Person:John Mayo (1)

Rev. John Mayo
b.Abt 1598
  • HRev. John MayoAbt 1598 - 1676
  • WTamisen Brikeabt 1600 - 1682
  1. Capt. Samuel MayoABT 1620 - Bef 1664
  2. Nathaniel Mayo1625 - 1661/2
  3. Hannah Mayoabt 1628 - aft 1691
  4. John Mayoabt 1630 - 1706
  5. Elizabeth Mayobef 1638 - 1700
  6. Bathsheba Mayoabt 1640 -
Facts and Events
Name Rev. John Mayo
Gender Male
Birth[1][2] Abt 1598
Death[3][4][6] 3 May 1676 Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States
Ancestral File Number 8WRT-S3

Although this is an Irish name the subject of the following sketch was born in England and graduated from an English university. He came over probably about 1638, as he was in Barnstable in 1639, where he was ordained as a teaching Elder in connection with Rev. John Lathrop. He was made a freeman in 1640, and in 1643 was "able to bear arms".

In 1646 he removed to Eastham and subsequently took charge of the church there until 1655, when he removed to Boston to become pastor of the Second church; later called the Old North or sometimes spoken of as the Paul Revere Church, where he was installed on Nov. 9th 1655.

He was a man of prominence as a minister, and in 1658 preached the annual election sermon.

"The Rev. Increase Mather was assistant with the Rev. John Mayo as teaching elder from 1666 [ NEHGR, p. 103:39, Mather ordained as Teacher 27 May 1664] and succeeded him as pastor in 1673, when owing to advanced age and infirmities, he was ‘asked to resign as his sermons were no longer edifying." He then returned to Barnstable and Eastham, finally going to Yarmouth to be with his youngest daughter Elizabeth, Mrs. Joseph Howes - where he died in 1676.

Robbins in his history of the Second Church says that, "he was a blessing to his people, and that they two, pastor and teacher lived together in love and peace for eleven years".

His wife’s name was Tamosin on Tamsin, last name unknown. She died in Yarmouth Feb. 26, 1682. His children, all of whom were born in England, with the possible exception of Elizabeth were 1. Hannah Mayo (2), who married in 1642 Nathaniel Bacon of Barnstable, the founder of the family of Bacon in this country. 2. Samuel Mayo (2), a mariner, who married Thomasine Lumpkin, daughter of Wm. Lumpkin of Yarmouth. 3. John Mayo (2), who married in 1651 Hannah Reycroft, according to Colonial records. 4. Nathaniel Mayo (2), who married in 1649 Hannah Prince, daughter of the fourth Governor of Plymouth Colony, Thomas Prince. 5. Elizabeth Mayo, who married Joseph Howes, son of the immigrant Thomas Howes of Yarmouth, but probably born in England. She had thirteen children and died on the 16th of March 1700, having outlived her husband six years. "The Cape families of this name are descended from John and Nathaniel who went to Eastham with their father, where they settled " (note: Late accounts add Bathsheba (2) to the list).

Disputed Lineages

The appearance, within a couple of generations, of several ladies sharing the approximate given name Tamsen/Tamisen/Tomasin has led to a fair bit of confusion. Several uploaded GEDCOMs incorrectly indicated Rev. John Mayo's wife as Thomasin Lumpkin. She is actually a daughter-in-law, married to Samuel. The actual spouse of Rev. Mayo is Tamisen Brike.

Note: There is a collection of websites that insist John married twice, first apparently to Thomasine Brike, and second to Thomasine (nee Constable?) Lumpkin, the widowed mother of his son Samuel's widow, i.e., mother of Thomasine (Lumpkin) (Mayo) Sunderland. (All spelled Thomasine for simplicity.) This is apparently based on a note by Cotton Mather, to wit, John was feeling infirm in 1670 and in April 1673 moved in with his daughter in Barnstable. This is interpreted to mean that he had no wife in 1670, although we have no record of his first wife's death. Further, it would not be unnatural for an aging woman - his first wife Thomasine, let's say - who is having trouble carrying for an ailing husband, to move closer to a child who could lend some aid.
Side Note: Older sources indicate the infirmity appeared in 1672 (e.g., Ware, Henry. Two Discourses Containing the History of the Old North and New Brick Churches. 1821. p. 44), so it seems probable that 1670 is a modern error that keeps getting propagated. The resignation in 1673 seems more consistent with 1672 than 1670. In any event, it is probably reading too much into his relocation after resigning his post as an indication that his wife died.
On the other hand, there is wording in probate documents that seems to hint his widow might have been a second wife (in particular, mention of her goods before intermarriage, almost always a sign of a second wife, and calling the other heirs children of John Mayo, but not her children[4]). But if John had no wife in 1670, since his will mentions his wife Thomasine, he would have had to remarry another woman also named Thomasine. Since the will of "William Lumpkin of Yarmouth" is dated 29 Jan 1670, probated 7 Jun 1671, the logistics make it conceivable that John Mayo could have married William's widow prior to his death 1676. We have no documentary evidence of the death of his first wife, nor the second marriage, so this is pretty conjectural and more evidence would be helpful.
  1. Nickerson, Philip Tillinghast. "More About Rev. John Mayo of Cape Cod and Boston", in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society), 103:41-2.

    "There is small doubt that he was the Mayo of Northamptonshire who matriculated in Oxford University from Magdalen Hall 28 April 1615 aged 17."
    "In Middleton Cheney, the adjoining parish [to Thorpe-Mandeville] the Rev. W. B. Hick Canton found the 'Baptism on April 2, 1598 of a son to John Mayo the name impossible to read'".
    [Graduation works out to a birth about 1598. However, 3 possible fathers identified in this article: John Mayo of Thorpe Mandeville, Henry Maio of Southam, and John Mayo of North Newington.]

  2. Genforum Posting, [1].

    "Rev. John Mayo is believed to have been baptized in Farthinghoe, Northamptonshire, England on Oct. 16, 1597, the s/o John and Katherine Mayo, later of Thorpe Mandeville, Northamptonshire, England." [Cites several sources including Northamptonshire County Records Office.]

  3. Nickerson, Philip Tillinghast. "Rev. John Mayo, First Minister of the Second Church in Boston, Mass.", in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society), 95:108.

    "Late in May 1676 Mr. John Mayo died in Yarmouth, without making a will. His estate was settled during June, his widow Mistress Tamsen Mayo reserving the goods and estate which she had before marriage."

  4. 4.0 4.1 "The Settlement of Rev. John Mayo's Estate", in Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants. Mayflower Descendant: An Illustrated Quarterly Magazine of Pilgrim Genealogy, History and Biography, 9:119.

    Died at Yarmouth May 1767, intestate.
    Plymouth Colony Wills, III:I:165, "Inventory of the estate of Mr John mayo Late of Yarmouth Deceased", dated 1 Jun 1676. "Mistris Tamasin Mayo the Relict of Mr John Mayo above mentioned made oath to the truth of this Inventory soe farr as shee knowes; excepting onely the Goods and estate which shee had before theire Intermarriage..."
    Plymouth Colony Wills, III:I:175, 15 Jun 1676: "...agreement betwen Mistris Tamasin Mayo: viz: and Relict of mr John Mayo Late of Yarmouth Deceased; and the Children of the said Mr Mayo ... the three surviving Children of the said Mr Mayo ... John Mayo ... Samuell Mayo hannah and Bathshebah the Children of Nathaniell Mayo Deceased ... eldest sonnes of all the Children of the said Mr May which have not yett Received the same". Signed by Tamison Mayo, John Mayo, Joseph howes, and Thomas huckens ("In the behalfe of hannah Bacon I assent thereto", per Otis, appointed to handle estate of Hannah's husband Nathaniel Bacon).

  5.   Savage, James. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England: Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May, 1692, on the Basis of Farmer's Register. (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co, 1860-1862), 3:187.

    "JOHN, Barnstable, min. collea. with Lothrop, camein 1638 prob. as he was ser. freem. 3 Mar. 1640, and ord. 15 Apr. foll. brot. from Eng. ch. Hannah, Samuel, John, Nathaniel, and, perhaps, Elizabeth wh. may, however, have been b. on this side of the water; rem. to Eastham 1646, thence, discourag. at E. drawn to Boston, where he was inst. 9 Nov. 1655, first min. of the sev. or N. ch. and Michael Powell ord. ruling. the same day; dism. 1673, in advanc. age aft. hav. more than twenty-yrs. had joint. serv. with Increase Mather, he went to Barnstable, there, and at Eastham and Yarmouth liv. the short resid. of his days with one or ano. ch. and d. at Y. May 1676, leav. wid. Thomasine, wh. d. 26 Feb. 1682, but we kn. not whether she had heen his first w. in Eng. The agreem. 15 June 1676, for settlem. of the small est. betw. wid. ch. and is on rec. His d. Hannah m. 1652, Nathaniel Bacon; and Elizabeth m. Joseph Howes of Yarmouth."

  6. Although the date 3 May 1676 is listed in several secondary sources, such as Source:Burrage, Henry Sweetser. Genealogical and Family History of the State of Maine, p. 1779, the basis for this assertion is unknown. The sources cited on this page merely specify May without a specific date. It is possible someone recorded a source like Ware "The --- day of third month, [May,] 1676" as the 3 of May when it is not. Certainly he died before 1 Jun 1676 when his inventory was taken.