Van Gundy Family Tree

Notes for Nathaniel POWELL, ESQ

In "The Powell Family in America" by Dianne Elizabeth is:

"Captain Nathaniel Powell, who came to Jamestown, Virginia colony in 1607, wrote much of John Smith's History of Virginia, and it was he who made the first map of Virginia, sending it back to England, where it is now preserved in the British Museum. (See Brown's Genesis of the U.S., pp. 596, 791-816)."

Residences & events:

Port of Powele-Brooke, VA. According to the passenger list he arrived with his wife and daughter, destination "to Mr Tracey," apparently joining the in-laws.

They settled on 600 acres on the south side of the James River known as Powell Brook and later Merchant's Hope.

Capt. Nathaniel was among the most prominent of the early settlers, rising to governor of VA, serving until his death. The following was taken from a plaque in Burton Parish, Williamsburg, VA:


'Where Sir George Yeardley the Governor being sett downe in his accustomed place in the quire have of the counsel of the Estate sate nexte him on both handes but foreasmuch as mens affairs doe little prosper where Gods service is neglected, all the Burgess tooke their
places in the quire till a prayer was said by Mr Burke, the minister, that it would please God to guide and sanctify all our prodeecings to his own glory and the good of this plantation.

and in Special memory of

Senior counselor and acting Governor April 1619, and
Burgess from James City County
This endowment tablet has been erected by one of the descendants of
in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and seven

The Virginia Company of London recorded the account of the 1622 Massacre by the Powhattan Indian: "....besides Master George Thorpe, before mentioned, Master John Berkeley, Captaine Nathanael Powel, and his wife, (daughter of Master William Tracy, and great with childe) and Captaine Maycock, all Gentlemen of birth, vertue, and industry, and of the Councell there, suffered under this their cruelty and treason." A total of 12 in all.

The administrator of Nathaniel's estate was Capt. William Powell (relationship not established) who was sent to avenge the massacre and was himself killed in 1623 before the estate was settled.

William's widow remarried and her new husband tried to seized the estate but was prevented from doing so by the following petition sent from England:

"The petition of Thos. Powell in behalf of himself and his poor brothers and sisters to the Privy Council, that whereas Capt. Nathaniel Powell died about three years since seized of lands in Virginia to a good value, whereupon petitioner being the elder brother took out letters of administration in London, that the Governor and Council of Virginia have certified that one William Powell no way kin to the deceased had before administered to said estate, that said William Powell being since dead and said estate come to the hands of one Mr. Blaney that married the relict of William Powell the late Commissioners for Virginia by letter of 3 november 1624 desired the Governor and Council there to examine the cause, but the ships for Virginia having departed hence before said letter was obtained and the sickness immediately after spreading thro the City of London, petitioners had no means of sending it. Said Commissioners being dissolved pray their Lordships to renew the like letter in petitioner's behalf."

Apparently the commissioners did act in the petitioner's behalf as shown by the next item: "Thos Powell of Powellton, Suffolk County, England his brother and heir, sold the estate to John Taylor 'citizen and girdler' of Longon."

Record of the Virginia Company of London, Court proceedings 1622-1624 also carried the following:

"The Brothers and Sisters of Captaine Nath: Powell peticoninge for order that their said Brothers estate might be inquired out and certified, and the Proceed thereof returned vnto the Companie here for their vse and benifitt, It was ordered that it should be recomended to the Counsell of Virginia to haue an espeaciall care of this bussiness, both because it is of great consequence, as also for that Capt: Nath: Powell was a man of extraordinary merritt, and the Peticoners poore men, wherefore they desired that Justice and right may be donn them (therein), and that so speedily as the Peticoners may receeaue the benifitt thereof by the first returne of Shipps, and not onely an Account, but also the good themselves or the proceed of them beings sold to the value be returned to the Treaurer and Companie."

By Dianne Elizabeth again:

"In 1618 Captain Nathaniel Powell was Governor of Virginia for a short time. He was appointed a member of the council in 1621......The family was massacred by Opechancanough, at Powell's Brooke, on 22 March 1622, near Flower de Hundred, on Nathaniel's Plantation. Twelve in all were massacred. The Indians 'haggled their bodies, and cut off Nathaniel's head to express their utmost height of scorn and cruelty.' "

Copyright 2010 by BJ Van Gundy

Page built by Gedpage Version 2.21 ©2009 on 06 May 2010