jamestown heading

I. Native Women

II. First Women

III. More Women

IV. Cash Crop

V. Women's Lives

VI. Indentured Servant

VII. Wives

VIII. Living Condition

IX. Family Life

X. Women's Work

XI. Fate of Jamestown


II. The First Women of Jamestown

For over a year after the founding of Jamestown, no English women lived in the colony. Then in October of 1608, two women arrived with the “Second Supply” of men and provisions. Thomas Forrest, listed as a gentleman in the supply lists, brought his wife, Anne Forrest, and her maid, Anne Buras. Buras was about fourteen years old when she arrived. She married the carpenter John Layton within a year, an event that Captain John Smith described as the first wedding held in Virginia. Anne Layton later gave birth to a daughter, named Virginia. While the Laytons are not mentioned again in later records, their arrival represents the beginning of families in Jamestown.

artist conception of the settling of jamestown
Nineteenth century artist’s conception of the landing at Jamestown in 1607
click on image for larger view
Credit: New York Public Library Digital Collections

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