|JOHN THOMAS, born in Wales 1585-1590, arrived in Jamestown 24 May 1610. He later lived near Williamsbug, Viriginia, on the north side of Queen's Creek in the County of Yorke, raising his sons with his wife DOROTHY. His passage to Jamestown in 1609 had been paid by SERGEANT WILLIAM SHARPE, so no doubt he had to work off this obligation before acquiring land of his own.
IN 1609 JOHN THOMAS embarked on the Sea Venture in England, bound for the new colony overseas, with SIR THOMAS GATES. The ship sailed from Plymouth, England, on 2 June that year. It was the flagship of a fleet of seven vessels and two pinnaces, a fleet called the "Third Supply" by the Virginia Company. On 24 July, about eight days from Virginia, the fleet encountered a hurricane. In his book on the family Edison H. Thomas quotes an account of the journey written by WILLIAM STRACHEY, secretary-elect of the new Virginia colony.
"A dreadful storme and hideous began to blow from out of the north-east, which swelling, and roaring as it were by fits, some houres with more violence than others, at length did bete all light from heaven, which like an hell of darkenesse turned blacke upon us, so much the more fuller of horror ... Waters like whole rivers did flood in the ayre..."
STRACHEY sent a copy of his journal back to England to his friend WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, who wrote a play titled The Tempest, using much of the journal in the play's dialogue.
The Sea Venture floundered off the coast of Isle of Bermuda, washing ashore there three days later. Nothing daunted the victims of this disaster who rallied and built two pinnacles capable of withstanding the rough seas, which they named Deliverance and Patience, and on the 24th of May 1610 they came sailing up the James River to the headquarters of the new colony with all safe on board, save LIEUT. EDWARD WATTERS and one other, who had elected to remain in the Bermudas to which they had taken a fancy. Another member of this fateful journey was JOHN ROLFE who later would marry the Indian princess POCOHONTAS.
JOHN THOMAS is the ancestor of LAODICIA THOMAS SHOLAR, JOHN WILLIAM'S great great grandmother, who went with her children to Trigg Co., KY, after her husband, BENJAMIN SHOLAR, died. Her brother JAMES, is the ancestor of the many Trigg Co. THOMAS descendants.
JOHN CHANDLER was born 1600 in England and died by 1659. The Chandler Family Association has traced the CHANDLER line back to JOHN CHANDLER who immigrated to the Jamestown Colony aboard the ship Hercules in 1610. His arrival is noted in Hotten's book and other informatiion from history passed down in the family, records of the "Virginia Company of London'" and various other records. The Association account notes that JOHN was 10 years old when he arrived in the New World after many sea battles on the Hercules, arriving with two other ships commanded by LORD DE LA WARR and GOVERNOR THOMAS WEST. Virtual Jamestown notes that WEST and DE LA WARR(E) landed in Jamestown 10 June 1610 with 150 men.
ROBERT WILD, born 1585 in England, probably came to Jamestown with LORD DE LA WARR also. He was appointed "Clerk at Jamestown Store" by him in 1610. He had an estate in York which was appraised 27 Nov. 1647.
JOHN CHANDLER'S 5th great granddaughter, PRISCILLA CHANDLER, married LUKE WILES, ROBERT WILD'S 6th great grandson. They were the great grandparents of HELEN WILES SHOLAR, the mother of JOHN WILLIAM.
It is not known why our ancestors came to Jamestown. they were not seeking the religious freedom like those who came to New England later. They kept their English church and the ways of their homeland. More likely they were seeking the gold found by the Spaniards farther south. Instead they found hardships until they learned about the land and its bounties from the native Americans.
The original settlement of Jamestown burned in 1676. It was rebuilt but the state house burned 31 Oct 1698, taking all the remaining records. The seat of government was moved to Middle Plantation, later named Williamsburg. [See our "founding mother there'"]
Suggested reading on Jamestown: Jamestown 1544-1699, Carl Bridenbough, or visit The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities or one of the many other Jamestown web sites.
| THREE GRANDFATHERS IN JAMESTOWN 1610
2007 was the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, the first English settlement in America. Though no known ancestors arrived in 1607, there were three "grandfathers" there by 1610: JOHN THOMAS and JOHN CHANDLER, 7th great grandfathers of JOHN WILLIAM SHOLAR, and ROBERT WILD, an 8th great grandfather.
|OTHER EARLY JAMESTOWN RESIDENTS:
THOMAS GATES [cir 1590-cir1660], is listed as a gentleman in the Second Supply (September 1608). There is also a record of his arrival on the Swan in 1609 [1610 arrival is also listed elsewhere. ELIZABETH GATES [cir 1600 - ], his wife, arrived on the Warwick in 1620. These were ELIZA JANE'S 7th great grandparents.
ISAAC MADDESON/MADISON [cir 1590 - 1624], ELIZA JANE'S 8th great grandfather, is said to have arrived in Jamestown in 1619 from England. MARY COUNCILOR MADISON, 8th great grandmother is said to have arrived in 1618 aboard The Treasuer. It is not known why she came before her husband. ISAAC was appointed to the Council in 1624 and is listed in the Register of Qualifying 17th Century Ancestors of the Jamestown Society. He died in the Shirley Hundred in the Indian War 1624. MARY was listed as a widow in the Feb 1624/25 muster.
|The Sea Venture|