Mary Chilton arrived in Plymouth on the Mayflower in 1620, accompanying her mother and father James Chilton. Mary’s father died while the Mayflower was anchored in Provincetown Harbor. Her mother died shortly thereafter. For more information on Mary Chilton’s parents, including information on their English and Dutch background, read the biography of James Chilton.
A Chilton family tradition, first recorded in 1744, has the 12-year-old Mary Chilton as the first woman ashore at Plymouth. There is no contemporary recording of the event, but there are also no competing claims. Mary Chilton’s landing on Plymouth Rock has been celebrated in story and in art. The Landing of the Pilgrims, painted in 1877 by Henry Bacon and showing Mary Chilton landing on Plymouth Rock, is on exhibit at Pilgrim Hall Museum (click here to view that painting).
Mary Chilton married John Winslow, a passenger on the Fortune (arrival in 1621). John Winslow’s brothers Edward and Gilbert had been passengers on the Mayflower. John Winslow was born in 1597. John Winslow and Mary Chilton were married sometime before 1627.
John and Mary Winslow had 10 children : John, Susanna, Mary, Edward, Sarah, Samuel, Joseph, Isaac, an unnamed child who died young, and Benjamin.
The youngest of these, Benjamin, is the only child whose birth is listed in the Plymouth Colony Records :
"1653. Plymouth Regester of the Beirth of theire Children… Beniamine, the sonne of Mr John Winslow, born the 12th day of August."
Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. 8, p. 15.
Sometime after the birth of Benjamin, John and Mary Chilton Winslow moved to Boston. The place of their first residence is not known. On the 16th of June, 1671, John and Mary Chilton Winslow transferred their church membership from Plymouth to the Third Church in Boston (Third Church is now called the Old South Church; the present Old South Meeting House was built about 50 years after Mary Chilton’s death).
On the 19th of September, 1671, John Winslow bought, for the sum of L500 in New England silver money, "the Mansion or dwelling-house of the Late Antipas Voice with the gardens wood-yard and Backside as it is scituate lying and being in Boston aforesaid as it is nowe fenced in And is fronting & Facing to the Lane going to mr John Jolliffes." The house, on today’s Spring Lane, no longer exists.
John Winslow died in 1674.
Click here for additional biographical information on John Winslow.
Click here for John Winslow’s last will and testament and an inventory of his estate taken at the time of his death in 1674.
Mary Chilton Winslow died in 1679.
Click here for Mary Chilton Winslow’s last will and testament, and an inventory of her estate taken at the time of her death in 1679.
The Winslows may be buried in the old Winslow Tomb in King’s Chapel Burying Ground, Boston
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