If you are interested in joining the Jamestowne Society,
and/or if you want more information on becoming a member of
the Chesapeake Bay Company, you've come to the right place!
The Jamestowne Society's membership is large and growing,
especially due to heightened interest created in 2007 for
Anniversary of the First Permanent English Settlement in
America. The elaborate celebration in 2007 and the attention
it garnered still serve as a reminder of your responsibility
to honor your Jamestowne ancestors by getting your
papers in order and applying!
Information on joining the national Jamestowne Society is
available from the
national Society website. You may browse the
Qualifying Ancestor Index to see the listings.
Information on applying for membership can be accessed
Membership Process and Application section on the
Jamestowne Society site.
Members of the Jamestowne
Society may choose to belong to as many as two of the
Companies (chapters) which serve members regionally.
Companies are located across the United States, and the
Jamestowne Society Companies page on the national site
lists them all, complete with contact information.
The Chesapeake Bay Company is
headquartered in the Northern Neck of Virginia, an early
area into which those arriving in Jamestown moved as soon as
it was open for settlement. The Northern Neck of Virginia
includes the counties of Westmoreland, Northumberland,
Richmond (County not City), Lancaster, and King George. The
peninsula lies between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers,
sites of early exploration by Capt. John Smith and a group
We also serve the upper part of
the area known as Middle Peninsula, which is adjacent to the
Northern Neck, and includes the counties of Essex and
Middlesex, which lie along the southern border of the
Rappahannock River. Our meetings take place generally in the
area in which we serve, though occasionally we may go
farther afield. Town names you may recognize from the
Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula are King George, Montross,
Warsaw, Tappahannock, Heathsville, Callao, Lancaster,
Kilmarnock, Irvington, White Stone, Reedville, Saluda,
The Northern Neck/Middle
Peninsula is alive with history, and Society members who
live some distance from us may find it attractive to join
our Company so that they can spend some time in this quiet
rural area, researching genealogy at the local historical
societies' libraries, at the county courthouses, and touring
the many historic sites. Historic sites within the Northern
Neck include the Lee family home,
Stratford Hall, home to not only General Robert E. Lee,
but also to the only two brothers who were Signers of the
Declaration of Independence, Richard Henry Lee and Francis
Lightfoot Lee. Visitors would also want to include
Wakefield, now known as
George Washington Birthplace National Monument,
maintained by the US Park Service, which is the site of
George Washington's birth, and the site of earlier
Washingtons' residence on Pope's Creek . Both Stratford and
Wakefield have sophisticated visitor centers with multimedia
presentations and museums.
There are modern accommodations
in towns in the Northern Neck/Middle Peninsula, as well as
quaint and historic bed and breakfast locations. The
Tides Inn, anchored at Irvington, is in the Northern
Neck. A visit to the Northern Neck/Middle Peninsula can be
quite a treat!
There are too many sites of
historic interest to name individually in this general area
- there are ancient plantations, some with surviving homes,
that can easily be located. The rivers that punctuate and
define these peninsulas were the early highways, carrying
commerce and visitors. Colonists attended churches by use of
rivers and creeks. If you encounter a local church from
colonial days in this area, you will find a river or creek
or stream nearby, even if it is today not in use or its
course has been diverted.
State historic markers dot the landscape here so
routinely, we have to remember to stop and re-read them.
History is literally just under the surface here.
Our meetings are twice a year,
with the option for a field trip as an added event.
Information on upcoming meetings is posted on the website
and shared with members and prospective members via the
Bowsprit, our e-letter which is also printed and mailed
to those without e-mail capability.
If you're already a member of
the Jamestowne Society, we would love to have you join us.
Starting out with our first membership meeting in May 2006,
we are growing and would enjoy having you with us on the
journey. If you are not a member of the national Society,
but know you have a Jamestowne Ancestor and are interested
in applying to the national Society, we would love to hear
from you (maybe you'll choose to join us as well). If you
have questions, send an e-mail, and you will receive a
prompt response. Joining a heritage society is something
people often put off, with the idea they will "get around to
it" - usually when they are older. However, we recently
had an officer of the Company who is still in high school! There's never
enough time to learn all you can about Historic Jamestowne
and your connection to it - so it's time to begin!