The 1624/5 Jamestown Muster

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Explanation to the Muster

The 1624/5 Muster is a house-to-house survey that contains information about the location of households in Virginia, the individuals in each household and the ties that connected the colony's early residents to one another. The census-takers also made note of each household's provisions, buildings, boats, arms and ammunition, and livestock. The names of individuals who died during 1624 is part of the muster.

Notes on the Muster

  • Original spelling and capitalization of names of individuals, corporations within the colony, specific locations within the corporations and ships have been retained. Therefore, especially with the ships, multiple spellings of what could have been the same name have been retained.
  • Quotation marks in the "status" and "note" fields indicate phrases quoted from the muster.
  • The name of an individual who was not the head of a muster appears in the muster only if he or was alive in 1624/5 or in the listing of deaths only if he or she died in 1624.
  • If an individual's status was not given in the muster, "not given" was entered by the transcriber even if the relationship between the individual and the head of the muster could be figured out.
  • The muster search is a census of all individuals listed in the 1624/5 muster.
  • The searches on buildings, arms, livestock, and food contain some muster heads who were not listed in the main muster file.
  • When viewing the results, clicking the link in the muster, location, corporation, or ship will bring you to a listing of all data pertaining to that field. For example, following the ship link would return information about all people who came over on it, as well as the arms, buildings, food, and livestock listings of the muster heads who were on that ship.

Explanation of Fields

Last Name, First Name

For users seeking information on specific individuals, searching on the Name field will be a useful starting point. To search for individuals by last name, click on the box for the Last Name field, enter the name, and click the Initiate Search button. The search engine will then return a results page with information on all people with that last name. If you have difficulty finding someone, try an alternate spelling of their last name or try using a wildcard search. Adding a search for a First name will help narrow down the results returned and also helps in locating a particular person.


The muster field contains the name of the head of each muster. Searching on this field will return all individuals who are members of a particular muster.

Location and Corporation

The colony was divided into corporations, and within each corporations, there are many different locations. Some of the locations are major towns, such as James Citty and Elzabeth Cittie. Others are more isolated plantations, such as mr Smiths Plant or Chaplins Choise. To search for a place, select either from the corporation list or from the location list. To search on more than one place name, hold down the control key as you click on the names.


Status refers to the individual's relationship to the head of the muster. The most common relationships was that of servant. To see all family members of a muster, click on each of the family relationships (such as "head", "his wife", "theire son", and "the children"). To search on more than one status, hold down the control key as you click on the names.


The age field can be searched using greater than, less than, equal to, and a range of numbers. In many cases, however, the age of an individual was not recorded, and will show up as a blank in the results. Searching for very young individuals often returns children who were born in Virginia - many of these were noted in the notes field.


This field contains all ships recorded in the 1624/5 muster. In cases where different spellings were recorded for what may have been the same ship, the alternate spellings were retained. To search for all ships with the similar name, hold down the control key while clicking on the ship name.

Month, Year of Arrival

Although the month and year of arrival for many settlers is unknown, in some cases the muster does contain this information. Searching by the dates can show you how many were recorded as arriving in a particular year or month.

Muster Date

This field contains the dates that the muster was taken in specific locations. Select one of the dates to see all the people surveyed on that day.

Crandall ShifflettŠ 1999, 2000