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John Dunham



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1089. John Dunham (Deacon) (Married (1) Susan Cainehoe (Caynehoe) (Kaino) (Keno), daughter of Thomas Caynehoe (Kaino) (Keno) in Clophill, Bedfordshire on 17 August 1612 and (2) Abigail (Abigaill) Ballou (#1,090), daughter of Thomas Ballou on 22 October 1622 in Leyden)

Born: 1587 (1588/89) probably in Langford, Bedfordshire (Clophill, Bedfordshire), England of Richard Dunham (#2,177) and Unknown Mother (#2,178)

Died: 2 March 1668/69, aged about 80 in Plymouth


[His siblings, included:

William Dunham: Born: ?; Died: ?;

Anne Dunham: Born: ?; Died: ?;

Elisabeth Dunham: Born: ?; Died: ?;

Richard Dunham: Born: ?; Died: ?;]


Miscellaneous Information:

As quoted from the website: "Dunham genealogy. Deacon John Dunham of Plymouth, Massachusetts-- 1589-1669. And his descendants" posted by John Dunham Duguid, November 2000). "Deacon John Dunham was born in 1588-89 probably in Clophill, Bedfordshire, England. The following is from an article by Robert Leigh Ward in the July, 1996 edition of The American Genealogist:

'No record of the baptism on John Dunham of Clophill has been found. The International Genealogical Index reveals Dunham, Donham, and Downham entries in the parish registers of nearby Bedfordshire parishes, and just across the border in Hertfordshire.'

'The probate record of Richard Dunham, the elder, poulter of Langford, some seven miles from Clophill, provides significant support for the conclusion that this is the correct family and that Richard Dunham was Deacon John Dunham's father. In his will, dated 5 October 1624, Richard Dunham left his body "to be buryed in such a place as my Executores shall think convenient." He mentioned son William, son William's son Richard, son John ("my best shirte and Twenty shillings in mony to be payd him at his retorne"), daughter Anne and her son Richard; daughter Elisabeth; residue to son Richard, who was to be executor. "Father Dunham, an old man" was buried at Langford on 19 November 1624, the only entry for that surname in the published parish register. The shirt and money to be paid to John Dunham "at his retorne" shows that the testator's son was away from home; the phrase probably means no more than that John would receive his legacy if he were to return, not that he was expected to do so. At the time, John was in Leyden.'

'Susan, daughter of Thomas "Cainehoe," was baptized in Clophill on 12 December 1586, and this appears to be the baptism of Deacon John Dunham's first wife. Thomas Caynehoe or Kaino was buried at Clophill on 15 April 1612, and an administration for the estate of Thomas "Keynoe" of Clophill was granted on 7 May 1612 to his widow Joanne; his inventory totaled 9 pounds, 10 shillings and 8 pence. Joanne is apparently the widow Joan Keno buried at Clophill on 7 February 1630. One could speculate that Deacon John's son Thomas Dunham might have been named for Susan's father Thomas Cainho.'

'These records establish the first marriage of Deacon John Dunham of Plymouth, identify his wife's likely parentage, and provide a strong possibility that Richard Dunham of Langford was his father.'

'Henlow, Bedfordshire was the home of the brothers John and Edward Tilley, and their brother-in-law Robert Cooper, who are also found at Leyden. The Tilleys came to Plymouth, Massachusetts, on the Mayflower with their wives, John's daughter Elizabeth Tilley, and Edward's nephew Henry Sampson and niece Humility Cooper. It is very tempting to speculate that John Dunham knew the Tilley family in Henlow, and that they removed together from there to Leyden. Note that the extremely unusual forename Humility was given to a daughter in both families at about the same time. Humility Cooper was born in Holland; we do not know where John Dunham's daughter Humility was born.'

'Possibly the reason John Dunham was not a passenger on the Mayflower in 1620 was due to the illness or death of his wife, Susan. It would make no sense for a single father to take small children on a dangerous ocean voyage to then face the hardships of the American wilderness. [Note: John and Susan had three children: John, Humility, and Thomas]. John's second marriage to Abigail Ballou occurred October 22, 1622 in Leyden, two years after the departure of the Mayflower. Abigail was a witness to the marriage of her sister Anne to Nathaniel Walker in Leyden in June 15, 1624.'

'More Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth on the Fortune in 1621, on the Anne and the Little James in 1623, and on a different Mayflower in 1629, but John Dunham was not listed among any of the passengers. In 1630, the Handmaid dropped anchor at Plymouth with 60 on board. The brethren described these arrivals as the "weakest and poorest", which may account for why none of their names were preserved. This was the last of the Pilgrim ships, although a few more brethren strayed in from time to time. At this point organized efforts to colonize Plymouth came to an end due to lack of funding. Emphasis shifted to the well financed Puritan migration farther up the coast at Massachusetts Bay.'

'The arrival date in Plymouth of John and Abigail Dunham and their children is unknown, but it was probably around 1629-30, possibly on the Handmaid or as independent travelers. In 1633, John was chosen a deacon of the Church of Plymouth under Elder William Brewster.'


Another source: Robert Charles Anderson. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 [database online] Provo, UT:, 2000. Original data: Robert Charles Anderson. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, vols. 1-3. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995. The Great Migration Begins has a sketch about John Dunham:

ORIGIN: Leiden, Holland
OCCUPATION: Weaver [PCR 12:149].
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: At the time of his death it was recorded that "He was an approved servant of God, and a useful man in his place, being a deacon of the church of Christ at Plymouth" [PCR 8:32].
FREEMAN: In "1633" Plymouth list, before those admitted on 1 January 1632/3 [PCR 1:3]. In list of 7 March 1636/7 [PCR 1:52]
EDUCATION: Signed his will by mark. Some education implied by service on committee to make laws.
OFFICES: Deputy for Plymouth to General Court, 4 June 1639, 2 June 1640, 27 September 1642, 10 October 1643, 5 June 1644, 20 August 1644, 28 October 1645, 7 July 1646 (fined for failing to appear), 1 June 1647, June 1649, 4 June 1650, 3 June 1652, 7 June 1653, 6 June 1654, 1 August 1654, 8 June 1655, 3 June 1656, 2 March 1657/8, 7 June 1659, 4 June 1661, 3 June 1662, 8 June 1664 [PCR 1:126, 154, 2:45, 63, 72, 74, 94, 104, 117, 144, 154, 3:3, 31, 49, 63, 79, 99, 129, 162, 187, 198, 214, 4:14, 60]. Committee to treat with the partners about the trade [on the Kennebec], 1 October 1634 [PCR 1:31]. Auditor, 3 March 1644/5 [PCR 2:82]. Committee to make laws, 16 May 1639 [PCR 1:121]. Grand jury, 7 March 1636/7, 5 June 1638, 1 June 1641, 1 March 1641/2, 7 March 1642/3, 6 June 1643, 7 June 1648, 4 October 1648 [PCR 1:54, 87, 2:16, 34, 45, 53, 56,124, 134]. Petit jury, 7 June 1636, 3 March 1639/40, 5 October 1640, 2 March 1640/1, 1 June 1641, 6 July 1641, 3 August 1641, 1 November 1642, 1 March 1652/3, 6 December 1653, 3 October 1654, 4 October 1655, 5 March 1655/6, 5 October 1656, 3 May 1659 [PCR 1:42, 7:15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 32, 64, 68, 72, 75, 77, 81, 93]. Coroner's jury, on the body of James Glass, 3 September 1652 [PCR 3:16]. Committee to confer and "conclude with the General Court about the war," 20 September 1642 [PTR 1:11].
   Plymouth selectman, 1644, 1647, 1649-50 [PTR 1:1:18, 22, 28, 32]. Rater, 1644, 1649-51, 1663 [PTR 1:1:19, 29, 31, 32, 58]. Lot layer, 1663 [PTR 1:1:61]. Viewer of land, 4 January 1641/2, 25 October 1649, 1 June 1658, 2 August 1659 [PCR 2:32, 145, 3:142, 169].
ESTATE: He was assessed 9s. in Plymouth tax lists of 25 March 1633 and 27 March 1634 [PCR 1:10, 27].
   John Dunham was granted use of mowing ground, 14 March 1635/6, 20 March 1636/7 [PCR 1:40, 56], and granted "a parcel of upland lying at the head of his lot," 5 October 1640 [PCR 1:163]. About 1637, the General Court moved that "long since diverse lots of lands lying at Winberry Hill which should have contained twenty acres apiece were granted to John Donhame" and that Dunham, having relinquished many of them to new inhabitants, the court confirmed to him the thirty acres he had still remaining [PCR 12:27]. On 16 September 1641, "John Dunhame, the elder" was granted sixty acres of upland at Swanhold and also eight acres of meadow. His son received a grant the same day [PCR 2:26]. On 31 December 1641 he was granted a parcel of meadow and of upland at Swanhold [PCR 2:30].
   On 19 January 1647[/8?] John Dunham of "New Plymouth," weaver, gave to "my son Samuel Dunham" six acres of upland [PCR 12:149]. On 18 February 1650[/1?] "Samuell Donham" of Plymouth, planter, sold to "John Donham senior" of Plymouth, weaver, a house and land containing twelve acres, also half an acre of meadow at the watering place, also ten or twelve acres of upland at Wellingsley [PCR 12:203].
   In March 1651, he was listed as a proprietor with interest in the town's land at Punckateesett "over against Rhode Island." His lot was number seventeen [PTR 1:36, 66].
   On 13 June 1655 "John Dunham senior of Plymouth ... weaver" gave to "his son-in-law Gyles Rickard Junior of Plymouth ... planter a parcel of upland ground being estimated at about twelve acres ... at Wellingsley" in Plymouth [MD 9:234-35, citing PCLR 2:1:157]. On 4 July 1658 John Dunham Sr. of Plymouth, weaver, gave to "his son Jonathan Dunham (#545)" of Plymouth, planter, "all that his house and land that the said Jonathan Dunham now liveth on" containing fourteen acres, along with one-third of "his marsh meadow at the watering place" [MD 12:214-15, citing PCLR 2:1:212]. On 28 May 1663 John Dunham Sr. of Plymouth, weaver, gave to "his son John Dunham the one half of all that his share, lot and portion of meadow at Winnatuxett in the township of Plymouth as also his whole portion of upland at the place forenamed" on the condition that he accept this as his whole share in his father's estate [MD 18:37-38, citing PCLR 2:2:119].
   On 15 February 1658 Plymouth selectmen confirmed to John Dunham Sr. a former grant of twelve acres of land "at a place called Fresh Lake" [MD 13:146, citing PCLR 2:2:14].
   On 1 June 1669 letters of administration were granted to "Abigall Dunham (#1,090), Senir., widow" for the estate of "John Dunham, Senir.," deceased [PCR 5:22].
   In his will, dated 25 January 1668 and proved 4 June 1669, "John Dunham Senior of Plymouth" bequeathed to "my son John Dunham who is my eldest son ... I have given him his portion already ... to what I was able and beyond my ability"; to "my son Benajah Dunham and my son-in-law Stephen Wood" all my right at Agawaum and Sepecan equally; to "my son Daniell Dunham" all my land at Fresh Lake, also "all that land that lieth at home which he made use of this year which I already ordered to him"; to "my loving wife Abigaill Dunham" my now dwelling house, my orchards, with all my land no elsewhere given, all my meadow at the watering place during her life and at her death, to "my son Daniell Dunham"; "my son Thomas Dunham" £5 paid by my son Daniel Dunham upon demand; to "all the rest of my children that are not expressed in this my last will 12d. each if they demand it"; residue to my loving wife Abigail Dunham, executrix; "my loving friends Captain Thomas Southworth and the elder Thomas Cushman and my son Samuell Dunham" overseers [MD 17:113-14, citing PCPR 2:2:53].
An inventory of the goods of "John Dunham Senior deceased" was taken 16 March 1668/9 and was untotalled; it included only £3 of real estate: "house and land not prised [presumably because he had already given it to Daniel] only threescore acres of upland at Swanhold not willed away" [MD 17:114, citing PCPR 2:2:54].
BIRTH: By about 1587 based on date of marriage, possibly son of Richard Dunham of Langford, Bedfordshire [TAG 71:132].
DEATH: Plymouth 2 March 1668/9, aged about 80 [PCR 8:32].
MARRIAGE: (1) Clophill, Bedfordshire, 17 August 1612 Susan Kaino, probably baptized Clophill 12 December 1586, daughter of "Thomas Cainehoe" [TAG 71:130-33]. She died by 1622.
   (2) Leiden 22 October 1622 [NS] Abigail Ballou, daughter of Thomas Ballou [TAG 71:131, 133, 250]; living in 1669 when she was executrix on her husband's estate.
   With first wife
   i   JOHN, bp. Henlow, Bedfordshire, 19 February 1614[/5] [TAG 71:132] (d. 6 April 1692 "in his 77th year" [PChR 1:275]); m. by about 1642 Mary _____ (eldest child b. about 1642 [TAG 30:147]).
   ii   HUMILITY, b. say 1617; living at Leiden in 1622; no further record.
   iii   THOMAS, b. say 1619; d. by 1677 and apparently never married [TAG 30:148-51].
   With second wife
   iv   SAMUEL, b. Leiden about 1623 (d. Plymouth 20 January 1711/2 "in his 89 years of age" [MD 16:64]); m. Plymouth 29 June 1649 Martha (Beals) Falloway, daughter of John Beals and widow of William Falloway [PCR 8:8; SPR 10:297].
   v   JONATHAN (#545), b. say 1625 (on a Plymouth voters list, about 1646 [PTR 1:26]; on proprietor's list March 1651 [PTR 1:37]); m. (1) Plymouth 29 November 1655 Mary Delano [PCR 8:17]; m. (2) Plymouth 15 October 1657 Mary Cobb [PCR 8:17]. (See TAG 36:243-49 for further detail on this man, his wives and children.)
   vi   ABIGAIL, b. say 1627; m. Plymouth 6 November 1644 Stephen Wood (or Atwood) [PCR 2:79; PVR 655].
   vii   JOSEPH, b. say 1631; m. Plymouth 18 November 1657 Mercy Morton [PCR 8:17], who d. Plymouth 19 February 1666 [PCR 8:31]; m. (2) Plymouth 20 August 1669 Esther Wormall [PCR 8:32], daughter of Joseph and Miriam Wormall [BVR 28].
   viii   HANNAH, b. about 1634 (d. 1 April 1708 in her 74th year [PChR 1:209]); m. Plymouth 31 October 1651 Giles Rickard [PCR 8:13].
   ix   PERSIS, b. say 1635; m. (1) Plymouth 29 November 1655 Benajah Pratt [PCR 8:17]; m. (2) August 1683 Jonathan Shaw [PPR 2:18].
   x   BENAJAH, b. say 1637; m. Plymouth 25 October 1660 Elizabeth Tilson [PCR 8:22; TAG 69:38].
   xi   DANIEL, b. say 1639; m. say 1670 Hannah _____ (named in his will [PCPR 3:2:102]).

COMMENTS: The definitive treatment of John Dunham, his children and grandchildren, was carried out by Florence Barclay ("Notes on the Dunham Family of Plymouth, Mass.," TAG 30:143-55). She followed this six years later with a detailed study of Jonathan Dunham, son of the immigrant [TAG 36:243-49]. As usual, she has studied all the available records and judiciously analyzed them; we follow her arrangement here, except where noted otherwise.
   John Dunham and three children (John, Humility and Thomas) were listed as living in the Zevenhuysen section of Leiden on 15 October 1622 [NS] [Dexter 612], in a survey which was conveniently taken between the dates of John Dunham's betrothal and marriage to his second wife.
   His cattlemark at Plymouth was "a croch on the left ear" [PTR 1:2]. On 16 July 1638, with three others, "John Dunhame" was given power to control the stock of cows for the poor at Plymouth for the next four years [PTR 1:4]. He and his son of the same name frequently dealt with cattle [PTR 1:20, 23, 27, 28]. "The cow John Dunham had was also bogged and died. And her increase killed by the wolf" [PTR 1:29]. He was chosen one of the seven men to herd and keep cattle at Sepecan [Rochester] in 1650 [PTR 1:30].
BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: In 1996 Robert Leigh Ward published data demonstrating the English origin and the first marriage of John Dunham [TAG 71:130-33].
   In 1998 Paul C. Reed demonstrated the fraudulence of a published pedigree for John Dunham [TAG 73:101-4].


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