John Winthrop (1588-1649) founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630 and served as governor of the colony from 1630-1634, 1637-1640, 1642-1644, and 1646-1649. John Winthrop, Jr. (1606-1676) was the oldest son of Gov. John Winthrop (1588-1649) and Mary Forth Winthrop (1584-1615). In 1631 he followed his father to Massachusetts and, with twelve other men, in March 1632/3, began a plantation at what is now Ipswich, Massachusetts. The death of his wife, Martha, and daughter in the autumn of 1634 caused him to change his plans and he soon afterward returned to England. In 1635 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Edmund Reade and step-daughter of Hugh Peter. She died in 1672, leaving two sons and five daughters. In January 1645, he sold his farm at Ipswich and moved to New London, Connecticut. He had been an assistant in the government of the Massachusetts Bay Colony for eighteen years, but in 1651 he was elected Governor of Connecticut and served until his death in 1676.
The Winthrop Family papers consist of 24 documents related to Ipswich, Massachusetts. The collection includes letters written to and from John Winthrop (1588-1649), letters written to and from John Winthrop, Jr. (1606-1676), deeds, and a petition.