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RJO’s New England Immigrant Ancestors

The Atlantick Ocean, like a River of Lethe, may easily cause us to forget many of the things that happened on the other side.

—Cotton Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana

Nearly all my ancestors on my mother’s side came to America in the Puritan Great Migration (1620–1643), most of them emigrating from the southeast of England and settling in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The busiest years of the Great Migration were those of “The Eleven Year Tyranny” (1629–1640) during which Charles I tried to rule without calling the Puritan-dominated parliament. Once the King was forced to call Parliament in 1640 and the Puritan revolution began, immigration to New England came to a near-complete halt. Virginia Anderson’s book New England’s Generation: The Great Migration and the Formation of Society and Culture in the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge University Press, 1993) is an excellent account of the immigrant group and the experience of sea travel.

Many of the immigration dates given below are upper bounds, based on when the person in question first appears in the New England records. Thus, in the absence of more specific information, a date of 1636 means, “known to be in New England in 1636, but may have arrived earlier.” Very few passenger lists exist from the time of the Great Migration and only in a few cases are the names of ancestors’ ships and their actual departure or arrival dates known.

For the period 1620–1633 the standard reference is now Robert Charles Anderson’s The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620–1633 (New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995, three volumes). Subsequent volumes in this series will cover the later years of the Great Migration. It should be noted that the early work of Charles Banks on the composition of the Winthrop Fleet of 1630 is now considered unreliable. None of Banks’ conjectures about arrival dates are used here.

It is likely that a small number of ancestors on my mother’s side (surnames Henry, Young, and possibly Pratt) were part of the eighteenth-century Scots-Irish immigration to inland Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, but these lines have not been well studied. The Scots-Irish immigrants were largely Presbyterian in religion, and so had a certain amount of theological affinity for the Calvinistic Puritans, although the two groups would have struck one another as culturally somewhat different. This migration began around 1718.

My ancestors on my father’s side were all “Boston Irish” who escaped the Irish potato famine in the mid-1800s and settled in Boston, Massachusetts, some arriving directly, and others stopping first in Nova Scotia. The history of these Irish ancestors is not well known, and no precise immigration dates to the United States are available.

PLEASE NOTE: THE INFORMATION BELOW IS INCOMPLETE AND CONSTITUTES A WORKING DRAFT ONLY

1624 · The Dorchester Company to Cape Ann

1629 · The Lyon’s Whelp to Salem

1629 · The Higginson Fleet to Salem

1630 · The Winthrop Fleet to Boston

The Winthrop Fleet, led by its flagship, the Arbella, settled Boston and brought with it the charter of the Massachusetts Bay Company.

1630 · Ships Unknown

1631 · Ships Unknown

1632 · The Lyon to Boston

1632 · Ships Unknown

1634 · The Castle

1634 · The Francis from Ipswich to New England

The Francis under John Cutting took on passengers for New England in April 1634 at Ipswich. Hotten [277–280] transcribes Francis passenger lists … Surnames represented among the Francis passengers include …

1634 · Ships Unknown

1635 · The Planter from London to Boston

The Planter under Nicholas Trarice took on passengers for New England in late March and early April 1635 at London, and arrived at Boston 7 June 1635 [GMC50]. Hotten [43–53] transcribes Planter passenger lists from the London port book that are dated 22 March, 2 April, 6 April, 7 April, and 9 April. Surnames represented among the Planter passengers include …

1635 · The Hopewell from London to New England

The Hopewell under William Bundocke (or Bundick) took on passengers for New England in early April 1635 at London. Hotten [44–49] transcribes Hopewell passenger lists from the London port book that are dated 1, 3, and 6 April. The 3 April entry notes that “the pties have brought Certificate from the Minister & Justices of peace, that they are no Subsedy men. they have taken the oath of alleg: & Supremacie [Hotten 46].” Surnames represented among the Hopewell passengers include Cooper, Elliott, Farrington, Griggs, Purryer (or Parryer), Ruggells, Weaver, and Whittimore, among others. The Ruggells and Elliott families were from Nazing in Essex.

1635 · The Elizabeth from London to New England

The Elizabeth under William Stagg took on passengers for New England from early to mid-April 1635 at London. Hotten [48–68] transcribes Elizabeth passenger lists from the London port book that are dated 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, and 17 April. Surnames represented among the Elizabeth passengers include …

1635 · The Increase from London to New England

The Increase under Robert Lea took on passengers for New England in mid-April 1635 at London. Hotten [55–64] transcribes Increase passenger lists from the London port book that are dated 13, 14, 15, 17, and 18 April. Surnames represented among the Elizabeth passengers include …

1635 · The Elizabeth and Anne from London to New England

The Elizabeth and Anne under Roger Cooper (or Cowper) took on passengers for New England from mid-April to mid-May 1635 at London. Hotten [54–78] transcribes Elizabeth and Anne passenger lists from the London port book that are dated 13, 15, 17, and 29 April, and 6, 9, 11, 12, and 14 May. Surnames represented among the Elizabeth and Anne passengers include …

1635 · The Blessing London to New England

The Blessing under John Lester (or Lecester) took on passengers for New England from in June and July 1635 at London. Hotten [93–94, 108] transcribes Elizabeth passenger lists from the London port book that are dated 17 June and 13 July. Surnames represented among the Blessing passengers include …

1635 · The Truelovefrom London to Boston

The Truelove under John Gibbs took on passengers for New England in September 1635 at London, and arrived at Boston in late November. Hotten [131–132] transcribes a Truelove passenger list from the London port book that is dated 19 September. Surnames represented among the Truelove passengers include …

1635 · The Angel Gabriel from Bristol to Pemaquid, Maine (wrecked)

The Angel Gabriel was one of the few ships lost during the Puritan Great Migration. A great storm, probably a hurricane, drove the ship on coastal rocks and it broke up. Most of the passengers survived, but the majority of their goods were lost.

1635 · Ships Unknown

1636 · Ships Unknown

1637 · The John and Dorothy and the Rose from Ipswich to New England

The John and Dorothy of Ipswich was captained by William Andrews, and the Rose of Yarmouth was captained by his son, also named William Andrews. These two ships examined passengers at Ipswich from 8 April to 15 May 1637. Which passengers traveled on which of the two ships is not known [Hotten 289–295].

1637 · The Mary Anne to Salem

1637 · Ships Unknown

1638 · Ships Unknown

1639 · The Jonathan from London to Boston

1639 · Ships Unknown

1642 · Ships Unknown

1643 · Ships Unknown

1644 · Ships Unknown

1673 · Ships Unknown

1600s · Puritan Migration · Dates Unknown

1718 · Scots-Irish Migration to Massachusetts and New Hampshire

1840 · Ireland to Nova Scotia (and later to the United States)

19th-Century Irish Migration · Dates Unknown

Literature Cited

Banks
Banks, Charles E. The Winthrop Fleet of 1630.
Bond
Bond, Watertown.
Butler
Butler, Caleb. History of Groton.
Eliot Gen
Genealogy of the Descendants of John Eliot.
Fitch Gen
Fitch, Roscoe Conklin. [Fitch Genealogy], two volumes.
GMB
Anderson, Robert Charles, The Great Migration Begins (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995).
GMC26
Threlfall, John Brooks. Twenty-six Great Migration Colonists.
GMC50
Threlfall, John Brooks. Fifty Great Migration Colonists.
Holden Gen
Holden Genealogy.
Hotten
Hotten, John Camden. 1874. The Original Lists of Persons of Quality; Emigrants; Religious Exiles; Political Rebels; Serving Men Sold for a Term of Years; Apprentices; Children Stolen; Maidens Pressed; and Others who went from Great Britain to the American Plantations 1600–1700. London. [Reprinted Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1974.]
NEG
Anderson, Virginia D. New England’s Generation.
Shattuck
Shattuck, Lemuel. Memorials of the Descendants of William Shattuck.
Shed Gen
Shed Genealogy.

© RJO 1995–2014