John Alden
Privacy Level: Open (White)

John Alden (abt. 1626 - 1702)

Captain John Alden
Born about in Plymouth Colonymap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married about 1 Apr 1660 in Duxbury, Plymouth Colonymap
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 76 in Boston, Suffolk, Province of Massachusetts Bay, New Englandmap
Problems/Questions Profile manager: Mayflower Project WikiTree private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 10 Jan 2009
This page has been accessed 21,406 times.
The Mayflower.
John Alden was related to a passenger on the Mayflower.
Join: Mayflower Project
Discuss: mayflower


John Alden (Jr) was born about 1626,[1] and certainly before the 22 May 1627 division of cattle.[2] He was the first son and second child of John Alden and Priscilla (Mullins) Alden, who both came to Plymouth in 1620 on the Mayflower. It is known that his parents married in Plymouth, and therefore it is assumed that John was born there.[3]

The Division of Cattle made 22 May 1627, placed John Alden (Sr), Priscilla Alden, and their children Elizabeth and John Alden (Jr) in a lot together.[2] Using the death record of Elizabeth Alden (eldest child of John and Priscilla),[4] we can estimate that she was born about 1624-5, placing the marriage of their parents about 1623.

The Alden family began building their home in Duxbury during the summers, possibly completing the home by 1631, and likely living in Duxbury year round. By April 1632 the family was returning to Plymouth during the winter. The burden of getting the family to public worship and church meetings became great for all families living in Duxbury and the Alden family was one of many that returned to living in Duxbury year round.

John was a member of the Old South Church of Boston. He married at Boston, Massachusetts on April 1, 1660 (or more probably 1659).[5] The birth of a child in 1659 suggests the earlier date is correct, and the record of their marriage is imbedded among others for 1659.[6] His wife and mother of their children was Elizabeth Phillips, widow of Abiel Everill, married 6 July 1655 Elizabeth the daughter of William Phillips, was born before 1640.[3]

For most of his adult life he maintained his residence at Boston. He was a freeman. He was a mariner (sea captain), and later he became a naval commander of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He was involved with trade from Virginia to England. He also traded with the French in Nova Scotia. He lost cargo to the Bermuda Company and lost a ship to the Dutch. As a prominent and respected citizen, he also negotiated for the release of captives taken by Indians.[4]

In 1661 he built mills at Saco, Maine, for William Phillips, his father-in-law. On 28 November 1662, Phillips deeded one quarter of a sawmill to Alden and his wife Elizabeth.[7][8]

On January 13, 1686, John Alden (Sr) willed “for that natural love and affection which I bear to my firstborn and dutiful son John Alden of Boston,” 100 acres at Pekard Neck, 100 acres at Rootey Brook, and other deeds of property to John Alden (Jr). The will stipulated that should John (Jr) decide to sell the Rootey Brook property, he was required to give first right of purchase to his brother, David Alden.[9]

John Alden was accused of witchcraft in Salem

Captain Alden was summoned by the magistrates of Salem on 28 May 1692 to answer an accusation of witchcraft.[10] He "was confronted by a lot of wenches whom he had never before seen, and accused of bewitching them." One of the accusers first identified the wrong man, but was corrected by that same man, and she then pointed to Alden. She stated, "There stands Alden, a bold fellow with his hat on, sells powder and shot to the Indians, lies with the sqaws and has papooses." He was jailed. The other accusers claimed that Alden pinched them when he was standing at a distance from them. Even one of the judges, Bartholomew Gedney, said he had known Capt. Alden for years and had thought him an honest man, but now was changing his mind. Alden was told to look at his accusers, and they fell down on the floor. He was committed to a Boston jail with no bail. He was imprisoned for 15 weeks. Friends convinced him to escape and absent himself until the situation had cooled down. There were about 100 people then accused and imprisoned for witchcraft. He escaped just before the execution of nine victims, and perhaps went back to relatives in Duxbury. He returned to Court in Boston in April 1693, turned himself in, but no one appeared to prosecute. He and 150 others were discharged.[11][12]

Elizabeth Phillips Alden was buried at Boston, February 16, 1695/6.[13]

Captain John Alden died on March 14, 1701/02 at Boston, Massachusetts, [14] aged 75 years.[1] His ancient slate headstone remains embedded in the wall of the Old South Church of Boston.[15]

The will of "John Alden Senr. of Boston... Mariner being Sick & weak of Body" was written on 07 February 1701 [/02]. He desired that his full estate, after debts were paid, be divided into 5 equal shares, one part each to eldest son John Alden, son William Alden, son Zechariah Alden, daughter Elizabeth Walley, and to the children of son Nathaniel Alden deceased to be equally divided among them. His sons John and William were named as executors. The will was proved at Boston on 13 April 1702.[1]


Children of John and Elisabeth Alden , all born in Boston:[16][17]

  1. Mary Alden, b. 17 Dec 1659.[17] Mayflower Births and Deaths by Roser (1995) places Mary as the d/o a 1st wife Elizabeth. Mayflower Families Five Generations (1999) includes Mary with the children of Elizabeth Philips. Alden Silver Book (published by General Society of Mayflower Descendants in 2002) confirms that Mary is the daughter of Elizabeth Phillips.
  2. John Alden, b. 20 Nov 1660. d. y.
  3. Elizabeth Alden, b. 9 May 1662; d 14 July 1662
  4. John Alden, b. 12 Mar 1663 (named in father's will 1701)
  5. William Alden, b. 16 Mar 1664; d. 7 June 1664
  6. Elizabeth (Alden) Willard, b. 9 Apr 1665 (named in father's will 1701)
  7. William Alden, b. 5 Mar 1666; d. y.
  8. Zachary Alden, b. 8 Mar 1667.
  9. Nathaniel Alden, b. 9 July 1668 (Not listed in Roser, but named in father's will in 1701 as deceased with children.)
  10. William Alden, b. 10 Sep 1669 (named in father's will 1701)
  11. Zachariah Alden, b. 18 Feb 1672 (named in father's will 1701)
  12. Sarah Alden, bp Old south Church 5 Mar 1674/5, but prob. died before the second Sarah was born.[17] Not included by Roser.
  13. Nathan Alden, b. 17 Oct 1677.
  14. Sarah Alden, b. 27 Sep 1681.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bowman, George Ernest, "Captain John2 Alden's Will and Inventory and the Account of his Executors," Mayflower Descendant, Vol. 6(1904):193-200. Note: Also provides gravestone photo and inscription, with age at death 75 years.
  2. 2.0 2.1 New Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts. General Court, Nathaniel Bradstreet Shurtleff, and David Pulsifer. Records of the Colony of New Plymouth, in New England. Boston : Press of W. White, 1855. Vol. 12:10.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Anderson, Robert Charles. The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony 1620-1633. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004).
  4. 4.0 4.1 Woodworth-Barnes, and Williams, Mayflower Families through Five Generations, Vol. 16 Part 1 of 3, pages 27-37, John Alden, Boston, Mass. General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 2002.
  5. Trask, William, "Boston Records," NEHGR Vol. 18(1864):333.
    "Aldine. John Aldine was marryed to Elizabeth Everill, Widdow, the Relict of Abiell Everill, deceased, 1st Aprill 1660, By Jo : Endecot Govr."
  6. Robert Charles Anderson, "John Alden", The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Vol.I. Boston, New England Historic Genelogical Society 1995 p. 21-26 (Link by $ubscription.)
  7. York Deeds, Vol. 2:35.
  8. Folsom, George. History of Saco and Biddeford, with Notices of Other Early Settlements.. (Saco : Alex C. Putnam, 1830) pp. 162, 184.
  9. "Massachusetts Land Records, 1620-1986," images, FamilySearch (22 May 2014), Plymouth > Deeds 1686-1699 vol 5-6 > image 217 of 344; county courthouses and offices, Massachusetts. Plymouth County Land Records, Vol. 5:427.
  10. Upham, Charles Wentworth, Salem Witchcraft : With an Account of Salem Village, and a History of Opinions on Witchcraft and Kindred Subjects, (Boston : Wiggin and Lunt, 1867) Vol. 2:243-247, 255, 453.
  11. Hutchinson, Gov. Thomas; Poole, William Frederick, ed., "The Witchcraft Delusion of 1692" NEHGR Vol. 24(1870):404.
  12. “Case Files Referencing John Alden.” Case files referencing John Alden - New Salem - Pelican. Accessed February 25, 2020.
  13. Sewall, Samuel. Diary of Samuel Sewall. 1674-1729. v. 1 [-3] (Boston : Massachusetts Historical Society 1878) p. 421
  14. Sewall, Samuel, Diary of Samuel Sewall. 1674-1729. Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Vol. 6, 5th series.. Boston : Published by the Society, 1879. Vol. 2:54.
    "Satterday, March, 14. 1701/2 at 5 p.m. Capt. John Alden expired; Going to visit him, I happened to be there at the time."
  15. Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed 26 October 2021), memorial page for Capt John Alden Jr. (22 May 1626–14 Mar 1702), Find A Grave: Memorial #35732843, citing Old South Church, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Barbara Anne (Brownell) Potter (contributor 46034604). (Includes gravestone photo.)
  16. Roser, Susan E. "Mayflower Births and Deaths." Vol 1,& 2 Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., Vol 1 p. 24 link at Ancestry ($)
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Family of John Alden. Mayflower Families through Five Generation. Vol 16 part 1. (General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1999) pp 36, 37
See also:

Sponsored Search

Sponsored Search by

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with John by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA test-takers in his direct paternal line. Mitochondrial DNA test-takers in the direct maternal line:

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Comments: 14

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
Hello Profile Managers!

We are featuring this profile in the Connection Finder this week. Between now and Wednesday is a good time to take a look at the sources and biography to see if there are updates and improvements that need made, especially those that will bring it up to WikiTree Style Guide standards. We know it's short notice, so don't fret too much. Just do what you can.



posted by Abby (Brown) Glann
Thank you Janice, this wife is correct, the listing on the father was incorrect
posted by Anne B
is this the correct wife? father's page shows

John b.c. 1626 m. Elizabeth (____) Everill

not Elisabeth Phillips. I think this is off one generation

posted by Janice Sutherland
Please see G2G discussion
posted by Anne B
There are children attached here who are not on the official list of children. viz. Zachariah b. 1641 (wrong generation), Nathaniel b. 1668, Sarah 1675, Jonathan b. 1668 (in Baltimore?). They may belong to other parents.

Update Mary is ok child of 1st wife.

posted by Anne B