John Carver was born 9 September 1565 in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom to James Carver (c1540-) and Catherine Unknown (bef1565) and died 5 April 1621 Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts, United States of unspecified causes. He married Mary de Lannoy (c1565-1609) 1609 . He married Catherine White (c1565-1621) 1615 .

Mayflower Pilgrim and first Governor of Plymouth Colony.[1][2][3]

Vital statistics

  • Son of James Carver and Catherine Unknown
  • 9-Sep-1565 Born at Doncaster, Yorks, England
  • 1607 Immigration to Leiden, Holland
  • 1620 Immigration to Plymouth Colony
  • 5-Apr-1621 Died at Plymouth Colony


Scrooby Separatists


Scrooby Separatists were a mixed congregation of early English Protestants / non-conformists founding living in the border region of of South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. They were called "Separatists" because of their rebellion against the religious authority of the Church of England, the official state religion. In 1607/8 the Congregation emigrated to Netherlands in search of the freedom to worship as they chose. Shortly after that they were the basis of the group to sail in the Mayflower to the New World.

John Carver was born probably in Nottinghamshire, England. Carver was a wealthy London merchant, but he left England and went to Leiden, Netherlands, in 1607 or 1608 because of religious persecution. In 1617 he became the agent for the Pilgrims in securing a charter and financial support for the establishment of a colony in America. He chartered the Mayflower and, with 101 other colonists, set sail from Plymouth, England, in September 1620.


He signed the Mayflower Compact on November 11, 1620, and on the same day was elected to a one-year term as governor. He was probably instrumental in choosing Plymouth as the site for settlement and in making the treaty of alliance with Chief Massasoit of the Wampanoag tribe in 1621. Shortly after being elected governor in the spring, he died, apparently from sunstroke, in the spring of 1621. William Bradford (1590-1657) was his successor.

Marriage & Family

Per Johnson[4], John Carver married twice:

  • He married first, sometime before February 8, 1609, Mary de Lannoy.[3] She was a French Walloon (Huguenot) of L’Escluse, France. She may have been related to Philip de Lannoy (Delano), also Huguenot, who came to Plymouth on the Fortune in November 1621. Mary died soon after the death of her child in July 1609. John and Mary Carver buried a child at St. Pancras in Leiden on July 10, 1609.[3][5][6]
  • Carver married secondly sometime before May 22, 1615, Katherine (White) Leggatt, widow of George Leggatt and eldest daughter of eight children of Alexander White and his wife Eleanor of Sturton-le-Steeple, Nottinghamshire. Mayflower genealogist Robert S. Wakefield spells her name as Catherine, but seventeenth century documents use Katherine. Alexander White was a wealthy land-owner who, when he died about 1595, owned 160 acres of land in the Sturton area. Sturton is noted as the birthplace of historic Separatist Leiden pastor John Robinson, husband of Katherine’s sister Bridget. Katherine was a witness to the 1617 betrothal of Robert Cushman, he soon being the chief agent for the Leideners in London and associated with her husband in Mayflower voyage preparations. It is believed she died probably sometime in May 1621, some 5–6 weeks after her husband’s death.[1][5][7][8][9]

The will of Katherine’s mother Eleanor White as a widow, on April 7, 1599, named “daughter Leggatt (Katherine)” and “to my sonne (son-in-law) Leggatt and his wife (Katherine) 10 (pounds) and to their daughter Marie ten (pounds) for her best advantage when she comes to age of 10.” This indicates that Katherine White Leggatt Carver had a daughter Marie by her husband George Leggatt, and she was not yet ten years old in April 1599. There is no further information on her. She did not accompany John and Katherine Carver on the Mayflower and so may have died young or been married by that time and/or not been a member of the Separatist church.[9] John and Katherine Carver buried a child at St. Pancras in Leiden November 11, 1617.[5][6]

John Carver had no known surviving descendants.[3]

Banks English Ancestry states that John Carver married Catherine White-Leggett, widow of George Leggett and daughter of Alexander White of Sturton-le-Steeple, Nottinghamshire, (no confirmation).

No children are recorded on the Mayflower or at Plymouth Colony. However but Dexter, p 608, states that they buried one child at St Pancras 10-July-1609 and another at there on 11-Nov-1617.

Other Carver Household Members


Offspring of John Carver and Mary de Lannoy (c1565-1609)¢
Name Birth Death Joined with
Unnamed child (1609-1609)

Offspring of John Carver and Catherine White (c1565-1621)¢
Name Birth Death Joined with
Unnamed child (1617-1617)

Vital Records

Bradfords Passenger List

Source: History of Mayflower Plantation (1650) by William Bradford (1590-1657)

"Mr. John Carver; Katherine, his wife; Desire Minter; and 2 manservants, John Howland, Roger Wilder; William Latham, and a maid servant, and a child that was put to him, called Jasper More."

"Mr. Carver and his wife, died the first year, he in the spring, she in the summer; also his man Roger, and the little boy Jasper, died before either of them, of the common infection. Desire Minter, returned to her friend & proved not very well, and died in England. His servant boy Latham after more than 20 years stay in the country went into England; and from thence to the Bahama Islands in the West Indies; and there with some others was starved for want of food. His maid servant married, and died a year or two after here in this place. His servant John Howland married the daughter of John Tilley."

Bradfords Death Report

(April 1621) "whilst they were bussie about their seed, their Governor came out of his feild very sick, it being a hott day; he complained greatly of his head, and lay downe, and within a few howers his senses failed, so as he never spake more till he dyed, which was within a few days after...He was buried in the best maner they could, with a few vollies of shott by all that vore armes; and his wife, being a weak woman, died within 5 or 6 weeks after him."

Cole's Hill Memorial


A large monument was erected in 1921 on Cole's Hill in Plymouth, Massachusetts to honor the many pilgrims who came to Plymouth Colony in the Mayflower but died during the first terrible winter and were buried here. This person is one of those person's listed thereon.


  1. ^ a b Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History and People, 1620-1691, (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1986), p. 259
  2. ^ Pilgrim Hall Museum John Carver
  3. ^ a b c d A genealogical profile of John Carver, (a collaboration of Plimoth Plantation and New England Historic Genealogical Society accessed 2013-04-21)
  4. ^ Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and Her passengers (Indiana: Xlibris, 2006), pp. 113-114
  5. ^ a b c Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and Her passengers (Indiana: Xlibris, 2006), pp. 107-108
  6. ^ a b Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History and People, 1620-1691, (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1986), p. 18
  7. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Banks p. 44
  8. ^ Nick Bunker, Making Haste from Babylon: The Mayflower Pilgrims and their New World a History (New York: Knopf 2010), pp. 108-110
  9. ^ a b Alexander White Family The Mayflower Descendant, (July 1993), vol 43, no 2 July 1993

External links

NAME Carver, John
SHORT DESCRIPTION Mayflower passenger and New World colonist
PLACE OF BIRTH Nottinghamshire, England
PLACE OF DEATH Massachusetts Bay Colony


Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General
¢ Children
  • Buried at St Pancras in Leiden, 1609
  • Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and Her passengers
¢2 Children 2
  • Buried at St Pancras in Leiden, 1617
  • Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and Her passengers

MainTour, Robin Patterson

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