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The Winthrop Fleet and the Mary and John

Updated: Mar 19, 2021

As the Puritans grew uneasy in England, they sought freedom in New England. In the summer of 1630, a fleet of 11 ships led by John Winthrop arrived near Boston. It was the beginning of the Great Migration, a period in which about 20,000 colonists arrived in America.

Ships in Winthrop's Fleet:**

Arabella (The Flagship)








William & Francis



*Not the Plymouth Pilgrim's ship by the same name.

**5-6 other ships arrived in 1630, one presumably the "John and Mary" carrying Capt. John Underhill.

On April 8, 1630, four ships (Arabella, Talbot, Ambrose, and Jewel) carrying 700 people departed from Yarmouth, Isle of Wight.

My ancestor, Elder John Strong was said to have come over on "Mary and John", which arrived two weeks before Winthrop's Fleet did. Mary and John is believed to have not been a part of the Winthrop Fleet, but the ship reportedly made four voyages between England and the colonies, between 1607 and 1633. It was owned by Roger Ludlow. The first known voyage was in 1607 during the attempt to settle the Popham Colony, which failed. The second known voyage departed from Plymouth, England, on March 20, 1630, carrying about 140 passengers including John Mason. The third known voyage departed from London on March 24, 1633/4.


  1. Winthrop Fleet [Wikipedia]

  2. Mary and John [Wikipedia]

  3. The Planters of The Commonwealth in Massachusetts, 1620-1640, Boston, 1930, p. 87.

  4. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, by Robert C. Anderson. (Source is considered unreliable). [Link]

  5. The Winthrop Fleet of 1630, by Charles Edward Banks. [Link]

  6. Mary and John Passenger list for 1634 []

  7. The Winthrop Society []

  8. The History of New England from 1630 to 1649, by John Winthrop, 1853, p. 442.

Additional resources:

Join the Winthrop Society [Link]

National Society Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims [Link]

Mayflower Database [Link]


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