Governor John Carver, "Mayflower" Passenger

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Governor John Carver, "Mayflower" Passenger's Geni Profile

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John Carver

Birthplace: Doncaster, Yorkshire, England
Death: Died in Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts
Cause of death: Sunstroke
Place of Burial: Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of James Carver and Catherine / Catharine Carver
Husband of Marie de Lannoy and Katharine (White) Legatt Carver, "Mayflower" Passenger
Father of Infant Carver and Infant Carver
Brother of Isaac Carver

Occupation: First governor of the Plymouth Colony re-confirmed 4/2/1621, Governor Plymouth Colony, merchant; Governor of the Mayflower & Plymouth Colony, 1ST Governor of Massechusets
Managed by: Private User
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About Governor John Carver, "Mayflower" Passenger

Carver, John, c.1576–1621, first governor of Plymouth Colony. A wealthy London merchant, in 1609 he emigrated to Holland, where he soon joined the Pilgrims at Leiden. His excellent character and his fortune, of which he gave liberally to the congregation, served to make him a leader. Carver, the chief figure in arranging for the Pilgrim migration to America, secured the backing of merchant friends in London, enlisted a number of capable settlers who came directly from England, and hired and provisioned the Mayflower for the journey. After the signing of the Mayflower Compact he was elected (1620) governor for one year and was probably responsible for the choice of the site at Plymouth.

John Carver (ca. 1576 – April 5, 1621) was a Pilgrim leader and the first governor of Plymouth Colony. He was probably born in Nottinghamshire, England.

Carver was a wealthy London merchant, but he left England and went to Leiden, Netherlands, in 1607 or 1608 because of religious persecution. In 1617 he became the agent for the Pilgrims in securing a charter and financial support for the establishment of a colony in America. He chartered the Mayflower and, with 101 other colonists, set sail from Plymouth, England, in September 1620. He signed the Mayflower Compact on November 11, 1620, and on the same day was elected to a one-year term as governor. He was probably instrumental in choosing Plymouth as the site for settlement and in making the treaty of alliance with Chief Massasoit of the Wampanoag tribe in 1621. In the spring of 1621, shortly after being elected governor, he died, apparently from sunstroke. William Bradford was his successor

Very little is known about John Carver, even though he was one of the more prominent members of the Pilgrims' church in Leiden. John Carver and Mary de Lannoy (from L'Escluse, near Lille, France) appear in Leiden records in February 1609, the same month that John Robinson and the rest of the Pilgrims sought permission from the Leiden magistrates for permission to take up residence. Perhaps John Carver was one of the original members of the Scrooby congregation; or perhaps he is an Englishman who had already taken up residence there, he having married a French Walloon. Mayflower passenger Francis Cooke had done something similar, having married to Hester le Mahieu, a French Walloon, and had taken up residence in Leiden more than six years before the Pilgrims had arrived to settle there. They buried a child a few months later, in July 1609.

Mary died sometime thereafter, perhaps even during the childbirth. Carver would marry sometime, perhaps arount 1616, to Katherine (White) Legatt, the daughter of Alexander White of Sturton-le-Steeple, Nottinghamshire. Katherine's sister Bridget White married the Pilgrims' pastor John Robinson. They buried a child in Leiden in November 1617. John Carver is not known to have had any surviving children. However, Thomas Hutchinson's 1767 history of New England does mention that one Robert Carver of Marshfield was a grandson: but on what grounds the author makes this claim is unknown and no records to support this statement have ever been located.

When the Pilgrims made the decision to begin moving their church to somewhere in America, they sent John Carver and Robert Cushman as their representatives to England to negotiate with the Virginia company and organize the business. Carver came on the Mayflower, where he acted as governor on the ship for the voyage. After arrival, he was elected governor of the Colony, and remained in that capacity until his untimely death from an apparent sun stroke in April 1621. His wife Katherine died a few weeks later of a "broken heart."

Pilgrim leader. Birthdate approximated by date of first marriage. A wealthy London merchant, he moved to Netherlands with Puritans around 1607. There he became the group's agent in securing financial support and a charter to establish a colony. The Puritans sailed from England in September 1620. Carver signed the Mayflower Compact after arriving in Massachusetts on November 11, 1620. He was elected the Plymouth Colony's first governor on same day. He died of sun stroke shortly after April 5th and soon after being re-elected as governor.

Came to America on the Mayflower and was the first signer of the Mayflower Compact. He was also the first governor of Plymouth.


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Governor John Carver, "Mayflower" Passenger's Timeline

September 9, 1565
Doncaster, Yorkshire, England
September 9, 1565
Doncaster, Yorkshire, England
September 9, 1576
Doncaster, Yorkshire, England
January 1609
Age 32
January 1617
Age 40