who according to tradition was
"the first lady to step ashore"
from the Mayflower in December 1620.
This page was researched by cousins
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A strange group of religious dissenters called "Pilgrims" had fled England circa 1608 to escape persecution and had settled in Leyden, Holland. A decade later, distressed by the fact that their children were losing contact with their English traditions and unable to earn a decent living in Holland, they had decided to seek a place to live and worship as they pleased in the emptiness of the New World. They approached Sir Edwin Sandys seeking permission to establish a settlement within the London Company's jurisdiction; and Sandys, while not sympathetic to their religious views, appreciated their inherent worth and saw to it that their wish was granted. The Pilgrims boarded the Speedwell and sailed from Delfthaven, Holland. They joined with friends who had embarked on the Mayflower at Southhampton and sailed for the New World on August 6, 1620. However, the Speedwell leaked badly and both ships returned to Plymouth. Eventually, the Speedwell was sold and on September 6, l620, the group of about a hundred set out on the Mayflower.
Had the Mayflower reached its intended destination in Virginia, the Pilgrims might well have been soon forgotten. However, they had been carried far out of their way, and the ship touched America on the desolate northern end of Cape Cod Bay. Unwilling to remain longer at the mercy of storm-tossed December seas, the settlers decided to remain. Since they were outside the jurisdiction of the London Company, the group claimed to be free of all governmental control. Therefore, before going ashore, the Pilgrims drew up the Mayflower Compact. "We whose names are underwritten," the Compact ran, "do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one another covenant and combine ourselves into a civil Body Politick . . . and by Virtue hereof do enact . . . such just and equal Laws . . . as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony."
In this simple manner, ordinary people created a government.
The Mayflower Compact reflected both the confidence of the
Pilgrims in one another and the impact of the immense emptiness of the
New World on generations of pioneers. Alone in the wilderness, people recognised
their interdependence and came to appreciate the virtues of social and
political organisations. This realisation had much to do with the development
of American government and democracy.
Lyonell Chilton, a yeoman of considerable property resided in St. Paul's Parish, Canterbury.
Died circa 1582/83. His will was dated September 7, 1582 and proved February 13, 1582/83.
Lyonell married twice, but the name of his first wife has been lost. Lyonell and his first wife had the following children:
James Chilton who signed the Mayflower Compact.
Born before 1556 (Št. 63 in 1619)
Died on December 18, 1620 aboard the Mayflower in Cape Cod Harbour.
The name of James Chilton's wife is unknown. It has been suggested that she was Susanna Furner, daughter of his step-mother and her first husband Francis Furner. However, the identity of James' wife remains in doubt as Susanna Furner's baptism record indicates she was far too young (only 12) to be married and having children in 1586. To further confuse the issue, James is said to have married secondly to the widow Isabell Furner, who was not the mother of his children. Note that "Isabell Furner" was also the name of James' stepmother.
However, it is known that James Chilton’s wife was one of a group excommunicated in 1609. Apparently, they buried a young child without following the proper ceremonies prescribed by the Church of England. Religious dissenters opposed such ceremonies, since they were not Biblically-based. The excommunication record from St. Peter's, Sandwich, reads:
|"I the parson there doe present Thomas Bartlet the wife of James Chilton Danyell Hooke and Mosses Flecher all of our said parish for pryvatly burying a childe of Andrewe Sharpe of St. Maries parish who is strongly suspected not to dye an ordinary death the which they secretly conveyed to the earth without anie notice to given to me or my clarke of anie companie of neighboures but such only as semed accessary thereunto, this they did the 25 or 24 of Aprill last past, the lawfulness of which acte some of them seem now since to dissent by calling into question the lawfulnesse of the kinges constitutions in this and other behalfes, affirming these thing to be popishly cerimonious and of no other force; for the truth of all which the premisses with much more when it shall be further erquired I the now resident incumbent there have hereunto subscribed my name this 8 May 1609."|
|"James Chilton and his wife also died in the first infection, but their daughter Mary is still living and hath nine children; and one daughter is married and hath a child."|
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Marine Art from Mike Haywood
James Chilton had the following children by his first wife:
Baptized at St. Peter’s Parish, Sandwich, May 31, 1607.
Died at Boston before May 1, 1679.
Painting courtesy of Dr. Mike Haywood
Mary married at Plymouth sometime between July 1623 and May 22, 1627 to John Winslow, who had arrived at Plymouth in 1621 on the Fortune. John was born at Droitwich, Worcestershire on April 16, 1597; and died at Boston before May 21, 1674. John was a son of Edward and Magdalen (Ollyver) Winslow, and brother of Pilgrim Edward Winslow.
|Mary and John are buried in King's Chapel Cemetery|
Tremont Street, Boston, Massachusetts.
Thanks to Estelle Hughes for the photo.
Mary and John had the following children:
Sarah married first at Boston on July 19, 1660 to Myles Standish Jr., son of Pilgrim Myles and Barbara Standish. Myles Standish Jr. disappeared at sea circa. 1660. They had no children.
Sarah married secondly at Boston in Nov. 1666 or 1667 to Tobias Payne of Fownhope, Hereford, England. Tobias died at Boston on September 12, 1669. Sarah and Tobias had the following child:
Born at Boston on either 21 or 22 January 21 or 22, 1668/9.
Died on June 10, 1735 Št.66.
William graduated from Harvard College in 1689 and continued for his master's degree. He was Collector of Excise 1699-70 and in 1716; and was a sheriff of Suffolk County 1714-15.
William married first at Boston on October 11, 1694 to Mary Taylor who had been born on January 25, 1675 and died at Boston on 6 January 6, 1700/1. Mary was a daughter of James and Elizabeth Taylor. The ancestry of James Taylor is interesting because it can be traced to one of the most infamous of mediaeval tyrants, none other than "the evil King John", arch enemy of Robin Hood. Please click on Angevin Kings for this descent. William and Mary had the following children:
Born at Boston on January 6, 1700/1 and was living there on October 19, 1747.
Mary married at Boston on October 8, 1724 to Jonathan Sewall who had been born at Salem on February 7, 1692/3 and died in November 1731. Jonathan was a son of Stephen and Margaret (Mitchell) Sewall. By a previous marriage to Elizabeth Alford he had daughters Elizabeth and Mary Sewall. Mary and Jonathan had the following children:
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