John Frederick Dorman
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This is the second of three volumes that will eventually comprise the fourth edition of the landmark Adventurers of Purse and Person, the most widely respected of all "first families" studies and the actual starting point of American genealogy.
Individuals ranging from G-P (Gaither to Purifoy) identified in the work must have been resident in Virginia during the period 1607-1624/25 or members of the Virginia Company of London in order to be designated "adventurers," and it is their descendants alone who qualify for membership in one of the most distinguished hereditary societies in America, the Order of First Families of Virginia. Adventurers of Purse and Person is their story, a collection of genealogies of all adventurers with proven descents into the sixth generation.
Prepared under the auspices of the Order of First Families of Virginia in anticipation of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, this edition of Adventurers of Purse and Person extends the lines of descent of the founding families documented in previous editions from four generations to six, bringing most families down to the Revolutionary or early Federal periods. The purpose of the work is to establish descents of the approximately 150 individuals who can be identified as (1) Adventurers of Purse (i.e. stockholders in the Virginia Company of London who either came to Virginia in the period 1607Ð1625 and had descendants or who did not come to Virginia during that period but whose grandchildren were resident there; or (2) Adventurers of Person, 1607-1625 (i.e. immigrants to Virginia who left descendants).
The foundation of the work is the famous "Muster" of January-February 1624-25--essentially a census taken by the Royal Commission that succeeded the Virginia Company to determine the extent and composition of the Jamestown settlements. In the Muster, which is reproduced in entirety in Volume One, the name of each colonist appears with the location of his home and the number in his family, together with information about his stock of food, his supply of arms and ammunition, his boats, houses, and livestock. In all, about 1,200 persons are named in the Muster, of whom approximately 150 are shown in this work to have left descendants to the sixth generation.
In addition to the Muster, this work builds on the investigations of dozens of scholars, correcting, revising, and supplementing the best genealogical scholarship of the past half century. New discoveries, newly available information, and a further reevaluation of evidence concerning previously accepted relationships have led, in some instances, to wholesale changes in the accepted genealogies. In consequence, this fourth edition brings together the results of all the most recent scholarship on these families, expanding the limits of what is presently known and opening up possibilities for research beyond the sixth generation.