Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Creation of Jamestown #virginiapioneersnet


Map of JamestownJJames City County was created in 1634 as James City Shire by order of King Charles I. The county seat is Williamsburg which was first settled in 1607 by English colonists. Jamestown, which evolved into James City County, was named for King James I. When King James revoked the charter of the London Company in 1624, Virginia became the first royal colony of the king. By 1634, the colony divided into eight counties, among them were James City and the Charles River, now known as York. The division into counties laid the foundation for strong local government that later served as a model to states as they were admitted into the union. Every year until 1632, the Assembly met at the Jamestown church. The Assembly is believed to have met in the home of the governor until about 1699 when the capital was moved inland to Middle Plantation, which was renamed Williamsburg. Moving the county seat was unpopular with local residents, however in 1715 it was was moved from Jamestown to Williamsburg. Some very historical events occurred in Jamestown. For one thing, the rebellion of Nathaniel Bacon and his followers in an effort to get the governor to prevent Indian raids and massacres, burned Jamestown. 

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

"Green Spring" Plantation #virginiapioneersnet

"Green Spring" Plantation 

Governor William BerkeleyThe home of Governor William Berkeley was known as Green Spring and the manor house was divided into six apartments. As Royal Governor, Sir William was granted 984 acres of land designated "by name of Green Spring" in June 1643. in Jamestown, Virginia. By the 1660's, the total property's size had increased to 2,090 acres. The house and estate were named for a mossy spring which a visitor in the 1680's described as "so very cold that 'twas dangerous drinking the water thereof in Summer-time." An additional 3,000-acre tract bordering the western boundary of Green Spring was set aside as "Governor's land" and was for the use of Berkeley while he remained in office. Source: Records of York County, vol. 1638-1648, p. 218. 
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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Markets and Fairs in the Virginia Colony #virginiapioneersnet

Markets and Fairs 

Norwich Market
1799 Norwick Market in England. In 1649, the local authorities decided to hold markets every week in Jamestown, which was one form of a familiar English fair. English fairs were the oldest of the trade institutions and were encouraged during an age when the population was sparse. People could come together from a distance and exchange their products. The Jamestown markets were restricted to Wednesdays and Saturdays of each week and the boundaries of a site were carefully laid off. The market place in Jamestown extended from the eastern side of the James River for two miles. Source: Hening's Statutes, vol. I, p. 362. 

More information concerning Virginia adventurers and their origins is found under "Origins" and available to members of Virginia Pioneers 
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Jamestown Colonists Slaughered by Indians #virginiapioneersnet

Jamestown Colonists Slaughtered by Indians in 1622/3 

Flax
Hardships in the Colony: Crop: A Field of Flax. More than 300 Englishmen, women and children died in the massacre of 1622. Effectually, their settlements were reduced to six or seven in number. The several children who survived the massacre had hidden themselves in the woods. A great hunger and hardship settled upon the English. The glass-making houses could no longer be built at Jamestown, and the iron works planned at Falling Creek after some ore was found on the ground, slipped into oblivion. King Charles, being informed of the slaughter and ruination of the colony sympathized and dissolved the Virginia Company in 1626. The result was that the country and government was reduced, and he appointed the governor and council himself, this time directing that all patents and processes to issue in his own name, and he would receive a quit-rent of two shillings for every hundred acres of land. He established a constitution to be by a governor, council and assembly for apportioning land and granting patents to particular adventurers. The libery of taking up land, and the ambition each man had of being lord of a vast, though unimproved territory, together with the advantage of the many rivers, which afford commodious roads for shipping at every man's door, made settlement of towns difficult. Source: The History of Virginia by Robert Beverley. 

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Causey's Care #irginiapioneersnet

Causey's Care (pronounced Cleare) 

Because of the lost records of James City County, genealogists are constantly researching around that country endeavering to learn more about its first settlers. Nathaniel Causey was an old soldier who came to Virginia in the first Supply vessel early in 1608. It was on December 10, 1620 that he obtained a land grant which he started developing as a private plantation. From all indications, that plantation was located to the east of West and Shirley Hundred on the north side of the James River. During the year of 1624 Causey sat on the Assembly, presumably represeing Jordan's Journey where his residence was listed. He was among the 31 who signed the Assembly's reply to the declaration of charges against the Smith administration of the Colony made by Alderman Johnson and others. His plantation, Causey's Care was across the river from Jordan's Journey and for years served as a landmark of the vicinity. Causey appears occasionally in the court records as when on May 23, 1625, he assumed a debt and obligation to "Doctor Pott" which required the delivery of "one barrel of Indian corne" to "James Cittie at the first cominge downe of the next boate." Another land entry appears on May of 1625 for 200 acres of land. At the time, his wife was Thomasine who had also come to the in 1609 where she resided without about five servants. However, the Indian massacre of 1622 changed the lives of the early settlers rather dramatically. Causey was reported as being " cruelly wounded, and the salvages about him, with an axe did cleave one of their heads, whereby the rest fled and he escaped." s
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Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Littletown Plantation in Jamestown #virginiapionoeersnet

Littletown Plantation 

LittletonAnyone who is familiar with Virginia wills, estates and deed records has seen the name of George Menefie in many documents. He appears to have been the wealthiest colonist in the early days, owning a 1200-acre plantation near Jamestown. He received the land grant when he transported 24 immigrants into the colony and later patented another 3000 acres for paying the passage of 60 individuals. In March 1633, Dutch trader David DeVies observed that the two-acre garden of Menefie was "full of Provence roses, apple, pear and cherry trees, with different kinds of sweet-smelling herbs, such as rosemary, sage, marjoram, thyme." Richard Kemp later acquired the tract and called it Rich Neck. Rich Neck was located in the Middle Plantation between the York and James Rivers. According to the Digital Arcaelogical Archive of Comparative Slavery, the plantation was located in Williamsburg. Kemp owned the land until 1650 when he died and left the estate to his wife. However, the wife remarried Sir Thomas Lunsford who gained the property three years later upon her death. 
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Thursday, August 31, 2017

What is a Magazine Ship? #virginiapioneersnet



What is a Magazine Ship? 

Magazine Ships

The magazine is the name of a place where ammunition is stored on board a vessel and included explosive materials. The London Company was quite strict in the weapons sent to the colony and the affairs of the magazine were administered by a director who was assisted by a committee of five counselors. One the cargo was received into the colony, the accounts thereof were required to be passed upon by a team of auditors specially nominated in a Quarter Court. Thus, the weapons received into the colony for defensive maneuvers were carefully guarded as they were sorely needed by the colonists as a defense against a huge population of marauding Indian tribes in the region. This means that the adventurers held separate meetings to conduct all routine business affairs. During the settlement of Jamestown, no outside trader was permitted to ship supplies into the Colony. The first vessels were referred to as Supply ships because they transported supplies into the Colony as well as a those passengers proposing to reside in Virginia. Fevers, dysentery and Indian attacks were a way of life and restricted the settlers to reside within the confines of a palisade fence. The first ten years or so, a number of Supply ships arrived in the colony and it was not uncommon for the settlers to assume the return voyage to England in search of a new wife to replace the one which had died. After the year of 1619, the vessel which conveyed articles and supplies into the Jamestown settlement were called a magazine ships. The articles purchased by the adventurers who entered into a joint stock (known as the magazine) were conveyed by the magazine ship to the New World. Also, its cargo was confined to necessities. Several immigrants were appointed to take charge of the goods both before and after the vessel arrived in Jamestown. The first magazine vessel was called the Susan, a small vessel whose cargo was restricted only to that clothing which the Colonists needed the most. The goods of the Susan were placed in the care of Abraham Piersey as the Cape Merchant, both during the voyage and after Virginia was reached. As the struggling colonists commenced their chores, the only commodities produced were those which assured a profit when sold in England, such as tobacco and sassafras. The exported cargo was then exchanged for the contents of the arriving magazine ship.


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