Peter Browne, "Mayflower" Passenger

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Peter Browne, "Mayflower" Passenger

Birthplace: Dorking, Surrey, England
Death: Died in Plymouth, Massachusetts
Place of Burial: Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William Brown, of Dorking and unknown wife of William Browne, of Dorking
Husband of Martha Browne and Mary Browne
Father of Rebecca Snow; Mary Tinkham (Browne); Priscilla Brown Allen; William Browne and Child unnamed Brown
Brother of Jane Hammon; Thomas Brown; John Browne, of Duxbury; Samuel Browne and James Browne

Occupation: Carpenter, Immigration: Nov 11, 1620 on the Mayflower
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Peter Browne, "Mayflower" Passenger

Peter Browne (c.1594–1633), was a passenger on the historic 1620 voyage of the Mayflower and was a signatory of the Mayflower Compact.



"Mayflower passenger Peter Browne was baptized on 26 January 1594/5 in Dorking, Surrey, England—the same hometown as another Mayflower family, the Mullinses. My discoveries relating to his English origins were published in July 2004 in The American Genealogist102, and are only summarized here."

"Peter Browne was the son of William Browne of Dorking, and had two older siblings, Jane and Thomas, and three younger brothers, Samuel, John, and James. When Peter was just ten years old, his father William died, so the children were likely apprenticed out to relatives, neighbors, or family friends. The three youngest children, Samuel, John, and James, all became weavers, so probably they were apprenticed out to a local weaver."

"Mayflower passenger William Mullins was a fairly successful shoe and boot maker in Dorking, and he was one of the Londoners who was involved in supporting and investing in the Pilgrims’ joint-stock company. Peter Browne likely learned of the voyage through a connection with the Mullins family. Peter Browne’s sister Jane was married to John Hammon in Dorking in 1610. John Hammon’s mother Jane appointed William Mullins as the administrator of her estate. And John’s sister Susan married Ephraim Bothell, to whom William Mullins sold his house and lands prior to his voyage on the Mayflower. So, there indeed are social and family connections between Peter Browne and the Mullins family in Dorking"

"The twenty-five-year-old single man Peter Browne, perhaps just emerging from an apprenticeship, boarded the Mayflower with the Mullins family, and headed off to the New World. After sighting land and anchoring off the tip of Cape Cod, Peter Browne was one of the men who signed the Mayflower Compact on 11 November 1620."

(posted Oct. 15, 2010 by Daniel B Williams)


  1. A genealogical profile of Peter Browne, (a collaboration of Plimoth Plantation and New England Historic Genealogical Society accessed 2013)

Baptized: 26 January 1594/5, Dorking, Surrey, England,

son of William Browne.

Mayflower Families: Peter Brown for Five Generations, contains the best, most thorough and completely researched genealogy on Peter Browne. It covers every descendant of his for the first five generations, to the birth of the sixth generation. More than 250 pages packed full of well documented genealogical research. Published by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.


   * Martha Ford, by about 1626, Plymouth.
   * Mary, by about 1631, Plymouth.

Death: 1633, probably in the autumn during the general sickness at that time.

Children by Martha: Mary, Priscilla

Children by Mary: Rebecca, and a child whose name has not been discovered.

Biographical Summary

Peter Browne's English origins were just recently discovered. I published the results of my research and discoveries into his origins in The American Genealogist, 79(July 2004, came out in October):161-178. Peter Browne was baptized in Dorking, co. Surrey, England on 26 January 1594/5, the son of William Browne. The Browne family appears to have had several associations with the Mullins family of Dorking, who also came on the Mayflower. Peter Browne's brother John Browne came to America about 1632, and settled in Duxbury, just to the north of Plymouth. John Browne was baptized in Dorking on 29 June 1600.

On 12 January 1621, Peter Browne and John Goodman had been cutting thatch for house roofing all morning. They ate some meat and went for a short walk to refresh themselves, when their two dogs (an English mastiff and a English spaniel) spied a great deer and gave chance. Peter and John followed and quickly got lost. They wandered around the entire afternoon in the rain, and spent the night in a tree (and pacing back and forth under it) fearing that they had heard lions roaring in the woods. The next day they made their way up a hill, spotted the Bay, reoriented themselves, and made it back home to an extremely worried Colony that had already sent out two exploring parties in an attempt to find them.

In a partial list of the house locations of the Pilgrims made out in 1620, John Goodman and Peter Browne appear to have been neighbors on the south side of the Street and the ocean side of the Highway. Peter Browne was apparently still living there during the 1623 Division of Land. By about 1626, he married Martha Ford, who arrived as one of the only female passengers on the ship Fortune in 1621. She gave birth almost immediately after arriving, but husband Ford apparently died during the voyage or shortly after arrival. In the 1627 Division of Cattle he, his wife Martha (Ford), his daughter Mary Browne, and his stepchildren John and Martha Ford were included with the Samuel Fuller and Anthony Anable families. About a year later, Peter and Martha would have daughter Priscilla (perhaps named after Mayflower passenger Priscilla Mullins who was also from Dorking), but wife Martha would die shortly thereafter. Peter remarried to a woman named Mary, whose maiden name has not been discovered. With her, he had a daughter Rebecca born about 1631, and another child who was born about 1633 and died before reaching adulthood (the name of this child has not been discovered).

Peter Browne died in 1633, probably during the general sickness that occurred that autumn and also killed neighbor Samuel Fuller, Mayflower passenger Francis Eaton, and several others in Plymouth. His estate inventory taken 10 October 1633 shows that he owned 130 bushels of corn, six melch goats, one cow, eight sheep, and a number of pigs, among other things.

Additional Resources

Caleb Johnson, "The Probable English Origin of Mayflower Passenger Peter Browne, And His Association with Mayflower Passenger William Mullins," The American Genealogist 79(July 2004):161-178.

(posted Oct. 15, 2010 by Daniel B Williams

Peter Brown Family Abstract

Inventory & Death

Additional Resources

Volume 7: Peter Brown

1992. 254pp. + Index

Order Or Learn More About This Book ( Peter Brown

Always check for updated, conflicting or confirming materials from recent resources

MD: Pilgrim Notes & Queries 4:6:87

Peter Browne died at Plymouth, between 25 March and 10 October, 1633. Mary, his second wife administered the estate. He married, first, at Plymouth, in 1624 or 1625, Martha (—) Ford, who died at Plymouth, 1630/1. He married, second, by 1631, Mary , who died after 21 November, 1633. Mary, the daughter of Peter Brown, married Ephraim Tinkham, (She is mentioned in his will: " . . . I had in right of Mary my wife, daughter, of Peter Browne. . .") Priscilla Browne married William Allen. Rebecca, child of Peter Brown's second wife, was the wife of William Snow of Duxbury and Bridgewater. The John Browne frequently mentioned in the affairs of Peter and close relatives was his brother [William Allen To John Browne: " . . . being the one part of three of the land which appertained unto the Children of Peeter Browne brother unto John Browne aforsaid . . ." There is no evidence to date to support the claim. that Peter Brown of Windsor was a son.

Peter1 Brown's Children and Grandchildren

Peter1 Brown, the Mayflower Passenger, married, 1st, Martha (---) Ford; married, 2d, Mary ---.

Children of Peter1 and Martha Brown (first wife)

Mary Brown (Peter1), married Ephraim Tinkham.

Priscilla Brown married William Allen, no issue

Children of Ephraim and Mary Tinkham

Ebenezer Tinkham, married Elizabeth Burroughs.

Ephraim Tinkham, married Esther Wright (Hester Cooke, Francis).

Helkiah Tinkham, married Ruth ---.

Isaac Tinkham, married Sarah King.

John Tinkham, died in infancy. (See next child.)

John Tinkham, (second of the name), married Sarah ---.

Mary Tinkham, married John Tomson (Mary Cooke, Francis).

Peter Tinkham, married Mercy Mendall.

Priscilla Brown (Peter, married William Allen. Left no issue.

Children of Peter1 and Mary Brown (second wife)

Rebecca Brown (Peter), married William Snow.

Child, died young

Children of William and Rebecca (Browne) Snow

Benjamin Snow, married, 1st, Elizabeth Alden (Joseph John); married, 2d, Sarah (Allen) Cary.

Hannah Snow, married, 1st, Giles Rickard*; married, 2d, Joseph Howes. She left no issue.

James Snow, died unmarried.

Joseph Snow, married Hopestill --- (Alden)

Lydia Snow.

Mary Snow, probably married John Rickard; but conclusive proof has not been discovered.

Rebecca Snow, married Samuel Rickard.

William Snow, married Naomi Whitman.


posted by Daniel B Williams Oct.17, 2010.

Mayflower Passenger 1620

Peter Brown arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts on the Mayfower

Peter Browne was probably born in January 1594 in Dorking, Surrey, England[ to William Browne. He was baptized in the local parish on January 26, 1594. While his brothers John (who joined him in 1632 in Plymouth Colony), Samuel, and James became weavers, his vocation is believed to have been a carpenter, machinist, or similar. In 1619 or 1620 he was likely enlisted by William Mullins, as part of the "London contingent," whose trades and skills were necessary for the voyage of the Mayflower and the Speedwell and the creation of the colony.

On September 6, 1620, Peter Browne boarded the Mayflower at Southampton, Hampshire, England. With 102 fellow Mayflower passengers and crew, he intended to travel to "the Northern parts of Virginia" and establish an English colony near the mouth of the Hudson River. Due to severe weather conditions, the ship was forced to anchor off of Cape Cod, where the first disembarkation occurred and where the Pilgrims determined to bind themselves as a democratically governed and administered colony loyal to England through the signing of the Mayflower Compact by all eligible men on behalf of themselves, their families, and their fortunes and property.[ Peter Browne was one of the 41 men who signed it on November 11, 1620.

Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor by William Halsall (1882)

A January 12, 1621 incident is recorded in Mourt's Relation whereby Peter Browne and John Goodman became lost in the woods after their dogs began to chase a deer. After a sleepless night, during which time both Browne and Goodman believed they heard lions (possibly mountain lions or other large mammals such as bears or coyotes), they successfully reoriented themselves and returned safely to the site of the village on the shore. Being among the half of the Pilgrims who survived the first winter, Browne was present at the First Thanksgiving in the fall of 1621, the event that set the precedent for the American Thanksgiving holiday.[

By the middle of the 1620s, Browne had married Martha, the widow of ship's master Ford of the Fortune, who was a passenger of that second ship to arrive at Plymouth. They had two daughters. By 1630, Martha was deceased and Peter Browne remarried to a woman called Mary. They also had two children together

The administration of the estate of Peter Browne on October 10, 1633,[1] indicates that he died sometime since the last reference to his property in the records. It is widely believed that he succumbed to the same sickness that spread through Plymouth Colony in the summer of 1633.[ He was survived by his second wife Mary who acted as the executrix of his estate. The General Court determined that money was to be set aside for his daughters from his first marriage, whose care was taken up by neighbor John Donne.

Name Prefix:<NPFX> Pilgrim

Name Suffix:<NSFX> +

Ancestral File Number:<AFN> 4JDT-6X


Nothing is known about the ancestry of Peter Browne. The royal lineage that has been published is totally without basis, and no documentary evidence has ever been presented to show who the parents of Peter Browne actually were.

It has been suggested that Peter Browne may have come from Great Burstead, Billericay, Essex, but that claim is simply based on the fact that there was a Peter Brown taxed there in 1624, and since names tend to run in families maybe he was somehow related. No evidence has ever been shown to suggest the two are related, however.

Peter Browne is known to have had a brother John, who came to Plymouth and took up residence in Duxbury.

Peter Brown was a passenger on the ship Mayflower to the new world.

Passenger on the Mayflower.


Peter Browne BAPTISM: 26 January 1594/5 at Dorking, co. Surrey, England, son of William Browne. FIRST MARRIAGE: Mrs. Martha Ford, widow, by about 1626, at Plymouth. SECOND MARRIAGE: Mary, by about 1631, at Plymouth. CHILDREN (by Martha): Mary, Priscilla CHILDREN (by Mary): Rebecca, and a child whose name has not been discovered. DEATH: 1633, probably in the autumn when a sickness was spreading through Plymouth.

Born by about 1600, based on estimated date of marriage. Came from Dorking, Surrey to Plymouth Colony in 1620 on the MAYFLOWER. Died in Plymouth between 25 March 1633 (tax list) and 10 October 1633 (inventory). Married (1) by 1626 widow MARTHA FORD, who died in 1630 or 1631. Married (2) by 1631 Mary _____, who survived her husband by at least one year, but was probably dead by 1647 when one of her daughters sold land without referring to the widow's dower rights. He also had 2 children with Martha: Mary (Brown) Tinkham & Priscilla (Brown) Allen.He had 2 more with his 2nd wife: Rebecca (Brown) Snow & a child that died young.

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Peter Browne, "Mayflower" Passenger's Timeline

January 26, 1595
Dorking, Surrey, England
January 26, 1595
Dorking, Surrey, England
Age 29
June 1, 1627
Age 32
Plymouth, (Present Plymouth County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts), (Present USA)
Age 33
Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts