William White was born 1570 in England, United Kingdom and died 21 February 1621 Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States of unspecified causes. He married Susanna White (1593-1680) 1612 in England, United Kingdom.

Early Plymouth Colony settler and passenger on the 1620 Mayflower who died during the first winter there.



Voyage of the Mayflower

Mr. William White was a English planter who traveled with wife and children, including one son, Peregrine White (1620-1704) born aboard ship about the time of the Compact signing.

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, William was the 11th of the 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 and family

William White married Susanna ca 1612 (a marriage to Anna Fuller was disproven years ago) and had two sons. White died on February 21, 1621. Susanna remarried on May 12, 1621 to Edward Winslow (1595-1655) who later became 3rd governor of Plymouth Colony and she had five children with him. The death date of Susanna is uncertain – sometime between 1654 and 1675. She was buried in Winslow Cemetery in Marshfield where her sons Resolved and Peregrine White and their wives were buried.

They had two children when landing at Plymouth, MA - Resolve (age 5) and Peregrine, a baby born while the ship lay at anchor off Cape Cod.

Children of William White and his wife Susanna:

  1. Resolved White (1615-1687) was born in England, about 1615. He died sometime after September 19, 1687. He and his first wife Judith were buried in Winslow Cemetery, Marshfield. He married: 1. Judith Vassall, daughter of William Vassall, on November 5, 1640 in Scituate. She was born in England ca. 1619, and was buried in the Winslow Cemetery in Marshfield on April 3, 1670. They had eight children born in Scituate between 1642 and 1656. Married 2. Abigail (____) Lord, widow of William Lord, on October 5, 1674 in Salem. She was born in England ca. 1606 and died in Salem between June 15 and 27, 1682.
  2. Peregrine White (1620-1704) was born aboard the ship Mayflower late in November 1620 and died in Marshfield on July 20, 1704. He married Sarah Bassett, daughter of William Bassett, by March 6, 1648/9 and had seven children. She died in Marshfield on January 22, 1711.


Offspring of William White and Susanna White (1593-1680)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Resolved White (1615-1687) 1615 England 1687 Plymouth County, Massachusetts Judith Vassall (1619-1670) Judith Vassall (1619-1670) Abigail Lord (1606-1682)
Peregrine White (1620-1704) 19 November 1620 Onboard the Mayflower, Provincetown Harbor, Barnstable County, Massachusetts 20 July 1704 Marshfield, Plymouth County, Massachusetts Sarah Bassett (1630-1711)


Research Notes

With an extremely common surname (White) and given name (William) this pilgrim has been the hardest to research his ancestry. There is a lot of confusion about his wife's maiden name. And it has been disputed that they were ever part of the Pilgrim population in Holland.

Vital Records

Bradford's Journal

The White family, as recalled by William Bradford (1590-1657) in 1651, per their Mayflower voyage, and the birth of Peregrine:

“Mr. William White, and Susana, his wife, and one sone, called Resolved, and one borne a ship-bord, called Peregriene; and *2* servants, named William Holbeck and Edward Thomson.”

The fate of the White family as recalled by Bradford in 1651:

“Mr. White dyed soon after ther landing. His wife married with Mr. Winslow (as is before noted). His *2* sons are married, and Resolved had *5* children, Peregrine tow (sic), all living. So their increase are now *7*."

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.



Footnotes (including sources)