Saturday, April 3, 2010

Two Disputed relationships with the Mayflower 1620

From what I have read on what seem to be official Mayflower biographies it seems two of our relationships to the Mayflower are doubtful. Although the following relationships have been sealed several times and I know that family relationships researched for eternal purposes come with special help, there are also many problems with newfamilysearch connections.

I am sure we would not be invited to join any Mayflower descendants association - If our only relationships to Mayflower Pilgrims were disputed. Some say that Berthia Hopins is not a child of Stephen Hopkins claiming her mother was never married to Stephen Hopkins. Peter Brown Jr. is thought not to be the son of Peter Brown.

(Follow the label Mayflower to see our other Mayflower grandfathers.)

Mayflower 1620

Possible 10th great grandfather Peter Brown of the Mayflower b.1582

Peter Browne/ BROWN Jr. b.1632
Abigail BROWN b.1662
Jonathan FOWLER b.1685
Catherine FOWLER b.1723
Lydia NOBLE b.1768
Horace Datus ENSIGN b.1797
Martin Luther ENSIGN b.1831
Harriett Camilla ENSIGN b.1859
George Ensign SMITH b.1898
Camilla SMITH b.1926

[Research of Amy Isaksen gives Peter Jr. as son of Mary and Peter BROWN]
For Peter Brown Jr. as son of Peter Brown see: History and Genealogy of the Mayflower Planters, By Leon C. Hills, Leon Clark Hills.

Peter BROWN Biographical Summary

Baptized: 26 January 1594/5, Dorking, Surrey, England,
son of William Browne.
  • Martha Ford, by about 1626, Plymouth.
  • Mary, by about 1631, Plymouth.
Death: 1633, probably in the autumn during the general sickness at that time.
Children by Martha: Mary, Priscilla
Children by Mary: Rebecca, and a child whose name has not been discovered.

[Disputed Relationship: Peter Brown Jr. son of Mary and Peter Brown.]

Peter Browne's English origins were just recently discovered. [Author] published the results of my research and discoveries into his origins in The American Genealogist, 79(July 2004, came out in October):161-178. Peter Browne was baptized in Dorking, co. Surrey, England on 26 January 1594/5, the son of William Browne. The Browne family appears to have had several associations with the Mullins family of Dorking, who also came on the Mayflower. Peter Browne's brother John Browne came to America about 1632, and settled in Duxbury, just to the north of Plymouth. John Browne was baptized in Dorking on 29 June 1600.

On 12 January 1621, Peter Browne and John Goodman had been cutting thatch for house roofing all morning. They ate some meat and went for a short walk to refresh themselves, when their two dogs (an English mastiff and a English spaniel) spied a great deer and gave chance. Peter and John followed and quickly got lost. They wandered around the entire afternoon in the rain, and spent the night in a tree (and pacing back and forth under it) fearing that they had heard lions roaring in the woods. The next day they made their way up a hill, spotted the Bay, reoriented themselves, and made it back home to an extremely worried Colony that had already sent out two exploring parties in an attempt to find them.

In a partial list of the house locations of the Pilgrims made out in 1620, John Goodman and Peter Browne appear to have been neighbors on the south side of the Street and the ocean side of the Highway. Peter Browne was apparently still living there during the 1623 Division of Land. By about 1626, he married Martha Ford, who arrived as one of the only female passengers on the ship Fortune in 1621. She gave birth almost immediately after arriving, but husband Ford apparently died during the voyage or shortly after arrival. In the 1627 Division of Cattle he, his wife Martha (Ford), his daughter Mary Browne, and his stepchildren John and Martha Ford were included with the Samuel Fuller and Anthony Anable families. About a year later, Peter and Martha would have daughter Priscilla (perhaps named after Mayflower passenger Priscilla Mullins who was also from Dorking), but wife Martha would die shortly thereafter. Peter remarried to a woman named Mary, whose maiden name has not been discovered. With her, he had a daughter Rebecca born about 1631, and another child who was born about 1633 and died before reaching adulthood (the name of this child has not been discovered).

Peter Browne died in 1633, probably during the general sickness that occurred that autumn and also killed neighbor Samuel Fuller, Mayflower passenger Francis Eaton, and several others in Plymouth. His estate inventory taken 10 October 1633 shows that he owned 130 bushels of corn, six melch goats, one cow, eight sheep, and a number of pigs, among other things.

See Also: Caleb Johnson, "The Probable English Origin of Mayflower Passenger Peter Browne, And His Association with Mayflower Passenger William Mullins," The American Genealogist 79(July 2004):161-178.

Possible 12th great grandfather Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower b.1581

Berthia HOPKINS b.1605
Mark KELSEY b.1628
Thomas KELSEY b.1663
Thomas KELSEY b.1701
Thomas KELSEY b.1729
Marcy KELSEY b.1764
Thomas LUCAS b.1788
Marcy Jane LUCAS b.1814
Polly WILLIAMS b.1838
Elizabeth Ann DAVIS b.1859
Laura Elizabeth PARKER b.1889
Kirt DeMar WOOD b.1923

Baptized: 30 April 1581, Upper Clatford, Hampshire, England, son of John and Elizabeth (Williams) Hopkins.
  • Mary, maiden name unknown, prior to 1604, probably in Hampshire, England.
  • Elizabeth Fisher, 19 February 1617/8, St. Mary Matfellon, Whitechapel, Middlesex, England
Death: Between 6 June 1644 and 17 July 1644, at Plymouth.
Children by Mary: Elizabeth, Constance, Giles
Children by Elizabeth: Damaris, Oceanus, Caleb, Deborah, Damaris, Ruth, and Elizabeth.

[Disputed Relationship: Some believe Constance DUDLEY was a wife of Stephen HOPKINS, married 1599 in England. She was the mother of Berthia HOPKINS and John HOPKINS. Constance died in England between 1609-1613.]

Stephen HOPKINS Biographical Summary

Stephen Hopkins was from Hampshire, England. He married his first wife, Mary, and in the parish of Hursley, Hampshire; he and wife Mary had their children Elizabeth, Constance, and Giles all baptized there. It has long been claimed that the Hopkins family was from Wortley, Gloucester, but this was disproven in 1998. For more information on the true English origins of Stephen Hopkins, see the "Published Research" section at the bottom of this page.

Stephen Hopkins went with the ship Sea Venture on a voyage to Jamestown, Virginia in 1609 as a minister's clerk, but the ship wrecked in the "Isle of Devils" in the Bermudas. Stranded on an island for ten months, the passengers and crew survived on turtles, birds, and wild pigs. Six months into the castaway, Stephen Hopkins and several others organized a mutiny against the current governor. The mutiny was discovered and Stephen was sentenced to death. However, he pleaded with sorrow and tears. "So penitent he was, and made so much moan, alleging the ruin of his wife and children in this his trespass, as it wrought in the hearts of all the better sorts of the company". He managed to get his sentence commuted.

Eventually the castaways built a small ship and sailed themselves to Jamestown. How long Stephen remained in Jamestown is not known. However, while he was gone, his wife Mary died. She was buried in Hursley on 9 May 1613, and left behind a probate estate which mentions her children Elizabeth, Constance and Giles.

Stephen was back in England by 1617, when he married Elizabeth Fisher, but apparently had every intention of bringing his family back to Virginia. Their first child, Damaris, was born about 1618. In 1620, Stephen Hopkins brought his wife, and children Constance, Giles, and Damaris on the Mayflower (child Elizabeth apparently had died). Stephen was a fairly active member of the Pilgrims shortly after arrival, perhaps a result of his being one of the few individuals who had been to Virginia previously. He was a part of all the early exploring missions, and was used almost as an "expert" on Native Americans for the first few contacts. While out exploring, Stephen recognized and identified an Indian deer trap. And when Samoset walked into Plymouth and welcomed the English, he was housed in Stephen Hopkins' house for the night. Stephen was also sent on several of the ambassadorial missions to meet with the various Indian groups in the region.

Stephen was an assistant to the governor through 1636, and volunteered for the Pequot War of 1637 but was never called to serve. By the late 1630s, however, Stephen began to occasionally run afoul of the Plymouth authorities, as he apparently opened up a shop and served alcohol. In 1636 he got into a fight with John Tisdale and seriously wounded him. In 1637, he was fined for allowing drinking and shuffleboard playing on Sunday. Early the next year he was fined for allowing people to drink excessively in his house: guest William Reynolds was fined, but the others were acquitted. In 1638 he was twice fined for selling beer at twice the actual value, and in 1639 he was fined for selling a looking glass for twice what it would cost if bought in the Bay Colony. Also in 1638, Stephen Hopkins' maidservant got pregnant from Arthur Peach, who was subsequently executed for murdering an Indian. The Plymouth Court ruled he was financially responsible for her and her child for the next two years (the amount remaining on her term of service). Stephen, in contempt of court, threw Dorothy out of his household and refused to provide for her, so the court committed him to custody. John Holmes stepped in and purchased Dorothy's remaining two years of service from him: agreeing to support her and child.

Stephen died in 1644, and made out a will, asking to be buried near his wife, and naming his

surviving children.

See Also: Will of Stephen HOPKINS

See Also: Ernest M. Christiensen, "The Probable Parentage of Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower," The American Genealogist, 79(October 2004):241-249.

See Also: Caleb Johnson, "The True Origins of Mayflower Passenger Stephen Hopkins," The American Genealogist, 73(1998):161-171.

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