Kinsearching October 7, 2012




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Award-winning author Martha W. McCartney has compiled another publication that is bound to bring her even more acclaim: JAMESTOWN PEOPLE TO 1800: LANDOWNERS, PUBLIC OFFICIALS, MINORITIES, AND NATIVE LEADERS. As the subtitle implies, her data concerns not only the town’s inhabitants of European descent but also more than one hundred Native Americans who visited the Virginia capital and approximately one hundred Africans and African Americans, many of whom were slaves. In addition, she furnishes information pertaining to more than a thousand people who did not own land on Jamestown Island but whose activities brought them for an extended time to America’s first permanent English settlement. Among this group of individuals are governors, members of the Council of State, burgesses, merchants, and mariners.

     Since her resources include a variety of county records, she explains in the introduction the various geographical regions and the history of Virginia’s original counties and their division into other counties. Maps showing the boundaries at different times during the seventeenth century accompany the narrative. In a separate section, McCartney tells the history of Jamestown from its creation and eventual establishment as Virginia’s first capital to its economy and the introduction of slavery to the impact of Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676, the American Revolution, and the War of 1812 upon the area.

     Naturally, the major part of the publication consists of biographical sketches arranged in alphabetical order. In the preface, McCartney states that she condensed data on some of the earliest people because she supplies fairly complete biographies in her previous book, VIRGINIA IMMIGRANTS AND ADVENTURERS, 1607-1635: A BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY. However, her extensive use of additional resources led to her augmenting some of the sketches. Although the length of the entry for each man, woman, and child ranges from nearly a page to only one sentence, McCartney provides the source of the material. A glance through the hundreds of entries shows how multicultural Jamestown society really was.

     Like McCartney’s other publications, JAMESTOWN PEOPLE TO 1800: LANDOWNERS, PUBLIC OFFICIALS, MINORITIES, AND NATIVE LEADERS is a comprehensive, authoritative, fully documented work based on a multitude of primary and secondary sources. Deserving much praise, the book will be a valuable addition to all genealogical library collections, where it is guaranteed to receive much use.

     The 514-page work has attractive soft covers, a preface, an introduction, maps, a 12-page list of sources and their abbreviations used in the text, a glossary, a 25-page history of Virginia and the colony, and a full name index. To the book's price of $39.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.50 for one item and $2.50 for each additional copy; for FedEx ground service, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional item. The volume (item order 3506) may be purchased by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa from Genealogical Publishing Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211-1953. For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

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