Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635 and my ancestry

With Hurricane Earl threatening the East Coast, it brought to mind the odd turns of fate in my own ancestry. My ancestor William (spelled "Reade" in the ship's manifest) left England with his family in July 1635 and arrived in Boston in October on the ship Defence. That was the year of the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635, which hit the Boston area in August. So if the ship had left only a few weeks earlier, I would not be typing this message.

From Wikipedia ( "[T]his hurricane was very likely the most intense hurricane to ever impact the New England region in recorded history."

From Ken Gunn's Jasper Ship Defence Manifest (

A study of the Emigrants and Emigration in Colonial Times to which are added Lists of Passengers to Boston and to the Bay Colony; the ships which brought them; their English Homes, and the Places of their Settlement in Massachusetts.
By Charles Edward Banks
Baltimore Genealogical Publishing Co., 1961.
Pages 167-170.
The Ship DEFENCE of London, Edward Bostock, Master. She sailed from London about the last of July (1635) and arrived at Boston October 8, with about one hundred passengers.


William Reade, 48, Boston
Mrs. Mabel Reade, 30
George Reade, 6
Ralph Reade, 5
Justus Reade, 1 1/2

I am descended from Ralph, the 6 year-old.

1 comment:

Brian Reed said...

I am also a descendant of Ralph Reed