Edward Winslow, Sr. of Droitwich, Worcestershire, England was the father of Mayflower passenger Gov. Edward Winslow. Four of his other sons would also immigrate to New England. There is strong circumstantial evidence that he is the son Kenelm Winslow of Kempsey, Worcestershire and this is generally accepted. There is no evidence he was born on 17 October 1560 in Droitwich as is often said. There is also no known connection of Kenelm Winslow to Droitwich, so it is probable that Edward was born elsewhere, and most likely in Kempsey. The mother of Edward Winslow is uncertain and unproven despite a great deal of intense research.
The first record of Edward Winslow is his marriage to Magdalene Oliver in London in 1594. He soon moved to Droitwich, Worcestershire where his children were baptized beginning in 1595. He paid tax for land in Droitwich in 1598 and 1603. He became church warden for St. Peter's in Droitwich in 1600. He can be found in a number of suits beginning in 1601 where he is often referred to "gent." Edward Winslow owned an interest in the salt vats in Droitwich which were owned Robert Winter. He can be found in a number of deeds and records relating to the sale of salt broileries.
When he apprenticed his son Edward to John Beale as a printer in 1613, he was referred to as Edward Winslow of Clifton. The will of Thomas Harden dated 14 September 1620 referred to Edward Winslow, "sometime undersheriff" of Worcestershire. This will noted that Edward Winslow owed him an uncollectable debt of £30 sterling, but that he had fled to Ireland. In 1628, a Mr. Edward Winslow gent was listed among the inhabitants of Londonderry, Ireland. No record of death or a will has been found in Ireland.
Born: About 1570. The date is an estimate based on his marriage in 1594. Suggestions that he was born on 17 October 1560 is an error. He was most likely born in Kempsey, Worcestershire, England where most of his father's landholdings were.
Marriage and Children
Married: Magdalen Olyver on 4 Nov 1594 at St Bride's Church Fleetstreet in London, England. She was baptized on 4 Aug 1566 in Droitwich, Worcestershire, England.
1594 marriage record for Edward and Magdalen Olyver Winslow
Children of Edward Winslow Sr and Magdalen Olyver:
Edward Winslow ll (b. 18 Oct 1595, Droitwich, Worcestershire, England)
John Winslow (b. 16 Apr 1597, Droitwich, Worcestershire, England)
He is sometimes said to have died 8 May 1620 in Droitwich. There is no evidence to support this date. The will of Thomas Harden dated 14 September 1620 states that Edward Winslow owed him money but had fled to Ireland. There is a record of Mr. Edward Winslow gent living in Londonderry in 1628. This is taken as the last record known of Edward Winslow. No, will or record of his death has been found.
Parentage: Edward Winslow is presumed to be the son of Kenelm Winslow of Kempsey, though this is not proven by any primary record. There are no baptisms, wills, land records, court records or manorial records which prove a connection. The first connection is that Edward Winslow named a son Kenelm, presumably after his father Kenelm Winslow. It should be noted that while Kenelm seems an unusual name, it was not that unusual in Worcestershire in the 16th century. The next seeming connection is the fact that Gov. Edward Winslow named his estate in Massachusetts "Careswell" which suggests a connection to the Winslow family of Kerswell in the parish of Kempsey, Worcestershire.
Though several theories have been put forward, the identity of his mother remains unproven. She is not proven to be Katherine Bucke or Elizabeth Foliott (in fact, both of these identifications have been rejected). All the theories are attempting to explain how Gov. Edward Winslow was called "cousin" by both Sir Arthur Haselrige and his wife Dorothy Greville. Also, Herbert Pelham called Gov. Edward Winslow "cousin" in two letters sent to the governor. See the page of Kenelm Winslow for more details regarding the theories as to his wives.
Common Errors to Avoid
Incorrect birth date: It is often said that Edward Winslow Sr. was born on 17 October 1560 in Droitwich, Worcestershire, England. This is incorrect. This error first appears in Holton's Winslow Memorial and has been repeated many times elsewhere. It is not supported by any parish register entry nor any other documentary evidence. In fact, neither the Droitwhich parish registers nor any of the surrounding parishes go back as far as 1560.
Incorrect wife: It is often said that Edward Winslow Sr. married Eleanor Pelham, daughter of Herbert Pelham of Droitwich, and that he had a son Richard by her. This is incorrect. Edward Winslow did not marry Eleanor Pelham and he did not have a son Richard. This error first appears in Holton's Winslow Memorial and has been repeated many times elsewhere. There is no evidence of such a marriage or child. It should also be noted that his marriage in London was copied into the Droitwich parish records, along with both birth and baptism dates of children. It is not credible that someone with that attention to detail would not also copy a first marriage and offspring by it. This error may somehow be related to the fact that Josias Winslow, son of Gov. Edward Winslow, married Eleanor Pelham a daughter of Herbert Pelham.
Richard Winslow (b. abt 1585, Droitwich, Worcestershire, England)
Margaret Winslow (b. about 1589, Droitwich, Worcestershire, England) NOTE: There is no proof that Margaret, wife of Robert Hicks, was daughter of Edward Winslow. See either of their profiles for more explanation.
↑ "England Marriages, 1538–1973 ," index, FamilySearch (accessed 14 Nov 2014), Edw. Wynslowe and Magdelen, 03 Nov 1594; citing Saint Peter,Droitwich,Worcester,England, reference ; FHL microfilm 801595.
↑ "Clues to the Ancestry of Winslow of Droitwich" in The American Genealogist, 41:168-75, July 1965; cited in John G. Hunt, "The 'Mayflower' Winslows--Yeomen or Gentlemen?", Part 2, in NEHGR 122:175-178 (1968).
↑ John G. Hunt, "The 'Mayflower' Winslows--Yeomen or Gentlemen?", Part 1 in NEHGR 121:25-29 (1967), Part 2 in NEHGR 122:175-178 (1968), and Part 3 in NEHGR 124:182-83 (1970). There is insufficient evidence to support either claim, so no mother is shown on this profile.
↑ Fraad, Brandon. The Winslow Families of Worcestershire 1400-1700. (Boston: NEHGS, 2009): pages 8-10. Shows she could not have been Elizabeth Foliott.
The American Genealogist, vol. 41 (1965): pages 168-175. "Clues to the Ancestry of Winslow of Droitwich," by John G. Hunt. AmericanAncestors.org link.
The American Genealogist, vol. 42 (1966): pages 52-55. "Governor Edward Winslow's Mother's Family, the Olivers," by John G. Hunt. AmericanAncestors.org link.
The American Genealogist, vol. 42 (1966): pages 186-187. "A Note on the Winslow Births in England," by John G. Hunt. AmericanAncestors.org link.
Fraad, Brandon. The Winslow Families of Worcestershire 1400-1700. (Boston: NEHGS, 2009).
Holton, David-Parsons and Frances K.F. Holton. Winslow Memorial: Family Records of the Winslows, vol. 1 of 2. (New York, 1877). Google Books link. Note: This book contains many errors and should not be used.
New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. 21 no. 3 (July 1867): pages 209-211. "English Ancestry of the Winslow Family" by William S. Appleton. Archive.org link.