Should Anne (Walden) Smalley (Walden-372) be removed as a child of Ralph Wallen (Wallen-2) and Joyce (Unknown-248038)?

+9 votes
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This profile currently identifies Anne Walden (Walden-372) as the child of Ralph (Wallen-2) and Joyce (Unknown-248038) Wallen.  Many researchers appear to make this claim, and the argument for it may originate with Wilder at pp. 2-4 (cited in the profiles for Ralph and Anne). Wilder claims there is “strong evidence to support the belief that Ann [Walden] who married John Smalley was one Wallen daughter,” based on the similar last name, proximity in Plymouth colony at the time of Ann Walden’s marriage to John Smalley in 1638, and the fact that Joyce Wallen’s household was the only Wallen family in Plymouth at the time of their marriage.

However, I think other evidence contradicts this claim.  Most importantly, there is no child listed for Ralph and Joyce Wallen in the Division of Cattle in 1627, indicating that Ralph and Joyce were a childless couple in 1627; most researchers agree that this Division of Cattle list captures all residents of Plymouth Colony at that time, even newborn babies.  See, e.g., Stratton at 28 & Appendix G; Rue at 47; Bowman at 148 (all cited in the profile for Wallen-2).  If Anne Walden was born in England, on board the Anne, or in Plymouth Colony to Ralph and Joyce Wallen in or before 1627, she should appear on this list, but she does not.  If she was born to them after 1627, then she would have been only 11 when she married John Smalley in 1638, which seems very unlikely.  In addition, although some later generations of the Wallen/Walling line do spell the last name as “Walden,” the fact that Ann’s last name was Walden rather than Wallen when Joyce and Ann were both living in Plymouth colony in 1638 creates additional reason for doubting the connection.  Several carefully-researched sources conclude that only Mary (probably) and Thomas (possibly) can be identified as the children of Ralph and Joyce.  See, e.g., GMB: 1620-1633, at 1916; Rue at 52.

I believe a more likely alternative explanation for Ann Walden’s origin is that she was born in England and emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay colony in 1630 or later as a part of the PGM before her marriage to John Smalley in 1638.  John Smalley arrived in 1632 on the William & Francis, and lived initially in Plymouth, where he married Ann Walden in 1638 (GMB: 1620-1633, at 1687-89).  Anderson identifies an “Anne Walden” who was admitted to Boston church between Oct 1632-Sept 1633, from which he estimates she likely arrived in about 1633 (GMB: 1620-1633, at 1901).  The GMB entry for her says there is “[n]o evidence whether she died, married or returned to England,” but it is plausible that the Anne Walden who was admitted to Boston church in 1633 is the same Ann Walden who married John Smalley in Plymouth a few years later.

Based on her absence from the 1627 Division of Cattle list, I think that Anne/Ann (Walden) Smalley should be removed as a daughter of Ralph & Joyce.  I would also include the alternative explanation above in her profile as the probable source of her origin, based on Anderson GMB entries cited above (and the Records of the First Church in Boston and other sources he cites).  If anyone disagrees, please weigh in.  Thanks!

WikiTree profile: Ralph Wallen
in Genealogy Help by Scott McClain G2G6 Mach 1 (10.7k points)
recategorized by Chet Snow
Great argument.

3 Answers

+2 votes
As these changes involve detaching of parents and more than one child, in a family that married into at least one Mayflower passenger family, I have re-categorized to ask for Research Assistance to see if anyone who has PGM or English Resources can find any serious documentation for or against Ann's being Ralph & Joyce's daughter or to show where  in England she came to Plymouth Colony from.

Her absence on the 1627 Plymouth "census" (Division of Resources & Cattle) is important but hopefully we can find some "positive" source(s) to better identify her.

Thank you for any help you can offer here.
by Chet Snow G2G6 Mach 5 (50.0k points)

Thank you Chet.  I welcome any additional feedback from the community. 

For Anne/Ann, as I mentioned in my original post, Anderson identifies an "Anne Walden" who was admitted to Boston church between Oct 1632-Sept 1633, whom he estimates arrived in abt 1633 based on that record.(''Great Migration Begins'' v.3, at 1901).  A transcription of the original Boston church record is available at https://www.americanancestors.org/DB31/i/7625/5/22233745 for subscribers to AmericanAncestors.com; anyone who is interested, pls message me if you don't have a subscription and I can email you a copy.

It seems likely that this is the same Ann Walden who married John Smalley; that she was born in England around 1618 (based on her marriage date), emigrated from England to Massachusetts Bay as part of the PGM in about 1633 (originally to Boston), and that she married John Smalley a few years after her arrival.

I did find a set of children christened to Ralph "Wollen" in Manchester, Lancashire that included Ann but the dates ran from son John (7 Sep 1617) to Peter (1 May 1627) so I would say they are disqualified.  This was on findmypast.co.uk.  I did not find a marriage record for that Ralph and the christening records did not include the mother's name.  These appear on familysearch.org as well, here's Peter https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JW8Y-DZV

I agree with Brad that the Manchester record of children of Raphe/Ralph Wollen (no mother named) _after April of 1623_, when Ralph and Joyce (Unknown) Wallen are known to have emigrated, must be regarded as undermining the notion that the Manchester Anna -- bp. in 1620 -- could be the Anne Walden of this discussion.

I have spent several hours searching through available online English records for any other legitimate candidate for Anne Walden (either under that exact spelling, or via Soundex), born in Lancashire, and have come up empty.  I've searched via FreeReg UK; FamilySearch; Ancestry; and NEHGS.  Persons of that name, or anything close to it, certainly were born in Lancashire between 1590 and 1625 (I cast as wide a net as seemed remotely reasonable), but none are recorded with a father named Ralph.  The closest I could find was an Anna Walton, bp. in 1598, with a father Radulphi and mother shown as Pendleton (this is listed as her forename); bp. at Huyton (see: https://www.freereg.org.uk/search_queries/6019ac344325a6d76a6b85c8?locale=en).  "Huyton" seems encouragingly close to "Halton", where Ralph's profile places his birth, but in fact Huyton is just five miles east of Liverpool, and Halton is some 50 miles to the north, by Lancaster... so even if "Pendleton" were the previously-undiscovered surname of Joyce (Unknown) Wallen, this does not appear to be the sought-after couple whose daughter married John Smalley.

Chet, I empathize with your concern over the proposed changes -- as I've posted elsewhere, one of the first discoveries I made when I became serious about genealogy was that my sibs and I are _not_ direct descendants of the Mayflower's John Howland & Elizabeth Tilley, as their granddaughter turned out to be the _stepmother_ of my 6th gg, not his mother.  However, the objective evidence does seem to rule that Anne (Walden) Smalley cannot, at least at this time, legitimately be shown as a daughter of Ralph & Joyce (Unknown) Wallen.
Hi Scott

Just FYI that I do Not "disagree" with your research or basic conclusions; I think you know that from our e-mail exchanges.  I wanted to "open this up" a bit since it does involve such early Plymouth colonists and I think that is being accomplished by the new posts.  I agree with you that should No New Evidence be proposed in the next few days that you go ahead and make the changes you want to make, keeping in mind that we should keep a "Research Notes" section or something like that on the newly-worded profiles that allows future researchers or descendants to see what others have done so as to avoid repeating past theories etc.
Hi Chris

Thank you for adding your own research results or lack of them to this discussion.  Just FYI my own Mayflower connections do Not depend on Anne Walden / Wallen at all.  My direct great-grandfather, Snow-4 (Nicholas Snow) clearly married Mayflower passenger Hopkins-5 (Constance Hopkins) and produced 12 children most of whom had large Snow-descended families, all the way down to mine.  I do of course hope that some day we will find "positive evidence" to link Anne to her English family and that has been my interest in opening this up for Genealogy Help here.
Thanks Chet.  I did note that Anne would connect you to Plimoth Plantation "post-Mayflower"; glad you have the link to the earlier-arriving Constance, via her marriage to Nicholas.  My mother, too -- happily -- had other direct Mayflower links (though I don't know that she was aware of them) to the Fullers and to Richard Warren.

And she was also descended, in her Warren line, from Abigail Warren's husband, Anthony Snow.  Of course I can't help wondering if Johnny-come-lately (1638) Anthony was close kin to your Nicholas.  One more puzzle that would be great to solve... if we could just find the necessary evidence....
+5 votes

My mental exercise brings me to the following observations:

  • Anne was not in the 1627 Plymouth cattle division, so baring an error, she wasn't Ralph's child.
  • She might be the Anne who was in the Boston church admittance in 1633, which would likely eliminate Ralph & Joyce as her parents.
  • We have nothing that links Anne to the supposed parents except that she had a similar (but not exact) surname, was in New England when she married in 1638, and she married in the same town that they lived in.
  • I see no proof that Ann was born on the ''Anne,'' or in Plymouth, only some speculation that she was "appropriately named" for the ship, and perhaps had a twin named Jane who might have died at birth, and that's supported only by the fact that Anne had her own set of twins. Is there any real proof of these two shipboard births?
  • R.C. Anderson discovered no link between Anne and Ralph & Joyce.

What I see in the end, objectively, is an attempt to weave a plausible story around little-to-no evidence. The only hard evidence I see is her marriage record, and a possible sighting in the Boston church. Am I missing something?

by Bobbie Hall G2G6 Pilot (185k points)
+3 votes
I read through the "Untangling the John Smalley..." thread that Chet wrote up in 2014 which included this topic (https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/83110/untangling-smalley-waldon-walden-wallen-walling-genealogy?show=83110#q83110) and there were some really good questions raised there.

The same conclusions were reached then and 7 years later it doesn't look like we have any new evidence.  One contributor mentioned the "Elisha Wallen: The Longhunter" book by Carolyn Wallin and I've asked a couple librarians to check that book (thanks worldcat!) for info and sources on Anne Walden but given the book's subject I'm guessing it does not uncover any new primary sources on this specific topic.  What is available online shows on page 42 that the author acknowledges that Plymouth records do NOT contain any information on the birth of Ralph & Joyce's children https://www.google.com/books/edition/Elisha_Wallen/PjF6Eb8WCsEC?gbpv=1&bsq=Smalley

Another poster mentioned "Plymouth Records" and "Puritan Great Migration Newsletters" containing information but from what I've seen so far, it's information that's already known about either Ralph (without mentioning Anne) or Anne & John Smalley. https://www.plymouthcolony.net/resources/pcr.html is a fantastic starting point for Plymouth records online for those researching this area.  Unfortunately the earliest births recorded start about 1647.  Prior to that are mainly court records and land deeds which generally don't mention children.  Anne's marriage to John Smalley does appear on page 103 of Vol 1 https://archive.org/details/recordsofcolonyo0102newp/page/n123/mode/2up.

So my take is that unfortunately we still don't know Anne's origins and I support detaching her with notes in both profiles about the work done on this topic so as not to lose that information and just in case somebody in the future IS able to connect them.
by Brad Stauf G2G5 (5.2k points)
edited by Brad Stauf
I'm familiar with Carolyn Wallin's book - I've created a Free Space profile for it here: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Carolyn_D._Wallin%2C_Elisha_Wallen_The_Longhunter .  She does not shed any light on the subject - just repeats some of the same info that we all agree is accurate about Ralph & Joyce.  The discussion on p. 42 is based on Wilder, which is the source I mentioned in the original post which may be the origin of the claim that Ann Walden is the daughter of Ralph and Joyce.  There is a Free Space page for Wilder's book also.  It is here: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:A_Wallen-Walling_Genealogy

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