Settlers to Jamestown Purchased Wives

Genealogy Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin

If you have an ancestor to Jamestown, Virginia, then you know that the records did not survive. The first time was by Nathaniel Bacon in 1676, a rebellion which resulted because the Royal Governor refused to afford protection for the settlers against the Indians. Ultimately, Yorktown served as the capitol, and those records are intact, so do not overlook that research.

Because of the hardships endured in the early settlement of James Town, one of the things permitted by the London Company was the purchasing of wives. In tracing these families, I have discovered a number of persons, before and after the 1622 massacre particularly, who returned to London to acquire a wife. First, disease and rat poison (arsenic) from the vessels caused a rank loss of life and the later massacre, of course, killed off a number of families. The London Company investors added this provision to their charter. Nearly 400 persons were slain in the colony on March 22, 1622. The following records are available on Virginia Pioneers