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 John Alden, Sr

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John Alden, Sr

  • Birth 1598 Harwich, Tendring District, Essex, England
  • Death 12 Sep 1687 South Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Burial Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Memorial ID 15

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


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 15
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Alden, Sr (1598–12 Sep 1687), Find A Grave Memorial no. 15, citing Myles Standish Burying Ground, Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .