The First Small Settler
By Jim Small
First Seal of Virginia 1606-1652
The first Small known to come to the American Continent was a carpenter by the name of Robert Small. He arrived as one of the 82 listed settlers of the Virginia Company, headed by Captain John Smith., arriving in 1607 and settling in Jamestown. Whether he survived that first winter is unknown, but it is unlikely due to his absence from lists of settlers the following year.
Whether he can be clamed as first family is unknown, there is no mention in records found thus far to indicate he married or had any children before his demise, or if he was a survivor, any indication that he moved inland from Jamestown.
April 10, 1606 Letters Patent for Virginia granted by James I.
"10 April. Grant to Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, Knts. and others, special license to make habitation and plantation, and to deduce a Colony of people into that part of America
called Virginia." (Pat. 4 Jac. I. p. 19.) (cit. 2, p. 155)
May 23, 1609 Letters Patent were issued establishing the Company of Adventurers and Planters of the City of London for the "First Colony" in Virginia; also established the "Second Colony" for Adventurers and Planters of Bristol, Exeter, and Plymouth (England). These have become known as the "London Company" and the "Plymouth Company", respectively.
On December 20, 1606, a fleet of three vessels set sail for the purpose of settling (or "planting")
the passengers ("adventurers") in Virginia. It wasn't until May 14, 1607, that the passengers finally
set foot on the soil of that wilderness, beginning the settlement of "Jamestown", Virginia. The vessels
of the small fleet were:
The Susan Constant, flagship (or admiral), Christopher Newport, Admiral.
The Godspeed (or God Speed), Bartholomew Gosnold, Captain.
The pinnace Discovery, John Ratcliffe, Captain.
Virginia Company, list written by Captain John Smith, 1607
The Cradle of the Republic, pages 8-9
Hotten's Lists, pages (Virginia Musters)
The Virginia Adventure
Book of Emigrants, citing Calendars of State Papers, American and Colonial Series, 1574-1660, ed. W. Noel Sainsbury, Longman & Green, 1860.