Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Winthrop Fleet : featured library resource for December 2013

Due to the generosity of member and library volunteer Judy Needham, we have added to the library collection The Winthrop Fleet : Massachusetts Bay Colony immigrants to New England 1629-30.

Published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society in May 2012 as part of the Great Migration Study Project, this volume deals with the English immigrants who arrived in 1630 in a large group of ships under the leadership of John Winthrop, and sponsored by the Massachusetts Bay Company.  In addition, immigrants who in 1629 were sent ahead of the main body of ships, such as servants and artisans, are included.  But only those associated with the Massachusetts Bay Colony are covered in this volume, not other English immigrants in 1629-30.

The Winthrop migration of 1629-30 represented a huge increase in New England immigrants, which had been uniformly low in the years following the Mayflower Pilgrims' arrival in 1620.  A few hundred souls came in 1629, followed by the small armada of 1630 with about a thousand people.  Passenger lists did not survive, and as far as I can see, women are acknowledged in these sketches only under their husbands' names.  But the sketches are very thorough, representing a huge amount of work and checking of a large number of sources.

The biographical sketches cover at the least the following:

  • origin, 
  • first and later residences in New England, 
  • occupation, 
  • education, 
  • estate (land and probate records), 
  • birth, 
  • death,
  • marriage(s) and children, 
  • plus comments which are often extensive.

We hope that you will stop by the library to read about your ancestors in this volume if they arrived in the Winthrop migration.

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