For some unknown reason people keep writing that Capt. William Powell arrived in Jamestown in 1607 with Capt. John Smith.This is not true.The London Company records list Nathaniel Powell, Gent., as the only Powell on the first voyage.For some reason people keep misquoting Capt. John Smith.In his book“History of Virginia” he never mentions Capt. William Powell as being in the Jamestown while he (Smith) was there.In the book, Smith does list Nathaniel Powell, Gent., as arriving with him in 1607, and later writes about his trusted friend Capt. Nathaniel Powell.
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.
October 1609 Capt. John Smith leaves for England to recover from burns on his leg that he received while mishandling gum power.He never returns to Virginia.
Capt. William Powell along with the other survivors of the “Sea Venture” do not arrive in Jamestown until May 23, 1610, eight and a half months after Smith leaves. There is no record of the two men having ever meet.
The next 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.
There are many false stories about Capt. William Powell and his family.The first is, he was not the son of Hugh Powell Jr. of Castle Madoc, Brecon, Wales.Hugh Powell’s son William was born in 1580 at Castle Madoc.He became a poet and remained in Wales where he died in 1620.Capt. William Powell was born 1577 in St. Olave Parish Southwark, Surry, England, son of John Powell, who is said to have been a brewer.His baptismal records are at St. Olave Parish Church.
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 filled by a Thomas Powell against a William Powell for bigamy.There is no way to directly tie this to Capt. William Powell, put it fits.
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.
More false hoods!In his book Smith says that Capt. William Powell was killed by Indians.This was just a story to make the book more exciting.Letters in the London Company records report William’s death by disease after being weakened by low rations.The winter of 1622/23 was known as the starving time when many, many people died.Not long after William Powell died Margaret married Edward Blaney and then she died shortly after that, 1624.
Another error that I have found, is that some people claim, William and Margaret had children.The 1624 Mustard list (census) only one child with the name Powell, and that was John Powell, Jr. son of John Powell, Sr. and his wife Katherine.Another laughable error is that many of these people claim that these children were born in 1626 and dates after that.Please check your dates, as dead people cannot have children.
I hope this will help those people who find these errors in their family trees to correct them.Please do not take offence as is not pointed at any one person and is meant to help those who have received the misinformation and taken it as fact.
Enjoy your research into your family history, and have a good day,