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John Taylor (abt. 1605 - 1645)

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John Taylor
Born about in Haverhill, Suffolk, Englandmap
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Husband of — married in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusettsmap
Died in At Seamap
18 November 2015
08:55: Jillaine Smith proposed a merge of Taylor-833 and Taylor-642 with a comment. [Thank Jillaine for this]
This page has been accessed 1,523 times.

Categories: Puritan Great Migration | Arbella, Winthrop Fleet.

The Puritan Great Migration.
This person migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
If you are interested in this profile,
please check out the Puritan Great Migration Project!



John was born in 1605 and was lost at sea about 1645.

John immigrated to America aboard the flagship "Arbella" which landed at the Massachusetts Bay Colony on June 12, 1630. Taylor's [first] wife and two children died on the way over. John took the Freeman's Oath on 18 May 1631 giving him the right to vote. Lived in Windsor, CT, where he was a farmer. He served as a juror, arbitrator & as Captain in the local militia. He was a pewtersmith and lived first in Lynn Massachusetts. He then went to Windsor, Connecticut with Rev Ephraim Huitt and was juror in Hartford, 1641-4, before moving finally to Norwalk, Connecticut. He had married secondly Mrs Rhoda Wilton, a widow. She had two daughters, and they had two sons, John and Thomas. In 1646 John left his family behind & set sail with others from his colony for England to secure a charter. The ship was never heard from again.[citation needed]

Disputed Spouse Information

John's wife Rhoda has been found to have two different maiden names, "Tinker" and "Wilton." See Wiki Id Taylor-642 and Wiki Id Tinker-95. Unknown if they are the same person. (Anderson, in Great Migration Begins, does not identify a maiden name. See p. 1031.)

Research Notes

(Notes from Wanda Smith)

After researching John Taylor for a period of about ten years, I have collected several interesting facts. One thing that I have also found is family legends on this family. They all tell the same basic tale, yet certain details vary. I am at a loss to explain the difference in dates. Whatever the reason, I will give each version and let the reader draw his own conclusion. Notes taken from Henry Stiles' History of Ancient Windsor [H.S.]; Commemorative Biographical Record (of Fairfield County, CT) [C.B.R.]; Early Immigrants [E.I.] & others.
John immigrated from Haverhill, Suffolk, England with Winthrop's fleet in 1630. He settled at Lynn, MA [E.I.[. Very soon settled at Boston [C.B.R. p. 168] Where he married a widow, Rhoda, who had two daughters.
He moved to Hartford, CT briefly before settling at nearby Windsor, CT [C.B.R. p. 168]. In 1638, he bought a lot at Windsor from Beggat Eggelston [H.S.] His widow would sell this land, with a house, back to Eggleston in 1651 [H.S.[. It appears that Taylor owned the land for two years before the house was completed and the land made ready for farming.
Another account of John states that he was one of two brothers who left England in 1639. One returned to England soon afterward and the vessel was never heard from again after leaving New York. [C.B.R. p 99]. The other brother, John settled at Windsor and married a widow. Once at Windsor, John engaged in the occupation of a pewtersmith {C.B.R. p 168].
From Sheldon's, The History of Northfield (MA) pp 553,554; John was at Windsor, 1640, probably went there with Rev. Ephraim Huit (or Hewett), August 17, 1639, directly from England. He served as a juror in 1641 and 1644.
On November 24, 1645, being "fully intended and prepared for a voyage for England." he made a will, leaving his "daughters in-law," (Rhoda's daughters) to be equally divided among them, "all my land that lyes on the east of the great river (this is site of the present South Windsor) in lieu of my engagement with them upon my marriage and that my wife shall trayne them up until they come to the age of eighteen years and said wife to have the benefit of ye sd land until yt time." He gives to his wife and two sons, his house and all residue of his lands in the town of Windsor, and all of his personal property; his wife to have the use of it until she marry, or the sons come of age.
There is a tradition in the family that, soon after making this will John Taylor sailed for England in the New Haven "Phantom ship" the vessel never heard from again, except for in the manner narrated below; Rev. James Pierpont, a minister at New Haven (CT) in 1684-1714, giving an account of a wonderful vision seen there, some half century before. This letter incorporated in Mather's Magnalia written 1695/6. Pierpont says, the ship sailed in January 1647; a date accepted, so far as we know, by all subsequent historians; but recent investigations show that the date of departure was certainly, January 1645/46.
Pierpont writes: "I now give you the relation of that apparition of a ship in the air, which I have received from the most credible, judicious, and curious surviving observers of it. In the year, 1647, besides much other lading, a far more rich treasure of passengers (five or six of which were persons of chief note in New Haven) put themselves aboard a new ship built at Rhode Island, of about 150 tuns; but so walty, that the master (Lamberton) often said she would prove their grave. In the month of January, cutting their way through much ice, on which they were accompanied by the Rev. Mr. Davenport, besides many other friends, with many fears, as well as prayers and tears, they set sail... In June next ensuing a great thunder storm arose out of the north-west; after which (the Hemisphere being serene) about an hour before sun-set, a ship of like eimensions with the aforesaid, with her canvas and colours abroad (though the wind northerly) appeared in the air coming up from our harbour's mouth, which lyes southward from the town, seemingly with her sails filled under a fresh gale holding her course north, and continuing under observation, sailing against the wind, for the space of half an hour. MANY were drawn to behold this great work of God; yea, the very children cryied out, 'Ther's a brave ship' At length, crowding up as far as there is usually water sufficient for such a vessel, and so near some of the spectators, as they imagined a man might hurl a stone on board her, her main top seemed to be blown off, but left hanging in the shrouds; then her misen-top; then all her masting seemed blown away by the board; quickly after the bulk brought into a careen, she overset, and so vanished into a smoaky cloud, which in some time dissapated, leaving, as everywhere else, a clear air. The admiring spectators, could distinguish the several colours of each part, the principal rigging and such proportions, as caused not only the generality of person to say, 'This was the mould of their ship, and thus was her tragick end.' but Mr. Davenport also in public declared tot his effect, 'That God had condescended, for the quieting of their afflicted spirits, this extraordinary account of his sovereign disposal of those for whom so many fervent prayers were made continually.' "
Rhoda Taylor moved to Norwalk, CT and married third, Walter Hoyt.


John sailed in Longfellow's "Phantom Ship" the first ship built in the Colony and sailed from New Haven in January 1645. There was never a name for the ship ever recorded, no trace of the ship was found, and no complete passenger list has ever been made.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
In Mather's Magnalia Christi,
Of the old colonial time,
May be found in prose the legend
That is here set down in rhyme.
A ship sailed from New Haven,
And the keen and frosty airs,
That filled her sails at parting,
Were heavy with good men's prayers.
"O Lord! if it be thy pleasure"--
Thus prayed the old divine--
"To bury our friends in the ocean,
Take them, for they are thine!"
But Master Lamberton muttered,
And under his breath said he,
"This ship is so crank and walty
I fear our grave she will be!"
And the ships that came from England,
When the winter months were gone,
Brought no tidings of this vessel
Nor of Master Lamberton.
This put the people to praying
That the Lord would let them hear
What in his greater wisdom
He had done with friends so dear.
And at last their prayers were answered:--
It was in the month of June,
An hour before the sunset
Of a windy afternoon,
When, steadily steering landward,
A ship was seen below,
And they knew it was Lamberton, Master,
Who sailed so long ago.
On she came, with a cloud of canvas,
Right against the wind that blew,
Until the eye could distinguish
The faces of the crew.
Then fell her straining topmasts,
Hanging tangled in the shrouds,
And her sails were loosened and lifted,
And blown away like clouds.
And the masts, with all their rigging,
Fell slowly, one by one,
And the hulk dilated and vanished,
As a sea-mist in the sun!
And the people who saw this marvel
Each said unto his friend,
That this was the mould of their vessel,
And thus her tragic end.
And the pastor of the village
Gave thanks to God in prayer,
That, to quiet their troubled spirits,
He had sent this Ship of Air.


See also:

  • Source: S-2091851085 Repository: #R-2142489842 Title: Ancestry Family Trees Publication: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Original data: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members. Text:
  • Repository: R-2142489842 Name: Address:
  • Source: S-2091989953 Repository: #R-2142489842 Title: U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 Author: Yates Publishing Publication: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.Original data - This unique collection of records was extracted from a variety of sources including family group sheets and electronic databases.

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On November 18, 2015 at 13:55GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

Taylor-833 and Taylor-642 appear to represent the same person because: Not sure why the previous merge proposal was removed. Clearly the same man despite some differences in details. We need to clarify if the parents of the lower-numbered profile are documented. What does Anderson say?

On February 28, 2015 at 02:46GMT Vic Watt wrote:

Taylor-642 and Taylor-17386 appear to represent the same person because: Same dates and same birth place. The name of his wife is disputed (see the Bio of Taylor-642). Please merge. Thanks.

On February 28, 2015 at 02:42GMT Vic Watt wrote:

Taylor-642 and Taylor-9517 appear to represent the same person because: Sames Dates. Please merge. Thanks.

On September 6, 2014 at 01:15GMT Brian McCullough wrote:

Windsor, Massachusetts is not Windsor, Connecticut. John was lost at sea, so there is no legitimate need for his place of death to reflect anything but that.

On September 5, 2014 at 23:23GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:


On September 3, 2014 at 00:57GMT Michael Stills wrote:

Should John be PPP for PGM?

John is 15 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 18 degrees from AJ Jacobs, 43 degrees from Lisa Kudrow, 23 degrees from Kurt Vonnegut and 15 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II of the Commonwealth Realms on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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