James Cole Sr was born 1600 in England, United Kingdom to William James Cole (c1564-) and Susan Bale (c1564-1609) and died 1692 in Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States of unspecified causes. He married Mary Lovell (1598-1660) 1624 in Highgate, Greater London, England, United Kingdom.


James Cole Sr immigrated in 1632 to Plymouth Colony with his wife and two eldest sons.

Highgate London

As early as 1616 he is found as a resident of Highgate, a suburb of London, England and married there in 1624.

1632 Migration to America

James, Mary and sons James and Hugh, came to New England in 1632 and were first arrived at Saco, Maine. They then located to Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1633, where he was made a freeman that same year. He was a sailor and his name appears on the 1634 tax list for Plymouth.

He was surveyor of highways in 1641, 1642, 1651 and 1652. Constable in 1641 and 1644. He was a volunteer in 1637 against the Pequot Indians.

Cole's Hill

Coles Hill 2016

Cole's Hill Entrance - Plymouth MA

James was the first settler who acquired and lived upon the land known as Cole's Hill which today is designated as National Historic Landmark. During the first winter (1620-21) of the Pilgrims stay at Plymouth, nearly half of their number died and they were buried here on this hill.

The hill is located on Carver Street near the foot of Leyden Street and across the street from Plymouth Rock. Owned since 1820 by the preservationist Pilgrim Society, it is now a public park. The land probably included the ground upon which rests Plymouth Rock.

The hill soon lost its identity as a cemetery. Its commanding view of Plymouth Harbor made it a natural site for defensive works. In 1742, the General Court of Plymouth granted a sum of money to the town to erect a battery here. In 1775, the old defense having gone to seed, a new one was built and manned and continued to be kept up during the Revolutionary War. In 1814 still another fort was thrown up here and its commander was placed in charge of companies of soldiers who were billeted in the town.

Cole's Tavern

James established the first tavern in Plymouth. This inn was opened soon after his arrival in Plymouth, and it was continued by himself and his son James, respectively until 1698.

Marriage and Family

NOTE: Many genealogical records link him to wife: Mary Tibbes (1598-1660). Waiting for documentation to clarify which is his correct wife!

James Cole Sr married in London to Mary Lovell (1598-1660) daughter of noted English botanist and physician, Matthew Lovell, who was born in Lillie, a son of Jean de Lovel, a distinquished lawyer.

  1. James Cole (1626-1709) - inherited the tavern and inn, resided in Plymouth MA.
  2. Hugh Cole (bef1627-1699) - lived with his family in Swansea, on the banks of Cole’s river, at the future site of the railroad station known for many years as Cole’s Station, and now as Touisset, Massachusetts. Ally to King Philip.
  3. John Cole (1637-)
  4. Mary Cole (1639-)


Offspring of James Cole Sr and Mary Lovell (1598-1660)
Name Birth Death Joined with
James Cole (1626-1709) 11 February 1626 Barnstaple, Devon, England, United Kingdom 10 April 1709 Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States Mary Tilson (1627-1678)
Abigail Davenport (1630-1717)

Hugh Cole (bef1627-1699) 1627 22 January 1699 Warren, Bristol County, Rhode Island, United States Mary Foxwell (c1627-)
Elizabeth Lettice (1635-1693)
Abigail Davenport (c1638-)
Mary Tilson (c1640-)

John Cole (1637-)
Mary Cole (1639-)


Vital Records

Cole's Hill Memorial


A large monument was erected in 1921 on Cole's Hill in Plymouth, Massachusetts to honor the many pilgrims who came to Plymouth Colony in the Mayflower but died during the first terrible winter and were buried here.



Namesakes of James Cole (1600-1692)

 Birth placeDeath placeFatherMotherJoined with
James Cole (c1812-1885)Bristol, Somerset, EnglandBrooklyn, Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, AustraliaIsaac Cole (c1784-bef1876)Mary Maud Unknown (c1786-1876)Mary Gutsell (1822-1892)
James Cole (1600-1692)England, United KingdomPlymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United StatesWilliam James Cole (c1564-)Susan Bale (c1564-1609)Mary Lovell (1598-1660)
James Cole (1626-1709)Barnstaple, Devon, England, United KingdomPlymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United StatesJames Cole (1600-1692)Mary Tibbes (1598-1660)Mary Tilson (1627-1678) + Abigail Davenport (1630-1717)
James William Cole (1853-1941)Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, AustraliaBrooklyn, New South Wales, AustraliaJames Cole (c1812-1885)Mary Gutsell (1822-1892)Sarah Maria Woods (1858-1920)

Footnotes (including sources)