A study of the origins of the Colonists of the Winthrop Fleet and pre 1632 Massachusetts Bay Colony Settlers. Research on completing passenger lists, name variants, marriages between families, ancestry in England. The Winthrop Society is actively looking for additional passengers, as its lists were never complete, and only partial passenger lists exist. The Winthrop Fleet was a group of eleven sailing ships under the leadership of John Winthrop that carried approximately 700 Puritans plus livestock and provisions from England to New England over the summer of 1630.
The Puritan population in England had been growing for many years leading up to this time. They disagreed with the practices of the Church of England, whose rituals they viewed as superstitions. An associated political movement attempted over many years to modify religious practice in England to conform to their views. King James wished to suppress this growing rebellious movement. Nevertheless, the Puritans eventually gained a majority in Parliament. James' son King Charles came into the greatest possible conflict with the Parliament, and viewed them as a threat to his authority, temporarily dissolving parliament in 1626, and again the next year, and finally dissolving parliament permanently in March 1629. The King's imposition of Personal Rule gave many Puritans a sense of hopelessness regarding their future in that country, and many prepared to leave it permanently for life in New England.
Motivated by these political events, a wealthy group of leaders obtained a Royal Charter in March 1629 for a colony at Massachusetts Bay.
A fleet of five ships had departed a month previously for New England that included approximately 300 colonists, led by Francis Higginson. However, the colony leaders and the bulk of the colonists remained in England for the time being, to plan more thoroughly for the success of the new colony. Later that year, the group who remained in England elected John Winthrop to be Governor of the Fleet and the Colony. Over the ensuing winter, the leaders recruited a large group of Puritan families, representing all manner of skilled labor, to ensure a robust colony.
The initial group (Arbella and her three escorts) departed Yarmouth, Isle of Wight on April 8, the remainder following in two or three weeks. Seven hundred men, women, and children were distributed among the ships of the fleet. The voyage itself was rather uneventful, the direction and speed of the wind being the main topic in Winthrop's Journal, as it affected how much progress was made each day. There were a few days of severe weather, and every day was cold. The children were cold and bored, and there is a description of a game played with a rope that helped with both problems. Many were sick during the voyage. The Winthrop Fleet was a well planned and financed expedition that formed the nucleus of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. However they were not the first settlers of the area. There was an existing settlement at Salem, started in about 1626, populated by a few hundred Puritans, most of whom had arrived in 1629, and who were governed by John Endicott. Winthrop superseded Endicott as Governor of the Colony upon his arrival in 1630.
The flow of Puritans to New England continued for another ten years, during a period known as the Great Migration.
Winthrop's Journal lists the eleven ships that were in his fleet:
Arbella: The flagship, designated 'Admiral' in the consortship; named for Lady Arbella, wife of Isaac Johnson (see below). Talbot: Designated 'Vice Admiral'. Henry Winthrop, John Winthrop's son, sailed on this ship. Ambrose: Designated 'Rear Admiral'; Jewel: Designated a 'Captain'; Mayflower: A different ship than that of the Pilgrims; Whale; Success; Charles; William and Francis; Hopewell; Trial.
Six other ships arrived at Massachusetts Bay in 1630, for a total of seventeen ships that year.
Nine leading men both applied for the charter for the Massachusetts Bay Colony and came to New England in Winthrop's Fleet. Mr. John Winthrop, Governor, and three of his sons, including two minors and one adult son, Henry Winthrop Sir Richard Saltonstall, three sons and two daughters. Mr. Isaac Johnson Esq. and the Lady Arabella his wife and daughter of Thomas Clinton, 3rd Earl of Lincoln Mr. Charles Fiennes the said Earl's son Mr. Thomas Dudley, his wife, two sons, and four daughters Mr. William Coddington, the first Governor of Rhode Island, and his wife Mr. William Pynchon, and his wife and three daughters Mr. William Vassall, for whom Vassalboro, Maine was named, and his wife Mr. John Revell, merchant, who loaned the Plymouth Colony money, and who was chosen assistant to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Mr. Jon Waterbury
Other passengers of historical significance include: Allan Perley; Robert Seeley; Edward Convers; Simon Bradstreet and his wife Anne Bradstreet; Thomas Mayhew; Captain John Underhill; William Phelps, wife Ann Dover and four sons; Robert Abell; Jehu Burr, Great Great Grandfather of Aaron Burr; William Phelps, a founder of both Dorchester, Massachusetts and Windsor, Connecticut and foreman of the first grand jury in New England; John Wilson, first minister of the Boston church; Captain Edward Johnson (1598-1672) was a leading figure in colonial Massachusetts, and is one of the founders of Woburn, Massachusetts.
An incomplete list of passengers is maintained by The Winthrop Society, a hereditary organization of descendants of the Winthrop Fleet and later Great Migration ships that arrived before 1634. OP = Old Planter.
Check the Part 1 list, and please add your ancestor profile if you find it there, especially information about where your family originated (which isn't necessarily the port they left from). If your ancestor is not listed under Part 1, please put their name under part 2 and add their profile with as much information on the profile as possible, especially their origins. Please add on their profile a note if they married into another settler family.
1.Part 1 - Establishing known passengers from the Winthrop Society &; name variants.
Alcock Origin: Cambridge Deacon George,
Allen, William. OP.
Andrew (s), Thomas and Joseph. Devonshire. Thomas Andrews, and Joseph Andrews, drew house lots in Hingham, Mass. September 18, 1635. It is said that Thomas, the father came over with his only son, from Devonshire Eng. and settled at Hingham, where the son, Joseph, was the first town clerk.
Joseph Andrews, was made free at Boston, March 3, 1636, made constable at Barre Cove, - now Hingham, July 8, 1686.
The same year he was deputy of the General Court at Boston and one of a committee to inquire after the valuation of the sev- eral towns, and was a member of the General Court of that year, which sat until May 17, and was appointed one of a committee to look after the boundary between Massachusetts and Plymouth Colonies, and report at both courts, which was done at an ad- journed session, August 1, 1637.
Goodman Andrews, was appointed 13th, March 1638, to run the line between Hingham and Weymouth. He was the father of Joseph above, and lived in Hingham to a great age. Thomas Andrews was a deputy to the general court from Hingham in 1678. Samuel Andrews, in the Boston custom house, in 1671; is a descendant of Thomas, and Joseph his son, of Hingham, in 1635. The writer has a letter from him, dated January 6, 1887; in which he says; "My ancestors came from Devonshire, Eng., and settled in Hingham, Mass., in 1635, where Joseph Andrews, was the first town clerk. I belong to the ninth generation, in this country, and am an old boy, hav- ing been born the nineteenth of April, 1809." http://archive.org/stream/historyofandrews00andr/historyofandrews00andr_djvu.txt
Aspinwall Origin: Manchester, Lancashire Chesire. William, Elizabeth
Audley Origin: Chesire John, William
Balch, John. Origin: Somersetshire. OP.
Bishop Alice and Richard. Origin: Dorset.
Bishop, Edward Sr.*
Simon, Anne (Dudley)Origin: Lincolnshire
Lady Arabella ; her sister m. Baron George Booth of ''' Dunham Massey, Chesire'''
Cole James and Mary.
Conant, Roger, Caleb, Sarah. Origin: Devonshire.OP.
Davenport Origin: Chesire. William, John Origin: Manchester
Thomas: origin: Chesire
Thomas Origin: Lincolnshire
Eaton, Theophilus Origin: Chester, Chesire.
Charles, Earl Clinton's son. Clinton's family owned lands Chesire.
Gardner Thomas. OP.
Gray, Thomas. OP.
Hooker, Thomas Rev.
Jeffrey, William. OP.
Isaac, m. Lady Arabella Clinton.
Jones, William Lt. Gov.
Knight, Walter. OP.
Lyford, John. OP.
Norman, Richard & son. OP.
Norton, John Origin: Herefordshire
Palfrey, Peter, Elizabeth( Somerset)Alice, Edith. Origin: Northhamptonshire. OP.
Prudden, Rev. Peter
Seely, Robert born of numerous royal families.
Strong, John the Elder & Eleanor. Origin: Somerset.
Trask, Capt. William. OP.
Tylly, John. OP.
Warren, Waren, Warenne Origin: Chesire John, Mary
Woodbury John, Humphrey. Somersetshire.OP
2.Part 2 - Passengers traditionally assumed to have come with the Winthrop Fleet as they are found in historic records in Watertown or Salem during the Great Migration: (This is the most important part of the research project).
John Elizabeth (Elizabeth Bigelow Butler)
Jennison, Robert. Colchester, UK Lamson
3.Part 2 - Establishing their parentage and geographical family origins. Marriages between families in England and America.Please include in your added profiles.