Desire Minter was the daughter of William and Sarah (Willet) Minter, members of the Leiden church congregation who originated from Norwich, co. Norfolk, England. The family first appears in Leiden records on 3 May 1613, when William Minter became a citizen. He bought a house from William Jepson on 10 September 1614 on the Groenhasegracht in Leiden. Mrs. Sarah Minter was a midwife for the church and witnessed four betrothals between 1615 and 1617. Her father William Minter died in 1617 or early 1618, and her widowed mother remarried on 18 August 1618 to Roger Simmonson at Leiden. Desire Minter appears to have been placed with another Leiden resident, Thomas Brewer, when her mother was widowed; but Brewer was arrested in 1619 by the University of Leiden at the request of the English ambassador to the Netherlands, and was charged with printing and distributing illegal books in England.
Desire Minter came on the Mayflower in the care of the John Carver household. William Bradford, writing in 1651 in his "Decreasings and Increasings" section of his passenger list, cryptically noted that she "returned to her friend and proved not very well and died in England." Since Desire Minter is not enumerated in the 1623 Division of Land at Plymouth, she appears to have returned to England prior to that--perhaps on the ship Fortune in 1621. This would suggest she was old enough to have some say in where she wanted to reside, though she appears to have been under 19 years of age at the time of the voyage. Of the hundred Mayflower passengers, Desire Minter and Humility Cooper are the only ones who returned to England in the first decade. No record of Desire Minter in England has yet been found.