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Alice (Martin) Bishop (abt. 1616 - 1648)

Alice Bishop formerly Martin aka Clark
Born about in Englandmap [uncertain]
Daughter of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married 22 Jan 1639 in Plymouth, Massachusettsmap
Wife of — married 5 Dec 1644 in Plymouth Colony, Massachusettsmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Plymouth, Plymouth Colonymap
Profile last modified | Created 13 Sep 2010
This page has been accessed 5,819 times.
The Puritan Great Migration.
Alice (Martin) Bishop migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
Join: Puritan Great Migration Project
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Disputed Parents

"Nothing definitive is known on Alice Martin Clark Bishop's parents. The latest theory offered on family tree maker is that she was born in Plymouth, Devonshire, England, I believe, the child of Francis Martin and Prudence Deacon Martin, but this has not been definitely established. What can safely be stated is that Alice IS NOT, I repeat IS NOT a descendant of the Martins of the Mayflower, this is a myth that has been mentioned in genealogies for some time. At this time there are NO PROVEN descendant of Christopher Martin of the Mayflower."[1]

Who was ALICE (MARTIN) CLARK BISHOP? Who were her parents? ~ When & Where was she born And If she wasn't born here in America How did she get here?

The parental lineage Alice is disputed to say the least ! Some say they were Francis Martin & Prudence Deacon others swear that it was Christopher Martin & Marie Prower, who came over on the Mayflower and died that first winter And despite the fact that the records of the Mayflower are one of the best documented and scrutinized documents in American history, they are sure that she was born on the Mayflower on the way over, ~>But there is No record of that Also The Mayflower Society does not recognize Alice Martin as the daughter of Christopher Martin. So I do not believe that she was the daughter of Christopher Martin & Marie Prower.

It wasn't until 1646 that Plymouth towns were ordered to record every Marriage, Birth, & Death. So Is It Possible, That she was an orphaned child & that she was adopted into a Martin family & we don’t know who her birth parents were? There are several Martin family's connected to the Mass. Bay Colony, But none of the dates correspond with her.

Maybe she was an Illegitimate child born in the colonies: Yeah that happened from time eternally, Even among the Puritans. Unintended pregnancies did occur to engaged and unengaged couples. Plymouth Court Records note that many men & women were brought before courts when these pregnancies came to light. But certainly some of those couples managed to avoid discovery or prosecution But I think that it is unlikely that she was born in the colonies.

So if she wasn't born here how did she get here? If she was born in 1615 or 16 is is doubtful that she came over before 1630 and it is very unlikely that a young, single girl, using her own financial resources, could have set off for the New World on her own.

There are some who believe that Alice was married to her first husband George Clark in England & they emigrated from England. But the records show that she married George Clark in Plymouth, Mass. on Jan. 22, 1639 when she was 23 (That matches the traditional age for a first marriage for women)

We must also remember that the prisons in England were overflowing with men, women and children during those years, and some ships captains were known to buy someone's freedom, normally a woman or child, use them as cabin servant during the trip and resell their servant-hood, at a profit, upon arrival. According to Martin E. Hollick on the New England Historic Genealogical Society website, “Between the years 1620 and 1640, about 20,000 English men, women, and children crossed the Atlantic to settle New England." “Of those crossings, we have exactly zero official passenger lists.” It is quite possible that her mother was undocumented, unmarried and she was in the belly of her mother when that woman crossed the Atlantic as an indentured servant.

By studying the circumstances by which women arrived to New England in the 1600s, her arrival as a passage-as-servant makes the most sense to me. Women were in great demand in early colonial life & not simply to provide spouses to the hundreds, if not thousands, of bachelors. Women’s labor was critical to the colonies’ survival... In closing I believe that I we must acknowledge that we’ll likely never know who her parents were or when and where she was born Thank you Erin Taylor & Kristin Luce at


"The story of Alice is sad, but needs to be told. She was a famous (infamous), person. The mother of Damaris Bishop (wife of William Sutton) who became one of our grandmothers. The 7th woman to be put to death in America. She was one of the early pilgrams but unfortunately is made famous by the terrible murder of her own child, Martha....

"We can only speculate as to the reasons for this murder. It could have been post-partum depression, as she had only given birth to Damaris 2 years before. I have done quite a bit of research and speculation is rampant in the genealogy world as to her motive. She had a hard life. She lost her husband George Clark, father of her first two children, Martha and Abigail. And her second husband, Richard Bishop, was a smalltime thief and a scoundrel."[2]

George Clarke and Allis Martin were married in the Plymouth Colony on 22 January 1638/9.[3]


Alice Martin was born circa 1616 probably in England. Essex, England. [4]


She married twice.

  1. George Clarke (1620-1644) on 22 January 1639 in Duxbury, Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  2. Richard Bishop (1612-1671) on 5 December 1644 in Scituate, Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Children of the Clarke- Martin Marriage

  1. Abigail Clarke was born in 1643 in Lynn, Massachusetts.
  2. Martha Clarke was born in 1644 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. She was stabbed and killed by her mother on 22 July 1648 in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Child of the Bishop-Martin Marriage

  1. Damaris Bishop was born in 1646 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts. She married William Sutton (1641-1718) on 11 July 1666 in Eastham, Massachusetts. Damaris died on 6 February 1683 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey.


4 OCT 1648. Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States. [4] Age: 31-32.

Current Status Feb 2021

Being merged away into Alice Martin-1165, who this profile was meant to be. Information about Dulsabel the wife of the "other" Richard Bishop-179 who died in Salem can be kept in a ===Research Notes=== section.

Research Notes

Some family trees have confused Alice Martin (who married George Clark and then Richard Bishop that died in New Jersey) with Dulsabel Unknown who apparently married Richard King and then the Richard Bishop that died in Salem.[5]). Robert Charles Anderson twice addressed her as "Dulsabel" (d. 1658) in the Great Migration Series--in the article about her first husband, Richard King,[6] and about her second husband, Richard Bishop.[7] The various Great Migration articles (1999 and 2005) did not associate this New England immigrant Dulsabel with the given name "Alice" nor the surname "Clarke."


  1. Tommy Woodward, Re: Alice MARTIN Clark Bishop. 19 July 2002. NOTE: Dead Link as of March 10, 2021. The page is indexed at but the page is not in the archive.
  2. Alice Martin Clark Bishop at the Sutton family website NOTE: Dead link as of March 10, 2021.
  3. Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. 1, page 108.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Note: sources only show death information
  5. Vital Records of Salem, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849, 6 vols., 5:90 for Dulsabell Bishop ["old"]; digital images, Massachusetts Vital Records Project (accessed 2013.
  6. Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration-Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume IV, I-L (2005), 167-168, "Richard King"; digital images, (accessed 2013).
  7. Robert Charles Anderson, George F. Sanborn, Jr., Melinde Lutz Sanborn, The Great Migration-Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume I, A-B (1999), 307-310 for "Richard Bishop"; digital images, (accessed 2013).
  • Stratton, Eugene Aubrey. Plymouth Colony, Its History & People 1620-1691. Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry Publishing, 1986.

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Comments: 11

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Clarke-3648 and Martin-1165 appear to represent the same person because: Profile cleansed and ready to merge to 1165 with proper last name Martin. Husband Richard Bishop also being merged.
posted by Brad Stauf
A couple of potential baptisms as indexed from the parish registers by
Bapt 4 Aug 1616 Alce dau of William Martin at Marlbough, Devon
Bapt 9 July 1619 Alce dau of Henry Martin at Paignton, Devon
posted by Beryl Meehan
Alice doesn't appear to be the mother of James, bio lists only 2 daughters.

Please do we do a detach?

posted by Beryl Meehan
Bob, she is in the Great Migration Directory, p. 220; saying she migrated in 1638.

The only source given is Plymouth Colony Records p. 108 where she married George Clarke. "Georg Clarke & Allis Martin."

At any rate, being she migrated in 1638 she is eligible to be in the Puritan Great Migration project. I will add the project box.

Thank you for an excellent explanation under the "Disputed Parents" section.

Should Abigail Clark and Abigail Bishop be merged?

This is the first time I have come across this profile for my husband's ninth Gr.Grandmother. Culley

Martin-3293 and Martin-1165 appear to represent the same person because: Please merge into the original and lower number. This is the same Alice Martin who killed her child and was hanged.
posted by Darlene (Scott) Kerr
Hoping only to be helpful and stem continued confusion among particular Bishop personalities, I have removed references in this profile to dates and places identified with the wife of Richard Bishop/Bishop-179.
posted on Clarke-3648 (merged) by GeneJ X
Seeking references to support there was a woman "Alice 'Dulzebella' (Alice) Clark."

She seems made up of several personalities.

The date and location of death that was reported are surely about Dulsabel, wife of New England immigrants Richard King and Richard Bishop. Robert Charles Anderson addressed her twice in the Great Migration series--never attributing these other names to her.

The WikiTree profile for Dulsabel, d. Salem in August 1658 (not June) is Unknown-248310.

If there is no objection, I plan to remoce the date of death reported on Clarke-2648. Likewise, to remove the reference to her striking other name.

posted on Clarke-3648 (merged) by GeneJ X
Seeking references to support there was a woman "Alice 'Dulzebella' (Alice) Clark."

She seems made up of several personalities.

The date and location of death that was reported are surely about Dulsabel, wife of New England immigrants Richard King and Richard Bishop. Robert Charles Anderson addressed her twice in the Great Migration series--never attributing these other names to her.

The WikiTree profile for Dulsabel, d. Salem in 23 August 1658 (not June) is Unknown-248310.

If there is no objection, I plan to strike the date of death reported on Clarke-2648.

posted on Clarke-3648 (merged) by GeneJ X
In response to a G2G question about Richard (alice's husband) b 1609 being father of John b 1590. And reading the explanation in the comments on John's profile. I am going to disconnect. Do I hear any objections?
posted on Clarke-3648 (merged) by Anne B

M  >  Martin  |  B  >  Bishop  >  Alice (Martin) Bishop

Categories: Puritan Great Migration Project Needs Merge Cleanup | Puritan Great Migration | Women Murderers