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Soule Kindred In America

Mayflower, Day by Day - Monday, 11 January [1620]/21

11 Jan 2021 3:59 AM | Soule (Administrator)

At anchor in Plymouth harbour

A large party went ashore early to work.  Much time lost ferrying passengers, the ship drawing so much water that it could only anchor a mile and a half off shore.  The working-party came back aboard at nightfall.  Fetched wood and water.

Today Degory Priest, a hatter who was part of the Leiden congregation, died aboard the ship.  His English origins are unknown, although his wife was Isaac Allerton’s sister and he was probably a little over 40 years old at the time of his death (calculated from his statement in a 1619 deposition in Leiden).  He married Sarah Allerton, widow of Jan (John) Vincent, on 4 November 1611 -- the same day and at the same office that Isaac Allerton married Mary Norris (a double wedding?).  The couple’s two children were born in Leiden in the years immediately after their marriage; the children came to America on the Anne in 1623 with their mother and her (third) husband, the improbably named Godbert Godbertson (sometimes written as “Cuthbert Cuthbertson” -- another hatmaker!).  Godbert was previously married (to Elizabeth Kendall, d. 1621), and married Sarah in Leiden in November 1621; Robert Charles Anderson notes that according to both his marriage records, Godbert Godbertson was of “’Eastland,’ meaning presumably that region around Danzig, now part of Poland” (The Great Migration Begins II:778).  The elder daughter, Mary Priest, married Phineas Pratt, who was part of the ill-fated settlement at Wessagusset, and had eight children (all of whom had children); Sarah Priest married John Coombs in Plymouth about 1630.  Sarah went to England in 1645 (where she had never lived previously), leaving her two children in America in the custody of William Spooner, and apparently never returned; John Coombs had apparently died by this time.  Speculation is that Sarah died either on the journey to England or not long afterwards, for she is never heard from again.  In 1648, the Plymouth court ordered William Spooner to “keep the children of Mis Combe and not dispose of them without further order.”  Both John Coombs and Francis Coombs grew to adulthood and had children (some of whom married into the Eaton, Howland, and Cushman families).  Thus, even though neither Sarah nor her two daughters were Mayflower passengers, their descendants are Mayflower descendants because their husband and father Degory Priest was a passenger.  No indication of any other Priest children has been found; Sarah (Allerton) (Vincent) (Priest) Godbertson and her husband Godbert (or Cuthbert) had a son Samuel, but neither he nor any of his descendants would be Mayflower descendants.  It is unclear whether Samuel ever married or had children (although “Samuell Cutbird aged about 42 years,” according to a 1699 death record in Middleborough, would have been born at the right time to be Samuel’s son).  According to the 1623 Plymouth land division, “Cudbart Cudbartsone” received six acres as a 1623 passenger on the Anne, for himself, his wife Sarah, their son Samuel, Sarah’s deceased husband Degory Priest, and Sarah’s two Priest daughters.

As mentioned several times before, today would have been 1 January in the Julian calendar, but it would not have been the beginning of a “new year,” and the settlers and crew would have considered that it was still 1620 until 25 March; only then would the calendar have turned over to 1621.

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