Possible origin of Mayflower passenger Richard Warren??

+17 votes
This London birth and baptismal record is transcribed on FreeReg UK: https://www.freereg.org.uk/search_queries/5f21b69a4325a6b09f80b458?locale=en ; its detail page shows:

Richard WARREN: County | London City | Place | Cornhill | Church name | St Peter | Birth date 15 Jan 1579/80 | Baptism date | 24 Jan 1579/80 ; Father, John Warren, Armorer

This is not very far from the Warren-66 profile estimate of a 1678 DOB; it would make Richard age 30 at the time of his marriage to Elizabeth Walker (April 1610) at Great Amwell.

I have been scanning a range of literature on Richard (one of my 10th ggs), and have not found any mention of this record -- either to refute or approve it as offering a possible origin. Particularly given that the adult Richard was (according to the profile Biography, which cites his Mayflower passenger record) a London merchant, and of significant standing (an armorer's son would seem likely to have a leg up in life and commerce), such a possible London origin would clearly seem something that should be/have been investigated. Have I missed something??

I've also posted this as a comment on Richard's profile; I'd appreciate knowing whether anyone's aware of this record having been considered, and evaluated.

WikiTree profile: Richard Warren
in Genealogy Help by Christopher Childs G2G6 Mach 1 (11.2k points)

My preference would be to keep the Uncertain Origins section, and expand it as you suggest above to include all you've found. Your explanations are very clear. I don't see that this calls for a Disputed Origins section, as there's nothing really in dispute. We're looking at a very good working theory on his father and birth/baptism, and there are sources to help support that. As long as all the information and sources are shown and cited, I think it'll look great.

I would like to see William Warren's profile built as well, since we know that someone, somewhere will create it and I'd prefer it be where the Project can oversee it. Then that profile can also be linked within the biography and any new research on him can be more easily maintained.

I'm good with what Bobbie said
I am working on (presumed) father William, after botching a first attempt to identify a reasonable candidate.  There is in fact a William Warren bp. north of St. Albans at Therfield (a distance of about 25 miles) in 1557, and he appears to have married an "Elizabetha Heade" at Therfield in mid-October of 1584.  This is just a shade late for Richard's putative mid-April birth at St. Albans, but it wouldn't be the first (or last) time that nuptials took place when a bride was already a couple of months pregnant.  In any case, I will profile said William, and add a speculative paragraph to Richard's "Uncertain Origin" section, within which William of Therfield can be linked.  Not a perfect candidate, perhaps, but as good as I've been able to find.
One issue I see with this William Warren of Therfield is the fact he was almost certainly the father of Edward Warren (bp 30 Jan 1590) and William (bp 19 Sep 1591) both at Therfield. In addition, William Warren is a much more common name than even Richard Warren.

Ideally we would like to see a will of a Warren who names a son Richard who has emigrated to New Plimouth (or across the ocean).
Quite reasonable points.  Again, I'm not putting this 1557 Therfield William forward as an especially high-percentage likely candidate -- just the closest match I've been able to find in online records.

I do think "almost certainly" is a bit strong, though, for naming the 1557 William as the father of Edward and William: there is as well a William bp. at Therfield on 1 Sept. 1566 (see https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NRW5-CY4; this man is the son of [yet another, it seems] father William) who would have been about 25 when Edward was born.  He'd have been awfully young -- barely turned 18 -- to have married Elizabetha Heade in 1584, so I do think the groom in that marriage was the 1557 fellow.

As you say, William Warren is a frustratingly common name... and we have only the data for those whose information was recorded, and has (legibly) survived four centuries of potential loss, damage, and/or neglect.  Here's hoping additional records become available as we go forward.

There is a Dec 1622 christening record at St Albans for a daughter of a Richard Warren.  That record is indexed here:


This might be helpful if there are not two Richards of a similar age in the same place.

Per our private exchange, I am glad to see the 1622 christening record posted to this discussion.  It certainly appears to be something of a spanner in the works of the St. Albans-origin hypothesis.

We know that Elizabeth (Walker) Warren did not cross the Pond until 1623.  If there's any record of Richard making a return trip to England that might allow for the conception of a child in early 1622, I'm certainly unaware of it.  I also have not found a record of another Richard Warren in St. Albans at the time.

That said, I suppose that a child baptized in late 1622 might possibly -- if the christening had been greatly delayed (e.g., because the father was absent) -- have been born in the first half of 1621.  But that seems something of a stretch.

The dates of birth we show for the Warren daughters are at best educated guesses.  The absence of a given name in this baptismal record is frustrating.  -- I wish we could see an image of the handwritten original to verify the transcription; to date, I find only the FamilySearch version, with no image.  FreeReg UK does not seem to yet have any Warren family data from the period 1610-1625.  Perhaps someone with an Ancestry international subscription can chime in as to whether this record appears in the Ancestry database... and whether there's an image there of the original.

I tried despite my skepticism about finding one specific record  amongst the massive volume of junk with the name Richard Warren.   I had some luck but alas it is another index:  Marie Warren, baptized at the Abbey at St Albans, 29 December 1622 father Richard Warren, 

FHL Film Number: 0973125 IT 3


I have no immediate plans to go to a family history library to scroll through that film.

Name: Grace Warren
Gender: Female
Baptism Date: 9 Jul 1620
Baptism Place: Abbey,Saint Albans,Hertford,England
Father: Richard Warren
Mother: Parnel
FHL Film Number: 0973125 IT 3


The records for Grace and Marie Warren are now available free on FamilySearch, which offers images of the transcribed and printed (but not the original handwritten) versions; see the images at:

(Grace) https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSZD-L97P-B?i=313

(Marie) https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSZD-L97T-R?i=315 .

The 1620 entry for Grace reads, "[July] 9  Grace doughter of Richard Warren by Parnel his wife."

The 1622 entry for Marie reads, "[Dec.] 29  Marie the doughter of Richard Warren [the rest cut off in binding]."

4 Answers

+10 votes

Caleb Johnson always has the most up-to-date info on his website: 

Warren — MayflowerHistory.com

by Sandra Emmons G2G6 Pilot (167k points)
Thanks, Sandra -- I don't see the specific topic on Caleb's site, but I've emailed him and hope he'll weigh in.
Christopher, so far the only English record which conclusively mentions any of Richard Warren's English-born children (and then only the three oldest, if memory serves) is the will of his father-in-law, Augustine Walker, which is what is cited on the Caleb Johnson web page.
yes that’s true I have seen and read the will online and have placed the link for it.

Beth Ireland
Thanks, Dave and Beth.  Please see my reply comment above for related notes about Richard, Elizabeth, and their probable (I would say, nearly certain) parentage.

I can share key segments of the 2003 TAG article I reference above with people who don't have NEHGS memberships: just send me a request via a private message from my WikiTree page -- wikitree.com/wiki/Childs-1516.
At the bottom of the will of Augustine Walker it states his daughter Elizabeth Walker wife of Richard Warren.
+2 votes
I am a direct descendant of Richard Warren and Elizabeth Walker on my father's side of the family.
by Howard Rankin, Jr G2G Crew (670 points)
+3 votes
Chris:  having a father [John Warren] who was an armorer in London for the birth of a Richard Warren 15 Jan 1579/80 would go along with the story line of an English sword "found in a midden (garbage burial hole) when the Mayflower House had been moved" [ca 1981?]..see "The Search for Pilgrim Richard Warren's Parentage" [Mayflower Quarterly 51(3):109-112, also see pp. 113-116].  The idea is that the midden was filled when the Loyalist Edward Winslow fled to Fredericton, New Brunswick by 1788....thus the initial misdating of the sword to the Revolutionary War,  An expert on swords, Anthony D Darling, did date the Winslow sword to 1600, apparently before 1985.  .   Has anyone looked for will/probate record for this John Warren, armorer?  Was the sword a momento of a father who left a young son fatherless??  What other Warren records are found in St. Peter, Cornhill, London? Rreach me at:  lwthroop at aol.com
by Louise Walsh Throop G2G1 (1.3k points)
edited by Anne B

It is certainly likely a sword dated to circa 1600 (or even before) buried in Plymouth may well have came over on the Mayflower.   However, there is no reason to connect this sword with Richard Warren. A sword would have been a fairly common weapon which multiple Mayflower passengers may have owned (besides firearms). It must be remembered where the firearms of the day were cumbersome to reload, so a soldier would likely also need a sword.

The baptism record of Richard Warren b. 15 Jan 1579/80 gives his father as John Warren, armorer; Richard with bap 24 Jan 1579/80 [see "A register of all the Christninges, Burials and Wedings, Parish of Saint Peter's upon Cornhill" (London, 1877)  vol. 1 p. 21].  Cornhill in London is 3.1 miles walk to Rotherhithe, where master Christopher Jones lived after 1610.
There are 5 or 6 children of this John Warren in the parish records of St. Peter's of Cornhill in London:  
Jasper bap. 18 Feb 1569/70;
John  bap.  21 Jan 570/71
William bap. 5 March 1572/3
Susan b. 1 Feb 1575/6 bap. 2 Feb 1575/6
Richard  b. 15 Jan 1579/80  bap.  24 Jan 1579/80
Elizabeth  b. 23 March 1582/3  bap. 31 March 1583
The last five are all given as children of John Warren, armorer [St. Peter's Church, Vol. 1 pp. 14, 15, 17, 21, 25]....which harks back to a sword found in a midden ca 1981 at the Winslow House in Plymouth.  
John Warren, armorer, d. 12 Sept 1585 aged 50 yr of Plague, buried in west yard of St. Peter's [Vol. 1 p. 133].  His widow Lettis Warren, widow of John, armorer, m. 19 June 1587 Lawrence Evannes, of London, cutler, son of Richard Evannes [St. Peter's Vol. 1 p. 236].
One Lettice Grave/Grove was bap. 12 July 1541 [St. Peter's Vol. 1 p. 2].  Lettis/Lettice is a relatively rare first name.   This early death of Richard's father helps to explain his delayed m. record at age 30 in 1610 to Elizabeth Walker. As she was bap. Baldock in Sept 1583, she was slightly younger than Richard----as expected.  
These records in London conform to the expectation that Richard Warren, Steven Hopkins and Edward Dotte/Doty were "from London."
As Jasper, John, Susan and Elizabeth appear to have died young , Richard's family was quite small.....with burial records in St. Peter's for John and Elizabeth, both being named  children of John Warren, armorer [St. Peter's Vol. 1 pp. 14, 25].
Pending a marriage record for John Warren, armorer, and Lettice Grove ca 1578, the above appears to identify the parents of Richard Warren, who d. 1628 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony.    
Comments are welcomed.   Wasn't there a Grove/Grave relative in the extended Walker family [wife of "our" Richard Warren]???

Now, the next step in English research is to see if a digitized version of St. Peter's Church parish records exists, and to check all the above records found in the 1877 printed version.  With any luck, a will by Lettice's father after 1585 will name grandson Richard Warren..... and does a will of Lawrence Evans after 1587 name step-son Richard Warren?

Lacking any baptism records for Richard's Children makes it hard to put any weight behind a hypothesis that Richard was the son of John Warren, armorer.  

Researcher Jan Wolfe notes that Richard Warren in the parish records of St. Peter upon Cornhill notes both Richard Warrens death in 1624 in England, and the birth of a son Luke in 1615.. If Richard Warren, son of John Warren armourer died in 1624 in England, he cannot be the same man as the mayflower passenger.

There are many Richard Warrens born in and around London in the appropriate timeframe. The onomastic argument that Richard's father was named John because one of Richard's son's 3rd son was named John is an extreme stretch, especially when viewed under the light that neither Richard nor Richard's other sons seemed to follow any such naming pattern consistent with this.

Are there any peer-reviewed genealogy publications that have weighed in on the theory of John Warren being Richard's father?
Patience! Patience!  This "theory" of John Warren being Richard's father only originated about 6 months ago!  You are welcome to find documentation, probably in England, which either supports or denies this new theory, and publish it..   So far this connection to John Warren for Richard Warren has been published as:  "Richard Warren's Father, John Warren" in California Mayflower Quarterly 46(4):18-21 (Fall 2022), available readily on  the website of The Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of California, Inc.  New data since publication links the known (since early in 2022) y-DNA of all-male lineage descendants of Richard Warren (E-M35) with one of seven newly described (October 14, 2022) European genetic geographic groups -- described in a recent blog at 23andme.   Publication of the new "theory" of the father [and mother] of Richard Warren was followed on pp. 22-23 by the complete passenger listing for the Anne, with an updated correction to the name of Richard's wife, but not a correction to the missing surname starting with 'K.' This listing also corrects the omission of the last 30 or so passenger names [numbers 42-72] in the recent publication of an article on the Anne in The Mayflower Quarterly Magazine 88(3):22-23 (Fall 2022].   So a little patience is requested as problems are sorted out, not only in locating and documenting the parentage of Richard Warren, but also with modern editing and publication problems [like paper shortage]. Besides, you are part of the peer-review process, so please find some relevant documentation.  Just remember: there are about a half-dozen Richard Warrens in London in the late 1500s. The one who had son Luke is possibly a cousin of the Mayflower man.  Anyone find a 1624 will yet for that father of Luke?
Respectfully, I don't agree with the theory being only six months old.  The baptism of Richard Warren in London to John has been well known for over 150 years and rejected continuously over that time.  I disagree that a sword found in 1898 provides any evidence unfortuantely that the sword owner was 1) Ricahrd Warren and 2) that this indicates or even implies descent from an armorer or a knight.
The article in full is here: https://www.camayflower.org/uploads/1/2/5/1/125178701/mayflower_quarterly-fall_2022.pdf

I don't want to say the passenger list of the Anne was basically plagiarized, since it is just a list, but the wording next to the names in this 2022 article is almost a dead match as a copy of the wikipedia article written in 2013 or earlier.  Perhaps they are same author?  


As a Richard Warren descendant, I am enthusiastic about reading any new material and leads on Richard Warren which have been under investigation for hundreds of years.  I hope that new evidence can be uncovered in wills or elsewhere.  I'm happy the more people looking into it the better!   However, there has been no new primary evidence presented to draw any novel conclusions in this area in my opinion.
I would like to see any article/book reference which in the past 150 years has discounted Richard Warren as not the son b. 1580 son of the armorer John, and step-son of the cutler Lawrence Evans.  Were wills of John and Lawrence cited?  Please provide references.

In Darling's article from May 1982, A Rare English Sword from Plymouth Colony, the author makes it clear that "attributing ownership of the sword to Richard Warren would be highly speculative, and to do so would be on the strength of inferential reasoning".

Even if it were proved to be Richard Warren's sword (which it has not been), it still does not prove that John was his father.

+7 votes
Just for completeness, as I have already discussed this on the profile. Richard Warren the armorer's son born in 1580 cannot be the same as Mayflower passenger. The armorer's son died in 1624.
by Joe Cochoit G2G6 Pilot (232k points)

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