Evidence from wills, deeds, land plats, patents, and court cases helps to identify structures excavated by archaeologists. When historians digitalized two 17th-century land plats and superimposed them on a modern map of Jamestown, they matched a framed structure that stood here, the home of William May in the 1660s and Henry Hartwell after 1688.
Land records also revealed a pattern of landownership common in Virginia. Many colonists, particularly government officials, invested in town lots and speculated in undeveloped land elsewhere in tidewater Virginia. William May, an attorney and vestryman, purchased other Jamestown lots in addition to this property. Similarly, Henry Hartwell, an attorney, clerk of the court, and burgess also owned tracts of land in Charles City County and Surry County.