More Background on Captain John?

On December 14, 2013, Raymond Whipple asked the following on the Whipple Website Facebook page:

“Has there been any progress in finding any more background on Captain John?”

In a word, the answer is: No.

Rather than stop there, I’ll mention a few other Whipples who lived in England in the days before 15-year-old John arrived aboard the Lyon.

Specifically, this post will consider some recently identified uncles and cousins of the Ipswich Whipples to see if any of them might be ancestors of Captain John Whipple of Providence, Rhode Island.

(The 15-year-old “not-yet-Captain” John I’m writing about is this person in the Whipple Database. He came from England to Dorchester–part of present-day Boston–in 1632. He married, had eight children, then moved to Providence in about 1658, and had three additional children.)

SPOILER ALERT: This post will fail to make a connection between Captain John of Providence, Rhode Island and the Whipples of Bocking, England/Ipswich, Massachusetts. If you’re still interested, read on.

The information in this blog entry is based on an article by William Wyman Fiske entitled “The Whipple Family of Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire: Proposed Ancestral Origin of Matthew Whipple of Bocking, Essex, and a Whipple Ancestral Line for Arthur Gary of Roxbury, Massachusetts.” It was published in The Genealogist, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Fall 2006), pp. 191-217. (The Genealogist is “Published for The American Society of Genealogists by Picton Press,” PO Box 1347, Rockland, ME 04841. Its International Standard Serial Number [ISSN] is 0197-1468.)

In Fall 2006, William Wyman Fiske extended the ancestry of the Bocking England/Ipswich Massachusetts Whipples two generations. Previously the earliest known ancestor of the Ipswich Whipples was this Matthew Whipple (b. about 1550, buried 16 Jan 1618/19 at St. Mary’s Church Cemetery in Bocking). His two sons Matthew (b. about 1590 in Bocking, d. 28 Sep 1647 in Ipswich, MA) and John (b. 1596 in Bocking, d. 30 Jun 1669 in Ipswich, MA) both immigrated to Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1638 with their families.

Fiske’s article identified Matthew’s father as Thomas Whipple (b. abt 1510). Thomas’ father was also named Thomas (b. abt 1475), a resident of Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, England. (Bishop’s Stortford (marked “B” below) is in extreme eastern Hertfordshire, bordering Essex, and not very far from Bocking, Essex (marked “A”). London is marked “C”.)

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New Uncles and Cousins for the Ipswich Whipples

Thomas had the following male descendants that aren’t direct ancestors of the Ipswich Whipples; bullet levels indicate successive generations:

  • John Whipple (b. before 1505 of Bishop’s Stortford, d. before 7 Mar 1572/3)
    • John Whipple (b. about 1535 of Bishop’s Stortford)
      • John Whipple (b. before 24 Nov 1579, d. before 5 Feb 1624/5 of Bishop’s Stortford)
      • Samuel Whipple (b. about 1565, buried 20 Feb 1605/6 at St. Katherine Coleman, London, England)
        • Samuel Whipple (chr. at St. Katherine Coleman, London, England, buried 20 Feb 1605/6 at St. Katherine Coleman, London)
        • John Whipple (b. before 15 Feb 1605/6, chr. at St. Katherine Coleman, London, d. before 29 Jul 1626, buried at St. Katherine Coleman)
    • William Whipple (b. before 20 May 1651 of Bishop’s Stortford, d. before 1594 of St. Alphage, London,)


With four descendants named John, two named Samuel, and one named William, surely one (or more) of them might (?) be Captain John’s ancestor?

After all, Captain John’s oldest son was named John, his second son was named Samuel, and his third son was named William. Wouldn’t those naming similarities lead us to conclude a connection?

Unfortunately not–especially when we consider that the Rhode Island patrilineal descendants’s Y-DNA haplogroup is completely different from what we see in the Ipswich Whipples.

We are forced to conclude that:

  1. There is no conclusive evidence to support young John being a descendant of Thomas of Bishop’s Stortford.
  2. Y-chromosome DNA evidence shows no links between the two families.
  3. While there were other Whipples named John in Essex, Hertfordshire and London in the early 1600’s, we can’t identify any as ancestors of Captain John of Providence.

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