Person:Isaac Allerton (1)

Isaac Allerton
  • F.  Allerton (add)
  1. Sarah Allerton - 1633
  2. Isaac Allerton1586 - 1658/59
  • HIsaac Allerton1586 - 1658/59
  • WMary NorrisEst 1591 - 1620/21
m. 4 Nov 1611
  1. Bartholomew AllertonAbt 1613 - Bet 1658 & 1659
  2. Remember AllertonEst 1615 - Bet 1652 & 1656
  3. Mary Allerton1616 - 1699
  4. _____ AllertonBef 1619/20 - 1619/20
  5. _____ Allerton1620 - 1620
  • HIsaac Allerton1586 - 1658/59
  • WFear BrewsterAbt 1605 - Bef 1634
m. Abt 1626
  1. Sarah AllertonAbt 1626 - 1651
  2. Isaac Allerton, Jr.1630 - Abt 1702
m. 1635
Facts and Events
Name Isaac Allerton
Gender Male
Birth[1] 1586 Suffolk, England
Marriage 4 Nov 1611 Leiden, Zuid-Holland, Netherlandsto Mary Norris
Marriage Abt 1626 Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusettsto Fear Brewster
Marriage 1635 Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, United Statesto Joanna Swinnerton
Death[2] Feb 1658/59 New Haven, Connecticut
Reference Number? Q1370149?


About Isaac Allerton

Isaac Allerton was one of the 104 passengers on the Mayflower in 1620, and one of 24 families to leave descendants. He was the 5th signer of the Mayflower Compact.

Allerton was a member of the Pilgrim church at Leiden from sometime before November 1611 when he married there. He rose to prominence among the Pilgrim leaders, serving as Bradford's assistant governor, negotiating with the colony's creditors, and engaging in numerous business ventures.


On September 26, 1636 Isaac made a deposition in Boston stating he was aged about 53 years, and better documented sources such as Great Migration and Mayflower Familes consider his origins unknown. NEHGR 44:290 suggests, with no additional evidence, that the parents of Isaac and Sarah may be Edward Allerton & Rose Davis who were married 14 Feb. 1579/80, St. Dionis Backchurch, London, England.

Allerton was recorded in Leyden records as having been a tailor from London. He was in Leyden before November 1611, when he married Mary Norris.[7]

In Leyden, he was one of the three upon whom the privilege of citizenship was conferred by the city of Leyden on February 5, 1614, with William Bradford, later Governor of the Plymouth colony, and Degory Priest, his brother-in-law.[8]


Isaac and Mary had three children in Leyden in the 1610s - Barthlomew, Remember, and Mary - who accompanied them on the Mayflower. His wife Mary died the first winter, leaving him a widower with three young children. He eventually married William Brewster's daughter Fear, who in turn died in the smallpox epidemic in 1634. They had one son, Isaac Jr.[9]

William Bradford included in his 1650 account of what had happened to the Mayflower passengers: "Mr Isaack Allerton, and Mary his wife; with .3. children Bartholomew, Remember, and Mary. and a servant boy, John Hooke." He later wrote "Mr. Allerton his wife died with the first, and his servant John Hooke. His son Bartle is married in England but I know not how many children he hath. His daughter Remember is married at Salem and hath three or four children living. And his daughter Mary is married here and hath four children. Himself married again with the daughter of Mr. Brewster and hath one son living by her, but she is long since dead. And he is married again and hath left this place long ago. So I account his increase to be eight, besides his sons in England."[10]

Isaac was the brother of Sarah Allerton, wife of Degory Priest.

His descendants include U.S. Presidents Zachary Taylor and Franklin Roosevelt.


In early 1621, after the death of John Carver, William Bradford was chosen Governor, and "Isaac Allerton was chosen to be an assistant unto him who, by renewed election every year, continued sundry years together" [11]

"Mr." Isaac Allerton appears on the 1623 division of land list, the only man listed as a "Mr."

In order to afford the intial voyage and patent in New England, the Pilgrims had taken on substantial debt. Life in New England did not prove as profitable as hoped (and bad luck struck as well -- an entire vessel of trade goods worth nearly half the debt was captured by the French in 1621). In 1626, Allerton was sent to England to negotiate with the Adventurers (the men who had advanced funds for the colony). He struck a deal where "the Adventurers sold to the Colony their entire interest in the settlement for £1800, "to be paid at the Royal Exchange, at London, every "Michaelmas, in nine annual installments of £200, each," and it was provided that they were to forfeit thirty shillings per week, for every week the debt was not paid after it was due."[12]

The deal did not work out as well as hoped for the colonists. "Despite some remarkable early returns in the fur trade, Bradford and his fellow investors struggled to pay off the colony's debt. Bradford blaimed most of their difficulties on his former assistant governor Isaac Allerton. Allerton, who had mercantile ambitions of his own, was entrusted with overseeing Plymouth's relations with the merchants in England, and it eventually became apparent that Allerton was mixing his personal business with the colony's. As a result of his mismanagement, if not outright fraud, Plymouth's debts only increased even though the Pilgrims had sent significant quantities of furs back to England. In truth, it was not all Isaac Allerton's fault. Bradford, who'd suffered reversals of his own back in Leiden, never had a talent for financial matters, and the colonly continued to have trouble with the merchants in London long after Allerton ceased representing them in 1630. According to Bradford's calculations, between 1631 and 1636, they shipped £10,000 in beaver and otter pelts (worth almost $2 million in today's dollars) yet saw no significant reduction in their debt of approximately £6,000."[13] Other accounts specify Allerton's misdeeds in more detail: "Allerton began to use his "free" trips to England to engage in some private gains, purchasing goods and selling them in the Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth. He also used his capacity as Plymouth's designated negotiator to engage the Colony in a number of unapproved money-making schemes: he went so far as to purchase ships (which he partially used for his own private trading), and to attempt to negotiate grants and patents for trade--all at great cost to the company and none of it approved by the others back at Plymouth."[14]

Allerton's troubles with Bradford notwithstanding, several accounts call him "the wealthiest of all the Pilgrims." He appears to have been the first merchant of New England and owned several vessels. Winthrop mentions in his journal, under date of June 12, 1630, Mr. Allerton "in a shallop as he was sailing to Pemaquid." A February 1634 reference mentions the "many fisherman he employed by the season." He engaged in trade, shipping and fishing off the coast, moving to New Amsterdam for several years in 1636. In 1643, he was among a Council of eight chosen from among the citizens of New Amsterdam, nominally to assist Governor Kieft, but in reality to manage him. While living at New Amsterdam, however, he made many voyages to Virginia and the West Indies, and frequently visited New England. About 1643, references to Isaac Allerton "of New Haven" begin to appear in Bradford's journal. A plaque marks the location of his house in New Haven at Union and Fair Streets. He appears in the court records at New Haven several times in the 1650s[15]

He died in New Haven "in the beginning of the year 1659". The inventory of his estate was taken 12 Feb 1659, and was presented to the Court 5 Apr 1659.


Isaac Jr. produced his father's will on July 5, 1659 and was appointed to settle the estate, but the estate being badly insolvent the business was referred to the Court of Magistrates in October. At that Court the writing presented as the last Will and Testament of Isaac Allerton, although informal and without date, was sworn to by John Harriman and Edward Preston, the subscribing witnesses, as sealed and subscribed by Mr. Allerton deceased, "whilst he had the use of his understanding and memory in a competent degree."

At a Court of Magistrates Octob. 19. 59 A writeing presented as the last will & Testament of Isaac Alerton, late of Newhaven deceased, wth an account of certaine debts, dew to him; & from him; An account of Debts at the Duch first, 700. & odd gilders from Tho: Hall by Arbitration of Captaine Willet, & Augustine Harman; about Captaine Scarlet wch I paid out, And there is 900 gilders owing by John Peterson the Bore, as by Georg Woolseyes booke will appeare; & severall obligations thereto, ffrom Richard Cloufe owes, as Georg Woolseyes Booke will make appeare; I thinke 900. gilders, but his Estate being broken. I Desire that what may be gotten may be layd hold on for mee, Due from william Goulder 270, od gilders, by his Bill appeares; Due from John Snedecare a shoomaker 150, od gilders as by his acco appeares. from the widdow of the Hanc Hancson due as by severall Bills & accounts; Peter Cornelioussen 120. od guilders as by ye account will appeare. Due from Henry Brasser for rent for 28 moneths, from the first October 1656. to the last of May 58: for three roomes at 3 gilders a week. I am in his Debt for worke of the old acco wch must be Deducted; 156 Isaac Allerton's Will and Inventory. there is 20 li in George Woolseyes hand, that came fro. mr Tho Maybue for mee There is 420. oaf. gilders that I owe to Nicholas, the ffrenchman, & a Cooper I owe something to, wch I would have that 201; in Georg Woolseyes hand, & the rest of that in Henry Brassers hand to them two; And now I leave my son Isaac Allerton and my wife, as Trustees to receive in my debts, & to pay what I owe, as farr as it will goe & what is overpluss I leave to my wife and my sonne Isaac, as far as they receive the Debts to pay what I owe; In Captaine Willetts hand. a pcell of booke lace 1300 & odd. guilders Wch I left in trust with Captaine Willett to take care of: Seale My brother Bruster owes mee foure score pounds & odd. as the obligations will appeare. Besides all my Debts in Delloware Bay & in Virgenia wch in my booke will appeare, & in Barbadoes. what can be gott; Witness. Isaac Allerton Senior John Harriman

On October 4, 1660, Isaac Allerton the 2nd granted to his mother-in-law Mrs. Johanna Allerton the house in New Haven where she now dwells during her life and then to his daughter Elizabeth Allerton and her heirs.

Text References

  1. Roser, Susan E. Mayflower Increasings for Three Generations. (Baltimore [Maryland]: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1989).
  2. Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995).

    Between court appearance on 1 Feb and inventory on 12 Feb.

  3.   Isaac Allerton, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.

    the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

    Isaac Allerton Sr. (c. 1586 – 1658/9), and his family, were passengers in 1620 on the historic voyage of the ship Mayflower. Allerton was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact. In Plymouth Colony he was active in colony governmental affairs and business and later in trans-Atlantic trading. Problems with the latter regarding colony expenditures caused him to be censured by the colony government and ousted from the colony. He later became a well-to-do businessman elsewhere and in his later years resided in Connecticut.

  4.   Isaac Allerton, in Find A Grave.
  5.   Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States. Mayflower Compact. (Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States)
  6.   Savage, James. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England: Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May, 1692, on the Basis of Farmer's Register. (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co, 1860-1862).

    1:38; ALLERTON; ISAAC 1 of 2; "ISAAC, one of the pilgr. in :Mayflower Passengers|the Mayflower, at Plymouth, 1620, at one time the richest of the Co. was an Assist. 1621, the sole officer for three yrs. under the Gov. He brot. w. Mary, wh. was call. Collins, from Newbury, Co. Berks, m. at Leyden, 4 Nov. 1611, the same day that his ..."

    1:38-39; ALLERTON; ISAAC 2 of 2; "ISAAC, New Haven, s. of the preced. and the only ch. nam. in the will of his f. tho. as the testator had not a shilling to give, the omiss. of other ch. need not be regret. For his f's wid. Isaac purchas. the portion of the domicil that the law would not give, and bestow. it on her for life, remain to his eldest ..."

    1:245-246; BREWSTER; WILLIAM 1 of 3; "... 5 Aug. of next yr. Patience m. Thomas Prence, afterwards the gov. and d. 1634; and Fear m. 1626, Isaac Allerton, as his sec. w. and d. 1633. His w. d. bef. 1627; and Gov. Bradford says the s. Wrestling d. bef. never m. He had early rem. to Duxbury, and ..."

    2:479-480; HOWLAND; JOHN 1 of 2; "... the Mayflower 1620 the latest surviv. exc. John Alden, among the adult males; tho. a minor d. of Isaac Allerton, Mary, wh. m. Elder Thomas Cushman, liv. more than 78 yrs. after the landing. He was a serv. or attend. of Gov. Carver, yet he is in rank the thirteenth signer of the Covenant, 11 Nov. and was reckon. ..."

    3:180-181; MAVERICK; MOSES; "... 1684, and d. 28 Jan. 1686, aged 76, wh. date, Farmer says, Dana mistook. His w. Remember, d. of famous Isaac Allerton (but in Geneal. Reg. VIII. 270, she is call. Sarah, and possib. he had both to w. tho. it seems not prob.) d. aft. 1652, and he m. 22 Oct. 1656, Eunice, wid. of Thomas Roberts. His d. Rebecca m. 3 June ..."

    3:486; PRIEST; DEGORY; "... days aft. land. from the Mayflower, on 1 Jan. 1621; and his w. wh. was, says Gov. Bradford, sis. of Mr. Allerton, and their childr. came after. He was formerly thot. the first m. of any of the Leyden exiles, but the rec. there shows that his intent was pub. 4 Oct. 1611, and the m. with Sarah Vincent, wid. of ..."

  7. Caleb Johnson,, Isaac Allerton.
  8. Allerton, Walter S. A history of the Allerton family in the United States : 1585 to 1885, and a genealogy of the descendants of Isaac Allerton, "Mayflower pilgrim," Plymouth, Mass., 1620. Chicago: Private Printing, 1900. available at
  9. Philbrick, Nathaniel. Mayflower, at 89, 172
  10. Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation
  11. Great Migration, citing Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation at 86.
  12. Allerton, A History of the Allerton Family, supra, at 19
  13. Philbrick, at 168-169
  14. Caleb Johnson,, Isaac Allerton.
  15. E.g., Allerton, A history of the Allerton family, supra

The Mayflower (1620)
The Mayflower was the first settlement voyage to New England, carrying primarily English Separatists known as Pilgrims. It was destined for the mouth of the Hudson River, but landed at Cape Cod in present-day Massachusetts.
Sailed: 6 Sep 1620 from Southampton, England under Captain Christopher Jones
Arrived: 11 Nov 1620 at Plymouth, Massachusetts
After spending the winter aboard ship, the surviving passengers moved ashore on 21 Mar 1621.
Next Vessel: The Fortune (1621)

104; 24 families left descendants (Full List)
Pilgrim Families: Allerton (Asst. Gov. Isaac) - Bradford (Gov. William) - Brewster (Rev. William) - Chilton - Cooke - Fuller (Edward) - Fuller (Samuel) - Priest - Rogers - Sampson - Tilley (Edward) - Tilley (John) - White - Winslow (Edward)
Other Families and Servants: Alden - Billington - Browne - Doty - Eaton - Hopkins - Howland - Mullins - Soule - Standish (Capt. Miles) - Warren - Winslow (Gilbert)

Resources: Primary Sources: Bradford's History of Plymouth Plantation - Mourt's Relation - Pilgrim Hall (wills and other contemporary documents)
Wikipedia: Mayflower (voyage) - Passenger List - Pilgrims - Plymouth Colony - Captain Christopher Jones