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William Powell (abt. 1577 - abt. 1622)

Capt. William Powell aka Powel, Powle
Born about in Englandmap
Son of and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died about in Virginiamap
Profile last modified | Created 12 Mar 2011 | Last significant change: 28 Nov 2021
13:35: Wanda Richards edited the Biography for William Powell (abt.1577-abt.1622). (Adding sources. Bio improvement. ) [Thank Wanda for this | 1 thank-you received]
This page has been accessed 3,487 times.

Contents

Biography

Jamestown Church Tower
William Powell was a Jamestown colonist.
Flag of England
William Powell migrated from England to Virginia.
Flag of Virginia

William Powell was born about 1577 in England. Captain Powell's honorifics included: "Gentleman, Knight of Surrey, Captain of the Governor's Guard, Commander of Jamestown."

In May 1609 William Powell signs the Second Virginia Charter, in London, England, and on June 2, 1609, he leaves England for Virginia on board the “Sea Venture” along with 8 other ships. On July 25 the ships become separated in storm. One ship sink and the “Sea Venture” is run aground on a reef off of Bermuda on the 28th.The survivors spent the 9 months building 2 smaller ships out of salvaged material from the “Sea Venture” and island timber.

Capt. William Powell was an early Virginia colonist, landowner, and militia officer. His name does not appear on any of the extant passenger lists, but Wikipedia reports he arrived at Jamestown, Virginia before May 1610 and was one of the 500+ passengers aboard the nine ships which made up the "third supply".

Included in the "List of Settlers by Occupation in the 2nd Supply of Fall 1608" by Virtual Jamestown is, "Master [William] POWELL, tradesman,"[1] so apparently Captain William POWELL was in the 2nd supply of Sep 1608 (after the 1607 census). But both he and his wife Elizabeth WELLES [Wyllys] were in the 3rd supply of 23 May 1610, after the ill-fated "Sea Venture" ship wreck on a Bermuda offshore reef."

In 1610 Powell's servant, Thomas Garnett, arrived aboard the ship "Swan". [2]

In October 1617 Gov. Samuel Argall commissioned William Powell to serve as Captain of the Governor's Guards and Company in Jamestown, Virginia. [3] [4]

On 03 August 1619 Capt. William Powell presented a petition against his servant, Thomas Garnett, for extreme neglect of his business, abusing the house in sight of both Master and Mistress, wantonness of a woman servant, a widow, false accusations, theft, and for bringing his fellow servants to testify on his side. The General Assemby decided for Capt. Powell, and the Governor sentenced Garnett that he should stand four days with his ears nailed to the pillory and every of those four days should be publicly whipped (p12). [5]

In 1619 Captain William Powell and Ensign William Spence served as the burgesses for the James City Incorporation. [5] William was therefore a member of the General Assembly which began on 9 August 1619. This was "the first popular representative legislative assembly ever held within the limits of the present United States". The "Great Charter" for the new government was divided into four topics or "books" and Capt. William Powell was a member of the committee for perusing the first and third books. [3]

In the list of "Patents Granted", Capt. William Powell (or Powle) had one property of 200 acres and another of 350 acres, both planted at "Tappahanna over against James Cittie" in the James City Incorporation. [6]

Death

Capt. William Powell is assumed to have died of disease by 07 January 1623/24 [7] when a disagreement over wages and property came before the court of colonial Virginia. [8] An alternate cause of death:

Late in 1622 Captain Powell led an expedition against the Chickahominy Indians, an offensive that claimed his life.[9]

According to Wikipedia, his widow, Margaret remarried before 13 June 1625 to Edward Blayney, or Blayny, who made a claim in the right of Capt. Powell's children. [8]

Marriages

William Powell first married in England to Elizabeth (Wyllys) Powell. There is conflicting info about whether she died in England or whether she emigrated to Virginia. No source has been located to verify this marriage. The information on her profile states she had 5 chldren with Powell between 1611 and 1626 and died in Isle of Wight County in 1635. This does not fit with the evidence that William Powell was married during this time period to Margaret (of uncertain maiden surname).

William arrived in Virginia by 1610 and was apparently married to Margaret by that date. They were still married when he died in late 1622. He is said to have owned property on Hog Island which Margaret's second husband, Edward Blaney, attempted to protect for Powell's orphans. How many children Powell had, and what their names are, has not been confirmed.[9]

Powell Immigrants

1608- A soldier, John Powell, was with Capt. John Smith. [10]

1609- A "Master William Powell" was mentioned by Smith (p191). [10] Unclear whether this is the identical William Powell.

1609- A John Powell arrived aboard the Swallowe, [6] but no known relation to Capt. William Powell.

1610- A William Powel, Gentleman, signed on 23 May 1609 in London, England, "The Second Charter of Virginia". [11] He left England for Virginia on board the "Sea Venture" along with eight other ships. On 25 July 1609 the ships became separated in a storm. One ship sank and the "Sea Venture" ran aground on a reef off of Bermuda on 28 July 1609. The survivors spent nine months building two smaller ships out of island timber and salvaged material from the “Sea Venture”. They arrived in Jamestown on 23 May 1610. [7]

1618- There was a Thomas Powell aboard the Sampson. [6]

There was a Capt. Nathaniel Powell in early Virginia, but according to Collins, he was not a close relation (if any relation) to William Powell. [7] When Nathaniel Powell and his wife were killed by Native Americans on 22 March 1622, the brother, Thomas Powell of Howelton, Suffolk, England, inherited the estate. [7]

Research Notes

Upon saving 1 september 2020, received the following automated message:

Warning: Check the data.
  • A father's death date (Powell-979 died 1622) should not be more than nine months before one of his children's birth dates (Powell-2632 born Jan 1623) .

Detached profile: The profile for William Powell has been removed as father (no evidence).

Parents

According to researcher, Doug Collins, this William Powell was born on 16 March 1577 in Surrey, England with his baptismal record at St.Olave Parish Church, showing that he was a son of John Powell, who is said to have been a brewer. [7]

Two sets of possibilities for his parents include:

  1. John Powell, b: c1558, res: St.Olave Parish, Surrey Co, England and an unknown wife.
  2. Hugh Powell, b: 1545, d: c1600, m: Ann (unknown). Another researcher disputes this, reporting that Hugh Powell’s son, William, was born in 1580 at Castle Madoc, became a poet, remained in Wales and died in 1620. [7]

Marriages

Researcher Doug Collins wrote more regarding the spouse(s) and children of William as follows ... [7]

"Capt. William Powell is said to have first married Elizabeth Wells of St.Olave Parish. Some people claim that she came to Jamestown with William in 1609/10 and brought their children and that she died there in Jamestown. But records indicate she died in 1626 in her home town of St.Olave Parish. Neither her name nor the names of her children appear in the London Company Records. William took a so-called second wife in Jamestown named Margaret Stitt. I say so called, as in the Chancellery records there was a suit filed by a Thomas Powell against a William Powell for bigamy. There is no way to directly tie this to Capt. William Powell, but it fits. When Capt. William Powell died in January 1623, the London Company repossessed his estate on the grounds that he had no heirs. If he had been legally married to Margaret, she and/or their children would have inherited the estate.

If his first wife, Elizabeth, and their children had come to Jamestown, the company, as well as his fellow colonists, would been aware that he had heirs in England. Not long after William Powell died, Margaret Stitt married Edward Blaney and then died shortly afterward in 1624. Another error I have found, is that some people claim William and Margaret had children. The 1624 Muster lists only one child with the name Powell, and that was John Powell, Jr., the son of John Powell, Sr. and his wife Katherine.

Some contend that William left a widow, Margaret, and children. This is disputed by researcher Collins, who reports that the London Company took possession of William's estate on the grounds that he had no heirs. [7] Margaret is also assumed to have married secondly to Edward Blayney, but his name is alone in the Musters of 1624/5 (Hotten #224). [6] Possibly Margaret was deceased by these dates.

Children: No children which could be William Powell's were recorded in the Musters of 1624/5. William Powell also was not recorded on any census or Muster since he died before the first census was taken in 1623/24. He is recorded as having been granted 750 acres by Sir Thomas Dale and Sir Samuell Argall, but those grants took place before 1619. [6] The London Company claimed his estate, because he had no heirs. [7]

Research Notes - Other Sources

Maybe a place to start (from an Ancestry.com entry):

"Capt. William Powell is said to have first married Elizabeth Wells of St. Olave Parish. Some people claim that she came to Jamestown with William in 1609/10 and brought their children and that she died there in Jamestown. This is not true, as records indicate she died in 1626 in her home town of St. Olave Parish. Neither her name or the names of her children appear in the London Company Records, (another point later). William took a so called second wife in Jamestown named Margaret Stitt. I say so called, as in the Chancellery records there was a suite filed by a Thomas Powell against a William Powell for bigamy. There is no way to directly tie this to Capt. William Powell, but it fits."

If Capt. Wm Powell were a bigamist it would be well known ...because he was well known in Virginia and to the Va Company in London.His heirs are also documented as you will see below...

"When Capt. William Powell died in January 1623, (note I said died not killed), The London Company repossessed his estate on the grounds that he had no heirs. If he had been legally married to Margaret, she and/or their children would have inherited the estate. If his first wife, Elizabeth and their children had of come to Jamestown, the company would been aware that he had heirs in England as well as his fellow colonist."

His estate was not repossessed.

And

"A major error is that Capt. William Powell and Capt. Nathaniel Powell were brothers. They were kinsmen, not brothers, they were probably first or second cousins. This is in the London Company and the British Chancellery records. Nathaniel did have a brother named Thomas who lived in Howelton, Suffolk, England and did later inherited his estate after Nathaniel and his wife were killed by Indians March 22, 1622."

"The records state that Capt. Wm Powell had filed for letters of administration on the estate of Nathaniel Powell; then he died and his widow Margaret remarried Edward Blaney, as the now administrator of his wife's estate/assets attempted to claim the estate on her behalf; in the meantime, the heirs of Nathaniel Powell wrote a letter of complaint to the Virginia Company stating that they were in no way related. Because the Virginia Company had such a high regard for Capt Nathaniel Powell, and because he was a Gentleman, they interceded on the behalf of his brothers and sisters (in England), and sent a letter to Virginia with explicit instructions on handling the estate properly, remarking it was especially important because they were poor."

And, from Wikipedia:

"A great Native American (Indian) massacre of at least 347 of the 1,258 Virginia colonists occurred on March 22, 1622. Captain Powell, who was described as the "gunner" of James City County, was one of a few who received early word of the planned massacre and was "instrumental in giving warning to the plantations nearest Jamestown."[12][13] Most sources state that the friendly Native American (Indian) who gave warning of the impending attacks told Richard Pace of the planned attack. Since Powell and Pace lived near each other and were business associates, it appears that Pace warned Powell and that both men proceeded to warn other people in the neighborhood of Jamestown, as stated in William Stith's 1740 history of the colony.[14] Immediately after the attack, Powell went to Martin's Hundred to help evacuate the survivors. He took possession of the estate of Nathaniel Powell, who was killed along with his wife during the attack. It was later determined Powell was not related to Nathaniel as he had claimed. Nathaniel's older brother, Thomas Powell, succeeded to ownership of the property.[1]

"Soon after beginning the Chickahominy River enterprise mentioned above, Captain William Powell was killed leading a party of militia against the Native Americans (Indians). The militia were seeking revenge for the March 22, 1622 massacre. Captain William Powell, as he is identified in the list of Burgesses,[8] may have died in late 1622 or possibly in January 1623. A letter of January 24, 1623 from colonist John Harrison to his brother, Richard Harrison, states that Captain Powell, and others, were dead."

Sources

  1. Second Supply
  2. Nugent, Nell M. Cavaliers and pioneers; abstracts of Virginia land patents and grants 1623-1800" in 5 volumes (Richmond: Dietz, 1934) [https://archive.org/details/cavalierspioneer00nuge/page/n45/mode/2up Page xxx.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Brown, Alexander. The First Republic in America ... (Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Co. 1898) Archive.org (pages 257, 314-18).
  4. Thomas Jefferson Papers, series#8; Virginia Records Manuscripts 1606-1737 edited by Susan Myra Kingsbury citing Records of the Virginia Company 1606-26 v3 Miscellaneous Records
  5. 5.0 5.1 McIlwaine, Henry Read and Virginia. House of Burgesses. "Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia" 1659/60-1963 v1, 1619-1658/9; (Library Board, Virginia State Library in Richmond, VA 1619) Archive.org v1, pages vii, 3, 6, 12.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 The Original Lists of Persons of Quality; Emigrants; Religious Exiles ... by John Camden Hotten in 1874 London, England; Archive.org (page 270; p224 Edward Blaney, p246 John Powell; p263 Thomas Powell).
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 Collins, Doug. Capt's Nathaniel & William Powell (12 Sep 2017) Retrieved 13 Feb 2018. Citing London Company and British Chancellery records.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Minutes of the Council and General court of colonial Virginia 1622-1632 (Richmond, VA: [The Colonial Press, Everett Waddey Co.] 1924) Archive.org pages 9, 65, 66.
  9. 9.0 9.1 McCartney, Martha W. Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers; 1607-1638: A Biographical Dictionary. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Company, Second Printing, 2007. Page 576
  10. 10.0 10.1 Smith, John. The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England & the Summer Isles" v1 (Glasgow: J. MacLehose; New York: Macmillan, 1907) Archive.org v1 p191; p115 John Powell.
  11. Thorpe, Francis Newton. "Federal and State Constitutions Colonial Charters" v7 pages 3793-94 (Washington: Govt. Print. Off. 1909) on Archive.org; "Second Charter of Virginia, 23 May 23, 1609"
  • Tyler's Quarterly, Vol. 2 no. 4 (Apr 1921), p. 268.
  • Immigrant Ancestors: A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America before 1750 edited by Frederick A. VIRKUS & Genealogical Publishing Co. of Baltimore, MD in 1964; reprinted 1986 p55.
  • Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers by Martha W. McCartney, p576 & p139-40 for Edward Blayney.
  • Order of Ancient Planters on ancestry.com; per "Society for Descendants of First Virginians" an "ancient planters" are defined as those who paid their own passage to Jamestown, VA before 1616, remained at least 3 years and survived the 1622 Jamestown massacre; includes John & William Powell
  • Journals of the House of Burgesses 1619–1658/59 (Richmond: Virginia State Library 1915) vi.
  • Rootsweb Family Tree - Griffin/Findeisen, Hartman/Palmer/Young Tree entries: 7000; updated: 2012-07-04; contact: Jan
  • Virginia, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index 1607-1890 on ancestry.com
  • Nugent, Nell M: Cavaliers and Pioneers (Abstracts), p. 165, Col. Henry Bishop.


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Comments: 14

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It looks like post-merge cleanup is needed (e.g., integrating the two bios). I added the maintenance category "Needs Merge Attention".

Thanks!

posted on Powell-979 (merged) by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Powell-979 and Powell-771 appear to represent the same person because: Found during connect-a-thon...a little merging should clear several duplicates. Thanks!
Upon saving, I received the following automated message:
Warning: Check the data.
  • A father's death date (Powell-979 died 1622) should not be more than nine months before one of his children's birth dates (Powell-2632 born Jan 1623).

I edited the profile to remove the Jamestowne Qualifying Ancestor sticker, since he is not listed as such. For the list of Qualifying Ancestors, see http://www.jamestowne.org/qualifying-ancestors.html & for a Descendant sticker tailored for Jamestowne descendants, see https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/651316/new-sticker-for-qualifying-ancestors-the-jamestowne-society?show=654028#a654028

posted on Powell-979 (merged) by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Powell, Gentleman, Knight of Surrey, Captain of the Governor's Guard, Commander of Jamestown-1 and Powell-979 appear to represent the same person because: These are obviously the same individual and should be merged. This is a historical figure and care should be given that the right information is brought into the new, merged profile.

I have left a detailed message regarding the profile with the honorifics, punctuation, and descriptors in the LNAB; it's possible that the LNAB of that profile should be changed to "Powell" before the merge but may not be absolutely necessary.

Thanks!

posted on Powell-979 (merged) by Susan DeFoe
I've added a comment and research notes to both of the current wives - Margaret Whitney Powell and Elizabeth Wyllys (Wells) Powell. Further clarification need to confirm if these are the actual partners mentioned in the Doug Collins source cited on this profile ie Elizabeth Wells of St Olave Parish and Margaret Stitt.
posted on Powell-979 (merged) by Gillian Thomas
Powell-4926 and Powell-979 appear to represent the same person because: dups with same name and dates but unproven conflicting parents that need sources to confirm any relationship
posted on Powell-979 (merged) by N Gauthier
Hugh Powell-983 has been detached as father until it can be proven which set of parents were his.
posted on Powell-979 (merged) by N Gauthier
Powell-5591 and Powell-4926 appear to represent the same person because: I found this while working on GEDMatch. I really think it is the same person.
posted on Powell-979 (merged) by Jenny (Neumann) Ryburn
Powell-4926 Unmerged match

These two may represent the same man. Have been unable to find an appropriate source for either parents or wife of Capt. William Powell, early immigrant to Virginia and burgess for James City in 1619. Thanks!

posted on Powell-979 (merged) by Cynthia (Billups) B
can we please change the death date to 1622 as Wikipedia states?
posted on Powell-979 (merged) by Robin Coles
Powell-5591 and Powell-1266 do not represent the same person because: parents completely different
posted on Powell-979 (merged) by Greg Hays
Capt. William Powell didn't have a son named Walter. Furthermore, Walter Powell was not born in Virginia, but further north. He also didn't come to Virginia until a group of colonists local to him migrated to Virginia. He was not William Powell's son.
posted on Powell-979 (merged) by [Living Walker]
I could not find a source indicating he was married to Jand Starke. He did have two marriages. Let me know if you need help with this.

Paula

posted on Powell-979 (merged) by Paula J
Powell-3169 and Powell-979 appear to represent the same person because: Hi, These profiles were marked as an unmerged match Jul 4, 2013. Is there a PM who has the time to merge them for us? Thanks.
posted on Powell-979 (merged) by Mark Stuckenborg