Relatedness and Mortality among Jamestown Colony Settlers
Salt Lake Community College
Published in Utah Historical Review, Vol IV.
This study will test the correspondence of relatedness with mortality risk in the founding population of Jamestown Colony. Previous research on other early colonies suggests that individuals with a higher level of relatedness will have a lower mortality risk. Studies conducted on the Plymouth Colony indicate that founding settlers had a better survival rate for related individuals. The study will also look at possible correlations of mortality risk with age and social status of the founding population as well as fertility levels of the survivors. Finally, the study will compare the Jamestown Colony with the Plymouth Colony to see if the correspondence of relatedness to mortality risk is a common factor in general among founding populations or only a factor in certain founding populations. This study will examine the hypothesis that individuals in the Jamestown Colony that have a higher level of relatedness will have a lower level of mortality as the Plymouth Colony. The study will also examine if the mortality risk is correlated with an individual’s age or social status. A secondary hypothesis to be tested is to determine if, among the survivors, those individuals with relatives would have higher fertility than those individuals that had no relatives.