George Golding – A 1607 First Wave Jamestown, Virginian

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George Golding (or Goulding) was among the very first settlers at Jamestown in 1607. His Virginia Company status was ‘Laborer’.

Each member of the 1607 Jamestown settlement (almost all men) had specific roles to play within the company. While laborer seems rather trivial, there were only 13 designated laborers and among them was the company surgeon. We have no other information as what George Golding did at Jamestown.

Being a laborer was important enough that George was officially listed; it appears that those that did not perform a specific function were listed in the category of diverse others, and were not named at all in the company’s manifest.

It appears that George survived the brutal 1608 and 1609 challenges of famine and Native American attacks, as he is not listed as dying (most did!). However, there does not appear to be evidence that he survived either.

>>> Family relationship: This George Golding is undoubtedly a distant cousin, but there is no evidence that I know of that he has any descendents.  One of those with business interests in the Virginia Company was Bartholomew Gosnold, husband to Mary Golding (1595-1665) daughter of Robert Golding (1545-1614) and Martha Judd (1550-1614) of Bury St Edmunds, England. George Golding was probably a brother or a cousin to Mary Golding. Much is known about Mary Golding’s family but there is insufficient information to be able to place George Golding exactly within the family tree.

Source: The First Residents of Jamestown, National Park Service which notes:

On May 13, 1607 three English ships the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery with approximately 144 settlers and sailors, will land and plant the first permanent English colony in North America. Established by the Virginia Company of London this settlement would be called Jamestown, after king James I. On June 15, 1607 the fleet commander Captain Christopher Newport will return to England leaving 104 settlers.

— Taken from “The Proceedings – of the English Colony in Virginia since their First beginning form England in the Year of Our Lord 1606 till this Present 1612, with All their Accidents that befell them in their Journeys and Discoveries“.

Virginia struggled along as a for profit venture by the Virginia Company until the massacre of 1622. After investigation the charter of the Virginia company was revoked and Virginia became an English colony in 1624.