New Discovery Confirming Pilgrim Origins

Oct 26, 2017

NEW RESEARCH has confirmed the Nottinghamshire origins of one of the original Mayflower Pilgrims, Susanna White-Winslow.

Evidence uncovered by local historian and expert in English Separatists, Sue Allan, indicates that Susanna resided at Scrooby Manor in North Nottinghamshire before making the epic journey to New England in 1620.

“The origin of Susanna Winslow has long been a mystery as, until now, we’ve been unable to identify her maiden name and birthplace,” said Sue Allan. “Identifying the origins of the female pilgrims is a real challenge as there is generally so little information recorded about them – women had very few rights at that time, but they are so significant when painting the picture of the pilgrim history.”

But a poignant letter penned by her second husband Edward Winslow in 1623 provided an important link between Susanna and the Jackson family, including leaseholder of Scrooby Manor, Richard Jackson.

Sue continued: The letter we uncovered was the missing link we needed to conclude that Richard Jackson was in fact Susanna’s father and prove her Nottinghamshire origins. This is really exciting – Susanna was a very important figure; not only was she aboard the Mayflower ship, she was also pregnant during the voyage and gave birth to the first child to be born once the Mayflower reached the New World.

“After her first husband William White died that first winter, Susanna underwent the first marriage in New England – to Edward Winslow who became three times Governor of the Plymouth Colony.”

The Mayflower was an English ship that famously transported the first English Separatists – known today as Pilgrims – from Plymouth, UK to the New World. 102 passengers and an unknown number of crew made the journey across the Atlantic to establish a new church in the New World and play an important part in the historical origins of millions of Americans.

Brendan Moffett, chief executive of Visit Nottinghamshire said: “This is an incredibly exciting discovery for Nottinghamshire and for more than 10 million people in America, who are known to be descendants of the late Mayflower Pilgrims.

“Not only will it help many Americans piece together important threads to their family history, but it will lead to significant interest in the county for US tourists looking to visit the original home of their ancestors and some of the first New England settlers.”

Working closely with American colleague, Caleb Johnson, in addition to the discovery of Susanna Winslow’s origins, historian Sue Allan has also uncovered the birthplaces of Susanna’s first husband, William White and his and half niece - Dorothy May Bradford as being Wisbech in Cambridgeshire. 2020 will mark the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from Plymouth UK to Plymouth Massachusetts and will be commemorated in The Mayflower 400 programme.

The Mayflower 400 programme will deliver a world-class series of events, public art and wider content that will commemorate this exceptional voyage and provide a major ongoing impact across the partnership, knitting together communities, inspiring creativity and culture, driving economic growth, and promoting understand and education.

To book tours of Scrooby Manor with historian Sue Allen for the New Year visit

For further information, contact Emma Houghton or Emily Booth at Cartwright

Communications on or 0115 8532110.



About Visit Nottinghamshire

Visit Nottinghamshire is the destination marketing organisation responsible for driving leisure and business visitors to the county. It also manages the city’s gold award-winning tourism centre.

Visit Nottinghamshire is led and funded by the private sector with support from Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council. It also works in partnership with Visit England and Visit Britain.

Nottinghamshire is a leading tourism destination with a world-class record for sport, science, heritage, creativity and culture.  

About Mayflower 400

2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage – one of the most influential journeys in global history and a seminal moment in the shared history of Britain, the US and the Netherlands. The Mayflower 400 commemorations will highlight the special relationship between our nations, ultimately transforming communities and providing cultural, education, business and visitor links and celebrate the people and places of the epic pioneering tale. The anniversary provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to inspire people with the stories of the iconic voyage on a national and international scale, exploring themes of migration, tolerance, freedom and democracy that have such extreme comtemporary relevance.

About Sue Allen

As well as writing historical fiction, Sue is an expert in the subject of the English Separatists- many of whom later became better known as The Pilgrim Fathers.

She has helped and advised on numerous projects relating to the subject including several documentaries about the Pilgrim Fathers 'Who Do You Think You Are USA', 'Monumental', BBC 'Coast'.

In November 2012 Sue was appointed as Official Historian at Scrooby Manor. In 2014 she became a member of the board and Historian for the Pilgrim Fathers UK Origins Association and CIC.

Sue runs the popular 'Mayflower Pilgrim Tours' (with exclusive rights to access to the grounds of Scrooby Manor) guiding visitors along the Mayflower Trail, spanning the Pilgrim sites in the three counties of Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire,and Lincolnshire.

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