Myles Standish

Myles Standish (abt. 1584 - 1656)

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Captain Myles "Miles" Standish
Born about in Ellanbane, Lancashire, Englandmap [uncertain]
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married about 1611 (to 29 Jan 1621) in Englandmap
Husband of — married before 1627 in Plymouth Colonymap
Descendants descendants
Died in Duxbury, Plymouth Colonymap
Profile last modified 3 Apr 2019 | Created 20 Oct 2010
This page has been accessed 14,943 times.
The Mayflower.
Myles Standish was a passenger on the Mayflower.
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The Birth Date is a rough estimate. See the text for details.



Captain Myles Standish was the commander of the Plymouth Colony protective forces throughout his lifetime, having traveled to the colony upon the Mayflower.[1][2]

Uncertain Origin

Miles Standish's origin and parents are unknown.[3] Competing theories about his birth have him born in either Lancashire, England, or the Isle of Man.

Robert C. Anderson estimates his birth date about 1593, based on the date of his first marriage.[3] Caleb Johnson, Mayflower Historian, places his birth date closer to 1587, likely somewhere in Lancashire, England.[2]


Captain Myles Standish arrived in the New World upon Mayflower in 1620, hired as a military commander and defender of the Plymouth Colony.[1] He was joined by his wife Rose, who died shortly after their arrival. Known as Captain Shrimpe due to his diminutive stature[1]


Miles married twice.[2]

"Captain Standish his wife dyed in the first sickness and he maried againe, and hath 4 sones liveing, and some are dead" (Bradford's account)[4]

Disputed Wife and Other Family

The profiles for John Standish and Christian Lace have not been connected as parents (no evidence).

Myles' wife Rose's maiden name is not known. She may have come from the Isle of Man, and some have assumed her surname was " Allen."

Many Standish descendants believe Barbara was the sister of Rose Standish and probably brought his son Thomas Standish with her from England. Thomas Standish also could have been the child of an earlier marriage as little is known of Capt Myles' earlier life except that he was a professional military man who served in England and on the continent before being hired by the Plymouth Bay Company. However, there is no evidence of Myles having a son Thomas, and Thomas is not one of the children accepted by the Mayflower Society. in addition, there is no evidence of Barbara's last name. The profile for Thomas Standish has been disconnected as a son.


There is no evidence of Myles having surviving children from his marriage to Rose. Mayflower Families through Five Generations, Vol. 14. Myles Standish [5] lists seven children of Myles Standish:

  • Charles was born in 1624. He died between May 22, 1627 and 1635.[2]
  • Alexander was born about 1626.[2] He married (1) Sarah Alden by about 1660 and had eight children. She died before June 13, 1688. He married (2) Desire (Doty) (Sherman) Holmes by 1689 and had three children. He died on July 6, 1702. She died on January 22, 1731, in Marshfield.
  • John was born about 1627.[2] He died unmarried by 1650. There is no further record.
  • Myles was born about 1629.[2] He married Sarah Winslow on July 19, 1660, in Boston, but there were no recorded children. He died at sea after March 20, 1661.
  • Lora was born about 1631.[2] She died by March 7, 1655/6, unmarried.
  • Josias was born about 1633.[2] He married (1) Mary Dingley on December 19, 1654, in Marshfield. She died on July 1, 1655, in Duxbury. He married (2) Sarah Allen after 1655 and had eight children. He died in Preston, CT on March 19, 1690. She died after September 16, 1690.
  • Charles, died after 1656 probably unmarried.[2]

Captain Standish

Myles served in Queen Elizabeth I's army in Holland, and it was there that he met John Robinson and Pilgrims.[2] They hired him to head their military endeavors.[2] He was very involved in helping scout and choose the spot for the Plymouth Colony.[2]

Myles served the Plymouth Colony as commander and adviser of their military forces.[1] He was known for his preemptive style, which often caused skirmishes with the natives.[1] He was known for his courage and military skill, but also for some his more brutal tactics.[1] Though he worked to protect the Plymouth Colony most of his life, there is no evidence that he was ever part of the Puritan Church which founded the colony.[1]

Death and Legacy

Miles died on October 3, 1656, likely of kidney stones and after much suffering,[3] in Duxbury, Plymouth Colony.[2] He was buried at Chestnut Street at Pilgrim Byway, Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts[6]

Many towns and structures memorialize Standish, being named after him, and he is depicted in the the poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "The Courtship of Miles Standish."[1]


Myles Standish' y-DNA haplogroup has been identified as I-L38.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Wikipedia contributors, "Myles Standish," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed November 20, 2017).
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16, "Myles Standish" captured 21 Feb 2006.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Anderson, Robert Charles, (1995) "Miles Standish," Featured name. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III. NEHGS (Volumes I-III, Page 1741).
  4. The information concerning the deaths Standish's wife was been extracted from Thomas Prince's A Chronological History of New-England, in the Form of Annals (Boston, N.E., 1736; Edinburgh Private printing, 1887-1888), 5 vols. In volume 3, Prince lists at intervals extracts from "A Register of Governor Bradford's in his own hand, recording some of the first deaths, marriages and punishments at Plymouth." According to Robert Charles Anderson's The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633 (New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995), p. 1809, this register has subsequently been lost.
  5. Boston, Mass., General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 2007
  6. Benson, Morgan and Kit, (Jan 01, 2001) Find A Grave: Memorial #971 "Myles Standish - American Colonist." Find-A-Grave.
  • The Inventory of his estate is Here.
  • A transcript of Myles Standish's Will Here.
  • Dictionary of National Biography, Volumes 1-20, 22. Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2010.
  • Plymouth Colony Its History & People 1620-1691, Eugene Aubrey Stratton, FASG, E A Stratton was the former Historian General of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants
  • Prince, Thomas, A Chronological History of New-England in the form ... v. 1-5. (Boston, N. E., 1736)... Priv. print., 1887-88.
  • Torrey, Clarence Almon, "New England Marriages, Prior to 1700", Published by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Baltimore, MD Library of Congress Catalogue Card Number 84-81867 Copyright 1985, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, MA, Page 700.
  • Warner, Russell L. (edited by Wakefield, Robert S, FASG), Mayflower Families through Five Generations, Vol. 14. Myles Standish, Boston, Mass., General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 2007
  • Washington State Branch of the "Mayflower Society," Biography of Myles Standish.
  • Woodworth-Barnes, Esther Littleford and Williams, Alicia Crane, Mayflower Families through Five Generations, Vol 16 Part 1 of 3, John Alden, Boston, Mass.: General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 2002
  • Nickname: Made in America by Bill Bryson referring to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow by Wagenecht p 105.
  • "Treaty with The Wampanoag ~ March 22/April 1, 1621 & September 13, 1621"
  • Mayflower 2020: Myles Standish c.1593-1656
  • Winsor, Justin. Abstracts of the Earliest Wills in the Probate Office, Plymouth, The New England Historical & Genealogical Register (NEHGS, Boston, Mass., 1851) Vol. 5, Page 335-8: Will and Inventory.

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Images: 3
Myles Standish
Myles Standish

The Embarkation of the Pilgrims
The Embarkation of the Pilgrims

Myles Standish Monument
Myles Standish Monument


On 23 Mar 2018 at 00:41 GMT Frank Leach wrote:

Rose Standish might have her maiden name here:

Name: Rose Standish [Rose Handley] Birth Date: 1580 Volume: 166 Page Number: 302 Reference: McCutcheon (Cutcheon) fam. Recds. And allied fams. By Flor. (McCutcheon) McKee. Grand Rapids, 1931. (316, 46p.):316 Gen. Column of the " Boston Transcript". 1906-1941.( The greatest single source of material for gen. Data for the N.E. area and for the period 1600-1800. Completely indexed in the Index.): 25 Jul 1923, 819; 1 Aug1923, 827; 12 Aug 1925, 3287

On 16 Nov 2017 at 18:42 GMT Abby (Brown) Glann wrote:

Hey Profile Managers and Trusted List Members!

We're featuring Myles as our Example Profile of the Week next week. If any of you want to make some tweaks, add something to his bio, or maybe a few more inline citations, we'd appreciate it. It looks to be in pretty good shape right now, but it's always nice when these profiles really shine.

Thanks! Abby

On 29 Aug 2016 at 05:02 GMT Anonymous (Holland) Carroll wrote:

Source: "New England, The Great Migration and The Great Migration Begins, 1620-2635" Vol. 3, P-W. Image 430, p. 1939

Thank you,  :-)

On 29 Sep 2015 at 00:28 GMT Chantay Cassaday wrote:

Standish-1040 and Standish-112 appear to represent the same person because: The lineage of Myles Standish to my generation was provided by a relative. I have added all of the lineage to my profile.

On 22 Jun 2015 at 18:44 GMT Marty Ormond wrote:

It is with sadness and great respect that I note the passing of Mary Ray on Sunday June 21 2015 in Danvers MA.

Mary was a truly warm enthusiastic intellectual lady who contributed so much to my Ray & Ormond family. Mary was my personal inspiration and guide in almost all of my genealogy and family research. I will mention one of her finest historic collaborations. Mary was a great researcher & historian of Gloucester MA, and surrounding Cape Ann sites. With the Archives Committee, She authored and published in 2002, "Gloucester Massachusetts, Historical Timeline, 1000-1999". This written heritage is detailed record from first settlers 1623. So many sources are compiled here, & inconsistencies are pointed out. but it has source material just as written in over 4400 entries. Marty

On 5 Feb 2015 at 07:32 GMT Jim McCullough wrote:

Added Footnote & Source for the Find-A-Grave page Bio.

Consolidated repeated Source references.

Began clean up of imported Sources to cite original artifacts versus imported Ancestry references.

Deleted a few extra line feeds on the Profile page.

Will continue to improve Source reference citations.


On 4 Feb 2015 at 14:08 GMT Jim McCullough wrote:

Clarence Almon Torrey's New England Marriages Prior to 1700 is the seminal compendium on seventeenth-century New Englanders. Superceding, depite its form, Savage's Genealogical Dictionary, summarizing 100 years of scholarship, listing probably 99% of the married population of the eight decades it covers, Torrey's opus also leads us, with or without its magnificent bibliography, to much of the best modern work in American genealogy as a whole. For any seventeeth-century research -- on immigrant origins, the first several generations here, or New England migrations south -- and for much eighteenth--century delving as well, the volume in hand is indispensable. Long-time users of Torrey's manuscript at NEHGS and readers of the microfilm elsewhere cannot imagine high-quality results without continual reference to this work. Neither, too, I predict, will genealogists who consult this classic edition in book form.

Gary Boyd Roberts

On 4 Feb 2015 at 14:08 GMT Jim McCullough wrote:

Per a 12 page introduction piece on this work of Torrey, Gary Boyd Roberts states that "?" indicated uncertainty. Also, it appears the "b" in the line for "Rose" likely means married "b"efore... The following is the last paragraph of Roberts introduction:

On 4 Feb 2015 at 14:04 GMT Jim McCullough wrote:

Provided as a potential source for discussions and considerations of Standish family marriages in general, and specifically as an additional reference on the marriages of this Myles Standish.

Per "New England Marriages, Prior to 1700", by Clarence Almon Torrey Published by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Baltimore, MD Library of Congress Catalogue Card Number 84-81867 Copyright 1985, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, MA Page 700

Two entries of Marriage for this Myles Standish:

"STANDISH, Myles (1584-1656) & 1/wf Rose __?__ (-1621); b 1620; Plymouth"

"STANDISH, Myles (1584-1656) & 2/wf Barbara [ALLEN]? (-1659+); betw Jul 1623 & 3 Apr 1624; Plymouth/Duxbury"

On 1 Feb 2015 at 09:15 GMT Jim McCullough wrote:


Sent: Saturday, January 31, 2015 10:10 PM To: Subject: Re: Findagrave - Short Bio for Myles Standish


You have my permission to add the biography to WikiTree, provided it is offered free of any charges to others. If others have to pay to join WikiTree, then permission is not granted. You may add the biography to your personal Family Tree collection for free since you are related to Miles Standish.


Morgan Benson

In a message dated 1/6/2015 10:34:02 P.M. Alaskan Standard Time, writes: Hello Kit and Morgan Benson,

My name is James Albert “Jim” McCullough, a member of Find A Grave (Find A Grave #48314903), and I’m also a user member of both, and of I’m a descendent of Miles Standish and perhaps needless to say I was very impressed with the subject Bio you’ve written.

I’m writing to ask if it would be OK with you if your biography for Miles Standish (Find A Grave Memorial# 971) were to be posted on, specifically on Miles Standish’s Profile page (

I would ensure credit is included per your instructions, i.e. : "© Morgan and Kit Benson on Find A Grave".

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Myles is 15 degrees from Tanya Lowry, 9 degrees from Charles Tiffany and 12 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.