During the summer of 1630, John Winthrop led 11 vessels with between 700 – 1000 Puritans from England to New England. This effort was known as the Winthrop Fleet and details some of the earliest English settlers in the New World.
The fleet included a large group of Puritan families, with a variety of skills, skilled labor, and family groups, to ensure a healthy and robust colony. The fleet itself was funded by the Massachusetts Bay Colony. These records, originally published in 1930, describe the background, the experience and the motivation for the fleet, as well as listing many of the participants by name with genealogical details.
The amount of information listed varies, but the text may contain the following information about your ancestor:
Place of origin
Place of residence
Originally published in 1930, this material was cultivated by Charles Edward Banks. It is important to remember that many genealogical resources were not widely available and the compiler made many assumptions and errors. Researchers are encouraged to review the compiled corrections found in “The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633” volumes I-III, by Robert Charles Anderson, 1995, New England Historic Genealogical Society.
Who were these travellers?
During this period, there were, generally speaking, four types of emigrants: 1. Those who paid for their own passage;
Those in a certain profession, art, or trade, who received remuneration by way of money or land;
Those who paid part of their passage and were committed to labor for the remainder; typically, at the rate of 3 shillings per day after arrival;
Lastly, indentured servants who committed to usually 7 years of unpaid labor in exchange for the cost of the passage and the hope of freedom and land upon completion of the indenture.