This is the fourth edition of the most celebrated compendium of family histories in the entire field of Virginia genealogy. Prepared under the auspices of the Order of First Families of Virginia, 1607-1624/5 in anticipation of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, and edited by the foremost authority on Virginia genealogy, John Frederick Dorman, this edition extends the lines of descent of the founding families of Virginia from four generations to six, bringing most families down to the Revolutionary or early Federal periods.
The purpose of the book is to establish descents–through the sixth generation–of the approximately 150 individuals who can be identified as (1) Adventurers of Purse (i.e. stockholders in the Virginia Company of London) who either came to Virginia in the period 1607-1625 and had descendants or who did not come to Virginia within that period but whose grandchildren were residents there; or (2) Adventurers of Person, 1607-1625 (i.e. immigrants to Virginia) who left descendants. With roots deeply embedded in the social fabric of the United States, descendants of these original settlers today number in the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, and like descendants of the Mayflower passengers, they claim an ancestry that is unique in American history.
The foundation for this work is the famous “Muster” of January-February 1624/25– essentially a census taken by the Royal Commission which succeeded the Virginia Company to determine the extent and composition of the Jamestown settlements. In the Muster (which is reproduced in entirety here in Volume One), the name of each colonist appears with the location of his home and the number in his family, together with information about his stock of food, his supply of arms and ammunition, his boats, houses, and livestock. In all, about 1,200 persons are named in the Muster, of whom approximately 150 are shown here to have left descendants to the sixth generation. Most scholars agree that the total population of Jamestown between 1607 and 1625 was about 7,000, so by 1624/5 only about one-seventh of the colonists had survived the punishing conditions of the Virginia wilderness.
In addition to the Muster, this work builds on the investigations of dozens of scholars, correcting, revising, and supplementing the best genealogical scholarship of the past half century. New discoveries, newly available information, and a further reevaluation of evidence concerning previously accepted relationships have led, in some instances, to wholesale changes in the accepted genealogies. In consequence, this fourth edition brings together the results of all the most recent scholarship on these families, expanding the limits of what is presently known and opening up possibilities for research beyond the sixth generation.
Far too large to be published in a single volume, the new fourth edition is to be published in three
volumes at one year intervals. The first volume, now available, covers founding families alphabetically from A-F, and includes the following:
Andrews, Bagwell, Baley-Cocke, Barkham-Jenings, Barne, Bates, Bayly, Beheathland, Bennett (Edward), Bennett (Samuel), Bennett-Chapman, Bernard, Bibby, Bickley, Bland, Boyce, Boyle-Mountney, Branch, Buck, Burwell, Bush, Calthorpe, Calvert, Carsley, Carter, Chaplaine, Chew,
Chisman, Claiborne, Clay, Clements, Cobb, Codrington, Cole, Cope, Cox, Crew, Croshaw, Crump, Curtis, Davis, Dawson, Delk, Digges, Edloe, Epes, Evelyn, Farrar, Fisher, Fleet, Flood, Freeman.
- Volume One covers a total of fifty-two families that were established either by settlers of Virginia prior to 1625 or members of the Virginia Company whose descendants came to Virginia later.
- Of these fifty-two families, seven have not been treated in previous editions and thirty-six are traced to the sixth generation.
- Over 7,800 individual descendants resident in Virginia (or subsequently in other states) are identified.
- Family accounts are supported by 10,000 footnote citations to manuscripts or published records.
- The index volume contains 19,000 name, place, and subject entries, many with multiple page citations.
John Frederick Dorman
John Frederick Dorman has edited The Virginia Genealogist since 1955. He has also compiled seventy-eight volumes of abstracts of colonial Virginia records and fifty-one volumes of Revolutionary War records, and as if that were not enough to establish his credentials as Virginia’s foremost genealogist, he has also compiled and published genealogies of the Robertson, Farish, Preston, Claiborne, Epes, and Sebrell families. A Certified Genealogist since 1965, and a former President and Executive Director of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, Mr. Dorman is a Fellow of the prestigious fifty-member American Society of Genealogists and a Fellow of the National Genealogical Society and Virginia Genealogical Society. With his long and distinguished career in Virginia genealogy, Mr. Dorman now brings his experience to bear on Virginia’s most celebrated collection of genealogies.