William White

William White (1587 - 1621)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
William White
Born in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of [half], [half], [half], [half], [half], , and
Husband of — married about 1614 [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Plymouth Colonymap
Profile last modified 14 Oct 2019 | Created 14 Sep 2010 | Last significant change: 14 Oct 2019
16:23: Joe Cochoit edited the Status Indicators for William White (1587-1621). [Thank Joe for this]
This page has been accessed 16,542 times.
The Mayflower.
William White was a passenger on the Mayflower.
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General Society of Mayflower Descendants has announced the discovery and published the ancestry of Mayflower passenger William White in 2017. All sources before this date are likely to be incorrect. [1] [2]



Name and Origins

Name: William White
Son of Edward White and Thomasine Cross
English Origins
The origins of Mayflower passenger WIlliam White have recently been discovered and published in 2017. This article from The American Genealogist supersedes and replaces all previous work and speculation regarding his birth, parents and marriage. [1] [2]
The origins of William White have long been sought and discussed in the genealogical literature. Noted Mayflower historian Caleb Johnson has recently shown that he was William White, son of Edward White and Thomasine Cross, baptized in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. Because of the numerous previous articles and books which have been written about William White, care must be taken not to rely on out-of-date information. Specifically:
The identification was made based on the discovery of his baptism, and the numerous family connections of this White family with other members of the puritan community in Amsterdam. He was the half-brother of Henry May who was the father of Dorothy May, wife of Governor William Bradford. He witnessed the marriage of his half-sister Jacomine May in 1609 in Amsterdam. This William White also had a first cousin named Peregrin, a very distinctive name which he gave to his own child, Peregrine White.


Baptized: 25 January 1586/7 in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England. [1] He was the son of Edward White and Thomasine Cross.

Marriage and Children

Married: Susanna Jackson about 1614 (estimate based on the birth of first child). They traveled on the Mayflower with their son Resolved. Their second son Peregrine was born while the Mayflower was offshore (before disembarking). William died the first winter. She was the daughter of Richard Jackson and Mary Pettinger.
She married 2nd Edward Winslow on 12 May 1621 at Plymouth (the first marriage at Plymouth) by whom she had five children.
Children of William White and Susanna Jackson: [1] [2]
  1. Resolved White. Born about 1615 (deposed aged 59 in 1674 and aged 63 in 1678).
  2. Peregrine White. Born 4 December 1620 ("Whilst some were employed in this discovery [of a good harbor], it pleased God that Mistress White was brought abed of a son, which was called Peregrine" (Mourt, 31).
Children of Edward Winslow and Susanna Jackson:
  1. Unnamed child who died young.
  2. Edward Winslow.
  3. John Winslow.
  4. Josiah Winslow.
  5. Elizabeth Winslow.


Died: 21 February 1620/1 at Plymouth Colony, New England. [1] [2] [3]
William White was among those who died during the first winter in New England.
Most likely he was buried on Coles Hill, Plymouth in an unmarked grave as was the custom at that time - so the Indians could not tell that the Pilgrim ranks had become so decimated. William White's name appears on the Pilgrim Memorial Tomb located on Coles Hill. (The Tomb contains only a small sampling of unknown remains found in the Plymouth vicinity long ago but are not identified as those of any Pilgrims. [4]


The May and the White families, both from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, arrived in the Netherlands around 1608. The marriage of Gov. William Bradford to Dorothy May in 1613 states that she was 16 years old and that she had been living there for about 5 years. Henry May the Elder stated in 1627 that he had been living in Amsterdam for about 15 years. In June 1608, "Willem Wit" was granted permission to reside within the city, and in August 1608 "Hendrick May" also received permission. In 1611, William White purchased a house in the "new city" of Amsterdam.
William White was a member of Henry Ainsworth's congregation of Separatists in Amsterdam. His half-brother, Henry May was a leading elder of this congregation.
Mayflower Passenger
Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor
by William Halsall, 1882.
After a couple of false starts the Mayflower left Plymouth, England on 6 September 1620 for what was originally planned to be a journey to Virginia. Onboard were 102 passengers, including this William White. The historic voyage took 66 days, and on 9 November 1620, the Mayflower arrived at Cape Cod (well off-course). A decision was made, however, to remain at Cape Cod for safety rather than attempt to sail south to the area they were supposed to settle by the terms of their patent.
Signing the Mayflower Compact 1620,
by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, 1899.
Immediately upon arrival some dissension broke out among the colonists. Since they were not settling in the area specified by their patent, some colonists felt they were no longer bound by the laws of England and the terms of the patent. An agreement was drawn up to help establish law, government and social order. The Mayflower Compact was signed while the Mayflower was anchored at Cape Cod (Provincetown Harbor) on 11 November 1620. It was signed by all free adult males and some, but not all, of the servants. William White was the eleventh male to sign.
Plymouth Colony
In his list of those who came in the Mayflower Bradford includes "Mr. William White and Susanna his wife and one son called Resolved, and one born a-shipboard called Peregrine, and two servants named William Holbeck and Edward Thompson" (Bradford, 442). In his accounting of 1651 Bradford tells us that "Mr. White and his two servants died soon after their landing. His wife married with Mr. Winslow, as is before noted. His two sons are married and Resolved hath five children, Peregrine two, all living. So their increase are seven" (Bradford, 445).
After their arrival in America, the Pilgrims spent the first month exploring and eventually settled on an area for their new colony which they would name Plymouth. However, because of the winter conditions, the new colonists only managed to build one building in the first winter. Most of the colony continued to live aboard the Mayflower for months after their arrival.
The harsh conditions with disease, inadequate shelter, and scarce resources led to a very high death rate during the first year. Forty-five of the 102 passengers died the first winter, including William White and both of his servants, William Holbeck and Edward Tompson. Three other Mayflower passengers died on the same day as William White.
In the 1623 Plymouth division of land William White received five acres as a passenger on the Mayflower (even though he had been dead for two years) (Plymouth Court Records, 12:4]. In the 1627 Plymouth division of cattle Resolved White and Peregrine White were the tenth and eleventh persons in the third company (Plymouth Court Records, 12:10).

Common Errors to Avoid

Origin Forgery: The supposed bible of William White has been mentioned in a G2G thread and on the page of his wife. This bible was 'discovered' in the 1890s and published in various forms over the next decade. [5] [6] It has long since been proved a forgery, and should not be referred to in any discussion regarding William and Susanna White. [7] [8] [9]
Incorrect parents: John White and Eleanor Smith are often listed as William White's parents. This is incorrect.
Incorrect parents: : Robert M. and Ruth W. Sherman have suggested that William White may have been a nephew of Alexander and Eleanor White of Sturton-le-Steeple in Nottinghamshire, England. Bishop John White of Barham, Suffolk, did not mention a son William in his will, nor any son "who left his country and his church" (Mayflower Quarterly, 41:16-18). This is now shown to have been wrong.
LNAB of wife: His wife has recently been identified as Susanna Jackson, daughter of Richard and Mary (Pettinger) Jackson. She was not Susanna Fuller as was long speculated. Please her page for further details.
Because of the different theories and controversy about William White and his wife(s), we now have two profiles for William White, one married to Susanna Unknown and one William White married to Anna (Ann or En) Fuller, sister of Samuel Fuller, these profiles are not to be merged ! see this G2G where all is discussed and see : Ancestry of Susanna aka Anna (Fuller) White wife of (Pilgrim) William White By James R Hancock March 03, 2003 and see 'The Case Against Susanna Fuller',by Joe Cochoit


Mayflower Profile Checklist (Temporary)

The Mayflower project will be updating this profile. We encourage you to help where you can. Would you like to join your Mayflower Family team? Contact Anne B

Use the check list to evaluate each profile. As tasks are completed, mark them done. When the whole list is complete, leave a comment on the profile stating it's checked. '''=== Mayflower Project Checklist Completed ===''' will be added to profiles after the Sources section and before Acknowledgements.

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Data section

  • Data Correct? birth date and place, parents, marriage date and place, death date and place. Pay close attention to before, after, estimate, exact. Do they agree with what's in the bio?
    • If no children, check the box. If no more children/siblings, check the box.
    • There is on the marriage page a place to click no spouse.
  • Check the appropriate certainty and confidence buttons and no middle name if appropriate (it usually will be before 1700).

Biography Section

  • Good Bio?
    • Are there sentences with clear sources for the data points?
    • Does the bio agree with the data points?
    • If a marriage is mentioned in the bio is it also in the Data section?
    • Inline citations? Help page Inline Citations. If still confused ask.
  • Good Sources? There are plenty of primary sources for passengers and children and good secondary sources. Ancestry trees, Millenium file, Yates Pub., Find a grave indexes, Find a Grave without stones are not acceptable.
  • Children list (sourced)? Each profile of a person who had children should have a list of those children at the end, (with some identifying fact). One secondary source for the list is fine. Their profiles will have better sourcing.
    • Are the children attached the ones on the list? Do the facts agree?



Footnotes and citations:
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 The American Genealogist, vol. 89 no. 2 (April 2017): 81-94.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The American Genealogist, vol. 89 no. 3 (July 2017): 168-188.
  3. Source: The Plymouth Colony Archive Project Mayflower passenger deaths 1620-1621
  4. William White Society
  5. White, Thomas and Samuel White. Ancestral chronological record of the William White family from 1607 to 1608-1895. (Concord, 1895).
  6. The Connecticut Magazine, vol. V no. 3 (March 1899):147-158. An Historic Bible, by Josephine Baker. Archive.org LINK
  7. Bowman, George Ernest ed. Pilgrim Notes and Queries, vol. 1. (1913): 1-3. The So-called William White Bible, by George Ernest Bowman.
  8. Website: Tales from the Vault: Our Mayflower Bible, by John B. Thomas III (2001, accessed July 2016)
  • The American Genealogist Whole No. 355 Vol. 89 No. 3 July 2017 p. 180
Source list:
  • The American Genealogist, vol. 89 no. 2 (April 2017):81-94. The English Origin and Kinship of Mayflower Passengers William1 White and Dorothy1 (May) Bradford of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, by Caleb Johnson, Sue Allen, and Simon Neal.
  • The American Genealogist, vol. 89 no. 3 (July 2017):168-188. The English Origin and Kinship of Mayflower Passengers William1 White and Dorothy1 (May) Bradford of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire (cont.), by Caleb Johnson, Sue Allen, and Simon Neal.
  • The American Genealogist Whole Number 356 October 2017 Vol. 89 No. 4 "The origin of Mayflower passenger Susanna (Jackson) (White) Winslow" p. 241-264.
  • Anderson, Robert Charles, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, vol. III, P-W. (Boston: NEHGS, 1995):1980-1981, biography of William White. American Ancestors.org LINK
  • Caleb Johnson's MayflowerHistory.com Website. Biography of William White.
  • Wakefield, Robert S. ed. Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Volume 13: Family of William White. (Plymouth, 2006): 1-5.
See also:

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On 9 Dec 2018 at 03:06 GMT Randy Seaver wrote:

Thank you for updating this profile. Very well done. And thank you to the authors and researchers. It would be interesting to hear how they reasoned this out and drew conclusions.

On 9 Dec 2018 at 02:20 GMT Anne B wrote:

Ellen the wife/mother on this profile is Susannah Jackson, The wife/mother on White-35288 in Ann Fuller. Which couple does John belong to.?

On 9 Dec 2018 at 01:26 GMT Ellen Smith wrote:

Unconnected profile White-35288 is supposedly a child of William White and Susannah Fuller who died young in Leiden.

On 17 Jan 2018 at 14:44 GMT Becky (Nally) Syphers wrote:

Anyone who is listed as manager may remove his or her self. We have too many managers for this profile.

On 5 Sep 2017 at 19:57 GMT Bea (Timmerman) Wijma wrote:


I seperated Ann(a) Fuller now from this William White, I wanted to create a new William White Profile for Anna as requested in the G2G about the controversy, but there already was one, and he was attached to a duplicate Susanna Unknown + there also was again a duplicate of Edward Winslow, she was attached to..

Merged the Duplicate Susanna Unknowns now and will work on things to make sure it all is correct again and as requested in this G2G

On 11 Jul 2016 at 09:39 GMT Bea (Timmerman) Wijma wrote:


We now have two profiles for the Susanna's one Susanna Unknown and one Susanna Fuller, they both are now 'married' (connected as wifes) to the same husbands.

Susanna Fuller is still connected to the according many wrong parents, but solved this by adding the unverified parents template with some explaining .

If we keep them all attached like they are now, we can at least merge possible duplicates and there's no need for anyone to create again new parents or duplicates for any of these profiles .

Hope it's ok this way, because it seems to be the only solution here .

Greets from the Netherlands Bea

On 21 Feb 2016 at 04:07 GMT Bea (Timmerman) Wijma wrote:

HI Jillaine,

Have you seen and read the marriage record of Samuel Fuller already ?

I am looking at this Mayflower History.com Because this is what seems to be the only reason for this confusion ?

1. Samuel Lee , there is nothing about William White present at any event after the Mayflower left see: records Samuel Lee Leiden archive and see the record from april 1621 No William White was present here at all, so leaves only this : And since Sarah Priest had witnessed the will of William White in 1612, wouldn't it be reasonable to assume it was the same William White who witnessed her own marriage to Godbert Godbertson in Leiden in October 1621 ? So I will try if I can find that marriage as well , since it is mentioned William was present there as well ?? Maybe someone was confusing this : Thybault, Willem Cornelisz. for William White ?

Ok sorry Jillaine missed the different G2G's , but added it here now G2G Who was the wife of William White and Edward Winslow

On 12 Feb 2016 at 22:53 GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

Bea, read g2g post associated with wife Susannah. The William White who married Ann Fuller in Leiden was NOT the Mayflower man. The 1612 marriage information on this page refers to a different William White, wool comber, who was still in Leiden a year after the Mayflower landed in Plymouth. It needs to be removed from this profile.

On 6 Jan 2016 at 11:33 GMT Bea (Timmerman) Wijma wrote:

Hi I just found this, maybe this makes more clear what I am trying to say here as well :

Conclusion from this:

  • 1. Anna can also be Susanna. (The record says he married En Foller
  • 2. An Ann Fuller m. a William White (with a Samuel Fuller was an acquaintance).
  • 3. Samuel Fuller had a sister who was m. to a William White, by the time Samuel married.
  • 4. Various other interactions among those people in Holland.

On 6 Jan 2016 at 10:59 GMT Bea (Timmerman) Wijma wrote:

I know there was done a lot of research for them already, but it is all quite confusing now , this source says this Susanna Fuller and her husband were passengers of the Mayflower, there was just one William White with his wife Susanna White at the passenger list ?

William White is mentioned as brother in law of Samuel Fuller in a different record and I am still searching for the mentioned second William White from England, but did not find him yet. So is it ok to look for more sources or ?

I'm trying to find the son Resolved as well and as you can see the records are not that easy to read so it might take a while to find him, if there is a record of the baptism at this archive that is of course...

more comments

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