Let it snow!

Painting of Pilgrims walking through snow to attend church by George Henry BoughtonAn occasional project I have worked on is compiling a list of “near- Mayflower” families. These are families who were not on the 1620 voyage themselves, but most or all of whose present-day descendants share Mayflower ancestry. There are easy cases at the first or second generation like Robert Cushman (whose only surviving child Thomas married passenger Mary Allerton), Thomas Little (who married Ann Warren, daughter of passenger Richard Warren), and my ancestor Christian Penn (spouse of passengers Francis Eaton and Francis Billington). Others are more complicated.

My serial article in the Mayflower Descendant on the Orcutt family of Scituate, Bridgewater, and Weymouth, Massachusetts has shown that of William and Martha (Lane) Orcutt’s 47 grandchildren born between 1693 and 1727, two were themselves descendants of Francis Cooke, and 8 other grandchildren married descendants of the Chilton, Cooke, or Priest families. The number of Mayflower marriages increases further in the next two generations.

Philip Delano, who arrived on the Fortune in 1621, boasts the only non-Mayflower genealogy published by the Mayflower Society . Through that series, the number of intermarriages is numerous. Philip had nine children, resulting in 52 grandchildren, 33 of whom were of Mayflower descent (Alden, Soule, Mullins, Standish, and Warren). Of Philip’s 213 great-grandchildren in the next generation, 170 were of Mayflower descent (adding Brewster, Doty, and Samson), many of them in multiple ways. It is possible to be a Delano descendant and have no Mayflower ancestry, but it is less likely.

Now for the Snow family. There were three Snow immigrants to Plymouth Colony, and each of these men had wives of Mayflower descent. Nicholas Snow of Plymouth and Eastham, who arrived on the Anne in 1623, married passenger Constance Hopkins (daughter of passenger Stephen), and their descendants are quite numerous. Anthony Snow of Plymouth and Marshfield arrived by 1637 and married Abigail Warren, daughter of passenger Richard Warren . The last was William Snow of Plymouth and Bridgewater, who was here by 1638 and married Rebecca Brown, daughter of passenger Peter Brown .

Whether any of these three “Snow men” were related to one another is unclear. The origins of Anthony and William are unknown, and Nicholas Snow could be the same individual as a Nicholas Snow baptized at Leonard Shoreditch, Middlesex, 25 January 1599/1600, son of Nicholas and Elizabeth (Rowlles) Snow.[1] Peter Brown, Stephen Hopkins, and Richard Warren all survived the first winter in Plymouth, and within thirty-five years the three men all had sons-in-law with the same wintry surname.



[1] Clarence Almon Torrey, “ Nicholas1 Snow’s Mother ,” The American Genealogist, 14 (1938): 229.

About Christopher C. Child

Chris Child has worked for various departments at NEHGS since 1997 and became a full-time employee in July 2003. He has been a member of NEHGS since the age of eleven. He has written several articles in American Ancestors, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, and The Mayflower Descendant. He is the co-editor of The Ancestry of Catherine Middleton (NEHGS, 2011), co-author of The Descendants of Judge John Lowell of Newburyport, Massachusetts (Newbury Street Press, 2011) and Ancestors and Descendants of George Rufus and Alice Nelson Pratt (Newbury Street Press, 2013), and author of The Nelson Family of Rowley, Massachusetts (Newbury Street Press, 2014). Chris holds a B.A. in history from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.

18 thoughts on “Let it snow!

    1. She is certainly up there! She had two sons by each husband (her daughter by Bradford had no children), and obviously all of her Bradford descendants are Mayflower Descendants. Her son Thomas Southworth’s only child Elizabeth married Joseph Howland, son of John and Elizabeth (Tilley) Howland. For her son Constant Southworth, he had eight children, five of whom had spouses of Mayflower descent (3 Alden, 1 Warren, 1 Chilton).

      So Alice had 27 grandchildren (18 Bradfords and 9 Southworths), so descendants of 24 out 27 were of Mayflower descent. Of the 3 grandchildren that were not, there are Mayflower marriages at each of the next few generations, but there still are some descendants of Alice (Carpenter) (Southworth) Bradford without any Mayflower lineage.

  1. As Cooke and Hopkins are two of my eight Mayflower ancestors, I was naturally attracted to the title of this piece. And glad to see the reference on Philip Delano, one of whose descendants is Thomas Delano Whistler. His father was half brother of James McNeil Whistler. The intertwining of Mayflower families through a number of generations is fascinating as are the connections otherwise. Soon I will be looking into the Huguenots – Wonderful way to learn history.

  2. Orcutt, to Alcott is not much of a leap? On transcriptions, frequently, Orcutt, follows Oldhams. The families you refer to are important, and research often rewarding.

  3. Elizabeth Walker? She wasn’t on the voyage but came soon thereafter–and all her children were Mayflower descendants!

      1. No. Arthur Howland married the widow Margaret Walker. See Robert S. Wakefield and Robert M. Sherman, “Arthur Howland of Plymouth, Mass., 1640, his wife Margaret (_____) Wlaker, and their children,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly, 71 (1983): 84-93.

  4. Susan
    Like you I’m researching my Huguenots.
    Many assimilated quickly as middle class artisans eg silver smiths and either Anglicized their surnames eg paul revere or we falsely assume their surname is English eg my Blanchard and Dominique now Dominick Huguenots from NYC. Also it was quite common for Huguenots to migrate to the Episcopal church which historically attracted the many wealthy or aspiring families.
    Some early meccas for Huguenots:Nyc, Oxford Ma, Newport RI, east Greenwich RI, Charlestown SC.
    Any other Huguenot researchers, feel free to email me

    Dan hazard

  5. Mary Warren, daughter of Mayflower passenger Richard Warren, married Robert Bartlett who came on the Anne. I am descended from five of Mary and Robert’s children, with many Mayflower descendants marrying into the family.

  6. Chris, I am a descendant of Henry Cobb, 1607-1679, also one of the earliest arrivals to the Plymouth (Scituate) area about 1632. When I saw the title of your piece today, I immediately thought of one of the most helpful publications for me: “Friends of the Pilgrims” Vol I, “Early Descendants of Henry Cobb of Barnstable, Massachusetts” 2007, by well-regarded genealogist Susan Roser. This series was self-published, I believe, at Stewart Publishing, Milton, Onatario. (Ms Roser has also published numerous Mayflower reference books.)

    1. Hi Judy! Yes, Susan Roser has published a number of useful books on Plymouth families and specifically on the Cobb and Cole families. We recently published two articles in Mayflower Descendant on the English origins of the Cole and Collier families (Daniel and Job Cole married Collier sisters. Other Collier sisters married Love Brewster and Constant Southworth)



      1. So many on the “Fortune” and “Ann” are my ancestors, at least 15. A few not mentioned yet: Edward Bangs, Thomas Prence, Roger Conant, George Morton and Thomas Blossom on the second Mayflower.

  7. Would you consider those who arrived on the Fortune as “near”? If so I am a descendant of William Hilton who spent a short amount of time in Plymouth Colony. An Anglican baptism of one his children appears to have influenced his removal to Maine. What an interesting project you are undertaking.

  8. Interesting article. I also descend from a “Near Mayflower family” named Pope. Thomas Pope married 1st Ann Falwell and 2nd Sarah Jenney. Betweeen them they had 8 children who married into families with Mayflower lines in the next generation. I descend from 3 of their children; Hanna Pope Bartlett, Susanna Pope Mitchell and Isaac Pope.

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