(See "Company Meetings and Bus Tours" for
thirteen years before the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts, a group of 104
English men and boys began a settlement on the banks of Virginia's James
River. They were sponsored by the Virginia Company of London, whose
stockholders hoped to make a profit from the resources of the New World. The
community suffered terrible hardships in its early years, but managed to
endure, earning the distinction of being America's first permanent English
colony. Significantly, the first representative government in the new
world was organized and, members having been elected, met in the church at
Jamestown in July, 1619. For more about this
In 1625, the Virginia Company of London, which could no longer finance this
venture, was dissolved by King James I, and Virginia became a royal colony.
The formal organization of the Jamestowne Society, at Jamestown Island on 14
May 1936, was the result of a vision by George Craghead Gregory, who was the
founder and the guiding spirit of the society. The objects of the society
were: "To discover and record the names of all living descendants of those
early settlers who made great sacrifices to establish our English speaking
nation; and to unite these descendants to honor the memory of their settler
ancestors, to record their deeds, and to do homage to the birthplace of Virginia
and the Nation."
By gathering together the descendants of those who experienced Jamestown's
hardships and took advantage of its opportunities, we hope that like-minded
individuals will work together to keep its history alive for new generations yet
By 2005, the National Jamestowne Society
had grown to over 5,000 members in 25 Companies throughout the Nation.
The Washington and Northern Virginia Company was founded in 1959, and supports the Jamestowne Rediscovery archaeological “Dig.” Excavation
since 1994 has uncovered hundreds of thousands of artifacts dating to the first
half of the 17th century. Nearly half of the objects date to the first years of
English settlement (1607-1610). For more about this, visit
the "Jamestown Rediscovery"
web site, by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, the
Jamestown Fort excavation area, at:
The Washington and Northern
Virginia Company also created a library of research materials for the use of
citizens, students and scholars, to honor Herschel H. Helm, Governor of the
Company from 1978 until 1987. He was a vigorous supporter and
molder of the Company and was dedicated to preserving the record of early
Virginia. Click on that link above for details.
List of Past Governors of the Washington and Northern Virginia Company
We hope that all will find the
information contained in this web site -- and in the national Jamestowne
Society web site -- helpful in strengthening the bonds of interest in this
special period of our history that link us together.