Charles C. Chaney's Dameron-Damron Family Association Page


Captain John Dameron

of the Jamestown Colony


The following are excerpts from various publications.
They are presented without comment.


The Early Damerons in America

Excerpt from THE DAMERON-DAMRON GENEALOGY by Helen Foster Snow

    The first Dameron we find of record in this country is Capt. John Dameron.  However Bridgett Dameron is listed among the “Dead at Elizabeth Cittie,” Virginia, Feb 16, 1623, along with such names as Samwell Harvie, Henry Payton, Isarell Knowles.  She might have been the wife of Capt. John Dameron.  Elizabeth was in the present region of Norfolk city.  This reference is taken from Hotten's Original Lists of Emigrants, 1600-1700.  Hotten lists only one other Dameron “Thomas Damerell,” p. 501, in the Barbadoes, St. James Parish, 20 Dec. 1679.  He has one negro and three acres of land.  Mariam Damron Cropper also found a "John Damerall" listed in Early Settlers to Maryland, 1635-1680, under date of 1673.


Captain John Dameron,
English Mariner

Excerpt from THE DAMERON-DAMRON GENEALOGY by Helen Foster Snow

     Capt. John Dameron came to Virginia as captain of the ship “Deuty,” 1619.  It brought something like 200 boys taken from the streets of London to be servants in Virginia.  This was a responsible post for the Virginia Company to fill and Capt. Dameron must have been a man of good judgment to be selected.  He is also said to have been connected with the ships of Sir Ferdinando Gorges.  I found an item in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, V. 7, p. 140, that Capt. John Martin had made accusation answered by Sir George Yeardley saying Stallings had died and the provisions of the ship were owned by Sir Ferdinando Gorges.  He “gave warrant unto Capt. George Bargrave and one John Dameron to take the said Stallinge’s men and boatt and to go down to Kicoughtan.”  For this Gorges was duly grateful apparently.  There was a “Damarell‘s Cove” in Canada in the early records which may have been named for Capt. John Dameron, as this is one variation of the name--Gorges at that time considered that he owned Canada and Maine and parts of New England as he had a patent for it.  In the Journals of the House of Burgesses of Va. p. 76, 1625, the minutes referred to “Damerel’s Cove”, Canada where Mr. Newell and Mr. Sandys had tobacco damaged.

    This Captain John Dameron is the most interesting of all the Damerons and it would be easy to have the records of the Virginia Company searched in England to find out more about him.  However, it is probable that he was not the master of the vessel “Duty” or “Deuty,” as it was spelled, in 1619, as this ship made other voyages to Virginia.  In 1640 the “Duty” brought the Bridwell prison convicts to Virginia, sent by the Virginia Company, and it was to this voyage that the reference was given in Am. Pub. V. II, 9 pp. 136-8, in which it was stated that John Dameron was master.  Also in the Virginia Historical Magazine, Am. Pub. V. 7. p. 140, it is noted that John Dameron in Charles City County, Virginia, 1619, was called to take a ship in bad repair.  The 1640 convicts were the first to be shipped to Virginia, it is noted.  Also I looked up the reference to the “Deuty boys,” as they were afterward called, in 1619, and found that only fifty came in the first voyage, and in 1620 another hundred or more young boys were shipped to Virginia, so they did not all come in 1619.  They were “bound out” for seven years until of age, then free and given 20 acres of land.

    Although the histories do not mention much about Capt. John Dameron, he was obviously one of the famous sea captains of his day and one of the founders of Virginia - otherwise the Virginia Company would not have entrusted him with such difficult enterprises.  The cove in Canada must have been named for him.  There is also a reference where Jeffry Cornish went aboard the “Swan” at “Dambrell’s Cove,” in Canada and observed the damage to the tobacco of Mr. Newell (or Nevell) and Mr. Sandys, p. 82, Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia.  Mr. Sandys owned “200 wt. tob. for Southampton hundred.”

    The records of the Damerons of Westerfield Manor, Suffolk, England, show John Dameron b. about 1618, Rushmore, Suffolk, son of John Dameron who m. 1 June, 1640, Bridget Maw; wife Joan Lumis b. about 1620, Kesgrove, Suffolk, England.  Children: John b. 1642, Rushmore, Suffolk, England.  Tyler’s V. 4, p. 55, also has a reference to the will of Bartholomew de Beeches, proved Ipswich, W.B. 1554-7, parish register of Little Beales-—Thomas Dameron was buried in Westerfield parish Jan. 13, 1558, and George Dameron July 27, 1559.

    As Elizabeth Gosnel (Gosnold) married a Dameron, there may be some connection with the famous Bartholomew.  Stanard’s The Story of Virginia’s_First Century says: “In 1602 Bartholomew Gosnold, one of Raleigh’s captains who was to take a prominent part in the settlement of Jamestown, with thirty-one others (including Gabriel Archer, a Jamestown Councillor to be) went on voyage sponsored by Henry, Earl of Southampton, Lord Cobham and others of Raleigh’s friends, to the ‘northernmost parts of Virginia.  They spent four months on the coast of the present New England . . . In 1603 Queen Elizabeth died and was succeeded by James I--and Sir Walter’s star set.  Early in the new reign he was suspected of being involved in conspiracies. . . sent to the Tower and kept there thirteen years until March, 1616.”  Then in 1609 “Scrivener, whom Smith had left in charge at Jamestown, had gone in a skiff to Hog Island, taking with him Captain Waldo, Anthony Gosnold and eight others,” all of whom died in a storm,” p. 73.  Bartholomew Gosnold died 1607.  After his trip of 1602 he “actively promoted the colonization of the regions he had visited and, by arousing the interest of Sir Ferdinando Gorges and other influential persons, contributed toward securing the grants of the Charters to the London and Plymouth companies in 1606.  In 1606-7 he was associated with Christopher Newport in command of the three vessels by which the first Jamestown colonists were carried to Virginia.  As a member of the council he took an active share in the affairs of the colony... He died from swamp fever on Aug. 22, 1607” in Virginia.  Gorges lived 1566 to 1647, b, Somersetshire, and was keeper of the Plymouth fort 1596-1629 in England.

    The William and Mary Quarterly (1). 11, p. 1382 has the following reference found by Julia Dameron Old. which may be quoted exactly for this record:

    “The earliest Connection of Dameron with Virginia was when Capt. John Dameron, master of the ship Duty, brought over the Bridewell prison inmates, sent by the Virginia Company of London, and it seems that about this time the Damerons themselves got a footing in the Virginia Colony since ‘Bridget Dameron’ was in the ‘list of dead’ at Elizabeth City, in Feb. 1622-23, but what connection she was with Bar. Dameron, who was church warden in Wicomico Parish Apr. 1683, I don’t know, for he was most likely a descendant of that Lawrence Dameron who was a patentee 12 May, 1652, for 340 A. on Wicomico River, Northumberland Co.”

    She also found an interesting reference to the Damerons in England in the William and Mary Quarterly (1) 11. p. 137, preceding the above:  “ . . . In the parish register of St. Matthews Church, Ipswich, Suffolk, is the entry of the marriage 17 Nov. 1605, of Thomas Ball and Anne Dameron, widow.  Now, in Northumberland County, Va., the respectable family of Dameron has always been in some way connected with that of Ball.  In Suffolk County, England, ever since the 14th century the Damerons have been land-owning and will-making residents, their chief seat being Westerfield Manor, and the registers of the parishes of Westerfield, St. Nicholas in Ipswich, Coddenham, Henley and Rushmere attest that they were ‘church people’, as they also were in Wicomico Parish, Northumberland Co., Va., where Mr. George Dameron was a vestryman in 1770, along with Mr. Charles Coppege and Captains David and George Ball.”  From “Ball, Coppege and Dameron of Northumberland County, Va.” by Charles H. Browning, Ardmore P.O., Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

    The same reference 11 (1), 138, notes Bridget Dameron, with same information.

    In looking over the records of Devonshire, England, Visitation of Devonshire, 1620, Harlein mss.  I found nothing on the Damerons, but in Parish Register Abstracts, including the Lost Parish Registers of Devon 1596-1644, Granville, V. l, I found p. 175, Elizabeth Damrel m. Thos. Skinner, 1635, Ashcombe, Devon.

    In the book Roger Conant, by Clifford K. Shipton, Harvard Press, 1945, he several times refers to “Damarins Cove.”  Page 21 indicates it was named this before 1621 or 1622.  Conant came in 1622, winter, and the book says that Thomas Weston “had the year before sent out to New England a group of fifty or sixty men led by his brother Andrew, who had settled at Wessagusset.  At the saw time a small trading vessel belonging to him landed seven passengers at Damerins Cove, whence they made their way to Plymouth.”  This refers to 1621.  “More than forty other vessels went out to New England in the year 1623. The Conants may have gone in one of these, or in the Jonathan of Plymouth with Thomson, but the most likely guess is that they went in Weston’s last vessels, which probably made Damarins Cove in March, 1623.”  The book also says, “That same summer, Captain Robert Gorges, the son of Sir Ferdinando, arrived as Governor General of New England, bring Admiral Francis West,” but his men wandered off and his colony failed.  It was Devonshire people at Roanoke, and also F.C. Pierce says that Christopher Foster, our ancestor, went with Roger and his brother of East Budleigh, Devonshire, the home of Sir Walter Raleigh before he was beheaded Oct. 23, 1618.  Roger Conant settled at Cape Anne, Mass., which Goonold had visited in 1602 sailing from Devon.  The Dorchester, Devon, company “planted fourteen men at Cape Ann, and the following year they sent out thirty-two more.”  Page 49, referring to 1622-23 winter.  I have not found any record of Christopher Foster at Cape Anne, however, until he came in 1635 on the “Abigail.”



  Captain John Dameron of the Jamestown Colony

by John Preston Dameron

Excerpt from The  Dameron/Damron  Family Newsletter, Volume 4, March 1983


From Records of the Virginia Company

Excerpts from a letter from John Pory to Sir Edwin Sandys

June 17, 1620

"The Swan of Barnestaple” arryved here at James Citty ye

15th of May and departed hence ye first of June.  The

London Harchant, and ye Jonathan ye 9th.  The "Duty"

arryved here ye 25th of May and departed yestertay

being ye eleventh of June....  I thought expedyent to

adde by ye Duty nowe bound to trade and fish in Canada,

where wee hope they will finde some men of Plymouth"

"The inconvenience of unsound bodyes.


Pory asserts that fall and winter were the best time to send new settlers, that they be sound of body tradesmen, husbandmen, and laborours.  And that ships should take a central route rather than from the north or West Indies.

"JOHN DAMYRON not withstandige he made a kinde of a

vowe upon our untoward northerly passage in ye Dyana that

he would never stand ye like course for Virginia againe

preferred now obedyence before sacrafice, and followed ye

companyes directions by ye way of ye north, and by

longe contynuance at sea (besides other inconveyence)

lost to ye colony ye benefytt of those silkworms which

his majesty had so gratiously bestowed upon us."



This proves that CAPTAIN JOHN DAMERON was in the Jamestown Colony at least as early as 1620 (The same year that the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts).  Little is known of this John Dameron other than that he is mentioned several times in letters from the colony.


    One source in the William and Mary Quarterly states that he was Captain of the Duty (sometimes spelled “Deuty") that brought convicts from London to America.  Helen Foster Snow states that this Bridewell Prison ship did not come to America until 1640.  This earlier record of 1620 has "John Damyron" aboard the Dyana.


    There are several questions regarding Captain John Dameron that are not so easily answered.  Primarily, "Was Captain John Dameron the father of Lawrence Dameron, ancestor of most American Damerons and Damrons?"


    On basis of information that we have, this can neither be proven nor ruled out.  One Suffolk, England marriage record is on 17 April, 1617 between John Dameron and Bridgett Nawe or (Haws).  Could this be Bridgett Dameron who is listed in Hotten as dead in Elizabeth City, Virginia before 1624?


    Presumably killed by Indians) or could this be the Bridgett "Damren", widow, who left a will in 1635 in Walton, Suffolk, England?


    If, indeed Captain John Dameron married Bridgett in 1617 could he be the father of Lawrence?  Lawrence's birth date is unknown but estimates place it as early as 1595.  Bartholomew, oldest son of Lawrence was born about 1645, so this could fit a birth date for Lawrence between 1618-1623.


    Yet, Lawrence, in one of his land patents, is credited with importing himself, his wife, and family from England. If Bridgett died in America, and Lawrence were her son, he would have to be sent back to England to come again to America years later.


    Still another theory is that the Bridgett Dameron who died in America was daughter of Captain John Dameron and Bridgett, who returned to England.  Then we must turn the Rubik's cube again.  The English Bridgett was a widow by l635.  If she were wife of Captain John, then he could have not brought the Bridewell prisoners to America in 1640.


    We do know that Lawrence had enough money to pay the passage of 14 indentured servants for two land patents totaling over 800 acres, the first in 1652, and that by 1657 he had enough money to buy 500 additional acres.  Presumably a sea captain could leave such a legacy.


    Perhaps the will of Bridgett of Walton, England could unlock some answers.  We cannot, however, place John as Lawrence's father on the evidence we have.


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Last updated 12 July 2015