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Mayflower Roots in New Jersey
In honor of the 400th Anniversary of the Pilgrim Landing in Plymouth


Migration of Pilgrim Descendants

Though the Pilgrims landed on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, many of their descendants relocated to other colonies within the first three generations. Popular areas of pilgrim settlements included areas within Massachusetts, Connecticut, Long Island, Maine and New Jersey, among others. This exhibit focuses on the Mayflower pilgrims who are noted by the New Jersey Society of Mayflower Descendants as settling in New Jersey: Edward Doty, John & Elizabeth Howland, Francis Cooke, and William & Susanna White.

The Mayflower Compact, 1620

The Mayflower Compact was signed by the 41 English colonists on the ship Mayflower on November 11, 1620.

It was the first written framework of government establishing self-rule in what is now the United States.

The Compact was drafted to prevent dissent amongst Puritans and non-separatist Pilgrims who had landed at Plymouth a few days earlier.




Pilgrim Edward Doty – Piscataway (Middlesex County)


Spelling of the Doty named had many variants. Doty, Doten, Dotey and Doughty are only a few.

Edward was born ca. 1599 and was from London when he came as a servant of Stephen Hopkins, also from London. He married twice though the name of his first wife is unknown. He married his second wife Faith Clark in 1635. Doty was known for his quick temper and was the primary cause of numerous civil disturbances recorded against him during his life. One of the first recorded was in June 1621 when he was in a sword and dagger fight with fellow Hopkins servant Edward Leister, where both were lightly wounded and sentenced to public punishment. When he died his estate was valued at 137 pounds of which 60 pounds was real estate. Edward Doty died in Plymouth on August 23, 1655. He and Faith had nine children.

Famous Descendants of Edward Doty: President Calvin Coolidge, the Otis Family (Revolutionary War patriots of Boston), Mercy Otis Warren (a Revolutionary War propagandist), and Eliphalet Remington (the inventor of the Remington Rifle).


Pilgrims John Howland & Elizabeth Tilley – Cape May (Cape May County)


John Howland was born ca. 1592 in Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, England and came on the Mayflower as a servant of Governor John Carver. During his service to Carver, he assisted in the making of the treaty with Massasoit of the Wampanoag. 

Howland almost died during the voyage when he fell overboard during a storm. Luckily grabbing a rope he was pulled to safely. John Howland married Elizabeth Tilley, another Mayflower passenger, and they had 10 children and more than 80 grandchildren. He is acknowledged by many as the most prolific of the Mayflower passengers. 

He held a number of offices in the colony including Plymouth Colony Assistant and Deputy to the General Court to which he was elected in 1641. In 1634 he was in charge of the fur trading post at Kennebec which is now part of Maine. Howland and his family moved from Plymouth to Duxbury and then to Kingston, MA, where they had a farm. His will shows that at his death he was a property holder and man of means in the colony. John Howland died at Plymouth on February 23, 1672/73.

Famous Descendants of John Howland: President George H. Bush and sons President George W. & Jeb, actors the Baldwin brothers, poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, noted pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock.


Pilgrim Francis Cooke – Morristown (Morris County)

Francis Cooke, whose birth origins are still unknown, was born about 1583, probably in England. He married Hester le Mahieu, a French Walloon, on July 20, 1603, in Leiden, Holland. Francis Cooke was a wool-comber. He arrived on the Mayflower with his son John. However, his wife and the rest of his children came later in 1623 on the ship Anne. Francis lived a long life in Plymouth and died at the age of about 80 at Plymouth on April 7, 1663. He was survived by his wife Hester.

Famous Descendants of Francis Cooke: William Cullen Bryant (poet and newspaper editor), Louis Comfort Tiffany (stained glass artist and designer), President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Orson Welles (actor and director); actors Henry, Peter and Jane Fonda; Pete Seeger (folk singer and social acitivist), and Julia Child (chef).



Pilgrims William White & Susanna Jackson – Hanover (Morris County) [possibly Greenwich Township in Warren County]

William White was baptized on January 25, 1586/87 at Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England, son of Edward and Thomasine (Cross) (May) White. William married Susanna Jackson about 1614 at Amsterdam, Holland. They had two sons Resolved and Peregrine White. Peregrine was born during the end of November 1620 after the pilgrim’s arrival and anchorage off Provincetown Harbor, on board the Mayflower. He was the first child born at Plymouth. William White died on February 21,1620/21 at Plymouth during the first winter.

Famous Descendants of William White: Humphrey Bogart (actor), Grace Slick (singer), George Hamilton (actor), Mark David Chapman (notorious killer of The Beatles' John Lennon), and James Taylor (singer).



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