Thanks to Richard Ives of Sag Harbor New York for the content for this post, both the text and the photos. It is really appreciated. Richard is the author of "Of Tigers and Men" (Doubleday 1997). He is currently working on a book about his branch of the Ives family in America.
What follows are Richard's words: Here are a few photos of the London port book from the 1630's that lists the passengers on the "Truelove." If you look carefully at the bottom of the left page in the righthand column, you will find "Wm. Ives" with his age, 28. This is not William's signature. As William was about to board the "Truelove" the Royal Inspector asked him to swear an oath to King Charles, which William promptly did. He then asked William his age, and William told him. The Inspector wrote William's name and age in the book and allowed William to board.
First here is the cover of the port book.
Here is the page that mentions William Ives. It is the very last name in the right column on the left page. You can click on the picture to slightly enlarge it.
Herer is an enlargement of William's name.
Here is more context from Richard. Because writing of that period is so difficult and the Truelove passenger list is so hard to read, I thought I would translate a few things. First of all, the heading of the list (which appears at the middle of the page on which William's name is listed) reads: "xix, Sept. 1635" meaning September 19, 1635. The words just beneath the heading read: "Theis under written names are to be transported to New England imbarqued on the Truelove, Jo: Gibbs, Mr the men have taken the oathes of Alleg: and Suprem:" The "Mr" stands for "Master," meaning master of the ship, Joseph Gibbs. The "Alleg: and Suprem" mean oaths of allegiance and supremacy.
The first name in the left hand column of the passenger list is "Thomas Burchard - 40." The names of Burchard's family follow. As for William, whose name appears at the bottom of the right-hand column, the name listed just above his is that of little Joseph ("Jo") Preston, age 3. The names of five other Preston family members are listed above Joseph's. The Prestons must have boarded the Truelove just before William did. I suspect that all adult male passengers were asked to place their hand on the Bible as they swore allegiance to the Crown.
By the way, there are listings on the internet that say that William was on board the "Hector" with John Davenport in 1637. He was not. It turns out that well-meaning people have assumed that William was on board because of a misreading of a passage in Isabel Calder's New Haven history. Calder talks about the fact that William was a member of Davenport's London congregation and implies that William was on board the Hector with Davenport. She obviously believed that he was on board. The reason Calder made this mistake was, simply, that she was unaware of the Truelove passenger list and therefore unaware that William Ives was already in Boston in 1637.
(By the way, while I was at the National Archives, I inspected the port book that ought to have included the passenger list for the "Hector," the ship that brought Davenport, Eaton, et. al. to Boston. Regrettably, the book is terribly damaged. Many pages are incomplete, many seem to be missing altogether. It looks as though the book was water damaged at some point. So, we may never be able to inspect the "Hector" passenger list.)
On his arrival in Boston, William Ives may well have stayed with Puritan divine, John Cotton. Davenport and Cotton were friends. Davenport had hidden Cotton from Royal authorities in London before Cotton's departure for New England. William was a member of Davenport's London congregation. So the connection between Ives and Cotton is pretty straightforward. I suspect that William may have traveled to Boston as a kind of forerunner, or emissary, for Davenport and Eaton. At the very least, William probably remained in contact with Davenport and Eaton by letter until they departed from London on the Hector.
Here is the location of the archives where the book is kept.
Post Script: The requirement for allegiance to the king before sailing was interesting as John Davenport and his congregation were on the outs with the king. Davenport was a Puritan and his views became known to the repressive head of the English Church, Archbishop Laud. When Laud got the support of the king in 1633, Davenport hid for three months and then fled the city under disguise and went to Holland where he was made assistant Pastor of the English Puritan Church there.
Not happy in exile, he came back to London in 1636 with the idea of emigrating to New England. He and his Oxford schoolmate, Theophilus Eaton, a wealthy merchant born in Buckinghamshire, were both members of the Massachusetts Bay Company but Davenport’s name was kept secret for fear of repression, even thought there many known Puritans in the company. They assembled a group of supporters, including Thomas Yale, David Atwater, John Cooper, William Peck and their families and sailed from England for Boston in 1637 on the Hector. William Ives was already in the Boston area and joined them on their move to New Haven