Dorothea Bradford (May), "Mayflower" Passenger (1588 - 1620) MP

‹ Back to Bradford surname

Is your surname Bradford?

Research the Bradford family

Dorothea Bradford, "Mayflower" Passenger's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Share

Nicknames: "Descended From Royalty"
Birthplace: Blyth, Yorkshire, England
Death: Died in Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
Cause of death: Slipped over side of the Mayflower and drowned
Managed by: Stan Wolfe
Last Updated:

About Dorothea Bradford (May), "Mayflower" Passenger

Dorothy came to America on the Mayflower, but fell overboard and drowned while it was in harbor.

--------------------

Bradford married his first wife, Dorothy May (d. December 7, 1620), on December 10, 1613 in Amsterdam.

William with his wife sailed for America in 1620 from Leiden aboard the Mayflower.

On December 7, 1620, before the colony was established, Bradford's wife died. Dorothy Bradford died while the Mayflower was at anchor in Provincetown Harbor. However, there are no contemporary accounts of the circumstances of her death, only a later mention of drowning by Cotton Mather in Magnalia Christi Americana. Bradford included only brief mention of her passing in his own writing. There is a widely circulated story that she committed suicide because the Mayflower was a moored ship, but this is derived from a work of historical fiction published in the June, 1869 issue of Harper's New Monthly Magazine. This claims that they had decided to leave their young son in the Netherlands, and his wife was so stricken with sadness that she took her own life. Regardless of this fictional treatment, there is no proof of suicide.

--------------------

Dorothy was ill and fell overboard and drowned in route to America

--------------------

William Bradford and Dorothy May sailed for America in 1620 from Leiden aboard the Mayflower. Dorothy Bradford died while the Mayflower was at anchor in Provincetown Harbor. However, there are no contemporary accounts of the circumstances of her death, only a later mention of drowning by Cotton Mather in Magnalia Christi Americana. Bradford included only brief mention of her passing in his own writing. There is a widely circulated story that she committed suicide because the Mayflower was a moored ship, but this is derived from a work of historical fiction published in the June, 1869 issue of Harper's New Monthly Magazine. This claims that they had decided to leave their young son in the Netherlands, and his wife was so stricken with sadness that she took her own life. Other stories claim that in December, while the Mayflower was anchored in Provincetown Harbor, Bradford and other men took a small boat ashore to scout for a place to land and build shelter. When they returned, Bradford learned that his young wife had fallen or jumped from the ship. Perhaps Dorothy Bradford was in despair when land was finally sighted and she did not see the hoped-for green hills of an earthly paradise. Regardless of this fictional treatment, there is no proof of suicide.

--------------------

Note: Passenger on the 'Mayflower', 1620. Dorothy fell off the Mayflower and drowned on 7 December 1620, when it was anchored in Provincetown Harbor. This was an accidental drowning. The story of the suicide, affair with Captain Chrostopher Jones, etc. comes from a fictional 'soap opera' story published in a national women's magazine in 1869--a story published as truth by the author, based on 'family stories', but which the author later admitted was an invention of her own imagination. For further information on this, see Mayflower Descendant 29:97-102 , and especially 31:105. After the death of John Carver in April 1621, Bradford was elected governor of the Plymouth Colony, and continued in that capacity nearly all his life. In 1623 he married Alice (Carpenter) Southworth, widow of Edward Southworth.

___

Sailed with Governor Bradford, but was drowned in Cape Cod Harbor in the absence of her husband on an exploring expedition -------------------- While the Mayflower was anchored off Provincetown Harbor at the tip of Cape Cod, and while many of the Pilgrim men were out exploring and looking for a place to settle, Dorothy Bradford accidentally fell overboard, and drowned.

Or:

The Mayflower anchored off Provincetown Harbor on November 11, and the Pilgrims sent out several expeditions of men to explore the region to seek out the best place to build their Colony. While William Bradford was away on one of these explorations, on 7 December 1620, Dorothy accidentally fell off the Mayflower into the freezing waters of Provincetown Harbor, and drowned. Her son John came to America later, married Martha Bourne, took up residence in Duxbury and later moved to Norwich, Connecticut where he died about 1676, having had no children.

After a long voyage....

view all

Dorothea Bradford, "Mayflower" Passenger's Timeline

1588
March 29, 1588
Blyth, Yorkshire, England
1613
November 30, 1613
Age 25
Amsterdam, (Present Noord-Holland), Holland, Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden (present The Netherlands)
1617
1617
Age 28
Leiden, Rhynland (Present South Holland), Holland, Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden
1620
December 7, 1620
Age 32
Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
December 1620
Age 32
Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
1881
May 17, 1881
Age 32
1884
December 31, 1884
Age 32
1974
March 7, 1974
Age 32
????
Wisbeach,Cambridge,England
????
Wisbeach, Cambridgeshire, England