The Rogers Family
Thomas Rogers and his son Joseph, age about 17, were passengers on the Mayflower.
Thomas was born at Watford, Northampton, England, circa 1572, the son of William and Eleanor ( ) Rogers. He died at Plymouth, in the general sickness of the first winter of 1620/21. Thomas married at Watford, 24 October 1597, Alice Cosford. Alice was baptized at Watford, 10 May 1573, the daughter of George and Margaret ( ) Cosford. It is likely that she died in Leiden as there is no evidence that she emigrated to Plymouth. The last mention of her is in the 1622 poll tax at Leiden where she is mentioned with children, Elizabeth, Margaret and John Rogers, who were all in a house for “poor people.” In the same household is found Elizabeth Turner whose father and two brothers were passengers, with all three dying the first winter. Interesting to note that Elizabeth Turner also came over from Leiden so it is likely she came over with the Rogers children. It is likely that when the Rogers children came over from Leiden, their mother was then deceased.
Thomas and his family removed to Leiden by 1617 when he purchased a house there. The family made the choice that only Thomas and son Joseph would travel on the Mayflower; when they were settled, Alice and the remaining children would come over. Unfortunately, with Thomas’ death just a few months later, there was no home for them to go to.
Thomas was a signer of the Mayflower Compact, while the ship was at the Provincetown Harbor, on 11 November 1620. In the 1623 land division, Joseph Rogers received two acres, one for himself and another for his father. In the 1627 cattle division, Joseph is in the group headed by William Bradford. It is likely that when his father died that first winter, Bradford took him in.
In 1636, Joseph Rogers operated a ferry over Jones River, near his dwelling house and he charged one penny per person. In 1639, Joseph is called “of Duxbury” when he was named as a surveyor of highways; at the same court, his brother John became a freeman. The brothers were sometimes mentioned together, as in 1640 when they were granted 50 acres. In 1647, Joseph was appointed Lieutenant in Eastham, “to exercise their men in armes.”
Bradford’s history states that Thomas Rogers’ other children came over, married and had many children. John Rogers has been identified, which means Elizabeth and Margaret Rogers likely came over with their brother, perhaps around 1629/30 (when some of the remaining family members in Leiden were brought over), however they have not yet been identified in Plymouth.
Children of Thomas and Alice Rogers: (baptized at Watford)
- Thomas Rogers, baptized 24 March 1598/99; buried at Watford 27 May 1599.
- [possibly] Richard Rogers, baptized 12 March 1599/1600; buried at Watford 4 April 1600.
- Joseph Rogers, baptized 23 January 1602/03; died at Eastham, between 2 January and 15 January 1677/78; married before 16 August 1633, wife unknown; his 1678 will mentions wife Hannah; he had eight children: Sarah, Joseph, Thomas, Elizabeth, John, Mary, James and Hannah Rogers.
- John Rogers, baptized 6 April 1606; died at Duxbury, between 26 August 1691 and 20 September 1692; married at Plymouth, 16 April 1639, Anna Churchman; they had four children: John, (H)anna, Abigail and Elizabeth Rogers. John came over from Leiden and first shows up in Plymouth in the 1633 tax list.
- Elizabeth Rogers, baptized 26 Dec 1609; no further record. Elizabeth came over from Leiden; and it has been suggested that she may have married Samuel Eddy [who had many children] but further investigation is needed.
- Margaret Rogers, baptized 30 May 1613; no further record. Margaret came over from Leiden and likely married and had children.
Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Thomas Rogers, vol. 19, by Peggy M. Baker; Plymouth, 2013, 2nd ed.
Mayflower Passenger References, (from contemporary records and scholarly journals), by Susan E. Roser. 2011. pp. 318-27.
Descendants are invited to join the Thomas Rogers Society.