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Mary (Wallen) Jenkins (abt. 1628 - aft. 1693)

Mary Jenkins formerly Wallen aka Walling, Ewer
Born about in Plymouth Colony, New Englandmap
Sister of
Wife of — married before May 1652 in Barnstable, Plymouth Colonymap [uncertain]
Wife of — married 2 Feb 1653 in Barnstable, Plymouth Colonymap
Descendants descendants
Died after at about age 65 in Barnstable, Massachusetts Bay Colony, New Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 14 Apr 2010
This page has been accessed 1,939 times.
The Birth Date is a rough estimate. See the text for details.


Disputed Spouse

Some sources incorrectly identify Mary's first husband as "Henry" Ewer rather than John. This claim is contradicted by the Strood parish baptismal records for the Ewer family and has been rejected by Anderson[1] and other more recent, carefully-researched profiles of these families.[2]


Mary Wallen was born in about 1628 in Plymouth Colony, most likely the daughter of Ralph Wallen and Joyce ___. The claim that Mary is the daughter of Ralph and Joyce is established by a 1660 land transfer record in which her second husband John Jenkins identifies himself as the “heire apparent” of Ralph Warren, indicating that he had married a daughter of Ralph Wallen who had inherited that land.[3][4][5] Her father Ralph died before September 1643, after which her mother Joyce remarried to Thomas Lombard, and they moved from Plymouth to Barnstable.[6]


Mary Wallen married first John Ewer, most likely in Barnstable, before May 1652 when John’s widow “Mary Ewer” presented his estate inventory in the probate proceedings in Barnstable after his death. The estate was small, and they had no children, suggesting they had been married only a short time before John’s early death.[7]

After John’s death, Mary married second John Jenkins in Barnstable on February 2, 1652/53.[8][9][10] He was about 20 years her senior, born in about 1609, and had emigrated to America at the age of 26 on the Defence in 1635.[11][12] John arrived originally in Boston but within a few months had settled in Plymouth Colony where he became a freeman on 3 January 1636/7. By January 14, he had been granted land adjacent to that of Mary’s father Ralph Wallen.[13] In the intervening years, John volunteered to serve Plymouth in the Pequot War in 1637 and served in several public roles in Plymouth after that.[14] By 1652, however, he had relocated to Barnstable, where he married the then-widowed Mary Ewer. John and Mary Jenkins most likely lived on the Ewer Farm in Barnstable, near “Coggin’s Pond,” as it was then called. This pond is passed on the left going into the village of Barnstable from West Barnstable on the State highway not far from the local Unitarian church.[15]


John and Mary (Wallen) Jenkins had at least 7 children, all in Barnstable (Cape Cod), Plymouth Colony:[16]

  1. Sarah, b. 15 Nov 1653
  2. Mehitable, b: 2 Mar 1654/1655, m. Eleazer Hamlin
  3. Samuel, b: 12 Sep 1657
  4. John, b: 13 Nov 1659
  5. Mary, b: 1 Oct 1662, m. Thomas Parker
  6. Thomas, b: 15 Jul 1666
  7. Joseph, b: 31 Mar 1669

Of these, the births of Sarah, Mehitable, Samuel, and John are identified in the Plymouth Colony records.[17] Thomas, Joseph, John, Mehitable, and Mary are named in John’s will.[18]

Reported Membership in the Society of Friends

At least one Jenkins family historian has identified Mary as a "Quakeress." [15] Her brother-in-law Thomas Ewer was reportedly also a Quaker, fined £20,10 plus expenses for refusing to take a fidelity oath and attending Quaker meetings in Sandwich in 1659; and he was sentenced to severe physical punishment "to lye neck and heels together during the pleasure of the Court, 'for his tumultuous and seditious carriages in Court'" relating to this fine.[19] Espousing that highly-controversial religion was dangerous in the mid-17th Century Plymouth colony, ruled with an iron-fist by tough, orthodox, Puritan clergymen and their followers who brutally persecuted Puritans. No fewer than four publicly-active Quakers, including one woman, Mary Dyer, were convicted and actually hanged for crimes against God and the State in neighboring Boston at the time.[20] It may be more accurate to describe most of the contemporary Ewer, Lathrop, Wallen, Smalley and Snow families of Plymouth as "private dissenters," who prudently kept their more-unorthodox religious opinions to themselves, while outwardly professing Puritan beliefs but espousing tolerance for alternative views (a rarity in that time and place). This may have been what led them and a dozen other similarly-inclined families to move together across the bay, founding Eastham and Barnstable on Cape Cod in 1644-1646. The Ewer family do appear to have been "political dissenters" -- Mary's first father-in-law Thomas Ewer, was likely the "Ewre" who Winthrop reports was prosecuted in 1637 in the Massachusetts Bay colony for allegedly using seditious, anti-monarchist language.[21]

Later Life

Both John and Mary (Wallen) Jenkins lived to old ages. John Jenkins made his will on 25 September 1683 and died before 21 October 1685 when an inventory of his estate was completed in connection with probate proceedings in Barnstable.[18] The date of Mary’s death is uncertain. She appears to have lived until at least April 5, 1693.[22] No burial place has been found for either of the couple but they are likely buried at the Old Burying Grounds in Barnstable in now-unmarked graves.

Research Notes

Although Jenkins[15] and Otis contain much helpful information, both sources also contain several errors and should be used with care.[23]


  1. Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, 3 vols., (Boston: NEHGS, 1995), at 2:481 (listing children of Thomas Ewers; there is no Henry and John is shown as the spouse of Mary Wallen) ["GMB: 1620-1633"].
  2. Ethel Farrington Smith, “John Jenkins of Barnstable, Massachusetts,” New England Historic & Genealogical Register, 149 (1995): 339-359, at 339-40 n. 4 ("Mary has elsewhere been called, incorrectly, the widow of Henry Ewer.")
  3. Eleanor Cooley Rue, "Widow Joyce Wallen of Plymouth (1645) and Widow Joyce Lombard of Barnstable (1664): One and the Same?" The American Genealogist, 67 (1992): 47-53, at 49-52; Image copy for subscribers : accessed 28 Jan 2021.
  4. ”Plymouth Colony Deeds,” The Mayflower Descendant, 14 (1912): 234; digital image, Internet Archive, ( : accessed 5 Feb 2021).
  5. GMB: 1620-1633, at 3:1916.
  6. Rue, TAG, 67:51-52. Rue makes a detailed case for this claim, cited with approval by Anderson. See GMB: 1620-1633, at 1916.
  7. Rue, TAG, 67:49; citing "John Ewer's Estate," The Mayflower Descendant, 11 (1909): 10-11, at 10; digital image, Internet Archive, (  : accessed 5 Feb 2021). An image of the original record is available at FamilySearch, "Plymouth Colony records, wills, 1633-1686, vols. 1-4," (images, accessed 5 Feb 2021); FHL microfilm 567,794; DGS 7,051,111. Mary was granted letters of administration on June 29, 1652. See Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, et al., eds. Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England, 12 vols., (Boston: William White, 1855-1861), 3:15; digital image, Hathitrust, ( Image copy : accessed 2021). ["Plymouth Records"]. Note that in Great Migration Begins, Anderson estimates that the marriage might have occurred as early as about 1648. See GMB: 1620-1633, at 1916.
  8. Smith, “John Jenkins of Barnstable," New England Historic & Genealogical Register, 149:339 & n. 4; citing ”Barnstable, Mass., Vital Records,” The Mayflower Descendant, 6 (1904): 236-39, at 236; digital images, Internet Archive, ( : accessed 6 Feb 2021). [“MD 6:236-39.”]
  9. Plymouth Records, at 8:45.
  10. Rue, TAG, 67:47-53.
  11. Smith, “John Jenkins of Barnstable," New England Historic & Genealogical Register, 149:339.
  12. Robert C. Anderson, et al. The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England 1634-1635, 7 vols., (Boston: NEHGS, 1999-2011), 4:41 (“[O]n 18 July 1635, ‘Jo[h]n Jenkynn’ aged 26, was enrolled at London as a passenger for New England on the Defence”) ["GM: 1634-1635"]; citing John Camden Hotten, ed., The Original Lists Of Persons Of Quality (1874; reprint, New York: Empire State Book Co., 1874), 131.
  13. Plymouth Records, at 1:48. See Smith, “John Jenkins of Barnstable," New England Historic & Genealogical Register, 149:340; GM 1633-34, at 4:42 & 45.
  14. Smith, “John Jenkins of Barnstable," New England Historic & Genealogical Register, 149:340-41.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Samuel B. Jenkins, "The Descendants of John Jenkins," Cape Cod Library of Local History and Genealogy, No. 2, (1930; reprint, Leonard H. Smith, Jr., comp., Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992), 11; digital images,, (  : accessed 5 Feb 2021).
  16. ”Barnstable, Mass., Vital Records,” MD, 66:236. See also Smith, “John Jenkins of Barnstable," New England Historic & Genealogical Register, 149:342-44; GM 1633-34, at 4:44.
  17. Plymouth Records, at 8:45.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Smith, “John Jenkins of Barnstable," New England Historic & Genealogical Register, 149:341-42 (including a transcription of the will). The original record is available in Plymouth Colony Land Records (from microfilm), 6 vols., 5:386-87; digital images, FamilySearch, (  : accessed 6 Feb 2021); FHL 567,790, DGS 7,451,134; image 196.
  19. Amos Otis Papers, Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families, revised by C.F. Swift, 2 vols., (Barnstable, Mass.: F.B. & F.P. Goss, 1888-90), 361-62; digital images, Hathitrust, ( : accessed 7 Feb 2021).
  20. Mary Dyer article on Wikipedia
  21. GM: 1634-1635, 2:482-83; citing John Winthrop, The History of New England from 1630 to 1649, ed. James Savage, 2 vols., (Boston: Little Brown & Co., 1853), 1:280-81; digital images, Hathitrust, ( : accessed 8 Feb 2021). After his death in 1638, Thomas' widow remarried to Thomas Lathrop in December 1639 and moved her family to Eastham with Nicholas Snow and the Smalleys in 1645. See Otis Papers, 1:361.
  22. Smith, “John Jenkins of Barnstable," New England Historic & Genealogical Register, 149:340. Smith cites a Barnstable probate record of this date in which Mary Jenkins made an oath concerning a change in will by Mary Houghton, deceased, at Barnstable; however it is possible that the Mary Jenkins who made this oath was her daughter who married later that year.
  23. See, e.g., Smith, “John Jenkins of Barnstable," New England Historic & Genealogical Register, 149:339 (describing both sources as "less than reliable"); Rue, TAG, 67:52 (noting that "neither Otis nor [Jenkins] is very reliable").

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Rejected matches › Mary Elizabeth Wallen (1858-1911)

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Categories: Estimated Birth Date