Origins of the city's name are uncertain, but references to its existence are found as early as 1619. The name may commemorate
English mariner Capt.Christopher Newport who made five voyages to Virginia between 1607 and 1619. Capt. Newport was among
the most important men connected with the permanent settling of Virginia, having been "in sole charge and command" of the small
squadron of three ships making the historic voyage which landed at Jamestown in 1607.
One popular explanation of the city's name holds that when the first Jamestown colonists set out to return to England after the
Starving Time of 1610, they encountered Captain Christopher Newport's ship in the James River off Mulberry Island (now Fort Eustis).
From Capt. Newport, they learned it was not necessary to abandon Jamestown, as reinforcements of men and supplies had arrived -
thus the city was named for "Newport's good news."
Numerous early documents and maps verify the city's name was formerly recorded as "Newport's News" and "Newportes News." The
change to "Newport News" may have resulted from language usage. In 1851 "New Port News" was sanctioned as the name of the
first post office by the Post Office Department, and in 1866 the department approved the name as "Newport News." No matter how
the city came by its name, seafarers played an integral role in founding Newport News, which began as a fishing village and is now
among the finest natural harbors in the world.
This site is searchable for passengers coming over on different ships.
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