William White


BIRTH:  Unknown.
MARRIAGE:  Susanna, maiden name unknown, perhaps around 1616.
CHILDREN: Resolved and Peregrine.
DEATH: 21 February 1620/1 at Plymouth.


William White is a difficult individual to research because of the commonality of his name. Much as been mispublished about him.  There is a marriage record in Leiden, Holland, which records the marriage of a William White to Anna Fuller on 27 January 1612; the marriage was witnessed by Sarah Priest and Anna's brother Samuel Fuller, all members of the Leiden church congregation.  For many years this was thought to have been the Mayflower passenger (Susanna and Anna being reasonable variants of the same name). 

This has been a heavily-debated issue: was this the marriage of the Mayflower passenger, or not?  There are at least two William Whites living in Leiden during the appropriate time period, one was a woolcomber, and one was a tobacco merchant.  The William White who married Anna Fuller was called a woolcomber in the 1612 marriage record, which was witnessed by Sarah Priest.  On 10 April 1621, well after theMayflower had departed, William White woolcomber was a party to the antenumptual agreement of Samuel Lee in Leiden.  Thus, William White, woolcomber, could not have been the Mayflower passenger.  And since Sarah Priest had witnessed the will of William White in 1612, wouldn't it be reasonable to assume it was the same William White who witnessed her own marriage to Godbert Godbertson in Leiden in October 1621?  The Mayflower passenger was also not the tobacco merchant, who appears in numerous Leiden records throughout the 1620s.  So there was either a third William White in Leiden, or else the William White of the Mayflower may have joined onto the voyage from England.

In any case, William and his wife Susanna came on the Mayflower in 1620 with son Resolved; Susanna gave birth to son Peregrine while the Mayflower was still anchored off the top of Cape Cod waiting for the Pilgrims to discover a place to build their colony.  William died the first winter, on the same day as three other passengers, including William Mullins.  His wife Susanna remarried to Edward Winslow a few months later, being the first marriage to occur at Plymouth.