Person:John Alden (1)

m. 12 May 1622
  1. Elizabeth Alden1623 - 1717
  2. Capt. John Alden, Jr.Abt 1626 - 1701/02
  3. Joseph AldenAft 1627 - 1696/97
  4. Sarah AldenBet 1630 & 1640 - Bef 1688
  5. Capt. Jonathan AldenAbt 1632 - 1697
  6. Ruth AldenAbt 1634/35 - 1674
  7. Mary Alden - Aft 1688
  8. Priscilla Alden - Aft 1688
  9. Rebecca AldenBef 1643 - Aft 1696
  10. Dea. David AldenAbt 1646 - Bet 1718 & 1719
  11. Unknown AldenEst 1651 - Est 1651
Facts and Events
Name John Alden
Gender Male
Birth[2][13][14][15] Abt 1598 Harwich, Essex, Englandprobably
Immigration[1] 1620 Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States Aboard Mayflower
Marriage 12 May 1622 Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United Statesto Priscilla Mullins
Death[1][13] 12 Sep 1687 Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
Burial[16] Myles Standish Burying Ground, Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
Reference Number[1] Q6218491?

John Alden was a settler of Duxbury, Mass., where he lived for most of his life. From 1633 until 1686 he was an assistant to the Governor of the Colony, frequently acting as governor. At the time of his death on Sept. 12, 1687, he was the last male survivor of the Mayflower company.



Extensive research has been done into the ancestry of John Alden, but nothing has conclusively been found. There are two major theories that have been presented over the years:

Charles Edward Banks, in his book The English Ancestry and Homes of the Pilgrim Fathers, 1929, puts forward a theory that John is the son of George Alden and Jane (---) and grandson of Richard and Avys Alden of Southampton, England. Since Bradford says John Alden was hired in Southampton, this would be a logical place to start looking for Aldens. No other supporting evidence has been found, and it has been noted by many researchers that the names George, Richard, and Avys do not occur anywhere in John Alden's family. Naming children after parents and grandparents was an extremely common practice in the seventeenth century, and the absence of such a name is nearly enough evidence to disprove this theory.

The currently popular theory is that John Alden came from Harwich, Essex, England. There was a sea-faring Alden family living there, who were related by marriage to Christopher Jones, captain of the Mayflower. It has been suggested John Alden may be the son of John Alden and Elizabeth Daye, but this is not fully proven either. Several theories regarding the origins of John Alden were discussed in The Mayflower Descendant, vol. 39:111-121 and vol. 40:133-136. This Harwich Alden family was identified as the most promising. A John Alden of Harwich married the daughter of William Russell, a merchant of that town. When William Russell wrote his will on 1 August 1586, he mentioned his son-in-law John Alden who was at that time in captivity in Spain (these were the years just before the Spanish Armada when English and Spanish ships competed for rule of the seas). He also mentions a number of children of John Alden. Interpretation of Russell’s will seems to indicate that the captured John Alden had two sons named John. John “the elder” was probably the child of an earlier, unknown, first wife; and John “the younger” was the child of William Russell’s daughter. Other children of the captured John Alden were Peter, William and Thomas. Any of these sons could have been the father of John Alden of the Mayflower.

The most appealing facet of the Harwich theory is that William Russell’s son Robert, brother of the Elizabeth Russell who married the captured John Alden, married the widowed mother of Captain Christopher Jones of the Mayflower. Thus, if this theory is correct, Capt. Jones would have been this step-son of our John Alden’s great-uncle. This theory offers ample opportunity for John Alden to have learned about Captain Jones’s trip to New England and to gain the job of cooper/carpenter for the voyage. However, no records have been found in Harwich or the county of Essex of a John Alden who could be the Mayflower passenger. If Captain Jones was related to John Alden, William Bradford did not know if it when he wrote his history or he almost certainly would have mentioned the connection.[20]

John was a about twenty-two years old in 1620 and very likely had just finished an apprenticeship in cooperage or carpentry. No letters, no family Bible, no journal, no writings survive for either John or Priscilla. All that survives is the story of their courtship.

Two commemorative broadsides (elegy poems) survive from John Alden's 1687 death. The first broadside is by an unknown author, and the second broadside was written by John Cotton.

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

Biographical Summary

From The Johnson Memorial[22]

John Alden seems to have attached himself from the first to Captain Standish, and in spite of the difference in their ages, there was a life long friendship, disturbed only for a short time, and then for the usual cause - a woman. During the winter Miles Standish lost his wife Rose. Among other deaths were those of WIlliam Molines, (*) or Mullines, his wife, his son Joseph, and a servant, Robert Cartier, leaving as the only survivor of this family a daughter, Priscilla.

In 1627 a contract was made to buy the rights of the "Company of Adventurers" in the colony. This responsibility was assumed by eight of the leading men on behalf of the colonists. They were Bradford, Winslow, Standish, Allerton, Brewster, Howland, Prence, and Alden.

In 1628 Standish and Alden moved to Duxbury. The Captain had married, several years before, his cousin Barbara Standish, a sister of his first wife, coming from England. He built on Captain's Hill, and John Alden near Eagle Tree Pond, where some of his descendants still live. With the marriage of Alexander, the eldest son of Miles Standish, to Sarah, daughter of John and Priscilla Alden, the two families were drawn closer still together; and in 1629 we find Alden acting for Miles Standish in the matter of "Warwick Patent."

We hear nothing of Alden's exercising his trade as a cooper. Probably, by the time there was much demand for his services another had arrived. He was from the first employed by the heads of the colony as a clerk, as he seems to have been better educated than many of the Pilgrims. He was assistant to every Governor, after the first, for forty-three years; he succeeded Standish as treasurer of the colony, holding that office thirteen years; and was eight times deputy from Duxbury, sometimes holding two of these positions at the same time. In later life he took some part in the rigorous measures against the Quakers, but the sins of the father were visited upon the children, when, in a still more tolerant age, his eldest son, Captain John Alden, of Boston, was imprisoned for witchcraft.

John Alden's house in Duxbury was burned a few years before his death, and he moved to the dwelling of his fourth son, Jonathan, not far distant. Here he died in 1687, last of the signers of the pilgrim contract. (*) Written "Molines," "Mullins," "Mullens."

He died 'in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people,--and his sons buried him.'

John Alden was one of 41 men who signed the Mayflower Compact shortly after its arrival at Provincetown Harbor in November, 1620. Although he was probably 20 or 21 upon his arrival, neither his birthdate or place of birth is known. It is assumed he was from England, probably of Harwich.

He was hired to be the copper of the Mayflower which carried a large responsibility as he had to keep the barrels of water and wine in good condition, necessary for the passengers survival on their long journey. He was hired for a one year period, and than was free to return to England but he chose to stay. His children remembered him as tall, blond, and very powerful in physique, one of the strongest men at Plymouth.

In the group on the Mayflower there were two distinct groups of people: the pilgrims, who were seeking religious freedom and the others, who were coming to the new world for various personal reasons. The Pilgrims called the others "strangers". Some books list John as one of the "strangers" while others have a third listing of hired hands. John and Priscilla did become a part of the Colony church. Elder Brewster, with whose family Priscilla had lived before her marriage, had been a head elder in the Pilgrim movement in England, than in Holland, and remained so throughout his life in Plymouth.

John was a well respected man as he was only one of three of the hired men who came on the Mayflower to hold higher positions in the colony. In 1627 the colony assumed responsibility of the remaining debt for the voyage and John was one of eight men chosen as "undertakers" to help administer the pro-governors from 1631-1639 and from 1651-1682. He is believed that he would have been in line for the office of governor had he not been in his 80's. He served on councils of war against the Dutch in the 1640's & 50's and in the Indian wars.

In 1634 John Alden was arrested for murder in Boston when traveling there on a trading vessel. The colony had obtained a patent for a 15 mile strip of land along the Kenebec River. A man named Hocking went up to do trading and sent word back that he would like to go father. John Howland, in charge of the project, refused permission. Hocking went anyway. Howland, Alden, and a small group of men went in pursuit of Hocking. When they came upon him, Hocking shot one of them, a Moses Talbot. Than Hocking was shot. That is what led to the arrest of John Alden. Miles Standish took letters from Governor Pence of the colony and had to appear in court to testify before John was released.

John Alden was among the men from Duxbury who purchased land from Massosoit, a well known Indian, so their children would have farms. The first settlement was made in 1665 near Lake Neppenicket in what is now West Bridgewater. The land included West, East and North Bridgewaters, Brockton and Abington. Joseph, John's son farmed John's portion of land.

John and Priscilla lived in Duxbury the rest of their lives. John died September 12, 1687, at Duxbury at the age of 89, surviving several of his own children. He was the last survivor of the men who signed the Mayflower Compact, and only two others of the Mayflower out lived him__ John Cook and Mary Allerton Cushman. He is buried in Duxbury cemetery, which is the oldest maintained cemetery in America. Myles Standish is also buried there. It is not known when Priscilla died, but most sources feel it was a few years before John's death, and it is also thought that she is buried in the same cemetery but this is not documented.

The pastor of the Duxbury Church at the time of John Alden's death was Ichabod Wiswall, who was married to John's granddaughter, Priscilla Pabodie Wiswall, daughter of Elizabeth.

John Alden was a Brewer

"John Alden was hired for a cooper, at South-Hampton, where the ship victuled; and being a hopfull young man, was much desired, but left to his owne liking to go or stay when he came here; but he stayed, and maryed here." [23]

On 11 November 1620 John Alden joined with the other free adult male passengers of the Mayflower to sign the Compact whereby they agreed to make and abide by their own laws.[24]

Courtship of Myles Standish

Priscilla Mullins was the daughter of William Mullins, also a passenger on the Mayflower with his wife Alice and son Joseph. William, Alice and Joseph all died in the terrible sickness and deprivation of the first winter in Plymouth. Priscilla, who as probably still too young to be married, was orphaned, her only surviving kin her brother and sister in England. Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow celebrated the story of how Priscilla attracted the attentions of the newly-widowed Captain Myles Standish, who asked his friend John Alden to propose on his behalf only to have Priscilla ask, “Why don’t you speak for yourself, John?” Most of the world draws its image of the Pilgrim story from Longfellow’s epic narrative poem, The Courtship of Myles Standish. The basic story was apparently handed down from Priscilla herself through two generations to her great-great-granddaughter, who died in 1845, at the age of 101 years. It was published by John and Priscilla’s great-great-grandson, Rev. Timothy Alden, in his Collection of American Epitaphs and Inscriptions in 1814 (264-271). Rev. Timothy’s facts are not always correct (he was not born until 1736, fifty years after John’s death), and he embellishes in the typical style of his day, but his account of the famous courtship and description of John is as close to the original as we can get:

Mrs. Rose Standish, consort of Captain Standish, departed this life, on the 29 of January 1621. This circumstance is mentioned as an introduction to the following anecdote, which as been carefully handed down by tradition.

In a very short time after the decease of Mrs. Standish, the captain was led to think, that, if he could obtain Miss Priscilla Mullins, a daughter of Mr. William Mullins, the breach in his family would be happily repaired. He, therefore, according to the custom of those times, sent to ask Mr. Mullins’ permission to visit his daughter. John Alden, the messenger, went and faithfully communicated the wishes of the captain. The old gentleman did not object, as he might have done, on account of the recency of Captain Standish’s bereavement. He said it was perfectly agreeable to him, but the young lady must also be consulted. The damsel was then called into the room, and John Alden, who is said to have been a man of most excellent form with a fair and ruddy complexion, arose, and, in a very courteous and prepossessing manner, delivered his errand. Miss Mullins listened with respectful attention, and at last, after a considerable pause, fixing her eyes upon him, with an open and pleasant countenance, said, prithee John, why do you not speak for yourself? He blushed, and bowed, and took his leave, but with a look, which indicated more than his diffidence would permit him otherwise to express. However, he soon renewed his visit, and it was not long before their nuptials were celebrated in ample form.

Obviously, in addition to the inevitable distortions of stories told and retold over the years, the Rev. Alden had already taken some poetic license with the family story before Longfellow took over. There would have been very little time between the death of Rose Standish on January 29th and the death of William Mullins on February 21st, if all of this took place while Mullins was still alive, and there is little chance even the flamboyant Captain Standish would have been courting Priscilla during those desperate months of sickness and starvation in the winter of 1621. A grain of truth probably exists in the family tradition, but most of the story that found its way to Longfellow’s poem is pure imagination. For example, Longfellow's account of the wedding procession through woods and field to the new house, with the bride mounted on a snow-white bull is an an-achronism. At that time the whole of Plymouth was within sound of Alden's voice as he stood at his door, and the first cattle arrived in March, 1624. It was not until 1627 that there were enough cattle to divide among the colonists; and even then John and Priscilla, with their two children, owned only four-thirteenths of a heifer called Raghorn, sharing her with the Howland families and with some others.

The marriage date of John and Priscilla is also unknown. They were certainly married at Plymouth. We know that William Bradford’s marriage to Alice Carpenter 14 August 1624 was the fourth marriage in Plymouth Colony (The Mayflower Descendant, vol. 30:4). The first was that of Edward Winslow and Susannah White in 1621. Francis Eaton’s marriage to his second wife, Dorothy, maidservant to the Carvers, was possibly the second (TAG, 72:308-309). John Alden and Priscilla Mullins is likely the third.

Since Priscilla is not listed in the 1623 division of land (which probably took place in early 1623/4 – see below), it is assumed their marriage took place before that list was made and, therefore, John Alden’s share included that of his wife. By the division of cattle in May 1627, the Aldens had two children, Elizabeth and John. No birth records for any of the Alden children survive, but from the death record of Elizabeth Alden it appears she was born about 1624-5 and was the eldest child. This places John and Priscilla’s marriage about 1623. Since no birth or baptism for Priscilla has been found, we can only make a wild guess that she may have been about sixteen to eighteen in 1620, slightly too young to marry in the first year or two after she was orphaned.

William Bradford’s account of the Increasings and Decreasings of the Mayflower passengers, written in 1650, states:

Mrs. Mullins and his wife, his son and his servant died the first winter. Only his daughter Priscilla survived, and married with John Alden, who are both living and have eleven children. with their eldest daughter is married and hath five children. [25]

No further written record of Priscilla survives. Bradford’s statement that she had eleven children (and that her eldest daughter had five by 1650) is contradicted by his marginal tally of “15” beside the entry. Eleven children plus five grandchildren should have been “16.” Only ten children have been identified. If there were other children, they died unmarried and without heirs before John Alden’s estate was settled.

Priscilla died before here husband. A nineteenth century account published by John A. Goodwin in The Pilgrim Republic in 1888 describes the mourners at the funeral of Governor Josiah Winslow in 1680 including “John Alden, with Priscilla still on his arm” (also New England Historical & Genealogical Register, vol. 51:429). No contemporary corroboration of this statement has been found, and we can only state with certainty that she was alive when Bradford wrote is list in 1650 but dead by the time John’s epitaph was published in 1687 (for certainly if Priscilla had been living, the writer would have mentioned the famous widow). Since no special notice was made of Priscilla’s death, we can probably assume she did not die very young nor under any strange circumstances. Sadly, neither the birth, marriage, nor the death for one of America’s most famous women is known.

Early Land Divisions

The 1623 division of land among the Plymouth colonists (probably made in early 1623/4) placed John Alden in the group that received land on the “north side of the towne.” Others in this group were Edward Winslow, Richard Warren, John Goodman, John Crackston, Mary Chilton, Captain Myles Standish, Francis Eaton, Henry Cooper, and Humility Cooper.[26] The acreage that John Alden is illegible, but was probably four acres – representing on share each for himself and Priscilla, and for her deceased parents William and Alice Mullins.[27]

In 1626 Isaac Allerton negotiated an agreement between the Merchant Adventurers in England who had financed the Plymouth Colony, whereby 53 members of the colony (including John Alden) and five London men (called the “Purchasers”) were to pay £180 for all of the stocks, lands, and merchandise that belonged to the Company. [28] In May 1627 John Alden joined with William Bradford, Capt. Myles Standish, Isaac Allerton, Edward Winslow, William Brewster, John Howland, and Thomas Prence, to undertake (thus they ere called the “Undertakers”) the debt owed by the “Purchasers.” In return, this group of eight men received the boats, furs, and other stores that had belonged to the Company as well as rights to trade for themselves for six years. Payment was to be made in corn and tobacco. [29]

The division of cattle made 22 May 1627 placed John Alden, Priscilla Alden, and their children Elizabeth and John in the fourth lot that “fell to John Howland & his company Joyned to him.” The lot received “one of the 4 heyfers Came in the Jacob Called Raghorne” (Raghorne is a breed of cattle). [30]

In 1627 they received a grant of land in Duxbury and lived there during the farming season, returning to Plymouth for Sunday worship and the winter season. In 1632 John Alden, Myles Standish, Johnathan Brewster (Elders son), and Thomas Prence asked to be dismissed from Plymouth Church to form the First Church of Duxbury, which was granted. In 1637 Duxbury was recognized as a separate town from Plymouth. The Aldens became permanent residents of Duxbury at this time.

The Move to Duxbury

The colonists began to spread out from Plymouth and settle on the land they had been granted. At first, the families would end to their land during the summer and return to the Plymouth settlement during the winter where they could attend church. The original Alden house in Duxbury was probably begun during the summers and by 1631 the family was staying longer, perhaps the whole year. Bradford and others in Plymouth were worried about losing the families from the original settlement, and in April 1632 John Alden, Capt. Standish, Jonathan Brewster and Thomas Prence signed an agreement promising to bring their families back to Plymouth during the winter. However, as Bradford later wrote, “First those that lived on their lots on the other side of the Bay, called Duxbury, they could not long bring their wives and children to the public worship and church meetings here, but with such burthen as, growing to some competent number, they sued to be dismissed and become a body of themselves,” [31] thus the Alden family took up permanent residence in Duxbury.

The Alden grant in Duxbury was accessible by water from the bay and up the river, so that the whole length of the farm had water transportation. The Green Harbor Path, running from Plymouth to Marshfield passed along the west end of the farm. The bounds of the farm were described in a document dated 4 December 1637, but recorded in 1681 or later.

The bounds of the land of Mr. John Alden of Duxbery, as it was layed out by Gov. Bradford, Mr. Edward Winslow, Joshua Pratt, and Edward Bangs. It begines, for the breath of it, att a place where formerly an old pine tree stood, where now there is a gravelly hole, and from thence to a burnt walnut stump, and runinge for the length, and from thence to take its length unto a whie oake tree standing a little within the land of Phillip Delano deceased, the root of that tree still remaining, and from thence for the breadth att the had of the lott up to the old Greens Harbor Path; on the southerly side bounded with the meddow of the said John Alden in part and with the land of Experience Mitchell att the upper end. [32]

This description was amended under the date 1 January 1637/8: [33]

The bounds of the land of MR. John Alden att Duxburrow, as it was layed forth by Gov. Bradford, Mr. Edward Winslow, Joshua Pratt, Edward Bangs, as followeth: from an old pine tree by the meddow, which meddow was afterwards allotted unto mee, the said John Alden, and for the breadth of the said land buting upon and ranging along the said Blew Fish River to a burnt walnut stump; and from thence to a walnut tree ranging from the abovesaid stump west north west, which was sum tim after run by Joshua Prate and Phillip Delano, Senior, unto a white oake tree, standing a little within the bounds of Phillip Delanoes land, there being a stump or root of that tree still remaining, and from thence for the breadth att the head, up to Greens Harbour, old path; and on the southerly side of he land bounded ptly with my owne meddow, and with the land of Experience Mitchell towards the upper end.

Alden's Duxbury Houses

The first house built and occupied by John and Priscilla was a long, narrow house with a field stone foundation and a root cellar under the west end. Archeological excavations made in 1960 by Roland Wells Robbins revealed the cellar stones and that the house was about 10 ½ feet in width and 38 feet in length (here the Aldens raised 10 children!). Its size would have been similar to a modern mobile home, although the Alden house would have had a loft or second floor. Evidence at the site of the old house proved that the old house had not burned, as many old stories claimed. It had definitely been moved or dismantled. The dimensions of the old house led Robbins to believe that it had been dismantled and moved up the hill to be incorporated as the kitchen, borning room, and buttery of the existing Alden House, which are exactly the same dimensions. [34]

The present Alden house was believed to have been built in 1653, a date reputedly found carved in one of the beams or boards of the house. However, recent archeological work indicates the house may have been built sometime in the latter two decades of the 1600s. It is still believed that beams from the original house were used in the construction of the newer one. Further research is being undertaken by the Alden Kindred of America, Inc., which owns and maintains the house. The Alden house remained in the possession of members of the Jonathan2 Alden family until 1892 and was transferred to the Alden Kindred in 1907.[35]

John Alden was on the 1633 list of Plymouth freemen among those admitted prior to 1 Jan 1632/3.[36] The tax list of 25 March 1633 assesses John Alden £1.4s. The highest tax was assessed to Isaac Allerton (£3.11s.). John Alden was assessed the same tax on the 27 March 1634 list (the highest then being Edward Winslow at £2.5s.).[37]

In 1634 a list was made of all colony men able to bear arms (between the ages of 16 and 60). “Mr. John Alden, Sen., John Alden, Jun., and Jos. Alden” were all listed for the town of “Duxborrow.” [38]

John Alden's Imprisonment in Maine

Also in 1634, John Alden found himself imprisoned in Boston as the results of an incident on the Kennebec River involving parties from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and Plymouth Colony. The Bradford Patent gave Plymouth the right to settle and trade on the Kennebec River. John Howland was in charge of the Plymouth trading post on the river in 1634 when a trading ship from the Piscataqua settlement, under John Hocking, attempted to horn in. After they ignored his warnings to leave, Howland ordered their ship’s mooring lines cut. Hocking shot and killed the man who cut the line, and one of the Plymouth men shot and killed Hocking. John Alden had been in Kennebec bringing supplies to the post at this time, but was not a party to the shootings. However, by the time he returned to Boston, a one-sided version of the news had arrived before him, and as he was the nearest Plymouth Colony representative at hand, Alden was arrested. Captain Myles Standish was dispatched with letters from Thomas Prence, Governor of the Plymouth Colony to straighten out the officials in Boston. Prence was successful in convincing Governor Dudley that they had heard only half of the story, the part about Hocking having killed a man being omitted. Alden was released, but the dispute over trading rights on the Kennebec continued acrimoniously between the two colonies.[39]

Further Records About the Aldens

For a young man hired as a cooper, John Alden soon assumed a place of high responsibility in the Plymouth Colony, serving as an Assistant many times between 1632 and 1640 and 1650 to 1686. He acted as Deputy Governor on two occasions when the Governor was absent. In March 1664/5 and October 1677; was Treasurer for three terms 1656 to 1658; and served on numerous committees and councils of war. This extensive public service indicates that he must have been well educated. Whether he received that education in England or from his fellow Pilgrims such as Winslow and Bradford is not known.[40]

In 1636 and 1637 John Alden as assigned mowing ground for the year. [41] John Alden’s cattle mark recorded at Plymouth 15 November 1636 was “a peece like a long round cut.” [42] On 6 March 1636/7, “A parcel of land containing a knoll, or a little hill, lying over against Mr. Alden’s land at Blewfish River, is granted by the Court unto the said Mr. John Alden in lieu of a parcel of land taken from him (next unto Samuel Nash’s lands) for public use.” [43] Bluefish River is a marshy brook in he eastern part of Duxbury.

In his later years, John Alden was on many juries, including even a witch trial - -though in Plymouth's case, the jury found the accuser guilty of libel and the alleged witch was allowed to go free. Plymouth Colony only had two witch trials during its history, and in both cases the accuser was found guilty and punished.


31 October 1687

Plymouth County Probate Records 1:10, 16

Mayflower Descendant 3(1901):10-11

  1. P500

[p.10] The Eight day of November 1687 Administration was Granted unto Leiutt Jonathat Alden to Administer upon the Estate of his father Mr John Alden late of Duxbury deceased

An Inventory taken of the Estate of the late deceased Mr John Alden october 31 day 1687

L s d

Neate Cattell sheep Swine & one horse 13 .. ..

one Table one forme one Carpit one Cubert & coubert Cloth .. 15 ..

2 Chaires .. .3 ..

bedsteds Chests 7 boxes .. 15 ..

Andirons pot hookes and hangers .. .8 .6

pots Tongs one quort kettle .. 10 ..

by brass ware .1 11 ..

by 1 ads 1s 6d & saws 7s .. .8 .6

by Augurs and Chisells .. .5 ..

by wedges 4s to Coupers tooles 1L 2s .1 .7 ..

one Carpenters Joynters .. .1 .6

Cart boults Cleavie Exseta .. 13 ..

driping pan & gridirons .. .5 ..

by puter ware 1 pound 12s by Iron 3s .1 15 ..

by 2 old guns .. 11 ..

by Table linen & other linen .1 12 ..

To beding .5 12 ..

one Spitt 1s 6d & baggs 2s .. .3 .6

one mortising axe .. .1 ..

marking Iron a Case of trenchers with other things .. .7 ..

hamen and winch exse .. .2 .6

by one goume and a bitt of linnine Cloth .. .7 ..

by one horse bridle and Saddle liberary and Cash and wearing Clothes 18 .9 ..

by other old lumber .. 15 ..


Before Nathaniel Thomas Esqr Judge of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas the 8th day of November 1687 Leiut Jonathan Alden made oath that this is a true Inventory of the Estate of his father Mr John Alden deseased soe farr as he knoweth & when he knoweth more he will discover the same

Nath11 Thomas Cler.

[p.16] Wee whose names are Subscribed being prsonally Interested in the then Estate of John Alden senior of Duxbury Esqr lately deceased doe hereby acknowlege our selves to have Received Each of us our full Personall proportions thereof from Jonathan Alden administrator & therof Doe by these prsents for our selves our heires &c Exonerate acquitt & Discharge fully the said Jonathan Alden his heires &c for Ever of & from all Rights dues demands whatsoever Relateing to the aforesd Estate In Witness Wereof we have hereunto Subscribed & sealed this thirteenth day of June Ano Dom 1688.

Jacobi 2di 4to

Elexander Standish (Seal) // John Alden (Seal)

in ye Right of my wife // Joseph Alden (Seal)

Sarah deceased // David Alden (Seal)

John Bass (Seal) // Prisilla Alden (Seal)

in ye Right of my wife // William Paybody (Seal)

Ruth deceased

Mary Alden (Seal)

Thomas Dillano (Seal)


John and Priscilla Alden probably have the largest number of descendants of any Mayflower passenger, but with stiff competition from Richard Warren and John Howland. They are ancestors to Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Vice President Dan Quayle.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 John Alden (Pilgrim), in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.

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

    John Alden ( 1598 – 1687) was a crew member on the historic 1620 voyage of the Mayflower which brought the English settlers commonly known as Pilgrims to Plymouth Colony in present-day Massachusetts, US. He was hired in Southampton, England, as the ship's cooper, responsible for maintaining the ship's barrels. Although he was a member of the ship's crew and not a settler, Alden decided to remain in Plymouth Colony when the Mayflower returned to England. He was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact.

    He married fellow Mayflower passenger Priscilla Mullins, whose entire family perished in the first winter in Plymouth Colony. The marriage of the young couple became prominent in Victorian popular culture after the 1858 publication of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's fictitious narrative poem The Courtship of Miles Standish. The book inspired widespread depictions of John and Priscilla Alden in art and literature during the 19th and 20th centuries.

    Alden was one of Plymouth Colony's most active public servants and played a prominent role in colonial affairs. He was annually elected to the Governor's Council nearly every year from 1640 to 1686. He served as Treasurer of Plymouth Colony, Deputy to the General Court of Plymouth, a member of the colony's Council of War, and a member of the colony's Committee on Kennebec Trade, among other posts.

    He was the last surviving signer of the Mayflower Compact upon his death in 1687. The approximate location of his grave in the Myles Standish Burial Ground was marked with a memorial stone in 1930. The site of his first house in Duxbury is preserved and marked with interpretative signage. The Alden Kindred of America, which began as a society of John and Priscilla's descendants, maintains the Alden House Historic Site in Duxbury, Massachusetts—a home likely built by Alden's son Capt. Jonathan Alden.

  2. Alden Kindred of America Genealogy Database.

    "1. John Alden was born about 1598 in England. He died on 22 Sep 1687 in Duxbury, Plymouth, MA, US. He was buried in 1687 in Duxbury, Plymouth, MA, US... John married Priscilla Mullins about 1621 in Plymouth, Plymouth, MA, US. Priscilla was born about 1602 in of Dorking, Surrey, England. She died after 1650." 1. John Alden

    "We estimate the year of his birth as 1598 using John’s own deposition and a broadside published upon his death. In the deposition made on 6 July 1682 John stated he was “aged 83 yeers or thereabouts” (Plymouth Colony Records, Judicial Acts, Part 2, p. 32; The Mayflower Descendant vol. 3:120-121, which would indicate he was born between 6 July 1598 and 6 July 1599. When John died on 12 September 1687, a broadside published to commemorate the occasion stated he was “about eight-nine years of age,” indicating he was born between 12 September 1597 and 12 September 1598 (The Mayflower Descendant, vol. 9:129). Combining the two ranges results in an estimated birth date between 6 July and 12 September 1598 or thereabouts." [1]

  3.   Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants. Mayflower Descendant: An Illustrated Quarterly Magazine of Pilgrim Genealogy, History and Biography
    Vol. 1, p. 16 ; 9, p. 145; 11, p. 145 (deed).
  4.   Florence McCutheon McKee. MCCUTCHEON: The McCutcheon Cutcheon Family Records. (Grand Rapids, MI, Commonwealth Printing Co., 1931)
    p. 124.
  5.   Edward Robinson. ROBINSON: Memoir of Rev. William Robinson
    p. 16-17.
  6.   James Bowen Johnson. JOHNSON: The Johnson Memorial. (Washington DC: Howard University Print, 1895).
  7.   Lineage Societies.

    National Society Daughters of the American Colonists; National Society Daughters of Colonial Wars; National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century; Sons and Daughters of America's First Families; National Society of Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America; National Society Sons of Colonial Wars; The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America

  8.   William Kenneth Rutherford & Anna Clay (Zimmerman) Rutherford. Genealogical History of Our Ancestors. (Privately printed Lexington, Missouri 1971).
  9.   Alden, Mrs. Charles L. Alden Genealogy. New England Historical and Genealogical Register. (New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1898)

    "Notwithstanding the prominence he attained, in his deeds of sale or gift, he almost invariably describes himself as "cooper," occasionally as "yeoman," and only once, that I have discovered, as "gentleman." He was educated above the average, and took his stand very soon as a man of weight in the community. Tradition says he was of a fine Saxon type, "the tallest man in the Colony." "He was the youngest signer of the compact.""

  10.   Mrs. Charles L. Alden. "Replies" of January 1893. (New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 47 (1893), 90-91)
    at 47:90.

    "He was married between June 1, 1621, and the first part of 1623, --the second or third marriage."

  11.   William Bradford. History of Plymouth Plantation

    " they comited Mr. Alden to prison, who was in ye bark, and had been at Kenebeck, but was no actore in ye bussines, but wente to carie them supply. They dismist ye barke aboute her bussines, but kept him for some time."

  12.   William Bradford. History of Plymouth Plantation

    "John Alden was hired for a cooper at South Hampton where the ship was victualed; and being a hopfull yong man, was much desired; but left to his own liking to go or stay, when he came here; but he stayed, and maryed here."

  13. 13.0 13.1 John Alden, in Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995).

    BIRTH: About 1599 (deposed aged 83 on 6 July 1682 [MD 3:120]; in his 89th year at death on 12 September 1687 [MD 9:129]; "about eighty-nine years of age" at death on 12 September 1687 [MD 34:49]).
    DEATH: Duxbury 12 September 1687 [Sewall 150; MD 9:129, 34:49].

  14. Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants

    b. prob. in England, perhaps bet. 6 July and 12 Sept. 1598

  15. Johnson, Caleb.

    Birth: About 1599, probably Harwich, Essex, England...."John Alden appears to have originated from an Alden family residing in Harwich, Essex, England, that was related by marriage to the Mayflower's master Christopher Jones. "

  16. John Alden, in Find A Grave.
  17.   Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States. Mayflower Compact. (Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States)
  18.   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).

    1:23; ALDEN; DAVID; "DAVID, Duxbury, s. of John of the :Mayflower Passengers|Mayflower, was rep. 1689 and 90, after the overthrow of Andros; but Farmer was, I doubt, under mistake in making him Assist. 1690; and Winsor follow. him. His w. was Mary, d. of Constant Southworth, by wh. he had Benjamin, Samuel, and Alice, beside ..."

    1:23; ALDEN; JOHN 1 of 2; "JOHN, Plymouth, passeng. in the first ship 1620, had not been assoc. at Leyden with the pilgrims, but was hired at Southampton as a cooper, with right of staying on this side or return. m. 1623, Priscilla, d. of William Mullins, wh. as well as his w. d. the first Feb. after land. We kn. only eight ch. ... and Elizabeth are named, so that the other nine were b. later, but their dates of b. are not heard. He liv. most of his days at Duxbury, was rep. 1641, yet had been chos. an Assist. for the Col. 1633, to Gov. Winslow, and serv. 42 yrs. in that office, to every Gov. after Carver. Idly would tradit. attempt ... was not of the party in the shallop that discov. the harbor, but contin. on board ship at Cape Cod. He was the last male surv. of the signers of the compact in that harbor, Nov. 1620, and d. 12 Sept. 1687, aged 84, or, by other acco. 88. Of the ds. Elizabeth m. 18 Dec. 1644, William Peabody and d. 3 May 1717, aged 94, says ..."

    1:23-24; ALDEN; JOHN 2 of 2; "JOHN, Duxbury, eldest s. of the preced. rem. to Boston, where the rec. says, perhaps erroneous. by w. Elizabeth he had Mary, b. 17 Dec. 1659, for that date may be of d. of his u. since 1 Apr. foll. he m. (I suppose as sec. w.) Elizabeth d. of William Phillips, and wid. of Abiel Everill, had John, b. 20 Nov. ..."

    1:135; BASS; JOHN; "... differ. reading of the same numerals for mos. and day would express), 12 May 1657, Ruth, third d. of John Alden, the Mayflower passeng. had John, b. 26 Nov. 1658; Samuel, 25 Mar. 1660; Ruth, 28 Jan. 1662; Joseph, 5 Dec. 1665; Hannah, 22 June 1667; Mary, 11 Feb. 1669, or 70; and Sarah, 29 May 1672. His w. d. ..."

    2:34; DELANO, early DELANOYE, DELAUNY, or DELANOY; THOMAS; "THOMAS, Duxbury, br. perhaps eldest of the preced. m. Mary, d. perhaps youngest, of first John Alden, had Thomas, but we kn. not his date of b. nor indeed but by conject. that he was of this w. whose m. is giv. bef. 1667. He m. next, 24 Oct. 1692 or 1699, Hannah, wid. of Robert Bartlett, d. of Richard Warren. ..."

    2:479-480; HOWLAND; JOHN 1 of 2; "... ever honored :Mayflower Passengers|passeng. wh. came in 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 ..."

    3:375; PEABODY, PAYBODY or PABODIE; WILLIAM 1 of 3; "WILLIAM, Duxbury, perhaps br. of Francis, m. 26 Dec. 1644, Elizabeth eldest d. of John Alden, who d. at Little Compton, 31 May 1717, aged 93, and he d. 13 Dec. 1707 in his 88th yr. of their ch. we have less exact report than is desir. Bradford says there were five in 1650. His s. John, nam. in the will of ..."

    4:161-162; STANDISH; ALEXANDER; "ALEXANDER, Duxbury, eldest s. of Capt. Miles, m. Sarah, d. of John Alden, had Miles, Ebenezer, b. 1672; Lora; Lydia; Mercy; Sarah; Elizabeth and perhaps David. By sec. w. Desire, d. of Edward Doty, wh. had been wid. of Israel Holmes, and first of William Sherman, he had Thomas, in 1687; Desire, 1689; and ..."

  19.   Eligible descendants may join the Alden Kindred of America
  20. Alden Database, [4]
  21. Alden Database, [5]
  22. From an article published in the American Magazine, March, 1893, read by one of the Alden descendants before the Daughters of the American Revolution in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  23. Bradford’s History, p. 443, The Mayflower Descendant vol. 1:228
  24. Bradford’s History, 75; New Englands Memorial, p. 15-16
  25. Bradford’s History, 445; The Mayflower Descendant, vol. 1:9
  26. Plymouth County Records, vol. 12:4; Plymouth Colony by Stratton, 416
  27. Mayflower Quarterly Feb. 1974, 13.
  28. The Mayflower Descendant, vol. 2:177; Plymouth Colony by Stratton, 419-20
  29. Of Plimoth Plantation, 194-195.
  30. Plymouth County Records, 12:10; Plymouth Colony by Stratton, 422.
  31. Bradford’s History, 253
  32. Plymouth County Records, vol. 1:71
  33. Alden Family in the Alden House, 14
  34. Pilgrim John Alden’s Progress, 15
  35. Alden Family in the Alden House, 128
  36. Plymouth County Records, vol. 1:3
  37. Plymouth County Records, vol. 19, 27; Plymouth Colony by Stratton, 427-429)
  38. Plymouth County Records, vol. 8:187-196; Plymouth Colony by Stratton, 441
  39. Bradford’s History, 263-265
  40. Great Migration Begins, 1:21
  41. Plymouth County Records, vol. 1:40, 56
  42. Plymouth Town Recs, 1.
  43. Plymouth County Records, vol. 1:51.
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