ORIGIN: Leiden, Holland

MIGRATION: 1620 on Mayflower


REMOVES: Marblehead, New Amsterdam, New Haven

RETURN TRIPS: Frequent trips to England, especially in the 1620s and 1630s, on personal and colony business


CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: "Mr. Alderton" admitted to Salem church 21 March 1646/7 [SChR 12]. Isaac Allerton and his wife were assigned pews in New Haven meeting house, 10 March 1646/7 [Small Gen 815]. (The Salem record may refer to a different man, as the records come so close together, and Allerton had not lived at Marblehead for some time.)

FREEMAN: In "1633" Plymouth list of freemen, immediately after Councillors, and well before those admitted on 1 January 1632/3 [PCR 1 :3]; in Plymouth list of 7 March 1636/7 [PCR 1 :52].

EDUCATION: Although there is no direct evidence of Isaac Allerton's education, and nothing written in his own hand, he must have been well­-educated to engage in business, political and diplomatic activities as extensively as he did. His inventory included, in a list of miscellaneous items, "1 old book."

OFFICES: In early 1621, after the death of John Carver, William Bradford was chosen Governor, and "Isaac Allerton was chosen to be an assistant unto him who, by renewed election every year, continued sundry years together" [Bradford 86]. Chosen Assistant, 1 January 1633/4 [PCR 1:21].

ESTATE: In the 1623 Plymouth land division "Mr. Isaak Alerton" received seven acres [PCR 12:4; MQ 40:10]. In the 1627 Plymouth cattle division Mr. Isaac Allerton, his wife Feare Allerton, Bartholomew Allerton, Remember Allerton, Mary Allerton and Sarah Allerton were the first six persons in the second company [PCR 12:9].

Assessed £3 1 ls. in Plymouth tax list of 25 March 1633 and £1 16s. in list of 27 March 1634 [PCR 1:9, 27].

Assigned mowing ground for year, 1 July 1633 [PCR 1:14].

On 6 May 1635 the Massachusetts Bay General Court noted that "Mr. Ollerton hath given to Moses Maveracke, his son-in-law, all his houses, buildings, & stages, that he hath at Marble Head, to enjoy to him & his heirs forever" [MBCR 1:147].

On 27 October 1646 "lsacke Allerton" of New Amsterdam in the pro­vince of New Netherlands, merchant, confirmed to son-in-law Thomas Cushman of New Plymouth a debt of one hundred pounds owed to Isaac by John Coombe [PCR 2:133].

In the New Haven Book of Alienations, in an entry from 1646, "Isaack Allerton" held four parcels of land "bought of Lawr[ence] Ward": "6 acres½ upland in the first division"; "1 acre ¼ & 8 rods in the neck"; "2 acres ½ of meadow"; and "10 acres in the 2d division" [BA 5].

In his "will," undated and proved 19 October 1659, "Isaac Alerton, late of New Haven, deceased," devoted most of the space to a list of debts owing to him, and then ordered "my son Isaac Allerton and my wife, as trustees to receive in my debts, & to pay what I owe, as far as it will go & what is overplus I leave to my wife and my son Isaac, as far as they receive the debts to pay what I owe" [MD 2:155-56, citing NHPR 1:1:82].

The inventory, taken 12 February 1658/9, totalled £118 5s. 2d., of which £75 was real estate: "the dwelling house, orchard & barn with two acres of meadow," £75 [MD 2:156-57, citing NHPR 1:1:83].

On 4 May 1680, "[w]hereas there was agreements between Mr. Isaac Allerton sometime of New Haven in the Colony of Connecticut now deceased and Will[iam] Holt of the aforesaid New Haven respecting a small quantity of land granted to the lots that butted on the Oystershell Field which proportion ofland the said Will[iam] Holt did make and pass over to the said Allerton ... and there having not yet been any written or recorded deed to declare the same now I Johanah the widow and relict of the said Allerton ... and well knowing the agreement with the said Holt and John Holt son of the said William . . . do both of them ratify and confirm the said agreement" [NHLR 1:38]. On 19 May 1684, "Elizabeth Eyer, formerly Elizabeth Allerton now wife of Simon Eyre of New Haven ... , having the reversion of a house that my grandmother Mrs. Johanna Allerton now dwells in situate in New Haven aforesaid with the appurtenances thereunto belonging . . . when it was in the possession of my deceased grandfather ... together with the house was bought by my father of my grandfather's creditors and given to me by my father Mr. Isaac Allerton to be possessed thereof as my propriety and right given me by my father after the death of my grandmother Mrs. Johanna Allerton which reversion ... I the said Elizabeth Eyre for good consideration me thereunto moving do give, grant and alienate ... unto my dear and loving husband Simon Eyre" [NHLR 1 :265].

BIRTH: About 1586 (on 26 September 1639, "Isaacke Allerton of New Plimmouth in New England merchant" deposed that he was "aged about 53 years" [Lechford 189-90; MD 4: 109-10]).

DEATH: New Haven between 1 February 1658/9 (court appearance) and 12 February 1658/9 (date of inventory).

MARRIAGE: (1) Leiden 4 November 1611 [NS] Mary Norris "single woman from Newbury in England" [Plooij IX; Leiden Pilgrims 27-28; MD 7:129-30]. She died at Plymouth on 25 February 1620/1 [Prince 289].

(2) Plymouth between 1623 and 1627 Fear Brewster, daughter of WILLIAM BREWSTER [PM 66]. She died not long before 12 December 1634, presumably at Plymouth [MD 30:97-98; WP 3:177].

(3) By 1644 Joanna Swinnerton, probably the "Mrs. Swinnerton" who received a grant of land at New Haven on 17 March 1640/1 [NHCR 1:50; NEHGR 124:133; MD 42:124]. On 17 February 1644/5, "Mr. Allerton coming from New Haven in a ketch, with his wife and diverse other persons, were taken in a great storm at northeast with much snow, and cast away at Scituate, but the persons all saved" [WJ 2:258]. She was living on 19 May 1684 [NHLR 1 :265].


With first wife

  1. BARTHOLOMEW ALLERTON, b. say 1613; he returned to England, became minister at "Bamfield," Suffolk (probably Bramfield); m. (1) Margaret __ ; m. (2) Sarah Fairfax, dau. of Benjamin Fairfax; and had at least four children [MD 40:7-10].
  2. REMEMBER ALLERTON, b. say 1615; m. by 6 May 1635 Moses Maverick [MBCR 1:147], son of Rev. JOHN MAVERICK {1630, Dorchester} [GMB 2:1241-43; MD 5:129-41; NEHGR 96:358-61; Small Gen 669-80].
  3. MARY ALLERTON, b. say 1617; m. by about 1636 Thomas Cushman, son of ROBERT CUSHMAN [MD 4:37-42; PM 158]. A late annotation to Bradford's 1651 list indicated that "Mary Cushman the daughter of Mr. Allerton" was still alive in 1690 [Bradford 448]. She d. Plymouth 28 November 1699 [PVR 136; MD 16:63], the last of the Mayflower passengers to die.
  4. Child ALLERTON, bur. Pieterskerk, Leiden, 5 February 1620 [NS] [Dexter 601; NEA 3:2:48].
  5. Son ALLERTON, stillborn aboard the Mayflower 22 December 1620 in Plymouth Harbor [Mourt 41].

With second wife

  1. SARAH ALLERTON, b. about 1626; listed with rest of family in 1627 cattle division [PCR 12:9]; no further record.
  2. ISAAC ALLERTON, b. Plymouth say 1630; Harvard 1650 [Sibley 1:253-56]; m. (1) about 1652 Elizabeth __ [NEHGR 124:83-84 argues that she was a daughter of Joanna Swinnerton, third wife of Isaac's father]; m. (2) in Virginia about 1663 Elizabeth (Willoughby) (Overzee) Colclough, dau. of Capt. Thomas Willoughby and widow of Simon Overzee and George Colclough [MF 7:6-7]. (All modem authorities agree that the Isaac Allerton born at New Haven in 1655, son of this Isaac Allerton with his first wife, died without issue, and some other origin must be found for the Allertons who appear in New Haven late in the seventeenth century [MQ 45:23; MD 42: 117].)

ASSOCIATIONS: Brother of Sarah Allerton, wife successively of John Vincent, DEGORY PRIEST [PM 382] and GODBERT GODBERTSON [PM 226]. On 2 December 1633, as part of the settlement of the estate of Godbert Godbertson, it was noted that "the greater part of his debts are owing to Mr. Isaack Allerton, of Plym., merchant, late brother of the said Zarah" [PCR 1:20].

COMMENTS: On 12 June 1609, "Isack Allerton son of Bartholomew Allerton of Ipswich in County Suffolk tailor" was apprenticed to James Glyn of the Blacksmiths' Company of London [Blacksmiths' Company, Court Minutes, 1605-1611 (translated from the Latin; reference courtesy of Leslie Mahler)]. This cannot be the Isaac Allerton of this sketch, who would already have been in his mid-twenties at the time of this apprenticeship, and would be married within two years. The juxtaposition of the names Isaac and Bartholomew, however, indicates a close relationship. Bartholomew Allerton of Ipswich, tailor, could have been an elder brother oflsaac of the Mayflower.

Some records of Allerton in New Netherland describe him as "of Suffolk." This would support the conclusion that the apprenticeship record given above involves close kin of this immigrant.

In his list of Mayflower passengers Bradford included "Mr. Isaac Allerton and Mary his wife, with three children, Bartholomew, Remember and Mary. And a servant boy John Hooke" [Bradford 441]. In his 1651 accounting of these families, he reported that "Mr. Allerton his wife died with the first, and his servant John Hooke. His son Bartle is married in England but I know not how many children he hath. His daughter Remember is married at Salem and hath three or four children living. And his daughter Mary is married here and hath four children. Himself married again with the daughter of Mr. Brewster and hath one son living by her, but she is long since dead. And he is married again and hath left this place long ago. So I account his increase to be eight, besides his son's in England" [Bradford 444-45].

Isaac Allerton was one of the busiest and most complicated men in early New England, and no attempt is made here to cover his career comprehensively. A full-scale biography would be needed for that, and an outline of what is available is given in the next section below. Records for Allerton may be found in virtually every colony on the Atlantic seaboard and in the Caribbean, including Newfoundland, New Netherland, New Sweden, Virginia, Barbados, and Curaçao.

In noting his various residences above, we do not estimate years of removal, as he seems to have maintained residences simultaneously at more than one location. Also, the attempt made above to describe the estate of Allerton does not come close to showing the magnitude and intricacy of his business activities. No one has yet tried to survey comprehensively this, the major part of Allerton's life.

Since Moses Maverick, the husband of Remember Allerton, received Isaac Allerton's estate at Marblehead, and Isaac Jr. received his father's estate at New Haven, it is likely that Thomas and Mary (Allerton) Cushman were at some time given Allerton's property at Plymouth ( assuming that there was more at Plymouth than the debt assigned by Allerton to Cushman in 1646 [PCR 2:133]).

BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: The descendants of Isaac Allerton were treated extensively by Walter S. Allerton about a century ago, but this account is now obsolete [A History of the Allerton Family in the United States, 1585 to 1885 ... (New York 1888, rev. 1900)].

More recently Lora Underhill published an extremely detailed account of Isaac Allerton and his children [Small Gen 756-851]. Although this version of the life of Isaac Allerton has been shown to have errors, and although many new discoveries have been made, it has great value because it attempts to cite every record in which Allerton ever appeared (as available in 1934), and prints many of the records in full.

Much of the modem research on Allerton has been carried out by Newman Hall, presented in a series of periodical articles [NEHGR 124:133; MQ 45:23-24, 47:14-18; Virginia Genealogist 32:83-92, 171-78, 287-96; MD 40:7-10]. More recently Robert S. Wakefield has prepared the Mayflower Five Generations Project volume on Isaac Allerton, as Volume 17 of the series [Mayflower Families Through Five Generations ... Family of Isaac Allerton (Plymouth 1998)].

For a different interpretation of the character of Isaac Allerton, see Michael McGiffert, "Religion and Profit Do Jump Together: The First American Pilgrim," Reflections 87:15-23 (a publication of Yale Divinity School).

The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony 1620-1633

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