William White, "Mayflower" Passenger

How are you related to William White, "Mayflower" Passenger?

Connect to the World Family Tree to find out

William White, "Mayflower" Passenger's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

William White, "Mayflower" Passenger

Also Known As: "Pilgrim William White", "William", "Mayflower Compact", "White"
Birthplace: Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England
Death: February 21, 1621
Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts (Died soon after arrival in Plymouth)
Place of Burial: Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Edward White and Thomasine White
Husband of Susanna (Jackson) Winslow, "Mayflower" Passenger
Father of Resolved White, "Mayflower" Passenger and Peregrine White, "Mayflower" Passenger
Brother of Robert White; Thomasine White and Martha White
Half brother of Henry May, of Wisbech; Jacomine May; Barbara May; John May, Il, of Wisbech; Mary May and 1 other

Occupation: Mayflower passenger, 11th signer of The Mayflower Compact, Laborer
Label: Mayflower Passenger
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William White, "Mayflower" Passenger

William White

  • BAPTIZED 25 January 1586/7 at Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England
  • DEATH: 21 February 1620/1 at Plymouth.
  • PARENTS: Edward White and Thomasine Cross, widow of John May
  • MARRIAGE: Susanna Jackson, about 1614, probably in Amsterdam, daughter of Richard and Mary (Pettinger) Jackson. She married Edward Winslow 2nd.
  • CHILDREN: Resolved (married 1) Judith 2) Abigail) and Peregrine (married Sarah Bassett)

'New information from Mayflower Society at September 2017 Convention. If in doubt, contact the Pilgrim William White Society's Governor, or the Mayflower Society


William White (died the winter of 1620/1621) was a Mayflower Pilgrim, born between 1580 and 1591, and who died during the winter of 1620-1621 in Plymouth Colony.
William and his wife Susanna came on the Mayflower in 1620 with son Resolved; Susanna gave birth to son Peregrine while the Mayflower was still anchored off the top of Cape Cod waiting for the Pilgrims to discover a place to build their colony. William died the first winter, on the same day as three other passengers, including William Mullins. His wife Susanna remarried to Edward Winslow a few months later, being the first marriage to occur at Plymouth.


His only known marriage was to Susanna Jackson (1594-1680), probably in Amsterdam about 1614. Susanna's second marriage was to Gov. Edward Winslow.

Children of William White and Susanna:

  • i. Resolved White was born in England, about 1615. He died sometime after September 19, 1687. He and his first wife Judith were buried in Winslow Cemetery, Marshfield. He had married 2ndly to Abigail, widow of William Lord.
  • ii. Peregrine White was born aboard the ship Mayflower late in November 1620 and died in Marshfield on July 20, 1704. He married Sarah Bassett, daughter of William Bassett, by March 6, 1648/9 and had seven children. She died in Marshfield on January 22, 1711.[26]

disputed origins

From http://mayflowerhistory.com/white-william/ Updated Sept 2017

The origins of William White in England were just discovered in 2017 in a collaborative research project by Caleb Johnson, Sue Allan, and Simon Neal William White was baptized on 25 January 1586/7 at Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England, the son of Edward and Thomasine (Cross)(May) White His mother, Thomasine, was married to John May, and was therefore was also the grandmother to Mayflower passenger Dorothy May.
William's mother Thomasine was buried on 10 November 1591 at Wisbech His father Edward died about 1594 when he was seven, and he went to live with his maternal grandmother Jacomine and her second husband Thomas Robinson Thomas Robinson died in 1595, so widow Jacomine raised her grandchildren William (and sister Martha) White Martha died and was buried at the age of 19 in 1608, and (turning 21 that year) William headed off with his half-siblings Henry and Jacomine May to Amsterdam (he was given permission to reside in Amsterdam in June 1608), where they joined the church congregation of Henry Ainsworth William White witnessed the marriage of his half-sister Jacomine to Amsterdam printer Jan l'Ecluse on 5 May 1609.
More will be forthcoming through http://americangenealogist.com/tag-89-2-leads-off-with-new-mayflowe...

"William White and his niece Dorothy (May) Bradford, passengers on the Mayflower, lead off the new issue of TAG. Caleb Johnson announced the discovery of their origin and kinship last night in a riveting presentation to the triennial Congress of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. Today, [September 12, 2017] TAG 89.2, leading with the first part of the article detailing this research, has formally gone to press and will mail to subscribers in about three weeks."


Birth seen as "10 Nov 1591 in Leiden, Holland"

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_White_(Mayflower_passenger)_

Note: "For many years genealogists have assumed that Pilgrim William White spent his early married years in Holland, marrying at Leiden in 1612 and burying children there in 1615 and 1616. A critical examination of Leiden sources casts heavy doubt on this assumption."

William White is a difficult individual to research, and much as been mispublished about him. There is a marriage record in Leiden, Holland, which records the marriage of a William White to Anna Fuller on 27 January 1612; the marriage was witnessed by Sarah Priest and Anna's brother Samuel Fuller. For many years this was thought to have been the Mayflower passenger, Susanna and Anna being reasonable variants of the same name.

This has been a heavily-debated issue: was this the marriage of the Mayflower passenger, or not? There are at least two William White's living in Leiden during the appropriate time period, one was a woolcomber, and one was a tobacco merchant. The William White who married Anna Fuller was called a woolcomber in the 1612 marriage record, which was witnessed by Sarah Priest. On 10 April 1621, well after the Mayflower had departed, William White woolcomber was a party to the antenumptual agreement of Samuel Lee in Leiden. Thus, William White, woolcomber, could not have been the Mayflower passenger. 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? The Mayflower passenger was also not the tobacco merchant, who appears in numerous Leiden records throughout the 1620s. So there was either a third William White in Leiden, or else the William White of the Mayflower may have joined onto the Mayflower's voyage from England.


  • 1. [S55] Plymouth Colony Its History & People 1620-1691, Eugene Aubrey Stratton, (Ancestry Publishing, Salt Lake City, Utah 1 _MEDI Book).
  • 2. [S286] "The Truth About the Pilgrims", Francis R. Stoddard, (New York, NY: Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1952 (Reprinted for Clearfield Company, Inc. by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1992, 1993, 1995)).
  • 3. [S254] "MAYFLOWER Web Pages", Caleb Johnson, (, 1995-2000).
  • 4. [S255] "The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633", Robert Charles Anderson, (Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995).
  • TAG 89.2 link to purchase

Additional notes

William White was a passenger on the Mayflower that arrived at Massachusetts in 1620. See Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Volume Thirteen, Third Edition, published by General Society of Mayflower Descendants 2006. Page 5 of that publication suggested that he was probably born in England where he probably married Susanna (marriage date and maiden name not given).

The following entry appears in the town records of Leyden, Holland (translated from the Dutch) :

"William White, wool comber, unmarried man from England, accompanied by William Jepson and Samuel Fuller, his acquaintances, with Ann Fuller, single woman also from England, accompanied by Rosamond Jepson and Sarah Priest, her acquaintenances. They were married before Jasper van Bauchern and William Cornelison Tybault, sheriffs, this eleventh day of February, 1612."

The marriage ceremony was performed by their beloved minister, John Robison. Although the bride's name is given here as Ann, she is referred to as Susanna in later years.

William and Susanna and their 6 year old son, Resolved, left Delft Haven on 7/22/1620 with part of what was to become the Mayflower company on the ship "Speedwell." The 60 ton ship was to make for Southampton, England to await the "Mayflower."

[One Branch of the White Family by Charles H. White]

Excerpts from One Branch of the White Family by Charles H. White :

On a map of England displayed in Pilgrim Hall, William White is shown as having come from Suffolk which is southeast of Scrooby Manor (Elder Brewster's home) where the Pilgrims worshipped before fleeing to Holland. In Leyden records, he is referred to as "William White of London."

It is widely written that he was the son of Bishop John White of London, however, this is still open to doubt amongst many researchers.

William apparently was not a member of the Scrooby company in England as he joined them in 1608 in Amsterdam. He moved with the company to Leyden, Holland in 1609.

His coat of arms bore the motto "Sit Justus Etne Tineas." It is described as He beareth gules, a chevron between three boar's heads couped argent armed or. Crest, out of a mural coronet gules a boar's head argent.

He solved his problem of earning a living in a foreign country by learning the trade of a wool comber or carder.

William came to America with wife Suzanna and son Resolved, on the Mayflower, along with servants, William Holbeck and Edward Thompson (per Bradford's History]. He was apparently a young man of substance as he was addressed as Master or Mr. - "those addressed as such were relatively the aristocrats of the company -- in general those with the means to bring indentured servants."

He, along with Carver, Bradford, Brewster and Winslow (all but Carver were educated men of the times), "drew up on the lid of Elder Brewster's chest an instrument of individual liberty as a right which has influenced the destiny of man ever since." On November 11, 1620/1 each man was asked to sign the Compact. William White was the sixth signer of the Mayflower Compact.

William, at age 29, was unfortunately one of the unlucky group who died in Plymouth during the first hard winter after landing. A monument stone was raised on the hill overlooking the harbor (" Burial Hill ") in Plymouth, MA commemorating the 104 passengers who died that year and were buried at the site. Individual graves were not laid out at the time as the Pilgrims did not want the neighboring Indians to know how much their numbers had been thinned by disease. "Those that died were secretly buried at night on Cole's Hill, above Plymouth Rock, levelling off the graves and planting them over with corn to hide their great and growing losses from the Indians."

The monument has the following inscriptions :

"The bones of the Pilgrims found at various times in and near this inclosure [sic] and preserved for many years in the canopy over the Rock were returned at the time of the tercentenary celebration and are deposited within this monument." -- north face

"This monument marks the first burying ground in Plymouth of the passengers of the Mayflower" -- west face

"Of the One Hundred & Four Passengers, These Died in Plymouth the first year" -- followed by the names of the 104 -- east face

William's servants died early on also - William Holbeck in 1621 and Edward Thompson in 1620.

Relics of the Pilgrims are housed in Pilgrim Hall in Plymouth. William's cabinet (brought over on the Mayflower), his cane, and his brass candle stick are displayed there. Also Peregrine's cradle and an ancient deed signed by Resolved are displayed.

Died soon after arrival in Plymouth

Arrived in Plymouth on The MAYFLOWER- Died First Winter Febuary 21-1621- Wife Later Re-Married Edward Winslow Of The MAYFLOWER!

See Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Volume Thirteen, Third Edition, William White, copyright 2006, General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 4 Winslow Street, Plymouth, MA 02360.

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.

William White left Plymouth, England on September 16, 1620 with wife Susanna, son Resolved, and two servants on the ship "Mayflower". He was a signer of the Mayflower compact on 11 Nov in Provincetown Harbor near Cape Cod. He arrived in America in what is now Provincetown, MA November 21, 1620. His son Peregrine was born in a cabin on the Mayflower while docked in the harbor. Sadly, he and his two servants ,William Holbeck & Edward Thompson died soon after.


Resolved b. 1615 m. Judith Vassall

Peregrine b. Dec 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" m. Mar 1648/9 Sarah Bassett.

  • Maternal 7th great-grandparents

~"mr William White, and Susana his wife; and one sone caled resolved, and one borne a ship-bord caled perigriene; and 2 servants, named William Holbeck and Edward Thomas". From the journal of Govenor William Bradford-c1630~

"mr White, and his 2 servants dyed soone after their landing. His wife maried with mr. Ed Winslow. His 2 sons are maried and resolved hath 5 children; peritrine tow, all living. So their increase are 7." Written by William Bradford, 30 years later.~

~A sarcophagus was erected in 1920 by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants at Cole's Hill in Plymouth, MA. The sarcophagus contains bones of pilgrims found at different times nearby. The area was used in 1620-1621 as a burial ground for pilgrims.

"The Monument marks the First Burying Ground in Plymouth of the passengers of the Mayflower. Here under cover of darkness the fast dwindling company laid their dead, leveling the earth above them lest the Indians should know how many were the graves." ~Partial inscription~

view all 24

William White, "Mayflower" Passenger's Timeline

January 25, 1587
Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England
January 25, 1587
Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England, United Kingdom

BAPTIZED 25 January 1586/7 at Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England
PARENTS: Edward White and Thomasine Cross, widow of John May

September 9, 1615
Leiden, Zuid-Holland, Nederland (Netherlands)

Resolved White

in the Family Data Collection - Births
Name: Resolved White
Father: William White
Mother: Susanna Fuller
Birth Date: 15 Sep 1614
City: Leiden
County: Zuid Holland
Country: Netherlands
Source Information
Edmund West, comp.. Family Data Collection - Births [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2001.
The Family Data Collection - Births database was created while gathering genealogical data for use in the study of human genetics and disease. Learn more...
© 2016, Ancestry.com