The English Ancestry of the Pilgrim Thomas Rogers
and his wife Alice (Cosford) Rogers

The accepted lineage researched and published by Clifford Stott in The Genealogist


Thomas Rogers was one of the unfortunate Mayflower passengers who died during the “first sickness at Plymouth” in the winter of 1620/1. Nevertheless, an extensive posterity is attributed to him through at least two sons, Joseph and John. [1] Until recently little was known concerning Thomas Rogers’ children and parentage; this did not deter authors of genealogies and family historians from publishing many fictitious accounts of this emigrant and his family, some complete with illustrious ancestry and an ever-present coat of arms.[2] One of the most common claims is that the Pilgrim was a great-grandson of (Rev.) John Rogers who was burnt at the stake in 1555, the first casualty of the purge of the English clergy by Queen Mary I.[3] Many Rogers emigrants to New England and Virginia share this claim of descent from the Martyr John Rogers;[4] these pedigrees should have been dead on arrival in the light of the well-documented study of the Martyr by (Col.) Joseph L. Chester (published as long ago as 1861 [5] as well as a useful article by Henry F. Waters, another pioneer in New England research, in 1887.[6] And yet the myth persists.

For two centuries and a half the only authentic evidence concerning Thomas Rogers and his family was a fragmentary and tantalizing account written in 1650 by a fellow passenger, (Governor) William Bradford: [7]
"Thomas Rogers, and Joseph, his sone (came). His other children came afterwards… Thomas Rogers dyed in the first sickness, but his sone Joseph is still living, and is married, and hath 6 children. The rest of Thomas Rogers (children) came over, and are maried, and have many children.”

Family historians speculated for many years concerning the identities of these “other children”. With little or no evidence, Thomas Rogers was made the father of a number of emigrants to New England, including James Rogers of New London, James Rogers of Newport, and William Rogers of Connecticut and Long Island. This last connection, at least, has been disproved. [8]

Stripping away the layers of assumptions and unproved claims that have accumulated for at least a century, what can actually be deduced from original sources? Only one of the “other children”, John Rogers, can be authenticated from New England records. He probably arrived at Plymouth about 1630 when the last of the Separatists arrived from Leiden. John was taxed in Plymouth on 25 March 1633.[9] On 6 April 1640 Joseph Rogers and John Rogers “his brother” were granted fifty acres each at North River (Marshfield), thus proving John’s identity. [10]

Henry Martyn Dexter and Morton Dexter published evidence from Dutch records in 1905 showing that Thomas [1] Rogers was a camlet merchant. On 25 June 1618 he was admitted as a citizen of Leiden, a distinction not held by all the English Separatists. He sold his house on the Barbarasteeg to one Mordecai Cohen on 1 April 1620 for 300 guilders, probably in anticipation of his removal to America.[11] Additional research in Leiden records by Jeremy Bangs showed that the house had been purchased in 1616 or 1617 from a baker, Jan Bloemsaet, and that Rogers had sued Blomsaet and his bondsman Gerrit Gerritsz, on 22 February 1619 to release a lien on the house.[12]

Robert Wakefield’s examination of the 1622 Leiden poll tax lists reveal that when Thomas [1] Rogers left for America his wife Alice, two daughters Elizabeth and Margaret, and son John remained in Leiden.[13] In the household of Antony Clements, apparently one of the English Separatists who did not emigrate to Plymouth, are found the following persons:
Jan Thomasz orphan from England without means
Elsgen (Alice) [14] Rogiers, widow of Thonis Rogiers an English woman in the back part of the house or in the kitchen
Lysbeth (Elizabeth)
Grietgen (Margaret)

In the Dutch patronymic system Jan Thomasz is equivalent to John, son of Thomas. His placement above Thomas Rogers’ widow and his description as “orphan from England” suggest that he is John [2] Rogers, later of Plymouth. It has been speculated that the daughter Elizabeth came to Plymouth and married Samuel [1] Eddy, since the latter was granted land at Plymouth on 3 June 1662 reserved for “the firstborn children” of the colony or their parents. As Samuel did not in his own right qualify on either count, it is possible that his wife Elizabeth was a daughter of Thomas [1] Rogers. [15]

In summary, the primary evidence gathered from Dutch and New England sources establishes that Thomas Rogers had a wife named Alice, who survived him, and a least four children: Joseph, John, Elizabeth and Margaret, probably born in that order. Joseph was likely the eldest because he came with his father to Plymouth in 1620, while the birth orders of the others is suggest by the tax list. Thomas left England by 1616 or 1617, when he bought his house at Leiden.

It then remained to find in English sources a family that matched this description, and such a family was located in the parish of Watford, co. Northampton. Searches in the register, as transcribed by W. Watts, [16] and with specific entries verified from the original registers by (Mrs.) M. A. Powell of the Northamptonshire Records Office, revealed the following data:

Baptisms

1570 -- ---- Margareta Roggers (no parents mentioned)
1575 7 Jan Elizabeth Rogers daughter of Wilhelmi Rogers
1581 20 Apr Willimus Rogers son of Willimi Rogers
1586 -- May Johannes Rogers son of Wilhelmi Rogers
1598 24 Mar Thomas Rogers son of Thomae Rogers
1599 12 Mar Richardus Rogers (no parents mentioned)
1601 8 Nov Catherena Rogers daughter of Johanis Rogers
1602 23 Jan Joseph Rogers son of Thomae Rogers
1602 31 Jan Johanes Rogers son of Johanis Rogers
1606 6 Apr Johannes Rogers son of Thomae Rogers
1606 12 Oct Joana Rogers daughter of Johanis Rogers
1609 26 Dec Elizabetha Rogers daughter of Thomae Rogers
1610 19 Aug Willihelmus Rogers son of Whillihelmi Rogers
1611 13 Oct Edmundus Rogers son of Johannes Rogers
1613 30 May Margareta Rogers daughter of Thomae Rogers
1615 30 May Maria Rogers daughter of Wilhelmi Rogers
1515 21 Jan Richardus Rogers son of Johannis Rogers
1617 1 Jan Thomas Rogers son of Guihelmi Rogers
1653 27 Oct Daughter of Thomas & Mariae Rogers (born)
1656 13 Feb Maria Rogers daughter of Thomae & Mariae (born 20 Jan)
1659 24 Jul Hester Rogers daughter of Thomae & Mariae (born 20 Jul)
1663 -- Mar ---- (Rogers?) daughter of Thomae & Mariae

Marriages

1585 4 Jul Willmus Lyne and Elenor Rogers (M.A. Powell has 1586)
1597 24 Oct Thomas Rogers and Alicia Cosforde
1609 4 Nov Willihelmus Rogers and Maria Sabine
1633 23 May Gulihelmus Adson and Catherina Rogers
1635 -- Jul Robertus Rodwai and Elizabetha Rogers
1661 5 Oct Richardus Rogers and Elizabeth Kennell

Burials

1572 27 Aug Margaret Rogers
1585 4 Aug Willhelmus Rogers [17]
1599 27 May Thomas Rogers son of Thomae Rogers
1600 4 Apr Richardus Rogers
1609 16 Aug Elizabetha Rogers
1612 2 Sep Willihelmus Rogers
1650 13 Jan Maria Rogers
1656 20 May Johannes Rogers
1660 30 May Gulielmus Rogers
1680 10 Nov ---- Rogers
1680 10 Nov Maria wife of Thomae Rogers
1681 16 Jul Thomas Rogers

The entries highlighted above, from baptisms and marriages prior to 1670 and burials prior to 1700, clearly record members of the family of the Pilgrim Thomas Rogers. With one possible exception, this family seems to have removed from the parish after 1613. It is possible that Elizabeth Rogers married Robert Rodway in July 1635 is a daughter of Thomas Rogers who returned to Watford from Leiden to live with relatives. If so, then Elizabeth did not marry Samuel Eddy at Plymouth. It is also possible that Robert Rodway’s wife was a different Elizabeth Rogers, baptized elsewhere, or even a widow. This question remains open at this time.

Two Rogers wills registered in the Archdeaconry Court of Northampton identify the father and paternal grandfather of the Pilgrim Thomas Rogers. [18]

William Rogers of Watford (1553)

"In the name of god Amen in the yeare of or lord god 1553 and in ye VIIth yeare of the Reyngne of oure sovergne lord Edward ye sixth… The XXth day of Aprill I Willm Rogs of Watford sycke in body and hole in mynde do maike this my last will and testament in manr and forme folowyng ffirst I bequeath my soule to almighty god and his blyssyd mother ye virgin Mary and to all ye heavenly company and my body to be buried in ye chyrche yard of Watford Item I bequethe the mother church of Peterborough ii [1] to ye poore mans boxe ii [1] Item I give to my chyldn that I have which are seven in number x1s apece and one to be Anothers hayer and thaye to resave (receive) theyre pts at ye age of xvi years Item I give Edward my sone a new brasse pott beside his part aforenamyd Item I maike Jone my fyffe my sole executrix to despose ye residue of my goods to gods pleasure… and I maike my brother Ryc (Richard) Nicholas Hawell and Thomas Sabyn and alijs.. (proved 19 May 1533) [19]

William Rogers of Watford (1585)

"In Dei Nomine Amen the XIIIth day of August Anno dom 1585 I willm Rogers of Watford in the county of Northton husbandman sicke in body but of whole and pfecte memory do make and ordeyne this my last will and testament in maner and form following first I bequeathe my soule into the hands of Almighty god my maker and to Jesus Christ my redeemer and to the holy ghost my sanctyfyer and my body to be buryed in the churchyard of Watford aforesaid Item I give and bequeath unto Thomas Rogers my eldest sonne one messuage with a little peece of ground joining to the same on the backside commonly called the cote and one quarter of land being in the neyther end field of Watford with all the appurtenances there unto belonging to enter upon the same messuage and quarter of land with appurtenances at twenty one years of his age and not before in the meantime my wife to have the occupation of it Item I give unto the same Thomas Rogers one gray colte and my beest kine to chuse the same at holy roodes of day commonly called thenvention of the holly crosse [20] nex ensuing the date hereof Item I give and bequeath unto the same Elizabeth Rogers my daughter one cowe and one lambe to be delivered unto hir at thenvention of the holy crosse next come twelve moneth which shalbe in the yeare of our lord god 1587 Item I give and bequeath unto Willm Rogers my sonne ten pounds of lawful Englishe money to be payed unto him at eighteen years of his age Item Igive unto the foresaid Willm Rogers my sonne the lease of one messuage or tenement wheron I now dwell and one halfe yard land unto the same belonging with all those pastures medowes feeding commons with all the appurtenances unto the same belonging lying in th towne or of field or fields of Watford aforesaid to enter upon the foresaid messuage half yard land with the appurtenances etc after the decease of Ellenor Rogers my wife at the endy of hir naturrall lyfe in the meantime the foresaid Ellenor to have and enioy the messuage halfe yard land with the appurtenances in as ample and large maner as is before specyfyed Item I give unto the sayd Willm Rogers my sonne three hyves commonly called his owne Provided always that yf it happen any of my foresaid children to decease before terme or tyme specyfyed or abouve specyfyed for payment or delivery of all and every of the foresaid porsions or legacyes that then they survivors or longer liver or livers to have the legacyes of the deceased equally devided ajongest and yf it happen all save one to decease then he or she to have and enioy all the whole legacyes of the deceased And yf it happa my children aforeayd to decease before the termes aforesaid then the legacyes to remayne with myne executrix Item I give and bequeath to Elizabeth Cole my sister xii [1] and to either of hir children iiii [1] a peece Item I give unto Willm Garle the sonne of Alexander Garle iiii [1] All the rest of my goods chattels moveable and unmoveable (illegible) unbequeathed my debts discharged I give unto Ellinor Rogers my wfye who I make my whole and sole executrix to fulfill this my last will and testament And I desire Robt Butler and Edward Rogers my brother to my overseers made in the psence of Robt Butler Robt Maddocke of Watford with others (proved 9 May 1586) [21] Inventory x1ij [li] xix[s] ij[d]

William Rogers, the testator in 1553, had seven children, but only his son Edward is mentioned by name. That William Rogers in 1585 appointed his brother Edward an overseer shows that William was also a son of the elder William and one of the seven children. The younger William Rogers also mentioned a sister Elizabeth Cole and two children of hers. The following Cole entries, the only Cole baptisms in Watford registers, [16] suggest that Elizabeth Rogers married John Cole:

Baptisms

1581 16 Jul Almerea Cole daughter of Johannis Cole
1585 18 Feb Robertus Cole son of Johanis Cole
1588 4 Sep Johannes Cole son of Johannis Cole

Elizabeth Cole was buried at Watford on 6 February 1626/7. It is possible, but not proved, that the wife of Alexander Garle was another daughter of William Rogers (Sr.).

This will of the younger William Rogers calls Thomas his eldest son and not yet twenty-one years of age, so Thomas would have been born no earlier than 1564 and no later than 1581, when his brother William was baptized. If Thomas were twenty-six years of age when he was married (1597) he would have been born about 1571. Since the Watford registers do begin in 1565 his baptism should have been recorded, but it was not. The transcriber of the registers has noted that, "Some omissions have been unavoidable due to damage of the original register." [16]

Summary

1. William Roger of Watford, co. Northampton, born say 1510, died at Watford in April or May 1553, survived by his wife JOAN (----). [19] Of the seven children mentioned in his will, only three have been identified, and their order is uncertain.
Children of William and Joan (----) Rogers, probably born at Watford:
i. Edward, mentioned in his father's will in 1553; no further record.
ii. William, born ca. 1540
iii. Elizabeth, born say 1550, bur. Watford 6 Feb. 1626/7, named in the will of her brother William in 1585, m. John Cole.
2. William Rogers, husbandman of Watford, born about 1540, buried there 4 [14?] August 1585, married as first wife Eleanor (----), buried at Long Buckby, co. Northampton 23 May 1607. She married (2) Watford 4 July 1586 William Lyne, who was buried at Long Buckby 16 April 1598. [22] His will, made 30 March 1598 and proved 28 April 1598, [23] left to his wife Ellyn, among other bequests, "all the bedding that she knoweth to be her own." This language suggests that she had been married previously and was very likely the widow of William Rogers.
Children of William and Eleanor (----) Rogers, born at Watford:
i. (possibly) Margaret, bapt. 1570, no parents named, bur. Watford 27 Aug. 1572
ii. Thomas, b. c. 1571
iii. Elizabeth, bapt. 7 Jan. 1575/76, mentioned in her father's will in 1585, perhaps the Elizabeth Rogers bur. Watford 16 Aug. 1609.
iv. William, bapt. 20 April 1581, mentioned in his father's will. Two William Rogers living concurrently at Watford make any further record unclear.
v. John, bapt. May 1586 (posthumous), bur. Watford 20 May 1656. The John Rogers having children at Watford as early as Jan. 1602/3 is probably not this man.
3. Thomas [1] Rogers (of the Mayflower), born Watford about 1571, died Plymouth, Massachusetts in the winter 1620/1 in the "first sickness", married Watford 24 October 1597 Alice Cosford, baptized there 10 May 1573, living in Leiden, Netherlands in 1622, daughter of George and Margaret (Wills?) Cosford of Watford (see below, "Cosford Family").
i. Thomas Rogers was a camlet merchant. He bought a house on the Barbarasteeg in Leiden by 1617, having joined the English Separatists there in or after 1613, and he became a citizen of Leiden on 25 June 1618. He sold his house on April 1620, probably to prepare for removal to America. In the fall of 1620 he and his son Joseph sailed on the Mayflower and he was the eighteenth signer of the Mayflower Compact on 11 November 1620. Alice and the other children remained in Leiden, apparently expecting to join Thomas and Joseph later; they were still there in 1622, living in the home of Anthony Clements. Of the four surviving children, only his sons Joseph and John have so far been documented in New England records.
Children of Thomas and Alice (Cosford) Rogers, baptized at Watford:
i. Thomas [2], bapt. 24 March 1598/9, bur. Watford 27 May 1598.
ii. (possibly) Richard, bapt. 12 March 1599/1600, no parents named, bur. Watford 4 April 1600.
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. [24] iv. John, bapt. 6 April 1606, d. Duxbury before 20 September 1692, m. Plymouth 16 April 1639 Anna Churchman. Issue. At Leiden in 1622 with his mother and two sisters, John Rogers probably came to Plymouth about 1630 with the last of the Pilgrims to leave the Separatist enclave. He was first at Duxbury from Edmund Chandler. With his brother Joseph and others, he had a grant of fifty acres at Marshfield 6 April 1640. He was admitted a freeman before 1 March1641/2. At Duxbury he was surveyor of highways in 1644, deputy to the General Court in 1657, and constable in 1666. As an "ancient freeman" of the colony, he was granted land at Taunton on 3 June 1662. He had another hundred acres on Coteticutt (Titicut) River in 1677 and in 1673 another hundred acres on the northeast side of Taunton. He is called "weaver" in a deed conveying one acre in Duxbury to Wrestling Brewster in 1680. His will, dated 26 August 1691, was proved 20 September 1692. [25]
v. Elizabeth, bapt. 26 December 1608, living in Leiden in 1622. She may have m. Samuel Eddy at Plymouth or she may be the Elizabeth Rogers who m. Robert Rodway at Watford in July 1635.
vi. Margaret, bapt. 30 May 1613, living in Leiden in 1622. No further record appears for her at Plymouth or elsewhere.

Cosford Family

Alice Cosford, who married Thomas Rogers at Watford 24 October 1597, was almost certainly a daughter of George Cosford baptized there 10 May 1573. The name is by this time almost illegible; Watts speculated that it was "Anne" but Mrs. Powell states that it "could equally be Anne or Alice" and, in any event , the will of George Cosford names Alice and Thomas Rogers his daughter and son-in-law but does not mention any daughter Anne. The following entries were extracted from the Watts transcript: [16]

Baptisms

1570 23 Aug Annis Cosforde
1571 9 Jun Johannes Cosforde
1573 10 May Anne (?) Cosforde (Anne or Alice, M.A. Powell)
1574 4 Feb Wilhelmus Cosforde
1576 3 Jun Clemence, daughter of Georgi Cosforde (month added and name confirmed by M.A. Powell)
1581 10 Jun Giffordus, son of Georgii Cosforde
1610 6 May Elizabetha Cosforde daughter of Johannis Cosforde
1611 -- Nov Georgius Cosforde son of Johannis Cosforde
1613 19 Sep Alicia Cosforde daughter of Johannis Cosforde
1615 2 Jul Isabella Cosforde daughter of Johannis Cosforde
1617 2 Nov Johannes Cosforde son of Johannis Cosforde
1620 16 Apr Margareta Cosford daughter fo Johannis & Maria Cosford

Marriages

1597 24 Oct Thomas Rogers and Alicia Cosforde
1609 25 Nov Johanes Ashby and Maria Cosforde

Burials

1600 2 Mar Henricus Cosforde (?)
1607 7 Apr Henricus Cosforde
1608 13 Nov Georgius Cosforde
1615 18 Nov Margareta Cosforde
1623 3 Dec Robertus Cosforde
The parents of George Cosford are unknown. Although the will of a John Cosford of the nearby parish of Ashby St. Ledgers mentions a son named George, [25] that will was made in 1533; if the son George is father-in-law of the Pilgrim Thomas Rogers, he is considerably older than one might have anticipated.

George Cosford of Watford (1601)

"In the name of god Amen the nynth daie of Aprill the yeare of our Lord god 1601 in the fortie and third yeare of the raigne of our sovergne Ladie Queene Elizabeth I George Cosford of Watford in the Countie of Northampton husbandman being sick in bodie yet of pfect mynd and memory I thank my god do make this my last will and testament in manner and forme following ffirst I commend my soule to god almightie and my bodie to be furied in the churchard of Watford Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth one cowe and twentie marks of lawful money of England to be paied to her by five marks yearelie until the said whole some of twentie marks be (illeg.) unto the said Elizabeth And if she shall happen to be married before all the said payments be discharges in manner and forme aforesaid then my will and mynde is that al the money beheld and not paied unto the said Elizabeth of the said some of twentie marks shalbe paied unto her in and upon the day of the marriage of the said Elizabeth Item I give and bequeath unto my sonne John five pounds of like lawful money to be paied unto him whin two yeares next after my decease Item I give to my sonne Gifford tenn pounds of like lawful money to be paied unto him wthin foure yeares next after my decease Item I give to my daughter Marie twentie nobles to be paied bo her in and upon the daie of her marriage and if she be not married before to be paied unto her at the age of thirtie yeares Item I vive to my daughter Clemence twenty nobles to be pied at such tyme as she shalbe willing to depart from or discontinue her abode wth her mother and brother Henry or either of them Item I bequeath unto my sonne Willm five marks to be paied wthin five yeares next after my decease Itemmy will and mynde is that the agreement in wrytinge between me and Thomas Rogers my soninlawe dated the eight daie of October 1596 shalbe pformed according to the true intent and meaning thereof by my wife Margaret Cosford and Henry Cosford whom I make myne executrs of this my last will and testament and unto whom (my debts paied and the legacies in and by this my will bequeathed pformed) I give the rest of my goodes and chattels moveable and unmoveable ungiven and unbequeathed and I make mine overseers John Davis vicar of Watford aforesaid to whom I give two shllings for his paines wth me and Robert Butcher and John Wills my brother and in repect thereof I give to them three sixe penie apiece In wytnesse wherof: John Davis John Wills his marke (proved 15 May 1609)"[26]

Summary

George Cosford, husbandman of Watford, co. Northampton, born say 1545, buried at Watford 13 November 1608, married MARGARET (----) who was buried there 18 November 1615. As George Cosford called John Wills "brother" in his will, her surname may have been Wills.
Children of George and Margaret (----) Cosford, baptized at Watford: i. Henry, b. c.1568, bur. Watford 7 April 1607, probably eldest son. Although named an executor of his father's will, he predeceased his father.
ii. John, bapt. 9 June 1571, living 16 April 1620; he had children bapt. at Watford but his wife's name is unknown.
iii. Alice, bapt. 10 May 1573, m. Thomas [1] Rogers the Pilgrim.
iv. William, bapt. 4 February 1574/5, living 9 April 1601, n.f.r
v. Clemence, bapt. 3 June 1576, living 9 April 1601, n.f.r.
vi. Gifford, bapt. 10 June 1581, living 9 April 1601, n.f.r.
vii. Elizabeth, bapt. Not found, living 9 April 1601, n.f.r.
viii. Mary, bapt. Not found, m. Watford 25 Nov. 1609 John Asbby or Ashby.

"It is hoped that this account will provide a framework for further research into the ancestry of Thomas [1] Rogers and his wife Alice Cosford. The grandfather William Rogers mentioned a brother Richard in his 1553 will. George Cosford made his "brother" John Wills an overseer of his will in 1601, while the name Gifford given to one of George's sons suggest ties to the Giffard family. All interested parties are encouraged to join in the search. "

Notes

1. Robert M. Sherman, ed., Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, 2:James Chilton, Richard More, Thomas Rogers (Plymouth, MA 1978), pp.151-321. The Thomas Rogers material was compiled by Alice W.A. Wesgate, who observes (p. 153) that "nothing at all is known about his ancestry".
2. One of the early Rogers genealogies to present in print this erroneous notion was Annie Arnoux Haxtun, Signers of the Mayflower Compact (repr. Baltimore, 1968); originally published in three parts from 1897 to 1899, this more properly a collection of fairy tales fro children than a serious genealogical study. Without reference to the work of Chester or Waters, and with vague allusions to "authentic" sources, Haxtun championed the idea that Thomas [1] Rogers descended from John Rogers the Martyr. She also believed that William [1] Rogers of Long Island and James [1] Rogers of New London were sons of the Pilgrim Thomas [1] Rogers. In 1911 John C. Underwood further elaborated on Haxtun's claims in his Lineage of the Rogers Family - England: Embracing John Rogers the Martyr, Emigrant Descendants to America and Issue. Now Thomas [1] Rogers acquired not only a wife named Grace but also a descent from royalty! (Chester had in fact documented a royal line for the Martyr John Rogers, but Underwood failed to cite any real documentation for the generations between the martyr and the Pilgrim.) Although this "ancestry" was many years ago rejected by the Thomas Rogers Society and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, the undocumented claims of Haxtun and Underwood continue to appear in print as predictably as the swallows' return to Capistrano. Most recently, for example, Helen Rogers Skelton and Clarence C. Skelton, Rogers-Skelton and Allied Families (Baltimore, 1987) copies Underwood almost verbatim and even adds additional royal descents.
3. Although there are variations, the usual descent claimed for Thomas [1] Rogers is as son of Thomas Matthew, son of Bernard, son of the Martyr. Chester found no evidence that Bernard had any posterity. Another source would make Thomas [1] son of (Rev.) John Rogers of Dedham, son of Noah, son of the Martyr (History of Suffolk county, New York (New York 1822), "Town of Huntington", p.6) But Waters proved that (Rev.) John Rogers, father of (Rev.) Nathaniel Rogers of Ipswich, MA, has an entirely different ancestry.
4. For the alleged descent of Giles Rogers of Virginia from Martyr, see Underwood, supra note 2, pp. 30, 32-33.
5. Joseph L. Chester, John Rogers: The Compiler of the First Authorized English Bible, the Pioneer of the English Reformation, and its First Martyr…(London, 1861).
6. Henry F. Waters, "The Rogers Family of the County of Essex, England", New England Historical and Genealogical Register (NEHGR) 41:158:88 (1887).
7. Bradford's History "Of Plymouth Plantation" from the Original Manuscript (Boston, 1898), pp. 553, 537.
8. New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 60:102-04.
9. Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, ed. Records of the Colony of New Plymouth (12 vols., Boston, 1855-61), 1:11.
10. Id., 1:144
11. Henry Martyn Dexter and Morton Dexter, The England and Holland of the Pilgrims (repr. Baltimore, 1978) pp. 572-73, 632.
12. Jeremy D. Bangs, " The Pilgrims and Other English in Leiden Records: Some New Pilgrim Documents", NEHGR 142:207 (1989).
13. Robert S. Wakefield, "Mayflower Passengers Turner and Rogers: Probable Identification of Additional Children", The American Genealogist 52:110-13 (1976).
14. Although Wakefield read "Elsgen" as Elizabeth, Bangs, supra note 12, p. 207, read its English equivalent as Alice Anthony Clements Married Clara Rogiers, widow of Jan Jansz. The relationship if any between Thomas [1] and Clara has not been determined.
15. For speculation on this point see Eugene A. Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History&People (Salt Lake City, Utah, 1986), pp. 287-88.
16. Thanks to Dr. Sidnee Spencer of Murray, Utah for making a copy of this transcription available. All dates are in Old style.
17. The year 1585 is verified by Mrs. Powell. The date of burial was probably 14 August, since William Rogers made his will on 13 August. An error may have occurred in recopying when the registers were transcribed in 1598.
18. Other relevant Rogers wills were not found in this probate court. 19. Archdeaconry of Northampton, Registered Wills M:30.
20. The invention of the Holy Cross, celebrated 3 May, commemorates Empress Helena's discovery of the True Cross in Palestine in 376 A.D.
21. Archdeaconry of Northampton, Registered Wills V:214. 22. R.L. Greenall, ed., Parish Register of Long Buckby (Leicester, 1971), pp. 18, 28.
23. Archdeaconry of Northampton, Registered Wills W:40.
24. Sherman supra note 1, pp. 103-05; Shurtleff, supra note 9, 1:4, 11, 28, 39, 141, 144, 12:4, 6, 12.
25. Sherman, supra note 1 pp. 159-60.
26. Archdeaconry of Northampton, Registered Wills Z:167.


(Information from The Genealogist, Vol. 10 No. 2, 1989)

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