John Alden, "Mayflower" Passenger

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John Alden

Also Known As: "John "Mayflower Compact" Alden"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: of, Southampton, England
Death: Died in South Duxbury, Plymouth Colony
Place of Burial: South Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of unknown father of John Alden and unknown mother of John Alden
Husband of Priscilla Sara Alden and Priscilla Mullins, "Mayflower" Passenger
Father of Priscilla Thurber; Elisabeth Pabodie; John Alden, Jr.; Joseph Alden, Sr.; Sarah Standish and 6 others

Occupation: Cooper, Carpenter, Assistant Governor, Cooper on the Mayflower, Ship Captain, Pilgrim emigrated on the Mayflower to Plymouth Colony in Mass., Commander of the troops on the Mayflower;, Mayfower Crew, Signed Mayflower compact, Politician, Colony Treasurer
Managed by: John Patrick McCaffrey
Last Updated:

About John Alden, "Mayflower" Passenger

John Alden (c.1597 - 12 September 1687 South Duxbury, Plymouth Colony) John Alden is said to be the first person from the Mayflower to set foot on Plymouth Rock in December of 1620.

Lineage

  • Efforts to locate John Alden's birthplace and have so far been inconclusive. Although he joined the Mayflower at Southampton County, Hampshire, England, no records have been found of John in Southampton, and he was not necessarily a native of that place.
  • John Alden's parentage is unknown. Genealogy depends on original documentation for proof of lineage. If you cite a link, please make it to a place that shows original documents - NOT Wikipedia or other non-primary sources.

Marriage

Priscilla Mullens (also spelled 'Mullins') (c.1603 Dorking, Surrey, England - c.1688 Duxbury, Plymouth County present-day Massachusetts), daughter of William Mullens (c.1578 Dorking County, Surrey, England - 21 February 1621 Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts) and Alice Mullens (c.January 1574 St. Martin, London, Middlesex, England - c.1620 Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts)

The Alden Children

Priscilla and John Alden had ten children, with a possible eleventh dying in infancy. Although not documented, it's presumed that the first three children were born in Plymouth, and the remainder in Duxbury.

  1. John Alden, Jr. (1623 - 1701) Born at Plymouth, John moved to Boston and married Elizabeth Phillips Everill, widow of Abiel Everill, 1 April 1660 at Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts; John and Elizabeth had thirteen children. He was a mariner and became a naval commander of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He was a member of the Old South Church of Boston and his headstone is embedded in the wall there. On a trip to Salem John Alden was accused of witchcraft and spent fifteen weeks in a Boston jail. He escaped shortly before nine other accused were executed during the Salem witch trials. Later exonerated, Captain John Alden died at Boston, Massachusetts, on 14 March, 1701.
  2. Elisabeth Alden (c.1624 - 1717) married William Pabodie (also recorded as 'Peabody'), a civic and military leader of Duxbury, where all thirteen of their children were born. They later moved to Little Compton, Rhode Island, where Elizabeth died on 31 May, 1717, at the age of ninety-four.
  3. Joseph Alden (c.1627 - c.1697) Moved to Bridgewater where he farmed land purchased from the Indians by his father and Myles Standish. He married Mary Simmons and they had seven children. Died 8 February 1696/97 at Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts
  4. Jonathan Alden (c.1632 - 1697) married Abigail Hallett on 10 December 1672 at Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. Jonathan and Abigail lived in Duxbury and raised six children in the original Alden home, which he received from his father, and which passed to his son upon his death on 14 February, 1697.
  5. Sarah Alden (c.1628 - 1674), whose marriage to Alexander Standish, son of Miles Standish, belies any idea of a feud between the Aldens and the Standish family. Sarah and Alexander had at least seven children and lived in Duxbury until Sarah’s death on 12 August 1674.
  6. Ruth Alden (1634 - 1674) married John Bass 12 May 1657; had seven children; died 12 October 1674 at Braintree, Norfolk, Massachusetts.
  7. Priscilla Alden (1639 - 1689) No record of marriage nor children
  8. David Alden (c. 1645 - 1719) married Mary Southworth, daughter of Constant Southworth of Plymouth Colony, and had six children. Described as "a prominent member of the church, a man of great respectability and much employed in public business."
  9. Rebecca Alden (c.1649 - 1688), married Thomas Delano of Duxbury before30 October1667. They had nine children.
  10. Robert Alden (1649 - 1685)
  11. Mary Alden (c.1659 - c.1688) No record of marriage nor children

NOTE: Zachariah Alden and Henry Alden have been incorrectly identified as sons of John and Priscilla Alden in various publications. For information on the genealogy of Henry Alden, see Mayflower Descendant 43:21-29,133-138; 44:27-30,181-184.

Biographical Summary

John Alden (1599?–September 22, 1687) was a tradesman who emigrated to America in 1620 with the Pilgrims on the Mayflower and was among the founders of the Plymouth Colony. He was originally hired by William Bradford and others to be their cooper. Though he could have returned to England the following year, he chose to stay in the new colony.

At Plymouth, he quickly rose up from his common seaman status to a prominent member of the Colony. About 1622 or 1623, he married Priscilla, the orphaned daughter of William and Alice Mullins. They had their first child Elizabeth, around 1624, and had nine more children over the next twenty years.

John Alden was one of the earliest freemen in the Colony, and was elected an assistant to the governor and Plymouth Court as early as 1631, and was regularly re-elected throughout the 1630s. He also became involved in administering the trading activities of the Colony on the Kennebec River, and in 1634 witnessed a trading dispute escalate into a double-killing, as Moses Talbot of Plymouth Colony was shot at point-blank range by trespassing John Hocking, who was then shot and killed when other Plymouth men returned fire. John Alden was held in custody by the neighboring Massachusetts Bay Colony for a few days while the two colonies debated who had jurisdiction to investigate the murders. Myles Standish eventually came to the Bay Colony to provide Plymouth's answer in the matter.

There are several theories regarding Alden's ancestry. According to William Bradford's Of Plimoth Plantation, he was hired as a cooper in Southampton, England just before the voyage to America. In The English Ancestry" and "Homes of the Pilgrim Fathers, Charles Edward Banks suggested that John was the son of George and Jane Alden and grandson of Richard and Avys Alden of Southampton. However, there are no further occurrences of the names George, Richard, and Avys in his family, which would have been unusual in the seventeenth century. Another theory is that John Alden came from Harwich, England where there are records of an Alden family who were related by marriage to Christopher Jones, the Mayflower's captain. In this case, he may have been the son of John Alden and Elizabeth Daye.

In 1634 Alden was jailed in Boston for a fight at Kenebeck in Maine between members of the Plymouth Colony and the Massachusetts Bay Colony. While Alden did not take part in the fight (which left one person dead) he was the highest ranking member the Massachusetts Bay colonists could get their hands on, and it was only through the intervention of Bradford that he was eventually released.

Alden, and several other families, including the Standish family, founded the town of Duxbury in the 1630s and took up residence there. He served as Duxbury's deputy to the Plymouth Court throughout the 1640s, and sat on several committees, including the Committee on Kennebec Trade, and sat on several Councils of War. He also served as colony treasurer. In the 1650s, he built a house in Duxbury, which still stands today. By the 1660s, Alden's frequent public service, combined with his large family, began to cause his estate to languish, so the Plymouth Court provided him a number of land grants and cash grants to better provide for his family. Through the 1670s, Alden began distributing his land holdings to his surviving sons. He died in 1687 at the age of 89, one of the last surviving Mayflower passengers. Alden and his wife Priscilla lie buried in the Miles Standish Burial Ground in Duxbury.

Notes

  • John Alden is remembered chiefly because of a popular legend, put into verse in 1858 as The Courtship of Miles Standish by his descendant Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, concerning his courtship of Priscilla Mullins. There is no known historic basis to the legend.
  • Alden's house in Duxbury, built in 1653, is open to the public as a museum. It is run by the Alden Kindred of America, an organization which provides historical information about him and his home, including genealogical records of his descendants.
  • A rifle supposedly owned by John Alden is in the collection of the National Firearms Museum (National Rifle Association), Fairfax, Virginia: "The most valuable item in the museum's collection is a .66-caliber Italian wheel lock carbine that came over on the Mayflower in 1620 with Pilgrim John Alden."
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a descendant of John Alden, as were John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Orson Welles, Dan Quale, Raquel Welch, Frank Nelson DOubleday, Samuel ELiot Morison, Gamaliel Bradford, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, Herbert Henry Dow, Martha Graham, Martha Stewart, Adlai Stevenson III, Jam Garrigue Masarysk, Dick Van Dyke, Julia Child, William Cullen Bryant, John Trumbull, Ned Lamont, Matt Hasselbeck, Jordan Narvey, Lila Battis, and (presumably) Marilyn Monroe.

References

  • Addison, Daniel Dulany. "The Life and Times of Edward Bass, First Bishop of Massachusetts". Houghton, Mifflin, 1897
  • Alden, Ebenezer. "Memorial of the Descendants of the Hon. John Alden". S.P. Brown, 1867
  • Hawthorne, Julian. "The History of the United States from 1492 to 1910 Volume 1: 1492-1910". BiblioBazaar, LLC, 2007. ISBN 1426485417, 9781426485411.; p.61-62
  • Longfellow, H.W. "The Courtship of Miles Standish", 1858
  • National Society of Colonial Dames. "First Record Book of the Society of Colonial Dames", 1897; Ch.75
  • Waters, Henry Fitz-Gilbert. "The New England Historical and Genealogical Register". New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1898; p.435-440

Links

Detailed biography - http://www.alden.org/our_family/aldenbiography.htm

Crew Member of the Mayflower, signer of the Mayflower Compact


Came over on the Mayflower

[http://familypedia.wikia.com/wiki/John_Alden_(c1599-1687)]

Vital statistics John Alden (1599–September 22, 1687) - Parents uncertain (See biography) 1599 : Born in England - probably Harwich, Essex (circa 1599) 1620-Sep-6 : From a list of the 102 passengers onboard the Mayflower during its trans-Atlantic voyage of September 6 - November 9, 1620, among them the 50 Pilgrim settlers of Plymouth Colony in what is now Massachusetts. 1620-Nov-13 : The group remained onboard the ship through the next day, a Sunday, for prayer and worship. The immigrants finally set foot on land at what would become Provincetown on November 13. 1622/1623 : Married Priscilla Mullins (1602-1680) 1687-Sep-22 : Died in Duxbury, MA : Biography Early Plymouth_Colony settler (1620) from the Mayflower and he is said to be the first passenger of The Mayflower to set foot on Plymouth Rock in 1620.

John Alden was hired as a cooper in southampton by the Leiden separatists and was given a choice of remaining or returning to england. He was also one of the founders of the Plymouth Colony and the seventh signer of the Mayflower Compact. Distinguished for practical wisdom, integrity and decision, he acquired and retained a commanding influence over his associates. Employed in public business he was first recorded as a Governor's Assistant in 1632, the Duxbury Deputy to the General Court of Plymouth, a member under arms of Capt. Miles Standish's Duxbury Company, a member of Council of War, Treasurer of Plymouth Colony, and Commissioner to Yarmouth.

John Alden had settled with the Separatist congregation in the Plymouth Colony, though was not likely a member himself. A year or two after arriving, John Alden was wed to Priscilla Mullins, daugher of prominent (and wealthy) fellow colonist William Mullins who perished in the first winter.

From 1633 until 1675 he was assistant to the governor of the colony, frequently serving as acting governor and also sat on many juries, including one of the two witch trials in the Plymouth Colony.

In 1634 Alden was jailed, in Boston, for a fight at Kennebec in Maine between members of the Plymouth Colony and the Massachusetts Bay Colony. While Alden did not take part in the fight (which left one person dead) he was the highest ranking member the Massachusetts Bay colonists could get their hands on, and it was only through the intervention of Bradford that he was eventually released.

In later years Alden became known for his intense dislike of the Quakers and Baptists, who were trying to settle on Cape Cod. A letter survives complaining that Alden was too strict when it came to dealing with them.

John Alden was the last male survivor of the signers of the Mayflower Compact of 1620, and with the exception of Mary Allerton, he was the last survivor of the Mayflower's company. He died at Duxbury on September 12, 1687. Both he and his wife Priscilla lie buried in the Miles Standish Burial Ground.

The Alden residence is also in Duxbury, on the north side of the village, on a farm which is still in possession of their descendants of the seventh generation. He made no will, having distributed the greater part of his estate among his children during his life time.

John Alden's House was built in 1653 and is open to the public as a museum. It is run by the Alden Kindred of America, an organization which provides historical information about him and his home, including genealogical records of his descendants. John and Priscilla had the following children who survived to adulthood: Elizabeth, John (accused during the Salem witch trials), Joseph, Priscilla, Jonathan, Sarah, Ruth, Mary, Rebecca, and David. They have the most descendants today of all the pilgrim families.

Ancestry There are several theories regarding Alden's ancestry. According to William Bradford's Of Plimoth Plantation, he was hired as a cooper in Southampton, England just before the voyage to America. In The English Ancestry and Homes of the Pilgrim Fathers, Charles Edward Banks suggested that John was the son of George and Jane Alden and grandson of Richard and Avys Alden of Southampton. However, there are no further occurrences of the names George, Richard, and Avys in his family which would have been unusual in the seventeenth century.

Another theory is that John Alden came from Harwich, England where there are records of an Alden family who were related by marriage to Christopher Jones, the Mayflower's captain. In this case, he may have been the son of John Alden and Elizabeth Daye.


American Colonial Figure. One of the charter members of the Plymouth Colony in America, he arrived on the first voyage of the "Mayflower". At the time of the sailing of the vessel in 1620 for America, he was about twenty-one years old. William Bradford, second governor of the colony, wrote that John Alden was "hired for a cooper, at South Hampton (England), where the ship victualed (brought on food for the voyage); and being a hopeful young man, was much desired, but left to his own liking to go or stay when he came here; but he stayed and married here." His trade of cooper (barrel maker) was one of the vital trades needed by the colonists. John married fellow Mayflower pilgrim Priscilla Mullins, about 1623, but the exact date has been lost to history. He became one of the Purchasers and Undertakers for the colony, serving also as Assistant in the Colony government, Deputy Governor, Colony Treasurer, and a member of the committee in charge of revising laws. He was one of the founders of Duxbury, Massachusetts, and owned several pieces of property. Although he died without a will, an inventory of his property at the time of his death was taken in November 1687. A legend of a rivalry between himself and pilgrim Miles Standish for Priscilla Mullins arose, and was first published in the book, "Collection of American Epitaphs and Inscriptions" in 1814, by Timothy Alden. The story was popularized by the poem, "The Courtship of Miles Standish" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1858, however, there is no documentation of such a rivalry to have existed in any of the records of the Plymouth Colony. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson)



One of the original Mayflower passengers, arrived in America 1620.


Of the Mayflower - he was the friend of Miles Standish, sent by Miles to court Priscilla, whose response apparently was "speak for thyself, John", and he did.
John Alden may be descended from an Alden family that was residing in the parish of Harwich, co. Essex, England: a family that was related, by marriage, to the Mayflower's master Christopher Jones. He was about twenty-one years old when he was hired from Southampton to be the cooper (barrel-maker) for the Mayflower's voyage to America. The Pilgrims' joint-stock company gave him the option to stay in America, or return to England. He chose to stay, and about 1622 or 1623 he married fellow Mayflower passenger Priscilla Mullins, an orphaned young woman originally from Dorking, co. Surrey, England, whose parents William and Alice, and brother Joseph, had all perished in the first winter at Plymouth. A fictional account of John and Priscilla Alden's courtship and its entanglement with Myles Standish, is the subject of the famous Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem, "The Courtship of Myles Standish".

Halberd found in the cellar of the John Alden house archaeology site in Duxbury. It is on display at the Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth. Likely a combination of his practical skills as a cooper and carpenter, and his young wife Priscilla's substantial inheritance of company shares, John Alden quickly rose up to become a prominent member of the Plymouth Colony. He was elected an assistant to the governor as early as 1631 and was regularly reelected. He was one of the men who purchased the joint-stock company from its English shareholders in 1626, and was involved in the company's trading on the Kennebec River. In 1634, he was involved in a fur trading dispute that escalated into a double-killing (trespasser John Hocking and Plymouth colonist Moses Talbot). He was held by the Massachusetts Bay Colony for questioning, which caused a major jurisdictional controversy as Plymouth Colony leadership felt the Bay Colony had no authority to detain him.

The Alden House in Duxbury that was built by John Alden about 1651. It is currently maintained by the Alden Kindred of America. John Alden, along with Myles Standish and several other Plymouth Colonists, founded the town of Duxbury to the north of Plymouth. Dendrochronological evidence suggests the men had started building their houses there as early as 1629. Alden served the town of Duxbury as deputy to the Plymouth Court throughout the 1640s, and served on several committees and sat on several Councils of War. He also served for a time as colony treasurer. About 1653, he built the Alden House, which is still standing and is maintained by the Alden Kindred of America. By the 1660s, John and Priscilla Alden had a growing family of ten children. Combined with his numerous public service duties (which were mostly unpaid positions) he was left in fairly low means. He petitioned and received from the Plymouth Court various land grants, which he distributed to his children throughout the 1670s. He died in 1687 at the age of 89, one of the last surviving Mayflower passengers.

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John Alden, "Mayflower" Passenger's Timeline

1598
1598
Southampton, England

1599 Southampton, Hampshire, England

1620
1620
Age 22
Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
1620
Age 22
England to Plymouth Colony, Mayflower