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By Joanne Compton Michael

Date of birth: ca 1571, Watford Co. Northamptonshire, England
Baptized: unknown
Marriage: Alice Cosford, 24 October 1597
Children: Six (6)
1. Thomas, bpt. 24 Mar 1598/99 bur. 27 May 1599
2. poss. Richard bpt. 12 Mar 1600 bur. 4 Apr 1600
3. Joseph bpt. 23 Jan 1602/3, married Hannah (unknown)
4. John bpt. 6 Apr 1606, married Anna Churchman
5. Elizabeth bpt. 26 Dec 1609
6. Margaret bpt. 30 May 1613
Death: winter of 1620/1, Plymouth, MA
Burial Site: unknown

 

'The First Thanksgiving', Painting by Jean Louis Gerome Ferris

  • Little is known about Pilgrim Thomas Rogers and nothing at all is known about his ancestry.
  • Thomas Rogers was the son of William and Eleanor Rogers, and grandson of William and Joan Rogers. Thomas' marriage to Alice Cosford and his children's baptisms are all found in the parish registers of Watford, Northampton, England.
  • The earliest known encounter with Pilgrim Thomas Rogers was on 25 June 1618 when he became a citizen of Leiden, Holland vouched for by William Jepson, formerly of Worksop, Notts., and by Roger Wilson, formerly of Sandwich, Kent Co., England.
  • Thomas along with his wife and children were members of the Leiden church.
  • Thomas Rogers is listed as a camlet merchant. Camlet is a blended fabric of camel hair and silk and its fabric was woven in various widths and used for outer garments.
  • He was the 18th signer of the Mayflower Compact.On 22 February 1617, Thomas Rogers bought a house on the west side of the Barbarasteeg, in a row between houses owned by Jacob Sullof, fustian weaver. The neighbor to the rear was Aelbert Cornelisz, Van Berckendael Rogers' bondsman was Gerrit Gerritsz. Van Berrevelt, a miller. Payment took the form of a mortgage for 475 guilders, of which 325 was due in cash immediately and 150 to be paid on May Day, 1617.
  • On 1 April 1620 Rogers sold the house to Mardecheus Colven, for 300 guilders cash. Colven was from Colchester or Hastings. The sale was preparatory to Thomas Rogers' departure to go to New England on the Mayflower.
  • Thomas had a family living in Leiden, Holland, when the 1622 Poll Tax was taken. The 1622 Leiden poll tax list revealed that when Thomas Rogers left for America, his wife Alice and two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret and son John remained in Leiden in the household of Anthony Clements, apparently one of the English Separatists who did not emigrate to Plymouth in 1620.
  • Governor Bradford says in his history of the Plymouth settlement that on board the Mayflower were "Thomas Rogers and Joseph his son; his other children came afterwards..... Thomas Rogers died in the first sickness but his son Joseph is still living (1650) and is married and hath six children. The rest of Thomas Rogers' (children) came over and are married and have many children."

  • Thomas' daughters Elizabeth and Margaret apparently came to New England later, but no further information is available.
  • Thomas' son John came to Plymouth about 1630. On April 16, 1639, John married Anna Churchman, who bore him one son and three daughters.
  • In the 1623 Plymouth Colony land division, Joseph Rogers was allotted two acres-one for himself and one on behalf of his late father. He may have been living in the household of Governor Bradford with how he was grouped on 22 May 1627, in the Division of Cattle. Joseph and twelve other inhabitants of Plymouth received "an heyfer of the last year which was of the Great white-back cow that was brought over in the Ann and two shee goats."
  • Sons Joseph and John were each assessed the minimum 9s. in the 25 March 1633 rate.
  • On 6 April 1640, "Joseph Rogers and John Rogers, his brother," were granted fifty acres of upland each at the North River.
  • John and Joseph Rogers each named a daughter Elizabeth, perhaps thereby indicating that their sister Elizabeth lived in New England. Unfortunately, extensive research has failed to uncover any further evidence.
  • Although many other male Rogers immigrants have been claimed as sons of Thomas the Pilgrim, none of the claims has been proved, and some have been disproved.

 

REFERENCES
General Society of Mayflower Descendants
Mayflower Families Through Five Generations (Silver Books)
Pilgrim Hall Museum
Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647, William Bradford
Caleb Johnson's MayflowerHistory.com
Thomas Rogers Society, www.ThomasRogersSociety.com