Mayflower Voyage

Mayflower Ship in harbor

Mayflower Voyage - The Mayflower Ship in harbor

This article on  Mayflower Voyage and life on board the ship provides facts and information about:

  • The Mayflower Voyage
  • Life on board the Mayflower
  • Living conditions of the Mayflower passengers
  • Interesting information about the   Mayflower Voyage and their voyage to the New World
Pilgrim FathersThe Mayflower Ship
The Mayflower Compact
The Pilgrims & the Mayflower
American Colonies Index

The History of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower

The Mayflower Voyage: The Pilgrims, the Mayflower and the Plymouth Colony

The Mayflower Voyage
What was the Mayflower Voyage like? What motivated these men and women to undertake the perilous 3000 mile journey from their homeland to an unknown country? What were the living conditions like for the passengers on the ship? Who were the "Saints" and who were the "Strangers"? What did they eat and drink? How did they spend their days? All of these questions are answered in this article. The information is presented in a fast fact file format - a useful educational resource for kids, schools and teachers.

Life and Living Conditions of the Mayflower Voyage
There were a total of 102 passengers on the Mayflower Voyage. They consisted of men, women and children from different walks of life. They undertook the 66 day journey on the ship looking for a better life than they were living in England. These facts provide a glimpse at the living conditions endured by the men women and children who undertook the voyage of the Mayflower ship to America.

Facts about the Mayflower Voyage and the Mayflower Ship

Mayflower Voyage - Fact 1The Mayflower was the name of the sailing ship that took the people, who would become known collectively as the 'Pilgrims', to the New World
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 2The colonists had been granted territory in Virginia, but the ship landed at Plymouth Settlement, Massachusetts, on December 26, 1620
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 3Two people died on the voyage to America
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 4One person was born on the voyage to America
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 5There were 102 voyagers on the Mayflower Ship. Only 41 of them were Separatists, aka Puritans and Pilgrims. The other voyagers were tradesmen, craftsmen, laborers and Indentured servants and several young orphans
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 6The voyages were split into two groups  - the Separatists and the rest of the passengers. Each group referred to the other as either "Saints" (the Separatists) or the "Strangers"
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 7The "Saints" particularly annoyed the crew and the "Strangers" by being sanctimonious. The "strangers" antagonized the saints with their intolerance of the beliefs of the "Saints"
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 8The saints imposed a minority rule and created dissension by insisting that their religious practices be followed by all of the passengers and the crew.
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 9The Puritan men and women  who travelled on the ship were dissenters from the Church of England who wanted to create a new church in the colonies.
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 10With nearly 130 people on board, including the crew, the living conditions were very difficult. Each family was allotted a very confined amount of space for personal belongings
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 11Some of the families built smaller "cabins," using simple wooden dividers  to provide a small amount of privacy
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 12The first half of the voyage went fairly smoothly, the only major problem was sea-sickness
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 13The second half of the voyage was terrible. They encountered a number of Atlantic storms, very rough seas and were nearly shipwrecked
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 14The immigrants took some live animals on the journey including dogs, sheep, goats and poultry. The animals were kept in pens on the main decks
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 15There were 30 children on board - 11 girls and 19 boys
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 16There were between 25 - 30 crew members
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 17The voyage on the sailing ship took 66 days
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 18The "Saints" and the "Strangers" realised that if they did not work together they could all die in the wilderness - they agreed to make a pact which became known as the Mayflower Compact
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 19The voyagers mostly slept and lived in thin walled cabins with low-ceilings. Any person over five feet tall would not be able to stand up straight
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 20Food rations were issued daily and food was cooked for a group at a time
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 21The crew had their own cook and a small kitchen on the top deck
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 22Food was cooked by the firebox, which was an iron tray with sand in it on which a fire was built
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 23The cargo of food, tools, and supplies during the voyage were kept in the cargo hold on the lower deck. Barrels were used for storage and contained flour, biscuits, dried meats and vegetables. Other barrels contained water and beer
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 24Many of the voyagers suffered from scurvy and other diseases
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 25There was no water for washing clothes - the voyagers had to wear the same clothes throughout the voyage. Their clothes became dirty and were often ripped but there was nothing they could do until they reached the New World
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 26The voyagers drank beer and wine. Beer was thought to be safer to drink than water
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 27Some passengers brought family pets such as cats, dogs and birds
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 28The roles of the crew on the Mayflower included the pilot, a carpenter, a cooper (barrel maker), a bosun, a gunner, a cook, quartermasters, and the ship’s merchant (purser)
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 29The crew had their own sleeping quarters and slept in shifts
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 30There were 6 cannon on the ship - the passengers were concerned that they might be attacked by French or Spanish vessels. They also required defence from possible attacks from pirates and Native Indians.
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 31The passengers spent most of their time, below decks in their cabins. The cabins had no sunlight and were dark, cold and damp
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 32When the weather was good they went on the top deck, bad weather and rough seas could result in people being thrown overboard
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 33There were no toilets on the ship - Wooden “chamber pot” buckets were used as toilets
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 34Daily meals consisted of Salt fish, hard tack, salt beef, and cheese
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 35Life on board the ship was not pleasant. It was monotonous, cramped and boring. Many suffered with seasickness throughout the whole voyage.
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 36Time was spent by the men in planning their future lives, talking, taking light exercise when the weather allowed and playing board games such as chess
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 37Much of their time was taken up praying and singing. Sunday services lasted all day
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 38The women prepared the food, cooked and looked after the children
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 39The children were bored - unable to play on deck because of the weather, they had to amuse themselves below deck
Mayflower Voyage - Fact 40The passengers arrived at their destination in November of 1620 when the ship  landed at Plymouth Bay.


Arriving at the New World

The Mayflower Voyage

The Mayflower Voyage included many people in family groups as well as single men and orphaned children. The life on board the ship must have been extremely difficult. Living conditions were cramped, there was no privacy and nearly everyone was seasick. The weather on the first part of the voyage was good and allowed the passengers to spend some time on deck in the fresh air, even though this was viewed in a poor light by the seamen. We hope that the above information and facts about life on the Mayflower ship have proved useful.  

The Mayflower Voyage

  • Interesting Facts and information about the voyage and passengers

  • The living conditions of the voyagers

  • What type of food they ate and what they drank

  • A great history resource for kids

  • Social Studies Homework help for kids on the voyage of this historic ship

Mayflower Voyage - Significance - Facts - Significance - Mayflower Voyage - English - Significance - Compact - Colony - Significance - Mayflower Voyage - History - Mayflower Voyage - US - Significance - Interesting - Compact - Significance - Information - Info - Mayflower Voyage - Short - Kids - Children - Studies - Discovery - US - Compact - United States - America - USA - Mayflower Voyage - Compact - British - Significance - Social Studies Teaching resource - Social Studies - History - Teachers - Mayflower Voyage