James Chilton's birth year, about 1556, is calculated from his stated age, 63, in a notary public deposition in Leiden, Holland, dated 30 April 1619.  (Leiden Archives 506, p. 239-240r, original document online here.)  His father Lyonel was identified from the will, first noted in 1961-1962 (The American Genealogist 38:244; Mayflower Quarterly 27:5-6), and reprinted in full in Mayflower Descendant 62(2013):72-77.  His mother was recently identified as Edith, by Jon Wardlaw ("The Likely Given Name of James Chilton's Mother", Mayflower Descendant, 62(2013):69-71. 

The name of James Chilton's wife has not yet been discovered.  Her name is not stated in the baptism records of her children at St. Paul's and St. Martin's in Canterbury or at St. Peter's in Sandwich.  Her name is not stated in William Bradford's list of Mayflower passengers.  And her given name is left blank in her 1609 excommunication record from St. Peter's, Sandwich.  The estimated marriage year, about 1583, is based on the baptism date of their first child, Joel, at St. Paul's, Canterbury, on 16 August 1584, a baptism noted by Michael Paulick in New England Ancestors 8(2007):39-40.

James Chilton's death date of 8 December 1620 is preserved by Thomas Prince in his Chronological History of New England in the Form of Annals (1736) on page 165.  Prince cited his source as William Bradford's Register of Births and Deaths, which was lost (apparently Revolutionary War looting) before it was ever copied.

No probate is known to exist for James Chilton or his wife, both of whom died the first winter at Plymouth.



  • Jon Wardlow, "The Likely Given Name of James Chilton's Mother," Mayflower Descendant 62(2013):69-71.   Identifies James Chilton's mother as named Edith.
  • Jon Wardlow and Simon Neal, transcribers, "Lyonel Chilton's Will," Mayflower Descendant 62(2013):72-77. 
  • Caleb Johnson, "A New Record Relating to James Chilton," Mayflower Quarterly 75(2009):139-140. 
  • Michael R. Paulick, "The Mayflower Chiltons in Canterbury, 1556-1600," New England Ancestors 8(2007):39-40.  [Disproves the Furner marriage theorized by Hunt in 1962, and discovers Joel Chilton baptism]. 
  • Michael R. Paulick, "The 1609-1610 Excommunications of Mayflower Pilgrims Mrs. Chilton and Moses Fletcher," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 153(1999):407-412.
  • John G. Hunt, "Origins of the Chiltons of the Mayflower," The American Genealogist 38(1962):244-245. 
  • Mrs. Russell M. Skelton, "Copies of Wills of the Chilton Family," Mayflower Quarterly 27(1961):5-6.