Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and hope this blog will help with that. Some of the surnames I'm researching:

Many old Cape families including Kelley, Eldredge/idge, Howes, Baker, Mayo, Bangs, Snow, Chase, Ryder/Rider, Freeman, Cole, Sears, Wixon, Nickerson.
Many old Plymouth County families including Washburn, Bumpus, Lucas, Cobb, Benson.
Johnson (England to MA)
Corey (Correia?) (Azores to MA)
Booth, Jones, Taylor, Heatherington (N. Ireland to Quebec)
O'Connor (Ireland to MA)
My Mayflower Ancestors (only first two have been submitted/approved by the Mayflower Society):
Francis Cooke, William Brewster, George Soule, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, Richard Warren, Peter Browne, Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, James Chilton, John Tilley, Stephen Hopkins, John Howland.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mayflower Ancestors Pt. 10: Isaac Allerton

I never know quite what to think of Isaac Allerton. He certainly was a successful businessman, but how many people did he hurt or take advantage of on his way to making so much money?

Isaac’s parentage is unknown but he was born in 1586, in the Suffolk area of England (according to several depositions he gave). He was of the Pilgrim contingent that lived in Leiden, Holland and was about 34 years of age when he came to Plymouth on the Mayflower.
Forefathers' Monument at Plymouth


Isaac married first Mary Norris at Leiden, who died at Plymouth on 25 February 1620/21, during that first winter when so many colonists died. They had children Bartholomew, Remember and Mary born in Leiden. All of them were on the Mayflower with Isaac and Mary. They also had an unnamed baby they buried in February 1620 in Leiden and another stillborn on the Mayflower when anchored at Plymouth (source: Mayflower Families Through Five Generations: Vol 17). 

He married second Fear Brewster, daughter of William Brewster, between 1623 and 1627. They had children Sarah and Isaac. Fear died before 12 December 1634. 

He married third Joanna Swinnerton, possibly at New Haven, CT, between 1634 and 1644. 
Allerton Cushman Cup, Pilgrim Hall Museum
Inscription on the Allerton Cushman Cup, which has the year 1608 carved on the bottom:
  Lord help thy people that are in Destresse:
teach all true Christians for to help each other:
turne + the hard hart's that Doth the poore opresse:
teach them to know their needy Christian Brother:
Think on+the ritch mans flourishing estate:
Which cried out in hell+Blessed are the mercyfull+Wh-t was to late.

Isaac was a tailor at Leiden, listed as being from London. He was called a merchant in Plymouth and became a very wealthy businessman. He served as Assistant Governor of the Colony, second in command only to William Bradford, for about 11 years. He acted as the agent for the group, traveling multiple times to England to negotiate a buyout from the Merchant Adventurers that had financially backed the Pilgrims. He eventually began using these trips to further his own personal gains, purchasing goods to sell in the colonies.  

Isaac also engaged the Colony in money making schemes without permission. When his business ventures failed, the Colony fell even further in debt. He negotiated the purchase of land at Machias, Maine, as a trading post for the colonists. He founded the Marblehead cod fishing industry and transported Separatists from Leiden to Plymouth.

Some of the trading he did included buying beaver pelts from Swedes and Finns along the Delaware, in turn supplying them with food and supplies in times of scarcity and shipping tobacco to Sweden. He was a diplomat as well, hosting a summit conference between officials of New Sweden and New Haven colonies to avert a war. 

The death of his wife Fear, combined with the anger some of his fellow colonists held against him, may have prompted him to relocate to New Haven, Connecticut. He remained an active trader and did regular business with the Dutch at New Amsterdam (modern-day New York), the Finns and Swedes at New Sweden (consisting of parts of present day Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania), Virginia, and Barbados. 

He purchased a house in New York City on Broadway, an East River warehouse, a Manhattan wharf, land in Virginia, and one of the finest homes in New Haven.

Isaac also had a sister Sarah on board the Mayflower who married Degory Priest. There was also a John Allerton on board, but his relationship to Isaac has not been learned. 

He died in January 1558/59 at New Haven Connecticut.  No death record is found for him, but his inventory was taken 12 Feb 1658. He had appeared at court in New Haven on 1 Feb 1658/9. His signature on a bond survives.
Isaac Allerton's signature from www.mayflowerhistory.com

The Massachusetts Historical Society owns Isaac Allerton’s bible, but it is not known whether it first belonged to Isaac Sr. or Jr. 

My line from Isaac Allerton, not yet submitted to the Mayflower Society:

1      Isaac Allerton 1586 - 1658/59
+Fear Brewster       1606 - 1634
2      Mary Allerton
+Thomas Cushman 1607/08 - 1691
3      Thomas Cushman  
+Ruth Howland      1646 -
4      Robert Cushman    
5      Ruth Cushman        1700 -
+Luke Perkins 1695 -
6      Ignatious Perkins    1720 -
+Keziah Davis 1724/25 -
7      Ruth Perkins   1752 - 1799
+Jesse Pierce   1747 - 1834
8      David Pierce   1773 - 1820
+Desire Nye     1771 - 1858
        9      Lucy Nye Pierce      1809 - 1896
+Rowland Sturtevant Bumpus        1804 - 1853
10    Mary Briggs Bumpus      1840 - 1916
+Seth Washburn     1828 - 1921
11    Charles Francis Washburn     1857 - 1941
+Hattie Maria Benson    1861 - 1914
12    Carrie Clyfton Washburn      1896 - 1974
+George Brewster Smith        1895 - 1913
13    Arthur Elmer Washburn Davis      1913 - 1976
+Mildred Louise Booth   1917 - 1999
14    My parents
15    Me

Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Zachary Taylor were Allerton descendants. 

For information on the Isaac Allerton Colony in Florida: http://flmayflower.com/colonyfiles/Isaac%20Allerton%20Colony.pdf

3 comments:

  1. You echo some of my feelings about Allertons' misusing of funds for his own business. I'm just reading about it in Jeremy Bangs book, and last year caught up on the same subject in Nathaniel Philbrick's book. I'm descended from his daughter Remember, who was only five years old on the Mayflower.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would imagine the Separatist Pilgrims were cautious about trusting some of the "strangers" at Plymouth Colony, but didn't think they had to worry about one of their own.

    I haven't read Jeremy Bangs book yet, but looking forward to it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Is this theme connected with your working position or perhaps is it more about your leisure and free time?

    ReplyDelete