Edward Winslow is well known as a passenger on the Mayflower and one of the early leaders of the Plymouth Colony. He served three times as governor of the colony and was an assistant governor on numerous occasions. He was fervent defender of the colonies in New England and made several trips back to England to defend the colonies from opponents and to obtain much needed support. He also wrote a number of publications in defense of the colonies which greatly help our understanding of the settlement of the new world.
He was married twice, first to Elizabeth Barker and then to Susanna Jackson. His second marriage was the first in the newly established colony. He had five known children by his second wife, but only one son and one daughter survived to leave descendants.
In 1655, he was the chief of the three English commissioners whom Cromwell sent on his expedition against the West Indies to advise with its leaders Admiral Venables and Admiral William Penn, but died near Jamaica (Anderson says near Hispaniola) on the 8th of May 1655, aged 59y, 6m, 18d, and was buried at sea.
Baptized: 20 October 1595 at the parish of St. Peter's in Droitwich, Worcestershire, England.
He was the son of Edward Winslow and Magdalen Oliver.
Marriages and Children
Married:1st - Elizabeth Barker shortly after 12 May 1618 when their third marriage banns were published in Leiden, Holland. She was recently shown to be the daughter of Samuel Barker of Chattisham, Suffolk, England. She died testate on 24 Mar 1621 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony. They had no children.
Married:2nd - Susannah Jackson on 12 May 1621 in Plymouth Colony. She was the widow of Mayflower passenger William White, and a daughter of Richard Jackson. She was last known living on 18 December 1654 when named in the will of her husband.
Children of Edward Winslow and Susannah Jackson:
Edward Winslow. Born about 1624. He was living in 1627, but no further record.
John Winslow. Born about 1626. He was living in 1627, but no further record.
Josiah Winslow. Born after 22 May 1627 (not in cattle division). He married by 1658 Penelope Pelham, dau of Herbert Pelham; in his will of 1 Jan 1672/3 Herbert Pelham makes bequests to "my daughter Penelope Winslow" and "my son Josias Winslow."
Elizabeth Winslow. Born about 1631; She married 1st about 1656 Robert Brooks; married 2nd George Curwin on 22 Sep 1669 in Salem.
Died: 8 May 1655 at sea of a fever on a voyage from Hispaniola to Jamaica. He was buried at sea.
"Edward Winslowe of London, Esquire, being now bound in a voyage to sea in service of the commonwealth...
to Josiah my only son [the entire estate] he allowing to my wife a full third part thereof for her life...
to the poor of the Church of Plymuth in New England...
to the poor of Marshfield where the chiefest of my estate lies...
my linent which I carry with me to sea to my daughter Elizabeth...
residue to my son Josias, he giving to each of my brothers a suit of apparell...
son Josias my executor...
my four friends Dr. Edmond Wilson, Mr. John Arthur, Mr. Jmes Shirley, Mr. Richard Floyd overseers for the rest of my personal estate in England...
English origins and connections
Edward Winslow was baptized in Droitwich, Worcestershire, England. He was the oldest son of Edward Winslow and Magdalene Oliver. Four of his brothers would also immigrate to New England. His brother Gilbert was also a Mayflower passenger. John Winslow arrived the next year on the Fortune in 1621. His brothers Kenelm and Josiah did not arrive until 1631. Margaret, wife of Robert Hicks, is sometimes said to be a sister of these brothers; there is no evidence that this is true and is not accepted.
He attended the King's School of Worcester Cathedral from April 1606 until April 1611. He was subsequently apprenticed to "John Beale, citizen and stationer, for the term of eight years," on 19 August 1613, but left his master in 1617. Shortly thereafter he removed to Leiden and joined the separatist congregation there.
At the time of his marriage in 1618, he was called a printer from London, England. It has been speculated that he assisted William Brewster and Thomas Brewer in their publishing of religious books.
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 Edward Winslow. 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. Edward Winslow was the third male to sign.
- Governor of Plymouth Colony. Elected three times on 1 January 1632/3, 5 January 1635/6 and 5 June 1644.
- Assistant Governor of Plymouth Colony. In 1634, 1635, 1637, 1638, 1641, 1642, 1643, 1645, 1647, 1648 and 1650.
-Bradford, William, 1588-1657; Winslow, Edward, 1595-1655; Dexter, Henry Martyn, 1821-1890, ed. Mourt's Relation or Journal of the Plantation at Plymouth. (London, 1622; Boston, 1865). Archive.org link
- Edward Winslow and Howard Miller Chapin ed. Hypocrisie Unmasked; A True Relation of the Proceedings of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts against Samuel Gorton of Rhode Island (1646; reprint Providence, 1916). Archive.org link
- New England's Salamander Discovered. (1647).
- He also wrote the introduction to the Glorious Progress of the Gospel Amongst the Indians in New England. (1649).
A possible royal line
A royal line to Edward III was proposed by John Hunt in 1965; however, this is not completely proven and is not accepted.
The most recent and definitive study of the Winslow family is:
Fraad, Brandon. The Winslow Families of Worcestershire 1400-1700. (Boston: NEHGS, 2009).
The focus of this book is in researching and correcting errors in the ancestry of Edward Winslow.
Index doop-, trouw- en begraafregister | Leiden | Trouwen Gerecht B. juli 1611 - april 1633.Eduwaert Winsloo, 27-04-1618
Marriage Eduwaert Winsloo and Elysabeth Berkar Leiden: 27-04-1618
Marriage date + place
naam bruidegom + beroep
Eduwaert Winsloo - printer
name groom +Occupation
Place of birth
Chatsum in Engelant
Place of birth
Jonathan Willemsz Brewster,Ysaack Alanton
bekenden - acquaintances
Janneken Phesels, Maria Allerton
1= nicht -niece, 2=bekende-acquaintance
198 - B - 075
Remarks: Tammel (= Pilgrim researcher and archivist) : maiden name second witness -meisjesnaam 2e getuige bruid: Norris. Last name first witness groom added by researcher- Achternaam eerste getuige bruidegom toegevoegd door onderzoeker. Last name niece bride doubtful-Achternaam nicht bruid dubieus.
↑New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. 173 no. 1 (Winter 2019): pages 8-25. "The will of Mayflower Passenger Elizabeth (Barker) Winslow."
↑The American Genealogist, vol. 89 no. 4 (October 2017): pages 241-264. The Origin of Mayflower Passenger Susanna1 (Jackson) (White) Winslow, by Caleb Johnson, Sue Allen and Simon Neal.
↑ In a letter dated 30 October 1623, Edward Winslow stated "my wife hath had one child by me, but it pleased him that gave it to take it again unto himself."
↑ Caleb Johnson's MayflowerHistory.com website. Biography of Edward Winslow.
↑The American Genealogist, vol. 41 (1965): pages 168-175. "Clues to the Ancestry of Winslow of Droitwich."
The American Genealogist, vol. 41 (1965): pages 168-175. "Clues to the Ancestry of Winslow of Droitwich," by John G. Hunt. American Ancestors.org link.
The American Genealogist, vol. 42 (1966): pages 52-55. "Governor Edward Winslow's Mother's Family, the Olivers," by John G. Hunt. American Ancestors.org link.
The American Genealogist, vol. 89 no. 4 (October 2017): pages 241-264. The Origin of Mayflower Passenger Susanna1 (Jackson) (White) Winslow, by Caleb Johnson, Sue Allen and Simon Neal.
Anderson, Robert Charles, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, vol. 3: P - W, (Boston: NEHGS, 1995): pages 2023-2025. American Ancestors.org link.
Caleb Johnson's MayflowerHistory.com website. Biography of Edward Winslow.
Fraad, Brandon. The Winslow Families of Worcestershire 1400-1700. (Boston: NEHGS, 2009).
The Mayflower Descendant, vol. 22 (1920): pages 66-67. "Mayflower Marriage Records at Leyden and Amsterdam: Edward Winslow's First Marriage," by George Ernest Bowman. AmericanAncestors.org link.
New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. 4 no. 4 (October 1850): pages 297-303. "Genealogical Memoir of the Descendants of Edward Winslow, Governor of Plymouth Colony," by Lemuel Shattuck. Archive.org link.
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.
New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. 173 no. 1 (Winter 2019): pages 5-17. "Mayflower Passenger Elizabeth (Barker) Winslow," by Sue Allan, Caleb Johnson and Simon Neal.
New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. 173 no. 1 (Winter 2019): pages 8-25. "The will of Mayflower Passenger Elizabeth (Barker) Winslow," by Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs.
Moore, Jacob Bailey. Lives of the Governors of New Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay. (Boston: C. D. Strong, 1851): pages 93-138.
2020 AmericanAncestors website: The Pilgrim Migration. Biography of William Winslow.
Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation (Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856) p. 447 Mr Edward Winslow; Elizabeth, his wife; & 2. men servants, caled Georg Sowle and Elias Story; also a litle girle was put to him, caled Ellen, the sister of Richard More." p. 451 "Mr. Ed: Winslow his wife dyed the first winter; and he maried with the widow of Mr. White, and hath 2. children living by her marigable, besids sundry that are dead. One of his servants dyed, as also the litle girle, soone after the ships arivall. But his man, Georg Sowle, is still living, and hath 8. childrē.
Bradford, William, 1590-1657. Of Plimoth Plantation: manuscript, 1630-1650. State Library of Massachusetts "List of Mayflower Passengers." In Bradford's Hand.