Just as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many.
2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony. Commemorative publications, programs, and tours are planned in the US, the UK, and the Netherlands by various organizations, including the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and Plymouth 400, Inc.
In preparation for the festivities, we will be blogging about our resources for different Mayflower families throughout the year. This week we’ll explore the descendants of William Bradford!
William Bradford was born 19 March 1590 in Austerfield, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England. He married Dorothy May of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire on 10 December 1613 in Amsterdam, Holland. Dorothy died on 07 December 1620. Bradford then married Alice (Carpenter) Southworth on 16 August 1623 in Plymouth. William Bradford died on 08 May 1657 in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Bradford was governor of Plymouth Colony from 1621-1657. He was one of the signers of the Mayflower Compact. His journal, “Of Plymouth Plantation”, is considered the most authoritative account of the pilgrims and the early years of Plymouth Colony.
The first generation of William Bradford descendants:
- John, born ca. 1617 in Holland, married Martha Bourne ca. 1650 in Plymouth.
- William, born 17 June 1624 in Plymouth, married Alice Richards ca. 1650 in Plymouth. Married Sarah Griswold ca. 1675. Married Mary (Wood) Holmes after 07 March 1676.
- Mercy, born ca. 1627 in Plymouth, married Benjamin Vermayes on 21 December 1648 in Plymouth.
- Joseph, born ca. 1630 in Plymouth, married Jael Hobart on 25 May 1664 in Plymouth.
Want to learn more about William Bradford’s descendants? Stop by the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center and browse through SC 929.2 May
- Wakefield, Robert S., Van Antwerp Lee D., Roger D. Joslyn, and William H. Schoeffler. Mayflower Families in Progress ; William Bradford of the Mayflower and His Descendants for Four Generations. Plymouth, MA (4 Winslow St., Plymouth 02361): General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1987.
- Lainhart, Ann S., and Robert S. Wakefield. Mayflower Families through Five Generations: Descendants of the Pilgrims Who Landed at Plymouth, Mass. December 1620: Family of William Bradford. Vol. 22. Plymouth, MA: General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 2004.
- Bradford, William. Bradford’s history “of Plimoth plantation.” / From the original manuscript. With a report of the proceedings incident to the return of the manuscript to Massachusetts. Boston : Wright & Potter printing co., state printers, 1901.
- Bowman, George Ernest. The Bowman files [microform]. Boston, Mass. : Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1983.
- American Ancestors, William Bradford biography
- Mayflower 400, The Story of William Bradford
- Pilgrim Hall Museum, Beyond the Pilgrim Story
- Find A Grave memorial: William Bradford
(posted by Cristina)