 by William Randolph III, son of William Randolph II and grandson of William Randolph and Mary Isham Randolph. The manor house was on 2,000 acres of land located on the north bank of the James River several miles east of Richmond. None of the three subsequent male descendants lived to the age of 40. The fourth descendant in line died at the age of 29, leaving Wilton to his daughter, Catherine. As the property was deeply in debt, she filed suit to sell Wilton in 1856 and was the last Randolph to own Wilton.

Wilton changed owners four times before going into foreclosure. The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Virginia saved the home from demolition and became the final and present owners of the house. It was carefully dismantled and categorized for removal to its present home, south of Richmond on the north bank of the James River. It is a two-story building, a museum in a historic home, which had to be rebuilt. Not only rebuilt but refurnished as nothing in the home had remained.

Both properties are beautifully kept up…One is lived in and one is a museum. They both can be visited, which I highly recommend. I had a personal interest in viewing them but everyone on the tour thoroughly enjoyed this unique learning experience.

Note: Lore has it that Jane Randolph Jefferson commented more than once that she had heard the Randolph family were descended from English Royalty, which her husband, Peter Jefferson, ridiculed. Genealogists today trace William Randolph’s heritage back to Prince John of Gaunt and his third wife, Lady Katherine Roet (Swynford.)

Tour group at Tuckahoe. I am in the front in my Coat of Many Colors.

Tuckahoe with the friendly resident cat, who followed us all around the grounds.

Susan McCrobie and me at Wilton

Tuckahoe plaque

Tuckahoe grounds

 

Posted in 2018 Fall Meeting, 2018 Heritage Tour, First California Company, Genealogical tours, Scarlett Gathings Shepherd, Susan McCrobie | Comments Off on Jamestowne Society’s 2018 Fall Heritage Tour

Our Successful 2018 Fall Meeting

Governor Julie Plemmons (left) with new members Tyler Jackson and Liza Leif, and Past Governor and Membership Chair Martha Pace Gresham.

Our Fall 2018 membership luncheon and meeting was held at the Long Beach Yacht Club at noon, Saturday, October 20.

Governor Julie Plemmons welcomed forty members, Friends and guests. Membership Chair Martha Pace Gresham then introduced new company members Tyler Jackson and Lisa Leif.

Historian Jim McCall noted that, at its events beginning July 27, 2019, the Society will commemorate the 400th anniversaries of the convening of the first General Assembly and arrival of the first Africans into English America. This will replace the customary May events.  He also shared a new book: 1619; Jamestown and the Forging of American Democracy, by Dr. James Horn. Governor Plemmons also urged all to see Jim’s article in the Society’s Fall 2018 magazine.

Past Governor Ginny Gotlieb, who is serving as a Jamestowne Society Councilor through 2020, reported more details of events that will be held July 27-30, 2019. Activities will take place on Jamestowne Island and at Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg, VA, and reservations are now open. She recommended reserving early as luncheons and other space constrained events sell out early.

A letter will be coming soon regarding supporting this 400th Commemoration and the archaeological work being done on Jamestowne Island. The Roll of Honor recognizes gifts from companies as well as from individuals. A program will begin next year to honor individual burgesses. All are encouraged to support these 2019 events.

After the luncheon, member Erica Hahn and a past Governor of the Orange County Colony of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, presented her lecture:

Erica Hahn

How Jamestown Led to the Sailing of the Mayflower

Both Jamestown, founded in 1607 by the Virginia Company of London, and Plymouth, founded in 1620 by English religious separatists, were products of the English drive for New World colonization as those of Spain and other major powers.

Three personages associated with Jamestown also ended up being major figures in the sailing of the Mayflower. First was Captain John Smith. Second was Captain Samuel Argall, employed by the Virginia Company to transport colonists to Jamestown. In 1613, he led an expedition that wiped out French colonies in Nova Scotia and Maine, thus securing the Atlantic seaboard for English speaking Protestants.

Smith returned to the New World in 1614, explored the New England coast and went home to publish A Description of New England, in which he described how it was ripe for colonization. The religious separatists then living in Holland must have seen the book. They had decided they needed to relocate and decided they would try colonization.

The third figure, and ultimately most important, was Sir Edwin Sandys.

Sandys was a principal officer of the Virginia Company and deeply committed to successful English colonization in the New World. He played a major role in keeping Jamestown going, including calling for the first elected representative body in Jamestown and conceiving the sending of 100 “maidens” to Jamestown to help stabilize the colony.

He was the son of the Bishop of Yorkshire, whose ecclesiastic seat was Scrooby. The Bishop’s manor was rented by the family of William Brewster, who would become one of the leading figures in the separatist community in Holland. In 1617, Brewster wrote to his old friend, Sandys, for help in transporting the separatists to the New World.

Sandys played a huge role in the negotiations, going as far as lending the separatists £300. He also helped to arrange an agreement between the separatists, antagonistic to the Church of England, and King James I, which enabled the grant of a patent for colonization. That patent allowed them to found a colony as far north as New York, but they ended up at Cape Cod in mid-November, as their captain was not willing to take them any farther.

The ship’s passengers, however, included both separatists and secular colonists, and there was a question as to who had authority to govern. In the end, all the men who were going to stay in the new colony agreed to a written accord of self-government, which we call the Mayflower Compact. It recognized that they were loyal subjects of King James and, being about to engage in democratic government, is certainly reflective of the influence of Sir Edwin Sandys.

The influence of Edwin Sandys on the language and content of the Compact is obvious. There would have been no Mayflower had Jamestown not been established first.

Following the program, Governor Plemmons convened the Membership Meeting and announced that we have plans for the coming two years focusing on the major 400th commemorations. She announced that ten new members have joined the company since June. Lieutenant Governor Marty Sommercamp reported that we have scheduled our 2019 Winter Meeting for Saturday, January 26 and is seeking suggestions for an appropriate venue in Riverside County. Her email contact is in the recently distributed Yearbook and also on our website. Governor Plemmons commended Treasurer Rick Burke for his major efforts to reorganize, update and complete the company’s financial records and accounts. His Treasurer’s report was presented and adopted and an amended 2019 budget was adopted. Governor Plemmons also reminded the membership and Friends of the Company to submit their dues as soon as possible as the October 1st due date has passed. She reiterated that membership is open to those who are Jamestowne Society members. Friends of the Company are individuals who are not yet Jamestowne Society members but would like to support our ongoing programs and be included in luncheon invitations and news of the Society via our blog.

Chaplain Sandy Bill conducted a brief memorial service for members Anita Guenin and Terry Whitcomb who had recently passed away.

Membership Chairman Martha Gresham encouraged those close to submitting their applications to do so prior to the end of the year as the membership and supplemental fees will then be increased.

Chaplain Bill provided the benediction and the meeting was adjourned at 2:10 pm.

Member Sandy Krutilek (center) with her grandson, Chris (left) and granddaughter, member Kathleen Flaherty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 1607, 1608, 1619 First General Assembly, 2018 Fall Meeting, Erica Hahn, First California Company, Gotlieb, Historic Jamestown, James Horn, Jamestowne Rediscovery, Jamestowne Society, Julie Plemmons, Long Beach Yacht Club, Membership, New Members, News | Comments Off on Our Successful 2018 Fall Meeting

How many English women came to Jamestown by 1620?

By Erica Hahn

We know that there were few women colonists in the first years of the Jamestown colony. As with almost all European colonies, men were the adventurers, going out into the wilderness with the idea of making their fortune and going home.

Image originally published in Harper’s Magazine 1883

It is hard to get a firm figure as to how many women left England to go to Jamestown in the early years.  Except for a couple of ships, we don’t have passenger lists and the death rate in Jamestown was so high that it obscures the identities of the first women.  But we can get a handle on this.

On a recent visit I made to the Historic Jamestowne archeological site, our guide from the National Park Service explained that the men were not farmers. Although the 1606 Charter issued by the King to the Virginia Company of London commended it to Christianize and civilize the native population, most of the colonists came mainly to find gold, as the Charter authorized.

In England, women performed the important task of brewing beer. Beer was critical because in Jamestown, as in England, stream water was not safe. Almost everyone drank beer, because the brewing process produced a safe drink. Home vegetable gardens were also a women’s specialty, and we know how hungry the settlers got. Lack of women was a significant factor in the hardships of the first years of the colony.

We have passenger lists for the first colonists to journey to Jamestown.  The very first in 1607 included 144 men and boys, of whom 104 remained in the new colony. Only 38 were still alive when the first supply ship arrived in 1608.

The First Supply arrived with no women passengers. The Second Supply came in October of 1608. It brought 70 passengers, including two women, Mistress Forrest, the wife of one of the settlers, and her 14-year-old maid, Anna Burras. Mistress Forrest disappeared from records, probably dead, but Anna survived, married John Laydon and lived until at least through 1627.

Then, there is the Third Supply of 1609, the most famous of the supply convoys.  By this point, the Virginia Company of London, which established the colony, was actively recruiting family groups. Broadsheets were being circulated around England.

The Third Supply, for which we have no complete passenger list, was made up of nine ships, including the flagship Sea Venture. Historians have estimated that the convoy included 400-500 passengers, including somewhere between 30 to 100 women and children.  A count of about 40-50 seems reasonable to me.

Seven of that Supply’s ships, but not the Sea Venture, made it to Jamestown by fall 1609. One of the women of whom we know was Temperance Flowerdew.  She went back to England, but then returned in 1619 as the wife of Governor George Yeardley.  She later married Governor Francis West and remained in Virginia until her death in 1627.  Two others, Joan Peirce, and her daughter Jane, were the subjects of an historical novel.

The Sea Venture carried 153 passengers, which included women and children, e.g., the pregnant first wife of John Rolfe. She and the baby died on Bermuda. A reconstructed passenger list for the Sea Venture shows about 15 women, wives and servants. They made an unintended stopover of nine months when the ship was wrecked on Bermuda. Most of passengers and crew survived and finally arrived in Jamestown in May 1610 aboard two self-built smaller boats.

At this point, London was shocked with lurid stories of cannibalism and, in particular, one husband who, during the Starving Time, murdered his wife for his own consumption.

Forensic facial reconstruction of “Jane” the girl from
James Fort.
JR3081F, James Fort Site, Jamestown Virginia.
Sculpted bust by Jiwoong Cheh. Coif head covering by Aimee Kratts, Costume Researcher. Reconstruction funding provided by Roy E. Hock and Margaret Nelson Fowler.
Image: Smithsonian Institution

Those stories were somewhat doubted for over four centuries until 2012, when the archeological team at Jamestown made a stunning discovery of a partial skeleton, whom they named “Jane.”  She was a teenager who had died in the Starving Time and been butchered for human consumption. Doug Owsley, the Smithsonian Institution’s noted forensic anthropologist, and Jamestown Rediscovery’s William Kelso spent considerable effort trying to identify her. She appears to be of the servant class, rather than gentry. They do not think that she was the murdered wife.

With the May 1610 arrival of the Sea Venture’s survivors, the population of the colony was up to about 230. In June, three more ships, led by new Governor Lord de la Warr, arrived from England, just as the survivors were setting out to abandon the colony.  They were compelled to stay.  This would be the Fourth Supply.  Again, we do not know if there were women in this group, although that would have been likely.

More ships came over the next few years with mostly male passengers, but the population in Jamestown itself continued to decline. In August 1611, Thomas Gates brought in a fleet of three ships. The passengers included 20 women, including his wife and daughter but his wife actually died before landfall.

A researcher named Anne Stevens, on her site Packrat Productions, has created a source-based list called Pilgrim Ship and Passenger Lists, listing all the ships which sailed to Virginia and New England starting in 1607 through 1638 with reconstructed passenger lists when possible. Two examples of the information she provides show that the John and Francis arrived in November 1614 with 34 men and 11 women, and, in 1617, the Treasurer brought 11 men taken from the Neptune.  A number of the ships are shown as carrying only male passengers.

In 1616, John Rolfe reported there were 65 women and children in the colony in a population of 351. By then, the establishment of new settlements near Jamestown was underway. The Bona Nova left London in 1618 or 1619 with approximately 120 passengers, of which six were women, who then appear in the 1624/5 muster.

Not all of the missing was dead. Some settlers went back to England.  The Spanish ambassador to England in 1612 claimed that some 40-50 colonists had deserted the colony to take Indian wives and were living in their villages. It is hard to know if his claim is trustworthy.

On April 10, 1619, the new Governor Yeardley arrived with his wife, the former Temperance Flowerdew. Per one of Stevens’ reconstructed passenger lists, there were approximately 15 women on board his ship, again either as wives or servants.

Altogether in 1619, another 1,440 colonists were sent over.  Notably, the Margaret led by Captain Woodlief, arrived in late 1619 with 35 passengers for which we have a passenger list, all men.  Its arrival was celebrated with a Thanksgiving prayer service.

By the spring of 1620, there were just over 1,000 colonists in all of Virginia; not just in Jamestown but also in the surrounding settlements. Not all were English, mind you, as the Virginia Company had also been recruiting on the continent for skilled craftsmen since the colony’s inception.

On 3 November 1619, Sir Edwin Sandys, the newly elected presiding officer of the Virginia Company, proposed sending 100 marriageable “maids” to Virginia to ensure its stability and survival.  At this point, the Company undertook active recruiting of selected single females, complete with vetting of their qualifications and some very nice perks, clothing, personal goods, food and shelter when they arrived, and their choice of accepting or not accepting any of the men as husbands.

In May and June 1620, pursuant to the “Maids for Virginia” project, the first “maids,” 90 women arrived on the Jonathan and the London Merchant. In the next few years, more ships brought both single women and married women to Virginia.

In 1618, the Company made land grants to “Ancient Planters,” defined as individuals who had come before Governor Thomas Dale left the colony, i.e., 1616, who had paid their own passage, owned at least one share of Virginia Company stock, or were otherwise qualified. A list of those to whom the grants had been made was compiled in 1623 or 1624 when the colony was about to be turned over to the Crown. The list has been reconstructed and shows 149 Ancient Planters, including 15 women.

In March 1620, a general muster of all of Virginia was taken and showed 892 persons of European descent. About 6/7 of them were male. Also present were 32 Africans, of which 15 or 17 were female.

In June of 1620, Edwin Sandys submitted a statement to His Majesty’s Council reporting that at that point there were 1,200 people in Virginia who had come in the last year, and a thousand from earlier years. He refers to the new arrivals as men.

By 1625 most of the colonists were no longer living in Jamestown itself, but instead in neighboring settlements along the James river.  The 1624/5 muster roll of all of the settlements in Virginia, which was an all name census, showed 124 people living in Jamestown itself, out of a total population in Virginia of 1218, ¾ of which were male, i.e. there were about 300 females. Historical novelist Connie LaPallo, studying the muster, has concluded that 5 were women who had come as late at the third Supply, i.e., 1610. I too have looked at the muster to confirm her claim.

From the 1616 census, list of land grants to Ancient Planters, 1620 general muster and 1624/5 muster, it is easy to see that most of the women present in Virginia in 1624 had come since 1620.

The 1624/5 muster took place after a major attack on colonists by the Indians in March 1621/22, which killed approximately 347 colonists.  Assuming the same percentage of women were killed as men, and the fact that most of the women in the colony at that point were later arrivals, it would not significantly affect my calculation as to how many women had come as of 1620. But as I said at the beginning, the awful death rate does make it hard to count how many women had come as colonists.

So, I calculate that, prior to the arrival in 1620 of the first “Maids for Virginia”, thousands of men had come to Jamestown but only about 100-150 women colonists.  There were only two women prior to the fall of 1609. The Third Supply brought perhaps 40 women. In the period from 1610 to 1619, while most of the ships brought no women, a few seem to have brought some wives and servants, often no more than one or two, and one or two bringing 10-20 at most. In 1616 there were 65 women and children in Jamestown. A generous estimate would assume that 50 women were adult women. Most of the sources are not wholly trustworthy but consistent enough on which to base a reasonable estimate. My estimate is also consistent with the award of land to Ancient Planters, 1620 muster, and 1624/5 muster, which showed very few women from earlier times.

This is my figure, but it is also similar to the estimate made by the National Park Service of 100 women had come to pre-1620 Jamestown.   And, obviously like the men, the vast majority of the women colonists met early deaths. Life was very hard indeed for the first colonists.

Sources

Kathleen Brown, “Women in Early Jamestown” Jamestown Interpretative Essays on Virtual Jamestown http://www.virtualjamestown.org;
Virginia Lee Hutcheson Davis, Jamestowne Ancestors, 1607-1699: Commemoration of the 400th Anniversary of the Landing at James Towne, 1607, Baltimore, 2006; on Googlebooks at https://books.google.com;
James Horn, A Land as God Made it: Jamestown and the Birth of America, New York, 2005;
William Kelso, Jamestown the Buried Truth, Charlottesville, 2006; and The Truth Revealed, Charlottesville, 2017;
 Connie Lapallo, Dark Enough to See the Stars in a Jamestown Sky, Greyfox Press, 2006;
Edward Duffield Neill, Notes on American History, Vols. 9-12, Boston, 1876 on Google books;
John Smith, The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles, London?, 1624, republished Glasgow, 1907, on Internet Archive, at https://archive.org;
National Park Service, “The First Residents of Jamestown”, and “The Indispensable Role of Women at Jamestown,” at https://www.nps.gov/jame/learn/historyculture;
Lyon Gardiner Tyler, The Cradle of the Republic, Jamestown and the James River, Richmond, 1906;
Mary Newton Stanard, The Story of Virginia’s First Century, Philadelphia 1928 on Googlebooks;
Ann Stevens, Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600s at https://www.packrat-pro.com (she has carefully created a complete list of the ships to Virginia and New  England with passenger lists when possible, always citing her sources, such as the 1624 muster, Hotten’s lists and the research of Peter Wilson Coldham,  and a book called The First Republic in America by Alexander Brown, Cambridge, 1898, who claimed to have access to unpublished sources.)
Marcia A. Zug, Buying a Bride, An Engaging History of Mail Order Matches, New York, 2016.

 

Posted in 1607, 1608, 1617, Erica Hahn, First California Company, geneaology, Historic Jamestown, Historical Notes, Jamestown Rediscovery, Jamestowne Society, News, Smithsonian, Uncategorized, Virginia | Comments Off on How many English women came to Jamestown by 1620?

Our October 20 Fall Meeting and Luncheon will feature “How the Jamestowne Colony Led to the Sailing of the Mayflower”

Our Fall Meeting and Luncheon will be held on Saturday October 20, 2018 at 12 noon at the Long Beach Yacht Club, Skipper’s Cove Room, 6201 E. Appian Way, Long Beach, CA 90803.  For directions, please go to: http://www.lbyc.org/directions

LBYC phone: 562-598-9401; Website: www.lbyc.org

Our program, How the Jamestowne Colony Led to the Sailing of the Mayflower, will be presented by Erica Hahn, a First California Company and Jamestowne Society member since 2013 and past Governor of the Orange County Colony of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.

The luncheon will cost $40 and be an Italian buffet of penne pasta with marinara or sausage velouté, mixed grilled vegetables, fruit salad, mixed Italian salad, garlic bread, and dessert.

Please make your reservation and check payable to First California Company, Jamestowne Society, and mail to:

Treasurer Richard Burke; 1810 W. Northern Ave A-5 153,; Phoenix, AZ 85021-0965

Phone: 804-938-5060; Email: firstcaljs@gmail.com

They must be received by Wednesday, October 10, 2018.

Please include your name (and others in your party, plus Email and Phone, and indicate whether a member, Friend, prospective applicant or guest.

For more information or other help, please contact Governor Julie Plemmons at her email address: jpnkids@yahoo.com or phone: 619-207-7006

 

Posted in 2018, 2018 Fall Meeting, Early American History, Erica Hahn, First California Company, Historic Jamestown, Jamestowne Society, Long Beach Yacht Club, Mayflower, News, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Our October 20 Fall Meeting and Luncheon will feature “How the Jamestowne Colony Led to the Sailing of the Mayflower”