Priscilla (Mullins) Alden
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Priscilla (Mullins) Alden (abt. 1602 - 1680)

Priscilla Alden formerly Mullins
Born about in Dorking, Mole Valley, Surrey, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Daughter of and [uncertain]
Wife of — married about 1622 in Plymouth Colonymap
Descendants descendants
Died in Duxbury, Plymouth Colony, New Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 31 May 2009 | Last significant change: 20 Jan 2022
15:06: Angelina (Parker) Pease edited the Biography for Priscilla (Mullins) Alden (abt.1602-1680). (corrected unused span anchors) [Thank Angelina for this | 2 thank-yous received]
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Contents

Biography

Priscilla Mullins exact date of birth is unknown but thought to have been about 1602 at Dorking, Surrey, England. She was the daughter of William Mullins. William Mullins was married to a woman named Alice (surname unknown), but there is no documentation to determine whether or not Alice was his first wife or Priscilla's mother.[1] [2]

Priscilla was in her teens when she boarded the Mayflower with her father, brother Joseph, and mother or stepmother, Alice, and on their arrival in the new world they took up residence at Plymouth Colony. [3] During the first winter at Plymouth, Priscilla lost both her parents and brother. Although she had a surviving brother and sister still in England, she was suddenly the only living member of her family in the New World. She was shortly thereafter, in 1622 or 1623, married to John Alden, the Mayflower's cooper, who had decided to remain at Plymouth rather than return to England with the ship.

John and Priscilla lived in Plymouth until the late 1630s, when they helped found the neighboring town of Duxbury, probably moving there before 1640. There were at least ten children from this marriage:

John and Priscilla's numerous descendants include the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and Vice President Dan Quayle."[28]

Priscilla is last recorded in 1650, but oral records say she died only a few years before her husband. Priscilla (Mullins) Alden died at Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts about 1685. John Alden and Priscilla Alden's grave is in Miles Standish Burial Ground at Duxbury. Exact burial locations within the cemetery have been lost to time. According to Caleb Johnson's Mayflower History, Priscilla died "sometime between 1651 and 1687 at Duxbury."[29]

Longfellow's Poem

Priscilla is known to literary history as the unrequited love of the newly widowed Captain Miles Standish, the colony's military advisor, in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 1858 poem, The Courtship of Miles Standish. According to the poem, Standish asked his good friend John Alden to propose to Priscilla on his behalf, only to have Priscilla ask, “Why don’t you speak for yourself, John?”

Longfellow (a direct descendant of John and Priscilla) based his poem on a romanticized version of a family tradition, although until recently, there was little independent historical evidence for the account. The basic story was apparently handed down in the Alden family and published by John and Priscilla’s great-great-grandson, Rev. Timothy Alden, in 1814.

Scholars have recently confirmed the cherished place of romantic love in Pilgrim culture, and have documented the Indian war described by Longfellow. Circumstantial evidence of the love triangle also exists. Miles Standish and John Alden were likely roommates; Priscilla Mullins was the only single woman of marriageable age. The families of the alleged lovers remained close for several generations, moving together to Duxbury, Massachusetts in the late 1620s.

Notes

We actually know very little about John Alden and his wife, Priscilla Mullins, and their lives together. Assumptions can be made about their ages upon arrival in Plymouth. Because we know his death date, September 22, 1687, and his approximate age then, he is presumed to have been born in 1599 or 1600, making him about 21 years of age. There is no record of Priscilla's birth, but it is generally assumed that she was younger, probably in her mid to late teens. Her father, mother, and brother all died during that wretched first winter in Plymouth. According to her father's will, she had a sister and a brother in England. The brother, William, eventually came to the colonies. There is also no record of her death, though tradition holds that she lived until about 1680 and John's will indicates that she died by 1687.

It appears that John Alden and Priscilla Mullins were married in 1621 or 1622, perhaps the third marriage in Plymouth Colony. Both received their part of divisions made to the original settlers in 1623 and 1627. They had ten documented children and perhaps another who died young. These few facts and assumptions are all we know of Priscilla.

Yet, of all the Pilgrim women, the name of Priscilla (Mullins) Alden is arguably the best known, and many who could not name another Pilgrim can readily recall John Alden. This is because of the poem, The Courtship of Miles Standish, written by their descendant, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, which was part of the education of American school children for decades. The merits of the poem nor the truth of the story will not be discussed here, but the memorable phrases, "Speak for yourself, John," and "If I am not worth the wooing, then surely I am not worth the winning," have placed the Aldens solidly into American lore and increased the public interest in their house.

John and Priscilla's first home was in Plymouth. The exact date when they moved into a home of their own is not known, but certainly by 1627 they were living across from the Governor's house and near the fort. This is the house which is replicated in today's Plymouth Plantation. A stone at the foot of Burial Hill commemorates the Plymouth house.[30]

The following is from Find A Grave:

American Colonial Figure. One of the charter members of the Plymouth Colony, arriving on the first voyage of the "Mayflower", her marriage to John Alden is the first marriage in Plymouth. Born Dorking, Surrey, England, at the time of the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620 for America, she arrived with her parents a young girl of about 16 or 17. Apparently having no surviving brothers or sisters, her parents died in the first winter ashore, in early 1621, when about half of the colony perished. Between the time of their deaths in 1621 and her marriage to John Alden about 1623, it is not known whom she stayed with or how she survived. John married Priscilla Mullins, about 1623, but the exact date has been lost to history. A legend of a rivalry between John Alden and pilgrim Miles Standish for Priscilla Mullins arose, and was first published in the book, "Collection of American Epitaphs and Inscriptions" in 1814, by Timothy Alden. The story was popularized by the poem, "The Courtship of Miles Standish" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1858, however, there is no documentation of such a rivalry to have existed in any of the records of the Plymouth Colony. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson)[31]

Inscription:

IN MEMORY OF MRS PRISCILLA ALDEN WIFE OF JOHN ALDEN WHO DIED IN DUXBURY ERECTED BY THE ALDEN KINDRED OF AMERICA 1930

Buried ABT DEC 1680. Memorial headstone in the Myles Standish Burying Ground, Duxbury, Plymouth Co., MA.

Research Notes

DNA

mtDNA Results H6a1a9 +204C 6182A[32] The Mayflower DNA Project lists three matrilineal (all female line) descendants of Priscilla (and her mother Alice). All three have taken the full mtDNA test, which tests every single base pair of the mitochondrial DNA. All three fall under the H6a1a9 haplogroup. One of them has two additional mutations (309.2C & C16234T) which must have occurred somewhere in this individual's maternal line of descent. In addition, one individual (who has not joined the Mayflower DNA Project] has joined the Alden surname DNA Project has taken a full mtDNA test and has also given the project administrator private access to their Coding region results). Plugging in their differences from the rCRS (NOT the RSRS differences) into James Lick's mtDNA haplogroup tool documents the following additional mutations from the H6a1a9 haplogroup: 204C and 6182A. It is likely that a future update of the mtDNA Haplogroup tree will create a subclade with these mutations.

Sources

  1. Mayflower Families Vol. 16 Part 1 P.16, 17
  2. Johnson, Caleb. Mrs. Alice Mullins.. Mayflower History Online.
  3. General Society of Mayflower Descendants. Mayflower Passengers with Living Descendants.
  4. Roser, Susan. Mayflower Increasings. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. (1994), p.1
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society (1995), vol. 1, p.23
  6. MD 1:163; PCR 8:288, cited in Roser, Susan. Mayflower Increasings. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. (1994), p.1
  7. Bowman 1, cited in Roser, Susan. Mayflower Increasings. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. (1994), p.1
  8. MD 34:176, cited in Roser, Susan. Mayflower Increasings. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. (1994), p.2
  9. MD 6:193, cited in Roser, Susan. Mayflower Increasings. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. (1994), p.2
  10. MD 1:150 (not listed in catt. div), cited in Roser, Susan. Mayflower Increasings. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. (1994), p.3
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society (1995), vol. 1, p.24
  12. MD 6:71, 31:60, cited in Roser, Susan. Mayflower Increasings. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. (1994), p34
  13. Roser, Susan. Mayflower Increasings. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. (1994), p.3
  14. PPR 1:16, cited in Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society (1995), vol. 1, p.24
  15. Roser, Susan. Mayflower Increasings. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. (1994), p.4
  16. MD: 8:232, 14:67, cited in Roser, Susan. Mayflower Increasings. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. (1994), p.4
  17. MD 9:159, cited in Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society (1995), vol. 1, p.24
  18. Family of John Alden. Mayflower Families through Five Generations. Vol 16 ,part 1. General Society of Mayflower Descendants (1999) p. 43
  19. MQ 52:146, cited in Roser, Susan. Mayflower Increasings. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. (1994), p.4
  20. Esther Littleford Woodworth-Barnes, edited by Alicia Crane Williams, Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, John Alden, Vol. 16, Part 1 (Plymouth, Mass.: General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1999), pp. 39-43, not available online.
  21. "John Alden's Inventory and Settlement of his Estate" in the Mayflower Descendant, vol. III, no. 1, Jan 1901 (Boston, MA: Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1901). Online at Archive.org, page 11.
  22. Braintree VR:716, cited in Roser, Susan. Mayflower Increasings. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. (1994), p.4
  23. Braintree VR:640, cited in Roser, Susan. Mayflower Increasings. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. (1994), p.5
  24. Bates, Samuel A. Records of the Town of Braintree. 1640-1793. 1886. p. 640. Link to page at archive.org.
  25. MD 3:11, cited in Roser, Susan. Mayflower Increasings. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. (1994), p.5
  26. Stratton:281; PCR 4:168, cited in Roser, Susan. Mayflower Increasings. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. (1994), p.6
  27. MD 6:23 (will), cited in Roser, Susan. Mayflower Increasings. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. (1994), p.6
  28. General Society of Mayflower Descendants. Notable Descendants.
  29. Johnson, Caleb. Priscilla Mullins. Mayflower History Online.
  30. Alden Kindred of America
  31. Find A Grave: Priscilla Mullins Alden
  32. MayflowerDNA.org wiki mtDNA profile for Priscilla Mullins
See Also:
  • Anderson, Robert Charles, "John Alden", The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society (1995), pp. 21-26.
  • Bradford's History of Plymouth Plantation. Various print and online editions available, including an edition for Kindle. Also can be down loaded from Archive.org.
  • Wikipedia
  • Supplement to Sprague Families in Americe by Dr. Warren Vincent Sprague.
  • Families of the Pilgrims by Hubert Kinney Shaw, Boston, Mass. Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1955
  • Information was taken from the Alden Kindred website
  • Alden Family Database for Eight Generations, 2003 Edition; Alden Society Publication online at: (Link via Wayback Machine, capture date 04 Jun 2011
  • K. Alan & Roberta J. Streeter - Genealogy Research Assistants. New England Connections established 12 July 1996-Our Mayflower Passangers 12 July 1996 This site created and maintained by Robert H. Streeter, James A. Streeter Copyright © 1996,1997 by Robert H. Streeter.
  • Sprague, Waldo Chamberlain. Genealogies of the Families of Braintree, MA. 1640-1850 (2001)
  • Personal E-Mail (Richard D. Souther) Publication: 21 generations from Alvin Pratt & Eliza Ann Souther,
  • Library of Congress Photo Collection, 1840-2000 Publication: Ancestry.com Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007.Original data - Various photo collections from the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington D.C. Note: Library of Congress Photo Collection, 1840-2000 (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007, online at Ancestry.com.
  • Alden, Ebenezer. Memorial of the Descendants of the Hon. John Alden (S.P. Brown, Randolph, Mass., 1867) Page 1
  • Filby, P. William, ed. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s (Gale Research, Farmington Hills, MI, USA, 2012)
  • Torrey, Clarence Almon. Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700 (Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Baltimore, 1985)
  • Find A Grave: Memorial #749
  • Jordan, John W. Genealogical and Personal History of Western Pennsylvania (Lewis Historical Pub. Co., New York, 1915, Vol. 3. pg. 1186-1189)
  • Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation (Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856) p. 448 "Mr William Mullines, and his wife, and 2. children, Joseph & Priscila; and a servant, Robart Carter." p. 452 "15 [persons] Mr Molines, and his wife, his sone, and his servant, dyed the first winter. Only his dougter Priscila survied, and maried with John Alden, who are both living, and have 11. children. And their eldest daughter is maried, & hath five children."
  • Bradford, William, 1590-1657. Of Plimoth Plantation: manuscript, 1630-1650. State Library of Massachusetts "List of Mayflower Passengers." In Bradford's Hand.
  • Mary Lanford Taylor Alden. "Elizabeth (alden) Pabodie and Descendants." Salem: Eben Putnam. 1897. P.4.
  • MayflowerDNA.org wiki and mtDNA profile for Priscilla Mullins

Acknowledgements

At least 20 profiles were merged together to make up this one. One of the contributors, Michael Stephenson passed away during the initial work on the combined profile.



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In my FAMILYSEARCH.COM tree I have Priscilla Mullins

1602–1685 • LR92-T7W Birth 1602 Dorking, Surrey, England Death 1685 Duxbury, Plymouth Colony, British Colonial America Burial 1685 Myles Standish Burying Ground, Duxbury, Plymouth Colony, British Colonial America Spouse John Alden Parents William Mullins Sr and Elizabeth Wood

https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FCHL-2WL Citation "Massachusetts Marriages, 1695-1910, 1921-1924", database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FCHL-2WL : 28 July 2021), Priscilla Mullens in entry for John Alden, 1623.

http://mayflowerhistory.com/mayflower-passenger-list/ List William and Alice Mullins and children Priscilla and Joseph.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Mullins_(Mayflower_passenger) Citation Wikipedia at link above - March 2012 Mayflower Quarterly, Vol 78, no 1 March 2012 Notes William Mullins married firstly Elizabeth Wood in Stoke, near Guildford, co. Surrey, England sometime prior to December 1593 possibly in the early . She was the daughter of John and Joan (Taylor) Wood. She died sometime prior to 1604.[16] Priscilla

Was born 1603 Children believed of that first marriage:

William Mullins Jr., born about 1593 and died in 1674 in New England, coming there sometime after his father’s death. Records for the 1643 Able to Bear Arms List for “Duxborrow” (Duxbury) note a “Wm Mullens.”

He married: 1. _________ by 1618 and had one daughter. 2. Ann (___) Bell in Boston on May 7, 1656 as her second husband. Sarah Mullins, born possibly late 1595s. She married _____ Blunden by 1621 and remained in England. She was named the estate administrator in her father’s will and was awarded administration in July 1621. No further information. Elizabeth Mullins, baptized December 11, 1598 at Holy Trinity Church, Guildford, co. Surrey. She may have died young.[1][2][7] Priscilla Mullins was born about 1603 and died 1685.. September 12, 1687, the date of her husband’s death. She had been a passenger on the Mayflower with her parents and her brother Joseph, and only she survived after their deaths in 1621. She married Mayflower cooper John Alden before 11 May 1623 and had eleven children. The only proven descendants of William Mullins living today are descended from Priscilla.[6]

Second wife of William Mullins and child of that marriage:

William Mullins married secondly Alice Atwood_____ 1605. Her ancestry She died in Plymouth in the winter of ARIL 1621/1.[16]

Child believed of his second marriage: Joseph Mullins, born about 1606. He was a passenger on the Mayflower with his parents and sister Priscilla. He died after the first winter in Plymouth – sometime in 1621 between April 5 and mid-November, date unknown. His corrected birth year per Johnson. References 1- Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History and People, 1620-1691, (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1986), p. 331 2- Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and Her Passengers (Indiana: Xlibris Corp., 2006), p. 193 3- Pilgrim Hall Museum William Museum 4- Charles Edward Banks, The English ancestry and homes of the Pilgrim Fathers who came to Plymouth on the Mayflower in 1620, the Fortune in 1621, and the Anne and the Little James in 1623, (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2006), p. 73 5- Charles Edward Banks, The English ancestry and homes of the Pilgrim Fathers who came to Plymouth on the Mayflower in 1620, the Fortune in 1621, and the Anne and the Little James in 1623, (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2006), p. 74 6- Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and Her Passengers (Indiana: Xlibris Corp., 2006), p. 194 7- Charles Edward Banks, The English ancestry and homes of the Pilgrim Fathers who came to Plymouth on the Mayflower in 1620, the Fortune in 1621, and the Anne and the Little James in 1623, (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2006), pp. 73-74 8- Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower: A story of Courage, Community and War (New York: Viking, 2006), p. 40 9- Nick Bunker, Making Haste from Babylon: The Mayflower Pilgrims and their New World a History (New York: Knopf 2010), p. 262 10- Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History and People, 1620-1691, (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1986), pp. 332, 406 11- Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History and People, 1620-1691, (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1986), p. 413 12- Allison Lassieur Peter McDonnall, The voyage of the Mayflower (Minnesota: Capstone Press, ©2006) 13- George Ernest Bowman, The Mayflower Compact and its signers, (Boston: Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1920), Photocopies of the 1622, 1646 and 1669 versions of the document, pp. 7-19. 14- Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and Her Passengers (Indiana: Xlibris Corp., 2006), p. 195 15- Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History and People, 1620-1691 (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1986), pp. 259, 331 16- Mayflower Quarterly, vol. 78, no. 1, March 2012, An investigation into the origins of Alice wife of William Mullins by Caleb H. Johnson, pp. 44-57 17- Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and Her Passengers (Indiana: Xlibris Corp., 2006), pp. 193-194 18- Memorial for William Mullins 19- Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and Her Passengers (Indiana: Xlibris Corp., 2006), p. 106 20- Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History and People, 1620-1691, (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1986), p. 259

21- Charles Edward Banks, The English ancestry and homes of the Pilgrim Fathers who came to Plymouth on the Mayflower in 1620, the Fortune in 1621, and the Anne and the Little James in 1623, (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2006), p. 42

see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ for use of this material.

I hope this helps

posted on Boyles-780 (merged) by J. J. (Flint) Shipley
I'm going to be doing a quick update on this profile on behalf of the Mayflower Project. If anyone has additional sources that should be included please message me. Thanks,

Jen

posted by Jen (Stevens) Hutton
Wonderful job, Jen. Many thanks!
posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
Hi there profile managers!

We plan on featuring Priscilla in the Connection Finder alongside Massasoit, the Example Profile of the Week, on November 25th. Between now and then 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. A Team member will check on the profile Tuesday and make changes as necessary.

Thanks! Abby

posted by Abby (Brown) Glann
I found this pic. of John and Priscilla from pinterest. Thought you might like to see it.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/evilledoer/189150172/

Would like to add that the Spring 2018 issue of American Ancestors, published by NEHGS, outlined recent research demonstrating that Priscilla's mtDNA haplogroup was H6a1a9 (pgs. 56-7). Not sure where to do so.
posted by David Moberly
Dates on both are estimates. marked as false errors
posted by Anne B