Amonute Matoaka (Powhatan) Rolfe

Amonute Matoaka (Powhatan) Rolfe (abt. 1596 - 1617)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Amonute Matoaka (Pocahontas) "Rebecca" Rolfe formerly Powhatan
Born about in Werowocomoco Village on Pamunkey River, Tsenacomocomap [uncertain]
Ancestors ancestors
Daughter of and [mother unknown]
Wife of — married in Virginiamap
Wife of — married (to ) in Anglican Church, Jamestown, Virginia Colonymap
Descendants descendants
Mother of
Died in Gravesend, Kent, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 12 Oct 2010 | Last significant change: 2 Mar 2018
04:40: Steven Mix edited the Biography for Pocahontas (Powhatan) Rolfe. (famous per has Wikpedia article) [Thank Steven for this]
This page has been accessed 27,509 times.

Categories: Descendants of Pocahontas | Famous People of the 17th Century | Powhatan | Jamestown, Virginia Colony | Namesakes US Counties.

Matoaka Amonute Powhatan
Pocahontas (Powhatan) Rolfe is a descendant of Pocahontas.
Join: Descendants of Pocahontas Project
Discuss: pocahontas



Pocahontas was a Native American woman with an incredible amount of mythology surrounding her. Her legacy as a positive influence on early settlers of the Southern United States Colonies remains popular today.

Pocahontas, Playful One

Pocahontas was born about 1596, based on her telling her portraitist in London that she was in her 21st year in 1617.[1] She may have been born in the Werowocomoco Village on Pamunkey River, Tsenacomoco, present-day Gloucester County, Virginia, but the exact location of her birth is not known.[2] Her father was Wahunsenacawh Powhatan.[2][3] Her mother's name was not recorded by either John Smith or John Rolfe.[1][2] Pocahontas was known as one of the Chief's favored daughters.[2] They shared a loving, respectful relationship.[2][3]

At birth Pocahontas was given the name Amonute.[2][3] She later took a secret name, which she did not reveal until after her marriage and conversion to Christianity, which was Matoaka.[2] Matoaka is considered the name given to Pocahontas at birth, though, by some oral Native American histories, and may have meant "flower between two streams."[2]The name by which she is best known, Pocahontas, was her childhood nickname, loosely translated as "playful one", "little wanton", or "laughing, joyous one", due to her curious nature.[1][2]

Pocahontas and John Smith

The incident Pocahontas is best known for involved nearly as famous, Captain John Smith.[2][3] The story Smith gave versus the one the Native American histories give vary a bit.[2]

According to Smith, In the winter of 1607, when Pocahontas was only around 11 years old, John was captured by her brother. In a scene where he believed he was in danger of being executed, Pocahontas stepped forward and offered her life for his, saving him.[2][3] Native American histories indicate that he was not in danger, but rather was being initiated as another Brother.[2] A later letter of John Smith's also seems to support this, indicating a meal and interview, nothing dangerous.[3] They also claim that Pocahontas would never have been at such a ceremony, due to her age, but a meal in her father's abode she very likely would have helped serve.[2][3]

The story has been examined for centuries, and no one knows for certain the truth, but it did procure a place for both Pocahontas and John Smith in United States' mythology and history.[2]

Following the incident, Powhatan informed Smith that he was part of the tribe, and proceeded to trade with him.[2] Powhatan also sent gifts to the Jamestown settlement, which was starving in the winter conditions.[2] Pocahontas served as a symbol of peace to the colonists, and would visit Jamestown frequently, playing with the children there.[2]

Despite what transpired, the relations would deteriorate, as the English became more demanding and less grateful.[2] Smith claimed Pocahontas would again save his life, warning him of Powhatan's plot to kill him, which prompted him and his companions to leave.[2] But, Native American history dictates Pocahontas, being as young as she was, wouldn't have knowledge of such a plan, and certainly wouldn't have made it as far as where Smith was without someone's guards knowing she was about.[2][3]

First Marriage - Kocoum

An Englishman, William Strackney, was in Jamestown in 1610 and lived there for about one year.[4] Upon his return to England, he published a book about Jamestown, and in it is one of the only mentions of a first marriage for Pocahontas.[2][3] Native American histories also refer to one.[2] He wrote that she was married to a "private captain named Kocoum".[4][2][3] There is no concrete record of any children from this union, though some oral histories refer to one, and nothing further was recorded about Kocoum.[2][3]

Second Marriage - John Rolfe

In 1613 Pocahontas was captured by one English Captain Argall for ransom, with help from a neighboring tribe, luring her onto an English ship.[2][3][5] Pocahontas was taken to Jamestown, then Henrico, and began learning more of the English culture.[2][5] She converted to Christianity in 1614, was baptized with the name Rebecca, and with Powhatan's blessing, married English widower and tobacco planter John Rolfe in April of that year.[3][2] Pocahontas and John Rolfe had one child, a son named Thomas, born around 1615.[2] He is Pocahontas' only known child.

Lady Rebecca, Death & Legacy

Pocahontas, now referred to as Lady Rebecca Rolfe, accompanied her husband to England in 1616 on a public relations tour on behalf of the Virginia Company, which included meeting King James I.[2][3] They took up residence in rural Brentford for a time.[2] It was there that Pocahontas encountered John Smith once more, and confronted him on the behaviors of his company in the colonies.[2][3]

In March 1617, the Rolfes decided to return to Virginia.[2][3] Shortly after they began their return voyage, Rebecca became ill and the ship she was on put in at Gravesend, Kent, England.[2][3] Rebecca died on shore and was buried under the chancel of St. George's Church on 21 March 1617. [1][6] John Rolfe returned to Virginia, while young Thomas stayed in England with family.[2]

Little else is known about Pocahontas for certain.[2] Most that is told was written by others or passed down via oral history, and many families claim a connection to her, though far fewer than claim can prove it.

Her son Thomas was educated in England, but later returned to Virginia and became an important settler; many prominent Virginians claim to be his descendants.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Helen C. Rountree, Pocahontas, Powhatan Opechancanough, Three Indian Lives Changed by Jamestown, Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2005) 35, 37-8; 176-8.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 2.35 Pocahontas: Her Life and Legend, US Parks Service
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 Helen C. Rountree, Pocahontas, Encyclopedia Virginia ( accessed 6 September 2017).
  4. 4.0 4.1 William Strachney, Historie of Travell into Virginia Britania (1612), eds. Louis B. Wright and Virginia Freund, Kraus Reprint Limited, Liechtenstein 1967 p. 62. (In an 1849 edition, the information will be found on p 54.)
  5. 5.0 5.1 From the writings of Chief Roy Crazy Horse= of the Powhatan Renape Nation, Rankokus Indian Reservation
  6. FreeBMD, “Basic Search,” database, FreeREG ( : accessed 7 September 2017), parish register burial entry for Rebecca Wroth, 21 March 1617, Gravesend, Kent; citing St. George's Church.
  7. "Pocahontas," Microsoft(R) Encarta(R) 98 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1997 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

See Also:

  • John Bennett Boddie, Historical Southern Families, Vol. 9 (1957-1980), pgs 191-217 and Southside Virginia. Families, Vol. 1 (2009?), pages 227-331.
  • Wassell Randolph, "William Randolph I of Turkey Island, Henrico County, Virginia, and his immediate descendants," Memphis, Tenn. : Seebode Mimeo Service, 1949. Digital version (Hathi Trust)
  • Wood, Karenne, Ed. , The Virginia Indian Trail, 2nd ed. (Charlottesville, VA: The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 2008).
  • Marcus Abbott Haskins, Brøderbund Software, Inc., World Family Tree Vol. 2, Ed. 1, (Release date: November 29, 1995), "CD-ROM," Tree #1060, Date of Import: Jan 16, 1999. (1995), "Electronic," Date of Import: Jan 31, 1999.
  • Microsoft Encarta 98, "Pocahontas".
  • Microsoft Encarta 98, "Rolfe, John", (1998), "Electronic."
  • E. Jay Stith, Brøderbund Software, Inc., World Family Tree Vol. 1, Ed. 1, (Release date: November 29, 1995), "CD-ROM," Tree #5156, Date of Import: Jan 16, 1999. (1995), "Electronic," Date of Import: Feb 2, 1999.

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored by MyHeritage

Search for living relatives: People Finders

Searching for someone else?
First: Last:

No known carriers of Pocahontas's mitochondrial DNA have taken an mtDNA test.

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

Images: 8
Engraving of Pocahontas at 21 yrs old by Simone van de Passe
Engraving of Pocahontas at 21 yrs old by Simone van de Passe

Matoka Rolph Image 1
Matoka Rolph Image 1

John Rolfe Wedding to Matoaka Pocahontas
John Rolfe Wedding to  Matoaka Pocahontas

Rebecca Rolfe Image 1
Rebecca Rolfe Image 1

Matoaka Amonute Powhatan
Matoaka Amonute Powhatan

view all


On 23 Sep 2017 at 21:04 GMT Cynthia (Wilfong) Mangiafico wrote:

Pocahontas Rolfe is 21 Degrees from Cynthia Mangiafico

On 22 Sep 2017 at 15:41 GMT Rebecca Orton wrote:

I am 21 degrees from Pocahontas.

On 21 Sep 2017 at 13:08 GMT Jeanie (Thornton) Roberts wrote:

Powhatan-264 and Powhatan-3 appear to represent the same person because: This profile already exists, please merge.

On 20 Sep 2017 at 23:54 GMT Charles Patterson wrote:

I am 15 degrees from Pocohantas and

Elizabeth Keziah Basse (Tucker) is my 7th GG Grandmother. She was Nansemond American Indian.

On 20 Sep 2017 at 18:39 GMT Troya (Busby) Parker wrote:

Pocahontas Rolfe is 18 degrees from Troya Busby Paker

On 20 Sep 2017 at 18:25 GMT Debbie (Fink) Thomas wrote:

Pocahontas Rolfe is 20 Degrees from Debbie Thomas

On 20 Sep 2017 at 16:42 GMT Charles Onstott wrote:

I am 19 degrees from this person..

On 20 Sep 2017 at 14:20 GMT Betsy Ann Scott wrote:

Look my authorship up on I wrote an essay about Pocahontas, long a favorite of mine.

And about Powhatan, her beloved father.

Betsy Scott Fitzmeyer,

I authored an essay on Pocahontas, long a favorite of mine, on Look up the link and add my name, Betsy Scott Fitzmeyer. I am a profile manager of my line of Scotts and Lawtons on WikiTree!

On 6 Sep 2017 at 14:40 GMT Mags Gaulden wrote:

Hello Profile Managers!

We need to do a mini-clean-a-thon on this profile as Abby has chosen it to be an example profile for WikiTree.

We need to make sure that all information on the profile is accurate, not duplicated (2 bios. right now) and well presented.

There will be a bit of activity on the profile AND please jump in to do some clean-up yourselves. :-)

Accuracy - checking to make sure facts are sourced and cited is one of the things we need. Also creating a research notes section to explain how to research her and possibly lay out the correct lineages and how to recognize them.



On 5 Mar 2017 at 05:04 GMT Kerry Larson wrote:

Powhatan-3 and Powhaton-1 appear to represent the same person because: It's Pocahontas. How many can there be?

more comments

Pocahontas is 16 degrees from Amelia Earhart, 17 degrees from Lance Martin, 27 degrees from Oscar Wilde and 16 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

P  >  Powhatan  |  R  >  Rolfe  >  Amonute Matoaka (Powhatan) Rolfe