William Bradford

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  William Bradford, Pilgrim and Governor

It was said that, "Plymouth now proclaimed a day of publick Thanksgiving for the beginning of revenge upon the enemy." Gov. William Bradford proclaimed the first Thanksgiving. 

At the First Thanksgiving were these People

4 Married Women: Eleanor Billington, Mary Brewster, Elizabeth Hopkins, Susanna White Winslow.

5 Adolescent Girls: Mary Chilton (14), Constance Hopkins (13), Desire Minter (20 sickly), Priscilla Mullins (19), Elizabeth Tilley (15).

8 Adolescent Boys: Francis and John Billington, John Crackston, Samuel Fuller (2d), Giles Hopkins, William Latham, Joseph Rogers, Henry Samson.

13 Young Children: Bartholomew, Mary and Remember Allerton, Love and Wrestling Brewster, John Cooke, Humility Cooper, Samuel Eaton, Damaris and Oceanus Hopkins, Richard More, Resolved and Peregrine White.

21 Men: John Alden, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, William Bradford, William Brewster, Peter Brown, Francis Cooke, Edward Doty, Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, Richard Gardiner, John Goodman, Stephen Hopkins, John Howland, Edward Lester, George Soule, Myles Standish, William Trevor, Richard Warren, Edward Winslow, Gilbert Winslow.

Bradford's Birth Place


1590 William Bradford was born and then baptized on March 19 in Austerfield, Yorkshire, England.
1602 William Bradford became a regular attendee at Puritan and Separatist meetings, coming under the influence of William Brewster and John Robinson of the Scrooby Separatist Congregation.
1608 The Scrooby Separatists begin to leave England and settle in Holland.
1609 William Bradford joined the Scrooby Separatists in Amsterdam.
1613 William Bradford married Dorothy May.
1620 The Mayflower Pilgrims make the voyage to Plymouth. Dorothy May died.
1621 The first governor of Plymouth, John Carver, died. William Bradford was elected governor, holding the position (except for 5 years) for the remainder of his life.
1622 Mourt's Relation, based on writings by William Bradford and Edward Winslow among others, is published in London.
1623 William Bradford married the widow Alice Carpenter Southworth.
1630 William Bradford began the writings that eventually become Of Plymouth Plantation.
1650 William Bradford stopped the writing "Of Plymouth Plantation", ending with the year 1646 and adding a current list of the Mayflower passengers and their status in the year 1650.
1657 William Bradford died.


Descendants of William Bradford

1 William Bradford 1590 - 1657 b: 1590 in Austerfield, Yorkshire County, England d: 1657 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts  +Dorothy May 1597 - 1620 b: 1597 in Wisbeach, Cambridgeshire, England d: November 1620 in Cape Cod, Mass m: 1613 in Leyden Church

2 John Bradford 1618 - b: 1618 in Austerfield Co., Yorkshire, England d: in Norwich, Connecticut

*2nd Wife of William Bradford:  +Alice Carpenter 1590 - 1670 b: 1590 in England d: March 26, 1670 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, MA m: August 14, 1623 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, MA

2 William Bradford 1624 - 1703/04 b: June 17, 1624 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts d: February 20, 1703/04 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts +Mary Fitch Wiswall  *2nd Wife of William Bradford: +Alice Richards 1629 - 1671 b: April 07, 1629 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts d: December 04, 1671 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts m: January 28, 1649/50 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts *3rd Wife of William Bradford:  +Mary Atwood 1643 - 1714/15 b: Abt. 1643 in Plymouth, Plymouth, MA. d: January 06, 1714/15 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts m: Abt. 1677 in Plymouth, Plymouth, MA

2 Joseph Bradford 1630 - 1715 b: Abt. 1630 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts d: July 10, 1715 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts +Jael Hobart 1644 - 1730 b: Abt. 1644 d: April 14, 1730 in Kingston, MA m: May 25, 1664 in Kingham, MA


William Bradford as Governor of Plymouth Colony

William came on the Mayflower. Mayflower of Harwich (180 tons) Christopher Jones, master; out of London, England, mid-July 1620, dropping anchor off tip of Cape Cod, November 11, Old Style, with 102 passengers, including Oceanus Hopkins, born at Sea. There were 17 men, 10 women, 14 children listed as Saints and 17 men, 9 women, 14 children were listed as Strangers.

In the English records, William Bradford was listed as Master William Bradford (1589-1657) of Austerfield, Yorks, England, fustian maker, a commone blessing and father to them all. William Bradford was early orphaned and virtually adopted by Brewster, about 1602. He was a silk worker, Amsterdam 1607-9, a citizen, Leyden, England 1612 who was Governor or Asst. Gov of Plymouth from 1621-57 and was a purchaser, 1626 for Plymouth Colony. Governor William Bradford was an undertaker, 1627-41. Governor William Bradford served as a leader in opposing attempt to establish toleration, 1646 and was a presiding officer of United Colonies, 1648 and 1656. He left 990 lbs in his estate.

William Bradford first married Mrs. Dorothy May (1597-1620) of Wisbeach, Cambridgeshire, England, dt of Henry May, elder of Ancient Brethren and later of Ainsworthians, subsequently joining Leyden Chruch. He married at Leyden, England, 1613, and Dorothy May Bradford drowned at tip of Cape Cod, falling from Mayflower while at anchor. They had one child, John Bradford who came on Straggling Saints. An old fashioned stage play portrayed Dorothy May Bradford as committing suicide when she saw the land in America. That idea has been proven false by Bradford family historians.

It was said that, "Plymouth now proclaimed a day of publick Thanksgiving for the beginning of revenge upon the enemy." Gov. William Bradford proclaimed the first Thanksgiving.

The Pilgrims made their first acquaintance with the formidable Nauset and neighboring tribes on the Cape in the summer of this year when young John Billington, a boy of six or seven, wandered off into the woods one day and got lost. After a week or more of fruitless search the Pilgrims gave him up as dead, probably a victim of wolves, when word came from Massasoit that the boy had been found on the cape, more than twenty miles to the south and was safe.

Bradford, William (1590-1657), North American colonial governor and historian, born in Austerfield, Yorkshire, England; joined Separatists at age of 17; imprisoned for attempt to leave England but finally reached Holland; sailed on 'Mayflower'; for 30 years governor of Plymouth Colony, whose success was due chiefly to him.

Plymouth, Massachusetts: The Pilgrim leaders chose the site at Plymouth for their new home because it had a broad, sheltered harbor and a large brook providing fresh water. There were also wooded hills to supply timber and stretches of cleared ground for farming. The Pilgrims landed at what is now Provincetown, Mass., on Nov. 21, 1620. A month later, on December 21, they arrived at the site of Plymouth. Their captain, Christopher Jones, named the spot in honor of Plymouth, England - the harbor from which the Pilgrims had sailed on the Mayflower nearly 14 weeks earlier.

Some of the settlers were called Separatists because they had withdrawn from the Church of England to seek religious freedom in the English Separatist Church. They immigrated first to the Netherlands and then to North America. They gave thanks that their long, hard voyage was over; but greater hardships lay ahead.

The cruel New England winter had already set in when the Pilgrims landed. While they were building small dwellings and a storehouse, they had to row through the icy surf to their crowded quarters on the tossing Mayflower. The store of food was very low. The Pilgrims were not skilled at hunting and fishing, nor were they equipped with fishing boats and gear so they were disadvantaged from the beginning.

We know from Brewster's writings that by the first winter many of the Pilgrims developed scurvy or pneumonia. At times there were no more than six or seven well persons to care for the others. Two of these who were caretakers were Elder William Brewster and Captain Miles Standish, the military leader. Of the band of more than 100 Pilgrims who landed, half had died before winter's end. (Ref: Brewster; 'Mayflower'; Standish.)

Among those who died was Governor John Carver. The colony survived under the devoted leadership of his successor, William Bradford. According to Bradford's History, The Pilgrims were afraid to let the Indians know how greatly their numbers were reduced. They buried the dead at night and leveled the ground to conceal the graves.

No Indian tribes lived in or near Plymouth. The Patuxet Indians who had lived in the area had been wiped out by smallpox four years earlier, and the fields they had cleared lay vacant. The neighboring Indians had proved to be friendly. Samoset and Squanto, two of their first friends, had learned to speak English from explorers and could act as interpreters. The Indian, Samoset, arranged a meeting with Massasoit, the chief of the Wampanoag Indians. A peace treaty was signed, and it was not broken by either side as long as any of the signers lived. And it's known that Massasoit was a loyal friend. He was the one who notified the Pilgrims when other tribes threatened to attack. One day a Narraganset brave came bearing the skin of a rattlesnake bound around a bunch of arrows as a challenge to war. Governor Bradford returned the skin filled with bullets, and the Indians abandoned the attack.

Squanto, or Tisquantum, had been captured by the crew of an English vessel and sold as a slave in Spain. But he escaped to England and returned on an exploring ship. He and another Indian, Hobomok, made their homes in Plymouth. They taught the colonists to plant corn and to catch herring for fertilizer by using a trap. When the 1621 harvest was bountiful, the Pilgrims held their first Thanksgiving feast. They invited Massasoit, who came along with 90 braves. And so it was very fortunate that the Indian hunters brought with them five deer for the feast.

Some land was granted to each settler in the year of 1627. So each man had a reason to work hard and provide for his own family. And their crops improved, too. According to Bradford's History, that same year Governor Bradford and other leaders bought out the English merchants by an agreement to pay off the colony's debts in return for the right to trade with the Indians. And then trading posts were quickly built.

Bradford wrote that Plymouth's most prosperous years were from 1630 to 1640 when the Massachusetts Bay Colony attracted about 16,000 colonists. As to be expected the Pilgrims found a ready market for their corn, livestock, and other provisions. This prosperity led to the weakening of the tight-knit religious colony. Families moved away to find pasture for their stock. Plymouth shrank in size and also in its  influence. In 1691 it was absorbed by Massachusetts and it was then that colony obtained a new charter.

On Burial Hill where the original fort was built in the summer of 1622, there is a reproduction standing of the powder house there today that was built in modern times. It's known too, that originally the main floor of the fort was used as a meetinghouse, and also a cannon was mounted on the roof. A project to reconstruct the old fort and other Pilgrim buildings was sponsored by Plymouth Plantation, Inc., a nonprofit society.

A 106-foot replica of the Mayflower sailed from England in 1957 and is now on exhibit in Plymouth. I think that it is awesome to sit silently inside of it and just think. For me, Donna Haddock Cooper, it was a wonderful experience to see the ship and to visit Plymouth Colony. It's a visit I shall never forget for the rest of my life. I suppose that I a bit odd, because I am humbled by the knowing of who my ancestors were and what their struggles were to get here to this land of freedom. And as a result - I am very proud of my heritage and what my ancestors stood for.


The early years of Bradford's life are described by Cotton Mather in his book Magnalia Christi Americana first published in 1702: "Among those Devout People was our William Bradford, who was Born Anno 1588. in an obscure Village call'd Austerfield, where the People were as unacquainted with the Bible, as the Jews do seem to have been with part of it in the Days of Josiah; a most Ignorant and Licentious People, and like unto their Priest. Here, and in some other Places, he had a Comfortable Inheritance left him of his Honest Parents, who died while he was yet a Child, and cast him on the Education, first of his Grand Parents, and then of his Uncles, who devoted him, like his Ancestors, unto the Affairs of Husbandry. Soon and long Sickness kept him, as he would afterwards thankfully say, from the Vanities of Youth, and made him the fitter for what he was afterwards to undergo. When he was about a Dozen Years Old, the Reading of the Scriptures began to cause great Impressions upon him; and those Impressions were much assisted and improved, when he came to enjoy Mr. Richard Clifton's Illuminating Ministry, not far from his Abode; he was then also further befriended, by being brought into the Company and Fellowship of such as were then called Professors; though the Young Man that brought him into it, did after become a Prophane and Wicked Apostate. Nor could the Wrath of his Uncles, nor the Scoff of his Neighbours now turn'd upon him, as one of the Puritans, divert him from his Pious Inclinations."

" ...  Having with a great Company of Christians Hired a Ship to Transport them for Holland, the Master perfidiously betrayed them into the Hands of those Persecutors; who Rifled and Ransack'd their Goods, and clapp'd their Persons into Prison at Boston, where they lay for a Month together. But Mr. Bradford being a Young Man of about Eighteen, was dismissed sooner than the rest, so that within a while he had Opportunity with some others to get over to Zealand, through Perils both by Land and Sea not inconsiderable; where he was not long Ashore ere a Viper seized on his Hand, that is, an Officer, who carried him Unto the Magistrates, unto whom an envious Passenger had accused him as having fled out of England. When the Magistrates understood the True Cause of his coming thither, they were well satisfied with him; and so he repaired joyfully unto his Brethren at Amsterdam, where the Difficulties to which he afterwards stooped in Learning and Serving of a Frenchman at the Working of Silks, were abundantly Compensated by the Delight wherewith he sat under the Shadow of our Lord in his purely dispensed Ordinances. At the end of Two Years, he did, being of Age to do it, convert his Estate in England into Money; but Setting up for himself, he found some of his Designs by the Providence of God frowned upon, which he judged a Correction bestowed by God upon him for certain Decays of Internal Piety, whereinto he had fallen; the Consumption of his Estate he thought came to prevent a Consumption in his Virtue. But after he had resided in Holland about half a Score Years, he was one of those who bore a part in that Hazardous and Generous Enterprize of removing into New England, with part of the English Church at Leyden, where at their first Landing, his dearest Consort accidentally falling Overboard, was drowned in the Harbour; and the rest of his Days were spent in the Services, and the Temptations, of that American Wilderness."

William Bradford came on the Mayflower with his wife Dorothy May, leaving son John behind in Holland. Dorothy fell off the Mayflower and drowned on 7 December 1620, when it was anchored in Provincetown Harbor.

This was an accidental drowning. The story of the suicide, affair with Captain Christopher Jones, etc. comes from a fictional "soap opera" story published in a national women's magazine in 1869--a story published as truth by the author, based on "family stories", but which the author later admitted was an invention of her own imagination. For further information on this, see Mayflower Descendant 29:97-102 , and especially 31:105.

After the death of John Carver in April 1621, Bradford was elected governor of the Plymouth Colony, and continued in that capacity nearly all his life. In 1623 he married Alice (Carpenter) Southworth, widow of Edward Southworth. A description of the marriage is found in a letter written by a visitor to Plymouth Colony, Emmanuel Altham, in 1623: Upon the occasion of the Governor's marriage, since I came, Massasoit was sent for to the wedding, where came with him his wife, the queen, although he hath five wives. With him came four other kings and about six score men with their bows and arrows--where, when they came to our town, we saluted them with the shooting off of many muskets and training our men. And so all the bows and arrows was brought into the Governor's house, and he brought the Governor three or four bucks and a turkey. And so we had very good pastime in seeing them dance, which is in such manner, with such a noise that you would wonder. . . . And now to say somewhat of the great cheer we had at the Governor's marriage. We had about twelve pasty venisons, besides others, pieces of roasted venison and other such good cheer in such quantity that I could wish you some of our share. For here we have the best grapes that ever you say--and the biggest, and divers sorts of plums and nuts which our business will not suffer us to look for.

William Bradford died in 1657, having been governor of the Plymouth Colony for almost the entire period since 1621. Cotton Mather in his Magnalia Christi Americana wrote that William Bradford: " ... was a Person for Study as well as Action; and hence, notwithstanding the Difficulties through which he passed in his Youth, he attained unto a notable Skill in Languages; the Dutch Tongue was become almost as Vernacular to him as the English; the French Tongue he could also manage; the Latin and the Greek he had Mastered; but the Hebrew he most of all studied, Because, he said, he would see with his own Eyes the Ancient Oracles of God in their Native Beauty. He was also well skill'd in History, in Antiquity, and in Philosophy; and for Theology he became so versed in it, that he was an Irrefragable Disputant against the Errors, especially those of Anabaptism, which with Trouble he saw rising in his Colony; wherefore he wrote some Significant things for the Confutation of those Errors. But the Crown of all was his Holy, Prayerful, Watchful and Fruitful Walk with God, wherein he was very Exemplary. At length he fell into an Indisposition of Body, which rendred him unhealthy for a whole Winter; and as the Spring advanced, his Health yet more declined; yet he felt himself not what he counted Sick, till one Day; in the Night after which, the God of Heaven so fill'd his Mind with Ineffable Consolations, that he seemed little short of Paul, rapt up unto the Unutterable Entertainments of Paradise. The next Morning he told his Friends, That the good Spirit of God had given him a Pledge of his Happiness in another World, and the First-fruits of his Eternal Glory: And on the Day following he died, May 9, 1657 in the 68th Year of his Age. Lamented by all the Colonies of New England, as a Common Blessing and Father to them all."

William Bradford wrote Of Plymouth Plantation, chronicling the history of the Plymouth Colony, and the events that led up to their leaving England for Holland, and later to New England. William Bradford also wrote part of Mourt's Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, and he recorded some of the important letters he wrote and received in a letter book which still partially exists. Nathaniel Morton's 1669 book, New England's Memorial also records a poem written by William Bradford on his deathbed. There are also two elegy poems written in 1657 after Bradford's death - the first elegy poem is anonymous, and the second elegy poem was written by Josias Winslow.

From the Journal of William Bradford

From the Journal of William Bradford "... Describing the Pilgrims’ Separatist religious beliefs: "The one side [the Reformers] laboured to have ye right worship of God & discipline of Christ established in ye church, according to ye simplicitie of ye gospell, without the mixture of mens inventions, and to have & to be ruled by ye laws of Gods word, dispensed in those offices, & by those officers of Pastors, Teachers, & Elders, &c. according to ye Scripturs. The other partie [the Church of England], though under many colours & pretences, endevored to have ye episcopall dignitie (affter ye popish maner) with their large power & jurisdiction still retained; with all those courts, cannons, & ceremonies, togeather with all such livings, revenues, & subordinate officers, with other such means as formerly upheld their antichristian greatnes, and enabled them with lordly & tyranous power to persecute ye poore servants of God."

 From the journal of William Bradford "... Describing the Pilgrims’ move to the city of Leiden in Holland in 1609: "For these & some other reasons they removed to Leyden, a fair & bewtifull citie, and of a sweete situation, but made more famous by ye universitie wherwith it is adorned, in which of late had been so many learned man. But wanting that traffike by sea which Amerstdam injoyes, it was not so beneficiall for their outward means of living & estats. But being now hear pitchet they fell to such trads & imployments as they best could; valewing peace & their spirituall comforte above any other riches whatsoever. And at lenght they came to raise a competente & comforteable living, but with hard and continuall labor."

"Being thus settled (after many difficulties) they continued many years in a comfortable condition, injoying much sweete & delightefull societies & spirituall comforte togeather in ye wayes of God, under ye able ministrie, and prudente governmente of Mr. John Robinson, & Mr. William Brewster, who was an assistante unto him in ye place of an Elder, unto which he was now called & chosen by the church. So as they grew in knowledge & other gifts & graces of ye spirite of God, & lived togeather in peace, & love, and holiness; and many came unto them from diverse parts of England, so as they grew a great congregation. And if at any time any differences arose, or offences broak out (as it cannot be, but some time ther will, even amongst ye best of men) they were ever so mete with, and nipt in ye head betims, or otherwise so well composed, as still love, peace, and communion was continued; or else ye church purged ot those that were incurable & incorrigible, when, after much patience used, no other means would serve, which seldom came to pass."

From the Journal of William Bradford ... The Pilgrims decide to emigrate to America despite the perils and dangers: "all great & honourable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and must be both enterprised and overcome with answerable courages. It was granted ye dangers were great, but not desperate; the difficulties were many, but not invincible. For though their were many of them likely, yet they were not cartaine; it might be sundrie of ye things feared might never befale; others by providente care & ye use of good means, might in a great measure be prevented; and all of them, through ye help of God, by fortitude and patience, might either be borne, or overcome. True it was, that such atempts were not to be made and undertaken without good ground & reason; not rashly or lightly as many have done for curiositie or hope of gaine, &c. But their condition was not ordinarie; their ends were good & honourable; their calling lawfull, & urgente; and therfore they might expecte ye blessing of god in their proceding. Yea, though they should loose their lives in this action, yet might they have comforte in the same, and their endeavors would be honourable. They lived hear but as men in exile, & in a poore condition; and as great miseries might possibly befale them in this place, for ye 12. years of truce [the truce between Holland and Spain] were now out, & ther was nothing but beating of drumes, and preparing for warr, the events wherof are allway uncertaine."

From the Journal of William Bradford "... The Pilgrims safe arrival at Cape Cod aboard the Mayflower :
"Being thus arived in a good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees & blessed ye God of heaven, who had brought them over ye vast & furious ocean, and delivered them from all ye periles & miseries therof, againe to set their feete on ye firme and stable earth, their proper elemente. And no marvell if they were thus joyefull, seeing wise Seneca was so affected with sailing a few miles on ye coast of his owne Italy; as he affirmed, that he had rather remaine twentie years on his way by land, then pass by sea to any place in a short time; so tedious & dreadfull was ye same unto him.

But hear I cannot but stay and make a pause, and stand half amased at this poore peoples presente condition; and so I thinke will the reader too, when he well considered ye same. Being thus passed ye vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before in their preparation (as may be remembred by yt which wente before), they had now no friends to wellcome them, nor inns to entertaine or refresh their weatherbeaten bodys, no houses or much less townes to repaire too, to seeke for succoure. ... Let it also be considred what weake hopes of supply & succoure they left behinde them, yt might bear up their minds in this sade condition and trialls they were under; and they could not but be very smale. It is true, indeed, ye affections & love of their brethren at Leyden was cordiall & entire towards them, but they had litle power to help them, or them selves; and how ye case stode betweene them & ye marchants at their coming away, hath already been declared. What could not sustaine them but ye spirite of God & his grace? May not & ought not the children of these fathers rightly say : Our faithers were Englishmen which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this willdernes; but they cried unto ye Lord, and he heard their voyce, and looked on their adversitie…"

From the Journal of William Bradford .".. William Bradford writes about how the exploring party from the Mayflower, sailing in the shallop, survived a storm and landed on Clark’s Island. After spending the Sabbath on the island, the party finally landed for the first time in Plymouth: From hence they departed, & co[a]sted all along, but discerned no place likely for harbor; & therfore hasted to a place that their pillote, (one Mr. Coppin who had bine in ye cuntrie before) did assure them was a good harbor, which he had been in, and they might fetch it before night; of which they were glad, for it begane to be foule weather."

"After some houres sailing, it begane to snow & raine, & about ye midle of ye afternoone, ye wind increased, & ye sea became very rough, and they broake their ruder, & it was as much as 2 men could doe to steere her with a cupple of oares. But their pillott bad them be of good cheere, for he saw ye harbor; but ye storme increasing, & night drawing on, they bore what saile they could to gett in, while they could see. But herwith they broake their mast in 3 peeces, & their saill fell over bord, in a very grown sea, so as they had like to have been cast away; yet by Gods mercie they recovered them selves, & having ye floud with them, struck into ye harbore."

"But when it came too, ye pillott was deceived in ye place, and said, ye Lord be mercifull unto them, for his eys never saw yt place before; & he & the mr. mate would have rune her ashore, in a cove full of breakers, before ye winde. But a lusty seaman which steered, bad those which rowed, if they were men, about with her, or ells they were all cast away; the which they did with speed. So he bid them be of good cheere & row lustly, for ther was a faire sound before them, & he doubted not but they should find one place or other wher they might ride in saftie. And though it was very darke, and rained sore, yet in ye end they gott under ye lee of a smale iland, and remained ther all yt night in saftie. But they knew not this to be an iland till morning, but were devided in their minds; some would keepe ye boate for fear they might be amongst ye Indians; others were so weake and cold, they could not endure, but got a shore, & with much adoe got fire, (all things being so wett,) and ye rest were glad to come to them; for after midnight ye wind shifted to the north-west, & it frose hard."

"But though this had been a day & night of much trouble & danger unto them, yet God gave them a morning of comforte & refreshing (as usually he doth to his children), for ye next day was a faire sunshinig day, and they found them sellvs to be on an iland secure from ye Indeans, wher they might drie their stufe, fixe their peeces, & rest them selves, and gave God thanks for his mercies, in their manifould deliverances. And this being the last day of ye weeke, they prepared there to keepe ye Sabath."

"On Munday they sounded ye harbor, and founde it fitt for shipping; and marched into ye land [Plymouth], & found diverse cornfeilds, & litle runing brooks, a place (as they supposed) fitt for situation; at least it was ye best they could find, and ye season, & their presente necessitie, made them glad to accepte of it. So they returned to their shipp againe with this news to ye rest of their people, which did much comforte thei
r harts."


In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are under-written, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, etc. Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine our selves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the eleventh of November [New Style, November 21], in the year of the reign of our sovereign lord, King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Dom. 1620.

John Carver
William Bradford
Edward Winslow
William Brewster
Isaac Allerton
Miles Standish
John Alden
Samuel Fuller
Christopher Martin
William Mullins William White
James Chilton
John Craxton
John Billington
Richard Warren
John Howland
Steven Hopkins
Edward Tilly
John Tilly
Francis Cook Thomas Rogers
Thomas Tinker
John Rigdale
Edward Fuller
John Turner
Francis Eaton
Moses Fletcher
Digery Priest
Thomas Williams
Gilbert Winslow Edmond Margeson
Peter Brown
Richard Bitteridge
Richard Clark
Richard Gardiner
John Allerton
Thomas English
Edward Doten
Edward Liester
John Goodman
George Soule

Descendants of William Bradford

1 William Bradford 1624 - 1703/04 b: June 17, 1624 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts d: February 20, 1703/04 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts +Mary Fitch Wiswall  *2nd Wife of William Bradford:  +Alice Richards 1629 - 1671 b: April 07, 1629 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts d: December 04, 1671 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts m: January 28, 1649/50 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts

2 William Bradford 1653/54 - b: March 11, 1653/54 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts d: in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts +Rebecca Bartlett 1635 - 1741 b: Abt. 1635 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts d: December 14, 1741 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts m: 1679 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts

2 Thomas Bradford 1657 - 1731 b: 1657 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts d: October 01, 1731 in Windham, Windham, Connecticut +Katherine - 1733 d: November 06, 1733 in Lyme, CT  *2nd Wife of Thomas Bradford: +Ann Raymond 1664 - 1705 b: May 12, 1664 in New London, CT, New London d: Bef. May 08, 1705 m: Abt. 1681

2 Mercy Bradford 1660 - b: September 02, 1660 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts d: in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts +Samuel Steele 1660 - b: Abt. 1660 d: in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts m: September 16, 1680 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts

2 Alice Bradford 1661 - 1744/45 b: March 27, 1661 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts d: March 10, 1744/45 in Canterbury, Windham, Connecticut +William Adams 1650 - 1685 b: May 27, 1650 in Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts d: August 17, 1685 in Dedham, Suffolk, Massachusetts m: January 29, 1679/80 in Dedham, Suffolk, Massachusetts *2nd Husband of Alice Bradford: +James Fitch 1649 - 1727 b: August 02, 1649 in Saybrook, Middlesex, CT d: November 10, 1727 in Canterbury, Windham, CT m: May 08, 1687 in Norwich, New London Co., Connecticut

2 Hannah Bradford 1662 - 1738 b: May 09, 1662 in Plymouth, Plymouth, MA. d: May 28, 1738 in Windham, Windham, CT. +Joshua Ripley 1658 - 1739 b: November 09, 1658 in Hingham, Suffolk, MA. d: May 08, 1739 in Windham, Windham, CT. m: November 28, 1682 in Plymouth, Plymouth, MA.

2 Meletiah Bradford 1664 - b: November 01, 1664 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts d: in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts +John Steele 1660 - b: 1660 d: in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts m: Abt. 1684 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts

2 Mary Bradford 1668 - 1720 b: 1668 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts d: October 10, 1720 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts +William Hunt 1668 - b: Abt. 1668 d: in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts m: in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts

2 Samuel Bradford 1668 - 1714 b: 1668 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts d: April 11, 1714 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts +Hannah Rogers 1668 - b: Abt. 1668 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts d: in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts m: July 31, 1689 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts

2 Sarah Bradford 1671 - b: 1671 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts d: in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts +Kenlon Baker d: in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts

*3rd Wife of William Bradford: +Mary Atwood 1643 - 1714/15 b: Abt. 1643 in Plymouth, Plymouth, MA. d: January 06, 1714/15 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts m: Abt. 1677 in Plymouth, Plymouth, MA

2 Israel Bradford 1678 - 1760 b: 1678 in Kingston, Plymouth, Massachusetts d: March 26, 1760 in Kingston, Plymouth, Massachusetts +Sarah Bartlett 1681 - 1761 b: 1681 d: April 03, 1761 in Kingston, Plymouth, Massachusetts m: November 27, 1701 in Plymouth, MA

2 Ephraim Bradford 1685 - 1741 b: 1685 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts d: 1741 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts +Elizabeth Brewster 1690 - 1741 b: 1690 in Kingston, Plymouth, Massachusetts d: December 05, 1741 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts m: February 13, 1708/09 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts *2nd Wife of Ephraim Bradford: +Elizabeth Bartlett 1687 - 1767 b: October 27, 1687 in Northampton, Hampshire, Massachusetts d: August 09, 1767 in Northampton, Hampshire, Massachusetts m: February 13, 1709/10 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts

2 David Bradford 1687 - 1729/30 b: Bef. 1687 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts d: March 16, 1729/30 in Kingston, MA

2 Hezekiah Bradford 1687 - 1761 b: Bef. 1687 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts d: Aft. April 10, 1761

13 Generation 12 Generation 11 Generation 10 Generation 9 Generation
Gov. William and Alice (Carpenter) Bradford  - Came on the Mayflower.

Died at Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, MA

Major - Lt Gov William & Alice (Richards) Bradford

Died at Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, MA

Rev. William & Alice (Adams) Bradford

Married in Dedham, Suffolk, MA. Graduated from Harvard 1671. He was the second minister at Dedham. He was  ordained 3 Dec 1673.

Rev. Nathaniel and Alice (Bradford) Collins

Graduated from Harvard 1669

Rev. Nathaniel & Abigail (Pease) Collins

From Enfield, Hampshire, MA

8 Generation 7 Generation 6 Generation 5 Generation 4 Generation
Eliphlet and Abigail (Abbe) Collins - Rev. War Soldier -  DAR. Buried at Enfield, Hartford Co., CT


Nathan & Mary (Collins) Pease

Buried at Enfield, Hartford Co., CT

Orlando & Asentha (Goddard) Pease

Buried on the Nebraska Prairie in Gage Co., at Stark Cemetery.

James Alvin and Janetta (Fetrow) Pease - Civil War Soldier - served from CT as Union soldier, died in Barry Co., MO, buried Washburn Prairie Cemetery. James Harvey and Ella Mae (Pease) Mooney died in Barry Co., MO, buried Washburn Prairie Cemetery. Soldier of the Spanish American War - little drummer boy
3 Generation        
Lloyd Patrick & Ruth (Berryhill) Mooney died in Barry Co., MO, buried Washburn Prairie Cemetery. He was WW I soldier - nurse        

William Adams was educated at Harvard and graduated in 1671. He had the reputation for behavior and scholarship, and William was the second pastor at Dedham, and was ordained 3 Dec 1673.

"Adams, William, Cambridge 1635, or earlier, freem. 22 May 1639, rem. prob. bef. 1642, [[vol. 1, p. 17]] to Ipswich, but at C. had William, Nathaniel, and Samuel, prob. b. in Eng. and he d. 1661. William, Ipswich, prob. s. of the preced. and perhaps that passeng,. in the Elizabeth and Ann from London, 1635, aged 15, had John; and William, b. 27 May 1650, H. C. 1671; and d. Jan. 1659. William, Dedham, s. of the preced. the earliest gr. of this copious name, bec. the sec. min. at D. ord. 3 Dec. 1673, m. 21 Oct. 1674, Maly, d. of William Manning, of Cambridge, had Mary, b. 12 Nov. 1675, d. soon; Eliphalet, 26 Mar. 1677, H. C. 1694, disting. man, min. of New London; William, 17 Jan. 16~9. His w. d. 24 June 1679, and he m. 29 Mar. foll. Alice, d. of William Bradford the sec. had Elizabeth b. 23 Feb. 1681; Alice, 3 Apr. 1682; William, 17 Dec. 1683; and posthum. d. Abiel, 15 Dec. 1685. He had preach. at Boston the Gen. Elect. sermon 27 May preced. and d. 17 Aug. next. Judge Sewall informs us, that he attend. the funeral, and that prayers were public. offer. then for the first time in N. E. on such an occasion. His wid. bec. sec. w. of Major James Fitch of Norwich, and had eight more ch. Of the m. of his ds. and later details of the fam. eno. may be seen in Worthington's Hist. of Dedham, Lamson's Centen. Disc., Allen in Geneal. Reg. IX. 127, and in the large Mem. of Eliphalet, by Miss Caulkins, 4 Mass. Hist. Coll. I. 1. William, Hartford 1650, perhaps bot. land 1653 at Farmington, and there d. 18 July 1656. His wid. Elizabeth d. 3 Aug. foll. William, Sudbury, by w. Elizabeth had James, b. 31 Mar. 1674; John, 8 Mar. 1676; and Richard, 22 Aug. 1678. In the Defence from London, 1635, came one Dorothy A. aged 24, but whose w. or d. she was, is unkn. to me. Farmer remarks, in 1836, that of this name fifty-two had been gr. at Harv. twenty-three at Yale, and at all the other N. E. coll. forty-two; of wh. vast number, were min. eighteen of Harv. six of Yale, and four of the other coll." Ref: A Genealogical Dictionary of The First Settlers of New England, Before 1692, Volume #1, Pgs 15 - 24, Adams - Alden - By James Savage

"Bradford, William, [[vol. 1, p. 232]] Plymouth, s. of the preced. rep. 1657, assist. 1658, was wound. in the gr. Narraganset fight, 19 Dec. 1675, and carr. the ball in his body to the end of life; was dep.-gov. of the Col. from 1682 till arr. of new chart. exc. when one of Sir E. Andros's counc. 1687 and 8; d. 20 Feb. 1704; by first w. Alice, d. of Thomas Richards of Weymouth, wh. d. 12 Dec. 1671, had John, b. 20 Feb. 1653, wh. m. 5 Feb. 1674, Mercy, d. of Joseph Warren, and d. 8 Dec. 1763; his w. outliv. him 12 yrs.; William, 11, bapt. 25 Mar. 1655, wh. m. 1679, Rebecca, d. of Benjamin Bartlett, and d. 1687; Thomas, wh. was of Norwich, had part of est. of his uncle John, with wh. he had liv. perhaps m. Hannah, d. of Rev. James Fitch, and d. 1708; Alice, wh. m. first, 27 Mar. 1680, Rev. William Adams of Dedham, as his sec. w. and next, was sec. w. of Hon. James Fitch of Norwich; Hannah m. 28 Nov. 1682, Joshua Ripley of Hingham, wh. rem. to Windham, Conn. after hav. two ch.; Mercy, bapt. 2 Sept. 1660 at Boston ch. wh. m. 16 Sept. 1680, Samuel Steele of Hartford; Meletiah, wh. m. John Steele of Norwich; Samuel, b. 1668, m. Hannah Rogers, and d. 1714; Mary m. William Hunt; and Sarah m. Kenelm Baker. By sec. w. wid. Wiswall, of wh. the former h. s name is not seen, he had only Joseph, wh. d. 17 Jan. 1747, at New London. By third w. Mary, wid. of Rev. John Holmes of Duxbury, d. of John Wood, or Atwood, of Plymouth, he had Israel, wh. m. Sarah, d. of Benjamin Bartlett, jr.; Ephraim, m. 13 Feb. 1710, Elizabeth Bartlett; David, wh. m. 1714, Elizabeth Finney, and d. 1730; and Hezekiah, wh. m. Mary Chandler; the last four liv. at Kingston. Shurtleff, ut sup. His s. Samuel, beside four ds. had three s. Gershom of Kingston; Perez, H. C. 1713, a counsel. of Mass.; and Gamaliel, also a counsel. whose s. Gamaliel, a col. in the army of the Revo. d. 1806, f. of the late Alden, H. C. 1786, Secr. of Mass. wh. d. 1843. Alden, Coll. of Epit. III. 246, 7. Fourteen of this name had been, in 1834, gr. at Harv. and seventeen at other coll. of N. E." Ref: A Genealogical Dictionary of The First Settlers of New England, Before 1692, Volume #1, Pgs 230 - 241, Bradford - Bredane, By James Savage


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