Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Allertons

I recently finished reading the book, "Mayflower" by Nathaniel Philbrick (thanks Dad!) It talks about the people who cam to America aboard the Mayflower ship. I knew I have ancestors who were born in England, and died in Plymouth, Mass, so I decided to look through my personal ancestral file and see if any of the names matched people in the book. Wouldn't you know, there are quite a few!

Mary and Isaac Allerton are 14 generations removed from me. They were both born in England, and due to religious differences with the main church of England, they separated with a group of other Puritans and moved to Leiden, Holland. After living in Holland for several years, the congregation they were associated with decided to move to New England and start over there.

The original plan wasn't to end up in what we now call Plymouth... They had received a "patent" to start a colony at the mouth of the Hudson River. Because navigation of the time was so imprecise, they ended up far north of their intended destination, and because so many were sick on board, they settled in at the location of Plymouth Bay.

Mary Allerton started her journey to America quite far along in a pregnancy. She and Isaac already had 3 children that made the journey with them; one, a daughter also named Mary, who is our 13 generation ancestor. Unfortunately, after what must have been an arduous journey across the Atlantic ocean, Mary (the mother) delivered a stillborn child while the Pilgrims were anchored in Plymouth Bay. She followed the baby to the grave not too many months later.

Her husband, Isaac Allerton, was now in this new colony with three children, the oldest being 8 years old. In the beginning of the colony, he served as the assistant to the governor of the colony, William Bradford. In the 1630's, it became apparent that Allerton was a bit of a rascal, as he committed some fraud and deception in order to increase his wealth in the community.

Sometime before 1634, Allerton had married a woman named Love (other sources cite her name as Fear) Brewster, but she died of smallpox.

He later appeared in Boston about the age of 53, and our PAF shows that he died in Connecticut in 1659.

For more information about the Allerton family, you can google his name, or Mayflower.