On May 13, 1607, more than 100 Englishmen landed on a slightly elevated peninsula on the left bank of the "River of Powhatan," Virginia, 40 or 50 miles from its mouth; chose the spot for the capital of a new colony; cleared the trees from the ground ; and began the building of a village, which, in compliment to their King (James I.), they named Jamestown. They also gave his name to the river. The spot is more of an island than a peninsula, for the marshy isthmus that connects it with the mainland is often covered with water. The Rev. Robert Hunt, the pastor of the colony, preached a sermon and invoked the blessings of God upon their undertaking. Then, in the warm sunshine, and among the shadowy woods and the delicious perfume of flowers, the sound of the metal axe was first heard in Virginia. The first tree was felled for a dwelling on the spot first settled, permanently, by English men in America. The Indians were at first hostile, and the settlement built a stockade. Their first church edifice there was very simple. "When I first went to Virginia," says Captain Smith, "I well remember we did hang an awning (which was an old sail) to three or four trees to shadow us from the sun; our walls were rails of wood, our seats unhewed trees, till we cut planks ; our pulpit a bar of wood nailed to two neighboring trees; in foul weather we shifted into an old, rotten tent, for we had few better. . . . This was our church till we built a homely thing, like a barn, set upon crotchets, covered with rafts, sedge, and earth; so were also the walls. The best of our houses were of the like curiosity, but, for the most part, of far worse workmanship, that could neither well defend wind nor rain. Yet we had daily common prayer morning and evening, every Sunday two sermons, and every three months communion till our minister died." The church-" the homely thing, like a barn "-was burned while Captain Smith was a prisoner among the Indians, and he found the settlers building a house for the president of the council. When, not long after, he was installed in that office, he ordered the " building of the palace to be stayed, as a thing needless," and the church to be rebuilt at once. ( This Goes With The Picture Of Settlers Of James Town ).
The 1624 Jamestown Muster (Census) taken on January 22, 1624, shows Richard Biggs, 41, and his wife Sarah, 35, as residents of West & Sherley hundred (sic)in the corporation Charles Cittie (sic). Their son Richard, 3, born in the new world, lived with them.
Richard arrived in Virginia in August, 1610, on the Swann, while Sarah immigrated in May, 1618 on the "Marygold" (sic).
On the West & Sherley hundred (sic) Richard owned eight "neat" cattle, 21 swine, and 30 poultry. The census taker added these notes:
"Neat cattell yong and old" and "Swine yong and old."
Richard owned one boat and three houses. Stocked within, the Biggs had accumulated 70 bushels of corn, 9 bushels of peas, and 100 dry fish. As for arms & munitions, he stocked 30 lbs of powder, 200 lbs. of lead, two complete armor,
Richard Biggs, d. Jamestowne, Norfolk Co., VA in 1626
1625-26 , Jamestowne (Jamestowne), Norfolk Co., VA
Richard Biggs served as a member of the House of Burgesses in Jamestowne, VA from 1625-26. The House of Burgesses was the first legislature/elected governing body founded on American soil. It followed the founding of Jamestowne in 1607, the first immigrant colony established in America.
I am trying to find information (with sources) for the descendants of Richard Biggs from England who is listed as an "Ancient Planter" in Jamestown, VA. He is listed as having arrived on the ship "Swann" in August 1610-age 41. His wife is listed as Sarah, age 35 and having arrived in May 1618 on the ship "Marygold" with their 3 year old son Richard. In the 1624 census of Jamestown,Va, all of the above are listed being the same age as was listed for them when they arrived, so there is a bit of a problem there. Also listed in the 1624 Jamestown census are another Richard Biggs, a Thomas Biggs and a William Biggs. Does anyone know who these might be?
I checking some of the world connect sites on rootsweb, I have run across several Richard Biggs married to a Sarah in the same time frame- one is even listed as "Ancient Planter" and although they may show a child Richard, they also show a child, John and show this John Biggs as being the same who married Joanna/Johannah Norsworthy or Sawyer ( I've seen both names and a combination of both names) and the father of Katherine Biggs/Bigge who married Thomas Mercer.
Richard Biggs and the Ancient Planters
"Richard Biggs may have been an 'Ancient Planter'. 'Ancient Planters' were English colonists who arrived in Virginia before the Mayflower and worked off their debt of passage by farming and planting. Many of these colonists were slain in the Jamestown Massacre of 1622, so, to be counted as a descendant of the survivors today is a great honor. Today, the 'Order of Descendants of Ancient Planters' is a society whose members can prove descent from the names listed at the following website. There are recent indications that more than one person named Richard Biggs immigrated in this timeframe, however, only one is listed as an "Ancient Planter". Whether Asa descended from the one Richard or another might be important if we are to gain access to the society, but in this context, it is a moot point. The important consideration here is the length of presence on this continent. We are proud that our English Biggs ancestors were some of the first to arrive and colonize this great country."
↑the Jamestown 1624/5 Muster Records. This is the main Muster database. It includes information about household members, including in many cases their age, when they arrived in Virginia, and which ship they arrived on. Interesting searches can be made for individuals who arrived on the same ship, or children under 5 who may have been born in Virginia. As another example, searching for "Sands%" in the Muster field returns a list of individuals, family members and servants, who were a part of the Sands household.
↑ Source: #S1 Record for Richard Biggs Record for John Biggs Record for Richard Biggs
Source S-2069555669 Title: Virginia Census, 1607-1890 Author: Jackson, Ron V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp. Publication: Ancestry.com Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999.Original data - Compiled and digitized by Mr. Jackson and AIS from microfilmed schedules of the U.S. Federal Decennial Census, territorial/state censuses, and/or census substitutes.
Source S-2084837787 Title: Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s Author: Gale Research Publication: Ancesgtry.com Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.Original data - Filby, P. William, ed.. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s. Farmington Hills, MI, USA: Gale Research, 2009.