John Winthrop was born 12 January 1587 in Edwardstone, Suffolk, England to Adam Winthrop (1548-1623) and Anne Browne (c1548-1629) and died 26 March 1649 Boston, Middlesex County, Massachusetts of unspecified causes. He married Mary Forth (1583-1615) 16 April 1605 . He married Thomasine Clopton (c1587-1616) 6 December 1615 . He married Margaret Tyndale (c1587-1647) 26 April 1618 . He married Martha Rainsborough (c1587) 4 December 1647 .

America's Forgotten Founding Father

1st Colonial Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony (1630) and major participant in the Great Migration to New England.

Vital statistics

  • 1587-Jan-12 : Birth at Edwardston, Suffolk, England.
  • 1602-Dec-8 : John (age 14) admitted to Trinity College at Cambridge University to get training for a Puritan Ministry. Drops from school when he gets married.
  • 1605-Apr-16 : 1st Married Mary Forth (1583-1615) who was of a wealthy family. John was age 17.  Mary died in childbirth June 26, 1615.
  • 1615-Dec-6 : 2nd Married Thomasine Clopton
  • 1618-Apr-26 : 3rd Married Margaret Tyndale, who traveled with him to Boston.
  • 1630-June : Migration to Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • 1647-Dec-04 : 4th Married Martha Rainsborough, the widow of Captain Thomas Coytmore.
  • 1649-Mar-26 : Death at Boston, Middlesex Co, Massachusetts Colony.

Biography details

Much of John Winthrop's history is recorded in a set of personal journals that he kept.  Much of his family history was recorded in a journal kept by his father, Adam Winthrop.

John Winthrop was born to devoutly religious family of the Puritan Reformist Church.  He was the principal leader and first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

He migrated to America in 1630 on the Arbela to assume direct leadership of the colony.

His wife, Margaret, and the youngest children (Mary, Samuel and John Jr.) followed over one year later on the ship Lyon, arriving off of Salem on Nov 4, 1631.


Offspring of John Winthrop and Mary Forth (1583-1615)
Name Birth Death Joined with
John Winthrop (1606-1676) 12 February 1606 Groton, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom 5 April 1676 Boston, Massachusetts, United States Martha Fones (c1606)
Elizabeth Reade (1616-1672)
Henry Winthrop (1607-1630) 20 January 1607 Groton, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom 2 July 1630 Massachusetts Elizabeth Fones (1610)
Forth Winthrop (1609-1630)
Mary Winthrop (c1612)
Anne Winthrop (1614-1614)
Anne Winthrop (1615-1615)

Offspring of John Winthrop and Thomasine Clopton (c1587-1616)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Daughter Winthrop (1616-1616)

Offspring of John Winthrop and Margaret Tyndale (c1587-1647)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Stephen Winthrop 1618A
Adam Winthrop (1620-1652) 7 April 1620 Groton, Suffolk, England 24 August 1652 (New England) Elizabeth Glover (c1620-1642)
Elizabeth Hawkins (c1620)
Deane Winthrop (1622)
Nathaniel Winthrop (1625-c1626)
Samuel Winthrop (1627)
Anne Winthrop (1630-1631)
William Winthrop 1632A
Sarah Winthrop (c1634-c1635)

Offspring of John Winthrop and Martha Rainsborough (c1587)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Joshua Winthrop (1648-1651)

Children of Governor Winthrop and Mary Forth

1. John Winthrop (1606-1676) - born 12 Feb 1606 in Groton Eng - Future Governor of Connecticut.

2. Henry Winthrop (1607-1630) - born 20 Jan 1607 at Groton. On 25 April 1629 he and his first cousin Elizabeth Fones were married, to the dismay of the families. The next year, shortly after his father had sailed for Massachusetts, Henry shipped out on the "Talbot" and arrived at the Massachusetts Bay Colony on July 1, 1630. On the very next day, out on an expedition, he drowned while attempting to swim across the river to retrieve a native canoe. He died before his father was aware that he had arrived in America. His wife Elizabeth and infant daughter, Martha Johanna Winthrop, came to the Colony the following year. By disagreeing with some of the rigidness of life in Salem, and through her several marriages (including one without proof of divorce from the previous husband), Elizabeth would gain notoriety in the colonies, as outlined in the best-selling novel "The Winthrop Woman" by Anya Seton.

3. Forth Winthrop (1609-1630) - remained in England to finish school when his father traveled to America.  In Nov 1630 he took sick suddenly and died.

4. Anne Winthrop (1614-1614) - died as infant after one week in the Summer of 1614. Source: John Winthrop's Journal

5. Anne Winthrop (1615-1615) - second daughter named Anne, died during difficult childbirth, June 26, 1615.  Mary Forth died also on same day and both were buried together at Groton Manor, England

6. Mary Winthrop (c1612) - married Rev. Samuel Dudley?

Children of Governor Winthrop and Thomasine Clopton

  • 7. Daughter Winthrop (1616-1616): Wife and daughter died in Nov 1616 from complications of childbirth.

Children of Governor Winthrop and Margaret Tyndale

  • 8. Stephen Winthrop 1618A
  • 9. Adam Winthrop (1620-1652)
  • 10. Deane Winthrop (1622) (Son) - married Sarah Glover
  • 11. Nathaniel Winthrop - b. 1625 and probably died young.
  • 12. Samuel Winthrop (1627) = married in Holland and later deputy governor of Antigua in the Caribbean.
  • 13. Anne Winthrop (1630-1631) - baptized 29 Apr 1630 in England and died at age 1-1/2 while traveling to America with her mother in 1631 to join her father. Buried at sea.
  • 14. William Winthrop 1632A
  • 15. Sarah Winthrop - baptized 29 Jun 1634 and probably died shortly afterwards.

Children of Governor Winthrop and Martha Rainsborough

  • Joshua Winthrop - born 12 Dec 1648 - died 11 Jan 1651.



Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General

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