The Gosnold Family is an old English Family going back into the fifteenth century. They had many connections with English nobility and royalty. Many were involved in interesting intrigues, religious controversies and romantic affairs. A careful reading of the Descendants of John Gosnold by Don McArthur (link below) will bring these to life.
The most famous Gosnold is Bartholomew (1552-1607) who was captain of the HMS Concord. He explored the eastern seaboard of the United States in 1602 and named some of the famous landmarks including Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod. His intention was to found a colony there. He built the first house and the first fort in what was later to become the United States. He sailed back to England and extoled the virutes of this new land.
He returned in 1607 with, among others, his relative, his cousin Edward Maria Wingfield, to found the Jamestown Colony. Of the 105 original colonist who first settled Jamestown 50 died by the end of the first summer of a "sickness" and Bartholomew was one of these.
The Wingfield family also married into the Field family line with the marriage of Elizabeth Wingfield to William Naunton (1512-1553) the parents of Ursla Nauton who married our Gosnold ancestor Sir Robert Gosnold III.
Bartholomew had married Mary Golding and before leaving for Jamestown he fathered five children: Martha (1597-1598), Susan (1602), Frances (1604), Bartholomew (1603) and Martha (1606) for whom it is reported Martha’s Vineyard was named.
Bartholomew’s father Anthony and Robert Gosnold II, were brothers. Our line descends from Sir Robert Gosnold III (abt. 1545-abt. 1615) a son of Robert II. Robert Gosnold III had a daughter with Ursula Nauton, Elizabeth (1570-1665). Elizabeth married Thomas Keene Sr. Thomas and Elizabeth were the great grandparents of Elizabeth Keene (abt. 1682-1769) who married James Withers (1681-1746). It was their daughter, Elizabeth Withers (1706-bet. 1746-1760) who married Capt. Abraham Field (1699-1774) of Culpeper County, Virginia, from whom our Field Family descends. Edward Maria Wingfield was also related to Bartholomew Gosnold.
It is to Jamestown in 1635, that Henry Field with his cousin John Dickenson, immigrated from England. Many believe Henry was the father of Abraham Field (1636-1674) of Westmoreland County, Virginia, who is the founder of the Virginia Field Family.
Our ancestor Keen Field (1774-1815) who settled in Gibson County, Indiana, in 1799, got his name from the Keene family through his great great-grandmother Elizabeth Keene. We think Keen of Gibson County was the grandson of Keen Field a son of Capt. Abraham Field and Elizabeth Whithers. The name Keen still survives in the family today.
It is interesting to note that Joseph and Reuben Field of the Lewis and Clark Expedition which ended 200 years after the founding of Jamestown were first cousins 8 times removed from Bartholomew Gosnold, one of its founders! The chances are they never knew it.
Another very interesting recent development is the finding of the remains of what is thought to be the skeleton of Bartholomew Gosnold. These were uncovered outside the walls of Fort James, Jamestown, Virginia. Scientists obtained permission to remove DNA from the skeleton of a sister of Bartholomew Gosnold and make a comparison with that of the Jamestown skeleton. They were quite disappointed to find the DNA did not match. However, it was determined that the skeleton they used for comparison was too young to be that of Bartholomew's sister. Permission is being sought to obtain DNA samples from another skeleton that is a niece of Bartholomew.