Plymouth Colony

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''[[United States|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Massachusetts]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]'' '''Plymouth Colony'''  
 
''[[United States|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Massachusetts]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]'' '''Plymouth Colony'''  
  
'''Plymouth Colony''' was a 17th Century [[United Kingdom|British]] settlement and political unit on the east coast of North America. It was established in 1620; it became part of the [[Dominion of New England]] in 1686; in 1691 Plymouth and the [[Massachusetts Bay Colony]] were combined. Plymouth Colony included parts of [[New England|New England]], centered around [[Plymouth County, Massachusetts|Plymouth]], [[Barnstable County, Massachusetts|Barnstable]], and [[Bristol County, Massachusetts|Bristol]] counties in Massachusetts. The Colony included parts of present-day [[Massachusetts]], [[Rhode Island|Rhode Island]], [[Connecticut]], and [[Maine]]. She claimed land north to [[Nova Scotia]], south to [[Pennsylvania]], and west to the {{wpd|Pacific Ocean}}.<ref>Kmusser, "Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1620-1691 Province of Massachusetts Bay 1691-1775" (map) in ''Wikimedia Commons'' at {{Commons|File:Masscolony.png}} (accessed 15 July 2012).</ref> Her modern successor is now the Commonwealth of [[Massachusetts]], one of the fifty [[United States|United States]].  
+
'''Plymouth Colony''' was a 17th Century [[United Kingdom|British]] settlement and political unit on the east coast of North America. It was established in 1620; it became part of the [[Dominion of New England]] in 1686; in 1691 Plymouth and the [[Massachusetts Bay Colony]] were combined. Plymouth Colony included parts of [[New England|New England]], centered around [[Plymouth County, Massachusetts|Plymouth]], [[Barnstable County, Massachusetts|Barnstable]], and [[Bristol County, Massachusetts|Bristol]] counties in Massachusetts. The Colony included parts of present-day [[Massachusetts]], [[Rhode Island|Rhode Island]], [[Connecticut]], and [[Maine]]. She claimed land north to [[Nova Scotia]], south to [[Pennsylvania]], and west to the {{wpd|Pacific Ocean}}.<ref name="map">Kmusser, "Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1620-1691 Province of Massachusetts Bay 1691-1775" (map) in ''Wikimedia Commons'' at {{Commons|File:Masscolony.png}} (accessed 15 July 2012).</ref> Her modern successor is now the Commonwealth of [[Massachusetts]], one of the fifty [[United States|United States]].  
  
 
'''Legacy.''' Plymouth Colony was an early example of a successful English Colony in North America. The Colony's good reputation contributed to the expansion of the British colonial system, including the [[Massachusetts Bay Colony]]. Indians who learned the English language while serving earlier, less successful, settlements were instrumental in helping Plymouth Colony leaders establish early good relations with native tribes. They also taught survival skills such as using dead fish as fertilizer for maize. The tradition of the American {{wpd|Thanksgiving}} feast goes back to the Plymouth Colony<ref name="Plym">Wikipedia contributors, "Plymouth Colony" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plymouth_Colony http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plymouth_Colony] (accessed 15 July 2012).</ref> (although French, and Spanish settlements in North America, and even Jamestown had earlier Thanksgiving meals).<ref>Wikipedia contributors, "Thanksgiving (United States)" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Thanksgiving http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Thanksgiving] (accessed 15 July 2012).</ref> About one in ten modern Americans has at least one ancestor who was among the first ''{{wpd|Mayflower}}'' arrivals in Plymouth Colony.<ref>''Wall Street Journal''.</ref>  
 
'''Legacy.''' Plymouth Colony was an early example of a successful English Colony in North America. The Colony's good reputation contributed to the expansion of the British colonial system, including the [[Massachusetts Bay Colony]]. Indians who learned the English language while serving earlier, less successful, settlements were instrumental in helping Plymouth Colony leaders establish early good relations with native tribes. They also taught survival skills such as using dead fish as fertilizer for maize. The tradition of the American {{wpd|Thanksgiving}} feast goes back to the Plymouth Colony<ref name="Plym">Wikipedia contributors, "Plymouth Colony" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plymouth_Colony http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plymouth_Colony] (accessed 15 July 2012).</ref> (although French, and Spanish settlements in North America, and even Jamestown had earlier Thanksgiving meals).<ref>Wikipedia contributors, "Thanksgiving (United States)" in ''Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia'' at [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Thanksgiving http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Thanksgiving] (accessed 15 July 2012).</ref> About one in ten modern Americans has at least one ancestor who was among the first ''{{wpd|Mayflower}}'' arrivals in Plymouth Colony.<ref>''Wall Street Journal''.</ref>  
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[[Image:Plymouth Colony map.png|right|450px|Plymouth Colony map.png]]  
 
[[Image:Plymouth Colony map.png|right|450px|Plymouth Colony map.png]]  
  
'''Separatists.''' Plymouth Colony was founded by English religious {{wpd|Separatists}} (and some {{wpd|Anglicans}}) who became known as {{wpd|Pilgrims}}. Some members of the group were jailed in England in 1607. By 1609 most had emigrated to {{wpd|Amsterdam}}, and then {{wpd|Leiden}} in [[The Netherlands|the Netherlands]]. Not comfortable with the Dutch culture, and in still in danger from English authorities, by 1618 the Pilgrims decided to move farther away. They obtained a British patent and financial backing to colonize the mouth of the {{wpd|Hudson River}}. After many delays they sailed to {{wpd|Cape Cod}}, had difficulties going south to the Hudson River, and decided to settle at [[Plymouth, Massachusetts|Plymouth]]. Since they were not in compliance with their patent, they drew up a document for self-government known as the ''{{wpd|Mayflower Compact}}''.  
+
'''Separatists.''' Plymouth Colony was founded by English religious {{wpd|Separatists}} (and some {{wpd|Anglicans}}) who became known as {{wpd|Pilgrims}}. Some members of the group were jailed in England in 1607. By 1609 most had emigrated to {{wpd|Amsterdam}}, and then {{wpd|Leiden}} in [[The Netherlands|the Netherlands]]. Not comfortable with the Dutch culture, and in still in danger from English authorities, by 1618 the Pilgrims decided to move farther away. They obtained a British patent and financial backing to colonize the mouth of the {{wpd|Hudson River}}. After many delays they sailed to {{wpd|Cape Cod}}, had difficulties going south to the Hudson River, and decided to settle at [[Plymouth, Massachusetts|Plymouth]]. Since they were not in compliance with their patent, they drew up a document for self-government known as the ''{{wpd|Mayflower Compact}}''.<ref name="Plym" />
  
 
'''First winter.''' During the first winter 45 of 102 Pilgrims died from diseases such as {{wpd|scurvy}}. Those men who were healthy enough built seven residences and four common houses on shore while the women, children, and sick stayed aboard the ''{{wpd|Mayflower}}'', some for six months. Provisions were not taken ashore until the end of January 1621. Only 53 Pilgrims (4 adult women) survived to celebrate the first {{wpd|Thanksgiving}} in November 1621.<ref name="Plym" />  
 
'''First winter.''' During the first winter 45 of 102 Pilgrims died from diseases such as {{wpd|scurvy}}. Those men who were healthy enough built seven residences and four common houses on shore while the women, children, and sick stayed aboard the ''{{wpd|Mayflower}}'', some for six months. Provisions were not taken ashore until the end of January 1621. Only 53 Pilgrims (4 adult women) survived to celebrate the first {{wpd|Thanksgiving}} in November 1621.<ref name="Plym" />  
  
'''Growth.''' In November 1621 the ''Forture'' brought 37 new settlers, many from Leiden. They brought few provisions and were at first a burden to the infant colony. The colony used the ''Fortune'' to send goods (many furs), enough to stay current with their payments to their backers and creditors in England, except that the ship was captured by the French. In 1623 two ships brought 97 settlers, but some were unprepared for the harsh life, and returned to England a year later. The remainder of these settlers did not care to be bound by the debts of the original settlers and were granted a separate residence. A ship arrived late in 1623 that harbored in Plymouth, but then sailed on to revive the failed colony at [[Waymouth, Massachusetts|Waymouth]] as part of the Plymouth Colony. A ship in 1624 brought the first cattle, and a few more settlers. By January 1630 enough new settlers had arrived to bring the population of the colony to 300. By the time [[Massachusetts Bay Colony]] was merged with Plymouth Colony 61 years later in 1691, continued immigration and births had increased the Plymouth Colony population to an estimated 7,000.<ref name="Plym" />  
+
'''Growth.''' In November 1621 the ''Fortune'' brought 37 new settlers, many from Leiden. They brought few provisions and were at first a burden to the infant colony. The colony used the ''Fortune'' to send goods (many furs), enough to stay current with their payments to their backers and creditors in England, except that the ship was captured by the French. In 1623 two ships brought 97 settlers, but some were unprepared for the harsh life, and returned to England a year later. The remainder of these settlers did not care to be bound by the debts of the original settlers and were granted a separate residence. A ship arrived late in 1623 that harbored in Plymouth, but then sailed on to revive the failed colony at [[Waymouth, Massachusetts|Waymouth]] as part of the Plymouth Colony. A ship in 1624 brought the first cattle, and a few more settlers. By January 1630 enough new settlers had arrived to bring the population of the colony to 300. By the time [[Massachusetts Bay Colony]] was merged with Plymouth Colony 61 years later in 1691, continued immigration and births had increased the Plymouth Colony population to an estimated 7,000.<ref name="Plym" />  
  
 
'''Colony records.''' For ancestors who lived in Plymouth Colony prior to 1691, try searching:  
 
'''Colony records.''' For ancestors who lived in Plymouth Colony prior to 1691, try searching:  
  
:*[http://www.americanancestors.org/databases/ American Ancestors] database search.  
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:*[http://www.americanancestors.org/databases/ American Ancestors] NEHGS database search.  
 
:*Government archives described on the [[Plymouth County, Massachusetts|Plymouth County, Massachusetts]] Wiki page.  
 
:*Government archives described on the [[Plymouth County, Massachusetts|Plymouth County, Massachusetts]] Wiki page.  
 
:*[[Massachusetts Genealogy#Mayflower_Genealogies|Mayflower genealogies]].  
 
:*[[Massachusetts Genealogy#Mayflower_Genealogies|Mayflower genealogies]].  
:*Sources at ''Society of Mayflower Descendants'', and ''Pilgrim Society'' see [[Massachusetts Societies]].  
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:*Sources at ''Society of Mayflower Descendants'', and ''Pilgrim Society'', see [[Massachusetts Societies]].  
 
:*Other [[New England Historic Genealogical Society]] records.
 
:*Other [[New England Historic Genealogical Society]] records.
  
Most of the genealogically significant records were kept at the town level. Look for ancestors in their respective [[Massachusetts Town Records|town records]]. For a list of towns and descriptions of their records, see [[:Category:Towns in New England]].  
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''Towns.'' The town was the primary administrative unit and political division of Plymouth Colony.<ref name="Plym" /> Most of the genealogically significant records were kept at the town level. Look for ancestors in their respective [[Massachusetts Town Records|town records]]. For a list of towns and descriptions of their records, see [[:Category:Towns in New England]].  
  
For most of its history, the town was the primary administrative unit and political division of the colony. Plymouth Colony was not formally divided into counties until June 2, 1685, during the reorganization that would lead to the formation of the Dominion of New England. Three counties were formed, composed of the following towns
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''Counties.'' Plymouth Colony was not divided into formal counties until 1685, in preparation for the [[Dominion of New England]] when three<ref name="Plym" /> Plymouth Colony counties were formed:
  
*Barnstable  
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:*'''[[Barnstable County, Massachusetts|Barnstable]]''' - ''Early towns: '' [[Barnstable, Massachusetts|Barnstable]] 1639, [[Eastham, Massachusetts|Eastham]] 1644, [[Falmouth, Massachusetts|Falmouth]] 1661, [[Rochester, Massachusetts|Rochester]] 1638, [[Sandwich, Massachusetts|Sandwich]] 1637, and [[Yarmouth, Massachusetts|Yarmouth]] 1639.
*Bristol  
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:*'''[[Bristol County, Massachusetts|Bristol]]''' - ''Early towns: '' [[Bristol, Rhode Island|Bristol]] by 1675 (ceded to RI), [[Dartmouth, Massachusetts|Dartmouth]] 1664, [[Freetown, Massachusetts|Freetown]] 1683, [[Little Compton, Rhode Island|Little Compton]] 1682 (ceded to RI), [[Rehoboth, Massachusetts|Rehoboth]] 1644, [[Swansea, Massachusetts|Swansea]] 1667, and [[Taunton, Massachusetts|Taunton]] 1639.
*Plymouth
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:*'''[[Plymouth County, Massachusetts|Plymouth]]''' - ''Early towns: '' [[Bridgewater, Massachusetts|Bridgewater]] by 1656, [[Duxbury, Massachusetts|Duxbury]] 1637, [[Marshfield, Massachusetts|Marshfield]] 1632, [[Middleborough, Massachusetts|Middleborough]] by 1669, [[Plymouth, Massachusetts|Plymouth]] 1620, and [[Scituate, Massachusetts|Scituate]] 1628.
 +
 
 +
Other early '''Plymouth Colony''' settlements<ref name="map" /> included:
 +
 
 +
:*[[Waymouth, Massachusetts|Waymouth]] 1622, and [[Hull, Massachusetts|Hull]] 1624, which became part of [[Massachusetts Bay Colony]] 1630.
 +
:*[[Windsor, Connecticut|Windsor]] 1633, which became part of [[Connecticut]] 1637.
 +
:*Two fur trading houses in [[Maine]], which were lost in 1634 and 1635.
  
 
[[Image:Masscolony.png|645px|Masscolony.png]]  
 
[[Image:Masscolony.png|645px|Masscolony.png]]  

Revision as of 00:34, 16 July 2012

United States Gotoarrow.png Massachusetts Gotoarrow.png Plymouth Colony

Plymouth Colony was a 17th Century British settlement and political unit on the east coast of North America. It was established in 1620; it became part of the Dominion of New England in 1686; in 1691 Plymouth and the Massachusetts Bay Colony were combined. Plymouth Colony included parts of New England, centered around Plymouth, Barnstable, and Bristol counties in Massachusetts. The Colony included parts of present-day Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Maine. She claimed land north to Nova Scotia, south to Pennsylvania, and west to the Pacific Ocean.[1] Her modern successor is now the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, one of the fifty United States.

Legacy. Plymouth Colony was an early example of a successful English Colony in North America. The Colony's good reputation contributed to the expansion of the British colonial system, including the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Indians who learned the English language while serving earlier, less successful, settlements were instrumental in helping Plymouth Colony leaders establish early good relations with native tribes. They also taught survival skills such as using dead fish as fertilizer for maize. The tradition of the American Thanksgiving feast goes back to the Plymouth Colony[2] (although French, and Spanish settlements in North America, and even Jamestown had earlier Thanksgiving meals).[3] About one in ten modern Americans has at least one ancestor who was among the first Mayflower arrivals in Plymouth Colony.[4]

Plymouth Colony map.png

Separatists. Plymouth Colony was founded by English religious Separatists (and some Anglicans) who became known as Pilgrims. Some members of the group were jailed in England in 1607. By 1609 most had emigrated to Amsterdam, and then Leiden in the Netherlands. Not comfortable with the Dutch culture, and in still in danger from English authorities, by 1618 the Pilgrims decided to move farther away. They obtained a British patent and financial backing to colonize the mouth of the Hudson River. After many delays they sailed to Cape Cod, had difficulties going south to the Hudson River, and decided to settle at Plymouth. Since they were not in compliance with their patent, they drew up a document for self-government known as the Mayflower Compact.[2]

First winter. During the first winter 45 of 102 Pilgrims died from diseases such as scurvy. Those men who were healthy enough built seven residences and four common houses on shore while the women, children, and sick stayed aboard the Mayflower, some for six months. Provisions were not taken ashore until the end of January 1621. Only 53 Pilgrims (4 adult women) survived to celebrate the first Thanksgiving in November 1621.[2]

Growth. In November 1621 the Fortune brought 37 new settlers, many from Leiden. They brought few provisions and were at first a burden to the infant colony. The colony used the Fortune to send goods (many furs), enough to stay current with their payments to their backers and creditors in England, except that the ship was captured by the French. In 1623 two ships brought 97 settlers, but some were unprepared for the harsh life, and returned to England a year later. The remainder of these settlers did not care to be bound by the debts of the original settlers and were granted a separate residence. A ship arrived late in 1623 that harbored in Plymouth, but then sailed on to revive the failed colony at Waymouth as part of the Plymouth Colony. A ship in 1624 brought the first cattle, and a few more settlers. By January 1630 enough new settlers had arrived to bring the population of the colony to 300. By the time Massachusetts Bay Colony was merged with Plymouth Colony 61 years later in 1691, continued immigration and births had increased the Plymouth Colony population to an estimated 7,000.[2]

Colony records. For ancestors who lived in Plymouth Colony prior to 1691, try searching:

Towns. The town was the primary administrative unit and political division of Plymouth Colony.[2] Most of the genealogically significant records were kept at the town level. Look for ancestors in their respective town records. For a list of towns and descriptions of their records, see Category:Towns in New England.

Counties. Plymouth Colony was not divided into formal counties until 1685, in preparation for the Dominion of New England when three[2] Plymouth Colony counties were formed:

Other early Plymouth Colony settlements[1] included:

Masscolony.png

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Kmusser, "Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1620-1691 Province of Massachusetts Bay 1691-1775" (map) in Wikimedia Commons at File:Masscolony.png (accessed 15 July 2012).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Wikipedia contributors, "Plymouth Colony" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plymouth_Colony (accessed 15 July 2012).
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Thanksgiving (United States)" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Thanksgiving (accessed 15 July 2012).
  4. Wall Street Journal.