||Matthew Mitchell migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).|
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The most recent research (2020) by Ogden and Owen and gives his birth as 1589 or earlier, the son of Thomas and Agnes Mitchell.
Matthew Wood in his article published in The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, gives a suggestive genealogy for the emigrant Matthew Mitchell.
Just four miles north of Ovenden, where Susan (Wood) Butterfield was left a widow, is a small town called Thornton-in-Bradforddale.Here, researcher and author Matthew Wood found records of a Mitchell family which included a Matthew born at the right time to have been the husband of Susan. "The records of this Mitchell family are contained in the Yorkshire Fines, published in the Record Series of the Yorkshire Archaelogical and Topographical Society."Following genealogy is quoted from The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record.
"At the Easter Term of the Yorkshire Fines in 1565, Henry Batte received from John Mitchell and Isabel his wife two messuages with lands in Clayton and Thornton. At the Hilary Term in 1572/3, John Mychell received from Thomas Phillip and William Phillip, his son and heir apparent, two messuages with lands in Thornton."
"John Mitchell had three sons, Christopher, John and Thomas, who divided his two messuages between themselves. At the Michaelmas Term of 1585, Christopher Mytchell and John Mytchel, junr., received from Thomas Mytchell, one messuage with lands in Thornton-in-Bradforddale. The share of John Jr. was subsequently obtained by Christopher. At the Easter Term in 1614, Isaac Haley, Jonas Mitchell and Samuel Robertshaw obtained from Christr. Mitchell and Ellen his wife, a messuage with lands in 'Thorneton in Bradford Dale.' Included was a 'warranty against John Mitchell brother of said Christr. and his heirs against heirs of John Mitchell decd. father of said Christr. and against heirs of Thos Mitchell decd. brother of said Christr.'"
"The son John Mitchell Jr. seems to have lived for a time in Clayton, a small town within a mile of Thornton. At the Michaelmas Term in 1594, Edward Hemyingway obtained from John Mitchell, two messuages with lands in Clayton in Bradforddale."
"Thomas, the other son of John Mitchell Sr., obtained the other messuage which had belonged to his father. At the Hilary Term in 1601/2, Abraham Sutcliffe and Thomas Whitley obtained from Thos. Mitchell and Agnes his wife a messuage with lands in Thornton-in-Bradforddale. The conveyance was reiterated at the Easter Term in 1610, when Abraham Sutcliff, John Whitley, William Stevenson and John Pearson obtained from Thomas Mitchell and Agnes his wife, John Mitchell and Matthew Mitchell, a messuage and lands in Thornton-in-Bradforddale."
"The last conveyance indicates that Thomas Mitchell had sons John and Matthew, who probably came of age between 1602 and 1610. Matthew, the younger of the two (to judge by the order in the conveyance), would have been born about 1585 - 90. This makes him exactly the right age to have been the Matthew Mitchell who married Susan (Wood) Butterfield in 1616. We cannot, however, say that this is our man, because Paver's Marriage Licenses give an entry for 1622, in which a Matthew Mitchell of Bradford married Susan Field of Bradford, in that town (Yorkshire Archaelogical Journal 16:9)"
"Although this does not establish a definite ancestry for Matthew Mitchell the emigrant, it is suggestive."The author continues by offering places and names to research for further insight and information.
On April 16, 1616or August 21, 1616 at Halifax, Yorkshire,Matthew Mitchell married Susan (Wood) Butterfield, daughter of Edmund Woodand his wife whose name is not known. Previously she had married Thomas Butterfield, in about 1611. Butterfield was known as "a man of most religious life blameless in the church."
Matthew migrated on the James,a 220 ton ship.His home had been in the West Riding region of Yorkshire.More than likely Edmund Wood's family were also on the James. Matthew Mitchell's wife is mentioned by name on Chapter XXII, page 457of the book "Chronicles of the Planters of Massachusetts Bay."Several bunches of emigrants who came to New England were from this locality, they sometimes traveled together, sometimes separately, but knew about each other's coming and going. The James sailed out of Bristol, England in 1635, specifically on June 4, 1635 (according to p. 452 of "Chronicles of the First Planters.)According to Chapter XXII entitled "Richard Mather's Journal," the travelers had left Warrington, Lancashire on April 16 of 1635 and arrived at Bristol (the port of their departure) on April 23, 1635. They found the ship was not ready for departure, with items not stowed, but lying in heaps around on the deck. This lack of readiness, along with bad weather and westerly winds delayed their departure until June 4, 1635. Although the wait was lengthy, they sailed off "with glad hearts that God had loosed us from our long stay wherein and we had been holden, with hope and trust that he [God] would graciously guide us to the end of our journey." The ship James carried one hundred passengers according to Governor Winthrop's journal.
Sailing for New England with the James, was the ship Angel Gabriel.Additionally sailing with them but bound for Newfoundland were three other ships: the Diligence, a 150 ton ship; the Mary, a small ship of 80 tons; and the Bess.They had many days of rough seas, people getting seasick, unable to stand or go on the deck because of the tossing and tumbling of the ship.
A prominent man voyaging on the ship James was Rev. Richard Mather who kept an interesting journal.The journal names three passengers who were leaders of the group, himself, Rev. Mawde, and Mr. Matthew Mitchell who is the object of this profile. It seems very likely that the Edmund Wood family and John Lum were also passengers. Edmund was Matthew Mitchell's brother-in-law and John was Wood's nephew.
Each Sabbath Day on their journey, Mr. Maud and Mr. Mather would take turns (one in the morning, one in the afternoon) doing what is called "exercised."The meaning of "we exercised" as in the sentence "On the Lord's day we exercised..." as recorded in the book Chronicles of the First Planters of ..." can be found in the Dictionary of the Apostolic Church by Hastings, Selbie, and Lambert printed in 1919, "...the earliest distinctive feature in the Christian observance of the Lord's Day, the other exercises of prayer, reading, etc."
Matthew duties on board had to do with overseeing water and food for the people and the animal cargo. Records reveal he and Mr. Mather approached the captain several times inquiring distance to land, as the amount of hay and water for the animals was running low. One occasion is recorded where the captain "sent Mathew Michel and me part, as good fish in eating as could be desired. (which I take to mean that they were complimented by the captain for the fish they provided.)
According to page 479 of the book "Chronicles of the First Planters," sailing west, the final sight of England for the voyagers and mariners was June 22nd 1635. The first sightings of land was August 8 - six weeks and five days on the sea. They landed in Boston in New England on August 17, a voyage that totaled twelve weeks and two days.
On December 30, 1635he bought a house from Michaell Bairstow
Regarding occupation, Matthew Mitchell was a merchant. He was made a freeman on April 6, 1642. He was sufficiently educated to be chosen as town clerk for Whethersfield. The following is a list of offices he held:
Cotton Mather wrote about some of Matthew Mitchell's tribulations in his book about Matthew's son, Rev. Jonathan Mitchell. In it, Mather states that the first winter after the families arrival at Charlestown, the Godly man (Matthew Mitchell) and his family had much sickness and the scarcity (I assume this means scarcity of provisions). After moving to Concord the following spring, his buildings burned down. When he lived In Wethersfield he lost additional possessions and they lived in fear of the Pequot Indians who tragically killed his son-in-law and also destroyed his cattle. His estate which by then was worth hundreds of pounds was severely diminished. In addition to this loss of life and possessions, he had a shallop (a 2 masted small open sail boat with oars that was used for coastal fishing) that was burned by the Pequots and three men in the vessel were killed. One of those killed was his son, Rev. Jonathan Mitchell who was "roasted alive." Another was his step-son Samuel Butterfield. Both he and the third man were "shot through the eye with an arrow."Additionally here at Weathersfield, he had conflicts with important people, namely Deacon ClementChaplin,>who had the General court censure Matthew Mitchell. He acknowledged his fault to the court and the censure was removedFrom these conflicts his esteem suffered greatly since he had previously been well known as a person who lived quietly and peaceably with all people. In Stamford his house and barn were tragically consumed by fire, along with his other earthly goods.
Matthew Mitchell was infected with the horrible disease called "the stone" which caused him great physical distress and debilitation. He died by May 19, 1646 which was the day his estate was inventoried. He was fifty-five years of age. There was no real estate and the largest item was in debts due to the estate. His will, which was proved on June 16, 1646, lists various sums of money to his children with the remainder of the estate left to his wife.
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