William Bradford is my ninth great-grandfather. He was born 19 Mar 1590 in Austerfield, Yorkshire, England to William Bradford and Alice Hanson.
He married first, Dorothy May, Dec 9, 1613 in Leiden, Holland. She gave him one son, John Bradford, in 1616 and then died in 1620. He married second, Alice Carpenter, Aug 14, 1623 in Plymouth Colony. She gave him children William (my ancestor) (1624-1703), Mercy (1627-1657) and Joseph (1630-1715).
Mayflower History has a whole story written about William with his history and background. From that site comes the following:
While the Mayflower was anchored off Provincetown Harbor at the tip of Cape Cod, and while many of the Pilgrim men were out exploring and looking for a place to settle, Dorothy Bradford accidentally fell overboard and drowned.
John Carver was elected governor of Plymouth, and remained governor until his death a year later in April 1621. Bradford was then elected governor, and was re-elected nearly every year thereafter. In 1623, he married to the widowed Alice (Carpenter) Southworth, and had a marriage feast very reminiscent of the “First Thanksgiving,” with Massasoit and a large number of Indians joining, and bringing turkeys and deer. Bradford was the head of the government of Plymouth, oversaw the courts, the colony’s finances, corresponded with investors and neighbors, formulated policy with regards to foreigners, Indians, and law, and so had a very active role in the running of the entire Colony. With his second wife, he had three more children, all of whom survived to adulthood and married.