Another blustery day.
The two children that were part of the (Edward) Tilley household are interesting subjects by themselves. Humility Cooper, one of the youngest Mayflower passengers, was the niece of Agnes (Cooper) Tilley, the wife of Edward Tilley. She was born in Leiden by about 1619, the daughter of Robert Cooper, Agnes’ brother, and Joan (Gresham) Cooper (TG 6 [Fall, 1985]: 166). Robert Charles Anderson notes that Humility “was no more than a year old at the time the Mayflower sailed” (Mayflower Migration, 69); there is a possibility that she was orphaned in Holland, which would explain her presence in the Tilley household. Edward and Agnes Tilley died the first winter, as we saw yesterday, and Humility received one acre as a passenger of the Mayflower in the 1623 Plymouth land division (Plymouth Colony Records 12:4). She was a part of the 1627 cattle division as the last person in the fifth company (in the William Brewster group, suggesting that the Brewster family was taking care of her: Plymouth Colony Records 12:10), and this is the last record for her on this side of the Atlantic. She reappears when she is baptised as an adult at Holy Trinity in Minories, London on 17 March 1638/39; the record states that she was nineteen years old and was born in Holland (TG 6 :166). Bradford writes in his 1651 list of increasings that “the girl Humility, their [viz., Edward and Agnes Tilley’s] cousin, was sent for into England and died there.” She must therefore have died between 1639 and 1651, although the exact date of her death is not now known. There is no record of any marriage or of any children. She is thus the second person we have seen permanently to return to England (we have already met Bartholomew Allerton).
Henry Samson was the nephew of Agnes Tilley, being the son of James Samson and Agnes (Cooper) Tilley’s sister, Martha (Cooper) Samson. He was sixteen at the time of the voyage, having been baptised in Henlow, Bedfordshire on 15 January 1603/04; Henry’s parents and other siblings remained behind in Henlow. Henry may have been apprenticed to his uncle, but the circumstances of how he came on the Mayflower are unclear. His aunt and uncle both died the first winter, as did John and Joan Tilley (his uncle’s older brother and wife), leaving behind Henry and his two female relatives: Humility Cooper and Elizabeth Tilley. It is probable that he (and his cousin Humility) were taken care of by the Brewster family, since they are included in that group in the 1627 division of cattle; he received an acre in the 1623 land division, next to Humility on “the north side of the town next adjoining to their gardens which came in the Fortune.” He married Anne Plummer (who arrived in Plymouth in 1635); they lived mostly in Duxbury and had nine children (Anderson laments, “There are few chronological clues to help us in arranging the children of Henry Samson” Pilgrim Migration, 404). Henry died in 1684/85 in Duxbury.
My particular interest in Henry arises from my descent from Abraham Sampson (don’t obsess about distinctions between the “p” and “non-p” Sam(p)sons); there is evidence that Abraham and Henry were cousins, but connecting the dots is not easy. Abraham, called “of Duxbarrow,” first shows up in Plymouth Colony Records on 4 December 1638, when he was “presented for striking and abusing John Washbourne, the younger, in the meetinghouse [!] on the Lord’s Day [!!]” (1:107). Until Robert Leigh Ward’s discovery of the origin of Henry Samson of the Mayflower (TAG 52 : 198-208), it was generally assumed that Henry and Abraham Sam(p)son were brothers, since they both lived in Duxbury. Henry, however, did not have a brother named Abraham. In a later article, Ward showed that Henry had a first cousin Abraham, baptised at Campton, Bedfordshire, on 14 August 1614, son of Lawrence Sampson, who may have been the Lawrence Samson who married Mary Sharbery at Cranfield, Bedfordshire on 2 June 1602 (TAG 56 : 141-143). This Abraham Sampson may be the immigrant; further evidence is needed to prove or disprove this hypothesis (see Robert Wakefield, “The Daughters of Abraham Samson (born 1614?) of Duxbury MA” [TAG 63 : 207-210). The Descendants of Abraham Sampson is a 13 Generation Report [!!!] based on the Pilgrim Henry Samson Kindred’s “Abraham Sampson Database of Sources”; because there are no recent publications similar to the Mayflower Society’s Five Generation Project specifically for non-Pilgrim Abraham, the database was assembled to help prospective members find sources to help prove their lines to Abraham. It is a work in progress that currently consists of more than 27,500 individuals.