Thursday, July 5, 2012

Josiah Winslow - Governor of Plymouth Colony

My mother's ancestry goes back to the Winslow family who were some of the earliest settlers of Plymouth. Edward and Gilbert were passengers on the Mayflower, brother John came on the Fortune in 1621 and the two younger Winslows, Josiah and Kenelm came about 1631. My family descends from Kenelm so this Josiah is my first cousin, 11 times removed.

Josiah Winslow, shown here was the 13th Governor of Plymouth Colony, serving from 1673 to 1680. He was born in 1628 to Edward Winslow and Penelope Pelham (daughter of Herbert Pelham, the first treasurer of Harvard College). Josiah was the first governor of Plymouth born in the New World. By the time he took office, the colony was well established and no longer reliant on Native Americans to teach the colonists survival skills. The expanding British settlements of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay were expanding and putting pressure of the lands of the Native Americans. Chief of the Wampanoag, Metacom (or King Philip) and Josiah did not have a good relationship and this contributed to the outbreak of King Philip's War. Josiah's half-brother was Peregrine White, the first English child born in New England.

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