Early America (before 1630)

This page was last updated September 10, 2017.

A chronological listing of historical and familial events occurring in North America prior to 1630.  The end of the Early American period (1630) is demarcated by the proliferation of colonies in the period immediately thereafter.  Prior to 1630, only Virginia (1607), New York (1626), and Massachusetts (1620), had been established as royal colonies.  Within the next eight year period, an additional six colonies were added, (a two hundred percent increase), bringing to nine the total number of royal colonies in America.((The historical eras we’ve adopted at CaudillReunion.org are those as defined by http://www.u-s-history.com.  Their common sense organization of eras based upon significant historical events lent itself well to our unique needs.))

Please feel invited to leave comments by Writing Home if you see errors or know of a missing event entry that should be included and use citations whenever possible.

Graphic Conventions:

  • Important or interesting historical events are included and highlighted in GREEN to assist the reader in establishing a context between the indexed events and our country’s history;
  • Persons of interest to the family are highlighted in RED to draw the reader’s attention and facilitate visual scanning of the page;
  • Information based upon oral tradition and oral lore is highlighted in YELLOW.  Yellow is the color of caution and was used here by no mistake!

See our COLONIAL RECORDS page for events that transpired after 1630. 


Sir Walter Raleigh, (first expedition), received a royal land grant from Queen Elizabeth I to establish a colony at Roanoke Island, a three mile stretch of land situated off the coast of present day North Carolina, and situated near the mouth of Albemarle Sound.


Sir Walter Raleigh, (second expedition), explored further up Chesapeake Bay and established a small colony which failed almost immediately. He named the new colony Virginia, “… in honor of his benefactor, the Virgin Queen.” ((http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h602.html, Roanoke Island.))


Sir Walter Raleigh, (third and final expedition), attempted to establish a self-sufficient colony at Roanoke Island. John White, the colony leader, returned to England for additional supplies having established the colony. His anticipated return was delayed for nearly three years as a result of the Anglo-Spanish War (1585-1604), and the English defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588.
Upon his return, “White found no trace of the settlers; the entire colony of 117 men, women and children had vanished. The only clues to their disappearance were the letters “CRO” carved on a tree near the fort and the word “Croatoan” on a post.” ((http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h602.html, Roanoke Island.))

March 22, 1622


JAMESTOWN, VA, Nearly 25% of the English population was killed during a raid by the Powhatan.  Jamestown wasn’t attacked, however, several outposts were decimated.

“Chief Opechancanough organized and led a well-coordinated series of surprise attacks on multiple English settlements along both sides of a 50-mile (80 km) long stretch of the James River which took place early on the morning of March 22, 1622. This event came to be known as the Indian Massacre of 1622, and resulted in the deaths of 347 colonists (including men, women, and children) and the abduction of many others. Some say that this massacre was revenge. The Massacre caught most of the Virginia Colony by surprise and virtually wiped out several entire communities, including Henricus and Wolstenholme Town at Martin’s Hundred.”


VIRGINIA became a crown colony.