Mayflower Families: John Alden

2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony. Commemorative publications, programs, and tours are planned in the US, the UK, and the Netherlands by various organizations, including the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and Plymouth 400, Inc.

In preparation for the festivities, we will be blogging about our resources for different Mayflower families throughout the year. This month we’ll explore the family of the last surviving signer of the Mayflower Compact, John Alden! 

John Alden was born ca. 1599 in Harwich, Essex, England. He was hired to be a barrel maker (cooper) for the Mayflower.

Alden married Priscilla Mullins in 1622/23 at Plymouth. The Courtship of Miles Standish by Alden’s descendant Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, tells the tale of the love triangle between John Alden, Priscilla Mullins, and Myles Standish.

John Alden held many offices in the colony including Assistant to the Governor, Deputy to the Plymouth Court, Colony Treasurer, served in the committee to revise laws and the committee on Kennebec trade, and he was one of the founders of the town of Duxbury.

His home in Duxbury, built in 1653, is now a museum. The foundations of the first Alden home, built in 1627, are on this site.

John Alden died on September 12, 1687, in Duxbury at the age of 89.

The first generation of Henry Samson descendants:

  1. Elizabeth, born ca. 1624, married William Pabodie in December 1644 in Plymouth.
  2. John, born ca. 1626, married Elizabeth Phillips Everill on April 1, 1660, in Boston.
  3. Joseph, born ca. 1627, married Mary Simonson ca. 1660.
  4. Priscilla, born ca. 1630, unmarried.
  5. Jonathan, born ca. 1632, married Abigail Hallett on December 10, 1672, in Duxbury. 
  6. Sarah, born ca. 1634, married Alexander Standish ca. 166. 
  7. Ruth, born ca. 1636, married John Bass on February 3, 1857/8 in Braintree.
  8. Mary, born ca. 1638, unmarried.
  9. Rebecca, born ca.1640, married Thomas Delano ca. 1667.
  10. David, born ca. 1642, married Mary Southworth ca. 1674.

Want to learn more about John Alden’s descendants? Stop by the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center and browse through the 5 parts of volume 15 of Mayflower Families through five generations (SC 929.2 May)


(posted by Cristina)

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