Discussion of name of wife of Wm Brewster of Mayflower fame...

+4 votes
I'm attempting to sort out the duplicate profiles surrounding the Brewsters. When children had the same parents it was easy to eliminate duplicates, now I've encountered one with a "different" mother.   

My study indicates that the daughter Mary of Thomas and Grace Gasciogne Wentworth, Mary Wentorth is a good probability.

How about Mary Love Wentworth, Mary Mayflower Wentworth?

I understand there may be questions about her family name...Was it really Wentworth?  Or was it Wyrall? [Wyrall-1] or perhpas both? or Neither?  Was Love a maiden name in contention?

There are Submitted Trees which indicate both/either Wentworth and Wyrall.  could he have had two wives?

I'm open to any and all suggestions, just want to get it right.
WikiTree profile: Mary Wentworth
in Policy and Style by Tom Bredehoft G2G6 Pilot (197k points)

I found this, (yeah, on Family Search....

 "The maiden name of William Brewster's wife has not been proven. The claim it was Mary Wentworth rests solely on the fact that Mary Wentworth happened to live somewhat close to William Brewster in Scrooby, Nottingham. That is very shaky evidence to say the least. Further, it has been proposed that William Brewster may have married Mary Wyrall, but the evidence is just as flimsy for that marriage.There are no fewer than seven marriages from 1590-1610 that have been located in parish registers showing a William Brewster marrying a Mary. All, however, have been satisfactorily eliminated as probable candidates for the William and Mary (Brewster) who came on the Mayflower."

We aren't going to know. 

I see this Mary Wentworth is still attached as mother to Brewster children. That needs to be fixed.
My record, based on "Saints and Strangers", and the" Allerton Family " by Walter S Allerton, thinks married in late 1591. Mary Wentworth's father was Thomas Wentworth. Mary was born in 1558, which made her 8 years older than William Brewster. I've been out of the genealogical loop a while - maybe some one has found a proof by now? Of course, if I was born in 1558, I think I wouldn't like giving birth in 1593, 1600, 1606, 1611, and again in 1614 ( at age 56!)
Kathleen, the claim that William Brewster married Mary Wentworth, daughter of Thomas, has been strongly questioned by others. Some have refuted it, but I haven't seen documentation. In any case, all sound, published research goes with Mary Unknown until her maiden name can be confirmed.

Actually, I just looked for the Allerton book you referenced. It's online. It describes William's marriage on page 117 and says her maiden name is not known. So this is not the source for the claim that she was a Wentworth.

Thank  you, Kathleen, for your help. Research done recently, ("The Great Migration Begins" vol. 1. pp 227 228) is taken as the last word on the maiden name of Mary, William Brewster's wife.  We work with the understanding that someday new research may determine who her parents were, but until then they remain "Unknown."

An digital version of Saints and Strangers is here. (VERY interesting book, btw...) 

Page 39 mentions Brewster's marriage, and also says nothing is known about her, other than her name Mary. There is a footnote, however, and if you follow it (it's on page 462), it says this "Burgess (John Robinson, p. 81) suggests that she may have been Mary Wentworth of Scrooby, daughter of Thomas, whom the older William Brewster had succeeded as bailiff-receiver of the 'Scrowbie Manor.' "

I'll see if I can track down this Burgess document. Found it in S&S's bibliography:

Walter H. Burgess, John Robinson, the pastor of the pilgrims, London, 1920.

And I found it online, too. Page 81 also has a footnote about Mary, wife of William Brewster: "The maiden name of Mary has not been handed down. I suggest Mary Wentworth of Scrooby."

That's it.

Sharon, thanks for posting the link to Bradford's History of Plymouth. It's an amazing source for our history. 

Bradford begins a very passionate memorial of Brewster on page 342 at the time that Brewster died. There is a mention of wife Mary (no maiden name) on page 347 (footnote #2) provided by a later editor.

4 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer
And given that we're not going to know, what is the WikiTree protocol for naming a profile when the surname is contested or not known?

Sounds like it should be, in this case, Mary Unknown, and a description of current theories included in the narrative section.
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (825k points)
selected by Keith Baker
Yes, it will be Mary Unknown.  And yes, the above quote will be included.It seems a shame to be merging at least 14 Marys into an unknown, but I'm pretty well convinced that this is one puzzle we will have to leave for someone else.
Since there seems to be so much contention and myths about the name of his wife, I propose that we create a "Mary Unknown", but don't merge any of the Mary Wentworths or Mary Wryalls into her. Instead, merge both Marys down to two profiles, and separate them from William Brewster. Make a note in the bio that many people believe that one or the other was his wife and mother of X children, but that there is no conclusive proof. That way if someone comes along to create a Mary Wentworth or Wryall profile, one already exists with a notice that she's not meant to be attached to William Brewster.
Erin, you deserve a star for that reply, sorry I can't click on it.  I wish I'd thougth of that. Unless I'm told not to do it that way, it's going into practice tomorrow.
I like Erin's solution, too. "Like!!!"
Thanks, Tom and Jillaine!

There should be no problem. I think Lianne has done it this way with a few of the unproven Acadian Ancestors, and some similar workarounds have been done for the European Aristocratics, too.
Thing is though, if anybody gedcoms in another Mary Wentworth, it's not supposed to be the actual Mary Wentworth (about whom we know nothing and care less, poor girl), it's supposed to be Mrs Brewster, hiding behind an alias.

And of course she comes with parents, Thomas and Grace, and the process of merging the parents simply creates a situation where the Mary who didn't marry Brewster has a sister Mary who did marry him.

So people do what they're supposed to do - merge Thomas and Grace and not merge Mary - and we're back to square one.

since this post two years ago I've learned that the policy for such situations is to

a) use Mary Unknown and detach her from any parents. Make sure her birth date is approx.

b) place Wentworth in other last names

c) create a Disputed Origins section in the Bio and describe the issue there, including links to the supposed parent in the narrative.

If there really was a Mary Wentworth dau of Thomas and Grace, she should still have a profile appropriately connected to her parents.  And she should have a Disputed Spouse section in her narrative, including a link to Brewster. But she should not be married to him.  

I place Dispute sections right at the top to increase the likelihood that they'll be seen.
This Mary Wentwoth also needs to be detached as mother from the Brewsrer children and the corrct profile attached to them.
+2 votes
I have a family list past down for meny generations from family bible to bible william brewster was my grand father

married to mary prince

daughter patence brewster  married to governer thomas paine

daughter marcy prince married to john freeman

 if you need to see great grandmas copy i will try to sit and post it. Hope this helps some.
+1 vote

I looked in my copy of Mayflower Families in Progress: William Brewster, Revised 3rd edition, 2000. It gives her surname as "_____" and states that "Her surname and parentage have not been proven."

by Jim Moore G2G6 Mach 1 (14.9k points)
I've been working on this this morning. are you seeing places that still need fixing?
Sorry, because a comment was posted yesterday and I did not look carefully, I answered a stale question. I apologize for the inconvenience.
No problem, Jim. Sometimes it's worth "reviving" stale questions.  As you'll no doubt see, we sometimes have to come back to questions that were raised years ago-- either because something new has been learned, or someone created a duplicate profile with incorrect info that has to be resolved.  And sometimes, in coming back to these stale questions, we realize there's still work to do-- which is what happened in this case, so it was a good thing!

Thank you!
And I'm adding your source to the profile.
+1 vote
I have a latest copy (2014) of the William Brewster book from the Mayflower Society - 5 generations yada yada and p 1 she is still listed as Mary (-) born between Jun 1568 and 1569 (citing NEHGR 18:53) probably married near Scooby in 1592 (MD, 1:7) death recorded by her son Jonathan in his own writing on 17 Apr 1627 Plymouth(MD, 1:7). Her range of birth dates is calculated from a pair of affidavits and no birth record has been found.

Anderson's Pilgrim Migration (2004) pp 66-70 reviews the literature citing TAG 41:1-5 (1965) where John G Hunt proposed she was Mary Wentworth but Rubincam shot this down and Hunt has abandoned the theory. Hunt then published a pamphlet claiming she was "Mary Wyrrall" based on a will naming "Mary Butho" due to a speech impediment while dictating the will (1984). But Eugene A Stratton shot this down too. (1985). Hunt retraced this idea in 1985 in Part II.

See also NGSQ 62:88-90; NEHGR 124:250-56; NEHGR 128:288-90.
by Living Baker G2G6 Mach 3 (39.9k points)

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