Winslow (Y-DNA)

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Status summary

As of July 27, 2021:

  • Recruiting Edward & John Winslow patrilineal descendants for NGS/WGS testing. Interested persons contact
  • One Big Y-500 test completed (descended from Gov. Edward's brother Kenelm)
  • Two Big Y-700 tests completed (one descended from Kenelm and the other descended from Gov. Edward).
  • The Droitwich (Worcestershire) Winslow family falls under I-BY71464.
  • Kenelm Winslow (brother to Gov. Edward and John Winslow) Y-DNA descendants fall under the I-BY108126 clade. the clades for Y-DNA descendants of the other brothers is currently unknown.
  • BY71464 and BY108126 are both currently available for purchase at for US $18.00 each (plus a fee for the DNA sample and mailing).

Paper trail

For more information see: Watson, Marston, Mayflower Family Silver Books Vol 25: Edward Winslow and Wakefield, Robert S. (revising work by Robert M. Sherman & Verle D. Vincent), Mayflower Families through Five Generations Vol 15: Chilton and More

English Ancestry

The English Winslow ancestry is shrouded in the myst of time. The family is said to have Royal ancestry, but the connections are unclear.[1]

What is known with certainty is the fact the five Winslow brothers (and their three sisters) were children of Edward Winslow and Magdalene Oliver. Edward & Magdalene were married at St. Bride Fleet Street Church in London on 4 Nov 1594. The children's baptisms were all recorded in St. Peter's parish church register, Droitwich, Worcestershire. Droitwich was famous for its salt and Edward had apparently moved there to work in the production of this important substance. The 1877 Winslow Memorial gave a birth date for Edward as 17 Oct 1560, but where this date came from is unknown. In addition, it is stated he was born at St. Andrew's Parish, Worcester, Worcestershire, but, there is no evidence to support this statement. If the 1560 birth date is accurate, then Edward was aged 34 when he married Magdalene.[2] Some believe he was previously married, but this is not universally accepted. It is believed the elder Edward Winslow was son of Kenelm Winslow, but even with this, experts disagree whether there was one Kenelm Winslow or two (father/son).[3]

The five brothers

Edward Winslow[4] was the first child of his parents. According to his baptismal record, he was born 18 Oct 1595 and baptized 20 Oct. Edward was apprenticed in the printing business and eventually made his way to Leiden. He was married twice. His first marriage was at Leiden 16 May 1618 (see Media:NL-LdnRAL_AR_1004_198_077.jpg.jpg, transcription) to Elizabeth Barker. She apparently never had any children and died at New Plimouth on 24 Mar 1620/1. Edward married second at New Plimouth (the first marriage in the colony) 12 May 1621 to Susanna Jackson, widow of fellow Mayflower passenger William White. Edward was the founder of the town of Marshfield, and settled his family there before 1643. He served in many capacities for the new Colony including three terms as Governor and eleven terms as Assistant. He had written a number of publications related to the settlement which was distributed in England to increase support (both more settlers as well as financial). He made multiple trips to England and served in the Court of Oliver Cromwell. Edward died at sea in the West Indies while in service of Cromwell. Edward and his second wife had a total of five children (one infant, one daughter and three sons). It is believed two of Edward's sons (Edward and John) died young[5][6] so the Y-DNA line comes down from the third son, Gov. Josiah. Gov. Josiah had two sons, one (Edward) died in infancy, so the Y-DNA line comes down from the younger son (Hon.) Isaac. Isaac had three sons, but living Y-DNA descendants only come down from his youngest son Edward.[7] Edward built (or had built) the home which is now the headquarters of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, but he was a Loyalist and fled to Nova Scotia.

John Winslow[8] was the second child. His baptismal record states he was baptized on 18 Apr 1597 and he was born the Saturday before being baptized (16 Apr). While John himself was not a Mayflower Passenger (he came on the Fortune in 1621) he married at New Plimouth (before the 1627 Cattle Division) Mary Chilton, who did come over on the Mayflower. Thus all descendants of John Winslow are eligible to join the General Society of Mayflower Descendants through Mary. John moved his family to Boston by 1655 and he died there sometime between the writing of his will (12 Mar 1673/4) and its probate (21 May 1674). John & Mary had a total of ten children (three girls, one infant and six sons). According to an old website (no longer active), winslowgenealogy the living Y-DNA line is limited to his grandson, (Col.) Edward Winslow (II), son of Edward. However, the evidence (DNA testing) cannot rule out the possibility of living Y-DNA lines from other sons (and grandsons) of John & Mary. The Mayflower Families through Five Generations "Silver Book" vol. 15 (which includes the Chilton Family) does name a limited number of Y-DNA (male Winslow) descendants of the Fifth and Sixth generation.

Kenelm Winslow was the fourth child (and third son). His baptismal record states he was baptized 3 May 1599 and he was born the Sunday before (29 Apr). Kenelm is believed to have emigrated to Plymouth Colony in 1631 along with his younger brother, Josiah. Kenelm married at Plymouth in Jun 1634 to Ellen Newton, widow of John Adams. Kenelm & Ellen had four children (one daughter and three sons). While his brothers (with the exception of Gilbert) had more children than Kenelm, the vast majority of living Winslow Y-DNA descendants descend from Kenelm. In fact, there are many more living Winslow Y-DNA descendants of Kenelm than Y-DNA descendants of all of his brothers combined.

Gilbert Winslow was the fifth child (and fourth son). His baptismal record states he was baptized 29 Oct 1600 and he was born the Sunday before (26 Oct). Gilbert emigrated aboard the Mayflower in 1620 with his eldest brother, Edward, but returned to England sometime between the 1623 land division and the 1627 cattle division. In 1651 William Bradford reported Gilbert had died in England, but it is unknown if Gilbert's death had been reported back to Plymouth, or whether Bradford was simply stating where Gilbert's family record in Plymouth is over. It is currently unknown whether Gilbert ever married so no descendants are known.

Josiah Winslow was the youngest child. His baptismal record states he was born on 11 Feb 1605/6 and baptized 16 Feb. He emigrated to Plymouth in 1631 and moved to Marshfield in 1643 along with his eldest brother, Edward. He had married at Plymouth (prior to removal) before Sep 1637 (child born) to Margaret Bourne. They had five daughters and one son (Jonathan, born 8 Aug 1639). It is likely the Y-DNA of Josiah died with his paternal grandsons.[9]

  1. It is beyond the scope of this wiki to conduct original research on the English ancestry. Individuals interested in further exploration are encouraged to explore the publications noted at the bottom of the Edward Winslow biography at: American Ancestors 2020 biography of Edward Winslow
  2. Magdalene is believed to have been baptized at St. Clements Dane, Middlesex (near Fleet Street, London) on 4 Aug 1566. If accurate, it would support her husband's reported 1560 birth.
  3. The ancestry of Kenelm has been debated among experts. For more information see the sources found in the first reference.
  4. Pilgrim Hall Museum Edward Winslow probate.
  5. both named in the 1627 cattle division
  6. The Winslow "Silver Book" vol. 25 p. 4 states son John may be the John Winslow who married Malden 5 Mar 1651/2 Sarah Moulton. More research is needed.
  7. The surviving Y-DNA line only comes down from Edward's son, (Col.) Edward (II) and Edward (II)'s son John Francis Wentworth Winslow.
  8. Pilgrim Hall Museum John Winslow biography.
  9. The Will of Ruth Chipman (widow of only son Jonathan) dated Sandwich 7 Dec 1710 fails to list any children or grandchildren. It appears the children of Jonathan & Ruth all died before their mother and any issue also died young. Thus it is highly likely there are no living Y-DNA descendants of Josiah Winslow.

DNA Results BY71464

Previous Y-DNA testing[1]

Previous Y-STR testing through the Mayflower DNA Project and the Winslow surname DNA project has indicated that the Winslow lineage belongs to the I-M253 Y-DNA haplogroup, which is quite common in Northern and Northwestern Europe.

NGS/WGS Results

As of April 2021 there are three patrilineal (all male line) descendants of the Winslow family from Droitwich who have taken the Big Y-700 test. One of these individuals descends from Gov. Edward Winslow, while the other two individuals descends from his brother, Kenelm. Their results document where the Winslow family clade/Haplogroup is I-M253>>Z61>S9939>>S11023>BY34545>BYBY34542>BY71464. In addition, the two descendants of Kenelm share an additional SNP not found in the descendant of Edward: BY108126.

Thus, anyone who falls under the BY71464 clade (regardless of their surname) must descend from the Winslow family of Droitwich, and anyone who falls under this clade and tests positive for BY108126 must descend from Kenelm. HOWEVER, this does not mean that anyone who falls under the BY71464 clade and tests negative for BY108126 must not descend from Kenelm.

Usefulness of Big Y and Y-Elite testing

DNA mutations are random events. As they are random, we cannot say with exact precision how often a mutation would occur. However, looking at the Big Y tests of known relatives, rough estimates can be made. There have been a number of cases where both father and son have taken a Big Y test. In the majority of cases, neither test documented a mutation not found in the other test,[2] but occasionally, one (or more) mutations have been discovered in the son, not found in the father. On the other end of the scale, there have been times when second and third (and rarely) fourth cousins have both tested and shown no mutation in one line not found in the other.

On average, the Big Y-700 test discovers a mutation between distant cousins roughly every 80 years or so, but (as documented above) it could be a son has a mutation a father does not have, or a line can go several generations without a mutation. This is similar to rolling a pair of dice and taking the sum. The sum can be as small as two or as large as twelve, but the average value is seven. If we roll the pair one hundred times the total would likely be between 600-800 with a small chance between 500-900 (but possibly even falling outside this range).

Given the fact the five Winslow brothers were born roughly around 1600 (which is 420 years from 2020) it is virtually certain some mutations have cropped up in every Y-DNA descendant of these brothers, and we can use these mutations like a bread crumb trail to trace the person's Y-DNA line back.

Another benefit of the NGS/WGS testing is that we can identify the SNPs unique to each branch of the family. Once we have those SNPs we can make them available for individual testing at Both BY71464 and BY108126 are currently available for purchase at a cost of US $18 (plus a small fee for a DNA sample and mailing).This fee is much smaller than the fee for NGS/WGS testing. Once we discover mutations only found in descendants of Edward and John, we may want to develop a SNP panel at YSEQ which includes all of the SNPs in one test for at a cost less than testing all the SNPs individually. It must be kept in mind testing at YSEQ does not have the ability to discover new mutations.

  1. One Y-DNA line listed in wikitree profile for Edward Winslow
  2. Each individual Big Y actually randomly tests slightly different sections of the Y-Chromosome so in theory two Big Y tests of the same person may document a mutation found in one result not found in the other. However, these differences are usually mutations which occurred long ago, and are screened out when we compare known cousins.

Findings from Big Y testing

Three male Winslows have had their Big Y results published. They all fall under Haplogroup I-BY71464, which is the "family clade" for the descendants of Edward Winslow (husband of Magdalene Oliver). The Winslows descend from two different Winslow immigrants (brothers Edward and Kenelm).

Additionally, the two Kenelm Winslow descendants (one who took the older Big Y-500 test) tested positive for one SNP not found in the descendant of Gov. Edward Winslow: BY108126. The Gov. Edward Winslow descendant tested positive for a total of eight SNPs not found in the Kenelm Winslow descendants. Further testing of Edward Winslow descendants will likely discover a clade unique to this brother.


One of the closest Big Y matches to the Winslow family states his Most Distant Known Paternal Ancestor (MDKPA) was from Sweden. In addition, there is a town of Vinslöv in the Skåne Province of Sweden. Thus, it is quite possible the Y-DNA ancestor of the Winslow family may have been a Swede who settled in England during the Viking Period (or possibly a later Swedish emigrant to England).

Lineage of DNA testers

The following individual has taken a Big Y test

 Edward Winslow (c1565-1631) m. Magdalene Oliver
   (Gov.) Edward Winslow (1595-1655)
     (Gov.) Josiah Winslow (1629-1680)
       (Hon.) Isaac Winslow (1671-1738)
         (Hon.) Edward Winslow (1714-1784)
           (Col.) Edward Winslow (II)(1746/7-1815)
             John Francis Wentworth Winslow (1793-1859)
               John Coffin Winslow (1826-1896)
                 John NORMAN Wentworth Winslow (1860-1942)
                   (Maj.) John DOUGLAS Winslow (1891-1958)

References & External links

  • Watson, Marston, Mayflower Family Silver Books (Vol 25: Edward Winslow [through Eight Generations]), General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Plymouth, MA (2019)
  • Wakefield, Robert S. (revising work by Robert M. Sherman & Verle D. Vincent), Mayflower Families through Five Generations (Vol 15: James Chilton and Richard More) General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Plymouth, MA (1997)
  • Roser, Susan E., Mayflower Increasings From the Files of George Ernest Bowman at the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD, Second edition 1995, 1996. pp. 124-125
  • Roser, Susan E., Mayflower Passenger References (from contemporary records & scholarly journals) [ Stewart Publishing & Printing], Canada. Second Edition, 2015
  • Anderson, Robert Charles, The Mayflower Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth, 1620 New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, MA 2020 pp. 188-94

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