Source:Nathaniel Philbrick. Mayflower

Source Mayflower
Author Nathaniel Philbrick
Place Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
Year range 1610 - 1675
Publication information
Publisher New York: Penguin Books (2006)
Nathaniel Philbrick. Mayflower. (New York: Penguin Books (2006)).

Mayflower is the account of the Pilgrim settlers from their time in Leiden in the 1610s until King Phillip's War in 1675-76.

It is written as a popular historical non-fiction book, and the text is thus not cluttered with footnotes or especially specific on dates or places. There is however a 30 page bibliography, over 50 pages of notes keyed to the text, a passenger list, and a fairly detailed index.

Genealogical details in the book include:

  • "A few weeks after Bradford's election to governor, Edward Winslow and Susanna White showed the rest of the settlement that it was indeed possible to start anew. Susanna had lost her husband, William, on February 21; Edward had lost his wife, Elizabeth, on March 24. Just a month and a half later, on May 12, Edward and Susanna became the first couple in Plymouth to marry. Six weeks may seem too short a time to grieve, but in the seventeenth century, it was quite normal for a widow or widower to remarry within three months of his or her spouse's death.... In accordance with 'the laudable custom of the Low Countries,' Edward and Susanna were married in a civil ceremony." (p. 104)
  • In February and March 1621: "Almost everyone had lost a loved one. Christopher Martin, the Mayflower's governor, had died in early January, soon to be followed by his wife, Mary. Three other families-the Rigsdales, Tinkers, and Turners--were entirely wiped out, with more to follow. Thirteen-year-old Mary Chilton, whose father had died back in Provincetown Harbor, became an orphan when her mother passed away that winter. Other orphans included seventeen-year-old Joseph Rogers, twelve-year-old Samuel Fuller, eighteen-year-old John Crackston, seventeen-year-old Priscilla Mullens, and thirteen-year-old Elizabeth Tilley, who also lost her aunt and uncle, Edward and Ann. By the middle of March, there were four widowers: Bradford, Standish, Francis Eaton, and Isaac Allerton, who was left with three surviving children between the ages of four and eight. With the death of her husband, William, Susanna White, mother to the newborn Peregrine and five-year-old Resolved, became the plantation's only surviving widow. By the spring, 52 of the 102 who had originally arrived at Provincetown were dead. And yet, amid all this tragedy, there were miraculs exceptions. The families of William Brewster, Francis Cook, Stephen Hopkins, and John Billington were left completely untouched by disease." (pp. 89-90)
  • Regarding the Fortune, which arrived with 37 passengers in November 1621: "[A]lmost immediately after coming ashore, Martha Ford gave birth to a son, John....With the arrival of the Fortune, there would be a total of sixty-six men in the colony and just sixteen women...For young girls such as fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Tilley, nineteen-year-old Pricilla Mullins, and fourteen-year-old Mary Chilton (all of them orphans), the mounting pressure to marry must have been intense....There were some familiar faces... the Brewsters welcomed their eldest son, Jonathan, a thirty-seven-year-old ribon weaver....Others from Leiden included Philip de la Noye, whose French surname was eventually anglicized to Delano and whose descendants included future U.S. president Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The newly remarried Edward Winslow greeted his twenty-four-year-old brother John. There was also Thomas Prence, the twenty-one-year old son of a Gloucestershire carriage maker, who soon became one of the leading members of the settlement." (pp. 124-25)