Friday, August 21, 2009

Pilgrim Roots

One of the side benefits to Family History research is the many wonderful “cousins” you encounter. No matter what line I am working on, I have found caring, helpful people. Recently on FaceBook I saw a comment made to one of my friends by a lady whose name is Goodspeed. My maternal grandmother was a Goodspeed descended from Roger Goodspeed, one of the founders of Barnstable, Massachusetts.
The development of the internet has made is so much easier to do research and prove facts. My favorite sites include, and And it seems new materials are put on line almost daily.
Anyway, when I saw the name Goodspeed, I thought, “gee, it has been sometime since I checked that name out to see if there was any new information”. So I did a search and found some interesting facts.
“The name Goodspeed comes from the Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It was [perhaps] a name for a person who performed good deeds or acts of kindness. The surname Goodspeed belongs to a class of surnames known as nickname surnames, which referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. The name is also spelled (Goodspede) (Godspede) (Goodspead)”.
“The GOODSPEED family all came from Wingrave. Wingrave is a compact hill village set on the edge of the Aylesbury valley in Buckinghamshire, England.. Wingrave is located about four miles north east of Aylesbury, three miles south west of Wing.”

“The name Wingrave is said to be based on the name of a local Saxon land owner in pre-Conquest England named Withun. In the Domesday Book the name appears as Withungrave, which is interpreted from Anglo-Saxon as Wiwinga graf or Weoinga gras, meaning Withun's Grove, where perhaps Withun owned woodland for timber, fuel, grazing or hunting. In 1163 it is called Wiungraua. This name is also reflected in the nearby village of Wing, Buckinghamshire.”

“The Goodspeed family, who we find living there in the 16th and 17th century, refer to it as Wingrave. Jeffrey's map of 1777 shows that the name was written as Wingrove at that time.”
Roger Goodspeed was born at Wingrave, Buckinghamshire, England; son of Robert Goodspeed and Alice Harris. He arrived in Barnstable, Barnstable County, Massachusetts in 1639. He married Alice Layton on 1 December 1641 in Barnstable, Barnstable County, Massachusetts. In 1643 he was on the list of those able to bear arms. His wife was admitted to the church 31 Dec. 1643, and he was admitted to the church 28 July 1644. His father, in his will dated 15 September 1658, bequeathed to him and to his brothers Bennett and Thomas 6£ 13s 4d each, if they or any of them return from beyond the seas within ten years after their fathers decease. Roger was indiscreet enough on one occasion to get himself into rather serious trouble, as shown by the following complaint and proceedings on the records of Plymouth Colony: "John Jenkins, of Barnstable, [who we are also related to] complained against Roger Goodspeed in an action of defamation to the damage of fifty pounds, in his charging of the said complainant to be a lyer, and that he had stolen his kidd, biding all the people there to take notice thereof; this being on a lecture day, in September last, in the publicke meeting house there, before sundry people. The jury find for the plaintiff twenty pounds damage, and the coste of the suite, or an acknowledgement to the satisfaction of the Court, and the coste of the suite." Roger accepted the alternative as shown by the following entry taken from the same record: "THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF ROGER GOODSPEED." "These are to certify whom it may concern, That what words passed from me, Roger Goodspeed, at the meeting house at Barnstable concerning John Jenkins, his stealing my kidd and lying, were rash, unadvised and inconsiderate words; and upon due consideration I see I had no cause so to say, and am sorry for so saying, and desire him to pass it by. Roger Goodspeed X his mark." A marginal note in the records states, "This was ended by acknowledgement." It may not be out of place in this connection to say Roger exhibited more courage than discretion. It required considerable "nerve" to openly charge a neighbor with theft and falsehood on a lecture day before all the people. He must have been both courageous and physically strong or Jenkins would then and there have resented the impeachment. He died in 1685 in Barnstable, Barnstable County, Massachusetts. CHILDREN: Nathaniel Goodspeed, John Goodspeed, Mary Goodspeed, Benjamin Goodspeed, Ruth Goodspeed, Ebenezer Goodspeed, Elizabeth Goodspeed. I descend from Ebenezer.
In 1630 a great migration of Puritans began, with more than 20,000 coming to the New World seeking religious freedom. During this period Nathaniel Fish and Roger Goodspeed settled in Barnstable County. Goodspeed soon became one of the original founders of the town known as Barnstable.

My mom did quite a bit of the research on the Goodspeeds and she got much of her material from her aunt, Helen Goodspeed Schmidt. Aunt Helen had had the line researched when she joined the Daughter’s of the American Revolution. It was also at this time we found we had links to three of the families that came on the Mayflower. Those families were the John Howland family, the Richard Warren family and the John Tilley family.
John Howland was the son of Henry Howland and was born about 1592/3. He died at Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts, February 23, 1672/3. Plymouth Colony records state:
“The 23th of February Mr. John Howland Senir of the Towne of Plymouth Deceased…Hee lived until hee attained about eighty yeaes in the world…and was the last man that was left of those that Came over in the ship Called the May flower, that lived in Plymouth hee was with honor Intered att the Towne of Plymouth on the 25 of February 1672.”
On Burial Hill is a monument to John Howland erected in 1897 with funds raised by Mrs. Joseph Howland. This replaces a stone erected about 1836 by John and Henry Howland of Providence, Rhode Island. The earlier stone was buried under the new one. This earlier stone stated that John Howland’s wife was “a daughter of Governor Carver”, but after the discovery in 1856 of Governor William Bradford’s manuscript Of Plimoth Plantation, it was known that he married Elizabeth Tilley, daughter of John and Joan Tilley who were also passengers of the Mayflower.
John Howland boarded the Mayflower in England in September 1620, arrived in Provincetown Harbor, November 21, 1620 and, although called a man-servant of Governor Carver, he was the thirteenth signer of the Mayflower Compact in Plymouth Harbor on December 21, 1620.
Within a few years he married Elizabeth Tilley, built a house on First Street and gradually as land was allotted to each family, he acquired four acres on Watson’s Hill, Plymouth and considerable acreage in Duxbury. February 2, 1638/9 he bought from John Jenny the property called Rocky Nook (Kingston). Some of this land is still owned by our Society.
He served in the General court of Plymouth as Committeeman in 1637, 1639-1652 and as Deputy 1652, 1659, 1661-1668 and 1670.
He had two brothers, Arthur and Henry who arrived a few years later. Arthur Howland married Margaret Reed, settled in Marshfield and had five children. Sir Winston Churchill, an honorary member of the Pilgrim John Howland Society, was one of his descendants. Henry Howland married Mary (Newland) and lived in Duxbury. They had eight children. Both brothers joined the Society of Friends. For many generations the descendants of these two men remained Quakers, many settled around Dartmouth, MA where they became very prosperous.
Above information from the John Howland Society
Richard Warren's English origins, and ancestry, have been the subject of much speculation, and countless different ancestries have been published for him, without a shred of evidence to support them. Luckily in December 2002, Edward Davies discovered the missing piece of the puzzle. Researchers had long known of the marriage of Richard Warren to Elizabeth Walker on 14 April 1610 at Great Amwell, Hertford. Since we know the Mayflower passenger had a wife named Elizabeth, and a first child born about 1610, this was a promising record. But no children were found for this couple in the parish registers, and no further evidence beyond the names and timing, until the will of Augustine Walker was discovered. In the will of Augustine Walker, dated April 1613, he mentions "my daughter Elizabeth Warren wife of Richard Warren", and "her three children Mary, Ann and Sarah." We know that the Mayflower passenger's first three children were named Mary, Ann, and Sarah (in that birth order).
Very little is known about Richard Warren's life in America. He came alone on the Mayflower in 1620, leaving behind his wife and five daughters. They came to him on the ship Anne in 1623, and Richard and Elizabeth subsequently had sons Nathaniel and Joseph at Plymouth. He received his acres in the Division of Land in 1623, and his family shared in the 1627 Division of Cattle. But he died a year later in 1628, the only record of his death being found in Nathaniel Morton's 1669 book New England's Memorial, in which he writes: "This year [1628] died Mr. Richard Warren, who was an useful instrument and during his life bare a deep share in the difficulties and troubles of the first settlement of the Plantation of New Plymouth."
All of Richard Warren's children survived to adulthood, married, and had large families: making Richard Warren one of the most common Mayflower passengers to be descended from. Richard Warren's descendants include such notables as Civil War general Ulysses S. Grant, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Alan B. Shepard, Jr. the first American in space and the fifth person to walk on the moon.
Above information from

John Tilley was baptized 19 December 1571 in Henlow, Bedfordshire, England, the son of Robert Tilley and Elizabeth —. John married Joan Hurst 20 September 1596 in Henlow, Bedfordshire, England. Joan was baptized 13 March 1568 in Henlow, Bedfordshire, England, the daughter William Hurst and Rose —. Joan had married first Thomas Rogers 18 June 1593 in Henlow, Bedfordshire, England. He, his wife Joan, and his youngest daughter Elizabeth all came on the Mayflower to Plymouth in 1620. His occupation was that of a silk worker. He was the sixteenth signer of the "Mayflower" company. He served on Dec. 6, 1620, in "The First Encounter" at Great Meadow Creek. John and his wife both died the first winter at Plymouth, orphaning the 13-year old Elizabeth Tilley in the New World. Elizabeth would later marry to Mayflower passenger John Howland. John’s brother, Edward, and Edward’s wife, Ann, were passengers on the Mayflower in 1621. Edward and Ann also died that first winter.
Above information from and other sources