Wife: Hannah (6)
Christened: 23 Jan 1602/1603, Watford, Northhamptonshire, England
6 March 2004
Tonight I will tell you the story of our ancestor Joseph Rogers.
The English ship, the Mayflower, carried the Separatist Puritans to Plymouth, Mass., in 1620. It was later that they came to be known as "Pilgrims." John Carver, a leader of the Separatists in Leiden, Holland, went to London and chartered the ship and found some business men that would help pay for everything.. The ship was down on the south coast of England at Southampton getting all ready to sail. It needed to have repairs and a lot of supplies. They would be at sea a long time. When they finally got to America there would be no stores or houses or factories. So they needed to take all the food they would need for many months, plus tools to build new homes starting with trees, and every other thing they would need. The passenger list included English Separatists, some non-Puritans that the London business men wanted to send, and a few hired people like Miles Standish, a soldier.
Meanwhile, in Leiden, Joseph, a strong young man, and his father Thomas, and others of the Leiden Separatists, set sail for Southampton in the ship, Speedwell. Both the Speedwell and the Mayflower set off together from Southampton on August 15 of 1620 with a total of 120 passengers plus crew members. But the Speedwell was a leaky old boat and twice both boats came back to England to repair the Speedwell. No one wanted to take off across the vast Atlantic Ocean in a boat that leaked from the start. Finally, at Plymouth, England, some of the passengers were taken off the Speedwell and others were crowded onto the Mayflower and it set sail for real on September 16, 1620 with 102 passengers including our Joseph Rogers, his father, Thomas, and 35 of their friends from Leiden.
The crew sighted Cape Cod on November 19 and the Mayflower dropped anchor at Provincetown on November 21. That day 41 men signed the so-called Mayflower Compact. Joseph's father was one of the signers. Maybe they thought Joseph was too young, being only 18. You can read about the Mayflower Compact in the letter I wrote to you about his father.
Even though they were at Plymouth, America, they didn't get off the boat right away. They wanted to find just the right spot where they could make a settlement. So everyday they sent scouts out to find a good spot and Joseph was very likely one of the scouts. Finally they picked a spot that had a nice stream running by it and a cleared area where they could put up some houses quickly, and a deep harbor where the big ship could come in, and a tall hill with a forest on top to supply logs for their houses. They moved off the boat the day after Christmas in 1620. Boy, was it cold! And a lot of people were sick.
Joseph's father died that first winter in Plymouth along with many others. But when spring finally came things began to look more hopeful and the next few years brought more and more boatloads of settlers, many of them Puritans, to the new little colony in New England. Soon new settlements were built. By 1639 Joseph had married Hannah and moved out to the village of Duxbury with Hannah and his three children Sarah, Joseph, and Thomas. By 1647 he had three more children, Elizabeth, John, and Mary, and moved to Eastham where he lived until he died. In Eastham his last two children, James and Hannah, were born.
We know a few other things about Joseph Rogers because of records made then that have survived until now. A court record from March 1635/1636 shows Joseph was given permission to operate a ferry over the Jones River near his home for the charge of one penny per passenger. Another court order from 1670 gave him permission to purchase land from Indians near Eastham.
We also know that Joseph Rogers was a good upstanding member of the community. There were no criminal charges against him ever unlike his brother John who got into trouble more than once because of his liking for pretty ladies. Joseph was involved as the plaintiff in a civil case. He accused Edward Doty of not fulfilling a contract for six pigs. Doty was required to come through with 4 bushels of corn instead. Joseph was twice named as a Lieutenant in Eastham, a post he held when he died. He also served as a selectman.
Joseph died at Eastham in January of 1677/1678, fifty-seven years after riding the Mayflower to the new world. He is a famous American colonist because he was one of the first, coming on the Mayflower. Fortunately he lived long enough to help the colony become well established and to leave children for us to descend from. Now go to the last paragraph of the letter I wrote about his father, Thomas Rogers, and you will see how we are related to Joseph Rogers.
iii. Joseph, bapt. 23 Jan. 1603/3, d. Eastham, Massachusetts Jan. 1677/8, m. Hannah (----). Issue. Arriving with his father late in 1620, he was granted tow acres in 1623, one in his own right and one in his father's right. On the 1627 cattle division list he appears with (Gov.) William Bradford, with whom he may have lived after having been orphaned. In 1633 he was made a freeman and that same year paid tax with his brother John. He was in Duxbury early and on 2 March 1635/6he was permitted to operate a ferry across the Jones River; he was granted thirty acres of land 5 November 1638; he was appointed constable at Duxbury 3 March 1639/40. With his brother John and others, he had a grant of fifty acres at North River (Marshfield) 6 April 1640. He is last mentioned at Duxbury 31 July 1646 but by the following year appeared at Nausett (Eastham), where he was proposed as lieutenant of the trained band 1 June 1647. He served on the Council of War in June and October 1658; released from his lieutenancy in 1661, he was re-established in 1664. He was selectman for Eastham in 1670. His will, made 2 January 1677/8, was proved 5 March1677/8; the inventory of his estate was taken 15 January1677/8.
Revised: November 26, 2016