What ship carried William Penn and some of the first settlers to Pennsylvania across the Atlantic Ocean in 1682?

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What ship carried William Penn and some of the first settlers to Pennsylvania across the Atlantic Ocean in 1682?

2011-10-24 00:00

Answer: The Welcome.

William Penn and the first settlers of Pennsylvania sailed across the Atlantic Ocean on the ship Welcome. The Welcome departed from Deal, England, on August 31, 1682, and arrived at the mouth of the Delaware River (now New Castle, Delaware) on October 27, 1682, completing the Atlantic crossing in 57 days which was slow by 17th century standards. The voyage did not end without incident; nearly one-third of all the ship’s passengers died of smallpox. On October 28, 1682, the ship anchored at Upland (now Chester, Pennsylvania) on the site that had been chosen by Thomas Holme, Penn’s surveyor general.   

King Charles II of England granted Penn ownership of the land in order to pay off a large debt to Penn’s father, Admiral Sir William Penn. The younger Penn had first called the area Sylvania (Latin for woods), which the king later changed to Pennsylvania in honor of the elder Penn. One of the first counties of Pennsylvania was named Bucks County after Buckinghamshire (Bucks) in England, Penn’s family seat and the hometown of many of the first settlers.

The Welcome was one of 22 ships that crossed the Atlantic Ocean to bring the first 2,000 settlers to Pennsylvania between 1681 and 1682.  An original passenger list has not survived, but much research has been done to record who may have sailed with Penn. Descendants of those ancestors who traveled to America in 1682 may join a lineage organization known as the Welcome Society of Pennsylvania.

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania holds a large collection of Penn family papers (#485).  The Society also has the first printed map of the city of Philadelphia by Thomas Holme and several graphic items related to the Welcome.

Image: “The Ship Welcome, bearing William Penn and Colonists arriving in the Delaware River,” print from calendar by Home Insurance Company of New York (1935), Society print collection (Collection V89), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.


Submitted by Mike Gaffney (not verified) on

My ancestors, the Darlington's who were Quakers and said to have been
Early immigrants to PA. They until recently hailed from Doylestown any clue
as to which ship they may have come on. It would seem that they arrived between
1682 and 1690

Submitted by Jeffrey Adkisson (not verified) on

I am researching my ancestor Oliver Cope (1647-1697) and wife Rebecca, both of Avesbury, Wiltshire, England who family records say arrived on the first or second boat with William Penn. Records show him buying 500 acres in Naaman Creek.
Can you provide any new light on which boat, and if possible the ancestral connection of Oliver Cope with his supposed father John (1624-1649) of Chisledon, Wiltshire, England or another father?
We are unable to find records of Oliver being Quaker but his child John (1691-1773) who married Charity Jefferis (1695-1747) and their offspring were registered Quakers.

Submitted by Cary Hutto on

Mr. Adkisson,

Great inquiry! This sounds like a question for our Research-By-Mail (RBM) team. RBM at HSP services folks with in-depth questions who can't come to our facility. You can find more about this on our website: http://hsp.org/collections/library-services/research-by-mail, and genealogical research is a specialty.

Good luck, and thanks for reading!

Cary Hutto
Assistant Director of Archives

Submitted by Jean Martin (not verified) on



My family on my mothers side, came over from England on William Penn's second voyage to America.Their name was Hiatt. They were Quakers. 

I also read that after they settled in America, they grew as what is known today as the "red delicious apple".

I also heard they had something to do with "Mary Queen of Scotts", but that would be when they were known as the "Hygots".

Is there someway to confirm this information, without spending an arm and a leg" so to speak.

Thank you so very much.

Jean Martin

P.S. Martin was my married name, I just never changed  it back.

My birth name is Otterman, from Indiana.



Submitted by Will Evans (not verified) on

Hello, my research has led me to a man named Elystan Glodrydd, a descendant of Vortigern and Cunedda on his mothers side, one part of the family was descended from TUDUR TREFOR, this line led to the House of Tudor, this is where your lineage is, if you google Elsytan glodrydd, you will get a website up, go in here and look at the descendants, its interesting stuff, good luck, my guess is you are related and you are correct.

Submitted by Susan Alexander (not verified) on

Hello, my ancestors, John Heacock & Ann Till arrived in Pennsylvania on the second voyage of Quakers to Penns Woods.  The name of that ship was, Three Sisters.  

"The Three Sisters" which left London on the 14th of January, 1710/1711.  This is taken from the book, "The Heacock Family."  I hope that this helps.

John Heacock's father preceded the couple of Pennsylvania.  He arrived on The Welcome in 1682.

I hope that this helps.

Submitted by Albert Beebe (not verified) on

Hello, my ancestors the Vernon's, three brothers sailed with William Penn, to Philadelphia, in 1681. I would like to know there names and the ship they sailed on.

Thank you very much

Submitted by Christine Coppo... (not verified) on

I have a letter + Bell Metal Kettle from the Good Ship Welcome, which sailed from England - PA in 1682. My great, great, great, great grandparents were John and Sarah Pickering Hoyle. They write about their journey with 8 children. I cannot find them any manifests for the ship, but I have the letter and kettle. Can anyone else verify their voyage on The Welcome?

Submitted by Terri smith (not verified) on


  That is awesome that you have your ancestors stuff, just imagine your ancestors cooked and ate out of that kettle

and you never know my ancestors might have known yours. Apparently mine and my husbands ancestors come over

with William Penn, our Smiths supposedly came over on the ship the welcome with Penn in 1682 and on my fathers

side the Wiseman’s  came over seventeen years later with William Penn in 1699 on the ship the Canterbury. 

I wish that I had something that important as a letter that my ancestor wrote. There is suppose to be a book about the 

ship the welcome called The Welcome Claimants Proved, Disproved and Doubtful with an account of some of their descendants 

by George E. McCracken.  Have you heard of this book? 

Terri smith



Submitted by Eileen Dutton H... (not verified) on

I was wondering if you could help me. I have researched my father's lineage and found roots in Chester Pennsylvania. They arrived in 1682 from Chester England and were Quakers, they bought land from William Penn. Do you have any records of what ship they were on or any history about them. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks Eileen Dutton Heinzman 


Submitted by Diane Sidwell T... (not verified) on

I have a very good knowledge of my linage but trying to find out name of ship they arrived on. They were in the second wave of immigrants from Letcombe Regis England to Pennsylvania in 1690's? He bought property in the Nottingham lots'which is in Rising Sun Calvert county Maryland today.He was the second owner if this property. I have tried to research passenger lists to no avail. Would you maybe have some information and leads?? Thanks!

Submitted by Sharon (Green) ... (not verified) on

Thomas Green was my ancestor.  Records show that he was a Quaker on the ship "Delaware"and came to New Jersey and then Pennsyvania.  I am not able to find any images of the ship or any other information about him.  Any hints where to look?  Thank you.

Submitted by Gail Van Luvanee (not verified) on

<p>One of my father&#39;s brothers found out that our family&#39;s original ancestors were three brothers who had come over in 1682 and settled in Philadephia when they were &quot;forced out&quot; of London.</p><p>*** He also found out that they were Quakers.&nbsp; However, our family came from Leuven, Flanders of Belegium, as is reflected in our surname.</p><p>*** In my research of that time period, i connected&nbsp; some historical facts with the facts of our family history and believe that when the went to London, they probably did so because their profession was in great demand then (weavers) and, while there, converted to The Friends/Quakers, and, thus, was the reason they were &quot;forced to leave England&quot;.&nbsp;</p><p>And given the fact that they were Quakers and came over in 1682, i suspect that they were on one of William Penn&#39;s ships, perhaps the Welcome herself.</p><p>*** Is there a way i can find out which ship they came over on?</p><p>*** Also, being profession weavers, i suspect that they had been one of the professionals William Penn recruited to help build his vision of a country.&nbsp;</p><p>Is there a way i can find out about this, too?</p><p>:) Thank you for your time and any leads you might be able to suggest :)</p><p>Gail</p>

Submitted by Rhian (not verified) on

I have details of Elin Morris (Evans) joing this ship. Where could I find out if this is correct?11

Submitted by Marie Jordan on

Europeans first came to what would become Pennsylvania in the 17th century. It was primarily fur trades who interacted with the local Native populations.

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