Birth of Peregrine White, First English Child Born to Pilgrims in New World (North America)
Peregrine White (November 20, 1620 – July 20, 1704) was the first English child born to the Pilgrims in the New World.
He was born in Provincetown Harbor to William and Susanna White, before the passengers of the Mayflower had decided where they would settle.
Aboard the Mayflower with his parents was his older brother Resolved, who was about five at the time. "Peregrine" means "one who journeys to foreign lands," or, more simply, it is a French and Middle English word for "pilgrim." Soon after the landing, his father died, and his mother remarried Edward Winslow. It was the first wedding in the New World. Winslow later adopted Peregrine and made him an heir.
White's name appears frequently in the records of the colonists. He was an esteemed member of the community as the first child born in New England. He later became a citizen of the settlement of Marshfield, Massachusetts, and held some minor civil and military offices.
White returned to England with his stepfather (probably in 1646) and stayed there. His descendents in the UK have a family tree down to the present day that shows the generations in between and a good deal else. Among the families with whom White's descendents were to form connections are that of John Harrison, winner of the Longitude Prize, and that of Elias Durnford, who laid out Pensacola, and Anthony Durnford, whose death in the Zulu War remains a subject of controversy.
White died in 1704 at the age of eighty-three.
Peregrine White was the first child born to the Pilgrims in the New World. His parents, William and Susanna White, had boarded the Mayflower with their young son Resolved. Susanna gave birth to Peregrine before the end of November (Old Style calendar), 1620 while the Mayflower was anchored in Provincetown Harbor.