Image by bill barber via Flickr
My Genealogy research will begin with Robert Adams. It is spelled several ways Adams, Addams, Adames. This is a difficult research. I have been reading about this family and I believe that it will be next to impossible to connect Robert Adams, Captain hired by East India Company and Robert Adams that arrived on the Bona Nova in 1619 to the Robert Adams family that eventually migrated to Campbell/Pittsylvania County, Virginia. Through my research, I have not seen anyone do it yet, but who knows. In any case, I will provide the information I find and maybe someone will come up with something new and would like to comment on this genealogy. So let’s begin.
The Genesis of the United States
A Narrative of the Movement in England, 1605-1616, which resulted in the Plantation of North America by Englishmen, disclosing the contest between England and Spain for the Possession of the soil now occupied by the Untied State of America; Set forth through a Series of historical manuscripts now first printed:
Collected, Arranged, and Edited by Alexander Brown
Volume I page 258
This is a portion of a letter from M. Gabriel Archer, touching the voyage of the fleet of ships which arrived at Virginia, without Sir Tho. Gates and Sir George Summers, 1609 (August 31, 1609)
From Woolwich the fifteenth of May 1609, seven saile weyed anchor, and came to Plimmouth the twentieth day, where Sir George Somers, with two small vessels consorted with us. Here we tooke into the Blessing (being the ship wherein I went) sixe mares and two Horses; and the Fleet layed in some necessaries belonging to the action: In which businesse we spent time till the second of June. And then wee set sayle to sea, but crost by South-west windes, we put into Faulemouth, and there staying till the eight of June, we then gate out. Our Course was commanded to leave the Canaries one hundred leagues to the Eastward at least, and to steere away directly for Virginia, without touching at the West Indies, except the Fleet should chance to be separated, then they were to repaire to the Bermuda? Thereto say seven days in expectation of the Admirall; and if they found him not, then to take their course to Virginia.
“Now thus it happened; about sixe days after we lost the sight of England, one of Sir George Somers Pinnassess left our Company, as (as I take it) bare up for England; the rest of the ships, viz: The Sea Adventure Admirall, wherein was Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, and Captain Newport: The Diamond, Vice-Admirall, in which was Captaine Martin and Master Nelson: The Blessing, where I and Captaine Adams went: The Unitie, where Captain Wood and Master Pett were: The Lion wherein Captain Webb remained: and The Swallow of Sir George Somers, in which Captain Moone, and Master Somers went. In The Catch went one Matthew Fitch, Master; and the Boat of Sir George Somers, called The Virginia, which was built in the North Colony, went one Captain Davies and one Master Davies. These were the Captaines and Masters of our Fleet.
This is an excerpt from a letter of Sir Gabriel Archer. Please note that Captain Adams is the Captain for the ship The Blessing.
And now for a little history.
This was the third resupply voyage for the Jamestown Colony. The largest ship was the 300 ton merchant ship the Sea Venture or Sea Adventure which carried the most supplies. Aboard this ship was Captain Christopher Newport, Sir Thomas Gates, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia;, Sir George Somers, Admiral of the fleet;, William Strachey, future secretary of the Virginia Company and John Rolfe.
The fleet departed England in June of 1609 taking a slightly different ,faster route to avoid the Spanish. Only a week away from Virginia, the fleet ran into a hurricane. The Flagship the Sea Venture (the ship which was carrying all the supplies) was separated from the rest of the fleet and escaped destruction by landing in the Bermudas. Some say that this shipwreck on the Bermudas was the basis for William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
Meanwhile the rest of the fleet arrived at Jamestown, but with no supplies for the colonist. According to the book “The Genesis of the United States” the remnant of the fleet returned to England in late November, 1609. “The rest of the fleet came ship after ship, laden with nothing but bad reports and letters of discouragement;” they left the colony in Virginia in the most deplorable condition; at war with the Indians; a terrible disease raging at Jamestown; and the colonists without sufficient provisions or comforts of any kind.
These ships that returned home from Virginia also carried a new passenger, Captain John Smith. He would never return to Virginia.
Meanwhile Sir Thomas Gates and Company were marooned in the Bermudas. For nine months they survived during which time they built two new boats from the wreckage of their old ship. On May 10, 1610, the two new boats set sail for Virginia. When they arrived they were horrified. They had arrived at the end of what we now call “The Starving Time”. After assessing the situation, the Bermuda survivors along with the Jamestown survivors had decided to abandon Jamestown and go back home. On June 7, 1610, they set sail for England, but before they could get to open water, they were met by the new military Governor Lord dela Warr with his three ships carrying new settlers and supplies. Thus saving the Virginia Colony from failure.
Please note that I typed Mr. Archer’s letter verbatim.
tips for genealogist:
One of the best sources for a beginning genealogist is his or her family. It is well worth the time to sit down with older family members and just talk about their mothers and fathers and what they told them. Family Reunions are always a good source. Sometimes what your close family members cannot remember will be just the thing that your Great Aunt Agatha or Jane will know all about. Not only can they tell you about your ancestors, but just what was going on at the time. My mother just told me last week that they lived in Danville, Virginia during the early 1930s because the farm could no longer support the family during the Depression. My Grandfather said that he arrived in Danville with the promise of a job at Dan River Mills. He had a job but there were lines and lines of people waiting behind him. Sounds a little bit like what some of us are going through right now.