Ellie Wood Keith Genealogy



Female 1595 - 1615  (19 years)

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  • Name Pocahontas  
    Born 17 Sept, 1595  Powhatan\'s Village, Pamunkey River, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Note: Many Pocahontas descendents have sent us inquiries regarding membership. Please see our frequently asked questions for information regarding Pocahontas\' descendents and Powhatan membership.

    In 1995, Roy Disney decided to release an animated movie about a Powhatan woman known as \"Pocahontas\". In answer to a complaint by the Powhatan Nation, he claims the film is \"responsible, accurate, and respectful.\"

    We of the Powhatan Nation disagree. The film distorts history beyond recognition. Our offers to assist Disney with cultural and historical accuracy were rejected. Our efforts urging him to reconsider his misguided mission were spurred.

    \"Pocahontas\" was a nickname, meaning \"the naughty one\" or \"spoiled child\". Her real name was Matoaka. The legend is that she saved a heroic John Smith from being clubbed to death by her father in 1607 - she would have been about 10 or 11 at the time. The truth is that Smith\'s fellow colonists described him as an abrasive, ambitious, self-promoting mercenary soldier.

    Of all of Powhatan\'s children, only \"Pocahontas\" is known, primarily because she became the hero of Euro-Americans as the \"good Indian\", one who saved the life of a white man. Not only is the \"good Indian/bad Indian theme\" inevitably given new life by Disney, but the history, as recorded by the English themselves, is badly falsified in the name of \"entertainment\".

    The truth of the matter is that the first time John Smith told the story about this rescue was 17 years after it happened, and it was but one of three reported by the pretentious Smith that he was saved from death by a prominent woman.

    Yet in an account Smith wrote after his winter stay with Powhatan\'s people, he never mentioned such an incident. In fact, the starving adventurer reported he had been kept comfortable and treated in a friendly fashion as an honored guest of Powhatan and Powhatan\'s brothers. Most scholars think the \"Pocahontas incident\" would have been highly unlikely, especially since it was part of a longer account used as justification to wage war on Powhatan\'s Nation.

    Euro-Americans must ask themselves why it has been so important to elevate Smith\'s fibbing to status as a national myth worthy of being recycled again by Disney. Disney even improves upon it by changing Pocahontas from a little girl into a young woman.

    The true Pocahontas story has a sad ending. In 1612, at the age of 17, Pocahontas was treacherously taken prisoner by the English while she was on a social visit, and was held hostage at Jamestown for over a year.

    During her captivity, a 28-year-old widower named John Rolfe took a \"special interest\" in the attractive young prisoner. As a condition of her release, she agreed to marry Rolfe, who the world can thank for commercializing tobacco. Thus, in April 1614, Matoaka, also known as \"Pocahontas\", daughter of Chief Powhatan, became \"Rebecca Rolfe\". Shortly after, they had a son, whom they named Thomas Rolfe. The descendants of Pocahontas and John Rolfe were known as the \"Red Rolfes.\"

    Two years later on the spring of 1616, Rolfe took her to England where the Virginia Company of London used her in their propaganda campaign to support the colony. She was wined and dined and taken to theaters. It was recorded that on one occasion when she encountered John Smith (who was also in London at the time), she was so furious with him that she turned her back to him, hid her face, and went off by herself for several hours. Later, in a second encounter, she called him a liar and showed him the door.

    Rolfe, his young wife, and their son set off for Virginia in March of 1617, but \"Rebecca\" had to be taken off the ship at Gravesend. She died there on March 21, 1617, at the age of 21. She was buried at Gravesend, but the grave was destroyed in a reconstruction of the church. It was only after her death and her fame in London society that Smith found it convenient to invent the yarn that she had rescued him.

    History tells the rest. Chief Powhatan died the following spring of 1618. The people of Smith and Rolfe turned upon the people who had shared their resources with them and had shown them friendship. During Pocahontas\' generation, Powhatan\'s people were decimated and dispersed and their lands were taken over. A clear pattern had been set which would soon spread across the American continent.

    Chief Roy Crazy Horse
    It is unfortunate that this sad story,
    which Euro-Americans should find embarrassing,
    Disney makes \"entertainment\" and perpetuates a dishonest and self-serving myth
    at the expense of the Powhatan Nation.
    History Early life
    Pocahontas\' birth year is unknown, but some historians estimate it to have been around 1596.[1] In A True Relation of Virginia (1608), Smith described the Pocahontas he met in the spring of 1608 as being \"a child of ten years old\".[7] In a letter written in 1616, he again described her as she was in 1608, but this time as \"a child of twelve or thirteen years of age\".[8]
    Pocahontas was the daughter of Powhatan, paramount chief of Tsenacommacah, an alliance of about thirty Algonquian-speaking groups and petty chiefdoms in Tidewater, Virginia.[9] Her mother\'s name and origins are unknown but she was probably of lowly status. The colonist Henry Spelman, who had lived among the Powhatan as an interpreter, noted that when one of the paramount chief\'s many wives gave birth to a child, the mother was returned to her place of origin, to be supported there by the paramount chief until she found another husband.[10] In the traditional histories of the Powhatan, Pocahontas\' mother died in childbirth.[11][12] An oral history of the Mattaponi Reservation Peoples, who are descendants of the Powhatan peoples, claims that Pocahontas\' mother was first wife of Powhatan, and that Pocahontas was named after her.[13]
    Pocahontas\' childhood was probably little different from that of most girls who lived in Tsenacommacah. She would have learned how to perform what was considered to be women\'s work, which included foraging for food and firewood, farming, and searching for the plant materials used in building thatched houses.[14] As she grew older, she would have helped other members of Powhatan\'s household with preparations for large feasts.[12] Serving feasts, such as the one presented to John Smith after his capture, was a regular obligation of the Mamanatowick, or paramount chief.[15]
    At the time Pocahontas was born, it was common for Powhatan Native Americans to be given several personal names, have more than one name at the same time, have secret names that only a select few knew, and to change their names on important occasions. Bestowed at different times, the names carried different meanings and might be used in different contexts.[16] Pocahontas was no different. Early in her life she was given a secret name, Matoaka, but later she was also known as Amonute. Matoaka means \"Bright Stream Between the Hills\"; Amonute has not been translated.[17][18]
    According to the colonist William Strachey, \"Pocahontas\" was a childhood nickname that probably referred to her frolicsome nature; it meant \"little wanton\";[19] some interpret the meaning as \"playful one\".[15] The 18th-century historian William Stith claimed that \"her real name, it seems, was originally Matoax, which the Indians carefully concealed from the English and changed it to Pocahontas, out of a superstitious fear, lest they, by the knowledge of her true name, should be enabled to do her some hurt.\"[20] According to the anthropologist Helen C. Rountree, Pocahontas \"revealed [her secret name] to the English only after she had taken another religious—baptismal—name, Rebecca\".[21]
    Pocahontas\' Christian name, Rebecca, may have been a symbolic gesture to Rebecca of the Book of Genesis who, as the mother of Jacob and Esau, was the mother of two \"nations\", or distinct peoples. Pocahontas, as a Powhatan marrying an Englishman, may have been seen by herself and by her contemporaries as being also, potentially, a matriarchal figure of two distinct peoples.[22]
    Title and status
    Pocahontas has been considered in popular culture to be a princess. In 1841, William Watson Waldron of Trinity College, Dublin, in Ireland, published Pocahontas, American Princess: and Other Poems, calling Pocahontas \"the beloved and only surviving daughter of the king\".[23] Indeed, Pocahontas was a favorite of her father\'s—his \"delight and darling\", according to the colonist Captain Ralph Hamor[24]—but she was not in line to inherit a position as a weroance, subchief, or mamanatowick (paramount chief). Instead, Powhatan\'s brothers, sisters, and his sisters\' children all stood in line to succeed him.[25] In his A Map of Virginia John Smith explained how matrilineal inheritance worked among the Powhatans:
    His [Powhatan\'s] kingdom descendeth not to his sonnes nor children: but first to his brethren, whereof he hath three namely Opitchapan, Opechanncanough, and Catataugh; and after their decease to his sisters. First to the eldest sister, then to the rest: and after them to the heires male and female of the eldest sister; but never to the heires of the males.
    Interactions with the English
    John Smith

    In this chromolithograph credited to the New England Chromo. Lith. Company, around 1870, Pocahontas saves the life of John Smith. The scene is idealized and relies on stereotypes of Native Americans rather than reliable information about the particulars of this historical moment. There are no mountains in Tidewater Virginia, for example, and the Powhatans lived not in tipis but in thatched houses. And the scene that Smith famously described in his Generall Historie (1624) did not take place outdoors but in a longhouse.
    Pocahontas is most famously linked to the English colonist Captain John Smith, who arrived in Virginia with a hundred other settlers in April 1607, at the behest of the London Company. After building a fort on a marshy peninsula poking out into the James River, the Englishmen had numerous encounters over the next several months with the people of Tsenacommacah, some of them friendly, some hostile. Then, in December 1607, while exploring on the Chickahominy River, Smith was captured by a hunting party led by Powhatan\'s younger brother (or close relative) Opechancanough and brought to Powhatan\'s capital at Werowocomoco. In his 1608 account, Smith describes a great feast followed by a long talk with Powhatan. He does not mention Pocahontas in relation to his capture, and claims that they first met some months later.[26] [27] Huber understands the meeting of Smith and Powhatan as the latter\'s attempt to bring Smith, and so the English, into his chiefdom: Powhatan offered Smith rule of the town of Capahosic, which was close to Powhatan\'s capital at Werowocomoco. The paramount chief thus hoped to keep Smith and his men \"nearby and better under control\".[28]
    In 1616, Smith wrote a letter to Queen Anne in anticipation of Pocahontas\'s visit to England. In this new account, his capture included the threat of his own death: \"at the minute of my execution\", he wrote, \"she [Pocahontas] hazarded the beating out of her own brains to save mine; and not only that, but so prevailed with her father, that I was safely conducted to Jamestown.\"[8] In his 1624 Generall Historie, published long after the death of Pocahontas, Smith expanded the story. Writing about himself in the third person, he explained that after he was captured and taken to the paramount chief, \"two great stones were brought before Powhatan: then as many as could layd hands on him [Smith], dragged him to them, and thereon laid his head, and being ready with their clubs, to beate out his braines, Pocahontas the Kings dearest daughter, when no intreaty could prevaile, got his head in her armes, and laid her owne upon his to save him from death ...\"[29]
    In a later publication, True Travels (1630), Smith claimed a similar rescue by another young girl in 1602, following his capture by Turks in Hungary; the story resembles a popular contemporary type of moral tale, in which a Christian hero maintains his faith despite threats and intimidation. Karen Ordahl Kupperman suggests that Smith used such details to embroider his first account, thus producing a more dramatic, second account of his encounter with Pocahontas as a heroine worthy of reception by Queen Anne. Its later revision and publication was probably an attempt to raise his own stock and reputation; he had long since fallen from favor with the London Company, which had funded the Jamestown enterprise.[30] Anthropologist Frederic W. Gleach, drawing on substantial ethnohistory, suggests that Smith\'s second account, while substantially accurate, represents his misunderstanding of a three-stage ritual intended to adopt Smith, as representative of the English colony, into the confederacy;[31][32] but not all writers are convinced, some suggesting the absence of certain corroborating evidence.[33]
    Early histories did establish that Pocahontas befriended Smith and the Jamestown colony. Pocahontas often went to the settlement and played games with the boys there.[34] When the colonists were starving, \"every once in four or five days, Pocahontas with her attendants brought him [Smith] so much provision that saved many of their lives that else for all this had starved with hunger\".[35] As the colonists expanded their settlement further, the Powhatan felt their lands were threatened, and conflicts arose again.
    In late 1609, an injury from a gunpowder explosion forced Smith to return to England for medical care. The English told the Powhatans that Smith was dead. Pocahontas believed that account and hence afterward, stopped visiting Jamestown. Much later, she learned that he was living in England when she traveled there with her husband John Rolfe.[36]

    In his engraving The abduction of Pocahontas (1619), Johann Theodor de Bry depicts a full narrative. Starting in the lower left, Pocahontas (center) is deceived by the weroance Iopassus, who holds as bait a copper kettle, and his wife, who pretends to cry. At center right, Pocahontas is put on the boat and feasted. In the background, the action moves from the Potomac to the York River, where negotiations for a hostage trade fail and the English attack and burn a Native American village.[37]
    Pocahontas\'s capture occurred in the context of the First Anglo-Powhatan War, a conflict between the Jamestown settlers and the Native Americans that began late in the summer of 1609.[38] In the first years of war, the English took control of the James River, both at its mouth and at the falls. Captain Samuel Argall, in the meantime, pursued contacts with Native American groups in the northern portion of Powhatan\'s paramount chiefdom. The Patawomecks, who lived on the Potomac River, were not always loyal to Powhatan, and living with them was a young English interpreter named Henry Spelman. In March 1613, Argall learned that Pocahontas was visiting the Patawomeck village of Passapatanzy and living under the protection of the Weroance Iopassus (also known as Japazaws).[39]
    With Spelman\'s help translating, Argall pressured Iopassus to assist in Pocahontas\'s capture by promising an alliance with the English against the Powhatans.[39] They tricked Pocahontas into boarding Argall\'s ship and held her for ransom, demanding the release of English prisoners held by her father, along with various stolen weapons and tools.[40] Powhatan returned the prisoners, but failed to satisfy the colonists with the number of weapons and tools he returned. A long standoff ensued, during which the English kept Pocahontas captive.
    During the year-long wait, she was held at Henricus, in modern-day Chesterfield County, Virginia. Little is known about her life there, although colonist Ralph Hamor wrote that she received \"extraordinary courteous usage\".[41] Linwood \"Little Bear\" Custalow, in a 2007 book, asserts that Pocahontas was raped during this time, citing oral tradition handed down over four centuries. According to Helen Rountree, \"Other historians have disputed that such oral tradition survived and instead argue that any mistreatment of Pocahontas would have gone against the interests of the English in their negotiations with Powhatan. A truce had been called, the Indians still far outnumbered the English, and the colonists feared retaliation.\"[42]
    At this time, the minister at Henricus, Alexander Whitaker, taught Pocahontas about Christianity and helped her to improve her English. Upon her baptism, Pocahontas took the Christian name \"Rebecca\".[43]
    In March 1614, the standoff built up to a violent confrontation between hundreds of English and Powhatan men on the Pamunkey River. At Powhatan\'s capital of Matchcot, the English encountered a group of senior Native American leaders. The English allowed Pocahontas to talk to her countrymen. When Powhatan arrived, Pocahontas reportedly rebuked him for valuing her \"less than old swords, pieces, or axes\", and said that she preferred to live with the English, \"who loved her\".[44]
    Possible first marriage
    Current Mattaponi tradition holds that Pocahontas\'s first husband was Kocoum, brother of the Patawomeck weroance Japazaws, and that Kocoum was killed by the English after his wife\'s capture in 1613.[45] Today\'s Patawomecks believe that Pocahontas and Kocoum had a daughter, Ka-Okee, who was raised by the Patawomecks after her father\'s death and her mother\'s abduction.[46]
    However, Kocoum\'s actual identity, location, and even existence have been widely debated among scholars for centuries, with several historians[who?] arguing that the only mention of a \"Kocoum\" in any English document is taken from a brief statement written about 1616 by William Strachey in England that Pocahontas had been living married to a \"private captaine called Kocoum\" for two years.[47] Since 1614 is certainly when she married John Rolfe, and no other records even hint at any previous husband, it has accordingly been suggested that when Strachey wrote of the \"private captaine called Kocoum\" he was mistakenly referring to Rolfe himself, with the reference being later misunderstood as one of Powhatan\'s officers.[48] There was a Powhatan military rank called kokoraws, sometimes translated \"captain\", and scholarly debate has asked[attribution needed] whether Strachey could have meant this as one of his famously divergent spellings, as a gloss to \"Captayne\". In addition, the date of Strachey\'s original statement has been widely disputed by numerous authors attempting either to make the case, or refute, that Pocahontas had been previously married. If there was such a marriage and Kocoum was not murdered, it likely ended, according to Powhatan custom, when Pocahontas was captured.[49]
    Marriage to John Rolfe

    John Gadsby Chapman, The Baptism of Pocahontas (1840). A copy is on display in the Rotunda of the US Capitol.
    During her stay in Henricus, Pocahontas met John Rolfe, whose English-born wife, Sarah Hacker, and child, Bermuda Rolfe, had died before he came to Virginia. Rolfe established a Virginia plantation, Varina Farms, where he successfully cultivated a new strain of tobacco. He was a pious man, and agonized over the potential moral repercussions of marrying a heathen. In a long letter to the governor requesting permission to wed her, he expressed his love for Pocahontas, and his belief that he would be saving her soul. He wrote that he was
    motivated not by the unbridled desire of carnal affection, but for the good of this plantation, for the honor of our country, for the Glory of God, for my own salvation ... namely Pocahontas, to whom my hearty and best thoughts are, and have been a long time so entangled, and enthralled in so intricate a labyrinth that I was even a-wearied to unwind myself thereout.[50]
    Pocahontas\'s feelings about Rolfe are unknown. They were married on April 5, 1614, by chaplain Richard Buck, probably at Jamestown. For two years they lived at Rolfe\'s plantation, Varina Farms, across the James River from Henricus. Their son, Thomas, was born on January 30, 1615.[51]
    Their marriage created a climate of peace between the Jamestown colonists and Powhatan\'s tribes; it endured for eight years as the \"Peace of Pocahontas.\"[52] In 1615, Ralph Hamor wrote, \"Since the wedding we have had friendly commerce and trade not only with Powhatan but also with his subjects round about us.\"[53]

    The Sedgeford Hall Portrait, once thought to represent Pocahontas and Thomas Rolfe, is now believed to actually depict the wife (Pe-o-ka) and son of Osceola, Seminole Indian Chief.[54]
    The Virginia Company of London had long seen one of its primary goals as the conversion of Native Americans to Christianity. With the conversion of Pocahontas and her marriage to an Englishman – all of which helped bring an end to the First Anglo-Powhatan War – the company saw an opportunity to promote investment. The company decided to bring Pocahontas to England as a symbol of the tamed New World \"savage\" and the success of the Jamestown settlement.[55] In 1616, the Rolfes traveled to England, arriving at the port of Plymouth on June 12.[56] They journeyed to London by coach, accompanied by a group of about eleven other Powhatans, including a holy man named Tomocomo.[57] John Smith was living in London at the time and while Pocahontas was in Plymouth, she learned he was still alive.[58] Smith did not meet Pocahontas, but wrote to Queen Anne, the wife of King James, urging that Pocahontas be treated with respect as a royal visitor. He suggested that if she were treated badly, her \"present love to us and Christianity might turn to ... scorn and fury\", and England might lose the chance to \"rightly have a Kingdom by her means\".[8]
    Pocahontas was entertained at various society gatherings. On January 5, 1617, she and Tomocomo were brought before the king at the old Banqueting House in the Palace of Whitehall at a performance of Ben Jonson\'s masque The Vision of Delight. According to Smith, King James was so unprepossessing that neither Pocahontas nor Tomocomo realized whom they had met until it was explained to them afterward.[58]
    Although Pocahontas was not a princess in the context of Powhatan culture, the Virginia Company nevertheless presented her as a princess to the English public. The inscription on a 1616 engraving of Pocahontas, made for the company, reads: \"MATOAKA ALS REBECCA FILIA POTENTISS : PRINC : POWHATANI IMP:VIRGINIÆ\", which means: \"Matoaka, alias Rebecca, daughter of the most powerful prince of the Powhatan Empire of Virginia\". Many English at this time recognized Powhatan to be the ruler of an empire, and they presumably accorded to his daughter what they considered appropriate status. Smith\'s letter to Queen Anne refers to \"Powhatan their chief King\".[8] Cleric and travel writer Samuel Purchas recalled meeting Pocahontas in London, noting that she impressed those she met because she \"carried her selfe as the daughter of a king\".[59] When he met her again in London, Smith referred to Pocahontas deferentially as a \"Kings daughter\".[60]
    Pocahontas was apparently treated well in London. At the masque, her seats were described as \"well placed\",[61] and, according to Purchas, John King, Bishop of London, \"entertained her with festival state and pomp beyond what I have seen in his greate hospitalitie afforded to other ladies\".[62]
    Not all the English were so impressed. According to Helen C. Rountree, \"there is no contemporary evidence to suggest ... that Pocahontas was regarded [in England] as anything like royalty\". Rather, she was considered to be something of a curiosity and, according to one observer, she was merely \"the Virginian woman\".[25]
    Pocahontas and Rolfe lived in the suburb of Brentford, Middlesex, for some time, as well as at Rolfe\'s family home at Heacham Hall, Heacham, Norfolk. In early 1617, Smith met the couple at a social gathering, and later wrote that when Pocahontas saw him, \"without any words, she turned about, obscured her face, as not seeming well contented\", and was left alone for two or three hours. Later, they spoke more; Smith\'s record of what she said to him is fragmentary and enigmatic. She reminded him of the \"courtesies she had done\", saying, \"you did promise Powhatan what was yours would be his, and he the like to you\". She then discomfited him by calling him \"father\", explaining Smith had called Powhatan \"father\" when a stranger in Virginia, \"and by the same reason so must I do you\". Smith did not accept this form of address because, he wrote, Pocahontas outranked him as \"a King\'s daughter\". Pocahontas then, \"with a well-set countenance\", said:
    Were you not afraid to come into my father\'s country and caused fear in him and all his people (but me) and fear you here I should call you \"father\"? I tell you then I will, and you shall call me child, and so I will be for ever and ever your countryman.[58]
    Finally, Pocahontas told Smith that she and her fellow Native Americans had thought him dead, but her father had told Tomocomo to seek him \"because your countrymen will lie much\".[58]

    Statue of Pocahontas in Saint George\'s church, Gravesend, Kent
    In March 1617, John Rolfe and Pocahontas boarded a ship to return to Virginia; the ship had sailed only as far as Gravesend on the river Thames, when Pocahontas became gravely ill.[63] She was taken ashore and died at the approximate age of 21. It is not known what caused her death, but theories range from pneumonia, smallpox, and tuberculosis to her having been poisoned.[64] According to Rolfe, she died saying, \"all must die, but tis enough that her child liveth\".[65]
    Pocahontas\' funeral took place on March 21, 1617, in the parish of Saint George\'s, Gravesend.[66] Her grave is thought to be underneath the church\'s chancel, though since that church was destroyed in a fire in 1727, her exact gravesite is unknown.[67] Her memory is honored with a life-size bronze statue at St. George\'s Church by William Ordway Partridge.[68]
    Descendants and legacy

    This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (May 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
    Pocahontas and her husband, John Rolfe, had one child, Thomas Rolfe, who was born in January 1615. The following year, Thomas\' parents traveled to London.
    Pocahontas and her father, Chief Powhatan, have many notable descendants, including Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, Woodrow Wilson\'s wife; American Western actor Glenn Strange, astronomer and mathematician Percival Lowell and members of the First Families of Virginia, including George Wythe Randolph, Admiral Richard E. Byrd, and Virginia Governor Harry F. Byrd.
    In 1907, Pocahontas became the first Native American to be honored on a US stamp.[69] She was a member of the inaugural class of Virginia Women in History in 2000.[70]
    In July 2015, the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, descendants of the Powhatan chiefdom, of which Pocahontas was a member, became the first federally recognized tribe in the state of Virginia.[71]

    Pocahontas commemorative postage stamp of 1907

    First Lady Edith Wilson, a descendant of Pocahontas.

    Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a descendant of Pocahontas[72]
    Cultural representations

    A 19th-century depiction
    After her death, increasingly fanciful and romanticized representations of Pocahontas were produced, in which Pocahontas and Smith were romantically involved. Contemporary sources substantiate claims of their friendship, not romance.[52] The first claim of their romantic involvement was in John Davis\' Travels in the United States of America (1803)[73]
    On stage
    Miss Pocahontas (Broadway musical) - Lyric Theatre, New York City - Oct 28, 1907.
    Pocahontas (ballet) by Elliot Carter, Jr. - Martin Beck Theatre, New York City - May 24, 1939
    Pocahontas (musical) by Kermit Goell - Lyric Theatre (West End, London) - November 14, 1963
    In dramatizations
    Perhaps the first surviving stage dramatization of the Pocahontas story is James Nelson Barker\'s The Indian Princess; or, La Belle Sauvage (1808)
    In 1855, John Brougham produced a burlesque, Po-ca-hon-tas, or The Gentle Savage
    The Jamestown Exposition, held in Norfolk from April 26 to December 1, 1907, celebrated the 300th anniversary of the Jamestown settlement in 1607 as the first permanent British colony in America. In conjunction with the Exposition, three commemorative postage stamps were issued. The 5-cent portrays Pocahontas, modeled from Simon van de Passe\'s 1616 engraving. About 8 million were issued.[74]
    In films
    Films about Pocahontas include:
    Pocahontas (1910), a Thanhouser Company silent short drama
    Pocahontas and John Smith (1924), a silent directed by Bryan Foy
    Captain John Smith and Pocahontas (1953), an American production directed by Lew Landers, starring Jody Lawrance as Pocahontas
    Pocahontas (1994), a Japanese animated production from Jetlag Productions, directed by Toshiyuki Hiruma Takashi
    Pocahontas: The Legend (1995), a Canadian live-action feature based on her life
    Pocahontas (1995), a Walt Disney Company animated feature which presents a fictional love affair between Pocahontas and John Smith, in which Pocahontas teaches Smith respect for nature
    Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1998) depicts Pocahantas\' meeting and falling in love with John Rolfe and her journey to England
    The New World (2005), directed by Terrence Malick and starring Q\'orianka Kilcher as Pocahontas[75]
    Pocahontas: Dove of Peace (2016), a docudrama produced by Christian Broadcasting Network[76]
    In games
    Disney\'s Pocahontas, a video game based on the Disney film
    In literature
    Davis, John (1803). Travels in the United States of America.[73]
    In music
    Neil Young\'s song \"Pocahontas\", on his album Rust Never Sleeps (1979), is based on Strachey\'s account and expresses the speaker\'s desire to sleep with her \"as part of his romantic yearning to return to a preconquest, natural world\".[77]
    In visual art
    The only contemporary portrait of Pocahontas is Simon van de Passe\'s engraving of 1616. In this portrait, he tried to portray her Virginia-Native American features.[citation needed]
    The abduction of Pocahontas (1619), a narrative engraving by Johann Theodor de Bry
    A bronze statue (1922) of Pocahontas by William Ordway Partridge in Jamestown, Virginia; a replica (1958) stands in the grounds of St George\'s Church, Gravesend[78]
    The Baptism of Pocahontas (1840), a painting by John Gadsby Chapman. It hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol Building.
    Pocahontas, a thoroughbred racing and breeding mare
    Pocahontas Land Company, a subsidiary of the Norfolk and Western Railway
    4487 Pocahontas (1987 UA), an asteroid
    Amonate, Virginia
    Fort Pocahontas, an American Civil War fortification in Charles City County, Virginia
    Lake Matoaka, part of the campus of the College of William and Mary
    Matoaca, Virginia, located in Chesterfield County on the Appomattox River; county historians say this is the site of the Native American village Matoax, where she was raised
    Matoaka, West Virginia
    Pocahontas, Alberta, Canada
    Pocahontas, Arkansas
    Pocahontas, Illinois
    Pocahontas, Iowa, in Pocahontas County
    Pocahontas, Mississippi
    Pocahontas Mounds, an archaeological site in Hinds County, Mississippi
    Pocahontas, Missouri
    Pocahontas, Tennessee
    Pocahontas, Virginia
    Pocahontas Coalfield, one of the richest seams of bituminous coal found in Virginia and West Virginia
    Pocahontas County, Iowa
    Pocahontas County, West Virginia
    Pocahontas Park, Vero Beach, Florida
    Pocahontas State Park, Chesterfield, Virginia
    Matoaca High School, located in Chesterfield County, Virginia; their teams are called The Warriors
    Pocahontas Middle School in Henrico County, Virginia
    Pocahontas Area Community Schools, located in Pocahontas, Iowa; their teams are called the Indians
    Pocahontas Elementary School and Pocahontas Middle School, located in Powhatan County, Virginia
    The Pocahontas was a passenger train of the Norfolk and Western Railway (in the United States), which ran from 1926 until 1971.
    MV Pocahontas, a river tour boat operated from Gravesend in London, UK
    USS Princess Matoika, a United States Navy ship
    USS Pocahontas, four United States Navy ships
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    a b c d Stebbins, Sarah J (August 2010). \"Pocahontas: Her Life and Legend\". National Park Service. U.S. Department of the Interior. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
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    a b \"A Guide to Writing about Virginia Indians and Virginia Indian History\" (PDF). Commonwealth of Virginia, Virginia Council on Indians. January 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 24, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
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    ^ Karenne Wood, ed., The Virginia Indian Heritage Trail Archived 2009-07-04 at the Wayback Machine., Charlottesville, VA: Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 2007.
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    ^ \"Pocahontas\". Historic Jamestowne. Preservation Virginia. Retrieved April 27, 2013.
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    ^ National Museum of the American Indian (2007). Do All Indians Live in Tipis? Questions & Answers from the National Museum of the American Indian. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-115301-3.
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    ^ Shapiro, Laurie Gwen (June 22, 2014). \"Pocahontas: Fantasy and Reality\". Slate. The Slate Group. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
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    ^ Smith, True Relation Archived 2013-09-28 at the Wayback Machine., p. 93.
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    a b c d Smith.\"John Smith\'s 1616 Letter to Queen Anne of Great Britain\". Digital History. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
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    ^ Huber, Margaret Williamson (January 12, 2011). \"Powhatan (d. 1618)\". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
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    ^ Stebbins, Sarah J (August 2010). \"Pocahontas: Her Life and Legend\". National Park Service. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
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    a b Rountree, Helen C. (January 25, 2011). \"Pocahontas (d. 1617)\". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
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    ^ Linwood., Custalow, (2007). The true story of Pocahontas : the other side of history. Daniel, Angela L. Golden, Colo.: Fulcrum Pub. ISBN 9781555916329. OCLC 560587311.
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    ^ Rountree, Helen C. (November 3, 2010). \"Early Virginia Indian Education\". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
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    a b Rountree, Helen C. (November 3, 2010). \"Cooking in Early Virginia Indian Society\". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
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    ^ Rountree, Helen C. (November 3, 2010). \"Uses of Personal Names by Early Virginia Indians\". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
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    ^ Price, Love and Hate in Jamestown, p. 66; Rountree, Helen C. (January 25, 2011). \"Pocahontas (d. 1617)\". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
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    ^ \"Pocahontas\". powhatanmuseum.com. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
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    ^ Strachey, Historie, p. 111
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    ^ Stith, William (1865). \"The History of the First Discovery and Settlement of Virginia\". archive.org. p. 136. Retrieved April 8, 2014. But her real name, it seems, was originally Matoax; which the Indians carefully concealed from the English, and changed it to Pocahontas, out of a superstitious Fear, lest they, by the Knowledge of her true Name, should be enabled to do her some Hurt.
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    ^ Rountree, Helen C. (November 3, 2010) \"Uses of Personal Names by Early Virginia Indians\". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
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    ^ \"Pocahontas\". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
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    ^ Waldron, William Watson. Pocahontas, American Princess: and Other Poems (New York: Dean and Trevett, 1841), p. 8.
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    a b Rountree, Helen C. (January 25, 2011). \"Pocahontas (d. 1617)\". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
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    ^ Lemay, J. A. Leo. Did Pocahontas Save Captain John Smith? Athens, Georgia: The University of Georgia Press, 1992, p. 25. See also Birchfield, \'Did Pocahontas\' Archived 2012-06-26 at the Wayback Machine..
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    ^ \"Smith, \'\'A True Relation\'\'\". Mith2.umd.edu. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
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    ^ Huber, Margaret Williamson (January 12, 2010). \"Powhatan (d. 1618)\". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
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    ^ \"Smith, \'\'Generall Historie\'\', p. 49\". Docsouth.unc.edu. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
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    ^ Karen Ordahl Kupperman, Indians and English, pp. 114, 174.
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    ^ Smith, General History, p. 152.
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    ^ Smith, Generall Historie, 261.
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    ^ Early Images of Virginia Indians: Invented Scenes for Narratives. Virginia Historical Society. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
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    ^ Fausz, J. Frederick. \"An \'Abundance of Blood Shed on Both Sides\': England\'s First Indian War, 1609–1614\". The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 98:1 (January 1990), pp. 3ff.
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    a b Rountree, Helen C. (December 8, 2010). \"Pocahontas (d. 1617)\". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
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    ^ Argall, Letter to Nicholas Hawes. p. 754; Rountree, Helen C. (December 8, 2010). \"Pocahontas (d. 1617)\". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
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    ^ Rountree, Helen C. (December 8, 2010). \"Pocahontas (d. 1617)\". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved March 4, 2011.
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    ^ \"Pocahontas\", V28[permanent dead link], Virginia Highway Historical Markers, accessed 17 Sep 2009
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    ^ Dale, Letter to \'D.M.\', p. 843–844.
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    ^ Custalow, Dr. Linwood \"Little Bear\"; Daniel, Angela L. \"Silver Star\" (2007). The True Story of Pocahontas: The Other Side of History. Golden, Colorado: Fulcrum Publishing. pp. 43, 47, 51, 89. ISBN 9781555916329. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
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    ^ Deyo, William \"Night Owl\" (September 5, 2009). \"Our Patawomeck Ancestors\" (PDF). Patawomeck Tides. 12 (1): 2–7. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
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    ^ Strachey, William (1849) [composed c. 1616]. The Historie of Travaile Into Virginia Britinia. London: Hakluyt Society. p. 54. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
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    ^ Warner, Charles Dudley (October 31, 2012) [first published 1881]. The Story of Pocahontas. Project Gutenberg. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
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    ^ Rountree, Helen C. (May 30, 2014). \"Divorce in Early Virginia Indians Society\". Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
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    ^ Rolfe. Letter to Thomas Dale. p. 851.
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    ^ Historic Jamestown.org: Pocahontas, Marriage (accessed April 5 2017)
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    a b \"Pocahontas: Her Life and Legend – Historic Jamestowne Part of Colonial National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service)\". www.nps.gov. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
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    ^ Navab, Valorie. Smithsonian Institution. [1].
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    ^ Price, Love and Hate. p. 163.
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    ^ \"Biography: Pocahontas—Born, 1594—Died, 1617\". The Family Magazine. New York: Redfield & Lindsay. 4: 90. 1837. Retrieved 2013-08-10.  [2
    History Her name at birth was Matoaka, which means “flower between two streams,” and according to Mattaponi history was likely given to her because she was born between the two rivers of Mattaponi and Pamunkey (York).

    An image of a young Pocahontas.
    Due to his wife’s death, Wahunsenaca was devastated and little Matoaka became his favorite because she looked like her mother. She was raised by her aunts and other women of the Mattaponi tribe at Werowocomoco.
    As was custom at the time, as the Paramount Chief of the Powhatan Chiefdom, Wahunsenaca had other wives from the other villages and little Matoaka had many loving brothers and sisters.
    Because of his lingering grief and due to the reminder she gave to him of her mother, Wahunsenaca often called his daughter the endearing name of Pocahontas.
    John Smith Came to the Powhatan When Pocahontas Was about 9 or 10
    According to Mattaponi oral history, little Matoaka was possibly about 10 years old when John Smith and English colonists arrived in Tsenacomoca in the spring of 1607. John Smith was about 27 years old. They were never married nor involved.
    Pocahontas Never Saved the Life of John Smith
    The children of the Powhatan were very closely watched and cared for by all members of the tribe. Since Pocahontas was living with her father, Chief Powhatan Wahunsenaca, at Werowocomoco, and because she was the daughter of a chief, she was likely held to even stricter standards and provided with more structure and cultural training.
    When she was a child, John Smith and English colonists stayed near the Powhatan on the nearby Jamestown Island, but later began to explore outlying areas. Smith was feared by many Native people because he was known to enter villages and put guns to heads of chiefs demanding food and supplies.
    In the winter of 1607, the colonists and Smith met with Powhatan warriors and Smith was captured by the chief’s younger brother.
    Because the English and Powhatan feared the actions of the Spanish, they formed an alliance. Eventually and according to oral history and contemporary written accounts by the Mattaponi, Wahunsenaca grew to like Smith, eventually offering him the position of ‘werowance’ or leader of the colonists as recognized by the Powhatan as well as a much more livable area for his people with great access to game and seafood.

    AP Images
    A portrait of Pocahontas saving the life of John Smith with Father Wahunsenaca. Oral history from the descendants of Pocahontas dictate such a thing could never have happened.
    Years later, Smith alleged that Pocahontas saved his life in the four-day process of becoming a werowance. But according to Mattaponi oral and contemporary written accounts, there would be no reason to kill a man designated to receive an honor by the chief.
    Additionally, children were not allowed to attend any sort of religious ritual similar to the werowance ceremony.
    She could not have thrown herself in front of John Smith to beg for his life for two reasons: Smith was being honored, and she would not have been allowed to be there.
    Pocahontas Never Defied Her Father to Bring Food to John Smith or Jamestown

    Library of Congress
    Captain John Smith.
    Some historical accounts claim Pocahontas defied her father to bring food to the colonists of Jamestown. According to the history of the Mattaponi tribe as well as simple facts, these claims could not be true.
    Jamestown was 12 miles from Werowocomoco and the likelihood that a 10-year-old daughter would travel alone are inconsistent with Powhatan culture. She as well as other tribal members did travel to Jamestown, but as a gesture of peace.
    Additionally, travel to Jamestown required crossing large bodies of water and the use of 400-pound dugout canoes. It took a team of strong people to lift them into the water.
    It is likely Pocahontas served as a symbol of peace by simply being present as a child among her people to show no ill intentions when her people met with the Jamestown settlers.
    Pocahontas Did Not Sneak Into Jamestown to Warn John Smith About a Death Plot
    In 1608 and 1609, John Smith’s role as the werowance (chief) of the colonists had taken an ugly turn. The colonists made inadequate attempts to plant crops to harvest, and Smith violently demanded supplies from surrounding villages after once again holding a gun to the heads of village leaders.
    Accounts from Mattaponi histories tell of one tribal woman proclaiming to Smith, “You call yourself a Christian, yet you leave us with no food for the winter.”
    Pocahontas’ father, who had befriended Smith, once said to him, “I have not treated any of my werowances as well as you, yet you are the worst werowance I have!”
    Smith claimed Wahunsenaca wanted to kill him, and asserted he knew of the plot because Pocahontas had come to warn him.  [3
    History New York, United States - She is among the best known Native Americans in history, but the modern-day descendants of Pocahontas, who four centuries ago married an English colonist and sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, show little interest in her.
    On March 21, ceremonies in the United States and England will mark 400 years since her death. But there will be no event to honour that date on the Pamunkey Indian Reservation in Virginia where her tribespeople now live.
    \"For the Pamunkey tribe, it\'s not a big deal. She doesn\'t mean a whole lot to us. Her contributions to our way of life didn\'t really amount to much,\" says Robert Gray, chief of the 100-person riverside community.
    \"We understand the English and Americans think highly of Pocahontas. We appreciate that it brings an interest to our tribe, but we just sit back and figure: if people want to worship a myth, then let them do it.\"
    The adulation elsewhere is clear. Disney\'s 1995 movie about the free-spirited beauty won two Oscars and remains a children\'s favourite. The arms of her bronze statue at the colonial site, Historic Jamestowne, have been buffed to a shine by thousands of caressing visitors over the years.
    A controversial past
    Yet, for the Pamunkey, who trace their origins through Pocahontas and her father, Wahunsenacawh, who led some 15,000 Powhatan tribespeople when English ships landed in 1607, the history of the unconventional young peacemaker is troublesome.
    This is not just because Pocahontas symbolises a union between native American tribes and colonisers that ultimately left the natives decimated. It is also because she offers a handy way for many white Americans to gloss over a brutal past and an unhappy present.
    The anniversary of her death comes as the Standing Rock Sioux tribe is losing a fight to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from slicing through its reservation, and US President Donald Trump uses the name \"Pocahontas\" as a term of abuse.
    Raye Zaragoza, a musician descended from Arizona\'s Akimel O\'odham people, wrote a protest song, In The River, to support demonstrators in North Dakota and alert countrymen who, she says, neglect the struggles of Native Americans.
    \"They watch the romanticised Disney movie and dress up like Pocahontas on Halloween, but they don\'t know the true story behind it or any of the real culture and customs,\" Zaragoza says.
    \"They think that the abuse, colonisation and genocide against Native Americans are in the past. But it wasn\'t only 400 years ago; it\'s still happening today.\"
    The fact that scholars, Disney, Trump and the Pamunkey tell different Pocahontas stories is testament to the lack of records about her life. Even her name is elusive - she was also known as Matoaka, Amonute and, later, Rebecca.
    Her most often-cited story is probably apocryphal. According to anecdote, Pocahontas, aged about 11, saved the life of a captive, John Smith, by placing her head over his as her father, the chief, raised his war club to execute the English colonist.
    Scholars note that Smith only penned his romance-tinged version of events years after they happened. In reality, it may have been a stage-managed ruse aimed at adopting Smith and his fellow colonists as tribute-payers in the Powhatan confederacy.
    Undisputed facts
    But some facts about Pocahontas are not disputed.
    Colonists described the youth cart-wheeling outside their fort at Jamestown, living up to her nickname, Pocahontas, the \"playful one\". She was involved in relations between colonists and natives that swung from friendly food-trading to open warfare and kidnapping.
    She was kidnapped and held for a year, during which time she converted to Christianity. She took the name Rebecca and married John Rolfe, a tobacco grower, in 1614. They had a son and travelled to England to promote the colony to investors at fancy London soirees.
    The only known image of Pocahontas shows her decked out in a trendy lace collar, ostrich feathers and other fineries - the poster child of a \"civilised savage\" who advertised New World opportunities to everyone from plantation owners to Anglican ministers.
    It was short-lived, however. On her way back to Virginia, Pocahontas became ill and died in Gravesend, Kent, in 1617. Back home, the Powhatan confederacy rapidly declined in the 1620s under the onslaught of English colonisation.
    For Chief Gray, she is a character to whom many narratives can be attached, though her embrace of a foreign faith and culture that displaced her own people renders her peripheral to Pamunkey culture.
    \"Some people could say she was a victim, a hero, a traitor,\" says Gray, who was elected chief in June 2015, one month before the tribe won federal recognition. \"But there\'s not enough documentation, we just don\'t know what she was thinking back then.\"
    Her legacy among mainstream Americans is very different. Like the fable of Thanksgiving turkeys, the Disney-fied tale of inter-racial ardour and a harmony between two peoples offers a palatable version of early US history, says scholar James Horn.
    \"It\'s a fantasy, and very much a white fantasy about two peoples uniting,\" Horn, a British historian and president and chief officer of the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation, reflects.
    \"On the other hand, you\'ve got the reality of repeated wars throughout not only the 17th century, but the establishment of a pattern of murders and dispossession in early Virginia that continued all the way down to the 19th century.\"
    By one estimate, the conquest of the Americas wiped out 95 percent of the indigenous population. The guns and swords of Europeans were obvious causes, although smallpox and other bugs that accompanied them probably claimed many more lives.
    Legacy of conquest
    A legacy of marginalisation lives on in the US today.
    Some 5.2 million people - 1.7 percent of the US population - identified as Native American or Alaska Native, according to the most recent Census Bureau data from 2010. According to Pew Research Centre, one in four of them lived in poverty in 2012.
    On the campaign trail in 2016, President Trump tapped in to resentment among some whites that Native Americans unfairly benefit from tax-free petrol, casino-building rights and other breaks from Washington.
    The Republican billionaire repeatedly mocked Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren\'s claim of Cherokee ancestry by referring to her as \"Pocahontas\" while some of his rally crowds erupted in war whoops.
    On November 27, President Donald Trump said there was a \"Pocahontas\" in the US Congress during a meeting with Native American World War Two veterans in an apparent derogatory reference to Senator Elizabeth Warren.
    Since the inauguration, the White House web page on Native Americans has been removed and Trump has signed an executive order to clear the way for the $3.8bn Dakota Access Pipeline to proceed.
    While stoking fears of Middle Eastern refugees being terrorists, and of undocumented Mexican immigrants being \"bad hombres\", scholar Jim Rice says Trump also feeds on antipathy towards Native Americans among his mostly-white fan base.

    Native Americans rally against Dakota Access Pipeline
    \"There is a widespread and profound ignorance of Native Americans that often goes so far as to think that there are no legitimately native people left, because they drive cars and have cell phones,\" Rice, from Tufts University, says.
    \"Many people feel that Native Americans have had centuries to get over it and should no longer have what are often termed as special privileges, but are in fact constitutional or treaty rights.\"
    In England, the Pocahontas story is different once again.
    The life-size bronze statue of Pocahontas at St George\'s church in Gravesend has had its entry on the national heritage list updated and the British Library hosted a \"packed day\" of screenings and debates on March 18.
    For British writer Kieran Knowles, whose play, Gravesend, will be read aloud there on the anniversary, the four-century mark is a rare opportunity to spotlight a run-down town of \"just pound stores and charity shops all the way down\", he says.
    It is also worth noting that the Pamunkey were not always so aloof about Pocahontas. Chief Gray himself spoke in London about how, in the 19th and 20th centuries, the tribe promoted an already-popular character to ingratiate themselves with mainstream America.
    But that has given way to more recent efforts to \"reinvigorate the language\" and look back before Pocahontas to revive the pottery, shad fishing, hunting and farming skills that \"have been lost from 500 years or so ago\", Gray explains.
    Native Americans rally against Dakota Access Pipeline in DC
    By downplaying Pocahontas, the Pamunkey are \"pushing back on the over-estimation of her importance by non-native people\", says Rice.
    For him, Pocahontas is an ideal character for the nexus between historical fact, belief and present-day storytelling. Four centuries after her death, it seems that we have not yet exhausted the Pocahontas story trove.
    \"If we knew a little less about her, there wouldn\'t be enough purchase for us to really talk and think about her so much,\" Rice says. \"But if we knew any more about her, we couldn\'t so readily project our own concerns and preconceptions on to her.\"  [4
    Died 21 Mar 1615  Gravesend, Kent County, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I671  Ellie Wood Keith
    Last Modified 12 Jan 2018 

    Father Wahunsenacawh (Powhatan) 
    Family ID F85  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family John Rolfe,   b. 6 May, 1585, Heacham, Norfolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Mar, 1621, Henrico County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 35 years) 
    +1. Thomas Rolfe,   b. 30 Jan, 1614, Smith\'s Fort Plantation, Bermuda Hundred, VA Find all individuals with events at this location  [putative]
    Last Modified 23 Dec 2017 
    Family ID F363  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Pocahontas in England
    Pocahontas in England
    Pocahontas 1
    Pocahontas 1

  • Sources 
    1. [S69] Powhatan.org, http://www.powhatan.org/pocc.html.

    2. [S12] Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocahontas.

    3. [S70] Indian Country Today, https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/history/genealogy/true-story-pocahontas-historical-myths-versus-sad-reality/.

    4. [S71] Aljazeera News.