Deacon John Doane
d.21 Feb 1685/6 Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States
m. ABT 1589
m. ABT 1620
m. ABT 1658
Facts and Events
Much has been written in the A.A. Doane book about John Doane. He was likely aboard one five ships sailing to Massachusetts Bay Colony in the spring of 1629, his final destination being the Plymouth Colony. He was in business with John Atwood of London, who represented agent James Sherley in 1641. He was chosen Deacon of the church at Plymouth in 1634 and was involved in the rewriting of the laws of the colony in 1636. John moved to Eastham on Cape Cod, around 1645.
Deacon John Doane was one of the few who bore the title of "Mr." In 1633, he was on the list of Freemen. By 1632/33, he began serving on the General Court. He preferred to be a Deacon in the church, rather than an Assistant to the Governor. In 1644, Deacon John Doane was the among those leading the enterprise of new settlement in the Nauset (now Eastham) area of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
The date John Doane arrived in Plymouth has never been determined. The best estimate is the year 1630. Gilbert Doane, a noted New England genealogist, spent many years trying to find some of John Doane's history prior to Plymouth without success. In his will dated 18 May 1678, John Doane declared his age "eighty-eight years or thereabouts." He died 21 February 1685 about ninety-five years old. He had a wife, Ann, who was probably the mother of Ephraim, usually called his youngest child. Later he had a wife, Lydia, who died before he did. The inventory of his estate was signed by Abigail Doane, sometimes identified as his wife, but this Abagail is his daughter, as deeds clearly show. That John Done was a man of responsibility from the time of his arrival in Plymouth is shown by the fact that he was addressed as "Mr." upon his arrival in the colony. This title was used by the Pilgrims only when addressing government officials, clergy, school masters, nobility and men of great wealth. He was one of eight men who signed the incorporation of Plymouth in 1633 and was on the council until he was chosen Deacon. This was in accordance with the Pilgrim policy of separation of church and state; however he was appointed and served on many committees and advisory positions. In 1645 he was one of the leaders of the opening of a new settlement at Nauset. Other leaders in the group included Nicholas Snow and John Smalley. A stone erected in 1869 in Eastham marks the site of his house by Nauset bay.
Abstract made from will published in Mayflower Descendant, p. 3:177, will of "John Doane of Eastham 'aged eighty and eight years or there about.'", dated 18 May 1678, mentions "my Loving wife", "daughter Abigail Doane", "son John Doane", "son Daniel Doane", "son Ephraim Doane", "granddaughter Margaret Hicks", witnessed by Samuel Freeman and Gershom Hall. Proved 2 June 1686, inventory 21 May 1686, of "mr John Doane deceased the 21th of ffebruary 1685[/6] aged about a hundred years [sic]".
John Doane was born in England about 1590 (per his will) and died in Eastham, Massachusetts on February 21, 1685/6. He was buried in Cove Burying Ground in Eastham where his tombstone is existent as well as memorials in his honor.