m. est 1586
Facts and Events
Mr. and Mrs. Chilton sailed aboard the Mayflower with their youngest daughter Mary.
The Mystery of Mrs. Chilton
The long-published claim that James Chilton's wife was Susanna Furner was disposed of by Michael Paulick's research published in 1999. Paulick found the baptism for Susan Furner in Nov. 1573, which would make her no more than 12 1/2 at the time of conception of their first child, christened in Jan. 1587. That strongly suggests she was not Chilton's wife, and there is no documentary evidence to support the theory. (Michael Paulick, "The 1609-1610 Excommunications of Mayflower Pilgrims Mrs. Chilton and Moses Fletcher," New England Historic and Genealogical Register Vol. 153 (October 1999):408-412.)
The article is concerned mainly with Mrs. Chilton's excommunication from St. Peter's in Sandwich in 1609. (Her given name was not given in the records.)
The excommunication record from St. Peter's, Sandwich, reads:
This excommunication record, and subsequent announcement to the entire church on 12 June 1609, are quite interesting. The group apparently 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. It is interesting to note that this group of individuals from Sandwich, Kent was apparently not directly connected to the Scrooby, Nottinghamshire congregation (consisting of William Bradford, William Brewster, and other prominent Pilgrims, who were already in Leiden by this time), but instead came to Holland later--probably shortly after their excommunications--and joined up with the Scrooby congregation that was already living there.
The excommunication of Mrs. Chilton, whose first name is unfortunately left blank, is the first known record of a female Pilgrim having been excommunicated, or otherwise punished by the Church.