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Thomas Chaffe's Arrival Ship
Posted by: Glenn Chafe (ID *****8348) Date: October 08, 2005 at 05:48:05
  of 1205

To all, If anyone can add or disprove this theory please advise:

There were many ships that carried settlers to the Boston Harbour area in 1637. The John & Dorothy from Ipswich (57 pass) with master William Andrews or the Rose from Yarmouth (57 pass) carried William Ludkin and family of Norwich in April 1637. The Hopewell from London carried Thomas Turner in April 1635 and travelled in 1637 under Master John Cobbold to Virginia. William Ludkin as well as Thomas Turner would become a neighbour of Thomas in Hingham. Families such as the Bosworth's and the Peck's would be his neighbours and fellow migrants to the Seekonk and Barrington in the 1660's/70's. Other Ships in 1637: Unknown (108 pass), from Weymouth to New England, Master: John Driver; Hector, (5 pass) from London to Salem; Hercules, (78 pass) from London to the Massachusetts Bay, Master: John Witherley; Hopewell from Exeter, to Virginia, Master: John Cobbold; Mary Anne (112 pass) from Yarmouth, to Boston, Master: William Goose; Speedwell (64 pass) from Weymouth 22, April 1637, to Boston, Master Robert Corbin; and two ships with Master William Pierce and three more ships with 360 passengers from Ipswich.

Ships leaving
 for New England in 1637
From the Complete Book of Emigrants 1607-1660 by Peter Wilson Coldham (1988) the following can be found (referenced source Public Record Office PRO; E190/876/11 on Chancery Lane, London).
22 April 1637 The Speedwell - Goods shipped by Thomas Tayer and William Longe in the Speedwell, Mr Robert Corbin, bound from Weymouth to [New England]. Passengers on the same ship:
Edward Wiett and his wife, Elizabeth Winter and her two children, John Crocker, his wife and his boy, Thomas Claff, his wife and two friends, William Scaddinge, Walter Harris, his wife, six children & three servants, Thomas Farwell and two servants, Thomas Cooke his wife and three children, Wiliam Longe and his brother, Elizabeth Poole, two friends and 14 servants, Henry Cogan, his wife, seven menservants and two maidservants.
The 60-ton Speedwell carried 64 passengers from Weymouth to Boston in 1637. The Speedwell could have been the same ship that was to accompany the Puritans on the 180 ton Mayflower ton in 1620 from Southampton to Plymouth. However soon into the voyage the Speedwell proved unworthy, returned to port, was sold and some of the passengers crowded onto the Mayflower. The Speedwell travelled to Virginia in 1635 and to Boston in 1656 (and maybe in 1621 and 1623). It should be noted that the ship name Speedwell was popular, and ships did not last long, and owing to the shape of the ship in 1620, the 1637 Speedwell may not have been the same ship. Even the Mayflower was likely scrapped in 1624.
From the internet, Walter Deane (1612-1659) from St. Mary, Chard, Somerset came to America in 1637 aboard the Speedwell with brother John (1567-1660). Brothers John and Richard Derby come to New England from Exeter with Walter Deane in 1637. Walter Harris with wife and 6 children were baptized at Honiton, Devon, Eng. This puts some of the emigrant passengers of the Speedwell from the Devon area.
From the above document Thomas Claff is reported to have brought over his wife and two friends. It was thought that Thomas Chaffee married in Hingham, however this might explain why there have been no marriage records. On the LDS site the Claff surname over any date range is sparse and registers with only 4 persons from Germany, with the oldest being 1719. It is assumed that Claff is a spelling error in Coldham's document. However from the Hingham records of 1637 there is also a Thomas Clapp noted as an inhabitant. The Clapp/Chappe/Chap is a surname found in Dorset (starting 1504), Sussex and Northumberland. However a Thomas Clapp from Devon arrived in Boston in 1633. The Thomas Shave mentioned in the 1637 Hingham records, while sounding the same, is not even close in spelling. At this point it is uncertain that Thomas Chaffe was in fact Thomas Claff. However the closeness of the surname spelling in the ship list, the match with the proname Thomas, the fact that Claff is an unlikely surname, the departure date, the arrival year in Hingham, fellow passengers were from Chard/Exeter and the proximity of the departure point of Weymouth to Dorset/Somerset/Devon makes the 1637 voyage of the Speedwell the most likely ship.

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