Thomas Tinker was born 1585 in Neatishead, Norfolk, England and died 1621 Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts of unspecified causes. He married Jane White (c1585-1621) June 1609 in Thurne, Norfolk, England.

Thomas Tinker was one of the Pilgrims who made the voyage on the Mayflower. He was a wood-sawyer, and was granted citizenship in Leyden January 6, 1617. In the winter of 1620-1621 at Plymouth Colony, he died along with his wife and son.

Nothing much is known about the Tinker family. William Bradford simply wrote "Thomas Tinker and his wife and son all died in the first sickness," so there is not much for researchers to go on. However, Thomas Tinker is mentioned once in Leiden records, when he was granted citizenship in Leiden on 6 January 1617, guaranteed by fellow church members Abraham Gray and John Keble. He was called a wood sawyer in the citizenship record.

Voyage of the Mayflower

Mayflower at Provincetown Harbor

The Mayflower, originating from London with a group of Adventurers bound for the New World rendezvoused on 22 July with the Speedwell just arriving from Holland with a group of religious refugees from Leiden. Originally intended to sail jointly to the English Colony in Virginia it soon became evident that Speedwell was not seaworthy. Passengers and cargo were combined onto Mayflower (with many left behind) for the journey, finally departing on September 9.

During the voyage fierce storms blew the ship off course, arriving at Cape Cod on the Eastern Massachusetts coastline on November 9th. For two days they attempted to sail south to Virginia but exhausting supplies and fierce storms caused them to abort this effort and drop anchor at what is now Provincetown Harbor. On November 11th, the group decided to settle here and start their own colony. They wrote a governmental contract called the Mayflower Compact, Thomas was 19th of 41 signers on this document.

Signing the Mayflower Compact 1620, a painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris 1899

About the middle of December 1620, the ship moved and dropped anchor in Plymouth Harbor. All the while the pilgrims were conducting several exploring missions of the area and negotiations with the local natives. Almost half of the passengers died, suffering from an outbreak of a contagious disease described as a mixture of scurvy, pneumonia and tuberculosis. In the spring, they built huts ashore, and on March 21, 1621, the surviving passengers disembarked from the Mayflower into their new settlement at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Marriage & Family

Charles Edward Banks in his English Ancestry and Homes of the Pilgrim Fathers notes there was a Thomas Tinker, carpenter, from Neatishead, Norfolk, who married Jane White on 25 June 1609 in Thurne, Norfolk. This seems like a reasonable theory, and more research would be worthwhile.


Offspring of Thomas Tinker and Jane White (c1585-1621)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Son Tinker (1610-1621) 1610 England 1621 onboard the Mayflower, Provincetown Harbor, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts



Vital Records

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.

Pilgrim Monument


National Monument to the Forefathers, commemorates the Mayflower Pilgrims, (including this person) who came to Plymouth Colony in 1620 on the Mayflower. Dedicated on August 1, 1889, it is thought to be the world's largest solid granite monument. Located on an 11 acre hilltop site on Allerton Street in Plymouth, Massachusetts.


See Also


Footnotes (including sources)