Elizabeth crossed paths with Bigelows, Warrens,
and others in Boston, Watertown, CT, England, and aboard ship. Her mother
was Anne (Winthrop) Fones, and her father was Thomas Fones, an apothecary
in London in 1617. Anne Fones' father was Adam Winthrop, who had been a
wealthy Suffolk clothier at Lavenham. He had risen to be Master of the
Clothesworkers Guild in London, and like many others, celebrated his successes
by joining the gentry. This was accomplished by means of a coat-of-arms
awarded by the Royal College of heralds and a manor grant bought from the
King. The Winthrops were henceforth esquires and lords of Groton Manor.
The book opens up with Elizabeth, her younger sister Martha, her mother,
and her father traveling from London to Groton Manor to visit the relatives.
John Winthrop, Anne Fones brother, was
Lord of Groton Manor. Their father was Adam Winthrop , and their mother
and his wife Mistress Winthrop also at Groton Manor. She had been plain
Anne Browne of Edwardstone, a yeoman's daughter, before their marriage.
It was June 19, 1617, and there was a cruel east wind from the sea that
linked their Suffolk coast with Holland. It was the time of King James
and his Queen? The King's children were Charles, the Prince of Wales and
Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia.
"John Winthrop was born in Suffolk, England in 1587. He was his parents' only son. His father, Adam Winthrop, was the lord of Groton Manor, a small estate in the English countryside. John grew up on his father's estate, amid gently rolling hills, fields of wheat and rye, and shallow ponds. In his childhood he as educated by a private tutor, and at the age of fourteen his father enrolled him in Trinity College in Cambridge. He studied there for two years and then returned to Groton to begin practical training in running his father's estate. Soon Adam Winthrop saw his son's hidden marriage problem and introduced him to Mary Worth (Forth- see below), the daughter of a distinguished Essex nobleman. Three weeks later John was married at the age of seventeen. Ten months later, just after his eighteenth birthday, he became a father. John and his wife Mary worked hard and had six children in ten years. Then Mary suddenly died. After six months John remarried, but on his first wedding anniversary his second wife died. One year later John married his third wife, Margaret. By all accounts, Margaret was one of the most appealing women in all of American history. She was beautiful and gracious. She was also a woman of faith. John Winthrop treasured her as his greatest possession. When he traveled away from home, he never failed to send her love letters." From Winthrop Papers text .
John Winthrop's children were also in Groton Manor upon Elizabeth's visit in 1617. The oldest appears to have been Lucy age 16 and the 2 youngest being Forth and Mary. John Winthrop's wife and their mother had died previously(as stated above).
To jump ahead a bit, "It was 6 July, when John Winthrop sat in his private bark wigwam at Charlestown on the Mystic river, writing home-bound letters for which Captain Pierce, Master of the Lyon, was waiting........... there was a crowd of people milling about as usual outside, desirous of interviews. They were discontented settlers, tired of existing on mussels, wild berries and Indian corn......There were also 4 Indians.........two of which were John and James Sagamore....with the chief of the Neponsetts, Chickatabot." The narrative goes on with this interesting section: "Many of Winthrop's company were sick of the scurvy and flux, the water supply at Charlestown was poor. It was obvious , as the ships straggled in, that so many people could not exist on this barren peninsula. Already Sir Richard Saltonstall and the minister, George Phillips, had gone up the Charles and found a new location which Sir Richard called Watertown........Each day since arrival at Charlestown the ships had been coming, after touching at Salem for directions. The Mayflower, the Whale, the Hopewell, the Trial, the Success, the William and Francis, and at each landing Winthrop had questioned the passengers about Harry Winthrop", his son..........He had his other two sons with him, Stephen and Adam........One day Winthrop heard word of the Talbot, and Peter's possible passage on it. It was long overdue and on the day of arrival: "Er flag also is at half-mast", said Capt. Pierce....."When they land send them here", said Winthrop..........Henry had died after diving into the cold water on a very hot day at Salem, four days ago.
Elizabeth Fones came over to the New World on the ship "Lyon", also
part of the Winthrop Fleet. Her fellow passengers included Will Hallett,
mentioned above; Jack, son of Governor John Winthrop; and Martha, Elizabeth's
sister. Also on the ship was Margaret, the Governor's wife and his youngest
Below are some links relating to Gov. Winthrop, by noted academicians:
The Winthrop Papers project of Prof. Frank Bremer of Millersville University.
A role for Winthrop in today's schools by Prof. David Williams of George Mason University.
A short text about Winthrop by Prof. Fred Shafer of Pennsylvania State University.
Here are some links to other organizations of interest to family historians:
Howells' wonderful Massachusetts genealogy resources and vast links.
IMC genealogy links.
US Gen Web.
The National Genealogical Society.
The Genealogical Publishing Company of Baltimore: the world's best.
Ancestry, Inc. --- a large resource. A reputable service with nominal prices.
Check out the pages by some of the Members of The Winthrop Society!
To request an application to
The Winthrop Society and info by US mail, send e-mail by clicking here.
Subject: Elizabeth Fones, THE WINTHROP WOMAN
Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 00:43:04 EDT
Enjoyed reading your page about Elizabeth. She is my 8th great grandmother!! I have 2 copies of THE WINTHROP WOMAN, by Anya Seton. I descend from two of her children, Hannah Feake who married John Bowne and John Feake who married Elizabeth Prior. Barbara Clark Myall
Descendant Note 2:
Subject: John Winthrop
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 00:19:23 EST
I am a direct descendant of John Winthrop,Senior (and John W. Jr.). I respectfully wish to correct you in regards to the name you have given for John, Senior's first wife. In your writings about John on the net, the name you have given for his first wife is Mary Worth and this is incorrect. Her correct name is Mary Forth, and she was the daughter of John Forth, esq. of Essex, England. If you will check The Genealogical Register of the First Settlers of New England by John Farmer (Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc., Baltimore - revised from the original publication of this book, published in Lancaster, Massachusetts in 1829) you will see that John's first wife was, indeed, Mary Forth. My sister, who is an LDS genealogist, has thoroughly researched our John Winthrop ancestral line, and all of the centuries old records she has researched state that John's first wife was Mary Forth (old English was Forthe). Please correct maiden surname in the writings you have about John Winthrop on the net.Millions of people do their genealogical research on the net and it is only fair that they receive the correct information. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and I promise you I will not pester you anymore about this. I just want the record set straight, not only for those millions who do their ancestral researches, but for present day historians who do not always have the time to delve into all of the old records in dusty genealogy books and must rely, instead, on more recent writings, such as yours, when they do their own historical research. Sincerely, Mary Donato
Subject: The Winthrop Woman
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 15:45:04 EST
From: Barbara Clark Myall TBMYALL@aol.com
In reading your John1 Bigelow web-site, I noticed an error regarding Elizabeth Fones Winthrop Feake Hallet who is the subject of The Winthrop Woman, Anya Seton, 1958. Elizabeth was the niece of Gov. John Winthrop, not the granddaughter. Gov. John was appointed her guardian after the deaths of her mother, Anne Winthrop, sister of Gov. John, and father Thomas Fones. Elizabeth was first married to Henry Winthrop, son of Gov. John. They were first cousins. Henry, who had accompanied his father to MA in 1630, drowned at Salem, MA at age 23 leaving Elizabeth a widow with a baby in England.
Elizabeth came to America in 1631 on the ship Lyon, along with Martha Winthrop, 3rd wife of Gov. John. Also on the ship was William Hallet who had the contest with John Bigelow. Hallet was also Elizabeth's 3rd husband.
Elizabeth is my 8th great grandmother. Thank you. Barbara Clark Myall
see also http://bigelow.simplenet.com/elizabeth_knapp.html
Subject: Documentary of Elizabeth Fones Winthrop Feake Hallet
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2000 16:29:25 -0500
From: Gunnar Sahlin < email@example.com >
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2000 10:20:20 -0500
From: Coline Jenkins-Sahlin < firstname.lastname@example.org >
Thank you so much for mentioning our TV production on Elizabeth Winthrop. The June 2000 premiere in Old Greenwich Connecticut, the town founded by Elizabeth, was a smashing success. Dozens of her descendants flew in for the premiere and
toured historic sites associated with Elizabeth.
Now that the premiere is past, would you kindly update the web site with this new text information and photo. In this e-mail I have attached a copy of the video jacket of the Elizabeth Winthrop documentary. The program tells of Elizabeth arriving on
the shores of America in 1631. She, like many colonial women, exhibited remarkable courage in the face of tremendous adversity. Her work, and that of other women in New England, help build a nation. The program is NOT historical
fiction, but is peppered with commentary by America's foremost historian on colonial women. It runs 28 minutes and has aired on Public Broadcasting. It can be ordered e-mailing Third Wave TV (email@example.com.)
Many thanks for spreading the history of the great Winthrop family.
Producer Third Wave TV firstname.lastname@example.org
So far I have only skimmed thru 'The Winthrop Woman' so I am not too
sure of its details. I corresponded with the Greenwich Historical
Society Historian, who advised the TV movie on the book. As you probably
know the author Anya Seton, purchased Elizabeth Fones (etc) Greenwich,
Ct. property. The Historian, said that they have a letter from the
author, where she clearly states that her book is to be treated as historical
fiction, not a history. They have found many errors in the book, hence
the TV movie did not follow the book.
So unless documentation comes to light, the Warren, Knapp and the witchcraft scenes are pure fiction.
My feeling is that Elizabeth left Watertown, simply because her husband Robert Feake wanted to settle in Ct. The
Elizabeth Winthrop. ae 19 who arrived in 1635 was Elizabeth (Read) Winthrop, 2nd wife of John Winthrop, Jr. not Elizabeth (Fones)Winthrop who married Robert Feake and arrived about 1631/2.
Another interesting detail being that the Warren's via Scarlett, were related by married by Gov. Winthrop's second wife, an heiress who died sp. So this puts more doubt on the possibility.
Thank you for the info re the Ct. Warrant, for I am very interested on the date she left Watertown. I also recently visited author Anya Seton's residence in Kent, England a moated manor house built in 1500, purchased in 1940 by an American and she was a longstaying guest, writing two of her novels there. The Greenwich Hist soc. was very interested for they were
unaware of this house.
One problem bothers me is that the Greenwich Historian was very sure that Tobias Feake who married wid Patrick, was Elizabeth's son. I did not argue, but my findings are that he was her nephew. What have you found? Dee Cary.
Subject: The Winthrop Woman
Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2000 09:04:38 -0500
From: "Ellen Langston" < email@example.com >
I stumbled across your website, and I see where there has been a docudrama on "The Winthrop Woman". I am a direct descendant of her through her son William Hallet Jr. I was curious if you could direct me in be able to get a copy of this movie.
see Note3 above..........................ROD
John and Barbara Keese Homepage
Great site. Really interesting...