Alexander Standish
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Alexander Standish (abt. 1626 - 1702)

Alexander Standish
Born about in Plymouth Colonymap
Husband of — married about 1660 in Duxbury, Plymouth Colonymap [uncertain]
Husband of — married about 1686 in Plymouth Colonymap
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 76 in Duxbury, Plymouth, Province of Massachusetts Baymap
Profile last modified | Created 10 Jan 2009
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Alexander is the son of Mayflower passenger Captain Myles Standish.



Alexander Standish, son of Captain Myles Standish and Barbara, his wife, was born about 1626 at Plymouth Colony[1] (aged 76 when he died in 1702).[2]

The first record of Alexander is in the 1627 Division of Cattle[3] and he is found next in the 1643 list of those entitled to bear arms in Duxbury.[4] On 1 June 1647 Alexander Standish was proposed as a freeman and was elected freeman 7 June 1648.[5] He was constable of Duxbury in 1669,[6] on the list of Freemen of Duxbury in 1670,[5] and he was a juror there in September 1690.[7] Alexander was Duxbury town clerk from 1695-1700, during which time it is thought that his house burned down and, along with it, most of the town and church records.[6]

Marriages and Children

Alexander married first, Sarah Alden, the daughter of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins about 1660[8] (date of marriage by about 1660 is based on approximated birthdates of children).[1] They had the following children:

  1. Lorah,[9] wife of Abraham Samson,[10][11] died after 2 August 1725.[12]
  2. Lydia, wife of Isaac Sampon.[10][11] She was born before 1672 and died after 1748 (son Isaac's will).[9]
  3. Mercy,[9] wife of Caleb Samson.[10][11]
  4. Sarah, wife of Benjamin Soule.[10] She was born about 1666/7 and died 4 March 1740.[9][11]
  5. Elizabeth, wife of Samuel Delano,[10][11] was born before 1670 and died after 1731.[9]
  6. Miles, eldest son,[10] born about 1671, married Experience Sherman.[11][12] Miles died 15 September 1739.[9]
  7. Ebenezer,[10] born about 1672, died 19 March 1755, married Hannah Sturtevant.[9][11][12]
  8. probably David,[9][13] who died before 14 February 1689, when an inquest into the death of David Standish of Duxborough was sworn.[12] The jury decided cause of death was the fall of a tree he was cutting onto his head and his skull was broken.[8][14] David predeceased Alexander, so he is not named in his father's will.

Sarah died before 13 June 1688, when Alexander Standish, in right of his wife Sarah, deceased, and the other heirs of John Alden signed a release on his estate.[15][16]

Alexander married second, about 1686 or 1687, Desire (Doty) (Sherman) Holmes, daughter of Edward Doty[17] and Faith Clark, widow of William Sherman of Marshfield, Massachusetts and Israel Holmes.[2] They had children:

  1. Desire,[10] married Nathan Weston;[11] she was born 5 May 1689 and died 20 June 1766.[9]
  2. Thomas,[10] married Mary Carver;[11] he was born 29 January 1690,[2] and died after 13 June 1774.[9]
  3. Ichabod,[10] married Phoebe Ring;[11] he was born 10 June 1693, died 29 February 1772.[9]

In September 1700, Alexander Standish and Desire, his wife, sued John Partridge for slander and defamation and the case was referred to arbitration.[18]

Death and Estate

Alexander died, aged about 76 years, on 6 July 1702 at Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay,[10] and was buried there in the Myles Standish Burying Ground.[19]

The will of Alexander Standish dated 21 February 1702, with a codicil added 5 July 1702, was proved 10 August 1702. In it, he lists his wife (unnamed) and children: Miles Standish (eldest son), Thomas Standish, Ichabod Standish, Desire Standish, Ebenezer Standish, Lorah Samson wife of Abraham, Lidia Samson wife of Isaac, Mercy Samson wife of Caleb, Elizabeth Delano wife of Samuel, Sarah Soul wife of Benjamin; and "brother" David Alden [brother of his first wife, Sarah]. He also added a bit about the estate in England, which was referred to in his fathers will: "Whatsoever Estate Either in New England or in old which I have committed into ye hands of Robert orchard to Recover in England by letters of Attorney...Thus taking my leave of all my near & dear Relations my christian friends in church Covenant & all my loving neighbours I bed you all farwell till we meet in Heaven..." The codicil, 5 July 1702, mentions his wife, and children Miles (and his wife), Thomas, Ichabod and Desire.[10][20]

His inventory was taken on 23 July 1702.[20]

The witnesses were sworn 29 July 1702 and on 10 August 1702 the will was contested by Abraham Samson, Isaac Samson, Caleb Samson and Benjamin Soule (and later by Samuel Delano), the husbands of the daughters. The "caveat" contains a goldmine of information:

"He had by his first wife who was daughter to ye Whorshipfull Mr. John Alden a good and a prudent woman two sons and 5 daughters and after her decease he lived a widdower many years untill all his sd 5 daughters or 4 of them were marryed...about 16 years before he dyed he marryed a second her he had two sons and one daughter."[10]

The caveat also provides proof of his age - Alexander was about 76 when he made his will, giving us a birth year. It also provides evidence that his eldest son Myles, son by his first wife, married the daughter of Alexander's second wife. It also confirms that Ebenezer was his second son by his first wife and that his five daughters by his first wife were all married with children.[10][21]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Robert Charles Anderson, The Mayflower Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth, 1620. (NEHGS: 2020). Alden, page 21 (Sarah); Standish, page 162 (Alexander).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Merton Taylor Goodrich. "The Children and Grandchildren of Captain Myles Standish" in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register. (Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, April 1933). Online at, vol. 87, pages 153-156.
  3. Caleb Johnson's Mayflower History: The 1627 Division of Cattle Alexander Standish
  4. "Vital Records from The NEHGS Register". (Compiled from articles originally published in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register.) Online at, vol. 4, page 256.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Russell L. Warner (edited by Wakefield, Robert S, FASG), Mayflower Families through Five Generations, Vol. 14. Myles Standish, (Boston, MA: General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 2007), page 4.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Justin Winsor. History of the Town of Duxbury, Massachusetts With Genealogical Registers. (1999). Online at Google Books pages 81-83.
  7. "Plymouth County, MA: Plymouth Court Records, 1686-1859". (Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2002). Online at, vol. 1, pages 15-16.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Esther Littleford Woodworth-Barnes, edited by Alicia Crane Williams, Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, John Alden, Vol. 16, Part 1 (Plymouth, MA: General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1999), pages 39-43, not available online.
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 "Mayflower Births and Deaths", Vol. 2 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013. from Roser, Susan E. "Mayflower Births and Deaths: From the Files of George Ernest Bowman at the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants". 2 vols, (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1992). Online at, vol. 2, page 311.
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 George Ernest Bowman. "Alexander Standish's Will and Inventory and the Settlement of His Estate" in the Mayflower Descendant. (Boston, MA: Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants). Online at, vol. 12, pages 99-108.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 11.9 Mrs. Charles Alden. "Alden Genealogy" in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register. (Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1 July 1898). Online at, vol. 52, pages 363-365.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Susan E Roser. "Mayflower Increasings" online at, pages 106-107.
  13. NOTE: NEHGR 52:363 lists him as a son of Alexander and his second wife, but this is unlikely.
  14. David T. Konig, Plymouth County Court Records, 1686-1859, (Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier, Inc., 1978-1981) 16 vols., Vol. 1:191.
  15. 2020 on (New England Historic Genealogical Society - excerpts from Robert Charles Anderson's "The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony 1620-1633"): John Alden.
  16. "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, page 11.
  17. 2020 on (New England Historic Genealogical Society - excerpts from Robert Charles Anderson's "The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony 1620-1633"): Myles Standish
  18. "Plymouth County, MA: Plymouth Court Records, 1686-1859". (Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2002). Online at, vol. 1, page 45.
  19. Find a Grave, database and images (accessed 12 November 2020), memorial page for Alexander Standish (1626–6 Jul 1702), Find A Grave: Memorial #14421272, citing Myles Standish Burying Ground, Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, USA; Maintained by Kaaren Crail Vining (contributor 11705756). (No gravestone photo, no sources, incorrectly gives death date as 05 July 1702.)
  20. 20.0 20.1 "Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records, 1633-1967," images, FamilySearch ( : 22 March 2023), Probate records 1686-1702 and 1849-1867 vol 1-1F > image 192-193 of 490; State Archives, Boston.
  21. "Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records, 1633-1967," images, FamilySearch ( : 23 March 2023), Probate records 1702-1710 vol 2 > image 28 of 106; State Archives, Boston.
See also:
  • Will in "Plymouth County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1686-1881." (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives.) Online at, pages 19152:1-39.
  • website: Descendants of John Alden, Second Generation, Sarah Alden. (Link via Wayback Machine, capture date 14 May 2021.)
  • "Records of the Colony of New Plymouth, in New England", Vol. 8. Online at FamilySearch pages 190, 198, 203.
  • Fielding, Harriet Chapin. The Ancestors and Descendants of Isaac Alden and Irene Smith, His Wife. (East Orange, NJ: 1903). Online at Google Books, page 8.

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Comments: 11

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It looks like the marriage date of 2nd wife Desire should be AFTER the death date of 1st wife Sarah. Would someone in the Mayflower Project check it out? Thanks in advance.
posted by Faylene Bailey
We only know that Sarah was deceased *by* 13 June 1688. He married Desire in time to have a legitimate child with her on 5 May 1689. We don't have a specific date for Sarah's death or his second marriage, so I don't think we need to manipulate the dates any more than what we have documentation for.
posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
Yes. Sarah was deceased *by* 13 June 1688. Desire and Alexander's 1st legitimate child was born in 1689. That's why I am questioning why the marriage date for Alexander and Desire is *about*"1686"? Respectfully, shouldn't it be *about* 1688 or *before* "1689"?
posted by Faylene Bailey
edited by Faylene Bailey
I plan to review/update/cite-check this profile tomorrow. Doesn't need much work ... will mostly just verify data.
posted by Traci Thiessen
DONE! Cite-checked everything except MF5 (Alden and Standish), added some more sources, expanded bio a bit ... etc.
posted by Traci Thiessen
Standish-1460 and Standish-1 appear to represent the same person because: All info matches. Missing one wife on-1460, son on -1460 dup to son Thomas on -1. Please merge
posted by S (Hill) Willson
It looks like the primary photo for Alexander Standish is actually a photo of Deborah (Sampson) Gannett Sampson-307, his great great granddaughter.
posted by Faylene Bailey
edited by Faylene Bailey
Agreed. I've removed the link to the image.
posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
There is a different findagrave memorial than the listed one at
Standish-1 and Standish-914 are not ready to be merged because: both the mother and father profiles need to be merged.
posted by Toby Proctor
Standish-995 and Standish-1 appear to represent the same person because: Birth, spouse, ch

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