no image

William Cantrell (abt. 1580)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
William Cantrell
Born about in Derbyshire, Englandmap
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Father of
Died [date unknown] [location unknown]
Cantrell-39 created 13 Sep 2010 | Last modified
This page has been accessed 1,191 times.

Categories: Questionable Gateway Ancestors | Jamestown, Virginia Colony | US Southern Colonist.

US Southern Colonies. This person settled in the US Southern Colonies Prior to incorporation into the USA.
If you are interested in this profile,
please check out the US Southern Colonies Project!




William Cantrell/Cantrill was born around 1580 in Derbyshire, England.

He was one of the first adventurers to the New World, landing at Jamestowne, Virginia in 1608. Jamestowne was settled the previous year, becoming the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Captain John Smith noted that In 1608, "Master Nelson arrived with his lost Phoenix." He also provided a list of new arrivals in a note entitled, "Their names that were landed in this Supply." He listed thirty-two "gentlemen," a list which included "William Cantrell."[1]

Among Smith's many duties and interests was Exploration and Discovery , up, down, and around the James River. On 2 Jun 1608, Smith left the fort "to performe his discoveries," with a company of adventurers which included six "gentlemen" (a group which included "William Cantrill"), four soldiers, a blacksmith and two fishermen. The discovery company left "in an open barge of two tunnes burthen, leaving the Phenix at Cape Henry, we crossed the bay to the Easterne Shore and fell with the isles called Smith's Iles." The record of this adventure includes encountering "2 grimme and stout Savages," being taken to meet the "King" of the Werowans, catching more fish than they could cook and eat by stabbing them with their swords, and their captain's near fatal encounter with a stingray.[2]

This second voyage of discovery took the hardy adventurers into modern-day Delaware, to within five miles of modern-day Pennsylvania, and up the Potomac River ten miles past the current site of Washington DC. From June 2 to July 21, 1608, the company of discovery traversed nearly 1,000 miles [3]

William Cantrill participated fully in this second discovery and Cantrell's Point on the James River, is named for him. Although Cantrill's journals have not survived, in his own "Narrative" Smith acknowledges included material having come "From the writings of Captaine Nathaniel Powell, William Cantrill, Sergeant Boothe, Edward Gurganey" [4]



[1] Smith, John, The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England & the Summer Isles, Glasgow: James MacLehose and Sons, publishers to the University, New York: Macmillan Company, MCMVII (1907), p. 110, 111

[2] Smith, John, Narrative of Early Virginia, 1606-1625, Vol. 5, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1907, pp. 141, 142

{3} Bourne, Joel K., Jr. National Geographic, June 2005, pp. 46-49

[3] Smith, "Narrative", p. 325



Thank you to George Cantrell for creating Cantrell-917 on 18 Aug 13. Click the Changes tab for the details on contributions by George and others.

  • This person was created through the import of mostrecentforgramps.ged on 13 September 2010.

More: Family Tree & Genealogy Tools

Sponsored by MyHeritage

Searching for someone else?
First: Last:

Do you have a GEDCOM? Login to have every name in your tree searched. It's free (like everything on WikiTree).

Sponsored by MyHeritage

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with William by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Family Tree DNA.


There are no public comments yet.

William is 22 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 28 degrees from Bob Dylan, 23 degrees from AJ Jacobs, 26 degrees from Michael Phelps and 22 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II of the Commonwealth Realms on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

C  >  Cantrell  >  William Cantrell