Saturday, June 30, 2018

Surname Saturday ~ MAYO of Cape Cod and Boston, Massachusetts

Reverend John Mayo was probably from Oxfordshire, England, and little is known of his background or parentage.  In 1615, at age 17 he matriculated at Oxford University, at Magdalen College.   As a “non-conformist” he never received his degree, and came with his wife and five children to New England around 1640.  He became the teacher at the church in Barnstable where my other ancestor, Rev. Joseph Hull was the pastor. He briefly considered joining Gov. George Wyllys’ colony in Connecticut in 1643, but declined the offer.  Then he removed to Eastham around 1644 to be the minister at the new church.  He remained there until 1655 when he was called to Boston to be the new pastor of the new Second Church (also known as the Old North or Paul Revere church).

John Mayo was installed as the first minister of the Second Church on 9 November 1655.  He served as an overseer for Harvard College, and as a chaplain for the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, and for the General Court of Massachusetts. Mayo lived in a large brick house on Hanover Street that was later the home of Cotton Mather.  Already aged, he served as the pastor in Boston until 1673 when his associate minister, Increase Mather, took over his position. There are many entries in Mather’s diaries about Mr. Mayo. 

After his retirement, Rev. John Mayo removed back to Barnstable where he lived near his children and grandchildren.  He had founded two towns (Barnstable and Eastham) and three churches (Barnstable, Eastham and Boston’s Second Church).  He died without a will.  Samuel Eliot Morison wrote of Rev. John Mayo "I always supposed that Mayo was quite a person, but not a really outstanding one like Increase Mather.  But I dare say he has not had justice from the historians - quiet people of good character who mind their own business seldom do."

I descend from Reverend Mayo’s eldest son, Samuel Mayo (about 1620 – 1663) who was a mariner in Boston and Cape Cod.  He also was ordained as a “teaching elder” on 15 April 1640. Samuel became Master of his most important ship, the bark Desire, in 1650.  The Desire was the third vessel built in Massachusetts, (1636 in Marblehead) and it ran between Barnstable and Boston.   He died in Boston in 1663, leaving nine children. His estate was settled on 26 April 1664. I descend from his daughter Mary, who married Jonathan Bangs in 1664.

Rev. Mayo's son Nathaniel married Hannah Prence in 1650.  She was a granddaughter of Elder William Brewster of the Mayflower.  Thus the General Society of Mayflower Descendants has preserved her lineage in their books, archives and library, including that of Rev. Mayo.  

Some MAYO resources:

Several articles in the NEHGR, Volume 95, pages 39 – 49, and also pages 100 – 108, and Volume 103, pages 32 – 42

Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, William Brewster, GSMD, 2015, pages 147 - 162
The Winthrop Papers, Volume 4, page 262

My MAYO lineage:

Generation 1:  Rev. John Mayo, b. probably Oxfordshire, died 3 May 1676 in Yarmouth, Massachusetts; married Thomasine Unknown.  She died 26 February 1682 in Yarmouth.  Eight children.

Generation 2: Samuel Mayo, born about 1620 in England, died about 1663, married to Thomasine Lumpkin, daughter of William Lumpkin and his wife Thomasine.  She died 16 January 1709 in Eastham or Harwich, Massachusetts.  Nine children.

Generation 3:  Mary Mayo, born about 1645 in Barnstable, died 26 January 1711 in Brewster, Massachusetts; married on 16 July 1664 in Eastham to Jonathan Bangs, son of Edward Bangs and Rebecca Hobart.  He was born 16 July 1644 in Plymouth, Massachusetts and died 9 November 1728 in Brewster.  Twelve children.

Generation 4:  Hannah Bangs m. John Crosby
Generation 5:  Jonathan Crosby m. Hannah Hamblin
Generation 6:  Ebenezer Crosby m. Elizabeth Robinson
Generation 7:  Rebecca Crosby m. Comfort Haley
Generation 8:  Joseph Edwin Healy m. Matilda Weston
Generation 9:  Mary Etta Healey m. Peter Hoogerzeil
Generation 10:  Florence Etta Hoogerzeil m. Arthur Treadwell Hitchings
Generation 11:  Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer Allen (my grandparents)


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “Surname Saturday ~  MAYO of Cape Cod and Boston, Massachusetts”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted June 30, 2018, ( accessed [access date]). 


  1. More cousinship! I am also descended from Samuel, through his daughter Elizabeth. She married Samuel Treat, son of Robert Treat, one of the early governors of the Connecticut Colony.
    I am also a Hamblin descendant.

  2. My kids are descended from Mary Mayo and Jonathan Bangs. Their daughter Mary married Thomas Nickerson.

    I also have a Mary Mayo who had a son named Peter Hopkins Litno, from Vermont.