List of Pre-1636 New England Immigrants(pdf format)
Beginning with the arrival of the Mayflower in 1620, the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonists created and compiled detailed records on the settlement of New England. Genealogists have been trying to organize these sources into all-inclusive compilations for at least 150 years.2 The Great Migration Study Project (GMSP), launched by the New England Historic Genealogical Society in 1988, has superseded these works by producing “a concise, reliable summary of past research on the early immigrants to New England,” thereby reducing the amount of time which must be spent in discovering this past work, and serving as a foundation for future research.3 The GMSP’s contributions are of vital importance because earlier compilations predated the development of modern genealogical scholarship and must be reconsidered in the light of today’s genealogical standards of proof. 4The GMSP intends to produce biographical sketches of all who sailed for New England by about 1640, when the outbreak of the English Civil War caused the Great Migration to stop and even — for a brief time — reverse. According to Robert Charles Anderson, Director of the GMSP, those who arrived by 1635 represent about 40% of the more than 20,000 people who emigrated to New England by the end of the Great Migration.5Researchers will benefit from the consolidated index presented here; accessing the sketches has become more complex since they have now been published, updated and/or summarized in seven separate places:
Using the index
How to read the index
The GMSP publications listed in the “also see” column are:
The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620-1633Robert C. Anderson (Boston: NEHGS, 2004)
GMVols. I-IV databases at http://www.AmericanAncestors.org/
1Linda MacLachlan, a retired lawyer and State Administrative Law Judge, is Editor of the Mount Vernon Genealogical Society Newsletter, Special Interest Group Coordinator and Project Director of the Colonial Census Substitute Project of the Fairfax Genealogical Society and head of the New England Study Group in both societies. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is indebted to the members of the Study Group who proofed this complex list: Charles Eckert, Dorothy Flores, Carl Lee, William Mather III, Kathy Steckelberg, Alice Bagwill, and Mary Tripp.
2See, especially, James Savage, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, 4 vols. (Boston 1860-62), now available with addenda consolidated at http://www.usgennet.org/usa/topic/newengland/savage, downloaded 2 Dec 2005; and Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, CD-ROM of 12 volume manuscript (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society (hereafter NEHGS): 2001), supplemented by Melinde Lutz Sanborn, Third Supplement to Torrey's New England Marriages Prior to 1700 (Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2004).
3Anderson, Robert Charles, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633 (hereafter GMB), 3 vols. (Boston: NEHGS, 1995) 1: xvii.
4Board for Certification of Genealogists, The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual (Orem, Utah: Ancestry Publishing Co., 2000), 1.
5Fifteen percent or more arrived between 1620 and 1633. Twenty percent or more arrived in 1634 and 1635. Anderson, Sanborn, and Sanborn, GM 1: xv.6Please note that the GSMP staff checked each source listed in Clarence Torrey’s manuscript. If a source listed in Torrey is not mentioned in the sketch, it is not because it was not reviewed by the GSMP; it is because it contained no reliable information not found in a better primary source.
7In 1636, the annual General Court of Election occurred on May 25, and, because of the difficulty of traversing the North Atlantic in the winter, all of the men who appeared in the list of freemen at that time must have arrived in New England no later than 1635. GMB, 1: xviii.
8GM, 1: xvii-xviii.9Robert C. Anderson, The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England 1634-1635 (Boston: NEHGS). With George F. Sanborn Jr., and Melinde Lutz Sanborn for volumes 1 and 2