Richard Warren & The Mayflower

Last modified date

Comment: 1

Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor by William Halsall (1882),

Our 9th Great Grandfather was our first European ancestor to arrive in North America on the Mayflower! Richard WARREN (1585-1628), most likely heralding from Therfield, Hertfordshire, was one of the few Merchant Venture financial backers who signed on to make the Mayflower voyage as a member of the Leiden contingent of Pilgrims. The Pilgrims sailed from their self imposed exile in the Netherlands to Southampton to join the expedition. They had originally planned to reach America by early October using two ships, but three false starts and complications meant they could use only one, Mayflower.

The Mayflower Route, National Geographic

Richard Warren, who left his wife and five daughters in England, was not a Pilgrim, and we do not know his true intent in joining the expedition to North America. Their intended destination had been the Colony of Virginia, having received approval to settle from the Company of Merchant Adventurers of London. Winter storms forced the Mayflower to anchor at the hook of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Arriving in late November, they had to survive unprepared through a harsh winter.

As a result, only half of the original Pilgrims survived the first winter at Plymouth. If not for the help of local indigenous peoples to teach them food gathering and other survival skills, all of the colonists would likely have perished. Before disembarking the Mayflower, the Pilgrims & Strangers, signed the Mayflower Compact, an agreement that established a rudimentary government, in which each member would contribute to the safety and welfare of the newly planned settlement.

Signing the Mayflower Compact 1620, a painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris,
Signing the Mayflower Compact 1620, a painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris

Richard waited until the colony was stable and more established before sending for his family. Elizabeth and their five daughters arrived in 1623 aboard the Anne, a cargo vessel. Two sons were born in Plymouth and the couple’s seven children all survived into adulthood, married, and raised large families. This means that Richard Warren is one of the most common passengers of the Mayflower from whom to be descended.

Unfortunately Richard died just five years later in 1628 and laid to rest on Burial Hill. The cause of death was not recorded. His widow, Elizabeth, outlived him by some 45 years, becoming one of the most powerful women in the colony, died on 2 October 1673, before also being laid to rest on Burial Hill.

Several U.S. Presidents have Mayflower lines, which, in turn, may make you a distant cousin of one or more Presidents. For example, John Adams and John Quincy Adams descended from Priscilla Mullins and John Alden, Zachary Taylor from William Brewster and Isaac Allerton, Ulysses S. Grant was a descendant of Richard Warren, and James Garfield of John Billington. Franklin D. Roosevelt had several Mayflower lines, as does President George Bush, who descends from Francis Cooke, John Tilley and John Howland.

Historical Gold in Charts of Mayflower Ancestors, Los Angeles Times, Myra V Gormley, 17 Feb 1990

Our cousins from descendants of Richard & Elizabeth Warren include the following list of characters…

  • Orson Welles is a 7th Cousin, sharing 6th Great Grandparents John LITTLE (1683-1767) & Constance FOBES (1686-1771)
  • Amelia Earhart & Louis Comfort Tiffany share 7th Great Grandparents Ephraim LITTLE (1650-1717) & Mary STURTEVANT (1651-1717)
  • Matt Damon, Ernest Hemingway, Christopher Lloyd, Sam Waterston, & Raquel Welsh, are 9th Cousins and we share 8th Great Grandparents Anna WARREN & Thomas LITTLE.
  • Taylor Swift is 10th Cousin as we share 9th Great Grandparents Richard WARREN & Elizabeth WALKER
7th Cousin Orson Welles (1915-1985)

Family Tree

With each generation the number of ancestors will double and, by the time we reach the Mayflower, there can be up to 2048 9th Great Grandparents. This is the direct line from 9th Great Grandparents to Grandparents…

  • Richard WARREN (1578-1628) & Elizabeth WALKER (1583-1673)
    • Anna WARREN (1612-1676) & Thomas LITTLE (1609-1671)
      • Ephraim LITTLE (1650-1717) & Mary STURTEVANT (1651-1717)
        • John LITTLE (1683-1767) & Constance FOBES (1686-1771)
          • Lemuel LITTLE (1724-1798) & Penelope EAMES (1732-1803)
            • Luther LITTLE (1757-1842) & Hannah Pittey LOVELL (1771-1826)
              • Olive LITTLE (1813-1855) & Ebenezer Lord ADAMS (1805-?)
                • Sarah Little ADAMS (1847-1931) & Silas Edwin BACON (1854-1929)
                  • Silas Coleman BACON (1879-1959) & Sarah Lenella HAYDEN (1876-1953)
                    • Mary Hayden BACON (1912-1998) & Robert MORRIS (1911-1989)
                      • Direct line…



Family archivist, genealogical researcher, writer, and always open to receive questions, comments, and feedback via


1 Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.