Person:William Bradford (9)

Governor William Bradford, III
m. 21 Jun 1584
  1. _____ BradfordAbt 1585 -
  2. Margaret Bradford1585 - 1586
  3. _____ BradfordAbt 1587 -
  4. Alice Bradford1587 - 1607
  5. Governor William Bradford, III1589/90 - 1657
  6. Margaret Bradford1595 - 1657
  • HGovernor William Bradford, III1589/90 - 1657
  • WDorothea May1590 - 1620
m. 10 Dec 1613
  1. John Bradford1615 - 1679
  • HGovernor William Bradford, III1589/90 - 1657
  • WAlice Carpenter1590 - 1670
m. 14 Aug 1623
  1. Major William Bradford, IV1624 - 1703
  2. Mercy BradfordBet 1627 & 1630 - 1657
  3. Joseph BradfordCal 1630 - 1715
Facts and Events
Name Governor William Bradford, III
Gender Male
Christening[2][4][5] 19 Mar 1589/90 Austerfield, Yorkshire, England
Emigration[10] 1608 Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Marriage Banns 15 Nov 1613 Leiden, Zuid-Holland, NetherlandsWilliam Bretfoort, fustian worker, a young man from Osterfeldt, Eng. was affianced to Dorothea May from Witzbutz (Wisbeach, Cambridge, Eng.)
to Dorothea May
Marriage 10 Dec 1613 Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlandsto Dorothea May
Emigration[10] Bef 1619 Leiden, Zuid-Holland, NetherlandsSold house in Leiden in 1619
Emigration[10] Bef Mar 1620 Aldgate, London, London, England
Residence[10] Mar 1620 Aldgate, London, London, EnglandDuke's Place
Marriage 14 Aug 1623 Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United Statesto Alice Carpenter
Alt Death? 19 Mar 1657 Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United StatesCitation needed
Death[2][5] 9 May 1657 Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
Burial? 12 May 1657 Burial Hill, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
Ancestral File Number 4LBC-XQ?
Reference Number? Q1210370?
the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

William Bradford ( 19 March 15909 May 1657) was an English Puritan separatist originally from the West Riding of Yorkshire in Northern England. He moved to Leiden in Holland in order to escape persecution from King James I of England, and then emigrated to the Plymouth Colony on the Mayflower in 1620. He was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact and went on to serve as Governor of the Plymouth Colony intermittently for about 30 years between 1621 and 1657. His journal Of Plymouth Plantation covered the years from 1620 to 1646 in Plymouth.[1]

After the death of his father, William lived with his grandfather and upon his death in 1596, William went to live with his uncle, Robert Bradford. Robert lived in Scrooby, about five miles from Osterfeldt (Austerfield). He joined a church where a Rev. Richard Clifton and Rev. John Robinson preached, and became a leading "separatist". His early education was limited, but by hard study he became proficient in the languages of Dutch, Latin, French and Greek. He devoted himself to the study of the Hebrew and the reading of the Bible in the original text. He went with a company of settlers who migrated first to Holland and was very influential among them.

Upon his coming of age, he received considerable property from his father's estate, but did not succeed him in his commercial undertakings. He learned the art of "frieze weaving". On November 15, 1613, he became engaged to Dorothea May. Dorthy was from Wisbeaach, Cambridge Engalnd. The banns were published in Leyden, and they were married in Amsterdam, Holland December 9, 1620. She was 16, he was 23. They sailed for England on July 22, 1620 and after many trials, they set sail for Plymouth, Massachusetts on the Mayflower, reaching Cape Cod harbor the following November. While they were at anchor and William was off the vessel, Dorothea fell overboard and was drowned, on December 9, 1620.

In America, soon after the death of Gov. Carver, William was elected governor of the colony, which he held by annual election until his death in May of 1657. With the exception of the years 1633-34-36-38-44. He took part in all councils held at his house, all civic, political and military affairs. From his home at the foot of Burial Hill, each Sunday morning the company of people who assembled there marched up to the fort at its top where religious services were held.


Will of William Bradford - The last Will and Testament Nunckupative of Mr William Bradford senir: Deceased May the Ninth 1657 and exhibited to the court held at Plymouth June 3d 1657

Mr William Bradford senir: being weake in body but in perfect memory haveing Defered the forming of his Will in hopes of haveing the healp of Mr Thomas Prence therein; feeling himself very weake and drawing on to the conclusion of his mortal life spake as followeth; I could have Desired abler then myselfe in the Desposing of that I have; how my estate is none knowes better then youerselfe, said hee to Lieftenant Southworth; I have Desposed to John and William alreddy theire proportions of land which they are possessed of;

My Will is that my son Josepth bee made in some sort equall to his brethern out of my estate;

My further Will is that my Deare & loveing wife Allice Bradford shalbee the sole Exequitrix of my estate; and for her future maintainance my Will is that my Stocke in the Kennebecke Trad be reserved for her Comfortable Subsistence as farr as it will extend and soe further in any such way as may bee Judged best for her;

I further request and appoint my welbeloved Christian ffrinds Mr Thomas Prence Captaine Thomas Willett and Lieftenant Thomas Southworth to be the Suppervissors for the Desposing of my estate according to the prmises Confiding much in theire faithfulnes

I comend unto youer Wisdome and Descretions some smale bookes written by my owne hand to bee Improved as you shall see meet; In speciall I Comend to you a little booke with a blacke cover wherin there is a word to Plymouth a word to Boston and a word to New England with sundry usefull verses;

These pticulars were expressed by the said William Bradford Govr the 9th of May 1657 in the prsence of us Thomas Cushman Thomas Southworth Nathaniell Morton; whoe were Deposed before the court held att Plymouth the 3d of June 1657 to the truth of the abovesaid Will that it is the last Will and Testament of the abovesaid Mr William Bradford senir.


Notable descendants include Clint Eastwood, Julia Child, Adlai Stevenson, William Rehnquist, Hugh Hefner, Douglas MacArthur and many others.S7

  1.   William Bradford (Plymouth governor), in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.
  2. 2.0 2.1 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)

    "...came in the Mayflower, 1620, with w. Dorothy (m. at Leydtn, 30 Nov. 1613), surnam. May, wh. fail. to reach the kl. of promise, being, drown. at the anchorage in Cape Cod, 7 Dec.; was b. or bapt. Thursday, 19 Mar. 1590, at Austerfield, a village tak. its name, perhaps, from lying in the extreme South of Yorksh. His f. William was bur. 15 July 1591, and this his youngest ch. hav. gain. some instruct. in letters from the noble spirits of William Brewster, and John Robinson, left his native country, at the age of 18, to seek freedom of worship in Holland. There he m. the first w. presum. to have been a May, prob. a fugitive from Eng. for religion's sake, with her parents; had John, above ment. He was chos. Gov. after d. of Carver, early in 1621, aged only 31, and until his d. 9 May 1657, the date of his nuncup. will, was by ann. elect. every yr. cont. exc. three, when Edward Winslow, and two, when Thomas Prence partook the burden. On 14 Aug. 1623, he m. a lady with wh. he had been acquaint. many yrs. bef. Alice, wid. of Edward Southworth, wh. came in the Ann a few days bef. from Eng. whose maiden name was Carpenter, as has been infer. from the phrase in Plymouth ch. rec. under 1667, mention of the d. of Mary Carpenter, wh. d. 19 Mar. of that yr. in her 91st yr. of course b. 1577. But she was so much older than this sec. w. of the Gov. that possib. she may have been d. of one, wh. after m. a Reyner, and had Alice. For tradit. at Plymouth made Alice, this w. of Bradford, to be sis. of Rev. John Reyner. See Davis in Morton's Mem. 217, in notis, and Young's Chron. of Pilgr. 353. in notis. Reyner was a name of distinct. in the neighb. of Bradford's youth, and Carpenter was not. She surv. till 26 Mar. 1670, aged 79, and had William, b. 17 June 1624; Mercy, wh. m. 15 June or 21 Dec. 1648 (such is the diversity of rec. tho. the later date is more prob.) Benjamin Vermayes; and Joseph, above ment. 1630. Winsor mistakes in mak. this youngest ch. tw. with Mercy, for she is nam. at the div. of cattle, 1627. Mather, Magn. II. c. 1; Shurtleff's Recol. of the Pilgr. in Russell's Guide to Plymouth; Davis's Morton's Memo.; Belkn. Amer. Biog.; Hutchinson's Hist. of Mass.; Young's Chron. of the Pilgr.; and the last acquisit. to our minute details in Hunter's Founders of New Plymouth, London 1854; beside the noble confessor's own Hist. Boston 1856, as Vol. III. in 4 Mass. Hist. Coll."

  3.   Whittemore, Henry. Our New England Ancestors and Their Descendants, 1629-1900: Historical, Genealogical, Biographical. (New York: New England Ancestral Publishing Co., 1900).

    "On Sept. 5, 1620, Bradford embarked at Southampton in the Mayflower, with the first hundred pilgrims that left for America. Obliged by stress of weather to put in at Plymouth harbor they signed a compact of government before landing according to which,
    John Carver, the first signer became Governor. While engaged in the preparations for a final landing, the first great sorrow visited this little band of Pilgrims. During the absence of Bradford on one of his expeditions around the harbor of Cape Cod, his wife Dorothy fell overboard from the vessel and was drowned. After the days of mourning were over he resumed his duties and the following year Governor Carver died and on April 21, 1621, William Bradford was elected to succeed him and was continued in the office each year thereafter by the suffrage of the colonists. His authority was restricted at his own request in 1624 by a council of five and in 1633, by one of seven members. In the council he had a double vote. One of his first acts on assuming the duties of office was to send an embassy in July, 1621, to confirm the league entered into with the Indian Sachem Massasoit, the most influential and powerful of the native chiefs. His friendly relations with the Indians, who had known the English only as kidnappers were essential to the continued existence of the colony and its future prosperity. He understood the nature and character of the Indians and exhibited the combination of firmness and energy with patience and gentleness, that proved successful with the wily savage and prevented much bloodshed during the early years of the settlement. In 1622, Canonicus, Sachem of the Narragansetts, sent him a challenge in the form of a..."

  4. Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995).
  5. 5.0 5.1 Johnson, Caleb.
  6.   William Bradford. History of Plymouth Plantation.
  7.   List of descendants of William Bradford (Plymouth governor), in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.
  8.   William Bradford, in Find A Grave.
  9.   Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States. Mayflower Compact. (Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Those Carpenter Girls! by Peggy M. Baker, in General Society of Mayflower Descendants (Plymouth, Massachusetts). Mayflower quarterly. (Boston, Massachusetts, United States: General Society of Mayflower Descendants)
    Vol 79 No 4 P 331, Dec 2013.

    P 331: "The year of 1608 was a momentous one for them. In that year, the contentious congregation in Amsterdam was joined by yet another group of English exiles. Arriving from Scrooby, and headed by Richard Clyfton and John Robinson, the newcomers included William Brewster and WILLIAM BRADFORD."...Page 333: "For a few months in the spring of 1620, the Southworths had an old acquaintance from Leiden for a neighbor. William Bradford had sold his house in Leiden in 1619 and his name appears as taxed for personal property at the Duke's Place in March of 1620. Doubtless, he was making ready for the move to America."

  11.   William Bradfourth, in England. Births and Christenings, 1538-1975. (FamilySearch,, Findmypast).

    Name: William Bradfourth
    Gender: Male
    Christening Date: 19 Mar 1590
    Father's Name: Willia. Bradfourth
    Indexing Project (Batch) Number: P00789-1
    System Origin: England-ODM
    GS Film number: 100046
    "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 09 Nov 2013), William Bradfourth, 19 Mar 1590.

  12.   Mather, Cotton; Lucius F. (Lucius Franklin) Robinson; and Thomas Robbins. Magnalia Christi americana, or, The ecclesiastical history of New-England: from its first planting in the year 1620, unto the year of Our Lord 1638, in seven books. (London: Printed for Thomas Parkhurst at the Bible and Three Crowns, 1702).

    William Bradford spoke different languages. He could speak Dutch just as well as English. He spoke French, Latin and Greek, but he studied most in Hebrew. He wanted to read the scriptures from their source.

    He was an example of being prayerful and walking with God.

    He was ill for a whole winter and spring. "In the night, of which the God of Heaven so filled his mind with Ineffable Consollations, that he seemed little short of Paul, rapt up unto the unutterable Entertainments of Paradise. The next morning he told his good friends, That the Good Spirit of God had given him a Pledge of his Happiness in another world and the Fruits of his Eternal Glory. The following morning he died. May 9, 1657 in the 68th year of his age. Lamented by all of the Colonies of New England, as a Common Blessing and Father to them all."