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James Chilton


BIRTH:  About 1556, likely in Canterbury, co. Kent, England, son of Lyonell and Edith Chilton.
MARRIAGE:  Mrs. Chilton, likely in 1583, in the vicinity of Canterbury, co. Kent, England.
CHILDREN:  Joel (died young), Isabella, Jane, Mary (died young), Joel (again, died young), Elizabeth, James (died young), Ingle, Christian, James, and Mary.
DEATH:  8 December 1620, onboard the Mayflower then anchored off Provincetown Harbor.
 SOURCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY


James Chilton was born about 1556, probably at Canterbury, Kent, England, the son of Lyonell and Edith Chilton.  James married about 1583, and had his first child (Joel) baptized at St. Paul's, Canterbury, Kent, England in August 1584.  The name of James Chilton's wife is not found in any records.  The long-published claim that she was named Susanna Furner was disposed of by Michael Paulick's research published in 1999 and 2007.

James Chilton and wife had eight children born in Canterbury, Kent, before moving about 1600 to Sandwich, Kent, where he had his last three children baptized.  In 1609, his wife (unfortunately called simply "___ Chilton wife of James Chilton," was charged by the Archdeaconry Court with attending the secret burial of a child (they opposed the "popish" burial ceremonies of the Church of England).  It was presumably not long before the family left for Holland.  In 1619, James Chilton (aged 63) and his oldest daughter Isabella were caught in the middle of an anti-Arminian riot in Leiden, and he was hit in the head with a stone, requiring the services of the town surgeon Jacob Hey.

James, his wife, and his youngest daughter Mary, all came on the Mayflower in 1620.  James, at the age of 64, was the oldest person known to have made the Mayflower's voyage.  James died on 8 December 1620 onboard the Mayflower, which was then anchored off Provincetown Harbor--one of six passengers to die in the month of December.  His wife also died sometime the first winter, but daughter Mary survived.