Everyone thinks ‘Pilgrim’ and they only think “the Mayflower ship” and “Plymouth Rock”. However, many immigrants who followed the pilgrim religious practices came to the New World in the early 1600s who never went to Plymouth or the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The ‘Mayflower’ pilgrims left Plymouth, England on Sept. 6, 1620 and arrived Nov. 11, 1620. Yet one of the earliest pilgrim arrivals was on the ship ‘Concord’ which left Falmouth, England on March 26, 1602 and arrived May 15, 1602 along the coast between where Plymouth and Maine would later be. This 1602 group had 32 passengers and it was Captain Gabriel who named Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard.
Through the work of Anne Stevens, she has compiled ‘ Pilgrim Ship Lists‘ with the ship manifests for 250 ships and over 7,100 families who did come to the New World between 1602 and 1638. Yet, those are not all of the ships that made the voyage, many of the manifests have not been found to date.
You can scan in date order the ships and dates she does have information on. Some of the early arrivals went to Jamestown and the Virginia coastline. Here you see the list by dates, starting with 1602. However, you can search by ship names. Just click on the center tab. There is also a complete passenger list on the right side.
The alphabetic listing is how you start with surnames. For example you will find five people with the surname “Stevens” who came in different times during 1635 on four different ships. Click then on the ship’s names to gather more details. Most manifests have the captain’s name, where they left port, where they are going, each passenger’s full name and their age. Keep in mind many of the surnames and given names could be spelled different decades later after their arrival.
If you locate a relative on one of the ships, look over the other names of people who traveled on that vessel. Many times the single fellows and ladies matched up to later marry each other.
A great deal of work went into transcribing and putting this database together by Anne Stevens. Also added are the sources she used which could be of additional help to a researcher.
Illustration: Ship arrival at Jamestown, Virginia settlement.< Return To Blog