William Bradford

  • 1621: A Historian Looks Anew at Thanksgiving

    1621: A Historian Looks Anew at ThanksgivingNew publications still have some errors in fact.

    "A Thanksgiving for plenty. O Most merciful Father, which of thy gracious goodness hast heard the devout prayers of thy church, and turned our dearth and scarcity into cheapnesse and plenty: we giue thee humble thankes for this thy special bounty, beseeching thee to continue this thy louing kindnes unto vs, that our land may yeild vs her fruits of increase, to thy glory and our comfort, through Iesus Christ our Lord, Amen"

  • A ‘Tilley Dilly,’ or ‘What’s in a Name?’

    In his history, Of Plymouth Plantation, William Bradford included lists of the 1620 Mayflower passengers. Following the list of the passengers is a list recounting what had happened to them. This list is often referred to as the “decreasings” (i.e. deaths/departures) and “increasings” (i.e. births). He states that among the passengers were “Edward Tilley and his wife Ann.”

  • A Level Look at Land Allotments, 1623

    A Level Look at Land Allotments, 1623In 1623, the Pilgrims ceased rotating their field assignments each year and assigned use of the same plot to the same family group for that year and the next years. That this represented their discovery of the advantages of private property over communalism is a commonly repeated distortion that dates back to William Bradford himself. So when an oversimplified version of Bradford's memories surfaces in some place like The Wall Street Journal, as it did on the day after Thanksgiving, 2005, one shouldn't be too surprised.

  • After the First Thanksgiving

    After the First ThanksgivingAsk "the man (or woman) on the street" what he (or she) knows about the Pilgrims, and you will probably be told that they (1) celebrated the First Thanksgiving with the Indians, (2) came to America on the Mayflower in 1620 to find religious freedom, (3) landed on Plymouth Rock. Some may even know that half of them died the first winter. Few will know that the majority of them had spent at least a dozen years in Holland. As descendants and members, hopefully we know a little more.

  • Ancestral Pilgrim Homes

    Are you planning on traveling to England this summer? If so, this is a list of where some of our Pilgrim ancestors lived.

  • Comparing Plymouth and Jamestown

    Comparing Plymouth and JamestownPilgrim families arrived in Holland in the spring of 1608 and in Plymouth in December 1620. In May 1607, 105 men arrived in Jamestown to establish the first permanent English settlement in North America. While the individuals in both settlements were English, the they were different in many important ways. To fully appreciate our Pilgrim heritage, it is important to understand the differences between Plymouth and Jamestown. This essay identifies major differences and explains how these differences affected the settlements during the first few decades of their arrival.

  • Distinguished Mayflower Descendants

    Who Do You Think You Are?What do Marilyn Monroe, George Bush and Dr. Spock have in common? Possibly you. Visit our distinguished descendants gallery to learn who your famous cousins are. You may be surprised to discover who you have common genes with.

  • England, Austerfield, Yorkshire

    St. Helen's Church, Austerfield, England1898 — Bradford Tablet and Baptismal Font, St. Helen's Church, Austerfield, England
    St. Helena's Church, Austerfield was built in 1080. Gov. William Bradford was baptized there on March 19, 1589/90. By the end of the 19th century, the north aisle had fallen down and the nave arches on that side were bricked up. With generous donations from the General Society of Mayflower Descendents in the United States, the aisle was reconstructed, using a stone doorway and window tracery that had survived. The New York Society contributed to the preservation of the church. The tablet, engraved with an entwined “IHS” at the top,  reads: THIS AISLE WAS BUILT IN THE YEAR / OF OUR LORD MDCCCXCVII BY THE  / SOCIETY OF MAYFLOWER / DESCENDANTS AND OTHER CITIZENS / OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / IN MEMORY OF / GOVERNOR WIILLIAM BRADFORD / WHO WAS BORN AT AUSTERFIELD / AND BAPTIZED IN THIS CHURCH / ON XIX MARCH MDLXXXIX. ‘HE WAS THE FIRST / AMERICAN CITIZEN / OT HT ENGLISH RACE / WHO BORE RULE BY / THE FREE CHOICE / OF HIS BRETHREN A Mayflower Society logo appears at the bottom.

    Gov. William Bradford House, Austerfield, South Yorkshire, England1936 — Gov. William Bradford House, Austerfield, South Yorkshire, England
    The General Society of mayflower Descendants was approached by the English to
    contribute $3,500 toward the $5,500 believed necessary to purchase and preserve Bradford's boyhood home. World War II brought an end to the plans. The Society's funds collected for the project were later released to the Mayflower Society House Endowment Fund.

    1955 — Plaque, St. Helena’s Church, Austerfield, England

    1992 — Stained Glass Windows, St. Helena’s Church, Austerfield, England
    A triptych depicting William Bradford, the Mayflower, and the signing of the Mayflower Compact is here.

    Unknown — William Butten Plaque, Austerfield, England
    A memorial plaque, blue on white, depicting the Mayflower approaching the New England Coast with a compass rose and a banner reading “WILLIAM BUTTEN – THE MAYFLOWER 1620” Butten appears in William Bradford’s history Of Plymouth Plantation where he wrote circa 1630 “In all this viage ther died but one of ye passengers, which was William Butten, a youth, servant to Samuel Fuller, when they drew near ye coast.” The Bassettlaw District Council claims that Butten was of Austerfield. Records show a William Butten baptized in Worksop in 1605. He may have been with Fuller in Leiden.

  • England, Boston, Lincolnshire

    Plaque, Guildhall, Boston, EnglandUnknown — Plaque, Guildhall, Boston, England
    Two plaques. One depicts the trial of the Pilgrim Fathers in the Boston Guildhall following their first and unsuccessful attempt to flee England for Holland in 1607. The second reads: “IN THESE CELLS / WILLIAM BRADFORD  WILLIAM BREWSTER / and others afterwards known as / THE PILGRIM FATHERS / WERE IMPRISONED / on 23rd September 1607 / after attempting to escape to / religious freedom.” The women and children were released and the men tried and eventually released. They had sold all their homes and possessions. They successfully escaped the following year.

    1955 — Plaque, Guildhall, Boston, England

  • Index of Events and Individuals Named in Mourt's Relation

     Index of Events and Individuals Named in Mourt's RelationMourt’s Relation is the earliest known eyewitness account of the Pilgrims’ first seven months in New England plus a few additional events up through November 1621. It was published in 1622 in London. Its writing precedes William Bradford’s account, Of Plimoth Plantation, by a decade and the subsequent publication of Bradford’s by 234 years. This index is compiled from the Dwight B. Heath modernized, and indexless, edition published as Mourt’s Relation, A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. It consists of two parts: Events and Names.

  • Isaac Allerton in Marblehead, New Amsterdam and New Haven

    The activities of Isaac Allerton in Leiden and Plymouth are well known. Well known also are the circumstances concerning his dismissal as Plymouth's London agent. The purpose of this article is to piece together information describing his activities after he left Plymouth in 1631 until his death in 1659.

  • Isaac Allerton: Saint, Sinner, Entrepreneur

    Of the Mayflower passengers accorded biographies in the Dictionary of American Biography, the least considered by the public at large is Isaac Allerton (ca. 1586-1659). Yet Allerton was a proper Saint (Leyden Separatist), was fifth to sign the Mayflower Compact, and in the earliest years of Plymouth Colony was second only to Bradford in rank and power.

  • Marriage Pilgrim Style & The Pilgrim Church

     Marriage Pilgrim Style & The Pilgrim ChurchThe 1627 Plimoth Plantation presented a recreation of a Pilgrim wedding ceremony on August 14, 2010. They chose to go back to the year 1623 when Governor William Bradford, whose wife Dorothy May had drowned shortly after the arrival of the Mayflower in 1620, married Elizabeth Carpenter, the widow Southworth.

  • Massachusetts, Eastham, Barnstable Co.

    First Encounter Beach Stone and Plaque, Eastham, MA1920 — First Encounter Beach Stone and Plaque, Eastham, MA
    Up on a knoll at the north end of the beach is a boulder with an attached bronze plaque having a relief bust profile with helmet facing to the right (perhaps of Myles Standish) centered between scrolls at the top, that reads: ON THIS SPOT / HOSTILE INDIANS / HAD THEIR / FIRST ENCOUNTER / DECEMBER 8, 1620 / OLD STYLE / WITH / MYLES STANDISH  JOHN CARVER / WILLIAM BRADFORD  JOHN TILLEY / EDWARD WINSLOW  JOHN HOWLAND  / EDWARD TILLEY  RICHARD WARREN / STEPHEN HOPKINS  EDWARD DOTEY / JOHN ALLERTON  THOMAS ENGLISH / MASTER MATE CLARK  MASTER / GUNNER COPIN / AND THREE SAILORS / OF THE MAYFLOWER COMPANY / PROVINCETOWN TERCENTARY / 1620 COMMISSION 1920. See the 2001 entry for the more recent marker on the beach near the parking lot.

    1966 — Lt. Joseph Rogers Boulder and Plaque, Cove Cemetery, Eastham MA
    Joseph accompanied his father, Pilgrim Thomas Rogers, on the Mayflower. Placed by his Descendants.

    1966 — Constance Hopkins Snow Boulder and Plaque, Cove Cemetery, Eastham MA
    Constance, who came on the Mayflower, was a daughter of Pilgrim Stephen Hopkins. She married Nicholas Snow who came on the Anne. Placed by her Descendants.

    1966 — Giles Hopkins Boulder and Plaque, Cove Cemetery, Eastham MA
    Giles, who died in 1690, was a son of Pilgrim Stephen Hopkins. The plaque reads “GILES HOPKINS / 1607 – 1690 / MAYFLOWER PASSENGER / PLACED BY HIS DESCENDANTS / 1966”.

    2001 — First Encounter Beach Plaque, Eastham MA
    In early December 1620 while exploring the beach north of the mouth of Herring River in present Eastham on the Bay of Cape Cod to decide were to establish their settlement, "they heard a great and strange cry, which they knew to be the same voices in the night... and one of their company being abroad came running in and cried, 'Men, Indians! Indians!' And withal, their arrows came flying amongst them.' " A bronze tablet mounted on the beach reads: NEAR THIS SITE / THE NAUSET TRIBE / OF THE / WAMPANOAG NATION / SEEKING TO PROTECT THEMSELVES / AND THEIR CULTURE / HAD THEIR / FIRST ENCOUNTER / 8 DECEMBER 1620 / WITH / MYLES STANDISH, JOHN CARVER, / EDWARD WINSLOW, JOHN TILLEY, / EDWARD TILLEY, / JOHN HOWLAND, RICHARD WARREN, / STEPHEN HOPKINS, / EDWARD DOTEY, JOHN ALLERTON, / THOMAS ENGLISH, / MASTER MATE CLARK, / MASTER GUNNER COPIN, / AND THREE SAILORS / OF THE MAYFLOWER COMPANY / THIS TABLET PLACED 2001 BY THE SOCIETY OF COLONIAL WARS / IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS.

  • Massachusetts, Plymouth, Plymouth Co.

    A full list of all of the Pilgrim related sites to see in Plymouth.

  • Massachusetts, Truro, Barnstable Co.

    Corn Hill Monument, Truro, MA1898 — Pilgrim Spring and Corn Hill Plaques, Truro, MA
    Having arrived in Cape Cod Bay, it was here that the Pilgrims drank their first fresh water and discovered a buried cache of Indian corn which provided their first food ashore. The General Society of Mayflower Descendants placed a granite marker commemorating the event atop Corn Hill that reads “Corn Hill – 1620”. In 1900 the Society was deeded all rights to hold in trust of the 50’ x 50’ piece of land.

    1920 Corn Hill Monument, Truro, MA
    A large monument erected to commemorate the 1620 tercentenary is located at the bottom of the hill. The bronze plaque inscribed “ SIXTEEN PILGRIMS / LED BY / MYLES STANDISH  WILLIAM BRADFORD / STEPHEN HOPKINS AND EDWARD TILLEY / FOUND THE PRECIOUS INDIAN CORN / ON THIS SPOT WHICH THEY CALLED / CORN HILL / NOVEMBER 16, 1620 / ---- / AND SURE IT WAS GOD'S GOOD PROVIDENCE / THAT WE FOUND THIS CORN FOR ELSE WE / WOULD NOT KNOW HOW WE SHOULD HAVE DONE." The taking of the corn by the Pilgrims has led to modern day charges that they stole it and never made restitution to the Indians, a myth that has been disproven by the writings of a prime source, Pilgrim Edward Winslow. Next to the monument is another monument commemorating the longest free flight made August 18, 1929 from Corn Hill lasting 15 minutes and six seconds, surpassing that of Orville Wright at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

  • Mayflower Passenger List

    Am I a Mayflower Descendant?
    For those of you who are curious about whether or not you may be descended from a Mayflower passenger please see our List of Mayflower Passengers and Genealogies Links below. The surnames found in the first three generations after landing are also included.

  • Nathaniel Philbrick on William Bradford: Impromptu

    Nathaniel Philbrick on William BradfordIn his great book "Mayflower", Nathaniel Philbrick "focused," as he put it in the preface, "on two people," William Bradford (the governor, "pious and stalwart") and Benjamin Church (the Indian fighter, "audacious and proud"). Both men wrote revealingly about their lives in the New World."

  • Natural Disasters Hit New Plymouth

    Natural Disasters Hit New Plymouth"It Pleased The Lord To Visit Them..."

    In the first two decades of their residence in New Plymouth, the Pilgrims were visited by a number of natural disasters: Sickness, Fire, Drought, Locusts, Hurricane, and Earthquake. The first to hit them was undisputedly the most devastating and perhaps the only one generally known by their descendants today: the Great Sickness that halved the size of the Colony, men women and children, in the first five months following their arrival at Cape Cod on November 11, 1620.

  • Pilgrim Trades

    Pilgrim TradesOur Mayflower ancestors were not of “royal blood.” For the most part, they were what we now would call “middle class” people who had to work for a living. Of the 58 male passengers, both men and boys, the trades or occupations of only 32 are known.