The Mayflower - Family Search

The Mayflower
(An account of Degory Priest, and 'William and Susanna White)
Excerpts taken from the site
"The Mayflower was hired in London, and sailed from London to Southampton in July 1620 to
begin loading food and supplies for the voyage--much of which was purchased at Southampton. The
Pilgrims were mostly still living in the city of Leiden, in the Netherlands. They hired a ship called
the Speedwell to take them from Delfshaven, the Netherlands, to Southampton, England, to meet up
with the Mayflower. The two ships planned to sail together to Northern
Virginia. The Speedwell departed Delfthaven on July 22, and arrived at Southampton, where they
found the Mayflower waiting for them. The Speedwell had been leaking on her voyage from the
Netherlands to England, though, so they spent the next week patching her up."
"On August 5, the two ships finally set sail for
America. But the Speedwell began leaking again,
so they pulled into the town of Dartmouth for
repairs, arriving there about August
12. The Speedwell was patched up again, and the
two ships again set sail for America about August
21. After the two ships had sailed about 300 miles
out to sea, the Speedwell again began to
leak. Frustrated with the enormous amount of time
lost, and their inability to fix the Speedwell so that
it could be sea-worthy, they returned to Plymouth,
England, and made the decision to leave
the Speedwell behind."
"The Mayflower would go to America
alone. The cargo on the Speedwell was transferred
over to the Mayflower; some of the passengers were so tired and disappointed with all the problems
that they quit and went home. Others crammed themselves onto the already very crowded Mayflower.
Finally, on September 6, the Mayflower departed from Plymouth, England, and headed for
America. During the voyage, the 102 Mayflower passengers lived primarily on the gun deck. The
length of the deck from stem to stern was about 80 feet, of which about 12 feet at the back belonged to
the gun room and was off-limits to the passengers. The width at the widest part was about 24
feet. This means the living space for all 102 people was only about 58 feet by 24 feet! Families would
have built themselves small little "cabins", simple wood dividers nailed together, to provide a very
small amount of privacy. They lived in this small space for the 66-day voyage, and then many of them
lived there another four to six months as they explored for a place to live, and later worked to build
houses on shore, in the middle of a snowy and wet New England winter."
"By the time the Pilgrims had left England, they had already been living onboard the ships for
nearly a month and a half. The voyage itself across the Atlantic Ocean took 66 days, from their
departure on September 6, until Cape Cod was sighted on 9 November 1620. The first half of the
voyage went fairly smoothly, the only major problem was sea-sickness. But by October, they began
encountering a number of Atlantic storms that made the voyage treacherous. Several times, the wind
was so strong they had to just drift where the weather took them, it was not safe to use the ship's
sails. As the Mayflower approached land, the crew spotted Cape Cod just as the sun rose on November
9. The Pilgrims intended to land in Northern Virginia; however, as the Mayflower headed south, it
encountered some very rough seas, and nearly shipwrecked. The Pilgrims then decided, rather than
risk another attempt to go south, they would just stay and explore Cape Cod. The Pilgrims would
spend the next month and a half exploring Cape Cod, trying to decide where they would build their
plantation. On December 25, 1620, they had finally decided upon Plymouth, and began construction
of their first buildings.
William and Susanna White
William was born on November 10, 1591 in England. He
married Susanna who was born about 1595 around 1616.
"William and his wife Susanna came on the Mayflower in 1620
with son Resolved and two servants; William Holbeck and Edward
Thompson, both whom died soon after landing. Susanna gave birth to
son Peregrine while the Mayflower was still anchored off the top of
Cape Cod waiting for the Pilgrims to discover a place to build their
colony. William died the first winter, on the same day as three other
passengers, including William Mullins. His wife Susanna remarried to
Edward Winslow a few months later, being the first marriage to occur at
(This cradle is believed to have been brought on the Mayflower by William and Susanna White, for
the use of Peregrine White, who was born onboard the ship in November 1620 while it was anchored
off the tip of Cape Cod. It is on display at the Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth.)
Edward Winslow
(second husband of Susanna White, little is know about her life in America; however, the experiences
of her husband gives us a glimpse of what her life must have been like)
"Edward Winslow was born in Droitwich, co. Worcester in 1595. He was traveling in the Low
Countries, and subsequently became acquainted with the Pilgrims' church in Leiden. He was married
in Leiden in 1618 to Elizabeth Barker, and was called a printer of London at the time. It is quite
possible he was assisting William Brewster and Thomas Brewer in their publishing of religious books
that were illegal in England."
Edward Winslow and wife Elizabeth came on the Mayflower to
Plymouth in 1620. Elizabeth died the first winter, and Edward remarried to the
widowed Mrs. Susanna White, on 12 May 1621--the first marriage in the
This portrait of Edward Winslow was
done in London in 1651. It is the only
well-authenticated portrait of a
Mayflower passenger
Plymouth Colony. Winslow quickly became one of the
more prominent men in the colony. He was on many
of the early explorations of Cape Cod, and led a
number of expeditions to meet and trade with the
Indians. He wrote several first-hand accounts of these
early years, including portions of A Relation or Journal
of the Proceedings of the Plantation Settled at
Plymouth (London, 1622) and the entirety of Good
News from New England (London, 1624).believed to
have been owned by Edward Winslow."
"Edward Winslow became involved in
defending the Plymouth and later Massachusetts Bay
Colonies from their opponents and adversaries in
England, and made several trips back and forth between
England and Massachusetts, including trips in 1623/4,
1630, and 1634; on one
occasion he was
arrested and thrown into the Fleet Prison in London by his adversaries,
on grounds that he had performed marriage ceremonies without being
ordained (the Pilgrims viewed marriage as an event to be handled by
the civil magistrates, not by the Church). Winslow returned to
England shortly after the English Civil War, and published a couple of
pamphlets in defense of the New England colonies,
including Hypocrisy Unmasked (1646) and New England's
Salamander Discovered (1647). He also wrote the introduction to
the Glorious Progress of the Gospel Amongst the Indians in New
England (1649)."
"In Plymouth, he held a number of political offices, as was
routinely elected an assistant to Governor William Bradford;
A Mortar and Pestle that is believed to
Winslow himself was elected governor of Plymouth on three
have been owned by Edward
occasions: 1632/3, 1635/6, and 1644. After Winslow returned to
Winslow. It is on display at the
Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth
England, he was on several Parliamentary committees. He died in
1655 at sea between Hispaniola and Jamaica, while serving as a
commissioner for Oliver"
Resolved White
(son of William and Susanna White)
Resolved was born about 1615 in England. Hecame on the Mayflower at about the age of
about five, with parents William and Susanna. He was raised by step-father Edward Winslow
following the death of his father William and remarriage of his mother in 1621. They moved to
Marshfield in the 1630s, and later moved to Scituate where he married Judith Vassall, the daughter of
William and Ann (King) Vassall, on November 5, 1640. Resolved White's stepfather Edward
Winslow wrote a pamphlet in 1647 entitled New England's Salamander Discovered, where the
notorious and slanderous "salamander" was apparently William Vassall the father of his wife Judith."
He and Judith had eight children together. Samuel born 1645, Anna born in 1649, William, John,
Resolved, Elizabeth born in 1652, Josiah, and Susanna.
"Resolved White moved his family back to Marshfield in the early 1660s, and Judith died and
was buried there on 3 April 1670. He then remarried to the widowed Abigail Lord on October 5, 1674
in Salem. He was a soldier in King Philip's War of 1676, and became a freeman in Salem in 1680,
before moving back to Marshfield a couple years later." He died in 1687 in Marshfield Massachusetts.
Degory Priest
Was born on 11 Aug 1582 in Devon England. He was "deposed that he was 40 years old in a
document signed in Leiden in April 1619; this would place his birth at about 1579 in England. On 4
November 1611, he was married to Sarah (Allerton) Vincent, the widow of John Vincent, and the
sister of Mayflower passenger Isaac Allerton; Isaac Allerton was married to his wife Mary Norris on
the same date."
"Degory Priest was one of the earliest to have
arrived in Leiden. He became a citizen of Leiden on 16
November 1615, and was called a hatter, and perhaps
employed with Samuel Lee and Godbert Godbertson, other
members of the Leiden congregation who were also
hatter. In 1617, Degory Priest had some kind of altercation
with a man named John Cripps who was alleged to have
been having an adulterous affair with Elizabeth wife of
John Mos. He had some friends sign an affidavit stating he
hadn't hit Cripps but only "touched his jabot." Degory
shared his Leiden residence with a tobacco-pipe maker
named Nicholas Claverly.
"Degory and wife Sarah had two children, Mary
and Sarah. Degory came alone on the Mayflower, planning
to bring wife and children later after the colony was better
established. His death the first winter ended those plans.
His wife remarried to Godbert Godbertson in Leiden on 13
November 1621, and they had a son Samuel together.
Godbert, his wife Sarah, their son Samuel, and his stepchildren Mary and Sarah Priest all came on the ship Anne
or Little James to Plymouth in 1623."
After a hard winter the 104 passengers of the Mayflower had lost 47 people. The dead were
buried at Coles Hill. Many years later a rain storm caused many of the inhabitants in the grave to
washed out. The community erected a Sarcophagus and place all the bodies in it. On the marker is the
inscription, "Here under cover of darkness the fast dwindling company laid their dead, leveling the
earth above them lest the Indians should learn how many were their graves. Reader, history records
no nobler venture for faith and freedom than that of the pilgrim band. In weariness and painfulness in
watchings often in hunger and cold, they laid the foundations of a state wherein every man through
countless ages should have liberty to worship God in his own way. May their example inspire thee to
do thy part in perpetuating and spreading the lofty ideals of our Republic throughout the world." Also
on the marker is a list of all the names lost that winter. Included in the list are Isaac and Mary Allerton
(sister of Sarah Allerton-wife of Degory Priest), William White, William Holbeck (servant to William
White), Edward Thomas (servant to William White), Degory Priest, and Elizabeth Winslow (wife of
Edward Winslow).
Monument dedicated to Early Settlers of Green Harbor, Marshfield, Massachusetts located in
Winslow Cemetery. Names on the monument include Edward Winslow and wife Susanna, Resolve
White and wife Judith, Peregrine White aned wife Sarah
Marshfield was first established as a separate settlement in 1632 by Edward Winslow, a
Mayflower Pilgrim who became a governor of Plymouth Colony. Edward Winslow was the third
signatory to the Mayflower Compact. He became a negotiator and diplomat for the Colony in its
dealings with the Native Americans and with the British. Edward Winslow established the first church
and the first school in the town, near the cemetery which today still bears the Winslow name.