Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 1995-07 > 0807202540

From: "William A. Reitwiesner" <>
Subject: Re: WENTWORTH, Mary (Mayflower) md. BREWSTER, William
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 09:55:40 -0500

(Doug Murphy) said:

> What is the latest scholarly opinion of the identification
>of Mary, wife of William BREWSTER of the Mayflower as Mary
>WENTWORTH and the rest of this line?
<descent from Edward III snipped>
> Michel Call (1989) notes: "The identification of Mary, the
>wife of William BREWSTER of the Mayflower, as Mary WENTWORTH is a
>tentative one. It may be correct but is unproven."
> Has any either proven or disproven this connection? What
>do other sources have to say? What sources should I look at for
>an authoritative answer? Who, if anyone is researching this
>line? (I'll post to s.g.surnames separately...)

The identification of Mary, wife of William Brewster, as Mary Wentworth is
completely speculative. It was made by John G. Hunt in an article in *The
American Genealogist*, vol. 41, pp. 1-4. Since this article appeared,
nobody has been able to come up with any evidence to support it, but nobody
has come up with any evidence to invalidate it.

Except, oddly enough, Mr. Hunt himself. In 1984 he self-published a
pamphlet, "Of Mary Brewster", which says his identification of Mary as Mary
Wentworth was a mistake and that she was somebody else entirely, i.e., Mary
Wyrall, daughter of Thomas Wyrall and Frances Mallory, Frances being
daughter of Christopher, granddaughter of John, and great-granddaughter of
William Mallory and Joan Constable, whose royal lines are well known (they
appear in the ancestry of Virginia immigrant Henry Batte, for instance).
Two further pamphlets, with the same title and published in 1985, continue
Mr. Hunt's argument.

The nearly unanimous response in the genealogical community is that, while
Mr. Hunt had been a very good researcher in the past, these pamphlets show
him to be suffering from brain bubbles. Having read them I tend to
agree -- one of Mr. Hunt's claims is that William and Mary Brewster named
two of their sons "Love" and "Wrastling", not because of the well-known
Puritan naming conventions, but to memorialize the Wyrall home
"Loversall" == "Love-Wrastling". Another is that Frances Mallory Wyrall's
brother Sampson Mallory referred in his will to his niece Mary Butho --
well, Mr. Hunt claims that the thcribe had a lithp, and that he
miththpelled the name Brewthter. Mr. Hunt airily dismisses the possibility
that it was the "Buthe" variation of the name "Booth".

In any case, the origin and ancestry of Mary, wife of William Brewster, is
unknown. The identification of her as Mary Wentworth is plausible but
undocumented. The identification of her as Mary Wyrall is implausible.

William Addams Reitwiesner

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