Elizabeth (Barker) Winslow

In the Winter 2019 issue of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Sue Allan, myself, and Simon Neal presented our discovery of records of Elizabeth Barker’s origins at Chattisham, Suffolk. In that same issue, Dr. Jeremy Bangs revealed his discovery of the will of Elizabeth (Barker) Winslow in the notarial records of Leiden in 1619. This page has been updated to include these recent discoveries.

Elizabeth Barker was born about 1593 at Chattisham, Suffolk, the daughter of Samuel and Sarah (—) (Badell) Barker. The family appears to have lived predominantly at East Bergholt, Suffolk at that time—also the newly-discovered home parish of Isaac Allerton. About 1598, Samuel Barker remarried to Elizabeth (—). Samuel himself died about 1601, and widow Elizabeth raised her two stepdaughters, Elizabeth and Mary Barker, predominantly at Chattisham, Suffolk. Samuel and Elizabeth were recusants, and were recorded as such in the Archdeaconry of Suffolk records, which even state that Brownist meetings were being held in Elizabeth’s house. When Elizabeth’s stepdaughters, Elizabeth and Mary, came of age (14 years), they also began to be flagged as recusants in the records of the Archdeaconry. In 1605, Elizabeth and Mary (still minors) were admitted to the inheritance of their father Samuel. Elizabeth Barker disappears from the recusancy lists in 1615. On 28 April 1618, marriage banns were first posted in Leiden for her marriage to Edward Winslow. The third announcement was posted 12 May 1618, shortly after which they were married.

Between 1617 and 1619, Elizabeth Barker’s stepmother Elizabeth died. On 10 September 1619, the Chattisham manorial court named her the heir of her stepmother’s estate, and twenty days later Elizabeth made out a will at the Leiden notarial court on 30 September 1619, indicating she was very sick but still able to stand and walk. She mentions her half-siblings Daniel and Sarah Bardall. Sometime in 1620, Edward and Elizabeth (Barker) Winslow travelled together to Chattisham to sell off her property to Robert Brook, gentleman—a sale that was confirmed at the next manorial court session on 4 September 1621. By that time, Edward and Elizabeth (Barker) Winslow had sailed to America on the Mayflower.

Elizabeth (Barker) Winslow was the last person to die during the “First Winter” at Plymouth, on 24 March 1620/1. She had no children, and as such has no descendants living today. Her husband Edward remarried to Susanna (Jackson) White, widow of William White.

For additional information, see Sue Allan, Caleb Johnson and Simon Neal, “The English Origin and Separatist Background of Mayflower Passenger Elizabeth (Barker) Winslow,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 173(Winter 2019):5-17; and Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs, “The Will of Mayflower Passenger Elizabeth (Barker) Winslow,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 173(Winter 2019):18-25.