Nielsen Hayden genealogy

William Bradford, Governor of the Plymouth Colony

Male 1590 - 1657  (67 years)


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  • Name William Bradford  [1, 2, 3, 4
    Suffix Governor of the Plymouth Colony 
    Born 19 Mar 1590  Austerfield, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6, 7
    Gender Male 
    Baptised 19 Mar 1590  St. Helen's, Austerfield, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6, 8, 9
    Died 9 May 1657  Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6, 7
    Buried Burial Hill, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachussets Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6
    Person ID I19976  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of BJS, Ancestors of JTS, Ancestor of TWK, Ancestor of LDN
    Last Modified 2 Feb 2019 

    Father William Bradford,   d. Bef 15 Jul 1591, Austerfield, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Alice Hanson,   b. Bef 8 Dec 1562, Austerfield, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 23 May 1597, Austerfield, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age < 34 years) 
    Married 21 Jun 1584  Austerfield, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Family ID F12344  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Alice Carpenter,   b. Abt 1590,   d. 26 Mar 1670, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 80 years) 
    Married 14 Aug 1623  Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6, 7, 10, 11
    Children 
    +1. William Bradford,   b. 17 Jun 1624, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Feb 1704, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years)
    Last Modified 19 Jan 2019 
    Family ID F12338  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • From Wikipedia:

      William Bradford was an English Separatist originally from the West Riding of Yorkshire. He moved to Leiden in Holland in order to escape persecution from King James I of England, and then emigrated to the Plymouth Colony on the Mayflower in 1620. He was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact and went on to serve as Governor of the Plymouth Colony intermittently for about 30 years between 1621 and 1657. His journal Of Plymouth Plantation covered the years from 1620 to 1657 in Plymouth. [...]

      William Bradford's most well-known work by far is Of Plymouth Plantation. It is a detailed history in journal form about the founding of the Plymouth Colony and the lives of the colonists from 1621 to 1646. Bradford's journal is described as a retrospective account of his recollections and observations. The first work was written in 1630; the second was never finished, but "between 1646 and 1650, he brought the account of the colony's struggles and achievements through the year 1646." As Walter P. Wenska states, "Bradford writes most of his history out of his nostalgia, long after the decline of Pilgrim fervor and commitment had become apparent. Both the early annals which express his confidence in the Pilgrim mission and the later annals, some of which reveal his dismay and disappointment, were written at about the same time." In Of Plymouth Plantation, Bradford drew deep parallels between everyday life and the events of the Bible. As Philip Gould writes, "Bradford hoped to demonstrate the workings of divine providence for the edification of future generations."

      In 1888, Charles F. Richardson referred to Bradford as a "forerunner of literature" and "a story-teller of considerable power." Moses Coit Tyler called him "the father of American history." Many American authors have cited his work in their writings; for example, Cotton Mather referred to it in Magnalia Christi Americana and Thomas Prince referred to it in A Chronological History of New-England in the Form of Annals. Even today it is considered a valuable piece of American literature, included in anthologies and studied in literature and history classes. It has been called an American classic and the pre-eminent work of art in seventeenth-century New England.

      The Of Plymouth Plantation manuscript disappeared by 1780, "presumably stolen by a British soldier during the British occupation of Boston"; it reappeared in Fulham, London, England. Philip Gould states, "In 1855, scholars intrigued by references to Bradford in two books on the history of the Episcopal Church in America (both located in England) located the manuscript in the bishop of London's library at Lambeth Palace." A long debate ensued as to the rightful home for the manuscript. Multiple attempts by United States Senator George Frisbie Hoar and others to have it returned proved futile at first. According to Francis B. Dedmond, "after a stay of well over a century at Fulham and years of effort to [e]ffect its release, the manuscript was returned to Massachusetts" on May 26, 1897.

  • Sources 
    1. [S1737] Biographical Dictionary of Massachusetts: Biographies and Autobiographies of the Leading Men in the State, Volume 5, by Samuel Atkins Eliot. Boston: Massachusetts Biographical Society, 1914.

    2. [S1545] Memoir of the Life and Character of Mrs. Mary Anna Boardman, by John Frederick Schroeder. New Haven, 1849.

    3. [S975] Clifford L. Stott, "Humphrey Blake (1494?-1558) and His Descendants in New England and South Carolina: Blake, Richards, Selleck, Torrey, and Wolcott." The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 163:85, April 2009; 163:199, July 2009; 163:278, October 2009; 164:63, January 2010.

    4. [S3044] Genealogical Notes, or, Contributions to the Family History of Some of the First Settlers of Connecticut and Massachusetts by Nathaniel Goodwin. Hartford: F. A. Brown, 1856.

    5. [S1738] Lineage from Gov. William Bradford down to Sybil Chapin, by Howard Hurtig Metcalfe.

    6. [S1739] Mayflower Increasings: From the Files of George Ernest Bowman at the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, by Susan E. Roser. 2nd edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1995.

    7. [S1647] The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony 1620-1633, by Robert Charles Anderson. Boston: New York Historic Genealogical Society, 2004.

    8. [S1861] William Bradford Browne, "Ancestry of the Bradfords of Austerfield, County York: Records Extending the Ancestral Line of Gov. William Bradford." The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 83:439, October 1929; 84:5, January 1930.

    9. [S1862] George Ernest Bowman, "The Record of Governor Bradford's Baptism, on the Parish Register at Austerfield." Mayflower Descendant 7:65, April 1905.

    10. [S1545] Memoir of the Life and Character of Mrs. Mary Anna Boardman, by John Frederick Schroeder. New Haven, 1849., date only.

    11. [S145] Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700, by Frederick Lewis Weis and Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr. 8th edition, William R. Beall & Kaleen E. Beall, eds. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2004, 2006, 2008.