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James Chilton
~Oldest Passenger on The Mayflower~


James Chilton was born sometime around 1556 in England (probably Canterbury, Kent area), the son of Lyonell Chilton and his second wife. 

James married around 1585, and had his first child (Isabella Chilton) baptized at St. Paul's, Canterbury, Kent, England on 15 January 1586/7. 

An English/Leiden Separatist, better known as Pilgrim, he became one of the 102 passengers on the historic ship, the Mayflower in 1620. Also included on the passenger list with him were "his wife, and Mary, their daughter."

At about 64 years old, Chilton was probably the oldest passenger on the ship. Chilton's other two known surviving children, 21-year-old Ingle (Chilton) Nelson and married 33-year-old Isabella (Chilton) Chandler, remained behind in Leiden.


When the Mayflower Compact was drawn up on 11 November 1620, Chilton was one of the signers.


James Chilton died on December 8, 1620, while the Mayflower lay anchored in Provincetown Harbor. He evidently died of disease, as Bradford reported that he "dyed in the first infection"



Are We Related?


Descendants of Joseph Watson & Agnes Colista (Palmer) Shaver were previously thought to be directly connected to James Chilton through Agnes Colista (Palmer) Shaver; however, our records indicate that this line in not valid.