Dorothy (May) Bradford, "Mayflower Passenger"

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Dorothy (May) Bradford, "Mayflower Passenger"'s Geni Profile

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Dorothea Bradford (May), "Mayflower" Passenger

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England (United Kingdom)
Death: December 07, 1620 (18-27)
Near Mayflower anchored in Plymouth Harbor, Plymouth, Plymouth Colony (Slipped over side of the Mayflower and drowned)
Place of Burial: Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Henry May, of Wisbech and Katherine May
Wife of William Bradford, Governor of Plymouth Colony
Mother of Lt. John Bradford
Sister of Jaqueline Mey

Occupation: Mayflower Passenger
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Dorothy (May) Bradford, "Mayflower Passenger"

Find-a-Grave Memorial # 53719931 (Cenotaph of her and three others who drowned)

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Dorothy May

  • BIRTH About 1597 at Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England
  • daughter of Henry and Katherine (unknown) May of Wisbech.
  • MARRIAGE: William Bradford on 10 December 1613 at Amsterdam, Holland.
  • CHILDREN: John
  • DEATH 7 December 1620, drowned in Provincetown Harbor after accidentally falling off the Mayflower.

biography

Update September 2017 from http://mayflowerhistory.com/bradford-dorothymay

Dorothy May was born in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire England, about 1597, the daughter of Henry and Katherine May. At the age of 16, she married 23-year old William Bradford on 10 December 1613 in Amsterdam, and returned with her husband to take up residence in Leiden, Holland  Her father, Henry May, was a leading church elder in the Henry Ainsworth church congregation in Amsterdam  It was discovered in 2017 by research conducted by Caleb Johnson, Sue Allan, and Simon Neal  that she was actually the niece of Mayflower passenger William White--her grandmother Thomasine (Cross)(May) White was also the mother of William White.

Dorothy and William Bradford had a son, John, who was born in Leiden sometime around 1617 When William and Dorothy decided to make the voyage to America in 1620 on the Mayflower, they left behind their son John in Leiden, presumably with the intention of sending for him as soon as the colony was built and more stable and suitable for a young child.

On 7 December 1620, Dorothy 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.


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....


12/7/1620 at thr Provincetown Harbor, Dorothy accidentally fell off the Mayflower in to the freezing water and drowned.


Dorothea May

    Dorothy (or Dorothea) May was born in Wisbech,

Cambridgeshire,England on 19 March 1590. The second child and first daughter of John Henry May and Cordelia Bowes, [SIC: disproved] Dorothy spent her early childhood with her brothers and sisters in and around Wisbech. The family later moved to Austerfield in York County where they became converted to the Puritan sect of the Church of England. Austerfield was just across the border from Scrooby, in York County, where many of the Puritan sect lived. These Puritans felt that the Church of England was drifting back toward the Catholic Church. In a move to distance themselves from what they believed to be a failing church, the group attempted to remove themselves from its reaches by voyaging to Holland where religious toleration was much greater. After a betrayal, the second attempt was successful, and the wandering group of pilgrims landed in Amsterdam where they were welcomed by the Dutch. Now, Amsterdam wasn’t much greater in morality then than it is reputed to be today, and soon some of this band of pilgrims wanted to get out of town before their children became too worldly as they perceived the Dutch youth. William Bradford was a young man who had been raised by uncles in England after his parents died. These uncles had resisted his affiliation with such a group as the Puritans, but had little recourse as he was approaching his majority with which would come an inheritance from his deceased parents. William likely met Dorothy while still in England. William and Dorothy were married 10 December 1613 in Amsterdam and had a son, John, in 1617. Soon, a number of the group moved to Leiden, Holland where many of the group found work in various occupations. Eventually, the group of dissenters felt their children would lose their English heritage, and the whole purpose of their departure from England lost if they remained in Holland. Through a complicated series of arrangements, the Pilgrims obtained a charter for a settlement to be known as the Plymouth Colony. The group was able to procure a small ship, Speedwell. This ship would bring part of the congregation to America where it would remain; the passengers immediately engaging in the fishing industry, preparing for the balance of the congregation to join them. The Speedwell with its Leiden colonists reached Southampton, Hampshire, England where they met with the Mayflower which had been chartered by hired colonists. Unfortunately, the Speedwell was discovered to be unseaworthy and had to return twice. It was sold and some of the crew and passengers were transferred to the Mayflower which finally sailed on 16 September 1620. Only about 28 of the adults were members of the Leiden congregation. The Mayflower landed in December of 1620, and several exploration parties were sent out during the next several weeks. On 17 December 1620, while Bradford was on the second of these exploratory excursions, his wife, Dorothy, slipped overboard from the moored Mayflower, and drowned in Chesapeake Bay Their young son, John, having remained in Holland with his maternal grandparents, came later to America and was raised by his father, William Bradford and Bradford second wife, Alice Carpenter. William Bradford later became governor of Plymouth Colony and remained so for over 30 years. When his son John grew to adulthood, he was a Lieutenant in the militia and married Martha Bourne. There were no children by this marriage.



Dorothy's only child with Gov William Bradford was John.

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Dorothy (May) Bradford, "Mayflower Passenger"'s Timeline

1597
1597
Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England
1618
1618
Leiden, Rhynland (Present South Holland), Holland, Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden
1620
December 7, 1620
Age 23
Plymouth, Plymouth Colony
December 1620
Age 23
Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States
????
Wisbeach,Cambridge,England
????
Wisbeach, Cambridgeshire, England